Wednesday, December 31

Freefall Express in Freefall

After the deaths of three people in 2008, it appear that 2009 won't be a banner year for the Mt. Vernon based Freefall Express. The FAA is planning to take away the certification of four skydive employees. Among those cited whose certifications are to be revoked include the owner, Bryan Wolford, and the pilot of the plane which crashed earlier this year, Jason Rog. You can read more about the situation by heading to the Springfield News-Leader website.

I believe that this is an appropriate action that has been taken by the FAA. One mistake in a year can be blamed on an accident, but two starts heading into a much grayer territory. Just one more reason to not include skydiving in my list of things to do in 2009.

Woo Pig Suey!


I know we have at least a couple of Arkansas Razorbacks fans who follow the blog and since my MSU teams are not producing very many highlights, here is a wonderful upset. Anyone who is a Big 12 basketball fan NOT from Oklahoma had to love this.... the Razorbacks upset #4 Oklahoma last night!

Want the sweet highlights? Check out this link, which will take you to KHBS-KHOG's highlights of the game.

Tuesday, December 30

The Hazards of Live TV #2,975,895

Okay, there is no way I can ever do this justice without a You Tube video to back me up but here goes anyway. Tonight's TalkBack segment on KSPR News @ 10 asked its viewers the following question: Should women breastfeed in public?

If you have never watched KSPR's TalkBack segment, basically what happens is that the anchors do a story over an issue, share their opinions on it, and then read your responses during their 4:30 and 10 broadcasts.

Tonight's question received many responses. So many that Joe and Christine Daues, the evening anchors, had printed responses to share with the audience that had come in since the beginning of the broadcast. Everything was going fine until Joe read the following line (keep in mind the question is should women be allowed to breastfeed in public): "Only if they are both out..." followed by a pause, a deer in the headlights look, followed by "Oh, that is a bad one." He then quickly tossed the paper out of the pile.

Let's just say that while the KSPR Newsteam held it together fairly well after the incident, you could tell that it was difficult for them to do so. I, however, am still laughing about it. Joe... we're sorry that we are laughing at your expense. Just another hazard of live tv my friends...

Looking Back

I am not one that spends an awful lot of time looking back because I am always looking ahead. Yet, I feel the need to reflect for just a moment of two. Bear with me!

The year 2008 was an interesting one for me for a variety of reasons. Personally I had a good year, but professionally I had an even better one. If I were to take the time to mention everything I was thankful for it would take until next year.

I want to focus on one decision in particular that I made and that was to close the door on The News 2K. It was something that I didn't particularly want to do, but I felt that it had reached a point where I had to make a decision. Coming to Show-Me Opinions has been a wonderful experience for me, although I feel that I haven't been able to contribute as much here yet as I would like to. Combine that with Donna being so swamped with work and you have seen an infrequently updated blog. I promise you that will not be the case in 2009. I have a couple of projects I am already working on so that I can bring the spark back to this blog.

But I need your help, too. Help me get Donna back on the stick and writing again!!! She provides a fresh insight into the news that no one else can give.

Thanks again for your readership of this blog. Finally, before I end this post... I have compiled the top 10 stories that drove traffic to the blog this year. I am including posts from TheNews2K in this list... enjoy!

#10: I'll Think I'll Just Leave... Three Months Early (Show-Me Opinions)

#9: Man Drowns Friday on Lake of the Ozarks (Show-Me Opinions)

#8: MSNBC on MSNBC... A Lot (The News2K)

#7: No More Social Security Checks (Show-Me Opinions)

#6: Table Rock Flooding Update (Show-Me Opinions)

#5: My $.02: Vincent David Jericho = TV Expert? (The News2K)

#4: KRCG's Rod Smith Let Go (The News 2K)

#3: Show Me A Naked... WHAT? (Show-Me Opinions)

#2: Breaking News: Manhattan, KS Hit By A Tornado (The News2K)

#1 *by far*: Twas The Night Before The Primary (The News2K)

Governor Blagojevich Names Obama's Replacement...


And the highest bidder was... err... the person selected was former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris. Who? Yeah, the media is asking the same question. TVNewser has the inside scoop here.

It will be interesting to see if the Illinois Congress will allow Blagojevich to have the final say on who is selected to fill the vacated Senate seat.

Monday, December 29

Two Weak Tornadoes Touch Down

The National Weather Service has finished its survey and determined that there were two brief tornado touchdowns in Southwest Missouri on Saturday. Below is the report from the Weather Service in its entirety:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SPRINGFIELD MO
915 AM CST MON DEC 29 2008

...MINOR TORNADO DAMAGE FOUND IN BARRY AND MCDONALD COUNTIES...

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM SURVEY REVEALED THAT TWO EF-0
TORNADOES TOUCHED DOWN IN BARRY AND MCDONALD COUNTIES.

APPROXIMATELY TWO MILES NORTH OF POWELL ALONG HIGHWAY E...TREE
DAMAGE OCCURRED FROM THE WEAK TORNADO. THE PATH LENGTH WAS
APPROXIMATELY ONE TENTH OF A MILE...WHILE THE WIDTH WAS 20 YARDS.

ALONG HIGHWAY 97 JUST NORTH OF PULASKIFIELD...TREE DAMAGE AND DAMAGE
TO A ROOF OF A BARN OCCURRED FROM THE BARRY COUNTY TORNADO. THIS
TORNADO ALSO HAD A PATH LENGTH OF ONE TENTH OF A MILE WITH A WIDTH
OF APPROXIMATELY 30 YARDS.

BOTH OF THESE TORNADOES WERE ASSOCIATED WITH THE SAME SUPERCELL
THUNDERSTORM.

The Best of the Best...

I had not found time to update the blogroll in a while, but this morning I found a bit. As a result, you will now notice an updated list of blogs that I like to call "The Best of the Best". These aren't the only blogs I visit, but rather a good comprehensive listing of the best blogs from SW Missouri and others I frequent.

Newcomers to the list include:

Aaron's Articles - A good local blog from Aaron McGrath. Check out his perspective of things happening in the Ozarks and around the world.

Busplunge - A blog that offers a plethora of topics to think about and chew upon. This blog is never boring!

Desdinova - Super Villain of the Ozarks - This blog has some of the best satire I have read in ages! Also, there is a lot of good radio stuff to be found here.

Inside Missouri Politics - This is the blog from the Springfield News-Leader, which does a good job of covering politics that affect the Ozarks.

The Political Fix - Love 'em or hate 'em... the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has one of the most comprehensive political blogs out there.

The World According To Chris Brewer - This a blog I have discovered fairly recently, but it is fast becoming a must-see for me!

OzarksWeatherFans - A Ning site where fans of weather come together.


Enjoy these blogs and don't forget about the old favorites. I will update this list as I have time to evaluate more blogs. If you would like your blog considered for the list, please email me: thenews2k@gmail.com . Thanks... and enjoy!

Sunday, December 28

Only In Missouri

St. Joe 2008Dec.28

That's right, here in the Ozarks we seem to find ourselves scrambling to our tornado shelters one minute and few hours later reaching for the bag of ice melt. These pictures were taken this morning (Sunday) around St. Joseph, MO. where the scenery had changed from the warm 60 degree weather on Friday night to an ice covered landscape by Saturday morning.

tripbackfromgandg2008

Polly Want A $10,000 Box of Crackers?

The Rogloff family from California got a lot more than just Hi-Ho's when they opened up a box of crackers and discovered $10,000 inside. The money was found inside a large white envelope containing only $100 bills.

Was it a drug deal gone bad? A freak accident at the cracker factory? No, the story is more complicated than that. Let's just say it involves an elderly woman, a grocery store, and a distrust of banks. Curious? Click here to read the rest of this crazy ordeal from the Associated Press.

Forrest Gump apparently had it all wrong when he said that "life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get." He must have meant crackers. Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to the local grocery store where I will open up random boxes of macaroni and cheese in hopes of finding a diamond ring or maybe even a winning Powerball ticket.

Was It A Tornado?

Yesterday morning, an increasingly familiar sound was heard in McDonald, Newton, and Northern Barry counties. Tornado warnings were issued for those counties as a storm marched in from Oklahoma. When all was said and done, it appeared that the storm was all bark with little bite. That may not have been the case.

This afternoon, the National Weather Service is investigating "a possible tornado track between Pineville and Monett", according to the Joplin Globe. There had been unconfirmed reports yesterday of a rotating wall cloud between Wheaton and Pulaskifield, but the report I heard on scanner traffic never made it to the NWS Storm Reports section. While it is likely that the tornado (if there was one) was only on the ground for a short time here and there, it does mean that there was one.

Show-Me Opinions will keep you updated on the findings of the Weather Service.

Saturday, December 27

What Goes Through People's Minds Sometimes?

I mean, seriously. Here is a story out of Miami, Florida.

According to a CNN story, a 22 year old woman filed a false police report claiming that someone had kidnapped her 5 month old baby. She even pleaded to the media and held a press conference on Christmas day.

The only problem? She didn't even have a baby.

Apparently, she was trying to get her ex-boyfriend back. What was going through her head when she made up this story? I guess we will have to wait until she tells the judge.

Friday, December 26

Severe Weather Likely Overnight

The temperature today is forecasted to reach the middle and upper 60's across SW Missouri and you know that is never good when a cold front is knocking on the door. The National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center are both warning of the likelihood of severe weather tonight.

All types of severe weather are possible, which includes large hail, damaging winds, flash flooding, and tornadoes. The timing of the severe weather looks to be mainly after dark this evening and through much of the overnight hours. This is always a dangerous time for severe weather, but the problem is compounded further by the fact that many have not been following the weather because of the holiday season.

The situation is serious enough that the National Weather Service will be broadcasting a conference call at 10 a.m. this morning on its NOAA Weather Radios. I will update the blog if any significant new information becomes available between now and the storms.

Please do keep updated on the latest weather developments through the afternoon and into the evening and overnight hours. It could be a long night here in the Ozarks!

Thursday, December 25

Merry Christmas!!!


On behalf of Donna and myself... Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 24

It's About Time!


Let me just say that this year has been an extraordinary one for me and I hope that this year has been a blessed one for you, too! While it has been a great year, it has come at a cost for me. I haven't had nearly as much time to spend with my family as I would like. I will be an uncle in a few weeks. My grandfather's health continues to deteriorate. I haven't been able to spend the quality time I would have liked to with either my sister or my grandpa.

Now that the holidays are here, I am hoping that I get one thing with them that money can't buy -- time. While the season is about exchanging gifts and social gatherings for many, for the first time I am more concerned about soaking up those extra seconds, minutes, and hours with the ones I love. I rarely get this much time off during the year, so I need to use it while I have it.

I encourage you to do the same. Spend that extra hour with your sibling, parent, grandparent, aunt, spouse, child, or whomever it is that you truly care about. Some day you will wish you had that hour back so that you could spend it with them. This holiday season the tree is nice, the presents are wonderful, and the food is delicious, but really, for me, it is all about one thing: time!

Tuesday, December 23

Could we just have some snow please?

Ok... for what seems like the 88th time so far this winter season, we are under a winter weather advisory for sleet and light freezing rain. My question is this: since when did it become so hard to get an actual snowstorm around here?

I don't want a paralyzing blizzard, but we can't even get a full inch. All we get is this mix stuff, which frankly, I am very tired of. Has the atmosphere instituted a no snow in Southwest Missouri rule or something? Have Ron, Ted, and Kevin made the snow gods angry? Someone must have the answer!

Can we just have some snow please? Thank you. That is all.

Saturday, December 20

Wow. People Are Weird!


Maybe I knew it all along and just decided to deny it. Or maybe I truly thought most people were normal. Either way, I have decided that the vast majority of people trudging through cyberspace have to be half crazy. My reasoning? Look no further than KSPR's Top 10 Most Viewed Stories Online. (You can check out the full list by clicking here.)

Among the journalistic heavy hitters that the KSPR news team has covered in 2008, stories such as a Woman Finding Jesus in a Cheeto Bag along with a Pregnant Woman Being Charged With Prostitution make the station's top ten. No Blunt, Hulshof, Steelman, McCaskill, Palin, etc to be found anywhere... who would have guessed?

Brandon Beck Sends Letter To Viewers

Brandon Beck, who underwent surgery recently, sent a letter to KY3 to let the viewers know how he is progressing. In the letter, he says that he has received of 800 cards and 30,000 online well wishes. He also lets everyone know the struggles he has undertaken during this surgery. The good news beyond the success of the surgery is that he expects to be back on air on January 12th. You can read the full letter by clicking here.

We continue to wish Brandon a full recovery.

Friday, December 19

The Last Weekend !!!

Well...this is it! The last weekend before Christmas. The weekend everyone is frantically trying to get that last person checked off their list. Unless, you are like me who has only one person checked off their list. Yes, I am behind...big time!

Between work, the holidays, and getting ready to be a very, very young grandmother, things have been more than a little bit crazy. As stressful as it has been, I wouldn't trade a minute of it.

While there will still be presents under the tree, there won't be as many as in years past and instead of feeling bad about it and wishing I could do more, I don't. Because maybe, as we all face these hard economic times we will see this as an opportunity to remember what is and should be more important than anything you could put under the tree.

Wednesday, December 17

If You Ever Needed A Reason To Switch...

I have been an Internet Explorer fan since the beginning. I know all of you computer geeks will tell me that Firefox is better, but old habits are hard to break. Well, at least that was until earlier this week. Microsoft announced that hackers had hacked their way into Internet Explorer and were redirecting computers to malicious websites, where important personal information could be stolen. (You can find more about the problem by clicking here. ) This hole in the software affects all IE users, from the 5.01 version all the way up to the latest one.

So... what does Microsoft encourage everyone to do? Switch away from Internet Explorer for the time being. Yesterday, I did just that. And you know what? I like Firefox so much, I might not switch back. If you have ever needed a reason to switch, now you have one. If you are like me, you might find that being stuck in your old ways isn't always a good thing after all.

And to all of you out there reading this saying "I told you so!" to yourself... just keep it to yourself, ok? I really don't want to hear it.

Sunday, December 14

Winter... Here We Come

Looks like this week is going to be very wintery. A Winter Weather Advisory has just been issued for almost all of SW Missouri and so the entire region can expect some sleet, freezing rain, and snow to impact travel conditions overnight and for your morning commute tomorrow. Please stay safe if traveling!

This doesn't look to be the end of the winter weather. More shots of the frozen stuff exist nearly every day this week. Have fun... winter, here we come!

Monday, December 8

KY3's Beck To Have Surgery


It was announced on this morning's edition of Ozarks Today that KY3 Meteorologist Brandon Beck will be having surgery on his pancreas. Known as the Whipple Procedure, the surgery will require over a week of hospitalization and outpatient recovery time of a little more than a month.

Beck announced his surgery this morning and you can view that video at http://www.ky3.com/. You may additionally leave well wishes for Brandon by sending him an email at bbeck@ky3.com or by clicking here.

Show-Me Opinions wishes Brandon the best of luck with the surgery and will keep him in our prayers.

Sunday, December 7

News-Leader Veteran Kicked To The Street

If you are an avid reader of the blogs Turner Report or Life of Jason, then this story isn't new to you. Springfield News-Leader reporter Sarah Overstreet was abruptly let go by the company in a round of layoffs. Overstreet had been with the paper for 22 years! One has to wonder where the practice of loyalty is rewarded anymore, don't you?

The Turner Report has a good write-up on the departure and comments. You can read them by clicking here.

Saturday, November 29

Congrats Wildcats!

They were our biggest nemesis throughout the season, but yesterday I was pulling for them in the Class 3 State Football Championship in St. Louis. The Cassville Wildcats upended Monett's dream of a state championship on a dreary rainy cold Monday night earlier this month. After the initial shock of losing wore off, this community rallied around our Barry county neighbors and cheered them on past Logran-Rogersville and the tough as nails team from Chillicothe.

Yesterday, that cherring got louder as the Wildcats won the Class 3 State Championship by defeating Cardinal-Ritter 31-7. It was Cassville's first football championship ever. Coach Large and crew should be proud of the work they did and their season. They were dynamic!

Keep in mind this isn't coming from a normal Wildcat fan. This is coming from a conferene foe and district rival. However, for just a few hours yesterday everyone in Monett was a Wildcat fan. Congratulations! (Now be prepared to lose in basketball and wrestling!) :-) Just kidding... kind of!

Tuesday, November 25

Happy Thanksgiving!




Oh boy, here we go! It is already starting. The holiday season is upon us. So who is ready to start saying "Ho! Ho! Ho!"? I want to give it a few days. That is probably because with each passing year the holidays creep up on me faster and faster! Am I alone in feeling this way?


Anyway... I just wanted to take some time and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Whatever your plans are, be sure to be safe and have a happy time with friends and family!
PS -- Do you like my turkey?

Friday, November 21

Layoff For 40,000 Postal Workers "Not True" But...

The Monett Times released a very interesting story today in regards to the recent news of layoffs for up to 40,000 Us Postal workers. While United States Postal Service Media Relations Manager Gerald J. McKeiman released a statement on November 12. about the layoff being "not true," some area postal workers say there has been a letter in circulation at postal offices warning of a possible layoff. As the volume of mail continues to decline, concerns of what lies ahead for not only postal employees but the future of the Postal Service as a government institution are beginning to surface. The Monett Times Community Editor, Darla Damrill went searching for answers. Click Here for the full story.

Thursday, November 20

It's Going To Be A Long Season

The Lady Bears are now officially 0-2. Maybe, I am putting the cart before the horse but I have a feeling us fans are in for a long season of disappointments. I hope I am wrong because I would love nothing more than to be surprised. I just don't see that happening.

I was in Hammon Student Center when the MSU Lady Bears won the NIT Tournament Championship (in fact... I was there for all the games). I have been there for several successful seasons. In fact, since I started following the Lady Bears, I don't recall a let down of a season, that is until the last few.

I wish Milleson the best and I imagine the transition hasn't been easy. But I miss the Lady Bears of yesteryear. Someone put out an all points bulletin for them... that spark and fire is needed. Where is the next Melanie Howard, Jackie Stiles, Jenni Lingor, Kari Koch. Where are they? If they don't show up... once again... it's going to be a long season.

Tuesday, November 18

What a Whirlwind...

I have been so busy as of late (as has Donna) that we haven't updated the blog like we should. For that we apologize. I will have some stuff up in a day or so. Hang tight!

Sunday, November 9

Election Predictions Recap

Okay, so now the election is almost a week behind us. Some people are probably going into a political withdrawl (I am breathing a sigh of relief). With this in mind, I felt the need to look at my predictions and see how I did. Here we go...

President: I did surprisingly well in this category. I accurately predicted Obama would win (although my electoral math was off just a bit) and the only swing state I missed was Florida. I also nailed that McCain would win Missouri under 1%. Man, I'm good! (just kidding)

Governor: I got the individual correct, but I was low on the margin of victory. Nixon ended up winning by 18%.

Lt. Governor: Once again, I picked correctly but I missed the margin.

Secretary of State: I picked Carnahan correctly, but she won by 26%, not the 13% I expected.

Treasurer: My upset win of the night came to fruition. Clint Zweifel did win the race for Treasurer. He won by 3%.

Attorney General: This was my only missed person prediction of the night. I predicted that Gibbons would win by 2%. He actually lost by 6.

7th Congressional District: Man did I ever misread the voters of this district. I felt that all signs pointed to a "somewhat close" race between Richard Monroe and Roy Blunt. I figured that Blunt would win, but not by 41 points.

132nd MO House: I picked the winner. Don Ruzicka won, although by a little more than I thought he would.

Amendment 1: Passed like I expected it to

Amendment 4: Passed; I thought it would fail due to the confusing nature of the ballot language.

Prop A: Passed even though I still believe it is a horrible horrible thing!

Prop B: Passed like I expected

Prop C: Passed, but with a bigger margin than I anticipated.

All in all, not too bad of a prediction night for me. We shall see how I do the next time!!! :)

Thursday, November 6

Thank You Kevin Lighty

Last night, around 12:30 we were awaken from our sleep to find the tornado sirens blaring. As the family gathered in the basement we turned on the television to find out what was going on. I blazed through several channels to find one of the late shows on, another channel, nothing but a map of Missouri with the warning outlined. I had kind of figured that out by the sirens.

Then I turned to KSPR33, where meteorologist Kevin Lighty was on the air. He was going over the tornado emergency procedures. He was right there giving us important information as to where the storms were, when and what we could expect. Even though our satellite kept going in and out as the storm neared,every time it came back on, there he was. He never left us.

It was 12:30 at night with dangerous storms approaching, sirens blaring and people sleeping. I don't want to wait for someone to break in to late night television to tell me that I have just been blown off the map. I want someone who is warning me ahead of time, keeping me updated so that I can do all that is in my power to keep my family safe!  KSPR33 was the ONLY channel with continuous coverage through the whole ordeal.  That is what I as a viewer want and I am grateful that someone felt that rural Southwest Missouri was important enough to do just that. Thank you Kevin! I will know next time not waste precious time searching for life saving information, I will know exactly where to turn!

Tuesday, November 4

Well, Would You Look At That?

Not all of my predictions are true -- in fact, although there is still a lot out in Missouri it looks like I especially missed the mark on Prop A.

Big news of the night -- no need to elaborate -- I imagine we will have the news that Barack Obama will be the next President coming up within the next 30 minutes...

EDIT: Make that 4 minutes... CNN is projecting Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States.

Long Lines This Morning

Well, here in Monett people were out as soon as the polls opened. At the forest park precinct people were already standing in line outside at 6:10. It was about a 20 minute wait. I'm wearing my little sticker and will be watching the results with family this evening and of course checking the blog coverage.

Monday, November 3

Twas The Night Before The Election

'Twas the night before the Primary was a hit, so here is the general election version. Have fun!

Twas the night before the election and all across Missouri
Not a politician was sleeping, not even Matt Blunt's email attorney.
The yard signs were placed on the lawn with great care
With hope that the candidates they supported would win fair and square.

The ads were still playing on television sets
While visions of swaying voters still danced in their heads.
With Obama courting moderates, and McCain Republican fatcats
Tonight they will likely not settle down for any sort of nap.

When then in the kitchen there arose such a clatter
I sprung from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the telephone I flew like a flash
Hoping a friend or relative hadn't been in a crash.

The words on the phone said caller unknown
While the moon shone down brightly on the Ozarks below.
But what to my groggy ears should I hear
But a robo call from Missouri Right To Life, oh dear! oh dear!

With the time nearing two a.m. I knew pretty quick
That this had to be a darned ole Republican trick.
More rapid than eagles the slurs they came
All the things Richard Monroe would vote for, they called them by name!
Abortions! Stem cell research! A bad choice for us!
I heard about everything; how they hated his guts!

Around Missouri, in towns big and small
People were waking at midnight to all of these calls.
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So I opened the door and out it the phone threw
With the caller id and the answering machine, too.
And then in a flash I heard on the roof
What sounded like tiny little donkey hoofs.

As I drew in my hand and was turning around,
Down the chimney Clint Zweifel came with a bound.
He was dressed in a suit from his head to his foot
But now his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

His cheeks were like roses but his eyes were all bleery
I thought to myself, this man is in the same party as John Kerry?
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
Like he had given a thousand campaign speeches in a row.
A cardboard cutout of Mike Gibbons he handed to me
And when he was done, I bade him to leave.

On the porch was a man with a broad face and little round belly
Jay Nixon, when he laughed, shook like a bowl full of jelly.
He had thought about calling for support, that jolly old elf,
But decided instead to come see me himself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Reminded me of one thing I had forgotten with dread.
Tonight was just the beginning of his work
His inauguraion was still weeks away he said with a smirk.

Now the dawn was coming quickly and I needed to doze.
But before going to bed the chimney flu I did close.
As I laid back down in bed faintly I heard a the whine of a whistle
And I prayed to the good Lord that Roy Blunt wasn't coming to visit.

Tomorrow some candidates would give up the fight...
While others would say Thank you to all...
And to all see you again in four years on election night!

My Election Predictions

Unfortunately for me, I am home sick today and the talking television pundits have me bored out of my mind. So... here are my predictions and explanations for election night.

President: I think this will be closer than some think, but the winner will be Obama. As far as electoral count, I will have to go with Obama only winning 305 electoral votes. Here is how I think the swing states will play out:
Obama: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, New Hampshire
McCain: Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana, Montana
I believe McCain wins Missouri by less than 1 percent. This will be the first time in a long time Missouri has incorrectly picked the winner.

MO Governor: This is one of the biggest no-brainers in the contest. Nixon will win. SW Missouri has a larger than average affinity for the Democrat. This will propel him to victory. I am guessing the margin will be by about 10 - 12 points. In a state like Missouri, that is huge!

Lt. Governor: This may be also be very,very close. I am going to predict a Kinder win, but by less than 1 percent. If Obama ends up carrying Missouri heavily, then Page may win this.

Secretary of State: This one is going to Robin Carnahan, likely by 13 to 14 percent.

Treasurer: This is my upset of the night. I think Clint Zweifel will win this on the coattails of Nixon by around 1 percent. Both Lager and Zweifel are unknowns statewide. That will mean that people will vote based on party. The Republican mantra is not the best to have right now.

Attorney General: This is the most difficult race to predict. This one has so many facets to it that I don't know how they will play out. Conventional wisdom points one way, but my gut tells me that this race may be won by Gibbons. Neither have a lot of name recognition, but Koster has too many skeletons in his closet. His defection to the Democratic party has angered both sides and I believe that may cost him this race. I think Gibbons wins by 2 points, but this is my "going out on a limb" pick.

7th Congressional District: Contrary to some, I believe this has the potential to be a very close race. I know that yard signs aren't a sure fire way to tell who will win, but in a very conservative community such as this to see triple the amount of signs against Rep. Blunt can't be very encouraging. I think this depends on how Obama does in this region. If Obama picks up 30-40% in this region then I believe this race will be close. I predict Roy Blunt will win, but by about 9 points.

132nd MO House Race: Another close race because both have won races in the past. I believe you have to give this to the incumbent. I believe Ruzicka will win by 5 points. Again, the voting percentages for Obama could impact this race, too.

Amendment 1: Passes

Amendment 4: Fails

Prop A: Fails (but it will be close)

Prop B: Passes

Prop C: Passes (barely)


**So those are my thoughts... what say you?**

Saturday, November 1

I'm Proud To Be A Cub Today

(Photo from the Monett Times)

Graduating from the school and then coming back to teach there was the last thing on my mind as I said goodbye on my Graduation Night in early May. Yet, six years later I found myself back at my alma mater to teach and have been loving every minute of it.

There have been some exceptional high points at the school since I started teaching there: State Champions in Wrestling, State Champion in Debate, and 2nd place National Champion in Extemperanous Speaking among other things. Yet, the end of the week has that feel in the air again because the football team has gone 10-0.

I have heard students who don't normally get excited about athletics jump on the bandwagon. Thursday I saw the most students wearing purple and gold ever (and that includes my time there as a student). I even heard one student who is normally too cool for school say late yesterday afternoon, "I'm proud to be a Cub today." While academics will always be first and foremost in my emphasis, this kind of school spirit helps that environment tremendously.

Our hometown paper did a great job summarizing the reason for the jubilation: "Not since 1971 has a Monett team gone 10-0 in the regular season. And that 1971 club went on to win the first of two state titles in MHS history. In going to 10-0, the Cubs combined a solid defensive effort with an equally solid offensive one, scoring in every quarter."

So, while I am proud to be a Cub every day it was nice to see that others who wouldn't normally do so are feeling that way, too.

Congrats Cubs and good luck Wednesday night against Springfield Catholic!

New Meteorologist Joins KY3

This morning KY3 added a fourth meteorologist to the Stormteam. Sarah Jones is the newest member and will be providing weather forecasts for the weekend edition of Ozarks Today. KY3 has yet to add an official bio, but my research indicates that Ms. Jones was previously a meteorologist for 6 News out of Lawrence, KS.

Tuesday, October 28

One Week Left...

So there are 7 (almost 6 now) days left until voters go to the polls in Missouri and across the country. Who do you think will be the big winners? Will it be a long night next Tuesday? Please feel free to post your predictions or thoughts in the comments section!

Saturday, October 25

KSPR Met Leaving


I held off on posting on this story for a few days out of respect for Josh. I wanted to let him break the news to the Ozarks. After serving this area so well for the past year, KSPR Meteorologist Josh DeBerge is leaving to take a job with FEMA in Kansas City. According to Josh he will "manage theExternal Affairs Cadre of On-Call Response Employees (CORE) who report to disaster sites across the country, and will be reponsible for maintaining relationships with media in a four state region, in addition to a numberof other tasks. I'll also be continuously on-call and will report todisaster sites in our region and across the country."


Josh, along with Kevin and Natalie, have been essential to the early successes of KSPR since their rebranding in 2008. I want to personally thank Josh for his work and his friendship. I wish him the best of luck in Kansas City.

Despite my desperate pleadings, Chief Meteorologist Kevin Lighty has refused to hire me to fill Josh's position. Maybe it is time to pull out the blackmail images from a few posts ago.

Gas for $1.99

Wow! According to Gas Buddy, prices for regular unleaded gas in some parts of SW Missouri are down to $1.99 a gallon. It has been such a long time since that has happened (or at least it seems that way to me). I remember right after 9/11 that gas spiked to $1.76 and we thought it was expensive. Earlier this year my friends and I were discussing the fact that we would likely never see gas below $2.00 a gallon again. Guess we were wrong.

I don't really know what the point of my post here is, but I just really wanted to comment on the price drop.

Nice side note... a student of mine calculated that if the price continued to drop at the same rate over the next 4 weeks that it has dropped the past 4, we would be paying around $.75 a gallon. I doubt that will happen. In the meantime, treasure the lack of green it takes to fill up!

Monday, October 20

Our Debate Tournament Results

I had a couple of people who wanted to know how our speech season was going so far. Here is a sample of how we did over the weekend. It was another successful weekend for the MHS Speech and Debate Squad at the Parkway West / Ritenour Tournament.

Advancing to finals and placing in individual events were: Gaby Rodriguez - 5th Interpretation, Nik Pate - 5th Radio Speaking and 5th Original Oratory, Kale Turner - 5th Novice Storytelling, Brit Isbell - 4th Original Oratory, Ryan Saunders - 3rd Novice Storytelling, Laramie Ellis - 3rd Novice Prose, Theresa Mangler and Chelsea Ash - 3rd Duo, Rolando Rodriguez - 3rd Interpretation, Rolando Rodriguez and Kacy Barta - 2nd Duo, and Emma Verstraete - 2nd Novice Intepretation and 2nd Novice Prose.

Advancing to quarterfinals and placing in debate were: Ryan Saunders and Emily Copening - 4th Novice Public Forum, Rolando Rodriguez and Hayley LaGarce - 4th Varsity Public Forum, Emma Verstraete - 4th Novice Lincoln-Douglas, Brit Isbell - 4th Varsity Lincoln-Douglas, Kale Turner and Brianna Petersen - 2nd Novice Public Forum, and Kirk Gandy - 2nd Varsity Lincoln Douglas.

The squad finished 4th out of 18 schools in debate sweepstakes and finished 2nd out of 16 schools in individual events sweepstakes. Congratulations!

Saturday, October 18

Don't Vote Until You Read This!

That is the title of the email I received from WebMD this week. After reading it, I thought there might some of you who would be interested in their review of both Obama's and McCain's health care reform.

Reality Check

Lee Summit Teen Dies After Falling Through Roof

Jacob Blair, 18 of Lee Summit, Missouri, died after he and four of his friends decided to go to an abandoned production plant. The teens went to the plant to work on a video for their broadcasting class.

The facility had once been a plastic container plant and had been abandoned for several years. Blair had climbed up on to the roof and fell through what authorities believe was either a hole in the roof or a ventilation shaft.  Blair fell, landing on his head and later died at the hospital.

Sgt. Mike Childs with Lee's Summit Police said. "Anytime you're at a closed manufacturing site, especially one that's been closed for several years, you're going to have hazards there and it's not something to be playing around with."

While the case is closed, trespassing charges could be filed by the owners of the facility later on. 

Monday, October 13

What An Experience

Newsy is checking in tonight for a quick update on what will be a very busy week for me.

If you have never had the opportunity to check out the Leadership Ranch west of Republic, then you are missing out on quite an opportunity! Today our entire faculty went out there and spent the day working on teambuilding exercises. I was pushed further than I ever thought possible and I learned a lot about myself in the process.

I was a skeptic before, but I am a believer in the process now. For more details on the ranch, click this link.

I wish I would have taken pictures!!!

Saturday, October 11

Just Checking In

It has been crazy around the Show-Me Opinion world these past two weeks in which there has been little time to devote to blogging.  Newsy is off doing what he does best, and that is coaching his speech and debate team at an area tournament. I have just started back to work full-time as a project manager for a spice company.It has been two years since I have worked full-time, plus go to school. It will be a challenge but I feel very fortunate to have found employment with all the economic uncertainty.

My husband just left to play at a men's softball tournament (40 is the new 20 you know) so I decided to post something before going to the store after Icy Hot and Tylenol.

Well it's off to type up and print the church bulletins for tomorrow.  Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather. Until next time... Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 8

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This (But That Doesn't Make Them Any Less Stressful)

Allow me for a brief moment to climb upon my soapbox and proclaim from the rooftops that teachers don't get paid nearly enough. I won't stay there long though. Likely because I am going to get knocked down by some unruly student who will tell me that my class is "dumb" or "boring" or "insert annoying insult here."

Should I take personal offense when a student makes those remarks? Probably not. I do anyway, however. I don't hear these remarks often as a teacher. Generally, I hear complimentary things about how I make history and government "interesting", "fun", or my personal favorite "not nearly as boring as I expected." Today, however, was not one of those days.

There were various moments today when I wanted to just yell "Do you know how long it took me to plan this? Do you know that I have little social life because I am required to spend nearly all of time working on things for you all? Do you know that I sleep around 4-6 hours a night because I work long into the night grading and planning and then get up early to make copies of handouts and to complete administrative paperwork? Do you know that while most adults are resting I spend my weekends with high school students? Do you know that I always advocate for you with the administration?", but I didn't. I promptly replied to the student that not everything in life would be fun, but that sometimes we have to complete tasks that we don't enjoy so that we learn the proper material.

I pour my heart and my soul into this profession and I am finding those heartwarming moments you have as a teacher are hard to remember when you have days like I had today. I guess my frustration is with the fact that sometimes I feel like no one notices the hard work I do. I don't want awards. I don't expect keys to the city. I just want a simple "thank you for what you do." I don't think educators in general hear that often enough. And people wonder why teachers leave the profession so regularly!!

Mama was right... there will be days like this. Yet, it doesn't ever make them easier.

Saturday, October 4

How You Know You Have A Playoff Worthy Team...



...when you are up 49-0 in a high school football game at the end of the 1st quarter! I have been quiet about Monett High School's football success the last few weeks, but here is a stat that I thought you might be interested in.





MHS CUBS... OPPONENTS


247 points... 21 points


Ouch! Monett's toughest challenge will come the 17th of this month when they face off against perennial rival Cassville. Monett has taken down the Wildcats each of the last two years when they have been riding high. Hopefully Cassville won't be able to return the favor.

So... GO CUBS!

OJ Verdict - Guilty!

Late yesterday evening, the jury found OJ Simpson and his friend guilty on several counts of wrongdoing. Among them were the charges of kidnapping and armed robbery. This ultimately could lead to OJ spending the rest of his life behind bars.

The ironic twist to this story is that 13 years ago on that same day, the world gasped as the jury found Mr. Simpson not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. I don't remember much about the trial, except for some of the lawyers, the glove line, and the verdict. I was in 8th grade at the time. Therefore, I can't pass judgment on that original trial's verdict.

What I can say is that things usually have a way of working out and that people who do wrong end up getting their just desserts (although not always exactly when we think they should).

Through all of the media coverage there is one thing being left out. There are some people who really are the biggest losers in all of this. That is the children of Nicole and OJ. Now they have lost their mother and their father. I hope they have a tight knit set of relatives and friends to lean on. I know I would need them.

Thursday, October 2

Palin/Biden Debate Live Blog

Analysis and reaction will be found in the comments section. Feel free to add to your comments there, too.

Tuesday, September 30

I Think I'll Just Leave... Three Months Early

So, I have come to a conclusion. When I am down to my final year of my job and the school year is winding down, there won't be a need for me to wait until Memorial Day weekend to say goodbye. One weekend in March I will just pack up everything, leave a note, and never return. I am sure a sub can fill my place for those three months. I mean, what is the problem? I won't ever be back there again. What are they going to do? Fire me? Sounds like a great plan, right?

Well, that is exactly what Lawrence County Sherrif Ed Weisacosky did this week. Just three months before his term ended as sherrif, he skipped town. He pulled up stakes and moved to Florida. What wonderful character!! This is a man we voted into office? It would be one thing if health issues forced him to resign, but from all media reports I have seen this wasn't the case.

And the best part of all... one of the candidates running to replace him is named the interim sherrif. I would say *cough cough* that is a little bit of an unfair advantage. But, who am I to judge? After all, I won't care who my substitute is (in 28 years) when I leave the schoolhouse doors forever.

Monday, September 29

Bailout Bill Fails; Now What?

Your thoughts and comments are welcome in this thread concerning the breaking news this evening.

Sunday, September 28

Got Milk?



Listen up all you cow abusers!

"The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. The alternative...human breast milk. Of course, why didn't I think of this sooner?!? PETA has asked the ice cream company, Ben and Jerry's to replace the cow's milk in their ice cream with human breast milk. Yummy!

Do people actually get paid to come up with these ideas?

The reasoning behind this alternative solution is because the cows are suffering from being milked. Good thinking, except for one small detail...MILKING COWS DIE IF THEY ARE NOT MILKED! I guess the cows would not be considered suffering if they are dead. And the word of the day today boys and girls is: RESEARCH.

On the upside,(no pun intended) stay-at-home moms could make some extra cash by selling their breast milk to companies. "Oh look honey, mommy helped make that cheese, lets take some home and suprise daddy." The sale of baby formula and breast pumps would sky rocket. Now that is what I call a stimulus package.

Then I have to wonder about the commercials to promote human breast milk. Ok guys, quit daydreaming and focus. Seriously, what kind of a commercial are you going to put on television? A woman coming out of the bathroom with a pitcher of milk? Maybe a woman holding a breast pump where she says "Got Milk"?

As for Ben and Jerry's, well, they are not quiet ready to leap over to the Breast is Best side yet and offered the following statement:"We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child."

Sunday Night Advice

I've had a busy day today. I have received numerous emails today from some very important people soliciting my political advice. I want to thank them for trusting me enough to seek my opinion. Because I truly care about the readers of the blog here, I wanted to give you some exclusive insight into what the movers and shakers were asking me. Enjoy!

Email #1
to: thenews2k@gmail.com
from: spalin@alaska.closetorussia.gov

Dear Newsy,

I am a little scared about Thursday night's debate because I will be facing the Washington elite media. I wanted to seek your good opinion about what issues I should highlight and to find out what things to avoid.

Thanks,
Sarah


Dear Sarah,

If I were you I would avoid talking about Russian airplanes and spend a little more time highlighting the fact that you look a lot like Tina Fey.

Sincerely,
Newsy

to: thenews2k@gmail.com
from: jbiden@senate.gov

Dear Newsy,

I have prepared an original opening statement for the debate Thursday night and wanted to get your take on it. Here it is. Please tell me your thoughts.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Sincerely,
Joe

Dear Joe,

Ummm... Joe that is Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream Speech. Taking someone else's work and crediting it as your own is called plaigarism. We have been over this before. Remember 1988?

Sincerely,
Newsy

to: thenews2k@gmail.com
from: khulshof@losingcampaign.com

Dear Newsy,

I am getting worried. We are less than 40 days from the election and I am down over 15 points in every major poll. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Kenny Hulshof

Dear Kenny,

Drop out and name Sarah Steelman as your replacement.

Sincerely,
Newsy

Something That Has Been Bothering Me...

Over the past couple of years there has been a huge emphasis placed on becoming environmentally friendly. This has become what some would call a "green revolution." The question that always nags at me is exactly what can I do to "go green" and why should I? Yes, I understand basic science and I know that recycling and conservation are important... I do both of those things. I just have never been able to be comprehend exactly how additional measures significantly help our environment. Does that sound crazy? It kind of sounds like it now that I have typed it out. Maybe my confusion comes from spokespeople for the environment telling me to help stop global warming, yet they drive around in big SUV's and fly around the world in jets that emit massive amounts of CO2. Can someone answer my questions?

Saturday, September 27

A Great Way To Spend A Saturday

Well, if you have ever wanted an
entertaining way to spend part of your Saturday and you are at least remotely interested in the weather... you should attend a KSPR Weather Warriors get together. It was a wonderful time today. This was the third meeting of the group and the picnic was held this time at Doling Park.


No other station in the Ozarks has a tighter knit group of fans than those who gather together once in a while to talk weather, current events, and just have a good time. There is always a member of the KSPR Weather Team there, too. Kevin, Josh, and Natalie are always gracious. They truly are what we here in the Ozarks would call "good folks."


Meteorologist Kevin Lighty even let us play a couple of rounds of Weather Jeopardy today. Pablo (that's me... not my real name, but my stage name) and the posse went 2-0 on the day and had a wonderful time, as evidenced by our smiling faces. Jeff and his team (pictured above) were not so lucky. He does have a wonderful storm blog called Ozark Storms though. Check it out in the blog roll to the right!


For more information on the Weather Warriors, check out http://www.ozarksweatherfans.com/ and join in on all the fun!



(Yes, that is KSPR Chief Meteorologist Kevin Lighty on the slide. Yes, we are blackmailing him with this picture.)

Friday, September 26

Ummm... KSPR? Roy Blunt is Not The Governor


I think the KSPR webmaster is confused. The headline on KSPR.com reads "Gov. Blunt Joining In on Bailout Bill Negotiations" yet the AP article specifically talks about Blunt's father, 7th district Congressman Roy, as heading in to the bargaining table.


"WASHINGTON (AP) -House Republicans say they're sending a top leader to renewed negotiations on President Bush's $700 billion plan to bail out the financial industry." Umm.... they said top leader. I don't think they mean Matt.


"Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri will attend the talks with key lawmakers. That's after the House GOP boycotted negotiations on an emerging bipartisan agreement, calling it unacceptable. Blunt is the number two House Republican."


The article even has a picture of Governor Blunt. Oops!

The Debate Is On!

All right, the debate will happen after all. It begins @ 8 p.m. local time. Post your thoughts in this thread. I will update it throughout the evening with my thoughts as well.

Wednesday, September 24

McCain: No Debate? Open Thread

McCain has announced that if the bailout bill doesn't pass, then he will not attend the Presidential debate on Friday night. Your thoughts? Let the open thread begin.

Tuesday, September 23

Michelle Sherwood Is Now Married... I Think

If all went according to plan, KSPR weekend anchor Michelle Sherwood should now be a blushing bride. I am a not a Springfield media insider so I don't have the scoop, but according to Michelle's blog, today was the big day. The KY3 Political Blog has been quiet, so I assume all are out in Hawaii celebrating. Congrats Michelle and Jim!!!

Monday, September 22

Police Cancel Amber Alert For The 4 Missing Children

Police have not given up on the search for 39-year old Shirley Riggs, of Independence, Mo., who did not return her 4 children to DFS as scheduled on Saturday afternoon. The reason they say that the Amber Alert has been canceled is because it has out lived it's effectiveness.

While police feel that the children are in imminent danger, a close friend of the family, John McGliton, does not. McGliton told WDAF that she had taken off with the children before because she had caught her husband abusing the girls. Riggs had taken the children to Oregon where she and the children lived with her mother. After 4 years she filed for a divorce in which her husband became angry and filed a report with Missing and Exploited children. Authorities found Riggs and arrested her.

McGliton also said that Riggs husband's sister works for the Division of Family Services and that she was being, "railroaded". Riggs left with the children in fear that the children would be placed in foster homes and she would lose her visitation. Riggs also feared her husband would be allowed overnight visits. McGliton said he doesn't blame her for taking off with her children. The judge in the case has issued a warrant with a $500,000 case only bond.

Sunday, September 21

KSPR's New Home Under Construction


Groundbreaking took place on Friday at the KY3 campus on Sunshine in Springfield for a 20,000 foot addition, according to the Springfield News-Leader. Most of this new addition will house KSPR 33, once the work is completed. This will be a big step for the company and both television stations. There was no official estimate given on when the project is expected to be completed or when KSPR will make their move.

Help!


I know that many of posts since joining the blog ranks of Show-Me Opinions have been rants and that is not normally my style. You will have to spare me one more, however.

Yesterday, a fellow faculty member and I were on our way back to SW Missouri from a conference in St. Louis. We had been driving quite a while and decided to stop in Lebanon to fill up with gas because it is cheaper there than anywhere else along I-44 for some reason. We pulled in, filled up, and started up the car to pull out again when the engine temperature gauge began spiking all the way to red.

I am not vehicle savvy, but I knew enough to have my friend pull up to the station again and turn the car off. We popped the hood, but this car was a 2008 HHR and nothing was where I expected it to be. We decided it would be best if my friend called her Chevy roadside assistance. After spending 15 minutes talking to a computer, she finally received a live person! Yet, this person had less knowledge of Chevy vehicles than I did! The only thing he could do was to call a tow truck and tow it to the dealership in Lebanon and wait for it to be fixed when they opened on Monday. What help!

I determined right then that our only other hope was to go to the Wal-Mart Tire and Lube two blocks down to see if they did that kind of work -- which they didn't. Yet, one of their car service employees took time out to come check on the car. After he and I looked around, he surmised that it had run out of coolant. He told us he was not allowed to do it, but guided us through the process. Before long we were on our way.

Most car issues while on the road aren't major catastrophes, but rather small glitches that can be solved in 15 minutes. Chevy roadside assistance, however, apparently doesn't really mean what it says. What it should really be called is "Chevy Roadside Computer Maze and Towing" since that is all they wanted to do. Shouldn't there be technicians on call 24/7? Cars don't break down from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. Many people may gripe about Walmart, but when Chevy wasn't there to help and we were stranded two hours from home, the only place that had someone with the knowledge was Walmart. We are very thankful for that!

Amber Alert: 4 Children Missing

Shirley Riggs, 39, of Independence, Mo., is believed to have fled with her 4 children after she did not return them at 2:00 PM as scheduled. The children were in the custody of the Department of Family Services in which they had given Riggs an unsupervised overnight visit. The report also states that this is the 4th time she has left the state with her children.

Missing are:

  • Kelley L. Riggs age 10, w/f dob: 2-5-98 5.01 tall, 67#, Brown Hair, Blue eyes
  • Raven SA Riggs, age 12, w/f dob: 11-5-95 5.01 tall, 67#, brown hair, brown eyes
  • Rhiannon G. Riggs, age 7, w/f dob: 8-23-01, 4.02 tall, 45#, Brown hair, brown eyes
  • Spencer D. Riggs, age 14, w/m dob; 9-29-93, 6.02 tall, 180#, brown hair, brown eyes

Shirley Riggs, is described at 5.05 tall, 115 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She may be driving a maroon, 1992 Dodge Caravan minivan with Missouri plate MB6-C8M. Police say she could be headed to Denver, Colorado or Oklahoma.

Please call 911 or the Independence police department if you have any information about this case.

Link...

Thursday, September 18

Barry County Inmate Dies...Wife Speaks With Show-Me Opinions

Manuel Flores, 38, who had been an inmate at the Barry County jail for the last nine days, died Tuesday morning, September, 16, the day he was scheduled to appear in court. The cause of death has yet to be determined and his wife, Tonya Flores spoke with Show-Me Opinions about the events leading up to his death. Tonya said, "there have been rumors and false statements as to what happened to Manuel, I just want everyone to know the truth."She also stated, that while she was reluctant at first to speak up, her decision to not stay silent would hopefully keep this senseless tragedy from happening to someone else in the future.

Here is her story.

On Monday September, 15, shortly after Manuel had finished eating breakfast, he began feeling sick. His condition did not improve, and he began spitting up blood and passing out. He then told jail officials that he needed to be seen by a doctor. Manuel was given a medical release form to fill out and sign so that medical treatment could be administered. Some of the inmates had to help him fill out the paperwork which he signed, and according to his wife jail officials "denied". Witnesses told his wife that Manuel was given pepto bismol and tylenol and then told by the jailer to just, "shut up".

Tonya Flores said that after he was denied medical treatment, Manuel called her asking her to please find a way to help him. She proceeded to call the jail, then the sheriff, then the chief of police, five attempts in which she said were ignored. "He's got a touch of the flu, no big deal," she was told. She also stated that some of the inmates who had spoke out about getting him help were put in "the hole" for the night.

The next morning as Mrs. Flores and Manuel's lawyer sat in court waiting on her husband, Manuel died in the floor of his cell. She said it was an hour and a half later when she was told her husband had died.

Mrs. Flores said that statements which surfaced early Tuesday stating the autopsy had indicated the cause of death being from inflammation around the heart, is false. She received a call from the Barry County coroner Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM. It was during their conversation he explained to her that the results of the autopsy would take from 6 to 8 weeks. She said there is no way of knowing the cause of death until that time, and questions why someone would make such a statement.

While there are many unanswered questions surrounding this case, the questions Tonya Flores wants answers to is, why Manuel was denied his right to medical treatment ? Why did her husbands plea for help, hers, and those of other inmates, go unanswered ?

And the hardest question she'll have to answer... is to their son as to why his dad is never coming home.

Wednesday, September 17

Breaking News: Everything Is Breaking News

A quick scan of the television dial just after 8 p.m. this evening featured quite a bit of breaking news. In fact, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News all had Breaking News banners flashing across the screen. If I had been an uninformed individual, I might have believed that there was actually breaking news unfolding at that moment. Here's what was breaking:

Fox News *Hannity and Colmes* - BREAKING NEWS: HANNITY IN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SARAH PALIN

CNN *Larry King Live* - BREAKING NEWS: DONALD TRUMP ENDORSES JOHN McCAIN

MSNBC *The Rachel Maddow Show* - BREAKING NEWS: OBAMA MAKING UP GROUND IN KEY BATTLEGROUND STATES

You know what would have been true breaking news? Sarah Palin agreeing to come on to MSNBC and be interviewed by someone who isn't smitten with her and the Republican Party, like Rachel Maddow. Also, if Larry King would have found out who Donald Trump's hairdresser is that could have made for a flashy red banner. Possibly most worthy of a Breaking News banner during the 8:00 hour would have been if on the off chance Sean Hannity would actually let Alan Colmes talk. Those issues, my friends, are worthy of breaking news banners. What you saw tonight... was not.

Verizon Stood In The Way Of Finding Kelsey Smith

In 2007 Kelsey Smith, 18, was abducted from the parking lot of a Target store in Overland Park, Kan., and then murdered by 26-year old, Edwin Hall. Hall was sentenced this week to life in prison.

When Kelsey's family realized she was missing the first thing they did was call her cell phone. An hour after Kelsey was abducted law enforcement had the video surveillance tapes from target. Their next move was to track Kelsey through her cell phone. But the technical department for Verizon seemed clueless and uncooperative in obtaining information in which time was of the utmost importance. Information that other cell phone providers say should have taken anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour, took 4 days for Verizon. Forty-five minutes after law enforcement had that information Kelsey's body was found.

WDAF Video

Tuesday, September 16

Stop Sending Me Forwards!!!

As an educator, I work long hours. I typically spend somewhere around 10 hours in the classroom (not to mention the time I spend working when I come home). As soon as I arrive in the door after a long day at work, I generally check my personal email account. I always anticipate a nice email from a friend who has moved away or a note from a family member. Instead, I get forwards. Not just one or two...or ten. Tonight, for example, I came home to find 15 forwards in my inbox that had collected from this morning.

As much as I would really like for it to happen, Microsoft is not going to send me $250 for every person I forward your message to. Nothing exciting happens when I click on the send key. Your inspirational messages of hope and healing are nice, but I much rather prefer a personal email filling me in on your life and asking me how my day has gone. Oh, and I especially love the 5 forwards today informing me that Barack Obama is a Muslim and he will blow up America as soon as he is elected. I keep waiting for the forward that breaks the news that McCain actually attends KKK meetings in his spare time.

Is it to much to ask that if you want to communicate with me that you actually send me something of value? I think from now on, when I get a forward in my inbox, I am going to respond with the following reply:

Dear Friend,

Since you obviously have enough spare time on your hands that you can send me these 8 forwards in a six hour time frame, maybe you can use your time to check www.snopes.com concerning the validity of the emails you are sending. Look at all the nifty things I learned in just 10 short minutes. No Obama is not a terrorist. Yes, Starbucks supports the troops. Despite your email to the contrary, Pepsi has not removed God from "God Bless America" on their 4th of July special edition cans. God will not send down a lightning bolt to strike me if I don't forward this prayer, but I will quit speaking to you if I get another one of these messages with your name attached to it.

Stop Sending Me Forwards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Newsy :-)

PS - If you forward this to 15 of your friends within 12 minutes, you will receive the winning Powerball numbers in your mailbox.

When Do We Reach That Magic Number ?

Two people are in jail and a little boy is dead. Sound familiar? It should as it continues being repeated over and over again in Missouri. The other familiar part is the role that the Division of Family Services seems to play. Kimberly Helmes, 21, and her boyfriend Kyle Cooper, 25 of Blue Springs are being held in the Jackson county jail on a $500,000 cash bond after firefighters found Helmes's 1-year old boy dead in their home on Friday. The home was also occupied by Cooper's parents.

The little boy identified as JB along with his brother were being abused by Cooper according to Helmes. Firefighters had responded to a 911 call in which the caller had stated the little boy was not breathing. When they arrived they found the 1-year old dead with injuries that included a broken arm, fractured skull and ribs, malnutrition and his tongue split in half. A thread was hanging from his tongue where the couple had tried to stitch it back together. It is believed that the little boy had been suffering with these injuries since at least Labor Day. Cooper had however told authorities that the boy had fallen in July and they had "successfully" stitched his tongue back together at that time. The stitches had began to fall out last week.

Both the boys had been taken into protective custody in May by the Division of Family Services because the 2-year old had excessive bruising. Four days later they were returned to the home.

Four days later they completed an investigation in what usually takes a month. Apparently there were no monthly visits or does stitching up a child's tongue not fall within the guidelines of abuse? And certainly one cannot expect a trained caseworker to see the signs of malnutrition. So, either the case was closed because excessive bruising does not warrant a watchful eye or the caseworker never bothered with the visitation. What excuse will they use this time?

I will repeat again, and continue to repeat for as long as it takes, How many Missouri children have to die before we realize "the system" does not work? Is there a magic number that we have to reach before caseworkers and those involved with the system are held accountable? Yes, I said accountable. Two people are responsible for this little boy's murder, but there are others who are responsible for failing to prevent it!

Monday, September 15

Stormy Stocks



Stocks came spiraling down today amid the news concerning Lehman Bros. In fact, the Dow Jones dropped 504 points, its worst single day loss since the reopening of the stock market after 9/11.

The news isn't getting any better either. As of 9:30 tonight, the Asian stock markets were crashing down over 7% in some cases. This is coming in reaction to the US market downturn.

The outlook for tomorrow doesn't look bright either. Futures are already sitting down over 150 points. There is additional concern that insurer AIG may not make it through the night either. Buckle up everyone!

Riding The Storm Out

First I want to welcome newsy, (former The News2k administrator) on board Show-Me Opinions.


Now, I'm going to take the bull by the horns by talking about the recent hurricane and those along the coast who ignored the mandatory evacuation order. Unlike some, I believe if a person decides that he or she is bound and determined to stay, I don't see a problem with staying. What I do have a problem with, is them calling for help and expecting someone to rescue them from their roof top after they made the decision to stay. Nobody wants to leave their home. But to put others in danger just because you don't want to leave is wrong. Stay should mean just that, stay. If your food and water floats away, stay. If you have to live on your roof for a couple of weeks, stay. Whatever happens during and after the storm your on your own.


I saw those on the news standing in their backyard watching the waves come crashing over the sea wall hours before hurricane Ike hit who said they were staying. Officials were going door to door begging these people to leave and still they stayed. I heard things like "I have to stay here and protect my property from looters." Well, I don't think your dead body is going to slow looters down much. What it does do, is put emergency personnel in harms way. They know that sooner or later they will have to return to either rescue these people or put them in a body bag. My hats off to first responders for the job they do, because unless you slept through several days of warnings, I don't have much sympathy for you if you make the decision to stay.
Then there is the excuse, and this one irritates me to no end. "If the Lord has decided it's my time to go, there is nothing I can do about it." Yes, the Lord has sent a hurricane to destroy half of Texas because it's your time to go. The last time I checked the Lord did invent brains in which to make decisions with. Did you ever stop and think that maybe he gave it to you so that you could get some use out of it in times like that? For those that truly believe that way, stop throwing your money away on health care coverage. If it's your "time to go," you certainly don't need a doctor or medicine.


The stress people face when having to leave their home and not knowing what they will return to is understandably great. Being told to leave time after time certainly must get old. That however, comes with the territory of living along the coast. If people feel that they must stay to protect their material things, by all means stay. Just don't ask others to risk something that their families wont be able to replace.

Watching Wall Street

Keep an eye on the markets today. After the announcement that Lehman Brothers will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it looks like the stock market is set for a major sell off. Dow Jones futures values this morning are down nearly 360 points.

In my opinion, the biggest test today is twofold. First, how low will the market go? Secondly, will the market stabilize by the end of the day? If there is a huge selloff early but the market can then stabilize itself, we will see that it is just reacting to the financial news from the weekend. If it doesn't, then it will shine a light on the fact that this economy is in worse shape than some thought.

It is going to be a long day for some.

Sunday, September 14

Ike Sends Gas Prices Up Across Show-Me State

Hurricane Ike has left in its wake higher gas prices across the state. As of Sunday evening, the highest price of gas being reported by Gas Buddy was $4.59 for regular unleaded in Farmington. The cheapest gas was $3.39 at the Casey's in Lexington. That is a $1.29 spread across Missouri alone.

Could someone please explain to me the disparity in price from one store to the other?

Why is Casey's charging $3.39 in Lexington and $4.39 in Farmington? Is there that much difference?

May I Have Your Attention Please!

Hello, and welcome to Show-Me Opinions. You may notice some changes around the blog over the coming days. One of the biggest is the addition of me, Newsy, to the blog. Donna and I are teaming up to create a bigger and better place for news and unfiltered opinion in the blogosphere. I was the former admin at TheNews2K, but I have decided that the old cliche is true... two heads are better than one! I look forward to not only blogging, but carrying on a conversation with you the reader on this site. This isn't just about our opinions... it is about yours, too. So, chime in!

Ciao!
Newsy

Friday, September 12

National Weather Service Uses The Words "Certain Death" For Costal Residents In Ike's Path

As early as this morning flooding was already present in the Galveston area as hurricane Ike still hours away was showing residents just a sample of what they were in for. Pleas to leave the area continued as some forty percent were to be believed to have decided to stay. The National Weather Service issued a warning not heard from them before. A warning of "certain death" for those who decided to ride out the storm. Many made a last minute decision after seeing the waves as high as ten to fifteen feet crash over the sea wall. Something they had never seen happen so far in advance of a storm. The deadly part of the storm is not the strength of the storm but the catastrophic flooding. Some places along the coast could see as much as thirty feet of water.

Stay tuned with the latest information as hurricane Ike makes landfall between 12:00-2:00 a.m.

Live Coverage KTRK

The Latest Information On Hurricane Ike- Live Coverage

The monster hurricane Ike is scheduled to make landfall sometime early Saturday. Flooding has already began to effect some areas hours before Ike's arrival because of this storm's massive size. People along the coastal areas have been warned that death is eminant if they choose to stay. Many people still remain and officials are so concerned they are going to the residents and speaking them face to face, begging them to leave.

You can follow the latest information by using the link below.

KTRK LIVE COVERAGE

Thursday, September 11

The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Deranged

I've got an idea...since we seem to be in such a hurry to pass laws that allow us more freedom and more choices why don't we start issuing drivers licenses to kids at any age,as long as their feet can reach the pedals? After all, if they can reach the pedals why should they have to wait to be 16? I mean, if they are old enough to go to school and spend all day long learning to be a productive citizen, they certainly should be old enough to drive, right? If they are mature enough to sit in the classroom and learn the fundamentals and about our country then they are mature enough to get behind the wheel. Who are we to tell them they are not old enough?

Of course the lines at the license bureau would be too long, and we certainly cannot expect them to have to wait until it's their turn. But that's no problem, we can set up booths at our friendly neighborhood Wal-Marts across the country. Once inside the booth they would sit down in front of a steering wheel with a gas and break pedal located on the floor. If they can reach the pedals, they pass the test. A machine would then take their picture and spit out their license and they would now be legal to drive. It's simple and it's easy... immediate gratification, just the way we like it. Everybody's happy!

This would fit in so nicely with the other new laws trying to gain a foothold. You know, the one about lowering the drinking age to 18. And if the legalization of marijuana bill passes then everything will be perfect. Life will be just one big party! Then we won't have to worry about our kids going off to another country to die, they can do it right here in America! It would also take care of the lack of jobs. There would be plenty of jobs to go around, because many would just be at home smoking dope and drinking beer all day. Those that choose to work could get a job growing marijuana and for those that have decided to pursue a career, they could find employment with rehab centers across the country. Teachers would have more time to dedicate to those that truly wanted an education and college presidents could compete against one another by which school is the best "party school." If you can slam a beer, you've passed the entrance exam. Whoohoo! Education at it's best!

The land of the free, free to do what ever we want, right or wrong. A land where we don't need rules. No need to worry about drinking and driving, there will be plenty 6 year olds to drive us home or maybe we can just get rid of that silly old rule too, while we're at it. We will however need laws that protect our rights to do whatever we want. So the first new law we'll need to implement will make it illegal to have loving parents and a home with rules . Open the prison doors, we need room for these kinds of people! How dare they think they can mold us in to God fearing people! Oh, and if you belong to an organization that protects the rights of those who have been abused, killed by someone using drugs or drinking and driving...death penalty. It's now a world that promotes everyone for themselves.

Overexaggeration...yes, at least for the time being. But my point is, where do we draw the line? When do we begin to realize that just because we want something, that doesn't make it good for us or for anyone else. When you are 5 you want to be 10 and when you're 18 you want to be 21, that's normal. But, when you are 4o and burying your children because we did away with the laws that were established to protect them, that's simply stupidity.

Sunday, September 7

There's Still Time...

Just a reminder there is still time to help out Eli and his Team With A Moose. The Walk Now For Autism will be this coming Saturday at the Jordan Valley Park in Springfield.

If you can't attend the walk you can still get involved by making a donation. Any size donation would be greatly appreciated. To make a donation click on Eli and his team with a moose above.

To find out more about Autism click here.

Let's show Eli how important his future and those of other autistic children across Southwest Missouri is to us.

Thursday, September 4

Pregnant Teens and Special Needs Children Should Be Kept At Home

That is the message that the media,analyst,and others have been sending since they learned about Governor Palin and her family. Unmarried pregnant teens and special needs children should be hidden away. How dare parents of these children be proud of them or portray their home as a safe and loving environment! How dare a woman with 5 children run for Vice President of United States. Doesn't she realize that this office is reserved for someone who knows their place and stays in it? Doesn't she realize that only a man with a supportive wife and perfect children belong in the White House?

Those thoughts are exactly what has gotten this country into the problems we face today. Someone comes along that disrupts the brainwashing power of big government and the media and all of a sudden Governor Palin is not fit for office because she doesn't fit into the "Leave It To Beaver," world. Well, I'll take a woman who is not afraid to show the world the issues that real life families deal with on a day to day basis and who is not afraid to step on toes to bring about change over a puppet any day!

For the media or anyone else to use the fact that Palin's teenage daughter made an appearance before the nation last night as a reason to discredit her abilities is shear hypocrisy. These kinds of statements only prove their belief that Americans cannot think for themselves and need direction from them in making a wise choice. A choice that protect their interests not ours. That's the way the game is played. How dare someone challenge the rules of the game.

As a voter who has been undecided up to this point, I can say with all honesty, Governor Palin speech was amazing and she deserves the respect that any other person in her position would be granted.I believe...

It's time for all the political geniuses to stick to the issues and let the American people decide based on the issues, like, energy, health care, foreign policy, the economy. Any of those things ring a bell? Believe it or not there are some Americans left out there who would like to hear what the candidates have to say and not the media or analysts. If the political wizards of this country are really concerned with bringing about change, they could start with a change of attitude . If that's simply out of the question, there's always duct tape!

Sunday, August 31

Hurricane Gustav To Make Landfall Monday Morning


Hurricane warnings and mandatory evacuations are now in place for southern Mississippi as well as southeast Louisiana, which includes the city of New Orleans. Hurricane Gustav which had weakened somewhat,remains at a category 3 and is still a major storm. Forecasters have advised that Gustav could strengthen over the next 12 to 24 hours with the possibility of becoming a category 4 before reaching landfall early Monday morning. This dangerous storm was located about 225 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi and was moving at approximately 17 mph., packing winds in excess of 115 mph.


Chief of the Louisiana State Police, Mike Edmondson, stated that nearly 90 percent of residents living along the coast had left, making it the largest evacuation in state history.


Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans has implemented a dawn-to- dusk curfew for the city, to help guard against looting. Nagin made it very clear anyone caught would go directly to jail. He also issued a stern warning to those who would not heed the warnings to evacuate, that they were "on their own." A skeleton crew of less than 50 police officers and emergency workers would stay behind and that no emergency services would be offered to anyone who had decided to stay. Mayor Nagin not only stressed how dangerous a storm this was but referred to it as "the storm of the century," and this was not the storm that persons should stay and ride out, but that everyone should "get their butts out now." Hopefully, all will have listened.

Monday, August 18

Missouri Water Patrol Report Two Drown Last Week

Tuesday August 12,2008

Anatoly Dmiturk, 18 of Strasburg, CO., drown on Lake of the Ozarks after he jumped from a pontoon boat to swim. Dmiturk began waving his arms and then went under. His body was recovered two days later on August 14,by Missouri Water Patrol.

 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Chance Harp, 23 of St. Louis drown on a private lake in Osage County after the canoe he and another individual were in capsized. Harp began to struggle and the other individual tried to help him to shore. Harp who continued to struggle began pulling the other individual under and he had to break free. He swam to shore and called 911. Harp's body was recovered by Missouri Water Patrol.

Sunday, August 17

Missouri We Have A Problem

Earlier this week the residences of Virginia Gambriel, 61, of Pleasant Hope was the scene of an animal rescue by members of law enforcement, humane society and Division of Family Services. At least 317 animals suffering from neglect and malnutrition were removed from the residence. There were also 6 children removed from the home at the time the search warrant was served. The property had several old mobile homes and junk cars that served as shelter for a large number of dogs. Gambriel lived in one of these mobile homes along with 2 grandchildren in which she had custody. Also occupying the same mobile home were around 100 animals according to authorities. Virginia Gambriel was charged with 2 counts of child endangerment with more charges possible.

The children who were removed from the home, were dirty,covered in flea bites,signs of scabies and ringworms were present. The children were breathing dangerous amounts of ammonia and dried feces odor. The conditions in which these children lived in everyday consisted of trash, cages and animal cages and a least one dead animal carcass 6 feet from where Gambriel slept. In one of the children's bedroom there was a small pig in a pen next to the bed and 4 malnourished dogs along with large amounts of feces. Another child's bedroom had cages full of birds, quail, mice and gerbils.

Gambriel obtained custody of two of her grandchildren in 2001 according to www.courts.mo.gov/casenet. Docket information shows that a yearly review was to be conducted and due each year on the 16th of July. The last entry was in 2007. There is no information listed to indicate if a review was actually conducted or by whom.

So now I am suppose to believe that on May 14th, 2008 that authorities just learned for the very first time, ever, that there might be a problem. No neighbors ever complained, the alleged yearly review gave no indication, nobody had the foggiest idea that two children surrounded by 317 starving animals making their way in and out of these old mobile homes,ONE IN WHICH THEY LIVED IN, never threw up a red flag for anybody?

Baloney!!!!

I'm also suppose to believe that if someone did check on these children on July 17,2007 that Gambriel was baking cookies and dusting. And just as soon as those checking on the children left, she started moving in old trailers and people started flooding her with their unwanted animals.

Or maybe it's more like...

Nobody ever checked on those children and chances are neighbors have been complaining about the conditions for years. The court system handed the children over to the next of kin and little if any investigation was done. And even after law enforcement investigated in May, it took 2 1/2 months before anything was done. Was there 2 1/2 months worth of red tape?

These children didn't "fall through the crack," of the system, they were ignored by the system. While there may be several people to blame in this whole disgusting mess, I think it only fair to start at the top with Governor Blunt and work our way down. Missourians have been given example after example of the system that continues to fail children, due in part to cut backs implemented by Governor Blunt. A court system that isn't interested in "family problems," along with mounds of cases that promote tired, burned out caseworkers to either lie or take short cuts.

The court gave Gambriel custody of her two grandchildren. The court system gives custody according to what they deem is in, "the best interest of the child." If this is what they consider a "child's best interest," no wonder child abuse has reached epidemic proportion. If this is how the system works, then...Missouri we have a problem.