Wednesday, April 30

If You've Started Stockpiling Food, Don't Forget The Stamps

People may not be stockpiling food, but they certainly are stamps. Post Offices across the country have reported selling over 6 billion since last year when it was first introduced. People are stocking up on the forever stamp with reports of some buying hundreds of dollars worth at a time. These 41-cent stamps will still be honored after the new increase goes into effect. The new 42 cent rate increase will go into effect on May 12th.

Some Federal Air Marshals Can't Get Security Clearance To Board Planes

Well if you think airline security isn't strict enough, think again. It appears that even some air marshals cannot get on board the plane they have been assigned to protect. According to the Federal Air Marshal agency some of the marshals share similar names with those on the terriorist no-fly list and have been denied access to board the plane leaving the plane in some instances to take off with no security on board. Those marshals familar with the situation say this has been a major problem that has plagued them as well as the public for years.

The agency introduced a new directive this month which should help to alleviate the problems faced by Federal Air Marshals.

The new directive will allow airlines to implement a system that will allow them to look up the name along with demo graphical information and date of birth which should clear up the problem of misidentification. They will also be able to see the law enforcement status of any air marshal in question.

It was reported this week by Homeland Security Secretary, Michael Chertoff that one major airline has reported it averages about 9,000 false positive hits per day per the no- fly list,creating big problems not only for air marshals but also the general public.

The terrorist screening center will start to review a list of nearly 500,000 names that appear on the list and remove those that do not belong to actual suspects.

Monday, April 28

Is This What It's Come To?

Schools and Universities across the nation are faced with the dim reality that they could be the next target for an attack.
Most schools have increased security measures and have implemented an emergency plan for school shootings.

As for one High School in Stoughton Mass. they have decided to be proactive. Law enforcement along with facility and students participate in a worst case scenario school shooting exercise.

Sunday, April 27

FBI Celebrates A Century 1908-2008

On July 26, 2008 the Federal Bureau of Investigation will celebrate 100 years as a national security agency. Starting out with 34 "Special Agents" the bureau today has approximately 30,000 employees. In the beginning there were few federal cases, but that soon changed, leading to 100 years of historical cases filled with famous gangsters, bank robbers, violent crimes and espionage. Here you will find the history of the FBI.

Attorney General George Wickersham named the force the Bureau of Investigation March 16, 1909
Renamed the United States Bureau of Investigation July 1, 1932
The Federal Bureau of Investigation became the permanent name for the agency in 1932

Bonnie and Clyde

Saturday, April 26

Semi Crashes Into Chicago Train Station: 2 dead 21 Injured

Two women are dead and 21 injured, eleven are in critical condition after a semi during rush hour on Friday was exiting one of the nearby expressways made a sudden turn, running through a street level bus shelter. The tractor trailer came to a stop after it had taken out part of the station's north stairwell where several of the injured appeared to have been at the time of the crash. The Story

Friday, April 25

A Day In The Life of Missouri Water Patrol and Emergency Responders

There is absolutely no way to determine just how many lives have been saved over the past months. Missouri State Water Patrol and Emergency Responders across the Ozarks have gone above and beyond and deserve recognition for putting their lives on the line for others. I have a new found respect for the dangers they have encountered. Here is but a small glimpse of the work they have done. Missouri State Water Patrol

Thursday, April 24

Polk County Now Operating New Video Arraignment System

Prisoners awaiting arraignment in the Polk County Jail will no longer have to be transported to the courthouse thanks to a new video arraignment system. Video cameras and monitors have been installed in the third floor courtrooms along with the juvenile courtroom, jail, the sheriff's office and two conference rooms. This will allow prisoners to appear before the judge without ever leaving the jail.

A federal grant in the amount of $197.46 was obtained by Rep. Roy Blunt. The video system was purchased for $78,000, with the left over amount to be used for future maintenance of the system. The system works through the intranet and can also be used for remote training sessions. The system has been in use for approximately two months. Aside from court personnel working through some procedural issues the added security to the public will be a great asset to the community.

Wednesday, April 23

Alert: Stimulus Check Scam

While the IRS prepares to start sending out rebate checks in May, phishers are busy sending out fraudulent emails to tax-payers explaining how they can get their rebate now. Tax-payers are also given a deadline to respond to the offer. The phishers use bogus email addresses that mimics the "" address and have gone as far as to lift the graphics and logos so that the web-site looks like the IRS web-site.

The email recipient is then instructed to go to the linked site and fill in the information such as bank account and routing numbers and the check will be deposited directly into their account. The IRS requests that these emails be sent to them at Information concerning this scam can be found on the website.

The IRS states that they do not contact tax-payers through email for any kind of personal information.

Tuesday, April 22

Meet The Blogger

Meet the Author
Gary Cook
The News 2k

The first thing I noticed about Gary's blog is that there was no personal profile. It appeared that the day he created his blog he was off and running with the latest news. As I read his posts I began to wonder who is this mystery blogger who seems to have a great style of writing? He was gracious enough to answer a few of my questions.

What is your current occupation?

I am a high school social studies teacher as well as a speech and debate coach. This is my first full year teaching, but it is my fourth year as a debate coach.

Why did you decide to create a blog?

I am not really for sure. I guess it grew out of my frustration about finding out about what is happening in local tv news. I always was aware of what was going on with MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN, but you never could find out what was happening locally. My blog started out that way and remains true to that theme for the most part.

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?


I just hope to provide a home for people who are interested in what is going on behind the scenes of television news. In my blog's relatively short existence, I have already had current and former television personalities tell me that they check in frequently. From covering the big game, the big story, or the big storm, I hope to continue to build upon what I have created and provide more information for my readers in the weeks and months to come. I am not an insider... all the information obtained is grunt work. That makes it a lot of work some days, but it is very rewarding.

What other kinds of blogs do you enjoy reading?

Well, my first stop is always The Turner Report. He is a top notch blogger and he provides great insight into SW Missouri current issues. I also enjoy reading personal blogs (like yours) to find out about the average person and their thoughts about everything. In addition, I am a political junkie. Any political blog is also a must-read for me.

What is your biggest pet-peeve?
That is a tough question. I guess it would have to be people who aren't what they seem. I have encountered far too many people that put on a different "face" depending on who they are around. I pride myself in truly being me... no matter where I am or who I am talking to. I have found that it is better to have one or two people you can truly trust than to have an entire army of so-called friends!
If you could change anything in America what would it be? Why?

Another toughie. Are you sure you aren't a journalist? ;-) I guess my honest answer would be that I wish more people knew Christ and his will. I look around at our society and I think of how much better the world would be if more people truly read and studied their Bible. I am a very compassionate understanding individual and I don't wear my religion as a flashy banner. I feel it is better to show it through how I live, but sometimes wish more people would open their eyes to the truth. I respect people of all faiths. I feel it is important to do that, even if you disagree with them. Yet, I wish I had the ability to enlighten more people to the truth...especially those who are agnostic and apathetic. How is that for a deep answer?

I appreciate Gary taking the time out of his busy day so that we could find out a little more about the man behind "The News 2K. Being a huge supporter of high school speech and debate I can also appreciate the work you do. I look forward to reading more great posts!

Everyone keep checking back for more "Meet The Blogger." Be sure and check your emails the next blogger could be you!

Ebay Sells...WHAT?

The day after the anniversary of the Columbine school massacre, another story unfolded as Ryan Schallenberger was preparing his plan to bomb the Chesterfield South Carolina high school where he attended. This time however the plan would not be carried out thanks to his parents who alerted police when 10 pounds of ammonium nitrate was delivered to their home in Chesterfield South Carolina. The ammonium nitrate had been purchased on Ebay, authorities stated.

While my focus could be on the planned bombing it is not, but I think the focus is more importantly directed on why in the world Ebay would allow such a dangerous product to be sold on their site?
We put cold medicine under lock and key that requires a signature and identification but we can buy ammonium nitrate from Ebay? And on top of that have it shipped to a residential address?
Ten pounds no less shipped to a residential address!

I went on Ebay to see if I could purchase ammonium nitrate and this is what I found. click here.
This is one of two sellers I found listed. Now I am not repeat not suggesting that either of the two sellers listed here sold this young man the nitrate. But somebody did and Ebay allowed it and is still allowing it. And now every mentally deranged person in the country knows where you can get it.!

It would take many bottles of this size to equal 10 lbs, but notice one of the statements. "Sold in 10z size...without you having to pay for a one pound lot... "
So I gather from this that at some point one pound lots were available?

The sellers goes on to state the following,

So come on Ebay, what's up with selling such a dangerous product especially when it can so easily fall into the wrong hands knowing the government has already cracked down on it?

You think just because the disclaimer says to follow all the city, state and federal rules that a mentally disturbed person who is about to kill himself along with others is going to care about following the rules?

Is $4.99 "buy it now" price worth the risk?

Monday, April 21

Governor Matt Blunt to Discuss Death Penalty Changes Today

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is scheduled to speak on the changes he wants in the death penalty this morning at 10:00 at the Greene County courthouse in Springfield. The changes would include the death penalty for the rape of a child under the age of 12.
Missouri would join 5 other states if the law should be passed.

Critics of such a law says that it's a bad idea, stating that sex offenders would be more likely to kill their victims. They also believe that in many instances the child knows the offender and putting the offender to death could cause the child to be further traumatized or causing the child to keep quiet about the offense when it involves a family member for fear of what might happen to them.

In 1977 the Supreme Court ruled that no one could be put to death for rape of an adult it did not however address the issue of raping a child.

Two men are currently on death row in Louisiana for the rape of a child in which the law allows for the death penalty for the rape of a child under the age of 12.

Patrick Kennedy was convicted of raping his 8 year old step daughter and the other man Richard Davis was convicted of repeatedly raping a 5-year-old girl that he and his girlfriend were babysitting.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently trying to decide if the Louisiana law is constitutional.

Blunts Legal Briefs on Death Penalty for Violent Sexual Offenders.

Sunday, April 20

Speech and Debate State Competition Results

What a weekend for area High School Students who competed in the MSHSAA Speech and Debate and Drama Championship in Columbia Mo.

Monett High School students brought home 5 awards, including one state champion Omar Qureshi who took 1st in Lincoln- Douglas Debate.

Neosho High School students brought home 5 awards, including state champions Mathew
Cumming and Mary Kellogg who took 1st in Cross Examination Debate.

Nixa High School students brought home 3 awards with Ty Harshman taking the state championship in humorous interpretation.

Parkview High School students 4 awards

Joplin High School students 3 awards

Carthage High School students 1 award

Webb City High School students 1 award

State Champions throughout the state:
Blue Springs- Jimmy Kraycyzk (Dramatic Interpretation)
Blue Springs-Andrew Grojean and Precious Johnson (Duet Acting)
Francis Howell North- Bryan Yard (Extemporaneous Speaking)
Pembroke Hill- Katie Smith (Original Oratory)
Park Hill South- Aryiel Everett (Poetry Reading)
Cameron- Dalton Gentry (Prose Reading)
Liberty-Max Mikitish and Susan Taylor (Public Forum Debate)
Pembroke Hill- Forest Honeck (Radio Speaking)
Blue Springs-Jake Helton (Story Telling)

Raymore- Peculiar took the championship in both the One Act Play and Readers Theatre

There is an abundance of hard work and dedication that takes place throughout the year to prepare for this competition. It is nothing less than amazing to watch the talents of students involved in the speech and debate program.

For a complete list of winners click here.

Saturday, April 19

Today In History

April 20, 1999

Nine years ago today was a day of great sorrow for the community of Littleton Colo. and across the nation.

Columbine school shooting in Littleton Colo.

2 students opened fire on students and teachers killing 12 students and one teacher and injuring 23 others.

click here to find out what has taken place over the past 9 years.

Friday, April 18

Breaking News Earthquake In Illinois and Parts of the Ozarks

A 5.2 earthquake stuck Southern Illinois near West Salem 150 miles east of St. Louis around 4:30 a.m. There were a total of 16 states that reported feeling the quake.

Throughout the day on Friday 6 aftershocks were reported with one aftershock being measured at 4.6.

The strongest earthquake to hit Illinois was in 1968 when a 5.3 was recorded.

No injuries have been reported.
To learn more about the New Madrid click here.

Thursday, April 17

Table Rock Lake Flooding Report

Many area state parks and campgrounds remain closed due to the damage caused by recent flooding. Persons with reservations within the next few days at any of the following state parks should contact the park.

Indian Point marina
table rock

Wednesday, April 16

5 Ways To Convience Your Daughter Her Boyfriend Is An Idiot

For the past year I have search the Internet trying to find helpful hints on how to help my daughter realize that her Prince is, and will always remain a toad. I found things like, "How To Tell Your Boyfriend It's Over," or "When Mr. Right is Mr. Wrong," but nothing on a mother trying to save her daughter from Mr. Wrong.

So I took the old, "they have to find out for themselves" approach.
OK, I can do this...deep breath. After all Im laid back, easy to get along with right?

So what if work isn't anything that interests him or his education consists of the latest video game or how he doesn't know how he is going to get his car fixed because that takes money. All that matters is that Einstein gets at least 12 hours sleep so that he can give advice to those of us that haven't yet lived life. No problem!

It worked for awhile. I would smile and just be thankful that their relationship had not reached the point of a life long commitment or heaven forbid... Reproduction!

But then I became reminded almost daily by a friend or family member who would casually mention his name and then something about a french fry short of a happy meal. I guess it was along about the 5th happy meal I decided to conduct an experiment and see if I could develop a system that had not been introduced to mothers in the same situation or at least had not been shared with the rest of us.
Below are the 5 ways that worked for me. Individual results may vary!

1. Hug your daughter each morning and tell her how much you love her and that her boyfriend is an idiot.

2. Text your daughter over her lunch hour just to remind her that her boyfriend is an idiot.

3. Take your daughter out to lunch and talk about the nightmare you had about your grandchildren being idiots.

4. Text your daughter again right before bed with the definition of idiot.

5. Leave sticky notes with the word idiot on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror and on her computer.

Repeat as needed.

Side effects can include: dizziness caused by extreme happiness. Smiling that does not go away. Decrease in psyciatric treatment followed by an increase in better days ahead. If you experience any of these side effects just keep hoping they never go away!!!!

Tuesday, April 15

Rock 'n Ribs BBQ Festival

The 9th annual Rock'n Ribs BBQ Festival will get under way this weekend, April 18-19 at the Bass Pro Shop parking lot in Springfield Mo.
Sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Springfield.

With approximatly 60 teams competing there will be plenty of great BBQ. There will also be entertainment and activities for the kids.

All the proceeds go to Springfield Children's Charities.
For complete details go to...

Home Improvement Gone Wild

Before you start setting mole traps or putting out poison for the pesky little mole tearing up your lawn, you might want to make sure it has four legs instead of two. After all it could just be your neighbor doing a few... home improvements!

Monday, April 14

Table Rock Flooding Update

The last time the water at Table Rock Dam had been this high was in 1961.

The top of the flood pool for Table Rock is 931 which means this is as much as the lake can hold. Saturday the lake was to reach 933. While the flood gates are suppose to close today, the danger of more flooding is still very much a reality. Until the area lake levels go down considerably any additional rainfall could mean trouble.

We decided to visit some of the area campgrounds this afternoon and many places had "DO NOT ENTER" signs posted.

Photos taken by Kayla Castor

Eagle Rock campground

The Park attendants allowed us to drive through the Big M campground and look around. Below is what we found.

This is the walkway to the Big M Marina

This is the road leading to the Big M marina. As you can see there is no road.

One of the camp-sites at Big M campground

With most of the area campgrounds scheduled to open in just a couple of weeks, it may be a close call for some of them to make that deadline. Check back often for more updates!

Saturday, April 12

If Your Just "Fishing" Around The Web

Maybe you can figure out why the Vice President has such a big smile.

Friday, April 11

Brandon Beck

Ky3 Meteorologist

Southwest Missouri has faced every kind of weather one could imagine since the beginning of 2008. We are very fortunate to have so many great meteorologist watching out for us when threatening weather approaches the Ozarks.

Brandon Beck is in my opinion one that deserves recognition for his commitment to helping keep communities throughout the viewing area informed. His coverage of area weather begins each morning from 5-7 and again at noon.

Brandon earned his degree in broadcasting from Evangel College. He also obtained a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State. He began his career at Ky3 in 1996 as the weekend weathercaster. Since then, he along with Ron Hearst and Dave Snider have become a team the viewers have come to depend on. They have spent endless hours the past few months tracking storms, analyzing data, gathering information vital to their viewers safety.

He was chosen by 417 magazine -people as the 2008 Best TV Meteorologist. Brandon was also awarded "Best Weathercast" in 1998 by the Missouri Broadcasters Association.

Brandon brings more than just a forecast to his viewers each day. He brings his experience, genuine concern for the well being of others and a magnetic sense of humor that is uplifting no matter how depressing the weather may be.

Mother Nature Has A Mind Of Her Own

Mother nature decided to spare us the severe weather that had been forecast for our area .

She did however decide to bring us the third flood in less than a month.

This flooding was not only the worst one yet to hit the town of Monett, it also had a historical


Downtown Monett April 10, 1908

Downtown Monett April 10, 2008

Tuesday, April 8

Kansas Jayhawks 2008 NCAA National Champs!!

For those that wanted a championship game full of excitement of historical proportion, they were not disappointed.

Exactly 20 years ago, the Kansas team led by Danny Manning who is now the assistant coach at Kansas won the championship. His coach at the time Larry Brown along with 3 other former Kansas coaches watched from the stands as the Jayhawks gave Bill his first championship title.

UNC coach Roy Williams and former Kansas coach wore a Jayhawk on his shirt as he cheered on the team.
Kansas trailed by three with only seconds remaining. With 2.1 seconds left in the game Mario Chalmers put up a 3 point shot to send the Jayhawks into overtime. Kansas dominated in overtime and took the championship 75-68.

Mario Chalmer's shot at 2.1 seconds to send Jayhawks to OT

Congratulations to my Kansas Jayhawks!!!
Rock Chalk!

Sunday, April 6

Final Madness

If you didn't get to watch the final 4 games last night... you missed out on some great basketball!

Memphis rolled by UCLA to end the game 78-63. The athleticism of this team was incredible and proved to be just too much for the Bruins.

The Kansas Jayhawks the underdog going into last nights game walked out on the floor and for the first 10 minutes had even the biggest KU fan in shock. Ten minutes into the game B Rush had as many points as the whole Tarheel team. The second half saw the Tarheels fight their way back as they came within 4 points. The last five minutes of the game KU got their second wind to wrap up the game 84-66.

Kansas and Memphis will meet up tomorrow night for the championship game. What a game that should be!

GO KU!!!! Rock Chalk!

Friday, April 4

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

There are approximately 3 million cases of child abuse reported in the United States each year.

A new study conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 1 in every 43 babies born in the United States are physically abused and neglected. In 2006 there were 499 babies that died due to maltreatment. Most are victims of abuse and neglect before they are a week old.

Maltreatment of children is the third leading cause of death in this country.

The sad part is so very many cases never get reported and many of those that do often result in not enough evidence .

It takes all of us to ensure the safety and well-being of children. They are the most vulnerable and least protected within our society.

While learning disabilities can result from problems during birth, over 1/2 of all learning disabilities occur because of neglect during the early stages of development.
If Abuse is Suspected

It's never a child's fault when abuse happens!

Believe what the child is telling you. It is important for them to know you believe them and they have done the right thing by telling someone.

Sometimes bad things happen even when we have done our best. Do not ignore it and think it will go away or maybe it didn't really happen. Report it immediately and make sure to seek medical assistance.


Know what activities your child is involved in.

Pay attention to those that spend a great deal of time with your child. Ask your child what kind of things they do or what kind of games they play. Also ask your child if there are other people there and who they are.

Teach your child about inappropriate touching and make sure they understand they need to tell you if it happens. Also make sure they understand they are not going to be in trouble for telling.

Teach your child that bad people want them to keep secrets.

Children need to understand that their body belongs to them and not anyone else.


Learn all you can about child abuse and the warning signs (links provided on the right).

If you suspect someone is abusing their child. Report it.

A child's life may depend on it!

Missouri: 1-800-392-3738

Outside Missouri: 1-800-669-8689

Dedicated to 9 year old
Rowan Ford

Thursday, April 3

New Weather Chat

KSPR 33 has just introduced their new Weather Chat. The chat room will be open prior to and during severe weather and other scheduled times during the week. The Kspr storm team continues to go above and beyond to keep their viewers informed.

Click on my Kspr link on the right to find out more about this exciting new addition.

Tuesday, April 1


Happy "April Fools" Day to everyone.
No jackpot here, but that wasn't the case April 1st 1877 when Edward Schieffelin found silver in the famous old west town of Tombstone.

Happy Birthday to...

Actor Sam Huntington : Born April 1st 1982 in Peterborough New Hampshire

His first appearance was in the Walt Disney movie Jungle to Jungle.
He then went on to appear in Detroit Rock City, Not Another Teen Movie, Rolling Kansas and Home of Phobia.
His big break came in 2006 when he landed the part of Jimmy Olsen in Superman Returns.
He married actress Rachel Klein in 2006

Actress and Singer Debbie Renyolds
Born April 1st 1932 in El Paso Texas

She first appeared in June Bride (1948)

A few of her performances include:
The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady, Three Little Words, Singing in the Rain, The Affairs of Dobie Gillis, Athena, The Catered Affair, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Debbie Renyolds Show and Whats the Matter with Helen?

MsRenyolds has won over 40 awards which include an Academy award for Best Actress in the Unsinkable Molly Brown, an Emmy and 5 Golden Globe awards.