Wednesday, December 30

New Endeavors

Hi all. Sorry that I have been lax in my posting as of late. I have been busy working on a couple of new adventures in my life that I thought I would inform you of this morning.

First of all, I am working as a freelance reporter for The Tri-County Sentinel, which covers news for Barry, Lawrence, and Greene Counties. You can check out their website by clicking here.

Secondly, I have continued to concentrate on my weight loss and health. To date, I am down 59.8 pounds and still going strong. I have tried to limit some of my excess computer time to focus on staying active.

I hope that everyone is doing well and that 2009 was good to you. May 2010 be even better for you!!!

Saturday, November 14

The Only Place I Can Log In

To access this page is on my cell phone. For some reason I can't get on any other place. Do you know how long it took me to text this out? I will resume blogging when I can get back in. Yeesh!

Monday, November 9

Palin To Sign Books

The Springfield News Media is reporting this evening that former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will have a book signing at Borders when she speaks at College of the Ozarks next month. Regardless of your political affiliation, it is nice to have someone of national stature paying attention to the region as a source of political strength.

The Republicans need to realize how important Southwest Missouri is in a statewide campaign. Sarah Palin taking the time to sign books just might be one indication of the party showing that it does understand that. While most pundits will be focused on the suburbs of Kansas City and St. Louis, the difference between a Republican and a Democrat win occurs right here in the Ozarks.

Say what you want about Sarah Palin -- she knows where her base is and she has a big following in this area. I expect the book signing to be a massive success for her pocketbook. It can also serve as a lesson to those wanting to tread in her footsteps.

Saturday, November 7

Don't Blog Today

By all means, it is November 7th and the forecasted high today is somewhere between 75 and 80 degrees. There is no need to blog. Get outside and enjoy the weather! I plan to follow my own advice very shortly.

It isn't often that we get weather this nice. I hope we don't pay for it in winter. Enjoy the beautiful weekend.

Thursday, November 5

Foot Hood's Missouri Connection

* KMBC has the story of one Missourian who was injured during the shooting rampage.

* For full coverage of this story, please head over to MSNBC.

Wednesday, November 4

Goodman Rumor Is Just That

A rumor floating around the political arena recently has been that state Senator Jack Goodman would be dropping out of the race for the 7th district Congressional seat being vacated by Roy Blunt. His office says that this is not the case. The campaign spoke to the Springfield News-Leader this evening and said that it was nothing more than a rumor.

Goodman has been criticized in recent months for his "lack of passion" when speaking to crowds. He has had much support from party faithful across the 7th Congressional District, however, despite running against veteran politician Gary Nodler.

Goodman's Facebook page has no indication of a forthcoming departure from the race. In fact, quite the opposite appears to be the case: "Spending time with our sons this weekend was a reminder of how much I care about their future. This is not just a campaign, but a mission we must win to protect American freedoms and opportunity for the next generation."
I guess the best advice is to stay tuned. There will be many more rumors to come concerning this Republican primary before the election gets here next year.

Monday, November 2

Local University President To Resign

No, it isn't Bruce Speck. On the same day as MSSU announces its no confidence vote in its president, Missouri State University's president Mike Nietzel has announced that he will be leaving in December 2010.

In a press release this afternoon, Nietzel stated, "I told the Board that I would be willing to remain in my position until Dec. 31, 2010, in order to give the university a good opportunity to conduct a thorough, national search for the next president. However, I am also prepared to step down as soon as the Board finalizes its search and the next president is ready to begin the position. I have asked the Board to begin its search process in as timely a manner as possible."

The departure from the position appears to be personal and not for a position somewhere else. His wife has been ill for some time.

Definitely No Confidence

According to local media, by a vote of 140 to 44, the full-time faculty of Missouri Southern State University has no confidence in their boss, the university president. I think I will let the results speak for themselves.

Sunday, November 1

KSPR New Set

Thanks to Sandra for taking pictures of the new KSPR set when we were there the other day. Here is a sneak peek:

No Confidence Looming

While many people across the Ozarks have been focused on Tuesday's elections, there is a vote that will take place tomorrow with significant ramifications as well. That is when the full-time faculty from Missouri Southern State University will likely (according to all indications) cast a vote of no confidence in their president Bruce Speck.

The Joplin Globe has a very thorough article this morning detailing how things arrived at this point and what lies ahead for the university. Please click here to read the article. I am sure that many will be anxiously awaiting the results tomorrow evening.

Saturday, October 31

24 Hours Until...

The first station in the Ozarks debuts their HD newscast. I am sure that there would be bugs to get worked out of any station's first newscast with a new set, but the first HD newscast for KSPR will be especially exciting because they will be broadcasting for the first time from their new home on the KY3 campus on Sunshine Street.

Michelle Sherwood, Kevin Lighty, and Mike Scott will roll out the first broadcast tomorrow evening at 10:00.

Just In Time For Halloween... We're Back!!!

After a greater than one month long hiatus, we are back at Show-Me Opinions.

I decided to temporarily put away the blog to concentrate on my personal life. I have spent much of the summer and early fall working on the "new me", which currently is 46 pounds lighter than before. As this transition continues, there may be some downtime on the blog, but not as much as before.

Thank you for your patience during the hiatus. We're back now... for good.

The Weather Channel... Really?

Most of you know that I am a weather enthusiast. Probably a better terminology would be something like weather junkie. One of the first sources to feed my addiction when I was growing up was The Weather Channel. It was on this channel that I could watch legendary weathermen and women like John Hope, Dave Schwartz, Jim Cantore, Jill Brown, and Marny Stanier bring me the weather like no one else could.

Those days are no more. Out of the favorites that I mentioned above, only Jim Cantore is still with the network. That channel has evolved to the point that I barely even recognize it. The place is now full of beautiful women screaming the weather at us (yes, I am talking to you Stephanie Abrams). Al Roker now has his own show on the network but instead of doing weather he is generally interviewing celebrities. (Yesterday morning, for instance, he interviewed Dan Akroyd about ghosts.)

But it gets worse. Last evening Pandora's box was opened as The Weather Channel aired The Perfect Storm in primetime. The Wall Street Journal reports that other movies are coming soon, too. Titles include March of the Penguins and Misery. Oh boy, somebody put me out of my misery!

I am not against airing weather related movies or documentaries. I love those and I watch them on The Discovery Channel every chance I get. I just don't think they belong on the channel that is supposed to be devoted to giving people the current weather. The Weather Channel is the one source people can depend on while traveling nationwide, but you can't get much weather coverage during a movie, now can you?

RIP TWC... you have officially joined the ranks of MTV and ESPN. We'll miss you.

Wednesday, September 16

Where is Aretha Franklin When You Need Her?

First it was Representative Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar in front of the entire world during the President's address to the Congress. Then Serena Williams decides to threaten a line judge during a tennis match. Most recently it was Kanye West deciding to rip the microphone from Taylor Swift's hands and inform the world that he thought Beyonce's video was far superior at MTV Awards.

Wilson, Williams, and West are just three of the most recent examples of people in our society who seem to have lost respect for others. And we wonder why we have problems with our youth! We need to look no further than the popular culture icons that they are watching. That "I can do whatever I want, no matter who I am talking to or where I am" mentality can quickly rub off on those impressionable minds who are viewing these childish behaviors.

All of this leaves me longing for Aretha Franklin. Okay, maybe not Aretha herself, but something that she sang about. Anyone remember R-E-S-P-E-C-T? It is very obvious that our society is sure having a hard time recalling that word. We better remember it soon or our country is in trouble. It is hard to correct the motion of a society when they are on the downhill slide of a mountain.

Saturday, September 12

KSPR To Begin 4 P.M. Newscast

In what is another first for the Ozarks, KSPR is preparing to launch a 4 p.m. newscast in November.

On her Facebook page, Michelle Sherwood is quoted as saying "We were told this show will be less of the same... meaning, it will not look like your standard newscast. My guess is that it will be like a meatier morning show. After all, it is an early afternoon newscast. Expect local newsmakers to come on the show and talk, probably expect more opportunity for anchors to show their personalities, expect more community events to be featured, perhaps more indepth coverage of local and national news."

The launch is expected to happen when KSPR moves into its new home in November. But don't expect the Daues family to be the anchors at the helm or even Sherwood. "I can tell you, it probably won't be me... but I don't think it will necessarily be your usual suspects, either."

Wednesday, September 9

SE Kansas Child Dies From H1N1

KOAM-TV is reporting this evening that a six year old has died from swine flu in Southeast Kansas. This news comes as many school districts are trying to prepare for what lies ahead in the coming months as more cases of H1N1 are confirmed.

Many districts are making hand sanitizers more readily available and younger grades are taking time out of their days more often to make sure that hands are washed. The Kansas City school district is requiring buildings to be cleaned and sanitized three times a day as opposed to one.

Others feel that the H1N1 virus is being blown out of proportion. What do you think? We would love to hear what you have to say.

Helpful Home Tips To Help Avoid Swine Flu

From none other than NBC's Today Show:

You Know It is Going To Be A Crazy Day When...

there is a 100% chance of rain in the forecast. Try to stay dry today everyone. The next seven days look pretty rainy. Yet, at least we are not dealing with the kinds of flooding rains they are having over in Turkey.

For a look at your forecast click here.

For more on the flooding in Turkey, click here.

Monday, September 7

Joplin Police Officer Assaulted

A Joplin police officer shot a DWI suspect after being assaulted by him, according to KY3. The incident occurred Saturday evening. After pulling the car over on 15th street, the suspect fled from the car. When caught, he began to assault the officer. No specific details have been given concerning the nature of the assault or the shooting which took place. The Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating. The DWI suspect remains in the hospital.

Wednesday, September 2

Monett Cubs Climb To Top Of Football Rankings

Go to any town in Missouri on a Friday night and most of the talk there will revolve around football. I know there is a lot of talk about how big football is in Texas. That may be true, but it is gigantic around here, too.

That's why the news today of the Monett Cubs topping the Week 2 Missouri Class 3 Football rankings caused quite a stir. The Cubs weren't the only local team on the list. Below are some others:

Class 4:
Webb City #1
Bolivar #4
Neosho #6

Class 3:
Monett #1
Cassville #7
Logan-Rogersville #8

Class 2:
Fair Grove #4

Class 1:
Miller #5
Greenfield #8

* For a complete look at this week's state rankings, please click here.

Tuesday, September 1

Rhonda Justice Returns To KOAM

Former KOAM evening co-anchor Rhonda Justice is returning to the station. She is replacing anchor Erica Edwards, who anchored her last newcast Friday evening. According to KOAM's website, Justice will return to the station in a couple of weeks. It has been a year and a half since she last anchored a newscast for KOAM.

Rhonda Justice, in my opinion, has been the best co-anchor alongside Dowe Quick in years. I am glad that she is returning to the station.

Tuesday, August 18

Man Humps Car? Are You Serious?

I am not one to normally post this kind of thing on the blog, but it is so bizarre I simply couldn't resist. Ironically, apparently neither could the man from New Mexico arrested for doing naughty things with his vehicle.

Below is the news story from (who else!) MSNBC's Willie Geist.


I apologize for the slowness of the blog. I am back to work full-time and it makes it much harder to fit blogging into my day. Once I get back into a regular routine, I will be back to a semi-normal blogging pace. Until then, please be patient. Thanks!

Saturday, August 15

Friday, August 14

Beautiful Weekend

The National Weather Service is predicting it to be a beautiful weekend so get out and enjoy it. For many kids it is the last weekend before school starts in Southwest Missouri.

Friday Links Worth Reading: Watercooler Edition

Here are a few links you might want to read up on so you be all caught up on the "important news" of the day:

Michael Phelps in Car Crash (CNN)

Candidate Campaigns on Cleavage (AOL)

Nuns Help Police Capture Subject In Independence (Springfield News-Leader)

Philadelphia Eagles Swoop Up Michael Vick (TMZ)

Wednesday, August 12

Fair Grove City Council Gets All Wound Up

This story seems to never end, so this morning I figured it warrants a post. KSPR anchor Michelle Sherwood gives the basic background information you need, so I won't go into detail on what led up to this interesting council meeting.

Tuesday, August 11

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Has Passed Away

The news is just now breaking across the cable news networks that Eunice Kennedy Shriver, JFK's sister, has passed away at the age of 88. Here is a link for more details.

Country Duo Brooks and Dunn Saying Goodbye

Country superduo Brooks and Dunn are ending their run as a duo team after a farewell tour next year, according to their website. Their first cd was released in 1991, meaning the duo has been at the helm for about twenty years. In a world of one-hit wonders, that is a significant feat.

Here is part of the note from their website:

"After 20 years of making music and riding this trail together, we have
agreed as a duo that it's time call it a day. This ride has been
everything and more than we could ever have dreamed.... We owe it all
to you, the fans. If you hear rumors, don't believe them, it's just
Their tour, scheduled for next year, is entitled "The Last Rodeo."

Saturday, August 8

Quote of the Week

I heard a political science professor say this. I know we have some Pennsylvanians who browse the blog so I thought I would fill you in on the quote:

"How do I describe Pennsylvania? Well, it is very simple. Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with Alabama in the middle."

I don't know if anyone else will find that humorous, but I did.

Group Kicked Out Of Hotel Says It Is Because Of Race

An article appears this morning in the Springfield News-Leader that is very interesting. A group from Connecticut who were in Kansas City for a drill team competition were kicked out of their hotel early because of what the owners say was excessive noise. The group's leader says that it was because they were African-American.

Who is correct? Well it appears to me that they were thrown out because of being loud. Of course, the newspaper has framed the story from the information they have been given and it is possible they have left things out. Yet, from everything I can ascertain from the article, this wasn't a race based decision.

I have traveled with students on more than one occasion. We once took thirty-five students, which would be comparable to this group of thirty-two. There is no way that ALL the students were asleep by 1:15. Teens especially see trips like this as an opportunity to stay awake late into the night. They may have all been in their rooms, but I guarantee you that some were still making noise at this time. And unless the group had a chaperon for each room and they were stationed inside of it at the time, there is NO WAY the sponsor could know.

Do I think racism is alive and well today? Heck yes! We still have a major problem with it in our nation. Do I think it factored into this story? From what I can tell, absolutely not. It is a shame the race card is thrown around when it isn't an issue because what that does is ultimately hurt other legitimate claims that arise in the future.

Friday, August 7

Blogger Pause

No blogging today because it is my birthday. I am going to enjoy the day. Blogging resumes tomorrow.

Thursday, August 6

Links Worth Reading

Here are a couple of links worthing digging into this morning:

Marian Days Celebration in Carthage To Kick Off (Joplin Globe)

Break In The Case? (Sky News)

Paula Leaves American Idol (MSNBC)

Tuesday, August 4

KSN Weekend Crew A Little Empty

Lots of anchor-go-round lately at the Joplin stations. KSN's weekend anchor Stephanie Diffin and weathercaster Iris Hermisillo have left the station. The Turner Report first broke the news that Ms. Hermisillo will be heading to Kansas City to work as the weekend morning meteorologist on KCTV 5. Diffin is heading to KAKE-TV in Wichita. Not to worry. Sports anchor Morgan Vance won't be by himself for long. New replacements will be announced soon.

Miamian To KOAM

I don't know if Miamian is a word. The definition would be "someone who hails from Miami." And folks, I am talking Miami where the "i" sounds like a long "e". I am talking Miami, Florida and not Miami, Oklahoma.

KOAM's Chief Meteorologist Doug Heady announced on his blog today that the new weekend meteorologist will be Vanessa Alonso. I do believe this is the first female weathercaster at KOAM since Jessica Allen around 2000.

She has a degree in meteorology from the University of Miami and is a member of both AWS and NWA.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 10 PM

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH until 10 p.m. tonight for the counties highlighted below. Be prepared for the possibility of large hail, damaging winds, and heavy rains.

A Couple of Good Pieces of News

From the economic front, MSNBC has two articles on their front page today that bear highlighting for you. While there are still some negatives (like unemployment which is one of the last aspects of an economy to turn around) these are both pieces of good news that I thought you might appreciate on this Tuesday!

Consumer Spending Rises for 2nd Straight Month

Pending Home Sales Up For the 5th Month In A Row

Election Day (For A Few)

Next year at this time the region will be hopping as it is voting for the primary race for 7th Congressional District. However, today features only a few communities going to the polls and likely very few of those registered in those districts actually voting. Some of the biggest issues on the ballot include whether or not to remove planning and zoning in Stone County and a school bond issue in Carthage. If you do have a local issue to vote on, please go out and vote today.

Monday, August 3

Passengers Aboard Turbulent Flight Speak Out

This morning news broke concerning a Continental Airlines flight that encountered severe turbulence on its way from Rio de Janiero to Houston. The plane was diverted to Miami. Below are some interviews with passengers from that flight.

Sunday, August 2

Billy Long Officially Jumps In

How do you kick off an unconventional run for 7th District US Congress seat? By holding your announcement at PFI, of course! KY3 has the details both here and on David Catenese's Political Notebook.

Saturday, August 1

Should People In Charge of the News Editorialize It?

This may be old news to some, but the premise I am going to discuss still applies. KOAM's President and General Manager Danny Thomas recently editorialized his position about health care on the news before President Barack Obama held his press conference at 7:00. He came out strongly against the reforms, specifically citing his disapproval for rushing into change. You can read his full editorial here.

My problem isn't his position (although I highly disagree with the premise that we are rushing through this). My concern is that opinion is making its way onto the local television newscast. Why the need for the GM to come out and make that kind of statement anyway? The reason that I believe local news remains relevant is that you can turn on your tv and get news from market veterans like Lisa Rose, Dowe Quick, Jim Jackson, and Joy Robertson without having to wade through spin and opinion. If opinions start working their way into the broadcast local television will lose any legitimacy it currently has.

Maybe it is a one-time occurance. I hope so. Leave local news alone. Keep your opinions to yourself, please.

Friday, July 31

Let The Fair Begin

Today marks the opening of this year's Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield. The fair hopes to turn around what has been some disappointing crowds in recent years. There will be lots to do at the fair including concerts every evening. Among those performing include The Beach Boys, Raven Symone, The Little River Band, and Montgomery Gentry.

Other interesting events include the weird chocolate cake contest, a Duct tape art contest, a juggling workshop, and KSPR weather jeopardy. For a complete list of activities please check out the fair's website.

Of course, there will also be livestock, midway rides, and greasy food. The fair runs through August 9.

Thank You

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who read this blog. July was our biggest month ever in original readership! I still find it amazing sometimes that people are interested in what others have to say on a variety of issues, even when they might not agree with them. I hope that Donna and I can continue to provide blog posts that are of interest to you. Thanks again!

Thursday, July 30

Just Pulled In The Drive...

After being gone since Sunday, I made it home just a bit ago. Please allow me to slowly get back in the swing of things and then posting will resume as normal. Or I guess I should say... as normal as posting on here gets...

Tuesday, July 28

Howard Dean To Host Cable News Show

Don't get to excited all of you Deaniacs! It isn't a permanent deal. Howard Dean, former 2004 Democratic candidate for President, will be anchoring Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann on MSNBC tonight and tomorrow night. It should be interesting to see how the anchoring gig goes for Dr. Dean. I am sure he will be talking a lot about the health care debate going on in Washington right now.

Wasn't the last time we heard from Mr. Dean, he was listing off states in the union followed by a scream? Hmm... this might be interesting. I think I may watch.

Sunday, July 26

In and Out

I will be an and out of the blogosphere this week as I am attending a conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I apologize for the inconsistency in blogging this week because of it. I will be back on track when I return home this weekend.

Friday, July 24

Does This Cross The Line?

A family in a small Texas community has decided that they are sick of illegal immigration and have placed a sign on their house. The report from is found below.

Do you feel this crosses a line or is it perfectly okay?

Thursday, July 23

Erica Edwards Leaving KOAM

The Turner Report first posted yesterday that KOAM's evening co-anchor Erica Edwards was leaving the station. Today, I have been able to confirm that Edwards is leaving the station but that it will be "later this year" and that there doesn't appear to be a set date at this time.

Edwards is an alumni of Duquense University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We will keep you updated as we get more information.

Wednesday, July 22

Springfield And Tennis

The United States Tennis Association has listed Springfield as one of America's Top Ten Tennis Cities, but before it can get to number one your help is needed. Head to this link and vote for Springfield as the best tennis town. The grand prize is $100,000.

Springfield is home to the Lasers as well as many other good private and public tennis clubs. Voting ends on July 26.

Happy Birthday Bob!

Former Senator and Presidential Nominee Bob Dole is 86 today. Here are some of his finer moments!

Tuesday, July 21

You've Heard Of Snakes On A Plane...

But what about scorpions? All I can say is that I am glad I wasn't on that flight. Can you say refund?

Monday, July 20

Oh I'm Glad I'm Not An...

Oscar Mayer Wiener bus driver. You know it's going to be a bad day when you start to back your wiener mobile out of the drive and suddenly you've remodeled someones house! The Full Story

KRZG's Mark Kinsley To Run For MO House

The Joplin Globe and their blog "Show You State", written by Joe Hadsall, is reporting this afternoon that KRZG radio personality Mark Kinsley will run for the Republican nomination of the 129th Representative seat.

The blog entry also states that the announcement will come Tuesday, July 28th at a local Joplin business. Representative Marilyn Reustman will join him at the event. Please click on the link for all of the details.

Sunday, July 19

Ashley Tisdale To Perform For Extreme Makeover Home Site

Top story from KSPR:

Ashley Tisdale To Perform Free Concert

I know, I know... isn't it great? The High School Musical star will be in the Ozarks on Tuesday!

While I am very happy for the Hampton family and they are certainly deserving of the new home, the KSPR overkill is driving me crazy. Does the news have to be broadcast live from the site? Does it have to take up all the space on your website? Does it have to factor into the weather blog posts?

I will be happy when the family gets to move in and start their new life. I am grateful for the men and women who have donated their time to make this dream a reality. I am glad that ABC chose the Ozarks because there are a lot of nice people here who deserve this. Still, I am tired of the overkill by KSPR. Every piece of plywood or sheetrock put into place isn't news. Come on Joe, Christine, Michelle, and crew... let's get back to covering the rest of the news, too.

Saturday, July 18

OMG... My BFF Just Got TTT,,, LOL

You might think that teenagers who text constantly are simply annoying. The truth is that is getting to the point with some that it is even causing health problems. The girl in this video from CNN has been identified as having Teen Texting Tendonitis. The cure? STOP TEXTING FOR ONE SECOND AND GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY!

While I may have meant the above statement in a tongue-in-cheek manner, texting is becoming a serious problem and one that can even lead to arthritis. Enjoy the video below.

Friday, July 17

Walter Cronkite: 1916-2009

The Worst Jellybeans In The World

I bet KY3 Ozarks Today anchor Paul Adler was glad he was on vacation today.

More From Mr. Muller...

Wow, okay... so this guns and pickup trucks thing goes a little deeper than I originally thought. Take a look at the comments Mr. Muller made this morning while talking with CNN's Carol Costello on American Morning:

"COSTELLO: Well, but police officers are shot in the line of duty all the time, and they carry guns every day, so maybe some might not think that is a great argument.

MUELLER: Well, I'd personally like to have a sporting chance instead of just becoming a victim. I guarantee you those guys that broke through that door that used guns to kill those people did not have legal guns and did not go through the proper steps to get them. Those are all illegal guns, and I would bet my bottom dollar on it. I haven't seen the facts, but, look, there is a bunch of evil in the world and people need to protect themselves. We're real firm believers. We're country folks down here. We live down here, and we're real firm believers in the Second Amendment, and we don't want to become victims. I live out in the country, 15 miles from the dealership here on 1,200 acres, the response time to my home is about 15 minutes. And if I'm counting on the police, we have a great police force in Bates County, great sheriff, great police in Butler where we live. Response time is still 15 minutes no matter how great the people are and how great their intentions are. And I would rather defend myself. The only 911 call I need is chambering a round, and I think that's the case with most people down here.

COSTELLO: You know what, I grew up in rural America, too. We had guns in our home, but they weren't AK-47s. I mean, but...

MUELLER: How long ago was that?

COSTELLO: When I was a teenager, 20 years ago, 30 years ago.

MUELLER: Things have changed dramatically. I don't know if you know anything about Missouri, where I live. In this county, there is a tremendous crime problem with people doing meth, and these people, they've lost their souls. They don't care about you, they don't care about me. They care about one thing, getting more dope."

Umm... okay, so let me get this straight. You need an AK-47 to protect yourself in Bates county because crime is very high. If we follow this line of logic, then we should probably provide armored cars with mounted rifles to the folks in East Saint Louis, don't you think? Wow.

A Free Gun With Every Truck

The Associated Press has a story this morning that should disturb everyone.

Butler, Missouri car company Max Motors has taken incentives for buying an automobile to the next level. In the month of August, if you buy a truck you will receive a voucher so that you can purchase an AK-47.

Yes, that is right. Buy a truck, get a free assault rifle! I have one word for this promotion: dumb. I could add another one, too: dangerous. Mark Muller, the owner, is just asking for trouble if you ask me. Have we really sunk to that level in our society?

The AK-47 is responsible for nearly a quarter of a million deaths each year, according to the Washington Post. Umm... Mr. Muller? Hello? Did it ever occur to you that this might be a bad idea?

Political Full Court Press, Part Two

Another day of interesting political news:

1) Indiana Senator Dick Lugar has publicly announced he will vote for Sonia Sotomayor to become the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, according to MSNBC. Why is this news? Because he is a conservative Republican. Something tells me Sean Hannity might have something to say about this.

2) You have probably already heard how safe the water was at the Lake of the Ozarks during the Memorial Day weekend. Too bad that information was false! The Department of Natural Resources admitted yesterday to withholding information about unsafe levels of E.coli at the lake for fear of loss of tourism revenue. Now the Columbia Tribune is reporting that a group for the protection of waterways and linked to the Sierra Club has filed a complaint against DNR. This should be fun!

3) KY3's David Catanese reports that MO Senator Claire McCaskill has grabbed the attention of the Washington Post. Click here to find out why and to see the possibly most unflattering picture ever posted on the Notebook of Senator McCaskill.

Thursday, July 16

Kids Contract Swine Flu in Barry County

KY3 is reporting that seven kids have been confirmed to have the H1N1 virus, known more commonly as swine flu. The kids were attending a church camp in the southern part of Barry county. The article also mentions that up to fifty-three people reported flu like symptoms, so the number of confirmed cases could go higher than seven.

The rest of the activities at the camp have been canceled and the other people, not suspected of having swine flu have been sent home. We have more details on the blog as they become available.

Severe Weather Watch Posted!

Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been issued by the Storm Prediction Center until 10 p.m.

Blogroll Modified

You may notice that the blogroll to the left has shrunk. No, I did not get mad and remove bloggers. The Springfield Blogger's Association has developed a nice website which catalogs and feeds the posts from these great blogs into one location. The list was growing too long for me to keeping adding to as I found quality sites. I hope you will take a moment and check out the site.

2012 GOP Poll Numbers

Yes, there are some geeks out there already polling on the leading candidates for the GOP Presidential nominee for 2012. And there are some geeks mentioning it on their blog. Here are the latest Gallup poll numbers when surveying Republicans:

(Margin of Error +- 5%)

1- Mitt Romney: 26%
2- Sarah Palin: 21%
3- Mike Huckabee: 19%
4- Newt Geingrich: 14%
5- Tim Pawlenty: 3%
6- Haley Barbour: 2%

One of the most interesting statistics from the entire poll actually isn't the overall Republican numbers, but who has the highest net favorability among all Americans:

1- Mike Huckabee: +19% favorability vs unfavorability
2- Mitt Romney: +8% favorability vs unfavorability
3- Sarah Palin: -2% favorability vs unfavorability

This means that Palin is more unpopular among voters than she is popular. Huckabee has a huge advantage in the popularity department, some of which I would give credit to because of his television show on Fox News.

For a full look at the poll numbers, please click here.

Wednesday, July 15

Interpreting The Fundraising Numbers

Tonight is the deadline for 2nd quarter fundraising numbers. While I agree that how much cash raised is important, I feel the important part of the equation is who donated. For example, in my mind 10 $100 donations from regular citizens is more important than 1 $1,000 check from a PAC.

It is true that you need cash to run a successful campaign. For better or worse, that is a necessity. Just keep in mind while all these numbers are being flashed across the tv screen and the internet blogs and websites that the people behind the donations are most generally more important than the amount.

Back -- Scratch That

Well it only took talking to THREE internet technicians from Suddenlink Communications, but I am officially back in the internet business. Whew! I am worn out. In all fairness, this is the first problem I have had with the internet since becoming a customer over a year and a half ago. I should be thankful that I haven't had more issues, like I used to with Sofnet.

UPDATE: The internet just went down again and I had to reboot. Grrrr....

UPDATE (NOON): Still no constant internet at my home. I am blogging from the grandparent's house. This is frustrating. Technical support is too!!!!

Internet Issues....

Been on the phone with Suddenlink all afternoon trying to resolve them. Blogging will continue once I have that resolved. Argh!

Severe Weather Possible This Afternoon and Tonight

The National Weather Service is predicting the possibility of severe storms late this afternoon and this evening. Threats include large hail, damaging winds, and very heavy rain. Please stay aware of the latest conditions.

Tuesday, July 14

Busy Day

Today was one of those days when I wanted to get some blog posting done, but I just didn't have time. I had several items on the "to do" list today. Among them, speaking at the local Kiwanis Club meeting, helping my sister apartment hunt, trying out Mocha Jo's (yes, it is officially open), and cleaning the house before an old friend came by to say hello.

Yes, it has been a busy day. I will get caught up on blog posts soon. Oh, and for the person who emailed me complaining about no blog posts today I have one thing to say: I am happy that you care about the blog and I am flattered that you want to read my work, but this only a hobby. Work and personal life gets in the way at times. Ok. Enough of that.

Time to rest from the busy day.

Monday, July 13

A Great Story

The Springfield News-Leader has a great write up on Brian McGarry and Ben Shantz, two high school debaters from Springfield Central High School, who placed third in the nation last month in Birmingham, AL. I am thrilled that the News-Leader took the time to recognize their accomplishment along with their coach. Often times the feats of high school students that are not involved in athletic events go unnoticed. I am glad this article happened, but the coverage is an exception rather than the rule.

I judged this team on the circuit last year and they were excellent! They deserve all the press they received. Congrats Mr. Tuckness and students -- well deserved!!!

Sunday, July 12

Sonia Sotomayor Confirmation Begins Tomorrow

If you are expecting another boring July news day then you are in for a shock tomorrow. The world will be watching (or out swimming or working or sleeping) as the cable news networks bring you wall-to-wall coverage of the hearings of Sonia Sotomayor. The biggest names in cable news will be bringing you all the information live, plus expert analysis from their trusty political commentators.

I have decided that if I get a chance to watch the coverage tomorrow, I will do so on C-SPAN. Why? Because I already know how the cable news networks will cover it: MSNBC will say she is perfect, Fox News will hate her, and CNN will probably try to put an angle on it relating to Michael Jackson since that is the only thing that brings ratings to that network these days.

When I watch on C-SPAN then I can hear what she has to say and make up my own mind about her. I won't need any talking heads to do the thinking for me. It is bad enough we will have some wonderful politicians grandstanding for the cameras. I just want to make fun of them without the help of Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, or Megyn Kelly. Is that too much to ask?

Crane Family Possible Victim of Arson

KSPR is reporting this evening that a family from the Crane area near 413 highway may have been a victim of arson. According to the report, a fire broke out near the Bliss family home around 2:30 this morning. Authorities believe that the fire started in front of the house. The article does not mention any injuries. The fire department is still looking into the matter.

Saturday, July 11

How To Tell a Jayhawk Fan From A Tiger Fan In The Summer

MU Tiger Fan Swimming Pool (aka: TheNews2K's Swimming Pool)

KU Jayhawks Fan Swimming Pool (aka: DONNA's Swimming Pool)

Lazy Saturday Afternoon...

The sun is shining, interspersed with just a few clouds left over from this morning's rain. Temperature is about 90 degrees and I have nothing on my "to do" list this afternoon except get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. I just made some iced tea and am thinking about jumping in the swimming pool. I won't think about heading back to work full-time in about a month. For the moment all I am thinking about is sunshine and floaties. Life is good.

Friday, July 10

Well This Ought To Get Him Some Air Time...

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that the US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar would be visiting St. Louis today. Little did he know, he would also walk away with two souvenirs. The price? How about $75 each.

Secretary Salazar apparently didn't realize what the big blue signs with wheelchairs on them meant. While visiting the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he decided to park in a handicapped spot and got fined for it - twice. The newspaper has more information on the story, as they were live on the scene when it happened.

Do they not have handicapped spaces in Washington DC Sec. Salazar?

Political Full Court Press

Because it is Friday and because there is a lot of political news on the radar, here are a few bits and pieces for you to digest from around the web.

* Monday marks the beginning of the "trial" of Sonia Sotomayor. CNN has a poll concerning how many people support her nomination. By the way, the cable nets will be covering the nomination hearings ad nauseum.

* Senator John Ensign must have gone to Mark Sanford's school of mistress ethics because a new article has surfaced this morning from Politico indicating that Mr. Ensign's parents paid his little lady a little money. By little, I mean $96,000. Just chump change for the Senator, I am sure.

* MO 7th Congressional District candidate Billy Long told KY3's David Catanese he raised $101,700 in the entire second quarter this year. Too bad the article also mentions that Gary Nodler raised approximately $100,000 in about a month. Meanwhile, Jack Goodman is holding off his numbers until July 15 (probably meaning that he hopes everyone will have forgotten the other two's numbers by then). I told you this race was going to be fun.

* Oh, and on this beautiful July Friday, the Associated Press is reporting in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that US Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, will be in that city today. He is apparently taking a ride in the arch. Mr. Salazar is likely hoping this will increase his profile among the American public. Secretary of the ... what? Yeah, I thought so.

Thursday, July 9

New Layout

I was getting bored with the old floorplan of the blog and decided to mix it up just a bit. I think this style looks better. If you like it, let us know. If not, then keep your mouth shut. (Just kidding!)

Obama Fill-In Will Not Run For Re-Election

Roland Burris, the Democrat who replaced Pres. Obama in the US Senate, will not seek reelection in 2010 according to Politics Daily. The cloud surrounding his appointment by former governor and very corrupt politician Rod Blagojevich and his lack of money for a reelection bid are among the factors cited in the article for why he has chosen not to run.

I can think of another one... the fact that he would lose in the primary, let alone the general election. Smart move Senator Burris. Next...

Carthage Press Interviews Sheldon Family

Yesterday came the news of the arrest of two individuals charged with the murder of the Sheldon couple from Carthage. Today, The Carthage Press has an interview with the children of the victims.

"'They took away two excellent people, my parents,' Bob Sheldon Jr. said. 'They were still relatively young, they had a lot left to live for and they were preparing to live. You don’t want to know what I’d say to these two people. They need to know they’d be safer in jail than out on the street and that’s all I have to say to that.'"

For more from the children of Bob and Ellen Sheldon, please click here.

Get Off Your Cell Phone!

A new law signed today by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has outlawed those 21 and younger from texting on their cell phones while driving. While many might applaud this bill I find it somewhat crazy. Here are a couple of reasons why:

1) It will not stop teens from texting. While the law itself has good intentions, it will not stop them from doing it because there are far too many loopholes. Are cops going to pull them over for texting? How can that be proved if they do? The teen could simply claim that they were calling someone, which is not illegal. That to me is the bigger issue here.

2) Why only 16-21 year olds? I will admit that I do sometimes text while driving. Should I? Absolutely not! I don't understand why the texting law is just confined to the younger age group.

The one benefit of this law as I can see it would be that they could fine someone or add an additional penalty to a teen if they were involved in a wreck and texting contributed to it. Again, that is difficult to prove. Plus, by that time if the wreck has already happened then it is too late.

US 65 To Be Widened To Six Lanes

The city of Springfield is growing and so is the amount of traffic clogging US 65. As a result, starting in September, MODOT will begin widening the highway to six lanes from I-44 to the James River Expressway Interchange. The work should finish up some time next year. This is in addition to the changes/upgrades being made to the 65/60 interchange and the 1-44/Glenstone exit ramps.

Wednesday, July 8

Ohio Says NObama?

Not good news for Obama... a new poll released today from Quinnipiac indicates that Obama's job approval rating has fallen in the swing state of Ohio to 49%. On the surface that might not appear to be a bad thing. 49% is almost half of the state's population. Matt Blunt would have killed for those kinds of numbers a year ago. Yet, that number is down significantly from the last survey taken which indicated that Obama had a 62% job approval rating by Ohio residents in May.

Drops like that aren't statistical margin of errors or an ebb and flow of approval ratings. That is some serious drooping. It will be important to watch that number as time progresses to see if it is completely tied to the recession or an overall impression of Obama's performance. Ohio is probably the most important state to win in a Presidential election in the current political landscape. Obama's latest job approval rating in Missouri is 51%.

Two Arrests Made In Carthage Couple's Murder

UPDATE (2:15 p.m.): The two men apprehended have been identified as Matthew Laurin of Springfield and Darin Winans of Japser. From what I can find... Matthew Laurin looks to actually be from Nixa. His record only shows traffic tickets. There is quite a bit on file for Mr. Winans. The Turner Report has the scoop on that angle. KZRG is reporting that Laurin is 19 years old and Winans is 21.

As the blog Crime Scene alerted its readers to this morning, there initially was a report of an arrest in the murders of Robert and Ellen Sheldon. I have just received word that there has apparently been two arrests in this case and that two individuals have been apprehended, one from Carthage and one from Springfield. I can't confirm that information, but it comes from a fairly reliable source.

The Jasper County Sheriff's Department will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. with more details. We will provide you with those as soon as we have them.

UPDATE: Just about as soon as I posted that information, The Joplin Globe confirmed the same information I have.