Tuesday, June 30

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition On Way Back To Ozarks

You might recall when Ty Pennington and crew came to Camp Barnabas for an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Now the show is heading back to the Ozarks. According to KSPR, the show will be here in mid-July and they are needing volunteers. For complete details on the project, including video and how you can help, please click here.

Monday, June 29

Turner Report Takes Joplin Globe To Task

It is obvious that the media is on Michael Jackson overkill. Local media outlets have handled the coverage fairly well for the most part. The one exception appears to be The Joplin Globe and Randy Turner of the Turner Report takes the paper to task:

"And then there's the Joplin Globe. As I noted in an earlier post, the Globe devoted the entire top of page one to Michael Jackson's death. Joe Hadsall's budget cut story did not even make it to page one, a ppor decision by Globe editors It appears everything was in the packaging and not the content. The Globe had a nice, pretty looking, but ultimately boring package on whether the sales of firecrackers would be affected by the economy. Of course, it had some of the items that Globe editors love, useless man-on-the-street comments and a nice-looking photo. All Hadsall had was a cut of a $25 million forgivable loan to Eagle Picher that could mean actual jobs for the Joplin area."

I think Mr. Turner has a valid point. While I wouldn't "flunk" the Globe, I would give them a D-. You can read his full article here and decide for yourself.

7th Congressional District Elections

I realize it is early, but I took some time out this afternoon to find candidate websites for those who are running for the US 7th Congressional District. I didn't find very much even on the sites that are up and running. I do hope this improves in the near future. Until then, here are the sites for you to explore.

Jack Goodman

Darrell Moore

Jeff Wisdom

No websites for: Gary Nodler or Billy Long

Dylan Ratigan's New Show Debuts on MSNBC

Below is the opening of the new show. It wasn't too bad, but there are some kinks to be worked out.

Links Worth Reading: Ugh, It's Monday Edition

A little light reading on this last Monday in June 2009:

Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison (Fox News)

Missouri DWI Law Takes Effect July 1 (KSDK)

It's Now Legal To Catch A Raindrop In Colorado (New York Times)

Retired Teacher Dies In Crash (Neosho Daily News)

Sunday, June 28

The State of the Ozarks Blogosphere

I have been pondering on this subject for a while now. I have been debating putting up this post because I don't know if I have enough authority to make this point. Let me just lay out it out right up front: I am concerned about the Ozarks blogosphere. Before you go calling me names like Al Gore or something, hear me out.

I began my initial blog The News2K back in August 2007 after being introduced to the blogosphere through several links. It was about this same time that Life of Jason began his second tour of duty and became a mainstay in the area. Simple Thoughts of a Complex Mind really had me thinking about things. The Turner Report was a daily stop for me. And finally, Chatter was chatting away. These four blogs, in my mind, were driving the area's blogosphere. I doubt I was the only one inspired by these writers. They made me believe that even my opinions were valuable. Thus, I decided to join forces with Donna (who has since gone invisible for multiple reasons that I will let her explain to you at some point) and away this blog has blossomed.

Fast forward to today... Life of Jason is gone, Chatter is averaging a post every three and a half weeks, and Simple Thoughts has only posted three times since early May. Only The Turner Report is still firing away.

Now, I realize that things change and that life is busy. I am not criticizing the lack of blog posts by some of these individuals. I do, however, feel some pangs of concern. Am I overreacting? I went down the list of blogs on Chatter's blogroll this afternoon. Numerous blogs listed haven't posted in months and a couple have even been deleted altogether. That isn't a good sign.

What are your thoughts about the future of the area blogosphere? Have some good local blogs I am not aware to cheer my spirits? I sure hope so! Sound off... I need some reassurance.

Fan Falls From Balcony At Busch Stadium

Blame it on the heat. Maybe there was alcohol involved, too. Either way, 34 year old Chris Hoffman of O'Fallon, Illinois is likely extremely sore this morning after falling from the upper deck of the Cardinal's Busch Stadium on Friday.

According to Fox 2, witnesses reported that the man fainted before he fell headfirst into the next level. It is amazing that he wasn't hurt any more than he was. The manager of the ballpark says that the individual "was being treated for an injury to his left shoulder, a gash to his face and assorted bumps and bruises."

I would say that Hoffman is extremely lucky. He may not have walked out of the ballpark with an Albert Pujols home run ball, but he did leave the ballpark with a story hopefully no one else will match any time soon.

Saturday, June 27

Turnpike Victims Identified

KJRH has the report identifying the victims of the Will Rogers Turnpike Accident yesterday.

"OHP Lt. George Brown said traffic was stopped because of an earlier crash when the big rig slammed into at least three cars, which then crashed into more vehicles.

The truck driver, 76-year-old Donald Creed of Willard, Missouri, was taken to the hospital in good condition.

OHP said the following individuals died in Friday's accident:
39-year-old Ricardo Reyes of Phoenix, AZ
Ernestina Reyes of Phoenix, AZ
38-year-old Randall Hayes of Frisco, TX
7-year-old Ethen Hayes of Frisco, TX
55-year-old Cynthia Olson of Crossroads, TX
69-year-old Oral Hooks of Oklahoma City
63-year-old Earlene Hooks of Oklahoma City
42-year-old Antonio Hooks of Oklahoma City
41-year-old Dione Hooks of Oklahoma City"

For complete details, please click this link.

MSNBC goes HD on Monday

Cable news channel MSNBC will go HD starting on Monday. Additionally, the network will launch a couple of new dayside programs. "Morning Meeting" will air from 8-10 a.m. local time and will be anchored by Dylan Ratigan, former CNBC host. "Dr. Nancy" will air from 11-12 p.m. local time. It will anchored by NBC Chief Medical Coorespondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman.

Friday, June 26

Will Rogers Turnpike Pileup

{UPDATE (Saturday AM): All lanes of traffic are now back open on the turnpike, per KTUL-TV in Tulsa.}

News has come this evening that nine people have been killed and several (the number varies based on the news site you are looking at) have been injured in a pileup on I-44, the Will Rogers Turnpike, near Miami, OK. Even at this hour only lane of the interstate is open in the eastbound direction, although the state police believe the other lane will reopen soon.

The accident apparently happened when a semi slammed into a line of cars that had stopped for a previous accident on the interstate. KOAM-TV sent a videographer to the scene and has video of the crash site. You may click here to access it.

Meanwhile, you might also check out this link from Tulsa station KOTV for details as they develop over the weekend.

Humid Friday Links Worth Reading

Cities Light July Fourth Fuse Despite 'Dud' Economy (Joplin Globe)

Obama, Merkel Talk Iran At White House

SC Lt. Gov: Sanford Shouldn't Resign (CBS News)

Thursday, June 25

Don't Forget The News...

While the news of the passing of two entertainment icons (Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson) are both sad and newsworthy, I sure do hope that the news networks do remember that there is news of a much graver consequence going on around the world. Please don't forget about Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the economy. Don't forget the news while covering the material that will undoubtedly bring in the ratings.

Wednesday, June 24

Oh Puleeze...

Another day, another tear filled press conference from a politician telling the world he truly did have an affair. Am I the only one sick of these things? This is one thing I would hope people from all sides of the aisle could agree on: this has got to stop!

Day after day politicians stand up and tell the cameras that they are best person for the job and that they have all the answers in the issues that face this great nation, yet they can't remain faithful to their spouses? If they can't resist temptation concerning the sacred vows they made on their wedding day, how in the world are we supposed to take them seriously and believe that they will stand fast for the other principles that they "stand for."

It is a major issue on both sides of the aisle. Mark Sanford is just one example in the news today. There have been plenty others... John Edwards, John Ensign, Jim McGreevy, Bill Clinton, Larry Craig... need I go on?
And for heaven's sake, stop crying at your press conferences. Stand up and be a man. Own up to what you have done and then let's move on. I would assume that the tears you are crying aren't tears of remorse, but rather tears because you were caught and your chances of reelection are near zero.

Finally, a word of advice: if you are going to have an affair, don't lie and say you are hiking in the woods while you leave your car parked at the airport while you are on a tryst in South America. The media will put the pieces together.

Swine Flu Confirmed At Camp

Two people have tested positive for swine flu about several others (up to 50) have shown probable symptoms, according to KMIZ. They were all located at a camp in the central Missouri town of Rocky Mount. Due to the outbreak, the camp closed yesterday, but not before several people became ill. For more details on this story, please click here.

There are a couple of things in this story that bother me. First is the fact that we are still dealing with this flu well into the summer months. Temperatures are soaring to near 100ยบ, but we are still having cases being reported. I think this is a concern that may rear its ugly head later this year as we head closer into the traditional flu season. Secondly, I am amazed at how quickly and efficiently this flu seems to spread.

While the media frenzy revolving around swine flu has vanished for now, please do continue to stay abreast of the latest.

Tuesday, June 23

Heat Advisory Issued

The National Weather Service has issued a HEAT ADVISORY until Wednesday for all of Southwest Missouri. Heat Indices will reach 105 or higher the next two afternoons. The current heat we are experiencing is more typical of late July than June. Below are some safety tips from the Weather Service to follow during this heat wave:


Sunday, June 21

$200,000 Available in Lebanon

All you have to do is be the person who purchased the winning $200,000 ticket. The store where the ticket was purchased was Clayton's Conoco. The drawing took place on Wednesday, June 17.

If you are the winner and you need to someone to claim the prize for you, I would be more than happy to take a few thousand off your hands. Just let me know.

So I Didn't Blog...

while I was in Alabama. I was very busy! Now I am back, however, and I promise to get the blog back up and on track sometime today. I am serious. I mean it. Truly, I do!

Thursday, June 11

A Star Fell On Alabama...

I will be gone over the next week to Alabama with work so my blogging time will be limited. I hope to do some stuff throughout the week, but in case the blog goes somewhat silent you will know why. Last year when I went on my work assignment to Vegas Tim Russert passed away. I really hope the news stays calm this time around.

Wednesday, June 10

Tornado Watch Until 1 A.M.

Stay tuned to local media and the National Weather Service for more information!

KSNF: Back On Air In One Week

KSN, or channel 16 as it is more commonly known around these parts, was knocked off the air on May 8th when high winds swept through the region. Since that day viewers have been unable to watch the station and see the smiling faces of Jim Jackson, Toni Valliere, Gary Bandy, and the rest of the crew. That will all change a week from today.

KSN will be back up and running with a temporary set and system, thanks to their sister station KODE. KSN's Brad Douglas was kind enough to give me permission to show you a picture of what the temporary set will look like.
I am sure many in the Four States will be happy to have KSN, Your Hometown News, back on the air.

Tuesday, June 9

Tornado Watch Until 10 P.M.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 3

The watch is for areas north and west of a Joplin to Springfield to Lebanon line. Those counties in blue are under the watch. The bigger action should come later today...

Severe Weather Looks Probable Today

It looks as if we may be in for a significant round of severe weather, according to the National Weather Service and the Storm Prediction Center. The threat exists this afternoon and tonight for large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes. The atmosphere looks pretty volatile so I would definitely pay close attention to the latest updates as the day progresses.

Below is a look at the tornado probablities from the Storm Prediction Center. I will blog more about the severe weather risk as needed.

Monday, June 8

Jason Says Goodbye To The Blog

I think most people would agree that the one blog you could depend on in the Springfield area for outstanding coverage was Life of Jason. I say was because it is no more. I don't have to use a lot of flowery prose to describe how good the blog was because I only need two words: the best. I wish Jason well in his future endeavors and know he will do well.

Thank you Jason for your hard work on your blog. The Ozarks appreciates it!

I Just Need A Bathroom!

On Saturday evening I decided to head to the local Subway for dinner. I happen to know several of the people who work there. As I pulled into the lot I realized that there was hot rod car show taking place in the parking lot just adjacent to the Subway and it was extremely packed. How cool, I thought to myself. I was glad to see the cars back in town. They had been missing since the cruise night was outlawed. (Long story... I'll save it for another time)

As I walked into Subway there were several people inside. I made a comment to one of the employees that was on duty about how busy they must be tonight. She replied something to the effect of "I haven't seen a single person from the car show come in and buy anything. They are using the tables and our restrooms though." At first I blew it off, but the longer I stood there getting my sandwich made the angrier I became.

Subway is a business and they are there to provide food while making a profit. They are not a public restroom facility. How could anyone have the nerve to just walk in and sit around at the tables and use the restroom, yet not order anything. I am sorry, but I find that very rude.

I bet many of you are thinking the same thing: have you never used the restroom of a restaurant before and not bought anything? Well, as far as I remember... no. I have always felt that if I was going to use the restroom that I should at least buy a small food item or something to drink. A private establishment isn't there for you to just loiter and use their facilities at your convenience.

So, am I in the wrong and just wound up about nothing or do you feel that these people should have been a little more thoughtful?

Sunday, June 7

This Guy Is Crisis Proned

He was the mayor of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and now he has been quarantined in China because he may have been exposed to the swine flu. According to CNN, Mayor Ray Nagin was on an airline flight that contained a person with a confirmed case of the flu. In fact, he was sitting right next to him. His wife was also on that trip and has been quarantined, too. Neither are showing any signs of the illness.

Wow... this guy has some good luck, doesn't he?

Wednesday, June 3

Thank You Missouri!

I have seen several reports in the past few years talking about how bad Missouri's roads and bridges are compared to the rest of the U.S. Well, I just want to say that after this past weekend of traveling that I think those surveys must be biased or something. Have they been to Illinois and Indiana?

First of all, I am not a speeder. I am one of those do good law abiding citizens that rarely speeds. If I do, we are talking 72 or 73 in an 70. Yet, I find the speed limit in Illinois ABSOLUTELY crazy! 65 mph on a four lane road in the middle of nowhere? Here I am going 65 mph down the road with no one around me, with the exception of a car or two flying past me as if I am sitting still. The road isn't curvy, there are no houses, let alone cities... so why I am going so slow? I think the reason is because of the big potholes that like to be found in places on I-64. The difference between 65 and 70 is probably a short fly through the air and your tire being completely being obliterated.

Yet, here is my favorite part: the speed limit in the construction zones is 40 mph!!! Now, I realize that is too fast when there are workers around, but for about three quarters of the twelve miles I spent in one lane with absolutely no work going on, I found that outlandish. Apparently so did the white Ford pickup that was on my rear for about 6 of those 12 miles.

As I crossed back into Missouri on Monday, I was relieved. Call me crazy, but for the most part, I think our state is doing a good job on our roads compared to others. The speed limits are set correctly and the emphasis is on active work zones for catching speeders. Thank you Missouri for helping to "Show Me" what common sense looks like!

Tuesday, June 2

I'm Back

After a brief hiatus, I should be back to blogging in a fairly timely manner. I just returned from a nice vacation in Kentucky so I am fully rejuvenated. Let the blogging begin, I say, let the blogging begin...

Monett Times Ceases Monday Publication

In this economic crunch we find ourselves in right now, many businesses are folding up or cutting back. The newspaper industry is one of those groups that is struggling to hang on. Local newspapers are no exception. The impact of decisions by the Springfield News-Leader is very much evident in the writings of employee Chris Brewer on his blog. The discussion of furloughs comes up regularly.

Now comes word that The Monett Times has suspended Monday newspaper publication. That leaves the publication to be printed and distributed Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. While I understand the lack of need for a paper on the other days, I do wish the website would continue to update its content and have maybe a breaking news section for things that fall between Friday evening and Tuesday. A lot can happen in three days, even in a smaller community like Monett.

It Kind Of Reminds Me of LOST...

An airplane packed with people heading across the ocean suddenly disappears into thin air and the plane can't be found. Sound familiar? The story that emerged yesterday concerning Air France Flight 447 seemed as if it were ripped from the pages of ABC's hit drama LOST.

CNN is still reporting this morning that the plane hasn't been found. The accident is being blamed on extreme turbulence caused by thunderstorms which develop in the region around the equator known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

Sometimes reality mirrors fiction. Let's just hope another part of the story ends up mimicking the show and that some passengers managed to survive. The chances of that, unfortunately, are even less than vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on an Airbus jet.