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Joplin Arts Fest set this weekend

From the Downtown Joplin Alliance

JOPLIN, MO — The 8th Annual Joplin Arts Fest will be held on Friday, Sept. 16, from 5-9pm and Saturday, Sept. 17 from 10am-3pm at the Joplin Empire Market, 931 E. Fourth St., Joplin, MO 64801. This is the second year for the Downtown Joplin Alliance to spearhead the festival after the Kiwanis Club of Joplin began it.

The festival will feature 30 artists, both local and from farther afield. Seven live musical groups, plus vintage swing dancers, will perform in the market courtyard behind the main building throughout the festival. Live performing arts at the festival is made possible by Connect2Culture.

Food served by market vendors and food trucks will include barbecue, chicken and waffles, Thai cuisine, sandwiches, gourmet hot dogs, and a variety of drinks, including fresh kombucha on tap. A courtyard bar will serve wine, beer, and artisan cocktails.

This year also features a communal art piece — “Mended Hearts.” Festival patrons are invited to create hearts from a variety of repurposed materials and include a handwritten letter expressing their hopes of healing the world within.

Other activities include: a 1980’s themed video store created by The Joplin Toad; the Missouri Southern State University Clay Club performing pottery wheel demonstrations; an art station where children of all ages are invited to make suncatchers with Spiva Center for the Arts.

New to this year’s festival are two scholarship opportunities: a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Scholarship, as well as an MSSU Art Major Scholarship. Waiving all festival fees and offering cash stipends to assist with other festival-related costs, the scholarships are meant to encourage greater accessibility and inclusion. The first BIPOC Scholarship is sponsored by EastTown Dreams District and Naomi Gonzales & Sean Hickey; the first MSSU Art Major Scholarship is sponsored by the Post Art Library.

Joplin Arts Fest is a collaborative partnership between Connect2Culture, Downtown Joplin Alliance, Joplin Regional Artists Coalition, Post Art Library, and Spiva Center for the Arts. Joplin Arts Fest 2022 is generously sponsored by Mid America RV, Southwest Missouri Bank, and Visit Joplin.

Economic Development Corporation Announces Award Nominees

From Cherokee County

The Cherokee County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce the nominees for its 2022 Recognition Awards. The four awards will be presented at the Corporation’s Recognition Breakfast on Sept. 28.

The Hall of Fame Award recognizes a business that has provided years of unselfish service to Cherokee County. Nominees are: Weston’s Café of Baxter Springs, Baxter State Bank, Mi Torito’s of Galena and Mid America Pipe Fabricating & Supply, LLC.

The Business Growth Award honors a Cherokee County business that has experienced significant growth. The four nominees are: Crossland Construction Company, Inc., D1 Resources, Inc. of Galena and Sweet Creek Diner of Galena.

The Rising Star Award acknowledges a promising young business in Cherokee County. Nominees are: Two of a Kind Boutique, LLC of Baxter Springs, Columbus Nutrition, JBirds LLC ice Cream Shop of Galena, Brea’s Bakery of Columbus and Erickson & Company Mercantile of Galena.

The Community Impact Award recognizes a business or organization that has positively influenced the quality of life in Cherokee County. The nominees are: Riggs Chiropractic, Mercy Hospital of Columbus, Optic Communications of Columbus, Galena Nursing and Rehabilitation and Pinnegar Construction of Columbus.

The Recognition Awards allow us an opportunity to highlight some outstanding local businesses and organizations. Each of our nominees is deserving of their respective award.

Anyone with an interest in local economic development is welcome to attend the Recognition Breakfast on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 7:00 to 9:00 am at State Theatre Event Center, 104 W Pine St., Columbus. Tickets are $20 each, and a table of eight is available for $125. Please RSVP by Sept. 21 to David Stricklin by calling 620-762-0717 or emailing ds@

Mark your calendar for the Pierce City Fall Festival

From the Pierce City Arts Council

Saturday, Sept. 24 promises to be a day packed with fun and festivities for the whole family, and it all can be found in Pierce City’s beautiful South Park, 100 S. Elm, from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free, and the event is hosted by the Pierce City Arts Council.

Start your holiday shopping early. Along the booth line will be an artist ally featuring Draw Pierce City winner 2022 Linda Hendricks of Joplin. Brooxie Vaughn Photography of Pierce City returns with an elegant booth for photos, a popular draw last year. Handmade items such as jewelry, pottery, crafts, artisan cookies, leather and woodworks, and much more can be found. There will be a farmer’s market complete with pumpkins, mums and other fall produce, homemade bread, and jams.

Made of Clay’s Christina Lorenzen of Joplin will offer a small clay project for all ages. A small fee may apply. The always anticipated “Junk Art Booth,” a Pierce City festival favorite, provides kids the opportunity to get creative in repurposing recyclable items.

Featured guest Ibiyinka Alao, United Nations Art Ambassador of Nigeria, and a recent visitor to PC Elementary will be at our festival this year! Visit for more information about this world-renowned artist. Ibi will have a booth with hands-on watercolor painting. Monetary donations for workshops are encouraged.

New is Ozarks Knockerball, where all ages can tumble in a large bubble ball as if in a human foosball game. Pierce City native Gabe Douglas and his wife Bethany bring this thrill to Pierce City, along with a bouncy house; $5 for 5 minutes, or a $15 wristband for all day.

Also new is Gizmo’s Games which will offer a variety of fun challenges for everyone.

Bring your lawn chairs for live entertainment. Robin’s Hood, featuring sounds of soft rock, swing, and the blues, returns to the stage at 12 pm. New this year is a folk band of siblings from Pierce City called Allen Joy Lane. Singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Caleb Miller, will take the stage throughout the day.

Indian Springs Brewery of Neoho, Track 94 Brewery of Seneca, and Just a Taste Winery of are planning to come and will prepare samples of their beverages and sell their products in the sampling garden for patrons 21 years and older. A small donation upon entry gets taste enthusiasts a festival souvenir wine glass for their sampling.

Food Trucks attending will be Who’s Hungry BBQ, Meg’s Smashburgers and Frozen Custard (Angus Branch owner), Cherish Cook, Kona Ice, and B & N Concessions.

The Pierce City Arts Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization celebrating its 14th year supporting the arts in our community.

Contact Becky Golubski at 417.489.3041 for volunteer opportunities, membership, company or private sponsorship, vendor info (festival booth fee $35), and all other opportunities.

JPL to offer STEAM and phonics kits

From the Joplin Public Library

Joplin Public Library has added 12 STEAM and phonics kits, thanks to a Missouri State Library-funded grant. The kits are geared to children and teens, and library cardholders can check out one kit at a time for three weeks.

Four kits will be housed in the Teen Department and can be checked out at the Teen Desk or Reference Desk, and eight will be housed in the Children’s Department and can be checked out at the Children’s Desk.

The STEAM-to-GO kits contain high and low-tech toys and games from Penworthy books that are designed to foster hands-on learning. Available STEAM kits include: Money, Math, and Economics; Letters and Numbers; Yoga for Mindfulness; Tot Game Night; Green Energy; Building and Design; Explore the Outdoors; and Family Game Night. Available phonics kits include: Ready, Set, Kindergarten; Biscuit Phonics; Pete the Cat Loves Preschool; and Little Critters Phonics.

STEAM-based learning is foundational to help children and teens develop skills including problem-solving, collaborative learning and critical thinking through hands-on learning. Though the Library currently offers select STEAM kits, this grant allows the Children’s and Teen departments to meet the needs of more families in more diverse ways.

This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

For information or to reserve kits, visit the Library’s catalog at and search “STEAM to go,” or contact the Children’s or Teen Departments (417-623-7953).

NEO partners with Northeast Tech to fast track nurses

From Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and Northeast Tech have partnered to provide a seamless transition for Licensed Practical Nurse students to pursue the applied associate degree for Registered Nurses from NEO on the Northeast Tech Kansas campus. The application is now open and due Sept 23, 2022.

The NEO Associate Degree Nursing Fast Track program begins January 2023 with a capacity of 10 students. Students attend the Northeast Tech campus in Kansas, Oklahoma each Thursday for skills labs and examinations, and participate in clinicals every Friday at a partnering hospital. The program is offered in a hybrid format with both online and in-person instruction.

NEO’s nursing program dates back to 1975, and offers a traditional nursing program and fast track option at the Miami campus. The Northeast Tech partnership creates a second fast track program and expands our program to the Northeast Tech Kansas campus.

The fast track program at Northeast Tech is supported by one new full-time nursing faculty and one new adjunct faculty position. These faculty members teach classes, supervise clinicals, advise students, and coordinate program activities under the direction and supervision of the NEO Nursing department chair, Kathleen Norman.

“We are so excited to be partnering with Northeast Tech to provide students more options to earn their nursing degree,” said Jan Allen, NEO fast track nursing coordinator.

The application is open and is due September 23, 2022. You can find the application and additional details at The expansion allows LPNs and paramedics living near the Northeast Tech campus to earn an associate degree in nursing without having to drive to the NEO campus in Miami. Students will be able to have the same program experience at a different location.

For more information, contact Jan Allen at [email protected] or 918-540-6473.

MSSU’s student chapter of SHRM earns award

From Missouri Southern State University

Joplin, MO — The Society for Human Resource Management student chapter at Missouri Southern State University has been awarded a 2021-2022 Superior Merit Award for providing superior growth and development opportunities to its student members.

Dr. Sarah Holtzen, assistant professor of management, and Dr. Megan Douglas, associate professor of management, serve as co-advisors for the student chapter at Missouri Southern. Holtzen said she is proud of the dedicated members of the student chapter who had worked hard to make this organization what it is today.

“This honor is well-deserved. Our students here at the Plaster School of Business are insightful, professional, and committed to sharing their talents with the campus community and beyond,” said Holtzen. “We are excited to see what the future holds for the MSSU student chapter of SHRM as it continues to grow.”

The student chapter, which was created in the spring of 2021, is sponsored at the professional level by the Tri-State Human Resources Association and has engaged in a variety of activities aimed at campus, community, and professional development since it was created.

The current executive officers – all senior human resource management majors – are: Lakyn Shallenburger, Carl Junction (president); Hallie Turner, Baxter Springs, Kan. (vice president); Megan Staggs, Webb City, Mo. (treasurer); and Hailey Hauck, senior, O’Fallon, Mo. (secretary).

SHRM has more than 300,000 HR and business executive members in 165 countries. Student chapters are recognized based on operations, chapter programming and professional development of members, support of the human resource profession, and SHRM engagement.

September 20 is National Voter Registration Day

From the Minnie Hackney Community Service Center

Joplin, Missouri — On September 20, 2022, Americans will celebrate National Voter Registration Day with a massive cross-country effort to register voters ahead of the hotly contested midterm elections.

Every eligible American voter should have the option to exercise their right to be heard at the ballot box, and National Voter Registration Day is the right day to start by getting registered. Communities across the country, in all 50 states and D.C., are planning to use National Voter Registration Day to get registered and get #VoteReady.

2022 also marks National Voter Registration Day’s 10th anniversary.

Thousands of national, state, and local organizations and volunteers will be the driving force behind National Voter Registration Day 2022. Partner organizations will coordinate hundreds of National Voter Registration Day events on and offline nationwide, and leverage #NationalVoterRegistrationDay and #VoteReady on social media to drive attention to voter registration.

Minnie Hackney Community Service Center is proud to be a National Voter Registration Day partner. On September 20, Minnie Hackney Community Service Center will engage its community and register voters at the following events:

• MSSU Lion’s Den located in the Billingsley Student Union on the MSSU campus from 9am-3pm

• Ewert Park in Joplin from 5pm-6pm

• Minnie Hackney Community Service Center from 9am-9pm

The website,, provides a listing of National Voter Registration Day events across the country, in communities and held virtually. It also includes comprehensive and state-specific resources on all things voter registration and voting more generally.

Founded in 2012, National Voter Registration Day is designed to create an annual moment when the entire nation focuses on registering Americans to exercise their most basic right – the right to vote. Nearly 4.5 million Americans have registered to vote on the holiday since the inaugural National Voter Registration Day.

For inquiries about National Voter Registration Day, please contact: Nanda Nunnelly at 417.499.1525

Neosho police report rise in scams

From the Neosho Police Department

The Neosho Police Department has seen a rise in reported scams. These scams have cost the citizens of Neosho thousands of dollars in hard earned money. These cases are particularly hard to solve and often end without the victim ever getting their money back.

The most common recently reported incidents involve victims being contacted by persons claiming to be from government agencies. The scammer may advise the victim’s information has been compromised, threaten the victim will be arrested, or use other nefarious tactics to scare the victim into compliance.

The scammer will often repeatedly call the victim and tell the victim they need to purchase multiple prepaid cards from various stores to resolve the issue. Often, they will have the victim get the maximum amount allowed by the prepaid cards. The scammer then has the victim provide the card numbers for the prepaid cards.

The Neosho Police Department warns the citizens of Neosho not to be fooled by these scams. Government agencies will not call you to conduct monetary business over the phone. They certainly will not request you purchase prepaid cards and provide the card numbers. If you receive a all that is questionable, contact your local law enforcement agency.

Often it is the elderly population that falls victim to these scams. If you know someone who may be prone to becoming a victim, please warn them.

SKILLED Awards to fund $1,000 to Missouri high schoolers

From S.M. Wilson & Co.

ST. LOUIS, MO – Missouri high school students with an idea that improves their community are invited to enter S. M. Wilson’s 2nd annual SKILLED Awards competition. Sponsored in partnership with the Missouri School Board Association and the STL Works, the goal of the awards competition is to inspire the local community and provide an opportunity for the next generation to be exposed to STEAM learning opportunities. The first place award winners will receive $1,000 in prize money.

“Exposure to STEAM skills at a young age opens many opportunities for future development and interest in careers in construction and other related industries. It is our hope that this awards program will inspire the next generation to use STEAM learning in ways that specifically support their own communities,” says Amanda Bohnert, CPSM, S. M. Wilson CMO and founder of SKILLED.

Students are challenged to create a process, lesson, activity or product that engages younger students with science, technology, engineering, art and/or math in an inspiring way. Students can propose a project as an individual or a group of up to four. The project must:

• Be able to be produced for $500

• Be feasible and equitable for your community

• Inspire STEAM learning

A prominent provider of construction management services among area public school districts, S. M. Wilson founded the SKILLED program in 2019 to inspire the future of construction. Students at select districts where S. M. Wilson is building receive hands-on opportunities to integrate academic learning and focus on future employment in the A/E/C industry. SKILLED programming has reached hundreds of students across many school districts and educational organizations.

The SKILLED Awards are committed to following an equitable selection and process for interested, eligible students and student groups to enter award submissions. There is no financial cost to entrants and no requirement for travel to be awarded a grand prize. Resources are available to support interested students facing barriers to entry or seeking support in developing their submission. Submissions will be judged on various factors including mission, feasibility and overall project impact. Entries will be awarded bonus points if their program can be repeated, expanded and/or elevated in the future. Chosen projects will be recognized at the MSBA Annual Conference in Kansas City.

Detailed information about the award submission criteria and process can be found at Students must provide the following:

• Cover page

• Background information

• Project description, budget, and schedule

• 300-word or less essay about how the project will positively impact the students’ community and how it can be repeated, expanded or elevated to benefit more students in the future.

• Purpose video up to three-minutes long explaining the idea

An educator or administrator must be named on the entry and provide oversight of the submittal. The school district must be a member of Missouri School Board Association.

For more information, contact Maggie Farrell at [email protected] or 314.633.5761. To learn more about SKILLED and SKILLED Awards, visit