Grandstand base extension

One of the school district’s summer projects is the addition of concrete on the south end of the grandstand at Cardinal Stadium.

New WC CARDS shirts

It was announced this week that the new WC CARES for the 2022-23 school year can now be ordered.

The new designs are on Gildan 50/50 cotton/poly blend t-shirts. They cost $15 for short sleeve and $18 for long sleeve.

Aug. 31 is the deadline to order. Payments can be mailed to WC CARES, 30 S. Jefferson St., Webb City MO 64870.

Free blood lead testing

Aug. 12–20. Eligible participants will receive a $20 gift card

Eligible children under 6 and women between the ages of 15 and 44 in Jasper and Newton counties are encouraged to participate in one of eight blood lead testing events starting Friday and ending Saturday, Aug. 20.

The testing events are part of a lead exposure investigation into areas that are contaminated with lead and other metals from historic mining, milling and smelting. Testing will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis; private results will be sent to each participant. Each eligible participant will receive a $20 gift card. To make an appointment or ask questions, call (833) 678-2724 or email

Testing dates and times (first come, first serve):

Neosho YMCA, 4701 Chouteau St.

  • Friday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 13, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 15, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 18, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“As a mom of three kids, I encourage moms and caregivers of young children in Jasper and Newton counties to add this free blood lead testing to their back-to-school preparations,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of lead poisoning, and this testing is something every mom can do to protect their children. Because lead-poisoned children don’t always look or act sick, testing is the only way to determine if your child has elevated blood lead levels.”

Visit the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry website for more information about the lead exposure investigation in the Oronogo-Duenweg Mining Belt and Newton County Mine Tailings Superfund Sites.

Bart Starkey named Joplin airport manager


The City of Joplin announced this week that Bart Starkey is the new manager of Joplin Regional Airport. He succeeds Steve Stockam, who retired in April.

Starkey has broad management experience from 21 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigations. His positions included FBI pilot in command, as a commercial pilot. In this role, he worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation-related government entities.

Dan Johnson, interim director of public works, said Starkey’s skills are unique and offer an insight into the airline industry that will be helpful to those utilizing this service.

Starkey also gained management experience through leadership positions at Sonoco Products Co. and the U.S. Marine Corps.

“I’m excited to serve as the airport manager, and look forward to continuing the quality service that the Joplin Regional Airport is recognized for,” said Starkey. “Southwest Missouri offers many great amenities, and the airport is on that list. I grew up around the airport and it had an enormous impact on my life in my younger years. I remember the airshows and the Ozark Airlines jets waking me up every morning – they were my alarm clock. It is wonderful to be a part of this facility and its operations.”

Starkey, from Webb City, earned degrees from Missouri Southern State University and the University of Arkansas. He and his wife, Stacy, have two adult children.

I-44 Exit 18 northbound ramp to be closed 30 days

Starting Monday, Aug. 15

Drivers westbound on I-44 should be ready to use alternate routes when the northbound ramp at Exit 18 to Carthage on I-49 is closed for up to 30 days.

The ramp will be widened and lengthened and the acceleration lane will be extended.

It is part of a $5.4 million project to resurface a section of I-44 and U.S. Route 166 in Jasper and Newton counties. Blevins Asphalt is also to pave the ramps at the Welcome Center on eastbound I-44 just inside the Missouri border.

Maple Leaf Festival plans announced

Parade will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15

Planning is well underway for the area’s biggest party on the Carthage square, the 56th Annual Maple Leaf Festival, including the parade on Oct. 15.

The Carthage Chamber of Commerce along with the Maple Leaf Planning Committee has been hard at work to make this year’s festival the best yet!

“We are very excited to announce that our parade route will go back to it’s traditional route of going back around the square,” said Julie Reams, Carthage Chamber of Commerce president. Last year’s broke annual tradition by utilizing only one side of the square making the parade a little shorter. It was very important to the committee and to the chamber to resume the traditional parade route, added Reams. 

Another tradition that will be back around the square will be the Friday Night Cruise-In from 5-9 p.m. The Maple Leaf Car Show Committee is excited to showcase all the cars around the square that allows not only the participants but spectators to enjoy the beauty of what the historic square offers. The regular car show will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15.

For more information, visit the Carthage Chamber website.

Drought recovery meeting for ranchers

2 – 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at Mt. Vernon

The drought this summer has caused many headaches for livestock producers who are preparing to feed cattle this winter with little forage and hay on hand.

On Thursday, Aug. 17, meetings discussing topics on how to prepare to feed cattle through the winter and improve pastures will be held at Springfield and Mt. Vernon. 

The Mt. Vernon meeting will be held from 2 to 5:15 p.m. at the University of Missouri Southwest Research, Extension and Education Center, 14548 Hwy H. Click here for more information and to register.