Traffic cones mark the spot where a large underground water leak along Stadium Drive was found.

How big was that leak?

Bob Foos

That water leak discovered recently was so big… it was like losing a well’s worth of water.

Rick Roth, street and water director, estimated 300 to 400 gallons per minute was being drained from the system into the ground beneath where the leak was fixed near the Sunset Creek bridge on Stadium Drive.

That’s the same amount that the city’s newest well, under the water tower, is producing.

Roth says it went so long without being detected because the water was flowing underground into the creek.

Finding the leak is important because it means the city will have to purchase less water from Missouri American Water to meet the demand of Webb City customers.

Roth said some water loss is expected – but not as much as the last week. Residents are urged to call City Hall (417-673-4651) if they notice any suspicious appearance of water.

Former Police Chief George Hooper to be honored Monday

A ceremony will be held Monday to dedicate a plaque at the grave of former Police Chief George Hooper, honoring him for losing his life in the line of duty.

The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. Monday in Mt. Hope Cemetery.

Police Chief Don Melton learned last summer of Hooper’s death in 1918 by reading about it in Jeanne Newby’s column.

Gunshots were heard in the West End when Hooper and his assistant, George Rogers, saw a woman calling for help because a man was following her. Hooper and Rogers chased the suspect on North Madison Street to Central Street, where Hooper was fatally wounded and Rogers shot the suspect.

Say and Play board approved

The council agreed to install a Say and Play board in King Jack Park to help children with special needs communicate their desires and needs to their family and friends.

Shayla Gould, a senior at Joplin High School and Girl Scout Ambassador, told the council about her project to have the Say and Play boards placed in several area parks. She is working on the project to earn a Gold Award, which is the highest award offered by the Girl Scouts.

“I decided to do this project to help children with special needs better communicate with their friends and family during outside play time,” Gould said. “These boards are used by children pointing at images that correspond with words in order to string a simple sentence together.”

Mayor Lynn Ragsdale said he wouldn’t understand the need for Say and Play boards without personal knowledge gained from having a grandchild with communication difficulties.

It will cost approximately $500 to purchase the Say and Play board, which Gould said could be expanded in the future.

City Administrator Carl Francis said a location in King Jack Park will be determined and “we’ll get’r done.”

So far, in addition to Webb City, she said she is planning to have the boards installed at the Joplin Early Childhood Center and Miracle Field at the Joplin Athletic Complex.

She is seeking sponsorships to place boards at two other Joplin parks, Carl Junction and Neosho.