By Greg Grisolano
AVILLA, Mo. — Stacy Tweedy said she got a phone call from the Avilla R-13 School District at around 5 p.m. Monday. The recorded message stated that the school would be closed Tuesday and today because of a large number of illness-related absences.
Tweedy’s sons, ages 12 and 10, were playing in the yard Tuesday afternoon.
“There were 13 kids gone out of my son’s fourth-grade class on Monday,” she said. “There’s only 22 in the whole class.”
Neither Principal Scott Blake nor board president Kyle Slichenmeyer could be reached for comment Tuesday. A clerical worker answered the schoolhouse door on Tuesday and confirmed that the school was closed because of illnesses, but she said she could not provide any other information.
Officials with Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said they received a copy of a report that the district forwarded to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, notifying the state of the closing.
The district reported 50 absences out of 164 students, according to Jim Morris, a spokesman for the state education department.
Morris said the department has not previously tried to track school closings, but that concern over the impact of the H1N1 flu virus prompted a change in policy this year.
“The publicity and the concern around the H1N1 flu has created a little different environment this year, because the flu is particularly dangerous around young children,” he said. “So we’re trying to monitor the situation. If there’s a serious widespread or prolonged outbreak, the state may have to take some action because schools could be affected in a variety of ways.”
Morris said 11 school districts and two state-run schools for the disabled have closed for a while this year because of what has been presumed to be H1N1 outbreaks. He said the Avilla decision is the first closing in Southwest Missouri.
<img src="http://www.joplinglobeonline.com/images/zope/extra.gif" border=0> Avilla school closes <font color="#ff0000">w/ school closure form</font>
By Greg Grisolano
- Carthage, Jasper County
Carthage attorney, reformer of revenue department, dies
James R. Spradling, a Carthage attorney who was noted for his reform of the Missouri Department of Revenue in the 1970s, died at 5:50 a.m. Monday at McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital.
Carthage voters return incumbents to school board
Winning additional terms on the panel were Elizabeth Streich, Jeff Jones and Tony Diggs, defeating challengers Kent Hogan and Jennifer Lambeth.
Suspect held on gun and immigration charges
A 25-year-old man is being held on weapon charges after allegedly threatening another Carthage resident with a handgun.
Suspect in custody in robbery of restaurant customer
A 20-year-old suspect is in custody at the Jasper County Jail in connection with the robbery of a customer Friday morning at the Sonic Drive-In restaurant in Carthage.
Jasper schools locked down after liquor store robbery
Schools in the Jasper R-5 School District were locked down Tuesday at the request of the Jasper County Sheriff's Department in response to a robbery in Jasper.
Jo Ellis: Cool off with free summer concert in Carthage
The Carthage Council on the Arts is offering a concert in Central Park by the Route 66 Swing Band on Saturday, July 20. Made up of area musicians, the band will start playing at 7 p.m.
Arrests at Carthage motel linked to car dealership burglaries
Authorities believe they have solved a series of break-ins at car dealerships in Southwest Missouri and other burglaries with the arrest of a man and woman at a Carthage motel.
Special session set for contract work moving sheriff's office
The Jasper County Commission will meet in special session Wednesday to award a contract for financing work in order to remodel part of a county-owned building as the new headquarters for the Jasper County Sheriff's office.
Steadley trust planning session attracts 40-plus Carthage leaders
Carthage officials and representatives of organizations in the community gathered Friday to start a process aimed at identifying future needs that can be addressed by funding from the Steadley Memorial Trust. Discussions were led by Ralph Ochsner, a Kansas City-based consultant hired by Steadley directors to oversee the effort.
Bondswoman charged with false imprisonment
A bail bondswoman from Carthage is facing a charge of false imprisonment for allegedly attempting to put a man in jail without a judge’s order, then taking him home and handcuffing him to the banister of a staircase until a friend of the man paid her his bond money.
- More Carthage, Jasper County Headlines
- Carthage attorney, reformer of revenue department, dies