By Anne Hershewe
The Joplin Police Department and the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department have started a Park Watch Program to help keep city parks safe and clean.
The police department wants volunteers to keep an eye on their neighborhood parks. These volunteers would work with the JPD to report crimes or suspicious activity, and will have regular meetings to talk with police officers about park safety.
Parks in the program are: Wildcat, Grand Falls, McIndoe, Parr Hill, Schifferdecker, Landreth, Leonard, Humphrey, Mohaska, Spiva, Roanoke, McClelland, Garvin and Cunningham.
Doug Joyce, director of the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department, said there wasn’t any incident that sparked the program. It evolved, he said, because of the fact that “parks are getting used more.”
The JPD has police officers on bicycles who have been patrolling parks since mid-June.
“We would like to have three or four people per park,” said Sgt. Darren Gallup, of the JPD Special Enforcement Unit. “It’s really kind of an off-shoot of the Neighborhood Watch Program.”
Gallup also said: “We are noticing an increase in different reports coming from the parks.”
Most were reports of property damage such as vandalism and graffiti.
Gallup said the main goal is to stop small crimes before they escalate.
“The biggest thing we’re trying to do is take a proactive step to ensure continued safety of the parks,” he said.
Everett Ruark, of Seneca, was at Cunningham Park with his sons last week and said the program would be beneficial for the community.
Jack and Jeannie Dickson, of Joplin, were have lunch at Schifferdecker Park last week and both seemed excited about the new program.
“It’s a wonderful park. (But) there’s always vandals and graffiti. You can’t stop that,” said Jack Dickson, pointing to the marks on the picnic table.
“It’s a wonderful idea,” added Jeannie Dickson.
By Anne Hershewe
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
Joplin voters reject all three charter changes
The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.
Three incumbents returned to Carl Junction posts
Voters in the Carl Junction area on Tuesday decided leadership positions on the Carl Junction School Board and City Council.
Two new faces, one incumbent win Joplin School Board seats
The top three vote-getters for open seats on the board were Debbie Fort, with 4,765 votes; Lynda Banwart, with 4,532 votes; and incumbent Randy Steele, with 3,300 votes, according to complete but unofficial results from Jasper and Newton counties.
Joplin voters reject curbside recycling
City voters in Jasper and Newton counties cast 3,835 "no" votes and 3,466 "yes" votes on the issue, according to complete but unofficial results.
Council votes to waive appeal of court order, release full investigation
The Joplin City Council voted 6-3 Thursday night to waive an appeal of Judge David Mouton's ruling ordering the city to disclose the Rohr report and witness testimony in a controversial council investigation.
UPDATE: Police release name of murder victim; autopsy scheduled
Police have identified the man murdered in his apartment at the Housing Authority of Joplin complex as Jerry D. Loflin.
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- Longtime Democrat dies at 81