By Wally Kennedy
PICHER, Okla. — If the trend continues, the abandoned mining town of Picher might have a future in film.
Picher will be featured in tonight’s episode of “Life After People,” a popular series on the History Channel. The program is to air at 9 p.m.
The episode, titled “Toxic Revenge,” will feature an appearance by Earl Hatley, a local environmental activist who has documented the adverse health impact that living in a contaminated mining site can have on people.
Also appearing will be Robert Nairn, an associate professor in restoration of ecosystems at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Nairn is heading a project at the former Mayer Ranch, near Commerce, that seeks to reduce the flow of contaminated water from Picher’s mines into Tar Creek.
The creek, which turned orange/red nearly 30 years ago when acidic, metal-laden water emerged from the mines, has been featured in two documentary films.
The most recent, “Tar Creek,” by Matt Myers, takes a critical look at the history of Picher, and the recent buyout and relocation of residents by the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust.
The documentary will be shown on Sunday, Jan. 24, at the Trail Dance Film Festival in Duncan, where it has been nominated in the best feature documentary category.
Myers said footage from his film will be used in the “Life After People” episode.
“The program focuses on our toxic sites, and what better site to discuss that than Tar Creek?” he said in a recent e-mail updating local residents who participated in his film. “We have been working with some incredible folks at the History Channel who are going to use some of the footage from our film in their program.”
Residents of the town are in the final stages of being bought out and relocated by the trust because large areas of the town could cave in. Picher, once a leading producer of lead and zinc ores, is heavily undermined.
By Wally Kennedy
- Local News
Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription
Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.
Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation
Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.
Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies
I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.
Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans
The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.
Joplin school board reviews audit procedures
A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.
Joplin man to stand trial in accident case
A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.
Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths
Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.
Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes
Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.
Main Street TIF district study to begin
A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.
Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case
A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.
- More Local News Headlines
- Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription