The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 11, 2013

Wally Kennedy: South side of Joplin safe place to be

By Wally Kennedy

JOPLIN, Mo. — If you’re wondering what’s going up at the southwest corner of 34th Street and Hearnes Boulevard, it’s a new fire station to serve the southern part of Joplin.

The two-story station will have an old-fashioned feel to it that should fit into the neighborhood. It is to be completed by December.

Many years ago this property was a service station. I remember my parents stopping there to buy gasoline before Main Street was replaced by Hearnes Boulevard. The business later would become a successful laundry.

The Joplin Fire Department is following the lead of the Joplin Police Department, which opened a satellite station in a former veterinarian’s office at the northeast corner of the intersection a few years ago.

Also in the neighborhood at 42nd and Hearnes is a branch of the Newton County Ambulance District, which recently upgraded some old buildings on that property.

What this means is that the southern part of Joplin is a much safer place to live now in terms of law enforcement, fire protection and emergency medical help. It’s all right there.

This is good news for the people who live in the southern part of the city.

It’s also good planning for the change that is coming to this part of Joplin.


The Cuttaway Styling Salon, formerly at 3029 S. Main St., should be operating now in its new home at the northeast corner of 22nd and Main streets.

Sonja Harper, the owner, is planning a big open house after the dust settles — or should that be after the hair spray settles. It will feature some Cupcakes by Liz, coffee from the Off The Track Coffee Shop, and more.

This stylish building is a welcome addition to the tornado zone. Though I have not seen the inside of the building, I have been told that the interior is just as nice as the exterior. There are four chandeliers inside. I understand a bathroom has been painted in a color described as “exuberant pink.’’

Do you get the sense that these girls just want to have fun?

The old Cuttaway, a house that was converted into a salon, will be coming down to make way for a new shopping center that will take up the entire east side of the 3000 block of South Main Street. Also coming down will be a house near the Cuttaway and the Pizza Inn building.


A sign at the Mong Su Dom Tai Chinese Karate building, 2014 S. Main St., says it will be reopening soon. The building is directly north of the El Paisa Mexican Store.

For a while there I was concerned about whether this building had tornado damage and might not reopen. I think I was actually more concerned about the preservation of the mural that has been painted on the north side of the building.

It’s not a mural in a sense that it was created and designed by a single artist who had a specific concept or message in mind. It’s more of a collection of images and encouraging words that were inspired in the aftermath of the tornado. These are messages from people who helped Joplin when it most needed the help.

At first, I was not certain about whether I liked it but it has grown on me. I hope it will be there for a long time.

Speaking of murals, the new ceramic mural that will be installed at the northeast corner of 17th and Main streets is drying. Because it is so thick, it will take two months for it to dry, according to Brent Skinner, the head clay instructor at Phoenix Fired Art, 1603 S. Main St. It will be installed after it dries.

Murals also are being created for bare walls on the south side of the Corner, Greer and Associates Building at 726 S. Main St., and on the south side of Pearl Brothers Hardware, 617 S. Main St.

Joplin, with its Third Thursday art walk coming this Thursday and its fancy murals, is getting so artsy-smartsy these days. That’s a good thing.

If you have news about something happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, call 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; or send an email to; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.