The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

March 16, 2013

State’s only radiation monitor in place at I-44 weigh station

JOPLIN, Mo. — Since January, trucks coming through the eastbound weigh station on Interstate 44 in Joplin have been monitored for unsafe levels of radiation.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the state received the advanced spectroscopic portal radiation monitor through an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security. It’s the only one in the state, said highway patrol Capt. Tim Hull.

There has been no initial cost to the state.

The weigh station was selected because of the high level of truck traffic coming through the location, including a lot of it coming from out of state, according to the highway patrol.

Hull said the monitor is advanced and can distinguish between safe levels of radiation in trucks and unsafe levels. He said some trucks transport medical equipment that have some radiation, and a certain level of radiation occurs naturally with other types of cargo, including bananas.

He said if the monitor were to detect an unsafe level of radiation, the commercial vehicle inspectors on-site would receive immediate notification.

Highway patrol Sgt. Mike Watson on Friday said those on duty would have many options, depending on the threat level.

“We call whatever resources we need,” Watson said.

He said drivers simply drive under the monitor, with no delay or inconvenience.

“It’s a public safety issue,” Hull said. “It’s to make sure radiation is at a safe level to be traveling on highways.”

He said it also could stop terrorists with nuclear material.


Truck driver Conrado Martinez, of Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday said he had never encountered one of the monitors before in his travels. He said he didn’t know what it was.

“This was my first time seeing one,” he said.

The state hasn’t paid anything for the monitor, but Homeland Security paid $450,000 for it, plus another $400,000 for installation and the first-year maintenance.

The state and Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office are cooperating on the project. Missouri is one of four states with which Homeland Security has the cooperative research and development agreements.

The system has been installed under the one-year agreement, after which the agency and the state will discuss the transfer of the system and maintenance costs.

A Dec. 30, 2010, Congressional Research Service report lists annual maintenance costs at between $65,000 and $100,000 per unit.

Defense contractor Raytheon is the manufacturer.

Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • 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.

    July 22, 2014

  • 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.

    July 22, 2014

  • 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.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg 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.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter