JOPLIN, Mo. —
I don’t always agree with politicians.
It’s nothing personal. In fact, I’ve liked most of the politicians I have met. Even though I tend to have a bit of fun at the expense of many of our elected folks, the fact is, most of them are decent people who are in politics for the right reason.
Now before you think I’m going overboard here, you should note that I said “most of them.”
I think being a politician today is pretty tough. I mean, talk about a “you’re-not-going-to-please-everybody” deal. In most cases, politicians learn to live with the fact that at least 40 percent of the people are going to dislike them.
On Tuesday, the Missouri House of Representatives did something that I’m pretty sure most folks liked.
I know I liked what the House members did.
They passed a resolution honoring the hundreds of AmeriCorps volunteers from all across the nation who have helped fuel Joplin’s recovery from the May 22 tornado.
The resolution was the brainchild of state Reps. Bill White, who represents much of Joplin, and Charlie Davis, who represents Duquesne. For the record, both men are Republicans, but I don’t think most folks in Jefferson City were thinking about that on Tuesday. I’m pretty sure most folks in Jefferson City were thinking, “When Joplin needed help, AmeriCorps was there”.
It’s hard to overstate what a great program AmeriCorps has turned out to be. Sure, in 1993, when President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act, not everyone thought it was such a good idea.
That’s fair. I mean, politicians can disagree. But even some of the early critics such as Missouri’s own Kit Bond grew to admire the program. Bond, by the way, is one of those good and decent people who got into politics for the right reason that I was talking about earlier.
By now we’ve all heard the numbers. Since the storm, AmeriCorps has sent more than 200 workers to Joplin, and those young people have given more than 49,000 hours of service. Those volunteers have helped raise houses, salvage belongings and remove debris. They have helped deal with missing-person questions, offered legal services, and manned donation sites and distribution warehouses. And perhaps most importantly, they have helped organize the more than 60,000 volunteers who have flocked and continue to flock to Joplin. Most people with tell you that those AmeriCorps folks managed to do their work with compassion, good humor and determination.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. AmeriCorps workers will tell you that they signed up for the program because they wanted to make a difference, because they wanted to give back to their country.
So, thanks Bill and Charlie for helping to recognize AmeriCorps on behalf of Joplin. And thank you to anyone associated with AmeriCorps.
You make a difference. Every day.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
I don’t always agree with politicians.
- Local News
Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison
A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.
Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April
The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.
Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination
Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.
Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start
The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.
Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas
For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.
Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial
Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.
Russell family sues city, Joplin police
Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.
Kansas Regents stick with social media policy
After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.
Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location
The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.
Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season
Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.
- More Local News Headlines
- Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison