The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

January 21, 2013

Sponsor says sex offender measure will not go anywhere

A bill he proposed in the Missouri House requiring real estate agents to warn neighbors when sex offenders purchase homes would have placed an undue burden on the business, state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, agreed Monday.

Davis said the measure won’t advance. But, he said, he believes the proposal has sparked “discussion about protecting our kids.”

“It’s not going anywhere; that’s apparent,” Davis said of his bill. “And now that I look at it, I do understand it creates a burden and a liability for the real estate industry.”

Davis said he had heard from a number of people involved in the Joplin area real estate business and that he did not disagree with the concerns they raised.

The bill was first read last week, the same week a large contingent of real estate agents from across the state was in Jefferson City for meetings. More than a dozen from the Joplin area discussed the issue when they met with Davis as part of a series of capital visits by the group.

“He was very gracious, and he understood our concerns,” said Kim Cox, chief executive officer of the Joplin Board of Realtors.

Sam Licklider, a lobbyist with the Missouri Association of Realtors, said the proposal would have meant that real estate agents could face a new liability if a neighbor did not receive the required notification after a sex offender bought a house. The system would not be foolproof, he said, because not everyone who buys a home uses an agent.

The bill also would have required sex offenders who planned to buy property to report their criminal past to their real estate agent. The buyer’s real estate agency would have been required to disclose a client’s sex offender status to neighbors living within a half-mile within 30 days after the deal were completed.

“It’s not the best way to address it,” Davis said. “Instead of making real estate agents liable, we’ll work on other ways to protect the public.”

Davis said the proposal was based on the experiences of a friend who lived in a neighborhood where a sex offender bought a home. He said local children had visited in the house before parents learned that the new resident was a sex offender.

“Nothing bad happened,” he said. “But family members just didn’t know, and they were concerned after they found out.”

Sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement when they move, and their addressees are posted on a registry maintained by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

But many people don’t check the websites where the lists are posted, and some offenders don’t comply with the registration requirement, Davis said.

“I think awareness and involvement is the key,” he said. “People need to know their neighbors. Not to discriminate or retaliate, but to be aware, so they can talk with their children.”

Missouri in recent years has expanded its public sex offender registry. The filing now includes information about an offender’s physical description, vehicles, offenses and address.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS contributed to this report.

HB 146

REP. CHARLIE DAVIS’ BILL, HB 146, was given a second reading on Jan. 14, but no hearing has been scheduled for the measure.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg 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.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg 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.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos