The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

May 21, 2013

Monetary donations cited as best help for Moore

JOPLIN, Mo. — Financial support for organizations providing shelter and supplies to Oklahoma tornado survivors is recommended for people who want to help.

Otherwise, the word is to wait for requests.

Members of the Joplin Long Term Recovery Committee and Transform Joplin met Tuesday to talk about how to help those affected by tornadoes on Sunday and Monday in the Oklahoma City area. They agreed to reach out, but to provide only what Oklahomans ask for so that official rescue and relief efforts are not hampered.

The committee chairwoman, Renee White, said the group learned from working on Joplin’s tornado recovery that response needs to be measured.

“We want to respond with our hearts and with logic to strategically provide what is needed when it is needed,” she said.

Mike White, deputy fire chief at Redings Mill, said there has been no request yet through state-to-state mutual aid for volunteers to go to the disaster areas.

“What I take from that is they had resources and probably have a lot of that in place” to accomplish rescues, he said. Right now, trained search and rescue personnel are needed, and additional volunteers could impede the rescue and security efforts.

“Those who self-deployed were sent back home today,” White said Tuesday.

Joplin sent a team of trained responders — 10 police officers and four firefighters — to Moore on Monday. They came back to Joplin on Tuesday after providing security at one location in Moore, but they were not needed because of the number of personnel already on duty there.

Assistant Joplin City Manager Sam Anselm said it was his understanding that 5,000 trained responders are available closer to the Moore area who can provide immediate service. The National Guard also has been deployed there.

What is recommended now is donations to the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army to provide shelter and meals for the displaced residents and emergency workers, Anselm said.

“Don’t send supplies unless they’re asking you for it,” he said Joplin officials have been told. He said Moore is interested in setting up a foundation to receive donations for city rebuilding as Joplin did after the 2011 tornado. Joplin also will provide assistance when asked, he said.

Nigel Holderby, chief communications officer for the Southern Missouri Region of the American Red Cross, wrote in a statement issued Tuesday that “monetary donations are the very best way to help. Your donations allow us to purchase supplies and relief items locally as well as to provide shelter, food and emotional support to those in desperate need in Oklahoma and across the Midwest.

“If you are interested in volunteering, we ask at the request of the local Emergency Management in Oklahoma that you not self-deploy. This can cause delays in the current efforts which are search, rescue and recovery.”

Jay St. Clair, of College Heights Christian Church, said there will be a great need for help in the future that people can fulfill if they wish to volunteer. He said College Heights has received requests from churches in Moore for tarps and for plastic boxes or totes that can be given to people to keep their belongings. Those items were being collected at the church Tuesday and would likely be en route to Moore today.

In addition, donations of cash and gift cards will be taken for distribution in Oklahoma to people who will need to get re-established.

The Joplin Family Worship Center is teaming up with Oklahoma City-based nonprofit Feed the Children to provide supplies that have been requested, said pastor Dan Wermuth. Baby items and clothing were requested, along with some of the same types of items St. Clair mentioned. Wermuth said his church will collect donations of those items for delivery Tuesday and perhaps the following Saturday, June 1.

The Long Term Recovery Committee will have a tent at the Joplin tornado anniversary observance today at Cunningham Park. Residents may write well-wishes that will be delivered to people in the Moore area. The committee also is calling for all area churches to hold a collective prayer Sunday morning for the tornado-stricken areas.

A number of other efforts were launched on Tuesday.

• The Joplin Family Y, working with Zimmer Radio, collected relief supplies with the goal of sending a truck today. Bottled water, cleaning supplies, baby formula and supplies, first aid products and hygiene supplies may be dropped off at both Family Y locations, 510 S. Wall Ave. and 3404 McIntosh Circle.

• Charlie Brown, with Homes of Hope and Stars of Hope, said his organization is collecting supplies at the Christman’s Event Center, 501 S. Main St. A list of items includes water, canned goods, hygiene and toiletry items, sunscreen, tools, flashlights and batteries, gloves, trash bags, hard hats, storage containers and moving supplies, and gift cards.

• The First United Methodist Church, 501 W. Fourth St., is accepting donations to buy supplies.

• Convoy of Hope, based in Springfield, made a delivery Tuesday to Moore of emergency food, water and cleaning supplies. Convoy is responding to specific requests of its partner churches in the tornado-stricken area, according to a statement.

• The Joplin Area of Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 320 E. Fourth St., is accepting donations that will be sent to the Moore Chamber of Commerce for business rebuilding.

Long-term relief

THE JOPLIN LONG TERM RECOVERY COMMITTEE formed a month after the Joplin tornado to coordinate relief and recovery. The group distributed supplies and has helped rebuild or repair 1,000 houses.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r073114rebuildjoplin3.jpg 30 volunteers a day would be a ‘game-changer’ for Rebuild Joplin

    Betty and Louis Wirick, both 79, say they are grateful to have survived the 2011 tornado as it tore down part of their home of 25 years on South Bird Avenue. But three years later, they are frustrated.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Scott Branden Smith 080114.jpg Comatose assault victim dies

    A Joplin man left in a coma from an apparent assault died this afternoon at Freeman Hospital West.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amendment 7 backers tout safety, new jobs; foes say special interests to benefit

    Billions of dollars are on the line when Missouri voters head to the polls on Tuesday to consider Amendment 7.
    The constitutional amendment, sent to the voters by the Legislature this year, would temporarily increase Missouri’s sales tax by three-quarters of 1 percent, raising an estimated $5.4 billion for the next decade to fund transportation projects. That includes more than $114.1 million in state funds for projects in Newton and Jasper counties, on top of additional revenue for localities that would be raised.
    After the Missouri Department of Transportation downsized in recent years, these projects are now mostly designed and built by private engineers, contractors and laborers — many of whom have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to a campaign effort to sway voters to support the measure.
    Last Monday — eight days ahead of the primary election day — supporters of the measure reported having raised more than $4.1 million for a campaign committee called Missourians For Safe Transportation and New Jobs, which was established last fall to support the measure.
    The International Union of Operating Engineers in St. Louis and Kansas City have contributed nearly $250,000 to the effort. That total was dwarfed by the $649,398 put in by the Industry Advancement Fund Heavy Constructors. Between its Missouri and Kansas companies, APAC — a construction contracting company that specializes in transportation projects — has contributed more than $150,000.
    “The whole idea that money is flowing into the campaign, of course it is,” said Sen. John Lamping, a St. Louis Republican who is opposed to the measure. “It would be a smart business decision to do that.”
    Lamping said the money pouring into the campaign supporting Amendment 7 is indicative of the financial gain the measure bodes for contractors and laborers.  
    Lamping proposed a measure in the Legislature that would redirect one-eighth of existing sales and use tax revenue directly to transportation projects, but he said that measure was rejected by legislative leaders. The coalition “didn’t hear about it,” the outgoing senator said, “because it was my idea instead of someone else’s idea.”
    Lamping, who filibustered a similar measure in 2013, said Republicans have an ideological consistency problem on the issue. He pointed to the Legislature passing a sales tax increase only a few weeks after overriding Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of an income tax cut that will largely help businesses organized as limited liability corporations, like many of the companies that could benefit from the measure. Lamping said that the tax increase will mostly affect taxpayers who did not get a significant tax cut.
    “Who wants a tax cut in Missouri?” he said. “Businesses. (Republican leaders) wanted to make them happy and then they passed a tax cut. This is grand-scale special interest cronyism.”
    The ad campaign being funded mostly by the business interests features paramedics and construction workers claiming the measure would “fix our roads and keep Missouri families safe.”
    “We have a chance to give our highways and bridges the repairs they need,” says one ad, which is running in Joplin and statewide in the lead up to Tuesday’s vote. “We have a chance to fix what’s broken by voting yes on Amendment 7.”
    The commercial uses a lot of words to talk about the benefits of the measure, but two words in particular are noticeably absent from the commercial: “Tax increase.”  
    “The ads don’t mention any of the ballot language,” said Jewell Patek, a spokesman for Missourians For Safe Transportation and New Jobs. “We figure Missourians will see the language when they go to the polls.”
    Patek, a former state representative who now lobbies the Legislature, said he disagreed with Lamping’s notion that Amendment 7 is all about special interest gain.
    “There’s quite a bit to gain for Missourians,” he said. “We have serious road needs. We’ll win or lose by the benefits in Amendment 7. I’m not sure I agree with Senator Lamping’s assessment.”
    If approved, Amendment 7 would prevent an increase in the state’s fuel tax, a funding boost opponents of the amendment like Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and some of the state’s social welfare groups have said would be more appropriate because it could pull in revenue from people who use the roads — like the state’s trucking industry.
    The Missouri Truckers Association’s political action committee has contributed more than $27,000 to the effort to pass the measure. Tom Crawford, president of the association, said his members support the amendment because they see the problems on the road and deal with them every day. And passage of the measure does not mean anyone will stop paying fuel tax.
    “We overpay our fair share on the fuel tax,” he said, pointing to statistics by the American Transportation Research Institute that show truckers have accounted for about 14 percent of road usage while paying for 39 percent of all taxes and fees owed by motorists. “We pay sales taxes just like everybody does on goods and products that people buy in the stores.”
    Crawford said truck companies do not pay state sales taxes on the purchase of trucks, but they do pay a federal tax. “So, we won’t be impacted on new equipment purchase, but other areas of our business will be impacted just like every other taxpayer in the state will,” he said.
    Thomas Shrout, who is helping lead the campaign against the tax hike, said that is not good enough and that Amendment 7 lets truck drivers off the hook. “Under Amendment 7, they wouldn’t have to pay any more,” he said.
    Shrout’s opposition campaign has raised just over $27,000 — less than 1 percent of the total money raised by its supporters. They are targeting their opposition at the state’s urban core by spending money on direct mail and targeted robocalls in the final week.
    “We think using the sales tax to fund road projects is poor policy for the state of Missouri,” he said. “It should be rejected.”
    Shrout said the Missouri Department of Transportation and its supporters should go back to the drawing board and consider some of the other options like campaigning for toll roads or a gas tax increase — both based on road usage.
    Representatives for APAC and the Heavy Constructors Association declined requests for comment.

    Tuesday’s election
    Amendment 7 is one of five measures voters will consider when they head to the polls on Tuesday. Statewide, local election officials reported to the Missouri secretary of state that it was their estimate that about 27 percent of the state’s 4.06 million registered voters will show up to vote, including 25 percent of registered voters in Jasper County and 30 percent in Newton County.

    August 1, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Fair to feature goats, chickens and decorated bras

    Along with the usual fair sights, sounds and smells — livestock, poultry, produce and the like — there will be something a bit unusual at the Cherokee County American Legion Free Fair this year: Decorated brassieres. And pink. Lots of pink.

    August 1, 2014

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Detour in Parsons for bridge work begins

    A portion of south U.S. 59 Highway will close at the Parsons, Kansas, city limits on Aug. 4 for drainage work, asphalt resurfacing and a bridge deck repair project.

    August 1, 2014

  • Autism center to break ground on future home

    Ground will be broken Tuesday morning for the future home of the Bill & Virginia  Leffen Center for Autism at 2808 S. Picher Ave.

    August 1, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Home runs for area

    Baseball fans, there’s something exciting going on today that has nothing to do with the major leagues.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIVE BLOG: Little League Regional Tournament

    Athletes and parents from Joplin and Frontenac are headed to Indianapolis for the Little League Central Region Tournament. Follow their progress here.

    August 1, 2014