The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 25, 2013

Movie madness: 2013 offers variety of potential Hollywood blockbusters

— For the third year in a row, movies with roots in comic book stories, sci-fi and fantasy appear poised to dominate box offices in 2013, including the continuation of Marvel’s “Avengers” universe. But a few comedies and dramas also have us excited to get in line with our popcorn.

‘Beautiful Creatures’ (Feb. 14)

Is this the new “Twilight”? Or will Stephenie Meyer’s fans wait for the movie adaptation of “The Host” on March 29? “Beautiful Creatures” is the first entry in a young-adult book series about a guy and girl living in a small Southern town. They are inexplicably drawn to each other, and have magical connections, but a curse threatens them and their families.

‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ (March 8)

Until Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked,” any story about Oz featured that perky Kansan Dorothy. Maguire’s tale of the green-skinned Elphaba has been transformed into a successful Broadway musical, and the author has continued his take on Oz A.D. (after Dorothy) in three follow-up novels.

But what about the Wizard? Sam Raimi, the director behind the “Spider-Man” reboots starring Tobey McGuire, tells the story of his arrival in Oz and how he became that man behind the curtain. Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz play three good and bad witches.

‘Iron Man 3’ (May 3)

Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” was the biggest movie of 2012. Tying together the stories started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Thor” and “Captain America,” the supergroup kicked extra-terrestrial tush on screen.

Thor will return to theaters in November, but Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man makes the third in this franchise a summer must-see. Directed by Shane Black (2005’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”), the movie also features Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin.

‘The Great Gatsby’ (May 10)

Leonardo DiCaprio stood out as Romeo in Baz Lurhmann’s stylish “Romeo and Juliet,” so we’re eager to see what he does with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic now that he is more seasoned. DiCaprio plays the enigmatic, dapper Gatsby, and Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan plays Daisy Buchannan.

Even more intriguing is how the movie will be filmed for 3D. On most movies, the gimmick seems to be a waste, but Lurhmann has a long resume of visually dazzling movies, including “Moulin Rouge” and “Strictly Ballroom.” We’ll gladly fork over the extra upcharge to see what he does with the format.

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    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.

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  • 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

  • 041714 Treble Makers.jpg Carl Junction ‘Treble Makers’ to sing at Springfield Cardinals’ stadium

    Next month, 75 Carl Junction sixth-grade students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Hammons Field before a Springfield Cardinals game. And with more than 600 parents, family members and other residents planning to attend, the May 3 event has been dubbed “Carl Junction Day.”

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Public hearing set on posed TIF district

    Financial details of a proposed new tax increment financing district for the Silver Creek Galleria area will be discussed in detail at an April 28 public hearing, members of the city’s TIF Commission were told Thursday. Chris Williams, a TIF attorney representing the city of Joplin, told the panel the Thursday meeting was intended to walk commissioners through the public hearing steps.

    April 17, 2014

  • Volunteer projects spark two bills in Jefferson City

    Bills moving through the Missouri House and Senate were inspired by a volunteer project in Carl Junction last year that stalled over a question of whether those volunteers had to be paid prevailing wage under Missouri law. “This bill is very simple. All it says is if someone is a volunteer, they won’t be forced to be paid prevailing wage,” state Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, told lawmakers during a hearing on his bill last week.

    April 17, 2014