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Joplin's new mask ordinance goes into effect today. It was adopted Wednesday by the Joplin City Council to try to curb the spread of COVID-19.

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For the past several mornings, some intrepid observers and photographers have been getting up before sunrise to find and photograph a comet that has become one of the largest items in the sky.

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NEOSHO, Mo. — Workers with the Neosho Parks and Recreation Department removed fencing surrounding playgrounds on Friday. Director Clint Dalbom said playground equipment was disinfected and fresh piles of mulch were placed as part of parks reopening across the city.

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In the end, there wasn’t much time for sightseeing. Just a few hours after arriving at their new “home away from home” — 320 E. Eighth St. in Joplin — Marty and Jennifer Norris were hard at work, serving dinner to nearly 100 Joplin residents. Neither got to bed until late that night.

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NEVADA, Mo. — A former Nevada police officer is facing charges that he showed an underage girl a pornographic video and had sexual contact with her in his patrol car during a ride-along program.

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The rapidly rising number of confirmed new coronavirus cases has prompted facial-covering requirements in several areas of Missouri, including the state's largest city.

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After some Joplin residents expressed strong opposition Wednesday night to a city ordinance subsequently approved by the City Council that requires masks be worn in public places and businesses, the question now is what level of cooperation can be expected.

The Joplin Metropolitan Area reported 59 new cases Thursday, going from 1,767 total cases to 1,826. No additional deaths were reported, remaining at 17 for the two-county area. The metro area includes reports for the city of Joplin as well as Jasper and Newton counties.

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Freeman Health System on Thursday outlined a contingency plan that would first expand its COVID-19 care unit before having to transfer patients to other hospitals in the event that its caseload at Freeman Hospital West exceeds capacity.

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Unemployment for the Joplin metropolitan area fell in May after rising to its highest level in more than 30 years because of the pandemic, according to the latest data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

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With COVID-19 numbers on the rise in Southwest Missouri, area sheriffs say they are taking steps that so far have kept their jail inmates and jailers free of the disease.

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An autopsy was being conducted Thursday on the body of a 30-year-old man who was found deceased Wednesday afternoon along a fence line at the EaglePicher Technologies plant in Joplin.

Dear Dave: Last year, I got a divorce. I’m 32, a teacher and a single mom. I’m on Baby Step 2 right now, and I was wondering about life insurance. My son is only 2, and if something happened to me, he would go to his father. His dad is in good shape financially and responsible with money, so…

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The state of Kansas settled a class-action lawsuit filed by child care advocates who accused the state of not providing foster children with adequate mental health care and moving them too frequently between homes.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a decision that state and federal officials have warned could throw Oklahoma into chaos.

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After hearing recommendations from both local hospitals and doctors who are treating COVID-19 patients, as well as three hours of public comments Wednesday night, the Joplin City Council voted 6-3 to enact an amended ordinance requiring people to wear face masks or shields in public.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled broadly Wednesday in favor of the religious rights of employers in two cases that could leave more than 70,000 women without free contraception and tens of thousands of people with no way to sue for job discrimination.

A Carthage man was injured in a single-vehicle accident at 8 a.m. Wednesday on Route D, 3 miles north of Carthage in Jasper County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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PITTSBURG, Kan. — The 2020 Four State Farm Show, scheduled to take place later this month, has been canceled due to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the region.

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WEBB CITY, Mo. — A private counselor in Webb City aims to break down the stigma associated with men and mental health services by launching an empowering parenting group for divorced fathers and other single men who are raising children on their own.

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In a joint statement released Wednesday, officials with Missouri Southern State University and Crowder College announced that masks will be required when the campuses open for the fall semester. 

Police are investigating the death of a man whose body was discovered Wednesday afternoon along a fence line at the EaglePicher Technologies plant in Joplin.

Spire Missouri will provide approximately $15 million in one-time bill credits to its natural gas customers in the state under an agreement approved recently by the Missouri Public Service Commission.

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Nearly 20 residents have signed up to speak at today's Joplin City Council meeting, which was called to take a second look at enacting an ordinance that would require masks be worn in businesses and public places.

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Nearly 9% of the people tested in Southwest Missouri by the Missouri National Guard during free drive-through testing events in June in Jasper, Newton, McDonald and Barry counties were positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

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The Newton County coroner has ruled the June 25 fatal shooting of a motorcyclist on Outer Road just south of Interstate 44 in Joplin a suicide.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri on Tuesday reported the state's highest daily increase in confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which health officials said is partly due to delayed reporting because of the holiday weekend.

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Spire Missouri will provide approximately $15 million in one-time bill credits to its natural gas customers in the state, under an agreement approved recently by the Missouri Public Service Commission.

The Joplin City Council will hold a special meeting today to revisit a requirement that people wear face masks in public to try to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Two people were killed in a single-vehicle wreck at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday on Interstate 44 in Lawrence County, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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