“The night (you know) that I fell in love with a roller derby queen

(Round 'n' round, oh round 'n' round)

The meanest hunk o' woman

That anybody ever seen

Down in the arena.”

— “Roller Derby Queen” by Jim Croce

Those who remember the roller derby heyday in the 1970s or its resurgence in the early 2000s will be glad to celebrate the return of the women on wheels with the Mo-Kan Roller Girlz first home game in two years with a match tonight in Joplin's Memorial Hall. The match is also the final home game of the season for the team. Mo-Kan is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, and the women compete under noms de guerre such as “Mel Diablo,” “Roc,” “Sugar Rush” and other more off-color names. We expect an evening of rumbling, rolling, slightly offbeat fun for those who attend the event at 7 p.m. today.

Clean water

Money is available to help area landowners restore and improve Shoal Creek in parts of Barry and Newton counties. The grant of $207,395 recently awarded to The Nature Conservancy in Missouri by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will help landowners over the next three years to stabilize stream banks, replant grasses and trees along the creek, and fence streams to keep out cattle as well as providing alternative water systems for cattle.

Managing diffuse sources of agricultural runoff has always been a challenge, and these funds will go a long way in reducing such pollution in a way that doesn’t overburden landowners.

Say ‘ahhh’

We are appreciative of the Joplin campus of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences health screenings through its recently launched Score 1 for Health preventive screening program for children. The program gives KCU Joplin second-year medical students, under the supervision of physicians and registered nurses, the opportunity to provide free health assessments — including dental, blood pressure and physical checks — to elementary pupils.

The effort gives medical students valuable practical experience while giving area students — some of who may never have had one — a free medical screening. Further, the program will allow KCU Joplin to provide referrals to community physicians or other relevant follow-up health care directions to the pupils’ families.

The goal for Joplin School District in having children participate is to “keep them healthy and keep them in school,” said school nurse Alexis Basye.

A worthwhile goal indeed.

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