Our View

Joplin's Emancipation Celebration Committee last weekend put on another successful Emancipation Park Days, the three-day festival in Ewert Park that coincides with the anniversary of the August date when slaves in Missouri gained freedom after the Civil War.

On-and-off rain may have dampened attendance, but it clearly couldn't dampen attendees' spirits and desire to honor African American achievements and freedom. Over the years, the event has morphed into a communitywide celebration that promotes inclusion and unity.

Fred Palmer, a former member of the Emancipation Celebration Committee, said it best: “It’s not about isolationism or separation, it’s about coming together. We’re trying to educate, promote multicultural awareness and respect everyone. We can all live together in harmony and all get our hands on the plow to make this country and this town what it was designed to be — a place for everyone.”

We believe Park Days, which has been celebrated since at least 1914, is one of Joplin's best events. If you missed it last weekend, you have a whole year to plan to attend in 2020.

Amazing research

If you missed our story on Tuesday, you might not have heard about the amazing research coming out of the Kansas Polymer Research Center just east of Pittsburg State University.

Jonghyun Choi, a student from South Korea, and Ram Gupta, an associate professor in the PSU chemistry department, led a team that has discovered how to convert coffee grounds into energy storage. They say the process, which they demonstrated for the Globe earlier this week, is quick, easy and cost-effective.

The potential applications are enormous. Consider a cellphone battery that charges in seconds but lasts for hours, or a car battery made from a more eco-friendly material such as coffee waste.

There is great work going on at the research center, work that could make our community and our world more sustainable and less reliant on fossil fuels. We look forward to learning about what kind of research they'll set their sights on next.

The right call

The Federal Emergency Management Agency made the right call in approving six additional Missouri counties, including Newton and McDonald, in an expansion of a federal major disaster declaration for storms and flooding from April 29 to July 5.

Almost 40 homes in Neosho and about 80 residences and businesses in Anderson experienced flooding of some kind, according to initial estimates. The expansion of the disaster declaration means that people who experienced flooding damage from those storms can apply for assistance with temporary housing costs, home repair, replacement of belongings, moving and storage, child care, low-interest loans, crisis counseling and other services.

Recovering from a natural disaster is no easy task, but this kind of assistance can go a long way toward making the process smoother. Good luck to all.