Monday, October 26, 2009

Ruestman lays out her goals

In this email to constituents, Rep. Marylin Ruestman (R-Neosho) outlines her goals for the next legislative session. (Coming later this week: our interview with Rep. Ruestman.)

The Capitol Report
Priorities for Next Session

Winter is quickly approaching and that means it is time to start considering legislation for the coming session. As your elected Representative I believe it is important to communicate my priorities. This week I’d like to share some legislation I have been working on and will continue to work on in the next legislative session beginning in January.

  • Property Tax ReformIt is time to stand up for our seniors and home owners. For too long, rising assessments and taxes have made our homes unaffordable. My proposed reforms would make property taxes more predictable and manageable. It really bothers me that the government meant to protect our rights is forcing seniors out of homes they’ve had for 30 plus years.
  • State Sovereignty – The stimulus package is just the latest effort from the federal government to control the states. I want the State of Missouri to remind Washington that we are a sovereign and independent state. We do not have to and we will not continue to cow to Washington’s wishes.
  • Grandparents’ Rights – It is well-known that children are generally going to be in a more loving and nurturing environment with their own family members. Last year we passed legislation giving grandparents the first opportunity to take their grandchildren in the event they are removed from their parents’ home. There are still abuses in the system and I want to continue to correct those.
  • Expanding Castle Doctrine – In 2007 we passed Castle Doctrine applying to your home, dwelling or vehicle. I’d like to go back now and expand that to include your property. We need to put the criminals on notice that if they invade our property, the owner can assume they are there to harm them and act accordingly.
  • Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit – Over 70% of Missouri’s firefighters are volunteer. This tax credit would offer $180 - $360 in tax credits for firefighters reaching a certain threshold of training. Tax credits are hard to pass in times of economic stress, but I believe our firefighters deserve this for the sacrifices they make each and every day to protect our families.

Monday, October 19, 2009

DAVIS: "I'll support the most conservative candidate"

Eli Yokley

(JOPLIN, Mo.) State Rep. candidate Charlie Davis (R- Webb City) came out with a ray of support for the 129th's leading contender.

When asked who he would support in that race, he said "the most conservative candidate." When asked who that was at this point, he said "Shelly."

He went on (after the recording ended) to say that he would work with whoever won, and would hope to find their support for his 'Contract with Missouri.'

Icet hits Joplin

Eli Yokley and Blake James

(JOPLIN, MO) State Rep. and State Auditor candidate Allen Icet made a stop in Joplin Thursday evening to explain his intent to seek public office.

He was introduced by current House Speaker Ron Richard (R- Joplin.) Richard called Icet a "person of common sense and good principals," and on with "fiscal responsibility."

He spoke in front of a crowd just shy of 20, mainly colleagues (Ron Richard, Brian Stevenson, and locals in the know.

Icet spent the early part of his remarks attacking the Kansas City Star, Saint Louis Post Dispatch, and the Springfield News Leader, for their bias against republicans.

Icet insisted that "the right" wasn't "sent to do the popular thing, it was sent to do the right thing."

**Icet pushed his MBA, rather than a CPA, as something that would help him manage the agency.**

In the interview, he addresses his (relatively poor) fundraising numbers, he explains the importance of SWMO in his campaign, and explains what all the uproar about career ladder cuts is about.

  • "Some twisting letter for political means."
  • "Nothing has been cut."
  • "We the state have to cut budgets."
  • "This MAY happen."
  • To teachers: "I have a daughter who teaches public schools."
  • "We have to have a balanced budget." "Lots of places to pull money form."
  • "All about priorities." "Public education is #1 [priority.]"
  • (Interesting to not he never committed not to cut career ladder.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dreyer Meets Downtown

State Rep. Candidate (Mo-129) Shelly Dreyer was spotted downtown at Joplin's last Third Thursday event.

She said she was very impressed with what Joplin put together.

She was spotted in 609 with her husband, at numerous art galleries along the walk, at the Rapha House with its founder, and meeting people from the area at (what we hear is one of Nathan Starmer's favorite places) The Vinery.

Photos here. (Thanks so much to Linda Ralston for her help with equipment.)

Webb City rolls out the Rosey-Red Carpet.

The Fuse Joplin
October 15, 2009

Webb City rolled out the red carpet Thursday night for Rose Parade chairman Rick Jackson.

Dinner, music, and socialization was shared with over 200 people at the event hosted at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Mayor John Biggs and Webb City Chamber's Dixie Mariner both suggested support from the city, and said "[we] know that you'll make us proud."

R7 Superintendent Ronald Lankford said he has learned that "it never rains in sunny California anymore," alluding back to Webb City's 2006 experience, where the band faced calf-deep rain.

Lankford said the district was proud to "gives students an opportunity of a lifetime," and ended saying "we believe in your future."

The shy Diana Williams, Director of Bands in Webb City, said the second opportunity at the parade was "a dream come true."

Rick Jackson, incoming President of the Tournament of Roses Parade, said the "community of Webb City is instrumental" in sending the band." He closed saying the opportunity was a "once, or second for some of you, in a lifetime opportunity. Some bands work to get in once, y'all are coming back for the second time. That's awesome."

Parents and students, as well as community members and alumni, all made it out for the event.

128th district candidate Charlie Davis and his family.
Superintendent Ronald Lankford.
Mayor John Biggs chatting with the Rose president.
Tears in Diana Williams' eyes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chamber Honors Webb Citians

Eli Yokley

The tables were set, the food was made, and the people arrived. Webb City's Chamber diner began.

Thursday night, hundreds went out to Webb City High School where the Webb City Area Chamber of Commerce put on their Annual Banquet.

Jason Hamlin, owner of Van Vans, was honored as Business Leader of The Year.

Jeff Montgomery, noticeably missing, who skipped out on the event to attend the Mizzou game in Columbia(and everyone made sure to point that out,) received the Baker Champion Booster award.

The Web City Lions Club won the Community Service Award, mainly for their production of "Springtime on Broadway," the successful downtown experience put on last year.

Several Webb City educators were honored at the event. 1st Grade teacher Heidy Hathcock, 7th Grade teacher Jeff Payne, 6th Grade teacher David Adams, Special Education teacher Amanda Taylor, and Webb City High School's Randall Hayes were all honored as Teacher of The Year.

Hugh S. Hatcher, graduate of Carterville High School in 1950, was inducted into the R7 Hall of Fame.

The event closed with a good-bye from the chamber's new president, Lou Gutheil.

  • Dr. Ron Lankford, Superintendent of Schools, speaking with Senator Gary Nodler.
  • Senator Gary Nodler, who left very quickly to go to another dinner.
  • A representative from Congressman (and current Senate candidate) Roy Blunt's office.
  • Mayor John Biggs of Webb City. He didn't have much to say.
  • THE Bob Foos, shooting pictures from his seat. I'm pretty sure he used the napkin to dry off his camera. So, we stole the napkin.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Abortion: Joplin's Point of View

Blake James and Eli Yokley

From 7th to 20th and range line, the streets were lined with pro-life supporters on Sunday.

Deana Maurer, the organizer of the event, took some time to speak with TFJ during the hour long protest/prayer. When asked about why she put the event together, Maurer said that “abortion kills” and that the word isn’t being spread via the media right now, so by having an event like this people can be informed about the evils of abortion.

The Joplin event was started around 18 years ago, and at the innaugral showing there were nearly 4,300 attendees.

The goal of supporters was not only to inform drivers on Range Line, but also to pray for the unborn. Local Pastor John Sherwood went on record today saying he was “concerned for the plight of unborns, and their right as people in our country.” Sherwood sported a sign that read, “Birth, the first innaleable right.”

Maurer also spoke on the impact and significance of the even saying that she hopes the area would be effected by what took place today.

Judy Clark, of Webb City, spoke on the issue of women involved in rape, saying that there are other options, “you must carry the weight of killing a child [after choosing to abort]” she says.

Opposing Views:

As with any ideology there are dissenters. Amy Agee and Craig Taliaferro we a few among the opposition. The basic principal they supported was that we are all entitled to a counter point if we do not agree with something. The group felt that the government should not be involved in a mothers choice. Going off of that Amy and Craig both say they are not pro-abortion, rather pro-choice, the right to choose what is best for you in your situation, not a broad policy that bans abortion all together. Agee feels that if we really want to stop abortion in the U.S. we must fix the socioeconomic hardships many mothers face today. If mothers are economically safe they are less likely to feel the need to give up their children. Taliaferro felt that it would be in the best intrest of everyone if we keep the option of abortion open to all.


No matter your stance on the issue you have to admit that Joplin did a good job today. Two sides of one argument promoting their opinion peacefully. There were a few cases of drivers commenting against one particular idea, on the whole both sides noted the supportive honks, thumbs up, and “thank you’s”. Maybe if this kind of open discourse and protest took place on other issues we could accomplish something to better our nation. Cheers for democracy.

Peace, love, and the right to be informed

(Blake James is Contributing Editor of The Fuse Joplin and Junior at Webb City High School. Eli Yokley is the Editor-in-Chief of The Fuse Joplin. Both contributed to this article. Thanks to Natalie Preston for helping out and being generally awesome.)