Volunteers Needed in Joplin Tornado Aftermath

A Red Cross volunteer says about 75 percent of Joplin is just gone, after a deadly tornado ripped through the city, last night. The State Emergency Management Agency continues to deploy all available response teams. Dozens of people are reported dead. Search and rescue continues, today. If you are interested in volunteering, call 2-1-1. And, if you have medical skills and can help, log on to showmeresponse.org

Lake Area Chamber Beautification Committee has Big Plans for a Sign at Y of Expressway and Highway 54

The Lake Area Chamber Beautification Committee wants to erect a huge sign at the northeast entrance to the lake, similar to the Lake of the Ozarks sign at Highway 54 and Business 54. The preliminary design has six to eight foot tall lighted letters made of steel, placed into the rocky hillside on a piece of state owned property at the Expressway and 54. MoDOT would have to grant a permit for plans to move forward. The project would cost around 50-thousand dollars.

Governor Jay Nixon Describes Joplin as “Total Devastation” After Tornado

Total devastation. That’s how Governor Jay Nixon described the scene in Joplin, last night. He’s activated the Missouri National Guard to respond to tornadoes and severe storms that ripped through the state. Dozens of people are reported dead. The Governor declared a state of emergency and activated the State Emergency Operations Center. Representatives from local agencies are headed there to help. Saint John’s Regional Medical Center took a direct hit. Rubble, no power for critical patient care, fires reported throughout the facility. Residents in Dade County, 70 miles away, found X-Rays and medical records from Saint John’s in their yard.

State Commissions Holding Public Hearings on Redistricting This Week

Today, the House and Senate Apportionment Commissions will hold their next round of public hearings on redistricting. Members are looking for public testimony on the proposal for redrawn district lines based on changes in population reported by the 2010 Census. Today’s hearings are in Springfield. Later this week, the Commissions will gather public comment in Kansas City and Saint Louis.