FEMA Disaster Declared in Joplin, Attorney General Warns Against Price Gouging, St. John’s Lost 5 patients and a Visitor

Search and rescue efforts continue today in Joplin. Sunday’s tornado is the deadliest in the country since the National Weather Service started keeping track, 61 years ago. And, the danger’s not over. Yesterday, two police officers combing through wreckage were struck by lightning, when another storm moved through the area.
Governor Jay Nixon was touring the devastation. FEMA has extended disaster assistance to residents of Jasper and Newton Counties. Some 40 first responder groups are there, in an area very hard to navigate.
Camden County’s Emergency Management Director Denise says no other volunteers are needed, unless sent by an emergency services agency:

Attorney General Chris Koster has warned individuals and businesses against price-gouging there. He’s sent investigators to Joplin to make sure no one has suddenly and artificially raised prices on necessities, like gas, cleaning supplies, food and diapers.
Medical staffers at Saint John’s Regional Medical Center evacuated 183 patients, after the tornado struck. Five patients and an unidentified visitor lost their lives.

Eldon Board of Aldermen Get Proposal to Ease Water and Sewer Complaints at Tonight’s Meeting

Tonight, the Eldon Board of Aldermen will discuss whether to allow the sale of fireworks within city limits. And, Jack Rinehart, who owns apartment units in Eldon, is going to propose a plan to ease some of the complaints about the new water and sewer rates that went into effect in January. Rinehart is not in the group of property owners who filed suit against the city over the issue, but he did say his bills have tripled, and he is hoping aldermen will consider reducing the per door charge to three dollars. The meeting starts at 6pm in the Eldon Public Works Building on Highway Y.

Camdenton Board of Education Meets to Discuss Superintendent Evaluation, Allergy Policy and Dance Team Trip to Orange Bowl

Today, the Camdenton Board of Education is meeting. They will discuss adopting a superintendent evaluation model and a policy for Student Allergy Prevention and Response, as required by state lawmakers. Also, the high school dance team has been invited to perform at the Orange Bowl in January. Jeff Whitney says the team would like to attend, and he’ll discuss fundraising for the trip.

Joplin Death Toll Tops 115, Crews from Fort Leonard Wood and Lebanon are Helping with Search and Rescue for Survivors, Joplin Schools Cancelled for Semester

The death toll in Joplin topped 115 yesterday, and it’s still climbing. But, there were stories of hope, too, as search and rescue teams continued to find survivors from Sunday’s devastating tornado.

The Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 35th Engineer Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood and 3-135th Aviation Battalion of Lebanon were deployed. And, many other people want to help, but Jessica Willingham with the Red Cross says the Emergency Management teams need people to stay away, right now.

The damage to buildings, roads and property is so severe, it’s hard for the people who are in Joplin already to get around and help where they’re needed. The Joplin School District has canceled classes for the rest of the year. The high school, an elementary school and a technology center were destroyed.

To help, call 2-1-1. Or send a financial donation to redcross.org or by calling, 1-800-RED-CROSS.