Joplin

(via Flickr/xpda)

The city of Joplin, Mo. is getting an additional boost in an effort to clean up soil contaminated by lead and cadmium that was blown around by the fatal EF-5 tornado in May 2011.

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

The wife and daughter of man killed inside a Walmart store when a massive tornado hit Joplin are suing.

The Joplin Globe reported that the wrongful death lawsuit names Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the store's manager as defendants. The case, initially filed in Jasper County Circuit Court, was transferred Friday to federal court.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Candidates debate in Illinois' 12 Congressional District

After nearly twenty years representing Illinois’s 12th Congressional District, Jerry Costello is retiring at the end of his term.  The three candidates looking to fill the open seat debated in Carbondale last night. 

(Jennifer Davidson/KSMU)

Interfaith and civil rights leaders gathered in Ballwin this morning to show support for the congregation of the Islamic Society of Joplin, which was destroyed by a suspicious fire earlier this month.

Although the FBI is still investigating the cause, the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person that set the fire.

(Jennifer Davidson/KSMU)

Members of a Joplin mosque that was destroyed in a fire will rebuild and have been encouraged by the support shown them by the Joplin community.

Faizan Syed, executive director of the St. Louis office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said Thursday that leaders of the Islamic Society of Joplin will "definitely rebuild." He says Joplin's Islamic community members "are in to stay."

The Islamic Society of Joplin's mosque was destroyed in a fire early Monday. No injuries were reported.

(Jennifer Davidson/KSMU)

KSMU's Jennifer Davidson reported for this story.

The only mosque in Joplin, Mo. has burned to the ground.  The cause of the fire is still unknown.  The loss of property leaves the Islamic community there without a place of worship in its most sacred time of the year, Ramadan.

The imam of the mosque, Imam Lahmuddin, had only  finished leading the special “Taraweeh” night prayers a few hours before he was awakened by a phone call from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department.  That prayer takes place every night around 10:00 during the month of Ramadan.

(Screen capture of YouTube Video/WhiteHouse)

KSMU's Missy Shelton contributed reporting for this story.

A commencement address from President Barack Obama capped a difficult year for the Joplin High School class of 2012.

An EF-5 tornado struck the southwestern Missouri town a year ago today, killing 161 people and injuring hundreds more. The storm destroyed five school buildings, including the high school. Students attended their senior year classes in a converted big box store.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Joplin School District will get almost $50,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to provide its students and staff recover from the EF-5 tornado that struck the city on May 22, 2011 destroying three schools.

The Project SERV grant will help the district provide academic and mental health services to 7,700 students and 500 educators.

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Obama to speak at Joplin commencement

President Barack Obama will speak at the high school graduation ceremony in Joplin. A White House official says Obama will deliver remarks at the commencement, scheduled for May 21.

The president is going back to Joplin after visiting in the days immediately following last year's tornado. More than 160 people were killed by the tornado, the worst to hit the United States in decades. Among the dead were seven students and one staff member at the high school.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Governor Jay Nixon is putting Missouri's athletic organizations to work in helping to rebuild Joplin.

Teaming with the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, Nixon is challenging members from the St. Louis Rams and Cardinals among other teams across the state to build 35 houses by June.

 "When people know that these sports teams are coming, and when they see the players and the other folks, it really really helps," said Nixon.

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

Missouri's presidential primary tomorrow

Turnout is expected to be low for Tuesday's presidential primary. That's partly because the votes for the GOP candidates won't count.

Missouri has gotten little attention from Republican candidates this election year. Newt Gingrich isn't even on the ballot.

The Missouri Republican Party made the decision after the national GOP threatened to cut delegates from states that held their elections before March. Yet the head of Missouri's GOP, Lloyd Smith, is still encouraging voting in the primary.

Flickr/lilhelen

Illinois Supreme Court to announce new policy allowing cameras in trial courts

The new policy would allow cameras in trial courts on an experimental and limited basis.

Spokesman Joe Tybor says the court will make its announcement today.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon to deliver State of the State Speech tonight

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to stress his job-creation efforts as he delivers his annual State of the State address to lawmakers.

Tonight's speech is to coincide with the release of Nixon's proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year. Nixon's budget director has said Missouri may face a gap of about $500 million between projected expenses and revenues in the budget year that starts July 1.

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

Missouri has received another $47 million in federal grants to help cover the costs of natural disasters that pounded the state over the summer.

The grants, announced today by Republican senator Roy Blunt, include:

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Bidders will get a chance later this month to buy two weapons once owned by Bonnie and Clyde.

A tommy gun and a 12-gauge 1897 Winchester shotgun that were used by the infamous outlaw couple will go up for auction in Kansas City on Jan. 21.

The Joplin Globe reports that the weapons were among those seized during a raid of Bonnie and Clyde's apartment in Joplin on April 13, 1933. Until recently, the guns were displayed at the Springfield Police Museum.

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Joplin tornado top story in 2011

The May 22 tornado that killed 161 people and left much of Joplin in ruins was a unanimous choice for The Associated Press' top story in 2011 by editors across the state. That was followed by the intentional breach at Birds Point, which sent water rushing over southeast Missouri farmland in a bid to save the upstream Illinois town of Cairo. 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Nixon wants Mo. universities to consider tapping into reserves to plug hole in budget

Gov. Jay Nixon wants five Missouri universities to consider tapping their reserves  and provide funding to the state's higher education system. Nixon's proposal would call for the universities to provide the state $107 million from their reserves. The state would use that money to help avoid deep funding cuts to Missouri's public colleges and universities. The state would repay the schools over seven years with money from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri college students and staff are being asked to donate a weekend or a holiday this semester and take part in ongoing relief efforts in Joplin.

On May 22, the southwest Missouri city was devastated by a massive tornado that killed more than 150 people.  A campaign called “Show Me U Care” is recruiting groups of students, faculty and staff from college campuses across Missouri to travel to Joplin and help rebuild homes and provide other needs.

Flickr/contemplicity

Texas County man shoots and kills Mountain Lion

Missouri conservation officials say a property owner shot a mountain lion on his land in the south-central part of the state. The Department of Conservation said Thursday the man spotted the big male cat this week in Texas County, three miles from where a mountain lion was caught by a trail camera in July.

Mountain lions are protected, but may be shot if people perceive a threat to themselves or their property. Conservation officials say they found no reason to charge the landowner in this case.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) is traveling around the state this week, urging Missouri lawmakers to pass numerous tax credit proposals during the upcoming special session.

Before leaving today for Kansas City, Marceline and St. Louis, he met with reporters in his State Capitol office.  He told them passing the incentives are crucial for job creation, but that the overall number of tax breaks also needs to be reined in.

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