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.

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