Up First In The Four States For Wednesday 10/06/2021

Good Wednesday Morning, thanks for joining me for Up First in the Four States, from KRPS. I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. Let’s first take a look at local weather,

Partly cloudy today, mostly cloudy tonight throughout the Four States, also a slim chance of afternoon thunderstorms, highs today in the mid ‘70s, lows tonight in the upper ‘50s. Sunny and warmer as we wrap up the week and look towards the weekend. Highs Thursday, in the lower ‘80s, warming into the mid ‘80s Friday and lower ‘90s on Saturday.

Kansas Republican legislative leaders are moving quickly to get a special committee working on ways to resist federal COVID-19 mandates. As Jim McLean of the Kansas News Service reports the panel will be controlled by lawmakers opposed to mask and vaccine requirements.

Law enforcement officers are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing teenage girl. 15-year-old Maddalee Lands was last seen at 2658 E. Linwood in Springfield at around 11 p.m. on September 28th. She is 5’10” tall, 270 pounds with black hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a purple shirt and black plants. Police are seeking to confirm her well-being, according to a news release. Anyone with information is asked to call 9-1-1 or make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 417-869-TIPS.

Kansas Republican lawmakers say Governor Laura Kelly sidestepped them when she created the Division of the Child Advocate. As Blaise Mesa of the Kansas News Service reports, Republicans might pursue legislation that would affect the newly announced office.

Short-term housing rentals have been a contentious issue in some cities, including recently in Joplin. On Monday night, eight Joplin residents submitted public comments to the city council against a special use permit submitted by Rachel Bemo, who has been running a short-term housing rental at 4477 Bradley Drive. The neighbors’ comments detail how Bemo rented the property to large parties, charging 349 dollars per night, with little to no oversight. Penny Amiet was one of the residents who submitted public comments, she also spoke in opposition to the special use permit. “Most of our neighbors are here tonight, we’ve been at every single meeting since this came into effect. We went around and canvassed the entire neighborhood. We’ve brought forth 69 petitions against this. She has continued to rent this out, time and time again even though she has not shown up to the meetings, she’s said she’s withdrawn it, it’s still being rented.” Ultimately the city council voted 9 to 0 to striken the resolution from Monday’s agenda, denying the special use permit request.

Short term courses will be offered this fall and winter at Ozarks Technical Community College. The Center for Workforce Development at OTC is offering the classes to help meet the needs of area employers and prepare students for employment. The cost is free to students, and enrollment is open to anyone 18 and older. There are seven different options, including welding, architectural drafting, logistics technician, cybersecurity, mechanical drafting, construction and HVAC assistant. The shortest course is two weeks, and the longest is 24 weeks. The construction course will be held at the Table Rock campus, and cybersecurity is an online course. All other classes are held on the OTC Springfield Campus. Students interested in enrolling in any of the classes should call the Center for Workforce Development at 417-447-8888 or email cwd@otc.edu.

Having already received a key to the city at a retirement get-together last week, former Joplin Health Director Dan Perkerek, the City Council at their meeting Monday night honored him one last time. Pekarek wrapped up a 35-year career on Monday. For 23 of those years, he was Joplin’s Health Director. He also served as Interim City Manager from March of 2019 to March of 2020. He was then named Assistant City Manager in June of 2020. During his time as Health Director, he worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to help establish the Jasper/Newton County community health collaborative and emergency healthcare coalition. Pekarek spoke Monday night, “We know the things that get done, are the people, on the street that get those things done, it’s not the department heads. We may be there, at the top of the food chain so to speak in the department but we’re not the ones that get things done. It’s the folks that are out there doing things every day.” Last week Pekarek received the highest honor given by the Missouri Public Health Association, the W. Scott Johnson Award.

Missouri State University in Springfield, MO is revising its masking policy. The changes go into effect October 11. From KSMU in Springfield Michele Skalicky has more.

A state audit has found that most Kansas schools aren’t enforcing basic security standards to protect personal information or prevent cybersecurity attacks. According to the audit, 58 percent of Kansas schools don’t even require security awareness training for their staff. Sen. Rob Olson, an Olathe Republican, says the Legislature should take action, but the Kansas Board of Education also needs to look into it. Clip 98105 “I think the legislature should pick this up and set some minimum standards, but it’s really up to the state school board to pick this one up.” The audit recommends the Legislature direct the Kansas Department of Education to establish minimum IT standards.

And now our feature of the day,

You can find a link to that story at krpsnews.com. If you want to talk to me directly I’m on Twitter @morningsonkrps.

Thanks for joining me for the up first in the Four States podcast. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

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