Show Me the Ozarks - June 2024

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June 2024 • Volume 23 • Issue 10 FEATURING Carl Junction & Oklahoma ULTIMATE WEDDING Destinations & Services Carl Junction Ag Department GETS A BOOST FROM DONATIONS and a BIG “Yes” from the Community


Seaton Family Pavilion • Forest Park • 204 South 13th • Parsons, KS

In Conjunction with the Katy Days Festival!

MAY 23

Split Sanity (Hard Rock)

Todd East & Groovus Maximus (Soul, Funk & Pop)


Seth Lee Jones (Blues & Americana)


Branjae (Funk, Jazz & R&B)

JUNE 20 Bogart (Classic Rock)

MAY 30

Community Orchestra (Director: Scott Nelson)


Traci and the Time Travelers (Variety)

SeasonFinale! July25


Eastern Heights (Modern Country)


The J3 Band (Oldies & Swing)


Community Band (Patriotic Celebration)

The concerts are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., however times may be adjusted due to inclement weather (heat or rain.) Severe weather conditions will cancel concerts. Concessions will be available beginning by 6:30 pm or sooner. For more information phone (620) 421-7032.

Many Thanks to Our Sponsors!

June 2024 • • 3 TAKE $750 OFF CLOSING COSTS ON YOUR HOME LOAN THIS SUMMER!* SCAN TO APPLY ONLINE. JOPLIN OFFICE: 417.553.2106 | NEOSHO OFFICE: 417.451.2025 CELL: 417.437.5764 * Offer for primary residence purchases only. Effective through July 31, 2024. Offer of credit is subject to credit approval. Bank NMLS #539634
6 The Asbell Family Agriculture Research Center and Carl Junction School Farm will provide
approach to learning, made possible
community who appreciate
passion for agriculture. features SMTO contents June 2024 COVER STORY 34 Carl Junction Ag Education Gets a Boost from Donations and a BIG "Yes" from the Community Featuring Carl Junction 38 Carl Junction Educator Craig Fox honored as Teacher of the Year 39 Meet New Carl Junction School Board Member Melinda Brown 40 Carl Junction Gymnast Ryan Sprague Bounces to Success on Trampoline 41 Faces of Carl Junction 42 Why I Run - Cassie Garrett: Bringing Her Whole Heart to Running 44 The Creative Edge - Rachel Cabral: Creating is a Family Affair 46 Carl Junction Business Spotlights 48 Faces & Places: Carl Junction Community & Education Awards Banquet Featuring Oklahoma 50 152nd Quapaw Powwow: A Generational Gathering 53 Oklahoma Business Spotlights About the Cover 30 50 34 24 34
a hands-on
by those in the
and have a

in every edition


12 Cultural Arts and Entertainment

14 Calendar of Events: Summer is here and so is the fun in the Four States! Spend time learning about local snakes and fireflies or build a toad house for a new outdoor friend. Honor the past at a Juneteenth celebration or eat crawdads by the creek for a good cause. June is full of family fun you won’t want to miss! 16 Northeast Oklahoma Events 19 Connect2Culture presents ... 20 Experience Carthage Home/Lifestyle

25 Tastes of the Four StatesBailey's Fine Dining 26 Show Me Dining Guide

62 Your House ... Your Home - Sunroom Decorating

68 The Great Outdoors - The Best Father's Day Ever 70 A Naturalist Voice - That shirt is a badge of stewardship

Can you find it?

Recipe: Father's Day Grilled Pizza

Health Events 65 Trust Us To Deliver - Why Four States parents-to-be put their faith in Freeman Maternity Center

66 FDA-Approved Tool Testing for Predisposition to Opioid Addiction is Getting Backlash

67 Hydration: Importance and risks

other great reads

Independence Day Celebrations 17 2024 Newton County Fair Schedule 18 Unveiling the Creative Journey Behind 'Scary Gary and The Super Sock'

Joplin Arts District

Faces & Places: Joplin Chamber Banquet

Farmers Markets Showcase Area's Rich Food-Producing Opportunities

Rediscovering the Artisan Craft: A Look into Redings Mill Bread

Find the GREEN smiley face on one of our pages. Email with the page number and spot where you found it. Submit your entry by the 15th of the month. A winner will be drawn from all the correct entries and will receive a gift certificate from an area retailer. One entry per household please. Good luck!


June 2024 • • 7
A Majestic Affair: Celebrate Your Wedding at the Iconic Coleman Theatre 56 Love Blooms - A Wedding Story Amongst Peonies 58 Ultimate Wedding Destination & Services 60 Things We Love Congratulations to
Name: Address: Email: Form of payment: Check Credit Card Card Number: Name on Card: Card Expiration: / Mail this form with your check, money order or credit card info to: Show Me The Ozarks, P.O. Box 3325, Joplin, MO 64803 Subscription Form Subscribe today! $41.99 - three years $32.99 - two years $19.99 - one year Visit to subscribe and pay online. Don’t miss a single edition of the magazine that has all of the region talking! The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001
Carolyn Starnes, the winner of the May edition Find the Green
Face contest. Carolyn wins a gift certificate to McAlister’s Deli in Joplin, Missouri. The Green Smiley was on page 63 in the lower right corner of the second photo.



Chonda Ralston, M.A.


Lee Timmsen


Sue Dillmon


Wendy Brunner


Kelley Talent


Cheryl Franklin STAFF WRITERS

Ann Leach

Holly Hukill

Jeff Cantrell

Don Lowe

Larry Whiteley

Bridget Bauer

Amy Howe

Kristi Spencer


Mandy Edmonson


Gary and Desma Sisco

Kevin Elrod

8 Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is published monthly by Legacy Publishing, PO Box 3325, Joplin, MO 64803. Copyright 2024 all rights reserved. Reproduction of this magazine, in part or in whole, is prohibited without written permission from SMTO. Subscription rates: $19.99 for one year, $32.99 for two years, $41.99 for three years. Advertising rates sent on request. Unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, and art will not be returned unless accompanied by self-addressed envelope with sufficient postage. NOTE: Information published herein is subject to change without notice. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited by law. SMTO makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of published information, however the publisher cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions. SMTO does not take responsibility for, or always endorse the opinions of contributors or advertisers. SMTO reserves the right to not run an ad or article that is reviewed to be in bad taste or goes against the focus or mission of that of Show Me The Ozarks Magazine. The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001
June 2024 • • 9 Scan the QR Code to Learn More Is your home ready to weather the storm? When the storm hits, your roof becomes your first line of defense. That's where Abernathy Roofing steps in to ensure your home stays safe and secure. Why Choose Us? Stay Safe this Storm Season with Abernathy! Schedule a Free Inspection! 417.540.4411 Premium Materials Trusted Experts Fast Response

Welcome to summer!

Although the first official day is June 20, we know you’re already savoring the sunshine and slower pace. Long summer days and open schedules afford us time to explore, and we encourage you to start by enjoying all there is to offer right here in the Ozarks. We’re blessed to be surrounded by lakes and rivers, trails for hiking or biking, and communities that plan fairs and festivals all summer long. This June edition highlights many of the area offerings, including the 152nd Quapaw Powwow, which draws native and non-native visitors from around the country.

If you like a Saturday morning stroll through the farmers’ market, starting on page 30 you’ll find a great overview of several local markets and an interview with a favorite vendor, Jamey Smith of Redings Mill Bread.

The trend toward farm-to-table cooking and efforts to use locally-sourced ingredients has helped raise awareness of the important role of farming and understanding where our food comes from. Amy Howe’s cover story details efforts to enhance agricultural education for generations of Carl Junction students who participate in the Future Farmers of America program (see page 34). In this section, you’ll also meet Carl Junction’s Teacher of the Year, Craig Fox, and other inspiring members of this vibrant small community. We want to add a big “Congratulations!” to the Bulldogs golf team for their third-place team finish in Missouri’s Class 3 tournament.

June also means romantic summer weddings. For the brides and grooms who are planning next year’s special day, browse our Ultimate Wedding Destination and Services section for inspiration and resources to help make your wedding dreams come true.

And, of course, take time to celebrate all of the dads – Happy Father’s Day!


Chonda Ralston, Publisher P.O. Box 3325 • Joplin, MO 64803 844.417.SMTO (7686)

Take Scan to learn more We want to help you save. A few small steps could add up to big savings.
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June 2024 • • 11 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, State Farm Indemnity Company, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, State Farm General Insurance Company, Bloomington, IL State Farm County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas, State Farm Lloyds, Richardson, TX State Farm Florida Insurance Company, Winter Haven, FL Your local agent for home & auto Call me for a quote today Agent 530 N East Street, Suite E Webb City, MO 64870 Bus: 417-673-2500 Fax: 417-673-2534 Kyle Hickam

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June 6, 13 & 20: Sounds of Summer Concert Series, 8 p.m., Schifferdecker Park, Joplin, Missouri. Join the Heartland Concert Band for its summer concert series! The talented members of this community band will perform their favorite pieces as they prepare for the Community Band Outdoor Picnic. Free. More information:

June 21: Big Spring Park Free Concert Series: Common Roots, 6:30 p.m., Big Spring Park, Neosho, Missouri. Grab your lawn chair and celebrate Make Music Day with Neosho Arts Council. This is a BYOC (bring your own chair) event. Free. More information: neoshoartscouncil@gmail. com.

June 21: Joplin Improv Live Show, 8 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave, Joplin, Missouri. Laugh with Joplin Improv! Enjoy happy hour at 7 p.m. Stick around for a free improvised comedy show, made up entirely on the spot. Comedy show is free; donations appreciated. More information:

June 22: Community Band Outdoor Picnic, 12:30-7:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri. This is the Heartland Concert Band’s first Community Band Outdoor Picnic (CBOP), a family-friendly celebration of local music and community bands. Enjoy live music from Heartland Concert Band, Army 399th Concert Band, Coffeyville Municipal Band, Republic Community Band, and Spillwater Drive, as well as local vendors and artisans, antique cars, an instrument petting zoo and more. For VIP tickets, vendor information and sponsorship opportunities, email joplinCBOP2024@ Tickets: General admission free; VIP tickets $25. More information:

June 22 & 23: “Once Upon a Crime,” 7:30 p.m. (Sunday 2:30 p.m.), Joplin Little Theatre, Joplin, Missouri. Goldilocks is the defendant, on trial for breaking and entering. The plaintiffs are the three bears. Is Goldilocks guilty or innocent? With multiple endings to cover each possible outcome, the audience gets to decide her fate. Reservations encouraged; reserve your ticket at or by calling 417.623.3638. Tickets: Adults $10, children (ages 12 and under) $5. More information: or 417.623.3638.

June 28: Carolyn Wonderland, 7:30 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.), The Coda Concert House, 2120 E. 24th St., Joplin, Missouri. A musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time. For reservations, email info@ In response to reservations, a confirmation email with the address, directions, parking etc., will be sent in return. All proceeds benefit the artist performing. Suggested donation: $45. More information:


May 1-Aug. 21: Thomas Hart Benton Art Competition and Exhibition Call for Entry. Submit up to two pieces of your original 2D works to be judged and for a chance for your artwork to be exhibited or awarded cash prizes. Competition open to artists ages 18-up. Deadline: Aug. 21. For more information and guidelines, visit Cost: Circle of Patron Artist Members $15-$20, non-members $20-$25. More information: neoshoartscouncil@gmail. com.

June 1: Downtown Loft Tour, 2-6 p.m., downtown Joplin. Join Downtown Joplin Alliance for its second Downtown Loft Tour, which

showcases historic properties available to rent or buy in the downtown area. This open house-style tour will take you into some of downtown’s most fascinating properties—some fully furnished and occupied, others still in the process of renovation and a few where restoration has yet to begin! Buildings on the tour include the Christman Lofts, Muir Building, Willington Lofts, Frisco Station Lofts, Hollcroft-Stults Building and Pennington Lofts, among others. This is a rain or shine event—no refunds given. All proceeds benefit Downtown Joplin Alliance. Tickets are available at Tickets: Standard ticket $25, additional VIP Twilight Rooftop Reception $75. More information: or 417.986.3914.

June 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30: Open Mic Comedy Night, 9 p.m. (sign-up 8:30 p.m.), Blackthorn Pizza & Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave., Joplin, Missouri. Join Joplin Comedy and try out your latest stand-up routine or take in the acts of local comedians. Age restrictions: 18+ until 10 p.m.; 21+ from 10 p.m. until close. Free. More information: or 417.540.9186.

June 4: Rock Club, 5:30 p.m., Joplin History & Mineral Museum, 504 S. Schifferdecker Ave., Joplin, Missouri. Meets the first Tuesday of every month. Club members listen to presentations on various rock-related topics, show off their favorite finds during a show-and-tell portion, help plan upcoming rock shows and enter to win a door prize given out at the conclusion of each meeting. No registration required. Free. More information: or 417.623.1180 X1586.

June 4: First Thursday ArtWalk, 5:30-8:30 p.m., downtown Joplin. See fine art and art at its finest. A sophisticated yet festive event for area artists and patrons of the arts. Dozens of artists will show or demonstrate their artistic process, and all art will be for sale. Participating artists will be located inside various venues along with live, acoustic music from local musicians. This event is held on the first Thursday of the month, March-October. Map of participating locations is available at facebook. com/FirstThursdayArtWalkJoplin. Free. More information: lteeter00@ or 417.438.5931.

June 8: Art on Tap (ages 21+), 5-8 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri. Celebrating 16 years of beers and bites! This tasting event features local breweries, drink meisters, light bites, entertainment, games and chance drawings. Tickets and sponsorships available. Tickets available at Cost: Spiva members $40, non-members $55. More information: jhenning@ or 417.621.9812.

June 9: 2nd Sunday Cinema (ages 14+), 1-4 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri; and 6-9 p.m., Route 66 Theater, 24 S. Main St., Webb City, Missouri. A monthly celebration of films produced by regional filmmakers from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Great Wonders Productions will host screenings of films selected by their Uplift Film Fest jury and invite filmmakers for live interviews and Q&As about their films. A portion of the box office sales will go to filmmakers, supporting filmmaking and cinematic storytelling in the Four States. Advance tickets highly recommended; purchase tickets at Tickets: $10. More information: or 417.437.2001.

June 13: Joplin Writers’ Guild, 6 p.m., Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St. Includes a wide variety of writers. Members have published novels, nonfiction books and articles. The group focuses on supporting each other and sharing information about the publishing and writing industries. This group is open to the public. Dues are $10 for the year, but anyone interested can attend their first meeting free. More information: or 417.691.0480.

June 20: Third Thursday, 5:30-8:30 p.m., downtown Joplin. Every third Thursday, March-October, thousands of people gather on Main Street


in downtown Joplin to enjoy local artisans, music, entertainment and food. Free. More information: or 417.501.9649.

June 27: Open Mic Night, 7-9:30 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave., Joplin, Missouri. Musicians, singers, poets! Looking to showcase your talent? Performers are each allotted five to eight minutes per set. Two vocal mics, a quarter inch plug-in for guitar/piano and an aux cable will be available. To sign up early, send message at All ages welcome! Free. More information: or 417.483.5558.


May 17-June 8: “Art Unleashed: Where Creativity Roams Free,” Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri. Spiva Center for the Arts and the Creative Learning Alliance invite you to their first allages interactive creativity experience! Visitors are encouraged to unleash their inner artist and be inspired. Dive into the world of experimentation, play and boundless imagination that will take over three of their galleries this summer. More information: shaun.conroy@ or 417.621.9814.

June 2-July 25: “Front and Center” by Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC), The Maple UnCommon Guest House & Gallery, 120 E. Maple St., Columbus, Kansas. See a wide selection of artwork in a variety of mediums and styles from some of the area’s finest artists. Free. More information: or 417.483.8084.


June 6 & 21: Studio 55 - Open Studio (ages 55+), 2:30-4:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri. An art class tailored for adults aged 55-up! Join Spiva Center for the Arts in the open studio facilitated by Jesse McCormick. Various supplies and mediums available to use and experiment with, or participants may bring their own. Start a new project or bring something you’ve been working on and enjoy the camaraderie of like-minded artists—beginner, advanced and in-between! Registration required; register at spivaarts. org/series/studio-55. All supplies provided. Suggested donation: $10. More information: or 417.621.9813.

June 15: Studio 55 - Mirror Image Portraits, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri. An art class tailored for adults aged 55-up! In this structured class, Jordan Murdock-Thompson will teach participants a new and exciting project every other week. This week, learn how to paint your self-portrait in black and white. Registration required; register at All supplies provided. Suggested donation: $10. More information: or 417.621.9813.

June 28: Studio 55 - Flower Pounding Drawings, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri. An art class tailored for adults aged 55-up! In this structured class, Jordan Murdock-Thompson will teach participants a new and exciting project every other week. This week, explore how to create unique art using natural materials. Registration required; register at All supplies provided. Suggested donation: $10. More information: or 417.621.9813.


Create N Sip Studios, 1505 W. 10th St., Joplin:

Wednesdays: Wine’d Down Wednesday, 5-9 p.m. A Canvas and Home Decor DIY Event. Choose the project that works for you. Cost: $28-$58. More information: or 417.680.5434.

Saturdays: Saturday Morning Choose Your Canvas, 10 a.m. Select the painting you want to recreate. Prices vary depending on chosen project. Cost: $28-$176. More information: or 417.680.5434.

Firehouse Pottery-Joplin, 112 S. Main St., Joplin:

Tuesdays: Ladies’ Night Out (ages 18+), until 8 p.m. Enjoy a creative evening. More information: or 417.553.0671.

Fridays: Date Night, until 8 p.m. Friday nights are date night 2-for-1 studio fees for all couples. More information: firehousepotteryjoplin@ or 417.553.0671.

Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St., Joplin:

Tuesdays: Beginner Watercolor Class with Barb Hicklin (ages 8+), 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Bring your own supplies. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $20.

Tuesdays: Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor Class, 2 p.m. Improve your painting and learn principles of design. Bring your own watercolor, oils or acrylic paint for personal instruction from award-winning artist Paula Giltner. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $20.

June 14: Watercolor Class with Joan Allen, 1-3 p.m. Includes all supplies. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $30.

June 15: Saturday Paint Class with Jesse McCormick & Margie Moss, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Includes all supplies and ice cream cone from Caroline’s. Ages 8-up. No experience necessary. Paint an Impressionist painting or bring a picture of what you would like to paint. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $30.

June 15: FUNdamentals of Paint Pouring Class with Mary Parks, 6 p.m. One 8” x 10” and one 11” x 14”. Includes all supplies. Ages 9-up. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $40.

June 22: Impasto Oil Painting Class with Tricia Courtney, 2-6 p.m. Learn the techniques and tricks of painting thick with a painting knife. Bring your own supplies (canvas board, oil paint, brushes, palette/ painting knives). Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $20.

June 29: “Funky Flowers” Class with Tricia Courtney, 2-6 p.m. Build a fun flower art piece out of found objects. All supplies included. Register by calling Local Color Art Gallery & Studio at 417.553.0835. Cost: $40.

Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. 7th St., Joplin:

Fridays: Memories in the Making, noon-2 p.m. This art experience is centered on the expression of creativity through painting for those dealing with memory loss. More information: or 417.621.9812.

Tanglefooter’s Round Dance Club, 1802 W. 2nd St., Joplin:

Mondays: Tanglefooter’s Round Dance Club, 7-8 p.m. Learn choreographed ballroom dancing with experienced teachers. Cost: Individual $7.50, couple $15. More information: or 417.529.0686.

June 2024 • • 13

What’s Happening Calendar of Events SMTO

in the Ozarks

If you have an event you would like to see listed in the Calendar of Events, please email your request to: Events are printed on a space available basis and must be received by the 5th of the month prior to the month of the scheduled event.

Support Your Local Farmers Market

Carthage, MO: Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Central Park, 714 Garrison Ave.

Joplin, MO: Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Empire Market, 931 E. 4th Street. Lamar, MO: Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-noon, Moore Pavilion, 10th & Poplar Street. 417.682.3579.

Monett, MO: Starting May 16: Saturday, 8 a.m.-noon and Tuesday TBD, South Park by the YMCA parking lot.

Neosho, MO: Starting May 7: Saturday 9 a.m.-noon, directly across from the library, downtown.

Webb City, MO: Tuesday 4-7 p.m., Thursday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-noon, pavilion at the Main Street entrance to King Jack Park.

Bentonville, AR: Saturday 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Bentonville City Square, 100 S. Main St. 479.222.0946.

Gravette, AR: Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Old Town Park, 110 Park Drive. 479.787.8998.

Rogers, AR: Wednesday and Saturday 7 a.m.-1 p.m., 100 N. Dixieland Rd. 479.246.8383.

Pittsburg, KS: Saturday 8 a.m.-noon, 11th & Broadway streets, downtown Pittsburg. 620.231.8310.

Grove, OK: Starting May 6: Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m., downtown.

Quapaw, OK: First and Third Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m., 326 Main St. 918.238.3168.

Calendar of Events

Northwest Arkansas

June 10-16: Bentonville Film Festival. Will kick off with premiere screenings of each film starting Tuesday, June 11-Sunday, June 16 with the opening night party, Cinematic Cheers: A Toast to 10 Years Monday, June 10 (passholders only). The 2024 lineup includes 75-plus feature films and 50-plus short films. In-person screenings will take place in Momentary’s Fermentation Hall, Thaden School Performing Arts Center and Bentonville’s Skylight Theater. Festival awards will be presented Saturday, June 15. More information at

Carl Junction Community Center: 303 N. Main St., 417.649.7237

Monday, Wednesday and Friday Pickleball, 6-10 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 1-3 p.m., and Sunday 1-6 p.m. Tuesday yoga 6 p.m.

First Saturday of each month: Carl Junction Lions Breakfast, 8-11 a.m. The CJ Lions Club sponsors a monthly buffet breakfast with proceeds going to various community organizations and projects. Adults and children 11 and up $7; children ages 3-10 $3; children under 3 eat free.

Joplin, MO

June 22 & 23: “Once Upon a Crime” by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, Joplin Little Theatre, 3009 W. First St. Directed by Bethany Newsom. Will justice be served in this hilarious fairy-tale courtroom

play packed with characters we all know and love? Goldilocks is the defendant. The plaintiffs are the three bears. Ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12-under. For more information, call 417.623.3638 during office hours, Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center, 201 W. Riviera Drive, Joplin. Your local connection to Missouri’s fish, forests and wildlife. Check out the native plant landscaping, exhibits or hike the trails. Purchase a fishing or hunting permit, attend a nature program or watch for wildlife along the trails and banks of Shoal Creek. Enjoy a variety of free public programs throughout the year. Education Center is open Tuesday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sunday, Monday and most state holidays. Call 417.629.3434, email Shoal.Creek@ or visit for upcoming events. The parking lot, grounds and trail are open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

June 12: Virtual Program: Where Can I Float? 12-12:30 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. We will look at some of the best rivers in Missouri for floating and the equipment you should take with you.

June 14: Virtual Program: Bushcraft Skills Series – Fire Building, noon-1p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. This virtual program is part three of a multi-part series on primitive skills and bushcraft. In part three, Fire Building, we will discuss the many ways to select a site, gather fuel, different fuel stacks, ignition methods and more. (Note: Bushcraft is the use and practice of skills, thereby acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding, to survive and thrive in a natural environment.)

June 18: Conservation in the Parks – Snakes of Missouri, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Schifferdecker Park. Registration required through Wildcat Glades Natural Group. Ages 5-up. Most snakes in Missouri are harmless and play an important role in our ecosystem. Join us to learn more about these often-misunderstood reptiles and see snakes in person. Conservation in the Parks is a partnership event hosted by Joplin Parks and Recreation, Missouri Department of Conservation and Wildcat Glades Nature Group.

June 26: Virtual Program: Bushcraft Skills Series – Bow Drill Fire Starting, noon-1 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. This virtual program is part four of a multi-part series on primitive skills and bushcraft. In part four, Bow Drill Fire Starting, learn how to build and use this foundational fire-starting tool. (Note: Bushcraft is the use and practice of skills, thereby acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding, to survive and thrive in a natural environment.)

June 28: Little Acorns: Firefly Magic, 10:30-11 a.m. Registration required. Recommended for ages 3-7. Lighting up the summertime night sky are hundreds of magical beetles putting on a beautiful light show! Join us to learn about these glowing bugs and make a firefly craft.

Snakes on Tour. Join Missouri Department of Conservation staff and live snakes while they visit local libraries during the summer reading program, Adventure Begins at Your Library, and learn more about these often-misunderstood reptiles. June 11, 2 p.m., McDonald County Library in Pineville. June 12, 2 p.m., McDonald County Library in Southwest City. June 20, 3 p.m., Joplin Public Library Teens. June 24, 10 a.m., Cedar County Library (Stockton). June 27, 2 p.m., Joplin Public Library Children’s.

George Washington Carver National Monument Visitor Center Free Programs. Two miles west of Diamond, Missouri, on Highway V, onequarter mile south on Carver Road. Visitor center and park grounds open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 417.325.4151 or visit *Programs will be presented outside on park grounds.

June 8 & 9: Film – Harriet Tubman/Visions of Freedom, 1 p.m. This 55-minute PBS documentary talks about the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman.

June 15: Laboratory Demonstrations, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Participate in hands-on science activities using peanuts and sweet potatoes.

June 16: Juneteenth Celebration, 1 p.m. Join a park ranger for an


informative program, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

June 22 & 23: Agricultural School on Wheels, 1 p.m. The moveable school George Washington Carver helped design was an innovative solution to rural farm education.

June 29: Historic Neosho Schoolhouse, 11:30 a.m. Join a park ranger at 639 Young Street in Neosho, Missouri, to learn about the school and neighborhood that supported the education of African American children, including George Washington Carver.

June 30: Historic Neosho Schoolhouse, 1 p.m. Held at the visitor center, this program discusses the school and neighborhood that supported the education of African American children, including George Washington Carver.

ArtForms Gallery Workshops, 620 N. Broadway, Pittsburg, KS. 620.240.0165. ArtForms Gallery is a co-op of artists offering monthly workshops ranging from acrylic painting, watercolor, glass fusing, pottery, metalsmithing, jewelry, textiles, kids’ art and more. Call ArtForms Gallery to register for any artist’s workshop. Refunds/ Cancellations: Decisions regarding refunds and cancellations are determined by the artist leading the workshop. For more information, check the Facebook page at ArtFormsGallery620/ or see

Every Tuesday (June 4, 11, 18 & 24): Art Explorations, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Free. Join Gallery Artist Pat Glick for a fun time working on your own project or art.

Every Thursday through June 27: Stained Glass Workshop, 3-6 p.m. Workshop fee $150, due at time of registration. Class limit of 6. Ages 18-up. This course is five weeks long and is for the beginner stained-glass art student or someone who wishes to improve their skills. You will learn to score, break, graze, grind, copper foil and solder your creation. You’ll take home a completed stained-glass panel (approximately 8” x 10”). An emphasis will be placed on glass considerations for different patterns, glass-cutting techniques and the steps to assemble a Tiffany-style glass panel. All tools, glass and supplies provided. Protective eyewear is required. Regular eyeglasses are sufficient. Please do not wear open-toed shoes when working with glass.

June 8: Fused Glass Lanterns, 1-4 p.m. Workshop fee $50, due at time of registration. Class limit of 8. Ages 14-up. Create a fused glass lantern with different designs on each side. Using clear fusing glass, embellish each panel with designs of your imagination. Basic glasscutting techniques will be demonstrated, so bring your creativity and willingness to learn something new. Your masterpiece will be fully fused in a glass kiln and inserted in a white or black lantern, depending on IKEA availability. All supplies, tools, fusing and lanterns are included in the workshop fee. Please wear close-toed shoes when working with glass.

June 9: Fiber Sunday – Crochet Coasters, 1-3 p.m. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of 10. Ages 10-up. Note: Under 14 years old requires an adult to be present. Participants will learn a simple but effective stitch to crochet a drink coaster. Take home a crochet hook and new knowledge to widen your crochet repertoire.

June 15: Tiled Resin Tray, 2-4 p.m. Workshop fee $60, due at time of registration. Class limit of 5. Ages 18-up. Make an 11” x 17” tray that features tiles set in resin. Mix the resin and set the tiles.

June 19: Block Printmaking for Kids, 1-3 p.m. Workshop fee $25, due at time of registration. Class limit of 12. Ages 6-12. Students will learn the basics of block printing using foam as a block. Creating patterns through repetition, students will create a garden flag or pillowcase as their project. Kids will print with ink and acrylic paint and should wear an old shirt.

June 19: Fused Glass Suncatcher for Kids, 1-3 p.m. Workshop fee $25, due at time of registration. Class limit of 12. Ages 10-16. Students will learn about the process of fusing glass while creating their own fused glass suncatcher. They will learn how to cut glass and create a glass project that will be kiln-fired and returned one week later for pickup. Band-aids will be provided in addition to a variety of glass colors including previously fused glass pebbles, dots and other glass embellishments. Students must wear close-toed shoes when working with glass.

June 22: Mosaics for Beginners, 10 a.m.-noon. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of 14. Ages 10-100. Choose from pre-cut glass, mosaic tiles, beads, sea glass and more to make a gorgeous mosaic feather. All materials are provided.

June 22: Small Wood-burned Wall Hanging, 4-6 p.m. Workshop fee $25, due at time of registration. Class limit of 6. Ages 14-up. Will use small stencils to set the design on wood and then use wood-burning tools to burn design into wood for this fun small project. Wire will be attached for hanging wood-burning on a wall.

June 23: Ceramic Toad Houses, 1-3 p.m. Workshop fee $50, due at time of registration. Class limit of 10. Ages 12-up. Students will be given two bowl forms to decorate for their toads/fairies. All supplies provided for a totally unique house.

Wildcat Glades Friends Group, 201 Riviera Dr., Joplin, Missouri. All programs are free of charge, unless otherwise noted. Registration requested. To register, email or visit the Facebook page for online registration options. Robin Standridge, executive director, 417.291.3156.

Various Dates in June, Ongoing Project: Wildcat Park Habitat Restoration & KCU Student Trail Initiative. Wildcat Glades Nature Group, in partnership with Missouri Southern State University and Kansas City University, continues to have work days to remove invasive species at Wildcat Park. The Restoration Plan is an ongoing project that will be carried out over the next 10 years. Workdays are held nearly every Saturday during the summer. If you are interested in becoming involved with the restoration effort, you can check out the Facebook page or email

June 7: Crawdads at the Creek. 6:30-9 p.m., Wildcat Glades Pavilion. Third annual event held by Wildcat Glades will feature creekside crawdad dinner under a lit event tent. Enjoy live music, a dessert auction, yard games, surprise entertainment, fellowshipping with nature and a delicious meal. Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight. Drinks provided, and alcoholic beverages available for additional purchase. Tickets sold quickly last year, so be sure to purchase yours soon. Tickets can be purchased by visiting

June 8: Yoga in Nature for Kids, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. For ages 4-up accompanied by an adult. This class is designed to incorporate elements of fun, breathing and yoga poses specifically for kids. Free. Must pre-register. Sign up by following the instructions on the Facebook page, by visiting YogainNature2024 or by emailing

June 14: Nature Explorers – Cicadas, 6-7 p.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. Does summer have a signature sound? If it did, it’d be the singing of the cicada. Learn about the cicada’s habitat, hobbies, lifecycle, the importance of this year’s cicadas and much more. Free. Must pre-register by visiting or by emailing colvin@

June 15 & 19: Preschool Connections – Nests, June 15, 1-2 p.m., and June 19, 10-11 a.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. For ages 3-up. We’ll cover the wonderful world of animal homes. Through a song and story, we’ll learn about burrows, nests and everything in between. After the singing is done, we’ll embrace our inner bird and make our own nests. Must pre-register by visiting or by emailing

June 2024 • • 15

EVENTS Northeast OK

Grove, OK

June 7-9: Toes in the Grand Summer Kickoff Festival, noon-9:30 p.m. Friday, June 7; 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9; and 10 a.m.3 p.m. Sunday, June 9. Located at Wolf Creek Park and Boating Facility, 963 N. 16th St. Enjoy live music; YMCA triathlon; boat races; car, bike and truck show with awards; historic semi-truck show; food trucks; vendors; kids’ zone; and beer tent. For details and sponsorships, call 918.786.9079. For more information, go to or email

Miami, OK

June 15: Oklahoma Eight-Man All-Star Football Game, 6-9 p.m., Miami Multi-Purpose Sports Complex at Red Robertson Field on the campus of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, 200 St. NE. The City of Miami’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, in conjunction with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and the Oklahoma Eight-Man Football Coaches Association, host the Oklahoma Eight-Man All-Star Football Week in Miami. Eighty of the top players from across the state will arrive in Miami for a full week of activities. For more information, call 918.542.4435.

June 15: Rodney Atkins at Buffalo Run Casino, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Buffalo Run Casino, 1000 Buffalo Run Blvd. Rodney Atkins is as authentic as they come. Whether he’s working on his land, spending time with his family or entertaining thousands of fans with one of his many mega-hits, Atkins expresses a refreshing simplicity and sincerity that reflects the values he holds so dear: Putting family first, making the most of what you have and staying true to yourself in a rapidly changing world. For more information, call 918.542.7140.

June 29: Foghat at Buffalo Run Casino Showplace, 7-10 p.m., Buffalo Run Casino, 1000 Buffalo Run Blvd. Foghat continues to appeal to fans of all ages because their music is timeless. They play with an energy that perpetuates youthful exuberance. This band loves to play music. This band lives to play music. In 2024, Foghat turned 53 years old. In November 2023, they released a new album titled Sonic Mojo, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Blues Charts. They are still out on the road, traveling across the land and bringing their infectious boogie to packed houses full of adoring fans nearly every night. For more information, call 918.542.7140.

June 29: Comedy of Zach Rushing at the Coleman Theatre, 7:30-10 p.m., Coleman Theatre, 103 N. Main St. Zach Rushing is a motivational comic born and raised in Woolmarket, Mississippi. Zach’s uncensored, no holds barred personality and style have gained him more than six million followers across Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Zach is an avid philanthropist. A portion of all proceeds from his comedy tour and his outdoor company, Triple B Outdoors (Bass, Bucks and Birds) goes to feeding U.S. veterans and buying presents for children with cancer who are in the hospital during the Christmas holidays. For more information, call 918.540.2425.

Dates and times are subject to change. Please call the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau at 918.542.4435 to confirm.

Independence Day Celebrations


July 6: Anderson Fireworks Display, 6 p.m., Anderson Sports Complex, 263 Indian Creek Rd (Anderson Ball Park). Fireworks start at dusk. Enjoy a concession stand and food trucks.


July 4: Independence Day Parade, 10 a.m.-noon, Main Street. Decorate your wagons, bikes, lawn mowers, scooters, strollers, etc. Trophies and prizes awarded. Come out and enjoy the parade.


July 4: Joplin’s Independence Day Celebration, starts at 7 p.m. and fireworks about 9:45 p.m. Fred G. Hughes Stadium, located on the campus of Missouri Southern State University.


July 4: Red, White and Boom, starts at 3 p.m., Municipal Park. Activities such as games, vendors and food trucks. Large-scale fireworks show later that night. For more information, call 417.358.2373.


June 29: We the People – 4th of July Celebration 2024, Seneca Park. Starts at 6 a.m. with a 5K run. There will also be an old-fashioned cake walk at 9 a.m. and a parade at 10 a.m. Other activities include a pie auction, duck race, tug of war and kids' games. Various food truck options. Fireworks at dusk. (June 28: Car Show, Main Street at 6 p.m. with food trucks available.)


July 3: Mulberry Celebration, Mulberry Ball Diamond, north end of town. Fireworks show at dusk. 620.764.3315.


July 4: Pittsburg Celebration, Lincoln Park, 813 Memorial Dr. Starts at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K run. Lots of activities, including a baby contest, pickle ball, corn hole, fishing derby, mini golf, car show and Kiddie Land. Also swim day at the pool, $1 for ages 3-up. Live music 6:30-9:30 p.m., featuring two bands (Stone Country and Bobby Degonia). Fireworks show starts at 10 p.m. 620.231.8310.


July 4: The Walmart AMP annual Fireworks Spectacular – An American Salute, 5079 W. Northgate Rd., Rogers. Will kick off with a performance from the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA) under the direction of Paul Haas. Advance tickets are on sale now and prices range from $3 to $25, plus applicable fees. Gates open at 7 p.m. and music starts at 8 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:15 p.m. Tickets and add-ons for the SoNA concert can be purchased at http://www.amptickets. com or by calling 479.443.5600. In-person tickets can be purchased at the Walmart AMP Box Office 10 a.m.-5 p.m. during ticket on-sale days or at the Walton Arts Center Box Office 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on weekdays.


2024 Newton County Fair Schedule

Saturday, June 29, 2024

9:00 AM Youth Dog Show

Located in Commercial Building Pick up Indoor Tags

Saturday, July 6, 2024

2:00 PM Queen/Princess Interviews at First Free Will Baptist Church

6:00 PM Queen/Princess Pageant at First Free Will Baptist Church

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Indoor and Outdoor Exhibits must be in place


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

8:30 AM Broilers in place

9:00 AM Broiler Pen Show (will be released to leave after show and must be removed from arena by 11:00 AM)

10:00 AM Start Poultry Blood Test

12:00 PM Poultry in place

12:00 PM All livestock in place (all trucks & trailers removed)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Weigh - in Steers

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Weigh - in Sheep, Goats, Swine

3:00 PM Poultry Workshop

4:00 PM Opening Ceremonies and Exhibit

Buildings open

5:00 PM Market Show (5:00 PM Sheep, 6:00 PM Goats and 7:00 PM Steers)

5:00 PM Open Poultry Show (Poultry Barn)

6:00 PM Horse - Ranch Riding (at will, to allow exhibitors to show other species) followed by Costume (Horse Arena)

7:00 PM Open Rabbit Show (Open Rabbits will be released to go home after the show)

Midnight Fair closes

Thursday, July 11, 2024

8:00 AM Swine (Market and Breeding)followed by Showmanship then Pee Wee

8:00 AM - 12 Noon Horse - Trail (at will, to allow exhibitors to show other species)

10:00 AM Poultry (start with waterfowl, turkey, and chicken)

10:30 AM Rabbit and Pee Wee Rabbit (Rabbit Barn)

2:00 PM Dairy Cattle

2:30 PM Poultry Showmanship (Youth & Pee Wee)

5:00 PM Sheep

7:00 PM Horse Western Pleasure -followed by Horsemanship --

7:30 PM Adult Swine Showmanship

8:00 PM Entertainment TBA (Watch our Facebook page)

Midnight Fair closes

Friday, July 12, 2024

7:30 AM-8:30 AM Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce Second Friday Coffee

8:00 AM Beef

Bucket Calf Show after Regular Beef

8:00 AM Horse Showmanship followed by Hunt Seat Equitation

12:00 PM Meat Goats

3:00 PM Dairy Goats

6:00 PM Horse Show-De-O

7:00 PM Breaking Boundaries Show

Midnight Fair closes

Saturday, July 13, 2024

8:30 AM Open Horse Show

8:30 AM Round Robin Showmanship

11:30 AM Pee Wee Showmanship followed by Barn and Best of Show Awards

2:30 PM MANDATORY Market Sale Participant Meeting / Set up for Sale

4:30 PM Livestock Buyers Appreciation Dinner (Youth Building)

6:00 PM Newton and McDonald County Cattlemen’s Watermelon Feed

7:00 PM Livestock Auction

8:00-10:00 PM Entertainment: Bobby DeGonia Band

10:00 PM Indoor exhibits and animals will be released by Superintendent (All animals will remain in stalls Saturday night; NO tie outs)

June 2024 • • 17

IUnveiling the Creative Journey Behind ‘Scary Gary and the Super Sock’

n the bustling world of children's literature, where imagination reigns supreme, there often lies a hidden narrative behind every whimsical tale. Such is the case with "Scary Gary and the Super Sock," a delightful adventure penned by the talented mind of its author, C. G. Baird, whose journey from inspiration to publication is as enchanting as the story itself.

Inspiration strikes in the most unexpected of places, and for this preschool owner turned author, it came in the form of a mischievous squirrel and a stolen sock. "During Covid, a squirrel stole a sock off the playground after water play," says Baird. “One of my teachers was driving into the preschool parking lot when she saw the squirrel steal the sock off a fence.” It was a seemingly simple event, but it sparked the idea for her story.

From this came Scary Gary, a squirrel on a quest for superpowers. Drawing inspiration from real-life encounters, Baird added a touch of familiarity to her story. "Two of my employees had quite a few interactions with the squirrel while at work, so naturally, I used one of their names to represent Scary Gary’s arch-nemesis" she shares, shedding light on the origins of Scary Gary and the choosing of LaDeana’s name since it was so unique.

But the journey from concept to creation was anything but conventional. "My process for the Scary Gary series is untraditional compared to just sitting down and writing the story," Baird explains. “I went live on Facebook three to five times a week talking about tips in early childhood and funny stories. I took my live videos and turned them into manuscripts. At the time, I had five manuscripts about Scary Gary.” These Facebook live events served as the vessel for her imaginative sparks, paving the way for collaboration with illustrator Izzy B.

The recent book signing event held at Always Buying Books served as a celebration of creativity and community. "The experience was great," says Baird, recounting the joy of interacting with eager readers, both young and old. Amidst the excitement, one encounter stood out—a young boy and his mother, traveling from a small town to partake in the magic of their hometown bookstore.

"Scary Gary and the Super Sock" imparts the timeless lessons of courage and adventure. "Unexpectedly, this book uncovered the theme: always go on adventures," Baird reveals. Through Scary Gary's escapades, readers are reminded: Adventures create experiences and experiences uncover your gifts and talents.

Baird’s path to becoming a writer is a story of persistence and selfbelief. From her early days in elementary school, where she was given a blank book to fill with her own stories and drawings, to winning the Young Authors contest in fifth grade, her passion for storytelling was evident. This passion only grew as she pursued her dreams, leading to her acceptance into the Institute of Children's Literature in her 30s, where she received guidance from experienced authors and illustrators. Despite facing doubts and procrastination, including moments of uncertainty about the practicality of a writing career, she pushed forward. Even unconventional wins, like the Sargento Cheese competition, provided her with validation and motivation. Her journey highlights the importance of recognizing one's achievements, no matter how small, and quieting the inner critic that often hinders us from pursuing our passions. Through dedication and resilience, she evolved from a hesitant writer into a published author, proving success is the result of countless small victories and unwavering selfconfidence.

Baird offers simple advice to those aspiring to write. “Get your thoughts on paper and try, try and try again," she urges, emphasizing the importance of perseverance. Reflecting on her own path, she encourages others to seize the moment and embrace their creativity. “My first draft is never my final draft,” says Baird. “I also learned over time that if I don’t take the leap and put my work out there I will never move forward in my writing career. Take the leap sooner!”

As "Scary Gary and the Super Sock" continues to entertain readers, it's a reminder of the magic of storytelling. Behind its fun story lies a tale of inspiration, teamwork and the journey of creative discovery.

Watch for Baird’s next book, “Scary Gary and the Lost Treasure,” releasing later this year.


Experience Carthage

If you want an adventure close to home this summer, Carthage has you covered. We have some exciting events and experiences coming to town in the next few months.

Carthage Stampede – June 7 & 8

You don’t want to miss the 47th Annual Carthage Stampede! This rodeo features bulls, barrels, steer wrestling, calf scramble, open breakaway and team ropin'. Advanced tickets can be purchased at Race Brothers in Carthage. Gates open at 6 p.m. nightly and Muttin Bustin begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Carthage Saddle Club Arena off Route 66 in Municipal Park. You can also attend an autograph session at Race Brothers in Carthage Saturday, June 8, from 1 p.m.-2 p.m.

Food Truck Friday – June 14

June’s Food Truck Friday is all about honoring heritage with a focus on the Battle of Carthage. There will be special programming and services. Stay tuned to the events and activities by following Food Truck Friday in Central Park’s Facebook page.

Battle of Carthage – June 15 & 16

The Battle of Carthage Re-Enactment will take place Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, at the Civil War Ranch & Arena. Experience living history with a lady’s tea, Civil War ball, and camp life drills and demonstrations. Stay around on Sunday for an outdoor Civil War-era church service. Tickets can be purchased at the door: $5 per adult, 12 and under FREE. To learn more about history, there's always free admission at the Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum downtown.

Red, White & BOOM!

Experience celebrating our nation’s independence at Red, White & Boom Thursday, July 4, at Carthage Municipal Park! With a watermelon feed, food trucks, activities for kids, live music and, of course, fireworks! Hosted by Carthage Park & Rec Department and the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, this event is going to be epic!

To stay connected with Carthage, you can follow Experience Carthage, MO on Facebook and at


Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU!

Visit these local establishments to experience a variety of creative events and entertainment this spring:

JOPLIN ARTS DISTRICT NEWS - A snapshot of news, events and activities happening in June.


Join us for First Thursday ArtWalk through Oct. 3 in historical downtown Joplin. And the monthly Third Thursday Main Street festival runs through Oct. 17. Both events happen between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Connect2Culture, 212 W. Seventh St.: For event schedule, visit www. For ticket information and other details, call 417.501.5550. All performances are held in the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex. Keystone Gallery, 401 S. Main St., is the newest downtown art gallery showing fine art from 22 local artists. Visit the open house June 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Local Color Art Gallery, 1027 S. Main St.: You are invited to join artist Barbara Hicklin for a beginner’s watercolor class on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a $20 fee. Bring your own supplies. Artist Paula Giltner offers a painting class on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. for $20. Bring your own watercolors, oils or acrylic paints. Call 417.553.0835 to register for classes.

Spiva Center for the Arts, inside the Cornell Complex, 212 W. Seventh St., presents “Art Unleashed: Where Creativity Roams Free” through June 29, an exhibit by Shelly Blankenship Newby, and opening June 22, “Awkward Family Photos” and “Robert Dohrmann: As Seen on TV Trays” in collaboration with the Joplin Toad “Embrace Your Awkward: Challenge Accepted” from June 22 through Aug. 30.

Urban Art Gallery, 511 S. Main St., presents “Profoundly Illustrated,” the acrylic paintings of Phillip Ledbetter. Meet the artist from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Music provided by Tough Luck Chuck.

Countryside in the City is one of the leading florists in Joplin for fine, quality roses, flowers, plants and gifts for every occasion. Let our experienced designers and staff create a one-of-a-kind gift you will love. We also offer beautiful custom-designed wedding flower arrangements including wedding bouquets, centerpieces and boutonnieres. Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Convenient parking.

Bar and Restaurant Offerings

Blackthorn Pizza and Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave.: Listen to The Itch, Gravehuffer, and The Electic MotherF’s June 20 at 7 p.m. with a $5 cover charge. Drag show hosted by Victoria and Misty June 21 from 10 p.m. to midnight with a $5 cover charge, 21+. Contact the venue for details on event cover charges.

Chaos Brewing Company, 122 S. Main St.: Play free trivia Wednesdays at 7 p.m. June 12, 7-9:30 p.m. is putting league night. June 14 at 8 p.m. is Redneck Country Karaoke. Dress in your cowboy hat and boots! Club 609, 609 S. Main St.: For the month of June: A 609 Main Event with Local Color, featuring 20 artists from Local Color Art Gallery. Meet the artists June 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave., is hosting artist Amber Mintert with her mixed media show, “Locations Reimagined,” during June. Meet the artist from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dwayne Smith will provide music.

530 Somewhere, 530 S. Main St, will show Merlin White’s Space Fantasy, a collection of acrylic paintings, during June. Meet the artist June 6 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dance Clubs:

Club XO, 502 S. Joplin Ave.: Second Fridays are Latin Nights, all Fridays are Ladies Free Nights and Saturdays are College Nights.

Whiskey Dick’s, 516 S. Joplin Ave.: Outdoors Fridays/ Saturdays.

June 2024 • • 21
Blackthorn Pizza & Pub is a welcoming and inclusive Irish pub in the heart of downtown Joplin. This hip spot is famous for its delicious food, huge beer selection on tap, the area’s best live music and unforgettable drag shows. Follow Blackthorn on Facebook for upcoming events. Open 7 days a week and now also open for lunch Thursday through Monday. Blackthorn Pizza & Pub 510 S. Joplin Ave • Joplin, MO • 417.623.2485 Facebook: @BlackthornPizza&Pub
Countryside in the City Florist • Event Planner Event Venue 422 S. Joplin Ave. 417.781.3719

Joplin Chamber Banquet

Members of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce gathered April 25 for the 107th Annual Chamber Banquet presented by Liberty to celebrate colleagues for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the community. New recognitions this year included the Joseph Newman Rising Star Award, Consider It Done Award, and the Spirit Award. The banquet was held at the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center on the Missouri Southern State University campus in Joplin, Missouri.

Lee and Scott Timmsen

Kristina Kosiorek and Lindsay Gagnon

Lee Radcliff-Timmsen and Annette Thurston

Michell Kuehn, Carey Prater and Tina Sisk

Heather Lesmeister and Lindsay Kubicek

Jami Strickland, Sara and Tim Oliver, Gina Langston and Jaime Hund

Kaci Dorton, Kara Dixon and Randy Oliver

Chonda Ralston, Francesca Moore and Lee Radcliff-Timmsen

Far Left: Andy and Ruth Griffith

1 3 4 6 5 2 8
11 9.
Katie Cook and Vanessa Copeland 10. Britany and Mike Clark 11. Jeremy Gibson, Michael Landis, Liz Nicholson, Jayde Thomas, Ryan Melton, Janet Thompson and Jamy Spry 12. Johnny Glover, and Keaton and Elizabeth Shere 13. Matt and Heather Terry and Sara and Levon Comer 14. Drew Kimble, Doris Carlin, Aubrey Cooke and Taylor Brown 15. Michelle Sinclair 16. Tracy Curtis and Jim Patterson 17. Ken Oeser, Brooklyn Porter, Samantha Steury, Stacy Forbis, and Ty Rowe
9 12 14 13 10 17 15 16
Far Right: Terry Wilson and Penny Smith


Pizza Dough:

Grilled Pizza Father’s Day

I have a special recipe to share with you with Father’s Day coming up. It happens to be my husband’s favorite meal, which we make every year as we try to top the previous celebration. Don’t be intimidated by the process. Making homemade grilled pizza is much easier than you might think, and it is incredibly delicious. Oh, and I promise you won’t end up with a doughy mess all over your grill. Happy Father’s Day, honey!

1 package active dry yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup warm water


Prepare the Dough:

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Adjust the dough

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Extra-virgin olive oil

3 cups 00 flour, plus more for dusting

consistency by adding more water if it’s crumbly or more flour if it’s sticky. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, about 5 minutes.

Rising the Dough:

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it’s smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place it in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Prepare Toppings:

While the dough rises, cook the sweet Italian sausages until browned and cooked through. Slice into rounds. Drain the fresh buffalo mozzarella and grate the Parmesan.


Pizza sauce

(store bought or homemade)


2 sweet Italian sausages

Assemble Pizza:

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide it into three equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat your grill to high heat.

After resting, roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Think rustic; it does not need to be perfectly round. Brush one side of each dough round with olive oil.

Carefully place the oiled side of the dough onto the hot grill. Grill for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is lightly charred and firm.

Remove the dough from the grill and place it grilled side up on a work surface. Spread pizza sauce over the

1 (8-ounce) ball fresh buffalo mozzarella, water drained 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Fresh basil, chopped

grilled side of each dough round. Top with cooked sausage rounds, torn buffalo mozzarella, grated Parmesan and basil.

Grill Pizza:

Carefully slide the topped pizzas back onto the grill. Close the lid and grill for another 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the bottom of the crust is crisp and charred in spots.

Remove the pizzas from the grill and let them cool slightly before slicing and serving. Enjoy! Topping variations we enjoy: Chicken Alfredo and spinach

Jalapeno popper dip Cobb salad

Arugula, goat cheese and prosciutto Pesto and fresh mozzarella


Bailey’s Fine Dining

Bailey’s Family Dining, located in the Briarbrook community of Carl Junction, Missouri, has been a go-to spot for those who crave delicious home-cooked meals any time of the day. Whether you want breakfast, lunch or dinner, Bailey’s has consistently delivered mouthwatering dishes for the past five years. Bailey’s fans have enjoyed family meals in the main dining room and drinks and dinner with friends at Bailey’s Pour House.

However, there is some bittersweet news: The owners, Kristina and Ken Dunlap, have decided to put the business up for sale. The Dunlaps prioritize family above all else. As their children have grown and pursued their own passions, Kristina and Ken made the difficult decision to transition away from the family business. Bailey’s fans can still savor their favorite dishes for now, though, as Kristina and Ken transition to spending more quality time with their family in the future.

During my most recent visit, I had the opportunity to try some of Kristina’s favorite dishes. Their French toast, made with homemade batter, was delicious. The grilled chicken breakfast bowl was also amazing, with perfectly fried potatoes, seasoned grilled chicken, a fried egg, pico and guacamole. If you are more of a lunch person, Bailey’s has a great selection of salads, sandwiches and burgers. The queso burger is a must-try!

For dinner, the chicken alfredo with broccoli has a new, lighter sauce that is still creamy and delicious. If you are a fan of seafood, try the grilled Cajun catfish or butterfly shrimp. Finally, I tried the coconut cream pie and the turtle pie with roasted pecans, and they were both amazing. It is easy to see why these make Kristina’s list of favorites. Now is the perfect time to visit Bailey’s to try your favorite dishes. It’s also an opportunity to show appreciation to Kristina and Ken for their service and support over the past five years. They are the heart of the Briarbrook community, hosting family dinners, birthday parties, fun nights of singing and dancing with friends, and supporting the community in so many ways. Kristina and Ken have become family to their customers and have allowed us to become a part of theirs.

June 2024 • • 25
>> Bailey’s Family Dining • 1200 Briarbrook Dr. • Carl Junction, MO • 417.781.2944 • Open Monday-Friday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

ShowMe Dining Guide

Trackside Burgers & BBQ


Trackside Burgers & BBQ is more than just award-winning burgers! We also have gourmet chicken sandwiches and tenders breaded and cooked to order, salads and much more. Trackside also offers award winning barbecue specials and catering for events, large and small. We are locally owned and operated. Come by and dine in, pick up a delicious meal from our drive-thru or order online! Cookin’ good food is what we do! $-$$

Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Bailey’s restaurant offers a variety of home-cooked meals that are sure to satisfy. Enjoy one of our many delicious burgers with hand-breaded onion rings or try a pulled pork chimichanga. On the weekend, join us for breakfast where everything is made from scratch. From sweet to savory, we offer specialty pancakes, omelets and all your breakfast favorites. $-$$

Hours: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

Hackett Hot Wings

520 S. Main • Joplin, MO 417.625.1333 •

“The only wings better are on an angel.” Offering 13 flavors of wings, plus salads, catfish, chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, boneless wings and more! Call for catering and reservations. Now offering an additional dining area and sports room with 17 big-screen TVs and full bar featuring Coach Hackett’s Ultimate Bloody Mary. Check out the online store at (Smoke-free) $-$$

Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri-Sun, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Mon-Wed Lunch Specials, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Mon-Wed Happy Hour, 3-6 p.m.

Haven 55 is a cozy country restaurant with a magnificent view, delicious homestyle food and exceptional service. The culinary masterpieces from Owner and Executive Chef Alan Bone cannot be beat. You will love the New York strip steak with blue cheese cream sauce, the fried green beans, and you don’t want to miss Wednesday night prime rib! Located on the site of the old Havenhurst Mill, built in 1868, this historical restaurant overlooks the dam on Little Sugar Creek. $-$$$ Hours: Tues-Sat for lunch 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and dinner 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Special Advertising Section
1515 West 10th St. • Joplin, MO
Bailey’s Family
1200 Briarbrook Dr. • Carl Junction, MO 417.781.2944 • Like
on Facebook!
Haven 55 408 Havenhurst Drive • Pineville, MO 417.223.2055 •

Club 609 609 Main Street • Joplin, MO 417.623.6090

“Treat your appetite to a GOURMET DELIGHT served ‘Joplin style’.” Flavorful specialties for any occasion, featuring salads, burgers and sandwiches. Delicious entrees – beef, chicken, pork, seafood and seven “pastabilities!” Offering appetizers, homemade desserts, soup du jour, beer, wine and mixed drinks. Kids menu available. $-$$$

Hours: Kitchen open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. • Bar open later

For over 50 years, Granny Shaffer’s has been serving up the best home cooking in the area. From made-to-order breakfast served all day to pasta, steak and Dowd’s catfish, you’re sure to find something to love. Here at Granny Shaffer’s, it’s the little things that make the difference, like serving real butter with our homemade rolls and making our pies from scratch. There’s a reason we’ve been in business for so long! Come see us for your next meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner! $-$$

Hours: Mon-Sat, 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sun, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Now serving Joplin’s best brunch! Homemade beignets, pastries, biscuits and gravy, peppered bacon, eggs and parmesan fried potatoes and more! For lunch, enjoy your favorite appetizers, “out-of-this-world” salads, seasoned breads and your choice of dressing, soup du jour, sandwiches from burgers to apricot turkey and over 30 other choices! We offer a full service catering menu for private parties, business meetings and special events. $-$$ Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Shawanoe Restaurant 70220 East Hwy 60 • Wyandotte, OK 888.992 SKY1

Shawanoe Restaurant, located inside Indigo Sky Casino, is serving delicious award-winning chef creations daily. Bring your family and friends and enjoy delicious desserts, gourmet sandwiches, upscale salads, and a wonderful selection of pasta dishes. For the steak lover, mouth-watering steaks cooked to perfection. Everything to satisfy your appetite, plus your favorite beverage. Go to for additional information. Located inside Indigo Sky Casino, Hwy 60 west of Seneca, MO. $-$$$

June 2024 • • 27 Special Advertising Section
Range Line Rd.
Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant 2728 N.
• Joplin, MO
Club 1201 1201
32nd Street • Joplin, MO 417.626.0032

ShowMe Dining Guide

Sam’s Cellar Bar & Oven

Sam’s Cellar offers a unique dining experience under the historic square in Neosho, MO. Enjoy gourmet wood-fired pizzas, burgers, wings, wraps, subs or a specialty salad. The full bar offers signature cocktails, draft beers and wine to wet your whistle. Come visit us at Sam’s Cellar for a dining experience you will never forget! Voted “2023 Business of the Year” by the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce & the Neosho community. $-$$

Hours: Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-Close


1531 Military Ave. • Baxter Springs, KS 620.304.2056 •

Bricks & Brews Woodfire Grill & Pub is bringing classic woodfired pizza to Route 66! In addition to our delicious pizza, we also offer a selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, desserts and have recently added barbecue and a salad bar to our extensive menu. Come in and enjoy our full bar, as well, featuring a large selection of craft beers. Don’t miss live music every weekend! Come see your favorite local artists perform. We can’t wait to see you soon! $-$$

Hours: Mon-Thu, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri/Sat, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sun, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.


Tractors BBQ and Grill: Small Town, Big Flavor! We pride ourselves on offering a large versatile menu and serving our community for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From comfort classics to barbecue and everything in between, you will not leave hungry. We offer a Sunday buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and catfish buffet Tuesday night from 5-8 p.m. Stop by and let us serve you! We are open Tuesday through Saturday 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 6:30 a.m.8 p.m. Closed Monday. $-$$

For the delicious authentic Mexican food you crave, there’s no place like MisArcos. We offer great choices, from our mouthwatering quesadillas to sizzling fajitas to massive burritos. There’s a reason we were voted Best of the Four States for Mexican food! Did we mention our two for $5 margaritas? Mis Arcos is the home of great food, fun times and lots of laughs! $-$$

Mon-Wed, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sat/Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Special Advertising Section
1008 E. 12th St.
Lamar, MO 417.682.6677
and Grill
Mis Arcos 1926 S. Garrison Ave. • Carthage, MO 417.237.0547
Wood • Neosho,
101 N.

Casa Montez

Casa Montez is back in business and ready to serve you! The team at Casa Montez is serving up all of your favorite recipes as before as well as their famous cheese dip. If you’re looking for the perfect Mexican cuisine including delicious tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and so much more, you must visit Casa Montez at their new location. Call ahead for your to-go order and conveniently pick up at the walk-up window. $-$$

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Onion Café

Casual urban dining in historic downtown Joplin since 1995. Famous for fresh salads, smoked chicken dip, burgers, pasta, grilled fish and steaks. The menu has a wide variety of gluten-free, low-carb and keto-friendly items. Extensive craft beer menu and wines by the glass. Full-service catering for groups large and small. Consistently voted “Best Restaurant” and “Best Menu” by 417 Magazine and The Joplin Globe. $-$$

Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

June 2024 • • 29 Special Advertising Section Find out more about advertising in the Four-States’ favorite Dining Guide! Call 844.417.SMTO or email:
4224 S. Main St. • Joplin, MO 417.624.2272
203 E. 4th •
Joplin, MO 417.623.1004 •
Finn’s 2707 E. 32nd Street • Joplin, MO 417.624.3466 • Finn’s is a semi-fine dining restaurant that caters to all your dining desires. Enjoy our dog-friendly patio and warm, inviting fireplaces. From our uniquely crafted cocktails, farm-fresh ingredients and Joplin’s best in-house bakery paired with our elegant, intimate atmosphere for small gatherings or a night out. Finn’s chefs are experts in their craft, with just the right touch to make your restaurant experience special. $$-$$$ Hours: Tuesday -Saturday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday and Monday: CLOSED

Farmers Markets Showcase Area’s

Rich Food-producing Opportunities

s the warmer months draw near, the vibrant atmosphere of farmers markets beckons. These bustling hubs of community activity aren't just about buying produce; they're about fostering connections with local growers, with seasonal bounty and with sustainable living. Farmers markets embody the heartbeat of communities, offering more than just food—they offer a glimpse into a way of life where food isn't just a commodity but a conversation starter, a cultural exchange and a celebration of the land's abundance. This month, we’re spotlighting some of our favorite markets in the area and invite you to make farmers markets the cornerstone of your table this season!

Webb City Farmers Market

Discover the vibrant array of locally grown produce at the Webb City's Farmer Market this June! Known for its succulent tomatoes, the market is also showcasing many other items including blackberries, beets, bok choy, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, mushrooms and more.

“We pride ourselves on being a true farmers market,” says Roen Procter, Webb City Farmers Market coordinator. While most items at the market are produce, they do have some value-added products that include baked goods, cut flowers, honey and other products.

“Our growers are some of the most diverse vendor community members and come from all walks of life growing food in our area,” says Procter. Come experience the Webb City's Farmer Market this summer.

Hours and days of operation: Saturday 9 a.m.-noon; Tuesday 4-7 p.m.; Thursday 4-7 p.m. (July only)

Location: 106 E. Tracy St., Webb City, Missouri (King Jack Park)

Quapaw Farmers Market & Food Hub

Beat the heat this summer and visit the Quapaw Farmers Market & Food Hub.

“What makes our farmers market and food hub unique is that we are an indoor, air-conditioned market, which allows our customers a climate-controlled way to shop for their favorite foods,” says Food Sovereignty Director, Quapaw Nation Michelle Bowden. This summer, the market will have many locally sourced delights, including squash, tomatoes, zucchini, okra, corn, peppers and so much more. You’ll also find beef and bison along with other items including soaps, maple syrup, fresh eggs and baked goods.

“Another feature we offer is our monthly giveaway drawings,” says Bowden. “Everyone who attends the market is eligible to win!”

Be sure to visit the Quapaw Farmers Market & Food Hub this summer for local flavor and craftsmanship!

Hours and days of operation: First and third Fridays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Farmers Market); Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. (Food Hub)

Location: 326 Main St., Quapaw, Oklahoma

Carthage Farmers Market

June is the perfect time to visit the Carthage Farmers Market. The market boasts an assortment of garden plants, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, green beans and so much more. You’ll also find artisanal products including vibrant hanging baskets, cut flowers, baked bread, cookies, honey, jams and so much more. Chanti Beckham, market manager, says they are actively trying to grow the Carthage Farmers Market.

“We recently established our market as a 501(c)3 with a dedicated board of directors, and while we are currently located at Central Park in Carthage, we are looking for a permanent location,” says Beckham. “We are also welcoming additional produce vendors.” The market doesn’t currently have vendor fees. Be sure to shop local and eat fresh this summer by visiting the Carthage Farmers Market!

Hours and days of operation: Wednesday and Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

Location: Central Park in Carthage, Missouri

June 2024 • • 31

Pittsburg Farmers Market

Be sure to add the Pittsburg Farmers Market to your list this summer! You’ll find fresh, locally grown produce and farm-processed foods. The vendors offer seasonal fruits and veggies along with flowers, pollinator plants, handmade crafts and home goods.

“We’re proud to be a community gathering spot,” says Matthew Long, market manager. The market is dedicated to providing fresh, healthy foods for everyone in the community. Visit the Pittsburg Farmers Market and taste the difference local makes!

Hours and days of operation: Saturday 8 a.m.-noon; Wednesday 4-6 p.m. (June 5-Aug. 7).

Location: 119 E. 11th St., Pittsburg, Kansas

Neosho Farmers Market

The Neosho Farmers Market thrives as a vibrant gathering place.

Joplin Empire Market

Step into the vibrant community of the Joplin Empire Market, where local flavor thrives!

"Our market is a producer-only market. Our vendors make or grow what they sell," says Lindsay Gagnon, market director. In June, taste the season's finest summer veggies like fresh greens, lettuces, tomatoes, squash and zucchini, all straight from the hands of local growers. Indulge in fragrant blooms from flower vendors, and tantalize your taste buds with a diverse selection of prepared foods, from curries and spring rolls to pulled pork sandwiches and paninis, thanks to the commercial kitchen, which is also available for use to vendors and thriving entrepreneurs. Explore unique offerings such as fragrances, pottery, woodwork, leather products and more. This year, enjoy even more live music every Saturday. Join us at Joplin Empire Market, an all-weather indoor facility focusing on being a placemaking environment.

Hours and days of operation: Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Location: 931 E. 4th St., Joplin, Missouri

"Our market is very community-oriented; it always has a fun and unique atmosphere," says Master Scott Hall, market manager.

This summer, expect a full selection of garden produce, including spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and warm-season crops like okra and corn. Alongside fresh produce, the market also features some artisan items and hosts a monthly artisan day the first Saturday of each month. From hot food vendors serving up egg rolls and tacos to fresh-squeezed lemonade and gourmet iced tea, there's something for everyone. This farmer-first market prioritizes fresh, locally farmed goods while fostering a unique sense of community. Join the lively atmosphere, where families and furry friends are always welcome, and experience the Neosho Farmers Market!

Hours and days of operation: Saturday 9 a.m.-noon; Tuesday 4-7 p.m. (June through August)

Location: Corner of Spring and Jefferson in downtown Neosho, Missouri


Rediscovering the Artisan Craft: A Look into Redings Mill Bread

Nestled within the serene landscapes of Redings Mill, Missouri, lies a culinary haven known as Redings Mill Bread, an artisanal bakery with the purest flavors and the most authentic bread-making experience.

Founded in 2007, Redings Mill Bread emerged from a simple yet profound vision—to craft bread in its most authentic form. Owner Jamey Smith built the foundation of Redings Mill Bread with a single woodfire oven and a passion for wholesome ingredients. His journey began humbly, debuting at the Webb City Farmers Market, but his commitment to quality soon garnered a devoted following.

“It all started when I would visit my mom in Eureka Springs (Arkansas) and buy bread from a store there locally,” says Smith. “They went out of business and I thought making bread for ourselves would be a good route to go. I read several books on different methods of baking and came to the conclusion that the European style bread and baking technique was the right one for me!”

Smith immediately cut a hole in the wall of a building on his property, built a woodfire oven in a few short weeks and started making bread.

What sets Redings Mill Bread apart is its dedication to using organic, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. From the flour to the toppings, each component undergoes a meticulous selection process to ensure only the finest items are included in the bread and pizza crusts. The woodfire

oven not only imparts a unique flavor but also reflects a commitment to sustainable practices, fueled by scrap wood sourced from a nearby sawmill.

The menu at Redings Mill Bread offers an incredible variety of items, including sourdough assortments, from classic to innovative blends like roasted garlic and blueberry, to jalapeno cheddar and cranberry walnut. Other offerings include focaccias, pizzas, butter croissant buns, whole grain fermented mustard and so much more.

Beyond ordering directly from the store, Redings Mill Bread extends its reach to local restaurants, farmers markets and breweries. Establishments like The Bruncheonette, The Joplin Greenhouse and Indian Springs Brewery proudly feature its artisanal offerings, amplifying its impact within the community. At farmers markets in Webb City and Neosho, patrons eagerly await the opportunity to savor the freshly baked creations.

For Smith, joy is found in the simplicity of homesteading. “The ability to work from my property, surrounded by nature's bounty, is something I cherish every day.”

Through dedication to quality, community and the art of homesteading, Redings Mill Bread continues to leave an indelible mark on the palate and the soul.

Carl Junction Ag Education Gets


Boost from Donations and a

BIG " Yes " from

the Community


n our changing world, fewer and fewer people are becoming farmers—just 2% of the population now feeds us all. But there's something important we might be missing: knowing where our food comes from. It's not just about recognizing the hard work of farmers; it's about understanding the land that feeds us. This is especially crucial for high school students, who can learn responsibility, sustainability and appreciation by knowing the origins of their food, both meat and crops. And when dedicated people in the community pitch in— donating land, buildings and time—amazing things can happen.

Cover Story SMTO

We are witnessing those contributions in the Carl Junction community, all thanks to some outstanding citizens who appreciate and have a passion for agriculture and this community they call home.

The Asbell Family Agriculture Research Center and Carl Junction School Farm, a working livestock and agronomy farm, is the beginning of a bright future for the local ag students attending Carl Junction schools, and it all started with some Carl Junction alumni wanting to make a difference.

The first step in the creation of the Asbell Family Agriculture Research Center was a show barn donated by Halle Roper and her family. For Halle, her connection to Carl Junction Schools runs deep. As an alumna of the school, she understood firsthand the impact of programs like FFA on students' lives.

"I wouldn't be where I am today without FFA," she reflects. "It shaped my college and career path in agriculture."

Halle graduated in May with a master's in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University and knew the importance of handson experience. "I wish we had something like this back when I was in school," she says. "More hands-on animal science classes would have been invaluable."

The barn held a special place in Halle's heart. It was her show barn during her upbringing, a hub of activity where she raised and showcased goats and sheep. But as she transitioned out of showing in 2021, the barn sat empty, waiting for a new purpose. That's when the idea struck her and her dad: why not donate it to the school? Dr. Phillip Cook, the superintendent, was immediately on board. "We want it," he declared, recognizing the potential it held for students.

Finding a suitable location for the barn proved to be a challenge, but Jake and Krista Asbell, owners of Asbell Companies, stepped in, offering to donate land for its new home. Their donation of land to Carl Junction Schools for the barn wasn't just a gesture of generosity, it was a testament to their shared passion for agriculture. Both graduates of Oklahoma State University with degrees in agriculture, they met in one of their ag classes and instantly bonded over their love for the subject.

"Studying agriculture, we just loved it," Krista says. "It's not just a business; it's about teaching morals, values, ethics. It's about the heart and soul that farmers, ranchers and agri-producers put into their work."

But their decision wasn't just about providing practical opportunities; it was about investing in the future of their community. They understood

June 2024 • • 35
(L to R) Carl Junction High School alumna Halle Roper, business owners Jake and Krista Asbell, and Carl Junction Vo-Ag Counselor Benny McWilliams. Members of the Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the community, plus Carl Junction High School students and faculty, cut the ribbon March 24 on the Asbell Family Agriculture Research Center.

the limitations faced by students in Carl Junction who lacked access to a barn.

"Lots of students in FFA here don't have access to a barn," Krista explains. "It limits their ability to participate in the agricultural experience."

By providing a space where students could keep livestock and learn about responsibility, animal science and nutrition, the Asbells hope to empower the next generation of agricultural producers.

With Halle Roper's donation of her barn and the Asbells' donation of land, the Carl Junction Ag Department now has a place to teach farming, which will be led by Benny McWilliams, Carl Junction VoAgriculture Advisor at Carl Junction High School.

Benny's connection to agriculture is deeply rooted, both in his personal and professional life. Raised on a family farm just north of Carl Junction, he still helps out every day with raising Gelbvieh and Balancer cattle, as well as tending to row crops and forages. A graduate of Carl Junction himself, Benny's journey into teaching began at Diamond High School. However, the pull of his hometown was strong, and he eagerly accepted the opportunity to return to Carl Junction. "It's been a privilege to teach Animal Science, Ag Science II and Ag Construction to the next generation of agricultural enthusiasts," he says, his dedication to his students evident.

With the new barn, students will have the opportunity to house animals year-round and receive hands-on training in animal care and management.

"We'll teach kids everything from artificial insemination to processing calves," Benny says. "If we can spark new interest, we will do that." He's committed to providing a diverse range of experiences, from forage production to alumni involvement in specialized areas.

But beyond technical skills, Benny sees the farm as a platform for teaching life lessons. "We're not just raising animals; we're raising responsible, ethical individuals. We want to develop life skills that will set these kids up for success in any career path they choose."

From instilling values of responsibility and trust to fostering a deep connection with the land, Benny's approach is forward-thinking.

As he embarks on this new endeavor, Benny is mindful of the farm's purpose. "We want to keep it as a learning experience."

With a focus on utility and interest, Benny is determined to create a space that serves the needs of students and the community. "It's going

"For Benny, the fundamentals of knowing where things come from are crucial. "Our goal is to bridge the gap. Many students don't know how to act around animals or understand horticulture production or crop cultivation."

His vision for the barn and land is clear: to create a hands-on learning environment where students can apply classroom knowledge in a realworld setting. "The end goal is to take everything being taught in the classroom and put it into practice.”

This is the coolest group of projects we have had in this school district, and I am so excited about it. These projects will positively impact so many of our students, including safety, academics and athletics. Our community actively supports their children, and they want the best for them. We have already started on many of the projects included on the April 2 ballot, but the safety projects are kicking off first.

Cover Story SMTO

to be impactful and very unique to our area. We're aiming to provide a next-level experience for FFA kids and beyond."

With plans for continuous growth and expansion, the future of the school farm at Carl Junction is brighter than ever. The proposed no-tax-increase bond, named Carl Junction Proposition K.I.D.S., passed in April with over 72% of voters saying “yes.” The proceeds will provide funding for various improvements, including the school farm. It will construct classrooms and restrooms, storage facility and other improvements. As the school farm continues to evolve, it remains a testament to the community's commitment to providing students with the best possible agricultural education.

Molly Heman, Agricultural Education teacher, and Benny McWilliams, Vo-Ag counselor (center) are pictured with Carl Junction FFA students who will benefit from the new research center.

Carl Junction educator Craig Fox honored as Teacher of the Year

As a relatively new member of the Carl Junction School District, it didn’t take long for Craig Fox to make a positive impression on those around him, as evidenced by his recent honor of being named Teacher of the Year.

Fox, who taught seventh grade science for two years before opting to teach a more hands-on science-/technology-based class in 2023-24, never envisioned such a special recognition. “I did not know about the Teacher of the Year award for the district until the ceremony.

“The award was completely unexpected. I was just enjoying a nice meal and great conversation at our table (when he found out). The other teachers who stood there with me are amazing educators, and I was just happy to be in their presence.”

While Fox has found his calling now, he says, “I was an education major out of high school, but after a year at School of the Ozarks and having a discussion with an older sister who had a teaching degree, I felt it wasn’t the right path for me at the time.

“I went into the radiology field, where I served as a department head at hospitals in Colorado, Kansas and Oklahoma for about 12 years.”

Fox then went a different direction. “During that same time, my family owned and operated several small video game stores. An opportunity presented itself to invest in our chain of stores. I got out of the medical field to pursue a small business.”

Eventually, Fox veered back to his original plan, and he says, “We owned (video game) stores for about 15 years, but when the opportunity became available to sell them, I did.

“Upon selling the stores, I had the opportunity to go back and finish my education. After graduating, I was hired at Riverton (Kansas) Middle School, where I taught sixth–eighth grade science. I also coached high school basketball and softball, and middle school basketball.”

When Fox was at Riverton, he says, “The opportunity at Carl Junction Junior High

School became available and I applied for it. I was fortunate enough to be hired.”

At Carl Junction, Fox is currently head coach of the high school boys’ and girls’ tennis teams, as well as head coach of the junior high boys’ and girls’ basketball teams. He also previously served as a junior high track coach.

Fox enjoys his dual roles of teacher and coach, and he says, “The thing I love about teaching and coaching is the ability to develop relationships with students and my fellow educators.

“Another thing I love about teaching is being able to catch up with students that I have taught in the past and following the progress in their educational journeys. Every day is a new adventure. I truly can’t wait to get to work each morning.”

Fox is appreciative of his achievements considering his personal journey. “I felt that going back to college at my age put me in a unique and beneficial position. I knew exactly what my goals were and was able to focus on what needed to be done.

“Although my path to teaching and coaching wasn’t typical, I believe it’s what helped me become a better teacher due to all the life lessons along the way. I’ve learned so much from current and past administrators along with fellow educators, and I’m forever grateful for their guidance.”

Carl Junction Junior High Teacher of the Year Craig Fox Fast Facts

Age: 54

Spouse: Debbie Fox


Natalie Cooper, Ashley Hansen and Mason Fox

Hometown: Stratton, Colorado

High School Alma Mater: Stratton (Colorado) High School

College Alma Mater: Missouri Southern State University, 2019

College Degree: Middle school education with an emphasis in science

Teaching/Coaching Career: Fifth year teaching and third at Carl Junction Junior High School

Favorite Food:

“Anything my wife makes.”

Role Models: “The people who influenced me most in my career path were my parents, Jerome and Janis. My dad was a teacher at St. Charles Catholic School for a couple years, and my mom was a special education paraprofessional at the school where I graduated. The other main influence has been my wife, Debbie, who encouraged me to pursue my teaching and coaching dream.”

Featuring Carl Junction SMTO

Meet New Carl Junction School Board Member Melinda Brown

The Gipson Center for Healthcare Leadership at Missouri Southern State University is excited about her new role as a member of the Carl Junction School Board. Melinda and her family have been part of the Carl Junction School District for more than 20 years, and Melinda actively participates in various community initiatives, including the Carl Junction Wellness Committee and the Carl Junction High School Family and Consumer Science Advisory Board.

SMTO: What was your reasoning/logic in pursuing a position with the Carl Junction School Board?

MB: I am deeply committed to our community and its schools. Serving on the school board provides me with an opportunity to draw from my background in higher education and contribute to shaping the future of education. As a board member, I am dedicated to ensuring teachers, parents and other stakeholders have a meaningful voice in educational and administrative matters. My goal is to enhance and uphold the quality of education within the Carl Junction School District, advocating passionately for the benefit of current and future students.

SMTO: Individually and collectively, what makes the work of the Carl Junction School Board so vital/ pivotal?

MB: My background in higher education, coupled with my current involvement as a parent with a student in the school district, and experience with other students, provides me with valuable insights into the current educational landscape. Additionally, I strongly believe having a female perspective on the board is crucial for well-rounded decision-making.

SMTO: What are some of the most important issues you believe should be and will be a priority for the Carl Junction School Board over the coming days, weeks and months?

MB: I believe in maintaining our facilities and proactively addressing future needs to benefit our students. The Proposition K.I.D.S. bond proposal that passed demonstrates the board and community’s

commitment to this philosophy. Additionally, I am passionate about advocating for opportunities to expand our early childhood programs, ensuring all children start school ready to learn.

SMTO: What are some of the greatest challenges you believe are facing Carl Junction School District leadership and faculty today, as well as students at all grade levels?

MB: I firmly believe in upholding our facilities and proactively planning to enhance the educational experience for our students.

The successful passage of the Proposition K.I.D.S. bond proposal exemplifies the board’s unwavering dedication to this principle. Furthermore, I am deeply committed to advocating for the expansion of our early childhood programs, ensuring every child begins their educational journey well-prepared and eager to learn.

SMTO: What makes the Carl Junction School District so special?

MB: The Carl Junction School District holds a cherished place in my heart. It’s where my children received their education and are receiving their education, and the connections they formed with their teachers are truly remarkable. Even now, as my older kids have moved on to college and adulthood, the teachers continue to show genuine care. They inquire about my children’s well-being and even attend their college events. This enduring bond between students, parents and educators is what makes Carl Junction School District truly special.

SMTO: What makes you most proud to be a part of this community and serving as a school board member?

MB: What truly makes me most proud is the opportunity to connect with parents, community members and school educators. Building these relationships is essential. When we see each other as equals, as experts in our children’s education, we create a powerful partnership. Our shared values and strengths foster trust, respect and a sense of belonging within our school community.

June 2024 • • 39

Carl Junction Gymnast Ryan Sprague Bounces to Success on Trampoline

Although Carl Junction juniorto-be star athlete Ryan Sprague previously had a passion for baseball, he gave up the diamond sport to focus on trampoline and tumbling (T&T), which has become a discipline within USA Gymnastics (USAG) that is gaining momentum.

Sprague’s decision has paid off and he has sparkled brightly the past couple of months while capturing both the Region 4 in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Missouri State Championships in Level 10 Double Mini Trampoline (DMT) competition. Spague’s performance qualified him for USAG Nationals, which takes place in Minneapolis June 21-26.

reaching his full potential. Ryan is 100% a goal setter. He sets goals and tracks his progress through video.”

In developing as an athlete, Sprague says, “One of the most important skills that comes with this sport is what is known as air awareness, and basically it’s how you know where you’re at in the air, while doing flips and twists.”

“To get the scores necessary to go to Nationals you have to compete at both state and regionals and get a high enough score in at least one of those competitions,” Sprague explains. “Nationals is the biggest meet of the year and I’m excited to be able to go for my third consecutive year.”

While making it to Nationals is impressive, Sprague was also recently named Missouri’s USAG Athlete of the Year. “This was one of my biggest achievements in this sport. It was a huge surprise when I heard my name at the state competition. It was a feeling of accomplishment unlike anything I’ve experienced before.”

Sprague competes out of Helix Athletics in Joplin under the tutelage of Head Coach Angela Hand. When recollecting how his interest in this sport came about, he shares, “My sister (Raelyn) was in a beginner gymnastics class, and I would go watch her.

“I was fascinated by the competitive trampoline athletes who were also practicing at the same time. My biggest inspiration when I first started was getting to watch (former USAG star) CJ Rhoades train.”

Sprague’s initial intrigue led him to competing and he describes some of his specific specialties: “T&T is composed of four main events: trampoline, tumbling, double mini (trampoline) and synchronized trampoline.

“I compete in all but synchronized trampoline because, prior to this year, it was not something we could practice at the facilities we have at Helix. T&T is divided into levels and age groups. I’m Level 10 in 15-16 year olds on trampoline and double mini trampoline, and Level 9 in 15-16 year olds for tumbling.

“Trampoline, tumbling and double mini trampoline are separate events in T&T. Trampoline consists of 10 consecutive elements. Tumbling is eight skills, while traveling down what is called a rod floor. Double mini trampoline consists of two elements on a uniquely shaped trampoline.”

Coach Hand says, “Ryan’s key to success has always been his dedication and determination. He never lets anything hold him back from

Having the right mindset is important and Sprague says, “The biggest challenge that comes with this sport is being able to get over mental blocks.

“The key to becoming successful in T&T, and any other sport, is to stay consistent in training and constantly strive to become a better athlete, as well as a better person. If you stay consistent and take training seriously, anyone can reach the goals they set for themselves.”

As he remains driven to succeed, Sprague says, “My goal for next season is to become an intermediate elite on both double mini and trampoline, and in the years following to eventually compete in international competition.”

Coach Hand raves, “What has impressed me most about Ryan is his positive attitude. Even when training might not be going the way he intended, he remains upbeat and positive.

“I’m proud of Ryan’s work ethic. He is constantly exceeding my expectations. Ryan has the talent, strength and fortitude to become a world-class athlete in trampoline and tumbling.”

Carl Junction High School Sports Standout Ryan Sprague Fast Facts

Age: 16

Grade in School: Junior this fall

Height/Weight: 5’8”, 125 lbs.


Robert and Meghan Sprague

Siblings: Sisters Rylee and Raelyn Sprague

Hometown: Carl Junction, Missouri

High School: Carl Junction High School

Favorite Subject in School: Math

Favorite Food: Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Favorite Professional or College Gymnast: Ruben Padilla, American Trampoline Gymnast

Favorite Sports Movie: "Gran Turismo"

40 Featuring Carl Junction SMTO


Asbell Trucking, Inc. Eric Benford, Division Manager

Eric Benford's journey in construction began immediately after high school in 2000. Starting with concrete work, he quickly found his passion in operating heavy equipment during excavations. His career took a significant turn in 2006 when he joined Jeff Asbell Excavating and Trucking, eventually moving into a management role, overseeing the growth of the trucking department.

Benford’s typical day starts early, fielding calls and coordinating with his team to ensure everything runs smoothly. Despite the challenges, what keeps him going is the daily interaction with clients and the sense of contributing to community growth. "Helping people achieve their goals is what I love most," Benford says.

For Benford, the most fulfilling aspect of his career is mentoring others. "Watching them succeed is the real reward," he admits. Beyond work, Benford is deeply involved in supporting his local community, particularly through initiatives like backing the Carl Junction School District and athletic programs as well as the Carl Junction Chamber of Commerce.

His professional mantra revolves around teamwork, emphasizing the collective effort behind Asbell Trucking's success. Looking ahead, Benford aims to bolster his team further and ensure continued growth for the company. As for the future, he sees Asbell Trucking expanding its reach, driven by its reputation for reliability and adaptability.

Outside of work, Benford enjoys hunting and spending time at the lake with friends and family.


The Polite Company

If you've ever wondered about the importance of etiquette in today's world, Kristi Spencer, the founder of The Polite Company, has the answer. With a background in TV newsrooms and experience as an etiquette instructor, Kristi epitomizes modern etiquette, emphasizing the timeless principles of consideration, respect and honesty.

Kristi is a certified business etiquette trainer and a graduate of The Emily Post Institute. Her expertise lies in coaching organizations and individuals to feel confident in social situations, communicate effectively and make fantastic first impressions. In addition to coaching, she shares her wisdom through TV appearances and contributes advice to publications such as the London Sunday Times and

Kristi says, "Etiquette isn't about memorizing a set of rules. It's about building relationships."

The Polite Company's philosophy is grounded in this belief, aiming to help clients achieve their goals through personalized etiquette training, both in-person and online.

With a touch of humor and a lot of practical advice, Kristi and The Polite Company offer guidance on how to navigate the complexities of modern social interactions and business etiquette. Whether you're looking to enhance your professional image or improve your social skills, Kristi's expertise can help you succeed.

Kristi might look familiar to Show Me The Ozarks readers, as she is a regular contributor to the magazine's Tastes of the 4-States column and shares her favorite recipes with readers every month. Outside of work, Kristi loves entertaining family and friends and spending time with her sons and husband.

SPECIAL PROMOTION 2024 Faces of Carl Junction SPECIAL PROMOTION 2024 Faces of Carl Junction
9400 State Highway 171 | Carl Junction, MO 417.649.1269 |

With a strong history of cardiac disease among the females in her family, along with her education and role as a nurse practitioner, Cassie Garrett is committed to staying as healthy as she can for as long as she can.

“My mom and my grandma both passed away of heart attacks,” she says. “Cardio exercise is a great way to keep my heart in the best shape possible. Running gives me a sense of accomplishment and keeps me moving.”

Cassie Garrett: Bringing Her Whole Heart to Running

Garrett runs with friends occasionally, but more often she’s doing it alone due to everyone’s hectic schedules. Her sons, Nate and Jake, will sometimes run with her while training or during a 5K, and Cocoa, the family’s German Shephard, may accompany her but only for a short distance due to her hip dysplasia.

“I think about all kinds of things when I run,” she says. “I might pray or plan out my day or just really tune into the music that I’m listening to at the time.”

Featuring Carl Junction SMTO

Running helps Garrett’s mind game as she works to convince herself she’s not exhausted or in pain as she works to reach her goal. “Running teaches me discipline and persistence. It can make a bad day better, a good day better or just help me escape for a bit.”

Pretty active throughout her life, Garrett admits to “slacking off” during both of her pregnancies and during a tough year in 2020. “Otherwise, I try to run at least a few times a week to stay active.”

Garrett to date has run over 20 half-marathons and one full marathon, not to mention numerous 5K races.

“I always feel accomplished after a race,” she says. “It doesn’t matter how many times that I have run that distance, I always feel blessed that I can complete a race.” And through the exhaustion, she jokes often with her husband that “everything is sunshine and rainbows” after she finishes a race.

Garrett strives to improve her time in each race but knows there will be runners faster than her.

“I do always want to work on being faster and better, but finishing is finishing,” she says. “The atmosphere and camaraderie at races just make me so happy. We are all in the race together, and we are all competing against ourselves mentally and physically.”

For those just starting their running journey, Garrett offers some encouragement and says, “It is not as hard as it seems! It’s better to start off with a walking routine if you are not up on cardio.”

She recalls times in her life when she hadn’t run for a while and started back by just doing a daily walking routine.

“Eventually I got tired of walking and wanted to speed things up a bit. I know lots of people who do walk-run routines, too, so that it’s not as daunting. You don’t have to be the fastest person out there, just move!”

June 2024 • • 43

Rachel Cabral: Creating is a Family Affair

The family that creates together has fun together, and self-taught artist Rachel Cabral credits her parents’ support as integral to her artistic success.

“They were my first supporters,” she says. “I have two young children, so I am not able to paint professionally all the time, but my children are very creative and we love crafting together. We love talking about our favorite colors and the colors we see around us and how we can mix colors together to make new ones.”

Cabral’s current favorite color palette is a combination of red, pink, dark green and light green. “Red and green are on opposite sides of the color wheel and any time I can put them together in a painting, it is a striking contrast that appeals to my art style. But my favorite colors change all the time.”

The artwork of Cabral is influenced by her favorite artists, Frida Kahlo and Chuck Close.

“Not only am I inspired by their beautiful artwork, but I am inspired by their dedication to the arts,” Cabral says. “Both suffered debilitating injuries that made it extremely hard to continue painting and both were so passionate about their craft that they continued making art as best they could, growing their

Featuring Carl Junction SMTO

skills and making their most well-known pieces after their injuries occurred.”

Cabral is fascinated with faces, from different skin tones and eye colors to interesting facial features like freckles and wrinkles and barely noticeable veins under the skin. “I'm always trying to strengthen my portrait skills. This year I am working on creating realistic faces on a larger scale.”

Others over the years have also appreciated Cabral’s efforts and rewarded her paintings with honors, including Best in Show, First Place and Honorable Mentions from various art exhibits.

“I love contrasting bright, whimsical backgrounds with realistic, detailed portraits. I have been passionate about art for as long as I can remember.”
~ Rachel Cabral

The interest in portraits began early in Cabral’s life when she drew a portrait of her brother. “It’s the first thing I remember drawing. I worked very hard to make it as detailed as possible and included all his freckles and his scar that he got when he was bitten by a dog a few years before.”

She proudly presented it to him, but he was offended by the work and threw it in the trash. “I was shocked! I thought my drawing was excellent. He was four and I was six. And he is now a great supporter of my art.”

“I was recently honored to be among the 14% of applicants chosen from around the world to display artwork in the R.W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, Louisiana. They made my small painting titled “Wonder” into a giant banner that hung on the front of the building. I received an Honorable Mention in that exhibit.”

Cabral appreciates the recognition and pays it forward by supporting her children’s creativity.

“I am doing my best to praise them and their creations and to encourage them,” she says.

“We occasionally have art shows in our home showcasing their artwork for friends and family. It’s so important for children to have adults to nurture and encourage their creativity.”

To learn more about Cabral’s work, follow her Facebook page, Rachel’s Shoebox, or on Instagram at rachelsshoebox.

June 2024 • • 45

Gambino's Pizza

Thanks to the Adams family, Gambino’s Pizza is once again a staple in the Carl Junction area. “We’ve lived in this community for over 30 years, and it is so enjoyable to see so many familiar faces in the restaurant,” said co-owner Lance Adams.

The team’s focus for 2024 is doing the best they can with Gambino’s Pizza and making it a favorite among their friends and neighbors.

Small Town Barbershop

505 Pennell St. • Carl Junction, MO • 417.439.1329

At Small Town Barbershop, convenience is king. This is a men’s and boy’s barbershop where walk-ins are welcome, and you’ll always leave with a cut you’re happy with. You can trust owner and barber Pete Shephard – he was specially trained in men’s cuts. Small Town Barbershop offers a friendly, comfortable experience, and you’ll love relaxing in the vintage barber chairs, circa late-1930s. Open Monday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and most Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Urban Art Gallery is a unique gallery known for being “where the unusual is the norm and the norm is the unusual." Owner and Photographer Linda Teeter showcases full-time local artists along with a feature artist every month from around the area. Located in the heart of downtown Joplin, you’ll find locally made art such as photography, paintings, jewelry, ceramics, fiber art, sculpture and more. Urban Art Gallery is part of First and Third Thursdays March through October. The gallery also offers classes and workshops and can be rented out for small events. Make their place yours! Voted Best Gallery of Southwest Missouri in 2023!

Spirit Junction Boutique

Visit Spirit Junction Boutique – your one-stop destination for all things school-spirited! From school mascot and sports apparel for every age and size to trendy boutique clothing and accessories, we've got you covered. Dive into our collection of T-shirts, hats and custom hat patches, perfect for showing off your team pride. Whether you're a Carl Junction Bulldog supporter or rooting for other local schools, find your fit at Spirit Junction Boutique. Shop online or visit us in downtown CJ!

46 Special Advertising Section
106 S. Main St.
Carl Junction, MO •
Owner / Photo Artist 511 S. Main St. • Joplin, MO • 417.438.5931
Urban Art Gallery
Lance Adams, Landon Adams, Jansen Adams, Kellen Adams, Co-owners 101 Village Landing • Joplin, MO • 417.649.7979

Always Buying Books

5357 North Main Street • Joplin, MO • 417.781.1720 • Find us on Facebook!

The team at Always Buying Books can’t wait to help you find just what you’re looking for!

Over the course of 22 years in business, Owner Bob Wolfe and Manager Alyse Foley have built one of the largest inventories in the Midwest. With everything from Classics to Westerns, Always Buying Books is sure to have your favorite genre. We are proud to have been featured on NPR and voted one of “Missouri’s Best Bookstores” by multiple publications many times over. Come see us today! Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Sunday.

Community Bank & Trust

101 S. Main St. • Carl Junction, MO 417.439.5440 •

• Founded June 25, 1884

• Employee owned

• Absolutely free business and personal checking

• Auto and personal loans with same-day service available

• Mike Brower: 30-plus years of experience helping families purchase homes in Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma

• Conventional, FHA, VA, RD and First Time Home Buyers Loans Available

• Mike Brower NMLS# 612469

• CBT NMLS# 580491

Ghetto Tacos • 417.438.4592

Follow us on Facebook @GhettoTacosShop and @GhettoTacos417

What’s better than one taco from Ghetto Tacos? Two Ghetto Tacos! Our Ghetto Taco Shop in Webb City is open to serve you Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and of course, our Ghetto Tacos food truck is always around the community. We’re serving up all of your favorites, including our famous tacos available at the taco shop and food truck, and burritos and nachos available at the shop only. Keep an eye out for our specials that include quesabirria tacos and other delicious items. Follow along with us on Facebook to see where the Ghetto Tacos food truck will be, and don’t forget to book us for your summer events.

Let us pamper you with a luxury service at Driftaway Day Spa. We offer body massage, face treatments, manicures, waxing and lashes. Summer is here and we want to help you feel and look your best. Let your stress melt away with a facial and massage or get your nails ready with a manicure. Whatever your needs, we are here to help! Located in the heart of Carl Junction, Driftaway Day Spa is proud to be a part of the community. Call us to book your appointment at 417.529.0714.

June 2024 • • 47 Special Advertising Section Driftaway Day Spa 134 South Main • Carl Junction, MO •

Carl Junction Community & Education Awards Banquet

Carl Junction Area Chamber of Commerce members gathered April 24 at Adaline Acres to celebrate the Chamber’s annual banquet with "A Night Full of Stars.” It was a fun-filled evening where many of the community and education standouts were honored. Awards for Nonprofit of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Business of the Year, Innovation in Service, Excellence in Customer Service, Chamber Member of the Year and Citizen of the Year were presented. Two graduating high school seniors were also presented with the Gary Stubblefield Memorial Scholarship.

1. Mariah and Chase Kraft

2. Mike and Patty Moss

3. Lee and Scott Timmsen and Chonda Ralston

4. Lee Radcliff-Timmsen Cavanaugh Studyvin and Chonda Ralston

5. Julie Radley, Nick Howard and Tracie Skaggs

6. Mike Clark and Johnny Murray

7. Rick Flinn, Garrett Terry and Chris Terry

8. Lee Radcliff-Timmsen and Mike Wiggins

Far Left: Randy Kraft, Neely Myers and Shelly Kraft

1 3 4 6 5 2 8 7


12. Dr. David and Jill Pyle; Citizen of the Year Award

13. Shannon McDaniel; Non-profit of the Year Award

14. Tosha and Dan Howe; Rookie of the Year Award

15. Tosha Howe and Shannon McDaniel

16. Kathy Denolf, Terri Johnson, Deonte Payton and Kelsie Gerster


9. Bob and Connie Hays 10. Brennae Gilman and Candace Houchin Southwest Missouri Bank staff
9 12 14 13 10 15 16
Right: Charlie and Julianna Crow

152nd Quapaw Powwow: A Generational Gathering

The past, present and future of the Quapaw Nation comes alive early next month when the 152nd annual Quapaw Powwow takes center stage with its featured dancing customs.

“The dance is a generational gathering for parents and their children, along with great-grandparents, great-uncles and great-aunts,” says Melany Shawnee, who serves as events coordinator. “They’ve all made their way home and taught loved ones the traditions of their tribes, their clans and their families. The families value these traditions.

“It makes us happy to see Natives and non-Natives attend our gathering. Our tribe has always been a welcoming and hospitable community. This is one of the qualities that explorers noted in our Arkansas history upon first encountering the Quapaw.” There are so many activities at the powwow and Shawnee says, “Camping at the powwow grounds is something many of the tribal members and visitors from other tribes enjoy. It provides a time to visit with relatives and friends who traveled here.

Featuring Oklahoma SMTO

152nd Annual Quapaw Powwow Fast


When: July 4-7 from 7 p.m. to midnight or later. Physical Address: Quapaw Nation, Beaver Springs Park, 5681 S. 630 Road, Quapaw, Oklahoma. If weather doesn’t permit the outside event, it will be moved to Miami Civic Center Gymnasium, 129 5th Avenue, NW, Miami, Oklahoma.

Email Address: Tony Shawnee, powwow chairman, may be reached at or Melany Shawnee, events coordinator, may be reached at Melany.

Website: Go to, click on Culture and then click on Annual Quapaw Powwow.

“Some campers will cook traditional Native American foods such as corn and pork soup, hominy and beef soup, steamed and fried beef, fry bread and grape dumplings.”

As for other festivities, Shawnee shares, “When children are brought into the arena to dance for the first time, an elder leads them and talks to them about what they feel in their hearts.

“A special dance will follow where other family, friends and wellwishers join in and dance with the child in celebration of them being dressed in traditional clothing and joining in the dance for the first time.”

Shawnee also explains, “Some may have a special dance where the male child is given his first Eagle feather to attach to his head piece. We call this being roached. The roach, or head piece, is handmade from deer and porcupine fur and the Eagle feather is affixed on top, standing in an upright position.

“The Eagle feather is to always be respected and attached to the roach, so it never drops to the ground. We revere our Eagle feathers and hold them as sacred items.”

There is reverence as well and Shawnee reminds, “Our powwow is also a time of remembering those who have passed away the year prior to the dance.

“When family is ready, and according to the tradition they uphold, a memorial song will be sung for the family member, and loved ones will dance in remembrance of them. Anyone who wants to join in and show respect for the loved ones that have passed is welcome to dance.

“Although we’re small, we have grown and are still growing and still alive and still celebrating. That’s a huge reason to celebrate the Quapaw people.”


Gourd Dancing begins at 7 p.m. each night.

July 4 – Quapaw Night. Quapaw Nation members dress in traditional Quapaw dance clothing and compete in their dance categories. Dance competition categories include Women’s, Teens & Juniors Quapaw Cloth Dress, as well as Men’s, Teens & Juniors Straight Dance categories. First-, second- and thirdplace prizes awarded in each category.

July 5 – Inter-tribal dancing; visitors will be invited to fill the arena and dance. Pictures from general seating area are allowed. No pictures with flashes allowed during competitions. Note: Do not touch any part of the outfits or competitors’ hair. Dance competition categories include Female Teens & Juniors Cloth Dress, Buckskin Dress, Fancy Shawl Dress & Jingle Dress. Male Teens & Juniors Straight Dance, Fancy Dance, Traditional Northern Dance and Grass.

July 6 – Inter-tribal dancing with the public invited to join. Dance competition categories include Women’s Cloth Dress, Buckskin Dress, Fancy Shawl Dress & Jingle Dress.

July 7 – More inter-tribal dancing with spectators again invited to join. Dance competition categories include Men’s Straight Dance, Fancy Dance, Traditional Northern Dance & Grass Dance, combined with Chicken Dance.

June 2024 • • 51
Photos by: Drew Kimble 12-eighty one photography/O-Gah-Pah Communications

Spotlights Oklahoma Business


Enjoy Lendonwood Gardens, an 8-acre botanical garden in Grove. Stop by the Oklahoma Garden for regional plant ideas and the Monarch Waystation to learn about butterflies. Don’t miss the Hummingbird Garden, where you might spot hummers landing on nectar plants. Visit the Japanese Pavilion overlooking the Koi pond, where you can feed the colorful fish. This summer, come see beautiful daylilies and more as you stroll along winding pathways under towering oaks. You’ll find color and texture everywhere at Lendonwood Gardens! Open year-round from dawn to dusk.

Har-Ber Village Museum

4404 W. 20th St. • Grove, OK Email: Info@HAR· • 918.786.6446

A visit to this quiet lakeside village will take you on a nostalgic journey into the past. Har-Ber Village Museum celebrates the bygone era of pioneer life in Oklahoma. Multiple log cabins house eclectic collections of antiques, and frequent living-history demonstrations bring the times alive for visitors. Remember the past, celebrate the present, imagine the future! Open the third Saturday in March through the first Saturday in November. Hours 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Special Advertising Section

June 2024 • • 53
One mile west of Main Street on Har-Ber Rd. • Grove, OK 918.786.2938 •

A Majestic Affair: Celebrate Your Wedding at the Iconic Coleman Theatre

If you're in the midst of planning your dream wedding or searching for a venue that exudes charm and history, look no further than the Coleman Theatre in Miami, Oklahoma. Nestled along the famed Route 66, this historic gem offers not just a venue but an experience that will leave a lasting impression on you and your guests.

Built in 1929 for local mining magnate George Coleman, the Coleman Theatre boasts a rich history and stunning architecture that sets the stage for unforgettable events. With its Spanish Colonial Revival exterior and opulent Louis XV interior, it's no wonder it was once hailed as the most elaborate theater between Dallas and Kansas City. Danny Dillon, the managing director of the Coleman Theatre, understands the allure of this iconic venue. "The Coleman Theatre is the perfect location," he says. "With seating for up to 1,100 people, the beautiful Coleman Theatre provides the perfect backdrop for weddings."

Wedding SMTO

Stepping into the Coleman Theatre is like stepping back in time. Visitors are greeted with intricate details, from gargoyles to cherubs, adorning every corner of the venue. But perhaps the most captivating feature is the Mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ. Installed in 1929, this majestic instrument continues to enchant visitors from around the world, drawing them to experience its grandeur firsthand.

But weddings at the Coleman Theatre aren't just about the grandeur of the past; they're also about creating cherished memories for the future. The Coleman Ballroom, once an unfinished space, now serves as a picturesque setting for weddings, receptions and other celebrations.

"Now, the ballroom is the perfect location for weddings, receptions, reunions, conferences and celebrations," explains Dillon.

What sets weddings at the Coleman Theatre apart is the personalized attention and assistance provided to couples. Dillon says each couple will be provided with a dedicated wedding consultant, ready to address inquiries, manage lighting and offer assistance tailored to their specific needs throughout the event. From setup to cleanup, the dedicated staff at the Coleman Theatre ensures every detail is taken care of, allowing couples to relax and enjoy their special day.

Having witnessed firsthand the magic of weddings at the Coleman Theatre, Dillon recognizes the importance of alleviating stress for the bride and groom. "We handle all post-event cleanup for a nominal fee and we extend the convenience of returning the following day for any remaining cleanup tasks.” This thoughtful gesture exemplifies the Coleman Theatre's commitment to ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for couples and their guests.

In addition to its unmatched beauty and exceptional service, the Coleman Theatre offers incredible value for couples. With rental prices ranging from $550 to $1,200, couples can celebrate their love in a venue steeped in history and elegance without breaking the bank.

As you embark on the journey of planning your wedding, consider the Coleman Theatre as the setting for your special day. With its timeless charm, attentive staff and unbeatable value, it's the perfect place to begin your happily ever after.

LoveBlooms LoveBlooms

In the town of Carthage, Missouri, love unfolded amidst the blossoms of peonies, weaving a tale of love and family tradition. Mike and Sharenda Younes exchanged vows at Dudman Springs Church June 11, 2022. But their journey to this beautiful occasion was a testament to patience, commitment and the enduring beauty of peonies.

Their love story began while working at a local restaurant in 2012, where their paths first crossed as simply friends. It wasn’t until 2017 that they realized their bond was more than just a mere friendship. Over the next five years, as Sharenda pursued her master’s degree in

A Wedding Story Amongst Peonies

Business Administration and HR Management and Mike served in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), their relationship grew stronger, fortified by countless hours of Facetime calls and miles traveled between Joplin, Missouri, and Clarksville, Tennessee.

Choosing Dudman Springs Church as their venue held profound significance for Sharenda, as it was the site of the marriage of Charles and Bobbie Block, her grandparents, 64 years prior. But it was the fleeting beauty of peonies that truly captured their hearts. Sharenda’s grandfather, a diligent gardener, tended to these delicate blooms on their family farm in Reeds, Missouri, for over four decades. The peonies, some over 75 years old, became their symbol of enduring love and cherished memories for their wedding.

With meticulous planning and the help of local florist LeaAnn Hudson, Sharenda ensured the fragrance of peonies covered every corner of the church, creating the perfect ambiance for their ceremony. Sharenda’s

Wedding SMTO

bouquet was beautifully designed by her mother, Susan Campbell, with hand-strung pearls that draped down the front and brooches placed throughout and was unlike any bouquet she had ever seen, making her wedding day memories that much more special. Capturing the wedding was Leandro Germiniani with Germiniani Photography, also a two-time winner of Best in Four States.

Their reception at The Gaderian was equally captivating, with personal touches reflecting their love story. The choice of Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” as their walk-in song and first dance encapsulated their journey of love and support. Sharenda’s gratitude extended to their choice of local vendors, a deliberate effort to support their community and celebrate their talents.

Five years ago, Sharenda started sharing the story of “Papa’s Peonies,” a Facebook page dedicated to her grandfather’s passion. Beyond selling flowers, it became a platform to celebrate his lifelong dedication to gardening and the joy it brought to others. The farm extends beyond peonies and includes a large garden where you can find lettuce, strawberries, corn and lots of tomato plants.

“My two favorite things that come out of the garden are the strawberries where my grandmother makes homemade strawberry

jam, and my grandpa’s peonies,” Sharenda says. “For more than 40 years, my grandpa has tended to the peonies and sold to local florists Wild Flower, Higdon’s Florist, Countryside Flowers, Copper Lily Flowers and Gifts, and Eclectic Creations, to name a few. Each year, he cuts between 1,200-1,500 individual stems. Being 87 years old, he stays very busy on the farm, especially during peony season.”

Sharenda and her family have been blessed with the kindest customers who purchase individual bouquets from the farm each year and love the messages and support for her grandpa’s hobby.

Vendor List

Reception: The Gaderian, Carthage

Photographer: Germiniani Photography, Joplin

Ceremony: Dudman Springs Church, Carthage

Catering: Honey Pot Catering, Lamar

Florist: Eclectic Creations, Webb City

Travel: Crossroads Charter Inc, Joplin

Flowers: Papa’s Peonies, Reeds

Makeup: Blush Beauty Company, Marshfield

Hair and Makeup: Millie S.O.S, Webb City

Wine: Keltoi Winery, Oronogo

Liquor: Miner’s Liquor, Webb City

Dinner: Carthage Deli, Carthage

Dresses: Norma’s Formals, Aurora

June 2024 • • 57
June 2024 • • 57

Ultimate Wedding

Red Carpet

Augusta Bridal

Red Carpet 360 Photo

2401 E. 32nd St. • Joplin, MO

417.629.7443 •

Capture every angle of your special moments with Red Carpet 360 Photo, a unique addition to weddings, parties and events. Our cutting-edge technology ensures a fully immersive experience, allowing guests to create stunning, interactive memories. From dynamic group shots to individual poses, Red Carpet 360 Photo adds a touch of innovation and excitement to your celebrations. Elevate your event with this modern and engaging way to preserve cherished memories, ensuring your special day is truly unforgettable.

Whether you're seeking the perfect bridal gown or a show-stopping prom gown, Augusta Bridal has you covered. At Augusta Bridal, we believe finding your dream dress should be a joyful journey free from stress. Our team is dedicated to providing a supportive and fun environment as you explore our exquisite collection of gowns. With a keen eye on both timeless elegance and current trends, we'll guide you toward a dress that not only captures attention but also reflects your inner beauty.

In addition to our stunning ready-to-wear collection, Augusta Bridal offers bespoke veils and accessories, handcrafted to complement your chosen ensemble perfectly. Owner Taylor Austin’s vision for bringing high-end bridal couture to Main Street Joplin has made Augusta Bridal a destination for brides seeking unparalleled style and service. Schedule your appointment today by calling 417.553.4888, and let Augusta Bridal and its dedicated team turn your bridal dreams into reality. At Augusta Bridal, we're committed to helping you find "the one" dress that makes you feel unstoppable as you walk down the aisle.

Amadeus Ranch

Lendonwood Gardens

When planning a wedding at Lendonwood Gardens in Grove, Oklahoma, the beauty of the ceremony is only enhanced by gorgeous flowering plants, towering oaks, richly textured evergreens, and lovely water features. Amenities include a gazebo surrounded by rose gardens, an open-air Japanese pavilion overlooking a koi pond, and numerous spots for memorable photographs on the special day. Open grassy areas allow space for chairs, tables, bands and dancing. Electricity is available at key locations to offer romantic lighting for evening ceremonies and facilitate food service and music. The back entrance of the Gardens is close by, offering easy access for caterers, florists, musicians and those with mobility problems. Restrooms and additional parking also are located near the back entrance.

Lendonwood Gardens looks forward to sharing the beauty of the Gardens on your special day. Please call 918.786.2938 or visit for more information or to reserve a date for your outdoor wedding.

Amadeus Ranch is a beautiful Tuscan-style venue atop rolling hills in Southwest Missouri. Complete with exposed beams and sparkling chandeliers, our venue can match any wedding style from simple to extravagant. Our outdoor patio, complete with a gorgeous arbor, is the perfect setting for your wedding ceremony or dancing under the stars. We are booking 2024 and 2025 fast but still have availability for any season! We would love to help make your special day worry-free with our packages, which include linens, tableware, decor, vendors, wedding consultation and more! Call, text or email to book a visit to Amadeus Ranch. We look forward to meeting you! 417.850.1042 or 417.850.0980 or email  Check out our website: and find us on Facebook!

DESTINATION & SERVICES T H E S O C I A L S I P L L C N E T 4 1 7 6 2 9 7 4 4 3 360 PHOTO 360 360 PHOTO

Extreme Sports Scuba

5203 S. Range Line Road • Joplin, MO 417.659.9009 •

At Extreme Sports Scuba, we offer beginning scuba and a large list of specialty classes. We don’t believe in hidden costs and supply all gear for the Open Water SCUBA Diver Course except for boots. The Open Water Scuba course is only $395 per person and includes educational material. Now is the perfect time to learn to dive! Come see us and like us on Facebook.

Discover the secret to effortless confidence at Wig’N Out Boutique! Did you know we specialize in men's hair replacement and hair systems? Say goodbye to worries about thinning hair or balding. Schedule a complimentary consultation today and remember, “We’ve got you covered from head to toe!” Stop in and see us in downtown Webb City or shop us online.

Bring your friends—rain or shine, hot or cold—to picnic, hike, shop or just relax on the porch. Zena Suri Alpacas has everything for individuals, families or groups.

You can even spend the night. Love the day with your family and your latest main squeeze. $5 per person; alpaca hugs and hand feeding included. Call Kelli: 918.314.9982 or Kathleen: 804.389.2579. Reservations required.

60 Special Advertising Section Wig’N Out Boutique 20 S. Main St. • Webb City, MO 417.717.5099 •
Zena Suri Alpacas 35401 S. 580 Road • Jay, OK • 804.389.2579

Successful Business Solutions

Tracy Freund, Owner/Executive Manager


Tracy Freund, owner and executive manager of Successful Business Solutions has 20-plus years of experience helping businesses in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas with their payment-processing needs.

Services offered by Successful Business Solutions include:

• Electronic credit card payment processing solutions and other value-added services for businesses.

• ATM kiosks that also offer bitcoin, check cashing, send/receive money and many other valued services all on one kiosk for your business.

Contact Successful Business Solutions today to discuss your business’ needs.

Like us on Facebook! • Download our APP!!

One24 Boutique is a unique mother/daughter-teamed store that specializes in the unique. Located in Neosho, this small-town store has gifts, home decor, one-of-a-kind finds and FASHION!! The new “One24 Rags” clothing line was custom designed by the two ladies! Everything in the outlet is 40% off. A portion of all proceeds is donated each month to the KU Bladder Cancer Department to fund a research scholarship.

June 2024 • • 61 Special Advertising Section One 24 Outlet 13105 Kodiak Rd • Neosho, MO • 417.451.1144

Sunroom Decorating

I f you have a sunroom already, then you know how useful this extra space in your home can be. If you do not have one and want to, hopefully this will help you with some ideas for the perfect sunroom for you and your family.


You will need to decide how you are going to use your sunroom and what type of sunroom you want. Do you want a room to just get away from bugs and use during the nicer weather months? Then just screening in and attaching a roof to your patio may be enough to get you the desired space you need. A screened-in room can allow you to enjoy the light and cool breezes without the unwanted mosquitos. You can decorate your screened-in sunroom with a nice ceiling fan to help circulate the air and furniture that is simple, such as an area rug and sun- and moisture-resistant furniture. There are many companies that offer sunroom additions by adding wood, aluminum or vinyl and glass windows to your home. Depending on your budget, these rooms can be built to your specific specifications. For a three-season room that you can use in the spring, summer and fall, you will usually have single glazed glass and screens. You can also tint the glass to help decrease the brightness and effect of the sun on the furnishings and flooring in the room. Flooring for this room would need to be preferably ceramic, porcelain tile or some type of paver.

If you want a full four-season room, you will want to invest in double pane and insulated windows and a heat and air system. You can also have windows not only on the walls, but the ceiling, as well. You may also want to invest in blinds that can help control the amount of light into the sunroom. A truly custom sunroom is manufactured for a specific customer. Research the company you hire to make sure they meet building codes and provide lengthy warranties to cover manufacturing defects and weather exposure.

Decorating a sunroom is just like decorating your home. It can be as simple or elegant as you want. If it is a full four-season sunroom with a heat and air system that allows it to be more a part of your home rather than just a screened-in space, you will be able to have furniture that does not need to be weather resistant. And whether you use it as an additional entertaining space, office or sitting room, the sunroom is an especially great space to grow plants due to all the natural sunlight you will have. A durable floor such as ceramic, porcelain or LVT (luxury vinyl tile or plank) would be great for a four-season sunroom. Blinds or curtains should be installed to help control some of the light during the day, and the installation of some type of overhead lights to use the space in the evening will be useful. A chandelier would be a splurge in a space like this one with the glass on the ceiling, but why not, if that is what you want!

Whether you choose a simple screened-in room for nice weather or a four-season, heated and cooled space, your sunroom should reflect your needs and decorating style. Have fun with a new sunroom for your home.

June 2024 • • 63

Joplin, MO

Every day: Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings. Call 888.740.4568.

Every Monday: Tips for Living a Healthy Life, 10 a.m.-noon, South YMCA, 3404 W. McIntosh Circle. Free; registration required. Call 417.625.2492.

Every Day: 12-Step Recovery Meetings, Alano Club, 1800 E. 30th. Call 417.623.9645.

June 26: Grief Support Group meets every fourth Wednesday of each month, 6-7:30 p.m., Hospice Compassus, 2216 E. 32nd St., Ste. 201. Call 417.623.8272.

Freeman Health System

Joplin, MO

All events are free and open to the public, unless noted; support group meetings are cancelled on days Joplin R-VIII Schools close due to inclement weather.

June 4: Espresso Yourself Breast Cancer Support Group, 5-6 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Enjoy a coffee courtesy of Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute. Our monthly breast cancer support group enables members to share, gain helpful information and useful tips, as well as form new friendships. Enjoy listening to a special guest from time to time. RSVP to Marcella Sowell at 417.347.2662.

June 5: Freeman Cancer Support Group, 2-3 p.m., Freeman Cornell-Beshore Cancer Institute, 3415 McIntosh Circle. Call Kelley Wheeler at 417.347.4000 for more information.

June 18: Freeman Bariatric Weight-loss Support Group, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Freeman Business Center Conference Rooms, 3220 McClelland Blvd (back entrance). Designed to help those who have had bariatric surgery. For more information, call Janice Drake at 417.347.1266.

June 18: Ozark Center Daytime Autism Support Group, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism, 2808 S. Picher Ave. Open to people with autism, parents and caregivers. Call 417.347.7850 for more information.

National Adult Literacy Action – For information on NALA, call 417.782.2646, email or

visit Located at 123 S. Main St., Joplin. Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m.-noon.

Nevada, MO

June 1: Birth and Beyond Class, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meets at the NRMC Mezzanine Conference Room. This class covers childbirth, breastfeeding and infant care for women in their last trimester. Includes a tour of the NRMC OB when available. $15 registration fee. Fee may be waived if cost is prohibitive. Register by calling 417.448.3710.

June 25: Rich Hill Family Medical Clinic Screenings, 11 a.m.-noon, Kern Senior Center. Free health screenings are offered every fourth Tuesday of the month to residents of Rich Hill.

Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, Grove, OK

INTEGRIS Baptist Regional Health Center, Miami, OK - For more information, visit

Every Tuesday: Free blood pressure and glucose screenings provided by INTEGRIS Regency Home Care and Hospice.

First Tuesday: Commerce Nutrition Center, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Second Tuesday: Nine Tribes Tower, 10-11 a.m. Third Tuesday: Miami Senior Center, 10-11 a.m. Fourth Tuesday: INTEGRIS Baptist Village, 9-10 a.m.

June 4: Alzheimer’s Support Group meets first Tuesday monthly, 11 a.m., Generations fourth floor visiting room. Call 918.542.3391.

June 11 & 25: Depression Support Group meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 2 p.m., Northeastern Tribal Health System Conference Room, 2301 Eight Tribes Trail. Call 918.675.2093.

Crisis Text Line Text 741741

Free 24/7 support for those in crisis to create a plan to stay safe and healthy. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code.


It’s the moment new parents anticipate most: a positive result on a pregnancy test. Now come all the exciting decisions that are part and parcel to a new baby’s arrival – when to tell the family, baby names and decorating the nursery. And the list goes on.

One of the most important decisions, however, is whom to entrust with prenatal care and delivery.

As one of the busiest maternity centers in Missouri, Freeman Maternity Center has earned the trust of moms-to-be by providing family-centered care and individual attention in a warm, supportive environment. The center’s highly trained, expert team of boardcertified obstetricians is available 24 hours a day to serve all patients, including those with high-risk pregnancies.

“Our team is dedicated to the safety of our patients and their expectant baby, or babies,” says Freeman Director of Maternal and Neonatal Services Kalseji Reeves. “We strive to give the best birthing experience possible, while maintaining the safety of mother and baby as our number-one priority.”

Exceptional Labor and Delivery Care

Freeman Maternity Center’s physicians, nurse midwives, nurses and support staff are dedicated to educating, assisting and explaining care throughout the course of all patients’ labor and delivery.

Trust Us to Deliver Why Four

States parents-to-be put their faith in

Freeman Maternity Center

“Our birthing center is equipped with labor rooms, a triage room, two operating rooms for both scheduled and unscheduled procedures and a surgical-recovery room,” Reeves says. Patients have private rooms and access to a wide variety of labor options, including Jacuzzi tubs, showers, birthing balls, peanut balls, rocking chairs and straddle chairs.

Portable wireless fetal monitoring provides ease and comfort with mobility during labor, and highly trained staff members help facilitate comfort and productive labor positions.

Anesthesia staff is available 24/7. “Our dedicated birthing center anesthesia team provides pain relief measures as quickly as requested,” Reeves says.

Rest and Recovery

Freeman’s spacious mom and baby rooms provide an enhanced bonding experience, and the Freeman Maternity Center nursery is also available 24 hours a day to care for newborns and provide time for mom to rest and recover.

Should mom and baby need assistance with breastfeeding, help is at the ready. “We provide a lactation specialist who can help support our patients with patience, guidance and helpful education,” Reeves says.

Freeman Maternity Center also offers a prenatal class to new and expectant families to help answer questions and provide education to our patients. “Our staff is trained to help educate and support parents through all the new learning curves of their journey with their newborn,” Reeves says.

For more information, visit To schedule a tour, call the Freeman Birthing Center at 417.347.3669.

June 2024 • • 65

FDA-Approved Tool Testing for Predisposition to Opioid Addiction is Getting Backlash

What was thought to be an advancement in indicating whether certain people are at risk of developing opioid-use disorder is getting backlash.

Last December, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a tool using genetic testing to assess whether adults are predisposed to addiction to opioids. From a cheek swab, the Autogenomics Avert D Test analyzes 15 genetic markers involved in the brain’s pathways associated with addiction. It is meant to be used on adults with no previous use of opioids and must be prescribed. It’s a good tool for those who need short-term pain pills after a surgery or procedure.

“It would be great if it works,” Teddy Steen, executive director of ASCENT Recovery Residences, said. “Chemistry is a factor, and everybody responds differently. I wonder what opioids it can see if a person is predisposed to.”

The tool cannot be used for those with chronic pain and should not be used alone to make treatment decisions. Steen said it could be a great use in dentists’ offices and for young athletes. Dentists like to prescribe pain medications when other alternatives exist, and drug use among young people often gets started after an athletic injury.

“If the validity rate is good, then it is worth a try,” she said. “A false negative would be bad, but a false positive, oh well. Something else could be found, which isn’t bad.”

Since the FDA approved the tool, addiction specialists, scientists and geneticists are lambasting the FDA. In April, several articles came out about the FDA decision, including one on the website GBH. In an

article by Mark Herz posted April 4, 2024, titled "Scientists blast FDA approval of genetic test for opioid addiction,” he quotes Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the medical director for opioid policy research at Brandeis University.

“This is a test that the leading experts in the field of genetics believe does not work at all, that it really is a sham. If we had such a genetic test, that might be a good thing. Unfortunately, the test the FDA just approved doesn't work. It's really no better than a coin flip when it comes to predicting risk of opioid addiction.”

Kolodny, along with 30 other scientists, sent a letter to the FDA asking it to rescind the approval. They also sent one to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking the organization to deny coverage when it is available.

Though the FDA touted the tool to help with the opioid epidemic, Kolodny disagrees. He thinks it could make the epidemic worse with false negatives and positives since most people don’t have the 15 genetic markers at which the test looks.

Kolodny’s quote from the article and website:

“Most people who take this test are going to test negative and be left with the impression they don't have to worry about getting addicted, and if they subsequently take opioids more aggressively for that reason, they are going to be more likely to get addicted. As for people who test positive, it could also pose dangers. Patients who believe they're at higher risk for opioid addiction might not want to take opioids, even when they could benefit from them. For example, a patient with metastatic cancer near the end of life who might be afraid of taking opioids.”


HYDRATION: Importance and risks

As we reach the end of spring and approach the beginning of summer, the temperature is going to become hotter on average and, if this year is anything like last year, there will be a real risk of heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion comes about from the body’s temperature rising past safe levels and elevated loss of water and salt as we sweat. Though there are multiple stages to heat exhaustion, you generally don’t want to play around with it as it can be deadly. One of the best things you can do to combat heat exhaustion is to stay hydrated.

As always, everyone’s health is unique. Always consult with a doctor or nutritionist for what you should personally be looking out for during hotter weather.

The best strategy for staying hydrated is to be proactive. If you’re trying to avoid heat exhaustion, it’s best to drink water before you get thirsty. How much water you need each day is going to depend on your individualized health, but the general recommendation is about 3 or 4 liters (roughly 100 to 135 ounces or 12 to 17 cups). That general amount is way too much to drink just when you’re feeling thirsty, so it’s best to drink throughout the day – again, hopefully before you feel thirsty. If you prefer drinking carbonated water or water infused with fruit, those will still hydrate you, so go for it if that works for you.

Depending on if you’re using a water bottle that has measurements on it or if you’re just drinking from glasses at home, it’s generally good to try developing a rhythm to drinking, be it once an hour or once every two hours. As far as how much, it’s going to depend on how much water your body can handle and how much will cause your body to become overhydrated.

It is possible to overhydrate. Overhydration is when the sodium in your body becomes too diluted, either because of drinking too much water or because of other kidney issues. A sign of overhydration is if your urine is completely colorless; in that instance, you probably want to cut back on how much you’re drinking. Ironically, overhydration can cause a lot of the same issues dehydration causes – nausea, headache, fatigue, etc. – however, it won’t put you at risk for heat exhaustion like dehydration will, and typically overhydration comes in stages. The first stage is usually not very noticeable, so you should be able to reverse course pretty easily once you notice you’re overhydrated.

If you keep cutting back and still have signs of overhydration, it might signal a medical condition such as kidney issues, and you should consult a doctor. Staying hydrated has a lot of health benefits, but it’s so much more important than just helping you slim down to meet your summer goals. Ensuring you’re drinking enough water is important to keep you healthy so you can enjoy summer weather.

June 2024 • • 67

The Great


An award-winning magazine and newspaper writer, radio host and blogger for more than 40 years.

His book, “Seasons: Stories of Family, God and the Great Outdoors,” is available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle.

The Best Father’s Day Ever


I poured my first cup of coffee and went outside to enjoy the morning. I love to sit and watch the sun rise slowly through the trees. My eyes saw movement. I turned my head to watch birds coming into all the bird feeders in the yard. As I watched them, I smiled.

A squirrel came down from a nearby tree to join them. From their houses in the trees, birds dove at the squirrel. They gave it a good flogging. I chuckle at their antics.

Beautiful colors flicker around everywhere. The bright red of the cardinals, blue of the bluebirds and bluejays, yellow of the finches, gray of the doves and mixtures of black, white and brown were everywhere. Their songs were music to my ears and added to the morning show.

My eyes turned to the beautiful flowers my wife planted around the yard, and I watched hummingbirds coming in for breakfast. They were diving, humming and chirping. It was quite a show.

Then, I heard another sound coming from my pocket. Our oldest son was calling. “Happy Father’s Day, old man,” he said. “Your grandson and I are coming to get you. We could not think of anything you would need, so we are taking you fishing. You took us for many years. Now it is our turn to take you.”

A smile was on my face, and I said, “That sounds wonderful. I will be ready when you get here.” I wiped a tear away and went into the house to tell my wife where I was going. She smiled when she saw the excitement on my face and told me to have a good time.

I went back outside to anxiously await their arrival. As I sat there, my mind wandered back to when our son was a year old. I was sitting on the bank fishing at a local trout lake with my boy on my lap. His little hand in mine, I let him help me reel in a fish. His little fingers touched the fish as I held its silvery body. “You are going to be a fisherman, too,” I told my son that day. He did become a fisherman. Memories of fishing trips we had been on flowed through my mind as I waited.

When our other son was born a few years later, he joined me and his brother on all the fishing trips. There were more trout fishing trips, as well as crappie, walleye, bass, catfish, sucker fish and more. Nighttime crappie fishing together was an adventure for little boys.

Later, their sons and a daughter would join their dads and me on fishing trips. I remember little faces when they caught their first perch from a stream that flowed by a cabin we once owned. I remember our youngest son and his boys and a fishing trip in Florida when they were little. I also remember some fishing trips on lakes in Wisconsin.

I also thought about a pontoon boat we bought to take my wife, oldest son, daughter-in-law, grandson and granddaughter fishing on Missouri lakes. Later, we traded it for a bass boat. Our grandson used that boat to fish in high school bass tournaments. Grandma and Grandpa’s graduation present to him was a Canadian fishing trip with his dad and grandpa they will all always remember.

I thought about how that grandson went on to fish on his college bass fishing team in that boat. After college, one of the biggest fishing electronics manufacturers in the world hired him. He is married now. His wife goes fishing with him. One of these days, kids will join them on fishing trips. Their dogs do now. He still has that boat. We are going fishing in it today.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”
– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

As I continued to wait for them, I thought about the rest of our grandkids. The granddaughter graduated college and got married also. She doesn’t fish much anymore but maybe she and her husband will when the kids come.

The other grandsons still fish with Mom, Dad and girlfriends. The oldest graduates high school this year and will start college in the fall. When his dad asked him what he wanted for a graduation present, he said, “I want us to go on a family fishing trip to Colorado.” I thought about how his brother would probably want the same graduation present.

My thoughts were interrupted by our son and grandson pulling into the driveway. I looked up and thanked God for all the memories, asked His blessings on this day and walked around the front to meet them. They hugged me, wished me a Happy Father’s Day and said, “Get in and let’s go fishing.”

It could not have been a more perfect day on the water. The weather was beautiful. The crappie were biting. We laughed. We talked and told stories as we fished. I even got a call from our other son wishing me a Happy Father’s Day. We all had our limit of crappie by mid-afternoon.

My son said on the way home, “Father’s Day is not over, Dad. We will drop you off back home. Your grandson and I will go to my house and fry these fish up for a Father’s Day meal. So, get Mom and come on over.”

The fish was delicious. The time with family was wonderful. That night, after my wife had gone to bed, I went back outside. I sat in my chair and looked up at the stars in the sky. I then bowed, folded my hands in prayer and said, “Happy Father’s Day, God. I have read stories in the Bible about how your son Jesus chose some fishermen to be part of His disciples. Jesus told them all to be fishers of men. He even used a few fish to feed the multitudes who had come to hear him speak about You. Thank You for this special Father’s Day with my family. It has been the best Father’s Day ever.”

June 2024 • • 69

That shirt is a badge of stewardship

The Missouri Stream Team program is 35 years old this summer! It carries a banner of being one of the most recognized organizations in the state. The Missouri Stream Team is a dovetailed partnership between the Conservation Federation of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The successful partnership stands firmly on three pillars of stewardship, education and advocacy.

Field notes by J. Cantrell, photos courtesy of volunteers

Volunteer teams may be registered on the site’s website ( and the efforts can be accomplished by individuals, families, youth or any type of caring community-organized group.

The most straightforward of the activities is ranked as one of the most important: the litter pick-up on the creeks and the watersheds feeding into our urban and rural water environment areas. The chemical breakdown of tires and the growing amount of discarded single-use plastics are a huge problem for aquatic life, and we certainly don’t want that in our drinking water. Other MO Stream Team activities include storm drain stenciling, educational programs, water quality monitoring and the riparian habitat assessment or rehab.

Missouri is blessed with 110,000 miles of flowing waters, not to mention a bounty of lake and reservoir shoreline. It’s important our citizens are vigilant to the health and biodiversity of our communities.

The Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring (VWQM) program is an important part of MO Stream Team. The participants have the opportunity for continued training and pulse-checks on gauging the health of our flowing waters. They dive deeper into the life associated with the stream habitat and examine the presence or absence of pollution-sensitive organisms. Critters like caddisflies, stoneflies and water pennies tell us a story about our streams. Physical and chemical monitoring data is shared with the labs of the Department of Natural Resources, and databases are maintained to keep a natural history record

Volunteers with VWQM may conduct these pulse checks two or four times a year at an adopted site. Litter pick-ups and other projects may occur as often as the volunteer wishes. All data is turned into the central office by activity reports, and there is no charge for being part of the program or any of the classes. Stream Team education resources are available as well.

We’ve supplied the mesh trash bags and gloves for 35 years now and look forward to another

engaging, pride-filled span of years to come. Incentives are provided after a project, and the MO Stream Team T-shirt is more than a symbol of work given, it’s a badge we wear showing understanding and a caring heart for our river and stream habitats. Conservation means wise use, and the T-shirt branded with the 35-year logo conveys a proud team member.

Thank you to all who contribute! And I’m here to assist and cultivate all who have an interest in our region. Please visit our website and feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions about volunteering or the wildlife among our waters. I hope to see you along the creek! – Jeff

Jeff Cantrell is a Missouri Stream Team Biologist who specializes in volunteer engagement in the Ozarks and southwest region of Missouri. He is housed at Shoal Creek Conservation Nature Center in Joplin, Missouri. He has a long history of working with the birdlife, hellbenders, madtoms, sculpins, stonerollers and plant life along our Ozark streams. Contact him at

June 2024 • • 71
of local and broader water-related natural communities.

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