Show Me the Ozarks - March 2024

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14th By Linda Sala

Featuring Joplin & Webb City

March 2024 • Volume 23 • Issue 7


See what updated flooring would look like in your home!







Discover The Best Version of You

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& Offer of credit is subject to credit approval. Bank NMLS #539634


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March 2024 • • 5


contents March 2024





About the Cover


The Ozarks is a special place to find all things nature and wildlife. The photographers in our 14th Annual Nature Contest did a great job of capturing many aspects of nature. Linda Sala, our firstplace winner, captured her subject in her own neighborhood on the outskirts of Springfield, Missouri. Sala kept watch for several days until she was able to score her winning photo. Take a look at her photograph and all the other outstanding photos!


COVER STORY 32 14th Annual Nature Photo Contest Entries Featuring Joplin 38 Downtown Joplin Alliance to host Third Thursday events for 5,000 of its closest friends 40 New Joplin Chief of Police Richard Pearson believes in strong partnerships, relationships 41 Joplin Business Spotlights 42 Faces & Places: Joplin Business Expo 2024 44 Faces of Joplin 46 Volunteering is a way of life for Charlie Brown 48 The Creative Edge: Kim Kissel’s Palette of Creativity 6

Featuring Webb City 55 Webb City downtown businesses gearing up for Spring Shop Hop 56 Praying Hands provides 50 years of profound peace and comfort 58 McFarland keeps Webb City Cardinals flying high on football Friday nights 60 Faces of Webb City 62 Webb City Business Spotlights 64 Senior student-athlete Jonah Spieker shines bright balancing homeschool studies, public school athletics 66 Family Ties on the Basketball Court 68 Why I Run: Cody Wilkins: Facing Run or Die Moments


in every edition WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE OZARKS 14 The beginning of spring is the perfect time to get outside. Enjoy an Irish-themed 5K or 10K run, or be at one with nature during a yoga in nature session. If you’re into hunting and fishing, you’ll find fly tying and fish-cleaning lessons and a class on antler scoring. If mysteries and animals are your thing, check out the nature escape room. Whether you want to be indoors or outdoors this month, you’ll find plenty to do in the Four States in March! 12 Cultural Arts and Entertainment 16 Connect2Culture presents ... 17 Northeast Oklahoma Events Home/Lifestyle 21 22 52 76 78

Tastes of the Four States - Granny Shaffer’s Show Me Dining Guide Your House ... Your Home - Easter Decorating The Great Outdoors - A chicken named McChick A Naturalist Voice - For You, “Our” full support (part 1)

20 70 71 72 73

Recipe: Beer Bread Faces & Places: Wear Red Day Managing chronic kidney disease Health Events Substance use disorder and suicide connected - Dial 988 when help is needed 74 Fit For Life: White meat verses dark meat: One isn’t necessarily better than the other

other great reads 18 Joplin Arts District 19 Experience Carthage 26 Women To Watch 50 Things We Love 61 Fashion Forward - Wig’N Out

Can you find it?

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!

Congratulations to David Cunningham, the winner of the February edition “Find the Green Smiley Face” contest. David wins a gift certificate to McAlister’s Deli, in Joplin, Missouri. The Green Smiley was on page 25 in the right hand corner of the Dining Guide page.

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Mail this form with your check, money order or credit card info to: Show Me The Ozarks, P.O. Box 3325, Joplin, MO 64803 March 2024 • • 7

The Ozarks Magazine Since 2001


Chonda Ralston, M.A.



ASSOCIATE EDITORS Wendy Brunner Kathleen Swift




Ann Leach Holly Hukill Jeff Cantrell Don Lowe

Larry Whiteley Bridget Bauer Amy Howe Kristi Spencer



Gary and Desma Sisco

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.



March 2024 • • 9

New Beginnings Do you know about our birds and bees? What about energy that’s green? Or the communities we help keep clean? Learn more about our commitment to sustainability and the steps we are taking to protect the environment and wildlife while keeping service safe and reliable.

Scan to learn more

Is spring beckoning early this year? Maybe it’s a reaction to the record-breaking cold we had in some areas, but I’m ready to get back out there! How about you? Spring brings a sense of possibility. A fresh start and a time for new growth. As you read through this March issue, we hope you’re inspired by the beauty around us, by the leaders and volunteers working to make a difference, and by those willing to dream big and work hard to make their dreams a reality. We encourage you to take advantage of the warmer days ahead to visit the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center at Wildcat Glades to view the 80-plus photo entries we received for our 14th Annual Nature Photo Contest. A sly fox, serene sunsets, a bumble bee seeking the nectar of life – beginning on page 32 you’ll find these special moments captured by your friends and neighbors. We are grateful for the photographers who entered and congratulate our winner, Linda Sala! Thank you for helping us to have another successful fundraiser to benefit the Wildcat Glades Friends Group. Speaking of new beginnings, we had the privilege of interviewing Joplin’s new Chief of Police Richard Pearson this month. You’ll meet Chief Pearson in our Joplin section on page 40 and learn how his lifelong dream to protect and serve came to fruition. “I believe all the work and preparation that I’ve done over the past 30 years has brought me to my current position,” Pearson shares, detailing his path to Joplin. We introduce the new head coach for the Webb City Cardinals football team (page 58) as part of our Webb City features. Coach Ryan McFarland is a familiar face at his alma mater, and his enthusiasm in taking on the role is palpable. We’re cheering for him! We’re also excited to share the stories of inspirational women managing busy lives and careers in our “Women to Watch” section (see page 26). Whether they’re balancing the needs of family or running hard toward their goals, these are impressive women who define success on their own terms. As we anticipate the signs of new life and possibilities that come with the changing season, I can’t help but think of Resurrection Sunday. Easter comes early this year and for my family it means a time of celebration and reflection, along with hiding brightly colored eggs and baskets with chocolate bunnies. I’m praying for sunshine and sweet memories for each of you and your families. Happy spring! 10

Chonda Ralston, Publisher P.O. Box 3325 • Joplin, MO 64803 844-417-SMTO (7686)

GREEN 1936 Rangeline Rd Joplin, MO

525 S Broadway Pittsburg, KS March 2024 • • 11

This content is also available at PERFORMANCES:

March 12: “Whale Rider,” 7 p.m., Missouri Southern State University Cornell Auditorium, 3950 E. Newman Road, Joplin. “Whale Rider” tells the story of Pai Apirana, a 12-year-old girl who lives in a small Maori village where a male heir is supposed to inherit the title of chief. She struggles to prove her worth because her grandfather is opposed to a woman being the rightful leader. Rated PG-13. Free. More information:, 417.625.9736.

March 7-9: “The Diviners,” 7:30 p.m.; Saturday 2 p.m., Crowder College, 601 Laclede Ave., Neosho. A wayward preacher. A boy living in fear. A town where everyone is searching for something more. Group rates available. Tickets at or 417.455.5678. Tickets: General admission $10, seniors and Crowder faculty/staff/students $8, children (ages 12 and under) $6, Crowder housing students admitted free. More information: anniesmith@crowder. edu.

March 14: Joplin Writers’ Guild, 6 p.m., Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St., Joplin. The Joplin Writers’ Guild includes a wide variety of writers—from hobbyists to professional, published writers. The group focuses on supporting each other and sharing information about the publishing and writing industries. Open to the public. Dues are $10 for the year, but anyone interested can attend their first meeting free. More information:, 417.691.0480.

March 8 & 9: “Exit Laughing,” 7:30 p.m. (doors 7 p.m.), Dream Theatre Co., 124 S. Main St., Joplin. When the biggest highlight in your life for the past 30 years has been your weekly bridge night out with the “girls,” what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? You do the most daring thing you’ve ever done. Reservations required; reserve at General admission: $20. More information:

March 16 & 17: Agricultural School on Wheels, 1 p.m., George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond. Learn more about the Agricultural School on Wheels, an innovative solution to rural farm education George Washington Carver helped design. Free. More information: GWCA_, 417.325.4151., 417.623.7953 X1030.

March 9: TheaterWorksUSA’s production of “The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System,” 2 p.m. (doors 1:30 p.m.), Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Beshore Performance Hall, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Hop on the Magic School Bus for an out-of-this-world adventure. Tickets:, 417.501.5550 or at the C2C box office (Tuesday-Saturday 1-5 p.m.). Tickets: Adults $15, children (ages 3-17) free. More information:, 417.501.5550.

March 21: Coffee with Carver: Carver’s Agricultural Bulletins – Some Choice Wild Vegetables, 10 a.m., George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond. George Washington Carver taught impoverished, sharecropping farmers in the South to enrich their meals with nutrient-dense plants readily available. His agriculture bulletins will be on display. Following the ranger talk, park volunteer Linda will share information and recipes about wild edibles. Free. More information:, 417.325.4151.

March 20-24: “All Quiet on the Western Front,” 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 2:30 p.m., Joplin Little Theatre, 3009 W. 1st St., Joplin. In October 1918, a month before the end of World War I, Paul Bäumer is shot and killed by a sniper on the western front. “All Quiet on the Western Front” chronicles Paul’s observations of life and death. For mature audiences only; adult language. Reservations encouraged; reserve tickets at or by calling 417.623.3638. Tickets: Adults $18, senior citizens/students $15. More information:, 417.623.3638.

March 21: Adult Coloring (ages 18+), 6-7:30 p.m., Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St., Joplin. Unwind, create and socialize in a relaxing atmosphere. Coloring pages, colored pencils, markers and crayons provided but feel free to bring your own. Free. More information:, 417.623.7953 X1030.

March 22: “Janet’s Planet,” 6 p.m. (doors 5:30 p.m.), Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Beshore Performance Hall, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Join Janet Ivey, creator of the award-winning children’s television series “Janet’s Planet,” as she explores the science of our solar system and uncovers how science, technology, engineering, art and math can create a better future. Tickets:, 417.501.5550 or at the C2C box office (Tuesday-Saturday 1-5 p.m.). Tickets: Adults $15, children (ages 3-17) free. More information: lauren@, 417.501.5550. March 28: Merz Trio, 7 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Beshore Performance Hall, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. The virtuosic young piano trio, a Concert Artist Guild winner, brings creative programming to the finale of Pro Musica’s 2023-2024 music series. Free; donations appreciated. More information:, 417.625.1822. EVENTS: March 2 & 3: Women in George Washington Carver’s Life, 1 p.m., George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond. Throughout Carver’s life, many women mentored and guided him along his journey to earn an education. Learn about these women, often maternal figures and spiritual mentors, and how they encouraged him to succeed. Free. More information:, 417.325.4151. March 5: Rock Club, 5:30 p.m., Joplin History & Mineral Museum, 504 S. Schifferdecker Ave., Joplin. 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:, 417.623.1180 X1586. March 5: Chat & Craft (ages 18+), 6-8 p.m., Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St., Joplin. Whether you crochet, knit, stitch, draw or paint, bring your current project and chat with others during the monthly Chat & Craft event. All crafts welcome. Free. More information:, 417.623.7953 X1030. March 9 & 10: “Top Secret Rosies,” 1 p.m., George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond. This PBS film shares a largely untold story of the women, known as the female “computers” of WWII, and technology that helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. Free. More information:, 417.325.4151. March 10, 17, 24 & 31: Open Mic Comedy Night, 9 p.m. (sign up 8:30 p.m.), Blackthorn Pizza & Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave., Joplin. Try out your latest stand-up routine or take in the acts of local comedians, all while enjoying pizza from Blackthorn Pizza & Pub. Age restrictions: 18+ until 10 p.m., 21+ from 10 p.m. until close. Free. More information:, 417.540.9186.


March 23 & 24: Inspiring Success: Mariah Watkins, 1 p.m., George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond. Learn about how Mariah Watkins’ influence on George Washington Carver strengthened his self-esteem, nurtured his faith in God and encouraged him to pursue his education. Free. More information:, 417.325.4151. March 30 & 31: Film: “Becoming Helen Keller,” 1 p.m., George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road, Diamond. This PBS documentary revisits the complex life of Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind, and used her celebrity and wit to champion rights for women, people with disabilities and people living in poverty. Free. More information:, 417.325.4151. EXHIBITS: Through March 16: Carthage High School Art, artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage. See artwork by Carthage High School students. Free; donations appreciated. More information:, 417.358.4404. Through March 16: “In The Pink” by Joplin Regional Artists Coalition, artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage. “In The Pink” showcases the vast talent of this group of artists. artCentral is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Free; donations appreciated. More information: March 16-May 4: PhotoSpiva 2024, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. PhotoSpiva 2024 delivers an exhibit of photographic excellence from artists across the country. The competition is open to all U.S. photographers and can be any type of photographic process. Free; donations appreciated. More information: shaun., 417.621.9814. March 16-May 10: The 25th Annual Jo Mueller Small Works Auction, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Small works measure 12”x12”, 9”x12” or 6”x6” and will be auctioned. Spiva member artists create works ranging from jewelry to collage, which they donate for auctioning. Free; donations appreciated. More information: shaun., 417.621.9814. CLASSES: March 2: Mosaic Rocks with Stacy Heydt (ages 14+), 10 a.m.-noon, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Outdoor mosaics use a different approach than standard ones to keep them weather-safe so you can enjoy your creations for years to come. Registration required; register at Cost: $35. More information:, 417.621.9813. March 2: Wind Chimes with April Davis (ages 8+), 1-3 p.m., artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage. Create a beaded wind chime with metal rings and blown-glass beads and disks that resonate with a serene song. Libations and hors d’oeuvres provided. All supplies provided. Registration required; register at forms.

gle/gco6W5xZ6WQBAxv76. Cost: $35. More information: artcentral1110@gmail. com, 417.358.4404. March 9: Leprechaun Gnome Painting Class (ages 8+), 1-3 p.m., artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage. Juanita with Juanita’s Canvas will bring all supplies needed to create a St. Patrick’s Day gnome on a 12x14 canvas. Door prizes and refreshments. Registration required; register at sUfzqUJzXia2g7ff9. Cost: $35. More information:, 417.358.4404. March 9: Still Life Drawing with Jordan Murdock-Thompson, 1-3 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Learn to see objects through shape, line, composition and shading using a variety of media. Registration required; register at still-life-drawing-with-jordan-murdock-thompson. Cost: $25. More information:, 417.621.9813. March 9: Pysanky Eggs with Carolyn Trout (ages 12+), 2-5 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Learn about this Ukrainian egg decorating tradition using wax and dye, and create your own decorated eggs to display. Registration required; register at Cost: $40. More information:, 417.621.9813. March 10: Luck of the Irish Gnome with Denese Ward, 2-5 p.m., artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage. Make your own St. Patrick’s Day gnome. All supplies provided. Registration required; register at ev3cFvvEHXGmNnWW6. Cost: $35.More information:, 417.358.4404. March 15: Paint Pour and Sip with Kristen Hawkins (ages 10+), 6-8 p.m., artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage. Pour wine and pour paint during this paint pouring workshop. Wine and appetizers available. All supplies provided. Registration required; register at Cost: $45. More information:, 417.358.4404. March 16: Family Fun Painting Class (ages 8+), 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St., Joplin. Artists will help you create your own masterpiece featuring Impressionist paintings from artists like Van Gogh or Monet. You can also bring your own printed reference photo to paint. Ages 8+; cost includes all materials and a free ice cream cone from Caroline’s. Registration required; visit during regular business hours or call 417.553.0835 to sign up. Cost: $30. More information:, 417.553.0835. March 16: Wheel Throwing with Christina Lorenzen & Stephanie Roy (ages 15+), 1-4 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. 7th St., Joplin. Learn about wheel throwing while making ceramic projects of your own. Registration required; register at wheel-throwing-for-adults-with-christina-lorenzen-stephanie-roy. Cost: $60. More information:, 417.621.9813. March 16: Feathered Friends Fused Glass with Jane McCaulley (ages 8+), 2:30-4:30 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Learn about fused art while making a glass rooster or hen. Registration required; register at Cost: $40. More information: sclements@, 417.621.9813. March 19-21: Spring Break Camp: Wheel Throwing for Kids with Christina Lorenzen (ages 6-11), 10 a.m.–noon, Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Perfect for elementary kids interested in learning about ceramics. Students will get messy with wheel throwing and make multiple projects. Registration required; register at Cost: $100. More information:, 417.621.9813. March 19-21: Spring Break Camp: Mixed Media & Collage Camp with Stacy Heydt (ages 6-11), noon-4 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Students will learn how to make two-dimensional art by mixing a variety of different mediums. They will take home projects each day and will create their own 11×14 abstract masterpiece. Registration required; register at Cost: $100. More information:, 417.621.9813. March 19-21: Spring Break Camp: Wheel Throwing for Teens with Stephanie Roy (ages 12-16), 2-4 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Come prepared to get messy and create several projects—no experience necessary. Registration required; register at Cost: $100. More information:, 417.621.9813. March 23: Shapes & Storytelling with Kinley Young (ages 6-10), 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex, Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin. Using an assortment of shapes, toys and stencils, kids will choose from fables and fairy tales to create an abstract drawing that represents

the story. Registration required; register at Cost: $25. More information: sclements@spivaarts. org, 417.621.9813. March 23: Felting with Stacy Heydt (ages 9+), 1-4 p.m., artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage. Work with wool and create a 3D animal starting from the core to completion. All supplies provided. Registration required; register at Cost: $40. More information: artcentral1110@, 417.358.4404. RECURRING CLASSES: artCentral Carthage, 1110 E. 13th St., Carthage, Missouri: Thursdays Feb. 22-March 14: Rag Rug Weaving Class with Cheryl Church, 6-8 p.m. Learn the colonial way to create a rag rug using different techniques. All supplies provided. Registration required; register at og6XJBQafZdrDhtq5. Cost: $75. More information:, 417.358.4404. Create N Sip Studios, 1505 W. 10th St., Joplin, Missouri: Wednesdays: Wine’d Down Wednesday, 5-9 p.m. Create N Sip Studios is combining the best of both worlds with the Canvas and Home Decor DIY Event. Choose the project that works for you. Prices vary depending on chosen project. Cost: $28-$58. More information:, 417.680.5434. Saturdays: Saturday Morning Choose Your Canvas, 10 a.m. Select the painting you want to recreate and let the experienced staff at Create N Sip help you make a masterpiece. Prices vary depending on chosen project. Cost: $28-$176. More information:, 417.680.5434. Dream Theatre Co., 124 S. Main St., Joplin, Missouri: Tuesdays and Thursdays Feb. 6-May 17: The Acting Academy, 4-6 p.m. Students work with experienced instructors to adapt children’s literature into public theatrical performances and receive individualized tutoring in theatrical arts. Includes two live performances and three Third Thursday events. Tuition includes all production costs; sibling discounts available. Registration required; register at Cost: $120 per month + $25 enrollment fee. More information: Wednesdays and Fridays Feb. 7-May 18: The Acting Academy, 4-6 p.m. Students work with experienced instructors to adapt children’s literature into public theatrical performances and receive individualized tutoring in theatrical arts. Includes two live performances and three Third Thursday events. Tuition includes all production costs; sibling discounts available. Registration required; register at Cost: $120 per month + $25 enrollment fee. More information: Firehouse Pottery-Joplin, 112 S. Main St., Joplin, Missouri: Tuesdays: Ladies’ Night Out (ages 18+) until 8 p.m. Gather your girls and enjoy a creative evening and free studio fees. More information: firehousepotteryjoplin@, 417.553.0671. Fridays: Date Night until 8 p.m. Friday nights are date night 2-for-1 studio fees until 8 p.m. for all couples. More information:, 417.553.0671. Local Color Art Gallery & Studio, 1027 S. Main St., Joplin, Missouri: Tuesdays: Beginner Watercolor Class with Barb Hicklin (ages 8+), 11 a.m.1 p.m. An informative and fun watercolor class for beginners. Bring your own supplies. Registration required; register by calling 417.553.0835. Cost: $20. More information:, 417.553.0835. Tuesdays & Wednesdays: Oil, Acrylic & Watercolor Come & Go, 2-5 p.m. Awardwinning artist Paula Giltner teaches watercolor, oil and acrylic painting techniques and design principles. Bring any materials you have for the first lesson and learn about the materials you might need for additional lessons. Cost: $20. More information: Spiva Center for the Arts, 212 W. Seventh St., Joplin, Missouri: Tuesdays: Creation Station (ages 6-11), 4-5:15 p.m. Children explore the galleries, enjoy fun activities and experiment with a variety of media, including painting, drawing, clay, collage, sculpture and more. Pre-registration recommended as space is limited. Register at Cost: In advance $6, at the door $8. More information:, 417.621.9812. 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. No registration required. Free. More information:, 417.621.9812.

March 2024 • • 13

SMTO Calendar of Events

What’s Happening

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. Northwest Arkansas March 9: Irish 5K/10K, 7:30 a.m., Bentonville Community Center, 1101 SW Citizens Circle. Cost: $35, registration at packet pickup is $45. Packet pickup available during the following days/times at the Downtown Activity Center, 215 SW A Street in Bentonville: March 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and March 8 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 9: Second Saturdays: Women Artists with Marie Bannerot McInerney, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 600 Museum Way, Bentonville. Join us for an interactive artist talk where we take a closer look at the exhibition “Trace Me Back.” Head into the galleries to hear from the artist from 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. During this gallery talk, you will have an opportunity to meet the artist and learn more about her work. Plus, enjoy an interactive activity inspired by the exhibition. Free. No registration required. More information:, 479.657.2335. Carl Junction Community Center: 303 N. Main St., 417.649.7237 Monday, Wednesday & Friday Pickleball, 6-10 p.m., Tuesday & Thursday 1-3 p.m., and Sunday 1-6 p.m. Tuesday yoga 6 p.m. March 2: 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. Pittsburg, KS March 9-16: Rhea Lana’s of Pittsburg Children’s Consignment Sale, Memorial Auditorium, 503 N. Pine St. Use the south entrance to the basement. Hundreds of high-quality children’s clothing, toys, furniture, baby equipment, maternity clothing, video game systems, books, DVDs, nursing items, sporting equipment and more all under one roof. More information:, 417.825.3761. Quapaw, OK March 23: Four States Women’s Show, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Downstream Casino Resort Pavilion, 69300 E. Nee Road. Booths showcasing products and services in a “Girls Day Out” format. Includes a fashion show, cooking demonstrations and a safety and security presentation. Tickets: More information: Facebook at Four States Women’s Show, 620.719.0801. Joplin, MO Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center, 201 W. Riviera Drive. 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 TuesdayFriday, 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.


March 7: Virtual Program: Fish Cleaning Equipment, 2:30-3 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. In this session, we will focus on different equipment that will make cleaning fish easier and where to find them. March 8: Hunter Education: Skills Session, 6-10 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. This skills session will satisfy part two of the Missouri Hunter Education requirements. To enter the session, you must complete the knowledge portion and provide proof of completion by presenting either a qualifier certificate or a completed hunter education student manual before the day of the event. March 12: Introduction to Fly Tying, 6:30-8 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. Join the Shoal Creek staff and MAKO fly fishers as they continue a fly-tying series designed for the beginner and expert. They will go over equipment and supplies needs as they tie Glo Balls. All materials provided. Space is limited, so please register. March 14: Virtual Program: Fish Cleaning: Scaled Fish, 2:30-3 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12–up. Will focus on cleaning scaled fish like crappie, bass and perch. See some of the common equipment needed and common methods of cleaning these fish. March 15: Little Acorns: Spring Into Spring, 10:30-11 a.m. Registration required. Recommended for ages 3–7. Learn about the changes in nature as the weather warms up and make a springy craft to take home. March 16: Spring Stroll, 10:30 a.m.-noon. Registration required. Ages 5-up. Search for signs of spring, like animals and wildflowers, on Wildcat Park Trails. The stroll will be less than a mile. Meet at the education center gazebo next to the building. March 20: Nature Escape Room, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Naturalists need your help to uncover more about Missouri wildlife. Inside a room filled with puzzles and games, your group will have 30 minutes to solve clues to learn about Missouri creatures and their unique characteristics. If your group beats the clock, a prize awaits at the finish. Recommended for families, teens and adults. Registration required with a valid email address to receive time slot availability. Limited slots are available and group size is limited to six individuals. All participants must register for this program separately. March 21: Animal BINGO, 2-3 p.m. Registration required. Ages 5-up. Join us for a game of BINGO that has a fun and educational twist. Win prizes and see some live animals, too. March 21: Virtual Program: Fish Cleaning: Skin Fish, 2:30-3 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. Will focus on the equipment needed and common methods for cleaning both scale and skin fish. This is a single program that will cover the three-part Fish Cleaning series. March 22: Amazing Amphibians Webinar, 10-11:30 a.m. Registration required. Recommended for families. Learn to identify what you are hearing and discover some of the amazing adaptations of frogs, toads and salamanders that call Missouri home. See live amphibians and be sent a PDF amphibian craft to make at home. March 22: Feeding Frenzy Friday, 2-3 p.m. No registration required. Recommended for families. Naturalists introduce and feed several Missouri amphibians and reptiles. March 28: Virtual Program: Fish Cleaning, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. Will focus on cleaning skinned fish with an emphasis on catfish. Will look at some of the common equipment needed and common methods of cleaning these fish. March 30: Antler Scoring, 10-11:30 a.m. Registration required. Ages 12-up. Most sportsmen are interested in learning the basics of scoring their buck’s antlers. While there are several scoring systems, the Boone and Crockett (B&C) system is widely accepted as the standard from which all others were developed. This MDC workshop will teach participants the basics of scoring a typical whitetail deer antler. All equipment and

antlers provided. This is an introductory workshop. Participants will not be certified as official measurers.

16-up. You’ll make several pairs of earrings using different techniques. All materials provided.

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.

March 23: Going to the Dogs, 10 a.m.-noon. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of 14. Ages 10-110. Participants will cut and stamp a pendant to add to their pet’s collar or to wear in honor of their favorite furry friend. Also learn to make two kinds of no-bake dog treats. Take home everything you make. All materials provided.

March 2 & 3: Women in George Washington Carver’s Life, 1 p.m. Throughout George Washington Carver’s life, many women mentored and guided him along his journey to earn an education. These women encouraged him to succeed.

March 30: Wood-burned Magnets, 12-2 p.m. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of four. Ages 14-up. Will draw out a design or stencil. Wood-burning tools available to burn design onto wood rounds. You’ll have a scrap piece of wood for practice. Paint pens also available. Will add a clear-coat finish and magnets to the back.

March 9 & 10: Film: “Top Secret Rosies,” 1 p.m. Known as the “female computers” of WWII, this 60-minute PBS film shares a largely untold story of the women and technology that helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age. March 16 & 17: Agricultural School on Wheels, 1 p.m. Learn more about this innovative solution to rural farm education George Washington Carver helped design. March 21: Coffee with Carver: George Washington Carver’s Agricultural Bulletins: Some Choice Wild Vegetables, 10 a.m. George Washington Carver taught impoverished, share-cropping farmers in the South to enrich their meals with nutrient-dense plants readily available. His agriculture bulletins will be on display. Following the ranger talk, park volunteer Linda will share information and recipes about wild edibles. March 23 & 24: Inspiring Success: Mariah Watkins, 1 p.m. Mariah Watkins’ influence on George Washington Carver during his stay in her Neosho, Missouri, home strengthened his self-esteem, nurtured his faith in God and encouraged him to pursue his education. March 30 & 31: Film: “Becoming Helen Keller,” 1 p.m. This 82-minute PBS documentary revisits the complex life of Helen Keller. She used her celebrity and wit to champion rights for women, people with disabilities and people living in poverty. 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 (March 5, 12, 19 & 26): Art Explorations, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Free. Join Gallery Artist Pat Glick every Tuesday afternoon for a fun time working on your own project or art. March 6: Woodburning Bookmark, 4-6 p.m. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of four. Ages 14-up. Will draw out a design or stencil. Wood-burning tools available with a scrap piece of wood for practice. Paint pens also available. Will add a clear-coat finish. March 10: Fiber Sunday–Macrame, 2-4 p.m. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of 10. Ages 16-up. If you have never made macrame or want to refresh your knots, join Daria Claiborne for the first Fiber Sunday. March 16: Spinning Wheel–Pour Painting, 2-4 p.m. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of 10. Ages 16-up. Decoupage eggs for Easter. Everything you need is supplied. If you like the print on a particular napkin, bring several. Otherwise, just come to the class and you can take your choice of what is available. March 17: Basic Jewelry Making–Focus on Earrings, 1-3 p.m. Workshop fee $40, due at time of registration. Class limit of eight. Ages

Wildcat Glades Friends Group, 201 Riviera Dr., Joplin, Missouri. All programs are free of charge, unless otherwise noted. Registration is requested. To register, email or visit our Facebook page for online registration options. Robin Standridge, executive director,, 417.708.7713 or 417.629.3434 X4540 Various Dates in March, Ongoing Project: Wildcat Park Habitat Restoration Initiative. Wildcat Glades Nature Group, in partnership with Missouri Southern State 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 every other Thursday during the winter. If you are interested in becoming involved with the project, you can check out the group’s Facebook page or reach out to Every other Saturday at Wildcat Park: KCU Student Trail Workdays. The Kansas City University Students for a Sustainable Future organization spend every other Saturday at Wildcat Park working on the trails. These future medical professionals have worked with Wildcat Glades volunteers to remove invasive plant species from the trails, removed graffitti off various surfaces, cleaned up trash and much more. March 9: Yoga in Nature for Kids, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. For ages 4-up accompanied by an adult. This free class is designed to incorporate elements of fun, breathing and yoga poses specifically for kids. Must pre-register. Sign up by following the instructions on our Facebook page, by visiting YogainNature2024 or emailing March 20: Nature Explorers: Natural Wind Mobiles, 1-3 p.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. At this month’s Nature Explorers, we’ll be taking it breezy with a natural wind mobile craft. With locally gathered all-natural materials, your child can embrace their creativity and harness the power of the wind at this free program. Must pre-register by visiting or emailing colvin@ March 20 & 23: Preschool Connections: Robins. March 20, 10-11 a.m., and March 23, 1-2 p.m., Wildcat Glades Education Cottage. For ages 3-7. Spring comes early this year, and the robins are loving it. Join us as we learn more about these special springtime birds, read “The Robins in Your Backyard” by Nancy Carol Williams, sing a rockin’ robin tune and build a special craft that’ll make you say “Cheep, Cheep, Cheep!” Must pre-register by visiting or emailing Starting March 22 (various dates): Big Cat Week. For ages 8-up. The cat’s in the cradle at Wildcat Glades. This March, Wildcat Glades Nature Group is embracing its namesake for National Big Cat Week. Throughout this special week, we’ll feature programs on a variety of Missouri’s frequent felines, from big to small, spotted to striped and extinct to invasive. Details to follow; keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information.

March 2024 • • 15


presents... productions for KIDS by Ann Leach

TheaterWorksUSA’s production of

“The Magic School Bus: Lost In The Solar System”

Based on the original Scholastic book series, the cast of this 60-minute production finds Ms. Frizzle saving the day when her class gets lost on the way to the planetarium. The class suddenly blasts off into outer space for an epic interplanetary field trip. But when old and new rivalries threaten to tear the students apart, these young heroes must learn to pull together or risk getting lost forever in the solar system. Hop on the Magic School Bus for an out-of-this-world adventure!

“Janet’s Planet” Join program creator Janet Ivey for an exploration of the science of our solar system. For more than 25 years, the awardwinning children’s television series “Janet’s Planet” has captivated children across the nation while encouraging kids to reach for the stars. Now, you can join Janet and her friends during this live show as they travel through space to discover how science, technology, engineering, art and math can create a better future! With over 25 years in the children’s entertainment and education, Janet has captivated her audiences with her work. She has received 12 Regional Emmys and five Gracie Awards for her children’s series “Janet’s Planet” that airs on 140-plus public television stations nationwide. Janet grew up in Covington, Tennessee, and played astronaut on the playground, watched “Star Trek” and loved going to her friend Carol’s house because she had walkie-talkies that made playing astronaut and Star Trek even more fun. Janet credits her fifth grade teacher, Ms. Ernestine Yarborough, for inspiring her love of the solar system. Ms. Yarborough hosted a star party in fall 1977, where Janet had the chance to look through a telescope for the first time. Witnessing a strong and beautiful female role model who knew so much about stars and planets inspired Janet’s life-long love affair with the cosmos.


Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m. Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex Beshore Performance Hall Tickets: Children ages 3-17 free; adults, $15 plus fees. Call 417.501.5550 for reservations or questions. 16


Friday, March 22, at 6 p.m. Harry M. Cornell Arts & Entertainment Complex Beshore Performance Hall Tickets: Children ages 3 to 17 are free; adult tickets are $15 plus fees. Call for reservations: 417.501.5550

EVENTS Northeast OK Grove, OK March 8-10: 26th Annual Home and Garden Show, March 8, 3-7 p.m.; March 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and March 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 102 Lennel Drive (former Whoops location). Explore an array of topnotch products and services designed to enhance your home and garden. $5 admission fee. March 9: Blue Pearl. Doors open at 5 p.m. Music at 6 p.m. Grove Middle School, 517 W. 10th St. The River Ridge Bluegrass Association will deliver bluegrass music once a month during the winter months at the Grove Middle School Auditorium. March 28: Grand Area Creative Alliance Meeting, 12-1:15 p.m., St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 555 E. Third St. The Creative Alliance showcases organizations, businesses and individuals that inspire, enrich and educate the members of the community. Creative Alliance meets on the fourth Thursday of the month. All types of creators and all supporters of the arts are welcome to attend. March 30: Wake Up the Garden at Lendonwood, 8 a.m., Lendonwood Gardens, 1308 Har-Ber Rd. Please volunteer to help get the beautiful Lendonwood Gardens ready for the season. For more information, visit or call 918.786.2938. Miami, OK March 2: Joseph Hall is Elvis: Rock and Remember, 7-9 p.m., Coleman Theatre, 103 N. Main St. This performance shows the roots of Elvis but it is still a fast-paced show that will make it difficult for you to stay in your seat. It caters to the young and young at heart. He’s got the look, the voice, the charm and the moves that transport the audience to a time when parents were flabbergasted by the flauntingly provocative hip action. Ticket prices: Gold Circle, $35; Standard Adult, $27; Standard Senior, $25; Standard Student, $22. Coleman fees, $2 per ticket. More information: 918.540.2425. March 9: Classic Rock Icons, 7-9 p.m., Coleman Theatre, 103 N. Main St. Featuring Branson’s best tribute artists, Classic Rock Icons pays homage to the most legendary and influential musicians and bands of the classic rock era, including Journey, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Bon Jovi and more. Ticket prices: Gold Circle, $25; Standard, $20. More information: 918.540.2425. March 19: Dinosaur World Live at the Coleman Theatre, 9 a.m.noon, 103 N. Main St. Discover a pre-historic world of astonishing and remarkably life-life dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favorite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor and Segnosaurus. More information: 918.540.2425. March 22-24: Sunny Side Up Film Festival, March 22 at 8 a.m.March 24 at 5 p.m., Coleman Theatre, 103 N. Main St. Discover emerging filmmakers and screenwriters. The first of its kind in the area, this festival embraces the spirit of independent media. More information: 918.540.2425.

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

March 2024 • • 17

Bar and Restaurant Offerings Blackthorn Pizza and Pub, 510 S. Joplin Ave.: • March 1, 10 p.m.: Not the Sun and Violets are Blue with a $5 cover charge for those 21 years and older. • March 16, 10 p.m. to midnight is a drag show ($5 cover) hosted by Victoria and May. • Open comedy night at 8:30 p.m. on the first and third Sundays of the month.

Where it’s ‘COOL’ to be YOU!


Brew Pub & Parlor, 813 S. Main St.: • March 3, 7-10 p.m.: Pool tournament. • March 5, 8 p.m.: Karaoke and Ladies’ Night. • Catch a free comedy show the last Friday of every month.

isit these local establishments to experience a variety of creative events and entertainment this winter/spring:

JOPLIN ARTS DISTRICT NEWS - A snapshot of news, events and activities happening in March. ART EXHIBITS, THEATER AND MUSIC:

Chaos Brewing Company, 122 S. Main St.: • Wednesdays, 7 p.m.: Free trivia night. • March 14, 7-9:30 p.m.: Local putting night competition.

It’s time for the return of First Thursday ArtWalk starting March 7 and runs through Oct. 3 in historical downtown Joplin. And the monthly Third Thursday Main Street festival kicks off March 14 and runs through Oct. 17. Both events happen between 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Club 609, 609 S. Main St.: Artist Brian-David May presents “Convergent Symbolism” during March. His art explores the intersection of the physical and spiritual realms.

Connect2Culture, 212 W. Seventh St.: For event schedule, visit For ticket information and other details, call 417.501.5550. All performances are held in the Harry M. Cornell Arts and Entertainment Complex. March performances include: • “The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System,” March 9 at 2 p.m. Tickets: Free for children ages 3 to 17, adults are $15 + fees. • “Janet’s Planet,” a children’s play, March 22 at 6 p.m. Tickets are free for children ages 3 to 17. Adults are $15 + fees.

Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave.: Showing local painter Eric Beezley’s colorful abstracts on canvas during March.

Local Color Art Gallery, 1027 S. Main St.: 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 2 p.m. Tuesday art class for a $20 fee to help you improve your use of watercolors, oils or acrylics. Call 417.553.0835 to register for classes.

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

530 Somewhere, 530 S. Main St.: Showing a new artist to be announced during March. Dance Clubs:

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

Spiva Center for the Arts, inside the Cornell Complex, 212 W. Seventh St.: • 2024 Jo Mueller Small Works Auction of donated works by area artists to support Spiva operations opens March 15. • The nationally acclaimed PhotoSpiva exhibit opens March 15. • Spiva In Bloom exhibit celebrates floral design from March 21 to 23rd and includes a luncheon, workshops and more.

Xscape Bar, 530 S. Joplin Ave.: Thursday-Saturday.

Urban Art Gallery, 511 S. Main St: Presents mixed media artist Stacy Heydt with her show of paintings called Nature Rocks. Check for the date of the opening reception.

Countryside in the City Florist • Event Planner Event Venue 422 S. Joplin Ave. 417.781.3719 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. 18

Blackthorn Pizza & Pub 510 S. Joplin Ave • Joplin, MO • 417.623.2485 Facebook: @BlackthornPizza&Pub 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.

Experience Carthage

In the spirit of continuing to explore and experience Carthage, Missouri, this month we wanted to feature a local organization whose main focus is making Carthage even more beautiful and revitalizing our city through historic preservation and supporting downtown businesses. Did you know? Vision Carthage was formed by the City of Carthage following the Drury visioning process undertaken in 2011. At Vision Carthage, the organization sees the value in investing in our community. They strive to be a catalyst for positive change. And since their beginnings in 2011, they’ve been driven by the same ideas that initially founded the nonprofit organization: a desire to revitalize and beautify Carthage. Vision Carthage is able to do this with the help and support of its volunteers. In 2023, the organization had over 1,000 volunteer hours. Wow! Vision Carthage will host a unique experience as it brings vintage Vegas to Carthage with its upcoming Casino Night fundraiser. You do not want to miss this fun opportunity! Enjoy a jazz band and casino games, such as poker, roulette, craps, blackjack and bingo. There is something for everyone. A custom poker table locally designed by Lost Mill Woodworking will be raffled off. Enjoy games, prizes and fun! This is an experience sure not to disappoint. Save the date for this amazing experience Saturday, April 27 at Carthage Memorial Hall, 407 S. Garrison St. The fun begins with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. and game play starts at 7 p.m. For more information and to register for the event,

visit https://www. visioncarthage. org/casino-night. If you are interested in partnering with Vision Carthage, you can follow the organization on Facebook or Instagram @VisionCarthage or at If you would like to get involved to volunteer, you can text @vc-updates to

the number 81010. To stay connected with Carthage, you can follow Experience Carthage, MO on Facebook and at www.

March 2024 • • 19

Beer Bread

Here’s a simple recipe my family loves all year round — beer bread. As we get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, it’s the perfect occasion to pass it along to you. It takes just a few ingredients and no kneading or time to rise, so homemade bread is ready in no time. You can use whatever kind of beer you like. A lighter beer will give you a more mild-tasting bread, while a darker beer will give you a stronger beer flavor.

By Kristi Spencer

INGREDIENTS 2 ½ cups self-rising flour ½ cup all-purpose flour ¼ cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon onion powder ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning 1 (12 ounce) can beer ¼ cup melted butter


DIRECTIONS Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5-inch baking pan. Mix self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Pour in the beer and mix just until moistened. Transfer to the prepared pan. Top with melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Here are some ideas for dishes that pair well with beer bread: Soup and Stew: Beer bread is perfect alongside a bowl of cheesy potato soup or a spicy chili. Salad: Balance the carbs by serving beer bread with a fresh salad, like a classic Caesar or a simple green salad with vinaigrette. Charcuterie Board: Add a few slices to your next cheese board and top a small slice with cured meat, cheeses and a little spicy mustard. Dips and Spreads: The bread’s dense texture is perfect with dips and spreads. Beer cheese dip and hummus are delicious options.

Oh, and let’s not forget the simplest topping, a nice slice of butter. Enjoy!

By Kristi Spencer


Granny Shaffer’s

s I made my way to Granny Shaffer’s iconic restaurant on Range Line Road, I couldn’t help but notice the surge of fast-food chains in the area. Seeing the familiar chicken on the Granny Shaffer’s sign in the same spot it has occupied for three decades was comforting. Granny Shaffer’s is a timeless reminder of home-cooked meals and the memories we make around the table. When I met with Mike Wiggins, the owner of the restaurant, I had the pleasure of tasting what seemed like the entire menu, even though it was only a small sampling of what Granny Shaffer’s offers. Wiggins curates the menu himself, and you can tell the dishes are close to his heart. Each dish was a testament to Granny Shaffer’s commitment to quality and tradition, from the renowned Dowd’s catfish, steeped in history and the restaurant’s most popular non-breakfast item, to comforting homemade classics like chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes. My steak tips were served with hand-cut onion rings, which were an absolute treat. Of course, no visit to Granny Shaffer’s is complete without a piece of pie. I would personally recommend the blackberry pie topped with vanilla ice cream. Along with your pie, give Granny Shaffer’s Specialty Coffee a try. It’s micro-roasted and only ground upon order. It has become a fast favorite for patrons and local businesses. Granny Shaffer’s is more than just a restaurant where you can find our favorites; it’s a family affair. Employing multiple generations and fostering a warm, welcoming atmosphere, it serves as a gathering place where memories are made and stories are shared. With catering services and private meeting spaces, Granny Shaffer’s also plays a vital role as a community hub, supporting local schools and organizations. In a world where fast food often trumps tradition, Granny Shaffer’s remains a beacon of homemade goodness and heartfelt hospitality. Whether you’re craving a taste of nostalgia or simply seeking a warm, welcoming atmosphere to enjoy a meal, look no further than Granny Shaffer’s, where every dish is made with love and served with a smile. >> Granny Shaffer’s is located at 2728 N. Range Line Rd. • Joplin, MO • 417.659.9393 • Open Monday-Saturday 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

March 2024 • • 21

ShowMe Dining Guide

Club 1201


1201 E. 32nd Street • Joplin, MO 417.626.0032 • 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.

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: Monday -Saturday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday: CLOSED

Casa Montez

Tractors BBQ and Grill

4224 S. Main St. • Joplin, MO 417.624.2272

1008 E. 12th St. • Lamar, MO 417.682.6677

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.


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. $-$$

Special Advertising Section

Red Onion Café

Mis Arcos

203 E. 4th • Downtown Joplin, MO 417.623.1004 • 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. $-$$

1926 S. Garrison Ave. • Carthage, MO 417.237.0547 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! $-$$ Hours: Mon-Wed, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sat/Sun 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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

Bricks & Brews

Sam’s Cellar Bar & Oven

1531 Military Ave. • Baxter Springs, KS

101 N. Wood • Neosho, MO 417.451.3330 •

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.

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. $-$$

Special Advertising Section

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

March 2024 • • 23

ShowMe Dining Guide

Bailey’s Family Dining

Granny Shaffer’s Restaurant

1200 Briarbrook Dr. • Carl Junction, MO 417.781.2944 • Like us on Facebook!

2728 N. Range Line Rd. • Joplin, MO 417.659.9393

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.

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.

Haven 55

Shawanoe Restaurant

408 Havenhurst Drive • Pineville, MO 417.223.2055 •

70220 East Hwy 60 • Wyandotte, OK 888.992 SKY1

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.

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. $-$$$


Special Advertising Section

Club 609

Hackett Hot Wings

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



Trackside Burgers & BBQ 1515 West 10th St. • Joplin, MO 417.717.1161

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! $-$$

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.

Find out more about advertising in the Four-States’ favorite Dining Guide!

Call 844.417.SMTO or email:

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

March 2024 • • 25

By Amy Howe

Inspirational, empowering and successful. The women featured on the following pages are successful Women to Watch in our communities. They are proven leaders in their industries, leading the charge and setting a positive example for the next generation. Show Me The Ozarks Magazine is proud to showcase these dedicated women, who are role models and local trailblazers. Enjoy getting to learn more about what drives them as professionals, business owners and, most importantly, our neighbors striving to make a difference.

26 Special Promotion


Traditional Internal Medicine Physician • Chair, Division of Medicine Medical Director, Population Health • Freeman Health System 3202 McIntosh Circle Drive, Ste. 201 | Joplin, MO | 417.347.8755 |


r. Amanda Harrell stays busy each day as an internal medicine physician. She tends to her primary care patients in her clinic as well as the hospital and has proven you can have a successful career while still being a great mom.

As a woman in the medical industry, Dr. Harrell is an advocate for the next generations of women and young girls when it comes to career building and says it’s OK if they don’t have it all figured out yet.

“I started medical school with an 8-month-old daughter in tow at Kansas City University, Kansas City campus,” says Dr. Harrell. “I had my son at the end of my third year of medical school. My third child came during my third year of internal medicine residency at UMKC. My fourth child, as an attending, was adopted in 2021.”

“Find what brings you joy and gravitate towards that,” says Dr. Harrell. “You can be a mom and have a career. You can do it all as long as it is what you want for yourself. And, there is no box in which you must fit in order to succeed.”

Dr. Harrell has a heart for teaching others. “I typically have a student or medical resident with me learning core internal medicine concepts,” she says. For Dr. Harrell, it’s all about building relationships with her patients. “I try to learn about their lives, their families and what drives them to be healthy so we can develop a plan together that best suits his or her needs,” she says. SPECIAL PROMOTION

Her goal this year is to bring a weight navigation program to the community, which would include a multidisciplinary approach for personalized and effective obesity care. Dr. Harrell is an active community member and is involved with her church and many local organizations. This year, she will be married to her high school sweetheart for 20 years. March 2024 • • 27



Outreach Director Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks 1801 W. 32nd St., Building C, Ste. 209 Joplin, MO | 417.437.7868


egina Hammons is on a mission of building relationships within the community. As outreach director for Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO), forming relationships with community partners is one of Regina’s primary goals, alongside fundraising. “I’m making sure we let people know what Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks does and who we serve,” says Regina. Regina is new to the role of outreach director but has spent many years serving the organization in many ways. The passion Regina has for breast cancer awareness runs deep. “I love that I get to help men and women in our community during one of the most difficult times in their life,” she says. “I feel what I am doing is making an impact.” As a woman in the nonprofit world, Regina encourages the next generation of women to find what they’re truly passionate about and to not be afraid to take chances. “Failure is an opportunity for growth,” says Regina. Regina’s big goal she is working toward is getting insurance to pay for mammograms for women 35 years and younger. “Early detection is the key to help fight breast cancer and it’s on the rise for women 35 years and younger,” she says. Some exciting news to look forward to is Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks is opening a new thrift store located at 1230 E. Seventh St. in Joplin. This will be Regina’s new home office, and the team will do prosthesis and bra fittings.




1701 S. Main St. | Joplin, MO 417.553.3467 Mica Dalton is showing everyone around her that if you work extra hard and commit to the success of yourself and others, you can start and run a successful business from the ground up. Dalton is the owner and operator of her business: TRAIN Gym. Unlike a typical gym, Dalton’s business develops trainers who personally develop programs for individuals looking for long-term fitness goals. “My goal has always been to create a system that allows great people to become career trainers,” says Dalton. “In turn, our trainers help promote sustainable lifestyles for our clients.” An early riser, Dalton starts her days at 5 a.m. with a strong black coffee and then gets to work. As with most business owners, wearing multiple hats is common and for Dalton, it’s no different. “You’ll find me on the computer checking numbers and projections, all the way to training my clients,” says Dalton. “I put out any fires that come up, I get in my own workout, I handle membership acquisition as well as social media content creation and gym maintenance.” Dalton tells her new trainers starting out, to be a good person and you’ll learn how to be a great trainer. “No one starts out knowing everything,” she says. “I have a $40,000 degree, 17 years of experience, a boat load of continuing education certifications and I am still learning. In this field, it is easy to get discouraged by imposter syndrome but there are so many people out there who need a trainer in their corner to treat them well and provide valuable information so that they might reach their goals.” Dalton has big goals for her business this year. She wants to double her revenue lines from last year and improve the services she already provides. “My personal goal as a leader is to continue to improve our culture,” says Dalton. “I want this to be a place where trainers can establish their careers and clients can change their lives.”

March 2024 • • 29


COURTNEY BARNARD Marketing Manager Courtney’s Candles & Creations

2029 S. Willard Ave. | Joplin, MO 866.723.6873 |


ourtney Barnard has been around her family’s store, Courney’s Candles & Creations, her whole life and is the namesake for the store. For the past seven years she has been in her official role as marketing manager. As marketing manager of the business, Courtney focuses on managing the retail store front, maintaining the website and social media, and overall customer service. She also helps make the store’s home fragrance items that are manufactured in Joplin. Courtney loves the ability to be creative in her role, finding new products or fragrances and sharing them with her family of customers. Her success over the years comes from the privilege of working with some of the best leaders in the area and believes a good leader must be able to articulate a clear vision, inspire others with enthusiasm and treat others as they’d want to be treated. “Simply put, walk the talk,” says Courtney. Courtney’s advice for the next generation of young women is to find mentors who can provide guidance and share their experiences. “Remember that every career journey is unique, and your path may include unexpected turns,” says Courtney. “Stay adaptable and embrace the opportunities that come your way!” In her role, Courtney is able to focus on ways to support her community. “I am currently involved with Soroptimist International of Joplin, the Lafayette House and the Joplin Humane Society,” she says. “We also donate to many local charities and even make custom candles for some of them.” Courtney and her husband have a 4-year-old son, and as a family, they enjoy spending time outdoors.


March 2024 • • 31



By Kathleen Swift


ur 14th Annual Nature Contest photographers captured stunning wildlife, unique perspectives of birds, a variety of insects and, of course, the beautiful Ozark scenery. We thank all our photographers for all their submissions and for being the best stewards of nature and our wildlife. All of the contest entry fees go to benefit the Wildcat Glades Friends Group. Enjoy the photos on the following pages and the display at the Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center located at Wildcat Glades.

1st Place

Fox - Linda Sala, Springfield, Missouri

Linda Sala captured her winning photo of a juvenile fox sitting near the woods in her neighborhood just outside of Springfield, Missouri, over the summer. “I do a lot of wildlife photography and will walk down to Springfield Lake, which is near my neighborhood, and take photos when the weather is nice,” said Sala. “One day, my husband and I were driving through our neighborhood and I just happened to see several foxes sitting at the edge of the woods behind the houses. I rolled my window down and captured this beautiful fox looking right at us.”

2nd Place

Cicada Locust Autumn Earls, Columbus, Kansas Second-place winner Autumn Earls captured her cicada metamorphosis over the summer in her backyard. “I really enjoy taking photos of things others may not get to see happen in real life,” said Earls. “My family and I sat and watched the process of it coming out of its shell and spreading its wings, and that process took about an hour.” 32

3rd Place

Orange Flower with Bumble Bee Anne Stocker, Carthage, Missouri Anne Stocker of Carthage, Missouri, is a bumble bee enthusiast, and she took this photo in her backyard. “I participate in a group that helps with conservation of bumble bees called the Missouri Bumble Bee Atlas, and we call ourselves community scientists,” said Stocker. “My backyard is certified as a Monarch Waystation so I have many native plants and enjoy spotting all the bumble bees as I walk around the garden.”

Kids Contest Winner

Liam Franklin, Neosho, Missouri Twelve-year-old Liam Franklin finds the beauty in just about anything outdoors. Every Sunday, Liam and his family go to his grandparents for Sunday dinner and one day, he was outside taking pictures for a project for the local fair. Liam came across an old garden pot that had gathered rainwater and saw the beauty in how the leaf sat on top of the water, and he took his winning photo. Liam’s mom, Shalee, said Liam enjoys the outdoors so much and will take her phone to snap pictures when he finds something beautiful.

Facebook Favorite

Keith Jalbert, Neosho, Missouri

Our Show Me The Ozarks Facebook fans chose Keith Jalbert’s barn owl sitting in a tree as their favorite photo this year. Jalbert works for Amazon and always carries his camera with him. “This winter, I was en route to a delivery in Anderson, Missouri, and spotted this barn owl sitting on a fence post,” said Jalbert. “I quickly stopped and grabbed my camera and saw the owl fly up into the tree. That’s when I was able to get my photo.”

Honorable Mention Todd Calhoun

George Haubein Janice Myers

Sheila O’Daniel Brandon Cook March 2024 • • 33

14 Annual th

George Haubein

Nature Photo

Michael Munster


Ronessa Machado

Monica McGuire Brandon Cook George Haubein

Keith Jalbert Edie Chandler

Todd Calhoun Todd Calhoun Linda Sala Todd Calhoun

Linda Sala Koral Martin

Chrissy Williams Todd Calhoun

Edie Chandler

Brandon Cook Kathy Helmer Koral Martin

Koral Martin

Chrissy Williams 34

Michael Munster

Brandon Cook

Brandon Cook

Koral Martin

Stephanie Jones

Michael McGuire

Linda Sala

Stephen Miller

Janice Myers

Janice Myers Sarah Fullerton

Jana Reishus

Patricia Miljan

Wyatt Franklin

Autumn Earls

Sheila O’Daniel

Christy Jamison

Stephanie Jones Autumn Earls Stephen Miller

Liam Franklin Monica McGuire Tina Vanderpool

Tamara Colson

Stephanie Jones Patrick McGuire

Sarah Fullerton

Cody Brown

Stephanie Jones

Tina Vanderpool

Sheila O’Daniel Dan Curry

Stephanie Johnson

Linda Sala March 2024 • • 35


Nature Photo CONTESTENTRIES Kathi Sikorski

Kathi Sikorski

Jerlyn Jones

Debra Smith

Debra Smith

Debra Smith Dan Curry Mike Ritzman

Mark Bostick Kathi Sikorski

Anne Stocker Jerlyn Jones Anne Stocker Anne Stocker

Anne Stocker

Anne Stocker

Anne Stocker

Patricia Miljan Anne Stocker

Mike Ritzman

Linda Sala Anne Stocker Kathy Helmer


Kathi Sikorski

Joy A Long Mike Ritzman

Mike Ritzman

Anne Stocker

Anne Stocker

Pictured above is the Miracle of the Human Spirit Memorial in Cunningham Park, taken by Doug Hunt. The sculpture was created to honor the tornado survivors and lives lost, and the thousands of volunteers who helped residents once again see brighter days.



Since its founding in 1873, Joplin’s perseverance has been on display, from historic homes built during the mining boom to the city’s rebirth after the May 22, 2011, EF5 tornado. On the following pages, you’ll see the Joplin of today continues to thrive, thanks to residents with a heart for the city. Read about how their actions through volunteering and caring for those in need, supporting local businesses and the art scene, all work together to help the community flourish. March 2024 • • 37

SMTO Featuring Joplin

Downtown Joplin Alliance to host

Third Thursday events for 5,000 of its closest friends By Ann Leach


he 17th year of Third Thursdays celebrating Joplin and all it has to offer kicks off Thursday, March 21, thanks to the efforts of the Downtown Joplin Alliance (DJA) and its many volunteers and sponsors. “The event draws upward of 5,000 people per month with 100-150 vendors, dozens of downtown businesses participating, food trucks, outdoor dining, an artisan market and live music,” said Lori Haun, DJA executive director. “Third Thursday is Joplin’s signature event, bringing out all sorts of people, businesses, activities, performances and more.” Each month of the season has a theme with events to support that theme for the evening. The March theme is Go Green and subsequent themes are: April: Be a Hero May: Route 66 Fest June: You Belong July: Downtown Waterfest August: Dog Days of Summer September: Green and Gold

and chairs and, of course, people to help us clean up trash and safely get attendees and vendors off the street when the event is over.” The Third Thursday phenomenon began as Art Walk (Art Walk continues on the First Thursday of each month) and served as a means to activate empty storefronts downtown. “It brought people and art to downtown and inside the buildings,” Haun said. “Those buildings gradually started to fill, and attendance started to grow. Within a few years, due to safety concerns for attendees, the City closed the street during the event. This opened up the possibility for a new phase of growth by adding outdoor activities to complement the indoor pop-up galleries.” By year 10, building vacancies in the festival area were below 10%. And around that

October: Fall Festival “We are looking forward to celebrating again this year with sponsors like MSSU, Blue Buffalo and Missouri American Water,” Haun said. “We still have some sponsorships available, and signups for vendors can be made on our website, Musicians are also invited to reach out if they are interested in playing at one or more of the events. And we always need volunteers.” The volunteers are key to the event’s success. “It takes at least a dozen volunteers, plus our staff of four women, to pull it off each time,” said Kristina Kosiorek, DJA operations assistant. “Volunteers help us with manning entrances and exits during vendor set-up, as well as helping us set up signage, picnic tables, stages 38

time, with the reduction of available indoor spaces, its focus became more on using the outdoor area. Third Thursday planning continues year round, and DJA offers other events, too. “We host about 80 event days a year as an organization,” Kosiorek said. “Not to mention our

“We are looking forward to celebrating again this year with sponsors like MSSU, Blue Buffalo and Missouri American Water.” ~ Lori Haun, Downtown Joplin Alliance Executive Director

regular committee meetings, the work we do managing the Joplin Union Depot and the Endangered Properties Program, state- and national-level Main Street trainings and working with our local and state government to promote our organization and the work we do to bring economic vitality to our beautiful downtown through historic preservation efforts.” Some of those additional events include quarterly Downtown Now meetings, the Empire Market, Arts Fest, loft tours, Small Business Saturday, the Holiday Market and a weekly Wednesday staff outing to visit downtown businesses to touch base on their needs. “Just because there is a pause on our Main Street festival during the winter months doesn’t mean there’s a pause for us,” Kosiorek said. “There really is no such thing as ‘off ’ time at the Downtown Joplin Alliance.” March 2024 • • 39

SMTO Featuring Joplin

New Joplin Chief of Police Richard Pearson

believes in strong partnerships, relationships By Don Lowe


ew Joplin Chief of Police Richard Pearson believes he has worked hard for the opportunity now firmly in front of him. “I’ve been preparing myself for a position such as police chief for many years,” recalls Chief Pearson, who relocated to Joplin, Missouri, after spending virtually his entire life in the Louisville, Kentucky, area. “I attended the Southern Police Institute in 2001, then went on to attend the FBI National Police Academy in 2006. “I continued my education during my tenure with the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) in preparation to continue to move forward into positions of higher responsibility.” As for what led him to the Show-Me State, Chief Pearson says, “I began looking for police chief positions, and when I found Joplin and began to research the city, I knew this was a place I wanted to live and work. “I believe all the work and preparation that I’ve done over the past 30 years has brought me to my current position.” In thinking about how he opted to choose law enforcement as his career path, Chief Pearson reflects, “I realized I wanted to be a police officer when I was 12 during a career fair at school. “I was so impressed with a police officer who spoke to me that I knew it’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I joined a police cadet unit (15-21 years old), and then began my career as a police officer at 21 years old.” While he’s the one in charge, Chief Pearson doesn’t operate with a “my way or the highway” approach and affirms, “My leadership style is inclusive. “I’ve been meeting with each officer and commander of the Joplin Police Department (JPD) to get their input as to what is going on in the city and their views on the best ways to move forward.” Chief Pearson maintains, “I believe having buy-in from all employees will make any decision I make the most informed and well-rounded. I’ve also been meeting with residents, the media, business leaders, school leaders, social service providers and local community groups. “Everyone should have their voices heard and their needs met. The role of the police is to protect citizens, property and to keep the peace. This is best accomplished through a team approach, which includes stakeholders from all walks of life.” It’s all about being fully transparent, and Chief Pearson suggests, “I want everyone who works with me to know they can talk to me about anything that concerns them, and it won’t fall on deaf ears. “I make myself available to answer any question that my co-workers have as honestly and completely as possible. My motto is, ‘You may not 40

always like what I say, but you will always know you heard the truth.’” Chief Pearson is ecstatic to be here and says, “I’m very excited at the opportunity to be in this position and create relevant change. “I can implement many of the ideas that I have, with the help of my co-workers and outside partners to help make things better for the community. This is my joy and passion. It’s what has kept me in law enforcement all these years. I love the idea of being the cause of someone else’s life getting better.”

Joplin Chief of Police Richard Pearson Fast Facts Age: 52 years old Spouse: Gina Pearson Years Married: 14 Children: No human children but two Basset Hounds, if that counts (LOL). Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky High School Alma Mater and Year Graduated: Western High School in Louisville, 1989

a variety of roles, including administrative, uniform patrolman, shift supervisor, plainclothes detective, narcotics lieutenant, meth lab team commander, honor guard commander and property room commander. Taught criminal justice courses at Ivey Tech Community College in Sellersburg, Indiana (20152022). Worked with the Jefferson County Public Schools police in Louisville (2022).

College Degree: Attended University of Louisville for bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Received Doctorate in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University in 2023

Hobbies: Working out, fishing, reading, softball, horseback riding, camping and volunteering at a Basset Hound rescue

Career: Worked for the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) for 22 years (1993-2015), retiring at the rank of lieutenant. Held

Favorite Police TV Shows: “Miami Vice,” “Hill Street Blues,” “Law & Order” and “The Wire”

Favorite Food: Pot roast and potatoes

Special Advertising Section

712 E. 32nd St., Ste. 5 • Joplin, MO • 417.624.3144

Joy has been an insurance agent for 19 years and is driven by customer service. “My mother taught me at a young age to treat people with respect and dignity, which is what everyone deserves.” Previously, she worked in retail, food service and secretarial jobs. “I have always worked with the public, and I was hired by an insurance agent as his secretary and learned pretty quickly how to take care of clients.” Today, she writes and services Auto, Home and Life policies for Shelter’s clients. Over the years, Joy has learned to take a day or two for herself to relax. “I do crafts and love to visit my daughter, Ashleigh, and her husband, Jacob, in Branson and just goof around. I also work in my church with the ladies’ and social ministry.” She and her husband, Roger, have been married 31 years, and he has a son, Steven, from a previous marriage. They have one cat, Penny.


Armstrong Pest Control is your shield against pests! Say goodbye to unwanted intruders in your home or business with our expert services. From ants to rodents, we’ve got you covered. Our team of certified professionals delivers effective, safe and eco-friendly solutions tailored to your needs. Don’t let pests take over your space – call Armstrong Pest Control today at 417.317.7135 for a pest-free environment you can trust!




3301 Texas Ave. • Joplin, MO 716 Pearl Ave. • Joplin, MO 417.623.9816 or 417.627.1000



Joplin Metro Credit Union is happy to announce we are offering a total of $2,250 in scholarships! Not a member yet? No worries! Joplin Metro Credit Union is now a community charter credit union. Anyone residing or working in Jasper and Newton counties is now eligible for membership. Open an account by March 29, 2024, to qualify for the scholarship. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to invest in your future! Visit our website for more information. The deadline to apply is April 5, 2024.

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.

Red Carpet 360 PHOTO



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

March 2024 • • 41

Joplin Business EXPO 2024 Over 1,200 people attended the 31st annual Joplin Business EXPO Jan. 24 at the Downstream Casino Resort Pavilion. The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce’s Business EXPO connects businesses and the community with information about local organizations, services and products. Over 100 exhibitors had booths decorated in this year’s theme of Under the Big Top, presented by Downstream Casino and the gold sponsor, Home Pro.








11 8





1. Tara Yaryan and Pharmacist Kerrie Kelley with Xpress RX. 2. Charlie Brown, Starbucks Coffee. 3. Sara, Ryann, Stephanie and Haley with Dr Fly. 4. Kayla Koff and Abby Bass with Richardson’s Candy House. 5. Paige and Chris Martinez, Abernathy Roofing and Construction. 6. Jeff Maxwell and Tracy Crider, Southwest Missouri Bank. 7. Mallory Lethridge and Zack Francis, Binky Guy. 8. Sue Dillmon, Mandy Edmonson and Chonda Ralston with Show Me The Ozarks. 9. Cyndie Cooley with Arvest Bank and Chonda Ralston, SMTO. 10. Chase Kraft with Kraft Insurance. 11. Anita Zarrabi, Erin Garman and Aaron Garman with All Seasons. 12. D.J. Schoolcraft with Liberty Connect. Far Left: Dr. T. Scott and Stacey Hamilton with T. Scott Hamilton D.O.










13. Brian Jones, Against the Grain Woodworking. 14. Lindsey, Ken, Brooklyn and Olivia with TLC Properties - Crescent Falls. 15. Alberto Baez and Lindsay Hickey, Downstream Coffee. 16. Event Coordinator Daysi Aguilar, Downstream. 17. Barbara Wright, and Mickel and Britany Clark with Trackside Burgers and BBQ. 18. Alice Mangan, Alice CBD. 19. Dominic Buccieri and Katherine Mitchell, Missouri Southern State University. 20. Brandi Bates and Carey Prater, College View Manor. 21. Justin Mynatt and Derrick Shadwick, Liberty Connect. Far Left: Stephanie McGrew, Jesse Garcia, Erin Slifka, Doug Hunt and Amy Kauffman, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce/MOKAN Partnership. March 2024 • • 43

Joplin Faces of


Freeman Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Thomas Sanders, MD

Taking care of patients and helping improve their quality of life is the most important role Dr. Thomas Sanders plays each day at Freeman Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. With over 12 years of experience in the medical field, Dr. Sanders enjoys helping athletes return to their sports to achieve their long-term goals as well as helping adults of all ages improve their activity level and treat their pain. Dr. Sanders sees patients with a broad range of issues from broken bones to arthritis or sports-related injuries. His surgery days primarily consist of joint arthroscopy, which is minimally invasive surgery of the hip, knee or shoulder. It’s his goal to ensure his patients are well taken care of and on a road to recovery. “Having patients return after surgery with complete resolution of their pain or problem is the most gratifying experience to me,” says Dr. Sanders. “That is the goal for me and everyone on our team.” Outside of work, Dr. Sanders enjoys spending time with his family and exploring Joplin with his 3- and 5-year-old sons. A big supporter of Joplin and the surrounding communities, Freeman meets local needs in many unique ways, from providing high school athletic trainers in the schools to generous support of many local charities and organizations in need.

3105 McClelland Blvd. | Joplin, MO 417.347.5400




Joplin Faces of



Area Agency on Aging, Region X Jennifer Shotwell, Chief Executive Officer Sandy Hughes, Solace House

Jennifer Shotwell and Sandy Hughes are two people working together to make a big impact on the care of seniors. Shotwell has spent her time with Area Agency on Aging, Region X, serving the senior population of Barton, Jasper, Newton and McDonald counties. The purpose of the organization is to provide services, programs and information that will assist older persons in maintaining independence and dignity in their lives.

“Meeting the needs of seniors is a passion of mine, and what better way to serve them than to provide a home-like environment in which trained and dedicated volunteers, under the direction of hospice nurses, gladly give comfort and treasured, heartwarming companionship to the terminally ill in our community,” says Hughes. Solace House gives new meaning to “care giving,” where services are provided at no cost to the individual or to family members.

“Every day, we strive to make a difference in the lives of our seniors, ensuring they’re not only cared for but truly cherished,” says Shotwell. “It’s a profound honor to serve our aging community, meeting their needs with compassion, dignity and a commitment to enhancing their quality of life.”

You can learn more about the huge challenges and preparations that come with the increasing aging population at Missouri’s Master Plan on Aging Town Hall meeting scheduled March 8, 2-4 p.m., at Joplin Senior Center. At this meeting, you’ll be able to share your thoughts on the needs of older adults, adults with disabilities and family caregivers in the area so Missouri officials can develop a comprehensive Master Plan on Aging.

Hughes became a Silver Haired Legislator for Region X to share the successful love story and mission of Solace House of the Ozarks with others.

Jennifer | 531 E. 15th St. | Joplin, MO Sandy | 2425 S. Mina Ave. | Joplin, MO

March 2024 • • 45

SMTO Featuring Joplin

Volunteering is a way of life for Charlie Brown By Ann Leach


t is written that “necessity is the mother of invention” and community volunteer Charlie Brown is proof that’s true. Brown’s father lost his vision to diabetes in 2007 and needed assistance, so Brown became a caregiver, helping his dad navigate his new life. “I would take him to the Salvation Army to serve and to the Joplin Association for the Blind to do tasks that were manageable for him,” Brown said. “And my mom was always trying to help others even though she didn’t have much herself.” After Brown’s father died, he stayed with his mother as she coped with her own health challenges and later succumbed to pancreatic cancer. “The Joplin community was so supportive during this time,” Brown recalled. “My mom left her house to me, and I am so grateful to her for giving me this piece of security in my life. Everything I do to help others is done in her name and memory.”

enjoy supporting food programs because no one should have to worry about from where they are going to get their next meal.”

Charlie Brown receives requests for volunteer opportunities all the time And when he says “everything I do,” he’s not kidding. Charlie Brown but checks out the opportunity first to make sure it’s a fit. He said, “I always do my research to make sure can be found cooking and serving at the what I’m signing up for is Salvation Army regularly. He is a staple at genuine and not a scam.” He the Joplin Humane Society, playing with the encourages others interested cats and walking the dogs and helping with in starting to volunteer to Trunk or Treat each year. Other volunteer ~ Charlie Brown do the same and encourages efforts include meeting seniors and veterans those just beginning to give at nursing homes, supplying warming back to “start out small. You don’t have to move a mountain to make a shelters with food and coffee, serving at Angel Wings horse rescue, difference. Just talking to your neighbors or reaching out on social media distributing school supplies to multiple schools and nominating or mowing a friend’s yard can help. ” nonprofits for grants. Giving back has become a way of life for Brown who decided 11 When he isn’t volunteering, Brown is working in restaurant management, years ago to do something good for someone or an organization a role he has had for 27 years. He enjoys traveling, trying new restaurants, each week. He defines volunteerism as “anything big or small that spending time on Facebook and helping other businesses with their social can positively impact someone.” His favorites are the Humane media pages so they can be successful. He has also rescued several cats.

“You don’t have to move a mountain to make a difference.”

Society and helping food programs. “I love our Humane Society and spending time there,” he said. “Our animals need us. And I also 46

“Helping others does come with a good feeling. But the real reward is seeing the results.”



417.540.4411 March 2024 • • 47

SMTO Featuring Joplin

Kim Kissel’s Palette of Creativity By Ann Leach


il painter Kim Kissel’s life has been centered around art ever since her awareness of art began with her mother, who taught her the creative side of life. “She’d share stories and songs and conversation with me as a young girl,” Kissel said. “I began to challenge myself as a young person exploring mediums and subjects that captured my attention.”


Kissel was hooked, and drawing became her constant pastime at home and at school. “I started collecting art supplies and would spend hours in my room painting,” she said. “This would lead to an education in fine arts and progressed to exhibits, shows and gallery representation, along with a social media and website presence.” The artist’s day begins with giving thanks, enjoying a warm beverage and playing a game of chess online. “I casually glance at the painting on the easel throughout my morning, and that gives me a fresh perspective and direction for the day’s work,” Kissel said. Her 2024 art focus is on portraits and figurative work depicting

“My hope is that Joplin will continue to embrace and grow in support of local art.” ~ Kim Kissel

everyday life in the 21st century as she sees it. There are two easels in her studio space, one that demands immediate attention, most likely due to a commission, and the second one for exploring ideas. Kissel described her work as “quiet. It holds me in a moment of thought. There is a sensitivity that questions the outside world and brings a sort of solitude into the picture. It is okay to be me.” She shared that her thoughts center around discovery of the things she feels and sees. “For the most part, I would say my work is cathartic and helps me to approach the truth of my life. It focuses on an object or place that gives life to the events of my life.” The art experience for Kissel is about “making your way into a world of color, value, line, texture, all the good things that matter when you are thinking about your end result.” She enjoys what she calls the “trifecta of completion. The concept or what it is you are saying, the process or how you say it with your materials, and the visual images that pronounce your concept are what create the trifecta of completion for me,” she said. Kissel is a member of the Joplin Regional Artist Coalition and Spiva Center for the Arts, and said, “My hope is that Joplin will continue to embrace and grow in support of local art and the tradition of patronizing the creative spirit that resides in this beautiful community.” You can find Kissel’s work at Local Color Art Gallery and on her website, She is also represented by Midwest Galleries for whom she exhibits in solo and group shows. She also accepts commissions. March 2024 March • 2024 • • 49 • 49

Wig’N Out Boutique

20 S. Main St. • Webb City, MO 417.717.5099 • Spring into March with styles from Wig’N Out Boutique! From vibrant florals to breezy fabrics, we have everything you need to step into the new season with confidence. You’ll also find the latest wigs, hairpieces and extensions. And always remember: “We’ve got you covered from head to toe!” Stop by and see us today or shop us online.

Magnolia & Sunshine

101 S. Washington St. • Neosho, MO 417.346.9353 • Follow us on Facebook & IG The Neosho square is a hidden gem for boutique shopping and dining. The historic charm of Magnolia & Sunshine’s location creates the perfect backdrop for a girls’ day! We offer elevated casual clothing, beautiful accessories, shoes and gifts, and we can’t wait for you to experience it, too! Magnolia & Sunshine would like to invite you to a spring open house March 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Zena Suri Alpacas

35401 S. 580 Road • Jay, OK • 804.389.2579 Everyone at Zena Suri Alpacas is ready for Wearing (and in some cases eating) the Green for St. Patrick’s Day. Cleo is more than ready and sporting both her beautiful white fiber and jaunty green attire.

Extreme Sports Scuba

5203 S. Range Line Road • Joplin, MO 417.659.9009 • Dive into adventure with Extreme Sports Scuba! Explore our newly remodeled store, featuring an expanded sales room and a fresh, new look. From top-of-the-line gear to expert guidance, we’ve got everything you need for your underwater excursions. Discover the thrill of scuba diving with us today! Come see us and like us on Facebook. 50

The alpacas are happy and hopeful all year and waiting to meet visitors who appreciate Cleo’s heart-shaped nose, sweet personality and her many friends. Open every day by appointment. Hand feed alpacas, feel their soft, flowing fiber, learn about them and buy their fleece to knit, crochet and weave. Take a class, stay in our cabin on the property or walk among them. Let’s all get ready for the best spring ever. Call 804.389.2579 or go to to arrange one of the best and most unforgettable experiences you’ll ever have.

Special Advertising Section

One 24 Outlet

13105 Kodiak Rd • Neosho, MO • 417.451.1144 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.

Pottery by KAT

Neosho, MO • Joplin, MO Follow on Instagram and Facebook @potterybykat Shop online at Creating nature-inspired, hand-painted and carved mugs, vases, jewelry and planters. Available locally at The Clay Cup just off the Neosho square or the Spiva Gift Shop located inside the Cornell Complex in downtown Joplin.

Special Advertising Section

March 2024 • • 51

Easter decorating


here were a lot of Easter lunches with my family as I grew up. I looked forward to getting a new dress for Easter, and we dressed up in our new outfits and attended church and then went to my grandmother’s house for lunch. I looked forward to the delicious food and the company of my uncle, aunt and cousins, and hiding and finding Easter eggs, and the Easter baskets. As a child, my Easter baskets always had candy, marshmallow bunnies and chocolate eggs and as I got older, my stepmother and father continued to give us an Easter basket filled with goodies from candy to Easter decorations that I still have and treasure.


With Easter comes the thoughts that we are also entering into spring. So, things we see in spring are great to include in your Easter décor. Things like colorful flowers, budding tree branches and, of course, the traditional eggs and bunnies. Who doesn’t love the bunnies? Here are some ideas of how to incorporate many of these things throughout your home in your Easter decorating. Your front porch is the perfect place to start your Easter decorating. Hang a colorful wreath on the front door made from spring flowers and pastel-colored eggs tied with colorful ribbon. Add pots of spring flowers such as jonquils and tulips (whether real or artificial). Accent these pots with baskets filled with colorful eggs, and you have a front entry that says welcome to our home and come in and celebrate Easter. Your Easter table should be colorful and fun. A centerpiece filled with spring flowers is a must. Add colorful dishes in pastel colors and mix and match them. Or, if you have classic white dishes, add some colorful napkins and napkin rings. Add charming ceramic bunnies and more baskets filled with Easter eggs and your table is complete. Add more Easter accents throughout your home with additional bunnies, eggs and flowers. Glass vases can be filled with eggs at the bottom and artificial flowers or branches sticking out in a whimsical display. Or use metal pails or metal or glass pitchers to hold fresh or artificial flowers. Add colorful ceramic accent dishes with bunnies to pull that Easter and spring theme throughout your home. Any basket can be an Easter basket, from wicker to metal to something useful like a plastic bucket and pail to dig in sand during the summer. Your basket can be made personal with whatever you choose to make it from or what you put in it. Add chocolate bunnies and other candy and special Easter cookies or personal gifts for kids or adults. Stuffed bunnies or bears or a gift of jewelry, such as a cross necklace or a new Bible, would be a hit with kids and adults alike. Easter is a time of renewal. It is a celebration of love, family and hope. May you and your family enjoy all those things during your Easter celebration and some fun décor, as well. March 2024 • • 53

SMTO Featuring Webb City

Welcome to


ebb City is a small town with big amenities that make it a great place to live, work and play. In the following pages, you’ll meet go-getters, community leaders, innovative business owners and more. Whether it’s cheering on the Cardinals, perusing the farmer’s market or splashing around at King Jack Park, there’s much to love about this tight-knit community with a rich history and a bright future.


Webb City

downtown businesses

gearing up for

Spring Shop Hop By Don Lowe


s springtime rapidly approaches, it’s once again time for downtown businesses in Webb City, Missouri, to roll out the red carpet for shoppers near and far for a two-day event filled with plenty of delightful deals.

says, “It’s a great opportunity to get our name out to new customers and bring in our regular customers as well. It gives us a chance to give back to customers with special deals and is a great way to spread the word about Webb City.

“Other than the sales and specials in the stores, the city’s street trolley will be operating throughout the downtown shopping district. There will also be food trucks.” Teamwork is at the heart of this special shopping experience and teamwork helps make it all go smoothly. Turner says, “This event is a collaborative effort. It takes participation from our Webb City Chamber of Commerce, dedicated and enthusiastic retailers and the city to make this event successful.

Known more specifically as the Webb City Shop Hop, this important event, scheduled March 15 and 16, gives merchants a perfect opportunity to welcome area residents and visitors into their stores while providing them with a sense of just how many retail options are available here. Local businesses are ecstatic to be a part of this Shop Hop, and Wig ‘N Out Manager Makayla Crane says, “It’s a great event with the changing seasons. It’s great for all the downtown boutiques to get together to host. “It allows people who haven’t necessarily heard that Webb City is growing and evolving to come and check us out.” Rebecca Courtney, who is co-owner of Twisted Oak, along with Jeanene Eberhart,

in the sales. VIP pass holders, passes prepurchased online, will receive a swag bag and may pick up special swag from participating retailers, as well as a VIP coupon book good only during the event.

“Webb City is a great community. We try to support each other because when one of us does well, we all do well.” Charles Spencer, co-owner of Spencers’ Sweet Call at the Minerva, with his wife, Malinda, explains, “The idea is to have a special day to help make sure people realize how many shops are downtown. We want people to see what all is available here. We want them to see the whole downtown. We work together to help get them to be aware what all is here and think of us as a shopping destination.” Erin B. Turner, city of Webb City community development director, relates, “Everyone is invited to come and take part

“We are proud to play just a small role in the success of this event and are grateful to every business, big and small, who chooses to invest in our community. We understand business owners have choices when it comes to setting up shop here. We’re blessed to work together to help keep Webb City’s retail establishments thriving.”

Webb City Spring Shop Hop Fast Facts When: Friday, March 15, from 4:30-7 p.m. and Saturday, March 16, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Where: Downtown Webb City at participating retail locations. For More Information: Various social media pages, as well as Webb City Community Event Calendar, Webb City Area Chamber of Commerce and participating retailer digital/online sites. March 2024 • • 55

SMTO Featuring Webb City

Praying Hands

provides 50 years of profound

peace &comfort By Don Lowe


hen the Praying Hands Monument was originally put on display in Webb City a half century ago, it was all about hoping to help create a sense of tranquility, comfort and calmness to those who stopped by for a moment of quiet reflection during a difficult time in our nation. Sarah Bandy’s father, Jack Dawson, is the artist who designed and constructed Praying Hands. She recalls that her dad “was finishing his art studies at Missouri Southern State College and beginning his career as an art teacher at Webb City High School during the increasing protests over the Vietnam War.

Photograph by Steve Head

“Many Americans were clinging to symbols of peace, and my dad was interested in providing a symbol of spiritual values and guidance for the community of Webb City.” As for his mindset at that time, Dawson explains, “I felt that what we need is peace … but I know that if we get peace, we’re going to have to pray for it. “I just wanted to do something that would be an everlasting reminder to the passing public to take time to stop and pray.” Webb City Mayor Lynn Ragsdale says, “Every town or city has something that makes it unique, and for us it’s the Praying Hands Monument. What began as a college art project with a message, has become the monument known around the world and it attracts many visitors each year.

“The monument in our city is as profound and important now as it was then.” Mayor Lynn Ragsdale, reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the Praying Hands Monument “Created during the tumultuous 1960s and ‘70s, the message was pure and hopeful. ‘Hands in Prayer. World in Peace.’ Our nation was still wrecked by Vietnam and then Watergate. Riots and protests seemed to be tearing our nation apart. The monument in our city is as profound and important now as it was then.” Bandy says they continue to receive many comments on the hopeful message of the monument. “Today, the Praying Hands statue is seen by 56

Praying Hands Monument Fast Facts

Visitor’s Center: In November 2020, a ceramic tile mural was added to the back side of Praying Hands to tell the history of its creation and display personal pictures of what Jack Dawson’s creation process looked like. Physical Address: Alongside Highway 71, not far from Main Street in Webb City (King Jack Park) More Information: Webb City Chamber of Commerce at 417.673.1154 Materials: Steel and concrete Size: Estimated at 32 feet high and weighing 100 tons Timeline: – August 3, 1971, the Webb City Park Board authorized an agreement between the City of Webb City and the Webb City Historical Society for the installation of the Praying Hands statue at the northwest corner of King Jack Park. – The idea was conceived by Jack Dawson, a young artist native to Webb City. – The project was made possible by the support of then-Mayor Robert Patrick and Reverend Alfred Jenkins, the Historical Society Chairman, as well as donations from the community. – Approximately $3,000 was raised to pay for materials to build the statue and install the lighting and landscaping around the statue. – The statue took approximately two years to complete. – During the first year, Dawson and his uncle, Loren Lynn, an industrial welder, built the steel base.

travelers all over the world and is a major attraction for those visitors passing along Route 66,” Bandy explains. Sitting on the edge of the picturesque 144-acre King Jack Park, Bandy says the monument continues to be a symbol of peace and strength for the community and visitors alike. “The Webb City Chamber of Commerce immediately began receiving letters of support and encouragement from people who found the sculpture a welcome relief from the tensions of the day,” Bandy says. “There has been extensive newspaper coverage about the installation throughout the Midwest, all the way across the seas.” During the 1974 dedication ceremony, U.S. Congressman Gene Taylor shared his thoughts on the significance of the Praying Hands Monument: “Prayer can be the strength of the individual. It is one of the simple necessities of life.” Ragsdale shares what the sculpture symbolizes to him as an individual and as the mayor. “For me personally, it speaks of prayer, peace and hope,” Ragsdale says. “If those remain the core values of Webb City, we are all in a great place. As mayor, that makes me proud.”

– After creating a scale model, they prepared a superstructure out of 10-inch beams and metal lathe. Steel supports were driven deep into the ground and steel rods were placed throughout the structure. All the steel was erected in the backyard of 811 West 3rd Street, the first home of Jack and Nancy Dawson. – The structure was moved by crane and flatbed truck to its permanent home at King Jack Park. Dawson, with the help of workers from Greenwood Plastering Company, began layering plaster concrete on the structure. – Dawson artistically molded the veins, knuckles and nails so they would depict hands of an everyday, hardworking laborer. – It was dedicated April 28, 1974.

March 2024 • • 57

SMTO Featuring Webb City

McFarland keeps Webb City Cardinals flying high on football Friday nights By Don Lowe


hen Webb City Cardinals High School first-year football Head Coach Ryan McFarland opted to take over at his alma mater and replace legendary Head Coach John Roderique, he didn’t flinch. “A wise man once said, ‘The Webb City football program has never been about one person,’” Coach McFarland says. “This is the quote that gave me the most confidence in taking this position. I had a front-row seat for Coach Roderique’s 26 years as Webb City head coach. “Being a freshman in Coach Roderique’s first year turned out to be a blessing because I got to spend my four years as a student-athlete watching and learning how to be a football coach at a high level.”


Webb City Cardinals First-Year Football Head Coach Ryan McFarland Fast Facts Age: 41 Spouse: Samantha McFarland Years Married: 17 on March 10, 2024 Children: Rylynn, Skylar, Reese and Saban High School Alma Mater: Webb City High School (Class of 2001) College Alma Mater: Missouri Southern State University/2005; William Woods University/2009 College Degree: Bachelor’s degree (MSSU)/ Master’s degree (William Woods) When considering how he was groomed for this opportunity, Coach McFarland reflects, “I spent 20 seasons as a football coach before being offered this position. I spent 12 years as an assistant coach under Coach Roderique. “During the eight years I was working for other football programs, Coach Roderique and I visited multiple times each month. I’ve studied and learned from Coach Roderique over his entire 26-year career. I might not do everything the way Coach Roderique did, but I have the best interest of the program in mind with everything I do.”

Coaching Career: Volunteer coach at Webb City (2003-04), Frontenac, Kansas, Assistant Coach and Teacher (2005), Webb City Assistant Coach (2006-13), Riverton, Kansas, Head Coach (201415), Seneca Head Coach (2016-20) and Webb City Assistant Coach (2021-22) Favorite Food: Chinese (cashew chicken) Favorite Football Movie: “Remember the Titans” Favorite NFL or College Football Head Coach: Nick Saban First Season Results: Finished 10-3 overall and reached the state semifinals before falling to Republic, 21-20

As for what made this the right time to lead WCHS, Coach McFarland says, “In the coaching world, there is a running joke that states, ‘In great programs, you don’t want to be the guy who replaces the guy. You want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaced the guy.’ “I’m not sure if I am just the buffer guy before the next guy or if I will be here for the rest of my career. Whichever it is, I know that no one will outwork me as a I get the privilege of leading this program.” Coach McFarland hopes the championship-caliber play that has long been a standard here continues. “Our team vision is to ‘do things better than they’ve ever been done in the Webb City football program.’ “We spend time with our players, talking about the legacy of the teams who have come before them. We talk about the history of Webb City football, but we focus on what it took for the previous teams to have success. “We spend our time talking about how to create a ‘championship environment’ in which we learn to act right in the classroom, locker room, weight room, on the practice field and out in the community. “If we can learn to have a ‘championship environment’ in all we do, then the results on Friday night usually turn out okay.” Coach McFarland is ecstatic to be leading a program that has impacted him so much and he affirms, “Friday nights are special in Webb City. Being able to lead our players down the hill at Cardinal Stadium is my favorite moment. It’s something special and you only understand if you get to do it. “The relationship with our players is what excites me most. Watching our players develop into young men on and off the field is the greatest reward.” March 2024 • • 59

Faces of


Webb City 2024


Foxberry Terrace Christal Allen, LPN, LNHA Foxberry Terrace by Americare is dedicated to providing a smaller, more intimate style of care and service. Christal Allen has served families with the organization for four years as a long-term care administrator. “We are continually finding new ways to enhance the well-being of seniors with innovative programs that raise the bar for healthy aging,” says Allen. “Consistency and quality matter to us.” Foxberry Terrace puts residents first and prides itself on treating you like their own family. “We come to work in ‘their home,’” says Allen. “We take pride in our home-cooked meals for residents and staff to enjoy. Work is always better with a little bit of fun to which our daily activities promote.” You’ll find events happening all the time at Foxberry Terrace, from quarterly family nights to luaus and holiday gatherings. Foxberry Terrace administration takes pride in helping navigate the healthcare system for families. They have a strong bond with home health agencies, hospices, hospitals and long-term care facilities to help ensure seniors are getting the best care while remaining in a setting that promotes their needs and desires.

4316 N. St. Louis | Webb City, MO 417.627.9867 |

Faces of


Webb City 2024


Four States Dental Care

Heather Sams, RDH, Vineetha Duddu, DDS and Nicholas Moore, DDS. Abbey Jones, RDH (not pictured) Dr. Dale Kunkel and his team provide a full spectrum of general dental care as well as specialty procedures. Four States Dental Care has eight dentists and a team of 60 employees that include dental hygienists, dental assistants, office managers, scheduling coordinators and insurance coordinators to ensure you receive the best care. Four States Dental Care is a group of three dental offices located in Neosho, Webb City and Monett, Missouri. Dr. Kunkel has practiced in Webb City for 60almost six years.

Along with providing general dental care, Four States Dental Care also provides a significant amount of cosmetic dentistry in the form of Lumineers, from DenMat Labs. Dr. Kunkel is a Lumineers Certified Dentist and the associates all provide this service and are in the process of earning their certifications. The office also provides implants along with oral and IV sedation. The offices all belong to the chamber of commerce in the communities they serve, and Dr. Kunkel also participates in numerous civic activities in the community.

501 S. Madison St., Ste. P | Webb City, MO 417.392.6090

Fashion Forward • Wig’N Out Fashion is not just what you wear but it’s also your hair! Come celebrate 8 years of business with us this month. We love helping ladies feel as beautiful on the outside as they are on the inside! From clothing, shoes and accessories to hair pieces, extensions and wigs, “We’ve got you covered from head to toe.”

Wig’N Out Boutique 20 S. Main St. Webb City, MO 417.717.5099

March 2024 • • 61

Webb City Business Spotlights

Express Rx of Webb City

Ipock Electric

101 W. Daugherty St. • Webb City, MO • 417.392.6039

Power up your life with Ipock Electric! From residential to commercial needs, we’ve got you covered. Harness the sun’s energy with our solar solutions or ensure uninterrupted power with our top-of-the-line generators. With expert installation and reliable service, trust Ipock Electric to keep your home or business powered efficiently and sustainably. Contact us today to see how we can help.

Experience convenience and care at Express RX of Webb City! Proudly located downtown, we prioritize serving our community with free local delivery, a convenient drive-thru, immunizations, pill packaging for easy patient compliance and so much more. Trust our friendly staff for all your pharmacy requirements. Whether you’re picking up prescriptions or seeking other services we provide, we’re here to serve you efficiently and with a smile. Visit us today and experience pharmacy service tailored to your needs.


Ghetto Tacos

Shelter Insurance®

Stephen Thomas, agent 1630 S. Madison • Webb City, MO • 417.673.1975 In January 2008, Stephen Thomas took over the family business. Jimmy Thomas, Stephen’s dad, had been in the insurance business since 1956. Stephen is proud to serve the Webb City community. Give him a call or stop by, and he will be glad to help you find the right coverage at the right price. “We’re your Shield. We’re your Shelter.” 62

530 N.E. St. • Webb City, MO 417.438.4592 Follow us on Facebook @GhettoTacos417 Ready for an incredible tasting taco? Visit Ghetto Tacos for the perfect meal! We’re still rolling up with the best Asada, Pastor, Pollo and Chorizo Street Tacos on four wheels, so follow us on Facebook for updates on where to find our food truck. Don’t forget to ask us about catering your next private party, wedding or event … because the best tacos are Ghetto Tacos!

Special Advertising Section

Liz’s Tax Service

1632 S. Madison Avenue, Suite B Webb City, MO • 417.499.7044

Do you owe taxes? Have you not filed in years? Is the stress and worry causing you to lose sleep? Come see us at Liz’s Tax Service, where we can help you sleep like a baby so you don’t have to worry about your taxes! Proudly serving the Four States since 2013. See us today for all your tax needs. Call now: 417.850.9992.

Roderique Insurance Agency, LLC - Pam Drake 108 N. Main Street • Webb City, MO • 417.673.1242

Roderique Insurance Agency has been in business since 1945. Three-generation family owned and operated; we are here to serve your insurance needs. With our personal service, we want to help you buy insurance, not sell you insurance. Conveniently located in downtown Webb City, we are here to serve you! Call us today; we help customers like you identify the insurance coverage that best fits your needs.

BEI Bill’s Electrical Contractors

Sub Shop Deli

1716 Falcon Rd • 417.624.6660

328 S. Hall St. • Webb City, MO 417.673.8946

Bill’s Electric, Inc., has deep roots in Southwest Missouri, with decades of outstanding service to residential, commercial and Industrial customers throughout the Four-State Area. Bill’s Electric is committed to providing the absolute best electrical repair and installation services to homeowners and businesses in the area. Our position and strength enable us to provide additional value to our clients and communities.

Discover the taste of tradition at Sub Shop Deli! Proudly familyowned and operated for 42 years, we serve up a delectable array of freshly made subs, crafted with love and quality ingredients. From classic favorites to innovative creations, our menu caters to every palate. You’ll find your favorite subs along with other menu items, including taco salads and chili. Stop in and see us for lunch or dinner!

Special Advertising Section

March 2024 • • 63

SMTO Featuring Webb City

Senior student-athlete

Jonah Spieker

shines bright balancing homeschool studies,

public school athletics

By Don Lowe


hile it might not have always been seamless for him, 17-year-old senior Jonah Spieker has shown uncanny ability to balance academics in homeschool studies and to showcase terrific talents for the Webb City Cardinals High School football team during a solid playing career within a public-school setting for athletics. “It was challenging, especially before I was able to drive,” Spieker admits of juggling education and sports across different playing fields, so to speak. “It was not uncommon for my days to start at 5:30 a.m. so I could get my work done. I also worked a lot of Saturdays.”

of film to give myself the best opportunity to be successful. “My sophomore year, I switched to only playing tight end and began to earn reps and starts on the varsity team.”

Interestingly, Spieker didn’t even start playing for Webb City until his ninth-grade year when the school district officially approved homeschool students to participate in athletics.

Fast forward to his senior year this past fall and Spieker’s phenomenal play proved just how far he’d come, while being lauded with the Webb City Football Cardinal Award, as well as Southwest Missouri Football Coaches Association Class 5 1st Team recognition and Missouri Football Coaches Association 1st Team All-District accolades, among numerous other honors.

Spieker recalls, “I saw very little time on the field as a freshman. I had come into the football program late and missed all the summer practices since Webb City had not changed their policy to allow homeschool participation in sports until August (2020).

Spieker, who first started playing flag football in first grade and then tackle football in third grade, has literally been raised on the gridiron. “As a baby and toddler, I attended my uncle’s (Missouri Tigers standout center Adam Spieker) games at MIZZOU.

“The offseason after my freshman year was a defining time in my high school football career. I had seen very little playing time on the freshman team, which crushed my spirits and hopes of becoming a varsity starter.”

“I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love the game of football. My favorite part of football is the physicality. My favorite part of the game is stacking up the pancake blocks and putting people on their backsides.”

Spieker persevered and he reflects, “Instead of accepting mediocrity, I trained like a madman in the weight room and studied countless hours 64

As he considers what has fueled his ability to perform at a high level, Spieker suggests, “The biggest factor that led to the success I had on the field and in life is being relentless.

“To be successful in football, or any other sport for that matter, you must have great work ethic and surround yourself with people who are also willing to work.” Spieker appreciates that being a homeschool student had no impact on how he meshed with fellow players and staff on the Cardinals gridiron squad, and he says, “I have a great relationship with my coaches and teammates. “In fact, many of my teammates never knew that I wasn’t a traditional student. As far as I know, the ones that knew never cared. I was able to earn the respect of my teammates. Relationships with my teammates were not strained because of the irregularity of my education.” Spieker has reason to be happy with how he’s handled his unique situation, and he maintains, “Because I was able to juggle both (studies and sports), I received an exceptional education at home, and I was able to develop and grow as an athlete under the coaching and mentorship at Webb City. I am so thankful for the opportunity I was given to participate.”

Webb City Cardinals Senior Football Star Jonah Spieker Fast Facts Age: 17 Height and Weight: 6’2”, 215 pounds Grade in School: 12th Parents: Andrew and Angela Spieker Sibling: Ezekiel Spieker Favorite Subject in School: History College: Plans to attend Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, in the fall Favorite Food: Steak Favorite Sports Movie: “Remember the Titans” Favorite NFL or College Football Player: Rob Gronkowski, former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro Tight End

March 2024 • • 65

SMTO Featuring Webb City

Family Ties on the

Basketball Court By Wendy Brunner


or the Robbins family of Webb City, Missouri, basketball is a passion and a vocation. Lance Robbins is the head coach of the Webb City High School girls basketball team. His wife, Amanda, works in administration at Webb City Schools and plans weekly girls basketball team dinners, is a coach in the Webb City basketball program and also coaches a fifth grade travel team. Their 21-year-old daughter, Kenzie, is an assistant coach for the girls basketball team alongside her dad and is an elementary school paraprofessional, and their 18-year-old daughter, Mia, finished her senior season playing guard for the team. “Our family loves basketball and the opportunities it has given us to impact the lives of young people,” Lance said. Lance is in his 26th year of coaching. He coached boys basketball at schools in Sarcoxie, Carl Junction and Hollister, then coached girls basketball in Neosho and now in Webb City. “I’ve loved playing basketball since I was young. I knew I wanted to be a coach and a teacher,” he said. He also teaches physical education at Webb City Junior High. Lance coached both daughters from the time they were 6 and 4 years old until they finished their high school years. Mia wasn’t only coached by her dad, but by her sister, as well. “Truly, being coached by them both is actually pretty fun,” Mia said. “My dad has been my coach my whole life, and having Kenzie there, 66

too, is pretty cool. I am beyond grateful to have them both there to teach and show me things I can do to better myself as an athlete.” Assistant Coach Kenzie is a junior at Missouri Southern State University, majoring in elementary education, early childhood with a minor in psychology and a certificate in applied behavior analysis. “I have been around basketball my whole life but never thought about coaching until the end of my senior year,” Kenzie said. “I tore my ACL three times in high school and was not capable of playing basketball at the next level. Coaching has allowed me to share the love I have for the sport and still be around the game I love so much. “I wouldn’t say there have been any huge surprises about coaching instead of playing because I’ve seen all the things my father has done the last 20 years. One thing I will say is there is so much more detail that goes into coaching as opposed to playing. As a player, you are given all the tools you need be successful, and as a coach, you are responsible for creating all of those tools.” Like Kenzie, Mia tore her ACL playing the sport she loves. She tore it during the 2023-2024 season but put off surgery under her physician’s guidance until this March. “I really just wanted to be able to finish out my senior season, even though I knew it would look a little different,” Mia said. “My injury changed how I played in that I only played about two minutes at a time so I was not playing when I was tired, which could have risked me getting injured worse. I became more of a spot up shooter. I also didn’t handle the ball as much as I did previously.”

“In the gym, I’m Coach, and outside of the gym, I’m Dad.” – Webb City High School Girls Head Coach Lance Robbins

Lance said, “Coaching Mia when she was injured was challenging because you don’t want to see your child hurting. And I didn’t want to put her in a position to get hurt. But if she wanted to play, I wanted to give her the opportunity.”

Kenzie hopes to teach preschool or kindergarten and later to own a preschool.

Mia plans to attend Crowder College this fall and earn her degree in secondary education with an emphasis on history. She hasn’t decided if she will play basketball, but it is an option.

“Coaching and working with my daughters is fun, but there’s a line drawn of being my kids’ dad and coach. In the gym, I’m Coach, and outside of the gym, I’m Dad.”

Lance said coaching his own daughters and working side-by-side with one daughter has presented them with few, if any, challenges.

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March 2024 • • 67

SMTO Featuring Webb City

By Ann Leach


t didn’t take long for 32-year-old Cody Wilkins to get the message after watching a couple of close family members struggle with health challenges. “My cousin’s husband had a massive heart attack at age 39,” Wilkins said. “That got my attention and I started going to the gym.”

Cody Wilkins:

Facing Run or Die Moments 68

Another cousin was in St. John’s hospital when the 2011 Joplin, Missouri, tornado hit. “That tornado messed with him, and he was basically in his last hours from lifelong health challenges,” Wilkins said. “I was visiting him, and my aunt and uncle introduced me to his childhood best friend, who co-owned a small football team, the 4-State Fusion, a semi-pro arena-style team.” The games were played on a field about a fourth the size of a regular football field. “It’s insane how fast it is,” Wilkins said of his time playing on the field. “So, I needed to work on my cardio. I got on a treadmill to see if I could run a mile and thought I would die.”

Wilkins weighed in at 270 pounds at his high school graduation in 2010 and at 370 pounds at his college graduation. “I had never thought of doing cardio, let alone running,” he said. “But I started losing weight.” Wilkins began running in April 2018 as a way to increase endurance for playing football after injuring a shoulder. His workout included running five days a week for about a year, completing his first 5K in October 2018.

currently hold three state and citizen records in the state of Arkansas. And I am the 2023 runner up in the Under 39 Clydesdale National Championship in the middle-distance triathlon. And I’ve completed one obstacle course race and numerous 5Ks.”

“My cousin’s husband had a massive heart attack at age 39. That got my attention and I started going to the gym.”

“I got the runner’s high and wanted to do it again,” Wilkins said. “I began telling myself, ‘See if you can do it faster tomorrow.’” The mantra paid off and Wilkins found himself running a seven-minute mile.

– Cody Wilkins

January 2019 found Wilkins a bit bored with running, so he began looking at triathlons and did his first one in March of that year. “I also became a competitive swimmer as a result,” Wilkins said. “I

Meeting lifelong friends is a benefit of running for Wilkins, as are the health benefits. “My knees were hurting and sounding like a bowl of Rice Krispies and I could hardly walk,” Wilkins recalled. “My knee would give out and I lost potential work opportunities before I began this journey. Now I can go out and run and clear my head, enjoy nature and the quiet.”

Wilkins lives in Webb City, Missouri, with his wife, Becca, and their daughter, Ruby. He enjoys family time and doing 3D puzzles when he’s not racing. March 2024 • • 69

Wear Red Day

Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker – sporting red – posed for more than a dozen pictures inside Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute Feb. 3. With doctors, nurses and staff wearing red themselves, the hour-long tour raised awareness about cardiovascular disease in women. It may come as a surprise to many that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women nationwide, despite it being thought of as a man’s disease. Almost as many women as men die of heart disease, causing one in three deaths each year.














1. Paula Baker, Brad W., Director Cardiac Clinical Services 2. Paula Baker and Dr. Jeyaraj 3. CV holding 4. Critical care (ICU and CVICU) 5. Cardiology floor 6. CVOR 7. Paula Baker, Michelle, RN, STEMI Coordinator, and Melinda Estes, NP/CV Service line director 8. Cardiology Clinic 9. Cardiothoracic Clinic 10. Vascular Lab 11. Cardiac Diagnostics 12. Cardiac Cath Lab 13. Cardiopulmonary Rehab Far Left: Paula Baker, Dr. Ryan Longnecker, Cardiologist, and Dr. Cali Clark, Internal Medicine Resident 70

Managing chronic kidney disease Provided By Freeman Health System


idney disease is one of the fastest-growing noncommunicable diseases in the United States, according to the American Kidney Fund. Nationwide, roughly 15% of American adults – 37 million people – suffer from chronic kidney disease. Acting chameleon-like, chronic kidney disease’s signs and symptoms go unnoticed in a vast majority of patients until a diagnosis occurs. “Many of my patients do not realize their chronic kidney disease is something they may already have or have been at risk for quite some time,” said Dr. Sharon Reuben, nephrologist at Freeman Kidney Center. The kidneys are vital organs that perform a variety of key functions: they filter blood for toxins, remove the body’s excess waste and fluids and regulate blood pressure, balance important electrolytes and minerals and stimulate red blood cell production. “When our kidneys are compromised in their ability to carry out any of these tasks, the consequences can be debilitating and even life-threatening,” Reuben said. “Chronic kidney disease progresses from stage 1 to stage 5, after which point patients require kidney replacement therapy in the form of dialysis or kidney transplant. Unfortunately, many patients are at-risk progressing very quickly toward kidney failure, whereas others can maintain stable kidney function very gradually. “Disease progression,” she continued, “can often be slowed when patients take an active role in making permanent, healthy lifestyle changes.”

The most common causes of chronic kidney disease in Americans are diabetes and high blood pressure. Roughly 37% of the U.S. population have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, and 45% suffer from high blood pressure. Both diseases are perpetuated by unhealthy lifestyle choices. “Making strides towards more disciplined food selections, portion control, increasing physical activity and eliminating smoking will help decrease the risk of chronic kidney disease,” Reuben said. “These healthy lifestyle choices can also slow the disease’s progression. Even small changes can make a big difference. “Always let your doctor know if you are taking additional supplements or overthe-counter medications,” she said. Be sure to take medications only as prescribed. Many medications can be affected by chronic kidney disease if the kidneys

cannot process those substances as a result of being damaged. Likewise, some medications contribute to developing kidney disease such as antacid medications and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. “In the Freeman Kidney Center, we are careful to make sure our patients are on the correct medications and doses for their kidney function,” Reuben said. “We work with you to make the necessary adjustments to ensure you have the information you need to understand what steps you can take to regain control of your health.” Reuben encourages people to meet regularly with their healthcare provider to screen for risk factors for kidney disease. “You may benefit from consultation,” she said.



Set for 8 a.m. Saturday, March 16, the 10th annual March O’ the Kidney will raise awareness and honor lives with a 1-mile walk inside Northpark Mall that directly benefits the Dialysis Patient Assistant Fund, with all funds used locally for those suffering from chronic kidney disease. Patients with chronic kidney disease must go on dialysis, and these lengthy treatments make it difficult for patients to work or enjoy a typical lifestyle. Many struggle to pay for medical expenses, proper nutrition and transportation costs. The Freeman Dialysis Patient Assistance Fund helps provide direct assistance for these needs. Pre-registration is $10 and registration at the door is $15 (kids 5 and under walk free). Find more information and register at

March 2024 • • 71

Joplin, MO Every day: Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings. Call 888.740.4568. Every Monday: Tips for Living a Healthy Life, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 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. March 8: Missouri Master Plan on Aging Meeting, 2-4 p.m., Joplin Senior Center, 2616 S. Picher Ave. Join legislators, state agency leaders, nonprofit leaders and other community partners at this town hall meeting to provide input into the state’s plan to address the needs of older adults, adults with disabilities and family caregivers. Open to the public, no registration required. Find more information at masterplanaging.

National Adult Literacy Action - For information on NALA, call 417.782.2646, email or go to www. NALA, 123 S. Main St., Joplin. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday and Friday: 8:30 a.m.-noon. Nevada, MO Starting March 4: Free Colon Health Screening Kits, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Are you 50 years old or older? Pick up a free take-home test kit to screen for colon cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death for men and women. Limited availability. Pick up in the NRMC Main Lobby, weekdays. March 9: 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. Call 417.448.3710 to register.

Joplin, MO

March 21: NRMC Auxiliary Tupperware Sale, 8:30 a.m.2:30 p.m., NRMC Mezzanine Walkway. The public is invited to join hospital employees in seeing all the latest in the world of Tupperware products. Each year brings forth new colors, new designs and new products. Al money raised through this sale is used by the Auxiliary to enhance the medical services and care offered by the hospital. For more information, call 417.448.3801.

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.

March 26: 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.

March 5: Espresso Yourself Breast Cancer Support Group, 5-6 p.m., Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave. Come and 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.

Integris Baptist Regional Health Center, Grove, OK

March 27: 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

March 13: 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.

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.

March 16: March O’ The Kidney, 8 a.m., Northpark Mall, Joplin. Walk 1 mile in honor of dialysis patients to raise awareness, meet the needs and honor patients with chronic kidney disease. All funds raised will be used locally for those suffering from the disease. Find more information and register at freemanhealth. com/marchofthekidney or call 417.347.4624.

March 5: Alzheimer’s Support Group meets first Tuesday monthly, 11 a.m., Generations fourth floor visiting room. Call 918.542.3391.

March 19: 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.

Crisis Text Line Text 741741

March 19: 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. 72

March 12 & 26: 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.

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.

Substance use disorder and suicide are connected

DIAL 988 when help is needed

By Bridget Bauer


ecently, Teddy Steen, executive director of ASCENT Recovery Residences, was made aware of two people she knew who died by suicide. Originally, she wanted to get information out about 988, the suicide and crisis lifeline. In 2020, The National Suicide Hotline Designation Act became a law and required the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a nationwide three-digit code designated for suicide prevention and mental health crisis. The three-digit number, 988, is available 24/7 and can be accessed by calls, texts, videophone and/or chats and offers rapid access to trained crisis specialists who can help with behavioral support. People who are experiencing a mental health crisis and/or contemplating suicide are strongly encouraged to reach out to the support services by contacting 988. “When you are feeling like that, tell someone you are in trouble,” Steen said. “Ask for help.” Both people Steen knew were at some point addicts or recovering addicts. After some research, it was discovered substance use disorders are associated with a significant risk of suicide attempts and mortality. In multiple studies, alcohol and drug use disorders were a factor in suicidal behavior, including attempts and number of suicides. What is interesting is the number of substances being used affects the incidence of suicide rather than the type of substance.

From a 2016 brief from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) titled “Substance Use and Suicide: A Nexus Requiring a Public Health Approach”: One of the reasons alcohol and/or drug misuse significantly affects suicide rates is the disinhibition that occurs when a person is intoxicated (HHS, 2012; Pompili et al., 2010). Although less is known about the relationship between suicide risk and other drug use, the number of substances used seems to be more predictive of suicide than the types of substances used (HHS, 2012). However, the research on this subject is limited, and the relationship between drug misuse and suicide risk is even less developed. More research is needed on the association between different drugs, drug combinations, and self-medication on suicidal behavior (SAMHSA, 2008). Surveillance data nevertheless reveal that a diagnosis of alcohol misuse or dependence is associated with a suicide risk that is 10 times greater than the suicide risk in the general population, and individuals who inject drugs are at about 14 times greater risk for suicide (Wilcox, Conner, & Caine, 2004; SAMHSA, 2009). “I think they get desperate and don’t want to live but don’t want to die,” Steen said. “From the two people I know, I keep thinking about the tremendous pain they were in to think that was the only answer.” Because multiple studies show that over 50% of suicides are associated with dependence on alcohol or drug use and at least 25% of alcoholic and drug addicts commit suicide, addicts and those in recovery need to be assessed for suicide. Additionally, they need to be made aware of 988 when help is needed right away. March 2024 • • 73



VERSUS DARK MEAT One isn’t necessarily better than the other By Bradley Morris


hicken is often suggested as a great food for health needs, whether that’s losing weight or gaining muscle. As a food, chicken is protein dense and has enough fat for many people’s diets. Best of all, it’s fairly low calorie, and because of how much protein is in it, it will fill you up faster than a lot of other foods. There is one thing about chicken meats: there’s white meat and there’s dark meat. As always, everyone’s health is unique, and I cannot write for your specific nutritional needs. Always consult a doctor or nutritionist before making major lifestyle changes. So, what is the difference between white meat and dark meat? The truth is that there are differences, but they aren’t as large as you might think. It’s true dark meat has not only more calories and fat but also a little less protein than white meat, but it isn’t a huge difference. In each ounce of dark meat, you’re probably looking at nine extra calories and an extra gram or two of fat, and you’re probably losing a gram or two of protein. It’s easy to look at these numbers and conclude that white meat must be definitively better, but this isn’t the whole story. Dark meat is still low-calorie compared to a lot of other foods for the amount of fat and protein you get. Even with the additional nine or so calories per ounce, you probably aren’t eating enough for it to go over your caloric budget. If you’re struggling to lose weight and have made every other change you can to your diet to get rid of calorically dense foods, then switching from dark meat to white meat can be a good choice, but most people probably are not gaining unhealthy weight because they eat too much dark meat. Dark meat is also more nutritiously dense than white meat. Let’s be clear, eating a chicken thigh isn’t the same thing as eating a salad packed with vegetables, and the vitamin and mineral amounts will vary by which kind of dark meat you choose, but dark meat will sometimes have double the vitamins and minerals white meat has. If you’re trying to get more iron or zinc from your meals, dark meat is something to look into. White meat is better for some vitamins like vitamin B, but you can easily get vitamin B if you’re eating diverse amounts of veggies and fruits. Ultimately, poultry is a great choice for most people’s diets. Even though I used chicken throughout this article and the numbers are different for different foods, it’s a pretty similar story for most poultry. Some people get sick of chicken breasts, and one of the best ways to get healthy is to not get sick of healthy foods. If switching over to a dark meat makes a healthy meal more appetizing, then switching over to dark meat is going to be the right call for most people. March 2024 • • 75

The Great OUTDOORS By Larry Whiteley

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.

A chicken named



he family next door got a chicken as a pet for their kids. They called it McChick after the McDonald’s chicken sandwich. The kids carried it around everywhere. Sometimes, it would come over and roam around our yard clucking and scratching the ground. At first, I would run it off. Gradually, McChick worked her way into my heart like many dogs in my life did. McChick could not go on point for quail, flush pheasant, retrieve ducks or tree a squirrel, but she would leave me an egg once in a while behind a bush. I would bend down to pet her or pick her up in my arms. She kept me company as I worked in my yard. 76

I worried about her. I did not want her to get out on the road and get run over. There were several neighborhood dogs. I had also seen redtailed hawks flying around. On the farm I grew up on, Grandpa called them chicken hawks. We always lost a few chickens to them. One morning, I walked outside and looked around for McChick but did not see or hear her. I saw movement at the corner of the house and walked over to see what it was. A hawk had McChick pinned to the ground. I kicked the hawk to get it off. I was too late. McChick was gone. I picked up McChick and smoothed her feathers. I was sorry that I did not get there sooner. The hawk would not leave its meal and sat on one of our birdhouses, watching me. I texted the kids’ mom and told her what happened. I asked her if she wanted me to bring McChick over so they could bury her. She thought that would be too hard on the kids and asked if I would bury her at our

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT “Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer is a permanent reminder of who we really are.” – Nick Trout

house so they could visit her grave. I agreed. I buried her in the shade of several oak trees where the kids liked to come and sit with me to watch birds on our feeders. I took a flat rock, carved McChick into it, and put it at the head of the grave. It was the least I could do for this chicken that had captured our hearts. Later that day, Mom and Dad brought them over to visit the grave. Tears flowed. We adults were choking back a few tears, too. That was several months ago. The kids still visit the grave. They will remember this special chicken. So will I. For a little while, in time, God blessed us with a chicken named McChick. After a few weeks of grieving time, the parents decided to get a new pet for the kids. It was a cat. I know a lot of you love cats. I have never been attached to cats like I was to dogs or like I was to that chicken.

The mere sight and sound of prey triggers a cat’s hunting instinct. To them, hunting is more about fun and entertainment. Quite simply, a cat cannot resist the flapping wings of a bird. If a cat manages to catch a bird, they play with it and throw it around. Cats do not usually eat what they kill. When their human owners let them outside, they will continue to kill. I have run the cat off when I see it in our yard. I have put out orange and lemon peels around the bird feeders. The smell is supposed to repel cats. It has not worked. The kids love their cat and we love the kids. I continue to do things to discourage the cat from coming over and killing our birds. So, is it cruel to keep a cat indoors? Cats hunt and are active in the evening or early morning. If you let them outside, do that from midmorning to mid-afternoon and then keep them inside the rest of the time. As long as a cat has the space and resources to express all of their natural behaviors and is not frustrated when they cannot go outside, there is no reason they cannot live a happy life inside as a house cat. And, we bird lovers can continue to live a happy life feeding and watching the birds. There are other reasons our neighbors should keep the cat inside. Sometimes, at night, I see their cat out roaming around. I also hear the howl of coyotes. They would love to catch and eat a cat. So would the owls that are out there, too. During the day, the red-tailed hawk that killed McChick is out there also. It will kill and eat cats. The kids call me Grandpa Larry and my wife Grandma. They are over often and are a special part of our lives. I do not want to wipe away their tears again over the loss of another pet. I would not miss the cat, but I still miss a chicken named McChick.

My wife and I enjoy feeding birds in our backyard and have for many years. There are many feeders for them and houses for the birds so they can raise their babies. We have planted numerous native plants for birds that love to eat their seeds and berries. In winter, we have cardinals, chickadees, doves, sparrows, wrens, nuthatches, bluejays, juncos and several woodpecker species. During spring, they are joined by yellow finches, indigo buntings, bluebirds and more. Around mid-March, we start putting up sugar-water feeders for the arrival of my wife’s favorite bird, the ruby-throated hummingbird. We also have plenty of native flowering plants to keep them around until they migrate in the fall. For a short time, in the spring, I put out feeders with grape jelly and oranges to feed the many colorful Baltimore orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks that stop by on their way to other places. Watching birds and other wildlife out our windows is more entertaining than anything on our television, computer or smartphone. The investment we make benefits them when food is scarce. We benefit from the joy of watching them. Now, back to the cat. A recent study by the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated domestic cats kill about 2.4 billion birds a year and have contributed to the extinction of 63 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. I have found several dead birds. It is not the cat’s fault. The domestic cat is a predatory species. That means they, much like their wild ancestors, are specialized, solitary hunters. March 2024 • • 77

For You,

“Our” Full Support (part 1)

Field notes and photos by J. Cantrell


pring is fast approaching, and so many people are craving blue skies and warmer temperatures. Many people simply thrive outside! Teachers know there are different learning styles. Some pupils learn better by reading (Verbal or Read-Write Learning Style), some by being physically active (Kinesthetic Learning) and Logical Learning style favors those who love mathematics. I’m sure there is a blending of acquiring and retaining information plus ease and enjoyment of each style for everyone. I’m not surprised there is a Naturalist category. Parents and educators alike know some youth and adults flourish in outdoor experiences. People who enjoy systems, the line-up or organization of “stuff,” and even the names … these are traits for the Naturalist Learning Style. These individuals are motivated by how things work in nature. They often notice the information from their senses clearly and note the fragrance, the color or pattern, the feel or the categories of separate sounds. I’ve been around this audience of people so much that I will often say the next step in their young adulthood is to investigate and discover creeks, trails, new sightings of birds, trees, fishes, etc. The excitement and need to learn more for personal growth may come 78

into focus as young adults in our 20s and 30s, or at retirement age. Not only do educators recognize this approach but the medical field professions acknowledge the health benefits for naturalist pursuits as a hobby. So, to support the “naturalist at heart” and the ones realizing their inner interests in nature this spring, let me offer a series to get the hobby started or honed. We will start with spring wildflowers. The Show Me The Ozarks region will burst in color soon with native forbs. The forest floor will wake up sooner than native grasslands this spring, but both habitats are worth keeping tabs on March through May. My advice is to not get overwhelmed, just enjoy them at first. You may want to photograph or journal your finds. If you are ready to start learning names, keep a list. Your list could include the date, habitat and any information you find useful. The budding naturalist will likely start to realize how quickly the spring wildflowers (ephemerals) appear and develop. In most cases, the

woodland forbs are growing and flowering before the trees develop their leaves and fully shade the forest floor. The wildflower guides will identify by scientific name and common name(s). The scientific name is specific; no other organism has that identity. Common names are useful and have heritage to them, but note there are several types of Wake Robin, Spiderwort, etc., in Missouri’s Ozarks. Still common names like Mad Dog Skullcap and Sweet William add flare and character to your naturalist notes. There is an important side to appreciating native plants. They are building blocks for all food webs and processes. I and my peer staff and statewide Missouri Master Naturalists are available for advice and camaraderie at the Shoal Creek Conservation Nature Center in Joplin. We have field guides to look at, and the Wildcat Nature Store in the center has books and wonderful resources. Feel free to drop by or email me for information on forbs, naturescaping classes or the Missouri Master Naturalist 2024 volunteer program in Springfield and Joplin. I hope to see you on the trail; I’ll be seeking Green Dragons, Jack in the Pulpits and Mad Dog Skullcaps. Jeff Cantrell is a Missouri Stream Team biologist focusing on volunteer engagement. He has a 31-county region and may be reached at jeff.

March 2024 • • 79


Wishing you a HEALTHY

St. Patricks‘


We’re LUCKY to be a part of Your community!



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