Joplin Tornado School Repair Bill Nears A Quarter of a Billion
October 14, 2015

AP) – Immigrant students on Tuesday sued three Missouri public colleges for charging them higher tuition, a change prompted by a new state law aimed at blocking students without lawful immigration status from paying less than international students.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri filed the suits in several circuit courts against the University of Missouri Board of Curators, the Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City and St. Louis Community College on behalf of three students, who were identified as either “John Doe” or “Jane Doe” in the lawsuits.
The lawsuits claim the students were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and now are lawfully present through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, although that doesn’t grant them legal status. Some have lived in Missouri for years, or previously qualified for resident tuition rates.
Instead of receiving the same lower tuition rates as other students who live in the state or nearby a college, they had to pay more than twice the cost of tuition they had expected, the lawsuits allege.
For example, a student previously enrolled at the Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City said she dropped out in the fall semester because her tuition was raised from $95 per credit hour to the out-of-state rate of $229 an hour.
“Our Missouri public institutions of higher learning exist to open the doors of opportunity to hard-working students striving to get ahead. Now, there are extreme financial burdens being put on the backs of students already struggling to achieve their goals of higher education,” said Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the ACLU of Missouri, in a statement. “To punish students who had no say in how they arrived in this country is not only mean-spirited, it is against the law.”
At issue is a law signed in May that guides state spending on public colleges and universities. An introduction to the legislation includes a provision that colleges receiving state money must charge students without a lawful immigration status nothing less than the international rate of tuition.

Joplin Tornado Costs Hit $1 Billion
March 10, 2014

(AP) – Costs of rebuilding and repairs since the May 2011 tornado that hit Joplin and Duquesne have topped $1 billion.

The Joplin Globe reports) the city of Joplin recorded just over $991 million in repairs and new construction since the tornado, with another $46 million for two school projects just outside city limits and an estimated $5 million in Duquesne.

The May 22, 2011 tornado did millions of dollars in damage and killed 161 people in Joplin and Duquesne, a village about just east of Joplin.

The Joplin Globe reports city officials say the rebuilding signified that most people decided to stay, rather than leave the devastated area. The city of Joplin reported a population decline of only 4 to 4.5 percent from its pre-tornado census of 50,150

Joplin Students To Return to New Classrooms as Tornado Recovery Continues
December 26, 2013

(AP) – More than 1,300 students who’ve been attending classes in temporary quarters since Joplin’s May 2011 tornado will head to newly built schools in January.

Ten schools in the Joplin district were destroyed or heavily damaged by the EF-5 tornado that devastated parts of the city and the neighboring town of Duquesne.

The new Irving Elementary School will open Jan. 6 when classes resume after the holiday break. The school will serve students from the old Irving Elementary as well as Emerson Elementary, which was also destroyed.

Joplin school district students from the towns of Duquesne and Duenweg will attend Joplin’s new Soaring Heights Elementary. The school will share a kitchen and auditorium with the new East Middle School, which was only 2 years old when the old building was destroyed.

McCaskill Invokes Mother’s Memory at KC Campaign Stop
November 2, 2012

Democrat Claire McCaskill in Kansas City Thursday night

Missouri Democratic incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill invoked the memory of her late mother during a Thursday evening campaign stop in Kansas City.

Betty Anne McCaskill died earlier this week at the age of 84. She had been in failing health.

Her personal situation kept McCaskill off the campaign trail for about two weeks in late October. McCaskill resumed personal campaigning around the state Thursday.

At a Kansas City union hall with some campaign workers, McCaskill talked about returning to the campaign. She thinks her mother, who was very active in politics for much of her life, would want her daughter campaigning and thanking people.

“And I know what Mom would do. Mom would get out and talk to the people who make a difference, that are the workers in an election,” McCaskill said.

McCaskill appeared to tighten her mouth a time or two to keep her emotions in check.

“ She believed very much in the power of an individual to get involved in the political process and make this world a better place.”

McCaskill returns to an intense race that has taken turns in its final days.

Republican Todd Akin has put $1 million in TV advertising in front of Missourians, a couple of other conservative groups are also broadcasting commercials on his behalf.

Akin has struggled with money since being abandoned by some party leaders after his remarks about legitimate rape.

“For a million dollars to show up on Todd Akin’s lap five days before the election, who wrote that check? I hope Missourians ask that question,” she told reporters in Joplin Thursday.

McCaskill thinks the Republican National Senatorial Campaign Committee (RNSCC) is behind one Akin effort. After Akin’s rape remarks in August the NRSCC pulled $5 million it was planning on spending in the Missouri senate race.
Friday morning, the National Journal’s ‘Hotline’ reported the money is from the NRSCC.

“The cost of the buy is greater than what Akin held in his campaign account at the end of last month. Akin finished September with just $533,000 in the bank. And as of Oct. 17, the Missouri Republican party only reported $375,000 in its campaign account. The National Republican Senatorial Committee declined to comment on the ad buy, but the state party’s ability to finance the bigger buy could have come from a cash infusion from the NRSC,” according to the ‘Hotline’ story.

Neither the NRSCC nor the Missouri Republican Party are talking about the details of the purchase. That has Mccaskill’s attention,”

“When someone refuses to answer a question, it’s because they have to give you an answer that makes them look bad,” she claimed.

“In this instance, it would be they’re going back on what they said their position would be in this race.”

McCaskill also made a bid for voters in heavily Republican Joplin and Jasper County. Six years ago, then-Senator Jim Talent defeated her 2-to-1 in Jasper County.

McCaskill says that may be different this time because of the devastating Joplin tornado, and Rep. Akin’s views on disaster relief.

“He has voted several times ‘no’, on disaster relief,” she said.
“If there ever was a community that understands the role of the federal government after a disaster, it’s this community,” said the Democrat.

Joplin Tornado May Still Trouble Primary Voters
August 2, 2012

AP-Jasper County residents say thousands of people who moved after a tornado hit the county last year may have trouble voting because of confusion over their new addresses.
The county clerk’s office says about 10,000 voter registration cards sent to county residents have been returned because the addresses are no longer valid. Clerk Bonnie Earl said Monday many of the returned cards were for residents in Joplin and Duquesne who have not notified election officials that they moved after the May 2011 tornado.
Earl says she’s concerned voters might not know where they need to vote in the upcoming elections. Earl said she expects that some voters who have moved and not notified election officials may choose to vote at their previous polling place.