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Joplin Tornado

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KY3 News | October 15, 2011
Saturday, a Missouri author showed her way to keep the tragedy of the Joplin tornado in our minds. "Joplin 5:41" is a book compiled by the Kansas City Star, full of photos of the devastation as well as first-hand accounts of the disaster, told by the victims themselves. One of the authors says readers will be touched by the survivors' stories. "I hope (the readers) realize what's going on down there is something we've never seen before but the human spirit is living on," author Laura Bauer said.
NEWS
Chad Plein, KY3 News and cplein@ky3.com | December 5, 2011
The emotional storm following the May 22 tornado presents its own challenges for Joplin:  Domestic abuse in Joplin up 44%, landlords raising rent because of short supply, good honest survivors of the storm ripped off from crooked contractors. Joplin's Catholic Charities office has seen 9,500 clients since the May tornado. "We want to get them back to where they were before the tornado," Kathy Welch with Catholic Charities said. But instead of just offering rent money, clothes and food, organizations are introducing clients to lawyers.
NEWS
by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News and sforhetz@ky3.com | August 5, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. --  One hundred sixty lives and thousands of homes are gone.  Joplin is still on a steady trek toward rebuilding, and many local contractors are able to bounce back now from an economic storm that hit long before the tornado. For most home builders, the last four years have been the worst they've ever seen.  When the real estate bubble burst, some closed up shop and moved on to new beginnings.  Now he tornado's devastation has brought new life. "We stripped all the Sheetrock out of this house, all the insulation, cabinets, all the flooring had to strip it down to the bare," said builder Mike Davis.
NEWS
by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News | July 21, 2011
JOPLIN, Mo.--  Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster will announce on Thursday morning two more lawsuits related to two charity scams.  Koster's office has already filed lawsuits against three companies following the Joplin tornado, with accusations of price gouging.  He says some businesses prey on people who have already lost so much. Koster says there are hundreds of cases his office is investigating, some 260 total complaints. We know there are 20 open complaint cases in the rental property business.  Fifty were launched, but 30 have already been cleared.
NEWS
by Jay Scherder, KY3 News and jscherder@ky3.com | August 23, 2011
WASOLA, Mo. -- So many memories were lost in the Joplin tornado, but at least one piece of history was found and returned to its rightful owner.  While on an investigation, an Ava police officer was handed a letter found in the debris from the Joplin tornado.  The hope was that she could use her resources to find who wrote it or who it was for. After she came up short, she came to KY3 News and asked our viewers for help.  After numerous telephone...
NEWS
by Jay Scherder, KY3 News and jscherder@ky3.com | August 18, 2011
AVA, Mo. -- In the age of e-mail, Facebook and text messaging, writing actual letters seem to be a thing of the past.  However, it is that past that is inspiring a police officer from Ava to help return a half-century-old letter to its rightful owner. The letter is from a soldier who was yearning for his love back home.  When this letter fell into Brenda Sellers' hands, she realized just how important it was to get it back to whom it belonged.  Of course, that's easier said than done, as the letter was found in the endless sea of debris after the Joplin tornado.
NEWS
by Paula Morehouse, KY3 News | September 16, 2012
JOPLIN -- The family of a man killed inside the Walmart Supercenter during the 2011 Joplin tornado has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Arkansas corporation and the store's manager. According to court documents, Janice and Jodelle Kirk, both of Joplin, filed the suit on July 31st.      The Joplin Globe reports they are the wife and daughter of Stanley Kirk who died as a result of injuries suffered during the EF-5 tornado.      The lawsuit alleges that Kirk attempted to leave the store to return home, but was forced to stay.
NEWS
by Ashley Reynolds, KY3 News and areynolds@ky3.com | August 8, 2011
JOPLIN, Mo. -- It's been more than two months since the powerful and deadly tornado destroyed about a third of Joplin. This week, nearly 40 families left homeless by the tornado have new places to live, thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Ashley Grube, her fiancé, and her four children just moved into one of FEMA's mobile homes.  The tornado took all their belongings, including their house.  She's thankful for this temporary home. “It's coming back.  It's just going to take a while before we feel normal again.
NEWS
video report by Paula Morehouse, KY3 News; text from edited news release | August 16, 2011
JOPLIN, Mo. -- Mercy Health Systems announced plans on Tuesday night to build a new state-of-the-art hospital here along Interstate 44 at Main Street - along with plans to build additional health care services elsewhere in Joplin.  In total, Mercy's commitment to Joplin will include upwards of $950 million - something unheard of in most communities today. “We are making this commitment because it's the right thing to do for Joplin,” said Lynn Britton, president and CEO of Mercy, which includes 28 hospitals and more than 200 outpatient facilities in a seven-state area.
NEWS
by Paula Morehouse and Tom Schultheis, KY3 News | May 22, 2012
JOPLIN -- For Anita Stephens and her son, Matt, the routine of daily chores is cherished time together; they're not squandering their second chance. May 22nd, 2011 --  a violent fury cut through Joplin's heart; an anguished mother frantically scoured through tangled trees, shredded steel and broken bricks to find her son. "There were his car keys laying on top of a pile of rubble and I lost it," Stephens said. The hours stretched on--still no Matt. "I clutched Matt's keys in my hands the whole time, they were like a talisman to me; I had to have that," cried Anita.
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NEWS
by Sara Forhetz, KY3 News | September 8, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Students at Drury University are collecting stories about the Joplin tornado for a healing and recovery project. The stories will be included in their Landscapes of Resilience project. The project at Cunningham Park will feature large story boards telling stories of courage, heroism and the resilience of those affected by the deadly twisters.
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NEWS
by Lindsey Henry, KY3 News and lhenry@ky3.com | September 3, 2013
JOPLIN, Mo. -- A new federal grant is aimed at getting more people into homes that are in the areas destroyed by the massive tornado on May 22, 2011.  The Joplin Homebuyer Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  It provides $8 million to help up to 400 middle-income families with down payments and closing fees to buy homes. To qualify, the household annual income must not exceed 120 percent of the medium income in Joplin.  The household would qualify for $20,000 to $30,000.  However, the new home must be bought or built in the path of destruction left by the tornado.
NEWS
August 27, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) -- New research from the University of Arkansas finds that tornadoes cause greater damage when traveling uphill - and that the twisters tend to climb toward higher elevations rather than going downhill. Engineering researchers studied images of the 2011 deadly tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Joplin, Mo.  The research team found similarities between the two tornadoes and say the findings likely apply to all tornadoes. Researchers also found that when a region is surrounded by hills, tornadoes skip or hop over the valleys below.  Damage is noticed only on the top of the hills.
NEWS
Ashley Reynolds, KY3 News and areynolds@ky3.com | May 22, 2013
Another need that's clear following the Moore, Oklahoma tornado: more storm shelters, especially in schools. Educators say they cost time and money. "It's just a long process," said Mark Mayo, Superintendent of Marshfield Schools. It's a hurry up and wait situation. Marshfield schools applied for a FEMA safe room grant back in 2009. Due to the grant requirements, they stopped construction.  The grant request was finally approved. "These things are not cheap," said Mayo.
NEWS
Brian Vandenberg, Edited News Release From The Missouri Governor's Office | May 16, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. -   Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit today against a Dana Point, California resident and his construction company alleging that he failed to provide construction materials and home-repair services that had been   paid for by victims of the Joplin tornado. Koster's lawsuit alleges that homeowners paid Clark Baxter and his business, Sustainable Design, Inc., tens of thousands of dollars for the construction materials needed to rebuild their homes.  However, Baxter failed to deliver the construction materials, and stopped working on the victims' homes prior to completion, leaving   consumers to purchase these items elsewhere at additional cost.  “Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy,” Koster said, “This office will continue to protect consumers by pursuing those who engage in this illegal behavior.
NEWS
Abby Dyer and adyer@ky3.com | May 3, 2013
Storm Shelters save lives, but many people don't have them because they are simply too expensive. After witnessing the damage from the Joplin tornado, Russel Gehrke made it his mission to provide storm shelters to Joplin tornado survivors that can't afford one on their own. Gehrke said, “I noticed the playground at burger king was still standing and that was kind of like…huh.   And then I noticed another playground standing at the Catholic church. It got me thinking that the plastic used in the playgrounds that withstood the tornado, we could make a concrete form out of recycled plastics and build storm shelters that are more cost effective.” Testing storm shelters in an expensive endeavor.  The typical test costs about $3,500.  So, in order to cut down on those costs to test his new materials, Russel invented "The Shredder".  "The Shredder" is a glorified pitching machine that is powered by a motorcycle and can throw pipes and 2x4s at about 200 ft/sec.
NEWS
by Paul Adler, KY3 News / Follow Paul on Facebook, Twitter @KY3Pad and Email padler@ky3.com | February 26, 2013
JOPLIN, Mo. -- Organizers of The Joplin Memorial Run are raising money for memorial banners . The group says it plans to put the name of each victim every 1/12th of a mile along the course.  The group's website says, " Each banner will cost $190, so the total cost for the 161 banners will be approximately $30,590.  We need your help to make this happen! Our goal is to raise enough money to purchase banners in time for the 2013 Joplin Memorial Run that will  take place on May 18th.
NEWS
by Paula Morehouse and Robin Yancey, KY3 News | January 15, 2013
SPRINGFIELD -- It's something many of us do, start the car and then dash inside while it warms up.  The Red Cross's disaster operations manager did just that on early Tuesday morning. "He was warming that vehicle up this morning and had literally stepped right back inside the house whenever he heard it peeling out his driveway," explained Nigel Holderby, the spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, Southern Missouri Region.  In matter of seconds, the vehicle was gone. It's a large silver, 4 door, 2010 Chevy Silverado pickup.
NEWS
Posted by Chris Brewer, Digital Media Editor and E-mail: cbrewer@schurz.com | January 10, 2013
JOPLIN, Mo. Insurance payouts from the devastating May 2011 tornado in Joplin are nearing $2 billion. The state Insurance Department reports private and commercial claims totaled more than $1.6 billion through the end of last October. The EF-5 twister damaged or destroyed more than 7,000 buildings. The official death toll stands at 161.
NEWS
KY3 News | December 23, 2012
JOPLIN, Mo.-- A trial is scheduled for the Fall of 2014 in a wrongful death lawsuit against Walmart, following the Joplin tornado. The suit claims that Wal-Mart prevented a customer from leaving the store last year as the Joplin tornado was approaching the store.  That customer, 62 year-old Stan Kirk, wanted to make a run for his home, but instead died inside the Wal-mart. Kirk's family is suing Walmart, saying the store failed to properly protect him, saying he was forced to stay in the store and was directed to an unsafe location.
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