News to Know: Joplin shooting charges, lead cleanup deceit, and 19,000 acres burn in northwest Oklahoma

The news you need to know before you head out the door

JOPLIN, Mo. – Authorities in Joplin arrest and charge a man accused of shooting another man. Police say on July 16th, 42-year-old Richard McWhirt of Joplin shot 34-year-old Gregory Hallstrom, also of Joplin. The shooting happened on South Finley Avenue. Hallstrom was treated and released from the hospital. Officers arrested McWhirt Thursday. He’s charged with first degree assault and armed criminal action. Follow the investigation here. 

GRANBY, Mo. – A project manager hired to clean up lead contaminated soil at Granby, Missouri’s city park, pleads guilty to a federal crime. On Thursday Lynn Eich of Saint Louis admitted he intentionally gave federal officials false information regarding the scope and amount of lead contamination at Granby City Park. Eich was employed by a company that received a nearly 12-million dollar contract to perform waste remediation in and around Granby. Officials say the deceit cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars to correct. Eich could get up to five years in federal prison. You can find a full list of the timeline of the crime here.

WOODWARD COUNTY, Okla. – The Oklahoma Forestry Service says more than 19-thousand acres have burned in northwest Oklahoma since early this week. As of Wednesday evening an official with Woodward County said the evacuation order has now expired and no homes have been lost. They say air attack stopped the fire and eight fire task forces from the state were there yesterday.

MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. – McDonald County’s new chamber of commerce director is bringing-in big city ideas to the small community. John Newby, the new executive director, hopes to bring together the life long locals with those moving to the area. Newby has a long history in news and media including, being the founder of 360 Media Alliance and Truly-Local. He is offering free marketing tools and resources to businesses that can’t afford them otherwise. More about John Newby and his plans for the county here.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: An antique dealer in Maine specializes in rare and unusual items… including this life-sized taxidermy elephant! This morning we’re asking what do you collect? Join our KOAM Facebook discussion and cast your vote on our KOAM InstaPoll @ koamnewsnow.com/vote.