News to Know: Kansas City police officer shot, Joplin’s new ballot proposal, and Alliance of Southwest Missouri asks for seatbelts

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


Kansas City, MO. — Authorities charged a man with the murder of a Kansas City,  Missouri police officer. The shooting death happened during a traffic stop in north Kansas City on Tuesday. Investigators say officer Daniel Vaquez was trying to stop a vehicle for expired temporary tags — when the car’s driver got out — shot the officer — then drove away. 24-year-old Joshua Rocha surrendered hours later after the Missouri State Highway Patrol issued a statewide alert for the car. Charges against Rocha include first-degree murder. If convicted — Rocha could get the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Officer Vaquez was 32 years old.

Joplin, MO. — Joplin city leaders say a ballot proposal could boost public safety — but it would cost tax money. Joplin city officials gave residents a chance to learn what “proposition public safety” would do for the city — if approved by voters next month. The proposition would provide extra funding to Joplin’s police and fire departments to hire more people and provide better incentives to retain them. It would also add a property tax of one dollar per one hundred dollars of assessed property value. Last night — officials hosted a meeting to answer residents’ questions.

Jasper Co. MO. — The Jasper R-5 school district will train some staff members to carry concealed weapons on campus. The board of education will select which staff members will undergo the training. Their main goal is to be proactive towards a potential threat and keep the children safe. The staff members who carry concealed weapons will be anonymous and the weapons will be out of sight for students.

Joplin, MO. — The Alliance of Southwest Missouri is asking for seat belts to help with an upcoming driving safety campaign. MO-DOT is funding the project, providing 18 thousand dollars for marketing. The idea is to target male teen drivers of pickup trucks after recent data shows they are less likely to buckle up. To do that, a series of billboards will appear — an no one in particular requires a lot of salvaged seatbelts. The alliance hopes this 3-D message will get teens’ attention.