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Last night, the Joplin City Council spent about two hours discussing the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Joplin Finance Director Leslie Haase tells News Talk KZRG this is "one of the most challenging budgets" she's ever put together.

"There are no raises in the budget and replacement of very little recurring capital (items that need replacing).  The general fund is exactly balanced given those facts, but that is not sustainable year after year after year."

Haase and Mayor Mike Seibert said the Council will have to begin looking at making changes for the future once this budget is passed. They emphasize the City is not in financial panic, but there isn't cushion for unexpected expenses.
Did you know that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms requires you to list your race and ethnicity when you buy a gun? It's been that way since 2012. Missouri US Senator Roy Blunt told the KZRG Morning Newswatch he doesn't understand why.

"For the life of me, I can't figure out what that has to do with what the background check looks like.  There was a time when we put information like that on voter registration and other things, but long ago decided that was unnecessary and probably inappropriate."

Last week, a bill was introduced in the US House that would remove that requirement.  Blunt says he has questions about the requirement for the ATF: "One, why are they doing it?  Two, is it ever used to speed up or slow down a background check? And three, are you sure that the privacy of that information is as secure as it needs to be?

The practice may be aimed at gun dealers, since failure to note that information constitutes an ATF violation. And an ATF violation can make a gun dealer lose its license.


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Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert and Mayor Pro Tem Morris Glaze comment on the status of Memorial Hall.
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Missouri and National News
Two stories that have drawn national attention to Missouri this year could serve as reminders to Missourians, no matter how they feel about those stories, of the importance to vote in local government races. Those with passionate feelings about police procedures stirred by the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the unrest that followed, or about […]
The family of a former Marine imprisoned in Iran since his arrest three years ago on spying charges said his conditions have improved and he is now allowed to call home several times a week.
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Hear Todd Starnes commentaries on News Talk KZRG weekdays 10:03am, 2:03pm, and 6:03pm.
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Jay Cutler threw two touchdown passes to Martellus Bennett, and the Bears took advantage of some early mistakes by the Jets before holding on for a 27-19 victory Monday night.
James Harrison, less than three weeks after returning to the Steelers to officially retire, is now expected to be back with them in a playing capacity, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
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