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‘It is kind of like a big family barbecue ...’
Bikers take over St. Joe for a week

Approximately 200 motorcycles closed down a block on Frederick Avenue on Wednesday.

Gunslingers Nationals motorcycle club is in town for their national conference. It was the Kansas City, Kansas, chapter’s turn to host the conference this year.

They were led down Frederick Avenue by a police escort and ended up at the Pony Express statue to take a “family” photo.

“It is kind of like a big family barbecue in the backyard,” Dusty Carver, President of the KCK Gunslinger chapter said. “A lot of times we only see each other once a year.”

The Gunslingers are made up of active and retired law enforcement officers. It was originally established back in 2003 when four Texas police officers established the group.

There are riders from all over the United States: California, Oregon, Michigan, Texas, Minnesota, Delaware, Ohio, North Dakota, New Jersey and Oklahoma. The Kansas City, Kansas, chapter had all around the area to choose, and St. Joseph ended up being the place for them.

“We chose St. Joe due to the Pony Express and the history all around the city,” Carver said.

They go on different rides while they are in the area. On Tuesday their ride was to Atchison, Kansas, then they rode out to Weston, Missouri, on Wednesday.

Being in the town for the entire week, you may have noticed an abnormal amount of bikers in the area. With a surplus of people comes a surplus of spending.

“The economic impact of this group is about $115,000. They are using all the hotels this week, visiting restaurants and shopping,” Mary Supple, director of sales for the Saint Joe Convention and Visitors Center, said. “We are thrilled with that.”

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Big dent in the budget
Expiration of levy would result in $1.3 million loss for Rolling Hills Library

The Rolling Hills Library is requesting a renewal of the 20-year sunset tax levy received from the public.

For every $100 of assessed property value within the library’s taxing district, the Rolling Hills Library receives 31 cents from its taxing district.

Regardless of the vote on Tuesday, Aug. 6, the library will continue to receive a permanent levy of 16 cents, but it would put a dent in the operations for the two branches; one in Savannah and the other on the North Belt Highway.

The 20-year sunset levy makes up just under half of the library’s operating budget, according to Director Michelle Mears.

“It’s pretty critical for us,” Meers said. “Just in comparison, St. Joe Public Library has a 27 cent permanent levy, and their 15 cents is on top of that.”

The taxing districts for the St. Joseph Public Library and the Rolling Hills Library do not overlap one another, so no individual can vote for both.

The amount of money raised annually from the sunset levy is $1.3 million, and that comprises nearly half of the operations budget.

The library also serves the community on-the-go by reaching out to individuals outside the library.

“We purchased a brand new bookmobile in 2018, and that’s what you see on the road now,” Mears said. “We are very pleased the bookmobile goes to many communities and both counties — stops in a lot of school districts.”

There will be a kick-off event at the library in support of the tax levy on July 9. Rolling Hills Levy Chairman and Board Member Deb Burr said that event will occur in Savannah.

“We cover about 800 square miles in our library district, and so the bookmobile helps us get to those outlying communities, and having that physical presence, and doing the most important task,” Burr said. “Putting a book in the hands of the child.”

The Rolling Hills Library has 22 full-time employees and 15 part-time employees.

Democrats rail against economy-for-the-rich in first debate

MIAMI — Ten Democrats railed against a national economy and Republican administration they said exists only for the rich as presidential candidates debated onstage for the first time in the young 2020 season, embracing class warfare as a defining theme in their fight to deny President Donald Trump a second term in office.

Health care, more than any other issue, led the debate. And Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, more than anyone else, stood out — on her own at times — in calling for “fundamental change” across the nation’s economy and government to address persistent issues of inequality.

“I think of it this way. Who is this economy really working for? It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” Warren declared shortly before raising her hand as one of the only Democrats on stage willing to abolish her own private health insurance in favor of a government-run plan. “Health care is a basic human right and I will fight for basic human rights.”

The debate marked a major step forward in the young 2020 presidential campaign as Democrats seek to break out from the crowded field that has so far been dominated by former Vice President Joe Biden, who will appear in a second debate featuring another 10 candidates tonight. Biden was not mentioned during Wednesday’s faceoff, a civil debate with moments of modest policy clashes and few instances of Democrat-on-Democrat confrontation.

Immigration was also on their minds as the candidates’ minds as they pointed to the searing photos of a drowned Salvadoran father and his toddler daughter at the Rio Grande and blamed Trump and his policies on migrants crossing into America illegally.

Former Obama administration housing chief Julian Castro said, “Watching that image of Oscar and his daughter Valeria was heartbreaking. It should also piss us all off.”

Warren spent the evening at center stage, a top-tier candidate whose campaign has gained ground in recent weeks as she has released a near-constant stream of policy proposals. She was flanked by lower-tier candidates including Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who needed big moments to help spark momentum in the crowded field.

Several candidates, including Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio and former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland were eager to jab their rivals on issues including health care and immigration.

None of the candidates openly stumbled. Absent the ugly attacks or missteps that marred debates of past elections, the two-hour discussion allowed the Democratic Party to show off its extraordinary diversity. Wednesday’s lineup featured three women, one black man and another man of Mexican heritage. At least two candidates spoke Spanish at times, while Booker, an African American, talked about the violence that left seven people in his own urban neighborhood shot last week alone.

Yet modest differences on health care underscored a much louder internal fight over how aggressive Democrats should be on the nation’s most pressing issues.

On one side: candidates like Warren who are demanding dramatic change that includes embracing liberal policy priorities like free universal health care, debt-free college, a forgiving immigration policy and higher taxes on the rich. On the other: pragmatic-minded Democrats like Biden — and little-known former Maryland Rep. Delaney — who are calling for modest policy solutions that could ultimately attract bipartisan support.

Most of Warren’s rivals Wednesday night, including O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar, called for universal health care but also favored preserving the private insurance market. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will be in a second debate group Thursday night, has proposed a “Medicare for All” system without private insurance.

“We should be the party that keeps what’s working and fixes what’s broken,” said Delaney, one of the few Democrats on stage who represented his party’s moderate wing. “Why do we have to stand for taking away something from people?”

De Blasio, who joined Warren in raising his hand on health insurance, cast the debate as part of “the battle for the heart and soul of our party.”

Trump, the elephant not in the room, was in the air traveling to Japan for a round of trade talks as Democrats faced the nation for the first time in the 2020 campaign.

Earlier in the day, he confirmed that he would watch the debate from Air Force One. His first tweet of the night: “BORING!”

The Republican president helped unite the Democrats, who joined together in blaming him for the deaths of a migrant father and his toddler daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande.

But the candidates didn’t agree on everything.

Castro assailed fellow Texan O’Rourke for not calling for fully decriminalizing crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

“I just think it’s a mistake, Beto,” he said, adding that O’Rourke would agree with him “if you did your homework on this issue.”

O’Rourke says he doesn’t support fully decriminalizing such border crossings because of fears about smugglers of drugs and people. New Jersey Sen. Booker also sided with Castro, arguing for full decriminalization.

While the candidates have been courting voters in key states for several months already, the vast majority of the nation has yet to pay close attention to the diverse field.

Only 35% of registered Democrats say they’re paying close attention to the campaign, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Two-thirds say they’re paying some or no attention.


> Country star Carly Pearce to perform

> Indie-pop artist coming to First Ward House

> Plus, much much more


Man shot

Atchison, Kansas, shooter still at large as of late Wednesday.

Details on Page B1

Human remains found on property in Maysville

Human remains found

News-Press NOW

At approximately 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office uncovered human remains in a house outside of Maysville, Missouri.

Officials obtained a search warrant for the home in relation to missing 23-year-old Leah Marie Dawson. Dawson has been missing since June 5.

During the search, there was other evidence found with the unidentified remains. Agencies on the scene also included Cameron Police Department, St. Joseph Police Department, MSHP Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Missouri Search and Rescue K-9 search group.

On June 18, authorities searched a property outside of Maysville It’s unknown if these two properties are related.

Dawson’s boyfriend, Kenneth Wykert, has been in DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office custody for failing to register as a sex offender, but has not been connected to her disappearance.

It is unknown who owns the house. The body has been sent to the DeKalb County Coroner for examination.

The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation.

Bailey Ketcham can be reached at

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Heat illness can impact anyone, even doctors

It was a record day, but for all the wrong reasons.

According to Mosaic Life Care Doctor Cynthia Brownfield, her husband set the record for highest body temperature at Camp Pendleton after suffering heatstroke when he was stationed there.

“He could’ve died and that would’ve changed my life completely,” Brownfield said. “So it’s really important to know that it could happen to anybody and that you should take precautions to avoid these heat-related illnesses.”

With temperatures in Northwest Missouri expected to rise to 90-plus in the coming days, Brownfield said young children, senior citizens and pets are especially at risk.

She said the main way to protect yourself is to hydrate.

“Hydrate before you even go outside,” Brownfield said. “Make sure you’re taking frequent breaks every 15 to 20 minutes to hydrate.”

Despite the prevalence and awareness around heat-related illnesses, over 600 people die from them in the U.S. each year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the Mayo Clinic, the main symptoms of heatstroke include excessive body heat, nausea and an altered mental state.

Brownfield said drinks containing caffeine or alcohol can exacerbate symptoms. The treatment for heatstroke can include taking someone to a shaded area, giving them fluids or even using an ice bath, according to Brownfield.

In addition to hydrating, Brownfield said wearing hats and sunscreen also can reduce your risk of heat-related issues. She added that when in doubt, it’s best to contact a medical professional.

Heat index

Heat index

Today: 98° High: 91°

Friday: 100° High: 93°

Saturday: 103° High: 95°

Sunday: 101° High: 95°

Monday: 97° High: 94°