Sen. Bill White’s Capitol Report for July 20, 2022

Senator Bill White’s Capitol Report for July 20, 2022

Dial 988 in Times of Crisis

Following its launch in Missouri on July 16, individuals may now dial 988 to connect to trained counselors who can help avert a mental or behavioral health crisis. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK, will continue to respond to calls from those struggling with emotional or mental distress, but now it is easier for Americans to access help when needed.

Honoring Atomic Veterans

A portion of Highway 171 around Carl Junction will soon bear the name Atomic Veterans Memorial Highway, thanks to the advocacy efforts of Bernie Crosby, a Navy veteran who witnessed first-hand the effects nuclear blasts and tests had on veterans. Atomic Veterans either participated in domestic nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, served in or around Hiroshima or Nagasaki through 1946 or were held as prisoners of war in these cities. Last year, the president proclaimed July 16 as National Atomic Veterans Day. I was honored to work with our district’s representatives to usher this legislation across the finish line.

Senator White and Bernie Crosby discuss the significance of Atomic Veterans Memorial Highway in Carl Junction.

Get Ready to Cast Your Vote

Election season is quickly approaching, so please take a few minutes to make sure your voter registration information is complete and accurate. You may also want to read my column, Flex Your Civic Muscles, to learn more about the election security legislation we passed this session and the importance of making your voice heard on Election Day.

Ozark Center to Host Next Innovative Solutions Event

Innovative Solutions is a monthly series hosted by the Ozark Center in Joplin with the goal of empowering the community to support parents, veterans, older adults and those struggling with behavioral health issues. On July 21, the Center will feature “Storytime with Izzy B: Growing Resiliency in Our Children.” Children’s author Izzy B will read his book, “Moose Goose” at the event, and a therapist will be on site to facilitate a discussion afterwards. The event is free and will take place at the Joplin Public Library’s Storytime Room at 6:30 p.m. The organization will discuss older adults next month at Hope Spring.

Joplin Chamber Welcomes New President

On July 8, I was honored to meet the new president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Travis Stephens. His educational background and professional experience with local economies and civic engagement will serve our city well. Stephens took the chamber’s reins on June 28 after a committee conducted an 11-month-long national search. Welcome to our community, Travis!

Travis Stephens visits with Sen. White at the chamber’s Morning Brew event.

Touring ACCESS Family Care in Carthage

Thanks to Steve Douglas, Don McBride and the team at ACCESS Family Care’s branch in Carthage for guiding us on a tour of the facility last week. Since its inception in the mid-1990s, ACCESS has grown to nine locations, providing much needed medical and dental care to the medically underserved in southwest Missouri.

Steve Douglas explains the services available at ACCESS Family Care.

Local Stone Returned Home

Did you know that the Missouri State Capitol was constructed from stone extracted from quarries in Carthage? The walls of the Rotunda and its corridors, the grand stairway and the vestibules are lined with Carthage Napoleon Gray marble, and the floors and stairway treads are solid Carthage marble. On July 16, I joined Rep. Smith and Rep. Kelley to present a piece of the Capitol’s original limestone from Carthage back to its hometown to display at the courthouse and city hall.

Staff at the Jasper County Courthouse receive a block of marble that was removed from the State Capitol during the restoration project in 2018 and returned to its original home in Carthage.

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