August 17th, 2011
09:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Reopening of Joplin schools, Syria violence, Yosemite deaths

Back to school in Joplin - Wednesday is the start of the school year for students in Joplin, Missouri, a bittersweet time for a town still rebuilding from a May tornado that killed more than 150 people.

For Joplin's 2,200 high school students, reopening the schools means separating grades that usually study in the same building. Ninth- and 10th-graders will go to an existing middle school, while upperclassmen will attend classes at a mall.

Officials say the mall was the only place big enough to house the students. The school district spent $5.5 million to convert a 95,000-square-foot retail facility.

"Every time I drive by it, it's still really sad," said senior Lydia McAllister, looking at the ruins of Joplin High School, one of 10 school buildings damaged or destroyed by the storm.

Syria unrest - Syrian troops left the embattled eastern city of Deir Ezzor after "completing their mission of ridding the city of the armed terrorist groups," government-run media reported Wednesday. Anti-government protesters have for months been rallying to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Deaths at Yosemite - Sixteen people have died at Yosemite National Park in 2011 - about twice the usual amount, rangers say. They don't have a reason why the deaths are so high this year.

Five visitors have died this year from natural causes, but the others were accidental and often entirely preventable.

Rangers say some visitors take part in dangerous practices such as hiking treacherous trials in flip-flops, or climbing over safety rails to get better pictures or swimming in waters that are perilously close to waterfalls.

After climbing over a safety rail, three hikers were swept over the powerful 317-foot Vernal Fall in July, witnesses said.

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Filed under: Joplin • Missouri • On the Radar • Syria
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Bless the people of Joplin.
    They've been through so much this year.

    August 17, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      And for many years to come.

      August 18, 2011 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |

    it's close to me since i live in kcmo... my neighbor went down there with supplies and stuff to help them out.. i bought some stuff to take down there , it was real nice that he went down there to help...

    August 17, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Please you do not live that close to me? I went to a Lt. Dan concert (Gary Sinise of CSI and forest Gump fame) for todd Nicely, a vet, to build him a home in the Ozarks. The DJ that helped put on the show said something about the need in Joplin last May, the evening before the show in St. Louis, He had 5 tractor trailers full of supplies by the next evening and the tractor trailers were donated. I hope they do more drives to help. We need our govenor Jay to let us know what they need at any given time to keep us informed to the progress and what is needed to help them progress as a town.

      August 18, 2011 at 6:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mjic

    Hey maybe CNN will send some of their reporters over to the Joplin schools. Perhaps they will all learn at least once and for all that 7th graders don't say "off of" much less professional news persons on live tv and radio! NO OFF OF!!!!!

    August 17, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. Martha

    And your president is running around in a million dollar bus parading himself ??? life for the rest of us is going into shambles, I'm sure he's set himself up for life, what about the veterans that fought for your safety president, that have no ins so they go with out medical assistance because they can not afford ins, what about the middle class that gets stuck with out medical ins because they are above the eligibility income for get Medi-cal what is wrong with our picture America????? What about Joslin people with their town still torn down yet we can build a trillion dollar airplane for the president to fly in. 🙁 🙁 🙁 The homeless people, the hungry people, the corrupted nation you are leading. Oh sorry vacation time again, I can't be a president right now I'm on vacation. This is freedom of speech.Aout real disabled people that do not get the help they need or assistance financially to support them because some caucus mind thinks they do not deserve it with out doing all the actual tests to declare them well, some may walk ,talk, write, but neorologically they may not have it there yet they do not help these people. We wonder why is there so much violence in the world just look around. Does the president get the same tax break that I do? Really I'm just a somebody with alot to say about Americas's nothing.

    August 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gung hoe

    Martha you hit rite on the head You should see what rent cost on marthas vinyard 5000 a week for a 1500 sq ft house

    August 17, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scottish Mama

      Unless you know a Kennedy?

      August 18, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. leeintulsa

    I lived in kcmo from about 2yo to 7yo.. Played peewee baseball in raytown.

    The bonines are still fam friends. He and she were big wigs at.. Calvary christian, i think..

    August 17, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I never knew an ulcer could cause such pain and affect a person's life. I will get through this. So nice to be back. I'm tired. Dealt with lawyers all day.

    August 17, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    We have had those things under every President.
    Please do not act as in the current President invented them.

    August 18, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. tonya

    god bless the people of joplin. they have been through so much.

    August 18, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. daliya robson

    Hope they build sustainable concrete dome houses and not repeat the plastic anad cardboard homes . There is no reson to b uild like always when we are expectinf typhoons toornadoes hurricanes fires and floods . If anyone with clout is reading this try to get your county to rebuild with concrete domes They are available . find them on the internet.

    September 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. daliya robson

    sorry about the bad spelling. Am really mad about the way our homes are built of toxic particle board and foam and plastic that go up in flames in 5 minutes and when flooded are moldy . PLEASE PLEASE LOOK INTO CONCRETE SUSTINABLE DOMES .Dont let them build you a plastic house . The insurace o cmpanies should care but they dont .The just up your insurance to double. I hate the cynical greed we have in usa .

    September 18, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |