Plans for Mudstock are underway.

Plans for Mudstock are underway.
The Carthage Caring Communities Coalition, which operates under the Alliance of Southwest Missouri, discussed plans for this year's Mudstock during the last regular meeting Feb. 14. Colette St. Peter, representing Mercy Hospital Carthage, was in attendance at the meeting and verified that Mercy is onboard with hosting the event pending a soil test and the establishment of the event's perimeter. Leading the Coalition, Jonathan Roberts, with the Fair Acres Family YMCA, and Renee Laney, with the Alliance, will be presenting the proposed location to Mercy.
"It looks like we are still moving forward with plans for Mudstock," Laney said. "I would like to thank everyone who was able to attend last week’s coalition meeting. We had a very productive meeting with a fantastic turnout. I greatly appreciate all of you and the time you gave us."
Attending the meeting were: Chuck Cook with the Salvation Army; Jim Benton with the Carthage Crisis Center; Mark Box and Jen Black, both with the Alliance; Mary Jo Little with the Carthage Chamber of Commerce; Janet Stafford with the Carthage Area United Way; Adam Blankenship and Ben Thompson with Carthage Police Department; Ryan Huntley with the Carthage Fire Department; Nick Clinton with Community Partnership; Aimee Brummet with Carthage R-9 Spirit Program; and Kevin Theilan with the Alliance.
Jen Black introduced herself as the new executive director at the Alliance of Southwest Missouri. Prior to coming to the Alliance, Jen was director of House of Hope in Joplin and has worked in the non-profit field for several years.
Adam Blankenship, a firearms Instructor with the Carthage Police Department, answered questions on gun safety. In light of recent events in the Carthage community, the Coalition felt this issue, and the lack of parent and child education, needed to be addressed. 
Aimee Brummet noted the Spirit Program only has a very brief and basic mention of gun safety. Ben Thompson also stated that the DARE Program didn’t address gun safety but there is a potential for it to be implemented due to the fact there is usually time left after his presentations. Adam Blankenship said there are Hunter Safety classes offered in the area, but it is a specific group of people that take advantage of these services. He also said the coalition could access state statistics from the FBI regarding gun safety incidents. Kevin Theilan suggested PSA’s, Facebook posts and such to boost awareness. 
Laney said she would contact Eli Bruton with Liberty Tree gun shop to see if he is willing to help with the education process.
Jim Benson and Kevin Theilan suggested the Coalition work with other organizations in the community and approach this as a regional effort.  Jim Benson, Janet Stafford, Adam Blankenship, Renee Laney and Jonathan Roberts will form the sub-committee for gun safety and will give an update at the next coalition meeting.

In Other News
• Laney reported the Alliance would like to apply for a technical assistance grant in an amount of $1,000 that would assist with the cost of The HOPE Conference. This public is invited to register for this event which will be held in Joplin on April 7. Members of the Coalition are encouraged to attend.
• Jonathan Roberts announced the Y will be holding its annual ”Easter At The Y” on Good Friday, April 14 which will also include National Healthy Kids Day.  More information can be found on the Y’s website, this event is open to the public.
• Mary Jo Little with the Chamber Of Commerce reported of the Maple Leaf kick off, and the Business Expo and Home Show is set for March 10-11 at the CMC auditorium, 1900 Grand Ave. She also mentioned that Carl Junction Chamber will be having their Expo the second weekend in March and it is always worth attending.

The Carthage Caring Communities Coalition meets the second Tuesday of every month at the Carthage Public Library at noon. Coordinating with the community to make Carthage a safer, better place to live, citizens and new members are always welcome to attend the meetings. For more information, please visit www.theallianceofswmo.org or call Laney at 417-782-9899.