WBEZ | Joplin http://www.wbez.org/tags/joplin Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rebuilding after a tornado, branch by branch http://www.wbez.org/news/rebuilding-after-tornado-branch-branch-107312 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/emptystreet.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Joplin, Missouri after the 2011 tornado that killed 162 people. (WBEZ/Blair Fethers)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F93407294&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Having grown up in Tornado Alley, my husband and I both learned from a young age what to do when the tornado sirens go off. But no drill, no practice prepares you for the devastation a tornado can bring.</p><p>It was two years ago today that Joplin, Missouri experienced the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 1947. Though we had seen images on TV and spoken on the phone with family and friends, seeing the destruction in person was surreal. It looked like a bomb had been dropped in the middle of this quiet Midwestern community.&nbsp;</p><p>And for me, one of the most scarring sights was the massive loss of trees.&nbsp;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/helicopter.jpg" style="float: right; height: 453px; width: 300px;" title="It has been estimated that recovery in Joplin will cost $1-$3 billion. (WBEZ/Blair Fethers)" /></p><p>Growing up on the prairie you have a special appreciation for trees.&nbsp; They are landmarks.&nbsp; They carry history.&nbsp; They offer crucial shade on hot summer days and protect the environment from soil and wind erosion. These seemingly broken, bark-stripped and uprooted trees had been a part of people&rsquo;s lives for generations, always around. Their loss caused psychological and emotional damage, forever changing the landscape of Joplin and the hearts of its residents.</p><p>I thought of my husband.&nbsp; Of his childhood in Joplin.&nbsp; Of how dramatically this place had been changed in an instant.&nbsp; Of what my sons would never see.</p><p>It was now clearer to me than ever before: money couldn&#39;t fix this. Money couldn&#39;t bring back these ancient trees. But new trees could be replanted.&nbsp; We could help with the rebuilding and support those who were committed to bringing back the community they once knew, including the trees.</p><p>So within days, we set up a fund, thanks to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation.&nbsp;</p><p>It&rsquo;s estimated over 1,000 new trees have now been planted. Many of these were distributed to families to replant in their own yards because a local naturalist group thought it necessary to focus on neighborhoods.</p><p>Recently, a Joplin native sent a grateful note. He said that the new trees this summer would mean Joplin children would again hear the cicadas. Have a safe base playing tag.&nbsp; That families, schools, and communities centers in the devastated areas enjoyed a sense of community pride from their efforts to bring back the peaceful landscape they so tragically lost.</p><p>On our most recent visit, we saw a community that continues to heal. It will take a long time for the horizon to look as it once did, but progress continues.&nbsp; As I watched my sons run and play I got a glimpse of what recovery will bring.&nbsp; Trees are something we share. And I will enjoy watching these new trees grow, knowing someday they will again provide shade. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Breeze Richardson is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at WBEZ, overseeing the station&rsquo;s community engagement initiatives. Her husband is a native of Joplin and just days after the tornado the family traveled there. The Tree Planting Fund was established thanks to the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation and planting was overseen by the staff of the Missouri Department of Conservation.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 May 2013 14:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rebuilding-after-tornado-branch-branch-107312 Morning Shift: Don't follow leaders, watch the parkin' meters http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-05-09/morning-shift-dont-follow-leaders-watch-parkin-meters <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/MorningShift_CMS_tile_1200x900_19_1.png" alt="" /><p><p>The above Bob Dylan quote is apt as the City Council follows Rahm further down the parking meter rabbit hole. Plus WWACIED (what would a church in Elgin do), and your musical memories of mom.<script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/don-t-follow-leaders-watch-the-parkin-meters.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/don-t-follow-leaders-watch-the-parkin-meters" target="_blank">View the story "Don't follow leaders, Watch the parkin' meters" on Storify</a>]<h1>Don't follow leaders, Watch the parkin' meters</h1><h2>The above Bob Dylan quote is apt as the City Council follows Rahm further down the parking meter rabbit hole. Plus WWACIED (what would a church in Elgin do), and your musical memories of mom.</h2><p>Storified by <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ"></a>&middot; Wed, May 08 2013 14:33:59</p><div><b>City Hall </b>-&nbsp;Aldermen received a copy of the new parking meter plan shortly before Wednesday’s City Council meeting leaving little time to dissect the details. Alex Keefe explains what they did talk about instead. <br></div><div><b>The Elgin/Joplin connection</b> - &nbsp;A Church in Elgin is building a new home for a woman whose life was upended by the Joplin, MO, tornado that struck in May 2011. Keith Duncan explains how they’ve been constructing the home in the Church basement. &nbsp;<br></div><div><b>Beckett</b> -&nbsp;Chicago-born actor and playwright Rick Cluchey met Samuel Beckett while imprisoned at San Quentin, and he brings their relationship to the stage in a new performance at Stage 773. <br></div><div><b>Music Thursday Mother's Day</b> - What song reminds you of your mom? &nbsp;Something she listened to when you were a kid? &nbsp;Something you listened to together? Celebrate the woman who made it all happen, and call and tweet us with your mother-music-memories.&nbsp;</div></noscript></p></p> Thu, 09 May 2013 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-05-09/morning-shift-dont-follow-leaders-watch-parkin-meters Joplin debris 'reborn' in Kansas City art project http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-26/joplin-debris-reborn-kansas-city-art-project-91131 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr_story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-27/joplin-debris-as-art-1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Pieces of twisted metal and scrap wood left behind by a massive tornado that tore through Joplin, Miss., are now sitting in a gallery in Kansas City. The sculptures and paintings from the wreckage are to be sold at auction Saturday.</p><p>Ann Leach is a grief counselor who has lived in Joplin for 14 years. She's one of the survivors of the May tornado, which left 159 people dead. When the tornado struck, Leach was protected by a slab of sheet rock that fell on top of her, forming a protective barrier.</p><p>Now, though her home is being rebuilt, she says she can't go back. Every day, Leach would remember a piece of her home, she says — where her favorite dishes used to sit, or an old piece of furniture she loved. Some of those pieces she remembers have now found a new home, and a new form, including a music box of her grandmother's.</p><p>"Luis Garcia created a new music box, with pages of the bible from [Leach's] home, and then from her ... decorative aluminum dishware collection, and then the music box that still works, so I can't wait to show her that," says Holly Swangstu, the curator of Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, which is housing the Reclamation Project.</p><p>The concept of artist Matthew Dehaemers, the project connects artists from Joplin and Kansas City. Debris from the town was used to create sculptures and paintings.</p><p>"All these objects and materials have a story behind them, and that story's only made through the people that own them," Dehaemers says. "So what I thought was in between us and them is this material that has a choice of being put in this giant landfill or it has an opportunity to be reborn in a new, positive way."</p><p>Back in Joplin, the billions of dollars of damage is still being cleaned up. Leach says the community has been resilient, and projects like these help the healing process.</p><p>"I can be emotional, and I can collapse in this pile of rubble and sob — and I have, don't get me wrong. But really, how is that going to serve me?" she says. "Change is something you don't have to be afraid of. A lot of people are, but when it hits you right between the eyes, it kind of forces you to respond and just trust that more good will come."</p><p>Project Reclamation is auctioning the pieces Saturday in Kansas City. The proceeds will go to help Joplin artists rebuild their studios and host art therapy classes to help continue the healing in a grieving town.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Sat, 27 Aug 2011 04:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-26/joplin-debris-reborn-kansas-city-art-project-91131