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No federal violations in Boomtown Days investigation - KOAM TV 7

No federal violations in Boomtown Days missing money investigation

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Updated May 12, 2011 at 12:35 PM CST:  Authorities tell us say there are no federal violations in the case of missing money from Boomtown Days.

Yesterday organizers announced the lineup for the 10th anniversary of the big event.

In December committee members for the not-for-profit group were informed about missing money.  And although there are no federal violations, the Joplin Police Department is in the process of requesting an investigation by the Missouri Highway Patrol's criminal division.

The highway patrol says it will take them at least a month or more to review the case and make a determination.

After the money was reported missing the group's financial chair, Kim Lester, was removed from the committee.  She also resigned her post at the chamber of commerce.

Lester has not returned calls or messages.

Joplin police had turned the case over to the FBI because some city employees, including police officers, serve on the committee.

Posted May 11, 2011 at 6:23 PM CST:  The Boomtown Days steering committee rallies the media and its sponsors to kick off promotion for the big event despite its earlier negative publicity over missing funds.

Boomtown coordinators today praised sponsors who came back despite the money woes.

Boomtown officials thanked sponsors and volunteers as they announced events planned for the festival's 10th anniversary from a chili cook off contest, to military salutes and music.

One big change this year will be in the kids area.  There will be no carnival, but there will be bounce houses and another marvel character, this time Captain America.  Also, instead of Boomer buttons, there will be wrist bands that glow in the dark.

The Boomtown Days steering committee says there is nothing new on the investigation into possible missing funds.  In December, some committee members were made aware that funds were missing.

The financial chair at that time, Kim Lester, resigned from her Chamber of Commerce job and was removed  from the boomtown committee post.

Joplin police turned over the case to the FBI, which will not confirm it is looking into the matter.

Boomtown Days Co-Chair Ginger Lamar says they had some delays in getting started planning because of the investigation into missing funds but says it won't affect the overall festival.

"We're told we won't hear anything until after the festival," says Lamar.  "We have great volunteers and great sponsors coming back to us."

The entertainment lineup for the weekend is as follows:

  • Thursday, June 9:  Romance on a Rocketship
  • Friday, June 10:  Rich McCready, Jason Jones and Diamond Rio
  • Saturday, June 11:  Offset Sunset, Carter Hulsey, The Elders and Blues Traveler.
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