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Duquesne Expected to Annex Soaring Heights Elementary - KOAM TV 7

Duquesne Expected to Annex Soaring Heights Elementary

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Soaring Heights Elementary and East middle are just feet away, but in two different cities. Soaring Heights in Joplin, and the other in Duquesne.

Duquesne Police Chief Kitch says “The limit line runs right through the middle of 'em. And trying to figure out which jurisdiction is actually gonna respond would be time consuming and actually a waste of time."

Superintendent Huff feels the annexation of Soaring Heights just makes sense with East Middle down the street, already included in Duquesne city limits. His number one priority is children's safety.

“We just want to make sure from a legal standpoint and a clarity standpoint, more than anything, if a major disaster were to occur. Let's say it's a fire. Who responds and who's in charge that's really important,” says Joplin Schools Superintendent C.J. Huff.

The Joplin School Board voted to bring the issue to the city of Duquesne -- but is waiting for the Board of Aldermen to approve it.

“It was unusual because, like I said, the school district bought up property that was in the county to build soaring heights and so that property was never annexed in,” SAYS Board of Trustee Alderman and Acting Mayor Lisa Daugherty.

Daugherty says it has been almost a year since the school's opening and about time they take care of it.

“There's really not been any issues here as of yet but we always try to be proactive and if there's anything that comes up that we need to be able to respond to,” says Superintendent Huff.

Duquesne Police Chief Kitch says in the event of an emergency, especially at a school, they would call in Joplin Police and Jasper County Sheriff's for assistance, but this annexation provides clarity.

“This is an excellent step in the proper direction. It'll alleviate a situation just for us as a city and as a police department,” says Kitch.

In Jasper County, Diane Gerstenfeld KOAM News. 

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