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Neosho Holds A Meeting About The Big Spring Cross - KOAM TV 7

Neosho Holds A Meeting About The Big Spring Cross

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The city decided to hold this meeting to help explain to the citizens why they made the choice that they did.
    City Attorney, Steve Hays.
Hays: "The best way to resolve both sides of the issues, we were able to convey the land to an entity, that will keep it, and take care of it as part of their organization, it gets the property off public land."
    The property at the center of this, a cross, built into the hillside at Big Spring Park in downtown Neosho.
    Earlier this year, the city came under fire from a group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation who objected to the cross being on public property.
    Facing a potential lawsuit, the city was able to transfer the land to the newly formed Save Our Heritage Foundation, formed by councilman Richard Davidson.
    Davidson says -- losing the cross entirely, is dangerous to history.
Davidson: "America doesn't have a perfect history, when you look back, we've made some mistakes, we've done some things wrong, but that history is ours, we own that, it will be there forever, and to turn a blind eye to that and to act like it's not there, it didn't happen, I think is more harmful to history than letting people understand it."
    Now, Davidson sat out of all the council discussion about going with his newly founded group, to ensure proper ethics were followed.
    With the land in the non-profit's hands, and word spreading on social media...
Davidson: "The outreach has been exciting, what that cross is today is not what that cross is going to be a year from now."
    Davidson says they'll be able to ultimately do more work to improve the cross than the city ever could have with taxpayer money in the first place, saying it's a "win-win" situation.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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