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MSSU cancels Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, PSU event still scheduled

Jan. 12—Missouri Southern State University is postponing its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, which was set for Monday.

Organizer and Coordinator of Disability Services Lori Musser said the weather forecast called for snow and dangerous cold and the committee organizing the event didn't want to put the public in danger while trying to get to the campus.

Musser said a new date hasn't been set yet, but she's hoping it can be held in late January or early February.

New Joplin police Chief Richard Pierson was scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

As of Friday afternoon, Pittsburg State University is still planning events and activities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the weather could affect its plans, too.

PSU will hold its first day of service event to honor King and his legacy with the theme "a day on, not off."

The event starts at 11 a.m. Monday in the Overman Student Center with remarks by assistant football coach Tyrell Everett, a saxophone solo by former Pitt State student Anthony Simpson and breakfast followed by a moment of silence for Martin Luther King Jr.

Plans also call for nearly 100 students, faculty and staff to fan out and volunteer at Family Resource Center, SEK Recycling, Wesley House, Salvation Army, Lords Diner, Pittsburg High School, Colgan, Pittsburg Community Learning Center and the Coat & Career Closet on campus.

Bailey Miller, assistant director of campus activities, said they are monitoring the weather forecast. The cold shouldn't be too serious an issue because most events are indoors, but the snow predicted for Sunday could force the event to be canceled.

"All of our service opportunities we have planned are indoors," Miller said. "We have had a couple of sites that have canceled their plans because they were working outdoors or they are deciding not to participate because of the weather, but we have found alternative solutions for people to do a service project at Pitt State that we will take to the community, like making blankets and cards for our local senior care facilities. But if we get inclement weather that prevents people from getting to their sites or things like that we'll have to assess that but we'll likely have to cancel."

Bailey said rescheduling the event won't be practical for a number of places where students will be going on Monday.

"We will probably just have to try next year just because the sites that we have, some are at schools and we can't just go into schools when the kids are there," Miller said.

—George Washington Carver National Monument near Diamond is planning to show an hourlong film titled "In Remembrance of Martin" at 1 p.m. each day Saturday through Monday.

Park Ranger Curtis Gregory said the monument has shown the film every year for a few years now.

"We'll be open no matter what the weather," Gregory said. "If someone wants to come, we'll show it."

Gregory said the film shares personal reflections by individuals who recall King's career and leadership in the Civil Rights Movement.