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The Evolution of Safety Services in SEK

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    Some fascinating four-state history, came out of the shadows in Franklin, Kansas.
    It's all part of the Miners Hall Museum's presentation, "The Evolution of Emergency Services".

Lomshek: "With the mines it was mostly young people and with that you get a little more criminal activity than with older people."
That's Jerry Lomshek, he's a part of the Miners Hall Museum.
He says the criminal aspect is the darker part of the coal mining history.
Take this statistic for instance...
Lomshek: "It's always been, verbal history anyway, that there's been 52 unsolved murders in the history of Chicopee."
Lomshek is a local historian for the town of Chicopee, and has done some checking...
Lomshek: "Although I've researched a number of those, I don't know that there's exactly 52, but i can tell you there was many unsolved murders there, and that's in addition to the solved murders."
The Chicopee murders are just a part of that.
Lomshek: "There was some really violent crimes that occurred here in those past days, some of it may have been vendettas between different groups here."
Those different 'groups' he's referring too, are the vast number of immigrants that came to America and to the four-states in search of a better life, a richer life.
And even though they may have fought among themselves...
Lomshek: "There was not animosity between the different ethnic groups, it was usually within the ethnic group,  not between ethnic groups, which is kinda unusual, you wouldn't expect that."
But, there were dangers beyond the criminal activity.
Lomshek: "Along with that, the fire safety is a little more intimately connected with coal mining because of the dangers in the mines, there was explosions and fires and those kinds of things."
Those dangers resulted in the development of mine safety laws, as well as a unique need in the area.
Lomshek: "There was rescue, mine rescue squads that were developed to help in the mines in case of a disaster and that type of thing."
One last thing Lomshek says was a big operation in southeast Kansas...bootlegging...
Lomshek: "There was always liquor here in southeast Kansas, and it was kinda ignored that that was going on, and fostered almost, and that went through the whole history of prohibition in this area and our bootleg whiskey became well known in other places because of that."

Chris Warner
Reporter

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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Contact Chris:
417.624.0233 or 620.231.0400
cwarner@koamtv.com

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