Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grandview Smoking Ordinance Official

By Seann McAnally
Grandview has a smoking ban.
The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday voted unanimously for a “clean air ordinance” that will ban smoking in restaurants and other enclosed public locations on Jan. 1, 2012. Bars will be exempt from the ban until Aug. 1, 2014.
That’s bars – not “restaurant-bars.” That means two drinking establishments classified as restaurant-bars – namely The Highlander and Open Road Bar and Grill – will have to ban smoking in 2012. Others with bar-only licenses will have two more years after that. A restaurant-bar is one with at least 51 percent food sales (or 60 percent if they are within 1,000 feet of a bar). A “bar” is one that only serves drinks and cannot be open on Sundays.
Babeeboys Restaurant and Lounge, which is currently a restaurant-bar, is in the process of obtaining a bar license from the city. Highlander and Open Road can’t get a bar license because they are already within 1,000 feet of another bar and current city ordinance only allows five bars in the city limits.
“This is going to kill my Sunday business, which is my best day in football season,” said Babeeboys owner Lonnie Mabin. “But I want to smoke for another two and a half years. We’ll take this little victory now and worry about Sundays later.”
Jeremiah Bullfrogs, which doesn’t officially have a bar license, is exempt from the ban until 2014 because it is a “hotel bar.”
Bar owners fought hard against a ban, showing up in droves at the board’s meetings on the issue.
Alderman Brent Steeno and Alderwoman Annette Turnbaugh wanted over-21 restaurant-bars to also be exempt, but Mayor Steve Dennis said the city’s attorney, Joe Gall, said that would leave the city open to lawsuits from establishments like Applebee’s and 54th Street Bar & Grill, which allow all ages. Similar lawsuits are already filed against the city of Blue Springs, which allowed smoking in some types of bars but not in others.
“I don’t want my neighbors to pay for a lawsuit,” said Alderman John Maloney, explaining why he at first wanted restaurant-bars exempt, but changed his mind.
During the often contentious meeting, Dennis had to step in and stop arguments between board members.
“Let’s keep this civil,” Dennis said after Aldermen Joe Runions, Steeno and Turnbaugh raised their voices and interrupted one another. “I’m not hearing a whole lot of give and take.”
Aldermen Runions and Leonard Jones wanted a total ban that would begin in January. Both compromised and agreed to give bars a few more years. They, along with Alderman Jim Crain, insisted on only two years. Aldermen Steeno, Turnbaugh and Maloney wanted to give bars three years.
“I want to give them some time to change their business model,” Steeno said.
Runions scoffed at that.
“They can change their business model overnight,” he said, drawing a negative reaction from the bar owners in attendance.
Ultimately, the board decided the smoking ban on bars would take place on Aug 1, 2014, which will be three years after the passage of the ordinance.
Joe McLaughlan, owner of The Highlander, told the board the ban was unfair, since his establishment, a “restaurant-bar,” would have to ban smoking while the Doghouse, classified as a “bar,” at the opposite end of the strip mall on Highgrove where his business is located, will be able to allow customers to smoke. He said he only became a “restaurant-bar” after being forced to move within 1,000 feet of an existing bar.
“I opened in 2000 and they sold the building, so we had to move – that was the only nice location that was available,” he said. “Please reconsider.”
Dennis said he was sorry, but that he was confident the board had made a well-reasoned, if tough, decision.
“This isn’t the way I want government involved in people’s lives but it’s the way things are right now,” Dennis said. “There’s no easy win on this thing.”
He thanked the bar owners for being civil and for participating in the discussion process.

Grandview Hotel Tax on Ballot

Funds from 5% hotel/motel tax would go to promote the city
By Seann McAnally
To tax hotel rooms or not? That’s the question facing Grandview voters on Tuesday, August 2.
The special election will decide the fate of a proposed “hotel/motel tax.” The tax of 5 percent on hotel and motel rooms would be paid by customers of Grandview’s two hotels.
If passed, the tax revenues are expected to generate some $120,000 annually, although the actual revenue would depend on how many visitors stayed in hotel rooms. It would take effect beginning Jan. 1, 2012. State law says that has to be used to promote tourism.
“This tax will be paid by visitors to Granview and by some of our major employers who bring clients to the city,” said Alan Kenyan, director of economic development. “It applies only to the room charges at local hotels and motels. It does not apply to restaurants or bars associated with…motels here.”
Multiple cities in the Kansas City Metro area already have such a tax. In Belton and Lee’s Summit, the tax is 5 percent, level with Grandview’s proposed tax. In Kansas City it is 7.5 percent.
“This would help Grandview compete with other cities,” said Mayor Steve Dennis. “This is an opportunity to help promote tourism with virtually no tax impact on individual residents. And just about everywhere you travel these days, you generally pay this tax in other cities across America.”
City officials are hopeful that, as Grandview works to improve its image in the surrounding Metro area with such programs as Main Street renovations and development along the 150 Highway corridor, the tax will generate much-needed funds to support tourism and promote Grandview.
Joe Gall, city attorney, said state law is vague about what, exactly, promotes tourism.
“You can be pretty creative about it,” Gall said at a June work session of the Board of Aldermen. He said some nearby cities have used it for construction projects, or, in the case of Blue Springs, to pay off debts from TIF projects associated with tourism, such as convention centers. Lee’s Summit uses the money to partially fund its Economic Development Commission, Chamber of Commerce, and Downtown Main Street organizations.
Grandview board members brainstormed several ideas of what to do with the funds, including creating a civic center downtown at 8th and Main streets, increased marketing promoting Grandview in general or for traditional civic events like the Harry’s Hay Days Parade. The funds could also be useful in promoting events associated with Grandview’s 100 year anniversary, which will be celebrated all through 2012.
Dennis reminded residents they would not bear the burden of the tax.
“Grandview residents won’t have to pay this tax unless they stay at one of our hotels,” he said at the June work session.
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NOTE: Some poll locations have changed. For voting locations, see the Jackson County Advocate print edition or call (816) 325-4600.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Longview Aquatic Center Groundbreaking

Kansas City officials gathered at 7101 Longview on Monday, July 18 to celebrate the ground-breaking of the Longview Aquatic Center. From left: C-1 school board member April Cushing, Parks and Recreation Director Mark McHenry, C-1 board member Darrell Curls, PIAC representative Vanessa Claborn-Welch, 6th District Representative John Sharp, C-1 board member Dan Osman, Parks board president John Fiero, C-1 Board President Bonnaye Mims, former YMCA Advisory Board member Dennis O'Neill, and state representative Michael Brown. Other key contributors who were not pictured included former 6th District councilwoman Cathy Jolly and former YMCA Advisory board member Shirley Dobbins. (Photo by Paul Thompson)

Residents Can Help Shape Future of 150 Hwy

by Seann McAnally
What is the future of the 150 Highway corridor through Grandview?
That's a question elected officials, city staff and consultants are trying to answer, and they are asking for residents' help in shaping the answer.
The City of Grandview has contracted with Parsons Brinckerhoff, a national group of urban planners and designers, to design a 150 Corridor Sustainability plan. With the new CenterPoint intermodal facility and Honeywell campus under construction off 150 Highway and Botts Road, Grandview is poised for a development boom along the corridor. Already, a new medical office for the Hickman Mills Clinic and Carondelet Heart Institute is underway at Byars Road and 150 Highway.
To help establish design principals and guidelines for the corridor, Grandview is developing a blueprint for sustainable development--a guiding document that represents the vision of its residents and stakeholders for the corridor's economic success for years to come.
The plan will be shaped based on input from residents, stakeholders and city officials. Everyone is invited to an informal community workshop on Thursday, July 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Grandview City Hall, 1200 Main St.  Representatives from Parsons Brinckerhoff will share new visual concepts that are possible for 150 Highway, and are interested in gathering residents' input on which concepts fit best with residents' vision for their city.
The Grandview Board of Aldermen gave their initial thoughts to Parsons Brinckerhoff at two July work sessions. Community Development Director Chris Chiodini explained that the meetings were "goal-setting" sessions.
Mayor Steve Dennis said the region was Grandview's best chance for new, tax-generating development. Alderman Brent Steeno agreed.
"I think this could be an awesome focal point for the entire south KC area," Steeno said. "There's only an upside to this - it's right in between Leawood and Lee's Summit - if we can get investors and developers interested."
The consultants, Tom Hester and Lisa Koch, presented their initial analysis of conditions along the corridor that can affect future development.
"We think the corridor can attract a regional audience," said Hester, but he cautioned that the area faces stiff competition from shopping districts in north Cass County, Leawood, Kan., and Lee's Summit - and, if redevelopment happens at Truman Corners, that would also be competition for the 150 Highway corridor.
The key to that is to build on what's here, Hester said.
"Gail's Harley Davidson is a huge regional draw and we should build on that," he said. He added that the Gail's location-at the intersection of 150 Highway and 71 Highway-is an excellent spot for a "major gateway" into the city, and recommended developing a "highly visible gateway" at 150 Highway and Kelley Road.
The good news for developers, Hester said, is that only a few major landowners hold most of the land along the corridor. That makes it easier for developers to assemble land to build on.
"There's not a lot of assemblage that needs to happen to get development in this corridor," Hester explained.
Other challenges include a height difference between 150 and 71 highways, a difference that Gail's Harley Davidson has already brought up with the city, hoping for a zoning change that will allow higher signage.
"There are some significant topographic changes that make a visual barrier from the south," Hester said.
Another major challenge is that much of the area just to the east of the interchange is in a floodplain and can't be built upon. But that's not necessarily a barrier to building on nearby parcels - in fact, the floodplain can be turned into a nice feature, Hester said.
"We can use those water elements and work them into amenities," Hester said, noting that parkland or walking trails can be placed in the floodplain that could tie into other Grandview parks.
Koch, a traffic specialist, pointed out partial and one-way frontage roads along 150 Hwy.
"The frontage roads are not continuous on the west side," Koch said. "We recommend a backage road south of the highway between Byars and Kelley. That would create better traffic flow and create higher density."
Hester also recommended that the city work with the owner of River Oaks Golf Course.
"Golf courses make beautiful land banks," Hester said. "I believe there may be a higher and better use for that land than just more residential along a golf course."
Alderman Joe Runions said retail development is important because it helps Grandview's tax base. But retail development tends to follow houses and jobs.
"We need multi-use developments, not necessarily just retail," Runions said. "We need retail and office and residential to make it work."
He said he wanted to see "a neighborhood where you can walk, something that is pedestrian-friendly within the confines of that area."
As for office use, the board wants to see such firms as architects, engineers and consultants in addition to strong retail development.
"Retail doesn't pay much," Runions said. "If you have good-paying office jobs, that will generate nicer hotels, restaurants and retail shops."
Runions pushed for a hotel in the area, saying the nearby NNSA plant would attract lots of business travelers. But other aldermen, notably Leonard Jones, said retail and office development should be the highest priority.
"A hotel is good, but let's get some of this other stuff done first," Jones said.
Steeno said he was pleased with the consultants' initial findings.
"This could be huge for the city of Grandview," he said. "I'd like to see family-friendly, community-friendly businesses and housing."
The consultants are also working with the city of Lee's Summit on that city's plan for 150 Hwy. development.
The general consensus on the board was for mixed-use developments that would feature a combination of retail, office and residential. The consultants returned to a board work session on June 19 with an update based on the board's input in preparation for the community workshop on Thursday, July 28.

HEAT SAFETY TIPS

The Kansas City area has been placed under an Excessive Heat Warning through the weekend, following a week of near triple-digit temperatures. The MARC Air Quality Program has also issued an Ozone Alert, due to unhealthy ground-level ozone.
The heat has had an impact on many aspects of residents' daily lives, and as many as 10 deaths are being investigated as heat-related as of press time.
Those seeking relief from the heat may go to Hillcrest Community Center - 10401 Hillcrest Road, M-Th: 7 a.m.- 9 p.m., Friday: 7 a.m. -6 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m- 5 p.m. as well as  KC swimming pools and spraygrounds.
The Health Department recommends checking on neighbors and the elderly at least twice a day, and taking precautions to stay safe from the heat:
• Stay inside during the heat of the day.
• Never leave children, pets or others alone in closed vehicles: within minutes, the temperature inside a car can reach over 140 degrees and kill.
• If you have to work outside or in a non-air-conditioned workplace, take frequent breaks, rest in the shade or cooler environment, and drink plenty of water.
• Avoid extreme temperature changes, such as a taking a cool shower immediately after coming inside from hot temperatures.
• If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a public building every day for several hours.
• Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing
• Bring pets inside if possible. If not, ensure your pet has shade and plenty of fresh water.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Former Grandview Cop Charged in Two Murders, Recent Rape

By Andrea Wood
Police officers from Grandview frequently drove past a large billboard off 71 Highway displaying a sketch of a man suspected in the murder of south Kansas City’s Nina Whitney last October.
None of them suspected that the man in the sketch had been one of their own for more than 20 years.
Last week, Jeffrey Moreland, age 52 of Harrisonville, was arrested and charged in two brutal local murders as well as a recent rape, which broke the case.
For in the end, it was two brave women who put Moreland, a Grandview Police Officer from 1984 until 2005, behind bars.
According to police reports, Moreland told acquaintances that he had “lost his job” with the Grandview Police Department in June 2005 due to a medical condition he called “palsy.”
Following his departure as a police officer, Moreland, his wife, and children settled into their home in Harrisonville, where he was known as a family man. In April 2007, he even ran for a seat on the Harrisonville School Board.
But by November 5, 2008, something had changed.
On that day, according to police reports, Moreland sexually assaulted and killed a young Harrisonville mother, Cara Jo Roberts. When her husband came home from work that day at around 5:30pm, he found his wife in a bathtub full of water and blood, dead from a gunshot wound to the head. He immediately called the police.
Detectives found two zip-ties near the bathroom and a roll of duct tape on the floor of the master bedroom. The Kansas City Missouri Crime Lab developed a genetic profile of the suspect from DNA collected from the duct tape, ties, and male DNA from Cara Jo’s body.
Nonetheless, for years there were no suspects. The case went cold.
Then on October 29, 2010, another violent murder occurred.
Nina Whitney, age 75, was found by a female relative that evening in her home at 11800 Belmont in south Kansas City. Nina had been stabbed multiple times and strangled. As in Cara Jo’s murder, Nina’s bathtub upstairs was filled with water.
There were no signs of a forced entry, which left detectives wondering if Nina had known the man who killed her. Male DNA was collected from Nina’s body, which matched that of the man who had killed Cara Jo two years prior.
During a police canvass of the Crossgates neighborhood, detectives found a male neighbor who described seeing an unknown white male, approximately 45-60 years of age, walking with a slight limp near Nina’s home the day of the murder. The witness said he saw the man get into a black newer-model Jeep and drive away.
From the witnesses’ description, detectives were able to develop a composite sketch of the suspect and released it to the public in April. Recently, a billboard also went up along 71 Highway with the sketch and short description of the suspect.
According to reports, a female relative of Nina’s saw the billboard and thought of a man she had known in the 1980s--then Grandview Police Officer Jeffrey Moreland. The detective in charge of Nina’s case, Kansas City Det. Leland Blank, and other officers looked into the tip.
Police records indicate that detectives confirmed that Moreland owned a black jeep, and approached him for a DNA sample on June 16, 2011. Moreland refused.
Knowing police suspected him, Moreland committed yet another sexual assault just 14 days later, this time in his own home.
On June 30, a woman was walking to her home near the Harrisonville square when Moreland pulled up next to her in his black Jeep and asked if she wanted a ride. The woman told police that it was very hot outside, so she got inside and asked if he would drop her off near the square.
She noticed he was shaking, and Moreland told her he had palsy. She also noticed a badge on the console of the Jeep.
When Moreland began driving erratically and missed the turn to the square, he told her he needed to drop a package off at his church. Instead, he took her to his house at 2904 Twin Pines Drive in Harrisonville.
She told police she knew that she was “in trouble” and told Moreland, “Just don’t kill me.”
Moreland took the woman to his bedroom, and hit her on the side of the head. He told her she was stupid for getting in a vehicle with a stranger, and that he picked her up because he knew she was vulnerable.
When she struggled, he struck her again on the head and retrieved a black belt. The woman told police she felt that Moreland was going to strangle her with the belt.
Fearing for her life, she devised a plan which may have saved her--and potentially others as well--as her bravery ended up breaking the case.
According to police reports, she told Moreland that he could “tell them she was a prostitute” and that he hadn’t done anything wrong.
Following the rape and sexual assault, Moreland gave the woman two $50 bills and drove her home. He told her he would give her another $100 the next day.
Scared, the woman spent the night at a friend’s apartment. The following morning the friend drove the woman back home, when they saw Moreland sitting in his Jeep outside her house. They drove back to the friend’s apartment and called police.
Detective Stan Belk answered the call for help. The victim led Detective Belk to Moreland’s home, and later described in detail the interior of the home, including the design on the bedsheets. The detective took the woman to Cass Regional Medical Center for a sexual assault exam.
In the police report, Detective Belk said he knew Moreland, and knew that he lived in the home the woman identified as the scene of the rape.
“I have personal knowledge of a former Grandview, Missouri police officer named Jeff Moreland who has palsy, and had to leave his job due to his illness,” Belk said in his report. “I assisted Mr. Moreland in unloading a BBQ grill at his home at 2904 Twin Pines Drive approximately one year ago. I saw Mr. Moreland on June 17, 2011, driving a black four-door Jeep.”
Police had been to Moreland’s house just the day before, on June 16, to ask for a DNA sample since he was a potential suspect in two murders.
Moreland had declined then, and reports claim police  did not have enough evidence at the time to obtain a warrant for the DNA sample.
But now, with a brave rape victim’s testimony and male DNA collected from her body, police had the evidence they needed to confirm Nina’s relative’s suspicions.
While detectives obtained a search warrant and began processing the evidence from Moreland’s home, he fled to Iowa. Some reports say Moreland attempted to committ suicide there.
On July 5, the Des Moines, Iowa Police Department arrested Moreland on a warrant issued by Cass County. DNA was collected from the inside of Moreland’s cheek. It was a positive match for DNA collected from the bodies of his three victims.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker and Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Teresa Hensley held a joint press conference on July 8th  to announce the charges against Moreland, who is being held on a $1 million bond.
Prosecutors credited the rape victim for helping to solve the case.
“It is never easy for a victim of rape to come forward,” Hensley said.
Cara Jo’s husband, Jeff Roberts, thanked the woman as well at the press conference.
Grandview officials issued a short statement following the announcement of Moreland’s arrest, confirming that he had worked as a police officer for .the city for 21 years.
“The City truly sympathizes with the families of all involved. The City of Grandview has not been associated with Mr. Moreland since his retirement in 2005 and has no further comment on the issue.”
Grandview’s extensive selection process for police officers includes a background investigation, credit check, written test, interview, oral board, and polygraph exams as well as a psychological exam, drug screen, medical exam and physical agility test.  The hiring process requires approximately six weeks to complete.

Dough Worth Every Penny

Holt’s Do-Nuts on Main Street sell out before 9am daily for decades. Find out what makes the sweet treats such a landmark in Grandview.
By Paul Thompson
On a rainy Thursday morning in Grandview, while some are just beginning to get out of bed, it’s a different scene at Holt’s Do-Nuts on Main Street. This is the peak of the day at the landmark shop, where the donuts are often completely sold out by 9am.
Regular customers sit at one of two small tables in the shop, making chit-chat. The old-fashioned push button cash register clicks and clacks in the background, easily filling any voids in conversation. Self-serve coffee can be found in the corner, an ode to the days before cookie-cutter coffee shops ruled the morning beverage landscape. On the east wall, a menu is cleanly laid out on a chalk board. Customers scan seafoam-green trays for their made-from-scratch favorites.  Custard-filled long johns. Devil’s food cake donuts with chocolate icing and rainbow sprinkles. And of course, the Holt’s glazed donut.
“The warm glazed doughnuts are simply the best you will find anywhere,” said Grandview local Monica Hernandez, who added that the blueberry cake donuts also top her favorites list.
“I raised my kids in Grandview,” said Holt’s customer Sandy McCrory emphatically. “I tell everybody, if you’ve never had Holt’s, you need to have Holt’s.”
Crystal Richardson pops into Holt’s, crossing her fingers that she’ll be able to get a cherry frosted donut for her young daughter. Now past 8:30, it’s a bit late for requests. But fortunately for Crystal (and her daughter), there is still one left.
“We don’t get donuts too often, but when we do we come here,” she said.
James Harris—a Holt’s regular--walks in. It’s closing in on 9 a.m. now, and he’s well past his usual arrival time of about 7:30. Generally, James gets two glazed donuts every morning. But on this day, he knows that it’s too late for him to grab Holt’s most popular donuts.
“I’m way late this morning,” says Harris somewhat sheepishly, with the clock showing almost 9 a.m. “It was raining so I was sleeping in.”
Asked if he would ever consider going anyplace else, Harris is quick with a response.
“Only if Holt’s wasn’t here,” he says.
At Holt’s, 9 a.m. doesn’t represent the beginning of the day. It’s closer to the end. Current owner Geeta Mehta arrives at the Main Street shop at 11:00 p.m. on most nights. She turns on the fryers, makes the dough and icing, and prepares to have those batches of delectable Holt’s Do-Nuts ready for consumption by about 5:30 to 6:30 every morning.
If 5:30 sounds a bit early, then you probably have never been to Holt’s. This donut shop is unique from many others in that they have flexible hours of operation. In other words, Holt’s Do-Nuts closes for the day whenever they sell their last donut. Their steady stream of regular customers helps ensure that closing time is never too late in the morning.
That’s how it’s always been at the shop, opened by Clyde Holt in 1970. When Clyde passed away, his son Brian operated the shop until March 2008, when he sold the business to Justin Wells and Randy Ebert. Wells and Ebert re-sold Holt’s in November 2008 to Tom Morris, who ran the shop until selling to Mehta in September of 2010. Through it all, several things have remained unchanged. The name has always stayed Holt’s. The interior feels like a step back into the 1970s. The donuts are made by Holt’s same special recipe. And there are even many of the same customers as there were in Clyde’s days.
Those regular customers are what makes Holt’s what it is. Geeta, who moved to the United States from India more than 25 years ago, bought the shop last September as a small business to run with her daughter Rachna. The two had a lot to learn about the donut business.
“We were looking for a small business, something family-oriented that we could all do together,” said Rachna about taking over Holt’s. “We didn’t know how to make donuts before we bought the shop.”
There were some struggles as Geeta learned the craft from previous owner Tom Morris. She began watching Morris prepare the donuts at night. The family admits to having to throw out a significant quantity of batches as they learned the trade. But the regulars stayed loyal. Now, Geeta and Rachna feel tight-knit with many of their customers.
“I have the same people come every day. It’s nice to see, feels like family,” Geeta says of her clientele. “We miss them if they don’t show up.”
The feelings are mutual. Some of Holt’s longtime customers have been getting their donuts from the shop for 30 years. The quality of the donuts keeps them coming back. And that doesn’t just go for long-time fans still living in the Grandview area.
“There’s people that actually come in, visiting relations in this area, and they make a point to come to this donut shop,” said Richard, a regular Holt’s customer who drives in from Belton. “That oughta tell you something.”
Fellow regular John Shelton agrees.
“It’s amazing how many people live here, move away, and then come back here to get donuts,” says Shelton.
When people come back to Holt’s, it’s clear that most know exactly what they are looking for when they come in. For Richard, it’s the butter crunch and cinnamon donuts. For fellow regular John Shelton, it’s the buttermilk donuts. And of course, there is also a certain amount of camaraderie among the regulars.
“There’s a little group that’s usually here in the morning, and we solve the world’s problems,” says Richard with a smile.
More regulars stop by the shop. Larry Pridemore is here to grab a long john. He’s lived in Grandview for 32 years, and has been a customer ever since.
“I can’t imagine a situation of us not having a donut shop like this in Grandview,” Pridemore says before taking his grub for the road.
Geeta and Rachna have been impressed with the customer base that they’ve maintained despite ownership turnover. Rachna says that seeing those regulars daily has now become a part of the routine that she looks forward to. That was something that former owner Morris appreciated as well.
“I love the people that came in there. What made it great was the people,” said the father-of-three Morris. “Obviously, they love the donuts. But it’s not just about that.”
It’s also about loyalty to Grandview’s only donut shop. It’s about friends spending a little time together. It’s about maintaining tradition. But, sure, it’s definitely about the donuts.
“I think it’s neat and I’m glad it’s still here. I’ve known you fifteen years,” Richard said, turning to friend and fellow regular John. “That’s kind of the neat thing about coming up here and visiting. But the main draw is the donuts. If they didn’t have good donuts I wouldn’t come.”
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Holt’s Do-Nuts is tucked into a small corner shop off Main Street in Grandview, across from City Hall. The shop is open Tuesday - Sunday from 5:30am until they sell out. Holt’s is closed on Mondays.

Residents Want Local Candidate for Next KCMO Police Chief

By Seann McAnally
Residents from all over Kansas City came to the Hillcrest Community Center on July 6 for the first of three public hearings on what qualities residents want to see in a new police chief. Current chief Jim Corwin is retiring in September.
In general, the 15 people who spoke all said the new chief should be from Kansas City, and should have experience with urban populations and violent crime. Further hearings were held at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Center and at the Kansas City Police training facility in the Northland.
“We need a chief with the courage to speak against wrongdoing,” said Keith Brown, a minister in the Independence Plaza neighborhood. “We need to find someone with a genuine commitment to fight crime…I believe that we have that chief here in Kansas City and we don’t need to go outside of KC to bring that person in.”
City Councilman John Sharp spoke, though he stressed he was there as a private citizen, not a city official.
“I’m just here as a citizen and I have no official say, not more than anyone else in this room,” Sharp said. “This decision may well be more important than any other decision the commission has made in a long while.”
Sharp said the new chief should be a local person.
“I want a chief who knows geography,” he said. “I want a chief who knows where Ruskin is, where Ivanho is. I think we do have good internal candidates, and I think it should be one of those, rather than someone who will require a long learning curve.”
Sharp caused some raised eyebrows among the commissioners when he said, “Our homicide rate is too high. There’s no reason our clearance rates should be as low as they are. Drive-by shootings are up. I think we need a chief who is committed to involving the community. I realize my comments don’t sit well with some people, but this is too important of an issue to be silent on.”
Sharp stressed the importance of community involvement, and he praised staffers at the KCPD’s south patrol headquarters for working with residents in his neighborhood to reduce break-ins.
“Some neighborhoods in Kansas City are pretty safe,” Sharp said. “But some sure aren’t. We need them all to be safe.”
Ryan Hunt, who lives in the 5th District, said the new chief should be African-American.
“For the last 15-20 years, every chief presented to us has been Caucasian,” he said. “In my view, African Americans are the most abused by police. It’s about time we had somebody who looks like us…that knows our community. We don’t need to play games and do outside…we’ve got who we need right here. Let’s give our brothers a fair chance at this.”
John Modest Miles, also of the 5th District, said the reduction of violent crimes and the recruitment of minority officers should be the most important issues the commission considers when choosing a new chief.
“It should be someone who understands what it is like to grow up in Kansas City,” Miles said. “We need someone with strong relationships with the Kansas City community.”
He said administrative skills and experience are important, but he urged the commission to hire an experienced homicide detective as chief.
“Too many shootings and killings are occurring,” he said. “Administrative skills are important, but it is equally important that the next chief has experience investigating homicides.”
Ossco Bolton, a former gang leader who now runs programs to reduce gang violence, said a new chief should be one who is not “afraid to lock arms” with the urban community. He described how a police officer in his neighborhood – roughly 39th and Prospect – sometimes get out of their cars to talk with kids.
“Sometimes they’ll get out and throw the football around,” Bolton said. “That means a lot.”
Jim McInerney, president of the board of police commissioners, said the board would continue to accept applications from all over the country, and that it would consider all eligible candidates regardless of where they are from.
However,  he pointed out that historically, the commission has tended to promote from within the Kansas City Police Department.
Some commissioners opined that the public’s concern over hiring a local candidate stemmed from a Kansas City Star editorial that said the new chief should be an outsider.
McInerney said the commissioners will accept applications until July 25, and then narrow down the field of applicants to a few who will be featured in another public hearing before any decision is made.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Child Molester Charged with 5 Counts of Sodomy

On June 26, 2011 Grandview Police began an investigation of Child Molestation involving two victims who are less than 9 years old.  The suspect was identified and arrested in the apartment building at 6212 E 126th St, Grandview, Missouri.
 
On June 27, 2011 the suspect, 61 year old white male, Larry J. Hahn was charged with 5 Felony Counts of Sodomy in the Circuit Court of Jackson County Missouri.  Hahn's bond was set at $150,000 cash only.
 
Larry Hahn is believed to have lived in Grandview, Missouri for more than the past 10 years and quite often did babysitting for acquaintances. If there is anyone who has information regarding other criminal activity by Hahn the Grandview Police Department would like them to call the TIPS Hotline at 474-TIPS.

Friday, July 1, 2011

KC Seeks Input on Police Chief Selection

The Board of Police Commissioners is beginning the process to solicit input from department members and the public about what qualities they would like to see in the next chief of police.
Public meetings will take place at 7 p.m. at the following dates and locations:
·        July 6, Wednesday – Hillcrest Community Center, 10401 Hillcrest Road
·        July 7, Thursday – Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway
·        July 11, Monday – Academy auditorium, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road