Friday, July 26, 2013

Quick Response from GVPD in Armed Robbery

 By Mary Wilson

In as little as sixty seconds, a sixty-six year old man with a sawed-off shotgun entered Crews Jewelry on 13th Street in Grandview at around 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, and was quickly met outside by Grandview Police. While in the store, the suspect demanded the jewelry from the cases be removed for him. The employee obliged, and then saw an opportunity to reach for the weapon. In the process, a shot was fired into the back wall of the store. As the suspect left the store, police were waiting for him outside.

 “We have one amazing police department,” said Crews Jewelry Owner Carolyn Crews Pope. “Everyone is fine, quite shaken up of course. In our 42 years, it’s the first time this has happened.”

No merchandise was taken during the robbery in the store. According to the owner, it is a risk of owning a jewelry business for instances such as this to happen. Crews Jewelry has taken that into consideration with their location being so close to the police department.

“It’s amazing what can happen in sixty seconds,” said Pope. “The police were just absolutely phenomenal. Their efforts saved us. Period. We are lucky we had such a positive ending. The police were so professional, had it together and I’m proud of them. I’m proud of my people, and I’m proud of the police.”
The suspect was taken into custody, and a $300,000 bond has been set.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Charles Chancellor: Grandview Citizen of the Year

By Paul Thompson

Charles Chancellor has a strong sense of history. He collects coins, and has spent countless hours of his retirement poring over his family’s genealogy, which he’s dated all the way back to 1334. He reminisces with stark clarity the stories from his nearly 60 years in Grandview; recalling names, faces, and many amusing anecdotes about the town in which he’s spent the great majority of his life.

 A conversation with Chancellor is a trip in a time machine – his memory is encyclopedic, his enthusiasm infectious. So it seems apt, now in his 75th year, that Chancellor has carved out his own place in history, as Grandview’s 2013 Citizen of the Year.
The retired construction man and 59-year resident of Grandview received the honor at the Tuesday, July 9 regular Board of Aldermen meeting. The board cited Chancellor’s service with the TIF Commission and Planning Commission, the volunteer hours he donated to the Grandview school district (on both the Facilities Committee and Bond Committee, as well as in an unofficial capacity), and his 13 years of service as a Jackson County Election judge among the reasons for choosing Chancellor as their 2013 Citizen of the Year. Although surprised at his selection, Chancellor was nonetheless pleased with the honor.

 “I’m sure there are people in Grandview who deserve it more than me, but Becky (Schimmel’s) comment was ‘you were voted in unanimously,’” said Chancellor. “Recognition is the only way you get paid, so you appreciate recognition.”

 Chancellor first moved to the city in 1954, when his father relocated the family from Sedalia to find steady work. Chancellor attended Grandview High School, where he served as a 6’2”, 145-pound center on the basketball team. At the time, Chancellor says that Grandview’s football stadium was still located on the west side of 71 Highway, in the location where Grandview’s City Hall now stands. Chancellor is a bridge to a different era.

Even in high school, Chancellor remembers embracing community service. He recalls city officials rounding up athletes on weekends to help string holiday lights along Main Street, with a free meal serving as the carrot at the end of a long day. According to Chancellor, he was always happy to oblige.

 In fact, Chancellor has carried on a lifelong love affair with Grandview, and the school district which calls the city home. After marrying his wife Susie on July 11, 1959, the couple had three children. Leigh Ann, Mike, and Dana Sue all attended Grandview High School, just like their father. But their enrollment in the C-4 district was not always a sure thing; Chancellor practically moved mountains to get his children into Grandview schools.

 The year was 1970, and Chancellor was actually residing within the Hickman Mills district. At the time, the district was going through a nasty teacher’s strike, and Chancellor was desperate to get his kids into the Grandview district. Alas, Grandview charged a $1,000 tuition fee for each out-of-district student who attended school in the C-4 district.
After doing some investigating, Chancellor found that if he moved into the Grandview district by November 1, he could enroll his oldest daughter, then 5, into kindergarten without paying the sizable tuition fee. So Chancellor quickly bought some property along Botts Road, and went to work on constructing the house he lives in to this day.

 “I did not have $1,000 to pay tuition, so we built a house,” said Chancellor with a laugh. “When I say we, I hired my whole family of carpenters to come in and help. We moved in just before the first of November. It wasn’t complete, but we moved in. That’s all the district said we had to do. We probably spent the next year getting everything finished.”

 Chancellor refers to himself as a “type-A” personality who always needs to stay busy. While his 34 years in the construction industry kept him plenty occupied during the bulk of his adult life, Chancellor found himself feeling restless as he approached his 1997 retirement. A conversation with former C-4 assistant superintendent Chet Neumann led Chancellor to once again volunteer his time to the school district.
Chancellor jumped at the chance. Before long, he became a key figure in organizing district construction projects, volunteering his time and insight from decades in the industry. Chancellor became such a prominent force in the district, he said, that it almost turned into a problem.

 “I had a slight problem, because I was going out in the field to direct what was going to happen,” admitted Chancellor. “I turned into a liability because I wasn’t an employee.”

 Although he took a step back after the liability issues emerged, Chancellor has nonetheless remained a key adviser to this day. He simply does what he can to assist the district.

 “I’m not here to get anybody hired, and I’m not here to get anybody fired,” he said. “I’m here to help the school district.”

 Despite his reduced role, the gregarious Chancellor remains opinionated about the biggest issues facing his district and his city. For the record, Chancellor was in favor of installing the artificial turf at Grandview High School’s football stadium.

 “I stood up and told some of those old men, ‘get out and help the school district instead of (complaining) about everything that’s going on,’” said Chancellor.

 Furthermore, he believes in the direction that the city is heading in, and the leadership which is directing Grandview.

 “I think Grandview’s got a real good future ahead of it,” Chancellor said. “I think we have a lot of good, conscientious people in as aldermen. They’re young and aggressive, and Jim Crain is the backbone of that group. He’s done tremendous things for Grandview.”

 Chancellor is at ease talking about his town, and the fond memories he has of it.

 “When you get to be 75, the biggest thing you have is your memories,” he said. “I have a good memory, and I enjoy talking about them.”

 Invariably, the conversation turns to history. Chancellor is infatuated with his family name, and the history associated with it. He says that a Chancellor family castle still stands in Edinburgh, Scotland, although his family’s rights to it were sold generations ago. The Chancellors, according to detailed research conducted by Charles, first came to America after a relative fled the United Kingdom to avoid a hit on his life. Another Chancellor was a doctor who amputated the arm of southern Civil War general Stonewall Jackson, after Jackson had been accidentally shot by his own troops in a snafu regarding code words as he re-entered southern lines.

 Chancellor revels in these stories, enjoys living vicariously through the memories of his ancestors. The nostalgia offers him a moment to reflect on his own life, and his own place in history. With his 2013 Grandview Citizen of the Year award in tow, Chancellor is comfortable with his place on the family genealogy chart.

 “I love life. I’ve got a great family, I’ve got enough money to live off; what else could you want? Life is good,” says Chancellor with an exuberance that belies his age. Looking back, he can’t help but smile. “You think I don’t enjoy myself? I have a ball every day.”


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Beauty Knows No Age

By Mary Wilson
From runway, to Mary Kay, to beauty queen, Helen Hunter, a resident of Life Care Center of Grandview, participated in Missouri Health Care Association District One’s Ms. Missouri Nursing Home Pageant. Held at the First Baptist Church of Raytown on June 28, Hunter was first runner up in a pageant of twelve elderly women.
Hunter was chosen to represent Life Care Center of Grandview in the pageant, though she humbly said that it probably had nothing to do with her outer beauty.
“They picked me and I felt so honored,” said Hunter. “For goodness sakes, they picked me out of all the clients in the whole place to represent them.”
The annual event honors women across the state that are living in nursing homes. Each contestant is asked a series of questions, and the event is taken very seriously by those involved. Hunter even promoted the cosmetics that became her career at the pageant.
“I’m 84 years old and they just raved about me being 84,” said Hunter. “I said, well, Mary Kay does her job.”
She joined Mary Kay Cosmetics as a beauty consultant and set her sights on being the first black Senior Director, a position she held for 23 of her 32 years with the company. During her time with Mary Kay, she received four of the highest honors the company offers for achievement: two pink Cadillacs, a Buick Regal and a Pontiac Grand Am.
Prior to that, Hunter came from humble beginnings during the aftermath of World War II, and was born in Campbell, Ohio, on April 17, 1929. She graduated from grade school in Buffalo, NY, and went on to high school but fell in love, got married and quickly had three children. After relocating to Detroit, Hunter finished her education and graduated from Commerce High School and became a fashion model.
After a rocky marriage that ended in divorce, she set her sights on finding a career that would keep her family in the lifestyle they had grown accustomed to. Hunter then took classes in Pharmacology and became an LPN, working two jobs to send her children to private school. After each graduated, she turned her goals in a different direction: Mary Kay.
Health issues later made it difficult for her to continue with Mary Kay, so she retired from the company. Hunter has been at Life Care Center of Grandview for eighteen months. Along with her three children, she has 27 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren, who light up her eyes when she talks about them. She was married for forty years to the love of her life. Though moving to a nursing home can be scary, she said that she has been more than pleased.
“Everybody is like buddies,” she said. “They come in and talk to me and I hear ‘Miss Helen’ all the time. I have enjoyed my stay here. I can’t find anything that I can say negative about this place. From the top all the way down to the people that sweep the floors, it’s just 100% like a family.”
Life Care Center is located at 6301 E 125th Street in Grandview. They can be found online at

Friday, July 5, 2013

C-4 School Board Welcomes New Member

By Mary Wilson
After accepting applications for the open board seat left vacant due to Rachel Casey’s resignation, the Grandview School Board interviewed the sole applicant, and ultimately decided on appointing Wayne Terpstra to the seat. Terpstra, who applied and interviewed for the seat now filled by Jon Brax, referenced his business sense and financial background in the interview process.
The oath of office was given at the beginning of the board meeting on Thursday, June 27. During Dr. Ralph Teran’s Superintendent’s report, members of the Grandview High School track team who won the state title for the third year in a row, met with the board and discussed their accomplishments.
“What you said about being a team,” said Teran, “it’s about being there together. We’re really proud of you.”
Also at the meeting, after welcoming a new board member, the board recognized Rachel Casey for her service to the
Grandview School District and the board. President Bastian presented Casey with a certificate in honor of her devotion to the district from 2008 to 2013. Casey also received a lifetime pass to Grandview School District events and donations were made to the Grandview Assistance Program in honor of Casey’s years of service.
“Everyone knows the saying that smooth seas don’t make good sailors,” said Grandview National Education Association President Rebeka McIntosh to Casey, “and boy did you navigate this one well. You wore these five years very well, and it will have reaching impact and we thank you for that.”
New high school administrators, Ryan Beatty and Adrian Howard, were given an opportunity to introduce themselves to the board. Beatty has been a special education teacher in the district for thirteen years and has coached a wide variety of sports.
“I appreciate being given this opportunity,” said Beatty. “We have the best kids in the city. We really do.”
Howard served most recently as an elementary principal in the Kansas City Public School District. He has been working in education for many years, and has served in many different capacities.
“I haven’t really been a part of a team for a little while,” said Howard, “so I’m very excited to be a part of this team. I think that Grandview High School can be a blue ribbon school. That’s part of my goals. There are great kids in Grandview and I think that with the resources that are given to them, they can have a world-class education.”
The board unanimously approved the purchase/lease of new technology for a 1:1 initiative at the high school. The district has spent the last couple of years taking a look at the type of skills Grandview students should possess throughout their education.
“We’ve discussed PC versus Apple, tablet versus laptop and really planned with what instructionally needs to happen for kids and what they need to know about each content area,” said Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum
and Instruction Lisa Walker. “We determined that based on our findings that the MacBook Air would be the best tool.”
District administration felt that the MacBook Air would do the type of collaborating work that would enhance the learning of the students at the high school level. Earlier in the 2012-2013 school year, the board approved the lease/purchase of the devices for the staff at the high school and CAIR. Over the course of the last several months, the staff has been training on the devices in order to be ready to help the students in the coming school year.
The board approved a four-year lease for the MacBook Air devices, at an annual cost of $329,383.80, for a total
cost of $1,317,535.20. That amount is consistent with the 3-year technology budget plan that was approved
at the April 2013 board meeting.
Also approved at the meeting was bond project foundation work to be done at Grandview Middle School. The next regular meeting for the Grandview School Board will be on Thursday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m.