Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mama Kansas City and Her Sixty-five Boys

A Local Woman’s Story on How Lost Boys from Sudan Saved Her Life

 

By Mary Wilson

As families across the country gathered around their tables this week to focus on being thankful, one local woman concentrated not on what she has to be grateful for, but whom. Gina Kerns Moreno, who owns Integrity Staffing Specialists with her sister, Betty, and husband, Reno, knows she has so much to be thankful for, despite hard times in her life.

Moreno and her husband have four children, two each from previous marriages, and she defines her marriage to her first husband as being married to the "devil." The children from this marriage were not Moreno’s, but as step-parents often do when combining families, she fell in love with the boy and girl as if they were her own. The "devil," as Moreno describes, was abusive to her and the children, and eventually the marriage ended due to a massive gambling debt he accrued.

While Moreno was still married to the "devil," the kids were in a foster home after their mother, who was in prison, signed away her maternal rights. When the foster family expressed interest in adopting them, Moreno discovered that there was no money left for her to fight for custody of the children.

"He had $18,000 on one credit card from getting money at the boats," said Moreno.

At that time, she knew in order to get the kids, they would have to file for bankruptcy. In order to protect herself and her own assets, Moreno left the "devil" and the kids, while remaining in contact with the children over the years.

"He filed bankruptcy and I lived on $50 a week for many years because I was $90,000 in debt because I did not file for bankruptcy," said Moreno, "$30,000 of which was for getting the children."

After several years, the older of the two reached out to Moreno and reestablished a connection with her and her new husband.

Moreno is currently in her 34th year in the employment industry, working her first five years at Missouri Job Service and then working for a global employment service in which she was very successful. Eventually, she ended up working for a company called Dan-D Services, owned by the Dittoe family.

"For eight years working there, there was a lot of bad," said Moreno. "The good thing was while I was working at the Independence office, and through my work meeting people from all walks of life, I worked with the Don Bosco Refugee Center."

She worked with Dennis, from the Don Bosco Center, who was a political refugee from Bosnia, and in March of 2001, he came to visit Moreno and Dennis told her about the Lost Boys from Sudan.

"He said, ‘We’ve got a bunch of boys coming, and we don’t know how many we’re getting,’" said Moreno. "My big deal was, if I’m going to help any of them, they have to be able to read, write, understand and speak English. He assured me that they would all speak English."

He explained to Moreno that the government was bringing the orphans to the United States and they would be given free apartments for three months, after which they would have to start paying for their own living expenses as well as the $850 cost of the airfare to get here.

"I thought, okay, I can do this," said Moreno. "Nothing ever happened with it, and I kind of forgot all about it. Until one day in August, in came Dennis with two vehicles full of nine boys in our front door. They were so thin and so tall. He told me, ‘Gina, these are the Lost Boys I was telling you about.’"

They all introduced themselves to her, and she knows she did not even remember their names due to the shock of them standing in her office. They all needed jobs, so Moreno got to work to find placement for the nine. The next day, nine more came in. And then more the next day. In total, Moreno handled the job placement for 65 Lost Boys in Kansas City.

"That first group, I don’t even know how to describe the emotions I felt for them," said Moreno. "I had been through this horrific marriage. I left those kids and I promised them I would never leave them. I had Reno, who is the best person in the world, and I still felt like something was missing in my life. When they walked in that office and introduced themselves to me, I was bound and determined, I didn’t care what I had to do, I was going to get those boys jobs."

Moreno was successful in finding them jobs. One in particular, named Joseph, came in when Moreno was not in the office and was assigned to a job at a furniture manufacturer. She decided, after being told that Joseph was small, to go by the next day and check on him.

"He instantly grabbed my heart," said Moreno. "He was so little, and he wanted to be a doctor."

Joseph one day told her about how much he loved eating the "hamburger sandwiches" from the vending machine. They talked often when Moreno would visit with him at work, and eventually Joseph brought her a VHS tape. When she got home that night, she put the tape in, and it was a 60 Minutes story that featured Joseph and the story of the Lost Boys.

"Before then, I had no idea what these boys had been through," said Moreno. "I wailed. I didn’t cry, I wailed. It featured Joseph in Kansas City and a boy named Abraham in Atlanta."

Joseph had been one of two boys picked to follow on their journey, starting back at the refugee camp in Kenya. In the story, the need for mentors for the boys in America was advertised, and Moreno went to work to find out what she needed to do to be a mentor.

"By this time, we had our 65 boys who were employed and doing pretty well," said Moreno. "When I found out about the mentors, I contacted the Don Bosco Center to find out more information."

Moreno was informed that there were certain financial requirements in order to qualify. Living on $50 a week, she explained that was all she had for gas, cigarettes, clothing and food. She could not be a mentor to the Lost Boys. She was told she could mentor people from other countries, but she refused.

"After I saw the video, I called every friend, every family member, everyone I knew, and we all got involved," said Moreno. "None of us had money to give, but we did what we could to help."

Moreno recruited Virginia Bell from the Hosanna Lutheran Church in Liberty, who, together with her women’s group and Dan-D Services, eventually paid back the airfare for all the boys in Kansas City. With up to nine boys living in an apartment, Moreno and those she recruited to help, including her best friend Susie from her hometown of Clinton, went into the apartments and discovered the horrible living conditions the boys were in.

"They didn’t even know how to work the alarm clock," said Moreno. "One would stay up all night and watch the clock, waking the others when it was time to get up."

The volunteers Moreno brought together pooled their resources and furnished the boys with food, clothing, blankets, toiletries and other necessary items.

"It took a long time, and we separated the donations in our office," said Moreno. "We’d then take all the donations around to the boys, and take everything in and show them how to use it."

They also established 100 Hot Dog and 100 Hamburger nights, where the boys would learn to cook hot dogs and hamburgers, and it became a regular night for Moreno’s volunteers and the Lost Boys. Over the years, Moreno became known by the boys as Gina Mama Kansas City. She continued to help them out with their needs, and they became a part of her family.

"The experiences that we’ve had, just having them in our lives, has made a huge difference," said Moreno. "They’re not just the Lost Boys of Sudan. They’re grown men and they are a part of our family. God put me there, I believe, at a moment in my life to give me the part of myself that was missing and to let me be fortunate enough to take this journey with them."

A lot of the boys are still in contact with Moreno and her family. Some still rely on her for advice. Joseph is currently in another country working on his education to become a doctor. Most recently, a film was released that was loosely based on Moreno’s story with the Lost Boys, called The Good Lie.

"I’ve stayed out of the spotlight, I’m better in the background," said Moreno. "There have been so many laughs, and so many tears. I would not have changed anything. I didn’t save them, these boys saved me."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cerner Breaks Ground in South Kansas City's Former Bannister Mall Site

By Paul Thompson


The Cerner Corporation officially broke ground Wednesday, November 12, on the largest economic development project in the history of Missouri.
Cerner’s new $4.45 billion Trails Campus, to be located at the former site of South Kansas City’s Bannister Mall, is expected to create up to 16,000 new high-paying jobs over the next ten years. Cerner’s Zane Burke – the CEO of the 35-year-old health care technology solutions company – discussed the new development in an official ground-breaking press conference.
“This campus is proof of our commitment to the area, and our commitment to growth in Kansas City,” said Burke. “There are jobs that don’t exist today.  We’re not relocating, we’re not back-filling, we’re not consolidating; these are new jobs that we hope to fill with a homegrown, Kansas City workforce.”
Those new employees will be spread throughout two data centers, a service center, a training/conference center, an on-site daycare and health center, and 4.3 million square feet of office space at the new campus. In addition, Cerner has set aside space for retail development, which will include restaurants and an on-site hotel.
“Once completed, it will truly be a development that Kansas City and all of us can be proud of,” said Burke.
The development is expected to invigorate what has been one of Kansas City’s most blighted areas. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, in town to celebrate the ground-breaking, acknowledged that there were some outside of Kansas City who thought Bannister Mall couldn’t be redeveloped so quickly.
“If you had told somebody five years ago that an old and blighted shopping center, full of nothing but empty parking lots, deserted after decades of decline, would one day be home to the largest development project in the history of our great state, with more than $4.4 billion in investments and 16,000 high-paying jobs on the way, they would have said, ‘it’s impossible,’” Nixon stated.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James was also on-hand for the monumental event. James noted that while the development is a great boon for South Kansas City, it will help the rest of the metro area, as well.
“To make an investment like what we’re celebrating today, you have to have vision, and you have to have guts,” said James.  “It’s not only pivotal, it’s catalytic. That’s absolutely crucial to the people who live in this part of town, it’s absolutely crucial to the growth of Kansas City, and to the tax base of Kansas City.”
Southern Communities Coalition co-chair Carol McClure stated her support of Cerner’s multi-billion-dollar investment in the area.
“This is a big day for South Kansas City. It is exciting to be here today for the ribbon cutting of the new Cerner Trails Campus,” she said. “It has taken better than a decade for this to happen, but the community’s support has always been there. We never gave up the notion that South KC would thrive again. On the horizon is Oxford on the Blue and Northpointe, both on 87th Street. This is all good news!”
 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Downtown Martin City Phase 1 Facelift Complete

By Mary Wilson

Damon Hodges, project manager with Kansas City Public Works, welcomed guests to the completion of the first phase of Martin City’s 135th Street improvements on Thursday, October 16. The $9.1 million overhaul of the street has been divided into three sections. Phase one included 135th Street from Holmes to Oak; phase two will include from Oak to Wornall, with an anticipated start date by summer of 2015; and phase three includes Wornall to 150 Hwy.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said 6th District Councilman John Sharp. “Martin City is really a hidden treasure for Kansas City, and hopefully it won’t be so hidden now that we’re finally putting in the infrastructure that is long overdue. With so many great restaurants and shops, this is an entertainment mecca.”

Sharp added that Martin City is an area of Kansas City that receives a high percentage of visitors from Johnson County. Phase one was completed with a strong partnership with the county’s significant financial support, as well as the Martin City Community Improvement District.

“When you want to attract an upscale customer, it has to look nice,” said Sharp. “Now it does. We’re going to be working very hard to get the rest of the money we need for phase two.”

6th District Councilman Scott Taylor added that the Kansas City Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) unanimously contributed $2.3 million to the project.

“We all feel strongly in supporting Martin City,” said Taylor. “You can see the impact it already has. It’s much more family-friendly with sidewalks, and our hope is that this will attract new business and make this more of a destination.”

Taylor also said that Martin City is a revenue-driver for the city of Kansas City, bringing in new funds from neighboring cities. Taylor added that as chair of the city’s first ever Small Business Committee, he will continue doing whatever he can to make it easier for businesses to open in Martin City. The city has kept that commitment throughout the construction, passing an ordinance for a microbrewery in Martin City.

“We’ve set up a microloan program, a small business loan program, through the city in partnership with the Small Business Administration,” said Taylor. “You can receive up to a $50,000 loan to get a business started and help fill up some of these empty spaces so that we have full capacity in Martin City.”

Parties interested in the city’s microloan program can contact the Kansas City BizCare office at 816-513-2492, or by visiting the city’s website at www.kcmo.gov.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Where’s the Community?

A Column by Mary Wilson, Editor

 
For the third year in a row, I walked along Main Street with kids from Grandview as they celebrated one of the rites of their high school careers: Homecoming. This year, with their faces painted and their letter jackets on, the students at Grandview High School took to the community to garner support and encouragement from businesses and residents.

That support was incredibly lacking. As I geared up with my camera, finding the best spot to photograph the action, I noticed something that really hit a nerve. Before Main Street was closed off to traffic for the parade, several of the businesses surrounding mine, in the heart of Main Street, closed up shop and the owners and employees drove away. There were only a handful of families with small children who made the trek to show their support and maybe get a piece of candy or two.

The rest of Main Street was a ghost town. Whether it was a lack of the school district publicizing the event, or if people were simply too busy on their Friday afternoon, the Grandview community was noticeably absent.

The Grandview School District most recently scored, for the second year in a row, Accredited with Distinction on the Missouri School Improvement Plan grading system. Grandview High School has students with amazing abilities, both academically and athletically. Teenagers thrive on positive reinforcement, and not just from their teachers and parents.

Not too many years ago, when I was in high school, I remember Main Street was full of life on Homecoming Friday. Businesses would hang banners in support of Grandview High School, and the community would come together to build floats, hand out candy, and simply be present. Now it’s as if doors are closed, blinds are shut, and we go about our business as if nothing’s happening.

What changed in the last few years? Where’s the community when our kids are literally begging for attention?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mission: Main Street


By Mary Wilson

The Jackson County Advocate newspaper, your hometown news source, has applied for $150,000 through the Chase Mission Main Street grant program. In all, twenty small business will be awarded the grants, and in addition will receive a winnings package from Google.

The Advocate has been covering Grandview and South Kansas City for 61 years, and we’d like to expand that coverage to offer our readers a broader spectrum of local news. In addition to coverage expansion, we are looking at the development of a website that will offer online subscriptions through desktop, tablet or smartphone platforms.

In order to make this possible, we need your help. Please take a few moments to VOTE for the Jackson County Advocate on the Mission Main Street website. The link is available on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jcadvocatenewspaper. We need a minimum of 250 votes in order to advance to the panel review process. Help support your local newspaper, and VOTE for us today!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Message from the Publisher

Dear Readers,
Please accept my apology to you for our paper being late the last two weeks. Due to problems at our printer’s plant, they were not able to deliver them on time. They have been implementing new programs to provide better service, but we have not seen the progress yet. We have been working with them, and had received assurances that all difficulties were ironed out. We were also told that we would have no further problems. Unfortunately, lightning strikes at their plant took them down this week. They printed our paper in Sedalia yesterday morning, but were unable to get it back to the post office in time. Once again, I am embarrassed to say it will be one day late. While I understand acts of nature this week, that does not excuse the previous two weeks.
We depend on outside sourcing for printing, labeling, and mailing. They have let us down these past few weeks, and, in turn, we have let you down.
We will be starting with new providers next week. We hope the transition is seamless, and you will once again receive your papers on time. We remain committed to provide you with a quality, on-time local newspaper, whatever it takes.
I hope you will bear with us while we resolve these problems. Again, I am sorry.
Thank you,
Becky Davis
Publisher/Owner

Friday, August 22, 2014

New Hours for New Grandview Parks

By Mary Wilson

With the Grandview community embracing their new parks and showing their appreciation at the polls on August 5 with the passage of more no-tax-increase parks bonds, the excitement of what’s already been completed has received attention from neighboring cities. With an uptick in usage from Grandview residents, as well as the metro area as a whole, Grandview Parks and Recreation staff has also seen an increase in complaints.

“We are seeing a tremendous increase in park usage across the city,” said Parks and Recreation Director Eric Lucas. “With that increase, we are also seeing and hearing concerns from citizens regarding park usage after dark.”
The complaints have been from concerns stemming from Meadowmere, Mapleview and Valley Parks. Previously, city ordinance allowed for park usage between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. daily.

“The current ordinance makes it difficult for our police department to enforce the ordinance because if it’s 9:00 and dark outside, people are legally allowed to use the parks,” said Lucas. “Given that most of our parks are in neighborhoods, and the fact that not much good comes from activities after dark, we believe that the park hours need to be modified.”
Lucas discussed possible scenarios with staff and also gathered information from other area ordinances to determine what the best-case-scenario would be for Grandview. Ultimately, the Board of Aldermen voted to unanimously approve a new ordinance regarding park usage hours at the Tuesday, August 12 meeting.

Effective immediately, the ordinance now states that it is unlawful for any person to be on or in the premises, boundaries or facilities of any park or park facility between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from April 1 to October 31, and between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from November 1 to March 31. An exception would be made for those participating in a scheduled, supervised program of the city’s parks and recreation department or with written permission from Lucas. Those breaking the ordinance could face a fine of up to $100, or face up to 90 days jail time.

“The police department preferred a scenario with set hours because it keeps things much cleaner for them and eliminates interpretation,” said Lucas.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

August 2014 Primary Election Results

Following Tuesday’s election, some races are over, while others are just beginning.

The primary sets in place candidates from each party who will be facing off in November. Below is a listing of the unofficial ballot results for local races with opponents, as well as the outcome of state and local amendments and questions.


For a complete listing of election results, visit http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

May Milling Enriches Grandview Community for Generations

By Mary Wilson

 


Since 1930, the May family has been milling about Grandview when J. Russell May bought Grandview Feed Mills, located on the corner of 6th and Rhodes, for $2000 from a man by the name of Edward Curtis. Over the years, May Milling Company has become a local institution. On Sunday, July 13, Rod May, Jr. shared the history of the family business with members of the Grandview Historical Society.

Currently working as manager of May Milling, Rod, Jr. is a fifth-generation mill worker for the May family. His father, Rod May, Sr., operated the business from the late 1960s until his semi-retirement in 1994. Perched on a seat made of feed bags, Rod, Jr. joked that the May family should go into the furniture business.

The May family has been in the grain business since 1898, when Rod, Jr.’s great-great grandfather came from Scotland and got into the cooper barrel-making business in Independence. When business began to decline in the 1890s, he switched gears and installed an elevator and a scale and started the grain business. That would become the May Coal and Feed Company at 407 South Liberty Street in Independence. The family also owned May Grain Company in Dodson, MO.

In June of 1938, the Mays acquired Quisenberry Feed Manufacturing Company, located at 258 W 3rd Street in Kansas City. This plant produced the feed for the Grandview mill and for many feed retail stores in the Midwest, and the base of operations was moved to Quisenberry, later changing its name to May Way Mills, Inc.

In September of 1939, Grandview Feed Mills burned down. The mill burned for two days, due to an overheated ball bearing in the oat crimper. The entire facility was made of wood and tin.

“There were people in Grandview who would come home, eat dinner, and then go down to the mill to watch it burn,” said May.

It was a total, devastating loss. Today, all that remains of the original building is a concrete walk-in safe. After the fire, J. Russell bought the Dodson mill from his father, Nephi May, for $1. In 1940, Grandview Feed Mills opened a new office across from the old plant on Rhodes Avenue. There were two small warehouses and a large haybarn located at 6th and Main.

Both small warehouses burned down later, and operations were moved inside the large haybarn. With its plank floors, milling machinery and an elevator installation, Grandview Feed Mills changed its name to May Milling Company in 1940, where it continues operations today. The interior of the warehouse was built with old wooden boxcar sides.

When they reopened, customer parking space was needed on the east side of the building. At the time, the Mays leased land from the railroad. When lease pricing kept climbing to the point where it wasn’t worth the price, the Mays then moved the entrance to the west side of the building, with use of the new dock and entrance beginning in 1994.

Due to J. Russell’s failing health in 1957, Rod, Sr. moved to Kansas City, where he worked with his father in the office until he was no longer able to work. J. Russell died in 1971, and when his wife, Elizabeth, died in 1985, ownership of the two companies passed to her sons, with Rod, Sr. taking over operations.

In 1989, Quisenberry Mills was sold to Timothy Blevin, and was closed within the next two years.

Over the years, former employees have come in to tell stories of their times working in the mill. The family looks forward to hearing from visitors of the past. Presently, May Milling Company sells its own brand of dog food, horse feed, wild bird food and several kinds of feed for domestic birds. The only feed produced and bagged at their location is the domestic bird feed.

May Milling is also home to cats, and patrons may remember the calico with the reputation of being the best “mouser” ever. Located at 606 Main Street in Grandview, May Milling also carries different brands of feed for all kinds of animals, as well as cooking spices, dog treats, and an assortment of other items.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Grandview Turns Corner on Future Development



Truman’s Marketplace development moving forward this summer

 RED Legacy, in partnership with the City of Grandview announces plans to move forward with the redevelopment of the Truman Corners Shopping Center in Grandview, Missouri. In addition to the new name, Truman’s Marketplace boasts a complete remodel and the introduction of several new tenants.

 The 72-acre site is located at the intersection of Blue Ridge Boulevard and Highway 71/Interstate 49, on what was once the boyhood farm of the nation’s 33rd President. Once completed in the summer of 2015, Truman’s Marketplace will bring 580,000 square-feet of major brand grocery, specialty stores, apparel shops, pet supplies, arts and crafts, and new restaurants to the area.

 “This will be a wonderful front door for Grandview,” says Grandview Mayor Leonard D. Jones, Jr.  ”This site serves as the gateway not only to Grandview, but also the entire Kansas City Metro area. We could not be more thrilled to have this development underway.”

 The site has been the subject of complex property acquisition issues and negotiations since the redevelopment project was originally announced, however, the shopping center anticipates opening by late spring 2015.  RED Legacy has commitments from retailers for most of the shopping center space, including a new anchor store, and anticipates that the pad sites will be filled once construction on the shopping center begins late this year.

“The City of Grandview and RED Legacy are very excited about how quickly this project has come together in the past few months. Though we have been excited to get started, we are actually seeing some benefit from the timing.  Changes just this year in the financial markets have allowed the City to actually reduce its financial risk,” stated Jones. “This is a great opportunity for Grandview and its residents. I know that the community and those visiting Grandview will be pleased with the variety of new stores and restaurants that will soon be available.”

RED Legacy, as well, is bullish on the success of the new shopping center. “We’ve known for quite sometime what a treasure this location is,” stated Bart Lowen, Managing Partner of RED Legacy.  “It has great access for the entire metro and is under-served for retail and restaurants. The response to lease space has been tremendous.”

 

NEW TENANTS ANNOUNCED

Bolstering that claim, RED Legacy released the names of seven new tenants that would be a part of the renovated Truman’s Marketplace.

New stores and restaurants joining the new center include:

Ross Dress for Less—The largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States with 1,146 locations in 33 states, Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices.

TJ Maxx—T.J. Maxx  is one of the country’s most prominent off-price retailers of apparel and home fashions, offering  an ever-fresh array of fashionable, brand name family apparel, home fashions and other merchandise, such as beauty products. T.J. Maxx operates 1,079 stores in 49 states.

Burlington—.Burlington stocks a large assortment of current, high-quality, designer and name brand coats, clothing, and shoes for the entire family— at up to 70% off department store prices. With over 470 stores in 44 states, Burlington is among the nation’s most prominent off-price retailers.

LC's BBQ—Amidst the competitive Kansas City BBQ scene, LC’s has quietly earned a reputation for serving the finest burnt ends and ribs in the business, with many barbeque enthusiasts regarding LC’s sauce as one of the area’s best-kept secrets. For authentic Kansas City-style BBQ LC’s is considered one of the greats.

Petco—Petco is a leading specialty retailer of premium pet food, supplies, services and companion animals with more than 1,200 stores in all 50 states. Petco provides more than 10,000 different pet-related products for dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and small animals.

Shoe Carnival—Shoe Carnival is a leading retailer of family footwear. Each store offers a wide selection of both name brand and private label merchandise, where contests, games, neon signs, flashing lights and up-tempo music produce an energized shopping atmosphere.

Anna’s Nails – Adding a new specialty shop to the new center.

The new marketplace will consist of mostly new construction, with a high level of architectural finish.  Any remaining structures will be reconstructed with entirely new facades and interiors, presenting an appearance duplicating the new construction.

Existing stores that will continue operation in brand new surroundings include:

Price Chopper

54th Street Grill

International House of Pancakes

GNC

Dollar Tree

Advanced Auto

Payless Shoe Source

Radio Shack

Topsy’s

Truman Corners Barber

Sally Beauty

CitiTrends

Originally opened in 1958, Truman Corners shopping mall has been Grandview’s premier shopping destination for decades.  The reconfigured Truman’s Marketplace is designed to be a walkable shopping center with pedestrian connections to Truman’s farmstead and numerous other pedestrian-friendly amenities. In addition to completely new architecture, the project will feature an entirely remodeled parking area, landscaping and hardscaping throughout the center.

 
ABOUT RED LEGACY

Fired from the same single-minded drive that powered RED Development for more than 16 years, RED Legacy delivers shopping centers focused on rent growth and providing a unique customer experience.  The newly created RED Legacy focuses on suburban and infill redevelopment opportunities.  Under RED co-founder, Dan Lowe, RED Legacy engages in value-add projects with strong returns.  Please visit www.redlegacy.com for more information.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grandview Man Dies After Being Shot

Grandview, MO - Last night at about 11:30 p.m., Grandview Patrol Officers responded to the 6300 block of 127th Street on several calls regarding the sounds of shots fired.  It was discovered that a 41-year-old man had been taken by his family to a local hospital with a gunshot wound.  The man later died at the hospital.

Grandview Detectives and KCPD Officers located two juveniles, one 13- and one 14-year-old at a residence in Kansas City, MO.  The juveniles were taken in for questioning.

Anyone having information regarding the shooting is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 474-TIPS (816-474-8477) or the Grandview Police Department at 816-316-4980.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Grandview Gal Meets Memphis Belle

video
Click on the video to experience takeoff in the Memphis Belle, overlooking downtown Kansas City.

By Mary Wilson

This week, I had the incredible opportunity to step back into time and channel my inner Rosie the Riveter as I experienced the “Flying Fortress” herself, Memphis Belle B-17. With her sleek belly, loud purrs and tattoos of swastikas and pin-up girls, Memphis Belle is surely a sight to be seen.

While the Memphis Belle I saw on Monday wasn’t used in battle, it is the aircraft that was used in the movie Memphis Belle. She was built tough, able to withstand heavy combat and bring her soldiers home safe. Just walking around her on the outside, I could feel her power and authority. She means business.

The Boeing B-17 is by far the most famous bomber of World War II. In 1934, the Boeing Aircraft Company began construction of a four-engine heavy-bomber. Known as the Model -299, the first flight was achieved on July 28, 1935. As a result, the U.S. Government placed an order for production of thirteen of the aircraft and began to take delivery of the production between January 11 and August 4, 1937. The Final B-17 production model, the B-17G was produced in the largest quantities (8,680) than any other previous model and is considered the definitive "Flying Fortress".

During WWII, the B-17 saw service in every theater of operation, but was operated primarily by the 8th Air Force in Europe, and participated in countless missions from bases in England. A typical B-17 mission often lasted for more than eight hours and struck targets deep within enemy territory. During the war, B-17's dropped 640,036 tons of bombs on European targets in daylight raids. This compares to the 452,508 tons dropped by the B-24 and 464,544 tons dropped by all other U.S. aircraft. The B-17 also downed 23 enemy aircraft per 1,000 raids as compared with 11 by B-24's and 11 by fighters and three by all U.S. medium and light bombers.

There were a total of 12,732 B-17s produced between 1935 and May, 1945. Of these, 4,735 were lost in combat. Following WWII, the B-17 saw service in three more wars. B-17's were used in Korea, Israel used them in the war of 1948, and they were even used during Vietnam.

Today, fewer than 100 B-17 airframes exist and fewer still are in airworthy condition. At one time, more than 1,000 B-17's could be assembled for mass combat missions. Now, less than 15 of Boeing’s famous bombers can still take to the sky.

“The minute that people start to think that this sort of thing is boring, we have a big problem,” said volunteer pilot John Ferguson. “We need to get the word out to the public on the history of the wartime veterans and what they did for us. If they didn’t do what they did for us then, we wouldn’t be able to do this today. That’s what we’re all about.”

Memphis Belle is anything but boring. Climbing aboard through her small door, I sat in the back of the aircraft, closest to a veteran who remembers flying in B-17s during the war all too well. 95-year-old Jake Simonitsch was in a B-17 during the war and was gunned down.

I sat down, strapped myself in, and readied for takeoff. The four engines roared to life, and we were on our way. The flight itself was much smoother than I anticipated. Once we were in flight, we were able to unbuckle and walk, sometimes crawl, through the plane.

I crawled all the way to the nose of the plane, which would have been manned by a gunner engineer to defend the aircraft from enemy fire. The view from that seat was simply breathtaking, as we circled above Kansas City.

When finished exploring all of her nooks and crannies, and receiving a few “souvenirs”, or love bites of my own, as Ferguson calls them, we headed back to our seats to ready for landing. Once again, I sat toward the rear of the plane, closest to Simonitsch. He had a look of pure joy on his face as we neared the landing strip.

When the wheels touched ground, he looked at me and smiled, giving a thumbs up. To experience something that so long ago was so prevalent in this man’s life alongside him is truly something I will never forget.

“I was a navigator on one of these planes for eighteen missions,” said Simonitsch. “That eighteenth mission was when the Germans decided I didn’t need to fly anymore.”

The Memphis Belle, leased by the nonprofit Liberty Foundation, will be on display for free tours this weekend at the Wheeler Downtown Airport, and will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, as part of the foundation’s 2014 Salute to Veterans tour. Public flights will also be available for $450, and last about 30 minutes with nine seats available. Call 918-340-0243 to book a flight.

The volunteers with Liberty Foundation will be running the flights and tours all weekend, and hope to keep the history alive with donations from the public.

“We’re volunteers because World War II and the airplanes flown are in our DNA,” said Ferguson. “It’s why I became a pilot. This is home for me.”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Problem Solved

 

By Paul Thompson

The South Kansas City Alliance connected eight city departments with constituents on Saturday, June 14, in the first of (hopefully) many “problem-solving” events to be held in South Kansas City.
Cribbed from the successful Northland neighborhood alliance problem-solving events, 6th District Councilman John Sharp suggested that the SKC Alliance attempt something similar with their constituents. So it was last Saturday, when representatives from the water department, the South Patrol police department, the 311 Action Center, the codes department, public works, street repairs, parks and recreation, and the Public Improvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) came to the Trailside Center from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to meet with citizens face-to-face and listen to their problems.
“You aren’t just emailing someone or calling someone, you can actually have face-to-face contact and have the time to fully explain the problem,” said Sharp of the event. “We think it will really facilitate the city addressing problems and solving them more effectively, and quicker.”
Each department was split up at their own tables, with chairs opposite the department representatives for citizens to sit and explain their respective issues. With dozens of city residents crisscrossing the room, moving from table to table, the scene more closely resembled a round of speed dating than a typical public meeting.
City staff enjoyed the opportunity to meet with the people.
“It’s great to come out and actually meet the people. It gives us a chance to actually have a conversation,” said Roosevelt Parks of the Parks and Recreation department. “Oftentimes, you just get a problem and then you have to work on it. When you get a chance to actually sit down with somebody, you can talk about some of the challenges and give them an understanding of what we’re facing.”
Andy Shively of the water department agreed that the event proved to be a strong benefit for all involved.
“It’s a great opportunity for the city and for water services. It’s a great chance to interact with our customers,” said Shively. “We really enjoy these opportunities to get out and interact with the residents and give them a chance to talk to a live person. I think everyone is pleased so far, and I’m sure it’s going to be a success.”
Chris Korth of the Kansas City Alliance organized the event, and he was pleased with the amount of interest from both the citizens and city staff. Everyone at the Trailside Center had volunteered their time, and he felt the effort was well spent. Korth said that his group will keep working to ensure that South Kansas City residents remain properly represented moving forward.
“We’re concerned about doing many things for South Kansas City to make it a better place to work, to live, and to play,” said Korth.
 
 
 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Foot Golf Kicks Off in Kansas City


by Paul Thompson

 
There’s a new way to get your kicks in Kansas City, thanks to the rise of an increasingly popular sport known as foot golf.

The game, which has now infiltrated the KC Parks system through the Heart of America Golf Course, is structured just like golf.  There are 18 holes in a round, a course par of 72, tee boxes to begin each hole, and flagsticks marking the cup. But there is one significant difference: foot golf is played with a soccer ball.

The sport was originally founded in Europe around five years ago, and has recently picked up in America, specifically along the west coast. So when Heart of America brainstormed ways to increase revenue while offering new services to Kansas City residents, the idea of foot golf came up.

By the beginning of May, enlarged holes had been installed alongside the Heart of America par-3 course, new foot golf tee boxes had been set up, and thousands of foot golf scorecards had been printed. Foot golf had officially spread to Kansas City.

“The first weekend it was open, we did maybe $780 worth of $10 greens fees.” said Craig Martin, the general manager of the Heart of America Golf Academy. “Throughout the community, the word is out.”

Typically, foot golf holes are about half the distance of a regular golf hole. Martin guessed that the longest hole was about 225 yards. So far, the course record is a 63, although more and more players come in every day to challenge that mark. Last weekend, the course was jam-packed with dozens of competitors in town for a kickball tournament.

“It’s a little bit of a special occasion, but we’ve noticed that Saturdays and Sundays are incredibly popular,” said Martin. “It’s a social event. They’re definitely coming out in groups.”

Martin added that the burgeoning new sport generally attracts a less competitive clientele than golfers. It’s easy for newcomers to grasp, and at $10 per round, it’s affordable enough for families to come out for an afternoon. Interested parties can even set up a “toe time” with the course to ensure that there’s availability. And those aren’t the only perks.

“It’s easier to find your ball in the weeds,” joked Martin. “There are less lost balls.”

Martin and his colleagues at Heart of America hope to continue growing the sport of foot golf throughout the summer. They’ve looked into hosting tournaments at the site, and have already set up one league, scheduled to begin in mid to late June. They want to expand the sport even more, and are looking for feedback from their first wave of foot golfers to help mold services to the will of the people.

“Leagues are looking to be formed,” said Martin. “We’re trying to figure out what the public wants most. There are things that we’ve kicked around, but we haven’t got anything down yet.”

 For now, Martin is focused on the possibilities. While golfers typically lay down their clubs throughout the winter months, Martin envisions foot golfers enjoying the sport almost year-round. After all, soccer is played in all conditions, rain or shine. The foot golfers helped proved the theory last weekend, when the kickball group played right through a brief drizzle.

“You’ll notice that it doesn’t seem to bother them, they’re just going along,” noted Martin. “Soccer players will come out more in all types of weather.”

Foot golf has been an experiment so far, but it’s worked well enough that Martin foresees it sticking for the long haul.

“It’s job security, it’s facility security, it’s good for Parks and Rec,” said Martin. “It’s good for the bottom line.”

Friday, May 16, 2014

Over $1.25 Million Awarded to Grandview Seniors


 
 
Seventy-three seniors from Grandview High School were honored with recognition and scholarships for their achievements during their high school career. Last Tuesday, May 6, students received scholarships totaling $1,263,802. Those receiving scholarships were:

Freedom Akinmoladun – University of Nebraska – Lincoln NCAA Student Athlete Opportunity Fund, University of Nebraska – Lincoln Athletic Additional Board Scholarship, and University of Nebraska – Lincoln Football Scholarship

Jerel Alexander – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Lindenwood University Merit Scholarship, and Lindenwood University Football Performance Scholarship

Ashley Anderson – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship, and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Destinee’ Arthur – Grandview Education Foundation Scholarship, Grandview Lions Club Scholarship, Family, Career & Community Leaders of America Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Cass County Health Foundation Nursing or Health Career Scholarship, Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, University of Saint Mary Dean’s Scholarship, and University of Saint Mary Softball Scholarship

Katherine Bartlett – North American Savings Bank Scholarship, Jess L. Taylor Scholarship, Math & Science Club Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, University of Missouri – Columbia George C. Brooks Scholarship, and University of Missouri – Columbia Bess & George Corrigan Scholarship

Christian Blanton – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Makayla Brooks – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship

Monique Brown – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship, Marcia E. Yano Memorial Scholarship, Allen Meyer Community Service Recognition Scholarship, Kansas City South Rotary Club Education Foundation Scholarship, Cass County Health Foundation Nursing or Health Career Scholarship, Grandview Instrumental Music Boosters Club Scholarship, and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Hector Chavez – Cass County Health Foundation Nursing or Health Career Scholarship and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Danielle Collier – Jostens Grandview High School Activity Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Missouri State University Multicultural Leadership Recognition Award, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Mu Omega Chapter Debutante Ball Award

Nash Dawson – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Cameron Dean – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship and Kansas City Securities Association Education Fund Scholarship

Alexandra Dobbins – Mississippi Valley State University Book Scholarship

Codey Farrow – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship

Korayma Flores – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Cynthia Flores Maravilla – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Emily Foster – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Robert Scott George – Jason Paul Noonan-Kurtz Memorial Scholarship

Leonard Greene – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Pittsburg State University Diversity Scholarship, Pittsburg State University Music Scholarship, and Pittsburg State University Marching Band Participation Award

Shawn Griddine – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Iliana Guardado – Grandview Education Foundation Scholarship, Jane Bryan Community Scholarship, ESP Bonus Scholarship, Mary Ann Ewert Memorial Scholarship, Grandview Police Employees Association Scholarship, Gary E. Martinette Memorial Scholarship, Cass County Health Foundation Nursing or Health Career Scholarship, National Honor Society – Esther Dunnington Service Award, and Rockhurst University Dowling Scholarship

Christian Hunley – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, Southwest Baptist University Football Performance Scholarship, Southwest Baptist University Board of Trustees Scholars Award, and Southwest Baptist University Sibling Scholarship

Christopher Hunley – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, Southwest Baptist University Football Performance Scholarship, Southwest Baptist University Board of Trustees Scholars Award, and Southwest Baptist University Sibling Scholarship

Jordan Jacoway – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Brooke Jochens– Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Kelsee Kolman – ESP Bonus Scholarship and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Crystal Lake – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship, Grandview Masonic Lodge #618 Scholarship, Cass County Health Foundation Nursing or Health Career Scholarship, Avila University Achievement Scholarship, Avila University A+ Eligible Award, and Greater Kansas City School Counselor Association Scholarship

Drea Lesure – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Park University Softball Grant, and Park University Basketball Grant

Nathaniel Levy – Grandview National Education Association Scholarship and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Josiah Lunceford – Truman State University Combined Ability Scholarship and Truman State University President’s Honorary Scholarship

Haylee Marischler – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Rachel Martin– Larry R. Downing Memorial Scholarship, Grandview Community Teachers Association/MSTA Scholarship, and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Sheriyah Matthews – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Clayton McCabe – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Christian McFadden – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Cierra Moore – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, Cass County Health Foundation Nursing or Health Career Scholarship, and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Amanda Nolen – ESP Bonus Scholarship, Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, Jarad M. Free Memorial Scholarship, Grandview Police Employees Association Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Avila University Achievement Scholarship, Avila University Eligible Award, Avila University Mission Grant, Avila University Soccer Scholarship, and KMBC-TV Hy-Vee Scholar Athlete Award

E. Justin Obasi– Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Alexandro Paredes – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Zachary Price – Jostens Grandview High School Activity Scholarship

Maria De Jesus Rivera – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Hannah Rutherford – Grandview Education Foundation Scholarship, Ray and Mary Klapmeyer / Grandview High School Scholarship Foundation Award, Grandview Lions Club, Grandview

Federation of Support Personnel Scholarship, Cass County Health Foundation Nursing or Health Career Scholarship, Belton Regional Medical Center Staff Scholarship, and Grandview Hickman Mills Elk’s Lodge # 2088 Student of the Year Scholarship

Shelby Schooley – Grandview National Education Association Scholarship and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Victoria Shackelford – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, and Northwest Missouri State University Tower Scholarship

Morgan Shaw – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship and Northwest Missouri State University Distiguished Scholar Award

Cassio Shipp – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship

DeAnthony Simmons – Grandview PTA Council Achievement Award, Arthur McGregor Memorial Scholarship, Monique Shurray Lucas Literacy and Communication Scholarship and North American Savings Bank Scholarship

Bryce Spence – Grandview Hickman Mills Elk’s Lodge # 2088 Student of the Year Scholarship

and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Kaytlynn Sprowl – Grandview Education Foundation Scholarship, Grandview Instrumental Music Boosters Club Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Missouri State University Deans’ Scholarship and Horatio Alger Scholar Award

Emily Stifter – Gladys Robinson Martin City PTA Scholarship

Shelbe Thompson – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship

Annastasia Tuttle – Grandview Lions Club Scholarship, Jess L. Taylor Community Scholarship, Sandra Howard Theatrical Scholarship, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Northwest Missouri State University Tower Scholarship, and Northwest Missouri State University A+ Scholarship

Christeen Walker – Diana Bundy English Award and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Morgan Walker – Grandview Education Foundation Scholarship, Grandview Lions Club Scholarship, Grandview PTA Council Scholarship Award, Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship, Stephens College Stephens Award, and Stephens College Community Engagement Award

Shannon Ward – John J. and Ethel L. Strode Scholarship and Grandview Federation of Support Personnel Scholarship

Marquitta West – University of Missouri – Columbia Diversity Award

Star Wilkins – Grandview Bulldog Booster Club Scholarship and Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Darius Williams – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship

Tyra Woods – Missouri Department of Higher Education A+ Scholarship and University of Missouri – Columbia Diversity Award

Chanmi Yang – Coe College Daniel Coe Scholarship and Coe College Diversity Leadership Book Honorarium

Thursday, May 8, 2014

GHS Teacher Honored at District and State Levels


by Mary Wilson

Grandview High School Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Cheryl Landers is ending the 2013-14 school year on a high note or two. The 24-year teaching veteran, mother of four and grandmother of four, has not only been named Grandview School District’s teacher of the year, but has also been named Missouri ProStart’s educator of the year.
Landers also serves on the Missouri Educators of Family and Consumer Sciences Board, holding many titles over the years from treasurer to committee chair. She learned in January that she was nominated for the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year, and will be notified over the summer whether or not she will receive that title as well.

“It’s all happened at once,” said Landers. “It’s been amazing. I was shocked by all of them, I really was.”
Landers was driving when she received the call that she was named the Missouri ProStart Educator of the Year. “I was late to my meeting because of that call,” said Landers.

The ProStart award is given to one instructor in Missouri each year by the Missouri Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to recognize exceptional educators who utilize the ProStart program in their classrooms. The award is sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF).
Landers has been a ProStart instructor for eight years and has worked with regional Missouri Restaurant Association members to access resources to assist the team in preparing for very difficult state and national competitions.  The many hours spent by the team members learning new skills, developing creative concepts, and making professional contacts in the industry has indeed paid off as these students prepare for future careers. 

ProStart is a national career-building program for high school students who are interested in culinary arts and foodservice management. The Missouri ProStart program hopes to inspire a new generation of talent, to help build the Missouri restaurant industry through real world education combined with classroom curriculum relevant to today’s evolving foodservice industry.  Many students have a newfound interest in high school and are applying themselves academically in other classes in order to be a part of the two-year restaurant management and culinary arts program, according to Missouri ProStart.

“It gives the kids the skills and the knowledge for a good start,” said Landers. “I’ve had a few students hired at a higher position in the restaurant industry than those without the ProStart training. Their managers are recognizing the skills they’ve learned.”
Landers was selected as the Grandview High School teacher of the year, and from there was automatically a finalist for the district title. She was ultimately chosen as teacher of the year for the district, and was honored on Tuesday, April 29, with family, friends and colleagues at the district’s employee recognition banquet.

“I was totally shocked,” said Landers. “I was quite honored that my school selected me. I was wondering what I’d done differently. I just do the same thing I’ve done every year. I just do my job.”
Six or seven years into her teaching career, Landers recalls questioning whether she would stay in Grandview or look elsewhere. Deciding Grandview was her career home, Landers has stayed put.

“I love Grandview,” said Landers. “The district has supported my department and really valued what we do.”
Landers said she plans to work well after her retirement age, hoping for another ten years of teaching Grandview’s youth.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

South Kansas City Ready for the Blue

Oxford on the Blue to Be Home of Great Opportunity

By Mary Wilson


Developers for the upcoming Oxford on the Blue property, located north of 87th Street between I-49 and I-435, presented updates to neighbors at the Southern Communities Coalition meeting on Wednesday, April 16.

“I guess it could be described as a saga, because it’s been going on for a long, long time,” said Kerr.

Starting his career with the city planning commission in 1955, Kerr has been in the Kansas City development industry nearly 60 years. According to Kerr, with the history of the interstates in the metropolitan area, the approach to acquire the right-of-way on the Kansas side was different from what the Missouri Highway department’s philosophy was.

“If you think about I-35 on the Kansas side, they bought enough right-of-way to create service roads on either side of the interstate,” said Kerr. “On the Missouri side, we built triangles at the on and off points that were not connected with the service roads.”

Many industrial buildings were then developed to be situated along the service roads in Kansas, therefore leading the way to the take-off of Johnson County, according to Kerr, who was involved in the development of Corporate Woods. The Oxford on the Blue project provides a unique situation for developers due to the proximity to both I-49 and I-435, along with the completion of 87th Street connecting both interstates.

“The property has a unique set of infrastructure advantages,” said Kerr. “We want to save as much of the natural beauty of the site as possible. Instead of having great big surface parking, we’d like to develop structured parking so we don’t have to just scalp everything.”

Eight years ago, James Stowers showed interest in the property, and after a year of negotiations Kerr sold the property to Stowers, who felt that the neighborhood of Jackson Hills should also be acquired due to the sub-standard housing developments that did not comply with the subdivision development codes of Kansas City.

“There were 39 houses there, and we have now bought all but two,” said Kerr. “One of the two is owned by the housing authority, and we’re very close to closing on that. Within the next few weeks, I think we’ll have all of them, which will complete the land assemblage.”

The area comprises of about 320 acres. In addition to the land owned by Stowers for the Oxford on the Blue project, another 25 acres remains and is currently being negotiated.  The mixed-use project will involve commercial, office, and both multi-family and single-family residential. It is a large project that will be implemented over a long period of time.

Scientists working at the Stowers Institute come from all over the world, and Stowers envisions a campus for them. After spending a year and a half in England, he envisioned Oxford on the Blue (next to the Blue River) as an oasis for these scientists.

“This will be a campus where these scientists can think and live,” said Kerr. “The idea is to incentivize these scientists who are in Kansas City at the Stowers Institute, to keep the ideas in Kansas City.”

The idea is a scientific development that can continue to expand over a period of decades. With the system of interstates providing access to it, Kerr stated that it is accessible across the metropolitan area. The ability to further the connectivity remains, with the Country Club right-of-way ending less than a mile from the property.

Attorney for the project James Bowers stated that the project, despite the correlation with James Stowers, is not related to the Stowers Institute. A proposal to the City of Kansas City planning commission, in the form of an application for an Urban Renewal (UR) zoning designation, is currently pending for the project. The plan divides the property into proposed lots for development purposes. The development will happen in phases, and a timeline for those phases has not been determined.

The hearing for the project to go before the planning commission is Tuesday, May 6. The next and final meeting for the school year for the Southern Communities Coalition will be on Wednesday, May 21.