Friday, April 18, 2014

T-Bones sign veteran lefty Regas

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – The Kansas City T-Bones announced they have signed left-handed pitcher Kris Regas to a contract for the 2014 season.

Regas, 34 (11-15-79), a native of Bourbonnais, Ill., who is 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, spent the majority of the past three seasons with Lancaster and York of the independent Atlantic League.

In 2013, splitting time between York and Lancaster, he went 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA in 23 appearances. In 354 career appearances during an 11-year career, Regas is 28-28 with 54 saves and a 3.80 ERA. He’s struck out 507 and walked 163.

“Regas is a veteran lefty strike-thrower, who’ll anchor the back of our bullpen,” said manager John Massarelli.

After playing his first two professional seasons, 2002-03, in the independent Frontier League, the New York Mets signed Regas as an undrafted free agent. He pitched part of the 2004 season with New York’s single-A team in Brooklyn.

Regas then played for independent teams during 2005-08, before signing with Detroit in 2009. He reached triple-A Toledo that season, where he went 0-1 in seven appearances (8.0 innings), with eight strikeouts and one walk.

The T-Bones open the 2014 regular season at home on May 15 against Lincoln.

Schmidt: Kansas receives $62.2 million payment from tobacco settlement

TOPEKA, KAN.– Kansas has received its annual tobacco settlement payment totaling $62.2 million, Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.

The final installment of the state’s annual payment was verified today. The $62.2 million total is within the range of payments received by Kansas in recent years.

Schmidt said that was the intended result of a legal settlement term sheet Kansas entered into in 2012 with several tobacco companies to resolve a long-running dispute that had put future years’ payments at risk.

The settlement term sheet was approved by an arbitration panel composed of retired federal judges in 2013. Absent settlement, the dispute had threatened to cause a catastrophic reduction in future years’ payments to Kansas.

“As we said last year, the settlement in principle is having the effect of stabilizing Kansas’ annual payments,” Schmidt said. “We are managing the settlement proceeds in a way calculated to minimize the spikes or drops in receipts from year to year so that legislators and other Kansans can plan reliably.”

As it does each year, the annual payment will reimburse the state for funds previously appropriated by the Legislature to pay the current fiscal year’s cost of programs financed from tobacco settlement proceeds.

Because of the timing of the annual tobacco payment in comparison with the state budget cycle, the Legislature each year appropriates the funds that will not be received until the following April and then reimburses that amount when the annual payment is received.

Each April, Kansas receives a payment pursuant to the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.

The amount of the payment fluctuates based on several variables, including annual sales of certain tobacco products.

Bob Dole to visit Wyandotte County May 15

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole will be visiting Wyandotte County this May.

Dole, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996, will visit the county on May 15 as part of a second state-wide tour.

“I’m making my way across the state of Kansas during several trips this year,” Dole said in a news release.  “I hope to see friends and former supporters of mine, and I am looking forward to enjoying lots of cookies along the way – preferably oatmeal raisin and chocolate.”

The exact location and time is unknown at this point and will be announced in upcoming days.

Learn how to make bread with Chef Kelly

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Technical Education Center is once again offering Preparing and Shaping Yeast Breads this spring. The class was in such high demand that KCKCC-TEC is bringing it back for another round.

Students who take the class will learn the proper techniques for rolls, braids and other bread items. All creations will be taken home by students.

The class is from 6 to 9 p.m. May 1 at KCKCC-TEC.  The fee is $38 and will be taught by Chef Kelly Jenkins.

All courses offered through Continuing Education are in the evenings and are offered for non-credit. Discounts may be available for those who qualify. To be designated as an employee and be eligible for discounts, email Elizabeth Folsom at before registration for a class.

All classes are in the new state-of-the-art Professional Cooking lab at the KCKCC-TEC, 6565 State Ave. For more information, visit the KCKCC website at Click the “Continuing Education” tab on the home page, and select “Continuing Education Schedule.” Then select “Personal Enrichment.” Information is also available by calling 913-288-7800.

KCK West Kiwanis to hold 8th annual bike safety rodeo

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Elementary-aged kids will have the opportunity to learn tips on cycling safety, participate in interactive activities that promote health and safety and to sneak a peek at attractions at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark – including the brand new Verruckt waterslide, the world’s tallest waterslide - at a free family event on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The annual KCK Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo is back for the eighth year and planners anticipate a large turnout. 

Event sponsors plan to distribute up to 300 free bike safety helmets and t-shirts to participants. The event will be held rain or shine in the parking lot and entrance area of Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, 9400 State Avenue, Kansas City, Kan. Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles.

The KCK Kiwanis West club, in partnership with Atmos Energy, Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, Judi’s Bakery, Big D Cycling and numerous community businesses and organizations, are committed to helping area youth ride their bicycles safely.

“During the past seven years, we’ve reached approximately 1,550 kids throughout Kansas City – helping them become safer cyclists,” says Jan Wiley, KCK Kiwanis West member and chair of the Bike Rodeo. “That’s 1,550 young cyclists who understand the rules of the road and the importance of wearing safety helmets to prevent head injuries. We’re really excited about the popularity of this event because it has the potential to save young lives. Our community sponsors are making it possible for us to reach more kids than ever before.”

Rodeo participants should be accompanied by an adult and plan to bring their bicycles to the event.

After having their free bicycle helmet fitted, their bikes will be inspected and they will rotate through seven bike riding skill stations and have the opportunity to earn a bicycle safety certificate. 

“Even though helmets can’t keep a cyclist from falling, they can save lives,” says Kevin Jones, a Kiwanis West member and employee with Atmos Energy, the company that provides free safety helmets. “When they are properly fitted, helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent if a fall occurs.”

Just as helmets reduce the risk of injury in bicycle accidents, car seats are vital for kids’ safety in automobiles. That’s why the event will also feature a free, drive-through car seat safety check. Experts will inspect car seats and ensure they are installed securely in families’ vehicles, making sure restraints are age appropriate and facing the right direction.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children from ages 1 to 14,” says Kimberley Holm, a member of the Kiwanis West club and a certified National Child Passenger Safety Technician with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department. “Even though most parents understand the importance of putting their children in car and booster seats, seven out of 10 kids in child safety restraints are not buckled in properly. We want to reduce that number.” 

Holm will be joined by Donald Paul Jones, the Safe Community Coordinator with the Unified Government Health Department. Together with their volunteers, they will be available to check that child safety seats are properly installed. 

“Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark is thrilled to host this popular community event for the fourth year,” says Chuck Stites, Kiwanis member and Schlitterbahn Director of Development. “In addition to helping kids gear up for a safe bike-riding season, the event promises to offer a morning packed with free family fun.”

In addition, Schlitterbahn Season Passes will be on sale for $5 off the full gate price on that day. Season Pass holder will have an exclusive opportunity to beat the rush and process their Season Pass ID Cards in person during this event. 

Bike rodeo participants will be treated to free donuts, courtesy of Judi’s Bakery; get to enjoy performances by kids affiliated with Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts; tour attractions at Schlitterbahn; get a close up look at emergency vehicles; get into the groove with fun Zumbatronics workouts; and engage in other exciting activities, games and crafts provided by local businesses. .  And, if this were not enough, the fine folks from Cabela’s will be on hand, providing a free fishing derby experience for the kids. So, you might want to throw some fishing poles in the car, along with your bicycles!

Additional sponsors for this event include: Legends Honda, Legends Toyota, Country Club Bank, Board of Public Utilities, Sunflower Dental, August Resources, PACES, Country Place Senior Living, Chick-Fil-A, Dr. Jane Philbrook, O.D., Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, Kansas City, Kansas Public Library Foundation, Adventurezip KC, Eric McTye - Edwards Jones, Providence Medical Center, Liveable Neighborhoods and First Legend Bank & Trust. 

If you have questions or need directions on the day of the event, call 816-751-4227. To get to Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark from I-435, take Exit 13 – State Avenue East. Turn left at the second traffic light and enter the parking lot.

KCK Fire Department lifts burning ban

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department has lifted the temporary open burn ban.

More information:
The temporary open burn ban in place has been lifted for today April 18, 2014. Weather conditions will be monitored the next few days to determine if a temporary burn ban will be reinstated. Residents are reminded that a burn permit is required for open burning and all safety requirements and conditions noted on the burn permit must be followed.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Piper Elementary School cleared after gas leak tests

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Carbon dioxide and gas leak tests were performed at Piper Elementary School on Thursday after three third grade students became sick in the gym.

According to a Facebook note from the district, the tests were administered after the students became sick during music rehearsal.

However, the air was declared safe after the tests.

More information from the school district:
We want to inform you that we had three 3rd grade students fall ill this morning during their music rehearsal in the gym. Their parents were notified and protocols were followed. With the assistance of the KCK Fire Department and ambulance, the students were attended to and additional CO2 and gas leak testing was administered to be assured of air quality. There were no issues to report. We are in the process of checking the gas levels and are following the procedures set by the fire department. Your child's safety is our number one priority.
Safety measures and procedures were followed as a precautionary. All The air was tested and everything is clear. All the students are back in their classrooms and students are eating their lunches. The 3rd grade music program will go on!