Wednesday, April 1, 2015

VIDEO: UG District 4 candidates debate

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Courtesy of Kansas City Kansas Community College, here is a candidate forum debate between the two candidates in the District 4 race.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Burn permits available for Kansas City, Kansas residents in April

News Release from the KCK Fire Department:
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Residents in Kansas City, Kansas are allowed to apply for a burn permit for the time period of the month of April 2015 and the time period of October 16, 2015 through November 15, 2015 at any of the Fire Stations currently staffed by the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department.  Kansas City, Kansas residents are limited to one 3-day burn permit per burn period that allows for the combustion of one 10 foot by 10 foot or smaller pile of naturally occurring residential organic yard waste generated onsite.   If you operate a business out of your home you are classified as a business and cannot participate.  Applications must be received and approved at least 24 hours prior to the commencement of burning.  Open burning with a permit is allowed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The resident doing the burning must be at the burning site at all times.  Residents shall maintain a copy of the burn permit on site, an adequate water supply and/or fire extinguisher while conducting open burning.  In no circumstance shall open burning occur within 15 feet of any building or within 15 feet from any one's property line.  Piling of brush, tree limbs, grass and other organic materials are limited in size to 100 square feet at the base.

Each Burn Permit allows for one organic pile per permit, one permit per residential property.   (yard waste generated such as tree limbs, leaves, weeds, brush and grass) All organic materials burned within the city limits of Kansas City, Kansas are limited to organic materials and/or burning without a permit shall be subject to Section I-7 (General Penalty, Continuing Violations) of the general provisions code of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/KCK.

At no time shall wire insulation, tires, rubber products, plastic, automobile products, paper, cardboard, construction chemicals, household chemicals or any other material that normally emits dense smoke, noxious odors or hazardous air pollutants be burned.

At any time, the Fire Chief or his designeemay revoke burn permits or ban open burning.  Weather conditions (high winds, low humidity) may make open burning too dangerous.  Open burning may also be suspended when air pollution "Red Alert" days are declared by the Mid America Regional Council, MARC, and the Unified Government.

Sen. Moran Now Accepting 2015 Service Academy Applications

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today announced that he is accepting applications for nominations to the United States Service Academies.

The academies include the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. Those selected will enter the academies in June 2016.

Selections are based on SAT or ACT test scores, class rank, grade point average, school records, extracurricular activities, leadership potential, motivation, recommendations and interview evaluations.

Applicants must meet the individual admission requirements of each academy in order to receive Sen. Moran’s nomination: applicants must be legal residents of the state of Kansas, at least 17 years of age but not past their 23rd birthday on July 1 of the year of admission, citizens of the United States, unmarried, not pregnant and without legal obligation to support children or other dependents.

The application deadline is Sept. 4, 2015. Applicants will be required to interview with Sen. Moran’s Service Academy Selection Board on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.

Academies will make the final decision on who will receive an appointment of admission in early 2016.

Interested applicants can request application materials on Sen. Moran’s website at under the “Services” menu, or by calling Sen. Moran’s Olathe office at 913-393-0711. Additional information is also available online at

State's rejection of Medicaid expansion putting hospitals at risk

KHI News Service

Several factors, including the state’s rejection of Medicaid expansion, are conspiring to put some Kansas hospitals at risk.

Two southeast Kansas hospitals — one in Independence, the other in Fort Scott — are among several that might have to close their doors.

To prevent that, both are actively negotiating potential partnerships with neighboring hospitals. Officials at Mercy Hospital Independence and the Coffeyville Regional Medical Center are talking.

Similar discussions are under way between Mercy Hospital Fort Scott and Via Christi in Pittsburg.

Even if agreements are reached, Medicaid expansion will remain a crucial issue, said David Steinmann, chief executive of the Independence hospital.

Monday, March 30, 2015

KCKCC students see success with tutoring services

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Students at Kansas City Kansas Community College who are struggling in English or mathematics have no need to worry. There are services on campus designed to help them excel in the classroom and correct any academic problems they might be having.

The Tutoring Services Program at KCKCC is led by Amanda Williams, assistant director of the Academic Resource Center and two coordinators – Dave Jones, Math Tutoring Coordinator and Carrie Dimino, Writing Tutoring Coordinator. The coordinators are brand-new positions added to expand and strengthen tutoring services on campus.

“We have been offering tutoring since 1986,” Williams said. “But we wanted to be able to provide full-time support in both areas and be more involved with the campus community. With two coordinators we have a better sense of the needs of our students.”

Blue Devil golfers fifth in 19-team Bethel Spring Invitational


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The winds of western Kansas and Sand Creek Station’s tricky greens dealt Kansas City Kansas Community College’s golf team a bit of a setback in the Bethel Spring Invitational Sunday.

Third after firing a 298 at Hesston Golf Course on Saturday, the Blue Devils skidded to a 324 at Sand Creek Station in Newton Sunday and had to settle for fifth place in the 19-team tournament made up almost entirely of four-year colleges and universities.

Loaded with international players, Bethany took the first two places with scores of 590 and 608. Hastings was third at 611 followed by Hutchinson (614), KCKCC (324), Dakota Wesleyan and John Brown (625), Ottawa (629), Missouri Valley (633) and Dakota Wesleyan B (633) rounding out the top 10.

Piper sophomore Charlie Rinehart took medalist honors Saturday with a 3-under 68 at Hesston and finished in a tie for 11th with teammate Alex Forristal of Olathe East at 152. Marc McClain of Bonner Springs deadlocked for 25th with a 77-79-156.

Evan Shartzer of Blue Valley North tied for 35th with a 74-85-159 and Montana Fasching of Piper was another stroke back in 43rd with 80-80-160 to round out the Blue Devil scoring. Seve Sites of SM Northwest finished 49th with a 79-83-162, Lane Pauls of Newton 59th (78-86-164) and Colton Allen 66th (80-85).

“We weren’t able to play a practice round and then with the wind coming up and some tough pin placements we didn’t play nearly as well as we’re capable,” said KCKCC Coach Gary Shrader. “Normally we’ll average about 31 putts per player a round; Sunday it was probably about 36. The pin on No. 13 was almost impossible and the head pro apologized for the placement. One player had six putts. The ball would roll up to the hole and then roll back.”

The fifth place finish comes on the heels of a third place finish in the first Jayhawk Designated Tournament at Falcon Lakes.

Hutchinson led the way at 582 followed by Dodge City (592), KCKCC (603), Barton County (605), Garden City (606), Allen County (627) and Coffeyville (668). Charlie Rinehart led KCKCC with a seventh place at 198 with Montana Faschling tying for 10th at 151.

The Blue Devils are now idle April 13 when they’ll compete in a 36-hole tournament at Alvamar in Lawrence.

KCKCC to Host 10th-Annual WyCo Ethnic Festival

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Kansas City Kansas Community College will bring an ethnic flair to Wyandotte County next month with the 10th annual Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival: A Human Family Reunion.

The event is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at the KCKCC Athletic Field House, 7250 State Ave. The event is free and open to the public. There is also no charge for parking.

“The goal of the festival is to bring people together to enjoy different types of music, dance, foods and to educate each other about different ethnicities and cultures,” said Curtis Smith, professor of biological sciences at KCKCC and co-organizer of the WyCo Ethnic Festival. “The festival is like a trip around the world with no cost.  It's an opportunity to celebrate the pure joy of being human without the trappings of politics or economics for one day.”

More than 45 countries, ethnicities and organizations affiliated with Wyandotte County will be represented at the festival. In addition, two individuals will be recognized with the “Legends of Diversity” award - Kamiasha Tyner and Janith English.

Smith said the goal of the festival, which was started by former KCKCC Trustee Karen Hernandez and the former director of the KCKCC Intercultural Center, Professor Melanie Scott, is to celebrate Wyandotte County’s greatest asset – its diversity and all the unique culture of people who live, work or attend schools in the county.

Back again as the perennial Master of Ceremonies is Clarence Small. Shawn Derritt, director of the Student Advising Center at KCKCC and his wife Gloria, will kick off the event with “The Star Spangled Banner” followed by a rousing spiritual version of “America the Beautiful.”

New to the festival this year is Kolograde, a musical combo performing music from the Balkans; a Columbian dance group, Sabor a Peru Dancers and a Latin Jazz Combo in tribute to Cuba.  Notable returnees are Danny Hinds and Ayotunde, who will provide Caribbean music; the Harvatski Obicaj Croatian Orchestra; Nartan Dancers from India; the ever-popular West of Marrkesh Dancers; Los Bailadores Mexican Dancers; local rap artist Roger Suggs; Tikvah Israeli Folk Dancers; the St. Monica Inspirational Choir and a South Korean TaeKown Do demonstration.

In the food court area there will be six different vendors with traditional ethnic food ranging from “soul food,” Indian and Mexican to Peruvian and Columbian foods. In addition, free water and mint tea will be available. Caffeinated drinks can be purchased from the pop machine. Popcorn will be sold by “Combat Corn.” Proceeds go to support veterans.

Educational presentations will be made by the Wyandot Nation of Kansas, the Quindaro Museum of History, the Wyandotte Historical Journal of Wyandotte County and Chinese Qugong and Tai Chi.  In addition, there will be an indoor Creative Children’s Tent supervised by the director of the KCKCC Intercultural Center, Barbara-Clark Evans.

“The festival would not be possible without the generous support of the community college and community sponsors,” Smith said. “Their support makes everything possible and the committee extends its heartfelt appreciation.”

College sponsors include the KCKCC Endowment Association, Enrollment Management Division, Athletics, Buildings and Grounds, Music Department, Sound Engineering, Campus Police and the Intercultural Center. Community sponsors are the Unified Government Human Relations Commission and Community Development Department; the Board of Public Utilities; Wyandotte Daily News/Providence Building;  Dos Mundos Publications; Google Fiber, Gene Hernandez and Imagine Magic Productions  and co-founder of the festival, Melanie Scott.

“It is an annual celebration that promotes cultural awareness and inclusion in WyCo,” Smith said. “We especially highlight our greatest strength, which is our diversity while at the same time celebrating our common humanity.”

For more information about performance times, the list of ethnic groups or organizational participants, please visit

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Kansas’ appeals on Carr, Gleason death penalty cases

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the state’s appeals of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decisions overturning the death sentences of Jonathan Carr, Reginald Carr and Sidney Gleason.

Sidney Gleason was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the 2004 shooting deaths of two individuals in Barton County.

At the time of the murders, Gleason was on parole following a conviction of attempted voluntary manslaughter. In July 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld Gleason’s convictions, but reversed his death sentence.

Jonathan and Reginald Carr were convicted following a December 2000 crime spree involving multiple murders and various sex crimes.

They were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for the execution-style murder of four people in an east Wichita soccer field following a home invasion. In July 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court upheld one conviction of capital murder with respect to both Jonathan and Reginald, but reversed their death sentences.

“We have carefully analyzed the opinions of the Kansas Supreme Court and we do not believe they have correctly applied the U.S. Constitution,” Schmidt said. “I am encouraged the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the cases.”