Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WYANDOTTE COUNTY TRAFFIC NOTE: New Gibbs Road Bridge open


From the Kansas Department of Transportation: 
KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Sometime later this evening, Friday, September 26, the new Gibbs Road Bridge over I-635 (Wyandotte County) is set to OPEN to unrestricted traffic.

The new bridge structure has been completed and crews are finishing up removal of traffic control on the project. Once the traffic control has been removed the bridge will open to unrestricted traffic.

KU Hospital celebrates Royals with hats for new born babies

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- The Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs and intend to take the crown.  They’re even finding support among the youngest of fans. 

Newborns in the Mother/Baby unit at The University of Kansas Hospital are sporting pink and blue Royals caps.

Employees and parents are both rooting for the Royals as they make their first post-season appearance, in 29 years, tomorrow night in a Wild Card game at Kauffman Stadium.

“We encourage employees to wear a sea of blue tomorrow and show their support as the Royals take on the Oakland A’s,” Bob Page, president and CEO said.

Newborns Olivia Campos and Christoph Xavier Rose both seemed to enjoy their caps making their parents all the more proud to be Royals fans.



Monday, September 29, 2014

KCKCC volleyball team faces pivotal week in pursuit of volleyball title

By ALAN HOSKINS

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Safely over the hurdle of dangerous Southeast Nebraska Friday night, Kansas City Kansas Community College heads into another into another pivotal week in the Lady Blue Devils pursuit of a Jayhawk Conference volleyball championship.

Facing a Southeast team with 15 wins in 22 starts, the Blue Devils posted 25-20, 25-18, 25-18 wins to boost their overall record to 17-3.

“It was a real team win; everyone contributed,” said KCKCC Coach Mary Bruno. “That’s a good Southeast team.”

Unbeaten in Jayhawk play, the Blue Devils are back home against Highland Monday night at 6:30 p.m. and then go to No. 10 ranked Cowley County Wednesday before finishing the week with four matches in the Iowa Western Invitational Tournament in Council Bluffs.


The Salvation Army sets dates for Christmas Assistance applications

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Salvation Army in the Kansas City metropolitan area will soon be accepting applications for Christmas assistance.

Eligible families and seniors aged 65 and older are welcome to apply in person at the Salvation Army community center closest to where they live. Families and seniors who qualify for Christmas assistance may receive food for holiday meals and toys for children in the family.

Please call your local Salvation Army for specific information including what to bring with you to provide proof of eligibility.

This may include items such as a photo ID, proof of income and proof of residency, such as a current utility bill and verification of children 14 years or younger in the household.

Applications will be taken at the following Salvation Army locations, dates and times:

6111 East 129th St., Grandview, MO 64030:
816-966-8300
Dates: Every Tuesday and Friday from October 14 to November 25
Times: Tuesdays from 2 pm-6 pm, Fridays from 1 pm-3 pm

420 E. Santa Fe, Olathe, KS 66061: 
913-782-3640
Dates:         October 13-15
Times:         9 am-12 noon and 1 pm-4 pm

5306 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, MO 64118:
816-452-5663
Dates: November 18-December 15
Times:  8:30 am to noon and 1 pm-4 pm

14700 East Truman Rd., Independence, MO 64050:
816-252-3200
Dates: October 27-31 and Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in November through 11/21
Times:  8:30 am-11:30 am and 1 pm-3 pm

3013 East 9th St., Kansas City, MO 64124:
816-483-8484
Dates: Every Wednesday and Thursday from October 22 to November 20
Times: 9 am-11 am and 1 pm-3 pm

6723 State Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102
913-232-5400
Dates: October 13-16, October 20-23 and Tuesdays and Thursdays from October 28-December 4
Times: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am-4 pm
Wednesdays from 11 am to 6 pm
      
500 West 39th St., Kansas City, MO, 64111:
816-753-6040
Dates: November 3, 5, 7, 17,19, 22 and December 2
Times: 9 am-11:30 am

6618 East Truman Rd., Kansas City, MO
816-241-6485
Dates: October 27-30 and November 6, 13 & 20
Times: 9 am-12 noon and 1 pm-3 pm (hours extended until 5 pm on October 29 and 30)

Sporting KC falls 3-2 to New England Revolution

SportingKC.com

Sporting Kansas City were beaten 3-2 by the New England Revolution at Sporting Park on Friday. Dom Dwyer extended his single-season club record with his 20th goal of the season, while Paulo Nagamura added a goal and an assist in the defeat.

The visiting Revolution opened a 2-0 lead in the first half with goals from Kelyn Rowe and Jose Goncalves before Sporting KC struck twice in two minutes to pull level in the 56th minute. However, U.S. Men's National Team  midfielder Jermaine Jones struck for the game-winning goal in the 85th minute with his first MLS goal since being acquired by New England in August.

Sporting KC has now suffered three consecutive home MLS losses for only the second time in club history, conceding three goals in each. The Revolution won in Kansas City for the first time since 2008 and swept the season series for only the second time in 19 years.

The reigning MLS Cup champions, who ended the Revolution's season in the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the previous meeting at Sporting Park, began the match on the front foot. Dwyer's free kick from 30 yards out curled just wide of the far post in the fourth minute. Nine minutes later, Benny Feilhaber saw Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth off his line and let loose a dipping effort that carried narrowly over the crossbar from well outside the penalty area.

Nevertheless, it was the Revolution who found the back of the net first. Alston began the play with a throw-in on the right flank and received the ball back from Teal Bunbury before sending a cross to the back post that found Rowe for a first-time finish with his left foot. The third-year forward now has four goals on the season and 15 in his MLS career (including postseason), while Alston has multiple assists for the first time in his six seasons with New England.

New England's lead doubled in the 35th minute on an individual effort from Goncalves. The reigning MLS Defender of the Year won the ball in his own end and dribbled 60 yards prior to placing a left-footed shot from 20 yards out inside the far post for his first goal of the season.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made two saves on the night in his first MLS match since July 6. The first came in the 40th minute to stop Chris Tierney's free kick from the middle of the park and the second save was recorded in the 70th minute to deny Lee Nguyen from long range.

Trailing by two goals to start the second half and playing without both Aurelien Collin (injury) and Lawrence Olum (suspension), Sporting Kansas City rallied to draw level by putting a pair of shots past Shuttleworth in short succession. Nagamura started the comeback with a composed strike in the 54th minute after receiving a penetrating pass from Kevin Ellis that split both Revolution defenders on the right flank. Nagamura took one touch and lifted his shot over Shuttleworth for the 12th goal of his MLS career and second of the season.

Less than two minutes later, Nagamura proved pivotal again on the game-tying goal. The Brazilian looped his header toward the back post on a service from Antonio Dovale, setting up Dwyer to push the ball across the goalline with a header inside the goalmouth. Dwyer now has 20 goals in 2014, second most in Major League Soccer behind Bradley Wright-Phillips (24).

As a result of the second half goals, Sporting KC supporters can receive a buy one, get one snack size wings coupon to be redeemed at area Buffalo Wild Wings locations by texting BWWSKC to 72727. Additionally, Sporting Kansas City supporters can take advantage of 44-cent Monster Tacos at area Jack in the Box locations on Saturday thanks to the team's four shots on goal.

With the momentum and a sellout crowd of more than 19,500 fans in attendance, Sporting Kansas City saw a spree of scoring opportunities come up short in the ensuing minutes. Graham Zusi's well-struck shot was spilled by Shuttleworth in the 63rd minute only to see Dwyer ruled offside in the scramble for the rebound.

Nagamura nearly netted his second of the match with a volley four minutes later that was punched away to safety by Shuttleworth. The sixth-year goalkeeper was called into action less than a minute later for his fourth save of the match as Igor Juliao put a first-time shot through traffic and on target.

The Revolution did well to weather the burst and then claimed all three points with Jones' game-winner coming five minutes from full time. Given space, the World Cup veteran delivered the dagger from distance on a shot from 25 yards out that was beyond the reach of Kronberg.

Sporting Kansas City and New England are now tied for second place in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining in the regular season. Sporting KC will return to the road to take on D.C. United, who currently lead the East by three points, next Friday at RFK Stadium.

The match will be nationally televised on NBCSN and the team's official watch parties will be held at the Johnny's Tavern locations at the KC Power & Light District (1310 Grand Blvd.) and in Overland Park (8719 W. 95th St.).


Campaign launched to improve state's breastfeeding rate

By Dave Ranney
KHI News Service

WICHITA — Three years ago, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of hospitals’ efforts to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies ranked Kansas 42st in the nation.

“We have a lot of room for improvement,” Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Robert Moser said Thursday, addressing a gathering of nearly 200 front-line physicians and nurses, public health officials nurses and health care advocates.

Thursday’s event, called the Kansas Health Summit on Breastfeeding, marked the start of a foundation-funded campaign aimed at improving the state’s breastfeeding rates, which, according to the CDC, are 40 percent at six months and 23 percent at 12 months after birth.

Only 11 percent of the state’s mothers are thought to be breastfeeding “exclusively” after six months. All three percentages are below the national average.

“We’re here to build a blueprint for how to change the culture in Kansas so that more moms and babies have the opportunity to breastfeed,” said Virginia Elliott, vice president for programs at the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, a co-sponsor of the event with the Kansas Health Foundation, which is the primary funder of the Kansas Health Institute, the parent organization of KHI News Service.

“We know (breastfeeding) is the healthy choice, but it’s just not the easy choice in this culture,” Elliott said. “Our breastfeeding rates show the barriers that moms and families are facing.”

These barriers, Elliott, Moser and others said, include:

• a long-standing underestimation of the health benefits associated with breastfeeding.

• a shortage of readily available breastfeeding counselors.

• hospital maternity wards that adhere to outdated care regimens.

• health insurance policies that are overly restrictive.

• easy access to formula.

• formula companies’ marketing campaigns.

• reluctance to breastfeed in public.

• unfriendly work environments.

“We have a lot of industry in McPherson, and it can be difficult for mothers to step off a 12-hour shift (production) line to go pump” breast milk, said Dr. Alicia Chennell, who has delivered 23 babies since moving to McPherson in mid-July.

“The health benefits of breastfeeding are extraordinary for mom and for baby,” Chennell said. “(Breastfed) babies will have fewer infections, fewer incidents of diabetes, less asthma, less obesity … and for moms there’s less cancer and less diabetes. It also helps with maternal weight loss after delivery, which is always fantastic, and the bond that breastfeeding builds between mom and baby is pretty fantastic too.”

Friday, September 26, 2014

GUEST COMMENTARY: The Truth About Education Reform in Kansas


By Kansas Rep. Willie Dove

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- There has been much discussion about the education reform bill passed earlier this year in the legislature and signed into law by the governor.

Unfortunately, those who oppose the new law have misrepresented its facts, and have done a disservice to Kansas voters in the process. I want to take this opportunity to set the record straight for my constituents in the 38th District:

1 - The new law DOES NOT outlaw tenure and due process for teachers. It does end automatic tenure for teachers with three years experience. However, teachers and their representatives can still negotiate tenure and due process with their local school boards at contract time. We believe in local control of our schools, and this new law strengthens local school boards as they seek the best opportunities for the their students.

2 - $129 million in additional funding is also a part of this reform package. The Kansas Supreme Court in its Gannon decision earlier this year found the disparity between funding levels of richer and poorer school districts to be too great, and ordered the legislature to narrow the gap. As a result of the additional funding several Kansas school districts; among them Lawrence, Russell, Topeka, and Bonner Springs, have decided to decrease their mill levies. Mill levies are the property tax rates homeowners pay to locally fund their schools. So homeowners in those districts, and hopefully more,  will see lower property taxes as a result of this new law.

3 - Two aspects of the new law have gone virtually unnoticed in the clamor over the tenure issue. First, corporations can invest in scholarships for students in the lowest-performing schools in the state, and receive a tax credit for doing so. Students and their families can use those scholarships to transfer out of that school into a better one. That kind of “school choice” is good for Kansas kids and their families. Secondly, it’s now easier for professionals in other fields to become teachers. We think it’s a good idea if someone in the medical field wants to become a science teacher, or if a business executive wants to bring real-world experience to the classroom. It’s called “alternative certification”, and means one can be a great teacher without a degree in education.

This new law is not anti-teacher. We all have memories of special teachers from our school days. Some may have steered us toward the careers we now have. Some may be family members. Teachers work hard, and they endure a lot from administrators, parents, students, and government rules. But there are under-performing teachers, just as there are under-performing doctors, lawyers, and politicians. Why are those under performing granted special privilege or protection?  The protection any profession has is performance and due process.
 
K-12 education spending accounts for more than half of the budget in Kansas. We have to get this right, the futures of our kids and grandkids are at stake. The KNEA seems to see education spending as a jobs bill. We see it as an investment in our kids’ future. That’s why I support this education reform law, and want my constituents in the 38th District to know the facts.

Thanks for your time.

Rep. Willie Dove