Friday, August 18, 2017

Kansas Bureau of Investigation releases 2016 crime report

TOPEKA, KAN – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) has released the 2016 Kansas Crime Index Report.
The report compiles crime statistics reported to the KBI by local and state law enforcement agencies across Kansas, which are submitted through the Kansas Incident Based Reporting System (KIBRS).

Violent crime analysis 

The 2016 Kansas Crime Index Report reflected an overall increase of 4.2% in violent crimes such as murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults and batteries.

This increase occurred even after a sharp 11.2% increase for these violent crimes in 2015. Further, the incidence of murder continued to rise in 2016. Kansas had a total of 148 murders reported, an increase of 12.1% over the number reported in 2015. Of these, 14.3% involved multiple murders in a single incident. The murder rate in 2016 is as high as Kansas has seen since 2000, when 156 murders were reported. The highest murder rate recorded in the state was in 1993 with 188 murders reported.

Property crime analysis 

Property crimes in Kansas have tended to decline in the past several years. However, this year’s 2% increase in the overall property crime rate is driven by a significant increase in the number of motor vehicle thefts.

Find the full 2016 Kansas Crime Index report at: http://www.kansas.gov/kbi/stats/stats_crime2016.shtml.

RideKC Plans for Solar Eclipse in Kansas City area

KANSAS CITY, MO. - RideKC has developed plans in anticipation of the historic solar eclipse that Kansas City will experience on Monday, Aug. 21.

To ensure the safety of customers using RideKC Bus and RideKC Freedom paratransit, bus operators and taxi drivers will pull over to a safe location at 1:05 p.m. The safety of our passengers is our top priority. Customers will be allowed to get off the bus to view the eclipse, expected to occur at 1:09 p.m. RideKC Bus and RideKC Freedom services will resume travel shortly after 1:10 p.m.

RideKC may experience delays before and after the eclipse. Heavy traffic is expected as residents and visitors to the area travel to and from the path of the eclipse.  Bus tracking for KCATA buses is available on our website.

More about the eclipse:

The partial eclipse will begin around 11:41 a.m. and end around 2:36 p.m.  The period of total eclipse will begin around 1:05 p.m., depending on one’s location in the region.

Parts of the RideKC region will have a short period of total darkness, while other parts will experience a partial eclipse.

Tips for viewing the eclipse:
  • Protect your eyes. Do not look at the partial or total solar eclipse without proper eye protection. The only safe way to look directly at sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. If you buy eclipse glasses, buy from a reputable vendor and make sure the glasses meet ISO 12312-2 international safety standards.
  • Don’t look through a camera lens or binoculars without a solar filter. This can cause serious injury to the eyes.
  • If you normally wear glasses, keep them on and put the eclipse glasses over them. Supervise children using solar filters.
  • For route and schedule information, customers can contact the Regional Call Center at 816.221.0660, weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information about the eclipse, see http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov and https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

New weight loss book: The lessons learned while losing 300 pounds

I have hinted at this a number of times, but I have written an eBook on my weight loss journey!

You can order the book here for just $2.99.



I wrote the book as a way to communicate how I lost 300 pounds. It's the most asked question to me these past five years, but it's an answer that needs more than a sentence. It's a difficult answer, after all, losing 300 pounds is not simple.

However, I also feel one way folks go wrong about trying to lose weight is to copy-cat specific diets and recipes. I believe we all have our own tastes and we all have to find our own ways to cut back on eating and exercise more.

But I also believe there are universal ways that everyone can lose weight.

When I was writing the book, I decided to make it about lessons I learned while losing weight. I have put them in this book. Consider it a blue print on what ANY ONE can do to lose weight. These are not hard. These are not rocket-science discoveries.

As a way to try and encourage you to purchase my book, I will provide all of the lessons for you below! I dig much deeper in the book on each of them, but here's another sneak peak:



1. Stop denying you have a weight problem. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing you have one. If you don’t feel like you have a problem, it will not get fixed. Stop denying it - everyone can see it and you can feel it. Recognizing the problem is the first step in you WANTING to address the problem.

2. Make a list of reasons you want to lose weight. The big thing about weight loss is finding the reasons you want to lose weight - and preferably - not just for health reasons. Health is important, but you should put yourself in the mindset of wanting to lose weight, not having to lose weight. When you want something instead of needing something, you are far more likely going to achieve it. Write this list down and keep it somewhere.

3. Set specific and challenging goals. This one is simple and does not really need to be explained. If you set goals, you become more motivated to reach them.

4. Stay happy. One of the biggest reasons I have succeeded most of these past five years, compared to previous efforts, was because I realized I could not hate myself on this journey. Weight loss is stressful enough - don’t add to it. This includes finding ways to make exercise fun and easy. It also includes not giving up your favorite foods. It includes not forcing yourself to do things that you feel like you need to do. Weight loss is not about starving yourself. It’s about finding the things not to eat.

5. Weigh yourself on a daily basis. Buying a scale and weighing yourself keeps you accountable to yourself. It also opens your eyes to what you are doing right and wrong. And once you start seeing progress, you will be motivated even more and continue on the journey.

6. Make yourself accountable to everyone. The scale keeps you accountable to yourself. However, if you set expectations for those around you, you will want to reach them. If you’re on social media, use it as a tool of accountability. Post before and after photos. Post photos that might make you feel humiliated. Post your weight totals. Whatever.

7. It’s a process, not an overnight success. It’s a lifetime journey and you need to realize that. It’s mathematically impossible to lose more than one pound in a  day. You are doing something very unhealthy if that’s the case. Because of this, it’s important to realize you need to do baby-steps in both dieting and exercise. Don’t do the hardest exercise right away. Walk, don’t run. When it comes to eating, don’t go cold turkey on every single thing yet.

8. Prioritize what you eat. If you a responsible person when it comes to money, this should be an easy comparison to see. When you plan out a budget, you have to prioritize your spending. You have to pay the bills and only buy the things you can afford at the time. The same applies to eating. If you don’t eat wasteful calories - I’m talking that extra bowl of cereal, the extra doughnuts or the liquid calories - you can still eat most of what you enjoy now. You don’t have to starve yourself. You don’t have to get stuck eating veggie burgers, tofu or any other food you don’t want to eat. Also, if you’re in journalism, think of it as editing. You get rid of the “fat” and preserve only the necessary content.

9. You can be flexible with your diet. You don’t have to eat the same thing over and over again. This creates boredom. Many “diets” work, whether you are watching your carbs, calories or both. Don’t be afraid to mix it up once in a while and try mini-diets, a month or two of doing something different.

10. Win the Day. Each day matters. In order to hit the long-term goals, you need small victories along the road. Whether it’s losing 0.2 pounds in one day or saying no to a craving, savor all of your little victories.

11. Not everyone will love your weight loss efforts. Most will cheer you along the way. Some will not. Remember, this journey is FOR YOU. Not for them. For you. Don’t let the haters get you down, but you let them get to you, try to explain why you’re doing what you’re doing.

12. Bad days and stretches will happen. While you need to focus on “winning the day,” understand that bad days will happen. One day you will feel sick and not workout. Another day, say Thanksgiving, you will eat until you drop. You might have a bad week when you put on a pound or two. But don’t let the bad days pile up or discourage from going along. In every journey, there’s a bump. With weight loss, it’s no different. Just be prepared and be ready to survive the bumps.

13. Reward yourself in some way. This doesn’t have to be a “cheat day,” though I do one once a month because I can cut down my cravings now. I have self control of my life. It feels good. For you, maybe it’s buying a pet. Or a vacation? Remember, this journey needs to be about wanting to lose weight, not “having to” lose weight. Pat yourself on the back when you deserve it.

14. Do it your own way. One of the big mistakes I made on previous efforts to lose pounds was to try to change who I was. I tried to become “protein shake guy.” I even tried to become “vegetarian guy.” I tried to be organic food guy. But while there is nothing wrong with doing that, that was not who I was. I hated myself and did not enjoy those diets. I discovered that I was able to maintain who I was while losing weight. I still eat meat, red, white or pink. I enjoy tacos, though I try to cut down on the chips. I still enjoy eggs and bacon. I still enjoy sugar-free jello. I enjoy putting cheese on my vegetables. By being able to prevent myself from overeating and making every item of food I ate count, I still enjoy most of the eating I was able to do.

15. Healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive. For the first 28 years of my life, I bought into the idea that being healthy was unaffordable. I thought gyms were too expensive. I thought healthy food was too expensive. Both of those thoughts were wrong and the idea that losing weight is too expensive is just an excuse to be unhealthy. Don’t buy it. For vegetables and fruit, by frozen. Don’t eat out too often. Buy certain cuts of steak and chicken that might be a little more affordable. Do eggs and bacon, one of the cheapest and most delicious breakfasts you can do. And by the way, eating less food will save you money anyway.

16. Emotional eating will only make you more emotional down the road. Just as it’s a myth that smoking relaxes you, it’s a myth that eating will make you feel better emotionally about yourself. Eating two doughnuts instead of one or preferably none will not make you happier. If you become happier, it wasn’t because of a jelly doughnut. That ice cream sundae didn’t make your day better. Point is, if you eat too much because of emotion, you are only guaranteeing more emotional problems down the road. As you grow fatter, you become less confident about yourself. Emotional eating or eating because of stress will only guarantee more emotional breakdowns and more stress down the road. It’s not worth it.

17. More food, less calories. If you find it hard to immediately cut down on the activity of eating, you don’t have to necessarily eat less to lose weight. You only have to lose less calories. A McDonald’s McFlurry dessert approaches 700 to 800 calories depending on your preferred topping. Two cups of macaroni and cheese will put you 600-630 calories in the hole. A couple of eggs and a couple pieces of bacon are around 300 calories. You can eat three cups of cheese and cooked broccoli for about 135 calories. You need to do a little math, but you keep an eagle eye on the labels, you can make this happen. You can eat more and still lose weight if you find the right calories to cut out and the right food to eat.

18. It’s all worth it. Simple as that.

19. It’s about wanting to lose weight, not feeling like you have to lose weight. Again, this is not to diminish the health benefits you will receive once you drop a lot of weight. It’s about the social and attitude benefits of losing weight. You feel better about yourself. You are more confident about yourself. You are no longer embarrassed about being the only fat guy at the table. You no longer have to hide while shopping for larger clothes at the Big & Tall section of a store. It’s not feeling uncomfortable when sitting on an airplane or train. It’s the easier ability of walking up the stairs. It’s feeling like you can flirt with a woman or a guy. The health reasons are important alone, but if you let it become the only reason, you will fail. You need to find all of the benefits of wanting to lose weight. Once you do, you will realize the extra food isn’t worth the value of those long-term benefits of getting healthier.

Powerball Jackpot Now $510 Million – Will it Roll Again?

Kansas Lottery

TOPEKA, KAN. – The Powerball jackpot is up to an estimated $510 million for Saturday’s drawing. This puts the advertised jackpot above $500 million for the first time since the jackpot run that produced the world record jackpot of $1.586 billion in January 2016!

Any player who matches all numbers in Saturday’s drawing will win or share Powerball’s fifth largest jackpot and have to decide between the annuity option of $510 million, paid in 30 payments over 29 years; or a cash lump sum of $324.2 million.

Other jackpots are also rolling!

Mega Millions - $20 million for Friday’s drawing, with a cash option of $12.5 million.

Hot Lotto - $9.53 million for Saturday’s drawing, with the lottery paying the initial income tax withholding taxes on the jackpot.

Super Kansas Cash - $180,000 for Saturday’s drawing, paid in a cash lump sum.

The Kansas Lottery says “good luck” to all those playing for the jackpots this weekend!

Players are invited to submit all their winning and non-winning tickets in the Kansas Lottery PlayOn® Players Loyalty program to earn points for drawing entries and a chance to win cash and other prizes!

Popular K-10 connector resumes regular service Aug. 21

OVERLAND PARK, KS - As students return to college campuses this fall, Johnson County’s popular bus service will resume its regular operating schedule between Overland Park and Lawrence.

Starting Monday, Aug. 21, the 510 K-10 Connector will run Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. Rush-hour service in the morning and afternoon operates every half hour. Midday service runs hourly.

Night service is available, operating hourly from 7:10 until 11:21 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The last nightly westbound trip starting at Johnson County Community College leaves at 10:10 p.m. The last nightly eastbound trip from the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence leaves Irving Hill Road and Naismith Drive at 9:05 p.m.

The fare for the approximately 40-mile trip is $3 each way. Riders can cut 25 percent off fare prices by purchasing a 31-day pass for $95. They can save 10 percent on the regular fare price by purchasing a 10-ride pass for $31.50.

Service on the K-10 Connector offers the comfort of over-the-road coaches with Wi-Fi. Students use the time to study for an exam, do homework, text safely or even catch a short nap free of the worries of highway driving.

Started in 2007, the K-10 Connector has proven popular with students, staff and faculty at Johnson County Community College and the University of Kansas. It also has attracted riders commuting to Johnson County from Lawrence for work.

The route includes stops at Johnson County Community College’s Carlsen Center, the University of Kansas-Edwards campus in Overland Park, two stops at the KU campus and one in east Lawrence. Classes for the fall semester at Johnson County Community College and the University of Kansas campuses start Aug. 21.

To get more details about the K-10 Connector service go to www.ridekc.org. Route information also is available from the Regional Call Center at (816) 221-0660 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Monday, August 14, 2017

U.S. House Rep. Emanuel Cleaver on Trump's comments: "I just don't like the president"

U.S. House Rep. Emanuel Cleaver had choice words for President Donald Trump following Trump's comments on the violence in Charlottesville.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides,” President Trump said after a car sped into a group of counter protestors. “On many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America."

Cleaver's response? It "crossed the line for me," Cleaver said.

He spoke to KCTV5 News on camera:


KCTV5

Saturday, August 5, 2017

My new eBook: The 19 lessons of weight loss

Kansas City, KS Kansas City, MO Los Angeles, CA New York, NY Chicago, Ill

I have hinted at this a number of times, but I have written an eBook on my weight loss journey!

I wrote the book as a way to communicate how I lost 300 pounds. It's the most asked question to me these past five years, but it's an answer that needs more than a sentence. It's a difficult answer, after all, losing 300 pounds is not simple.

However, I also feel one way folks go wrong about trying to lose weight is to copy-cat specific diets and recipes. I believe we all have our own tastes and we all have to find our own ways to cut back on eating and exercise more.

But I also believe there are universal ways that everyone can lose weight.

When I was writing the book, I decided to make it about lessons I learned while losing weight. I have put them in this book. Consider it a blue print on what ANY ONE can do to lose weight. These are not hard. These are not rocket-science discoveries.

As a way to try and encourage you to purchase my book, I will provide all of the lessons for you below! I dig much deeper in the book on each of them, but here's another sneak peak:


1. Stop denying you have a weight problem. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing you have one. If you don’t feel like you have a problem, it will not get fixed. Stop denying it - everyone can see it and you can feel it. Recognizing the problem is the first step in you WANTING to address the problem.

2. Make a list of reasons you want to lose weight. The big thing about weight loss is finding the reasons you want to lose weight - and preferably - not just for health reasons. Health is important, but you should put yourself in the mindset of wanting to lose weight, not having to lose weight. When you want something instead of needing something, you are far more likely going to achieve it. Write this list down and keep it somewhere.

3. Set specific and challenging goals. This one is simple and does not really need to be explained. If you set goals, you become more motivated to reach them.

4. Stay happy. One of the biggest reasons I have succeeded most of these past five years, compared to previous efforts, was because I realized I could not hate myself on this journey. Weight loss is stressful enough - don’t add to it. This includes finding ways to make exercise fun and easy. It also includes not giving up your favorite foods. It includes not forcing yourself to do things that you feel like you need to do. Weight loss is not about starving yourself. It’s about finding the things not to eat.

5. Weigh yourself on a daily basis. Buying a scale and weighing yourself keeps you accountable to yourself. It also opens your eyes to what you are doing right and wrong. And once you start seeing progress, you will be motivated even more and continue on the journey.

6. Make yourself accountable to everyone. The scale keeps you accountable to yourself. However, if you set expectations for those around you, you will want to reach them. If you’re on social media, use it as a tool of accountability. Post before and after photos. Post photos that might make you feel humiliated. Post your weight totals. Whatever.

7. It’s a process, not an overnight success. It’s a lifetime journey and you need to realize that. It’s mathematically impossible to lose more than one pound in a  day. You are doing something very unhealthy if that’s the case. Because of this, it’s important to realize you need to do baby-steps in both dieting and exercise. Don’t do the hardest exercise right away. Walk, don’t run. When it comes to eating, don’t go cold turkey on every single thing yet.

8. Prioritize what you eat. If you a responsible person when it comes to money, this should be an easy comparison to see. When you plan out a budget, you have to prioritize your spending. You have to pay the bills and only buy the things you can afford at the time. The same applies to eating. If you don’t eat wasteful calories - I’m talking that extra bowl of cereal, the extra doughnuts or the liquid calories - you can still eat most of what you enjoy now. You don’t have to starve yourself. You don’t have to get stuck eating veggie burgers, tofu or any other food you don’t want to eat. Also, if you’re in journalism, think of it as editing. You get rid of the “fat” and preserve only the necessary content.

9. You can be flexible with your diet. You don’t have to eat the same thing over and over again. This creates boredom. Many “diets” work, whether you are watching your carbs, calories or both. Don’t be afraid to mix it up once in a while and try mini-diets, a month or two of doing something different.

10. Win the Day. Each day matters. In order to hit the long-term goals, you need small victories along the road. Whether it’s losing 0.2 pounds in one day or saying no to a craving, savor all of your little victories.

11. Not everyone will love your weight loss efforts. Most will cheer you along the way. Some will not. Remember, this journey is FOR YOU. Not for them. For you. Don’t let the haters get you down, but you let them get to you, try to explain why you’re doing what you’re doing.

12. Bad days and stretches will happen. While you need to focus on “winning the day,” understand that bad days will happen. One day you will feel sick and not workout. Another day, say Thanksgiving, you will eat until you drop. You might have a bad week when you put on a pound or two. But don’t let the bad days pile up or discourage from going along. In every journey, there’s a bump. With weight loss, it’s no different. Just be prepared and be ready to survive the bumps.

13. Reward yourself in some way. This doesn’t have to be a “cheat day,” though I do one once a month because I can cut down my cravings now. I have self control of my life. It feels good. For you, maybe it’s buying a pet. Or a vacation? Remember, this journey needs to be about wanting to lose weight, not “having to” lose weight. Pat yourself on the back when you deserve it.

14. Do it your own way. One of the big mistakes I made on previous efforts to lose pounds was to try to change who I was. I tried to become “protein shake guy.” I even tried to become “vegetarian guy.” I tried to be organic food guy. But while there is nothing wrong with doing that, that was not who I was. I hated myself and did not enjoy those diets. I discovered that I was able to maintain who I was while losing weight. I still eat meat, red, white or pink. I enjoy tacos, though I try to cut down on the chips. I still enjoy eggs and bacon. I still enjoy sugar-free jello. I enjoy putting cheese on my vegetables. By being able to prevent myself from overeating and making every item of food I ate count, I still enjoy most of the eating I was able to do.

15. Healthy living doesn’t have to be expensive. For the first 28 years of my life, I bought into the idea that being healthy was unaffordable. I thought gyms were too expensive. I thought healthy food was too expensive. Both of those thoughts were wrong and the idea that losing weight is too expensive is just an excuse to be unhealthy. Don’t buy it. For vegetables and fruit, by frozen. Don’t eat out too often. Buy certain cuts of steak and chicken that might be a little more affordable. Do eggs and bacon, one of the cheapest and most delicious breakfasts you can do. And by the way, eating less food will save you money anyway.

16. Emotional eating will only make you more emotional down the road. Just as it’s a myth that smoking relaxes you, it’s a myth that eating will make you feel better emotionally about yourself. Eating two doughnuts instead of one or preferably none will not make you happier. If you become happier, it wasn’t because of a jelly doughnut. That ice cream sundae didn’t make your day better. Point is, if you eat too much because of emotion, you are only guaranteeing more emotional problems down the road. As you grow fatter, you become less confident about yourself. Emotional eating or eating because of stress will only guarantee more emotional breakdowns and more stress down the road. It’s not worth it.

17. More food, less calories. If you find it hard to immediately cut down on the activity of eating, you don’t have to necessarily eat less to lose weight. You only have to lose less calories. A McDonald’s McFlurry dessert approaches 700 to 800 calories depending on your preferred topping. Two cups of macaroni and cheese will put you 600-630 calories in the hole. A couple of eggs and a couple pieces of bacon are around 300 calories. You can eat three cups of cheese and cooked broccoli for about 135 calories. You need to do a little math, but you keep an eagle eye on the labels, you can make this happen. You can eat more and still lose weight if you find the right calories to cut out and the right food to eat.

18. It’s all worth it. Simple as that.

19. It’s about wanting to lose weight, not feeling like you have to lose weight. Again, this is not to diminish the health benefits you will receive once you drop a lot of weight. It’s about the social and attitude benefits of losing weight. You feel better about yourself. You are more confident about yourself. You are no longer embarrassed about being the only fat guy at the table. You no longer have to hide while shopping for larger clothes at the Big & Tall section of a store. It’s not feeling uncomfortable when sitting on an airplane or train. It’s the easier ability of walking up the stairs. It’s feeling like you can flirt with a woman or a guy. The health reasons are important alone, but if you let it become the only reason, you will fail. You need to find all of the benefits of wanting to lose weight. Once you do, you will realize the extra food isn’t worth the value of those long-term benefits of getting healthier.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Kansas Lottery Players “Go for the Green” with Rolling Jackpots

TOPEKA, KAN. – Hot Lotto was sizzlin’ in Kansas last night!

One Hot Lotto player in northeast Kansas wisely purchased the Sizzler option on his Hot Lotto ticket and tripled his prize to $9,000 for matching four of the first five numbers and the Hotball.

Two other tickets, both sold in south central Kansas, matched four of the first five numbers and the Hotball without Sizzler to each win $3,000.

No ticket matched all numbers in the March 15 Hot Lotto drawing so the jackpot rolls to $4.82 million for Saturday’s drawing.

Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots also continue to climb.  Tomorrow night’s Mega Millions jackpot is an estimated $131 million with a cash option of $77.1 million. Saturday’s Powerball jackpot is estimated at $141 million, with a cash option of $83.3 million.

The Super Kansas Cash jackpot has been rolling since last being hit September 21, 2016, and now stands at an estimated $1.645 million for Saturday night’s drawing.

Pot O’ Gold Flash Sale March 17
Players can get a FREE $2 Super Kansas Cash ticket tomorrow when they purchase $6 or more of Lucky for Life on a single ticket.  The Pot O’Gold Flash Sale runs from 5:00 a.m. through 8:59 p.m. March 17 only.