Nominate a Kind Grain Valley resident: 2023 Kindness Awards (honorees to receive $25 Scout Coffee gift card)
Grain Valley News is now accepting nominations of kind Grain Valley residents who deserve a spotlight. Scout Coffee, whose mission is "coffee and kindness", is sponsoring this effort. Nominations will be accepted through Saturday, February 11th at www.grainvalleynews.com/kindness-awards.
Four honorees will be selected to be featured during National Random Acts of Kindness Week (2/14-20). Honorees will each receive a $25 gift card to Scout Coffee.
by Michael Smith
There’s dominance and then there’s what Grain Valley senior Madison Rogers did in Thursday’s Suburban Conference Championships.
Rogers led the diving event in the White Conference from start to finish as she ended up with a score of 371.90 as she easily took first at Belton High School.
Her score was 102 points ahead of second-place Nina Prince of Belton.
“I felt pretty good about my diving,” Rogers said. “I tried a dive that was pretty new for me, but I feel like I could do better.”
“It feels like a good way to end my senior year.”
That new dive is her front 2 ½, one which she got a score of 5.5 from all five judges. Her best dive was her front 1 ½ pike.
“I will take it,” Rogers said. “It’s a new dive I just learned this season. I haven’t had much time to work on it.”
“I got sevens across on the front 1 ½ pike. I just hit it pretty good and felt good about it.”
Grain Valley diving coach Shelly Pollock said that Rogers had improved since the beginning of the season and is confident her senior can push through to the state competition.
“She’s been diving for a long time with club divers, which has been good for her,” Pollock said of Rogers. “We are just looking to change a few dives up and working on some things on the diving board.”
Rogers’ teammate, senior Jadyn Jarman, took sixth with a score of 244.50.
“They dove really well,” Pollock said of Rogers and Jarman. “We are still working on consistency on our approaches and they changed up a few dives. That is going to make things better for districts next week.”
Grain Valley senior diver Madison Rogers won the Suburban White Conference diving title with a score of 371.90 Thursday at Belton High School. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley senior Jadyn Jarman took sixth with a score of 244.50. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Students at Grain Valley High School were placed under a "lock and teach" and access to nearby Sni-A-Bar Elementary was affected Friday morning due to an incident on the high school campus.
Reached for comment, the district shared a statement from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nick Gooch that will be released to parents today.
"This message is to inform you of an incident that occurred today at Grain Valley High School. At approximately 7:50 am, a student reported to the school administration that a young male was on campus at the high school who did not belong. The high school implemented a “lock and teach” and called in assistance from the Grain Valley Police Department. Law enforcement responded immediately and closed entrances to both the high school and Sni A Bar Elementary.
During the lock and teach, additional information became available that the individual may have had a knife or blade. At 8:30 am the male was taken into police custody. He was not in possession of a knife or blade. The high school is no longer on lock and teach. We appreciate the quick response of our GVPD this morning, and the cooperation of students, staff, and anyone trying to access our school campus during this incident."
Reached for comment, Grain Valley Police Department (GVPD) confirmed the male taken into custody was not in possession of a knife or blade. GVPD also stated the Jackson County Sheriff's Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol also responded to the incident at GVHS.
Updated 11:50am 2/3/23 with details from GVPD.
Grain Valley News will continue to monitor the story and provide additional details as they become available.
The following information is derived from Grain Valley Police Department daily calls service log for the week of January 25-31, 2023.
January 25, 2023
1600 Blk NW High View Dr
January 26, 2023
1300 Blk SW Blue Branch
300 Blk NW Valley Dr
Motor vehicle accident
January 27, 2023
600 Blk Yennie Ave
1100 Block of N Main
Motor vehicle acctident
800 Blk SW Country Hill Dr
January 28, 2023
1200 SW Eagles Pkwy
1200 Blk SW Indian Creek Ct
1100 Blk Ephaim Dr
500 Blk Main
200 Blk Amanda Ln
1200 Blk NW Willow Dr
700 NW Scenic Ln
700 Blk SW Joseph Cir
200 Blk NW Amanda Ln
January 29, 2023
800 Blk SW Brome Dr
NW Valley Woods Ct
500 Blk Broadway
100 Blk N Broadway
Eagles/W City Limits
900 Blk NE Deer Creek Dr
January 30, 2023
1400 Blk Valley Woods Ct
1300 Blk Eagle Ridge
300 Blk Eagles
600 Blk BB
800 Blk Meadowood
Standby to prevent
1000 Blk NW Sycamore
900 Maplewood Ct
1300 Blk NW Eagle Ridge
January 31, 2023
1200 Blk NW Willow Dr
500 Blk N Main
600 Blk Yennie
200 Blk SniABar
As a part of the City's process to complete an updated comprehensive plan and Parks master plan, a public workshop is being held Tuesday, February 28th from 6:30pm - 8:00pm at Sni-A-Bar Elementary School.
The Comprehensive Plan outlines the City's vision for future land use, transportation networks, utilities, and downtown improvements over the next 20 years, creating a roadmap for development efforts. The Master Plan for the Parks and Recreation Department will also serve as a roadmap for future projects.
Reservations are not required to attend, and all are welcome to participate.
Mid-Continent Public Library's Square One Small Business Services has your entrepreneurial interests covered with a variety of February programs.
Business Model Canvas Workshop
Tuesday, February 7th
5:30pm - 7:30pm
Blue Springs South Branch Community Room
Is your business model working? Join Kimberly Beer to learn how to stop the chaos and create meaningful direction in your business while ensuring your business idea is solid. Ideal for new entrepreneurs looking to define their concept and seasoned business owners who want to prevent the dreaded three- and five-year business slumps.
• Leave with a business skill that you can apply to current and future growth projects
• Gain a better understanding of your customer's pains and gains to use in marketing
• Identify insights on how to improve and expand your current and future business ideas
Registration is required to receive the packet with supplies for this activity-based class.
Productivity tools for your business
Wednesday, February 8th
Noon - 1:00pm
Blue Ridge Branch Community Room
We live in a world of distractions that can halt our productivity in its tracks. But there are some really amazing tools available to you that can keep you focused and efficient as a business owner. Join the Square One Small Business Specialist as they walk you through a variety of tools that can help you make the most of your limited time.
Identify areas of time waste in daily schedule
Discover tools to assist with business efficiency
Assess which tools to apply in daily operations
Creating your brand
Wednesday, February 22nd
5:30pm - 7:00pm
South Independence Branch Community Room
Do you know your brand’s story? Let Cynthia Fails lead you through this 90-minute exploration of your brand by helping you understand the relationship between businesses and customers, your business story, and how to effectively communicate that story to your customers.
• Refine your brand values
• Identify the personality of your brand
• Narrow down the story about who your brand is, what you do, and why you do it
To register, visit www.mymcpl.org/events.
These programs are funded by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
(StatePoint) You’ve selected your insurance plan for the year. Now, it’s time to start using your benefits, beginning with an annual wellness exam.
An annual wellness exam with a health care provider is important for everyone, but especially for older adults. As we age, we are more likely to develop chronic health conditions, according to Dr. J.B. Sobel, chief medical officer for Cigna Medicare, which serves hundreds of thousands of older adults through its products. An annual wellness exam can help detect potential health issues early so they can be addressed before they worsen, he added.
“By meeting with your primary care provider early in the year, you can highlight the things that are important to you, and work together to develop a plan for your care for the year ahead,” Sobel said. “This will ensure you live each day with vitality, happiness and improved health.”
Many providers will reach out to schedule an annual wellness exam. If your provider doesn’t contact you, make sure to call them.
A number of annual check-ups are available at no extra cost to those with Medicare. They include a “Welcome to Medicare” visit for customers who have just reached Medicare eligibility and an “Annual Wellness Exam” for existing customers. Many Medicare Advantage (MA) plans offer more extensive annual visits at no extra cost. Some even offer incentives for completing a visit. Talk with your provider and Medicare insurer about your benefits.
Each annual exam may be a little different. Regardless of the type, Sobel offers the following tips to ensure you get the most from your visit.
Prepare. Before you go, write down anything you’d like to discuss with your health care provider, including changes to your health over the past year. Bring your prescription and over-the-counter medications with you. Ask plenty of questions and take notes. You might even want to take along a family member, trusted friend or caregiver to ensure you understand everything your provider has shared.
Be open and honest. It’s tempting to make things look rosier than they are when talking to your health care provider, but minimizing what you are feeling can lead to an incorrect diagnosis or prescription. Speak openly about unhealthy habits, like smoking or lack of exercise. Your provider won’t judge you. Being honest is the only way your health care provider can help you reach your goals.
Mind mental health. Your emotional health impacts your physical health. Many people think depression is a natural part of aging, but it doesn’t have to be. Talk to your doctor if you are feeling sad, anxious or hopeless. Treatments, such as talk therapy, medication or both, may be covered by Medicare.
Monitor medications. Adults age 65 and older tend to take more medications than other age groups, increasing the risk for adverse reactions, such as cognitive impairment and falls. It’s a good idea to take your medications to your annual wellness exam and discuss any potential problems or side effects you’re experiencing. Don’t forget about over-the-counter drugs, vitamins or nutritional supplements you take.
Schedule screenings and get vaccines. There are a number of important health screenings and vaccines that you may need depending on your age and gender, such as colon cancer screening, bone density test, mammogram, flu shot or COVID-19 immunization. Ask your provider about the screenings and vaccines you’ve had already and schedule any you need as soon as possible. You may even be able to do that before you leave the office. Also, don’t forget to visit your eye doctor and dentist. These visits are covered by many MA plans as well.
“You wouldn’t drive your vehicle without proper preventive maintenance, so please don’t ignore preventive maintenance for your most prized possession – your health,” Sobel said. “An annual wellness exam is a great place to start!”
by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation
Winter is a restless season in the outdoors during February. Trees are bare of leaves but on sunny days sap is moving from roots to treetops. Opossums and coyotes breed, great horned owls sit on eggs in nests. Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs to learn more about wildlife, trees, and plants and what they’re doing during the winter season.
Individuals and families are invited to learn about owls and dissect owl pellets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. Owls eat a variety of small mammals or birds during winter. What they discharge as solid dung holds bones, feathers, and other clues to their diet. MDC Naturalist Jada Tressler will talk about owl lore and help visitors dissect pellets and identify parts. The program is open to participants ages 6 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4fV.
Hike in the snow or past mud puddles and pond banks and you will see wild animal tracks. Learn how to tell what they are and where they’re going at Wildlife Track-Tective from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. Sarah Weekes, MDC natural resource assistant, will help participants create notebooks to aid in identifying animal tracks. This program is for ages 6 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4ft.
Those squirrels prancing around in trees in winter, and visiting bird feeders, can play a role in fishing success. Learn how to use the hair from squirrel tails to make fishing lures from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 18. The meat from harvested squirrels is what most hunters seek, but the tails have a traditional use in fishing lures, too. For example, many forms of the venerable Mepps spinner lures utilize hair from squirrel tails. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fly tying and lure making equipment. But MDC will provide squirrel tails, hooks, and thread and can also provide loaner lure making gear. Alek Lanter, MDC conservation educator, will provide instruction. This class is for participants ages 14 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4fj.
Sharpen your bird watch senses with a cup of hot coffee or tea and join others for Nature Rx: Coffee with the Birds, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. The monthly Nature Rx series immerses participants in nature with coaching on ways the contact can improve physical and mental health. The session starts indoors near the big glass windows watching birds at the center’s outdoor feeders. If weather permits, Lisa Richter, MDC naturalist, will lead a short birding hike outdoors. This session is for participants ages 18 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4f9.
Visitors are invited to watch feeding time for fish and wildlife such as turtles and frogs every Wednesday and Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m. The snakes are fed every other week. Registration is not required. COVID-19 safety precautions are observed at all nature center activities. Don’t forget, hiking trails are also open throughout the winter. For more information about Burr Oak Woods, call 816-228-3766 or visit https://mdc.mo.gov/burroakwoods.
Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs to learn more about wildlife, trees, and plants and what they’re doing during the winter season in a variety of February programs. Photo credit: MDC
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Sometimes I look through our archives to find articles for this column. Such was the case last week when I found an article that appeared in The Examiner on January 23, 1993. That was when Grain Valley Police Sergeant Scott Lambert and Officer Scott Hedger were training their Rottweilers, Magnum and Sampson, for a career in the Grain Valley Police Department.
According to the article, the extensive training and ongoing education received by the dogs and their handlers make them valuable members of police departments and provide not only a much-needed police tool, but also a supplemental source of income for the department.
Magnum and Sampson, along with their handlers were trained at Man’s Best Friend Kennels in Belton, Missouri. Mike Reynolds, the owner, stated that the key to any successful police dog candidate “is the same as for any human job applicant: the right personality.” If the dog is vicious or unfriendly instead of playful and social, it’s generally ruled out as a police dog candidate. The second key trait is its drive. According to Reynolds the dog exhibits drive in the way it acts and how excited and playful it becomes. A good police dog considers searching a building, sniffing a car for drugs, or protecting its handler to be a positive, playful activity.
While Magnum was used strictly as a drug dog and for handler protection, Hedger’s dog, Sampson, became a familiar sight around Grain Valley. He was trained as a drug dog, but also as a patrol dog. Over the years, Officer Hedger gave several demonstrations to community groups and Sampson was introduced to DARE classes to show the usefulness of dogs in other aspects of police work.
In September, 1993, the Jackson County legislature authorized county Prosecutor Claire McCaskill to spend $9,900 from the anti-drug tax. An article in The Examiner, dated September 2, 1983 stated “…the new dog would be placed with the Grain Valley Police Department, but would be available for other law enforcement agencies in Eastern Jackson County.”
It has been 30 years, but it is always good to be reminded that our town “took the lead"!
by Michael Smith
It was a night to remember for the Grain Valley wrestling team.
In Wednesday’s tri dual, the Eagles finished the 2022-23 regular season undefeated in duals for the first time since 2001 following a 66-15 drubbing of Blue Springs South and a 51-26 victory against Fort Osage at home.
Not only that, senior Brock Smith joined Dru Azona and Tanner Barker as Grain Valley wrestlers to earn their 100th career win this season as he got pins in both of his bouts.
“Always pleased but never satisfied,” Grain Valley coach Donald Horner said. “I have an amazing group of kids. We went into the hallway and I reminded them, ‘The job is not done.’ We’re working to bring home a state trophy and a district trophy.”
With wrestlers like Smith (126) and the four other wrestlers ranked in the top six of their weight class, the Eagles could do just that. The senior used a headlock takedown to win by fall against Fort Osage’s Joseph Hunt and he used a half nelson to turn South’s Simone Creek for a pin in 1 minute, 35 seconds.
“I am fired up that I got it,” Smith said. “It took a little longer than I thought it could but hey, I got there. I'm happy it’s done.”
“I haven’t felt the best recently but I was able to get the job done in both my matches.
So did Gavin Barker (215), who recently came back from missing a month due to an ankle injury. He looked sharp on Wednesday as he used an arm bar to turn South’s Bryson Nelson to get a pin in 2:58. He also won by fall against Fort Osage’s Nathan Parkerafter using a chicken wing to get the turn and the pin.
“I am feeling a lot better,” Barker said. “There is still a little bit of soreness. But I am still good enough and should be 100 percent by districts.”
“I was focused and I was moving constantly. I wasn’t trying to do too much.”
Senior Tyler Groves (144) is having a career year and he picked up a couple of big wins over wrestlers he may see in the district tournament. He used a cradle to pin South’s Carter Roach in 1:11 and also used a head and arm to put down Fort Osage’s Grayson Moore on his back in 1:30.
“To be honest, I was nervous about that match,” Groves said of his bout with Moore. “I had a great pep talk with my coach. He told me ‘To just go out there and wrestle your match. It’s your last one. You just have to take care of business.’ That’s what I did. I just kept applying pressure.”
Other Eagles to finish 2-0 on the day were Zac Bleess (113), Gavin Parks (120), Dru Azcona (132), Justin Deweese (157) and Tanner Barker (165).
Grain Valley split four contested matches with Fort Osage, but had too many opens as it fell 57-18.
Defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Sevreign Aumua (140) pinned Kayleigh McGrath and Madison Hobbs (130) won by fall over Becca Marlow. Camary Schmalzbach got the other win for the Eagles by forfeit.
Grain Valley senior Brock Smith displays his banner after getting his 100th career victory in Wednesday's tri dual with Blue Springs South and Fort Osage. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley freshman Zac Bleess tries to stay on top of Fort Osage's Tony Martinez. Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior Justin Deweese, right, looks for the pin against Blue Springs South's August Kienast. Photo credit: Michael Smith