By Michael Smith
After doubles play, Grain Valley was missing a key piece to their team.
No. 3 singles player Carter Williams had to leave for another event following his doubles match Thursday at William Chrisman High School.
That meant the Eagles had to use a junior varsity player to fill in the vacant singles spot.
Enter junior Campbell Childers.
He stepped at No. 6 doubles while everyone else bumped up a spot. He won his match 8-2 as everyone on the team stepped up in a 9-0 sweep of William Chrisman.
“I was happy with our group,” Grain Valley head coach Randy Draper said. “Everybody played well. Many of them had close matches and we found ways to win them.”
And one of those was Childers, who stepped up to play varsity for the first time in 2023.
“It was fun,” Draper said of watching Childers play. “He’s a competitive guy. I am not surprised. He’s a tough guy and he’s athletic. Those kind of guys pick up tennis fast.”
Campbell said he was excited about the opportunity to help out the varsity squad. His primary sport is soccer but some of his skills in that sport helped him become a solid player in tennis.
“The footwork is similar and you know where your body can go,” Childers said. “(Soccer) helps me know how to get into the right place at the right time like you have to do in tennis.”
Campbell wasn’t the only one to step up for the Eagles as Blake Galvan and John Cassidy bumped up one spot to help Grain Valley win No. 4 and 5 singles along with teaming up for a 8-3 No. 3 doubles win.
Galvan took his singles match, 9-7 as he overcame a large deficit to take his match.
“For singles, I did pretty good,” Galvan said. “I was down 6-2 but I made a pretty good comeback. I liked how I served.”
At No. 4 singles, Cassidy took down his opponent, 8-1.
“I was driving the ball well and was getting deep,” Cassidy said. “My opponent like to come to the net, which can be an advantage for taller players. I did a good job forcing him to stay back.”
Other Eagles to win Thursday were Ben Drinkwater and Trace Compton in No. 1 doubles, 8-4; Ethan Miller and Williams, 9-8 (7-3 tiebreaker in doubles); Drinkwater in No. 1 singles, 8-6; Miller in No. 2 singles, 8-1; and Compton at No. 3 singles, 8-1.
Grain Valley junior Campbell Childers, normally a junior varsity player, got an opportunity to play on the varsity team Thursday against William Chrisman and won his singles match 8-2 as the Eagles won 9-0 in the team score. Photo credit: Michael Smith
The Board of Education met Thursday, April 20th for its regularly scheduled meeting.
Recognitions at the beginning of the meeting included recognition of 2023 support staff member of the year Julie Bunton, GVHS senior Evan Reich for his selection as a 2023 Missouri Scholars 100, culinary arts student Peyton Bell who placed second in state competition, student Lynette Jones who placed 3rd in physical therapy at the Health Occupations Students of America state competition, and Fort Osage CTC automotive students Carson Davis and Tanner Todd for their gold medal honors in Job Skill Demonstration A and Mobile Electronics Installation.
During public comments, resident and current alderman Dale Arnold presented concerns regarding the recently passed $32 million bond issue, raising questions regarding district plans to utilize premium or par bonds, and encouraging the board to be good stewards of tax dollars.
Mary Porter and Mandi Pollard introduced themselves as chair and co-chair of the Jackson County Moms for Liberty chapter, stating that representatives planned to attend each meeting.
“Moms for Liberty is dedicated to fighting for the survival of America by unifying, educating and empowering parents to defend their parental rights at all levels of government,” Pollard said.
Pollard outlined the organization’s stand on the responsibilities of parents and schools in educating students.
“It is not the school’s responsibility to withhold information from parents of what is happening in the classroom, the playground, the sports field, or any other place. Moms for Liberty will be watching for transparency, and we are here to hold the schools and the school board accountable for this. As concerned parents, we will always approach you, the school board, with respect for your position, and a willingness to work together to build mutual trust.”
District teacher Mendi Spencer asked the board to reconsider a policy change related to a curriculum review committee and the wording contained therein. Spencer maintained the policy change was unnecessary, unfeasible, and does not address parent concerns.
Superintendent Brad Welle reported district staff have now relocated to the recently completed leadership center.
In reviewing the district’s progress toward outlined priorities, pay and benefits as compared to other districts were discussed. A $1500 increase to the district’s base on the salary schedule will be presented to the board in June.
Sni-Valley graduation will be held May 18th; Grain Valley High School graduation is set for May 22nd.
Under new business, the board approved grant funding from three sources. The first grant, a DESE School Safety Grant, totaling $300,000, will be utilized to update surveillance cameras and install chain link fencing at elementary schools. A DESE Immediate Responsive Services grant in the amount of $58,331 will be used to hire a family school liaison. Third, a Children’s Services Fund grant totaling $300,000 payable over a three-year period, will be used for training and resources for teachers.
The board approved the addition of three new staff positions: a family-school liaison, kindergarten teacher for 2023-24, and an immediate paraprofessional opening.
The board also approved the purchase of a Frontline Education software subscription, which includes comparative analytics software to allow the district to compare themselves to other districts in the area. Assistant Superintendent Nick Gooch explained the service will allow the district to see where they are lacking and assist in building a new salary schedule.
The Board of Aldermen met Monday, April 24th, certifying the results of the April election, installing recently elected aldermen, recognizing outgoing alderman Shea Bass and standout GVHS basketball player Grace Slaughter, and approving the first reading of several ordinances related to amendments to municipal code.
Mayor Todd presented a proclamation to GVHS senior Grace Slaughter for her outstanding achievements on the basketball court and the classroom.
Todd also presented a proclamation to outgoing aldermen Shea Bass for his four years of service to the board.
Re-elected aldermen Tom Cleaver and Darren Mills and newly elected alderman Brian Bray took the oath of office.
Under ordinances, the board approved the first reading of three ordinances related to amendments to municipal code including abuse of a child and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police Chief Ed Turner said the recent passage of recreational marijuana in Missouri necessitates changes, as they have encountered cases of children exposed to the point that they had to seek medical care due to exposure.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be held at 7:00pm on Monday, May 8th at City Hall.
The May Senior Citizens Luncheon will be held Wednesday, May 3rd from 11:30am - 1:00pm at the Grain Valley Community Center, 713 Main Street.
The May menu includes fried chicken leg, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, biscuit, and strawberry poke cake.
Bingo follows each luncheon, starting at 1:00pm for $1/card.
Please RSVP by calling 816-847-6230 or email to email@example.com.
Central Jackson County Fire Protection District (CJCFPD) will host a Safe Sitter babysitting class on May 27th from 9:00am - 4:00pm. Participants will be taught life and safety skills for staying home alone while babysitting.
The course offers knowledge on the developmental stages of children, basic first aid, CPR, choking hazards, and diaper changing. The course is designed for students in grade 6-8 but is beneficial for older students as well. The program cost is $75, which includes the student textbook and course completion certificate. All students will receive instruction in American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR/First Aid, and have the option to purchase a CPR certification car for an additional $20.
The student will need to provide their own lunch and snacks for the day, refrigerators are available if needed.
To register, please call JCJFPD at 816-463-8540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kids are invited to show off their angling skills at Jackson County Parks + Rec’s 40th Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 6 at 9200 Beach Road, Lake Jacomo in Fleming Park. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The contest will run from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m., with awards to follow.
This FREE, fun-filled family event is open to kids ages 15 years old and under and includes a casting clinic and fishing contest. Prizes and trophies will be awarded for the top three largest fish by weight in each age category, the smallest fish overall and the most fish caught overall.
All children must be accompanied by an adult and should bring bait, a bucket to hold their catch and a fishing pole. The first 250 kids to register will receive a FREE fishing pole courtesy of Pure Fishing, but those poles will not be assembled.
Lake Jacomo in Fleming Park is located at 9200 Beach Road, Lees Summit MO 64081, opposite the Jacomo campground.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
If you are looking at this photo and thinking déjà vu, you are right. About two years ago, June 17, 2021, I ran this photo in the Valley News and told you what I could find at that time about the Liberty Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, the member names and the officers from 1945.
Shortly afterward, I received a copy of the history from Cinda (Nading) & Mike Reeder. members of Liberty Chapter before it merged with the Blue Springs Chapter in 1981. If you are interested in the entire early history of the Order of Eastern Star in Grain Valley, I would encourage you to visit the Grain Valley Historical Museum.
The “History of Liberty Chapter #413 was written by Birdie Potts Brown Davidson and recorded on June 18, 1969. While I won’t attempt to tell you all of it, I will give you a few excerpts which I find particularly interesting. (I really wanted to say ….I find particularly amusing!
“Sister Hazel Reppert’s mother, Zoe Henthorn of Buckner, met with us May 31, 1918 to institute this chapter.
It was the closing year of World War I. People being patriotic chose the name Liberty Chapter.
The Stars arranged to pay the Royal Neighbors $4 a year for the use of the piano and 25 cents a meeting night to the janitor who was hired by the Masons.
August 22, ten dollars was sent to Grand Chapter. In other words we were on a trial basis U. D. until Grand Chapter voted to issue a charter which is dated December 18, 1918."
"On was a cold snowy night Thursday, January 9, 1919, Liberty Chapter was constituted with six Grand officers and two members from Independence being present in our hall.”
Mrs. Davidson went one to list every officer of Liberty Chapter from 1918 through 1965. It is my belief that the Stars met in what came to be known as the “Lodge Hall.” It was located on the second floor above the Bank of Grain Valley. It was also used by The Masons, The Modern Woodman, and The Royal Neighbors of America. Evidently, the Royal Neighbors owned the piano!
Mike Reeder, GVHS Class of 1966, was initiated in Liberty Chapter in February, 1975. He was the 2020 Worthy Grand Patron for Missouri. Visit the Historical Society to view other photos and keepsakes from the O. E. S.
Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society
by Rudi Keller, Missouri Independent
The Missouri Senate on Tuesday night fell into an intramural fight among Republicans over whether to use the budget to put limits on diversity, equity and inclusion programs in state government.
The heated argument continued over nearly six hours before a bipartisan vote defeated an amendment from Sen. Denny Hoskins that would have banned diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives in funding for public schools.
After the defeat, several Republicans voiced opposition to budget increases for the coming year, arguing that it was a violation of conservative principles. But only one attempt was made to cut any funding. That defeated amendment targeted $50 million for stadium improvements in Kansas City in advance of the 2026 FIFA World Cup matches.
When it was over, the fiscal 2024 operating budget went back to the Missouri House with only minor changes from the $49.9 billion proposal approved last week by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Senate wrapped up the debate at about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Work on all budget bills must be completed by May 5.
Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, first tried to impose a blanket ban on state departments using appropriated funds for the diversity programs. Hoskins’ proposal was a narrower version of language added in the House to every budget bill that state agencies warned would interfere with purchasing, contracts and payments for medical services.
His supporters, mainly from the disbanded conservative caucus, argued that fealty to the state Republican Party platform demanded they back Hoskins’ amendment.
“The consequences to the members of this chamber will be permanent damage,” said Sen. Bill Eigel, a Republican from Weldon Spring and a likely candidate for governor in 2024.
Other GOP senators said they were more concerned about functional public services than party ideology.
“This will keep people on Facebook happy, but I don’t know what it will do to state government,” said Sen. Mike Cierpiot, R-Lee’s Summit.
Hoskins’ amendment was ruled out of order by Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia. The language had no place in an appropriations bill, Rowden ruled, because the Missouri Supreme Court had made clear that substantive policy questions cannot be settled in an annual appropriation bill.
“This is designed to set policy, not to spend a specific amount of money,” Rowden said.
The next attempt was to place even narrower language in the budget line allocating $4 billion to support public schools.
Democrats, who had remained silent throughout the earlier debate, denounced the renewed effort. Senate Democratic Leader John Rizzo of Independence said the amendment was the latest right-wing outrage demanding the attention of lawmakers. Another similar issue this year is the debate over gender-affirming treatments for minors and participation in sports based on gender.
“Next year there will be another acronym that is the scariest thing in the world and if we don’t do it now the sky will fall,” Rizzo said.
And Black senators said they were personally offended by the attempts to limit programs encouraging diversity and inclusion.
“You have embedded the structural, systematic discriminatory racism in the policies and laws of this country,” Sen. Karla May, D-St. Louis, said. “And yet, you want to say we don’t need diversity, equity and inclusion. I mean, you can’t make this up.”
Hoskins’ amendment was defeated on a 14-18, with nine Republicans joining the nine Democrats present in opposition.
The next step in the budget process will be House-Senate negotiations over the vast differences between the chambers. Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee will hold hearings on four bills setting the state construction budget for the coming year.
The Senate operating plan spends almost $4.3 billion more than the House from all funding sources and $3 billion more from the general revenue fund. One large item, in the construction budget in the House and the operating budget in the Senate, is funding to widen Interstate 70.
The House funded Gov. Mike Parson’s $859 million plan to widen three stretches totaling 55 miles, plus $180 million more for other road projects. The Senate plan incorporates Appropriations Committee Chairman Lincoln Hough’s proposal to spend $2.8 billion on I-70, with $1.4 billion from general revenue surplus funds and $1.4 billion from bond debt.
Other major Senate additions to the budget include:
“There were billions of dollars worth of asks that the committee did not approve, either for members of the committee or others here,” he said.
The question as the budget goes to negotiations isn’t whether the state can afford any of the budget items but whether House and Senate members can agree on any particular item.
The revenue estimate made in December anticipated significant slowing of the double-digit growth in tax receipts experienced since 2021. Parson’s budget projected a $4.9 billion general surplus on June 30 and, if revenue and spending matched his proposal, a $3.8 billion surplus at the end of fiscal 2024.
However, revenues have remained higher than anticipated, though slower than recent history. Through Tuesday, general revenue growth for the fiscal year is 8.2%, which would add about $880 million to the surplus if sustained to June 30.
Budget officials acknowledge that the December estimate is low but have not released revised figures.
The operating budget passed by the House would spend about $600 million less than estimated revenue in the coming year, while the Senate budget would exceed it by about $1.9 billion.
The most bipartisan vote during the budget debate came when Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Cassville, tried to use the budget to block a landfill project near Kansas City. He proposed a $200,000 amendment to study the wide ranging environmental and economic impacts of the project that would also have barred any landfill construction during the study.
“I would hope the body would support an environmental study to potentially protect my constituents from a harmful sort of endeavor coming into my community,” Brattin said.
Sen. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, said the amendment wasn’t based on an objective reason to oppose the landfill. She reminded Brattin that she is on a committee that heard his bill to block construction.
“All of the testimony was ‘NIMBY, not in my back yard, I don’t want this here, it is impacting me,’” Coleman said.
That wasn’t good enough, she said.
“For the rest of the body,” Coleman said, “it is imperative we evaluate policy based on the impact to the state and not on one single district.”
The Senate was evenly split on the roll-call vote, with 11 Republicans joined by four Democrats in support and 11 Republicans joined by four Democrats in opposition, defeating the amendment on a tie.
Senate Democratic Leader John Rizzo of Independence speaks Tuesday during debate on the state budget. Rizzo said annual cultural fights with Republicans were “exhausting” and “predictable” (Rudi Keller/Missouri Independent).
by Michael Smith
The Grain Valley girls soccer team offense is continuing to roll.
In their 10 games prior to Tuesday’s non-conference contest against Blue Springs at home, the Eagles averaged 5.5 goals per game.
Their offensive barrage continued against the Wildcats as they were led by junior midfielder Emma Thiessen led the team with two goals in a 4-0 victory.
The loss was redemption for the Eagles, who lost to Blue Springs 3-2 in the first round of the playoffs in 2022.
“We really had a chip on our shoulder and wanted to beat them,” Grain Valley junior Annabelle Totta said.
Grain Valley (12-4) got an early goal in the second minute when Thiessen scored on a counterattack as she floated a shot over goalkeeper Mady Cates, who came out to challenge. For the rest of the first half, the Eagles controlled possession but had issues with giveaways and connecting passes in Blue Springs’ third of the field.
“I changed the formation a little bit and added a little bit more players in the midfield to help keep possession,” Grain Valley head coach Brett Lewis said. “That helped spring the attack forward, as well. I also thought the girls turned up their intensity level in the second half.”
Things went much better for the Eagles in the second half as they scored three goals in the final 40 minutes. In the 43rd minute, Totta received the ball from a teammate at the top of the 18-yard box. She dribbled inside the box, zig zagged around two defenders, blasted a shot off the bottom of the crossbar and it bounced off the ground and into the net to give Grain Valley a 2-0 lead.
“I was kind of already going, so I was like, I can’t lose it now,” Totta said. “I went as far as I could to get closer to the goal. I kind of got lucky with that shot to get it over the keeper.”
Moments later, Thiessen and freshman Radleigh Childers connected on an equally impressive goal as Totta’s. Childers dribbled the ball along the right sideline. With a Blue Springs defender right by her, she fell down, but quickly sprung back up and blasted a long pass toward the left post of the Wildcats’ goal. Thiessen made a run toward the goal from the left side of the penalty box and booted the ball in mid air and into the net for a 3-0 advantage.
“It was a great play that she dialed up,” Thiessen said of the pass from Childers. “With her dribbling down the sideline, I knew I had to be in the box for the cross. The ball just came to me, and I had to have the control and composure to be in front of the goal and finish it.”
Late in the second half, Grain Valley put the game away when junior Meghan Knust sent a corner kick right in front of the Blue Springs goal line and sophomore midfielder Ally Gilbert punched in a close-range shot to put the exclamation point on the win.
On defense, the Grain Valley back line and goalkeeper Alayna Maybell stymied the Blue Springs attack as the freshman goalkeeper made six saves. The back line helped limit Blue Springs shot and it got the game ball following the victory.
“She’s grown from being a field player and being a goalkeeper,” Thiessen said. “It’s huge that we have her and that she’s stepped up to be our goalie. She’s working at it. You can tell.”
From left, freshman goalkeeper Alayna Maybell had six saves, junior Emma Thiessen had two goals and junior Annabelle Totta scored a goal as the trio played a big party in Grain Valley's 4-0 win over Blue Springs Tuesday at home. Photo credit: Michael Smith
The following information is derived from Grain Valley Police Department daily calls service log for the week of April 19-24, 2023.
April 19, 2023
700 Blk N Main St
Citizen contact - MVA
I70 @ 24 MM
1200 Blk NW Long Dr
600 Blk NW Yennie Ave
1100 Blk BB
700 Blk N Main St
600 Blk NW Whitney
NW Maple Dr/Woodbury
1100 Blk SW Dean Dr
Citizen contact - speeders patrol request
100 Blk Eagles
April 20, 2023
1100 Blk NW Golfview
Property damage report
Motor vehicle accident report
1200 Blk NW Golfview
Main St/NE James Rollo
Motor vehicle accident
1200 Blk NW Phelps Dr
200 Blk NE Hannah Ct
400 Blk SW Cross Creek
1000 Blk SW Mountain View Ct
April 21, 2023
Motor vehicle theft
600 Blk NW Jefferson St
1200 Blk NW Willow
100 Blk McQuerry
Main & Front
Duncan & Dillingham
Subject on bicycle
Motor vehicle accident
1400 Blk NE Jaclyn
700 Blk NW Green Dr
SW Cross Creek & Eagles Pkwy
Motor vehicle accident
Main St & I-70
NW Duncan and Rosewood
Water main break area check
800 Blk SW Meadowwood Dr
April 22, 2023
1000 Blk NW Dogwood
Check on water main break
1100 Blk NW Burr Oak
700 Blk NW Green Dr
1400 Blk NE Jaclyn
1100 Blk NW Eagle Ridge Blvd
1300 Blk NW Willow
1800 Blk NW Madison Ct
1200 Blk NW R D Mize Rd
1400 Blk NW Broadway
Buckner-Tarsney & Rock Creek
April 23, 2023
1400 Blk NE Mary Ct
700 Blk SW Ginger Hill Dr
900 Blk SW Minter
1200 Blk NW Eagle Ridge Dr
500 Blk SW Brome
300 Blk SW Eagle's Pkwy
1200 Blk NW Ashley Dr
1300 Blk NW Brentwood
200 Blk NW Jefferson St
900 Blk SW Minter
April 24, 2023
800 Blk NW Par Dr
200 Blk NW Jefferson St
1200 Blk NW Long Dr
Endangering welfare of child
200 Blk NW Jefferson St
200 Blk Harris
Meadow Dr & 40 Hwy
Motor vehicle accident
Additional calls for service:
Suicidal Subject : 2
Domestic Violence: 1
Order of Protection: 3