Local Payroll, Accounting, Tax, and Retirement Pros Offer Free Lunch-and-Learn for Small Business Owners October 3rd
Local experts in payroll, accounting, tax, and retirement are offering a free luncheon program for small business owners to learn how to save time and money by reducing the administrative burdens of running a business, as well as ways to lower their taxes. On the agenda are top human resources and compliance issues, tax planning and savings strategies, and retirement plan options.
The free luncheon program will be held Thursday, October 3rd from 11:30am – 1:00pm at Sinclair’s Restaurant, 1402 NW Highway 7, Blue Springs.
Speakers will include professionals from the following firms:
Paychex (Overland Park, Kansas), which provides payroll, benefits, human resources and insurance services;
Floyd, Meinershagen & Co. (Grain Valley, Missouri), certified public accountants offering accounting and tax services;
ECS Capital Investments (Blue Springs, Missouri) and Farmer & Betts Pension Consultants.
To RSVP, call Floyd, Meinershagen & Co. at 816-847-0536, extension 0, by October 1.
Looking Back: Hometown Hero Ken Gibler
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Kenneth Gibler was the middle child born to Lottie and Clinton Gibler on January 31, 1931. Ken had an older sister, Louise, and two older brothers, Malcolm and Clint. He also had a younger sister, Linda Kay, and two younger brothers, Denzil and Maurice.
Ken was born in rural Audrain County, Missouri. His father was a section foreman with the steam railroad and at that time Mexico, Missouri was a major hub on the Chicago and Alton line. I imagine the C & A must have relocated him in Grain Valley because while the 1940 U. S. Census shows they were residents of Grain Valley, it also states Audrain County was their residence in 1935.
By the early 1950s I remember Mr. Gibler as the man who met the train in the morning and evening with a wooden cart which he used to take the U. S. Mail from the train to the post office.
But back to Kenneth. He graduated from Grain Valley High School in 1949 and like his siblings, he left his mark. A three-sport athlete, he lettered in football, basketball and track. But, his greatest skill and probably his greatest love was football. In the fall of 1948 he was a team captain and his teammates voted him winner of the Napier Award for team leadership and most inspirational player.
After high school, Ken enrolled at Missouri Valley College, to pursue a degree in education and play football. He was a star at Missouri Valley earning four letters in football and two letters in track and field.
In the fall of 1955, the Missouri Valley Viking’s football team rolled through a tough nine game schedule and ended the season with an 8-1 record. The Vikings were chosen to play in the Mineral Water Bowl in Excelsior Springs, Mo., on Thanksgiving Day against the defending bowl champions, the Hastings College Broncs.
Valley ended the competition victorious in a one-sided 31-7 game. Valley then received a bowl bid to play Juniata College of Huntingdon, Pa., in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
When the game ended it was a 6-6 tie, but Valley had broken Juniata College’s 23 game winning streak. The Viking’s lone score in the game was a 10-yard TD reception from the QB to Ken Gibler!
The 1955 team is the only team in the history of Missouri Valley College football to play in two bowl games in the same season. The season earned the team a spot in the MVC Athletic Hall of Fame.
During his senior season Ken was co-captain of the football team and received the Williamson’s first team Little All-American Honors and NAIA All-American Honorable Mention Honors.
Ken graduated from Missouri Valley College in 1957. Following graduation he went to Blue Springs (MO) High School to teach Physical Education and to be the Head Football and Track Coach. Ken went on to Northern Arizona University to complete his Master’s Degree while working as a Professor of Physical Education, Head Track Coach, and Assistant Football Coach.
Ken returned to Missouri Valley College in 1968 as Head Football and Track Coach, and as an Associate Professor of Physical Education. In 1973 Ken was appointed the Missouri Valley College Director of Athletics.
During his 12 seasons as head football coach Ken had a record of 90-27-6; his teams competed in two bowl games and in two NAIA National Championship Play-Offs, won six conference championships, and numerous coaching awards.
In 1980 Coach Ken Gibler was inducted into the Missouri Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was inducted posthumously into the Grain Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Note: 1957 was a good year for the Gibler family!
Ken’s brother, Maurice was captain of the football team at GVHS and won the Napier Award.
Ken’s brother Denzil Gibler played basketball for the Viking’s and achieved all-conference first team honors for the 1956-57 season. He was inducted into the MVC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
From 1979-83 Andy Gibler (Denzil’s son, Ken’s nephew) was a tight end for the Mizzou Tigers, a starter for two years and a captain his senior year. Andy was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Pathways of Honor, a local nonprofit organization established to honor veterans, and Grain Valley Chiropractic have teamed up to host a Chili Cookoff on Saturday, October 5th to raise funds to complete the Legacy Plaza Veterans Tribute.
The Chili Cook-Off Competition will be held Saturday October 5, 2019 in the pavilion behind the Grain Valley Community Center. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are encouraged to enter to compete against each other for the honor of being crowed the chili cookoff champion. Cooks from the Grain Valley Police Department, Grain Valley City Hall, Moxie Pest Control, Purple Peace Foundation, and Central Jackson Country Fire Protection District have registered to date.
Team registration is open till October 1, 2019 and registration forms are at Grain Valley Chiropractic, Valley Tax Service, Grain Valley City Hall and the Grain Valley Community Center. The registration fee of $25.00 will cover the team’s Health Department application and permit issued after inspections.
The public is invited to join in the fun on October 5th, and a number of family-friendly activities will be included in the event. Family fun starts at 11:30am with a bounce house, balloon twisting by Funtastic Balloon Creations, and music by a local DJ.
The public can taste chili by purchasing a $5.00 tasting ticket. Taste testers may vote for the People’s Choice Trophies at the Cook-Off.
Tickets are available at Grain Valley Chiropractic, Valley Tax Service, and the Community Center, and will be sold at the event. For additional questions please call 816-443-5485.
Sponsors of the event include OOIDA and Valley Tax Service. Additional sponsors are welcome. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, call 816-434-5485.
Funds raised at the event will assist in the completion of Phase 3 of the Legacy Plaza Veterans Tribute at Butterfly Trail in Grain Valley.
Phase 2 of the Legacy Plaza Veterans Tribute was completed earlier this month.
“Bill Bushey Concrete Construction completed work on Phase 2 of the Legacy Plaza Veterans Tribute on September 12, 2019 which included building the concrete plaza with the six flagpole bases built into the concrete for the six branches of our military. Four concrete pads were also poured that will have benches installed on them in next sixty days. A new feature was added to the site, which is a small flag pole plaza for the POW- MIA Flag to wave,” Michael Switzer, Secretary of the Board of Pathways of Honor said.
The site was also landscaped with additional dirt and is ready for native plantings in 2020. Phase 3 involves the addition of the six flag poles, flags, and landscaping. Funds raised from the chili cookoff competition will aid Pathways of Honor in completing this third phase of the project.
For more information on Pathways of Honor, visit www.pathwaysofhonor.com.
Phase 2 of the Legacy Plaza Veterans Tribute was recently completed. The plaza is located at Butterfly Trail in Grain Valley.
A chili cookoff competition is being held Saturday, October 5th to help raise funds to add six flag poles, flags, and landscaping.
Photo credit: Pathways of Honor
In addition to supporting the Legacy Plaza Veterans Tribute through the Chili Cookoff, Pathways of Honor is selling “story bricks” to honor veterans.
Visit donationbricks.com/legacyplaza for more information.
Photo credit: Sara Unrein
by Wayne Geiger
There’s an old adage that suggests, “there’s two things you should never talk about in public: religion and politics. The obvious reason is the potential for disagreement and inevitable conflict. I’d like to suggest a third topic.
It was an ordinary day. I was chatting with a group of people in a circle. The conversation was light and pleasant. I’m not sure who brought it up, but a potentially awkward and polarizing topic disrupted the harmonic discourse.
Once this topic emerged, in rapid fire succession, everyone felt compelled to adamantly and unapologetically share their personal opinion. You probably already guessed the topic: meatloaf.
Before too long, I too, was caught up in the debate as a string of buried emotions began to well up in my soul. Like a near-death experience, decades of meatloaf memories flooded my mind. I was catapulted back to my childhood, sitting at the dining table, and eating rectangular meat with bar-b-que sauce.
I also thought of Randy, Ralphie’s little brother in “A Christmas Story,” who sat at the dinner table with a load of meatloaf on his plate. He exclaimed in defiance, “Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I hate meatloaf.” This was the breaking point for his father who responded, “Alright, I'll get that kid to eat. Where's my screwdriver and my plumber's helper? I'll open up his mouth and I'll shove it in.” Meatloaf, it seems, is an emotional topic and brings out the best and worst in us.
As the meatloaf discussion continued, I learned a couple of things about my friends. Meatloaf has a way of exposing the soul.
The majority of the group didn’t like meatloaf growing up. However, in the present, if they liked meatloaf, they really only liked their own and were only mildly open to any type of revision to their current recipe.
I was not a huge fan of meatloaf growing up (sorry mom). Maybe it was the name—a compound word that sounds utterly revolting: A loaf of meat. Personally, I think only bread and cake should come in loaves. Loaves of meat are just unnatural.
As time went on, I learned that I preferred the meaty mixture with the appropriate side dishes. For me, anything served with brown gravy, mashed potatoes, and corn couldn’t be all bad—especially if you just mixed them all together. Like love, gravy covers a multitude of sins.
Meatloaf has quite the history. Kimi Harris, for MNN.com, wrote, “Germans hid boiled eggs inside meatloaf, the Romans enjoyed theirs made with wine-soaked bread, spices, and pinenuts. Medieval Europe served it mixed with fruit, nuts and seasonings. Sometimes it was served hot, or wrapped in ham, or served cold with sauces, or was found jiggling in layers of gelatin.”
As time marched on, meatloaf became less of a cuisine and more of a necessity. In an article in Bon Appetit by Frank Bruni and Jennifer Steinhauer, they noted that meatloaf “was often a sort of culinary scrap heap, a refuge for leftovers, in the spirit of many casseroles and of shepherd’s pie. It was a way to stretch protein. It was a way to use up excess vegetables. It was a ragtag orchestra of ingredients on the verge of expiration.” Sounds yummy! All you need is brown gravy.
In the U.S., meatloaf was not mentioned in print until the late 1800s. It appeared in connection with the invention of the meat grinder. Try not to gag. Some researchers suggest that meatloaf may have even been eaten for breakfast. Okay, now you can gag.
For obvious reasons, meatloaf really took off during the Great Depression. Combined with fillers like oats, breadcrumbs, and other starches, it was a way to extend protein and feed more with less. In a very difficult time in our nation’s history: meatloaf saved lives.
Intrigued, and against my better judgment, I decided to do a non-scientific Facebook poll on the topic of meatloaf. Like sharks responding to blood in the water, people felt compelled to share their deep, emotional connection to meatloaf. I was able to subdivide the comments into several categories.
Some People Hate Meatloaf:
Many respondents, like Ralphie’s brother Randy, just don’t like meatloaf. Period. For example, Bobbye said, “I DO NOT LIKE MEATLOAF. I have tried about every recipe that I came across and still DO NOT LIKE MEATLOAF” (emphasis hers). Some indicated that they were forced to eat it as a kid. Sharing a traumatic experience, Cory wrote, “It’s the worst ever! I told my dad when I was 5 I knew I would hate it, but he made me try it anyway. One bite and I proved him right. He never made me try it again!!”
Carolyn, who likes green eggs and ham, but not meatloaf, blurted, “I do not like any meat in a loaf. I would not like it here or there. I would not like it ANYWHERE!”
Meatloaf is Highly Controversial:
Everyone has an opinion on meatloaf. In fact, meatloaf is so controversial that it even divides families. Amy wrote, “I have a crockpot recipe that finally satisfied my family after trying other recipes. But, ‘one’ of my children can’t stand the smell and I have to text her the day before I make it to warn her not to come over that day.”
Meatloaf even affects marriages. Lara wrote, “As newlyweds, my hubby and I arrived late to choir practice one evening. His excuse was that we were finishing dinner. The choir members asked what I had made. When he responded, ‘Meatloaf,’ a chorus of ladies declared that the honeymoon was over.” To some, meatloaf is a subject of contention and division and an indicator of familial and marital intimacy.
Meatloaf Brings out Some Deep Emotion:
Personal emotions concerning meatloaf vary on both sides of the spectrum. For some, meatloaf brings out some very positive emotions and a sense of family. Kay remembered, “My favorite memory of what home felt like as a child involves meatloaf.” Courtney agreed, noting, “Meatloaf was actually my favorite food as a child! I still like it to this day, but probably not as much as when I was growing up.” Sandy remembered, “I loved my mom’s old-fashioned meatloaf. I try to replicate it but can’t seem to quite get it right. She made it with ketchup and put ketchup on top. Sweet memories of my mom.”
To many people, meatloaf is a comfort food and has the power to conjure up deep emotions—bringing us home to our roots. It is a strong connection of family and love.
Meatloaf is Personal:
People who like meatloaf are incredibly opinionated and unapologetically vocal. Everyone had an opinion on a recipe or topping. Wendy said, “Meatloaf is not ready to serve if it doesn't have a glaze of brown sugar, ketchup and honey baked in the top.”
Kala agreed. She said, “if it doesn't have honey, brown sugar, and ketchup on top, you're doing it wrong.” And of course, meatloaf is meant to be eaten at home. Aimee said, “It's a hit or miss when at a restaurant- it’s best to see a picture first or don't risk it!”
I fall into this camp. I only like one meatloaf these days. My wife’s. Although I don’t have the exact recipe, it’s a mixture of meat, oats, bacon, green peppers, onions, and spicy tomatoes, topped with french fried onions. It’s not cooked in a loaf—but in a larger pan. I guess the honeymoon is not over.
To this day, when my wife invites one of our sons to come over for dinner, she asks, “What would you like to eat?” Without hesitation, he says, “Meatloaf.” Decades from now, when we have passed and all that is left is the memory of the sweet aroma of Momma’s meatloaf, no doubt, he will remember it fondly, smile, and may even shed a tear. That’s the power of meatloaf.
Meatloaf has quite the history and affects us deeply. Meatloaf is here to stay. So, embrace the meaty moments and write down your recipe for future generations. But, remember, meatloaf, is a highly controversial topic and it’s best not to bring it up in public.
Wayne Geiger is the Pastor of First Baptist Grain Valley, an Adjunct Associate Professor of Speech, and freelance writer. He can be reached at waynegeiger.com.
by John Unrein
Despite spirited play in the second half, the Grain Valley Boys Soccer Team couldn’t erase Platte County’s first half lead and ended up dropping the home match 1-0. The visiting Pirates were undefeated heading into play against the Eagles on Tuesday, September 24th.
The first half witnessed the Pirates controlling possession of the ball for much of the first 40 minutes. Platte County’s lone goal came off the foot of Senior Christian Peterson thirteen minutes into the half at 27:18.
Further damage against the Eagles was limited by the strong goalkeeping of Bryant Madden. The senior would stop twelve of the thirteen shots on goal. Madden was also active in communicating the placement of the soccer ball and the opposition on the field to his teammates.
“I wanted to make sure that my team had support in the back and that I was consistent in trying to get the ball forward,” Madden said.
“I have a view of the pitch the whole time. As I see the field, I see plays and players moving and try to direct traffic to get us into position where we can defend and stop the ball with the intent of moving forward to score.”
The Eagles had eights shots on goal for the evening, with five of those attempts coming in the second half. Grain Valley was able to flip the script and control possession of the ball for much of the last 40 minutes.
This included a breakaway by Senior Forward Nate Booker who’s charge came up short with the ball ending up out of bounds and the subsequent corner kick resulting in an unsuccessful goal attempt.
Grain Valley would also have a penalty kick blocked with fifteen minutes left in the half. Senior Midfielder Jack Knust also got into the goalie’s box with thirty-three seconds left in the game. The contact that led to Knust ending up on the ground was ruled incidental, and the Eagles could not capitalize on the corner kick that followed as time would expire.
Eagles Boys Head Soccer Coach Tyler Nichol shared his thoughts on the play of his team.
“The goal we gave up tonight came from our own mistake. We had a soft moment in our backline and giftwrapped them a goal. Platte County is a good team and good teams make you pay for mistakes. They (the Pirates) really slowed the game down and it was hard to watch the first half. I don’t know if the ball was in bounds for longer then ten seconds at a time,” Nichol said.
“Our boys brought it in the second half and we just ran out of time. Ten more minutes played and I bet we tie the game. It goes back to not shooting ourselves in the foot the first twenty minutes of the game.”
Other bright spots for the Eagles included the play of Freshman Midfielder Austin Schmitt and Sophomore Midfielder Micah Siems. Both were instrumental in keeping control of the soccer ball through headers, nifty dribbling, and timely passing that set up offensive opportunities for their teammates.
“Austin plays for the six for us and directs traffic as a midfielder. As a true freshman for us he’s a starter. He’s quietly a leader in that he’s comfortable and confident on the ball. Micah came in tonight and contributed strongly as well,” Nichol said.
The Eagles will next face the Oak Grove Panthers at Oak Grove on September 30th at 7:00 pm.
Midfielder Austin Schmitt advances the ball downfield with a pass.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
Midfielder Luis Gilardi attempts a penalty kick.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
Residents are invited to celebrate the arrival of fall by spending the day at Jackson County Parks + Rec’s 44th Annual Missouri Town 1855 Fall Festival of Arts, Crafts and Music, Saturday, October 5th and Sunday, October 6th.
Missouri Town 1855 is an authentic antebellum farming community located at 8010 East Park Road in Jackson County’s Fleming Park. Missouri Town 1855 is comprised of more than 25 authentically furnished buildings dating from the 1820s to 1860s on 30 acres.
The popular annual event will take place on the grounds of Jackson County Parks + Rec’s Missouri Town 1855 on Saturday, October 5th from 10:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday, October 6th from 11:00am – 5:00pm. Admission fee is $10 per car/van and $20 per school or commercial bus.
During the festival, the entire village comes alive with the authentic music and dance of the 1850s. Interpreters will share their passion for bygone skills such as cooking over a wood fire, wood working, blacksmithing, the art of tinsmith and a variety of fiber crafts. Children will find fun and excitement with the time-honored games that were popular with kids over 150 years ago.
Activities include a mule-powered sorghum mill, which demonstrates the entire process of sorghum production, an antique tractor show, children’s games, crafts and archery, wagon rides, and entertainment by musicians, dancers, interpreters and storytellers.
New this year is “Pickin’ and a Picnic”. Food vendors will offer a variety of festival treats while an amplified celebration of traditional music will be held from Noon – 2:00pm each day of the festival. Local bands “Boxcar Brethren” (performing Saturday) and “No Mountain String Band” (performing Sunday) will be featured.
For more information, visit www.makeyourdayhere.com/missouritown.
Due to predicted storms on Friday evening, Grain Valley High School (GVHS) has rescheduled a number of homecoming activities. The homecoming football game against Winnetonka has been moved to Thursday, September 26th. The game begins at 7:00pm at Grain Valley High School.
A GVHS Alumni tent will be set up near the main gate during the game. GVHS alumni and their families are invited to enjoy free food and drinks, peruse photos from decades past, and mingle with old friends.
The Homecoming Court will be recognized during half time. The GVHS Athletic Hall of Fame induction has been moved to the October 11th football game against Kearney High School. Delanne Carlson and Doug Lee will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at 6:30pm prior to the football game.
An Alumni Breakfast and tours of the high school will be held on Saturday, September 28th from 8:30am—10:00am. A free breakfast buffet will be offered for GVHS alumni and their families.
The Homecoming Dance will be held Saturday, September 28th at 8:00pm at Grain Valley High School.
The City of Grain Valley Board of Aldermen passed three ordinances and one resolution at their September 23rd meeting. Each passed by a unanimous 6-0 vote.
New ordinances included a new chapter addressing medical marijuana facilities and conditional uses, the city’s annual tax levy for government operations during the 2019 calendar year, and authorizing the escrow of funds sufficient to pay a portion of the series 2011 outstanding general obligation bonds.
The sole resolution passed by the board was to authorize the use of the City of Lee’s Summit Co-op Bid to replace failing curb and sidewalks at various locations in Grain Valley. City Administrator Ryan Hunt commented that the City of Lee’s Summit Co-op bid was used due to it being less than that of Jackson County for the repairs.
Affected areas of repair will include the 300 to 500 block areas of NW Woodbury Drive and streets within the Greystone subdivision. Work is expected to start in these locations the week of September 30th.
Once completed, the following will have edge mill, patch and asphalt overlay completed (approximately 6,220 linear feet of roadway) in the Greystone subdivision. The streets included are: NE Greystone Blvd., NE Erin Ct., NE Mary Ct., NE Katie Ct., NE Kim Ct., NE Jaclyn Dr., NE Hannah Ct., and NE Amanda Jean Way.
In other business, Grain Valley City Attorney Joe Lauber was recognized as being only the seventh current attorney in Missouri to pass the International Municipal Lawyers Association exam. Sitting for the test is by invitation only through referral.
Other qualifications include having to be in practice for five years as a municipal lawyer, keep up on continuing education requirements, and exhibiting proof that you have a significant municipal practice.
“The exam consisted of completing four out of seven handwritten essay questions. The answers were ten to twenty pages in length with the average question being three pages on a variety of every imaginable issue that may come up in municipal law. The exam wanted to know if you could issue spot and come up with the correct analysis in application of municipal law,” Lauber said.
“The purpose of the exam is to help cities distinguish amongst lawyers who are truly experts in the field and to provide cities with a means for being able to rely on a stringent testing process with formal rules. Then a city may have confidence that their attorney is informed on state and local government law. Personally, it was quite an honor to have been invited and be named a government fellow.”
Requalification is needed every five years to maintain status achieved through the exam. Lauber will also have to go through additional training and produce articles significant to the law community as a whole in Missouri as well as the United States. The six attorneys who practice law at Lauber’s firm focus solely on municipal law.
Grain Valley City Attorney Joe Lauber was recognized at the September 23rd Board of Aldermen meeting for passing the International Municipal Lawyers Association exam.
Photo courtesy: Lauber Municipal Law
Eagles Unable To Hold On Against Pirates
by John Unrein
Grain Valley took a 17-0 lead into the start of the 4th quarter against the Platte County Pirates on Friday, September 20th.
An interception by the Pirates would lead to a touchdown, as would a long pass, and blocked punt in the final quarter. The three touchdowns by Platte County in the final twelve minutes would be too much for the Eagles to overcome as their final drive stalled and they would go on to lose 18-17.
Eagles Head Football Coach David Allie was disappointed with the bad taste of a tough two week stretch where his football team struggled to overcome mistakes.
“We shot ourselves in the foot. Lack of execution in preventing their pass rush, not being able to get the ball out fast enough to open receivers due to pressure, penalties in the running game, and turnovers hurt us,” Allie said.
“Hats off to our defense in holding them to no points for three quarters. They played tough for a long stretch tonight.”
The Pirates went up tempo on offense from their first possession in an attempt to wear down the Eagles defense and maximize the amount to times they held the football. Grain Valley’s defense answered the call in a strong manner, holding the Pirates scoreless on all seven of their first half possessions.
Four of those possessions would end with a Pirates punt, one in an interception by Sophomore Linebacker Owen Perkins of Grain Valley, one in a missed field goal attempt, and one due to a delay of game by the Pirates at the end of the first half.
Other Eagle defenders leading the charge were Senior Linebacker Seth Dankenbring and Junior Defensive Tackle Quincy Jones. Dakenbring played sideline to sideline in pass coverage and run defense, while Jones applied pressure on Platte County Junior Quarterback Christopher Ruhnke.
Grain Valley’s offense was led on the ground by Junior Quarterback Cole Keller and in receiving by Junior Wide Receiver Parker Bosserman. Keller would rack up 82 yards on 12 carries, including an impressive 46-yard scamper on a jet sweep option keep in the first quarter that would lead to the Eagles first touchdown of the game.
Bosserman contributed 78 yards receiving on 4 receptions. His biggest grab was on a play action pass from Keller that saw him dart 47 yards down the middle of the field to the end zone with 3:51 left in the third quarter. The junior also displayed steady hands and good lane choice recognition for his team on several kickoff returns.
“I tried to do the best I could tonight. I made some mistakes. Overall, as a team we just need to work on the details,” Bosserman said.
“The defensive secondary for them bit hard tonight on play action and that allowed me an easy opportunity to score on the touchdown reception. We must find ways to be more disciplined and fix the flags we’re getting at times. I have faith this team will get that done.”
The Eagles will next host the Winnetonka Griffons on Thursday, September 26th at Moody Murray Stadium. Grain Valley will look to improve on their 2-2 record against their visiting Suburban Conference opponent who will arrive with a 3-1 record, fresh off a loss to the Kearney Bulldogs.
Allie indicated his team would continue to emphasize the basics in their week of preparation leading up to the game.
“Fundamentals matter. We must hold onto the football. Special teams wise, I would like to see us get a game breaker that helps us. The blocked punt against us tonight for a touchdown, as the scoreboard shows, was huge. We are a confident team and have to get out of our own way,” Allie said.
Above: Junior Kick Returner Parker Bosserman fields a kickoff.
Below: Junior Quarterback Cole Keller keeps the ball on jet sweep option.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
Robert C. “Bob” Harmon (1912-2008) grew up in Odessa, Missouri, graduated from Central Missouri State Teachers College in 1932 and completed his education at the University of Missouri in Business and Public Administration. On May 23, 1937 he married Mildred Irene Johnson, a teacher and native of Grain Valley, Missouri. Mildred grew up near Oakland School where she and her older sister, Grace (Johnson) Storms each taught for a brief time in the 1920’s and 30’s.
Bob learned about radio while serving in the Marine Corps in the 1930s. During World War II, he worked for a manufacturing company in Kansas City which provided two-way radios for the military. When the company failed to find a civilian market for their radios they were forced to close.
To provide work for himself and the many skilled individuals unemployed after the war, in September 1946 he started his own firm, Harmon Electronics. The company began in Independence with the goal of using radio and other electronics to inform railroad engineers about overheated axle bearings called hotboxes. If these were ineffective, the train wheels could lock up and cause trains to derail.
With a contract from Southern Railway to use the equipment, in 1958 Harmon Electronics moved from Independence to its first owned facilities, a building on farm land next to the Harmon Home on Argo Road. For the next twenty-years Harmon Electronics remained a custom engineering firm to help clients find technical solutions. The work was done by only two dozen employees.
Robert E. “Gene” Harmon graduated from Grain Valley High School in 1958. After obtaining an engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 1962, he returned to Grain Valley to assume a position in the company founded by his father.
His first contribution was an electronic switch that improved the timing on railroad crossing gates. Crossing gates would not open for cars until trains had gone 100 feet or more down the track, but Gene’s device opened the gates after just two feet of clearance. His father liked the idea, and by 1964 the company had a major product to sell.
Harmon Electronics remained a private company until 1972 when Gene Harmon took the company public. For the next fifteen years Harmon Electronics went through many acquisitions and innovations resulting in restructuring. In 1987 Harmon Industries, Inc., formed as a holding company.
Bob Harmon’s vision that begin in an upholstery shop in Independence, played a huge role in supplying the nation’s and eventually the world’s railroads with advanced systems for signaling, inspections, and train control and safety. By 1998, Harmon Industries was operated by a ten-member Board of Directors chaired by Bob Harmon, the only family member still involved in the firm.
The company was sold to GE Harris Railway Electronics and by 2000 it was known only as GE Transportation. Today, the plant at the corner of Argo and Dillingham Roads is known as Alstom Signaling Operations. It’s approximately 500 employees are still manufacturing railroad safety equipment and train and highway crossing signals.
Robert C. Harmon, 1932, second from left, is pictured prior to receiving an honorary degree, Doctor of Science, from Central Missouri State University President, Ed Elliott, second from right, at the 1996 Commencement Exercises. Flanking the two are Mrs. Mildred Harmon and their son, Robert E. Harmon. (Note: Dr. Elliott is a graduate of Grain Valley High School. He and Gene are current members of the Grain Valley Education Foundation Board.) Photo courtesy of the Grain Valley Historical Society
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Grain Valley MO 64029