In a brief board meeting on October 25th, the Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance allowing for a storage unit on the site of the Missouri Made Marijuana facility.
The Board also approved the first reading of an ordinance approving the 16th and final plat of the East Kansas City Industrial Park, and the first reading of an ordinance to update Chapter 600 of the code of ordinances pertaining to alcoholic beverages.
The Board met in a separate meeting on October 26th to continue work on the 2022 budget.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be held at 7:00pm on Monday, November 8th at City Hall.
Following the defeat last year of a bond issue for a community campus, which would have included a new city hall, community center, and police station at the former Sni-A-Bar Farms site currently owned by the City, the Board of Aldermen and City leadership have discussed at length options that might be palatable to voters and address issues at the current City Hall building. After months of discussions, the Board determined the most pressing priority is the need for a new police station. Hoefer Welker, an architecture, planning and interior design firm based in Leawood, Kansas, has been retained to develop plans for a proposed building to be placed behind the current Grain Valley Community Center.
The City recently announced a panel of citizens have been convened to form a study group to assist Hoefer Welker in the process. The study group includes 7 members, two representatives from each of the City’s three wards, and an at-large representative, Dr. Amanda Allen, principal at Grain Valley North Middle School.
Wayne Geiger, Andrew Powell, Lance Schefers, Maegan Spencer, Luis Virgil, and Jo Anne Wasson-Honeywell have been appointed to serve on the study group. The group met at the Community Center with representatives from Hoefer Welker on October 26th to set goals and a schedule of meetings and site visits to other metro area civic buildings to assist in developing a plan for Grain Valley.
In addition to ensuring the project is financially sound and accommodates growth projections for the City, the group agreed their goals also include developing a facility that best fits the needs of the Grain Valley community, serves the police department well, and is easily accessible.
Following their initial meeting, the group toured the current police station located in the City Hall building. Chief James Beale, escorted the group throughout the facility, noting the areas in which the current facility is lacking.
Besides the obvious deficits in terms of space for staff to meet, securely store files, and interview victims of crime in a private and comfortable space, Beale noted several areas of concern for the study group.
The lack of a cover in the sally port (a secured entry way) and stairs leading up to the doors to the processing and holding area present safety risks for officers and those in their care. Sheet rock walls in holding cells in lieu of brick or cinder block walls also present security risks, and substandard doors in holding cells have been fortified with additional locks after prior failures.
The reception area and windows lack bulletproof glass, and this limited space for case files to be securely stored. Detectives share small office spaces, creating a less than private and comfortable experience for victims to be interviewed, according to Beale.
The study group will next tour several police and civic buildings in the metro area to gather ideas for the proposed building in Grain Valley. A larger community event will be planned for citizens to learn more about the project and provide input.
The Purple Peace Foundation, a local organization that provides a variety of services for families impacted by epilepsy, has planned a “Survey Says” fundraising event to be held on November 6th at Colonial Gardens in Blue Springs.
In addition to a catered meal by Nadler’s and a silent auction, guests will be entertained by the Game Show Source.
Tickets are $20/adults, free for kids 12 and under. Reservations are required.
Visit Purple Peace Foundation on Facebook or contact Holly Brady at 816-489-2220 or Holly@PurplePeaceFoundation.org.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Back in August I wrote about what was going on in Grain Valley 50 years ago (August 19) and twenty-five years ago (August 26) years ago.. Both articles mentioned the high school moving to a new building, and one article mentioned bridge work and the expansion of city parks. All of those topics are timely today as renovation and expansion continues in the schools throughout the district. Buckner Tarsney Road is closed for bridge repair south of town, and our city parks and walking trails continue to be renovated and repaired!
So, let’s look back 75 years. Without a doubt, the most impactful event in Grain Valley in 1945 was the sale of Sni-A-Bar Farms, the William Rockhill Nelson Estate, to Mr. & Mrs. Ralph L. Smith of Kansas City. During all of 1946 it was the goal of the farm to further improve the herd in preparation for the Sni-A-Bar Shorthorn Dispersion in 1947. At the time it was considered one of the strongest collections of breeding cattle in the world. With every animal in the entire herd listed, the sale provided the greatest buying opportunity in the history of Shorthorns in America.
Here is a portion of the letter written by my grandfather just prior to the dispersal.
“During the years that I had the care of the Sni-A-Bar herd there has been much satisfaction in producing the great show herds that annually have been among the leading winners in the most prominent fairs and livestock expositions in the United States and Canada. Perhaps still greater pride and pleasure has been derived from the success of the many patrons of Sni-A-Bar with herd bulls and breeding matrons that were produced in the herd. The constructive breeding programs that I have been permitted to develop and to pursue and the favorable results of that program have been a source of pleasure and the utmost of compensation for the years of effort that I have devoted to this grand herd of Shorthorns.”
Manager, Sni-A-Bar Farms
Mr. Will Johnson was publisher of “The Shorthorn World,” a breed magazine and he had this to say about my grandfather…
“During the three or more decades of the existence of the Sni-A-Bar herd, it has been in the custody of James Napier, master cattleman and farmer. To him must go much of the credit for the development of this superb aggregation of Shorthorns. He was presented with a grand opportunity to build superbly and he took the fullest advantage of that opportunity. His name will appear in livestock history as one of the great builders of the breed.”
Are you curious about events from Grain Valley’s past? Drop by the Historical Society Museum any Wednesday (10:00am – 3:00pm). If we don’t have the answer, we will try and help you find out.
(StatePoint) COVID-19 vaccines are overwhelmingly safe and highly effective at reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalizations and death. Unfortunately, misinformation and pervasive myths continue to sow doubt, leaving many unprotected.
Roughly 99% of deaths linked to COVID-19 in the latest wave -- and the vast majority of cases involving severe symptoms that require hospitalization -- were among patients who weren’t fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“With high levels of community spread of COVID-19, we’re once again fighting a two-front war: against the virus and against rampant misinformation,” says American Medical Association president, Gerald E. Harmon, M.D.
Here are some of the top myths physicians are hearing and what you need to know:
--Can COVID-19 vaccines impact fertility? Risks to fertility or the ability to become pregnant after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were disproven through clinical trials and real-world data points. While pregnant women weren’t specifically targeted for vaccine trials, several participants became pregnant without issue during the trial duration and there’s been no demonstrated real-world impact on fertility. Moreover, COVID-19 itself carries significant risks for pregnant women, including higher risks of preterm labor and stillbirth, and higher risks of hypertension and pneumonia for pregnant women. There’s also no evidence showing that COVID-19 vaccines affect male fertility.
--Can vaccinated people “shed” spike proteins, affecting those close to them? Vaccine shedding can only occur when a vaccine contains a weakened version of the virus. None of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States contain a live virus, so it’s not biologically possible for a vaccinated person to affect an unvaccinated person by proxy or by “shedding” spike proteins.
--I’ve already had COVID-19. Do I need the vaccine? Yes, the data shows that unvaccinated individuals are more than twice as likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were fully vaccinated after initially contracting the virus. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you.
--Why do I need the vaccine if breakthrough infections are possible? Some fully vaccinated people will still get sick because no vaccine is 100% effective. However, data show that vaccination may make COVID-19 symptoms less severe. The vaccines have also been shown to provide substantial protection against death and hospitalization in cases of breakthrough infection.
--I’m young and healthy. Do I really need the vaccine? Many young, previously healthy people have gotten seriously ill or died from COVID-19, and those numbers are increasing with new, more transmissible variants. There’s no way to predict how you’ll respond to infection. Additionally, vaccines help prevent you from carrying the virus and transmitting it to others. Reducing the number of unvaccinated people will mitigate transmission of the virus.
--I have allergies. Should I be worried about a reaction to the vaccine? There have been very rare (2.5-5 people per million) reports of severe (anaphylactic) allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. Having severe allergic reactions to certain foods, bee stings or oral medications doesn’t mean you will have an allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccination sites are prepared to evaluate and handle these situations on individual bases.
More fact-based vaccine information can be found by visiting cdc.gov or getvaccineanswers.org.
“The evidence around vaccinations is abundantly clear; they’re safe, effective and will help protect you and your loved ones from severe COVID and death,” says Dr. Harmon. “If you have questions about the vaccine, its safety, or effectiveness, please speak to your physician. We are here for you, eager to answer your questions, and get you protected from this virus.”
The Jackson County Health Department is now offering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster doses at all of its COVID-19 vaccine clinics to eligible populations.
Booster doses are now recommended for all Johnson & Johnson recipients as well as some Pfizer/Moderna recipients. Eligible Pfizer and Moderna recipients include those who have been fully vaccinated for at least six months and have certain medical conditions, are age 65+, or work/live in a setting with a high risk of COVID-19. Everyone who received a Johnson & Johnson shot is eligible for a booster dose after two months.
Community members interested in receiving a booster dose are invited to visit jacohd.org/booster-doses to check their eligibility or schedule an appointment.
by Michael Smith
Most high school coaches in any sport will likely agree that the best time for the team to play well is near the end of the regular season.
That way a team can carry the momentum of winning into the postseason.
That appears to be happening with the Grain Valley boys soccer team. It came in Tuesday’s game against Fort Osage, winners of six of its last eight games. The Eagles continued their winning ways, improving to 12-7 on the season and 6-3 in the Suburban White Conference during a 4-0 win against the Indians at Moody Murray Memorial Field.
Grain Valley has one more regular season game left against Truman on Thursday before it heads into the Class 3 District 7 Tournament as the No. 3 seed. It will take on Sedalia Smith-Cotton at 3:00pm Saturday at Warrensburg High School.
Winning seven of their last nine games could give the Eagles the momentum it needs to make a strong push to win the district tournament.
“We could easily be the first seed,” Grain Valley junior Jude Quick said. “I think Chrisman (the No. 1 seed) beat us 2-1. That was such a close game. We are right there with them. We can win districts and go to state.”
That’s the kind of confidence Grain Valley has right now after making a big improvement in their offensive output as of late. In the first 10 games of the season, the Eagles averaged 2.5 goals per game. In their last nine contests, the average has jumped to 4 goals per game.
“We’ve had a lot of success down the width of the field,” Grain Valley head coach Brett Lewis said. “Carter (Compton), Kade (Compton) and Jude (Quick) have been fantastic in the midfield at the end of the season.
“Things are coming together, and I think it’s a good time to happen.”
Another key to Grain Valley’s recent success on offense has been trying new ways to attack instead of being one dimensional.
“We have been working on playing our targets more,” Quick said. “We used to just play through balls over the top and guys would get tired running after them. Now we are staying close to the zone and playing the ball back to the mid field.”
“We have been mixing it up more. So many teams just play the long ball over the top. It’s so predictable and easy to recognize. We have made different runs and it has been working.”
Getting better at finishing shots has also been a huge help to Grain Valley.
“In the beginning of the season, we were getting shots, we just weren’t finishing them,” Grain Valley senior Austin Schmitt said. “We are just finding the back of the net this time. I was moved from the center back to center (midfield) and we moved (Owen White) to the 10 and it worked for us.”
In Tuesday’s game, the Eagles had four different players score.
Grain Valley scored two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game. Quick received a pass from Owen White and he got past a defender and punched the ball inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. Later in the first half, White scored on a give-and-go with Kade Compton as he knocked in a left-footer.
“(White) has been a stud for us in the middle,” Lewis said. “He’s scored a run. I challenged him at the beginning of the season to step up and be a leader for us in the midfield. He initiates a lot of our offense.”
Schmitt scored the Eagles’ first goal of the second half when he knocked in a head off White’s corner kick. Senior midfielder Micah Siems capped the scoring with a goal he knocked in off a rebound.
“We have five or six guys that have double digit goals, it’s not just one guy scoring 20 goals,” Schmitt said.
Grain Valley senior Austin Schmitt scored on a header off a set piece in the second half of a 4-0 victory against Fort Osage Tuesday at home.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley junior Owen White had one goal and two assists.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley senior Cylas Brewer looks for an open teammate on a throw in.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
by Phil Hanson, President & CEO, Truman Heartland Community Foundation
The whole COVID experience has somehow warped time for me. It feels like just a few weeks ago my wife and I were hiking through Glacier National Park on one of the hottest days on record, and now it’s nearly Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe we are now in the fourth quarter of 2021, but the chill in the air and fading daylight are sure signs the year-end will be here before we know it. The year-end holiday season is always the big charitable giving season, and many nonprofits depend on strong support during this time.
As I mentioned in my August column, overall charitable giving increased 3.8 percent in 2020 and totaled $471.44 Billion. This was great news that even during a pandemic and the shutdown of the economy resulting in the loss of 9.6 million jobs, our fellow citizens continued their tradition of generosity. And individual giving leads the way comprising 78 percent of total giving.
There has been a concerning trend identified regarding charitable giving. A study conducted by the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy found that the percent of households making charitable gifts has dropped over time from two-thirds of households to under half. The declines have been especially steep with middle- and low-income donors. Strong contributions from wealthy households have helped overall, giving rise to 88 percent of affluent households donating in 2020.
A group of the nation’s largest foundations (including the Kauffman Foundation) and other philanthropy leaders have recently announced the public kickoff of a campaign to drive greater giving of time and money, especially among middle-and low-income Americans. The Generosity Commission created by this group has plans to “build broad national momentum and bipartisan congressional support for positive change to reimagine generosity across America.” Their timeline is by the fall of 2023 to offer its final recommendations. As I hear updates, I plan on sharing those in future columns.
The Truman Heartland Community Foundation has the privilege of supporting the charitable giving of some of our community’s most generous people. And many of them would not be classified as “wealthy.” You can establish a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) with a $5,000 contribution. Having a DAF enables you to use cash and other assets to support your charitable giving, enabling you to give more to your favorite charities and causes.
Now is a great time to start planning your year-end charitable giving. As you do, here are a few things to keep in mind. If you have an IRA and are over age 70 ½, making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA directly to a charity is a tax-wise way to give. Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) were put on hold in 2020 but are required again in 2021. A QCD will count towards your RMD, and you won’t pay taxes on the withdrawal.
Due to the CARES Act, individuals who take the standard tax deduction can deduct up to $300 in charitable giving in 2021, and married couples who file joint returns can deduct up to $600. This is a significant change, as, before the CARES Act, taxpayers who take the standard deduction could not take any deductions for charitable gifts. We hope this provision will be made permanent, but it currently expires at year-end. I am sure it is one of those changes the Generosity Commission will be promoting.
Most people cannot itemize and take the standard deduction on their tax returns with the higher standard deduction. Charitable bunching utilizing your DAF may be a good strategy. By bunching several years of charitable giving in one year and putting that gift in your DAF, you can exceed the standard deduction and see some tax savings result from your charitable giving. You then continue supporting your favorite charities through grants from your DAF for several years while taking the standard deduction.
The clock is ticking. Don’t let the time-warp get you, or you may blink, and it will be spring, and you will have missed the opportunity to create positive change through your thoughtful giving. I hope you will take a few minutes to develop your plan, and please continue to be generous. We have lots of great organizations in our community that are counting on our support.
Phil Hanson is the president and CEO of Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Truman Heartland Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to improving the communities in and around Eastern Jackson County through partnerships with donors and community members.
For more information on charitable giving, visit www.thcf.org or call Truman Heartland at 816-836-8189.
by Michael Smith
After dropping the first set, the Grain Valley volleyball team need the second to keep the match close with Blue Springs South in the Class 5 District 14 tournament.
The second game featured 10 lead changes and the Eagles held a 22-20 advantage late. However, the Jaguars went on a 6-2 run from there to take a two-set lead.
That back-and-forth set seemed to take the wind out of the sails of Grain Valley as its season came to an end in a 25-16, 26-24, 25-20 loss in straight sets Saturday at Blue Springs South High School.
The Eagles put up a strong effort throughout but couldn’t overcome the strong offense and defense of the Jaguars, who were led by junior Tori Valentine who had 11 kills.
“Our girls wanted that game,” Grain Valley coach Tori Squiers said. “They were going to fight for every single ball whether they were running into each other or not. That’s all I can ask for.”
“(Blue Springs South) is a good team. They did everything right. We were in an emotional state of it possibly being the last game. You could tell everyone wanted this game.”
At times, the Eagles struggled to return serves and surrendered six aces to the Jaguars.
“The first set, we struggled with serve receive,” Squiers said. “In the second set we looked a lot better.”
“We lost to a good team. It wasn’t anything that we did wrong, the other team played better. I thought we could have done better with our emotional state with it being our last game.”
South also did a good job limiting some of Grain Valley’s best hitters up front, including junior Adelyn Bybee and seniors Kellie Overturf and Olivia Williams. South was able to get digs on a good amount of the Eagles’ kill attempts.
“I could watch film on them a million times, but the teams they are playing aren’t us,” Squiers said. “I think if we played them before, it would have made a huge difference. They had great defense and they had great offense.”
The Eagles finished the season with a 24-5-2 record and four seniors to graduation.
“That’s what I told the girls, ‘Keep your heads up high,” Squiers said. “We were conference champs and we won district last year. We can’t win them all.”
Grain Valley senior libero Addison Baumgartner, middle, prepares to receive the serve.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Senior Olivia Williams goes up for the jump serve.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
Grain Valley sophomore Allison Koepkey takes a jump serve.
Photo credit: Michael Smith
by Michael Smith
The Grain Valley football team came into Friday’s game against Belton with some key injuries.
That included cornerbacks Jordan Jones and Keagan Hart, both of whom are dealing with hand injuries. If that already wasn’t bad enough for the Eagles, senior wide receiver Logan Pratt re-aggravated an ankle injury that he’s dealt with since a Week 4 game against Truman.
It slowed the Eagles No. 1 receiver some, but he was able to play through it. Someone had to step up.
Enter sophomore wide receiver Anthony Greco.
He, along with quarterback Caleb Larson helped guide the offense to a strong performance. Greco’s 145 yards on seven catches and a touchdown helped boost Grain Valley to a 34-26 victory Friday at Belton High School.
The winner of this game was going to earn the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the Class 5 District 7 Tournament. With all the injuries the Eagles had, it was pivotal that they win this game.
“The advantage of getting that bye is we get to scout our opponent,” Grain Valley head coach David Allie said. “And you get to heal up some of your injuries.”
The Eagles (6-3) normally use Saturday to study film, but in the post-game huddle, Allie told his team they could take the weekend off.
“This is big for us, it gives us a chance to get everyone healthy,” said Larson, who completed 12 of 18 pass attempts for 182 yards and two scores through the air and rushed the ball 19 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. “I got banged up a little today, too, but it was worth it. We got the win.”
And the Eagles got the win with a huge assist from Greco, who had several key receptions, including a touchdown in the third period that gave his team a 27-6 lead at the 4:32 mark.
The sophomore made a catch reminiscent of the famous helmet catch made by former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree Super Bowl XLII. He bobbled the ball, pinned it against his helmet and fell into the end zone for a 37-yard TD.
“It was the best game of my life,” Greco said. “(Larson) and I are finally figuring things out between each other. We are finding out what we are best at, and we came together to get that one-seed. (Larson) is doing great back there. I don’t have anything to complain about.”
Like Greco, Larson has made some big strides since the beginning of the season, but the junior deferred the credit to his pass catchers and praised Greco.
“If it wasn’t for my receivers, I wouldn’t be in this position,” Larson said. “I give all the credit to Greco. He went up and got the passes for me. He makes me look good. I will take it.
“He’s fast, he’s strong and he can go up and get it. He’s not the tallest or the biggest, but he’s reliable.”
Allie was certainly impressed with his sophomore receiver.
“He’s that quiet kid that has been overshadowed a little bit by Logan,” Allie said. “Logan hurt his ankle on our first running play, but Anthony stepped up and had a great game. Caleb threw him a great ball but that was also a heck of a catch (on the touchdown).”
Grain Valley senior defensive back Tristan Pouncil recovered a fumble on Belton’s opening drive when wide receiver LaQuanta Crawford coughed it up after catching a quick out from quarterback Gio Mack.
The Eagles took advantage of the turnover on a drive that started on the Pirates 31-yard line. It was capped by senior running back Jaxon Wyatt finding a huge hole up the middle for a 17-yard TD run on third-and-13 for a 6-0 lead following a blocked extra point at the 7:30 mark in the first period.
Grain Valley was unable to take advantage of another Belton fumble that was recovered by Eagles linebacker Nathan Testa. Belton made the Eagles pay for not doing so when it tied the game at 6 apiece with 5:33 remaining in the second period. The Pirates ran a double reverse and wide receiver Crawford hit Mack for a 20-yard scoring pass. On that drive, Grain Valley gave up first downs on third-and-13 and third-and-8.
After the Eagles offense sputtered for much of the first half, they got something going late in the second period. Wyatt had to take a few plays off after hurting his arm. That opened the door for third-string running back Christian Lanear to contribute as he carried the ball three times for 32 yards on the drive. It was capped by Larson’s 2-yard jaunt on fourth down that made it 13-6, a score that held until halftime.
“We have really good backs and Christian is No. 3,” Allie said. “You saw tonight, he runs the ball hard.”
The Eagles scored on their opening drive of the third period following a 5-yard scoring run from Larson that was set up by his 32-yard toss to Greco. After the defense forced a three-and-out, Grain Valley made it 27-6 following Greco’s TD reception from Larson.
Belton wouldn’t go away, however. Mack hit running back Javon Minor on a screen pass that went for 13 yards and a score to make it 27-12 with 11:52 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Grain Valley seemingly put the game away on the ensuing drive when the Belton defense left freshman running back DJ Harris uncovered in the flat as he waltzed into the end zone from nine yards out after a pass from Larson to extend the lead 34-12 with 9:32 left.
Belton managed to make it a game late in the period after Mack connected with Crawford for a 13-yard TD pass and hit running back Kayson Novacek for the 2-point conversion. The Pirates got within eight points 2:08 left after another pass from Mack to Crawford for a 40-yard score.
But the Eagles recovered the onside kick and milked the rest of the clock for the win.
The Eagles got the win with a huge assist from Anthony Greco, who had several key receptions, including a touchdown in the third period that gave his team a 27-6 lead at the 4:32 mark.
Photo credit: John Overstreet