UPDATE 11/30/2023 10:30am: The City of Grain Valley has announced the Holiday Festival is canceled due to anticipated inclement weather.
A festive evening awaits attendees at the City of Grain Valley's Holiday Festival and Mayor's Christmas Tree lighting on Thursday, November 30th from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Armstrong Park. There is no cost to attend and all are welcome.
Grain Valley School District's Fifth Grade Choir will entertain guests with Christmas carols, and complimentary hot cocoa and cookies will be available.
Following the Mayor's Christmas Tree lighting and a visit from Santa Claus, the Grinch will be on hand for a special outdoor screening of The Grinch.
The North Pole Mailbox will also be set up along the Armstrong Park Holiday Trail. Santa will write letters back to children in Grain Valley, so letter writers should be sure to include your child's name, mailing address, and wish lists on the letter. The North Pole Mailbox will be open through December 10th.
by Cole Arndorfer
On Monday, November 27, the City of Grain Valley Board of Aldermen met briefly for their second bi-monthly meeting, with Aldermen Bray and Knox not in attendance. The short meeting included two ordinances, city staff reports, and the City Administrator’s report.
Under ordinances, the board heard the second read of a bill introduced by Alderman Arnold. This bill, as previously reported, would change the zoning of 0.75 acres from District R-3 (multi-family residential district) to District C-2 (general business district) in order to allow a restaurant to open on the west side of the building formerly housing the Pub & Patio. The bill passed unanimously.
The second bill the board heard was introduced by Alderman Bray. This bill would approve the 2024 fiscal year budget and comprehensive fee schedule for the city. There had been no changes to either the budget or fee schedule since it was last presented to the board. The bill passed unanimously.
Next, the board moved into city staff reports, starting with Community Development Director, Mark Trosen. Trosen gave the board an update on the sidewalk construction on Ryan Road. Trosen said the concrete work was complete and the focus will turn to backfilling dirt around the sidewalk. A section of the sidewalk will remain close as work continues and within the next two or three weeks the fence from the sidewalk to the creek area will be installed as well.
After Trosen’s report, Parks and Recreation Director Shannon Davies reminded the board about the upcoming Mayor’s Tree Lighting and Holiday Festival to be held at Armstrong Park on Thursday, November 30, from 6-8 pm.
In the final staff report, City Clerk Jamie Logan noted that filing for the upcoming election will open on December 5 and will run through December 26.
City Administrator Ken Murphy said that the board’s second meeting in December would fall on Christmas Day. The board approved the cancelation of the second December board meeting as there was no need for a second meeting that month.
The next Board of Aldermen’s meeting will take place at 7:00pm on December 11 at City Hall.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
The November calendar photo for 2023 features a photograph of the 1932 Women’s Basketball team coached by Noel Wilkerson and Luella Linewebber. The team was quite successful, winning the 1932 Conference Championship.
Research in an old newspaper tells revealed the teams in the conference were
I find it interesting that the boys and girls played different teams but were in the same conference. Since Grain Valley did not have a yearbook until 1936 and athletic teams, musical groups and clubs were not always featured, it is really impossible to say who they might have played and beaten to become the Western Missouri Conference Champions!
I can tell you that girls’ games featured six players from each team. There were three forwards and three guards and each played half-court. I do recognize a few players, only because they stuck around Grain Valley and I knew them in the 1950s and beyond.
The team (left to right) Betty (Bartlett) Carpenter/Owens, Isabelle (Napier) Clark,( my dad’s sister, also known as Aunt Izzy), Imogene (Sebolt) Grossheider, and Edna (Rowe) Elliott. I do not know the girl holding the basketball but the two on each side of her were the Bush sisters, Evelyn and June. Since the newspaper listed June as the center, she is probably the one on the left. Aren’t centers usually the tallest player on the team? Next is Artis (Phillips) Rumbo. (Her first husband was mom’s cousin Jack, Uncle Porter’s son), Margaret Ann Hutchens, Mildred (Rumbo) Napier (I called her Mom!) Mary Chiddix and Merle (Houston) Costigan. Coach Wilkerson and Coach Linewebber are seated.
Note: Although this article is about the 1932 Girls’ Championship Team, I will point out that my father, a forward on the boys’ team was the high point scorer (8 points) as Grain Valley defeated Ruskin by a score of 17-15!
(StatePoint) Last fall, the United States saw an early and significant spike in cases of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, which is the leading cause of hospitalizations in all infants. Now, there are options available to help prevent RSV in babies, including a preventive antibody and an RSV vaccination during pregnancy.
During the first season the new RSV immunizations are offered, they may be limited in availability in provider locations. Public health experts are prioritizing use of the monoclonal antibody in infants at highest risk.
To ensure parents and caregivers of infants and young children have all the facts they need to protect their children during peak RSV season, the American Lung Association is sharing the following insights:
• RSV is extremely common. RSV infects people of all ages, and nearly 100% of all children become infected by age two.
• RSV can be severe. Most people, including infants, develop only mild symptoms similar to that of a common cold, but for some, RSV can be severe and even life threatening. The leading cause of hospitalizations in all infants, up to 80,000 children younger than five are hospitalized due to RSV in the United States each year.
• Severity is unpredictable. Good overall health is not a safeguard against severe RSV. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 79% of children hospitalized with RSV were previously healthy.
• RSV season is now. RSV season typically begins in the fall and peaks in the winter.
RSV is easily spread from person to person through close contact through respiratory droplets from coughing and sneezing. It can also survive on hard surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, for many hours and can be spread by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching your face or your baby’s face.
If you have contact with an infant or young child, especially if they were born prematurely, are very young, have chronic lung or heart disease, a weakened immune system, or have neuromuscular disorders, you should take extra care to keep the infant healthy.
To help prevent severe RSV illness in infants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the RSV vaccination during weeks 32-36 of pregnancy in September through January, or the new monoclonal antibody. The preventive antibody is recommended for infants under 8 months old in their first RSV season and some young children between 8 and 19 months old at increased risk, such as children who have chronic lung disease as a result of being born prematurely. This one-dose immunization is a long-acting preventive antibody that provides an extra layer of defense to help babies fight RSV infections for five months.
Monoclonal antibodies are man-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s naturally-produced antibodies to help fight off harmful viruses. This preventive antibody is not a vaccine, and not for children who are already sick with RSV.
If you are the parent or caregiver of a young child, you are also encouraged to:
• Avoid close contact with sick people.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
• Avoid kissing your child while you’re sick.
• Talk with your healthcare provider about your baby’s risk and options to prevent severe RSV illness.
For more RSV information, visit Lung.org/RSV.
RSV impacts millions of people in the United States annually. Fortunately, this RSV season, there are more ways you can help protect your infant.
by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation
Learn how to clean and prepare rainbow trout for cooking at a free class offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). The Pond to Plate class will be held from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs.
MDC has stocked rainbow trout in several Kansas City area lakes to provide anglers with an additional winter fishing opportunity. Trout are not native to Missouri. But cold winter water temperatures enable trout raised in MDC fish hatcheries to be stocked in ponds and lakes.
The Pond to Plate class will help newcomers to trout fishing learn how to easily clean and prepare their catch for cooking. Participants will get a chance to clean a trout. Instructors will cook the fish using favored recipes in the Burr Oak Woods kitchen for participants to sample.
This class is open to participants ages 8 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit http://short.mdc.mo.gov/Z7f. To find a lake near you stocked for winter trout fishing, visit http://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZF3.
Learn how to clean and prepare rainbow trout for cooking at a free class offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). Photo credit: MDC
The following information is derived from Grain Valley Police Department daily calls service log for the week of November 22-28, 2023.
November 22, 2023
600 Blk NW Jefferson
700 Blk Main
Motor Vehicle Accident
1000 Blk Ryan Rd
Valley Speed way
700 Blk Scenic Ln
US 40/OOIDA Dr
700 Blk SW Nelson Dr
November 23, 2023
200 Blk NW Barr Rd
1000 Blk NW Persimmon Dr
3000 S R.D Mize Rd
1000 Blk S Buckner Tarsney
Motor Vehicle Accident
800 Blk Harvest Dr
November 24, 2023
1000 Blk Olympic
900 Blk Sycamore
500 Blk Hamilton
100 Blk Barr
100 Blk Eagles Pkwy
Leaving the scene
400 Blk SW Rock Creek Ln
700 Blk Main St/Oak Grove
1000 Blk NW Valley Woods Ct
November 25, 2023
700 Blk Main
1000 Blk High View
1500 Blk Erin Ct
1000 Blk Pamela
November 27, 2023
1000 Blk Ephraim
1000 Blk S Buckner Tarsney Rd
1000 Blk Granite
1000 Blk Scenic
600 Blk NW Yennie
November 28, 2023
800 Blk SW Hilltop
600 Blk Thiem
Additional calls for service:
Domestic Violence: 1
CIT/Mental Health Welfare Check: 1
by Cole Arndorfer
The Grain Valley Schools Board of Education met on Thursday, November 16th with a full agenda for their monthly meeting. The board held recognitions for athletes of three high school athletics teams and one for school resource officer Danny Iams, seven items under reports, three items of new business, and two policy discussions.
First, the board recognized the state runner-up girl’s tennis team led by coach Randy Draper. The team went 24-3 this season and earned a trip to State as a team for the third time in as many years.
Following the girl’s tennis team, the board recognized two girl’s golf state qualifiers, led by coach Randy Hughes. Junior Mallory Crane was recognized first. Crane is a three-time state qualifier, placing 12th and earning All-State honors this year. The second state qualifier was senior Seena Tyler. Tyler is also a three-time state qualifier, finishing 49th this year.
Next, three cross country state qualifiers, led by coach Nick Small, were recognized. David Roberson and Landon Barnes were recognized first, followed by Rylan Smith. This was both Barnes and Smith’s second year in a row qualifying for state. Small said that he is thankful for the team and he looks forward to seeing what they will accomplish next season.
The final recognition from the board was for school resource officer Danny Iams’ tenth year of service. Officer Iams has served at all eight of the districts’ schools over the past ten years, as well as serving as the districts’ DARE officer. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Nick Gooch described Iams as a valuable part of the districts’ team and that they are very thankful for his service to Grain Valley Schools.
Following recognitions, the board moved onto reports. The first report was an evaluation of the Grain Valley Education Foundation program, delivered by Jerry Vaughan.
Vaughan said that just last year, the Education Foundation was able to award 92 scholarships to graduating seniors totaling $104,650. Vaughan reported the Foundation is always looking for new ways to maximize the amount of scholarship money the foundation is able to help students receive because, “a $500 scholarship or $400 scholarship that we gave 14 years ago, doesn’t have near the impact now,” Vaughan said.
One option for helping students get more scholarship money, Vaughan said, is to use a program called VU Scholarships. In this program, students input their criteria and that is sent to over 50 colleges in the region. Those schools then send the student a list of scholarships they would qualify for based on the information they input.
Another priority for the program is to allow students to save their scholarship money in order to use their A+ award for their first two years. Vaughan explained that the foundation could put the scholarship money in a bank for the student in order for them to be able to use it once they complete their A+ program, that way students would not have to choose between using their A+ award for two free years of community college or using the scholarship money they have been awarded.
The board then heard a summary of the community survey results from Rick Nobles, from Excellence K-12. Nobles said that in the category of college preparedness, Grain Valley Schools received the highest score that they have ever seen from any school district. As for strengths, strong academics as well as good and caring teachers topped the list. Nobles also said that the overwhelming consensus of respondents said that they were in support of the district and back their mission.
Dr. Amanda Allen then provided a recap of the state assessment report. In each grade level and in each content area, students scored above or significantly above the state average.
The second part of the report is the district’s cohort comparison. In this section, the students continue to exceed the state averages. Allen said that the data the district is seeing shows a trend back toward pre-pandemic levels, though there are still a few challenges. Students are returning to those pre-pandemic levels a bit quicker in math than they are in reading, so the district will continue to focus on literacy, according to Allen.
Allen continued with the next report over curriculum. Allen said that on October 30, they held their curriculum review committee meeting. The group was prepped by choosing their curriculum group and reading through related materials. On the night of the meeting, the teachers that wrote the curriculum came to present the curriculum, explain it, and answer any questions committee members may have.
No major concerns were recommended, just minor tweaks such as bolding priorities in order for them to stand out. Other than small changes, most of the other feedback was praise and support for what was presented. The board was then presented with post curriculum review, revised curriculum standards.
In his superintendent report, Dr. Brad Welle highlighted the recent college and trade school fair hosted at the high school on November 2. The school hosted over 60 colleges and trade schools in attendance to give students information about their programs.
Welle also commended the team for their actions and support in response to the recent tragedy that occurred in the parking lot of Milestone Academy. He said that counselors were made available the first day they were back in school and that he appreciates everyone’s leadership in a time of need.
Moving to new business, the board discussed a potential tax levy ballot issue for the upcoming April election. One of the district’s priorities is to make sure teacher pay is on par with other high quality metro area school districts. In order to do this the district needs to generate more revenue, Welle explained. One way to do that would be increasing the tax levy, which those polled in the community survey showed they would support.
The district is seeking more information from L.J. Hart and Co. and hopes to have a report from them at next month’s meeting. The deadline for the board to decide whether or not to make an increased tax levy a ballot measure would come in January.
The second piece of new business was over the filing for school board candidates, also for the upcoming April election. That period will open on December 5, at 8 am, and run through December 26, at 5 pm.
The last section of the meeting was board policies. First up was the third reading of three policies regarding prohibition against illegal discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, school board member ethics, and food service management. These policies passed unanimously.
The last policy discussed was the first read of a policy regarding board member qualifications. Dr. Welle pointed out a change in this policy. A potential board member now must have lived within the district for at least one year prior to them being elected to the board. This policy will be brought back as an action item at the next meeting.
Following this, the board moved into executive session. The next school board meeting will be held at the Leadership Center on December 7 at 6 pm.
The Grain Valley Board of Aldermen met briefly November 13th for its regularly scheduled meeting.
A public hearing was held regarding a Change of Zoning request from District R-3 (Multifamily Residential District) to District C-2 (General Business District) for the former Pub & Patio restaurant/bar space at 640 NW Yennie Avenue.
Jarett Primm, owner of Aspire Apartments where the restaurant space is located indicated they are looking to secure a restaurant that serves liquor vs. a bar that serves food with some limitations on the kitchen size. Community Development Director Mark Trosen stated this public hearing relates to an area on the comprehensive plan that shows mixed use.
This property had a 2009 CUP to allow a bar and grill in this space with four conditions. These conditions have not been followed and voided the CUP. The owners are now trying to bring this property into proper zoning regulations to allow a new restaurant/bar in this location. No residents commented during the public hearing, and the first reading of a bill to change zoning was approved unanimously later in the meeting.
In other business, the board approved the first reading of the 2024 budget, which includes merit pay and salary schedule increases as well as the cost to demolish the old farmhouse located at the old Sni-A-Bar Farms property. These items were previously approved by the Board during its October 16th budget workshop.
A resolution approving the purchase of two SUVs for police department use and an ordinance calling for an election on April 2, 2024 were both unanimously approved.
The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be held Monday, November 27th at 7:00pm.
Grain Valley Police Department (GVPD) is now accepting child nominations for its annual Shop with a Cop event. This program is an opportunity for local children to be matched with an officer during a shopping event at Target. After shopping, children can wrap gifts for family members with officers at City Hall/Police Department.
Nomination forms open on November 6th and will close on Friday, December 8th. Forms can be turned in at the police department or to the child's school counselor. Parents/guardians of the selected children will be contacted after the application process closes. GVPD says the shopping is scheduled to take place around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 20.
If you would like to support Shop with a Cop, cash/check donations can be made in person at City Hall, located at 711 Main Street. Checks must be made payable to City of Grain Valley - with the memo line dedicated to Shop with a Cop.
If you have any questions, contact the Grain Valley Police Department at (816) 847-6250.
Nomination Forms can be accessed at this link.
by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Sixty-eight years ago, the most sought-after toy in Grain Valley and indeed the nation was the famous coonskin cap, an exact replica of the one worn by Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. Of course, my brother got one for Christmas, along with several of his classmates. I am not sure what became of that hat. I am guessing it got tossed decades ago. But his Davy Crockett guns –they are still around.
I typically go on the internet for some background information on my weekly topic. Just let me say, there is tons of information about David “Davy” Crockett, both the real David and the folklore Davy. It would take me days, maybe weeks to read it all.
I will tell you that indeed, Davy Crockett was “…born on a mountain top in (East) Tennessee” on August 17, 1786. He grew up there and gained a reputation for hunting and storytelling. He was elected to the Tennessee state legislature in 1821. In 1827, he was elected to the U.S. Congress where his opposition to President Andrew Jackson, especially the Indian Removal Act led to his defeat in 1831. He was elected again in 1833, then narrowly lost in 1835, prompting his angry departure to Texas shortly thereafter. In early 1836, he took part in the Texas Revolution and died at The Alamo on March 6, 1836.
David Crockett was an American folk hero, frontiersman, soldier, and politician. He is often referred to in popular culture as the "King of the Wild Frontier". He was popularized by Walt Disney in 1955 when three episodes appeared on the hour long, Sunday evening television show, The Magical World of Disney (later renamed The Wonderful World of Disney).
A mostly fictionalized account of a real American adventurer, "Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier" became a movie comprised of edited portions of the three episodes of Disney's VERY popular television series. It is a highly fictionalized version of the exploits of the frontier scout and adventurer. When the film begins there is a statement reading 'The characters and events in this photoplay are fiction....'.
Well, this isn't completely true...quite a bit of the movie is truth. Crockett DID exist, as did many others in the film, such as General Andrew Jackson. And, some of the events happened...but the Disney writers decided that the real story of the man's life was too dull and so they just made stuff up. It's a shame, as Crockett was a very interesting and unusual character from 19th century American history.
The Grain Valley Historical Society will be open on Wednesday, December 6, 13, & 20, 2023 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Come see the Davy Crockett guns, along with many other Vintage Toys! We will be serving Coffee, Tea, Punch and Homemade Christmas Cookies! All are welcome!
The Davy Crockett cap gun and coonskin cap. Photo credit: Grain Valley Historical Society