Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, encourages everyone to plan for a safe 2023 Labor Day weekend. Whether you are on the water or on the road, it’s everyone's responsibility to travel safely and observe all Missouri laws. Never operate a vehicle or vessel while you are impaired.
Alcohol affects your judgement, reaction time, vision, coordination, and comprehension. The movement of the boat, vibration and noise from the boat’s motor, sun, and wind are all boating stressors and enhance the effect of alcohol on your body. If alcohol is part of your water activities, drink responsibly, and never operate a vessel if you’ve consumed alcohol.
The 2023 counting period for the Labor Day holiday will be from 6 p.m., Friday, September 1, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, September 4, 2023.
The Labor Day holiday is a busy boating weekend. Before you take your boat on the water, inspect fuel lines and hose connections for leaks, and test the battery to confirm it is charged. When refueling, turn off any electrical devices which could create a spark. After refueling, open the engine compartment to visually inspect and smell for fuel leaks. Activate the blower system for at least four minutes before restarting the vessel.
In 2022, there were eight boating crashes which included one fatality and five injuries. One person drowned over last year's Labor Day holiday. Troopers arrested five people for boating while intoxicated during last year's counting period.
Marine enforcement troopers will be working to make our waterways safer during the holiday weekend. Missouri’s boaters are asked to do their part by remaining alert for other boats and swimmers and being courteous on the water. Smaller vessels should yield right-of-way to larger vessels. Boaters should avoid overloading their boat with too many passengers and always pay close attention to the boats around them.
Causing harm to another person or their property with an excessive boat wake may subject you to enforcement action or civil liability. Treat other boaters and property owners as you want to be treated. Be courteous and follow all of Missouri’s boating laws. Remember: Life jackets save lives. Wear one when you are on or around water.
If you'll be on the road this Labor Day holiday, make sure your vehicle is in good working condition before you depart. Drive courteously and obey all of Missouri's traffic laws. Remember to buckle up and pay attention as you travel.
Help ensure a safer Labor Day weekend for everyone.
In Missouri, seven people died and 398 were injured in 1,041 traffic crashes over the 2022 Labor Day holiday. This means one person was killed or injured every 11.5 minutes. Troopers arrested 121 people for driving while intoxicated during last year’s holiday weekend.
The Highway Patrol will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness & Reduction Effort) over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Speed, inattention, and impaired driving are leading causes of traffic crashes. All available troopers will be patrolling Missouri’s roadways and waterways. Troopers on the roadways will be enforcing Missouri’s speed limit, seat belt, and impaired driving laws, in addition to being available to assist motorists.
The public is encouraged to call the Patrol's Emergency Report Line (800) 525-5555 or *55 on your cellular phone if they witness criminal activity or experience an emergency. These emergency numbers are operational for both highway and water emergencies. If your celebration includes alcohol, designate someone else to drive whether you are in your boat or your car. Please don't become a statistic.
The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Air Quality Program has issued an orange Ozone Alert for Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. This alert indicates that an unhealthy level of ground-level ozone is expected tomorrow in the Kansas City region. This is the 13th alert for this ozone season.
"The hot, sunny summer continues,” Doug Norsby, MARC senior environmental planner said. “Without cloud cover, we need some sustained wind to mix and disperse air pollution. Unfortunately, low wind speeds, like those seen today, are expected to continue for the next day or two. This will cause the air around the region to stagnate and allow accumulated pollution to remain overnight. Under these conditions, ozone levels just keep building day after day without a chance to clear.”
Ozone pollution is formed when emissions from vehicles, lawn and garden equipment, and other sources react in heat and sunlight. Environmental factors — such as warm, sunny weather; low wind speeds; and lack of rain — increase the likelihood of poor air quality.
The two most important things residents should do on Ozone Alert days are:
1. PROTECT YOUR HEALTH
Ozone pollution can cause a variety of problems — even in healthy adults — including chest pains, coughing, nausea, throat irritation and difficulty breathing. People who are sensitive to air pollution, including children, older adults and people with breathing or heart problems, should limit outdoor activity between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Everyone should consider scheduling outdoor activities before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m.
2. REDUCE POLLUTION
More than half of all emissions that lead to ozone pollution are caused by everyday activities such as driving and yard work. To help reduce air pollution, you can postpone mowing and wait until evening to refuel vehicles. If you live close to where you work, consider riding a bike or walking instead of driving. Both options produce zero emissions and the exercise is great for your health. Try to schedule walking and biking trips before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m., and avoid prolonged exposure to outdoor air.
Learn more about simple actions to reduce pollution and follow the SkyCast, the region’s daily air quality forecast, at AirQKC.org. MARC issues the SkyCast each afternoon from March 1 through Oct. 31. SkyCast information is also available via the air quality information line, 816-701-8287, on social media at www.twitter.com/airQKC and from area media outlets.
MODOT crews to close Buckner Tarsney near I-70 this weekend; Governor Parson visits to ceremonially sign bill to expand I-70
MoDOT crews will close Buckner Tarsney near the I-70 bridge from 5 a.m. Saturday, August 19th to 5 p.m. Sunday, August 20th. This closure will allow crews to set bridge girders. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and seek alternate routes if necessary. Detours will be directed to I-70 and Adams Dairy and the Oak Grove Interchange. All work is weather permitting.
In other I-70 news, Governor Mike Parson visited local city officials Tuesday to ceremonially sign HB 4 - celebrating the planned expansion of I-70 from Blue Springs to Wentzville. City Administrator Ken Murphy; Deputy City Administrator Theresa Osenbaugh; and Alderman Darren Mills attended the bill signing, held near I-70 at Oak Grove.
Governor Mike Parson visited local city officials Tuesday to ceremonially sign HB 4 - celebrating the planned expansion of I-70 from Blue Springs to Wentzville. From left: Alderman Darren Mills; Deputy City Administrator Theresa Osenbaugh; City Administrator, Ken Murphy attended the bill signing. Photo credit: City of Grain Valley
The Missouri Department of Transportation is inviting the public to preliminary information meetings to learn more about MoDOT’s Statewide Improve I-70 Program.
Missouri’s FY2024 budget from the General Assembly signed into law by Governor Parson provides $2.8 billion in General Revenue for the costs to build a third lane of Interstate 70 across the state. The program will plan, design, construct, reconstruct, rehabilitate, and add three lanes in each direction on approximately 200 miles of I-70, from Blue Springs to Wentzville.
The public is invited to attend the informational meetings to learn about the proposed plan and next steps for I-70. Please note these are open house style meetings, and no formal presentations will be made. The public can attend the meetings anytime during the advertised hours, and the information will be the same at each location.
Locally, an open house is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 5th from 4:00pm - 6:00pm at the Jackson County Fire Protection District Education Center located at 4715 W U.S. 40 Highway, Blue Springs, MO.
MoDOT is currently in the planning stage of the Improve I-70 Program. MoDOT engineers will share preliminary information about the goals for improving I-70, possible construction schedules for the 200 miles, and next steps. MoDOT is interested in gathering feedback from the public regarding I-70’s current condition, construction staging, and other general comments they may have. Public input is important ahead of the design phase of the work.
For those who are unable to attend a meeting in person, an online comment form is available at www.modot.org/public-involvement. The comment period online will be open from Monday, Aug. 28, through Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.
Access for people with disabilities is available. People with disabilities who require special services at the public meeting should notify Improve I-70 Communications Coordinator, Lairyn McGregor, by Monday, Aug. 21, at 816-607-2152, so arrangements for those services can be made.
Every year, we invite local Mayors to nominate a member of their community to be recognized as their city's Citizen of the Year. The chosen citizens are selected based on their volunteer work, contributions to their city's economic or financial development, leadership in business, and efforts toward promoting a more positive and inclusive community for all.
The 2023 Citizens of the Year have demonstrated outstanding excellence in one or more of these areas of civic engagement, and, as you will see in their stories below, they have been active in their communities for many years. They strive to make their community a better place because that’s what people should do.
These awardees have not been seeking this kind of recognition, which is why it is our privilege to recognize their achievements at our Toast of Our Towns Gala, on Saturday, September 23, at the Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center. We are pleased that Blue Ridge Bank and Trust will again be our Presenting Sponsor for the event festivities, helping us make this a memorable evening for all our honorees.
Blue Springs Citizen of the Year – Russell Clark
Russell was the owner and president of Big Picture Signs n’ Mor before moving on to and retiring from Golden Years Construction and Remodeling in 2008. Russell represented District 2 as an Alderman on the Blue Springs City Council for several years and was a Commissioner of the Blue Springs Charter Commission in 1993. Beyond his city government service, Russell contributed to his community by instructing adult education courses in various art forms at Blue Springs High School for several years. Russell was involved in a number of organizations, including the Son's of the American Legion for nearly 50 years, serving as Cub Master of Pack 763, and acting as chairman of the Fall Fun Fest for many years. Additionally, he was President of the Blue Springs Kiwanis Club for six years and currently serves as the program manager for guest speakers. Russell truly embodies the spirit of community service.
Grain Valley Citizen of the Year - Marty Napier
Marty holds the Grain Valley Historical Society close to her heart. She volunteers every Wednesday to ensure that the building is open to the public and that they can view all the amazing historical artifacts. Marty also writes a column for the Grain Valley News, sharing stories about families who have shaped the history of the community. She is truly the Grain Valley historian. Additionally, Marty serves as a board member for the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Grain Valley Board and advises the counseling office at the Grain Valley School District. She also served for six years on the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Blue Springs/Grain Valley Advisory Board, serving as chair for a year. Her passion and dedication will play a vital role in the rejuvenation of Main Street as she advocates for local businesses and fosters community spirit, which has already helped Grain Valley prosper.
Grandview Citizen of the Year – Ben Teevan
Ben is a member of America's Greatest Generation, having served in the Navy aboard the USS Alabama from 1943 to 1946. He and his wife, Betty, raised their three children in Grandview, and they all graduated from Grandview High School. Ben is highly dedicated to maintaining his yard and still cares for it by himself. He has proudly received Grandview’s coveted "Yard of the Month" award not once but twice. His unwavering resilience, personal fortitude, and utterly beautiful yard have earned him the respect and admiration of the whole community.
Independence Citizen of the Year – Bob Spradling
Bob spent 50 years as the pastor of Maywood Baptist Church, helping people find their church home. He was an active member of the Personnel Committee for the City of Independence and played an active role in the school boundary change. Bob is an advocate for addiction recovery and supports organizations like Northwest Community Development Corporation, Twelve Blocks West, and the Independence Police Charitable Foundation. His civic leadership has earned him numerous awards, including the Key to the City of DeRidder, Louisiana, the THCF Citizen of the Year for his work with the school transition team, and the Civic Leadership Award from the Westgate Division of the Missouri League. Today, he continues to make a difference with his friend Rudy Ross by sharing daily YouTube videos on a variety of topics with warmth and humor.
Lake Lotawana & Lee’s Summit Citizen of the Year – Carl Chinnery
Carl has an impressive history of serving various organizations in leadership roles. He was the Chairman of the Truman Medical Center Planned Giving Council, as well as the Children's Mercy Hospital Planned Giving Council. He served as Secretary for the Powell Gardens Board and held the position of District Governor of Rotary International from 2002 to 2003. He served as the President of the Lee's Summit Chamber in 1978 and the President of the Lee's Summit Economic Development Council in 1996-1997. In addition, he was a past Chairman at Rockhurst College Small Business Development Corporation. Carl has also been the President of the Lee's Summit R-7 Board of Education and the President of the Lee's Summit Educational Foundation. His strong entrepreneurial spirit continues to drive him to help his community, even in “retirement.”
Lake Tapawingo Citizen of the Year – John Braden
John has been a dedicated member of the Lake Tapawingo community for many years. In 2002, he volunteered to be the editor of the Lake Tapawingo News, a monthly newsletter that serves as a vital tool for bringing the community together. n 2012, the Country Club Board once again needed an editor for the Lake Tapawingo News, and John was happy to resume the role he had previously held for over a decade. Throughout his time in the community, John has also volunteered for various projects, including the Lake Tapawingo Community Advisory Project in 2004 and a task force to study building a new joint City Hall/Country Club Office complex in 2008. He has also advocated for property tax increases to finance a general obligation bond to replace the water system. John's unwavering commitment to the Lake Tapawingo community has made a significant impact.
Oak Grove Citizen of the Year – Becky & Randy Messer
Becky and Randy are unmistakable figures in their Oak Grove community. For nearly 30 years, Becky was a teacher in the Oak Grove School District and was named Teacher of the Year for 2021-2022. She has dedicated countless hours to empowering students and volunteers as both a coach and teacher for the Parks and Recreation department. Randy, a retired Pastor of First Baptist Church, Oak Grove, has served the people of Oak Grove for more than 30 years. He was recently named Oak Grove Chamber Citizen of the Year and has volunteered for numerous local events and committees. Together, they are a dynamic couple who consistently go above and beyond for others, and their generous spirit has made a profound impact on the lives of so many.
Raytown Citizen of the Year – Martha Cockrell
In 2009, Martha retired from her position as Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources at Raytown Quality Schools. However, she returned four years later as the Executive Director of Raytown Educational Foundation. Martha has been instrumental in expanding the foundation, which now has more than $1 million in funds that are used to support and enhance Raytown schools. She is an active member of several organizations, including the Raytown Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Raytown Kiwanis Club, and Truman Heartland Community Foundation, where she held a wide variety of leadership roles, including board chair in 2014. Martha is a dedicated educator who believes in giving back to the community she loves.
Sugar Creek Citizen of the Year – Patrick Casey
Patrick has a strong commitment to serving his community. He was born and raised in Sugar Creek and graduated from St. Mary's High School. Patrick has dedicated much of his time to serving his community as a volunteer firefighter, then as Deputy Fire Chief, and finally as Fire Chief. He has been a vital member of the Sugar Creek City Council and an effective and efficient City Administrator. Additionally, Patrick helps organize the Red Bag Day event each year, which collects gifts for local children in need. He also participates in an annual fundraiser to support people impacted by Down Syndrome. Patrick's heart is full of compassion, and he has made a significant positive impact on the entire Sugar Creek community.
Please join us at our Toast to Our Towns Gala on September 23rd to help us celebrate all the people who make our communities great! (https://thcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/list/event?event_date_id=2815)
Marcia Napier will be honored this September as Grain Valley's Citizen of the Year.
Every year, the Truman Heartland Community Foundation invites local mayors to nominate a member of their community to be recognized as their city's Citizen of the Year. The chosen citizens are selected based on their volunteer work, contributions to their city's economic or financial development, leadership in business, and efforts toward promoting a more positive and inclusive community for all.
Honorees from each eastern Jackson County community will be recognized at the Truman Heartland Community Foundation's Toast of Our Towns Gala, on Saturday, September 23, at the Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center.
In its submission to the Truman Heartland Community Foundation, the City of Grain Valley detailed Napier's ongoing commitment to her hometown.
"In every thriving community, there are individuals whose unwavering dedication, selfless spirit, and profound impact make them stand out as beacons of inspiration. These exceptional individuals embody the essence of good citizenship, going above and beyond to uplift their communities and enrich the lives of those around them. The City of Grain Valley takes great pride in celebrating the achievements and contributions of this year's 2023 Grain Valley Truman Heartland Citizen of the Year.
Marcia "Marty" Napier serves as a member of the Historical Society, where she volunteers her Wednesdays at the museum - welcoming the public to explore the treasures of our city. Through her profound commitment to the Historical Society, Marty not only enhances the public’s understanding of the past but also serves as an illuminating force for the present and future of the community. In addition to her invaluable contributions to the Grain Valley Historical Society, Marty holds other key positions on various boards, including the Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Downtown Grain Valley Board of Directors, the Grain Valley Education Foundation Board, the advisory board for the Grain Valley School District Counseling Department, and was recently a member of the Truman Heartland Community Foundation Advisory Board (Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove).
An advocate for supporting and nurturing community growth, Marty promotes the importance of investing in local businesses. With the momentum of the newly formed Downtown Grain Valley non-profit organization, Marty will play a big factor in the revitalization of Main Street by highlighting the community spirit that continues to help our city thrive.
Marty exhibits a deep passion for empowering the youth. Upon retirement, after dedicating thirty years of her career to the field of education, Marty focused her attention on guiding young adults - serving as the house mom for Alpha Gamma Rho. After leaving Mizzou, Marty returned home to Grain Valley where she continues supporting the school district and high school athletic teams. In 2017, she endowed the Napier Football Award, a scholarship bestowed upon a Grain Valley football player selected by the team.
Marty's unwavering dedication to excellence and high expectations for her community has garnered her to be recognized as the 2023 Grain Valley Truman Heartland Citizen of the Year."
Marcia Napier will be honored at the Truman Heartland Community Foundation's Gala in September as Grain Valley's Citizen of the Year. File photo
Affordable Connectivity Program offers discounts for monthly internet service to eligible households
Eligible households in the Kansas City metro area can now sign up for steep discounts on their monthly internet service through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has contracted with KC Digital Divide to help individuals and families in both states sign up for this new program, which offers discounts up to $30/month taken directly off the internet provider’s bill. For some households using low-cost providers, this means their internet service will be free.
The ACP benefit program is designed to help ensure that households can afford the broadband access they need for work, school, healthcare, and more.
Kansas City metro residents can sign up directly on the getacptoday.org website.
Households qualify for the ACP program if their income is below 200% of the federal poverty line or if anyone in the household is enrolled in SNAP, Medicaid, WIC, Veterans and Survivors Benefit, Free and Reduced-Priced School Lunch, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Public Housing Assistance, and other programs listed here: https://www.affordableconnectivity.gov/do-i-qualify/#other-programs
“While internet has become as important as other utilities, on average, just over a third of households in the metro area are taking advantage of this affordability program. We have seen the success that outreach efforts have had in cities like Detroit and Cleveland, and we’re excited to work with community partners to make sure more people know about the ACP so they can stay connected at home” said Aaron Deacon, Managing Director of KC Digital Drive. “Access to the internet is vital for full participation in today’s world, offering the opportunity for remote work, telehealth, online education, informational resources, and so much more.”
“As we continue to improve internet access in Missouri, we’re proud to support community partners like KC Digital Drive,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Our administration has made historic investments to strengthen broadband infrastructure, but our work isn’t done. We appreciate the efforts of organizations located across our state that are assisting in getting all Missourians connected.”
“Access to high-speed internet is no longer a luxury in the digital era, it’s a necessity that must be expanded to every family and community across the United States,” Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5) said. “Programs like the Affordable Connectivity Program are providing up to $30 per month in assistance for internet bills, giving Missouri families a little breathing room. Whether it is a student learning remotely, a small business expanding its customer base, or seniors utilizing telehealth services, access to high-speed internet is essential to leveling the playing field for rural and urban communities alike—and I was proud to vote for the legislation that is making that possible.”
KC Digital Drive (www.kcdigitaldrive.org) is the regional civic organization that supports the ecosystems for broadband, connectivity and digital equity, and emerging tech innovation, and helps to steward the region’s digital transformation. The organization was founded by the cities of Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas based on recommendations from the 2012 bi-state Mayor’s Innovation Team commissioned to consider how best to mobilize diverse community partners around collective action in digital inclusion and digital innovation.
On Thursday, July 13th, a Jackson County jury found Michael Hendricks of Grain Valley guilty of first-degree murder, and Maggie Ybarra of Grandview guilty of second-degree murder.
The murder charges stem from the death of Kensie Aubry. The remains of the 32-year old, the subject of a missing person investigation out of Independence, were recovered from a residence at the 4000 block of South Buckner Tarsney Road in unincorporated Grain Valley.
Hendricks was also found guilty of first-degree harassment, attempted enticement of a child, child molestation in the third-degree, and first-degree sexual misconduct.
Ybarra was also found guilty of attempted child enticement, first-degree harassment, first-degree sexual misconduct, attempting to tamper with physical evidence, and multiple counts of attempted tampering with a victim.
Hendricks, Ybarra charged with murder of Kensie AubryQuick News - Grain Valley News
Remains of missing woman recovered from residence in Grain ValleyQuick News - Grain Valley News
Crews with the bridge replacement work along Interstate 70 at Route AA/BB in Grain Valley will be switching to Phase 2 traffic control beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 7. This will require the following traffic changes. Motorists are advised to plan ahead and be vigilant of work in the area. All work is weather permitting.
Friday, July 7
This project will be constructed over the course of three phases in the next year. Phase 1 included bridge work and work within the median. Phase 2 will address the westbound side of the project and Phase 3 will address the eastbound side. The project is anticipated to be complete by winter 2023.
Motorists are reminded to slow down and pay attention while driving in work zones. Not all work zones look alike. Work zones can be moving operations, such as striping, patching or mowing. They can also be short term, temporary lane closures to make quick repairs or remove debris from the roadway.
Firework sales begin next Tuesday, June 27th in Grain Valley. Locally, two fireworks tents are hosted by community organizations. The Grain Valley Band Parents Association will host its tent in the parking lot of the Grain Valley Price Chopper. The Boy Scouts and Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce will offer fireworks at their tent located on the corner of Buckner Tarsney Road and SW Eagles Parkway.
City code allows for the discharge of fireworks on Saturday, July 1st as well as July 3rd and 4th between the hours of 9:00am - 11:00pm.