by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society
Last week I took you back fifty years. This week, fast forward to twenty-five years. I went through a notebook filled with newspaper articles from 1996 and found a variety of stories – some good and some not so good.
One article, from the Independence Examiner listed the top 10 stories of the year for Blue Springs and Independence and the top 5 stories for Buckner and Grain Valley. The Grain Valley stories were:
FBI investigates police department finances; no indictments.
Former alderman sentenced for sexual molestation of foster care children.
Growing pains: Students and teachers move into new high school; city looks at expansion.
High School football team goes 10-0 in regular season, electrifies town. Eventually lost in state semifinals.
Alderman let city administrator go; new mayor elected.
Other articles included the “good” story about the repair of the I-70 bridge over Buckner Tarsney and the “bad” backup of traffic on I-70 during rush hours. There was the “good” news of more parks and ball fields in Grain Valley with the “bad” news of lights and noise for the homeowners near the park.
With more good news than bad, I read about the approval of Sonic Drive-In coming to town, the success of senior citizen luncheons, and football.
The article I found most amusing was published in the Examiner on September 25, 1996. Here are some excerpts:
Railroad Crossing is still Problem
The news isn’t good for people stuck in traffic while waiting for trains to clear Grain Valley. City officials indicated today they are no neared to having a workable solution that gives the desired results.
The trains sometimes block traffic for 10 to 30 minutes, also cause problems for fire trucks, ambulances and police vehicles.
The article continued for several more paragraphs describing negotiations between the railroad and the city with no real solution. The problem continues today, with no real solution!
So, to end on a positive note, in 1996 the town of Grain Valley – population estimated at 2, 016 by the U. S. Census Bureau – watched its football team go undefeated all the way to the top of the 2A statewide poll, only to lose in the state semifinals.
The Historical Society has a nice collection of yearbooks from Grain Valley High School. Unfortunately we do not have a 1997 yearbook which would have photos of the 1996 team. If you have yearbooks from 1996 through 2000 that you no longer want, PLEASE consider donating them to the Historical Society Museum!