The fam’ and I came back from a stroll Monday evening to find this on our doorstep:…which happens more frequently than we’d expect, what with the existence of the Internet and all. And every time it happens, I find myself wondering, “How much use do people have for the Yellow Pages these days?”Do you keep a hard copy of the Yellow Pages at your house? Why or why not? When was the last time you actually opened the Yellow Pages? What were you looking for?Talk Amongst Yourselves is shawneemissionpost.com’s daily conversation starter for northeast Johnson County. Have a topic you’d like to suggest?Email us!
[selfie]NEJC Shout Outs! Click here to post YOUR message, and share it with thousands of northeast Johnson County residents for just $5. Say happy birthday, promote a garage sale, wish a local sports team good luck — whatever![/selfie]The JO offering free bus rides all day Wednesday. If you need to get somewhere and are rideless today, you’re in luck. The JO is open its doors to travelers free of charge. From The Jo: “‘Free Ride Day on The JO is our way to say thank you to our regular riders and hopefully attract some new ones who’ve thought about riding the bus but never tried it before,’ says Cris Lowe, Community Relations Coordinator for Johnson County Transit. ‘Riders can take The JO Xpress to downtown Kansas City or hop on the K-10 Connector to spend the day in Lawrence, for example, for free, and can even enjoy free Wi-Fi on the ride.’The JO will also have a “selfie contest” on Wednesday. Riders who take a picture of themselves on a JO bus and post it on The JO Facebook page will be entered into a drawing for a prize pack.”Prairie Village police action helped crash victim survive fire. Fox 4 aired a piece Wednesday on the news we brought you yesterday morning regarding the use of a special fire extinguisher that helped responders get a man out of a fiery wreckage of his truck alive. [Without powerful fire extinguishers, police would not have known man was inside burning truck — Fox 4]Prescription drug take back scheduled in Fairway. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday and unused prescription drugs can be dropped off at the Price Chopper in Roeland Park or the Hen House in Fairway from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The police departments in each community will be assisting with the drug take back. Anyone can dispose of accumulated, unwanted, unused prescription drugs by stopping at either location. No forms, questions or inconvenience involved.The drugs will be sealed and destroyed at an EPA approved incinerator.Fairway sales tax forum set for Thursday. The second of two public forums to answer questions about the city’s upcoming vote on raising the sales tax will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fairway City Hall. Ballots are scheduled to mailed to registered voters in Fairway this week. An increased sales tax would pay for improvements at the city pool and the public works building.Another big win from SM East lacrosse. The Lancers boys lacrosse team showed continued dominating form Tuesday as it beat Northland 14-2. SM East has four regular season games left before the playoffs begin, and it looks to three-peat as Lacrosse Association of Kansas City champions.Recycling drop-off event. Saturday you can take a number of items to Mission’s Sylvester Powell Community Center to recycle. The multi-city event is sponsored by Fairway, Roeland Park, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Westwood and Westwood Hills. Tires, rims, monitors, televisions, gently worn shoes and furniture are just a few of the items that can be recycled from 8 a.m. to noon. A fee will charged by the vendors for some of the items. A full list and of accepted items and fees can be found here. https://missionks.org/DocumentCenter/View/6772Four NEJC natives inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Four college students originally from the SM North area have been inducted into a prestigious national honor society. Membership requires approval by the chapter. The top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors at a college or university are eligible for induction. The students are:Hassana Samassekou, University of Missouri-Kansas City chapterBonnie Postlethwaite, University of Missouri-Kansas City chapterGary Craig, University of Missouri-Kansas City chapterMary Cranor, Pittsburg State University chapter
Prairie Village police investigators pulled their weapons as they swept a previously unchecked garage during their investigation after an afternoon burglary that led to the arrest of three men.A neighbor’s sharp eye and quick action helped Prairie Village police apprehend three suspects on burglary charges this afternoon.Register to continue
The new SM East graduates throw their caps into the air after making the transition.On a chilly Wednesday night, the 384 new graduates of SM East High School heard a few final pieces of advice from Principal John McKinney. And among his final admonitions came the familiar refrain: “Remember, it’s always great to be a Lancer.”“Now it’s up to you,” McKinney told the graduates, “show the world what you can do.”“I will never stop believing that this is the greatest school on earth,” said senior class president Spencer Frank. He reminded fellow graduates that the class had made it a “school of champions.”McKinney said the graduates “made it look easy” getting through high school. A number of SM East teachers who are retiring at the end of the year were honored during the graduation ceremonies.After the tassels were turned, caps flew into the air and the 384 filed out of SM South stadium and into the next phase of life.The new graduates turn their tassels.A sea of blue covered the field.Graduates wait for photos after receiving diplomas.Frequent PVPost contributor Daniel M. Blom files onto the field with fellow graduates.Band director Kim Harrison conducts his last processional over three decades before retiring this year.
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Tim Kaine’s blurry back. Reader submitted photo.The man who very well may become the next vice president of the United States spent part of his Friday night dining with friends and family at the Village Shops.Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who grew up in Overland Park, was in town over the weekend for the 40th reunion of his graduating class from Rockhurst High School. He attended the start of the Hawklets football game against Jefferson City, and then was taken by motorcade to C. Frogs in Prairie Village, where he met his parents and a group of friends.Shopping center patrons reported seeing several police cars and large SUVs outside the restaurant. One Roeland Park resident reported that Secret Service agents were using wands to check people at the door for weapons around 8:45 p.m.
Prairie Village police say they’re looking for suspect who fled vehicle after pursuit. Prairie Village police said law enforcement is still looking for the two men who appeared to be burglarizing a car in the 7600 block of Rainbow St. around 3:15 a.m. Tuesday. An officer saw the men holding flashlights near a vehicle in a driveway. When the officer tried to stop them, the got into their car and fled “at a high rate of speed,” according to the department. Prairie Village police stopped the pursuit after the suspects drove at a high rate of speed into Kansas City, Mo. Authorities later found the suspect vehicle unoccupied at 75th and Pennsylvania. It had items taken during auto burglaries in it. Anyone with information about the crime or the suspects should contact Prairie Village police at 913-642-5151 Shawnee council grants rezoning for Reflection Living. The Shawnee council Tuesday evening unanimously approved the planning commission’s recommendation to rezone a section of land in the 7100 block of Silverheel Street to make room for Reflection Living. The Wichita-based Home Care Plus organization’s preliminary plan is to build two group homes on a 3-acre lot.
Photo credit Nicolas Henderson. Used under a Creative Commons license.An attorney representing the Kansas City Star against a defamation suit brought by Overland Park Sen. Jim Denning has filed a motion to have the case tossed out, claiming that Denning’s suit violates the Public Speech Protection Act that Denning himself voted to make law in 2016.Commonly known as an anti-SLAPP statute, the act gives defendants the right to petition to have what they believe to be “meritless lawsuits that chill free speech” thrown out. In the petition filed in Johnson County District Court this morning, The Star’s attorney Bernie Rhodes claims that the Steve Rose column at the center of the suit did not meet the legal requirements for defamation.In his lawsuit, Denning claimed that Rose attributed statements about Denning’s position on Medicaid expansion to him that Denning never made. Denning claimed he hadn’t spoken to Rose since 2016. The Star ultimately removed the column from its website saying that it was investigating Denning’s claims.Denning’s suit sought legal fees and damages for defamation “for an amount exceeding $75,000.” The Star’s counter-motion calls for Denning to have to pay its legal fees related to the case.In the petition filed today, Rhodes also charges that Denning’s attorney Michael Kuckelman was using the lawsuit to raise his profile as he made a run to become chair of the Kansas Republican Party.Sen. Denning and his grandstanding lawyer have abused the judicial system for their political goals in filing a lawsuit bereft of any facts — no less the clear and convincing facts required under Kansas law. It is patently obvious these two Republican Party insiders lobbed this meritless hand grenade of a lawsuit against the The Star because they wanted to issue a press release announcing the lawsuit to beat the drum of “Fake News” and bolster Mr. Kuckelman’s candidacy for the Chair of the Kansas Republican Party. Sen. Denning and Mr. Kuckelman are deeply engaged in the “rough and tumble” of party politics. As such, they are fair targets of criticism. Here, that criticism is imminently fair, and is not legally actionable. The Public Speech Protection Act was enacted to punish precisely this type of lawsuit.The Kansas GOP 2019 State Convention, during which the party will elect a statewide chair, begins today.The full petition is embedded below:[gview file=”http://shawneemissionpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/KC-Star-Brief-in-Support-of-Motion-to-Strike.pdf”]
Rep. Sharice DavidsRep. Sharice Davids’s staff to offer first pop up office of 2020 in Prairie Village. The office staff of Rep. Sharice Davids will host their first pop up office of 2020 on Friday in Prairie Village. Davids’s staff will be available to help people who are having issues with the federal government, such as stalled tax refunds, backlogged veterans’ benefits and issues with Social Security and Medicare. RSVP is available on an Eventbrite page for the office hours.Roeland Park changes dates for nominating, electing council president. The Roeland Park city council on Monday evening adopted an amendment that allows the nomination and election of a council president by the first meeting in January. The proposed amendment did not include the duties of a council president, which had been a subsection in the existing ordinance. City council chose to include those duties, such as sitting in for the mayor when he or she is absent during a city council meeting, in the amendment. Councilmember Tom Madigan suggested the council revisit the ordinance in the near future because the policy entails more than how and when a council president is elected, he said.Confluence acquires Fargo and Chicago firms. Confluence, a landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm that does a good deal of work for Shawnee Mission area cities, recently announced two simultaneous acquisitions of firms, including Land Elements in downtown Fargo, North Dakota and Wolff Landscape Architecture in downtown Chicago, Illinois. “Increasing our office locations and capabilities is a natural next step in Confluence’s planned growth,” said Chris Della Vedova, president and chief executive officer of Confluence. “We’re excited to integrate the talent and expertise in Fargo and Chicago to help our clients and projects achieve their potential.”
Balancing voters’ rights to access the ballot while protecting their health and safety is key to this year’s elections amid a global pandemic, said Rep. Sharice Davids in a virtual roundtable in May on voting rights with leaders of the End Citizens United and Let America Vote.Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United and Let America Vote, and Jason Kander, former Secretary of State in Missouri and founder of Let America Vote, led discussions with Davids on voting rights and access to the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic.Rep. Sharice Davids talks with Tiffany Muller and Jason Kander, leaders of End Citizens United and Let America Vote, in a roundtable on voting rights last month.Davids said she had anxiety watching the news about Wisconsin voters standing in line for hours trying to access the polls in April. The “fundamental and important nature of our right to vote,” she noted.“People should not be put in a position where they have to decide between their health and safety and exercising their right to vote, not here, not in this country,” Davids said.Citing $400 million in CARES Act funds to help states make voting safe and accessible during the pandemic, Davids said Congress has a role to play in ensuring that voters have access to the ballot and that their votes are counted.“I also think that we have a lot more work to do,” Davids added. “I think that at the end of the day, we need to provide the resources and mechanisms, for whether it’s vote by mail, absentee voting, early voting with tons of precautions. We have to do everything in our power to make sure that people can freely exercise their right to vote and do it in a safe way.”Davids noted that “conversations like these need to continue to happen” to help raise awareness on voter suppression tactics.Meanwhile, Johnson County commissioners last month voted to spend $1 million to update polling machinery.A video of the voting rights roundtable can be viewed below:League of Women Voters of Johnson County seeking safe ways to access the polls during COVID-19 pandemicThe League of Women Voters of Johnson County and the Kansas Coalition for Citizen Participation are also urging Secretary of State Scott Schwab to take action to ensure safe voting practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.The two organizations want to see expanded access to mail-in ballots, increased election transparency and safe and fair in-person voting.Voter registration with the League of Women Voters of Johnson County will look different this year while the organization seeks alternatives to in-person registration events. League member Gloria Hiller runs a voter registration booth at Monticello Library. Photo courtesy LWVJoCo.Amber Stenger, a spokesperson with the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, said access to the polls “includes ensuring people have vote-by-mail options and several, equitable, accessible in-person voting options.”“Ideally, the secretary of state would automatically send mail-in ballots to all registered voters and provide postage-paid, self-adhesive return envelopes,” she said. “And ideally, voters would have several safe and convenient in-person polling places with expanded early voting periods.”In the past, the League has helped recruit poll workers and disseminate information about where and how people can vote in Johnson and Wyandotte counties. Stenger said the organization plans to do so again this year through new voter registration tools and partnerships with civic and faith organizations in Wyandotte County to make sure voters have what they need.“LWVJoCo has reached out to the election commissioners in Johnson and Wyandotte counties to offer our help in making voting safe, fair and accessible for all voters,” Stenger said. “We can protect voting access and prioritize public health at the same time.”