Paul Bax was asleep when he got the call. It was May 8, and he'd finished working his graveyard shift for the U.S. Postal Service. He was being summoned to testify in one of the oddest trials in Kansas City memory.
Bax wasn't blowing off a subpoena. Rather, this was his first notice that Isreal Owen Hawkins was trying to get him on the stand. By then, the prosecution had rested its case against Hawkins, the founder and CEO of Petro America, who is accused of securities fraud ("Fleecing the Flock," October 28, 2010).
So Bax, a proud father of two straight-A students and an investor in Petro America, hopped out of bed, donned a two-piece suit and zipped downtown to the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Missouri. He was Hawkins' first witness - but not the first sign that Hawkins was in trouble.
It's been a crappy spring for news about youth sports coaches. A few weeks back, soccer coach and popular party DJ Joel White was charged in federal court for allegedly taking nude photos of children. On Tuesday, a grandfather in Clay County Googled his son's basketball coach, Darin Mason, and found that he was a sex offender barred from coaching youth sports.
According to various reports, Mason pleaded guilty in 2001 second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy after he had sex with a 15-year-old player on the basketball team at Oak Park High School. He was coaching the team at the time.
The Johnson County District Attorney can't make a legal case against an unsourced campaign mailer that took Roeland Park mayoral aspirant Linda Mau to task for codes violations and bounced checks.
The Kansas City Star reported Wednesday that the anti-Mau flier that went out to Roeland Park residents just before the April 2 general election did not violate Kansas campaign laws.
The Pitch predicted early in April that the district attorney's investigation wouldn't unearth legal wrongdoing because Kansas laws that forbid anonymous campaign materials don't apply to "second-class" cities like Roeland Park.
The Rhodes wrestling family has spilled a lot of blood in rings around the world, including Kansas City. Patriarch "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes was a champion in the 1960s, '70s and '80s (holding the NWA Central States Heavyweight Championship in '68, and dropping the NWA World Heavyweight Championship to Ric Flair in September 1981 at Memorial Hall).
Cody Rhodes was destined to follow his father and his half-brother, Dustin "Goldust" Rhodes, into the business. As a teenager, he refereed matches for his dad's now-defunct independent promotion and sneaked into mini matches when he thought his dad wasn't looking. "I never imagined doing anything else," Rhodes says.
The second-generation star is keeping his family tradition alive in the world's biggest wrestling company. On May 20, Rhodes is one of the featured grapplers on Monday Night Raw, broadcasting live from the Sprint Center on the USA Network. After a lengthy tour of the United Kingdom, Rhodes called The Pitch from his home in Johns Creek, Georgia, to talk about his memories of Kansas City, his mustache and his challenge to Morgan Freeman.
Occupation: Creative director for the motion design and animation team at T2 Studios. If you're curious about what the hell that is, hit t2.tv. If you still have questions, call me. I like curious people.
Hometown: Hays, Kansas
Current neighborhood: Union Hill
Who or what is your sidekick? I can't imagine anyone being more supportive than my wife, Sarah. My cat, Laika, is also quite the crony.
What career would you choose in an alternate reality? I've been a licensed pilot since high school, so I imagine something in the field of aviation. However, I would hope a parallel universe would be much more advanced, so my day job would likely be designing and building personal flying vehicles.
Wednesday, May 15, at Riot Room. Locals White Girl open. $17.
James wants a 24-member advisory board to answer whether KCI, as it is, is the best airport for Kansas City, and if not, what options should be considered for a new airport design in the future. Recommendations may come by the end of the year or longer if they need the time.
Bob Berkebile, the B in architecture firm BNIM, was one of the designers of the original three-terminal design; he is the co-chairman of the advisory group along with retired local KPMG managing partner David Fowler.
He has spent the past several months attempting to be the first person to earn a plate at the new Flying Saucer (900 Spruce) only a block from Busch Stadium in the River City. His plan was to dedicate said plate to umpire Don Denkinger (best known for this call in the intrastate World Series). In order to do this, one must drink 200 beers. Now, because this is St. Louis, several locals attempted to derail his plans this Saturday. And because this is St. Louis, they failed.
This was all for the sake of Wednesday's issue, in which The Pitch will unveil a guide should you wish to subsist on sandwiches alone for a month. But because I ate more than 31 sandwiches (the exact number is much higher, but let's just say I've had multiple pork sandwiches for lunch on multiple days), everything couldn't fit into print. As a result, this week you'll be hearing about some of the other gut-fillers I encountered. Today's entry: the Bette Rogers at Fritz's Smoked Meats (10326 State Line), a recommendation from MRCCG based on this post.
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