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Monday, March 16, 2015

Mission Gateway developer is prepping a new plan (it still involves a Wal-mart)

Mission Gateway developer is prepping a new plan (it still involves a Wal-mart).

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 3:20 PM

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In the border-warring Kansas City metro, developers enjoy a nearly inexhuastible supply of leverage, patience and goodwill from elected officials eager to someday cut the ribbon in front of a successful project. City councils and state legislatures rarely call a bluff when the latest player asks for taxpayer money or begs for more time when a deadline has been missed. Public leaders instead bend over backward to ensure that developers don’t take their projects elsewhere.

For an object lesson in just how bottomless that leverage, patience and goodwill can be, look at Mission. Leaders of that Kansas suburb have let New York developer Tom Valenti — hapless shepherd of the Mission Gateway project — string them along for nearly a decade.

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  • Mission Gateway developer is prepping a new plan (it still involves a Wal-mart).

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Mark Gilstrap edges out Nathan Barnes by one vote in recount for WyCo 1st District At-Large

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 11:01 AM

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Mark Gilstrap will advance to the general election for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, Commission next month by the thinnest of margins.

A recount and vote canvass that wrapped up Friday confirm that Gilstrap finished second in the March primary by one vote over Nathan Barnes, the third-place finisher among seven candidates vying for the 1st District At-Large seat.

Barnes, a longtime politician, had requested a recount after initial vote tallies showed that he missed the cutoff by 10 votes for advancing to the general election. The recount tightened up that margin by a single vote.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Johnson County commissioners vote to commit $30 million to convert King Louie into an arts and heritage center

Johnson County commissioners vote to commit $30 million to convert King Louie into an arts and heritage center.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 12:09 PM

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Earl Long recalls spending hours at the King Louie West building, at 8788 Metcalf, teaching his kids how to ice-skate.

Ice skating ceased at King Louie years ago, replaced by little more than political theater on how Johnson County should proceed with the beat-up husk of the building it bought in 2011.

"You paid too much for it," Long told Johnson County commissioners on Thursday. "Maybe you didn't know it."

If commissioners didn't know that they paid too much ($1.95 million), and then spent more money fixing it up ($1.6 million) for a building appraised at far less (between $550,000 and $850,000), it's because they didn't order an appraisal before the purchase. The commission relied instead on the advice of a real-estate agent. (Typically, the higher the price of a real-estate transaction, the more the agent gets paid in commission.)


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  • Johnson County commissioners vote to commit $30 million to convert King Louie into an arts and heritage center.

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Former IHOP member explains why he left the church

Posted By on Thu, Mar 12, 2015 at 11:32 AM

Blaise Foret no longer feels the IHOP spirit.
  • Blaise Foret no longer feels the IHOP spirit.
Blaise Foret is a 32-year-old Christian speaker and author who has been preaching since the age of 16. He currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina, but from 2008 until 2013, Foret lived in Kansas City and was an active member of the International House of Prayer. 

Foret is not involved with IHOP anymore, and in a recent post on his website, he explains some of his reasons for distancing himself from the Grandview, Missouri-based church, which has long been dogged by accusations that it is a cult. 

Upon arriving in Kansas City, Foret quickly became enamored of IHOP leader Mike Bickle's end-times theology, known as the "prophetic history." Foret refers to it as "10 hours of stories about supernatural visions, experiences, and prophetic words that were given to Mike Bickle from a number of prophets back in the 1980s."

He goes on: 

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jay Hodges and Teresa Loar's 'fair campaign pledge' drags Baton Rouge mayor into the mud

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 4:07 PM

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For all the talk about civility and fair campaigning in Kansas City's 2nd District At-Large City Council race, it will probably end up the dirtiest contest of them all.

Teresa Loar, who wants back on the City Council after serving two terms in the 1990s and early 2000s, signed a pledge on March 5 calling for honest campaigning and no personal attacks.

The document, which came out about the same time that Northland Councilman Ed Ford championed a civility resolution in the aftermath of Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich's suicide, awaited Jay Hodges' signature.

Late last week, Hodges came back with a counterproposal. He'd made some edits to Loar's edicts and added a few of his own. Among the new requirements was a pledge for each candidate to disclose any legal matter with which he or she had been involved over the past five years.

Why five years?

"I don't know," Hodges says. "There wasn't a reason for that, to be real candid."

Actually, there was a reason.

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Normal Human tees off in Westport

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 11:59 AM

Pat Egger (left) and Dan Mahaney's shop has a Royal way about it. - SABRINA STAIRES
  • Sabrina Staires
  • Pat Egger (left) and Dan Mahaney's shop has a Royal way about it.

Last fall, after the Royals’ narrow World Series defeat at the hands of the Pitcher Who Shall Not Be Named, I was hanging my head and dragging my feet around town when I spotted someone wearing a clever shirt that lifted my spirits.

The baby-blue tee showed, in blue letters above a golden crown: “2014 second-place world champs. Still pretty good.”

Yes, I thought, that about sums it up.

Right then, I knew that, if I was ever going to be a functioning baseball fan again, I needed this shirt. My search for healing led me to Normal Human (827 Westport Road). Last July, the retail operation moved from Mission to the space last occupied by lamented midtown mainstay Spivey’s Old Maps, Fine Art, Prints and Rare Books. It’s a much more visible location for a shop that bills itself as the metro’s where for “wears & wares from Kansas City.” But what exactly are those other W’s?

The short answer: T-shirts, mostly. The business’s young owners, Pat Egger and Dan Mahaney, have known each other since high school, and they’ve worked together since 2012. The melding of their screen-printing and sign-making skills has led to some eye-catching designs, and they’re gaining in popularity. You’ve probably seen someone wearing something from Normal Human. 

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Cheryl Womack mounts a defense that the government obtained evidence against her illegally

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 8:18 AM

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Brandy Wheeler sneaked into the empty headquarters of VCW Holding Co. on November 21, 2007. She brought along her brother, Brandon Wheeler, because he was handy with computers.

Together, the Wheelers copied a voluminous cache of financial files from computers belonging to VCW, which leases office space at 11020 Northwest Ambassador Drive near Kansas City International Airport. VCW is run by Mission Hills millionaire Cheryl Womack, a native of Kansas City, Kansas, who made a fortune by starting and later selling an insurance brokerage for the trucking industry.

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Planet Comicon producer Christopher Jackson discusses his love of space missions, scuba diving and more in The Pitch questionnaire

Posted By on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 7:32 AM

Planet Comicon's Christopher Jackson
  • Planet Comicon's Christopher Jackson

Name: Christopher Jackson

Occupation: Pop-culture and comic-book convention producer and organizer, including Kansas City’s Planet Comicon, the biggest and best pop-culture extravaganza in Kansas City. Also, a comic-book and related–pop culture collectibles dealer.

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Current neighborhood: Johnson County

What I do: Longtime comics collector. Made my hobby my business, dealing in comics and collectibles, and creating an event where like-minded fans can enjoy these shared interests.

What’s your addiction? Scuba diving in the warm waters of the Caribbean. I first took up scuba diving in the 1980s and found it to be the closest that one can get to flying. It is so peaceful, and there is such beauty in the reefs of the world.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fun-loving thief can't stop stealing Jose Cuervo, bacon, Little Debbie snack cakes

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 12:19 PM

Steven White flew too close to CVS' fluorescent overhead lights.
  • Steven White flew too close to CVS' fluorescent overhead lights.
Several area retailers breathed a collective sigh of relief last week, following the apprehension of a 50-year-old man who has allegedly been raiding their stores of delicious treats and libations for many months. 

Steven White has been charged with several counts of Class D felony for stealing. Why'd he do it? Why does anybody do anything in this world? Bacon, chili, liquor and Little Debbie snack cakes.  

According to police reports, White's wild ride came to an end after he got too greedy at the CVS at 5011 Main. It started January 21, when White was seen on surveillance video allegedly stealing a bottle of Ketel One Vodka ($53.99); a bottle of Tanqueray Gin ($26.99); and four bottles of Jose Cuervo Tequila (about $160). Police say he then exited the store without paying for them, tripped the alarm, and took off. 

On March 2, he allegedly made off with six 1.75 liter bottles of Jose Cuervo tequila. Four days later, he returned, stuffed two more Cuervo bottles in his bag and another in his shirt, and was spotted by a clerk. He fled, ditching one of the bottles by the door, and "ran up the hill." 

The 5011 Main location was now too hot, White hit up the CVS at 3902 Main two days later, on March 8, records say. There, a security guard spied him putting "two cans of peanuts, valued at $21.98, down his pants." After a scuffle with the security guard, police arrived, and White was taken into custody. He was subsequently found to have a Little Debbie snack cake, valued at $0.75, in his pocket. He had not paid for that, either.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

A group of De Soto School District parents wants board member Scott Hancock to resign

Posted By on Mon, Mar 9, 2015 at 10:15 AM

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The president of the De Soto School District Board of Education asked to have its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday moved to an auditorium that can hold a larger-than-expected crowd.

The meeting will take place at the De Soto High School auditorium, where a group of parents is expected to air grievances against board member Scott Hancock. Some may call for his resignation over allegations of bullying and uncivil behavior toward district administrators and staffers.

Board President Angela Handey declined comment when asked about Hancock, saying she has been encouraged to not speak publicly because the possibility of litigation exists.

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