Around our towns

10/30/2013 1:54 PM

10/30/2013 1:56 PM

Wanted: Belton Tree of the Year

The Belton Tree Board and Owen Lumber are sponsoring the third annual Belton Tree of the Year contest. City residents are invited to submit stories of a special tree within the limits of Belton.

Stories can reflect trees that are special in some way, perhaps planted for a special occasion, in memory of a loved one, or reflective of Belton history. The tree does not need to be owned by the person nominating it, but permission of the owner must be obtained.

The story should be 300 words or less and submitted, with a picture, to the Belton Tree Board by Thursday. Flyers can be picked up at City Hall, 506 Main St.; Owen Lumber, 617 N. Scott Ave.; the High Blue Wellness Center, 16400 N. Mullen Road; or the Belton Library, 164 Cedar Tree Drive. Completed forms may be dropped off at Owen Lumber or High Blue Wellness Center or mailed to the Belton Tree Board at 708 Maurer Parkway, Belton MO 64012.

The winning prize, a $50 gift certificate from Owen Lumber, will be awarded in November.

Independence Rotarians honored

Eleven members of the Independence Rotary Club were honored last month for their years of commitment to Rotary and community service. They are Byron Constance, Fred Hahn, Don Potts, Allen Lefko, Jim Younts, Jerry Moore, Charlie Franklin, Larry Cook, Max Raveill, Dick Puhrand Tom Thomas.

Veterans Day tribute at Truman Library

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum will be the site of a Veterans Day Tribute hosted by the city of Independence, the Truman Library and the Truman Library Institute.

The Nov. 11 tribute will begin at 9 a.m. with free admission to the Truman Library for veterans and active military members and one guest.

At 1:30 p.m., weather permitting, the Spirit of Independence Concert Band will present patriotic music outdoors.

The program starts at 3 p.m. in the auditorium, with retired Gen. George W. Casey Jr., former Army chief of staff, as keynote speaker. Former U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, a champion of the U.S. military, had been scheduled to participate, but he died on Monday.

There is no charge for anyone to attend the 3 p.m. program and a reception, scheduled for 4:30 p.m. The Truman Library is at 500 W. U.S. 24 in Independence.

Eco/devo official moving to Blue Springs

Teresa Evans, vice president of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, is taking a job with similar responsibilities in Blue Springs.

After 12 years with the Lee’s Summit organization, Evans will start with the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation in November.

Evans said the Blue Springs corporation is a much younger organization, started in 2005, so it gives her an opportunity to use her skills in helping it grow. She said her primary focus will be expanding its business retention program, which was why BSEDC added another full-time position.

Harrisonville honored for animal control

Harrisonville‘s animal control service was recently recognized as the “Outstanding Animal Welfare Agency” by the Missouri Animal Control Association.

The award, given annually to one agency in Missouri, recognizes a shelter that is improving the quality of life for animals, exceeding industry standards through new programs, increasing adoptions, establishing spay and neuter programs, and increasing its public out-reach.

This is the first time Harrisonville has received the honor.

Animal Control Chief Kristi Osborn said she believes the Harrisonville shelter was recognized for a number of reasons, including maintaining a clean facility, high pet adoption rate, and the ability to network with other area shelters, all while trying to keep the city free of roaming animals and strays.

City attorney leaving Lee’s Summit

Lee’s Summit City Attorney Teresa Williams is leaving to take a job as a county attorney in Colorado.

Williams, who has lived and worked in Colorado before, will start a three-year contract with Montrose County on Dec. 16. Her last day with Lee’s Summit will be Nov. 30.

Williams began as Lee’s Summit city attorney in November 2008. Her salary is $135,612 annually.

The City Council, not the mayor or city manager, hires the city attorney.

Sam’s Club migrates to Cass County

Sam’s Club is opening a Raymore location at Missouri 58 and Dean Avenue, replacing the club’s Grandview location.

“The decision was difficult,” said Sam’s Club General Manager Desirée Rutledge, “but this has been such a growing community and such a great business opportunity for this area.”

Rutledge says she has been able to maintain a large number of existing employees from the former location.

New trail in south KC

Kansas City opened a 736-foot section of a cycling and walking trail last week in the southeast part of the city.

The new section runs along 93rd Street from Newton Avenue to the western entrance of Schumacher Park, a National Historic Trails site that highlights the Santa Fe, Oregon and California trails, according to a city news release. Additional improvements include a park bench, bike rack, National Park Service historic trail markers and interpretive signage.

A longer section is expected to be finished later this year, along Bannister Road from Drury Avenue almost to Marion Drive. Eventually it will connect to an existing trail along Hickman Mills Drive.

Find more trail information at


Allan Gray honored for arts efforts

Allan Gray has spent much of his life volunteering to promote the arts, music and dance. He was founding president of Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey.

Less well known is that the Lee’s Summit council member paints watercolors. His mother also paints, and his father was a classical pianist.

“I grew up surrounded with the best art,” Gray said of his youth in Kansas City.

Today, Gray’s daughter teaches art history at a university in New York, and his son plays guitar.

Gray’s passion for the arts has now been recognized by the Kansas City Young Audiences organization, which gave him the 2013 Trudy Award. He joins luminaries such as Adele Hall, Shirley Helzberg and Joan Isrealite who have gotten the honor.


Join the Discussion

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service