Universities named to list
Three area universities have been recognized as 2014-15 Colleges of Distinction for their excellence in student-focused higher education.
Park University, William Jewell College and Rockhurst University were all named by the web-based Colleges of Distinction college guide after being nominated by high school counselors for the honor.
Seven colleges and universities in Missouri were recognized. Fewer than 293 colleges nationwide received the recognition for excelling in four areas: Engaging students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
Other Missouri colleges and universities recognized were: Columbia College, Columbia; Saint Louis University, Saint Louis; Truman State University, Kirksville; Westminster College of Missouri, Fulton.
KC residents invited to learn about their city
Kansas City residents are invited to register for Community Engagement University and learn more about their city and how they can help improve it.
“We created this program because so many people are interested in learning more about how the city actually works…This is a great way for them to learn,” said Chris Hernandez, director of city communications.
The free, eight-week program begins Sept. 9 and will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday nights through Oct. 28 at City Hall, 414 E. 12th St.
Topics to be covered are: understanding local government — its finances, operations, projects and services; helping improve the quality of life for residents; and building a livable, sustainable community.
“Stronger neighborhoods create a stronger city. When more residents are engaged in their city government, they are more informed about what the city can and is doing for neighborhoods, and we are better able to keep in touch with neighborhood needs,” said Hernandez.
Registrants must be 18 or older. Pre-register at http://tinyurl.com/CEUregistration or call 816-513-1330.
Class membership is limited to 30 residents. Class members are encouraged to attend all the sessions. Light refreshments will be provided.
Liberty Youth Chorus
The Liberty City Council has named the Liberty Youth Chorus as the official children’s chorus for the city.
The two-year old choir has performed throughout the community at sporting events and during the Mayor’s Christmas tree Lighting Ceremony. It also hosts two concerts a year. The Liberty Youth Chorus is a non-profit organization which rehearses at William Jewell College.
Choir directors are Michelle Johnston of Liberty and Brenda Simmons of Kearney. Leslie Bunch of Liberty is the accompanist.
The chorus has two choirs: Sweet Harmony for children in grades 5 to 9; and Sunshine Singers, a preparatory choir for grades 2-5.
Interested parents should call Johnston at 816-728-9466.
Municipal League awards
The West Gate Region of the Missouri Municipal League and officials from five metro counties gathered in Independence in July to honor outstanding civic leaders at the league’s annual banquet.
Civic Leadership Awards were given to the following Northland residents and organizations:
Meals on Wheels of Liberty, Missouri, Inc., Liberty.
Kenneth R. Dickey, Excelsior Springs.
Cathy Swenson, Gladstone.
David Johnson, Kansas City.
Neil Davidson, Parkville.
Wayne and Debbie Gilham, Pleasant Valley.
J. Rob Swafford, Richmond.
Northland Recycling Extravaganza, Riverside.
Larson’s Cruise for the Cause, Smithville.
Lynn Johnson, Weston.
Claycomo officer honored
Claycomo Police Sgt. Marcus Burke has been awarded the Enoch B. Morelock Award for outstanding moral character, service to law enforcement and service to the community. .
The award is named after Sullivan County Sheriff Enoch B. Morelock who was killed in the line of duty in 1847.
Tammy Dickinson, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced the award.
Sgt. Burke was recognized Aug. 14 during the 12th Annual Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (LECC) Training Seminar in Springfield .
“Sgt. Burke’s service to his community goes above and beyond the call of duty. He’s not only an exemplary police officer, but an active citizen involved in the Claycomo community. Sgt. Burke made a lasting impact in the life of a local boy with brain cancer and his family. Then he made an even wider impact by helping to rally the support of the Northland for this family. I appreciate his service and his personal engagement, and I’m pleased to recognize Sgt. Burke with the 2014 Enoch B. Morelock Award,” said Dickinson.
4-H Open House
Families are invited to learn about 4-H during a Sept. 4 open house at Earnest Shepherd Youth Center in Liberty.
The volunteer-led organization is for all youth 8 to 19 years old, boys and girls. Clay County Extension Service offers a pre-4-H program, Clover Kids, for children 5 to 7 years old.
Members can choose from more than 40 projects to participate in. Fees vary. The 4-H program is part of the University of Missouri extension and is publicly supported by county, state and federal government funds.
The open house begins at 6 p.m. Members and leaders will share their 4-H experiences, and an informational meeting is planned for parents.
For information contact Nancy Mense, 4-H Youth Specialist, at 816-407-3490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earnest Shepherd Youth Center is at 610 Shepherd Road, Liberty.
Northland Giving Circle announces funding opportunity
The Northland Giving Circle (NGS) invites non-profits in Platte and Clay counties to submit applications for its annual grant.
Each year NGS gives $30,000 to a charity that provides basic services for the needy.
Past recipients were Harvesters’ Back Snack Program; Assistance League of Kansas City Heartland Auxiliary’s Operation Child in Need; Northland Assistance Center’s Family Support Program; and Shepherd's Center of the Northland’s Outreach Services for Seniors.
For an application go to www.grantrequest.com/SID_1164?SA=AM. The application deadline is Oct. 15.
Members of NGC make an annual donation of $302.50 each for the chosen charity. Members vote online for the recipient charity and attend one annual meeting. The organization welcomes new members.
For information about the application process or joining NGC, contact Cindy Rhodes at email@example.com or 816-746-4602.
Flotilla honors 175th birthday
A flotilla of 75 canoes and kayaks, some carrying Lewis and Clark re-enactors, will commemorate the 175th anniversary of Platte County on Sept. 6 at Platte Landing Park near downtown Parkville.
While the canoes and kayaks will float downriver from Farley; David Hawley, whose family excavated the Steamboat Arabia which sunk in the Missouri River in 1856, will travel upriver to meet the flotilla at Platte Landing Park.
A short program is planned about 2 p.m., after the arrival of the flotilla. It will include the period music, a re-enactment, a speech by Hawley, and unveiling of the design for a memorial marker to be placed in the cornfield where the Steamboat Arabia was found.
The event will give attendees an opportunity to “witness and give tribute to the Missouri River and what place the Missouri River has played in the formation of Platte County, because it has been significant,” said Pat Medill, chairman of the Platte County 175th Anniversary Committee.
“The Missouri River is definitely a part of our history. I think it’s a matter of experiencing a piece of Platte County’s history in a fun way,” she said.
For information on joining the flotilla contact Randy White at 816-226-6379 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Norma King, Special to The Star