License office closes
BLUE SPRINGS | It will be a few weeks before Bue Springs residents have a place in their city where they can renew their driver’s licenses or tag their cars.
Blue Springs officials on Friday discontinued operation of the Missouri Department of Revenue License Bureau Office in City Hall. The original closing date was Feb. 11.
The new Blue Springs Missouri Department of Revenue License Bureau Office will open March 23 at 2402 S.W. Missouri 7. Customers can obtain services at the following locations:
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▪ Lee’s Summit Office: 196A N.W. Oldham Parkway 816-524-8003
▪ Independence Office: 16643 E. 23rd St., 816- 252-7557
▪ Sugar Creek Office: 521 S. Sterling Ave., 816-836-9191
▪ Raytown Office: 6138 Raytown Trafficway, 816- 737-1100
City leaders announced last fall that they would not renew their contract with the state to run the office, largely because of the expense.
New ambulance stationed in growing area
GRAIN VALLEY | This growing community is getting a full-time ambulance to handle medical calls.
The Central Jackson County Fire Protection District is adding a fourth ambulance around the clock at Station 4 in Grain Valley. Assistant Chief Eddie Saffell said a paramedic has always been assigned to the fire engine in Grain Valley, but the new ambulance will reduce both response times and the reliance on mutual aid when patients need to be transported.
Saffell said the issue came up during disucssions of a 15-cent levy increase passed by fire district voters in 2013. That measure moved responsibility for ambulance service in Blue Springs from the city to the fire district. At that time, Saffell said, questions were asked about an additional ambulance in Grain Valley.
The decision to add the ambulance was made after the district analyzed its increasing call volume and growth in the area, including the addition of facilities for older adults. The vehicle will be available for calls throughout the fire district.
Time to apply for foundation grants
AREA | The Truman Heartland Community Foundation has more than $280,000 to give away this year, and nonprofit organizations have until April 2 to submit an initial letter of interest.
The organizations should be located in or serve people in eastern Jackson County.
About $191,000 is available through the annual Community Grants Process, and $90,000 is being offered by the Jelley Family Foundation Endowment for Children’s Education Fund.
Organizations may apply in both categories. For guidelines visit www.thcf.org, then click on Grants & Scholarships.
Geneva High to retire from social service agency
LEE’S SUMMIT | Geneva High, the director of Lee’s Summit Social Services for about 23 years, is retiring this month. She is the only director to run the social service agency since its inception in 1992.
High was part of a community group that opened the agency when Lee’s Summit leaders decided the city would be better served by its own agency instead of depending on the Community Services League, based in Independence. Her total time of service to Lee’s Summit, including time working for Community Services League, is about 35 years.
“We knew this day was coming, we just weren’t looking forward to it,” said Tom Earley, vice-president of the agency’s board of directors.
Last year the agency served about 1,000 households, he said. Among its services are food and utility assistance, budget counseling, school supplies for 900 children and an annual Christmas store where 1,000 families — children and their parents — get gifts when otherwise they would do without, he said.
Last year Lee’s Summit Social Services distributed $1 million worth of food.
The agency’s assistant director, Matt Sanning, will succeed High. He is her grandson.
New principal for Ruskin High
SOUTH KC | As of July 1, Dawn Smith will take over as principal of Ruskin High School in south Kansas City. For a little tless than a year, she has been principal of the new Hickman Mills Freshman Center.
Before her post at the Freshman Center, Smith was a school improvement specialist and an assistant principal of instruction in Georgia.
“She has reinvigorated the culture, climate and educational delivery at the Hickman Mills Freshman Center,” Hickman Mills Superintendent Dennis Carpenter said of Smith. “In less than one year, Ms. Smith has managed to create an atmosphere with the staff and students that provides honor and respect.
“This has made a difference in how education is delivered at the secondary level. When you have great leadership, sometimes you have to take on a greater responsibility. Having her at the helm will do great things for Ruskin and the district as a whole.”
Maker Faire film is Saturday
KANSAS CITY | Union Station will host the annual Maker Faire Kansas City the weekend of June 27-28, and the call for Makers is open until May 15.
Topic areas include sustainability, electronics, robotics, textile arts and more. This year’s event will add new areas of interest including filmmaking and film-related trades.
If you want to know more about the concept, Union Station will host a special screening Saturday of “Maker,” which documents the history and impact of Makers. Tickets are $2 and available at unionstation.org. For more information about the event, visit makerfairekc.com.
Last year, Union Station reported record attendance of nearly 16,000 at the faire, and had more than 350 Maker booths.
Kids First forum for education issues
LEE’S SUMMIT | Parents and community members are invited to a PTA-sponsored Kids First Town Hall Meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, at the Longview Historical Mansion, 1200 S.W. Longview Park Drive.
A moderator will ask questions related to Missouri PTA’s top priorities for local control of schools, funding for early childhood education, increased parental engagement and blocking tax credits for tuition to parents of nonpublic school children.
The session is hosted by Missouri PTA and the Lee’s Summit Council of PTAs.
RSVPs are appreciated. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Joseph Table on Sunday
INDEPENDENCE | Members of St. Mark’s Catholic Church are preparing for the 42nd annual St. Joseph Table on March 8.
The church has baked more than 30,000 cookies that will be sold along with other baked goods. An entree of spaghetti and melanesa or plain sauce, will be served with bread, salad and cookies from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parish center at 3736 Lee's Summit Road, Independence.
An adult meal is $7 and a child’s meal is $3 – dine in or carry out.
Proceeds benefit the needy through St. Vincent de Paul Society.
For more information, call St. Mark’s at 816-373-2600.
KANSAS CITY | Candidate forums are being scheduled as the April 7 city primary approaches. Here are two:
▪ The South Kansas City Alliance and the Waldo Tower Homes Association will host a 6th District Council candidate forum Monday, March 9, at the Crossroads Church, 7917 Main St. It starts at 6 p.m.
▪ The South and East United Neighborhoods for Change group has invited 5th District candidates to a forum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Vision Christian Church, 9101 Blue Ridge Boulevard. KCPT personality Nick Haines will moderate, and audience members will be able to ask questions.
| Elaine Adams and Russ Pulley