Governor appoints Howell as associate circuit judge
Gov. Eric Greitens appointed Jason M. Howell, of Raymore, as associate circuit court judge for Cass County, according to a news release.
Howell has spent the majority of his career as a prosecutor, the news release said. For five years, Howell has served as the director of the Child Support Division for the Cass County prosecutor’s office.
Howell has an undergraduate degree from DePaul University and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
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“Jason Howell is a dedicated public servant who has extensive experience appearing in Cass County’s associate circuit court,” Greitens said in a statement. “I am confident he will continue to serve the county well in his new role as judge.”
Local health department recommends flu vaccination
The Cass County Health Department, along with nine other health departments in the Kansas City region, are encouraging area residents to get a flu shot this season to prevent influenza viruses.
“The flu shot remains our best tool for preventing illness this flu season,” Director of the Jackson County Health Department Bridgette Casey said in a statement. “Even when the flu shot is not perfectly matched with what’s circulating in the community, it can prevent flu-related complications and result in milder symptoms if you were to get sick.”
In a news release distributed region-wide, the health department said overall vaccine effectiveness against all circulating flu viruses last season in the United States was 39 percent, and vaccine effectiveness was only a bit lower — 32 percent — against the H3N2 viruses. Vaccine effectiveness against other flu viruses, such as H1N1 or B viruses, was higher.
Citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health department said this season’s flu vaccine includes the same H3N2 vaccine component as last season, and added that most circulating H3N2 viruses that have been tested in the U.S. this season are still similar to the H3N2 vaccine virus.
Based on the data, the health department reported that the CDC believes U.S. vaccine effectiveness estimates from last season are likely to be a better predictor of the flu-vaccine benefits to expect this season against circulating H3N2 viruses in the country.
For more information about the flu and getting a flu vaccine, visit the CDC website.
City of Harrisonville announces holidays closings
The city of Harrisonville announced recently that City Hall and most city offices will be closed Dec. 25-26 for Christmas.
The community center will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 24 and closed Dec. 25. The community center will resume regular hours on Dec. 26.
City Hall and other city offices will also be closed Jan. 1, 2018, and will be open again on Jan. 2, 2018.
The board of aldermen will meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2018.
The community center will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 31 but will close Jan. 1, 2018. The community center will resume its regular schedule Jan. 2, 2018.
Belton, Grandview celebrate opening of 155th Street interchange
The cities of Belton and Grandview along with the Missouri Department of Transportation celebrated the opening of the 155th Street interchange on Dec. 15.
The new diverging diamond interchange and roundabout is located at 155th Street and Interstate 49.
The city of Belton said in a news release that the project is the first in the state to combine a diverging diamond interchange with a roundabout to handle large volumes of traffic.
“This interchange will enhance public safety by reducing traffic congestion and accidents,” Belton Mayor Jeff Davis said in a statement. “The city also anticipates an economic benefit as Belton works diligently to attract companies in the transportation, manufacturing, and e-commerce industries. These improvements create a critical direct linkage to Markey Business Park and our North Scott redevelopment area and will assist the city in ongoing economic development attraction activity.”
Raymore police take 30 children shopping for holiday gifts
For its annual Shop with a Cop program, Raymore police officers took 30 children on a shopping trip Dec. 12 at Walmart, which provided a grant to help make the program possible.
As part of the festivities, families gathered at Centerview where everyone was treated to pizza donated by Casey’s and MOD Pizza, live music from The Middle Creek Band, and other activities while the children and officers headed to Walmart to shop for gifts for their families and for themselves.
Raymore police chaplains and recent graduates from the Citizens’ Police Academy volunteered as gift wrappers at Walmart after the children purchased their items.
Raymore Capt. Jimmy Wilson has been participating in the program with the Harrisonville Police Department for several years and said he was happy to see it in Raymore.
“Last year we shopped with 10 kids and this year it felt great to be able to help 30,” Wilson said in a statement. “Shop with a Cop wouldn’t be possible without the support of people and businesses in our community and we’re excited to keep it going and see it grow through the years.”
Cass Community Health Foundation awarded grants
The Cass Community Health Foundation (CCHF) announced recently that it received two grants from local partner foundations.
CCHF was awarded $180,000 from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and $50,000 from REACH Healthcare Foundation.
The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City awarded $180,000 to CCHF’s safety-net dental clinic, Cass County Dental Clinic. The goal of the funding is to support greater access to a safety net of services that provide safe, timely, efficient, equitable, integrated, affordable and quality health care, and oral health care.
CCHF said the funding will be used to provide urgent and non-urgent dental treatment to 3,386 children and adolescents through 6,772 dental visits in 2018. These children are at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
Cass County Dental Clinic also received funding from the REACH Healthcare Foundation, which selected CCHF and the clinic as a core operating partner and gave a $50,000 Core Operating Partner grant.
Core Operating Partner grants are awarded to organizations focused on increasing access to health coverage and quality health care.