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Star history panel

Why these stories? How did The Star settle on the 125 stories that readers would vote on?

The stories were compiled from history books, Kansas City area history Web sites and decades of microfilm. And, in the end, there were just too many, more than 275 of them.

That’s when this group of area residents weighed in. Their choices helped narrow the list to a manageable length, the 125 stories that the larger public would vote on, beginning in late July.

Charles Bishop has taught at Johnson County Community College for 33 years and at KU and UMKC as part of the JCCC/KU/UMKC Teacher Exchange. In 2002 he wrote The Community’s College: A History of Johnson County Community College, 1969-1999, and he has published articles and reviews on educational history and policy in national journals. He has won the Distinguished Service Award for teaching excellence and has served as a board member of the Jackson County Historical Society and the homes association of Crestwood, where he lives.

Caroline Boyd, 43, is a lawyer with Armstrong Teasdale LLP and practices primarily in Jackson County juvenile court. She has lived in Kansas City for 20 years. She and her husband, Curt Mitchell, live in the Northland and are the parents of twins.

Lisa Davies, 28, is a speech-language pathologist in the Lee’s Summit School District. She grew up in Oak Grove, where she was an all-state athlete in volleyball, basketball, softball and track. Davies was a standout basketball player at Southwest Missouri State University, and in 1998 was named the GTE Academic All-American of the Year for Division I women’s basketball.

Jane Fifield Flynn is a longtime Kansas City historian. She is a former president of the Historic Kansas City Foundation and the Jackson County Historical Society and a former director of the Landmarks Commission of Kansas City. She is a published author. Most of her adult life has been dedicated to educating the public about local history and preserving local landmarks and historical records.

Delia C. Gillis, 40, is an associate professor and Africana studies coordinator at Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg. She has lived in Kansas City since 1994. Gillis is the 2006 president of the Missouri Conference on History and the author of Kansas City, Missouri, a photographic history of African-Americans in Kansas City. She and her husband, Robert Gillis, have three children.

Paula Harrison, 60, has lived in the Kansas City area all her life. Her love for the city began when she was in the fourth grade and her class spent the year studying Kansas City history. Harrison is retired. She lives in Raytown with her two dogs.

Wallace S. Hartsfield is senior pastor of the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church of Kansas City. He was born in Atlanta and has lived most of his adult life in Kansas City. Hartsfield is vice president at-large of the National Baptist Convention of America Inc. and serves on the boards of several colleges and organizations. He is married and has four children and six grandchildren.

Stuart Hinds, 43, is a librarian specializing in local history. He has lived in the Kansas City area for more than 20 years. After creating the local history Web site at the Kansas City Public Library, he moved to the Johnson County Library, where he is working on reformatting historical documents for online access.

Drue Jennings, 58, is a lawyer with Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, and the retired chairman and CEO of Kansas City Power & Light Co. A lifelong area resident, he received undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Kansas. He remains active in several community organizations.

Steve Katz is a third-generation Kansas Citian whose grandfather, Isaac ‘Ike’ Katz, started the Katz Drug Company in the early 1900s. Katz worked for Katz Drug for 10 years, then was a stockbroker for 21 years. Currently he is a real estate agent. Katz has two married daughters and three grandchildren living in Kansas City.

Mindi Love, 36, is director of Johnson County Museums. She has lived in the Kansas City area most of her life. She serves on the board of directors for the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City and on the Council for the American Association for State and Local History. She lives in Kansas City with her husband, Jeff Pendergraft, and stepdaughter.

Brenda Lowe, 53, is a public affairs consultant to nonprofit organizations and emerging-technology companies. She serves on the Gladstone Planning Commission and on several national boards. Lowe and her husband, Thomas, live in Gladstone with their granddaughter. She has a grown son.

Nate Minnis, 30, is director of sales and marketing for T.E. Woods Homes. He enjoys golf and is active in his church. Minnis and his wife, Jennifer, have a 5-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son. They live in Blue Springs.

Louis Potts is a professor and chairman of the history department at UMKC, where he has taught since 1971. Potts specializes in early America, U.S. constitutional history and the history of technology. In the last 15 years he has taught and published research on regional history, such as the Hannibal Bridge and Watkins Woolen Mill.

Brian Spence, 31, is a business consultant and a native of the Kansas City area. He graduated in 1997 from Kansas State University. Spence lives in Olathe with his wife, Sara, and their daughter.

Fred Spletstoser, 59, is professor of history at William Jewell College in Liberty and a lecturer in history at UMKC. He was born in Kansas City and has lived here most of his life. Spletstoser has a doctorate in history from Louisiana State University. He has done extensive work in oral history, and his book Talk of the Town: The Rise of Alexandria, Louisiana, and the Daily Town Talk was published this spring by Louisiana State University Press.

Manny Trillo, 56, manages research data at Mid-America Regional Council. He has lived in Shawnee since 1987. Trillo worked in the travel industry in Boston and Miami and came to Kansas City with TWA. He and his wife, Lynda, have three grown children.

Jennifer Vernon, 34, is a clinical supervisor and program manager for a Northland mental health agency. She has lived in the area since 1993. Vernon has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and is a board member and the Missouri/Kansas coordinator for a national dog rescue group. She lives in the country with her husband, three dogs and three cats.

Bill Worley is a longtime local historian who teaches history at UMKC and Blue River Community College. He is a history adviser to Union Station and the Kansas City Museum. Worley has portrayed Harry S. Truman, William Clark and Fred Harvey for Heartland Chautauqua and has published books on local history. He and his wife, Kathryn, live in the Hyde Park section of Kansas City.

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