Jackson and Cass counties: News from around our towns

Two officials named to Municipal League board

AREA | Independence Mayor Eileen Weir and Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner are new members of the Missouri Municipal League Board of Directors.

Weir was elected mayor in April 2014 for a four-year term and Wagner represents the 1st District at-large.

The Missouri Municipal League, founded in 1945, serves more than 670 municipalities in the state with training, resources and legislative advocacy.

Absentee voting begins

KANSAS CITY | The Kansas City election board has changed its location for absentee voting.

Absentee ballots can be cast through April 6 in Suite 2800 at the election board office, 30 W. Pershing Road. The former office, Suite 610 next to the IRS office, will become a poll worker training center.

The change combines absentee voting with registration with other administrative functions for a one-stop process. The election board said it also will save money by not renting space for training.

Absentee voting began Tuesday and will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 8 a.m to noon on Saturday, April 4.

The Kansas City election board serves the part of Kansas City that lies in Jackson County. April 7 is the primary for mayoral and City Council races.

Amnesty Day is March 6 in city court

GRANDVIEW | The city’s Municipal Court will hold an Amnesty Day on Friday, March 6, where people with outstanding warrants can go to court without paying failure-to-appear penalties or risking jail time.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Grandview Municipal Court Building, 1200 Main St. Individuals should check in with the clerk’s office (window 5) to either pay their warrants or see the judge for a new court date. Once violations are paid, clerks will issue compliance and release forms for license reinstatement.

Call 816-316-4837 with questions.

MARC leadership awards

AREA | The Mid-America Regional Council welcomes nominations for its annual Regional Leadership awards.

The awards recognize individuals and institutions for their outstanding contributions to the region.

Nominees may be current or past elected officials; professionals in government organizations, institutions or agencies, businesses, foundations, nonprofit organizations, civic organizations or educational institutions; or volunteer leaders in public or private organizations.

Submit nominations by March 20 at www.marc.org.

The awards will be presented at the council’s Regional Assembly in June.

Last year’s winners were Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the REACH Healthcare Foundation; Pleasant Hill City Administrator Mark Randall; former Independence Mayor Don Reimal; and Shepherd’s Centers.

Marshall the Miracle Dog

JACKSON COUNTY | An award-winning film about bullying and mistreatment of animals, “Marshall The Miracle Dog,” will play March 7-8 at Wehrenberg and B&B theatres in Missouri.

The film is based on the true story of a bullied teenage boy in the St. Louis area and a dog he discovers who has been caged up by a dog-hoarder.

The film received the Audience Choice Award for Best Film at the St. Louis International Film Festival. It was also awarded “Best Family Film” at the Wild Rose Film Festival in Des Moines, Iowa.

The University of Missouri Extension, along with 4-H clubs, schools, animals shelters and other groups across the state, are joining forces for a “Commit to Be Kind” weekend.

Ten percent of ticket sales will go to Missouri 4-H programs.

The movie will play at the Grain Valley Marketplace 8 & GS and the Lee's Summit 16.

For movie information go to www.marshallthemiracledog.com. For information on show times in the metro area go to B&B ticket information at www.dtmovies.com/movie_detail?movie_id=196182. For help with large group sales call B&B at 660-591-5694.

Weir joins effort to help homeless veterans

INDEPENDENCE | Mayor Eileen Weir says she would join First Lady Michelle Obama in committing to end veteran homelessness by the end this year. Last summer, the First Lady issued a call to action through the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

“The city of Independence is committed to working alongside local, regional and national leaders to combat veteran homelessness in our communities,” Weir said in a news release. “I am proud to join together with mayors around the country who are leading this effort.”

The city said it would work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and the National League of Cities to leverage federal resources and develop a local strategy to make sure that veterans in Independence access stable housing and the help they need to stay off the street.

‘The Crucible’ at Raytown High

RAYTOWN | Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible" will be pressented this weekend at Raytown High School, 6109 Blue Ridge Blvd.

Set in 1692, the play is based on the Salem witch trials in Massachusetts, but is not actual history. When the play first appeared in 1953, it was intended to be an allegory about the anti-communist Red Scare and Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s congressional hearings.

“It is a well-written drama that presents a moral dilemma,” Director Katie Kolster said.

Performances will be in a theater-in-the round format at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday.

Because of limited seating, advance ticket purchase is suggested. Call 816-268-7300 or email kathleen.kolster@raytownschools.org.

Braden Best and Hanna Treat will portray John and Elizabeth Proctor. Dykota Sprinkle and Amethyst Moraine will portray Giles and Martha Corey. Francis Nurse and Rebecca Nurse will be played by Lia Bowne and Hannah Steele, and Tituba and Sarah Good will be played by Raynesha Green and Gi Gi Willett.

Tours in April for Friendship House

MIDTOWN | Friendship House, the mental health agency ReDiscover’s historic Hyde Park home, has been redecorated and refurbished, and the public will be able to tour the three-story, eight-bedroom home in April.

Friendship House is a component of that program and provides a safe, dignified haven where women can live while in recovery from alcohol and substance abuse disorders. The agency says it is the only program in Kansas City that allows addicted mothers to bring their children with them to treatment.

Tours at the home, 3728 Gillham Road, will be offered April 17-19. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at rediscovermh.org. Tickets are $12 for groups of 10 or more. For more information and additional ticket outlets, visit rediscovermh.org or call 816-581-5800.

University Women to hold used book sale

INDEPENDENCE | The American Association of University Women will sponsor its 41st annual used book sale March 5-7 at Independence Center. The event raises money for scholarships presented to senior girls from Van Horn, Truman and William Chrisman high schools.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Independence branch of American Association of University Women.

KC a finalist for health award

KANSAS CITY | The city announced last week that it is one of 15 finalists for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize, which honors communities for their commitment to building a health culture for all residents.

Up to 10 honorees will be announced this fall.

| Elaine Adams and Norma King