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Jackson and Cass counties: News from around our towns

Before the winter break, students at Hillcrest Elementary in Belton enjoyed Polar Express Day. Clad in pajamas, students arrived to find the school transformed into a winter wonderland. A train track ran down every hallway, and Principal Principal Alisa Seidelman (pictured) picked up students who “choo-chooed” to the library for a reading of the book “Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. Elves brought hot cocoa and candy canes to the students, who then watched the film “Polar Express” in the gymnasium. Counselor Carrie Braun and second-grade teacher Jessica Langston organized the event.
Before the winter break, students at Hillcrest Elementary in Belton enjoyed Polar Express Day. Clad in pajamas, students arrived to find the school transformed into a winter wonderland. A train track ran down every hallway, and Principal Principal Alisa Seidelman (pictured) picked up students who “choo-chooed” to the library for a reading of the book “Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg. Elves brought hot cocoa and candy canes to the students, who then watched the film “Polar Express” in the gymnasium. Counselor Carrie Braun and second-grade teacher Jessica Langston organized the event. Submitted photo

Declare your love at Old Red Bridge

Again this Valentine’s season, Kansas City Parks and Recreation encourages people to celebrate their commitment to each other by affixing padlocks to the Old Red Bridge in Minor Park.

It’s a custom that originated in Europe, where couples placed padlocks on bridges, fences, gates or other structures to symbolize their unbreakable love.

The Old Red Bridge is near its replacement on Red Bridge Road between Holmes and Blue River roads in south Kansas City. The bridge is also a popular wedding location, according to the parks department.

Visit lock-itz.com to purchase a custom engraved lock with a portion of proceeds supporting Kansas City parks. Include “I LOVE KC Parks!” in the notes section when you order. KC skyline, #LoveKC or Old Red Bridge locks are available at MakeLoveLocks.com.

Love Locks also can be purchased at the Minor Park Golf Course Pro Shop.

The Old Red Bridge, the third one in that general location, was dedicated by Harry Truman in January 1933 during the Great Depression.

Indoor run to benefit Independence PTAs

The third annual Pound the Ground for the Kids Adventure Run is coming up later this month to raise money for schools in Independence.

The run/jog/walk will take place at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24 on a climate-controlled course in The Caves in Space Center Executive Park, off U.S. 24 at 1500 W. GeoSpace Drive, Independence.

Proceeds from the registration fee will support the participant’s choice of any PTA in the Independence School District.

“This race has the full backing of the Independence School District, and we encourage anyone who is able to participate either as a runner or a sponsor,” said district Superinendent Dale Herl. “Our PTAs are a support system for our schools that we couldn’t do without, and by taking part in this fundraiser, you are helping them help students throughout the year.”

Fees vary for individuals, families and teams. For details and to register, go to poundthegroundforthekids.org.

A silent auction will be held for four Disney Hopper Passes valued at $536, along with a raffle for prizes from a variety of local entertainment venues and businesses.

Vehicle thefts rise in Blue Springs

An increase in motor vehicle thefts has prompted the Blue Springs Police Department to issue tips to lessen the risk of becoming a victim:

▪ Always lock your vehicle.

▪ Never leave the vehicle running and always take the keys with you, even if stepping away for just a moment.

▪ Close all windows and the sunroof.

▪ Don’t leave valuables or personal information visible in the vehicle.

▪ If you can, park in your garage.

▪ Consider investing in security items like remote starts, auto alarms or automated GIS locator systems. Thieves are reluctant to steal a vehicle if they know it can be recovered quickly. Insurers may offer discounts for these types of systems.

Scam alert in Jackson County

The Central Jackson County Fire Protection District has received calls about a suspected scam in which a telephone caller asks for donations for the district’s “Widow’s Fund.”

When pressed for more information the caller becomes rude and hangs up. The district, which serves the Blue Springs/Grain Valley area, advises against disclosing any information. Would-be victims also should notify their local fire department of any such call.

The district said that in the rare cases when money is solicited by phone, the caller should be courteous and able to answer questions.

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