Cass County Democrat Missourian

One lucky owl escaped tragedy at Southwick Stadium in the Belton School District

This horned owl is now flying free after getting stuck in a soccer net at Southwick Stadium in the Belton School District. A high school teacher’s parents, who are trained in raptor rescue, were called to safely extract the bird.
This horned owl is now flying free after getting stuck in a soccer net at Southwick Stadium in the Belton School District. A high school teacher’s parents, who are trained in raptor rescue, were called to safely extract the bird.

Owl freed from Belton soccer net

It’s always a bad day if you are an owl who gets tangled up in a soccer net.

But if that soccer net is at Southwick Stadium in the Belton School District, you find people who know how to get you out.

That’s what happened in early October when a juvenile great horned owl was found trapped in the netting, according to a district Facebook post. The staff contacted Belton High School teacher Kelly Bixby, who volunteers with Friends of Lakeside Nature Center along with her parents, Belton alumni Dan and Debbie Haus. Bixby summoned her parents, who are trained in raptor rescue, handling and releasing.

Dan Haus arrived in a suit and tie after rushing to the stadium from his law firm. After donning Kevlar gloves, Bixby’s father grabbed the bird, flipped it over and held its feet while his wife cut the netting from around the owl’s neck and wings.

“Once he was freed,” Bixby said, “the owl was placed into a towel-lined bird box, basically just a Tupperware tub with air holes, and my mom drove him to Lakeside for an examination.”

Though part of the animal’s wing was swollen, it was pronounced fit a couple of days later and released at the stadium the following Saturday.

Civic groups honor Ray-Pec students

Two civic organizations have designated their October Students of the Month at Raymore-Peculiar High School.

Braden Zaner and Camryn Stickel were honored by the Raymore-Peculiar Sunrise Optimist Club, while Spencer Harris and Peyton Balfour were recognized by the Belton-Raymore Rotary Club.

Free Thanksgiving banquet for senior citizens

Older adults in the Harrisonville area are invited to the annual Senior Citizens’ Thanksgiving Banquet on Nov. 25, hosted by the Harrisonville High School Student Council. The banquet will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the high school gym. After dinner, guests will be entertained by the HHS Jazz Band and the Music Makers show choir. No RSVP is needed, but anyone needing transportation should contact Emily Terwilliger at 816-380-3273, extension. 6850.

The dinner is underwritten by donations from local businesses and individuals. Contributions are being accepted at three levels: $20/turkey, $50/dinner, and $100/event. Send or deliver checks, payable to HHS Student Council, to the school at 1504 E. Elm St., Harrisonville, MO 64701. Direct questions to Terwilliger, whose email address is

High school theater

For inexpensive entertainment, many theater buffs like to patronize high school productions. These two are coming up on the same weekend in November:

“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” 7 p.m. Nov. 7-9 and 2 p.m. Nov. 10 at Belton High School. The play features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Buy tickets at

“Lost in Yonkers” by Neil Simon, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7-9 and at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at Raymore-Peculiar High School. Reserve tickets by calling 816-892-3999, extension 2400.

Key cast members for “Lost in Yonkers” include Denton Meehan, Aidan Martel, Alec Heriford, Ella Schnake, Abby Ball, Spencer Barr and Larissa Wratney, with female and male understudies Kennedy Kinnick and Gavin Carter. The assistant directors are Molly Loman, Blake Oser and Zoe Shriner. The stage managers are Spencer Harris, Jillian Humke and Zach Scott.

Let the games begin

Sherwood Middle School students in Casey Howell’s eighth-grade health class had to learn about the different systems in the human body, so why not make a game of it?

One group of students made the digestive system, and the object of their game was to be the fastest to push a marble through the digestive tract. Another group, assigned the nervous system, developed game of getting messages from the body to the brain and back again.

Muffins for staff members

To experience a ritual of autumn, Kinder Kastle Preschool students helped make pumpkin muffins last month at Harrisonville Christian School. Once the muffins were out of the oven, the children delivered the treats to several staff members before partaking in their classroom.

The students delivered their muffins to the administrative staff at Harrisonville Christian School.