Future meetings of the Holden City Council whether they be held in City Hall or elsewhere will have a “police presence” after a vote was held at the regular February meeting of the council last Tuesday night requiring an officer to attend all meetings.
Councilman Jim Robison brought the issue to the table in a response to the recent shootings at the Kirkwood, MO, City Council meeting where five individuals were killed.
He said that there are such things copy cat crimes and there was no reason to think that it couldn’t happen here.
In many meetings in the past, an officer had been present, but was subject to be called away. City mayor Mike Wakeman said the officer now required at meetings would be dedicated to that task only.
The vote also called for the item to be put on the agenda for the next meeting as a city ordinance.
In other action at the meeting, the council took another step closer to the hiring of a city administrator. Wakeman stated that 17 individuals had shown interest in the position and after narrowing down the list, six were sent letters inviting them to formally apply. The city has received two applications and according to Wakeman they will be turned over to the City Administrators Association of Western Missouri where they will undergo background checks by that agency.
“We’re possibly looking at about 30 days for the process to be completed,” the mayor continued. “If everything goes well, we might have a recommendation for the job by the March meeting.”
In an update for the request for engineering services for the sidewalk project grant, Wakeman reported that there had been one engineer submit a bid. He said that his name would be forwarded to the Missouri Department of Transportation for review.
He also reported that there was to be a public hearing Tuesday, February 19 on an appeal by the resident of 801 S. Pine. The residence has been deemed a dangerous building after being damaged by fire.
In the resolutions and ordinances section of the meeting, a final reading was passed on a bill agreeing to a settlement from AT&T of approximately $14,000. The money is to reimburse the city for unpaid business license taxes.
First readings were also held on a Sprint settlement agreement possibly giving the city approximately $4,600 and a lease-purchase agreement with Kansas State Bank of Manhattan, KS, for extrication equipment needed by the Holden Fire Department.
In a final item, the council tabled discussion of cleaning services for City Hall and the Holden Police Department. Wakeman stated that he had talked to the present contractor and feels confident that the city should leave the present arrangement in place until a new contract is due.
The contractor had relayed to the mayor that there had been a communications problem and he would like to have one or two “go to people” to communicate with.
By Steve Sullins
Personnel matters were discussed and voted on in executive session of the Kingsville School Board last Thursday night, according to superintendent Kevin Coleman.
The board approved two two-year contracts for their principals, Lorna Warren and Angela Helms; a threeyear contract for Coleman; and hired Robert Kiely as instructor for the industrial technology position.
In old business, several members of the community were on hand to voice their opinions about the removal of the vo-tech/FFA program at Kingsville. Bryan Simms told board members his son Bryce received the State Farmer Degree in FFA and he (Bryce) wants to continue farming when he completes school. Simms credits the FFA program for helping his son achieve this award and wanted the board to know his opinion. Board president Martha Bush told Simms she was grateful to him for attending the meeting and sharing his concerns.
Next to address the board was student Chelsea Huddleston who expressed concerns about not having FFA and vo-ag as part of the curriculum. “Mr. Ferguson has taught me everything I know in this area,” she said. Bush thanked Huddleston for coming to the meeting and voicing her opinion.
Tina Herrington also approached the board with concerns about them voting to discontinue the vo-ag/FFA programs. She questioned board members as to what the current FFA members would do without the program. Bush informed her that it was up to each individual student to decide what classes to take that would be best for their future needs. Herrington stated she felt like she wasn’t getting answers or getting anywhere with her concerns to the board on this issue. The board maintained their position that the decision was made and voted on to replace the current programs with the new industrial technology classes which they believe will serve more of the student body. Bush reminded Herrington it was within their authority to make decisions regarding curriculum. Herrington then mentioned a petition and state audit. The board told her they felt they had spent quite a bit of time on this issue and their decision had been made and it would not be changed.
In open forum, Linda Duncan addressed the board stating she totally supported them and the teachers but was concerned about the class size of the first grade. She said she understood the district goes by state guidelines but felt they needed to look at the class size and see if it would merit having a teacher’s aide to help give one-on-one attention. She also felt this might be an issue in retaining teachers and said the school should support the teachers when they get a large class. “Maybe you could draft a policy especially for ages kindergarten through second grade to address class sizes and teachers’ aides,” stated Duncan. Bush thanked Duncan for expressing her concerns to the board.
In financial business, Coleman presented the audit to the board and was open to questions regarding the audit. The board made a motion to approve the audit. Coleman also gave the board a copy of this year’s budget and stated he had no concerns about it.
In old business, Al West reported on the A+ informational meeting that was held recently, saying approximately 30 people attended.
In high school reports, principal Lorna Warren reported that attendance was at 96.55 percent. She also told the board the semester honor roll breakfast was held February 1 with 63 students attending. She said they wanted to say thank you to the organizers and coordinators of the event as it was a success. She went on to say Kingsville will be hosting the Mid-State Conference Math Contest for grades six through nine on March 4. “The high school teams are attending the TEAMS competition at MU February 27. Bank of Holden and F&C Bank are sponsoring the entry fees ($200 per team). We are currently looking for parents to drive us because the buses are being inspected that day,” Charlene Atkins said. She also said she will be hosting three math labs for ninth and 10th grade students. This is to help students improve math skills while learning the technological tools available to them. The dates are February 1, March 6 and April 24.
In other event news, Laurie Kempker reported the title of the school play is “Happy Birthday Dear Grandpa” and is a comedy. There will be one performance on Saturday, March 15 at 7 p.m. and there will be a dessert bar, sponsored by the senior class, during the intermission. They will be asking for donations only, as they did last year, according to Kempker.
Atkins also sent a report on students who were enrolled in dual credit classes, stating 16 students were participating. Bush stated she was excited the district has so many students in dual credit courses.
In other student activity news, instructor Kim Willcockson sent a report on Quiz Bowl season. She said the junior high team has 10 members, and on the senior team there are 12 members. She went on to give dates of upcoming tournaments and matches.
Other upcoming dates, according to Willcockson are: February 19-22, FFA Week; February 25-29, district basketball at Kingsville; March 4, conference math tournament at Kingsville; March 7, half-day professional development; and March 15 is the spring play, as mentioned earlier.
In sports news, athletic director Mike Bodenhamer sent a report stating the boys’ team took third place in the Wellington tournament and Justin Howerton made the all-tournament team. He added, “It looks like approximately 19 boys are going out for baseball. We really need a pitching machine and a net for it. We are in very good shape in all sports with our uniforms; we have some of the best in the area.”
In other contest news, Warren reported Dakota Ross of Kingsville Middle School finished third in the Central District for the MSHSAA middle-level/junior high essay contest. The topic of the essay contest was “What can my school do to promote positive sportsmanship and who could lead the way?”
In elementary news, principal Angela Helms reported a 96 percent attendance rate. “The honor roll breakfast was held February 1. Students making the “A” or “B” honor roll were in attendance. Seventy-six elementary students received the special breakfast. The kitchen staff prepared an amazing breakfast for the students,” said Helms.
She went on to say she had reworked the honor roll requirements to make them more fair for the students. “I have chosen to stay consistent with the high school and base the honor roll on grade point average (GPA),” said Helms.
In an event update, Helms reminded the board of the following dates: February 18, no school, President’s Day; February 19, PTO meeting at 3:30 p.m./ PTO Zoo Night at 7 p.m.; February 20, Kindergarten Round-Up at 6:30 p.m.; March 7, literacy training with Jennifer Williams; and March 11, Read Across America.
In other elementary news, Helms said, “The DARE program is back and has added more classes. The full DARE program for the fifth grade will begin in April. The DARE officers have added first and third grade to their DARE schedule. First and third grades will have only short lessons for four weeks. This gets students adapted early to the program.”
The regular session of the Kingsville R-I School District was closed and the board went into executive session to make personnel decisions. The next school board meeting will be held on March 13 at 7 p.m.
By Dana Neubert
Dr. Mike Hough, a 1987 Holden High School graduate, will return to the Holden R-III School District as the new middle school principal, effective August 1.
He will replace Gregg Montgomery who recently announced his retirement effective June 30.
A lifelong resident of Holden, Hough has spent 15 years in education, teaching in the Knob Noster School District for 13 years and the Lee’s Summit School District for the past two years.
He has taught science, including dual credit AP chemistry classes at Knob Noster from 1993-2006. He also has taught science, including international baccalaureate chemistry classes in Lee’s Summit for the past two years. Other duties have included robotics coach, science olympiad coach, academic bowl coach and computer network supervisor.
Hough’s education includes a bachelor of science in education in chemistry and biology, a bachelor of arts in chemistry and a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Central Missouri. He completed his master of science degree in school administration from UCM in 1998. He received his specialist in education degree in school leadership in 2006 and his doctor of education degree in 2007, both from Saint Louis University.
Fifth grade students in Robin Eissler’s class at Holden Intermediate School recently traveled to Jefferson City for the Show-Me TechKowledge Day.
The three students, Gene Collins, Michael Stehwien and Shawn Calhoun, demonstrated what they had worked on during a recent natural resource project to Representative David Pearce and others.
The students chose to portray Georgia peach tree farmers as part of their project. They also kept track of the water they used at home for one week, then online with a project called “Down the Drain” they got to compare their usage with other students in other states and even other countries. This was a great learning experience for them, according to Eissler.
They also took a trip to the local water plant and were given a tour by water superintendent Tony Lerda who explained how people in Holden get their water.
As peach tree farmers, they encountered the same problems real farmers are having with the drought in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. They came up with possible solutions, then chose the most effective answer to their problem. They put their presentation on Power Point and took it to Jefferson City to show representatives how the school’s technology dollars are being spent and how technology helped them apply what they learned to real world problems.
Collins said, “It was fun to go to Jefferson City; we got to see the session, learned about three point perspective pictures and rode the train. We went up in the dome and looked down to see the first floor rotunda which was really far down. We also learned the foothills at the bottom of Lake Lanier were rising to the surface and they have had to close more than 100 boat ramps because of it.”
“It was fun getting to see everything and meet the representatives. It was also fun getting to do the project and learning about peach tree farmers,” stated Stehwien.
Calhoun added, “It was great being able to represent our school. We went to the top of the capitol; it was very windy there, but all in all it was an exciting day.”
For their project, students created a story map using Inspiration which they used to create a presentation. Pictures, video clips, and narrations served to bring home the real world application in this assignment. Students realized that the decisions they choose can make a difference in the world.
Eissler, the boys and their parents, traveled by Amtrak to visit Jefferson City and meet Pearce and others. She feels it was a very rewarding and educational experience for the students and for herself.
By Dana Neubert
Former Missouri 124th District representative Rex Rector has announced his plans to run for the Missouri State Senate’s 31st District on the Republican party ticket.
The 31st District encompasses Johnson, Cass, Bates and Vernon Counties.
During his tenure as a state representative from 2001 through 2006, Rector served on the transportation committee, the corrections & state institutions committee and was chairman of the telecommunications, energy, and technology committee.
While serving in the House of Representatives, he was awarded the 100 percent For Jobs award from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau’s Friend of Agriculture award three times, the Missouri Home Builder’s Association Legislative award, the Cass County Fire Protection District Association Legislative Award, the Missouri Right to Life Endorsement, the National Federation of Independent Business Endorsement and the All Children Matter Endorsement.
Rector served on the governor’s energy task force, was the governor’s appointee to the Southern States Energy Board and a member of the American Legislative Exchange Counsel.
He continues to serve his community as the pastor of a small house church and has owned and operated Rector Construction Company, his family business, for more than 30 years. Rector is a member of the Harrisonville Kiwanis Club and the Harrisonville and Peculiar Chambers of Commerce. He has been a member of Farm Bureau for 23 years and is a former board of director’s member. He is also an ongoing supporter of the local crisis pregnancy center.
Born into a family of farmers in Rockville, MO, Rector says he gained his sense of values and learned the meaning of hard work and personal responsibility from his family. After graduating from high school in 1969, he went on to receive his agriculture degree in soil science from then Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg in 1973.
Rector and his wife Debbie have been married for 30 years. they have two grown children, Heather and Caleb, and three grandchildren, E.J., Justus and Elise.
His wife Debbie said, “I have been married to Rex for more than 30 years and in that time, I have come to know his strong conviction before God to do what is right no matter what the cost to himself. Rex is a common sense, practical man who will always make the decision he believes is best for the long haul.”
According to a report from Peter Lobdell, Missouri state supervisor for the state’s Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, seven area businesses were subject to recent alcohol compliance checks.
Three of the investigations in Johnson and Jackson counties resulted in the arrest of individuals working at the establishment on the charge of sale of liquor to a minor. In addition, the retail locations were cited for sale of liquor to a minor and will face possible fines and/or suspension of their liquor licenses from the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control.
According to the division report, the offenders were Shamrock Food Mart #3 at 33909 East 50 Highway, Lone Jack; Blackwater Amoco, 677 NW US 50 West, Centerview; and Quick Mart, 1601 N.W. Highway 50, Kingsville.
Lobdell also pointed out that four other establishments in this area did not sell to the undercover minor. They were Holden Package Store, 107 S. Pine Street, Holden; Break Time #3040, 215 W. Second Street, Holden; Pittsville PDQ, 549 Highway NW 131, Holden; and Fast Foodmart, 503 N.W. 50 Highway, Centerview.
The supervisor noted that these establishments and their employees are the first line of defense in the battle against underage drinking. He praised them for their continued efforts in making Missouri a safer and healthier environment for its youth.
He also stressed that the charges for which those arrested are mere accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charge must be presented before a court of competent jurisdiction, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
Those who have questions about the compliance check program may call special agent Nancy McGee in the division’s St. Louis district office at (314) 340-6835.
By Steve Sullins