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February 18, 2021 Vol. 4 No. 7

O n l i n e w e e k l y a t w w w. g r a i n v a l l e y n e w s . c o m

Public Works staff on the job round the clock keeping streets clear, water flowing With students at home learning virtually and several businesses closed due to this week’s winter weather, many residents are able to stay in and watch the snow and mercury fall from the comfort of their homes. Not so for the ten employees who make up the Grain Valley Public Works department. On Sunday, February 14th, Public Works Team A worked a 12-hour shift, applying a salt treatment and then plowing snow. During the day on the 14th, a water main break occurred on Old 40 Highway which required other Public Works staff to be called in to repair the water line. On Monday, February 15th, Public Works Team B worked a shift plowing snow and treating streets. The work continued Tuesday, February 16th and Wednesday,


510 Counseling Group opens in Grain Valley Recognizing a need for therapy services in the area, and a desire to invest in the community, Grain Valley resident Melissa Winston opened 510 Counseling Group at 1406 Eagles Parkway in January. “All of our team members have specialization in working with teens and families. It was a perfect space to be right near the alternative school and the high school. It worked out that this is an ideal space to connect with the community,” Winston said. Prior to opening her own practice, Winston worked with a nonprofit organization providing direct instruction on healthy relationships to high school health classes. The program opened up a text line for students to text in questions, and Winston, as the trained therapist, answered those questions. “We got thousands of questions, and heard a lot of heartbreak. You work with kids and deal with their big issues, and I just thought, ‘I want to help at a higher level’,” Winston said. Winston returned to school while continuing work at the community level, deciding to focus on the micro level,

Left to right: Licensed professional counselor Janelle DeBlock, MA, LPC with 510 Counseling Group, and Melissa Winston, MS, LMFT, owner of 510 Counseling Group, located at 1406 Eagles Parkway in Grain Valley. Photo credit: Valley News staff helping families on an individual basis. Winston stresses therapy is a helpful tool in all stages of life, but the need

has increased for everyone due to the stress the pandemic has caused on daily life.

see PUBLIC WORKS on page 5 see 510 COUNSELING on page 5

Valley News joins effort to

Good News:

#MakeKindnessTheNorm The week of February 15th is National Random Acts of Kindness Week, and we’ve been chatting on social media with residents about the kind acts that have touched their lives. We’ve received several messages and nominations, many from folks who wish their kind deeds to remain anonymous. This makes it tough for us as story writers, but we appreciate the quiet way so many in our community go about showing kindness to those in need. Grain Valley Police Chief James Beale reflected on the many acts of kindness his department has received. “I think the best act of kindness displayed this past year has been the overall support that the Police

Department has received from the community. The community support provided mental nutrition to our minds,” Beale said. Jerry Vaughan, board member with the Grain Valley Assistance Council (GVAC), shared there was an opportunity for the community to spread kindness to those in need through food donations for the Counci’s pantry. For a full list of needed items, please see page 5. Food items can be dropped off in the GVAC collection barrel, located just inside the entrance at the Grain Valley Community Center, any time during regular Community Center hours. Join the conversation online on Facebook (@grainvalleynews).

Temps Going Up; COVID-19 Cases Trending Down After brutal cold weather caused schools and businesses to close, headaches with frozen pipes, water main breaks, and dangerous travel conditions the week of February 15th, the National Weather Service Kansas City projects high temperatures in the upper 40s to 50s by early next week. While the area welcomes the rise in temps, a downward trend in COVID-19 cases is welcome news as well. According to data from Missouri’s

Show Me Strong Recovery plan website, as of February 16th, cases are down 50.1% and deaths down 28.6% compared to the prior seven days in Jackson County. The past seven days, the County has reported 241 positive cases and 5 deaths. Officials stress mask wearing, social distancing, regular hand washing, and monitoring of symptoms are still critical steps to continuing the downward trend.

In This Edition: Looking Back: News stories from the 1980s


Business: Goettling sails into new insurance career


Your Health: Navigating the diet craze maze


Sports: Eagles Driskell talks baseball as Royals begin spring training


Cover Photo: Looking west on Walnut on February 15th. Wind chills ranged from –20 to –30. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Photo credit: Valley News staff

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Police Blotter The following information is derived from the Grain Valley Police Department daily calls for service log for the week of February 3-8, 2021. February 3, 2021 Sni A Bar & Montana Ridge StoneBrook & Cross Creek LN 1300 Block of Brentwood 400 Block of Joseph LN 1300 Block of Golfview CT 1100 Block of Blue Branch 100 Block of Main ST 100 Block of Main ST 700 Block of NW Albatross 700 Block of Main ST 100 Block of Ephraim February 4, 2021 100 Block of Cross Creek DR 700 Block of Main ST 300 Block of Valley RD 100 Block of James Rollo 100 Block of E Harris 100 Block of SW Eagles PKWY 600 Block of Walnut February 5, 2021 1000 Block of Sandy 100 Block of McQuerry 700 Block of Main ST

Traffic Accident Traffic Accident Civil Stand By Suspicious Vehicle Suspicious Vehicle Verbal Disturbance Suspicious Person Suspicious Person Agency Assist, CJC Recovered Stolen Vehicle Disturbance

911 Hang Up (Accidental) Warrant Confirmation Threats Disturbance Disturbance Alarm Citizen Contact

1000 Block of Sandy 1100 Block of Main ST 1100 Block of Main ST 200 Block of Amanda CT 1100 Block of Dean

Residence Check Dealer Inspection Walk in, Property Damage Suspicious Activity Disturbance C&I Driver Disturbance Alarm

February 6, 2021 Main & 40 HWY 700 Block of Cross Creek

Traffic Accident Verbal Disturbance

1400 Block of Golfview Main & 40 HWY Albatross & Scenic

1400 Cross Creek Sweetgum 200 Block of Cross Creek DR 1300 Valley Woods CT 2000 Block of Sycamore I 70 & Main ST 700 Block of Main ST

Check the Welfare Traffic Accident Animal Welfare Check Disturbance Officer Assist Agency Assist, Highway Patrol Agency Assist, CJC Noise Complaint Disturbance Disturbance Noise Complaint Disabled Vehicle Citizen Contact

February 7, 2021 200 Block of Valley 1100 Block of Buckner Tarsney 700 Block of Main ST 800 Hilltop CT 600 Block of Tisha 100 Cross Creek DR 700 Block of Main ST Main & Jefferson Cross Creek & Stonebrook

Disturbance Suspicious Person Traffic Accident Fireworks C & I Driving Noise Complaint Citizen Contact Traffic Accident Disturbance

1300 Block of Valley Woods CT 700 Block of Main ST I 70 & BB Hwy

February 8, 2021 US 40 HWY 1500 Nicholas I 70 WB Exit Ramp 900 Block of Ryan RD 1500 Block of Nicholas 700 Block Main ST 900 Abar I 70 at 23.6 I 70 E

Check the Wellbeing Pedestrian Check the Wellbeing Vehicle off Roadway Alarm Assist CJC Citizen Contact Parking Complaint Vehicle off Roadway Pedestrian Check

Sustaining Members Thank you to our first sustaining members for their support of local news. Join them in supporting YOUR local news at https://www.grainvalleynews.com/store/p7/sustainingmember.html.

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Valley News Grain Valley News is a free community paper, published weekly on Thursdays online at www.grainvalleynews.com and on the 1st and 3rd weeks of the month in print. Cory Unrein | Co-Owner/Publisher John Unrein | Co-Owner/Production Manager Cathy Allie | Staff Writer, Proofreader John Overstreet | Contributing Photographer Mail: PO Box 2972 Grain Valley MO 64029 Phone: 816.809.7984 Email: news@grainvalleynews.com Join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @grainvalleynews Sign up at www.grainvalleynews.com to have Valley News delivered weekly to your inbox.

Over the past few weeks, my office has been hearing from constituents about an important piece of legislation working its way through the Missouri General Assembly. Senate Bill 51, also known as a COVID liability bill, provides legal protections for hardworking health care workers, businesses, certain manufacturers and others from opportunistic lawsuits stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the bill’s potential impact on our state, I wanted to take some time to talk about SB 51 and answer some of the reoccurring questions we have been getting regarding it. Why do we need a COVID-19 liability protection bill? During this pandemic, Missouri health care workers and charities should be encouraged to step up and serve their communities as best they can without fear of frivolous lawsuits. Missouri businesses are struggling as it is—they need certainty that they can safely reopen their doors, provide livelihoods and meet customers’ needs without the possibility of getting dragged into court and bankrupted by costly legal battles. Senate Bill 51 attempts to provide these reassurances and allow for an orderly recovery from the pandemic. What does the bill cover? Senate Bill 51 covers three main areas of liability relating to COVID-19: Exposure Liability – Businesses, schools, religious institutions and other entities are protected from lawsuits for someone being exposed to COVID-19 on their premises, unless the entity engaged in recklessness or willful misconduct that caused the exposure to COVID-19 and the exposure harmed others. Medical Liability – Health care providers are protected from damages that arise out of their efforts to provide COVID-19 related health care services, so long as they did not act recklessly or commit misconduct. The bill also stipulates that an elective procedure that is delayed for good cause will not be considered grounds for a suit. This language does not disregard any negligent acts that occur in nursing homes, long-term care facilities or hospitals that negatively affect the overall care of patients and residents. Product Liability – Certain manufacturers who produce equipment and supplies they would not make in the ordinary course of business in response to the pandemic would be protected from lawsuits relating to the products, unless they acted recklessly or committed fraud.

Does SB 51 protect bad actors? No. As mentioned above, SB 51 does not protect individuals or entities who engage in fraud, deception, or reckless or willful misconduct. Does SB 51 limit other lawsuits? No. The legislation specifically says it does not limit or prohibit lawsuits relating to business closures or limiting activities by state or local orders; alleged breach of contract against insurers for refusal to pay business interruption claims; or alleged breach of contract against schools for refund of tuition or costs. What is the statute of limitations for COVID-19 actions? The statute of limitations for the three types of COVID-19 actions is as follows: Exposure actions – Two years after alleged exposure Medical liability actions – One year after the discovery of harm unless extended in order to obtain proof of fraud, intentional concealment or the presence of a foreign body with no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose Product liability actions – Two years after the alleged harm unless extended in order to obtain proof of fraud or intentional concealment Does SB 51 require vaccinations? No. Senate Bill 51 specifically says this law shall not be construed or used to mandate or require vaccinations or proof of vaccination. Furthermore, SB 51 does not provide protection from vaccine-related personal injuries claims. It’s worth noting the provisions described above are only the Senate’s version of SB 51. As it prepares to head to the Missouri House of Representatives for further consideration in the near future, understand SB 51 is subject to change. Even as some of the more technical aspects of the bill are worked out, I firmly believe SB 51 will ensure health care workers, small businesses and others can operate without fear of being punished for simply trying to do the right thing during an extremely difficult time. I am honored to continue serving the citizens of the 8th Senatorial District. If there is anything I can do to serve you, please feel free to contact my office in Jefferson City at (573) 751-1464. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation for the 2021 session, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at senate.mo.gov/Cierpiot.

Looking Back

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Looking Back: News stories from the 1980s by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society During the 1980s, the good citizens of Grain Valley depended on area papers for their news. Often you would find Grain Valley stories in the Buckner Villager or the Oak Grove Banner. The Central and North Kansas City Star was a weekly insert in The Kansas City Star. It was during the late 1980s that the Independence Examiner seemed to expand their coverage to include more news from Eastern Jackson County. For a year, possibly two years, around 1986 the Valley News was published in our community. I have not been able to learn very much about this newspaper. I contacted a few people to gather information; only one remembered the paper, others did not. I was only able to learn that the owner/ publisher was Richard J. and Becky A. Rippe. I found an address on Vesper in Blue Springs. They were only married a few years from 1982 to about 1988. I believe the paper may have ended with the marriage. Among all of the papers from the 1980s, the stories all shared one central theme –the growth of Grain Valley. The

real estate section in the want ads featured many new homes and acres of land for sale all around the town. If you lived in Grain Valley in the 1980s you may remember some of these stories. After a petition by a group of citizens, home mail delivery increased by 117 new locations. After the death of Ken Ramsey, Valley Fair Daze chairman, an attempt was made to build a horse show arena south of town.

cafeteria at the middle school, junior high and high school. In 1988 the school purchased nearly 60 acres on AA Highway (now Eagles Parkway) from Steve and Debbie Gildehaus for $142,000. Don’t you wonder what that same land would cost today. Remember the acid leak from the railroad tanker car in April of 1985. Thirty-five homes were evacuated and the airport was closed until the acid could be cleaned up.

A flying club was established at the East Kansas City Airport and many local residents began flying lessons.

In 1988 we almost got a weather station on Monkey Mountain. Not everyone was in favor! The weather station was built in Pleasant Hill.

In 1985 a group of citizens and the city fought to lower the cost of telephone service to the metropolitan Kansas City area. Residents were paying $8 more per month than Blue Springs residents for the same service.

Of course, the Valley News always carried lots of high school sports. 1986 was an outstanding football season. We lost the Class 2A district title to Penney High School in Hamilton, MO.

To meet the ever-increasing population a 1985 school bond issue added classrooms at Matthew Elementary and increase the size of the

But I think my favorite story had to be, “New Neighbors Create a Stink in Grain Valley.”

1988. It appears that seeking food, a number of skunks had come to town. The subject was brought up and discussed by Winona Burgess, Ward 1 councilwoman at the monthly meeting. The city administrator sought advice from the Missouri Department of Conservation. It was decided that the homeowner would have to take care of the problem themselves. However, it was announced that skunks do not like to get their feet dirty. Therefore a mixture of roofing tar and creosote would discourage the skunks and once they left your property you should “plug up the holes in your foundations and sheds.”

Next Week: The Pointe Visit the Grain Valley Historical Society at 506 S. Main on Wednesdays or visit us online at ww.grainvalleyhistory.com and Facebook (@grainvalleyhistory).

The story appeared in August of

Missouri Trivia by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society Long before the State Fair began, Missouri livestock breeders received thousands of premiums and much recognition at national and international expositions. The state also ranked first in production of several important crops. In recognition of this leadership, the State Agricultural Society established an exposition in Boonville, Missouri in the 1850s – but the project folded after

three years. The first Missouri State Fair was held September 9-13 in 1901. Mr. Norman J. Coleman of St. Louis was the first president of the Board of Directors. From 1901 to today, the Missouri State Fair has been a barometer of the state’s economic health and a documentary of the history of Missouri agriculture. The Missouri State Fair plays an essential role in keeping agriculture one of Missouri’s top industries.

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Join online at www.grainvalleynews.com.


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Goettling sails into new insurance career

Farmers Insurance agency owner Mary Jo Goettling navigated her passion for helping people into a new career. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Davies celebrates 15 years with City

After a successful career in the boating industry, Mary Jo Goettling felt a pull last year to make a change. With a heart to help others navigate through all the seasons of life, Goettling found a home with Farmers Insurance. Goettling’s faith is important to her and it informs how she conducts her business. “We are here to walk alongside people in their lives. We celebrate victories with them and will be there for them in a time of loss. For us, this is about helping to build relationships with people and the business will come,” Goettling said. Goettling opened her agency last October, and is building an agency focused on the ever changing needs of her customers. “We are here to serve them whenever they need us—to celebrate an exciting change like a new car, home, or baby, or in bad times when there’s been an accident or loss.” Goettling selected Farmers after talking with family members who work in insurance and a fellow church member who works for Farmers. “What impressed me was what they do, not just for their agents, but for their customers. Farmers is first on the scene, whether it was Hurricane Katrina or the tornado in Joplin. They were prepared with boots on the ground, and were focused first on the basic needs of their customers, and then quickly took care of their claims. That’s what I want to align myself with,” Goettling said.

While insurance advertising often focuses on cost savings, Goettling emphasizes families must consider their entire picture and understand that fast and cheap insurance coverage is often not good coverage. “I am more concerned about them as a person and taking care of the whole picture. Do we want to save them money? Absolutely we do, and Farmers has a wonderful variety of discounts to save customers money.” “We are very price competitive. There have been customers in the last week who saved half of what they had been paying with companies they had been with for years.” Goettling stresses the importance of regularly reviewing your coverage. “If you are not sitting down with your agent at least once a year and doing a review, then there’s a problem. One thing that Farmers really stresses is to be in a personal relationship with our clientele and to make sure that we annually do a review. We take the opportunity to sit down together and look at what has changed in your life in the past year that may need to be covered differently.” “We have to know what season of life our customers are in. If we’re not doing that, then we’re not doing our job.” Goettling’s agency is located at 628 NW Jefferson Street in Grain Valley, and can be reached by phone at 816355-4747 or online at agent.Farmers.com/mgoettling. Sponsored advertisement, made possible through the Grain Valley Partnership.

Partnership resumes monthly luncheons March 2nd The Grain Valley Partnership will resume its monthly luncheons on March 2nd at the Grain Valley Community Center. Partner businesses

(Left to right): City Administrator Ken Murphy recognizes Shannon Davies, Parks and Recreation Director, for his 15 years of service to the City of Grain Valley. Photo credit: City of Grain Valley

may register for the luncheon via the website, www.growgrainvalley.org, via the Events Calendar.

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February 17th, as snow continued to fall. Crews responded to a second water main break on Tuesday, February 16th on McQuerry Road. Over the last three days, the Public Works staff repaired 40 frozen residential water meters. Reached for comment on the recent work by the department, Community Development Director Mark Trosen was quick to praise the work of the City employees. “The Public Works staff goes above and beyond each day to serve our community but over the last three days due to frigid cold temperatures and snow conditions, that call to service has intensified. Public Works only consist of 10 employees that have worked tirelessly these last few days to ensure that residents have water in their homes and safe streets to drive on,” Trosen said. Work on water mains and residential meters continue as problems arise, and the road crews continue efforts to keep the streets clear. “Grain Valley is divided into three snow districts, for operational purposes, with each district assigned a minimum of one truck. Streets in each district are classified as Priority One/ Emergency Snow Routes (arterial streets), Priority

Two (collectors), and Priority Three (residential and cul-de-sacs). Priority one streets are the first streets to receive attention,” Trosen explained. “Whenever the Priority One streets are deemed safe for travel during or after a snowfall, the City’s plow trucks begin operations on the Priority Two streets while maintaining Priority One streets. After these streets are completed, trucks will move to Priority Three, or residential streets and cul-desacs. If during plowing operations on Priority Two or Three streets it begins to snow again and priority one streets become dangerous, trucks will be dispatched back to these streets as needed.” Public Works crew members are divided into A and B team rotations, rotating weekly to be the first responders. Each team consists of 3 drivers, 1 crew leader and 1 dispatcher per 12-hour shift. The crew leader can salt and plow complaint areas or fill in for a driver that may become ill during shift. Contact Public Works if water is not functioning in your entire home. This may indicate a frozen water meter. They can be called at 816-847-0091, or 816990-1990 after hours.

510 COUNSELING In the lives of teens, the pandemic has intensified issues therapists often see with patients. “We’re seeing a lot of loneliness and isolation. A lot of conflict with parents over technology, because it is their one way to connect with friends. We also see problems with issues such as video game addiction and self harm,” Winston said. “We are seeing a lot of kids who would normally be very successful. Kids who are used to being successful in sports, who are used to being successful in the classroom, are really struggling because they just don’t have their coping strategies accessible to them.” “I think that’s been the case for everyone to a certain degree. You know, I can’t go to the gym, and I can’t talk to people and hang out with my friends. With teens, this turns into trouble managing their emotions, and trouble talking about it.” “A constant theme I hear is ‘I know my situation is not nearly as bad as XYZ’, and they feel bad for feeling the way they feel. So, we just do a lot of giving people space to feel whatever they are feeling and just talk about it.” Winston said everyone can benefit from recognizing the trauma we have all faced over the past year and honestly reflecting and talking about it. “Even though we may have had the best case scenario—no loss of job, no one in your family becoming ill—still as a community, we have experienced collective trauma. Life as we know it is not the same. The uncertainty of the future is looming for everyone. So, I think we have to acknowledge what has happened physically in our bodies..” “When we don’t feel safe that we can leave our homes, that we are going to get a paycheck, that if my kiddo gets a cold it could be COVID and I may lose

continued from page 1 them, we don’t feel that sense of safety and we lose a sense of control, our bodies start to live in this heightened state where our nervous systems are on edge. It makes us more irritable, more impatient, and gives us less ability to make good decisions.” “I really encourage people to take some inventory of where you are. Be honest with yourself, process it and talk about it. When we do that and start to change our pattern of self-care, it can really help.” “We are not okay alone. As people, we don’t do well alone for long. So, that is why it is so important to find creative ways to engage and seek help when we feel we need it.” Winston says if it is not possible to connect in person, connecting by phone or via apps like Snapchat can be fun for adults as well as kids. Janelle DeBlock, MA, LPC, does a lot of work with younger children in her practice and sees the impact of the past year on younger patients as well. While younger children are experiencing the same stresses and disruptions to their lives, DeBlock sees hope in how they cope. I’m actually impressed with how younger kids are aware and understand the situation we are all facing. This whole generation of kiddos have the intelligence and understanding of how our behaviors individually impact the community,” DeBlock said. 510 Counseling Group does not accept insurance, but staff works with clients to provide documentation needed to request reimbursement from insurers, and offers a sliding scale for Grain Valley students. 510 Counseling Group can be reached online at www.510counseling.com and by phone at (816) 443-5279.

Assistance Council Pantry Needs In addition to the regular food items, the Grain Valley Assistance Council pantry is running low on several items, including pancake mix, syrup, jelly and spaghetti. Also needed are the following: mac & cheese, canned corn, rice or pasta side dishes, spaghetti-o's or canned ravioli, canned tomatoes or

tomato sauce, pork & beans, and boxed dinners (hamburger helper style). Food donations can be dropped off in the GVAC collection barrel, located just inside the entrance at the Grain Valley Community Center, any time during the regular Community Center hours.

Community Voices

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Wayne’s World A New Song by Wayne Geiger I was talking to my mom in Florida the other day when she said, “What’s that noise I hear in the background?” I smiled and said, “Oh, that’s the grandson singing.” He loves to sing and, in fact, sings all the time. I love to hear him sing. Sometimes, he will be singing to himself in the back of the car. Sometimes he sings while he plays. Sometimes, the melodies are unrecognizable as he loves to make up songs. Other times, the songs are recognizable. They are tunes that he has picked up from one of the shows that he watches. Sometimes, we sing together and I make up songs that we sing. Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Like most kids, I remember growing up listening to my mom listen to music. My mother loved to sing, and even plays a few instruments. I grew up loving music. I remember when the Glen Campbell show used to come on. As a little kid, I

would run to my room and grab my kid’s guitar and play along (whether it had strings, I don’t remember). Eventually, I began to take piano lessons and enjoyed playing. I took lessons for a couple of years. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Along the way, I discovered that playing the piano wasn’t cool. I’m not sure which one of my friends informed me of that. But, I recognized the need to move on to a more suitable instrument. As a teen, I think I initially wanted to play the drums. But my mom, extremely wise, knew this would probably not be the best choice for our family. Instead, we headed off to an old Sears store and I got an acoustic guitar. This was a monumental event. I took guitar lessons and found that learning to play was much harder than I imagined it would be. I remember the initial pain of my fingers as I tried to push the strings down on the frets to play notes and chords. But, despite the pain and callouses, I was hooked. With a

lot of time and practice, I was able to get the hang of it. Playing guitar became a part of my DNA. I had a pretty good ear for music, a passion to play, and the discipline to practice. I would play for hours trying to figure out songs and making up my own. Doing my homework would have to take a back seat. Several years later, I began to meet other musicians and bounced around in several bands. I met a great friend, David, who was extremely talented. I became the backup guitarist for his band. David could play anything from Van Halen to Bach. He was versatile and could read music and play by ear. He helped me see the potential that I had and was extremely encouraging. He eventually went on to become extremely successful and was featured in several bands, eventually becoming a studio musician in Nashville. David and I played for several years until I decided that I wanted to be in the spotlight. After high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I got into some trouble with the law and my mother was insistent that I do something with my life and suggested college. I enrolled in a local junior college and began to study music. After several semesters, I realized that college, at least at the time, was not for me. I was destined for greater things like becoming a rock star. I had the hair and the look. All I needed was the break. At the age of 19, I got my big break. I found my purpose in life and became a Christian. I sang a new song (Ps 96:1). I continued to play in a band, but because of my faith in Christ, everything changed. I’ll never forget that fateful band practice. My band was in the studio practicing for an upcoming show. As a rock band in the 80s, we played Boston, Rush, Van Halen, and even AC/DC. At that time, we were working on the AC/DC song, “Hell’s Bells” and Van Halen’s “Running with the Devil.” I had played these songs hundreds of times, but never thought about the songs before. They were just songs and I was going through the motions. However, as I began to play and our lead singer began to sing, the words of the songs became extremely clear. They weren’t just songs. They were messages. Hell’s bells were no longer chiming for me. I was no longer running with the devil. Now that my life was in tune, these songs were in the wrong key. I knew that this was my last band practice. I didn’t look back. I don’t know why I was surprised, but the Bible has a lot to say about music. For example, at creation, the angels sang (Job 38:7). If you are ever on Jeopardy and are asked, “who is the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe?” make sure to say Jubal—but make sure to say

it in the form of a question (Gen 4:27). The Bible also mentions stringed instruments, percussion, wind instruments, and more. In fact, a whole book in the Bible is filled with songs. It’s called, Psalms. Did you know that when God descended on Mount Sinai, there was a loud trumpet blast? (Ex. 19:19-20). Also, when Jesus comes again, there will also be a loud trumpet blast (1 Thes 4:16). I wonder if there’s a coincidence. Jesus Himself sang with his disciples (Matt 26:30). God Himself sings. The Bible says, “he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zeph 3:17). As the years went on, I began to play in church and, for many years, played in a praise band. Having the opportunity to play was fun and the times of worship were meaningful. Playing in the praise band was also a challenge. There were times that I played for God. However, there were other times that I played for me. It was a delicate dance. My sacrifice of praise was not intended to be for my personal enjoyment, but for God’s ultimate glory. There is a difference. At times, I had the wrong audience and needed to remember that my greatest joy is found in making sure God is in the spotlight, not me. Initially, I really thought that God would use me in music ministry. Although, I did work in Christian radio for decades, and got paid to listen to music, it was all behind the scenes. I really thought I would play. Apparently, God, the Master Conductor had other plans for my life and He called me to preach. The instrument has changed, yet, the song remains. I still love to play and sing. I sing to myself, sometimes singing out loud. I’ve even been known to sing when I preach. As the old gospel song goes, “there’s within my heart a melody.” I think all of us were created to sing. God has given us a wonderful gift in the gift of music. We all have a song in our heart. But, like an old 45 rpm record, there’s a A side and a flip side (you might need to Google that). For the believer, it’s the song of the redeemed (Rev 14:3). It’s a song of hope, joy, peace, and fulfillment. There’s no other song like it. The wonderful thing is, even if you can’t hear the tune right now, there’s plenty of room in the choir.

Dr. Wayne Geiger Pastor of First Baptist Grain Valley, an Adjunct Professor of Speech, and freelance writer.

Home & Garden

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Spring Vegetable Gardening by Cathy Bylinowski, M.S., Horticulture Instructor, University of Missouri Extension It might be hard to believe now, but the icy, freezing winter weather will be over in the weeks to come. It will be time to start thinking about spring vegetable gardening! Begin the garden season with some planning. You can use the MU Extension Vegetable Planting Calendar to help guide you to successhttps://extension.missouri.edu/ publications/g6201 This publication will help you know what to plant when and other helpful gardening planning information. If you want to start your own cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts transplants, now is the time to begin. These cold tolerant cole-crops (cabbagerelated crops) take about 5-8 days to germinate when in a warm (75-77 degrees) conditions. As soon as they germinate, move the seedlings to a well- lit location. You will need a sunny south window, fluorescent lights set up on shelving units to create a bright propagation area, or a greenhouse. Seedlings that do not get enough

light, get too tall and often fall over. They will not mature into plants that produce good crops. If you do not have adequate light to start your own transplants, you can wait and purchase cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower transplants at garden center stores soon. In Central Missouri, transplants for cole-crops can be planted outside in a sunny spot in the vegetable garden, from mid-March through mid to late April. If temperatures well below freezing are predicted, you can cover them with newspaper, sheets of plastic, even bed sheets overnight for protection. Or you can cover the plants with floating row cover that can be kept on to help keep insect pests out. Floating row cover is a spun polyester fabric that lets light and rain in and creates a microclimate underneath next to the soil that is several degrees warmer than the outside temperatures. When the snow and ice melts, and garden soil is moist and crumbly, you can direct-sow cold tolerant crops such as arugula, lettuce, radishes, and sugar

snap peas outside. Onions are a good spring crop, too. They will be available at garden centers in early spring, as onion sets, which are small onion bulbs, or as onion plants. Early spring is also a great time to plant ornamental cabbage and kale, pansies, and violas. These visually attractive plants love the cool weather and can be planted along flower bed borders, among the vegetables, and in containers. They will provide a wide range of color until the temperatures get hot in late June and July. Do you have more gardening questions? Field Specialists in Horticulture will hold the next free Horticulture Town Hall on March 10, 2021. Here is the link to register- https:// ipm.missouri.edu/townHalls/ Choose the horticulture option to join in an informative discussion on many gardening topics. The Gardener Hotline is another way to get reliable gardening information. It is staffed by trained Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Greater Kansas

Cabbage from your own garden, for cole slaw and stir-fry, is a nutritious treat. Photo credit: University of MO Extension City. The phone number is 816-833-TREE (8733). You can also email gardening, landscaping, and other horticulture questions to them at mggkc.hotline@gmail.com. Feel free to contact Cathy Bylinowski, MU Extension Horticulture Instructor, bylinowskic@missouri.edu, if you have more gardening questions or need more information on MU Extension Horticulture programs.

Get organized for an envy-worthy garage (Family Features) A garage may not be the focal point of your home, but it likely plays a significant role in your family’s everyday life. Keeping the garage tidy can help you get the most out of the space, no matter how you use it. Get your garage spruced up and ready to deliver the storage and workspace you need with these tips from the organization experts at ClosetMaid. Start by sorting. Garages tend to accumulate a lot of stuff, some of it useful and much of it not. Begin your garage clean-out by sorting your belongings into groups. The items you no longer need can be divided further into sell, donate and trash piles. For the things you’re keeping, try to create groups of like items, which can make it easier to organize later. Empty as much as you can. Cleaning out the garage is one of those jobs that typically gets messier before it gets cleaner. Removing as much of the

contents of your garage as possible can make it easier to reach all the nooks and crannies for a more complete cleaning. Give it a power scrub. Clean every surface to remove dust, dirt and debris. This means everything from sweeping floors and wiping down counters to brushing away cobwebs from the ceiling. If possible, use a hose to clean the floor thoroughly and remove buildup tracked in from your vehicle tires. Be thorough and use a critical eye. Don’t overlook details like light switches or the wall behind the trash can. Make storage easy. With a clean slate, it’s the perfect time to rethink your organization and put things in place with storage units designed to stand up to the wear and tear of the environment. One option is the ProGarage line from ClosetMaid. This customizable collection of professional-quality garage and workspace storage is made of 24-gauge steel cabinetry for maximum durability.

You can choose from a variety of cabinet sizes with floor mount and wall mount options, as well as worktable or tabletop. Each piece features full-length extruded aluminum handles for easy opening and closing, adjustable legs to keep cabinets level on sloped floors, caster wheels for portability and a lock and key for security. Put things back in place. If you take the time to separate items as you sort and purge in the beginning, this last step will be quick and painless. Now that the space is clean and you have storage space ready to fill, it’s time to begin moving everything back into place. Put similar items together. Keep the things you use most often in easy reach and stash others on higher shelves. Before you close the doors and call it a day, be sure to show everyone, including the kids, where things belong. Your garage may get dirty again quickly, but with some help from the family, you can at least keep it picked up and usable longer. Find more helpful tips for

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keeping every part of your home organized like a pro at ClosetMaid.com.

Your Health

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Navigating the diet craze maze by Megan Callahan, Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitian Is the latest diet trend really that healthy? How many carbs should I be eating daily? Can a detox diet work in my favor? Whether or not you’ve fallen for nutrition myths in the past, it can be hard to decipher fact from fiction when your favorite fitness influencer makes a claim on social media. Therefore, before you implement dietary rules, a chat with a registered dietitian may be worth your time – and possibly your health. Hy-Vee dietitians can crack the code to many myths surfacing the web. Check the facts below to see what’s true and what’s trash. Do carbs make you gain weight? Carbohydrates are often demonized as the weight gain devil. But do you have to cut carbs out entirely to lose a few pounds? Carbs – especially complex carbs – are important for energy, brain function and even weight loss. Complex carbohydrates include whole grains, beans and vegetables, which are rich in belly-filling fiber. Simple carbs are those high-sugary foods and processed grains, which lead to unsatisfying meals causing us to overindulge later. Keep in mind, any food you eat in excess will cause you to gain

weight; therefore, don’t point fingers at one of the major food groups. Think about the selections and portions with carb choices and make room on your plate for more whole-grain varieties. Is snacking throughout the day bad for my health? There’s a fine line between a smart snack and grazing, and the difference between the two can make or break your health goals. A smart snack is one that is planned, consumed when true hunger strikes, and includes nutrientdense foods, such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and protein. It can help bridge the gap between meals to ensure we don’t overeat later. Grazing, on the other hand, is frequent eating of an undefined portion of food. More often than not, grazing can include the consumption of high-caloric and nutrient-poor foods, leading to weight gain. When done correctly, snacking is a healthy habit to incorporate in our everyday routines. Just be smart about it. Can certain foods burn calories? In short, no. Caffeine and spicy ingredients can increase metabolism, yet not enough for significant calorie burn or weight loss. The secret solution? A combined effort with diet and

HHS announces Marketplace special enrollment period for COVID-19 public health emergency The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals and families for Marketplace coverage in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which has left millions of Americans facing uncertainty and exceptional circumstances while millions of Americans have experienced new health problems during the pandemic. This SEP will allow individuals and families in states with Marketplaces served by the HealthCare.gov platform to enroll in 2021 health insurance coverage. Beginning February 15, 2021 and through May 15, 2021, these Marketplaces will operationalize

functionality to make this SEP available to all Marketplace-eligible consumers who are submitting a new application or updating an existing application. The SEP will be offered to consumers applying for new coverage or updating an existing application through HealthCare.gov, the Marketplace call center, or through direct enrollment channels. Some consumers may already be eligible for other existing SEPs, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – they can visit HealthCare.gov now to find out if they can enroll in the meantime. Starting February 15, consumers seeking to take advantage of the new SEP can find out if they are eligible by visiting HealthCare.gov.

consistent exercise. Are fat-free or low-fat versions of foods healthier? When a product claims it contains low or no fat, be sure to consider the sugar content. It’s common for manufacturers to replace fat with this taste-enhancing nutrient to make it more palatable since fat provides food with flavor. In addition, we may eat more of a low-fat product because fat takes longer to digest. Therefore, our attempt to save on calories by choosing this alternative is essentially a wash. Does eating at night lead to weight gain? It’s been shown that high-caloric foods like ice cream and chips are indulged after dark, contributing to a wider midsection. You can guess that ingesting excess calories at any time of the day would have the same effects on the body, but we tend to do more mindless eating watching television or surfing the web at the conclusion of our day. If you’re hankering for a late-night snack, choose one that includes protein and fiber like a fruit and yogurt parfait, as you’ll be more satisfied and less likely to go back for more.

If you fall in the 78% of people who encounter conflicting information about what to eat, consider contacting a HyVee dietitian. These professionals undergo several years of schooling, must pass a licensed examination, and keep up with continuing education every year to stay relevant with the ever-changing world of nutrition. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, and get the facts from the professional.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice. Megan Callahan is one of your Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitians. She is dedicated to helping people live healthier and happier lives. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Missouri State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also received her Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition. Megan has been working with Hy-Vee full-time for 10 years. Megan lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband Matt, and their 2 children Kennedy (4) & Carsyn (2).

Jackson County Health Department COVID-19 Testing Jackson County Health Department will offer the following COVID-19 testing locations February 22—26: Monday: Lee’s Summit This is a Drive-Thru 505 NW Blue parkway, Lee’s Summit 64063 Registration link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210315584614855 Tuesday: Grandview This is not a drive-thru clinic The View: Grandview- The View Community Center 13500 Byars Rd., Grandview MO 64030. Registration link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210316527514852

Wednesday: Blue Springs This is not a drive thru clinic Vesper Hall 400 NW Vesper St. Blue Springs Registration link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210324896314858 Thursday: Lee’s Summit This is a drive-thru 505 NW Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit 64063 Registration link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210316333014842 Friday: Independence Not a drive-thru Independence Uptown Farmers Market211 W Truman Rd., Independence MO 64050 Registration Link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210324687414857

Your Health

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Plants on your plate: Broccoli by Denise Sullivan, Nutrition & Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension One of my favorite fresh vegetables to reach for in the midst of winter is broccoli. Though not a locally grown product - right now at least - broccoli is grown year-round in California. Broccoli is native to the Mediterranean region, where it has been cultivated since Roman times. The first commercial broccoli crop grown in the U.S. was started in California in the 1920’s, but broccoli did not become a significant crop until after World War II. Today, California grows more than 90% of the broccoli in the United States and is the third largest producer in the world. Broccoli is a member of the Brassicaceae plant family, also known as cruciferous. Other familiar plants in the family include Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi. The word broccoli comes from the Italian plural of broccolo, which means "the flowering crest of a cabbage". Broccoli is an excellent source of a multitude of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C and K, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are essential for eye, skin and bone health, heart health and cancer prevention. It is also a good source of folic acid, a nutrient important for pregnant women and the developing fetus. Broccoli is also rich in an assortment of phytonutrients, particularly glucosinolates and

sulforaphane, which are being researched for their role in cancer treatment and prevention. All that nutrition is wrapped in a low-calorie package, as one cup of raw broccoli contains about 50 calories, and also provides 2.5 grams of fiber and 2.5 grams of protein. Unfortunately, a downside of cruciferous vegetables is that the sulphur-containing compounds can be bitter, especially when overcooked. Proper cooking can be the difference maker for the palatability of many vegetables, so consider your preparation methods carefully. For a quick and tasty preparation, try roasted broccoli. Simply toss florets with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and oven roast on a foil lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Top with a sprinkle with parmesan or squeeze of fresh lemon juice after cooking. If you have a little more time and are feeling inspired, the salad below is a beautiful combination of colors, flavors and textures.

Denise Sullivan is a Nutrition and Health Education Specialist for MU Extension in the Urban West Region, covering Jackson and Platte Counties. For research-based nutrition and food safety information and programs, visit https://extension.missouri.edu/counties/ urban-west-region

Broccoli and Red Pepper Salad

(makes six servings) ½ cup pecan halves 1 large head broccoli (about 5 cups) 1 large red bell pepper ½ large sweet onion

Dressing: 2 tablespoons vinegar (white wine or cider) 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon sesame oil 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1 clove garlic, minced ¼ teaspoon ground ginger 1- Toast pecans in heavy skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Watch carefully, as they can burn quickly. Roughly chop the pecans if desired, set aside. 2-Prepare vegetables. Wash broccoli and separate into florets and trim stems into small matchstick-like strips. Blanch * broccoli by cooking in boiling water for one minute, drain and put into ice water for one minute, drain well. Wash bell pepper and cut into thin strips. Cut onion into thin strips. 3- Combine vegetables in large bowl and stir to combine. 4- Combine dressing ingredients in small jar and shake to combine. Pour over vegetables and chill for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, top with pecans.

*Blanching is a quick cook-quick cool process that tenderizes the broccoli and brightens the color. The process is also used as a preparation to freeze fresh vegetables. Nutrition information: Calories: 93, Total Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: .6g, Sodium: 76mg, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 3g, Protein: 3g Recipe adapted from Seasonal and Simple, analyzed by verywellfit.com

Using play to combat your child’s stress and loneliness (StatePoint) With the pandemic continuing to disrupt routines, you may have growing anxieties about how the extended crisis will affect your child’s social and emotional health long-term. A new survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the The Genius of Play -- a national movement to educate parents and caregivers about play’s vital role in child development -- examined the concerns of parents with children ages 2 –18. Here are some of the findings, along with tips to counteract the negative effects of quarantine: Social Skills Seven in 10 parents believe spending a year in quarantine will have a lasting effect on their child’s growth and development. Among those parents, the top concern is that it’ll be more difficult for their child to connect with people inperson in the future (52%). Tied for

second and third were concerns that it’ll be more difficult for their child to play (44%) or make friends in the future (also 44%) after being separated from their peers. “There are numerous playtime activities that boost communication and social skills, which can be adapted to this new reality,” says Anna Yudina, senior director of marketing initiatives at The Toy Association. During a period when travel is limited, Yudina suggests playing “International Menu” to help kids learn about the world. To play, pick a location and discuss its local dishes. Then, give kids Play-Doh to create them. Have kids play restaurant with their new DIY meals. Using action figures and toys, try other roleplay games that encourage interaction and communication skills that kids may not have practiced for awhile. Classic board games with

questions and answers – like Guess Who? – can also help kids build and retain their social skills. Loneliness Four in 10 parents worry about their child’s mental health as a result of the pandemic. What’s more, 72% of respondents say they believe that during 2020 their child was lonelier than ever before. That’s a feeling extending to parents themselves -- 58% said they, too, were lonelier than ever. “Whether building a furniture fort, solving a puzzle or using a science kit, collaborative play gives us an opportunity to connect and combat loneliness while keeping children happy and entertained,” says Yudina. “Playing together also offers parents insights into their child’s world and what may be causing their stress and anxiety.” An arts and crafts session presents

an opportunity to connect with friends and family who your child may be missing. Break out the paper, stickers, markers, and safety scissors to create cards to send to loved ones. Be sure to organize virtual playdates, too. The latest apps are making it easier for kids to read, draw, act out plays, and watch movies virtually with friends. The Bright Side Despite its difficulties, parents indicated that this period has had silver linings. When asked what positives have resulted from spending more time at home over the past year, the top response was being able to spend more time playing with their child (46%). To get inspired to fill in all those additional hours with play, visit thegeniusofplay.org, a great online resource for parents offering tons of play ideas.

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Convenient, functional gear prepares you for adventures or emergencies (StatePoint) The new normal and natural disasters are dominating the headlines. At the same time, consumers have embraced socially distant adventure travel. Whatever your reasons for wanting to be prepared, easy to carry, functional gear will prepare you for what’s to come. Here’s how: Secure Packing Whether you’re backpacking on your favorite trail or evacuating from a disaster zone, knowing your gear is protected from mishaps and extreme weather is important. Keep organizational packing tools handy, such as Reusable Rubber Twist Gear Ties, that provide a versatile way to wrap and hang items. When it comes to waterproofing, gear should endure the harshest elements.

That’s where options like the CorSurf 25L Waterproof Dry Backpack come into play. It floats and features special pockets to protect electronic equipment. Safe Water Safe tap water is not a given on outdoor adventure trips or during natural disasters when local water sources can become compromised. Having a low-maintenance, long-term means to filter water, whether sheltering in place or on the road, gives you peace of mind. Ultralight and durable, the LifeStraw personal water filter straw lasts for up to 1,000 gallons of water -- enough drinking water for an individual for over five years, and protects against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt, sand and cloudiness.

Illumination Maintain visibility during power outages or when enjoying nature with battery-operated light sources. A durable, tactical flashlight is a must. Try the INOVA T8R Powerswitch Rechargeable Dual Color LED Flashlight to preserve night vision while pitching a tent or looking for the circuit breaker. For a hands-free option, consider a lightweight headlamp with a rechargeable battery. The Biolite HeadLamp 330 sits flush on the forehead and its moisture-wicking fabric keeps the wearer cool and dry. Finally, let tools pull double-duty. The Radiant 314 Rechargeable Lantern will not only illuminate your home or campsite, its built-in power bank allows you to charge devices anywhere, handy for staying connected when it’s most vital.

Protection From emergency uses (e.g. selfdefense) to the mundane (e.g. slicing fruit), you never know when you’ll need the utility of a pocket knife. Pack light with the Nite Ize Doohickey Key Chain Knife. Its 2-inch blade offers everyday portability. Insect bites can be a major health hazard and an unwanted factor during weekend getaways or emergency scenarios. A high-quality first aid kit is vital for any household and the Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Backpacker contains hospital-quality contents ideal for multiday adventures. Whether you love adventure travel or just value emergency preparedness, great gear is essential.

Theme: Math 101 ACROSS 1. À la mode 5. Westminster broadcaster 8. Lamb's momma 11. Depression drifter 12. Alternative to truth 13. Like a Druid, e.g. 15. Verify 16. Flair 17. Avoid paying taxes 18. *Same as power in math 20. Surrender territory 21. Mini, midi or maxi 22. Longnosed fish 23. *Round #23 Down 26. Adverb derived from zone 30. Miner's bounty 31. Curved like a foot 34. Mother Earth to Ancient Greeks 35. Truck amounts 37. "____ the land of the free..." 38. Hitler's Third 39. Capri, e.g. 40. Walked 42. Grande, e.g. 43. Remove scales 45. Accustomed, two words 47. Like arctic air 48. More capable 50. Tibetan priest 52. *Part of a whole number 55. Grinding tooth 56. Stare amorously 57. Hoofbeat sound 59. Garlic mayo 60. Kick out 61. Gossamer 62. *Pi's second digit 63. High ____ 64. "Brave New World" drug

DOWN 1. Half a particular dance 2. Past tense of heave 3. Type of mountain goat 4. Body six feet under 5. Harvest helper 6. Small goose 7. Abe's coin 8. Exclamation of surprise, archaic 9. Do like fly fisherman 10. Between northeast and east 12. One who denies 13. Popular pie nut 14. *Sum divided by count 19. Southern cuisine pods 22. Apollo to ancient Greeks 23. *Three-dimensional object 24. Not poetry 25. Mends 26. *Whole number between -1 and 1 27. Scottish landowner 28. In accordance with law 29. Search engine pioneer 32. Pigeon's home 33. H in British HMS 36. *Kind of point 38. Set to zero 40. Cunning 41. Pleasing to the ear 44. Ticks and mites, taxonomically speaking 46. Short for Fredericas 48. Lock horns 49. Popular craft wood 50. Under a fig leaf? 51. Gel producing plant 52. *0.3048 meters 53. Pasta with ____ and alio 54. "Cheers" regular 55. Cultural Revolution leader 58. Money in Myanmar

Kid Scoop

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Outdoors & Recreation

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Ice delays MDC trout stockings for winter fishing in KC by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation Prolonged sub-freezing temperatures and ice have delayed a fresh stocking of rainbow trout in community lakes in the Kansas City area. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) stocks trout several times during winter in partnership with local communities. Anglers then have a chance to catch a cold-water fish species in a close-tohome fishing opportunity. Current weather conditions have delayed a February stocking, Jake Colehour, MDC fisheries management biologist said. More trout will be stocked once temperatures rise to near or above freezing. Lakes stocked with rainbow trout in the Kansas City area include: Coot and Plover lakes, MDC’s James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area at Lee’s Summit. Chaumiere Lake, Kansas City Parks and Recreation. Capitol Federal Sports Complex, Liberty. Johnston Lake, Raymore.

Jesse James Park Lake, Kearney. Cleveland Lake, Belton Trout were stocked last autumn in Honker Pond at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area for fishing by youths age 15 or under. They may keep trout up to a limit of four if they have a Missouri trout permit. Missouri residents over age 15 and under 65 need a valid fishing permit. Non-residents over 15 need a state fishing permit. Anglers wishing to keep the trout they catch also need a Missouri trout fishing permit. The most up-to-date information on MDC’s winter trout stockings in the KC metro area is available by calling the trout hotline at 816-525-0300, press 2 at the recorded prompt. Tips for catching winter trout in urban lakes are found in an online Missouri Conservationist magazine story, https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Zpq. For more information on urban winter trout fishing throughout Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZoH.

Prolonged sub-freezing temperatures and ice have delayed a winter trout stocking by MDC in Kansas City area community lakes. Photo credit: MDC

MDC offers Urban Woodsman program February 20th in Kansas City by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation Defy winter by bundling up and attending the annual Urban Woodsman program Feb. 20 at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in the heart of Kansas City. This free Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) event in the center’s

native plant garden celebrates winter with outdoor skills tips and warm fires. Some changes are in place for this year’s event. COVID-19 precautions and protocols will be observed including physical distancing and face masks.

Rather than an open walk-in event, this year’s Urban Woodsman is divided into three one-hour sessions for participants ages 10 and older. Sessions will begin at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1:30 p.m. Registration is required. Urban Woodsman will highlight resources that trees provide. Winter camping skills will be demonstrated such as fire building, wood splitting, and campfire cooking. Discovery Center staff have also tapped trees for winter sap gathering, including sugar maples. Participants will get to see how sap is collected, stored, then boiled into maple syrup. This is an all-outdoor program. Participants should dress for the winter weather of the day. Instructor Pat Whalen, MDC naturalist, will be in touch by email with those who register. To register, visit MDC’s events page for the Kansas City region, https://

MDC’s Urban Woodsman program on Feb. 20 at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City will focus on resources trees provide, including firewood to split. Nature displays will also be offered at the outdoor program. Photo by Bill Graham, MDC short.mdc.mo.gov/ZXo. For more information on the Gorman Discovery Center, visit https://mdc.mo.gov/ discoverycenter.

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Sports Eagles Driskell talks baseball as Royals begin spring training by John Unrein The forecast for Grain Valley on February 17th was a high of 21 degrees with a chance of snow. In stark contrast was the sunny skies and 66 degree forecasted temperature in Surprise, Arizona. The latter is the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals. February 17th was the first day pitchers and catchers are eligible to report for the Royals in Surprise. The first full team squad workout is scheduled for February 22nd. Familiar faces remain for the Royals as they head to Arizona. Danny Duffy and Salvador Perez are both set to begin their 10th season with the team that signed and developed them. Both are also entering the final year of their contracts, otherwise known as the “walk year” in baseball terminology. Designated hitter Jorge Soler is also in the same boat and is scheduled to be paid $8 million in the final year of the deal he originally inked with the Chicago Cubs. Joining Duffy, Perez, and other long term Royals such as Whit Merrifield, who enters his 6th season with the team will be new faces like first baseman Carlos Santana, left fielder Andrew Benintendi, center fielder Michael Taylor, and the return of veteran southpaw Mike Minor, who was previously with the club in 2017. The Royals only have a few spots open for competition during Spring Training as they return an established team that David Adler of MLB.com suggests will be one of the seven teams that are going to better than people think. General Manager Dayton Moore has also gone on record saying he expects the Royals to be competitive within the American League Central Division this season. The Major League Baseball Players Association has rejected the MLB proposal to delay the start of the 2021 season due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, the players union is advocating for a full 162 game season that begins on time. That means the Royals first spring training game is still scheduled to be played at 2:05pm CST on February 28th against the Texas Rangers. The start of baseball can be a smorgasbord of memories and eagerness for fans. Some will look forward to the unmistakable smells of popcorn and hotdogs in the brisk spring air. Others will debate if they can sing “Take me out to the ballgame” better

than the late longtime Cubs broadcaster Harry Carey. And no doubt some will ignore statistical probability and still bring their glove to the game and wear it an effort to be prepared for the inevitable foul ball they expect to be hit their way and catch. If all else fails, a continued generation of fathers and their children who struggle to find common things to talk about will banter back and forth about baseball. Grain Valley Eagles head baseball coach Brian Driskell has his own reason he looks forward to the start of professional baseball. Driskell witnessed the 2020 high school baseball season erased due to COVID-19. The Eagles were 19-11 the last time they took the field as a team in 2019. Grain Valley News recently discussed baseball related topics with Driskell, including what he looks forward to the most and what he has missed about the sport. “The anticipation of a new season and the excitement around it is special. There is a reason why places like the ‘K’ (Kauffman Stadium) sell out on opening day. It is a like a New Year’s resolution in that you are starting again with hope,” Driskell said. “I also miss the day to day of practice and hanging out with the boys and the memories created. I do enjoy my time away from the game as well. Coaching my son’s team during the offseason is rewarding. I get in modes when I am drowning in baseball. My family and I try to make the months of July and August our time away from professional responsibilities.” One of the keys to the 2021 season that will be paramount to the success of the Kansas City Royals is the continued growth of their young pitching. Threefifths of the Royals starting rotation will be under the age of 25. Brad Keller is 24, Brady Singer is 23, and Kris Bubic is 22. Southpaw starters Danny Duffy and Mike Minor are set to be the crafty elder statesmen of the rotation at 31 and 33 years of age, respectively. The Royals finished the shortened 60 game 2020 season with a team Earned Run Average (ERA) of 4.30 and an average of 9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, while giving up 1.375 walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIP). Those numbers compare favorably to the Royals World Series appearances of 2014 and 2015. This revelation should continue to fuel the optimism of the organization for the upcoming season. Having top

pitching prospects such as Asa Lacy, Daniel Lynch, Jackson Kowar, and Carlos Hernandez approaching the status of being “major league ready” as they polish their skills does not hurt either. Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn once said, “hitting is timing, pitching is upsetting timing.” One of the age old debates around America’s pastime is the effectiveness of pitching inside and when to do it in the hitter’s at-bat. The risk and reward involved is upsetting the hitter’s comfort level versus possibly giving the batter first base or worse if they take exception to being plunked. Driskell shared his thoughts on the decision of pitching inside and its worth. “I read a piece the other day on Trevor Bauer and him attacking guys

Photo credit: Kansas City Royals away late in the count. The ability to pitch inside give you an advantage. Anthony Rizzo stands close to the plate and his hands hover over the inner half of the plate saying if you can hit the inner half of the plate three times, then I will tip my hat to you,” Driskell said. “If you miss in, you hit them, of if you miss away then you give the batter a hittable pitch. Showing a hitter that you have the confidence to pitch inside and disrupt a hitters timing or thinking gets into the head of the person at the plate and may mess with their confidence. This gives a possible advantage to the

see SPRING TRAINING on page 16

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Lady Eagles make strong statement on Senior Night by John Unrein Lady Eagles head basketball coach Randy Draper was excited to pose for a picture with the three seniors on his roster following his team’s victory against the Fort Osage Indians by a score of 61-29 on February 12th. Malia Gutierrez, Jordyn Weems, and Gabbi Keim were recognized prior to the game for their contributions made to the team as seniors. Their reward was sweet on two fronts, with the victory in hand against a Suburban Conference opponent and the cake that was enjoyed in a socially distanced reception following the game. Grain Valley was strong from the outset of the contest, winning the opening tip by Grace Slaughter, playing smothering defense, and continually looking inside the paint to score. Slaughter would lead all scorers in the contest with 34 points. The sophomore would add 7 rebounds, 1 steal, and 2 blocks to her stat line. Slaughter attacked the basket relentlessly by driving to the hoop. The effort afforded her three trips to the free throw line during the contest. The Lady Eagles were efficient as usual in swinging the basketball on offense. Their decisiveness in doing so led to the team pulling the trigger quicker on when to shot or attack the basket. Keim would add 5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals while being highly active in the post. The senior move in from Wisconsin continues to display confidence in her quick hands that lead to turnovers going the other way for the Lady Eagles. Keim has been well received by her teammates and the feeling has been mutual. Gutierrez and Weems continue to contribute to their team in a manner that may not always be noticeable. Both tend to draw the defensive assignment of guarding the other team’s best scorers under Draper’s leadership. A task that both Gutierrez and Weems enjoy and take pride in as players. Weems would contribute 5 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal in her team’s win. Gutierrez would put forth a well-timed assist and steal. Draper took a deep breath and collected himself prior to acknowledging what this senior class means to him and his team on senior night. “It’s funny about Gabbi, I feel like she’s been here for as long as anyone else on this team. It is really strange. It

says a lot about her. It also says something about her teammates. She has fit right in, being a talented player who is unselfish. Our kids like winning and she has helped with that,” Draper said. “Weems and Gutierrez have been with us for what feels like forever. They have started on a team that played in the state quarterfinals. They have enjoyed some pretty cool moments together.” “Freshman who enter this program think that they have forever. I encourage them to talk to the seniors because it goes by so fast. We spend a lot of time talking about not wasting opportunities and not letting a day go by without practicing hard and being ready to play.” Draper continued, “Those two (Weems and Gutierrez) are energy givers. They are tough and athletic. When we size up an opponent and pick out how we are going to guard people, we start with those two for a reason. We will miss the personality and ability of all three of our seniors.” “Slaughter was fantastic tonight. We have worked as a team on our pace and I think was evident tonight. That frees things up for Grace as she can attack an opponent that is broken down (not set up to play at the other end of the court). Getting from ‘O’ to ‘D’ quicker will only continue to make us better.” Slaughter would seek out each of her senior teammates after the contest to congratulate them and thank them for what they have done for Lady Eagles basketball. The sentiment was reciprocated towards Slaughter as Neil Diamond played over the speakers with the group exiting the court. “Every game means a lot, but senior night is a must win. We left it out there on the floor. I will miss the pranks we play on each other,” Gutierrez said. Weems added, “Senior Night means that the end is coming (of the season at some point), but that makes you realize you should play each game like it is your last.” Keim continued, “Seeing our team come together is special. This underclass group has been very supportive of us as seniors. My team pumps me up. It has meant everything to move to a new school and be so accepted.” Slaughter finished, “I cannot do any of this without my teammates. Draper has

Left to right: senior Jordyn Weems, senior Gabbi Keim, head basketball coach Randy Draper, and senior Malia Gutierrez. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Sophomore Grace Slaughter attempts a free throw. Photo credit: Valley News staff been pushing us in practice to get our speed up with the tempo of how we do things. We know his emphasis is for what’s coming in the remainder of our schedule. We want to continue to grow in how we score and defend.” Junior guard Heather Chiesi would tally 7 points as the leading scorer for the Indians. Senior teammates Katelyn Ward and Brooklyn Gilpin would each add 6 points for Fort Osage in trying to

keep pace with Grain Valley. Grain Valley (10-5) is scheduled to face Raytown and William Chrisman the week of February 15th.

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Eagles rewarded from total team effort on Senior Night by John Unrein The Grain Valley Eagles boys basketball program witnessed seniors Cole Keller, Keeton Maxon, and Jayden Yung leave the floor winners on senior night. A total team effort from start to finish led to a 59-44 win over Suburban Conference rival Fort Osage on February 12th. The Eagles outscored their opponent each quarter while successfully pushing the ball in transition and making critical free throws down the final stretch. Grain Valley was sound in defeating the full court pressure applied by the Indians that stalled the Eagles offense at times during their previous matchup on January 22nd. Communication was also paramount for Grain Valley head coach Andy Herbert’s squad as they did not lose defenders in Fort Osage’s motion offense, due to effectively calling out switches on defense and mirroring the movement by the Indians. “Against the press we’ve worked to train our eyes to look past the pressure. It sounds simple in that if two guys are guarding you, then someone is open. The first time we played them (Fort Osage) at their place we panicked against the pressure. Obviously, we have worked on that since then,” Herbert said. “We have told this group if you keep pushing you will see the light and we are getting closer to that all time.” “This game is about everyone having a role of some sort. You become a good team when everyone flourishes in their role. Not everyone is going to score 24 points and have 9 rebounds, but we have guys like Nick Hooper who is the ultimate ‘glue guy’ to me. He takes two charges on defense. Avery (Garmon) sinks a three and makes two free throws. Alex (Snyder) and Keagan (Hart) have been back with us now two days

and Snyder makes two key layups.” Herbert concluded, “Our seniors played well, we won, and they got a curtain call at the end. I feel bad in a way that their senior year has been this in playing in front of limited capacity and their friends not getting to watch them compete. This group of seniors has made the most of their opportunities. Every player that plays four years for us is special in some way.” “Cole (Keller) got to the varsity stage as a sophomore. He missed his junior year due to injury. He has battled adversary to come back and be extremely productive this season. Jayden (Yung) has shown a level of toughness after going between being a varsity and junior varsity player last year. He had the intestinal fortitude to realize that if he worked on getting better, he would be rewarded and that has been the case. Keeton (Maxon) did not get to play a varsity second until his senior year. A lot of kids in this day and age would have quit and instead he stuck with it and is starting to see the fruit of his work.” The scoring 24 points and having 9 rebounds was a reference to Keller who also chipped in 2 assists and 6 blocks on senior night. Keller was all smiles after the contest, eating blue icing cookies with his teammates and dawning a senior t-shirt. Keller’s stellar output was joined by his fellow Eagles closing out the contest. Yung would score a transition layup with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter to push Grain Valley’s lead to 12 at 50-38. Yung would continue being clutch down the stretch once Fort Osage started fouling to extend the game. Yung would step to the free throw line and drain both attempts with 1:04 left in the game,

From left to right: Senior Keeton Maxon, senior Jayden Yung, Eagles head coach Andy Herbert, and senior Cole Keller. Photo credit: Valley news staff

Junior Nick Hooper completes a contested layup for the Eagles. Photo credit: John Overstreet extending his team’s lead even further. Yung would finish with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Junior forward Nick Hooper also made a free throw and took a charge under the Fort Osage basket with under a minute left in the game. Hooper would contribute 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists as part of his stat line. Garmon’s sinking of two free throws with under 30 seconds left in the game sealed the victory for the Eagles. “For sure my favorite part on senior night is the solid team win. We have comradery on the court and enjoy hanging out with each other outside of basketball as well,” Keller said. Maxon added, “I stayed in my box

tonight and it led to four points for me. Coach always encourages us to stay in our box. I have fun being around Jayden and my teammates.” Yung finished, “We have been pressed a lot by our opponents recently. Beating it like we did tonight leaves us playing five on three basketball and that is fun.” Leading scorers for Fort Osage included juniors Trent Hogland and Arthur Wyatt who racked up 12 and 14 points, respectively. Grain Valley (6-11) will face Raytown, William Chrisman, and Truman the week of February 15th.

SPRING TRAINING continued from page 13 pitcher.” The Royals are also heading to spring training with a limited number of proven lefties in their bullpen. Typically, managers like to have the availability to call on southpaws for favorable lefty to lefty (pitcher to hitter) matchups as the game unfolds. Royals General Manager Dayton Moore and Manager Mike Matheny have elaborated that they are less concerned with traditional thinking in that manner and more concerned about what statistics and advance metrics show in relation to a pitcher’s ability to get a batter out from either side of the plate. Control, the arsenal contained by a pitcher, and the recent streak that pitcher has been on during relief appearances is the approach Driskell believes matters the most. “The matchup scenario depends on the lefty you have in the bullpen. I was a sidearm change up and sinker pitcher in college and pitched better to lefties than I did to a right hander. Someone like Max Scherzer has the stuff to get a batter out regardless of what side of the plate he hits on,” Driskell said. “Control matters as well. What streak the pitcher and current batter at the plate has been on, that is important to consider as well. I like getting the best guy on the mound.” Offensively, the Royals have focused this offseason on adding bats to the lineup that have good eye discipline in relation to the strike zone and strong on -base percentage. The Moneyball adage that it is hard to score runs if you cannot get on base and runs lead to wins. Enter the acquisitions of first baseman Carlos Santana and left fielder Andrew Benintendi. Santana led the American League in walks with 47 during the shortened 2020 season as well as boasting a healthy .349 on-base percentage. Benintendi posted a .359 on-base percentage last season and has been at .350 for OBP four out of his six seasons at the major league level. Moore and Matheny have both spoken highly of the team’s newest acquisitions. “We have admired Carlos for a long time within this division. We have watched him develop and mature into a productive hitter, a winning-type player. Very grateful he can be part of our organization. He fits in extremely well with our lineup and our players,” Moore

Community Calendar Monday, February 22, 2021 Board of Aldermen Meeting 7:00pm Virtual meeting via Zoom Tuesday, February 23, 2021 Movin’ & Groovin’ with Mr. Stinky Feet 10:00am Travel through songs about cars, trucks, and things that move with Mr. Stinky Feet. www.mymcpl.org/events

“The anticipation of a new season and the excitement around it is special. There is a reason why places like the ‘K’ (Kauffman Stadium) sell out on opening day. It is a like a New Year’s resolution in that you are starting again with hope,” GVHS head baseball coach Brian Driskell said. said. Matheny added in relation to Benintendi, “Sweet swing. Trying to watch his swing through a scout’s eye, you see this guy had a real nice idea of plate awareness. He just didn’t have a lot of swing and miss.” Driskell views on-base percentage at the high school level for the Eagles more about the hitter’s place in the lineup and the approach used at the plate, especially dependent on the count. “Top of the lineup guys, I pay attention to on-base percentage. How hitters at the bottom of the lineup hit and attack may be different. We want to get a ‘quality at-bat.’ We use a computer program called ‘GameChanger’ to track that at the high school level,” Driskell said. “Is the pitcher working ahead? Consider that in your approach at the plate. Our preference is not to swing at breaking balls. I have a chart of different MLB averages matched to pitch count. The 1-1 count is a big tipping in which way the at-bat goes based on what the pitcher and hitter does next.” Baseball is upon us. With it comes the age old renewal of hope and endless conversation about strategy that makes the sport so great.

Navigating Sensitive Conversations about Race (via Zoom) 7:00pm In this time of racial reckoning and continued protests, many people are asking for change but don’t know where to start. . www.mymcpl.org/events Friday, February 26, 2021 Grow a Reader Virtual Storytime 10:00am -10:20am www.mymcpl.org/events Saturday, February 27, 2021 Fishing Skills: Reel Maintenance 3:30pm—5:00pm Get your trusty reels in tip top shape before spring weather arrives. Registration required: 816-228-3766 Tuesday, March 2, 2021 Discover Nature: Naturalist Hour 2:00pm—3:00pm Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Road Magical moments in nature are waiting for you! Go on an adventure with a naturalist to make amazing discoveries as you explore on a trail close to the nature center. Registration required: 816-228-3766

Friday, March 5, 2021 Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 2:00pm—3:00pm Come join in the book discussion! We'll be talking about Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn This featured title is part of our Booktalk Collection and copies are available separately from the catalog. www.mymcpl.org/events Monday, March 8, 2021 Board of Aldermen Meeting 7:00pm Virtual meeting via Zoom Wednesday, March 10, 2021 Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting 6:30pm Grain Valley City Hall March 15—19, 2021 Spring Break Grain Valley Schools closed Thursday, March 25, 2021 Grain Valley Historical Society Membership Meeting 7:00pm Friday, April 2, 2021 Easter Break Grain Valley Schools closed

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Valley News: February 18, 2021