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Valley News NOVEMBER 26, 2020


Board Approves Adjustment To 2020 Budget, Sets April Election Meeting virtually via Zoom, the Board voted during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, November 23rd to amend the 2020 budget to account for changes due to CARES Act funding and refinancing of bonds, as well as account for expenditures related to additional street overlay projects. In addition, the Board approved the 2021 fiscal year budget, compensation plan, and comprehensive fee schedule for the City. The Board also approved an ordinance giving notice of the annual municipal election on April 6, 2021. One alderman seat in each of the City’s three

wards will be up for election. The first day for candidates to file for the General Municipal Election will be Tuesday, December 15th beginning at 8:00am. The last day for candidacy filing will be Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 5:00pm. Candidates will be listed in the order of filing. In other news, the Board voted to approve a liquor license for Captain’s Pub LLC. The next meeting of the Board of Aldermen will be held Monday, December 14th at 7:00pm via Zoom.

Vol. 3, No. 47


Online Calendar Compiles COVID-19 Testing Locations Residents in the nine-county Kansas City metropolitan area in need of a COVID-19 test can now find comprehensive testing location information on PrepareMetroKC.org, the region’s resource for emergency planning. The Greater Kansas City COVID-19 Testing Calendar is available

at PrepareMetroKC.org/Testing. It compiles information from multiple agencies and organizations in the region, including health clinics, public health departments, hospitals and free community events. Guidance about minimum age, cost and pre-registration for each testing location are included on the calendar,

see TESTING on page 2

Good News: Officer Hayes-Dunnell Receives Recognition For Work With Youth

Missouri Trivia by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society There are currently 65 institutions in the state of Missouri offering post secondary degrees which include thirteen public universities, thirty-nine private 4-year institutions, and thirteen community colleges. The oldest is the

University of Missouri founded in 1839. The University is followed by Harris Stowe State University founded in 1857; Lincoln University, 1866; Truman State, 1867; University of Central Missouri, 1971; and Southeast Missouri State University, 1873. Additional schools were added after 1900.

In This Edition:

Looking Back: The McQuerry Family


Business: Exceptional Giving During Unprecedented Times


Your Health: Plants On Your Plate: Sweet Potatoes


Sports: Eagles Boys Basketball Eager To Get Started


Holiday lights illuminate Armstrong Park. Photo credit: Valley News staff

GVPD officer Shawnda Hayes-Dunnell (center), with Captain Jeff Palecek (left) and Chief James Beale. Photo credit: City of Grain Valley Grain Valley Police officer Shawnda Hayes-Dunnell received acknowledgement for her work with the youth of Grain Valley through her work as a School Resource Officer and mentor during the annual Eastern Jackson County Youth Court graduation on Thursday, November 19th in Blue Springs.. Youth Court is a youth diversion program operating under the

jurisdiction of the Jackson County Family Court. In addition to her work with the Youth Court program, HayesDunnell assisted in the development and implementation of the department’s Camp FOCUS, and recently developed a new Life Skills program for at-risk juveniles in collaboration with the Youth Court.

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Police Blotter

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when possible. Information about commercial testing locations is also available. “There are many opportunities for COVID-19 testing in the region. This calendar aims to help Kansas City residents easily find information on where to go,” Marlene Nagel, director of community development at the MidAmerica Regional Council, which supports PrepareMetroKC.org, said. “Getting tested for COVID-19 is critical because it’s the only way to know for sure who has the virus and who doesn’t. If you have the virus but don’t know it, you could unintentionally spread it to loved ones and across your community.” COVID-19 testing is safe and secure. Here are frequently asked questions about testing: Is it safe to get tested? Testing locations follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including implementing

social distancing, mask-wearing and cleanliness. When should someone get tested? If you have coronavirus symptoms, such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, you need to get tested. If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has the virus, you need to get tested — even if you don’t have symptoms. Should I get tested before the holidays? Local public health officials emphasize that no gathering is safe. If you plan to see family and friends, get a COVID-19 test so you don’t unintentionally spread the virus. If you test positive or have symptoms, stay home. Are test results private? Yes. Only health care providers and local or state public health departments will have information about test results. They will not share names or contact information with any other agencies.

The following information is derived from the Grain Valley Police Department daily calls for service log for the week of November 11-17, 2020. November 11, 2020 300 Block Woodbury 700 Block Main St 100 Block McQuerry Sni a Bar/Sni a Bar Intersection 1000 Block Foxtail 800 Block Shorthorn 1200 Block NW Ashley LN November 12, 2020 700 Block Main St 700 Block Main St

Recovered Property Motor Vehicle Accident Debris in the Roadway Citizen Contact Citizen Assist Animal Call

Woodbury and Maple 700 Block Main St 600 Block Jefferson 400 Block Woodbury November 13, 2020 700 Block Main St 700 Block Main St 500 Block Barr Rd 700 Block Main St 700 Block Main St

400 Block SW Eagles Pkwy 700 Block Main St 100 Block NE McQuerry 1100 Block S Broadway

100 Block N Lee 1200 Block NW Ashley LN 800 Block NW Willow Dr Vehicle 1300 Block NW Willow Dr 1300 Block Graystone

Exparte Service Citizen Contact Property Damage Citizen Contact Assist EMS Missing Juvenile Animal Call

Citizen Contact Walk in Report Stealing - Firearm Disturbance Walk in Report - Lost/ Stolen Wallet Walk in Report Fraudulent Use of Credit Card Alarm Walk in Report Sexual Misconduct Possible Missing Person Agency Assist Oak Grove - Large Disturbance Agency Assist Buckner - Disturbance Property Damage Stealing from Motor Agency Assist - CJC Medical Reported Large Party – Unfounded

November 14, 2020 1100 Block Pamela 900 Block Ryan 200 Block Woodbury Dr 700 Block Main St 1200 Block NW Phelps Dr 600 Block NW Yennie Ave 1200 Block NW Phelps Dr 800 Block Meadowood Dr 600 Block NW Yennie Ave 800 Block San Kar

Burglary Alarm Alarm Citizen Contact Disturbance Found Dog Disturbance Animals At Large Animals At Large Party Refusing to Leave

November 15, 2020 2300 Block Dillingham 1400 Block NE Mary Ct 300 Block SW 15th

Tree in Roadway Trespass Agency Assist Oak Grove 700 Block Main St Motorist Assist 100 Block Armstrong Dr Unsecure Door 1200 Block Pamela Citizen Contact 800 Block SW Montana Ridge Dr Disturbance 700 Block Main St Citizen Contact 600 Block NW Woodbury Dr Harassment 400 Block Sni-A-Bar Blvd Suspicious Person November 16, 2020 1000 Block Deer Creek 700 Block Main St Country Hill & Gateway

700 Block Main St 700 Block Main St

Citizen Contact Citizen Contact Careless and Imprudent Driver Found Property Recovered Stolen Auto Disturbance Agency Assist (LSPD)

November 17, 2020 Shorthorn & Clover 1100 Block Valley Ridge Dr Willow & Sni-A-Bar 1400 Block Minter Way 500 Block Woodbury 1200 Block Ashley Dr 1300 Block Jefferson 600 Block Valley Ridge Cir 700 Block Main St

Agency Assist (CJC) Citizen Contact Parking Complaint Alarm Check the Well Being Disturbance Alarm Alarm Custody Exchange

700 Block Main St 1200 Block Dean Dr

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Looking Back

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Looking Back: The McQuerry Family by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society The names of roads can provide an understanding of the local history of any town. That is certainly the case for roads in Grain Valley and the surrounding area. Almost without exception, the older roads were named for the people who had land and a home on the road. Often, country roads lead to the only house, or at least the first house built along the road. City street also took their names from people living along the street. Today, streets in subdivisions are often family names, or share a common theme. It is my belief that McQuerry Road probably got its name in the late 1890s when Reuben Pond McQuerry, his wife Myrtle Ann (Harding) McQuerry and their family lived on the road about one mile northeast of Grain Valley. McQuerry Road stretches from Buckner Tarsney on the west end to Lefoltz Road on the east end. Reuben was born on March 9, 1860 in Brandy Springs, Kentucky, and was still living there in 1880 according to the U. S. Census. But he came to this area prior to 1890 when he married Myrtle Ann Harding of Oak Grove, MO. They had thirteen children between 1891 and 1911.

Most of the children remained in Eastern Jackson County. Annie Laura 1892-1975) married Otis Williams. I’ve written about Otis and his family in this column. (Williams brickyard, slaughter house, ice house and grocery store). James Francis married Kay Herrington. Their son, Reuben Clay “RC” (1930-2017) lived in Buckner and was well known as the “best piano tuner” in Eastern Jackson County. Ruby Elizabeth (1900-1971) married Elmer Duncan (Duncan Road). They operated the family farm on Duncan Road for many years. Fred McQuerry (1902-1980) married Mary Withers. One of their daughters, Mary Vivian (1925-2018) married Robert Blackburn. She was in the laundry business for 55 years before her retirement in 2015. Mary owned and operated 40 & 7 Laundry in Blue Springs up until age 90. Robert Lester (1903-1974) married Mary M. Kelly. Robert owned a barber shop in Grain Valley for many years and “Miss Mary” was a teacher and elementary principal in Grain Valley through much of the 30s, 40s and 50s. Among the “treasures” left to the

The McQuerry family home. Photo courtesy Grain Valley Historical Society Historical Society was a photograph of the old family home. I have reached out on Facebook to try and learn more about the home. While many “old-timers” have visited with me about their

recollections, I’m still seeking information about the exact location of the home and its’ fate. If you know anything about the McQuerry, I would love to hear from you!

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

Grain Valley’s Santa Bus Hits The Road Saturday Santa and his crew are loading up the bus and hitting the streets of Grain Valley beginning Saturday, November 28th. This annual tradition will be modified due to COVID-19. This year, children will greet Santa outside the bus, and Santa and his helpers will tossing stuffed toys and gifts to visiting children. Pictures with Santa will be allowed with social distancing in mind. Residents are asked to not gather in groups of more than 10 people. The Santa bus will visit neighborhoods in Grain Valley each weekend beginning November 28th. A full schedule and maps of Santa’s route can be found at www.gvsanta.com and on the GV Santa group on Facebook. Upcoming routes for the Santa Bus include: November 28th, 9:00am— approximately 7:00pm: Grayleigh Park, Rosewood, Whispering Park, and Woodbury Sub-Divisions November 29th, 11:00am— approximately 7:00pm Everything North of I-70 other than Grayleigh Park, Rosewood Whispering Park, and Woodbury Sub-Divisions December 5th, 11:00am—approximately 7:00pm Everything between 40 Hwy and I-70

File photo December 6th, 9:00am—approximately 7:00pm Everything between 40Hwy and Eagles Pkwy including Cypress St & Broadway East of BucknerTarsney, and Winding Creek Subdivision


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Exceptional Giving During Unprecedented Times by Phil Hanson, President and CEO, Truman Heartland Community Foundation Unprecedented may be the most overused word of the year, but there is no denying its accuracy in describing 2020. As our community braces itself for another coronavirus surge, this year continues to throw us more curve balls than any of us desire. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving, your Community Foundation is reflecting on all that we have to be grateful for this year and the exceptional response we have seen from our community. With more than 700 charitable funds, Truman Heartland fundholders are setting new records for giving. So far this year, fundholders have provided $4.8 million in grants to nonprofits, surpassing last year’s grant total. Based on these trends, we are on track to hit $5 million in grants by the end of the year, a new record for your Community Foundation. Most of these grants are from Truman Heartland donor advised funds. Donor advised funds play a critical role during times of crisis. When the COVID19 shutdown began in March, we stepped up our communication with our fundholders about the needs of nonprofits working to help those most impacted by the crisis. They responded generously with over $240,000 in COVID -19 response grants, accelerating our progress toward the $5 million mark in grants we’re likely to see this year. Like a charitable giving savings account, a donor advised fund helps generous individuals be strategic with their giving. Donor advised funds allow investments to grow tax-free when the returns are strong, resulting in more money available to support charitable causes when there are immediate needs.

The remarkable response we have seen from our donors this year has been aided by a strategy referred to as “charitable bunching.” For the past few years, we have been working with donors, financial advisors and partners to encourage charitable individuals to start bunching their charitable giving with a donor advised fund. With the newly increased standard deduction, many people may not be able to itemize their charitable contributions and receive the tax benefits from itemization. With a charitable bunching strategy, you put two- or three-years’ worth of charitable contributions into your donor advised fund at one time. This strategy allows you to exceed the standard deduction and provides additional tax savings. Then, in the following years, you take the standard deduction and continue to support your favorite charities by making grants from your donor advised fund. This year, those easily accessible “rainy-day” funds are helping people maintain and, in many cases, increase their giving as the crisis continues to impact our community. The holiday season is usually a critical time of the year for charitable giving for many nonprofits. Although there is nothing usual about 2020, I am confident we will continue to see significant charitable giving this season. In October, a study commissioned by the Nonprofit Alliance and RKD Group reported some very encouraging news. While 77 percent of donors said they had already given as much or more this year than all of last year, 36 percent said they plan to give more in December 2020 than they did in December 2019, and 44 percent said they plan to give the same amount. The generosity of the American people is truly something we should be

thankful for during this holiday season. Truman Heartland continues to work across the region to share information on our website about nonprofits in Eastern Jackson County that are working hard to address the changing needs of our community. I encourage you to visit www.thcf.org/covid-19 to learn more about their work and how you can help. These are unprecedented times, but as we have seen this year, our ability to help others and focus on our hopes for the future can inspire us to accomplish the exceptional.

Phil Hanson is the President and CEO of Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) is a 501(c) (3) public charity committed to improving the communities in and around Eastern Jackson County through cooperation with community members and donors. THCF serves the region with assets of more than $50 million and annual grants surpassing $4.8 million. For more information on charitable giving, visit www.thcf.org or call Truman Heartland at 816.836.8189.

Education & Youth Appreciation Of Mathematics Leads Student From Grain Valley To KME Initiation Lauryn Smith, Grain Valley, was recently initiated into the Missouri- Beta Chapter of Kappa Mu Epsilon, a national mathematics society at the University of Central Missouri (UCM). Smith, daughter of Kathryn Engel, Grain Valley and Aaron Smith, Odessa, is a junior mathematics major at UCM and a 2018 graduate of Center Place Restoration School. The primary purpose of KME is to join together in common fellowship those individuals who are serious students of mathematics. A candidate for membership in the KME-Missouri-Beta Chapter must be a regularly enrolled

student at UCM, have completed at least three semesters of college coursework, and rank in the upper 35 percent of his or her class. He or she must also have completed at least three college mathematics courses with an overall B average, including one semester of calculus and at least two mathematics courses at UCM. The chapter meets monthly during the academic school year to hear a discussion about topics in mathematics of mutual interest. Other activities include volunteer work in the campus math clinic and math relays and numerous social events.

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How To Select Safe Toys For Kids This Holiday Season (StatePoint) Children look forward to opening their holiday presents all year. However, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure gifts are safe and appropriate. To help you make savvy selections, PlaySafe.org from The Toy Association, the premier site for toy safety information, is offering the following guidance: • Avoid shady sellers: This time of year can be especially costly, making it tempting to shop around. However, that low priced toy may not actually be “a good deal.” “U.S. toy safety laws are considered the gold standard. Before reaching your home, a toy is subjected to over 100 different safety standards and tests and must be certified compliant by an independent testing laboratory,” Joan Lawrence, The Toy Association’s “Toy Safety Mom” and senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs said. “The cheap imitations and counterfeits available online from illicit sellers haven’t met these same safety standards.” A recent survey commissioned by The Toy Association of U.S. parents who are their household’s primary toy purchaser revealed that 71 percent of parents whose kids get holiday gifts from grandparents who shop online aren’t completely confident that their elders know how to ensure that toys are from verified sellers. In the same survey, 19 percent of parents report that their child has received a knock-off toy that was bought online. Parents should talk to gift purchasers about sticking with verified sellers. This includes buying directly from brand websites or by following provided links to official retailers selling a brand’s products. For those who do choose to shop through lesser-known online sellers, checking out reviews and a product’s legitimacy before making a purchase is essential.

• Follow age recommendations: Playing with toys above a child’s age grade can lead to misuse and possible injury. However, 26 percent of parents in The Toy Association survey report that their kid has received a toy which was meant for kids who were older. Pay special attention to age grading on product labels and encourage family members who are also toy shopping to do the same. These are not merely suggestions, they’re firm recommendations made by safety experts based on childhood developmental stages. Find this information on labels and in product descriptions. If it’s not available, that’s a red flag and could mean the toy is illicit. • Pay attention to toys labeled 3+: Toys labeled 3+ may contain small parts that can be a choking hazard for children under 3 or kids who still mouth toys. While these items often make great gifts for older kids, they should be stowed away after playtime to keep younger siblings safe. Not sure if a toy is small enough to be hazardous? Consider getting a Small Parts Tester to test toys and other small household objects. • Monitor playtime: Kids find ways to play with things that are not toys, including objects that can be very dangerous if accidentally swallowed. The holiday season may introduce new curiosities to the house (e.g. batteries, high-powered magnets, decorations, medications from visiting family members). On the other hand, there is a federal law that requires batteries in toys to be kept inaccessible, thanks to the use of a locking mechanism. Keep dangerous, non-toy items out-of-reach and monitor children during playtime. For additional toy safety information, tips and resources, visit PlaySafe.org. “Don’t let your child unwrap a potential safety hazard this holiday season,” Lawrence said. “By shopping smart you can ensure safe play.”

In The Spirit

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Powell Gardens Festival Of Lights Through Jan. 3rd A unique walk-through experience can be found now through January 3rd at Powell Gardens. The Festival of Lights returns to Powell Gardens for its fourth year. Attendees walk a mile-long path spread over 25 acres through the Gardens featuring a variety of immersive light displays. Santa will make an appearance on Fridays and Saturdays between November 27th and December 19th in the Children’s Garden area. Children may deliver their wish lists to Santa and pose for photos. On Saturday, November 28th, three of Santa’s reindeer will visit the Children’s Garden corral. Visitors will be able to pet the reindeer and pose for photos with them. Photo opportunities are plentiful throughout the experience, and the view from the top of the Silo allows visitors to gaze out over the gardens. In addition to the Holly Jolly Rest Stop at the Missouri Barn, where hot drinks, cookies and snacks can be found, adults can stop at either the Enchanted Tiki Bar or Winter Wine Bar for a cocktail or glass of wine. Poinsettias and other gifts can be procured at the Visitor Center, and crafters of all ages can visit the Creation Station to make a pinecone ornament. The festival runs Thursday—Sundays from 4:00pm—10:00pm through January

3rd, and December 23-23 and December 28-30. Festival of Lights will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The path is ADA compliant, and shorter options are available. Tram rides from the Missouri Barn area to the Visitor Center are available from 5:00pm—10:00pm. Due to COVID-19 concerns, attendees must wear masks as mandated by Johnson County, MO, and maintain social distancing. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under 4 are free. Parking passes are $5. Members of Powell Gardens do not need to purchase festival admission or parking passes. Visitors can upgrade their experience with a $10 festival pack, which includes one non-alcoholic beverage, one holiday cookie, and a pair of holiday light 3-D specs. Powell Gardens is located approximately 10 minutes east of Grain Valley on US Highway 50. The front entrance can be seen on the north side of 50 Highway, just past the Z Highway exit. For more information and to purchase tickets for the Festival of Lights, visit www.powellgardens.org.

The Festival of Lights at Powell Gardens runs Thursdays—Sundays through January 3rd and

and December 23-23 and December 28-30. Festival of Lights will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under 4 are free. Parking passes are $5. Tickets may be purchased online at www.powellgardens.org. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Home & Garden Answers to last week’s puzzles:

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Projects To Spruce Up Classrooms And Workspaces (StatePoint) Whether you’re a parent managing your kids’ remote-learning or a teacher working to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for those in the classroom, there is a cost-effective secret weapon that can be used for countless projects: shelf liner. Here are five fun and useful ways to use shelf liner throughout the school year: 1. Dress up classrooms or workspaces. From sprucing up a classroom’s desks and shelves to personalizing storage areas in a home learning space, shelf liner can help you add fun pops of pattern to your décor while protecting surfaces from damage and messes. 2. Laminate with liner. Don’t have a laminating machine handy? Protect name tags, emergency contact cards, health information and other classroom resources by applying Duck Brand clear adhesive laminate liner to the front and back of the item. This simple DIY laminating process creates a waterresistant barrier and helps prevent

damage in little ones’ backpacks and desks. 3. Contain dirt and grime in high-traffic areas. Handle messes with a shelf liner featuring antimicrobial protection, which prevents the growth of odor-causing mold and mildew on the liner. 4. Protect desks and workstations. Students taking part in virtual learning are bound to take their studying into new places around the home. Use clear liner to catch rings or condensation from drinks, as well as other spills or messes in your home office and other living spaces. 5. Label supplies. Simply draw their name or cut out letters from construction paper, then use liner to easily adhere the DIY labels. For more information about all of the ways families and teachers can use clear adhesive liner, visit www.duckbrand.com.

Recycle Holiday Lights At Westlake Ace Hardware Kansas Citians have definitely gotten a jump on their holiday decorating this year. And, as people put up their holiday lights, or take them down in January, they will most likely find a strand or two of broken lights. Midwest Recycling Center (MRC) and Westlake Ace Hardware are

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offering holiday light recycling as a service to the community. Lights can be recycled at any Kansas Cityarea Westlake store now until January 11. Simply look for the drop off bins with the holiday light recycling label (sample below).

Your Health

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Plants On Your Plate: Sweet Potatoes by Denise Sullivan, Field Specialist, Nutrition and Health, University of Missouri Extension Sweet potatoes or yams…which one lands on your holiday menu? Wait… aren’t they the same thing? Though the names are often used interchangeably, the plants are most definitely different. Yams, a member of the lily family, are monocots, and are native to Africa and Asia. Sweet potatoes, a member of the morning glory family, are dicots and are native to Central and South America. It also bears mentioning that sweet potatoes are not related to Irish potatoes either, which belong to the nightshade family. Yams grow as a vine, which produces an underground tuber with a tough, hairy/scaly skin and flesh that ranges from white to bright yellow to purple or pink. Yams can range from the size of a normal potato to weighing over 100 pounds! Yams are also much starchier and drier than most varieties of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes produce a root that has a smooth, thin skin with flesh that ranges in color from white to orange, red, purple, or brown. Sweet potatoes tend to be more ‘normal’ in size, though I have seen friends brag on 10 pound-ers at harvest!

Sweet potato varieties are classified as either ‘firm’ or ‘soft’. Firm sweet potatoes remain firm when cooked and are dry and crumbly, much like a standard baking potato. Soft varieties become more soft, moist, and sweet upon cooking. Freshly harvested sweet potatoes are often referred to as “green” potatoes and are best to go through a curing process to allow the starches to break down into sugar. Curing happens by holding them for about 10 days at 80-85 degrees F with 85-90 percent humidity with good air circulation, or at lower temperatures of 65-75 degrees F for two to three weeks. Both firm and soft varieties are a rich source of Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and fiber, all of which are beneficial for heart health and blood pressure management. So, why the naming dilemma? According to the Library of Congress and the Louisiana State University Ag Center, the confusion came with the introduction of soft varieties. Southern growers would call the softer potatoes ‘yams’ to differentiate from the firm potatoes, and the term has been used interchangeably ever since. Today the

‘Tis The Season For Ginger (StatePoint) Ginger is not just spicy, sweet and delicious, it’s also tremendously good for you. And the holiday season is the perfect time to pack a punch with it in everything from the cookie tray to the cocktails. Here’s why and how to include this efficacious superfood in your holiday festivities. • Be good to yourself: Amid the COVID19 pandemic and flu season, a nutritious immunity-boosting diet can help you take good care of your health. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ginger boasts a wide range of health benefits, making it a great ingredient to include in your winter culinary repertoire. What’s more, ginger can help counteract some of the effects of an indulgent holiday season, as it promotes digestive health and calms nausea. • Embrace its versatility: Ginger goes far beyond such holiday classics like gingerbread houses. With a little creativity, it can be incorporated into every course of your holiday meal, adding a rare depth of flavor few other ingredients can match. Reed’s Crystallized Ginger makes it easier than ever to add that burst of spicy sweetness to seasonal recipes with its diced, ready-to-eat baby ginger root. So, consider wowing your family! Whip up a batch of ginger-carrot soup,

U.S. Department of Agriculture requires labels with the term ‘yam’ to be accompanied by the term ‘sweet potato.’ Unless you specifically search for yams, which are typically found in international markets, you are probably eating sweet potatoes! When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, sweet potatoes are a common element of the traditional holiday meal. I must admit though, I wasn’t a fan until I was well into adulthood, primarily because how they were presented to me as a child. Though I typically enjoy sweet things, a squishy vegetable doused in brown sugar and marshmallows wasn’t at the top of my list of favorites. Then, while at a conference in North Carolina (producer of about half of the sweet potatoes in the United States) I had my first baked sweet potato. This was the defining moment when I totally changed my mind about this nutrient powerhouse of a vegetable! If you ‘think’ you don’t like sweet potatoes, consider this recipe as a compromise on your holiday table. You might just change your mind too!

Twice Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes Makes 8 servings 4 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed ¼ cup fresh orange juice 3 teaspoons butter or margarine, melted 1 tablespoon brown sugar ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 2 tablespoons chopped pecans Before cooking, thoroughly wash hands and work surfaces. Gather all ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With a fork, prick holes in sweet potatoes and bake for 45-60 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and cool slightly for better handling. Once cooled, slice each potato in half. Scoop out most of the potato, leaving approximately ¼ inch around the skin. Place potato pulp in mixing bowl with orange juice, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons butter/margarine, nutmeg and cinnamon. Whip until smooth. Place potato skins into a 13-inchby-9-inch baking pan and fill with whipped potato mixture. Set aside. In nonstick frying pan, add remaining 1 teaspoon margarine and pecans, sauté until toasted. Sprinkle potatoes evenly with pecans. Bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes until thoroughly heated. Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 86, Total Fat: 2.7g, Saturated Fat: .4g, Sodium: 33mg, Carbohydrates: 14.5g, Fiber: 10.2g, Protein: 1.4g, Vitamin A: 11,090 IU Recipe from LSU Ag Center

prepare a ginger-based salad dressing, top your roast with a ginger-gravy or simply garnish your favorite cocktail. • Go for the real stuff: To amp up the flavor and health benefits, use only ingredients incorporating real ginger. Just be sure to read the label. If you’re like the one in three ginger ale drinkers who reach for this bubbly beverage because you’re looking for a drink with actual ginger, you may be surprised to learn that most mainstream ginger ales contain almost no real ginger. For holiday cocktails or enjoyed straight, try Reeds Real Ginger Ale, which is the only ginger ale on the market made with real, fresh ginger. Its original variety is non-GMO, packed with 2000 milligrams of organic pressed ginger and made with no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial preservatives and no high fructose corn syrup. There’s also a zero sugar variety too. Certified-ketogenic, it uses the same ingredients without the cane sugar. For more information, as well as holiday gift -giving and recipe inspiration, visit drinkreeds.com. A satisfying spice known worldwide for its wellness benefits, you can give your family the gift of flavor and health by putting ginger front-and-center this holiday season.

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Outdoors & Recreation

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MDC Hosts Cook And Catch Rainbow Trout Clinic by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation Families can learn how to cook and catch rainbow trout at upcoming free clinics offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in the Kansas City area. MDC stocks trout in several area lakes for a close-tohome winter fishing opportunity. The clinics will teach youths how to catch trout and families how to prepare them for cooking. Learn how to clean and prepare trout for the dinner table from Noon—2:30pm on Saturday, December 5th at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. After a demonstration, participants will have a hands-on opportunity to clean and prepare a trout. Then the class will try out some recipes and cook the trout. Taste testing will be available. “First, I'll show the participants how to pan fry trout,” John Rittel, MDC community education specialist said. “Then we'll do a simple foil-pack baked trout recipe that turns out equally well at home in the kitchen or on the campfire coals. We'll also prepare

my own personal favorite, cedar plank grilled trout. We'll grill a few trout on damp cedar boards over hot charcoals for a delicious, light smoky flavor.” Participants should wear weather appropriate clothing, as part of the clinic will be outdoors. Registration is required. To register, visit https:// short.mdc.mo.gov/Zb8. A two-part trout fishing clinic will be offered for youths age 15 and under on December 10th and December 12th. Parents or family members are welcome to attend with their angler. All children must be accompanied by an adult. The first session will be from 6:30 to 8:00pm on Thursday, December 10th at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center. Participants will learn about MDC’s urban winter trout program, what lakes are stocked, and how to catch trout. Trout fishing will be on tap at the second clinic session from 8:30 to 11:00am on Saturday, December 12th, at Honker Pond at the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area in Lee’s Summit.

MDC staff and volunteers will be on hand to help anglers. MDC will provide all tackle and bait. A campfire and hot chocolate will enable anglers to warm up if the weather is cold. Participants must attend the December 10th lesson in order to fish for trout on December 12th. “We'll give participants some stream fishing tips and pointers that will be handy anywhere trout are found,” Rittel said. “However, we'll primarily focus on the urban trout that are stocked in some of our local lakes during the winter months. Those are the fish we'll target during the fishing opportunity. “They are readily available to area residents. Fishing for them is a great winter time outdoor activity for children and their parents.” COVID-19 protocols and precautions will be followed at all sessions, including physical distancing and face masks. Youth will not need a Missouri trout permit if they catch and release all fish. If they wish to keep trout, they will

MDC has stocked rainbow trout in several Kansas City area lakes for a winter fishing opportunity. Free upcoming clinics will teach youths how to catch them and another clinic will teach trout preparation and cooking skills. Photo credit: MDC need a trout permit. They are available wherever Missouri hunting and fishing permits are sold, or by visiting https:// huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/fishing/permits. Registration is required for the youth trout fishing clinics. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZbX. For more information, call 816-622-0900.

Join In Free Citizen Science Saturdays At Discovery Center by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation The birds of winter bring color and motion to backyard feeders. They can also be part of long-term science when people record them. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) invites people who enjoy birds to participate in free citizen science Saturdays at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City. Two sessions will be offered from 10:00am to 11:30am and from 12:30pm— 2:00pm at the Center, 4750 Troost Avenue. Birds spotted during winter can

become part of online data bases that biologists use to track population and movement trends. This session will teach participants how to use to use online tools such as iNaturalist and eBird to identify birds and report sightings. Bird habitat preferences and natural history will also be discussed. Participants will learn how to enter data in winter bird counts applicable to the Kansas City region. This free program is for ages 9 and older. Families are welcome. It is recommended that participants bring

digital devices such as iPhones, iPads, Android phones, or tablets. Registration is required. Future citizen science Saturdays will also be offered. Participants are welcome to observe and record birds seen at Discovery Center’s outdoor feeders. Protocols and precautions for COVID-19 will be observed at all times, including physical distancing and face masks. For more information, call 816-7597300. To register, visit https:// short.mdc.mo.gov/Zb7.

MDC's Gorman Discovery Center will help people connect with winter bird counts on Saturday, Dec. 5. The citizen science program merges digital technology with bird identification. Photo credit: MDC



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Eagles Drop Heartbreaker To Pirates by John Unrein The first half displayed promise for the Grain Valley Eagles as they jumped out to a 14 point lead against the Platte County Pirates on November 20th. Three touchdown passes by Eagles quarterback Cole Keller to wide receiver Logan Pratt, along with a sweep by Keller to the left of the formation down Grain Valley’s sideline fueled the offensive output that put the Eagles up 28-14 at halftime. The script would flip for the Eagles during the second half as Platte County would produce 17 additional points while shutting out Grain Valley during the final two quarters in route to a 31-28 victory in the quarterfinal round of the Class 5 football state playoffs. Pratt’s return from injury has been a blessing for the Eagles in recent weeks. The speed of the junior wide receiver was on display as he connected with Keller on two beautifully thrown touchdown fade passes good for 54 and 76 yards during the second quarter. Pratt was able to stack and separate from the Pirate secondary on both occasions before hauling in the football with extended arms. Just as impressive was Pratt’s reception in between the two fade routes at the 3:02 mark of the second quarter. Platte County showed respect for Pratt’s speed by providing cushion in coverage. Pratt would turn a seven yard hitch route into a 23 yard score by spinning out of the oncoming tackle of the Pirate cornerback before sprinting down the Eagles sideline to the end zone. All three of Keller’s touchdown passes would come during the first half on connections to Pratt, good for 153 of the total 229 passing yards the Grain Valley signal caller would amass during his final football game as an Eagle.

Platte County would emerge from the locker room at the start of the third quarter determined to eliminate Keller’s comfort in the pocket during the second half. The Pirates would consistently blitz “A and B” gaps with their “Mike and Will” linebackers. The idea being to outnumber or send as many rushers as the Eagles had blockers. The concept worked for Platte County as they were able to disrupt the Eagles passing game. Keller worked diligently to elude pressure and reestablish himself frequently before passing during the second half. The results produced less production for the Eagles as they fell behind the chains on second and third downs frequently. “They (Platte County) had guys coming from a variety of places. It definitely made it harder to sort out. We tried to adjust, but they didn’t care what formation we were in, they brought the heat and kudos to them,” Keller said. “The first half we come out and they hit us in the mouth, and we returned the favor. We had them down and we were preaching to remember what happened last year when we played them. We were rolling in the first half and it sucks we couldn’t get that going in the second half.” Emotions were prevalent for fellow Eagles offensive stalwart Jack Bailey. The three year starter for Grain Valley at offensive guard comforted his teammates on the field after game. A decorated career for the senior has included being named to first team Suburban All-Conference Team during the 2019 season. “I’ll never forget each one of my teammates. We have played hard to the last second of every game,” Bailey said. “Football has taught me a ton of life lessons. When you’re down, you have to

see FOOTBALL on page 12

Eagles Wide Receiver Logan Pratt sprints to the end zone. Photo credit: John Overstreet

Eagles quarterback Cole Keller sprints to the end zone. Photo credit: John Overstreet

Left: Eagles linebacker Hunter Newsom closes in to finish the tackle. Right: Eagles Defensive End Josh McCoy sacks the Platte County quarterback. Photo credit: John Overstreet


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Eagles Boys Basketball Eager To Get Started by John Unrein Fourteen days of quarantine were erased with the Grain Valley Eagles Boys Basketball team completing their warmup by breaking down with the phrase “together.” Time was not wasted as the group hit the floor running on November 24th. A sense of urgency was apparent by the team under the direction of Eagles Boys Head Basketball Coach Andy Herbert, who was excited to work on building the foundation of fundamentals that has been delayed. “Time the pass; it’s a big key to spacing. Don’t cheat your footwork, drive with the initial step, if you are guarded, then jab and cross over (as you approach from the wing),” Herbert said. “Pivot towards me, reverse and then finish by making the basket,” Herbert would direct as his voice filled the gym encouraging his players. The Eagles would start practice working on floor spacing, wing approach, transition off the inbound pass, and offensive sets from the top of the key with an emphasis on screens. Red faces and hands on knees did not find an abundance of comfort as score was kept on most timed drills done in practice to emphasize competition. Thus, the necessity of shaking off rust and getting into basketball shape. Grain Valley’s first scheduled game of the season that was to take place in the Marshall Basketball Tournament on November 30th has been cancelled. Instead, the Eagles will see their first action on December 8th as they host the Pleasant Hill Roosters. Expectations for metro area scholastic basketball teams are all over the place as a cloud of uncertainty during the current pandemic loom over the potential season. “Expectations, your guess is as good as mine for a lot of obvious reasons. You look at the schedule and every day is like a snow day and you have the anticipation of whether the next game will happen,” Herbert said. “As far as our roster goes, we have a lot of new faces that include guys who have been through this (a varsity season

before). Trying to get them up to speed during a pandemic has it challenges.” “The first tournament of the season being cancelled gives us some breathing room. The success of football and soccer as well with their seasons being lengthened has lessened the do overs that usually take place with the kids who have been here and those that arrive after the completion of their fall season.” Herbert concluded, “Some players got some rest due to quarantine and if you look at it with rose colored glasses, things have worked out as good as can be expected. It’s like cramming for a final, you have to throw fundamentals at the kids and see how many of them stick through repetition. Shooting the basketball will be in the back seat for a while.” This season will witness the Eagles varsity roster not being littered with players who were returning multiple year starters as the likes of Caden Matlon and Josh Kilpatrick have graduated. Current seniors Grain Valley will rely on include Keeton Maxon, John Haywood, Cole Keller, and Jayden Yung. Haywood will be manning the point guard position for the Eagles as the trio of Maxon, Keller, and Yung will be doing their work on the wing and in the paint. “The last fourteen days have been boring. I am excited to be here and get to see everyone again,” Maxon said. Haywood agreed. “I agree with Keeton, it has been boring. I have spent a lot of time outside at my goal shooting the basketball.” Both Maxon and Haywood are focused on using the condensed time they have in practice to improve their collective games for the upcoming season. “Rebounding is an area I want to improve in. It starts for me with boxing out and then being aggressive attacking the rim after I grab an offensive board,” Maxon said. “I need to work on ball fakes and touch on my passes to my teammates in the post. I want to time my shots

better to eliminate the chance of it being blocked.” Haywood said. Grain Valley has posted back to back 16-11 winning records during the 20182019 and 2019-2020 seasons. A boost for the team will no doubt be the return of a healthy Keller down low. The 6’ 5” 205 pound starting quarterback for the Eagles football team showed zero ill effects of the knee injury that ended his

2019 season on the gridiron. That has the potential for Keller returning to his aggressive ways on the board and finding ways to score in the post. The quartet of Eagles seniors knows the task at hand and accepts the challenge that lies ahead. Herbert and his squad are eager to the get the season started.

Eagles basketball players participate in drills the first day of practice on November 24th. Photo credit: Valley News staff

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FOOTBALL continued from page 10 pick yourself up. Life doesn’t stop when you stop. I’m determined this won’t be my last football game.” The Eagles black shirt defense under the direction of defensive coordinator Pete Carpino also produced their fair share of stellar plays throughout the game. Seniors Josh McCoy and Parker Bosserman were joined by sophomore Keegan Hart in producing plays that helped the Eagles ascertain their first half lead. McCoy’s sack of Pirate senior quarterback Christopher Ruhnke with 1:53 left in the first quarter forced a Platte County punt. Bosserman would add a second quarter interception to team with Hart’s pass break up at the goal line with 20 seconds left in the half, denying Platte County a touchdown. Linebacker Hunter Newsom and defensive lineman Donovan McBride were also stingy in patrolling the line of scrimmage in limiting the Pirates to just 22 total rushing yards. Both were proud of their team and the 10-2 record they were able to amass as part of being the Class 5 District 7 champions. The duo has led by their actions on defense and only with their voice when needed. “We came together as a team in fighting through adversity. We didn’t know if we were going to have a season due to COVID-19. A shout out to our coaches and my teammates for keeping us levelheaded and consistently pushing us,” McBride said. Newsom added, “Eagles football has meant a tremendous amount to me. We wanted to represent our city and school in continuing to make a name for them these past four years.” The Pirate offense would turn to the air during second half in route to

attaining 328 total passing yards to secure the outcome of the game. Platte County’s spread formations included an assortment of four wide, trips, and five wide receiver sets. Route combinations that stressed the Eagles secondary along with disciplined route running by Pirate wide receivers aided Ruhnke in delivering two third quarter touchdown passes that tied the game. Platte County would finally pull ahead at the 5:44 mark of the fourth quarter on a successful 43 yard field goal attempt by kicker Cole Rhoden. A lead the Pirates would not relinquish. Grain Valley head football coach David Allie spoke highly of the valiant effort of his football team following the loss. Especially, the 23 members of the senior class that Allie has mentored over the last four years. “Every team loses their last game of the season but one, and unfortunately we’re not that one this year. There’s no speech to give to kids after a game that ends their season. This group is mentally tough and resilient,” Allie said. “We knew this group of seniors were special when they arrived. I am glad that this group didn’t have the chance to compete evaporate due to the pandemic. This group is filled with not only great athletes, but great young men.” “When I look back, they were the first in Class 5 for us. They were conference co-champs and state ranked all year. They led us to the state quarterfinals.” Allie concluded, “We as coaches are here to build great young men. This group was already headed in that direction as they are great kids.”

Shop With A Cop Seeking Donations The Grain Valley Police Department is seeking monetary donations to support its annual Shop with a Cop event. The annual event provides an opportunity for officers to be matched with local children during a shopping event at Target, where children shop and wrap gifts for family members. Donations may be made in person at

City Hall Water Department, 711 N. Main or by calling City Hall at 816-847-6280 to make a credit card payment by phone. The donation deadline is December 1st. For more information, call 816-8476250 or email gvmopd@cityofgrainvalley.org.

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Community Calendar Saturday, November 28, 2020 Discover Nature: Nature Gratitude Hunt 1:00pm—1:30pm 1:45pm—2:15pm 2:30pm—3:00pm Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, Blue Springs Search the trails near the Nature Center to find hidden “pumpkins” of knowledge about special things only the natural world can do for us. Collect four gratitude pumpkins to redeem for a special prize. Register: 816-228-3766 Monday, November 30, 2020 Night Before Christmas Carol: A Special Virtual Performance 10:00am—11:00am www.mymcpl.org/events Join Charles Dickens in his study for a very special night as he creates his holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol." Join David zum Brunnen in this special virtual program as he portrays 17 characters as well as Charles Dickens himself. Customers will receive a free coupon code to view this special 60-minute performance online through Vimeo. Coupon codes will be emailed 30 minutes prior to the start of the program. Space is limited. This program will be followed by a question and answer session with David Zum Brunnen. Please register separately for the Q&A.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020 Planning and Zoning Commission 6:30pm Grain Valley City Hall, 711 S. Main Monday, December 14, 2020 Board of Aldermen Meeting 7:00pm Grain Valley City Hall, 711 S Main Tuesday, December 15, 2020 What’s The News? Exploring News Resources 2:00pm –2:30pm www.mymcpl.org/events Park Board Meeting 7:00pm Grain Valley Community Center Monday, January 11, 2021 Board of Aldermen Meeting 7:00pm Grain Valley City Hall, 711 S Main

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Valley News: November 26, 2020  

Vol. 3 No. 47 Grain Valley's Community Newspaper Published weekly online and in print the first and third weeks of the month. www.grainvalle...

Valley News: November 26, 2020  

Vol. 3 No. 47 Grain Valley's Community Newspaper Published weekly online and in print the first and third weeks of the month. www.grainvalle...