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February 25, 2021 Vol. 4 No. 8

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

Library resumes in-branch browsing and item pick-up Mid-Continent Public Library launched “Express Service,” allowing customers to independently browse and pick up items inside its branches, services that were previously unavailable due to COVID safety restrictions. Customers, who must continue to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times inside MCPL locations, are now able to do the following: Independent Browsing: Customers may select items from the shelves on their own and check them out using the self-check kiosks at the front of their branch. Technology Services: Public computers, fax machines, printers, and copiers are available for use. Pick-Up of Materials: Branches continue to operate curbside or drive-up window service to pick up materials that have been placed on hold, but customers can also retrieve them inside the branch. Returns:: Items must be returned to an indoor or outdoor book drop. They will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked back in; however, no fines will accrue from this additional time. “The past several months have been very challenging, but our goal throughout this time has been to


Board praises, provides new tools to Public Works

balance safety with customer service,” Steven V. Potter, MCPL Director and CEO said. “We’ve implemented a number of new protocols that have allowed us to take this next step forward, including altering our staff schedules to reduce risk of branch closures, and we’re very pleased that these measures have been successful. We continue to look for innovative ways we can serve our community in a safe manner.” Customers are still asked to limit their visits inside MCPL locations to 90 minutes or less to promote lower building occupancy rates for social distancing purposes. Public computers can be used for 60 minutes a day and are spaced to comply with social distancing recommendations. Wi-Fi continues to be available outside the Library’s branches 24/7. In addition to maintaining social distance, customers are asked to wear masks inside the branches throughout their entire visit. In-person library events, use of children’s computers, and meeting room rentals are still not available. More information about the Library’s available services can be found at mymcpl.org/COVID.

In This Edition: Looking Back: Valley News


Business: COVID-19 changed the world, now it’s our turn


Technology: How to secure your home or office wireless network


Your Health: A healthy lifestyle for cancer prevention


Sports: Resiliency rewards Eagles


Cover Photo: Sophomore Grace Slaughter wins the opening tip off of the basketball game. See story on page 9. Photo credit: Valley News staff

The recent frigid winter weather, which closed schools and businesses and caused headaches for many home owners with frozen pipes and rolling blackouts was on the mind of the Board of Aldermen during their regularly scheduled meeting, held virtually via video conference on February 22nd. During the individual reports and comments portion of the meeting, each alderman and Mayor Johnston took the opportunity to praise the public works department for their efforts to keep the streets cleaned and water main problems tackled during the polar vortex,

which gripped most of the nation the week of February 14th. Public Works crews responded to a water main break on February 14th on Old 40 Highway, and another on February 16th on McQuerry Road. Road crews plowed roads as snow fell February 15th through February 16th. The Board approved a resolution authorizing the City Administrator to enter into an agreement with Lamp Rynearson for engineering design of the Old 40 Highway water main replacement from Main Street to Sni-A-Bar Creek. The 2021 budgeted project has an estimated

see BOARD on page 2

Good News: Arends receives CIT Officer of the Year award GVPD Officer Matthew Arends was honored this week with the MidAmerica Regional Council Grain Valley Police Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officer of the Year award. “Officer Arends received this award for his involvement and coordination of the Grain Valley Police Department CIT program. CIT trains officers in working with individuals who are dealing with a mental health or other type of crisis, by giving officers insight into the factors that contribute to crisis, and resources for treatment, counseling and other services. CIT is important as it helps officers recognize situations and behaviors that can be more appropriately handled by resources outside of law enforcement, such as health care or mental health providers,” GVPD Captain Jeff Palecek explained.

(Left to right): Grain Valley Police Chief James Beale presents the Mid-America Regional Council Grain Valley Police CIT Officer of the Year award to Officer Matthew Arends Photo credit: City of Grain Valley

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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 10-15, 2021. February 10, 2021 700 Block of Main ST

Agency Assist, Highway Patrol 700 Block of Main ST Citizen Contact 2100 Block of Sweetgum Welfare Check 1300 Block of NW Jefferson Alarm 600 Block of Walnut Residence Check 700 Block of NW Eagle DR Citizen Contact 200 Block of Broadway Alarm 600 Block of SW Lakeview Suspicious Vehicle 1400 Block of S Minter Way Alarm 500 Blk of SW Graystone DR Disturbance February 11, 2021 1200 Block of Pamala BLVD Main ST & AA 1300 Block of Ashley LN 600 Block of Broadway 700 Block of Main ST 1300 Block of SW Addie LN 1700 Helen CT

Unoccupied Vehicle C & I Driver Residence Check Welfare Check Agency Assist, DFS Parking Complaint Residence Check

February 12, 2021 1300 Block of NW Jefferson 1300 Block of NW Phelps DR 100 Block of Armstrong 1100 Block of Willow Main & Rock Creek Main & Eagles 100 Block of Eagles 600 Blk of Valley Ridge Cir 1200 Blk of NW Crestwood

Alarm Citizen Contact Welfare Check Citizen Contact Citizen Contact Suspicious Person Stealing Alarm Suspicious Vehicle

February 13, 2021 1200 Block of Phelps DR Welfare Check 300 Block of Front ST Citizen Contact 1300 Block of NW Jefferson Alarm

1300 Block of RD Mize 600 Blk of Mont. Ridge DR 1300 Block of NW Jefferson 700 Block of Main ST 900 Block of Baytree Main & Front 1200 Block of Phelps 600 Block of Yennie 1300 Block of Willow WB I 70 Ramp 200 Block of Main 1100 Block of Dean DR 100 Block of Woodbury

Disturbance Disturbance Alarm Citizen Contact Fireworks Suspicious Vehicle Noise Complaint Noise Complaint Water Main Break Motorist Assist Agency Assist Public Works Welfare Check Assist CJC

February 14, 2021 300 Block of Front ST 1400 Block of Willow 1300 Block of RD Mize 1200 Block of Lone Star CT 700 Block of Main ST Main @ RR Crossing

Animal Welfare Check Civil Standby Welfare Check Agency Assist Public Works Agency Assist DFS Malfunctioning Crossing Arms Main & Jefferson Motorist Assist 400 Block Coldwater Creek Agency Assist Public Works February 15, 2021 1300 Block of Jefferson 100 Block of McQuerry 700 Block of Main ST 100 Block of Armstrong 700 Block of Main ST 300 Block of Crestview DR 100 Block of McQuerry RD I 70 & Main I 70 & Main 400 Block of Woodbury

Alarm Agency Assist Public Works Agency Assist DFS Stolen Vehicle Agency Assist DFS Residence Check Agency Assist Public Works Suspicious Activity Leaving the Scene of an Accident Verbal Disturbance

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.

Cathy Allie

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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.

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cost of $27,190. The Board passed two resolutions addressing Public Works needs, including a resolution to purchase a coldplaner attachment for road maintenance and repair, and a resolution to purchase a 10foot stainless steel salt spreader for snow and ice control. The Board also approved a resolution to continue a lease agreement with the

Grain Valley Assistance Council, located at 513 A&B Gregg Street in Grain Valley. The space is provided at no cost to the organization, which provides emergency assistance to residents of Grain Valley. The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be Monday, March 8th at 7:00pm in the council chambers at Grain Valley City Hall.

Looking Back

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Looking Back: Valley News by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society Last week I wrote about the first Valley News, a newspaper printed in Grain Valley during the 1980s. A day or two after I pressed “send” and sent the article to be printed, I found a copy of the newspaper at my house. I had saved the paper because it had an article about Sni-A-Bar, along with a photograph of my father and some other men who worked there. The volume, number and date told me I was a bit off on the dates of publication. It must have begun in August of 1983 and ended before 1986. I did learn that the paper was $ .25 per week. The yearly subscription rate was $7.50 per year for senior citizens (65 or older) $10 per year for residents of Jackson and Lafayette counties, $12.50 for residents elsewhere in Missouri and $15 per year for out of state residents. Thirty-seven years ago the paper was available at nine locations; the Valley Inn, the Corner Store, Valley Hardware, The Country Stove Shop, ShoMe Gun Shop, Bernie’s Liquor & Deli, Save-Rite Foods, Potters Liquors, and the Bank of Grain Valley. It is interesting to note that of the

nine locations only the Bank of Grain Valley exist today. Can you even remember all of those businesses and their location in Grain Valley? Before becoming the Historical Society, Sho-Me Gun Shop was doing business at 506 Main Street. The August 15, 1984 edition of the paper welcomed a new Conoco station north of I-70 adjacent to the Hen House restaurant, (currently where Casey’s is located). It also welcomed Bud Young as Grain Valley’s new football coach. Before the start of a new school year, the newspaper printed the R-5 annual newsletter, from Dr. Tom Hightower, superintendent, recapping the previous year. On the educational front, the highlight from the 1983-84 school year was notification of AAA classification by the State Department of Education. On the financial front, “R-5 district is now a fiscally sound, growing district which will continue to improve and serve its students admirably.” On the student front, the R-5 schools served an enrollment of 800 students during the 1983-84 school year. And finally, on the professional staff

front, Jim Jenkins will become the new high school principal, replacing Richard Burns who left to take a principalship in Westran, Missouri. The newspaper ran a school supply list, anecdotes from the Democratic Convention, news of the re-enactment of The Battle of Lone Jack, a list of recent St. Mary’s hospital patients, and a bran-muffin recipe. (Yummy) In addition to the full-page advertisement for the new Conoco station, one-half page of the 4-page paper featured an August Calendar announcing the events and meetings which would occur during the month. And, there was an advertisement for the Grain Valley Fair which would be held September 27-30, along with a story about the 2nd Annual House Show featuring 27 classes of competition. Finally, an article which I found most timely today: College Students Should

college graduate was $5,000, a burden that calls for monthly payments of $64 dollars per month over a 10-year period under the Guaranteed Student Load (GSL) program, which accounted for 85% of all education loans. Would $5,000 pay for a semester of college today? As always, I invite you to visit the Grain Valley Historical Society on Wednesday from 10 AM – 3PM (or by appointment.) In addition to old newspapers, we have lots of photographs and interesting artifacts for you to enjoy! Next Week: I really will write about 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).

Plan Now for Ways to Repay Student Loans. In 1984 the average debt of a

Missouri Trivia by Marcia Napier, Grain Valley Historical Society The first newspaper in Missouri was The Missouri Gazette first published on July 12, 1808 in St. Louis. By 1820, five newspapers were published in the state and by 1860 there

were 154. One hundred years after the first newspaper was published the University of Missouri School of Journalism was founded, the oldest professional school of its kind in the World.

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Join online at www.grainvalleynews.com.


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COVID-19 changed the world, now it’s our turn by Phil Hanson, President and CEO, Truman Heartland Community Foundation How the world has changed in the past year. I commonly hear people talking about time in terms of Pre-Pandemic time versus Post-Pandemic time. Covid-19 has certainly rocked the entire world; however, it has had the most dramatic impact on the lives of those most vulnerable in our community. In February 2020, in pre-pandemic times, we had very low unemployment and a strong economy and your Community Foundation was launching our new Job Skills for New Careers initiative. The goal of this initiative is to provide job skills training to low-income families in our community to enable them to secure a job that has career opportunities and provides a path for their family out of poverty. Launching this program during a pandemic was certainly challenging due to social distancing requirements that impacted how training could be delivered. Despite the headwinds we had 63 participants graduate and receive a certificate that will enable them to secure a job with a future.

We had 36 CNA graduates and 27 Welding program graduates. The initiative is a strategic partnership with Community Services League (CSL), Mid-Continent Public Library and the University of Central Missouri (UCM), combining each organization’s unique assets. We also received strong support from fundholders at the Foundation who made grants to support this effort totaling $120,000 and a $60,000 grant from the Kauffman Foundation. Many things continue to be unclear due to Covid-19 which I refer to as the COVID-19 fog. However, what is crystal clear is that the need for our Job Skills for New Careers initiative is even greater now than it was last February. We have thousands of people in our community who were in low wage hospitality or retail jobs and barely making ends meet prior to the pandemic, that are now unemployed and struggling to keep their families housed and fed. Many of these jobs are not coming back and now is the time for us to give these families a hand up so they can learn new skills and get that new career,

a job with a future. This year we will expand the number of training options for in demand jobs to appeal to more people and their career interests. We will expand from 2 career paths to 6 by offering training in Medical Coding and Billing, Phlebotomy, Sustainable Materials and Construction as well as CNA and Welding. Our goal is 125 graduates from these programs. While we realize the need is far greater than the 125 we are able to serve, the impact this opportunity will have on these families will be dramatic, it will change their world. Truman Heartland Community Foundation, along with our partners, continues to explore new ways to leverage funding and opportunities to meet the needs of the community. If you work with organizations that support at risk populations or know anyone who could benefit from this program, please share information about Job Skills for New Careers and encourage them to visit newskills.cslcares.org and complete a simple online application for Community Services League. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with trainings starting

throughout the year. Help us spread the word about this program. We are also seeking to build relationships with employers who need employees with the skills obtained through these trainings. If you are an interested employer, we would be pleased to talk with you about how you can help ensure there is a job waiting for each trainee when they complete the program. COVID-19 has rocked the world of these families. Now it’s our turn to give them a hand up so they can learn new skills and get that new career, a job with a future that will provide their family with a path out of poverty. I hope you will join us.

Phil Hanson is the president and CEO of Truman Heartland Community Foundation. Truman Heartland Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity committed to improving the communities in and around Eastern Jackson County through partnerships with donors and community members. For more information on charitable giving, visit www.thcf.org or call Truman Heartland at 816-836-8189.

Partnership resumes monthly luncheons March 2nd

Second round of PPP prioritizes smallest of small businesses

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

The latest round of Paycheck Protection Program funding opened one month ago, and for businesses with fewer than ten employees, the share of funding is up nearly 60% The SBA has committed to establishing a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. In addition, the SBA will: Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants; Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal; Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan

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

payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP; Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP. The 14-day exclusivity period will start on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m., while the other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March. Borrowers can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program by downloading the First Draw PPP loan application or Second Draw PPP loan application and working with a participating PPP lender through the SBA Lender Match tool. Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance, and resources is available at www.sba.gov/ ppp and www.treasury.gov/cares.


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How to secure your home or office wireless network by Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert Making sure your home and office wireless network is secure is important, especially if you do sensitive work online. The last thing you want in this day and age is a stranger connected to your wireless router snooping on any sensitive information you may be working on. Also, it's important to maintain your router as it acts as a firewall, protecting you from the many threats that are lurking online. It's hard to cover all of the settings for every brand of router in a short article, but I can share the basic settings you need to change to improve your home network's security using router settings. 1. Change the Router Login Credentials. Most routers have administrative credentials that allow you to log into your router to change settings that work best for your environment. This includes turning on or off the firewall, monitoring who's connected to your wireless network, and updating the firmware (software) for your router. For most brands of routers, you can Google the default username and password. When you don't change the administrative settings for your router, it allows anyone connected to your wireless network to go in and change settings. You can log into the settings of your router to change these settings. It's okay to leave your username as admin, but you really need to change the password. 2. Change the Network Name and Password. Most brands of routers come with a default wireless network or SSID and password. Sometimes this information is printed on a sticker attached to the router. Default router settings can easily be looked up on the Internet allowing someone to access your home or office wireless network. This is especially important if you lease your router from your Internet service provider. Look up the default password for

your model to connect without your knowledge. Changing these settings differs by the router, but often you'll often find it under Wireless Settings, Wireless Security, or something similar. Once you make changes to your wireless network name and password, you'll have to reconnect all of your wireless devices. 3. Use Strong Network Encryption. There are several encryption methods to protect your network. Most routers already have encryption methods setup out of the box, but it's always a good idea to log into your router settings to make sure yours is properly secured. Looking at wireless security settings, you will see the options such as: None. This setting means you want your home or office network to be setup like your local coffee shop. You don't want this if you're exchanging sensitive information. WEP. This stands for Wired Equivalent Privacy. This is outdated technology and provides little security, so you shouldn't use it. WPA, or Wi-Fi Protected Access. This is the current security method used to protect routers. It comes in three flavors. WPA, WPA2, and WPA3 which became available in 2018, but isn't available on all devices. 4. Disable Your Wireless Network Name from Displaying. If you want to keep your wireless network secure from prying eyes, it's best to just disable the broadcasting of your Wi-Fi network name or the SSID. If you've changed your default wireless name and make it invisible to your neighbors and other people in the area of your business, you've created the ultimate protection from hackers to your home or office WiFi network. To make this happen, just go into the settings and choose the option to turn off SSID. 5. Keep Your Router Firmware Updated. Firmware is the software that controls your router and just like your computer, smartphone, and tablets, your router needs to be updated from time to time. Security holes are discovered

from time to time by router manufacturers and they release updates to fix these issues. Your router should have a Firmware Update option in the main menu or you might have to visit a separate page to download the latest version and manually upload it. 6. Setup a Guest Network. If you have frequent guests in your home or office and you want them to use the Wi-Fi, it's not a bad idea to set up a guest network that will allow them the luxury of having access to the internet and at the same time keeping your network safe and secure. Guest networks setup a separate network for people to use which keeps nosey visitors from seeing what's going on your personal network. Not all routers have the option to setup a guest network, but to set one up on your router, you just need to go into settings and select the option to setup a guest network. Hopefully, these tips will help you have a more secure router and reduce

risks on your home and office network. There's no way that your network will be 100% bulletproof, but these commonsense methods will protect you against the most common methods used by cybercriminals to get into your network. Looking for More Useful Tech Tips? Our Tuesday Tech Tips Blog is released every Tuesday. If you like video tips, we LIVE STREAM new episodes of 'Computer and Tech Tips for Non-Tech People' every Wednesday at 6:00 pm CST on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Technology product reviews are posted every Thursday. You can view previous episodes on our YouTube channel. Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@callintegralnow.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone. Our team of friendly tech experts organization can help you with any IT needs you might have. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.

Your Health

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A healthy lifestyle for cancer prevention by Tracey Shaffer, RDN, LD Skillet Tilapia with Sautéed Spinach Be physically active. Adults should get 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these). Getting to or exceeding the upper limit of 300 minutes is ideal. Limit sedentary behavior such as sitting, lying down, watching TV, and other forms of screenbased entertainment.

February is National Cancer Prevention Month. Did you know that you can reduce your risk of cancer by following a healthy lifestyle? Research shows at least 18% of all cancers and about 16% of cancer deaths in the U.S. are related to excess body weight, physical inactivity, alcohol consumption, and/or poor nutrition. The American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention Reducing the Risk of Cancer with Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity emphasizes healthy diet and exercise. The four components of cancer prevention, as reported by the American Cancer Society, are: Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life. Keep your weight within the healthy range, and avoid weight gain in adult life.

Follow a healthy eating pattern at all ages. Eat foods that are high in nutrients in amounts that help you get to and stay at a healthy body weight. Eat a variety of vegetables – dark green, red and orange, fiber-rich legumes (beans and peas), and others. Choose fruits, especially whole fruits in a variety of colors. Make your grains whole grains. Limit red meat and processed meats. Avoid sugarsweetened beverages and highly processed foods and refined grain products. It is best not to drink alcohol. People who do choose to drink alcohol should have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men.

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped 2 teaspoons rice vinegar 1 garlic clove, minced 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil 1 pound tilapia or other thin white fish fillets 2 teaspoons canola oil 1 (9- or 10-ounce) bag baby spinach 1 tablespoon water Directions: In a bowl, combine soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Lightly brush fish with some of the mixture. In a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium –high heat, and canola oil. Add the fish and cook for 2 to 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove fish and keep warm. Add spinach, the remaining soy mixture, and water to skillet and sauté until spinach is bright green and wilted. Push spinach to the side and return fish to skillet. Cover and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve fish topped with spinach Serves 4 Per serving: Calories 155, Total fat 6 grams, Saturated fat 1.4 grams, Trans fat 0 grams, Polyunsaturated fat 1.9 grams, Monounsaturated fat 2.5 grams, Cholesterol 75 mg, Sodium 210 mg, Total carbohydrate 3 grams, Dietary fiber 1 gram, Sugars 0 grams, Protein 24 grams

Source: American Cancer Society NOTE: Researchers agree that there isn’t one single element in one particular food that can protect you from cancer. Eating a variety of foods is your best defense against disease. For more information on how the above foods may help protect you against cancer, contact a registered dietitian. Try this quick-cooking Skillet Tilapia with Sautéed Spinach bursting with flavor and healthy goodness, including omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, folic acid, and other healthy vitamins and minerals. Serve with brown rice for a complete meal.

Jackson County Health Department COVID-19 Testing Jackson County Health Department will offer the following COVID-19 testing locations March 1—5: Monday: Lee’s Summit This is a Drive-Thru 505 NW Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit 64063 Registration link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210316143014841 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/210316415814851

Wednesday: Blue Springs This is not a drive thru clinic Vesper Hall 400 NW Vesper St. Blue Springs Registration link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210325278214852 Thursday: Lee’s Summit This is a drive-thru 505 NW Blue Parkway, Lee’s Summit 64063 Registration link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210316279314854 Friday: Independence Not a drive-thru Independence Uptown Farmers Market211 W Truman Rd., Independence MO 64050 Registration Link: https:// jacohd.jotform.com/210325192714852


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The USO: A look back at 80 years of continuous service (StatePoint) The United Service Organizations (USO), the nation’s leading not-for-profit charity that serves the men and women in the U.S. military and their families, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. Founded just before the U.S. entry into World War II, the USO rapidly expanded from a patchwork of local efforts with a handful of volunteers into a robust international organization. From Bob Hope to Marlene Dietrich to Bing Crosby, the USO offered now-legendary entertainment during World War II, as well as programs and services, quickly becoming an essential part of the war effort. “Honorably discharged” by President Truman in 1947 after the end of World War II and reactivated for the Korean War in 1949, it is widely believed that the USO was inactive during this time. However, recent findings in USO archives and external sources show that the organization actually never stopped serving. Though the future of the USO was at first uncertain after World War II, it

quickly became clear that even in peacetime, its contribution to the welfare of armed forces was essential. With hundreds of thousands of returning troops in-transit and new troops headed for occupation duty overseas -- as well as the many thousands of soldiers and sailors recovering in hospitals -- key government officials voiced a belief that the need for an organization such as the USO was just as pressing as it was during the war. Then-USO president, Lindsey Kimball said in February 1946, “We face a responsibility to stand by during the difficult days of transition from total war to total participation in an achieved peace.” And stand by it did. With only a skeleton headquarters staff, between 1947 and 1949, the USO continued to operate clubs and lounges, as well as sent entertainers to perform for thousands of wounded service members recovering in hospitals. The USO is still building on its continuous 80-year history today.

Follow Valley News on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Join the conversation at @grainvalleynews. Answers to last week’s puzzle.

Marlene Dietrich visits troops during World War II. Photo courtesy StatePoint.

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.

Outdoors & Recreation

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Learn what fish want in free clinic on March 6th by Bill Graham, Missouri Department of Conservation It’s the most profound question in the history of fishing, pondered for hours by anglers fishless on banks and in boats. What do fish want? Nothing is foolproof in fishing, mysteries abound, which is why even the days when the bobber doesn’t bob and the pole doesn’t bend are still interesting. However, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a free fishing tips clinic to help anglers catch more fish from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 6th, at the Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center in Blue Springs. Participants will learn what baits and lures various fish species prefer. Also, they will learn how to present baits and lures in the water in ways that are more likely to make fish strike. The course will also cover rods and reels useful for fishing, according to Nikki King, MDC naturalist and course instructor. The

large native fish aquarium in the nature center will also serve as a demonstration tank. “We will be discussing different types of bait, lures, rods, and reels as well as other gear, what to take with you fishing and how to set up a line,” King said. “The focus will be on Missouri fishing but of course these methods will work on fish out of state, too. After the presentation, we will be demonstrating a few jigging techniques in our aquarium.” This program is open to all ages. Registration is required. COVID-19 protocols will be followed including face masks and physical distancing. To register for this program, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/ZR5. For more information about MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, visit https:// mdc.mo.gov/burroakwoods.

Learn what fish want in free MDC clinic at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center on March 6th. Photo credit: MDC

MDC reminds hunters and anglers to buy 2021 permits by Joe Jerek, Missouri Department of Conservation The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) reminds Missouri hunters and anglers that related annual permits expire at the end of February, including 2020 permits for small game, fishing, trout fishing, and combination hunting and fishing. Buy Missouri hunting and fishing permits from one of many vendors around the state, online at mdc.mo.gov/ buypermits, or through MDC’s free

mobile apps, MO Hunting and MO Fishing, available for download through Google Play for Android devices or the App Store for Apple devices. Save time by buying hunting and fishing permits for multiple people in a single transaction. Select the “Additional Customer” option during the permit purchase. Avoid having to renew permits each year by using MDC’s Permit Auto-

Renewal Service. It allows customers to enroll eligible permits in a service that will automatically renew their permits prior to the start of the next season or permit year. The process was designed to ensure customers never have expired permits when they need them most. Learn more at huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/ permits/permit-auto-renewal. Commercial and lifetime permits can be purchased only through the MDC Permit Services Unit by calling 573-5220107 for an application.

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Sports Eagles spirited effort not enough against Bears by John Unrein The Grain Valley Eagles boys basketball team maintained a lead for three quarters against the William Chrisman Bears on February 19th before the game slipped away in the final quarter. Junior guard Dayne Herl produced the game winning layup for the Bears with 4 seconds remaining in the game. The final score of 57-55, with William Chrisman coming out on top was hard to accept for Grain Valley due to their spirited effort. Both teams are familiar with the other being in the same conference and having played each other previously in February. That led to frequent coaching adjustments by Grain Valley Eagles head coach Andy Herbert and William Chrisman Bears head coach Jack Kates during the game. The strategy deployed from both benches made the game fun to watch and nerve racking for those competing. Grain Valley’s first quarter lead was the result of point guard Jayden Yung identifying forward Cole Keller in the post and making accurate entry passes that afforded Keller the opportunity to turn and score. Kates maneuvered his offense during the 2nd quarter to start attacking the lane from the top of the key with Herl and senior guard Anthony Watkins. The result was the Bears narrowing the Eagles lead to 3 points by


score of 29-26 at halftime. Herbert would respond at the start of the second half by inserting sophomore guard Keagan Hart into the Eagles lineup to defensively shadow the perimeter play of Herl and Watkins. Grain Valley would also start to kick the ball inside out in allowing sophomore guard Owen Herbert to hit a trio of three pointers in the contest. Keller would contribute 23 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 1 steal as the Eagles leading scorer. Yung would add 11 points, 2 rebounds, and 3 assists. The feisty effort was not enough for the Eagles to secure victory as they were outscored by the Bears 15-9 in the fourth quarter. “I have confidence in my feet and being able to protect against the drive, especially knowing that I have help in our defense. Playing junior varsity minutes gets me primed to be called on when I am asked to check someone by Coach (Herbert),” Hart said. Keller added, “We played a more complete game then the last time we played them (William Chrisman). At the same time, it is unfortunate when things don’t fall your way. They played a hell of a game and made some shots when they needed to and that is how the chips fell.” Keller continues to encounter

physical post play from the opposition. Teams are transfixed on taking away the Eagles frontcourt scoring option and willing to burn fouls and push the limits of aggressive play. Keller has responded with maturity beyond his years to maintain composure and not backing down from what is presented. A trait admired by his head coach. “We played hard tonight. Our opponent made tough shots. Defensively, we were not good enough in certain situations. They (William Chrisman) spread the floor and took advantage of that as the game progressed. Guarding the ball is the hardest thing to do in this game,” Herbert said. “Cole (Keller) does not back down from anyone and the physical play he faces. The first half Cole did not miss a shot and ended up with 23 points. That tells all you need to know about the type of competitor he is.” The fourth quarter witnessed five lead changes or ties. The pace was frantic as Yung, Herbert, and Hart all hit big shots or free throws for their team. William Chrisman’s execution in the final minutes proved to be the difference in the game. Grain Valley (6-13) faces a hectic week of their schedule as they approach the end of February basketball. The Eagles are scheduled to face

Senior guard Jayden Yung successfully drives the lane to score a layup. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Senior forward Cole Keller pivots in the low post to score a basket. Photo credit: Valley News staff Truman, Belton, and Odessa prior to Class 4, District 14 Tournament starting on February 27th.

Lady Eagles lead from start to finish against Patriots by John Unrein The Grain Valley Lady Eagles held the basketball after passing midcourt with 45 seconds left in the game. Head basketball coach Randy Draper’s squad had led the contest from start to finish. However, they had overcome foul trouble, an athletic Truman Patriots squad, and successfully sank enough free throws to secure a 59-41 victory over a Suburban Conference foe on February 20th. The Lady Eagles had edged out a tight victory by a score of 48-45 over the Patriots back on December 17th. The increased margin of victory reflects the growth that Draper’s young team continues to display as the season progresses. The excitement was apparent in the tone of Draper’s voice standing outside the gym at Truman High School. “Grace (Slaughter) is not your typical sophomore. We talked after the game and her fourth foul is a foul she cannot

get. Slaughter was mature in how she approached the game once she went back in during the fourth quarter,” Draper said. “We had a lot of kids help us and that was fun. (Cameryn) Bown had a good night. (Finley) LaForge has really changed us in how she is shooting the basketball. It is good to see that as those two work hard at this and take a lot of extra shots in the gym.” Draper continued, “There is nothing like playing to get you used to the pace of varsity basketball. When you are open and not open. Kids learn to anticipate what to do before they catch the basketball. You figure out you have to be ready once you catch the basketball or it ain’t getting off against athletic teams.” “With Grace getting so much attention defensively, it buys her teammates a little extra time as a shooter. I like the direction we are headed. We stayed true to our defensive

rules against the athleticism we faced. Most of the time it turned out well for us.” Truman had a trio of scorers in guards Urya’ Williams, Taliyah Scott, and Layla Scott that effectively used the “five out” offensive set under the direction of Patriots head coach Jim Page to find isolation matchups in driving to the basket. The result was Williams finishing with 11 points, Taliyah Scott with 14 points, and Layla Scott with 13 points. Grain Valley would counter with a double-double from Slaughter who had 22 points to go along with her 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 steals. LaForge would chip in a trio of three pointers and a made free throw for a total of 10 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists. Bown was also active on the perimeter in scoring 10 points as well to go with a rebound, an assist, and 2 steals.

Sophomore Cameryn Bown makes a free throw. Photo credit: Valley News staff The Lady Eagles would go 16 from 22 from the charity stripe during the game. The 72.7 percent average from the free throw line was an influencing factor in putting the game out of reach for Truman as the second half wound down. Slaughter, Bown, and Jordyn Weems would all effectively manage the four

see LADY EAGLES on page 12


Page 10

Resiliency rewards Eagles by John Unrein A jubilant Eagles bench ran onto the court to celebrate after the final seconds ticked off the clock. Senior Cole Keller blocked the final shot of the game for his team with four fouls and against a full court shot attempt that would have sent the shooter to the line for three shots, with Grain Valley clinging to a two point lead. Keller and Jayden Yung yelled and flexed their arms with big smiles on their face at the conclusion of the game. The Grain Valley boys basketball team under the direction of head coach Andy Herbert had just finalized a big Suburban Conference win against the Truman Patriots by a score of 53-51 on February 20th. The joy continued off the court as the Eagles could be heard celebrating inside a classroom outside of the gymnasium at Truman High School. The win was extremely rewarding for Herbert, who felt a wealth of emotions run through him as the buzzer sounded at the end of the contest. Fundamentals, situations, and how to win by finishing basketball games has been consistently taught in practice and learned on the court during varsity games this season for the young Eagles. A resilient roster with only three seniors has accepted coaching and has applied lessons learned to become a formidable opponent as the Class 6 District 14 Tournament approaches on February 27th. Making the memory of the victory that much more cherished by Grain Valley is that they played two games within 24 hours of each other. The Eagles had lost the night before to William Chrisman by only two points. The sting of a game they had led for three quarters prior to seeing it slip away at the end would test the mettle of Grain Valley as they traveled back to Independence with limited rest. Tired legs did not become apparent for the Eagles until the third quarter when they found enough in the proverbial tank to push through to be on the winning end of a two point victory this time around. “I’ve never had the emotion run through me that I did when the buzzer went off tonight. I don’t know why other than I’m proud of our toughness. We responded with grit to the late game pressure to come out ahead,” Herbert said. “If you rewind back to our early games this season and how far away we were, we were not close to playing

like this tonight. You cannot ask any more out of a group of kids to do more than they did this week.” Herbert continued, “Cole (Keller) is a warrior. There has to be a better word for it, but I don’t know what it is. The relentless way he played tonight is special. He’s played close to 96 straight minutes in three days. It is not a normal 96 minutes either, as Cole has endured people hanging on him. The role of shot blocker, rebounder, helping us beat the press, and don’t forget scorer has been fulfilled by him.” Keller would finish with 23 points, 9 rebounds, a steal, and 3 blocks. Joining Keller’s stellar effort were guards Yung and Owen Herbert. Yung’s stat line included 8 points, a rebound, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Yung was a difference maker down the stretch as he blew past defenders on double on ball screens set by Keller and Herbert at the top of the lane. Yung’s ability to keep his shoulders square as he approached the basket on drives produced solid scoring opportunities. Herbert found his typical comfort zone behind the arc in draining a quartet of three pointers. Grain Valley looked inside out during the third quarter with the attention that Keller was drawing in the post. Herbert was the recipient of opportunity and he delivered. His favorite shooting spot on the court continues to be a 45 degree angle away from the basket on either side of the goal. “I have seen too many YouTube videos of people throwing up shots like the last one of our game and making it. I was not going to take that chance and attempted the block. It worked out and we won the game,” Keller said. “I wanted to develop a presence in the post during this game so that we could get Owen (Herbert) going outside and support Jayden (Yung) on the drive. This win was night and day difference from where we were at the beginning of the season. Heck yeah, I am proud of the grit we showed.” Yung added, “This is my first year playing point guard. I have always been a wing. Truman played tight on us with the ball pressure they showed. Coach (Herbert) calling for the double high ball screen gave me room to maneuver and get to the basket.” “This feels great. Having played this many days in a row means a lot to come out of here with a win against a good team like Truman.”

Left to right: Senior Jayden Yung, Senior Cole Keller, and Sophomore Owen Herbert. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Senior forward Cole Keller attempts a free throw. Photo credit: Valley News staff (Owen) Herbert finished, “Cole in the post draws significant attention. The shots I made tonight are the same ones I attempt with our machine in practice. It gets me ready for the inside out ball movement we executed on the court.” “This team refused to let three games in a row on consecutive days against Suburban Conference teams be an excuse of any kind.” The Patriots themselves produced two double digit scorers. Najee Williams and Maddux Bristow each racked up 14

points in the loss. The athleticism and confidence displayed by Williams and Bristow continues to highlight why they have been a force in pushing Truman to a 17-6 record under the leadership of head coach Rod Briggs. Grain Valley moves to 7-13 with contests looming against Belton and Odessa prior to the Class 6 District 14 Tournament starting on February 27th.


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Lady Eagles keep accelerator down in win over Pirates by John Unrein It is not a normal occurrence when varsity starters get pulled from the game with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. Thus was the case for the Grain Valley Lady Eagles head basketball coach Randy Draper. The accelerator was left on the floorboard by Draper’s team during the first three quarters of action. The result was Grain Valley leading by 31 points at the end of the third quarter in route to a 55-16 victory over the Belton Pirates on February 22nd. Belton had a few members of their varsity roster unavailable, including scoring dynamo Kyndal Lewis that put up 18 points for her team during their last matchup with Grain Valley in December. Belton Pirate head basketball coach Brad Batchelder remained true to his heavy pick and roll offense. Guard Kennedy Moss substituted in the role at the top of the point and was fruitful in her efforts by producing 9 points as her team’s leading scorer. Draper deployed a man to man defense in stopping the Pirates offense. Grain Valley would continue to send the screened defender under the pick, while having the free defender go to the open high side of the lane in denying further options. Draper’s defensive steering produced results. The Lady Eagles delivered 10 steals, 30 rebounds, and 13 assists as a team. Grain Valley was consistent in poking out the basketball when presented and stepping in front of passes to hasten the transition game going the other way. Draper’s squad continues to play more comfortably at a fast pace in keeping their eyes up as they progress down the floor with unselfish passing leading to easier scoring opportunities. Something that has been pushed by

Draper in practice. “Our defense did their job early on and permitted us to produce a scoring gap with the lead. We did get away with a couple of blown assignments on defense that we will definitely shore up,” Draper said. “I like how we played tonight. There’s a right way to play regardless (of your opponents’ status). It doesn’t matter. They (Belton) were missing a heck of a player tonight. We know that and sometimes that gets a team in trouble. You have to respect the game and play hard because every opponent deserves it.” Draper continued, “I thought we shared the ball well tonight. Our pace is so much better than it was earlier in the season. That makes the game much more fun to watch.” “Getting to provide rest to your varsity players allows opportunity for others. It also avoids the risk of injury as you head towards district play. We got work done tonight without exhausting our kids.” Draper finished, “The way we are playing right now makes it harder for teams to sit on Grace (Slaughter). Sprinting and sharing the ball with this pace of play, it’s fun, so let’s go.” Grace Slaughter produced a doubledouble as the game’s leading scorer with 30 points. The sophomore point guard’s stat line would also include 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Slaughter made it difficult for defenders guarding her to pick a side to favor. The ability to be ambidextrous while dribbling and shooting gives Slaughter an advantage she continues to capitalize on as she reads defenses. Joining Slaughter as a strong supporting cast member in the Lady

Senior Jordyn Weems works on defense to deny her opponent space. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Sophomore Grace Slaughter drains a three point shot attempt. Photo credit: Valley News staff Eagles victory was Jordyn Weems. The senior would produce 5 points, 2 steals, and 2 assists. Weems was not shy about limiting the space she provided to her opponent. Growth for Weems is also apparent during transition as her confidence in where she places the basketball with her passing taxes the defense. “I am so proud of us. We talked after the game about where we are now with our pace of play. It pays off to run down the court before your opponent can set up their defense and the scoring opportunities that leads to. We are also executing (our offense) better when teams do get back and set up

defensively. I still think we have room to improve defensively and continuing to get feistier when blocking out,” Slaughter said. Weems added, “I just focus on getting going defensively as soon as we get out there. I know that if we do that, we won’t stop. It builds our intensity and that makes us hard to stop.” “I am too much on my toes at times (defensively) and I suppose that gets me in trouble. I anticipate where the ball is going to be, and I go get it.” Grain Valley (12-6) will open the Class 6 District 14 Tournament on February 27th against Lee’s Summit North.

LADY EAGLES continued from page 9 fouls they accumulated. LaForge and forward Ella Clyman did the same as they found themselves with three fouls each in the final quarter as well. More importantly, Grain Valley had an answer offensively each time Truman cut into their lead. Freshman McKenah Sears took a charge under the Patriot basket with 6:55 remaining in the second quarter that led to her team scoring on the other end and widening her team’s five point margin. Truman would cut Grain Valley’s lead to 3 points by a score of 30-27 with 5:29 left in the third quarter after a made three pointer by Williams. LaForge and Bown would both answer back with made shots from behind the arc in subsequent possessions by the Lady Eagles, expanding Grain Valley’s lead to 36-27. “This was a great team win. We knew it would take our best effort. I made sure to do my part. The speed of the game has slowed down for me,” Bown said. LaForge added, “We expected them (Truman) to play with passion because we barely won the last time we faced them. It was tight and we watched a lot

of film to prepare. The release on my outside shot is getting quicker and that is awesome as it gives me more time, even if I am not as open. I am happy when we can take pressure off Grace as a scorer.” Slaughter finished, “Going into the third quarter I only had one foul. I was attentive on the bench in watching the game once I picked up my fourth foul. That made me realize that I needed to play off of my opponent more. It let me be calm when I went back onto the floor.” “We executed some things well today that we had been working on in practice against the spread out zone that Truman played. It allowed us to get Cameryn (Bown) and Finley (LaForge) open from the outside. That permits for the post to be less congested and we can start feeding the ball back inside. We played to our potential tonight.” Grain Valley (11-6) embarks on a busy stretch of their schedule as they are set to play Belton and Raytown next prior to the opening of the Class 6, District 14 Tournament on February 27th.

Sophomore Grace Slaughter wins the opening tip off of the basketball game. Photo credit: Valley News staff

Community Calendar Friday, February 26, 2021 Grow a Reader Virtual Storytime 10:00am -10:20am www.mymcpl.org/events

Monday, March 8, 2021 Board of Aldermen Meeting 7:00pm Virtual meeting via Zoom

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

Wednesday, March 10, 2021 Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting 6:30pm Grain Valley City Hall

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 Saturday, March 6, 2021 Discover Nature: What Fishes Want 10:00am—11:00am Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 NW Park Road Sharing tried and tested lure secrets that get the fish’s attention. Registration required: 816-228-3766

March 15—19, 2021 Spring Break Grain Valley Schools closed Thursday, March 25, 2021 Grain Valley Historical Society Membership Meeting 7:00pm Tuesday, March 30, 2021 Park Board Meeting 7:00pm Grain Valley Community Center Wednesday, March 31, 2021 Grow a Reader Virtual Storytime 10:00am -10:20am www.mymcpl.org/events Friday, April 2, 2021 Easter Break Grain Valley Schools closed

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Valley News: February 25, 2021  

Vol. 4 No. 8 Grain Valley's Community Newspaper www.grainvalleynews.com

Valley News: February 25, 2021  

Vol. 4 No. 8 Grain Valley's Community Newspaper www.grainvalleynews.com