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Saturday, December 25, 2010

One Dead in KC-MO Christmas Morning Crash

At least one yet-unidentified person died around 7 a.m. Saturday morning when the car they were in plunged off a roadway onto a railroad right-of-way below.

It happened up to an hour prior to the wreck being located in the 2000 block of Troost- near Hospital Hill just around 6:35 a.m..

A prior call had went out shortly before 6 p.m. to fire- EMS and police of a "car on the railroad tracks" near "Pershing and Main."

No crash was located there- but police kept investigating and at 6:35 a.m. after talking to some railroad personnel- had located a crashed car that apparently had "come off of Troost onto the" railroad below.

At least one male victim was with that vehicle and had to be extricated by the FD- and lifted to the street about 40-50 feet above while C.P.R. was being performed on him.

Sources say that victim died at a nearby hospital shortly after arriving by ambulance there after 7 a.m..

So far- no "official" report of this crash is available.


CSW BREAKING: Person Dead By Gunshot East of Lawrence KS

CSW is still awaiting confirmation whether an early Christmas morning fatal shooting in the parking lot of a tavern was self or otherwise inflicted.

The incident was reported at 1:26 a.m. in the parking lot of "The Outhouse" tavern in the 1800 block of North 1500 Road.

The patient was declared dead on the scene by an EMS crew at 1:35 a.m..


Merry Christmas From Captain Spaulding and Ms. Rittenhouse



Friday, December 24, 2010

CSW BREAKING: Shooting in Midtown KC-MO Leaves Victim in Critical Condition

The Christmas Eve Guns of Kansas City have sounded-out with possibly deadly consequences...

There were multiple gunshots and critical injuries were inflicted upon an about 30-year-old male tonight just after 9:30 p.m. in the 4300 through 4500 blocks of Virginia.

That male had at least "4" gunshot wounds which were life-threatening- transported by FD-EMS to a Metro hospital.

There's a car with bullet holes as well in the area where the victim was found by police- but no other injuries reported nor clear suspect information other than an armed male.

Central States News: More than 1 Year- Omaha Family Still Missing and Police With Few Clues

Other news in the real world...

A Brazilian family living in Omaha simply disappeared from the face of the Earth on December 17- 2009.

Vanderlei Szczepanik- a carpenter- his wife Jacqueline and their 7-year-old son Christopher haven't been seen since- although 2 of their vehicles were found abandoned in Metro Omaha in the week after the family went missing.

Also- 3 Brazilian men are going to court in January 2011 for using the Szczepanik's "stolen" credit cards early this year.

Those three had not been charged with the Szczepanik family disappearance- stated the Associated Press story from The LINCOLN (NE) JOURNAL-STAR.

CSW BREAKING: "Multiple Serious Injuries" at Overland Park KS Crash

Reported to the Christmas Eve world at 2:07 p.m. in the afternoon- a vehicle containing 4 people struck a utility pole on Nieman Road south of 91st Street (north of Oak Park Mall).

The vehicle rolled- and threw virtually all the occupants out.

The Overland Park Fire Department reported lifting the vehicle from atop at least 2 of those people.

One mid (17)-teens male was whisked away by MEDACT-EMS ambulance in critical condition.

Two other female patients- ages 16 and 43- and the 65-year-old driver were taken to an Overland Park medical trauma center in less-serious condition.

The OPPD was investigating.


CSW WEATHER: Snowfall Ending in Metro Kansas City

With measured amounts of around 1 to 2 inches on grassy areas- the last band of snow is moving out of the eastern part of the Metro.

Streets and highways are mainly wet- except in the Metro K.C. Northland where temperatures are at freezing.

In the Southland- temperatures remain steady in the mid to upper 30's.

The images shown are a moderate to heavy snow shower just before noon Christmas Eve 2010.

Temperatures areawide won't fall below freezing until after dark- and most driving surfaces should be drying by then.

CSW wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas and we'll take you up to the New Year with commercial-free information.

CSW BREAKING: Shooting in Old Northeast KC-MO

KC-MO Fire-EMS reports "an 18-year-old male" is in serious to critical condition after a shooting in the 500 block of Spruce around 11:20 a.m. Christmas Eve.

Police had no suspect information- other than witness reports of "someone in the street" apparently shot into a residence on Spruce.

The victim was shot in the chest and was enroute to a Metro K.C. hospital. 

CSW BREAKING: MetroRegion Interstates Blocked- Slowed By Vehicle Crashes

There are 2 significant crashes on MetroRegion Interstates (see- click-on map image)- one on northbound I-29 in far southern Buchanan county and another on eastbound I-70 near Odessa.

The first was the I-29 crash- a reported "car" crashed into "a jack-knifed semi truck" at 10:09 a.m.- just south of the Mile 35 Faucett exit on northbound I-29- just north of the Platte county line.

Units on scene report "the roads are slick" and "blocked" at that wreck scene- with yet no number and extent of injuries.

The other crash involves at least 2 vehicles on eastbound I-70 in Lafayette county near Odessa.

Again- no injury reports yet- but the Interstates will be slowed if not blocked there.

Another band of moderate snow is moving into Metro Kansas City from the west- and will overspread the area over the next hour or two.

Temperatures here in south KC-MO are still several degrees above freezing.

CSW BREAKING: House Fire With Injury in Ray County MO

Firefighters from Lawson- Wood Heights and Excelsior Springs are engaged in a fire-fight in a home near Northeast 158th Street and Ash in extreme northwestern Ray county north-northeast of Excelsior Springs.

The alarm sounded around 9:20 a.m. this Christmas Eve and when the first fire truck arrived at 9:34 a.m.- "heavy smoke" was showing from the 1-story home.

Shortly thereafter- a "smoke inhalation" patient was reported- and their condition sounded to be increasingly serious as an EMS crew was still attempting to reach them as of 9:52 a.m..

Fire has been reported from "the basement" to "the attic-" especially that part of the structure around a "fireplace."

It took until around 10:30 a.m. to put the fire out and the cause (probable defective fireplace flue) was under investigation.

The person that suffered the smoke inhalation was taken to the Excelsior Springs Medical Center in serious condition.

No report of firefighter injuries.

Nebraska Family Shares Christmas Cheer With Elaborate Display

The MARYSVILLE (KS) ADVOCATE reports on this considerable Christmas display of lights and figurines at a rural residence just over the Nebraska state line near the small community of Summerfield KS..

It's the home of Elmer and Sandra Menninga- and the elaborate display is the inspiration and work of their son David.

A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Menningas and all the good people of Marysville and the surrounding area!

Osawatomie KS Fire Volunteers Spread Christmas Joy

With one of the volunteer department's fire engines decorated one of their fire trucks and went around that Miami county community giving out presents from the city's "Cops For Tots" program and generally spreading the holiday spirit- according to the image and the story from the OSAWATOMIE (KS) GRAPHIC.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey Santa- The Diet Worked

This Santa- standing in front of a holiday-festooned house on Route DD in Johnson County MO- apparently appeared on the TV show "Biggest Loser."

The photo is courtesy of The WARRENSBURG DAILY STAR-JOURNAL- and Merry Christmas!


CSW BREAKING: House Fires in Ray- Lafayette Counties MO- KC-KS

In the Northland- several Clay-Clinton and Ray county fire departments are battling a house fire on or near C highway in Ray county reported around 3 p.m. this afternoon.

No reports of any injuries as of 4:45 pm. and there is no other information on this fire...

Fire units from Odessa- Lafayette and eastern Jackson counties are arriving at a reported "fully-involved" house fire in rural Lafayette county- in the 4500 block of Cumberland Road.

That fire was reported just after 3:45 p.m. and was reported under control at 4:42 p.m..

There haven't been any injury reports.

There is an injury reported in a Kansas City KS house fire- a "burn victim" ...

That incident was reported at 3:47 p.m. in the 1700 block of Walker in the eastern part of that Wyandotte county city.

There was a working fire in a lived-in structure that's been declared under control just after 4 p.m..

The victim's injuries were not life-threatening - but no report on extent of burns or any other info on them.

The Red Cross was on-the-scene as of 4:50 p.m. rendering emergency aid for "3 adults and one child" who resided at the address of 1715.

A fire-cause investigation is happened now.

CSW WEATHER: NWS Winter Weather Advisories Expand Across Central US

The NWS advisories covering today into Christmas Eve now cover a large swath from central South Dakota and western Minnesota into eastern Nebraska- all of Iowa- northeastern and eastern Kansas into much of Missouri spare the Bootheel area and western through southwestern Illinois.
Travel will become hazardous on the freeways and highways in those areas with no doubt some flight delays.

CSW BREAKING: House Fire in South-Central KC-MO

KC-MO police were already on the scene when the Fire department reported a house fire in the 8100 block of Park at 1:22 p.m. this Thursday afternoon.

Unknown yet why police were already there- but just before the fire alarm went out- an officer there said there was "a power line down" and at 1:23 p.m.- a civilian told an officer that there "were propane tanks in the back" or "detached garage" area of the residence.

Fire companies reported seeing smoke from almost a mile away- and when 30's Pumper arrived at 1:25 p.m. the house was "fully-involved" with fire.

The fire has been brought under control- apparently without those propane tanks becoming involved.

As of 1:50 p.m.- no one was reported missing or being found by firefighters inside the burned-out house- thus far no report on how many lived in the home and no reports of injuries.

We're awaiting a report as to the cause of the fire and the monetary loss on the structure and contents- which sounds to be considerable.

Son Murders Father- Kills Himself in Northwest Missouri

This sad incident happened early Wednesday (not early today as the story says)- according to The ST. JOSEPH (MO) NEWS-PRESS story.

It's reported that 28-year-old  Jonathan Windhorst went to his father's home in rural Fairfax and stabbed his father- 54-year-old Wesley Windhorst- to death.

The younger Windhorst then went back home and fatally shot himself.

CSW WEATHER: NWS "Winter Weather Advisory" For Metro-MetroRegion K.C. Christmas Eve

The National Weather Service (NWS) "winter weather advisory" area around Metro and MetroRegion Kansas City will be in effect from midnight to 6 p.m. Friday- Christmas Eve.

The NWS says anywhere from "a trace to 2-inches of snow" is expected- and I stick to my earlier forecast.

Santa Brings City of Topeka $5-M For Downtown "Improvements-" Nothing For Laid-off Workers

Once again- city governments find money for cosmetic municipal fixes- but seemingly no money to be found for basic infrastructure and laid-off employees.

This latest story of taxpayer money mid-management is from Topeka- via The TOPEKA (KS) CAPITAL-JOURNAL.

KC-KS Fire Truck Involved in Non-Injury Crash Going To A Fire

A Kansas City KS Fire department pumper reportedly hit "a parked car" on the way to a stove fire in the 2300 block of South Early Thursday morning.

Pumper 3 reportedly hit a parked car not far from the fire address (exact location unknown)- but damage was reported as "minor" and no one was hurt.

The fire itself- dispatched at 9:55 a.m.- was also minor and without injury.

Earlier than the Early fire (heh)- Prairie Township- Lake Lotawana- and Lone Jack fire crews were sent to the 11200 block of South Cave Road on a reported wood-burning stove flue fire.

That  9:15 a.m. incident was also fairly minor with no one hurt there.


CSW WEATHER: White Christmas 2010

The good news is that conditions won't be nearly as adverse as 2009's Christmas Blizzard.

The bad (or maybe not so bad for some) news is that we'll still see enough snow for a white Christmas in Metro and MetroRegion Kansas City.

The very latest indications this Thursday morning Christmas Eve eve is that we'll see anywhere from 2 to 5 inches of snow- with the heaviest amounts looking to fall in the northern and northeastern parts of the Metro and MetroRegion by midnight Christmas morning.

The bulk of the snow should fall during the daylight hours Christmas Eve (tomorrow)- and be ending between 6 p.m. and midnight.

So far it appears any freezing drizzle or sleet amounts should be light and restricted to the morning hours tomorrow- but remember even light amounts of freezing drizzle can be dangerous on untreated surfaces. 

Weather models indicate another storm that could possibly affect our area New Year's Eve/Day- but that's a little more than a week out yet and like this storm- we'll be on top of that one here at commercial/hype-free CSW....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Two Chicago Firefighters Killed- At Least 14 Injured After Building Fire- Collapse

The fire and subsequent collapse was in a vacant building on Chicago's South Side at 1744 East 75th Street Wednesday morning ...

(Video courtesy of WLS-TV7)

If embedded video fails to play (as it seems not to)- go HERE.

CSW COMMENTARY: Journalism Gone To Hell in Kansas City- Maybe All of America

I never sought after a university degree in journalism and- after working in and around Kansas City news media since the 1960's- I've never regretted wasting the time for that parchment.

Not today- not after what I know is barely or simply what does not get covered by the news media in my hometown.

I could make this post at least 20 pages long to quantify what I'm saying- but I'll restrict it to just two examples:

1) A city's persistence to foist a white elephant- i.e. another taxpayer subsidy for corporate interests- upon it's citizens and

2) The role and performance of those whose job it is to uphold the law.

Point one is this long sought-after (by the monied and blinded) convention hotel.

Local politicians and certain "civic leaders" (using latter term loosely) continue to push for KC-MO to build a 1000 room convention hotel.

An entity and structure that- in the long term- doesn't really benefit the city's livability or it's residents.

The "established (read: corporate)" news media in this burg has given this generally superficial and mostly cheerleading coverage in both print and air time and- although before any location for an actual hotel or one spade of dirt has been turned- more attention has been given to lawsuits against the mayor and his family than the like sum of money that's already been spent pursuing this pie-in-the-sky hotel.

Let's not even talk about the many millions given away already in subsidies of existing hotels- or even those taxes lost to TIF's and other corporate giveaways or the media arguments in favor or keeping that insidious "Earnings Tax.'

 Plans for this proposed hotel- in times of corporate cutbacks on things such as conventions and in light that such a hotel would require "heavy taxpayer subsidies-" should have been shelved more than a year ago.

But money- taxpayer money- taxpayer money that could be used for silly things like basic infrastructure- continues to spent chasing the civic "leaders" dream of The Grand Hotel.

A hotel you or I are unlikely to ever book one night in- much less make a dollar from.

The local news media should be tearing this proposed white elephant apart piece by piece and questioning why a hard-to-come-by taxpayer dollar one is being spent (and hundreds of thousands already have) to pursue it.

It ain't happening folks.

The second fly in my ointment is police behavior.

I'm as on-board as the next decent and law-abiding citizen that the thugs should be taken off the streets.

That happened last Sunday morning when KC-MO police and even Federal authorities chased-down and nabbed 3 men who were reportedly on an armed robbery spree.

That's great and I stood and applauded that facet.

What made me sit back down- think- then boo was when I heard from sources-in-the-know that at least one of the arresting cops inflicted a beating on one of the suspects.

I guess I'm naive to think that punishment for crimes and dirty deeds are to be meted out by the judicial system only.

I guess I missed that between-the-lines interpretation that- in certain circumstances- police can inflict their OWN justice in the form of physical injury.

We've never heard what became of the 2 police officers that shot up their own car and put an innocent citizen in danger at I-435 and Gregory Boulevard recently- nor do I hold any illusions that we'll hear about that suspect who was beaten in the face by the police after the chase last Sunday.

It's the wrong behavior and actions by those we elect and those hired to defend and protect that don't get the examination by the "American Free Press" that bothers me- and- in my simplistic estimation- threatens the very fabric of America.

But hey- why should you care if it doesn't affect you or yours- we should be more concerned about what bright-shiny crap we have a hard time buying and "celebrity" mis-behavior.

God save us all....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

And You Thought Kansas City's Snow Removal Was Bad (Image)


CSW WEATHER: Freezing Precipitation- Snow Likely Christmas Eve

I've examined weather models closely over the past 2 days' runs (there are 4 model runs every 24 hour period)- and I've come to the conclusion that Christmas Eve weather over Metro- and much of MetroRegion Kansas City will be quite messy...

It looks like a possible mix of rain and/or freezing rain and sleet (ice pellets) could begin as early as Thursday evening- then turn possibly to all snow by dawn Friday or Christmas Eve morning.

It's too early right now to tell exactly how much ice or snow will fall on us- but there could easily be several inches of the freezy skid stuff by midnight Christmas Day.

I'll be posting any and all NWS winter storm watches- warnings and/or advisories here at CSW as soon as they are issued- so get ready for this VERY rare 2nd White Christmas in a row.

CSW's Staff Will "Study" KC-MO's Need For "Commuter Rail and a Downtown Street Car Line" for Only $75000

The KANSAS CITY STAR announced today that KC-MO was awarded $1.8- million to "study commuter rail and a downtown street car line."

You can count on that ENTIRE $1.8-million getting ate-up in such a study if it's awarded to firms with political ties and such OR...

We at CSW offer to do that SAME study for a mere pittance- ONLY $75000!

What are our qualifications you ask?

1. Both myself and Ms. Rittenhouse were public transit users for many years in our youth- even into our early adulthood.

2. We're both lifelong residents of Metro Kansas City.

3. I'm real good with maps- surveys- and the like needed to "study" such a proposal.  Hell- I already have a few good- realistic ideas for commuter rail.

4. Our overhead is REALLY- REALLY low- whatever equipment we MIGHT need for such a "study" would be taken care of with $75k- we even know artists who could paint-up some pretty renderings well within our $75k budget.

5. We'd deal with the "study" in realistic terms- not pie-in-the-sky 'Clay Chastain' or like "study" versions of public transit by rail inside KC-MO.

6. Actual time spent would be billed ONLY at a more-reasonable rate of- say- $50 per hour- and- are you ready for this- WHAT WE DON'T NEED OF THAT $75k WE'D REFUND.

Yes- that's right- REFUND what we don't use/need.

Imagine- the powers-that-be would still have AT LEAST $1.725-million left of the $1.8m total amount to actually BUILD that "studied" commuter rail and street car line.

We can be reached at if the city is REALLY interested.... 

INDEPENDENCE (BS-GV) EXAMINER: "Survey" Says- Residents Will To Raise The Sales Tax

The proposed increase in the Independence sales tax- a "quarter-cent increase-" would go for more police officers.

The EXAMINER did not post the actual survey questions posed to those polled nor the numbers for each question asked.

First of all- in these early 21st Century days of prolific cell phone ownership- I question the validity of telephone surveys- which do NOT poll cell phone numbers.

Many residents- particularly under the age of 50- eschew landlines for their cell phones.

Most of the owners of landlines these days are older folks- who tend to approve any and every tax increase peddled to them by their politicians because those older folk perceive (watching TV newscasts all the time) that crime is rampant in their city.

Secondly- Independence residents VOTED DOWN such an increase in sales taxes for more police in August of 2009 and- as far as I can see- the economy hasn't improved that much if at all.

Thirdly- how do Independence residents- or for that matter residents of most larger cities- know that what police officers they DO have are being used and/or deployed most efficiently?

For example- whenever the IPD chases say a shoplifter or a speeder who refuses to stop for them into KC-MO- at least three to half a dozen IPD cars tag along.

Can't very well keep Indy crime down when they're over here endangering pedestrians and other motorists with their non-felony-crime pursuits- can they?

Maybe Independence MO does need more cops and maybe Independence residents got raises or maybe another job this year to pay that new "proposed" sales tax increase.

Maybe there's a Tooth Fairy and an Easter Bunny too.

Liberty School District "Delays" Property Tax Increase

If it seems many governmental agencies are increasing taxes and "fees" to make up their deficits during this 'Great Recession (Depression)-' you're right-on.

So it's with pleasure I pass-on the news from this story in The LIBERTY (MO) TRIBUNE- that the Liberty Public school district has announced "a delay" in raising propert taxes in that Clay county seat.

Now if we could just "delay" those increases in utility costs- gasoline- food- etc.- etc.- etc....

CSW BREAKING: Teenage Male Victim of Latest KC-MO Shooting

This happened around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday morning in the parking lot of a motel near 87th Street and Hillcrest Road.

Police report "3 black males" shot "a 16-year-old male" in the face with a possible "9mm" gun- according to a KC-MO EMS paramedic.

The suspects left "eastbound on foot" police say- an at least one of the suspects "was known by the victim."

The victim's injuries were serious- but not immedaitely life-threatening as he was transported to a KC-MO hospital.

Winter Begins at 5:38 p.m. Kansas City Time Today

Many of us in the Central States would have said winter already began weeks ago.

Some- particularily in the northern reaches of our Region- probably wish that the season that has yet to officially begin was over already. 

Nonetheless- the Winter Solstice officially begins this evening and the GOOD news is- the days will slowly begin to get longer again.

For those CSW readers in New Zealand and Australia- Happy Summer ... and a Very Merry (Green) Christmas to all my Kiwi and Ozzy friends!

Did Anyone Hear Singing- See Dancing During Last April's Plaza "Flash Mob?"

Yesterday- the Galleria Mall (hit by a big fire in October that caused tens of millions of dollars in damage) near Sacremento CA was also hit by a reported 5000 members of "a flash mob."

The "flash mob" was there to sing Christmas carols- and so many showed up that for a time- the public and officials though the mall itself had been structurally damaged.

According to this screen capture image from the Associated Press story on the incident- there is a new definition of the term 'flash mob."

Last April- a reported "flash mob" caused a number of disturbances on the Country Club Plaza here in Kansas City.

Did any of you unfortunate enough to be in the middle of that so-called mob on The Plaza hear any singing?


Monday, December 20, 2010

Condolences and An Apology To Family- Friends Of "Doctor Bob" Robert D. Meyer

I read the obituary of Dr. Robert D. Meyer in Sunday's KANSAS CITY STAR and realized not only was this a tragic loss for Dr. Meyer's family and friends- but a loss for our community as well.

"Doctor Bob" and myself not only shared the same surname- but we were only 6 months apart in age.  We also shared many of the same interests it appeared.

I also saw where Dr. Meyer married in September- and is my nature- I feel very sad for his wife "Terry" as well as his son and stepsons and other family- "extended family" and his no doubt many friends- and I extend my deepest and most sincere condolences.

I also must take this time to apologize for posting of Dr. Meyer's death so soon last Friday- probably before the family was "properly" notified by authorities.

In 99.9% of the stories where I hear of victim's names- I do not post them until much more time has passed and the name is public information in other news media sources.

Although no one has contacted me to complain- PLEASE accept my apology- as I truly regret if my actions caused any pain to those who knew and loved who sounded like a great man- Dr. Robert D. Meyer.

Shalom... Doctor Bob.