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Saturday, January 22, 2011

CSW WEATHER: Winter Weather Advisory is On- Precip Heading In

The NWS "Winter Weather Advisory" for a predicted 3 to 5-inches of snow across Metro and about the northern half of the Kansas City MetroRegion began at 6 p.m..

As this live Webcam image from Omaha NE indicates- already several inches of snow has fallen there- and this activity is what is moving in our direction.

Precipitation has already begun in Leavenworth- Wyandotte and parts of Johnson counties in Kansas- and will spread eastward over the Metro during the next few hours.

Moderate snowfall rates can be expected by 11 p.m. to midnight.

Doppler weather radars across our region are lighting up with precipitation echoes as tempertures- which rose to the mid-30's Saturday afternoon- fall to near or below the freezing mark at this time.

CSW BREAKING: Train Strikes a Minivan on KC-MO's East Side

Within the past 15 minutes- KC-MO emergency services responded to a train vs. minivan on 17th Street west of Oakland Avenue. 

According to reports from the scene- the unknown number of occupants of the van have non life-threatening injuries.


KC-MO Police Indentify Saturday Morning Homicide Victims

As reported earlier here at CSW- there were 2 overnight homicides in KC-MO- and the victims have been identified.

Police report that Ephrem Merrit-Esquivel- 43-years-of-age from Kansas City- was found in an alley in the 6200 block of East 11th Street around 1 a.m.. 

Police were not saying how Mr. Merrit-Esquivel died and had no suspect information. 

Just before 3:45 a.m.- 29-year-old Andre Steele was brought to Research Med Center by a friend after Steele had been shot at 69th Street and Prospect.

Mr. Steele died at the hospital.

Again- police had no suspect information in this murder.

MetroRegion K.C. News: Body of Woman Found in Vehicle in Lawrence KS

Lawrence police found the body of a 58-year-old woman in a Ford Bronco Saturday morning- reports the LAWRENCE (KS) JOURNAL-WORLD.

(Photo by Kevin Anderson courtesy of The LAWRENCE (KS) JOURNAL-WORLD)

The incident was reported to police about 8:30 a.m. in the 800 block of Tennessee in an alley.

Police are saying there's no sign of "foul play" regarding the woman's death- but they continued to investigate the incident.

MetroRegion K.C. News: One Killed- 3 Injured in Northern Missouri House Fire

A fire in a rural home in Harrison county Missouri has left one person dead and 3 injured- including a child.

The BETHANY (MO) REPUBLICAN-CLIPPER reports that Gilman City fire crews responded to the call about 1 a.m. Saturday morning to the house located on Klondike Road- about 12 miles east of Bethany.

The house was heavily-involved in flames- and Gilman City called for assistance from Bethany- North Harrison and Cainsville fire crews.

The REPUBLICAN-CLIPPER says a man- woman and a child was injured- and taken to Kansas City-area hospitals.

The child's injuries were described as "very serious" and the child was flown by medical helicopter to Children's Mercy Hospital.

The body of a teen-aged member of the family who died in the fire was found about noon today.

The cause of the inferno was under investigation.

Good Morning- Saturday - January 22, 2011

First off- some breaking news...

A critically-injured shooting victim arrived at Research Medical Center's E-R just before 3:45 a.m. this morning- and that victim has possibly died of their wounds.

The yet-unidentified person was reportedly shot while walking along the west side of Prospect Avenue around 69th Street- and there isn't any suspect information being issued by KC-MO Police.

There's also the report of another homicide in the 6200 block of East 11th Street around 1 a.m. this Saturday morning.

This would be KC-MO's 5th and 6th homicides of 2011....

Fire gutted a house in Independence MO just before 1 a.m. in the 700 block of Dickenson Road.

No injuries were reported and there are as yet no other details available.

Another fire was reported in a house in rural Buchanan county MO around 11 p.m. Friday night.

Dearborn firefighters assisted Faucett crews at that blaze in the 3100 block of Southeast McQueen Road with no other information on that fire.

Weatherwise- see the earlier post on the NWS-issued "Winter Weather Adisory" for another snow chance for the Metro and parts of MetroRegion Kansas City this evening into midday Sunday.

In sports- the Number 2 college basketball team in America- the Kansas Jayhawks play the Texas Longhorns at 3 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence..

Rock chalk  and please- have a great day/weekend!

Please watch KSHB Action News This Weekend at 8 a.m.

CSW WEATHER: Metro-Northern and Eastern MetroRegion in a 'Winter Weather Advisory" Late Today- Sunday

The NWS-issue advisory is for "3 to 5-inches" of snow- and it's in effect "from 6 p.m. Saturday evening until 12-Noon Sunday."

Only Kansas counties Johnson- Douglas and Shawnee northward are in this advisory- Miami and counties south and southwest are not included.

In Missouri- the advisory is generally along and northeast of a Drexel to Clinton line- Bates and counties due south are not included.


Friday, January 21, 2011

MetroRegion K.C. News: Emporia's City Officials Approve $100k+ For Stone Monuments

Most reponsible people know that when your house needs a new roof- you don't spend the money putting in a swimming pool.

If only members of Emporia KS's City Commission had that kind of sense

According to the EMPORIA (KS) GAZETTE- the city's elected officials have- in these hard economic times- approved to spend more than $100000 on 4 stone monuments to adorn that central Lyon county municipality's city limits.

According to those responding to a GAZETTE online poll on the matter- a vast majority do not agree with the decision of spending taxpayer dollars on this touristy frou-frou.


CSW BREAKING: House Fire in KC-MO Northland

Five companies of KC-MO firefighters are on the scene of a house fire in Northland KC-MO..

The alarm was sounded at 7:48 a.m. for the address in the 4200 block of North Virginia- next to the St. Pius X Catholic High school.

Pumper 6 arrived at 7:53 a.m.- reporting "smoke showing."

A reported initial search of the "1-story" house was clear of anyone trapped inside as reported at 7:58 a.m..

At least 1 handline is being used- with an about block-long lay of hose to the nearest fire hydrant "on 44th Street."

The fire was reported under control at 8 a.m.- with no reports of injuries and a cause of the fire soon to be under investigation.

MetroRegion K.C. News: Marshall MO Already At or Near January Snowfall Record

With a minor snowfall expected today and a more-significant storm expected this weekend- Marshall is at or near a record snowfall total for the month of January- states this story in the MARSHALL (MO) DEMOCRAT NEWS.

The previous Marshall record for January was in 1977- when 14-inches fell.

Marshall's all-time seasonal snowfall record was set in 1948-49- when more than 32-inches fell in that central Saline county city.  

Central States News: Grandmother of Springfield MO Girls Burned in House Fire Robbed

If it is not bad enough to have your two grand-daughters burned in a fire where you lose everything- Donna Dominguez has a home-invasion robbery to add to her woes.

As reported here- Ms. Dominguez's two grand-daughters Aleena and Alexia were badly-burned in a fire last Saturday and were flown to the Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati OH for treatment of their injuries.

About 3:45 a.m. Thursday morning- a man entered the home of the son of Ms. Dominguez- where her and the girl's mother were staying after the fire gutted their rental home- and robbed Ms. Dominguez of $400 that the woman was going to use to buy a bus ticket to Cincinnati- according to the SPRINGFIELD (MO) NEWS-LEADER.

No one was hurt- and Springfield police do not have much evidence or a description of the robber.  

Good Morning - Friday - January 21, 2011

This late January Friday morning is not as cold as earlier thought since the clouds moved in- keeping us in the upper single-digits to around 11-degrees temperature-wise.

A fast moving storm will race over Metro and MetroRegion Kansas City today- dropping anywhere from about 1/2-inch of snow on the Kansas side and a possible 1-2 inches farther east in Missouri.

As if we haven't had enough- a stronger storm system late Saturday through Sunday could drop from 2 to 4-inches of the freezy skid stuff over our area.

I'll keep you informed on that...

Newswise- the body of a missing Smithville woman was found yesterday under the I-435 (west) bridge that spans Platte county MO and KC-KS..

Forty-nine-year-old Beth mcQueen had been reported missing since Sunday and KC-KS police are investigating this...

Kitchen catch fire?  Grab the cat- go to the garage- get in your car and TO HELL with the garage door- just floor it in reverse!

That's what an Overland Park KS woman did last night when all that happened in her duplex near 115th Street and Nieman.

Everybody (except the garage door) escaped uninjured- and the fire was minor.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

CSW BREAKING: Working Structure Fire Near Old Northeast KC-MO

The alarm sounded at 6:52 a.m. for a reported structure fire at 12th Street and Benton- and when the first company- Pumper 10- arrived 5 minutes later- fire was coming "through the roof" of the "2-1/2-story" structure.

The now seven companies of firefighters weren't able to search the inside of the fire building yet- so can't say if there are any injuries.

At 7:09 a.m.- a 2nd-alarm was struck for the fire- sending 5 more companies to the fire that apparently was a building where there was a fire earlier this Thursday morning.

The fire is being fought from the outside of the heavily-involved structure

At 8:03 a.m.- this fire was reported "under control" and there has been no reports of injuries at that time.

Good Morning - Thursday - January 20, 2011

Unless you're a schoolkid- you may debate the title of this post on this snowy morning...

As you can tell by my special opening graphic- we've experienced about 8.5-inches of snow here in the Loma Vista area of south Kansas City MO..

Most of that is still on our residential street too.

There's still some light snow that's re-developed over and east to southeast of Metro K.C. here at the 6 a.m. hour- with temperatures running around 10-degrees.

As if this isn't enough- there's more snow forecast both tomorrow (Friday) and again Sunday.

We could pick up a couple of inches more each day- which would leave a total of about a foot of snow on the ground Monday morning.


Ms. Rittenhouse just made it to her job in the Crown Center area via U.S. 71/Bruce Watkins Expressway after about a 40 minute commute.

Much better than yesterday evening's hour and a half trip home- she told me minutes ago that the highway was in pretty good shape (considering)- people driving cautiously and mostly in single file.

It seems that MoDOT and KC-MO's Public Works have done a decent job of clearing the main roads- bearing in mind salt doesn't work as well at these temperatures.

Have heard only 1 crash the past 20 minutes- that on I-70 near Van Brunt in KC-MO.

Take it easy today on the highways and byways.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

All Metro Kansas City School Districts Closed Thursday

Due to the snowstorm- all public and most parochial schools will be closed Thursday in the Metro Kansas City counties of Jackson- Platte- Clay- Ray- Lafayette & Cass in Missouri- Johnson- Wyandotte- Leavenworth and Miami counties in Kansas.

In addition- Lawrence and Ottawa KS schools will be closed as will schools in Warrensburg and Butler MO..

Additional school closings and cancellations of certain programs and events are likely to be announced- so it's best to check with those districts and/or organizations Thursday.

Kansas City's Snowgasm for the Evening of January 19, 2011

It's not the End of The World (5 and 6 p.m. TV newscasts notwithstanding)- but when these still and video images were taken about 7:15 to 7:30 p.m. here in the Loma Vista area of south KC-MO- there WAS 4 to 5-inches of snow on the ground- sidewalks and streets.

With temperatures overnight in the 10-15-degree range- salt's not going to do a whole lot of good with all the packed snow on the roadways- since the snow should continue into Thursday morning- probably ending before the MORNING drive-time.

The brief videos were taken on Blue Ridge Cutoff between about 90th and 87th Streets- the still images taken in and around the Loma Vista Shopping center just south of 87th Street off Blue Ridge.

I apologize for the quality of the videos- but it's not any worse than some of the crap I saw on newscasts tonight.

And unlike the TV news- we're going to take your intelligence for granted in dealing with this latest 5 to 8 inch snowfall- in a winter some local weather heads said we'd only get around 13-inches total (already that much here this winter).

I wish you Spring....


CSW BREAKING: Two-Alarm Fire in a "Vacant School Building in Old Northeast KC-MO

A two-alarm assignment of about 14 KC-MO fire companies are battling a fire in a vacant elementary school at Independence Avenue and Quincy.

The fire was originally reported at 4:30 p.m. when two companies and a battalion chief assigned to Station 23 about 2 blocks west of the fire were sent to investigate smoke coming from the building.

When they arrived about a minute later- fire was reported coming from the roof of the 2-1/2/-story building and a regular alarm of 3 more companies responded.

Several minutes later- that "regualar alarm" response was upgraded to "a 1st-alarm-" bringing 2 additional companies.

At 4:48 p.m. a 2nd-alarm was ordered- sending in 5 more fire companies.

Two additional fire companies were sent to the scene at 5:04 p.m..

At 5:19 p.m.- all crews who were fighting the fire inside the building have been ordered to leave the interior- and this will be an exterior firefight with "heavy fire coming from the northwest roof area" of the building reported several minutes later.

So far- no injuries have been reported.

More as received....

CSW WEATHER: Snow is Beginning on The Kansas City

It's snowing in Lawrence and much of Douglas county- and snow has begun falling in Johnson county Kansas.

The Winter Storm Warning continues through Thursday morning- with up to 10-inches of snow expected in some areas in and around Metro Kansas City.

Have heard one vehicle crash in Lawrence the past 15 minutes- can't say for sure if slick roads have contributed to that- but expect road conditions to steadily deteriorate through the afternoon into this Wednesday evening as the snowfall increases in intensity.


Good Morning - Wednesday - January 19, 2011

For many- it's a "good morning" only because there's no slickness on the roads or snow falling ... yet.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has Metro Kansas City in a "Winter Storm Warning" from noon today until 6 a.m. Thursday for a possible 5 to 8-inches of snow by this time tomorrrow morning.

The remainder of the MetroRegion- around Fort Scott KS and north around Maryville MO- 3 to 5-inches of snow are expected and both areas are under a NWS "Winter Weather Advisory" to cover that.

Air temperatures are in the mid to upper teens this morning and so far- no snow indicated on radar other than a few very light radar echoes in northern and central Kansas.

Conditions will increasingly worsen as the day goes on with snow beginning in the Metro around the noon hour and becoming fairly heavy with snowfall rates of around an inch an hour by 6 p.m..

Thursday morning drive-time looks rough and many area schools will probably see yet ANOTHER snow day.

I'll check in this afternoon with radar and area traffic camera views and a great day for ya!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Virtually Unreported- Raytown MO's Politicians Giving Away City's Revenues to Corporate Interests

Small- municipal 'fiefdoms' rarely have the benefit of a truly free press to expose the wrongs that go on under the noses of the citizenry.

Even in large metropolitan areas- coverage of the goings-on of the political wheeling and dealing in the biggest core cities are superficial at best anymore.

This can be attributed to 2 things: big-city newspapers staffs are shrinking- if not whole papers disappearing- leaving electronic media (TV- radio) with their already small staffs to cover things (not necessarily local or even important to the local viewer) in the 10 to 12 minute news segments of their "newscasts."

Coverage of political insider deals- and even much of the local 'spot news' it seems- has fallen to Internet sites operated by dedicated citizens (like moi) taking "news" matters into their own hands...

In Raytown MO- that political insider coverage has become the passion of a former alderman who is running for that position again- Greg Walters.

Raytown's political powers that-be have effectively given away virtually all their significant sales tax sources to large- corporate interests pretty much under the radar of public scrutiny- but the wheeling and dealing hasn't escaped Mr. Walters' THE RAYTOWN REPORT.

Mr. Walters breaks down the deal that Raytown politicians gave to mega-corporation Walmart to rebuild a store in that central Jackson county city- and he also reports new deals that will further erode that city's sales tax base.

Raytown's regular sales tax rate is 8.1-percent- according to the Raytown government's Web site.

There are also three special or so-called "Community Improvement District" sales tax areas in Raytown- one has already benefited another corporate entity to rebuild in that city- a HyVee grocery store at Gregory and M-350- that used to be located with a Walmart store in an older strip center at 67th Street and Blue Ridge Cutoff.

Mega-corporation Walmart decided they too needed a new store- so they went to Raytown's politicians to see what kind of deal they could get.

The new Walmart opened behind-schedule in late 2009 on M-350 Highway east of Raytown Road.

There- the sales tax is a full percentage higher- 9.1-percent- than the rest of Raytown's sales tax and that higher tax includes and existing Westlake True Value hardware store.

According to a graphic that was screen-captured from Mr. Walter's RAYTOWN REPORT page- NONE of the higher 9.1-percent sales tax charged in that Walmart "special sales tax district" goes into Raytown's general fund- for any so-called "community improvement-" and that probably goes for the deal that was offered to HyVee.

In 2010- Raytown had to cough-up a reported $1.8-million out of it's general fund to cover the Walmart deal.

The Raytown Christmas for Corporations doesn't end there however.

Deals or "tax abatements" have been extended to other corporate interests to entice them to build in Raytown.

An Aldi and now a Save-A-Lot grocery store have been offered these sweet tax deals to build in Raytown- with little financial risk to those corporations- but a considerable risk to Raytown's property taxpaying residents (Raytown's property tax of $9.21 per $100 valuation is one of the highest in the Missouri Metro).

These tax abatements for corporate interests are made up by increases to property taxes on homeowners.

Recently on Greg Walter's RAYTOWN REPORT blog- residents have complained about promised street resurfacings that consisted of a cheaper and not-long-lasting "chip and seal process-" as well as the lack of functional street lighting and the ballooning Raytown crime and property tax rate.

My hat is off and I salute Greg Walter's blog.

If not for his diligence- most Raytown residents would be totally unaware of the robberies going on- not only by criminals in their city- but by politicians in their own City Hall.


CSW Sports: Pro Football Lockout? Fans Should Respond by Boycotting Super Bowl

First off- I'm no longer a "fan" of professional sports in America.

Haven't been since exorbitant ticket & concession prices for crappy entertainment (teams)- strikes- lockouts and wealthy owners extorting taxpayer money to keep their teams somewhere.

If you ARE a fan- only faint condolences from me for putting up with it all.

Now- get ready to turn your OTHER cheek (have you run out of cheeks yet? ) because here comes your latest slap in the face- a threatened National Football League "lockout"in March.

Tired of the lockout talk?  

Boycott watching the Super Bowl!

Oh I know- it's a good reason to party and watch those special commercials (as if we don't ALREADY get goosed up our ying-yangs by commercials EVERYWHERE).

It's just an idea to show your displeasure with these sorts of things (like we interchange political party candidates at Election time- not thinking that we got where we are because of BOTH of them).

I know- that ain't gonna' happen.

Like a wise man once said: You either STAND for something- or you'll FALL for anything.

Don't expect me to catch you- Sports (and Two-Party) Addicted America....

CSW WEATHER: NWS "Winter Storm Watch" Wednesday for Kansas City- Lawrence- Topeka- St. Joseph Areas

Just issued by the Kansas City (Pleasant Hill MO) and Topeka offices of the National Weather Service (NWS) is a "Winter Storm Watch" for those areas generally along and north of U.S. 56 Highway in Kansas- and U.S. 50 Highway in Missouri for Wednesday and Wednesday night.

The NWS (and I agree) expects from 4 to 7 inches of snow in the watch areas by Thursday morning- 2 to 5-inches elsewhere in the Kansas City MetroRegion.

In addition- north to northeast winds of 10 to 20 miles per hour will cause some blowing and drifting of snow- particularily on east-west roadways.

More below-average temperatures will come in behind the snowfall Thursday and Friday.

Keep tuned- I hope to be up early tomorrow with more info....

Is Proposed KC-MO Convention Hotel A Money Pool for Politicians' Friends To Dip In?

A story that appears in today's online edition of THE PITCH and written by David Martin exposes a KC-MO councilwoman's role in getting her friends a piece of the money pie surrounding a proposed 1000-room convention hotel.

Martin's story is about "public-relations specialist Kim Carlos-"  a woman who "advised" (and I can bet you not for free) Cindy Circo's 2007 election campaign to the council.

Carlos drew a $40000 salary for doing (virtually no) PR work for the convention hotel committee- which is chaired by Circo and other KC-MO business fatcats who stand to benefit financially from such a 1000-room monstrosity.

Circo- according to THE PITCH's story "distanced herself" (at finger's length?) from appointing Kim Carlos to do virtually nothing for that $40k- but can we REALLY believe that BS?

CSW has been closely following this convention hotel money-sucking black hole for about the past year.

Strapped KC-MO finances hasn't stopped nearly a million taxpayer dollars from being dumped into this worthless project that will require- even according to THE PITCH's story- "substantial public assistance" i.e. taxpayer-supported corporate welfare.

Monday, January 17, 2011

MetroRegion News UPDATE: Girls Burned in Springfield MO House Fire in Shriners Hospital

The 2 sisters who were saved from a burning house by a Springfield paramedic and firefighters last Saturday morning have been flown to the Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati OH- states this story in The SPRINGFIELD (MO NEWS-LEADER.

The girls- 8-year-old Aleena and her 5-year-old sister Alexia Havens suffered burns over about 50-percent of their bodies- as well as smoke inhalation.

The blaze erupted in their grandmother's house where the girls were staying while their father- David Havens- was at work in a Springfield nursing home.

The fire began in clothes on top of a short-circuited "light-duty" electrical extention cord that had a space heater plugged into it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CSW BREAKING: It's Snowing in Overland Park KS

This video of a traffic camera at U.S. 69 and 119th Street was shot at 3:40 a.m.- showing light snow falling here- and in several areas of Johnson County KS..

Scattered snow showers will affect mainly western through southern areas of Metro Kansas City over the next several hours- and untreated roadways could become slick.