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Saturday, January 29, 2011

CSW Weather: NWS Watches Already Issued for Dangerous Winter Storm Threat

Not to scare anybody with weather like some K.C. media-types tend to do- but I do NOT like ICE...

The National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office in Pleasant Hill- as well as other regional NWS offices- have issued Winter Storm Watches for Metro and (will eventually include all of) the Kansas City MetroRegion starting tomorrow (Sunday) night.

These WSW's also include other areas in our Central States.

The precipitation appears to be starting out as dangerous freezing drizzle- and/or freezing rain.

Amounts as of yet aren't forecast to be that great- only about "a tenth of an inch-" but it doesn't take much to create a glaze on roads and such...

The comes the snow- and it appears to be another heavy snowfall.

Early forecasts around the Metro and MetroRegion are anywhere from 6 to as much as a FOOT of snow by Wednesday morning- when these WSW's are set to expire.

I'll keep you updated here at CSW and please- help me pray for a blown forecast.

Friday, January 28, 2011

CSW Weather: Warmest Day in More Than A Month Across Kansas City MetroRegion

The weather map graphic of 3 p.m. Friday afternoon observations show the mildest weather around these parts since December 2010.

The Red numbers are actual air temperatures and the green numbers are the current dewpoints.

Note the 66-degree temp at EMP or Emporia- 71 at ICT or Wichita.

The warmth will be short lived- as colder air filters in over the MetroRegion during the weekend- with a chance of wintery precipitation as early as Monday- and the threat of a "major winter storm" according to the NWS by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.

Today in Kansas City History: 1978 - Fire Kills 20 People at The Historic Coates House Hotel

The Coates House Hotel in 1950
The section that burned the morning of January 28, 1978 is to the right side of this photo.
Courtesy of The Kansas City (MO) Public Library
While today's historic events are most remembered nation and worldwide as the 1986 explosion of the US space shuttle Challenger- it is also the 33rd anniversary of Kansas City MO's deadliest fire...

Photo taken by KCFD's Bill Keith
It was a frigid Saturday morning when around 4:10 a.m.- a lone call came into the KC-MO Fire Department's Fire Alarm Exchange and dispatch center at 22nd Street and Gillham.

The night desk clerk at Kansas City's historic Coates House hotel was calling and relaying the report of an unknown fire "on the 5th floor" on the south end of the U-shaped building at 1005 Broadway.

On a recording of the original dispatch tape from that fateful night- the clerk doesn't know what is burning and sounds rather vague and rather calm.

Within 25 seconds of the call- the first alarm to the Coates House goes out to Batallion chief 102- Pumpers 2- 9- 25 and Truck companies 1 and 6 to investigate that "unknown fire."

Pumper 2 and Truck 1's station is virtually across an alley and only a hundred feet or so south of the Coates House- yet when they arrive about a minute and a half later- there is no report of anything showing from the 5-story building.

The 2 companies had gone north on one-way Central from their station- then west on 10th Street- while the bitter prevailing wind was blowing the what little smoke was emanating from the growing fire to the southeast- away from their immediate view.

About 30 seconds after their arrival- Pumper 2's crew spots "smoke showing from the top floor" of the building- and Pumper 25 and Truck 6 is just arriving.

Several more minutes go by- when Chief 102 reports "the whole top floor of the (south) side of the building's involved" in flames- and requests a 2nd-alarm.

Three more pumpers- 8-10 and 17's and Truck 3 are sent- along with Deputy chief 101 and Battalion chief 106.

 From that point on- radio communications become frantic and jumbled: Pumper 2-A requests "immediate assistance on the south side" of the building- and a minute later- another truck company Truck 2 is dispatched to the scene.

In early 1978- the condition of KC-MO's fire equipment was inadequate and the manning of the apparatus was usually at the minimum of 3 on a pumper and 4 on truck or ladder companies.

With one man dropped-off at a hydrant- and the pumper's driver making hose connections to the truck and preparing for pumping operations- this left only the captain to attempt to grab a handline and go into a building to search for trapped occupants.

This directly contributed to a serious delay in getting any rescue crews- or hoselines- to the upper floors where fire was raging and people were trapped.

I was an off-duty firefighter at the time- but I had seen the smoke from this fire while filling up my car at a North Kansas City gas station and had just arrived on the scene- with the same cheap 35mm camera that I had during the Pleasant Hill MO Tornado on May 4 the year before.

This time- I had virtually an entire roll of film- and the indicated photos shown here are the first photographs (digital stills from slides that I hope to improve on) shot at the scene that have never before been published.

Trucks were arriving from nearly every direction- dropping large hose from hydrants as far as a block away or positioning their aerial ladders where they could to retrieve the hotel's occupants from top floors.

Firefighters in self-contained air packs were pulling hose and grabbing other equipment and rushing toward the building's entrance from the increasingly icy-covered streets and sidewalks.

In front of the building- the aerial ladder of Truck 6 had apparently froze only about 10 feet out of the bed of the 1950's-era truck- and the operator was unable to extend the much-needed aerial ladder any further.

I watched in horror as occupants of the hotel who were trapped in their rooms by the growing fire raging through the hallways outside had climbed onto window sills of the upper floors.


Firefighters below yelled to them to remain where they were- that help was soon coming.

But with increasing smoke and heat billowing out of the windows around them- people began jumping from the building.

I witnessed one jumper hit the partially-extended aerial ladder of Truck 6 and hit the pavement on the other side.

Two firefighters were trying to carry a 50-foot ground ladder that requires 4 people to raise- and I rushed in street clothes to help them and others in the still-futile firefight.

More than a dozen people would jump to their deaths that January morning.

The bodies of the deceased would be lined up on a sidewalk on Broadway just north of 11th Street- under the watchful but bewildered eyes of KC-MO police officer Wally Westwood whom I knew well from his visits to a downtown fire station I once had been assigned to just a year and a half prior to this night.

Just shy of 10 minutes after the lone call was received from the hotel's desk clerk- a 3rd-alarm is sounded- with Pumper companies 12- 18 and 19 along with Truck company 5 sent to the scene.

Amid the frantic jumble of radio traffic with firefighters literally screaming into their radios- Truck 7 is dispatched about 3 minutes later.

Numerous ambulances from then privately-operated companies were sent to the scene and mutual-aid fire companies from the Kansas City KS Fire Department were enroute to empty KC-MO stations around the downtown area.

At the 19 minute-mark- Pumper 1 from the Downtown Airport is still-alarmed to the fire and around 20 minutes after the initial alarm was sounded- a 4th-alarm is struck for the Coates House fire- sending Pumpers 4- 29 and 31.

By the time an hour elapsed- there would be at least 17 pumper companies and 7 truck companies- at least half of the KC-MO Fire department's total resources- at the scene.

Even that amount of equipment along with more than 75 firefighters wouldn't be enough to save 20 lives and almost half of the Coates House Hotel building itself.
By the first light of day nearly 3 hours later- there would be firefighters from as far away as Bonner Springs KS helping put out the fire- the debris from which would smolder more than 36 hours.
It would also take that long to recover the remains of those who didn't either jump or escape the fire.
Among them were two children who had gone to visit their father for the weekend- all three died in the fire- and the corpse of one man found straddling a burned-out window sill.

The Coates House as it stands today in the early 21st Century.
(Photo by scanderson44)

I know for a fact this fire weighed heavily on the souls of the firefighters who were at the Coates House that bitterly-cold January morning- especially those like myself who saw the horrors of people trying to escape the inferno early-on in the fire and our utter helplessness to save them.
But the true mourning for the Coates House Hotel fire of January 28, 1978 was reserved for the family and friends of those 20 souls who perished in the fire.
It is for those that I offer my most sincere condolences- and a prayer that a fire like this never again occurs in Kansas City.


CSW BREAKING: Serious-Injury Head-on Crash on Missouri-150 Highway

At 7 a.m.-the KC-MO Fire department reports "extrication is in progress on 2" people involved in a head-on crash on M-150 highway at or near Peterson Road in far southeastern KC-MO..

Lee's Summit Fire is also assisting.

By 7:24 a.m. all extrications had been reported as "completed."

"A 49-year-old female passenger" with a serious abdominal injury and a "53-year-old female driver" with "a fractured arm" and possible head- back and leg injuries were both taken to Research Medical Center by KC & Lee's Summit ambulances.

There were "3" refusals of EMS transports at the scene.

M-150 traffic is still at least somewhat restricted at this location.


At 7:10 a.m.- another "one-vehicle" crash has been reported "on northbound U.S. 169 at M-152 highway" in KC-MO's Northland.

The driver at that scene reportedly had not life-threatening injuries.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Passing Couple Became Heros in Double-Fatal Northern Missouri Fire

Buzz and Whitney Contrerez of Mill Grove, MO had never met the Lurten family but after last Saturday morning- the Contrerezs' will never forget the Lurten family.

As told to ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS reporter Rex Martin- and reprinted by permission in the TRENTON (MO) REPUBLICAN-TIMES- Buzz and Whitney Contrerez were returning to their Mill Grove on U.S. 136 after a night out in Bethany.

When the couple approached State Route CC- they noticed a glow in the sky and smoke rising.

Whitney called 9-1-1 to report the yet-unknown fire- and the couple continued east on U.S. 136 several more miles until they reached the town of Mount Moriah.

It was then that Buzz turned to his wife and asked her if they should turn back- just to be sure.

The couple did turn back- and as they got closer to the glow on Klondike Road east of CC Highway- the couple realized the horror of what what going on.

Running barefoot across a gravel road trying to seek help was Maria Lurten.

Buzz told the NEWS-PRESS's Martin, "“At that point you just have to accept what you see,” Buzz said. “When we saw her in the headlights, honest to God, she looked like something out of a horror movie. The soot, the burns, the blood. It was horrific.

“We just jumped in and did what we had to do to help these people.”

Maria Lurten was in shock- crying that her 18-year-old daughter Brenna (who died in the fire) was trapped in the upstairs of the totally-involved 2-story rural home.

Her husband Brian- burned and suffering serious smoke inhalation- and 11-year-old son Briley- who was badly burned- had taken refuge in a detached garage in the 10-degree weather.

Briley Lurten later died at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City from his severe injuries.

Buzz and Whitney helped carry Briley to the couple's 1999 Escalade- and sped Maria- Brian and Briley to the Harrison County Community Hospital in Bethany before fire crews even arrived at the nearly-destoyed home.

Enroute- they managed to call the Lurtens' eldest daughter who lived elsewhere and tell her the bad news.

The parents continue to recover from their injuries at K.U. Medical Center in Kansas City.

Buzz and Whitney Contrerez are dealing with the trauma they witnessed that Saturday morning- it was highly unusual that they were even out that late as Buzz told the NEWS-PRESS's Rex Martin that "he is usually at home and sound asleep at midnight."

“We were put on that road that night for a reason,” Buzz Contrerez is quoted saying, “and it came from somewhere higher up.”


A memorial fund account has been set up for the Lurten Family at:

Great Western Bank
203 South 25th Street
P.O. Box 405
Bethany, MO 64424

Contact at the Bank (Deb)- The fund is set up under Tammy Priest for the Benefit of The Lurten Family.

Donations can be made at any Great Western Bank by telling the teller that you you would like to make a donation for the Benefit of the Lurten Family Listed under Tammy Priest.

You must give all that information so they can get the funds in the correct account.


Central States News: Arkansas Lawmaker Chased by Police Gets Off With Slap on Hand

More correctly- a "misdemeanor."

Arkansas Senate Republicrat "Bruce Holland" representing "Greenwood" Arkansas was (later) cited when- on Monday afternoon- Holland "was accused of fleeing an officer, driving in excess of 100 mph and improperly passing other cars-" according to this story in the FORT SMITH (AR) TIMES-HERALD.

In Arkansas (as in much of America)- it seems the ruling class is immune to some laws as the TIMES-HERALD story states "(a) provision in the Arkansas Constitution exempts lawmakers from some arrests during legislative sessions" and the officer who chased Holland "thought the lawmaker was exempt from arrest because of (the) provision in the state constitution and let him go without issuing a citation."

Holland reportedly "later told reporters he would be willing to pay a fine if he was cited" for what most of us would be thrown in jail and our licenses revoked for.

No report either if Holland was subject to a drug or sobriety test either- but hey- he's in the ruling class and above the law.

Central States News: State of Kansas- City of Salina- To Pay Corporate Firm for Jobs

More taxpayer-provided corporate welfare to report...

The SALINA (KS) JOURNAL reports that both the State of Kansas and that central Kansas city will pay  "Philips Lighting" nearly $2 million to make/keep 50 jobs at the Philips Salina plant.

Salina's share is $750000- with the State kicking in nearly a million more.

Small wonder the State of Kansas can't make it's budget-ends meet...

Maybe those State of Kansas employees facing a 7.5% cut in pay due to state budget contraints can apply for jobs there- since there's NO stipulation the workers have to LIVE in Salina.

CSW Commentary: Two Reasons Why The Kansas City MO Earnings Tax Will Continue

On April 5, 2011- Kansas Citians will go to the polls to (re) elect corporate-welfare-friendly politicians and continue the Earnings Tax.

"What?" you say about the Earnings Tax?

Two reasons:

1) The corporate interests- many of whom already get some sort of tax abatements (corporate welfare)- are getting together now with their big-money funding to convince (scare) KC-MO voters that- if the Earnings Tax fails- the city will be plunged into the Dark Ages and property and every other kind of tax or fee you can think of will be increased.

The elderly don't pay an Earnings Tax on their pensions or Social Security- but those who own homes WILL pay those property and other tax increases that city leaders threaten us with.

That leads us to...

2) Mostly- it's the elderly who even bother to vote in elections of any kind.

The younger citizens of voting age mostly blow-off elections (except MAYBE presidential ones) where their (financial) futures are concerned.

That's what's going to happen on April 5th.

The elderly and the scared will vote FOR continuation of that 1% Earnings Tax- and the majority of those younger voters- like in most elections- will stay home- and THAT will assure our corporate-friendly politicians a continuation of that taxpayer-provided slush fund to continue to mis-spend.

Have a nice hissy-fit!

MetroRegion K.C. News: Man Who Helps Cop Gets Arrested

A man who helped a Livingston county MO deputy get unstuck in snow turned out to be the very man the officer was seeking on an outstanding arrest warrant.

The ST. JOSEPH (MO) NEWS-PRESS says that in a press release issued by Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox- a deputy had gone to Wheeling MO last Friday to serve a warrant and got stuck in snow.

A male pedestrian helped the deputy get his patrol car out of the snow- then the deputy found out that "Good Samaritan" was the very man- reported as 30-year-old Michael Slaughter- he had come to arrest.

Mr. Slaughter's charge was passing bad checks and MAYBE the judge will take into account Slaughter's helpful act.

MetroRegion K.C. News: Topeka KS's Unrealistic Penalties For Un-Snow-Cleared Sidewalks

Imagine a judge slapping you with a $499.00 fine- or a jail sentence of 179 days (nearly 6 months)- simply for not clearing your public sidewalk of snow within 12 hours after the end of the storm.

That's the law in good-ole Topeka- according to this TOPEKA (KS) CAPITAL-JOURNAL story.

The story's commenters wonder if the same law could apply to Topeka city officials who don't plow city streets in that same time frame.

I'm not sure of Kansas City MO's ordinance regarding the clearing of public sidewalks after snowstorms- but for the record- your Captain had HIS public sidewalk cleared of snow within Topeka's time frame- until a plow came along and threw the snow on our street squarely back on my shoveled sidewalk!

Spectacular Solar Flare

This image was recorded yesterday by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory of a plasma cloud during one of our Sun's solar flares.

This and other images can be found at Space

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Did YOU Miss Church Today? Englewood Ministries LIVE on The Internet

Ms. Rittenhouse loves 'em and they are a fine bunch doing a lot of good for the community...

The Englewood Ministries are located on the western edge of Independence MO's Englewood District at 10628 East Winner Road.

All of any faiths are welcome- and if you're home-bound or time or the weather has you tied up- catch Englewood's services on the Internet via USTREAM by clicking HERE.

Bless them and bless YOU for reading Capt. Spaulding's World too!


Political Stupidity 101: Non Drug-Tested Missouri Politicians Would Drug-Test Welfare Recipients

There's a poll down the right column of this blog that asks what's never (to my knowledge) been done in America:

Should Politicians Take Drug Tests?

The following is another reason WHY this should be done:

In the latest proposal by some political whackos in the Missouri House of Representatives- a new law would impose drug testing on the state's welfare recipients.

According to the wording of the story in The KANSAS CITY (MO) STAR: "Tests would be given to people whom state officials reasonably believe have used drugs."


1. Who would these "state officials" be?  Are those officials themselves drug-tested?

2. What does "reasonably" mean?  and most importantly...

3. WHO THE HELL IS GOING TO PAY FOR ALL THIS DRUG-TESTING when the State of Missouri is already hundreds of millions of dollars in a fiscal hole?

Like Kansas pollys and their irresponsible spending would penalize state employees with pay cuts to balance the budgets they couldn't- Missouri pollys who themselves don't have to take ANY pre-office drug tests would saddle the state's taxpayers with more costs and bureaucracy.

Maybe then the FEDERAL government should drug-test bankers- investment-house and corporate heads before giving THEM welfare (bailouts) as well as the leaders of countries we send money to. 

Better yet- each and EVERY American politician should take pre and regular in-office drug and sobriety tests- that MIGHT explain some of the idiotic decisions/laws/policies they come up with.

Central States News: Omaha Mayor Narrowly Escapes Recall

The recall election for Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle was held Tuesday and the results are in- according to the story from the OMAHA (NE) WORLD-HERALD.

Suttle retains his office- with the "unofficial" results of 38,841 or 51.1 percent against the recall with 37,198 or 48.9 percent for.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bush Administration Broke Law in 2006- Bet You Nothing Happens

The Associated Press reports that the G.W. Bush Administration used taxpayer dollars to deliver Cabinet members around America to campaign for their Republicrat cronies- which is against the law.

Those cronies of one of the- if not THE worst president in American history also lied on reports- calling the forays "official."

Like other high-office American politicos found breaking the law- it's doubtful anyone involved (since they're all out of office) will ever pay for their crime(s) and continue to get undeserved honors, huge pensions- etc..

In a related note- home prices in most major cities continued to plunge and unemployment went up in 20 states.

J.C. Penney Outlet Store in Overland Park is Closing

A fixture on the East Frontage Road since 1977- the J.C. Penney Outlet Store near the busy 75th Street and Interstate 35 intersection will be closing it's doors for good soon- reports the KANSAS CITY BUSINESS JOURNAL.

About 130 people- "mostly" part-timers- will lose their jobs reports the KCBJ story.


Emporia KS Stone Monoliths: Part 2

Last Friday- CSW reported a story that appeared in the EMPORIA (KS) GAZETTE regarding the approval of some large- stone city limit monuments that were approved by that city's commissioners for a price tag of more than $100000.

None of those "monoliths" were to be placed near where the majority of traffic (I-35/The Kansas Turnpike) approaches the east-central Kansas city- and a VAST majority of the participants of a GAZETTE online poll as well as commenters on the story's page were against the expenditure of taxpayer funds.

In an incredible act of what reeks as political suicide- a second GAZETTE story about the monuments relays the politico's feelings about their constituents' rejection of those monuments- telling how those city officials were going ahead with the plans in defiance of those taxpaying naysayers.

It's no wonder many Americans are completely fed up with politicians!

Olathe KS Residents Can Now Track Snowplowing Efforts By The Internet

If you live in Olathe and next snowstorm wonder when or if your street is getting the blade- you can log into the City of Olathe's Webpage and enter your address to see for yourself.

Though many of us are already wishing for Spring- be aware that the Metro Kansas City's record snowfalls have come ... in March.

Northern Missouri House Fire Claims 2nd Victim

The 11-year-old boy who was critically-injured in the house fire east of Bethany Saturday morning has died of his injuries- reports the ST. JOSEPH (MO) NEWS-PRESS.

The youth has been identified as Briley Lurten.

Briley's 18-year-old sister Brenna Lurten was killed in the fire that destroyed the family's home.

Parents Brian Lurten- age 44 and the children's mother Maria Lurten- age 40- remain in Kansas City's K.U. Medical Center with serious injuries they suffered escaping the fire.

The SJNP story reports an older brother who did not live at the home.

A memorial fund to help defray the Lurten family's expenses has reportedly been set up at a Bethany MO bank- and I will post that information here at CSW as soon as it is verified.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fitness Guru Jack LaLanne Dies At Age 96

Jack LaLanne had been a fixture of physical fitness since the 1950's- and was still seen on cable television early into the 21st Century hawking his healthful juicing machine.

According to the Associated Press- Mr. LaLanne passed away Sunday at his home in Morro Bay on California's central coast from respiratory failure due to pneumonia at age 96.


January 24, 1967- When One Metro K.C. High School Dismissed Early and It Wasn't For Snow

With all the snow-days Metro-area students have been getting so far in January- I thought I'd  remind people that the weather in Kansas City is not always of the winter variety in this traditionally coldest month of the year

The following is an edited re-post from four years ago- on the 40th anniversary of a tornado that struck the in-session Orrick MO high school:

"Weather conditions more like April than January 24th contributed to a noteworthy tornado outbreak over the Central U.S. and western Great Lakes states. Noteworthy it was ... at the time it was the furthest north a wintertime tornado outbreak had occurred in recorded history.

Thirty-two tornadoes were reported in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

Two of the tornadoes during the outbreak reached F-4 intensity.

Four of those twisters ... in MO, IA and IL ... were killers.

The first killer tornado of the outbreak was right here in Metro Kansas City.

The thunderstorm that would spawn the tornado formed about 30 miles southwest of Kansas City just before noon. The storm quickly became severe as it moved northeast near 40 m.p.h..

Around 12:25 p.m., straight-line winds estimated near 60 m.p.h. caused damage to the-then under contruction Metcalf South shopping center at 95th Street and Metcalf in Overland Park, KS.

The storm moved through southern Prairie Village, northern Leawood, KS, into Kansas City around 83rd Street and State Line.

At Kansas City, MO's Southeast High school at Swope Parkway and Meyer Boulevard, wind gusts estimated from 50 to 60 m.p.h. chased the students in a boy's gym class- including the author of this account- from the outdoor fields to the safety of the school building.

The storm moved on, passing over the Blue Ridge Mall area.

Reports of hail up to quarter size began to be received as the storm moved over southern and eastern Independence. There were also scattered reports of damage to trees and power lines in those areas

Then came at least one unconfirmed report of a funnel cloud near the Lake City Army Ammunitions plant at Missouri Highways 7 and 78.

At 12:40 p.m., the funnel dropped to the ground about 3 miles southwest of Buckner (present-day eastern Independence). The tornado spared a direct hit on Buckner, damaging outbuildings and barns in the nearby rural hills.

The funnel then moved into the Missouri River floodplain, just missing the small community of Sibley.

The tornado moved across the river into southwestern Ray County where it reached it's maximum F-3 strength.

Around 12:50 p.m. and without an official warning, the estimated 250-foot wide tornado with winds as high as 200 m.p.h. slammed into the high school in Orrick, a town with a population of about 800 people off of Highway M-210.

Witness accounts from that day state that someone had seen the tornado in the farm fields southwest of the school and that students and faculity had barely made it into interior hallways of the fairly small school building.

The winds lifted - then collapsed - the roof of the gym as well as the upper walls of the building. This caused another part of the school's roof to collapse.

Debris blew in and rained down onto the more than 200 students and their instructors taking cover in interior hallways, killing two of the students.

The number injured was officially reported as 18.

At least three other homes were either damaged or destroyed in Orrick.

Dozens of police, fire units and ambulances responded from a three-county area to assist in rescue and treatment of the injured in Orrick that day.

The tornado continued on for about another 20 minutes, taking out more barns and outbuildings until it lifted 4 miles west-northwest of Richmond in central Ray County."

The Orrick tornado ... rare as it was that January day ... was not the deadliest.

That distinction went to an F-4 twister that moved northeast through the western and northern suburbs of St. Louis, MO. later that Tuesday evening.

Three people would die there with more than 2,000 structures damaged or destroyed, with the tornado just missing the city's Lambert airport."


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Central States News: Two Youths Drown After Sledding Accident

It happened Friday afternoon near the small community of Southwest City MO- near the state borders with Arkansas and Oklahoma.

According to The JOPLIN GLOBE- 13-year-old Joseph Cody and his 9-year-old sister Grace were out sledding when they steered onto the ice of a uncompletely- frozen pond.

Both youths and their sleds broke through the ice and they plunged into the icy pond water that was as deep as 25-feet.

Rescuers found Joseph in about an hour- but they couldn't revive him.

Grace's body wasn't located until later that evening.

CSW offers our condolences to the Cody family and friends on this tragic loss.

National Weather Service's USA 30-Day Weather Outlook for February 2011

For many of us east of the Rockies- we're glad that February is the last full month of winter...

February temperatures Central States show above-average over generally the southwestern half with the slight chance of below-average temperatures restricted to about the northeastern half of Iowa.

Metro and MetroRegion Kansas City will see and equal chance of near-average temperatures- according to the NWS forecast.

Precipitation next month will tend to be above-average over about the southeastern half of Missouri and all of Arkansas- with below-average precip over southwestern Nebraska into western Oklahoma- with the best chance of dry weather over western Kansas.

Again- the Kansas City Metro and MetroRegion will be in-between- with an equal chance of near-average precipitation.