KCKCC debate national champions once again

The KCKCC Debate Team recently won its 11th consecutive National Title in Debate at the Phi Rho Pi Community College National Tournament. The team also won its 9th national title at the CEDA National Tournament. (KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge
The Kansas City Kansas Community College Debate Team has had a busy few weeks. And as the group celebrates the end of their season, they celebrate once again as national champions.
KCKCC won its 11th consecutive National Title in Debate at the Phi Rho Pi Community College National Tournament in Denver, Colo. There were 100 teams that competed in the Parliamentary Debate Division at the tournament, and when all competition was completed, KCKCC was on top. In addition, the team of Matt Casas and Anthony Joseph won gold in the same division, and assistant coach John Bretthauer, a KCKCC alum, received a coaching fellowship award.
“I am not surprised at how well our debaters did at the tournament because they have perfected the ability to adapt,” said Darren Elliott, KCKCC debate coach. “I know we have talented people, and they used their own creativity to be successful.”
Parliamentary Debate is a different style of debate than KCKCC is used to at tournaments. Instead of preparing for a single argument in advance of the tournament, debaters are given 15 minutes to prepare for the round and the topics continually change.
What makes the win even more surprising is that this is the first time Casas and Joseph have debated as a team. Casas has been successful throughout the 2013-14 season with partner Brian Gonzaba. The pair even qualified to the National Debate Tournament, tying with Harvard University for fifth overall in the national rankings. KCKCC is the first community college in NDT history to qualify for three consecutive years and KCKCC was the top community college in overall final standings. The tournament was March 28-31.
“We were shocked. We went in expecting to do well, but never expected to get to the elimination rounds, let alone with the whole thing. It felt really good,” said Casas, a graduate of Milliard South High School in Omaha. “I think we really had to be prepared to compromise with each other and learn as partners. With Brian, we had a routine down. We were comfortable. With Anthony, we both had to be more open to trying new things.”
Joseph said the biggest challenge of the tournament was learning how to adapt to the judges and make adjustments in each round.
“I thought it was fun, but adapting to the judges was our biggest concern,” said Joseph, a graduate of Little Rock Central High School. “I think communication was super important. We had to keep talking after each round to make those adjustments. That really helped us.”
In addition to Casas and Joseph, Ashley Shockley, Homeschool and Chris Miles and Michael Smith, both graduates of Fort Osage High School in Independence, competed at Phi Rho Pi. What made Shockley’s experience a little different is that she was paired with another debater from El Camino College in California for the Parliamentary Debate rounds.
“We had some very quick practice rounds and tried to spend as much time together before the rounds began,” she said. “We talked about things we could improve on, but right from the start, I didn’t know her style, and she didn’t know mine. Not only did we have to adapt to a new style of debate, but adapt to each other very quickly. It was an interesting, but fun experience.”
Before Phi Rho Pi, KCKCC competed in the CEDA Nationals, which is open to any two or four year school. Katie Ford, Fremont High School in Fremont, Neb. and Alex Glanzman, Lawrence High School, made it to the top 32 before being eliminated by the University of Oklahoma. Casas and Gonzaba were eliminated in the top 16, also by OU. Overall, KCKCC won the National Title in the community college division, the ninth time in the last 11 years.
Additional awards were given to Ford, 9th speaker and Casas, CEDA All American. This is the first time that KCKCC has had anyone in the top 20 speakers at the CEDA Nationals.


New hotel to be built at Hollywood Casino here

The Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway tonight has committed to building a hotel, according to an announcement at the Unified Government meeting.

“This is good news,” said UG Administrator Doug Bach.

He said he received a letter today from Bob Sheldon, vice president and general manager of Hollywood Casino, who confirmed it is their intent to move forward with construction of the hotel as originally set out in the development agreement with the UG.

A groundbreaking for the hotel will be Oct. 5, 2014, when construction will begin, according to the letter from Sheldon. Planning will take place this summer.

The letter said the Kansas Entertainment board has decided to commence the development of the hotel, according to the development agreement made earlier with the Unified Government. Kansas Entertainment is the parent company of Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway.

The hotel is expected to be at or adjacent to the casino at the Village West area of Wyandotte County, near I-70 and I-435.

The development agreement with the UG called for a penalty of 1 percent of the gaming revenues, estimated at about $1.3 million a year, to begin if construction was not started. There would be no penalty if the decision was made by May 1 to build a hotel, UG officials said last January.


Community calendar

The Wyandotte Daily News is interested in news of your community event in Wyandotte County. Send information to news@wyandottepublishing.com and include your name and phone number.

Sign up for library’s reading program
The Kansas City, Kan., Public Library’s summer reading program will start signups on May 1. The program runs from June 1 to July 31. Participate at any of the five library branches. After signing up, participants may start logging books on June 1. For more information, visit the website at www.kckpl.org.

UG Commission to meet May 1
The Unified Government Commission will meet at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Commission Chambers, City Hall, 701 N. 7th, Kansas City, Kan.  An agenda is posted online at www.wycokck.org.

First Friday Focus meeting planned May 2
The First Friday Focus meeting, sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce, will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 2, at the Holiday Inn Express, 1931 Prairie Crossing, Kansas City, Kan.  Area school superintendents will discuss education issues, including school finance. Cost of the event is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. For more information, call 913-748-2303.

Residents plan garage sale
The resident council of Westgate Towers, 6100 Leavenworth Road, will have a garage sale Friday-Sunday (May 2, 3 and 4) in the highrise parking lot.

Mid-Life Players presents ‘Cats’ in concert May 2-3 at Alcott
The Mid-Life Players, a local nonprofit musical theater group, will present a concertized performance of the Andrew Lloyd Webber favorite, “Cats,” this Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, at the Alcott Arts Center, 180 S. 18th St., in Kansas City, Kan. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. for each performance. Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased through brownpapertickets.com

AYS plans annual fundraiser May 2
Associated Youth Services will hold a Stack the Decks Casino Night 2014 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, May 2, at the Overland Park Marriott. The annual casino-night fundraiser supports the nonprofit’s five programs aimed at filling in the missing pieces for struggling youth. Tickets are $80 and can be obtained at AYS’ secure website – www.aysusa.org/stackthedecks, or by contacting AYS resource development specialist, Maggie McKinley at 913-831-2820, Ext 224.

Wyandotte County Extension Master Gardeners annual plant sale to be May 2-3
The annual plant sale of the Wyandotte County Master Gardeners will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 2, and 9 a.m. to noon (or as long as inventory is left) Saturday, May 3, at the Wildcat Room, Wyandotte County Extension office, 1200 N. 79th St., Kansas City, Kan. The Wyandotte County Master Gardeners will offer tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, eggplant, herbs, and other vegetable and fruit plants started by the members, and collections of perennials, annuals, Kansas native wildflowers and ornamental grasses. New to the sale this year will be succulent plants, gently used books and gardening supplies. Master Gardeners will be on hand to help with selections and answer gardening questions. For information, call 913-299-9300.

Polski Day celebrated planned May 3
The 30th annual Polski Day celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at All Saints Parish, 8th and Vermont Avenue, Kansas City, Kan., at the St. Joseph Church site. The festival features live music, dancing and ethnic food. A parade starts at 11 a.m. at 12th and Central, proceeding to 8th. Live music is planned. A polka Mass will be held at 4 p.m.

Cinco de Mayo parade planned May 3
The seventh annual downtown Cinco de Mayo parade is planned at 11 a.m. May 3 in Kansas City, Kan. The parade starts at 6th and Minnesota and ends on 12th Street, where a festival will take place. The event is sponsored by Bonito Michoacan market.

Marble Day to be May 3 in Bonner Springs
The eighth annual Marble Day will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, in downtown Bonner Springs, Kan. The event is at Oak Street and Centennial Park. The event kicks off with a Marble Day 5k run at 8 a.m., followed by a Tractor Cruise and Wacky Parade at 9:30 a.m.  After opening ceremonies at 10:15 a.m., a marble tournament is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Marble activities and old-fashioned games are planned from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  A bike rodeo will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  One of the unique Bonner Springs events, the “Running of the Pinkys,” is planned at noon. It involves a competition where pinky balls are released. The winners of this activity will be announced at 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://wyandottedaily.com/marble-day-to-be-may-3-in-bonner-springs/.

Fishing derby planned May 3
A kids fishing derby is planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Cabela’s, 10300 Cabela Drive, Kansas City, Kan. Kids may bring their own fishing equipment to participate.

Blue Devil 5k Fun Run – Walk and Kids Trot to be May 3
The Blue Devil 5k Fun Run – Walk and Kids Trot will be held starting at 9 a.m. Saturday May 3, at Kansas City Kansas Community College, Conference Center, 7250 State Ave.

Health for All Soccer Day scheduled
A Health for All Soccer Day will take place from 7 p.m.to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at St. Margaret’s Park, 230 S. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan. It is free for youth. Youths may register at www.kansascityymca.org/about-y-news/free-soccer-days-clinics or show up 20 minutes early. T-shirts and other items may be given away. For information, call 913-439-9349.

‘Road bowling’ event planned
At 11 a.m. Sunday, May 4, there will be a Kansas City Irish Road Bowling Tournament at Wyandotte County Park.  Participants will try to take the fewest throws of a metal ball along a course of road, typically a mile in distance.

KCKCC vocal music spring concert planned May 4
The Kansas City Kansas Community College Choir Program is preparing for one of its final concerts of the semester. The KCKCC Spring Choral Concert is at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at Trinity Community Church, 5010 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kan. The concert is free and open to the public. The concert will feature the Chamber Choir, which will be performing selections from British composer Paul Mealor. This includes the song cycle: “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal.” In addition, the concert will feature selections from the High Lonesome Mass, sung by the Community Chamber Choir. This piece will include a bluegrass ensemble along with the choir. It is a mixture of American Folk hymns and the Catholic Mass. For more information on the choral program at KCKCC, contact John Stafford at jstafford@kckcc.edu or call 913-288-7137.

Class offered on discipline
“Discipline without Screaming or Scolding,” a two-part program, will be presented on two Wednesdays, May 7 and 14, from 9:30 to 11 a.m., at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan.  To register for the free program, call 913-906-8990. Only a limited number of child care spaces are available; those interested in child care must request it in advance.

Tourism celebration luncheon to be May 7
The Kansas City Kan., Convention and Visitors Bureau will sponsor a Tourism Celebration Luncheon from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at the Reardon Convention Center,  500 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Tickets are $35 per person. For reservations, call 913-321-5800 or email judith@visitKansasCityKS.com.

Fairfax Industrial Association to meet
The Fairfax Industrial Association will meet at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, May 8, at the Board of Public Utilities offices, 540 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan. For reservations, email  Chuck Schlittler at execdir@fiakck.org by May 5.

Topic of seminar to be ‘Understanding Grief’
A seminar on “Understanding Grief” will be presented from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at the Rosedale Development Association, 1401 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Kan. The seminar will be presented by Stella Ruiz of Crossroads Hospice. She will discuss reactions to loss, what grief is and how different people respond to it.

Informational meeting planned on downtown healthy campus
An informational meeting on the new healthy campus is planned from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 8 at the Commission Chambers, lobby level, City Hall, 701 N. 7th St., Kansas City, Kan.  The downtown healthy campus will be at 10th and State, and plans are to have a grocery store and community center. The Unified Government is seeking opinions from the community about plans for the project, including opinions about green space and housing options.

Program covers post-harvest handling
A program for gardeners and those who raise food on “Post-Harvest Handling” will take place on May 12 in Kansas City, Kan. The program is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension. For more information, visit www.growinggrocers.org.

Book club to meet
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., will serve as host of a monthly book club for women that meets from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. The book for May 13 is “The Bird Sisters” by Rebecca Rasmussen. Call 913-906-8990 to register. A limited number of books are available for participants.

Programs for women offered in Spanish
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan., offers programs for Spanish-speaking women: Grupo de mujeres, dirigido por Mary Ellen Rodriguez y Ana Maria Sauer:10-11 a.m. Los martes,  13, y 20 de mayo. Grupo de salud emocional de la mujer, ofrecido por MOCSA, los martes, 1-2:30 p.m. Para registrarse contacte a Carol Vicuna, Llame 816-285-1328. Compartiendo nuestras vidas: Grupo de discusión para mujeres, dirigido por Teresa Kerbawy, lunes, 12 de mayo, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Women’s Chamber to meet May 14
The Kansas City, Kan., Women’s Chamber of Commerce will meet from 11:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, May 14, at Dave and Buster’s, Village West at The Legends Outlets. The program is “Damsel in Defense,” and Mary Riesberger will speak about equipping women with tools to keep them safe and give them confidence. Cost of the program is $20 for members and $25 for nonmembers. Reservations are required by emailing Barbara Newby at btnewbyks@gmail.com or calling 913-485-1208.

Program offered on discipline
“Discipline without Screaming or Scolding,” part 2, will be presented from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 14, at Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Ave., Kansas City, Kan. To register for the free class, call 913-906-8990. Also call to request child care; only a limited number of spaces are available for child care.

Armourdale group to meet May 15
The Armourdale community meeting will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 15, at the Armourdale Renewal Recreation Center, 730 Osage Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Deputy Chief Terry Ziegler will present a safety program, and there will be a summer recreation planning topic on the agenda. Free refreshments will be served.

Croquet tourney scheduled May 16
The fifth Downtown KCK Cork House croquet tournament will be held at 4 p.m. May 16 at 509 N. 6th St.  The tourney could be held on the City Vision Champion Lawn and another course could be added to the south near St. Mary’s Church. The cost of the tournament is $10, including food and drinks. For more information, call 913-371-1944.

Free bike rodeo May 17 to provide bike helmets for kids
The free KCK Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo returns Saturday, May 17, to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Elementary-aged kids will have the opportunity to learn tips on cycling safety, participate in interactive activities that promote health and safety and to sneak a peek at attractions at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark at the eighth annual bike event. Hours are from 9 a.m. to noon May 17. The event sponsors plan to distribute up to 300 free bike safety helmets and T-shirts to participants. Activities will take place in the parking lot and entrance area of Schlitterbahn, and a large turnout is anticipated. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles. Helmets will be fitted, bikes will be inspected for safety, and kids may visit bike riding stations to earn a safety certificate. Those with questions on the day of the event may call 816-751-4227.

Time management class offered
Keeler Women’s Center, 2220 Central Avenue, KCK, will present a workshop, “Time Management for Women,” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Monday, May 19, presented by Chiquita Miller of K-State Extension. Call 913-906-8990 to register.

African-American Art Festival planned Aug. 9
The MoKan African-American Art Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at Quindaro Park, 35th and Sewell, Kansas City, Kan. Those attending the free event may bring a blanket, enjoy artwork, stilt walkers Gullah basket weathers, African drummers and dancers, food and vendors. For more information about having an art exhibit there or being a vendor, contact 913-788-7330.