Severe thunderstorm watch in effect

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Johnson counties until 1 a.m. July 8, according to the National Weather Service.

At 9 p.m., weather service radar showed a major storm to the north of the Kansas City area, near St. Joseph, Mo.

The radar map also showed a second group of storm clouds west of Topeka.

For the latest weather information, visit


UG looks to refinance Legends theater bonds

The Unified Government Commission will be looking at refinancing the Legends theater bonds on Thursday, July 10.

The $6.9 million refinance was discussed at a UG Economic Development and Finance Committee Standing Committee meeting Monday night.

Lew Levin, UG chief financial officer, said a payment of $6.8 million is due on Aug. 1, and the refinancing would allow the UG to extend the financing for four years.

The proposed terms with Security Bank are 2.75 percent, $100,000 annually, he said. There is another balloon payment in four years of $6.6 million.

“It allows the government to look for opportunities to move forward with the sale of the theater while at the same time continuing to pay off the debt on the theater,” he said.

Doug Bach, UG administrator, said since the Legends theater was designed and built, the UG has never put any general funds into it, but all of the costs have been covered by theater operations.

“It was done originally to bring a movie theater into Wyandotte County, where we were without one at the time, so it has been a great asset,” Bach said. “We are looking at options, we think there is a market that has returned to our venue at this time that we could look at for a potential sale. Our economic development department is pursuing that to see whether or not it is viable.”

But the top priority is to keep a good-quality theater in Wyandotte County that will have long-lasting sustainability, he said. As long as costs are covered, the UG does not feel it needs to hurry to find a buyer. If a quality buyer is found that would maintain the theater over a long period, the staff would come back to the commission and recommend the sale, he said.


Vaughan named honorary chairman for United Way campaign

Joe H. Vaughan is returning to his roots in Wyandotte County this fall as the honorary chairman of the United Way of Wyandotte County’s 2014 campaign.

Vaughan grew up in Wyandotte County and is a graduate of the Kansas City, Kan., Public School System and Kansas City Kansas Community College.

“We are happy to have Mr. Vaughan as our honorary campaign chairman,” said Wendell Maddox, president-CEO of the United Way of Wyandotte County. “He has a great history of service to his community and will bring a unique skill set and perspective to our upcoming campaign.”

Graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, Vaughan was a broadcast journalist in the Midwest until 1990 when he founded Joe Vaughan Associates, a publishing services company.

Since then he has published “coffee table” books for the 50th anniversaries of several Johnson County municipalities as well as monthly newsletters and other publishing services. For more than a decade he has been a guest lecturer for KCKCC’s Regional History class. Invested in the communities that surround him, Vaughan received numerous community services awards for the work he has done on multiple boards and associations.

Vaughan is excited about United Way of Wyandotte County’s annual campaign coming up this fall which has recently announced its 2014 campaign theme “Live Heroic.”

“It’s an honor to be on the United Way of Wyandotte County team,” Vaughan said. “With all of the funding cutbacks at the state and federal level, it is more important in 2014 that folks support the campaign. Lots of folks in Wyandotte County need the United Way now more than ever!”

United Way of Wyandotte County will kick off its Live Heroic annual campaign with its annual kick-off luncheon set for 11:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at the KCKCC Technology Center. United Way encourages the community to support the Wyandotte community by attending this luncheon or by donating to the Live Heroic campaign. Further information can be found at the United Way of Wyandotte County website, or by calling 913-371-3674.