Daily Archives: July 9, 2014

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Judge Kathleen Lynch

Judge Kathleen Lynch of Wyandotte County District Court was recognized by her peers at a recent judges conference for demonstrating innovation and leadership in how her court handles some of its busier dockets.

Lynch was given the Community Outreach and Education Award by the Kansas District Judge Association at a statewide conference for judges last month in Topeka. The award was presented to Lynch by Lawton Nuss, chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.

“I was honored and grateful to receive the award while at a conference with my fellow Kansas judges,” Lynch said. “It allowed me to immediately share my insights for what has worked in Wyandotte County, so a similar approach might be tried in other district courts.”

The Community Outreach and Education Award is given annually to a member of the Kansas judiciary who demonstrates extraordinary leadership and service in educating the public about courts and the judicial branch, with emphasis on developing public trust and confidence, and supporting access to justice and fairness.

Lynch was nominated by Wayne Lampson, who is chief judge of the Wyandotte County District Court.

“Judge Lynch made significant changes in the paternity docket and the protection from abuse and stalking dockets, which improved services provided to people before the court and reduced the number of problems these very difficult cases can have,” Lampson said.

One change introduced by Lynch was a partnership with the county mental health center, Wyandotte County domestic court services and the Wyandotte County court trustee to create a supervised visitation and exchange center for families in high-conflict divorce or paternity cases, or cases involving domestic abuse. The center is supported by a monthly fee its users pay.

Lynch also forged a partnership with the Wyandotte County court trustee to file instantaneous paternity actions for parties involved in the protection from abuse or protection from stalking docket. This allows for orders to be entered quickly to address parenting assessments through the court’s domestic court services, to determine proper child support and enforcement through the court trustee, and to establish an appropriate parenting plan using the supervised visitation and exchange center.

“Since we started instantaneous paternity actions in 2013, filings on the protection from abuse and protection from stalking docket have decreased by almost 50 percent,” Lampson said.

Lynch, who was largely responsible for the idea, said, “When courts help families come to an understanding on all the underlying issues, instances of abuse between the parties are greatly reduced.”

Another Lynch initiative involved training law enforcement on crisis intervention techniques officers can use when they encounter someone who is mentally ill. This training will soon be delivered to the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department.

She also organized monthly staffing of the mental health docket by community partners, including the county mental health center, the district attorney’s office, defense attorneys who work in this field, and municipal court judges and prosecutors.

Lynch also participated in a mapping initiative to identify gaps in the criminal justice system as it relates to the mentally ill. As a result, she was able to establish a jail diversion program in partnership with the Wyandotte County Sheriff, the county mental health center, and the Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center.

A process Lynch implemented allows for in-court reviews for involuntary commitments to better determine the status of the consumer and the services provided. This effort resulted in a 50 percent reduction in revocations related to commitment orders.
- Story from Kansas Supreme Court Office of Judicial Administration

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Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Jeff Henry, one of the owners of Schlitterbahn, designed the new Verruckt water slide. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

It finally happened, the world’s largest waterslide called Verruckt, which means insane, will open tomorrow. After many months of testing the slide finally will be open.

Today, there was a preview of the slide and everyone who rode the slide said it was awesome, including Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland.

“I’m a roller coaster fan and I thoroughly enjoyed the new waterslide,” Holland said. “It will take your breath away. I didn’t have any trouble going up the stairs, because I use the stairs whenever I can at the City Hall.”

Jeff Henry, one of the owners of Schlitterbahn, said, “When I designed this waterslide I wanted it to be the best waterslide that was ever made.”

Jamie Haggerty, who works for the Board of Public Utilities at the Muncie water plant, said it was amazing. “It will truly take your breath away,” he said. Jamie is a three-year veteran at the Muncie water station. He lives close and has watched the water slide being built.

“I cannot wait until it was done,” he said.

Another Wyandotte County resident, Philip Brown, who is an engineer at the water department, said it was awesome.

In the future, I, like a lot of residents in Wyandotte County plan to try the new waterslide myself.

Tomorrow will be the first day that the slide is open to the public. The lines for the ride will probably be long, so definitely go early. The park is at 94th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.

On Wednesday, the Schlitterbahn website said it is a soft opening and the hours may vary. Another page on the Schlitterbahn website said the Verruckt plans to open around noon each day beginning Thursday, July 10. The park opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. in July. Admission price listed on the website starts at $36.99 for adults and $28.99 for children 3-11 years old. For more information on when the Schlitterbahn Waterpark will be open go to the website, www.schlitterbahn.com.

Mayor Mark Holland went on the world’s tallest slide today at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. He said, “It will take your breath away.” (Photo by William Crum)

Jamie Haggerty and Marie Townsend of the Board of Public Utilities tried out the new Verruckt water slide on Wednesday at Schlitterbahn. (Photo by William Crum)

Phil Brown, an engineer at the Board of Public Utilities, said the new Verruckt water slide was “awesome.” (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg fractured the fourth metacarpal bone on his left hand during training on Wednesday at the Swope Soccer Village, according to a Sporting KC news release.

Surgery is not required and Kronberg is expected to miss approximately eight weeks due to the injury, a spokesman said.

Kronberg, 31, has started all 17 MLS matches for Sporting Kansas City during the 2014 season and leads Major League Soccer with seven shutouts and a 0.88 goals against average. The reigning MLS Player of the Month, Kronberg currently ranks third at his position in MLS All-Star fan voting behind only World Cup participants Nick Rimando (USA) and Julio Cesar (Brazil).

Sporting Kansas City selected Kronberg in the fourth round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of California. Now in his ninth professional season, Kronberg is the club’s longest-tenured player and has remained with his current club longer than any active MLS goalkeeper. Only one player (Davy Arnaud) in club history has been with the team for more than nine seasons and only three other active MLS players have longer tenures with their teams: Logan Pause (12), Landon Donovan (10) and Gonzalo Segares (10).

The club also announced on Wednesday that goalkeeper Jon Kempin has been recalled from his loan to USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy FC. The Leawood, Kan., native has five shutouts and 37 saves with a 1.38 goals against average in 13 games played during OKC Energy FC’s inaugural season.

The 21-year-old goalkeeper was Sporting Kansas City’s first Homegrown player upon signing in 2010 at age 17 and is now in his fifth professional season. Kempin made his competitive debut for Sporting KC during the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and made 34 saves in nine games while on loan with USL PRO champions Orlando City SC in 2013.

Kempin was a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and has extensive experience for the United States at the Youth National Team level. He most recently joined the United States Under-21 Men’s National Team in April and has also trained with the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team.
Kempin joins Andy Gruenebaum as the two available goalkeepers for manager Peter Vermes during Kronberg’s absence. Gruenebaum played his first eight professional seasons with the Columbus Crew before joining Sporting Kansas City prior to the 2014 season. The Overland Park, Kan., native started both matches for Sporting Kansas City in the 2014 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

– Story from Sporting KC

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