Archive for August 2015

Holy Family Church to celebrate Slovenefest Sept. 26

Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)

Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)


Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)

Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)


by Kathy Hanis
Volunteers worked in the kitchen on Saturday morning at Holy Family Club to make homemade apple strudel for the upcoming Slovenefest 2015, on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The celebration will be held at Holy Family Club, at the Msgr. Mejak Hall, Gym and School Grounds, 513 Ohio, Kansas City, Kan.

It will run from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. All proceeds benefit Holy Family Church.

The 7th Annual Slovenian festival is dedicated in memory of Mike Waliczek, a long-time Holy Family church member who grew up in the parish and donated countless hours to support the church. .

The history of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Kansas City, Kan., is a story of faith, hope and love, of exemplary pastoral care and countless blessings from heaven. It is a testimonial to the courage, vision and generosity of the Slovenian immigrants who founded the parish over 100 years ago.

The Slovenian celebration will begin at 4 p.m., with a Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church, 274 Orchard St., Kansas City, Kan.

The family event will have children and adult games, entertainment, a cultural booth and souvenirs, and a silent auction. The authentic Slovenian dinner includes: choice of Polnjene Paprike (stuffed pepper) or Sarma (stuffed cabbage roll), Kranjska Klobasa (smoked sausage), Krvavica (specialty sausage), sauerkraut, Slovenian potato salad, green beans, bread and butter, one dessert, and choice of beverage, along with sandwiches and refreshments.

For more information, visit www.holyfamilychurchkck.com.

Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)

Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)


Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)

Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)


Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)

Volunteers are preparing for the annual Slovenefest benefit Sept. 26 at Holy Family Club. (Photo from Kathy Hanis)

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KCKCC Endowment Association names distinguished alumni of year and Wyandotte Countian of Year award winners

by Kelly Rogge

The Kansas City Kansas Community College 4.0 Gala might still be two months away, but the festivities are kicking off early with the announcement of the KCKCC Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award and the Wyandotte Countian of the Year Award winners.

The purpose of the Wyandotte Countian of the Year Award is to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the Wyandotte community. To qualify for the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award, nominees must have either attended or graduated from KCKCC.

Clausie Smith, former mayor of Bonner Springs, will receive the Wyandotte Countian of the Year Award and Bishop Ervin Sims Jr., former water department manager and former assistant general manager of the Board of Public Utilities, will receive the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award. The two awards will be a part of the KCKCC 4.0 Gala Oct. 24 at Lake Quivira. AT&T is the presenting sponsor for the 4.0 Gala.

“We feel these were great selections,” said Dawanna Fangohr, chair of the 4.0 Gala nomination sub-committee. “We had a great pool of nominees to choose from. The decision was not an easy one.”

Smith has been a part of the Wyandotte community since 1979. He served as a member of the Bonner Springs City Council for eight years before serving as Bonner Springs mayor from 2003 to 2013.

He currently serves on the United Way Board of Directors, the Mid-America Regional Council Board of Directors and the Vaughn-Trent Community Services Board of Directors and is the chair of the Wyandotte County Economic Development Inc.

In the past, he has been a member of the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chamber of Commerce, the Bonner Springs Optimist Club, the Kansas Mayor’s Association, the Greater Kansas City Economic Council and the Bonner Springs Centennial Park Committee.

A “newspaper man” for much of his life, Smith owned the Bonner Springs Chieftain until 2000. He is a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America, has coached a variety of sports over the years and was the Bonner Springs High School football statistician from 1981 until 2010. He also created and taught the “Youth in Government” Program at Bonner Springs High School.

“Even after suffering a stroke in 2010, he strove to quickly and fully recover in order to continue to serve the city,” said the nomination letter. “Clausie epitomizes the dedicated small town leader both as an elected official and more importantly as the unofficial leader and touchstone of the community.”

Sims is a native of Wyandotte County, attending Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools as well as KCKCC. He has a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Kansas and is the founder of the Mt. Carmel Redevelopment Corporation Inc. to improve the quality of life for Wyandotte County residents.

Since 1994, the MCRC has constructed 16 new homes for low to moderate-income families; completed a 61-unit senior citizen apartment complex and in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club, completed construction on the Breidenthal Community Center. He has also been pastor at Mount Carmel Church of God in Christ since 1980.

Sims’ ministry has reached far beyond the United States with mission trips to the Dominican Republic; Bristol, England; Ghana and Togo, West Africa and Cape Town, South Africa. For this service, the General Board of the National Church of God in Christ elevated him to the office of the bishopric. He was consecrated in 2011 to the office of jurisdictional bishop for Ghana, West Africa. He has also served as superintendent of the Kansas City District and in 2008 was appointed administrative assistant for Congregational Development in Kansas East.

Sims received the KCKCC Mid-American Education Award in 2005 and was recently honored with the street renamed from 12th Street and Garfield Ave. north to Jersey City Park to Ervin Sims Jr. Drive.

“I cannot think of anyone who is more hard working and dedicated to the people in the community he serves,’ said the nomination letter. “This is an honor that is well deserved for a man who is celebrating 20 years of steadfast service to this community.”

For more information about the 4.0 Gala, contact Dawanna Fangohr at 913-288-7675 or by email at dfangohr@kckcc.edu.

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

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Wichita man sentenced in plot to explode car bomb at airport

A Wichita, Kan., man working as an avionic technician for an aeronautics company and possessing restricted access to secure airport areas, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison today for attempting to explode a car bomb at the airport in Wichita, U.S. Attorney Barry R. Grissom and Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin announced.

Terry Lee Loewen, 60, pleaded guilty on June 8 to one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Loewen was arrested in December 2013 when he tried to enter the grounds of the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport for the purpose of exploding a bomb.

“Here in the heartland, terrorism will never shake our faith in the things this country stands for – freedom, fairness and opportunity,” Grissom said. “We won’t give way to those who would inflict violence on their fellow citizens.”

“Terry Loewen abused his privileged airport access to attempt to perpetrate a terrorist attack in Wichita,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “The National Security Division’s highest priority is protecting the United States against terrorist threats – both international and domestic. We will continue to pursue justice against those who seek to carry out violent attacks against Americans, whether at home or abroad.”

In his plea, Loewen admitted he came to the attention of the FBI late in May 2013 when he became a Facebook friend of a person who was posting comments advocating violent jihad. The FBI began communicating with Loewen through an undercover employee. After Loewen expressed his desire to engage in violent jihad, the undercover employee offered to introduce him to someone who could help him do it.

Loewen told the undercover employee he was waiting for what he called “the green light” from Allah to carry out a violent attack on a civilian target. He said that he did not expect to live through any of the attacks he had in mind. Loewen also said that he was inspired by the teachings of Osama bin Laden and Anwar Al Awlaki, and that he had downloaded thousands of pages of information on jihad.

In September 2013, Loewen sent photos of airplanes on the tarmac at the Wichita airport. He commented that he could have “walked over there, shot both pilots … slapped some C4 on both fuel trucks and set them off before anyone even called TSA.”

In October 2013, Loewen met with a second undercover FBI employee who Loewen believed was a “brother” and would help him blow up a plane. Loewen said that he had scouted the airport to determine a time and place for an attack that would be sure to kill as many people as possible.

Loewen assisted the second FBI employee in the final assembly of an improvised explosive device. He was not aware that the explosive materials used in the device were inert. In the early hours of Dec. 13, 2013, the second FBI employee picked up Loewen at a Wichita hotel. They drove to where the bomb was stored and finished wiring the device. When they reached the airport, Loewen used his badge twice at a card reader to attempt to get onto the tarmac before he was arrested.

Loewen was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Monti L. Belot of the District of Kansas.

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