Filing deadline passes; candidate list expands for election in Wyandotte County

The candidate filing deadline passed at noon Thursday, June 1, and a list of candidates was posted around 3 p.m. by the Wyandotte County Election Commissioner’s office.

The primary election will be Aug. 1 and the general election will be Nov. 7.

Five candidates are running for mayor-CEO of the Unified Government. They include Incumbent Mayor Mark Holland, as well as David Alvey, a Board of Public Utilities member; State Sen. David Haley; D. Keith Jordan; and Janice Grant Witt.

Running for the Unified Government, at-large, District 2, are Tom Burroughs, currently a state representative, and John “J.D.” Rios, currently chair of the Kansas City Kansas Community College trustees.

Running for UG Commissioner, 1st District, are Incumbent Commissioner Gayle E. Townsend and Victor A. Harris.

Running for UG Commissioner, 5th District, are Incumbent Commissioner Mike Kane, Sarah Kremer, and John Fotovich.

Candidates for UG Commissioner, 7th District, include Incumbent Commissioner Jim Walters, Jim A. Gibson and George Cooper.

Candidates for UG Commissioner, 8th District, include Incumbent Commissioner Jane W. Philbrook, Brad Isnard and Kendon McClaine.

Running for Wyandotte County Sheriff are Incumbent Sheriff Don Ash, Charles W. Bunnell, Marvin L. Main, Celisha Towers and Victor Webb.

Running for the Board of Public Utilities, District 2, is incumbent Thomas W. Groneman.

Candidates for BPU member, at large position 1, include incumbent Mary Gonzales, Kevin Braun, Bryan Messmer and Nikole C. Owens.

Running for BPU member, at large position 2, are Ryan Eidson and John C. Martindale.

For the KCKCC Board of Trustees, regular term, the candidates are Evelyn Criswell, Thomas G. Earp, Colton J. Gibson, Linda Hoskins Sutton, Janice L. McIntyre, Leslie Smith, and Christal Watson.

Running for the KCKCC Board of Trustees, unexpired terms, are Rosalyn K. Brown and Tyrone Garner, both current KCKCC trustees.

Running for the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education, District 500, regular term, are Incumbent Irene Caudillo, Maxine Drew, Wanda Brownlee Paige, Joseph A. Straws III, Stacy Yeager, and Maria Cecilia Ysaac.

Running for the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education, District 500, unexpired terms are Incumbent Rick Behrens, Incumbent Janey Humphries, Harold Brown and Korri Hall Thompson.

Running for the Turner School Board, District 202, regular term, are Incumbent Joy D. Beery, Incumbent Jeff Davidson, Incumbent Steve Russell and Daniel Soptic.

Running for the Piper School Board, District 203, regular term, are Incumbent Desiree Fergus, John Bakarich III, Benjamin J. Bradley, Theresa Fisette and Jesse Smith.

Candidates for the Bonner Springs School Board, District 204, regular term, include Incumbent Kimberly Beets, Incumbent Jeff Tinberg, and Incumbent David J. Toland, and John H. Claxton.

Running for the Bonner Springs City Council are Incumbent Rodger Shannon, Jordan M. Mackey, Patricia E. Welicky, Tom Stephens, and Joe Peterson.

Running for Edwardsville mayor is Incumbent Mayor John “Tiny” McTaggart.

Running for Edwardsville City Council are Incumbent Jason T. Gillam, Incumbent Margaret Shriver, and Carolyn Caiharr.

Sex offender pleads guilty to transporting Virginia teen for sex

A registered sex offender from Kansas City, Kansas, pleaded guilty Wednesday to picking up a 16-year-old girl in Virginia and taking her across state lines to have sex with him, U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.

Logan Viquesney, 21, Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of a minor to engage in sexual activity. In his plea, he admitted he communicated with the victim over the internet while she was staying with her grandparents in Virginia.

On May 30, 2016, the victim was reported missing from her grandparents’ home. Investigators learned that Viquesney had driven to Virginia, picked up the girl, and taken her with him on a trip that took them from Virginia to Maryland, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. While on the trip, Viquesney had sex with the girl.

Viquesney was arrested after he arrived in Kansas City, Kan., with the girl.

Sentencing is set for July 31. Both parties have agreed to recommend a sentence of 15 years in federal prison.

Beall commended the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department, the Lenexa Police Department, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Flannigan for their work on the case.

12 new youth soccer fields open near 90th and State

Youth practiced their soccer skills during an announcement today of the opening of the Wyandotte Sporting Fields, 12 new soccer fields for youth near 90th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Youth practiced their soccer skills during an announcement today of the opening of the Wyandotte Sporting Fields, 12 new soccer fields for youth near 90th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Youth were kicking around soccer balls nearby while Gov. Sam Brownback and Mayor Mark Holland made speeches and participated in a ribbon-cutting this morning to open Wyandotte Sporting Fields at 1500 N. 90th, near 90th and State Avenue.

Twelve new soccer playing fields for youth, including eight with synthetic turf and four with natural grass, are on 52 acres between Parallel Parkway and State Avenue, west of 90th Street. About 1,000 parking spaces are at the new facility. It also has a concession and restroom area.

The project is expected to be part of a new boost for tourism and visitor dollars that will come to Kansas and Kansas City, Kansas, according to officials.

Gov. Sam Brownback today said that Kansas City, Kansas, is now the soccer capital of the United States. He was at the opening of the Wyandotte Soccer Fields near 90th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

“I am so impressed with it and with their vision that they’ve been pulling for, which is making Kansas City the soccer capital of the United States,” Gov. Brownback said. “And this is now the case, that Kansas City is the soccer capital of the United States.”

Gov. Brownback said the United States winning the World Cup is a lofty goal, and because of investments, efforts and vision like this, it will take place, with this as an epicenter.

About 1.3 million visitors are expected annually to the Wyandotte Soccer Fields, he said, and this is expected to have a profound economic effect in Kansas City.

Gov. Brownback said the project is a joint venture of the Sporting KC, the state, the UG, private sector, and a number of private entities. They are currently in their fourth STAR bond project in this area, he said, which invest sales tax revenues into the projects. The fourth is the American Royal project in western Wyandotte County.

“This is a model that works, and it’s been working well in this area,” Gov. Brownback said. “It’s been working well off a partnership of people that politically you could say don’t agree.”

Mayor Mark Holland today said that Sporting KC is on the cutting edge and sets a standard for excellence in the area. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Mayor Mark Holland said the goal of STAR bonds is to bring in visitors to the community and to the state who wouldn’t come here otherwise.

Holland said Sporting KC is “on the cutting edge” and sets the standard for excellence in Kansas City, Kansas, and in the metropolitan area, including at the soccer stadium, National Training and Coaching Center, youth fields and futsal courts.

“Wyandotte County is glad to host the fastest growing economy in the state, and glad to host the soccer capital of America for Kansas and for the whole metropolitan area,” Holland said.

Robb Heineman of Sporting KC said a goal is for the United States to win the World Cup in men’s competition. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Robb Heineman, CEO of Sporting Club, said this youth soccer complex was part of the original deal among the state, the Unified Government and Sporting in 2009.

“This facility over the course of the next 20 years will support hundreds of thousands of youth players here in the region,” Heineman said. The primary users will about 80,000 youth members through Sporting Club youth affiliates, and they will be joined by kids from throughout the nation who will come to the complex.

“Our goal is for the U.S. to win the World Cup on the men’s side,” Heineman said. “To win the World Cup, we feel like we need world-class assets.”

They started with Children’s Mercy Park, and then thought the U.S. needed a great training facility, he said. They wanted a facility where Kansas City can emulate the highest youth development, he added. About a mile west of the Wyandotte Sporting Fields, the National Training and Coaching Center is now being built.

As part of the original agreement with the UG and Sporting KC, 19 futsal courts also were built throughout Wyandotte County, at 10 locations, for local youth to play soccer in their neighborhoods. These are smaller soccer playing courts with an asphalt base. Some are located at parks and some are at schools throughout Wyandotte County.

The primary tenant of the Wyandotte Sporting Fields will be KC Fusion, according to information from Sporting KC. KC Fusion is a competitive youth soccer group that is affiliated with the Metro United Soccer Club.

The Wyandotte Sporting Fields is expected to be the host for youth soccer leagues, as well as for regional and national tournaments.

The new artificial turf fields will have computer-controlled lighting, according to information from Sporting KC. The natural grass fields will be irrigated.

According to information from Sporting Club, which owns Wyandotte Sporting Fields, Sporting Fields + Athletics will operate the athletic events held at Wyandotte Sporting Fields and also at Swope Soccer Village. Swope has nine full-size soccer fields and is the training site of Sporting KC, Swope Park Rangers and Sporting KC Academy. The Swope Park Rangers play in the Swope complex.

Gov. Sam Brownback, Mayor Mark Holland and other officials participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the Wyandotte Sporting Fields near 90th and State in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Youth practiced their soccer skills at the opening of the Wyandotte Soccer Fields today near 90th and State in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Youth practiced their soccer skills today at the opening of the Wyandotte Soccer Fields near 90th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)