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KC Scout photo
KC Scout photo

A hit-and-run driver left the scene of an accident at 6:29 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at I-635 just north of Kansas Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol trooper’s report, a 2002 Jaguar and another vehicle were southbound on I-635 when the second vehicle made a lane change and struck the Jaguar.

The Jaguar then spun out of control, striking the barrier wall, according to the trooper’s report.

The second vehicle left the scene of the accident, the report stated. The make and model of the vehicle were unknown, according to the report.

The driver of the Jaguar, a 46-year-old man from Kansas City, Kan., was not injured, according to the report. The passenger, a 48-year-old Kansas City, Kan., woman, had a possible injury and was taken to the hospital, the report stated.

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KDOT graphic
KDOT graphic

The Kansas Department of Transportation says that there will be lane closures on eastbound and westbound I-70 from K-7 to 134th Street beginning at 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19.

The lanes will be reduced to one open lane in each direction for bridge deck removal, the spokesman said.

The lanes will reopen to all traffic at noon Saturday, Dec. 20, weather permitting, in Bonner Springs.

Second, there will be lane closures beginning Saturday night and continuing through noon Sunday. This lane closure will be on eastbound and westbound I-70 from K-7 to 134th Street, and will be reduced to one open lane in each direction for bridge girder removal work. The lanes will close at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and will reopen to traffic at noon Sunday, Dec. 21, weather permitting.

Third, there will be one open lane on westbound I-70 at K-7 for pavement marking work between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20.

A new ramp is set to open during the day on Saturday, Dec. 20, weather permitting, from westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 loop ramp (see illustration). It will open to unrestricted traffic in Bonner Springs.

Crews must complete pavement marking work before the ramp can be fully reopened to all traffic. If pavement marking work is not completed in time due to wet weather, the ramp will then reopen either on Sunday or Monday, Dec. 21-22, weather permitting.

Once the new westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 loop ramp (see ramp C in above photo) is opened to all traffic, within one to two days (Sunday-Tuesday, Dec. 21-23), weather permitting, the left turn lanes from the existing westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 ramp will be removed. Westbound I-70 traffic will no longer use this existing ramp to exit onto southbound K-7. The only movements available from the existing westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 ramp will be either right turns onto northbound K-7 or the through lane movement onto Canaan Drive.

Once the left turn lanes on the existing ramp are removed, westbound I-70 traffic wanting to access southbound K-7 must use the new westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 loop ramp C shown in the map above.

Drivers will be directed through the project work zone via message boards, signage and cones, according to the KDOT spokesman. Drivers should expect delays and should allow extra time for their weekend commutes. The Kansas Department of Transportation urges all motorists to be alert, obey the warning signs, and slow down when approaching and driving through the project work zone.

This ramp work is part of the K-7 and I-70 Interchange Project Phase 1 construction. Updated daily traffic information for this project and for the entire Kansas City metro area can be viewed online any time at

Clarkson Construction is the project contractor on this $18 million construction Phase 1 project. This portion of the project work is scheduled to be completed in late fall 2014.
(Information from KDOT)

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Joe Vaughan
Joe Vaughan

by Mary Rupert
A native of Kansas City, Kan., Joe Vaughan, has written a new historical book, “Thomas Johnson’s Story and the History of Fairway, Kansas.”

Vaughan said his book covers Shawnee Mission history that actually started in the 1830s in what is now Wyandotte County.

When the mission started in 1830, it was in the Turner area of what is now Kansas City, Kan., he said.

After President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830, requiring all native Americans to move west of the Mississippi, some churches started missions to the new area. The Methodist Church summoned the Rev. Thomas Johnson, the namesake of Johnson County, to start a mission, Vaughan said.

Johnson had 27 people in his first class. In those days he said, it was an aggressive movement by the churches to “Christianize and Americanize” the native Americans. Vaughan said his book’s wording remains true to the terminology used at the time, referring to the Shawnee Indian Mission.

The mission was originally in the Turner area because it was thought that trails coming west from Santa Fe and Independence would follow the Kansas River, he said. The missionaries knew that in 1831, Moses Grinter was going to set up the ferry crossing for the military between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott at what is now 78th and K-32 in Kansas City, Kan.

Johnson picked what is now Turner, on high ground around 55th and Metropolitan, to start his mission, Vaughan said. A historic marker currently is at the site, he added.

Possibly the first settler here to leave and move to Johnson County, Johnson and the mission left when it became apparent in 1839 that trails were going farther south. It also was difficult to haul water uphill from the Kansas River to downtown Turner, and the mission moved to where it is now on a little creek that moves through Fairway, Kan., according to Vaughan.

Johnson became a very powerful person, in the vacuum of any governments being in the area, he said. He was in the area before there was a city, county or state government.

The book traces the Shawnee Mission through the years of the territorial Legislature and into Kansas statehood in 1861.

“People talk of the strangeness of politics today,” Vaughan said. Johnson sometimes was on all sides of the issues. For example, he owned slaves but he eventually supported Kansas as a free state in the territorial elections.

The Shawnee Mission was closed in 1862 after statehood occurred. Johnson later moved to an area that was south of Kansas City, Mo., of the time, and lived on a 600-acre farm. It is believed he was murdered in 1865 in something resembling a home invasion by people who thought he had $1,000 at the house, Vaughan said. Apparently, it was not true that he kept money there, and the debt had already been paid off, Vaughan said.

Besides the history of Johnson, the book also covers historical information about Fairway, Kan., which was named for three golf courses surrounding it, he said. It was part of a J.C. Nichols development.

Vaughan remarked that resources for writing this book were very different from his previous book about the history of Kansas City, Kan. With the Kansas City, Kan., book, he had the use of photo resources at the Wyandotte County Museum, which was established in 1889.

For his latest book, the Johnson County Museum was not established until 1974 and did not have the same sorts of early photo resources. Also, there were no photos before the Civil War to show the early days of the Shawnee Mission.

Besides the current book, and the photo history of Kansas City, Kan., Vaughan has written a book about the history of radio in the area, and has written 50th anniversary books for the cities of Westwood and Mission, Kan.

The new book is 160 pages and sells for $21.95 retail. It is available at the Wyandotte County Museum book store and also at Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kan.,

Vaughan attended four Wyandotte County schools, Mark Twain Elementary, Northwest Junior High School, Wyandotte High School, and Kansas City Kansas Community College. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.

A former radio broadcaster, Vaughan is CEO of Joe Vaughan Associates in Prairie Village, Kan., and is a Prairie Village resident. He also serves on the Johnson County Water District No. 1 board. Currently, he is the chair of the United Way campaign in Wyandotte County.

He has several ties to historical groups, and is a past historian and past treasurer of the Wyandotte County Historical Society. He has been named historian of the year by the Wyandotte County Historical Society and Museum.