Archive for Mary Rupert

Eagle Days features birds that recovered from injuries

A screech owl and children looked at each other during Eagle Days Saturday at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road. The event continues Sunday afternoon. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


by Mary Rupert

Injured eagles, falcons, hawks and other raptors were the center of attention at Eagle Days, an annual event held Saturday at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park.

The 16th annual event will continue on Sunday at the Schlagle Library and also at the James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road. One volunteer said she saw two eagles flying outside on Saturday at Wyandotte County Lake Park.

Two screech owls on display that were missing one eye each were helped by Operation WildLife to survive. They were both hit by cars as the owls were flying across a road, explained Bill Whinery, an Operation WildLife volunteer.

The birds of prey on display on Saturday during Eagle Days in Kansas City, Kan., were all unable to survive on their own, Whinery said. A turkey vulture named Louie that mistakenly identifies as a human because humans took him away from his natural family was another bird that would be unable to survive on its own in the wild, he said.

In the James P. Davis Hall at the lake park were about 15 other birds that Operation WildLife was helping. One was a young bald eagle rescued from Wyoming.

Whinery described the organization’s more than 25-year efforts to help injured birds and animals. The organization has a facility in Linwood, Kan.

While the goal of Operation WildLife is to rehabilitate birds and animals and release them back into the wild, there are some that cannot be released because of their condition, Whinery said. The two screech owls cannot see well enough to survive in the wild, he added.

While Operation WildLife is licensed by the state, it receives no state or federal funding and relies upon donations, Whinery said.

The annual Eagle Days event is sponsored by the Board of Public Utilities, Operation WildLife, the Kansas City, Kan., Public Library, the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools; and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City Kan., Parks and Recreation Department.

Hours on Sunday are noon to 4 p.m. at the Schlagle Library and noon to 4 p.m. at Davis Hall, both at Wyandotte County Lake Park. Programs will be presented indoors at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday at both locations.

All photos copyright 2017 by Mary Rupert

Bill Whinery, an Operation WildLife volunteer, held a turkey vulture that thinks it’s a human during Eagle Days on Saturday at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Operation WildLife volunteer Bill Whinery talked about birds of prey at the 16th annual Eagle Days Saturday at Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


An Operation WildLife volunteer showed a claw to a child during Eagle Days Saturday at the James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


An Operation WildLife volunteer described birds of prey during Eagle Days Saturday at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A large crowd listened to the Eagle Days program on Saturday at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A crowd gathered to hear the Eagle Days presentation Saturday at the James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Children and parents participated in Eagle Day activities Saturday in the newly remodeled upper floor of the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Operation WildLife volunteer Bill Whinery with the turkey vulture, Louie, who thinks he’s a human, at Eagle Days Saturday at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Operation WildLife volunteer Bill Whinery with the turkey vulture, Louie, who thinks he’s a human, at Eagle Days Saturday at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A screech owl, right, and a peregrine falcon, background, were among the birds on display Saturday at Eagle Days at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A boy looked at a screech owl on Saturday at Eagle Days at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A male peregrine falcon was on display Saturday at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library during Eagle Days. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A female peregrine falcon was on display during Eagle Days Saturday at James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A broadwing hawk was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Library. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A screech owl was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Environmental Library at Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A young bald eagle was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


An American kestrel was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A barn owl was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A coopers hawk was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A Harris hawk was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A merlin was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A prairie falcon was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A red-tailed hawk was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A rough-legged hawk was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A Swainson’s hawk was on display Saturday during Eagle Days at the James P. Davis Hall, Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Canada geese seemed to be everywhere at Wyandotte County Lake Park on Saturday. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


A fundraiser honored Moose, an Operation WildLife bald eagle that died. (Staff photo)


The Schlagle Environmental Library posted a list of birds that were spotted Saturday at Wyandotte County Lake Park. (Staff photo)

Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center adds new exercise equipment

Lidia Her, left, worked out on a new chest press strength training machine at the Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center in Kansas City, Kan. Alessandra Harmon, right, is a YMCA personal trainer and health coach. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


by Mary Rupert

New exercise equipment at the Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center might help residents make their New Year’s resolutions become a reality.

The Providence YMCA – Ball Family Center at 8601 Parallel Parkway in Kansas City, Kan., has added a new line of exercise and training equipment.

New strength training equipment and new cycling equipment at the YMCA represent a $200,000 upgrade, according to Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center executive director Chad Jansen.

The new equipment will be more effective in workouts and will help more individuals, according to Jansen, who has been executive director there about two months. He has more than 21 years experience with the YMCA.

Jansen said there has been a tremendous positive response from patrons to this new equipment, which has been in place about a month.

The YMCA also includes a new floor layout to accommodate the new equipment, he said.

A ribbon-cutting for the renovations was held today, with representatives of the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce participating.

Danny Helmich, healthy living director at the YMCA, said YMCA members who sign up for exercise programs can have a coach and a fitness coordinator.

When members sign up, their fitness coordinator and coach will be able to help them come up with a workout individually tailored for them, and it will specify what equipment they should use, Helmich said. The YMCA is working with area hospitals in specific programs for patients.

Besides individual workouts, there are also exercise classes and workshops for groups. There are more than 61 group exercise classes currently at the Providence YMCA – Ball Family Center, including water and land exercise classes, he said. Some classes are geared to active older adults. The center has about 7,000 members, according to YMCA officials.

Helmich said the new strength training equipment allows members to work the entire body and keeps track of their exercise.

Exercise classes keep people motivated, as participants often work with partners, and have instructors who encourage them to continue with their exercise, he said.

Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center executive director Chad Jansen, with scissors, cut the ribbon in a ceremony Thursday marking the renovations at the YMCA. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Danny Helmich, healthy living director at the YMCA, posed with several new bikes that are part of renovations at the Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


The Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center was busy with people exercising on Thursday morning. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center executive director Chad Jansen, left, welcomed guests to the center on Thursday. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Craig Gaffney, left, who serves on the executive board of the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the ribbon-cutting Thursday. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Daniel Silva, left, executive director of the Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce, made remarks at the ribbon-cutting event Thursday at the Providence YMCA-Ball Family Center. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Top stories of 2016 in Wyandotte County and KCK

A thin line of officers was stationed on North 22nd Street on July 19, 2016, after KCK police Capt. Robert David Melton was shot and killed. (File photo)


Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., saw some extreme highs and lows for the year 2016.

Here are some of the events that were important in Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County during the past year.

Police gathered to investigate the shooting death of KCK police Detective Brad Lancaster on May 8, 2016, near the Hollywood Casino. (File photo)

1. Two KCK police officers were killed in 2016 in the line of duty, responding to crime scenes. Tributes were held to honor Detective Brad Lancaster (May 9) and Capt. Robert David Melton (July 19).
http://wyandottedaily.com/kck-detective-shot-near-speedway/
http://wyandottedaily.com/kck-police-captain-dies-in-shooting/

2. Village West bonds were successfully paid off early this year, signaling a victory for officials who dreamed up the idea of The Legends and Village West a decade ago. Meetings in 2015 and 2016 were held on how to spend the windfall sales tax revenues. As a result, property tax rates were reduced slightly this year, and several other projects moved forward.
http://wyandottedaily.com/ug-commission-moves-forward-with-2-mill-property-tax-reduction/

A boy died in an accident on Aug. 7, 2016, on the Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn. (File photo)


3. The year saw a tragedy for the Schlitterbahn, a water park in Kansas City, Kan., and its ride, Verruckt, the world’s tallest water slide. On Aug. 7, during a Sunday event for the families of government officials, a boy who was the son of a state legislator from Olathe died in an accident on the ride. Later, the water park announced the ride will never run again.
http://wyandottedaily.com/boy-dies-on-schlitterbahn-waterslide/
http://wyandottedaily.com/schlitterbahn-to-remove-fatal-water-slide-in-kck/

4. There are expected to be changes after more GOP moderates were elected to the Kansas Legislature in November. While more Republican moderates won victory in Kansas Legislature, the more conservative candidate of two major parties took the White House in November. Next year there could be a possible state shift in the moderate direction, while a possible federal shift in the conservative direction. Also in the November election, Kansas Supreme Court justices survived a challenge from conservatives.
http://wyandottedaily.com/legislature-inches-toward-center-with-leadership-elections/
http://wyandottedaily.com/chief-justice-explains-role-of-court/

Mayor Mark Holland and American Royal officials announced the American Royal would build new facilities in Wyandotte County. (File photo by Murrel Bland)


5. After looking for a new home for years, the American Royal announced on Oct. 25 that it was moving from Kansas City, Mo., to an area between 110th to 118th, from State to Parallel Parkway, in Kansas City, Kan.
http://wyandottedaily.com/american-royal-proposes-to-move-to-wyandotte-county/

Police and community leaders pleaded with the public to come forward with information to solve homicides in early September. (File photo)


6. The homicide rate in Kansas City, Kan., and neighboring Kansas City, Mo., was up during 2016. Community forums were held in Kansas City, Kan., on ways to reduce violence.
http://wyandottedaily.com/leaders-plead-with-community-to-stop-violence-and-come-forward-with-information-to-solve-four-homicides/
http://wyandottedaily.com/residents-at-forum-point-to-unemployment-hunger-education-as-factors-in-communitys-crime/
http://wyandottedaily.com/community-forum-continues-on-how-to-reduce-violence-in-kck/

A groundbreaking was held Sept. 13, 2016, for a new Amazon distribution facility near the Turner Diagonal in Kansas City, Kan. (File photo)


7. Amazon announced it will build a new facility near Turner Diagonal.
http://wyandottedaily.com/more-than-1000-jobs-coming-to-kck-with-new-amazon-distribution-facility/

8. UG implements new program to reduce blight, tear down older properties and transfer delinquent properites.
http://wyandottedaily.com/ug-land-bank-tries-different-tactics-to-expedite-transfer-of-tax-delinquent-property/

Indian Springs mall was torn down during 2016. (File photo)


9. Indian Springs mall was demolished.

10. Kansas Supreme Court hears arguments in school finance case, whether funding is adequate, with a decision expected sometime during 2017. The Legislature passed a school finance bill in June to satisfy an earlier court decision on whether funding was equitable. Its decision in 2017 could affect the state’s financial condition.
http://wyandottedaily.com/oral-arguments-heard-in-school-finance-case/
http://wyandottedaily.com/kansas-supreme-court-accepts-school-finance-law-says-it-satisfies-court-order/

Among the notable leaders in the community who died during 2016 were Gloria Willis, long-time member of the Kansas City, Kan., Board of Education; Ray Byers, a Kansas City, Kan., architect; and Mary Ann Flunder, a long-time member of the Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees.
http://wyandottedaily.com/long-time-kck-school-board-member-gloria-willis-dies/
http://wyandottedaily.com/opinion-column-architect-left-much-to-community/
http://wyandottedaily.com/mary-ann-flunder-long-time-kckcc-board-of-trustees-member-and-mentor-to-many-dies/