Archive for Mary Rupert

Death toll rises to five in crash near I-70 toll plaza

Five people died in a six-vehicle crash this afternoon near the toll plaza on I-70 in Leavenworth County. A fire engulfed two semis. (KC Scout photo)


During further investigation this evening, emergency crews have now determined that there were five fatalities and six vehicles involved in the accident, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Turnpike Authority stated.

The investigation is ongoing, she stated. Westbound I-70 is still closed at mile marker 218, according to KC Scout.

Earlier report:

Four people are dead after a crash about 2:30 p.m. about 2 miles east of the Kansas Turnpike Authority I-70 toll plaza.

Four vehicles, including two semis, a car and a sport utility vehicle, were involved in the crash on westbound I-70, said Rachel Bell, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

Both trucks were engulfed in fire after the crash, she said.

The accident location was in Leavenworth County. Traffic had been backed up on I-70 into Wyandotte County.

I-70 was shut down in both directions for a few hours, and eastbound I-70 has now reopened, Bell said. Westbound I-70 was still shut down as of 4:50 p.m.

Bell said initial reports show that one of the semis struck the back of the car and SUV, and afterward, struck a second semi. The cause of the accident is under investigation, she said.

The four persons who died were in the car and the SUV, she said. One truck driver was injured and taken to a hospital, she added.

One of the trucks involved in the wreck was hauling frozen food, Bell said.


KCKCC ‘wall of candidates’ encourages students to vote

Gary Bradley-Lopez, president of the Student Senate at KCKCC, is encouraging students to get involved and vote in this year’s elections. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Today is voter registration deadline for primary election

Candidate forum planned tonight

by Mary Rupert

Students and employees at Kansas City Kansas Community College are seeing a “wall of candidates” in the lower Jewell building on campus at 7250 State Ave.

On the wall are photos and information about the candidates who are seeking office in the primary election on Aug. 1, according to Gary Bradley-Lopez, KCKCC student president. Candidates for mayor, Unified Government Commission, sheriff, Board of Public Utilities, KCKCC Board of Trustees, school boards and other offices are listed.

Bradley-Lopez said the “wall of candidates” is sponsored by the Student Senate and the Student Activities office at KCKCC. Students may pass by the wall on the way to the deli or the library.

He said the main purpose in putting this display about candidates together was to make students aware.

“A lot of students feel that their vote does not matter, and they feel like politics is just ‘poli-tricks,’ where the political system has no engagement with the people,” Bradley-Lopez said. “One thing they don’t know is a lot of times local elections are the biggest elections, because that’s actually what helps the people, and our votes do matter there.

“That’s how we want students to feel,” he said. “Your votes do matter here.”

Bradley-Lopez said that Tracy Reed, student activities secretary, did a lot of the work and posted all the information about the candidates on the wall.

Bradley-Lopez said he is considering a future in politics, including a run one year in the future for the UG Commission, and is planning to major in theater.

Voter registration deadline today

Bradley-Lopez noted that today, July 11, is the voter registration deadline for the primary election. Those who are not already registered to vote for the primary may register until 5 p.m. today at the Wyandotte County election office, 850 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas. The KCKCC display also has printed forms for voter registration available. More information on registration is at

Voter registration also is online at Those who have not previously registered to vote in Kansas will need a birth certificate or other accepted identification.

Advance voting begins on July 12, and more information on it is available on the election commissioner’s website.

Candidate forums planned

Tuesday, July 11, also is the date of a Unity with a Purpose candidate forum for mayor and sheriff candidates from 6 to 9 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 500 Nebraska Ave., Kansas City, Kansas. It is open to the public.

Another candidate forum is scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, July 18 and 19, at the upper Jewell building at KCKCC, 7250 State Ave. The forum will begin at 6 p.m. The forum is sponsored by Business West, Central Avenue Betterment Association and the Historic Northeast-Midtown Association. There are plans to show the forum on the KCKCC cable channel before the primary.

Bradley-Lopez said the KCKCC Student Senate also will be holding a forum after the primary for the general election candidates.


New South Patrol police station completed

Mayor Mark Holland, left, and Commissioner Ann Murguia cut the ribbon for the new South Patrol police station today. The station is at South 21st and Metropolitan Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

The ribbon was cut today on a new South Patrol police station at South 21st and Metropolitan Avenue that is built on top of a former Superfund site that has been remediated.

The new building, budgeted for $2.25 million, has about 6,030 square feet, according to Unified Government officials. The building received a $400,000 grant from the state of Kansas, and tax-increment financing was used.

The property was vacant for a number of years previously, having served at one time as a silver smelting operation. It was cleaned up and reclaimed to be used again for development.

“This is another example of Kansas City, Kansas, moving forward, reinvesting in the infrastructure of our community, and reinvesting in the infrastructure of our public safety,” Mayor Mark Holland said.

He added that 95 percent of police work is not done within the police station, but out on the streets. He asked for a moment of silence in memory of two Kansas City, Kansas, police officers who were killed last year in the line of duty.

The building is expected to provide a new feeling of safety to the Argentine area’s stores, businesses and residents. Just west of the police station is the Walmart Neighborhood Market, with a Save-a-Lot grocery store to the east. The former police station, a smaller building originally designed to be a house, was on South 34th Street. The new station is also close to 18th Street Expressway and U.S. 69.

The new building is technologically up-to-date for the Police Department’s future use of car and body cameras, according to officials.

Residents of the Argentine area have worked about five years to get the project to completion, according to officials.

Third District Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia, who did a lot of work for the new police station, thanked those involved in the project, and presented plaques to Mario Escobar, former executive director of the Argentine Betterment Corp., Pat Dunn of the Southwest Argentine Neighborhood Group; and also presented a barbecue grill from charitable donations to Police Chief Terry Zeigler.

Zeigler said he appreciated the work that everyone had done toward making the project a reality.

He said the new station has an open-floor concept, open rafters, a break room, locker room, and a community room with glass walls.

“Little things make a big difference for police officers, and we’re just so glad those things were incorporated in the design,” he said.

There is hope that community members will have meetings at the new police station, and interact with officers, he said.

“We truly do have a community policing philosophy, and that went into this design-build,” Zeigler said.

The report desk should be staffed in a few months, for community members to walk in and make reports as they currently do at the Indian Springs Midtown police station, he said.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held outdoors in a heat advisory, with a heat index of over 100 degrees, which may have shortened some speeches. The Frost Loya Band provided musical entertainment.

A representative of the Walmart Neighborhood Market presented a grant for $2,500 to the police station.

Crossland Construction was the contractor and Hoefer Wysocki was the architect for the project, with Davidson Architecture and Engineering.

The new South Patrol police station is at South 21st and Metropolitan Avenue. A ribbon-cutting for the new building was held today. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

The new South Patrol police station in Kansas City, Kansas, has a little over 6,000 square feet and was budgeted for $2.25 million. The ribbon was cut for the station today. (State photo by Mary Rupert)

Inside the new South Patrol police station, there is an open-floor concept with open rafters. A ribbon-cutting and tour of the station was held today. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

The audience found some shade under a canopy during today’s ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the new South Patrol police station at South 21st and Metropolitan. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

A color guard stood in front of the new South Patrol police station at South 21st and Metropolitan Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

The flag was raised during ceremonies today at the new South Patrol police station in Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Dustin Dierenfeldt of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department sang the national anthem today at the ribbon-cutting for the new South Patrol police station. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

“This is another example of Kansas City, Kansas, moving forward,” said Mayor Mark Holland at today’s ribbon-cutting for the new South Patrol police station. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Third District Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia, who led the effort for a new South Patrol building, thanked everyone involved in the effort. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia presented a plaque to Mario Escobar, former director of the Argentine Betterment Corp., for his volunteer efforts. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Kansas City, Kansas, Police Chief Terry Zeigler noted that new South Patrol police station has an open design concept, and he hopes the community will use the meeting room and interact with police officers. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Jenny Webb of the Walmart Neighborhood Market presented a check for $2,500 to Police Chief Terry Zeigler at today’s ribbon-cutting. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., who is running for mayor, visited with people before the start of the program for the new police station. (Staff photo)