Column: Thanks to all our volunteers

Window on the West
Opinion column

Today, we’d like to reprint a column originally published on Nov. 27, 2017.

by Mary Rupert

At this time of the year, thankfulness seems to be the fitting expression.
I would like to say thanks to all the volunteers who have helped this past year at the Wyandotte Daily.

Our volunteer writers, who have journalism degrees, give up their time to help the community become better informed about current events. Our volunteer photographers likewise have spent hours of their own time to bring you a glimpse of what’s happening in the community.

They know that it is important to have an independent presence to detail important events and issues here. Without them, the community would not be as well informed.

Thanks again to our volunteers, and to all who make it possible for us to cover the news in the community. We wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email

Game wardens seek information on deer dumped at Wyandotte County Park

Three deer were found dumped at Wyandotte County Park, 126th and State Avenue, Bonner Springs, recently. (Photo from Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism)

Game wardens with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism are seeking information about three deer that were dumped at Wyandotte County Park, 126th and State, Bonner Springs.

Lt. Glenn Cannizzaro, a game warden with KDWPT, said that someone dumped three deer carcasses at the park between Nov. 21 and 22.

Two does and one buck were dumped, and the antlers were cut off the buck, he said.

At least one of them appeared to have been shot with a rifle, Lt. Cannizzaro said.

“They were field-dressed,” he said. “They weren’t killed there, they were dumped there.”

Authorities do not know where the deer were killed, he added. The Missouri deer season was open, and it is possible they were harvested in Missouri and then dumped in Kansas, he added, although that is unknown at this time. He doesn’t know at this time whether they were legally harvested or not.

“We’re trying to figure out why they dumped them, and whether they had proper permits, where they were harvested,” he said.

Deer hunting with a firearm is illegal in Wyandotte County, he said. Firearms deer hunting doesn’t start until Dec. 4 statewide in Kansas, but it is not allowed in Wyandotte County, where there is an ordinance stating that firearms discharge is illegal, he said. Bowhunting deer in Wyandotte County is legal during hunting season. There are separate dates for bowhunting season. Permits are required for hunting.

While there was some speculation on social media that perhaps the deer were dumped because they were diseased, Lt. Cannizzaro said there is no way to tell that without testing. He added it was not likely that all three of them were diseased. Also, he said chronic wasting disease has been found in western and central Kansas, but there are no cases in eastern Kansas.

He asked anyone with information about the case to contact him at 785-256-1206.

Possible vandalism reported to John Brown statue in KCK

A photo taken on July 27, 2019, and published on Aug. 14, 2019, showed the scroll missing from the right hand of the John Brown statue near 27th and Sewell in Kansas City, Kansas. Part of the right hand also was missing. (File photo, Wyandotte Daily)
The community gathered to rededicate the John Brown statue in April 2018. Vandalism to the statue had been repaired at that time. A scroll could be seen in the statue’s right hand at that time. (Wyandotte Daily file photo from April 2018)

by Mary Rupert

Marvin Robinson III noticed on Nov. 19 that there was damage to the John Brown statue near 27th and Sewell in Kansas City, Kansas.

The statue had been vandalized previously, and was restored in 2018, when a ceremony was held at the site in April 2018.

The vandalism comes during a time when the Quindaro Ruins are being developed into a historic site that may attract visitors who are interested in the history of the Underground Railroad. The area has been named the Quindaro Townsite National Commemorative Site. Quindaro is a pre-Civil War town on the Missouri River in Wyandotte County that was settled by Wyandot Indians, abolitionists and African-Americans.

According to Robinson, he had received calls about concerns at the Quindaro Ruins, Quindaro Cemetery and truck activity, and he asked the callers to contact the Unified Government, mayor’s office or commissioners’ office.

As he stopped to visit the John Brown Memorial on Nov. 19, Robinson saw that the scroll in the statue’s right hand, and part of the right hand, was gone.

It appeared to have been chiseled, according to Robinson.

“It traumatized me, it’s like everybody’s so busy throwing barriers and interceptors in the way of trying to get the archaeological foundations to be a non-priority,” Robinson wrote. He has supported more archaeological work to be done at the Quindaro Ruins.

“I just don’t get it,” Robinson stated about the reason behind the vandalism.

File photos from the Wyandotte Daily showed there was no scroll in the statue’s hand when a photo was taken of the statue on July 27, 2019. There was a scroll in the hand in a photo taken in April 2018 of the restored statue.

The nearby historic Quindaro Cemetery is also a concern for Robinson, who had received phone calls about it.

On Nov. 20, Robinson went to the Quindaro Cemetery and saw heavy equipment vehicles, a crane and bulldozer nearby.

According to Robinson, the road had sunk to almost the height of the Quindaro Creek.

Robinson had received photos from residents showing tombstones that had been tossed about, he stated.

A grave marker for James Milton Turner, a Union Army soldier, had been completely knocked over, he stated. A long unseen World War II veteran’s grave marker is now at the edge of a new road that has been cut through, he added.

He talked with a heavy equipment operator who had contracted with Phillips 66 to do pipeline maintenance, he stated.

“I was just trying to tell the contract worker, that just because it’s a cemetery, the people whose loved ones are buried here, still love their family members,” Robinson stated.

He stated he wants to ask Phillips 66 to meet with family members to address solutions.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department is investigating the possible vandalism to the John Brown statue, and is looking at whether it is new damage or damage from the year before, according to a spokesman.

Story and photos copyright 2019 by Mary Rupert