Archive for Mary Rupert

8,000 flags honoring fallen warriors going up along State Avenue on Schlitterbahn grounds

Jackson Poznich helped place flags along State Avenue in front of the Schlitterbahn waterpark on Thursday morning. He was there with his father, who works at the Home Depot in Olathe. About 8,000 flags are being placed near 94th and State Avenue by the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

About 8,000 flags are going up on the Schlitterbahn waterpark grounds in Kansas City, Kansas, from the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation project.

The small flags, which will be visible from State Avenue around 94th Street, are in memory of the casualties in the Wars on Terror, to honor their service during American Heroes Week through June 4, according to Jack Barnes, president of the AFWMF.

“These 8,000 casualties are about everything,” Barnes said.

He said volunteers from AFWMF, Home Depot and service organizations are helping to place the flags. Home Depot donated the flags, and the Home Depot stores in Olathe and Lawrence were represented by volunteers.

On Thursday morning, some members of the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department also stopped by to help place flags.

Visitors may come out and look at the flags and walk around, Barnes said. The monument project plans to have a table there to hand out information.

“We want to build community awareness; this year we chose Schlitterbahn because they said, ’Would you team up with us,’ ” Barnes said.

Barnes, who is a 24-year Navy veteran, said the project also had a similar flag display last year at City Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The American Fallen Warrior Monument Project wants to build a monument in Kansas City, Kansas.

Currently, the project will not be going to the former City Park site, but the foundation is now looking at sites in western Wyandotte County, including near the Kansas Speedway, near the American Royal area and possibly near the Woodlands area.

Visitors may view the flags from the parking lot area without paying an admission fee to the Schlitterbahn waterpark. Schlitterbahn will offer American Heroes Week from May 29 through June 4. The waterpark will open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, May 26, continuing those hours through May 29.

From Memorial Day, May 29, through June 4, members of the military, police, firefighters and EMTs will receive free admission at all Schlitterbahn waterparks. U.S. military veterans also will be admitted for free. Spouses and dependents will receive 50 percent off the regular price of a ticket.

Those who receive free admission and discounts will need to show their military identification or their proof of employment at the waterpark ticket booths. Members of the military who receive free admission will include active duty, retirees, veterans, reservists and Department of Defense. For more information, see

Flags lined the north side of State Avenue near 94th Street in a memorial tribute to veterans from the American Fallen Warriors Memorial Foundation. The flags are in front of Schlitterbahn waterpark, which will be celebrating American Heroes Week from Memorial Day through June 4. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

John Droppelmann Jr. of the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department helped place flags on Thursday morning along State Avenue near 94th, in front of the Schlitterbahn waterpark. Schlitterbahn will be marking American Heroes Week from Memorial Day through June 4. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Steve Salazar of the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department helped place flags on Thursday morning in front of the Schlitterbahn waterpark at 94th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Volunteers came from the surrounding communities, including from Kansas City, Kansas, to help place flags in front of the Schlitterbahn waterpark on Thursday morning. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)


Haley re-considers run for mayor

Window on the West
Opinion column

by Mary Rupert

Sen. David Haley

State Sen. David Haley, D-4th Dist., said last week he is thinking again about running for mayor.

It’s not because he wants to, Sen. Haley said, it’s because he just doesn’t see anyone he would like to vote for among the four candidates who have filed. If there was someone else he could support, he would like to. His comments are reminiscent of a voter dissatisfaction held by many before last year’s presidential election.

The four candidates who have filed are incumbent Mayor Mark Holland, and challengers David Alvey, D. Keith Jordan and Janice Witt.

“I’d like to have a candidate to run, to encapsulate the true hopes and possibilities of a broader Wyandotte County,” Sen. Haley said.

Explaining his comment, he said in a very broad sense, the county is now the beneficiary of ancillary revenue being generated by the Kansas Speedway and Village West area. At the top of the agenda would be what the county could do with additional resources from Village West, and how could the community share in the bounty of it. That includes the reduction of taxes.

While he is aware of the healthy campus proposal, the northeast redevelopment plan and the SOAR initiative to address blight, he said he just didn’t have faith in any of the four candidates to follow through on them.

The UG’s charter also needs to be redone, he said, and there needs to be a provision in it that ensures that vacant positions will be filled in a timely manner. It also needs to be examined to make sure that commissioners from all UG districts can run for mayor without giving up their positions.

“I’m not alone, I need someone to vote for,” he said. So far, he has no announcement that he will run, but he is considering it, he added.

Sen. Haley has worked with colleagues in his party and across the aisle in the Kansas Senate in order to get several bills passed during his tenure.

Filing deadline for the city and school board offices is at noon June 1.

To contact Mary Rupert, editor, email


Tornado watch issued in Wyandotte County

A tornado watch has been issued for Wyandotte County until 7 p.m. today, according to the National Weather Service.

Residents should remain alert to changing weather conditions today, the weather service said.

Also under a tornado watch are Johnson, Leavenworth, Douglas and several other Kansas counties, along with Jackson, Clay, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri.

Wyandotte County is still under a wind advisory until 7 p.m. tonight.

For more weather information, visit