Public comments on Stallings’ parole scheduled Jan. 26

Several persons, including Darrell L. Stallings, are scheduled to have a public comment session for parole at 10 a.m. Jan. 26 at Kansas City, Kan., City Hall, 701 N. 7th St.

Stallings, 45 received five “hard 50” sentences, with five consecutive life sentences, after five persons were killed in Kansas City, Kan., in June 2002. He was found guilty of intentional premeditated killing in the five deaths.

Public comments are allowed at the Jan. 26 meeting, with a parole hearing following in February.

Those who would like to express comments on the inmates but are unable to attend the public comment session may send a letter to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Prisoner Review Board, 714 S.W. Jackson St., Suite 300, Topeka, Ks. 66603.

Besides Stallings, those who are listed in the Jan. 26 public comment session are Marvin L. Thorton, aggravated battery against law enforcement officer, theft, burglary, and other convictions; Robert W. Gibbs, theft, first-degree murder; Rodney A. Sanders, first-degree murder, aggravated assault; Henry Lee Williams, second-degree murder; Kenneth Harrison, indecent liberties, aggravated sodomy; and Vernon Arrington, indecent liberties, aggravated sodomy.

For more information, visit http://www.doc.ks.gov/prb/public-comment-sessions/list and http://www.doc.ks.gov/prb/public-comment-sessions/schedule.

Volunteer opportunities to ‘Make It a Day On’ for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

by Cathi Hahner

On Jan. 19, the nation will honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. Communities will come together to remember King and the imprint he left on mankind. He was a man of faith, peace and of service.

One quote attributed to King that resonates with me is, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” This is the perfect time to do a self-examination and take inventory of your service to others.

What do you do to make your neighborhood, your community, your world a better place to be? Do you help your next door neighbor? Are you a scout leader or a little league coach? Do you tutor at the neighborhood school? Have you organized a food drive for the local food pantry? Do you have a couple hours a week to help at the local homeless shelter?

Opportunities to serve are nearby. Our youth need strong adult role models who can mentor, tutor, coach and lead. The homeless need shelter and the hungry need food. The sick need comforting. All these needs can be met by the generosity of great volunteers. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” Be great … honor the memory of King through your volunteer service.

Local celebrations include the 30th annual KCK Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration at Jack E. Reardon Convention Center. The event will kick off with a ‘”Motorcade for Hunger” which aims to both call attention to the plight of the hungry and collect food for local pantries. Volunteers are needed to join with their vehicles as the motorcade drives a selected route through the community spreading the word about hunger. Motorcade vehicles will meet at 9 a.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church, 4th and Richmond. The route will depart promptly at 10 a.m. and end at the convention center.

Volunteers are also welcome to organize a food drive prior to the motorcade or bring non-perishable items to the United Way office, 434 Minnesota, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday-Friday prior to the event. For more information contact Cathi at chahner@unitedway-wyco.org or Emily at eworm@unitedway-wyco.org or call 913-371-3674, Ext. 1308.

Rosedale Development Association is holding “RISE: Reading Inspirational Stories to Empower,” where community volunteers read a story about civil rights to school-age children for about 30 minutes throughout the week. For more information contact Andrea Steere at 913-677-5097 or ahnna@rosedale.org.

To celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. this year, take the MLK Day Challenge by making a commitment to serve not just on one day, but throughout the year. For information on how you can be great through service check out the website at www.unitedway-wyco.org and click on volunteer.

Cathi Hahner is director of volunteer services, United Way of Wyandotte County.

Lane work being done at westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 ramp

On Thursday, Jan. 15, the left turn lanes from the existing westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 ramp will be closed permanently as crews remove and install new pavement markings on the ramp, according to the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The new westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 ramp opened to traffic on Monday, Dec. 22, and is currently open to all traffic, KDOT stated.

In order to complete the closing of the old ramp and the pavement marking, the existing westbound I-70 to northbound K-7 ramp will be closed to all traffic between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, the KDOT spokesman stated.

Westbound I-70 to northbound K-7 ramp traffic will use the new westbound I-70 to southbound K-7 ramp to access K-7 and Canaan Drive during this day-long ramp closure, the spokesman stated.

Intermittent traffic delays with lane restrictions on the ramp are possible, as crews do preparatory work from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, weather permitting, the spokesman said.

This ramp access movement has two left turn lanes, one left turn lane is currently closed via a variable message board advising that the upcoming removal of both turn lanes will occur, the spokesman said. This traffic change is very temperature dependent due to the painting of the new pavement markings. All ramp access is currently available via the new westbound I-70 southbound K-7 ramp.

Once the left turn lanes are 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, according to the KDOT spokesman.