Archive for Business

Legends Outlets giving away prizes valued at over $50,000 on Black Friday

The Legends Outlets at I-435 and I-70 in Kansas City, Kansas, will open to shoppers at 6 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, with more than $50,000 in prize giveaways.

The shopping center will be officially closed on Thanksgiving Day, with only a few stores and restaurants there deciding to remain open, according to a spokesman.

Prize giveaways, activities for children, holiday music, photos with Santa Claus and other activities are planned for Black Friday, according to the spokesman. Shopping hours will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday.

Legends Outlets will have a Scratcher Giveaway Headquarters with 400 total scratch-to-win prizes totaling more than $50,000, according to the spokesman.

At 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., the first 200 shoppers at the Scratcher Giveaway Headquarters will receive a scratch-off card for prizes valued up to $300. The headquarters is in Suite C-103, across from Victoria’s Secret and next to the Sunglass Hut stores in the Legends center courtyard.

Scratch-to-win prizes include a $300 H&M gift card; a leather handbag from Wilsons Outlet; a $100 Granite City gift card; a Fuji Film Instax Camera, a year’s supply of Noodles and Company, Harmon Kardon Wireless Speaker, and an Airhogs Stunt Drone.

There will be a limit of one scratch-off card per person, for ages 16 and older, while supplies last at 6 a.m. The cards must be scratched and prizes must be claimed, while inside the Scratcher Giveaways Headquarters.

Throughout the day, shoppers may register for the Legends Outlets VIP Club at its tent in the center courtyard for the chance to win prizes. The first 200 new registrants at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. will receive an exclusive, Black Friday VIP Bag filled with special coupons and in-store offers. Select VIP Bags will include a special, mystery prize. There is a limit of one VIP Bag per new VIP Club registrant, ages 16 and older, while supplies last at 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

A live disc jockey will be on site from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. to play festive music. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mix 93.3 will broadcast live music throughout the center.

Selfies with Santa will return from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Black Friday. Guests are invited to bring their own camera and capture a photo with Santa for their own holiday memories. There will not be a professional photographer on hand.

Another highlight of Black Friday will be an Airstream Lounge KC at the Legends Outlets from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Black Friday. This is a photo lounge inside a vehicle in the tower courtyard near Legends Outlets’ smokestack. Guests and their families may take photos and capture special holiday memories.

Kids’ activities are scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Black Friday, and they will include face painting, balloon artists, an elf on stilts, a magician and visiting with Olaf from “Frozen.”

Nearly 75 brand-name outlet stores are located at the Legends Outlets, including J. Crew Factory, Banana Republic Factory Store, Brooks Brothers Factory Store, Gap Factory, Coach, Nike Factory, Express Factory Outlet, Under Armour Factory House, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory store and the new H&M.

There is a complete list of Black Friday sales and promotions online at


KCK Chamber of Commerce focuses on immigration issue

Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

Monsignor Stuart Swetland was a Rhodes Scholar who studied economics at Oxford University in England during the 1980s. However, when commenting about immigration reform at a recent Legislative Committee meeting at the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce, he said he depends on his compassionate views as a Roman Catholic clergyman rather than a student of economics. Monsignor Swetland is the president of Donnelly College.

His comments came after a very spirited discussion among members of the Legislative Committee. Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a conservative member of the Kansas Senate, reminded committee members that there are laws on the books that are being violated by immigrants who have entered the United States illegally or those who are here with expired visas.

Another matter to the immigration issue concerns children who came here at a very young age with their undocumented parents and have been here for several years. Many of these persons are grown and are productive members of society.

Although I admire the comments from Monsignor Swetland in his plea for compassion, the cold, hard facts dictate that many industries would be hard-pressed to operate if all of the undocumented immigrants were forced to leave this country. So it does come down to a matter of economics. Those industries that are most vulnerable include restaurants, hotels, landscaping and construction, particularly homebuilding.

I recently had a conversation with a dry wall contractor who does extensive work in the single-family housing trade. He said most of his workers are first-generation Mexican immigrants; they are very good workers, he said.

In past years, the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce has made it quite clear that immigration is a federal problem. That is consistent with the Chamber’s Legislative Committee’s present proposed position on the immigration issue:

“Encourage federal resolution to immigration reform. Said federal resolution should compassionately address situations of individuals currently in the country. Oppose state legislation increasing penalties or threatening the business licenses of employers who have unintentionally hired illegal workers.”

The Chamber’s Board of Directors will consider this issue when it meets later this month.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.


Kansas business owner pleads guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns

A former resident of Overland Park, Kansas, pleaded guilty today to aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false income tax returns.

The plea was announced by acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Beall for the District of Kansas.

According to documents filed with the court, Alfred Reece, 58, owned and operated a tax preparation business in Kansas City.

From approximately 2013 through 2015, Reece prepared federal tax returns for individuals, claiming false business income and losses, medical and dental expense deductions, job-related expenses, charitable donations and other fraudulent items, according to federal officials.

Reece also concealed himself as the preparer on these fraudulent returns by falsely claiming that they were self-prepared, officials said. Reece admitted to causing a tax loss of between $550,000 and $1.5 million, according to officials.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 17, 2018, before U.S. District Court Judge Julie A. Robinson. Reece faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison on each count, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Goldberg and U.S. Attorney Beall commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney John T. Mulcahy of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott C. Rask of the District of Kansas, who are prosecuting the case.