AirHogs best T-Bones in slugfest

Two big innings sank the T-Bones Monday night as Kansas City fell 10-7 to Grand Prairie at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.

The AirHogs jumped all over Kansas City starter Kyle DeVore (3-3) in what would turn out to be a wild first inning, opening the frame with five consecutive singles before recording an out.

Already leading 2-0, Frazier Hall lined a double down the right field line with the bases-loaded that scored three more and gave Grand Prairie an early 5-0 lead.

Kansas City roared back in its half of the first. T.J. Mittelstaedt led off with a home run, his ninth of the season.

Danny Richar later singled, stole second base and came around to score on a Bryan Sabatella single, cutting the AirHogs’ lead to 5-2.

Vladimir Frias then put an exclamation point on the inning, launching a two-run home run that brought the T-Bones to within one.

The first inning in its entirety lasted 37 minutes, saw 73 pitches and nine runs scored between the two clubs.

DeVore settled down over the game’s next four innings but once again fell victim to the big inning in the sixth.

Hall continued his big night at the plate to lead off the inning, hitting a home run to center field. Eric Baker and Jimmy Mojica later singled, ending DeVore’s night.

Alex Nunez then laced an RBI single into center field off reliever Hamilton Bennett, scoring Baker. Brian Myrow later doubled, scoring Mojica and Nunez and extending the Grand Prairie advantage to 9-4.

Kansas City mounted a rally in the eighth, scoring three runs off RBI singles by Ray Sadler and Bryan Sabatella. It wouldn’t be enough, however, as Kansas City lost its third consecutive game.

DeVore struck out a season-high 10 batters, including a stretch where he struck out seven in a row, but allowed eight runs on 12 hits over his 5 2/3 innings in the loss. Ryan Searle (4-5) picked up the win for Grand Prairie. Dakota Watts tallied his 14th save of the season.

Kansas City continues its three game series with Grand Prairie Tuesday night at 7:05. Tickets are available by calling the Providence Medical Center Box Office at CommunityAmerica Ballpark at 913-328-5618.

Box score: http://www.pointstreak.com/baseball/boxscoretext.html?gameid=178015
– Story from T-Bones

Extreme heat descends on area

National Weather Service graphic

Extreme heat will affect Wyandotte County today with high temperatures in the mid to upper 90s and heat index values this afternoon ranging from 103 to 110 degrees.

A heat advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. A cold front will sink into the area tonight with a chance of thunderstorms.

Any thunderstorm that develops tonight will have the chance to be severe with damaging winds and large hail the main concerns.

Thunderstorms will again be possible Thursday night and Friday but severe weather is not anticipated.

On Tuesday there is an increased risk of heat-related illness, the weather service said. Residents are advised to drink plenty of water, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun and check on neighbors, the elderly and pets. Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic and high sugar content beverages.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or late evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing.

Schedule frequent rest breaks when outdoors in shaded or air-conditioned environments. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool or shaded location, and seek emergency assistance. Heat stroke is an emergency and residents should call 911 immediately.

The area’s public libraries are air-conditioned and open to the public through the evening hours. Recreation centers also are serving as cooling centers. Stores and movie theaters are air-conditioned.

Cooling centers:
Kansas City, Kan., Public Libraries
Main Branch, 625 Minnesota Ave., 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
South Branch, 3104 Strong Ave., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
West Wyandotte Branch Library, 1737 N. 82nd St., 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Turner Community Library, 831 S. 55th St., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.
Bonner Springs-Edwardsville
Bonner Springs City Library, 201 N. Nettleton, Bonner Springs, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Bonner Springs Community Center, 200 E. 3rd St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Unified Government Parks and Recreation and other
Eisenhower Community Center, 2901 N. 72nd, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Joe E. Amayo Argentine Community Center, 2801 Metropolitan, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Armourdale Community Center, 730 Osage, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Turner Recreation Commission, 831 S. 55th St., 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday.
Kansas City, Kan., City Hall lobby, 701 N. 7th St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Willa Gill Center, 645 Nebraska, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays.
Wyandotte Towers high rise, cafeteria area, 915 Washington Blvd., 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Juniper Gardens Community Center, 1980 N. 2nd St., 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
Mt. Carmel Church of God in Christ, south wing, 2025 N. 12th St., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Salvation Army, 6723 State Ave., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Holland calls for further cuts in public safety budget

Mayor Mark Holland called for further cuts in public safety overtime during a budget workshop Monday evening at City Hall.

Holland said $1 million in cuts in the overtime budgets for the Kansas City, Kan., Police and Fire departments were a step in the right direction, and he proposed that the Police, Fire and Sheriff’s departments each find another half-million in cuts.

“We had about $5 million in public safety (overtime) last year and if we saved $1 million we’re about 20 percent down,” Holland said.

It is important to figure out how to make it sustainable over time, he said. Staffing has been reduced 20 percent in all other departments, but has been increased 10 percent in public safety, he said.

“I think the biggest threat to our public safety is our running out of resources to properly fund them,” Holland said. “My concern is that with the budget we have presented, we have another time of decreasing fund balance, and I’m very concerned about our losing our bond rating. I think the cost of losing our bond rating exceeds the cost of making some changes this year to show that fund balance going up.”

“If we asked police and fire to take a $500,000 cut in 2015, from what the administrator has recommended, and drop that million dollars down to the city general fund, it would represent a 1 percent cut in their operations for the 2015 year,” he said. He believes these departments could make a 1 percent cut, adding they still have that much in overtime. He said he didn’t want to spend any of the money but drop it all to the bottom line. If they and the Sheriff’s Department could make $500,000 in cuts, it would increase the fund balance by $1.5 million, he said.

As an example, he mentioned the Fire Department has a full recruit class and can drive the overtime rate down. He believes there are additional efficiencies the police can find, and have found some efficiencies already.

“When you have $50 million budgets, I think there’s an opportunity to find more efficiencies,” he said.

He said the UG’s chief financial officer, Lew Levin, has made a compelling case that losing the bond rating and paying higher interest rates will be more costly over time to the city than making some minor budget changes.

Holland said the Sheriff’s Department highest overtime was from court transport, out of county transport and patrol. In 2013 overtime in the operations division of the Sheriff’s Department exceeded $600,000. He said there needs to be a conversation with the district attorney’s office on doing more video arraignments. Also, the UG needs to make sure there is no duplication of services in road patrol.

Holland said that if the largest departments couldn’t do a one or two percent cut, there were other problems. “We need to be aggressive about it,” he said.

Commissioner Angela Markley asked if some funding could be found in the budget for more equipment for these departments. Holland said the cost of equipment would go up in the future if the bond rating is lowered.

Commissioners Hal Walker said there were certain areas that they would not want to see cut.

Administrator Doug Bach was asked to come up with some budget changes that would make some additional cuts from these departments and come back to the commission for discussion and approval.

In other action, the commission cut the community survey for the 2015 budget year, an expected expense of about $45,000. Commissioners talked about bringing it back a year later.