Groundbreaking ceremony for Piper fire station postponed

The groundbreaking ceremony scheduled on Saturday for the new Piper fire station has been postponed because of the weather.

According to a Unified Government spokesman, the groundbreaking will take place at a later date because of the forecast of rain.

The groundbreaking date is now at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13, at 2913 Hutton Road, Kansas City, Kansas. Because of construction on Hutton Road, access to the site is available only by Leavenworth Road.

KCATA announces end of free fares for furloughed workers

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority has announced it will end free fares for furloughed federal government workers on Feb. 15.

Federal workers were furloughed without pay from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, and received back pay after the furlough ended. While federal workers will receive back pay, some of them had a need for services until they received their back pay.

The program of free fares for furloughed workers started on Jan. 14. The federal workers went back to work two weeks ago, but the three-week temporary deal for the workers to go back to work ends on Feb. 15. There was hope from some this week that another shutdown might be avoided.

“The shutdown is over and we were waiting to confirm that they got their paychecks,” said KCATA spokeswoman Petrina Parker.

If there is another shutdown, KCATA will “cross that bridge when we get there,” reevaluate the program at that time and make a decision, Parker said.

According to KCATA, about 1,300 free rides were taken by furloughed government employees who were affected by the shutdown.

Harvesters food distribution canceled tonight because of cold weather

A Harvesters and GEHA food distribution scheduled tonight for persons affected by the federal government shutdown has been canceled because of the extreme cold weather, according to an announcement.

The distribution that was canceled was scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Pipefitters Local Union 533, 8600 Hillcrest Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

Other food distributions assisted by Harvesters and GEHA are scheduled:

• Thursday, January 31 – IBEW Local Union 304, 3906 NW 16th St.., Topeka, KS 66618, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Friday, Feb. 1 – Heartland Community Church, 12175 S. Strangline Road, Olathe, Kansas, 66062, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Feb. 2 – Harvesters facility, 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, Missouri, 64129, from 9 a.m. to noon

Signs will be posted to direct individuals to the distribution location.

In addition to these new food distributions, Harvesters’ network will continue to offer its regularly scheduled food distributions across its service area. Dates and locations for these distributions can be found through the Agency Locator on Harvesters’ website:

There are no requirements to receive help at these sites.

Individuals wishing to help Harvesters provide enough food to meet the increased demand, can donate food or money. Every dollar donated through Harvesters’ website helps the organization provide three meals. In addition, nonperishable food items can be donated in Harvesters’ barrels at Price Chopper and Hy-Vee stores in the Kansas City area, at Dillons stores in Topeka and Lawrence, and the Hy-Vee in Topeka. Donations also can be dropped off at Harvesters’ facilities in Kansas City and Topeka.