Judges assigned to hear U.S. Senate seat case

Judges have been assigned to hear a case involving a U.S. Senate race.

In the case, a Kansas City, Kan., resident, David Orel, is asking the court to order Kansas Democrats to fill a vacant spot in the U.S. Senate race. Chad Taylor, the Democratic candidate, withdrew from the race recently.

Judges Larry Hendricks, Franklin Theis and Evelyn Wilson were assigned to hear the case together. The case is in Shawnee County District Court. Judge Hendricks will be the presiding judge.

Not filling the position is expected to help challenger Greg Orman, an independent, in his campaign against incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

Kansas City, Kan., police reports

Sept. 4
Burglary, criminal damage, 3800 block of Kansas Avenue, passenger side and glass in vehicle, vehicle dashboard, car audio entertainment, $1,050 value.
Burglary to auto, 55th and Swartz, purse, cosmetics, medication, $85 value.
Burglary to vehicle, criminal damage, 2100 block of South Mill, vehicle door frame, .45-caliber Glock, $350 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 100 block of Greystone Avenue, business, vehicle window and frame, GPS, cable caddies with cord, $1,100 value.
Theft, criminal damage,
00 block of Woodsweather Road, business, copper wire, stainless siding panel, miscellaneous metal, $1,550 value.

Sept. 3
Burglary, criminal damage, other gang, 1700 block of Village West Parkway, damage to vehicle window, purse and iPad stolen, $1,489 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 1800 block of Village West Parkway, vehicle window, GPS, camera, $111,450 value.
Burglary to auto, criminal damage, 1700 block of Village West Parkway, two windows on vehicle, window frame, purse, $600 value.

Sept. 2
Burglary, 1500 block of North 48th Terrace, three televisions, safe, $1,250 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 1600 block of Washington Boulevard, apartments, window screen, television, laptop computer, $6,040 value.
Forgery, 900 block of Central, currency, $250 value.

Sept. 1
Burglary, criminal damage, 4400 block of Everett, two televisions, surround sound system, $1,000 value.

Aug. 29
Auto burglary, criminal damage, 10300 block of Cabela Drive, rear window, $500 value.

Aug. 27
Burglary, 2300 block of Grandview Boulevard, television, $700 value.

Aug. 9
Identity theft, 3100 block of South 56th Terrace.

Aug. 4
Theft, 47th and Shawnee Drive, automobile, $1,000 value.

July 5
Criminal use of card, theft, 85th and Parallel Parkway, cash, debit card, $720 value.

Washington High parents, students meet to discuss concerns

Students, parents and community members met to talk about their concerns about Washington High School at a meeting Tuesday night at Faith City, 51st and Leavenworth Road.
Students, parents and community members met to talk about their concerns about Washington High School at a meeting Tuesday night at Faith City, 51st and Leavenworth Road.

Parents and students at Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan., met Tuesday evening to discuss their concerns at the Faith City Church at 51st and Leavenworth Road.

While the meeting was held in the wake of several police calls to the school, and after a video of a fight in the Washington High hallway was shown on area television stations, the purpose of the meeting Tuesday night was broader, according to Tamika Pledger, who helped organize this meeting. The 21st Century KCK Citizens United sponsored it.

She said the goal of the meeting was to start a dialogue with parents, teachers and students to resolve issues at the school. In the widely played video, a young man pushed and struck a girl student. At another fight at the school on Sept. 12, five arrests were made, according to the authorities.

Pledger said there is a need for parents to be heard. She noted that Washington did not have a Parents-Teachers-Students Association, and one of the goals of this community meeting was to start a PTSA at Washington High School. She said she was an advocate of parents being involved in the school.

Pledger said she had received phone calls from parents concerned about Washington High School, and organized this meeting on behalf of the parents who needed to be heard. She said the meeting was successful, as about 15 to 20 persons signed up to be in a PTSA at Washington High School. About 80 attended the meeting, she estimated.

A PTA or PTSA would help parents share ideas about concerns and how to handle them, addressing issues as student behavior and what parents can do about it, what parents need to do to support their students, such as supervision and how to teach students about self-control, she said.

“It’s empowering parents to help other parents,” Pledger said.

One of the students at the meeting told the group she was scared to go to school.

“We have some serious issues that need to be addressed,” Pledger said.

A survey taken at the Tuesday night meeting, Pledger said, showed that parents and students are concerned about several issues.

Survey – teachers:
• Teachers need to pay more attention to students and not just teach for a paycheck;
• Parents need to be more active in the PTA and at school;
• Students being more respectful and listening to what adults are telling them.

Survey responses from parents:
• Parents need to be more involved with their students;
• Parents need to talk to the students’ teachers;
• Parents need to make sure the students are accountable;
• Students need to be accountable for their actions;
• Students need to be respectful and want to learn.

Survey responses from students:
• Students need to stay focused on school;
• Students need to stop worrying about drama;
• Teachers need to pay attention to the students and talk to them;
• Parents need to pay attention to their kids.

Pledger said another meeting for Washington parents and students will be held next month.

The 21st Century KCK Citizens United, the sponsor of the meeting, is the same grassroots group that earlier held meetings about the Board of Public Utilities. It has another meeting about the BPU scheduled at 3 p.m. Oct. 11 at Faith City. The group currently is involved in presenting information about BPU rates, and how to lower utility bills through conservation and cutting back on electricity usage.

“We talk about issues no one wants to talk about, that no one wants to be honest with the people about,” Pledger said.

There were no representatives from the school district at the meeting on Tuesday night; however, some efforts have already taken place to increase communication at the school, as shown in a YouTube video of a dialogue with students at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lct_kmJYP78.

Information with the YouTube video stated that “a recent series of news reports painted a distorted picture of the environment at Washington High School.”

On Sept. 17, Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools spokesman David Smith said in a statement: “We take the safety of our students extremely seriously, and work hard to maintain a safe and orderly school environment in all of our buildings. Our goal is, of course, to never have a fight in any of our schools. That is a very high mark to hit, and we are extremely concerned that the televising of video of a school fight will actually serve to encourage the very behaviors which we are trying to prevent. Our district police officers, campus officers and the KCK Police Department are working together to identify any individuals involved in disruptive behavior, and to deal with them in accordance with our Code of Conduct and applicable laws. The school is calm and orderly, and we continue to work hard to make sure that all students are learning.”