Wyandotte County

Snow was falling Saturday morning in Wyandotte County at I-435 at I-70, as shown in this photo. (KC Scout photo)
Snow was falling Saturday morning in Wyandotte County at I-435 at I-70, as shown in this photo. (KC Scout photo)
National Weather Service graphic
National Weather Service graphic

Wyandotte County is receiving some snow flurries this morning as a winter storm system began moving into the area.

A winter weather advisory went into effect at 9 a.m. Saturday and will remain in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. The temperature was 21 degrees at 9 a.m. Saturday, the weather service said.

Light snow will begin this morning and continue into the early evening, the weather service said. A lull is possible tonight followed by another round of light snow on Sunday, according to the weather service. Today’s high will be near 26.

Snow accumulations could total around 2 or 3 inches today and 1 to 2 inches on Sunday, the weather service said, with a total snow accumulation of about 3 to 5 inches.

Travel may be hazardous, especially on any untreated roadways, according to the weather service.

The weather service advised drivers to be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving, the weather service said.

Sunday’s high temperature will be near 33.

The high Monday will be 37, the weather service said.

Light freezing rain will be possible over parts of the region on Monday night, but its effect is expected to be minimal, according to the weather service.

Isolated thunderstorms and showers will be possible along and south of the Interstate 70 corridor on Tuesday, Election Day, the weather service said. The high on Tuesday will be near 52, according to the weather service.

To keep up to date during the day on the weather, visit www.weather.gov.

This graphic from the National Weather Service shows predicted snow totals for Saturday and Sunday. The forecast was made at 4:49 a.m. Saturday. (National Weather Service graphic)
This graphic from the National Weather Service shows predicted snow totals for Saturday and Sunday. The forecast was made at 4:49 a.m. Saturday. (National Weather Service graphic)

A truck made its way on eastbound I-70 at Park Drive as snow fell on Saturday morning. (KC Scout photo)
A truck made its way on eastbound I-70 at Park Drive as snow fell on Saturday morning. (KC Scout photo)

A view of I-70 at Mill Street as snow fell on Saturday morning. (KC Scout photo)
A view of I-70 at Mill Street as snow fell on Saturday morning. (KC Scout photo)

Guest column

Sheriff Don Ash
Don Ash

by Don Ash
There is no easy solution to reducing crime in our communities. As your leaders in law enforcement, we do all we can to enforce the law, catch the bad guys, prosecute them, and get them off the streets. That’s our job, and it’s our officers’ top responsibility.

But we also take seriously our responsibility to prevent crime and violence—to get ahead of the problems and to avoid the price victims, the perpetrators, and our communities pay for crime.

This demands we put resources into this effort to help our most vulnerable children and families. Research shows that parenting education can be an important component in supporting and developing healthy relationships between children and their parents, setting the stage for strong families and children ready for school success, and that our communities are safer because of it.

Despite this knowledge and experience, we see our state moving in the wrong direction in terms of these critical investments. We are concerned with the Governor’s proposal to sweep more than $30 million from the Kansas Endowment from Youth and the Children’s Initiatives Fund. And Tuesday, the Social Services Budget Subcommittee in the Kansas Legislature voted to strip all Parents as Teachers funds from CIF. This means that there will not be any funds from KSDE for PAT programs in Kansas. Let us detail two of the most important investments that make our jobs as law enforcement officials more effective.

One intervention we value is high-quality coaching for our most vulnerable mothers and children. Providing this coaching, which is voluntary on the mother’s part, provides the support and guidance that new mothers need. There are substantial health and educational aspects to parent coaching—improving infants’ health though good pre-natal care; children are more likely to be identified at an earlier age if there are health or developmental concerns which leads to referral to school and community services for early intervention; teaching mothers how to read and talk to their children resulting in higher reading scores at Kindergarten, 3rd, and 4th grade; and higher scores in symbolic development, math concepts, written language, and oral communication—that can be achieved through good programs such as Early Head Start and Parents as Teachers. And law enforcement especially values the reduction in child abuse and neglect, and infant mortality that results from some high-quality programs.

Moreover, both the mothers and children who participated in the Nurse-Family Partnership were half as likely to become involved in crime over time as similar families who did not get the benefits of home visiting. The return on investment for this program? More than $17,000 per family after subtracting the costs, with most of that savings coming from crime reduction.

The evidence is quite clear that low-income children who participate in a high-quality pre-k program have significant advantages compared to their peers who miss out on the pre-k experience. Again, like the home visiting experience, there are significant educational benefits, including limiting the education gap between poor and middle-class kids. There are really important social development skills that kids learn in pre-k—like following directions, sticking to task, collaboration, and controlling one’s emotions—that can last a lifetime.

But we in law enforcement value the evidence that shows that high-quality pre-k can substantially reduce the chances that those children become involved in crime. Long-term research in Chicago has shown that children who did not participate in high-quality pre-k were 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18. Another study shows the return on investment: approximately $5 savings for each dollar invested.

Since 1999, the Kansas Endowment for Youth Fund—which was established by a financial settlement with the tobacco companies—provided the funding to make progress in improving the lives of at-risk kids. This source of funding has been critical to the progress we’ve been making.

However, that funding has been stagnant since 2007, thus making it impossible to maintain the programs it has been supporting, much less moving these investments in kids forward. Despite the full intention of the legislature to support kids, the funds in the Kansas Endowment for Youth have been diverted to other areas.

We ask Gov. Brownback and our representatives in the legislature to carefully consider the importance of maintaining the funding in the Kansas Endowment for Youth Fund. It prevents crime by helping our most vulnerable kids get the right start in life. This investment is of utmost importance, and the gains to our state are enormous. The short-sighted thinking leading to these cuts now will lead to very expensive costs to all Kansans through the criminal justice and jail-incarceration systems later.

Donald Ash is the Sheriff of Wyandotte County and a member of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

Today and early Saturday morning may be good times to “advance vote” in the spring Wyandotte County elections.

That’s because a snowstorm is predicted to move into the area on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. There is a possibility of a 4-inch snowfall, according to early weather reports from the National Weather Service.

There is some conflicting weather information on the weather service report, including one chart that shows a slight chance of snow on Saturday morning, although another part of the forecast says it will be in the afternoon.

The winter storm on the weekend is serious enough for the Kansas Department of Emergency Management to send out an advisory to Kansas residents to “be prepared,” make sure their car emergency kit is stocked. If necessary, the state emergency plan may be activated, according to the KDEM.

The weather on Election Day currently is expected to be better than Saturday and Sunday, with a high of 52 and a 60 percent chance of rain in the forecast. However, another storm will be moving into the area Tuesday evening.

With the unpredictable February weather, we can’t really tell if the snow will all be melted by Tuesday. We don’t really know what the weather will do – we can only rely on forecasts that sometimes change.

Even though it is very cold today, it’s still a good idea to vote before any precipitation occurs.

Advance voting is going on currently in Wyandotte County at two locations. They include the Election Office at 850 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan., open normal business hours; and the satellite voting site at the Kansas Speedway.

The Election Office is open these hours:
Saturday, Feb. 28: from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 23, through noon March 2: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Voting closes at noon March 2 at the Election Office, 850 State Ave.

The Speedway voting site, 400 Speedway Blvd., near I-70 at 110th Street, is open these hours:
Saturday, Feb. 28: from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 23, through Friday, Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For some candidate stories, visit http://wyandottedaily.com/information-offered-on-primary-election/.

For more details on hours and locations of voting, visit http://www.wycovotes.org./

- Mary Rupert

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