Showers move through area

Today's weather forecast. (National Weather Service graphic)
Today’s weather forecast. (National Weather Service graphic)

Showers and a thunderstorm moved through Wyandotte County this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Scattered storms are possible through 2 p.m., and tonight, there is a chance of showers and storms after 1 a.m., the weather service said.

This afternoon, skies will be partly sunny with a high near 83, according to the weather service.

As a cold front moves into the area, there may be a chance of thunderstorms on Friday into Friday evening, according to the weather service.

A few storms tonight into Friday could be strong with gusty winds and heavy rainfall, the weather service said.

For more weather information, visit www.weather.gov/kc.

Tonight's thunderstorm outlook. (National Weather Service graphic)
Tonight’s thunderstorm outlook. (National Weather Service graphic)

UG Commission eyes $250,000 cost of mayor’s bodyguards

Opinion column: Window on the West

by Mary Rupert

The Unified Government Commission is poised to discuss the $250,000 cost of the mayor’s and officials’ bodyguards at a closed meeting on Thursday at City Hall.

The topic came up earlier during a UG budget session on July 20. The Aug. 27 meeting where security will be discussed is a closed one at 5 p.m. The regular UG meeting starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 27.

The Wyandotte Daily has asked why this meeting is closed, as it concerns elected officials and is about how much money is spent. UG Attorney Jody Boeding said there is an exception in the open meetings laws for topics about security.

When Police Chief Terry Zeigler was discussing the Police Department budget on July 20 at a budget meeting, Commissioner Mike Kane brought up the topic of the mayor’s bodyguards.

Zeigler said, in answer to a question, that this security detail costs about $250,000 a year with salaries, benefits, vehicle and overtime. Although it was said to be available for commissioners, some commissioners said they have not been using security when they go places. The detail also is available for other UG officials.

“Are you aware of any serious threats against the mayor?” Commissioner Kane asked at the July 20 budget meeting.

“Any elected official this day and age has the potential to be involved in a violent encounter,” Zeigler said. He cited incidents in other cities where some elected boards have been targeted by persons who walk in with guns.

So far, no one has publicly cited any direct physical threats to the mayor.

“I am aware of incidents on the ninth floor where things got out of hand with citizens getting on ninth floor and it would have been nice to have an officer there on hand to intervene,” Zeigler said at the July 20 meeting.

Currently, there is an officer now posted on the ninth floor of City Hall, which is where the mayor’s and commissioners’ offices are located.

After Mayor Mark Holland made a speech at the NCLR convention in Kansas City, Mo., his remarks were picked up by white supremacists who criticized him widely in messages circulated on the Internet, leading to a lot of critical email and messages being received by his office.

Kane, however, said that he views the bodyguards as mostly unnecessary, perhaps valuable on the ninth floor and at the commission meetings, but he questioned some other places.

“It’s frustrating that the mayor goes to soccer games, and takes a detailed person with him, Sporting KC. I think that’s unnecessary,” Commissioner Kane said.

“He takes them to church on Sunday, that’s frustrating,” Commissioner Kane said. “I think there’s no need.

“And the icing on the cake is, I don’t go down to the bar very often after the commission meetings, but the mayor takes the security guard down there with him,” Commissioner Kane said. “These are things we need to look at, that we need to re-evaluate, and perhaps even hire this outside. At $250,000 that’s a lot of money, we’re short-handed, that leaves us two officers short. I believe there’s other businesses in town that could do this at a cheaper price, and I think people need to know that we waste a lot of money.”

The Kansas City, Mo., mayor has bodyguards, according to some Wyandotte County officials. The Topeka, Kan., mayor and council does not have bodyguards, according to a spokesman.

Some of the mid- to smaller-sized cities do not have bodyguards specifically assigned to public officials, but will assign a person from the police department from time to time if they feel there is a need.

Security could be handled in a variety of different ways, some less expensive than others. My opinion is this discussion of it and its costs should be in public.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email maryr@wyandottepublishing.com.

Families, get active and get moving!

by Chrishonda Brown

As the busyness of the school year begins again, sometimes physical activity gets left behind. Here are some easy ways to keep your family moving and active.

Mix it up. Go for a family swim or play a good old fashioned game of tag. Do your kids know how to jump rope or hula hoop? Learning is good exercise too!

Make your TV your personal trainer. Every commercial break the whole family can get up and exercise. Jump, walk, run in place or even stretch. Watching with no commercials? Set a timer and pause to exercise.

Make it fun. Use their imaginations. You can scale a wall, do jump shots, paddle a canoe or soar in space all right from your living room.

Every little movement counts. Shoot to add up 30 active minutes a day for you and 60 for your kids. You’ll be able to tell the difference!

Chrishonda Brown, M.S. in kinesiology, is a guest columnist for Kansas State Research and Extension, Wyandotte County. For more recipes visit www.kidsacooking.org Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KSREWyco and follow us on Twitter @WyCoSnapEd.

Freeze ‘n Go Breakfast Bars
Makes: 8 bars
2½ cups whole grain granola
2 8-ounce containers fruit-flavored or vanilla yogurt
1 cup berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk

Directions:
Lightly coat an 8×8 square pan with nonstick spray.
Line pan with about ¾ cup of granola.
In blender, combine yogurt, fruit and nonfat dry milk. Blend until smooth.
Fold 1 cup granola into the blender mixture with stirring spoon or spatula.
Pour yogurt mixture into pan.
Top with remaining ¾ cup granola.
Freeze for at least 4 hours or until firm.
Cut into 8 rectangles, or 16 for smaller children or to use as snack bars.
Keep frozen until ready to eat.

Nutritional information for each bar: 173 calories, 19g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 6mg cholesterol, 51g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 26g sugars, 116mg sodium, 19g protein, 1% Vitamin A, 21% Vitamin C, 30% calcium, 19% iron.