Body in Big 11 Lake identified as KCK resident

The body found at Big 11 Lake last week was identified as William Boyd Sr., also known by his nickname, “Bucky,” according to a Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Boyd’s remains were found on the afternoon of Aug. 11 at Big 11 Lake, 11th and State Avenue, after a search by sheriff’s deputies and firefighters, who brought in boats. A resident had requested the search, according to authorities.

Boyd, 61, went missing the previous week from his apartment in downtown Kansas City, Kansas.

Foul play is not suspected, and the case remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, Capt. David Thaxton, the spokesman, stated.


Column: Editor wants to connect with community

Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

Colleen McCain Nelson said she came back to the Midwest because she missed the connection with the community.

Nelson, who recently was named a vice president and the editorial page editor for The Kansas City Star, spoke at the monthly luncheon meeting of the Congressional Forum last Friday, Aug. 18, at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas.

About 50 persons, mostly members of the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce, attended.

Nelson comes from Washington, D.C., where she covered The White House and presidential politics for The Wall Street Journal. She also worked for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, The Wichita Eagle and The Dallas Morning News where she won a Pulitzer Prize for editorials. The award praised the editorials for “depicting the stark social and economic disparity between the city’s better-off northern half and distressed southern half.” Nelson grew up in Salina, Kan.

Nelson explained that The Star’s editorial writing staff, which deals with informed opinion, is independent of its news coverage staff. She said that she was pleased that she was able to choose an excellent staff including Dave Helling, Steve Kraske, Mary Sanchez and Derek Donovan, who were existing columnists at The Star, and a newcomer, Melinda Henneberger, who was with The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and USA Today.

Nelson said she appreciated being asked to talk to the Congressional Forum. One of her goals is to reach out to the community to get a better understanding about local issues. She said she has had conversations with Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland about the need to eliminate blight.

One member of the audience complained that The Star has fewer and fewer pages with little or no coverage about Wyandotte County. Nelson blamed the rise of the internet that is taking away advertising dollars from traditional print newspapers. She said that although The Star has an electronic edition, most of its revenue comes from print.

A couple of other audience members challenged Nelson about the “town hall” meeting The Star’s editorial staff writers will sponsor for U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder Aug. 22. Rep. Yoder has held several telephone conference calls to reach voters during his tenure in Congress. The complaint was that this meeting, promoted by a four-color ad in The Star and on its website, showed favoritism to Rep. Yoder. Nelson justified the effort as a way to connect an elected representative with the community.

Things certainly have changed at The Star since the days some 50 years ago when I worked there. In the mid-1960s, more than 1,500 employees worked at the headquarters building at 1729 Grand Ave., in Kansas City, Mo. The newspaper had multiple editions in the morning and afternoon. The Kansas City, Kansas, office had more than 20 employees at 827 Minnesota Ave. (now a printing company). Today there is one edition a day and only an estimated 250 employees work at the newspaper’s headquarters.

One of the things I do for Business West is visit local units of government in Wyandotte County, urging elected officials to hold the line on property taxes. (I have yet to meet anyone who believes he or she is not paying enough in property taxes.) These local units of government have budgets that total more than $1 billion.

In attending these meetings during the past few weeks, I saw a reporter from The Star only once. That was at a meeting of the Board of Trustees of Kansas City Kansas Community College. The reporter was there only to report about the controversy concerning the placing of Doris Givens, the president of the college, on administrative leave.

I read in The Kansas City Business Journal that The Star is considering the sale of its buildings, including its historical headquarters location. The estimated value of these buildings is $40 million. The plan would be to move news, advertising and editorial offices to its press building near Grand Avenue and Truman Road, according to The Business Journal.

The Star is owned by The McClatchy Company which has struggled financially for the past several years. Its stock closed last Friday at $6.17 a share. That is an improvement, however. The last time I checked on its stock several months ago, it was worth about $1 a share.

Nelson is married to Eric Nelson, The Star’s assistant managing editor-digital. Both are graduates of the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is executive director of Business West.


Promising KCKCC women’s soccer team opens at home Tuesday

Shawn Uhlenhake

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

It’s opening day Tuesday for Kansas City Kansas Community College’s young but very promising women’s soccer team.

The Lady Blue Devils will kick off the 2017 season with four straight home matches starting Tuesday against State Fair at 7 p.m. Dodge City will follow Sunday at noon with Blue River Sept. 1 and the Jayhawk Conference opener against Neosho County Sept. 5, both at 5 p.m.

For Shawn Uhlenhake, it’s season No. 2 as head coach but only his first full season of recruiting and he’s landed a bevy of 15 high school standouts, all but one from Kansas schools.

“Our goal is to change the culture of the program and I think this is a good first step with the players we’ve brought in,” Uhlenhake said. “The majority of the freshmen played in the first or second divisions of their club league play and most were team captains and team leaders.”

With nine returning sophomores and one transfer, Uhlenhake has built the depth the Blue Devils lacked a year ago.

“We identified holes from last year and filled them with quality players,” he said. “This provides a lot of competition for training, something we did not have last year.”

With more depth, the competition for starting positions is even more heated – competition that should begin to sort itself out in the three home non-conference games starting the season.

“By the time conference play starts, we should have a good idea of who we want on the playing field,” Uhlenhake said.

The fiercest competition starts in goal where three freshmen – Jessica Hill of Shawnee Heights, Morgan Longstreth of Olathe Northwest and Caitlin Cordes of Wichita East – are locked in a battle for starting job.

Sophomore captain Bailey Zinser of Lansing and freshman Carmen Rush of DeSoto will anchor the defense along with sophomores Brenna Stoffle of Leavenworth and Shaytel Nieto of Sumner Academy and freshmen Mike’e Odell of Shawnee Mission North, Audrie Wooten of Olathe North, Joanna Filbert of Tonganoxie and Shayla Lee of Benton High School.

Veteran Marisol Rangel of Sumner and freshmen Madison Plake of DeSoto and Natalie Zink of Leavenworth will be the mainstays at midfield where they’ll be joined by sophomores Emilie Lutz of Toronto, Canada; Joseline Oregon of Shawnee Mission North and Ana Suarez and Alejandra Jiminez, both of Sumner; and freshmen Trinity Rosberg of Shawnee Mission North and Katelynn Danzer of Springfield, Mo. The Blue Devils lost two other top midfield prospects in Kaitlyn Rose of Bonner Springs and Micayla Nemnich of Topeka Seaman, both of whom suffered torn ACLs in high school. Both will redshirt this season.

Marivel Gomez of Jarrel, Texas, returns at forward where she’s being challenged by freshman Itzel Almanza of Harmon, Joanna Filbert of Tonganoxie, and sophomore Serena Ortiz from Bishop Ward, a transfer from Missouri Western.

The Blue Devils are coming off a 5-7 season. It’s the most wins in a single season for the young program and now Uhlenhake wants to take it to a higher level.

“Our goal is to make the playoffs for the first time in history,” he said. The Blue Devils play a 17-game schedule with a record 11 home contests.

“Butler County is the heavy favorite in the Jayhawk Conference and Johnson County is always in the conversation,” Uhlenhake said.

KCKCC will play home-and-home games with all six Jayhawk rivals, Allen County, Neosho County, Coffeyville, Cowley, Butler and JCCC.

Uhlenhake is being assisted by Katie Kelly, a collegiate All-American at Marquette, who played professionally for five years; and Kenny Mayer, who is coaching the goalkeepers after working with goalkeepers with the Kansas City Comets.

Kansas City Kansas Community College
2017 Women’s Soccer Schedule

Aug. 22 – STATE FAIR, Home 7 p.m.
Aug. 27 – DODGE CITY, Home+ Noon
Sept. 1 – BLUE RIVER, Home+ 5 p.m.
Sept. 5 – NEOSHO COUNTY*, Home+ 5 p.m.
Sept. 9 – Allen County*, Iola 2 p.m.
Sept. 12 – Cowley*, Arkansas City 5:30 p.m.
Sept. 14 – ST. CHARLES, Home 6 p.m.
Sept. 20 – Coffeyville*, Coffeyville 5 p.m.
Sept. 24 – BUTLER, Home Noon
Sept. 26 – JOHNSON COUNTY*, Home+ 5 p.m.
Sept. 30 – Neosho County*, Chanute 5 p.m.
Oct. 3 – ALLEN COUNTY*, Home+ 5 p.m.
Oct. 6 – COWLEY*, Home+ 5 p.m.
Oct. 10 – COFFEYVILLE*, Home+ 5 p.m.
Oct. 12 – MAPLE WOODS, Home 2 p.m.
Oct. 17 – Johnson County*, Overland Park 2 p.m.
Oct. 20 – Butler County, El Dorado 4 p.m.
• – Jayhawk Conference match
+ – Men’s game to follow