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Constitution Day was celebrated Sept. 17 at Kansas City Kansas Community College. (KCKCC photo)
Constitution Day was celebrated Sept. 17 at Kansas City Kansas Community College. (KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge
In recognition of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787, the United States celebrates Constitution Day every Sept. 17. And as in past years, Kansas City Kansas Community College students, faculty and staff spent some time remembering the hard work and dedication of the United States’ founding fathers.

“What is the history of this great document,” said Ewa Unoke, KCKCC professor and chair of the Constitution Day Committee during KCKCC”s Constitution Day event Wednesday. “The American Constitution is the best, most dynamic Constitution in the world. Why? Remembering our founding fathers came from England, they did not like absolutism or a monarchy. So the founding fathers decided to divide the power of the king of England into three – the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. We did not like kings and queens because we like freedom, and it is the love of liberty that brought the founding fathers here.”

Constitution Day was created in 2004, replacing what was previously known as Citizenship Day. Sept. 17 was chosen because that was the day that the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution. The federal law requires that all educational institutions that receive public funds provide some type of education programming on the history of the American Constitution, leading to events such as the one at KCKCC.

This is the ninth year for the Constitution Day event at KCKCC. Among the 60 students and staff who attended were Michael Vitale, vice president for academics and Cherilee Walker, dean of the arts, humanities and social science division. The event included a presentation from Bryan Whitehead, journalism professor at KCKCC; Joe Grasela, reference librarian at KCKCC and Valdenia Winn, professor at KCKCC and a state representative in the Kansas Legislature. Each took one part of the U.S. government and spoke on its history as well as how that relates to state government. Janet Velazquez, law professor at KCKCC, was the moderator and led the question and answer session.

Those in attendance were also given a copy of the Constitution to take with them and were able to ask questions following the presentations.

For more information on Constitution Day or how to get involved with the Constitution Day committee, contact Ewa Unoke at or call 913-288-7119.
Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at KCKCC.

A panel discussion was part of Constitution Day Sept. 17 at KCKCC. (KCKCC photo)
A panel discussion was part of Constitution Day Sept. 17 at KCKCC. (KCKCC photo)

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A cell phone video of a fight at Washington High School, 7340 Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, Kan., has been playing on news reports from KMBC-TV.

A school district spokesman today said that the school is currently calm and orderly, and the district takes the safety of its students very seriously.

Police today confirmed that there was a fight on Monday between two students at the school, and an arrest was made for battery.

Police also confirmed there was a fight last Friday; officers responded and five arrests were made.

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.”

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Mayor Mark Holland, in partnership with Healthy Communities Wyandotte, is inviting the community to attend the grand opening celebration of the Armourdale Hike and Bike Route – Island View Loop.

The event will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, on the levee, just west of 18th Street Expressway and Kansas Avenue.

“I’m thrilled that our levees are finally open to the public and I can’t wait to take my bike for a ride along the river,” said Mayor Holland, who is a strong supporter of improved community health and helped found the Healthy Communities Wyandotte initiative in 2009. Operating within the Health Department, HCW now serves as a countywide coalition aimed at mobilizing residents and partner organizations to improve health. “Encouraging our residents to walk, run and ride on our trails is key to the health and well-being of Wyandotte Countians.”

The public is invited to attend the grand opening ceremony and walk on the new trail.

The initial levee trail is a 1.3 mile trail with a surface sufficient for walking and running but may be challenging for road bicycles. The trail takes its name, “Island View Loop” from the river island that can be seen from the levee and from the Kansas Avenue Bridge.

The celebration will consist of remarks from Mayor Holland, Unified Government District 2 Commissioner Brian McKiernan, President of the Armourdale Renewal Association Patty Dysart and Chair of the Kaw Valley Drainage District Board, Bundy Jenkins. Attendees are encouraged to stay after the ceremony and walk the trail.

Representatives from The National League of Cities will also be attending the event Saturday to help officially recognize Kansas City, Kan., for recent completion of key health and wellness goals for Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). LMCTC is a major component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to solving the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. LMCTC calls upon local elected officials to adopt sustainable and holistic policies that improve communities’ access to healthy affordable food and opportunities for physical activity through five goal areas.

“We’re excited to join First Lady Michelle Obama in her efforts to reduce childhood obesity in the United States,” Mayor Holland said. “One of the ways to do that is to provide safe places for kids and families to be active. This new trail is one of those places.”

NLC is working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Association of Counties and other nonprofit organizations, to assist local elected officials who join LMCTC as they implement policy and environmental changes to prevent childhood obesity. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded NLC a grant to provide technical assistance to local elected officials working to create healthier communities and prevent childhood obesity, including those participating in LMCTC.

For more info and updates visit the event site on
Facebook (

- Information from Mayor Mark Holland’s office