KCKCC plays host to Garden City in soccer doubleheader Tuesday

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Kansas City Kansas Community College men’s soccer team will try to remain unbeaten Tuesday when the Blue Devils host Garden City in a Jayhawk Conference clash at 8 p.m.

The Blue Devil women (2-3) will open the action at 5:30 p.m. when they try to end a two-game losing streak when they entertain the Lady Broncbusters at 5:30 p.m.

The Blue Devil men are 4-0 after lightning forced stoppage of their home game against Allen County last Thursday. The game was deadlocked 1-1 at halftime when lightning and subsequent rain forced the stoppage. The contest will be rescheduled at a later date. KCKCC’s women dropped a 3-0 decision to Allen County in the opener of the doubleheader.

Alan Hoskins is the sports information director at KCKCC.

Legends curfew incident prompts reader comments

Photos previously published on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015
Story published on Monday, Sept. 14, 2015

by Mary Rupert

A big police presence and many teens gathered at The Legends Outlets Saturday night has prompted some responses from the community.

While many readers disagreed about the situation, many agreed that there needs to be a place for teens to go in the community.

On Saturday evening, a group of about 75 to 100 or more teens was gathered at an entrance on the north side of The Legends Outlets, according to Dave Claflin, a spokesman for The Legends Outlets. Four of the teens who reportedly got upset and tried to re-enter the shopping area were handcuffed, he said, and then released to their parents.

Many police officers and vehicles were present, and a helicopter from the Kansas Highway Patrol was circling overhead. The group was calm and peaceful around 9 p.m. It was not a protest group or demonstration, but a gathering of teens.

Claflin said Monday that The Legends Outlets had reviewed the incident and the security and police account of it before making a comment.

While it is “not untypical” for a summer weekend to have teens at the shopping center after hours, the number of 75 to 100 teens who were picked up was more than the usual number, he said.

The Legends Outlets has a curfew rule that states that after 9 p.m., persons under 16 years old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian over 21 years old. The policy states that persons or groups under the age of 16 who are unaccompanied after 9 p.m. will be asked to leave the shopping center. The adult is asked to remain in visual contact with their child or children at all times. The Legends’ code of conduct, which is online at www.legendsshopping.com, also bans using visitors using physical force, obscene language, running in the mall, physically or verbally threatening others, carrying weapons, and many other behaviors.

“We have a parental escort policy out there, and occasionally we find kids that are underage and unescorted,” Claflin said. “Mall security and the police usually pick them up and round them up and take them to the ‘yellow brick road area,’ north central area, and tell them to contact their parents and pick them up.”

Four teens who had been told not to go back into the mall area of the center got upset, tried to go into the mall area and were handcuffed, Claflin said. After they calmed down, the handcuffs were taken off and the teens left with their parents, after the parents arrived, he said.

The law enforcement helicopter which circled around The Legends, shining a spotlight on the center, was not called in, but the pilot heard the chatter on a police radio when police on the ground were tracking the four youth who went into the shopping center, and the pilot decided to respond on his own to assist, Claflin said.

Police vehicles are normally already at The Legends Outlets since it has a substation, he said.

Although some social media comments referred to a girl who was hurt, Claflin said there was no report that mentioned anyone was hurt and he was unaware of anyone being injured.

Although many of the teens who were in the group on the north side of The Legends were black, Claflin said race didn’t have anything to do with this situation.

The group was made up of “kids looking for something to do,” and was not organized, he said. Also, the curfew applied to all youth under 16, he said. “Anyone under the age of 16 after 9 p.m. has to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian,” he said. “It applies to everyone regardless of race.”

“The parental escort policy has nothing to do with race,” he said. “If you go out there anytime day or night, you will find a mix of races all getting along fine.”

The Legends Outlets, along with many other shopping areas throughout the Kansas City area, doesn’t want to become a hangout for teens, he said.

Some shopping areas such as the Country Club Plaza have previously reported that large numbers of teens were gathering, and it also happens from time to time at The Legends, Claflin said.

“It’s an issue for cities all across the country,” he said.

A few years ago, there was an attempt in the Kansas City area to create places that teens could go on weekend nights, including basketball courts, he said. Apparently, that effort may have run into funding problems.

He said he understands that teens just want a place to hang out, and that about 96 of the approximate 100 teens were peaceful and fine with everything on Saturday. Only four teens got upset when asked to return to that “yellow brick road” area.

Claflin said if teens were attending the movies at The Legends Outlets, if they left the mall right after the movie was over, he doesn’t think there would be any issue at all.

If there is a tenant with an idea for a business where they offer activities for teens or children, The Legends Outlets would work with them, he said. However, a big part of it is that some teens don’t have any money, and just want a place to hang out, he believes.

“I think it’s more of a community problem,” he said, “one of those really challenging ones, what can you do with teens to give them a place to go, something that keeps them off the streets and out of trouble.”

Also, the teens are welcome when they are with their parents. “If the kids would come out with their folks, we would love to have them,” Claflin said.

In social media discussions, one young resident stated she was present at The Legends Outlets Saturday and watched. She stated that the teens who were there were calm, and she did not believe they were doing anything wrong. In a departure from the official account, the teen stated that a girl had been injured. One teen who posted on Facebook stated that she felt that teens were being harassed.

Another reader stated that some teens were fighting in previous weeks in the Village West area.

As far as The Legends Outlets losing business over it, one adult stated on social media that he left when he saw the helicopter and didn’t wait around to see what happened. Claflin, however, said there were few complaints from customers.

There was a lively social media discussion about the issue on the Facebook page of former UG commissioner Tarence Maddox. Maddox stated on Facebook that there must be a push for more community activities for teens, a place for children to go without being harassed. “Either shut the movie theatre down after a certain time, prohibit anyone under 18 from being on the premises after an agreed time or request your local elected to open up gyms and facilities on the weekend to hang out and be free,” he wrote.

The mayor’s office did not have a comment on the incident at this time, said Bill Hurrelbrink, spokesman.

Kansas City, Kan., police spokesmen did not respond to an email on Sunday and a phone call on Monday for information. One officer at the scene remarked it was “just teens being teens.”

Police responded to the north side of The Legends Outlets Saturday night. A group of teenagers was gathered there. A helicopter circled overhead.
Police responded to the north side of The Legends Outlets Saturday night. A group of teenagers was gathered there. A helicopter circled overhead.

Police responded to the north side of The Legends Outlets Saturday night. A group of teenagers was gathered there. A helicopter circled overhead.
Police responded to the north side of The Legends Outlets Saturday night. A group of teenagers was gathered there. A helicopter circled overhead.

Police responded to the north side of The Legends Outlets Saturday night. A group of teenagers was gathered there. A helicopter circled overhead.
Police responded to the north side of The Legends Outlets Saturday night. A group of teenagers was gathered there. A helicopter circled overhead.

Shots fired near officers

The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department reported that shots were fired on Monday, Sept. 14, near officers in the area of 18th and Rowland in Kansas City, Kan.

A police spokesman stated that about 2:42 p.m., a Kansas City, Kan., police officer was driving southbound on 18th Street near Rowland Avenue. He observed a small, black, four-door vehicle driving northbound with the front passenger sitting outside the vehicle leaning across the roof of the car, the spokesman said.

As the police officer activated his emergency lights and sirens, the small, black car turned westbound onto Rowland and began shooting at a teal Pontiac Grand Prix that was parked on the street, the spokesman said.

The black car continued west and the Pontiac fled northbound on 18th Street, where it began firing back at the initial vehicle. The patrol car was between the two vehicles while shots were being fired, the spokesman said. The officer was not injured, police said.

At this time, police are looking for a small, black, four-door vehicle and a 2000 model Pontiac Grand Prix, teal in color, with dark tinted windows, missing the side mirror and possibly with bullet holes on the driver’s side, the spokesman said.

The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division is investigating the incident. Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).