Kultala kicks off campaign

Kelly Kultala kicked off her Congressional campaign. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

Recently, Kelly Kultala held her campaign kickoff at Lucky Brewgrille in Mission, Kan.

More than a hundred people attended this event. Kultala is running against incumbent Congressman Kevin Yoder.

“I plan to stand for middle-class America, the workingman. I want to have equal pay for women and men alike. Not like my opponent Congressman Yoder, who is pro-big business. If elected I plan give the workingman a fair shake. My track record shows this. I am fifth-generation Kansas and am proud of it. This is why I decided to run for Congress,” Kultala said.

At this kickoff there were not only Democrats but Republicans as well who endorsed Kelly Kultala for Congress.

For more information go to the website www.kellykultala.com.

Kelly Kultala kicked off her Congressional campaign. (Photo by William Crum)
Kelly Kultala kicked off her Congressional campaign. Former Mayor Carol Marinovich attended the campaign kickoff. (Photo by William Crum)
Kelly Kultala with Rep. Louis Ruiz at her campaign kickoff. (Photo by William Crum)

New barbecue restaurant to open in mid-June

A new barbecue restaurant, Slap’s, is planned at the site of the former Millie’s Cafe on Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

Soon to open will be a new barbecue restaurant located at 553 Central Ave. in Kansas City, Kan. The name of the restaurant is Slaps Barbecue. This is the old location of Millie’s Café, which many might remember.
Slaps Barbecue is the dream child of three barbecue masters, Joe Pearce, Mike Pearce, and Brandon Whipple. All are from the Greater Kansas City area; both Joe’s and Mike’s grandmother is from the Strawberry Hill area in Kansas City, Kan.
“This is why we wanted to locate here because of my close ties to Kansas City, Kan. We are born-and-bred barbecue-fed,” Joe said.
Even though Joe, Mike and Brandon had only been together for not quite a year each has competed in various barbecue competitions throughout the area. Each one brings a lot of barbecue knowledge that will make this restaurant a truly unique pleasurable barbecue experience, especially for those who really enjoy good barbecue. Currently they are on the 2014 America’s pit masters barbecue competition where they compete with other barbecue teams throughout the nation. In fact it is a high honor for any team to compete on a national well known level.
The restaurant will offer barbecue like you would do in your backyard the old-fashioned way, where they have open smokers. They plan to be open for the lunch crowd, for the working man who has a 30 minute lunch. As of now their hours have not yet been determined, however they do plan to be open until they sell out.
This is a true example of the Wyandotte County experience where new businesses are opening up constantly in our community, making Wyandotte County a more livable community.

Scott receives Henry M. Louis Outstanding Faculty Award

Melanie Scott (KCKCC photo)

by Kelly Rogge

The Henry M. Louis Outstanding Faculty Award is given each year to honor and reward a certain faculty member whose actions and values are characteristic of Louis’s contributions to Kansas City Kansas Community College. This year, the award has been given to a member of the faculty who has spent more than 30 years teaching, leading and blazing new trails at KCKCC – Melanie Scott.
“For me this is truly an honor,” said Scott, professor in the social and behavioral sciences department and former director of the Intercultural Center at KCKCC. “This is the hallmark of my career at KCKCC. It came as such a surprise. I am truly thankful and my heart is full of gratitude. This is a humbling experience.”
The Henry M. Louis award is the hallmark award for KCKCC faculty. From 1967 until 2005 Louis served the college as teacher, chairman of the Social Sciences Division and finally as Dean of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. He was a historian who loved to teach and was considered a lifelong student of diverse cultures and histories. Louis had a keen eye for shared values, always respectful of differences and He continuously revised his courses, searching for new ways to encourage in his students the love of learning that shaped his life. Above all, he wanted “his” college to be a place where students and teachers could do their best work, where doing well meant “doing good.”
“This year’s recipient of the Henry Louis Outstanding Faculty award has held several titles here at KCKCC, some of which I am not sure exist today,” said Michael Vitale, vice president of academic affairs at KCKCC, in his presentation of Scott during the annual KCKCC Employee Recognition and Retirement Dinner May 2 . “One thing all of these titles had in common was they involved working and helping students to be successful regardless of their backgrounds. This passion for people and for helping all people was instrumental in bringing a multi-cultural approach to education and led this year’s recipient to establish two very important organizations that foster inclusiveness by encouraging us to learn more about one another’s background – the Intercultural Center and they Wyandotte Ethnic Festival.”
Scott has been at KCKCC for 32 years serving as a professor, director of community education, coordinator of Long Term Care Administration Program, instructional consultant in the Social and Behavioral Science Division and co-founder and director of the Intercultural Center. In many of these roles, she was the first woman and the first woman of color to be hired.
“Her positive focus on collaboration, communication and world community brought about significant change and inclusiveness to the campus and the community,” said a colleague in her nomination packet. “Melanie has had an impressive career as a teacher. Her students benefited from her experiences and her commitment to diversity and inclusiveness.”
Scott, who was able to spend time and work with Louis before he passed away in 2005, said as this chapter of her life concludes, receiving the award is truly an honor. She is retiring from KCKCC this year.
“I was surprised and overwhelmed with this honor,” she said. “In addition, it was so heartwarming for me to have the Louis family represented. When I put the pieces of the puzzle together (during the introduction), my cup runneth over.”
Scott said it was important to note that her academic career initiatives were not done solo. She said she had “excellent leadership mentors” such as Deloris Pinkard, retired vice president who worked in coordination with Louis to support her leadership desires and endeavors.
“Success has two important letters to have a progressive career. The letter U and S – “Us.” My 30 plus years at KCKCC consisted of working collaboratively with colleagues and at the various levels of the organizational structure,” she said. “This recognition award was also very humbling coming from my faculty peers in Social and Behavioral Science Division – Dr. John Ryan, Mrs. Kris Hearn (both recipients of this distinguished award and worked very hard on the application process) and other faculty whom may have had a voice. I am also extremely appreciative to Karen Hernandez (former student and KCKCC Board of Trustee) who also wrote from a student’s perspective.”
Scott said Louis was a “scholastic, forward thinker.” She said he was a pioneer in so many initiatives at KCKCC and was a guide in her career path.
“I watched Dr. Louis infuse this authentic style and passion for education and this coincided with who I am as an individual and as a professional – a transformational style teacher/leader. He is the one who encouraged me in a multiple of my leadership roles,” she said. “He saw the best in me and did what he could to help me become who I am today. He believed in me. A lot of who I am today is because of him.”