Several Wyandotte County students named to KU honor roll

Several Wyandotte County students were named to the honor roll for the spring semester recently at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

They are among approximately 4,600 undergraduate KU students who earned honors.

The students, from KU’s Lawrence campus and the schools of Health Professions and Nursing in Kansas City, Kan., represent 94 of 105 Kansas counties, 43 other states and 38 other countries.
The honor roll includes undergraduates who meet requirements in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in the schools of Architecture, Design & Planning; Business; Education; Engineering; Health Professions; Journalism; Music; Nursing; Pharmacy; and Social Welfare.

Honor roll students from Wyandotte County:

Peter Beatty, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Cassandra Bever, Bonner Springs, School of Education

Chloe Carroll, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Kyle Chadwick, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Bridget Davis, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Alyson Espy, Bonner Springs, School of Education

Elizabeth Grinter, Bonner Springs, School of Nursing

Elizabeth Heimes, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Daniel Hilliard, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Spencer Himpel, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jessie Kelly, Bonner Springs, School of Business

Brendan Martin, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Anna Nelson, Bonner Springs, School of Education

Tessa Newberry, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Harley Ruszala, Bonner Springs, School of the Arts

Shauna Shoemake, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Kelsey Stanbrough, Bonner Springs, School of Health Professions

Mario Vlasic, Bonner Springs, School of Business

Cortney Wise, Bonner Springs, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jamie Arnett, Edwardsville, School of Pharmacy

Suhaib Bajwa, Edwardsville, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Ala Abusalim, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Nana Agyen, Kansas City, Kan., School of Health Professions

Ashley Arnett, Kansas City, Kan., School of the Arts

Laura Banks, Kansas City, Kan., School of Nursing

Jordan Biel, Kansas City, Kan., School of Education

Elizabeth Brock, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Ann Budd, Kansas City, Kan., School of Business

Caitlin Buerge, Kansas City, Kan., School of Nursing

Christopher Burch, Kansas City, Kan., School of Education

Chase Cook, Kansas City, Kan., School of Education

Briana Curry, Kansas City, Kan., School of the Arts

Paul Duckworth, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Holly Ellington, Kansas City, Kan., School of Pharmacy

Melissa Fewell, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jillian Frick, Kansas City, Kan., School of Nursing

Julia Glenn, Kansas City, Kan., School of Nursing

Vashti Goracke, Kansas City, Kan., School of the Arts

Nicole Hampton, Kansas City, Kan., School of Nursing

Day Harris, Kansas City, Kan., School of Social Welfare

Rebecca Harris, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Ashley Hart, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Brendan Higgins, Kansas City, Kan., School of Pharmacy

Carolina Jimenez-Garcia, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Chloe Lockman, Kansas City, Kan., School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Bernardo Luque Jr., Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Monica McGlory, Kansas City, Kan., School of Social Welfare

Brittany Moore, Kansas City, Kan., School of Health Professions

Carmen Ortiz, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Peyton Peaches, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Julie Peterson, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Betsy Ramirez, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jamie Redic, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

LaTierra Sambol, Kansas City, Kan., School of Nursing

Kevin Schnirch, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Michelle Selbe, Kansas City, Kan., School of Education

Courtney Simcoe, Kansas City, Kan., School of Education

Michael Smit, Kansas City, Kan., School of the Arts

Erica Smith, Kansas City, Kan., School of Social Welfare

Timaira Smith, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Zachary Smith, Kansas City, Kan., School of Engineering

Dominic Sosinski, Kansas City, Kan., School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Krista Sturm, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Courtney Swift, Kansas City, Kan., School of Health Professions

Carlie Thomas, Kansas City, Kan., School of Education

David Valdiviezo, Kansas City, Kan., College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mai Vue, Kansas City, Kan., School of Health Professions

Jackson Wagner, Kansas City, Kan., School of Business

Stacie Yang, Kansas City, Kan., School of Health Professions

Tyler Yoder, Kansas City, Kan., School of Engineering

Ethan Zolotor, Kansas City, Kan., School of Engineering.

Wyandotte County judge recognized for leadership, innovation

Judge Kathleen Lynch

Judge Kathleen Lynch of Wyandotte County District Court was recognized by her peers at a recent judges conference for demonstrating innovation and leadership in how her court handles some of its busier dockets.

Lynch was given the Community Outreach and Education Award by the Kansas District Judge Association at a statewide conference for judges last month in Topeka. The award was presented to Lynch by Lawton Nuss, chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.

“I was honored and grateful to receive the award while at a conference with my fellow Kansas judges,” Lynch said. “It allowed me to immediately share my insights for what has worked in Wyandotte County, so a similar approach might be tried in other district courts.”

The Community Outreach and Education Award is given annually to a member of the Kansas judiciary who demonstrates extraordinary leadership and service in educating the public about courts and the judicial branch, with emphasis on developing public trust and confidence, and supporting access to justice and fairness.

Lynch was nominated by Wayne Lampson, who is chief judge of the Wyandotte County District Court.

“Judge Lynch made significant changes in the paternity docket and the protection from abuse and stalking dockets, which improved services provided to people before the court and reduced the number of problems these very difficult cases can have,” Lampson said.

One change introduced by Lynch was a partnership with the county mental health center, Wyandotte County domestic court services and the Wyandotte County court trustee to create a supervised visitation and exchange center for families in high-conflict divorce or paternity cases, or cases involving domestic abuse. The center is supported by a monthly fee its users pay.

Lynch also forged a partnership with the Wyandotte County court trustee to file instantaneous paternity actions for parties involved in the protection from abuse or protection from stalking docket. This allows for orders to be entered quickly to address parenting assessments through the court’s domestic court services, to determine proper child support and enforcement through the court trustee, and to establish an appropriate parenting plan using the supervised visitation and exchange center.

“Since we started instantaneous paternity actions in 2013, filings on the protection from abuse and protection from stalking docket have decreased by almost 50 percent,” Lampson said.

Lynch, who was largely responsible for the idea, said, “When courts help families come to an understanding on all the underlying issues, instances of abuse between the parties are greatly reduced.”

Another Lynch initiative involved training law enforcement on crisis intervention techniques officers can use when they encounter someone who is mentally ill. This training will soon be delivered to the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department.

She also organized monthly staffing of the mental health docket by community partners, including the county mental health center, the district attorney’s office, defense attorneys who work in this field, and municipal court judges and prosecutors.

Lynch also participated in a mapping initiative to identify gaps in the criminal justice system as it relates to the mentally ill. As a result, she was able to establish a jail diversion program in partnership with the Wyandotte County Sheriff, the county mental health center, and the Heartland Regional Alcohol and Drug Assessment Center.

A process Lynch implemented allows for in-court reviews for involuntary commitments to better determine the status of the consumer and the services provided. This effort resulted in a 50 percent reduction in revocations related to commitment orders.
– Story from Kansas Supreme Court Office of Judicial Administration

Verruckt water slide to open Thursday in KCK

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Jeff Henry, one of the owners of Schlitterbahn, designed the new Verruckt water slide. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

It finally happened, the world’s largest waterslide called Verruckt, which means insane, will open tomorrow. After many months of testing the slide finally will be open.

Today, there was a preview of the slide and everyone who rode the slide said it was awesome, including Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Mark Holland.

“I’m a roller coaster fan and I thoroughly enjoyed the new waterslide,” Holland said. “It will take your breath away. I didn’t have any trouble going up the stairs, because I use the stairs whenever I can at the City Hall.”

Jeff Henry, one of the owners of Schlitterbahn, said, “When I designed this waterslide I wanted it to be the best waterslide that was ever made.”

Jamie Haggerty, who works for the Board of Public Utilities at the Muncie water plant, said it was amazing. “It will truly take your breath away,” he said. Jamie is a three-year veteran at the Muncie water station. He lives close and has watched the water slide being built.

“I cannot wait until it was done,” he said.

Another Wyandotte County resident, Philip Brown, who is an engineer at the water department, said it was awesome.

In the future, I, like a lot of residents in Wyandotte County plan to try the new waterslide myself.

Tomorrow will be the first day that the slide is open to the public. The lines for the ride will probably be long, so definitely go early. The park is at 94th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.

On Wednesday, the Schlitterbahn website said it is a soft opening and the hours may vary. Another page on the Schlitterbahn website said the Verruckt plans to open around noon each day beginning Thursday, July 10. The park opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. in July. Admission price listed on the website starts at $36.99 for adults and $28.99 for children 3-11 years old. For more information on when the Schlitterbahn Waterpark will be open go to the website, www.schlitterbahn.com.

Mayor Mark Holland went on the world’s tallest slide today at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kan. He said, “It will take your breath away.” (Photo by William Crum)

Jamie Haggerty and Marie Townsend of the Board of Public Utilities tried out the new Verruckt water slide on Wednesday at Schlitterbahn. (Photo by William Crum)

Phil Brown, an engineer at the Board of Public Utilities, said the new Verruckt water slide was “awesome.” (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)

Views of demonstrations of the new Verruckt water slide at the Schlitterbahn on Wednesday, July 9, in Kansas City, Kan. The new ride opens to the public on Thursday, July 10. (Photo by William Crum)