Fund set up for funeral expenses of baby killed in drive-by shooting

A fund has been set up for expenses for a baby killed in a drive-by shooting Sunday night in Kansas City, Kan.

The Go Fund Me web page for 7-month-old JaQuail Mansaw, shot by a drive-by shooter while inside his home with his mother, is at

Tamika Pledger, who brought the funding need to the media’s attention, said that the site was set up by the family for burial and other expenses.

There are many questions about the case at this point, and early this morning, police appealed for the public to call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS and provide information that would lead to the arrest of those who are involved.

There was another shooting in the same block, the 2700 block of North Early, on April 5, 2014, which injured a man in his 30s and a juvenile, according to a police spokesman in April. Police stated they are not ruling out any connection between the cases. The location of the shootings is not far from 8th and Quindaro.

Pledger said that the community and state need to get serious about stricter gun laws and stricter rental licensing laws that would help curtail gun and drug activity.

“When violence hits, it hits the whole community,” she said.

Pledger said she believes the drive-by shooting Sunday night had nothing to do with the family who lives at the home with their five children.

Pledger said kids need a safe living environment. On New Year’s Eve, people were driving around shooting guns into the air, she said.

“Parents have to sleep with one eye open,” Pledger said. “As soon as we hear gunshots, we’re on the ground. People shouldn’t have to live like that.”

In her experience, she said she has noticed that people are coming into the neighborhoods from other neighborhoods in the county. In most drive-by cases, however, there is some connection between the location of the shooting and the shooter, perhaps an earlier argument, she said.

State completes sale of Rainbow Mental Health to KU Endowment

by Dave Ranney, KHI News Service

State officials have sold the former Rainbow Mental Health Facility building in Kansas City, Kan., to the University of Kansas Endowment Association.

The 11-acre property is a short distance from KU Medical Center.

“The transaction has occurred,” said Natalie Lutz, director of communications at the medical center. “The KU Endowment Association has purchased the building and will be meeting with the university to determine what the actual purpose of the property is going to be.”

Lutz said last week she was not in a position to comment on the final sale price or how the property might be developed.

The Kansas State Finance Council, a nine-member panel that includes Gov. Sam Brownback and House and Senate leadership, in November agreed to sell the property for $1.9 million.

Proceeds from the sale are to be deposited in the state general fund and credited to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

Since April, the two-story building has housed Rainbow Services Inc., a short-term crisis stabilization and detox facility. RSI has a three-year lease and is not expected to move for one or two more years.

Rainbow Mental Health Facility had been a state-run, 50-bed hospital for people with severe mental illnesses. It opened in 1974.

State officials closed 14 of the hospital’s 50 beds in December 2010 after federal surveyors cited the facility for being understaffed. A year later, 28 of the remaining 36 beds were closed because of safety concerns cited by state fire marshal’s office. According to state officials, 30 of Rainbow’s beds were moved to Osawatomie State Hospital last year.

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BPU to meet Jan. 7

The Board of Public Utilities will meet for a work session at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 7, at the BPU offices, 540 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

On the agenda for the work session are an update from the general manager and board, and a phone update.

The BPU’s regular meeting will follow at 6 p.m. Jan. 7.

On the agenda for the regular meeting are a visitors’ time; energy audit update; November financial report; board comments and general manager comments.