Zusi voted MLS Player of Week

Graham Zusi

Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City has been voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week.

Zusi, a midfielder, scored the opening goal in Saturday’s 3-2 win at Colorado before providing the game-tying and game-winning assists in the come-from-behind road victory.

The 27-year-old put Sporting KC ahead 1-0 in the 50th minute, beginning the scoring sequence by winning the ball inside the defensive half and outracing Rapids defender Marvell Wynne over the course of a 60-yard run for a first-time finish inside the six-yard box.

Zusi has 18 career goals in MLS competition and Sporting KC improved to 14-0-1 when he scores in the regular season.

Zusi has 33 assists in his MLS regular season career, fourth most in club history, and his 0.34 assists per 90 regular season minutes played ranks second best among Sporting KC players all-time.

Since the start of the 2011 season, Zusi is one of only two MLS players with at least 30 assists and 15 goals along with Houston Dynamo captain Brad Davis.

On Sunday, Zusi joined the U.S. Men’s National Team along with Sporting KC captain Matt Besler ahead of Wednesday’s international friendly against Mexico.

State sets traps for emerald ash borer

The state of Kansas is setting some traps for the emerald ash borer.

The pest showed up in Wyandotte County in August 2012, then in Johnson County in 2013.

Now the state Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture will set 568 traps in other counties to see if the pest has arrived there.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture survey will monitor known emerald ash borer infestations and detect unknown beetle populations, according to a news release.

As a result of finding the pest here, KDA has implemented a permanent intrastate quarantine for certain firewood, nursery plants and mulch that is shipped in and out of Wyandotte and Johnson counties to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer in Kansas.

The quarantine applies to any corporation, company, society, association, partnership, governmental agency, and any individual or combination of individuals, according to KDA.

It prohibits movement of regulated items from the quarantined area, except under specific conditions established in the quarantine order.

Laurinda Ramonda, KDA state cooperative agriculture pest survey coordinator, said she hopes other infestations are not found in the state.

“These traps are an important monitoring tool,” she said. “In the event of infestation, early detection would help KDA limit the spread of emerald ash borer.” In the event of any infestation, it is recommended that professional exterminators such as Kansas City Pest Control deal with the issue, and Kansans are reminded to not attempt to find the pest themselves.

KDA will set up 80 traps in seven counties, including Barton, Bourbon, Douglas, Ellsworth, Leavenworth, Marion and Osage. The rest are being put up by USDA.

The purple, prism-shaped traps are coated with nontoxic glue. While they pose no risk to humans, pets or wildlife, the glue can be messy if touched. Kansans are encouraged to report downed traps to the Kansas Department of Agriculture at 785-862-2180.

Project Safe Celebrate aims to keep youth safe during prom and graduation season

This graphic illustration will be used on social media and posted in schools as part of Project Safe Celebrate announced today by Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman. The project encourages youth to celebrate prom and graduation safely. The project received some design funding assistance for several promotional illustrations from the Kansas Department of Transportation, and the project is a joint effort of several agencies.

The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office is partnering with various organizations in Project Safe Celebrate.

This project is a joint effort to encourage high school students to celebrate safely during the prom and graduation season. Proms start this weekend at some Wyandotte County high schools.

Unfortunately, risky behavior has become an integral part of some teenagers’ prom and graduation celebrations, according to local officials.

Each spring District Attorney Jerome A. Gorman prosecutes teens who commit crimes such as: minor in possession of alcohol, driving under the influence, open container violations, and criminal damage to property.

“Even worse, we know that the use of alcohol heightens the chance of sexual assault.  In fact, approximately half of all sexual assaults involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim or both,” Gorman said.

“This is such an important season for our youth and we want them to know that we value them and we take these matters seriously,” Gorman said.  Gorman believes that educating and protecting the youth of Wyandotte County is a community effort. Here are just a few of the ways his office is uniting with other groups to reach as many people as they can, in as many different ways as they can:

– The District Attorney’s Office is increasing its presence on Facebook and Twitter and will link all high schools and partnering organizations together through #safecelebrate.

– The Kansas City, Kan., Police Department and the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department will perform “saturation patrols” on the prom nights of all Wyandotte County high schools.  Representatives from the District Attorney’s Office will ride with officers to assist law enforcement with any needs that may arise, and to hold “tweet-alongs” under the Twitter handle @WYCODAoffice.

– The Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools Police Department and the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department are teaming up to identify and seek out parties where drugs and alcohol may be present.

– Liquor and cereal malt beverage retailers across Wyandotte County will be especially mindful of attempts to purchase alcohol by teens or by others on their behalf and will refuse to sell to these people.

– Hotel managers have been informed of the prom dates for Wyandotte County high schools and will report all unsupervised prom activities to the police.

– The Kansas Department of Transportation has funded the creation of several posters to be displayed in Wyandotte County high schools.

Gorman has designated Candace Golubski as project manager for Project Safe Celebrate, as this is a large undertaking.

“We have a number of organizations involved in the project.  A lot of work has gone into coordinating all of the events and activities associated with Project Safe Celebrate,” Golubski said. “Our hope is that next year and the years to come, the project will continue to expand, possibly even into the surrounding counties.  We’ve got big ideas, and the more support we have, the more we can do for the students.”

For more information regarding Project Safe Celebrate, visit: www.facebook.com/projectsafecelebrate.