Column: Top stories of the year in Wyandotte County


Opinion column

by Mary Rupert

The top story of the year 2022 in Wyandotte County was the arrest of former Detective Roger Golubski for several felonies.

The story about the former KCK police detective seemed to continue in the headlines all year long, going national at times. The former detective was arrested on charges of deprivation of civil rights relating to sexual assaults.

This story was related to other stories this year, including a $12.5 million civil settlement the Unified Government made with Lamonte McIntyre, who was wrongfully convicted in a case that was handled by Golubski.

Another related story was a request by the district attorney for $1.7 million to digitize old case files in order to review Golubski’s past cases.

In addition, another story during the year concerned activists calling for justice and review of the police department in the Golubski case, with national attention brought to the issue by rapper Jay-Z.

In another top story, friction between Mayor Tyrone Garner and the Unified Government Commission continued during 2022. It ended in December with the commission limiting the mayor’s exclusive ability to set the agenda, and expanding the commission’s ability to set agenda items.

Meanwhile, a grassroots community group formed to pressure the Board of Public Utilities into stopping utility cutoffs. It also called for more utility assistance for the needy, for more consideration of not cutting off customers who depend on electrical medical devices, .and for the closing of the Nearman coal plant. The group frequently mentioned a large salary increase for the executive director, and asked the board to vote no on the budget.

The BPU board responded by freeing up an additional $250,000 in the budget for assistance to the needy, stopping utility cutoffs until the end of the year, which might give residents time to apply for the assistance at area agencies.

Yes, there was also a trickle-down effect from national and international events.

A conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruling threw out the Roe v. Wade decision in 2022, which resulted in more women candidates running for public office. At the same time, Planned Parenthood opened a new clinic in Wyandotte County, which was protested by some area churches.

The election in Wyandotte County saw the retirement of some long-time legislators, with some new faces for the upcoming session.

The war in Ukraine continued to have effects on inflation here, especially as oil prices rose throughout the world. Gasoline prices rose during the year.

The federal government continued to provide state and local grants in the Covid recovery period. Local governments spent considerable time in 2022 in deciding how to spend American Rescue Plan Act and Esser funds.

This was also the year that sports wagering started in Kansas. While it didn’t make as much money yet as the state thought it would, it did have some positive effects. Recent reports said it brought in more people to the Hollywood Casino, which helped overall gaming revenues there.

To reach Mary Rupert, editor, email