Mill Valley archaeology teacher digs a little deeper to help students learn in creative ways

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Original Post

Most students use their desks to write, but some students at Mill Valley High School in Shawnee are using them to discover history.

That’s all thanks to one archaeology teacher’s creative way of helping students learn.

Even before you walk into Keil Hileman’s classroom, you can tell it’s different by the glass case of artifacts waiting outside.

When you walk inside, it’s a trip back in time with suits of armor, black and white photos, telephones from every age and Egyptian figures lining the walls.

“I was a little overwhelmed when I walked in here,” junior Derek Widener said. “I immediately went straight to the back of the room. I’m not back there anymore.”

“It’s cool. You just look around, and you see history and people’s memories,” junior Grace Johnson said.

The students pull off the top of their desks to reveal a sandy inside with artifacts waiting to be uncovered.

Hileman said by teaching this way, students can dig a little deeper into the past.

“Some need to see it; some need a story told to them,” Hileman said. “Some students physically have to touch it, take it apart and put it back together. They all learn differently.”

“I think it’s pretty refreshing,” Widener said. “It’s getting away from the bland stuff that we do every day, and I think students enjoy this more than anything else. I know I look forward to it at the end of the day.”

Most of the items in his classroom were donated by students, parents and grandparents, but some of the items Hileman found on his own.

Hileman’s way of teaching not only has his students appreciating the past, but also looking towards their future.

“It’s helped me learn, and it’s also kind of help me learn what I want to do with my life because I want to be a teacher,” Johnson said. “It’s teachers like him who inspire me to be able to teach. So I probably wouldn’t be the person I am and want to be if it wasn’t for teachers like him.”

“That’s awesome,” Hileman said of his student’s future goals. “Teaching is a profession you can believe in 110 percent, but its not for everybody. So when I hear that, it makes me feel good.”

Even though his walls can’t hold any more artifacts, Hileman will keep collecting.

“I don’t see an end to it,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever be caught up — not even in 15 years. There’s a lot of good work to be done.”

Although all of his students have a favorite object in the room, Hileman’s favorite is a little different.

“The most important thing in this room is actually my students,” he said. “Some of them will tease that I have connected them and inspired them, but they inspire me every day. Right back at ya.”

Hileman said if you have something historic in your home, don’t get rid of it. Call your local school instead, and see if it can help kids learn in a creative way.

99-year-old Kansas nun makes nun dolls to spread love of God across the world

RICHMOND, Ks. — Original Post

Many of us take up a hobby because it makes us happy.

But one nun in Richmond, Kansas, has kept up her hobby for decades not only because it makes her happy, but because it also brings joy to others.

“Sister Mildred is a joy; 99 and going strong,” Sister Loretta Roeckers said.

Sister Mildred Katzer is a joy to Roeckers and every heart she touches with one of her dolls.

“I’m really overwhelmed. It shows that people are looking to the life hereafter to be with God,” Katzer said of her booming business of making little nun dolls.

She’s made more than she can count.

“I have no idea!” Katzer said.

But she keeps going to spread her love of God.

“Because I’m sharing my religion with them, and their great faith inspires me onto greater faith,” Katzer said.

“I think they looked at their teachers as people who wanted to really really help them, and so I think it`s a very peaceful, joyful experience,” Roeckers said.

She’s not taking any orders right now because she’s working on the ones she’s got.

“People really want them. I had no idea I’d be overwhelmed like this,” Katzer said.

However, her effort is much greater than their cost.

“We’ve been working on this for about two weeks, three weeks, and we’ve finally got four out in the mail today,” Roeckers said.

Katzer plans to keep making them as long as she can.

“I don’t know. God hasn’t told me how many days I have yet. I hope I can get this order finished,” she said.

But Roeckers has other plans.

“Until she’s 110 because that’s what I’m expecting,” Roeckers said.

Every day Katzer wakes up, every stitch she sews, every doll she ships — as long as she can share her faith she has one feeling in her heart.

“Joyful,” she said.

Customers from all over the United States have ordered her dolls. She even has one on display in France and another at a museum in Washington D.C.

Win or lose, Sporting KC fans excited that soccer season is back

KANSAS CITY, Ks. — Original Post

Sporting KC fans were ready for the start of the season, and its too bad that excitement couldn’t translate into a win on the pitch.

But before the game fans filed into Children’s Mercy Park with plenty of passion.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt was there with the tailgaters, and they knew exactly what they came for.

“I’m hoping for a win like everyone else,” said Paul Alvarado from Overland Park.

“I’m excited to make a run for The MLS Cup,” said Gabe Nolan from KCMO.

“It’s our first one. I’m excited for hopefully a KC win!” said Darren Meeker from KCMO.

Some were just plain excited.

“Really excited,” said a group of pint sized fans.

In Sporting KC’s match against New York FC many were concerned about their strong defense.

“They’ve got a good defense, but we have a good defense as well, but I’m anxious to see our front line, and see if we can penetrate, and score, and come out with a win,” Alvarado said.

“We have a phenomenal defense. We’ve always had a phenomenal defense, but I think with the new players that we have on there – if we can get some new blood on the pitch. We have some taller players than we’ve had in the past – I think that`s going to help us a lot,” said Philip Lowry from KCK.

“Doesn’t matter. We can take ’em. We`re in KC. You can’t loose here!” said Meeker.

Fans hoped they could pull it out with the help of some new players.

“I’m really excited just to see the the new talent pool that we have. We`re getting a fresh group of guys coming in on the pitch, and its just going to be nice to see how it comes together,” said Nolan.

Win or lose, Sporting KC fans come for the action.

“I’ve been to pro hockey, pro everything, and this is by far the best environment for a game,” Meeker said.

“It’s phenomenal. It’s what gives this stadium and this fan base the excitement that we have,” Lowry said.

Even though New York won the match, Sporting KC’s fans are hoping to take home the next game.

They will play Chicago on March 10 at Toyota Park.

Merriam boy gets stolen Taekwondo gear back thanks to police Facebook post

MERRIAM, Kan. — Original Post

The Merriam Police say they are able to close another case today thanks to the power of Facebook.

A 7-year-old Shawnee boy’s Taekwondo equipment disappeared a few weeks ago, and popped up in an unexpected place.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt met up with Isaac Martin who is back to his karate kid way of life for a story you will only see here.

The sun was out for one of the warmest days this season, and Issac Martin was doing his favorite things.

“It’s a really good day to go bike riding,” Isaac said.

He also got to go to Taekwondo class, but for the past few weeks, that wasn’t easy to do, because he didn’t have his equipment.

“Probably because it was stolen, and I thought someone would have tooken it and kept it,” Isaac said. “It never happened to me before since my life.”

A few miles away in Merriam, Detective Rashad Casteneda cracked the case.

“There was a bunch of stuff in there that obviously wasn’t hers,” Detective Casteneda said.

A stolen car full of random stuff – trash, car chargers, bullet shells, and for some reason, some kid’s karate gear.

“I wasn’t exactly sure why it was in there, but yeah, I could tell it belonged to a little guy,” Det. Casteneda said. “I brought it back to the station, we took a picture of it, put it on Facebook, and we got a call about it about an hour later.”

Someone at Isaac’s martial arts studio, ATA Martial Arts, spotted it and made the connection.

“I was blown away,” said Isaac’s dad Jason Martin. “I was not expecting to get the gear back.”

“It’s pretty rare because there`s not a name or any identifying marks or phone numbers or serial numbers and stuff like that so its kind of hard to back track who it belongs to, so the power of social media helped us out this time for sure,” Casteneda said.

It not only helped Isaac get his gear back, but now he’s ready to get back to working on his next belt.

“I got to do my favorite thing. I got to do combat,” Issac said.

He also got a new sparring partner in Detective Casteneda.

“He obviously didn’t do anything to deserve this. Do I wish there were more happy endings? Of course I do, unfortunately that’s just not the way it goes a lot of times,” Casteneda said. “I was excited. I was really excited.”

While you might think Isaac might want to go into law enforcement when he grows up he tells FOX4 that he loves Taekwondo, but actually wants to be a scientist when he gets older.

Missouri lawmakers considering bill to make indoor tanning beds illegal for those under 18

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Prom season’s right around the corner, and plenty of teens will want the glow from a tanning bed. But Missouri lawmakers could shut the door on those beds for anyone under 18.

FOX 4’s Sherae Honeycutt talked to one woman who wishes she’d known what tanning can do.

“Is a tan worth all of this?” Amanda Scott asked.

Scott started tanning when she was 15 years old.

“I was invited to my first formal dance,” Scott said. “I just wanted to make sure I looked good in my dress.”

She would go tanning 20-30 times before a big event.

“I liked the way it made me look, the way it made me feel,” she said. “I felt like I looked healthier. I felt like pictures looked better, and I also felt relaxed.”

In her 20s, Scott decided to put a tanning bed in her home.

“I would use it seasonally, not yearound, but I would use it to get a good tan when it was starting to get warm outside,” Scott said. “Then I started incorporating it into my workouts. I would work out in my gym in my house, and then I would hop into my tanning bed for 20 minutes.”

But that healthy feeling had a horrifying result in her 30s — stage 3 melanoma that spread to some of her lymph nodes and lead to Lymphodema.

“It was scary. All I could think about was my daughter and my family. Everybody was so concerned, and it was a very sad time,” Scott said.

Deede Liu with the University of Kansas Health System said she’s seen a patient as young as 19 with melanoma.

“We know now that they do contribute to a higher risk of skin cancer, and in addition they can be immunosuppressive and increase risks of infections even for those that go indoor tanning,” Liu said.

Liu said its time to change the way we get our glow.

“In terms of prevention, I think its very important to limit indoor tanning as a method of public health,” Liu said. “Unfortunately we have a cultural ideal of beauty that still hangs onto that tanned look, but there are safer ways on obtaining that look. There are many self tanners that I think are quite convincing.”

A bill in the Missouri House backed by Rep. Nick Schroer aims to keep teens out of tanning beds.

“Teens are still tanning under the age of 17,” Schroer said. “They’re tanning without parental consent. They’re forging parental consent, and they’re tanning with parental consent where parents who came in and testified had no idea the health hazards of indoor UV tanning.”

House Bill 1260 would make it illegal for anyone under 18 to use a tanning bed in Missouri.

“The very horrifying statistic is in the past nine years we’ve seen in the state of Missouri the rate of melanoma double,” Schroer said. “It’s very scary listening to the stories of survivors, family members, and individuals that didn’t make it. This is a very scary issue, and we have alternatives that are very healthy.”

A scary reality that Scott had to face.

The first step was getting rid of her in-home tanning bed.

“Literally, about 6 months after going through what I did, I disposed of it. I got rid of it,” Scott said. “Melanoma is the most un-glamorous situation. When you go through surgeries and staples and stitches and treatment and hair loss and the side effects from having surgeries — it’s choices that I wish I didn’t make, and I wish I had a little more education on what could happen.”

House Bill 1260 is currently in a rules committee, and Schroer hopes to see it on the floor of the state capitol soon.

KKFI radio station celebrates 30 years on the airwaves

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Today is a milestone for community radio in the metro. KKFI is celebrating thirty years on the airwaves, and they held an open house to mark the occasion.

The station began with their first broadcast in 1988.

The event was full of volunteers and supporters from throughout the years.

Listeners were encouraged to call in and share their KKFI memories.

Their Development Director, Bill Sundhal, says the reason they are able to be so successful is all thanks to those who volunteer.

“The spirit of KKFI is in the people. In the human beings that come in here day in and day out, and our reception desk is manned by volunteers, our station manager is a group of volunteers,” Sundahl said. “It really is members of the community building more community. That’s what we’ve been doing for thirty years: enriching the lives of those around us, even if they never set foot in the station.”

Sundhal says KKFI is a passion for those who choose to give their time.

“The passion of the KKFI volunteers is unmatched in my estimation. It takes – if you just have a show. Just all you do is come in for your show that’s – I don’t know – twenty hours a week at least every week of your life that you’re involved at KKFI,” Sundahl said.

Sundahl says they are always looking for new volunteers and they are willing to train people who are interested in radio and want to learn more.

If you are interested, visit their website.

Metro ice storm means busy work day for some, work-from-home day for others

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Go to work or stay home when weather becomes to much? It’s a difficult choice for some metro workers, but others don’t have an option.

When ice hits, so does business at Prestige Auto Collision in KCMO. Owner Alex Kulinets said bad weather doesn’t give him the day off.

“Nobody’s expecting to get into a car accident. Its not a fun experience,” he said.

Of course, there are things you can do to drive safe.

“Keep your distance, slow down, make sure you have tires that are not worn out, that are rated for this weather, and if you can – stay at home obviously!” Kulinets said.

The majority of the cars that come into his shop after slide-offs have worn down tires, but he says driving on ice is simply unpredictable.

But just because Kulinets has to come into work, doesn’t mean everyone has to.

Melissa Glaspie’s boss called her around seven this morning.

“He said, ‘OK, give me a few minutes,’ and then he called me back and he’s like, ‘Work from home today. Shut the lot down. You’re staying home,'” Glaspie said.

She’s a manager for a repossession company, and thankfully, most of her work can be done remotely.

“I really think that, when it becomes a safety issue for the buses to get out, the main roads may be fine, but the side streets are not fine, and that`s when it becomes a major issue,” Glaspie said.

With her two kids home from school, she didn’t have to leave them home alone.

“It was great. I got to stay home with my kids. They had a four-day weekend, and this was supposed to be their first day back, and we got to enjoy another day together,” she said.

So when the ice comes down, stay home if you can so your car doesn’t end up in Kulinets’ garage.

“Stay safe, Kansas City!” Kulinets said.

Metro temple, school and cafe working to get back to normal after burst pipe causes damage

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Unity Temple on the Plaza woke up to a rude awakening last Thursday morning.

A pipe burst at the metro building that holds a temple, restaurant and school, and now employees and guests are having to work around the damage until things get back to normal.

“The building is 67 years old — excuse me, it’s 70 years old, and the pipes have served their purpose,” Unity Temple CEO Duke Tufty said. “I think they’re screaming out: ‘I can’t do this anymore. It’s time to retire!'”

Water was everywhere after the extremely old pipe couldn’t take it anymore.

“So they burst, and when we went inside the wall, we found a pipe that was corroded down until it was paper thin,” Tufty said. “We know that the building is lined with these pipes, so this won’t be the last time.”

The building is also home to Eden Alley Cafe and Willow Montessori. All three used to be under the umbrella of Unity Temple, but some years back, they were put under independent management.

The owners of Eden Alley didn’t want to provide a statement, but provided FOX 4 with video footage of the damage, showing water spilling across the floor, and photos of water pouring down their stairway.

Now the temple, cafe and Montessori are trying to clean up that mess.

“We have two options. One is to do it all at once, and that would be about a million dollar undertaking,” Tufty said. “The other one is to just patch as we go. We don’t know if the pipes will last another year, two years, five years. When they break, they break, and the sooner we catch it the less damage. So, it’s just take it one step at a time.”

Willow Montessori took most of the water with about an inch covering their floors.

“When we got here, it was already a waterfall out the back door, which was much better than everything floating away,” Director Marty Dennington said.

It means they have had to get creative with lesson plans for their approximately 45 students.

“We’re very lucky that we’ve been able to move to some of these other spaces,” Dennington said. “I don`t know what we would have done if we had to have class in that classroom.”

“To everybody, my sympathy goes out to them, but I also give them a great deal of faith that things will correct, and they’ll be better than ever,” Tufty said.

He said the temple has insurance and hopes to pay out their deductible soon.

“So, we’ll hustle and bustle and scrape that up, and maybe pass the plate twice on Sunday,” Tufty said.

Eden Alley Cafe posted on Facebook that they will be reopening at 11 a.m. Feb. 23.

Girl gets 3D-printed arm thanks to connection through Science City at Union Station

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

One metro girl’s life is changed forever with a prosthetic arm 3D printed to fit her like a glove.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt was there as eight-year-old Zadie Wilson got her new arm.

It wasn’t Zadie’s birthday, but with the gift she received it may as well be.

A couple of years ago, Zadie’s family visited Science City, and one of their makers connected them with E-Nable, an online community that helps design and distribute 3D printed prosthetics free of charge.

“Everything we do here is to help educate kids, but to really be making something impactful with our maker space is fabulous,” said Ryan Bell, a Maker Specialist at Science City.

Jaquin Buchanan designs and makes prosthetics through E-Nable as a hobby. Buchanan lives in Colorado, and traveled to Kansas City on a special trip to deliver Zadie’s arm.

He let Zadie make some design choices like the color pink, a rainbow band, and a bedazzled skull and cross bones.

Buchanan works as a software engineer in his daily life.

Zadie’s arm the first prosthetic he’s presented to a child.

“Even though it’s just a hobby, you really are looking for something that’s more fulfilling than model airplanes. You’re looking for something that’s going to help someone else out, and it’s really nice to get that feeling,” Buchanan said.

When Zadie heard that she was getting her new arm her mom says she couldn’t contain her excitement.

“I told Zadie, and she’s jumping up and down running through the house going, ‘I get my arm! When?!’,” said Ashley Wilson. “Zadie’s been wanting to try it for a while, and if it’s something she wanted I’m really happy for her.”

Zadie says she thinks her new prosthetic will help her in a lot of ways, especially reaching the monkey bars at the park, and possibly riding a bike.

“Some things I need two arms to do,” Zadie said. “Some things I’m scared to do without two arms.”

“Sometimes she’ll say it’s a little difficult for me,” her mom said. “I wish I had another hand to help with it.”

However, her mom says Zadie never gives up.

“Zadie is an amazing girl, and can do everything on her own. This is just another really cool tool for her to use,” Wilson said.

Her new arm will last around two years until she grows out of it.

“I think it will be amazing when Zadie can build her own, and come in and do this,” Wilson said.

“If she can come back and have that making experience as well, and sort of cultivate that love of science and making that would be great too,” Buchanan said.

Science City says Zadie is welcome anytime, especially when she is ready for her next design.

For a girl who can do anything, we may have a maker in the making.

Ryan with Science City says they are always looking to help members of the community. If you have a need that you believe a 3D printer can help with get in touch with their Maker Studio.

Buchanan says his design is open source and free of charge, so if you know a child or someone who may be in need, you can find it on E-Nable’s website.

Loved ones hold vigil on birthday of teen gunned down in August

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

In August of 2017, a young man set to go to Missouri State University was killed outside a barbershop on Troost Avenue.

Now, his family is remembering him on what would have been his 19th birthday, as they still wait for answers.

They held a birthday party with balloons he will never see and a cake he will never eat on the first birthday he will never have.

Roosevelt Cooper’s family says it’s important to celebrate his life even though he’s not there with him.

“I love him. I wish he was here still,” said his mother Galanda Cooper. “One day he was there getting his haircut, and the next thing you know he was gone, so we really don’t know.”

Back on that day in August, Cooper was just a day away from heading to Missouri State University on an academic scholarship. At about 2:45 p.m., police were called out and found the young man dead inside a car.  Police believe the suspects and victim exchanged gunfire. They say they found a weapon at the scene.

Police are still looking for the two suspects. They believe one was hurt.

His mentor, Mark Allen, says whoever killed Cooper took a lot from this world.

“Do you understand what you’ve taken from this world? Do you understand the ripple effect of how many people have been impacted?” Allen said.

“I’m very proud, and I`m still very proud that I had the type of child that I had,” Cooper said.

Dozens of friends, family members, and loved ones, came together to send their “Rose” a message in heaven with balloons.

The group released the blue and white star balloons and wished him a happy birthday.

This case is still unsolved, and the family is asking for any help bringing Cooper’s shooter to justice.