KCK couple gives back in lieu of expensive wedding

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Original Post

A KCK couple got married in secret, and instead of a huge venue or long guest list, they’re donating money to charity and are hoping you will do the same.

Margaret Solano was so excited for her wedding day to arrive.

“I’m getting married to my best friend, Hillario Caballero,” she said.

However, no one was aware of their nuptials, not even their children.

“We’re doing it a little different. We’re doing it in secret. Our children don`t know, our family, our friends,” Solano said.

“I’m not a big fan of big weddings. I`m not,” Caballero said. “That was my idea to be something small.”

Instead Caballero and Solano decided to give back.

“We see so much money spent on weddings, and we agree it should be special,” Solano said. “We’ve done some things. It’s going to be special for us today, but we didn’t spend a ton of money.”

Solano got her hair done, bought a dress and a few other things, but the rest the couple gave to charity to share the love.

However, when she tried to pay for her hair, the stylist told her to just share the love instead of billing her.

Chateau Avalon in KCK helped the couple celebrate in luxury, and Custom Limousinedrove them around town in style.

They donated $360 to Band of Angels to send a child to band camp; $200 to Vaughn Trent, a food pantry in Bonner Springs; and $200 to Margaret’s son’s class to benefit foster children.

“We did it right. To me it’s a sign,” Solano said.

When it was time to say their vows, their limo driver and FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt were the only witnesses.

After Caballero kissed the bride, they spread the love even more by giving candy to clerks at the courthouse and patrons of Tapatio Restaurant where they had their first date.

Then they cut their cake at Bloom Baking Co. in the River Market and shared it with anyone passing by as their guests of honor.

“Make it special. Make it memorable, but don`t spend so much money that when it`s over you have any regrets,” Solano said.

“If everybody gives, a lot of people get something,” Caballero said.

“Share the love. Share the money,” Solano said.

Caballero and Solano want you to keep it going and share the love with someone.

The couple gave FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt $20 for being a witness in their wedding, and she paid it forward by donating $40 in their names to Jackson County CASA, court appointed special advocates to help abused and neglected kids navigate the courts and adoption processes.

If you are looking for a way to give back, they are always in need of volunteers.

Hundreds of Kansas National Guard members deploy for Kuwait

TOPEKA, Kan. — Original Post

For hundreds of Kansas National Guard troops headed to Kuwait, it was an emotional farewell to friends and family Friday at a ceremony in Topeka.

Many of them have regular jobs, but it’s their job with the the Kansas National Guard that’s taking them more than 7,000 miles from home. The troops are going to be working on Operation Spartan Shield, which targets threats of terrorism and extremism.

“It`s tough. It`s scary,” Brandon Fields said. “It`s my first time going out of the country. I’ve never done that before, so mentally it`s taking a toll on me. But I`m ready for it. I`m ready for it.”

Fields is ready like hundreds of his brothers and sisters in the Kansas National Guard.

“I told myself that I`m going to come back no matter what, and I`m going to do everything I can to make sure everyone who is with me there is safe, and I come back safe as well,” he said.

He wants to make sure he’s coming home to his family, son and girlfriend he’s leaving behind.

“He’s worked hard for it,” Fields’ girlfriend Marissa Ortiz said. “We all knew that this day could come at one point, and it`s good to know that he`s going to be over there supporting the United States, as well as Kansas.”

Fields and Ortiz are both in the National Guard, but only one of them is shipping out to Kuwait.

“I just want her to know that I love her, and I`ll come back safe,” Fields said.

Coming home safely is also a priority for Jacob Stevenson, a husband and father of four.

“I’ve been wanting to deploy for six years, but now that I have a big family it’s kind of harder,” he said.

His wife Missy Stevenson is sad he has to go but knows it’s what he loves to do.

“I’m proud that he smiles when he puts the uniform on,” she said. “He walks straighter. His self confidence goes up, and he’s a part of something bigger, and he knows that.”

Missy Stevenson has one hope for his year long deployment: He makes it home.

“I love her unconditionally, and I love her even though I`m on the other side of the world,” Jacob Stevenson said.

April Fools Day snow is no joke for metro tow truck drivers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

A slick day on the roads leads to crashes across the metro, and a busy day at work for tow truck drivers.

Driving down the roads you may have seen cars in ditches, or stalled in the middle of the freeway. Multi-car crashes, and rollovers.

“It’s my day off, so I wasn’t really expecting it, but in this profession you’ve got to be ready for it,” said Corey Allen, a tow truck driver for All City Tow in Independence.

For Allen, snow on April Fools Day is no joke.

“It’s just probably going to continue to get worse, and worse throughout the night,” Allen said.

Allen’s been working with All City Tow for some years now, but he sees the same things time and time again.

“Majority of them are the people that are just driving too fast,” Allen said.

Allen says the ice doesn’t discriminate: 4-wheel-drive, small sedans, no one car can escape a slide-off. Including one woman in Kansas City, Missouri.

Her car hit some slush on the side of the road, and slid off into a ditch.

“She said she was coming down the road, she said she wasn’t speeding, but got some of this slush on the side of the road, and down the hill she went. Right into that rock,” Allen said.

While Allen says it didn’t look good he knows it could have been worse.

“If she would have hit those rocks down there, I mean they would have done a significant amount of damage to her car, other than what it`s already done,” Allen said.

So, if you have to go out, Allen says be careful for black ice.

“You’re not expecting to see it. You don’t see it, and once you notice you’ve got it, it’s probably a little too late,” Allen said.

He’s ready for warmer weather, but knows another round of snow could be here next weekend.

“It’s Missouri. I’ll believe it when I see it,” Allen said.

He says the big thing to remember is to watch out for that black ice. So, if you don’t have to go out, you might as well stay home.

Blue Springs officer completes run across state, hands off first pitch to Ofc. Wagstaff at Kauffman Stadium

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Officer Keegan Hughes is not only crossing the finish line, but also the baseball mound after running, walking and cycling across the state of Missouri.

The Blue Springs police officer did it all to raise money and bring awareness to fallen first responders.

“This is something special,” Officer Hughes said. “Every day I have had bad points, it s tough, it has been hard.”

Every step is important. They may be difficult, but each one has a purpose.

“We want everyone to remember these families,” Hughes said.

Hughes made the trek to remember the steps his fellow first responders will never take again.

Each day walking for someone lost on duty.

Grant Jansen with the St. Charles Police Department, Blake Synder with the St. Louis County Police Department, Molly Bowden with the Columbia Police Department, James Bava with the Missouri Highway Patrol, Bruce Brit with the Columbia Fire Department, Gary Michael and Christopher Morton with the Clinton Police Department, Terry Foster with the Independence Police Department, Harold Hollingsworth with the Fort Osage Fire Protection District, and Larry Leggio and John Mesh with the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department each had a day of travel that Officer Hughes carried a flag for them.

“It would have been easy just to hang my head but I made a promise to these families and to this community that we were going to do this,” Officer Hughes said.

Nine days, 260 miles, and over half a million steps. FOX4 walked a few with him on March 30.

“We knew it was going to be life changing but this exceeded our expectations,” Hughes said.

His final steps, however, are for Independence Officer Tom Wagstaff who is bound to a wheelchair, and cannot take them himself.

“It will be emotional, seeing Tom Wagstaff throw out that first pitch. That’s closure for a lot of people,” Hughes said.

Just over one year ago, Wagstaff was shot in the head during a burglary call.

This day is a milestone on the mound for Officer Wagstaff, as he throws out the first pitch at Kauffman stadium for the Royals.

“I’m very humbled and grateful to be able to do this,” Wagstaff said.

Officer Hughes closes out his walk across the state by handing off the ball to his longtime friend

“It signifies how far he’s come, and the miracles that happen, and his willpower to get stronger and better every day,” Officer Hughes said.

“He’s like a brother to me. It will be amazing. It will be amazing. I wouldn’t want anyone else to pass me the ball,” Officer Wagstaff said.

When Officer Wagstaff found out he was throwing the first pitch, his physical therapist incorporated it to his exercise to prepare for the big day.

Officer Hughes ran across the state for the non-profit Answering the Call that helps families of first responders in their time of need.

If you would like to know more or find out how you can help, visit their Facebook page here.

Baby goats at Overland Park farm attraction call out sick after getting virus

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Original Post

If you’re planning to take your kids to see the baby goats at Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead in Overland Park soon, you might consider postponing your trip.

The goat kids will likely be out sick for a few weeks after some of them caught a virus that could make human kids sick, too.

The park is just days away from its season opening on April 2.

“It’s basically a great learning opportunity for local kids to come and learn about what life was like on a Kansas farm kind of in the frontier days, what it takes to raise chickens and milk a cow,” Overland Park communications assistant Meg Ralph said.

For many kids, their favorite part is feeding the baby goats.

“Getting to bottle feed a goat, a lot of kids, especially around here, don’t have that experience, so it’s kind of a neat once an experience kind of opportunity,” Ralph said.

Unfortunately, some of those baby goats aren’t feeling well. A little less than half of their 65 pygmy goats have “sore mouth.”

“It’s a virus. Just kind of runs it’s course like any virus that a human would get,” Ralph said. “It makes it a little bit hard for them to feed. It kind of puts a little pain in the mouth where the sores can be.”

Ralph said the goats could pass it onto kids, so they have to be careful.

“We’re trying to cut down on any impact that we can on humans, so at this point it will just be staff that will be handling them,” Ralph said.

The park will still be open for kids and families to see the other animals, but these “kids” will need a break.

“Once the farmstead veterinarian has come back through and given them a clean bill of health, that’s when the bottle feeding of the kids would be open,” Ralph said. “That kind of depends on how long it takes them to get the sore mouth and then start feeling better. It could be a few weeks.”

Ralph said the virus works like a cold. They expect all the goats to get it and recover by May.

KU fan goes to grandma’s old Overland Park house during Elite Eight game to fulfill superstition

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Original Post

Some people would do anything to help their team win, but would you knock on a stranger’s door? That’s what one Kansas basketball fan did in Overland Park during Sunday’s Elite Eight game just before overtime.

Andy Schwartz, who owns the home, moved back to the area last year with his 10-year-old dog Bentley. They do most things together, including watch KU games.

“It’s cool. It’s really awesome. I grew up watching them,” Schwartz said. “I know where I was for the 2008 championships. I know where I was watching in 2012.”

Jeff Shull remembers where he watched those games, too — at his grandmother’s house, which just happens to be Schwartz’s house now.

“Anything on a Sunday,” Shull said. “So Elite Eight — that’s why on a Sunday it was here. You’d have every big sporting event like that we would get together here. So it was one of the ones that yeah, you miss all those memories.”

So when he drove past his grandma’s house during that Elite Eight game, he had quite a surprise.

“I saw Andy out here in the full KU get up,” Shull said.

“Jersey, shorts and headband. All the flare,” Schwartz said.

“I kind of joked to my wife — at least he’s a KU fan,” Shull said.

Shull went to watch the game with his wife nearby. As the clock ticked down, with things looking bleak for KU, Shull knew where he needed to be: grandma’s house.

“I saw a car pull up in front of my house, and I thought, ‘That’s kinda weird,'” Schwartz said.

“I asked him, ‘Are you superstitious?’ He said, ‘No, not really.’ I said, ‘OK, here’s the deal,'” Shull said.

“The last two times KU won an Elite Eight game I was in the house, and I’m like, ‘Enough said. Come on in, dude. Let’s watch the game,'” Schwartz said.

So Schwartz and Shull sat on the couch in awe as KU won the game in the last few moments and made it to the Final Four.

“I’ve heard stories about this in the past,” Schwartz said. “Someone goes to their old childhood home and meets the people, and I never thought I’d be one of those stories. And then sure enough, it happened. It was really cool and really exciting, and made a new friend. So, that’s awesome.”

“To be able to come back and have one last game there or one game there, it really shows how nice of a guy Andy is,” Shull said.

Just remember, next March is only 11 months away.

“I think I’ll call him,” Shull said. “We exchanged numbers. I’ll call him ahead of time. We’ll set it up, but I think I’ll be back here.”

Shull said his grandmother, who passed away, was a huge KU fan. She would be happy to know he got to see one more game in her living room.

102-year-old fan and KU’s good luck charm ready to cheer on Jayhawks in Final Four

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Original Post

Loyola Chicago has Sister Jean, but did you know that Kansas has Ruby-do?

The 102-year-old woman from Kansas City, Kansas, is one of the Jayhawks oldest and possibly biggest fans.

She lives in a tiny cottage covered in KU memorabilia with signed notes from Bill Self, framed pictures of her next to Davonte Graham and a hand-drawn picture of her next to Big Jay.

On Monday, Ruby sat in her recliner chair with blue and red pom-pom gloves, singing with an energy you wouldn’t expect from someone older than a century.

“Hey, hey! Rock Chalk KU!” Ruby White cheered. “This oughta spruce them up!”

White loves her Jayhawks, and the special nickname her son gave her — Ruby-do. Ruby said her family gave her the nickname for laughs.

“Because she’s a can-do person,” her son Barry White said. “She’s always been that way. It started out as a sense of can-do, can-do, KU, can-do. They can win that championship, and she just passes that on to everybody.”

She watched Sunday night’s game in awe.

“My son was hi-fiving me and screaming. I thought the house was coming down,” Ruby said. “I was so happy for them. I just had big tears rolling down. I thought that Self must be happy. He was, too.”

Her son thinks can-do Ruby-do is a good luck charm, just like Sister Jean is for Loyola.

“Oh, isn`t she darling? She is so sweet! She made my day, you know,” Ruby said.

“I do. There’s no question she’s a good luck charm for KU, and if we end up playing Loyola, they’ve got Sister Jean, but we’ve got Ruby Do,” Barry White said.

Ruby said she’d love to go see the Jayhawks’ Final Four game — and perhaps a National Championship game — in San Antonio, but doesn’t want to be a distraction to Coach Bill Self.

“Would he think I was butting in?” Ruby said. “I can’t wait til Saturday. I’ll be thinking, ‘I wonder if they can beat Villanova.'”

She does, however, have some advice for Self.

“Listen, just be himself. He don’t get riled up too much,” she said. “Well, he does when he`s supposed to. He can pull it off.”

She also wanted her favorite player, point guard Davonte Graham, to get those three-pointers going and to keep smiling.

Ruby said Davonte is the nicest kid.

“Win or lose, they’ve made it. They did great. The went from nothing really to all of this, and they’ve got so much spirit,” Ruby said.

Just remember KU: Ruby-do is rooting for you!

Ruby’s son said usually they take a nap when they are watching a KU basketball game, but since March Madness started they can’t keep their eyes off the screen.

KU fans mob Mass Street in celebration of win over Duke

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Original Post

Mass Street was a massive celebration Sunday night after the Jayhawks’ overtime win over Duke to reach the Final Four.

Fans were on edge throughout the nail-biter of a match-up, but that tension turned to jubilation after KU wrapped up the win, 85-81.

The partiers in the street shut down traffic, but police said the party wasn’t out of control. The Lawrence Police Department tweeted as of 9 p.m., there had been no arrests and no citations in the aftermath of the game.

Lawrence Police


9:00 p.m. Final (Four) update:
0 Arrests
0 Citations

Have a safe night, , and see you all next week. FILL IT UP AGAIN!

335 people are talking about this

Fans later flocked to Allen Fieldhouse to welcome the team back shortly after 11 p.m.

Dodge Town play area set to reopen at Antioch Park after extensive renovation

MERRIAM, Kan. — Original Post

For all the metro parents of tiny city-slickers, it’s almost time to round up your kids and head over to historic Dodge Town.

The Antioch Park play area reminiscent of the Wild West is almost ready to reopen any day now after extensive renovations.

On Friday at high noon, Dodge Town seemed to be a ghost town. But Michael Dizney, Antioch Park manager, said it will be busy soon enough.

“We will have bus loads of kids here non-stop the entire summer,” Dizney said.

Dodge Town has been a Johnson County staple since the 1970s, and this isn’t the first time it’s been redone.

“Things are always changing and everything, but we did build this one for sustainability to last for generations — or two or three maybe,” Dizney said.

For the last two years, the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Department has worked to design and create the nearly half-million-dollar project.

“Hopefully this will last 20, 30 years before having to re-do it again,” Dizney said.

They added a covered train station, a train-sized playground and a new flat surfacing instead of the previous mulch.

But Dizney’s favorite may surprise you.

“It’s probably the decorative cows that we placed, but you can sit on them,” he said. “I’ve tested all the elements here. Bessie’s always a good cow name.”

Dizney said Dodge Town is something families have done together for decades.

“You`ll have grandparents walking their grandkids up here, explaining to them how they used to play cops and robbers in Dodge Town buildings,” Dizney said.

“I remember coming here as a kid,” Glenda Ratliff said.

Ratliff came here as a young girl in the 1960s, and when she became a mom, she brought her son.

“That brings back really good childhood memories,” Glenda’s son Tadd Ratliff said. “We loved going through the little town and acting like we’re in a little old western.”

He can’t wait for his daughter Clara to dust off her boots at Dodge Town.

“It’s part of my childhood, so then I can share it with her and say, ‘That’s where Daddy used to play when he was a kid,’ and you know, it’s got such a nostalgia to it that its amazing,” Ratliff said.

So y’all come back or maybe say howdy to a new tradition. Dodge Town is having a rope cutting at 10:30 a.m. April 7 complete with hot dogs, bandannas and badges for kids. Every little buckaroo will also be able to become an honorary Dodge Town deputy.

New eats at Kauffman Stadium give Royals baseball season a delicious start

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

You may be ready for some Royals baseball, but are you prepared for what’s new on their menu?

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt had the tough task of checking out all the new eats at Kauffman Stadium.

“I would say to hit every piece of food in the stadium, you’d probably have to come to 20 games,” said John Woychick, executive chef for Aramark at Kauffman Stadium.

So many new options, but where to begin? Let’s start with the Drunken Barbacoa Beef Nachos.

“Slow braised in Tank 7 beer, some orange juice for about 6 hours,” Woychick said. “We shred them over top of our tri-colored chips here, some chipotle sour cream, pico de Gallo, charred corn, black beans and finish with some green onion.”


It wouldn’t be Kansas City without the wings, and this year they’re smoked.

“We season them in house with our pit master’s special rub, then we smoke them, toss them in a garlic butter, parsley,” Woychick said.

If you’re looking for something healthy, they’re offering a coconut chicken salad this year as well.

However, one FOX4 favorite wasn’t very healthy — Pork Belly Mac and Cheese. Delicious.

“The mac and cheese is made in house here with some slow-braised pork belly that we also cook,” Woychick said. “Then we chop that up, mix it up with our mac; we hit it with some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, some fried shallots and finish with some sliced green onions.”

They’re even put mac and cheese on a hot dog this season.

“Mac and cheese on a hot dog. Yeah, it’s absolutely delicious,” Woychick said.

There are fish tacos, chicken Philly cheese steaks and even edible cookie dough also on the menu at Kaufman.

These are just some of the new options on the menu. We have the full list here, and you can check out every new item on the menu on FOX 4’s Instagram.

And when the season starts next week, get ready to kick back, grab a hot dog — with mac and cheese — and enjoy a delicious season of Royals baseball.