Business is booming in Grandview as more companies move to city

GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Original Post

For businesses, it seems to be a good time to go to Grandview. Three big companies are in the process of setting up shop.

Great location, great traffic — That’s what Kim Curtis says Grandview is all about.

“People are wanting to get into Grandview, definitely,” Curtis said.

Curtis is the president of Grandview’s Chamber of Commerce and said the town of 25,000 continues to grow.

“We’ve got a community that’s really easy to work with in terms of bringing businesses here,” she said. “We were noticed as one of the top five cities in the metro as being the easiest process to go through when you`re permitting or bringing a business here.”

Just inside the city limits, Kelly Construction is building its new facility from the ground up.

Winco Fireworks is moving in to share production with existing business Church & Dwight.

Curtis said Construction Brokers is also headed south of the metro to the Jackson County city.

All together, it’s about 100 jobs.

“Its exciting. We’re all about business, and when we have new folks coming in to join the businesses that have been here for years and years, it just brings everybody up,” Curtis said.

Mike Christ, owner of Stonebridge Collective, decided to start his business in Grandview about six months ago.

“We opened our doors in September,” Crist said. “We’ve owned the building for a little over two years and really renovated the space and made it our own and have been open for about six months.”

Stonebridge Collective started as a landscaping business and expanded to indoor and outdoor lifestyle products.

Crist said the location brings in business.

“It’s very accessible for the entire city,” he said. “We’ve got access to Johnson County, to the Northland, right through the city, all over. It`s just a great location for us.”

“We’ve got nearly 80,000 cars that go through Grandview every day on I-49, so it`s a good location,” Curtis said.

Crist said new businesses coming to town means more car traffic and more customers in the door.

“It’s very encouraging,” he said. “It makes you feel like you’re not alone because other people see the potential. Hopefully more traffic to them means more traffic to us.”

Curtis said she’s not sure how much tax revenue the companies will bring in just yet for the city.

Basketball brings big bucks to bar owners

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Kansas State’s March 18 game is icing on the cake for bar owners on what some would say is their biggest weekend of the year.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt spent the day at Tower Tavern, not for drinks, but to see how this weekend beats all the rest.

With March Madness in full effect, Tower Tavern’s owner, Grant Naugle, he’s seen green for more than just St. Patrick’s Day.

“The tournament’s huge for us,” Naugle said.

Naugle says this is his biggest weekend each year.

“I think Kansas City is just kind of a crazy basketball town, and being so close to three major colleges there’s tons of alum from all three schools. People just love the basketball,” Naugle said.

From Kansas University, to Kansas State, and even Mizzou there’s a lot to cheer for.

“It usually typically gets pretty busy. There’s a lot of people. There`s a really fun vibe in here. Everyone`s cheering for their teams, which is always really nice,” said bartender Ariel Douglas.

Douglas says the more wins they get the more her tips go up.

“Just ’cause everyone’s happy, and in a good mood, and obviously the more people that come in, the more tips you’re going to make,” Douglas said.

Naugle says their register usually doubles during big games, but throw St. Pats in the mix and its a whole other level.

“Well, that was about triple,” Naugle said.

Patrons say a big win can mean a few more rounds.

“We may be going to Atlanta on Thursday if we win, but it’s pretty pricey, and it’s awesome,” said Patrick Atchity of Kansas City, Missouri.

“If we win we definitely have more fun, which equals spending more money,” said Phillip Burkett of Roeland Park.

“I typically go to the bar and close out and I’m very disheartened. It’s way too much money, but I enjoyed every minute of it,” said Josh Parker of Kansas City, Missouri.

Bucks aside, it’s about good friends and tradition.​

“People that come here kinda know each other, and if you don`t, it`s the kind of vibe where you do get to know everyone. So, it’s just a really friendly hospitable place,” Douglas said.

“As the stakes get higher it brings in more people. I would assume this Friday with KU playing Friday night we’ll be absolutely bananas,” Naugle said.

Naugle says what may surprise you is when tournaments are at Sprint Center they still see a good amount of business, but more fans head over to Power & Light for an easy walk to a local pub.

KC St. Patrick’s Day festivities offer fun for revelers of all ages

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Even though the St. Patrick’s day parade ended, the celebration was just getting started.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt followed the parade route to see the excitement over the Irish holiday.

Each year, Kansas City breaks out their green, and brings their spirit to the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“I like all the floats and stuff,” said 12-year-old Brady Mason.

“We like to celebrate, and we think its really fun to celebrate holidays like this,” said 10-year-old Ava Lamothe.

From Irish giants, to little leprechauns, everyone has a great time.

“We love it. We love it. We love supporting Kansas City, and seeing all the parade entries. Its fun,” said KC resident Heidi Skretta.

“I’ve brought my kids since they were little bitty. I think its just important to do the family thing. It`s not always about the drinking and the partying. It`s about having fun with everybody,” said Leanne Tate.

It was hard to find a person to pinch!

Terry Diamond brought his family from Springfield, MO to see the show.

“Growing up in Kansas City it’s just tradition,” Diamond said. “Just so they can see what Kansas City is all about. The different people, different lifestyles, and different traditions they have here.”

In Westport, the party was just getting started.

“It’s like no other. Second to none,” said Daniel Nelson.

“I get to hang out with these guys, and have a good time. They get excited, and every year they`re like ‘we gotta go to St. Patrick’s Day,” said Matthew Petelin.

Just remember, don’t drink and drive, and keep luck on your side.

​”Everybody have fun and be safe tonight,” Tate said.

Major Brands is offering 1,000 free rides to people across Missouri. You can get yours in the metro through the zTrip app.

Changes to ‘dangerous dog’ policy in Independence causing issues for some owners

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Original Post

Should a dog that’s labeled “dangerous” be considered a menace forever? An Independence family says no, but the city’s ordinance says yes.

No matter the circumstances, the city of Independence just updated its dangerous dog ordinance, and it includes a 10-year-old husky mix who doesn’t even have teeth anymore.

“She’s a scaredy cat. She’s a big baby,” Tina Henson said of her 10-year-old dog Lily.

Henson said back when Lily was a puppy, they ran into a problem.

“She stood at the end of the driveway of our old neighbor’s house, and he pulled up, and he couldn’t get out of the car because she was barking there,” Henson said. “And he was afraid she was going to charge her, and he pressed charges.”

According to a judge in Independence, Lily is a dangerous dog.

“At that time, she only had to make sure that she had rabies shots every year, micro-chipped, dog on premises sign, and she couldn’t be on a long leash. It had to be a certain length,” Henson said.

About a week ago, Henson got a letter in the mail about an update to the dangerous dog ordinance.

“Now we now have to send in four pictures,” Henson said. “She has to have a caged muzzle, a 6-foot leash, and a $300,000 insurance policy.”

That policy is new to Independence dog owners but not for other owners around the metro. Lee’s Summit has the same requirements. KCMO’s ordinance requires a little less insurance at $250,000. KCK requires a $1 million policy.

A manager with the city of Independence said the change was for uniformity between the cities’ ordinances, and if you add it onto your homeowner’s insurance, it’s inexpensive.

But it’s not that easy for Henson.

“If I had homeowners insurance or renters insurance, she could just be added, and it wouldn’t be a big deal. I don`t have any of that, because I don`t own my own home,” Henson said.

Now that Lily is reaching her golden years, she’s less dangerous and more docile.

“She has no teeth now. She has bad bones. She don’t bark hardly ever. She’s not a dangerous dog, and she has no bite history,” Henson said.

She thinks the ordinance requirements are a bit much for a dog without a bite.

“If you have a dog that has never bitten, doesn’t have a history of bites, is old and doesn’t get out of the house — she has no teeth — I think it should be done on a dog-by-dog basis,” she said. “You know, not just we`re going to blanket this over every dog that`s had an issue.”

The city said it’s willing to work with residents as updates go into effect. Residents are asked to comply by the end of the month.

Elderly KC woman looking for help to keep her nearly 100-year-old home from falling apart

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

About 30 years ago, Brenda Baker found her dream home. But now it’s falling apart, and the Kansas City woman hopes someone can help.

“I felt it around me when I walked in,” Baker said of her KC home. “You know, when you look at houses for so long, when you walk in to one, you can feel it. This is the one I want.”

The five-bedroom, three-story home was built in 1920 with a den, rooftop porches and intricate woodwork.

“People would say, ‘Oh, I love it. I love it.’ They love it. They say people don’t do woodwork like here in homes like this anymore,” Baker said.

She and her husband bought the home on East 68th Street back in the 1990s, and for years they filled it with memories.

“About three years ago, three years ago — that’s when it started going downhill,” Baker said. “My husband, he got Alzheimer’s and put in a nursing home, so I didn’t have anything to work with.”

She tried to keep up with it, but the citations started coming.

“For the first two years it was, ‘Oh, look at that gorgeous house!’ Now I drive by it, and it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s too bad. What an eyesore it is now,'” neighborhood president LeRoy Glover said.

Glover is helping, but its not enough.

“The city`s been good at trying to work with us,” he said. “They understand the condition of the house. The problem is all the repair that needs to be done is over their budget.”

They’re hoping someone out there can help restore the home to the way it once was.

“We desperately need help here. Sister Baker is here all by herself in this great big house with very little income, and the house is basically falling in with her,” Glover said. “I’ll accept any help that is willing to help, restore the house and then I would work on getting the house on the national registry.”

Baker said she doesn’t know what else to do to keep her nearly 100-year-old house standing.

“I really don`t know what to do. This is my last resort. After this, I`m going to leave. I don`t want to give it up,” Baker said.

But Glover said he has faith that her home can stand strong once again — even if the porch is falling, paint is peeling and lights are dimming.

“Sad, but with hope. Nothing wrong with sad as long as there’s hope, and there’s definitely hope,” Glover said.

If you would like to volunteer to help Baker with her home, please reach out to Glover at 816-217-1305 or Baker at (816) 363-1858.

4 Johnson County siblings adopted together by foster parents

JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — Original Post

Monday was a chance for a new life for four Johnson County kids.

Alisia, Emma, Cody, and Bradley Watson have been waiting two years for the day they could officially be a family. On March 12, that dream came true.

“I’m really excited,” Alisia said.

“I’ve been looking forward to this day about two and a half years,” Emma said.

“I knew it would come one day,” Cody said.

“Now having this, I can’t express how much I appreciate just having a family, to be loved and be with a family,” Bradley said.

The four kids, ranging in ages of 11 to 17, have always been siblings, but it hasn’t always been easy.

“Leaving from my dad’s home into foster care, those were the only people I knew, and I really wanted to be with them just to have some comfort,” Cody said.

When they went back into the system, brand new foster parents Eric and Phylis Watson opened their doors.

“We took all four of them, and it’s been really good. It’s been really great,” Eric Watson said.

“I can’t imagine what that would feel like, and being an adult, I can’t imagine, and being a child or a teen, I can’t imagine,” Phylis Watson said. “I’m just glad that we stepped up and did it.”

Thanks to the Watsons, they’re no longer foster children. They’re a family.

The courtroom was standing room only with friends, family, schoolmates and loved ones lining the walls. Judge Kathleen Sloan has been there all the way.

“The court first finds that it is very much in these beautiful children’s best interest to approve these adoptions,” Sloan told the court.

She takes a picture with kids when they first come in her courtroom, and looking back knowing what they went through, Monday was a clean slate.

“It means hope. That’s what it means,” Sloan said.

However, although the Watsons went home Monday night as a family, there are hundreds of kids waiting for a place to call home.

“To give them a home means everything to us. I would say go for it and be a help,” Eric Watson said.

“They could be somewhere right now without a family, without hope, and I say, if you think you can do it, then go for it. Change someone’s life. Help them. I think that’s great,” Cody said.

If you are not able to adopt or foster, another option is to sign up to be an advocate through your local CASA organization. Sloan said she wishes every case she worked on had an advocate and believes its something these kids need.

Little boy prone to seizures needs your help getting service dog

WELLSVILLE, Kan. — Original Post

A 5-year-old boy in Wellsville, Kansas, south of Edgerton in Franklin County, needs your help.

After years of health issues and seizures, his family says it’s time to try something new.

FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt sat down with his mother about what could be a life changing move.

“I couldn’t imagine life without him,” said Amy Beam.

Five years ago she gave birth to twins, Dylan and Derek.

Derek was perfectly healthy, but from the beginning, Amy knew it wouldn’t be easy for Dylan.

“It’s been a rollercoaster, but I think its also taught me to be very grateful for my children,” Beam said.

At five weeks old Dylan’s heart stopped.

“Dylan actually passed away in my arms and had to be resuscitated on the NICU floor,” Beam said.

He’s been through heart surgery, and later his parents learned about the cyst in his brain.

“His regulatory systems don’t work right. Sweating, hunger, sleep. Then we found out that the cyst was also causing epilepsy – what caused the seizures,” Beam said.

Seizures that happen every week, and make it impossible for Dylan to be alone.

“The dog will also provide him that safety net. It will alert us that he has to come inside, or that he needs to be cooled down or warmed up, because he’s not able to say, ‘mom, I’m too hot,’ or ‘mom, I’m too cold,” Beam said.

A seizure dog from SIT Service Dogs in Ava, Illinois.

Their program director, Lex Dietz, says these dogs are first responders.

“There’s a lot of these kids who have never slept in their own beds, ever, and they can do that because of these dogs. They maybe want to walk to the mailbox on their own, and it gives these kids a lot of autonomy, because these are things they can’t do without a dog,” Dietz said.

The problem is that they are expensive.

Beam says she’s about $8,000 dollars away from her $12,000 dollar goal.

“It’s hard to understand why a dog should cost that much, but at the same time, that much training and that much time put into an animal is incredible,” Beam said.

“They see this life changing tool that could help their child in life changing, almost ways that they’d never let themselves dream. Unfortunately, insurance companies, even though service dogs have been a thing since the late seventies still deem them as something experimental,” Dietz said.

Beam says she will keep dreaming of the day her little boy can just be a little boy.

“I just don’t know how to explain the freedom that it would give a little boy, and the fact that it could be very well what saves his life,” Beam said.

The dog would be able to do much more than get help. It would also be able to break the boy’s fall during a seizure, pull him out of water if he falls, and roll him onto his side until help can arrive.

If you would like to help this family they are accepting donations through their GoFundMe page.

One year later: 5K heart attack survivor crosses finish line with med students that saved his life

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

A milestone for one Kansas City man after suffering a heart attack during the Big 12 5k race last year.

He almost died, but today he crossed the finish line.

One year ago David Houchin woke up in a hospital bed not knowing what happened.

Houchin learned three KU medical students saved his life when they stopped running the race and administered CPR.

“I probably wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for those guys,” Houchin said from his hospital bed in 2017 not knowing who saved his life.

A few days later he was reunited with the students when they stopped by his hospital room, and now, they are walking him across the finish line.

Sebastian Schoneich, Kelly Lembke, and Dakota Bunch jumped into action that day, and Truman Medical Center doctors say without their help Houchin probably wouldn’t have made it.

“Its super special. We’re thrilled that we’re all here together, and its not snowing. We’re going to walk it this year,” Schoneich said.

“When I think about it I still get speechless, and when we talk to Dave he still tears up, and is so thankful,” Lembke said.

“I’m just glad that we could be there, and everything worked out the way it did. It’s just great,” Bunch said.

“I always had faith in the human spirit, human kind, there’s just no words to it. People you don’t even know stop to help,” Houchin said.

He believes finishing the 5k is a triumph.

“Today is more about just celebrating life, you know, its still pretty emotional, but celebrating life and being thankful for people you don’t even know, and my son, and my wife especially, just my whole family. Its been a great year,” Houchin said.

“After a year of his recovery, and who he still is, I’m just so glad my dad’s still here with us,” said his son Reagan.

This year the Houchin family grew by three.

“He’s kind of like our crazy uncle, I guess,” Lembke said.

“It feels like family. It’s bizarre, but its been a really blessing getting to know him and his family,” Bunch said.

“I love ‘em. They’re great kids, they’re going to be great doctors. They mean the world to me, and my wife, and my son,” Houchin said.

Houchin says thanks to them he has a new start in the race of life.

His doctor says Houchin has a clean bill of health.

They did have to put a stint in his heart, but the only restriction Houchin says he has is that he can’t buy life insurance.

‘Our flag flew’: 70 years later, heroes from Battle of Iwo Jima honored at Leavenworth ceremony

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — Original Post

It’s been more than 70 years since the Battle of Iwo Jima, and on Friday in Leavenworth, people came out to thank those who laid their lives on the line.

“We don’t give up, and I’ve never given up in life, and the Marines taught me that a long time ago,” Iwo Jima veteran Jerry Ingram said.

He was just 15 years old when he lied about his age and went to war.

“I lied about my age then, and I haven’t quit lying since,” Ingram said. “No one could have imagined how the savage battle for Iwo Jima, how savage it would become after the first waves landed.”

Ingram remembers the difficult moments he faced on the island in the Pacific.

“Like any battle, its kill or be killed. War is not nice. There’s nothing nice about war at all,” Ingram said. “Every battle you never expected to survive, and the more battles I went through in the Pacific the less chances I thought I’d have of coming home.”

“The raising of the flag over Mount Suribachi on the 23rd of February would also become an iconic symbol for America, for their resolve, and it would come to epitomize the fighting spirit of the United States Marine,” keynote speaker Marine Corps Col. Steve Lewallen said.

Ingram wrote a poem to honor his friends he lost during battle:

“Our flag flew, our flag flew, on the hill called Mount Suribachi.

As we overcame the enemy we knew, we knew.

You’d see freedom become victorious, and it was – you see.”

At 90 years old, Ingram visits Leavenworth National Cemetery each year to honor his brothers and sisters lost years ago.

“The only time I cried in all the years I was in battle is when I walked over to the cemetery at Iwo Jima and saw those thousands and thousands of crosses,” Ingram said. “It’s very very emotional. You don’t forget, and as Americans we must never forget that our freedoms aren’t free. We had to sacrifice and pay the price for our liberty.”

George Westbrook, a 20 year Army veteran who came to recognize Ingram’s bravery, certainly hasn’t forgotten.

“Its an honor and a privilege to be able to stand up here with these people,” Westbrook said. “We call them brothers and sisters because that`s what they are. They’re brothers and sisters to us.”

More than anything, Ingram said, it’s important for people to remember what happened on Mount Suribachi for years to come.

“I think that’s the only reason I’m here,” he said. “I’m firmly convinced that God’s left me here so I can share my experience that with faith and belief in our country you can face anything.”

The battle of Iwo Jima went from Feb. 19 to March 26 in 1945. About 6,800 servicemen died, and nearly 25,000 were wounded. One in three in the battle were killed or wounded, and the Medal of Honor was awarded to 22 Marines and 5 Navy servicemen.