‘Powerful’: Fans enjoy historic viewpoint of Chiefs championship parade at WWI Memorial


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

By Wednesday night, the sea of red outside Union Station had dispersed. Everyone went off to enjoy the rest of their evening around the city.

But earlier, many were at the overlook of Liberty Memorial for a one-of-a-kind view of the Kansas City Chiefs parade celebrating their first Super Bowl win in 50 years.

It was hard to see from behind the crowd, but once you got to the front, it’s quite a sight. Thousands flooded the lawn of the memorial, and a few had a vantage point to be desired.

“This is amazing,” Jaclyn Alcantara from Lee’s Summit said. “We’ve been waiting 50 years for this.”

“It’s pretty special,” David Wolfe said. “It’s pretty special. I came from California.”

“Powerful,” 14-year-old Talan Todd said. “I feel like we have a great community. I mean, everything about us is amazing.”

Some got a picture of their own, but one guy made a point to take a ton for others.

“He’s been here since six, and they just offered to let people rotate through so everybody gets their shot in the picture, so it’s the most Kansas City thing ever,” Alcantra said. “Everybody’s getting their turn. It’s awesome.”

It was worth it for many who’ve been waiting for decades, especially 11-year-old Grayson from Kansas City.

“Fifty years,” Grason said. “Everyone’s been waiting.”

“I think it’s amazing we have a great quarterback, and he’s grown off of Alex Smith, of of his first year and grown off of him and used his knowledge to be the Patrick Mahomes we know now,” Todd said.

From above the memorial, the Chiefs Kingdom made sure everyone knows they are the champions of the world.

While many enjoyed the presentation from the lawn, those FOX4 spoke with on the overlook said it is an experience they will definitely remember for the rest of their lives.

Metro families enjoy an unseasonably sunny Christmas day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Many said it was a Christmas miracle with temperatures outside reaching nearly seventy degrees.

“I was like, oh my gosh, this can’t be real,” Amber Block said.

The warm weather meant a nice day outside for lots of people in the metro with their families leaving many to think Kansas City was on Santa’s nice list this year.

At Meadowbrook Park in Prairie Village kids were enjoying the new playground equipment.

“Zip-lining. Climbing. A bunch of stuff,” 9-year-old Yousif Mohammed said.

Dogs were soaking up the sun. Oakley the golden retriever puppy enjoyed watching the action from his mom, Ellie Rekoski’s arms.

“It’s super nice outside, and he loves the outdoors,” Rekoski said.

It was also Christmas Day, and the fourth day of Hanukkah. Jared Leavy said it was a perfect birthday and Hanukkah gift.

“Yes, absolutely. It’s a Hanukkah miracle,” Leavy said.

Rekoski came to visit her family in Johnson County from Wichita, and expected it would probably be around forty degrees colder.

“When you think of Christmas you just think of snowy weather,” Rekoski said. “It’s really nice though!”

Bill and Betty Koeneman usually spend their holiday in Texas and had hoped for more of a white Christmas.

“We wanted snow! Texas doesn’t have snow,” Betty said.

“We came to visit our family this year,” Bill said. “Christmas with our son, daughter, grandsons, granddaughters and everything.”

Campbell Ross came to the park on a bike ride with her mom. She loved the weather, but it left her wondering what mother nature was up to.

“I think it’s actually pretty odd because it’s supposed to be snowing cold, but it’s actually hot,” Ross said.

Greg Hall bought his family a pickle ball set for Christmas this year. He didn’t expect to find himself sitting on the sidelines watching them enjoy the gift.

“We thought we’d give them to them and they’d probably wait until spring,” Hall said.

Across the state line at Bar-K near Kansas City’s River Market, hundreds of people showed up with their pooches to celebrate a feliz navi-dog.

Charles Holtgraves usually spends Christmas with his family in California, but this year they found themselves at home.

“I love it! We love it. I mean, there’s limited things to do on Christmas,” Holtgraves said. “A movie, but obviously we can’t take our dogs to the movies, so this was something we could get the whole family out for and the dogs would enjoy too.”

For Block, it wasn’t the Christmas forecast she would have preferred, but she and her dog enjoyed it anyway.

“I think it’s very insane to be honest,” Block said. “I’m more of a snow on Christmas kind of girl, but this is fun to be outside and be playing on Christmas. I would have never expected it.”

Even though the sun went down it didn’t mean people stopped having fun. Many said they would be going to the movies or sharing a meal with family.

Outgoing KC mayor and incoming mayor react to recent spike in crime

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

Outgoing Kansas City Mayor Sly James is reacting after learning 335 people have been shot in Kansas City, Missouri so far in 2019.

That is more than 40 this time last year. The majority of those victims survived but we’re still on track to outpace 2017 homicides, which was the deadliest year in Kansas City in nearly a quarter of a century.

The police department said it’s doing what it can, but officers are currently overwhelmed with cases.

“We’re going to continue to be diligent and plug through this, but it’s been a rough, violent time of late,” KCPD Deputy Chief Roger Lewis said.

James said he’s not surprised by the news and blames Missouri lawmakers for lax gun laws.

“The Second Amendment needs to be balanced by common sense. And common sense doesn’t say that any idiot who wants a gun should be able to have one,” James said. “That’s not common sense, that’s stupidity.”

Kansas City Mayor-Elect Quinton Lucas has a different approach.  He says violence isn’t just a police issue. He says it’s up to schools, families, organizations and leaders to make sure change actually happens.

“We need to do more. This is an ongoing crisis. What I want to see is us treating it like the crisis it is,” Lucas said.

James agrees that it’s going to take a significant push to make the city a safe place to live.

“We have carnage on our streets. In this city we have slow motion mass murder every single year,” James said.

Park University students learn about government through Trump impeachment hearings

PARKVILLE, Mo. — Original Post

Impeachment hearings resume for the House Intelligence Committee on Friday, and that’s giving students at Park University a real lesson in government.

President Donald Trump isn’t watching the impeachment hearings he describes as a witch hunt and a hoax. However, students in Associate Professor Matt Harris’ Introduction to Government class are.

“It’s something that might come up in an American Government class in high school,” Harris said. “Even when it comes up in our class, we don’t take as deep of a dive into it.”

“People don’t understand the difference from actually getting removed, and the impeachment is actually just the investigation,” Park University freshman Nancy Cortez said.

Students in Harris’ class said it’s been enlightening about what the impeachment process actually is, why and when it’s used, and how it works.

“I do need to take more insight into what is actually going on in office,” Park University junior Imara Harris said. “You hear about impeachment on the news, but actually being able to learn about it in the classroom, learn about what the process is actually about is very important.”

The students said they didn’t expect the hearings to be so heated between both sides of the aisle.

“It’s intense. I think it actually can be kind of messy,” Cortez said. “You can see that these people want to yell and cuss and kind of be disgusting with each other. I don’t know, I think intense is the right word I would be using.”

“You can tell that they do want to yell and shout at each other, but they actually can’t,” Imara said. “They have to be professional about it, about asking the questions.”

Harris said what end of the political spectrum the students are isn’t important. What is important is that they have a greater understanding of how the system works.

“That’s kind of the ultimate end goal,” Harris said. “That the students understand better what’s going on around them and that’s going to help hem be active citizens who participate in our democracy and understand what’s going on.”

Kids in the metro learn about the spirit of Hanukkah through holiday activities

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Original Post

While many families around the metro are getting ready to celebrate Christmas, Jewish families are already lighting the lights for the third night of Hanukkah.

Children at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City learned more about the holiday Tuesday and what it means to them.

“It means spending time with family, eating latkes, and delicious stuff,” 9-year-old Dahlia Feinberg said.

“Most people think it’s like a really important holiday, in religious terms it’s actually one of the most minor holidays ever, but everyone loves it because kids get presents,” 10-year-old Abigail Kaye said.

Traditionally, the most important holidays in the Jewish religion are  Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the beginning of the Jewish calendar, and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement.

The kids learned about the holiday through a number of activities focused on tradition.

“We’re doing lots of Hanukkah activities. They did the dreidels. They made sufganiyot, our own version of the powdered donuts that the Jewish eat over Hanukkah,” director of camps and school age programs, DD Gass said. “They also made menorahs.”

The celebration of Hanukkah is about the Maccabean Revolt and the survival of the Jewish people. Abigail explains it best.

“We’re celebrating three different miracles,” Kaye said. “The miracle that a very weak army won against a great big army. The miracle that they found oil that they were able to use, because all the oil had been destroyed, and the other miracle is that it lasted for eight days and eight nights which was the exact amount of time it took oil that you could use back to the temple.”

During those eight days the kids will not only light the lights, but spend time with people they love.

“We like them to have fun, but we also hope it becomes a meaningful time for them,” Gass said. “That they think about what others do. We always talk about the values, the jewish values that we instill in kids. The being kind to each other. It’s beyond just the presents, but it’s a good time for us to stop and think about what this holiday means.

“It makes me happy, and it’s fun,” Feinberg said. “We turn all the lights out and that’s the only thing that’s shining and it looks really pretty.”

“It really is mostly about spending time with your family, and remembering that God is there to help us,” Kaye said.

Armed suspect in custody after being shot by police in downtown KC

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

An armed suspect is in custody after being shot by police when they attempted to drive their vehicle at officers in downtown Kansas City.

Officers were reported to be near Grand Slam Convenience at 6th and McGee just before 2 p.m. as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation.

Officers were attempting to arrest the suspect whom they had made numerous narcotics purchases from. The male suspect attempted to drive toward officers vehicles, at which time his vehicle became disabled.

Police said the suspect then came out of his vehicle and was armed. Fearing for their safety, one officers fired his weapon at the suspect, striking him.

The suspect was taken into custody and is reported to be in critical but stable condition.

Officers have the area surrounding 6th and Grand shut down as they continue to investigate. Please avoid the area at this time.

This is a developing story. FOX4 has a crew on scene and will continue to update as additional information becomes available.

Driver for nonprofit killed, another injured in head-on collision on Raytown Road

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

A head-on collision killed two people and injures two others Thursday morning.

Police said a Chrysler Pacifica veered into the oncoming lane and hit a transport passenger van for people with disabilities. It happened around 8 a.m. on Raytown Road near Interstate 470.

The van driver was sent to the hospital, and one of the passengers died. Police say the driver of the Pacifica was also killed in the collision.

The transport van that was hit in the crash is owned by the nonprofit Eitas, which stands for “empowering individuals through advocacy and support.” The organization assists 500 people who live with disabilities each day to get to jobs, volunteer work, appointments or day programs.

After the crash, one of their drivers is seriously injured, and another died in the crash.

“We’ve had accidents before, but nothing to this magnitude and never a fatality,” Eitas executive director Jake Jacobs said. “I was really shocked. We have a close family here, and everyone here cares for everyone else because we not only support people in the community, we support one another very closely as well.”

He said the two women were working together, taking a woman who uses a wheelchair to her day program.

“It just was such a shock,” Jacobs said “I’m still trying to cope with it and trying to understand, especially this time of year. It’s such a tragedy to happen around the holiday season. My heart goes out to both families, and we’ll be working with them to do anything we can to help them out.”

He said the driver of the van has been with the company five months and is doing OK.

“She’s doing well, and she’s conscious and seems to be doing fine,” Jacobs said. “We don’t know the extent of her injuries, but they are running tests, and her family is with her right now.”

He said the woman in the wheelchair was taken to the hospital, but was OK. The woman killed in the crash was with the company five years and was loved throughout the nonprofit.

“I think she loved it very much,” Jacobs said. “She was a very caring person. Everybody liked her, and it’s such a tragedy to know that she’s gone now.”

Police have not released the identities of the two victims at this time.

Jacobs said their driver will be missed very much, and he knows the passengers on her route will feel the loss. The nonprofit will have a counselor on-hand for employees on Friday.

KC man charged with attacking another man in Arrowhead parking lot after Sunday’s game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

A 42-year-old Kansas City man is behind bars after allegedly beating another man in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium Sunday after the Chiefs win over the Houston Texans.

Prosecutors charged Jonathan Brown with second-degree assault Monday.

According to the probable cause statement, a white Ford van and white Range Rover, both trying to leave the parking lot, struck each other at the same time.

Witnesses said the driver of the Range Rover got out and tapped the window of the van as they were pulling away. He also used his hand to signal for them to stop.

Court documents said when the driver of the van refused to stop, the driver from the Range Rover walked in front of the van to take a picture of the license plate. That’s when witnesses said a woman got out of the van and tried to get in between the driver from the Range Rover and the license plate.

One witness told investigator the driver from the Range Rover chest bumped the woman twice with his hands in the air.

The probable cause statement said that’s when Brown got out of the van and told the man to not touch his wife. Brown then punched the man, and according to witnesses, knocked him unconscious for 30 seconds.

First responders were called to the scene.

The victim denied he provoked an attack. First responders took him to the hospital. He lost two teeth in the fight.

Court documents said video surveillance captured the incident, but upon reviewing the footage, the sequence of events was not clear and it was difficult to determine who was in the video.

NKC High School student says she was beaten on campus because of her sexual orientation

NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Original Post

A 15-year-old girl says she was assaulted on campus because she’s gay. Police said it happened at North Kansas City High School.

The girl’s mother, Victoria Johnson, said not only was her daughter assaulted, but the school isn’t doing enough to address it.

Laci Johnson told FOX4 she came out to some of her friends months ago, and they quickly turned into enemies. However, she never expected when she went to school on Tuesday, Feb. 4, that she would be coming home with a concussion.

“Why should somebody be harassed for who they like or who they love?” Laci said. “It’s not anybody’s business.”

On Tuesday, the 15-year-old saw a video text that said the boy in the video and his girlfriend wanted to beat her. While waiting for the bus, she called him homophobic. Then, she said she was pushed to the ground and punched in the head over and over. A passing by car caught the assault on camera.

“She was so violently attacked that I think I was in shock,” Johnson said. “I actually don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a male hit a female in the manner that I watched my daughter be beat.”

Victoria said her husband went immediately to the school after she got home and told them what happened. He said he tried show them the video, but he was turned away by the assistant principal, Ashley Smith.

“He wanted to give her information about his daughter, their student, and she said, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter,'” Johnson said. “‘The students are gone. Nothing is going to be done tonight.'”

Then they went to the North Kansas City Police Department to file a report, and finally NKC Hospital, where Laci was diagnosed with a concussion. Johnson said the school hasn’t communicated with her at all about the investigation into her daughter’s attack.

The school was closed on Wednesday for the Kansas City Chiefs Championship Parade, and they didn’t hear back from anyone even when they left a message with the school’s administrative office. Johnson said she received a call from Smith asking what she was going to do with her daughter. Johnson said she didn’t understand what the comment meant, and that her daughter was recovering from her injuries.

She also said her daughter was cleared to go back to school with medical restrictions on the Feb. 5, but she doesn’t feel comfortable sending Laci back to school until she knows her daughter would be safe.

“I sent my daughter in the morning thinking she would be safe, and before she was even off school property, she was assaulted for the first time in her life,” Johnson said.

The North Kansas City School District said in a statement:

“NKC Schools is aware of a troubling incident involving two North Kansas City High School students outside the school after dismissal February 4, 2020. We are greatly disturbed by this incident as it does not reflect the district’s expectation to provide a safe, inclusive learning environment for all students.

“After being notified of the situation, staff immediately responded. Several administrators have since communicated with involved students and their families to address all questions and concerns. We are also working with law enforcement on this matter and disciplinary action has been taken in accordance with Board policy. The safety and security of students is of utmost importance. To provide for the safe return of the student involved, a customized plan will be implemented with direct input from the student and family.

“NKC Schools strives to provide a safe learning environment for every student. We have developed a culture of equity and inclusion with the expectation of mutual respect. Anything less will not be tolerated.

“It’s at the point that the way he beat me was emotionally damaging, and physically, but mostly, the reason why he did it was what hurts me the most,” Laci said.

The North Kansas City Police Department says they have identified the student. They forwarded their findings to the Clay County Juvenile Office, who will decide if and what charges the boy would face.