LOOK BACK: 2003 have many local news highlights
by Ivan Foley
Zoning disputes. A road tax election.
Loads of crime news. A stream of local political issues.
An annexation attempt.
Those are just some of the stories that
may jog a reader's memory as The Landmark takes its
annual look back at the year in local news. In this
issue, the first six months of 2003 are reviewed week-by-week.
Next week the months of July through December will be
Jan. 2: Seven elected officials
are sworn into office during a ceremony at the Platte
County Administration Building. Taking the oath were
Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, Recorder Ida Cox,
Presiding Commissioner Betty Knight, Circuit Clerk Sandy
Dowd, Auditor Sandra Thomas, Collector Donna Nash and
County Clerk Sandy Krohne.
Jan. 9: Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes
appears in Platte County to endorse the county's $65
million roads master plan. The plan goes before voters
in April; Platte County's proposed budget shows some
cuts made in the general fund, with the funding of the
Shiloh Springs Golf Course being moved to the parks
Jan. 16: Platte City Aldermen reverse
earlier decision and decide to keep some property in
Williamsburg Plaza zoned commercial instead of multifamily;
Platte City Aldermen also vote to remove the city's
proposed stormwater tax off the April ballot so that
the county's road proposal would stand alone; Dearborn
announces plans to sell the Dean Park and city lake
JAN. 23: Illnesses causing higher
than normal absentee rates in area schools; Dearborn
decides to put a half cent sales tax issue on its April
ballot; Linda Collins, 38, of Parkville, gets five years
for assaulting a law enforcement officer by driving
while intoxicated; Brenda Williams convicted of first
degree murder in death of her son-in-law, Thadd Mize.
JAN. 30: Pocket park proposed by
Platte City Area Development Association for end of
Main Street in Platte City; County crime rate rising,
statistics show; Platte City aldermen increase cemetery
fees and approve a salary increase for City Administrator
Keith Moody from $62,056 to $63,500. Alderman Ron Porter
votes against the raise.
FEB. 6: Boy bitten by neighbor's
monkey gets $150,000 in settlement approved in Platte
County Circuit Court; A large KC-based church is seeking
a permit for a retreat/day amp near Platte City; Humphrey's
Access Bridge will get replaced in 2005.
FEB. 13: Jason Hendrix, former
firefighter, is given 12 year sentence for arson and
property damage after reaching a plea agreement with
special prosecutor. He won't stand trial for murder;
Controversial church day camp zoning issue tabled by
Platte County Planning Commission; Sharp's Station Bridge
still under construction.
FEB. 20: Shots fired at two state
troopers in Platte County. Neither trooper is injured;
A proposed deal between Platte County R-3 and a nationally
acclaimed private summer school company falls through
and R-3 indicates it will continue to operate its own
summer school program; County commissioners and Recorder
Ida Cox engage in lively debate during commission meeting
over microfilming expenses.
FEB. 27: It's announced Kansas
City's portion of the Platte County proposed road sales
tax could be used to help alleviate traffic congestion
at Barry Road and I-29; Platte City aldermen pass a
resolution to oppose the Harvest Church's rezoning request
at the county level unless certain conditions are met;
Two KC men are charged with firing at state troopers;
Reserve funds will help North Platte R-1 deal with funding
cuts from the state.
MARCH 6: Shops at Boardwalk under
construction near I-29 and Hwy. 152; Defibrillator machine
sought for use by R-3 school district; U.S. Attorney
Todd Graves will be roasted at event sponsored by Platte
County Optimist Club.
MARCH 13: Controversial zoning
issue ends when Harvest Church withdraws its request
that would have allowed a retreat/day camp to go in
just east of Platte City along HH Hwy.; Notice of real
estate value increases will be issued to taxpayers by
MARCH 20: New library facility
planned on seven acres in Platte City, near where the
northern Platte County Community Center will be built;
land for pocket park donated to Platte City by Dora
B. McDonnell; a planned anti-war rally in Platte City
fizzles out as less than 10 people show up for rally.
MARCH 27: Platte City Aldermen
vote themselves 133% pay raise, giving aldermen $350
per month and mayor $750 per month; Soldiers with local
ties involved in war in Iraq; Mayors Council shows support
for county road tax.
APRIL 3: Write-in candidate John
Kurtz announces he'll challenge for Platte City alderman
seat; Alleged shoplifting incident at Leo's Country
Mart precedes a triple fatality accident in Leavenworth;
Jimmy Jack Benner found dead in cattle pen on his farm
near Platte City; Prosecutor focusing on alcohol use
APRIL 10: Voters approve county
road tax by 58% to 42%; Planning steps for Platte Ridge
Park near Platte City moving ahead; Incumbent Jim Palmer
narrowly edges write-in John Kurtz, 51-48, in race for
Platte City Ward 3 alderman.
APRIL 17: R-3 teacher Rebecca Stallard
gets to meet the brother she never knew; Carpet bandit
ordered to repay 11 customers.
APRIL 24: I-29 crash kills three;
Platte City takes steps toward TIF commission.
MAY 1: Pictures show junk appliance
items from Platte City's clean-up day had been dumped/stockpiled
by city workers in the Riverview Park; Landmark starts
its 139th year of publication; Platte Ridge Park planning
MAY 8: Former employee at Roberts
Auto Plaza charged with embezzling from dealership;
Tornadoes hit portions of Platte County
MAY 15: A battle over public records heats up
between Assessor Christine McQuitty and Platte County
Commissioners; George Brett among the celebrities taking
part in pro-am golf event at The National Golf Club
in Parkville; Platte County R-3 senior Tara Gutshall
wins The Landmark Award for English, a $250 scholarship
sponsored by the newspaper for more than 20 years.
MAY 22: MoDOT says it will grind
roadway to aid traction at spot of numerous accidents
on I-29 near Platte City; Mike Marshall, general manager
of Shiloh Springs Golf Course run by Platte County,
resigns position; county commissioners hire special
counsel in open records dispute with assessor.
MAY 29: Assessor says she'll hand
over the open records; Aldermen get preview of northern
Platte County Community Center plans; State completes
grinding of I-29 stretch.
JUNE 5: Platte City announces it
plans to involuntarily annex 1,500 acres south of current
city limits; Platte City swimming pool opens for season;
Platte City checks its options on health insurance.
JUNE 12: More than 50 people show
up at city hall with concerns over Platte City's annexation
plans; Platte County Commission completes purchase of
Resource Center along I-29, the building that formerly
housed the National Federation of State High School
JUNE 19: After one month away,
Platte City Postmaster Mike Barnes announces he will
return to his position; Neighborhood groups organize
to fight Platte City's annexation plans; Damage total
from May tornadoes in Platte County listed at $33 million.
JUNE 26: Platte County man hit
with monkeypox disease; Camden Point prepares to host
Freedom Festival; Two men sentenced for making meth
in Platte County.