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Chris Tenpenny | News-Press NOW  

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill prepares to catch a pass in front of a Chiefs defender during training camp practice Thursday on the campus of Missouri Western.

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Area youth get VIP treatment at Chiefs camp

“Bigs” Marvin and Bev Myers, with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, attended Chiefs training camp with their “Little” Tye Halley on Thursday.

The three have been together the past eight years and come from Maryville, Missouri.

“We used to try to do something every week, like a couple hours every week, but since he’s gotten to high school, he’s busier with, you know, football and stuff like that,” Marvin Myers said. “So it’s about twice a month now.”

Regardless of the frequency, this is the fifth year in a row the three have watched the Chiefs practice together.

Halley speculated that the Chiefs have a good chance at making it to the Superbowl this year.

“If it’s like the Rams game, probably a high-scoring game, probably over 1,000 yards combined,” Halley said. So it’ll probably be 42 to 30-something, but we’ll see.”

Marvin Myers smiled and added, “He’s got it all figured out.”

Kansas City Power and Light has hosted the groups.

Missouri state Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby, works for KCP&L as the North District Community Affairs manager. He was welcoming individuals to the VIP tent.

“It’s really our way of giving back to the community and the youth — bring them out here, give them an inspirational message by former Chief players,” Hegeman said.

Those former players were Chiefs linebackers Shawn Barber (2003-2005) and Anthony Davis (1994-1998).

“I know growing up I didn’t have a big and I wish I would have,” Davis said. “Just to see it in a kid’s eyes and how much they appreciate it and we just add another layer to it to say ‘good job’ to both big and little.”

The Missouri Leadership group organized by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry also was one of the groups inside the VIP tent.

Kristie Arthur with the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce is an alumna of the group, and is helping with the tour around town. Besides training camp, that tour included Downtown, the Shakespeare Chateau, Tiger’s Den and Parties on the Parkway.

“They’ll also tour Hillyard, one of our largest employers in St. Joseph that has been around for a long time,” Arthur said. “They’ll get to learn a lot about the history of St. Joseph and all the great things we’re doing.”

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Blood blank requests more consistent donations in wake of mass shootings

While the outpouring of support from blood donors in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, was heartwarming, a local blood bank is raising the issue of more consistent donations.

According to Chelsey Smith, community outreach coordinator the Community Blood Center, it’s actually blood already donated that most directly impacts mass shooting victims.

“One thing we say at the blood center is that it’s the blood on the shelves that saves lives,” Smith said. “When tragedies like this weekend happen, it was actually blood that was already donated that is likely going to be used to save patients.

“So it might not go toward patients who need it at the time of those tragedies, but it will go to help patients like them in the future,” Smith said.

The CBC has an “urgent” need for blood, according to Smith. The bank has less than a week’s supply on hand, when it prefers to have more than a week’s worth. The low level has not yet dipped to an emergency status, Smith said.

About 150 people were expected to donate at the East Hills Shopping Center on Wednesday, when the CBC set up donation equipment near the food court.

Smith said people can generally donate every two months, if they’re healthy. She added that the bank currently needs all blood types. If you don’t know your blood type, you’ll be informed.

Those who choose to donate will be asked a set of health questions, fill out some paperwork and receive a mini-physical. Smith said the actual donation procedure takes about 10 minutes.

More information on donation can be found on the CBC’s website at

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Corby Pond sculpture replaced 8 months after theft

Eight months after being stolen from a spot in the “Catch Me If You Can” series of sculptures, a female skater is back in place near Corby Pond.

The statue went missing Dec. 3, when someone broke it off at the leg and stole it. Staff in the St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department speculated the piece was stolen to sell for scrap metal.

“I’m sure they got just a few dollars worth of scrap, where it cost the city of St. Joseph $15,000 to replace her,” Jeff Atkins, assistant director for the parks department, said. “We’re a little upset about that part of it, but we’re happy she’s back.”

After a short search for the missing piece, parks staff decided to make contact with the original artist to have the statue replaced. Rosie Sandiford, who sculpted the original statue, brought the mold of the young, female skater out of retirement so the parks department could complete the set of three skaters once again.

“She agreed to contact her foundry, who had already destroyed the mold to see if they could recast a new mold so they could make this one figure for us,” Atkins said. “We were lucky enough to get them to get it for us so we could put our set back together.”

On Thursday, the department announced the statue had been replaced. The effort to bring the skater back to the Parkway System was financed in part by the St. Joseph Allied Arts Council and the Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri.

“She’s exactly as the original sculpture was,” Atkins said. “She looks a little newer than the other two. They’ve had a few years of age on them now, but she’ll quickly catch up with them in color.”

Atkins said new security measures have been put in place to protect the statues but did not want to go into the details in order ensure those measures were effective.

“If someone does come back and try to take them again, they’re going to have a heck of a time getting them out of here,” he said.

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Entire bicycle fleet missing from Pony Express Bike Share

A program that offers free bicycles to use around town will need a new fleet after the last of the rides have not been returned.

Transit Planning Manager for the St. Joseph Metropolitan Planning Organization Chance Gallagher said the 27 bikes that were put out on racks for use this year have been either stolen or simply not returned to the racks after use.

“There is a chance people are using them,” Gallagher said. “I have not received any phone calls saying, ‘There’s a bike somewhere,’ in quite some time. So, somebody could be using them. Hopefully, they are and they’re getting good use out of them.”

The program started in 2017 with 40 bikes, which were purchased using funding from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention block grant that the City of St. Joseph Health Department received from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Gallagher said some of those bikes were lost due to repairs being needed.

“We had to put out less because of all of the repairs and whatnot. We pieced them together and that’s why 27 went out,” She said.

The MPO is working on obtaining a federal grant that will replace the fleet with improved bikes that would require less maintenance.

“Flat tires were crazy in the first set, but the bikes were so cheap that it was OK if they were stolen,” Gallagher said. “So, we’re looking for an alternative so we don’t have to have so many repairs on the chains and the tires.”

They also are looking into plans to minimize theft in the future, including a sort of check-out system that could involve working with the library or St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“Maybe people come in and they either leave their license or they have a card that we distribute and they leave the card that has some information,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher said the bikes were originally purchased with the mindset that they could all be stolen, but would still serve their purpose if they were getting use.

She said for the new fleet, the MPO has looked into GPS tracking systems, but was worried that the trackers wouldn’t work if they were inside of the bikes and could be removed if they were on the outside. She said that if the bikes are being parted out or chopped and sold for scrap, the GPS wouldn’t help.

The MPO is hoping to keep the solution affordable.

“Those systems that actually have the locks and the apps and all that are very expensive, way more than the money we’ve leveraged,” Gallagher said. “So, we’re trying to find an inexpensive way to do it.”

Gallagher expects to have new bikes on the racks by next season. She said there are currently seven racks around town, four of which are on Missouri Western State University’s campus.

If a bike marked with “Pony Express Bike Share” is seen not in use, it can be reported to the MPO by calling 816-866-0049.

EthycsCon game festival

Want to play a video game?

How about playing a variety of games all weekend long? The EthycsCon game festival begins this weekend at Cafe Acoustic as a tribute to the late Michael Parks who brought gaming to a new level.

Details on Page C4