Mayoral candidates spar on question of police department investigation

Tyrone Garner

Mayor David Alvey

A proposed investigation of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department was one of the issues at Tuesday night’s mayoral debate.

Mayor David Alvey directly addressed opponent Tyrone Garner about his days at the Police Department.

The debate, sponsored by the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce, was moderated by Micheal Mahoney of KMBC-TV.

Garner said he supported a Department of Justice investigation of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.

Mayor Alvey said he has asked Police Chief Karl Oakman to look into it and give an opinion on whether there should be an outside investigation, and he would support Oakman. Alvey also said a KBI investigation has now been turned over to the FBI. At the debate, Alvey echoed some of the statements that candidate Janice Witt had made about Garner in the primary election.

Garner, a former deputy chief at the Police Department, was on the police force at the time that there was alleged corruption there, Mayor Alvey said. If Garner knew about these things and did not come forward at the time, “we deserve an explanation of why not,” Alvey said. He said Garner had said earlier that he was afraid for his job.

“It’s shameful you would go there,” Garner responded. Although he worked there 31 years, he did not know anything about the alleged incidents, he said. He said he did not sit on anything. He worked to get corrupt officers out of uniform, he said.

“I served this community honorably and sacrificed for Wyandotte County, and I’m back here today because I care about this community,” Garner said. “It’s shameful you should go there. I’ve dealt with bad police officers, I’ve dealt with racism.” He wanted an outside investigation into the Police Department, he said.

“You don’t owe me an apology. You owe every police officer an apology for that statement,” Garner said.

“I apologize,” Alvey said. “Again, it seems from the outside that someone in that position would have seen what was going on.”

Alvey said if Chief Oakman wants a Department of Justice investigation, he would support it. He also added it is costly and it could take funds away from other areas of the budget.

Garner, who had the support of the firefighters’ union in the primary election, also supported some of their issues, along with the reopening of the Fairfax fire station.

The candidates also discussed their views on economic development, with both saying they support development east of I-635, along with different opinions on the Unified Government’s PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) fees on the Board of Public Utilities’ bills.

Garner won the Aug. 3 primary election by 48 votes, according to the election canvass. Turnout was around 14.36 percent.

The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 2. The last day to register to vote before the election is Oct. 12.

The debate will be shown on the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page at

16th-ranked KCKCC women’s soccer will be Jayhawk target

Inexperienced Blue Devils to meet Neosho County Wednesday, Cowley Saturday

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Coach Shawn Uhlenhake (KCKCC photo)

For the first time in history, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s women’s soccer team will enter a new season as the defending Jayhawk Conference champion and nationally ranked. But also will come with a big bullseye for Jayhawk rivals.

“Anytime you start a season with a national ranking, there will always be a target on your back,” said sixth year head coach Shawn Uhlenhake of his 16th nationally ranked Blue Devils. “We’ve had a lot of success against conference teams the last two seasons so they’ll be coming very hard at us. If you want to be a nationally ranked team, you have to beat a nationally ranked team and that’s us.”

The Blue Devils open the season Wednesday when they’ll play host to Neosho County at 5 p.m. and then entertain Cowley College Saturday at 2 p.m. in a collision of last year’s East and West champions.

The last two seasons, the Blue Devils won 25 games, more wins than KCKCC had won in its first seven seasons. The 2019 team finished 13-4 (most wins ever); the 2020-21 team 12-4-1 and earned an at-large berth in the NJCAA DI national tournament along with the Jayhawk championship.

However, graduation took eight starters from those two teams, leaving Uhlenhake with only six returnees around whom to build.

“We’ll be leaning a lot on our sophomores,” Uhlenhake said. “Although there’s only a handful, we think they’ll be up to the challenge and the freshmen will follow the lead. It’s hard to explain to the freshmen what they’re getting into. With so many newcomers, they have to see it to believe it.”

Heading the list of returnees is 5-5 midfielder Katharina Oelschlager, a COVID freshman from Germany. The Jayhawk Player of the Year last spring, Oelschlager scored 13 goals and had nine assists. Also returning to the starting lineup will be midfielder Kaylee Shaw of Leavenworth, defender Grace Runyan of Blue Valley and goaltender Suzie Lopez of Turner, who has moved to a forward spot this spring. Also returning are midfielder Piper Newell of Wichita and defender Samantha Wojahn of Park Hill,

Uhlenhake’s biggest concern is at forward where he has no returnees.

“It’s really critical because it’s an unknown position and you have to score goals to win,” he said. Lopez, who played one game at forward last spring and scored a goal, will be joined by freshmen Gabby Lopez of Platte County, Rand Tabb of Ruskin of Ruskin and Addison Leonard of Park Hill South on the front line.

Strength will be at the midfield position where Oelschlager, Shaw and Newell all return.

“They’re good leaders and organizers; we’ll need their experience,” Uhlenhake said. Freshmen Lena Bauer of Germany, Jasmine Alcantara of Raytown South, Aislann Harrison of Staley, Samantha Calderon of Sumner Academy and Rosana Kasemier of the Netherlands make for a deep and talented midfield corps.

Runyan is the only returning defensive starter although Wojahn saw playing time and William Penn transfer Zoe Ganley has playing experience.

“Runyan is a great leader and that’s huge,” Uhlenhake said. Freshmen defenders vying for starting berths include Kate Erpelding of Eudora, Kayleigh Sumier of Belton and Ellie Heimann of Wichita Kapaun-Mt. Carmel,

Leah Williams, a 5-9 freshman from Eudora, will be in goal.

“She’s got length we haven’t had before, is a good shot stopper and will challenge and take team’s best shots,” said Uhlenhanke, who is again being assisted by Jefferson Roblee.

The Blue Devils will play a 13-game schedule with all games against Jayhawk Conference rivals. Also, all games will be played either on a Wednesday or Saturday. Butler County at No. 11 is the only other Jayhawk Conference team ranked nationally. Butler and KCKCC will collide in the Blue Devils first road game Sept. 8 and then Butler will be at KCKCC Oct. 12.

Kansas City Kansas Community College

2021 Women’s Soccer Schedule

Sept. 1 – Neosho County, 5 p.m.
Sept. 4 – Cowley College, 2 p.m.
Sept. 8 – At Butler County, 6 p.m.
Sept. 11 – at Dodge City, noon
Sept. 15 – Johnson County, 5 p.m.
Sept. 18 – at Garden City, noon
Sept. 25 – Barton County, 2 p.m.
Sept. 29 – at Coffeyville, 5 p.m.
Oct. 6 – at Neosho County, 5 p.m.
Oct. 9 – at Hutchinson, 2 p.m.
Oct. 13 – Butler County, 6 p.m.
Oct.16 – at Johnson County, 5 p.m.
Oct. 23 – Coffeyville, 5 p.m.
All Jayhawk Conference game