School board discusses increasing security

School security was discussed at the Tuesday night, May 31, meeting of the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education.

Plans are underway to apply for a grant for security, according to district officials.

District administrators are proposing to use grant funds up to $1 million to increase lighting and cameras at school buildings.

The grant would require a 50 percent match from the district.

Tracy Kaiser, executive director of business operations, said although their initial thought was to apply for $1 million, they understood from state education officials that probably only $400,000 to $500,000 could be approved, so they are looking at a $200,000 or $250,000 match.

The grant is proposed to replace outdoor and interior cameras that are outdated, she said.

Board member Wanda Paige asked about adding school resource officers at the elementary schools.

While Superintendent Anna Stubblefield does not oppose the idea, she said she had looked at the grant funds as one-time funds more suited to purchase equipment than for personnel. If used for personnel, the board then would need to make a decision in the future whether to continue the positions, when the grant funding was not available. She also said she wanted to discuss the issue first with the school district’s new police chief.

The district has 38 campuses, with 20 elementary schools, Dr. Stubblefield said.

The district received the applications for the grant last week, and it’s due on June 10, according to district officials.

Board member Rachel Russell recalled an earlier discussion that the board did not want to add any more security positions. Board member Janey Humphries said she was not comfortable with using grant funding for salaries when the board is not sure they’ll be able to continue the positions.

Dr. Valdenia Winn, a board member, said she would like to see a copy of the grant application before it goes out.

The board reached a consensus to talk more about the grant at its special 3 p.m. Monday, June 6, budget session.

In other action, the board approved a school name change for the Fairfax Learning Center, now the Alfred Fairfax Academy, which is located at the old White Church Elementary School building, and a mascot name change for Arrowhead Middle School, which is changing from Apaches to Wolves.

The board also heard a report about a service agreement with Proximity Learning to provide virtual certified teachers in the event of vacancies at high schools and middle schools.

The total cost will be $3.043 million, but that amount would be reduced as the district hires its own teachers, according to district officials. The cost does not include the cost of hiring teacher assistants for the classrooms.

The district will continue its search for teachers, according to Dr. Stubblefield.

It was recently reported that more than 200 staff members will be leaving the district. Dr. Stubblefield stated that this year’s number of teachers leaving the school district because of retirement or resignation is not very much different from the usual numbers over the past five years.

There were 327 staff members who retired or resigned last year, she said. In 2019-2020, there were 273 total; and in 2018-2019, there was a total of 361, she said.

She said from information they gathered, the district’s enforcement of a policy last year concerning not allowing staff members to pay liquidated damages if the district does not have a suitable replacement could have had an effect on some staff members leaving.

Several other topics were discussed at the meeting, which is online at

Monarchs’ home runs halt Saltdogs streak

Willie Abreu of the Kansas City Monarchs watched his first inning home run leave Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas, on Monday night, May 30, as the Monarchs beat the Lincoln Saltdogs 14-9. (Photo by John Ellis, Kansas City Monarchs)
Akeem Bostick dealt a pitch for the Kansas City Monarchs on Monday, May 30, against the Lincoln Saltdogs in the Monarchs 14-9 win at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by John Ellis, Kansas City Monarchs)

by Caleb Grizzle, Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs (11-6) defeated the Lincoln Saltdogs (11-4) in the series opener on Monday, Memorial Day night, 14-9 at Legends Field.

Leadoff, solo home runs to left were the theme of the first frame. The Saltdogs’ Hunter Clanin started the series with a solo blast over the left field wall to put them up 1-0.

Pitcher Akeem Bostick settled in for the Monarchs, retiring the next three batters to finish the top of the first.

The Monarchs’ bats stayed hot against the Saltdogs, putting up four runs in the bottom of the first. Willie Abreu kicked off the home run-filled first frame by smashing the first pitch over the left field fence to tie the game, 1-1.

Matt Adams joined the home run fun, blasting a towering shot to right field to drive in two runs.

Jan Hernandez, the American Association Batter of the Week, continued his dominance at the plate, driving a deep home run to left center to extend the Monarchs lead to 4-1.

Abreu and Hernandez finished the night with two home runs each. Hernandez recorded back-to-back multi-home run games after hitting for the cycle just two nights ago.

The offensive firepower slowed in the second inning as each starting pitcher retired the side in one, two, three fashion.

In the top of the third, Bostick retired his eighth batter in a row before giving up another solo home run to Hunter Clanin.

The Monarchs answered in the home half of the third with a one out, two-run blast from David Thompson that soared over the left field wall. The Monarchs led 6-2 after three.

In the fourth inning, Lincoln closed the gap on the Monarchs’ lead. The Saltdogs used a one-out double and a broken bat single to set up Matt Goodheart for a three-run home run to bring the score to 6-5.

The Monarchs were able to keep the Saltdogs at bay with another run in the bottom of the fourth. J.C. Escarra reached base to start the inning after drawing a walk. Later in the inning, Gaby Guerrero drove a deep fly ball over the Saltdogs’ center fielder, Hunter Clanin, for a two-out, RBI double to push the lead to 7-5.

The Monarchs added to their lead again in the fifth with a Hernandez, one-out single that led to an RBI double from Kevin Santa.

Bostick settled into a groove on the mound in the fifth and sixth inning, recording his ninth strikeout of the night to close the sixth. Bostick finished his night with six innings pitched, nine strikeouts, seven hits allowed and five earned runs.

Jordan Martison provided relief on the mound for Kansas City to start the seventh, striking out the first two batters he faced and holding the lead, 8-5.

The Monarchs resumed their home run hitting habits with Hernandez’s second home run of the day, with a blast over the left-center fence. Abreu kept the offense rolling with his second home run of the night, with a two-run shot to Home Run Hill in right, extending the lead to 11-5.

Brandon Koch was called upon from the bullpen to hold off a Saltdogs comeback in the top of the eighth. Rain started to fall and Lincoln was able to create some offense and drive in two runs to cut into the Monarchs’ lead, 11-7.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Monarchs poured on more insurance runs with patience at the plate and a single from Guerrero. With the bases loaded, Kevin Santa emptied the sacks with a three RBI double to give the Monarchs a 14-7 advantage.

Brock Gilliam finished for Kansas City in the top of the ninth on the mound. The Saltdogs generated two runs off a home run from Ryan Long to bring the score to 14-9. Glliam brought the Memorial Day game to a close with a strikeout, ending the Saltdogs’ win streak at five.

The Monarchs will continue their homestand with game two of a three game series against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 31. The game can be heard on the Monarchs Broadcast Network with the pre-game beginning at 6:30 p.m. and the video stream airing on

Tickets to Monarchs games can be purchased by calling 913-328-5618 or by visiting

Victim of fatal accident identified

A woman who died in a fatal accident at 3 p.m. May 29 has been identified, according to a Kansas City, Kansas, police spokesman.

The victim was La’Kia Adams, 23, according to a police spokesman.

The single-vehicle accident happened at South James Street and Central Avenue, police stated.

The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department’s Traffic Division is investigating.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to call the Crime Stoppers TIPS hotline at 816-474-TIPS, police said. All tips remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward, the spokesman stated.