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Never at a loss for news
A week-by-week account of
the past year in Platte County

by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

Not surprisingly, 2001 proved to be another year full of interesting events and news stories in Platte County. Here's a summary of the news as it appeared in the pages of The Landmark.

January 4
- An investigation is underway regarding more than $3,000 being misappropriated in the Platte County Circuit Clerk's office.

- Platte County officeholders chosen in the November election are sworn in: Janet Waddell, public administrator; Christine McQuitty, county assessor; Richard Anderson, sheriff; Steve Wegner, county commission; Bonnie Brown, treasurer; and Michael Short, county commission.

- Local filings were reported for the school board and local elections across northern Platte County.

- Marquee is installed in front of the Platte County R-3 School District. Cost of the sign was $40,000.

January 11
- Senator Kit Bond will recommend Todd Graves for U.S. Attorney for the district that includes Kansas City.

- Work began on the addition and renovation to the Central Platte Fire District building on Main Street in Platte City.

- Platte County states Clay County's problems with funding their part of the trail plan will not affect the county's plans.

January 18
- Alan Lowry, Platte County R-3 school resource officer, announces his resignation.

- James Detmer, 44, is sought after a family dispute turned into the murder of his father, 72-year-old, Wilber Detmer at his home in Parkville.

- The Platte County budget shows a 15 percent increase for 2001 over the budgeted expenditures for 2000.

- The dedication for the new auditorium at the Platte County R-3 High School is set for Jan. 18. The auditorium will be named the Wilson Center for Performing Arts and can seat 750 people.

- 19-year-old, Dana M. Fisher and 19-year-old, Robert J. Calaman, are charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree in the death of their eight week old Platte City baby.

January 25
- Mike Guinn announced he will serve the remaining school year as the school resource officer for Platte County R-3.

- North Platte third grade teacher, Cathy Hubble attends the ball for the swearing in of President George W. Bush.

- Platte County middle schools are honored for their impressive MAP scores at the board meeting. Also, the $8.5 million bond issue was finalized and will go before voters in April. The bond includes: a two-story addition at Paxton, expansion of the high school cafeteria, addition of a band room, renovation of the Northland Career Center, roof improvements to Barry School and other miscellaneous improvements.

February 1
- Katherine L. Perkins, 36, of Kansas City, KS, is charged with a Class C felony of stealing traffic money from the Platte County Circuit Clerk's office. Bond was set at $10,000.

- The Hubbard family of Lansing, KS, donates a lift to the diesel mechanics program at the Northland Career Center.

- Three of North Platte's MAP scores are in the top ten categories for junior high social studies, high school math and high school science.

- Kansas City area Taco Bell restaurants, including the Platte City location, are cited by the U.S. Department of Labor for several instances of violations of the child labor laws.

February 8
- Platte County and North Platte announced their candidates in celebration of Winter Sports Week.

- Platte City PTA announces the February Festival for Friday, Feb. 16 at Paxton School.

- Platte City Police Department purchased a small highly technical camera that's able to take 1,500 pictures in a short period of time. The camera will be offered to businesses at no charge to help curb crimes of theft.

February 15
- Northland Regional Ambulance District (NRAD) announces it would like to be in its new facility by Oct. 1.

- Platte County R-3 Courtwarming royalty are crowned, they are: King, Todd Jaros and Queen, Deidra Bridger.

- The public will receive an update on Platte City's 120-day Capital Improvement Program on Feb. 15.

- The Titanic Exhibition is set to premiere at Union Station from April 14-Sept. 9.

February 22
- Seven individual champions lift the Pirates to their second straight state wrestling title. Individual winners were: 103-Brett Rolofson, 140-Jake Fisher, 152-Bobby Fisher, 160-Kiel Giese, 171-Zach Sherman, 189-Chase Verdoorn and 215-Jordan Hobbs.

- The City of Platte City announces that the Highway 92 construction project will begin soon. Traffic signals will go in at 4th Street and Highway 92.

- A two-vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 92 and Winan Road east of Platte City killed 38-year-old, Renee Collis on Feb. 14 around 11:45 a.m. after being struck in the driver's side by a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass driven by 23-year-old, Charlie Newton of Peculiar.

- An agreement between the Platte County Sheriff's Department and the City of Dearborn states the sheriff's department will provide Dearborn with an average of 20 hours per week of law enforcement for $13.85 an hour.

March 1
- Congressman Sam Graves visits third graders at Siegrist during his education tour.

- An attempted robbery turned murder at an apartment in Parkville. Killed was Rusty D. Clinton, 22. Cornelle D. Williams, 20, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. Bond was at $250,000.

- The Platte County R-3 School Board adopts a resolution calling for a special election on an $8.5 million general obligation bond.

- Parents of an eight-week-old Platte City baby that died in the parents' bed were sentenced to misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child. They were sentenced to one-year probation for each, with a special condition of drug and alcohol screening and treatment directed by probation officials.

March 8
- Platte County R-3 celebrates Dr. Seuss' 97th birthday. Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Todd Graves and Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt joined in the celebration.

- Captain Ken Wilson, commander of Platte County Sheriff's Department announced he will begin as Smithville Chief of Police on March 16.

- Mary Jo Everhart of Platte County Health Department was elected as 2000-2002 vice president of the Missouri Public Health Association (MPHA) and the Missouri Department of Health Director's Advisory Council 2000-2001 vice president.

March 15
- Platte County R-3 will perform the musical "Grease" on May 3-5 at the Wilson Performing Arts Theatre.

- A volunteer firefighter for the Central Platte Fire Department was involved in a one-vehicle accident responding to a call in Platte City. He lost control of his Jeep Cherokee and ended up in a ravine near Second and Vine Streets.

- The Platte County Sheriff's Department Crisis Negotiation Team was able to safely conclude a hostage situation outside of Parkville. Kenneth J. Simpson, 40, surrendered to authorities after a seven-hour incident.

- Camden Point Board of Alderman formed a committee to research $200,000 in park outreach grant money available through the county this year.

- The Platte County Pirate Band is invited to represent the state of Missouri for the 2001 Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C.

- Weston Board of Aldermen hear concerns regarding a sign ordinance at a public hearing.

March 22
- Alley work begins on the alleys between Second and Third Streets north of Main Street in Platte City. The project is a small part of the Capital Improvements Program of Platte City.

- New census figures show Platte City's population at 3,866. This figure is up 31 percent since the 1990 count.

- Charges are upgraded against 40-year-old, Kenneth Simpson, who held his estranged wife hostage at gunpoint in Parkville. He is charged with kidnapping and armed criminal action. Bond is $100,000, cash only.

- A change of venue request was granted for Katherine L. Perkins, 36, former Platte County Circuit Court Clerk, accused of stealing more than $2,000 in traffic court money between Oct. 1, 1999 and May 31, 2000.

March 29
- Voters will decide on two bond issues for funding Phase 3 and 4 of Platte City's Capital Improvement Program.

- Three candidates seek two open spots on the R-3 school board: Lee Ann Fadler, Bob Shaw and Jeff Hayes.

- North Platte third graders learn about tall tales in recognition of Tall Tales Day.

- North Platte sixth graders graduate from the DARE program, after learning how to "Just Say No" at the year long program.

April 5
- Voters say yes to bond issue questions by Platte City and Platte County R-3 School District. The school's $8.5 million no-tax increase bond issue passed with 85 percent approval from voters. Platte City's bond issue does bring a tax increase of 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The $4 million general obligation bond issue for street improvements passed with 69 percent of voters in favor. The second bond was a revenue bond for water and sewer improvements. No tax increase was associated with the costs being paid through connecting fees assigned to those benefiting from the improvements. The $1.4 million revenue bond was approved by 65 percent. R-3 school board seats were won by: Lee Ann Fadler and Bob Shaw; R-1 school board: Louis Bentin, Jr. and Kevin Cook; West Platte: George 'Zim' Hull and Annette Annie Nutt.

- The county commission looks at a tourism tax to fund the county's Convention and Visitors Bureau.

April 12
- Medical examiners try to determine a body found in a field near the intersection of Highway 92 and North Winan, six miles east of Platte City.

- Peter Oseguera, Jr., 11, of Dearborn overcomes AVMS (arterio-veinous malformation), a rare brain condition.

- The Landmark gives $1,000 this year to local PTA groups as a part of the paper's school service program.

April 19
- Mayor Frank Offutt proposes to rework the way the city oversees park money and facilities after disappointment in the current park boards lack of long-range plan and concern over legality of current set-up of the city's 1/2 cent sales tax for parks.

- Platte County public works director Dale Thomas, addresses the commission regarding Kansas City's plan to construct a new water line in the Kansas City system from Ferrelview to Dearborn that would provide water for Platte County rural water districts No. 2, No. 4 and No. 9, Dearborn and Camden Point.

April 26
- Board of Aldermen halt Mayor Frank Offutt's proposal to dismantle the park board arrangements and create a new parks "department" for the city of Platte City.

- North Platte plans a new addition to house a weight room, wrestling area and locker room at the high school.

- Members of New Market Christian burn this existing church mortgage, approximately $28,000 at a ceremony. The church paid off the loan after three years by help of fundraisers, originally they anticipated the mortgage would be paid off in 7-10 years.

- Platte County R-3 names the prom King, Brian Koechner and Queen, Danielle Steiner.

- A chemical spill closed Highway 45 between Dyestore and Route H in Platte County for over five hours.

May 3
- A liquid petroleum gas pipeline exploded in a field along Highway 273 between Platte City and Weston, sending fireballs an estimated 300 feet into the air.

- County commission hears opposition of a proposed development south of Platte City on 136th Street south of Broken Bridge subdivision. The preliminary plat calls for 163 homes to be built on nearly an 80-acre tract owned by James W. Farley.

- Prosecutors charge former Parkville teacher for allegedly engaging in sex acts with a 14-year-old male student. Charged with eight felonies is 29-year-old, Rachelle L. Hernandez with four counts of second degree statutory rape and four counts of second degree statutory sodomy.

- Former Platte County Circuit Court Clerk Katherine L. Perkins enters a guilty plea for stealing $2,000 in traffic court money.

May 10
- A lobbying effort by Platte County Sheriff Dick Anderson, attempting to impact state legislation appears to have failed after using public money-not direct taxpayer money to pay lobbyists fighting to attach an amendment to a bill passed by Missouri House of Representatives.

- Platte County area schools prepare for graduations. North Platte-May 13, Platte County R-3-May 20 and West Platte-May 20.

- Over 100 individuals gather to hear comments for and against the proposed Farley development issue. The commission voted to table the proposed zoning change.

- Board of Aldermen announced alderman John Kurtz as the park liaison.

- The pipeline that ruptured last week between Weston and Platte City is back in service. Crews replaced about 100 feet of pipe including the five-foot long rupture.

May 17
- Construction of a new regulation size softball field may begin this summer with Platte City Athletic Association, Platte County R-3 School and Platte City Parks and Recreation all contributing to the project. The field would be located north of Siegrist and west of the districts existing ball field.

- Fire equipment was stolen from the Central Platte Fire Department: eight leather fireman helmets and one complete bunker firefighter gear.

- Matt Henderson is hired by Camden Point's board of aldermen as the new police chief.

- Valerie French is named the winner of The Landmark's English Award for 2001.

- Platte City sees a major surge in fast food businesses with the building of Wendy's and the openings of the Pizza Shoppe and Mr. Goodcents coming soon.

May 24
- DWI charge against county clerk, Sandra Krohne, is plea bargained in Savannah's municipal court.

- The widening project of Highway 92 is set for an August completion as announced by the Platte City board of alderman. The City of Platte City also transferred $400,000 from the 2001 budget into the capital improvement fund to cover unexpected expenses.

- Platte County R-3 may be accredited with distinction after meeting 10 out of 11 overall criterion on the last Missouri School Improvement Plan report.

- Planning and Zoning try to determine where growth can continue by examining the rural character of the unincorporated part of Platte County.

May 31
- Criminal charges in Maryland against former Platte County R-3 state champion wrestler, Jeremy Duncan, have been reduced. He now faces misdemeanor charges of one count of disorderly conduct, one count of disturbing the peace and five counts of reckless endangerment. Originally he was charged with a felony charge of first degree malicious burning.

- Opposition continues over the proposed Farley subdivision south of Platte City.

- The Landmark begins its 137th year of publication. It is the oldest newspaper in Platte County and one of the oldest in the state of Missouri.

- Groundbreaking will be held for KCI-Expo Center on June 4. The building will feature 70,000 square foot of exhibition hall of open space, six meeting rooms, a general assembly room, a multi-purpose room, a permanent deli and full-catering service. The KCI-Expo will be located at the Northwest Plaza Circle south of the Wyndham Garden Hotel off I-29.

June 7
- Dearborn volunteer firefighter, Travis Brown, died after responding to a fire at the intersection of Highway B and Malcolm Lake Road, allegedly set by Edgerton-Trimble volunteer firefighter, Jason Hendrix. Brown was killed after being thrown from a tanker truck that overturned responding to the call. Hendrix is held on $20,000 bond and plead not guilty to second degree arson charges.

- The 2000 U.S. Census Bureau stats report Platte County experienced a growth of approximately 28 percent in population since 1990.

- Mayor Frank Offutt signs proclamation recognizing July 4 as Platte County R-3 High School "Pirate Pride" Marching Band Day.

June 14
- Former Platte County Circuit Court Clerk, Katherine Perkins, is sentenced to five years probation in a Clay County court after being granted a change of venue. She was charged with a Class C felony for stealing $2,000 in traffic fines, earlier she plead guilty.

- Jason Hendrix appeared in Platte County Circuit Court where he pled not guilty and the bond was raised to $250,000 after additional charges were added. Charges of murder in second degree (Class A felony); arson in second degree (Class C felony); property damage in first degree (Class D felony); five Class B misdemeanors for fires set since May 15. A preliminary hearing date is set for July 10.

- Farley withdraws his rezoning request for a subdivision south of Platte City for 163 homes on an 80-acre tract of land.

June 21
- 150 law enforcement officers and deputies from Platte County learned how to enter a building track down a shooter during active shooter training courses.

- July 4th celebration is planned for Platte City. The events include: pancake breakfast, 5K fun run/walk, bicycle rodeo, 3-on-3 basketball tourney and sand volleyball tourney, facepainting and crafts for kids, food concessions, craft sale, flag raising ceremony and a fireworks show.

- Preliminary plans are underway for the construction of a water line from Ferrelview to Dearborn. The line will bring water from the Kansas City Water Services Department to Water Districts No. 2, 4 and 9 and the cities of Dearborn and Camden Point. The projects estimated completion date is August 2002.

- Weston Board of Aldermen approve a ten percent water rate increase for the City of Weston.

June 28
- "Camping for a Cause", a week-long fundraiser raised more than $11,000 for Travis Brown's wife, Tammy and their five children, after losing Travis as he was responding to an arson fire allegedly set by Edgerton-Trimble volunteer firefighter, Jason Hendrix. Travis was a volunteer firefighter for the Dearborn fire department. Brown was killed after the pumper truck he was riding in overturned.

- Platte County R-3 School District receives accreditation with distinction from the state of Missouri. It's the highest honor that a school district can hold in the state of Missouri, and only 26 percent of the districts receive this honor.

July 5
- Partnerships begin to develop between entities toward creating a community center in Platte City.

- The Freedom Festival, Camden Point, celebrates the Fourth of July with various activities.

July 12
- A judge finds probable cause for Jason Hendrix to stand trial for murder in the second degree, a Class A felony, in the death of Dearborn volunteer firefighter Travis Brown, as well as other charges.

- Board of Aldermen approves Platte City hair salons to allow licensed massage therapists to do business in the hair salons.

- Hot temperatures may be to blame for a train derailment between Weston and Iatan along Hwy. 45 on July 4.

- Platte County's assessed valuation increased to $1.2 billion for tax year 2001. The increase is nearly $79 million over 2000.

July 19
- Platte County fair is underway with five days of fun activities.

- Platte County considers asking voters to approve up to a five percent hotel sales tax to help support Platte County tourism.

- "Field of Dreams" event is announced for July 28 at Strickland Family Farm near Weston.

July 26
- Platte County fair comes to an end with the crowning of Natalie Moyer of Kansas City as the 2001 Platte County Fair Queen.

- Platte County R-3 High School will install 11 new security cameras to keep a close watch on the entries, auditorium and key traffic areas of the high school.

- Platte County commissioners Betty Knight and Steve Wegner attended the National Association of Counties Convention in Philadelphia.

August 2
- Platte County "Field of Dreams" comes alive as former Royals players and local athletes compete against Ghost Players from Dyersville, Iowa on Roger Strickland's farm by Weston.

- Jason Hendrix seeks a change of venue in the case of the death of Travis Brown.

- Platte City Board of Aldermen discuss the revitalization of downtown Platte City.

- Platte County road districts don't want the responsibility of some roads in the county transferred to their districts, instead they want them to remain under the county roads department's supervision.

August 9
- "America's Most Wanted" TV shows brings in 58 calls in search for James W. Detmer, 44, who's charged with the murder of his father, Wilbur Detmer, 72, of Parkville on Jan. 10.

- President George W. Bush formally nominates Todd Graves for U.S. Attorney for Missouri's Western District.

- State law regarding water pollution control adds a new fee to Platte City water service.

August 16
- A two-year-old court case alleging violations of states open meetings and open records law is over after a judgment degree says Camden Point's Fire Board unintentionally violated the law.

- The Landmark launches its interactive website.

- Platte County will hold a public auction of delinquent tax properties.

- NRAD moves into their new location along Hwy. 92 near Eggen's Hardware in Platte City.

- James Farley and residents work on a compromise for a zoning deal.

- Weston city treasurer announces the city won't see a tax rate increase this year.

August 23
- Oak Park High School coach admits to having sex with a girl from his basketball team.

- Platte County Sheriff's Department announces James W. Detmer's truck was found abandoned in Atlanta, Ga. He's charged in the second degree death of his father, Wilbur Detmer of Parkville.

- Platte County Sheriff's Department deputy, Tom Taulbee is chosen as the North Platte R-1 school resource officer.

August 30
- Brian Nowotny, director of Platte County Parks and Recreation, says the proposed community center will be one of several efforts planned with the sales tax money.

- John Hall, director of Northland Career Center, is honored by NCC and the Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

- Congressman Sam Graves visits with local senior citizens regarding medicare and social security.

- Pirate Hall of Fame names this year's inductees: Jerre Blankenship, David Clevenger, J. Michael Hartegan, Loneta Wilson Schmollinger and Bill Williams.

September 6
- Board of Aldermen announce an increase of tax and trash rates for residents of Platte City.

- A group meets to discuss the downtown revitalization of Platte City.

- Mid-America Regional Counsel (MARC) announces the 911 software and hardware will receive an upgrade for the eight-county Kansas City region.

September 13
- Platte Countians react with patriotism following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

- Mark Harpst, superintendent of Platte County R-3, urges the community center committee to think big regarding the community's and districts needs of the proposed facility.

- A high speed chase following a robbery of an antique store in Weston, involves officers firing shots at the suspect, Matthew R. Graham, 31, Bonner Springs, KS.

September 20
- Three local firefighters from the Central Platte Fire District respond to efforts following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

- Todd Graves is sworn in as the U.S. Attorney for Western District of Missouri.

- Brad Kavanaugh is appointed as acting prosecutor of Platte County.

- Platte County R-3 School District announces a public forum to discuss the community center and gather input and reactions from residents.

September 27
- Governor Bob Holden announced Tammy Glick will be named Platte County Prosecutor.

- Platte City Board of Alderman approved an ordinance authorizing the sale of $2 million in general obligation bonds.

- North Platte crowns the 2001 Homecoming Royalty: King Nathan Boyd and Queen Jessica Goodlet.

- KC Wolf visits Platte County elementary students with a message of self-esteem.

October 4
- The Platte City Athletic Association (PCAA) fears stormwater drainage problem may be so severe that next year's youth ball season is threatened.

- Steve Wegner, county commissioner, undergoes heart surgery.

- Platte County R-3 High School announces this year's Homecoming Royalty.

- Farley area hog farmer, Gary Oberdiek, may face opposition from area residents on a proposed hog farm expansion project.

October 11
- Platte City mayor, Frank Offutt, announces he'll form a committee to look at concerns of stormwater drainage issues.

- Bonnie Glick is names the 2001 Platte County R-3 Homecoming Queen. Jeff Wooldridge is named 2001 Homecoming King.

- Platte County R-3 school resource officer, Mike Guinn gives his letter of resignation.

- Platte County R-3 board answers questions and concerns regarding the proposed community center at a forum.

October 18
- Platte County R-3 announces the implementation of the Character Council program at the high school.

- Platte County holds a dedication ceremony for the new civic center that was recently renovated to house the city's police department and municipal court.

- Weston celebrates their annual Applefest event.

- Barbara Whitters shares her passion for doll houses with The Landmark in a special feature article.

October 25
- Platte City Mayor Frank Offutt, appoints a stormwater drainage commission to review the current situation.

- Tammy Glick is sworn in as the Platte County Prosecutor with nearly 200 people in attendance.

- Platte County commission approved Jim Farley's request to rezone a tract of land for a 158-single family lot subdivision south of Platte City after months of opposition.

- A Clay County judge denies Jason Hendrix's request for a change of venue.

November 1
- City of Platte City and the Platte City Athletic Association debate over the stormwater drainage issue.

- Platte County Administration Building installs a security station at the entrance of the building.

-Children's Academy preschoolers visit Platte City Main Street businesses on Halloween morning.

November 8
- Martin Pope, Platte County R-3 High School teacher, is honored with the Fall 2001 Fox 4 Crystal Apple Award.

- The City of Platte City reports new data regarding the curbside recycling program says it's off to a great start.

- Platte County Commission implements an additional court surcharge to provide operating expenses for victims of domestic violence.

November 15
- Platte County Pirates football team is one win away from defending the Class 3A state title.

- West Platte Blue Jays advance in state playoff action for the first time since 1973, when that team advanced past quarterfinal action.

- North Platte and West Platte Schools join together to honor the veterans of our country in the annual Veterans Day program at North Platte High School.

November 22
- The Pirates defeat Carl Junction to advance to the state title game in defense of their Class 3A Championship.

- A 2000 study published in Expansion Management Magazine rates Platte County R-3 as the third top district in the Kansas City metro area on the Missouri side.

- Platte County Regional Sewer District 2002 rate study says the 2001 rate increase for customers will be less than two percent.

November 29
- Platte County Pirates celebrate their second consecutive Class 3A title over New Madrid Central.

- West Platte Blue Jays clinch their first ever Class 1A State Championship Title.

- Paul Whitters is honored with the Truman V. Glenn Memorial Award.

December 6
- Burglaries strike rural areas of Platte County and may have a connection to burglaries in Buchannan County.

- Edgerton is struck by a series of fires and vandalism attacks.

- Platte County R-3 Vision 2007 Committee meets to determine the districts five-year strategic plan.

- Siegrist Elementary collects warm clothes to donate to the United Services Christmas Store in Platte County.

December 13
- The Central Platte Fire District faces some problems within the department between personnel.

- Platte City police discover a meth lab at a local motel.

- A population increase causes the City of Platte City to change the voting wards.

- Platte County runningback, Zach Sherman is honored with the Frank Fontana Memorial Award by Kansas City metro coaches.

December 20
- Dave Brooks announces he will run for Platte City mayor.

- Three local teenagers are injured in a one-vehicle wreck on Hwy. 92 east of Platte City.

- Congressman Sam Graves talks with The Landmark about this past year's session and the events of Sept. 11.

- Weston Board of Alderman vote to move the city hall to a renovated Burlington Northern Train Depot, now owned by the City.

December 27
- Dearborn Fire Protection District receives a new pumper tanker. The truck will be dedicated to the memory of former volunteer firefighter, Travis Brown.

- Platte County R-3 board hears about surveyors comments regarding the possibility of a county not being able to support both the Platte City and Parkville proposed community center sites.

- Platte County R-3 board scales back an originally proposed $750,000 softball stadium to an estimated $300,000 stadium to meet the district's budget.

- Platte County Commission terminates an 1/8 cents retail sales tax, used for Union Station improvements.