Sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Keith Hicklin, noted longtime attorney in Platte County, who passed away last week in Columbia. Keith and his firm, now Witt, Hicklin, Snider & Fain, served as the city attorney for the City of Platte City for many years, among many other accomplishments in his service to others in the field of law.
See his full obituary elsewhere in this edition of The Landmark.
Get excited. We mentioned this on some of our social media platforms but haven’t yet talked about it in the print edition.
The fine folks at Barley & Vine, the wine bar/brewery scheduled to open on Main Street in downtown Platte City later this year, recently announced plans to brew a beer to be named after your favorite newspaper. Landmark Lager is expected to be on tap when the establishment gets rolling. Hit me up when you order one and I might pick up the tab for you. Well, at minimum I’ll sit there and enjoy a Landmark Lager at the same time you do.
Barley & Vine describes itself as “an upscale brewery, wine bar, and specialty wine shop.” It is going in at 246 Main Street.
I sometimes hesitate to offer an update on the construction progress of the new City Hall in Platte City, because each time I do I have to announce that the scheduled opening date has been pushed back again.
Latest update, which comes from city administrator Marji Gehr, is that “move-in is expected prior to Thanksgiving.”
Considering Thanksgiving is practically three months away, this is a significant delay. Construction delays are not all that uncommon these days, both in the public and private sectors, so this is not a problem unique to the city. In October of 2022, the city was shooting for mid-March of this year. In a January update in The Landmark, city officials were hoping for a mid-May/early June opening. Then in early June, the city said it expected to be moving in late July. Then in late June, the city told me the targeted move-in date was August.
Gehr says a punch list review will be held among the general contractor, architects and city officials on Sept. 5. In the meantime, painting, ceiling tiles, doors and hardware are expected to be completed any day. Floor tile, wall tile and casework is expected to be completed in mid-September. Furniture installation is also expected in mid-September. Other items set for work in September include site grading, stormwater flumes and inlets, concrete, landscaping, asphalt, curbs and fencing.
While construction delays are common these days, there has been one local construction renovation project that has motored right along the past couple of months and met deadline. The Landmark is planning to tell you all about it next week. You’ll want to be here for that one.
Thirty years ago last week (see the 30 years ago item on page 3) we lost Clay McGinnis, age 63, who had served 13 years as editor of The Landmark. Some longtime Landmark readers may remember Clay, though he would probably be embarrassed if you do. Getting attention was never his thing. He was a very solid, meticulous, old school newsman, and I mean that in a complimentary way. He was still using a manual typewriter in 1993, and didn’t seem excited about the oncoming trend of these things called computers. A veteran news editor who prior to coming to The Landmark in 1980 had worked many years at the Independence Examiner, Clay liked to stay in the background, was happy to report the news and was reluctant to stir the pot even when the pot really needed stirring. He was a staunch Democrat and our political viewpoints were often at odds. He was the opposite of your current Landmark editor in many ways, and I’m convinced that’s why we worked together well. Each of us accepted the other’s personality and we never had cross words, despite our differences, in the 11 years we worked together. I started here at the age of 19, less than two years after my dad had passed away, and in some ways Clay became a fatherly influence, whether he knew it or not. In our news coverage and editorials, I was consistently pushing to hit the accelerator. Clay was more comfortable pumping the brakes. So now you know it was no coincidence that our news coverage and editorial stances became significantly more aggressive after 1993. I’m sure our modern Landmark style has had Clay uncomfortably squirming in his grave on more than one occasion.
I’ve never forgotten one day in the office when I was struggling with how to word a particularly tricky topic in a news story, Clay offered three words of advice: “Keep it simple.” To this day it’s a phrase I often repeat to myself. Just so I don’t forget it, I’ve kept a small photo of Clay pinned on a wall next to my desk for 30 years. And we’ve preserved his manual typewriter.
This has been a long-winded way to say that no matter how different our personalities and backgrounds may be, we can learn things from every person we encounter in our lives.
Want to have some fun, win respect and win goodies? Read the front page update about our NFL predictions contest known as Landmark Pick’em, which you can play each week (it’s free) at plattecountylandmark.com. Win a prize from a local restaurant. Win bragging rights over the egotistical guys on The Landmark staff.
A few more NFL futures thoughts, using pizza money, that I have and you’re welcome to follow: Carolina under 7.5 wins; Chicago under 7.5 wins; Colts under 6.5 wins; Tampa Bay under 5.5 wins; Arizona under 4.5 wins. Remember our biggie is Washington under 6.5 wins. Also for funsies, I have $20 on Jacksonville to win the Super Bowl at 25-1 odds, potential payout of $520; and $20 on Baltimore to win the Super Bowl at 20-1 odds, potential payout of $420.
(Funsies are always available by email to firstname.lastname@example.org)