Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

State Board of Education member Steve Roberts at a 2016 candidate forum. Photo by Eric Blom
State Board of Education member Steve Roberts (right) at a 2016 candidate forum. Photo by Eric Blom.

Kansas State Board of Education approves pilot program that would allow special ed licensure after one semester of instruction. The Kansas State Board of Education on Wednesday approved two new pilot programs intended to help address the teacher shortage in the state — but some education professionals worry they will set new teachers up for failure. Under the pilot programs, college students enrolled in elementary and special education programs would be eligible for a limited teaching license after one semester of instruction. “We would be very concerned that we would bring the potentially good educators — paraprofessionals and others who would be quality educators — and set them up for failure if we don’t have the proper supports in place with an accelerated program,” Idalia Shuman of the Kansas National Education Association told the board. Steve Roberts, who represents much of the Shawnee Mission area, voted in favor of the program. Board chair John Porter was the only dissenting vote. [State Board Of Education Approves Pilot Programs For Accelerated Teaching Licenses — KMUW]

Merriam’s Tim Murphy Art Gallery featured as hidden gem in KC. KSHB this week took a look at Merriam’s Tim Murphy Art Gallery inside the Irene B. French Community Center, calling it one of the metro’s best kept secrets. [Merriam’s best-kept secret: Tim Murphy Art Gallery — KSHB]

Family sues Prairie Village Police for pursuit related to fatal crash. The family of Denisse Lopez, who was killed in a wreck at the intersection of 75th Street and Metcalf Ave. in January 2016, has sued the Prairie Village Police Department, saying that an officer’s pursuit of Raphael Sherman contributed to the 23-year-old’s decision to run a red light, leading to the crash. [Prairie Village sued over death of pregnant woman killed by driver fleeing police — Kansas City Star]

Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Shawnee resident Monica Lee. Johnson County District Court Judge Sara Welch on Wednesday sentence Gregory Paul Wright II, 55, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years for the murder of Shawnee resident Monica Lee in May 2016. Wright pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the case in November.