Briefly noted: Yoder will not participate in town hall on gun reform; Forum to discuss kids’ mental health, foster care set for next week

Rep. Kevin Yoder.

Yoder will not participate in Saturday’s “Town Hall for Our Lives.” Rep. Kevin Yoder’s campaign said Wednesday he would not participate in the “Town Hall for Our Lives” event being organized by gun reform advocates this weekend. Yoder was given an early invitation to attend, but his office characterized the town hall as a “Democratic primary event.” “[Kevin] looks forward to debating their candidate in the fall after they have picked their nominee,” said Yoder campaign spokesman CJ Grover. Democrats Sharice Davids, Tom Niermann, Mike McCamon, Brent Welder, Jay Sidie and Sylvia Williams; and Libertarian Chris Clemmons have confirmed they will participate at the event, which will be held at Saint Andrew Christian Church, 13890 W 127th St, in Olathe at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Forum on kids’ mental health, foster care issues set for next week in Prairie Village. A group of experts on kids’ mental health and the Kansas foster care system will convene next Tuesday for a forum at Colonial Church (7039 Mission Road in Prairie Village). Panelists will include Tim DeWeese, director of Johnson County Mental Health; David Aramovich, social worker, Shawnee Mission School District; Michael Pahr, Kansas Appleseed Public Policy Director; and Don Jordan, former secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (now called the Department for Children and Families). “Mental health and social services have been drastically underfunded in the last years, and we’ve also, at the same time, seen a huge increase in the number of children coming into foster care,” said Becky Fast, executive director of the Kansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, a member organization of Strengthen Families Rebuild Hope. “At this event, we’ll talk about how we can impact change to support the child through the community, the schools and the foster care system.” The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public. You can learn more here.

Retired Roeland Park officer donates $1,500 to department’s K-9 fundraising effort. Retired Roeland Park Police Corporal John Schuepbach delivered a $1,500 check to the department this week to aid in their efforts to raise funds for a K-9 unit. “His dedication to the department after years of service continues with this generous gift from him and his wife Beverly,” said police chief John Morris. “He now teaches criminal justice classes and still holds an active  RPPD retirement commission. His donation is a huge help.”