Briefly Noted: Shawnee Mission able to keep last day of school as scheduled despite brutal winter; SM South’s Will Huggins to play football at KU

Students at Brookwood Elementary.

Despite flurry of inclement weather days, Shawnee Mission able to keep last day of school as scheduled. A brutal winter and unprecedented string of inclement weather days came just short of forcing the Shawnee Mission School District to extend the school year. The administration announced on Monday that it would keep the last day of school for K-11 set as scheduled at May 23 — assuming, of course, there are no more snow days this year. Seniors will haver their last day of the year on May 10. Pre-K programs will meet for the final time this year on May 22

Roeland Park’s new leaf pickup vacuum saved money but had fewer participants. Roeland Park’s new leaf vacuum decreased the cost of the city’s 2018-19 leaf pickup program by about 40 percent while increasing the total volume of leaves collected by 56 percent. However, the program experienced a slightly lower resident participation rate than anticipated (26 percent vs. 33 percent). “Although participation numbers declined the volume of leaves collected went up which also points to the new program being more attractive to residents,” according to a city staff report. Donnie Scharff, director of public works, said that understanding the capability of the leaf vacuum truck will allow the city to more effectively schedule next year’s three pickups and this should lead to an increase in resident participation. Scharff said the public works department was happy with the new leaf pickup method calling it a “well deserved switch.”

SM South junior Will Huggins picks KU to play college football. Will Huggins, a junior at Shawnee Mission South and tight end/receiver for his school’s football team, has picked the University of Kansas to play for the Jayhawks. Huggins recently attended the Jayhawks practice and already had his mind made up. He had visited KU during the first junior day in February and left Lawrence with an offer. “I’ve always been a Jayhawk fan,” Huggins told JayhawkSlant.com. The Jayhawks started recruiting Huggins at the beginning of the year. [Will Huggins picks Kansas, has always been a Jayhawk fan — JayhawkSlant.com]

Rep. Jan Kessinger, state Sen. John Skubal, say tax bill would move Kansas backward. Rep. Jan Kessinger and state Sen. John Skubal shared their concerns with a tax bill that they believe is fiscally irresponsible for the state of Kansas. In a guest column for the Kansas City Star, the two Republican legislators said Senate Bill 22, a tax plan coming through the Kansas Legislature, “creates a new set of complications” that would reduce state revenue by $500 million over the next three years and ultimately benefit large corporations in the state. [As Republicans, we know this tax plan would move Kansas backward — The Kansas City Star]

Rep. Woodard challenges abortion ban bill sponsor for not asking female colleagues for input. After Rep. Randy Garber recently gave testimony about his abortion bill in front of the Federal and State Affairs Committee, committee member Rep. Brandon Woodard challenged him for not asking women for input. The committee heard passionate testimony from both sides of the controversial issue, and advocates came from all over the state to discuss their perspectives on the resolution that would essentially ban abortion in Kansas. All 21 of the resolution’s sponsors are men, so Woodard asked Garber if he discussed the bill with his female colleagues. Garber said he had not. [Kansas lawmakers seek amending Kansas Constitution to ban abortion — Hays Post]

Shawnee resident claims $50 million jackpot from Missouri Lottery’s Mega Millions drawing. Shawnee resident Hira Singh bought the winning ticket at QuikTrip, 6641 E. Truman Road in Kansas City, and matched all six numbers drawn – 10, 12, 16, 49 and 57 with a Mega Ball of 18. Singh said he often fuels up his vehicle and buys lottery tickets at that QuikTrip location during his commute to and from work, according to a Missouri Lottery news release. The lottery news release reported that Singh didn’t realize for several days following the drawing.