Merriam police will continue birthday parades after pandemic; Former KCPD officer gets 120 days for causing fatal I-435 crash that killed SM South student

If your child has a birthday coming up you can schedule a police parade by contacting Capt. Chris Brokaw at or at (913) 322-5566. Photo via City of Merriam.

Merriam police to continue birthday parades post-coronavirus pandemic

The Merriam Police Department will continue its birthday parades once the coronavirus pandemic comes to an end.

Officers began birthday parties for children in Merriam who could not celebrate their special day with friends and family due to COVID-19. The parade includes a line of officers driving by with sirens blaring and lights flashing.

To schedule a police parade, contact Capt. Chris Brokaw at or at (913) 322-5566.

Former KCPD officer gets 120 days for causing fatal I-435 crash that killed SM South student

Terrell E. Watkins, 35, a former Kansas City police officer who caused a crash that killed an SM South student and injured two others in 2018 near Arrowhead Stadium, will serve four months in jail as part of a plea agreement.

Watkins pleaded guilty in early June in Jackson County Circuit Court to first-degree involuntary manslaughter, two counts of second-degree assault and a misdemeanor count of careless and imprudent driving. He was sentenced to 17 years on the involuntary manslaughter and assault convictions, but Circuit Court Judge Byran E. Round on Tuesday suspended the execution of that sentence. Watkins will serve 120 days at Caldwell County Jail for the count of careless and imprudent driving.

The charges relate to a fatal crash before a Chiefs game when Watkins was speeding in a police van and slammed into the back of a Mitsubishi Lancer driven by 17-year-old Chandan Rajanna that was caught up in heavy pregame traffic. Rajanna was a senior who planned on attending the University of Kansas. [Former KCPD officer sentenced for causing deadly I-435 collision prior to Chiefs game — The Kansas City Star]

St. Joseph hosting blood drive July 27

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Shawnee is hosting a blood drive with the Community Blood Center on Monday, July 27.

The blood drive takes place from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 11221 Johnson Drive. Appointments are preferred, and walk-ins are welcome if space is available.

To make an appointment online, visit and use Sponsor Code stjosephcatholic, or contact Virginia Wiedel at 913-268-3874 or

St. Joseph and the Community Blood Center are asking donors to wear a face mask to the blood drive. Those who do not have one will be provided with one upon arrival. Donors must also bring a photo or donor ID card.