Blue Valley | KCUR

Blue Valley

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The Shawnee Mission and Blue Valley school districts on Monday joined at least five other school districts nationwide that have authorized lawsuits against the country’s leading e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs. 

Both districts approved resolutions seeking damages they claim they’ve incurred as a result of students’ use of the devices.

The Greeting Committee

It was prom night, but the teenagers who packed Mills Record Company in Westport last month clearly had priorities.

“We can’t miss a show with Addie,” said Sage Morgan, referring to Addie Sartino, the charismatic front-person of the The Greeting Committee, who was giving a rare solo performance in honor of Record Store day.

“The music is awesome, we love the band,” said Morgan, who was there with her girlfriend, both of them in formal wear. “We’ve been following them since they started playing.”

Overland Park Planning Commission

A proposal to build an Islamic community center in Overland Park received preliminary approval Monday despite apparent opposition from hundreds of Overland Park residents.

Courtesy Blue Valley School District

Blue Valley will promote deputy superintendent Tonya Merrigan into its top job.

But Merrigan won’t move into her new position right away. She’ll spend the next 17 months learning from outgoing superintendent Todd White.

“I’ll get to really understand the legislative process,” Merrigan said. “I get to spend time analyzing and working on the budget – areas I haven’t had as much opportunity to work with.”

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Johnson County authorities announced Tuesday that the fatal, officer-involved shooting of 17-year-old John Albers was justified. 

The announcement comes one month after Overland Park police were dispatched to a home in south Overland Park, responding to a report of a suicidal person.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Updated Monday 9:45 a.m.

Blue Valley School District officials say counselors will be on hand at schools throughout the district Monday to help students cope with the death of a 17-year old Blue Valley Northwest High School student.

John Albers was shot and killed Saturday by Overland Park Police.

When he was a senior at Blue Valley North, Alex Haughey made a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Now, he's coming back home with a new movie that's screening at the KC Film Fest. The five-day festival runs April 5 - April 9 at Cinemark on the Plaza. 

Dale Grosbach

The Baker University football team will try to accomplish something no other athletics team at the school in Baldwin City, Kansas has pulled off—winning a national championship. The Wildcats (14-0) will play Saint Francis (12-1) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for the NAIA title Saturday in Daytona Beach, Florida.

In the highly competitive world of football recruiting, the approach at a small school like Baker is different.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Johnson County superintendents and local chambers of commerce are asking for a return to Kansas's old school funding formula and for a provision that would “hold all districts harmless.”

The Kansas Supreme Court has given lawmakers until June 30 to come up with an equitable funding formula or risk closure of the state’s schools. As it stands, Blue Valley, De Soto, Gardner-Edgerton, Olathe and Shawnee Mission will lose money under state lawmakers’ plan to equalize funding.

The Daily Beast

For the second year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has named Lincoln College Preparatory Academy the top high school in Missouri. The publication also named Blue Valley North the top high school in Kansas.

The annual report looked at graduation rates, state assessment results, college readiness and low-income student performance to rank 174 Missouri and 116 Kansas public high schools. 

Centers For Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) moves high school juniors and seniors from the classroom to professional environments to learn. Hear how the program works and what it offers students.

Blue Valley Schools

The new top person in the Blue Valley School District isn’t exactly new.

Todd White came to Blue Valley as an assistant superintendent last May after leading the North Kansas City School District for four years.

He replaces Tom Trigg who left for a suburban Dallas district last year. He was superintendent for 11 years.

“It was important for us to find a leader who shared our community’s values and goals,” Mike Seitz, Blue Valley Board of Education president, said in a statement. "He is the right choice to take us to the next level of achievement.”

Cody Newill / KCUR

Several dozen volunteers helped finish up the Blue Valley Middle School Outdoor Learning Center Saturday in memory of two of the victims of the shootings at Jewish community sites in Johnson County.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Mike Besler is a former Kansas state high school champion quarterback and a member of the Blue Valley West High School Hall of Fame. But he still needs a coach. 

"When I first heard, I was kind of like, 'I want my own space.' But now that I've seen how resourceful it is, it's made a world of difference," Besler says.