November 13, 2013

Kansas City Moose Lodge #10 of Sugar Creek Donates $2,500 to CCRC

Porky Woods (left) and Moose Governor Mark Swigart (right) of Moose Lodge #10, with Carolyn Moore of the CCRC
   On October 31st Bruce Morgan, Administrator of Kansas City Moose Lodge #10 of Sugar Creek, along with Moose Governor Mark Swigart and Legion President James Maxwell, Jr., presented a check in the amount of $2500 to the CCRC of Sugar Creek (Citizens Civic Relief Commission).  

   The donation came as a complete surprise, and at a really good time for the CCRC, which gives assistance to Sugar Creek residents in need.  The CCRC helps people with food, medicine, utility assistance, and provides other needed services.  The holiday season and coming of winter make the need even greater.  Moose Lodge #10 also pledged to donate $100 a month throughout 2014, knowing that as generous as their donation was, the CCRC still needs more help.  The month of November is the annual CCRC fund drive, and the Moose Lodge encourages others to follow their lead and donate to the CCRC.

    The Sugar Creek chapter of the Moose Lodge has been around for more than 100 years.  "That’s why we’re #10 out of all the Moose lodges in the world," Bruce Morgan said.  The organization raises money for charities both local and worldwide.  They host dances and dinners every Friday night, along with other activities during the week.

   For more information about the Moose Lodge, contact Bruce Morgan at (816) 254-4309.  The CCRC is located at the Gymnasium on Chicago Street. They are open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3:30 if you need assistance or can make a donation.

Salva President of the CDC

  Former Mayor Stan Salva was elected President of the Sugar Creek CDC, which was created to manage and develop those properties purchased by BP as part of the refinery cleanup.

  Bill Haman accepted a position of the Board of Directors.

Go Sugar Creek Partners with CDC

   The community group Go Sugar Creek has partnered with the CDC help homeowners limited by income or health problems to make needed improvements through grants and donations, which are tax deductible.  The next Go Sugar Creek meeting is November 13 in the Police and Fire Training Room.  Visit  for more information.

Did you know...

…November 15 will be Sugar Creek’s 93rd birthday?  The town officially became a 4th class city on that day in 1920.

What Sugar Creek Means to Me

"I have the best neighbors ever, always there to lend a hand. I love my neighbors and their families."

-- Tammy Sammons

Wish List

"Community Garden"

 "New buildings on Sterling that are built to look like old buildings."

"Fix and maintain the bathrooms at the park!"

What do you think would make Sugar Creek better?

November, 2013 Obituaries

 Rest in Peace Rick Craven

     Like many in Sugar Creek, the staff of the Sugar Creek Herald was saddened to learn of the passing of Rick Lee “Fingers” Craven, who died at his home November 5 at the age of 62.

    Rick had just retired a little over a month ago from his job at the Clay County Correctional Center.  His true love was playing the piano.  Rick was widely known as a master pianist, and over the years played backup keyboards for Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, and other nationally known recording artists.

   His family suggests donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.  The Herald staff takes comfort from the fact that Rick did not personally suffer from this disease.  His talent, wit, and friendliness will never be forgotten by those who knew him.

 Anna Berislavich Laid to Rest

   The City of Sugar Creek and the Herald staff offer condolences to the family of Anna (Pollo) Berislavich, who passed away at the age of 93.  She was a lifelong resident and a lifetime member of St. Cyril’s Alter Society, and she will be remembered and missed by all who knew her.  Her family suggests contributions to the Catholic Community Hospice in Overland Park.

 More Condolences

    We offer our condolences to the family of Julio Cruz Ramirez Sr., a Marine Corps Veteran of the Korean War, who passed away on October 23 at the age of 79.  He had been married to Marie (Zevecke) Ramirez for 50 years.

   We also offer our condolences to the family of Mary Shields, who passed away on October 17 at the age of 81.

What the He!! is This?

  By  Bill  Haman
If you have not been North of Kentucky on Vermont St. for a couple of months, you are in for a surprise.  Two huge tanks are being constructed at the location of the old asphalt area in the former BP refinery.  These two tanks are just one part of a large sewer improvement project that is just getting started.  Like many other cities, including Sugar Creek, Independence chose to route storm water into the sanitary sewers.  This was the cheapest way to dispose of the problem.  The Federal Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970’s to control the discharge of pollution in our waterways.

   The Independence sewage treatment plan on Rock Creek handles most to the sewage and storm water in Western Independence.  When heavy rain events occur this facility can not handle the combination of sewage and storm water.  This results in overflows that release raw sewage into the Missouri River and is a violation of the discharge permits.  Several years ago the EPA required Independence to develop a plan to correct this problem.  The two tanks on Vermont along with two more on Wilson Rd.  are intended to store excess flows until the treatment plant can handle the untreated water.

   There is also going to be a new sewer line that will be installed along Elizabeth St. from Forest to Sterling in the future.  During periods of high flow several of the manholes along Elizabeth blow their covers and release raw sewage along Elizabeth St.  The new sewage main should correct this problem.   

Outside Looking In

By Aimee Worley

   We all know November is an election month, unless you live in Sugar Creek.  We vote in April and August. As I see it, it's time to start looking for some civic minded people to get involved and send some change to City Hall.  The men who have been in office are out of touch. I often think they forget that they are supposed to represent all of us, not just a few.  We only see them in some neighborhoods when it's time for re-election.  They are nice enough men, but they do represent the old standard at City Hall. 

   We need fresh citizens with different views, and not afraid to say so.  There are some employees that need to be retired, fired, and remember that it's not a given. They have a job because it's a needed position and are they using their time and department wisely?

   Our police chief is elected also, and I often wonder if he remembers who voted him in.  When a citizen calls and leaves a message, return the call.  If your time is too little to stay in contact, the job must be too much.  Remember we are only a town of 3,000.  Make time for your citizens. They are the ones who gave you your job.

Mayor Carves Out Charity Money

   Mayor Matt Mallinson competed against mayors from eight surrounding cities and  Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders in the “Pumpkin Playoffs,” whereby each official carved a pumpkin, all of which were displayed at the County Courthouse.  Visitors were encouraged to vote on the pumpkins by donating money in the locked box by their favorite. Independence Mayor Don Reimel took the top prize, his donations going to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, with  Mayor Mallinson’s donations going to the CCRC.

River Jam/Picnic 2013

By Sandy Mikulich

   On October 5, Bill and Carolyn Haman hosted a River Jam and picnic at the scenic La Benite Park. It was beautiful weather and a great experience. Friends who liked music were invited but the Hamans also encouraged all Sugar Creek residents to join in the fun.

   Anyone who had an instrument and wanted to join in the music gathered at one of the two tents to jam. Some brought more than one instrument and shared them.  The jammers moved from instrument to instrument depending on the song. They were thoroughly enjoying themselves and were tireless. Those of us who were in the audience delighted in hearing favorites from the past and were impressed by the collective talents of the groups.

   Coincidentally the River Jam was the same day as the river cleanup project where Healthy Rivers Partnership and Missouri River Relief groups had planned their annual Missouri River cleanup of a 10-mile stretch in the Kansas City area. The cleanup was a day long affair.

   River Jam goers had the bonus of watching several boats on the river as well as seeing the park being used for a campground for the cleanup crew.  There were numerous tents of all sizes at the east end of the park and volunteers were sharing their food and experiences with each other as the evening was fading.

   It was such a delightful experience to see La Benite being utilized in such a positive manner and to see it full of people. There is great potential for La Benite. It was mentioned that La Benite would be the perfect site for a bluegrass festival. There is ample room, the ground is flat, and the location is scenic.

   The Hamans plan to have the River Jam again next fall and townspeople will again be encouraged to attend.  It is well worth the time to join in the fun and enjoy this resource so close to home.

Sgt. Onka Shot His Way to the Top

      It was the summer of 1966 and Sgt. Kevin Onka had just gotten out of the Army.  In the August 31 edition of the Kansas City Star, Kevin can be seen holding a shotgun and wearing a big smile, surrounded by trophies and awards.   

   He was 23 years old in the picture, and had been trap shooting since 1957 at the age of 14.  By 1959 he was a national champion.  The Army put his talent to good use and made him a member of the U. S. Army Trap and Skeet Team, where he competed in places like Switzerland, France, and Germany.  His team won a world championship in Santiago, Chile in 1965.  

   Photographs of Kevin Onka making it look easy were used to illustrate proper techniques and positions in an International Skeet and Clay Pigeon manual.
   When he wasn’t shooting clay targets around the world for Team Uncle Sam, Kevin was an instructor in aerial gunnery for pilots.

   By the time he got out of the Army in 1966, he’d collected around 300 medals and trophies.

Drag Racing at the River?

   A private investor will be meeting with Mayor Mallinson this month to discuss building an NHRA-regulation drag racing strip along the Missouri River in Sugar Creek.

   “It’s a perfect location,” says the investor, who asked not to be named in this article.  “The river and bluffs will muffle the sounds of roaring engines and screeching tires, and the scenery couldn’t be any prettier.”

   Sugar Creek has more riverfront acreage than any other city in Missouri other than St. Charles, and developing the land along the river has long been a topic of discussion among citizens and city leaders.  At least two riverboat casino deals have fallen through, and plans for an entertainment district have never materialized.  

   But a drag strip?

   “Missouri doesn’t have an NHRA track,” he said.  “The closest one is in Topeka.  The KCIR track (which the City of Kansas City took possession of earlier this year and closed down) brought tens of thousands of people a year to its events and the loss of it left a really big void, and not just for local racing fans.  People came from all around.”

   He cited revenue that could be generated from fuel sales and auto parts, from the jobs created during the construction and the track’s operation, and from the visitors it would bring to the area.  “It will bring more businesses to Sugar Creek and give people around here something fun to do.”  He also mentioned that it would be good for LaFarge. “We would need a lot of Portland Cement.”

October 8, 2013

Mayor Mallinson Works for the City… in More Ways than One

   Mayor Matt Mallinson has been taking the phrase "working for the city" to many different levels lately in order to see what it’s like to work in each of the city’s departments for a period of time.  He’s been through the physical exams and agility tests just like any new employee would have to take if they wanted to be hired by the City of Sugar Creek.  

   "How better to experience what our employees go through on a day to day basis?” he said.  "I feel that you cannot make proper decisions without first hand knowledge of certain situations.  This not only gives me a feel for the job, but this allows me time to interact with the workers that do these jobs daily." 

   Why the trash truck? 

   "We have some difficult decisions to make concerning refuse collection in our city.  Our employees are exposed to many unpleasantries that people discard.  There is certainly not a shortage of smells and I fear some could be dangerous combinations.  Many trash cans exceed our weight limits which puts our workers at risk of physical injury.  As a city, we need to provide appropriate equipment for our employees or simply get out of the garbage business.  I feel I can now properly evaluate our next move." 

And what would that be?  "Ah, please come to our next town hall meeting on Monday October 21st to find out!"

School Construction's Run-Off "Catastrophic" to Our Creeks

   Erosion and mud run-off from the site of the new Abraham Mallinson Elementary School has had a devastating effect on the town’s streams and tributaries, city officials and experts say, and they claim that builder J. E. Dunn ignored their warnings and violated state and federal laws that would have prevented it from happening.

        Stream conservationist Bill Haman, trained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers, reported to Pubic Works Director Ed Layton in August that the stream beds were now covered with hundreds of tons of Loess soil that has settled in the creeks, and that this has "eliminated most of the previous habitat for invertebrates and other life forms,” calling the situation, "catastrophic."

   In March of 2012, the city's Planning Commission and Building Official Paul Loving warned of the possibility of off site run-off and called for the construction company to perform a storm water impact study to determine what measures would be needed to retain the run-off.

     In May, 2013, Sugar Creek Public Works director Ed Layton again alerted J. E. Dunn and the Independence School District that erosion control at the site was inadequate and in violation of their erosion control permit. 

   While the school district has contractors frantically seeding and sodding the muddy hill as they try to stabilize the erosion, the damage continues in a race to grow grass between downpours as a permanent solution is being sought. 

Kelsey Brings Back Sugar Creek Fire Muster

See more photos on our Facebook page
   Adam Kelsey, a third-generation Sugar Creek firefighter, wanted to bring back the traditional Sugar Creek Fire Muster that his father and grandfather enjoyed many years ago.  At these musters, area fire companies compete against each other in tests of strength and fire-fighting skill.

   On Saturday, September 14, the Sugar Creek Fire Department met with the Independence Explorers and the Sugar Creek Explorers at Lake Street and Sutcliff Drive to participate in what Kelsey called the "2nd 1st Annual Sugar Creek Fire Muster.”  Teams were formed for competitions like the "Boot Walk,” Tug-of-War, Bucket Brigade, Barrel Fight (shown) and other tests of skill.

Team Sugar Creek One, consisting of Braden Smith, Kenny Soule, Jr., and Jeremy Wright, won the Grand Championship title, with trophies provided by the Sugar Creek Optimist Club.  The Sugar Creek Fair Board provided water and ice, the Van Horn Booster Club sold concessions, and In the Mix Productions provided sound for the event. Kelsey is hoping next year to welcome more area fire companies to Sugar Creek to compete against.

Go Sugar Creek Helping Homeowners

Go Sugar Creek volunteers, including Former Mayor Jack O’Renick, Chuck Mikulich, and Dave Schafer, along with Bill Haman, recently built a wheelchair ramp for a disabled resident living on Burton Street. This is part of the community group’s efforts to help homeowners with special needs make needed improvements and bring their properties up to code.

Plans for events like this were discussed at the group’s September meeting. The group also discussed ways to develop the river front, which included artists’ renderings of a proposed marina and an RV park.  The group’s next meeting will be held on October 24 at 7 p.m. Visit for more information and find out how you can get involved.

2nd Lieutenant Cooper Returns for Visit

Air Force 2nd Lieutenant James Cooper, son of Jim and Sheryl Cooper, will return home to visit his family and friends for a short time in October before heading back to Del Rio, Texas, where he’s training to pilot the supersonic T-38 Talon. 

   2nd. Lieut. Cooper was First in his class at prop school, and out of 300 candidates was one of only 8 that were chosen for this training program.  Cooper, a Troop 221 Eagle Scout, will complete his T-38 training in February.

Outside Looking In by Aimee Worley

I want all of our Police Officers to live in Sugar Creek again. I know quite a few do, but not all; same for our Fire Department.  It made our neighborhoods safer, and for those on the Department to know who the citizens were.  There have been times some of the new officers are cold and curt to the citizens.  I know in larger cities that’s harder.  We are only  a city of 3,000. We need to be taken care of by our own, and not treated like criminals.  It’s even worse that the police station is all the way at the end of Sterling, out of the neighborhood.  I sure miss that.

   I do have a large complaint about how I feel.

   For 17 years I have lived on Forest Ave., and off and on I have asked for the police to do radar and issue speeding tickets to people zooming down the hill, to teach them to slow down.  It’s been done maybe 25 times in the last 16 years.  Thanks to those officers, you know how much I appreciate it.  But it seems nowadays the police sit where a driver can see the police car, but as soon as the police car is gone, 45, 55, 70 mph, up and down, all day and night.

   We have more families moving into Sugar Creek, close to the schools, and a lot more children walking on my street.  It needs to be safe.

   Please, Chief Soule, have your officers do radar and give tickets. If we can pay for someone to sit in the city police pick-up truck while the radar camera is hitched to the back, we can afford for a police officer to give speeding tickets on Forest Avenue.  P. S.: I could name over 25 citizens that speed past my house daily. Please Slow Down, Don’t be in such a hurry!

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October 2013 Extras

Did you know...

…the first church in Sugar Creek was the United Methodist Church (then called the Methodist Episcopal Church)? The first service was held in 1904 in the home of Col. N. P. Simonds, a grain man who had been commander of Kansas City’s Third Regiment Infantry.  His summer home was in Sugar Creek, like many Kansas Citians who spent their summers living near Fairmount Park.

What Sugar Creek Means to Me

"As a kid growing up in Sugar Creek, going to fish at Roper’s Pond is my greatest memory.  Roper’s  land should be made into a park."
Steven Strutton

Wish List

"Lower our sewer bills!  How could they have gone up so much?”
 "Bring back curbside recycling”
"Good coffee and somewhere to drink it!”

What do you think would make Sugar Creek better?

Pancake Breakfast October 12

The Purple Crushers IGSA Softball Team will hold a charity breakfast at Stix & Stones from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on October 12, with all the pancakes you can eat for $5. Call 816-833-7849 for more info.

Sugar Creek Historical Center Re-Opens

Friends of Sugar Creek volunteers peeled hundreds of potatoes for the traditional potato salad served at their September 25 fundraising barbecue.
   Saturday, October 5, the Sugar Creek Historical Center will be re-opened and ready to welcome visitors after having been closed for repairs and improvements over the summer.

   At the end of September, the Friends of Sugar Creek held a fundraising barbecue at Mike Onka Memorial Hall, serving brisket and pulled pork with traditional Slavic side dishes.

   The historical center will be open on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Friends of Sugar Creek will be quilting every Tuesday at the historical center, creating a quilt that will be sold or auctioned off as a fundraiser.

St. Cyril's Oktoberfest - October 12

Scouts' Popcorn Sale

Local scouts are selling popcorn in a variety of flavors to raise money for scouting events this year. Delivery will be made before Thanksgiving, with 70% of all proceeds going directly to local Scout troops.  Contact your favorite Scout to put in your order, or call Derek at (816) 462-3797. 

Tales From Old Sugar Creek - 1947

   The year began with Standard Oil Co. putting the final touches on their post-WWII expansion.  The McElroy farm and restaurant were bulldozed to make room for a multi-million dollar project.  It was also an election year, and on February 5, a Democratic primary was held.  R. J. Roper won a fourth term, defeating Mike Jurchak In the 1st Ward Mike Onka beat incumbent Vern Sutton; 2nd Ward incumbent Bill Mossie won and John “Buster” Kobe lost.

   Things at the school were also on the move. A levy provided funds to build a new basketball gymnasium on Chicago Street. The Sugar Creek Merchants, a semi-pro baseball team, represented the town in the Blue Valley league.  They finished third in the State tournament.  On June 15 the hated “Ace of Clubs” from Independence came to town confident of a win they didn’t get. John Yuhas was too much for the Aces.

   The 4th of July that year was the first true Fourth since the war began. Everyone was finally home. A baseball game and street party followed the parade.

   For Christmas several Standard employees painted 200 light bulbs and decorated the new 16 story cracking unit that had recently been put into operation.

September 7, 2013

First Annual Cancer Walk Raises Thousands for Children's Mercy

  Around 150 people participated in the Optimist Club of Sugar Creek’s 1st Annual "No Child Fights Alone Cancer Walk” on Saturday, August 24, and raised more than $2000 for the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

     The walk, which will become a yearly event, was the idea of Michelle “Mikki” Stone, Vice President, Sergeant-at-Arms, and incoming President of the Sugar Creek Optimists.  Twenty-four years ago her son, Johnny Maddox, was born with a tumor on his leg that was diagnosed as a malignant teratoma.  At the age of 2 months, Johnny’s entire right leg was amputated at the hip, and Mikki was told her son would not live to see his first birthday.

     Having been through more than 30 surgeries, Johnny Maddox beat the odds, and at the age of 24 became the inspiration for and participated in the No Child Fights Alone Cancer Walk. He and his thankful family are looking forward to Johnny’s wedding later this month.

     Johnny’s story is an inspiration, but for tens of thousands of families across the country the battle is just beginning, and the outcomes are uncertain.  According to the National Cancer Institute more than 10,000 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer every year. Thousands will not survive, making cancer the leading cause of disease-related death in childhood.  Although survival rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades, incidents of childhood cancer have also risen.  The Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital provides state-of-the-art treatment to more than 2,000 children every year, with survival rates that are frequently above the national average.  As a publicly funded institution, donations are critical to the service the hospital provides. Mikki Stone will continue to raise money for this cause and you can help by visiting to make a donation online.

John G. Mika Laid to Rest with Military Honors

The City of Sugar Creek lost a WWII hero on August 18, when John George Mika passed away at the age of 86. 

  John fought on Okinawa and served our country in the United States Navy, both on active and reserve duty, for more than 38 years.  He had more hash marks (stripes) on his uniform sleeve than anyone at the Herald had ever seen before.  John was a company chief with the Seabees 40th Battalion and a member of VFW Post 1000 and American Legion Post 21. 

   John was a member of the “Paint Gang” at Standard Oil until he retired in 1982.  He hunted and fished and enjoyed spending time at his place at Pomme de Terre Lake in the Ozarks. His wife, Merle Maxine Mika, passed away in April of this year.  The Herald staff stands with the city in offering their condolences to the Mika family for all that they’ve lost, with gratitude for the service John G. Mika and his wife and family have given to our country and to this community.

September 2013 Extras

 Did You Know...

…the first baby born in Sugar Creek was Fred W. Hink?  This baby would grow up to be known as Dr. Fred W.  Hink, a physician who brought thousands of babies into the world, including several generations of babies born in Sugar Creek.

What Sugar Creek Means to Me

“Sugar Creek has always been my home, no matter where I lived. It was built by hard working people who devoted their lives to the American Dream and sent their children to war to fight for that dream.  Their descendants keep that dream alive to this day.”  -- Michael A. Benkovich, Jr.

Wish List

“Re-open the Cold Cave”

“Miniature Golf Course”

“Bring back the Welcome Wagon”

“Improve services for the elderly and shut-ins”

“Someplace to get breakfast in Sugar Creek!”

What do you think would make Sugar Creek better?  Email

Stan Salva to be Honored

Former Mayor Stan Salva will be honored at the Truman Heartland Gala on September 7 as “Sugar Creek’s Truman Heartland Citizen of the Year” in recognition of decades of public service to the community, including serving as Mayor of Sugar Creek for 14 years, and on the Board of Aldermen for 16 years before that.

Go Sugar Creek Meeting September 26

   The second meeting of the new community group Go Sugar Creek (GoSC) will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26, in the Training Room at the Police and Fire Building.  The group, formed by Mark O’Renick and Bill Haman, was created to “promote positive change through creative collaboration.” 

   At the first meeting in August everyone introduced themselves and then discussed the group’s guidelines, after which the residents and business people in attendance were asked for ideas about improving Sugar Creek.  At the end of the meeting the goals and ideas the group came up with were prioritized, and included neighborhood, business, and riverfront improvements and development, along with better public relations.  O’Renick and Haman were scheduled to meet with Mayor Mallinson on September 6 to discuss ways that the group could work with the city to achieve these goals.

   The group is hoping for a large attendance at the September 26 meeting.  Visit for more info.

Friends of Sugar Creek Fall Benefit

The Friends of Sugar Creek will be holding a BBQ at the Mike Onka Memorial Building on Wednesday, September 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a menu featuring smoked pulled pork and brisket.  All proceeds from the event will benefit the Sugar Creek Historical Society.

Community Service for Toni Bones

   Toni “Bones” Shelton and the City of Sugar Creek settled a codes violation dispute that had been ongoing for months and had drawn media attention from around the country.  Independence, Missouri Judge Susan Watkins was brought in to hear the case, and she accepted Prosecutor Andrea Welch’s recommendation of a suspended sentence.  Bones will be allowed to perform community service to cover the court costs.  Police Chief Herb Soule was said to suggest that Bones design and maintain flower beds for the city.

Tamburitzans to Perform September 22

The Sugar Creek Tamburitans will be performing traditional Slavic and Croatian folk music at the Fall Concert at Wells Park, Sterling and Gill, at 4 p.m. on September 22.

   The Tamburitzans were formed in the late 1960s by Mattie Butkovich, Bob Pinter, and Barry Berislavich, to teach the children of Sugar Creek how to play the instruments and music of their ancestors in the Old Countries.  Over the last four decades the musical group has played in cities around the country including a performance in Washington, D. C., during the nation’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976.

   Several of the original members still perform with the group.

More Than a Century of Education in Sugar Creek

The new Abraham Mallinson Elementary School opened its doors for the first day of school on August 14.  The school is named after one of the area’s earliest settlers, the great-great grandfather of Mayor Matt Mallinson,  and was built on land that Abraham Mallinson purchased back in 1867.

   The new school houses children in grades 2 through 5.  Kindergartners and First Graders will continue going to Sugar Creek Elementary School, which was built in 1956.

The first school in Sugar Creek was a four-room brick building named the Riverview School, built in 1906 on Chicago Street.  It is said that you could see the river from the windows on the top floor.  The kids were known to throw water on each other for fun.

  Four more classrooms and a gymnasium were added to the school in 1921, and it was renamed “Sugar Creek School.”  This school served students until the 1956 school was built.  The old school building would later be used as a Civil Defense shelter, a community building, and a haunted house, before it was destroyed by fire in 1980.  The gymnasium remains today as a community center and the home of the Sugar Creek Citizen's Civic Relief Commission (CCRC).

   The new Mallinson School is getting rave reviews from the students that attend it.  “I love it!” exclaimed Zoe Reiber, Fourth Grader.  “One thing I love is all the colors inside.  It’s beautiful! And Miss Barnes is a very nice principal.  She let us choose our own mascot.”  The mascot chosen by students was the Cardinal. “All the teachers really care and they give you the best they can so that you can have an incredible education.”

Sugar Creek Public Works -- Works!

Sugar Creek Public Works – have you ever thought about that department of the city?

   We have the best public works department in Jackson County, I bet.

   From the Director all the way to the part-time mowers, we must applaud these men and women for their dedication to their job and our city.

   They go above and beyond in their job duties, more often than not -- running up to grab someone’s trash they forgot to get out, picking up yard debris when a citizen hasn’t had time to tie it into 4-ft bundles, you can always get a smile and a wave, every day.

   This is not something new about our Public Works department, either.  As long as I have lived here it’s been like this.  Their dedication to the job shines on our city.

   You are an outstanding!!

Check out the new Historic Trail Markers on River Blvd!  More information in next month’s issue of the Herald.

   Support the CCRC!  They’ve been helping Sugar Creek families in need since the 1930s.  Call (816) 254-7234 and find out how you can help!

Would you like to announce something in the Herald?  Call Aimee Worley at (816) 254-4829 or email

Pool League Sign-Up

Deadline to sign up for the APA Pool League Travel Division is September 14.  The league will run from September 23 to December 26.   Visit Cuzzy’s Place at 718 Sterling or call (816) 461-0078 for more info.

Second Hole in One

Lucas Schwahn, manager of Stix & Stones, shot his second hole in one in seven years.  Using an 8 iron, he hit the ball 162 yards on the 8th hole at the golf course at Swope Park.

August 10, 2013

Mayor’s Weekly Focus Group Seeks Citizen Input

Mayor Mallinson meets with (clockwise) Tracy Wagner, Eva Steinman, John Olinskey, Leigh Ann Little, and Fritzi Hazelrigg.
      Where do you go when you leave Sugar Creek?  Mayor Mallinson would like to know.  He’s not being nosy… he’s just trying to figure out what Sugar Creek needs to keep people from taking their dollars to other communities, and looking for ways to bring people to Sugar Creek to spend their money here.

  Every Wednesday at 3 p.m., Mallinson invites residents and business people in the community to his weekly focus group, where he poses the question above. In these meetings, which usually run over two hours long, citizens share their wishes, concerns, and ideas not only for the 24 Highway development project, but for improving and developing Sterling Avenue, the River Front, the Bluff, and any part of town that needs attention and improvement.  The ideas for each group are compiled into a master list, something for city planners to work with as the development goes forward, so as to make sure that the desires of the citizens are not overlooked.

   Restaurants, recreation, and a grocery store that offers a lot of variety seem universally wished for amongst Sugar Creek residents. 

   The mayor also wants to know what people DON’T want in Sugar Creek.  Payday loans, pawn shops, and tattoo parlors are widely frowned upon.  Most people agree that the city doesn’t need any more “beer joints,” although a more upscale drinking establishment has not been ruled out.

Firefighter Proposes at the Parade

During this year's annual 4th of July parade we had special (perhaps first) event that we would like to share with the world.

  Sugar Creek Firefighter Nate Richardson Proposed to his totally unsuspecting girlfriend Jen Fimreite.

    In a well-orchestrated plan that included sneaking Jen's parents into town from Colorado, and hiding them in the Fire truck that was leading the parade, spreading the word of where we would be watching the parade due to construction altering the route just a little.

     We have watched the parade together as a family for longer than Nate or Jen have been born. Always from Nate's Great Grandfathers home at the corner of Sterling and Putman, now Uncle John's home.
Shortly before the lead Fire truck reached our group of about 40 friends and family, Nate went up Sterling to join her parents in the truck. Changing clothes in the fire truck while parading down Sterling Ave. may also be a first.

     Then Pumper one, driven by Kenny Soule along with videographer/Fire Chief Pat Casey came to a stop in front of Jen and group.

     Jen's first shock was seeing her Mom step out of the Fire Truck. Then she noticed the large banner on the side of the truck with her name on it. About the time she started to catch on to what was about to happen, Nate stepped from the rear of the truck with ring in hand, dropped to his knee to pop the question.

     Amid the sound of applause and siren she said YES and the parade continued.

     As mentioned, the 4th of July parade has been a family tradition for generations. This year will be hard to top.

     Special Thanks to Pat Casey and all of Sugar Creeks finest Police and Fire for all of their help in pulling this off.

     Good Job Nate.
     Welcome to the family Jen.

     Ed, Lisa & Nick Richardson

Farewell John Lucas

   The staff of the Sugar Creek Herald joins the community in offering their sympathy to the family and friends of John Lucas, Jr., who passed away July 13 at the age of 91. 

Toni Bones Case Continued by City

   On July 9 the City of Sugar Creek continued the case of Toni “Bones” Shelton, an activist who insists she will “stand her ground” against city ordinance violations.   The press and public were initially not allowed in the courtroom, but a KCTV-5 reporter was able to gain access. The reason given for the continuance was the recusal of Municipal Judge Garry Helm. The case will now be heard on August 13.

Wayne City Landing Re-enactment

Sugar Creek Building Official Paul Loving wants to have a re-enactment of steamships unloading their cargo at the Wayne City Landing.  He hopes that this can be an annual event to coincide with Santi-Cali-Gon Days in Independence.

New Stylist in Town

   Christine’s Salon on Sterling welcomes Shannon Camacho to their salon team. Shannon has been a licensed cosmetologist for 6 years. She has spent the last several years as an instructor, teaching at a local cosmetology college in Kansas. Previous to that she was employed at a salon in Leawood, Kansas. Shannon enjoys performing all hair services that are available in the salon. She will be working on Tues-Wed-Fri-Sat. 

What are the Kids Doing in Sugar Creek?

Outside Looking In by Aimee Worley

  School starts soon, summer is almost over for the kids.
   What did your kids do this summer?  Did they do any T-Ball? Soccer Camp? Day trips, or anything that our Parks & Recreation Department put on?
   Pretty sad, another summer without any activities for the kids of Sugar Creek.
   Our P&R Supervisor dropped the ball.  Again I ask, what about the kids?
   We need the young families to come live and stay in Sugar Creek, so let’s give their kids some recreation, a community pool, trips to the zoo, day camping at the parks, mini ball camps.  A lot of our citizens are lower income, so let’s make some free.
   What’s wrong with a city government that will pay a salary for a department that has very, very few activities for our kids?
   I sure hope that with this new influx of children coming into our city for school, over 300 more, that our city does wake up.  Let’s get those kids wanting to move to Sugar Creek, and have things for kids to do, and not send the kids that are here to Independence for their recreation.

Please give to the CCRC.

Next month: Our Police, Fire, and Public Works.

Sugar Creek Reactor: 1963

Tales from Old Sugar Creek by Prof. Ulichne

 Today the Sugar Creek oil refinery is just a smelly memory.  But in 1963 the damn thing could be seen from miles away at night.

    An 11x17 inch four-page newsletter was published every month called the Sugar Creek Reactor and the following was taken from the May issue:  

   The #1 Pipe Still went on line 24/7, processing 70,000 barrels of crude every day.  It replaced older, less efficient 1914 technology.
   Retiring: Verne B. Sutton, 916 High Street, Sugar Creek.  He started as a laborer in 1924 and later he worked in the Pipe Dept. and as a fireman.  He retired as a Paint Shop foreman after 39 years of service.
   Two obituaries:
   Alfred M. Evans, 129 High Street, Sugar Creek.  He was 56 years old and died at home.
   Curtis Wright, 83, 11220 Burton, Sugar Creek.  He died at the Independence Sanitarium hospital.

Two sons of employees were awarded the Eagle Scout:
Michael Fairbanks, Troop #78 and James Hagan, Troop #221.