Media Releases

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         

October 19, 2021 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Parks + Rec is excited to announce its annual Fall Muster at Fort Osage National Historic Landmark, which will be held this weekend on October 23 and 24. Visitors will experience the sights and sounds of a busy Fort on the Missouri Frontier. Reenactors will demonstrate musket firing, cannon firing, infantry drill, mail call and historic cooking.

What: 34th Annual Fall Muster    

When: Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24
9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Fort Osage National Historic Landmark
105 Osage Street, Sibley, MO 64088

Cost: Adults – $8.00
Seniors (62 and over) – $4.00
Youth (ages 5-13) – $4.00
Five and under – Free

Contact:   Fred Goss, Site Administrator
Jackson County Parks + Rec
(816) 650-3278

About Fort Osage National Historic Landmark

Owned and operated by Jackson County Parks + Rec, Fort Osage was built in 1808. Under the initial direction of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the historic Fort served a dual role as both a military garrison and a trade center. Today, authentically attired historical interpreters take visitors on a journey through this national historic landmark. Guests enjoy breathtaking views of the reconstructed historic site overlooking the Missouri River as they learn about the daily life of military, civilian and Native American populations at Fort Osage. Also explore 4,000 square feet of museum exhibitions in the Fort Osage Education Center and a museum store with unique gifts and souvenirs. Fort Osage National Historic Landmark is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 19, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Parks + Rec invites you to enjoy a day of fun for the entire family at its annual Children’s Day & Sheep Shearing event on Saturday, May 1 from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

What: Children’s Day and Sheep Shearing 

When: Saturday, May 1 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where:    Missouri Town 1855
8010 East Park Rd, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064

Cost: Adults - $7, Children (5-13) - $4
Seniors (62 and older) - $4, Children 4 and under - Free

On-site: Jenna Peterson Riley, Jackson County Parks + Rec

Contact: jpetersonriley@jacksongov.org (816) 524-8770

Spring has sprung and it is time to celebrate! Visit Missouri Town 1855, an open-air living history museum spread across 30 acres, and learn about life in the 19th century. Children will delight in the time-honored games and crafts typical of the mid-1800s including stilts, egg races, tin punching, log sawing, and more. The whole family will enjoy listening to period music, touring the heirloom plant gardens, and meeting our heritage breed livestock, including our team of oxen – Studebaker and Weber! 

Alongside our Children’s Day festivities, Missouri Town 1855 will also feature its resident flock of sheep receiving their spring haircuts. Living history interpreters dressed in historical clothing will demonstrate the complete process of wool production from sheep to shawl.

Concessions will be available to purchase. Masks and social distancing are required. For additional information, call (816) 229-8980 or visit online at MakeYourDayHere.com/MissouriTown.

About Missouri Town 1855

Missouri Town 1855 is a historic site and living history museum, owned and operated by Jackson County Parks + Rec, with over 25 authentically furnished structures dating from 1820 to 1860 on 30 picturesque acres. Professional interpreters, dressed in 1850s attire, bring history to life for all who visit. Missouri Town 1855 is located in Lee’s Summit, MO on the east side of Lake Jacomo in Fleming Park.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                     

February 25, 2021

Wyandotte County, KS Joins Johnson County, KS and Jackson County, MO in Removing Closing Time Restrictions on Bars, Restaurants, and Taverns

Jurisdictions Focus on Bringing Consistency for Area Businesses While Still Guarding Public Health

Leaders with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, Johnson County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri announced changes today regarding operating hours for bars, restaurants, and taverns in those counties. David Alvey, Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert, and Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. issued a joint statement:

“We continue to work together as a region to follow the data and take appropriate steps to protect public health. Harmonizing our COVID rules regarding bar and restaurant closing times makes life simpler for businesses and residents. We are encouraged by the progress our region is making in fighting the virus, but we also know the fight is not over, and people need to continue to wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinated.” 

Both the Unified Government Public Health Department (UGPHD) and the Jackson County Health Department issued new Health Orders reflecting this change. Johnson County amended an existing Health Order (see details, below). 

“Business owners and operators in our region have gone to great lengths to comply with and implement health protocols to keep their staff, customers, and the community safe since the start of the pandemic,” said David Alvey, Mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. “Our primary goal has been and remains containing the spread of COVID-19, while simultaneously working to help residents, businesses, and the community manage and retain a sense of normalcy during these challenging times. As such, I’m pleased that the latest public health data is allowing for further relaxation of existing Health Orders for local operators, and that this is being done jointly between Wyandotte, Jackson, and Johnson Counties in an effort to provide consistency and uniformity for both businesses and patrons. While service hours are being expanded, it remains the responsibility of everyone to do so in a safe and controlled manner, working to ensure employees and customers continue to mask up, maintain social distancing, disinfect, and work to protect the public health.”

“Successful partnerships require humility, respect for one another, and sacrificing one’s individual interests for the whole. Not all leaders, especially elected ones, are able to do that. However, I am grateful that from the very early days of this pandemic, we have stood united in our commitment to science and united in our belief that we can be most effective in protecting our communities when we work together,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “While we have relaxed some restrictions in our order, we cannot let our guard down. The UK variant has been found in wastewater systems in eastern Jackson County, Kansas City, and in wastewater originating in Johnson County. Studies show this variant spreads more easily and quickly than others, which could lead to a surge in more COVID cases. Moving forward, it is imperative that mask wearing, social distancing, and frequent hand washing are practiced vigorously until we can all get vaccinated.”

“Our local public health order as well as the cooperation of our residents and business community have helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” said Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert. “We encourage everyone to continue to wear masks, physically distance and avoid crowds, but feel that removing this time restriction on our restaurants and bars will help that sector of our business community serve its clientele. We encourage them to do so in the safe manner they have been by following gathering, capacity, and physical distancing protocols.”

Details about the New Wyandotte County Local Health Order (LHO 2/25/21)

The new order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, February 26. Under a previous health order, restaurants, bars, and taverns were required to close by 12:30 a.m. Under the new order:

  • The closing time restriction has been lifted. Restaurants, bars, and taverns may remain open until their pre-pandemic closing time.
  • Once closed for the evening, these businesses must remain closed until at least 6 a.m. each day. Restaurants can operate between their pre-pandemic closing time and 6 a.m. for drive through or delivery services only.  

Additional protocols remain the same as outlined in previous orders, including:  

  • Restaurants, bars, and taverns must still restrict customer capacity to no more than 50 percent of building capacity.
  • During business hours, patrons must remain seated to the greatest extent possible, and all patrons must be masked except when actively eating or drinking. 
  • Parties of guests (whether indoors or outdoors) are limited to no more than eight people. 
  • Guest parties must be socially distanced at least six feet apart. 

 

Details About Revisions to Johnson County, KS Local Health Order #002-20

On Thursday, Feb. 25, the Johnson County Board of Public Health approved the removal of curfews and closing times for restaurants, bars, night clubs, and other businesses licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption that are currently included in Section II, paragraphs (4) and (5) of Johnson County Board of Public Health Order No. 002-20. This was effective immediately. No other changes were made to the order, which lasts through March 31, 2021.

Details About the New Jackson County, MO Local Health Order

The new order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, February 26 and does not apply in the cities of Kansas City, Missouri, or Independence, Missouri. Under the new order:

  • Restaurants, bars, and taverns can resume normal operating hours to serve food and alcohol. Indoor and outdoor seating at tables remains limited to no more than 10 people.
  • Gatherings under 50 people are no longer required to submit a Gathering Protocol.
  • Any gathering exceeding 50 people must submit a Gathering Protocol at least seven (7) business days in advance of the event. The Gathering Protocol must be approved by Jackson County and easily accessible to all attendees.

Gatherings include, but are not limited to, non-essential business activities such as weddings, funerals, lectures, meetings, parades, fairs, festivals, sporting events, and performances. Jackson County’s mask mandate and 50 percent capacity limit for all businesses that are frequented by the public remain in effect.

Jackson County residents and businesses can learn more by visiting the health department online at www.jacohd.org/coronavirus, by phone at (816) 404-6415, or via email at  COVID19@tmcmed.org.

Wyandotte County residents can learn more online at wycokck.org/COVID-19, or by calling 3-1-1. 

Johnson County residents can learn more online at jocogov.org

Media Contacts:

Janell Friesen, Unified Government Public Health Department Public Information Officer, ‪(913) 428-9622, 

Jfriesen@wycokck.org

Jody Hanson, Johnson County Director of Public Affairs and Communication, (913) 715-0730, jody.hanson@jocogov.org

Marshanna Smith, Jackson County, Missouri Public Information Officer, (816) 878-1930, msmith@jacksongov.org

Kayla Parker, Communications Coordinator, Jackson County Health Department (816) 404-8424, kayla.parker@tmcmed.org

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2021

 

Jackson County announces grand opening for phase two of Rock Island Trail

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County is excited to announce the grand opening of the much-anticipated phase two of the Rock Island Trail. The “Ride the Rock” ribbon cutting celebration will take place on Saturday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m. starting at the brand new stadium trailhead, located at the Truman Sports Complex, Lot L, accessible through Gate 3 off of Blue Ridge Cutoff.

Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., Jackson County Parks + Rec and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) invites local officials, community members and media to celebrate the occasion and enjoy a great day on the trail. Additionally, guests will have an opportunity to leave their mark on the project by signing a piece of rail from the historic Rock Island line. The rail piece will then be displayed at to-be-determined Jackson County Parks + Rec facility. 

 

What:         Ride the Rock - Ribbon Cutting Celebration
                     
Rock Island Trail Phase Two

 

When:        Saturday, July 10 at 10:00 a.m.

 

Where:       Truman Sports Complex Trailhead
                    
Lot L, Accessible through Gate 3 off of Blue Ridge Cutoff

                                                                                    

The second phase of the Rock Island Trail is seven miles long and runs from Brickyard Road in Kansas City, through Raytown, to the Truman Sports Complex. Combined with phase one, which opened in June 2019, the entire trail is 13.5 miles in length. With completion of the Rock Island Trail, Jackson County now has more than 150 miles of trails in its parks system for people to enjoy.

The new trail segment includes three new trailheads and parking areas, the preservation and re-use of four former railroad bridges and five new trail-only bridges, including the new Wildwood Bridge, which at over 300 feet in length is one of the longest trail bridges in the region.

“The County had a vision to revitalize and energize our community in a way we have never seen before, and now that it has finally come to life, I am so proud and excited to celebrate this major accomplishment,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “With the support of the Legislature, our visitors will enjoy an experience like no other on the Rock Island Trail, including riding a bike all the way from Lee’s Summit to a game, concert or event at the Truman Sports Complex. I am deeply grateful to our Parks + Rec leadership, Rock Island team, contractor and partners for their hard work and perseverance to see this beautiful project through to the very end.”

“We are very excited to open phase two and celebrate the completion of the Rock Island Trail,” said Rock Island Project Manager Matt Davis. “This project transformed a blighted railroad corridor into a beautiful place for Jackson County residents to exercise, recreate and connect with their community. We are proud to finally share this wonderful amenity with the community.”

Following the County’s ribbon cutting ceremony, visitors can walk or bike the Rock Island from the stadium trailhead, encountering other fun activities along the way, including a dedication of the Raytown Chamber Trailhead at Noon.

Total construction costs for phase two of the trail was $11.6 million, paid for by Jackson County with generous grants from the Missouri Department of Transportation and Kansas City, Missouri. Radmacher Brothers Construction of Pleasant Hill, Missouri built all 13.5 miles of the trail for Jackson County.

Jackson County acquired the 17.7-mile Rock Island Railroad Corridor in May 2016, in partnership with the KCATA to preserve the corridor for multi-modal transportation opportunities. Additional information about the Rock Island and other Jackson County trails can be found online at www.makeyourdayhere.com

 

 

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CBIZ’s Carolyn Watley Appointed to Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees 

Kansas City, MO – January 27, 2021 –  The Office of Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr., in partnership with the Appointments Project® today announce Carolyn Watley’s appointment to the Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees. Watley’s appointment is the first following the announcement of the Project’s expanded programming to Jackson County. Started in 2014, the Appointments Project® has successfully placed 140 women on boards and commissions, including 28 percent of those appointments represented by women of color.  

“Carolyn Watley is an exemplary choice for the Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees and she’ll bring a unique set of experiences and perspectives to the decision-making table,” County Executive White said. “Carolyn’s appointment is the first in our collaborative partnership with United WE’s Appointments Project® to increase the number of women on county boards and commissions, and we’ll continue to ensure that we’re drawing on the talents and diversity of all our residents.”

The Appointments Project® serves as a talent bank, advisor and advocate for women seeking opportunities to lead their communities and works to attract diverse, qualified applicants for appointed positions on boards and commissions. The Appointments Project® formula trains and mentors women through the process of applying for these positions, fast-tracking their ability to get appointed at every level of government.

“We created the Appointments Project® so boards and commissions could reflect the communities they serve,” said Wendy Doyle, United WE President & CEO. “The Appointments Project addresses the gender disparities in local civic leadership and we know Carolyn’s passion for serving her community will be a valuable addition to the Jackson County Pension Plan Board of Trustees.” 

Based on a growing number of success stories, the pipeline of women leaders is growing rapidly across the country. The Appointments Project® fills a critical need in creating a pathway to work with elected officials and better community representation that leads to better lives for all.  

A free public training event is planned for Tuesday, February 2, at 12:00 p.m. CT with local community partners Black Excellence KC, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Sisters’ Circle Greater Kansas City and The Links (Jackson County, MO Chapter). The event will be conducted via webinar and allows Jackson County women to learn about leadership opportunities and guides them through the process of applying for these positions. “We encourage and invite everyone to learn more and join us in unlocking women’s potential for civic leadership,” County Executive White said.

To learn more about the Appointments Project® and RSVP for the training, visit www.united-we.org/appointments-project

About United WE

United Women’s Empowerment, or United WE (formerly the Women’s Foundation), aims to advance all women’s economic and civic leadership. Since 1991, we found and funded kindred spirit organizations and individuals who could advance women’s interests. Now we’re the bold voice of a new generation of empowered leaders. We unite people around unique ideas and pragmatic action that helps break down long standing economic, cultural and policy barriers to ensure a better life for all. Our work includes commissioning transformative research, supporting policy reforms, scaling our fast-growing Appointments Project® and advocating for reforms that honor the legacies of women. Join us. Visit www.united-we.org and connect with @UnitedWomensEmpower on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Appointments Project®

To create lasting change for women and their families, United WE focuses on relevant research and strategic partnerships. In 2014, United WE established the Appointments Project® to empower women and strengthen communities by increasing the gender diversity of civic boards and commissions. Through a landmark study, United WE identified the barriers causing women to be underrepresented on civic boards and commissions and established the Appointments Project® to improve the number of women serving. For more information, please visit www.united-we.org/appointments-project or follow us on social media (FacebookTwitter, Instagram: @appointmentsproject).

 

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 29, 2021

 

Jackson County Executive issues executive order announcing Reapportionment Committee of the County Legislature

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. today issued Executive Order 21-30 announcing the Reapportionment Committee of the County Legislature. In accordance with the Constitutional Home Rule Charter of Jackson County, County Executive White selected three nominees from a slate of six submitted by the Democratic and Republican County Committees. Each of the appointed committee members represent the six county legislative districts.

  • Mr. Bobbie Hernandez (D) 1st Legislative District
  • Ms. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls (D) 2nd Legislative District
  • Mr. Paul Jungmann (R) 3rd Legislative District
  • Mr. Ralph Munyan (R) 4th Legislative District
  • Ms. Ruth Pirch (R) 5th Legislative District
  • Mr. Phil LeVota (D) 6th Legislative District

 

“Jackson County is growing larger and more diverse,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “In the last 10 years, we have grown faster than major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis City and St. Louis County. Additionally, I am proud to say that we are the most diverse County in the State of Missouri. As we work to build a better, more equitable Jackson County, the effort of this committee is critical to ensuring our residents have equal and fair representation for the next 10 years. I appreciate their service and my staff and I stand ready to assist as needed.”

Following the opportunity to receive input from the public, the committee must issue a report detailing legislative districts that are “compact, of contiguous territory and as nearly of equal population as practicable.” The report shall be filed with the County Executive’s Office, the Clerk of Legislature and the relevant election authorities within 60 days of the Committee’s appointment.

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May 9, 2021 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. will express his support at Monday’s legislative meeting for “Our Healthy KC Eastside” (OHKCE), a community-based partnership and project to address vaccine hesitancy and health inequities in portions of Jackson County identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having exceedingly high socially vulnerable index scores. The meeting on Monday, May 10 begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Legislative Assembly Area on the 2nd floor of the downtown Jackson County Courthouse.

Led by Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, Director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the OHKCE project proposes the use of $4,998,014 in CARES Act funding to implement its innovative efforts. The project is proposed to take place June 1, 2021 – November 31, 2021 with primary goals to significantly increase vaccination intake and the use of prevention health services.

Building on nearly two decades of large-scale collaborative community studies, the organizers will fully engage community members in the multi-sectoral COVID-19 education, communication and vaccination project. The OHKCE project will also tap the University of Missouri Kansas City’s, Truman Medical Center’s and the Black Health Care Coalition’s extensive experience in providing health services in community and medical settings on KC’s Eastside.

In addition to County Executive White and Dr. Berkley-Patton, the following project partners will be in attendance to speak on the importance of the OHKCE program:

  • Dr. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D., Chancellor, University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Charlie Shields, President and CEO, Truman Medical Centers/University Health
  • Rev. Eric D. Williams, Pastor, Calvary Temple Baptist
  • Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, Dean, UMKC School of Medicine and member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committee

These individuals, as well as the Chairman of the Jackson County Legislature, Dan Tarwater, will be available afterward for individual interviews with the media.  

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 10, 2021

Jackson County Executive outlines vision for Building a Better, More Equitable Jackson County in virtual State of the County

Announces 3-year, $10 million proposal to extend Our Healthy KC Eastside project

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. today delivered his 2021 State of County with a central focus on Building a Better, More Equitable Jackson County, announcing a proposed three-year, $10 million extension and expansion to the Our Healthy KC Eastside (OHKCE) program in his 2022 budget. OHKCE is a community-based initiative to address vaccine hesitancy and health inequities in portions of Jackson County identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as having exceedingly high socially vulnerable index scores.

This year’s State of the County address was presented virtually due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and as a symbol that we can, and must move forward, even if it’s not exactly the same as it once was.

“COVID-19 has caused so much unbearable pain and suffering. Those feelings may diminish over time, but they will never go away,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “It is my hope that we can use our hurt and heartache to build a future we can all be proud of. For me, that future is building a better, more equitable Jackson County.”

White said a Better Jackson County is focused on improving the customer experience, supporting the County’s most valuable resource, its Associates, and doing so in a fiscally responsible way. He said a More Equitable Jackson County ensures that the County is drawing on the talents and diversity of its residents, its policies are inclusive and its programs are accessible to all, no matter what zip code residents call home.

Six months ago, with the unanimous support of the Legislature, Jackson County invested nearly $5 million to start the Our Healthy KC Eastside program. Under the leadership of Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, Director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute, the program has exceeded its goal of vaccinating 5,000 people and providing immediate access to health care screenings, such as blood pressure checks, blood glucose, HIV/STD testing and mental health.

County Executive White’s three-year, $10 million proposal to extend Our Healthy KC Eastside will allow project partners to use the research they have gathered from residents and provide the resources needed to address persistent and deadly health disparities in our urban communities.

“My vision for this program is that it would go beyond COVID-19 outreach and vaccinations because we know that before the pandemic, chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease were disproportionally damaging our communities of color,” White said. “The work done by Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton and her amazing team of partners is empowering residents to take control of their well-being and now is not the time to stop helping our community become safer and healthier.”

“Jackson County’s renewed support of the Our Healthy Kansas City Eastside project reflects their leadership’s commitment to improving health outcomes and equity for its residents,” said Dr. Jannette Berkley-Patton, OHKCE Lead Investigator. “We are encouraged by the high level of community collaboration, which resulted in the success of the project’s vaccination and health service events on the Eastside. The benefits of this effort extend well beyond each event. We look forward to expanding our efforts to improve health with our community partners. Many thanks to continued support from County Executive Frank White and the Jackson County Legislature.”

“We are pleased and excited that Jackson County is continuing to support UMKC in conjunction with the Our Healthy Kansas City Eastside project,” said UMKC Chancellor Dr. C. Mauli Agrawal. “Our success furthering education and distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations and critical health services, such as blood pressure and pre-diabetic screenings, benefit our community as a whole. UMKC is honored to be recognized as a key player in community health working to enhance the well-being of all Jackson County citizens.”

Click to Watch Our Healthy KC Eastside Video

 

2022 Recommended Budget

The County Executive’s State of the County outlined additional investments in his recommended 2022 budget to Build a Better, More Equitable Jackson County. They include:

  • Renovating a recently-purchased building to be home to the Jackson County Health Department, providing first-class amenities to continue our COVID-19 response and beyond.
  • Implementing the third and final year of our compensation study, ensuring County staff make salaries at or above their peers in the market. Currently, every County staff member now makes at least $15/hour, a goal that is on budget and ahead of schedule.
  • Expanding health benefits for county staff, offering for the first time comprehensive coverage for infertility treatments and gender affirming care.
  • Upgrading the tax collection system to coincide with the 2022 launch of the new multi-million dollar assessment software.
  • Acquiring state-of-the-art software making it easier for everyone, especially small businesses, including women and minority-owned business, to do business with the County.

 

Memorable Moments

County Executive White’s virtual State of the County can be watched on Jackson County’s YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/JacksonCountyMO. Here are some memorable moments:

  • 30 Girl Scouts from Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri lead off the State of the County with the Pledge of Allegiance from Kauffman Stadium.
  • County Executive White remembers COVID-19 victims, including three Jackson County staff members.
  • Get an inside look at University Health’s response to the pandemic from President and CEO Charlie Shields.
  • A 12-year-old girl shares an unforgettable experience visiting our parks for the first time through the Kids to the Parks program.

 

The County Executive will submit his recommended 2022 budget on Monday, November 15 in accordance with the Jackson County Charter and Code.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2022

 

Jackson County Executive congratulates KCPS on receiving full accreditation status

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. has issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) has received full accreditation:

“Today, I am thrilled to congratulate Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell, School Board members and the entire KCPS community on this well-deserved achievement. Over the past several years, I have had the pleasure of getting to know and work with Dr. Bedell as he endeavored to break down barriers and systems that hindered a high-quality education for our inner city kids. Under his leadership, with the support of the School Board, teachers, staff, parents and the community, significant progress has been made to increase student achievement, evidenced by today’s announcement of the district receiving full accreditation. As a proud graduate of KCPS, I am excited for the new opportunities this status will ignite as we work to build a better, more equitable Jackson County. Go Tigers!”

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 18, 2021 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. is announcing today a proposal that would provide millions of dollars to assist eligible households in Jackson County outside of Kansas City that are unable to pay current and past due rent and utility bills because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, Ordinance 5493 would authorize the use of $11,550,205 in grant monies the County received from the federal government to launch an Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). The program would provide financial assistance and housing stability services to Eastern Jackson County families struggling financially. Households facing imminent eviction would receive priority assistance.

The Community Services League and United Way of Greater Kansas City have formed a collaborative partnership to implement and administer the County’s program.

“Many families are in dire need of help and this is our opportunity to provide a lifeline to them during these challenging times,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “I am grateful for our local partners who share our commitment of housing stability and will assist us in getting these critical dollars to those in need as quickly as possible.”

Eligible households include renters who demonstrate a risk of experiencing housing instability, have seen their income reduced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and earn a household income at or below 80% of the county median income. Once approved, eligible individuals may receive up to 12 months of assistance. Rental and utility assistance payments are made directly to the landlord or utility provider on behalf of the tenant.

Funding applications will be available after the program is approved by the County Legislature. More information about the program including eligibility requirements, an application checklist and to sign-up to be notified when the application portal is open, can be found at www.jacksoncountyerap.org. Detailed program information is also readily available for Spanish-speaking families at www.jacksoncountyerap.org/espanol.

The $11.5 million grant is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which established a $25 billion Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program for state, county and municipal governments. The amount of funding received is based on the County’s population, excluding the City of Kansas City, MO. 

KCMO received its own grant funding of $14.8 million directly from the federal government and is administering its own rental assistance program for households within city limits.

 

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