6420 N Forest Ct

Beautiful updated 2 story home on an outstanding cul-de-sac lot backing to wooded greenspace! Large open kitchen with nice breakfast space, center island, updated granite and tile, and hardwood floors! Fantastic great room with terrific fireplace! Large formal dining! Wonderful master suite with completely updated bath and huge walk-in closet! Walk out basement! Hot Tub! Firepit! Huge custom deck! Lots of upgrades throughout! Great neighborhood and schools!

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Jimmy Fallon Rips President Trump’s ‘Shameful’ Response To Charlottesville

Jimmy Fallon, the least political talk show host on the late-night landscape, spoke up at the start of his Monday show about the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend — and President Trump’s response, calling it "shameful."

It was out of character for the usually boyish, agreeable Fallon, who looked visibly shaken and close to tears. He opened his remarks by saying, "Even though ‘The Tonight Show’ isn’t a political show, it’s my responsibility to stand up against intolerance and extremism as a human being."

Fallon, who faced criticism for his chummy, hair-mussing interview with then-candidate Trump last year, said that as he was watching coverage of the deadly violence, his daughters, 2 and 4 years old, were playing in the next room.

"How can I explain to them that there’s so much hatred in this world?" he said. (For more national political news, sign up for the free White House Patch email newsletter.)

Fallon said his children pal around with kids of all races and ethnicities at the playground and aren’t aware of hate. But as they grow up, they’ll need people to look up to, like parents, teachers and leaders, he said.

"The fact that it took the president two days to come out and clearly denounce racists and white supremacists is shameful," said Fallon. "And I think he finally spoke out because people everywhere stood up and said something. It’s important for everyone, especially white people in this country, to speak out against this. Ignoring it is just as bad as supporting it."

Watch the clip below.

Jimmy takes a moment at the start of the show to address the events in #Charlottesville pic.twitter.com/gCvv1OM8gq— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) August 15, 2017

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Photo: Host Jimmy Fallon attends the 74th Annual Golden Globes Preview Day at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 4 in Beverly Hills, California. Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/ Getty Images Entertainment/ Getty Images

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McCaskill launches rural Missouri town hall meetings in bid to stake out the middle

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., asks a question during a hearing held by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

SULLIVAN, Mo. • A year out from what could be the toughest election fight of her life, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., sought to burnish her centrist credentials Friday, recounting to a crowd in his small rural town her efforts at bipartisan legislation in Washington, slamming over-regulation by the government and stressing that she doesn’t think America can afford a Bernie Sanders-style single-payer national health care system.

McCaskill next year will seek her third Senate term in a state that has moved sharply to the right since she first took office. Targeted as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the nation, she is using the August Senate recess to visit more than two-dozen mostly rural communities around the state to hammer home her long-cultivated political persona as a moderate with a personal history that started in what is now solid red rural Missouri.

"I’m doing these in places where I’m not that popular," McCaskill told about 80 people who gathered for a "town hall" meeting with her at the Sullivan Senior Center in this town of about 7,000 people 65 miles southwest of St. Louis. "I really think it’s important that I go places and hear from people who don’t necessarily agree with me."

But in fact, the audience of mostly senior citizens who showed up for the open event appeared to be, if anything, to McCaskill’s left on several issues — particularly the issue of President Donald Trump.

When one of them quipped that Trump might have been "separated at birth" from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, McCaskill declined to join in the room-wide laughter and changed the subject. When one of the written audience questions asked, "How do we stop Trump from destroying our country and the world?," McCaskill responded with similar reserve.

"He was duly elected president of the United States and I have an obligation to work with him," she told them. She went on to recount talks she has had with First Daughter Ivanka Trump and others in the administration on issues like maternal leave and infrastructure.

However, McCaskill also warned that Trump’s "rhetorical war" with Jong-Un plays into the dictator’s hand. "This is great for him (Jong-Un) politically," she said.

Trump in November won Missouri by almost 20 percentage points over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, with whom McCaskill was strongly allied during the campaign.

McCaskill also was targeted nationally in 2012, but ended up winning re-election easily after the GOP nominee, then-U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, made controversial comments about rape and pregnancy that lost him support across the political spectrum.

Few in the Democratic Party think McCaskill will get so lucky this time. Several serious Republicans are lining up for the party nomination, with national GOP figures backing a possible bid by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

McCaskill’s Friday schedule also had planned town halls in Cuba, Potosi and Farmington.

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Baltimore County Restaurant Week Lasts Through August 19

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s the most delicious time of the summer in Baltimore County.

“We’re excited,” says Lando Orsino, general manager of Pappas in Parkville.

Pappas and dozens of other restaurants will be offering prix fixe lunch and dinner options through August 19.

“We get to see old customers who we see on a regular basis, and we have a lot of them,” Orsino says. “Everybody comes here for the crab cakes. But this gives us an opportunity to maybe meet some new people who get to try us out and hopefully join our customer base.”

“It’s nice to see the crowds because this is our life,” says Pappas executive chef Wilson Rodriguez. “We depend on our customers and we are very proud to have all of them here.”

And a boost for the county’s restaurants is also a boost for the local economy.

“The restaurant business is a huge economic engine for Baltimore County with yearly revenues of $1.6 billion,” says Brian Boston, executive chef at The Milton Inn. “We also employ over 27,000 people in 1,600 eating establishments around the county.”

For a full list of participating restaurants CLICK HERE.

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Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley moves toward 2018 Senate bid

Top Republican Senate recruit Josh Hawley is taking concrete steps to run for Senate in 2018 with the opening of an exploratory committee, sources close to him told the Washington Examiner on Thursday.

Hawley, the Missouri attorney general, was to file his federal exploratory committee papers on Friday with his state campaign committee in the process of informing donors that it would no longer accept contributions. He plans to begin raising money aggressively, according to sources close to Hawley.

Hawley’s move toward a Senate run was sure to cheer Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the team at the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP campaign arm.

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They have been without a top candidate to challenge vulnerable Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill since Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., decided against a Senate bid in favor of running for re-election to the House.

McCaskill was equally endangered in 2012 but won re-election in part because the Republicans nominated a flawed challenger.

Hawley running would appear to quell GOP concerns of a repeat. He’s a candidate who can unify the conservative and establishment wings of the party and has the support of top Republican donors in Missouri.

His entrance into the race had been taking longer than some insiders expected while he discussed the matter with family and close advisors.

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Missouri man accused of dropping TV 3 stories onto woman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man is accused of critically injuring a woman by purposely dropping an old television set onto her from a third-floor balcony.

Jackson County prosecutors charged 36-year-old Otishus Kirkwood of Kansas City, Missouri, with first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

Authorities say the victim, who was not identified, sustained life-threatening injuries.

Investigators allege in court filings that officers on Thursday found the victim unconscious in front of the apartment building, near a broken tube television set.

Police say a witness reported that Kirkwood threw the large television from an apartment’s third-floor balcony, striking the victim on the head. The apartment’s occupant said the victim and Kirkwood were homeless, and that he allowed them to occasionally sleep in his apartment.

Online court records don’t show whether Kirkwood has an attorney.

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Missouri will no longer offer the ACT for free to juniors

Starting next year, Missouri will no longer pay for all public high school juniors to take the ACT for free after Gov. Eric Greitens cut $4 million in assessment funding.

In 2016, the year after Missouri began offering the free college entrance exam, the percentage of public school graduating seniors who took the test increased from 67.6 percent to 92 percent, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Offering the test for free is considered valuable because it can encourage more students to apply for college and it gives a more accurate picture of statewide student performance.

But 2016 also saw a noticeable drop in the average composite ACT score for Missouri students. It fell to 20.2 from 21.7 the year before. That’s slightly under the national average of 20.8.

At the same time, however, the percentage of Missouri graduates who tested at or above the national average increased from 30.9 percent to 39.5 percent, according to the state education department.

Average composite scores are expected to drop as more students take the ACT, since more students who may not have planned or prepared to take the test or attend college end up taking it if it’s free.

When more students in a school district take the ACT, it doesn’t just potentially increase the number of students who apply for or enter college. It can also help a district’s rating with the state, since Missouri rewards districts that have high percentages of graduates who have taken the ACT or other college standardized test and who have scored well on it.

There still is a way for students to take the ACT for free. Districts can request fee waivers from the national ACT organization for students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, a measure of poverty. The ACT costs $62.50 per test, including the writing component.

Parkway is one school district that will continue offering the test for free at its own expense, according to district spokeswoman Cathy Kelly. Parkway was one of the first area districts to offer the ACT for free years before Missouri did so.

Last year, 20 states administered the ACT to all public school graduates.

In addition to the $4 million assessment funding cut, Greitens reduced $15 million for school transportation this year.

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UPDATE: Missing Missouri teen found safe

MORGAN COUNTY, Mo. – Note: Earlier today authorities referred to a suspect in this investigation as Matthew Fischer AKA Michael Piznaski. Authorities have referred to the man only as Matthew Fischer since he was taken into custody by Morgan and Pettis County Sheriffs.

UPDATE 2:06 p.m.: According to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department, Piznaski is not a registered sex offender.

UPDATE 12:41 p.m.: Rohr has been found safe in Hardy, Arkansas just after Noon on Wednesday. Rohr was found in the Yukon after it had been pulled over by authorities. Piznaski was arrested and formal charges are pending.

UPDATE 6:08 a.m.: Matthew Fischer aka Michael Piznaski has been taken into custody by the Pettis County Sheriff’s Department.

Mersadiez Rohr is still missing and the tan or beige 2004 GMC Yukon has not been located.

ORIGINAL: The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department issued an endangered person advisory following the disappearance of 14-year-old Mersadiez Shiann Rohr.

Deputies said the teen disappeared from 1355 Highway DD, Smithton, Missouri at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The advisory said Rohr is believed to be with 28-year-old Matthew Fischer aka Michael J Piznaski, possibly in a tan or beige 2004 GMC Yukon with a Missouri license plate reading MH2P0D.

Matthew Fischer aka Michael J Piznarski, a white, male, age 28, hgt 6′, 174 lbs, brown hair, hazel eyes, fair complexion, wearing unknown clothing.

According to the advisory, Fischer aka Piznaski is a registered sex offender from the State of New York.

Anyone having any information related to the endangered missing person is asked to immediately dial 911 to contact the nearest law enforcement agency or call the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department at 573-378-5481.

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Discovering a New Place to Take a Hike in Parkville, Missouri

Making new destination discoveries doesn’t mean that you have to travel to another part of the world. You can make new discoveries close to home.

Since I’m a Fitbit fanatic who’s also trying to get in more steps, I wanted to find a new place to take a Sunday hike. I googled “best hikes in Kansas City” and found a link to the top eight hiking trails on Yelp.

#1 on that list was the Parkville Nature Sanctuary with five hiking trails, and it is located in Parkville, Missouri, only six miles from my home. I’d never heard of it before.

I convinced Mr. Jones that we needed to check it out, and off we went.

It turns out that much of the land that is now the Parkville Nature Sanctuary was once the Park College Farm where students did farm work to offset the cost of their education. They milked cows, tended to bee hives, maintained an orchard, and grew wheat and vegetables. The food harvested was served to Park College students. There was a mule named Old Kate that delivered water to the campus buildings by pulling a wheeled water-barrel up and down the campus hills. We decided to hike on the Old Kate Trail that is a .9 mile loop that passes through forests, a waterfall and a meadow. The trail passes over a streamside boardwalk. It is a moderate hike with some hills, but definitely gives the feeling of getting close to nature in some spots.

The other hiking trails at the Parkville Nature Sanctuary include:
White-tail Trail, a 1.5 mile trek up an old road and rocky switchback trails through a hickory forest. Bluebird Trail, a .3 mile flat trail that winds along White Alloe Creek. Butterfly Pass, provides a .1 mile shortcut from the west side to the east side of Old Kate Trail Paw Paw Path, a .2 mile path along White Alloe Creek that connects the Nature Sanctuary to the east side of the Park University Campus.

The Parkville Nature Sanctuary was founded in 1989 with a gift of 46 acres of land donated to the City of Parkville by the original Riss Lake Development Company. In the mid-nineties, the Missouri Department of Conservation purchased 69 acres of adjoining woodland which became the White Alloe Creek Conservation Area.

Located at Highway 9 and 12th Street, the Parkville Nature Sanctuary is open 365 days a year from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset.

What local destination discovery have you uncovered lately in your home area? Please share in comments below.

Other Kansas City discoveries to check out:

If you like hikes, you might want to check out our “Let’s Take a Hike” board on Pinterest.

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Parkville butterfly garden hopes to draw in walking and winged visitors

The faint sound of the White Alloe Creek babbling a half a mile down Old Kate’s Trail greets visitors to the Parkville Nature Sanctuary.

A new attraction at the sanctuary, the Bob Fluchel Memorial Butterfly Garden, is sure to draw visitors. But the coordinators behind the project are hoping even more to draw butterflies and bees.

With the help of the Friends of Parkville Nature Sanctuary, the city of Parkville opened the butterfly garden on June 12 in honor of the late Bob Fluchel, a beloved director of the sanctuary who died in 2015 before his idea to create the colorful wonderland could come to fruition. The new attraction features 300 plants with more than 20 species..

Friends of Parkville Nature Sanctuary, a nonprofit group created in 2015, helps the city of Parkville raise funds for future programming, maintenance and development of nature sanctuaries.

“It’s very colorful and very bright, and we hope for it to be a teaching garden,” said Jeanne Pyland, president of the friends group.

The sanctuary is a wildlife preserve and educational site that stretches more than 115 acres. It has 3 miles of trails, 23 benches, bridges, walkways, waterfalls — and now, a butterfly garden.

“We will have the host plants (where insects can lay eggs), as well as the nectar plants identified so that people can come down, look at what’s there and see what’s happening, and hopefully go back and duplicate that in their own homes. That’s certainly a push across Missouri in general.”

Fluchel was a powerful motivator for the creation of the nonprofit friends group, so the group wanted to honor him with their first major project.

The city’s Board of Aldermen named the garden in memory of Fluchel, who had a passion for nature conservation and education. He served as director for the sanctuary for three years; before that, he worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation for more than 20 years. He also helped several schools establish butterfly gardens as an education consultant.

“There’s conservation issues involving butterflies, and that’s part of what Bob’s work was all about and this is just another piece,” said Joe Ryan, the sanctuary’s current director. “Bob was an incredibly gentle, kind man and it kind of reflects well with this peaceful garden. I want to add some benches nearby as time goes on so people can reflect and enjoy it.”

The sanctuary started in 1989 when the developers of Riss Lake donated 46 acres and $25,000 for the city of Parkville to begin a nature sanctuary.

In 1998, a cooperative agreement with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Park University and the city of Parkville added 69 acres to the sanctuary for the White Alloe Creek Conservation Area.

“Probably the biggest attraction for folks coming to the sanctuary is to hike the trails,” Ryan said. “Day after day, I’ve been seeing more repeated customers, so you kind of know that it does mean a lot to the people in Parkville to be able to come here and get away.

“There’s a good chance to see wildlife here. There’s a lot of deer, wild turkey, and you don’t see them as often, but there’s coyote and fox.”

In order to preserve its tranquil setting, the nature sanctuary does not allow dogs or bikes.

“I’ve always considered a sanctuary as a quiet, peaceful place where you can sit and reflect and think or walk, or hike or whatever without disturbing the natural systems around you,” Pyland said.

Volunteers have always been heavily involved in preserving the Parkville Nature Sanctuary, Ryan said. The original director, Jim Reed, started as a volunteer and persuaded others to join him. Some are still volunteering after 15 or 20 years.

Fluchel was a volunteer himself before he became director, and also worked alongside Reed when he was with the Missouri Department of Conservation helping the city lay out the original trails for the sanctuary.

When he was employed by the city as director, Fluchel saw how organizing funds for sanctuary projects was not as efficient as he would have wished. That’s why in 2015, Reed’s volunteer-based work inspired Fluchel to form a separate group designed to help fund and support those projects beyond the city’s budget.

While some members of the nonprofit Friends of Parkville Nature Sanctuary were also volunteers for the sanctuary, their tasks differed from funding the projects for the Friends to actually volunteering to do groundwork within the sanctuary.

Shortly after the group formed and earned its nonprofit status, Fluchel passed away. The Friends group decided on their first project: the butterfly garden. It would be supported by donations from Fluchel’s memorial fund.

“The inspiration for a butterfly garden memorial for Bob was his love for butterflies, native plants, ecosystem conservation and for educating the public,” Pyland said. “A butterfly garden seemed a beautiful way to continue his love of butterflies and natural systems, build community awareness of monarch and pollinator conservation needs and provide a welcoming educational entrance to the sanctuary.”

The nonprofit group has other future projects in mind to carry out Fluchel’s original mission to fund director-led ideas. Some of these include interpretive signs for individual plants, natural play areas along the trails for children and an interpretive center for educational programs.

With improvements like a walkway and signage, the Friends hope to develop the butterfly garden over time, and as they carry out the goals he was never able to finish, they’re remembering Fluchel and his contributions to the Parkville Nature Sanctuary.

“It’s a place I love to take my grandchildren and … you know, when we’re there, we remember their grandpa,” Fluchel’s wife, Barbara Fluchel, said. “I hope a lot of people will take their children there.”

If you go

What: The Bob Fluchel Memorial Butterfly Garden at The Parkville Nature Sanctuary

Where: The main entrance of the Parkville Nature Sanctuary is located below the Platte County Health Dept between 12th and Missouri 9.

Admission: Free

Information: check out its website: parkvillemo.gov/community/nature-sanctuary/

For information on contributing or volunteering: Checks may be made out to the Parkville Nature Sanctuary and can be dropped off or mailed to Parkville City Hall. City Hall is located at 8880 Clark Ave., Parkville, MO, 64152. All donations are tax deductible. To reach the director, Joe Ryan, call 816-741-7676, or email jryan@parkvillemo.gov

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