Friday Facts: June 24
Friday Facts

Congratulations to Oak Park alum Ochai Agbaji who was drafted 14th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers and become the first Clay County resident to be picked in the first round of the NBA draft. In April he led Kansas University to the college basket national championship. The young man was a consensus All American, Big 12 player of the year, Big 12 tournament MVP and Final Four MVP. Not bad for someone who did not even have a major college scholarship offer until his last semester at Och Park.

Dave Mecklenburg was presented the Jay B. Dillingham Award last Friday at Northland Neighbors, Inc for his outstanding service and leadership for many years. Serving on the KC Parks’ Board for over ten years, Dave had a large influence on the park system enjoyed by many. While he worked diligently for the city as a whole, his heart and passion are still in the Northland. Dave is the current NNI Chair. The keynote speaker was 2016 Dillingham Award winner Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. The event was MCed by 2014 winner Mark McHenry. Also in attendance were 2008 winner Anita Gorman, 2013 winner John Dillingham and Ellen Todd, the daughter of 2009 winner Ray Brock who is the namesake for the NNI conference room. Two of Jay B. Dillingham’s great granddaughters unveiled a plaque of previous winners in the Raymond R. Brock, Jr. Hall.

This week let’s visit the Jerry Litton Visitors’ Center at 16311 County Rd. DD in Smithville. Named after our former Congressman who died in an election night plane crash in August 1976 after he had won the Democratic nomination for a US Senate seat, the center provides information on the many things to do at Smithville Lake through displays and exhibits where you can learn about the area wildlife, the history of Smithville and why the lake was created. Find out more about boating and fishing on the lake as well as hunting, trails for pedestrian and equestrian use and camping. Encouraged to go into politics by former President Harry S Truman, many, including form President Jimmy Carter, thought Litton was headed to public housing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (that’s the White House). Read more about Congressman Litton here. On a personal note, the Congressman was a close friend to the man who taught me how to write and look comfortable asking questions the recipient did not want to hear. Former Clinton County Leader Publisher Steve Tinnen reprinted and article my dad wrote August 4, 1976. You can read it here.

Gladstone broke ground on a new police headquarters yesterday afternoon. In 2010 over 80% of their voters gave approval to a new quarter-cent sales tax to add police officers, upgrade the 911 system and provide a capital purchases fund. The project will create a state-of-the-art property and evidence room in addition to offices. It will also include a 911 communications center that will house dispatchers for the Liberty Police Department and Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Turner Construction is the general contractor.

Northland CAPS is looking for a new Medicine & Healthcare instructor for the 2022-23 school year. If anyone is interested in joining their team to provide professional learning experiences and career exploration opportunities for high school juniors and seniors from across the Northland, the job description and application can be found HERE. If a potential candidate has questions, they can email or call the Northland CAPS office at (816)977-8111. Northland CAPS is in the process of curating business partner projects for Fall of 2022. If your business has a project that’s important enough to be on your to-do list but you can’t ever seem to find the time do it, consider passing it along to Northland CAPS student associates to tackle! You can get started by completing their Project Request form. If you just want to brainstorm some ideas, you can schedule a meeting or simply call the Northland CAPS office at (816)977-8111.

Liberty Public Schools will again be hosting the Virtual Vendor Fair in August 2022! As was offered the last two years, an online portal will be available to our staff that will showcase raffle items (gift certificates, coupons, discounts, etc.) from local businesses. This is also a great way for businesses to advertise their products/services! If you would be interested in participating in this virtual event, please contact Andrea Snider ( for more information. They are also excited to bring back the LPS Youth Mentor Program! Through this program, community volunteers are paired with a student(s) and can participate in activities such as tutoring, reading, having lunch together and more. For more information or to sign-up, please click here to view the program flyer.

A long-time effort by Deb Hermann and her team at Northland Neighbors, Inc. has been to have a complete makeover of the former K-Mart Plaza at Vivion and Antioch Roads. While a purchase has not been finalized, the KCATA has hired a firm, IFF, wanting you to share your opinion with them to help future developments for childcare. Two big parts of providing a necessary workforce are transportation and childcare. This survey is for Greater Kansas City residents to provide ideas and opinions for potential future childcare options in their neighborhood. This survey will take about 5 to 10 minutes and closes July 10th. The summarized results will be shared with the KCATA and RideKC Development Corp and other organizations that want to support childcare options in your area. As a thanks, IFF will send you $15 gift card to Amazon (email gift cards). You can take the survey by clicking here.

North Kansas City is hosting a public meeting to share recommendations from technical analysis as well as input from residents and businesses concerning a potential streetcar extension into the City at the YMCA located at 1999 Iron St. on June 28th from 4-6PM. Financing, including capital and operations expenses as well as potential funding sources, will be discussed.

Want an update of the economic activity of our cities and county? Your EDC’s State of the Cities/County luncheon is set for July 14th at Harrah’s. Networking begins at 11AM with lunch and the presentations at 11:30. Please hold the date and we will soon have more details.

Clay County Savings Bank is turning 100 and they are ready to have a party. While being entertained by the band Longshot and KC Wolf, you may enjoy great food from Jousting Pigs BBQ. The celebration is from 5-8PM on June 28th at their Liberty office located at 1178 W. Kansas Street.

The Doniphan Leadership Institute’s fall 2022 and spring 2023 cohorts are accepting registrations now. These tend to fill up very quickly. You can register or get more information here. The classes are offered through William Jewell’s Pryor Leadership Program.

Our Mid-Continent Public Libraries offer many classes including the Square Onecourses on how to operate a business. The website offers many opportunities, both virtual and in-person.

Your EDC wants to make sure you know of the great resources provided by our state that address job seekers, employers and our community. The information provided at is both relevant and timely. You can also reach them at 1-888-728-JOBS (5627). The State of Missouri has resource teams to assist businesses and community with getting connected to Mo Jobs resources. Contact Pam Harris, Missouri Department of Economic Development, or Allan Hedrick, Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development,

Did you know that your EDC provides small business loans through our partnership with Midwest Small Business Financing? We want to put your business into buildings and purchase the required fixed assets. Our rates include the Small Business Administration fees and are currently 5.477% for ten years, 5.588% for 20 years and 5.628% for 25 years. Please contact us with any questions. You can read about upcoming SBA trainings and get more information about the SBA’s Resource Partner Training here.

Your EDC helps to sponsor weekly educational programs designed to engage, educate and accelerate communities of entrepreneurs and small business owners. Hosted in-person by iWerx, 1520 Clay Street, North Kansas City, MO 64116, Coffee Connect starts at 7:45 and the program begins at 8. To sign up or for more information click here.

Your EDC’s Friday Facts is your go-to read to see what is happening in our County. We want you to see Clay County while spending your disposable income right here:

Today: Gladstone’s Linden Square’ featuring Midnight Rodeo June 24th at 7:00

Today: NKC’s Movies in the Park June 24th at dusk in Macken Park featuring The Croods: A New Age

This weekend: Excelsior Springs’ annual Waterfest June 24th-25th in the downtown

Tomorrow: Kearney’s Dash of Bluegrass 7PM Amphitheater featuring Missouri River Band & Wood Valley Pickers

Tomorrow: Gladstone’s Linden Square’ Movie in the Square Spiderman No Way Home June 25th

Tomorrow: KC Park’s Shut Up & Wrestle Tour June 25th 7PM KC North Community Center

This week: Clay County Savings Bank Centennial Celebration June 28th 5-8PM Longshot & KC Wolf

This week: Liberty’s Corbin Theatre presents Heaven is Beautiful June 30th -July 2nd at 7:30PM

Smithville’s Fireworks display July 1st at 6PM 17201 Paradesian St.

Kearney Fireworks Celebration July 3rd at 5:30 at the Amphitheater featuring Tate Stevens

Liberty Fest July 3rd – Capitol Federal Sports Complex 2200 E Old 210 Highway 6PM with Lost Wax

Gladstone’s 4th of July Celebration at Oak Grove Park 7656 N Troost Ave at 7PM

Gregg Williams Tiger Classic Golf Tournament July 6th – 8th

Excelsior Springs’ Second Fridays July 8th

North Kansas City’s Friday Night Concert July 8th at 7PM at Macken Park Rock & Roll Never Forgets

Kearney’s Second Saturday July 9th

Click on the school of your choice to see their calendar of events. Excelsior SpringsKearneySmithvilleLiberty, Liberty NorthNorth Kansas CityWinnetonkaOak ParkStaleySt. Pius Kansas City Christian and Platte County R-3 (yes, part of their district is in Clay County).

The Northland Education and Business Alliance now has its own YouTube channel. This organization just continues to grow and get things right and your EDC is proud to be a part of it. Feel free to view the dozens of videos from various career opportunities right here in Clay County.

Your CCEDC is on the move. Click to join a committee, or to invest with us.

David Slater, Executive Director

Frances Sheffield, EDFP Loan Officer

Julie Lewis, Business Retention Specialist

Ethen Pineda, Loan Officer

7001 N. Locust, Suite B101 – Gladstone MO 64118 – (816)468-4989

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