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Travis Kelce surprises kids with shopping spree

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Travis Kelce surprised more than two dozen kids Tuesday night.

And right after he did, he took the 25 kids from the YMCA of Greater Kansas City on a $100 shopping spree at JCPenney.

And when Kelce walked into the store in Independence, the kids' faces lit up.

"Just the smiles that I saw on their faces when I walked in, that's the coolest feeling in the world," said Kelce. "I remember how I used to look at athletes and I know what kind of impact I can have on them."

And that impact was immediately felt.

"I just did not know. I was like, Wow! I did not know he was going to be here. I thought it was going to be Santa Claus," said Emily Jack, a young girl who went shopping with Kelce.

While Kelce wouldn't adopt the nickname 'Santa Kelce,' he said he wanted to help out as much as he could.

"Its the giving season. My mother and my father ingrained it in me to help out when help is needed," Kelce said. "Every year during the holidays, I want to spread the love, especially to a community like Kansas City."

The three-time pro-bowl tight end also had a message for the kids—don't forget your family.

"I know it's an opportunity to get some stuff for themselves, but at the same time there are people that take care of them that I'm sure are deserving of something for Christmas," Kelce said.

Kelce partnered with JCPenney for Tuesday night's event. 

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/travis-kelce-surprises-kids-with-shopping-spree

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Homeowner getting help fixing crumbling roof

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Four months after refusing to leave her home, a Kansas City homeowner is getting help to fix her crumbling roof.

Janice James has lived in her Northeast home for years.

Back in August, her front porch collapsed sending the fire department and building inspectors to check the house. At the time, she refused to leave.

"I wanted my own home," she said, telling 41 Action News she could not afford to move or fix the roof.

KCPD Social Worker Trena Miller helped form a collaborative effort with several city agencies. Together they lined up the necessary resources to fix James' home.

So far, the plumbing and electrical work inside the home has been completed. A new roof is expected to be installed soon.

The work is being paid for by the city's Municipal Court fund and the city's Housing Repair Fund. Its 'Love Thy Neighbor' program is helping too.

The city anticipates the work to be completed, weather permitting, at the end of the year.

"I am glad something is being done. I've fought for several years now for it to be done," said James.

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/homeowner-who-refused-to-leave-house-now-getting-help-to-fix-holes-in-roof

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Valley Oaks files for another expansion permit

LONE JACK, Mo. — A Johnson County, Missouri meat company’s controversial plans to expand were dealt a blow this week when the Missouri Clean Water Commission ruled that the project could not move further. The issue made many neighbors upset but the matter remains far from over. Valley Oaks has already refiled a permit for expansion at the site. 

Tune into 41 Action News at 10 p.m. for Tom Dempsey's full report and check back in this story.

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/valley-oaks-files-for-another-expansion-permit-after-original-request-shut-down

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Some Google Fiber users have service shut off

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Google Fiber is working to get customers back online after an error resulted in service being shut off for some users across the nation.

A Google Fiber customer in Kansas City showed 41 Action News an e-mail saying that the customer's service was suspended and the account will be canceled once billing obligations are fulfilled. 

A Google Fiber spokesperson said the company is still trying to determine what caused the issue and are working to get service back on for the customers as quickly as possible. 

The full statement from Google Fiber can be read below: 

"Earlier today, we became aware that some customers across the country incorrectly received notification that their service was being cancelled. We’re working to correct this as quickly as possible and get our customers back online. We’re still investigating the initial cause and will be taking steps to make sure this does not happen again."

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/some-google-fiber-customers-service-unexpectedly-shut-off-company-working-to-fix-issue

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Students’ appetites doesn’t stop during break

KANSAS CITY, Kan. —  "There's just something special about it. We're a family here," said second grade teacher Amelia Kovac. 

That sense of family is what brings teachers and the community together. Every year, they provide a two week supply of food for the students at Mark Twain Elementary while they're gone over winter break. 

"Year after year it just grew to become bigger and bigger and bigger," said Kovac. 

Several years ago, a group of teachers at Mark Twain started L3, Love Literacy Life, after realizing their students might not be getting enough food.

That's when Kovac got on board.

"With my neighborhood collections, we're close to almost 4,000 boxes of macaroni," said Kovac. 

Kovac and her daughter enlisted the help of their church, Holy Spirit, to hold a macaroni and cheese drive. They also went door-to-door in their neighborhood. She even set out a tub on her porch for donations, and was surprised to see it full day after day. 

The thousands of boxes are sitting in her garage. 

Her contribution is just a small piece to the puzzle. With the help of churches and other schools, the teachers have gathered thousands of granola bars, oatmeal packets, canned goods, and much more. 

Mark Twain is a low-income school where most kids depend on a free lunch. 

"Here at school, they're used to getting free lunch and free breakfast every day. It's really hard on families during this time of year when they're trying to use their money to buy gifts, but then don't have the money to buy food at the same time," said Kovac.

But the community is not low on love.

"It's eye opening. It's breathtaking. It makes you feel so good to be a part of this miracle that happens," Kovac said. 

There is still time to donate. The teachers are packing up the donations into individual bags on Saturday, Dec. 11 at the school. They'll give them out on Monday afternoon. 

McKinley Elementary students will also get a bag full of food. 

L3 provides other resources to kids like clothing drives and food drives for spring break, while hosting a summer camp. 

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/kck-teachers-collecting-thousands-of-food-items-for-students-over-winter-break

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Teen drivers not too keen getting behind wheel

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The freedom and independence of driving doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to for many of today’s teenagers.

Faith Pennington, a junior at Johnson County Community College is 21 years-old.

She didn’t get her permit and then drivers license until well after her 17th birthday.

Many of her peers were already driving.

“All my friends were getting their licenses; They’re like, 'When are you going to do it?' I’m like, 'Not today,'" said Pennington.  

“I was in a car crash when I was little; almost a head-on collision that totaled the car. I was in the backseat my dad was driving. This truck just went over the line and smacked right into us,” she explained.

Zebra researchers discovered that 33.3 percent of teen boys think driving is scary and 46.3 percent of teen girls agree.

Another reason many teens are scared of driving is because of their parent’s fears.

Zebra researchers revealed that 58 percent of parents surveyed said they are afraid of their teens driving. And there is good reason for that fear: Zebra revealed that teens are 3 times more likely to be in a deadly crash than drivers age 20 and older.

Driver's education instructors at Johnson County Community College address those fears with education.

Josh Smith is program director for the JCCC Driver's Ed program. He explained instructors start with classroom work and slowly progress to driving.  

“They’re working and building their confidence up along each lesson from starting in the parking lot to residential to city driving to highway driving,” Smith added.  

At age 16, Taylor Burns, a junior at Shawnee Mission South, finally got her driver's permit this year.  

“At the beginning, I was determined I wanted to drive and then I took the test once and I missed eight (questions) and then for the next year I just had no interest. I don’t know why,” Taylor said.

She admits she is afraid of driving because of friends and family who were hurt in crashes.  But she calls it a healthy fear.  

“I’ll probably be more aware of my surroundings and I’m not going to be on my phone when I’m driving;  no super-loud music,” Taylor said.

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/more-teenagers-are-hitting-the-breaks-when-it-comes-to-getting-their-drivers-license

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Fiancée mourns fatal Raymore stabbing victim

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kara Huff was ready to start a new life with her fiancé, Brian Kile.

He had proposed just three days before deputies were called to Huff's Raymore house, where they discovered a gruesome murder. 

Her estranged husband, John W. Adams, is accused of breaking in on Friday and fatally stabbing Kile. 

"He was beside me no matter what," Huff said of Kile, her voice breaking. 

On Tuesday, Adams entered a plea of not guilty on murder and armed criminal action charges in Cass County. Court documents show Adams told deputies, "whatever force he used, he used in self-defense." The probable cause statement claims Adams' story doesn't line up with the crime scene evidence and the autopsy.

Only eight days before the stabbing, Adams pleaded guilty in a different case. He was arrested four times in a two-year period for domestic assault. 

Huff said she did not initially fear for her safety when Adams was released from jail because she thought her estranged husband had learned his lesson to stay away. 

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/raymore-stabbing-victims-fiance-he-was-beside-me-no-matter-what

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Mom: Bus driver watched porn with teen on board

RAYTOWN, Mo. — A mother said her daughter still can't get over what happened as she waited for her classmates during a field trip last week. The Raytown High senior said her school bus driver was watching porn on his phone while she was on board.

"This is a disgusting, vile thing that this person did on a school property," the victim's mother said.

This mother, whose identity we’re concealing due to the nature of the allegations, told 41 Action News her daughter was caroling with the choir at different schools within the district on Dec. 7. 

At Raytown Middle School, their fifth and final stop, the 17-year-old didn't feel good so she stayed on the school bus.

"She was crouched down in her seat with a coat over her, she was in the middle of the bus," the mother said. "Then about five minutes maybe a little bit less than that she started hearing pornography sounds from the bus driver's phone and then she also heard him self-pleasuring himself."

She said her daughter stayed still for half-an-hour, so the driver wouldn't know she was on the bus.

When the choir came back on board, the teen immediately reported what she heard to her choir director and filed a police report.

On Tuesday, a KCPD spokesperson told 41 Action News, a sex crimes detective took the case to the prosecutor's office but because there wasn't evidence that the teen saw the bus driver's actions, they couldn't file charges. 

"[The school district] did assure me that he would never drive again in the Raytown school district," the mother said.

The Raytown School District released a statement Tuesday afternoon:

"The District is aware of the student’s report, is conducting an internal investigation, and is cooperating with the Kansas City Police Department. The Raytown School District has zero tolerance for any acts that violate the safety and well-being of our students. The District has Board policies and procedures that require staff to take quick, proactive action to ensure student safety and security. While we cannot comment on specific personnel matters, we can share that the District’s response to matters of this nature typically includes providing reports to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, placing an employee on leave pending investigation, and imposing consequences as appropriate up to and including termination. We encourage an environment where students, staff, and families feel empowered to report anything that might be suspicious or out of the ordinary. Any report of an incident or suspicion of wrongdoing becomes our top priority."

The spokesperson for the school district said they did not notify parents about what happened because it was an isolated incident.

The incident has traumatized the young woman, her mother said.

"She didn't go to school on Friday. She didn't want to go to school today but I think if she can get back in the swing of things," the teen's mother said. "We're hoping that this does not affect her terribly down the road."

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/parent-raytown-school-bus-driver-watched-porn-with-teen-on-board

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Hope City bringing help to east Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — East Kansas City is an area many people drive through but never stop. Drugs, poverty and violent crimes are the reason why. 

"24th Street here has a reputation of being a troubled spot in the city," said Ray Stribling, Director of Hope City. 

After seeing the name the eastside had made for itself, Ray and Lisa Stribling stepped up to make a change. The couple opened Hope City eight years ago. The building serves as a community center, food bank, drug rehab program, youth outreach and prayer room. 

"It's a very tough neighborhood, but because of our background, we feel like we were up for the challenge," said Lisa Stribling. 

The Stribling's said they realized what they were getting into, having lived a lifestyle similar to those walking through their doors. 30 years ago, the two were both drug dealers in south Kansas City. 

"We were both in prison and drug addicts for years and IV drug users and hooked on that needle, so we understand the power of addiction, but we understand the power of being set free too," said Ray Stribling. 

The couple is hoping to lead people down the right path. At Hope City, more than 450 addicts have gone through their 90-day, live-in, drug addiction program. Hope City also serves more than 150 hot meals during lunch every Monday through Friday. 

The Stribling's said their overall goal for Hope City is to help transform a troubled street, one day at a time. 

"My goal is based on a dream to see this neighborhood look like every other neighborhood," said Lisa Stribling." 

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/hope-city-bringing-help-to-one-of-kansas-citys-toughest-neighborhoods

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Lime temporarily suspends service in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dockless scooter company Lime has temporarily suspended service in Kansas City to take stock of what worked and what didn't during the pilot program. 

The company was allowed to operate on an interim basis so city leaders could observe how the company operated in Kansas City.

Now that the pilot program is over, the company said it is pausing service to ride out the winter weather and prepare a proposal to the city. It did not give a window for when it expects to relaunch.

The company came to Kansas City in September, just a few months after rival scooter company Bird

Since it arrived, Lime said it has recorded nearly 100,000 rides from more than 30,000 people.

In a statement, the company said the future of dockless scooters is bright for Kansas City and it is "excited to remain part of the community for years to come." 

Bird has not announced any plans to suspend service.

from Local News | KSHB https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/lime-temporarily-suspends-service-in-kansas-city