Christmas in July toy drive starts tonight for Edwardsville

Edwardsville firefighters and police officers are holding a Christmas in July toy drive that starts with a kickoff event tonight.

Edwardsville Fire Chief Tim Whitham said the toy drive will last during the month of July and will provide toys for Edwardsville children in December.

Called the Ho-Ho Express, the toy drive began last year. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, firefighters and police officers escorted Santa and the Grinch to neighborhoods in Edwardsville, using social distancing, last year.

Tonight, new, unwrapped toys and cash donations will be accepted at Thirsty’s Bar and Grill, 11657 Kaw Drive, Bonner Springs, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Edwardsville police officers and firefighters will deliver Santa and the Grinch to Thirsty’s for little kids and big kids alike to enjoy the evening and interact with public safety professionals, the Grinch and to talk with Santa.

Kansas Corporation Commission opens investigations into effects of weather emergency

The Kansas Corporation Commission this morning opened seven company specific investigations pertaining to the effects of the February weather emergency.

Kansas Gas Service and Atmos Energy, which serve natural gas customers in Wyandotte County, are included in the seven companies. Also included is Evergy, which serves some residents of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville.

The investigations will examine each utility’s proposals to minimize financial effects of the February weather emergency on its customers, according to a news release.

The high demand, along with generation facility issues due to cold weather, created supply shortages and extraordinarily high energy prices, according to the KCC An emergency order issued by the KCC on Feb. 15 ordered regulated utilities to defer those costs for review and to present a plan to minimize ratepayer impact over a reasonable time, the KCC stated.

The investigations will also address the cause of reduced natural gas supplies, high natural gas prices, supply and demand imbalances in the Southwest Power Pool Integrated Market, and what steps can be taken to make sure utilities are better prepared for future extreme weather events, according to the KCC.

The BPU is not included in the companies being investigated. The Kansas Corporation Commission does not have jurisdiction over the Board of Public Utilities, which serves electric customers in Kansas City, Kansas, because the BPU is a public utility with an elected board.

A report and recommendation filed by KCC staff on March 1 stated that company specific investigatory dockets would allow staff to tailor its investigation to match each utility’s unique circumstances.

Today’s order can be viewed at

Four law enforcement employees from Wyandotte County graduate

Four law enforcement employees in Wyandotte County have graduated from the Kansas certified public manager program at the University of Kansas Public Management Center.

In all, nearly 70 students graduated from the program. The students began coursework in January 2020 and classes took place online after the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

Local, county, state and federal agencies were represented in the certification program.

The four Wyandotte County graduates include:

• Joshua Brooks, Edwardsville Police Department
• Dwight Buxton, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office
• William Naff, Bonner Springs Police Department
• Heron Santana, Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.