The Merriam Drive corridor on the northern edge of Overland Park may be the next candidate for some spiffing up. Overland Park planners have added the area bordering Merriam and Kansas City, Kan., to the short list of places that they hope to get grant money to study.Merriam Drive caught the attention of the Overland Park City Council six months ago when Dimensional Innovations, an architectural design and fabricating company, sought public financing for expansion at 3421 Merriam Drive.That plan was controversial. But during the discussion, some council members noted that the rest of the corridor could also use some attention. The street is in a part of Overland Park that is separated from the rest of the city by Interstate 35.Now city officials say they will apply for a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council’s program that encourages sustainable street design. Overland Park has received “planning sustainable places” grants in the past for Downtown and for the planning of College Boulevard.The sustainable places grants generally encourage street plans that are inclusive of pedestrians, bicyclists and mass transit as well as cars.Overland Park is coordinating with the bordering cities on the condition and needs of the area, Director of Planning Services Jack Messer, told a council committee Wednesday.The Merriam Drive application was new to the grants wish list. Other applications will be made for continuing work on the College and Metcalf corridor. The city has been studying ways to redesign the street slow down traffic and bring in more customers since 2019 on that stretch.The community development committee also discussed disbanding the city’s 35-year-old Landmarks Commission due to a lack of people willing to serve on it and infrequent meetings.The commission was formed in 1985 to preserve historic properties. Since then eight properties have been approved as city landmarks. But currently there are not enough members for a quorum and the city staff has had trouble finding new prospects.Committee members discussed favorably an option ceding the duties to the Kansas Historical Preservation Office. If the commission is disbanded, people could still get their property listed on the state and national registries through the state. The process might even be quicker that way, said planner Keith Gooch.
ABC/Tyler Golden(LOS ANGELES) — With an Oscar host still yet to be named, John Legend says don’t rule out him and wife Chrissy Teigen.At the Fred Segal Loves Ralph Lauren pop-up space in L.A. on Monday, the EGOT winner told The Hollywood Reporter that they’d consider taking the gig if it was offered.“I feel like it’s a thankless job. Nobody really wins from hosting the Oscars,” John said. “It doesn’t really end up great for anybody … I’m not saying we’re ruling it out.”Legend didn’t say whether the Academy has already asked him to host, but he did provide two suggestions besides himself. John says Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Wanda Sykes would be his top picks.December 6, Kevin Hart stepped down from hosting the Oscar after past tweets surfaced in which he used homophobic slurs.The Oscars will take place on February 24.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
The United States Agency for International Development Food Enterprise Development (USAID FED) for the past four years has increased capacities of local farmers in the country to produce more crops, especially the country’ staple food, rice.Since its inception in the country, USAID-FED agricultural program has empowered over 50,000 farmers who are now operating 10,630 hectares of farmland. The program operates in four value chains, namely rice, cassava, vegetables and goats.In an exclusive interview, Chief of Party of USAID FED Madam Agnes Luz said within the four value chains in which her organization is operating, the rice sector has improved immensely.She mentioned Fabrar Rice Processing Industry as an outcome of USAID FED that her organization has supported to empower local farmers by marketing their produce to add value by processing the locally grown rice as a means to cut down the expense of imported rice.She said during the beginning of USAID FED five year project in 2013, the number of farmers was very low. “In 2013, there were only 7,880 farmers operating on 2,157 hectares of farmland, but the number later grew up to 20,000 farmers with 3,915 hectares in 2014 and has increased immensely in 2015 to 50,500 farmers and 10,630 hectares of improve seed rice and the sale of rice also increase to $1.2M,” Madam Luz added.As a means of responding to farmers’ plea for a safe plant, she said, USAID FED has built nine rice business hubs (6,800 MT/yr additional milling capacity , 1500M3 additional storage) responsible to keep the produce of farmers fresh, 30 power tillers and 1-2 warehouses .“Our responsibility at USAID FED is to increase productivity and profitability of agricultural value chains and improve human nutrition. We are proud of the farmers and we encourage others to join agriculture because very soon with the level of performance from local farmers, Liberia will export rice to other countries in the near future.”She described the rice sector as one of her successes with over 50,000 farmers into rice production which the country depends on for survival.She asserted that before the beginning of her five year project, farmers were carrying on subsistence farming for consumption and expressed joy about the efforts farmers are showing in the six counties of Lofa, Nimba, Bong, Grand Bassa, Montserrado and Margibi and promised to improve the sector.USAID FED Chief of Party also confirmed that farmers have generally benefitted from the provision of hand tools, better quality rice planting materials and training that have improved their knowledge and skills in the technology of farming.She pledged her organization’s commitment to continue empowering and improving the lives of farmers by ensuring that farmers in Liberia export food to other countries like the United States of America, France and other countries to boost agriculture production in the country. She said farmers keep demonstrating their willingness to grow their own food but need the Liberian government to make their work more effective by establishing centers that will be able to keep the products safe when harvested.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)