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Feature Articles

Truman Courthouse
This web article caputres a historic moment as Jackson County celebrates the reopening of a national landmark.

Constructing Futures
This web article describes the emotions associated with the give-away of a house through Jackson County's Constructing Futures program, while also explaining how the progam works.

Luke Jensen
I interviewed former Grand Slam tennis champ Luke Jensen for an article describing his work as a tennis "missionary" in the USTA Missouri Valley.

All About Family
Reviewing USTA junior rankings revealed that several of our section's top players were all from the same family. Sharing a love for the sport made this close-nit family even closer.

A Long Courtship
While taking photographs at a USTA tournament, I met this older couple who found love through tennis and credited the game with keeping them young into their 80s.

The MetroCenter
I was very proud to be associated with the KCATA's efforts to open a combination transit center/child care facility. This article describes the grand opening.

Feature articles are, forgive the lack of modesty, one of my specialities. I have always been able to write copy that helps "paint a picutre," but just as importantly I've also been able to "find" good stories and conduct interviews that "draw people out." I've posted six of my favorite features here.

NOTE: These are only features I've writing as part of my marketing/public relations career. For features written as a jounralist, CLICK HERE. -- September 7, 2013

Truman Courthouse Rededication

Truman Courthouse Rededication

Historical accuracy guided every decision made during the multi-phased restoration of the Truman Courthouse on Independence Square—right down to the date and hour chosen for the rededication ceremony. The past, present and future all converged during that ceremony Saturday, September 7, 2013, when, for the first time in a generation, the clock atop the iconic building chimed at precisely 2 p.m.

“Today, we bring this great building back to life,” stated Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, 80 years to the hour that Harry Truman, on what was an equally sunny September 7, 1933, rededicated the same courthouse following extensive renovations he supervised as the county’s Presiding Judge.

Hundreds of residents lined Lexington Avenue as Sanders joined United States Senator Roy Blunt, former Congressman Ike Skelton, Independence Mayor Don Reimal and other dignitaries in officially declaring the Historic Truman Courthouse reopened.

CLICK HERE to view entire article. | View More Web Articles -- August 17, 2010

Constructing Futures
A Once Homeless Family Has New Place To Call Home

AUGUST 17, 2010 -- Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders had a surprise for Wayne and Jacqueline Scott and their 12-year-old daughter Symone: a key.

The key to their new home.

The Scotts knew they were being considered possible recipients for a formerly vacant house being remodeled through Jackson County's Constructing Futures program. They would frequently go past the two-story house on Myrtle Avenue in Kansas City, hoping -- and praying -- it might one day be their home.

The Scotts were asked to join Sanders at the Vineyard Neighborhood Association headquarters Monday (August 16) to undergo a final interview and then make some comments during a news conference. They didn't know the final decision had already been made. When Sanders announced they would be getting the house, the Scotts' jaws dropped. Then their joyful tears began to flow.

CLICK HERE to view entire article. | View More Web Articles

CrossCourt -- Premiere Issue (Summer 2005)

For Love Of Tennis
Luke Jense brings his passion for the game to the Missouri Valley Section

Luke Jense invites them all -- tall and small, male and female, young and old -- to return his booming serve. Make that, try to return.

As the 1993 French Open doubles champion concludes a recent tennis clinic in Overland Park, Kan., the participants gladly accept his challenge. Essentially, they're volunteering, with eager smiles, to be in front of a one-man firing squad.

Many flail futilely at his kicker out wide. Their groans echo off the Indian Creek Racquet Club's walls. Most merely twitch at his heater, a yellow blur ripped down the T for an ace. All are awed by his remarkable effectiveness serving both left- and right-handed.

Just as impressive, however, is "Dual Hand Luke's" exuberance. To spread the word about the sport, the USTA/Missouri Valley Section couldn't ask for a more dynamic missionary than the 39-year-old Jensen.

His career on the ATP tour took Jensen, a fan favorite playing doubles with his younger brother Murphy, around the globe. He has spent much of his 2005 summer traveling the Missouri Valley, conducting clinics and preaching tennis.

CLICK HERE to download the entire article. | Download CrossCourt Issues

CrossCourt -- Premiere Issue (Summer 2005)

All About Family
Time on the court brings a close family closer

FourniersThey're a mixed doubles team that has discovered the fountain of youth -- their kid's tennis.

As a pair of 5.0 caliber players, James and Alison Fournier used to rack up plenty of USA League mixed wins. These days they don't have many opportunities to compete on the court. With three daugthers -- Taylor, Haley and Shae -- and now their youngest, son Carson, vying for victories in USTA/Missouri Valley junior tournaments, the Belleville, Ill., couple has passed the competitive torch to their children.

"Playing with the kids, trying to keep up with them, is keeping us young," says James.

But Alison rolls her eyes and laments that the girls don't want to play much with Mom anymore. "I just can't keep the ball in play," she says, laughing.

Until Taylor turned 15 in August, she and Haley were both ranked among the Missouri Valley's top 10 in the Girls 14s. Shae, meanwhile, cracked the top 5 in the Girls 12s.

"Tennis gives the kids a rush," says James. "They've made a commitment to play competitively. The hard work is paying off in the progess they've made and the results they are getting."

CLICK HERE to download the entire article. | Download CrossCourt Issues

CrossCourt -- Premiere Issue (Summer 2005)

A Long Courtship
Iowa couple's great love for tennis is ageless

The game never gets old, but some days Glen Linde wonders if he might be getting too old for tennis. Then he spends some time around the courts in Waterloo, Iowa, and the passion to play is renewed -- and irresistible.

He really can't let go of the game, for tennis has got a hold on him.

A hold on him and his wife Dorothy. They've been married nearly six decades, and all these years, each has carried on a love affair -- with tennis.

"We're not old here!" declared Glen at Waterloo's Brynes Park Tennis Center, where he and Dorothy were watching "one of the youngsters," their 52-year-old daughter Mary Linde, compete in the USTA/Missouri Valley Mixed Doubles Sectional Aug. 26-28.

Glen and Dorothy are a youthful older couple, thanks to tennis. They celebrated their 57th anniversary Sept. 11.

"We are mature," acknowledged Dorothy, unable to fight off a smile," but we haven't grown up yet."

Both are enjoying excellent health well into their 80s, thanks to tennis.

CLICK HERE to download the entire article. | Download CrossCourt Issues

Next Stop -- Fourth Quarter 2002

Innovative MetroCenter Opens For Business

Dwayne Crompton, executive director of the KCMC Child Development Corporation, likes to tell other child care professionals from other cities all about the brand new 39th and Troost MetroCenter.

“They look at me stunned and ask, ‘The public transit agency is taking a lead role in providing child care?’” said
Crompton, during the MetroCenter’s Nov. 14 dedication ceremony.

He paused, then added, “The transit authority where I come from is.”

The ATA opened the unique two-in-one MetroCenter in mid-November. It houses both a comfortable transit waiting
room and the 15,000-square foot Metro Early Learning Center. KCMC, Greater Kansas City’s largest non-profit child care provider, operates the learning center, which
accommodates more than 100 children, ranging
from six weeks to five years old.

“The Metro Early Learning Center is a place where KCMC is helping some of The Metro’s youngest customers literally get a ‘Head Start,’” said ATA General Manager Mark Huffer.

He called the journey from the project’s conception to its dedication a “long one made smooth through exceptional cooperation,” between federal and Kansas City, Mo., officials, as well as various neighborhood associations and private foundations.

CLICK HERE to download the entire article. | Download Next Stop Issues


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