Big 12 Starts
The Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week at the relatively new Sprint Center located in the Power and Light District of historic downtown Kansas City. This event, hosted by Kansas City for the past 13 years, draws a huge amount of fans, aka tourists, to the area every year. With mild weather forecast for the next two weeks and hopes of winning the bid to host the Republican National Convention this year, Kansas City is working as hard as the players to prove itself worthy of the “win.”
Harry S. Truman “Good Neighbor” Award
Leon Panetta, former Defense Secretary, has been named recipient for this year’s award. According to the Truman Foundation, his leadership of the defense department as well as the CIA, where he served as director from 2009-2011, best exemplifies the high standards of President Truman. President Clinton received the award last year; Panetta served as Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1994-1997.
Best Graduate School
Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri has been named the best graduate school in the country by US News & World Report. Rockhurst’s Business Management MBA Program also ranked 20th nationwide.
WWII Veteran Recognized–70 Years Later
Ninety-year-old Roger James, of Raymore, Missouri (just south of Kansas City), was recently awarded Knight of the French Legion of Honor, France’s highest award for bravery. Mr. James was an army tank gunner in WWII, who has also received a purple heart as well as the bronze star. During the battle that won this award, his division had lost 13 of 15 tanks. James stood his ground, protecting the remaining tanks and soldiers.
Spelling Bee Marathon
The winner of the Jackson County Spelling Bee, and more importantly, future contender for the National Scripps Spelling Bee which will be held in Washington DC in May, was finally announced earlier this week. After 90-plus rounds and two days, seventh-grader Kush Sharma was able to hold out over fifth-grader Sophia Hoffman. Both students traveled to New York City to be featured on CNN and Good Morning America after the first day–and 60+ rounds–failed to yield a winner.