Pardon me if my thoughts are a bit disjointed this week, but juggling work schedules and a toddler with hand, foot and mouth disease has left me a bit scattered.
So with that in mind, let’s hit a few different topics briefly because I’m not capable of holding one thought together for 600 words this week. There’s no real connection here but we will hit on high school wrestling, drugs on the interstate and bridge proposals.
We are going to be all over the place.
By the time most of you read this, I will be in Columbia, Mo. ready to cover the Missouri State Wrestling Championships at Mizzou Arena. The Platte County Citizen will be your most complete source of coverage for 28 student-athletes from Platte County schools competing.
I’ll be using Twitter and our website to provide updates in addition to full coverage next week.
There’s no doubt that I have a bias toward wrestling coverage. I enjoy the sport and have been deeply involved in providing it with an outlet throughout my newspaper career.
But let’s make no mistake here: we are watching some really historic stuff, and there’s been plenty of interest shown in the coverage.
While Park Hill might be set up to win an unnumbered amount of Class 4 state titles in a row, Platte County’s senior class built for this moment and the chance to compete with Neosho for a Class 3 state title. This would be another first for the Pirates, their eighth title overall but first since moving up this far in terms of enrollment.
I have no doubt Platte County will continue to be a competitive program on the state level, just as it has been for more than three decades, but we might not see this level of talent together ever again.
Park Hill and Platte County have three wrestlers ranked in the top 20 for their respective weight class, according to InterMat Wrestling. Both have a spot in the top 50 team rankings.
There’s a chance both win state team titles, just as they did in 2005, 2006 and 2010. All of those were with Platte County still in Class 2.
There’s a chance that local athletes combine to win up to 10 individual state titles this year.
That number’s likely a bit high, and everything would have to play out correctly but still. There’s going to be a lot of finalists at Mizzou Arena this weekend and a bunch of medals coming home.
We’re looking forward to providing the most inclusive coverage of local schools for this. Read more about the district wrapup from over the weekend in Sports Weekly on pages 7-12.
On the front page this week, we documented another large drug bust in a car traveling Platte County roads.
I’m still unsure of exactly how to weigh this problem, which has seemingly become more frequent in recent months. Many of these cases involve out-of-state individuals, mostly in rental cars, traveling the interstates with large amounts of marijuana — like 50 pounds or more in most cases.
I know Platte County isn’t the only place this happens in Missouri, but it also seems troubling that they are stopping and catching more people transporting narcotics.
Likely, Missouri isn’t the final destination for these drugs, but in some cases, it could be. I don’t know whether authorities have upped their awareness for these crimes or if some larger trend exists that leads law enforcement to make more stops.
Likely, Missouri and its interstates have a long history with contraband transportation. I guess actually seeing the arrests and the amount of drugs seized makes it more troublesome to process.
We’ve talked about the Centennial Bridge study at length in this paper, and there’s another update coming.
The Kansas Department of Transportation has open houses planned for Tuesday, Feb. 23 (Platte County Community Center North in Platte City) and Wednesday, Feb. 24 (Riverview Community Center in Leavenworth, Kan.). I’ve found these past sessions very informative, and I’d urge anyone who uses the bridge connecting Platte County to Kansas to take a look.
There’s a lot of options out there, but the decision is coming. This could include the new intersections on either side, modes of transportation supported and even the possibility of tolling.
Even if you don’t have an opinion, if you use the bridge, the information is very helpful on what could be coming if the funding is ever figured out.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.