This section is the first of three which will appear in Focus on Oak Grove leading up to the general election on Tuesday, November 4. This week's section includes a profile of Will Kraus, who runs unopposed for re-election to the State Senate, as well as information about the four constitutional amendments to appear on the ballot.
Involvement opportunity attracts Kraus to Senate
Will Kraus is running unopposed for the District 8 seat in the Missouri Senate, which includes all of the Jackson County portion of Oak Grove as well as Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Buckner, Levasy and Sibley.
Kraus is completing his first term in the Senate after serving six years in the Missouri House.
Kraus lives in Lee's Summit with his wife of 22 years, Carmen. They have two sons, a 21-year old in the Army reserve and a 16-year-old attending Summit Christian Academy.
Kraus joined the Army after completing high school and saw two and a half years of active duty. He attended the University of Central Missouri and graduated summa cum laude in 1997 before attending flight school. He flew a Chinook H-47 for the Army for 16 years and served in Iraq for 13 months in 2003 and 2004.
He worked as a project manager for Sprint for five years before running for the Missouri House of Representatives.
Kraus is on the Hope Network board, which is a charity for low-income families based out of the First Baptist Church of Raytown. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Four amendments appear on ballot
Known as amendments two, three, six and ten, there are four amendments to the Missouri Constitution on the November 4 ballot.
The current Missouri Constitution was adopted in 1945 and has been amended more than 60 times.
Amendments are introduced through either the General Assembly or initiative petitions signed by residents of the state.
Ballots include the official title of the amendment and "fair ballot language," which is required to be an unbiased account of the contents and implications of the bill.
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that it will be permissible to allow relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age?
If more resources are needed to defend increased prosecutions additional costs to governmental entities could be at least $1.4 million annually, otherwise the fiscal impact is expected to be limited. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
Going back to Oak Grove... With the big win over Grain Valley Friday night, Oak Grove will take The Four Mile Trophy back to the trophy case for the fourth straight year. Related story on page 1B of print edition.
Home run history... Derek Bell, Grain Valley, caught a home run ball hit by Eric Hosmer in the third inning of the final game with the Los Angeles Angels. Royals won the game to sweep the American League Division Series to advance to the playoffs. Bell accompanied his brother-in-law, Richie Vaughn, after his sister, Christina, offered him a ticket when a job responsibility kept her from attending. Bell caught the ball, which was hit 427 feet, with both hands, while his sister claimed she would have needed only one. Bell has not been contacted by the Royals, but said he would gladly give it to Hosmer if he wanted it. Son of Tom and Shirley Bell, Oak Grove, he is a 1997 graduate of OGHS and played September 20 for the Panthers in the Oak Grove-Odessa alumni football game.