Pleasant Hill's own, Seargeant Todd Burris, had a goal to ride the trail from Pleasant Hill to St. Louis. A video of him ringing the bell that signaled the completion of his trip was sent to the Time by his mother along with a picture of Burris on his bike. He completed the trek last Sunday.
Do you remember in 2012 the eagle that swooped down from the sky to snatch a Montreal baby in the park, flew off, and dropped the baby several feet away? That buffoonery was actually 3 students taking 3D animation that came up with the idea, knowing babies and animals make popular videos. Their teacher wanted something to get 100,000 YouTube views. The students got more than 5,000,000 views.
Severe thunderstorms can be life-threatening, but not all severe storms are the same. Hazardous conditions range from tornadoes, large hail storms, and widespread straight-line winds called derechoes, to cloud-to-ground lightning and flash flooding. Starting August 2, the National Weather Service will better convey the severity and potential impacts from thunderstorm winds and hail by adding a “damage threat” tag to Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, similar to our Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings.
What do a brewery, a bike store, and the City of Raytown have to celebrate together? The opening of Phase 2 of the Rock Island Trail. The Crane Brewing Company held an event on July 10 to celebrate this milestone. The Rock Island Trail is a trail for bikers and hikers. Phase 2 completes a 13 1/2 mile stretch from Jefferson Street in Lees Summit to Brickyard Road in Kansas City,
By: Derby Organizer
Normally when someone in Pleasant Hill talks about being "under the Friday Night Lights" they are talking about the high school football team playing at Eklund Field. This last Friday night, this town came together in a way that only it can coming out to support #DeanosFight at the Sports Complex to hit a Home Run against Osteosarcoma and Child Hood Cancer. A platform was set for this to be a fun event for family and friends to show the Grahams how much they are loved and give a visible sign of support, all while having a little fun.
The town of Pleasant Hill took this platform and really put on a show. There were over 100 participants who came out to take a swing for the fences. An estimated 500 people came out to the event either to participate, volunteer, donate or just spectate the event. The Derby was able to raise over $20,000 in this one night and the donations just keep coming into the Community Bank of Pleasant Hill, even as this article is being read. This outpouring of support will hopefully help to let Dean enjoy being a kid, as this has all made him turn too adult too soon.
The Grahams cannot fully express their thanks to this community as Katrina (Dean's mother) stated, "Two simple little words of 'Thank You' cannot do justice to show how much we are humbled and appreciate all that this town has done." It gave them a chance to reconnect with old teammates, family, friends, even teams that Dean has played against in the past to show just how wide this community can reach. We cannot express enough thanks to all those that contributed, in any way, as this showing of love reached so many in such a short time.
Even while the Grahams are going through the worst storm imaginable, having this rock them to their core, they still are thinking of others. While the Derby was still underway, they said that they would like to do this event yearly as there is always a family in need and they would love to be a part of helping pass this love forward. It is also just an outstanding way for this community to put any and all differences aside and come together for a good cause. One kid even asked, "When will the next town party be?"
It’s nearly time for the sky to be alight with sparks of colored light, dazzling pyrotechnic spectacles that announce to the world that we are proud to be American’s. We will gather with friends and family to eat, drink and celebrate in the way that only true blue Americans do--with gusto and unrelenting excitement.
For some, the celebrations of others can come with a cost. Those that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (abbreviated PTSD) and other significant mental health conditions can find the festivities in their community to be enough to trigger a serious episode that can have effects long after the last sparkler is lit.
A common misconception is that PTSD only affects those that have battlefield experience. The truth is PTSD can be caused by a number of traumas to both military veterans and civilians. The National Center for PTSD and the US Department of Veteran's Affairs notes that victims of gun or physical violence including domestic violence and childhood abuse can have lasting psychological effects including post-traumatic stress disorder. Individuals that have survived car accidents and natural disasters, along with refugees and first responders can all suffer from witnessing a trauma or dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event.
With nearly half the population experiencing trauma, it is important to note that of those, up to 10% of those individuals will suffer from PTSD. That adds up to nearly 8 million Americans that suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder each year.
To better understand their plight, it is important to understand what exactly PTSD is. An editorial written by Arash Javanbakht, a professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State University, explains that a core component of PTSD is a hyper sense of arousal. Better explained, it is a state where a person is hyper-alert to any sign of an oncoming threat. This can include being on edge, easily startled, and constantly scanning their environment. “Imagine, for instance, stepping down the stairs in the dark after hearing a noise; you worried an intruder might be downstairs. Then a totally unpredictable loud sound explodes right outside your window." he writes.
For some people that suffer from PTSD, that loud and unexpected sound can cause a panic attack or trigger flashbacks--a sensory experience that makes it seem like they are again experiencing their old trauma. The effect can be so severe that individuals have been known to drop to the ground or go into an instinctual fight-or-flight mode where they can confuse the concern and help of others as a threat as they try to escape the sensory overload. Later, the experience can trigger nightmares, insomnia, and other worsening PTSD symptoms that can last for hours, days, even weeks.
The question is how do we celebrate the independence of our great nation without causing potential harm to our neighbors?
According to an article shared by the United States Marine Corps Community Services, in 2015 a man by the name of Kevin Rhoads, a marine veteran with PTSD put a sign in his yard saying: “Combat Veteran lives here. Please be courteous with fireworks." His goal was not to stop the fun or the fireworks but to have a conversation and give him and others the time they need to prepare themselves for the night’s celebrations.
Many of those that suffer from PTSD are able to mentally prepare themselves for planned events like the Fourth of July. They employ healthy coping mechanisms like the use of earplugs or headphones that can help reduce sensory overload. They can prepare a safety plan that puts them in connection with people that can help support them through an episode if needed. If their response is severe enough some even plan day trips away from areas that are ripe with the triggering blasts.
Understanding their needs and being compassionate is one of the most encouraging things we in the community can offer our neighbors that struggle with PTSD. If you are aware of a neighbor or person in your community that is at risk of a PTSD event triggered by fireworks, consider moving your celebration to another location away from their home or “safe space.” You can also consider using different kinds of fireworks, for example, substituting fountains or smoke bombs for firecrackers. Finally, the best thing anyone can do is to make sure that you set off your fireworks at predictable times. Knowing that sudden loud noises are expected during certain times on certain days can help those with PTSD plan ahead and the festivities can be enjoyed by everyone.
If you or someone you know is suffering and needs help this Independence Day, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs offers an app called PTSD Coach which can offer help and suggestions. You can also contact the National Center for PTSD Crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 or dial 9-1-1 for emergency response.