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Fire Saturday night at Temple Heights Manor

A fire broke out at about 9 pm Saturday in a sixth floor apartment of Temple Heights Manor, killing one person and sending many others to the hospital for smoke inhalation. 

For more on this Click HERE to read the KSHB 41 coverage. 



April Election Candidates

On April 2nd of 2019 there will be an election for Raytown, Raytown School District, Raytown Fire District and Jackson County water District #2. Filing for these elected positions closed on Jan. 15th.

City of Raytown
10000 E 59th St, Raytown

Alderman Ward I – 4 year term expiring April 2023
Joe Creamer
Josh Bennett
Greg Walters
Quentin J. Brown

Alderman Ward II – 4 year term expiring April 2023
Jim Aziere
Loretha Hayden

Alderman Ward III – 4 year term expiring April 2023
Janet Emerson
Jeremy Utterback
Otis Taylor III

Alderman Ward IV – 4 year term expiring April 2023
Bob Cochran
Mary Jane Van Buskirk

Alderman Ward V – 4 year term expiring April 2023
Derek Ward

City Collector – 2 year term expiring April 2021
Kathie Schutte

Mayor – 4 year term expiring April 2023
Michael McDonough
Tony Jacob

Raytown C2 School District
 6608 Raytown Rd., Raytown

Two positions are open

Bobbie Saulsberry (incubant)
LaShonda Orkes
Rick Thode

Raytown Fire District
6020 Raytown Trafficway, Raytown

Barb Schlapia

Jackson County Water District #2
6945 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown

Sub district 3 Fred Hartwell
Sub district 5 Jimmie McClanahan

Fire at Clark’s Appliances

Clark’s Appliances caught fire Thursday night at around 10 PM. Damages were significant and will result in the business being closed for at least a couple days. There were no injuries.

For more on this click HERE to see the KSHB 41 story on the fire.


What all the fuss is about

What is the core issue in a lot of these recent letters/press releases is that the Fire District is asserting that they are not getting their fair share of tax revenue. Get being loosely defined and both not getting money and being charged too much in some cases. This is about the TIF tax abatement for what can be called the Wal-Mart development. The details are complex, and since I am personally not a lawyer, tax accountant, or knowledgeable in TIFs and the details of the Wal-Mart TIF, I am very hesitant to judge the merits of either sides arguments.

Even the flow of money is complex, in that in some cases instead of not getting money, the Fire District is paying from the taxes it gets back to the city to pay for its share of the TIF. Is the amount correct, should they be liable for all phases of the project, did they agree to some aspects, is their explicate agreement requires? These are all questions that may take a judge to decide in the end.

Somewhere there is a quote about sitting on the fence getting you shot by both sides, but I cannot seem to find it.

Appendum to Raytown Fire District press release

The following support document was attached to the press release from the Raytown Fire District.

Click HERE to read the Districts request for a meeting with Raytown City officials and employees.


Fire District press releasae

from chief

May 5, 2016

Release from the Office of the Fire Chief:

The Raytown Fire Protection District will hold a public informational hearing regarding our concerns with the 350
Live Tax Increment Financing project on June 6th at 7:00 pm. The purpose of this meeting will be to explain the
District’s position on the issue and provide our citizens with facts to substantiate this position.

On April 28th, the Fire District requested that the City of Raytown participate in this hearing (attached document
titled 350 Highway TIF Issues – Raytown Fire Protection District). On April 29th, this invitation was rejected by the
City of Raytown’s Attorney Joe Willerth, who stated “I do not think it is in the public interest for an entire Fire
District Board and the entire Raytown Board of Aldermen to sit down and review extensive detailed financial
records in an open public meeting or attempt to negotiate the resolution of any outstanding pending issues
initially in an open public meeting.”.

Since September of 2015, the Raytown Fire Protection District has made numerous attempts with city officials to
address our concerns with this project. With few exceptions, these attempts have been met with resistance,
incomplete or missing documentation and an overall unwillingness to address our central issues. At the core of
this debate is the belief that the City misled the Fire District in 2007 and has not upheld their side of the 2007
agreement since.

In 2007, the Fire District entered into an agreement with the City to participate along with the other taxing
entities on the 350 Live TIF Project. The Fire District’s participation was based on the City agreeing to comply
with Missouri Statutes and the governing documents of the TIF project. These requirements include:

• The submission of accurate annual financial reports to the State of Missouri
• The production of annual reports describing the progress of the TIF district for public distribution
• Conducting regular public hearings and the passage of resolutions to continue the TIF project
• The captured sales taxes from all jurisdictions were to be used exclusively to fund the public
improvements and other reimbursable project costs that are within public easements and rights-ofway
and will ultimately be owned and maintained by the city or another public entity
• Providing the Fire District with detailed and accurate information to substantiate billing requests

The Fire District has investigated this matter and contends that the City of Raytown has failed to meet the
preceding requirements.

The concerns expressed by Joe Willerth are not without merit. We agree, and are willing to limit participation to
selected representatives from both the City and the Fire District. Given its significant financial implications for
our community, we believe the public deserves to be informed and included in the conversation regarding this
issue. Our invitation to the city remains open and we hope they accept our amended offer to participate in the
June 6th, public hearing.

Thank You,

Matt Mace

Fire Chief

Controversy over Raytown Wall Mart and taxes makes the local TV News

Thanks to local channel 41 for providing the code to link to their segment on this matter.

RaytownOnline met with Chief Mace on this matter and he present documentation supporting his position that was inches thick. We are still waiting for digital copies from the Fire District to analyze, as an hour meeting was not enough given the depth of the material.  I hope to provide links to the material and supporting State documents for reader when it becomes available.


House Fire in area of 70th terrace and Hedges

A house fire in the area of 70th terrace and Hedges Thursday evening has left a local woman hospitalized in critical condition and cost the lives of her pets.

Tragedy Strikes Raytown Sunday morning

An early-morning fire in an apartment building on 60th Street west of Raytown Road took the life of 5-year-old Jeremiah Roberts and left his grandmother Sharon Roberts and his 18-month-old brother Jabin in critical condition. It was reported by his Uncle Grady Lauderdale that Sharon Roberts has suffered burns over 70% of her body.  Jamie’s six-year-old brother Jacob escaped serious injury by crawling out a back door to safety after trying to help his little brothers. His uncle credits Jacob’s fire safety lessons in school with giving him the knowledge needed to survive.

Jeremiah was the son of Jacob and Kindra Roberts. A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the family with expenses. The FBI is sending a fire investigator to help determine the cause of the fire. The Red Cross is providing assistance for the families displaced by the blaze.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses for Jeremiah Roberts, you can click HERE to go to the website.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist the victims of the fire, you can click HERE to go to the website.


60th st fire

Photo courtesy of the Raytown Fire District

fire 2 7 p1


fire 2 7 p2

Fire on Lakeshore Drive

Fire broke out at a home on Lakeshore Drive at about 4:30 pm, just South of 67th Street. The cause is not known at this time.

Photos from roving reporters Joyce Downing and Jennifer Mitchell, taken after they called 911.

lakeshore drive1

lakeshore_drive a




Ross drops out of the Fire Board Race

The election for The Raytown Fire District board seat is now no contest.  Incumbant Willard Ross has decided not to run for re-election. That leaves candidate Richard Tush with a sure win.

Final Cadidates for Raytown Fire District Board

Richard Tush

Willard Ross

Raytown Fire District Filings

Two candidates have filed for the open position on the Fire Board.

Willard Ross (incumbent)

Richard Tush


Fire at Raytown High School

A fire broke out just before 1:00 pm today in a restroom at Raytown Senior High School.  The students were evacuated and the school day ended early.  At present there are conflicting reports on whether it was in one or two restrooms. There are no reports yet of any injuries.

Letter to the Editor

I have lived in Raytown all my life, I worked here as a firefighter/EMT for 20 plus years. I am retired now and I am very upset with what has happened to the fire service and what they are doing to the citizens of this community. We the citizens pay our fire taxes to the county for fire protection for Raytown and yet they are running calls for Kansas City fire.
I ran into some of the guys the other day and found out our firefighters are running calls clear down into the plaza! I was shocked to hear they run calls for KC. all over the metro area, leaving our town unprotected.
So if our guys are in KC and we need a ALS “advance life support” pumper to run a heart attack call we the citizens don’t have it! and now we have to wait for a BLS “basic life support” pumper to come from KC to help our ambulance service.
This is crazy! whose brilliant idea was that? must have come from the fire board because the men aren’t happy about it! also I found out that the board has asked the men to take a 5% pay cut to keep their jobs, ok where has all the money gone too? I guess the fire board has spent it foolishly. Like when they asked us the citizens for more money to remodel the stations and instead of remodeling they knocked them down to build new ones. that is not what they were asking the money for.
Now because of the larger call volume the guys are running for KC fire we the tax payers are paying for more fuel for the trucks and maintenance. KC fire isn’t. so is this the reason the men who don’t get paid that well, had to take a pay cut?
I feel we need to get a new fire board whose interest is in what’s best for the citizens. thank goodness the city still has the ambulance service! we may lose our house from a fire but at least we still have the best ambulance service around.
Dave Wehner

Raytown dog saves family from fire

The family dog alerted his family to a fire just after 2:00 am Sunday morning in the 6700 block of Ralston. The family was able to escape to the roof and then with the help of a neighbor’s ladder made it to safety. unfortunately the family dog was not able to escape the blaze.  The cause of the fire is suspected to be a fireplace in the living room.

From the Raytown Fire District

Family Dog a Hero

Raytown Fire Protection District
Press Release
Family Dog a Hero During Early Morning Raytown Residence Fire
PIO Assigned: Matt Mace, Interim Fire Chief
Follow up Info: Matt Mace 816-875-9746
Date: 1/26/14
Location: 6701 Ralston
Time of the call: 02:16
First Unit on the scene: Raytown Pumper 51
Number of Units: 7
Number of Firefighters: 32
Property Loss/Damage: $165,000
Contents Loss: Unknown
Additional information:
A mother and her 13 year old daughter escaped injury at 2:16 this morning after the family dog awakened them to smoke and fire in their house.  The residents escaped out a second floor window due to the heavy smoke and fire blocking the stairway. A neighbor awoken by their yells for help assisted them off the roof with a ladder before fire units arrived.
Upon arrival crews reported heavy fire and smoke showing and all occupants were out of the structure.  The high winds complicated the extinguishment of the fire and at one point forced firefighters to withdrawal from the house and use aerial apparatus to knock down the fire from the exterior. It is believed that the fire originated around the area of the living room fireplace and spread  throughout to the interior.  The family did have working smoke alarms.
The family dog which alerted them was not able to escape and perished in the fire. 
“The family was extremely lucky. First, their dog woke them, then the neighbor responding so quickly to rescue them from the roof.” Interim Fire Chief Matt Mace
  The American Red Cross assisted the family with housing, food, and counseling information. 
ralston fire

For more on this click HERE to read a Kansas City Star article on the fire.



Raytown South Freshman saves family

Dayvion Cook saved his family and pets from a house fire before going off to school at Raytown South on Monday.  A fire  started in the garage of Dayvion’s family home on East 79th Steet close to Blue Ridge Blvd. at about 1 am.  Dayvion made a quick attempt to put out the fire, but soon realized he needed to abandon the effort and get his family and pets to safety. 

RaytownOnline.com thanks Fox4 for providing the code to embed this video of their report.

The City and the Fire District on the EMS takeover proposal.

Recently the Raytown Fire Protection District submitted a proposal to take over the City of Raytown’s EMS service (ambulance). The City declined the proposal.  Below is the letter Mayor Bower sent to the Fire District and the responding letter from the present Fire Marshal Mace. 

I have also added the Mayor’s response to Fire Marshal Mace’s response. The timing was close enough that it makes sense to add it to this article.

 I have reviewed the proposal, which was well presented and offered by the Fire District, to merge the City’s EMS with the Fire District. And, it is my opinion, like that of the Board of Alderman’s Committee members, the potential advantage to the City (the Citizens) this proposal offers, along with the consequent discussions and correspondence, is not great enough to put into effect the merger.  

On behalf of the BOA, I appreciate the proposal being made and the hard work that went into the preparation of such. Like the Fire District, this Administration, and the City’s EMS, is committed to provide the Citizens of Raytown the best service possible and will continue to do such.  

In the event the Fire District wishes to offer another proposal, at some point in the future, I assure you the proposal will be given the attention warranted.  

Thank you.

Mayor David Bower


Mr. Mayor,

On behalf of the Raytown Fire Protection District I thank you for the time and effort the City has put forth.  While we are confident that the $300,000 of annual projected savings to the citizens of Raytown more than justified further exploration of this merger, we respect and stand by both you and Alderman Melson’s decision.  We are aware that Raytown EMS has been able to find savings during the 2014 budget process and I applaud their efforts for doing so.  The fact of the matter is sir, unless you can operate your department with six fewer employees, the fire district’s proposal will always be $300,000.00  cheaper.  It is a simple mathematical equation; each employee has an average total cost of employment of $50,000 and $50,000 X 6 employees = $300,000. If you combine this number with the recent reductions Director Jonesi has implemented we believe the actual reduction to the taxpayers of Raytown to be close to half a million dollars a year. For the Fire District this proposal was a zero sum gain to our budget, meaning we only planned to bill the city for our actual audited costs. So this would have been truly a net gain for our community.

Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying ” Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  While the Raytown Fire Protection District’s door will always remain open to further discussion, we do not see a value in pursuing a new Raytown Fire proposal. It is apparent the submitted proposal was lacking items the City of Raytown was obviously expecting, if the City wishes to explore this at a future date we believe the City of Raytown should develop the proposal to include the items we were lacking and submit it to the Fire District for review.

Matt Mace
Fire Marshal
Raytown Fire Protection District


It is not my desire to continue to debate the merits of the proposed merger through the media, as has been occurring, nor do I wish to make this decision a ‘political’ event.  We had a respectable conversation, you and I and Mike Hunley, and I explained to you that I would review the financial side of things myself and respond to you when I had completed such.  This review has been completed, and I agree with the ‘Committee’ on their decision. 

You quoted Albert Einstein as saying ” Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  This Administration has diligently worked to ‘streamline’ the city government, to make decisions based upon good business reasoning, and not what is perhaps politically desired and many changes have occurred for the betterment of the citizens.  We have reduced the City’s Budget, without a reduction of staff in any of our departments to make the budget work, and we have improved the services provided our citizens by making good sound logical decisions.  Further, the ‘business practice’ the EMS has undertaken, under the watchful eye of the City Administer, and the Board of Alderman, has in fact changed and for the betterment of the citizens of Raytown.  We have the same practice in mind as does the Fire District, provide the citizens of Raytown with the service they deserve, as efficiently as possible, and do so by making sound business decisions.

Finally, I again express my appreciation for the proposal.  It was well prepared and presented, but after talking with the Committee Chairman, the Committee members, the Senior Staff, and through my own analysis, it did not make good business sense for the City. 

Thank you.

Mayor David W. Bower

Mawhirter to retire as Fire Chief


On August 27, 2013 Fire Chief Rick Mawhirter announced his intent to retire effective December 31, 2013. The Board of Directors of the Raytown Fire Protection District is proud to announce that Fire Marshal, Matt Mace EMT-P, has been selected as the Interim Fire Chief for the Raytown Fire Protection District effective January 1, 2014. This will give Chief Mace the opportunity to work daily, one on one, with Chief Mawhirter until his retirement.

Mace became a paramedic in 1995 and started working for Raytown EMS in 1996. He came to the District as a Firefighter/Paramedic in 1999 and became the Fire Marshal in 2007. His experience working with City Hall, the Raytown Chamber, the Water Districts, local businesses and our citizens should prove to be beneficial to him in his new position. He has demonstrated the ability to go above and beyond what is asked of him and is always willing to do whatever he can to better the Department.

Mace, his wife Rachelle and their two children are proud to be residents of Raytown and have been very involved in the community.

The Board of Directors looks forward to a smooth transition after Chief Mawhirter’s retirement and is confident that Chief Mace will provide just that.

Raytown Fire District response to the letter of declination.



Contact Matt Mace
Telephone 816-737-6034
Email mattm@raytownfire.com
Website Raytownfire.blogspot.com

October 16, 2013



During the meeting of the Raytown city council on October 15th, 2013, Alderman Charlotte Melson spoke
on behalf of the City’s EMS merger discussion committee. She stated that the EMS/Fire merger discussion
committee has decided that the merger is not advantageous to the city at this time and they will not be
moving forward.

The Fire District continues to believe that fire based EMS in our community would provide better value to
our citizens and improve service delivery. The Fire District presented a detailed proposal in May of 2013 to
substantiate this assertion. This proposal was developed with the cooperation of the City of Raytown, who
provided audited financial information. That information was utilized to develop the consolidation
proposal. In July of 2013, the city’s Fire/EMS merger discussion committee held their only public meeting
to discuss the proposal. At that meeting, officials from the Fire District were discouraged from participating
in the discussion regarding the proposal. In fact, city officials have avoided any discussion with the Fire
District regarding the details of the proposal.

Fire Board President Robert Palmer issued the following statement:

The Fire District was shocked and disappointed by Alderman Melson’s announcement at the council
meeting on Tuesday. We were given no notice that the statement was forthcoming and were provided
with a brief letter from Alderman Melson immediately after the meeting. The letter, which follows this
release, contains no explanation for the decision. The Fire Board is unsure of Alderman Melson’s motive,
be we are hopeful that Mayor Bower and the other aldermen will intervene and bring this issue in front of
the full board for a vote. Our citizens deserve the opportunity to have an issue of this importance discussed
in a public venue. We remain interested in cooperating with the city to improve the value and efficiency of
emergency service delivery in our community. Our door is, and will remain open when the city is ready to
have a substantive discussion regarding this issue.

For reference, the letter to the Fire District from Alderman Melson and the proposal from the Fire District
which was presented to the City of Raytown in May of 2013 are attached after this statement.

City declines merger of EMS and Fire District


PHONE: 816-737-6000
FAX: 816-737-6097



October 15, 2013

Barb Schlapia
Bob Palmer
Willard Ross
Raytown Fire Protection District
6020 Raytown Trafficway
Raytown MO  64133

Dear Barb,

On behalf of the EMS/FIRE Merger Discussion Committee, I would like to notify you that the committee has decided that the proposed EMS/FIRE merger is not advantageous to the City of Raytown and its citizens at this time.

I want to thank the Raytown Fire Protection District for their work on the EMS/FIRE merger proposal and the opportunity to discuss this issue in 2013.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.


Charlotte Melson
Alderman, Ward III
Chair-EMS/FIRE Merger Discussion Committee


Raytown Firefighters climg 110 floors for charity

On September 8, 2013 eight members of the Raytown Fire Protection District along with 336 other firefighters from the KC metro area climbed 110 floors of stairs in honor of the 343 who perished in the World Trade Center Collapse. The climb was held at the AT&T Town Pavilion building located at 1111 Main street in Kansas City, MO. This event was held as a benefit for the SAFE Endowment Fund, this fund provides financial support for the surviving spouses and dependents of sworn law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency services personnel who lose their life in the performance of their dutie


 Pictured from left to right : Darren Summers, Tyler Turner, David Andrews, Nathan Davis, Andrew Phelps, Sarah Richardson, Phillip Giegerich, and Josh Hargis.

Gas leak shuts down 63rd Street for 2 hours

63rd Street was closed from Raytown Road/Trafficway to just East of Elm today from about noon till 2:00 am.  The subcontractor installing Google Fiber on the South side of 63rd Street cut a 4 inch gas line.  A 4 inch gas line can carry 100 to 150 times the natural gas of the 1/2 inch line that was cut about a week ago North of Sonic on Raytown Road, making this a serious danger to the community. 



close up

the pipe

helpful mge

Board of Aldermen committee meeting to discuss EMS proposal

The Raytown Board of Aldermen committee consisting of Charlotte Melson, Steve Mock, Jason Greene and Michael Lightfoot meet to publicly discuss a proposal by the Raytown Fire District to take over the City of Raytown’s Emergency Medical Service.  

KCMO Fire Chief’s response to a RaytownOnline.com inquiry

Raytown Fire District is now using Kansas City Fire Department dispatching service.  There is a proposal by the Raytown Fire District to take over Raytown’s EMS (ambulance) service.  Readers have expressed concerns that if Raytown’s EMS service is combined, it also be automatic-assistance and result in a lower quality of service for Raytown residents. RaytownOnline.com ask three questions about the level of service KCMO Fire Department is now providing. What follows is the response to those questions.

I am in receipt of your email requesting information regarding ALS ambulances. In response to your questions;

1.  What percentage of ambulance responses are ALS and what are BLS?

 Because ALS/BLS responses are determined by the care provided and not by the original determinant designated by Emergency Medical – Dispatch, (EM-D), which is the system triage protocol, to answer to this question it is necessary to review patient care reports and tally the type of care provided which will require resources and staff time. However, the following information may suffice. Yesterday was a typical day. We ran 225 EMS calls for service. 68 of those calls were determined to be “Life-Threatening” calls, 157 were determined to be “Non-Life-Threatening”. KCFD responded to 100% of those 225 calls with an ALS ambulance.

2.What percentage of ambulances are staff with at least 1 EMT-P personnel?

 100% of KCFD ambulances are staffed with at least 1 EMT-P 

3. What are the personnel training levels numbers for EMT-B, EMT-P, EMT-I (85 & 95)

 100% of KCFD line personnel are trained to the EMT-B level. The number is approximately 1100 EMT-Bs
The number of KCFD personnel trained to the EMT-Ps level is approximately 170.
The number of a-EMT (EMT-I) is approximately 15. (This is a pilot in the very early stages.)

Paul Berardi
Fire Chief
635 Woodland Avenue, Suite 2100
Kansas City, MO  64106