The Walmart in Roeland Park has been at the location for 20 years.By Holly CookRoeland Park City councilors were briefed Monday on the $500,000 improvement planned for the city’s Walmart located at 5150 Roe Ave. Replacing signs with updated Walmart logos, interior and exterior painting and remodeling the pharmacy are among the planned upgrades.The store will also update the garden center fencing and add a small bank counter. The store’s photo lab will be removed. “It’s bringing up the feel of the property…..to a standard appearance for the current Walmarts,” said city administrator Keith Moody. Moody said he expected the improvement requests could be approved by city staff and would not need to go through the city’s planning commission. Roeland Park was preparing for the 5150 Roe Ave. Walmart to close following plans for a much larger Walmart to move into the Mission Gateway. After Walmart dropped out of the Mission Gateway plan in October, the store decided to reinvest in its Roeland Park location. The renovation plans do not include any significant exterior modifications or improvements to landscaping, sidewalks or the parking lot. Moody said if Walmart commits to staying at the location these types of improvements could be eligible for reimbursement through the Community Improvement District fund. Walmart’s lease on the property is set to expire November 2021. Councilor Ryan Kellerman suggested having a Walmart representative meet with councilors to discuss future plans for the store. Moody said he had been in touch with the area’s Walmart representative but that the individual was “not really interested in having their plans discussed publicly.” Moody said the representative would not commit to meeting with the council or the economic development ad hoc committee. “He has indicated that at this point they don’t anticipate doing more than what has been applied for in this building permit for the next five years,” Moody said. Councilor Becky Fast asked if the city could encourage the Walmart landowner to improve the parking lot. “I understand Walmart is only going to do remodeling inside but it’s time for the owner to make some repairs to that parking lot and the aesthetics and to make it more warm and friendly,” Fast said. Fast noted the landowner had done “very little” over the past ten years. Michael Poppa agreed with Fast’s comments and said he would like the landowner to meet with council members. “There is a lot of room for improvement on that site,” he said.
EUROPE: Representatives from seven major rail freight operators signed an agreement in Zürich on February 18 to establish a new alliance for the operation of international wagonload traffic. The agreement was signed by the chief executives from CD Cargo, CFL Cargo, DB Schenker Rail, Green Cargo, Rail Cargo Austria, SBB Cargo and SNCB Logistics.The Xrail alliance is intended to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of wagonload operations, which currently account for almost half of all rail freight in Europe. The partners believe that making wagonload ‘more customer friendly’ will help ‘to take traffic off the roads and protect the environment’.‘Close co-operation on production and information processes can help us unlock significant potential in efficiency and quality’, said Xrail Project Leader Günther Ferk. Focusing on cross-border operating standards is intended to achieve reliability rates of around 90%. Active information systems are intended to provide ‘transparency’ so that shippers can access timetables from origin to destination and track the movement of their consignments. And the partners have committed to taking no more than three days to provide an offer when asked to quote for a wagonload movement.The creation of Xrail follows the successful completion of a pilot programme launched in 2007 under the leadership of the International Union of Railways. During this phase, the partners have been developing international production standards, and IT tools, as well as quality improvement measures. ‘The alliance is laying the foundation for a sustainable wagonload network throughout Europe’, said UIC Freight Director Oliver Sellnick.The Xrail network will initially connect the main economic areas in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden and Switzerland, largely using the TEN-T corridors. The alloance intends to expand in stages, with a long-term goal that it should eventually cover the entire European wagonload network.Wagonload traffic in most countries has been loss-making in recent years, but the partners recognise that around 90% of the costs are fixed. Therefore they intend to ‘take every opportunity’ to attract additional traffic, in order to spread the fixed costs over a wider base, and ‘make optimum use of their respective networks’. Xrail is intended to focus on the operation and management of wagonload services, leaving commercial aspects such as customer liaison and pricing, as the direct responsibility of the participating railways, who will continue to compete with each other. However, all of the partners have committed to meeting common standards for quality and service.
Born Gregory Bailey in the twin-island state of Antigua & Barbuda the reggae artist has had a stellar musical career spanning more than 30 years with highlights such as recently touring with the reggae giants Third World. Causion is asking fans and supporters to download the song. Proceeds from its sale will go towards assisting with his medical expenses. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be in this position,” said Bailey. “I think my current situation is a wake-up call for other artists. I’m hoping that by going public, my situation will encourage other artists to get regular checkups. In our business, we spend a lot of time focusing on the art form and not ourselves.” The stage 3 diagnosis means the cancer is locally advanced and treatable with urgent and immediate care. Causion, who is based in the United States, currently has four albums. He has headlined concerts to benefit the less fortunate and, ironically, has participated in concerts to raise funds for cancer. He lost both his parents to cancer. Antigua & Barbuda’s Reggae Ambassador Causion has been diagnosed with Stage-3 colon cancer. The diagnosis came seven days after he was rushed to emergency surgery on November 19 in Palm Beach, Florida. “I can’t express what I was feeling at the time,” said Causion, “Perhaps you can say it was disbelief.” To support Causion’s treatment and recovery visit thankyoumission.com and download his latest song “Give Thanks.” The singer is reaching out to his friends, fans, and colleagues for financial assistance as he begins his long road to treatment and recovery. Cautious is also a songwriter and throughout his career has used his lyrics to uplift and educate others. This time is no different. His latest single entitled “Give Thanks” is his way of saying thank you to his fans and to express gratitude for his life and his career.