MOXI Junction set to open thanks to Kickstarter campaign

UPDATED — Kickstarter did just what Joanna Kilgore needed it to do. The campaign raised more than $22,000 to help put in a kitchen for MOXI Junction, a new coffeehouse coming to Maize.

“It was awesome,” Kilgore says.

The house at Park and Academy that is now home to MOXI Junction.

The house at Park and Academy that is now home to MOXI Junction.

It worked so well, she says, “Oh, we’re opening Monday.”

In October, Have You Heard? reported that Kilgore and some Maize-area friends, including two other mothers of special-needs children, are opening the business as a place for their kids to work. The coffeehouse also will have a bakery and art gallery.

MOXI, which stands for Mothers of Exceptional Individuals, will be at the northwest corner of Park and Academy in Maize.

Kilgore had said she was close to opening when she learned she wouldn’t have all the money she needed from the farm bank she was working with.

She credits Facebook and an e-mail campaign for helping reach the Kickstarter goal. She says her “uber goal” was to raise $60,000, but the $22,000 and some change was enough to get going.

Kilgore says she already had her kitchen on order.

“I had to do this little bridge thing using my retirement account,” she says. “It wasn’t pretty. That’s not what you want to do.”

The kitchen is now in thanks to what Kilgore calls a determined group of people “working sunup to sundown.”

Initially, MOXI will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays. After school starts, it will be 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Eventually, Kilgore hopes to add Saturday service.

 

Citizens Bank of Kansas is drawn into political dispute via Facebook

WICHITA — A political dispute became a business one for Citizens Bank of Kansas on Monday.

Bank chairman Jane Deterding filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission late last month over Kansans for Responsible Government, Wink Hartman Sr.’s super PAC.

“I just did it individually,” Deterding says. “No covert operation here.”

Nor was there a connection to her family’s bank, she says.

However, State Sen. Michael O’Donnell has found one, and on Monday he used Facebook to share it.

“Ms. Deterding at the Citizens Bank of Kansas filed just completely baseless and false charges against me and Wink Hartman regarding involvement with the Tiahrt campaign,” says O’Donnell, whose Facebook profile picture is of himself with former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole.

“I got into politics with Bob Dole, and he taught us to play hard but play fair,” says Deterding, who worked for Dole from 1983 to 1987. “That’s not what’s happening in the Tiahrt campaign.”

Deterding, a friend and supporter of U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, says she believes that Hartman is inappropriately funneling money to the campaign of former U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, Pompeo’s opponent in the current 4th District House primary race. She says she believes that O’Donnell, Hartman’s marketing director, is serving as a go-between.

O’Donnell conducted a “poll” related to Deterding.

“Facebook poll: Who banks with Citizens Bank of Kansas? I’ve never come across such unethical leadership in my life,” O’Donnell wrote.

Read More »

MGM Studio of the Dance to move to Central and Woodlawn area

WICHITA — After more than a quarter century at Douglas and Hillside, MGM Studio of the Dance is moving.

New owner Christy Lee has signed a deal for 4,000 square feet at Plaza Del Sol at 435 N. Woodlawn near Central and Woodlawn.

“We really, really wanted to stay centrally located,” Lee says.

She says a lot of her students come from the College Hill area but some come from surrounding communities as well.

Lee has worked the desk at MGM for the last five years. She purchased the business this month. Former owner Mary Mayta died in February.

“Miss Mary has quite the history,” Lee says. “She was quite the icon. Quite the staple here in Wichita.”

Lee’s daughter, 13-year-old Tori Holt, has danced at MGM since she was 5. She is Lee’s inspiration for buying the business.

“I live vicariously through my daughter,” Lee says. “When I was younger, I wanted to be a ‘Solid Gold‘ dancer. That was my dream. Always wanted to be on Broadway.”

Lee is a hairdresser and massage therapist. The two spaces she’s moving into were formerly home to a salon and massage therapy group.

“It was like a sign went off,” she says. “It was like, ‘Ding, ding, ding, ding. Here it is.’”

Jeff Greenberg of CMG Properties handled the deal.

Lee says her goal had been to be in the new space by the middle of August when fall classes start, but the transition with the business has taken longer than she planned. Now she hopes to move by September.

MGM is in two studios now.

Studio 1, which is where MGM started, is on same side of Douglas as the Crown Uptown Theatre.

Then, 15 years ago, Mayta opened a second studio across from Crown Uptown.

“Studio 1 is old and kind of run down,” Lee says. “It’s a great location, but it needs a lot of work.”

That studio will close by the end of June.

Lee has already made some other changes.

MGM offers all kinds of dance classes, such as tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop and tumbling for all ages. Lee has added themed dance camps. For instance, she had a princess dance camp “that was a huge success.”

Lee also has a parents night out on some Saturdays so parents can drop off their kids and have a few hours to themselves.

She’s also created a website along with Facebook and Instagram accounts, which Mayta never had.

“When she passed, she was 81,” Lee says. “She kept everything kind of old school.”

Though Lee is carrying on a tradition and adding her own touches to it, she says it’s a position she did not expect to be in.

“I’ve always wanted to own my own business. Never dreamed it would be a dance studio.”

Read More »

Kansas Aviation Museum to try to capitalize on unexplained activity at the museum

kamWICHITA — As executive director of the Kansas Aviation Museum, Lon Smith often works late – and alone – at the 1934 building, which was Wichita’s first airport terminal.

One night at about 1 a.m., he says, “I heard a loud, loud screaming sound. Sounded like a female voice more than a male.”

He walked in the direction of the sound to the darkened atrium, which once was a waiting area for passengers. He turned on the lights and started to investigate.

“When things like that happen, I tend to look for explanations, like there’s wind blowing through a window jamb or something like that,” Smith says. “It wasn’t anything like that.”

So Smith says he returned to work.

“All of a sudden, there it was again,” he says. “It was really like a blood-curdling, chills-up-your-back, somebody’s-getting-hurt kind of sound. Like if it had been a real person, I would have thought I need to go save this person from some kind of untimely demise.”

Instead, he left the building.

“I hate to admit it, but I was a little frightened.”

After six years of working there and experiencing about 25 unexplained incidents such as this, Smith has decided to start sharing his experiences.

“For quite a long time, I did not share anything about these incidents because it was my belief that some people might be worried about visiting the museum,” he says.

Smith says he’s changed his mind on the counsel of a trusted adviser.

Read More »

Haysville has its defenders just like Gridiron

WICHITA — Have You Heard? shared some of the Facebook comments poking fun at Haysville residents who don’t want to be poked fun of anymore at Gridiron, so it’s only fair to share some comments in support of Haysville, too.

Wichita resident Vaughn Fox said via e-mail that he plans to boycott Gridiron if Haysville jokes continue, and he says he’ll support Haysville monetarily in its effort to fight being ridiculed.

Derby resident Bob Cropp says he can’t help but notice the similarities between the Haysville situation and all the PR people’s complaints about PR News making fun of the Shockers.

“I think a common thread to all that is bullying,” Cropp says.

When there’s teasing of any sort, he says, it says a lot in how a person or group responds when someone says a comment hurts.

“A defensive posture means you weren’t kidding,” he says. “That’s bullying. That’s what this is all about.”

Read More »

Haysville leaders and residents are weary of being ‘portrayed as illiterate bumpkins’

The Gridiron cast usually makes Haysville jokes as an aside, not a full skit. Still, the city is not amused by them.

The Gridiron cast usually makes Haysville jokes as an aside, not a full skit. Still, the city is not amused by them.

UPDATED — The joke’s on them, and Haysville leaders and residents are not amused.

“We request that you remove all jokes about Haysville and other area communities from Gridiron,” said Haysville Mayor Bruce Armstrong in a Thursday e-mail to several people involved with the show.

Gridiron is an annual satirical production put on by the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to spoof the news and raise scholarship money for journalism students.

Armstrong said “compromising the well being of the citizens and businesses of Haysville with snide, hurtful and untrue remarks is not an acceptable means to securing the funds for those scholarships.”

Armstrong’s wife, Susan Armstrong of Armstrong Chamberlin Strategic Marketing, also wrote to “respectfully request that you reconsider any skits that portray an entire city–any city–as ignorant or toothless, or cheap. It’s the equivalent of bullying, and it shouldn’t be done.”

She said that “Haysville is growing weary of having our whole community portrayed as illiterate bumpkins. We are working hard to improve the awareness of all the wonderful qualities our city has to offer. Every time you mention Haysville at Gridiron, you hurt our efforts.”

John Burke, superintendent of schools for Haysville USD 261, wrote, “I find this counterproductive to our image campaign and am respectively requesting that you stop making fun of Haysville as part of your production.”

One resident wrote to invite those involved with Gridiron to visit Haysville for a tour – along with coming up with new material and giving Haysville a break.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton, who regularly attends Gridiron and spars with the cast, says enough probably is enough.

“Well, I’ve always been a very, very good sport with the sarcasm, the innuendo, the poking and everything,” he says. Norton says, though, the joke is wearing thin.

Read More »

You don’t say

“Too much #Shocker Spirit? Guilty!”

– A Facebook post from Subaru of Wichita, which has changed its response to a union “shame on” sign by putting up a new sign saying, “For excessive Shocker spirit”

You don’t say

“In an unrelated note, Gary Parrish today announced his candidacy for mayor of the city of Wichita.”

– Attorney Lyndon Vix’s Facebook post about the CBSSports.com commentator having WSU beat Creighton in the Final Four and then KU for the championship

You don’t say

“My business serves everyone. Except most Kansas legislators. Them, I reserve the right to spank and send home early.”

– A Facebook post by Pixel Time owner Skyler Lovelace, referencing three controversial (and failed) bills

You don’t say

“… at first I wanted to go tour it, but now I kinda just want to go live there.”

– A Facebook post from Delano Neighborhood Association president Karen Cravens, who was researching urban grocery co-ops and discovered Old North St. Louis, which she says is more than a decade ahead of Delano on revitalization