The Harbinger Online

News Briefs Issue 12


Spring sport tryouts started Feb. 27 and tryouts bring a new face in the athletic department after Ermanno Ritschl, East’s boys golf coach, retired. Evan Scobie will be coaching boys golf as a new springs sports coach.

Previously, Scobie taught at Pembroke Hill School and is now teaching golf for a living at Kansas City Country Club. He is also competing in the midwest section of the Professional Golf Association, making him well-equipped with teaching skills and experience in boys golf.

Although a challenge for Scobie will be getting to know new faces and personalities, he said he’s looking forward to building relationships with the players and families this season, as well as being part of a team that has a reputation of a lot of success, having won state golf last year.

“It’s hard not to be excited about a team that’s such a good team,” Scobie said.

When they’re not competing, Scobie wants the golfers to serve as cheerleaders for their teammates. He also expresses how bringing the students confidence in this sport is crucial. Scobie is thrilled to be teaching a larger group of boys.

“I’m very excited [to be a lancer],” said Scobie. “Now that I’m at a bigger school [this is] where I want to be. [I want to be] around a competitive environment so I’m very excited.”


During his annual State of the City address on Feb. 22, Mayor Carl Gerlach of Overland Park shared his plan for neighborhood stabilization and public safety proposal.

Gerlach argued that “quality of place” was critical for keeping the neighborhoods in Overland Park strong. He said a new neighborhood rental registration and inspection program will launch in July. The program is directed at ensuring properties pass “good condition” inspection in order to make investment in the city more desirable.

Overland Park is aiming to have all residential properties registered with the city, along with being scheduled for exterior inspections within two years.

To aid in the public safety, the city is undertaking the task of incorporating 10 new police department positions.

“I’m all for more public safety,” Rebecca Legill, parent of sophomore Trinity Legill, said. “[In reference to government exterior inspections] unless I researched it thoroughly I’m not one to like the government telling me and my neighbors what to do. I do see how it could benefit on the national level and make business growth more viable.”

Legill continued to say how because of Overland Parks proximity to East and Prairie Village will benefit from anything Overland Park does.

Gerlach’s goal is to make Overland Park a more desirable place to live in the future.


For the 2018 fiscal year, 24 states are predicted to have budget insufficiencies according to PBS and the National Association of State Budget Officers. This will affect education as budget cuts are being proposed.

Colleges would have to “largely fend for themselves” without increasing tuition, News-Leader reported.

For short term solutions, states are suggesting massive cuts to a few programs. Democratic Governor Daniel Malloy proposed a budget that includes about $200 million in new taxes and cutbacks on state employee labor costs in Connecticut. This would shift teacher pension costs to cities according to PBS news.

Kansas state officials have expected a budget shortfall of $346 million for this fiscal year. A proposal to increase income tax rates and eliminate controversial tax exemption was drafted  to revive this situation.

But balancing the budget is said to require bigger steps by fiscal overseers. States are still struggling with federal spending cuts, PBs explains, which is putting pressure on state and local budgets.

“Congressional Republicans are outlining their own budget proposals that could drastically change how Congress allocates federal funds,” Frazee wrote.

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Maya Stratman

Maya Stratman is a junior as Shawnee Mission East and a staff writer on the Harbinger. After watching her older sister grow to find a notable place in the publication, it’s now Maya’s turn to try and do the same. If Maya isn’t at a deadline or interviewing a peer she is probably dancing, singing, watching “Friends” or writing poetry. This year she is looking forward to trying things on staff that she may have been too timid to undertake. Read Full »

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