The Harbinger Online

News in Brief: Week of 2/19



Bruce Smith Drugs has closed after over 60 years in Prairie Village due to an inability to negotiate an agreement with the landlord, according to a letter posted outside the Prairie Village location.

The store closed temporarily in November to “restructure.” The Richmond family — the business’s owners — and investors were originally looking to downsize the store. However, the company eventually had to close permanently.

At one point, Bruce Smith Drugs had four locations including Red Bridge Shopping Center, the Country Club Plaza, Red Bridge Shopping Center and Shannon Valley in Overland Park. The Prairie Village shop was the company’s last location. The store sold gifts, magazines, candy, cosmetics and seasonal items.

“Unfavorable business conditions, events and obstacles have forced us to reach a final decision to end our efforts to pursue the reopening of the business,” the letter stated.

According to Debbie Richmond, pharmacy manager and daughter of the owner, pharmacy is a tough field to make a profit in. Regardless, the Richmond’s are thankful for succeeding in the industry for so long.

In the note posted outside, the owners thanked employees, customers and the Prairie Village community for their loyalty and concern for the business.

“I’m sad [that it’s closing] because my friends and I went there on Fridays and bought candy,” junior Zane Martin said. “It was a fun environment.”

The business that will move into the vacant space is still TBD.




Five Shawnee Mission School District seniors were named Presidential Scholar candidates at the end of January, four of whom were East students.

Seniors Eric Blom, Peter Haynes, Yashi Wang and Eli Kurlbaum received emails from the program that recognizes some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors, according to its website. Kurlbaum, Wang and Haynes all received perfect scores of 36 on their ACT standardized tests, while Blom received a 35.

The program names about 2,600 students as candidates each year. Less than 200 students are named Presidential Scholars in June.

Eighty students from each state get nominated. Then, the 20 students with the top standardized test scores — both ACT and SAT — from each gender are named candidates, according to their website.

There is no application process for being considered as a candidate, so the email caught Blom off guard.

“I was in the car with my dad when I got the email,” Blom said. “I tried to figure out if he knew anything about it because I was trying to figure out if it was a scam.”

Now, candidates will prepare a variety of essays for submission in hopes of advancing to the semifinalist level, and then the program will name its finalists. Presidential Scholars will receive an expense-paid trip to Washington D.C.




At least six New England Patriot players have publicly stated they would forgo the traditional meeting with the president to commemorate their Super Bowl victory and would not accept an invitation.

Martellus Bennett said on Super Bowl opening night that President Trump and his policies are the reason he will decline a potential invitation. This is not the first time players have declined an invitation to the White House for political reasons. In 2013, Matt Birk skipped the visit and publicly stated his decision was because of his opposition to Obama’s pro-choice policies after the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and President Trump are noted to share a friendship. Trump has also endorsed coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady in the past via Twitter and in the media.

“Right now a lot of players with big voices in the media are trying to stand up for what they believe in,” Patriots fan and junior Sydney Ashner said. “Now [athletes] are starting to understand that more.”


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Kaleigh Koc

Senior Kaleigh Koc is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Harbinger Online. She is also involved in choir, Coalition and is a SHARE chair. In her free time, she can be found taking accidental three hour naps. She is most excited to befriend new staffers and watch them fall in love with journalism. Read Full »

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