Local News

Independence High School to Honor Sgt. Jim Smith

Plans are in the works to build a statue at Independence High School in honor of a fallen state trooper.

A project to improve the entrance to Leinbaugh Field will create a new plaza outside the front entrance and will feature two memorial sections, one honoring Coach Lyle Leinbaugh and one honoring Sergeant Jim Smith.

Sgt. Jim Smith was shot and killed during a standoff last year in Grundy Center.

Smith’s hometown is Independence and his family donated the funds for the mustang statue to the Independent School District. The district’s school board has already approved $50,000 from a one cent sales tax. But the district will rely on private donations to cover the rest of the cost.

The project is expected to cost $150,000 and work is set to start next month and finish up in the fall.

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