Citizen watchdogs go the extra mile to keep an eye on Johnson County governments

They email. They blog. They attend the meetings, sometimes with a video camera in hand. And often, this band of citizen watchdogs gets things done. These are some of Johnson County’s citizen activists — a small but vocal group of people well known to city councils and commissions for their persistence, watchfulness and willingness to delve into the smallest details.

Sweeter by the dozen: Visit Johnson County’s independent doughnut shops

The independent doughnut shops of Johnson County are as mercurial as the very argument about which is the best. And that, in many cases, is why they are beloved. They run out of flavors. They don’t have websites. You better bring cash because credit card machines crush the margins on an 80-cent doughnut. They make you work for something you want.

These volunteers head back to school

In an era where Johnson County schools are asked to do more with less, one group is helping to make that possible: volunteers. Parents and grandparents and community members are taking time off work or coming out of retirement to assist in classrooms and after school programs. In the Shawnee Mission School District alone, 295 volunteers worked 7,478 hours in the 2012-13 school year.