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.

As Humanitarian of the Year, Erin Novak-Lustig opens a world of dance to Johnson County

It was her dedication in raising the awareness of dance to underserved populations that Erin Novak-Lustig, the founder and artistic director of Seamless Dance Theatre, was named the 2013 Humanitarian of the Year by the Federation of Dance, a nonprofit organization with a mission of raising money for scholarships and supporting the dance competition industry.

They know the drill: NJROTC programs give high-schoolers important life lessons

The Junior Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs at Shawnee Mission North High School and Shawnee Mission West High School offer students some military training with plenty of life lessons as well. “We’re giving them a bigger view of themselves in this world,” says Dennis Grayless, who leads the program at Shawnee Mission North. “It’s not all about them: It’s about teamwork. That’s life.”