It’s now possible to sign up by text for the emergency alert system NotifyJoCo.
People who live, work or play in Johnson County can text NOTIFYJOCO (all one word) to 888777 to begin receiving alerts on their mobile devices.
The notices can range from severe weather, fires, floods and other emergencies to routine bulletins on road closures and water-utility maintenance work.
NotifyJoCo is free to the public and is used by Johnson County government, WaterOne and the cities of Lenexa, Mission Hills, Olathe, Overland Park, Mission, Prairie Village, Edgerton, Leawood, Merriam, Roeland Park and Shawnee.
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Residents can identify up to five locations (work, home or school, for example) that they would like to receive alerts about.
Besides text messaging, residents can sign up by visiting notifyjoco.org or, if they lack computer access, by calling 913-826-5555.
Shawnee exploring new community center
Shawnee officials are exploring whether to build a community center in the western part of town, where the city owns land at 61st Street and Woodland Drive.
The city already operates its Civic Centre at 13817 Johnson Drive, which has a large gym, meeting rooms and space for yoga, aerobics and other classes. Town Hall, in Shawnee Town 1929, is another popular venue for activities.
Now, the City Council has funded a study to look at design issues, the potential cost of a facility in western Shawnee, and whether it’s feasible to go forward.
The city will hold its second meeting with the public April 4 to determine if there is support for the idea and what amenities residents would like to see if a community center is built.
The meeting will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, 12701 W. 67th St.
Grant helps MED-ACT enhance training
A $10,000 grant from the Union Pacific Foundation has allowed Johnson County MED-ACT to upgrade its digital mannequins and purchase other training equipment.
The wireless mannequins allow staffers to create complex training scenarios, practice emergency medical decision-making, and use their skills in a more realistic environment.
“This helps ensure our training program provides the best possible education for paramedics and EMS responders throughout Johnson County,” Director of Johnson County MED-ACT Paul Davis said in a release.
Through collaboration with fire districts, MED-ACT provides standardized emergency medical training to all first responders in the county.
JCCC seeks feedback from public
As part of its upcoming accreditation review, Johnson County Community College is seeking comments from the public about its performance.
Comments must be received by March 30, a month before a Higher Learning Commission team arrives on campus April 30. JCCC has been accredited by the HLC since 1975.
Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the college or its academic programs. They can be submitted online at hlcommission.org/comment or mailed to:
Public Comment on Johnson County Community College; Higher Learning Commission; 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500; Chicago, IL 60604-1411.
The college will be evaluated on a clearly stated mission that guides its operations, ethical and responsible conduct, teaching and learning, resources, and efforts to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and plan for the future.
For more information, go to www.jccc.edu/about/accreditation.
Eilert to present State of the County address
Johnson County Commission chairman Ed Eilert will present his 2018 State of the County address March 27 at the Ritz Charles, 9000 W. 137th St. in Overland Park.
The event, co-sponsored by the Johnson County Public Policy Council, will begin with lunch at noon with the program to follow.
The address will include upcoming county projects and priorities. A speech script and video of the presentation will be available at jocogov.org afterward.
The luncheon is open to the public at a cost of $35. Registrations are due March 20 through the event registration link at the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce website, opchamber.org.
Lenexa meeting focuses on Ridgeview Road extension
Lenexa intends to begin construction this spring to connect Ridgeview Road north from Kansas 10 to Prairie Star Parkway.
The city has scheduled an open house March 15 to inform residents of the timeline and what to expect during construction. It will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Lenexa City Hall, 17101 W. 87th St. Parkway.
SM East senior is Coca-Cola Scholar
Grace Chisholm, a senior at Shawnee Mission East, is one of 150 students nationwide chosen as a 2018 Coca-Cola Scholar.
The honor comes with a $20,000 college scholarship.
Adult-themed ‘Avenue Q’ hits the stage
Theatre in the Park Indoors has opened its 2018 season with the adult-oriented musical comedy “Avenue Q” at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.
Although the production resembles a children’s show in some ways, it deals with coming-of-age issues in an R-rated manner. As a result, it’s inappropriate for children.
The show opened March 9-11. Remaining performance dates are March 15-18 and 22-25. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre, while matinees are at 2 p.m.
For more information on show times or to buy tickets online, visit www.theatreinthepark.org. Tickets also can be purchased at the theater box office before performances.
Finding Easter eggs by satellite
The Easter Bunny has gone high tech.
GPS units will be the only means of locating prize-filled eggs at the Easter Bunny’s Extreme Egg Hunt, which is scheduled at four different times the morning of March 24 at Antioch Park in Merriam.
Registration is required by March 20.
All sessions will begin at Shelter #2 in the park, 6501 Antioch Road. Each family will receive a GPS unit, along with instructions on using the device to find the eggs. After the hunt, participants will return to the shelter for lunch and photos with the famous rabbit.
The cost is $13 per person or $31 per family (up to four) for Johnson County residents, and $15 or $34 for non-residents.
To register online at www.jcprd.com, click on “Activity Registration,” create or sign into an account, and search for the appropriate barcode.
Start times for the two-hour event are 10 a.m. (barcode 41704), 10:30 a.m. (barcode 41705), 11 a.m. (barcode 41706) and 11:30 a.m. (barcode 41707).
The rain date is March 25.
Girl Scout founder is focus of program
Juliette Low, who founded the Girl Scouts in 1912, will be portrayed March 24 at an upcoming event focusing on a woman who loved adventure and believed that girls should go camping, too.
“Juliette’s Dream” begins at 10 a.m. on March 24 at the Ernie Miller Nature Center, 909 N. Kansas 7 in Olathe. Senior Park Naturalist Molly Postlewait will portray the Girl Scouts founder.
The cost for the 90-minute session is $5 in advance or $7 at the site. Children must be accompanied by at least one adult per group of five.
To register at www.jcprd.com, click on “Activity Registration,” create or sign into an account, and search for barcode 41426.
Free presentation of Thornton Wilder comedies
Leawood Stage Company will host “A Wilder Afternoon,” consisting of two one-act plays by Thornton Wilder presented by Actor’s Choice, a division of the Senior Barn Players.
Admission is free. Show times are 2 p.m. on March 17 and 18 in the Oak Room of the Leawood Community Center, 4800 Town Center Drive. Enter through the north doors on the lower level of City Hall.
Senior actors will perform “The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden” and “Childhood”, two comedies written 30 years apart.
A reception will follow.
New surgery center receives accreditation
Overland Park Surgical Suites, which opened late last year at 6650 W. 110th St., has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation.
The surgery center has two operating rooms, a space for minor procedures and seven surgeons who specialize in hand, foot and ankle, joint, and sports medicine surgeries.
he accreditation team evaluated the center’s compliance with national standards in a number of areas, including coordination of care, monitoring for procedures that involve sedation or anesthesia, infection prevention and control, management of medications, and patient education and training.
Teens star in musical update of ‘Freaky Friday’
Thirty teenagers from across the Kansas City area will perform live on stage in a new musical version of Disney’s “Freaky Friday” as a prelude to release of the feature film.
Disney announced last fall that the film was in production and Music Theatre Kansas City (MTKC) was chosen to be part of the Disney Theatrical Productions Pilot Program, which mounts theater productions of a Disney musical before its general release.
The performances will be in MTKC’s new home inside the B&B Theatres Shawnee complex at Interstate 435 and Midland Drive. The local production will be used as a guide for Disney as it prepares to release the film later this year.
“Freaky Friday, A New Musical” tells the story of an overworked mother and her teenage daughter, who magically swap bodies and have one day to put things right before mom’s wedding. The production’s live orchestra includes professional and student musicians.
Show times are 7 p.m. on March 16 and 2 and 7 p.m. March 17-18.
Tickets are available through www.mtkc.org or at www.bbtheatres.com. They also can be purchased in person at the B&B Theatres Shawnee box office.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to The Star