Joco 913

Stay safe when making internet exchanges

The city of Merriam has installed new playground equipment at Quail Creek Park.
The city of Merriam has installed new playground equipment at Quail Creek Park. Photo provided

Shawnee, Leawood offer safe places to complete internet purchases

We’ve all heard of incidents where someone buying or selling an item over the internet meets the other party at a shopping center or gas station, and then gets robbed, or killed while trying to close the deal.

Now there are better places in Shawnee and Leawood to make such exchanges.

Bright green parking spots, marked with signs and monitored by video, have been created between the Shawnee Police Department and Fire Station 72 in the 5800 block of Renner Road.

“The intent ... is to provide our citizens with a location where they can feel safe making an internet purchase exchange,” a city news release stated.

If police are needed during the exchange, the participants can dial 911 or go inside the police department lobby. Although the location is video-monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, that doesn’t mean that someone is watching the transaction live. The events are recorded, however.

In a Sept. 14 news release, Leawood announced that individuals are welcome to complete such transactions in the city’s Justice Center parking lot or the police lobby.

Both areas, at 4201 Town Center Drive, are available around the clock and are covered by video surveillance. Those videos may not be monitored for every transaction, but the video would be available to officers should a crime take place.

Overland Park Fall Festival is Saturday

Downtown Overland Park is the epicenter of the city’s Fall Festival, which will bring people together on Saturday for a day of music, food and activities for kids and adults.

The event begins at 7 a.m. with the opening of the Overland Park Farmers Market, followed by an arts and crafts fair from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The parade will start at 10 a.m. near 79th and Floyd streets and proceed on Santa Fe Drive through the downtown shopping area.

Music can be heard from three concert stages, including a 3:30 p.m. performance by The Elders, a Kansas City based Irish-rock band. Children’s activities include face painting and an entertainment area with interactive shows.

Some city parking lots and streets will be closed for the festival. In addition to other city lots, parking will be available at Shawnee Mission West High School, 85th Street and Antioch Road. A shuttle will run every 15 to 20 minutes from the school to the Interurban Art House at 80th and Conser streets.

Go to for the schedule of music and children’s entertainment.

Merriam upgrades park playground

The city of Meriam has installed new playground equipment at Quail Creek Park.

The park, at 7024 Grandview Ave., features cable climbing activities; a slide; a Volta spinner, which similar to a merry-go-round, and a large swing that several children can ride at once.

In the coming weeks, crews are installing percussion pieces, benches, new picnic areas and sidewalk improvements.

Construction on the $75,000 project started on Aug. 30, when workers began tearing out the old playground.

It’s Wild West weekend in Olathe

Skits, cowboy camps, live entertainment and children’s games are coming to the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, which presents its annual Wild West Days event this weekend.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for ages 5 and up. Kids 4 and under get in free. Food will be available for purchase.

Free parking and shuttle service will be available at Olathe North High School, 600 E. Prairie St. People with disabilities can park at Mahaffie, 1200 E. Kansas City Road. Visit for an activity schedule and children’s admission coupon.

$25,000 gift for KidScape in Johnson County Museum

Waste Management Inc. has donated $25,000 to the Johnson County Museum Foundation, in recognition of the museum’s work — including its focus on children and education with its KidScape experience.

KidScape is part of the museum’s new home at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.

At KidScape, children ages 2 and up can explore 11 unique environments representing rural, urban and suburban areas. It takes them from life on an 1870s farmstead to the cityscape of 1900 to a more modern suburban milieu with a diner, hospital, city hall, construction zone and park with a secret cave.

KidScape, along with the exhibition “Becoming Johnson County,” were funded by a $1.8 million capital campaign led by the museum foundation. When the museum opened in June at its new location,95 percent of the money had been raised. The Waste Management gift will support the remaining balance for KidScape.

Olathe production highlights 1867 suffrage debate

A free theatrical presentation on Thursday will tell the story of an 1867 Kansas voting rights referendum, which would decide whether to give voting rights to white women and, in a separate question, to African-American men.

Susan B. Anthony and other suffragettes, along with proponents of rights for African-Americans, rushed to Kansas to participate in the debate.

The presentation — which references historical newspaper accounts, letters and diary entries — will begin at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Center at Mahaffie, 1200 E. Kansas City Road in Olathe. The program is sponsored by the Olathe Historical Society and Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.

Food Truck Frenzy at Lenexa City Center

The city of Lenexa on Saturday continues its “September to Remember,” a celebration of its new City Center at 87th Street Parkway and Renner Road.

The Lenexa City Center Celebration & Food Truck Frenzy will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. at the Lenexa civic campus, 17101 W. 87th St. Parkway.

More than 20 food trucks will be there, along with strolling entertainers, face painters, kids’ music with Reggie Regg and Rappin from 4 to 5 p.m., and a performance from 5 to 9 p.m. by the eight-piece Diamond Empire Band.

The event concludes with a fireworks show.

Parking is available at the City Center Church lot, 17500 W. 87th St. Parkway. Free shuttles will operate from 4 to 10:30 p.m.