County to break ground on new courthouse
Johnson County officials will break ground on the new county courthouse at 8:30 a.m. July 12 at the site west of Olathe City Hall and north of the current courthouse in downtown Olathe.
In November 2016, voters approved a 10-year, quarter-cent sales tax to pay for the courthouse, estimated to cost $182 million. A year later, the county commission chose JE Dunn/TreanorHL/Fentress as the design-build team.
The new courthouse is to contain 28 courtrooms — five more than the current courthouse has — and the property can accommodate an expansion to 36 courtrooms if needed. Occupancy is expected in early 2021.
Voter registration deadline is next week
July 17 is the last day to register to vote in the Aug. 7 primary election, which has hot races in both parties for Kansas governor as well as a robust Democratic primary for the seat in Congress that's now held by Republican Kevin Yoder.
Johnson County residents can register online or in person at any city hall or at the Election Office, 2101 E. Kansas City Road in Olathe. Visit https://jocoelection.org/registration for more details or to learn if you are already registered.
Meet Prairie Village mayoral candidates
A candidate forum has been scheduled for July 18 for the three mayoral candidates in Prairie Village.
Running to replace Laura Wassmer are current council members Serena Schermoly and Andrew Wang, and former council member Eric Mikkelson.
Sponsored by the Shawnee Mission Post, the forum will run from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Colonial Church, 7039 Mission Road. The doors open at 7 p.m. for a candidate meet-and-greet.
Free concert July 13
The next in a series of three free concerts being offered by the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center will take place in mid-July.
Duncan Burnett will perform at 6:30 p.m. July 13 at the center, 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park. It is the second installment of Listen Local Live series sponsored by the Johnson County Library and the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.
The final concert in the series will be Classical Revolution/Rewound on Aug. 10.
An interview with the musicians is scheduled after each concert.
'Newsies' show is first Coterie/JCC collaboration
Through July 29, families are invited to a production of Disney's "Newsies" at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City – and hear the story of New York orphan and runaway newsboys standing up to the likes of publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst back in 1899.
It's the first collaboration between The Coterie Theatre and the White Theatre, which is housed at the Jewish Community Center, 5801 W. 115th St. in Overland Park.
Remaining production dates are Wednesdays July 11 and 18 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursdays July 12, 19 and 26 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays July 14 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays, July 15, 22 and 29 at 2 p.m.
The J's open captioning will be available on July 14, 15 and 18.
Ticket prices range from $14 to $25. Buy them at ww.thejkc.org.
Shawnee to display big trucks for kids
The city of Shawnee is sponsoring Touch-a-Truck on July 18, where young people can look at fire trucks, tractors, bobcats and other large vehicles — and take a turn in the driver's seat.
It will happen from 6 to 7:30 p.m. July 18 at Herman Laird Park, 11500 Johnson Drive.
Self-defense classes for women and girls
Self-defense programs for women and girls will be offered on two Saturdays this month by the Ali Kemp Educational (T.A.K.E.) Foundation, named for a 19-year-old Leawood resident who was murdered in 2002 while working at a neighborhood swimming pool.
The sessions will take place at two Overland Park locations: July 14 at Aubry Bend Middle School, 12501 W. 175th St., and July 21 at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St. Both begin at 10 a.m.
Blue Valley Recreation and the city of Overland Park are cooperating with the Ali Kemp foundation to present the programs, which are open to females 12 years old and up.
A donation of $12 is appreciated, but not required, for each two-hour program. Advance registration is encouraged, but walkups are welcome. To register or to check for other local classes, go to www.takedefense.org.
Sondheim musical at Theatre in the Park
The Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods" continues at 8:30 p.m. July 11-14 at Theatre in the Park.
The PG-rated show includes some well-known fairy tale characters.
“What I love about the show is that it reaches audiences on so many different levels," said the director, Chris McCoy. "Young people love the show because it has characters they are familiar with, but explore their stories in new ways. Adults can relate to the interpersonal issues and relationships that are really at the heart of each story."
The theater entrance is at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee. Gates open at 7 p.m. Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $6 for youth. Children 3 and under are admitted free, but need a ticket. Buy tickets online at www.theatreinthepark.org or after 6:30 p.m. at the site before each performance.
Nighttime bicycle ride in Lenexa
The name of this Lenexa event says it all: Moonlight Bike Ride.
The 12-mile, closed-course bicycle ride begins at 10 p.m. July 21, starting at Santa Fe Trail Drive and Pflumm Road in Old Town Lenexa. It proceeds west and through the Meritex caves. Riders can decorate their two-wheelers in lights for the family-oriented event.
A “Light the Night” contest precedes the ride at 9:30 p.m., and pancakes will be served afterward for a $6 donation. Participants must wear a helmet, and all bicycles must have a front light and rear reflector.
The cost is $25 for adults and $20 for kids 12 and under. Register through the Things to Do tab at www. lenexa.com or in person on weekdays at the Lenexa Community Center, 13420 Oak St., or the Lenexa Rec Center, 17201 W. 87th St. Parkway.
The form, found online, also can be mailed with the fee to 17201 W. 87th St. Parkway, Lenexa, Kan. 66219.
Blue Valley victory a first for Kansas
Blue Valley Southwest High School became the first in Kansas to win the National Speech & Debate Association’s policy debate tournament when Danish Khan and Stephen Lowe accomplished the feat last month in Fort Lauderdale.
Khan and Lowe competed in 15 rounds and won the championship in an 8-3 decision over Niles West of Chicago. The team also received with the Unger Cup, an annual award recognizing the policy debate team that places highest in six national tournaments.
Jared Zuckerman earned the Ted W. Belch Award for coaching the championship team, and Blue Valley Southwest was named a national debate School of Excellence as a top-20 debate program.
Check out voting equipment
Johnson County voters have several chances to try out the county’s new voting equipment before the primary election in August.
Voters will be able to cast a practice ballot and learn more about the machines' features, including the paper trail created for every vote cast.
The equipment will be available at these locations and times, including weekend and evening opportunities in Olathe:
▪ Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 9-10 (Monday-Tuesday), 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.
▪ Johnson County Northeast Offices: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. July 12-13 (Thursday-Friday), 6000 Lamar Ave., Mission.
▪ K-State Olathe Innovation Campus: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 20-21 (Friday-Saturday), 22201 W. Innovation Drive, east of Kansas 7 on College Boulevard.