Joco 913

Lenexa council OKs plan for Quivira Road focused on redevelopment of commercial areas

Leo and his handler, Officer Brentt Donaldson.
Leo and his handler, Officer Brentt Donaldson.

The Lenexa City Council has accepted a plan for Quivira Road that recommends redevelopment of key commercial areas, more transportation options and initiatives to develop a sense of place along the roadway from 79th to 99th streets.

The study identified three shopping areas for redevelopment that would meet the changing demographics, lifestyles and business needs in the area. The study noted that that the area was designed as an auto-related suburb where most reisdents worked in downtown Kansas City. Now, more people want to live work, work and play in a cohesive community.

Moreover, some of the older shopping areas were anchored by big box stores which have not done well in the internet age. These were identified as ripe for redevelopment:

Broadway Plaza and Orchard Corners South, southwest of 95th and Quivira.

Oak Park Commons East, northwest of that same intersection. Significant parts of it, including Sam’s Club, would not be in the redevelopment area.

Four Colonies Plaza at 79th Street on the west side of Quivira.

The study said the first two sites are large enough to incorporate green space and large developments that include apartments, retail and offices. The 4-acre Four Colonies Plaza is suitable for high-quality housing for older adults who can live independently.

The transportation recommendations include multi-use paths, bike lanes and other improvements to make the area safer and more hospitable to walkers and cyclists. The study also identified spots for upgraded transit stops.

“Placemaking” and beautification strategies include street trees, benches, decorative lighting and high-visibility decorative crosswalks.

The study process began in 2017 and included ideas from residents. The city will consider the recommendations during its planning activities, but no money has been earmarked specifically to implement the recommendations. Visit to see the entire plan.

Juvenile justice disparities discussed

Johnson County has been researching ethnic and racial disparities in its juvenile justice system, and officials will present their findings to the public at noon Aug. 4.

The presentation, hosted by the Johnson County branch of the NAACP, will be made at the Shawnee Church of the Nazarene, 5539 Quivira Road.

The Johnson County Department of Corrections has partnered with the W. Haywood Burns Institute to learn ways to rectify the over-representation of minority children in the juvenile justice system. It’s a nationwide problem, the county said, and federal law requires that local communities address it or risk losing funds. Johnson County began collecting data in 2008.

New library opens Aug. 5

The new Monticello Library will open at 1 p.m. Aug. 5 at 22435 W. 66th St. in Shawnee.

It is the 14th location for the Johnson County Library system.

National Night Out is next week

Aug. 7, which also happens to be Election Day, is the date for National Night Out, where communities and police come together to build relationships and make their neighborhoods safer.

Across the country, neighbors and cities will host block parties, parades, cookouts and other events that may include safety demonstrations and visits from emergency workers.

Overland Park has scheduled events from 6 to 8 p.m. at Strang Park, 87th and Farley streets, and at Kessler Park, 79th and Kessler streets. A hot dog/brat dinner will be served and some back-to-school items will be given away. More information and free registration can be found through the calendar listing at

In Shawnee, police will be at the Thomas A. Soetaert Aquatic Center at 13805 Johnson Drive from 5 to 8 p.m. Residents can use the pool at no charge, grab free food and take part in giveaways and games.

Merriam has planned a free event from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Vavra Park at 6114 Slater St., with hot dogs and nitrogen ice cream from Mad Man’s KC BBQ. Look for children’s activities and a doorbell camera giveaway.

Anyone who organizes their own event can register at the national website,

Meet the new superintendent

People in the community are invited to meet the Shawnee Mission School District’s new superintendent, Mike Fulton, at an open house on Aug. 6.

The drop-in event will be from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St.

Fulton, who came from the Pattonville district in suburban St. Louis, began the Shawnee Mission job on July 2.

Plaques near library carry literary theme

In the Library District neighborhood of Overland Park, residents have been working with the city to install cast-bronze plaques near the sidewalks. Each of 10 plaques includes a quote and theme from children’s literature.

The plaques line a path linking the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St., with Strang Park to the south and Pawnee Elementary School at 9501 W. 91st St.

Visitors can see the installation from sidewalks on the north side of 91st Street and the east side of Farley Street.

Leo joins Lenexa Police Department

The Lenexa Police Department has a new addition: K-9 Leo.

Leo, who took the place of retired K-9 Wrecker, joined the force in early June and should be ready for duty by summer’s end. A Belgian Malinois, Leo is originally from Slovakia and is about 15 months old.

Lenexa says all three of its police dogs are trained in both narcotics detection and patrol duties such as building searches, suspect tracking and vehicle extractions.

Nursing group honors school administrator

Shelby Rebeck, coordinator for health services in the Shawnee Mission School District, has been named the Kansas School Nurse Administrator of the Year.

The award was presented at the summer conference of the Kansas School Nurse Organization.