Joco 913

Shawnee moves to fill City Council vacancy

About 200 vehicles are expected Oct. 20 at The Theatre in the Park for the annual Cars in the Park car show, which raises money for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Special Olympics and Special Populations programs. Park officials say it’s entertaining to see which vehicles local residents “dust off and retrieve from their garages” to display.
About 200 vehicles are expected Oct. 20 at The Theatre in the Park for the annual Cars in the Park car show, which raises money for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Special Olympics and Special Populations programs. Park officials say it’s entertaining to see which vehicles local residents “dust off and retrieve from their garages” to display. Courtesy photo

Candidates must apply by Nov. 1 if they want to fill a vacancy on the Shawnee City Council.

The Ward III opening was created by the abrupt resignation last month of Justin Adrian, an Olathe East High School teacher who was later charged with having sexual contact with a student.

The city will accept applications through 5 p.m. on Nov. 1. The City Council has scheduled a special meeting on Nov. 13 to consider the appointment. The person chosen will be sworn in at the regularly scheduled council meeting that night at 7 p.m. Voters will choose a permanent replacement in November 2019.

Applicants must be registered voters and live in Ward III, which covers the western part of the city. Applicants should submit a letter of interest to the the city clerk by email at, drop it by City Hall or mail it to: City of Shawnee/Attn: City Clerk’s Office/11110 Johnson Drive/Shawnee, KS 66203.

Dog park will “pop up” briefly in Mission

Northeast Johnson County lacks a permanent off-leash dog park, but backers of such an amenity will create a free “Pop Up Dog Park” on Oct. 27.

The temporary off-leash area will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Broadmoor Park, 5701 Broadmoor St. in Mission. While the animals run freely, their people will be treated to music, vendors and a dog costume contest.

The event is organized by Mission: Dog Park, a group of northeast Johnson County residents who are trying to raise $100,000 to put a dog park in or around Mission.

Broadmoor Park is one of two locations the group will recommend to the city of Mission for the off-leash area. The other is Mohawk Park at 67th Street and Lamar Avenue. The recommendation was based on discussions with government officials and the results of an online survey conducted last month.

The city, while cooperating with the group, has budgeted no tax money for the dog park.

“We’re hosting the Pop Up Dog Park event to raise awareness of our goal to build a dog park in northeast Johnson County with private donations and sponsorships,” said Christina Farmer, who is leading the group. “We have beautiful dog parks in Johnson County. However, Leawoof, Heritage and Shawnee Mission parks are all at least a 20-minute drive from Mission, Merriam, Roeland Park, Fairway and Prairie Village.”

Free cyber-security forum

Johnson County has organized a free cyber-security forum on Oct. 26 to help public and private organizations in the Kansas City area safeguard online infrastructure.

The session will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the county office building at 111 S. Cherry St. in Olathe. To register, go to, and click on the session announcement that contains the link.

The county’s Department of Technology and Innovation will host the event, which focuses on the role we all can play in deterring cyber threats.

Don’t bag your recyclables

A number of government agencies in Johnson County are urging residents not to waste their recycling efforts by bagging their recyclable material or tossing plastic bags and product wrap in the recycling bin.

The “Ditch the Bag” campaign warns that plastic bags and wrap get caught in recycling center machinery and lower the value of other recyclables. Residents also are advised to keep their recyclables loose in the bin, because plastic bags of material could end up in the landfill.

Some grocery stores accept clean plastic bags.

Johnson County government has posted a list of do’s and don’ts at

Help with Medicare enrollment

U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder will host two free events to help older adults navigate the Medicare open enrollment period, which ends Dec. 7:

▪ Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St. in Overland Park.

▪ Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to noon at the West Wyandotte Library, 1737 N. 82nd St. in Kansas City, Kan.

Volunteers from the Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) program can provide one-on-one help or answer questions. Seniors who want to enroll in Medicare for the first time or alter their plan should bring their Medicare card, their current prescriptions including dosage and frequency, and a list of preferred pharmacies.

Lenexa Chili Challenge is hot

Hungry for chili? Around 200 teams will be in Old Town Lenexa this weekend for the Lenexa Chili Challenge, which offers prizes in the chili, salsa and hot wings categories.

The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 20.

Friday night will feature live music by the Troubadour Retrievers from 7 to 8 p.m. and 8:30 to 10 p.m., with fireworks in between. Chili and other refreshments will be sold.

Saturday visitors can get free food samples, while supplies last, from the competitors starting at 10 a.m. The Troubadour Retrievers return from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Also look for children’s arts and crafts and the Kids Kornbread Contest for ages 12 and under.

Old Town is centered at Santa Fe Trail Drive and Pflumm Road.

A new barbecue contest in Olathe

Registration has opened for next spring’s Qlathe BBQ Championship, an inaugural Olathe competition that will kick off the 2019 Midwest barbecue circuit. It’s sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society.

The event will be held March 15-16 at Stagecoach Park, 1205 E. Kansas City Road. The prize purse for winning teams is $10,000. Judging will take place in four categories: chicken, ribs, pork and brisket.

A cornhole tournament, open to the general public, will be held on March 15 in conjunction with Qlathe. Registration is $20 per team, and a cash prize will be awarded.

“We are so excited to bring a KCBS-sanctioned event to Olathe,” Chris Stewart, the city’s special events coordinator, said in a news release.

Visit for more information and to register a barbecue or cornhole team.

Shawnee Fire Department will brief citizens

The Shawnee Fire Department is holding three public sessions Oct. 29 to update the public on its five-year strategic planning effort — begun in 2016 — and to get ideas for the department’s future direction.

Shawnee residents, business owners and stakeholders are invited to attend one of the three meetings, which will be in the Monticello Library Community Room, 22435 W. 66th St.

The time slots are 9 to 11 a.m.; 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

Because space is limited, people are encouraged to register. Find the announcement at and look for the link.

Car show at Theatre in the Park

About 200 vehicles — from Model A’s to motorcycles and customized vehicles — are expected Oct. 20 at The Theatre in the Park for the annual Cars in the Park car show.

The event, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., raises money for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Special Olympics and Special Populations programs.

Admission is free for spectators. There will be food vendors, a 50/50 pot, a silent auction of sports memorabilia, a DJ, and other activities.

For anyone interested in entering the show, vehicle registrations will be taken through the day of the event, but all participants must be registered and at the show by noon to be judged. The fee is $20 per vehicle until the day of the show, when it increases to $25.

For more information or to register, call 913-831-3359. Or go to, click on “Register for Activities” and search for course ID 40292.

The Theatre in the Park is part of Shawnee Mission Park. It’s accessible through a separate entrance at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee.

Manufacturing: a viable career path

Manufacturing gets a bad rap.

News stories from the so-called “Rust Belt” imply that it’s a dying sector of the economy, despite predictions that roughly 2 million manufacturing jobs will go unfilled by 2025. Law, medicine and finance may be viewed as more prestigious.

“Generational stories of your ‘grandfather’s manufacturing’ as well as depictions of sweatshops in Hollywood have not been kind to us,” writes Chris Muhlenkamp, senior vice-president of global operations and integrated supply chain for Allegion, a global safety and security solutions provider that employs more than 130 workers in Olathe.

To change that perception and inform young people of the career opportunities in today’s high-tech manufacturing companies, Allegion on Oct. 23 will host its second annual Manufacturing Day celebration in Olathe.

The invitation-only gathering will allow students, teachers and government officials to tour the company’s warehouse and light manufacturing operation at 2119 E. Kansas City Road.

“We’ll examine what manufacturing means for our community, and students will get a firsthand look at how they can develop the skills needed to qualify for long-term careers in this secure and growing sector of the economy,” Whitney Moorman, Allegion’s global communications manager, said by email.

Manufacturing Day, spearheaded by the National Association of Manufacturers, is part of a nationwide effort to address the skills gap and talent shortage already affecting the manufacturing sector. On average this year, Allegion says, more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs have gone unfilled each month.