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The city of Olathe has installed its first 3D painted crosswalk

Olathe 3D crosswalk
Olathe 3D crosswalk Courtesy photo

Olathe’s 3D crosswalk aims to protect pedestrians

The city of Olathe has installed its first 3D painted crosswalk, which gives the illusion of boxes on the street. Motorists will encounter it if they drive on Cherry Street from Park to Loula streets in the downtown area.

The 3D crosswalks are designed to draw attention to pedestrians who may be crossing the street. Drivers approaching the crosswalk will momentarily see what looks like boxes on the pavement, beginning from roughly 40 to 50 feet away. Pedestrians using the crosswalk see only blobs of colored paint.

The illusion is provided by an old artistic technique called a one-point perspective drawing, said Hallie Sheptor, communications specialist for Olathe Public Works. The technique gives a three-dimensional look on a flat surface.

She said the artist, who had painted a similar crosswalk in Kansas City, Kan., completed the work in about two hours.

The box-like image helps drivers slow to a safe speed if pedestrians are present, city officials said. The crosswalk paint has glass beads in it to enhance nighttime visibility.

The city said the low speed limit and clear visibility made the Cherry Street location a good spot for the 3D crosswalk. The city staff said it’s looking at other locations that might benefit from the crosswalks.

County names assistant manager

Johnson County government has lured Joseph M. Connor from Wyandotte County to be the assistant county manager, effective Jan. 14. He has been assistant county administrator at the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan.

Connor joined Wyandotte County Government in 1985 as an accountant and progressed to supervisory jobs in the business office. He became the director of public health for the Unified Government in 1997 and was named assistant county administrator 2014.

“With his extensive knowledge and understanding of county government operations, strong regional relationships and a list of admirable accomplishments, I am confident Joe will fit in well with our organization and provide outstanding leadership,” County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson said in a statement.

The Johnson County position became vacant when Maury Thompson was named interim deputy county manager in January and got the job permanently in August.

Heart to Heart buys former Silpada building

The non-profit Heart to Heart International says it has acquired an office/warehouse building at 11550 Renner Blvd., which formerly housed Silpada Designs in Lenexa.

“Looking ahead, we knew we needed more space to accommodate our ever-growing operations,” said Heart to Heart’s CEO, Jim Mitchum. “This building will not only allow us more space now, but will also afford us the opportunity for growth in the future.”

The agency responds to disasters in the U.S. and abroad, and also provides medicine, medical supplies and humanitarian relief to support other nonprofit organizations, programs and health clinics.

“Operating out of a larger facility enables us to improve the health of more people around the world, which has been the mission of Heart to Heart International since our formation in 1992,” Mitchum said.

The agency said the larger space also will allow Heart to Heart’s PowrServ program to host team-building hygiene kit assemblies on site for local companies, groups and organizations.

Silpada Designs, which grew from a home-based jewelry business into a multi-million-dollar company, closed in mid-2016. The 149,000-square-foot building was constructed for Silpada in 2004, according to a news release from Heart to Heart, which will complete the move early next year from another Lenexa location.

Jan. 7 is deadline to file for Roeland Park seat

Now that Roeland Park City Council member Becky Fast has been elected to the Johnson County Commission, the city will fill the her Ward 1 council seat through a special election on Feb. 26.

To get on the ballot, candidates must file a statement of candidacy and pay the $20 fee by 5 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Johnson County Election Office in Olathe. Candidates must be at least 21 years old on Election Day and live in Ward 1.

The winner will serve out Fast’s term, which expires in January 2020.

Candidate forms are available at Or call the office at 913-715-6800.

Ground broken on medical examiner building

Johnson County officials broke ground Dec. 13 on its first medical examiner facility, which will be on the Johnson County Government campus near 119th Street and Ridgeview in Olathe.

Funded by a voter-approved sales tax, the one-story building is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2020.

$10,000 from Shawnee’s Secret Santa

Most people have heard of Jackson County’s original Secret Santa, the late Larry Stewart, whose still-secret successor hands out $100 bills to people who look like they need it. This year, he and his elves traveled to south Kansas City and Grandview.

Shawnee has a not-so-famous Secret Santa, too, who provided $10,000 to the Shawnee Police Department for officers to distribute this year. They performed that pleasant duty over several days last week.

“The Secret Santa is anonymous, but he’s generously given money to the SPD for years” said Julie Breithaupt, the city’s communications manager.