Joco 913

Courthouse tunnel project will divert Olathe traffic

Those attending the Great Backyard Bird Count at the Ernie Miller Nature Center Feb. 16 could spot goldfinches.
Those attending the Great Backyard Bird Count at the Ernie Miller Nature Center Feb. 16 could spot goldfinches. File photo

Expect road barricades in Olathe

If the weather allows, Johnson County on Feb. 12 will start building a tunnel under Santa Fe Street in downtown Olathe to connect to the new county courthouse under construction on the northeast corner of Santa Fe and Kansas Avenue.

Work on the tunnel is expected to last eight weeks and will affect traffic on Santa Fe Street between Chestnut Street and Kansas Avenue.

The new tunnel will be used to securely transport inmates to their court appearances. It will branch from a tunnel that already connects the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Central Booking Facility to the current Johnson County Courthouse. Those buildings are across the street from each other on Kansas Avenue.

Barricades will go up Feb. 11 at these locations to close traffic on Santa Fe Street:

▪ In the westbound lane just west of Chestnut Street.

▪ In both directions west of Cherry Street.

▪ In both directions just east of Kansas Avenue.

Drivers will be detoured south to Loula Street. In addition, motorists won’t be able to turn west on Santa Fe from Chestnut Street or east from Kansas Avenue.

The roads should be back open when the project is completed on April 18. For updates,

Great Backyard Bird Count

A national event called the Great Backyard Bird Count is in its 22nd year, and the Johnson County parks system is participating.

The Ernie Miller Nature Center at 909 N. Kansas 7 in Olathe invites people to stop by from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 16 to look at birds from the warmth of its Wildlife Viewing Room.

Visitors can learn about birds that winter in northeast Kansas. Likely candidates for viewing include northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, American goldfinches and red-tailed hawks. No registration is required.

The yearly bird-counting exercise helps ornithologists know how bird populations are doing and how to protect them.

Jewish Community Center presents ‘Cabaret’

“Cabaret,” set in 1931 Berlin with music by Kansas City native John Kander and his partner Fred Ebb, continues through Feb. 17 at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.

Remaining show times are at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, 9, 14 and 16 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 10 and 17.

Each night, as part of a VIP experience, eight audience members will enter the Kit Kat Club on stage and become part of the show. Assisted listening devices are available for all performances, and open captioning will be provided on Feb. 9 and 10.

After the Feb. 10 matinee, Shelly Cline from the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education will talk to the audience to help answer the question: “What was going on in Germany, Europe and around the world, while life was ‘beautiful’ in the Kit Kat club, setting the stage for the rise of the Nazis?”

Tickets are $14 to $30, depending on the seats — or more for the VIP experience. Buy tickets online at, by calling 913-327-8054, or by visiting the box office at 5801 W. 115th St. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Coffees with Kansas lawmakers

The Johnson County Library is hosting a series of coffees with lawmakers as the Kansas legislative session deals with state issues in Topeka. Another sponsor is the League of Women Voters of Johnson County. Two sessions are on the library calendar for February:

▪ Feb. 9: 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Blue Valley Library, 9000 W. 151st St., Overland Park. Panelists include Sens. John Skubal and Molly Baumgardner and Reps. Brett Parker, David Benson, Megan Lynn and Kellie Warren.

▪ Feb. 23: 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Lenexa City Hall, 17101 W. 87th St. Parkway. Panelists are Sen. Dinah Sykes and Reps. Cindy Holscher, Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard.

Buy and sell kids’ stuff on Feb. 23

Kids outgrow their toys and clothes so quickly that it makes sense to recycle them to other parents.

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District will help families accomplish that through its Kid’s Garage Sale, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Mill Creek Activity Center, 6518 Vista Drive in Shawnee.

Once they register, participants can list their items for sale on MCAC’s Facebook Kid’s Garage Sale event page. The cost is $10 for the first 6-foot table and $8 for additional tables — up to three total.

For more information or to register, call 913-831-3359. Register online by clicking “Register for Activities” at and search for course ID 18024.

Overland Park ‘State of City’ address

Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach will deliver his annual State of the City address during a Feb. 19 luncheon hosted by the Overland Park Chamber Commerce. The talk will highlight last year’s activities, new developments and issues facing the city.

The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Overland Park Convention Center, 6000 College Blvd. Individual lunch tickets are $35 for chamber members and $45 for others. Register by Feb. 12 at

Leawood art show accompanies theater weekend

In Leawood, both the visual and performing arts will focus on romance this month.

A Romance Art Exhibition will take place Feb. 14-17 to coincide with the Leawood Stage Company’s production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” which opens on Valentine’s Day.

Both take place at Ironwoods Park, 14701 Mission Road.

The exhibition by local artists will be open for free viewing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb.16. All the jewelry and other art will be for sale throughout the weekend and during the artists’ reception on Saturday morning. Some of the proceeds go to the Leawood Stage Company.

Curtain times for the Stage Company production are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14-16 and 2 p.m. Feb. 17. Ticket prices are $20 for opening night, which includes a wine and dessert bar, and $15 for the other performances. Buy them at

Free concert features young pianist

Pianist Qi Qi, a student at The Barstow School, will perform Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 when the Overland Park Orchestra presents its Winter Concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.

Music director Shah Sadikov will lead the orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony #6, “Pastoral,” as well. The free public concert is sponsored by the city of Overland Park.

Qi Qi was born in China, began playing the piano at age 5 and studies with Stanislav Ioudenitch at Young Artist Music Academy International.