Joco 913

With tornado season approaching, residents urged to sign up for NotifyJoCo

This vehicle is on display at the Johnson County Museum.
This vehicle is on display at the Johnson County Museum.

Sign up for emergency alerts

As the tornado season approaches, Johnson County officials are urging residents to sign up for NotifyJoCo, a system that provides safety alerts to residents. Current users also are encouraged to make sure their information is up to date.

“We must be able to reach our citizens as quickly and reliably as possible when there is critical information that needs to go out,” said Dan Robeson, the county’s deputy director of Emergency Management. “NotifyJoCo allows us to disseminate this information across all types of devices, ensuring residents have access to real-time safety information when they need it the most.”

There are three ways to sign up:

Text NOTIFYJOCO (all one word) to 888777 to get countywide alerts by text on their mobile device.

Go to and customize alerts for up to five locations and choose whether to be notified by phone, text and/or email. Users can also opt-in for non-emergency messages.

Call 913-826-5555.

NotifyJoCo is used by Johnson County Government, WaterOne, Aubry Township, Consolidated Fire District No. 2, NW Consolidated Fire District and the cities of Edgerton, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Mission Hills, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park and Shawnee.

Lenexa to present “complete streets” ideas

At a public workshop on March 21, Lenexa will present tentative recommendations for making its transportation system more friendly for pedestrians, transit riders and bicyclists, as well as for those who get around by car.

The city has been working with a consulting team since last summer to develop a Complete Streets Plan, which is to be presented to the City Council in late spring or early summer.

The March 21 meeting, the last one scheduled as part of the planning process, will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Thompson Barn, 11184 Lackman Road. Those attending can fill out comment cards, and a survey will be posted after the event at

Overland Park seeks feedback on capital spending

Overland Park will take public feedback on its latest capital improvements program at 7:30 p.m. March 18, when the City Council meets.

The plan, covering the years 2020 to 2024, includes a trail along 91st Street between Nall and Lowell avenues, upgraded lights at Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex, reconstruction of the fire station at 75th and Conser streets, a new visitors center at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, redevelopment of Strang Park in the downtown area, a new College Boulevard bridge over Indian Creek and reconstruction of Quivira Road between 159th and 179th streets.

The meeting will take place at City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive.

Oscar winner Wilmott to screen new project

Kevin Willmott, Oscar-winning filmmaker and professor of film and media studies at the University of Kansas, will be in Olathe on March 18 to screen his new documentary about the state’s most famous newspaper editor.

A condensed version of “William Allen White: What’s the Matter with Kansas,” will be shown at 7 p.m. at MidAmerica Nazarene University’s Bell Center, 2030 E. College Way. White, who ran the Emporia Gazette, is credited with blocking the Ku Klux Klan in Kansas.

Afterward, Willmott will talk about the making of the film and White’s legacy, including his 1924 campaign for governor to spread his anti-Klan message to a broader state and national audience.

The event is free and open to the public.

Willmott, Spike Lee and two other screenwriters won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “BlacKkKlansman.”

Exhibit images focus on communion

A traveling exhibit, on display through April 21 at Village on Mission, features 34 works of arts that illuminate the meaning of communion.

“Come to the Table” will be on display in the welcome center of the church, 6641 Mission Road in Prairie Village.

Collectively, according to the exhibition statement, the works celebrate “the Table: a place of invitation, relationship, abundance, generosity, and reconciliation, where communities gather and where worshipers encounter the grace of God.”

Free day at Joco Museum

The Johnson County Museum is offering free admission on March 14, when many children are out of school for spring break.

The museum features KidScape, a 3,500-square-foot area where children can role-play in an 1870s farmstead, a 1900s city and a 1950s diner. Other attractions include the 1950s All-Electric House, a Johnson County history exhibit and a temporary exhibit called ““The Turbulent Twenties.”

The museum, in the former King Louie building at 8788 Metcalf Ave., will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. that day.

SM South continues Academic Decathlon dynasty

For the 21st time in the last 23 years, Shawnee Mission South High School has earned the championship title at the state Academic Decathlon competition.

The team advances to the national competition next month in Minnesota.

The Academic Decathlon asks competitors to answer questions in the seven categories of art, music, math, economics, social science, science and literature. They also compete in three events involving interviews, speeches and essays.

This year’s questions were related to the 1960s.

The team begins preparing as soon as study materials are released in the spring. They practice once a week during the summer and twice weekly during the school year.

Team members include captains Amelia Mullin and Alex Erwin, along with Grace Markum, Eleanor Jones, Teddy Blair, Will Cooper, Hannah Pickert, Ben Shaw, Nate Pulliam and Jakob Grable. Retired teacher Stan Stern volunteers in supporting the team.

Cabin Fever Book Sale

Gently used books, movies, music and puzzles can be purchased for low prices at the Cabin Fever Book Sale, scheduled for March 21-23 at the Central Resource Library, 9875 W 87th St. in Overland Park. Most items cost 50 cents to $2.

The sale begins at 9 a.m. each day and closes at 7:30 p.m. on March 21; 5:30 p.m. on March 22 and 3 p.m. on March 23.

‘Inherit the Wind’ comes to The J

“Inherit the Wind,” a play that uses a fictionalized account of the Scopes “monkey” trial to explore the relationship between faith and science, will be presented March 16-24 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, also known as The J.

Six public performances are scheduled at the center’s White Theatre: 7:30 p.m. on the Saturdays of March 16 and 23; 2 p.m. on the Sundays of March 17 and 24; and 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

A schools-only performance begins at 9 a.m. March 20.

Tickets cost $14 to $30 and may be purchased at, by calling the box office at 913-327-8054 or visiting in person at 5801 W. 115th St. in Overland Park. The box office is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.

Call the box office for more information on the school performance.