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The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle the official barbecue championship for Kansas

The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle competitors are ‘In it to win it’

The teams in The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle are "In it to win it." The battle began Friday with barbecue teams preparing for the competition, cooking on Friday through Saturday afternoon. (Video by Ardie A. Davis) (Edited by Robert Cronkleton, bcronk
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The teams in The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle are "In it to win it." The battle began Friday with barbecue teams preparing for the competition, cooking on Friday through Saturday afternoon. (Video by Ardie A. Davis) (Edited by Robert Cronkleton, bcronk

Let the Lenexa BBQ Battle begin

The Great Lenexa BBQ Battle first took place in 1982 with a only a dozen contestants and an equal number of judges. Now the event boasts more than 180 contestants along with 240 judges.

It’s also the official Kansas barbecue championship.

This year’s battle begins at 4:30 p.m. June 21 and wraps up the following day at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, 87th Street Parkway and Lackman Road.

Children 12 and under are admitted free both days. For others, admission is $5 on Friday night, which features children’s activities and rock cover music by BOOM! from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Barbecue samples typically aren’t given that night.

Admission is free for everyone on Saturday, June 22, when the event continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free barbecue samples will be available while supplies last. Children’s activities and another appearance by BOOM! are scheduled.

Visitors can take a shuttle from the Lenexa Public Safety Complex at 95th and Monrovia streets, or the business lot at 95th and Lackman Road.

Free gun locks for Leawood residents

The Leawood Police Department is offering free cable gun locks to residents at the Justice Center, 4201 Town Center Drive.

The limit is one lock per household. The devices can be picked up between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Meeting June 26 on Irene B. French center

As Merriam proceeds with building a new community center, an effort is underway to decide what to do with the current Irene B. French Community Center and surrounding land.

The 5701 Steering Committee, named for property’s address at 5701 Merriam Drive, will meet with residents on June 26 to share the progress thus far. The committee has analyzed public feedback and will share that information at the June 26 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the French Community Center.

JCCC chosen for study-abroad expansion

Johnson County Community College is one of 21 colleges and universities nationwide to receive federal money to expand opportunities for U.S. students to study abroad.

The $28,898 grant is part of the State Department’s 2019 Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad. The idea is to support American foreign policy goals through overseas study initiatives.

The government received more than 120 applications for the grant money.

New Oz exhibit at Johnson County Museum

Eighty years after the release of the MGM movie “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland, the Johnson County Museum is hosting an exhibit that explores the global appeal of the “Wizard of Oz” and illustrates its influence on popular culture.

The Expanding Oz exhibit, will be open through Nov. 2 at the museum, 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park. Hundreds of objects and images, most from the vaults of a local collector Jane Albright, will be on display.

The exhibit also ties into the 100th anniversary of the death of L. Frank Baum, who wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” and The Theatre in the Park’s production of the play this summer.

Baum’s children’s book spawned sequels, motion pictures, Broadway musicals, cartoons and more, said Museum Director Mindi Love.

“It is worldwide, it is multilingual, it is multimedia, and it is not just of interest to children,” Love said.

The museum, inside the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Oz exhibit is included with regular museum admission rates of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children.

Several ancillary programs are being planned, including a Wizard of Oz Tea Party and Fashion Show, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on July 19 and 20. Those events cost $15 and include museum admission.

Sizzlin’ Summer Book Sale

More than 60,000 gently read books and audio-visual materials will be available at bargain prices June 27-29 at the 2019 Sizzlin’ Summer Book Sale organized by the Friends of Johnson County Library.

Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. all three days at a new location: the former Lackman Library, now known as the Lackman Building, at 15345 W. 87th Street Parkway in Lenexa.

Friends members can take advantage of a preview from 3 to 9 p.m. June 26, and visitors can start or renew a membership right there.

Leawood student is a Goldwater scholar

Mackenzie Thornton, a microbiology and pre-medicine major from Leawood, is one of three Kansas State University undergraduates to receive a prestigious 2019 national Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

The university describes the award as the premier undergraduate scholarship for students interested in research careers in engineering, mathematics or the natural sciences.

Thornton is researching regulation of translation in cancer cells. She also has worked in the otolaryngology department at the University of Kansas Medical Center, researching head and neck cancer.

The Goldwater scholarship awards up to $7,500 annually for college-related expenses.

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