Joco 913

Medical rescue system merits top award

How does your garden grow? Trial plantings at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens will answer that question.
How does your garden grow? Trial plantings at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens will answer that question. Courtesy photo

AHA awards JoCo emergency medical system

The Johnson County emergency medical response network has earned the highest possible rating from the American Heart Association.

The association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Recognition program gave its Gold Plus Award to the system, which comprises the Med-Act ambulance service and fire departments in the county.

Among other things, the program evaluates the immediacy with which life-saving measures are administered before the patient arrives at a hospital.

Flags 4 Freedom fly

Again this year, the Flags 4 Freedom display will ignite the patriotic spirit in downtown Merriam well before the July Fourth holiday.

The display consists of more than 1,500 U.S. flags placed at Merriam Marketplace, 5740 Merriam Drive; at the nearby Irene B. French Community Center, and along Merriam and Johnson drives.

The flags will go up early on June 29 and remain on display through July 6. For those who wish to dedicate a flag to someone, yellow ribbons are available for a suggested donation of $15. Get details through the June 29 calendar listing at

County wants your ‘staycation’ photo

Johnson County officials are offering shutterbugs a shot at visibility if they post a photo of how they’re having fun –right here in the county – by June 29. A staycation photo, if you will.

If the photo is tagged with #JoCoStaycation and posted on social media by the deadline, the photographer has a chance for the picture to appear in the July issue of JoCo Magazine.

Sculpture dedication June 29

Roeland Park will dedicate the Jorge Blanco sculpture “See Red Run!” this weekend in R Park, the site of the former Roeland Park Elementary School at 5535 Juniper Drive.

The dedication party starts at noon June 29 with kids’ activities followed by a 12:30 p.m. performance by that well-known crooner for kids, “Mr. Stinky Feet.” The dedication is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., and cake will be served afterward.

The sculpture, financed by private donations, was installed in May. Its elements symbolize the learning that took place on the site from 1951 to 2004, as well as the progress in Roeland Park.

FlowerFest features new plant varieties

Dozens of new flower varieties will be on display at the Midwest FlowerFest, which takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 29 at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W. 179th St.

To find out how a particular variety will perform in this climate, experts plant them on a trial basis and monitor what happens. At the arboretum, the FlowerFest will display more than 250 planted containers, plus ground trial areas planted with more than 100 established and trial varieties.

The trials will remain on display during July, when horticulturists will be evaluating the performance of the plants. Visitors can scout possibilities for their 2020 gardens.

Four from Joco advance in KC SuperStar

Four Johnson County teens will be among 10 high school singers competing Aug. 25 in 10th annual KC SuperStar finals, where a $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to the first-place winner.

They are Erika Kolseth from the Blue Valley School District; Shawnee Mission district students Emma Mathieson and Alexa Morgan; and Sophie Schulte, a recent Olathe district graduate.

They were selected June 3 in the semifinals, held at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, which sponsors the contest.

The other finalists and their school districts: Sam Aubuchon Blue Springs; Jacob Collier, North Kansas City; Maurissa Cunningham, Kansas City; Rachel Hudson, Belton; Miguel Reyes, Kansas City Kan., and Sam Wise, Leavenworth.

Fireworks at Shawnee’s ‘Parked’ event

Food trucks, fireworks, bounce houses and music by the M80s. All can be found in Shawnee at the third annual Parked event, scheduled from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. June 28 at Stump Park.

Visitors are encouraged to bring their picnic blankets and portable chairs to the park, at 4751 Woodland Drive.