Joco 913

Shawnee adopts protections for LGBTQ people

The 10th annual Prairie Village Jazz Festival takes place Sept. 7.
The 10th annual Prairie Village Jazz Festival takes place Sept. 7.

Shawnee adopts protections for LGBTQ people

With two council members dissenting, the city of Shawnee has passed an ordinance protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Its effective date is Sept. 3.

Voting against the proposal on Aug. 26 were council members Eric Jenkins and Mike Kemmling. Council member Mickey Sandifer was absent.

A number of other Johnson County municipalities have passed similar ordinances. Among them are Leawood, Mission, Merriam, Prairie Village and Roeland Park.

Leawood’s vote took place on Aug. 12.

Courts schedule warrant amnesty days

People who have missed court dates and therefore subject to arrest have a chance this month to take care of the problem during an amnesty event that involves many municipal courts in Johnson County.

From Sept. 9 through Sept. 25, offenders with outstanding arrest warrants can appear in court at designated times to have the warrant canceled and warrant fees waived. They won’t be arrested for any outstanding warrants in that city or others with upcoming amnesty days, and prosecutors will be available to help resolve underlying cases.

The schedule:

Overland Park, 8 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 9-13, Sept. 16-20 and Sept. 23-25.

Olathe: 8 a.m. to noon Sept. 9, 16 and 23.

Prairie Village, 8 to 9 a.m. Sept. 10 and 17, and 3 to 4 p.m. Sept. 12 and 19.

Shawnee: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17.

Leawood: 8:30 to 10 a.m. Sept. 24.

Merriam: 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 24.

Mission Hills: 5 to 6 p.m. Sept. 24.

Fairway: 5 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 18.

Roeland Park: 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 25.

Spring Hill: 8 to 10 a.m. Sept. 17.

Lenexa is the largest municipality that’s not participating. Others are De Soto, Edgerton, Gardner, Lake Quivira, Mission Woods, Westwood and Westwood Hills.

9/11 tribute in Overland Park

A solemn tribute to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks will begin at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Overland Park Fire Training Center, 12401 Hemlock St. near 125th Street and Antioch Road.

The program will continue until about 9:30 a.m., with bell strikes and wreath placements to mark the times when four hijacked planes crashed or hit their targets, and when the Twin Towers collapsed in New York.

The event is free and open to the public. Citizens also can visit the 9/11 memorial at night on Sept. 10 or 11 to see the memorial light display.

Niche ranking says Blue Valley is best Kansas district

The Blue Valley School District was deemed best in Kansas by the 2020 Best School Districts listing by Niche.

Ranking second was the De Soto School District. Olathe came in at No. 4, and Shawnee Mission was No. 6.

Niche ranked the Gardner Edgerton District 20th in the state, and Spring Hill was listed at No. 78.

At No. 36 nationally, the Blue Valley district was the only one in Kansas to crack the top 100 nationwide. A St. Louis area district, Clayton, ranked 14th.

Niche said its rankings were based on an analysis of academic and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education, along with test scores, college data and ratings collected from Niche users.

One Blue Valley review, from a parent, said: “Wish there was more diversity, but the teachers are amazing. Schools are really top notch. Really appreciate the time and attention the teachers take with our students.”

Foodie Fest to launch ‘The 47’ concept

Forty-seventh Street forms part of the dividing line between Wyandotte and Johnson counties, but it will become a gathering spot on Sept. 8 for the first-ever Neighborhood Foodie Fest organized by Roeland Park, Westwood, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and the business community.

The free event will kick off branding for “The 47,” the business district at 47th Street in the area of Mission Road and Rainbow Boulevard.

The Foodie Fest — featuring live music, kids’ activities and food and drink available for purchase — will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the southwest corner of 47th Street and Mission Road, across from Taco Republic.

Prairie Village to host meetings on city future

As Prairie Village updates the comprehensive plan it adopted in 2007, it’s hosting two community visioning workshops this month, where citizens can share their thoughts on the city’s direction in the coming years.

The original Village Vision plan addressed matters like redevelopment, land use and parks, but the city said many goals have been met or need refreshing. The updated plan, Village Vision 2.0, will guide policy makers for the next 20 years.

Residents are encouraged to attend a workshop on either Sept. 9 or Sept. 12. Both sessions will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Meadowbrook Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave.

An online survey will be available beginning Sept. 9 for those who cannot attend.

Channel your inner Popeye at Lenexa festival

Lenexa will celebrate its farming heritage on Sept. 7 at its annual Spinach Festival at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park, at 87th Street Parkway and Lackman Road. Admission is free.

Back in the 1930s, Lenexa was called as the Spinach Capital of the World because of bountiful production by local farmers, many of them immigrants from Belgium.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Spinach Festival will feature food, more than 40 arts, craft and antique vendors, music and other family-oriented entertainment.

One highlight will be the world’s largest spinach salad, of course.

Parking at the site is limited, but free shuttles will run every 10 minutes or so from the Lenexa Public Safety Complex, 12500 W. 87th St. Parkway and the business parking lot on the southeast corner of 95th Street and Lackman Road.

An evening of jazz Sept. 7 in Prairie Village

For $5, adult visitors to Prairie Village’s Harmon Park can settle in for an evening of jazz music from 3 to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 7. Those 18 and younger are admitted free.

The 10th annual Prairie Village Jazz Festival will feature the Shawnee Mission East Blue Knights at 4 p.m.; the Matt Otto Quartet at 5; Vine Street Rumble at 6:20 p.m., and the Marcus Lewis Big Band at 7:30.

To wrap up the evening, Dan Thomas and the KC All-Star Big Band, featuring Lisa Henry, will take the stage at 8:45 p.m.

Food will be available for purchase, as will beer, wine, sangria and soft drinks.

Harmon Park is at 77th Street and Mission Road, near the landmark water tower. Jazz fans can park free at Shawnee Mission East High School; the Prairie Village pool lot; and the nearby Mission Bible and Community of Christ churches.

‘Latinos in the Heartland’ exhibit

Local Hispanic history is the subject of a new free exhibit inside the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center at 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.

“Latinos in the Heartland” will conclude Nov. 2, two months after opening on Sept. 3. The exhibit, sponsored by the Johnson County Museum, coincides with the launch of the museum’s new diversity initiative.

“We want to collect more stories, photos and objects relating to the stories of non-white Johnson Countians,” said Museum Director Mindi Love. “We want our exhibits and collections to reflect the diversity of the Johnson County community, and Hispanic and Latino populations are just some of the communities with which we hope to form a lasting relationship.”

“Latinos in the Heartland” can be seen from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Two ancillary events are planned on Sept. 26: An Evening of Latino Art, Music and Poetry from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and a history on tap session at 6 p.m. called “They Changed My Name/Cambiaron Mi Nombre.”

A third event, midday on Oct. 8, is a lunch and learn session called “Nuestra Herencia Americana: Hispanic-American Roots in Northeast Kansas.”

Get details through the event calendar at

Vehicles galore at Turkey Creek event

It’s not too late to register your ride in the Turkey Creek Car & Motorcycle Show, which takes place Sept. 14 in Merriam.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Merriam Marketplace, 5740 Merriam Drive and features all classes of cars, trucks and motorcycles.

It’s free for spectators, and exhibitors can register for $20 per vehicle through Sept. 13. The price jumps to $30 the day of the show if spots are available.

Register at

Citywide garage sale in Roeland Park

Looking for bargains? Roeland Park has scheduled its citywide garage sale Sept. 5-8. Garage sale permits are not required for residents to participate.