Joco 913

Quixotic at OP Arboretum; Gardner Edgerton High to pilot mental health course

Look for amazing visuals at when Quixotic performs at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
Look for amazing visuals at when Quixotic performs at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.

Editor’s note: A concert by José-Luis Orozco Sept. 20 at the Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St., in Overland Park, has been canceled.

Gardner Edgerton High to pilot mental health course

The Johnson County Mental Health Center and the Gardner Edgerton School District have been chosen as one of only 35 entities nationwide to pilot a program called teen Mental Health First Aid, which will be offered to all 10th graders at Gardner Edgerton High School.

The training, which originated in Australia, is the first of its kind developed for U.S. high school students, officials said.

“We are thrilled to introduce teen Mental Health First Aid to our community,” Gardner Edgerton Superintendent Pam Stranathan said in a news release. “The program will teach high school students to recognize and respond when their friends are experiencing the early stages of a mental health or addiction concern.”

Students learn a five-step action plan to help friends who may be facing a mental health problem or crisis, such as suicidal thoughts.

“Teens trust their friends, so they need to be trained to recognize signs of mental health or substance use problems in their peers,” said Chuck Ingoglia, president and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health. “The number one thing a teen can do to support a friend dealing with anxiety or depression is to help the friend seek support from a trusted adult.”

Ingoglia’s organization chose the participating organizations with support from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation.

To ensure additional support for students taking the training, the school district has trained more than 500 staffers in Youth Mental Health First Aid.

In an initiative announced earlier, Gardner Edgerton became the first school district in Johnson County to join the mental health co-responder program, which embeds clinicians with police and emergency crews to better deal with situations involving mental illness. Tanise Smith is the district’s co-responder.

“Tanise works with students who may be having a mental health crisis, then often follows up with them and/or their families in person or by phone to check in on how they’re doing,” the district said on its website. “Having Tanise on board will help us to provide the right intervention at the right time for our students and give more support to our staff. This is a pilot program and will continue to evolve throughout the year.”

JCCC offers new technology

Johnson County Community College says it’s the first school in Kansas to offer a service to people with vision loss to help them with daily activities on campus. The system, called Aira, went live in August.

Through either a mobile phone application or glasses equipped with a high-definition camera and a speaker, Aira users can send a live stream of what’s happening around them to an Aira “agent,” who will look at the footage and relay information back.

The technology, for example, can help people navigate areas of the campus that are new to them, read an inaccessible PDF on a computer or know what’s available at a vending machine.

PV sets meeting on new skate park

Prairie Village wants to replace its skateboard park, which has been deteriorating more quickly than expected since it was installed in Harmon Park. Significant hairline cracking has occurred.

The city hopes to replace the skate park by this time next year and has hired Newline Skate Parks for the design work. On the evening of Sept. 19, officials want to hear from skateboard enthusiasts about what they’d like to see in the new park.

The public meeting — the first of three expected to be held during the design phase — is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Clubhouse, 9101 Nall Ave.

The committee developing the project includes City Council members, city staffers and three members from the skateboarding community. Construction is expected to begin around March.

Leawood deemed safest city in Kansas

Two websites have named Leawood the safest city in Kansas. said that Kansas overall has a violent crime rate slightly above the national average, but that many of its cities are very safe.

It said that Leawood logged fewer than .88 violent crimes per 1,000 residents during the time period studied, “putting it in great company with similar sized communities around the country.”

The next two spots went to the Wichita suburbs of Andover and Derby, but Lenexa was judged fourth-safest. The site said Lenexa’s rates of violent and property crime “are very impressive for a city of over 50,000 in population.”

The other website,, ranked the top four this way: Leawood, Liberal, Lenexa and Lansing.

Quixotic at OP Arboretum

The performance group Quixotic will bring its unique style of movement, music and light to the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in the coming days.

The new event, Terra Luna, will take place from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sept. 19-21. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Find more information and registration through the calendar listing at The arboretum is at 8909 W. 179th St., west of U.S. 69.

Shredding/e-recycling event in northeast JoCo

Several cities in the northeast corner of Johnson County are sponsoring a paper shredding and electronics recycling event from 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 21. The event will take place at 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway, east of Roe Boulevard and south of 55th Street.

Participating cities are Fairway, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Roeland Park, Westwood and Westwood Hills. Proof of residency in one of those cities, such as a driver’s license or utility bill, will be required. The event is not for businesses.

Most electronics are free to recycle, but fees of $20 and $25 will be charged for PC monitors and TVs, respectively.

Time to weigh in on Strang Park upgrades

Overland Park intends to renovate its 10-acre Strang Park in 2020, and two meetings have been scheduled for residents to share their thoughts about future improvements.

Pickleball? Tennis? Something involving the old Strang Line railroad tracks?

Both open houses will take place just north of the park, at the Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St. The meetings are scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and Oct. 17.

The open houses are come-and-go events with no formal presentation.

Broadmoor Bistro back in business

The Broadmoor Bistro, run by culinary students in the Shawnee Mission School District, will serve its first four-course Wednesday dinner of the year on Sept. 18. Seatings are from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The bistro, located in the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St., has developed a fall menu featuring items such as hot chicken croquettes, roasted game hen, spinach and wild mushroom lasagna, and beignets.

For details, menus and reservations, go to

Students also will host several guest chef dinners and special events throughout the year. This fall, Bistro students are also selling baked goods at the Overland Park Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings.

Young person sought for Mission grand marshal

The Mission Business Partnership is hosting a contest to decide the grand marshal of the 2019 Mission Sunflower Festival parade on Oct. 12. It’s looking for an elementary student who loves living in Mission.

Those interested should go to, download the form and write an essay about why they love the city. The essays are due Sept. 27. The mayor will choose the winner.

Lenexa Rec Center open house

The Lenexa Rec Center is offering free admission during an open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 21.

The event known as ReXpo, will feature bounce houses, dodgeball, gaga ball, pickleball and other activities for kids. The address is 17201 W. 87th St. Parkway.