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Olathe Parks & Rec Foundation helping construct monument honoring Gold Star Families

A group in Olathe is building a monument honoring Gold Star Families, a designation given to families of U.S. Armed Forces members killed in the line of duty.
A group in Olathe is building a monument honoring Gold Star Families, a designation given to families of U.S. Armed Forces members killed in the line of duty.

Donations sought for Gold Star Families memorial

The Olathe Parks & Rec Foundation is assisting a group of Olathe veterans in constructing a monument honoring Gold Star Families, a designation given to families of U.S. Armed Forces members killed in the line of duty.

The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument will be placed in Veterans Park at 1025 S. Harrison St. The cost of the monument is estimated at $50,000, and $20,000 has been raised for far.

Individuals or organizations can mail a contribution to Olathe Parks & Recreation Foundation, c/o Olathe Gold Star Families Memorial, P.O. Box 768, Olathe, KS 66051. Or donations can be made online.

The Gold Star Families Memorial Monument was established by the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation in 2012 with the goal of dedicating one monument in each state. The Olathe monument would be the first in Kansas to salute the mothers, fathers and other family members who lost a loved one in service to the country.

Johnson County Veterans Day event is back on, but indoors

Thanks to an offer of indoor space from American Legion Post #153, Johnson County will be able to hold its Veterans Day observance after all.

The county had canceled the outdoor Nov. 11 event, which was to give a special salute to women veterans, because of predicted cold weather. With the indoor space now available, activities will begin at 11 a.m. as originally scheduled, but at the American Legion hall, 410 E. Dennis Ave. in Olathe.

“We very much appreciate their invitation to join the American Legion in this important Veterans Day observance,” said County Commission Chairman Ed Eilert said.

Merriam, Shawnee honored by statewide group

Merriam and Shawnee snagged two of the six Inspire – Create – Innovate Community Awards this year from the League of Kansas Municipalities.

Merriam was honored in the economic development category for three grant programs started last year designed to improve the community. The details vary, but the city provides grant money as incentives for residents to make exterior home improvements, to purchase and maintain plantings on 20 designated islands on city streets and to build neighborhood solidarity by throwing block parties.

Shawnee won in the communications category for its Shawbucks initiative, which aimed to help businesses affected by the city’s largest-ever infrastructure project, Nieman Now.

The 29 participating businesses received a box and Shawbucks slips that could be filled out by customers. Drawings were held every two weeks in which four winners received $25 in Shawbucks that could be spent at the downtown businesses. The effort not only brought customers back to the construction area but gave the businesses exposure on social media, too. The campaign handed out $1,325 in Shawbucks, according the League of Kansas Municipalities.

Overland Park creates safe place for transactions

Overland Park has created an internet exchange zone outside the Sanders Justice Center, where people can safely complete local online transactions. The parking stalls — marked with green paint — also can be used for child-custody exchanges.

The stalls are at the far south end of the public parking on the east side of the building at 12400 Foster St.

A camera monitors activity in the zone, and officers are routinely in the area because the justice center is also a police station.

A second zone will be installed in the north part of the city when the parking lot at the Myron E. Scafe Building is reconstructed next year.

New electrician apprenticeship program at JCCC

Johnson County Community College has created a partnership with Apple Electric Integrated Solutions to establish a Registered Electrician Apprenticeship program.

Apple Electric contacted the college, expressing a need to quickly double the company’s manpower, according to a news release from the college. That led to the design of an apprenticeship program to train students in areas like safety, print reading, National Electric Code, commercial and industrial wiring, and specific industry software.

For more information about the college’s apprenticeship programs, email

Feedback sought on transportation plan

The Mid-America Regional Council is developing its long-range transportation plan, called Connected KC 2050, and is seeking public feedback before adopting the blueprint next spring.

An online survey has been posted at for those who cannot attend one of three open houses being held this month around the metro. The dates:

Nov. 12 , from 4 to 6 p.m. at Olathe City Hall,100 E. Santa Fe St. A short presentation will be given at 4 p.m. and repeated at 5 p.m.

Nov. 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce, 727 Minnesota Ave. Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated at 5:30.

Nov. 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Mid-America Regional Council office, 600 Broadway, Suite 200, Kansas City. Identical presentations at 4 and 5 p.m.

Meeting to focus on Roeland Park future

Roeland Park invites residents to a public workshop on Nov. 21 to help the city plan for growth and development over the next two decades.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 4600 W. 51st St.

Culinary students will cook for your Thanksgiving

Culinary arts students in the Shawnee Mission School District are selling side dishes, desserts and breakfast items to help harried hosts with their Thanksgiving entertaining. Items include rolls, pies, sage stuffing with a gluten-free option and more.

Orders must be placed by noon Nov. 26 and 8 a.m. to noon Nov. 27 at the Broadmoor Bistro in the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St.

Nuns will be on Leawood stage

The Leawood Stage Company will present “Nuncrackers, the Nunsense Christmas Musical” in mid-November inside the Lodge at Ironwoods Park, 14701 Mission Road.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14-16 and 2. p.m. Nov. 17. Audience members are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for a holiday drive and receive free popcorn and a drink.

Tickets are $14.99. Buy them at, email, or call 913-663-9154.