Need to cool off? Try the library
During this season of high temperatures, officials at the Johnson County Library remind residents that they are welcome to spend time at during business hours any library location if they need to cool off.
Call 913-826-4600 or visit jocolibrary.org/locations to check hours of operation at the nearest branch.
New safety rules at Overland Park pools
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Overland Park has changed its rules for water slides and replaced some equipment at two pools, to make sure that swimmers are safe as possible.
To ride main pool slides this summer, swimmers must be 48 inches tall and weigh less than 300 pounds. However, the restrictions do not apply to slides in the youth pools at the city's swimming facilities.
Another change involves the dive wells at Bluejacket Pool and Tomahawk Ridge Aquatic Center. One-meter boards have replaced the 3-meter “high dive” at Bluejacket pool. A new play feature has replaced both diving boards at Tomahawk Ridge Aquatic Center.
"Safety of our pool patrons is Overland Park’s top priority, and these changes have been made out of an abundance of caution," the city said in a news release.
The decisions were made, the city said, after an independent review to ensure that the Overland Park complies with all laws and industry safety standards, which have been updated recently.
Merriam can pay you to throw a block party
Neighborhoods are safer when people know and care about each other, and block parties are one way to promote those relationships.
Now the city of Merriam is offering grants of up to $200 to help offset some block-party costs such as food, paper goods, party favors and entertainers. The city won't pay for alcohol, tents or rented stages, though.
To host a block party, residents first need to fill out a block party notification form with the city clerk at least five days before the event, Then to be eligible for the reimbursement, they'll need to fill out a grant application and save receipts.
Visit merriam.org/blockparty for more information or to make the arrangements.
Shawnee Mission Park named best in state
Money magazine has named Shawnee Mission Park the best in Kansas, noting it is also the most visited park in the state.
"Credit the many amenities on its 1,600 acres," the report said and then listed some: disc golf, an archery range, nature and equestrian trails and an off-leash dog park — as well as boating, fishing or sailboarding in the 120-acre lake.
The main entrance to the park is at 7900 Renner Road in Shawnee.
Gardner getting started on new justice center
The city of Gardner will break ground next week on its new Justice Center that will house the police department and municipal court. Voters approved a $13.725 million bond issue last August to finance the project.
The 33,000-square-foot Justice Center will be built on about 6 acres at the southwest corner of University Drive and Moonlight Road, north of 167th Street. The building will be more secure than the current facility, the city said, and allow for expanded training opportunities and better storage of records and evidence.
A community room will be used for training, staff meetings and if needed, an emergency operations center.
The groundbreaking is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. June 12. The public is invited to attend and hear more about the project, which should be completed by the summer of 2019.
State PTA award goes to school board member
Shawnee Mission school board member Mary Sinclair has received the Virginia Peak Outstanding Leadership Award from the Kansas PTA.
The award recognizes someone who has given exemplary service to Kansas children and youth. Sinclair has served in multiple PTA roles since 2002 at the local, council and state level.
Two representatives of the state PTA surprised Sinclair, who represents the East area of the district, with the recognition during a recent school board meeting.
Tuesday night movies at Theatre in the Park
For $1 per viewer, Theatre in the Park is showing movies every other Tuesday night through the summer.
The films start at 8:30 to 8:45 p.m., depending on the time of sunset. The gates to the Shawnee Mission Park venue, 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee, open at 7:30 p.m. Here's the lineup:
▪ June 12: "Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Sing-along" (rated PG)
▪ June 26: "Wonder Woman" (PG-13)
▪ July 10: "Despicable Me 3 (PG)
▪ July 24: "The Land Before Time" (G)
▪ Aug. 7: Disney’s "Coco" (PG)
Book sale at JCCC benefits library system
The Sizzlin' Summer Book Sale is back for three days this week at the Johnson County Community College Gym, 12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park.
A benefit for the Johnson County Library, the sale will offer thousands of gently-read books and audio/visual materials to the general public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. June 7-8 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 9. Friends of the Johnson County Library have first dibs at a preview sale from 3 to 9 p.m. June 6.
Who says history can't be fun?
On Wednesday mornings in Leawood, costumed turn-of-the-century schoolteachers will entertain kids by reading chapters from a book of historical fiction, and then the young ones can participate in historic games, crafts or activities related to the reading.
The sessions run from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the historic One-Room Oxford Schoolhouse at Ironwoods Park, at 147th Street and Mission Road. The events will be of primary interest to boys and girls 5 to 10 years old, the city said.
The books and dates:
▪ "The Secret School," June 6, 13, 20 and 27.
▪ "Pioneer Sisters," July 11.
▪ "Animal Adventures," July 18.
▪ "Missouri School Days," July 11 and 25.
Children may come for all sessions or choose individual weeks. The cost for each session is $3 per child. No reservations are necessary.
'Summer Breakout' raises money for charity
A block party-like event on June 13 promises all kinds of fun for the family, plus a way to raise money for the Metro Lutheran Ministry's Christmas Store.
The 2018 MLM Summer Breakout will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 7851 W. 119th St. in Overland Park. Look for food trucks, live music, inflatables, locally made chocolate, a wine "pull," art show and silent auction.
Musicians Joy Zimmerman and Jimmy Dykes will perform. Visual artists will exhibit original works in painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, fiber, woodworking, glass and ceramics.
For more information, visit the Events section at mlmkcr.org.
Lenexa buildings earn environmental ratings
Natural lighting. Recycled construction materials. Low-flow plumbing fixtures. Construction waste that's recycled and kept out of landfills. Drought-tolerant landscaping.
Those factors and others have enabled the Lenexa City Hall and the Lenexa Rec Center to receive the Silver Level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification (LEED) designation. The buildings are on the city's new civic campus.
“Achieving this designation for both our new facilities demonstrates our commitment to sustainability practices,” said Deputy City Administrator Todd Pelham. “By pursuing this LEED designation, we not only benefit from increased operational savings, but also provide a healthy, productive work environment for our citizens and our employees."