Young people and adults with disabilities are invited Feb. 11 to learn what to expect from first responders in Olathe — what they may wear, say, and do as well as how to react.
The First Responder Safety Workshop is scheduled from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Olathe Fire Building, 1225 S. Hamilton Circle. Lunch will be provided.
Space is limited to 60 individuals. RSVP with contact information to Vanessa Vaughn West at VLVaughnWest@OlatheKS.org or 913-971-8827.
Olathe recycles close to half of waste
Olathe residents diverted 45.27 percent of their waste from landfills in 2017, the city announced, up from 44.60 percent in 2016.
The national recycling average is 34 percent.
Olathe said the recycling efforts kept at least 32,000 tons of trash out of the landfill last year. When two major storms blew through the city last year, recycling of yard debris was especially important for diverting waste from the landfill.
Congressional candidate forum is Feb. 11
Congregation Beth Torah will host a candidate forum from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 for all declared candidates for the 3rd Kansas Congressional District seat now occupied by Republican Kevin Yoder.
Nick Haines of public television station KCPT will moderate the forum. Beth Torah is at 6100 W. 127th St. in Overland Park.
Jewish Vocational Services, the New Reform Temple and The Temple, Congregation B’nai Jehudah are co-sponsoring the event.
New Mission councilman was final mayor of Countryside
The newest member of the Mission City Council knows a lot about a key chapter in the city’s political history. He lived it.
Ken Davis was the last mayor of Countryside, holding the post from 1995 to 2003, and helped guide that city’s consolidation with Mission, the city said. He previously served two years on the Countryside council.
Davis was appointed Jan. 17 to the Ward IV seat in Mission, which was vacated when Ron Appletoft took office as mayor in early January. Davis also is a former chair of the Johnson County Library Board.
He retired in 2015 as a faculty member for the University of Kansas Medical Center’s School of Health Professions.
Fences, work-from-home rules on Merriam agenda
The Meriam Planning Commission will hold a public hearing the evening of Feb. 7 to take comments on proposed changes to the city’s fencing, group-home and home occupation ordinances.
The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall, 9001 W. 62nd St.
The fencing provisions outline what fencing materials will be allowed and require that new fences be installed with the smooth side facing adjacent properties and the support structures visible to the fence owner.
The city said that the group-home amendments would bring Merriam in line with state and federal provisions.
The home occupation discussion arises from the trend of more individuals working from home as independent contractors.
Spellers advance to state bee
Rishi Shetty from Aubry Bend Middle School and Sarah Ellison from Trailridge Middle School will represent Johnson County in the Sunflower State Spelling Bee in March.
Shetty, a student in the Blue Valley School District, finished first in the recent Johnson County Spelling Bee, which hosted by the Shawnee Mission School District. Ellison, whose school is in the Shawnee Mission School District, took second place.
Great Backyard Bird Count coming up
Johnson Countians can be part of an annual bird-counting exercise that is used to assess the health of bird populations worldwide. This year’s count is scheduled for Feb. 16-19.
For the 11th year, the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe is inviting local residents to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 17, visitors can drop into the Wildlife Viewing Room at the center, 909 N. Kansas 7, to learn about and look for birds that winter in northeast Kansas.
Likely candidates for viewing include northern cardinals, black-capped chickadees, American goldfinches and red-tailed hawks. No reservations are required.
The Great Backyard Bird Count helps researchers learn more about how birds are faring and how to protect them. Last year, people from more than 250 countries identified 5,940 species. More information can be found at www.birdcount.org.
Olathe Library to hold book sale
The next book sale by the Friends of the Olathe Public Library is scheduled for Feb. 9-11 at the Teen Commons, 16160 W. 135th St.
Sale hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the first two days, followed by the “Six-Bucks-a-Sack Sale” from noon to 3 p.m. on Feb. 11. Visitors can buy a plastic sack for $6 and fill it with library materials. If you buy two sacks, you get four for free.
Cash and checks will be accepted.
Free day Feb. 19 at Johnson County Museum
Many children will be out of school on Presidents Day, so the Johnson County Museum is offering free admission that day at its new location in the former King Louie building in Overland Park.
Kids and caregivers can drop into museum at 8788 Metcalf Ave. from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 and experience the exhibits, including KidScape and the 1950s All-Electric House.
Through make-believe, KidScape allows children to experience three time periods in local history: an 1870 farmstead, a 1900s city and a 1950s diner.
Winter events at Mahaffie in Olathe
The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm in Olathe has scheduled three events this month with the potential of alleviating winter boredom with a serving of history:
▪ Feb. 10: Guests can dine by lantern light on stewed beef, mashed potatoes, breads and winter preserves in an 1865 stagecoach dining room from 4 to 7 p.m. Guests arrive by stagecoach and go to the parlor afterward for games, dessert and music. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Cost: $49.
▪ Feb. 24: Mahaffie will host its annual Winter on the Farm event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can help with chores and see activities like cookstove and maple syrup demonstrations. There’s also horse-powered threshing demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., blacksmithing and soap making. Stagecoach rides will be offered if conditions allow.
The cost is the regular admission of $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 11. Olathe residents receive a $2 discount.
▪ Feb. 24: Pancakes with the Presidents from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Visitors can eat pancakes and sausage, make a craft and meet Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The cost is $8 for ages 3 and up and includes all Winter on the Farm activities that follow. Registration and payment is required by Feb. 23.
Visit Mahaffie.org or call 913-971-5111 to register for the breakfast and dinner events.
SM North’s NJROTC are regional champions
The Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) at Shawnee Mission North High School recently captured its 12th straight Area 9 Regional Championship and will make its 13th consecutive appearance in the national competition this spring in Florida.
For the regionals, the Shawnee Mission North squad competed in Oklahoma City against teams from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.
North finished first in eight of the 11 events and second in the three other events.
Gardner wins award for September event
The city of Gardner has received a statewide award for its Smoke on the Trails/Grand Slam Beer and Wine Festival from September 2017.
This Kansas Recreation and Park Association, or KRPA, gives its annual Innovative Recreation Program award to an outstanding new or innovative program.
Gardner’s first-time event involved the combination of a barbecue competition and a beer and wine sampling social.
The Smoke on the Trails competition, a sanctioned event of the Kansas City BBQ Society, drew nearly 70 teams. The Grand Slam Craft Beer & Wine Festival, which took place in the outfield of a Celebration Park baseball field, sold out to 850 attendees who sampled libations from several local breweries and wineries.
The award was given Jan. 25 during the KRPA conference in Wichita.
Camp for kids whose parents have cancer
Applications are being accepted for a free summer camp that serves children with a parent who is dealing with a cancer diagnosis.
College students from across the country organize these camps, called Camp Kesem. University of Kansas students are planning this year’s camp, scheduled from May 28 through June 4 in Junction City.
To learn more or to register a child, visit www.kesem.org.
Art sale at arboretum
Local artists will be selling their creations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
Merchandise will include jewelry, accessories, pottery, art, and apparel. The indoor event is included with admission to the arboretum, 8909 W. 179th St.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to The Star