Olathe & Southwest Joco

Gardner Edgerton High School is offering firefighter career pathway to seniors

Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the first men to walk on the moon, planted the U.S. flag on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. The Olathe Downtown library invites the public to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing on July 20.
Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, the first men to walk on the moon, planted the U.S. flag on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. The Olathe Downtown library invites the public to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing on July 20. The Associated Press

GEHS to prepare seniors for firefighting careers

Starting this fall, Gardner Edgerton High School is offering an Emergency and Fire Management Services career pathway to seniors who want to become nationally certified as firefighters. They will attend class at the Gardner-based Fire District No. 1 of Johnson County.

The goal is to prepare students to pass the national firefighter exam and obtain their EMR certification. By the end of the program, they can obtain national certifications in Firefighter 1, Firefighter 2, HazMat Awareness, HazMat Operations and Emergency Medical Responder.

“These certifications are necessary to get hired in the metro area and they will give them (the students) the advantage of obtaining them while still in high school,’’ fire district Capt. Chris Russell, said in the summer issue of the school district’s Horizons publication.

After graduation, the seniors can choose to get more EMS training at a community college.

“This is a unique opportunity for our students, and we are proud to partner with the fire department,’’ said Melissa McIntire, the district’s coordinator of student support services.

Let’s play the trash/recycling game

The recycling market has changed since China set limits on the recycled materials it accepts. It’s more important than ever to increase the “purity” of recycled materials so they can be sold, and many communities have struggled to educate residents on how and what to recycle.

Now, Olathe has devised a fun way to do it: an online game called “Ready, Set, Sort!” which tests the player’s knowledge of the city’s programs for handling things like trash, recycling and household hazardous waste. During the game, players must sort everyday materials into the correct disposal cart or drop-off location while earning items to build a custom park.

The game is available for free at olathe.recycle.game. Residents can learn more about trash and recycling at OlatheKS.org/TrashDay.

Olathe school board chooses leaders

Shannon Wickliffe will serve another term as president of the Olathe Board of Education, and Joe Beveridge will continue as vice-president for the upcoming year.

They were elected July 11 when the board held its first meeting of the fiscal year.

Wickliffe is the chief development officer at KidsTLC and serves on the Olathe Medical Center board, according to the district website. Beveridge owns an environmental consulting firm.

A fun-filled Friday night

With three events scheduled in two parts of town, the last Friday in July promises to be full of fun in Olathe.

Summer Fun Fest begins at 5 p.m. July 26 with the monthly Fourth Friday activities in downtown Olathe. The event includes live music, food trucks and stuff for kids to do.

Look for more action at Stagecoach Park, 1205 E. Kansas City Road, where giant excavators, street sweepers, trash trucks and other vehicles will be parked for Touch-A-Truck, taking place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event allows family members to touch and safely explore heavy machinery and meet city staffers responsible for them. Educational booths will help children learn about city functions ranging from water testing to GIS mapping.

Also in Stagecoach Park, Olathe Live! will bring two tribute bands, the Elton John Experience and The Who Generation, to the stage starting at 7 p.m. Other attractions include face painting, a photo booth and food trucks. Free shuttle service will be available from Olathe North High School, 600 E. Prairie St.

Coming soon to Olathe

Olathe’s latest city newsletter highlights two new developments:

The Travanse Senior Living Facility at Interstate 35 and 151st Street, with 60 units for independent living. It’s next to a former Holiday Inn that was converted in 2013 to a nursing home and personal care facility.

TownePlace Suites Hotel, planned for the Olathe Station shopping center in the area of 119th Street and Strang Line Road. A restaurant is anticipated in the future next to the 112-room hotel.

History projects take students to national stage

Two Olathe students participated in the National History Day competition held last month in College Park, Maryland. To compete nationally, students must have placed in the top three at the state level.

Kaelyn Wellman, from Olathe Northwest High School, entered the historical paper category and placed first in both the district and state contests.

Olga Lesnik, from Olathe West High School, entered the senior individual exhibit category. She placed second at the district and state competitions.

Neither student placed in the national competition.

Library event will recall moon landing

The Olathe Downtown library invites the public to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing on July 20 with activities, prizes, snacks and surprise guests.

The event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at 201 E. Park St.

On July 20, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.

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