Olathe & Southwest Joco

Turnips turn into jack-o’-lanterns and other fun at All Hallows Eve event

Plains pioneers sometimes turned turnips into jack-o’-lanterns.
Plains pioneers sometimes turned turnips into jack-o’-lanterns.

Tragedy averted in Olathe lunchroom

Shortly after classes resumed at Manchester Elementary School in Olathe, vigilant staff members prevented a lunchroom emergency from becoming something worse.

When the incident happened in late August, lead custodian Brian Carmody and general aide Lindsey Forsythe noticed something was amiss with third-grader Jake Holwick. They approached him immediately, which got the attention of Principal Sean Bohon.

“When I saw them go to Jake, I knew something was wrong,” Bohon said.

The boy was choking on a sandwich.

Bohon started using the Heimlich maneuver on Jake before school nurse Bev Vanderslice stepped in.

The sandwich was dislodged, prompting Jake to deliver a handmade card to Bohon the next day.

“We are so appreciative of Mr. Bohon’s efforts and Mrs. Vanderslice taking care of him after the incident,” Jake’s mother, Kari Holwick, said in a news release. “This is just another example of how Manchester Park Elementary demonstrates kindness.”

Olathe developing Spanish immersion program

The Olathe School District is developing a Spanish language immersion program for possible use in the district as soon as the fall of 2020.

Brent Yeager, assistant superintendent for learning services, and Michael Flenthrope, ELL/world language coordinator, briefed the school board about the effort this month.

Hazardous waste drop-off

Residents from across Johnson County can dispose of old paint cans, gas and oil, chemicals, pesticides and other household hazardous waste at Olathe’s drop-off location, which is open the second Saturday of each month.

The next free event will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 14 at 1420 S. Robinson Drive. No appointment is necessary, but people should bring a photo ID and be prepared to give a general description of their items. Get details on what’s accepted at olatheks.org.

Cemetery tours in late September

Tickets are on sale for Olathe Historic Cemetery Tours offered in late September by the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm in Olathe. Recommended for ages 5 and up, the tours enable participants to learn about Olathe’s historic figures as described by staff members and volunteers dressed in period clothing. This year’s theme is public safety.

Tours will begin on the west side of Northview Elementary School at 905 N. Walker Lane on the evenings of Sept. 26, 27 and 28. The hour-long treks — limited to 30 people each — start at 7, 7:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m. except on Sept. 28 when there is no 8:30 p.m. tour. Sept. 26 is Scout Night, when all Scouts will earn a cemetery tour patch.

Tickets are $7 and must be purchased in advance at Mahaffie, 1200 E. Kansas City Road, or by calling 913-971-5111.

Gardner hosts weekend of barbecue and booze

Local wineries, breweries and distilleries will be represented Sept. 28 in Gardner at the third annual Grand Slam Craft Beer, Wine & Spirits Fest organized by the city parks and recreation department.

The adult-only event in Celebration Park — which also includes appetizers, yard games, DJ music and a commemorative sample glass — runs from 7 to 10 p.m. and will be limited to the first 1,000 people who sign up.

Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 on day of the event if available. For online registration, an extra fee raises the cost to $38.55. Find out more through the calendar listing at gardnerkansas.gov.

The Grand Slam fest caps two days of fun in the city. It’s preceded by the Smoke on the Trails BBQ competition, which begins on Sept. 27 and concludes by 3 p.m. Sept. 28. The barbecue event is also at Celebration Park, 32501 W. 159th St.

Sept. 23 is Olathe Family Day

Several Olathe entities are encouraging parents to actively engage with their children on Sept. 23 for Olathe Family Day. Families are encouraged to spend time together doing something they enjoy, such as playing games, taking a walk, visiting a park or just eating together and conversing.

If participants post selfies of their activities to social media with the hashtag #OlatheFamilyDay, they will be entered in a drawing for five $25 Hy-Vee gift cards.

The national Family Day initiative was created by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse to promote simple acts of parental engagement as a way to reduce risky behavior by children and teens.

Halloween workshop at Mahaffie

Jack-o’-lanterns carved from turnips?

Back in the 19th century, that wouldn’t have sounded as weird as it does today. Turnip jack-o’-lanterns constitute one of the Halloween activities being offered Sept. 17 at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm.

The All Hallows Eve event, which starts at 7 p.m. and costs $5, also will include 1860s-style games such as snap-apple and a chance to learn about the future through divination.

Registration is required at mahaffie.org. The historic site is at 1200 E Kansas City Road.