Government & Politics

Olathe Live! returns with concert from The Pic and Bow

Guitarist Charles David Smart and violinist/vocalist Michelle Gawith are known as The Pic and Bow. The city of Olathe says the two play everything from Bach to bluegrass.
Guitarist Charles David Smart and violinist/vocalist Michelle Gawith are known as The Pic and Bow. The city of Olathe says the two play everything from Bach to bluegrass. Photo provided

Olathe Live! returns at 7 p.m. on Feb. 22 with a local duo, The Pic and Bow. Doors open at 6 p.m. and seating is limited at the Olathe Community Center, 1205 E. Kansas City Road.

The city schedules Olathe Live! concerts throughout the year. Donations collected at the events go to local charities.

Learn about tough teen issues

Experts will share information about teenage substance abuse and suicide prevention at a March 7 discussion hosted by the Prairie Village Police Department in collaboration with First Call KC.

Panel members include experts from the clinical setting as well as police officers who work in the schools. People in long-term recovery from drugs, alcohol, and suicidal episodes will share their stories as well.

The event is intended for anyone who eager to learn about the symptoms of substance abuse and techniques for discussing these issues with a child.

The forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 7 at the Prairie Village Municipal Building, 7700 Mission Road. Learn more by visiting or by emailing police Capt. Byron Roberson at

Shawnee to share fire station plans

Shawnee will build a new fire station for the western part of the city near Johnson and Woodsonia drives, and wants to brief neighbors on the plans.

At a Feb. 21 meeting, city officials will share renderings of Station 74 and answer any questions that residents might have. The session will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at Riverview Elementary School, 21550 W. 47th St.

Irish music for older adults

The local Irish band Celtique will perform March 2 at an Overland Park event to celebrate National Irish-American Heritage Month.

Those attending will also enjoy Irish treats and a chance to learn a basic Gaelic dance. The registration deadline is Feb. 23.

The 90-minute “Irish Celebration with Celtique” is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at the Matt Ross Community Center, 8101 Marty St. It’s sponsored by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s 50-plus department, but younger people may attend if space is available.

The cost is $10 per person. To register, call 913-826-2850 or click the Activity Registration, click on “Activity Registration” and search for barcode 41806. Younger people may call 913-826-3030 for space availability.

Engineering award honors Merriam project

Merriam has received an award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Kansas for a three-month project that improved street pavement, sidewalks, street lighting, and storm drainage along Merriam Lane and at 51st Street between Switzer Road and Knox Avenue.

The city used the engineering firm Affinis Corp. for work, which was undertaken to support economic growth in the two areas.

The Engineering Excellence Award for Innovation and Outstanding Engineering recognizes complex and unique or innovative applications to engineering projects, the city said.

Auditions upcoming for high school singing contest

Calling all teenagers who like to sing: It’s time to register to audition for the ninth annual KC SuperStar competition, which aims to identify the best high school singer in the Kansas City area.

The grand prize is a $10,000 scholarship. Scholarships of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 also will be awarded for second through fourth places.

Auditions will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on March 4 as well as from 5 to 7 p.m. March 7 at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 5801 W. 115th St. in Overland Park. The center, known as The J, produces KC SuperStar.

Vocalists should prepare to sing one song of their choice, without accompaniment. Individuals from all backgrounds, representing all musical genres and Kansas City area neighborhoods, are encouraged to try out.

Singers need attend only one audition.

To register, visit or to submit a registration form. Up to 25 performers will be chosen to compete in the June 4 semifinals with the final event scheduled for Aug. 26.

Chat with lawmakers at the library

The Johnson County Library’s “Legislative Coffees” series, presented in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Johnson County, starts Feb. 24 at the Corinth Library, 8100 Mission Road.

The first session is scheduled for 10 to 11:30 a.m. with State Sen. Pat Pettey and State Reps. Stephanie Clayton, Jarrod Ousley, Melissa Rooker and Jerry Stogsdill.

The second coffee will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on March 10 at the Blue Valley branch, 9000 W. 151st St.

Museum offers ‘backstage’ tour

The Johnson County Museum will conduct a behind-the-scenes tour this month of its collections storage area at the new Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park.

The tour will begin at 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 and will include information on how and why the museum collects its materials. The arts center holds the two-dimensional collection, which includes manuscripts, maps, photographs and quilts.

The tour lasts 60 minutes and costs $10 for most adults, $9 for ages 60 and up and $8 for children 1 to 18. To register, call 913-831-3359 or click on Activity Registration at and search for barcode 42021.

Museum members receive a 20-percent discount, but must register by calling 913-826-ARTS.

Another tour is scheduled for April 18. To schedule a separate time for youth organizations or groups of six to 12 people, call 913-826-ARTS.

Lenexa seeks Volunteer Hall of Fame nominees

Lenexa is seeking nominees for its Volunteer Hall of Fame, which recognizes people who live or volunteer in Lenexa and have dedicated years of service to an organization like the city or Scouts.

Nominations must be submitted — which should include the name, address and phone number of the nominee along with a detailed description of his or her volunteer efforts and how they have made a positive impact on the community — by March 9 in writing.

The nominee should have at least five years of continuous service, and more than one volunteer activity may be listed. Elected officials and current city employees are not eligible, but former office holders may be considered for outstanding volunteer efforts.

Mail the nomination, including the nominator’s name and phone number, to the City Clerk at 17101 W. 87th St. Pkwy, Lenexa, KS 66219 or send it via email to

Lenexa artists honored

Fourteen Lenexa artists have been honored for their work portraying the beauty of Lenexa in the most recent Heart of Lenexa contest.

The top winners in the most recent Heart of Lenexa contest were:

▪ Ages 5-12: Lyndon Collette, 9, for “Christmas in the Park.”

▪ Ages 13-18: William Delzeit, 14, for “Frog.”

▪ Adult: Jim Stearman, for “Lenexa Sky.”

▪ Founder’s award: Sonda Caffrey, for “Lenexa: Past Present and Future.”

Honorable mentions went to Kim Cawthon, Jack Miller, Jaeden Maere, Lisa Coyan, Leigh Mitchell, Charlotte Sime, Kris Coyan, Wendy Delzeit, Wyatt O’Hara and Lila O’Hara.

All entries will be displayed through Feb. 26 at City Hall, 17101 W. 87th St. Parkway.

Kansas parks group honors locals

The Kansas Recreation & Park Association honored several local individuals at its recent conference in Wichita:

▪ Terry Anderson, Johnson County Park Police Department, Outstanding Park Law Professional Award.

▪ Jill Geller, Johnson County Park & Recreation District, Distinguished Fellow Award.

▪ Cheryl Doleshal, Lenexa Parks and Recreation, Distinguished Service Award.

▪ Judy Shelton from Bonner Springs, Distinguished Volunteer Award

▪ Rufus Nye, Blue Valley Recreation Commission, Distinguished Board or Commission Member Award

▪ Steve Klika, Johnson County commissioner, Distinguished Elected Official.

Olathe Health Cancer Center to celebrate opening

Olathe Health System will cut the ribbon on its new Cancer Center at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 during a grand opening from 4 to 6 p.m.

The cancer center is located at 15123 S. OMC Parkway, just west of Olathe Medical Center.

Olathe Health said the project integrates most outpatient cancer services into one location, making it easier for doctors to collaborate.

The new center includes a radiation therapy suite; an infusion suite where cancer drugs are administered; a boutique that specializes in comfort and cosmetic items, and a relaxation courtyard with landscaping and outdoor seating.

Mexican diplomat to speak at JCCC

The region’s head consul for Mexico will visit Johnson County Community College at 11 a.m. on Feb. 28 to discuss the 2018 elections in his country, which are the largest ever with more than 3,400 positions open from the presidency on down.

The discussion, scheduled for Room 211 of the Carlsen Center, features Alfonso Navarro-Bernachi of Overland Park, a career diplomat who serves a consular district encompassing Missouri, Kansas and western Oklahoma.

Seed-sharing at arboretum

A seed-sharing event is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, 8909 W. 179th St.

Those attending will be able to pick out seeds that Jim Earnest and Ken O’Dell have collected from the wilderness, woodlands and prairies. More than 50 kinds of trees will be represented, as well as shrubs, wildflowers, vines and grasses.

Small bags will be provided to put seeds in. Organizers suggest that gardeners bring a notebook to record instructions for planting and caring for the seeds. Visitors will be limited to five or 10 seeds of each variety.

The event at the arboretum’s visitor center is sponsored by the Friends of the Arboretum. The only cost is the $3 admission fee to the arboretum, but members get in free. No registration is required.

Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to The Star