Olathe news briefs for the week of Jan. 26

City Council

Polar Plunge set for Feb. 7

The public is invited to take part in the annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 7 at Shawnee Mission Park Lake, 7900 Renner Road, Lenexa.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. and plunging is scheduled to begin at 10. To register online and for other information, click here. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics Kansas.

The public is invited to a pre-plunge event from noon to 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6, at Johnny’s, 10384 Ridgeview, Olathe, to register or pick up registration packets. Work up some dutch courage, brag about your costume, hang 10 with fellow plungers or peace out while you enjoy chili and a soda for $10.

Parking and Registration

Registration for the Plunge is at the Swim Beach, registration for the Strut is at the start.
There is no shuttle bus this year, parking is inside the park in the vicinity of the beach and marina.

Nurse describes scene outside Olathe officer’s room


The Olathe Police Department is mourning the loss of one of its own, just as he was preparing to help escort President Obama on his trip to Kansas.

Traffic Motor Officer Michael Kern, 43, suffered an apparent heart attack on Tuesday. FOX 4 spoke with an emergency room nurse on Thursday who says Olathe Medical Center also feels like they lost one of their own.

Emergency room doctors and nurses at OMC work closely with police officers who often bring in people in custody, or in need of care. The emergency room nurse on duty the night Officer Kern was brought in said it was a sad day, but it was also heartwarming to see the love shared between the men and women in blue. Continue reading

Service arrangements set for James Franklin

According to a post on gofundme.com, final arrangements have been prepared for former Olathe North High School graduate and football star James Franklin, who was found dead in his Olathe apartment this past week.

A candle light vigil will be at 6: 30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at Center of Grace, 520 South Harrison, Olathe.

There will be a visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Penwell Gabel Funeral Home, 14275 Blackbob in Olathe.

Franklin will be buried on Feb. 7. Services will be at 10 am at Lenexa Baptist Church, 15320 W. 87th St. Parkway, Lenexa.

Olathe police officer suffers fatal heart attack

Was to take part in presidential escort

Olathe Police Officer Michael Kern, who was preparing his motorcycle Jan. 20 and was to be part of the escort for President Obama, collapsed and died after suffering a heart attack at about 5 p.m.

Members of the Olathe Police Department, Olathe Fire Department and Johnson County Med-Act were dispatched to the scene

Kern, who worked as a traffic motor officer, served with the Olathe Police Department 13 years and had previously served three years with the Cass County, Missouri Sheriff’s Department.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters and his son.

The family and police department are requesting privacy during this time of mourning. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home and Crematory. Obituary information is pending.


Monday, January 26, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Family Life Center at Life Church, 16111 South Lone Elm Road, Olathe, Kansas

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Worship Center at Life Church, 16111 South Lone Elm Road, Olathe, Kansas

Olathe woman found with gunshot wound to chest

Olathe police found a 22-year-old female with a gunshot wound to the chest just before midnight, Tuesday, Jan. 20, in her Clairborne Courts apartment in the 1500 block of east College Way.

According to the police, people reported gun shots being heard in the area near an apartment complex. Initial reports indicate that the gunshots were fired from the street in the direction of a specific apartment.

Besides the female, police said a one-year-old child also was in the apartment at the time of the incident but was not injured. The female was transported to the hospital and is listed in stable condition. Police said she is expected to recover from her wound.

This case remains under investigation by the Olathe Police Department. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Olathe Police Department at 913-971-6950 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

Former Olathe North grid standout found dead

Former Olathe North High School football star James Franklin, was found dead Sunday, Jan. 19, by Olathe police officers after responding to a call at the Edge apartment complex at 12200 S. Strang Line Road.

Police did not release any further details.

Franklin, who broke Darren Sproles single-season rushing record with 2,803 years his senior year, also scored 31 touchdowns and captured that year’s Simone Award as the Kansas City area’s best player in leading North to an undefeated season and Kansas Class 6A state championship in 2009. Continue reading


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