County high schools receive top rankings

ClassicRavenonBlackBackground-300x2601-150x150U.S. News & World Report today, Tuesday, April 23, revealed its annual Best High Schools Rankings in the nation and by state. In Kansas, four of the top six high schools were from Johnson County.

The 2013 top 10 ranked Kansas schools are No. 1 Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences; No. 2 Blue Valley North High School; No. 3 Blue Valley High School; No. 4 Olathe Northwest High School; No. 5 Northeast Magnet High School in Wichita; No. 6 Gardner-Edgerton High School; No. 7 Liberal Senior High School; No. 8 Fort Senior High School; No. 9 Maize Senior High School; and No. 10 Louisburg High School.

Ranked 1,319 nationally out of more than 21,000 high schools nationwide, Olathe Northwest received a silver medal. Its students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Northwest is 36 percent. The student body makeup is 55 percent male and 45 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 23 percent. Olathe Northwest High School is 1 of 4 high schools in the Olathe. Continue reading

BioBlitz registration underway

Naturalists young and old can click here to sign up now for the 2013 BioBlitz, to be held at the Arboretum on June 15.

Scientists, teachers, students and the public will take a one-day inventory of living organisms and study the biodiversity and abundance we enjoy at the Arboretum. Spend a day with experts identifying birds, bats, butterflies and moths, spiders, reptiles and amphibians, mushrooms, insects, flowers, trees, dragonflies and damselflies, and life on the prairie.

Registration is limited to the first 125 adults and youngsters 14 and older. Non-member registration is $28 per person, $18 for students with I.D., or $25/$15 for FOTA members. Make your choice of specific classes when you register. Pre-register at the same time for lunch ($8.50) or bring your own.

As an example of the diversity that was recorded at last fall’s BioBlitz, bird expert Mike Stoakes submitted the following list of birds his groups saw and/or heard on that day: Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern), Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, House Finch, and American Goldfinch.

If you have questions, contact BioBlitz Chair Dan Johnson at Brochures with complete information are available in the Visitors Center, or click here for a PDF you can download.


Barnyard Babies at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame April 27

Spring on the farm is a time for sprouting crops, blooming flowers and baby animals! And from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,  Saturday, April 27come see what animals can be found on the farm including chicks, calves, alpacas, sheep, goats, bees, pigs, horses, burros and more at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs.

Ride the Shriner’s Fire Wagons, hay wagons and miniature train. Enjoy pig races, milking and sheep shearing demonstrations, soil tunnel trailer, hands-on kids farming activities, blacksmith, living history, and more. There will be free ice cream from Blue Bell along with other food vendors.

The event is hosted by Leavenworth County Farm Bureau.

Special discounted rates apply: $5 adults, $3 children (4-16), under 4 free, members free.

The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame is located just northeast of I-70/K-7 interchange in Bonner Springs, two miles west of the Kansas Speedway.

For more information call 913-721-1075, e-mail or visit us at

Cupcake Camp KC at JCCC April 28

Cupcake Camp KC at JCCC Sunday, April 28. Photo from JCCC web page.

Cupcake Camp KC at JCCC Sunday, April 28. Photo from JCCC web page.

Got a bit of a sweet tooth? Want to help children battling cancer?

If you answered yes to either question (or to both), then you’ll be a happy camper at Cupcake Camp KC from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Johnson County Community College.

Professional and amateur bakers from throughout the Kansas City area will gather in the Capitol Federal Conference Center in the Regnier Center to offer up piles of their best mini cupcakes.

For $10, adults receive admission to the event and four coupons. Each coupon allows them a taster-size cupcake from one of the bakers at the camp. Children younger than age 12 are admitted for $5 and two coupons. Additional cupcake coupons are $2 each. Continue reading

County library wants residents’ input

Furnished by Finn Bullers

What do you want for the future of the Johnson County Library?

That is the question library officials are asking county residents as budget leaders scan a murky financial landscape that may mean even deeper cuts in the future.

Now under way, the “Library Conversation” is a way for you to help shape how limited future resources are to be allocated to one of the most highly visible services the county provides its residents.

You have two months to voice your opinion.

“Many people may say the library is not relative, that e-books and e-content can be acquired from other sources,” library spokeswoman Marsha Bennett said.

“But we know for some the library is a lifeline — a place where they can come to fill out job applications using a library computer, get help with homework or find information on subjects critical to their lives.”

Visit to have your voice heard. The deadline is June 30.

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