Olathe news briefs for the week of Sept. 14

City Council

The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. Regular sessions are broadcast live on OGN (Comcast channel 7, AT&T channel 99 and on the City’s website).  For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage.

Digital Sandbox event Thursday, Sept. 17 seeks to engage Olathe entrepreneurs

Many cities are trying to attract startups. Now, with a unique partnership between the City of Olathe and the Digital Sandbox KC, residents and businesses in Olathe can apply for grants to help turn their ideas into business starts.

The Digital Sandbox KC and the City of Olathe are hosting an interactive event Thursday, Sept. 17, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Olathe City Hall for early-stage entrepreneurs who want to take the next step. Often, proof-of-concept support is a barrier: typical Sandbox grants are between $20,000 and $25,000.

“The Digital Sandbox is a highly successful proof-of-concept program,” City Manager Michael Wilkes said. “We know there are some great ideas and entrepreneurs in Olathe that just need a little push in the right direction.”

The Digital Sandbox works because of a strong relationship with community, corporate and business development resources. The partnership with the City of Olathe focuses on continuing the City’s efforts to drive entrepreneurship and new business starts.

“The Sandbox provides support to early-stage entrepreneurs whose ideas have possibility to soar,” Digital Sandbox KC Executive Director Jeff Shackelford said. “We’re looking to find the next Garmin, the next great Olathe company.”

The first company in Olathe to receive Digital Sandbox KC program support is PerfectCube, founded by Mark Calhoun and Jim Starcev. PerfectCube provides business analytics tools – typically available only to large retailers – for small retail business owners. Co-founder Mark Calhoun will share his story at the event to demonstrate the importance of early-stage monies and how that has impacted their business.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is required.

Launched in February 2013, the Digital Sandbox KC has worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and early-stage companies across the metro area. This is the first time the program will be used to drive increased entrepreneurship for a specific city.

Results for Digital Sandbox KC thus far have included:

  • 54 proof-of-concept funded for area startups
  • 23 new businesses created
  • 181 jobs created
  • $17.8 million in follow-on funding

Applications for Digital Sandbox KC are taken on a rolling basis and evaluation/selection cycles run eight weeks. The Sandbox funding may cover expenses for project consultants, legal support, equipment and other market validation, prototyping and beta testing needs. Olathe entrepreneurs are encouraged to visit http://www.digitalsandboxkc.com for more information.

Share your opinions to update the City’s Plan Olathe Comprehensive Plan

In 2010, the City of Olathe developed a comprehensive plan outlining the community’s vision for how Olathe will grow today and in the future. It’s time to update that plan and stakeholder input is critical. Residents, businesses and community partners are invited to talk to City staff at a workshop Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe.

Feedback is important to ensure the Olathe Comprehensive Plan remains a community-driven effort. If you are unable to attend the workshop, please provide your feedback via the PlanOlathe Comprehensive Plan survey, available through Tuesday, Sept. 22. Those who complete the online survey will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Visa gift card. To read the current plan, visit PlanOlathe.org.

Celebrate history and culture during Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrate the histories, cultures, and contributions of Latino-Americans with free events and activities from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.  More than 15 organizations joined together to plan the festivities. A competitive grant secured by the Olathe Public Library funds several of the events, building on the City’s first celebration last year. Activities offer Olathe residents and friends from neighboring cities a glimpse at the art, music, culture and history of the nation’s largest minority.

For specific event details, visit OlatheKS.org/HispanicHeritageMonth.

Mahaffie Wild West Days Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27
Enjoy Wild West skits, live entertainment, and children’s games at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s annual Wild West Days, Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept. 27.  This popular event offers visitors a variety of experiences and live entertainment to provide a taste of life in Kansas during the Old West.

Wild West Days will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Olathe historic site, 1200 E. Kansas City Rd. Family friendly admission is $5/person ages 5 & up or five people for $20; youth ages 4 and under are free. Food will be available for purchase. Some games and activities have an additional fee.

Stagecoach rides will be provided at no charge courtesy of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau.  On-going entertainment will be presented in view of the stagecoach area including stagecoach robberies and re-enactments.

Performances this year include Wicked Liars, the Whip Guy, the Whip Crackin’ Dare Devils, and Gunsmoke & Petticoats. Buffalo Bill will serve as Master of Ceremonies throughout the weekend. Rose Marie’s Fiesta Mexicana Dancers perform Sunday only. Children’s activities include a shooting gallery (ages 8 and up), gold panning, branding, live entertainment and more. Rocking M Miniatures from Leavenworth, KS will be in the arena both days with their teams of miniature donkeys and horses. Visitors of all ages and horse experience are welcome to try their hand at driving a team.

Enjoy an omelet breakfast by the Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club Saturday only from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Heritage Center. Tickets for the breakfast are $8 and include admission to the event. A chuckwagon cook-off will be held Saturday only, with limited samples and voting opportunities. Samples begin at noon on Saturday with voting in several food categories plus the People’s Choice award.

Free event parking with a shuttle to Mahaffie will be available at nearby Olathe North High School, 600 E. Prairie St. Handicapped accessible parking will be available at Mahaffie.  Please do not park in the Olathe Community Center Parking lot as there is plenty of parking at Olathe North.

For more information, visit Mahaffie.org, or call 913-971-5111.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club, Olathe Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, Olathe Bass Pro Shops, Olathe Ford, and Olathe Noon Optimists.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Event Saturday, Sept. 26
Rid your home of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs by disposing of them on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe.  Sponsored by the Olathe Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the service is free and anonymous.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

The DEA and its partners took in over 4.8 million pounds of prescription drugs in nine previous take-back events nationwide from 2010-2014.

Get Active September challenge

Olathe Parks & Recreation has launched a new round of the “Get Active” challenge. Five activities are included in each month’s challenge. Participants who complete specific challenges will be entered into a drawing for monthly prizes and a bi-annual grand prize, a 2016 family swim pass. Submission is made via social media using the hashtag #OlatheActive. For more information, visit OlatheKS.org/ParksRec/GetActive.

Olathe Charities 5K Saturday, Oct. 10

Hit the trails and support Olathe organizations during the inaugural Olathe Charities 5K, Saturday, Oct. 10 at Frontier Park. The run starts at 9 a.m. and loops the Indian Creek Trail. Activities will be available throughout Frontier Park for spectators.

Runner registration includes:

  • Timing chip and race bib
  • T-shirt
  • Finisher medal
  • $20 donation to participants’ selected charity of choice

Runners can register online or call 913-971-8563 with code 11355. Discount registration is $40 through Saturday, Sept. 26, $45 from Sunday, Sept. 27 to Friday, Oct. 9, and $50 the day of the race. A Pooch Pass is available for $10 more.

Olathe Charities 5K is still accepting applications from local charities looking for a fun and easy fundraiser. Selected organizations receive $20 per runner who designate that they are running on behalf of the charity. Organizations with 501c3 status are encouraged to learn more and fill out the online application form.

Featured events at the Olathe Public Library

  • Health Information & Referral Clinic on Tuesday, Sept. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park, and Monday, Sept. 21 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Olathe Indian Creek Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  Get free blood pressure checks from Olathe Fire Department firefighter/paramedics and health information from a librarian.  No appointment is necessary.
  • Job Help with the Workforce Partnership Mobile Unit on Monday, Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park, and from noon to 2 p.m. at the Olathe Indian Creek Library, 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  Receive professional assistance with resume writing, interview skills, and other job related services. The mobile unit is equipped with computers and WiFi. Appointments are not needed.
  • Computer Help Lab on Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Olathe Downtown Library, 201 E. Park.  Learn about Microsoft programs, internet browsers, email, and downloadable books, music, and magazines available from the library. Online training materials are included. Registration is not required.
  • Life in a One-Room Schoolhouse on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Walnut Grove One-Room Schoolhouse, 11900 S. Pflumm Road.  In celebration of National Grandparents Day, the Olathe Public Library is partnering with the Kansas City Theatre for an intergenerational program. Actors, storytellers, musicians, and puppeteers will lead interactive games and activities depicting “a day at school.” The program is open to youth in grades K-6 with accompanying adult. Register on the library events page or by calling 913-971-6888.

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