Day’s events in Boston captures Olathean’s attention, emotions

A police officer gives a thumbs up after bombing suspect No. 2 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev is in custody.

A police officer gives a thumbs up after bombing suspect No. 2 19-year-old Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev is in custody. Internet photo

Having members of his family, including two small grandchildren, being so close to the tragic Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, Olathean Tom Kearney intently watched the non-stop television coverage today, Friday, April 19, of the all-day search for the second bombing suspect.

And when word flashed across the television screen that Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, had been taken into custody, Kearney only could think about what matters to him most: The love of his family.

“I’ve had lot of emotions,” Tom said about the day’s events. “When I got up this morning, I saw the news about one suspect dead and the other in flight.” Continue reading

Garmin Marathon a go; special finish line for Boston marathoners

A video route of the 10th Annual Garmin Marathon through Olathe.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Local runners that participated in the April 15 Boston Marathon but were unable to go through the finish line because of the two bombs that exploded will be able to “finish” the race at the Garmin Marathon Saturday, April 20, by running the final seven-tenths of a mile during a special finish-line ceremony. The ceremony is expected to take place around noon.)

The 10th Annual Garmin Marathon, which is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and is co-sponsored by the Olathe Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to begin at 7 Saturday morning, April 20, and Arley Arkenberg, Lawrence, who plans to run the half marathon is not worried.

“I’m not scared,” she said, “and I’m typically scared of everything. I think we’ll be fine. And I’ll be the first in line for my Grange Pup come September (during the Johnson County Old Settlers Celebration).” Continue reading

Security in check for Garmin Marathon; for all county events

Olathean Tom Kearney was impressed with the security measures in place for the Boston Marathon this past Monday, April 15. He praised their efforts even after two bombs exploded just below the restaurant overlooking the finishing line where he and his family, including his two young grandchildren, had just settled in to eat lunch.

Yet even with all that security, someone was able to sneak in not two, but four homemade bombs. Two that didn’t detonate were found underneath the grandstands.

This weekend, more than 3,000 runners plus countless other spectators are expected to take part in Saturday morning’s (April 20) Garmin Marathon that will wind its way just more than 26 miles in and around Olathe. Continue reading

First responders, OMC trained, drilled and ready for any emergency

It’s the second weekend of September and the Johnson County Old Settlers Celebration, the oldest and one of the largest crowd-drawing events in Johnson County, is in full swing in downtown Olathe. Thousands of people are streaming through the carnival as well as the food and craft booths when suddenly, the unexpected and unthinkable happens: There is an explosion.

Whether it’s a terrorist act or just an unfortunate incident, the action plan for first responders is the same.

And that action plan will be in place this Saturday, April 20, for the Garmin Marathon and it’s 26-mile course winding through and around Olathe.

“There’s the Johnson County Trauma Plan and that sets forth the guidelines how trauma in general would be handled,” said Angela Fera, public information officer for Johnson County Med-Act. Continue reading

Lightning hits Olathe home; family cat OK

Just before 11 a.m., a 911 call reported a house fire at 1037 N. Crest Drive, near Harold and Parker Streets in Olathe. When firefighters arrived they found a basement fire that had started to burn through part of the first floor.

Firefighters brought the fire under control within about 25 minutes. They also found the family cat, Anthony, who was hiding behind a dryer in a first-floor laundry room. A closed door to the laundry room helped keep the fire’s toxic smoke away from Anthony.

Firefighters reunited Anthony, with his family of two, in the driveway.

A fire investigator believes that lightning was the cause of the blaze. Damage is estimated around $50,000.

The video is courtesy of the Olathe Fire Department.

A warning: ‘It could happen here’

Garmin Marathon, which takes place this Saturday, April 20. Johnson County Old Settlers Celebration and Parade. Olathe‘s Friday Night Free Concerts. Fourth of July fireworks show. All are popular local events that draw large crowds.

Could what happened Monday at the Boston Marathon happen here?

“Most certainly,” said Kent Harris, retired Olathe bomb squad commander who now operates Harris Associated Consulting, an emergency management planning and training company.

“The event should bring the public awareness up to at least thinking about being prepared for conditions such as this,” Harris said. “The ease of placing an improvised explosive device anywhere along the route of an event days before that event is a possibility. These (Olathe) events have occurred for years and one example is the criminal/terrorist or copycat who has most likely done what we call hostile surveillance of the area they want to target. Continue reading

Olathe family survives Boston Marathon attack

Boston Police look at blown out windows at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Boston Police look at blown out windows at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images website)

Olathean Tom Kearney and seven members of his family, including his two grandchildren, were sitting in The Forum Restaurant on a sunny afternoon Monday, April 15, two floors above the street overlooking the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Copley Square. Less than an hour earlier they had been down by the barriers to watch his son-in-law, John Kohler, cross the finish line.

And then…

“John said he thought someone was setting off a cannon,” Tom said. “It was like everybody just stopped and looked; people thought somebody was celebrating Patriots’ Day. But in my mind, I was thinking, ‘That doesn’t sound like somebody firing a canon and that this would be the kind of place for somebody to pull some stuff.’

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, that can’t be a bomb.” Continue reading

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