Johnson County’s Fun Fest feeds a growing need for food

Feed the Need campaign helps to stock shelves at local food pantries

Submitted by Gerald Hay
Johnson County Government

With the goal of stocking 164 tons of food in Johnson County food pantries, County employees will launch their annual Feed the Need campaign with a kickoff event scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, on the County Square in downtown Olathe.

The event, open to the public, will serve as a donation drop-off site as well as offering games, drawings for prizes, food booths, and a dunk tank. Feed the Need is the County’s annual food drive and is supported by its 3,800-plus employees.

The campaign goal has been set at 164 tons of food in either cash or food donations. Each donated dollar is roughly equivalent to four pounds of food. Continue reading

County transit event canceled; enhanced bus service ready to roll

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at Johnson County’s new Mission Transit Center, scheduled for Friday (May 31) morning, has been canceled because of the threat of inclement weather. The event will take place at a later date.

An enhanced public transportation service, providing  new bus stops and park-and-ride facilities in Johnson County, is ready to roll with the opening of the new Mission Transit Center.

The Transit Center, 5251 Johnson Drive, in Mission, will serve as Johnson County Transit’s (JCT) new public transition hub, replacing the six-year-old hub at the Northeast Johnson County Offices, 6000 Lamar Avenue. Continue reading

Unruh and Orner serve where needed most

Submitted by MidAmerica Nazarene University

mnu servesTwo MNU alumni are putting their expertise to work for Heart to Heart International’s tornado relief efforts in Moore, Okla. Erik Unruh, a 2010 grad with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, is a program specialist whose job is coordinating Heart to Heart’s mobile medical program in Kansas City.

The former ER nurse normally works with local “safety net clinics,” clinics committed to helping the under and uninsured in Kansas City, to increase their capacity to serve patients with the use of additional equipment and volunteer medical professionals. That work is on hold now while Erik takes on the role of incident commander for Heart to Heart’s crisis operation deployed to assist tornado victims in Moore. Erik is in Olathe at the organization’s headquarters overseeing the entire disaster response. The gargantuan tasks include logistics of equipment, supplies and personnel for the mobile medical unit. Continue reading

County hires new JCDS executive director

Chad VonAhnen has been appointed the new executive director at Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS), an agency of Johnson County Government serving residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities for more than 40 years.

He will assume the JCDS helm on June 17.

VonAhnen comes to Johnson County from Sedgwick County Government, where he led the County’s Developmental Disability Organization before his current position as director of the Division of Public Safety. He has also worked in the Budget Office and was director of community relations. Prior to that, VonAhnen worked for Polk County, Iowa in youth services. Continue reading

Johnson County event showcases Smart Justice

Furnished by Gerald Hay
Johnson County Government

Johnson County is celebrating National County Government Month by inviting the public to learn more about local criminal justice programs and public safety services.

The free event, “Smart Justice: Creating Safer Communities,” will be from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, April 27, at the Youth and Family Services Center, 920 West Spruce, Olathe.  

County entities, including Community Corrections, Sheriff’s Office, Courts Services, and Mental Health’s Regional Prevention Center, will set up displays featuring their contributions to a safer community. Continue reading

Mock crash at Spring Hill High School

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office along with Spring Hill High School, will be conducting a mock crash at 9:30 a.m., April 19.  The mock crash will be a visual lesson for students on drinking while driving and distracted driving.

Johnson County Fire District 2 and Johnson County Med-Act also will be participating at the event.  School Resource Officer Deputy Ruthann Fisher will be coordinating the event and retired Master Deputy Bob Hamilton will be narrating.

The mock crash is expected to last one hour and will be in the high school north parking lot.

Spring Hill High School is at 19701 S. Ridgeview.


County mails out 2013 Citizen Survey

Submitted by Gerald Hay
Johnson County Government

A 2013 Citizen Survey of Johnson County to assess community needs and priorities is being mailed out this week to approximately 2,500 households.

The survey, which is conducted every two years, was authorized by the Johnson County Board of Commissioners with approval of $31,055 to fund the costs of conducting the 2013 citizen poll. It is the same amount earmarked for surveys in 2011, 2009, and 2007. The 2005 survey was completed for $29,860.

The 2013 survey will be administered by ETC Institute, an Olathe firm that’s one of the nation’s leading community-based market research firms in public surveying and polling processes. ETC also conducted the past four biennial surveys. Continue reading

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