Olathe news briefs for the week of Dec. 2

City Council
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, December 3, at 7:00 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). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at OlatheKS.org.  For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage.

Annual WinterFest and Mayor’s Tree Lighting December 6
It’s time to kick off the holiday season at the annual Olathe WinterFest, Friday, December 6 in the R.R. Osborne Plaza at Olathe City Hall.  The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and is highlighted by the Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting.  The main stage will feature the arrival of Santa Claus, music groups from Olathe schools and a variety of local talent.  Food and warm beverages will be available for purchase.

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Olathe news briefs for the week of Nov. 18

City Council
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, November 19, at 7:00 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). To see the complete agenda for this meeting, visit the City’s website at OlatheKS.org.  For a recap of the previous Council meeting, visit the City Clerk’s webpage.

Annual WinterFest and Mayor’s Tree Lighting December 6
It’s time to kick off the holiday season at the annual Olathe WinterFest, Friday, December 6 in the R.R. Osborne Plaza at Olathe City Hall.  The event runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and is highlighted by the Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting.  The main stage will feature the arrival of Santa Claus, music groups from Olathe schools and a variety of local talent.  Food and warm beverages will be available for purchase.

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Olathe’s ‘Santa Claus’ dead at 81

Marvin 'Doc' Wollen dead at 81. Family photo

Marvin ‘Doc’ Wollen dead at 81. Family photo

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Much of the following information was provided by Wollen’s daughter, Cathy Maxwell.)

Long-time optometrist, community activist, community Santa Claus, and for years the voice of the Johnson County Old Settlers Parade, Marvin “Doc” Wollen, died peacefully at his home this morning, Tuesday, Sept. 10.

He was 81.

According to his daughter, Cathy Maxwell, funeral services will be Monday, Sept 16, 2013 at Grace United Methodist Church. Visitation is scheduled for 9 a.m. with services starting at 10:30. Graveside services will be at 2:30 p.m. in Garnett.

Wollen will be most remembered by thousands of children for his role as Santa Claus.  He was talked into being the “right jolly old elf” for the first time by his oldest daughter’s kindergarten teacher.  The suit and the part was a natural fit for him and he continued to entertain Olathe School District children as well as appearing at numerous charity and community events as Santa for a total of forty-nine years.  He is also known for his support of local football teams with his infamous watermelon feeds during summer practices.  Continue reading

A precursor of grandparenting

I recently came across a column I wrote in December 1993 when I was the Senior Editor at The Olathe Daily News. At that time, our oldest son Rob was living in Colorado and oldest daughter Sherri was in college. Justin and Jessica were 14 and 11…

It’s possible that the Kurtz’ household last weekend got a glimpse of what life might be like if,  and when, the pitter-patter of tiny grandchildren’s feet begin running through the house. Continue reading

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