Olathe News Briefs

This Edition of E-News - September 26, 2011:
• Country Chef Challenge Winners Announced
• Olathe Police Department Officers and Staff Receive Awards
• Don’t Miss the Last Wednesday Farmers’ Market
• Recent Sweep Nets 386 Signs
• Olathe to Honor Civil War Soldiers


City Council Agenda
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, October 4, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. 


Country Chef Challenge Winners Announced
Released September 26, 2011
After three weeks of intense competition, the inaugural COUNTRY Chef Challenge came to a close Saturday, September 24, at the Olathe Farmers’ Market.  The COUNTRY Chef Challenge champions and winners of a $1000 scholarship were Cole Matthews (Olathe Northwest) and Kylie Michaels (Olathe North).   The Olathe North team of Karisa Bergeron and Kassie McClendon claimed Second Place and a $500 scholarship.  Third Place was awarded to the team of Brystal Blake (Olathe North) and Saber Pappan (Olathe South). 

During the competition, six teams from the Olathe Public Schools Les Arts Culinaires program prepared dishes featuring fresh produce found at the Olathe Farmers’ Market.   Each week, teams presented their dishes to a celebrity judging panel, leading up to the final round of competition on September 24.

The COUNTRY Chef Challenge is sponsored by the City of Olathe and COUNTRY Financial.  COUNTRY Financial has similar competitions in Chicago, Illinois and Portland, Oregon. For more information, including the winning recipes, visit www.countrychefchallenge.com.


Olathe Police Department Officers and Staff Receive Awards
Released September 26, 2011
The Olathe Police Department Motor Unit captured several awards during the Heartland Police Motorcycle Challenge held September 15-17 in Independence, Missouri.  Thirty-three police motorcyclists from Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas competed in three events included a team ride, a slow course and an overall skills course.

In the overall skills course, Olathe Sergeant Dave Williams placed third.  The competitive course measures a variety of skills required of police motorcycle officers.  Olathe Officers Matthew Misemer and Michael Kern were awarded First Place in the team ride.  The team ride is particularly challenging because it requires officers to complete a coned course, side by side, with a 36” magnetic tether between the bikes.  If the tether disconnects during the ride, the riders are disqualified.  The Olathe Police Department team of Officers Calie Smith and Lucas Borkowski placed fourth in the team competition. 

Additionally, Brian Mansfield, Olathe Crime Analysis Unit, received the 2011 International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA) Membership Award.  The award, voted on by the IACA membership, recognizes outstanding contributions in the crime analysis profession.  Mansfield received the award during the 2011 IACA Annual Conference in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

According to Police Chief Steve Menke, the awards are a testament to all personnel and speak to the dedication and never ending commitment of the Olathe Police Department.  “Our officers and staff take great pride in their work.  These recognitions reflect the high degree of skill and professionalism demonstrated day in and day out,” Menke said.


Don’t Miss the Last Wednesday Farmers’ Market
Released September 26, 2011
The City of Olathe Farmers’ Market will be open the last Wednesday of the season on September 28.  After September 28, the market will only operate on Saturdays through October 22.  Wednesday’s market is open from 3:00 p.m. until sold out.  The Saturday market is open from 8:00 a.m. until sold out.  The Farmers’ Market is located at 200 W. Santa Fe Street in downtown Olathe.  For more information, visit Farmers Market.


Recent Sweep Nets 386 Signs
Released September 26, 2011
On September 16, City staff removed 386 signs that were illegally placed on public property, including right-of-way and medians. Signs illegally placed in public areas are not only an eye sore, but can obstruct driver view and be problematic for pedestrians using sidewalks.  Temporary signs may be placed on private property by the property owner or with the owner’s permission, but there are regulations limiting duration and size.  For more information about the City of Olathe sign ordinance, visit www.OlatheKS.org


Olathe to Honor Civil War Soldiers
Released September 26, 2011
Civil War veterans buried in the Olathe Memorial Cemetery will be remembered during the War’s 150th anniversary year, with a special ceremony and dedication at the Civil War circle located in the Olathe Memorial Cemetery, 738 N. Chestnut.  The dedication of ten new markers will take place on Saturday, October 15, 2011, beginning at 5:00 p.m., followed by the annual walking tour of the cemetery. 

After extensive research by Tom Burgess of the American Legion, military headstones were ordered from the Veterans Administration and installed this year for ten Civil War soldiers whose graves were previously unmarked.   Among these soldiers are Willis Woods, an African American soldier who joined the 2nd Kansas Infantry at the age of 13, and James Judy who was killed by Quantrill during his raid on Olathe on September 2, 1862. 

The service will feature appearances by Mayor Pro Tem Jim Randall, Congressman Kevin Yoder, and Civil War historians Tom Rafiner and Joe Lewis Mattix.  The service will end with a cannon salute honoring the approximately 330 Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers buried throughout the cemetery.  Period re-enactors will provide cemetery tours following the ceremony.  Descendants of the honored soldiers will be in attendance for the ceremony.

The Civil War circle statue was a gift to the City from the Olathe Chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1863. An American Flag of 1861 flies in the circle.  Founded in 1865, the Olathe Memorial Cemetery is unique in that it was never segregated and soldiers were buried together. 

Visit the Olathe Memorial Cemetery webpage for a complete listing of all cemetery plots, including individual pictures of headstones.


This Edition of E-News - September 19, 2011:
• Mahaffie Wild West Show This Weekend
• City of Olathe to Participate in Inaugural Midwest Litter Fest
• Olathe Wastewater Treatment Facilities Receive National Award
• Salt Institute Honors City of Olathe for Safe, Environmentally Sensitive Storage of Road Salt
• FREE Soil Testing Available For Fall Lawn Preparation
• Country Chef Challenge Winners to be Crowned September 24

City Council Agenda
Released September 19, 2011
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, September 20, 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 www.OlatheKS.org.


Mahaffie Wild West Show This Weekend
Released September 19, 2011
Enjoy daily arena shows, live entertainment and children’s games at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s annual Wild West Show September 24 and 25.  This popular annual event offers visitors a variety of hands-on experiences and live entertainment to provide a taste of life in Kansas during the Old West Era.

The Wild West Show will be held 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, September 24, and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, September 25 at the Olathe historic site, 1200 Kansas City Road.  Regular daily admission applies; $6 for adults, $4 for kids age 5-11.  Children ages four and under are admitted free. Food will be available for purchase.

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, re-enactments and live music.

New arena performances this year include a youth rodeo on Saturday, the Ultimate Horsemen’s Challenge Association equestrian obstacle course competition, a world champion gun spinner, “The Oklahoma Kid” trick roper and “Double Trouble” youth trick riders.  Returning performers are the popular Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, and Chris Camp the Whip Guy.

Live music will be performed by local band Three Trails West.  Mutton busting (competitive sheep riding) will be available Saturday for children weighing less than 50 pounds.  Registration at the Heritage Center the morning of the event is required.

The weekend event will also feature many activities for children including a petting zoo, shooting gallery, gold panning, live entertainment and more!  A chuckwagon cook-off will be held Saturday only, with limited samples and voting opportunities.  Some games and activities have an additional fee. 

Free event parking with a shuttle to Mahaffie will be available at nearby Olathe North High School. Handicapped accessible parking will be available at Mahaffie.  For more information, visit www.mahaffie.org or call (913) 971-5111.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Olathe 150 Committee, Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club, Olathe Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, Olathe Sister Cities Association, Olathe Ford, Y Bar H Pet Outpost, Olathe Tractor Supply, Olathe Noon Optimists, and Ned Banks Leather.


City of Olathe to Participate in Inaugural Midwest Litter Fest
Released September 19, 2011
The City of Olathe Public Works Department is teaming up with national nonprofit Pick Up America, the Blue River Watershed Association and Cans for the Community to tackle trash along a 45-mile stretch of roadway from Roeland Park to Lawrence as part of the first ever Midwest Litter Fest on Saturday, September 24.  Route information is available on the Blue River Watershed Association’s homepage, www.brwa.net.

Olathe will volunteer two trash trucks and staff resources to pick up trash along the entire 45-mile route as teams complete their individual two mile cleanup the day of the event.  All solid waste collected from this event will be transported to the Olathe transfer station for disposal. 

For more information, visit http://pickupamerica.org/events/midwest-litter-fest.


Olathe Wastewater Treatment Facilities Receive National Award
Released September 19, 2011
The Environmental Services Division of the City’s Public Works Department was presented two National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) Peak Performance awards during its 41st Annual Meeting, July 19-22, 2011, in Chicago, IL.  NACWA’s Peak Performance awards program recognizes public wastewater treatment facilities for outstanding compliance records in the 2010 calendar year. The City of Olathe Wastewater Treatment Program received two Peak Performance awards for its two facilities:

  • The Harold Street Wastewater Treatment Facility received the Gold Award in recognition of its consistent National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit compliance during the 2010 calendar year.  
  • The Cedar Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility received a Silver Award in recognition of its complete and consistent National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit compliance during the 2010 calendar year.

Salt Institute Honors City of Olathe for Safe, Environmentally Sensitive Storage of Road Salt
Released September 19, 2011
The City of Olathe Public Works Department has been awarded the 2011 Excellence in Storage Award from the Salt Institute for environmental consciousness and effective management in the storage of winter road salt.  In all, 159 transportation facilities across the United States and Canada were honored.  This is Olathe’s fifth consecutive year for the recognition, and the only facility recognition in the state of Kansas this year.

“These facilities have cleared a high bar in meeting our standards,” said Salt Institute President Lori Roman. “For example, in minimizing runoff alone, ten specific criterion must be met. This meticulous care is well worth the investment, however, to protect motorists, the economy and the environment.”

About 17 million tons of deicing salt are applied to roadways in the U.S. each year and another six million tons are spread in Canada. Having enough road salt on hand before storms hit requires advance planning and facilities to provide safe and efficient storage. Among other best practices specified by the Salt Institute, Excellence in Storage winners must store salt on a pad, covering it with a roof or other approved materials. Winners must also display proper maintenance of facilities and good housekeeping practices.

For a complete list of winners, see the Salt Institute’s news release.


FREE Soil Testing Available For Fall Lawn Preparation
Released September 19, 2011
Knowing the base fertility of the soil is important for proper plant growth. This is especially important as the time for fall lawn reseeding quickly approaches. Soil testing is the only way to know the nutrient levels in your soil. Applying fertilizer without a current soil test is sure to cost you in over application or under production. Applying the proper amount also decreases runoff that can pollute waterways.

Through a grant provided by Johnson County Stormwater Management, a limited number of FREE soil tests are available from Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. The free tests are good for a routine soil analysis which tests the pH, phosphorus and potassium levels of the soil. (This is the basic fertility test, sufficient for most homeowner lawns and gardens).

Tests normally cost $12; however, Olathe homeowners are eligible to receive one free test per household.  The test is available on a first-come basis.  Samples need to be brought or mailed to the Johnson County Extension office at 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061. To take advantage of this opportunity and learn the specific procedures for collecting a proper sample, or to learn of additional tests that are available for a nominal fee, please call (913) 715-7000 or visit www.johnson.ksu.edu/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=120.


Country Chef Challenge Winners to be Crowned September 24
Released September 19, 2011
Over the course of three weeks, six teams of two students from the Olathe Public Schools Les Arts Culinaires program have tempted the taste buds of a celebrity judging panel. This Saturday, the top two scoring teams will duel for first prize bragging rights and a $1,000 scholarship. Second place will receive a $500 scholarship.

The final round will take place Saturday, September 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Olathe Farmers’ Market, 200 W. Santa Fe.
The final week’s celebrity judging panel includes Olathe Chamber COO Brad Cornell, Mayor Pro-Tem Jim Randall, JCCC  Culinary Instructor Edward Adel, and Kathy Musgrave, Olathe Public Schools Career and Technical Education Administrator.   

The COUNTRY Chef Challenge is sponsored by the City of Olathe and COUNTRY Financial.  For more information, visit www.countrychefchallenge.com.


This Edition of E-News - September 12, 2011:
• Mahaffie Wild West Show September 24 and 25
• City Taking Proactive Approach to Signs
• Santa Fe Streetscape Repositions to Move Forward
• Olathe’s Water Utilities Obtain National Attention Among Peers
• Retired FBI Special Agent and Author to Speak at Olathe Public Library Foundation Event
• Celebrate Reading Book Sale
• Country Chef Challenge Resumes September 17
• Parade Broadcast Schedule


City Council Agenda
Released September 12, 2011
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, September 20, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall for a regular session. 


Mahaffie Wild West Show September 24 and 25
Released September 12, 2011
Enjoy daily arena shows, live entertainment and children’s games at Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s annual Wild West Show September 24 and 25.  This popular annual event offers visitors a variety of hands-on experiences and live entertainment to provide a taste of life in Kansas during the Old West Era.

The Wild West Show will be held 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, September 24, and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Sunday, September 25 at the Olathe historic site, 1200 Kansas City Road.  Regular daily admission applies; $6 for adults, $4 for kids age 5-11.  Children ages four and under are admitted free. Food will be available for purchase.

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, re-enactments and live music.

New arena performances this year include a youth rodeo on Saturday, the Ultimate Horsemen’s Challenge Association equestrian obstacle course competition, a world champion gun spinner, “The Oklahoma Kid” trick roper and “Double Trouble” youth trick riders.  Returning performers are the popular Annie Oakley and Frank Butler, and Chris Camp the Whip Guy.

Live music will be performed by local band Three Trails West.  Mutton busting (competitive sheep riding) will be available Saturday for children weighing less than 50 pounds.  Registration at the Heritage Center the morning of the event is required.

The weekend event will also feature many activities for children including a petting zoo, shooting gallery, gold panning, live entertainment and more!  A chuckwagon cook-off will be held Saturday only, with limited samples and voting opportunities.  Some games and activities have an additional fee. 

Free event parking with a shuttle to Mahaffie will be available at nearby Olathe North High School. Handicapped accessible parking will be available at Mahaffie.  For more information, visit www.mahaffie.org or call (913) 971-5111.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Olathe 150 Committee, Santa Fe Trail Rotary Club, Olathe Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau, Olathe Sister Cities Association, Olathe Ford, Y Bar H Pet Outpost, Olathe Tractor Supply, Olathe Noon Optimists, and Ned Banks Leather.


City Taking Proactive Approach to Signs
Released September 12, 2011
In 2000, Olathe’s citizen survey indicated residents had a raw nerve when it came to temporary signs.  The level of resident concern for temporary signs neared the (historically high) level of concern about traffic flow and congestion.

Since that time, the City has refined the temporary sign ordinance and proactively removed signs placed on public property.  City staff will once again conduct a sign sweep this Friday, September 16, to remove and dispose of signs clearly placed on public property, including right-of-way and medians.

The City’s Zoning Enforcement Officer patrols for illegal signs on a daily basis, however, City staff join forces on a quarterly basis to assist with the effort.  For more information about the City of Olathe sign ordinance, visit www.OlatheKS.org


Santa Fe Streetscape Repositions to Move Forward
Released September 12, 2011
The Santa Fe Streetscape project was approved in the 2012 – 2016 Capital Improvements Program for construction in 2014.  On September 6, Council was presented with several modifications to the plan. The demolition of buildings on Santa Fe between Water and Chestnut on both the north and south sides will be completed after Old Settlers’ Days. 

Also, required maintenance on the section of Santa Fe between Kansas City Road and Kansas Avenue will happen this fall to extend the life of the infrastructure until 2014 construction of the Santa Fe Streetscape project. In early 2012, Council will resume discussions on the Santa Fe Streetscape project.


Olathe’s Water Utilities Obtain National Attention Among Peers
Released September 12, 2011
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over the past 50 years, the U.S. population has doubled in size and its thirst for water has tripled. Water usage in the next 25 years is expected to climb another 50 percent. With at least 36 states now facing water shortages by 2013, the conservation of water is more important than ever for municipalities nationwide. It’s never been more critical for cities to look for ways to do more with fewer resources.

The City of Olathe is constantly seeking new and innovative methods to improve its environmental responsibility to its residents.  The July/August 2011 publication of Water Utility Infrastructure Management magazine recently recognized the City of Olathe for its water conservation efforts. Through an innovative funding method known as performance contracting, the City has implemented smart water solutions to reduce apparent water loss, increase efficiency and conserve energy.

The centerpiece of the project was the installation of new water meters with an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system, allowing the City to reduce apparent water loss, lower operational and maintenance expenditures, increase billable usage and revenue, and provide exceptional customer service.

Water loss prevention programs can help municipalities realize significant operational and maintenance savings, and save residents money while promoting energy and water efficiency. Olathe is setting the pace for municipal innovation, leading the way on the value of smart water solutions. By realizing significant cost and energy savings, the City has shown other communities what can be done to conserve water in a fiscally responsible way.

To read more about this program, visit www.uimonline.com/index/webapp-stories-action?id=555.


Retired FBI Special Agent and Author to Speak at Olathe Public Library Foundation Event
Released September 12, 2011
The Olathe Public Library Foundation’s annual “A Taste of Literacy” event will feature guest speaker Jeff Lanza, a retired FBI special agent and author.  The fundraiser event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on September 24 at the Olathe Holiday Inn.  A dinner of beef filet with basil shrimp will be served.  A cash bar will be available.  Attire is business casual. For ticket information, contact library director Emily Baker at 913-971-6880 by September 19.

Lanza, retired from the Kansas City FBI, has recently published Pistols to Press, which received fabulous reviews from national media personalities.  He has been published in The Kansas City Star, Ingram’s magazine and on the FBI National website.  He was chosen as the best speaker in the 50 year history of Kansas City’s prestigious Plaza Club. 

As a FBI certified instructor, he has trained numerous government agencies and corporate clients on how to handle the media tricks that the national television personalities such as Connie Chung and Chris Hansen used on him during his nearly two decades as a crisis communicator with the FBI.

Prior to his career as an FBI agent, Lanza was employed by Xerox Corporation as a Computer Systems Analyst.  He has an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven (Connecticut) and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas.


Celebrate Reading Book Sale
Released September 12, 2011
Shop the used book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Olathe Public Library at the Indian Creek Branch, 12990 S. Black Bob Road.  The sale will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on September 17.  A variety of materials will be for sale.  All ex-library materials are available as buy one, get one free (equal or lesser value).  Due to space limitations, no strollers or book carts are allowed.  Cash or checks are accepted and all sales are final.


Country Chef Challenge Resumes September 17
Released September 12, 2011
The third round of the COUNTRY Chef Challenge will take place Saturday, September 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Olathe Farmers’ Market, 200 W. Santa Fe.

Over the course of three weeks, six teams of two students from the Olathe Public Schools Les Arts Culinaires program will tempt the taste buds of a celebrity judging panel. On September 24, the top two scoring teams will duel for first prize bragging rights and a $1,000 scholarship. Second place will receive a $500 scholarship.

This week’s celebrity judging panel includes Jennifer Bertrand, HGTV’s Design Star Season Three winner, Jai Nitz, published comic book writer, Senator Julia Lynn, and Mayor Michael Copeland. 

The COUNTRY Chef Challenge is sponsored by the City of Olathe and COUNTRY Financial.  For more information, visit www.countrychefchallenge.com.


Parade Broadcast Schedule
Released September 12, 2011
Beginning this week, Olathe Government Network (OGN) will replay its live broadcast of the Old Settlers Day Parade on Wednesdays at noon, Fridays at 7:00 p.m., Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. and Sundays at 7:00 p.m.  The broadcasts can be seen on Comcast channel 7 and AT&T channel 99. 

In addition, the parade rebroadcast is available on the City’s website, www.OlatheKS.org.


This Edition of E-News - September 6, 2011:
• Johnson County Old Settlers Event to Impact Downtown Parking
• Farmers’ Market Closed Saturday Due to Old Settlers Event
• Can’t Make the Old Settlers Parade, Watch from Home
• Olathe Receives Recognition at Annual Wastewater Conference
• Register Now for Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s Fall Home School Day
• Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop Recognizes Grandparents Day with Free Admission
• KSD 150th Celebration to Include Stories of School’s History
• Too Cool to Drool Event Canceled


City Council Agenda
Released September 6, 2011
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, September 6, 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 www.OlatheKS.org.


Johnson County Old Settlers Event to Impact Downtown Parking
Released September 6, 2011
Olathe will play host to the annual Johnson County Old Settlers event on September 8-10.  Unlike previous years, the carnival area is planned to be one block south of its regular location due to the Johnson County Adult Detention Center remodel construction.  Because of the carnival location this year, parking will be restricted on South Cherry from Loula to Cedar; and East Cedar from Kansas to Water.  Temporary “No Parking” signs will be posted on Wednesday, September 7, 2011 and enforced until Sunday, September 11, 2011. 

For detailed map information, please visit www.johnsoncountyoldsettlers.com/sec.php?sec=eventmap


Farmers’ Market Closed Saturday Due to Old Settlers Event
Released September 6, 2011
The City of Olathe Farmers’ Market will close on Saturday, September 10 due to the Johnson County Old Settlers event.  The Farmers’ Market, located at 200 W. Santa Fe Street in downtown Olathe, is open Wednesdays through September 28 from 3:00 p.m. until sold out, and Saturdays through October 22 from 8:00 a.m. until sold out.  For more information, visit www.olatheks.org/ParksRec/Farmers.


Can’t Make the Old Settlers Parade, Watch from Home
Released September 6, 2011
Once again, the Olathe Government Network (OGN) will broadcast the Old Settlers Day Parade on Comcast Ch. 7 and AT&T Ch. 99 on Saturday, September 10.  Plans are being made to produce a live broadcast, which would include a live webcast on the City’s website, www.OlatheKS.org.  In the event of technical difficulties for the live broadcast, the parade will be aired immediately following its conclusion.


Olathe Receives Recognition at Annual Wastewater Conference
Released September 6, 2011
The City of Olathe Wastewater Collection Program has been awarded the Kansas Water Environment Association (KWEA) Category II Collection System Award for outstanding operations in the area of wastewater collection.  The City of Olathe has won a collection system award eight of the last ten years.  Olathe was not eligible for the award in 2005 and 2009 because awardees can only receive the recognition for three consecutive years.

Randy Mather, wastewater collections program manager, was inducted into the Golden Manhole Society which recognizes individuals for their contributions to the Wastewater Collection profession.  This year there were two individuals in Kansas honored with this induction.  Mather is the third City of Olathe employee to receive this recognition.


Register Now for Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop’s Fall Home School Day
Released September 6, 2011
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, 1200 Kansas City Road, will host fall Home School Day for area home school families on Thursday, September 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. the day of the event.

Mahaffie Home School Day is an opportunity for home school students of all ages to experience Mahaffie’s two most popular school programs without having to meet the programs’ typical minimum enrollment.

“Down on the Farm,” for students in pre-K to 2nd grades explores life on the 1860s farm.  Activities include churning butter, touring the Mahaffie house, playing 19th Century games, helping in the garden, and starting a plant to take home. 

“Wagons Ho,” for students in third through sixth grades, offers a chance to learn about three historic trails.  Activities include panning for “gold,” exploring a real prairie schooner packed for the Oregon Trail and learning why, and how, so many 19th Century Americans went west on the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe Trails.

Each program includes a stagecoach ride around the site grounds and is limited to 80 students.

Registration is $5 per student, with accompanying parents at no charge.  To register, send your name, address, phone number, and the names and number of attending students in each program at (913) 971-5504 by Thursday, September 8. 

For more information about Mahaffie visit www.mahaffie.org, the site’s Facebook page, or call (913) 971-5111.


Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop Recognizes Grandparents Day with Free Admission
Released September 6, 2011
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm will recognize national Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, September 11, with free admission for grandparents with an accompanying paid child admission.  This is a $6 savings.  In addition to regular weekend programming, grandparents can take home a souvenir photo taken with the Mahaffie stagecoach in a Grandparent’s Day frame for $5 and pick up a copy of a family tree to fill out with their family.  Registration is not required for this event.

The Mahaffie historic site, 1200 Kansas City Road, will be open from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 11.  Visitors are invited to participate in living history activities including stagecoach rides, cooking on the wood-burning cookstove, touring the historic Mahaffie house, blacksmithing, farm chores and more.  For more information about Mahaffie, visit www.mahaffie.org, the site’s Facebook page, or call (913) 971-5111.


KSD 150th Celebration to Include Stories of School’s History
Released September 6, 2011
As part of the Kansas School for the Deaf (KSD) 150th birthday celebration, Sandie Kelley of the Deaf Cultural Center and the William J. Marra Museum, will share stories from the school’s history on Thursday, September 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mahaffie Heritage Center. Over the course of her 30+ year career with KSD, Kelley has gathered stories and compiled a 288-page book, Kansas School for the Deaf: A Pictorial History, 1861-2011.

An interpreter will be provided at the event, which is sponsored by the Olathe Historical Society and is free and open to the public. For additional information, please contact Bob Courtney, Olathe Historical Society president, (913) 764-2494.


Too Cool to Drool Event Canceled
Released September 6, 2011
Too Cool to Drool, the doggie dipping event originally scheduled for September 11, has been canceled due to the early closure of Black Bob Bay.  Black Bob Bay, along with pools across Johnson County, closed early for the season due to the outbreak of Cryptosporidium, a water-borne parasite.