Olathe News Briefs

This Edition of E-News - April 30, 2012:
• Olathe Receives GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
• Olathe Parks Benefit from Boy Scouts of America “Good Turns”
• Open House Focuses On Future Growth
• Pitch, Hit, Run Sunday, May 6
• Olathe Leads the Way in Residential Growth
• Orange Cone Alert: Santa Fe Streetscape Project Underway

City Council
Released April 30, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, May 1 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.


Olathe Receives GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award
Released April 30, 2012
The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the City the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its FY 2012 budget document, marking the eighth year in a row that Olathe has received the award.

The award reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting.  In order to receive the award, the City had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation.  For more information about the City of Olathe budget, visit www.OlatheKS.org/Finance/Budget.


Olathe Parks Benefit from Boy Scouts of America “Good Turns”
Released April 30, 2012
More than 500 boy scouts from the Red Tail Hawk and Trails West District spent their “Good Turns” Day, Saturday, April 21, working in and around Olathe’s parks and trails. The group completed projects in more than 25 locations and gave back more than 1600 hours of service to the community.

“It was a tremendously productive day” said Liz Newman, senior horticulturist.  “Everyone worked hard and got a lot of work done in 25 different locations!” 

This work day and other large scale projects are arranged through the City of Olathe’s Volunteers in the Parks (VIP) initiative. To learn more about the program or to register a volunteer group, contact Liz Newman at 971-9720 or visit the Parks and Recreation website, www.OlatheKS.org/ParksRec.


Open House Focuses On Future Growth
Released April 30, 2012
The City of Olathe Planning Division will host an Open House on Tuesday, May 1, to gather resident and developer input on the first draft of the proposed Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) update. The UDO is the City’s zoning code and the update of development and design standards within the UDO assists in implementing PlanOlathe, the City's comprehensive plan adopted in 2010.

The open house is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the City of Governor’s Room at City Hall, 100 East Santa Fe.  Public input is encouraged and appreciated. 

For more information about this event or the UDO update process, please visit www.OlatheKS.org/Development/UDO_Amendments.


Pitch, Hit, Run Sunday, May 6
Released April 30, 2012
Do you have an aspiring future Royals player? Does your daughter want to play for Team USA? Join Olathe Parks and Recreation for an afternoon of fun with the Pitch, Hit and Run skills competition sponsored by Aquafina and Major League Baseball on Sunday, May 6 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Two Trails Park.

Pitch for accuracy, hit for distance and accuracy, and run for speed. Emphasis is on participation, encouragement, and fun.  Participants must be seven by July 17, 2012, and cannot be older than 14 on July 17, 2012. Please bring a birth certificate to verify age. There are four age divisions for boys and girls and the winners will advance to a sectional competition.

If you have questions please contact Aleks Lange, Olathe Parks and Recreation, at 971-8843.


Olathe Leads the Way in Residential Growth
Released April 30, 2012
March 2012 housing permits continued a 49 percent climb upward from March 2011 according to the latest report from the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City.  In the first quarter, Johnson County experienced the most housing starts (243) in the metro, with Olathe leading the way with 98 and Overland Park with 67.  Overall, Kansas City led all metro cities with 130 housing starts for the quarter. 


Orange Cone Alert: Santa Fe Streetscape Project Underway
Released April 30, 2012
Changes are coming to Santa Fe Street as the City breaks ground on the Santa Fe Streetscape Improvement Project (Kansas City Road to BNSF West Tracks).

This project consists of improvements including:

  • Asphalt & base repairs
  • Concrete curb & gutter
  • Raised medians
  • Pedestrian facilities – sidewalk & crosswalk improvements, pedestrian lighting, benches, planters, trash receptacles
  • Park features and improvements in both lots at the Chestnut intersection
  • Streetlights & signals
  • Adjustment of the grade at the BNSF West Tracks railroad crossing
  • Replacement of bricks and streetlights in the downtown area (Cherry, Park & Chestnut south of Santa Fe)

Construction is scheduled to last approximately 12 months and lane closures are expected.  Access to all adjacent businesses will be maintained throughout the duration of the project.

For more information about the project, including a project rendering, visit www.OlatheKS.org/PublicWorks/Construction/SantaFeStreetscape.


This Edition of E-News - April 23, 2012:
• Olathe Family “Branches Out” with Unique Recycling Project
• Don't Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive
• Open House Focuses On Future Growth
• Make Mine a Mystery Tea Accepting Reservations through April 23
• Mahaffie Hits the Road with Springtime Party at Hy-Vee, Girl Scout Camptennial, Barnyard Babies
• Olathe Parks and Recreation Hosting Tree Climbing Class April 28
• Olathe Police Department Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs April 28

City Council
Released April 23, 2012
The Olathe City Council will meet Tuesday, May 1 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, visit the City’s website at www.OlatheKS.org.


Olathe Family “Branches Out” with Unique Recycling Project
Released April 23, 2012
One Olathe family has given new meaning to recycling, and the children in the household couldn’t be happier.  The Pruiksma Family completed an outdoor playhouse constructed from material gathered at the Olathe Recycling & Composting Facility. The project began last fall and the family, including three children, worked on the project in their spare time.

According to Ted Pruiksma, the project would not be possible without the City’s Composting facility.  “We used everything from recycled branches to mulch for cabin flooring.  I have no idea how many trips we made back and forth to the facility, “Pruiksma said. 

Pruiksma considers the playhouse a valuable lesson for his young children.  “My children not only received a playhouse, they were also taught many life-long lessons on tool safety, recycling and reusing, and how to work hard to achieve something,” he said.

Since 1991, the City has collected yard waste for composting rather than disposal. More than 12,000 tons is diverted from the waste-stream each year through the City's Yard Waste Program. Materials collected from residents are taken to the City's Composting Facility for processing and offered back to the community for reuse as compost and wood chip mulch.

Olathe residents can pick up free mulch and compost from the City's Composting Facility, 127th & Hedge Lane, Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Residents are asked to call the facility at (913) 971-5178 to confirm the availability of materials. Residents must bring a shovel and a container to load materials.

For more information about the City’s Yard Waste program and the Composting Facility, visit www.OlatheKS.org/secure/Forms/YardWaste.


Don't Barrel Through Work Zones! Drive Smart to Arrive Alive
Released April 23, 2012
Each year in April, National Work Zone Awareness Week is held to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones. Since 1999, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has worked with state and federal partners to coordinate and sponsor the event.

On Tuesday, April 24, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) asks all Kansans to “GO ORANGE” by wearing orange as a show of support for Kansas highway workers who risk their lives working on road projects and to raise awareness of work zone hazards.

Please join the City of Olathe as we “GO ORANGE” in honor of National Work Zone Awareness Week, April 23-27, 2012.  Throughout the week, motorists may notice some temporary changes around Olathe City Hall. The statue in Osborne Plaza will illuminate orange and digital signage will alert the public of National Work Zone Awareness Week.  The sign will also serve as a reminder of the upcoming Santa Fe Streetscape project scheduled to get underway later this month.

To learn more about the FHWA’s work zone safety and mobility resources, visit www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/wz.


Open House Focuses On Future Growth
Released April 23, 2012
The City of Olathe Planning Division will host an Open House on Tuesday, May 1, to gather resident and developer input on the first draft of the proposed Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) update. The UDO is the City’s zoning code and the update of development and design standards within the UDO assists in implementing PlanOlathe, the City's comprehensive plan adopted in 2010.

The open house is scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the City of Governor’s Room at City Hall, 100 East Santa Fe.  Public input is encouraged and appreciated. 

For more information about this event or the UDO update process, please visit www.OlatheKS.org/Development/UDO_Amendments.


Make Mine a Mystery Tea Accepting Reservations through April 23
Released April 23, 2012
The Friends of the Olathe Public Library invite the public to the Make Mine a Mystery Tea on April 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Community Church, 12480 S. Black Bob Road.  Enjoy a light luncheon, treats, and tea as well as music from Greenleaf Academy and a presentation by Maggie Woods from I Love a Mystery Bookstore. 

Highlighting the event are unique table settings inspired by mystery novels and created by Olathe organizations & small businesses.  Each table seats eight.  Those who will be creating tables are Angel Babies, Children’s Orchard, Consider it Done, Deaf Cultural Center, Everything Old is New Again, Fulk Chiropractic, Friends of the Olathe Public Library, Greenleaf Performing Arts Academy, Hy-Vee, Knit-Wit, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, Nutterman’s Appliance Repair, Olathe Art Gallery, Olathe Gardening Club, Olathe Glass and Interiors, Olathe Junior Service League, Olathe Parks and Recreation, Premier Designs Jewelry, Re-Used Furniture, Silpada Jewelry, Sweet Perfection Bakery,  I Love a Mystery Book Store, and the UPS Store-119 N. Parker.

There is no cost for the tea; however reservations are required and will be accepted through April 23 at the Olathe Public Library (201 E. Park), the Indian Creek Branch Library (12990 S. Black Bob Road), by phone (913-971-6879), online, or email to Rita Patterson


Mahaffie Hits the Road with Springtime Party at Hy-Vee, Girl Scout Camptennial, Barnyard Babies
Released April 23, 2012
The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm will be out in the community this weekend at three local events. 

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm is partnering with Hy-Vee at 119th Street and Ridgeview Road for their annual Springtime Party Store Contest, a corporate-wide competition to decorate participating Hy-Vee stores.  This year, Western Trails is the adopted theme using many decorations provided by Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm. Events include activities on Friday, April 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. offering Mahaffie stagecoach rides, 19th century games, blacksmith demonstrations and a Quick Draw contest on location at Hy-Vee. All activities are free and open to the public. Suggested donations for stagecoach rides are $2/person. Hy-Vee will have food available for purchase.

On Saturday, April 28, Mahaffie will take part in the Girl Scout Camptennial at Timber Ridge Adventure Center.  Along with Mollie the calf and other site animals, Mahaffie Staff will help Girl Scouts celebrate their 100th Anniversary. The Camptennial is expected to host over 700 Girl Scouts of all ages.

Mahaffie will also offer demonstrations at the Barnyard Babies event at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs on Saturday April 28. Mahaffie will provide stagecoach rides for the event. For more details, visit www.aghalloffame.com.


Olathe Parks and Recreation Hosting Tree Climbing Class April 28
Released April 23, 2012
Looking for family fun on Saturday, April 28? Go out on a limb with Tree Climbing Class! Safety and FUN are the two most important criteria. Learn how to safely ascend and descend wearing comfortable climbing harnesses and helmets. Equipment is supplied and all knots are tied by City staff. Participants are asked to be of relatively good health and wear comfortable climbing clothes such as long pants, T-shirts and sturdy shoes. The two hour program costs $29 for non-residents and $26 for residents.  Two sessions are available at Stagecoach Park (1205 North Kansas City Road); 10:00 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. Register by calling 971-8643.


Olathe Police Department Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs April 28
Released April 23, 2012
On April 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Olathe Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will offer another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to Olathe City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds—188.5 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds—nearly 500 tons—of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash -- pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. The DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Olathe Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take back events every few months.


This Edition of E-News - April 16, 2012:
• Olathe Parks Benefit from Boy Scouts of America “Good Turns”
• Olathe Farmers’ Market Opens April 21
• Rescheduled Kansas Arborist Association Day of Service Coming to Olathe April 20
• Mahaffie Participates in Patriots Parade; Spring Cemetery Tour Tickets Available 
• Make Mine a Mystery Tea Accepting Reservations through April 23
• Annual OHRC Community Awards Program April 19

City Council
Released April 16, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, April 17 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.


Olathe Parks Benefit from Boy Scouts of America “Good Turns”
Released April 16, 2012
More than 800 boy scouts from the Trails West and Red Tail Hawk districts are set to volunteer on more than 31 different projects on Saturday, April 21.  As part of The Boy Scouts of America Heart of America Council’s “Spring into Service” Community Good Turn Days, more than 14 Packs and 14 Troops/Crews will work on park beautification projects, trail and Lake Olathe clean-up starting at 9:00 a.m. A list of locations and projects is available through Volunteers in the Parks Coordinator Liz Newman.

Volunteers in the Parks is a citywide initiative to bring community organizations into the parks for large scale projects. To learn more about the program or volunteer, contact Liz Newman.


Olathe Farmers’ Market Opens April 21
Released April 16, 2012
Each year, the Olathe Farmers’ Market draws vendors and visitors from miles away.  The market offers primarily regionally grown fresh produce, plants and fresh flowers. 

The Saturday Farmers’ Market will open for the season on April 21, at 200 West Santa Fe in downtown Olathe (corner of Poplar and Kansas Avenue). The Saturday market hours are from 8:00 a.m. until produce is sold.  The Saturday market will run through October 20.

The Wednesday market will open on June 6. Wednesday hours are from 3:00 p.m. until produce is sold.  The Wednesday market will run through September 26.

For additional information, visit www.OlatheKS.org/ParksRec/Farmers.


Rescheduled Kansas Arborist Association Day of Service Coming to Olathe April 20
Released April 16, 2012
The Kansas Arborist Association will host its annual Day of Service in Olathe on Friday, April 20. More than 15 tree services and 40 professionals, along with plenty of bucket trucks, brush chippers, and climbing gear, will join Olathe parks crews at Stagecoach Park, Kansas City Road and Ridgeview, at 8:00 a.m. for a day of pruning and tree removal.

“Each year the association chooses a location to donate professional services,” said Rick Spurgeon, City Arborist for Olathe and the 2012 Kansas Arborist Association President. “Last year the estimated value of the services provided was more than $30,000.”

The association chose Olathe for this year’s Day of Service because Stagecoach Park will be the site of the 2012 Midwestern Tree Climbing Competition on Saturday, June 9.

For more information on the Day of Service or the Midwestern Tree Climbing Competition contact Rick Spurgeon at 913-207-1818.


Mahaffie Participates in Patriots Parade; Spring Cemetery Tour Tickets Available 
Released April 16, 2012
The stagecoach from Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm will participate in the Patriots Day Parade in McLouth, KS, on Saturday April 21 at 1:00 p.m. The Patriots Day Parade began in 2007 with the purpose of remembering our roots forged in the desire for freedom and the sacrifice made by our ancestors. Other events after the parade include military memorabilia display and an appearance by members from the Commanding General’s Color Guard from Fort Riley.

Tickets are available for the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site’s annual Spring Cemetery Tour on Sunday, April 22.  Becca Rentaria, a student from Olathe North High School, will lead visitors through the historic Olathe Memorial Cemetery exploring the symbols, historical figures and landscapes of the cemetery.  Olathe Memorial Cemetery was established in 1865 and is located at 738 N. Chestnut St.

The tour meets at Northview Elementary, 905 N. Walker.  Long periods of walking are required and refreshments will be provided.

Tickets are $3/adults and $2/children ages 5-11 and may be purchased by calling the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm at (913) 971-5111 or by visiting the historic site, 1200 Kansas City Rd., Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or on Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m. 


Make Mine a Mystery Tea Accepting Reservations through April 23
Released April 16, 2012
The Friends of the Olathe Public Library invite the public to the Make Mine a Mystery Tea on April 28 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Community Church, 12480 S. Black Bob Road.  Enjoy a light luncheon, treats, and tea as well as music from Greenleaf Academy and a presentation by Maggie Woods from I Love a Mystery Bookstore. 

Highlighting the event are unique table settings inspired by mystery novels and created by Olathe organizations & small businesses.  Each table seats eight.  Those who will be creating tables are Angel Babies, Children’s Orchard, Consider it Done, Deaf Cultural Center, Everything Old is New Again, Fulk Chiropractic, Friends of the Olathe Public Library, Greenleaf Performing Arts Academy, Hy-Vee, Knit-Wit, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm, Nutterman’s Appliance Repair, Olathe Art Gallery, Olathe Gardening Club, Olathe Glass and Interiors, Olathe Junior Service League, Olathe Parks and Recreation, Premier Designs Jewelry, Re-Used Furniture, Silpada Jewelry, Sweet Perfection Bakery,  I Love a Mystery Book Store, and the UPS Store-119 N. Parker.

Cost for the Tea is $20 per person.  Reservations will be accepted through April 23 at the Olathe Public Library (201 E. Park), the Indian Creek Branch Library (12990 S. Black Bob Road), by phone (913-971-6879), online or email Rita Patterson.  Payment must be received by April 25. 


Annual OHRC Community Awards Program April 19
Released April 16, 2012
The City of Olathe Human Relations Commission will recognize individuals and entities for meritorious service in the pursuit of cultural diversity and advocacy of human rights that benefit Olathe citizens at the annual Community Awards Program.  This year’s program, “Diversity Makes the Difference” will be held on Thursday April 19 in the Olathe City Council Chamber.  The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the ceremony from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  For more information, contact Victor Glover at 913-971-6493.


This Edition of E-News - April 9, 2012:
• Santa Fe Streetscape Project Breaking Ground in April
• Mahaffie’s Spring Cemetery Tour Highlights Local History
• Discount Season Pool Passes Available until April 30 at City Hall
• An Afternoon of Irish Songs and Stories with Máirtín de Cógáin
• OHRC Award Nominations Deadline Extended to April 11
• Helmet Head Bike Rodeo April 15

City Council
Released April 9, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, April 17 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.


Santa Fe Streetscape Project Breaking Ground in April
Released April 9, 2012
Changes are coming to Santa Fe Street as the City moves forward with the Santa Fe Streetscape Improvement Project (Kansas City Road to BNSF West Tracks), set to get underway this month. 

This project consists of improvements including:

  • Asphalt & base repairs
  • Concrete curb & gutter
  • Raised medians
  • Pedestrian facilities – sidewalk & crosswalk improvements, pedestrian lighting, benches, planters, trash receptacles
  • Park features and improvements in both lots at the Chestnut intersection
  • Streetlights & signals
  • Adjustment of the grade at the BNSF West Tracks railroad crossing
  • Replacement of bricks and streetlights in the downtown area (Cherry, Park & Chestnut south of Santa Fe)

Construction is scheduled to last approximately 12 months and lane closures are expected.  Access to all adjacent business will be maintained throughout the duration of the project.

For more information about the project, including a project rendering, visit www.OlatheKS.org/PublicWorks/Construction/SantaFeStreetscape.


Mahaffie’s Spring Cemetery Tour Highlights Local History
Released April 9, 2012
Tickets are still available for the popular Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site’s annual Spring Cemetery Tours.  Becca Rentaria, a student from Olathe North High School, will lead visitors through the historic Olathe Memorial Cemetery, exploring the symbols, historical figures and landscapes of the cemetery.  Olathe Memorial Cemetery was established in 1865 and is located at 738 N. Chestnut St.
The Spring Cemetery Tour will be held Sunday, April 22 with tours leaving at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  The tours meet at Northview Elementary, 905 N. Walker. 

The tour will require long periods of walking and refreshments will be provided. Tickets are $3/adults and $2/children ages 5-11.  Tickets may be purchased by calling the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm at (913) 971-5111 or by visiting the historic site, 1200 Kansas City Rd., Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m. 


Discount Season Pool Passes Available until April 30 at City Hall
Released April 9, 2012
Monday, April 30 is the last day to purchase City of Olathe swimming pool passes with the early splash discount.  Family season passes are discounted $10 and include admission for up to six family members.  Individual season passes are discounted $5.  Pool passes can be obtained by visiting the Parks and Recreation office, now located at City Hall, 100 E. Santa Fe.  For more information, visit www.OlatheKS.org/ParksRec or call 971-8563.


An Afternoon of Irish Songs and Stories with Máirtín de Cógáin
Released April 9, 2012
Dancing, singing, bodhrán-player, Máirtín de Cógáin, who hails from County Cork, Ireland, will present a free show for all ages from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on April 19 at the Indian Creek Community Church, 12480 S. Black Bob Road.  Cógáin has played at Irish festivals throughout the United States, including the Kansas City Irish Festival and the Weston Irish Festival. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Olathe Public Library and does not require registration. For more information, call (913) 971-6888.


OHRC Award Nominations Deadline Extended to April 11
Released April 9, 2012
The Olathe Human Relations Commission is currently accepting nominations for its annual community awards program.  This year’s program, “Diversity Makes the Difference” will be held on Thursday April 19 in the Olathe City Council Chamber.  The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the ceremony from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  The nomination deadline is extended to April 11. 

The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have been actively involved in improving cultural diversity and advocacy of human relations. This year’s categories include: the Olathe Human Relations Commission Humanitarian Award, the Commission/Organization/Business Award, the Educator Award, the Youth Award, and the Olathe Human Relation Commission Chairman’s Award.  For more information, contact Victor Glover at 913-971-6493.


Helmet Head Bike Rodeo April 15
Released April 9, 2012
The Olathe Fire Department invites all area children to bring their bikes to the annual Olathe Helmet Head Bike Rodeo on Sunday, April 15 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Doctors Building I parking lot of Olathe Medical Center, 20375 W. 151st Street. Kids ages 15 and under will receive a free bike helmet, while supplies last.  All parents must be accompanied by a child.  Spanish and sign language interpreters will be available courtesy of Olathe Medical Center.  For more information, call the Olathe Fire Department at 913-971-7900. 


This Edition of E-News - April 2, 2012:
• City of Olathe Receives City of Trees Distinction for 29th Year
• Fire Division Chief Receives International Designation
• Olathe Police Department Offers Spring Crime Prevention Tips
• Mahaffie, Libraries Closed for Easter Holiday
• An Afternoon of Irish Songs and Stories with Máirtín de Cógáin
• OHRC Award Nominations Accepted Through April 6
• Helmet Head Bike Rodeo April 15

City Council
Released April 2, 2012
The Olathe City Council will next meet Tuesday, April 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 www.OlatheKS.org.


City of Olathe Receives City of Trees Distinction for 29th Year
Released April 2, 2012
For the 29th year, the City of Olathe has received the Tree City USA community designation by the Arbor Day Foundation.

This national recognition honors communities that show a commitment to urban forestry through four standards set by the Arbor Day Foundation. Communities must have a presence of a tree department, a tree care ordinance, a comprehensive community forestry program and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

Olathe also received a Tree City USA Growth Award for demonstrating progress in community forestry. This prestigious award recognizes communities for a commitment to environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in the Tree City USA communities.

“We are proud to have received the Tree City distinction for the 29th year,” said Rick Spurgeon, Olathe’s City Arborist. “The commitment of our community and our City Council to the beauty of the city and preservation of nature is not a small undertaking and awards like this and the Growth Award are great reminders of the value of our work,” said Spurgeon.

More information about Tree City USA can be found at www.arborday.org/treecityusa.


Fire Division Chief Receives International Designation
Released April 2, 2012
The Commission on Professional Credentialing bestowed the “Fire Marshal” (FM) designation upon Division Chief Brad Henson earlier this month. He is the first person in Kansas to receive this international designation and only one of 28 Fire Marshals worldwide.  The CPC awards the designation only after a person successfully meets all of the organization’s stringent criteria. The process includes an assessment of the applicant’s education, experience, professional development, technical competencies, contributions to the profession and community involvement. Additionally, all applicants are required to identify a future development plan. The FM Designation Program uses a comprehensive peer review model to evaluate candidates seeking the credential.

“I am honored to receive the Fire Marshal designation,” said Henson. Fire Chief Jeff DeGraffenreid applauded Chief Henson for his prestigious designation.  “Chief Henson’s commitment to a safer Olathe is second to none,“ added DeGraffenreid. 

Henson has been a member of the Olathe Fire Department for 25 years. He is a native of Olathe and the president of the Fire Marshals Association of Kansas.

The CPC, an entity of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, Inc., administers the FM Designation Program. The CPC consists of individuals from academia, federal and local government and the fire and emergency services profession. Learn more about CPC at www.PublicSafetyExcellence.org


Olathe Police Department Offers Spring Crime Prevention Tips
Released April 2, 2012
Spring often means an increase in criminal activity. The Olathe Police Department wants to remind you of some tips to keep yourself and your home safe during the spring months.

  • Always remember to roll up your car windows, take any valuables out of your car, and lock your doors every time you exit your vehicle, even if your vehicle is parked in your driveway.
  • Keep doors locked at all times. If you are working in the back yard, keep your front door and garage door closed and locked; and lock your back door when you are in the front yard. Always lock your doors when you leave, even if you only plan to be gone for a few minutes.
  • During the spring weather, many people open windows or sliding glass doors while they are at home. Always remember to close and lock your windows and sliding doors when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Install motion-activated lights in your front and back yards, so when someone approaches your home, the lights automatically come on, illuminating that person.
  • Put all ladders and other tools back into a secure storage area after you use them. Ladders and other tools can be used by criminals to access your home. Always lock any storage unit or shed you have on your property.
  • Be aware of home improvement scams. If you did not solicit the contractor or salesman who shows up at your door unannounced, do not do business with that person.
  • If a utility representative comes to your house, request identification. True representatives will carry their identification and they will gladly show it to you. Call their company for verification.

Being a good neighbor can be one of the best crime prevention tools. Watchful, attentive neighbors can spot criminals and alert the police and the community to their presence. Get involved in your community, and help us keep your spring happy and safe.


Mahaffie, Libraries Closed for Easter Holiday
Released April 2, 2012
The Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop, 1200 Kansas City Rd., Olathe, will be closed Sunday, April 8, for the Easter holiday.  The historic house will be open and stagecoach rides offered from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 7. For more information about the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and other spring and summer events, including summer camps, visit www.mahaffie.org.

Olathe Public Library locations are also closed on Sunday, April 8, in observance of the Easter holiday.


An Afternoon of Irish Songs and Stories with Máirtín de Cógáin
Released April 2, 2012
Dancing, singing, bodhrán-player, Máirtín de Cógáin, who hails from County Cork, Ireland, will present a free show for all ages from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on April 19 at the Indian Creek Community Church, 12480 S. Black Bob Road.  Cógáin has played at Irish festivals throughout the United States, including the Kansas City Irish Festival and the Weston Irish Festival. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Olathe Public Library and does not require registration. For more information, call (913) 971-6888.


OHRC Award Nominations Accepted Through April 6
Released April 2, 2012
The Olathe Human Relations Commission is currently accepting nominations for its annual community awards program.  This year’s program, “Diversity Makes the Difference” will be held on Thursday April 19 in the Olathe City Council Chamber.  The event begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by the ceremony from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Nominations will be accepted through noon on April 6.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have been actively involved in improving cultural diversity and advocacy of human relations. This year’s categories include: the Olathe Human Relations Commission Humanitarian Award, the Commission/Organization/Business Award, the Educator Award, the Youth Award, and the Olathe Human Relation Commission Chairman’s Award.  For more information, contact Victor Glover at 913-971-6493.


Helmet Head Bike Rodeo April 15
Released April 2, 2012
The Olathe Fire Department invites all area children to bring their bikes to the annual Olathe Helmet Head Bike Rodeo on Sunday, April 15 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Doctors Building I parking lot of Olathe Medical Center, 20375 W. 151st Street. Kids ages 15 and under will receive a free bike helmet, while supplies last.  All parents must be accompanied by a child.  Spanish and sign language interpreters will be available courtesy of Olathe Medical Center.  For more information, call the Olathe Fire Department at 913-971-7900.