Posts tagged with Johnson County

Johnson County Libraries encourage use as cooling centers

With the temperature rising and no sign of relief until the weekend, the Johnson County Library system encourages the public to use the libraries as cooling centers.

The library system consists of 13 branches throughout the county, each of which is open to the public during regular business hours. These hours for the De Soto branch, 33145 W. 83rd St, are:

  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday
  • 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday

The De Soto branch is close on Sundays and Mondays. Hours for the other branches in the county may be viewed online.

Johnson County, along with the majority of northeast Kansas, is under a heat advisory until Saturday, July 2.

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County issues call for artists

The Johnson County Park & Recreation District has issued a call for entries for the Art Fest 2011 exhibit to be displayed from Oct. 30 to Nov. 20 at the Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe.

Entry deadline is Aug. 4.

Art Fest is open to Johnson County residents who are at least 21 years old. The exhibit is limited to original, wall-mounted art executed within the past two years. Last year’s Art Fest attracted 246 entries, and 40 artists were exhibited.

For a single entry fee of $25, artists may submit up to three pieces of art for consideration. Only one piece per artist may be selected for the exhibition.

Entry information and forms are available at the district’s website at or by calling (913) 894-3324.

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Lenexa police release description of jewelry store shooting suspect, person of interest

Police are searching for a man shot and robbed a Lenexa jewelry store owner Thursday afternoon, just a few blocks from the Shawnee city limits.

The crime was reported about 3 p.m. at 7753 Quivira Road. When Lenexa police arrived, they found the 71-year-old owner of the Jewelry Shoppe suffering from a gunshot wound.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

According to Lenexa police, the suspect is described as a black man in his mid-20s, about 5-foot-6 inches tall with a thin build, wearing a knee-length white T-shirt, ankle-length grey shorts and a dark baseball cap. He was armed with a pistol.

Lenexa police also want to talk to a woman they called a person of interest in the case.

She is described as black, in her mid-20s, with red or pink highlights in her hair and a prominent tattoo on her upper thigh, possibly large lettering. She was wearing shorts and driving a dark-color 1990s model vehicle, possibly a Honda.

Anyone with information is urged to call Lenexa police at (913) 477-7301 or the confidential TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS (8447).

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Health department offering free HIV testing

Every year, organizations across the nation engage with communities to promote early diagnosis and HIV testing in recognition of National HIV Testing Day.

The Johnson County Health Department is offering free, confidential HIV testing from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 27, at the health department, 6000 Lamar Ave. in Mission. Testing is open to anyone age 13 or older, no appointment is needed, and results are available in about 20 minutes.

Because anyone can get HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone between age 13 and 64 be tested as a routine part of their medical care.

The CDC estimates that 250,000 of the 1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States don't know they have it. Finding out whether you are infected with HIV is the first step to improving your health and the health of your partners and your family.

“Early HIV diagnosis is critical so people who are infected can fully benefit from available live-saving treatments,” said Lougene Marsh, director of the Johnson County Health Department.

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More traffic delays should be expected this weekend

The Kansas Department of Transportation warns drivers to expect more traffic delays this weekend as work continues on the Interstate 35/Interstate 435 interchange.

Eastbound I-435 will be reduced to two open lanes from Lackman Road to I-35 and the southbound I-35 to eastbound I-435 ramp will be closed for bridge painting work around the clock beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 17. All lanes are expected to reopen at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 19.

While detours will be marked for the ramp closure, KDOT advises drivers to use an alternate route if possible. Closures may be viewed online and the project is expected to be complete by the end of July.

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KDOT warns drivers to expect weekend delays

The Kansas Department of Transportation will have the southbound US Highway 69 bridge ramp to eastbound I-435 closed for resurfacing work beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 10. The ramp should be reopened to all traffic at 5:30 a.m., Monday, June 13.

While a detour for the route will be marked, KDOT warns that drivers should expect major delays and suggests using an alternate route if possible. A map of the detour may be downloaded here.

Drivers should also expect delays as the northbound Interstate 35 ramp to westbound Interstate 435 and the left two lanes of westbound I-435 between Quivira Road and I-35 will be closed for line painting, beginning at 7 p.m. tonight. KDOT expects these traffic ways to be reopened at 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, weather permitting.

Constant updates for road closures and delays may be viewed at KDOT's website.

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Johnson County Feed the Need kicks off this week

Johnson County’s 2011 Feed the Need campaign — which benefits county food pantries including the De Soto Multi-Service Center — kicks off Wednesday, June 8, with an outdoor celebration.

The “Fun in the Sun” food collecting event is planned for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the square outside the Johnson County Courthouse, 100 S. Kansas Ave., Olathe. The kickoff event features food, games, craft sales, drawings for prizes, donation opportunities and live entertainment. As in years past, platform-sitters at the dunk tank will include county leaders and department heads.

The 2011 campaign goal has been set at 187 tons of food, matching last year’s record, in either cash or food donations. Each donated dollar is roughly equivalent to four pounds of food.

“Feed the Need is an important fund-raising campaign by Johnson County Government and serves an important role to the Johnson County community,” John Bartolac, county records and tax administration department director and co-chairman of the 2011 campaign, said in a news release. “There is a critical need to keep up with increasing requests for food assistance at our local food pantries by citizens and families in need. Unfortunately, it’s a need that’s not going away.”

Co-chairman Nick Crossley, director of Johnson County Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said the county’s effort traditionally provides about a third of the annual food distributed by the food pantries.

Johnson County’s Feed the Need started in 1987 with one county department and the collection of less than one ton of food. County government has collected more than three million pounds of donations for local pantries since the program began.

Feed the Need is a regional effort coordinated by the Mid-America Regional Council, the Mid-America Assistance Coalition and Harvesters International.

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Johnson County attorney guilty of enticing minor for sex

A Johnson County attorney has pleaded guilty to using the Internet to conduct sexual chats and send images of himself masturbating to an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old girl, federal authorities announced today.

According to a news release from U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom’s office:

Samuel P. Logan, 46, Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty to one count of using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. In his plea, Logan admitted he used the Yahoo screen name “sambo5604" to send images of pornography and child pornography to a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl named Stazie. On May 28, 2010, an agent with the Kansas Attorney General’s Office received Webcam images from Logan. The agent could see that Logan was in an office with framed diplomas and certificates visible behind him.

From June 1, 2010, to July 22, 2010, Logan continued to engage in online conversations of a sexual nature with Stazie. On 11 occasions, Logan activated his Webcam, allowing the agent to see him. During this time, he sent 32 pornographic images to Stazie, including two that were child pornography. Logan gave Stazie his cellular phone number and suggested they meet. They made arrangements to meet July 22, 2010, at Oak Park Mall. Logan was arrested at Oak Park Mall after officers saw him looking at various individuals in an apparent effort to locate Stazie.

Logan’s sentencing date will be set later. He faces a penalty of between 10 years and life in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

The KBI and the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force in Kansas City, Mo., investigated. The case is being prosecuted as part of the Justice Department’s Project Safe Childhood, projectsafechildhood.gov, which targets sexual predators.

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Johnson County provides hazardous weather text alerts

From the Shawnee Dispatch

The city of Shawnee sent out the following hazardous weather reminder — including information about Johnson County's SMS text alert system — today:

This past weekend generated severe weather throughout the Midwest with significant damage in both Reading, Kansas, and Joplin, Missouri. The same system that impacted Reading also came through Johnson County late on Saturday night. Much like in Reading, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Johnson County that covered a large portion of the county and moved in a northeastern pattern. Per policy, Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security activated the outdoor warning siren system to notify local residents of Johnson County that there was imminent threat to their safety.

“The Johnson County outdoor warning siren system is intended to be an outdoor warning system,” said Nick Crossley, Director of Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security, “Some citizens can hear the sirens inside their residences and businesses; however, due to improved building techniques as well as atmospheric conditions such as rain, thunder, and lightning, it is often difficult to hear them inside homes and businesses”.

Sirens are primarily intended for outdoor notification. Johnson County Emergency Management and Homeland Security encourage every home and business owner to have a NOAA All-Hazards alert radio and a plan to respond to weather threats such as tornado warnings. NOAA All Hazard Radios are designed to notify those persons inside a home or business about impending threats. Johnson County Emergency Management & Homeland Security also maintains a SMS text alert system called JOCOAlert that is available for free to local citizens.

“Weather radios and text notification are extremely important parts of Johnson County’s emergency public notification strategy”, continued Crossley, “Since sirens provide no information on the type of threat or exact location of potential danger.” Once a warning is heard, citizens and businesses should seek shelter and then determine the location and type of threat. This will allow them to take appropriate actions to protect themselves, their families or their employees and customers.

Johnson County activates the Outdoor Warning System for one or more of the following reasons:

(1) A tornado warning declared by the National Weather Service

(2) A tornado spotted by a trained weather spotter

(3) A tornado spotted by a public safety official

(4) Duty officer discretion based on accessed risk

Johnson County has the capability of activating all of the sirens at once or by activating one or more of five established siren zones. All sirens are sounded unless the threat is clearly confined to an individual zone (or zones).

People can subscribe to the JOCOAlert text notification system by texting “Follow JOCOAlert” to 40404.

For more information on the Johnson County Outdoor Warning Siren system, NOAA All-Hazard alert radios, or the JOCOAlert system, visit jocoem.org.

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County sends emergency help to tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo.

By noon Monday the Johnson County Emergency Medical Service (MED-ACT) had dispatched five ambulances to Joplin, Mo., to assist in medical emergencies in the aftermath of a deadly tornado that struck the city Sunday evening.

The deployment to assist in Joplin involves 11 MED-ACT personnel. Three ambulance units, including a chief officer and five paramedics, were dispatched to the Missouri city about 4 a.m. Monday and arrived about 6:45 a.m. Two other units, with an additional five paramedics, were deployed before noon Monday along with a SUV for use by the chief officer.

“Our jobs are saving lives and providing medical assistance. Anytime there’s an emergency or natural disaster we are ready to go and assist wherever we are needed, both locally and regionally,” MED-ACT Chief Ted McFarlane said in a news release. “Helping people in times of crisis has no state boundaries. Joplin asked for our assistance, and we quickly responded.”

The units and personnel from Johnson County MED-ACT will be deployed for an initial 72 hours. The deployment will be extended longer, as needed, for rescue and recovery efforts in Joplin.

Nick Crossley, director of Johnson County Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said Johnson County would provide additional assistance, if requested and needed, in Joplin. The deployment of the MedAct units and personnel was requested Monday by the state of Missouri through the Kansas Department of Emergency Management to provide assistance to a federally-declared disaster site as authorized under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

“I have been notified that there was an official EMAC request from the state of Missouri to MedAct to provide EMS assistance. This means that personnel costs and other costs associated with the deployment will be reimbursed by the state of Kansas,” he said.

The deployment to Joplin is the second time Johnson County personnel have been sent to a disaster region in another state within the past few weeks. Two employees – one from Emergency Management, the other from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office – returned only a few days ago after assisting for 10 days in Clanton, Ala., after a series of tornadoes that killed more than 300 people in Southern states.

“It is important to support our fellow citizens and the national emergency management system we have developed in the United States by providing assistance, when we can, to other jurisdictions. The system is set up so that jurisdictions from outside the impacted area can help those requiring assistance in times of disasters,” Crossley said.

The deployment of MED-ACT personnel to Joplin was occurring at the same time deputies from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office were being dispatched Monday to Reading, in the aftermath of a tornado that struck the small Lyon County community late Saturday night, killing one man.

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