Posts tagged with Johnson County

Mobile veterinarian serving Shawnee area

Say “G’day” to a new vet now making house calls in Shawnee and Johnson County.

Chad Geri is the owner of Compassionate Care Mobile Veterinary Service. The Sydney, Australia, native has lived in the United States 10 years and has his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Kansas State University.

In an announcement about his business, Geri said the anxiety some pets experience from riding in cars and visiting vet clinics can mask their symptoms. Many pets are easier to work with at home, where they feel safe.

Geri said he also hoped to provide personalized care that’s convenient for pet owners.

“In recent decades, there has been a shift toward veterinary service being provided in large animal hospitals,” he said. “While this has made specialized care more accessible to pet owners, it has also caused a movement away from the close relationship clients once enjoyed with their veterinarian.”

Geri’s home-office is in Merriam. For more information about Compassionate Care, call (913) 948-9348 or visit compassionatemobilevet.com.

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County breaks ground on new Public Works facility

Chairman of the Johnson County Commission Ed Eilert uses a backhoe to ceremonially break ground for the new Johnson County Public Works Facility in Olathe on Monday, May 16. The new building, which is expected to achieve LEED silver certification for its environmentally friendly design, is projected to be completed and operational by the first quarter of 2012.

Chairman of the Johnson County Commission Ed Eilert uses a backhoe to ceremonially break ground for the new Johnson County Public Works Facility in Olathe on Monday, May 16. The new building, which is expected to achieve LEED silver certification for its environmentally friendly design, is projected to be completed and operational by the first quarter of 2012. by Laura Herring

Chairman Ed Eilert of the Johnson County commissioners, along with the rest of the commission and members of the Johnson County Public Works Department, broke ground on the new Public Works facility on Monday, May 16.

The project, which will cost just over $14.5 million and will total 44,550 square feet in two buildings, will replace the county's current facility, which has been in use since 1966.

"One of the biggest factors in the decision to build this new facility was the condition of our current facility," Eilert said in his speech to the crowd of county officials and workers. "It was estimated that several million dollars would be needed to renovate our current facility."

In addition to adding square footage to the department, the new facility is expected to meet LEED silver certification standards for its environmentally friendly design. Buildings will be heated and cooled by a geo-exchange system, which utilizes natural temperature changes in the earth to control indoor climates, and will take advantage of natural lighting for most lighting needs.

"We’re going to see some real energy savings,” said Director of Public Works Mac Andrew in a press release regarding the new facility. “It’s a real common-sense way of using taxpayer dollars for something that’s needed for Johnson County Government in providing road and other infrastructure needs vital to the Johnson County community.”

Project completion is expected to take place in two phases. The first part, the fleet building, which will house maintenance space for the department's vehicles, is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. Construction of the administration/operations building, which will house offices and conference rooms, is expected to be completed and the building ready for occupation by the first quarter of 2012.

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Prostitution sting nets 12 citations

Johnson County Sheriff's deputies issued 12 citations for prostitution earlier this week during a two-day sting operation carried out in rural Johnson County, according to a news release.

Seven men were issued citations for soliciting prostitution, four women were issued citations for prostitution and another man was cited for promoting prostitution, the release said. One of the 12 was also arrested on an unrelated felony charge and deputies seized more than $1,000.

The department declined to give specific details of the operation, stating such information could harm the effectiveness of future stings. Master Deputy Rick Howell did say this week's operation was conducted between Kansas Highways 10 and 7 and was carried out in a similar manner to the sting that took place in December of 2010.

Operations of this nature will continue to be carried out in Johnson County, Sheriff Frank Denning was quoted as saying in the news release.

“We will continue our efforts to curtail this type of activity in our community, there is no place in Johnson County for this type of illegal activity," he said.

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County seeks residents for advisory boards

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners is seeking residents to serve on four advisory boards of county government.

Spots are available on the Criminal Justice Advisory Council, the Civil Service Board, the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board and the Commission on Aging.

Johnson County residents interested in being considered for appointment to the advisory boards should submit a cover letter and current resume or curriculum vitae to the Johnson County Manager’s Office, Attn: Appointments Clerk — Board of County Commissioners, 111 South Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe KS, 66061.

Applications are available online at lims.jocogov.org.

For more information, call (913) 715-0430.

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County seeks residents for advisory boards

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners is seeking residents to serve on four advisory boards of county government.

Spots are available on the Criminal Justice Advisory Council, the Civil Service Board, the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board and the Commission on Aging.

Johnson County residents interested in being considered for appointment to the advisory boards should submit a cover letter and current resume or curriculum vitae to the Johnson County Manager’s Office, Attn: Appointments Clerk — Board of County Commissioners, 111 South Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe KS, 66061.

Applications are available online at lims.jocogov.org.

For more information, call (913) 715-0430.

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County seeks residents for advisory boards

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners is seeking residents to serve on four advisory boards of county government.

Spots are available on the Criminal Justice Advisory Council, the Civil Service Board, the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board and the Commission on Aging.

Johnson County residents interested in being considered for appointment to the advisory boards should submit a cover letter and current resume or curriculum vitae to the Johnson County Manager’s Office, Attn: Appointments Clerk — Board of County Commissioners, 111 South Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe KS, 66061.

Applications are available online at lims.jocogov.org.

For more information, call (913) 715-0430.

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County confirms more cases of measles

The Johnson County Health Department has confirmed two additional cases of measles in the county, bringing the total to three, officials announced today.

Last week, after confirming the first case, the health department began contacting hundreds of people who may have been exposed.

Citing patient confidentiality, the department is not releasing any information about the patients or where they live, health department spokeswoman Barbara Mitchell said. However, she said, the first affected person had never been vaccinated against measles.

The health department’s investigation is ongoing and officials are continuing to reach out to people who may have come into contact with infected patients, Mitchell said.

"In this case, it numbers in the hundreds," she said.

According to the health department:

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. It causes fever, runny nose, tiredness, cough and a blotchy rash all over the body. With the creation of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, measles cases are rare in the United States. However, the disease still sickens more than 10 million and kills almost 200,000 people worldwide each year.

Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. It is so contagious that any person who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease. Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.

The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated.

Children should get an MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old and be vaccinated again before they enter kindergarten.

By Sara Shepard

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Johnson County contacting hundreds who may have been exposed to measles

The Johnson County Health Department has confirmed a case of measles in the county and is contacting hundreds of people who may have been exposed, officials said Thursday.

Citing patient confidentiality, the department is not releasing any information about the person with measles or where that person lives, health department spokeswoman Barbara Mitchell said. However, she said, the affected person had never been vaccinated against measles.

The health department is in the process of reaching out to people with whom the infected person may have come into contact, Mitchell said.

"In this case, it numbers in the hundreds," she said.

The department's investigation is ongoing.

According to the health department:

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. It causes fever, runny nose, tiredness, cough and a blotchy rash all over the body. With the creation of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, measles cases are rare in the United States. However, the disease still sickens more than 10 million and kills almost 200,000 people worldwide each year.

Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. It is so contagious that any person who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease. Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.

The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated.

Children should get an MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old and be vaccinated again before they enter kindergarten.

By Sara Shepard

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Measles case confirmed in Johnson County

The Johnson County Health Department has confirmed a case of measles in the county, the department announced Wednesday.

The department did not release any information about the person with measles but said in a press release that all those at risk for disease are being contacted.

The department said the investigation is ongoing.

According to the health department:

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. It causes fever, runny nose, tiredness, cough and a blotchy rash all over the body. With the creation of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine, measles cases are rare in the United States. However, the disease still sickens more than 10 million and kills almost 200,000 people worldwide each year.

Measles is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. It is so contagious that any person who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease. Measles can be spread to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.

The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated.

Children should get an MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old and be vaccinated again before they enter kindergarten.

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Panel addresses rising poverty in Johnson County

Johnson County acutely reflects an alarming nationwide trend — poverty in the suburbs is on the rise.

There are 38,000 Johnson Countians and counting whose income falls below the federal poverty level — about $18,000 a year for a family of three. The Shawnee Mission school district has one of the county’s highest percentages of students who need free or reduced-price lunches.

A panel of experts took on the subject during “Understanding and Responding to Poverty Among Children and Their Families in Johnson County,” a community engagement and issues program Tuesday night at the Johnson County Central Resource Library.

Panelists included representatives from educational institutions and state agencies. The event also afforded members of the public a chance to ask questions and offer ideas about how to improve the problem.

According to 2009 statistics, the most recent available, from United Community Services of Johnson County, Johnson County has the second-highest number of impoverished people than any county in Kansas or the Kansas City metropolitan area, said UCS executive director Karen Wulfkuhle. Only Sedgwick County, in Kansas, and Jackson County, just over the state line in Missouri, are higher.

In the six-county metro area, 11.7 percent of people live in poverty.

While Johnson County’s poverty rate — 7.1 percent of residents — is still lower than many neighboring counties, it has risen 150 percent in the past five years.

“Poverty is growing in suburbs across the country,” Wulfkuhle said, noting that numbers would probably be even higher if data included the entire recession.

One of the most troubling facts, Wulfkuhle said, is that half of Johnson County’s poor are children.

For residents younger than 18, the poverty rate was 10.1 percent in 2009 — double the 2008 rate.

Countywide, 23 percent of children participate in their school district’s free and reduced lunch program, reserved for families whose income is 135 percent or 185 percent, respectively, of the federal poverty level.

The Shawnee Mission and Gardner-Edgerton school districts have the highest percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch — roughly 33 percent, according to a UCS chart. Less than 10 years ago, Shawnee Mission’s percentage was less than 15 percent.

The De Soto district has the county’s second-lowest percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch, about 15 percent. Only Blue Valley is lower, with less than 1 percent.

Panelists Terrie VanZandt-Travis, executive director for Head Start of Shawnee Mission Inc., and Pat All, former Olathe school district superintendent, said getting an education helps youth find gainful employment and escape poverty.

Early childhood programs not only help children learn the basics before kindergarten, they also help connect families with other resources, such as food assistance and healthcare programs, they said. Schools can help impoverished children succeed by keeping curriculum consistent and building personal relationships despite interruptions in their home lives.

“There’s a high correlation of poverty with lack of achievement,” All said. “It’s because of one thing after another that interferes with the complex process of learning.”

Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children, discussed some programs and policies that are in place to help families save money and improve their situations.

Attendees’ ideas for improving poverty were primarily grassroots in nature — watch out for your neighbors, donate to your church’s food pantry and urge businesses to support organizations that help impoverished residents.

Panelist Lori Alvarado made no bones about it, Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services programs alone are not going to lift people out of poverty.

Alvarado, SRS regional director for the Kansas City metropolitan area, said department caseloads have increased 40 percent in the last two years. And they focus on immediate basic needs — which are often dire.

She said poverty has a cumulative nature, and that doesn’t help people escape it.

“Some of these folks are working really hard just to get food in the stomachs of kids who are trying to learn,” Alvarado said. “You just see this snowball effect.”

SRS helps clients for up to five years, which may seem like a lot but really isn’t when you look at obstacles like increasing earning power and escaping debt, Alvarado said.

“When we’re talking about a poverty situation,” she said, “it takes a long time to dig out.”

By Sara Shepard

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