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Luminary Walk returns to Overland Park Botanical Gardens

Along with candlelit trails, electric lighting is part of the lightwalk at the Overland Park Arboretum.

Along with candlelit trails, electric lighting is part of the lightwalk at the Overland Park Arboretum.

Courtesy of Overland Park’s Arts & Recreation Foundation

Also this holiday season, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens hosts a series of glowing walks that take visitors along candlelit trails, past gnome and fairy villages, and within earshot of four musical performances.

The next hikes are scheduled on November 25-26, December 2-3, December 8-10 and December 15-17 from 5pm to 10pm. The last admission is at 21:00. There is also an Adults Only Candlelight Walk at the same times on December 1st.

The cost is $15 but free for those under 5 years old. Tickets can be purchased through the events tab on artsandrec-op.org. The Arboretum is located at 8909 W. 179th St.

Olathe Middle School is replaced

Olathe Public Schools broke ground on Nov. 17 for a new Santa Fe Trail Middle School that will replace a building constructed more than 50 years ago.

The current building at 1100 N. Ridgeview Road, built in 1968, has been regularly renovated or expanded since then.

“However,” the district said, “given the ongoing infrastructure challenges, as well as the outdated design, small classrooms, and cost of continuing to renovate the existing building, a fresh start was the best answer for the Santa Fe Trail community.” ”

The new school will be built on the existing campus, but students will remain in their current building until the new one is ready in 2024.

The middle school is one of many projects funded by a $298.3 million bond issue approved by a ballot-by-mail last March.

Lenexa’s K-9 Bruno is in action

Now Lenexa Police Department employee: K-9 Bruno, a 19-month-old German Shepherd, born in Slovakia.

He replaced a police dog named Leo who died after being diagnosed with lymphoma. During the summer, Bruno and his supervisor, Police Superintendent Brian Thomas, received their K-9 Team qualifications and completed their training in September.

K-9 Bruno and his handler, Master Police Officer Brian Thomas, completed their training in September. Courtesy of the City of Lenexa

Bruno and the city’s other two police dogs are trained in both narcotics detection and patrolling, which includes searching buildings and searching for objects, tracking and arresting suspects, extracting vehicles, and protecting the handlers includes.

KDOT reopens all lanes on K-10

Driving to Lawrence and back has been a nightmare for the past few months, but the Kansas Department of Transportation says all lanes on Kansas 10 — from Kansas 7 to Kill Creek in western Johnson County — were open as of mid-November.

The bottlenecks were caused by highway bridge repairs, but many have been completed.

Deck repair and decking work was completed by mid-November on the westbound bridges at Evening Star Road, Sunflower Road, Camp Creek and Cedar Creek, and the eastbound bridges at Cedar Creek Road and Cedar Creek Parkway closed.

Deck replacement on the westbound bridge over Lexington Avenue was due to be completed later in the month, as was pavement repair on the westbound bridge over Kill Creek.

Meanwhile, work on improvements to the Lexington Avenue interchange on the K-10, including additional on-ramp lanes, will continue into February.

Another incentive to alleviate the labor shortage

Weeks after introducing hiring bonuses for second-shift paraeducators and caregivers, the Shawnee Mission School District decided to pay current staff $200 if they successfully refer people to classified jobs such as caregivers and paraeducators.

Employees are encouraged to email the prospective employee’s name and contact information to [email protected] The $200 is paid if that person is hired and is in good standing after 90 calendar days of employment.

The Shawnee Mission School Board approved the program on November 14 and it will continue through June 30, 2023.

Lenexa bakery owner receives state awards

The owner of a bakery in the Lenexa Public Market was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office for Minority and Women Business Development.

The winner is Kate Smith, owner and chef of Butterfield’s Bakery & Market. She is also a 2022 winner of NextGen Under 30, another Kansas Department of Commerce program.

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“If I had seen myself five years ago, I would have never imagined that by the age of 27 I would own two (soon to be three) businesses,” said Kate Smith, owner/chef of Butterfield’s Bakery & Market. Courtesy of Lenexa Public Market

“If I had seen myself five years ago, I would have never imagined that by the age of 27 I would own two (soon to be three) companies,” Smith said in a press release. “I wouldn’t have made it without my great team, who support me and do their best every day.”

As a child, according to the publication, Smith was drawn to the cooking and baking skills of her grandmother, Jo Ann (Butterfield) Fath. In 2017, Smith received a degree in Hospitality Management from Oklahoma State University and relocated to the Kansas City area in 2018.

Their specialty, French macarons, became popular at grocery fairs and weddings. She began selling macarons as a day cart vendor at the public market in March 2019 and within a few months expanded to a specialty confectionary stand, Kate Smith Soirée. She opened Butterfield’s in 2020.

The city-operated Lenexa Public Market is an 11,000-square-foot food hall located at 87th Street Parkway and Penrose Lane downtown just west of Interstate 435.

91st and Nieman: Time for a four stop?

After 40 years with a traffic light, the Overland Park intersection at 91st Street and Nieman Road could soon become a four-way stop.

The signal has reached the end of its useful life and traffic at the intersection has decreased, so the city is investigating whether the change would result in smoother traffic flow.

“Sometimes,” the city said in a press release, “motorists can wait for a red light to turn green even when there is no traffic coming from the other direction.”

During the 90-day trial starting November 29, signals will flash red in all directions. Drivers should navigate the intersection like a four-way stop.

About 8,700 vehicles passed through the intersection in 1982 when the light was installed, but the average has dropped to 2,700 vehicles a day – below the standard for a signal. If the signaling system stayed there, the city said it would cost about $450,000 to rebuild.

High profile projects start in Merriam

Groundbreakings were planned for two major projects in Merriam in November.

The first, on November 21, was for the Merriam Grand Station to be built on the long-vacant former Kmart lot near Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road. Drake Development’s project includes two apartment complexes, space for up to five restaurants or retail outlets, a parking garage and green space for live music and arts games. Completion is expected in 2026.

A ceremony was scheduled for November 29 for the Merriam Plaza Library adjacent to the Merriam Community Center at 6040 Slater Street. When completed in 2024, the $13.68 million library will replace the nearby Antioch Library at 8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Shawnee begins K-7 studies

Shawnee invites the public to a November 30th meeting on the K-7 Corridor Study where residents will learn about current traffic conditions along the north-south freeway as well as nearby streets such as Woodland Drive, 75th Street, Hedge Lane Terrace and Clare Road .

The purpose of the study, commissioned by the City Council in September, is to determine what road improvements will be needed if development continues in western Shawnee and when those improvements should take place.

The open house meeting will be held at City Hall, 11110 Johnson Drive, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. People may come and go during this time.

The city is paying engineering firm Olsson $77,580 to conduct the study.

Named principal for new middle school

Darcy Sly will be the principal of Forest Spring Middle School when it opens in the Spring Hill School District next August.

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Darcy Sly

The 30-year-old educator has been the principal at the district’s Dayton Creek Elementary School since 2021. She was also the principal of Timber Sage Elementary School.

The new middle school is located near the southwest corner of Ridgeview Road and 191st Street.

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