May 2015 Around Town

OPFD Brings Innovation to Its Service

Fire Chief Bryan Dehner recently released his department's annual report which highlighted the opening of a two-person squad house in a residential neighborhood, merging operations with the Merriam Fire Department, improving service for both cities while saving each money, and being recognized as a fully-accredited department.
The Overland Park Fire Department moved into a new squad house, partnered with its neighbors in Merriam for improved and fiscally responsible service, and more.

The Overland Park Fire Department covers more than 75 square miles of the city, with a population exceeding 184,700 residents.

Church Offers Summer Music Camp

What is summer music camp at the Presbyterian Church of Stanley? It is an opportunity for students (ages four through sixth grade) to explore music through singing, handbells, instruments, movement and much more while learning how to use their gifts to serve God. No previous musical experience is necessary.

The camp runs from June 24-26, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the church, which is located at 148th and Antioch. The cost is $20 per child, and $15 per additional sibling (maximum of $50 per family). Register online at

Local Student Crowned  (have photo in LL)

Caroline McVay, of Leawood, was recently crowned the first Miss Kansas Teen Amazing at the state pageant held at the University of Central Missouri. She also earned their inaugural Spirit Award. Miss Amazing, a national pageant mirroring the Miss America pageant system for girls and women with disabilities, age 10-35, focuses on allowing the participants to reach their full potential and encouraging further inclusion for individuals with special needs. Miss Amazing is currently in 27 states.

Each participant earns a trophy and is crowned Princess for her skills in interviewing and eveningwear poise. There is also an optional talent portion. The six queens, representing different age divisions, go on to represent their state for the following year at local and state events.

The 2015 state queens will represent their states at the National Miss Amazing Pageant in Los Angeles in July.  They will also be part of the Opening Ceremonies for the World Special Olympics being held in Los Angeles and will volunteer at the games as well.

New Program Offered at Barstow School 

The Barstow School launched the Certificate of Emphasis (COE) program in the 2014-15 school year. COE provides students an advantage in the increasingly competitive college admissions process by allow students to pursue their individual passions through a combination of on campus and online courses and a capstone project at the end of their program. We are also well aware that students who are passionate learners are happier, healthier and more successful in and out of school. Students are paired with a mentor in the community to execute their capstone project in their selected "strand" or "area of emphasis." These strands include; 21st century communications, engineering, architecture, environmental sustainability, globalization, social justice, international politics and mind, body and health. If you are interested in learning about the mentor process, contact Suzanne Slepitza at

Get Out There and Ride

May is national bicycle riding month so dust off that two-wheeler, buy yourself a new bell (vintage is IN!) and enjoy some of the dozens and dozens of miles of paved bicycle paths that we are so very fortunate to have surrounding our communities.

Did you know that the Johnson County Parks and Recreation Department has created four different trail guides for area fitness enthusiasts? You can view the regional guides at If you would rather pick up a copy of the guides, visit the JCPRD office in Antioch Park, Ernie Miller Nature Center or the John Barkley Visitor Center at Shawnee Mission Park.

Scheels Opening Soon

Scheels, opening in Overland Park in late June, is a 220,000-square-foot sporting goods destination store with a Ferris wheel and salt water aquarium inside the building. This state-of-the-art store specializes in the largest variety of sports, fashion and footwear under one roof. Currently, Scheels is in the process of hiring a number of part-time positions throughout the store, including sales associates and cashiers. Scheels is an employee-owned company and provides the best training in retail for its career associates. Our people make us special and Scheels associates are experts in their field. Scheels also actively looks for ways to give back to the local communities they serve.

Shawnee Mission Animation Students Excel 

Several students who are enrolled in Shawnee Mission’s Animation Signature Program earned top honors at the recent eMagine media festival, a statewide digital media competition. Logan Jenkins took first place in the 3D Organic category and first place in the 3D Mechanical category. Griffen LaTessa and Darius Reasco earned second and third place in the 3D Organic category. Justus Kasunic earned second-place honors in the 3D Mechanical category and Sophia Minnena earned third place in the Character Animation category.

STEMS: Save the Date

Tickets are now available for Stems: A Garden Soiree, the annual fundraiser for the Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park held at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Garden. Save the date for an evening of ourdoor fun, music and great food on June 27.  Early Bird pricing is $95 per ticket. Details are available at