Northeast Johnson County morning roundup

Decorating_House_Gingerbread

Registration open for Prairie Village Foundation’s annual Gingerbread House Party. Registration is open for the Prairie Village Foundation’s eighth annual Gingerbread House Parties. Families get to decorate a house made of freshly baked gingerbread with proceeds benefiting the foundation’s efforts to provide summer recreation scholarships. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. You can sign up on the foundation’s website here.

NEJC legislators weigh in on Colyer’s appointment of new Department for Children and Families head. Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer on Tuesday announced he had selected children’s shelter director Gina Meier-Hummel as the replacement for the embattled former secretary Phyllis Gilmore. Sen. Barbara Bollier of Mission Hills told the Wichita Eagle that she had “full confidence that she’ll do an excellent job.” But Rep. Jarrod Ousley of Merriam said she would have to demonstrate a good deal of independence to get the department back on track. “Is she going to be a continuation of the Phyllis Gilmore legacy or is she knowledgeable enough to turn some things around?” he said. [Colyer picks children’s shelter director, social services veteran to lead DCF — Wichita Eagle]

John Paul II Catholic School students make Battle of the Brains finals. The kids over at Merriam Park Elementary weren’t the only ones whose Battle of the Brains submission got favorable reception from the judges. A group of third and fourth graders at John Paul II Catholic School in northern Overland Park made the finalist list as well for their exhibit proposal exploring swarm behavior. You can check it out here.

A look at the iconic “Dodge Town” play area at Antioch Park, which is currently under renovation. Westwood resident Lucas Wetzel lamented the possible loss of the much-beloved Dodge Town play area at Antioch Park when he saw crews removing its structures. But he and other enthusiasts are in luck: JCPRD will be reopening the area next summer. [Antioch Park’s iconic Dodge Town meets its demise — or does it? — The Pitch]