Briefly noted: First day of school in Shawnee Mission; KDHE issues warning on blue-green algae at South Lake Park

File photo.

School year begins today in Shawnee Mission. Be extra careful out on the roads this morning, folks: The first day of the 2018-19 school year has arrived, and thousands of students and their parents will be heading out to get kids to class on time. First through sixth graders as well as seventh and ninth graders will attend classes today. Eighth graders as well as tenth through twelfth graders start their years Monday. It’s an early dismissal day for elementary school kids, who will get out of class at 12:30 p.m.

KDHE issues warning on blue-green algae at South Lake Park in OP. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism on Thursday issued a public health warning for 19 bodies of water in the state for blue-green algae for the coming week, including Overland Park’s South Lake Park. “If a lake is under a public health warning for blue-green algae, activities such as boating and fishing may be safe. However, direct contact with water (i.e., wading, skiing and swimming) is strongly discouraged for people, pets and livestock,” reads the warning. Though the lake is not closed, officials urge people and pets to avoid contact when possible. “Kansans should be aware that blooms are unpredictable,” says KDHE. “They can develop rapidly and may float around the lake, requiring visitors to exercise their best judgment. If there is scum, a paint-like surface or the water is bright green, avoid contact and keep pets away. These are indications that a harmful bloom may be present. Pet owners should be aware that animals that swim in or drink water affected by a harmful algal bloom or eat dried algae along the shore may become seriously ill or die.”