Leawood-based AMC hit hard by pandemic closures; Medical supply donations via drive-thru; Mobile food pantry at Merriam Park Elementary

AMC furloughs corporate employees after shuttering theaters amid pandemic

AMC Theaters, which has its world headquarters at Park Place in Leawood, announced this week that it was furloughing all 600 of its corporate employees amid the theater shutdowns necessitated by the pandemic. “At this time, AMC is not terminating any of its corporate employees, however, we were forced under the circumstances to implement a furlough plan, which is absolutely necessary to preserve cash and to ensure that AMC can reopen our doors once this health crisis has dissipated,” the company said in a statement to New York Magazine.

Johnson County WIC services now available without physical presence

The WIC clinics in Johnson County continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Current participants will continue to receive WIC benefits and new applicants will be assessed, certified and issued benefits.

Normally, participants and applicants of the program must be physically present to receive services. Effective Monday, March 23 the USDA and the Kansas State Agency waived the physical presence requirement. This waiver applies to areas in which WIC clinics have been closed to the public or in areas that are under a current stay at home order. The physical presence waiver will also be used for those persons who are under quarantine, whether voluntary or involuntary.

WIC appointments may now be conducted using telephone, computer and other technology, while clinic operating hours and staff availability will be subject to local and state orders related to the pandemic. Currently, the Johnson County WIC clinics are operating from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Medical supply donation drive-thru to be held March 28 at Blue Valley’s Hilltop Campus

In an effort to help healthcare professionals during the coronavirus pandemic, The University of Kansas Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital supply chain personnel have coordinated a medical supply donation drive-thru. The donation drive-thru will be open on Sat., March 28, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Blue Valley’s Hilltop Learning Center, 7720 W. 143rd Street. The two hospitals are requesting the following unused and unopened items:

  • N95 masks
  • Surgical masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Soap, liquid or bar

The drive-thru event will comply with social distancing practices by asking each donor to get out of their vehicle and set their donations down at a labeled station. The donations will not be passed from person to person, and everyone should remain 6 feet away from others at all times.

Although some members from KUMC and CMH will be in attendance, they will be there only to point to where donations should be placed. Donors should not hand KUMC or CMH personnel their donations. Additionally, KUMC and CMH personnel will take supplies back to their medical centers at 2 p.m., when donations close. Event organizers ask that in addition to practicing social distancing, donors return home after dropping off their items.

Mobile food pantry to be available at Merriam Park Elementary on March 28

A partnership between Merriam Park Elementary, Harvesters Community Food Network and Caring for Kids partner New City Church, a mobile food pantry will be available at Merriam Park this Saturday, March 25.

The mobile food pantry will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the elementary school, 6100 Mastin Street. No identification is necessary for the drive-thru distribution pantry, and it is free and open to all. The organizers ask participants to follow three steps to protect everyone:

  • Practice social distancing by remaining at least 6-feet apart from others
  • Wash your hands after handling the bags and food items
  • Refrain from touching your face.

Shawnee hiring Transystems for engineering on 75th Street redesign

The Shawnee city council on Monday unanimously agreed to hire Transystems for about $284,000 to complete engineering services on the redesign of a stretch of 75th Street. The city recently completed a study of the corridor between Quivira and Switzer Roads and is planning to make a $3 million investment in the project, of which the city received partial county funding to cover costs.

The project includes reallocation of the right-of-way, asphalt mill and overlay, installation of new curb, sidewalk and accessibility ramps, repair of storm drainage inlets and piping sections, updating street lighting to LED lights, a new traffic signal at 75th and Quivira, streetscape items, signing and new pavement markings.