Briefly Noted: Olathe middle school educator dies of COVID-19; JoCo Christmas Bureau seeking donations

John Hickman, an educator and paraprofessional at Mission Trail Middle School in Olathe, died of complications from COVID-19 over the weekend, district officials confirmed Monday. Photo via Johnson County Appraiser's Office.

Olathe middle school educator dies of COVID-19 complications

John Hickman, an educator and paraprofessional at Mission Trail Middle School in Olathe, died of complications from COVID-19 over the weekend, district officials confirmed Monday.

Hickman had been ill for “a number of weeks,” said Principal Rachelle Waters in an email to Mission Trail families. He had not been in the school building since Sept. 24. Middle school students were in the virtual learning environment at that point.

“John made a tremendous impact on our building on a daily basis,” Waters wrote. “He will be deeply missed. Please keep his family in your thoughts during this tough time.” [Educator at Olathe middle school dies of coronavirus, district confirms — The Kansas City Star]

Johnson County Christmas Bureau seeking donations to help families during pandemic

Johnson County Christmas Bureau, a local nonprofit, reported it donated more than $100,000 worth of merchandise to families in need since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the merchandise was distributed at the organization’s Holiday Shop event and needs to be replenished. The organization hopes to help more than 12,000 people who are financially in need.

“Many donations are coming in lower,” the organization announced on its website. “We need your help more than ever!”

Details on how to donate are available on bureau’s website.

Members of the SM East girl’s golf team pose with the 2020 championship trophy. Photo via SME Girl’s Golf Twitter.

SM East girl’s golf wins state championship

The Shawnee Mission East girl’s golf team won the 2020 state championship, according to a tweet. This is the second year in a row SM East’s girl’s golf has won the championship.

Shawnee amends excise tax abatement for senior living project

The Shawnee City Council on Monday unanimously approved an amendment to an excise tax abatement agreement with the developers of a senior living project on Pflumm Road.

Located on 28 acres in the 6100 block of Pflumm, the Veterans Park Senior Living development is under construction and will include 60 twin villa units in 30 buildings and 240 senior apartment units in five buildings. The calculated excise tax for the project is about $265,000, according to city documents.

The amended agreement extends the date of completion from January 2021 to Oct. 12, 2023. The developers cited financial strains from the COVID-19 pandemic as the cause for the delays and request for extension of the agreement.