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County Manager's Office

Phone: 913-715-0725

111 S. Cherry St., Suite 3300, Olathe, KS 66061

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JoCo on the Go Podcast

 

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Episode: 24
01/13/2020

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Know your radon level

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #24 addresses radon awareness. Radon is a prevalent issue in Johnson County, with high levels being found in homes throughout our community. K-State Research and Extension agent Denise Dias shares how you can easily find out your home’s radon level. She also explains what’s safe and what needs attention. Also on the episode is Wes Hodgden, a Johnson County radon expert who helps property owners remediate radon. Dan Gathje also joins the conversation as a homeowner who had high levels of radon in his home and now has the peace of mind that the air he’s breathing is safe.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:29 Introduction
01:03 What is radon?
01:34 The average level of radon in Johnson County homes
02:14 A map showing the average radon levels in various zip codes around the county
04:28 Why it's important to test for radon
06:41 How to get a free radon test kit
09:59 One homeowner's story
12:36 What to expect when you have your home tested

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Episode: 23
01/06/2020

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Preparing for winter weather

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #23 is filled with great information about how Johnson County’s Emergency Operations Center works closely with the National Weather Service to stay ahead of winter storms. Meteorologist Ray Christensen talks about the accuracy of forecasting and what northeast Kansas can expect this winter. Johnson County Emergency Management Deputy Director Dan Robeson shares tips on how to stay safe when the snow and ice hit. Brian Pietig and Wes Root, from Johnson County Public Works, offer advice to homeowners on snow removal. They also share details on how the county treats the roads and how and when county roads are cleared.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:34 Introduction
02:55 How the National Weather Service coordinates with local government
04:49 What kind of winter should we expect this year?
09:03 How does the County find out a winter storm is coming?
11:19 How the Emergency Operations team differentiates between a winter storm and an winter weather emergency
12:55 How the County continues to provide services despite the winter weather
14:55 Sign up for Notify JoCo to get the latest winter weather updates
15:49 Preparing for a winter weather emergency
18:53 County crews work year-round to prepare for winter weather
19:29 How crews decide which roads to plow first
21:26 County crews plow 24 hours a day until the roads are clear
23:40 How far back should drivers stay from a snow plow?
26:54 The difference in preparing for an ice storm versus a snow storm
28:19 How to contact Public Works regarding help with snow removal
29:18 Don't Crowd the Plow

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Episode: 22
12/30/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Understanding your Wastewater bill

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #22 provides an in-depth look at Johnson County Wastewater. You’ll hear from department director Susan Pekarek about how rates are set. You’ll also learn about the innovative and environmentally friendly wastewater cleaning processes that are in place. She’ll have details on progress being made at the Tomahawk Wastewater Facility construction project. Hear from Cory Welch who will share improvements to Johnson County Wastewater customer service, such as the new option to pay your bill by phone with a credit card.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:31 Introduction
01:41 What service does Johnson County Wastewater provide?
03:17 How are the rates set for wastewater service?
04:48 An explanation of some of the fees involved
06:48 What to do if you see an unusual increase in your wastewater bill
08:25 Some of the environmental innovations used by the wastewater department
10:46 The Tomahawk wastewater facility project
13:24 When you're faced with major water issues, there's help available

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Episode: 21
12/23/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Youth bullying and suicide prevention

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #21 addresses the topic of youth bullying and suicide prevention and response. Johnson County Mental Health Center Team Leader Renee Van Meter offers tips to parents on how to talk with their teens about thoughts of suicide. She encourages parents to listen and seek further help, if needed. Also hear from Johnson County teen Rory Swenson, a teen ambassador to the #ZeroReasonsWhy campaign. He’ll talk about the conflicting role technology plays in both creating a support system and encouraging feelings of isolation.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
01:24 The Zero Reasons Why campaign
03:41 The role parents can play in helping their children cope
08:05 Social media and its impact
11:01 How bullying has changed
16:15 How to get help in a crisis

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Episode: 20
12/16/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Holiday Crime Prevention

JoCo on the Go podcast episode #20 covers a timely topic to help keep Johnson County residents and their property safe. The holiday season is a busy time of year for most people – and that includes thieves. We’re talking to crime and safety experts Claire Canaan, with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and Emilie Burdette with the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. They offer advice for online shopping safety, tips on how to minimize the risk of porch pirates taking your purchases and they also talk about how you and your neighbors can fight crime by sharing your doorbell camera footage.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
00:52 Why theft increases around the holidays
01:36 The risks of shopping online
05:02 Protecting your packages from 'porch pirates'
08:24 Protecting yourself and your packages while shopping
10:08 Stay safe from charitable scams
11:41 Be careful what you post on social media during the holidays

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Episode: 19
12/09/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Johnson County Airports

JoCo on the Go episode #19 is focused on how Johnson County airports play an important role in economic development in the area.  Johnson County Airport Commission Executive Director Aaron Otto talks about the history of the airports and current business growth. Johnson County Commissioner Mike Brown discusses the value and convenience the airports bring to companies. Greg Martinette, president and CEO of Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation, describes how businesses can set up shop in Johnson County.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:34 Introduction
00:53 How did we wind up with two airports in Johnson County?
04:26 The role airports play in the county's economic development
08:46 Interview with Commissioner Mike Brown, liaison to the airport commission
10:17 What does the airport commission do?
14:16 Why airports encourage businesses to set up shop in the county

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Episode: 18
12/02/2019

JoCo on the Go: Johnson County Citizens Academy

During our 18th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re taking a close look at the Johnson County Citizens Academy Program. Two times per year, the county hosts the program for residents to gain an in-depth look at the programs and services they use every day, including Wastewater, Human Services, Emergency Management and Communications and more. Participants spend three hours per week, for 10 weeks touring Johnson County facilities, having conversations with department leaders and staff and learning how they can get more involved with their county government by volunteering.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:38 Introduction
01:29 What topics get covered at the Citizens Academy
03:28 Why the county hosts a Citizens Academy
05:20 What's the process for applying to the Citizens Academy?
06:52 Utilizing an internship in providing leadership for the Citizens Academy
10:20 The view from a citizen
12:06 What one person enjoyed most about the Citizens Academy
16:15 What a presenter likes most about the Citizens Academy
18:09 How the Citizens Academy came to be

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Episode: 17
11/25/2019

JoCo on the Go: Thanksgiving food prep advice

During our 17th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re taking the stress out of holiday food preparation by bringing in Johnson County experts from the K-State Research and Extension Office. Master food volunteers Gaylene Van Horn and David Stallings share tips and tricks for making your Thanksgiving a masterpiece. They offer advice on how to cook the turkey and where to go to get the best recipes for the special occasion. Crystal Futrell, a K-State Research and Extension health and food safety agent, shares information about the importance of safe food handling, such as making sure leftovers get in the refrigerator within two hours of coming out of the oven or off the stove.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:37 Introduction
01:05 A couple of different ways to cook your turkey
03:32 Some advice for first-time turkey cookers
04:56 A word about side dishes
06:52 Timing is everything on Thanksgiving
10:09 The importance of dessert
11:39 Accommodating special dietary needs
14:00 Safe food preparation at Thanksgiving
16:55 The 2-hour rule

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Episode: 16
11/18/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Fighting the Flu

During our 16th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re addressing how to prevent and fight the flu during the winter months. Flu season can last through May, and brings many miserable symptoms, such as aches, pains and fever. Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Becky Prall, and Caitlin Kintner with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, offer advice about how and when to get the flu shot.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:30 Introduction
01:20 How to avoid the flu and what to do if you get it
02:20 Will the flu shot give you the flu?
03:53 Who's most susceptible to the flu?
04:42 What types of flu are out there?
08:29 The difference between the flu and a stomach virus
09:26 Where to get your flu shot

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Episode: 15
11/08/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Veterans Day

During our 15th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re honoring veterans, with a special focus this year on women veterans. Johnson County Chairman Ed Eilert shares the importance of recognizing this group of veterans that is growing in number. You’ll also hear the stories of four Johnson County women who served in the military, including a woman who recently turned 105. Finally, the episode includes additional details from one of the four women who has transitioned service to her country to service to her county.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:45 Introduction
01:21 Chairman Ed Eilert and Public Affairs and Communications Director Jody Hanson
02:20 Who's on the program for this year's event?
04:02 Honoring women veterans
04:39 A tribute to this year's honorees
9:09 Hana Modrell, a veteran who now works at the Sheriff's Office

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Episode: 14
11/04/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Sustainability

During our 14th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re talking about sustainability in Johnson County. Craig Wood, Department of Health and Environment solid waste management coordinator, and Renee Bryant, DHE Food Policy Council coordinator, provide information about how residents and businesses can minimize waste. They also provide details about upcoming efforts to educate the public about keeping food out of the landfills, through methods such as composting.  

Highlights

Time Subject
00:42 Introduction
01:07 Craig Wood on his role with the Department of Health and Environment
02:10 What sustainability looks like in Johnson County
04:52 The dos and don'ts of recycling
10:14 Johnson County's solid waste management plan
18:25 Renee Bryant of the Johnson County Food Policy Council
20:13 Save the Food Johnson County
20:39 Why we should all care about food waste

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Episode: 13
10/28/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Elections

During our 13th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re taking a close look at Johnson County elections. We’re discussing everything from election worker training to election results integrity. Johnson County Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker breaks down the logistics of ensuring that each voter gets to the right polling place and gets in and out quickly. He’ll also talk about efforts to ensure that residents of all abilities have appropriate accommodations to cast their ballots. Election worker Gabriel Sanchez talks about why he participates year after year and the great comradery the comes with the work.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:35 Introduction
01:10 Interview with Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker
02:30 How Johnson County elections have improved
04:24 The security of Johnson County's election process
06:17 How to see your ballot for the 2019 General Election
08:23 How to be an election volunteer
9:53 One volunteer's experience

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Episode: 12
10/21/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Vaping

During our 12th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing the county’s response to the teen vaping epidemic. Join Department of Health and Environment Health Educator Mike Krueger and Mental Health Prevention Coordinator Jaimie Katz as they share the dangers of nicotine addiction. They’ll also inform parents on how to talk to their kids about the risks associated with e-cigarettes and vaping. You’ll hear from Hannah Silverstein, a senior at Shawnee Mission West High School. She’ll talk about the grassroots efforts teens are taking on to tackle this problem.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:42 Introduction
01:42 What is vaping?
05:30 Why vaping is not a "safe" alternative to cigarettes
10:12 Vaping PSA
10:55 How a high school student sees the problem
14:37 What the Department of Health and Environment is doing to combat the problem
17:24 Talking to your kids about vaping
23:18 What the Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have to say

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Episode: 11
10/14/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Employment Services for All Abilities

During our 11th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing employment services for Johnson County residents who have disabilities. The discussion includes Johnson County Employment Team Leader Amy Fair, with Johnson County Developmental Supports. She introduces us to Tyler Smith, who is an employment supports success story. He describes an innovative program known as Project SEARCH, that’s helping residents with disabilities obtain and keep rewarding jobs. You’ll also hear from 5th district Commissioner Michael Ashcraft, who describes the Board of County Commissioners’ support for public-private partnerships that benefit job seekers served by JCDS and employers.

Highlights

Time Subject
01:45 Interview with Amy Fair from Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS) about Disability Employment Awareness Month
03:17 How Project SEARCH works
07:52 Interview with Tyler Smith about his Project SEARCH experience
13:15 Sunflower Cafe Co-owner Rhonda Case addresses the Project SEARCH graduation
15:55 Interview with Commissioner Michael Ashcraft

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Episode: 10
10/07/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Older Adult Well-Being

During our 10th JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing the well-being of Johnson County’s older adults. Commissioner Janeé Hanzlick, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, will talk about the board’s efforts to ensure Johnson County remains an affordable place to live for all ages. She’ll also discuss ways the community can volunteer to help older adults who might be homebound. You’ll hear from Denise Dias with K-State Extension, and Elizabeth Mardis with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment about programs available to help older adults with the Medicare and Medicaid health care coverage applications. Finally, Johnson County Park & Recreation District’s Michelle Alexander will share details of the upcoming Live Well Age Well event for those 50 and older.


Episode: 09
09/30/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Cyber Security

During our ninth JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re talking about the latest scams and tactics criminals are using on the internet and through phones to capture people’s confidential information. Johnson County information technology experts Bill Nixon and Donna Gomez share tips and details on an upcoming event to help the public stay up-to-date on cyber security. Geoff Jenista, of Homeland Security, also shares advice on password protection and what parents should know about children’s access to the internet.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
01:44 Beware of phone scams
03:11 What to do if you're receiving suspicious phone calls
05:29 Cybersecurity event Oct. 28 at Johnson County Administration Building
10:30 Geoff Jenista from the Department of Homeland Security talks about email scams
13:53 Securing a lost or stolen phone
13:53 What to do if you think your identity has been compromised

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Episode: 08
09/23/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Crisis Intervention Team

During our eighth JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing the county’s Crisis Intervention Team program, which promotes coordinated response between law enforcement and mental health experts. The CIT-trained officers respond to a scene involving a mental health concern to provide the right response at the right time. Tactics include de-escalation and connecting families to services. The goal is to keep everyone safe and prevent incarceration, which could make matters worse for someone in crisis.  You’ll hear from an officer helping implement this innovative strategy in the county, a county commissioner who supports the effort and a resident who appreciates the sensitive and coordinated response to her loved one.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
00:44 What is a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)?
02:51 CIT partnership with Johnson County Mental Health
05:49 Crisis intervention training
10:56 Commissioner Becky Fast speaks about being a liaison with the mental health department
15:10 The experience of one family with crisis intervention

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Episode: 07
09/16/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Veterans Treatment Court

During our seventh JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing Johnson County’s Veterans Treatment Court program, which provides qualified veterans who have come in contact with the criminal justice system, with an alternative to incarceration. This episode includes a conversation with Veterans Treatment Court Coordinator Adam Baker, who discusses how veterans enter the program, the support services they are provided and the graduation ceremony from the program. You’ll hear from a graduate who says this program made him a changed man and a better American. Also hear from a mentor in the program who previously was a participant. Chris Carter will share his story of confronting addiction and restoring his life.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
00:58 The history of the Veterans Treatment Court
04:26 Description of the support services available to veterans
11:57 The role of mentors in the Veterans Treatment Court
14:24 Veterans Treatment Court graduation
16:47 Chris Carter's story

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Episode: 06
09/09/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Microtransit

During our sixth JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing a pilot project that is helping Johnson County residents get from point A to point B in a new convenient and affordable way. Micro Transit functions as part of the regional public transportation system known as Ride KC. This episode includes a conversation with Johnson County’s Josh Powers, who helped bring Micro Transit to the area. He talks about the success, thus far, of the pilot and where it’s going.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:13 Introduction
01:37 Transition from The Jo to RideKC
02:58 Impetus for Micro Transit
03:59 How to use Micro Transit
05:33 Service area
08:23 TRANSLOC app and how to use it for Micro Transit
10:36 Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Vice Chair Jim Allen talks about the future of Micro Transit
12:45 Micro Transit driver and riders praise the program

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Episode: 05
08/30/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Building Projects

During our fifth JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing some of the major Johnson County building projects, including the Johnson County Courthouse and the Medical Examiner Facility. This episode includes a conversation with Johnson County Facilities Management Project Manager Dan Wehmueller, who discusses the improvements to safety, accessibility and functionality that the new courthouse brings. He also talks about whether construction is on time and on budget. And, hear from Dr. Diane Peterson, chief medical examiner with the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, about how medical examiner office construction is going and how the facility and new equipment will improve efficiency.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
00:52 The history of the courthouse project
02:40 Safety drives the new design
04:16 Once in a generation building
05:52 Board of County Commissioners Chair Ed Eilert speaks about the project
07:09 Judge Kelly Ryan speaks about the project
10:20 What's on tap for the space where the old courthouse sits?
13:14 The difference between a medical examiner and a coroner
15:01 Progress on the new Medical Examiner's building
17:11 Watch the progress of the new county courthouse online

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Episode: 04
08/26/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: 2020 Census

During our fourth JoCo on the Go podcast episode, we’re discussing the upcoming 2020 Census. This episode includes a conversation with Deputy Regional Director of the 2020 Census, Dennis Johnson, who discusses why the Census is done and how to ensure you’re working with a real Census worker. Providing Johnson County-specific details are Karen Wulfkuhle and Chris Schneweis who lead the committee that is tasked with coordinating county efforts, in participation with the region, to encourage participation in the Census. They discuss why Census participation is key to ensuring adequate federal funding makes its way to programs and services that impact you. They also provide important information about the ways you can be counted.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
00:57 The history of the census
02:35 Responding to the census online
05:33 Census workers still needed
07:11 The importance of responding to the census
09:02 County efforts to make sure everyone gets counted
11:59 What the census means for funding in the county
15:29 Count Me In JoCo website

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Episode: 03
08/19/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: 2020 Budget Podcast

This episode includes a conversation with Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert and Johnson County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson. They provide details of the 2020 budget and talk about how budget decisions are made. We take a closer look at how the county addresses unexpected expenses and talk about what impact the economy has on the budget process.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:15 Introduction
00:54 Board of County Commissioners priorities for budget year 2020
01:20 New mental health positions and microtransit pilot
02:59 How the budget process gets started
03:54 How county staff and commissioners work together to create the budget
09:21 Using projections to prepare for unexpected changes
13:52 Johnson County’s aging population
16:03 Getting involved in local government

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Episode: 02
08/12/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Back-to-school health

This episode includes a discussion with Johnson County Health and Environment (DHE) WIC Program Manager Laura Grimmett, DHE Health Services Division Director Nancy Tausz and Mental Health Team Leader Renee Van Meter. They provide valuable information for parents about helping children eat nutritious meals and snacks on a budget. They also share the very latest on new vaccination requirements. You’ll learn about anxiety in children and hear from an area student about the importance of building a strong peer support system.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
01:15 Getting kids to eat healthy
08:19 New immunization requirements
13:17 Getting your flu vaccine
15:25 Keeping kids mentally healthy
19:51 The Zero Reasons Why program

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Episode: 01
08/06/2019

JoCo on the Go Podcast: Summer fun in Johnson County

This episode includes a discussion with Park and Recreation District Executive Director Jill Geller and Bill Maasen, superintendent of Johnson County parks and golf courses. They share details about the new inclusive playground, the best places to get kids involved in golf, the new electric bicycle pilot, Geller’s recent decision to move on from the county and more.

Highlights

Time Subject
00:14 Introduction
01:56 Closing dates for Johnson County Aquatics Centers
02:53 Locations of new inclusive playgrounds
04:17 Opening of new Meadowbrook Park
05:33 Where are the golf courses managed by Johnson County Park and Recreation Department?
06:26 Location of county's disc golf courses
07:42 50th season of Theatre in the Park
10:18 e-bikes and bike share programs at JCPRD

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About the podcast

Whether you live in or just love Johnson County, Kansas, the JoCo on the Go podcast has everything Johnson County. Hear what’s happening and what’s coming up in the community you call home.

About the host

Photo of JoCo on the Go host, Theresa FreedTheresa Freed is the Assistant Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Johnson County Government. She is a Johnson County resident who has more than 13 years of broadcast news experience in both television and radio news. In addition to serving as host for Johnson County’s podcast, JoCo on the Go, Freed also manages the digital side of communications for the county, including social media, website content, video production and web accessibility.