Your daily planner for Thursday, Dec. 9: Overland Park Most Spirited Home Contest ends this week

It's a new day in Johnson County. Image via Johnson County Twitter account.

Hey there, readers! Alexis here with a look at what’s happening today, December 9, in Shawnee Mission. Let’s start with the weather. 

Forecast: 🌤 The partly cloudy skies this morning should clear later in the day, and highs will reach the lower 60s this afternoon. Later tonight skies will be mostly clear with lows in the upper 30s. 


  • Overland Park’s Most Spirited Holiday Home Contest is running through the end of this week. If you think your house has what it takes to be crowned Overland Park’s best decorated home this holiday season, submit a photo before 3pm, Friday December 10. This is your chance to show off your hard work on lights, garlands, inflatables, wreaths and more! 
  • Mid-America Regional Council Chief Economist Frank Lenk will speak about economic recovery in 2022 at a virtual event this morning from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. A panel of experts will then discuss workforce shortages and talent pipelines, supply chain issues, the impact of immigration on pandemic employment and more. Tune into the event here
  • The Mission Community Food Pantry is open today from 4-6 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church on West 62nd Street. In addition to food, books for children and adults will be available. This is the only time to stop by this food pantry in the month of December, and the event will be drive-through only. Find out more here


A couple more items of note from the area:

  • Shawnee Mission moved its COVID-19 testing site from the Center of Academic Achievement to the Early Childhood Education Center at 6701 W. 83rd Street. Here, a Lenexa-based lab is testing students, parents and district staff for COVID-19. This will remain Shawnee Mission’s testing site until June 2022.
  • Judges in this year’s Burns & McDonnell Battle of the Brains competition recently announced the top 20 finalists. The lineup includes teams from six Johnson County schools. The winning team will receive a $50,000 grant and will have the opportunity to work with STEM professionals to create a $1 million permanent exhibit at Science City. [Burns & McDonnell
  • The Johnson County Mental Health Center will use nearly $1 million in grant funds for its Reentry Project which addresses the unique mental health needs of incarcerated individuals as they plan to reenter society. The funding was awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as part of a commitment to supporting Americans as they face the impacts of COVID-19. See our previous reporting. 
  • The city of Shawnee says the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund raised more than $14,000 this year. The proceeds this year will go to Shawnee Community Services, a nonprofit food pantry and secondhand clothing distributor, and local Special Olympics team the Shawnee Storm. Check out ways to give to the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund throughout the year.