JoCo on the Go podcast episode #25 includes details of assistance services for Johnson County residents facing housing issues. David Ward and Jesse Mofle, with Johnson County’s Human Services department, walk listeners through programs to help with affording housing costs and making needed repairs so vulnerable residents can remain in their homes.
|01:37||How does Human Services help with housing?|
|03:03||Income levels to qualify for assistance|
|05:01||How Human Services helps people become self-sufficient|
|05:54||Maintenance assistance for seniors and others|
|07:14||What does the Landlord Recruiter do?|
|10:41||How housing rehabilitation programs help|
|15:58||Getting help with utilities|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|01:42||What is vaping?|
|05:30||Why vaping is not a "safe" alternative to cigarettes|
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|01:17||Interview with Commissioner Janeé Hanzlick|
|12:41||Getting help with Medicare and Medicaid through the Johnson County Extension office|
|17:01||Getting help with the Medicaid process from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment|
|20:09||The Live Well Age Well Expo 2019|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|01:37||Transition from The Jo to RideKC|
|02:58||Impetus for Micro Transit|
|03:59||How to use Micro Transit|
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
|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|
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.
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.
|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|
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.
Theresa 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.