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Keeping You and Your Home Safe

The community told us that feeling safe improves the quality of life. That is why 11 strategies of our community-wide vision include public safety under the Quality of Life Foundation. By working together we can help make our community safe and achieve our goals. 

Home invasions can happen anytime of the year, with  peak times that include summer months and the holidays. We all play an active role in the safety of our community, we are the eyes and ears of our neighborhoods.

Safe Streets and the Topeka Police Department want to provide you with the tools to keep you and those around you safe.


Home Invasion Prevention Tips

  • Lock doors, windows, and garages at all times, even when home.  
  • Secure your home with strong doors, locks and alarms.
  • Never leave a purse or other valuables where they can easily be seen from a window.
  • Never open the doors to strangers or solicitors but do acknowledge you're home and act as though others are home as well. "Bill, call 911 someone needs help."
  • If you live alone make it look/sound like you don't. Example; toys in the yard or place a dog dish or work boots on the front porch.
  • Use dusk to dawn lighting so it appears like you're home.
  • Add a peep hole to your front or back door.
  • If someone does enter your home have a plan. Escape out the other door if possible or lock yourself in a safe room and call 911. Stay on the phone with dispatch until help arrives.
  • Be the best witness you can be under the circumstances and note both what the criminals are wearing and what they say.
  • Call local law enforcement or Safe Streets and schedule a home security check.
  • Attend your Neighborhood Improvement or Neighborhood Association meetings to meet your community officers.
If no organization exists start a Neighborhood Watch in your neighborhood by calling Safe Streets at 266.4606

For more information and tips from Safe Streets visit: 


Topeka Public Schools & Stormont-Vail HealthCare Partnership
December 15, 2011 Stormont-Vail HealthCare purchased 10.3 acres of Topeka Unified School District 501's Kanza Education and Science Park.

The sale of the land forms a new partnership in the community. Topeka Public Schools and Stormont-Vail will partner to establish a health care career pathway for students in the school district. The collaboration will strengthen Topeka Public School's health science curriculum and help students develop the skills needed to enter the health care profession.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration by 2020 the US nursing supply will fall 36 percent below the required number to meet the demand. Without aggressively tackling the shortage, Kansas is projected to be more than 5,000 RN's short in 2020.

The career pathways program will provide different curriculum and activities for each grade level. Elementary level students will be exposed and made aware of health careers, while middle school students will have the opportunity to explore careers in health care as well as have the opportunity to volunteer in a hospital.

The high school level program will teach students the skills needed to enter a job in the health care industry. Stormont-Vail will provide up to $7,500 per semester for Topeka Public School graduates who are accepted into the junior and senior year nursing program at Baker University.

"It is certainly more than a real estate transaction. What I look at is how it benefits our students," said Larry Robbins, deputy superintended of operations. "This is an agreement that provides a partnership between Topeka Public Schools and one of the leading health care provides in Kansas. It helps us start down the road to making sure our students are both post secondary and career ready."

North Topeka Arts District to Open Saturday Market 
NOTO is accepting applications for the Saturday Market Manager position with hopes to fill the position by February 1.

Noto will open a Saturday Arts Market beginning in the spring. The market will be held at Veteran's Park, 149 North Kansas Avenue.

The market will begin in April and run for 29 weeks featuring local vendors and artists.

For more information on the position, click here.


54,000 visit Kansas Children's Discovery Center in 2011

Visitors from all over the country and even the world have entered through the Kansas Children's Discovery Center's doors.

In the first six months of operation 54,387 visitors from 47 states and nine countries visited the Discovery Center.

The interactive museum opened in June 2011, and during the first few months averaged 400 to 700 visitors each day. Summer months account for about one-third of the Discovery Center's annual
Kansas Children's Discovery Center 10,000th Visitor
Painting exhibit at the Discovery Center

The Center has hosted a variety of exhibits including Flo-Graphix and Monveyville. Flo-Graphix, an interactive media display, opened in November. The display allows children to use black lights and fluorescent shapes to make three-demenisonal designs. Moneyville is popular with older children and teaches children the basics of money management.

An outdoor area is slated to be complete the summer of 2012. The area will include a sunflower climber, an outdoor classroom, a water exhibit, an archeological dig, a prairie butterfly garden, wooded trails and gardens. A quarter-mile walking trail is already complete.

Click here for more information on the Kansas Children's Discovery Center.

Twelve Local Schools Receive Healthy Habits for Life Grant  
Locally, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation awarded nearly $12,000 to fund at-school programs to help students learn healthy habits.

The grant monies are a part of the Healthy Habits for Life Grant from BCBSKS Foundation

More than 250 schools across Kansas submitted applications for the grant. Ultimately, 158 schools in 79 Kansas Counties were awarded a total of $150,077.

This is the sixth year of the Healthy Habits for Life Grant from BCBSKS Foundation. During the past six years the foundation has distibuted over $425,000 to 441 Kansas Schools.

Shawnee County Recipients:  
  • USD 321: Rossville Grade School 
  • USD 321: Rossville Jr./Sr. High School 
  • USD 437: Washburn Rural Middle School 
  • USD 450: Berryton Elementary 
  • USD 450: Tecumseh South Elementary 
  • USD 450: Shawnee Heights Elementary School 
  • USD 501: Chase Middle School 
  • USD 501: Shaner Elementary 
  • USD 501: Bishop Elementary School 
  • USD 501: Scott Magnet 
  • St. Matthew Catholic School 
  • Mater Dei Catholic School

Kansas Board of Regents Receives $1.6 Million Grant

Last month Kansas Board of Regents announced they had received a $1.6 million grant from Jobs for the Future. The grant is apart of the organization's Accelerating Opportunity: A Breaking Through Initiative.

This grant will help Kansas adults earn the credentials and skills they need to obtain stable jobs. Monies will be used to ensure more workers have skills they need through innovative adult education that provides valuable credentials.

"In Kansas more than 900,000 working-age adults lack meaningful postsecondary credentials that would enable them to find employment in high-demand occupations like healthcare and advanced manufacturing," said Andy Tompkins, president & CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents.

The Board of Regents will partner with nine community and technical colleges during the three-year grant cycle. The nine partners are:
  • Butler Community College,  
  • Dodge City Community College,  
  • Garden City Community College,  
  • Hutchinson Community College,  
  • Kansas City Kansas Community College,  
  • Neosho County Community College,  
  • Seward County Community College,  
  • Washburn Institute of Technology,  
  • Wichita Area Technical College

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Upcoming Events

January 13: Ribbon Cutting & Open House for Downtown Creative Center
828 S. Kansas Avenue
3:30 p.m. -- 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 thru Feb. 2:
"The Last Night of Ballyhoo"
Show times vary @ Topeka Civic Theatre

Jan 13 thru 15: AMA AreaCross
Times vary @ ExpoCentre

 Jan. 14: Laughing Matters, Jr.
Call for time @Topeka Civic Theatre

Jan 16: Living the Dream's Drumming for the Major Drumline Extravaganza
7 p.m. @ TPAC  

Jan. 20: Night of Wine & Roses
6:15 p.m. to midnight
@ Capital Plaza Hotel

Jan. 21  - 22:  94.5 Country Celebration of the Heart Bridal Fair Times Vary @ Ramada Hotel & Convention Center

Jan. 21: Friends of the Library Bag Sale
10 a.m. -- 4 p.m. @ Marvin Auditorium

For more information on these events and to find other events in Topeka

Heartland Visioning People