JoCo Notes: Panasonic EV battery plant in De Soto ‘goes vertical’

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Happy Thursday, Shawnee Mission!

🌧 Today’s forecast: A 20% chance of showers. High: 63. Low: 45.

🚨 One thing to know today

Panasonic has officially “gone vertical” with installation of the first steel beam on construction of a massive new electric vehicle battery plant on the site of the former Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant in De Soto.

Officials on the project celebrated with a small ceremony Wednesday that was closed to the public, according to Parris Communications. Crews first broke ground on the site in November.

“This first piece of steel is so much more than simply a piece of material,” said Allan Swan, president of Panasonic Energy of North America, in a statement. “It represents the starting point for creating thousands of jobs over the next couple of years.

“It represents new opportunities for this remarkable workforce in the area as well as the students who will soon be joining the workforce. And it represents the commitment that Panasonic and Kansas share to building a more sustainable future. That all starts with this first beam.”

Click here to access the Post’s past news articles about Panasonic’s electric battery plant.

🗓 Public meetings Thursday

  • Board of County Commissioners, 9:30 a.m. [View agenda]

🚀 Post’s top Wednesday stories

  1. Lenexa Police search for suspect who shot at other driver on 87th Street
  2. Residents warned away from Lenexa stream following toxic spill
  3. Mission Gateway future faces more questions after bank files for foreclosure
  4. JoCo Notes: Prairie Village man reported missing weeks ago found
  5. A Johnson Countian’s guide to this week’s NFL Draft in KCMO

📰 Other local news

  • Patrick Mahomes’ trainer hosted a football camp at Shawnee Mission South last weekend. [Fox 4]
  • Prairie Village native and photographer Anna Petrow suggested Kansas City as one of the 20 best places in the U.S. to travel for a list recently published by Forbes magazine. [Kansas City Star]
  • Shawnee Mission East junior Lida Padgettis the KMBC Hy-Vee Athlete of the Week after running the fastest steeplechase time in Kansas at a recent meet. [KMBC]

📷 A thousand words

Leaves return to a tree planted outside a Shawnee business near Monticello Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway as spring settles in. Photo credit Kaylie McLaughlin.

About the author

Leah Wankum
Leah Wankum

Hi there! I’m Leah Wankum, and I’m the Post’s Deputy Editor. I’m thrilled to call Johnson County home, and I’m deeply committed to the Post’s philosophy that an informed community is a strong community.

I’m a native of mid-Missouri, and attended high school in Jefferson City before going on to the University of Central Missouri, where I earned a master’s degree in mass communication.

Prior to joining the Post as a reporter in 2018, I was the editor of the Richmond News in Ray County, Missouri. I’ve also written for several publications, including the Sedalia Democrat and KC Magazine.