Rains and flooding bog down local state parks and Corps campgrounds

Earlier this week, Corps staff closed the main road just south of the Wolf Creek Park entrance, at Pomona Lake, and asked visitors to not drive around the barricade. More »

Osage County Cemeteries: Map and list updated 2019

No Name No. 8 Cemetery, near Lamont Hill. Photo by Jan Williams. In cooperation with the Osage County Historical Society, Osage County News has published online a list of More »

Hidden History: Osage County monuments ‘perpetuate the memories of fallen heroes’

Burlingame Cemetery soldier’s monument, date unknown, but photo possibly taken the day of the monument’s dedication. Photo thanks to Burlingame Schuyler Museum. The Civil War was the bloodiest war More »

Life changes abruptly for 2019 Burlingame High School graduates

In a final farewell to Burlingame High School, class of 2019 graduates throw their hats in the air. Photo by Keri Welch. Life is the result of changes, the More »

James ‘Jim’ Heisler, 71, Vassar: Oct. 2, 1947 – May 24, 2019

VASSAR, Kan. – James ‘Jim’ Heisler, 71, passed away on Friday, May 24, 2019, at his home at Lake Pomona, near Vassar, Kan. He was born Oct. 2, 1947, in Greenwood County, Kan.

Jim was cremated and private family services will be held at a later date. Feltner Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Corps closes Outlet Park at Melvern Lake due to high flood pool

Lake level nears flow through uncontrolled spillway

MELVERN, Kan. – Melvern Lake elevations have continued to rise this spring due to wet conditions across the Kansas and Missouri River basins. Currently the Melvern Lake flood pool is 78 percent occupied, leaving minimal space to store additional flood waters. Projected rainfall over the next 24 hours could be significant. Due to the lake level being within 3 feet of the uncontrolled spillway, Outlet Park is being closed at 10 p.m. Saturday, May 25, 2019, to prevent elevated risk to life and safety. All occupants are being asked to exit the area as of 3 p.m. today.

Current projections indicate that the lake will rise to elevation of 1,055 feet on Sunday, May 26. At lake elevation 1,057 feet, water begins flowing uncontrolled through the spillway and would have direct, immediate impact at Outlet Park. The dam is operating as designed. In accordance with dam safety protocol, increased surveillance and monitoring of the dam is being performed and will continue until reservoir levels decrease.

If projected rainfall occurs, releases will be operated through the outlet works as allowed. The current weather pattern is dynamic, and in the event that flood storage is used and inflows exceed the capabilities of the outlet works, uncontrolled flows may begin out of the emergency spillway. Releases from the outlet works also have the potential to affect the campground and facilities.

A statement from the Kansas City District said, “Human life and safety are the priority in reservoir operations. These actions are precautionary and necessary to ensure public safety. The public should monitor National Weather Service forecasts and follow the direction of local authorities and emergency managers.”

The Kansas City District is also reminding the public to wear a life jacket while on or near the water. Be vigilant of the safety risks associated with high water such as floating debris or obstructions covered by high water which can create dangerous boating conditions. Expect the unexpected and be prepared. Do not drive or walk into flood waters on the road. Any time you come to a flooded road please turn around, don’t drown! Never enter standing or moving water to cross a road.

Rains and flooding bog down local state parks and Corps campgrounds

Earlier this week, Corps staff closed the main road just south of the Wolf Creek Park entrance, at Pomona Lake, and asked visitors to not drive around the barricade. USACE photo.

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has reported that recent frequent heavy rains are impacting some state parks in eastern Kansas. High water levels at area Corps reservoirs have flooded campgrounds, overtopped roads, closed boat ramps and beaches and dampened visitors’ enthusiasm for any outdoor activities.

In Osage County, campgrounds have been impacted at Pomona Lake and Melvern Lake due to high levels of retained water at those lakes. (See related story: Corps plans public meeting on high water conditions at Pomona and Melvern lakes) Recent rains have also affected the trail conditions on the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

Eisenhower State Park at Melvern Lake remains open as of May 22, 2019. The lake is 16.01 feet above conservation level, and outflow is 20 cubic feet per second minimum. The lake is projected to be 18.8 feet above conservation level by May 30. Park staff is shutting down all the electrical connections in Blackjack and Abilene campgrounds. Almost all primitive sites are underwater, and the beach and beach restroom are closed.

Corps of Engineers campgrounds closed at Melvern Lake include:

  • Arrow Rock: Sites 8-10, 12-15, 19 and 35-45 are closed through June 30, 2019; sites 6 and 7 are closed through June 20.
  • Coeur d’Alene: Sites 9-32 are closed through June 30.
  • Turkey Point: Sites 1-8 and 23 are closed through May 30; sites 9-22 are closed through June 30; site 30 is closed through May 28 (closure extension to come); Group Camp closed through June 30. More closures are expected in the Turkey Point Campground to come in the following days. Arrow Rock and Coeur d’Alene closure extensions possible. Should these sites come out from under water and be cleaned up before their closure end date, they will be opened up for reservations.
  • Outlet Park remains unaffected by this flood event.
  • All boat ramps have stopped charging fees and the courtesy docks have been pulled.

At Pomona Lake, Pomona State Park is open. The lake is 23.26 ft above conservation level, and outflow is 15 cfs minimum. The lake is about 9 feet from going over the spillway. The lake is projected to 26 feet above conservation level by May 31. The marina started moving all houseboats off the water as of Wednesday, and also shut down all electrical service to the marina area.

Big Bear Campground is closed. The Kansa shower building is closed. Staff is closing six sites on the marina side of Kansa Campground and all Kansa primitive sites. The park road to east side of the park is closed; the back gate is open on the county road.

Corps campgrounds closed at Pomona Lake include:

  • Wolf Creek Park – All sites remain closed and will be through the weekend. All reservations for Memorial weekend have been cancelled and fully refunded.
  • Michigan Valley Park – Loops A, B, C, D, E, F and G are closed, and will remain closed through the weekend.
  • Adams Grove and Cedar Park remain closed. Coon Creek crossing is still closed and will likely be through the weekend. All Corps boat ramps remain closed.

The Flint Hills Trail remains open with the surface firm in most locations.

Ervin Gailey, 92, Osage City: May 23, 1926 – May 20, 2019

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Ervin Gailey, 92, passed away on Monday, May 20, 2019, at Osage Nursing Center, Osage City, Kan. He was born on May 23, 1926, in Rocky Comfort, Mo., the son of Arthur and Ella Routhon Gailey.

Ervin grew up in Gentry, Ark., and had lived in Siloam Springs, Ark., before moving to Osage City in 1960.

Ervin owned and operated Gailey’s Cleaners, at Osage City, from 1960 to 1990. He served in the United States Navy during World War II. He was a member of the Osage City American Legion and the Salt Creek Lighthouse Assembly of God Church, Lyndon, Kan.

Corps plans public meeting on high water conditions at Pomona and Melvern lakes

LYNDON, Kan. – Due to above average water levels being held in Melvern Lake and Pomona Lake, both in Osage County, Kan., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District and lake project personnel will hold a public meeting 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 2019, at Lyndon High School auditorium, 421 E. Sixth St., Lyndon, Kan.

District personnel will present a brief summary of current conditions, a description of how the Corps manages the system, the impacts on recreation and stakeholders, expected releases and overall outlook. Attendees will be invited to ask questions.

Osage County Cemeteries: Map and list updated 2019

No Name No. 8 Cemetery, near Lamont Hill. Photo by Jan Williams.

In cooperation with the Osage County Historical Society, Osage County News has published online a list of Osage County cemeteries and their locations. The historical society had previously published similar information in a brochure, and volunteers of the society updated the list.

Osage County News has also created a map that shows the general locations of the cemeteries, which are listed with directions on the reverse side of the map. A printable version of the two-page map and cemetery list is available here.

When visiting the cemeteries listed, visitors are advised that some are on private property and property owners’ privacy should be respected. Not all cemeteries are located on all-weather roads, and some are in remote locations in Osage County; visitors should watch weather conditions and be aware of possible road hazards. Use of a highway map or GPS device to assist with navigation when trying to locate cemeteries is also advised.

Hidden History: Osage County monuments ‘perpetuate the memories of fallen heroes’

Burlingame Cemetery soldier’s monument, date unknown, but photo possibly taken the day of the monument’s dedication. Photo thanks to Burlingame Schuyler Museum.

The Civil War was the bloodiest war in United States history, claiming the lives of about 620,000 individuals. After the war, veterans organizations were created to help those who survived the war to band together and honor those who were lost and the battles they fought. Largest among these groups was the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), established in 1866 for those who had fought for the Union army. General John A. Logan of the G.A.R. first proposed a decoration or memorial day in 1868 as a day of remembrance. This day was not one of any particular battle, and one in which the flowers would be in bloom to decorate graves. Observance of this day was determined by individual states, but by 1890 each of the northern states had made Decoration Day a state holiday.

Another group that arose during this time was the Woman’s Relief Corps (W.R.C.). This womens’ group had evolved out of the Christian and Sanitary Commission, whose mission had been to care for wounded soldiers. The W.R.C. was created to aid Union veterans, in particular the dependent ones. This group eventually became the auxiliary of the G.A.R. and was established in Kansas in 1885. Along with aid for veterans, this group aimed to “invoke a spirit of patriotism, respect for the nation’s flag, a love of country and reverence for her defenders in the minds of the youth of the present day, [and erect] monuments to perpetuate the memories of fallen heroes.”

Around the turn of the century the W.R.C. began seeking to memorialize those who served in the Civil War, because those that had remained were quickly disappearing as a present reminder of their service.

In Osage County, Kan., the first major monument to be erected was the soldier memorial at Burlingame, in 1905. The women of Burlingame’s W.R.C., consisting of 70 members under the leadership of president Lucy Jennings, commissioned Nettleton Marble & Granite Works, of Ottawa, Kan., to do the work.

L.H. Nettleton had been creating marble masterpieces for the area for 21 years. In 1904, he bought out his former partner, M. K. Ferguson, and became the sole proprietor of the business. Nettleton’s company had previously created war memorials for Baldwin City, in 1896, Garnett, in 1899, and Peabody, Kan., in 1900, but Burlingame’s monument was to be his greatest achievement yet, working in a grander style than before.

In order to secure the contract and gain the chance to showcase his abilities, Nettleton cut the W.R.C. a significant discount of the original $1,250 cost. The granite monument stands 15 feet, 8 inches tall, with a soldier standing atop keeping watch over the cemetery’s sleeping heroes. The monument was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1905, with exercises starting at Sumner Park including orators and band performances, and a visit by Governor E. W. Hoch.The veterans joined the procession to the cemetery for the dedication, following the local Kansas National Guard company, and only had “to look ahead to be reminded of what they were when they went first to battle for their country in their hour of need.”

Osage County students earn certificates, degrees at FHTC

Flint Hills Technical College conferred more than 200 students at its 2019 spring commencement ceremony Saturday, May 18, at William Lindsay White Auditorium, Emporia, Kan. Graduating students from Osage County who were recognized for their achievements were:

Division of Arts, Technical Certificate
Interactive Multimedia Design

  • Noah Lozano, Vassar

Division of Health and Human Services, Technical Certificate
Dental Assisting

  • Briahna Beckham, Overbrook

Health Occupations Technology

  • Shayla Elizabeth Huffmier, Lyndon
  • Ranae Sue Stutzman, Lyndon

Division of Technology, Technical Certificate
Industrial Engineering Technology

  • Paul Exie Morgan, Lyndon, graduating with honors
  • Tristen Alan Patterson, Melvern, graduating with honors, National Technical Honor Society Member

Power Plant Technology

  • Wynter Alaina Ziegler, Overbrook

Welding Technology

  • Hunter Lucas Alexander, Lyndon
  • Race Davis Fischer, Lyndon

Division of Health and Human Services, Associate of Applied Science Degree
Dental Hygiene

  • Keisha Marie Branine, Osage City
  • Claire Cecilia Crook, Lyndon

Division of Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree
Power Plant Technology

  • Corey Alexander McGregor, Carbondale
  • Luke Arin Nichols. Carbondale, graduating with honors

Benny L. Brouhard, 58, Osage City: Dec. 19, 1960 – May 19, 2019

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Benny J. Brouhard, 58, of Osage City, Kan., passed away at his home on Sunday, May 19, 2019. He was born Dec. 19, 1960, in Topeka, Kan., the son of Francis L. and Barbara Wood Brouhard.

He was raised in Topeka and lived there until moving to Osage County 20 years ago. He enjoyed hand working on knives and target shooting. Earlier in his life he enjoyed hunting. Benny also liked to spend as much time with his family as possible. He was known for his engaging personality and ability to give everybody a hard time.

Drake makes first hole-in-one of the season at Lamont Hill

Congratulations are due to Charlie Drake, of Vassar, who made a hole in one on the par 3 150-yard fourth hole at Lamont Hill Golf Course, Monday, May 20, 2019.

The shot was witnessed by Lance Jones and Don Haines, Drake said. Course owner Keith Persinger confirmed the hole in one, saying it was the first this year on the course.

Persinger said Drake made the shot on one of only two par 3 holes on the Lamont Hill course.

“That hole is probably the harder of the two,” Persinger said. “It’s just a little uphill, so you can’t quite see the putting surface from the tee box.”

Drake said he made the shot with an 8 iron and went on to shoot 37 for the nine holes.

Nine-hole Lamont Hill Golf Course is located at the entrance to Pomona State Park. For more information, call 785-828-3131.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, May 6 – May 10, 2019

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse, May 6 through May 10, 2019.

Career Fair – Open House: ORBIS is looking for Night Shift Press Operators!

ORBIS Corporation will host a Career Fair and Candidate Open House 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 2, 2019, focusing on recruiting Night Shift Press Operators. All interested job candidates are invited.

Candidates will have the opportunity to tour ORBIS Corporation’s Osage City plant to see if it would be a good job fit for them. Those interested in becoming an ORBIS Associate will be able to apply that evening.

The plant is at 515 S. Fourth St., Osage City, Kan. Call 785-528-4875 for more information.

Osage County Jail Log, May 13 – May 18, 2019

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

Girl Scouts invited to sleep under the stars at Double E

Girl Scouts prepare their meal over a campfire at Camp Double E. Courtesy photo.

Girl Scouts in kindergarten through eighth grade are invited to come enjoy all the wonderful things to love about camping, including friends, archery, hiking, outdoor cooking, fishing and canoeing. A campout is planned for 6 p.m. June 6 to 3 p.m. June 8, 2019, at Camp Double E, 794 Rd 200, Emporia, Kan. Scouts are invited to come as a troop or individuals and have a great time at Double E.

Deadline to register is May 23. Contact Gwen Harris at 620-342-3609 or [email protected].

City of Osage City: Notice of Holiday Trash Pickup Schedule

The City of Osage City offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2019, for Memorial Day. Customers whose trash is normally picked up on Monday will be picked up on Tuesday, May 28. For more information, call Osage City Hall at 785-528-3714.

City of Osage City: Notice About Decorations at American and Union Cemeteries

Decorations may be placed upon graves, but will be removed 15 days following Decoration Day of each year. After this date any decorations that remain will be removed by cemetery staff.

Flowers that are placed in urns which are part of a headstone and are embedded in a concrete base may be permitted at all times.

For more information, contact Osage City Hall at 785-528-3714.

Linda S. Post, 68, Lyndon: May 15, 1951 – May 15, 2019

LYNDON, Kan. – Linda S. Post, 68, passed away Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. She was born May 15, 1951, in Topeka, the daughter of Floyd and Doris James Hoy.

Linda grew up in Osage County and attended Howard Grade School. Linda graduated from Overbrook High School with the last class that graduated from the school in 1969. She was a purchasing agent for the U.S. Army, in Maryland. Most recently Linda was a payroll clerk at Valeo, in Topeka. She enjoyed taking trips with Mike in their Mustang.

Elton N. Decker, 86, Lyndon: Jan. 27, 1933 – May 15, 2019

LYNDON, Kan. – Elton N. Decker, 86, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at his home near Lyndon, Kan. He was born on Jan. 27, 1933, in Vermontville Township, Michigan, the son of Ard and Ina Hamilton Decker.

Elton grew up in Michigan and had lived in Haven, Kan., before moving to rural Lyndon in 1967. Elton served four years in the United States Air Force after high school. He then served in the Kansas Air National Guard at Forbes Field in Topeka until his retirement in 1993 at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant. He was a bus driver for the Lyndon school district for 17 years. He was one of the initial organizers of the Osage County Recycling Center.

Help Wanted: Osage County FSA seeks Program Technician

The Osage County Farm Service Agency has a permanent full-time Program Technician position available. Salary ranges from $27,247 to $55,110 (CO-3 to CO-7) depending on experience/education. Benefits include health, life, retirement, annual and sick leave. Must be a U.S. citizen, High School graduate or GED. See full vacancy announcement at: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/533681200

Complete application packages must be submitted online or fax by 11:59 pm EDT, Friday, May 24, 2019. Person selected will be subjected to a background investigation.

USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider, Employer, and Lender.

Help Wanted: Osage County District Court seeks Trial Court Clerk II

Trial Court Clerk II position in Osage County District Court, Lyndon, Kansas. Requires graduation from high school and six months clerical experience. Experience working in a computerized office and knowledge of computer equipment also required. Knowledge of local court procedures and customer service experience desirable. Submit resume’ to: John K. Steelman, District Court Administrator, PO Box 637, Ottawa, Ks. 66067, by 5:00pm on May 24, 2019.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Foggy days deserve respect

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Visibility zero.” “Visibility one-eighth mile.” “Visibility one-quarter mile.”

Any of those forecasts are time for alert. Actually best just stay home until the report changes. A quarter-of-a-mile allows some vision, but one-eighth is treacherous.

Zero visibility means there’s no way to see. Like the dark of night with cloud cover, no moon, no stars. A person can’t see anything period. It’s essential to stay off the highway for personal safety and well-being of any dumb one driving in the fog.

Needing to fill up with gas before heading to work, turned right to town, roadway ahead could hardly be seen. Not very far. By the time came out of town heading north, there was fog, but could see enough to feel safe.

Next morning, another group of cows and calves to work before grass, crew was to be ready at 8 o’clock. Barely seeing the road, arrived in ample time, but the gate couldn’t be seen let alone any cows with calves.

Starting time delayed an hour, and it was still foggy, as cowboys horseback headed east to gather the pairs. Somehow everyone was accounted for when the makeshift panel corral gate closed.

Wasn’t long before sun was shining bright, no inkling that one could barely see minutes earlier.

Whenever the fog is that bad, can’t help but remember many years ago driving to Concordia for a farm show. It was foggy for sure, but driving slow carefully, wasn’t worried about hazards.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas