Washburn Rural eighth-graders dig up dirt on famous Carbondale dinosaur hunter

Teacher Cynthia Wilson and eighth-grader Madison Blanchette explain an exhibit to visitors to the science room museum. The minute you walk into Cynthia Wilson’s eighth-grade science room at Washburn Rural Middle School, More »


Farmwife’s heartfelt era climaxing with sale of Burlingame bridal shop

After 46 years, Audra Wilson is closing her Audra’s Country Bridal, now in Burlingame, after being in three Topeka locations. This farmer’s wife has fashioned, stitched and sold wedding gowns around the More »


Carbondale citizens begin to ‘raise the roof’ for new city library

Steering committee members of the “Let’s Raise the Roof” capital campaign for a new city library in Carbondale have launched an initiative to raise a total of $250,000 in private funds to match More »


Hidden History: Outlaw Frank James increased education and attendance at Osage County Fair

By Wendi Bevitt In September 1876, Burlingame held its first fair, sponsored by the local agricultural society. In the early years they promoted not only competitions for stock, dairy and produce, but More »

Filings in Osage County Courthouse April 17 – April 21, 2017

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse April 17 through April 21, 2017.

Help Wanted: Frontier Extension District seeks Extension Agent, Horticulture

KSUR&EExtension Agent, Horticulture opportunity in the Frontier District, office in Garnett Kansas. See www.ksre.ksu.edu/jobs for responsibilities, qualifications, and application procedure. Application deadline: 4/28/17. K-State Research and Extension is an EOE of individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. Background check required.

All ages invited to 12th annual Osage County Senior Resource Fair, May 10

042117-OsageCountySeniorR2Home Town Health Care invites everyone to the 2017 Osage County Senior Resource Fair, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, May 10, at the Osage County Senior Center, 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

For the 12th year, the one-day expo will promote positive attitudes about aging and encourage individuals to be active physically, mentally and financially. The resource fair is free for attendees and will feature face-to-face visits with vendors and providers of all types of services and products important for seniors.

At 10:30 a.m. the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging will present a break out session on senior issues. At noon during lunch, Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn will talk about ways to avoid being a victim of scams that target seniors.

In addition, there will be free and scheduled services and activities, including blood pressure and oxygen checks, VA information and assistance, SMP/Schick representatives, express toenail clinic, sheriff’s office unwanted or unused prescription drug collection, balance check, blood sugar check, and five-minute chair massage.

The event will finish with a drawing for door prizes donated by the vendors and providers.

Home Town Health Care is presenting the event in conjunction with the Osage County Senior Center. For more information, contact the senior center at 785-528-4906, or Jon Reed, of Home Town Health Care, at 620-342-2600.

April flowers help build new Carbondale library

By Sue Anderson

Susan Raby’s decorative baskets for entryways and patios will be featured at the Carbondale City Library plant sale. The sale is to raise money for a new library.

Susan Raby’s decorative flower baskets will be featured at the Carbondale City Library plant sale. The sale is to raise money for a new library.

You don’t need a green thumb to check out the annual Carbondale City Library flower sale this weekend at the city hall building, 234 Main St., Carbondale. Popular items at the sale are hanging baskets and various planters with flowers already in bloom and ready to take home. The sale is open noon-6 p.m. Friday, April 28, and 8 a.m. until all plants are sold Saturday, April 29.

Individual varieties of flowers are also for sale in addition to decorative grasses, tomato and pepper plants. All flowers and plants are Kansas grown and well suited for local climate conditions. Customers from many areas attend the flower sale knowing the quality of the plants, the reasonable prices and the fact that all proceeds are for a worthy purpose.

“The sale has always been to raise money to build a new library, always,” said Carbondale City Library Director Alice Smith.

Washburn Rural eighth-graders dig up dirt on famous Carbondale dinosaur hunter


Teacher Cynthia Wilson and eighth-grader Madison Blanchette explain an exhibit to visitors to the science room museum.

The minute you walk into Cynthia Wilson’s eighth-grade science room at Washburn Rural Middle School, you become mesmerized by the information presented in the classroom-turned-museum. Student-made exhibits allow visitors to follow the geological timeline, and explore Kansas as it was millions of years ago.

Billed as the Greatest Show on Earth, the students created the museum representing life and rock as time has progressed. Each turn at the 2017 geology museum will find interactive artwork, correspondence with experts in their fields, or interesting facts about Kansas and its past inhabitants. Tying Kansas geology to the world, Wilson provided students a bit of information about a man that grew up close by and made significant advancements in our knowledge of dinosaurs, Barnum Brown.

“The students took it from there and wanted to share their discoveries,” Ms. Wilson said.

Brown turned out to be one focus of the multi-year project, resulting in a student led request to the Kansas Department of Transportation to honor Brown with special roadside signs along U.S. 75 at Carbondale.


An artist’s diagram shows a proposed highway sign to be placed near Carbondale on U.S. 75.

Barnum Brown was born on Feb. 12, 1873, in Carbondale, Osage County, Kan., growing up on the family farm nearby. As a young man, Barnum preferred to spend his time studying the land around him. His formal education in geology at the University of Kansas led to a career collecting bones and fossils for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Barnum soon was referred to as “Mr. Bones” and brought many important finds to the museum.

Hajney to take oath as new Kansas attorney

TOPEKA, Kan. – Lonnie Jerome Hajney, of Carbondale, was one of the successful applicants in the February 2017 Kansas bar examination. Hajney and other successful applicants will be sworn in as Kansas attorneys in one of two ceremonies at 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 28, 2017, in the Supreme Court courtroom at the Kansas Judicial Center, 301 SW 10th Ave., Topeka.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will preside over the Supreme Court, and Judge Daniel Crabtree will represent the U.S. District Court. Douglas T. Shima, clerk of the Kansas Supreme Court, will administer the state oath, and Megan I. Garrett, deputy clerk for the U.S. District Court, will administer the federal oath. Kevin F. Mitchelson and Donald N. Peterson II, chair and vice chair of the Kansas Board of Law Examiners, respectively, will present the new attorneys to the court.

Southbound U.S. 75 bridge deck repair, overlay project to continue near Carbondale

A deck repair and overlay project will resume Thursday, April 27, 2017, on the southbound U.S. Highway 75 bridge, located a half mile south of the Carbondale exit, in Osage County. The project began in July 2016, and included removal of two inches of the existing bridge deck surface, patching, concrete overlay, and pavement markings. The project was scheduled for completion in September 2016, but was not completed and was suspended for the winter.

On Thursday, the southbound left lane of U.S. 75 over the bridge will be closed for the repair work. The contractor is expected to complete traffic control work today and place a concrete barrier on Wednesday.

Traffic will be directed through the work zone via signage, cones and a barrier. There will be a 16-foot lane width restriction and a 60 mph posted speed limit through the work zone round the clock throughout the project duration.

Osage County Jail Log, April 16 – April 22, 2017

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

Hensley: Lots of work left to do in Veto Session

By Kansas Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley

The Kansas Legislature reconvenes for Veto Session next Monday, May 1, and all of the major issues remain: a budget, a revenue package, and a school funding formula.

Shortly before leaving for break, the Senate passed a budget on a vote of 25-15. It’s not a perfect budget, but it is a solid start.

It does not include funding for Medicaid expansion, K-12 education, the highway fund, or the water plan. However, it begins to restore cuts to higher education and ensures the stability of the Children’s Initiatives Fund by not securitizing the tobacco settlement funds. It also gives state employees a pay increase and provides a rate increase to home and community based services, which helps elderly and disabled Kansans receive quality care in their homes.

The House and Senate budget committees are scheduled to begin meeting Thursday and Friday of this week. It is my hope the House committee will pass the Senate budget out for full House consideration as early as next week.

The Senate budget is $400 million short for Fiscal Year 2018 and nearly $500 million short for Fiscal Year 2019 without a revenue package. With a revenue package like House Bill 2178, which passed earlier this session, the budget would end up with a surplus of more than $200 million for each fiscal year. This makes it critical for the Legislature to reconsider a plan like HB 2178.

In addition to providing funding for the Senate budget, the Legislature must pass a school funding formula that provides constitutional levels of funding to K-12 schools. The Senate has not proposed a formula, and if something gets proposed during veto session, there will not be time to fully vet it. This is not how a formula should be passed. Instead, consideration should be given to what the House passes. They have worked all session to develop a formula, holding countless hearings and receiving buy-in from some education stakeholders.

Ultimately, though, none of these issues can be resolved without support from 27 Senators and 84 House members, the amount needed to override a veto from Governor Brownback.

No burn day: High winds, dry conditions cause very high fire danger

RED-FLAGDue to very high fire danger today, Monday, April 24, 2017, all burn permits for Osage County are suspended. A “no burn” day means no outside burning is allowed in the unincorporated areas of Osage County as declared by Osage County Emergency Management. Very high fire danger means that fire control will be difficult and require extended effort.

The National Weather Service at Topeka has forecast that it will be mostly sunny with a high near 76 today, and windy, with a south wind 15 to 20 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph.

This burn ban is in effect until 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 25, 2017, but could be extended depending on weather conditions.

For more information, contact Bryce Romine, Osage County Emergency Management director at 785-828-3323.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Hazardous smoke essential tool

buchmanhead“Where there’s fire, there’s smoke.”

“When there’s wind, the smoke spreads.”

Known always, yet reported problematic much more in recent years.

City concerns come to forefront when ranchers strike matches clearing surplus pre-year pasture growth.

Government has come into action creating rulings such conditions must be met before burns begin. Still, Mother Nature always has the upper hand.

Moisture, humidity, temperature, wind all “just right,” lawmaker’s permission granted, everything can immediately go awry.

Numerous factors create “change” in well-planned blazes. Foremost is immediate transition in wind speed and direction.

Hazards are instantly created from what appeared safe now becoming uncontrollable.

Destructive fires in the southwest last month and a year ago best portray the most serious dilemma. Extent of losses rightly overrode the smoke issue, then. Yet, quickly forgotten when thousands of acres Flint Hills were aflame last week.

Smell and fog were in the air all around. Sky-covered haze and distinctive, derogatory aromas drifted. Robust gusts changing and moving distributed those tell-tale incinerator accompaniments. That’s beyond rural communities, the state’s largest cities and into neighboring states.

Smoke alarms sounded, so to speak, as good-doers miles away from ranchland shouted. “There’s smoke in the air. It’s hazardous to our people’s health.”

Corps to begin charging camping fee at Sun Dance Campground in May

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin charging a camping fee of $10 per night at Sun Dance Campground at Melvern Lake at the beginning of the 2017 recreation season. The campground had been the only free campground at Melvern Lake.

The fee will apply May 1 through Sept. 30, and is payable at the self-pay station at the entrance of the campground. Camping fees can be paid by check or cash. Campers are allowed to camp at the same location up to 14 consecutive days, after which campers must vacate the campground for a minimum of 24 hours prior to returning. The Corps reminded visitors that while the fee does not pertain to the winter months of Oct. 1-April 30, the camping time limit remains the same.

To avoid overcrowding sites, a maximum of two camping units is allowed per campsite (two tents, or one tent and one RV), and a maximum of two vehicles are allowed per campsite.

For more information, visit the Melvern Lake information center at the south end of Melvern Dam, or call 785-549-3318.

Coffey County man used PlayStation to collect child porn

WICHITA, Kan. – A Coffey County man pleaded guilty today to using a PlayStation video game console to obtain child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Kansas.

The office reported that Michael L. Stratton, 30, Burlington, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography. In his plea, Stratton admitted using a PlayStation 3 to chat about child pornography and trade child pornography.

National Drug Take-Back Day: Safely dispose of old or unneeded medications

Sheriff’s office to collect unused drugs April 29

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is joining other law enforcement officials across the state in collecting unused leftover medications for safe disposal on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, April 29, 2017. The Osage County collection will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, at the sheriff’s office, 131 W. 14th St., Lyndon.

The collection events are part of a nationwide effort to safely dispose of leftover medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse. The National Drug Take-Back Day is coordinated by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which collects and safely destroys the medications.

Local nonprofit organizations invited to apply for United Way grants

EMPORIA, Kan. – The United Way of the Flint Hills is inviting nonprofit organizations in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage and Woodson counties to apply for emerging needs grants. Launched in 2015, the funding allows organizations to apply for grants up to $2,000 for new projects and new programs.

“This funding stream provides us with even more opportunities to engage with the community and ensure that organizations are able to have access to United Way funding for their work,” said Jami Reever, executive director, United Way Of The Flint Hills. “We have developed many new partnerships due to this grant program and believe that a little bit of funding can help an organization do great things.”

Over the past two years, the United Way has funded a wide array of programs and projects with the emerging needs grants including a disc golf course for Madison-Virgil Schools; KU Alzheimer’s Project that provided fitness programs for local residents; and Flint Hills Rebuilders, Council Grove, making home repairs for low income seniors.

Organizations interested in applying for a grant can download an application at www.unitedwayoftheflinthills.org. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. For more information, call Reever at 620-342-7564.

Filings in Osage County Courthouse April 10 – April 14, 2017

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse April 10 through April 14, 2017.

Farmwife’s heartfelt era climaxing with sale of Burlingame bridal shop


After 46 years, Audra Wilson is closing her Audra’s Country Bridal, now in Burlingame, after being in three Topeka locations.

This farmer’s wife has fashioned, stitched and sold wedding gowns around the world.

“I always loved to sew, and my bridal business just grew from that, really,” said Audra Wilson.

Eldon and Audra Wilson operated a grade-A dairy at Harveyville, in Wabaunsee County, Kan., for many years. “That’s a long ways from a bridal shop,” she admitted.

“I sewed for my family, made my daughters’ wedding gowns, costumes for programs,” reflected Audra, mother of three girls and two sons.

“I never had any sewing lessons, just learned from my mother and grandmother,” she noted

From meager beginning with this farmwoman’s creative personal touch, Audra’s Country Bridal has thrived. Thousands of brides, entire wedding parties worldwide have appreciated Audra’s loving assistance.


Well past retirement age for most, Audra Wilson, with a lifelong love for sewing, designing and creating, has remained active in operation of Audra’s Country Bridal. On numerous occasions, brides have come to Audra’s for wedding gowns because their mom and grandmother got dresses there.

After 46 years, Audra’s Country Bridal, now right on the old Santa Fe Trail, in Burlingame, Kan., is closing. An internet auction of all remaining bridal and formal outfits, accessories and fixtures is being conducted by Webb & Associates Auctions & Appraisals.

“It’s difficult, but the time has come,” Audra conceded.

It was while working at Topeka K-Mart, assisting brides with selections and fittings that Audra’s brainchild began.

“The store manager said I needed to open a bridal shop, and it just zoomed,” Audra admitted. “Brides would come in, describe or show a picture of what they wanted. I’d sketch it, and make the gown.”

With Audra’s unique innovations and designs, “The business just mushroomed all over the world,” she humbly recognized. First at Fairlawn Plaza, in Topeka, Audra’s moved to 21st and Gage, then Holiday Square, and has been in Burlingame four years.

Sheriff: USD 434 schools closed due to threat, 15-year-old student arrested

CARBONDALE, Kan. – According to Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn, USD 434 schools are closed today due to a threat made by a student against Santa Fe Trail High School Wednesday evening.

In a press release issued late last night, the sheriff reported her office was made aware of the threat around 6 p.m., followed by the arrest of a 15-year-old male student at 7 p.m.

“This was a verbal threat, no weapons or explosives were involved,” Dunn said in the release. “The case will be forwarded to the Osage County Attorney’s Office sometime [Thursday] to determine formal charges.”

The sheriff said the school district closed on Thursday due to the threat. A person who answered the phone at the school district office Thursday morning confirmed that all USD 434 schools were closed today, but referred all questions to USD 434 Superintendent Steve Pegram, who was not in the office Thursday morning.

The district’s Facebook page and website have no information regarding the school closures, except the district posted on Facebook the junior high school’s track athletes will participate in a track meet at Sabetha today. Athletes are to meet at Carbondale Attendance Center at 10:30 a.m. and buses will leave for Sabetha at 10:45 a.m.

“We feel it will be safe for students to be meet at CAC to load busses,” the district’s Facebook post said.

Several parents of USD 434 students posted on social media that they had been notified of the school closures by the district’s automated email and call system. Some Topeka media outlets first reported the school closures, but Osage County media was not informed by the school district.

Carbondale citizens begin to ‘raise the roof’ for new city library


Steering committee members of the “Let’s Raise the Roof” capital campaign for a new city library in Carbondale have launched an initiative to raise a total of $250,000 in private funds to match funds for a community block grant. The group announced that as of April 11, $109,475 has been raised through donations, pledges, fundraising events, and other initiatives. Courtesy photo.

By Sue Anderson

CARBONDALE, Kan. – After years of hoping and planning, friends of the library in Carbondale are ready to launch a full scale campaign to literally “Raise the Roof” for a new, spacious library facility. An enthusiastic crowd of community citizens, including city government officials, library patrons and the campaign steering committee members and their families gathered April 11, 2017, to officially begin an extensive fund raising campaign to reach not only residents in the community, but also those that ever worked, lived or attended schools in Carbondale.

Kandy Hinck, chair of the “Let’s Raise the Roof” capital campaign, announced to those in attendance that a total of $109,474 has been raised toward the building project. The new 6,000 square foot library facility will be built on the northeast corner of the intersection at Third and Main streets, in downtown Carbondale.

The Carbondale City Council recently purchased land for the new library and the lot has been cleared, making it possible to begin building as soon as the remaining funds are raised.

“We are past the talking stage,” said Hinck. “Now we are taking action to make this a reality.”

A total of $250,000 in private contributions is needed in order to apply for a community development block grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce. Additional funds will come from other government grants, donations from private foundations, and low interest bonds.

In addition to asking for pledges, the steering committee will initiate a variety of fundraising activities and events in the coming months, and visit with individuals about how to become involved, both by making a financial pledge and also as a volunteer. Information packets with full details about the campaign are available at the current library.

Steven R. Kolbaba, 61, Osage City: May 24, 1955 – April 14, 2017

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Steven R. Kolbaba, 61, of Osage City, Kan., passed away Friday, April 14, 2017, at St. Francis Hospital, Topeka, Kan. He was born May 24, 1955, in Emporia, Kan., the son of John Henry and Juanita M. (Hogan) Kolbaba.

He had been a truck driver, and was able to do about anything he put his mind to.

Steve will be forever remembered by his girlfriend, Paula Sue Williams, Osage City; four daughters, Jolene (CJ) Adkins, Osage City, Amanda Kolbaba, Overland Park, Kan., Angie Kolbaba, Topeka, and Allyson Sloop Kolbaba, Osage City; two sons, Brennen Kolbaba, of Washington, and Michael Kolbaba, of Texas; his mother, Juanita M. Kolbaba, Osage City; two sisters, Debra K. Price, Emporia, and Kathy S. Ayers, Osage City; and five grandchildren, Rachel, Ryan, Marissa, Tessa Adkins and Mason Grader.

Franklin County resource fair offers elders advice for young and old

East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging will host its annual resource fair that offers information to help people later in life or right now. The fair will be held 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 26, 2017, at Neosho County Community College Campus, Ottawa, Kan.

This year ECKAA is working with Neosho County Community College so that students and Franklin County organizations can partner in educating the public. All presentations will be open to the community and students.

NCCC instructors from the nursing and occupational therapy departments will also have presentations and workshops. Speakers and their topics include: Barbara Flett, NCCC program advisor, adaptive yoga; Alex English, Kansas Legal Services elder law attorney, fraud; Amanda Smith, Resource Center for Independent Living, “Seeing through obstacles: Life after vision loss”; NCCC occupational therapy students, occupational therapy demonstrations.

The fair is free and open to the public. Also available will be free health screenings, information, light snacks, giveaways and door prizes. NCCC is located at 900 E. Logan St., Ottawa.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | news@osagecountyonline.com | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas