Health advisory, safety tips issued during Flint Hills burning season

Smoke modeling tool active March 1 TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reminding Kansans that March and April are a time when large areas of the state’s rangeland is burned. More »


Seat belt enforcement campaign to focus on Kansas high schools

Beginning Feb. 20, 2017, and running through March 5, 2017, the Kansas Highway Patrol and area law enforcement agencies will participate in the annual “High Visibility Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign” around area More »


Missouri man arrested, charged in Osage City bank robbery

Bank surveillance photo of robbery suspect at Landmark National Bank, Osage City. WICHITA, Kan. – A Missouri man has been arrested and charged in connection with the bank robbery that happened Jan. More »


Hidden History: The crazy things those Osage County bachelors do for love

By Wendi Bevitt In 1912, some eligible bachelors of Olivet found themselves frustrated. They were too long single and growing weary of their status. These men decided to join their efforts in More »

Zion Lutheran to host the Singing Saints

Zion Lutheran Church, Vassar, will host a concert by The Singing Saints, a concert choir of Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia, Mo. The choir features choral works based on the Word of God in the Bible.

The concert will be at 7 p.m. March 10, 2017, at the church, 23167 Topeka St., Vassar.

For Lutherans, the choir’s message is especially appropriate for the 500-year anniversary celebration of the Protestant Reformation in 1517. The first half of the concert contains selections based entirely upon the book of Psalms. The second portion of the program highlights pieces based on other portions of Scripture, including stories from the Gospel, exact Scripture passages, and hymns based upon well-known Biblical passages.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Living by generous handouts

buchmanheadThat beggar on the corner is making more money than the longtime labor union factory worker. Higher wages than the highway worker holding up the shovel nearby, and certainly better pay than the rancher pulling a calf in the middle of the night.

Every day, panhandlers are begging at major intersections around the city. Friday, there were two on opposite corners of major north-south, east-west thoroughfares.

Not hobos, young men, maybe 25, healthy appearing, T-shirts, jeans, standing with cardboard signs. Couldn’t see the one, and small black scribbling on the other nearly undecipherable. “Hungry. Anything helps. God Bless.”

Three plastic bags at his feet. One had a two-pound cracker box showing. Evidently, a passerby offered some food. Guess that freeloader wanted something else.

The other fella had a big styrofoam fountain drink with a straw he was sipping. Sodas aren’t cheap, so he got money to buy that somehow, or swiped it. Perhaps a generous soul gave it, or slipped him bucks.

A couple days earlier, different intersection, young woman with two small children also held up a poster message. Couldn’t make it out either. One would have to be heartless not to have some empathy; still hard to know.

It’s said mendicants with dogs attract compassion of many, too. Worse cases are those vigorous-appearing vagrants smoking a cigarette, talking on a cellphone, with a beer, and a moocher’s sign.

Chamber Chatter: Themes selected for Osage City’s 2017 parades

By Jeanette Swarts, Executive Director
Osage City Chamber of Commerce

Themes have been selected for this year’s parades hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce. The 2017 Osage County Fair Parade, which will be Thursday, June 29, 2017, will have the theme “Summertime Fun”, and the theme for Christmas on Market Street event and lighted parade, on Nov. 25, 2017, will be “Treasured Memories”.

Diane Michael, parade chairman is busy confirming entries for the fair parade. She is creating some new and innovative concepts for the parades this year and is looking forward to having great events for the community to enjoy. A golf cart and ATV class will be continued from the Christmas parade. Diane will provide information regarding the parade, and a parade form will be available soon to submit an entry for the parade. The Chamber of Commerce will be offering $350 in cash prizes for four places of float entries and $60 in cash prizes for three places of golf cart and ATV entries. Contact Michael at 785-608-2277 if you have any questions or comments regarding the event.

Chamber of Commerce membership drive continues

The Chamber’s annual membership drive is continuing and if you have not yet joined, please consider the opportunities to grow your business and connect with the community and send in your membership now. We would also like to encourage existing members to invite potential new members. Membership investment form: For more information about becoming a member or renewing your membership, email osagecitychamber@gmail.com, visit our website www.osagecitychamber.com, or call 785-219-2510.

Osage County District Court criminal cases Feb. 10 – Feb. 24, 2017

The following criminal cases were completed in Osage County District Court Feb. 10 to Feb. 24, 2017 with disposition, fines, sentencing and costs as listed.

2017 Match Day applications due soon

Not-for-profit organizations within Lyon County and its six contiguous counties are invited to apply for consideration as a participant in the Emporia Community Foundations (ECF) Match Day event on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. To be considered for this year’s event applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017.

The 2017 Emporia Area Match Day event, like last year, will be held at the Flinthills Mall from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 13, 2017. Up to 25 organizations will be considered for participation in this year’s event which will include the original 15 organizations. Additional organizations meeting the application criteria, may apply for the remaining spots in this year’s event through the Feb. 28 deadline. Applications are available through the ECF website at www.emporiacf.org or by calling the Emporia Community Foundation at 620-342-9304 or stopping by their office at 527 Commercial, Suite 501.

Annual Walk Kansas program signals spring, urges healthy activity

022417-WalkKansas-Graphic-2For many in Kansas, participating in Walk Kansas – a K-State Research and Extension health challenge – signals spring. This year the Walk Kansas program will run from March 19 through May 13, 2017.

During the eight-week program, teams of four to six people, one serving as the captain, work toward a common goal – typically to walk at least 150 minutes per person per week, which collectively is enough to walk 423 miles. Though the team does not actually walk across Kansas, 423 miles is the equivalent of the distance across the state.

The program is geared toward addressing crucial issues in our state. Less than half of Kansas adults meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity (150 minutes a week of moderate exercise) and only 19 percent eat enough fruits and vegetables. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, if Americans were to stop smoking, exercise regularly and eat well, they could prevent up to 80 percent of heart disease and stroke, 80 percent of type 2 diabetes, and 40 percent of cancers.

Even though individuals report their weekly activity as part of a team, it doesn’t mean they must walk together as a team, although some teams do. Teammates, however, are encouraged to connect and support each other. Individuals report their activity online or to their team captain each week. It is common for a family, a group of friends, or co-workers to register as a team. Additionally, with the help of technology, some teams are made up of people in different communities or from different parts of the country.

Dorothy L. Lynn, 93, Topeka: December 26, 1923 – February 23, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. – Dorothy L. Lynn, 93, of Topeka, Kan., passed away on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. She was born Dec. 16, 1923, at DeSoto, Kan., the daughter of Lee and Mina Dent Brannock.

She graduated from Linwood Rural High School in 1941. She later attended Ottawa University, graduating with a degree in elementary education in 1965. She last taught at Appanoose Grade School. She was a member of Town and Country Christian Church, AARP, and the Order of the Eastern Star at Williamsburg, Kan. She was a member of Quenemo Baptist Church, Quenemo, Kan., many years. As an adult, she lived at Pomona and Burlington, and near Homewood, in Franklin County.

She married Kenneth A. Lynn on Dec. 12, 1943, in Missouri. He preceded her in death on Oct. 5, 1970.

Finch: Governor vetoes tax plan, offers no solution to Kansas children’s rising debt

By State Rep. Blaine Finch, 59th District, Franklin and Osage Counties

Greetings from our unseasonably warm State Capitol. It has been a very busy time as we reach the first big deadline of the legislative session, turnaround day. This is the day by which most bills have to have left their house of origin and be passed over to the other chamber for consideration. This time of year sees committees trying to get their work done and long days on the House floor as bills are debated and voted upon.

One of the biggest issues that has come up in this first half of the session is House Bill 2178, a tax plan developed by members of the House Tax Committee. The bill added a third tax bracket for those making over $100,000 per year on those dollars they make after $100,000. It added back in taxes on pass through income, addressing the so-called LLC fix. It also added back in the deduction for medical expenses which had been removed in prior years. While I like the renewal of the medical expenses deduction I did not like the new tax rates and the failure to reinstate additional deductions such as home mortgage interest. The bill passed despite my voting against it.

After passage in the House, the Senate took up the bill and passed it as well. We received word on Wednesday that Governor Brownback had vetoed the bill. While I didn’t support the underlying bill I also cannot support the veto of a bill passed by a majority of the legislature when the governor has said time and time again that he is looking to the legislature to make financial decisions. I maintain my opposition to the underlying bill but our state needs its elected representatives to step up and make government work. People are tired of smoke and mirrors budget tricks that borrow money from our children to pay for operations today. People are tired of seeing the state borrow from itself, its pension system and its highway funds, and then failing to pay the note when it’s due.

With his veto Governor Brownback did not offer up an improved plan or a plan that didn’t rely on the borrowing and debt that I mentioned above. Without a structural fix, I could not support the Governor’s decision to veto, which leaves the state without a plan to solve its budgetary problems. For this reason and this reason alone I voted for the override despite my objections to the bill.

Nettie Mae Kirchner, 102, Florence, S.C.: July 2, 1914 – Feb. 21, 2017

FLORENCE, S.C. – Nettie Mae Kirchner, 102, of Florence, S.C., passed away Feb. 21, 2017. She was born July 2, 1914, in Osage County, Mo., the daughter of Otto and Oma Steuber.

Surviving are her daughter, Myrna Zybko, of Florence; and a son, Frank R. Brown, Four Oaks, N.C.

Nettie was preceded in death by her father and mother, and two sons, James Cotten and Truhman Cotten Jr. She outlived three husbands, Truhman Cotton Sr., Raymond Brown, and Hubert Kirchner.

She will be laid to rest in the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery, Kansas City, Kan.

Osage County District Court traffic cases Feb. 10 – Feb. 17, 2017

The following traffic cases were completed in Osage County District Court Feb. 10 to Feb. 17, 2017, with disposition, fines and costs as listed.

Elizabeth Jane Meek, 95, Overbrook: Feb. 1, 1922 – Feb. 17, 2017

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Elizabeth Jane Meek, 95, formerly of Carbondale, Kan., passed away on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, at Brookside Manor, Overbrook, Kan. She was born Feb. 1, 1922, at Bogard, Mo., the daughter of Bertrand F. and Mary L. (Redding) Isaacs.

She was a charter member of Grace Bible Church, Topeka, Kan. Elizabeth was a baker, working in food service at the VA Hospital in Topeka.

Elizabeth was married to R. L. “Jake” Meek on Oct. 21, 1953, in Fayetteville, Ark. Jake died March 2, 1993.  

Welsh community invites all to celebrate St. David’s Day

The local Welsh community will be celebrating upcoming St. David’s Day with a Welsh tea at Lebo and special concert at Emporia.

The tea will be held 1:30-3:30 p.m. March 2, 2017, at the Lebo United Methodist Church, and is billed as an informal gathering in a Welsh-flavored setting of daffodils and Welsh memorabilia, where Welsh camaraderie, Welsh cakes, and tea highlight the celebration of St. David’s Day.

The 129th annual St. David’s Day Concert, presented by the St. David’s Society of Kansas, will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 5, 2017, at Emporia Presbyterian Church, West Campus, 1702 W. 15th St. Featured conductor and guest soloist will be Eluned Jones. A reception will follow the concert.

Admission to both events is free. For more information about either event, contact Paula Evans at 620-256-6687.

St. David’s Day, March 1, is celebrated in honor Saint David, the patron saint of Wales. In Wales, St. David’s Day is observed as public holiday, and celebrations are held worldwide in remembrance of Welsh culture and Welsh origins.

Health advisory, safety tips issued during Flint Hills burning season


Smoke modeling tool active March 1

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reminding Kansans that March and April are a time when large areas of the state’s rangeland is burned. These burns help preserve the prairie, control invasive species such as eastern red cedar and sumac, and provide better forage for cattle. Prescribed burning minimizes risk of wildfires and is effective in managing rangeland resources. Smoke from the burns can influence the air quality of downwind areas. The use of smoke management techniques is vital to reduce impacts.

KDHE will activate the Kansas smoke modeling tool on March 1, prior to widespread burning in the Flint Hills. On average there are approximately 2.3 million acres burned in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma each year.

For burns to be safe and effective, weather and rangeland conditions must be ideal. Many landowners will burn at the same time when such conditions are met. Air pollutants from the burns can affect persons in the Flint Hills and can be carried long distances to more populated areas.

Connie Diamond, 74, Columbus, Neb.: Dec. 7, 1942 – Feb. 21, 2017

COLUMBUS, Neb. – Connie Jo Diamond, 74, died Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, at the Cottonwood House, Columbus, Neb. She was born Dec. 7, 1942, in Lawrence, Kan., to Maurice Jr. and Marita L. (Brewer) Lee.

She graduated from Lyndon High School in Lyndon, Kan., and completed tech training in accounting and computers.

Connie married Lloyd S. Diamond on March 30, 1962, in Quenemo, Kan.

She lived in a number of towns and states with the longest being in Topeka, Kan. She worked as a desktop publisher for Josten’s Printing and Publishing for 14 years until retiring in 2002. In April of 2014, the couple moved to Columbus. She was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church and the YMCA. Connie enjoyed travelling, cooking and raising roses.

Rural Americans at higher risk of death from five leading causes than urban dwellers

Programs available locally to help prevent challenges such as heart disease and diabetes

By Connor Orrock
K-State Research and Extension

MANHATTAN, Kan. – A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that rural Americans are at a higher risk of dying from five major causes than those living in urban areas. The potentially preventable causes were: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease and stroke. The top five causes of death across the state of Kansas are the same, but in a slightly different order: cancer, heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke and unintentional injuries.

“We have seen increasing rural-urban disparities in life expectancy and mortality emerge in the past few years,” said Jim Macrae, acting administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration in an announcement when the study was released. “CDC’s focus on these critical rural health issues comes at an important time.”

This latest study adds to considerable evidence that links poor health to low income, low educational attainment and poverty, which is higher in rural areas, according to Gayle Price, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer specialist.

“The poverty rate in rural Kansas is 15.1 percent compared to 13.1 percent in urban areas of the state,” she said, citing the Rural Health Information Hub. “Over 12 percent of the rural population has not completed high school compared to 8 percent of the population in urban Kansas. The average income per capita in rural Kansas was around $4,400 less than the state average.”

More than 900,000 Kansans call 89 rural counties home. That is more than 30 percent of the state’s population. Many factors, including demographic, environmental, economic and social factors put rural residents at risk. Residents in rural areas are often older and sicker. They also have higher rates of cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. They report having less leisure time, higher rates of poverty, less access to health care services and are less likely to have health insurance.

Price said, however, that there are more health inequalities experienced by rural residents than just poverty. They include getting an education, access to safe housing, foods that are both healthy and affordable, and affordable transportation. The lack of affordable transportation could contribute to other issues such as access to employment and health services.

Filings in Osage County Courthouse Feb. 13 – Feb. 17, 2017

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse Feb. 13 through Feb. 17, 2017.

Osage County News offers one more way to read your news for free – OCN e-edition

To offer another convenient way for readers to get their local news, Osage County News has available an e-edition of daily postings on www.osagecountyonline.com.  With the e-edition, a summary of the day’s stories will arrive in subscribers’ email inbox.

It’s easy to sign up, just click on this link and enter your email address and the security code provided. A confirmation email will arrive in your inbox with a link to confirm your subscription.

Hensley: Tax plan a step in the right direction

By Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley

While I believe the tax plan offered by Senate Democrats was more structurally sound, the next best option passed last week with bi-partisan support. Since it was not amended, the tax plan goes to the governor’s desk. The question is whether he will veto it or let it go into law without his signature.

I voted for this tax plan because I believe it is the first step in ending the governor’s reckless policies and putting Kansas on the long road back to fiscal responsibility.

Substitute for House Bill 2178 repeals the LLC loophole, which exempted 330,000 Kansans from income taxes. It also removes all future formulaic reductions to income tax rates, putting an end to Governor Brownback’s “march to zero.” Additionally, it restores the medical expense itemized deduction to 100 percent and protects the mortgage interest deduction at its current level.

This bill also maintains the low-income tax exemption for Kansans earning less than $5,000. It maintains the rate of 2.7 percent on earners, married filed jointly, making $0-$30K. It raises the middle bracket from 4.6 percent to 5.25 percent for income earners, married filed jointly, of $30K to $100K. This, however, is less than what these earners paid in 2012 when rates were 6.25 percent ($30K-$60K) and 6.45 percent ($60K-$100K). Finally, this bill adds a third bracket for those earning $100K or more, married filed jointly, pay 5.45 percent. Again, this is less than the 2012 rate of 6.45 percent.

There are a lot of positives that come with this plan. Keep in mind, though, that our work to right the wrongs of Governor Brownback has only just begun. The Kansas Legislature still has a budget hole to address for the current fiscal year as well as for the next fiscal year.

The damage done by the reckless policies of our governor will not be fixed overnight, but the passage of this tax plan – in a bi-partisan manner – is a good step in the right direction.

Osage County Jail Log, Feb. 12 – Feb. 19, 2017

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

Calvin E. Pegram, 80, Waverly: Feb. 10, 1937 – Feb. 19, 2017

WAVERLY, Kan. – Calvin E. Pegram, 80, passed away on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017, at Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. He was born on Feb. 10, 1937, in Eldred, Ill., the son of Clinton and Bessie Bushnell Pegram.

Calvin had lived in Quenemo, Kan., for many years before moving to Waverly, Kan., in 2006.

Calvin graduated from high school in Carrollton, Ill., and then served in the United States Air Force from 1955 to 1963. He served in the 90th Field Maintenance Squadron at Forbes Air Force Base and then the 576th Strategic Missile Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He worked as a union carpenter in construction for many years. He was a member of the Carpenters Union Local 61 in Kansas City and Local 1445 in Topeka, Waverly American Legion Post 119, and the Quenemo United Methodist Church.

Help Wanted: Flint Hills Beverage – Entry Level Sales Position

021617-bud-lt.-logoArea Budweiser wholesaler Flint Hills Beverage is now accepting applications, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 132 W. Market St., Osage City, for an entry level sales position. Selling and customer relationship experience preferred. Ability to lift 20 to 165 lbs. repetitively and obtain a CDL permit required. APPLY IN PERSON.

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