Lyndon 7th-grader Cole claims countywide spelling championship

Osage County’s top spellers for 2019 show their certificates as participants in the countywide spelling bee held at Melvern on Feb. 12, 2019. MELVERN, Kan. – While many people More »

Girl Scouts share warmth during Soup-a-Thon; help fill local food pantry

Osage City Girl Scout Troop 30149 participated in the Help House Soup-a-Thon during the month of January. With the community’s help, the Scouts collected and donated 230 cans of More »

With the help of friends, Lyndon Leaders create place for friends

Euclid Lodge 101 and Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members welcome all to sit and enjoy the new bench on Lyndon’s main street. Courtesy photo. By Lara Shoup A couple More »

Limericks and posters make kids dig deep into soil conservation

Winners of the Osage County Conservation District’s poster, essay and limerick contest were honored guests at the district’s annual meeting Jan. 28, 2019, when they received their awards. Each year More »

A Cowboy’s Faith: Calving by nature’s plan

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Mother Nature does exactly what she wants.”

Cows work just like her. When momma decides to give birth she’ll do it, or do her best trying. Contrarily it’s almost impossible to predict when that’ll be despite telltale signs often turning out differently.

First of February is sometimes considered beginning of spring calving season, although ranches have varying philosophical datelines. Certain operations set later times to begin, and some producers calve in the fall, summer and even summer.

Not nearly as many as used to be, but several cow-calf managers have babies arriving year around. It’s determined when the bull is turned into the cowherd.

Everything being just right, cow is romanced by the bull that day maybe even within minutes fertile embryo starts growing. A baby calf should be on the ground nine months, nine days, nine hours, nine minutes, nine seconds later. It’s seldom exactly that precise and often not even close.

Uncountable tribulations can come into play in this mating game. At the beginning of the season, Mr. Bull is eager and ready to go. Certain sweet, fancy, foxy, young heifers on high nutrition feel the same anticipating action.

More mature mommas, baby at side taking breakfast, generally aren’t so fast. By nature’s intent, inner body parts need a bit of rest, relaxing, healing before starting the process again.

St. David’s Society invites all to enjoy afternoon of Welsh music

Welsh music will fill the air as the St. David’s Chorus brings it to life at the 131st St. David’s Concert at 2:30 p.m. March 3, 2019. The free event, held at the Presbyterian Church West Campus, 1702 W. 15th Ave., Emporia, Kan., is sponsored by the St. David’s Society of the State of Kansas.

The St. David’s Society welcomes back Eluned Jones to direct the concert for the sixth year. Born and raised in Wales to a musical family, Eluned injects Welsh spirit from her homeland into the conducting of the Welsh hymns Eluned is professor and head of economics at South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D.

Honoring our country and the country of our Welsh ancestry, the concert will open with the singing of our national anthems. The invocation and benediction will be given by the Rev. Gary Gooszen and the Rev. Phyllis Stutzman, respectively. St. David’s Society President Brian Rees will give opening remarks and introductions.

The St. David’s Chorus will open the concert with the nostalgic “We’ll Keep a Welcome”. Many towns are represented in the St. David’s Choir including Emporia, Hartford, Reading, Lebo, Arvonia, and Kansas City.

Joining the St. David’s Chorus again this year are members of ESU choirs led by Dr. Robert Ward. The chorus sets will include the jubilant “Sanctus”, the soulful, harmonious “Pen Park”, the melodic “Gwahoddiad”, and “Crimond”, (“The Lord’s My Shepherd”). Accompanists for the concert are Mary Melhorn, organist and Travis Carmichael, pianist. The concert will close as all join together to sing “God Be With You”.

Everyone is invited to a reception of bara brith and tea in the Fellowship Hall following the concert.

Area Welsh to host annual tea at Lebo

The 32nd Welsh Tea will be 1:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, at the United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, in Lebo, Kan. The tea is a free informal event hosted by cousins Paula Evans, Norma Jones and Jean Rowley.

Daffodils welcome guests as warm Welsh cakes, tea, coffee and spiced apple juice are served with the assistance of family and friends.

The tea honors the Welsh who settled in Arvonia, Lebo, Emporia, Reading, Osage City and surrounding Kansas communities. All are welcome to attend.

Lyndon 7th-grader Cole claims countywide spelling championship

Osage County’s top spellers for 2019 show their certificates as participants in the countywide spelling bee held at Melvern on Feb. 12, 2019.

MELVERN, Kan. – While many people are waiting for spring flowers, a “daffodil” tripped up the runner-up winner of the Osage County Spelling Bee, held Feb. 12, 2019, at Marais des Cygnes Valley High School gymnasium.

Samantha Cole, student at Lyndon Middle School, became the county’s champion speller for 2019, after remembering the “Alamo” in the 13th and championship round.

The bee turned suspenseful in the ninth round as two seventh-graders remained – Samantha and Osage City Middle Schooler Emery Camarena took turns at correct spellings: apricot, diagnosis; adios, popularity. Then with Samantha correctly spelling “boutique”, Emery stumbled on “daffodil”. The misspelling set up Samantha to correctly spell one final word to claim the championship: Alamo.

Osage County’s spelling champion for 2019 is Samantha Cole, right, with Emery Camarena, runner-up. Photo by Lisa Reeser, MdCVMS.

With her win, Samantha will represent Osage County and runner-up Emery will serve as alternate at the upcoming statewide spelling bee.

Other participants in the countywide bee included Taneal Stevenson, Rowan Humphreys, and Codi Meyers, alternate, from Burlingame Middle School; Tristan Spangler, Elisabeth Molt, and Owen Lattimer, alternate, Carbondale Attendance Center; Madison Boley, Lyndon Middle School; Levi Hill, Evie Stephens, and Kate Wilt, alternate, Marais des Cygnes Valley Middle School; and Bryce Linebarger and Jeffrey Snodgress, alternate, Osage City Middle School. All were championship spellers or runners-up at their respective school spelling bees.

Words misspelled at the county bee were garage, hundredth, errand, tattle, protein, rehearse, stucco, bevel, daffodil.

The statewide spelling bee, organized by the Kansas Press Association, will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 9, 2019, at De Mattias Fine Arts Center, Newman University, 3100 McCormick, Wichita, Kan. The first-place winner of the state spelling bee and an escort will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee May 26-June 1, 2019.

FHTC offers new program opportunities for fall

Bret Pope, right, FHTC automotive instructor, assists a student with a repair during a class. Courtesy photo.

Flint Hills Technical College has a new program and extension campus available for the upcoming fall 2019 semester.

The new hospitality dietary management program will be available at the college’s main campus. The program offers a technical certificate option, and will be a combination of culinary basics and management paired with courses in healthcare including nutrition, growth and development, and gerontology.

Also new for 2019, FHTC will have an extension campus in Garnett, Kan., for automotive technology. Students taking the program at Garnett will have a technical certificate option with transferability to complete an associate of applied science degree on the Emporia campus. Bret Pope, current FHTC instructor with 20 years of educating experience, will be the instructor for the Garnett campus.

Jimmy L. Schirmer, 68, Overbrook: Feb. 9, 1951 – Feb. 10, 2019

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Jimmy L. Schirmer, 68, of Overbrook, Kan., passed away Feb. 10, 2019, at home surrounded by his family. He is the son of George and Amelia Schirmer.

He is survived by his brother, John G. Schirmer and wife, Sharron, of Overbrook; sister, Elizabeth Schlink, Overbrook; loving nephews, John G. Schirmer III, Joseph L. Schirmer and Charles J. Schlink, all of Overbrook; loving nieces, Tina M. Schlink and Christy M. Schlink, both of Overbrook; great-niece, Caitie Schlink, Overbrook; and a special nephew, Catis L. McMillan, Carbondale, Kan.

He was preceded in death by his parents; half-brother, Frank Schirmer; and several half-sisters.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Overbrook Cemetery, Overbrook.

Memorial contributions may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice, and sent in care of Greenwood-Roberts Funeral Home, PO Box 268, Overbrook, KS 66524. Condolences may be left at

Osage County Jail Log, Feb. 5 – Feb. 9, 2019

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

Help Wanted: Three Lakes seeks full-time paraeducators

Three Lakes Educational Cooperative is seeking full-time paraeducators for schools in Osage and West Franklin Counties. Applications are available online at or at Three Lakes Educational Cooperative, 1318 Topeka Ave., Lyndon KS.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Songs tell county’s history

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Hello. This is Monte Selby. I have a grant to write and sing songs about Morris County. Several people suggested I talk to you. Could I come by your office and visit?”

Sure, that’ll be fine.

Reflections from growing up in a farm town became one song Monte and Martin Selby presented in concert.

Laura Mae

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

My whole life, I’ve ridden my horse
Love to be a cowboy – rope and ride
Nearly 50 years, had the time of my life
But back as a kid, I had to bide my time
Mama had work, gotta bide my time

You see, Daddy had an accident on the farm
So Mama said we gotta make money somehow
A few years later what mama found was a
Grocery store in the middle of town
Right on Main Street, middle of town, they’d say….

Laura Mae is your best friend
Always smile and say hello
Deliver groceries to your home
That’s my job, off I’d go
Twice a day, I’m on the go

Girl Scouts share warmth during Soup-a-Thon; help fill local food pantry

Osage City Girl Scout Troop 30149 participated in the Help House Soup-a-Thon during the month of January. With the community’s help, the Scouts collected and donated 230 cans of soup and 35 boxes of crackers on Feb. 4, 2019. They also received a tour of the site and learned more about the mission of Help House.  

Gurney ‘Jerry’ Gerald Bartley, 67, Lebo: July 29, 1951 – Feb. 4, 2019

LEBO, Kan. – Gurney “Jerry” G. Bartley, 67, passed away Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kan. He was born July 29, 1951, in Rock Springs, Wyo., the son of Robert and Madgel Knight Bartley.

He attended Lebo High School, Lebo, Kan., and graduated with the class of 1969. Following high school, Jerry worked at IBP, in Emporia, Kan. In the early 1970s he enlisted in the Kansas Air National Guard, serving with the 190th Air Refueling Wing at Forbes Field. In the mid 1980s he began a career as a truck driver.

Local weather cancellations and closures

SNOW-SHOVELING-11Osage County News shares information about closures and cancellations due to winter weather. The following are confirmed closures for Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, due to forecast of icy weather condtions:

  • Drug Free Osage County coalition meeting scheduled for Feb. 7 has been postponed to March 7.
  • Marais des Cygnes Valley Schools will be closed Feb. 7.
  • Osage City Schools – There will be no school or activities Feb. 7, due to hazardous road conditions.
  • Lyndon Schools – No school tomorrow, Feb. 7. Stay safe and stay warm.
  • ECKAAA Nutrition Program will be closed Feb. 7 due to the weather and road conditions. No meals on wheels will be delivered in Osage County and no meals will be served at nutrition sites in Burlingame, Carbondale and Osage City.
  • State of Kansas – Gov. Laura Kelly has declared Inclement Weather from 12:01 a.m.through 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, for benefits eligible non-essential State of Kansas Executive Branch employees, who work in Shawnee County.  

Postponing an event, cancelling services for the day? Email [email protected], or post your cancellation in the comment section below where everybody in Osage County can see it.  Keep warm and safe, Osage County.

Remember to check the County Calendar for up to date event listings.

KBI cancels Silver Alert; missing Nebraska man found deceased

Update, Feb. 6, 2019: The statewide Silver Alert issued for Rick Kubes has been canceled. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation reported that he was located deceased this evening.

Rick L. Kubes

CLAY COUNTY, Kan. – The Clay County Sheriff’s Department requested the Kansas Bureau of Investigation issue a statewide Silver Alert for a missing 66-year-old Nebraska man, Rick L. Kubes, who was last seen in Clay Center.

The whereabouts of Kubes is unknown and the Clay County Sheriff’s Department is requesting the public’s assistance in locating him. Kubes was last seen wearing a dark long sleeve shirt, dark green windbreaker, blue jeans, red and white ball cap, red in the front with mesh in the back. He also wears glasses and has a large mustache. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall, 175 pounds, with white hair and white mustache.

Kubes was last seen between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2019, in Clay Center, Kan., before he left to return to his home in Auburn, Neb. Auburn is about a 2.5 hour drive from Clay Center.

Frontier Extension District shows appreciation to local supporters with annual awards

The Frontier Extension District recently presented its annual appreciation awards to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Extension programs in the district’s three counties. Honored were Wayne Wischropp, of Osage County, Dr. Larry and Janie Mages, Franklin County, and Ron and Christy Ratliff, Anderson County.

Wayne Wischropp

Wischropp is a life-long resident of Osage County. As a youth he spent many hours with his father in livestock sale barns. His father was one of the owners of the Waverly sale barn for a number of years. During that time, Wayne watched, listened, and learned how to be an auctioneer. Also, as a youth, Wayne was in 4-H with cows being his primary project.

Wayne started helping with the 4-H livestock sale at the Osage County Fair in Osage City during his early years in college. After college he then became the auctioneer for the sale and has been doing it ever since. He auctioned the 4-H livestock sale at the Overbrook Osage County Fair for about 10 years and the Lyon County fair for about 12 years. Besides his long term commitment auctioning for the 4-H sales, he managed the 4-H sale in Osage City for about 10 years, and has served on the Osage County Fair Association Board. In addition, he supported his daughter while she was in 4-H. Wayne has 50 plus years of continuous service to the area 4-H youth.

New 2019-2020 Kansas transportation maps available

Whether you want to find the closest airport, discover new places of interest or travel along a scenic byway, the new 2019-2020 Kansas Official State Transportation Map has it all.

The map, published by the Kansas Department of Transportation, highlights numerous tourist and scenic locations, including state parks and lakes, as well as the recreation areas across the state.

City and county indexes and a distance map allow motorists to pick the best route to their destination. Visitor resources, helpful phone numbers and websites, and locations of museums and hospitals are also provided.

On the back of the map are inset maps of Kansas City, Wichita, Topeka and 13 other cities. There is also road condition information and details on how to get roadside assistance.

KBI asks all Kansas victims to report abuse

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has initiated an investigation into reports of sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy of the four Catholic dioceses of Kansas, and asks all victims to report clergy abuse to the agency.

On Nov. 15, 2018, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt requested that the KBI investigate allegations of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy in Kansas. Since then, the KBI has convened an internal task force of six special agents, who will conduct a thorough investigation into abuse reports received from the public, including accounts from anyone who has been victimized by members of the clergy, including church employees, church volunteers, or any others in positions of authority within the church, and complete a review of church documents.

Anyone, or anyone who you know, who has been the victim of sexual abuse committed by a member of the clergy, is asked to report it to the KBI by calling 1-800-KS-CRIME, or by sending an email to: [email protected] The KBI asks victims to report all incidents of abuse, no matter how long ago they occurred, and even if they were previously reported to law enforcement, or the church.

The KBI task force will work with prosecutors and law enforcement partners to determine if any sexual abuse incidents should be considered for prosecution.

Osage County Jail Log, Jan. 27 – Feb. 1, 2019

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

Finch: New governor looks to KPERS refinancing for boost to state budget

By Kansas Rep. Blaine Finch, Speaker Pro Tem

As I write to you we are approaching the end of week three of the new session. This is a session of significant change as we have 27 new members in the Kansas House and a new governor beginning her term. In these first few weeks, it may seem there isn’t a lot happening very quickly but in committee rooms and offices around the Capitol ideas are bubbling up, bills are being drafted and things are beginning to move.

I predict we may end up with fewer bills this year but there are still some big issues that will need to be addressed. None of those issues is bigger than the budget. With a new governor we are seeing new budget priorities and some retreads when it comes to how to make ends meet. The biggest of those is the idea of reamortizing our public retirement system, KPERS.

In 2013 the state set out on a path that would have 100 percent of our public pension system fully funded by 2033. It was ambitious but vitally important if the state was to honor the commitment to those who made it their vocation to serve others. In 2017, our last governor proposed reamortizing or refinancing the pension system to reduce current payments and extend the term of the payoff. Some have compared this to refinancing a house where the loan is extended but the payments go down. That is an oversimplification, but it is true that pension refinancing reduces the payments for a short time, takes longer to pay off, and like that home refinance means you pay a lot more in interest over the long term.

The new governor has proposed a refinance of KPERS that would add $7.4 billion in cost and extend the time when the state catches up on payments clear out to 2048. This is a bad idea. So why has it been proposed? Because of those lower payments in the short term. The governor’s plan would see annual KPERS payments go down by about $145 million in the first few years before skyrocketing up to total over $1 billion per year. That short-term infusion of cash would allow for the extra spending proposed in the governor’s budget but will leave our children and their children paying for that spending. We will see how that issue fares in upcoming hearings and possible debate.

In other news, I have taken on a new role in the legislature this year as Speaker Pro Tem of the House.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Slow better than ditch

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Weather can change in the blink of an eye.”

Forecasts had been fairly consistent for several days from one predictor to the next.

“It’ll be above freezing with rain turning to snow.”

Exact timing when transitions were to take place varied moving later in the day with the snow.

“If it starts snowing or the sky looks like it’s coming soon, hit the road.” That was the plan.

Nearly everybody had already left the office early with the holiday weekend.

With most work done best possible and procrastinating on the reminder, headed out the door 45 minutes early.

It was raining, had been off and on, throughout the day, now steady, yet not all that hard. Dashboard temperature gauge read 36 degrees.

Obviously others had followed trend leaving work ahead of time with highways pretty much jam packed.

It was moving fast and smoothly with cruise fixed well above posted signs but generally allowable by the cherry top. (That’s what they used to be called when law enforcement was readily identifiable like Andy and Barney.)

Driving with little thought other than get riding done as soon as at the ranch, eat supper and do nothing.

All of a sudden out of nowhere seemingly passing a semi-truck, the roadway became covered with snow and apparent slickness.

Gary Stevens McClung, 82, Topeka: May 23, 1936 – Jan. 29, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gary S. McClung, 82, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, at Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. He was born on May 23, 1936, in Lawrence, Kan., the son of Milton and Vera (Stephens) McClung.

He graduated from Baldwin High School, Baldwin City, Kan. He had attended the University of Kansas. Gary served our country in the United States Air Force. He worked on the farm and was a carpenter and contractor, and retired as a physical plant supervisor at the University of Kansas.

Wanda Paxton, 96, Osage City: Nov. 13, 1922 – Jan. 29, 2019

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Wanda Paxton, 96, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, at St. Francis Hospital, Topeka, Kan. She was born on Nov. 13, 1922, in Miller, Kan., the daughter of Ira and Helen Hoglund Smith.

Wanda grew up around the Miller community and had lived in Osage City, Kan., for many years. After graduating from Miller High School, Wanda worked as a nanny in Virginia. She then worked in the security division of the War Production Board during World War II. She had worked as a receptionist for the Osage City medical clinic for more than 48 years. She was a member of the Osage United Methodist Church, TOPS, and the Sunshine Club.

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