Melvern Jr. Highline forgoes December meeting but sends off holiday care packages

Members of Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club show their pile of care packages before they were mailed. Bella Reeser photo. By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter Due to Marais des More »

Hidden History: Cheese depression ends success of Burlingame’s Western Reserve

In the 1860s and beyond, Osage County was one of the most prolific cheese manufacturing areas in Kansas. Cheese production increased in the county when under the guidance of More »

Lyndon students deliver community’s generosity to Help House food bank

Lyndon Middle School Student Council and sponsor, Randy Gales, delivered 1,982 food items to Help House on Dec. 12, 2020. All Lyndon elementary and middle school students, pre-K through eighth More »

Don’t let impaired driving bring a tragic end to 2020

The year 2020 has had its ups and downs. Do not make it worse by driving impaired. The Kansas Department of Transportation is reminding everyone the holidays are a More »

Eldon W. Mounkes, 89, Lyndon: Oct. 5, 1931 – Jan. 16, 2021

LYNDON, Kan. – Eldon W. Mounkes, 89, passed away Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook, Kan. He was born Oct. 5, 1931, in Bushong, Kan., the son of Elisha and Hattie (McKinley) Mounkes.

Eldon graduated from Olivet High School in 1950. He served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955, and was involved in Operation Castle, the hydrogen bomb test at Eniwetok. He had farmed with his father and then farmed on his own. Eldon worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation until his retirement.

Larry Dean Bauerle Sr., 80, Vassar: Jan. 21, 1940 – Jan. 15, 2021

VASSAR, Kan. – Larry Dean Bauerle Sr., 80, passed away Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at the Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. He was born Jan. 21, 1940, in Holton, Kan., the adopted son of Roy and Dolly (Murphy) Bauerle.

Larry had lived in Topeka and had been coming to Pomona Lake since 1985. In 1994 he moved to Vassar, Kan., where he has lived since.

Help Wanted: Flint Hills Beverage seeks Route Relief Sales & Service Rep

Flint Hills Beverage, the area Budweiser wholesaler, is now accepting applications Monday-Friday, 8-5 at 132 W Market St., Osage City, or online at, for an entry level position as a Route Relief Sales & Service Rep. This position requires lifting 20-165 lbs. repetitively and obtaining a CDL license. Pre-employment drug screen, driving record review and physical will also be required. Selling, customer relationship skills and truck driving experience preferred. Includes full benefits and competitive pay. Must be 18 to apply. 

A Cowboy’s Faith: Average can be best

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The law of averages will balance it all out.”

Reminder of that fact has recently been imprinted several times. Many insist “average” is not good enough, declaring being the “best” is what matters the most.

In reality it is impossible to be a winner every time. Records verify all-time champions often had top scores, yet sometimes were also losers.

What made the point hit home was a recent jackpot barrel race with several outstanding riders competing. Among 10 adults entered were no less than four cowgirls of national-winning caliber mounted on proven superstars.

It was a two-round competition with fastest time total in two runs the victor. Those cowgirls were outstanding, readily scoring best times in their first runs. The sleek race horses with fit young riders were impressive in tight turns and speeding down the straight away.

The archaic wannabe on his big, old, home-raised, ranch-bred palomino gelding was about two seconds off their fastest time. With little hopes of taking home the trophy on the announcer’s stand, ringside he watched the cowgirls’ second runs.

Third fastest first-round cowgirl was going lickety-split and knocked the second barrel down. Second fastest in the first out reset her mount inside the gate, becoming an uncontrollable runaway to the first barrel.

Next up was the first-go fastest time in perfect position around two barrels then sure enough crashed that last drum.

Adrenalin flowing, with horse prancing through the gate, they were off running perfect pattern as possible with that rider. A second faster than their first-round, it tallied to be the overall prize winner. Average counted most in the end.

Sheriff’s office investigates injury accident at US 75 roundabout

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office investigated two single-car accidents last week that resulted in injuries.

A approximately 8:54 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, an Osage County Sheriff’s officer located a one-vehicle injury accident in the roundabout at the intersection of U.S. Highway 75, state Highway 31 and state Highway 268, north of Lyndon.

Upon preliminary investigation, it was determined a vehicle struck a sign on the north side of the roundabout, causing the vehicle to become disabled in the roadway. William Averette II, of Livingston, La., was transported by Osage County EMS to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka, Kan., with unknown injuries.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the accident scene by Osage County Fire District No. 5, Osage County EMS, and Kansas Department of Transportation.

Another one-vehicle injury accident was investigated around 7:33 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, north of Overbrook, after the Osage County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a crash in the 13300 block of South Shawnee Heights Road.

Preliminary investigation determined the vehicle’s front passenger side tire had gone off the roadway. The driver then overcorrected, with the maneuver causing the vehicle to come to rest on its side. The driver, who was not named in the sheriff’s office press release, received minor injuries but refused medical attention.

The accident is being investigated by the sheriff’s office, which was assisted at the scene by Overbrook Police Department, Osage County Fire District No. 4, and Osage County EMS.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, Dec. 28, 2020 – Jan. 1, 2021

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Dec. 28, 2020 to Jan. 1, 2021.

Grace Marie Mayer, 100, Burlington: Nov. 4, 1920 – Jan. 13, 2021

BURLINGTON, Kan. – Grace Marie Mayer died Jan. 13, 2021, at Burlington, Kan. She was 100 years old. She was born Grace Marie Lawson on Nov. 4, 1920, near Lyndon, Kan., to Frank F. Lawson and Maria Regina (Rohner) Lawson.

In 1942, Grace married Morris J. Wilson. They had two daughters, Patricia Marie (Wilson) Oestreich and Karen Kay (Wilson)(Allen) Reeves. In 1979, Grace married Arlie L. Mayer.

During her life, Grace lived in or near the Kansas towns of Lyndon, Melvern, Quenemo, Ottawa, Topeka, Garden City, Pomona, and Burlington. She had also lived in Paris, Mo., and Mission, Texas.

Community cooperation overcomes obstacles during urgent situation

Ed. note: The following letter was forwarded to us as a letter to the editor and is published here as such.

Burlingame City Council Members,

On December 22, 2020, at 9:57 a.m., the Burlingame Fire Department was dispatched to the eastern city limits of Burlingame for a tractor trailer fire. Upon our arrival, the trailer containing 38 round bales was fully involved sitting in the west bound lanes just west of the railroad underpass. In a rural setting this type of incident would be routine but located on a state highway entering a residential area created complexities.

Burlingame Police Chief Matthew Baker was one of the first on scene. Chief Baker, Osage County Sheriff Department and Kansas Department of Transportation secured the roadway throughout the incident by rerouting traffic. Also, during the incident, Chief Baker brought food and Gatorade to the first responders on scene.

David Punches, Dillon Quaney, and Jacob Lang with the Street and Utilities Department assisted. The use of the backhoe was a great asset in removing the bales from the trailer and breaking the bales apart. Without the equipment it would have added many hours of manual labor, and added danger dealing with the unstable load.

The Burlingame Fire Department would like to thank the City of Burlingame employees who assisted with this incident. With their help we were able to safely contain the fire and minimize damage to adjacent property.

Fire Chief Trey Strohm
Burlingame Fire Department

Osage City police investigate suspicious device, call for assistance from bomb squad

The Osage City Police Department investigated a suspicious device Tuesday near Dogwood Glen Apartments, in Osage City, resulting in assistance in evaluating the device by the Topeka Airport Authority bomb technicians.

The department reported in a social media post yesterday that around 6 p.m. Jan. 12, 2021, officers were alerted to a suspicious device lying on the ground near the apartments in the east part of the city.

Upon further investigation, a resident of the apartments reported he had been away from his apartment for several weeks – upon returning home, he found the device that appeared similar to a homemade firework lying in his bathroom. The resident took the device outside and placed it in a vacant area away from the apartment complex, and then called the police.

Osage City officers secured the area and requested assistance from the Topeka Airport Authority bomb techs to analyze and safely recover the device. Bomb techs x-rayed the device and determined it was not designed to cause casualties.

The department reported that it is believed it a limited circumstance, and at no time was the public at risk. The device appeared to be the result of someone attempting to create a large firework, which is still illegal, police noted.

The police department continues to investigate; anyone with any information regarding the incident is asked to call the department at 785-528-3131.

Osage City woman arrested on drug charges after traffic stop

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has reported the arrest of an Osage City woman after a traffic stop near Pomona Lake. A sheriff’s office press release reported that at 10:15 a.m. Jan. 13, 2021, an Osage County Sheriff’s Office investigator conducted a car stop on state Highway 268 at mile post 5. During the course of the stop, the investigator located several different illegal narcotics.

The driver of the vehicle, Lori A. Simmons, 45, of Osage City, was taken into custody on charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of ecstasy, possession of cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia, and booked into the Osage County Jail.

Carbondale man arrested as burglary suspect after vehicle pursuit

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has reported the arrest of a Carbondale man suspected of being involved in local burglaries, after a vehicle pursuit Wednesday that entered Shawnee County but ended in an Osage County field. The suspect, Jeremiah L. Howey, 43, of Carbondale, was eventually taken into custody and transported to the Osage County Jail on several charges.

A sheriff’s office press release said at approximately 4:53 p.m. Jan. 13, 2021, deputies and investigators were in the area of 125th and Auburn Road looking for a vehicle that had possibly been involved in recent burglaries and thefts in the area. Overnight, a fuel theft, a garage burglary, and vehicle burglary had occurred in the area.

An investigator located a matching vehicle and attempted to stop it. The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit ensued. Several Osage County units, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office, and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers, and an aircraft responded to the area to assist.

During the pursuit, the suspect avoided tire deflating devices and drove toward law enforcement. The pursuit entered portions of southwest Shawnee County before coming back into Osage County. The suspect eventually entered a field in the 3700 block of West 125th Street and abandoned his vehicle. A drone was deployed and a K-9 unit responded, and Howey was eventually located and taken into custody.

Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells reported that no other suspects were being sought in this case, and there is no reason for concern in the area.

Osage County Community Foundation accepting 2021 grant applications

The Osage County Community Foundation is accepting applications for grants for spring of 2021. The application period opened Jan. 2, and will continue until Feb. 28, 2021. Applications are accepted from any non-profit organizations based in Osage County. Grant funds are generally to be used towards non-operating expenses.

To obtain an application, see and click on the online forms tab, then the Osage County Community Foundation link. Applications are due by Feb. 28.

The foundation makes grants for innovative and creative projects and programs that are responsive to changing community needs in the areas of health, social service, education, recreation and cultural affairs. The foundation also accepts donations to continue its charitable work in support of Osage County organizations.

Applications can be mailed to Osage County Community Foundation, PO Box 24, Osage City, KS 66523. For more information, contact Perry Thompson at 785-528-3006 or any foundation board member: Joe Humerickhouse, Casey Mussatto, Janet Steinle, Jodi Stark, or Mike Pitts.

Emergency management issues burn ban for Osage County, Jan. 14, 2021

Update: Burn ban rescinded Jan. 15, 2021


Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban for all of Osage County for today, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, due to forecast very high fire danger. No outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended. The ban will be in effect until rescinded.

National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the region until 6 p.m. today, with northwest winds expected to be 25 to 35 mph with gusts 40 mph to 50 mph, combined with low relative humidity.

Today’s forecast is mostly sunny, with a high near 49, and windy. Chances of snow flurries are expected after 3 a.m. Friday, with increasing clouds, with a low around 28. Friday is expected to continue to be windy, with a northwest wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

For more information about the county burn ban, contact OCEM Director Bryce Romine at 785-828-3323.

Growing readers into leaders is goal of county Republican women’s book donation project

Judy Marten, right, Osage County Republican Women president, presents Traci Smith, interim director of the Carbondale City Library, with a new children’s book “What to Do About Alice, How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!” OCRW makes annual book donations to alternating school and public libraries in the county. Courtesy photo.

The Osage County Republican Women purchase and donate books each year in conjunction with their support of the Mamie Eisenhower Library Project. The books are chosen from an approved reading list of the National Federation of Republican Women. Book donations by local Republican Women organizations are a traditional nationwide community event that has occurred for more than 50 years.

“Leaders are Readers” is the initiative of the literacy project. It is designed to inspire and encourage members to cultivate a reading environment in their communities and their homes.

The Osage County Republican Women meet every other month throughout the year at the Osage County Senior Center, Osage City, Kan. Osage County Clerk Rhonda Beets will be the featured speaker at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. She will speak on the topic of registered voter records and the election process.

All Republican men and women are welcome to attend the meetings and presentations. For more information, contact OCRW President Judy Marten at 785-219-3557.

Melvern Jr. Highline forgoes December meeting but sends off holiday care packages

Members of Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club show their pile of care packages before they were mailed. Bella Reeser photo.

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

Due to Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456 being in remote learning, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club opted to forgo their December meeting, yet at the same time the members still wanted to follow through with the care packages they annually send to service men and women who will be unable to come home for the holiday season.

Dec. 6, 2020, club members dropped off their care packages supplies. From those supplies, eight very full care packages were sent off to deserving men and women as a small thank you for everything they do.

Osage County Jail Log, Jan. 4 – Jan. 8, 2021

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

Dale Eugene Vandevord, 86, Osage City: Aug. 8, 1934 – Jan. 9, 2021

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Dale Eugene Vandevord, 86, passed away Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, at Peterson Assisted Living, Osage City. Kan. He was born Aug. 8, 1934, in rural Scranton, Kan., the son of Clifford L. and Anna Mae (Jones) Vandevord.

Dale graduated from Burlingame High School, Burlingame, Kan.

He was joined in marriage to Mary Flora Fisher, Nov. 24, 1954.

Mary Ellen Arb, 85, Melvern: July 6, 1935 – Jan. 8, 2021

MELVERN, Kan. – Mary Ellen Arb, 85, passed away Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, at her home in Melvern, Kan. She was born July 6, 1935, in Melvern, the daughter of Herbert and Mary (Barbee) Criqui.

Mary Ellen had lived most of her life in the Melvern community, where she graduated from Melvern High School in 1952. She worked for Bell Telephone as a payroll clerk until her retirement in 1997. She was a member of the Pioneers Club, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Melvern United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Faith balances all luck

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Good luck, bad luck, no luck at all are purely superstitions.”

People have wide variation in opinion about “luck” which gets blamed and credited for many things.

However, generally outcome really has nothing to do with “luck” but rather what one has done to determine end results.

Nevertheless one can say without reserve that luck of the draw does play a role in certain competitions.

Particularly in the sport of rodeo – which bronc, bull, and timed event cattle is drawn does make a difference.

Some broncs and bulls always buck more impressive than others so the cowboy making the whistle gets a higher score. Without question whichever critter is drawn by cowboys in timed events has impact on their success. Specific cattle run fast, others slow, some straight, certain ones sashay. Then there are widely varied maneuvers cattle take when caught by the cowboy’s rope or launched on with bulldogger’s hands.

Certain calves are easy to throw, readily tied, never kick and cowboys are eager to compete on them. Various bulldogging steers know their routine so well they’ll nearly throw themselves upon feel of a cowboy’s hands. Completely opposite, other calves fight and kick, almost impossible to tie, while rubber-necked steers resist dropping to their sides. Cowboys despise them in the draw.

Sustainable agriculture company awards sponsorships to 2 Osage County 4-Hers

Sustainable Environmental Consultants has announced two Osage County 4-Hers as the recipients of its first 4-H and National FFA Organization Sponsorship. The 2020 recipients are brother and sister, Ethan Kneisler and Allie Kneisler, of rural Lyndon, Kan. Each will receive a $250 sponsorship that recognizes individuals who are actively involved in their local 4-H club or FFA chapter, demonstrate a passion for agriculture, and exhibit a desire to grow in personal and professional development.

Ethan and Allie Kneisler

Ethan Kneisler is a member of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club and Lyndon FFA Chapter. Currently a sophomore, Ethan has been involved in 4-H for nine years and FFA for two years. Presently, he serves as the treasurer of his 4-H club and was recently re-elected as president of the Osage County 4-H Council. This year Ethan was also chosen as an Osage County 4-H Ambassador and was awarded the I Dare You Award for his leadership skills. Apart from 4-H and FFA, Ethan has been involved in numerous sports, is a member of Future Business Leaders of America, and can be found mowing lawns and throwing hay for extra income. Upon graduation, Ethan plans to attend Kansas State and pursue a degree in agronomy.

Allie Kneisler has been a member of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club for six years. The seventh-grader currently serves as president of her 4-H club and treasurer of the Osage County 4-H Council. In 4-H she has both livestock and non-livestock projects. She shows cattle and goats, and participates in woodworking, quilting, visual arts, photography, and buymanship projects. Allie attributes her most proud achievement to winning grand champion overall with her market goat. She plans to use the SEC sponsorship to buy quilting blocks and purchase supplies and feed for her goat herd. While she still has a few years before graduation, Allie plans to remain involved with the livestock industry and continue her involvement with the 4-H community.

Lorena (McNabb) Fellers Carlat , 98, Auburn: April 6, 1922 – Jan. 2, 2021

AUBURN, Kan. – Lorena (McNabb) Fellers Carlat, 98, passed away Jan. 2, 2021, in Auburn, Kan. Lorena was born April 6, 1922, south of Melvern, Kan., the daughter of Lester and Clara (Patterson) McNabb.

Through her high school years, Lorena sang and performed at a radio station in Ottawa, Kan. Lorena graduated from Melvern High School in 1941.

She married Justin Fellers in Bentonville, Ark. Lorena went on the road to harvest wheat; she went from Texas to Canada. They divorced in 1952. She married Russell “Dale” Carlat, June 4, 1954, at Burlingame, Kan.

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