Category Archives: Business

Sheriff’s office announces promotions, honors employees for longevity

Recognized for promotions and length of service by Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells and undersheriff Scott Brenner were from left, Brett Lewis, Robert Brenner, John Knapp, Brenner, Wells, Derrick Feliciano, and Gerry Nitcher, and not pictured, Jeff Johnson. Osage County News photo.

Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells announced the promotion of several longtime employees and also recognized two employees for their years of service, last Thursday at the sheriff’s office, in Lyndon.

The following were promoted or recognized:

Bret Lewis has been promoted to the rank of communications director. Lewis will oversee the Osage County Sheriff’s Office communications center. He has been employed with the Osage County Sheriff’s Office since 1998 and has held the rank of communications officer.

Robert Brenner has been promoted to investigator and will be assigned to the criminal investigations unit and will oversee the registered offender unit. Brenner has been employed by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office since 2006 and has served as correctional officer and patrol deputy.

John Knapp has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and will oversee the patrol division of the sheriff’s office. Knapp has been employed with the Osage County Sheriff’s Office since 2005 and has held the ranks of lake patrol deputy and patrol deputy.

Derrick Feliciano has been promoted to sergeant and will oversee the patrol division and the school resource officer program of the sheriff’s office. Feliciano has been employed with the Osage County Sheriff’s Office since 2001 and has served as patrol deputy, school resource officer and investigator. Prior to joining the sheriff’s office, he was employed by the Mulvane Police Department and Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority, and is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

Former undersheriff Jeff Johnson has been promoted to the rank of sergeant and will oversee the criminal and narcotic investigation units. Having been employed with the Osage County Sheriff’s Office since 1995, in addition to undersheriff, Johnson has served as patrol deputy, patrol sergeant and investigator. Johnson is also a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He was also recognized for his 25 years of service to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office.

Sergeant Gerry Nitcher was recognized for 30 years of service to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. Nitcher currently oversees the Osage County Jail operations.

Sheriff Wells wished the promotees the best in their new positions.

“These employees show a great amount of confidence and leadership to assist in leading the sheriff’s office into a new era of respect, integrity, and professionalism,” Wells said.

Wells also congratulated Johnson and Nitcher on the milestones in their service careers.

“We applaud the determination and effort that you both have demonstrated during your time with the sheriff’s office,” Wells said. “We look forward to seeing all the great things we know you both will accomplish in the upcoming years.”

Christmas is here: Osage City opens holiday season with ‘Holly Jolly Celebration’

It seems like it was just Halloween, but this Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, it will be Christmas at Osage City, as the town celebrates Christmas on Market Street. Social distancing and masks will be encouraged for the fun and festive holiday event with this year’s theme of “Holly Jolly Celebration.”

In addition to shopping for gifts, activities will be held throughout the day including biscuits and gravy to go at the senior center, lunch, virtual visits with Santa, 10th Annual Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk, 150th Anniversary Pictorial Postmark, senior center sewing projects, in-store activities, local stores’ gift exhibition, gingerbread house building, barn quilt ornaments, photo booth, farm fun time, bake sale, non-perishable food, gloves, coats, hats and blankets collection drive, raffle drawings, Kansas City Chief’s Wolf mascot, free retail poker run, axe throw, emergency services showcase, child passenger seat check, story time, quarter bingo, and the traditional lighted Christmas parade.

Santa will arrive on a fire truck, but with the need of social distancing, he regrets that he will not get to have the children sit beside him and give him their wish list this year; however, he will have virtual visits 10 a.m. to noon and 2-4 p.m. at the senior center. Children can plan to come to the senior center for a virtual visit with Santa in his workshop and tell him what they want for Christmas. Santa will leave his workshop to ride in the parade and wave to the children along the parade route.

A toy expo at McCoy’s will feature some of the season’s hot toys and electronics with demos and giveaways.

The Christmas on Market Street raffle will have nice items to be given away, and raffle tickets are available up to the time of the drawing. The tickets are being sold at many Osage City businesses including AuBurn Pharmacy, Branded Designs, Canine Country Clips, Furniture Loft, Hair Designs by Diane, Harmon Dental, Marilynn’s Restaurant, McCoy’s RadioShack, Osage City Public Library, Osage Hardware, Ramblin’ Rose, Ridge Iron Grill, Subway, and the senior center the day of the event. The raffle drawing will be held at Sixth and Market. The Chamber encourages everyone to attend the drawing but winners do not need to be present to win.

There will be an additional raffle this year in conjunction with the regular raffle, with Peterson Assisted Living donating a Ruger 10/22 rifle to be given away at the same time as the regular raffle drawing. Gun raffle tickets may be purchased at AG Choice, Bank of Osage City, Barber John, Haskins Oil, NAPA, ORBIS, Osage Hardware, Salt Creek Fitness, and at the senior center on Saturday.

See the schedule of events below:

Cassady joins RCIL as youth transition specialist

OSAGE CITY – Resource Center for Independent Living Inc. has announced Myra Cassady has been employed as a youth transition specialist. She will be based out of the RCIL Emporia office and will be providing youth transition services to assist youth with disabilities ages 14 to 24 as they transition into adulthood.

Myra Cassady

“My vision for the youth transition program is to create a strong community,” Cassady said. “A community that offers support and resources for teens and young adults as they pursue their goals and dreams.”

Cassady has lived in Emporia since 2017 and she considers herself a proud Emporia resident. She will be an Emporia State University graduate in May 2021 with a Recreation major and two minors in Business and Marketing. She is passionate about her community and working with youth. She has spent time as a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Flint Hills Inc. and ESU Special Athletics.

Chamber installs billboards, invites highway travelers to drive 7 minutes to Osage City

Osage City Chamber of Commerce sign committee members gathered at a new billboard Sept. 21, 2020, to celebrate the recent installation of the sign and completion of a long-term project, from left, Casey Mussatto, Joe Humerickhouse, Chamber director Jeanette Swartz, Jim Lohmeyer, and Dave Azwell.

After many years of trying to secure locations, developing designs, and getting bids and references, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce sign committee has replaced a billboard that used to direct people to Osage City from U.S. Highway 75.

In September, Thomas Signs, of Manhattan, erected the billboard about a half mile north of the U.S. 75 roundabout at state highways 31 and 268 on the west side of the highway.

The sign replaced a longtime billboard that used to sit near the location of the roundabout. The former billboard was removed due to the construction of the roundabout, which was completed in 2014.

The sign committee had previously erected an almost identical sign east of the roundabout on the north side of Highway 268. In addition, the Chamber has also installed an information sign at the intersection of state highways 31 and 170 on the west edge of Osage City, and three signs at the city’s limits that denote local amenities. The signs were design by Trevor Keeffe. The city of Osage City assisted with the sign project and the city crew helped prepare the sign sites and clear brush.

The new billboard on U.S. 75 encourages everyone to “Explore Osage City”, an “Outstanding Community”, and points out “Shopping, Recreation, Industry, Schools” are only “7 Minutes” west on Highway 31. The sign also denotes the city’s website, osagecity.com along with Osage City Schools’ mascot logo.

Extension district seeks nominations for conservation honors

The Kansas Bankers Association will again be sponsoring the Conservation Awards Program in Osage County. The KBA, K-State Research and Extension, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism partner each year to announce six conservation award categories: Energy, water quality, water conservation, soil conservation, windbreaks and wildlife habitat.

The purpose of the program is to stimulate a greater interest in the conservation of agricultural and natural resources of Kansas. Each year more than 200 Kansas producers and landowners are recognized through this program. Nominations for these awards can be made by any person in the county. Information about these awards can be picked up at the local Extension office or by visiting the K-State Research and Extension website at http://www.agronomy.k-state.edu/extension.

Nomination forms are available at the Osage County Conservation District office and the Frontier Extension District office, both in Lyndon. The Extension office can also mail nomination forms; call 785-828-4438 for a form.

Nomination forms should be completed and returned to the Frontier Extension District, PO Box 400, Lyndon, KS 66451, by Oct. 5, 2020. Upon receipt of the nomination forms, a committee chaired by Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, will select this year’s winners. Winners will be recognized in early 2021.

Ford Motor Company donates car to FHTC automotive technology program

Flint Hills Technical College’s Automotive Technology program was the recipient of a 2014 Ford Fiesta, donated by John North Ford, working with Ford Motor Company. The vehicle, presented Sept. 10, 2020, at FHTC’s main campus, will be used to provide students with hands-on training, helping prepare them for their careers.

“We are extremely grateful to Ford Motor Company for donating the Ford Fiesta to our automotive technology program and are appreciative of the long relationship we have had with John North Ford, as they were instrumental in making this happen,” said Mike Crouch, FHTC vice president of advancement. “These strong relationships will help to ensure we continue to provide highly trained automotive technicians for the automotive industry for many years to come.”

The car was donated through the Ford Automotive Career Exploration program, a partnership program between Ford Motor Company, educational institutions, franchised dealerships and local communities. The intent of the program is to raise awareness and increase interest in career opportunities within the automotive industry.

Representatives from Ford Motor Company, John North Ford and the Emporia community joined FHTC administration, instructors and students at the Emporia campus for the presentation.

For more information about Flint Hills Technical College, see www.fhtc.edu.

Governor announces personal protective equipment program for Kansas businesses

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has launched a new Business PPE Stopgap program, which provides personal protective equipment to businesses experiencing delays in purchased equipment.

“Businesses in our state have experienced immense challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and they need our support,” Kelly said. “By making sure Kansas business owners have access to the necessary protective equipment when they need it, they can not only protect their employees and customers but also make sure they can stay open for business.” 

County seeks committee members to review local businesses’ CARES Act applications

Osage County Commissioners are seeking interested citizens to serve on a committee to review and make recommendations on applications for Osage County’s CARES Act Economic Development Relief Program. The county’s federal CARES Act budget of around $3 million includes $1,050,000 for the economic development relief fund.

Commissioners announced last week that applications were being accepted from businesses for the local relief fund, with grant limitations, conditions, and total grant funds to be announced. See related story here.

Commissioners announced this week in a notice in a local newspaper they would be considering letters of interest from persons interested in serving on the committee, with a deadline of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, for the letters to be submitted to the county clerk’s office.

Citizens interested in serving on the committee are asked to submit a letter to the commissioners in care of the Osage County Clerk’s Office, by mail to PO Box 226, Lyndon, KS 66451 or delivering it in person.

Applicants must be Osage County residents to be eligible to serve on the committee, and preference will be given to individuals who are not applying for the CARES Act Economic Development Relief Program.

For more information, contact the Osage County Clerk’s Office at 785-828-4812.

Chamber challenges disc golfers in second annual tournament on Osage City course

About 25 disc golfers enjoyed a beautiful morning of sunshine and nice temperatures Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, during the 2nd annual Osage City Chamber Challenge Disc Golf Tournament, held at Jones Park disc golf course.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the tournament, presenting prizes for the winners. Everyone went home with a raffle item donated by Flint Hills Beverage.

The winners for the three levels of participants were:

Advance Male

  • First, Troy Smart; second, Travis Bilyeu; third, Jacob Wade

Intermediate Male

  • First, David Hastings; second, Steve Morrison; third, Ben Corbett

Intermediate Female

  • First, Kelli Orender

Beginner Male

  • First, Kurt Kitselman; second, Jared Kitselman; third, Jim Lohmeyer

Beginner Female

  • First, Dani Kerns; second, Becky Siljenberg; third, Jodi Lohmeyer

Winners of the select events were:

  • Female Longest Drive, Kelli Orender
  • Male Longest Drive, Troy Smart
  • Closest to the hole, Kurt Kitselman
  • Putting Contest, Troy Smart

Osage County encourages eligible businesses to apply for local CARES Act funds

Osage County has announced it has been allocated money through the federal CARES Act to establish an Osage County Small Business Economic Development Relief Grant Program. The program is to assist with immediate and anticipated needs of existing Osage County small businesses negatively impacted by COV1D-19. Negatively impacted small businesses are defined as those with less than 50 employees.

An application is now available on Osage County’s website, osageco.org, under the CARES ACT INFORMATION link. Interested businesses are instructed to download and complete the application and return it by email to [email protected] or in hard copy to the Osage County Clerk’s office. For more information about completing the application, contact Garrett Nordstrom, Governmental Assistance Services, at 816-805-9183, or email [email protected].

CARES ACT grants can be used to pay for working capital, inventory, wages, utilities, rent, and other expenses. To receive funding distributions, businesses must be willing to share financial information such as invoices and payroll amounts to ensure compliance.

Grant award maximums, further details and deadlines will be available as the program is developed by the Osage County Economic Development Relief Grant Program Committee. All grant funds are to be distributed by Dec. 30, 2020.

Interested businesses are encouraged to submit their applications quickly to be considered for relief funds. These funds are available through the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the federal CARES Act. 

Applications open for grants to support businesses affected by COVID

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly today encouraged Kansas businesses to participate in the application process for more than $130 million in grants to support businesses affected by the pandemic and enable companies to expand broadband access in the state. The portal to apply opens at noon Wednesday, August 19.

The application portal for the SPARK economic development and connectivity grant programs will appear online at kansascommerce.gov/covidrelief.

“This is an opportunity to revitalize our economy and for businesses to receive some necessary relief,” Kelly said. “I strongly encourage business owners to apply first thing Wednesday if they are eligible.”

In addition to providing financial relief, grants will be available to businesses whose products and services will be needed in greater volume to help combat the virus and its effects. Funding is also being made available to expand broadband access both through infrastructure improvements and by partnerships with internet service providers to serve low-income households. These grants are funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the federal CARES Act.

This pandemic has affected each sector differently, with industries having distinct needs. Therefore, applications for grants are being made available in the following categories:

Small Business Working Capital Grants

Kansas businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply for Small Business Working Capital grants. Funds can be used to pay working capital expenses such as payroll, rent, mortgage insurance, utilities, inventory, and more. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.

Osage County Community Foundation: Your community, your foundation

Click to download an OCCF grant application.The Osage County Community Foundation serves the Osage County area by helping donors make a lasting difference and improve the lives of people in the local community. Through its grant making opportunities, the Osage County Community Foundation works to bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support nonprofit organizations and others in our community.

As OCCF’s mission statement says: “The Osage County Community Foundation provides a method of giving that represents the ideas and interest of people who want to increase the impact of philanthropy.”

OCCF 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 offers grants through its general fund, which is made up of unrestricted donations to the foundation, and donor advised funds, which are designated for a specific purpose by the donor. As a donor supported foundation, OCCF also continues to seek donations to continue its work in supporting Osage County organizations.

The foundation typically offers two rounds of grants annually. Any organization or group based in Osage County can apply, but preference is given to those that are not directly tax supported or agencies that have taxing authority. General operational expenses are not funded. Following the application deadlines as set each year, the foundation’s board meets to review applications and select recipients.

For more information about donating to the Osage County Community Foundation or the grant application process, contact Perry Thompson at 785-528-3006 or contact one of the foundation’s board members, Joe Humerickhouse, Casey Mussatto, Janet Steinle, Jodi Stark, or Mike Pitts. A grant application is available here. Completed applications should be mailed to the Osage County Community Foundation, PO Box 24, Osage City, KS 66523.

Roadside sales not permitted on Kansas highway right of way

The Kansas Department of Transportation is reminding the public that according to state law, all rights of way on state highways are to be used exclusively for highway purposes. KDOT has jurisdiction over all interstate, Kansas and U.S. routes on the state’s 9,500-mile system.

The violation that occurs frequently is the placement of various signs that are removed and taken to local KDOT offices. However, it is also unlawful for any persons to display on highway right of way outside the city limits any goods, wares or merchandise for sale.

One exception to this is the sale of farm or garden products, but these type of sales must be made exclusively at the entrance to the farm or garden where they were produced, as long as the sales are conducted a safe distance from the traveled way.

Any other location of these sales violates state law and will be removed by KDOT or law enforcement.

Kansans encouraged to “Call-a-Lawyer” for once-a-month free legal advice

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Bar Association and the Topeka Bar Association joined forces in 2017 to  launch a new public service – Call-a-Lawyer – designed to help persons in need of legal advice and information.

The next Call-a-Lawyer will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 11, 2020. Anyone seeking legal advice is encouraged to call 800-928-3111. Callers have the opportunity to speak to volunteer lawyers who donate their time and expertise to answer questions, and provide legal advice and information.

“There is no charge to talk to one of the lawyers during the Call-a-Lawyer event,” said Pat Byers, director of the KBA Lawyer Referral Service. “The COVID-19 quarantine and restrictions have led to questions in so many areas – evictions, workplace safety, domestic abuse, child welfare, substance abuse – to name but a few. Lower income Kansans and many rural Kansans may not have access to affordable legal assistance.”

The volunteers are members of the KBA or the TBA and are able to provide information on many legal issues, including probate, family law (such as child custody, divorce, and adoption), landlord-tenant issues and other matters involving real property and employment (such as wrongful termination, workplace conflicts and employment rights).

Call-a-Lawyer takes place on the second Thursday of each month.

Home Town Health Care: You can still rely on us to be there for you

During a time of your greatest need, Home Town Health Care’s home health and hospice staff is trained and equipped with the most up-to-date information and recommendations from the CDC and KDHE. As Covid-19 continues to spread through counties in Kansas, you can still rely on Home Town Health Care for your home health and hospice needs.

Our nurses and aides are trained on the proper precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect the health of our patients and communities. As others cancel or reduce visits, Home Town Health Care is able to help qualifying patients with lab testing, critical therapy, and medical needs in the safety of your home. We are continuing to help people who have medical needs, are unsafe to leave their homes, or can’t leave.

In this time of uncertainty, you can rest assured that Home Town Health Care will be there to care for you.

Call us at Lyndon 785-310-0000, or Emporia 620-342-2600.

Home Town Home Health and Hospice. There to Care.

Flint Hills Technical College plans for upcoming summer, fall semesters

EMPORIA, Kan. – Flint Hills Technical College President Dean Hollenbeck has outlined the college’s plans for upcoming summer and fall semesters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our primary goal is to continue to provide quality hands-on education while keeping all of our students and employees safe,” Dr. Hollenbeck said. “We are communicating regularly with the Lyon County Health Department and working collaboratively with them to determine best practices moving forward.”

The majority of Flint Hills Technical College summer courses will be moved to an online format, beginning May 26, 2020. Some programs will be meeting in a face-to-face format to complete hands-on components and certifications for these programs. Students will receive notification from their program instructor with additional information.

All those on the FHTC campus will be adhering to the social distancing guidelines from the Lyon County Health Department including six-feet spacing, wearing masks, and frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer.

Marilynn’s reopens for dine-in or carry out service

Marilynn’s Restaurant, a family-owned business on east Highway 31, 1216 Laing St., in Osage City,  has reopened for dine-in or carry out service on Monday, May 4, 2020. Our new hours are 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

We will be offering your favorite burgers, sandwiches, fryer items, and salads, and of course Naomi’s pies! We’ll also be serving up our daily lunch specials Monday through Friday.

Don’t sit at home wondering what’s for breakfast, lunch or supper. Let Marilynn’s fix it for you – DINE IN or come pick it up! Call 785-528-3769 for carry out.

Now OPEN for DINE-IN or CARRY OUT
New hours 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Call 785-528-3769 for carryout or curbside service

Marilynn’s Restaurant, on east Highway 31, 1216 Laing St., in Osage City, Kan., is here to serve you good food and homestyle hospitality Monday through Saturday, plus daily lunch specials Monday through Friday. Call 785-528-3769 for carry out and curbside service.

Check out Marilynn’s daily specials and full menu here: Marilynn’s menu


Thank you signs help fund local pandemic relief efforts

An ongoing fundraiser for the The Greater Emporia Disaster Relief Fund is the sales of “thank you” signs for windows and yards.

The Greater Emporia Disaster Relief Fund was recently organized to support the needs of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage, Wabaunsee, and Woodson counties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Promoting the fund as a donation hub is one way all organizations and individuals in the multi-county region can support local disaster relief efforts during the pandemic. The goal of the collaboration is to provide conduits for donations and for support of nonprofit organizations or businesses, and to collectively help the region weather the impacts of the pandemic.

An ongoing fundraiser, by Emporia Main Street and KVOE, is selling yard and window signs to help raise money for the Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund.

The signs say thank you to “Hometown Heroes” and are 24 inches by 18 inches and printed in full color on both sides. Proceeds from sign sales will go to the Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-19 support. In Osage County, orders placed by noon May 4, 2020, will be available for pickup at Osage Garden and Produce, Osage City, on May 8.

To order signs online, see emporiamainstreet.com. Indicate your pickup location when ordering.

The fund is also accepting donations and donors can designate their donation to be used only in Osage County. Donors are also reminded that if they make a $300 or less charitable donation, the CARES Act allows for up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) in an above-the-line deduction for charitable gifts made in 2020 and claimed on taxes in 2021.

e.b. Sprouts and Flowers: Now open with adjusted hours; it’s time to garden!

At e.b. Sprouts and Flowers, we are now open with adjusted hours:

Monday-Friday 1-5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Call 785-828-4116

We are practicing social distancing as much as possible. Open air market in the back or call in for curbside. It’s time to garden!

We have new pottery, annuals, hanging baskets, herbs and veggie starts, as well as soil amendments, mulch and much more! And as always cool home and yard decor for you and your bird friends.

Call or come by! Thank you for your business!

e.b. Sprouts and Flowers is at 520 Topeka Ave., Lyndon. Call 785-828-4116, email [email protected], or visit www.ebsprouts.com.

Osage City Golf Course to reopen clubhouse

The Osage City Golf Course will reopen its clubhouse for business on Saturday, April 18, 2020, after having closed in response to the pandemic.

From golf course management: “We will adhere to the restrictions set forth to keep everyone safe. You may not come into the clubhouse. Come to the west side door and we will serve your needs from there. The driving range will continue to be closed. Restrooms will be available but only one at a time may come in. You may rent a cart, but only one to a cart unless you are from the same family.”

Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting.

Call ahead for a tee time or if you have questions. Call clubhouse manager Janis Campbell at 785-219-2245 or the course at 785-528-3329.

Let’s all stay safe and play some golf.

Dance Spot offers free online dancing adventures

The Dance Spot, of Alma and Burlingame, is offering all dancers young and old free online dance classes.

“During this crazy time we want our families to save their money for life’s essentials – so we are not charging anything to our dance families, no monthly fees, no hidden costs. We are also giving our competition families refunds or credits to future dance competitions as the events let us know.

“We use our online dance classes for more about fun unique and funny moments we can still share with our dancers. We love them so much and miss them terribly so our goal is to stay connected even if it’s just for a day of stretching hilarious stuff, laughter is the best medicine during this crazy time, so enjoy the fun and join us.”

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