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Work on U.S. 75 through Lyndon to begin July 5

LYNDON, Kan. – A milling and overlay project on U.S. Highway 75 in Osage County is scheduled to begin Tuesday, July 5, weather permitting. The project will cover approximately three miles, from state Highway 68, through Lyndon, to the south end of the state Highway 31 roundabout.

Kansas Department of Transportation reports traffic will be restricted to one lane in the work zone and will be directed by a pilot car, flaggers, signs, and cones. Drivers should plan for delays of up to 15 minutes.

Work will occur Monday through Friday during daylight hours. The project is expected to be completed by mid-August.

Killough Construction Inc., of Ottawa, Kan., is the contractor on the $1.4 million project.

KDOT urges all motorists to be alert and obey warning signs when approaching and driving through a highway work zone. For more information about road construction projects across Kansas, see www.kandrive.org or call 511.

Overbrook invites all to Fourth of July celebration

Fireworks at Overbrook Lake. File photo.

The annual City of Overbrook Independence Day Celebration will be Monday, July 4, 2022. Overbrook Pride hosts the community celebration, which starts off with the bike parade at 11:30 a.m. Riders share free hot dogs and root beer floats after the parade. The city opens up its swimming pool for a free swim, 1-5 p.m. A farmers market will be open at the fairgrounds, 4-6 p.m. Evening fun gets underway about 6 p.m., at Overbrook Lake. The event includes food and activities for the evening, with the finale fireworks display around 10 p.m.

Overbrook Pride is sponsoring a free inflatable water slide for kids, and Overbrook Bible Church is serving free watermelon. Food trucks and food vendors will be on hand to offer a variety of choices for evening refreshments.

Lyndon celebrates Independence Day Saturday

Fireworks at a past Lyndon Independence Day celebration. File photo.

The Lyndon community will celebrate Independence Day this Saturday, July 2, 2022, with a day full of fun and activities at City Park, followed by a parade, then fireworks at nearby Lamont Hill and Vassar.

The fun begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at the park with kids’ races and activities. Free watermelon will be offered at 10 a.m., and the Lyndon United Methodist Church will host a barbecue meal fundraiser.  Food trucks and vendors will also be available for lunch and refreshments. A cornhole tournament starts up at 11 a.m., which is also the pie baking contest deadline. Activities lead up to the 4 p.m. parade on Topeka Avenue from 10th Street to Fifth Street. This year’s parade theme is “Red, White and BOOM!”

Lyndon’s celebration concludes at the Vassar community, with Sharp’s annual firework show at Lamont Hill Golf Course. Everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the show. There will be live music and more. Food and ice cream will be available at Lamont Hill Restaurant.

See the 2022 schedule below:

Traveling exhibit tells story of Osage County’s county seats

Ann Rogers and Lynsay Flory show the historical exhibit “Individuals of Influence,” which is on display now at the Lyndon Library.

The Osage County Historical Society has a new, civics-minded exhibit. “Individuals of Influence,” led by an Osage County archivist, Ann Rogers, gives current Osage County citizens a connection with those who came before them.

The display contains photos and artifacts related to the county seat at Lyndon, but it is important to note the county had several county seats prior to when Lyndon became county seat. Rogers and Lynsay Flory, OCHS director, have written a short history tracing the county seats, and it is available in a free pamphlet at the display. The exhibit is currently on display at the Lyndon Carnegie Library, 127 E. Sixth St., Lyndon, Kan.

“The society would welcome donations of artifacts directly relating to the past county seats,” Rogers said.

Flory noted the exhibit highlights the important history of citizen involvement in local government.

“As we approach a two-year election year, it can be tempting to neglect local and county concerns,” Flory said, “but our exhibit demonstrates the value citizens place on county affairs. To Osage County residents past and present, local and county issues are important.”

The historical society plans to move the exhibit around the county, enabling more people to see it.

Grateful citizens work together to honor those who have fallen

Sprinkles and mud puddles didn’t stop local adults and youth from coming out May 26, 2022 and together decorating Oak Hill Cemetery, near Quenemo, Kan., for Memorial Day. Youth helpers included Bella Reeser, Olivia Lacey, Levi Arb, Gentry McNally, Gradey McNally, Braelyn McNally, and Allie Reeser. Adults not pictured, Caleb McNally, Mike Reagan, Heidi Arb, and Dwayne and Lori Meiers. Photo submitted by Bella Reeser.

Journey of learning continues for Lyndon High School graduates

The 2022 graduates of Lyndon High School. Photo by Chelsi Simpson Photography.

For 32 graduates of Lyndon High School, May 8, 2022, was the day their school-years-journey met a fork in the road, LHS’s 2022 valedictorian Jaeden Parker told the crowd gathered at Nick Dawson Gymnasium.

“Our journey began the first day we stepped foot in the doors of Lyndon Elementary,” Parker said. “Many of us have walked beside each other every step of the way. However, today marks the day that this journey meets a fork in the road, or rather several forks in the road.”

In a tag-team speech, Parker and 2022 LHS salutatorian Kali Moon reminded classmates that though their journey continues, they should not forget lessons the past.

“Before we take those first steps toward the future, we should take a moment to look behind us and acknowledge the path that led us to this moment,” Moon said.

She remembered kindergarten as “when we began learning how to work together as a team.” The duo recounted highlights of their school years, including the “simpler time in our life” in elementary school, the “awkward time” of middle school, and the not-so-glamorous times of high school.

“Granted our high school experience was anything but ordinary,” Moon said. “No one could have expected our high school years to be derailed by a global pandemic.”

Parker talked about all of the lessons learned over the years, but noted that learning continues.

“A common theme across the years for this class is that no matter how old we get, we continue to learn things,” he said.

Moon noted an important lesson learned was the bond that her classmates shared.

“We are more than classmates and we are more than friends. We are all family,” she said.

To finish the speech, Parker took time to also recognize a teacher that had made a significant impact in his life. He explained that as a Governor’s Scholar Award winner, he was given the opportunity to honor a teacher with the award, which he presented to Michael Kaufman. Parker described Kaufman as “a teacher I have had the privilege of having since elementary school – a teacher who has inspired me with their infectious positivity and incredible teaching style.”

During the ceremony, Kylie Ratzlaff, senior class president presented the class key to Taylor Segrist, junior class president. Following the key presentation, Lyndon High School Principal Tanner Smith introduced the guest speaker, Toby Baker, LHS social sciences teacher.

Smith confirmed the Lyndon High School class of 2022 for graduation, and diplomas were presented by USD 421 Board of Education members. LHS 2022 graduates included Ryan Michael Addleman, Trey Christopher-Scot Bazil, Kyler Alvin Bergkamp, Jace Ray Brecheisen, Kaielyn Marie Brooker, Dylan Todd Buckalew, Addyson Mackenzie Easter, Mia Renae Fischer, Mariah Noel Fredricks, Eleanor Kella Harty, Josye Cheyene Hutchcroft, William Andrew Kill, Raylen Dale Krause, Aiyana Morningstar Lacey, Virginia Christine Landtroop, Liam Nicholas Long, Rebecca Marie Love , Kelbi Lyn Markham, Darian Michael Massey, Emma Adeline McMahon, Toby Kegan Miller, Kali Ann Moon, Joshua Daniel Moore, Jaeden Pierce Parker, Maci Rain Ramey, Kylie Lynn Ralzloff, Carter Zaiden Seth, Jada Nicole Seyler-Harting, Grady Cole Smith, Jesse Andrew Stevicks, KaLisa Dawn Stone, and Xandria Grace VanWinkle.

Eat Well to Be Well: Take practical steps for improving poor digestion

Life is usually good when our gut feels good – no bloating, diarrhea, gas or constipation. But when those symptoms rear their ugly head, and for many they do, suddenly your happy-go-lucky life has just taken a turn down the wrong road.

Having a gut that works like a charm the majority, if not all of the time, is one of life’s most valuable health assets. When tummy troubles are under control, we can enjoy life much more. Luckily, good gut health and the ability to digest what we eat without worry can be achieved by most of us when specific steps are taken.

Causes of poor digestion

There can be several reasons why we may experience poor digestion. Here are some common ones many may have:

  • Taking too many over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Eating too many sugary foods and beverages or refined carbohydrates.
  • Too much “bad” bacteria instead of “good” bacteria.
  • Stress.
  • Environmental contaminants.

Signs of poor digestion

Many of us associate poor digestion with the typical symptoms of bloating, gassiness, constipation, or diarrhea. But poor gut health can make itself known by causing other symptoms outside of our abdomen, such as joint pain, unexplained headaches, fibromyalgia, skin problems, sleep disturbances, and fatigue.

Marais des Cygnes Valley 2022 graduates move on to life’s next chapter

2022 graduates of Marais des Cygnes Valley High School. Photo by Jerry Kramer, Kramer Photos.

Encouraging his fellow graduates to use of the knowledge they had learned over the past four years, Marais des Cygnes Valley High School valedictorian Wyatt Lingenfelter quoted from Benjamin Franklin: “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest,” during MdCV’s Saturday afternoon graduation ceremony, May 7, 2022.

Lingenfelter reiterated Franklin’s message in his speech to the graduating seniors gathered for the ceremony. “Knowledge is a huge investment in your future. It is something you can always fall back on,” he said.

He also reminded classmates from where and who they gained that knowledge, recognizing family and faculty for the class’ success.

“Without help from all of you, we would not be the people we are today,” he said.
Lingenfelter was joined in accepting diplomas by 14 graduating classmates, including 2022 salutatorian, Cole Lacey, who reminisced about the class’ journey through high school. Lacey recognized school staff, “You have supported us through this four year journey and have been there when we needed it most” – and parents, “You have been the most supporting, caring, and helpful people we know or ever know.”

Lacey reminded his classmates their journey didn’t end at graduation, “Our future is bright. We are a great group of kids and I know we’ll all go far.”

After presentation of the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School class of 2022 for graduation by USD 456 Superintendent Joe Sample, USD 456 Board of Education members presented diplomas to Dalton Bechtle, Maximus Davis, Madison Flatin, Mary Ingle, Cole Lacey, Angelina Lighfoot, Wyatt Lingenfelter, Jacob McGowin, Katy Parker, AKaylee Prunty, Braden Reed, Hailie Rose, Caden Smith, Riley Spillman, and Chisolm Woodson.

Euclid Lodge donation helps Osage County’s past to be remembered

L.D. Nicolay and fellow Euclid Masonic Lodge members Charles Hanna and Paul Oldham present a grant to Osage County Historical Society members Eileen Davis and Ann Rogers; member Bunny Givens, right. Courtesy photo.

The Osage County Historical Society received a $1,000 grant from the Euclid Masonic Lodge, Lyndon, Kan. Representatives presented the check to members of the historical society, Eileen Davis and Ann Rodgers. The grant will be used to help develop and execute new educational programming for children and families.

Eat Well to Be Well: Asparagus, a perennial spring favorite

One of the most sought-after vegetables usually signaling the arrival of spring is asparagus. Farmers markets and supermarkets are brimming with this “king of vegetables,” aptly named by France’s King Louis XIV, who cultivated them in greenhouses so he could enjoy them throughout the year.

This tender perennial stem vegetable belonging to the Asparagaceae family was considered a prized delicacy by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Asparagus is closely related to Liliaceae plants, which also include onions and garlic. Asparagus is believed have originated along the coastal regions of the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor regions, and is considered one of the oldest known vegetables.

Health benefits of asparagus

Asparagus is naturally rich in many healthy nutrients and compounds we can take advantage of. Therefore, this “king of vegetables” is a must-buy not only for its delicious flavor but to obtain its powerful nutritional benefits:

Willing Workers welcome spring with community service

Willing workers work to clean up Jones Park in Osage City after the annual Smoke in the Spring barbecue contest, front from left, Kassie Thielen,Clara Thielen, Hadley Bosse, and Paige Thielen, back, Reece Wilcoxson, Lelia Wilcoxson, Elisa Wagner, Kaiden Bosse, Avery Thielen, Grace Croucher, Jaiton Bosse, Kevin Whitmer, and Adalynn Wagner. Courtesy photo.

The Willing Workers 4-H Club had a busy April serving the Osage City community. On April 10, 2022, club members cleaned up Jones Park following the Smoke in the Spring event. This is something the club does every year.

The club also met several times to prepare for their first Easter egg hunt. They stuffed more than 3,000 eggs with candy and gifts. On April 16, a large crowd of kids showed up to hunt for the eggs. The club looks forward to making this an annual event, as there is a lot of opportunity to grow the event.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA achieves national honor

Alyssa McCurdy and Olivia Lacey, left, show the National Superior Chapter Award they accepted on behalf of the MdCV FFA Chapter, and Cole Lacey, Braden Reed, and Wyatt Lingenfelter hold their State FFA Degree certificates, all presented at the Kansas East Central FFA District banquet, held April 6, at Eudora. (Not pictured: State FFA Degree designee Akaylee Prunty.) Courtesy photo.

Members of the Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA chapter were recognized at the annual East Central District banquet Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in Eudora, Kan. MdCV FFA members Cole Lacey, Wyatt Lingenfelter, Braden Reed, and Akaylee Prunty achieved the highest honor the Kansas FFA Association can bestow on a member, the State FFA Degree. The degree is awarded annually at the State FFA Convention to those members who have met the minimum qualifications set forth by the Kansas FFA Association and National FFA Organization. The state degree recipients will also be honored at the Kansas FFA Convention late this spring in Manhattan.

MdCV FFA members Olivia Lacey and Alyssa McCurdy also attended the banquet as delegates representing the chapter in electing the newly installed 2022-23 East Central District officers. They also represented the chapter as it was recognized a National Superior Chapter Award honoree.

FFA’s National Chapter Award Program is designed to recognize FFA chapters that actively implement the mission and strategies of the organization. Chapters are rewarded for providing educational experiences for the entire membership.

Melvern Jr. Highline members host community Easter celebration

The afternoon of Saturday, April 16, 2022, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members held their annual Easter egg hunt at Melvern City Park. Members met before the April club meeting to fill the eggs, then met at noon on Saturday to clean the park of tree limbs and trash, lay out the markers for age groups, and throw out candy and eggs. Club members helping with the event Saturday included, from left, Anna Arb, Braelyn McNally, Amelia Arb, Bella Reeser, Allie Reeser (Easter Bunny), Gradey McNally, Landon Roy, Justin Brinkley, Levi Arb, and Owen Arb.

Olivet farmer still busy with lifelong job after 50 years with highway department

Soybeans have been a major cash crop for Kathy and Glen Tyson on their farm near Olivet, in Osage County. Courtesy photo.

Working one job for half a century is a major accomplishment but Glen Tyson has been in his “second profession” even longer.

“Well, after 13,331 days, February 28, 2022, was my last day with the Osage County Highway Department,” Tyson said.

During those five decades, the Olivet man has also been what most would also consider a full-time farmer.

“I’ve had two jobs, a day job and an evening and weekend job,” Tyson admitted. “I was farming before I worked for the highway department, and I plan to keep right on farming.”

Announcing his retirement officially publicly with a Facebook post, Tyson instantly got a complimentary rebuttal. “All those hours on the official clock don’t include your overtime nights and weekends, Saturday and Sundays,” an acquaintance posted.

“It was all part of the job, which worked well with the farming,” Tyson said. “My last day was tough saying goodbye to a bunch of very good friends and employees. They’re the ones who’ve been so important in making my career much more than just a job.”

LTE: Car show cooks up business during annual cruise-in

Dear Editor,

What is the economic benefit of the Twin Lakes Cruisers’ Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show to the community? It is bringing in over 250 vehicles (with approximately two people per vehicle) and 1,000 plus spectators to the downtown area in a six to eight hour period of time. Purchases of food, items of interest, future return shopping, the exposure of the business community is tremendous. It creates a fun atmosphere of viewing all types of vehicles, old and new, good music, entertainment, people visiting and having an enjoyable time.

Saturday, April 9, 2022, marked the 18th annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto show sponsored by the Twin Lakes Cruisers. The downtown streets were rumbling with the thunder of cars, trucks, vans, classic, muscle, antiques, street rods, rat rods and motorcycles ranging from the 1929 and before to the 2000 and after eras. We were excited this year to include in the show two electric cars in the mix of the other vehicles. They were a 2021 Tesla and 2015 Tesla. The drivers made a weekend trip starting from Colorado Springs and Littleton, Colo., on Friday, arriving in Topeka Friday and coming to Osage City Saturday for the show and traveling back to Colorado on Sunday. They were very interesting to visit with, and were anxious to share information and enjoyed answering questions about the electric cars with the interested spectators. They even gave a couple of the group a ride after the show.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers welcomed approximately 275 entries coming from Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado and all parts of Kansas. Throughout the day included approximately 1,000 plus spectators that enjoyed viewing the vast array of vehicles that lined both sides of Market Street from Fourth Street to Seventh Street and also the side streets on Sixth Street.

Arvonia School kicks off 150-year celebration with outdoor concert

The Arvonia Historic Preservation Society has plans for several events for the 150th anniversary of Arvonia School. The celebration will begin with a concert by Tina Barrett and Zak Putnam.

Everyone is invited to attend the outdoor concert 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 24, 2022, in front of the Arvonia School, and bring lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic, snack and refreshment of choice.

Located in the Welsh settlement of Arvonia, Kan., is the Arvonia School. Built in 1872, the school is one of the few remaining buildings designed by pioneer Kansas architect John G. Haskell. It is one of the earliest-known architect designed schools in the state. The building was constructed by Welsh craftsman James Rice. It has become a Kansas icon, immortalized in the art of photography and legend of the region. The school is on the Reigister of Historic Kansas Places and the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been restored in the past several years.

In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the township hall. For more information, contact Susan Evans Atchison at 620-794-3917. Arvonia is located four miles north of Lebo and is on the southwest side of Melvern Lake.

More activities are planned this year to celebrate the beautiful historic school building, including another concert in the fall.

BBQ Celebration: Spring winds blow clouds of smoke into Osage City

Last Call Heroes BBQ, Travis Duffy, Emily Wickstrom and their dog, Bernie, accept this year’s grand champion award at Smoke in the Spring, Osage City. Courtesy photo.

A strong Kansas wind blew more than 94 barbecue teams into Osage City last weekend. Only one team headed home as Smoke in the Spring’s grand champion. Claiming this year’s title in the April 9, 2022, contest was Last Call Heroes BBQ, with head cook Travis Duffy, of Pierre, S.D.

Duffy described winning Smoke in the Spring as a “bucket list” contest.

“It only takes one look at the past winners of this contest, the caliber of cooks it draws to the event, the community impact the event has, the size of the check you get for winning, it makes this one of the biggest KCBS contests of the year,” Duffy said. “We’ve struggled a bit here in the past, but it takes a very technical cook and some luck to have a chance in a field of both teams and judges that are tough. But we just keep diggin’!”

The South Dakota team competed against 93 other teams from 11 states in the Osage City contest, which celebrated its 19th year this year.

Last Call Heroes BBQ won the grand champion designation with 700.0228 points, taking first place in ribs, fourth place in chicken, 28th in pork, and 37th in brisket. With the win, the team also won recognition for placing in the “700 Club”, which means they earned over 700 points in the competition.

Taking the reserve grand champion spot was a team from Gardner, Kan., High i Que BBQ, with Randy Vanslyke as head cook. The reserve champ team won by placing 43rd in chicken, fifth in ribs, fourth in pork, and 15th in brisket, totaling 699.9772 points.

Winning third place was another team from Gardner, Fergolicious BBQ, with head cook Richard Fergola, a veteran Smoke in the Spring competitor. Fegrolicious took 40th in chicken, seventh in ribs, 20th in pork, and secured their third place spot with second in brisket, totaling 699.3600 points.

Hidden History: Deaf education helps early settlers cope with silence on the prairie

Photo of the printing class from History of the Kansas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, 1893.

Perry Barnes and his wife Lizzie, like others anxious to take advantage of the newly opened Sac and Fox reservation lands, moved to Osage County in 1866. However, Perry and Lizzie were unlike other settlers – they were both deaf and non-speaking.

Perry and Lizzie settled south of Osage City. While they were different than other settlers, Perry and Lizzie were also not like many other deaf individuals at that time. Both had been educated at schools for the deaf, and Perry had even taught at one. Because he was given a chance at education, Perry became an avid reader and also a successful farmer and stockman.

Even though Perry and Lizzie left Osage County by 1870, evidence of his time here remains, the name of the creek adjoining their property became known as Mute Creek.

Educational possibilities for the deaf in Kansas started with the Kansas Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb in 1861, which was only a small house school in Baldwin City at that time. While the founders desired to impact area deaf children, it was quite some time before their services would be made more widely available. And so, the deaf of the Kansas interior at the time were left adrift in society and few had the knowledge of how to best meet their needs.

In some cases, deaf individuals were cared for at the county poor farm or floated about. One young Burlingame boy was reported in 1883 to have been given a bottle of whiskey and a cigar as he wandered the neighborhoods.

National Deaf History Month is recognized and celebrated every year from March 13-April 15 to recognize the accomplishments of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

The deaf school became established in 1866 at Olathe and reached a period of growth and outreach in the 1880s, when it changed its name to the to Kansas Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. At this time it and began working on integrating deaf students into society instead of merely separating them from it.

The school in Olathe offered free tuition to students and did not charge for board or clothes washing, which put an education within the grasp of most young deaf or hard of hearing people. Students were accepted as early as age 8, enrolled for a 10-year course of study. The school year ran from September to June, and the students would board at the school during that time. At the end of the term, the students often would be carpooled (for a fee) back to their homes across the state.

Within a decade of growth for the school after its expansion in the 1880s, the school doubled in size. There were 17 teachers in the literary departments, and trades like cabinet making, shoe making, harness making, printing, and baking were taught to the boys, and home skills or the arts to the girls.

Ads ran in Osage County newspapers promoting the school, and many families started to take advantage of the offer. Among the first students from Osage County to attend the deaf school in Olathe were Constance Morell, of Osage City, and Fred Allen, of Burlingame.

Like many at the school, Constance was not born deaf, but due to accident or illness, lost her hearing when she was about six. Her parents first sought out assistance from a doctor in Atchison to no avail. She began attending the institute in Olathe in 1887 and excelled in the art of drawing and painting under the direction of teacher Jessie Zearing, an Osage City native.

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