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Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Rotisserie Chicken and White Bean Soup

There’s nothing like an Italian-inspired hearty and healthy chicken and white bean soup that soothes the soul!

Nothing says “comfort food” quite like a hot, steaming bowl of chicken soup. No matter the time of year, but especially when temps take a dip and the north wind blows, chicken soup with a side of crusty bread and a glass of wine always sounds good.

Chicken soup really does warm the heart and soul. And with just the right amount of soothing, mouth-watering appeal and taste, along with a healthy compliment of nourishing ingredients, here’s a chicken soup recipe that will be your comfort go-to food time and time again.

What’s especially nice is to use an already prepared store-bought rotisserie chicken offering incredible versatility, saving you precious time in preparing the chicken yourself. And no worries – a store-bought rotisserie chicken still provides a flavorful “homemade” chicken soup taste that’s come to life.

I used a rotisserie chicken with mild seasoning – both plain and lemon-pepper work well. If you like a richer flavor, be sure to add meat from the wings and some of the bones to the broth. Creamy white beans are used in place of traditional noodles, making this soup a protein-packed meal. Fresh sage provides a nice herby and savory vibe to the stock. Add in a few carrots and celery and you’ve got deliciousness waiting for you to experience how good it is.

This hearty, warming bowl of chicken soup is just steps away and is incredibly easy and fast to put together. Read on, I’ll walk you through it.

Don’t be tardy! Vassar hosts annual festival of fun at schoolhouse

Vassar will be full of fun during its annual celebration of fall, the Vassar Funfest, which features a parade, car show, and costume contest on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. The festival will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and the parade gets underway at 11, starting at the Vassar Post Office. The day continues with a fall arts and crafts show, pie contest, kids’ crafts, and car show, all centered at the Vassar Schoolhouse.

Event details:

  • Fall arts and crafts show; crafters, antiques, home businesses; call Windy Hogan, 251-583-2704.
  • Car show; register by 10:30 a.m. at shelter house in Vassar Park. Dash plaques, trophies, door prizes. For more information, contact Greg Thill, 785-221-9024.
  • Pie contest; drop off and register entries at the shelter house by 10:30 a.m.
  • Games for all ages; minnow races; money in a hay stack.
  • Kids’ crafts in Vassar School; pumpkin painting, cookie decorating.
  • Costume parade at 11 a.m.; kids come dressed for the parade; families and neighbors encouraged to decorate vehicles, golf carts, trailers; car show participants; all invited to join the parade. Meet at 10:45 a.m. at the Vassar Post Office. Costume judging by age groups will be after the parade.
  • Concessions, homemade pie, homemade chili.
  • Live music will be performed by Constant Praise Band.

For more Funfest information, contact Sherri Coffman at 785-828-4810.

Hidden History: Doodlebug, the little train that touched ‘every person’s life’ in Melvern

Photo of the Doodlebug M.177, in 2011, at Los Angeles, Calif., by Jd from RR Picture Archives.Net.

When Leona Knight Shaffer was a young girl in Melvern, Kan., in the 1930s, her father, Edward, was employed by the Santa Fe Railroad as a section laborer. One of the rewards for her dad’s labors was a pass issued to him, his wife, and minor children.

For a long time whenever Edward or his family wanted to go anywhere on a train, they had to order a pass, but later passes were issued annually with the eligible names on the pass. With the passes, the family had the opportunity to travel wherever the passes were honored.  Most of the time the family rode on the local Doodlebug.

Doodlebug M.177 was a passenger train that was built in 1929 and designated by the number M.177. It ran from Emporia to Lawrence, 1930 to 1933 and  in 1936, Kansas City to Newton, in 1937, and Burlingame to Alma,  1941 to 1943.

The following is Leona’s account of Melvern’s “Doodlebug”, which “touched every person’s life” in Melvern, she said.

The little train, or “doodlebug,” as we called it, made a daily run through Melvern, between Emporia and Lawrence. This train was the only mode of transportation for most of the people in this small town, because of the majority of the men worked on the Santa Fe in some capacity, and most of them didn’t have automobiles.

The little train was pretty small, but we all thought it was “just right.” I can recall the train having an engine, coal car, baggage car, and the passenger car. At the back of the passenger car was a railing where people could stand if they wanted to. There was no need for a larger train. If a person were going anyplace very far, there was always more passenger trains that were available. Most of us were not going anyplace other than the little towns close by.

One thing on the little train that fascinated us smaller children was the fact that there was a real honest to goodness modern toilet at the end of the passenger car. None of us were used to such a modern convenience. All we had was a “path” to the outhouse behind the house. As soon as we got on the train and got our seats, one of us would have to go to the toilet. It was so nice to sit on a nice modern stool seat with some water in the bowl. We were used to just an old hole and it was a smelly place at that. We all took turns going to the restroom.

The wives of the Santa Fe employees got the most use of the doodlebug. On Saturday afternoons after payday, the women rode the little train over to Ottawa to do their shopping. Some bought their groceries, others got clothing or household items, others just went for the ride to get out of town for a while. This was a pretty good form of recreation. The ladies could catch up on all the gossip because most of them didn’t have a telephone. A few had radios, but lots of them did not even have electricity, and of course the wonderful invention of TV was unheard of. For many of the ladies, this was the only time that they met for conversation, and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

Chamber hosts disc golfers for fall tournament at Osage City

Players get ready to tee off at the fall Chamber disc golf tournament. Osage City Chamber photo.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has announced its Fall Fling Fest Disc Golf Tournament was a success. Approximately 20 participants enjoyed a beautiful but windy day, Oct. 9, 2021, for the tournament at the Jones Park Disc Golf Course, at Osage City, Kan.

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

Winners were determined for three levels of participants.

Men’s advanced: Jacob Wade, first place; Wyatt Orender, second place; David Hastings, third place.

Men’s intermediate: Todd Hensley, first place; Luke Orender, second place; Kurt Kitselman, third place.

Women’s intermediate: Kelli Orender, first place.

Men’s novice: Jason Butterfield, first place; Devin Trout, second place; Noah Powell, third place.

Women’s novice: Marisa Zimmerman, first place.

Closest to the pin winner: Noah Powell.

Men longest drive: Jason Butterfield.

Women longest drive: Kelli Orender.

The Osage City Chamber would like to thank the sponsors that supported the tournament and are looking forward to a larger participation for 2022.

Osage County Historical Society: Setting out on the road of least resistance

Osage County Historical Society annual meeting and community gathering will be Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Burlingame Schuyler Museum, 117 S. Dacotah St., Burlingame, Kan.

The society will hold its business meeting at 4:45 p.m., followed by a soup supper at 5 p.m. The featured speaker will be local historian Wendi Bevitt, who will speak at 5:30 p.m. on “The Road of Least Resistance: Osage County and the Santa Fe Trail”.

Tickets for the event are $15 each or $20 for two tickets; available at the Osage County Historical Society, the Burlingame Schuyler Museum, or by calling 785-828-3477. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Old photo, age unknown, shows downtown Burlingame in the past. Courtesy photo.

Overbrook Fair 4-H Pet Show gives opportunities for learning, confidence building

A pet show exhibitor at the Overbrook Osage County Fair, held Aug. 14, 2021, explains how she cares for her pet chicken. Michael Turner photo.

By Pet Show Superintendent Marty Young

The last show of the Overbrook Osage County Fair was held Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, at the Overbrook Fairgrounds show arena. Twenty-one children participated in the show, 11 enrolled in 4-H and 10 in the open class. A wide variety of pets were on display, including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, goats, chickens, fish, even a hermit crab and a miniature donkey. An awards ceremony was held after the show. All of the children were awarded ribbons and refreshments were served.

The pet show at the Overbrook Osage County Fair has steadily increased in popularity over the last few years. This year was by far the biggest show in recent history. The 4-H Pet Project provides an opportunity for younger children to gain experience in areas such as public speaking, project learning, leadership, and confidence-building, all while having fun.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club: Neighboring clubs hold joint meeting at Melvern Lake

Melvern Jr. Highline and Lyndon Leaders 4-H club members enjoy a presentation on the history of Melvern Lake, presented by a park ranger. Bella Reeser photo.

Melvern Jr. Highline September 4-H Meeting

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held their monthly club meeting at the Overlook Shelter House at Melvern Lake. At 5:02 p.m. both the Melvern Jr. Highline and Lyndon Leaders 4-H clubs had the honor of a program presentation of the history of Melvern Lake by a Melvern park ranger. At 5:34 p.m. the September meeting was called to order by President Braelyn McNally. The club began their meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge led by Leader Caleb McNally.

Secretary Amelia Arb called roll, members and parents were to answer with ‘If you could have one super power, what would it be?’ There were 12 members and eight adults present.

Amelia read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read. Braelyn read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.  Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted one article to the newspaper.

In historian report, Historian Allie Reeser shared 4-H memories from Gaylene Ryan, former MJH leader.

In leader’s report, Lisa Reeser reminded members to read over meeting notes sheet: Thank yous to all awards contributors, Kansas State Fair is this week, record books are due September 22, newspaper forms are due Sept. 22, and at the next meeting we will create posters for National 4-H Week.

At 5:49 p.m. it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. Both clubs then enjoyed a BBQ hot dog cook out for refreshments, then walked down to the beach to swim for recreation.

The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, at Melvern Community Center.

Eat Well to Be Well: Could you be calcium deficient and not know it?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the human body, with 99 percent stored in the bones and teeth, and is necessary for strong bone structure. The roles of calcium are critical for body functioning, but many adults, adolescents and children do not consume enough calcium-rich foods.

Many people may think that calcium is primarily needed during childhood when the body is rapidly growing. The belief is that once calcium has been deposited into the bones, it stays there forever, that once it is built, it is inert, like a rock. That is not true. The minerals of bones are in constant flux, with formation and dissolution taking place every minute of the day and night. In fact, almost the entire adult human skeleton is remodeled every 10 years.

Skipping consuming dairy foods due to believing calcium intake is not that important, will likely set you up for a calcium deficiency. Would you know the signs and symptoms if you are calcium deficient and more importantly, how to prevent it?

Signs of calcium deficiency

No matter what the cause of calcium deficiency may be (diet, medication, etc.), the symptoms remain similar. Individuals who need to be most concerned and aware of these symptoms are vegans, who consume no dairy foods, which are the biggest and best contributors of calcium. Vegans also need to be mindful of running the risk of being deficient of other nutrients, like vitamin B12, iron, and zinc.

Here are possible signs you may have a calcium deficiency:

  • Muscle aches and cramps, especially in the legs
  • Numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, legs, and feet
  • Dry skin
  • Severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms

Anyone who has these symptoms or is high-risk for calcium deficiency should follow-up with their doctor. The longer calcium deficiency continues the higher chance for developing osteoporosis, severe dental problems of bone loss in the jaw, depression, chronic joint and muscle pain, and bone fractures.

On Windy Hill: Pondering promises broken and kept

Fulfilling old promises, a new Highway 31 is under construction adjacent to the old highway between Osage City and U.S. Highway 75. File photo.

Sitting at my desk, looking out over the windy hill on a warm fall day, the phone rang.

“Osage County News, this is Wayne.”

“Hello Wayne, this is Laura Kelly.”

Not every day does the Kansas governor call me, though it wasn’t exactly a surprise. The previous week, I had received an invitation to talk the governor for 15 minutes. Though a little puzzled about why Gov. Kelly would want to talk to me, I gladly accepted the invitation and considered it an honor. I had a few days to prepare, but I was still nervous about talking to possibly the most important person in Kansas.

Was there anything specific you wished to talk about? I asked.

Gov. Kelly listed some topics she could cover: Kansas’ agriculture industry, economic development progress, transportation, COVID-19, leaving it up to me which to talk about in 15 minutes. After first wasting minutes talking about the weather – a warm, windy fall day the governor said she was unable to go outside to see – I asked about her outreach to media, such as this interview with me. She explained she wants to communicate with Kansans as much as possible, and conversing with local media is one way to connect to people such as those who live in Osage County.

“Folks like you reach the eyes and ears of Kansans, and I appreciate your willingness to talk to me,” the governor said (to me!)

As a topic on the minds of many Osage County drivers, I steered our conversation to transportation and the currently under-construction state Highway 31. Osage County citizens have waited dozens of years for K-31 improvements, having been promised a new seven-mile stretch to Osage City several times in the last 15 years or so, only to have the road pulled out from under us due to sketchy politics.

Just last year, our area’s state Representative Blaine Finch assured me the highway was going to be built, and I told him I’d believe it when I saw the bulldozers. Now, the bulldozers have arrived and a complete new highway is well under construction. I finally believe it!

“Thank you, governor, for any part you had in finally getting this highway built,” I told her. She explained how the project finally came about, saying she knew about the broken promises made to Osage County and other parts of the state over the past years.

“I actually have been very well aware of the K-31 project,” the governor said, “because of Sen. Anthony Hensley.”

Sheriff asks for citizens’ help in identifying burglary suspects

OVERBROOK, Kan. – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying suspects believed to be involved in a storage facility burglary that happened Sunday near Overbrook, Kan.

The sheriff’s office reported the suspects and their vehicles were caught on video surveillance cameras, and has issued photographs to assist in their identification.

The sheriff’s office reported that between 7:40 and 7:50 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2021, two vehicles entered the Southbrook Storage facility at 16821 S. Shawnee Heights Road, south of Overbrook, and the occupants burglarized a storage unit.

The vehicles appear to be a Chrysler PT Cruiser and a dark colored Chevrolet extended-cab pickup. One suspect caught on video has on a light-colored T-shirt with “ECKO UNLTD” on the front, a light-colored cap, possibly with a sticker on the bill, light-colored baggy shorts, dark shoes, a watch, and tattoos on the left forearm.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office asks that anyone with information to contact investigators at 785-828-3121, or to remain anonymous, contact Osage County Crime Stoppers at 877-OSCRIME. Tips can also be emailed to [email protected].

Below are photos recorded during the incident and provided by the sheriff’s office.

Carbondale celebrates autumn with splash of colors

Santa Fe Trail High School KAY Club hosted a color dash and walk and a separate color throw at the Carbondale Fall Festival, held last weekend. As shown, a good time was had by all participants. Photo by Mary Burgett, SFTHS KAY Club sponsor.

KDOT schedules more blasting for K-31 realignment project

Update: The schedule for blasting along state Highway 31 has been revised to occur daily for up to three weeks. Beginning Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, one blast will occur between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily, Monday to Friday, weather permitting. Blasting is not scheduled to happen on weekends. Drivers should expect up to a 15-minute delay.


Additional blasting work along the state Highway 31 reconstruction project in Osage County has been scheduled. Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, through Friday, Sept. 24, one blast will occur every other day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., weather permitting. No blasting will take place on weekends. Drivers should expect up to a 15-minute delay.

The controlled blasts are scheduled to be conducted as part of the realignment of the section of K-31 east of Osage City. KDOT previously announced blasting areas will be closed for up to 15 minutes at a time while blasts take place. Flaggers will stop traffic around the blasting area three minutes prior to a blast. Traffic will be released as soon as the all clear signal is given. Audible sirens will also be sounded before and after the blast: three short sirens one minute prior to the blast and one long siren after the area is all clear.

From your closet to the Prom Closet

The 2021 Prom Closet was held in Burlingame and featured more than 75 dresses. Dress donations are welcomed for the next prom store in 2022. Courtesy photo.

Help House welcomes dresses for next year’s prom store

Help House’s Prom Closet was a success for about 20 girls who went home with free prom dresses. Due to the benefit the event provides local prom goers, Help House has tentatively scheduled another Prom Closet for February 2022.

The prom store works with donations of women’s and girls’ dresses, especially those suitable for prom or formal celebrations. Perhaps someone moving out and going to college might find they have prom dresses they don’t plan to wear again hanging in the closet? Help House would welcome them to add to the collection for the Prom Shop next year. They must be clean with no stains and in good shape.

For more information, contact Help House at 785-828-4888.

Eat Well to Be Well: Follow sensible weight loss tips that actually work

Build long-term habits with practical lifestyle changes for weight loss success

It’s challenging to eat a healthy diet when living in a drive-thru, ultra-processed food world. Food temptations seem to be everywhere. And forget gimmicky, fad diets when trying to reach a healthier body weight. Just like buying a pair of shoes, there’s no one size fits all when it comes to weight loss.

The latest stats show that more than 70 percent of Americans are overweight to obese. This is especially troubling during the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Several studies have shown a direct association of obesity as a major risk factor for developing more severe illness, hospitalization, and death if infected with this virus.

When it comes to weight loss, scientific evidence-based guidance is a more appropriate direction to follow. It’s well-documented that two major components for weight loss success are choosing healthier foods while reducing calories and increasing physical activity. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Not really. We’re human and sometimes our best laid-out plans may fail for various reasons.

But there’s a third component that is just as crucial as the first two. This third component often makes or breaks your success in not only meeting weight loss goals, but prevents you from slipping and gaining back weight you previously had lost.

What is this third component? It’s called behavior modification. Think of it as little tricks of the trade when it comes to weight loss.  Behavior modification boils down to focusing on healthy behaviors. If you lead with these behaviors, the weight loss will usually follow. By prioritizing this third component, you’ve armed yourself with essential weight loss tools,  getting focused as you start your journey in reaching a healthy body weight.

Below are various behavior modification tools; you can pick and choose which ones you need to work on the most:

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers learn about agriculture, grow leadership skills

MdCV FFA officers Cole Lace, Lindsey Johnson, Wyatt Lingenfelter, Jace Stucker, Olivia Lacey, and Braden Reed learn about the milling process of different wheat varieties from KSU Milling Instructor Fran Churchill and KSU Instructor Jason Watt. Courtesy photo.

The 2021-22 Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA Chapter officers took advantage of building leadership and personal growth, spending July 6-8, 2021, at Tuttle Creek State Park, Manhattan, Kan., for an officers’ retreat. During the retreat, the officers worked to enhance leadership skills, bonded as a team, enhanced personal growth, and organized the chapter’s program of activities for the year.

Officers spent the first day touring the Kansas State University’s College of Milling and Feed Science, and challenging themselves at Locked Manhattan’s Escape Room. The second day, officers worked on the program of activities, played a round of disc golf, swam, fished, enhanced personal growth around the campfire, and, of course, ate ice cream at KSU Call Hall. The morning of the third day the group traveled to Marysville to tour the new Agriculture Education facility. Thanks to Ms. Ebert and Ms. Siemen for showing us around the incredible complex.

The MdCV FFA officers, Cole Lacey, president, Wyatt Lingenfelter, vice-president, Lindsey Johnson, secretary, Braden Reed, treasurer, Jace Stucker, reporter, Olivia Lacey, sentinel, and Alyssa McCurdy, student council, are excited about getting the year started and have some incredible development activities for the chapter members and community planned for the upcoming year. Some of those activities include the annual organizational luau, SAE member tour, Seitz sales, elementary agriculture presentations, walk-in movie nights, highway cleanup, Ag Awareness Day, and a hunger awareness presentation and activity. Follow the chapter at the Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA website mdcvffa.weebly.com and Facebook/mdcvffa.com for upcoming events.

Hidden History: Young Kansas invites young Americans to settle as agrarians

As Kansas emerged, first as a territory and then a state, early pioneers sought to create towns to entice additional settlers to desirous locations. The town of Young America, in what was later to become Osage County, was one of these locations. Built on the premise that the everyday farmer could find success in selling the produce from his small estate, Young America attempted to draw in settlers to its remote location in the interior of the United States.

The first settlement of the claim later to be known as Young America was by a middle-aged man named Carter B. Griffin. Griffin came with the flood of Missourians in 1854 intent on settling Kansas to make it a slave state. Griffin chose a plot of land on the edge of the Sac and Fox reservation, on what is now the northwestern part of Pomona Lake, to establish his claim.

Settlement by Euro-Americans within Indian reservations was prohibited for individuals without direct ties to the tribes, but Griffin utilized a nearby trail that led from the Indian agency to the Pottawatomie reservation to the northwest to trade with the tribes. The nearest neighbors, Fry McGee and his family, also pro-slavery Missourians, were north of Griffin’s claim by 10 miles, also along 110 Mile Creek.

Griffin’s location, like McGee’s, was partially wooded and offered a good location for hunting and fishing. To improve his claim, Griffin built a log cabin and dug a well. After a little more than a year, Griffin left his claim and returned to property he still held in Missouri.

In the spring of 1856, the Griffin claim was assumed by a Mississippian by the name of Smith, who built an additional three log cabins at the site for himself and a number of enslaved individuals he had brought with him. Smith used his labor force to break out 45 acres of prairie land. When the tide within the territory began shifting as 1856 wore on, Smith left, selling his human property in Missouri and returning to Mississippi.

Lyndon Lions: Serving up a new school year

Lions Club servers at Lyndon Schools included, from left, Barb Schattak, Carol Roush, Alyssa Morford, Lori Neilson, Tory Neilson and Pam Bilyeu. Courtesy photo.

On Aug. 16, 2021, the Lyndon Lions Club served lunch to 48 teachers and staff members of USD 421 Lyndon, in the Lyndon school cafeteria. Everyone enjoyed pulled pork, potato salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and cookies.

The Lions’ efforts provided a big “shout out” to teachers and staff who work to educate local students.

Lyndon Leaders relax at pool party after busy summer

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members at the Osage County Fair. Courtesy photo.

By Morgan Young, Club Reporter

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club has had a busy summer! For the meeting in June, the club had a farm tour, where they visited five different members’ farms to see and learn about their livestock projects, including goats, hogs, sheep and beef. The tour ended with a brief meeting and potluck dinner.

July 3, 2021, the club joined in on the Independence Day festivities in Lyndon by participating in the parade and serving BBQ at the park.

The following week, club members were busy preparing for the Osage County Fair, in Osage City. Lyndon Leaders had a bunch of members participate in livestock and projects in the building. It was a successful fair for the club; many ribbons and awards were received.

The club celebrated the completion of the first county fair of the year at a swim party on July 21.

Lyndon Leaders are looking forward to selling mums again this year. If you would like to buy some, please contact a member as soon as possible. Orders are due by Aug. 20.

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