Category Archives: Featured

Rains and flooding bog down local state parks and Corps campgrounds

Earlier this week, Corps staff closed the main road just south of the Wolf Creek Park entrance, at Pomona Lake, and asked visitors to not drive around the barricade. USACE photo.

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has reported that recent frequent heavy rains are impacting some state parks in eastern Kansas. High water levels at area Corps reservoirs have flooded campgrounds, overtopped roads, closed boat ramps and beaches and dampened visitors’ enthusiasm for any outdoor activities.

In Osage County, campgrounds have been impacted at Pomona Lake and Melvern Lake due to high levels of retained water at those lakes. (See related story: Corps plans public meeting on high water conditions at Pomona and Melvern lakes) Recent rains have also affected the trail conditions on the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

Eisenhower State Park at Melvern Lake remains open as of May 22, 2019. The lake is 16.01 feet above conservation level, and outflow is 20 cubic feet per second minimum. The lake is projected to be 18.8 feet above conservation level by May 30. Park staff is shutting down all the electrical connections in Blackjack and Abilene campgrounds. Almost all primitive sites are underwater, and the beach and beach restroom are closed.

Corps of Engineers campgrounds closed at Melvern Lake include:

  • Arrow Rock: Sites 8-10, 12-15, 19 and 35-45 are closed through June 30, 2019; sites 6 and 7 are closed through June 20.
  • Coeur d’Alene: Sites 9-32 are closed through June 30.
  • Turkey Point: Sites 1-8 and 23 are closed through May 30; sites 9-22 are closed through June 30; site 30 is closed through May 28 (closure extension to come); Group Camp closed through June 30. More closures are expected in the Turkey Point Campground to come in the following days. Arrow Rock and Coeur d’Alene closure extensions possible. Should these sites come out from under water and be cleaned up before their closure end date, they will be opened up for reservations.
  • Outlet Park remains unaffected by this flood event.
  • All boat ramps have stopped charging fees and the courtesy docks have been pulled.

At Pomona Lake, Pomona State Park is open. The lake is 23.26 ft above conservation level, and outflow is 15 cfs minimum. The lake is about 9 feet from going over the spillway. The lake is projected to 26 feet above conservation level by May 31. The marina started moving all houseboats off the water as of Wednesday, and also shut down all electrical service to the marina area.

Big Bear Campground is closed. The Kansa shower building is closed. Staff is closing six sites on the marina side of Kansa Campground and all Kansa primitive sites. The park road to east side of the park is closed; the back gate is open on the county road.

Corps campgrounds closed at Pomona Lake include:

  • Wolf Creek Park – All sites remain closed and will be through the weekend. All reservations for Memorial weekend have been cancelled and fully refunded.
  • Michigan Valley Park – Loops A, B, C, D, E, F and G are closed, and will remain closed through the weekend.
  • Adams Grove and Cedar Park remain closed. Coon Creek crossing is still closed and will likely be through the weekend. All Corps boat ramps remain closed.

The Flint Hills Trail remains open with the surface firm in most locations.

Osage County Cemeteries: Map and list updated 2019

No Name No. 8 Cemetery, near Lamont Hill. Photo by Jan Williams.

In cooperation with the Osage County Historical Society, Osage County News has published online a list of Osage County cemeteries and their locations. The historical society had previously published similar information in a brochure, and volunteers of the society updated the list.

Osage County News has also created a map that shows the general locations of the cemeteries, which are listed with directions on the reverse side of the map. A printable version of the two-page map and cemetery list is available here.

When visiting the cemeteries listed, visitors are advised that some are on private property and property owners’ privacy should be respected. Not all cemeteries are located on all-weather roads, and some are in remote locations in Osage County; visitors should watch weather conditions and be aware of possible road hazards. Use of a highway map or GPS device to assist with navigation when trying to locate cemeteries is also advised.

Hidden History: Osage County monuments ‘perpetuate the memories of fallen heroes’

Burlingame Cemetery soldier’s monument, date unknown, but photo possibly taken the day of the monument’s dedication. Photo thanks to Burlingame Schuyler Museum.

The Civil War was the bloodiest war in United States history, claiming the lives of about 620,000 individuals. After the war, veterans organizations were created to help those who survived the war to band together and honor those who were lost and the battles they fought. Largest among these groups was the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), established in 1866 for those who had fought for the Union army. General John A. Logan of the G.A.R. first proposed a decoration or memorial day in 1868 as a day of remembrance. This day was not one of any particular battle, and one in which the flowers would be in bloom to decorate graves. Observance of this day was determined by individual states, but by 1890 each of the northern states had made Decoration Day a state holiday.

Another group that arose during this time was the Woman’s Relief Corps (W.R.C.). This womens’ group had evolved out of the Christian and Sanitary Commission, whose mission had been to care for wounded soldiers. The W.R.C. was created to aid Union veterans, in particular the dependent ones. This group eventually became the auxiliary of the G.A.R. and was established in Kansas in 1885. Along with aid for veterans, this group aimed to “invoke a spirit of patriotism, respect for the nation’s flag, a love of country and reverence for her defenders in the minds of the youth of the present day, [and erect] monuments to perpetuate the memories of fallen heroes.”

Around the turn of the century the W.R.C. began seeking to memorialize those who served in the Civil War, because those that had remained were quickly disappearing as a present reminder of their service.

In Osage County, Kan., the first major monument to be erected was the soldier memorial at Burlingame, in 1905. The women of Burlingame’s W.R.C., consisting of 70 members under the leadership of president Lucy Jennings, commissioned Nettleton Marble & Granite Works, of Ottawa, Kan., to do the work.

L.H. Nettleton had been creating marble masterpieces for the area for 21 years. In 1904, he bought out his former partner, M. K. Ferguson, and became the sole proprietor of the business. Nettleton’s company had previously created war memorials for Baldwin City, in 1896, Garnett, in 1899, and Peabody, Kan., in 1900, but Burlingame’s monument was to be his greatest achievement yet, working in a grander style than before.

In order to secure the contract and gain the chance to showcase his abilities, Nettleton cut the W.R.C. a significant discount of the original $1,250 cost. The granite monument stands 15 feet, 8 inches tall, with a soldier standing atop keeping watch over the cemetery’s sleeping heroes. The monument was dedicated on Memorial Day in 1905, with exercises starting at Sumner Park including orators and band performances, and a visit by Governor E. W. Hoch.The veterans joined the procession to the cemetery for the dedication, following the local Kansas National Guard company, and only had “to look ahead to be reminded of what they were when they went first to battle for their country in their hour of need.”

Life changes abruptly for 2019 Burlingame High School graduates

In a final farewell to Burlingame High School, class of 2019 graduates throw their hats in the air. Photo by Keri Welch.

Life is the result of changes, the Burlingame High School class of 2019 heard from their valedictorian and salutatorian during graduation ceremonies on May 11, 2019.

In the elementary school gymnasium filled with friends and family, 2019 BHS salutatorian Seth Greenwood talked about his last-minute realization that graduation was going to change his life significantly.

“I realized that we are about to go into a whole new environment,” Greenwood said, “with new people, and stepping into another level of responsibility and stress.

“But I also realized the potentials of moving on. You get a whole new setting to change what you want to change,” he said. “You have countless opportunities that are begging for you to give them a shot.”

He offered a challenge to his classmates, “I challenge you to change the parts of you that you don’t like for this fresh start.I challenge you to take the leap of faith and pursue the opportunity that you feel strongly pulled towards.”

The 2019 BHS valedictorian Kelsie Quaney asked her classmates to consider how words alone can change them.

“It’s funny how words affect people,” Quaney said. “We never think that the things we say could completely change someone’s life but I know they can, because they changed me.”

KDHE waste tire program provides picnic tables, benches for Osage City parks

A convenient bench awaits resting tennis players and walkers, or just provides a place in Jones Park to sit and watch the world go by. Courtesy photo.

The city of Osage City recently learned it is a recipient of a Kansas Department of Health and Environment Waste Tire Grant. The city has used the $2,376 grant to purchase four picnic tables and four benches placed at the Jones Park ball fields, Osage City Aquatic Center, Lincoln Park and Huffman Park to increase public seating.

This is the second time Osage City has received the waste tire grant, in which recipients share 50 percent of the cost. A previous grant in 2015 provided picnic tables, benches and trail benches in the same areas as those recently placed.

New picnic tables provide extra seating at Huffman Park’s picnic shelter.

As a part of the grant stipulations, the city was required to install signage on the tables recognizing they were purchased through the KDHE Waste Tire Grant program.

The city purchased the tables and benches from Champlin Tire Recycling Inc., Concordia, Kan. The tables and benches are 100 percent recycled plastic and rubber composition. Those purchased in 2015 have proved to be durable, withstood the weather, and required minimal maintenance.

Eat Well to Be Well: The harms of going gluten-free when you don’t have to

In case you haven’t noticed, the gluten-free market has exploded within the past five years. This tidal wave of gluten-free popularity took off with endorsements from food blogs and social media hash tags. Even the food industry has played a significant role. Extensive labeling of foods as gluten-free or not has amassed such a following, an estimated one in five Americans include gluten-free foods in their diet.

Yet, most people pulling gluten-free foods off grocery store shelves do not have sensitivity to wheat, barley or rye. In fact, experts estimate that only about seven percent of Americans benefit from avoiding gluten. That means many of us eating gluten-free really don’t need to. Despite this fact, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, gluten-free alternatives to traditional foods accounted for nearly $1.6 billion in sales in 2015. Most of this growth is driven by consumers believing gluten-free is healthier and may aid weight loss. So, who should go gluten-free and who should not?

Who benefits from following a gluten-free diet?

Any person diagnosed with celiac disease through an intestinal biopsy will need to follow a gluten-free diet for the rest of their life. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that can damage the lining of the small intestine by causing inflammation. When the damage occurs, it reduces the ability of the intestinal lining to absorb nutrients, which can lead to problems such as anemia, osteoporosis, or growth delays in children.

A food label shows this product is not gluten free: Wheat flour and whole wheat flour are derived from gluten-containing wheat. USDA graphic.

Another form of celiac disease called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), also warrants going gluten-free. DH can trigger the immune system to attack the skin, causing a chronic, itchy bumpy rash that can be quite painful.

One other reason to avoid gluten is to reduce symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity is not an autoimmune disease; instead it’s the inability to process gluten, resulting in unpleasant symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, bloating, and constipation.

Anyone who believes they may benefit from a gluten-free diet should be evaluated by their family physician and a gastroenterologist to determine if they have celiac disease, DH or gluten sensitivity. If they do, following a gluten-free diet will help them feel better with fewer symptoms.

Rodeo attractions to highlight weekend at Burlingame

There’s not a bad seat in the arena, with spectators guaranteed an up close view of wild rodeo action at Burlingame this weekend. Courtesy photo.

BURLINGAME, Kan. – It’s rodeo time at Burlingame. And a weekend of rodeo related attractions promises to make the town come to life well beyond the arena action.

“It’s time for the 49th annual Santa Fe Trail Rodeo,” announced Ethan Quaney, Burlingame Saddle Club official, who noted the rodeo will be Friday and Saturday evenings, May 17-18, in the arena on South Rodeo Drive.

Les Holman, of the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce, reminded that the town’s Rodeo Days activities will take place on Saturday.

What could be more appropriate for a rural community than a rodeo activity weekend? After all, Burlingame is right on the famed original Santa Fe Trail “where rail crosses trail.” In the mid-1800s, trains originally hauled freight right through what’s now Burlingame, Kansas, to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then oxen and equine power was replaced by big iron horses, steam engine powered trains. The railroad tracks cross right over the original Santa Fe Trail, according to the weekend coordinators.

“Those performances featuring livestock from High States Rodeo Company begin at 7 o’clock,” Quaney said.

Another highlight for the rodeo weekend is Sunday afternoon, May 19, with youth rodeo beginning at noon.

The amateur rodeo Friday and Saturday evenings is double sanctioned by the United Rodeo Association and the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association. Sunday’s rodeo is an event of the Missouri-Kansas Rodeo Association with entries from both states competing.

A wide array of activities is planned in Burlingame for the annual Rodeo Days celebration. “It’ll sure be a fun packed entertaining Saturday for everybody,” Holman said.

A running kickoff for the action is the Bucking 5K Fun Run at 9 a.m. There’ll be a craft show 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attracting exhibitors from a wide area. Tractor and car shows are planned also.

A peddle pull for youth four to 12 opens with registration at 9 a.m. Of course, everybody’s anticipating the cutest baby contest at 10 a.m., and the pie eating contest at 1 p.m.

Sissy and Earl are lined up to entertain with live music on Stage 56, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A chuck wagon will be serving free samples of authentic cowboy beans and coffee. amd there’s going to be homemade ice cream dipped up at the library. Such a Saturday event is most exciting for the children and all young at heart. On tap are a carnival, inflatables, petting zoo, pony rides and a kids’ dance at The Hideout.

MdCV grads head into world bolstered by firm friendships, strong dreams

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Class of 2019. Photo by Kramer Photos.

Spring showers brought May flowers and also sprouted a new crop of graduates at Marais des Cygnes Valley High School. At the first graduation honors in Osage County for 2019, friends, family, faculty, administrators, and the USD 456 Board of Education gathered May 4 at the MdCV High School gymnasium to wish well to this year’s dozen MdCV High School graduates.

MdCV’s 2019 salutatorian Chloe Volkman recognized the crowd gathered for the ceremony.

“Thank you all again for coming to help us celebrate this special day in our lives,” Volkman said. “We are very grateful to have such an amazing community who supports us. I would just like to make one last thank you to all of the staff at school, because none of this would be possible without you guys.”

To her classmates, Volkman noted they would be going forward, but remembering their high school years not by class periods and school days they spent at MdCV.

“We only arrived here four short years ago, and its already time for us to leave,” Volkman said. “I know that as I look out to all of you that I will measure my time much differently. I will measure it in the friendships that I have created with all of you and when many of our high school memories will begin to fade, that’s how we will ultimately measure the time we spent here. It won’t be in periods or semesters, but the friendships we made and the times that we all spent together. So congratulations to the class of 2019, and wherever we go and whatever we do, may we always be friends when we meet again.”

MdCV 2019 valedictorian Kathryn Vaught echoed Volkman’s appreciation of their parents’ sacrifices, and the impressions left upon students by teachers and school staff.

“[You] can’t be thanked enough,” Vaught said. “You had an impact in our lives and left lasting impressions … we learned many things from you guys – to be ourselves, be kind, follow our dreams, and not be afraid of failure.”

“Well guys, we made it,” Vaught told her fellow graduates. “It’s been one heck of journey – one we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.”

But, she said, “Today is a milestone, it tells you how far you have come, we aren’t the kids we used to be, even though we sure don’t feel like adults.”

She offered advice she had received from a mentor: “Keep playing the game.”

“There’s a feeling all of you should have – pride, accomplishment, happiness – whatever it is, take it and use it. Years from now when we look back we’ll be more disappointed by the things we didn’t do rather than the ones we did. So have that courage, find your dream, chase after it with all you got, you won’t get another chance. Go out there believing in your dreams, believe in yourself.”

With Principal Ben Gordon presenting the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Class of 2019, board of education members presented diplomas to the following graduates: Nocona Renae Brinkley, Ethan Alexander Cannon, Kayla Louise Garber, Brookelyn Shae Janssen, Alaina Hollyann Marsh, Destiny Hope Massey, Gannon Austin Isiah Schimmel, Tannar Ray Smith, Aniyah Marie Sypher, Kathryn Elizabeth Vaught, Cloe Elizabeth Volkman, and Morgan Sue Williams.

Hidden History: Proud chief forever claims home in final resting place

The year 1869 marked the removal of the Sauk (Sac) and Fox tribes from Osage County to Oklahoma, all resigned to their fate except those under the leadership of a man named Mokohoko. This chief among the tribes had come to love this land that he had been forced into and adopted as his own. His fight to preserve his people’s rights to their land became one of the last stands of the American Indian in Kansas against Euro-American expansion.

Mokohoko, whose name means “He who floats visible near the surface of the water”, was the principal chief of the Sauk tribe. He belonged to the Sturgeon Clan, a clan designated for leaders of the Sauk. Mokohoko was a key supporter in the Black Hawk War, a brief conflict in 1832 that took place when the Sauk leader Black Hawk tried to reclaim tribal lands in Illinois that had been ceded in a previous treaty. Mokohoko was stubbornly traditional, holding tight to the culture of his people. This often put him at odds with another Sauk and Fox leader, Keokuk, who tended to be more lenient towards the white man’s ways.

In the winter of 1845-46, the Sauk and Fox tribes were removed to a reservation in Franklin and Osage counties consisting of 435,200 acres located at the upper reaches of the Osage River. The first Sauk and Fox agency was in Franklin County, and later, in 1859, moved near Quenemo.

Mokohoko and his band settled on the banks of the Marais des Cygnes River, stretching for 10 miles upstream and downstream of the area that would become the town of Melvern. This land contained 500 acres of rich farm ground used by the Sauk and Fox for farming. This prime ground produced so much corn that the tribe was able to sell the surplus to the government and early settlers of the area.

Osage City Elementary School accepts the challenge; honored as ‘great school’

Accepting the Challenge Award from Kansas State Board of Education Member Ann Mah, left, are Osage City Elementary School teachers Jessi Kirkpatrick, Amie Parsons, and Brian Stromgren.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Kansas State Board of Education Member Ann Mah recognized students and teachers at Osage City Elementary School for making differences in student achievement over the past year, during a presentation April 30, 2019, at the school.

“I’m here today to present your school an award called the Challenge Award,” Mah told students gathered in the school gymnasium for the early morning assembly. “Last year you scored great on tests in reading and in math, and in coming to school – in your attendance.”

The Challenge Awards program, administered by the Confidence in Education Task Force, recognizes Kansas schools that are making a notable difference in student achievement despite facing significant challenges in their school population.

“We believe in you,” Mah said. “Confidence in Public Education believes in Osage City Elementary School.”

“How many of you try to come to school every day? And why do you do that? Because it’s so important to be in school every day, you can’t learn if you’re not here. You also study and you do well and you excel, and you met the challenge last year of being one of the top schools in Kansas.

“How many knew Osage City Elementary School was a great school?” Mah asked the crowd. “Now the rest of the state of Kansas knows that as well.”

Today’s Alta Vista country road has significant Mormon migration history

On an 1854 map, the Mormon Trail is shown crossing Richardson County which later became Wabaunsee County.

“Is the Mormon Trail near Alta Vista?”

That was semblance of query wondering more about location, history and significance of what is actually a road. Having driven by its clearly identifying state highway sign many times, exactly where that was didn’t come to mind.

Research began by calling area natives and finding information including local historians with vast study and knowledge on the subject.

Well, the Mormon Trail Road turnoff is about a mile south of the main Alta Vista turnoff on Highway 177. The “trail” is actually Highway 4 to the west and a country road to the east. It’s easily found and identified following guidance of hometown newspaper editors-writers Gloria Smith and Joann Kahnt.

Several years ago, Michael Stubbs, of Eskridge, named Wabaunsee County roads, including “Mormon Trail Road,” generally based on locale history. A board member of the Kansas Historical Foundation and Wabaunsee County Historical Society, Stubbs researched the area. He concluded the road was whereabouts of the original trail.

Public Land Surveys of Kansas Territory in 1855-60 recorded a “Mormon Road” in Osage, Wabaunsee, Geary, Riley, Marshall and Washington counties. That’s according to Morris Werner, Manhattan-area architect in the 1940s and ’50s, who wrote articles describing settlement of the West. He based his writings on dedicated records study as well as somewhat on those Kansas Territory Public Land Surveys.

“Origin and existence of ‘the trail’ have been largely overlooked by students of Mormon history,” Werner wrote.

“It appears Mormon emigration into Kansas was in 1854,” Werner wrote.

The Mormon Church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often also informally known as the LDS Church. It’s defined as a “nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church.” Members are said to consider it to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ.

“There may have been three Mormon wagon trains traveling across Kansas in 1854 averaging about 65 wagons each,” Warner wrote. “It’s reported that 11 persons were assigned to each wagon, a very high average.”

Melvern Jr. Highline cleans up at Oak Hill

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members and family who participated in a recent cleanup at Oak Hill Cemetery were Peter Roy, Jennifer Roy, Colt Sowers, Ellie Sowers, Braelyn McNally, Bo Sowers, Gentry McNally, Gradey McNally, Jamie Sowers, Pedon McNally, Landon Roy, Caleb McNally, and not pictured, Janae McNally. Courtesy photo.

By Bella Reeser
Club Reporter

Spring is here and for most people that means spring cleaning. For some, that might mean cleaning their house or yard. Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members and their families decided to step outside that social norm and volunteered to help clean up Oak Hill Cemetery, outside of Quenemo. Melvern Jr. Highline members and their families spent the afternoon of April 20, 2019, picking up sticks and raking leaves to spruce up this old cemetery.

Spring delivers beautiful day for a hunt

By Bella Reeser
Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club

Warm sunshine, a gentle cool breeze – what better conditions could you ask for? Especially, if you are hosting an Easter egg hunt! These were the perfect conditions the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club was blessed with on April 20, 2019, when they hosted the annual Melvern Easter Egg Hunt. More than one hundred egg hunters and their families came out to enjoy the beautiful weather and fellowship of their local townsmen.  

MdCV FFA hosts family and friends for annual chapter banquet

MdCV officers, new and retiring, front from left, Chloe Volkman, Alaina Marsh, State FFA Sentinel Garrett Craig, Kaelin Criqui, Kathryn Vaught, back, Danny Rice, MdCV FFA advisor, Bayleigh Lacey, Sadie McGowin, Koby Vanderpool, Wyatt Lingenfelter, and Frank Warner. MdCV FFA photo.

The annual Marias des Cygnes Valley FFA Chapter Banquet was held on Friday April 11, 2019. Approximately 100 people, including members, families, and friends, gathered in the Melvern Community Center for pork chops and a potluck meal, awards and the installation of the 2019-2020 chapter officers.

An invocation from Frank Warner was followed by the dinner consisting of pork chops, sponsored by Don and Janise Hook, and side dishes and desserts brought by our members and their families. Following the dinner and chapter scrapbook video produced by Kathryn Vaught, the chapter officers president Chloe Volkman, vice-president Brookelyn Janssen, secretary Kathryn Vaught, treasurer Bayleigh Lacey, reporter Frank Warner, sentinel Alaina Marsh, and advisor and KSU student intern Cassandra Ebert began with opening ceremonies. KobyVanderpool, chapter student-council representative, introduced special guest speaker Garrett Craig, Kansas FFA Sentinel, with his speech “Focusing and Committing to Your Talents and Passion”.

Other guests included members of the USD 456 Board of Education, Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Principal Ben Gordon, members of the MdCV Ag Education Advisory Board, Joe and Shirley Litchtenauer, Dale and Peggy McCurdy, Jeff and Merrilyn Casten, Jennifer and Peter Roy, Janae and Caleb McNally, Jarah and Mike Hauger, and Joe and Shirley Lichtenauer.

How would you like that cooked? Auto show well done in downtown Osage City

Vintage and classic cars lined Market Street April 13, 2019, as the Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show cooked up a good time in downtown Osage City. Photo by Sam Gomez.

Approximately 270 entrants participated in the 15th Annual Cruis’n & Cook’n Auto Show, Saturday, April 13, 2019, in downtown Osage City. Results of the show, hosted by the Twin Lakes Cruisers, are as follows:

Kid cooks heat up the competition at Smoke in the Spring Kids-Q

A young chef carefully turns in her entry for Kids-Q to KCBS reps, from left, Dave and Peg Rogers, Linda and Dennis Polson, Mark Collier, and not pictured, Kim Collier, as local judges wait in anticipation. Jan Williams photo.

It’s a part of Smoke in the Spring that most folks don’t know is going on Friday evening, but you can bet there are some young cooks that have a watchful eye on their smokers for about three hours while everyone else is out enjoying the community barbecue party.

In the annual Kids-Q Competition, kid chefs compete in two age divisions, 10 and younger, and 11 and older. The cooks must be sponsored by one of the competition teams and cook their entries on site. At the cook’s meeting, the cooks are each given one pound of ground beef, donated this year by Allen Meat Processing, Allen, Kan., to cook however they choose.

Others who make Kids-Q possible are 24 local celebrity judges, who are instructed on the Kansas City Barbeque Society judging process before the kids’ turn-in time of 8 p.m. The kids contest is not a KCBS sanctioned part of Smoke in the Spring, but it is conducted according to KCBS rules and scoring. Judges are sequestered in the community building during the judging process.

At turn-in, the chefs bring their samples to the turn-in window at the community building, where the judging is conducted. The samples go to one of four tables of six judges each, where they are scored according to appearance, taste, and texture or tenderness. The judging process is the same as the sanctioned contest the next day.

Here are placing and payout results for the Smoke in the Spring Kids-Q held April 12, 2019:

Clark Crew wins third grand championship at Osage City

Travis Clark, Clark Crew BBQ, left, accepts his grand champion awards Saturday from contest organizer Corey Linton, right, and Amy Linton.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – A Yukon, Okla., barbecue team has become the first team to be a three-time grand champion at the Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship, at Osage City, Kan, after claiming that title again Saturday.

Clark Crew BBQ, with head cook Travis Clark, has been sweeping barbecue championships across the Midwest the last few years, and added another Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship to that tally after a tight competition among top cooks on April 13, 2019, at Jones Park, in Osage City. The team previously won grand champion at the Osage City competition in 2016 and 2017.

Clark Crew squeezed out last year’s grand champs, Hogline BBQ, Dustin and Mary Reese, of Owatonna, Minn., who claimed reserve grand champion this year. Coming in third overall was Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Rub, Chris Hoisington, of Olathe, Kan.

Hidden History: Auto polo drives into Osage City as latest commercialized craze

The action of auto polo was guaranteed  to “make spectators’ hearts pump at 60 miles per hour.” Photo thanks to Library of Congress.

By Wendi Bevitt

Have you ever guided an open-framed automobile at the rate of 40 miles an hour through a jungle of pine trees while a wild-eyed passenger riding shotgun accurately lops off the branches of the passing trees with a scythe? If so, then you can appreciate what it was like to be a driver in the most exciting and dangerous spectator sport in the early 20th century – auto polo.

Auto polo arose as the “must see” event after it was first played in Kansas in an event sponsored by Jones Auto Exchange, of Wichita, Kansas, in July 1912. Jones employees Carl Evans and Roltz King had created a new form of auto polo, building on a concept originating in Massachusetts in 1902.

The earlier version utilized a one-seat steam powered car called a “runabout”, with play taking place in an area roughly the size of a football field where participants hit a ball approximately as big as a basketball. This new version was played using Model T cars stripped down to the frame to allow for higher speed and better maneuverability. Each car consisted of a team of driver and mallet man. The mallet man often balanced himself on the edge of the vehicle to take a swing at the ball while the driver maneuvered the vehicle.  Jones Auto Exchange’s business manager, Ralph Hankinson, was the man who would successfully promote this exciting spectator sport in its new form.

Ralph “Pappy” Hankinson was the first child of Euro-American ancestry to be born in Russell, Kansas, in 1879. After his schooling, Ralph traveled and worked at various jobs, and then jumped in on the ground floor of auto sales in 1907. It was during this time that Ford Motor Company was preparing to release the first mass-produced automobile, the Model T, at the end of 1908. Ralph found employment at Jones Auto Exchange, a company that became one of the top sellers of Ford vehicles in the early days. Jones did so well selling Ford vehicles that they built a large warehouse, the largest structure of its kind in the Midwest at the time, from which to sell automobiles and refinish and repair all facets of the automobile.

Ford Motor Company produced more cars than all other manufacturers combined, and part of the reason they were so successful was the durability of their cars. Jones Auto Exchange and the company’s promotion of auto polo was a unique way to demonstrate the durability of the Model T. Auto polo was, however, a highly expensive sport, often requiring cars to be entirely rebuilt after a match (which could be taken care of at Jones’ premier shop). Often salesmen with the auto exchange participated as drivers for the auto polo cars. Players would participate in a year-round training before playing so the game would live up to the anticipated hype of “60 seconds of action in every minute of play.”

On the local front, Theodore Bloom and Fred Anderson were selling Model Ts at their Osage City Garage, at least by 1912, starting at a price of $620. Plans were made for Ralph Hankinson to bring his captivating sport to Osage City in May of 1915. A crowd of five to six thousand was expected for the “rain or shine” display. Local businesses such as Howard Mercantile held special sales in anticipation of the event, enticing shoppers with ads stating “You auto come!” and children mimicked the sport in the street in homemade “polo wagons.”

MdCV FFA Ag Day spotlights world of agriculture

Kaelin Criqui and Frank Warner explain to the students prescribed burning and equipment used at the Melvern Fire Department to help control rangeland burns. Photo thanks to Danny Rice.

The Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA Chapter helped celebrate National Agriculture Month by hosting an agriculture awareness day for the USD 456 third through fifth graders. The event was Thursday March 21, 2019, at the Melvern fairgrounds. More than 60 elementary students and teachers were educated on agricultural related topics including ag machinery, beef, dairy products, wildlife management, wheat, corn, drones, small animal care, horses, and prescribed burning control. Twenty-seven MdCV FFA chapter members, along with Danny Rice, adviser, and Ms. Ebert, KSU student intern, took part in the presentation of the 10 rotational workshops. The day concluded with refreshments and drinks.

Jr. Highline 4-H Club makes plans for Melvern Easter egg hunt

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members gather at the Melvern City Park after a recent club meeting, front from left, Amelia Arb, Gradey McNally, Levi Arb, Gentry McNally, Ellie Sowers, back, Allie Reeser, Braelyn McNally, Justin Brinkley, Natalie Green, Aubrie Edington, Chelsea Green, and Tara Green.

By Bella Reeser
Club Reporter

The March meeting of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club was held March 17, 2019, at the Melvern Community Center, and was called to order at 5 p.m. by President Tara Green. The club began their meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and the 4-H Pledge led by Amelia Arb.

Secretary Allie Reeser called roll; members and parents answered with their favorite drink; there were 11 members and six adults present. Allie then read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read.

Treasurer Ellie Sowers read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Bella Reeser stated she had submitted three articles to the newspaper since the last meeting. Historian Amelia Arb read an article to the club. Justin Brinkley gave a report from the council meeting, stating the 4H Insurance Policy.

In leaders report, leader Caleb McNally congratulated members in their hard work at district and regional club days. He also reminded members that 4-H camp enrollment would begin April 1.

In new business, members were reminded the Melvern Easter Egg Hunt would be coming up. Amelia Arb made a motion, which was seconded, that the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club would host the Melvern Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. April 21, at Melvern City Park.

Train, pickup crash results in no injury

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has reported that a driver of a pickup truck escaped injury after his vehicle was struck by a train this morning north of Osage City.

The sheriff’s report said that at 9:29 a.m. March 21, 2019, a northbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad train struck an eastbound 1999 Ford F250 pickup truck pulling an empty livestock trailer, driven by Aaron Payne, 26, Scranton.

The report said Payne failed to yield at a cross buck marked intersection at 201st Street and Auburn Road, in Osage County, about three miles north of Osage City.

Neither Payne nor the train crew was injured, the sheriff reported. The train’s engineer was Sean McBreen and conductor was Dave Kleuskens.

The accident is being investigated by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. Assistance was by provided on the scene by Osage County EMS, Osage County Fire District No. 6 and the Kansas Highway Patrol.

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