Category Archives: Featured

Dangerous heat forecast Wednesday through Saturday

The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued an excessive heat warning is in effect for the entire outlook area today, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, through Saturday. Heat indices of 103 to 112 degrees is expected each afternoon.

Isolated thunderstorms are possible today and are not expected to become severe. There continues to be a slight chance of storms in north central Kansas this evening.

Today through Saturday, NWS forecasts dangerously hot temperatures, with highs in the mid 90s to around 103 degrees, and heat index values approaching around 110 degrees.

All of the NWS Topeka coverage area will be impacted by 103 to 112 degree heat indices each afternoon through Saturday.

When under an excessive heat warning, advises people should:

  • Stay inside in air conditioning.
  • Avoid strenuous activities outdoors.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Never leave a child, adult, or animal alone inside a vehicle on a warm day.
  • Find places with air conditioning if you don’t have it in your home. Libraries, shopping malls, and community centers can provide a cool place to take a break from the heat.
  • If you’re outside, find shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

Heat related illnesses are more likely when heat index values exceed 100 degrees. Check yourself, family members, and neighbors for signs of heat-related illness. Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

911: Emergency call services back in working order in Osage County

A social media post by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office announced that 911 emergency call services in the county are again in working order as of 2:05 a.m. today, July 16, 2019.

The sheriff’s office reported on social media about 6:30 p.m. yesterday that 911 and long distance calls for Osage County were not working. The post said the sheriff’s office could only connect on calls to and from Lyndon numbers at the time, and reported that Centurylink, a local phone service provider, was working on the problem.

In that post, the sheriff’s office advised that anyone with an emergency or who needed to reach dispatch should call 785-224-1212 or 785-817-1659, and said those numbers were only active during the times the phone problem was occurring. The sheriff’s office asked its Facebook followers to pass on information about the emergency call services outage to family and friends who did not use the social media platform.

This afternoon, Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn said she still did not know the reason for the outage of the county’s 911 system. She confirmed that such outages are a danger to the public and noted they have happened before with the current phone system, sometimes caused by cut phone lines.

“Normally it’s the regular phone lines, but not this time,” Dunn said in a text message today.

Dunn said she was told the outage affected several counties.

“I hope for answers tomorrow,” Dunn said, noting she was to receive an update on the problem from Centurylink on Wednesday.

Mosquitoes interrupt summer: KDHE recommends bite prevention

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends Kansans take preventive measures against mosquito bites, as floods throughout the state have caused an increase in mosquito populations. Mosquito surveillance in Reno, Sedgwick and Shawnee counties has shown an increase Culex species mosquitoes which can transmit West Nile virus and other viruses that can affect humans. This species of mosquitoes is most active at dawn and dusk.

“West Nile virus can be spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes, but it is not contagious from person to person,” said KDHE Secretary Lee Norman MD. “Symptoms range from a slight headache and low-grade fever to swelling of the brain or brain tissue and, in rare cases, death.”

Since 2002 there have been 677 cases and 35 deaths in Kansans from West Nile virus. To date, there have been no cases of West Nile virus reported to KDHE in 2019. People who have had West Nile virus before are considered immune. Cases are most common from mid-July through late September.

KDHE has developed West Nile virus risk levels to help guide prevention efforts for both communities and individuals. These risk level reports will be posted weekly at All six regions of Kansas are currently at moderate risk level.

KDHE recommends the following precautions to protect against West Nile virus:

Eat Well to Be Well: Why choosing cow’s milk still matters

Going to the grocery store to “get milk,” is not always what it used to mean. Open up the refrigerator in many homes, and the “milk” might instead be a nondairy milk alternative. From soymilk, almond, coconut, rice, cashew, oat, hemp, quinoa, or hazelnut, just to name a few, cow’s milk has competition.

Traditional cow’s milk still dominates the milk market, but research shows that U.S. nondairy milk sales are growing, causing cow’s milk sales to sag. Nondairy milk alternatives have gained popularity among consumers. But are nondairy milk alternatives as healthy for us as cow’s milk and why are consumers dropping dairy milk for plant-based alternative milks anyway?

Reasons for the switch to nondairy milk alternatives

The consumer consumption switch on buying more nondairy milk alternatives is being fueled for several reasons:

  • People with a milk allergy have a safe alternative to cow’s milk.
  • People with lactose intolerance – however, dairy milk manufacturers make some varieties of cow’s milk with the lactose already broken down.
  • People who are vegans and consume no animal products.
  • People who have health concerns over consuming dairy milk believing it is fattening or unhealthy.
  • There is public perception that nondairy milk alternatives are healthier than dairy milk.
  • Some consumers question modern milk production practices.

How does the nutritional profile of cow’s milk compare to plant-based milks? This is where it is very important for consumer’s to read the nutrition facts label on all types of nondairy milk alternatives. While it’s tempting to follow the trend of drinking plant-based milk alternatives, before deserting cow’s milk, know the nutritional differences between them.

Let’s be clear, cow’s milk is still the gold standard with a high nutritional profile for several reasons:

Local ag leaders to represent Osage City community

Longtime Osage County residents Fred and Pat Pearson have been selected by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce as Mr. and Mrs. Osage City for 2019.

Fred was born and raised on a farm near Miller, Kan. He attended Kansas State University 1959 to 1963, and studied agricultural education. He met Pat during college. Pat grew up on a farm near Manhattan, Kan.

“My father wanted someone in the family to farm and he was pleased to find out that Fred and I planned to marry,” Pat said.

Fred and Pat were married in 1963. From 1963 to 1968, Fred taught vocational agriculture at Burlingame and Pat taught grade school at Osage City. Pat retired from teaching to take care of her grandchildren and help as needed around the farm.

The first ground Fred and Pat bought was in 1966. Also that year, Fred and his father, Earl, started the Miller Elevator. The young couple purchased 240 acres and moved to their current home in 1969.

Fred and Pat’s family includes son, Clark, his wife, Bobbi, and their son, Max; son, Jim, his wife, Dawn, and their children, Paige and Peyton; and son, Jeff. The Pearson family has farmed in the Osage City area for more than 145 years.

Fred and Pat said they felt very honored and appreciative for being selected and offered these words:

“We have had the honor, privilege and opportunity to live and work in the Osage City Community for over 51 years. This community has many advantages that we feel are intensely important to enjoying a pleasant life style.

“The excellent school system that is stable, progressive and effective was our greatest priority.

“The character of the people in this community has always contributed to a neat, clean and progressive community. Osage City has a history of many fine churches, clubs and organizations that enhance great citizenship.

“A good solid business community is very important to the well-being of any area and Osage City has been outstanding in this concept. We have been richly blessed by the opportunities in the cattle business, farming and the grain elevator business. We are confident that we could not have found a better community in which to live, work and enjoy life.”

The Pearsons will be honored guests and ride in the annual Osage County Fair Parade, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 12, 2019, along Market Street in Osage City, Kan.

Family entertainment featured for Osage County Fair, July 10-13, 2019

Get ready for families working together and having a good time with an assortment of entertainment. The Osage County Fair gets underway Wednesday, July 10, and runs through Saturday night, July 13, 2019.

The Osage County Fair Association promises “fun for all with entertainment for the entire family” at the fairgrounds in Osage City’s Jones Park

This year’s fair continues a longtime tradition.

“The first fair was in 1946 and increasingly attracts spectators and participants from Osage County and northeast Kansas,” said Josi Bosse, fair board member. “That’s for the 4-H and open class exhibits, parade, and music, plus carnival attractions with midway rides.”

Perhaps most importantly to a county fair, there’ll be livestock shows every day. Of course, competitions are also planned for most agriculture productions and vast rural domestic creations. The fair board is offering barn quilting classes for those interested.

Entertainment for Wednesday evening, will be the Backyard Legends Band.

Barnyard Olympics will test abilities of participants doing farm tasks in a uniquely enjoyable way is Thursday afternoon, July 11. Family Fun Night is Thursday evening with a pie contest, a mechanical bull, climbing wall, bingo and disc jockey music.

The animal costume contest Friday afternoon, July 12, creates fun for those doing the dressing, spectators, and maybe animals, too.

Highlight of fair week is the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s parade, with a theme of  “Fresh From The Farm,” down Osage City’s Market Street 6:30 p.m. Friday. An array of entries local and from afar is expected with participation invited, or bring a lawn chair to watch.

Friday evening’s entertainment will be a talent show, hosted by the Lions Club and Harmon Dental. The stage will be set east of the Osage City Community Building at the basketball courts. All are invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of local talented individuals competing for cash prizes.

As always, fair food will be the fare at the fair. The Lions Club will have its traditional hamburger stand at the community building. Food trucks are scheduled to be available Wednesday evening. An ice cream social fundraiser is planned to cool off spectators as the talent show concludes on Friday.

Saturday, July 13, is jam packed with a car show, touch-a-truck, and a cornhole tournament. Pay time for youth fair exhibitors is the evening livestock auction, and the Brickhouse Band concert concludes the fair.

See the fair’s schedule below (as published in the Osage County Fairbook).

Swimmers test the waters at Overbrook meet

Swimmers prepare to dive in at the starting line. Photos by Lisa Reeser.

Area swim teams from Overbrook, Osage, Lyndon, Lebo, and Burlington participated in a swim meet at Overbrook on June 22, 2019.

Celebrate your freedom, but be responsible for your freedom

Fireworks at Melvern. File photo.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has compiled a list of times and dates fireworks can be discharged in areas around the county for Fourth of July.

All unincorporated areas of Osage County have no regulations regarding when fireworks can be discharged. This includes the town of Vassar.

Fireworks are prohibited on Corps of Engineers property, in state parks, and at Osage County State Fishing Lake.

Fireworks are allowed in municipalities the following times and dates:

  • Burlingame – 8 a.m.-midnight, June 27-July 6.
  • Carbondale – 8 a.m.-11 p.m., June 27-July 6; 8 a.m.- midnight July 4.
  • Lyndon – 10 a.m.-midnight, June 27 – July 5.
  • Melvern – 10 a.m.-midnight, June 27-July 5.
  • Osage City – 8 a.m.-10 p.m., June 27-July 5; until 11 p.m. July 4.
  • Overbrook – 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m., June 27-July 5; until midnight, June 28 and 29 and July 4 and July 5.
  • Quenemo – 7 a.m.-10 p.m., June 27-July 5.
  • Scranton – 8 a.m.-midnight, June 27-July 5.

Fair but partly cloudy: Melvern enjoys Sunflower Days despite stormy weather

The Sunflower Days parade always draws a crowd to downtown Melvern. Photo by Jeff Burkdoll.

The Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair happened last week, despite Mother Nature trying to dampen the atmosphere for Osage County’s first fair of the season.

Rainstorms, generator problems, and cancelled carnival rides presented obstacles for the fair organizers, but in the following report local 4-Her Bella Reeser tells us that the fun continued anyway and the fair was enjoyed by many.

Sunflower Days 2019

By Bella Reeser
Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club

Hot temperatures, 4-H projects, cotton candy, parades and rides are all indicators that fair time is here. This year’s Melvern Sunflower Days was held June 20-22, 2019, in the Melvern City Park.

Even though weather conditions weren’t ideal, it didn’t stop hundreds of fairgoers from coming out to support their local fair. As always, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H club did their part in supporting their local fair. The fair parade theme this year was  “Small Town USA – Redneck Jamboree!”

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members strutted their stuff in the parade with their walking float; club members dressed in a club T-shirt and covered themselves in American pride decor.

Following the parade the club held a fundraiser homemade ice cream social at the Melvern Community Center. To make this year’s social even more special, Lloyd and Kathy Sowers loaned their engine and knowledge to the club and produced the ice cream in front of everyone’s eyes.

Even though the weather wasn’t great, it was still a successful time at the fair this year.

Enjoy these photos of Sunflower Days by Jeff Burkdoll, Bella Reeser and others.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA team works as ‘Just One’ at state convention

MdCV FFA officers for 2019, Frank Warner, Cole Lacey, Koby Vanderpool, Bayleigh Lacey, Sadie McGowin, and Kaelin Criqui stop at KSU McCain Auditorium following a session. Courtesy photo.

By Sadie McGowin
MdCV FFA Reporter

The MdCV FFA officers team attended the 91st annual Kansas State FFA Convention May 29-31, 2019, in Manhattan, Kan. This year’s convention theme was “Just One.” The Kansas FFA had around 2,500 members and guests in total attendance from 207 chapters for the convention. The officer team assisted in a meal service program, convention sessions, and a career fair to help get them inspired and motivated for the coming school year.

MdCV FFA president Bayleigh Lacey, vice-president Frank Warner, and secretary Kaelin Criqui also served as delegates at the convention. The members were able to speak with each other and bounce around ideas for things their chapter can do to grow their membership numbers. There were many speakers at the convention sessions including the state officers with their retiring addresses and motivational speakers from across the country such as Cord McCoy, professional bull rider and winner of the Amazing Race, Luke O’Leary, National FFA President, and Kurt Dillon, State FFA Advisor and KSDE Ag Ed Consultant.

MdCV FFA members also participated in the national program “Give Lunch Service Packaging Event,” in which members packed healthy, easy-to-prepare meals to be given out to hunger relief groups across Kansas. More than 5,000 meals were packaged during their one-hour session.

2019 SFTHS grads head out to get involved in the world

Throwing their caps, the 2019 SFTHS grads celebrate their accomplishment. Photo by Brad Shaffer,

Santa Fe Trail High School’s 2019 honor students offered an abrupt reminder that you can’t live life to its fullest while sitting on the bench – you’ve got to get in the game. At the school’s 49th commencement exercises on May 11, 2019, the salutatorian and valedictorian, Josh Stone and Reegan Sisson, encouraged their fellow graduates, family and friends, to face challenges as life presents them.

Salutatorian Stone congratulated the graduates for reaching their important milestone, but noted they wouldn’t be there without the help of people around them and also their own involvement in their educations.

“For me, the biggest lesson of high school is that it’s important to get involved,” Stone said. “That’s a lesson I will take with me and hope you do too as we go out into the world today. To get involved and not stay on the sidelines.”

Quoting Benjamin Franklin, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn,” Stone said.

“I hope we can all remember the importance of staying involved as we take our next steps,” Stone said.

“The last four years have been filled with moments of learning and moments of experience,” he said.

Valedictorian Sisson noted the graduates would soon go separate ways, reminding of Mr. Hug’s comment that students “were all going to disperse from this school one day like a covey of quail.”

He was right, Sisson said, “Some of us are going to be moving far from home in the next step our journey. Today, with this ceremony, things got real very quickly. I know we are all thinking about our next big step in life.”

Melvern 4-H club honors those who have served

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members Braelyn McNally and  Gradey McNally place flags on the graves of a veterans at Oak Hill Cemetery, Quenemo, in preparation for Memorial Day. Bella Reeser photo.

By Bella Reeser
Club Reporter

Memorial Weekend means something special to each person in their own way. The Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club wanted to show what it meant to them. A few club members spent the evening of Thursday, May 23, 2019, honoring those who served our country by placing flags on the graves of service men and women at the Oak Hill Cemetery, in Quenemo, Kan.

ORBIS Corporation enhances Osage City plant with new molding presses

Osage City Chamber members and ORBIS employees cut the ribbon to celebrate new advancements at the Osage City plant, from left, Christopher Staley, Joe Humerickhouse, Thelma Humerickhouse, Katie Hodge, Cindy Koch, Maurice Koch, Jeremy Young, Shanda Koett, Robin Sage, Robyn Williams, Tricia Gundy, Richard Porter, Aliks Serna, Will Kerns, Jeanette Swarts, and Bryan Zeigler; not pictured Edana Phillips, Richard Swarts, and Wayne White. Chamber photo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – ORBIS Corporation, an international leader in reusable packaging, recently hosted the Osage City Chamber of Commerce for a facility tour and ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the successful launch of new injection molding presses. Local business leaders were able to see the results of the investment, which improves the flexibility and overall output at this location.

This plant produces a variety of reusable and recyclable trays, baskets and totes for use in the food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industries. These products move goods throughout the supply chain to reduce damage, to better utilize truckloads and to reduce waste.

This continues to support the modernization initiative started in 2017 with press replacements. In 2018, the facility continued the plan by significantly upgrading its plastic recycling systems. The upgrade allows for up to 40 percent of the plant materials to be supplied with recycled products that have reached the end of their service life.

2019 OCHS graduates’ milestone reflects community achievement

The 2019 graduating class of Osage City High School. OCHS photo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – A community came together on May 19, 2019, to celebrate its collective accomplishment – sending 41 graduates of Osage City High School out into the world. Guided by its class motto, “Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that,” by author Ally Condie, leaders of the OCHS class of 2019 recognized that all of their achievements were tied together.

During the graduation ceremony, the class’ top honor students, Claire Crawford and Aliks Serna, offered gratitude to parents, school administration and faculty, and their fellow classmates for helping the students achieve their goals and believing in them.

I’m so grateful for the people that believed in me when I failed to believe in myself,” Crawford said. “If that taught me one thing, it’s that the value of not giving up on people is so important. So don’t give up on others, because we’re human.”

In her comments, Serna echoed Crawford’s gratefulness, “You all believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves and for that we’ll never be able to repay you.”

Crawford noted, “Without people … we have nothing – no purpose to laugh, work hard, be successful, or do anything we want to do.”

She said the graduates’ accomplishments happened with their families’ support. “I believe it’s important that I thank my amazing family for loving me through everything,” she said. “I can’t say enough how undeservingly blessed I am to have been able to grow up with them standing by my side.”

Serna agreed, “To all our families, thank you for the endless love and support that you’ve given all of us. Without you we wouldn’t be the individuals that we are today.”

Serna reminisced that her high school years began with feelings of being alone.

“Now that my four years have ended I feel as if I have a whole tribe behind me leading me into my next chapter of life,” she said. “In four short years of high school I’ve gained friendships, mentors, and received outpouring support from my family and the community.”

Both honor students urged the class to give back to the community that supported them and know they will also have an impact on those around them.

Lyndon High School valedictorians weave insightful lesson on impactful words

Lyndon High School class of 2019. Photo thanks to Bill Patterson.

Imagine, if you will, attending a graduation ceremony where seven valedictorians will give seven valedictorian speeches. First you might be ‘thankful,’ knowing your local public school had such free flowing knowledge to produce so many honor students. Second thought about lengthy speeches makes you think about the “courage” of the graduates to get to this point – added to “passion” and “positive” thinking reinforced by “confidence” and “integrity.” And then you realize all your trepidation has been “overcome” as the valedictorians show their wisdom by weaving a collaborative valedictorian speech – featuring succinct words that had been sewed into the fabric of their lives.

No imagination was needed for friends and family of the 36 seniors in the Lyndon High School class of 2019, as they gathered to celebrate the class’ accomplishments on Sunday, May 12, 2019, in the school gymnasium.

Jerry Rice, longtime mathematics teacher and guest speaker, was first to wish the graduating seniors good luck in their future, sharing his four steps to success – faith, family, passion and hope. Then he gave them one last assignment – give thanks to all those who supported them over the years and helped give them “the freedom that you have so you can be whatever you would like to be.”

Rice’s well wishes to the class served as a lead in for the valedictorians’ knitted speech. The 2019 LHS valedictorians and the words important to them were Cassidy Anderson, “thankful”; Kennedy Criqui, “courage”; Regan Martin, “passion”; Sadie Sellers, “positive”; McKenzy Harsch, “confidence”; Meghan Wendling, “integrity”; Madison Smitha, “overcoming”.

Survey teams deploy to assess storm damage in Osage and Douglas counties

In Osage City, following a thunderstorm that dumped rain and produced tornadoes across northeast Kansas Tuesday, citizens help a police officer stranded in high water on a city street. Photo thanks to Joann Baumann.

TOPEKA, Kan. – The National Weather Service has reported a damage survey team was deployed this morning, Wednesday, May 29, 2019, to assess tornado damage from Tuesday’s storms across Osage and Douglas counties. Damage assessments are expected to be completed later today.

NWS has forecast potential for a few isolated storms to develop across far east central Kansas this afternoon into early this evening. Any storms that develop may be strong to severe with hail and strong winds being the primary hazards.

Flooding on area rivers is expected to continue today through tonight, and is likely to persist into the weekend.

Honoring their service: Our pleasure

A Memorial Day weekend tradition, Lyndon American Legion Post 125 ensures that flags line the drive at Lyndon Cemetery.

By Geri Schuler

Memorial Day can be rough for some people.  Maybe they lost a loved one in war time, or maybe their loss is more recent. This is where American Legion Post 125, Lyndon, and the Decker family found themselves this Memorial Day.

They had lost a beloved member, volunteer and role model to the people around him and to his family. He was a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and a best friend.  They lost Elton Decker at age 86 on May 15, 2019.

Nathan Decker, his grandson who is a fellow Legionnaire and veteran, saw him not just as his grandfather, but his best friend. This past weekend was the first time he didn’t wake up and go out with his grandfather “supervising” him and his family while putting up flags at Vassar Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend.  This was not just hard for his family, but for his friends and fellow post members to not see his loving face on the sidelines or helping with honor guard.

Elton served nearly 40 years with the Kansas Air National Guard.  He was associated with the Korean War, Vietnam War and Desert Shield. He is a lifetime member, assisted in starting, and was a contributor to the Kansas National Guard Museum, at Forbes Field, Topeka.  He was the Senior Crew Chief of the B-57 that can be found at the entrance of Forbes field. He took part in the retrieval of the plane from overseas and assisted in rebuilding it to its current state.

When asked why there was no hesitation in the family’s decision to continue with the flags at Vassar Cemetery, Nathan simply said, “It’s the family tradition.” The tradition will carry on with him, his father and his uncle, with plans to teach his five kids the same qualities to keep this Memorial Day tradition alive.

Post 125 is fortunate to have many members who maintain such traditions. They make sure the flags fly in both Lyndon and Vassar over Memorial Day weekend. They perform a Memorial Day honor guard at three cemeteries, Lyndon, Vassar, and Oak Hill, and join with other posts from Osage County for a shared honor guard at Pomona Dam. In addition, the Lyndon post maintains flags at five cemeteries. All of this happens with the help members of the post, Sons of the American Legion, and Legion Riders.

One of the best ways to describe why they do this was overheard after the last ceremony on Memorial Day, at Quenemo.  As our long day neared the end, a sweet man came and thanked the post for the ceremony and honor guard. He said he had recently lost his father, who had grown up in Quenemo and served in the military. Danny Roush, Post 125 commander, thanked this son of a fellow veteran. Then he said simply that it was our pleasure.

It is truly all of the Legionnaires’ and fellow veterans’ pleasure to honor the fallen, not only in war time, but any who ever fought for our country. We honor our own.

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.”

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