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K-31 and K-131 overlay projects to begin Aug. 4 near Melvern and Lebo

Projects’ expected completion in October

Two highway improvement projects in Osage and Coffey counties are scheduled to begin Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021, weather permitting, the Kansas Department of Transportation announced.

State Highway 31 will be restricted to one lane in Osage County for a mill and overlay project. The work will cover approximately 7.5 miles, from just west of the K-31 and U.S. Highway 75 junction to Main Street in Melvern, then south to Interstate 35. Traffic will be directed by a pilot car, flaggers, signs and cones.

State Highway 131 in Coffey County will also be restricted to one lane for an overlay project. Work will begin at the northern city limit of Lebo and extend north 1/2 mile to the K-131/I-35 junction. A pilot car, flaggers, signs and cones will direct traffic through the work zone.

Both projects will have a 10-foot lane width restriction through the work zones. Drivers on either route should plan for delays of up to 15 minutes. Work will take place Monday through Saturday, during daylight hours. Both projects are expected to be complete by late October.

Killough Construction Inc., of Ottawa, Kan., is the contractor on the combined $797,000 projects.

Jordan Road Bridge closed for repair

KDOT also announced another area project that will be ongoing until October. A bridge repair project will begin Aug. 4 on the Jordan Road Bridge over I-35. The bridge is one mile east of the Coffey-Osage county line. Activity includes patching and resurfacing on the bridge deck. The bridge will be closed to traffic during the project, which should be completed by late October. KDOT awarded the construction contract of $187,095 to Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Topeka.

KDOT urges all motorists to be alert and obey the warning signs when approaching and driving through a highway work zone.

COVID-19 cases on rise in Osage County; Delta variant appears to drive new surge in U.S.

Wear a mask, social distance, get vaccinated

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Health Department reported yesterday the number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing steadily in the county during July.

On July 28, 2021, OCHD reported there were 38 active positive cases in Osage County, and five of those cases were found to be of the Delta variant through sequencing testing. A health department social media post reported that up to 80 percent of new positive cases in the Midwest are thought to be caused by the Delta variant. On July 26, the health department reported 42 active cases in the county, but none were known to be of the Delta variant, which requires special testing to detect.

OCHD has warned of an increase of cases since the first week of July, with 15 active cases reported July 15, and 26 active cases reported July 20. Kansas Department of Health and Environment data shows Osage County gained 68 positive cases from July 2 to July 27.

With the increased presence of the Delta variant in Kansas, free COVID-19 vaccine and testing clinics are scheduled to continue across the state. The CDC has issued new mask advisories, once again recommending people indoors wear masks, especially unvaccinated people. CDC reports the Delta variant is twice as infectious as the B.117 variant, which was previously a dominant strain.

KDHE reports the new variant appears to be spreading most quickly in communities that have the lowest vaccination rates. KDHE said nearly all patients who died of COVID-19 in the last few weeks were unvaccinated.

“It’s essential for Kansans to stay safe by continuing to social distance, wear masks while around unvaccinated people, and get tested if you have symptoms or have possibly been exposed to someone with COVID-19,” a KDHE advisory said.

OCHD recommended that everyone observe safety practices including hand washing, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, getting vaccinated, and wearing a mask when unable to social distance.

OCHD notes that everyone of age is encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and although there are breakthrough cases, mostly due to new variants, vaccinated people who become ill with COVID-19 report less severe symptoms.

OCHD offers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but does not have Pfizer, which is the only one currently available for children 12-17 years old. To make an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, call the Osage County Health Department at 785-828-3117.

One year ago today, the OCHD announced the temporary closure of the Osage County Senior Center due to it being considered as a possible cluster site for COVID-19, with three cases associated with attendance at the center. During the month of July 2020, Osage County gained 24 cases, going from 15 to 39 known cases since the pandemic began. At the time, Osage County was in its fourth week of “reopening” after the initial pandemic had surged throughout the U.S. since early in 2020.

Overbrook Bombers set sights on state tournament

Overbrook Bombers, front from left, Brodie Gleason, Breylan Gleason, Talan Long, Luke Edwards, Chad Robert, Bryce Torkelson, back, Coach Patrick Graham, Coach Jason Long, Colton Warthen, Jalen Smith, Kyle Strother, Trent Sleichter, Head Coach Quinton Sleichter, Drake Graham; not pictured, Theron Berckefeldt and Coach Daniel Robert. Courtesy photo.

The Overbrook American Legion Baseball Team finished in second place in the American Legion Zone Tournament hosted July 18-23, in Chanute, Kan., to qualify to compete in the 2021 Kansas Junior Legion State Tournament, which begins today, July 28, at Salina, Kan.

The Overbrook American Legion Baseball Team, the Overbrook Bombers, is made up of players who attend Santa Fe Trail High School.

The team is scheduled to play the opening game of the Kansas Junior Legion State Tournament against the Junction City Blues at 1 p.m. today; and 8:30 p.m. July 29 against the Salina Hawks; and 12:30 p.m. July 30 against Central-Burton. The top two teams in each pool will advance to a single elimination tournament, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. The tournament will be played at Dean Evans Stadium, 841 Markley Rd., Salina.

The Overbrook Bombers are sponsored by Overbrook American Legion Post 239.

Round Robin Showmanship results, Osage County Fair, July 10, 2021

Round robin showman competition participants are presented awards by show sponsors. Osage County Fair Association photo.

The Osage County Fair’s final day, July 10, 2021, featured some of Osage County’s best livestock showmen competing in the round robin showman event. The Osage County Fair Association has announced the results of the competition as follows:

Senior division winners

  • Sheep, Addyson Easter, Lyndon Leaders
  • Goat, Ethan Kneisler, Lyndon Leaders
  • Beef, Grace Croucher, Willing Workers
  • Swine, Kinsley Garrison, North Osage

Champion senior division showman was Grace Croucher, and reserve senior division showman was Ethan Kneisler.

Intermediate Division Winners                                                                       

  • Horse, Katie Lowry, Burlingame
  • Sheep, Chloe Cannon, North Osage
  • Goat, Allie Kneisler, Lyndon Leaders
  • Beef, Braelyn McNally, Melvern Jr. Highline
  • Swine, Jaiton Bosse, Willing Workers

Champion intermediate division showman was Allie Kneisler; reserve intermediate division showman was Braelyn McNally.

The annual round robin showman event is sponsored by Edward Jones Investments-Robyn Williams, and the buckle awards are sponsored by Black Crest Cattle, The Corwine Family.

Overlay projects to begin on U.S. 75 in Shawnee and Osage counties

The Kansas Department of Transportation announced two overlay projects on U.S. Highway 75 are scheduled to begin in Shawnee and Osage counties on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, weather permitting.

KDOT reported approximately 16 miles of southbound U.S. 75 will be restricted to one lane from Southwest 42nd Street in Topeka to just south of the U.S. 75/U.S. 56 intersection in Osage county.

Approximately 9 miles of northbound U.S. 75 will also be restricted to one lane from Southwest Topeka Boulevard to just south of the U.S. 75/U.S. 56 intersection in Osage county.

All on and off ramps on both routes are included in the projects. Ramp closures will be one day or less, and information will be posted on message boards three days in advance.

Traffic on either route will be directed through the work zone by a pilot car, flaggers, signs and cones. Drivers should plan for possible delays of up to 15 minutes.

Work will take place during light hours Monday through Saturday. Both projects are expected to be complete by November.

Hamm Inc., Perry, Kan., is the contractor on the combined $6.6 million dollar projects.

Lyndon Methodist Church celebrates 150th anniversary by getting all ‘Rev’d Up’

Lyndon United Methodist Church’s ninth annual Get Rev’d Up All Motor Show, held June 19, 2021, also served as a celebration for the church’s 150th anniversary, which was observed a year late due to the pandemic.

This year’s event, Lyndon resident Gene Hirt handed out 172 American Flags as the cars, trucks and motorcycles entered the city park in Lyndon, which was filled to the brim with cars as the show got underway.

The church served homemade biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos and cinnamon rolls inside the shelter house, and later homemade ice cream and lunch. The American Legion came around 9:30 a.m. and Michael Kaufman, Lyndon High School band teacher, played the Star Spangled Banner solo on the saxophone. Music played throughout the morning with DJ Pat Reyle, Rock Star Entertainment, and Mike Cline and the Constant Praise Band, from Atchison, and who have performed at the car show since its beginning.

At the awards ceremony in the afternoon, 32 prizes were awarded, with a special guest, David Wolfe from the Street Rodding American Style PBS program, who presented a “PIZZAZZ” award to Bruce Mishler,of Lyndon. Show participants also were presented door prizes and monetary awards, which were made possible with donations from local businesses and organizations.

LUMC’s memorial picks for 2021 were (award honoree, motor vehicle, owner name):

Eat Well to Be Well:Letting go of the ‘all or nothing’ approach to nutrition

An “all or nothing” mindset about nutrition may sabotage your health goals

We all have that friend who’s always making comments about their food intake such as, “I really shouldn’t be eating this,” or “I’ve been so good on my diet lately,” or maybe they might say, “I’ll get back on track Monday after my ‘cheat’ weekend.”

Comments like these are often a way for people to rationalize eating certain foods they deem as “bad” by saying how “good” they’ve been, vowing to get back on schedule soon. These same individuals often live by an “all or nothing” attitude in regards to dieting or losing weight. They will tell themselves they can never eat cake, candy, fried food, or any favorite foods again, hence a set-up for an all or nothing way of thinking.

Unfortunately, pledging to give up certain foods is problematic and unrealistic to follow. There is always going to be somebody’s birthday party where cake is served, or a festive holiday buffet decked out with sweets and treats tempting you away from your all or nothing eating plan. Do you have a plan on how to handle those situations?

However, all or nothing nutrition is a surefire plan for excessively obsessing over what you should be eating and how much, which rarely ends well. That’s because the “all or nothing” voice in your head will deceptively tell you “You’ve already had a piece of cake, so you might as well have the entire cake,” or “You’ve skipped breakfast and lunch, so go ahead and binge at dinner and all evening long.”

The good news is none of us need to follow an “all or nothing” mindset to succeed at meeting health goals. When common sense reigns and food restrictions are liberated allowing you freedom to eat what you want without judgment, all foods can be part of a healthy diet. Keep your focus on healthy eating the majority of time while permitting yourself a small and guilt-free indulgence on most days of the week, if not every day.

Hidden History: Fostoria musician goes to Nashville, becomes a country ‘Starr’

Burlingame area native Kenny Starr, center, sings with Loretta Lynn during a 1970s era performance. Photographer unknown.

Osage County has long been the home to a strong working class responsible for building the industry in the county. These hard workers and small-town life are the inspiration for the themes of many country music songs. Kenny Trebbe, Osage County native, used his blue-collar roots and his love of music to become a shining “Starr” of the Country Western scene.

Kenny Trebbe grew up in what had been the little mining community of Fostoria, two miles east of Burlingame. His father, William, was a coal miner, construction worker, and vegetable farmer before a back injury limited him to cutting wood for his family.

Kenny got his start in music in elementary school, singing 1950s rock and soul at local venues for nickels and dimes. Some of his first bands were Kenny and the Rebels and later Kenny and the Imperials. His songs were so well received that on one New Year’s Day, he made $13.

His parents, fans of Guy Lombardo’s big band style were not as interested in Kenny’s earliest choice of music but appreciated his switch to country music when he reached his teens. By that time, he had chosen the stage name of Kenny Starr – surname borrowed from a Texas cousin – and created the band Kenny Starr and the Country Showmen.

In 1971, a 17-year-old Kenny entered a talent contest sponsored by a Wichita Radio Station. Ninety-eight contestants participated, but Kenny’s rendition of Ray Price’s “I Won’t Mention It Again” stole the show. His performance caught the eye of Harry “Hap” Peebles, a local promoter. Peebles was able to get him an audience with Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, who were in town for a show. Kenny was then invited to perform with Lynn and Twitty in both Wichita and Kansas City. Loretta Lynn took a personal interest in the young singer and told him to look her up if he ever got to Nashville, and she would help him get started.

As soon as Kenny got home, he and his mother, Kathleen, prepared to leave immediately to pursue his dreams. A neighbor drove them to Nashville because the Trebbe’s car would not have made the trip, and the group arrived two days later, beating Loretta Lynn home.

Loretta Lynn, true to her word, helped establish Kenny in the country music business. Lynn gave him the opportunity to tour with her band the Coal Miners. When they weren’t touring, she let him live in her mansion. After four and a half years of learning his way in country music, Kenny struck out on his own.

K-170 bridge replacement near Reading to close highway for approximately 1 year

A bridge replacement project scheduled to begin this week in Osage County will close a portion of state Highway 170 near Reading, Kan.

The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced the bridge that spans the Marais Des Cygnes River approximately 1.5 miles east of Reading will be replaced in the project that is expected to be completed by July 2022.

During the project, K-170 will be closed at the worksite and posted detours will direct traffic to use state Highway 99 and U.S. Highway 56. Drivers should expect delays of up to 40 minutes by following the detour. Work will take place Monday through Saturday, during daylight hours.

A.M. Cohron & Sons Inc., of Atlantic, Iowa, is the contractor on the $3.5 million project.

KDOT urges all motorists to be alert and obey the warning signs when approaching and driving through a highway work zone. For more information about Kansas road construction projects, see www.kandrive.org or call 5-1-1.

Osage County Fair to honor heroes among us

This year’s Osage County Fair will honor those among us who are the heroes in our lives. The theme of this year’s fair and fair parade, “Honoring Hometown Heroes”, was set by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce and the Osage County Fair Association to offer the opportunity for local citizens to recognize their heroes.

All honorees are invited to attend the 2021 Osage County Fair Parade and fireworks display, July 9 and 10, respectively, in recognition of their services. (Nominators are asked to advise their nominees prior to the event.)

The following categories and qualifications are to be considered for this nomination: Osage County residents who served in the United States Armed Forces; law enforcement officers in Osage County; Osage County fire fighters or first responders; Osage County EMS; individuals who have saved the life of another under heroic circumstances; individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty; individuals who have made significant contributions to Osage County.

Nominations should be submitted by June 25 to osagecitychamb[email protected] or mail to PO Box 56, Osage City, KS 66523. A Hometown Heroes nomination form is available here. For more information, contact Jeanette Swarts, Osage City Chamber of Commerce director, at 785-249-5451, or see osagecitychamber.com.

Osage County Fair promises entertainment for all: July 7-10, 2021, at Osage City

The 76th annual Osage County Fair is scheduled for July 7-10, 2021, at Osage City, Kan. The Osage County Fair Association has worked with local partners to put together four days and nights of entertainment and activities, along with traditional exhibition of the best of the best of Osage County.

The fair unofficially begins with the 4-H horse show this Saturday at Lyndon Saddle Club Arena, but the fair opens for entry of all other exhibits the morning of Wednesday, July 7. That evening, the Peterson Farm Brothers will be serving up their unique style of down-home agri-entertainment as the fair’s opening act.

Fairgrounds will close daily 30 minutes after last evening event. Exhibit building hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Lions Club food stand opens at 6 a.m. Thursday through Saturday for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Here is the fair’s schedule as presented by the fair association. See osagecountyfair.org for the latest schedule and information.

Eat Well to Be Well:How to build a delicious, nutritious, and filling smoothie

You may think building a healthy smoothie is easy. Grab a blender and throw in a bunch of fruit, add sweeteners, and milk or juice, and call it good. But think again. When done right, smoothies can indeed be very healthy. Plus, they’re a convenient and easy way to pack in essential fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all in a drinkable form.

However, when done wrong, drinking what you perceive as “healthy,” might backfire. When packing smoothies with a bevy of ingredients, a super healthy smoothie easily becomes a disastrous overload, pushing in excess of 500 calories plus and a surplus of sugars sabotaging attempts at both weight loss or keeping blood sugar under control.

Could you be making these same “smoothie mistakes” and not know it? If so, you’re not alone. Smoothies are a commonly made concoction in many households and often used as a meal replacement. But to avoid bungling a smoothie, learn the right way to build a delicious, nutritious, and filling smoothie, keeping everything in balance.

Common smoothie mistakes to avoid

To understand the art of healthy smoothie-making, it’s important to know mistakes to avoid. See if you might be guilty of any of the following:

Putting in too much fruit: I’ve listened to plenty of clients who proudly describe in detail the overabundance of fruit they add to a smoothie recipe. More is better, right? Wrong. Fruits are a mainstay of smoothies offering a variety of nutrients your body needs. But remember, moderation is key. Too much of a good thing will disrupt the balance between calories and carbs. The rule of thumb is to use about one cup of no more than one to two fruits per smoothie.

Adding in too many sweeteners: A sugar is a sugar, no matter what form it’s in.  If you like sweetening-up your smoothie by adding in honey or maple syrup or coconut sugar, as examples, a heavy hand will up the calorie and carb ante – a lot. Whatever fruit you’re using should be “sweet enough” without needing to rely on added sugars.

Drinking a smoothie with a meal: Most smoothies are consumed early morning for breakfast. A high protein, fruit and veggie-packed smoothie can be a nutritious way to begin your day, and likely has sufficient calories to meet your needs for that meal. But if you’re also having that smoothie along with a bowl of cereal or oatmeal or a plate of eggs, bacon, and toast, either cut out the smoothie or significantly lighten it up to still enjoy it alongside your other foods.

Going overboard with nutrient boosters: Some smoothie zealots like to “beef up” the nutritional value by adding in extras like protein powders, peanut or almond butters, or chia seeds. While these can be used, if amounts are unchecked, calories add up quickly. Consider that just one tablespoon of peanut or almond butter contains 100 calories. Again, moderation rules.

U.S. 56 overlay and milling work begins in Osage County

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – Overlay and milling work began today, June 14, 2021, on U.S. Highway 56 in Osage County, Kan. The work will cover approximately 27 miles, from the junction of U.S. 56 and state Highway 31 in Burlingame to the Osage-Douglas county line.

The Kansas Department of Transportation reports work will alternate between the left and right lanes throughout the project. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in the work zone and will be directed by a pilot car, flaggers, signs and cones. Drivers should plan for delays of up to 15 minutes and add extra time in their travel schedules.

Work will take place Monday through Saturday, beginning 30 minutes after sunrise until 30 minutes before sunset. The project is expected to be completed by late July, weather permitting.

Start snapping: Statewide agriculture photo contest opens entry period

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The beauty of Kansas agriculture has been celebrated throughout the state’s ag industry, and photographers are encouraged to capture that beauty and share it with others through the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s annual photo contest. KDA began accepting photos June 7, and will continue through Aug. 16, 2021.

This year’s KDA Photo Contest categories were selected to promote different aspects of Kansas agriculture. Kansas Weather, Celebrating Local Foods, Water in Kansas and Rural Kansas categories will showcase the many places and ways to experience agriculture across the state of Kansas. This year a video category has been added to showcase drone footage, harvest videos, or other short clips of under 30 seconds. There will be a separate youth category for photographers under age 19. Prizes will be awarded to the top two winners in each of the six categories.

Photos which best capture the categories will be used throughout the year as KDA tells the story of Kansas agriculture. After submission, KDA is granted permission to use any photograph for publications, social media, websites, or displays without payment or other consideration from the photographer.

Flint Hills Technical College confers honors on Osage County students

Graduates of FHTC’s 2021 dental hygienist program wait to accept their certificates. FHTC photo.

Flint Hills Technical College conferred 230 students at its 2021 Spring Commencement ceremony Sunday, May 16, at William Lindsay White Civic Auditorium, Emporia, Kan. Earlier in the day, the dental hygiene program held its pinning, also at the auditorium, where 15 dental hygiene students were recognized.

The commencement address was given by Dr. Dean Hollenbeck, his final before retirement as president of FHTC. These were the first in-person ceremonies since the Winter 2019 Commencement, with both spring and winter 2020 ceremonies having been canceled due to COVID-19. Attendance was limited, with each student allowed a certain number of guests, and the event was live streamed.

Graduating students from Osage County were:

  • Devon Jay Lincoln, Osage City, Power Plant Technology, Division of Technology, Technical Certificate.
  • Cody Lynn Medlen, Osage City, Welding Technology, Division of Technology, Technical Certificate, graduating with honors.
  • John Dale Erwin Schoepflin, Osage City, Division of Arts, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Hospitality-Culinary Arts, graduating with honors.
  • Christian Scott Orear, Osage City, Division of Arts, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Multimedia Design.
  • Kady Nicole Akers, Scranton, Division of Health and Human Services, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Dental Hygiene, graduating with honors.
  • Royce McCall Cowan, Osage City, Division of Information Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Computer Program Design and Development, graduating with honors.
  • Aaron Drake Brosch, Lyndon, Division of Information Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Network Technology.
  • Kilene Marie Tate, Osage City, Division of Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree, Industrial Engineering Technology, graduating with honors.
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