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Category Archives: Health

Kansas state parks to offer New Year’s Day hikes

Hikers are invited to celebrate the New Year with fun, fresh air, and scenic views by participating in a First Day Hike at a Kansas state park. The self-led and guided hikes are organized annually by parks staff to encourage individuals and families to start the year on the right foot, by getting outside and connecting with nature.

This year, more than 1,000 hikes will be available in state parks around the United States, including 33 First Day Hike events hosted by Kansas State Parks. While the distance and rigor of the hikes will vary at each state park, all aim to create a fun experience for all. Savor the beauty of the natural, cultural, and historical resources state parks offer, and be inspired to continue taking advantage of these local treasures throughout calendar year 2024.

“This will be our 13th year to offer First Day Hikes in Kansas’ state parks and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Linda Lanterman, Kansas State Parks director. “Each year, these events grow more and more popular because they’re a fun and healthy way to start the New Year, they’re a great cure for cabin fever, and they’re held in some of the prettiest parts of our state.”

Locally, hikes are available at Pomona State Park and on the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

  • Pomona State Park will offer a mixed route with a one-mile hike and a four-mile hike. Hikers should meet at 10 a.m. Jan. 1 at the park office. The one-mile hike will be good for young family groups and those not wanting a strenuous hike. The four-mile hike will be medium in difficulty due to the terrain. Hikers could see cedar waxwings, eagles, foxes, woodpeckers, owls, pelicans and other wildlife. Contact Pomona State Park at 785-828-4933.
  • The Flint Hills Nature Trail hike will begin at 9 a.m. Jan. 1, 2024, from the Council Grove trailhead at Seventh and Walnut streets in Council Grove. The trail is described as easy in difficulty, with participants encouraged to bring a bike to ride the trail. For more information, contact Flint Hills Trail State Park at 785-448-2627.

Kansas state parks’ staff recommend being prepared for the hike and consider bringing the following, if possible: Water, snacks, weather appropriate clothing such as hat, gloves, heavy coat, suitable shoes for hiking, binoculars, hiking stick, and camera

With limited availability, First Day Hike T-shirts will be offered to participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on the park, a vehicle permit could be required; contact the state park for details.

MdCV sixth-graders DARE to resist drugs, alcohol, tobacco

On Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School sixth graders graduated from the 10-week DARE program with MdCV’s school resource officer, Jackie Beatty. DARE is a drug abuse prevention education program intended to give elementary school children skills to resist peer pressure to use tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Celebrating their graduation from the program are, front from left, Andrew Dickey, Braxtyon Sturgeon-Bean, Ryne Cormode, Lilly Stephens, and Danny Goddard, back, Beatty, Collin Saffle, Braylee Patterson, Adrian Zentz, Hailey Fine, Katie Cummings, and Maddie Morgan; not pictured, Lona Freeman and Freddy Wiley. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Eat Well to Be Well: 18 Christmas gifts to promote health and wellness all year long

Discover Christmas gift ideas that inspire and motivate loved ones to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2024.

The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your loved one, I’ve got you covered with some great ideas. This list is not about mundane items like socks, underwear, or ties; instead, it focuses on thoughtful gifts showing you care about their health and well-being. Whether for someone trying to make healthier lifestyle choices or for someone already a health enthusiast, this list won’t disappoint those receiving your gift!

The gift of good health is truly invaluable. It reminds us that happiness and well-being are the greatest treasures in life.

Check out these health gifts that are both practical and thoughtful. Your friends and family will love them, and you’ll feel great knowing you’re giving them something that promotes their well-being.

1. Pedometer

Get them moving – one step at a time. This can be an excellent gift for the person who always says they know they should exercise but never finds time. Keeping track of the number of steps taken each day can be a fun motivator and a real eye-opener.

Regular physical activity has numerous health advantages besides helping to reach a healthy body weight. Other health benefits include more restful sleep, more robust immune functioning, improved nutritional health, improved body composition, stronger bones, enhanced resistance to colds and other infectious diseases, stronger circulation and lung function, lower risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of gallbladder disease, lower incidences and severity of anxiety and depression, higher quality of life in later years, and last (but not least), improved self-esteem. (1)

2. High-quality olive oil

Most people have olive oil, but we’re discussing splurging on the good stuff. Many of us don’t buy quality extra virgin olive oil, so getting it for someone who likes to use it can be an exceptional treat. Another consideration is to give an “oil of the month” subscription to the true connoisseur who likes their taste buds tantalized year-round.

I always recommend extra virgin olive oil. Rich in healthy monounsaturated fat, extra virgin olive is well-known for protecting you from heart disease by helping lower inflammation, lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol, improving the lining of your blood vessels, and possibly helping prevent blood clotting. (2)

3. Air-popped popcorn popper

This is a must for anyone who loves popcorn but knows they must cut back on the oil or butter. Air-popped popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks and is always a welcome whole grain anytime.

Eat Well to Be Well: Pomegranates – Protector of your health

Pomegranates’ seeds and natural juice are a wealth of nutrients beneficial for your health.

Right about now, you may be overlooking an extraordinarily nutritious fruit. And it’s not the usual apples, oranges, or bananas. While all fruits are good for us, the “jewel of the winter,” better known as pomegranates, protects your health. Usually in season from October through February, pomegranates have an outstanding nutritional portfolio, making them a true nutritional gem, and are one of the world’s most popular fruits.

Overview of pomegranates

Pomegranates have a lengthy and rich history dating back to biblical times, with even a mention in the Old Testament, and were often used for medicinal purposes. Believed to have originated in Iran, pomegranate trees do well in hot, dry climates such as California, Afghanistan, India, Israel, Spain, and Mediterranean. The name pomegranate comes from the Latin words ‘pomum” (apple) and “granatum” (seeded), literally meaning “seeded apple.” Pomegranates have a botanical name, “Punica Granatum,” which translates as “apple with many seeds.” The average pomegranate contains about 600 seeds, known as arils. Arils are the only edible part of a pomegranate, along with pomegranate juice, obtained by squeezing the whole fruit.

Nutritional profile of pomegranates

If you’ve never eaten the arils of a pomegranate, you really must try them. The tart yet sweet taste is an enjoyable combination, and with their unique blend of phytochemicals, pomegranates should be a fruit eaten frequently.  

Eat Well to Be Well: Enjoy Thanksgiving guilt-free with three empowering approaches

Feeling anxious about weight gain this holiday season? Here’s how to stop Thanks-guilting and start enjoying Thanksgiving.

This year, don’t allow worries about overeating ruin your Thanksgiving celebration with loved ones. It’s a once-a-year occasion that should be enjoyed without reservation. Instead, recognize that this holiday has several healthy opportunities to take advantage of that can benefit your overall health and well-being. By reminding yourself of these benefits, you can avoid feeling guilty about food and thoroughly enjoy the festivities of this holiday.

Here’s what you need to know to overcome negative emotions associated with holiday food:

1. Be physically active

Here’s a news bulletin you need to hear: Participating in a rough and tumble family football game is optional to earn the holiday meal! However, it’s important to note that engaging in other physical activities related to the holiday also counts towards achieving this goal. Acknowledging and appreciating the various physical activities of the holiday season is crucial.

Here’s a look at “physical activities” you likely will participate in but may not have considered:

  • Cooking. Preparing a Thanksgiving meal is a time-consuming task requiring much effort. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, standing and lifting weights under 50 pounds are considered moderate-intensity tasks, which can burn around 3.5 to 7 calories per minute. Therefore, spending about 2 to 4 hours preparing food before the main meal could potentially burn 400 to 1,200 calories even before indulging in the feast.
  • Enjoying your family. It is crucial to remember that your body is continually using energy, even when you are not working out intentionally. Daily activities, such as chatting with your friends and family or taking care of kids, can be categorized into different intensity levels. For instance, playing with your kids can be classified as a moderate-intensity activity, while standing is considered a low-intensity activity, which means it burns fewer than 3.5 calories per minute.
  • Cleaning. Hosting a party is always fun, but cleaning up before and after can be a hassle. However, this presents a great opportunity to engage in moderate-intensity activity by finishing those cleaning tasks! If you didn’t host the gathering, why not help the host clean up? Not only will it be good for your physical well-being, but it’s also a great way to cultivate social relationships.

2. Savor healthy Thanksgiving foods

Although Thanksgiving foods may seem indulgent, many contain essential nutrients that benefit your body’s health.

Eat Well to Be Well: Finding time for healthy habits

Taking time to plan, prioritize, and problem-solve can help you reach your behavior change goals

Achieving behavior change goals, such as healthy eating and exercise, requires planning, prioritizing, and problem-solving. Putting these three “P’s” to work will help you stay on track and overcome any obstacles that may hinder your success.

Beginning a new behavior can be challenging and sometimes even overwhelming. But when utilizing the skills of planning, prioritizing, and problem-solving, suddenly, everything tends to fall into place.

Let’s explore how you can put these skills and ideas into action in order to attain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Meal and Physical Activity Planning

A famous quote from former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt says, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Mrs. Roosevelt understood that wishing upon a star rarely results in our wishes coming true. A better approach is to make small, realistic goals and plan for how you will achieve them. By doing so, you can use your energy more effectively and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcomes.

When planning, always review your routine, be adaptable to change, and overcome barriers by being flexible and creative.

Meal Planning

Regarding meal planning, it’s helpful to have a designated day of the week to assess the foods you need to buy based on your planned meals. Making a shopping list and preparing food ahead of time can also save you time and hassle. Additionally, keeping simple meals in regular rotation can help speed the meal-making process and reduce the temptation to eat out.

Physical Activity Planning

Due to time constraints, exercise can sometimes seem impossible to incorporate. However, we can overcome this obstacle by adding simple physical activities to our schedule. For instance, we can practice yoga or stretching for 10 minutes every morning or before bedtime. We can also walk during our lunch break or after dinner, depending on what suits us best. Even small movements can have a positive impact on our health. We can make the most of any opportunity to move, such as parking farther from our destination, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking for 10 minutes inside our house. Being creative and consistent with movement throughout the day leads to results.

Osage County Senior Center: All invited to Nov. 1 potluck dinner

Update: The next senior center potluck dinner will be 12 noon Nov. 1, 2023, with the band to follow. This will also be the center’s traditional Thanksgiving meal.

The Sewing Chicks give quilts to Osage County veterans. Any area veterans who have not already received a quilt from them is asked to come in and sign up for one. They also have a beautiful veterans quilt for raffle this month; tickets are $1 for 1 or 6 for $5, the drawing will be Nov. 11.

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and the Osage County Public Transportation – where things are happening. The Sewing Chicks have a beautiful fall quilt up for a raffle so stop in and get your tickets.

The Lunch Bunch is going to Smoked Creations, in Ottawa, leaving at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 27. Casino trip leaves at 9 a.m. on Oct. 24.

John McGrath will be here to help with choosing the right Medicare Supplement plan, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Oct. 26; stop in and make the right plan for you. Oct. 28, the trip to Ottawa Opra to see Lorena Prater will leave at 4:30 p.m.

Herms Foot care is here Oct. 19 and 24.

We are going to try and learn to line dance at 2 p.m. every Tuesday – it will be interesting. The ceramics class is $4 per class, most supplies are furnished. High Rollers is 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter Bingo at 10 a.m. every Tuesday; come and enjoy.

We are doing our shopping trips on the first and third Thursdays of the month going to Topeka Walmart, Sam’s and Aldi’s. Riders need to call the transportation department to make reservations.

The senior center crafters are in need of donations of buttons and lace if anyone has any they would like to donate.

I am open to all suggestions for activities and or outings. The center is available to be rented for events.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny
Franny Deters, Osage County Senior Center director

Medicare open enrollment begins; ECKAA offers counseling

The East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging is reminding Medicare beneficiaries that the Medicare open enroll period runs Oct. 15 and through Dec, 7, 2023. The enrollment period is to enroll in prescription drugs plans or Medicare Advantage Plans for 2024.

The East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging provides free, unbiased Medicare counseling and can assist with your Medicare needs. Prior to an appointment, complete and return a prescription drug worksheet form. The form can be emailed or mailed, or can be picked up at the ECKAAA office at 117 S. Main, Ottawa, Kan. Walk-in appointments cannot be accommodated.

Appointments will be available in Ottawa at ECKAAA, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Extended hours will be available 5-7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and Nov. 20, upon request.

Open enrollment outreach dates will also be available at the following locations:

  • Frontier Extension office, 411 S Oak St., Garnett, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Nov. 2 and Nov. 21.
  • Coffey County Library, 410 Juniatta St., Burlington, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 28.
  • Osage City Library, 515 Main St., Osage City, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Nov. 30.

For assistance with Medicare, to schedule an appointment with ECKAAA or one of the open enrollment outreach dates, or to obtain a prescription drug plan worksheet, contact ECKAAA, 117 S. Main St., Ottawa, call 785-242-7200, email, or see

SOS to receive grant from Michelin charity golf tournament

SOS, at Emporia, Kan., will receive a donation of $100,000 from funds raised in a record-breaking year of the Michelin Charity Golf Tournament organized by Michelin North America Inc. The corporation raised $1 million through its recent charity golf tournament in Greenville, S.C., with proceeds supporting 10 charities in communities where Michelin employees live and work.

Connie Cahoone, SOS executive director, and Kathryn Wilkerson, SOS therapy and program coordinator, were in Greenville during the tournament to share information about the services that SOS provides in the five counties it serves.

“We had not expected such a large amount, and it is a huge blessing,” Cahoone said. “In a time when grants are being cut significantly, these funds from Michelin will be necessary to help SOS continue to serve our local community.”

The tournament has generated almost $9 million since its inception in 1989. This year’s tournament will award proceeds to 10 charitable organizations in Ft. Wayne, Ind., Louisville, Ky., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Upstate S.C., and SOS, of Emporia.

SOS provides services to those who have experienced sexual and domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, child abuse and neglect throughout Chase, Coffey, Lyon, Morris, and Osage counties. For more information, call 620-343-8799 or see

Motorists encouraged to be on the lookout for deer

Vehicle-deer crashes can happen any day of the year on Kansas roadways. Across the state, 37 percent of all single-vehicle crashes in 2022 involved a collision with a deer. The Kansas Department of Transportation reports six people were killed and 575 people were injured in collisions with deer in 2022.

KDOT reports indicate there were 112 vehicle-deer collisions in Osage County in 2022. Four of those crashes resulted in injuries; 108 were listed as property damage only crashes. In nearby counties, Franklin had 183 crashes with eight injuries; Lyon had 182 crashes and three injuries; Wabaunsee had 99 crashes with six injuries.

These crashes greatly increase from now until the end of the year because of deer breeding season, with November typically the peak time. This is why KDOT, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and others are joining to raise awareness and help decrease vehicle-deer crashes.

“If a deer enters the roadway in front of your car, it is best to hit the animal and not swerve to avoid it,” said KHP Captain Candice Breshears. “We find more serious crashes occur when you swerve to miss the deer, potentially losing control of your vehicle, leaving the road or veering into oncoming traffic.”

Roadway safety officials suggest drivers:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are more active.
  • If you see one deer, expect others, as deer seldom travel alone.
  • Be alert and reduce speeds near wooded areas or green spaces and near water sources such as streams and ponds.
  • Deer crossing signs show areas where high numbers of vehicle-deer collisions have occurred in the past; but they can happen on any roadway, including city streets.
  • Do not swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Motorists could then veer into oncoming traffic, run off the road, hit objects or overturn.
  • Use bright headlights when there is no oncoming traffic and scan for the reflective eyes of deer.
  • If a collision occurs, move the vehicle to the roadway’s shoulder. Then, if possible, call law enforcement – KHP dispatch at *47, the Kansas Turnpike at *KTA or local law enforcement at 911.
  • Put the vehicle’s hazard lights on, whether it is light or dark outside.
  • Remain in the vehicle with your seat belt fastened to be better protected.
  • Contact your insurance company to report any vehicle damage.

Anyone involved in a collision with a deer or other animal resulting in personal injury or property damage totaling $1,000 or more is required to immediately report the incident to the nearest law enforcement agency.

Nadia Marji, KDWP public affairs chief, said a common question to the agency is if a hunting license is needed to personally take a deer carcass from a crash scene.

“KDWP has a process in place for this through salvage tags,” Marji said. “A salvage tag is required to remove all or part of a deer carcass from an accident site and can be issued by a KDWP game warden, KHP trooper or sheriff’s deputy.”

Increase roadway safety this fall and throughout the year by staying alert, obeying posted laws and eliminating distractions while driving. Always wear a seat belt and use appropriate child safety seats, every trip, every time.

Boil water advisory rescinded for the city of Quenemo

Update, Oct. 7, 2023 – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the City of Quenemo public water supply system located in Osage County. The advisory was issued because of a loss of pressure in the system. Laboratory testing samples collected from the City of Quenemo indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

Eat Well to Be Well Recipe: Soft Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Flavorful and pillowy soft, these pumpkin cookies are an irresistible fall treat!

Every household should have a top-notch recipe for soft pumpkin cookies. This recipe will become a family favorite when the leaves change colors and there’s a crisp, autumnal feeling in the air. Serving a plate of these soft pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips will be a delicious treat on chilly fall days!

If you like oh-so-soft cakelike cookies, this one is it. Pumpkin pie spice along with 100 percent pumpkin puree and lightly sweetened with brown sugar, this cookie will practically melt in your mouth with the delicate flavors of fall.

Soft pumpkin cookies’ nutritional vibes

When reading the ingredients for this recipe, you will notice I used 100 percent stone-ground whole wheat flour. You can certainly use regular “whole wheat flour,” but I chose this ingredient instead. Whole grains provide valuable nutrients compared to refined grains (e.g. white bread or white rice). These nutrients include many B vitamins, protein, fiber, iron, some calcium, and other various minerals.

You may also wonder, “What’s the difference between whole wheat flour and 100 percent stone ground whole wheat flour,” here’s your answer: Depending on the brand, 100 percent stone ground whole wheat flour is made from hard red wheat with the bran and germ, components of a wheat kernel, still intact. Whole wheat flour is also considered a “whole” grain. Why is this important? According to The Whole Grains Council:

“Refining grains normally removes the bran and the germ, leaving only the endosperm (the three parts of a grain kernel). Without the bran and germ, about 25 percent of a grain’s protein is lost, and the nutritional content of up to 17 key nutrients are also greatly reduced.” Yikes!

100 percent stone ground whole wheat flour is slightly higher in protein, and bread bakers often prefer it for consistent, high-rising loaves of bread. However, I also used it in this recipe, and the finished product came out great. But if you prefer to use whole wheat flour instead, that’s good also.

Did you know that pumpkin puree is packed with nutrients? It’s a great source of the mineral potassium, which helps muscles function properly and keeps your blood pressure in check. Plus, pumpkin’s vibrant, eye-catching orange hue comes from a pigment called beta-carotene. This nutrient is crucial for maintaining good health, as it converts into vitamin A in our bodies. Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight, a robust immune system, healthy skin, and healthy mucus membranes.

Now that you know of some of the health benefits of taking a bite of this delicious cookie, let’s turn our attention to making the recipe!

Eat Well to Be Well: Jump-start weight loss with a protein-packed breakfast

Adding more protein to your diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. And the best time to begin starts in the morning by eating breakfast.

Starting your day with a protein-rich breakfast can be an effective strategy if you’re looking to lose weight. Research has demonstrated that a high-protein breakfast can assist in achieving weight loss objectives and preventing weight gain in both teenagers and adults.

Often touted as “the most important meal of the day,” breakfast is already well-known for improving concentration, memory, and energy levels. A high-protein breakfast’s effectiveness for weight loss is becoming increasingly apparent. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that a high-protein breakfast can be valuable for weight loss, particularly in teenagers. So, what defines how much protein should be in a high-protein breakfast? The magic numbers appear to be 25-35 grams. Unfortunately, the average American consumes far short of that, with approximately only 10 to 15 grams at breakfast, and the protein source often coming from high-sugar breakfast cereals.

Skipping breakfast is directly linked to weight gain, higher BMI, and obesity. It is imperative to acknowledge the significance of a balanced breakfast and not overlook its impact on overall health and wellness. Therefore, it is highly recommended to make sure that breakfast is an essential part of our daily routine.

Lyndon Lions to stride for diabetes awareness

LYNDON, Kan. – Members of the Lyndon Lions Club, along with their friends and families, will walk in the 5k Strides: Lions for Diabetes Awareness event, scheduled during Lyndon’s annual fall festival, Oct. 7, 2023.

The walk will begin at 10 a.m. on the Osage County Courthouse lawn and travel to the finish line at the same place the walk started. Total distance covered will be three miles. Health screenings and information from local companies will be available to the public free of charge along the walk.

“There’s still time to gather your family, friends and neighbors to walk in the Strides event,” said Lyndon Lions Club President Barb Schattak. “This is an enjoyable way for the community to join together in the fight against diabetes.”

Lyndon Mayor Steve Morrison recently proclaimed the day of the walk as Lyndon Lions Club Community Event Day for Diabetes. See proclamation here.

Registration will be at the Lions booth on the courthouse lawn starting at 9:30 a.m.: entry is $5, payable on the day of the event.

Lions all over the world organize Strides events in their communities to heighten awareness of diabetes and its complications and to provide information on preventing and managing the disease. These events promote regular, healthy exercise and include participants of all ages.

For more information about the walk and run, contact Schattak at 785-221-7994 or For more information about Lions Clubs International, see

Labor Day warning: Drive sober or get pulled over

If you feel different, you drive different. Drive high, get a DUI.

Summer may be coming to an end, but there’s no end in sight to law enforcement’s crackdown on impaired driving. This Labor Day holiday, the Kansas Department of Transportation urges drivers to think twice before driving drunk or high.

Enforcement for the national impaired driving campaign, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI,” is running now through Sept. 5, 2023. KDOT is working to reduce sobering statistics involving driving drunk or high.

During August and September of 2021 in Kansas, there were 19 total fatal crashes of impaired driving, according to KDOT stats.

“It doesn’t matter what term you use,” said Gary Herman, KDOT Behavioral Safety Manager. “If you feel different, you drive different – an impaired person should never get behind the wheel.”

Nationally, about 37 people die in drunk-driving crashes each day – that’s one person every 39 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2021, 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths – a 14 percent increase from 2020.

“The bottom line is that no matter what the substance is, if you are impaired, you should not be driving,” Herman said. “The consequences are real and cannot be undone. Play it safe.”

Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is illegal nationwide. NHTSA states that drugs can impair a driver’s coordination, judgment and reaction times, make drivers more aggressive and reckless, and cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness and other side effects.

If convicted for impaired driving, drivers face stiff penalties, hefty financial consequences, and jail time. Bottom line – don’t drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, or stay home.

For more information about impaired driving, see

Back to school safe driving reminders

While the school bus is one of the safest modes of transportation, illegal school bus passing is a significant threat to children and their caretakers.

Statistics and facts about illegal school bus passing: It is illegal for vehicle drivers to pass a school bus while the school bus stop-arm is extended, and the red lights are flashing. Failing to do so could result in injury or death to child pedestrians or their caretakers. Vehicle drivers must always come to a complete stop when a school bus stop-arm is extended, and the red lights are flashing.

From 2011 to 2020, there were 1,009 fatal school-transportation-related crashes, and 1,125 people of all ages were killed in those crashes – an average of 113 fatalities per year.

In the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services 2022 Stop Arm survey, 79,859 school bus drivers reported that 51,593 vehicles passed their buses illegally on a single day during the 2020-21 school year. Throughout a 180-day school year, these sample results point to more than 41.8 million violations per year among America’s motoring public.

The most dangerous part of the school bus ride is getting on and off the school bus.

Kansas ag department confirms West Nile virus cases in horses across state

Recommends horse vaccinations against possible fatal virus

MANHATTAN, Kansas — The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health has received notification of multiple confirmed cases of West Nile virus in horses across the state over the past few weeks. Confirmed cases have been reported in Barber, Butler, Douglas and Pratt counties.

WNV is a preventable disease, with annual vaccinations that have proven highly effective. All of the confirmed cases of WNV in Kansas were in unvaccinated horses or horses with an unknown vaccination history and assumed to be unvaccinated. All horse owners should consult with their local veterinarians and make a vaccination plan for their horses.

WNV is a virus that can infect humans, horses, birds and other species. Horses infected with WNV can have symptoms that range from depression, loss of appetite and fever, to severe neurologic signs such as incoordination, weakness, inability to rise, and hypersensitivity to touch or sound. WNV can be fatal in horses. If you see symptoms of WNV in your horse, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The virus is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes; it is not directly contagious from horse to horse or from horse to human. WNV is a reportable disease in Kansas, which means veterinarians are required by law to report any confirmed cases to the state veterinarian.

KDHE rescinds boil water advisory for the Osage County RWD 8

Update: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for Osage County Rural Water District 8 public water supply system located in Osage County, effective Aug. 24, 2023. The advisory was issued Aug. 22, because of a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

Laboratory testing samples collected from the Osage County Rural Water District 8 indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the Osage County Rural Water District No. 8 public water supply system located in Osage County, Kan. The advisory took effect Aug. 22, 2023, and will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved. KDHE officials issued the advisory because of a loss of pressure. Failure to maintain adequate pressure can result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

Water users should observe the following precautions until further notice:

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

Osage County RWD No. 8 covers an area north of Burlingame, west to around Harveyville, north into Shawnee County, and east to near Scranton and Carbondale.

Only KDHE can rescind the boil water advisory following testing at a certified laboratory.

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