Category Archives: News

KDOT requests public comments on STIP amendment

The Kansas Department of Transportation is requesting comments on an amendment to the FFY 2017-2020 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) document.

The STIP is a project specific publication that lists all KDOT administered projects, regardless of funding source, and includes projects for counties and cities as well as projects on the state highway system.

The list of projects being amended to the STIP can be viewed at

The approval of the STIP amendment requires the public comment period, which concludes on July 6, 2017. To make comments on the amendment, contact KDOT’s Bureau of Program and Project Management at 785-296-2252.

Local TOPS member becomes state queen

Laura A. Davis, of TOPS KS0289, Osage City, Kan., was crowned 2016 State Queen on April 22, 2017, at the TOPS State Recognition Days, in Wichita, Kan.

Davis lost 72 pounds to reach her goal. Along the way, she says that she has learned the difference between good carbs and bad carbs, and that calories in should be less than calories out.

“And to enjoy your journey!” she said. “If it’s cooking healthier meals, finding fun ways to move more, and attending the chapter meetings, just have fun with it.”

TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly, and has helped millions of people to do that for more than 60 years. The organization is nonprofit and noncommercial and offers a network of thousands of weight-loss support groups across the United States and Canada. These groups, called chapters, provide a nonjudgmental place where people learn how they can make changes and get the support they need to reach their goals.

There are three chapters in Osage County. Meeting places and times are: Grace Lutheran Church, 310 Holliday St., Osage City, which meets on Monday at 6:30 p.m.; United Methodist Church, 1005 N. Maple St., Overbrook, which meets on Saturday at 7:45 a.m.; and Carbondale City Hall, 234 Main St., Carbondale, which meets on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Increase heartbeat, strengthen muscles, increase flexibility – all at the senior center

By Stephanie Watson

I read somewhere many older adults may feel that they are too tired to be physically active or that they have earned their rest. I can’t imagine what life feels like at age 70, I’m exhausted at age 29. However, I learned that physical activity is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle, and for older adults, physical activity may take on even more meaning.

Continuing to live independently, doing the things that you enjoy, can be linked to being active. Increasing your heartbeat, strengthening your muscles and increasing your flexibility contribute to physical fitness and the ability to do everyday activities like climbing the stairs, shopping for groceries, and visiting with family and friends.

The Osage County Senior Center can meet all of these activities to help you stay independent. The center has senior friendly exercise classes on Monday and Wednesday beginning at 11 a.m. There is an exercise room available to use anytime from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Osage County General Public Transportation can take you shopping or even to the mall so you can window shop and walk. Most importantly we have social activities and bussing excursions. For more information, contact the center at 785-528-4906 or stop by 604 Market St., Osage City.

Put a little spark in your step, run (or walk) in Lyndon’s Firecracker 5K

Lyndon Pride is seeking early registrants for the planned 2017 Firecracker 5K on Fourth of July morning.

The run/walk is co-organized this year by Lyndon Pride and the Lyndon High School Cross Country team, and all proceeds from the run will benefit the two groups.

Runners and walkers should be ready to go at 7:30 a.m. July 4, gathering at the Lyndon Community Center, 204 Topeka Ave.

Early registrants are requested to obtain a count for T-shirts. For more information or to register for the run, contact Lyndon City Hall at 785-828-3146 or stop by 730 Topeka Ave. during business hours.

K-68 railroad crossing repair to cause weeklong detour west of Ottawa

Weather permitting, the week of June 26, 2017, the BNSF Railway plans to repair its crossing on state Highway 68 in the Richter vicinity. Located 5 1/2 miles west of Ottawa, the crossing will be closed to through traffic from 7 a.m. Monday, June 26, until Friday, June 30.

K-68 traffic will follow a signed detour along K-68, U.S. 59, U.S. 56 and U.S. 75. For more information, contact Kevin Ryan at the Kansas Department of Transportation office in Garnett, 785-448-5446, or Priscilla Petersen at the Chanute KDOT office, 620-902-6433.

Melvern kicks off Osage County’s fair season with Sunflower Days

June is here and that means fair season is about to heat up in Osage County, with Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair kicking off on June 22, 2017.

A family event, Melvern welcomes all to Sunflower Days, which offers three days of fun, including a baby show on Thursday, a bluegrass concert Friday, and the always popular finale parade Saturday evening. And don’t forget homemade ice cream, old fashioned games and kids races, a carnival, and the longtime tradition of 4-H and livestock exhibition.

Sunflower Days runs June 22-24, 2017; the Osage County Fair will be June 24-July 2, 2017, at Osage City; and the Overbrook Osage County Fair is Aug. 9-12, 2017.

Here’s the Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair schedule:

Veterans, students make their ‘connections’ for trip to nation’s capital

Area veterans and their teenage guardians from Lyndon and Central Heights high schools take a moment at the World War II Memorial during their tour last week of Washington memorials as part of Honor Flight 17.

By Cleon Rickel

On Merle Marsh’s last flight to Washington, D.C., he was in the back of a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress.

“I was there once during the war,” Marsh, of Carbondale, Kan., said. “We were the crew of the week, so we got to fly into Washington.”

His return to Washington occurred June 5, when he flew in the front of another Boeing aircraft, this time a commercial 737 jetliner.

Marsh was one of three World War II veterans who were flown to Washington by Honor Flight 17, organized by high school students at Lyndon High School and Central Heights High School.

Marsh’s son-in-law, Don Forbes, also of Carbondale, and a Vietnam-era veteran, accompanied him on the flight.

Marsh went into the U.S. Army Air Force in 1944 and was trained to be a tailgunner in the large four-engine bombers in Florida. The war in Germany ended before he was assigned combat missions.

“We flew four hours every other day,” he recalled.

Being a tailgunner was just a shade less dangerous than being in the ball turret in the belly of the big bombers. To get to the two 50-caliber machines in the tail of the bomber, the tailgunner had to crawl into a tight, cold and drafty space and sit on what amounted to a bicycle-type seat in a kneeling position and leaning forward on his chest parachute.

“It was a little scary but after the first time back there, it isn’t bad,” Marsh said.

The tailgunners had to be alert for fast, nimble enemy airplanes roaring up behind their bombers.

To prepare them for the speedy German Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf fighters, the tailgunners would train on Jeeps with shotguns attached at the back. As the Jeeps bounced along at 20 miles as hour or so, clay pigeons would be launched at or behind them.

Though it was Marsh’s second trip to Washington, it was the first for his son-in-law Forbes.

“The whole trip is awesome,” Forbes said. “It’s geared for the veterans but it’s nice to see a lot of young people. It’s heartening to see young people take such an interest.”

Governor recognizes Home Town Health Care as regional Award of Excellence winner

LYNDON, Kan. – The governor has recognized a southeast Kansas business that serves Osage County for helping to keep the state strong.

Home Town Health Care, which has an office in Lyndon, Kan., was recognized by Governor Brownback as one 68 businesses statewide nominated for the 2017 Governor’s Award of Excellence. Companies are nominated in one of four categories, including manufacturing/distribution, service, retail and hospital/non-profit.

Home Town Health Care’s home office is at Fredonia, Kan., with locations in Lyndon, Emporia, Sedan, Oswego and Independence, Kan., serving 27 counties. The company is an in-home service provider offering home care, homemaker services, home health services, and hospice services.

The Governor’s Award of Excellence honors Kansas companies that have positively impacted their communities and local workforce, and recognizes that Kansas businesses continue to be the foundation of the economy, communities, and overall quality of life.

Winners are selected by reviewing employee training and retention programs, expansion projects and capital investments, economic development in the state, woman or minority ownership, leadership program participation, and school and community involvement through volunteer efforts and sponsorship.

Home Town Health Care was one of 19 regional winners, representing southeast Kansas along with Coffey Health System and Systech Environmental Corp.

Summer’s here, rev up your fun at Lyndon

Lyndon’s Bailey House serves as a backdrop for the Get ‘Rev’d’ Up all motor show.

Next week summer begins but the Lyndon community is declaring summer fun is underway Saturday with something for everyone.

At 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 17, the sixth annual Get “Rev’d” Up All Motor Show starts revving up at Lyndon City Park. The Lyndon United Methodist Church hosts the annual show, which this year is welcoming all types of motorized vehicles or contraptions.

“Anything with a motor is welcome,” said co-organizer Greg Thill. He noted that a live band and DJ will provide music all day; there will be Hot Wheel races for kids; and a pin striper will be on hand for anyone needing to add accents to their paint job.

The show offers awards for the top 20 entries, along with several specialty awards. Dash plaques will be given to the first 100 entries. Breakfast and lunch will be available. All proceeds from the show benefit the church’s youth ministries. For more information, contact Thill at 785-828-3526.

While motors might be roaring in the park, across town at the Lyndon Carnegie Library things will be a little quieter. The library will be having a book sale 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. on the lawn at 127 E. Sixth St., Lyndon. Offered for sale will be books, DVDs, audio books and magazines. For more information or to donate, contact the library at 785-828-4520. (Volunteers are welcomed to help set up and tear down.)

And if cars or books aren’t your brand of fun, garage sales and yard sales will be going on all over town on Saturday. There is no map this year, but garage salers are invited to enjoy a tour of Lyndon while they search for the best bargains. For more information, contact Lyndon City Hall at 785-828-3146. Sellers, remember you can post a garage sale ad for free on Osage County News here: County Comment – Garage Sales

Summer’s here, rev up your fun at Lyndon.

ECKAN sets school supplies application period, June 26-July 7

East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation will begin accepting school supply applications June 26-July 7, 2017, for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The school supplies giveaway is funded by a grant from Jones Trust, Emporia.

Recipients must show proof of residency in Osage County and proof of income for 12 months to show if income is at or below 200 percent of poverty level.

Applications are available at the Osage County ECKAN Center, 530 Holliday St., Osage City. For more information, contact the Osage County ECKAN Center at 785-528-5184.

West Nile virus arrives early in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has discovered that four Culex species mosquito pools collected from traps in Reno, Shawnee and Johnson counties are positive for West Nile virus in preliminary testing, and that two birds in Shawnee County have tested positive for West Nile virus. In addition, Kansas is reporting the first case of West Nile virus in 2017 in a person from Barton County. These findings may indicate that West Nile virus transmission could occur much earlier in 2017 than in previous years.

The Culex species are known to transmit West Nile virus, but are not known to transmit Zika virus.

West Nile virus can be spread to people through bites from infected mosquitoes, but it is not contagious from person to person. Symptoms range from a slight headache and low-grade fever to swelling of the brain or brain tissue and in rare cases, death. People who have had West Nile virus before are considered immune.

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 three regions of Kansas are currently at the high risk level.

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

Extra caution needed on Kansas roads during harvest

Harvest season is underway, and the Kansas Highway Patrol is reminding motorists to use more caution and patience when traveling around farm trucks, tractors, combines, and other implements.

“As harvest is underway, each traveler in Kansas needs to be more aware of increased farm implement and truck traffic,” said Lieutenant Adam Winters, KHP public information officer. “In Kansas we have many trucks exiting and entering the roadways at any given time. Traveling around these vehicles requires extra caution.”

Most farm equipment is not designed to travel at highway speeds, and may only travel 15-25 mph. Farm equipment is often wider than other vehicles, and is sometimes wider than the lane of traffic, so extra room should be allowed when traveling near an implement on the road. Extra caution should be practiced on all roads, but especially on the busy rural roads with unmarked intersections.

Preliminary numbers indicate that statewide in 2016, there were 110 crashes involving farm equipment. In those 110 crashes, one person was killed, and 29 people were injured. Already this year, preliminary statistics indicate there have been 22 crashes, with seven people injured.

It is important to share the road safely, for the sake of the farmers, and for the motoring public. Tips to keep in mind when sharing Kansas roads with farmers:

Pomona teen injured in rollover accident on K-68

LYNDON, Kan. – A Pomona teen was transported to the hospital Monday afternoon after a rollover accident on state Highway 68 south of Lyndon, while his passenger escaped with minor injury.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol report, Wesley R. Ecord, 15, Pomona, was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado pickup and rounded the corner at K-68 and Adams Road, when the vehicle left the roadway for an unknown reason, overturned and came to rest in the east ditch on its passenger side.

Ecord was injured in the accident and transported to Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo. A passenger in the truck, Jacob Norris, 15, Lyndon, was reported as having possible injury, but he was not transported by ambulance. Both teens were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

Osage County Jail Log, June 4 to June 6, 2017

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

County transportation service can transport you

Osage County General Public Transportation offers rides to any resident in the county. The requested donation per ride is $3 in county and $5 out of county; however no one is refused service for lack of payment. We have standard fixed routes, with stops at popular retail, educational, and service locations throughout the county. In addition, anyone can call to schedule a trip or ride to almost anywhere or any place.

Exciting excursions are planned for the month of June.  Please note that all transportation rides are on a first come first serve basis. For more information, stop by the Osage County Senior Center at 604 Market St., Osage City, or call 785-528-4906.


  • Thursday, June 15: Art and painting 9 a.m.
  • Friday, June 16: Bingo 10 a.m.; cribbage 12:15 p.m.
  • Monday, June 19: Sewing 8 a.m. armchair exercise 10:30 a.m.; cribbage 12:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 20: Ceramics 9 a.m.; Mexican Train games 1 p.m.; bus leaves the center for Lawrence and Prairie Park Nature Center at 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, June 21: Sewing 8 a.m.; armchair exercise 11 a.m.; cribbage 12:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 22: Art and painting 9 a.m.
  • Friday, June 23: Bingo 10 a.m.; cribbage 12:15 p.m.

Jones Trust donates $100,000 toward new Carbondale library

Cramped Carbondale Library.

With the current Carbondale library providing cramped space for patrons, citizens have set out to raise funds for a larger facility.

By Sue Anderson

CARBONDALE, Kans. – The efforts to raise funds to build a new library in Carbondale recently received a big boost.  The Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, has awarded a $100,000 grant to the “Let’s Raise the Roof for a New Library” campaign. The funds will be used exclusively to help with building costs for the new downtown facility.

Alice Smith, Carbondale Library director, was excited about the good news. “Receiving the grant from the Jones trust fund is a significant step to help us reach our goal of $1.6 million,” Smith said.

Smith pointed out the library’s current space of 425 square feet does not allow for efficient, effective, modern library services.

Kandy Hinck, who serves as chair of the steering committee, said the projected budget for constructing the new library includes foundation and government grants and private contributions from the community.

“On behalf of the ‘Let’s Raise the Roof’ steering committee, I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank the W.S. and E.C. Jones Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee for its generosity,” Hinck said. “This gift brings us closer to the amount of funding needed for a much-needed larger library in Carbondale.”

Hinck said matching private donations are a requirement for some grants. She said the committee is also in the process of seeking a community development block grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Kansas man charged with hate crime in shooting of three men at Olathe bar

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Justice today announced the indictment of Adam W. Purinton, 52, of Olathe, Kan. Purinton was indicted by a federal grand jury on hate crime and firearm charges for shooting three men – including two Indian nationals – at an Olathe bar on Feb. 22, 2017.

The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Wheeler, II, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and United States Attorney Thomas E. Beall of the District of Kansas.

Today’s indictment accuses Purinton of shooting and killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla because of Kuchibhotla’s actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin. The indictment also accuses Purinton of attempting to kill Alok Madasani because of his actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin.

A third count in the indictment charges Purinton with violating a federal firearms statute by discharging a firearm at Kuchibhotla, Madasani, and the third man, Ian Grillot, during those crimes of violence.

The indictment alleges that Purinton committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, attempted to kill more than one person in a single criminal episode, and knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.

Osage City library’s health fair encourages wellness of body, mind and spirit

The Osage City Public Library is hosting a community health fair for all ages 1:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 14, 2017. The health fair will feature numerous local organizations and businesses that encourage everyone to be healthy in mind, spirit and body. All are invited to stop by the library at 515 Main St., Osage City, for the health fair, or call the library at 785-528-3727 for more information.

As of today, the following businesses and organizations have confirmed they will have representatives at the health fair to share information about their services or products: Osage County EMS, Salt Creek Fitness and Rehabilitation, Auburn Pharmacy, Vintage Park, Allen County Community College, Schroeder Drugs, Flint Hills Technical College, East Central Kansas Aging and Disability, Gravel City Adventure and Supply, Osage County Clerk’s Office, Dirty Kanza Promotions, ECKAN, TOPS, Osage County Health Department, Citizens Insurance Services, American Family Insurance, Newman Regional Health, CrossWinds Counseling and Wellness, Osage City Public Library, Drug Free Osage County, Frontier Extension District, Young Living Essential Oils, Harmon’s Dental, Osage County Sheriff Office, Newman Medical Partners, Peterson Health Care, SOS, Catholic Charities USA, ECAT, Kansas Radon Program, city of Osage City, Salvation Army , RCIL, Three Lakes Learning, Higher Power Health and Yoga, Stormont Vail, Encompass Home Health, Osage County News, Melvern Lake Corps of Engineers, Sunflower Gymnastics, Home Health CareGivers, VanArsdale Funeral Chapel, St Francis Hospital.

Rustic riot? Pasture pandemonium? Field frenzy? Nope, it’s Cross Country Chaos!

Has springtime seemed a little busy this year? Well, tighten up your suspenders and pull on your muck boots, because it’s about to get plumb chaotic in Osage County on Saturday.

That’s right, total chaos is about to break out again in the countryside southwest of Osage City, Kan., on Saturday, June 10, 2017, as racers, runners, and mud lovers set out on 5k trek through a Kansas pasture to challenge their willpower, drive and physical fitness – and have the time of their lives.

Race time kicks off sometime after registration at 8 a.m., when the pasture trail becomes filled with waves of wet, muddy people climbing walls, scrambling over hay havoc, wallowing in mud mayhem, swimming in lily pads, beam balancing, knotted in a cargo net, and sliding down slimy creek banks. It’s a race if you want it to be, but for most participants it’s an obstacle course of fun and mud that can’t be found in a city.

chaos_250x180_2017In its fifth year, Cross Country Chaos ensues on about a quarter section on the Perry Thompson farm. Thompson, president of the Osage County Community Foundation, said the idea for an obstacle race came together as the foundation searched for funding methods.  Obstacle course races have become popular among those who appreciate these types of disorganized sports, also known as mud runs.

Past races have raised funds for the community foundation in addition to raising awareness of the foundation, which serves the countywide community with a mission to “provide a method of giving that represents the ideas and the interest of people who want to increase the impact of their philanthropy.”

Thompson said all skill levels are invited to compete. Although a timed event, he said the race is about accomplishments and also giving to local charities, the mission of the Osage County Community Foundation. He invites local businesses or clubs to enter as teams in the competition.

Overbrook Overlook: City plans for summertime fun

The city of Overbrook provides a monthly update of happenings in the city.

Dog ordinance changes under consideration

There is still time for residents to give input to city hall regarding the total number of dogs allowed at an Overbrook residence. The Overbrook City Council will address this question at its June 14, 2017, meeting. The current limit is three dogs. Call city hall at 785-665-7328 to give your opinion.

Former Overbrook police car to become taxi cab

The city sold the old blue police car to a Chicago cab company for use as a taxicab. The company submitted the highest sealed bid as a result of the bid announcement on the Internet. Imagine getting a cab at O’Hare and it being our old police car.

Loose cats cause concerns, too

Domestic and feral cats running loose in Overbrook remain a concern. If you have a pet cat, please make sure it has a current year city pet tag and can be identified if picked up.

Disobeying traffic ordinances is unsafe and unprofitable

Stop signs in Overbrook require the same degree of obedience from drivers as they do in any other city. A traffic ticket for failing to stop at an Overbrook Stop sign is $60, plus court cost of $75. The same goes for city speed limits.

Step up security for summer

Summer season security for your home and personal property should be a priority. Leaving house or garage doors open, cars unlocked, and personal items in plain sight all create opportunity for crime to occur. Be smart, be safe and continue to be watchful. Our crime rate is low because you care.

Overbrook pool opens

The Overbrook pool is open and it’s time to book summer swim parties. Stop by the pool to set a date and get information on swim lessons, water aerobics, and special events going on at the pool.

Summer reading program underway

The summer reading program is underway at the Overbrook Public Library. It includes special events at 11 a.m. on Fridays, including June 9, 23, and 30, and July 7. An ice cream party celebration for winning readers will be held on Friday, July 14. Get more information at the library.

Amber Alert: Three children missing following fatal fire, suspect sought

Update 9:12 p.m. June 2, 2017: The KBI is reporting that the suspect is in custody and all three children have been recovered safely in the 4500 block of south Broadway in Wichita.


WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has issued an Amber Alert for three missing children from Wichita, who are believed to be with a suspect wanted in connection with a fire and death in Wichita.

The Wichita Police Department reported that at approximately 12:21 p.m. today, June 2, 2017, the Wichita Fire Department responded to a residential fire at 321 N. Ash St., Wichita.  During efforts at the location, a woman was found deceased. Police consider the death suspicious, and the full identification of the deceased is pending due to the fire.

It is believed there are three children associated with the deceased woman and missing, William J. Thompson III, 12, Ethan A. Thompson, 5, and Damien A. Wright, 2. It is believed they are with a person considered as a suspect, Dane A. Wright, 29. The suspect was last seen leaving the location in a white 4-door 2001 Ford Focus with license number 718JHX.

Dane Wright is described as balding and with hazel eyes; the boys are described as having black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with any information about the missing children, the suspect, or vehicle should call 911 immediately. If you have other information about a missing child, call 911. See for more information about Amber Alerts.

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