Category Archives: News

Texas woman dies in I-35 crash in Osage County early Monday

BETO JUNCTION, Kan. – A Texas woman was killed in a single car accident early Monday morning near Beto Junction on northbound Interstate 35. That accident was followed a few hours later by a semi-truck hitting a Kansas Department of Transportation warning vehicle about a mile away.

A report by the Kansas Highway Patrol said that Patricia M. Falconer, 52, of Canyon Lake, Texas, died in the accident that occurred around 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 15, 2019, about 2.5 miles from the I-35 and U.S. Highway 75 interchange, in Osage County, Kan., known locally as Beto Junction.

The report said Falconer was driving a 1999 Ford Explorer northbound on I-35 near mile marker 158, with a passenger, Jeffrey Tyler Cadman, 27, Canyon Lake, Texas. For an unknown reason, the vehicle left the roadway and entered the center grassy median. The vehicle turned back onto the roadway and crossed both lanes of northbound travel, entering the south ditch. The driver over-corrected and the Explorer rolled several times, coming to rest facing northwest on its wheels in the south ditch of the northbound lanes.

Cadman was listed as having suspected serious injuries and was transported to Overland Park Regional Hospital, Overland Park, Kan. Both Falconer and Cadman were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

About two hours after the fatality accident, at 7:55 a.m., a Kansas Department of Transportation vehicle was involved in a collision with a semi-truck in the vicinity of the earlier crash. A KHP report on that accident said the KDOT truck with a sign board trailer was legally parked on I-35 in the northbound lane about 1.5 miles east of the I-35 and U.S.75 interchange, when a northbound 2019 International truck, driven by Morris J. Guesby, 55, Lawrence, Kan., struck the stopped KDOT truck, a 2009 Sterling.

The driver of the KDOT truck, Christopher A. Staley, 48, Williamsburg, Kan., was transported to Coffey County Hospital, Burlington, Kan., with suspected minor injuries. Guesby was reported as possibly injured and complained of pain, but he was not transported to a hospital. Both drivers were wearing proper safety restraints at the time of the accident.

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.

Public drinking water notice rescinded for Carbondale

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a public drinking water notice for the city of Carbondale, Kan. The notice was issued because of low levels of microcystin, a blue-green algae toxin being detected in the drinking water. While the levels and water remained acceptable for drinking, food preparation and household uses, the EPA and KDHE believed it was important to inform consumers.

Samples collected by the city of Carbondale have indicated microcystin levels below laboratory detection levels for drinking water since July 1, 2019. The city’s drinking water has remained below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 10-day health advisory levels of 0.3 micrograms per liter and was acceptable for drinking, food preparation and all household use for the entire public notice period.

Microcystins entered the supply due to blue-green algae blooms occurring in Strowbridge Reservoir, the source water for Carbondale’s water supply. The Carbondale Public Water Supply has joined the KDHE Public Water Supply Harmful Algal Bloom Voluntary Monitoring Program and will continue to treat and monitor the public water supply for microcystins through October 2019.

Water systems purchasing water from Carbondale, including the city of Scranton and Osage County Rural Water District No. 5, should be aware of the rescinded notice and be assured the water is acceptable for use.

For more information, contact your local water supplier or KDHE Public Water Supply Section at 785-296-5514.

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.

Gundy to marshal Osage County Fair Parade Friday evening

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has announced that Pat Gundy will be the 2019 Osage County Fair parade marshal.

Gundy was born a native of Emporia, Kan., to Cash and Edna Lowry, the ninth of 11 children.  She graduated from Emporia High School in 1951.  She worked and retired from Southwestern Bell after 30 years, Lyon County Courthouse for 15 years, and Osage City preschool for 17 years.

In 1955, she married Richard Gundy, and they moved to Reading, Kan., in 1962.  She lived on the farm for 31 years, moved back to Emporia for a short stint before calling Osage City home for the last 23 years.

Gundy’s daughter is Tricia Gundy. Pat has three grandchildren, Dalton, Kaitlin, and Carter, and a great grandchild, Axel. She enjoys gardening, sewing, quilting, and being around her family.  Pat is a member of the Reading United Methodist, Marshall Club, and the Mary Elizabeth Circle of the Osage City United Methodist Church.  She also serves on the Osage City Friends of the Library board.

Gundy will marshal 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. The parade’s theme is “Fresh from the Farm.”

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).

It’s an Osage County kind of Fourth of July

Fireworks at Lyndon Saddle Club, up close and personal. File photo.

Osage Countians will have a chance to celebrate their independence all over the county on the Fourth of July. The festivities include community fireworks displays in Lyndon, Overbrook and Osage City, along with fun activities all day long.


Lyndon, which has become renowned for its July 4th celebration over the past few years, continues its day of fun this year, starting off with a Lions Club pancake feed 7-10 a.m. at the Lyndon Community Center. Patriotic breakfast is followed at 10:30 a.m. with the patriotic parade on Topeka Avenue in downtown Lyndon.

Parade entrants are encouraged to contact Lyndon City Hall at 785-828-3146 or email [email protected] to register in advance. Line-up begins at 9:45 a.m. Walking groups and non-motorized entries should meet at the Lyndon Library; motorized and equestrian entries should gather behind Lyndon High School. Parade route will be on Sixth Street to Topeka Avenue, north to City Park. All kinds of entries are welcomed, including bicycles, wagons, floats, cars, tractors, horses and more.

Following the parade will be a community picnic 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at City Park. The Lyndon community will host a free watermelon feed. Families are invited to bring their own picnic baskets or purchase lunch cooked up by the Masons.

Picnicking fun continues into the afternoon with games and prizes 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m., sponsored by Lyndon Pride. The city of Lyndon also provides a way for everyone to cool off on a hot July 4 – the swimming pool is open for all for free swimming 1-6 p.m.

And of course for the Lyndon celebration’s finale, a spectacular fireworks display hosted by Osage County Fire District No. 5 will light up the county seat and the center of Osage County. Fireworks launch point will be at Lyndon Saddle Club Arena north of the city. Parking is available at the arena, or the display can be seen from anywhere in the immediate vicinity.


The popular annual Overbrook Independence Day Celebration will again be held this July 4, with fireworks at dusk at the City Lake at Jones Park. The day’s celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. with the children’s bike parade. Children are invited to decorate their bikes and meet at the old middle school. Free hot dogs and drinks will be served to kids who participate in the parade. (Families are asked to bring a plate of treats to share.) Planning for hot weather, the Overbrook pool will be open from 1-5 p.m. for kids and adults to swim free.

As evening arrives, everyone is invited to City Lake for food, fun, and fireworks, 6-10 p.m. There will be food, drinks, music, and more. Fireworks will begin around 10 p.m. Remember that discharge of fireworks is prohibited on public property. In case of rain, the celebration will be Friday, July 5.

Overbrook Pride, the local fire department, Overbrook Historical Society and other local groups are hosts for the annual community event.

Osage City

At Osage City, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce has a day of activities planned to make for a busy Fourth of July celebration.

The day begins at 8 a.m. with a youth fishing tournament in Huffman Park. All young fishermen are invited. Starting at the same time will be a disc golf tournament at the Osage City ball diamonds; entry fee required; tournaments will go until 3 p.m. At 10 a.m. a free disc golf clinic will be offered.

Around 6 p.m., bounce houses will be open in Jones Park near the basketball court. Food vendors will set up near the 4-H pavilion, while the Lions Club will serve pie, ice cream and floats as a fundraiser for the club. Pomona Masons will be serving up funnel cakes.

The hosts of the event, the Chamber, will offer a free watermelon feed at the Osage City Community Building in Jones Park. Chamber members will also man carnival games including such fun as quarter bingo, firecracker walk, and face painting. For the competitors, there will be a sack race and bocce ball tournament.

Awaiting the fireworks, the summer evening will be filled with the live music of the Lizard People, who will give a free concert at the Fredrickson Arena. Around 10 p.m. the fireworks will start. About anywhere in Jones Park, the football stadium or the surrounding area is a good place for setting up lawn chairs and viewing the fireworks.

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.

KDWPT employee fatally injured in ATV accident at Milford Wildlife Area

TOPEKA, Kan. – Mark A. Jackson, 48, Milford, Kan., died June 25, 2019, at the Milford Wildlife Area, when the all-terrain vehicle he was operating overturned and rolled down an embankment, pinning him underneath. Jackson, a seasonal employee of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, was spraying weeds at the time of the accident – one of the many duties he performed to improve his hometown wildlife area.

“The KDWPT family lost one of its own in this tragic accident,” said Brad Loveless, KDWPT Secretary. “We offer our most heartfelt condolences to Mark’s family and friends. He will be missed by many.”

Though only with KDWPT a short period of time, Jackson made a favorable impression on his coworkers who describe him as someone who “was always fun to be around” and “had a great outlook on life.”

Jackson enjoyed caring for his family’s horses, riding his motorcycle, and deer hunting. He leaves behind his wife and mother, among other family and friends.

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.

Authorities continue to follow leads in Saline County murder case

SALINE COUNTY, Kan. – On June 25, 2016, 57-year-old Lori Heimer was found deceased in her home in rural Saline County. Investigators from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Saline County Sheriff’s Office have followed hundreds of leads in an effort to hold Heimer’s attacker accountable. On the anniversary of her murder, the investigation is active and ongoing, but the case remains unsolved.

At the time of her death, Heimer operated Lori’s Poodle Patch, a dog breeding business, from her home in Assaria, Kan. Authorities continue to seek information from anyone who had contact with Heimer through this dog business in the month of June 2016.

Anyone with information about the death of Heimer is urged to contact 800-KS-CRIME. Callers can remain anonymous.

Sheriff reports five arrests in theft case; Overbrook, Melvern hit by car burglaries

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn made a public report of several current investigations and incidents Monday.

The sheriff reported five people were arrested last week in connection with an investigation of residential burglary and theft. The subjects, Brandon K. Naylor, 33, Topeka, Kan., Summer D. Self, 32, Vassar, Kan., Trevor S. Donley 29, Scranton, Kan., Brytani L. Lyda 25, Lebo, Kan., and Brian M. Hughes 22, Topeka, were arrested June 20, 2019, and were awaiting formal charges Monday for conspiracy, burglary, theft and criminal damage to property.

Dunn reported the suspects were already wanted on six outstanding warrants either through Kansas Department of Corrections, Osage County or other court jurisdictions.

The sheriff said her office began the investigation of burglary and theft at 23000 S. K368 on June 13.

In other incidents, the sheriff said reports were made Monday morning to the sheriff’s office about vehicle burglaries in Overbrook that occurred overnight. Reports of vehicle burglaries on the night of June 20 in Melvern were also taken.

The sheriff is asking any victims of such thefts, or anyone who might have video surveillance of such activity, or any witnesses to contact the sheriff’s office at 785-828-3121. The sheriff also reminded everyone to take valuables and keys out of vehicles and lock them.

Dunn also reported a dog bite incident that occurred around 4 p.m. June 23. The sheriff’s office and Osage County EMS responded to 1954 W. 253rd Street to the report of a dog bite. A juvenile victim was transported in critical condition to Stormont Vail Hospital by ambulance. The sheriff had no information on the juvenile’s condition. The sheriff said the dog and the juvenile both reside at the residence, and the investigation is ongoing.

Dunn asks everyone to report any suspicious activity or information about crimes. Call 911 or 785-828-3121, or contact Osage County Crimestoppers at 1-877-OS-CRIME.

Girl Scouts plan a day of living on the prairie

Girl Scouts explore a cool creek on a warm day during a past campout. Courtesy photo.

Camp on the prairie with the Girl Scouts. Sleep in the loft of a barn built in 1915 at Pioneer Bluffs, a historic Flint Hills ranch.

At the Girl Scout Prairie Weekend, 10 a.m. July 20 to 11 a.m. July 21, 2019, at Pioneer Bluffs, scouts will enjoy exploring a creek, old-fashioned games, crafts, square dancing, and songs around the campfire.

Campers will cook supper, s’mores and breakfast over a fire. Scouts should bring a sack lunch for Saturday, but all other meals and snacks will be provided. Participants earn one hour of community service and an event patch by attending the camp.

Junior Highliners get ready for fair time

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On June 9, 2019, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its meeting at Melvern Community Center. At 5:06 p.m., the meeting was called to order by President Tara Green. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Braelyn McNally.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members enjoy a program on clothing buymanship by Bella Reeser at the club’s June meeting. Courtesy photo.

Secretary Allie Reeser called roll, members and parents were to answer with their favorite project they are taking to the fair. There were 15 members and five adults present. Allie read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read.

Treasurer Ellie Sowers read treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.

Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted two articles last month.

In leader’s report, Caleb McNally thanked members for all their hard work and participation in community service activities last month. He asked members to please keep selling tickets for the hog raffle and let him know if you need more.

Lisa Reeser announced that Eric Melton has volunteered to build the bench the club will donate to the Melvern City Park in honor of former MJH member Jill Casten-Downing.

Lisa also reminded members the Melvern Fair is quickly approaching; projects may be entered 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday evening or 8-9:30 a.m. Friday morning.

Sunflower Days blossom at Melvern

Summer and Sunflower Days both start this week, also signaling the beginning of Osage County’s fair season. Melvern’s annual Sunflower Days 4-H Fair gets underway Thursday, June 20, 2019, promising three evenings of entertainment, ever popular open-air bingo, 4-H exhibits of all kinds, a parade, and locals’ favorite carnival.

The Melvern Sunflower Days Fair Board is tasked with carrying on a Melvern tradition that began back on July 4, 1877. A community celebration in a grove east of town turned into an annual gathering, which in 1910 was first celebrated under the name of Melvern Sunflower Days. The 4-H fair became a part of the event in 1948.

Exhibition this year includes the Frontier Extension District’s stockman competition, in which participants compete in four categories, agri-knowledge, livestock judging, showmanship, and advocacy of the livestock industry.

Thursday’s entertainment starts off with everyone going goo-goo over Osage County’s cutest babies. The baby show starts at 6 p.m. June 20, at the Melvern Community Center. Age brackets will be 6 months and under, and 7-12 months. Prizes will be awarded for the winning babies.

Lawhorn Gospel Blues, with Jack and Linda Lawhorn, will be Thursday evening’s featured entertainment. Friday night will feature the HB Drover Band, with Charlie Barber and Steve Herrell. Saturday night will be an old fashioned street dance with the Dirt Grass Canyon Band providing music from the porch of the Red Goose Shoes building.

Always a highlight of the fair is the Melvern Sunflower Fair Days Parade. The theme for the Saturday evening parade will be “Small Town USA – Redneck Jamboree!” Cash prizes will be awarded for the best floats: $200 for first place, $125 for second place, and $75 for third place. All businesses, organizations, groups and individuals are invited to participate. A bike parade will lead the main parade, with every child that rides their decorated bike in the parade receiving a prize. Parents and bike riders should meet at the corner of Main and Spring streets by 6:50 p.m. The main parade is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in downtown Melvern.

See the fair schedule below.

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.”

Overbrook Overlook: Volunteers prepare canvas for new community mural

Progress is being made toward the new city mural on the maintenance building near the Overbrook Attendance Center. The Rotary Club power-washed the building, which was repaired by a mason to get it ready for the new mural. Bob Von Stein organized the priming of the wall. It is thought that, weather permitting, the artist will start painting soon and conclude her work sometime in June.

Landon Trail

Scott Averill and group have reported that the Landon Trail is now clear all the wayto 181st Street, and with dry weather more screenings will be put down. Also they have begun clearing south of 181st Street and have just about a 1/2 mile until they reach 189th Street.

Overbrook Public Library

Overbrook Public Library has officially kicked off its summer reading program. Kid age 3 to 8th grade can register. Kids track their reading time to earn prizes. Ask for a schedule of weekly special events.

Town hall meeting about water system

Overbrook officials have been developing options for improving the city’s water system. The desire for quality drinking water and fewer water main breaks have driven their search for solutions. A town hall meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 5, 2019, at the library community room. Kramer Engineering will be in attendance to help answer questions.

Rumble on the Trail

On Saturday, June 8, the 300 block of Maple Street will be closed 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. for the Overbrook Osage County Fair board’s car show and street dance. Free registration for the car show is 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the show running 12:30-3 p.m. Starting at 7 p.m will be the street dance featuring live music by Lonesome Jake. There will be a $5 cover charge; beer garden sponsored by a local business.

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.

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