Category Archives: News

Lion Joann Pouch named as Melvin Jones Fellow

Lion JoAnne Pouch receives the Melvin Jones Fellowship from Past District Governor (2018-2019) Patrick Laham, at a surprise gathering. Courtesy photo.

Lion JoAnne Pouch, of Lyndon, Kan., has been named a Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Clubs International Foundation in recognition of her commitment to serving the world and her community. Named for the founder of Lions Clubs International, Melvin Jones, the fellowship is one of the foundation’s highest recognitions, honoring the commitment to humanitarian service.

Pouch is a member of the Lyndon Lions Club. She recently received a commemorative plaque and lapel pin acknowledging her dedication to the foundation’s humanitarian goals. As a Melvin Jones Fellow, Pouch becomes a part of the growing network of individuals who are committed to improving the quality of life for people locally and in communities around the world. The Lyndon Lions club has been in operation since chartered in 1953.

Pouch received the award from the district’s most recent Past District Governor (2018-2019) Patrick Laham, of the Augusta Lions Club. Pouch was joined at her surprise celebration by local Lyndon Lions and many district and state Lions dignitaries.

The Melvin Jones Fellowship is a recognition presented to those who donate $1,000 to Lions Clubs International Foundation or to people for whom a donation was made by others. It is the backbone of the foundation, providing 75 percent of its revenue. Contributions can be made by individuals, including non-Lions, clubs or districts.

This award was given to Pouch for her years of service to her community and years of dedication and hard work. She has been the club secretary continuously since 2005 and sometimes acted as club president or treasurer at the same time. She has spearheaded many community events, including pancake breakfasts, teacher luncheons at the high school, chili suppers, spaghetti suppers, taking tickets at the high school football games, and many other activities.

Lyndon High School 2019-2020 first semester honor roll

Lyndon High School released its first semester honor roll for the 2019-2020 school year. Honor roll designees are listed by name, grade level, honor, and grade point average.

Osage County students earn degrees, certificates from Flint Hills Technical College

EMPORIA, Kan. – Flint Hills Technical College conferred more than 60 students at its 2019 Winter Commencement ceremony, held Dec. 20, 2019, at the Humanitarian Center, Emporia, Kan., including three students from Osage County.

Graduates from Osage County were: Christian Scott Orear, Osage City, with a Division of Arts Technical Certificate in interactive multimedia design; Anna Nichole Quaney-Murphy, Burlingame, Division of Health and Human Services Technical Certificate in practical nursing; and Kathryn Joanne Welch, Burlingame, Division of Health and Human Services, Associate of Applied Science Degree in healthcare administration and management.

Information thanks to Flint Hills Technical College.

Lyndon Leaders enjoy the holidays, get ready for the New Year

By Garrett Shoup, Club Reporter

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had its monthly meeting on Dec. 8, 2019. Roll call was “What do you want for Christmas?”

The leaders’ report included thanking the club for a great turnout for the Lyndon winter parade and for the Simpson family for taking charge of the float. There was no unfinished or new business.

For the program, Morgan Young did a talk on how to wrap a present and Kendall Young did a talk comparing two different types of icing. Recreation included a group of the club members going to the Dollar General Store and purchasing stocking items for the club’s adopted family.

Upon returning to the meeting, the club wrapped presents for the adopted family and packed cookie gift boxes for our local 4-H supporters. The club did a quick gift exchange and had snacks provided by the Kilgores.

The next meeting is Jan. 12, 2020.

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members ride their float in the Lyndon Winter Festival Parade Dec. 7, 2019. Courtesy photo.

Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School 2019-2020 first semester honor roll

Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School has released its honor roll for the 2019-2020 first semester, as follows:

Trojan Honor Roll: 4.0

Sixth grade: Colbie Cormode, Kadence Masenthin, Kathleen Patterson, Catayah Thompson, Alexandra Totty, Akyra Traver

Seventh grade: Montana McCurdy, Evelyn Stephens

Eighth grade: Olivia Lacey, Kelsey Rice

Blue and Orange Honor Roll: 3.4-3.99

Sixth grade: Trista DeCavele, Carter Graves, Jasmine Moore, Ella Reed, Anna Rogers, Grace Spillman

Seventh grade: Dallen Flatin, Clare Hockett, Allison Reeser, Colten Woodson

Eighth grade: Brianna Huffman, Emma Marsh, Mason Rose, Hunter Treinen, Destiny Weldon

Honorable Mention: 3.00-3.39

Sixth grade: Nicholas Barb, Taytum Gellhaus, Eden Hockett, Hunter Masenthin, Isabella Romi, Sully Simpson, Maekaila Traver

Seventh grade: Trey DeCavele, Sampson Goddard, Destiny Moore, Eduardo Mora-Acevedo, Charles Simpson

Eighth grade: Chloe Barb, Haylea Bethell, Corey Criss, Dalton Johnson, Melody Mora-Acevedo, Kristopher Ruth, Brooke Spillman

“What Happens if You Ride Astride? It’s a Calamity!” A two-part play at the library

It’s 1894 and even in progressive Kansas a woman speaking in public is a dancing bear, a woman wearing pants is a man, and a woman wearing pants and riding astride on horseback is lord of all creation. “Ride into History” brings to Osage City Public Library one human dancing bear and one lord who although a woman is certainly no lady.

The Marshall Club and Osage City Public Library invite all to “What Happens if you ride Astride? It’s a Calamity” a two-act play presented by Ann Birney and Joyce Thierer from Ride into History, 6:30-8 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, at the library.

The historical reenactors will portray teacher-turned-suffragist Elizabeth Hampstead, who will do anything to get the right to vote, including riding across the prairie on a side saddle and becoming a spectacle for men who welcome entertainment, and Calamity Jane, who disappears for whole years at a time when she disguises herself as a man to earn a man’s wages.

Women in the U.S. did not get the right to vote until 1919, one hundred years ago. Ann Birney began her portrayal of composite character Hampstead by reading suffragists’ letters at the Kansas Historical Society archives.

Joyce  Thierer’s Calamity is a delightful frontierswoman who has spun a good many yarns about her life, and does not mind letting her audience know how she has helped create her own myth.

Ride into History calls what they do, “sneaky history” – engaging people with the past through drama.

For more information, contact the Osage City Public Library at 785-528-3727, or stop by 515 Main St., Osage City.

Working together to learn

By Bella Reeser
Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club

The Melvern Jr. Highline and Lyndon Leaders 4-H clubs teamed up for a joint cooking class on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019, at the Frontier District Office, in Lyndon. In this class members from both clubs not only worked on their cooking skills, but also on their team building and life skills. 4-Hers created bread bowls with broccoli cheddar soup inside. Thank you to the Extension office for providing our 4-Hers this great opportunity.

Participants of a recent joint 4-H club cooking class were, front from left, Bella Reeser, Gradey McNally, Amelia Arb, Charley Bean, Ellie Sowers, Colt Sowers, and Levi Arb, back, Ella Reed, Paige Gebhardt, Morgan Young, Braelyn McNally, Allie Reeser, Kendall Young Allie Kneisler, Savannah Davis, and Extension agent Chelsea Richmond. Courtesy photo.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-Hers celebrate the spirit of giving

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Dec. 8, 2019, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its monthly club meeting at the Melvern Community Center. At 4 p.m., members and parents met and assembled six care packages that the 4-Hers wanted to send to servicemen and women who would not be able to come home for the holiday season. The club also created six plates of treats for later in the evening.

At 4:45 p.m., the meeting was called to order by President Braelyn McNally. The club began their meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Ellie Sowers. Acting Secretary Harper Melton called the roll; members and parents were to answer with “What are your favorite cookies to make for Santa?” There were 10 members and five adults present.  Harper then read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read. As treasurer, Harper read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.

Red Cross offers winter weather safety tips

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – As winter weather approaches our area this weekend, the American Red Cross offers 10 steps people can take to stay safe during the cold weather.

“As winter weather enters our area throughout this weekend, we want to make sure that families are safe,” said Jeremie Ballinger, executive director of Red Cross of Greater Kansas City and Northwest Missouri.

  1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.
  2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  3. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.
  4. Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.
  7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.
  8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.
  10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.

Storm warning: Winter blast to cover area Friday and Saturday

TOPEKA, Kan. – The National Weather Service at Topeka has issued a winter storm warning today through Saturday evening for Osage, Douglas, Franklin, Coffey, and Anderson counties, and including the cities of Lawrence, Osage City, Carbondale, Lyndon, Burlingame, Overbrook, Ottawa, Burlington, Lebo, and Garnett

The winter storm warning will be in effect from 6 p.m. this evening to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020.

A heavy mix of precipitation is expected, with total snow accumulations of up to 3 to 5 inches and ice accumulations of up to one-tenth of an inch. Winds are expected to gust as high as 40 mph.

Drivers should plan on slippery road conditions and drive slower. Blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility.

Two waves of the storm are expected from this system. The first is expected to bring a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain this afternoon and evening. There may be a lull overnight before the second wave brings more snow to the area Saturday morning and afternoon.

Anyone who must travel is advised to keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in their vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 511.

Burn ban continues across Osage County, Jan. 9, 2020

With a National Weather Service wind advisory in effect, Osage County Emergency Management has extended a burn ban for the third day due to continuing high fire danger conditions across the Osage County, Kan., area. No outside burning is allowed today, Jan. 9, 2020, and all burn permits are suspended. The ban will be in effect until 8 a.m. Jan. 10, and could be extended at that time depending on weather conditions.

The rangeland fire danger continues due to the forecast windy conditions. Southwest winds at 20-30 mph are expected today with gusts up to 50 mph.

Very high fire danger means fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323 or the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 785-828-3121.

Osage County Senior Center: All invited to monthly potluck dinner

On Jan. 17, 2020, the Osage County Senior Center will have its January potluck lunch. It was decided to try a themed potluck and this month will be Mexican food. This doesn’t mean diners must bring a Mexican dish; all are invited and can bring anything they like.

On Jan. 31 will be another blood drive at the center, and Jan. 25 will be Quartermania for meals on wheels. More information on these events will be available soon.

Commodities are distributed at the center on the second Wednesday of every month. Participants must be at least 60 years old to qualify, with an income of $1,354 or less for one person or $1,832 or less for two people in the same household. Income verification and a one-month waiting period are required. Anyone in Osage County is eligible if they meet the above qualifications. For those with more people in the household, contact the center for help with determining if you qualify.

Anyone who is unable to come to Osage City to pick up commodities is asked to contact the center. We would like to know if there are people that qualify that can’t get here.

Burn ban continues across Osage County, Jan. 8, 2020

Osage County Emergency Management has extended a burn ban from yesterday due to continuing very high fire danger conditions across the Osage County, Kan., area. No outside burning is allowed today, Jan. 8, 2020, and all burn permits are suspended. The ban will be in effect until 8 a.m. Jan. 9, and could be extended at that time depending on weather conditions.

The rangeland fire danger index will be in the very high category this afternoon, with the National Weather Service forecasting windy and sunny weather with a high near 55 and an east wind 10 to 15 mph becoming south 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph in the afternoon. The wind is expected to continue into the evening, with a south wind at 20 to 25 mph and gusts as high as 35 mph.

Very high fire danger means fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323 or the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 785-828-3121.

Boil water advisory rescinded for Osage County RWD 8

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for a portion of Osage County Rural Water District 8. The advisory affected the portion of the water district located north of state Highway 4, in Wabaunsee and Shawnee counties.

The advisory was issued because of a line break resulting in 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 water district 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. 

Toll-free legislative hotline available to Kansas residents

TOPEKA, Kan. – Up-to-the-minute information on the 2020 Kansas Legislature is only a phone call or chat away. Kansas residents can access information about the Kansas Legislature, bill status, legislative process and more by calling 800-432-3924 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Questions are answered by experienced reference and research librarians at the State Library of Kansas and are kept confidential.

Boil water advisory issued for portion of Osage County RWD 8

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for water users in the portion of Osage County Rural Water District 8 located north of Kansas Highway 4 (in Wabaunsee and Shawnee counties.)

Customers in that area should observe the following precautions until further notice:

  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.
  • 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.
  • 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.

The advisory took effect Jan. 3, 2020, 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 due to a water main break. Lack of pressure in a distribution system may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and increase the potential for bacterial contamination.

Annual Frontier Extension awards recognize dedication of local volunteers

Peggy and Gary DeForeest, Frontier Extension District Appreciation Award winners of Osage County. Courtesy photo.

The Frontier Extension District gives awards annually to show appreciation to persons in Franklin, Anderson, and Osage counties who have made important contributions to the district’s programs. The 2019 Frontier Extension District Appreciation Awards were presented in November at the district’s annual board dinner, at Princeton, Kan.

Recognized as the 2019 Frontier Extension District Appreciation Award winners of Osage County were Peggy and Gary DeForeest, of rural Scranton.

In 1986, Peggy began working as the office professional in the Osage County Extension Office. She became a district office professional when the Frontier Extension District was created in 2010, and she specialized as the district’s bookkeeper.

As the first impression of the local Extension, Peggy was always quick to welcome everyone who called or entered the office in Lyndon with a friendly greeting. Customers soon found that she was very knowledgeable and would go the extra mile to help respond to their needs. Peggy was a jack of all trades and master of them all. Her strengths included her initiative and creativity, ability to problem solve, her attention to customer requests, and willingness to try something new. She always supported 4-Hers and over her career worked with nearly 100 fairs in Osage County.

Peggy retired in June 2018, having served 32 years as an office professional with Osage County and the Frontier Extension District.

Gary was always there to support Extension in many ways. As an industrial arts teacher and gifted carpenter, he used his skills to build several shelving units and publication racks for the local offices, and frequently judged woodworking and electricity at local fairs. He always donated his judging fee back to the 4-Hers. Gary is currently a registered 4-H volunteer and a 4-H woodworking project leader for the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club. Through his leadership, the woodworking project continues to grow, and the woodworking projects that the 4-Hers complete are remarkable.

Osage City designated as opportunity zone; opens tax incentives for investors

Osage City, Kan., has been designated as an opportunity zone after being one of 74 census tracts across Kansas nominated for the designation in April 2018. The opportunity zone designation by the U.S. Department of Treasury allows communities to be eligible to receive investments through Qualified Opportunity Funds to spur local economic growth.

Opportunity zones are an economic development tool enacted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and offers investors preferential tax treatment for capital gains invested in designated low income communities. The program is designed to encourage long term investment in economically distressed areas and promote economic growth. The investments are to provide support to projects focused on a wide array of issues including downtown revitalizations, improvements to workforce housing, and expansions of industrial parks and innovation districts.

For the investor, the opportunity zone program offers tax incentives, including deferral and reduction of capital gains taxes when the gain is invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund and maintained for a period of at least five years.

Osage City and its census tract was the only opportunity zone designated in Osage County, and the city’s industrial committee is working with the Kansas Department of Commerce to maximize the impact of this development tool. The committee is currently trying to identify housing and commercial projects that are well suited to take advantage of this designation.

Anyone who has a proposal for housing or commercial projects and would like to learn more about how the local opportunity zone can benefit investors is asked to contact Casey Mussatto, Osage City Industrial Committee chairman, or Rod Willis, Osage City manager.

Rural burglary suspect arrested in Topeka; property recovered

Osage County Sheriff’s Office has reported a suspect in an Osage County burglary has been arrested in Topeka, and stolen property was recovered after officers served search warrants in a Topeka neighborhood.

In a press release issued today, Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn reported officers responded to a residential burglary alarm around 12 p.m. yesterday, Dec. 12, 2019, in the 9900 block of west 177th Street, near Burlingame. About the same time, a citizen in the area also contacted the sheriff’s office to report a suspicious truck with three subjects and gave specific details about them.

After an attempt to locate notice was issued on the vehicle, it was stopped by a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper in Topeka. During the investigation, Jacob Wright, 26, Topeka, was arrested for burglary, theft, criminal damage to property, and trafficking contraband into a correctional facility. Wright is being held at the Osage County Jail pending formal charges.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Topeka Police Department then executed two search warrants in the 3200 and 3300 blocks of SW Oakley Avenue in Topeka, and recovered stolen property.

The sheriff reports the investigation of the case is ongoing and more suspects are still at large. Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call Osage County Crimestoppers at 877-OSCRIME.

Burlington woman dies in head on crash on U.S. 75 Thursday evening

LYNDON, Kan. – A Burlington woman was killed in a two-car crash Thursday evening about 2 miles north of Lyndon on U.S. Highway 75.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported that Jennarene S. Hawkins, 24, Burlington, was a passenger in a northbound 2003 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Darian A. Hess, 20, Topeka, at about 7:50 p.m. Dec. 5, 2019, on U.S. 75 at milepost 129, or about 1/4 mile north of 229th St. The KHP report said Hess had attempted to pass a commercial motor vehicle with insufficient clearance and collided head on with an oncoming southbound 2008 Dodge Durango driven by Amber M. Walters, 33, Lyndon, on the west shoulder of the highway.

Hawkins was transported to Stormont Vail Hospital, but died from her injuries. Hess was transported to KU Medical Center with suspected serious injuries. Walters and one of three children in her vehicle, Daymian M. Walters, 9, were transported to Stormont Vail with suspected serious injuries. Two other passengers in the Durango, Cherish P. Roney, 1, and Serenity R. Qujnonez, 2, were reported as possibly injured and also were transported to Stormont Vail.

The report said that Hawkins was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, but Hess was. In the Walters’ vehicle, all occupants were using safety restraints except for Daymian.

During the investigation and clearing of the accident, U.S. 75 was closed from the roundabout at state Highway 268 to the interchange at U.S. Highway 56. The highway was reopened about 1 a.m. Friday, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Editor’s note: Revised Dec. 6, 2019, to show Jennarene S. Hawkins’ hometown as Burlington as corrected in the Kansas Highway Patrol crash log.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club stays busy during fall

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Nov. 3, 2019, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its monthly meeting at the Melvern Community Center. At 5:06 p.m. the meeting was called to order by President Tara Green. The club began their meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge led by Tara Green.

Secretary Allie Reeser called roll, members and parents were to answer with “What they are thankful for”; there were 10 members and eight adults present.

Allie then read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read. Treasurer’s report was read by Vice-President Braelyn McNally; it was approved as read.

Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted two articles last month.

In leader’s report, Lisa Reeser reminded members that Achievement Night will be coming up on Nov. 9, 2019, at Lyndon High School. Lisa reminded members enrollment needs to be completed by Dec. 1. The Melvern Pride is hosting a Community Thanksgiving on Nov. 16, if anyone is available to help serve. Lastly, Lisa reminded all club members to please sign the thank you to the newspaper for all their coverage of our club. In new business, club members discussed and approved at their December meeting to go caroling to homes in the community and create care packages to send to service men and women who are unable to be home for the holidays.

Club officer elections were also held. The 2019-2020 club officers are as follows: President, Braelyn McNally, vice-president, Justin Brinkley, treasurer, Harper Melton, reporter, Bella Reeser, secretary, Allie Reeser, historian, Levi Arb, songs, Ellie Sowers and Amelia Arb, recreation, Colt Sowers, Landon Roy and Gradey McNally.

For a program, Justin Brinkley presented a sideshow of historical sites to visit in Osage County. At 5:52 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The next Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club meeting will be 4 p.m. Dec. 8, at the Melvern Community Center.

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