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Santa Fe Trail girls golfers on par for successful 2023 season

SFTHS golfers at West Franklin tournament on Sept. 6, included Braegan Buessing, Bailey Anshutz, Ashley Masters, Taylor Long and Shelby Garrison. Courtesy photo.

Santa Fe Trail High School girls golf team has been driving through regional tournaments, beginning their competition Aug. 24, 2023, at the Jeff West 9-Hole Invitational at Village Greens Golf Course, and placing fourth out of seven teams. SFTHS competitors in the tournament were Bailey Anshutz, Braegan Buessing, Addison Alvarez, Ashley Masters, Shelby Garrison, and Katrina Drury.

SFTHS golfers in the top 10 individual medalists were Anshutz, who shot 45 for 6th, and Braegan Buessing, who shot 44 for 3rd.

On Aug. 28, SFTHS competed in the Ottawa Open at Ottawa Great Life; competing were Bailey Anshutz, Braegan Buessing, Ashley Masters, Shelby Garrison, Taylor Long, Claire Greenfield.

Out of 53 competitors, SFTHS had two top 10 individual medalists., Buessing, with a score of 42, took 6th, and, and Anshutz took 3rd, shooting 39.

Aug. 31, SFTHS hosted a 2-person JV Scramble with Gardner and Osage City, which provided competition experience with new friendship opportunities. SFT girls took second place.

The Lady Charger golf team participated Sept. 6, in the West Franklin 9-Hole Golf Tournament, held at LaMont Hill Golf Course. SFTHS placed 2nd as a team out of nine teams. Earning congratulations for the win were Braegan Buessing, Bailey Anshutz, Ashley Masters, Taylor Long and Shelby Garrison.

SFTHS’s individual medalists in the tournament included Anshutz in 4th place, shooting 46, and Buessing at 2nd place with a 44.

Help House celebrates 20th anniversary as service projects continue

Help House celebrated 20 years of service to Osage County Aug. 5, 2023, with a congregation of volunteers, donors and other interested people at First Baptist Church, at Lyndon. Courtesy photo.

It has been a busy summer at Help House, which on Aug. 5, 2023, celebrated 20 years of service to Osage County residents in need of food or clothing, and many other services.

School supplies were collected and taken to schools in the county that do not have an organization or their school meeting their needs. Help House delivered to Scranton preschool and kindergarten, Lyndon Elementary School, Osage City Elementary School, and Quenemo Elementary School.

Stocking the Coat Closet

Help House is now collecting coats for the Coat Closet, which will be open Oct. 2 until Oct. 31. For more than eight years, the organization has given out more than 200 coats per year. Everyone is asked to advise their congregation about the coat project at Help House. Children’s coats of all sizes, and larger men’s and women’s coats are always in short supply.

Help House presentation available

Help House has announced that Ted Hazelton, a Help House volunteer, has put together a 20-minute presentation to share with all of the churches in the county. This is an outreach effort to inform congregations about the work Help House does and who it serves, and to let people know of the need for more volunteers.

“Giving others who are not familiar with Help House a glimpse of who we are and what goes on there, maybe there will be someone who will catch the vision and want to visit and possibly volunteer to serve Christ as they serve others,” said Raylene Quaney, Help House volunteer coordinator.

Those interested in having Hazelton present the program, or to get more information, can contact him at 913-927-8344.

For more information about Help House, stop by at 131 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan., see, call 785-828-4888, or email

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.

Osage County Public Transportation sets itinerary for monthly breakfast and lunch trips

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and the Osage County Public Transportation.

We have started a Breakfast Club, and we are going to every restaurant in Osage County for breakfast. The next one will be Green Acres at 8:15 a.m. Sept. 8, 2023. The next Lunch Bunch will be to Four Corners, leaving at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 22.

The ceramics class is up and going; it is $4 per class and most supplies are furnished. High Rollers is 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter bingo at 10 a.m. every Tuesday; come and enjoy. The casino trip will be on the Sept. 26; call now and make reservations.

Starting in September we are going to do 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, this will take place of using the public transportation on a daily basis for shopping trips and will allow us to better use the transportation for other trips and serve more clients.

Grandparents Day is Sept. 10, and we are having a bingo with snacks and prizes for all grandparents, parents and grandchildren. It will be 2-4 p.m.; come join in the fun.

I am open to all suggestions for activities and or outings. Don’t forget we do rent out the center as a venue for events that might need larger accommodation.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny!
Osage County Senior Center Director Franny Deters

Spring 2023, trail cameras prohibited on KDWP-managed lands

PRATT, Kan. – Over the past several years, staff with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks have fielded an ever-increasing amount of public concerns regarding the use of trail or game cameras on public lands. Concerns cited by the public commonly included the ethics of “fair chase,” issues of theft, and privacy concerns. After much deliberation – including seven public meetings held over the course of two years – Kansas Wildlife and Parks commissioners voted this year to prohibit trail cameras on KDWP lands and waters, including walk-in hunting access and IWIHA properties (private lands leased by KDWP for public hunting access).

“As the number of trail cameras on the landscape increased, so did the number of reports made by constituents citing camera theft and misuse,” said Ryan Stucky, KDWP Public Lands assistant director. “There were also concerns about trail camera users disturbing wildlife with frequent visits to check on those cameras.”

As a result, KDWP staff and commissioners agreed the regulation change, which is now in effect as of April 21, 2023, should state that no person shall place, maintain, or use a trail or game camera on department lands, or use any images or video from a trail or game camera including location, time, or date, for any purpose on KDWP lands and waters.

KDWP defines trail or game cameras as any remote motion-activated or infrared camera in which the shutter is activated by sound triggers, proximity sensation, radio transmitters, or a self-timer built into the trail or game camera.

Local Triple Threat team takes championship at MAYB nationals

Team members of the Kansas Triple Threat 9-10 girls Conklin basketball team, front, Allie Kneisler, Lyndon, Emery Speece, Osage City, Kayla Steinke, Olpe; back, Lily Skalsky, Olpe, Hattie Burgio, Burlington, Hannah Jenkins, Peabody, Kaelin Boss, Osage City, Jaylynn Weakley, Madison, and Madelyn Wilson, Chase County. Courtesy photo.

The local Kansas Triple Threat Conklin 9-10th girls  team took home first place in MAYB Division 1 National Championship, July 28-30, 2023, at Omaha, Neb. They went 6-0 that weekend.

Games played were: NE Lasers 15u – score 47-22; Sacred Hoops 15u – score 52-32; NE Mayhem – score 56-19; KS Lady PGU – score 52-42; IA Waukee Jam 2025 – score 45-42; MN Midwest All Starz 15u – score 44-24.

The team won the Division 2 Nationals two years ago, going 7-0, earned a silver medal 2nd place finish in Division 1 last year at 6-1, and headed back this year to win the Division 1 Nationals with a record of 6-0.

“I have been playing with this team since I was in 2nd grade,” said team member Kaelin Boss. “Since then we have always come together  as one big family.  It was such an honor to bounce back from getting second last year to getting first this year.”

“Being on this team means the world to me,” said Allie Kneisler. “We have become a family throughout the years we have played together.  This championship is what we have worked for from the beginning.”

Osage City ministers host back to school fair

Osage City Ministerial Alliance is hosting a Back to School Fair, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 19, 2023, at Lincoln Park, 101 S. Topeka Ave., Osage City.

The event is held to help everyone get ready for school and fall activities at local churches. There will be snacks, games, and fun for all ages and families. Everyone is invited. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the festivities. Each participating church is responsible for a snack.

KDHE boil water advisory rescinded for Allen, Bushong, portion of Lyon County RWD 1

Update: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the Lyon County Rural Water District 1 water supply as of 1:38 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11, 2023. Laboratory testing samples collected from the Lyon County Rural Water District 1 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.

Smithsonian exhibit coming to Ottawa’s Old Depot Museum

OTTAWA, Kan. – How far would you go to exercise your right to vote? In 1858, a group of Franklin County Free Staters were so determined to cast their ballots against the pro-slavery LeCompton Constitution in the Aug. 2, 1858, election that they let nothing – not even a high creek or lack of clothing – get in their way.

The story of the Naked Voters of 1858 is one of local stories that will be explored during the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit Voices and Votes: Democracy in America, which will be on display at the Old Depot Museum, Ottawa, Kan., Aug. 19 through Oct. 1, 2023. The Old Depot Museum is one of only six exhibit host sites across the state and the only host site in northeast Kansas.

Voices and Votes considers the many ways Americans have worked to create a “more perfect union” throughout history. Using photographs and objects from the Smithsonian’s collection and multimedia interactives, “Voices and Votes” explores the history of American democracy, the struggles to obtain and keep the vote, the machinery of democracy, the right to petition and protest beyond the ballot, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

“Who has the right to vote? Who gets to participate in the democratic process? These are big questions we still grapple with today,” said Diana Staresinic-Deane, director of the Franklin County Historical Society. “We all have strong feelings about these questions, which makes voting and democracy hard to talk about. This exhibit gives us non-partisan historical context around which to frame meaningful conversations, something we desperately need at a time when so many of our conversations quickly become polarized.”

In addition to the Smithsonian exhibit, Franklin County Historical Society will host a local companion exhibited called “Barely Made It: The Naked Voters and Other Franklin County Stories of Democracy”, and a countywide outdoor exhibit called “They Raised Their Voices: Rabble Rousers and History Makers,” both made possible with a grant from Humanities Kansas.

Special Hours

The Old Depot Museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St., Ottawa, will offer extended hours Aug. 19-Oct. 1. The museum will be open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays  The museum will also be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Labor Day (Sept. 4). Admission is free, though donations are always appreciated.

Grand Opening

The exhibit kicks off with the grand opening at the Old Depot Museum at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with live music from Ottawa Brass and remarks from the person responsible for all aspects of a democratic and legal election process in Franklin County – County Clerk Janet Paddock.

Osage City Fall Citywide Garage Sales, Sept. 15-16, 2023

Osage City citywide garage sales will be Sept. 15-16, 2023. The garage sales are hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, which distributes a map of the sales. Sellers are encouraged to signup now to get their sale on the map.

Garage and yard sales offer a great opportunity to get rid of some of that stuff you never use and free up some space.

The area map provides a chart for the type of items at the garage sales. To list your sale on the map or for more information, stop by to see Tricia Gundy at Peterson’s Assisted Living, Osage City, or call 785-219-9727.

Information needed is your name, address, a phone number in case of questions about the sale, Friday and Saturday or Saturday only sale, what area on the map, type of items to be sold (example: children clothing, adult clothing, furniture, collectibles, kitchen items, household items, craft items, miscellaneous), and a $5 donation fee. The proceeds go towards a scholarship awarded every year to two college-bound Osage City High School graduates. The deadline for adding a sale to the garage sale map is Sept. 14.

K-31 mill and overlay project scheduled in Osage County

A Kansas Department of Transportation mill and overlay project is scheduled to begin on state Highway 31 on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, conditions permitting. The project covers approximately six miles, from the Osage-Wabaunsee county line to Dacotah Street, in Burlingame.

The roadway will be reduced to one lane when work is taking place, and traffic will be directed by a pilot car and flaggers. Drivers should plan for delays of up to 15 minutes. Work will occur during daylight hours Monday through Friday, and Saturdays as needed. It is expected to be completed by late September. Killough Construction Inc., of Ottawa, is the contractor on the $1.5 million project.

KDOT urges all motorists to be alert and obey the warning signs when approaching and driving through a highway work zone. To stay aware of highway construction projects across Kansas, see or call 511.

Vietnam gunship crash survivors: We’re still here because of our hero

An AC-119G Shadow flying over Tan Son Nhut Air Base, Saigon, in 1969. Public domain photo.

Many heroes among us often go unrecognized for their acts of heroism. Such as it is for a former Air Force sergeant who saved two of his crewmates after an AC119G gunship crashed near Saigon in 1969.

Bill Slater, a former Air Force staff sergeant, now from Somerville, S.C., wants his former crewmate to know he will forever consider him a hero. Slater recently contacted Osage County News to tell about the hero who saved his and a crewmate’s lives.

Slater was the head gunner of a crew of 10 flying a night mission on AC119G Shadow 76, on Oct. 11, 1969, out of Tan Son Nhut Air Base, at Saigon, South Vietnam. Only three crew members survived when the plane crashed into a rice paddy and plowed into a residence not far from the end of the runway: Slater, A1C Gale “Pat” Jones, and Sgt. John Lelle, who now lives in Quenemo, Kan.

Slater and Jones give credit to Lelle for saving their lives.

“John saved both of us,” Slater said. “John came back for me, but couldn’t get to me. Pat hollered for help and John pulled him out. I was able to get on top of the wreckage and then John carried me away from the plane.”

Seven people on the plane were killed, Maj. Richard Knapic, Maj. Moses Lopes Alves, Maj. Jerome James Rice, Capt. John Hooper Hathaway, SSgt. Abraham Lincoln Moore, SSgt. Ellsworth Smith Bradford of the 600th Photo Squadron, and Vietnamese Air Force interpreter Lt. Biu Kien. A Vietnamese civilian was also killed when the crash hit a house.

Slater and Lelle were gunners on the flight; Jones was the illuminator operator. The AC119G gunships such as Shadow 76 were formerly built as cargo planes known as “Flying Boxcars”, but the Air Force had retrofitted the twin-engine aircraft into a gunship capable of carrying large amounts of ammunition along with crew and passengers.

The Shadow squadron was known for its nighttime missions and ability to light up a target area with flares and powerful spotlights. With its 7.62 “mini-guns”, it could rain down a hailstorm of rounds “every three inches and 50 yards wide” according to an article in the April 1968 issue of The Air Reservist, the official magazine of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve at the time. The 17th Special Operations Squadron motto was, “Deny him the dark,” which refers to the AC119G gunships’ ability to spot the enemy.

4-car crash injures 5 on U.S. 75 near Beto Junction

A four-car crash July 28, 2023, on U.S. Highway 75 near Beto Junction sent four people to the hospital with varying severity of injuries. The Kansas Highway Patrol reported the accident happened about 2 p.m. last Friday at a location about one mile north of Interstate 35 on U.S. 75.

The report said Collin M. Dawdy, 21, of Park Hill, Kan., was northbound on U.S. 75 in a 2016 Nissan Rogue when the vehicle crossed the center line and hit three southbound vehicles.

Dawdy’s vehicle first sideswiped a 2016 F-150 Ford driven by Robert Griffin, 55, of Osage City, Kan., then collided head on with a 2019 Dodge Journey driven by Danyel Monaghan, 47, of Topeka, Kan. Dawdy’s vehicle bounded off of the Dodge Journey and then struck a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse driven by Crystal Foy, 47, Topeka, before coming to rest in the northbound lane.

Dawdy was reported to have serious injuries and was transported to Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka. Other drivers or occupants with injuries included Griffin, who reported pain and was transported to the hospital; Monaghan, transported with suspected minor injuries, and a passenger in his vehicle, Sarah Collins, 31, Holton, Kan., had suspected injuries, (KHP did not report the conditions of five children in the car); and Foy, who was transported with suspected minor injuries; an adult passenger in Foy’s vehicle was uninjured and the conditions of two children in the car were not reported.

Pack 106 invites new scouts to learn about scouting

Cub Scout Pack 106, based in Osage City, is inviting anyone interested in learning about scouting to the Scout Rally Night, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 29, 2023, at the First United Methodist Church, 219 S. Sixth St., Osage City, Kan.

Pack 106 and Boy Scout Troop 106 are the only active Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop in Osage County. Pack 106 has been active for more than 70 years in partnership with the Osage City First United Methodist Church.

The rally will provide information, activities, and root beer floats as the pack begins a new year of scouting. Anyone who is already a scout is encouraged to bring a friend.

All kids, boys and girls, grades K-5, are welcome to attend learn more about Cub Scouts. For more information, contact Cubmasters Eric and Michelle Ferrer at 785-249-7624.

KDOT July bids include K-170 sealing project south of Osage City

Kansas Department of Transportation’s approved bids for highway construction and maintenance projects include a sealing project for state Highway 170 from northeast of Emporia to Osage City. The bid letting took place July 19, 2023, in Topeka.

The K-170 multi-county project will seal 21.4 miles, from the junction of state Highway 99 and K-170 east to the Lyon-Osage county line in Lyon County, and from the county line east and north to the south city limits of Osage City.

Vance Brothers Inc., Kansas City, Mo., submitted the winning bid of $1,088,973.36 for the project.

A connecting project in Lyon County will seal 9.1 miles from the K-170 and K-99 junction north to the U.S. Highway 56 and K-99 junction. Vance Brothers also won the bid for that stretch at $434,222.72.

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