Category Archives: Outdoors

County under burn ban due to very high fire danger, Oct. 14, 2020

Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban for all of Osage County, Kan., today, Oct. 14, 2020. No outside burning is allowed and all burn permits are suspended until 8 a.m. Oct. 15, 2020.

The ban was issued due to expected very high fire danger today. The rangeland fire danger index will be in the very high category this afternoon.

The National Weather Service forecasts today to be sunny with a high near 86, and breezy with a south wind 15-20 mph and gusts up to 40 mph.

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

Man dies near Pomona boat ramp after capsized boat incident

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has reported that a Pomona man, Floyd Moehlman, 70, died Monday at Pomona Lake, following a boating incident.

The sheriff reported that at 6:39 p.m. Oct. 12, 2020, a call came in regarding a capsized boat in the area of the Carbolyn Park boat ramp at Pomona Lake. Sheriff’s deputies, Osage County EMS, Osage County Fire District No. 5, and a Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism game warden responded to the scene.

A short time after a sheriff’s deputy arrived, Moehlman was located in the water. Lifesaving measures were attempted at this time. After Osage County EMS arrived, the victim was pronounced deceased.

Leading Lyndon with community pride

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club purchased some mums and spent Tuesday evening planting them at Lyndon High School, Lyndon Carnegie Library, and the Lyndon City Hall. Photo thanks to Kristin Kneisler.

USACE waives day use fees for October, November

KANSAS CITY, MO – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, has announced it will waive the collection of fees at its day use recreation areas for the months of October and November. Fee collections were suspended earlier this year at boat ramps and swimming beaches when recreation areas were closed due to COVID-19 precautions. USACE plans to resume its day use fees in the spring of 2021.

USACE began the gradual reopening of its lake and river projects in April. Visitors are encouraged to contact USACE lake and river projects before visiting to ensure recreation areas are open.

West Nile virus confirmed in horse in Douglas County

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health has received notification of a confirmed case of West Nile virus in a horse in Douglas County, Kansas.

WNV is a preventable disease, with annual vaccinations that have proven highly effective. The infected animal was not current with its vaccinations, but is responding favorably to treatment. 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.

Extension district seeks nominations for conservation honors

The Kansas Bankers Association will again be sponsoring the Conservation Awards Program in Osage County. The KBA, K-State Research and Extension, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Tourism partner each year to announce six conservation award categories: Energy, water quality, water conservation, soil conservation, windbreaks and wildlife habitat.

The purpose of the program is to stimulate a greater interest in the conservation of agricultural and natural resources of Kansas. Each year more than 200 Kansas producers and landowners are recognized through this program. Nominations for these awards can be made by any person in the county. Information about these awards can be picked up at the local Extension office or by visiting the K-State Research and Extension website at http://www.agronomy.k-state.edu/extension.

Nomination forms are available at the Osage County Conservation District office and the Frontier Extension District office, both in Lyndon. The Extension office can also mail nomination forms; call 785-828-4438 for a form.

Nomination forms should be completed and returned to the Frontier Extension District, PO Box 400, Lyndon, KS 66451, by Oct. 5, 2020. Upon receipt of the nomination forms, a committee chaired by Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, will select this year’s winners. Winners will be recognized in early 2021.

OCHS golfers continue to bring home medals from Lamont Hill

Osage City High School Lady Indian golfers Laci Davenport, Jenna Hastert, Hayden Serna, and Josie Thompson competed Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, at the Santa Fe Trail Invitational, at Lamont Hill. The team took second place, just one stroke behind Ottawa, but one stroke ahead of Silver Lake.

“Special congratulations go out to both Laci, with a first place medal and a score of 43, and Hayden who medaled fourth with a score of 48,” said OCHS coach Luann Jacobs. “Great job, girls!” 

OCHS golfers take 2nd at West Franklin tournament at Lamont Hill

OCHS Lady Indians golf team 2020 with medals from the West Franklin tournament, courtesy photo.

Osage City High School Lady Indian golfers competed Sept. 8, 2020, in the West Franklin tournament at Lamont Hill, with OCHS golfer Laci Davenport taking first place. The Osage City team took second place in the tournament, just two strokes behind the tournament team champion Silver Lake.

Davenport took the championship with a score of 47. Other OCHS medalists were Jenna Hastert, who placed ninth with a score of 54, and Hayden Serna at 12th with 56.

Council Grove took third place in the tournament.  

Santa Fe Trail golfers start season; Buessing claims two championships

Santa Fe Trail High School Girls Golf competition has begun with a standout freshman taking first place at the team’s first two away tournaments. The first tournament of the season was Aug. 26, at Lake Perry.

“The girls did great and brought home the first 2020 awards for Trail,” SFT Girls Golf Coach Mary Vawter Burgett said.

SFT golfer Braegan Buessing claimed first place and the tournament medal, shooting 6 over par with a 41 for the course. Buessing’s placing put SFTHS in the second place with a team score of 212 for the silver medals. Individual medals were also earned by Courtney Stone, 10th, 53, and Carley Cox, 15th, 56. Seven teams and 34 golfers competed in the tournament.

SFTHS’s girls golf team includes freshman Buessing; Stone, senior, second year golf; Cox, junior, third year; Kierra Lira, senior, first year; Caitlyn Myrick, senior, second year; Marissa Lossen, junior, first year.

The team continued a second place streak at the Ottawa tournament Monday, Aug. 31, with Buessing again taking the championship spot in the seven-school, 40-golfer tournament.

Braegan shot 2 over par for a 38, and sealed first place by 3 strokes over the second place finishers – two 2 competitors shot a 41. Also medaling at Ottawa was Lira in 5th place; Stone placed 15th.

SFTHS golfers earned second place team medals, and the team scored 3 strokes under third-place finisher Osage City High School.

Chamber challenges disc golfers in second annual tournament on Osage City course

About 25 disc golfers enjoyed a beautiful morning of sunshine and nice temperatures Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, during the 2nd annual Osage City Chamber Challenge Disc Golf Tournament, held at Jones Park disc golf course.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the tournament, presenting prizes for the winners. Everyone went home with a raffle item donated by Flint Hills Beverage.

The winners for the three levels of participants were:

Advance Male

  • First, Troy Smart; second, Travis Bilyeu; third, Jacob Wade

Intermediate Male

  • First, David Hastings; second, Steve Morrison; third, Ben Corbett

Intermediate Female

  • First, Kelli Orender

Beginner Male

  • First, Kurt Kitselman; second, Jared Kitselman; third, Jim Lohmeyer

Beginner Female

  • First, Dani Kerns; second, Becky Siljenberg; third, Jodi Lohmeyer

Winners of the select events were:

  • Female Longest Drive, Kelli Orender
  • Male Longest Drive, Troy Smart
  • Closest to the hole, Kurt Kitselman
  • Putting Contest, Troy Smart

Frontier Extension seeks applicants for Master Gardener program

The Frontier Extension District is currently taking applications for Master Gardener training, which will take place this fall. The deadline to sign up for this year’s program is Aug. 27, 2020.

In the Master Gardner program, participants learn about plant biology, soils, flowers, trees and shrubs, lawn care, fruits, vegetables, indoor plants, insects, diseases and pesticides. The educational information participants receive can benefit them and their neighborhoods.

Giving back to the community is part of the Master Gardener program. Master Gardeners are asked to give back 40 hours of service and education after completing training. Some Master Gardener projects can include assisting with a garden show, helping with county landscaping plantings, teaching youth about gardening, helping in a community garden, going on tours for further education on gardening, as well as many more possibilities.

Overbrook City Lake added to Kansas lakes blue-green algae watch list

TOPEKA, Kan. – Three Osage County lakes are on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s public health watch list due to blue-green algae, with Overbrook City Lake added to the list today. KDHE, in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, also issued a public health warning today for Milford Lake Zone C.

On the state’s blue-green algae watch list in Osage County are Melvern Outlet Swim Pond, Melvern Outlet Pond, and Overbrook City Lake.

A watch means that blue-green algae have been detected and a harmful algal bloom is present or likely to develop. People are encouraged to avoid areas of algae accumulation and keep pets and livestock away from the water. During the watch status, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Water may be unsafe for humans and animals.
  • Avoid areas of algae accumulation and do not let people or pets eat dried algae or drink contaminated water.
  • Swimming, wading, skiing and jet skiing are discouraged near visible blooms.
  • Boating and fishing are safe. However, inhalation of the spray may affect some individuals. Avoid direct contact with water, and wash with clean water after any contact.
  • Clean fish well with potable water and eat fillet portion only.

When a warning is issued, KDHE recommends the following precautions be taken:

  • Lake water is not safe to drink for pets or livestock. Lake water, regardless of blue-green algae status, should never be consumed by humans.
  • Water contact should be avoided.
  • Fish may be eaten if they are rinsed with clean water and only the fillet portion is consumed, while all other parts are discarded.
  • Do not allow pets to eat dried algae.
  • If lake water contacts skin, wash with clean water as soon as possible.
  • Avoid areas of visible algae accumulation.

Chronic wasting disease confirmed in captive cervid herd in Osage County

First positive case in eastern Kansas

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Agriculture has confirmed a case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a captive cervid herd in Osage County, Kan., and is working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to mitigate risk to the captive cervid industry as well as the local wild deer population in the area.

Though CWD has been detected in wild deer populations in many western Kansas counties, this is the first documented positive case in eastern Kansas and the first in a captive herd since 2001.

CWD is an infectious, degenerative disease of animals in the family cervidae (elk, deer, and moose) that impacts the animal’s brain cells, ultimately causing death. Only animals in the family cervidae are susceptible to CWD. Currently, there is no evidence that CWD poses a threat to humans.

The CWD-infected animal was born and raised on the premises in Osage County, where it was tested after being euthanized in late June. The affected premises have been placed under quarantine, and tracing and surveillance are underway on all animals that have moved into or out of this captive cervid herd in the last five years.

KDWPT will conduct additional surveillance of CWD in Osage County as part of the agency’s annual testing of wild deer taken during hunting seasons, and through a three-year, statewide research project set to begin this fall. KDWPT will use the data collected to develop CWD risk assessment maps and future surveillance, prevention, management, and regulatory efforts.

Owners of captive cervid herds in Kansas are encouraged to participate in KDA’s CWD Herd Certification Program. This program provides increased oversight via annual inventory reconciliation, identification of all cervids over one year of age on the premises, and CWD testing for all animal mortalities. Though certification is voluntary, only operations that have been CWD-certified for at least five years may legally move animals interstate. The infected Osage County animal was in a CWD-certified herd that had not received any animals from any operations that did not have equal or greater certification status.

Human bone found near rural Osage County fishing spot; identity, age unknown

The location a human bone was found Tuesday was near 205th Street and Lewelling Road near the west end of Pomona Lake. Image from Google Maps.

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn has reported that a human bone was found Tuesday in rural Osage County near a popular fishing spot on U.S. Army Corps of Engineer property along Dragoon Creek.

In a press release today, June 18, 2020, Dunn said the sheriff’s office responded at 12:30 p.m. June 16 to a report of a bone found near 205th Street and Lewelling Road, approximately 1.5 miles west of U.S. Highway 75.

The sheriff said the bone had been viewed by the coroner’s office and a forensic anthropologist and was determined to be human.

The area was secured overnight for a more detailed search. The sheriff’s office was assisted at by Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Mission Township Fire Department dive team, Missouri Search and Rescue K-9, and a cadaver dog from the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office. Nothing else was found on land or in the water, the sheriff reported, and the area was released at 7:30 p.m. June 17.

The sheriff said the exact age of the bone is yet to be determined, and it is not known where the bone may have come from due to flooding last year.

Dunn said the forensic anthropologist gave a timeframe of 60 to 90 days to determine more specifics about the bone.

Cook’n’ show cancelled, so car buffs cruise Osage County

Local auto enthusiasts lined up cars of all makes and models, Saturday, May 9, 2020, at Jones Park, Osage City,  where they departed on a cruise around Osage County. 

By Jeanette Swartz

Since the Cruis’n & Cook’n Car Show was cancelled in April due to the pandemic, this past Saturday afternoon, May 9, 2020, brought a group of approximately 40 auto enthusiasts to Osage City, Kan. Friends from Osage City, Reading, Wakarusa, Burlington, Ottawa, Pomona, Emporia, Topeka, Carbondale and Lyndon lined up at the football stadium parking lot and cruised through downtown Osage City, then traveled on to Melvern and Pomona lakes through the state parks.

We are not sure who had more fun, the cruisers or the campers. The campers enjoyed seeing the participants cruise through the campsites at both lakes. There were smiles on everyone’s faces and it was nice to get out and enjoy the afternoon.

The cruise continued through Overbook, Scranton, Burlingame and back to Osage City.

We are not sure how many miles we actually cruised going through the lakes, a few small towns and the countryside, but it was an enjoyable three-hour tour (and nobody broke down or ran out of gas!)

The generous monetary donations, canned and packaged food items from the cruisers were greatly appreciated, and which will be given back to the community through ECKAN, ECAT and the Warmth Fund.

Carbondale spring plant sale brings out May gardeners

Larry and Susan Raby, honored Carbondale supporters.

The 9th annual Carbondale flower and plant sale benefited a local equine rescue organization and the fire department, and also recognized a couple of longtime community supporters.

The sale was held at the Carbondale fire station Sunday, May 3, 2020. There were many choices of annual flowers, vegetables, hanging baskets, planters, and succulents, along with a truck full of compost from B&C Equine Rescue for gardens.

The event also recognized local volunteers Susan and Larry Raby. Susan organizes the Carbondale Community Garden, and she supports Carbondale in many ways with several organizations. Susan and Larry were recognized for their commitment to making Carbondale the best it can be.

Flint Hills Youth Baseball and Softball League cancels season

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – The Flint Hills Youth Baseball and Softball League towns of Appanoose, Auburn, Burlingame, Carbondale, Eskridge, Harveyville, Lyndon, Osage City, Overbrook, and Pomona have collectively decided to cancel their 2020 summer ball season. This is due to the current restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, contact Corey Linton, 2020 FHL president, at Osage City Parks and Recreation, 785-528-4610, or [email protected].

Osage City Golf Course to reopen clubhouse

The Osage City Golf Course will reopen its clubhouse for business on Saturday, April 18, 2020, after having closed in response to the pandemic.

From golf course management: “We will adhere to the restrictions set forth to keep everyone safe. You may not come into the clubhouse. Come to the west side door and we will serve your needs from there. The driving range will continue to be closed. Restrooms will be available but only one at a time may come in. You may rent a cart, but only one to a cart unless you are from the same family.”

Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting.

Call ahead for a tee time or if you have questions. Call clubhouse manager Janis Campbell at 785-219-2245 or the course at 785-528-3329.

Let’s all stay safe and play some golf.

Osage County burn ban extended until Friday

Update: April 9, 2020, the burn ban has been extended until 8 a.m. April 10, and could be extended depending on weather conditions. The National Weather Service has forecast dangerous fire conditions for this afternoon with wind gusts and low humidity levels.

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Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban for all of Osage County effective at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, April 8, 2020, due to very high fire danger. No outside burning is allowed and all burn permits are suspended. This ban is in effect until further notice.

The rangeland fire danger index will be in the very high category today. Very high fire danger means that fire control will be very difficult and require extended effort.

National Weather Service has forecast dangerous fire weather conditions today due to strong wind and low humidity levels. While fuels have been recently “greening up”, the wind and low humidity will be reason to be extra cautious and not burn for the rest of today. NWS forecasts northwest gusty winds today up to around 35 mph, with relative humidity dropping as low as 15 percent in some areas. Ongoing fires may be difficult to control.

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

Official statement from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

Public visitation

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis and remains vigilant in implementing appropriate safety protocols to ensure public use areas remain safe and open to the public.

In counties with local stay at home mandates, KDWPT will work with local officials regarding any other restrictions. State parks, state fishing lakes and wildlife areas remain open.

License fees

KDWPT is not currently considering waiving fishing license fees. KDWPT is funded solely from the sale of licenses and permits, and that funding is crucial to keeping gates and facilities open and law enforcement in place.

“During this time of unprecedented changes, there is value in those things that can stay consistent,” said KDWPT Secretary Brad Loveless. “We’re committed to keeping Kansas’ state parks, state fishing lakes and wildlife areas open so that Kansans can continue to safely enjoy the outdoors. To achieve this, we must keep game wardens, public land managers, and park staff working in the field.”

KDHE and KDA recommend voluntary reduction in range burning

TOPEKA, Kan. – In response to the COVID-19 pandemic currently impacting all states, including Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Agriculture strongly encourage all land owners and managers to voluntarily reduce the number of acres that they intend to burn this spring.

“With the potential for this pandemic overwhelming the state’s medical facilities, any additional respiratory concerns that could be produced from breathing smoke from prescribed fire need to be mitigated,” said Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary.

Common health problems related to smoke can include burning eyes, runny nose, coughing and illnesses such as bronchitis. Individuals with respiratory issues, including COVID-19, pre-existing heart or lung diseases, children and the elderly may experience worse symptoms.

With resources of the county emergency response staff already being taxed with COVID-19 response, it is important to minimize responses that would come with prescribed fire activity.

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