Category Archives: Outdoors

Learn about feeding birds in the winter – and more – with Extension webinars

The Frontier Extension District is putting together a series of horticulture webinars beginning 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021. The first meeting will cover feeding birds through the winter. Severe winter weather is not only hard on people, but can be a life and death struggle for birds. Birds, like humans, require water, shelter and food. People often think of food as the resource most lacking during cold weather. So what do we feed them? There are many different bird food mixes available, mostly because various species prefer different grains. However, there is one seed that has more universal appeal than any other: black oil sunflower. If you are new to the bird-feeding game, make sure there is a high percentage of this seed in your mix.

In this webinar you will learn about feeding birds in the winter, how many feeders you should have out, what type of feeders to use to draw a certain species, or even issues you may have while feeding birds. Sign up for the horticulture webinar series starting Feb. 4 with speaker Chuck Otte, Geary County Extension agent, who is an avid bird watcher and spent a lot of time learning how to draw different birds to his back yard.

The meetings in the horticulture webinar series are open and free to the public. These Zooms will consist of a 45-minute presentation with the opportunity to ask the speaker questions at the end. For more information or to get the zoom link, please call the Frontier Extension District- Garnett Office at 785-448-6826 or email [email protected]

Meeting topics and dates for the horticulture webinar series:

  • Feb. 4 – Feeding birds in the winter, Chuck Otte, Geary County Extension agent.
  • Feb. 18 – Cut flowers and arrangements, Shawn Turner, Turner Flowers.
  • March 4 – Irrigation for homeowners and gardeners, Cathie Lavis, K-State Research and Extension specialist in landscape management.
  • March 18 – Wildlife control, Drew Ricketts, K-State Research and Extension wildlife specialist.

Emergency management issues burn ban for all of Osage County, Jan. 20, 2021

Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban for all of Osage County for today, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, due to forecast very high fire danger. No outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended. The ban will be in effect for 24 hours, but could be extended depending on weather conditions.

Wind gusts are expected to be as high as 40 mph this afternoon, resulting in very high fire danger.

For more information about the county burn ban, contact OCEM Director Bryce Romine at 785-828-3323.

Emergency management issues burn ban for Osage County, Jan. 14, 2021

Update: Burn ban rescinded Jan. 15, 2021

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Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban for all of Osage County for today, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, due to forecast very high fire danger. No outside burning is allowed, and all burn permits are suspended. The ban will be in effect until rescinded.

National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the region until 6 p.m. today, with northwest winds expected to be 25 to 35 mph with gusts 40 mph to 50 mph, combined with low relative humidity.

Today’s forecast is mostly sunny, with a high near 49, and windy. Chances of snow flurries are expected after 3 a.m. Friday, with increasing clouds, with a low around 28. Friday is expected to continue to be windy, with a northwest wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph.

For more information about the county burn ban, contact OCEM Director Bryce Romine at 785-828-3323.

Kansas under winter weather advisory – prepare for winter storms

TOPEKA, Kan. – The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for much of Kansas, due to a storm that began Monday in the northwestern portion of the state and moved eastward throughout the day. Snow was forecast to reach east central, north central and northeast Kansas by Tuesday, transitioning to freezing rain, then rain. Though the storms are expected to gradually move out of the state this evening, NWS and Gov. Laura Kelly are reminding citizens to get prepared for winter storms.

“If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to make sure your home and vehicle emergency kits are well-stocked,” Kelly said. “This storm hits us right in the middle of the holiday season when many people are on the road. I urge you to avoid travel, if possible, but if you must travel, be sure to leave early and listen to your local weather stations to keep updated on road conditions.

“Take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.  Don’t travel if you are not feeling well, wear your mask, stay six feet away from individuals outside your household and wash your hands often.”

A home emergency kit should include food, water, medications, extra clothing, flashlights and batteries, battery-operated NOAA weather radio and other necessities. Make sure your kit includes supplies for your pet.

Very high fire danger: Burn ban issued in Osage County

Update, Dec. 25, 2020: Osage County Emergency Management has rescinded this burn ban.

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Update, Dec. 23, 2020: Osage County Emergency Management has extended a burn ban for all of Osage County; it will be in effect until rescinded.

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Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban for all of Osage County, effective today at 7:50 a.m. Dec. 22, 2020. No outside burning is allowed and all burn permits suspended due to very high fire danger forecast for this afternoon. The burn ban is in effect until further notice.

The area is under a wind advisory from noon today until 4 a.m. Wednesday, with south winds expected to be 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph coupled with low relative humidity.

National Weather Service forecasts very high fire danger today and the rangeland fire danger index will be in the very high category this afternoon. Wednesday will be mostly sunny, with temperatures falling to around 30 by 5 p.m., but will remain windy, with a west wind 20 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.

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

Kansans urged to prepare for possible winter storms

It is too soon to tell if we will have a white Christmas, but snow is definitely in the forecast for Kansas. As a severe winter storm is forecast to move into the northwest region of the state today, and there is a potential for up to six inches in south central Kansas. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is urging all Kansans to take precautions, especially when traveling.

A winter storm watch has been issued for south central Kansas beginning Wednesday afternoon with increasing confidence for accumulating snow into Thursday. Light snow could begin in southwest Kansas with blowing and drifting possible and intensify by afternoon and evening in parts of central and southwest Kansas. Snow accumulations could be up to four inches in parts of the South Central region with one to two inches in the western and northern parts of the state.

“Please make sure you and your family stay safe by having an emergency kit at home and in your car and stay tuned to your local weather stations,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “If you must travel, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Don’t travel if you are not feeling well, wear your mask, stay six feet away from individuals outside your household and wash your hands often.”

“Now is the time to make sure your home and car emergency kits are stocked,” said Angee Morgan, KDEM deputy director. “Review your home emergency plan and update any phone numbers, addresses, and other information so you can keep in contact with family and friends.”

A home emergency kit should include food, water, medications, extra clothing, flashlights and batteries, battery-operated NOAA weather radio and other necessities. Make sure your kit includes supplies for your pet.

Vehicle emergency kits should include blankets, flashlights, batteries, a cell phone charger, hand-warmers, high-energy food snacks, bottled water, necessary medications, a snow shovel, flares and other emergency supplies. Make sure your cell phone is charged and someone is aware of your itinerary, including expected time of arrival.

Free entrance to Kansas state parks Friday

PRATT – Swap the shopping centers for scenic views this Black Friday, as Kansas state parks will once again waive entrance fees as part of the nationwide #OptOutside initiative. All 28 of Kansas’ state parks are participating in an effort to get families and friends outdoors and enjoying nature.

On Friday, Nov. 27, 2020, state park visitors will have a chance to win a free night’s stay in a Kansas state park cabin of their choice. To enter, visitors must take a selfie within the park and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the tags #OptOutside and #MyKsStatePark.

Earlier this year, Gov. Laura Kelly encouraged Kansans to head to state parks for healthy recreation and relaxation. As a result, Kansas State Parks director Linda Lanterman said attendance has been exceptionally high.

Osage County issues burn ban; county under fire weather watch

Update:  This burn ban expired at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.

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Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban for the entire county, as the National Weather Service in Topeka has implemented a fire weather watch in effect this afternoon, Nov. 17, 2020, through Wednesday afternoon for most of northeast Kansas.

Osage County’s burn ban went into effect at 1:20 p.m. today and is in place until 8 a.m. tomorrow, Nov. 18, but may be extended. During the burn ban, no outside burning is allowed and all county burn permits are suspended.

The ban was put in place due to very high fire danger this afternoon. Very high fire danger and a possible red flag warning are forecast for tomorrow.

NWS’s fire weather watch was implemented at 2:32 p.m. today and will be in effect through Wednesday afternoon due to strong winds and critical fuels. The fire weather watch covers Osage, Republic, Washington, Marshall, Nemaha, Brown, Cloud, Clay, Riley, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary, Morris, Wabaunsee, Shawnee, Douglas, Lyon, Franklin, Coffey and Anderson counties.

South winds sustained at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph are forecast for tomorrow, with relative humidity values in the 25 to 35 percent range. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended. Most vegetation has transitioned into a dormant state and is extremely susceptible to rapid fire spread.

A fire weather watch means that critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur. Citizens are advised that issuance of red flag warnings is possible Wednesday.

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.

Kansas Horse Council serves equine industry with leadership, education, policy

Annual meeting set at Osage City

Time is now to become involved in the future of everything involved with horses in Kansas and the nation.

“The annual meeting of the Kansas Horse Council is scheduled Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Osage City Fairgrounds,” announced Justine Staten, KHC executive director.

In the community building, activities are set to begin with musical entertainment by Steve Boyce Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

“We’re especially pleased to have Ernie Rodina of Better Horses Worldwide as our featured speaker,” Staten said.

Rodina is a longtime advocate for all matters horses throughout the world. He is prominently recognized for his syndicated weekly Better Horses radio and television programs and quarterly newspaper.

“Certainly, Ernie is most enthusiastic for betterment of horses and their owners. He’ll have a very educational and always enjoyable presentation,” Staten assured.

Additional features of the KHC session will be updates on issues relating horses including legislation, trails, events, health and wellness.  

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