Category Archives: People

Poster winners spread fire prevention messages

The 2017 Osage County Fire District No. 2 fire prevention poster winners were Angelica Ruiz-Pineda, Kaylee Theel, Grady Tincher, Kenzie Bellinger, Sophia Brabb, Jada Ruiz, Brynna Burd, Kalen Conner, Lillian Lohmeyer, Harrison Bailey, Allison Sloop, Quenten Stark, Dakota Boss, Isaac McCoy, Sadie Shoemaker.

Osage County Fire District No. 2 gave fire prevention poster winners a ride to school in fire trucks Friday Oct. 13, 2017. Around 8 a.m., a crowd of proud parents and fire department personnel gave a send off to the poster winners as they departed and transported to Osage City Elementary School. Throughout the day Friday, firefighters gave fire prevention presentations to students at Osage City Elementary School, Three Lakes Preschool at Osage City, and Osage City preschool.

Student art show adds autumn colors to Lyndon Fall Fest

Hailey Houser’s fall apples painting won best of show.

The Lyndon student art show has become a traditional feature of the community’s annual Fall Fest, highlighting the talents of local young artists. Students in Hannah Wilson’s art classes at Lyndon schools entered fall-themed media in this year’s exhibition on display at city hall. Awards were given in three places and honorable mention in five class categories. Hailey Houser’s painting of fall apples was recognized as best of show.

Art 2 – First place, Cheyenne Campbell

Winners from the Fall Fest Art Show were:

  • 7th grade – First place, Aubrie Edington; second place, Brayden Marcotte; third place, Tara Green; honorable mention, Ethan Kneisler and Sarah Burrell.
  • 8th grade – First place, Mia Fischer; second place, Jada Seyler-Harting; third place, Darian Massey; honorable mention, Addyson Easter.
  • Art 1 – First place, Abby Criqui; second place, Katelyn McCoy; third place, Ethan Edington; honorable mention, Audrey Womack.
  • Art 2 – First place, Cheyenne Campbell; second place, Sydney Gross; third place, Nicole Hughes; honorable mention, Shayla Huffmeier.
  • Art 3/4 – First place, Gretchen Newberry; second place, Emma Kate Unruh; third place, David Moore; honorable mention, Noah Lozano.
  • Best of Show, Hailey Houser.

Longtime Osage County judge to retire in November

4th Judicial District Chief Judge Phillip Fromme

TOPEKA, Kan. – Chief Judge Phillip M. Fromme, who has served in the 4th Judicial District for 34 years, will retire Nov. 30, 2017.

Fromme was named a district judge in 1996 and since 2003 has been chief judge of the 4th Judicial District, which is composed of Osage, Franklin, Coffey and Anderson counties. He has overseen criminal and domestic cases primarily in Coffey and Osage counties.

“I’ve enjoyed working with staff, attorneys, and court personnel and will miss the judge work, but I plan to stay active with hobbies such as hunting, fishing, gardening and travel,” Fromme said.

A native of Hoxie, Kan., Fromme earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Washburn University. He served in the Kansas National Guard from 1970 to 1977. He was Coffey County attorney from 1973 to 1983, when he was appointed a district magistrate judge.

He and his wife, Kathy, live in Burlington and have three children and two grandchildren.

Judges in the 4th Judicial District are appointed through a nonpartisan, merit-based selection system. The district’s judicial nominating commission will announce when it is accepting applications for Fromme’s successor. After interviewing candidates, the commission will forward the names of three to five finalists to the governor, who will appoint the next judge.

Each of Kansas’ 31 judicial districts has a chief judge who, in addition to his or her judicial responsibilities, has general control over case assignments within the district, as well as general supervisory authority over the administrative and clerical functions of the court. They are appointed to two-year terms. The Kansas Supreme Court will name a new chief judge to serve Fromme’s remaining term, which ends Dec. 31, 2017.

National 4-H Week: Stylin’ 4-Hers show off fashion sense, sewing abilities

Participants in the 4-H Style Revue held at the 2017 Osage County Fair, front from left, Amanda Malone, North Osage; Allie Kneisler, Lyndon Leaders; Chloe Cannon, North Osage; Brealyn McNally, Melvern Jr. Highline; Cole Thompson, Willing Workers; Soloman Shultz, Clover Wrangler, back, Josie Thompson, Willing Workers; Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers; Trista Anderson, Willing Workers; Lily Shultz, Clover Wrangler; Keira Shultz, Clover Wrangler; Addyson Easter, Vassar Blue Ribbon; Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler.

Participants in the local 4-H clothing project hosted a public fashion revue July 1, 2017, at the Osage County Fair.

The clothing project is made up of two areas: clothing construction, in which the 4-H member sew their own clothes, and clothing buymanship, in which the 4-H member purchases an outfit.  With a theme of “4-H Clover Review”, 15 4-H members participated.

Grand and reserve champions were: Senior boys buymanship, grand, Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve, Isaac Shultz, Clover Wrangler; junior boys buymanship – grand, Solomon Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve,  Brody Thompson, Clover Wrangler; senior girls buymanship, grand, Lily Shultz, Clover Wrangler, reserve, Josie Thompson; junior girls buymanship, grand, Addyson Easter, Vasser Blue Ribbon, reserve, Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers; construction, grand, Jerra Butterfield, Willing Workers, reserve, Chloe Cannon, North Osage.

Osage City student wins statewide award for Put the Brakes on Fatalities poster

An Osage City student artist has been named as a statewide winner in the Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day statewide contests.

Austin Lamb, of Osage City, Nora Ackermann, Andover, and Alyson Welch, Overland Park, were named as statewide winners in the poster contest. Each student was first selected as a regional winner and will receive a bicycle and a helmet donated by Safe Kids Kansas at presentations at their schools.

A total of 1,048 Kansas kids ages 5 to 13 participated in the poster contest. As statewide winners in their age categories, they will also receive a Kindle Fire tablet from the Kansas Turnpike Authority, a $50 gift card from the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association of Kansas, a $50 gift card from Walmart and movie passes from AAA Kansas.

Winners of the two statewide contests were announced as part of the national safety campaign Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.

Multi-county nutrition program announces new executive director

Angie Logan

Long time social worker Angie Logan assumed the helm of Mid-America Nutrition Program as executive director on Sept. 20, 2017. Logan said she hopes to find ways to enrich the multi- county Meals on Wheels program by securing additional funding and working to create intergenerational relationships between the elders and school age youth.

“I am excited to join our program because I believe that we are the eyes and the ears of the homebound elderly thereby preventing premature admissions to nursing homes and undue emergency room visits,” Logan said.

She has worked in Kansas as a licensed master’s level social worker since 1999 and has worked in a variety of diverse settings. Throughout her career, she has engaged in policy, direct practice, research, teaching, grant writing and fundraising initiatives.

National 4-H Week: Former 4-Her honored as Osage County’s 4-H Alumni

Presenting the 4-H Alumni Award to Devin Ramsey, holding award, are, from left, Savannah Bean, Morgan Woodbury, Maddy Montgomery, Devin Ramsey, Casten Wirth, and Dalton Hook.

Osage County 4-H has recognized former 4-Her Devin Ramsey as the 4-H Alumni of the Year.

Devin, who was nominated by Vassar Blue Ribbon 4-H Club, was a member of the Carbondale Rustler 4-H Club for 12 years. Devin’s favorite project was the dog project, and since she has been out of 4-H she has been a dog project leader for Osage County, and helps the superintendent at the fairs.

The 4-H Alumni award is given as a way to thank former 4-Hers for giving back to their home county’s 4-H clubs. Ramsey was recognized for the award during the 2016 Osage County 4-H’s achievement night.

National 4-H Week: Club reviews exhibits during walking tour of county fair

North Osage 4-H Club on its annual tour of exhibits, from left: Wylie Young, Brock Robert, Alex Strother, Amanda Malone, Lynnea Nelson, John Sand, Gabe Butel, Dylon Harris, Gage Cannon and Chloe Cannon.

The North Osage 4-H Club held its annual club tour during the Overbrook Osage County Fair, Aug. 12, 2017. The tour, which consists of walking through the Coffman building and livestock barns, gives club members an opportunity to share and talk about their projects exhibited during the fair.

National 4-H Week: 4-H clubs rely on a little help from their friends

Awarding a Friend of the 4-H Award to Robyn Williams, right, are local 4-H members, from left, Garret Croucher, Dalton Hook, Morgan Woodbury, Gracie Croucher and Tracy Wilk.

4-H members and clubs are supported throughout the year by numerous individuals and businesses. Without such support, the 4-H program would cease to continue helping young people make a difference in the communities, learn life skills and develop leadership skills. To recognize the individuals who provide support, the organization annually gives out Friend of 4-H awards. Three people from Osage County were honored by Frontier Extension District 4-H clubs as Friends of 4-H, Chris Reno, Kelly Vandruff, and Robyn Williams.

Reno was nominated by Vassar Blue Ribbon 4-H Club, due to his graciousness in allowing the club to use his store front window for the past year and half. This has given the club the opportunity to promote Osage County 4-H and the club’s projects.

Vandruff was nominated by Burlingame 4-H Club, because she is always willing to help out with the club’s activities and community service projects. She also has offered fun and new ideas for the club to try.

Williams, of Edward Jones Investments, was nominated by Willing Workers 4-H Club. She has provided a generous cash award to the top two showmen in both age divisions of the Osage County Fair round robin showmanship contest since 2002. Whenever possible, Williams has attended the contest to personally present the award to the winners.

National 4-H Week: Hook family continues support for 4-H through generations

Osage County’s 4-H Family of the Year, the Don and Jenise Hook family, front from left, Melissa Bean, Charleigh Bean, Jenise Hook, Savannah Bean, Savannah Bean, back, Tyler Bean, Dalton Hook, Don Hook, and Adam Bean.

Don and Jenise Hook and their family were named as Osage County’s 4-H Family of the Year for 2017, continuing a rich tradition of 4-H in their family. Don’s and Jenise’s mothers were active members of 4-H in the 1950s, they both were active in 4-H as youth, and their four children, Adam, Tyler, Jamie, and Dalton, also continued in 4-H. The Hooks now have two daughters-in-law, one who was also a 4-H member.

Vassar Blue Ribbon 4-H Club recognized the family’s continuous support to the local club, Frontier Extension District and the Kansas 4-H organization.

It was less than 10 years ago that the Vassar Blue Ribbon membership was surviving on a mere handful of members. The Hooks maintained a positive presence and leadership, kept their children engaged, and plugged forward. Today the club stands strong with 25-plus members and a slew of supportive parents. Fast forward to today, you will see the Hooks hosting meetings, leading committees, assisting families, and consistently supporting the greater 4-H community.

The Hook and Bean family’s combined years of 4-H participation totals 62 years. The Hooks’ granddaughter, Savannah Bean, represents the family’s fourth generation to participate in 4-H.

Back in Time: Whirlwind of land acquisition floods Marais des Cygnes Valley

Shown in a June 1975 photo of Melvern Lake, its then-new 12-story control tower is already a landmark on the water.

About 1972, Corps of Engineers attorneys obtained easement for the Melvern Reservoir in Osage County, Kan. The details involved in acquiring an easement for land to be flooded by the Melvern Reservoir in Osage County, Kan., is explained by a Corps of Engineers attorney, Ben Bonner, left, to sellers of the easement, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Evertson, of Topeka, Kan. The easement permitted flooding of 180 acres of the 350-acre tract owned by the couple. Exemplifying the speed of the process, the Evertsons received their check 10 days after signing the agreement.

MdCV FFA members keep busy as fall arrives

MdCV Adopt-A-Highway crew, front, Ethan Cannon, Gannon Schimmel, Tristen Duncan, Grace Bradely, Isabella Toman, Makayla Baker, Alaina Marsh, Chloe Volkman, Josey Weimer, Sadie McGowin, Koby Vanderpool, Alexis Hidalgo, back, Colby Vogeler, Dalton Hook, Frank Warner, Kaelin Criqui, H.B. Booth, Jevan Gregg, Kali Holt, Noah Criqui, Steven Clower, Haylee Miles, Bayleigh Lacey, Brice Marsh, Sarah Green.

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA members have been active as the new school year gets underway, with some attending the Greenhand Conference at Ottawa, joining a large group that cleaned the highway south of Melvern, and attending the Kansas State Fair. Here’s an update on the busy group’s recent activities:

Greenhand Conference

On Sept. 13, 2017, Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA members Tony Cannon, Brice Marsh, Sadie McGowin, Izzy Toman, and Colby Vogeler attended the annual Greenhand Conference, at the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, Ottawa, Kan.

The conference is for first-year FFA members. Students participate in workshops that are presented by the East Central District officers, along with help from two Kansas State officers. Greenhands took a test over FFA history and information they learned in class. They participated in activities that included leadership building, official dress, career development events, and supervised agricultural experience programs.

New Osage County attorneys pass bar exam; to take oath

Two new attorneys from Osage County will take their state and federal oaths in special ceremonies Friday at Topeka.

Cody Lee Robinett, Osage City, and Phoenix Zane Taylor Anshutz, Overbrook, are among 94 successful applicants to the July 2017 Kansas bar examination. The new Kansas attorneys will be sworn in during one of two ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sept. 29, 2017, in the Supreme Court courtroom at the Kansas Judicial Center, 301 SW 10th Ave., Topeka.

Man without a mission strolls through America’s hospitality

Larry and Debi Chrum offered Osage City hospitality and a home away from home to continental walker CJ Richards, right.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – When CJ Richards started walking from his home in Derry, N.H., on May 7, he thought his trek would introduce him to America’s sights. Instead, as he realized not far from home, he had set out to meet America’s people.

Now, more than halfway through his 3,000-plus-mile trip to the California coast, Richards says his connection with people along the way is what has kept him walking.

“I’ve learned people are out to help you, not out to get you,” Richards said last week, sitting at the kitchen table in Debi and Larry Chrum’s home in Osage City.

His connection to the Chrums was just one example of him meeting people along the way who have offered hospitality to a traveling stranger.

Richards readily admits his decision to walk across the United States was for his own pursuit of happiness. He’s not walking for a cause or representing a charity.

He said he has enjoyed hiking since he was young, when he and a friend started hiking together while in Boy Scouts. And living in New Hampshire, the Appalachian Trail was practically in his back yard.

He had thought about taking a long hike before, such as the entire Appalachian Trail, but had also considered a cross-country trip.

Now 25 years old, he said he began thinking that he wasn’t getting younger, and there might not be another time when he was as unencumbered by life’s responsibilities.

“I started looking at my brothers, how they are involved with their families and jobs,” Richards said, “and thought now was my chance. I thought, ‘I’ve got to get going and do this now.’”

Burlingame teen’s love of geology bestows him with ‘Rock Star’ title

Zach Smith – Rock Star rockhound

Topeka Gem and Mineral Society will recognize a Burlingame teenager as a “Rock Star” after he recently became one of only two Kansas students to achieve this national status among dedicated rockhounds.

Zach Smith, 15, of Burlingame, Kan., recently completed the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies’ Future Rockhounds of America Program, earning the Rock Star status. Only one other student in Kansas, and only 27 in the United States, have ever achieved this national status since the program began in 2009.

Smith’s love of geology began when he was about 8 years old. He and his brother were looking for golf balls that had fallen into a drainage ditch near Forbes Field Golf Course in Topeka, Kan. Instead of golf balls, Smith found what he believed to be a Dalmation stone. The white stone with black spots was the beginning of a new adventure.

Since then, he has attended geology camp at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, visited geologically rich locations like the Coralville Formation in Coralville, Iowa, and went on a three-day geology field trip across Kansas as part of Cair Paravel Latin School’s summer programming.

Association releases 4-H and open results for 2017 Osage County Fair, Osage City

Members of the Osage County Farm Bureau serve up cold watermelon at the 2017 Osage County Fair.

The Osage County Fair Association has released the results of 4-H and open exhibition at the 2017 Osage County Fair held June 28-July 1, 2017, at Osage City, Kan. Participants’ ribbon placings and 4-H club affiliation are listed as initials, with a key at the end.

Hidden History: Osage City opera house operator finds fame for others

An old postcard depicts the Grand Opera House at Osage City; from collections of Osage County Historical Society.

By Wendi Bevitt

At one time, Osage City had two opera houses. The Howe House opened in 1879, changing its name to the Osage City Opera House in 1883. Its rival, the Grand Opera House, opened within five years. Each could hold around 700 attendees.

These establishments brought in entertainment like prima donna sopranos, witty speakers, bands, lectures on the newest scientific discoveries like x-rays, and were the sites of community gatherings.

The Osage City Opera House brought in the big names, but also was a springboard for talent, not of a performer, but of a promoter – Melville “Mel” Raymond.

Raymond Melville

Mel Raymond’s parents, Melville and Mary Raymond, moved their family from Eureka, Kan., to Burlingame in the mid-1880s. Mr. Raymond established himself as a grocer, supplying various fruits, baking supplies, cigars, tobacco, stationary and confections to the community. He held a high standard for his goods, and his candy stock alone had, according to the Burlingame Enterprise, “never been equaled by variety or uniqueness It is absolutely pure, he sells no other kinds.” Mrs. Raymond, on the other hand, supported the community by holding a “little folks sewing class” at her home two times per week.

Mel worked as a clerk in his father’s store. The younger Melville, however, was called to a life in the entertainment business at a young age. Mel started by creating his own comedy troop with friend Fred Schenck, called the Schenck and Raymond Comedy Company. Their signature piece was called “Fun on a Steamboat” where Mel pushed the envelope by performing in blackface. The group performed the act at area opera houses, touring as far as Mel’s former home, Eureka.

After that last stop, he and co-star Mary “Pet” Lamb surprised everyone back in Osage County by getting married at the Gold Dust Hotel in nearby Fredonia, Kan.

However, with “the call of the amusement world loud in his ear,” he left to join Sells Brothers’ circus a few short months later, returning to Burlingame only after the group returned to winter quarters.

Afterwards Mel started working in opera house venues, managing the Osage City Opera House and eight others around 1891. He returned to circus life as a press and contracting agent, notably for the Ringling Brothers, but also for other minor companies. He gained the reputation for being spectacular in his methods of promotion.

Drink some lemonade, help Texas animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey

Wylie Young stocks up on lemons for his Hurricane Harvey benefit.

A young man in Overbrook is doing what he can to help animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey.

Wylie Young, 11, is setting up a lemonade stand this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2 and 3, 2017, at his house, 304 Walnut, Overbrook, Kan. All proceeds will go to San Antonio Animal Care Services in Texas. Everyone is invited to stop by and have a cool glass of lemonade and help animals at the same time.

For more information about San Antonio Animal Care Services, see

Wylie loves all animals, especially dogs and wolves. He has actively participated in the 4-H pet project in Osage County for 5 years.

Lyndon Library invites readers to spend the evening with an author

Lyndon Library’s “Evening with an Author” will feature a Kansas author who wrote her first fiction book about three ladies and a Carnegie library in Kansas. Romalyn Tilghman will be at the Lyndon Carnegie Library at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12, as part of her current book tour.

Tilghman grew up in Manhattan, Kan., where she was a patron of the local Carnegie library before she could even read. Her new book, “To the Stars Through Difficulties”, was inspired by other Carnegie libraries in Kansas that she came across in her first job with the Association of Community Arts Council. She kept notes during her travels about the libraries and how groups of mostly women encouraged culture on the plains, knowing that someday she would write a novel.

“To the Stars Through Difficulties” is a gem – an endearing story about redemption and transformation. Tilghman succeeds in capturing the condition of an entire community, as well as the heart of this reader,” Heidi W. Durrow, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky”.

“We have a few copies here if someone would like to check it out before she visits,” said Genea Reynolds, Lyndon librarian.

On the path of totality, Osage County trekkers bask in moon’s shadow

Eclipse watchers at Benedictine College stadium look to the sky to try to see the eclipse through cloud cover.

While cloudy weather caused the solar eclipse to be elusive for people in Kansas, a busload of Osage Countians had fun traveling to Atchison, Kan., to try to view it from the moon’s shadow’s path.

As a special trip offered by Osage County General Transportation, the group of 10 riders and driver John Camarena headed out of Osage City early Aug. 21, 2017, to head to Benedictine College at Atchison.

Erin Auman and Sterling Hughs, owners of Eclipse Computer Solutions, Osage City, had proposed the trip to the county transportation service, in part because of the fun connection to the name of their business. Auman checked for places to view the eclipse from its path of totality, and found that Benedictine College was inviting people to the college’s stadium for the eclipse.

“It was all free,” she said of the college’s eclipse event. “They gave us free viewing glasses and everything.”

According to Auman, the trip was fun but the eclipse crew did not get to see the total eclipse because of cloud cover and light rain. She said that traffic was not heavy on the way to Atchison, but the bus got stuck in the predicted traffic jams for a while as they headed back to Osage City.

“That’s one reason I was glad we took the bus,” Auman said. “We didn’t have to worry about the traffic – only our driver did.”

Traveling on the trip were Bill and Peggy Rezac, Kathi Webster, Tara and Dave Azwell, Cindy Grissom, Shirley Ormsby, and Nancy Hinkle, Auman, Hughs, and Camarena.

Yesteryear’s campers fill sites in Pomona State Park during annual ‘going retro’ event

A 1958 Silver Streak Clipper owned by Roger and Debbie Bowles is completely original and everything works. The Clipper won the best original trailer award.

Visitors enjoying Pomona State Park on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, might have thought they had stepped back in time if they didn’t know the fourth annual Going Retro Car, Vintage Trailer and Antique Boat Show was going on.

With Pomona State Park “going retro” there were 79 cars, four boats, and 42 camping trailers on exhibit, including16 first-time trailer exhibitors. Friends of Pomona State Park were hosts of the event, which drew an estimated crowd of around 1,000 people.

Friday events were an afternoon owner’s tour of trailers, social gathering and a movie. Saturday evening there was a potluck among the trailer owners; then everyone in the park was invited for karaoke and a sock hop. Campground church was attended by several on Sunday.

The Going Retro events are sponsored by the Friends of Pomona State Park and Pomona State Park.

Awards presented:

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