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Burlingame spreads Christmas cheer with holiday home tour

 John and Audrey Ross’ home at 141 W. Fremont St., Burlingame, is one of the homes featured on Burlingame Historical Society’s annual Christmas home tour.

The Burlingame Historical Society will host a holiday home tour, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, during Burlingame’s Country Christmas celebration. Tickets will be available at Schuyler Museum and each home on the tour.

John and Audrey Ross and daughters Gabby, Karah, Maelee, and Reagan have lived in their 1889 Queen Anne Victorian home at 141 W. Fremont St. for four years. The family is rounded out with Annie the dog and Thor the cat.

John works as chief of police at Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority and is in the Kansas Army National Guard. Audrey is a therapist at Christ First Counseling center.

The family enjoys spending time together and watching the girls play sports and dance.

The study and den is decorated formally with a classical tree; The living room tree is a “fun” tree done with the kids collected and homemade ornaments. The master bedroom is displayed as a “Cozy Christmas”, and the foyer is done in Santa Clauses.

Willing Workers’ hard work adds holiday spirit to Osage City’s Christmas festivities

Willing Workers 4-H Club’s float decorated, loaded and ready to head to Osage City’s Christmas on Market Street parade, Nov. 11, 2023. The float won third place. Courtesy photo.

By Lena Stucky
Club Reporter

The Willing Workers 4-H Club had such a busy week at the first of November. Let’s go over the highlights. The week started on Sunday when the Willing Workers really put the work in our name to use. Members came together to build the float for the Christmas on Market parade. The 4-Her’s worked diligently on the smaller details while the adults worked on the big presents and fireplace.

Tuesday was the annual 4-H award ceremony for 4-H clubs in the Frontier Extension District. At the ceremony each club gets recognized for their work this past 4-H year.

Kyle Stromgren and Sharon Theilen were nominated as 4-H alumni of the year by Willing Workers 4-H members.

We would like to highlight the two individuals that received the 4-H alumni recognition of the year.  Sharon Thielen, who is a part of the Willing Workers Club, organizes our community outreach activities including caroling to the nursing homes, clean up at Smoke In the Spring, and our annual Easter egg hunt.

Also receiving the alumni award was Dr. Kyle Stromgren. Dr. Stromgren is a huge help to all district 4-H clubs, especially during fair time. He does the wellness checks for all animals and then also donates back to 4-H members.

On Wednesday, the Willing Works hosted their appreciation dinner.  This is a time for members to reflect back on the past 4-H year and thank those who helped them.

On Saturday, the Willing Workers ran a bake sale at the Osage County Senior Center to raise money for our club.

The club entered our float in the “Home for the Holidays” parade, earning third place. It was a busy week but members were able to make many memories together.

Local students begin journey toward college at Apply Free Days Kansas

On Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, students from area schools traveled to Emporia to Flint Hills Technical College for Apply Free Kansas. Here seniors were able to apply for their FSA ID, college applications and scholarships, with college representatives and tech support to assist them. Students from Marais des Cygnes Valley High School who attended the event were Brooke Spillman, Aydin Deeter, Jaxson Dorr, Haylea Bethell, Mason Rose, and Kelsey Rice. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Hometown health scare: Star Wars villains make spooky appearances on Halloween

Lyndon’s crossing guard had unexpected assistance on Halloween, as Darth Vader showed up to help at the school crossing. Courtesy photo.

A couple of local business people decided to have some fun on Halloween, and ended up visiting senior centers, senior living apartments, the sheriff’s office, chambers of commerce, and hospitals across Osage, Lyon, and Coffey counties.

Maria Petersen, marketing specialist with Home Town Health Care, and the company’s COO Jon Reed dressed in Star Wars costumes for the day – Peterson was a storm trooper and Reed was Darth Vader.

Franny Deters holds Darth Vader at bay with a light saber during his Halloween visit to the Osage County Senior Center. Courtesy photo.

The two started their day with the Lyndon school crossing patrol near Casey’s in Lyndon, helping kids cross Topeka Avenue on their way to school. The kids seemed to like Darth Vader helping stop traffic as they crossed. Later in the day while visiting a hospital, the two were told it was just as exciting as a driver being stopped by Darth Vader while on their way to work. They were told one driver took a photo because he said his wife would never believe him when he told her Darth Vader was helping at the school zone.

During a stop at Osage County Senior Center, the storm trooper called bingo while Darth Vader watched and visited with seniors. The two also made an appearance at Burlington, at the city’s trunk-or-treat held on Neosho Street.

The Star Wars duo spread Halloween fun across the area, wishing everyone a happy and safe Halloween.

General Election 2023: Municipal candidates in Osage County

A general election in Osage County, Kan., will be held Tuesday, Nov, 7, 2023, with municipal and school board candidates on the ballot. The following are candidates in local municipal races in Osage County.

General Election 2023: School board candidates in Osage County

A general election in Osage County, Kan., will be held Tuesday, Nov, 7, 2023, with municipal and school board candidates on the ballot. The election also includes board members for Frontier Extension District. The following are candidates in local school board races, which include school districts located in or partially in Osage County.

ESU to present ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ as 2023 homecoming musical

EMPORIA, Kan. – Emporia State University Theatre will present” Little Shop of Horrors” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken as the 2023 Homecoming musical. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26, 27 and 28, and 2 p.m. Oct. 29, at the  Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall on the ESU campus.

The story follows Seymour, a down-and-out floral assistant who discovers a peculiar plant with a craving for human flesh. As the plant, Audrey II, grows increasingly demanding and dangerous, Seymour must navigate a web of moral dilemmas, all while trying to win the heart of his co-worker and love interest, Audrey. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a unique blend of comedy and horror with dark humor, outrageous characters and an electrifying 1960s pop rock score.

Area students in the production include Austin Michaelis, of Overbrook, Kan., who is the puppeteer for Audrey II, and Elizabeth Lowery, Reading, Kan., who is on the shift crew.

Lady Indians On the Run finish final 5K of season

Oct. 10, 2023, members of the Lady Indians On the Run group from Osage City, participated in their final 5K run of the season. Lady Indians On the Run is an after school program for girls in grades third through fifth. Twice a week, members work on skills to boost their confidence, build friendships, and encourage positive communication. Along with the lessons, students then run and work on teamwork. These girls had a great running season! Coaches for the groups are Darcy Keeffe and Collene Stucky. Courtesy photo.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club: Members plan for celebration of achievements

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

At 5:20 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, at the Melvern Community Center, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club meeting was called to order by President Gradey McNally. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Gradey. Secretary Allie Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, ‘What is your favorite Halloween treat to receive while trick or treating?’ There were eight members and five adults present.

Allie read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read. There was no correspondence. Gradey read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.

Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted one article to the newspaper. There was no historian’s report. There was no council report.

In leaders’ report, leaders Caleb McNally and Lisa Reeser reminded club members to send thank yous to sponsors for the awards they won at the fair. The Osage County Achievement Night will be Nov. 7, 2023, with dinner at 6 p.m. and program at 7 p.m.

There was no old business. In new business, it was moved and seconded to have a trunk at the Melvern Trunk and Treat. It was moved and seconded to take the month of February in cleaning the Melvern Community Center.

In program, club members created posters for 4-H week. In songs, members sang “Spooky Scary Skeletons”.

At 5:38 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Melvern Community Center.

Members enjoyed snacks provided by the Reeser family. For recreation, MJH members had a mummy wrapping contest.

Osage City beverage distributor celebrates 90th anniversary of business

Flint Hills Beverage hosted the quarterly Osage City Chamber After Hours in conjunction with the company’s 90th anniversary celebration Sept. 21, 2023. FHB co-owner Casey Mussatto shared some of the history of the company, while Tyler Parsons gave a tour of the warehouse. Attendees enjoyed delicious refreshments and beverages.

Here is the history of Mussatto Bros. as provided by Casey Mussatto:

Mussatto Bros. was founded in 1933 by Victor and Joe Mussatto in Osage City. The company represented several Kansas City area breweries, the most well known of which was Muehlebach Brewing Company.

Cheryl and Casey Mussatto.

In 1942, representatives of Anheuser-Busch called on the Mussattos at their downtown Osage City office and warehouse and told them that their current wholesaler in the area, 7UP bottling of Emporia, was not doing a very good job. They told Victor and Joe that they had heard very good things about their service and reputation and offered them the distribution rights to Budweiser, which was a good brand but only 5 percent of the market at the time. The brothers asked about what they had to spend to get it and other details. When the representatives told them there was no additional investment, they decided to agree to take on Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser brand.

Victor passed away in 1944 and Joe continued to run the business. Victor’s son, Raymond, and his wife Juanita then bought out Joe in 1950. They owned and operated it through 1985. During that time, they also added Hamm’s Brewing and several other regional breweries. They grew the brands of their suppliers, and Anheuser-Busch added several other brands like Michelob, Busch, Natural Light and Bud Light.

Raymond and Juanita’s son Casey and his wife Cheryl Mussatto took over ownership in 1985. In the 1980s and 90s the advertising and promotional expertise of Anheuser-Busch improved significantly as well as the area’s population, and the market share of Mussatto Bros. Inc. grew from approximately 48 percent to nearly 60 percent.

Meet a 4-Her: Gradey McNally’s summer highlight is spending time at county fairs

My name is Gradey McNally and I am a fifth-year member of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club, where I am serving as our club president. For my fifth year in 4-H, I enrolled in beef, horticulture (gardening) and meat goat projects.

In the beef project, I bought a steer in the fall and one meat goat in the spring for my goat project. I was able to plant a garden and tend it in the spring and summer months.

I had so much fun with my friends at the fairs this summer working with our animals and spending time together. Besides the fairs, which is always one of the highlights of my summer, I was able to help my club with a community service project we have been doing for two years now. We are redoing the picnic tables that are used at Melvern Sunflower Days, and are purchasing the materials and tools needed to repurpose them back into more sturdy picnic tables for everyone to enjoy, and doing the work required to get the project done!

A few other activities I attended were District Club Days, where I gave a multi-media presentation on “How to Compost.” I also helped out at our club’s trunk or treat, and the Melvern Easter Egg hunt.

I am looking forward to a new 4-H year and cannot wait to start my sixth year of 4-H, and continue having fun while learning about my projects!

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

Meet a 4-Her: Allie Reeser, sheep friend and showman

Allie Reeser with one of her sheep at the Overbrook Osage County Fair.

My name is Allison Reeser. I am a Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club member. This is my ninth year in 4-H and my second year in the sheep project. My sister and I decided last year we would like to try a new project: sheep. So, to get us started for our birthdays, our parents and grandparents bought each a ewe and wether lamb.

Last year at the Overbrook fair, I had to sell my wether, and to be honest, it broke my heart. Our ewes were too young to breed, so they spent the winter at my grandparents’ farm. My sister and I would go daily to feed and water them. When spring came around, we sheared the winter coats off the sheep, and began working with them on leading and bathing. My sister was a big help in this because, with my work schedule, she could work with them more than me.

During this project, I learned how to gradually increase their feed to help work them up to being on full feed, how to clean a sheep pen, how to bathe and shear sheep, how to show sheep properly, and how much work it takes to take care of them at the fair.

Every year, I learn more about the sheep project and my sheep. After the Overbrook fair, we took our ewes to a breeder, so next spring, I will have a new lamb that I can work with and watch grow. I hope it’s a ewe, so I don’t have to sell it.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

Meet a 4-Her: Braelyn McNally continues to learn in 4-H

My name is Braelyn McNally and I am a sixth-year member of the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club, where I am serving as club vice president. I was enrolled in the beef, clothing, foods and nutrition and meat goat projects this past year.

In my projects, I had one steer that I purchased in the fall and one meat goat that I purchased in the spring. For clothing, I purchased bright orange pants and paired them with a black v-neck Navajo top I already had in my closet.

I wrote a speech for our District Club Days on beef sustainability in the ag industry and gave it at Club Days, Regional Club Days, and an ag-ed speech contest in Manhattan. Another highlight for me this year was receiving the champion round-robin award for the intermediate division at the Overbrook fair. I also enjoyed getting to be a special helper with our club’s Easter Egg Hunt we always host Easter weekend.

I look forward to another year in the 4-H program, where I can continue to learn within my project areas and have fun with new and old friends.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

Meet a 4-Her: Nova Smith, photographer

Nova Smith shows her grand champion photograph and purple ribbon she received at Osage County Fair. The winning photo featured her little sisters.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

Meet a 4-Her: Claire Newman, Kansas State Fair exhibitor

Claire Newman showing her Silver Fox rabbit at the Kansas State Fair.

I’m Claire Newman. My rabbit got a purple for best of breed and a blue for fur class at the Kansas State Fair. This was my first year at the state fair and I enjoyed my experience. I look forward to showing more rabbits at the state fair next year.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

Meet a 4-Her: Mason Newman – It’s fun to exhibit goats

Mason Newman and his goat Sunflower.

I’m Mason Newman. This was my first year showing in 4-H and showing dairy goats at the Osage County Fair. I received a reserve champion in showmanship. I had so much fun and look forward to exhibiting again next year.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

Meet a 4-Her: Bella Reeser loves ewe, wether or not

By Bella Reeser

Bella Reeser at the fair with one of her sheep.

My name is Isabella Reeser. This is my sixth year in 4-H and my second year in the sheep project. My sister and I decided last year we would like to try a new project – sheep. I was so excited about this project! Unlike my sister, I have never had the chance to show livestock, so I couldn’t wait! Our parents and grandparents bought each a ewe and wether lamb to get us started for our birthdays.

At the Overbrook Fair last year, I sold my wether, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Due to my ewe’s young age, we decided not to breed her over the winter months. Instead, they remained at our grandparents’ house, and every day, my sister and I would go to their house to feed and water our ewes. When springtime came around, my sister and I sheared the ewe’s winter coats off and began working with them on walking and giving them baths.

During this project, I learned how to gradually increase their feed to help work them up to being on full feed, how to clean a sheep pen, how to bathe and shear sheep, how to show sheep properly, and how much work it takes to take care of them at the fair.

I loved every step along the way with this project. Even though my ewe wasn’t the top sheep at either fair, I love her and wouldn’t trade her for anything.

After the Overbrook Fair, we took my ewe to a breeder, so next spring, if everything goes as planned, my flock will double! I can’t wait for what this next year in the sheep project has in store for me, and I look forward to the next generation of lambs I will have.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

Starting a new 4-H year, Willing Workers continue willingly working

Willing Workers 4-H Club gets ready for cleaning chores at the Osage City fairgrounds. Courtesy photo.

Lena Stucky, Club Reporter

The Willing Workers 4-H Club has spent a lot of time helping the community these last 12 months. Last fall we spent a Sunday afternoon at Osage City Elementary School’s new playground raking, weeding, and cleaning to prepare it for students to enjoy.

Late last winter our 4-H group made sugar cookies and distributed them to the assisted living facilities around Osage City.

This spring we hosted the second annual Osage City citywide easter egg hunt, hiding over 2,000 eggs stuffed with prizes for the children of our community to enjoy. We had many easter egg hunters this year ranging from toddlers on up.

This summer we put in several sweaty hours cleaning the Osage City fairgrounds in preparation for, and again after, the Osage City fair.

Next month will kick off a new 4-H year of fun, projects, and serving the community. We are looking forward to a new year of service.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

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