Category Archives: People

Local TOPS member becomes state queen

Laura A. Davis, of TOPS KS0289, Osage City, Kan., was crowned 2016 State Queen on April 22, 2017, at the TOPS State Recognition Days, in Wichita, Kan.

Davis lost 72 pounds to reach her goal. Along the way, she says that she has learned the difference between good carbs and bad carbs, and that calories in should be less than calories out.

“And to enjoy your journey!” she said. “If it’s cooking healthier meals, finding fun ways to move more, and attending the chapter meetings, just have fun with it.”

TOPS stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly, and has helped millions of people to do that for more than 60 years. The organization is nonprofit and noncommercial and offers a network of thousands of weight-loss support groups across the United States and Canada. These groups, called chapters, provide a nonjudgmental place where people learn how they can make changes and get the support they need to reach their goals.

There are three chapters in Osage County. Meeting places and times are: Grace Lutheran Church, 310 Holliday St., Osage City, which meets on Monday at 6:30 p.m.; United Methodist Church, 1005 N. Maple St., Overbrook, which meets on Saturday at 7:45 a.m.; and Carbondale City Hall, 234 Main St., Carbondale, which meets on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Veterans, students make their ‘connections’ for trip to nation’s capital

Area veterans and their teenage guardians from Lyndon and Central Heights high schools take a moment at the World War II Memorial during their tour last week of Washington memorials as part of Honor Flight 17.

By Cleon Rickel

On Merle Marsh’s last flight to Washington, D.C., he was in the back of a World War II B-17 Flying Fortress.

“I was there once during the war,” Marsh, of Carbondale, Kan., said. “We were the crew of the week, so we got to fly into Washington.”

His return to Washington occurred June 5, when he flew in the front of another Boeing aircraft, this time a commercial 737 jetliner.

Marsh was one of three World War II veterans who were flown to Washington by Honor Flight 17, organized by high school students at Lyndon High School and Central Heights High School.

Marsh’s son-in-law, Don Forbes, also of Carbondale, and a Vietnam-era veteran, accompanied him on the flight.

Marsh went into the U.S. Army Air Force in 1944 and was trained to be a tailgunner in the large four-engine bombers in Florida. The war in Germany ended before he was assigned combat missions.

“We flew four hours every other day,” he recalled.

Being a tailgunner was just a shade less dangerous than being in the ball turret in the belly of the big bombers. To get to the two 50-caliber machines in the tail of the bomber, the tailgunner had to crawl into a tight, cold and drafty space and sit on what amounted to a bicycle-type seat in a kneeling position and leaning forward on his chest parachute.

“It was a little scary but after the first time back there, it isn’t bad,” Marsh said.

The tailgunners had to be alert for fast, nimble enemy airplanes roaring up behind their bombers.

To prepare them for the speedy German Messerschmitt and Focke-Wulf fighters, the tailgunners would train on Jeeps with shotguns attached at the back. As the Jeeps bounced along at 20 miles as hour or so, clay pigeons would be launched at or behind them.

Though it was Marsh’s second trip to Washington, it was the first for his son-in-law Forbes.

“The whole trip is awesome,” Forbes said. “It’s geared for the veterans but it’s nice to see a lot of young people. It’s heartening to see young people take such an interest.”

Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers ‘transform’ at state convention

MdCV FFA officers, front, Kathryn Vaught and Alaina Marsh; middle, Chloe Volkman, Brookelyn Janssen, and Josey Weimer; back, Dalton Hook.

By MdCV FFA Reporter Kathryn Vaught

The 2017-2018 Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA officers were able to “Transform” their skills as leaders while attending the 89th Kansas State FFA Convention May 31-June 2, 2017, at the Kansas State University campus, with over 2,000 members and guests in attendance. This year’s convention theme was “Transform – Purpose to Action”.

MdCV officers Josey Weimer, Dalton Hook, Chloe Volkman, Alaina Marsh, Brookelyn Janssen, and Kathryn Vaught were able to attend workshops and teamwork skills, browse a career expo showing the plentiful amount of jobs throughout agriculture, and even represent their chapter as delegates.

While attending the convention sessions officers also listened to incredible speakers that included Tom Thelen, motivational speaker, and the 2016-17 Kansas state officers and their retiring addresses.

Janssen and Vaught were recognized as they received scholarships to attend the National FFA Washington Leadership Conference in June in Washington, D.C.

Hidden History: ‘Kiss the flag’ – Mobs enforce patriotism in Osage County

By Wendi Bevitt

The Great War may have just ended, but in November of 1918 emotions still ran high in Osage County regarding the duty to one’s country. Osage County made newspaper headlines all over Kansas for patriotism gone wild. The newspaper headlines read, “Osage County No Place for A Pro-German” and “Ben Kissed Old Glory”. Within those articles were the stories of two men that within a week had both been publicly corrected for their believed pro-German sentiment.

The “Ben” of the headlines was Ben Tucker, a farmer living three miles east of Scranton. Tucker was fed up with the government and had become so anti-government as to see no good in any of it. His frustrations led him to spout off to some Carbondale locals that he did not believe the reports of the German atrocities and he “would rather have his children taken care of by Germans than by these sons of … here”.

These men were aware that Tucker had neither participated in the recent Liberty Bond drive, buying war bonds to support the Allied effort, nor had he followed through on his contract to buy a $50 war bond previously, and they were incensed. So after the men parted ways, they resolved to teach Tucker a lesson.

The next time he came to town and the argument arose once again, one of the Carbondale men punched him. The fight was on, but Tucker came out on the losing end. With Ben bloody and battered, the winners encouraged him to retract his former statements and to kneel and kiss the flag. The promise made and the bloody flag as a testament, he was allowed to retreat home with the pledge by the patriots to not press charges against Tucker for disloyalty unless his lesson did not have the desired effect.

Spring graduates earn certificates, degrees at Flint Hills Technical College

Flint Hills Technical College held its 2017 spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 20. Students from Osage County receiving degrees or technical certificates included:

Division of Health and Human Services, Technical Certificate

Dental assisting – Kady Nicole Akers, Scranton, graduating with honors; Keisha Marie Branine, Osage City; Claire Cecilia Feltner, Lyndon; Peyton Breann Workman, Overbrook.

Health occupations technology – Jennifer Grace Cox, Melvern, graduating with honors, National Honor Society; Bethanie Genae Gilliland, Osage City, graduating with highest honors, National Honor Society.

Practical nursing – Madeline Mart Burkdoll, Melvern.

Division of Technology, Technical Certificate

Welding technology – Colton Foster Tyler, Osage City.

Division of Technology, Associate of Applied Science Degree

Automotive technology – Dalton Theodore Gifford, Melvern.

Osage City High School announces spring semester honor roll

Osage City High School has announced the second semester honor roll for the 2016-2017 school year as follows:

Burlingame Schools announces 2017 second semester honor roll

Burlingame Schools have announced the superintendent’s and principal’s honor roll for the 2016-2017 school year second semester as follows:

Lyndon Legion swears in new officers, readies for Memorial Day activities

By Geri Thomas

Past commander Bryce Romine, left, swears in new officers of American Legion Post 125, from left, Sergeant-at-Arms Lou Wohlitz, Commander Danny Roush, Adjutant and Finance Officer Geri Thomas, and Vice Commander Lou Ogle. Photo by Patrick Thomas.

Past commander Bryce Romine, left, swears in new officers of American Legion Post 125, from left, Sergeant-at-Arms Lou Wohlitz, Commander Danny Roush, Adjutant and Finance Officer Geri Thomas, and Vice Commander Lou Ogle. Photo by Patrick Thomas.

At the May meeting of American Legion Post 125, Lyndon, Legionnaires confirmed new officers for the 2017-2018 year.

Bryce Romine, a past commander, swore in Commander Danny Roush, Vice Commander Lou Ogle, and Adjutant and Finance Officer Geri Thomas. Appointed as sergeant-at-arms was Lou Wohlitz.

After being sworn in, they conducted the monthly meeting, which included an update on upcoming activities and ongoing activities. There were updates on the post remodel; as this project continues we hope to raise funds to finish.

Memorial Day plans have been finalized. Flag ceremonies for Lyndon Legion are at Lyndon Cemetery at 10 a.m., Vassar Cemetery at 10:30 a.m., Pomona Dam with other area Legions at 11 a.m., and Oak Hill Cemetery, Quenemo, 11:30 a.m.

The post plans to keep up the hard work in the community by participating in many events this summer, including Memorial Day activities, Flag Day, parades, reading program involvement, and more fundraising. All funding goes to the future remodel of the post and community activities.

For more information about joining a local American Legion post, Sons of the American Legion or American Legion Riders, contact American Legion Post 125, P.O. Box 121, Lyndon, KS 66451, or see

Tag team speakers give 2017 Lyndon High School graduates vision of past, present, future

Lyndon High School Class of 2017. Photo by Bill Patterson.

With two valedictorians and a salutatorian in Lyndon High School’s 2017 graduating class, spectators at last Sunday’s graduation ceremony were treated to a three-man tag team of graduation speeches. Tagged as second speaker, Salutatorian Trystan Pringle said planning the speeches with valedictorians Cody Anschutz and Daniel Pine included consultation with LHS Principal Brad Marcotte.

“Mr. Marcotte must have watched ‘A Christmas Carol’ because Cody was assigned the past, I the present, and Daniel the future,” Pringle said.

As first up to the podium and true to his part, Anschutz reflected on 13 years at Lyndon schools and “spoke about all of the awesome memories our class has made,” as Pringle later said.

Anschutz also reflected on how the class’ school experiences helped form them as students.

“Entering high school hit us like a ton of bricks,” Anschutz said. “We had this really mean guy bossing us around and trying to scare us. Yes, Mr. Marcotte, that was you, but I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for us over the past four years.”

Anschutz also thanked “the great group of teachers that helped keep us in line,” and all of his 26 fellow classmates.

“Although I may not be the most qualified person in this group to give advice, my final piece of wisdom for you is this,” he said, “regardless of your past experiences at Lyndon High School over the past few years we have shaped each other, for better or for worse, into strong, capable individuals. Try to remember each other for how they are now.”

When tagged, Pringle talked about working to come up with a speech about the present “that would really stick with you. I wanted it to be special to each individual person.” Then he admitted to his secret passion for poetry, and showed his poetic talent with a rap song about each of his classmates.

Pringle’s rapping ended with a thank you to “pretty much anyone who showed up to bid the class of 2017 a farewell.”

“There’s like a thousand of you here … in essence you are what shaped our graduating class of 2017 and gave us the keys to our own success,” he said.

Tagged to talk about the future, Pine offered that regardless of the students’ successes or failures in the past, as graduates they were embarking on a new beginning.

“The opportunities are unlimited, so don’t let your performance in high school affect your future,” Pine said. “At this point, we all have a clean slate, and our decisions will determine our future.”

He advised classmates that only they can measure their own success, and it doesn’t matter what someone else thinks.

“At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the person in the mirror, so don’t let yourself down. Congratulations Class of 2017. It’s been real,” Pine said, tagging Marcotte to present the class for graduation.

Members of the USD 421 Board of Education presented diplomas to the following 2017 graduates of Lyndon High School: Cody Don Anschutz, Kyle James Baker, Marissa Kay Beutel, Lainey Nicole Beyer, Beau David Brecheisen, Dalton Reid Brooker, Rylan Mitchell Burns, Haily Michele Chenoweth, Joseph Payton Dow, Ellie Rae Fischer, Bethanie Genae Gilliland, Morgan Scott Heit, Joseph Edward Heltzel, Taylor Lee House, Serena Lynn Hufford, Colton Garrett Hutchcroft, Jasmine Brooke Kempel, Roger Lee Lane, Kimberly Kathleen Lynn Lister, Chase Alexander Newberry, Rachel Elizabeth Owens, Marina Kathleen Payne, Daniel Louis Pine, Trystan Chance Pringle, Dalas Nichole Roberts, Grace Anne Spencer, Jillian Grace Stanley.

Senior class sponsors are Lori Catron and Teresa Fitch. USD 421 Board of Education members include Robert Knoernschild, president, Lisa Baker, David Brecheisen, Melissa Herdman, Joe Isch, Eric Ratzloff, and Lori Sturdy. Cheryl Cook is superintendent of schools.

Life speeds onward as 2017 Burlingame High School graduates accept diplomas

2017 BHS graduates throw their hats in the air in celebration. Photo by Keri Welch.

For Burlingame High School valedictorian Alissa Jaynes, graduation from high school served as a signal that life moves fast.

Jaynes told her fellow classmates during the BHS graduation Saturday, May 13, 2017, that as the end of school came near, time had been on her mind: “About how it flies by and how there’s never enough of it. Life comes at us so fast that we don’t always get to appreciate the time that we have, and the people we share our time with,” she said. “So how do we slow down the rush of time, so that we can get some measure of control? The unfortunate answer to that question is, we simply can’t. All we can do is live in the present, look forward to the future, and always remember the fond memories
of the past.”

“We have always dreamed of this day,” Jaynes said, noting all the hard work, effort and help from others it had taken to get to graduation day. To those who helped the students achieve their successes – parents, teachers, school staff, “You’ve supported us on our journey,” she said. “The best way we graduates can show gratitude is to make the most of the opportunity we’ve been given and go forward with the intention of making our community and world a better place for the generations that follow us.”

Alexyss Hamner receiving hug from Bonnie Reavis.

Alexyss Hamner receiving hug from Bonnie Reavis.

BHS salutatorian James Daniel Quaney also told the graduates they should have gratitude for the reason they were all gathered at the school gymnasium – success.

“Every single one of us that is about to walk across this stage has been successful,” Quaney said. “Through hard work and dedication we have achieved a spectacular accomplishment, making it through high school and graduating. This accomplishment is just one of many we all have obtained thus far in our lives. However, this one is different. When we walk across this stage today and receive our diplomas, we are opening the door to be able to achieve even greater successes.”

But those successes didn’t come without help from others, he said, thanking parents, teachers, school staff and his fellow classmates.

“We have been set up to have success in the future,” Quaney said. “We learned the necessary skills that will allow us to succeed … You equipped us with the knowledge to have success in our futures.”

“High school taught each of us that it doesn’t matter what your vision of success is, that if you work hard enough, and you put forth the effort, you can accomplish anything,” he said. “We are equipped and I am confident that we can go anywhere and do anything in this world.”

With BHS Principal Tammy Baird presenting the class, USD 454 President Kris Kline accepted the class for graduation. USD 454 Board of Education members presented diplomas to Dyllan Peyton Brake, Mason Thomas Brown, Katelyn Beth Droegemeier, Timothy Alan Dunn, Raven Ash Franzen, Quinn Noble Garrett, Alexyss Dawn Marie Hamner, Kylie Marie Hill, Anthony James Hovestadt, Alissa Lanae Jaynes, Kacie Marie Jones, Shannon Gayle Kirwan, Sierra Kay Kirwan, Regan Danielle Lindbloom, Katelynn Marie Linder, Irish Sean Masters, Shaylea Elizabeth Nicole Masters, Harper Calvin Neu, James Daniel Quaney, Darian Kay Summers, Rachael Lynne Swogger, Margaret Elizabeth West, Sabrina Ila-Mae Wright.

Senior class sponsors were Haley Tyson and Linda White.

Ready or not, ‘it’s true life’ for 2017 Santa Fe Trail High School graduates

Family and friends gathered to wish well for the 2017 graduating class of Santa Fe Trail High School. Photo by Brad Shaffer and

Santa Fe Trail High School valedictorian Nash Muckey told his 61 fellow graduates that though they’d been encouraged to plan for the future all through their high school career, they’d better be ready for it.

“Well, here it is,” Muckey said during the Saturday, May 13, 2017, graduation ceremony at Santa Fe Trail High School. “This is the end of planning phase for most of us. It’s time to head off into one of the greatest character defining times in a young student’s life, whether you’re headed to a tech school, a big college, a small college, out of state, the military, or any other pathway.”

He said the faculty had given them guidance and their teaching had provided tools to shape the graduates’ future.

“The truth of it is this next step is a great one … It’s true life for the first time in most of our lives and it really helps define us,” Muckey said. “The ability to choose, and to learn who you are is an invaluable gift presented to us after typical schooling, and one that will continue to mold us throughout our lives. And as we make our way into the future we must not forget those chosen few who gave us the tools to choose wisely.”

Noting the finality of graduation, Santa Fe Trail High School salutatorian Grace Herren described the class’ high school experiences as an enjoyable, but sometimes wild journey.

“High school is a roller coaster,” Herren said. “You wait forever to get there, and try your hardest to get to the front. There are twists and turns, high highs and low lows. It takes your breath away, makes you throw your hands up and scream and is best when you are with a friend. And then it is over. Just like that.”

“This ride has been great, but as it comes to an end never forget to be thankful for your past because it has prepared you for the future that is to come,” Herren said. “So join me in the next sprint, to our next ride and always remember – hands up.”

SFTHS administrative assistant Keith Johnson presented the SFTHS Class of 2017 for recognition by USD 434 Board of Education President Randy Boudeman. SFTHS Principal Patrick Graham announced the graduates as USD 434 Board of Education members presented diplomas.

Receiving diplomas as 2017 graduates of Santa Fe Trail High School were: Taylor Mechelk Ball, Taylin Lorraine Berckefeldt, Jaden Michael Noah Bone, Hanna Kayleen Burlew, Jesse David Busby, Connor Lee Caskey, Marcel Angel Creswell, Druanna Isabell Crouch, Alyssia Elaine Davis, Christian Ryan Davis, Joshua Roy Elley, Bryce Conner Erickson, MacKmzie Brianne Foster, Cheyenne May Gassman, Christina Michelle German, Gage Wellington Greenfield, Jordon Daniel Guyle, Trevor Dean Hall, Dakota Lee Hargett , Jacob Micheal Hastings, Jodi Elizabeth Hastings, Grace Olivia Herren, Savannah LeAnn Hinck, Jo Anna Paige Hoff, Kristopher Charles Howard, Ian Blaize Zavier Jamison, Erick D’orr Kelley, Dacoda Allen Kincaid, Noah Patrick Ostrander Knight, Brooke Nichol Kuermaier, Venessa Dyle Kunkel, Spencer Allen Lane, Madeline Grace Logsdon, Derrick Todd Martinek, Jordan Thomas Massey, T.J. Masters, Jeremy Adam Mayfield, Raynor Walker McClendon, Takoda David McClendon, Trenton Jacob Moore, Andrew Nash Muckey, Apryl Nicole Mulford, Joshua John Musick, DyIan Michael Myrick, Peyton Lee Newton, Kiara Jewel Padilla, Messina Anne Pagan, Dominic Christian Schrempp, Michaella Monae Seastrom, Alec Elijah Shook, Kelsey SueAnn Silver, Justice Nicole Simons, Alyx Makenna Smith, Scott Austin Spoonemore, Bailey Anne Rose Springer, Dakota James Thorne Thompson, Jordan Christian Tinch, Ian Matheau Trego, Shane Michael West, Mary Elizabeth Willige, Sonya Louise Winsler, and Matthew Ray Wurm.

The SFTHS senior class was sponsored by Connie Lindell and Heather Garrison.

OCHS Class of 2017 takes the best from the past and heads toward the future

Citing the Osage City High School Class of 2017’s class motto, a Bob Dylan quote, “You should always take the best from the past, leave the worst back there and go forward into the future,” honor student Amanda Pritchard reminded her fellow graduates during Sunday’s commencement, May 14, 2017, that their years of learning were now memories.

“All of you have had some wonderful memories, and though each of us may go our own direction, I hope that these times are something that you treasure and remember for years to come,” said Pritchard, noting her memories were of the family formed by the class.

“As I look out here, Class of 2017, know that I see future engineers, nurses, businessmen and women, and many other careers,” she said. “But more importantly, I see hard workers, achievers, smiling faces, good friends, and better, a family.”

OCHS honor student Trey Tomlinson echoed Pritchard’s comments, saying, “These memories, no matter how minute, all serve as an adhesive that inexplicably binds us all to one another.”

Tomlinson encouraged his 34 fellow classmates “to take a moment in order to reflect upon everything that we have accomplished in our short time as Indians. Take the time to truly appreciate all of the opportunities and the memories that we have all been granted and shared.”

He advised that with their memories and knowledge, they can help shape the future of their choosing.

“Wherever our path may diverge, I urge you all to remember and to stay true to who you are,” Tomlinson said. “And don’t be afraid of dreaming too big for any dream can be made a reality with enough innovation and faith. So don’t lose hope or your path, in doing so, success is within our reach.”

OCHS Principal Tony Heward presented the class for graduation, and USD 420 Board Member Dianne Scott presented diplomas to the 2017 OCHS graduates: Marissa Kay Adkins, Bailey Jo Barranco, Jonathan Allen Blaylock, Joseph Allen Blaylock, Claire Danielle Boyce, Acelynn Cheyanne Brooks, Larry Wayne Burcham, Jason Kyle Cooley, Richard Brian Corley, Shelby Renee Davidson, Connor Joseph Fagan, Abigail Carol Gibbons, Shaelyn Mae Gifford, Baeh Courtney Gill, Alexzander Timothy Greene, Casey Alexander Linebarger, Genevieve Dawn Lowery, Travis John Carey Martin, Jaime Ross McKenzie, Justin Evans Melgren, Hannah Moriah Mondragon, Makaela Louise Nicholson, Brady Aaron-Lee Ogle, Kelsy Ann Orender, Kodie Ann Otterness, Amanda Lyn Pritchard, Brett Reo Sage, Jarod Michael Stevens, Susan Gene Stromgren, Sarah Anne Thompson, Trey Douglas Tomlinson, Paris Renee Vigil, David J. Wells, Cattani Aletha Whalen, and Tracy Ellen Wilk.

Overbrook scouts honored during annual Blue and Gold banquet


Neil Baughman, scoutmaster, left, leads a bridging ceremony for Wylie Young; from left, scouts Trent Nix, Wylie Young, Anthony Buchmeier, and Thomas Baughman.

The Overbrook Boy Scout Pack 112 Blue and Gold Banquet was held May 8, 2017, at Grace Community Church, Overbrook. The banquet is a year-end event that recognizes the Scouts for their achievements throughout the year. Overbrook area Lion, Tiger, Bear and Webelos Scouts received awards during the ceremony, which began with a flag presentation and prayer led by the scouts. The scouts’ families enjoyed a potluck dinner, fellowship, awards presentation, and dessert.

Scoutmaster Neil Baughman led a bridging ceremony for Wylie Young, who spent two years as a Webelos Cub Scout and recently completed his Arrow of Light requirements. Baughman presented Young with a special arrow as he crossed the bridge to Boy Scouts. His fellow Boy Scouts greeted him on the other side of the bridge to welcome him to their Boy Scout Troop.

Other awards presented during the ceremony included:

  • Lukas Sinclair (first year Webelos): Aquanaut, Fix-It, Webelos Advancement.
  • Wylie Young (second year Webelos): Aquanaut, Fix-It, Webelos Advancement, Duty to God in Action, Scouting Adventure, Arrow of Light.
  • Tiger Scouts Wyatt Lesley, Braxton Roberts, Brody Johnson, Malachi Metcalf, and Jackson McFarland were recognized for earning Tiger Elective Adventures, including Duty to God, Curiosity, Intrigue and Magical Mysteries, Games Tigers Play, Tiger Tag, Tiger Knights, Team Tiger, Tiger-iffic, Earning Your Stripes, Backyard Jungle, Tigers in the Wild, and Tiger rank.
  • Matthew Parkhill earned his Bear rank.

Santa Fe Trail High School to celebrate retirees

Santa Fe Trail High School is inviting everyone to join in a retirement celebration for three longtime staff members. At 9:30 a.m. Friday, May 19, 2017, the school will honor Neil Johnson, Greg Burgett, and Connie Lindell, who are retiring at the end of the school year.

Johnson served at SFTHS for 13 years; Burgett for 37 years; and Lindell for 38 years.

Everyone is invited to share memories and stories, and give thanks for their contributions to the school and community. The event will be held in the commons area at the high school, 15701 S. California St., Carbondale.


Municipalities league recognizes Overbrook city officials for training accomplishments

The League of Kansas Municipalities recognized several Overbrook city officials and others across the state that have completed necessary course work requirements to graduate from levels of the Municipal Training Institute. Recognized as a Level 1 graduate was Overbrook City Clerk Jim Koger; recognized as Level 2 graduates were Overbrook city council members Joanne Allen and Carol Baughman.

Recognition took place at this year’s Leadership Summit and Mayors Conference, held April 21-22, 2017, in Dodge City.

The Municipal Training Institute is a continuing education program designed for and open to elected and appointed city officials. The program offers courses in cities across the state. The purpose of the Institute is to provide an interactive curriculum of specialized instruction that will develop the knowledge and enhance the leadership abilities of those who serve the cities of Kansas.

Osage City shows its hometown hospitality at Kansas Sampler Festival

By Dave Azwell

The 28th and final Kansas Sampler Festival was held May 6-7, 2017, in Winfield, Kan. The festival was held in Island Park which was a beautiful setting with lots of big trees, green grass, a huge children’s playground, geese and nice paved roads around the park. The island is like a castle surrounded by a moat except it’s a river that flows around it.

Osage City was in the Northeast Kansas tent along with a dozen other booths set up by representatives from cities and counties in the northeast Kansas area.

Early on Saturday morning, flags from participating groups were paraded to the main meeting area for the traditional opening ceremony. The festival opened to the public at 10 a.m. and the first of many attendees began filing through the tents.

Osage City was represented by Julie Carlson, Jan Williams, Wayne White, and Dave and Tara Azwell. Folks from many areas of the state were provided information about Osage City by a display of banners, informational signs, person-to-person contact, brochures, flyers and county guides. Red and blue Osage City tote bags were handed out and could be seen all over the park as the day went on.

2017 graduating Trojans march toward the future

2017 graduates of Marais des Cygnes Valley High School. Photo by Jerry Kramer, Kramer Photos.

“Remember that you owe it to those here today to be the best at that which you choose to do,” Leon Sluder, 2017 Marais des Cygnes Valley High School valedictorian, reminded his fellow graduates during the school’s commencement Sunday at Melvern.

Sluder told 11 other MdCVHS graduates that he and they were a product of the crowd gathered May 7 at the school gymnasium – including “parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, and community members who have worked together to get us here. They have all invested in a future that we will ultimately choose for ourselves.”

2017 Marais des Cygnes Valley High School valedictorian Leon Sluder.

2017 Marais des Cygnes Valley High School valedictorian Leon Sluder.

Following the introduction of 2017 MdCV salutatorian Peyton Johnson and valedictorian Sluder, school counselor Laurel Ladewig introduced the MdCV graduating class of 2017: Whitney Marie Arb, Sanya Marie Day, Kayden August Dickey, Addison David Hall, Samantha Lynn Harris, Dakota Austin Jackson, Peyton Alan Johnson, Hatch Erin Lott, Kelsey Jean Lowe, Valoree Coleen Lynn, Leon Paul Sluder, and Allison Nicole Smith.

Greg McCurdy, USD 456 Board of Education president, and Jamie Sowers, vice president, presented diplomas to the graduates. MdCV High School principal is Michelle Schulze; USD 456 superintendent is Ted Hessong.

As is tradition at MdCVHS, the graduates formed a receiving line following the ceremony to greet all who gathered to send off the Trojans as they march toward future endeavors.

MdCV FFA accomplishments shine during annual chapter banquet

MdCV FFA past and present officers: Kayden Dickey, Leon Sluder, Alaina Marsh, Dalton Hook, Brookelyn Janssen, Destiny Massey, Josey Weimer, Chloe Volkman, Kali Holt, and Kathryn Vaught.

By Kathryn Vaught
MdCV FFA Reporter 

The annual Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA Chapter banquet was held on Thursday, April 13, 2017. Approximately 90 people, including members, family and friends, gathered in the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School gymnasium for some good eating, door prizes, awards, and the installation of the 2017-2018 chapter officers.

The invocation from Dalton Hook was followed by the dinner of pulled pork, roast beef, cheesy potatoes, side dishes, and desserts provided by our members and their families. Then, we handed out door prizes from local supporting businesses.


MdCV FFA honors Mark Lacey and Shane Weimer with the Blue and Gold Award for their assistance with the club’s greenhouse floor.

Following the dinner, chapter officers President Kayden Dickey, Vice President Kathryn Vaught, Secretary Josey Weimer, Treasurer Dalton Hook, Reporter Leon Sluder, Sentinel Chloe Volkman and advisor Danny Rice began the opening ceremonies. Kathryn Vaught then introduced our guest speaker, Lori Harlan, a former state vice-president and MdCV alumni with her speech on the countless opportunities that FFA provides. Other guests included members of the USD 456 Board of Education, USD 456 Superintendent Ted Hessong, MdCV Junior High/High School Principal Michelle Schulze, members of the MdCV Ag Education Advisory Board, Joe and Shirley Lichtenauer, Dale and Peggy McCurdy, Jeff and Merrilyn Casten and family, as well as FFA members and family.

After the guest speaker, Chloe Volkman and Josey Weimer presented the chapter video showcasing the year’s activities.

USD 421 school board selects Coblentz as superintendent

LYNDON, Kan. –  USD 421 Board of Education has announced through its hired consulting firm that a contract for superintendent has been offered to Charles Coblentz, Leavenworth, Kan.

Coblentz currently is the superintendent in Easton, Kan., where he has worked in that position since 2006.

There were 27 applicants for the position, with the school board interviewing seven finalists before making a selection. Coblentz will assume the duties of superintendent beginning July 1, 2017.

Interviews for the last four finalists were conducted in a series of special board meetings last week.

The board hired McPherson & Jacobson LLC as consultants in the search process, and the firm will continue working with the board and new superintendent in helping to establish performance objectives for the position.

Washburn Rural eighth-graders dig up dirt on famous Carbondale dinosaur hunter

Teacher Cynthia Wilson and eighth-grader Madison Blanchette explain an exhibit to visitors to the science room museum.

The minute you walk into Cynthia Wilson’s eighth-grade science room at Washburn Rural Middle School, you become mesmerized by the information presented in the classroom-turned-museum. Student-made exhibits allow visitors to follow the geological timeline, and explore Kansas as it was millions of years ago.

Billed as the Greatest Show on Earth, the students created the museum representing life and rock as time has progressed. Each turn at the 2017 geology museum will find interactive artwork, correspondence with experts in their fields, or interesting facts about Kansas and its past inhabitants. Tying Kansas geology to the world, Wilson provided students a bit of information about a man that grew up close by and made significant advancements in our knowledge of dinosaurs, Barnum Brown.

“The students took it from there and wanted to share their discoveries,” Ms. Wilson said.

Brown turned out to be one focus of the multi-year project, resulting in a student led request to the Kansas Department of Transportation to honor Brown with special roadside signs along U.S. 75 at Carbondale.


An artist’s diagram shows a proposed highway sign to be placed near Carbondale on U.S. 75.

Barnum Brown was born on Feb. 12, 1873, in Carbondale, Osage County, Kan., growing up on the family farm nearby. As a young man, Barnum preferred to spend his time studying the land around him. His formal education in geology at the University of Kansas led to a career collecting bones and fossils for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Barnum soon was referred to as “Mr. Bones” and brought many important finds to the museum.

Hajney to take oath as new Kansas attorney

TOPEKA, Kan. – Lonnie Jerome Hajney, of Carbondale, was one of the successful applicants in the February 2017 Kansas bar examination. Hajney and other successful applicants will be sworn in as Kansas attorneys in one of two ceremonies at 9 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 28, 2017, in the Supreme Court courtroom at the Kansas Judicial Center, 301 SW 10th Ave., Topeka.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will preside over the Supreme Court, and Judge Daniel Crabtree will represent the U.S. District Court. Douglas T. Shima, clerk of the Kansas Supreme Court, will administer the state oath, and Megan I. Garrett, deputy clerk for the U.S. District Court, will administer the federal oath. Kevin F. Mitchelson and Donald N. Peterson II, chair and vice chair of the Kansas Board of Law Examiners, respectively, will present the new attorneys to the court.

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