Osage County: Stay at home!

County health officer issues stay at home order All of Osage County will be under a stay at home order effective at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020, to More »

Osage County declares public health emergency

Osage County Sheriff’s deputies wait inside the entrance of the county courthouse to check the medical conditions of all visitors and employees. LYNDON, Kan. – With conditions seemingly changing More »

Beat back COVID-19 with foods that boost immune health

As Coronovirus (COVID-19) continues to crisscross the globe, each of us should do our part to help stop the spread of this potentially deadly virus. Aside from vigilant hand More »

Osage City 3rd grade boys win league tournament

The Osage City Indian 3rd grade boys basketball team won their league tournament, finishing 8-1 for the season. From left, Coach Clint Silver, Chase Silver, Braxton Kooser, Noah Wood, More »

Osage County changes courthouse procedures due to COVID-19

Editor’s note: The Osage County Commission issued the following press release Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, Osage County will be limiting public access to Osage County departments and offices to take preventative measures designed to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

We are making arrangements to adjust services to be in the best interest of the employees and citizens of Osage County and following the interim guidance as provided by KDHE and the CDC and the Osage County Health Department.

All exterior doors of the Osage County Courthouse and various other offices will be locked and citizens should call to make appointments with the offices needed. A sheriff’s deputy will be assigned at the west door of the courthouse to accept paper work and payments for county offices.

The west door of the courthouse will be open and available for the public while the Board of County Commissioners is in open session, however, all other offices will remain locked and available by phone or appointment only.

Osage County Covid-19 Hotline ………… 785-219-1680
Emergency Management……………………. 785-828-3323
Health Department……………………………… 785-828-3117
County Treasurer ……………………………….. 785-828-4923
Motor Vehicle Department …………………. 785-828-4900
County Clerk ………………………………………. 785-828-4812
Register of Deeds ………………………………… 785-828-4523
Land Development …………………………….. 785-828-3347
County Appraiser ……………………………….. 785-828-3124
County Attorney ………………………………… 785-828-4931
Clerk of the District Court …………………… 785-828-4514
Noxious Weed …………………………………….. 785-828-3280
Public Works ………………………………………. 785-828-4416

If you do plan to visit the courthouse during this time, please remember: If you have any symptoms similar to the flu, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, please do not enter the courthouse or make an appointment until symptoms have subsided and you have been fever free for at least 24 hours.

Order of the Board of Health/Public Health Officer Prohibiting or Restricting Public Gatherings

Editor’s note: The following order was issued by the Osage County Public Health Officer, Saturday, March 21, 2020. It is published here as a public service.

Order of the Board of Health/Public Health Officer
Prohibiting or Restricting Public Gatherings
(Issued under the Authority Granted by K.S.A. 65-119(a))

March 21, 2020

The Board of Health/Public Health Officer hereby issues the following prohibitions or restrictions regarding certain businesses and/or gatherings in Osage County:

  1. This order shall apply to all restaurants, dining facilities, bars, taverns, community centers, fitness centers, and clubs.
    These locations are hereby ordered closed to the public effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020, until further notice.
    Any such establishment may continue to provide carryout, drive-through and delivery food and beverage services.
    Any establishment that provides any kind of public self-service food or beverage such as buffets, salad bars, coffee shops, and convenience stores may remain open, but must close the self-serve portions of their business. This order does not allow for there to be any dine-in seating whatsoever at the establishments listed in the order.
  2. All large public gatherings of people in the County are prohibited. Large public gatherings are those with more than ten (10) people in attendance or anticipated to attend, both indoor and outdoor, except for governmental functions and deemed essential industries as defined by U.S. Homeland Security.
  3. Religious services, funerals, and memorial services (as defined by the Internal Revenue Service) are authorized to have more than ten (10) people in attendance, but must ensure appropriate social distancing of at least 6 feet between co-habiting members.
  4. In all areas, establishments must follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal, state, and local public health officials for social distancing and infection control measures.
  5. The order may be supplanted or modified as required for the effective and efficient management and control of the Coronavirus epidemic in Osage County by further order or direction of the Osage County Board of Public Health or by the Osage County Local Health Officer.

This order will remain in effect until further notice from the Board of Health or Health Officer.  Any questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Osage County Public Health Department at (785) 828-3117, or to the Osage County COVID-19 Hotline at (785) 219-1680.

Jackie Patterson, RN, BSN
Osage County Public Health Officer

March 21, 2020

Kimberly Moon, 37, Lyndon: March 14, 2020 – April 9, 1982

LYNDON, Kan. – On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Kimberly Moon, loving wife and mother of two children, passed away at the age of 37. Kim was born April 9, 1982, in Topeka, Kan., to James and Leyla (Craig) Hendrix.

Kim graduated from Lyndon High School, Lyndon, Kan., in 2000, and Baker University in 2008.

e.b.Sprouts: Dormant for 2 weeks, then start thinking about growing!

Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, we will be closed until April 6.

It has been with careful consideration that we have decided to close e.b Sprouts for two weeks in our effort to help prevent and/or reduce the spread of COVID 19.

If the situation improves we will open sooner. We hope that our customers understand and will also heed the warnings of social distancing in order to stop the spread of this virus and help keep our community and families safe.

In the event of a funeral service, we will take phone orders and deliver to the funeral home, please call and leave a message if no answer and we will get back to you.

It is our goal to stay healthy during this time in order to be ready for when the busy growing season does arrive. Which now more than ever is the perfect time for growing our own food! We intend on having a full greenhouse with veggie starts, annuals and perennials, and as always lots of cool decorating ideas when we reopen and the weather is ready.

Thank you to our customers, we so appreciate your business over the last six years and hope you all stay healthy through all these unknowns. See you soon!

SOS still available to assist

The mission at SOS is to empower and advocate for those affected by sexual and domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. While COVID-19 is drastically affecting people’s daily lives, SOS offers assurance it is still able to provide help. Businesses and schools are closing, we have more questions than answers, and many of us don’t know what the next day, week, or month will bring. Our communities are struggling with stress, fear, anxiety, and finances.

For SOS clients, going to work or school allowed them a place of safety. For this reason, SOS’s services may be more important than ever. All SOS services remain available to our community: Domestic violence/sexual assault services, domestic violence shelter, child advocacy center interviews and advocacy, CASA volunteers advocating for abused and neglected children, and the Child Visitation and Exchange Center’s monitored exchanges and supervised visits. Because of COVID-19, our services may look a little different, but SOS is committed to the safety of our clients and will work around COVID-19 limitations to bring our community the quality advocacy we’re known for.

At SOS, we are doing our best to continue our services while focusing on the health and safety of everyone involved. We are continuing to staff our 24/7 Helpline, 800-825-1295, to connect victims with advocates and resources, and we will still house clients in our shelter as needed. Our CASA staff is available as always and our CASA volunteers continue their advocacy while practicing physical distancing. Our Child Visitation and Exchange Center is continuing to provide supervised visits, and our CAC is still conducting child disclosure interviews (both with a few additional health precautions in place).

To our clients and anyone in an abusive situation, we want you to know that you are not alone and, if it is safe to do so, call SOS at 800-825-1295.

Kansas National Guard engages in supplies distribution for COVID-19 campaign

TOPEKA – Members of the Kansas National Guard are busy planning the distribution of medical supplies recently received from the Strategic National Stockpile and other logistics for aiding in the campaign against COVID-19. They aren’t contemplating martial law, quarantine enforcement or other draconian measures outside “the realm of possibility,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the state’s adjutant general.

“There’s all kinds of social media saying the National Guard is taking over, they’re on the streets, they’re going to do this or that,” Tafanelli said.

In reality, he said, the Guard is working to relieve pressure on local communities in the same way they would after a tornado, flood or other natural disaster. That could mean the transport of medical supplies from a clandestine location to hospitals all over the state, as well as the collection and delivery of test samples.

Peggy L. Bardsley, 79, Scranton: Oct. 17, 1940 – March 6, 2020

SCRANTON, Kan. – Peggy L. Bardsley, 79, went to see her Lord and Master on Friday, March 6, 2020, at Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. She was born Oct. 17, 1940, on a farm west of Burlington, Kan., the daughter of Howard and Nellie Carney Truelove.

Peggy grew up in Burlington, and had lived in Topeka before moving to a farm near Scranton, Kan., in 1971. She had moved back to Topeka in 2018.

Doris J. Anderson, 90, Topeka: April 3, 1929 – March 19, 2020

TOPEKA, Kan. – Doris Anderson, 90, of Topeka, formerly of Sliver Lake and Osage City, Kan., passed away on Thursday, March 19, 2020. She was born April 3, 1929.

Private family graveside services will be held at Walnut Hill Cemetery, north of Silver Lake. Memorial contributions may be made to the Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st St., Topeka, KS 66604, or to the Humane Society of the Flint Hills in Emporia, 215 W. Sixth St., Emporia, KS 66801.

Has your business developed a pandemic response?

As a public service, Osage County News will publish announcements from Osage County businesses, organizations and churches regarding any changes in their procedures, business practices, or hours of operation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There will be no charge for this service, but if it is appreciated, we ask that you thank one of our current sponsors.

To publish your business announcement, just email it to [email protected]. We will publish the announcements as Ad Blogs as soon as we can. (One free announcement per business, please.) For more information, call 785-828-4994.

If we can help you further connect to our local online audience, please let us know.

Osage County News: On duty during pandemic response

Dear Osage County neighbors,

Osage County News plans to stay open and keep reporting news and information for the local online community as much as possible during the ongoing pandemic response and recovery.

We plan to limit our face to face meetings with clients and sources and will attempt to do as much work as we can over the telephone, and through email and the internet.

We intend to continue to serve the public and our readers and advertisers during this difficult time however we can.

If anyone needs to reach me for any reason, please call 785-828-4994, email [email protected], or mail to PO Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451.

Sincerely,

Wayne White
Osage County News

Osage County declares public health emergency

Osage County Sheriff’s deputies wait inside the entrance of the county courthouse to check the medical conditions of all visitors and employees.

LYNDON, Kan. – With conditions seemingly changing by the minute, Osage County has joined other counties across Kansas in declaring a public health emergency in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. At a special meeting called March 17, 2020, Osage County commissioners also took action to limit access to the courthouse and conduct a health screening of all who enter, including employees.

Also Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the state’s efforts against the virus will include the closure of the state’s school buildings for the remainder of the school year and ordered that group gatherings across the state be limited to no more than 50 people in a single area.

Osage County’s emergency declaration followed the state’s declaration of March 12, and once enacted it authorizes the activation of the county’s local emergency response plan.

At Tuesday’s special commission meeting, with most of the county department heads in attendance, Osage County Health Department Director Jackie Patterson, who is also the county’s health officer, outlined then current statistics on coronavirus cases in the U.S. By March 18 the total had risen to 7,038 total cases in the U.S. with 97 deaths; and in Kansas, 21 positive test results and one death.

Patterson reported Tuesday there was one person under investigation from Osage County.

“This is a person who has been identified as someone who qualifies to be tested,” Patterson told the commissioners. “As of this morning, we still don’t have the results back.”

She explained that although testing for the virus was now underway in the U.S., it could take several days to get results back.

Patterson said the Osage County resident and her family are under a 14-day quarantine. She said the reason the person was tested was because they had traveled.

“We don’t have any local spread yet,” Patterson said, noting no known positive cases in Osage County at that time.

KCC issues emergency order suspending utility disconnects until April 15

Citing emergency declarations by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and the World Health Organization, the Kansas Corporation Commission used its emergency powers to issue an order suspending utility disconnects for nonpayment until April 15. The action, taken in a special meeting March 16, 2020, will offer relief to those experiencing potential hardship from the COVID-19 virus.

The directive covers all electrical, natural gas, water and telecommunications utilities under the KCC’s jurisdiction, several of which have already voluntarily suspended disconnects. The KCC also encouraged those utilities not under its jurisdiction to enact similar practices.

“COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge, and Kansans may face unexpected or unusual financial difficulties,” Kelly said. “No one should have to worry about losing utility service needed to ensure public safety, which is why I am bringing every resource to bear to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy. Kansans step up in a time of need, and this is more proof.”

The commission may elect to extend the suspension order in a subsequent order if conditions warrant.

Grace Lutheran, Osage City, outlines pandemic plans, temporarily shuts church

Dear members and friends of Grace,

Being concerned with the spread of COVID19, as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Grace church council is suspending all gatherings at the church until re-evaluation at its Thursday, April 2, meeting. We join many churches in this decision as well as heeding the guidance from our Bishop Susan Candea, in Kansas City.

This means:

No Wednesday activities at Grace Lutheran, Osage City. The community Lenten luncheons have ceased. WELCA will not meet Thursday, March 19.

No Sunday worship, Sunday school, or activities. Closer to the weekend I plan to email resources (Sunday readings, mini-sermon, etc.) for your devotional time at home this Sunday.

We are not in a panic over this, but are acting decisively on what is good for our congregation and community. As always, your church leaders or I can be reached by phone for any concern or need you have.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Russ Glaser

Grace Lutheran E.L.C.A.
210 Holliday St.
Osage City, KS 66523

Kansas open meeting laws remain in effect amid COVID-19 pandemic

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is offering guidance to state and local governments on how to comply with the Kansas Open Meetings Act if in-person meetings of any public body are replaced with remote meetings by telephone or other communications equipment amid the developing federal, state and local response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Nothing in state law allows for the suspension of the KOMA or its open government requirements,” Schmidt said. “In fact, in times like these, it’s more important than ever to ensure government remains open and accessible so Kansans are able to observe and understand how responses to an emergency situation are being developed.”

Kansas law requires meetings of public bodies be “open to the public.” Ordinarily, that requirement is satisfied by public bodies, such as city or county governing bodies, gathering in a room where members of the public are allowed to enter and observe during the meeting. However, in response to the “social distancing” directives from federal and state authorities that are designed to slow the spread of the virus, some governing bodies are considering replacing in-person meetings with electronic meetings by telephone or other remote communication method to avoid gathering in person.

Schmidt pointed out that although remote meetings of public bodies by telephone or otherwise are allowed, those meetings still must remain “open to the public” by allowing the public to observe or hear the meeting. Due to the unprecedented and evolving nature of the current situation, Schmidt said his office is currently drafting a temporary regulation to provide more-specific guidance on how public bodies may comply with KOMA while the state of emergency related to the virus outbreak remains in effect.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, March 2 – March 6, 2020

This information compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse, March 2 to March 6, 2020.

Osage County Jail Log, March 8 – March 13, 2020

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

Osage City Chamber cancels Tuesday members meeting for March

Due to current health concerns, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce has canceled its third Tuesday of the month members meeting, which was scheduled for noon Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at Flint Hills Beverage hospitality room.

Two Chamber ribbon cuttings for local businesses, COF and Lakefront Insurance, scheduled for after the meeting, have also been canceled.

For more information, contact the Osage City Chamber of Commerce at [email protected] or call 785-219-2510.

LeEtta Mae Holmberg, 86, Miller: Aug. 23, 1933 – March 12, 2020

MILLER, Kan. – LeEtta Mae Holmberg, 86, passed away Thursday, March 12, 2020, at Osage Nursing Manor, Osage City, Kan. LeEtta Mae Cripps was born Aug. 23, 1933, at the Christie Cox farm near Reading, Kan., the daughter of Clayton and Grace (Mueller) Cripps.

At the age of 3 the family moved to Topeka, Kan., then on to Denver, Colo., during World War II. They later returned to the Osage area before settling on a farm southwest of Miller, Kan.

Finch: Follow sound health practices, help each other

Greetings,

You can’t turn on a TV or have a conversation this week that does not mention the coronavirus. The same is true in Topeka where work on this public health challenge has been underway. I have been proud of the people of our state this week. They have shown calm, resolve and strength in the face of this virus and been quick to try to help others. Challenging times are when Kansas shines brightest.

Throughout the week we have been in meetings with our state’s public health officials and members of the executive branch. They are doing a good job of staying on top of this rapidly changing situation and keeping members of the legislature informed. We are fortunate to have good public health leaders in times like these – both at the state level and right here at home.

These dedicated people are making tough decisions with the best information they have available. It is not an enviable position to be in, but they are prioritizing public safety and the health of all Kansans in their decisions and that is as it should be.

This is not a political issue; it is a public health issue. The health and safety of all Kansans comes first, and it is the highest priority for me and my fellow legislators. To that end the House took up the concurrent resolution to extend the governor’s emergency declaration on Friday. This will allow the executive branch to move resources and personnel quickly and in the most effective way to ensure our first responders, health care providers and communities have all they need to help slow the spread of the virus and treat those who may have it.

I encourage you to check out the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s webpage www.kdhe.ks.gov for more information and to follow the guidelines they recommend:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We will be hard at work on our one Constitutionally mandated duty this week, passing a budget. We want to act swiftly to pass a basic budget, so the state is ready and able to serve the public throughout these present challenges and beyond.

By following sound public health practices, helping each other, and each of us doing our part we will do what Kansans always do, make it through together.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Great feeling once again

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“The first ride is the most important one.”

Such philosophy is profound among those who’ve worked with young horses. That initial mount is often reflected in later life whether positive or undesirable. Horses are very smart creatures, much more so than most handlers it seems.

Horses typically don’t forget the good; yet likewise typically remember anything bad that might have happened. Recall can sometimes even come years afterwards.

The doctor ordered for six months: no driving motor vehicle; no horseback riding; no bath.

Come to find out it’s against state law to drive, considering possibility for personal injury and safety of others.

Evidently there’s risk of drowning while bathing although showering hazards would seem as great? Always one to bath more often than Saturday night, that doctor’s directive was soon ignored.

It’d been 55 days. There just wasn’t anything that could control or stop the urge to get back on and ride, defying physician’s warning.

Blame has to be on the group president who a couple days earlier had asked, “Have you been riding?”

The “no” answer was embarrassing, setting stage to do what a cowboy is supposed to do: “ride his horse.”

USACE announces coronavirus precautions, closes visitor centers at area lakes

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced that due to health precautions regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), all Kansas City District visitor centers are now closed. In Osage County, visitor centers at Pomona and Melvern lakes will be closed.

A press release said the Corps will continue to monitor the situation and will provide  timely updates regarding other potential facility closures at its lakes.

Kansas City District Visitor Center locations include Blue Springs, Clinton, Harlan County, Harry S. Truman, Hillsdale, Kanopolis, Long Branch, Longview, Melvern, Milford, Perry, Pomme de Terre, Pomona, Rathbun, Smithville, Stockton, Tuttle Creek, Wilson.

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