Dangerous heat forecast Wednesday through Saturday

The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued an excessive heat warning is in effect for the entire outlook area today, Wednesday, July 17, 2019, through Saturday. Heat indices More »

911: Emergency call services back in working order in Osage County

A social media post by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office announced that 911 emergency call services in the county are again in working order as of 2:05 a.m. today, More »

Mosquitoes interrupt summer: KDHE recommends bite prevention

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recommends Kansans take preventive measures against mosquito bites, as floods throughout the state have caused an increase in mosquito More »

Eat Well to Be Well: Why choosing cow’s milk still matters

Going to the grocery store to “get milk,” is not always what it used to mean. Open up the refrigerator in many homes, and the “milk” might instead be More »

OCPR Update: Be cool at the pool

OCPR-logo-redSummer is here and you should be there – Osage City Aquatic Center, that is. It’s time to cool off the easy way – at the pool. Swim booklets are still available. Osage City Parks and Recreation is gearing up for summer musical camp and youth football. Here are the details of upcoming activities.


Family entertainment featured for Osage County Fair, July 10-13, 2019

Get ready for families working together and having a good time with an assortment of entertainment. The Osage County Fair gets underway Wednesday, July 10, and runs through Saturday night, July 13, 2019.

The Osage County Fair Association promises “fun for all with entertainment for the entire family” at the fairgrounds in Osage City’s Jones Park

This year’s fair continues a longtime tradition.

“The first fair was in 1946 and increasingly attracts spectators and participants from Osage County and northeast Kansas,” said Josi Bosse, fair board member. “That’s for the 4-H and open class exhibits, parade, and music, plus carnival attractions with midway rides.”

Perhaps most importantly to a county fair, there’ll be livestock shows every day. Of course, competitions are also planned for most agriculture productions and vast rural domestic creations. The fair board is offering barn quilting classes for those interested.

Entertainment for Wednesday evening, will be the Backyard Legends Band.

Barnyard Olympics will test abilities of participants doing farm tasks in a uniquely enjoyable way is Thursday afternoon, July 11. Family Fun Night is Thursday evening with a pie contest, a mechanical bull, climbing wall, bingo and disc jockey music.

The animal costume contest Friday afternoon, July 12, creates fun for those doing the dressing, spectators, and maybe animals, too.

Highlight of fair week is the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s parade, with a theme of  “Fresh From The Farm,” down Osage City’s Market Street 6:30 p.m. Friday. An array of entries local and from afar is expected with participation invited, or bring a lawn chair to watch.

Friday evening’s entertainment will be a talent show, hosted by the Lions Club and Harmon Dental. The stage will be set east of the Osage City Community Building at the basketball courts. All are invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of local talented individuals competing for cash prizes.

As always, fair food will be the fare at the fair. The Lions Club will have its traditional hamburger stand at the community building. Food trucks are scheduled to be available Wednesday evening. An ice cream social fundraiser is planned to cool off spectators as the talent show concludes on Friday.

Saturday, July 13, is jam packed with a car show, touch-a-truck, and a cornhole tournament. Pay time for youth fair exhibitors is the evening livestock auction, and the Brickhouse Band concert concludes the fair.

See the fair’s schedule below (as published in the Osage County Fairbook).

A Cowboy’s Faith: Rains bring more intruders

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Ample moisture is better than a drought. Yet with continuing downpours come forever increasing problems.

Of course, flooding is the horrific detriment with such extensive physical and financial losses.

Rainfall is essential for crop production if seed gets planted, doesn’t rot or wash away, and remaining growth cycle cooperates. All things considered, water at the right time in appropriate amounts is the biggest attributing factor to yields.

Grasslands are green, lush and already stirrup high on a stocky ranch horse with promise of ample grazing and hay. Enhanced conditions for desirable plants also have intruders growing at record pace. Every kind of weed imaginable is popping up out of nowhere.

The list is extensive but most apparent in recent days has been musk thistle abundancy. Big purple blooms blowing in the wind might seem pretty to lay people not realizing detriments of the noxious weed.

Right out the office window one five-foot-tall thistle glowed in the sunlight. Fortunately, the yard keeper sprayed poison, and the “pretty flower” wilted away. However, the sticky weeds are rampant not just on agriculture ground but everywhere.

Dozens of thistles blooming brilliantly were all around the arena fence at a recent horse show on state property. Evidently, managers don’t understand thistles are weeds that government regulations prohibit to the extent of fines if not controlled.

Mary C. Reid, 86, Osage City: Feb. 1, 1933 – July 4, 2019

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Mary C. Reid, 86, passed away Thursday, July 4, 2019, at Osage Nursing Center, Osage City, Kan. She was born Feb. 1, 1933, in Portageville, Mo., the daughter of George Washington (“Cap”) Stewart and Etta Lucy (Hart) Stewart.

Mary graduated from City of St. Louis High School in 1951. She married Mirl Qualls, in 1951. They moved to Bushong, Kan., and finally ended up in Barclay, Kan. They had four children. Later they divorced. Mary then married Wallace Reid, of Osage City. He preceded her in death. They had one son.

It’s an Osage County kind of Fourth of July

Fireworks at Lyndon Saddle Club, up close and personal. File photo.

Osage Countians will have a chance to celebrate their independence all over the county on the Fourth of July. The festivities include community fireworks displays in Lyndon, Overbrook and Osage City, along with fun activities all day long.


Lyndon, which has become renowned for its July 4th celebration over the past few years, continues its day of fun this year, starting off with a Lions Club pancake feed 7-10 a.m. at the Lyndon Community Center. Patriotic breakfast is followed at 10:30 a.m. with the patriotic parade on Topeka Avenue in downtown Lyndon.

Parade entrants are encouraged to contact Lyndon City Hall at 785-828-3146 or email [email protected] to register in advance. Line-up begins at 9:45 a.m. Walking groups and non-motorized entries should meet at the Lyndon Library; motorized and equestrian entries should gather behind Lyndon High School. Parade route will be on Sixth Street to Topeka Avenue, north to City Park. All kinds of entries are welcomed, including bicycles, wagons, floats, cars, tractors, horses and more.

Following the parade will be a community picnic 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at City Park. The Lyndon community will host a free watermelon feed. Families are invited to bring their own picnic baskets or purchase lunch cooked up by the Masons.

Picnicking fun continues into the afternoon with games and prizes 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m., sponsored by Lyndon Pride. The city of Lyndon also provides a way for everyone to cool off on a hot July 4 – the swimming pool is open for all for free swimming 1-6 p.m.

And of course for the Lyndon celebration’s finale, a spectacular fireworks display hosted by Osage County Fire District No. 5 will light up the county seat and the center of Osage County. Fireworks launch point will be at Lyndon Saddle Club Arena north of the city. Parking is available at the arena, or the display can be seen from anywhere in the immediate vicinity.


The popular annual Overbrook Independence Day Celebration will again be held this July 4, with fireworks at dusk at the City Lake at Jones Park. The day’s celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. with the children’s bike parade. Children are invited to decorate their bikes and meet at the old middle school. Free hot dogs and drinks will be served to kids who participate in the parade. (Families are asked to bring a plate of treats to share.) Planning for hot weather, the Overbrook pool will be open from 1-5 p.m. for kids and adults to swim free.

As evening arrives, everyone is invited to City Lake for food, fun, and fireworks, 6-10 p.m. There will be food, drinks, music, and more. Fireworks will begin around 10 p.m. Remember that discharge of fireworks is prohibited on public property. In case of rain, the celebration will be Friday, July 5.

Overbrook Pride, the local fire department, Overbrook Historical Society and other local groups are hosts for the annual community event.

Osage City

At Osage City, the Osage City Chamber of Commerce has a day of activities planned to make for a busy Fourth of July celebration.

The day begins at 8 a.m. with a youth fishing tournament in Huffman Park. All young fishermen are invited. Starting at the same time will be a disc golf tournament at the Osage City ball diamonds; entry fee required; tournaments will go until 3 p.m. At 10 a.m. a free disc golf clinic will be offered.

Around 6 p.m., bounce houses will be open in Jones Park near the basketball court. Food vendors will set up near the 4-H pavilion, while the Lions Club will serve pie, ice cream and floats as a fundraiser for the club. Pomona Masons will be serving up funnel cakes.

The hosts of the event, the Chamber, will offer a free watermelon feed at the Osage City Community Building in Jones Park. Chamber members will also man carnival games including such fun as quarter bingo, firecracker walk, and face painting. For the competitors, there will be a sack race and bocce ball tournament.

Awaiting the fireworks, the summer evening will be filled with the live music of the Lizard People, who will give a free concert at the Fredrickson Arena. Around 10 p.m. the fireworks will start. About anywhere in Jones Park, the football stadium or the surrounding area is a good place for setting up lawn chairs and viewing the fireworks.

Notice: City of Osage City Holiday Trash Pickup Schedule

The City of Osage City offices will be closed Thursday, July 4, 2019, for the July 4th Holiday. Customers whose trash is normally picked up on Thursday will be picked up on Friday, July 5. For more information call Osage City Hall at 785-528-3714.

William Bobby Gunnells, 76, Carbondale: April 12, 1943 – June 27, 2019

CARBONDALE, Kan. – William Bobby Gunnells, 76, of Carbondale, Kan. passed away peacefully at his home on June 27, 2019, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Bobby was born in Olar, S.C., on April 12, 1943, the son of Shelley Gunnells and Judith Hair Gunnells.

Bobby married his high school sweetheart Margaret “Maggie” Sheddan, on Aug. 21, 1965, in a church at Forbes Field, Topeka, Kan.

Master Sergeant Gunnells retired from the 108th Aviation Regiment after serving 27 years in the United States Army National Guard. After serving his country he went to work at the Walmart Distribution Center, in Ottawa, Kan., for 10 years. 

A Cowboy’s Faith: A celebration of freedom

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Don’t blow your finger off.”

For many decades that’s been advice typically said in jive at this time of the year.

Yet it really is a legitimate concern as children and young at heart are excitedly lighting firecrackers and other fireworks.

Without exception every year there are major body injuries, even fatalities, from carelessness with the explosives.

Interesting how big a thrill so many people get from fireworks, both setting them off and watching colorful night shows.

It was exciting and profitable operating a fireworks stand six decades ago in the grocery store window corner.

That opinion has completely changed these days such that those noisy fiery pyrotechnics seem like a hazardous waste. So many dollars just go up in smoke when they could be put toward many other worthwhile endeavors.

Reason for celebration is still most important although many people don’t even realize what it’s really all about.

Yes, the Fourth of July is a federal holiday for family reunions, parades, picnics, concerts and obviously plenty of fireworks. However, it’s really Independence Day, although seldom called that anymore. The Declaration of Independence of the United States was signed on July 4, 1776, two days after voting approval.

The Continental Congress declared that the 13 American colonies were no longer subject and subordinate to the Monarch of Britain. They were now united, free and independent states.

Loyal, humble entrepreneur, Lyon County cattleman to present Prairie Talk

First impression from a distance or even passing conversation, one gets little inkling of Rich Porter’s diverse generous life. Certainly the humble cattleman from Reading won’t readily reveal all he’s done and continues to do for so many.

Yet, listeners will be all ears when always soft spoken Porter presents a Prairie Talk at Pioneer Bluffs July 6.

“We’re pleased Rich Porter will share his most unique life’s story Saturday afternoon at 1:30,” said Lynn Smith.

Gentleman cattleman Rich Porter.

Executive director of the historic ranch near Matfield Green, Kan., Smith welcomed everyone to the free educational, entertaining program.

“Rich Porter is loyal to his workers, suppliers, alliances, and especially, to the community,” Smith acknowledged.

“An ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness,” Porter said. “Do unto others better than you would have them do unto you. If they don’t respond in kind, merely walk away, but don’t retaliate.”

Porter’s education began with a 1972 bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Kansas State University, in Manhattan. He then pursued a law degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

While in law school, Porter worked for the Environmental Protection Agency enforcement division. After graduating from law school in 1975, he was employed by Bethlehem Steel in air pollution control four years.

With diverse career opportunities, Porter returned to his family’s cattle backgrounding and farming operations near Miller, in Lyon County.

Forever eager to learn, Porter was in the inaugural class of the K-State Agricultural Economics’ Master in Agribusiness program in 1998. His thesis on economies of scale in finishing cattle is now put to use at Porter Cattle Company.

Each year, Porter purchases about 7,000 high-risk calves, and grows them from 350 pounds to 850 pounds. The operation also includes 2,600 acres of corn and soybeans.

Successful business must be credited to Porter’s strong values of loyalty and simple lessons learned in life.

Swimmers test the waters at Overbrook meet

Swimmers prepare to dive in at the starting line. Photos by Lisa Reeser.

Area swim teams from Overbrook, Osage, Lyndon, Lebo, and Burlington participated in a swim meet at Overbrook on June 22, 2019.

Celebrate your freedom, but be responsible for your freedom

Fireworks at Melvern. File photo.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has compiled a list of times and dates fireworks can be discharged in areas around the county for Fourth of July.

All unincorporated areas of Osage County have no regulations regarding when fireworks can be discharged. This includes the town of Vassar.

Fireworks are prohibited on Corps of Engineers property, in state parks, and at Osage County State Fishing Lake.

Fireworks are allowed in municipalities the following times and dates:

  • Burlingame – 8 a.m.-midnight, June 27-July 6.
  • Carbondale – 8 a.m.-11 p.m., June 27-July 6; 8 a.m.- midnight July 4.
  • Lyndon – 10 a.m.-midnight, June 27 – July 5.
  • Melvern – 10 a.m.-midnight, June 27-July 5.
  • Osage City – 8 a.m.-10 p.m., June 27-July 5; until 11 p.m. July 4.
  • Overbrook – 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m., June 27-July 5; until midnight, June 28 and 29 and July 4 and July 5.
  • Quenemo – 7 a.m.-10 p.m., June 27-July 5.
  • Scranton – 8 a.m.-midnight, June 27-July 5.

Thomas H. Robison, 85, Carbondale: Oct. 23, 1933 – June 25, 2019

CARBONDALE, Kan. – Thomas H. Robison, 85, originally from Carbondale, Kan., and most recently of Topeka, Kan., died on June 25, 2019. Tom was born Oct. 23, 1933, in Topeka, the son of Willard and Ethel (Smith) Robison.

He attended Carbondale High School, graduating in 1951, and was a member of the state championship basketball team in 1951.

Tom married his high school sweetheart, Jean Dawson, on April 25, 1953, in Carbondale. Tom received a bachelor’s degree from Washburn University in 1958 and a master’s degree from Emporia State in 1963. He started his career as a basketball and football coach and taught high school chemistry and physics.

KDWPT employee fatally injured in ATV accident at Milford Wildlife Area

TOPEKA, Kan. – Mark A. Jackson, 48, Milford, Kan., died June 25, 2019, at the Milford Wildlife Area, when the all-terrain vehicle he was operating overturned and rolled down an embankment, pinning him underneath. Jackson, a seasonal employee of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, was spraying weeds at the time of the accident – one of the many duties he performed to improve his hometown wildlife area.

“The KDWPT family lost one of its own in this tragic accident,” said Brad Loveless, KDWPT Secretary. “We offer our most heartfelt condolences to Mark’s family and friends. He will be missed by many.”

Though only with KDWPT a short period of time, Jackson made a favorable impression on his coworkers who describe him as someone who “was always fun to be around” and “had a great outlook on life.”

Jackson enjoyed caring for his family’s horses, riding his motorcycle, and deer hunting. He leaves behind his wife and mother, among other family and friends.

Fair but partly cloudy: Melvern enjoys Sunflower Days despite stormy weather

The Sunflower Days parade always draws a crowd to downtown Melvern. Photo by Jeff Burkdoll.

The Melvern Sunflower Days 4-H Fair happened last week, despite Mother Nature trying to dampen the atmosphere for Osage County’s first fair of the season.

Rainstorms, generator problems, and cancelled carnival rides presented obstacles for the fair organizers, but in the following report local 4-Her Bella Reeser tells us that the fun continued anyway and the fair was enjoyed by many.

Sunflower Days 2019

By Bella Reeser
Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club

Hot temperatures, 4-H projects, cotton candy, parades and rides are all indicators that fair time is here. This year’s Melvern Sunflower Days was held June 20-22, 2019, in the Melvern City Park.

Even though weather conditions weren’t ideal, it didn’t stop hundreds of fairgoers from coming out to support their local fair. As always, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H club did their part in supporting their local fair. The fair parade theme this year was  “Small Town USA – Redneck Jamboree!”

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members strutted their stuff in the parade with their walking float; club members dressed in a club T-shirt and covered themselves in American pride decor.

Following the parade the club held a fundraiser homemade ice cream social at the Melvern Community Center. To make this year’s social even more special, Lloyd and Kathy Sowers loaned their engine and knowledge to the club and produced the ice cream in front of everyone’s eyes.

Even though the weather wasn’t great, it was still a successful time at the fair this year.

Enjoy these photos of Sunflower Days by Jeff Burkdoll, Bella Reeser and others.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, June 10 – June 14, 2019

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse, June 10 through June 14, 2019.

Osage County Jail Log, June 17 – June 22, 2019

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

Mary Lou Stromgren, 73, Osage City: April 6, 1946 – June 24, 2019

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Mary Lou Stromgren, 73, passed away on Monday, June 24, 2019, at Stormont Vail Health, Topeka, Kan. Mary Lou Jones was born on April 6, 1946, in Emporia, Kan., the daughter of Glenn Wayne and Bernice (Standiferd) Jones.

She graduated from Lebo High School in 1964.

She was joined in marriage to Derald Wayne Stromgren, on Sept. 18, 1966, in Lebo, Kan. To this union, two sons were born, Brian and Kevin. For 40 years, Mary Lou and Derald owned and operated Stromgren’s Greenhouse, at Osage City, Kan.

Samantha Josephine ‘Josi’ McGoyne, 21, Overbrook: Jan. 14, 1998 – June 19, 2019

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Samantha Josephine “Josi” McGoyne, 21, of Overbrook, Kan., left this world to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, after a brief struggle with pancreatitis. She was born Jan. 14, 1998, in Lawrence, Kan., the daughter of Phillip and Vicki (Cloud) McGoyne.

Josi graduated from Santa Fe Trail High School in 2016 and earned her CNA license. Her specialty was working with memory impaired and dementia patients. Her sweet, loving personality made that a perfect fit, and she touched peoples’ hearts wherever she went.

Osage City graduate earns sheriff’s association scholarship

An Osage City High School graduate has won one of 16 $1,000 awards presented by the Kansas Sheriffs Association in educational scholarships to eligible members or family members.

Winning one of the $1,000 scholarships for 2019 is Kaitlyn Farmer. Kaitlyn recently graduated from Osage City High School and plans on attending Washburn University. Her application was sponsored by her father Scott Farmer.

Authorities continue to follow leads in Saline County murder case

SALINE COUNTY, Kan. – On June 25, 2016, 57-year-old Lori Heimer was found deceased in her home in rural Saline County. Investigators from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Saline County Sheriff’s Office have followed hundreds of leads in an effort to hold Heimer’s attacker accountable. On the anniversary of her murder, the investigation is active and ongoing, but the case remains unsolved.

At the time of her death, Heimer operated Lori’s Poodle Patch, a dog breeding business, from her home in Assaria, Kan. Authorities continue to seek information from anyone who had contact with Heimer through this dog business in the month of June 2016.

Anyone with information about the death of Heimer is urged to contact 800-KS-CRIME. Callers can remain anonymous.

Sheriff reports five arrests in theft case; Overbrook, Melvern hit by car burglaries

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn made a public report of several current investigations and incidents Monday.

The sheriff reported five people were arrested last week in connection with an investigation of residential burglary and theft. The subjects, Brandon K. Naylor, 33, Topeka, Kan., Summer D. Self, 32, Vassar, Kan., Trevor S. Donley 29, Scranton, Kan., Brytani L. Lyda 25, Lebo, Kan., and Brian M. Hughes 22, Topeka, were arrested June 20, 2019, and were awaiting formal charges Monday for conspiracy, burglary, theft and criminal damage to property.

Dunn reported the suspects were already wanted on six outstanding warrants either through Kansas Department of Corrections, Osage County or other court jurisdictions.

The sheriff said her office began the investigation of burglary and theft at 23000 S. K368 on June 13.

In other incidents, the sheriff said reports were made Monday morning to the sheriff’s office about vehicle burglaries in Overbrook that occurred overnight. Reports of vehicle burglaries on the night of June 20 in Melvern were also taken.

The sheriff is asking any victims of such thefts, or anyone who might have video surveillance of such activity, or any witnesses to contact the sheriff’s office at 785-828-3121. The sheriff also reminded everyone to take valuables and keys out of vehicles and lock them.

Dunn also reported a dog bite incident that occurred around 4 p.m. June 23. The sheriff’s office and Osage County EMS responded to 1954 W. 253rd Street to the report of a dog bite. A juvenile victim was transported in critical condition to Stormont Vail Hospital by ambulance. The sheriff had no information on the juvenile’s condition. The sheriff said the dog and the juvenile both reside at the residence, and the investigation is ongoing.

Dunn asks everyone to report any suspicious activity or information about crimes. Call 911 or 785-828-3121, or contact Osage County Crimestoppers at 1-877-OS-CRIME.

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