Ready for winter? It’s here

The National Weather Service at Topeka is advising another round of wintry precipitation is expected today into Thursday morning with the worst conditions this evening and overnight. Snow and More »

Help House News: Start stocking up now for Souper Bowl Sunday

By Raylene Quaney Now that we are into a new year it is time for Help House’s annual Souper Bowl Soup-A-Thon. We encourage churches, school organizations, youth groups, civic More »

Boutique offers prom dresses for all

All area girls are invited to the 12th annual Prom Boutique, hosted by ECKAN Osage City, 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at the Santa Fe Depot, 504 Market More »

Hidden History: The Kid, The Pimp, and the Osage City lawman

By Wendi Bevitt Osage County had a crime problem. It was the summer of 1883, and hardly a town in the county was untouched by some sort of criminal More »

George Eldon Hackett, 74, Wichita: June 14, 1944 – Jan. 5, 2019

WICHITA, Kan. – George Eldon Hackett was born on June 14, 1944 on a farm east of Melvern, Kan., the son of Milo and Mabel Tompkins Hackett. He departed this life on Jan. 5, 2019, in Wichita, Kan., at the age of 74 years, 6 months and 21 days.

George grew up on a farm southwest of Willow Springs, Mo. In 1969, George moved to Louisburg, Kan., and later to the JC Ranch, Augusta, Kan., and then to the Timbers, Wichita. He had worked as quality control for Center Industries for several years in Wichita.

KDA offers morel mushroom identification workshops

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Agriculture, in partnership with K-State Research and Extension, Kaw Valley Mycological Society and the University of Kansas, is offering two sessions to help people earn the necessary approval to sell wild morel mushrooms. The sessions will take place in Olathe on Feb. 1, and in Parsons on Feb. 2, in conjunction with Regional Farmers’ Market Workshops.

The session is intended to help ensure that wild harvested mushrooms sold as morels in the state of Kansas are safe to consume. Current regulations under KDA’s food safety and lodging program require that mushrooms picked in the wild for sale must be individually inspected for safety by an approved mushroom identifier. Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be recognized as approved morel identifiers in order to meet this regulation. This is a three-year approval.

The session in Olathe will be held 2-3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2019,  at K-State Olathe, 22201 W. Innovation Dr., Olathe. The session in Parsons will be held 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, at Southeast Research & Extension Center, 25092 Ness Rd., Parsons.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Kindness is most important

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Life’s changes for betterment ahead are the optimistic blueprint many consider at year’s end.

Annual resolutions are being developed and revised so they won’t be short lived as always before.

Listed for majority are make more money, diet, increase exercise, lose weight and live healthier.

Frequent others include manage debt improving finances, enhance family relations, become higher educated, get a better job, and reduce stress.

Without exception, New Year’s resolutions will be broken, but if only one is partially fulfilled it’s better than before.

Regardless of personal philosophies about all of the vast annual hype of the season, let’s help somebody now.

What else is there in life other than health, happiness and eternity than doing for each other, sincerely?

This is actually very easy, quite simple, yet more uncommon all of the time.

Why not try to make life better for another? Talk to more and different people, even strangers on the street. With few exceptions people like to talk and for others to know about themselves.

Ask how their life truly is? Then listen, look them square in the eye, be interested, and be concerned if there’s that need.

Then, comment, offer thoughts, even suggestions, perhaps points for guidance if sought in the least form.

Make a telephone call to an acquaintance of long ago, or a neighbor living alone, perhaps in an assisted care facility.

Everybody just loves to get mail in the box, write a note, and send a card. It’ll make a day and a memory never ceasing. Go ahead send a text, an email, or other social media to make contact.

Joel Ryan Smith, 40, Topeka: April 24, 1978 – Jan. 2, 2019

TOPEKA, Kan. – Joel R. Smith, age 40, Topeka, Kan., passed away Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019. Joel was born April 24, 1978, in Fontana, Calif., the son of Cleo and Traci Glidden Smith.

Joel is survived by his parents, Cleo and Traci Smith; two sons, Caleb and Ryan Smith, of Osage City, Kan., and two brothers, Chris and Eric Smith, both of Topeka.

Amelia Earhart – Live! at the Osage City Library

Performer scholar Ann Birney will bring Amelia Earhart to life during a performance at the Osage City Public Library. Courtesy photo.

The search for Amelia Earhart can finally be called off! The famed aviator will be talking about her thrilling flights at 7 p.m. Jan. 8, 2019, at the Osage City Public Library.

During this free event, open to all ages, scholar and performer Ann Birney, of Ride into History, will take the audience back to 1937, just before Earhart’s disappearance over the Pacific Ocean.

Most people do not know that Earhart twice set out to fly around the world at the equator before she disappeared. The first time, heading west from California, she wrecked her twin-engine Lockheed Electra taking off from Hawaii. Birney, as Earhart, will take the audience to April 14, 1937. Earhart is waiting for her airplane, her silver “flying laboratory,” to be repaired so that she can try again. This time, she tells the audience, she will go east instead of west, hoping to reverse her luck with the reversal in direction.

Earhart came into the public eye when she became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air in 1928. The young social worker presumed that after the flight she would resume working with children at a Boston settlement house, but one book and innumerable speaking engagements later, she was instead planning more record-setting flights, and yet more speaking tours, books and articles. Among her other records, she became the first woman and second person to solo across the Atlantic, the first person to solo over the Pacific, the first person to fly from Hawaii to California, and the fastest woman to fly non-stop across the U.S. And now, Earhart feels she has one last record-setting flight left in her.

OCPR Update: Dance the winter away!

OCPR-logo-redWinter is here, but Osage City Parks and Recreation is giving kids a reason to dance – at the OCHS dance clinic.

The clinic is for students from pre-K and kindergarten, first and second grade, and third-eighth grade. Practice is 6-8 p.m. January 16 and 17, at the OCHS gym. Dancers will perform during half-time of the OCHS boys varsity game on January 22.

Extension workshop helps board members hone leadership skills

The Frontier Extension District will host a series of leadership workshops to provide basic training for members of community-based boards on Feb. 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2019.

Extension’s Board Leadership Series provides an opportunity for board members to learn the basics of being a good board member. Whether a member of a church board, a township board, a United Way agency board, or a rural water board, this training is appropriate for you. Workshop participants will meet at host sites throughout the state to take part in web-based instruction and locally facilitated discussion.

All sessions will be conducted 6-8 p.m. on the designated dates. The Frontier Extension District will be hosting a site at the Frontier Extension District Office, in Ottawa.

The series will kick-off on Feb. 5 with “Conducting Effective Meetings”.  During this session, participants will learn about their roles and responsibilities as a board member, basics of parliamentary procedure, and strategies to make meetings more productive and effective.

On Feb. 12, the topic will be fundraising, fund management, legalities and ethics. This session will explore a board’s options for raising and managing money, understanding such things as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and policies.

The Feb. 19 session will cover understanding fellow board members and conflict management. Participants will explore how personalities and generational differences affect the decision-making process, and learn how to manage conflict in a way that is productive, not destructive, to the board.

Strategic planning will be the final topic on Feb. 26.  Participants will learn about establishing a common mission and vision for the board, and how to plan priorities for the future.

The Extension district requests registration for the workshop by Thursday, Jan. 10. The $40 registration fee reserves a seat for all four sessions.

St. Patrick’s showcases Nativity in special Epiphany celebration

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Scranton, will host its fourth Nativity Showcase 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in conjunction with the Epiphany of Our Lord. To close the Christmas season, all are invited to view the new house of worship of St. Patrick’s of Scranton adorned for Christmas, and view the many Nativity sets that members and friends of the parish have on display.

Descriptions on some Nativity sets share their special meanings to their owners. There will be many sizes, number of pieces, and varied artistic interpretations of the Nativity. In its fourth year, the event is becoming a parish and community tradition; last year’s event had more than 200 Nativities.

Nativities are welcome from community members, both Catholic and other religious denominations, to be displayed at the showcase. For more information or to share a Nativity, contact Lois Shuck, 785-665-7893, or Mary Burgett, 785-836-7887.

Church members continue to raise funds for the new church. Freewill donations will be accepted and will go to the building fund.

St. Patrick’s of Scranton invites everyone to the special showcase on Epiphany Sunday, Jan. 6, honoring the Nativity. The church is at 400 E. Bracken St., Scranton.

Hidden History: The Kid, The Pimp, and the Osage City lawman

By Wendi Bevitt

Osage County had a crime problem. It was the summer of 1883, and hardly a town in the county was untouched by some sort of criminal activity. The economic and population boom brought by the railroads and the coal mines had also brought a surge of individuals looking to make a profit via unsavory means.

Burglars, also known as “sneak thieves”, frequently broke into residences, and horse thieves were plentiful. Citizens were encouraged to protect themselves, which led to the formation of vigilance committees or posses to protect towns and retrieve stolen goods.

Town streets at night were hazardous for pedestrians. The dark was cover for those who wanted to disappear into its shadow. People of questionable character would gather on both sides of the sidewalk, singing, whistling and swearing at passersby. Street walkers and prostitutes were common. Respectable women, in particular, were afraid to walk on the streets at night for fear of being harassed.

Frequent lawbreakers became infamous in the county papers. Johnson, “The Pimp”, and his one woman employee wandered from town to town searching for clients, frequenting the streets and local establishments to the point of annoyance. He and others of the same profession would also take up residences at vacated properties for seclusion.

When Pimp Johnson set up a tent along Salt Creek as his headquarters, a public outcry went out to push them into the creek, promising the support of the community for the people following through with disposing of the couple.

Another character known as “The Kid” was a gentleman gambler that dressed in the highest style, from his matching clothes to his fine gloves. The Kid, like Pimp Johnson, would patronize the saloons and other establishments that allowed gambling. The Kid’s amiable nature gave him a certain leeway with the authorities, and when he and his friends were locked up, they would sing, dance and cause such a commotion that houses neighboring the jail would be kept awake until the wee hours of the night.

While most of the county’s towns were affected by this crime wave and used their best attempts at law enforcement, Osage City’s law officer stood out as an example of the quintessential lawman of the time. Marshal Jack Williams worked hard to control the undesirable element within the Osage City limits.

Marshal Williams assumed the office of Osage City marshal in 1880. He was fair, just, and a strict enforcer of the law. Williams wasn’t frightened by angry mobs or other men of money and influence that tried to affect his pursuit of enforcing the law and keeping the peace.

Osage County Jail Log, Dec. 23 – Dec. 28, 2018

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

Eva K. Sebring, 90, Overbrook: Nov. 29, 1928 – Dec. 27, 2018

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Eva Katherine Sebring, 90, of Overbrook, Kan., formerly of Burlingame, Kan., passed away Dec. 27, 2018, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook. She was born Nov. 29, 1928, in Colby, Kan., the daughter of Fred Aaron Sortor and Anna Urania Carolina (Tolin) Sortor.

Eva grew up in Clay Center, Kan., graduating from Clay Center High School with the class of 1946, with her degree in normal training.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Youth tell real story

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Children’s Christmas programs rightly bring out the true meaning of the season.”

With all of the commercialization towards shopping and buying gifts starting before Halloween, reason for Christmas is often completely forgotten.

Likewise, elaborate decorating seems to have gotten out of hand, for lack of a more appropriate description of all the vast lightings. It sure makes the electrical companies happy undoubtedly.

Through all of this Christmas “hype,” there is NO factual recognition of what Christmas is really all about.

In viewing literally hundreds of community and public Christmas decorating, there has been only one notable exception.

A display with a few strings of lights had a small nativity scene. That’s Christmas, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, savior of the world, life eternal for all believers.

Used to be, a number of churches would have at least some nativity scene.  That’s a simple manger with Christ child, Mary, Joseph, sheep, donkey, shepherds, and wise men.

Sadly, this year, none have been seen as of yet. Live nativities became popular for a time, but have dropped out of fad as well.

Notable, Saint Francis of Assisi is credited with creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 to cultivate the worship of Christ. He was inspired by his visit to the Holy Land seeing Jesus’ birthplace. The idea motivated communities to stage such portrayals.

Although, Christmas programs are still part of the season’s celebrations, most do not have any inclination of the true reasoning. Modern songs often leave a seemingly waning feeling.

Reflecting, grade school pageants of decades gone by never reflected the true celebration either. Yet, singing brought swinging joy to performers and audience with nostalgic appreciation and familiarity.

Fortunately, a few churches, hopefully more than realized, still host children’s Christmas plays highlighting Jesus’ birth and purpose.

Six decades ago, it was a special heartfelt inspiration portraying a shepherd, wearing night robe, turban and carrying a cane.

Osage County producers elect Burkett to FSA county committee

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County USDA Farm Service Agency has announced that Frances Burkett, of Osage City, Kan., was elected to represent her local administrative area during the recent county committee election.

“County committee members are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA,” said Rachel Parker, county executive director. “They help deliver programs at the county level and work to serve the needs of local producers.”

All recently elected county committee members will take office in January 2019 and will be joining the existing committee.

Every FSA office is served to by a county committee made up of local farmers, ranchers and foresters who are elected by local producers. Nearly 7,800 FSA county committee members serve FSA offices nationwide. Each committee has three to 11 elected members, who serve three-year terms of office. County committee members impact the administration of FSA within a community by applying their knowledge and judgment to help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, emergency programs and eligibility.

County committee members impact producers through their decision making and help shape the culture of a local FSA office. They also ensure the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties and are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. Members conduct hearings and reviews as requested by the state committee, ensure underserved farmers, ranchers and foresters are fairly represented, make recommendations to the state committee on existing programs, monitor changes in farm programs, and inform farmers of the purpose and provisions of FSA programs. They also assist with outreach and inform under served producers such as beginning farmers, ranchers and foresters, about FSA opportunities.

For more information, contact the Osage County FSA office at 785-828-4631.

Osage County Jail Log, Dec. 17 – Dec. 22, 2018

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

I-70 closed between Colby and WaKeeney

Kansas Department of Transportation has announced that Interstate 70 between Colby and WaKeeney was closed this morning, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, in both directions because of winter weather conditions. Several other highways in western Kansas are also closed.

For up-to-date information on road closures and road conditions, check travel information at, or call 511 in Kansas or 866-511-5368 outside Kansas.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

All of us at Osage County News wish you a Merry Christmas and happy and healthy New Year! May you spend the holidays filled with the spirit of the season, and share goodwill with all those in your life.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Cards express season’s sentiments

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Has the mailman come yet?

That’s a common question around most ranch homes year around. Depending on weather, time of year, flat tires, unforeseeable conditions, it’s not always the same time.

Exclamation of question becomes more emphatic during this season. When the answer is “Yes,” there’s a dash outside regardless of temperature to see if there are any Christmas cards.

Earlier in the month a couple of times returnee’s lower lip drooped. Just a newspaper and another statement were in hand.

Fortunately, it’s picked up from a card or two, maybe a half dozen in recent days. Excitement continues to mount seeing where the envelopes are from and deciding which to open first.

“Don’t rip ’em, be careful, use the letter opener,” scowling orders more than once.

Those from afar with personal addresses get preference of the computerized even sometimes commercialized cards.

A store bought card with just a signature gets a quick once over. When the card is a photograph of the sender, even their family, makes it certainly special. Homemade cards are almost nonexistent nowadays.

The cards with a letter are always read carefully, usually then again. Many are duplicated the same to all on their list, yet informative catchup of the year gone by.

There are still a few with handwritten notes. Maybe just a sentence or two, but sometimes newsy paragraphs. That dairymaid across the section goes all out with several pages of handwriting happenings.

Financial program helps participants build $1,000 in emergency savings

Osage County ECKAN is offering a program that provides financial coaching and a two-to-one matching grant that establishes $1,000 in emergency savings for each participant.

Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust approved a grant to East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation for the program offered to area residents with household income below 125 percent of the federal poverty level. To sign up, participants must provide one year proof of income showing their household meets the income guidelines, present their own budget that shows monthly expenses, expected upcoming expenses, and emergency savings, and provide proof of an account opened at a bank specified by ECKAN.

Once in the program, participants set a goal of reaching $333 emergency savings within six months. At monthly meetings with an ECKAN representative, participants will provide proof of their monthly deposit of $55.50, and receive $20 in local gift certificates.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, Dec. 10 – Dec. 14, 2018

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Dec. 10 through Dec. 14, 2018.

Donald ‘Don’ Sloop, 88, Lyndon: Jan. 28, 1930 – Dec. 18, 2018

LYNDON, Kan. – Donald “Don” Sloop, 88, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, at Midland Hospice House, Topeka, Kan. He was born on Jan. 28, 1930, in rural Lyndon, Kan., the son of Lyle and Berneita Fanning Sloop.

Don had lived all of his life in and around the Lyndon community. He graduated from Lyndon High School in 1949.

Don was a farmer and stockman, and owned and operated Sloop Sales and Service near Lyndon for 30 years. Don served in the United States Army. He was a member of the Lyndon United Methodist Church, the Future Farmers of America, and the National Farmers Organization. He served on the Olivet and Valley Brook township boards and the rural water board, and was a Vermeer Master Dealer in 2002.

Janice Wright, 86, Osage City: Nov. 23, 1932 – Dec. 15, 2018

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Janice Wright, 86, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at Diversacare Healthcare, Council Grove, Kan. She was born on Nov. 23, 1932, in Osage City, Kan., the daughter of John and Eva Ricca Martin,

Janice had lived all of her life in Osage City, where she graduated from Osage City High School. She had worked at the supply depot at Forbes Field. She also helped take care of many children over the years. She was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church, the Altar Society and was a Girl Scout leader for several years.

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