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New Strawn woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for second degree murder, neglect

BURLINGTON, Kan. – A New Strawn, Kan., woman was sentenced today to more than 10 years in prison after a Coffey County jury found her guilty of second degree murder and a related charge in connection with her husband’s death from neglect, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office is reporting.

In a press release today, the attorney general reported Carol Sue Burris, 69, of New Strawn, was found guilty in April of one count of reckless second degree murder and one count of mistreatment of a dependent adult. The charges stemmed from the mistreatment and death of her husband, Michael D. Burris, from April 2016 to October 2017.

Chief Judge Taylor J. Wine presided over the trial and today, Aug. 1, 2019, sentenced Burris to 117 months for second degree murder and 8 months for mistreatment of a dependent adult. The sentences are to be served consecutively in the Kansas Department of Corrections for a total of 125 months.

Deputy Attorney General Steve Karrer, of the Attorney General’s Office, and Coffey County Attorney Wade H. Bowie II prosecuted the case. The case was investigated by the Coffey County Sheriff’s Department.

Area swimmers keep busy with summer meets

On Saturday, June 29, 2019, at Hummer Sports Complex in Topeka, Kan., the annual Sunflower State Swimming Games were held. Swimmers from all over the state came to compete in different strokes and distances. Two local swimmers, Martir Ramos and Austin Vest, both members of the Lyndon Swim Team, were competitors at these games and came out successful. Martir placed first in the 200 Individual Medley, third in the 50 Breaststroke, and fourth in the 100 Breaststroke. Austin placed third in the 50 Backstroke and fifth in the 100 Breaststroke. Both boys will finish their summer strong swimming for the Lyndon swim team.


Lyndon hosts annual meet

At the beginning of every summer, swimmers from around Osage and Coffey counties begin practicing and preparing for a summer full of swimming and competing. These area teams, consisting of members from Overbrook, Osage City, Lyndon, Lebo, and Burlington, gather together every Saturday to compete in 80 different events challenging the swimmers in their different strokes and distances.

On July 6, at the Lyndon City Pool, hundreds of swimmers and spectators gathered there to enjoy a morning full of competition.

Lyndon recreation workers who made the Lyndon swim meet possible included, front from left, Cheyanne Kline, Abby Criqui, Aubrey Beyer, and Dalton Fitch, back, Josey Weimer, Mackenzie Hull, Stephen Steggs, Brooke Addleman, Shyann Huffmier, Nicole Baker, and Kyle Baker.

Photos and information thanks to Lisa Reeser.

Texas woman dies in I-35 crash in Osage County early Monday

BETO JUNCTION, Kan. – A Texas woman was killed in a single car accident early Monday morning near Beto Junction on northbound Interstate 35. That accident was followed a few hours later by a semi-truck hitting a Kansas Department of Transportation warning vehicle about a mile away.

A report by the Kansas Highway Patrol said that Patricia M. Falconer, 52, of Canyon Lake, Texas, died in the accident that occurred around 5:30 a.m. Monday, July 15, 2019, about 2.5 miles from the I-35 and U.S. Highway 75 interchange, in Osage County, Kan., known locally as Beto Junction.

The report said Falconer was driving a 1999 Ford Explorer northbound on I-35 near mile marker 158, with a passenger, Jeffrey Tyler Cadman, 27, Canyon Lake, Texas. For an unknown reason, the vehicle left the roadway and entered the center grassy median. The vehicle turned back onto the roadway and crossed both lanes of northbound travel, entering the south ditch. The driver over-corrected and the Explorer rolled several times, coming to rest facing northwest on its wheels in the south ditch of the northbound lanes.

Cadman was listed as having suspected serious injuries and was transported to Overland Park Regional Hospital, Overland Park, Kan. Both Falconer and Cadman were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

About two hours after the fatality accident, at 7:55 a.m., a Kansas Department of Transportation vehicle was involved in a collision with a semi-truck in the vicinity of the earlier crash. A KHP report on that accident said the KDOT truck with a sign board trailer was legally parked on I-35 in the northbound lane about 1.5 miles east of the I-35 and U.S.75 interchange, when a northbound 2019 International truck, driven by Morris J. Guesby, 55, Lawrence, Kan., struck the stopped KDOT truck, a 2009 Sterling.

The driver of the KDOT truck, Christopher A. Staley, 48, Williamsburg, Kan., was transported to Coffey County Hospital, Burlington, Kan., with suspected minor injuries. Guesby was reported as possibly injured and complained of pain, but he was not transported to a hospital. Both drivers were wearing proper safety restraints at the time of the accident.

Eric Eugene Johnson, 61, Lebo: Feb. 15, 1958 – May 30, 2019

LEBO, Kan. – Eric Eugene Johnson, 61, Lebo, Kan., died at his home on May 30, 2019.

Eric was born on Feb. 15, 1958, at Ottawa, Kan., to Leon Johnson and Sharon Lee (Gragg) Johnson.

Eric graduated from Melvern High School, Melvern, Kan., in 1976. He spent most of his life as a construction welder and mechanical maintenance technician, both here and abroad.

NWS issues flash flood warning for east central Kansas

The National Weather Service, Topeka, Kan., has issued a flash flood warning for Osage County, northern Franklin County, southern Douglas County, northwestern Coffey County, and central Lyon County until 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, 2019.

At 4:07 p.m. today, Osage County Emergency Management reported state Highway 31 was closed west of the roundabout at U.S. Highway 75 due to water over the road.

Thunderstorms with heavy rain have already produced to three inches of rain and another round of heavy rainfall is expected through the early evening. Flash flooding is expected to begin shortly.

The flood warning includes Emporia, Ottawa, Baldwin City, Osage City, Eudora, Wellsville, Overbrook, Lyndon, Centropolis, Lebo, Americus, Pomona, Olpe, Quenemo, Melvern, Lone Star, Neosho Rapids, Reading, Olivet and Pleasant Grove.

Additional rainfall amounts of one to two inches are possible in the warned area. The warning area includes Interstate 35 between mile markers 128 and 198, and the Kansas Turnpike between mile markers 117 and 144.

Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Osage County Jail Log, April 15 – April 20, 2019

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

Snowstorm shuts down meals on wheels, local meal sites Wednesday

SNOW-SHOVELING-11Due to the weather, the ECKAAA Nutrition Program kitchen will be closed Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. All nutrition sites in Osage County at Burlingame, Carbondale and Osage City will be closed and meal delivery is cancelled for the day.

The closures also affects sites in Lane, Ottawa, Pomona, Lane, Richmond, Sunflower Plaza, Wellsville and Williamsburg, in Franklin County; Colony, Garnett and Kincaid, in Anderson County;  Burlington, Lebo and Waverly, in Coffey County; Louisburg, Osawatomie, and Paola, in Miami County; and Blue Mound, Centerville, Mound City, Parker and Pleasanton, in Linn County.

Postponing an event, cancelling services for the day? Email [email protected], or post your cancellation in the comment section below where everybody in Osage County can see it.  Keep warm and safe, Osage County.

Remember to check the County Calendar for up to date event listings.

Weather cancellation: Meal delivery, nutrition sites closed Wednesday due to cold

Due to the weather the East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging nutrition program kitchen will be closed Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, which also closes all the nutrition sites. Nutrition sites will not be open today at Burlingame, Carbondale, and Osage City and meal delivery is cancelled in Osage County. Also closed will be  sites at Lane, Ottawa, Pomona, Richmond, Sunflower Plaza, Wellsville and Williamsburg, in Franklin County; Colony, Garnett and Kincaid in Anderson County;  Burlington, Lebo and Waverly in Coffey County; Louisburg, Osawatomie, and Paola in Miami County; and Blue Mound, Centerville, Mound City, Parker and Pleasanton in Linn County. For more information, contact ECKAAA at 785-242-7200 or 1-800-633-5621.

Osage County News will share weather cancellations, postponements and closures. Report your weather closure to [email protected].

NWS issues dense fog advisory for Tuesday night through Wednesday morning

The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a dense fog advisory for eastern central Kansas, in effect from midnight tonight to 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan.16, 2019. Widespread fog producing visibility of one-quarter mile or less is forecast to develop tonight and persist into Wednesday morning.

The advisory area includes Morris, Lyon, Osage, Franklin, Coffey, Anderson counties and the cities of Council Grove, Emporia, Osage City, Carbondale, Lyndon, Burlingame, Overbrook, Ottawa, Burlington, Lebo, and Garnett.

Poor visibility will create hazardous driving conditions. With temperatures falling below 32 degrees, slick surfaces may also exist, especially on area bridges and overpasses. This will also have the potential to result in hazardous travel conditions.

A dense fog advisory means visibilities will frequently be reduced to less than one quarter mile. If driving, slow down, use your headlights, and leave plenty of distance ahead of you.

Winter weather moves in for weekend

National Weather Service in Topeka has issued an urgent winter weather message warning of a winter weather advisory that remains in effect from 6 p.m. this evening Jan. 11, 2019, to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.

Snow with accumulations of 2 to 6 inches are expected to begin this evening across east central, north central and northeast Kansas.

The advisory covers Republic, Washington, Marshall, Nemaha, Brown, Cloud, Clay, Riley,  Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Ottawa, Dickinson, Geary, Morris, Wabaunsee, Shawnee, Douglas, Lyon, Osage, Franklin, Coffey and Anderson counties.

A winter weather advisory means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties.  Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. The latest road conditions for the state can be obtained by calling 511.

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.

Carrol (Ramsey) Niles Henderson, 92, Lyndon: June 12, 1926 – Nov. 5, 2018

LYNDON, Kan. – Carrol (Ramsey) Niles Henderson, 92, passed away on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, at Via Christi Hospital, Wichita, Kan. She was born on June 12, 1926, in Ft. Scott, Kan., the daughter of Dr. Arch and Nellie (Kelly) Ramsey.

Carrol grew up in Uniontown, Kan., and had lived near Lyndon, Kan., from 1950 to 2015, when she moved to Wichita.

Carrol attended Ft. Scott Junior College and then transferred to Kansas State University where she earned a BS in General Home Economics in 1948.

Carrol worked as an Extension home agent for Leavenworth County, and in 1950 was the first Extension home economist for Coffey County. She was the first female school board member for Lyndon Schools in the early 1960s. In 1974, she received her MS in Institutional Management from K-State. She served on the Kansas Dietetic Associations Committee for licensure of dieticians in 1988, became the first licensed dietitian in the state of Kansas in 1991, and was the Distinguished Kansas Dietitian. As a dietitian, Carrol planned meals for several nursing homes over the years, the first of which were in Lyndon and Overbrook.

Old World Bluestem: What is it? Why be concerned?

Osage and Coffey County conservation districts with local Kansas State Research and Extension units have teamed up to inform the public about the hazards of old world bluestem. A public meeting on the topic will be held 10:30 a.m.-noon, Oct. 8, 2018, at a pasture site in southern Osage County.

Producers will have an opportunity to identify old world bluestem, see areas where old world bluestem was controlled by recommended herbicides, ask questions to specialists about the recovery of the native grass species or the need to reseed. A free hotdog and chip lunch will be available.

Two local producers will discuss their control applications. Walt Fick, KSU range management specialist, will talk about the origin of old world bluestem, why we should be concerned, help with plant identification, and outline control options. Scott Marsh, of Kansas Department of Agriculture Plant Protection and Weed Control, will give the state’s current view of old world bluestem as a possible noxious weed. Robert Harkrader, with Quail Unlimited, will discuss how it negatively affects the quail population.

While these grasses are called bluestem they are not closely related to big bluestem or little bluestem. Old world bluestems are a group of introduced grasses from southeast Soviet Union, Turkey and surrounding areas. The old world bluestems are survivors of centuries of overgrazing. They are drought tolerant, aggressive, prolific seed producers, and are unpalatable compared to our native species. When pastures are overgrazed or stressed by drought, the old world bluestem invade into our native range and reduce the productivity of our pastures. Once old world bluestem invades a pasture the control currently used is herbicide.

Emporia Community Foundation opens grant application period, deadline Oct. 1

The Emporia Community Foundation is now accepting grant applications for the 2019 grant cycle. The ECF grants committee makes grants for innovative projects and programs that are responsive to changing community needs in the areas of health, social service, education, recreation, and cultural affairs.

The 2019 grant period will begin with applications being accepted during the month of September. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. Recipients will be announced in December and disbursements will be made in January 2019.

Gwen Spencer, 79, Melvern: Feb. 27, 1939 – Sept. 1, 2018

MELVERN, Kan. – Gwen Spencer, 79, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, at Coffey County Hospital, Burlington, Kan. She was born on Feb. 27, 1939, in Bethesda, Md., the daughter of Harold and Carolyn Crum Duvall.

Gwen had lived near Melvern, Kan., since 1972, having lived in the Stull, Kan., area before that. Gwen was a homemaker, had worked for the H.G. Lee Co., Ottawa, Kan., for several years, worked at Casey’s General Store, Lyndon, Kan., for 19 years, and always helped on the family farm. She was a member of the Section Church of Christ, Osage City, Kan., and the EHU at Stull.

Boil water advisory rescinded for Melvern

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rescinded a boil water advisory today, Aug. 24, 2018, for the city of Melvern, in Osage County.

Laboratory testing samples collected from the city of Melvern indicate no evidence of contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

The advisory was issued Aug. 20 because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

The order was lifted yesterday for the cities of Lyndon and Quenemo in Osage County, along with Osage County Rural Water District No. 4, Anderson County RWD No. 4, Coffey County RWD No. 3, Melvern Lake Arrow Rock Campground, and the cities of Lebo, Waverly, Williamsburg and Pomona.

Jones Trust grants ECKAN funds for local assistance programs

The trustee for the Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust has presented a grant to the East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN) in the amount of $170,000 for the Stepping Stones to Success case management program in Osage, Lyon and Coffey counties, and the agency’s Head Start program.

The funds, awarded on June 25, 2018, will provide new CPR mannequins and new hearing and vision screening equipment for the Head Start program. Funds will also be used by ECKAN to support the Stepping Stones to Success case management program with individual client goals and a pilot cash match savings plan.

“ECKAN is appreciative of this award and would like to thank U.S. Trust and the Jones family for their continued support of community initiatives,” said Crystal Anderson, ECKAN assistant CEO.

Area boil water advisory rescinded except for city of Melvern

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rescinded a boil water advisory today, Aug. 23, 2018, for 10 of the purchasing systems of Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 12. The advisory was issued Monday because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

The order has been lifted for the cities of Lyndon and Quenemo in Osage County, along with Osage County Rural Water District No. 4, Anderson County RWD No. 4, Coffey County RWD No. 3, Melvern Lake Arrow Rock Campground, and the cities of Lebo, Waverly, Williamsburg and Pomona.

The boil water advisory remains in effect for the city of Melvern, in Osage County, because of a positive bacteriological sample. Additional sampling must be conducted.

Laboratory testing samples collected from Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 12 and the purchasing systems listed above indicate no evidence of contamination, and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved. 

KDHE issues boil water advisory for Lyndon, Melvern, Quenemo after line breaks

12 area water systems under advisory

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a boil water advisory today for 12 water systems in northeast Kansas, including the Osage County communities of Lyndon, Quenemo and Melvern. The water systems obtain water from Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 12, which was put under the advisory because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system.

The water systems affected include those of the city of Lebo, city of Quenemo, Coffey County Rural Water District No. 3, city of Lyndon, city of Waverly, Osage Co. RWD No. 4, city of Melvern, city of Williamsburg, Osage Co. RWD No. 6, city of Pomona, Anderson Co. RWD No. 4, and Melvern Lake Arrow Rock campground.

Customers should observe the following precautions until further notice:

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.

Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians. If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

The advisory took effect Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, and will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved.

Osage County Jail Log, Aug. 6 – Aug. 12, 2018

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

Osage County sizzles in drought with scant rainfall, high temperatures

With Osage County and portions of Kansas under a state-issued drought emergency declaration, the federal government has authorized emergency grazing of some of the state’s Conservation Reserve Program acres. The governor had earlier authorized use of state lakes for water sources for counties designated in a drought emergency.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency announced today additional authorization of Conservation Reserve Program acres for emergency grazing for 44 counties in Kansas, including Osage County.

Earlier in the month, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer issued a drought declaration for the state, which included all 105 counties in drought emergency, warning or watch status; 50 counties are in emergency status.

The declaration allows individuals and communities in counties in emergency stage to be eligible for use of water from certain state fishing lakes and some federal reservoirs. Anyone needing water from the designated lakes must contact Kansas Water Office for a water supply request prior to any withdrawals.

Likewise, eligible producers interested in emergency grazing of CRP must request approval through their local FSA before grazing eligible acreage, and obtain a modified conservation plan from the NRCS that includes grazing provisions.

The governor’s declaration is in effect until rescinded by executive order; emergency grazing of CRP is authorized through Sept. 30, 2018.

Officials cited livestock water shortages, low flows at some reservoirs, and outlook of persistent drought as reasons for the statewide drought declaration. Some areas of Kansas are behind more than 15 inches in moisture for the year, and outlooks indicate continuing above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation.

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