National Drug Take-Back Day: Safely dispose of old or unneeded medications

Sheriff’s office to collect unused drugs Saturday LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office is joining other law enforcement officials across the state in collecting unused leftover medications for safe disposal More »


Help someone be warm this winter: Coat giveaway underway

Winter coats, hats and gloves are ready for those who need them at Help House, but more cold weather clothes are needed for the annual giveaway. By Raylene Quaney Help House’s third annual More »


Hidden History: The quack of Quenemo

By Wendi Bevitt At the turn of the 20th century, Quenemo was on the rise. The Missouri Pacific and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads were constructed through town not long before, More »


Kids win ride to school in fire truck for fire prevention posters

Winners in Osage County Fire District No. 2’s fire prevention poster contest gathered at Osage County Fire District No. 2 fire station Tuesday to display their posters and get ready for a ride More »

KDHE: Update on norovirus illnesses investigation

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to investigate an outbreak of norovirus infection in which more than 600 individuals have became ill after attending the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kan.

KDHE, JCDHE, KDA and the city of Overland Park went to the New Theatre Restaurant on Friday, Jan. 29, to educate staff about norovirus, oversee cleanup, and observe food safety practices. Following the visit, the New Theatre Restaurant contracted with a private firm that cleaned the entire facility with an EPA-registered disinfectant, which kills norovirus and is safe for food establishments.

So far during KDHE’s investigation, more than 600 individuals have reported illness. A majority of these reports were from people who attended the New Theatre Restaurant between Friday, Jan. 15, and Tuesday, Jan. 19. KDHE has not received any reports of people becoming ill who attended New Theatre after Wednesday, Jan. 27.

Filings in Osage County Courthouse Jan. 25 – Jan. 29, 2016

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse Jan. 25 through Jan. 29, 2016.

Osage County Jail Log, Jan. 24 – Jan. 30, 2016

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

Robert Leroy Hughes, 90, Simi Valley, Calif.: Feb. 27, 1925 – Jan. 10, 2016

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Robert Leroy Hughes, 90, passed away on Jan. 10, 2016, in Simi Valley, Calif. He was born on Feb. 27, 1925, the son of Leroy Griffin Hughes and Una Lamond Hughes.

As a teenager, Robert witnessed the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, where his father was stationed in the Navy. He then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II in the Pacific Theater.

Robert’s working career was spent largely with Lockheed aircraft in the aerospace industry. He applied his art degree from the University of Kansas doing technical illustration, and parlayed that skill into becoming a spare parts specialist traveling the globe. He spent five years with his family working in Germany, two years in Saudi Arabia, and seven months in Singapore.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Physical height really unimportant

buchmanhead“Tall in the saddle.”

An accurate family description came to mind during an athletic competition where our 6-foot-4, eighth-grade grandson was one of the tallest there.

It comes naturally as his dad’s taller, and his mom, grandparents and other relatives are all above average height. The teenage cowboy will likely extend considerably more, too, based on statistical growth curves.

Likewise, reflections came of his aunt being identified “Short in the saddle,” in a newspaper photo caption when she rode her Shetland Trigger in the lead pony class before being a year old. She’s grown lots since then as well.

Not affecting height of hat above saddle seat, tall cowboys generally like to ride tall horses so they don’t appear too big for their mounts. However, it doesn’t take a tall horse to work well for a cowboy tall in the saddle.

Those 16-hand horses might look better to others, but 6-foot-plus cowboys on 14-hand, or smaller, horses are sometimes the ones who get more done, whether with a rope, on the speedway, and especially dodging a renegade cow.

Water safety is a year round concern


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Public safety is the number-one priority of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is urging anyone planning to be on or around water to practice boating and water safety throughout the year.

Life jackets save lives and should be worn at all times by anyone in a boat, including those waterfowl hunting or fishing. Statistics show that nearly 90 percent of those who drown were not wearing a life jacket and nearly two-thirds didn’t plan to be in the water.

If you plan on being outdoors near or on the water dress appropriately for the water temperature not the air temperature, because you could find yourself capsized or thrown from a boat. You could be in cold water and unable to swim because in a short amount of time your muscles will get cold and you will lose the ability to rescue yourself. Many suspected drowning victims actually die from cold water immersion instead of hypothermia. Hypothermia is still something that you should be aware of. It is a condition in which the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Violent shivering develops which may give way to confusion and a loss of body movement.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Operations Center for Water Safety advises that the danger to individuals immersed in cold water increases as water temperature decreases below normal body temperature (98.6 degrees F). Cold-water immersion follows four stages: cold shock, swimming failure, hypothermia, and post-rescue collapse. Most cold-water drownings are attributed to the first two stages.

Filings in Osage County Courthouse Jan. 18 – Jan. 22, 2016

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse Jan. 18 through Jan. 22, 2016.

OCPR Update: Little ninjas to begin Tae Kwon Do classes

Osage City Parks and Recreation will be finishing up softball hitting clinics in February, but little ninjas and other students are ready to start Tae Kwon Do classes.

Late season hunting helps beat the winter blues


PRATT – Weather, work, family commitments, and just sheer luck can have a lot to do with how much time you spend hunting during the season. If you’re looking to end your hunting seasons on a high note, or just want to see your dog work one more time before stowing away your gear, consider participating in a late-season hunt.

Kansas has several hunting seasons to keep you in the field, including goose hunting opportunities to keep your dog at work through early spring.

Depending on weather and snow cover, numbers of geese can steadily build in late January and early February around Kansas reservoirs and wetlands. The Canada and light goose seasons are open now and close Feb. 14, 2016, and the white-fronted goose season final segment is Jan. 23-Feb. 14, 2016.

When Feb. 15 hits, try your luck at hunting snow and Ross’ geese. During the Light Goose Conservation Order, Feb. 15-April 30, 2016, hunters are allowed to take an unlimited number of these birds in an effort to reduce populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established this special season to boost the harvest of light geese, a population that has increased more than 300 percent since the mid-1970s. These historic numbers of geese have denuded portions of their fragile tundra breeding habitat in the arctic, which may take decades to recover. This impacts other bird species that nest there, including semi-palmated sandpipers and red-necked phalaropes.

Larry Dean Privat, 74, Topeka: March 12, 1941 – Jan. 26, 2016

TOPEKA – Larry Dean Privat, 74, of Topeka, Kan., passed away Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, at his residence in Topeka.

Larry was born March 12, 1941, in Emporia, Kan., the son of Glen and Erma (St. Clair) Privat. He attended Barclay and Osage City public schools and Clark Business School, and after a two-year stint in the United States Army, went to school at Washburn University.

He lived his entire adult life in Topeka. Larry had worked primarily at the Topeka State Hospital as bookkeeper and office assistant.

Robert Dean Vowell, 72, Topeka: Nov. 4, 1943 – Jan. 26, 2016

012916-Robert-vowellTOPEKA – Robert “Bob” Dean Vowell, 72, passed away on Jan. 26, 2016, in Topeka, Kan. He was born Nov. 4, 1943, to Lonnie and Gladys Miller Vowell.

Bob is survived by his daughter, Thea “Bobette” Butler, Topeka; brother, Ronald Vowell, Carbondale; three grandchildren, Kelby Robinson, Topeka, Kelsey Robinson, Topeka, and Logan Ramsey-McDaniel, Lawrence; and three great-grandchildren, Rhylin, Sebastian and Lukas.

Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, at the Carbondale Cemetery, Carbondale, Kan.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made in memory of “Bob” to the Robert Vowell Memorial Fund, sent in care of Feltner Funeral Home, 818 Topeka Ave., Lyndon, KS 66451. Online condolences may be left at feltnerfuneralhome.com.

Finch: Concerned about countywide school district proposal

By State Rep. Blaine Finch, 59th District, Franklin and Osage Counties

Greetings from the Kansas Statehouse. I write to you from the beginning of the second year of our two-year session. This means many of the bills from last year are still alive and capable of being acted on with little notice. In addition, many new bills have already been offered this year. Here is a rundown of a few of them that may be of interest.

HB 2504. I have heard from many of you about this bill which would essentially create one countywide school district for many of Kansas’ 105 counties. I remain concerned about how this theory would work in practice – with four or more school boards running one school district, which one would have oversight of staff and which one would control the purse strings? There are a lot of unanswered questions with this bill and the potential for many negative outcomes for our communities. The bill is currently in the House Education Committee.

SB 316. This bill would move up a property tax lid on city and county governments, which is not set to take effect until 2018. Local elected officials across the state oppose the bill saying the people elect their city and county commissioners to make those decisions. They also say the bill’s provisions that require a local election every time local revenues exceed inflation are not workable with current election and budget laws. Proponents of the bill say they want the public to vote in any year in which property tax exceeds inflation. I tend to believe that government closest to the people is best equipped to make these decisions and whatever we do should work with existing laws, not make costly conflicts. I will be watching this bill closely to see if some common ground emerges. This bill is currently in the Senate Tax Committee.

The Garden Patch: No space for a garden? Try containers

052514-garden-excericiseWell, we talk a lot about gardens in this spot in this publication – that’s what we’re supposed to do. But – what if you don’t have the space for a typical garden? Well, then, let’s talk about container gardening. Anyone can do that – you don’t need a lot of space – just the desire and motivation! And, once started, it’s far less work than a big garden! Here we go …

Container gardening is simply growing plants in anything but the ground. It is the easiest kind of gardening because it can be done anywhere at any time of year! Fresh veggies for Christmas? Who you tryin’ to kid? And, you can grow plants in almost any container that will hold soil. Some examples include:

  • Clay – the inexpensive reddish-brown pots made of terracotta that you see in every garden center.
  • Ceramic or glass – fancier containers purchased for their beauty.
  • Concrete – heavy-duty planters that are often large and difficult to move.
  • Plastic – low cost alternative to ceramic or glass containers.
  • Wood – old barrels and livestock water troughs that add a casual look to a garden.
  • Synthetic – relatively new to the garden market, containers that look like heavy terracotta or concrete but are in fact made of heavy duty foam and are very lightweight.

Other fun containers include old leather work boots, old bath and wash tubs, old wooden boxes or dresser drawers, and recycled plastics such as 2-liter drink bottles or gallon milk jugs.

Chamber Chat: Christmas arrives late for area charities as Chamber presents New Year’s gifts

The final tally of Christmas on Market fundraising allowed the Osage City Chamber of Commerce to donate $966.15 each to the Osage City Warmth Fund, East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN) and Ecumenical Christian Action Team (ECAT). Checks were presented to the organizations’ representatives at the Jan. 19, 2016, Chamber meeting.

KDHE investigating norovirus illnesses in Overland Park

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to investigate an outbreak of norovirus infection among individuals who became ill after attending the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kan. on Sunday, Jan. 17.

KDHE is conducting interviews of individuals who attended one of the two performances on that day and so far found more than 100 individuals who reported illness. KDHE has not had any reports of illness from individuals attending the theater on any other day. Four people who became ill have laboratory specimens that confirmed norovirus. The New Theatre Restaurant has been fully cooperating with this investigation.

Norovirus is a very contagious virus. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain. A person develops symptoms 12 to 48 hours after being exposed and most people get better within one to three days. The best way to prevent norovirus is proper handwashing.

KDHE is still investigating the source of this norovirus outbreak. To determine the extent and cause of the outbreak, KDHE is conducting a secure, confidential online survey among those who attended either performance at the New Theatre Restaurant on Sunday, Jan. 17, including those who became ill and those who did not become ill. The online survey is available at http://tinyurl.com/newtheatre2016. Personal information provided to KDHE will be held confidential, and is protected by state law. People who have already participated in a telephone interview do not need to complete an online survey.

Food for Thought: Creative thinkers should think again about reusing plastic containers

Nancy Schuster
Frontier Extension District Agent


Recycle, don’t reuse.

I am constantly amazed at American ingenuity! Recently while I was preparing to give a Boy Scout Webelos nutrition program for our local troop, the discussion of cooking eggs in plastic bags came up.

Using a plastic bag to cook eggs and assorted vegetables in boiling water really sounds like a great plan. However consumers, be aware that not all bags are created equal. Very popular national brand zip lock plastic bags available at grocery stores and discount stores are not designed or approved to withstand the extreme heat of boiling. The company’s consumer service states “our plastic bags are not designed or approved to withstand the extreme heat of boiling; therefore, using our bags to make any recipe that requires the bag to be boiled is not recommended.” The spokesperson continued, “Our plastic bags can be used with confidence when label directions are followed. All our containers and microwaveable bags meet the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for temperatures associated with defrosting and reheating food in microwave ovens, as well as room, refrigerator, and freezer temperatures.”

Family working together with cautious optimism moves Melvern farm forward


Despite being the harsh heart of winter, spring days are not far off, according to Raylen Phelon, who says his family has always had a key role in the success of Phelon Farms, near Melvern. Here, Phelon fills his efficient White planter in anticipation of another bountiful crop.

“I’ve been farming forever; that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

It’s in the genes certainly, as he’s followed family into the agriculture profession. His wife, her family and their children are an intimate part of operations. Now, best of all, likely, their son’s a full-time farmer, partnering to keep Phelon Farms progressing further.

“I planted my first full row of soybeans with my sister when I was just 4 years old, and I’ve been farming ever since,” said Raylen Phelon, at Melvern.

“I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a farmer, and especially pleased our son can and wants to also continue on the family farm,” insisted Phelon, likely best recognized across the Midwest for his service to the soybean industry.

“I rented ground and really started developing my own farming operation when I was in high school, and have continued to expand. It’s sure not always been easy, and not as fast as we’d have liked sometimes,” continued Phelon, who serves as president of the Kansas Soybean Association.

Osage County District Court traffic cases Jan. 15 – Jan. 22, 2016

The following traffic cases were completed in Osage County District Court Jan. 15, 2016 to Jan. 22, 2016, with disposition, fines and costs as listed.

Osage County District Court criminal cases Jan. 15 – Jan. 22, 2016

The following criminal cases were completed in Osage County District Court Jan. 15 to Jan. 22, 2016, with disposition, fines and costs as listed.

Osage County Jail Log, Jan. 19 – Jan. 22, 2016

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

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | news@osagecountyonline.com | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas