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Osage County crowns 4-H king and queen at Overbrook fair

Back row, from left, 2014 4-H King Cody Atchison, 2015 4-H Queen Candidate Ralyn Patrick, 2015 4-H King Raymond Hovestadt, 2015 4-H Queen Tracy Wilk,  and 2014 4-H Queen Morgan Woodbury; front, More »

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U.S. 75 resurfacing project to begin in Osage and Shawnee counties

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, weather permitting, a 15.94-mile resurfacing project will begin on a 9.53-mile stretch of the two-lane portion of northbound and southbound U.S. Highway 75 from the K-31/K-268 roundabout junction north to the More »

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Best of Osage County exhibited at 2015 Overbrook fair

Spectators and exhibitors observe judging during the rabbit show at the 2015 Overbrook Osage County Fair. Photo thanks to Frontier Extension District. The results of exhibition at the Overbrook Osage County Fair More »

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Eat Well to Be Well: A prescription for prediabetes – be proactive

We’ve all heard of type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but what about prediabetes? The prevalence of prediabetes is a major problem in this country. It’s estimated 79 million Americans have it, More »

Paul ‘Bud’ Smoot, 71, Lyndon: Feb. 9, 2015

LYNDON – Paul “Bud” Smoot, 71, passed away on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, at Brookside Retirement Community. Memorial services are planned for Saturday, Feb. 21, and will be announced by Feltner Funeral Home.

Memorial gift to historical society presented in honor of former Burlingame area family

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Dale Dickson

The Burlingame Historical Preservation Society has announced it is the recipient of a $25,000 memorial gift, given in honor of William, Jane and Dale Dickson, former residents of the Burlingame area. The gift was given by Dale’s wife, Margie Dickson.

The Dickson family has a long history in the Burlingame and Auburn area, with William Howard Dickson being born Feb. 29, 1872, west of Auburn, and his wife, Jane Ellen Jones Dickson, born south of Auburn on Jan. 3, 1886. Her mother died during her birth. A neighbor lady, Mary Kelley, raised her for several years until her father remarried.

The Dickson family made their home on 19 acres three-fourths of a mile east of Burlingame on Highway 56. Jane Dickson inherited the property from her father, Hugh “Sailor” Jones.

William Dickson farmed using all horse-drawn equipment. He rented several farms nearby and was township road foreman. On Nov. 15, 1927, at age 55, he died in a dynamite explosion while working on a county road about halfway between Burlingame and Auburn.

Jane Dickson remained in Burlingame the rest of her life, raising her family alone.

Photographers age 19 and older invited to participate in contest

PRATT – Previously a youth-only contest, the annual Wild About Kansas photo contest, hosted by Kansas Wildlife & Parks magazine, now includes an adult category, opening the contest to photographers age 19 and older. Submissions are being accepted now through Oct. 23, 2015.

“Kansas is a state filled with a plethora of diverse and awe-inspiring natural resources and this contest is just one more way we can continue to appreciate and enjoy them,” said associate editor, Nadia Marji. “With the addition of an adult category for 2015, I’m confident we’re going to see Kansas from an array of unexpected and inspiring perspectives.”

Participants can submit photos in three categories: Wildlife, outdoor recreation or landscapes. There is no fee to enter, and the contest is open to both residents and nonresidents.

Why and how to burn? Attend range burning school to learn

Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District Agent

Burning of native grasses in our area goes back hundreds of years and is responsible for the development of the grassy Great Plains. A meeting to discuss the reasons to burn, how to plan and conduct a prescribed burn, and how to be safe while conducting a burn, will be held Feb. 25, 2015, at the Santa Fe Depot, 504 Market St., Osage City.

When I first came to Osage County some 25 years ago, a man came to my office and talked with me about a letter he had from the mid 1800s. The letter discussed a trip someone had made from the Burlingame area to Quenemo. It talked about a vast sea of native grass with no trees in sight. The native grasses were so high that he had to kneel on his saddle to see over the grass. The trip ended near Quenemo, where they saw the only trees on the north bank of the Marais des Cygnes River.

Almost in love for ACT Ottawa’s Valentine’s presentation

AlmostMaine125Love is in the air for Valentine’s week as ACT Ottawa brings romantic comedy and date night dinner theater to Franklin County.

ACT Ottawa, Ottawa’s community theater, is staging John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine” in the Ottawa Municipal Auditorium, 301 S. Hickory St. Opening night is 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12. A second performance will be Friday, Feb. 13, at the same time. A special dinner theater performance by reservation only will be staged for Valentine’s Day at 7 p.m., with a catered dinner at 6 p.m. A daytime matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15. 

A Cowboy’s Faith: Caution can prevent disaster

buchmanhead“Don’t wreck it the first day.”

That was advice given josh, but 10 minutes down the highway, we were taking it seriously.

Again our main transportation gave out last week. We had it shy of two years, but there were more than a quarter-million miles on the odometer, so it wasn’t that unexpected when the transmission went caput.

Yet, it wasn’t completely incapacitated, so we could limp the remaining roaring jaunt home. Diagnosis at the repair shop was that the second nicest car we’ve ever owned, despite its maturity, could be fixed, but the bill would be high.

Long deliberation and calculating determined the car had served us well, especially considering the predicament we were in upon acquisition, and seniority when we wrote the first check, which has added significance.

N. Maxine Fanning, 92, Melvern: March 4, 1922 – Feb. 5, 2015

MELVERN – N. Maxine Fanning, 92, passed away Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, at the Midland Hospice House, in Topeka.

She was born March 4, 1922, the daughter of Edward Orton and Emma Armetta (Rutledge) Irey. She attended Fairview No. 45 country school near Halls Summit, through eighth grade, and then attended Waverly High School, graduating in 1940.

On June 9, 1940, Maxine was united in marriage to Junior Fanning, in Waverly. The couple farmed and raised cattle and hogs. In 1945, they purchased a farm east of Melvern; Maxine stayed on the farm until September 2001, when she moved into Melvern.

Anthem data breach may have affected some KanCare members

TOPEKA – On Feb. 5, 2015, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) was notified by Amerigroup that a cyber-attack of its parent company, Anthem, may have affected people enrolled in KanCare, Kansas’ Medicaid program.

KDHE is working collaboratively with Amerigroup to understand the impact of the cyber attack, and to ensure any affected KanCare members receive the required notification. Amerigroup’s parent company, Anthem, will provide credit monitoring services to anyone affected.

Flint Hills Nature Trail project to begin

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First phase includes a segment in western Franklin County

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has contracted with APAC-Kansas, Shears Division, to complete improvements along the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The first phase of construction (Phase I-A) will extend from Colorado Road to Iowa Terrace in Franklin County, with construction activities occurring entirely within the current Flint Hills Nature Trail right of way.

The $1,194,322 project will include clearing, gravel surfacing, bridge railing, and signing. The start date for construction is planned for Feb. 23, 2015, weather permitting.  

Temporary budget fix jeopardizes state road projects, KPERS solvency, public services

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

Greetings from the Kansas Statehouse. This week has seen a flurry of activity. No issue has been larger this week than what is known as the rescission bill.

Each year the legislature passes a budget for the next fiscal year. State fiscal years begin on July 1 and are named for the year in which they end. We are now more than half way through FY 2015, which will end on June 30 of this year. Because state revenues have continued to fall it became apparent in November of 2014 that the state would not have enough money to pay its bills in the latter half of FY 2015.

The temporary fix in that case is called a rescission bill. It is literally an amending of the 2015 budget to cut spending or transfer funds to make sure there is not a deficit. Rescission bills rarely raise taxes because tax revenues would not be collected in time to fix a budget shortfall.

Due to policies passed in 2012 the state cut income taxes and altogether stopped taxing money made by LLC’s or certain types of corporations. The theory was that these cuts would act as a stimulant to the economy. The money retained by taxpayers would be spent or used to create jobs and the economy would grow. That growth would mean more tax revenue for the state. As of this writing that has not happened.

Facts for Living: How healthy is your heart?

By Rebecca McFarland, Frontier Extension Agent

020515-HEART-21February is National Heart Health Awareness Month. When we think about heart health, we often think of diet and exercise. Stress is another factor that can negatively affect our heart health. We all have stress in our lives, and some stress is positive, but families experiencing high-conflict relationships may be exposed to unhealthy levels of stress. In addition to affecting heart health, unhealthy levels of stress can lead to chronic fatigue, depression, or over-use of substances such as alcohol or drugs.

Unhealthy fighting with one’s partner can affect both partners’ and children’s mental and physical health. It is important that couples avoid the negative (being defensive, sarcastic, withdrawing) while building positive skills. Long-term studies show that couples who practice effective communication and anger and conflict management strategies see many positive changes in their relationship.

Kansas Business Appreciation Month awards nominations now open

Nominations for the Kansas Department of Commerce’s 2015 Business Appreciation Month awards are now open. The awards recognize successful Kansas companies that create jobs, support their local communities and enhance the quality of life in Kansas.

Regional finalists are recognized in June during the Team Kansas awards banquet, with the top nominee receiving the Governor’s Award of Excellence, the highest award given to a business by the state.

New owners acquire Osage City assisted living facility

An Osage City assisted living facility is under new ownership, after the acquisition of its parent company was completed earlier this week. Vintage Park at Osage City LLC, a 31-unit senior living residence, is now officially a subsidiary of Genesis HealthCare.

Genesis, a provider of skilled nursing and rehabilitation care, announced on Feb. 3 it had completed the acquisition of Skilled Healthcare Group Inc., the former operator of Vintage Park. Skilled Healthcare Group also operates Hallmark Rehabilitation and Signature Home Health and Hospice.

Calling all Walk Kansas participants

Nancy Schuster, Frontier Extension Agent

020415-walkkansasBelieve it or not, spring is coming! The months of March, April, and May bring with them Walk Kansas, a fitness challenge from K-State Research & Extension. Walk Kansas is a fun way to take a serious step towards better health.  All Frontier Extension District offices will have team packets, sample T-shirts, and receive registration and team fees. The Garnett office will be responsible for managing the program and ordering T-shirts.

Now is the time to get your team together; 2613 Kansas teams participated in the 2014 Walk Kansas challenge. Walk Kansas is a fun team approach to fitness. Six friends, neighbors, co-workers, family members, and any other people combination form a team.  Choose a team name and a team captain. The captain or team member can stop by any Frontier District Extension office, pick up a captain’s packet, and see the sample T-shirts.

KDWPT offers online customer service training

Course emphasizes importance of helping customers enjoy their experience

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has launched a free online customer service training course called “Kansas at Your Service”. KAYS was developed to help the tourism industry train its employees to provide outstanding customer experiences. The training centers on the everyday customer interactions that can make or break an otherwise memorable experience and demonstrate that service, attitude, attention and sincerity make the difference.

Tourism is one the state’s largest industries in terms of jobs, impacting more than 90,000 Kansans directly and indirectly. It includes workers in hotels, restaurants, museums, performing arts centers, convention centers, retail stores, campgrounds, state parks, visitor attractions, wineries and many others. The success of tourism directly depends on first-class customer service so guests and visitors feel welcome and respected. KAYS training will equip employees with techniques and resources to better serve visitors so they will return time and time again – benefiting the business and the Kansas economy.  

Cabin fever bus trip planned to Topeka

We are going to take our chances with the weather, and commit to a cabin fever buster bus trip to Topeka on Saturday, Feb. 21. Our lunch destination is the Panera Bread Bakery and Café. They have wonderful soups, salads, and sandwiches, and of course, some really fine pastries.

Unless Mother Nature doesn’t allow us to put the bus on the road, we will leave from the Osage County Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. The recommended donation for this trip is $4 per person, and we are limited to the first 14 riders that sign up. This will be our first of many special trips in 2015 and are looking forward to getting folks out and about along with all our regular trips as scheduled.

Eleanor ‘Pick’ Long Hough 95, Topeka: Jan. 25, 1920 – Feb. 2, 2015

TOPEKA – Eleanor “Pick” Long Hough, 95, Topeka, passed away Feb. 2, 2015, at Topeka Presbyterian Manor. Pick was born Jan. 25, 1920, in Overbrook, Kan., to John and Lucina Maier Long.

She graduated from Overbook High School and Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia.

Pick married Donald D. Hough on Jan. 26, 1940, in Ottawa, Kan. He preceded her in death. She was a member of Overbrook United Methodist Church and the United States Marine Corps Auxiliary for Women.

Filings in Osage County Courthouse Jan. 26 – Jan. 30, 2015

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse Jan. 26 through Jan. 30, 2015.

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