Scranton parish celebrates 150 years of St. Patrick’s blessings and 100-year-old church

St. Patrick Church, at Scranton, Kan., has served its parish for 100 years. By Paul Schmidt St. Patrick Catholic Church, at Scranton, Kan., is celebrating its 100th anniversary as More »

Stained glass windows brighten Scranton church with rays of faith

By Paul Schmidt Stained glass windows donated by Mr. and Mrs. Michael Towle in 1941 still shine rays of light onto the congregation at St. Patrick Catholic Church, at More »

Hidden History: Congenial ghosts haunt Osage County socialites’ Halloween parties

“If a girl walks down the cellar stairs backwards peering into a mirror, she will see reflected therein the likeness of her future husband.” By Wendi Bevitt The year More »

Poster winners spread fire prevention messages

The 2017 Osage County Fire District No. 2 fire prevention poster winners were Angelica Ruiz-Pineda, Kaylee Theel, Grady Tincher, Kenzie Bellinger, Sophia Brabb, Jada Ruiz, Brynna Burd, Kalen Conner, More »

Osage County District Court traffic cases Oct. 21 to Nov. 4, 2016

The following traffic cases were completed in Osage County District Court Oct. 21, 2016, to Nov. 4, with disposition, fines and costs as listed.

Vera Knisley, 104, Melvern: Jan. 15, 1912 – Dec. 10, 2016

121216-vera-knisleyMELVERN, Kan. – Vera Knisley, 104, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, at Sunset Manor, Waverly, Kan. She was born on Jan. 15, 1912, on the family farm near New London, Iowa, the daughter of Frederick and Bettie Toft Miller.

Vera grew up around New London, where she graduated from New London High School in 1929. She moved to California for 4 years until she returned to the Burlington, Iowa, area in 1940. She had lived in and around the Topeka, Kan., community from 1957 to 2008 when she moved near Melvern, Kan.

Vera had been a homemaker and a dietary technician at the Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka. She was a member of the New London LT Club, the Rebekah Lodge of the Odd Fellows, and was a member of the United Methodist Church in New London, Topeka, and currently Melvern.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Value is most important

buchmanhead“Cost isn’t as important as how valuable it is.”

Yes, there are always limits on what can be paid. Problem’s one doesn’t always get what they’re expecting for the expenditure.

However, buying the lowest price doesn’t make a purchase wrong. Paying the highest amount definitely doesn’t always make something the best.

Going the middle road can be a good option. Generally, there are any numbers of opportunities in between.

Still, in reality, the decision often comes down to “What’s it worth to you?”

Our closest dealings have been with livestock purchases. But also when buying real estate, and personal property, most recently new vehicles.

Reflecting a half century, the best horses have on several occasions been the most inexpensive.

Like we’ve recently quoted to a couple of horse traders: “A hundred dollar horse can be worth thousands.”

Conversely, “A horse costing thousands can be worthless, at least from usefulness perspective.”

Osage City man sentenced for aggravated indecent liberties

An Osage City man was sentenced Monday to serve about three years in prison after pleading no contest in June to aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

David E. McClure, 55, Osage City, was arrested May 27, 2016, by the Osage City Police Department and charged June 1 in Osage County District Court with two counts that accused him of causing a child to engage in lewd fondling or touching of his person.

According to Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones, the charges stemmed from McClure’s conduct with a 14-year-old victim from March through May 2016.

On June 20, as part of a plea agreement with Jones, McClure entered a no contest plea to one of the counts, with the court finding him guilty of the crime. The other count was dismissed.

Jolinda Rose, 64, Lyndon: Jan. 6, 1952 – Dec. 3, 2016

LYNDON, Kan. – Jolinda Rose, 64, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at the Golden Living Center, Eskridge, Kan., where she had resided since 1997. She was born on Jan. 6, 1952, at Vassar, Kan., the daughter of Orville and Willine Wiggins Rose.

Jolinda grew up in the Vassar and Olivet, Kan., communities. She graduated from Lyndon High School in 1970.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Orville and Willine, and two older brothers, Larry Rose and Donald Rose.

December: National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

Getting drunk drivers off the roads saves lives

Every day, 28 people in the U.S. die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This amounts to one death every 53 minutes.* Traffic fatalities that involve impaired drivers increase significantly during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods – times of celebration and some of the busiest times on the nation’s roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us to celebrate safely this holiday season, and to raise awareness on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the month of December is recognized as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

Drugged or drunk driving can have tragic consequences. In December of 2015, drunk driving crashes resulted in 840 deaths. This December, Americans are encouraged to help prevent tragedy before it strikes, by ensuring that family members and friends stay safe, sober, and drug-free on the road.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) provides these tips to help ensure everyone’s safety this holiday season: Make sure to always plan ahead for a safe way home, especially if your plans involve alcohol. Even one too many drinks increases the risk of a crash – it’s just not worth it. If you’ve been drinking, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation. If someone you know has been drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel. Your actions may save someone’s life. Plan ahead for a sober designated driver, and make sure everyone agrees ahead of time.

If you are faced with a situation where someone who’s impaired is trying to drive here are some tips on how to stop them:

Good tidings of Christmas fill Osage County

120816-bells-01It’s Christmastime in Osage County and celebrations continue this week with Quenemo’s free Christmas store and events, Osage City’s holiday home tour, and Christmas music at Lyndon and Osage City.

Quenemo Christmas

At Quenemo, the free Christmas store is open today, Dec. 8, 2016, until 5 p.m. and will be open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 7-11 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Madeline Carson at 785-759-3453.

On Saturday afternoon, everyone is invited to Quenemo to enjoy some old-fashioned Christmas spirit, greet Santa, who will be coming to town 2-4 p.m., and join in decorating and lighting of the community Christmas tree around 4 p.m. Come one, Come all, enjoy some old fashion Christmas Spirit. Quenemo Pride will serve hot chocolate and cookies.

Osage City Pride Holiday Home Tour

At Osage City on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 11, will be the Osage City Pride Holiday Home Tour, which will run 1:30-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and are available at each home on the tour or at Ramblin’ Rose, 629 Market St., Osage City, which will be open that afternoon 1-5. Proceeds from the tour help to maintain Santa Fe Park in downtown Osage City. The three homes on the tour include:

  • Debi Totman, 711 Main St.
  • Barb and Keith Thompson, 213 Safford St.
  • Diane Michaels, 3585 W. 245th St. (two miles east of the airport on K-31, south on Wanamaker Road one mile to 245th Street.)

Everyone is invited to purchase a ticket and tour the Christmas decorated homes.

Osage City United Methodist Church Annual Music Festival

Osage City United Methodist Church invites everyone to join the congregation for an afternoon of music and fellowship at the annual music festival. This year the festival features Hands of Glory from Ottawa, Mark Nelson, Morning Thunder Praise Band, Jim Seeman, UMC Handbell Choir and others. The festival runs 1:30-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, and will be at the church at 219 S. Sixth St., Osage City.

Lyndon Community Christmas Choir

The Lyndon Community Christmas Choir is made up of local singers who began rehearsing in October to prepare for their performance at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at Lyndon Baptist Church, 126 W. 15th St.. The performance is open to all, with the choir singing sacred Christmas songs along with sharing scripture. Cookies and punch will be served afterward.

Warren Allen, 88, Lyndon: Dec. 28, 1927 – Dec. 6, 2016

LYNDON, Kan. – Warren Allen, 88, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, at the Healthcare Resort, Topeka, Kan. He was born on Dec. 28, 1927, in Lyndon, Kan., the son of George and Cadde White Allen.

Warren grew up in Lyndon, where he graduated from Lyndon High School in 1945. He had lived in California for many years before returning to Lyndon, where he lived until 2004, when he moved to Topeka.

Warren served in the United States Army Air Force with the 7th Communications Squadron from 1945 to 1948. After his service he worked for the railroad in California until his retirement. When he returned to Lyndon, he worked at the Lyndon Lumber Yard and farmed.

Finicky poinsettias flourish with proper care

By Ward Upham
Extension Associate
KSU Division of Horticulture 

Modern poinsettia varieties stay attractive for a long time if given proper care. Place your poinsettia in a sunny window or the brightest area of the room, but don’t let it touch cold windowpanes. The day temperature should be 65 to 75 degrees F with 60 to 65 degrees at night. Temperatures above 75 degrees will shorten bloom life, and below 60 degrees may cause root rot. Move plants away from drafty windows at night or draw drapes between them to avoid damage from the cold.

Poinsettias are somewhat finicky in regard to soil moisture. Avoid overwatering because poinsettias do not like “wet feet.” On the other hand, if the plant is allowed to wilt, it will drop leaves. So how do you maintain proper moisture? Examine the potting soil daily by sticking your finger about one inch deep into the soil. If it is dry to this depth, the plant needs water. When it becomes dry to the touch, water the plant with lukewarm water until some water runs out of the drainage hole, then discard the drainage water.

Kansas Supreme Court to hear appeal in Osage County death penalty case

Kahler sentenced to death for quadruple murder in Burlingame


James Kahler is escorted to the Osage County Jail following a court appearance in 2011. Photo by Wayne White.

The Kansas Supreme Court has announced it will hear oral arguments in the appeal of the death penalty conviction of James K. Kahler. Kahler was convicted by an Osage County jury in 2011 for killing his two daughters, his wife and her grandmother at Burlingame in 2009.

Oral arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court will be heard at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, with each side allotted 60 minutes. The case is Appeal No. 106,981: State of Kansas v. James K. Kahler.

Following a two-week trial in August 2011, the Osage County jury convicted Kahler, now 53, of killing his wife, Karen Kahler, 44, his daughters, Emily, 18, and Lauren, 16, and Karen’s grandmother, Dorothy Wight, 89, in Wight’s Burlingame home on Nov. 28, 2009. In addition to capital murder, Kahler was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated burglary. During sentencing, Osage County District Judge Phillip Fromme concurred with the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Kahler to death.

According to the Kansas Supreme Court announcement, Kahler, who is incarcerated in the El Dorado Correctional Facility, has raised 10 issues on appeal. Seven issues assert pre-trial and guilt-phase errors, and the remaining three issues attack Kahler’s death sentence. The issues of the appeal include:

  1. Did the prosecutor commit reversible misconduct during defense counsel’s closing argument?
  2. Did the district court’s comments during trial deny Kahler a fair trial?
  3. Did the district court err in denying a jury instruction on the defense expert’s testimony?
  4. Did the district court err in limiting the jury’s consideration of the evidence of mental disease or defect?
  5. Did the district court err in failing to instruct on felony murder?
  6. Did the district court err in prohibiting defense counsel from questioning prospective jurors about the death penalty?
  7. Did cumulative error deny Kahler a fair trial?
  8. Is the Kansas death penalty categorically disproportionate punishment?
  9. Did the two aggravating factors submitted by the State properly channel jury discretion?
  10. Was there sufficient evidence that the killings were committed in a heinous, atrocious, and cruel manner?

Osage City Toys for Tots distribution scheduled

Chugging down Market Street during the annual lighted parade, Toys for Tots volunteers loaded cargo donated by spectators.

The Toys for Tots toy distribution for Osage City children from ages 3-10 will be on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, starting at 3 p.m. in the Osage City Library’s community room. A parent must accompany their children and everyone should meet outside the north entrance to the community room. Volunteers will be there with information and to organize the distribution by age groups. Available toys will be distributed until depleted.

Zachary Loren Hardin, 30, Seattle, Wash: March 25, 1986 – Nov. 16, 2016

120716-zachary-hardinSEATTLE, Wash. – Zachary Loren Hardin, 30, died at home Nov. 16, 2016, in Seattle, Wash. He was born March 25, 1986, in Sitka, Ala.

Zachary graduated from Santa Fe Trail High School, Carbondale, Kan., in 2005, and South Seattle Community College in 2012, where he studied horticulture.

Zachary was an employee of Stone Soup Gardens, and recently launched his own business in Seattle, Shady Acres Fungi and Garden, specializing in mushroom gardens. He was actively involved with community gardening, participating in Food Not Bombs and other area community projects.

Zachary enjoyed growing and preserving food while creating recipes utilizing his knowledge of plants and herbs. At Chomp! 2016, he won top award with his hot sauce recipe crafted from his pepper plants, and educated attendees about urban mushroom farming. In addition, his love for adventure led to a variety of unique cross-country trips where he met and formed many lasting friendships.

Osage County Jail Log, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, 2016

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

Attorney general orders review after Kansas Amber Alert failure

TOPEKA, Kan. – Following a Wichita Amber Alert yesterday during which cellphone alerts failed, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today ordered a top to bottom review of Kansas Amber Alert operations.

Schmidt asked KBI Director Kirk Thompson to conduct a complete review of the program and report not later than Jan. 31, 2017, on steps that will be taken to ensure the reliability of future Amber Alerts.

In the Wichita situation yesterday, three children and a mother were reported abducted from their home. Soon after the abduction was reported, in the middle of the night, an Amber Alert was issued. But one method of broadcasting the Amber Alert – by special signal that activates individuals’ cellphones – failed to activate.

“The Amber Alert program is a vital public safety tool,” Schmidt said. “During the critical time of need when a child has been abducted, there is no room for error. Any mistake or procedural failure, regardless of its cause, that results in an Amber Alert being less than fully implemented and effective in a timely manner is unacceptable and must be addressed.”

Filings in Osage County Courthouse Nov. 21 – Nov. 25, 2016

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse Nov. 28 through Dec. 2, 2016.

Todd Osborn, 54, Vassar: July 13, 1962 – Dec. 1, 2016

VASSAR, Kan. – Todd Osborn, 54, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, at his home near Vassar, Kan. He was born on July 13, 1962, in Emporia, Kan., the son of Walter “Ozzy” and Dixie Wright Osborn.

Todd grew up in Lyndon and had lived most of his life there, but lived in Ottawa, Kan., before moving to Vassar.

Todd attended Lyndon Schools, and worked for Ellis English Plumbing in Lyndon, for Haven’s Steel in Ottawa, and as a loader for Wal-Mart Distribution for the last 15 years. He was an avid fisherman and pool player.

Letter: Winning by any means not actually a win

An open letter to Superintendent Cheryl Cook, Principal Brad Marcotte, and coaches of Lyndon:

When I moved to Kansas in 2009 I was very happy with the decision. I was excited to come to the Heartland after a Navy career that kept me and my family in big cities. My greatest hope was to raise my boys among the “strong values” that I had heard the Heartland shared with where I was raised in the hill country of central Texas. As a child athlete myself, I feel that a lot of the who I am was forged in my sports years, and influenced heavily by not just my parents but my coaches as well. Honor, integrity, perseverance, and working hard were all concepts I believe were strongly affected by my sports years.

From early on, I was rather frustrated with how sports are treated in this area. While I clearly recognize the importance in the formation of well-rounded men and women, the emphasis placed on sports performance seems markedly unbalanced, with athletes who perform poorly in an academic capacity still allowed to play (in the 60 percent range). I’ve long thought this a very bad message to send.

More recently, I’ve become even more frustrated, disgusted even, over sportsmanship issues. On Dec. 2, 2016, I watched the entirety of the events between Lyndon and MdCV. What was transpiring there is the reason I write this letter, as I feel someone needs to say something about it. To start with, a far outmatched MdCV JV team got to play the Lyndon Varsity team for 3 of 4 quarters even with a blowout score. In the final quarter, the Lyndon JV team got to take the court, and still handily outscored MdCV.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Clunker replaced with new

buchmanhead“It was just the final straw.”

Four times in three months the truck had been in the shop. The fourth repair job the day before and another big bill paid in full.

Long before light, horses loaded, headed north for final horseshow of the season, essential to add yearend points.

Two miles from driveway, idiot lights flashed, steering stiffened. Throttle stayed to floorboard, determined to go another 75 miles, even if limping.

Just two minutes further, power caput as smoke rolled out under hood. Fortunately, able to pull onto a country road before complete death.

Consideration of many possibilities for transportation to the important horse competition, all to no avail.

Still had to get junk truck and ready mounts back to headquarters. Of course, riding horses was first choice, but black dark remained. Scowling ranch assistance with drivable rig again obliged.

Fifth time into the shop where mechanic verified what should have been determined months earlier. “Get rid of the clunker.”

Make safety your holiday tradition

Safe Kids Kansas offers tips for holiday home safety

TOPEKA, Kan. – For many, the holiday season represents a time for family festivities and traditions. What few of us consider is that the holiday season is a time when there is an increased risk of home fires and other injuries. Safe Kids Kansas reminds parents and caregivers to take a few precautions when decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and other winter festivities.

Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, two out of every five home decoration fires are started by candles. Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles, and will keep children safe from burns. If you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.

Holiday celebrations often include cooking or baking. It’s important to know that unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. Most cooking fires involve the stovetop, so keep your counter space nearby free from anything that can catch fire. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking. Also, create a “kid-free zone” at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried. When making traditions in the kitchen, children who can follow directions may be ready to help out in the kitchen with tasks that do not involve knives, appliances or heat. Some examples of child-friendly tasks include tearing lettuce, rinsing fruits and vegetables under cold water, stirring ingredients in a bowl, using cookie cutters, measuring dry ingredients, or cutting soft fruits with a butter knife.

If you decorate a tree, be sure to take these precautions:

Flint Hills Technical College and Dynamic Discs partner for new disc golf course


Hole 1 on FHTC’s disc golf course.

What started out as a simple solution to have more practice space for a disc golf tournament, has now turned into a partnership that benefits both Flint Hills Technical College students and the community. During the recent Glass Blown Open Tournament, Dynamic Discs installed a temporary course on FHTC’s property to accommodate the many disc golfers in for the tournament. FHTC president, Dean Hollenbeck, and Jeremy Rusco, owner of Dynamic Discs, then discussed the idea of how to create something more permanent. The result is a 9-hole course on Flint Hills Technical College’s main campus at 3301 W. 18thth Avenue.

The FHTC course was designed by Eric McCabe, originally from Emporia and alumnus of Flint Hills Technical College’s Graphic Arts Technology program. McCabe is a successful professional disc golfer with close to 100 tournament wins including the 2010 PDGA World Championship, he is also a champion disc golf course designer. His interest in designing a course on the campus comes from knowing the location.

“I had often drove past FHTC and visualized a disc golf course on the campus,” said McCabe. “I’ve always thought it would be fun to play out there, now that has become a reality. The basket placement on holes 3, and 7 are fantastic.”

Osage City Kiwanis, U.S. Marine Corps continue to collect toys for tots

Chugging down Market Street during the annual lighted parade, Toys for Tots volunteers loaded cargo donated by spectators.

The Osage City Kiwanis Toys for Tots campaign is continuing to collect toys through Dec. 7, 2016, in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Marine Corps League. New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the following Osage City locations: Dollar General Store, McCoy’s, Osage City Elementary School, Osage City Library, ECKAN and State Farm Insurance. Suggested age range for toys are 3-10 years of age for both boys and girls.

Osage City toy distribution to tots with accompanying parent will take place starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Osage City Library’s community room, and lasting until available toys are distributed.

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