Lyndon Leaders and Melvern Jr. Highline hold joint 4-H exchange meeting

Lyndon Leaders and Melvern Jr. Highline gather at Melvern community building for an exchange meeting. Shoup photo. By Garrett Shoup Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club Reporter The Lyndon Leaders 4-H More »

Hidden History: Early trekkers cross Kansas, pulling cart, pushing for better U.S. roads

Smith and Miller were photographed with their cart, the “Fordlet”, and featured in the Hoisington Distpatch, Nov. 25, 1915. By Wendi Bevitt With the invention of the automobile, America More »

Osage County’s top spellers compete at Lyndon

Schools from across the county sent their best spellers to Lyndon to compete in the countywide spelling bee Feb. 2, 2018. Competitors, from left, were Riley Patterson, Madison Cormode, More »

Soil Conservation Award: Sturdy Farms honored as stewards of the land

Honored for preserving soil on their Osage County family farm are the Sturdys, from left, Candi, Clint, Sandy, Darrell, Lori and Rod. By Rod Schaub Frontier Extension District On More »

I-35 concrete patching begins Monday

Monday, March 20, 2017, the Kansas Department of Transportation will begin a concrete patching project on a 41-mile section of Interstate 35 in Osage, Coffey and Franklin counties.

Work will start approximately one mile west of the Beto Junction exit and continue northeast through Coffey, Osage and Franklin counties, ending at Wellsville. Initially the contractor plans to patch only on the northbound lanes of I-35, moving to the southbound lanes later in the year. Northbound traffic will be restricted to one lane at the work zones with a reduced speed limit of 60 miles per hour.

KDOT awarded the $2.4 million construction contract to Realm Construction, Inc., of Blue Springs, Mo. The project will be active during daylight hours Monday through Friday. KDOT expects the I-35 roadwork to be finished by late summer, weather permitting.

Mudjacking project to begin on U.S. 75 next week

A multi-county mudjacking project will include a section of U.S. Highway 75 in Osage County next week.

The project will repair pavement settling conditions on highways and bridge approaches in Osage, Atchison, Brown, Douglas, Lyon and Johnson counties. All project work will take place during daylight hours, Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., weather permitting.

In Osage County, the project is scheduled to begin March 22 to March 27, 2017, at mile market 147 on U.S. 75. On four-lane highways, one direction of traffic will be reduced to one lane and directed through the project work zone via signage and cones. On two-lane highways, traffic will be directed via a flagging operation with signage and cones.

Nortex Concrete Lift & Stabilization Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is the primary contractor on the mudjacking project, with a total contract cost of $163,800. The scheduled completion date for the entire project is early April 2017, weather permitting.  

Finch: Resolution on Olathe shooting shows there’s no place in Kansas for hate and violence

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

Greetings to all of you on this beautiful St. Patrick’s Day. As I write to you we are winding down the week in Topeka but looking ahead to next week, the last week for committees to meet, hear and work bills.

Because of that looming deadline it has been a busy week in the Judiciary Committee as we hear Senate bills. This week we heard bills that would: help courts consider domestic violence in deciding where children will live after a divorce; help protect victims of sexual assault by making it easier for them to obtain protective orders; and strengthening penalties for those who commit residential burglaries.

On the floor this week we passed a resolution recognizing and supporting the victims of the Austin’s Bar shooting in Olathe. As our Speaker said these acts of hate and violence have no place in Kansas. We also heard from the Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court who delivered the State of the Judiciary message in the House Chamber for the first time in five years. It was nice to have this event back in the building and to hear about the work that our court clerks, court service officers and judges do to help ensure all Kansans have access to justice.

And speaking of justice, this week House Sub for Senate Bill 42, the trailer bill to last year’s juvenile justice reforms passed the house 125-0. It was a strong recognition by the House that the process of reform has been a good one and great commitment to policies that will help kids turn their lives around, reduce spending on strategies that don’t work, and ultimately keep all Kansans safer.

No burn day: High winds, dry conditions make very high fire danger

RED-FLAGDue to very high fire danger today, March 17, 2017, all burn permits for Osage County are suspended. A “no burn” day means no outside burning is allowed in the unincorporated areas of Osage County as declared by Osage County Emergency Management. Very high fire danger means that fire control will be difficult and require extended effort.

Very high fire danger is expected across the area today, especially along and south of Interstate 70. A frontal boundary will push through the area this morning causing winds to shift to the north. Later this morning winds will increase 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 25 mph behind the front. As temperatures warm and dry air filters in, the relative humidity values drop into the 30 to 20 percent range. The most likely area where the low relative humidity and wind speeds will coincide appears to be in and around portions of east central Kansas. The wind speeds will gradually decrease, eventually becoming light by evening.

This county burn ban is in effect until 8 a.m. March 18, 2017, but could be extended depending on weather conditions. For more information, contact Bryce Romine, Osage County Emergency Management director at 785-828-3323.

New family salon opens in Lyndon

030917-hair2dye4City officials, friends, family members and well-wishers recently gathered at Hair2Dye4 at Lyndon to celebrate the opening of the new business operated by Jenae Schmidt. The full service salon welcomes men, women and children for haircuts and styling, along with offering a variety of cosmetic and beauty services. The salon is at 511 Topeka Ave., Lyndon. For more information or to make an appointment, call Schmidt at 785-633-1401.

County-operated bus service travels to your destinations

Osage County General Public Transportation is a first come first serve transportation service. The county’s tax-supported service transports people to shopping, work, doctor appointments, movies, special excursions, and to and from educational institutions. Organizations can reserve buses and vans for special occasions.

On March 17, 2017, would you like to go see the St Patrick’s Day parade in Lawrence without trying to find a parking space? Spend the day on Massachusetts Street, window shopping, having lunch, and enjoying the parade. The bus will leave the Osage County Senior Center at 9 a.m. that day. On March 22 will be thrift shop hopping, with the bus leaving at 10 a.m.

Other upcoming activities at the senior center include a magic show at 1:30 p.m. March 21. Everyone is invited. For more information, contact the senior center at 785-528-4906 or stop by 604 Market St., Osage City.

Kansas sues three individuals for submitting false claims for lottery winnings

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has filed suit against three individuals accused of submitting false or fraudulent claims for payment to the Kansas Lottery in the form of rigged, winning lottery tickets.

In a lawsuit filed last month, Schmidt asked the Shawnee County District Court to order Eddie Raymond Tipton, Amy Demoney and Christopher McCoulskey to repay a total of about $44,000 they received from redeeming lottery tickets that won as the result of Tipton’s manipulation of number-generating software through the multi-state lottery. Tipton, a former computer-security official with the Multi-State Lottery Association, also faces criminal charges in Iowa related to his alleged manipulation of multi-state lottery software. The Kansas lawsuit was served on the defendants last week.

In the lawsuit, Schmidt alleges that in December 2010, Tipton purchased two lottery tickets from gas stations in Overland Park and Emporia, which he then gave to Demoney and McCoulskey to present for payment. Those tickets, the lawsuit alleges, had been rigged to win by Tipton’s software manipulation at the multi-state lottery. In February and June of 2011, Demoney and McCoulskey submitted the tickets to the Kansas Lottery, and were paid a total of $44,008 for the “winning” tickets. They then gave a portion of the proceeds to Tipton.

In addition to seeking repayment of the moneys paid for the rigged winning tickets, the lawsuit asks the court to impose civil penalties for violations of the Kansas False Claims Act.

Neither Tipton nor the Multi-State Lottery Association had direct access to the Kansas Lottery’s internal gaming system. The Kansas Lottery has conducted an internal analysis and investigation into whether Tipton’s activities otherwise affected the Kansas Lottery or its players. Those investigations revealed no indications that Tipton affected the Lottery’s internal systems, security of its games, or manipulated any internal drawings performed by the Kansas Lottery.

Kenneth L. Evans, 75, Peoria: Dec. 12, 1941 – March 12, 2017

PEORIA, Kan. – Kenneth Leray Evans, 75 of Peoria, Kan., passed away Sunday, March 12, 2017, at his home. He was born Dec. 12, 1941, in Ottawa, Kan., the son of George Ray Evans and Juanita Louise (Anderson) Evans.

Kenneth attended school in Ottawa, graduating from Ottawa High School in the class of 1959. He served our country in the United States Navy from 1962-1966. He was a member of the National Rifle Association. Kenneth was a motorcycle enthusiast and a skilled woodworker; he made numerous items for family members and others through the years. He worked as a machinist for Polaris Electronics, Olathe, Kan., for more than 40 years.

Filings in Osage County Courthouse March 6 – March 10, 2017

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse March 6 through March 10, 2017.

Springtime citywide garage sales scheduled across Osage County

Garage_sale1Osage City’s citywide garage sale will be Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15, 2017. Anyone who would like a sale listed on the map should contact Casey’s General Store, Osage City, or Jodi Smith, Vintage Park at Osage City. For a $5 donation to the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, a name and address listed will be listed the map. The funds raised from the garage sale map are used for scholarships for graduating seniors from Osage City High School.

The deadline for placing sales on the map is 8 a.m. April 10. For more information, contact Smith at 785-528-5095.

Osage County citywide garage sales and contacts that have been publicly announced include Burlingame, April 1, contact Ron Shaffer, 785-654-3596; Carbondale, April 8, contact Alice Smith at Carbondale City Library, 785-836-7638; Osage City, April 15, contact Jodi Smith, 785-528-5095; Overbrook, April 22, contact Jennifer Anshutz, [email protected]; Lyndon, June 17, contact Lyndon City Hall, 785-828-3146.

Remember that do-it-yourself garage sale ads are free at Osage County News. Just click here and enter your garage sale information on the County Comment page.

Osage County Jail Log, March 6 – March 12, 2017

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

Seeking to recover property stolen from near Carbondale: Greenhouse hoops

Stolen hoops were disassembled, but looked similar to these.

Stolen hoops were disassembled, but looked similar to these.

We are seeking information to locate 80 greenhouse hoops taken from a residence just north of Carbondale, Kan., off U.S. Highway 75 on the east side. They were removed without consent from the owners of the property, and believed to have been taken on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. The picture is what they would have looked like, except ours were completely disassembled and in a pile. If you have any information, please contact the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 785-828-3121. Any information at all – maybe you’ve seen someone hauling them or know of someone that is selling some, etc. See additional information and pictures here: topeka.craigslist.org/grd/6021992952.html.

Hensley: Kansas Supreme Court validates what we knew all along

By Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley

In the ruling handed down by the Kansas Supreme Court that determined the current level of funding for schools is constitutionally inadequate, the justices provided important insight into what is needed in the next school funding formula. Much of their ruling validates what we have known all along.

The Court noted a widening achievement gap among students who are African-American, Hispanic, English language learner, disabled, and free and reduced lunch students. They concluded that nearly one in four students were not proficient in reading and math, subjects at the heart of an adequate education.

Additionally, their analysis determined the current system of funding fails to accommodate changing conditions such as enrollment. They argued that schools have to do more with much less, which impedes student outcomes.

Based on the Court’s analysis, there is a direct link between funding and student performance. It confirms the need for a funding formula that recognizes all students are not created equally. The new formula must provide more funding to help those students with additional needs.

Finally, the Court recognized the importance of KPERS employer contributions for attracting and retaining quality teachers. They argued quality teachers are necessary for achieving desired student outcomes.

The Court did not have a “magic number” for what would be considered constitutionally adequate. Instead, they are leaving it up to the Kansas Legislature to consider all funding sources and implement a solution by June 30.

There is a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. While the House appointed a special committee to analyze a new funding formula at the start of session, the Senate has just decided to do the same. The Senate Committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting this week.

Governor signs disaster declaration for scorched Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Sam Brownback signed a final state of disaster emergency declaration yesterday for 20 Kansas counties affected by wildfires that burned more than 651,000 acres across the state. The declaration covers the period beginning March 4, 2017, and continuing. The declaration amends the previous declaration he made for three counties on March 5.

Named in the declaration are Barber, Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Ellis, Ellsworth, Ford, Harvey, Hodgeman, Lane, Lincoln, McPherson, Meade, Ness, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Rooks, Russell and Seward counties.

One death was attributed to the fires due to smoke inhalation, and 11 injuries were reported. According to initial damage reports, more than 40 homes were destroyed along with an unknown number of outbuildings. One bridge in Meade County and three bridges in Clark County were also destroyed in addition to miles of fencing and utility poles, and other structures. An unknown number of livestock were also killed.

The declaration activates the response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan. Joint preliminary damage assessments are being conducted to seek a major presidential disaster declaration.

USD 421 board schedules interviews with three superintendent finalists

LYNDON, Kan. – The USD 421 Board of Education has announced that three candidates have been selected for interviews for the district’s superintendent vacancy. Candidates selected for interviews are Troy Damman, of Downs, Kan., Adam McDaniel, Onaga, Kan., and Jeff Jones, Ransom, Kan.

Interviews are scheduled to be conducted this week, with stakeholder groups to have the opportunity to meet the final candidates and submit input to the board about each of them. The board intends to make a selection by March 20.

Lyndon USD 421 retained the services of McPherson & Jacobson LLC to assist in conducting their search. The consultants reviewed, screened, and conducted background checks on 17 applicants. On March 7, 2017, the consultants presented the applicants to the board of education during a special board meeting and provided them detailed background information on each applicant. The board selected three candidates as finalists.

After a superintendent has been hired, McPherson & Jacobson will facilitate a board-superintendent workshop to assist in the establishment of performance objectives for the new superintendent.

Schwanke to celebrate 90th birthday

031217-Joy_Schwanke_90_BdayIn celebrating Joy Schwanke’s 90th birthday, March 21, her family invites everyone to honor her with a card shower to commemorate this wonderful milestone in her life.

Cards can be mailed to Joy at PO Box 307, Overbrook, KS 66524.


A Cowboy’s Faith: Finance management most difficult

buchmanhead“Money is a strange creature.”

That might sound peculiar to many, but it’s definitely true.

What does “money” really mean? Mr. Webster and his collaborating cohorts have come up with more than three dozen synonyms (a word substitute or alternate expression) for money.

That is why people from all walks of life around the world are so confused when the subject of money comes up.

While seemingly no logic to “money,” yet, Number One requirement to exist is “money,” in some form.

“There’s never enough money.” It’s true in most situations, but not always. Those with sufficient money in many cases want more.

It’s hit home in personal employment where no matter how much revenue sets records, there’s continuing prod to “get more money.” Somebody is growing richer, but often not those doing the work.

More money doesn’t make lifelong contentment. Just ask lottery winners.

Food on the table, shirt on the back, and roof over the head are essential. Remainder is “luxury,” in a certain sense.

Everything’s high priced, remembering penny bubblegum, nickel candy, dime apples, 19-cent bread, quarter hamburgers.

Hidden History: Osage City businessman’s ‘can do’ attitude produces bountiful success

J.E. Gardner, grower of fancy tomatoes, Osage City, is shown with a wagon load of his produce in this ca. 1912 photograph from the collection of Gary Lowman.

By Wendi Bevitt

In 1912, the Osage City Free Press declared, “It’s a garden for Gardner”. John E. Gardner, of Osage City, tested his hand at gardening and canning on a large scale. Gardner was a gentleman who worked on the “unalterable principle that nothing can be accomplished unless one tries,” and had already been a success at truck farming with his “fancy tomatoes”. That summer, he started by experimenting with canning around 1,000 cans of hand packed tomatoes. He made a good profit, which encouraged him in his venture. Business was going so well that within three years Gardner built a canning factory at Ninth and Holliday in Osage City to keep up with demand.

New businesses within the city had to first meet with the approval of the Trades Extension Committee, a branch of the Commercial Club, and then Commercial Club as a whole. The Trades Extension Committee was comprised of 14 men from various lines of business from around Osage City. Their responsibilities included securing new industry and improvements for the city and promotion of matters of general interest for its good.

Because of Gardner’s expansion, he was able to increase his production. His factory canned tomatoes, beans, corn, beets, onions, pickles, pumpkins and other vegetables. Many of the vegetables came from his 225-acre farm, but much came from local farmers. Gardner paid good money – $50 per ton for green beans – to the local suppliers for their produce. Sometimes the amount of produce coming to the factory was too great and the trucks had to be turned away to dump their loads into Salt Creek, but Gardner would pay the supplier anyway for their effort.

When the canning season peaked, a room was rented next to the Commerce Bank to fill with surplus canned goods. Canned goods from Gardner’s factory would ship all over the county and state and throughout country. In the early years, the factory could can as much as 450 cans in one day. Another service offered by the canning factory was for local farmers to bring in unmanageable homegrown produce to have canned at the factory instead of at home.

After the United States entered World War I, the government relied on businesses like Gardner’s to aid the war effort, and required all factories to supply 10 percent of their output. For Gardner, this amounted to sending 5,088 cans of the 1917 season’s tomatoes to Camp Funston at Fort Riley. By the next year, Gardner was sending half of his output to the government.

There’s something for everyone during the 2017 Osage County Spring Fling

Students from across Osage County won’t be able to complain about nothing to do during upcoming spring break, with the Osage County Interagency Coalition coordinating the 2017 Osage County Spring Fling.

Spring Fling offers activities for youth during spring break. It kicks off this Friday with a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Lyndon Carnegie Library; see the schedule of activities at locations around the county below. Please note that pre-registration is required for a few of the classes by Tuesday, March 14. To pre-register, reply by email or phone to the organization providing the class you would like to attend.

Finch: Legislature works on new school funding formula, potential tax plans, budget

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

Greetings to you from our State Capitol. It has been a relatively quiet week on the house floor in Topeka as we have returned from the post turn around break. However, that doesn’t mean committee work has been slow. Many house committees are working on a lot of bills or spending time on significant legislation.

This week the House Judiciary Committee heard several bills on topics as diverse as who can access online accounts, electronic assets, and social media accounts when a person passes away, to how best to respond to recent court decisions on the state’s sexually violent predator program.

In the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee the focus was all on juveniles and the effort to put together a “trailer” bill to last year’s big reform bill, SB 367. That bill modernized Kansas’ juvenile justice system to use evidenced-based practices and community-based services that do a better job of reducing offending behavior, keeping the public safe, keeping kids out of jail, and reinvesting the resulting savings in programs that work.

A “trailer” bill is a very common occurrence when the legislature tackles a big issue. Things get missed in the first bill or tweaks and adjustments are needed to help make sure the intent of the law is realized in real world applications. Thanks to many dedicated public servants including judges, prosecutors, court services officers, and the outside assistance of the Pew Charitable Trusts, we were able to consider several good amendments to a house “trailer” bill this week. This new bill keeps the positive and necessary reforms of SB 367 but makes small adjustments where stakeholders identified areas of need. The committee worked the bill this week and I expect will pass it out for consideration by the whole House next week.

KDHE urges Kansans to take precautions to prevent spread of mumps

56 mumps cases have been reported across 12 Kansas counties

TOPEKA, Kan. – As of March 4, 2017, 56 mumps cases had been reported in Kansas across multiple counties. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and affected local health departments are working closely together to identify cases and implement appropriate isolation and exclusions policies to prevent further spread of mumps. Mumps cases have been reported in Atchison, Barton, Crawford, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Franklin, Johnson, Marshall, Riley, Rooks and Thomas counties.

“As we continue to see mumps cases throughout the state and region, I encourage Kansans to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease,” said KDHE Secretary Susan Mosier. “Please make sure that you and your family are up to date on vaccines, and stay home if you do get mumps.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4,000 mumps cases were reported in the U.S. in 2016, and mumps outbreaks are ongoing in the nearby states of Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Mumps can occasionally cause complications, including inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, meningitis or encephalitis. Most people with mumps recover completely in a few weeks.

Anybody with symptoms of mumps should isolate themselves and call their healthcare providers. Anybody who suspects they may have mumps should stay home from work, school and any social activities.

People with mumps can spread the disease before the salivary glands begin to swell and up to five days after the swelling begins. Mumps spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat.

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