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Lyle Richard Janssen, 57, Melvern: Nov. 17, 1965 – Feb. 1, 2023

MELVERN, Kan. – Lyle Richard Janssen, 57, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at his home in Melvern, Kan. He was born Nov. 17, 1965, in Columbus, Neb., the son of Richard and Ila (Hueschen) Janssen.

Lyle had lived in Nebraska before moving with his family to rural Lyndon, Kan., and then lived in Melvern for more than 30 years.

Lyle graduated from Marais des Cygnes Valley High School in 1984. He was a member of the football team, and was active in FFA and 4-H. He had worked for Brecheisen Fencing, Jack White Fencing, and Rex Arb, but mostly enjoyed driving his blade and maintaining roads for Melvern and Valleybrook Township for many years.

On Sept. 2, 1989, Lyle was united in marriage to Shelly Reece, in Lyndon. To this union two children were born, Lukis and Brookelyn.

Janette Yvonne Lutze, 83, Lyndon: Feb. 12, 1939 – Jan. 26, 2023

LYNDON, Kan. – Janette Yvonne Lutze, 83, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, at the Morning Star Home Care, Baldwin City, Kan. She was born Feb. 12, 1939, in Franklin County, Kan., the daughter of Willard and Zola (Clark) Thornbrugh.

Jan, as she was known to all, had grown up around the Williamsburg community, and had lived in Tucson, Ariz., for several years before moving to Lyndon, Kan., where she had lived for the past 45 years.

Jan was a homemaker and had worked at The Missy Shoppe, and then Feltner Furniture and Variety Store, both in Lyndon.

On Jan. 29, 1960, Janette was united in marriage to Myron “Pete” Lutze, in Williamsburg, Kan. To this union two sons were born, Mike and Steve.

Myron Charles Lutze, 85, Lyndon: May 4, 1937 – Jan. 11, 2023

LYNDON, Kan. – Myron Charles Lutze, 85, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at St. Francis Hospital, Topeka, Kan. He was born May 4, 1937, in Racine, Wis., the son of Claude and Gladys (Vanmarter) Lutze.

Pete, as he was known, grew up in Wisconsin and had lived in Tucson, Ariz., before moving to Lyndon, Kan., where he lived for more than 45 years.

Pete served in the United States Air Force, and retired after 22 years of service at the rank of senior master sergeant. He then worked in security at the Wolf Creek Nuclear Power Plant, Burlington, Kan., and retired as a supervisor after 25 years.

On Jan. 29, 1960, Pete was united in marriage to Janette Thornbrugh, in Williamsburg, Kan. To this union two sons were born, Mike and Steve.

Terry Lee Hollingsworth, 62, Overbrook: Oct. 2, 1960 – Jan. 30, 2023

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Terry Lee Hollingsworth, 62, passed away Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, at St. Francis Hospital, Topeka, Kan. He was born Oct. 2, 1960, in Dallas, Texas, the son of Gerald and Virginia (Bowers) Hollingsworth.

Terry was born in Texas, but then moved to St. Louis, Mo., for a time. He did most of his growing up in Oklahoma before moving to Kansas. He had lived in Topeka, Lyndon and Overbrook.

Terry had worked as a print operator for the Print Shop, Topeka, and then became a police officer for the city of Lyndon, reaching the rank of sergeant. He then became the chief of police for the city of Overbrook, until retiring last year. He then became a deputy for the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. Terry was a member of the Overbook Bible Church.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, Jan. 20 – Jan. 26, 2023

The following information was compiled Jan. 20 to Jan. 26, 2023, from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Lyndon, Kan.

Osage County Jail Log, Jan. 22 – Jan. 28, 2023

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

Sally Jane Green, 90, Paola: March 11, 1932 – Jan. 25, 2023

PAOLA, Kan. – Sally Jane (Hunsaker) Green, 90, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, at Life Care Center , Osawatomie, Kan., with family and friends. Jane was born March 11, 1932, to Ralph and Sallie (Waugh) Hunsaker, at the family farm in Turin, Iowa.

She came from a family of three brothers and two sisters, whom all have deceased.

She later moved to Mapleton, Iowa, with her family, where she graduated from Mapleton High School with the class of 1950.

She worked at a bank in Mapleton, and then attended flight attendant school in Omaha, Neb. During her visits with her grandparents and family in Olivet, Kan., she was able to attend local dances with her cousins. It is at one of these dances that she met Jesse Dale Green Jr., who was from Melvern, Kan. They were married April 3, 1954, in Omaha. From this union two children, David and Diane were born.

Jane and Dale then moved to a place west of Melvern, then northwest of Melvern, and finally to a farm three miles west of town in 1955. There they farmed and lived for 55 years until Dale’s passing in 2010.

Kahler files motion in Osage County District Court to overturn death sentence

James Kraig Kahler is led out of the Osage County Courthouse to the county jail after his sentencing, Oct. 11, 2011. File photo.

LYNDON, Kan. – A man condemned to death for murdering his wife, two daughters, and grandmother-in-law at a Burlingame, Kan., home in 2009, has made a possible last ditch effort to reduce or overturn his sentence.

James Kraig Kahler, convicted of the quadruple capital murder and sentenced by an Osage County jury in 2011, filed a civil lawsuit Jan. 19, 2023, against the state of Kansas in Osage County District Court. In the filing, Kahler and his attorney, Julia S. Spainhour, of the Kansas Capital Habeas Office, Topeka, Kan., seek a motion for the court receive evidence on his claims for relief and vacate and set aside his convictions and death sentence.

The motion relies on a state law that allows a prisoner to claim the right to be released on grounds that a sentence was imposed in violation of the constitution or laws of the United States or Kansas, or the court was without jurisdiction to impose such sentence, or other grounds. KSA 60-1507 provides prisoners a filing time limit of one year from the last time an appellate court exercised jurisdiction.

Kahler has previously appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court, which affirmed his conviction and sentence. March 23, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its judgement affirming the Kansas court’s decision. The Kansas Supreme Court subsequently mandated Osage County District Court to execute judgment of the court, with that filing made May 5, 2022, and which set the one-year clock for Kahler to file the current motion.

The motion outlines 14 grounds that allege substantial violations of Kahler’s constitutional and statutory rights to receive effective assistance of counsel and due process of the law, to enjoy equal protection of the laws, to demand witnesses to testify on his behalf and to effectively confront the witnesses against him, to receive a fair trial conducted by an unbiased judge, and to have his evidence heard and decided by an impartial jury. Kahler also alleges the state of Kansas has violated his constitutional right to be free from cruel or unusual punishment.

In a separate motion to appoint counsel and set a status conference, Kahler, who is currently incarcerated under special management status in El Dorado Correctional Facility, El Dorado, Kan., asks for a one-year period to investigate and gather evidence to support his motion.

Following a two-week trial in August 2011, an Osage County jury convicted Kahler, then 48, of killing his wife, Karen Kahler, 44, his daughters, Emily, 18, and Lauren, 16; and Karen’s grandmother, Dorothy Wight, 89, on Nov. 28, 2009, in Wight’s Burlingame home. In addition to capital murder, Kahler was convicted of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated burglary. During the Oct. 11, 2011, sentencing hearing, then-Osage County Chief Judge Phillip Fromme affirmed the jury’s verdict of the death sentence.

After an almost 12-hour manhunt following the killings, a Shawnee County deputy found Kahler the next morning sitting in a roadside ditch along Auburn Road. The murder weapon was never found.

The current motion might not be Kahler’s last chance to attempt to overturn his death sentence. Although he has exhausted his direct appeals, and his capital murder convictions and death sentence have been affirmed, further appeals are possible. If Kahler’s motion is granted, he will also retain the right to appeal the court’s final decision.

Sheriff locates person of interest in Santa Fe Trail High School burglary

Update: Jan. 24, 2023, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office reported Dalton R. Quimby has been located, and charges against him for the burglary of Santa Fe Trail High School have been submitted to the county attorney’s office.

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Marais des Cygnes Valley High School names Queen of Courts candidates

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School will crown the Queen of Courts in a ceremony during half-time of the varsity boys game Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, when the Trojans take on Cair Paravel. Varsity game time is 7 p.m. Senior candidates for the court are, from left, Joe Del Percio, Madison Cormode, Kyla Vogeler, and Isaac Hockett. Freshman attendants are Jayden McClintic and Gracen Clower, sophomore attendants are Dallen Flatin and Evie Stephens, and junior attendants are Mason Rose and Olivia Lacey. Photo by Lisa Reeser.


Osage County Jail Log, Jan. 17, 2022 – Jan. 19, 2023

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

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, Jan. 13 – Jan. 19, 2023

The following information was compiled Jan. 13 to Jan. 19, 2023, from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Lyndon, Kan.

Jeffery Lynn Brunner, 55, Melvern: Sept. 13, 1967 – Dec. 11, 2022

MELVERN, Kan. – Jeffery Lynn Brunner, 55, passed away Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, at his home near Melvern, Kan. He was born Sept. 13, 1967, in Midwest City, Okla., the son of Bobby and Dot (Schultze) Brunner.

Jeff had grown up in Oklahoma and had lived near Melvern for the last several years.

Jeff attended the Community Church of God, Melvern. He loved sharing his love for Southern Gospel music by singing at church.

Dorothy Lee ‘Dot’ Brunner, 86, Melvern: Nov. 6, 1936 – Jan. 6, 2023

MELVERN, Kan. – Dorothy Lee “Dot” Brunner, 86, passed away on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, at her home near Melvern, Kan. She was born Nov. 6, 1936, in Denver, Colo., the daughter of Richard and Evelyn (Sumner) Schultze.

Dot had grown up in Melvern and graduated from Melvern High School in 1954. She had lived in Midwest City, Okla., for many years before moving back to Melvern.

Dot had been a housewife and military wife. She was a member of the Midwest City Church of God and the Melvern Church of God.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, Jan. 6 – Jan. 12, 2023

The following information was compiled Jan. 6 to Jan. 12, 2023, from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Lyndon, Kan.

Marsha Anne Gomez, 79, Osage City: Feb. 25, 1943 – Jan. 13, 2023

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Marsha Anne Gomez, 79, of Osage City, Kan., passed away Jan. 13, 2023, at Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. Marsha was born Feb. 25, 1943, in Fairmont, Minn., to parents Charles and Mildred (Hames) Best.

Marsha spent her childhood in Minnesota, graduating from Richfield High School.

She was united in marriage to Michael Gomez, Dec. 17, 1967.

Marsha worked as a statistician for General Mills until having children; she then stepped back from working life to focus on her family. When the children became older, she began driving the Headstart bus and later instructed math courses at Dodge City Community College, Dodge City, Kan., where they lived. Marsha and Michael later relocated to Osage City to be near their children.

Osage County Jail Log, Jan. 9, 2022 – Jan. 15, 2023

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

Ruben Marvin Bauck, 91, Vassar: Jan. 19, 1931 – Jan. 11, 2023

VASSAR, Kan. – Ruben Marvin Bauck, 91, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, at his home near Vassar, Kan. He was born Jan. 19, 1931, the son of Richard and Elsa (Peimann) Bauck, on the family farm that was homesteaded by the Henry Peimann family in 1902.

Ruben lived on the family farm all of his life. He graduated from Lyndon High School in 1949. He served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1956 at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, serving as an aircraft and engine mechanic and instructor. After the service, he farmed from 1956 to 1966, then worked as a builder with Swallow Construction, Pomona, Kan., from 1966 to 1980, and then worked as park maintenance supervisor at Pomona State Park from 1980 until his retirement in 1996. In his retirement, he was a part-time farmer and woodworker. Ruben was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Vassar, where he was baptized Feb. 1, 1931, and confirmed in August 1945.

On June 13, 1954, Ruben was united in marriage to Hedy Marion Romeyk, in Islip, New York. To this union four children were born, Debra, Donald, James and Laurie.

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