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Jones’ full-ride scholarships aimed at nursing, education majors

EMPORIA, Kan. – Emporia State University’s new, full-ride scholarship opportunity for incoming freshmen majoring in education or nursing is the most recent in a long history of collaboration with the Jones Foundation. The new Jones Premier Nursing and Education Scholarship will fund up to six students per year who attend ESU and intend to eventually work in two fields currently facing workforce shortages.

The competitive scholarship is available to high-achieving graduating high school seniors in Lyon, Osage and Coffey counties, who plan to major in education or nursing at Emporia State. The scholarships are renewable for up to four years as long as the scholars meet grade and credit hour benchmarks. Selected students will have the full cost of their attendance at ESU paid.

This is the third scholarship program at Emporia State University created by the Jones Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “improving the health and education of eligible Kansans in Coffey, Lyon and Osage counties.”

The original Jones voucher program became the Jones Success Scholarship in 2022 – a $7,000 value over four years that is automatically granted to eligible ESU students whose hometown is in Osage, Coffey and Lyon counties.

“Education and healthcare have long been a focus for the Jones Foundation,” said Sharon L. Tidwell, executive director of the Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Foundation. “The development of the Jones Premier Nursing and Education Scholarship with ESU provides a unique opportunity for some of the brightest students in the three counties we serve.”

The Jones Premier Nursing and Education Scholarship will provide three full-ride education scholarships and three full-ride nursing scholarships to ESU – one of each from Lyon, Coffey and Osage counties. To apply, students must have a 3.7 or more weighted GPA OR a 28 or more ACT score, submit two essays, and live in Osage, Coffey or Lyon counties. Applications will be accepted Nov. 1, 2023, through Jan. 15, 2024. For more information or to apply for the scholarships, see emporia.edu/jones.

Chamber Chatter: Osage City plans to ‘be home for the holidays’

Reminder: Osage City Kiwanis Club celebrates 22 years of downtown trick or treat parade

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, will mark the 22nd year that the Kiwanis Club has organized the Halloween Parade that takes place downtown on Market Street. Trick or treaters gather at 4:15 p.m. at Santa Fe Park; trick or treating at the businesses will begin at 4:30 p.m. The parade route will walk east on Market to Seventh Street, cross and walk west on Market to Fifth and cross back to Santa Fe Park. Everyone is welcome. Parents are urged to walk with children.

2023 Christmas on Market- “I’ll Be Home For The Holidays” – Nov. 11, 2023

Planning is progressing for the annual Christmas on Market celebration on Nov. 11. We encourage you to mark the date on your calendar and plan to shop local that weekend as many of our hometown businesses will be offering great opportunities for holiday gifts. The theme for Christmas on Market 2023 is “I’ll Be Home For The  Holidays”.

In addition to shopping, activities will be held throughout the day including senior center breakfast, food court, visits with Santa, Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk, in-store activities, RadioShack toy expo, gingerbread house building, ping pong drop, raffle drawing, Kansas City Chief’s Wolf mascot, Topeka High Drum Corps, free retail poker run, emergency services showcase, fire truck rides, story time, quarter bingo, chili cook off, chili feed and the traditional lighted Christmas parade.

The raffle is going to have some very nice items to be given away. Raffle tickets will be available starting Oct. 27 up to the time of the drawing. The tickets are being sold at a variety of businesses including Bank of Osage City, KB’s Specialtees, First National Bank, Furniture Loft, Hair Designs by Diane, Harmon Dental, Landmark Bank, Two Cousins weeSale, McCoy’s RadioShack, Osage Hardware, Ramblin’ Rose, Ridge Iron Grill, Subway, and Osage County Senior Center the day of the event. The raffle drawing will be held at Sixth and Market. The Chamber does encourage the public to attend, but winners do not have to be present to win.

Osage City beverage distributor celebrates 90th anniversary of business

Flint Hills Beverage hosted the quarterly Osage City Chamber After Hours in conjunction with the company’s 90th anniversary celebration Sept. 21, 2023. FHB co-owner Casey Mussatto shared some of the history of the company, while Tyler Parsons gave a tour of the warehouse. Attendees enjoyed delicious refreshments and beverages.

Here is the history of Mussatto Bros. as provided by Casey Mussatto:

Mussatto Bros. was founded in 1933 by Victor and Joe Mussatto in Osage City. The company represented several Kansas City area breweries, the most well known of which was Muehlebach Brewing Company.

Cheryl and Casey Mussatto.

In 1942, representatives of Anheuser-Busch called on the Mussattos at their downtown Osage City office and warehouse and told them that their current wholesaler in the area, 7UP bottling of Emporia, was not doing a very good job. They told Victor and Joe that they had heard very good things about their service and reputation and offered them the distribution rights to Budweiser, which was a good brand but only 5 percent of the market at the time. The brothers asked about what they had to spend to get it and other details. When the representatives told them there was no additional investment, they decided to agree to take on Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser brand.

Victor passed away in 1944 and Joe continued to run the business. Victor’s son, Raymond, and his wife Juanita then bought out Joe in 1950. They owned and operated it through 1985. During that time, they also added Hamm’s Brewing and several other regional breweries. They grew the brands of their suppliers, and Anheuser-Busch added several other brands like Michelob, Busch, Natural Light and Bud Light.

Raymond and Juanita’s son Casey and his wife Cheryl Mussatto took over ownership in 1985. In the 1980s and 90s the advertising and promotional expertise of Anheuser-Busch improved significantly as well as the area’s population, and the market share of Mussatto Bros. Inc. grew from approximately 48 percent to nearly 60 percent.

Fall is in the air at Osage City: Chamber hosts downtown festival Saturday

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a fall festival 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, downtown on Fifth Street and Santa Fe Park.

The Chamber is planning a fun event for the entire family. All are invited to come and participate in the youth and adult activities, such as the corn hole tournament, inflatables, face painting, pumpkin decorating, sack races, scarecrow making,  beer stein contests, keg roll, and pretzel eating contest. Also available will be a beer garden, food  trucks, and local craft and food booths. A DJ will provide music throughout the event.

Shopping will be available at the downtown businesses staying open for the festival; some will offer special sidewalk sales. Be sure to check them out.

The day of fun starts out with the annual Chamber hosted disc golf tournament, which will be held at Jones Park Disc Golf Course. Registration is at 10 a.m.; start at 11 a.m. For more information about the golf tournament, contact Shanda Koett at 620-560-5132.

Here’s the schedule for the festival:

Osage City students learn about being part of community by visiting their community

Osage City second graders at Osage Hardware during a visit to local businesses.

Osage City Elementary School students have been learning about their communities the past couple of weeks. Last week students were able to visit some local businesses to learn how they help the community. Students visited Osage Hardware, Osage Sports and Family Chiropractic, KB SpecialTees and Osage Garden and Produce. Also, School Resource Officer Felix Nunez and Osage City police talked to the second graders about what they do for our community.

The second grade teachers would like to thank all the businesses for letting us come in and learn!  We live in our great town!

Information and photo thanks to Collene Stucky.

Emporia State to host cybersecurity conference

EMPORIA, Kan. – Emporia State University’s School of Business and Technology is preparing to host several of the nation’s leading cybersecurity experts next week at CYBERCON, an on-campus event that will highlight ESU’s expanding cybersecurity academic programs and the job opportunities for graduates trained in the protection of online data and computer systems.

CYBERCON will be 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 4, 2023, in Webb Hall in the Memorial Union. The event is free to the public and designed particularly for students, business owners and those interested in cybersecurity-related topics.

John Bryant, a former U.S. Naval Intelligence officer with 11 years of experience with the U.S. Army, will deliver the event’s keynote speech, “Social Engineering.” He most recently served as the chief information officer for Army University and the Command General Staff College, at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Bryant is now a regional cybersecurity advisor for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency office in Kansas City, Mo.

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Stan Richister, manager of Missile Defense Agency’s Cybersecurity Service Provider Computer Emergency Response Team at Schriever Space Force Base, Colorado, will also deliver remarks on “Social Engineering and Operations Security,” or OPSEC.

Jerry Horton, technology and cybersecurity director for two Kansas-based companies, Networks Plus and Blue Valley Technologies, will deliver CYBERCON’s third presentation, “Tales From The Darkside – Lessons Learned While Becoming An Ethical Hacker.” Horton has more than four decades of experience in internet technology, cybersecurity and telecommunications.

Besides hearing from the featured presenters, CYBERCON attendees will also attend a panel discussion from ESU students and have access to vendor displays, an opportunity for students to have their resumes reviewed, a raffle and prize giveaways, and a video-gaming area that includes virtual reality games. A taco bar lunch will be provided.

For information, call 620-341-5106 or email cyroc@emporia.edu.

Osage County invites community members to grant writing workshop in November

The Osage County commissioners will be sponsoring a free grant writing workshop for Osage County entities, such as county and city employees, businesses, libraries, historical societies, museums, community organizations, school districts, non-profits, fire and medical entities.

The workshop will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, at the Melvern Community Center, Melvern, Kan.

The goal is to build grant writers within each community by recruiting one to four people to attend the workshop. The workshop will be presented by Nancy Daniels, a community vitality specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

Registration is required, and registration deadline is Sept. 29, 2023, with a 60-person maximum. Lunch will be provided.

Register at  http://tinyurl.com/yyh5273z, or for more information, contact Colleen Mendoza at cmendoza@osageco.org or 785-829-5302 x144.

Osage City Fall Citywide Garage Sales, Sept. 15-16, 2023

Osage City citywide garage sales will be Sept. 15-16, 2023. The garage sales are hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce, which distributes a map of the sales. Sellers are encouraged to signup now to get their sale on the map.

Garage and yard sales offer a great opportunity to get rid of some of that stuff you never use and free up some space.

The area map provides a chart for the type of items at the garage sales. To list your sale on the map or for more information, stop by to see Tricia Gundy at Peterson’s Assisted Living, Osage City, or call 785-219-9727.

Information needed is your name, address, a phone number in case of questions about the sale, Friday and Saturday or Saturday only sale, what area on the map, type of items to be sold (example: children clothing, adult clothing, furniture, collectibles, kitchen items, household items, craft items, miscellaneous), and a $5 donation fee. The proceeds go towards a scholarship awarded every year to two college-bound Osage City High School graduates. The deadline for adding a sale to the garage sale map is Sept. 14.

Chamber Chatter: Crouchers earn yard of month award for July

Even with the lack of rain and the hot days, many of the homes landscaping have been kept up with many hours of attention. Each month, the Chamber selects a yard to show appreciation of the beauty and hard work by the homeowners. The honorees receive $25 in Chamber Bucks to be used at an Osage City participating business. Announced as July’s winner was Gregg and Cheryl Croucher’s yard, at 834 Main St., Osage City. The beauty of their floral arrangements extends from the front of their home around to their back yard. The back yard includes a neatly kept garden, floral arrangements surrounding the house and out building. Gregg and Cheryl have lived in their home for 18 years.

Ribbon cuttings mark progress in area business community

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has been busy in the last month with ribbon cuttings celebrating new business ownership, renovations and reopenings.

June 28, 2023, COF Training Services held a grand opening of its newly renovated facility, which updated accommodations for individuals served. Renovations included a kitchen, alternative day programing area, updated restrooms, laundry facility, arts and crafts, exercise areas and contract work area.

New owners Kent and Erin Schaper cut the ribbon at Osage Building Materials.

Under new ownership, Osage Building Materials held a grand reopening and ribbon cutting on June 29, 2023. Kent and Erin Schaper are new owners of the Osage City hardware store and lumber yard. They also own Arrowhead Hardware, in Baldwin City. Kent and Erin said they are excited to be a part of the community and look forward to serving customers throughout Osage County for years to come. The event included a discount off all in stock, in store merchandise, participants enjoyed ice cream, give aways, refreshments, special offers and balloons.

Henry’s Coffee House: Owner Nathan Willis, center, with Chamber members Roger Mersmann and Joe Humerickhouse.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting July 6, 2023, for its newest member, Henry’s Coffee House. Henry’s is not a brand new business, having been open at 413 Market St. for a little more than two years. Joining the Chamber marks a milestone in Henry’s efforts to expand its business and make itself a central gathering spot for the community. Henry’s has added more food items to its lineup and has expanded its hours to be open seven days a week, and has future plans to expand to a larger space.


From the director: ‘You’re never too old to learn something new’

I invited Chamber members to submit an interesting fact about their business for me to include in my “Did You Know” article for this month. I had several responses and look forward to sharing them with you.

Haskins named as 2023 Osage County Fair co-honorary parade marshal

David Haskins, with Darlene and Ryan, was the honorary parade marshal for the 2023 Osage County Fair Parade. The recognition also marked the celebration of Haskins Oil’s 90th year in business. Osage City Chamber of Commerce photo. 


The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has named David Haskins, owner of Haskins Oil, as a co-honorary parade marshal for the 2023 Osage County Fair parade, which will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at the west end of Market Street in Osage City. Haskins shares the honorary marshal title with Casey Mussatto, Flint Hills Beverage. The parade will be marshaled by Naomi Brown, Marilynn’s Restaurant.

Haskins’ honorary title recognizes his service to the community and Haskins Oil Service’s 90 years in business. David Haskins has owned and operated Haskins Oil Service for the past 40 years. The Haskins’ business was originally started by David’s grandfather, Cliff Haskins, in 1933. Jack, David’s father, took over in 1955 with the bulk deliveries, but leased the station out for a few years.

Haskins Oil now has six employees, two full-time, and four part-time. Bob Hammarlund and Phil Crocker oversee all tire repair and servicing vehicles. Brandon Smith and River Davis work part-time when their schedules allow. Darlene Haskins has been working at the station since 1957 and is still active, taking care of accounts receivable and errands. Barb Haskins assists with all other general office work.

Haskins Oil has kept business local with a full service gas station, automobile maintenance service, tire repair, and service calls.

From 1933 to 1961, Haskins Oil Company was operated as a bulk tank wagon business, servicing filling stations and farmers throughout the county. In 1961, Jack and Darlene expanded the business to include the Conoco service station at 701 Market Street. In the 1960s, during a gas war, Haskins was the only gas station in Osage City that never ran out of gas, even with cars lined up one and one-half blocks away. When the Haskins started operating the service station, the price of gas was only 26.9 cents a gallon.

“The family business appreciates its customers and their patronage through the years.”

David and co-honorary parade marshal Casey Mussatto (read more) will be parade honorees. The parade marshal is Naomi Brown, Osage City businesswoman and restaurateur; read more here.

The parade route runs east down Market Street to downtown Osage City. Parade spectators can watch the parade from just about anywhere along the route. The parade is hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce; see the fair’s schedule of events here.

Mussatto named as 2023 Osage County Fair co-honorary parade marshal

Update: Mussatto will appear in the 2023 Christmas on Market Street Parade.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has named Casey Mussato, Flint Hills Beverage, as a co-honorary parade marshal for the 2023 Osage County Fair Parade. The parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at the west end of Market Street in Osage City. Mussatto’s co-honorary parade marshal is David Haskins, Haskins Oil Service. Marshalling the parade will be Naomi Brown, Marilynn’s Restaurant.

Mussatto’s designation of honorary parade marshal recognize his company’s celebration of 90 years in the beverage wholesale business, serving the Osage City and surrounding area.

Mussatto Bros., which is now Flint Hills Beverage, was founded in 1933 by Victor and Joe Mussatto in Osage City, Kan. The company represented several Kansas City area breweries, the most well known of which was Muehlebach Brewing Company. In 1942, representatives of Anheuser-Busch called on the Mussattos at their downtown Osage City office and warehouse and told them that their current wholesaler in the area, 7UP bottling of Emporia, was not doing a very good job. They told Victor and Joe that they had heard very good things about their service and reputation and offered them the distribution rights to Budweiser, which was a good brand but only five percent of the market at the time.

The brothers asked about what they had to spend to get it and other details. When the representatives told them there was no additional investment, they decided to agree to take on Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser brand.

Victor passed away in 1944 and Joe continued to run the business. Victor’s son Raymond and his wife, Juanita, bought out Joe in 1950. They owned and operated it through 1985. During that time, they also added Hamm’s Brewing and several other regional breweries. They grew the brands of their suppliers and Anheuser-Busch added several other brands like Michelob, Busch, Natural Light and Bud Light.

Raymond and Juanita’s son Casey and his wife, Cheryl, took over ownership in 1985. In the 1980s and 1990s the advertising and promotional expertise of Anheuser-Busch improved significantly, as well as the area’s population, and the market share of Mussatto Bros. Inc. grew from approximately 48 percent to nearly 60 percent.

In June of 2000, Casey and Cheryl along with Terry and Nina Dow purchased Campbell Distributors, in Manhattan, Kan., which were also Anheuser-Busch wholesalers in the Manhattan, Junction City, and Ft Riley area.

Then, on Jan. 1, 2013, Mussatto Bros. merged with Flint Hills Beverage. After the merger, the company became Flint Hills Beverage, named after the region it serves, and it continues operations in both cities.

Flint Hills Beverage is the leading beverage wholesaler in the Flint Hills region distributing a large variety of high-quality beverage products representing Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Nestle, New Belgium Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Talking Rain Beverage, Congo, Walnut River Brewing, Odell Brewing, and 40 other beverage producers.

Today, Flint Hills Beverage is the fifth largest Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in the state and serves 500 plus retailers spread over 15 counties and the people in the Flint Hills region who buy their beverage products from them.

“As we celebrate 90 years in business, we want to thank everyone who chooses to buy the beverages we sell and for the efforts of more than 40 dedicated employees!”

Mussatto and David Haskins (read more) will serve as co-honorary parade marshal for this year’s Osage County Fair Parade, and will ride in the parade as honorees. The parade marshal is Naomi Brown, local businesswoman and restaurateur; read more about Naomi here.

The parade route runs east down Market Street to downtown Osage City. Parade spectators can watch the parade from just about anywhere along the route. The parade is hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce; see the fair’s schedule of events here.

Brown named as 2023 Osage County Fair Parade Marshal

2023 Osage County Fair Parade Marshal Naomi Brown gets set to conduct her duties to marshal the parade. Osage City Chamber of Commerce photo.

Osage City businesswoman Naomi Brown has been named as the parade marshal for the 2023 Osage County Fair parade, which will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, at the west end of Market Street in Osage City.

Twenty-nine years ago, Naomi and her late husband John Brown purchased Marilynn’s Place Restaurant and made Osage City their home. They were accompanied by two of Naomi’s son’s, Shawn and Shane Valentine, who continue to help manage the successful family business to this day. Her other two children, Dean Valentine and Dawn Hope, both live in Colorado. She is adored by seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Naomi has always been a successful businesswoman. She is no stranger to hard work and continues to show her love of the community through thoughtful support and delicious food. She has baked her way into the hearts of several generations of people in Osage County, with her cookies, cakes, and sweets to celebrate any occasion. Naomi is famous for her perfect homemade cream pies, which people travel from towns away to enjoy.

Naomi’s dedication and devotion to bringing smiles to our community has blessed us for nearly thirty years so far. She’s the community’s very own grandma, her hard work offers us a place to gather as friends and family in the comfortable atmosphere at Marilynn’s.

Naomi will marshal this year’s Osage County Fair Parade, and will ride in the parade as an honoree. The parade route runs east down Market Street to downtown Osage City. Parade spectators can watch the parade from just about anywhere along the route.

See the fair schedule here: It’s fair time at Osage City: 2023 Osage County Fair gets underway

Kansas launches broadband speed test and comprehensive expansion plan

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Office of Broadband Development is developing a comprehensive strategic plan to expand broadband infrastructure statewide and ensure every Kansan has access to reliable high-speed internet. To assist in this and provide accurate data for the plan, the department is calling on residents to participate in an important online speed test and survey. The data collected ultimately will help guide the allocation of state and federal resources to areas in need.

“Accurate, comprehensive data is critical to our state’s efforts to bridge the digital divide across Kansas,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “By engaging directly with Kansans to learn about their broadband capacity, we aim to secure significant funding to connect underserved areas and establish Kansas as one of the best states in the nation for high-speed internet access.”

To participate, residents should visit the official website of the initiative, broadbandks.com, where they can complete a quick and simple online speed test. This test, which only takes a few minutes, will provide valuable data on internet connectivity throughout the state.

The speed test will measure internet speed, general location and IP address, while maintaining the privacy of personal information. Participants also will be asked to complete an optional survey that provides vital insights into connectivity patterns, necessary training requirements and affordability of internet services.

Chamber Chatter: Dates set for Osage County Fair and Osage City fireworks

Note: Chamber After Hours

ECKAN will be hosting a Chamber After Hours 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2023. The office is located at 528 Market St., Osage City. Chamber members and the public are invited to come and join the staff in enjoying refreshments and visiting with fellow community members. ECKAN employees will be available to visit about services the organization provides for the community.

Osage County Fair and Parade

July 19-22, 2023, will be the dates for the Osage County Fair, in Osage City. The theme for the fair and the parade will be determined soon. The parade will be 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, 2023.

Adam Burnett, parade chairman is in the process of creating some new and innovative concepts for the parade for this year. Adam will provide information regarding the parade, and a parade form will be available soon to submit an entry for the parade. The Chamber will be offering cash prizes for float entries and golf cart and ATV entries. Contact Adam, at 785-760-0621 for questions or comments about the event.

Community Fireworks Celebration

The date for the annual community fireworks show hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce will be Friday, July 21, 2023. A committee will be selected and start working on plans for the celebration.

Support your hometown, stay at home and shop locally

Osage City is a strong, versatile community with businesses that offer the reasons you should commit to shopping locally. Just think about it and consider a few reasons that you should shop in your home town.

  • Don’t have to travel far.
  • Don’t have to stand in long lines.
  • Purchase locally produced foods which in turn supports local agriculture.
  • Find quirky, amazing and unique gifts.
  • Sales tax paid supports the community and county in vital services such as police and fire protection, street and road repairs, maintaining recreational facilities, etc.
  • Business owners are more personal and willing to help with your shopping needs.
  • Local owners of business in your small town are informed about their products, they know their customers; therefore, they adjust inventories to include goods and services that local people want to buy.
  • Shopping locally is the best way to show pride in your town and help to protect the businesses that make your town unique.

Chamber banquet recognizes industrious and benevolent community members

Osage City Chamber of Commerce 2023 award winners are, from left, Non-Profit of the Year, ECAT President Kathy Lincoln; Employee of the Year, Gregg Croucher, city of Osage City; and Business of the Year, Becky, Craig and Cameron Siljenberg, of Osage Garden & Produce. Chamber photo.

Friday, March 31, 2023, marked the first Osage City Chamber of Commerce awards banquet in recent years, which was held at St. Brigid Hall. There were approximately 100 in attendance at the evening event filled with a variety of entertainment, good food, and visiting with friends from the community.

C.J. Adkins, with Flinthills Catering, catered a delicious meal topped off with a cheesecake dessert that melted in your mouth. The Catholic Church Youth Group were greatly appreciated as they assisted with bussing the tables. Gavin Robert, a talented junior at Osage City High School, provided a nice medley of soft dinner music on his keyboard and guitar.

Following the meal, the first segment of the evening program included two OCHS forensics students presenting their award winning presentations. Dustin Stucky, forensics instructor, introduced Gavin Ericson and Emily Whalen. Both students gave very entertaining presentations and kept the attention of everyone.

Following the students was guest speaker, Jeff Bender, region supervisor of the Parks Division of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and Osage City Manager Rod Willi. They gave a detailed and informative speech on the Flint Hills Trail, which will be going through the north part of Osage City.

Highlighting the remainder of the program was the presentation of awards for three categories. Nominations were submitted to the Chamber throughout February and March.

Business of the Year recipient went to Osage Garden and Produce, owners Becky, Craig and Cameron Siljenberg. They purchased the business from Derald and the late Marylou Stromgren in the early months of 2020. They worked their way through the pandemic and have created a successful business in a short amount of time.

The second category was Non-Profit of the Year. Ecumenical Christian Action Team was the recipient of this award. ECAT has been in operation locally since 1987. The staff consists of 21 part-time volunteers. The mission statement is “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.” In the last year, ECAT’s food pantry served approximately 7,400 meals. They also provide clothing, bedding, kitchen ware and dishes either free or they accept free will donations. They also assist with rent and gas vouchers.

Gregg Croucher, employee of the city of Osage City, was recipient of the final category, which was Employee of the Year. Gregg has been reliable, dedicated, adaptive and committed to his work as he has been employed with the city for approximately 16 years. He encourages his crew to be very conscientious about their work. The crew, through his instruction, do small favors for townspeople, especially the elderly. Some of the greatest examples of Gregg’s leadership and excellent customer service is displayed through the exhausting heat of summer and the troublesome snow and ice of winter. Gregg leads his crew to get the job done which is exemplary of a loyal employee.

Willing Workers tour Osage City meat processing plant

Willing Workers 4-H Club visits Custom Meats, Osage City, front from left, Clara Thielen and Ruby Stucky, middle, Leila Wilcoxson, Jaiton Bosse, Mason Newman, Reese Newman, Hadley Bosse, Kassie Thielen, and Paige Thielen, back, Bo, Emilee Burkett, Avery Thielen, Claire Newman, Lena Stucky, Kaiden Bosse, Kevin Whitmer, and Gene Roberts. Courtesy photo.

By Avery Thielen, Club Reporter

On March 1, 2023, the Willing Workers 4-H Club went to Custom Meats, in Osage City, to learn how livestock are processed. The 4-Hers were given a tour of the Custom Meats facility by Gene Roberts, Emilee Burkett and employee Bo. Gene did a great job of entertaining the group while educating them on the steps of processing animals. Many of the 4-H members show livestock at the county fair. This tour helped them understand what happens to their animals after they sell them. Even members who do not show livestock found the tour to be informative. It is important that people understand where their meat comes from. Thank you Custom Meats for the tour.

Frontier Extension: Learn more about raising backyard poultry

Frontier Extension District will host an educational meeting about raising poultry, “Backyard Poultry 101,” at 7 p.m. March 30, 2023, at Garnett Community Building, Anderson County Fairgrounds, Garnett, Kan.

Dr. Scott Beyer, Kansas State Extension Poultry Nutrition and Management Specialist, will highlight many aspects of owning and raising poultry. He will discuss having a bio-security plan to protect birds from the highly pathogenic avian flu. Other topics will include poultry housing and management, selecting the best breeds for production, getting the most eggs from your flock, molting a flock, and vaccinations and health care.

With the demand for poultry products on the rise, it is a real treat to be able to grow your own broilers or eat fresh eggs. Fresh eggs are tastier than those purchased  from the grocery store and they are also great when used for baking.

For more information about the Backyard Poultry 101 meeting, contact Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension agent, at 785-828-4438 or email rschaub@ksu.edu.

Governor announces $1.9 billion computer chip factory to be built in Coffey County

BURLINGTON, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly announced yesterday that EMP Shield, an industry leader in protecting electronic devices from destructive magnetic pulses, plans to invest $1.9 billion in a computer chip manufacturing facility at Burlington, Kan. The facility will create more than 1,200 jobs averaging $66,000 annually.

EMP Shield will build its facility on 300 acres in a secure campus located at Silicon Prairie Industrial Park. The company will be joined by six out-of-state suppliers, resulting in an additional 1,000 jobs created in Coffey County.

“Bringing economic prosperity to every corner of the state – particularly rural Kansas – has been a priority since my very first day in office,” Kelly said. “We achieve that with this project, creating thousands of high-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, and proving that every Kansas community is ripe for investment and growth.”

EMP Shield plans to have four production lines operating in approximately 235,000 square feet of facilities in the new industrial park that will produce thousands of chips per week. Its suppliers will manufacture necessary components and prepare the final products for delivery.

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