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Institute names Flint Hills Technical College as eligible for 2023 Aspen Prize

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Aspen Institute named Flint Hills Technical College one of the 150 institutions eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. Colleges selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success, and equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.

The 150 eligible colleges have been invited to submit data and narratives as the next steps in an intensive data and practice review process, culminating in the announcement of the prize winner in spring 2023.

“Flint Hills Technical College is honored and humbled to be recognized by the Aspen Prize as an exemplary college representing the community-technical college sector,” said Dr. Caron Daugherty, president of Flint Hills Technical College. “Our students, employees, alumni, and industry and civic partners engage in collaborative efforts to support student success, advance equity outcomes, and seek continuous improvement. I am proud of the hard work and resilience of our institutional and regional community, without whose efforts such acknowledgments and nods to our students and their success would be impossible.”

The Aspen Prize spotlights exemplary community colleges to drive attention to colleges doing the best work, and discover and share effective student strategies. The Aspen Prize honors colleges with outstanding achievement in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

The eligible colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector. Located in urban, rural, and suburban areas across 34 states, these colleges serve as few as 230 students and as many as 57,000. Winning colleges have ranged from smaller institutions serving rural community and smaller towns to large community colleges serving major metropolitan areas.

Kansas range managers confront tenacious old world bluestem

Frontier Extension District will host an informational meeting on old world bluestem, 7 p.m. Nov. 29, 2021, at the Osage City Community Building, 307 S. First St., Osage City, Kan.

Old world bluestem includes cultivars of Caucasian and Yellow bluestem, species first introduced into the United States for conservation purposes and as forage that could be hayed or grazed. Though called bluestems, they are not closely related to native species of big and little bluestem. Old world bluestems are an invasive species in Kansas. They can be controlled, but control becomes progressively more difficult and expensive the longer the grass is allowed to grow and spread.

During the meeting, Dr. Walt Fick, KSU range management specialist, will discuss old world bluestems, where they come from, why they were introduced, how they can be identified, and grazing animal performance. Fick will also talk about studies he has conducted to reduce or kill old world bluestems in native grass pastures.

Also speaking will be Scott Marsh, Kansas Department of Agriculture noxious weed director, who will explain the state’s views on old world bluestem and the requirements of a county option noxious weed law. He will also discuss how a county option noxious weed would affect local producers.

Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, and Bruno Pedreira, KSU forage specialist, will share the first year’s results of their herbicide application study. This study will continue the next couple of years under a grant received by the Osage County Conservation District.

For more information, contact Schaub at 785-828-4438, [email protected], or Frontier Extension District, 128 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan.

KSU weed expert asks Kansas crop producers to participate in weed management survey

By Shelby Varner, K-State Research and Extension

MANHATTAN, Kan. – A Kansas State University weed ecologist is encouraging the state’s producers to participate in a survey that she says will help with targeted weed control management strategies in the future.

Anita Dille said the 2021 Soybean and Corn Weed Management, Weed Escapes and Targeted Spraying Technologies survey is now available online (see link below) or in the Oct. 7 agronomy eUpdate from K-State Research and Extension.

“There’s so many neat technologies out there now that are being developed and explored where we could be more precise and site specific in how we manage weeds,” Dille said.

Dille and her colleagues on this survey, Rodrigo Werle, of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Chris Proctor, of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, are intrigued to know what producers are seeing in their fields.

“We’re looking at really understanding what kind of weed management people are practicing right now in regard to focusing on corn and soybean production systems in the Midwest,” Dille said.

She said the researchers want to hear responses from anyone in the industry, including farmers, crop consultants, extension agents and advisors.

Mandatory 10-digit dialing begins Sunday in area codes 785 and 620

Ten-digit dialing begins Sunday in area codes 785 and 620. KCC graphic.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansans that live in area codes 785 or 620 will be required to use 10-digit dialing when making local calls beginning on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. At that time, local calls dialed with only seven digits will not go through, and a recording will inform callers their call cannot be completed as dialed. This change, while it may take some time to get used to, will make it easier for persons in crisis to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Last July, the Federal Communications Commission approved 988 as the new abbreviated number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. As a result, any area code that uses the 988 prefix in telephone numbers is mandated to adopt 10-digit dialing. That includes Kansas area codes 785 and 620, which cover the majority of the state. In total, 82 area codes in 36 states will make the change.

The FCC initiated a practice period in April allowing both seven-digit and 10-digit dialing to help callers adjust to the change. On Sunday, 10-digit local calling becomes mandatory with the exception of any three digit abbreviated numbers available in the community, such as 911. Callers will still dial 1 and the area code and telephone number for all long distance calls.

With the switch to 10-digit dialing about to take effect, residents are encouraged to make sure any services with automatic dialing equipment, such as life safety systems, medical monitoring devices, security systems and fire alarms, mobile phone contact lists and call forwarding settings are reprogrammed if needed.

Beginning July 16, 2022, callers can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 988. Until then, callers can dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

Chamber hosts disc golfers for fall tournament at Osage City

Players get ready to tee off at the fall Chamber disc golf tournament. Osage City Chamber photo.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce has announced its Fall Fling Fest Disc Golf Tournament was a success. Approximately 20 participants enjoyed a beautiful but windy day, Oct. 9, 2021, for the tournament at the Jones Park Disc Golf Course, at Osage City, Kan.

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce hosted the tournament with many prizes for winners, and everyone went home with a raffle item donated by Flint Hills Beverage.

Winners were determined for three levels of participants.

Men’s advanced: Jacob Wade, first place; Wyatt Orender, second place; David Hastings, third place.

Men’s intermediate: Todd Hensley, first place; Luke Orender, second place; Kurt Kitselman, third place.

Women’s intermediate: Kelli Orender, first place.

Men’s novice: Jason Butterfield, first place; Devin Trout, second place; Noah Powell, third place.

Women’s novice: Marisa Zimmerman, first place.

Closest to the pin winner: Noah Powell.

Men longest drive: Jason Butterfield.

Women longest drive: Kelli Orender.

The Osage City Chamber would like to thank the sponsors that supported the tournament and are looking forward to a larger participation for 2022.

Frontier Extension District names McFarland as director

Frontier Extension District has announced that Rebecca McFarland has been named as director  of the district. McFarland has been a member of the Frontier Extension District team since the district’s formation in 2010 and prior to that served as the family and consumer sciences agent for Franklin County from 1996 to 2010. McFarland has spent her entire professional career in the cooperative extension system and just completed her 26th year.

Since July 2014, McFarland has served in various leadership roles. She currently serves as a co-leader for the Stress and Resiliency Transdisciplinary Team formed in 2019. She helped lead efforts in addressing behavioral health issues and concerns identified for K-State Research and Extension professionals and Kansans related to the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also a member of the KSRE Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work Group.

“I am excited about the opportunity to serve as director of the Frontier Extension District,” McFarland said. “We have a dedicated staff, and board that is passionate about serving the people across our district. We will continue to work together to address critical issues facing our communities and be innovative and creative in our engagement and delivery.”

Ten-digit dialing begins soon in Kansas area codes 785 and 620

TOPEKA – Kansans that live in area codes 785 or 620 will soon be required to use 10-digit dialing when making local calls. This change will make it easier for persons in crisis to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Last July, the Federal Communications Commission approved 988 as the new abbreviated number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. As a result, any area code that uses the 988 prefix in telephone numbers is mandated by the FCC to adopt 10-digit dialing. That includes Kansas area codes 785 and 620, which cover the majority of the state. In total, 82 area codes in 36 states will make the change.

As it will take time to get in the habit of using 10-digit dialing (example: 785-XXX-XXXX), a practice period has been established. Callers are encouraged to begin using 10-digit calling on April 24, 2021. Any calls dialed with 7-digits will still go through during this practice period.

Beginning Oct. 24, 2021, callers in 785 and 620 area codes must use 10-digit dialing or the call will not go through. The only exceptions are any three digit abbreviated numbers available in the community, such as 911. Callers will still dial 1 and the area code and telephone number for all long distance calls.

Beginning July 16, 2022, callers can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 988. Until then, callers can dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

Osage City opens up garages and yards for spring citywide sales

Osage City is opening its garage doors, driveways and yards to shoppers Friday and Saturday. The town’s citywide garage sales are this weekend, April 16 and 17, 2021, hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber has produced at map that lists sales all over town and designates which section of town and the types of goods for sale. Maps will be available Friday and Saturday at Casey’s, BP, Jerry’s Thriftway, Osage City Hall, and Osage City Library, and on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Donations received for listing sales and for advertising on the map are used for a scholarship for a graduating senior from Osage City High School.

For more information, contact Tricia Gundy, Osage City Chamber garage sale committee chairperson, at 785-528-3301, or Peterson Assisted Living, 629 Holliday St., Osage City.

Also remember you can post your own garage sale for free on Osage County News at

Chamber Chatter: Springtime sprouts activity in local business community

Osage City spring citywide garage sales, April 16-17, 2021

The holidays have been over for a couple months, the ground hog saw his shadow; however, spring time is just around the corner and it is time to get ready to do some spring cleaning. It will soon be that time of the year to sign up for the spring Osage City citywide garage sales, set for April 16 and 17, 2021. This is a great opportunity to get rid of some of that “stuff” you never use and free up some space.

To sign up, contact Tricia Gundy at 785-528-3301 or 785-219-9727. She has revised the area map and is more user friendly, providing a chart for the type of items at the garage sales. She will need your name – as you want it listed on the map, address, a phone number in case of questions about the sale, if you are having the sale Friday and Saturday or Saturday only, what area you are on the map, type of items that you will be selling, and a $5 donation fee. Gundy is also working to make the map available per the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and website. The proceeds go towards a scholarship awarded every year to two Osage City High School graduates. The deadline for adding a sale to the garage sale map is 5 p.m. April 13.

Edward Jones Investments relocates to new office

Dec. 22, 2020, marked the first day of relocation for the Osage City Edward Jones office. Financial advisor Robyn Williams and her team moved east on Market Street one block, from 516 Market St., where the office had been located for 27 years, to 622 Market St.

New Edward Jones office at 622 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

Williams has been an Edward Jones financial advisor for more than 24 years and works to understand the individual goals of her clients prior to assisting them with their financial needs. Her primary goal is to help individual investors develop an investment strategy geared toward their family’s long-term goals. Her team has built their business by treating their clients as they would want to be treated.

Robyn graduated from Fort Hays State University with a bachelor’s degree in business communications, a finance minor and a leadership studies certification. She began her career with Edward Jones in Beloit, Kan., in 1996; then moved to Emporia, Kan., before taking over as the financial advisor in Osage City in June 2001. In August 2008, she earned the accredited asset management specialist designation from the College of Financial Planning. She celebrated her 25-year anniversary with Edward Jones on March 4.

In her Osage City office, Williams is joined by two branch office administrators: Mandi Potter, has more than 22 years of experience in the Osage City branch, and Jen Koch, who has three and a half years of experience.

The Osage City Edward Jones team is planning to have a grand opening at the new location when corporate COVID-19 guidelines allow.

Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship

Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship will be celebrating its 18th annual event April 9-10, 2021. Friday evening’s Taste of Osage City will get underway at 5 p.m. in Jones Park. BBQ Bucks will be on sale prior to the event at Osage City Hall; and at Osage City Community Building during the Friday evening event. The celebration will include a live band outdoors along with a fireworks display.

Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show

The 17th annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show, will be Saturday, April 10, 2021, in downtown Osage City. This year, the Twin Lakes Cruisers will be having additional attractions along with the auto show including the Manhatchet Axe Throw, a craft show at St. Brigid Hall, and also the senior center will be kicking off the citywide garage sales a week early, with a thrift sale at the center.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce seeks 2021 scholarship applications

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce offers a scholarship to one senior girl and one senior boy graduating from Osage City High School. High School graduation is just around the corner and the Chamber is encouraging seniors that are furthering their education to get with Kathy Camarena, Osage City High School counselor, and ask for application information. For the Osage City Chamber of Commerce application, data needed to apply is a transcript, two letters of reference, and an essay from the student on importance of owning and operating a business in a small town. Application must be postmarked by April 23, 2021. The announcement of the winners will be dependent upon the status of the school allowing visitor participation in such events. The 2020 scholarships were awarded to Dylan Shaffer and Kaitlyn Heiserman.

Osage City fire station celebrates St. Patrick’s Day with Budweiser donation

Unloading donated cases of emergency drinking water March 17, 2021, at OCFD No. 2 fire station were, from left, J.D. Lohmeyer, Assistant Chief Scott Brenner, FHB owner Casey Mussatto, Mario Schutter, Colton Hallgren, Dee Long, Lt. Justin Wright, and Cody Wright. Osage County News photo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Although a Budweiser semi-trailer backed up to Osage County Fire District No. 2’s fire station Wednesday morning, there wasn’t a St. Patrick’s Day party going on. Instead, Flint Hills Beverage employee Mario Schutter was unloading a supply of emergency drinking water, canned by Anheuser-Busch, to help provide hydration for local responders during this year’s wildfire season.

With recent wildfire conditions across Kansas and Osage County, Flint Hills Beverage, the local Anheuser-Busch wholesaler partner based in Osage City and Manhattan, arranged for 98 cases of emergency drinking water to be delivered March 17, 2021, to the fire station in Osage City.

J.D. Lohmeyer, Flint Hills Beverage sales manager, said the company was aware of recent efforts of local fire crews fighting numerous pasture fires in the area, and thought the Anheuser-Busch emergency water program would be able help out.

Noting Anheuser-Busch has a longstanding tradition of providing emergency drinking water for disaster relief efforts, Lohmeyer said, “We contacted them, and it only took about three days and the water was here.”

Anheuser-Busch periodically pauses beer production each year to can emergency drinking water to be ready during natural disasters and other crises. The water was donated through Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council.

OCFD No. 2 Assistant Fire Chief Scott Brenner said the fire department welcomed the donation and fire fighters would be able to use it during the Flint Hills fire danger season.

“We are very grateful for the donation of drinking water that was received from Anheuser-Busch, National Volunteer Fire Council, and Flint Hills Beverage,” Brenner said. “Firefighters use water to stay hydrated during incidents to keep them functioning at their best, and the donation couldn’t have come at a better time as we are currently in the grass fire season.”

Brenner said the department consumes approximately 60 cases of water per year during all types of calls, either during structure fires, grass fires, or event standbys on hot days.

“Again thank you to Anheuser-Busch, National Volunteer Fire Council, and Flint Hills Beverage,” Brenner said.

The beer brewer teamed up with the NVFC in 2019 to provide emergency drinking water to help firefighters stay hydrated and healthy when responding to wildfires and large incidents. To date, the program has donated more than 3.2 million cans of water to volunteer firefighters across the country.

For more information about the OCFD No. 2 water donation, contact Lohmeyer at [email protected]. For more information about the emergency drinking water program, see

Frontier Extension schedules virtual meeting on anaplasmosis management for cattle

The Frontier Extension District will host a virtual meeting on “Anaplasmosis in Beef Cattle and Fly Control Strategies,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 17. A.J. Tarpoff, KSU Extension beef veterinarian, will discuss anaplasmosis, and provide any updates on the disease. KSU Extension entomologist Cassandra Olds will highlight fly control and issues with insecticide resistance.

Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection that attacks red blood cells and leads to the destruction of those cells. Signs typically show up in late summer and often the first sign of the disease is finding mature cattle dead in the pasture. Anaplasmosis is reported in every state except Hawaii. In eastern Kansas anaplasmosis is considered an endemic disease. Tarpoff will lead the discussion on the disease, management in cattle, and what can be done to reduce cattle deaths.

Fly control is another concern that takes millions of dollars from the cattle industry. Horn flies are blood feeders and they are responsible for the most loss. The loss comes from a decrease in average daily gain, milk production, and costs associated with fly control. Olds will discuss strategies that can be used to reduce these losses and will discuss other fly species that producers encounter.

To register for the Zoom presentation, contact the Frontier Extension Office in Ottawa at 785-229-3520 or [email protected].

Osage City historical downtown property shares in statewide preservation grants

The Star Block, at 520 Market Street, Osage City, center of photo, was once an early day doctor’s office, operated by Dr. Roup for a year or so sometime around the early 1890s. Photo thanks to the Osage County Historical Society.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – An Osage City property will receive a historic preservation project grant as part of 2021 round of Heritage Trust Fund grant program.

The Star Block, a portion of the downtown in Osage City on Market Street, will receive $90,000 of the total of $1,168,492 awarded for 15 historic preservation projects across the state.

HTF grants reimburse expenses for projects that preserve or restore qualifying historic properties. The funded projects represent a diverse collection of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or the Register of Historic Kansas Places. All awards are contingent upon available funding.

“Kansas has a unique and rich history, and with these awards, we can continue to celebrate and learn about that history for generations to come,” Governor Laura Kelly said in announcing the grants.

Learn about social implications of herbicide choice; annual crop fertility issues

The Frontier Extension District will hold a virtual meeting on “Crop Fertility Issues and Social Implications on Herbicide Choice,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Crop fertility issues surface each year. This virtual crop update features Dr. Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, who will address the latest fertility issues arising in corn and soybeans. Each year sees an increase in potash deficiency and during the growing season. Ruiz Diaz will address these issues and more during the presentation.

Herbicide choice not only has an effect on your crops, but potentially on the neighbors’ as well. Kansas State University agronomy specialists Terry Griffin and Sarah Lancaster will use a game approach that they developed to show how herbicide choices can affect others. With awareness of drift and proper management, hopefully specialty herbicides can continue to be used as effective tools in weed control for producers.

To register for this Zoom presentation, call the Ottawa Extension Office at 785-229-3520, or email [email protected].

K-State veterinarian to outline quality beef practices in virtual meeting

The Frontier Extension District will hold a virtual meeting “Beef Quality Assurance Practices,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

Beef Quality Assurance is a producer driven program in which cattle producers, from the cow-calf producer to the feedlot sector, assume responsibility for producing beef that is a healthy, wholesome, quality product and free from defects such as injection-site lesions and bruises. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in what they eat.

A.J. Tarpoff, KSU Extension beef veterinarian, will be the featured speaker, discussing BQA practices, vaccine care, processing, treatment records, injection site location, and livestock handling using low stress methods. Time will be available at the end of his 45-minute presentation for questions and answers. This meeting will not certify producers in beef quality assurance.

To register for the Zoom presentation, call the Frontier Extension office in Ottawa at 785-229-3520 or email [email protected]

Pandemic limits options for free local tax return assistance

Due to COVID-19, AARP will not be coming to Osage City to do tax preparation this year. To assist taxpayers, Osage City Public Library has compiled some information about availability of local tax assistance.

Tax return preparation assistance is available by calling Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging, 785-235-1367, or Avondale East Community Center, 785-233-1365, both at Topeka, to schedule appointments. Three appointments will need to be made – to pick up paperwork, drop off paperwork, and pick up paperwork. There is no charge for this service.

Appointments also can be scheduled with CCNEK: Catholic Charities of Lawrence by calling 785-856-2694. There is no charge and participants do not need to be of the Catholic faith to use this service.

FHTC completes educational renovations in first phase of Inspiring Wranglers Campaign

FHTC's newly renovated commons area includes space to study or relax.Students returning to Flint Hills Technical College’s main campus for the spring semester are enjoying newly remodeled spaces and labs. The renovations were made possible by the completion of the Inspiring Wranglers campaign that kicked off in 2018. The more than $2 million campaign wrapped up in 2020 with the goal of providing students enhanced educational facilities, helping students achieve success.

“We are excited to have our students utilizing the newly renovated spaces within Phase 1 of the project,” said Mike Crouch, FHTC Vice President of Advancement. “The renovation would not be possible without the support of our many donors and we are extremely appreciative of their generosity to ensure that FHTC students have top of the line learning environments.”

Phase 1 began in August 2020 and the newly finished spaces include a state-of-the-art chemistry lab and upgraded student commons area with student study spaces and a dedicated luncheon area. Hospitality and culinary arts area renovations involved two kitchen labs – a senior teaching kitchen and a demonstration kitchen. Both labs were reconfigured with an optimized layout and outfitted with new equipment and technology. Construction on Phase 2 has begun and is slated to be completed by late spring 2021.

Virtual horticulture series blooms with spring flowers, flower arrangements, design

Frontier Extension District’s second webinar in its virtual horticulture series will be about cut flowers and arrangements. The webinar, at 7 p.m. Feb. 18, 2021, will help participants keep their Valentine’s Day flowers looking fresh longer, and learn which plants or flowers best to make arrangements, and how to design arrangements. Turner Flowers, which has been serving the Franklin County area since 1936, will present the webinar.

The meetings in the horticulture webinar series are free to the public; each will be a 45-minute Zoom presentation with the opportunity to ask the speaker questions at the end. For more information or to register, call Ryan Schaub, horticulture agent, Frontier Extension District Garnett office, at 785-448-6826 or email [email protected].

Other upcoming meetings:

  • March 4, 2021, irrigation for homeowners and gardeners, Cathie Lavis, KSU Extension specialist in landscape management.
  • March 18, 2021, wildlife control- Drew Ricketts, KSU Extension wildlife specialist.

Extension schedules virtual corn and soybean herbicide update

The Frontier Extension District will hold a virtual corn and soybean herbicide update at 7 p.m. Feb.10, 2021.

Sarah Lancaster, KSU weed control specialist, will be the featured speaker. Lancaster will update the latest in herbicide choices for corn and soybeans and will cover the latest on applicator certification needs for respective herbicides. Join in for a short and informative herbicide update.

Anyone interested in registering for the Zoom session should call the Frontier Extension District’s Ottawa office at 785-229-3520 or email [email protected].

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