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Eat Well to Be Well: Pomegranates – Protector of your health

Pomegranates’ seeds and natural juice are a wealth of nutrients beneficial for your health.

Right about now, you may be overlooking an extraordinarily nutritious fruit. And it’s not the usual apples, oranges, or bananas. While all fruits are good for us, the “jewel of the winter,” better known as pomegranates, protects your health. Usually in season from October through February, pomegranates have an outstanding nutritional portfolio, making them a true nutritional gem, and are one of the world’s most popular fruits.

Overview of pomegranates

Pomegranates have a lengthy and rich history dating back to biblical times, with even a mention in the Old Testament, and were often used for medicinal purposes. Believed to have originated in Iran, pomegranate trees do well in hot, dry climates such as California, Afghanistan, India, Israel, Spain, and Mediterranean. The name pomegranate comes from the Latin words ‘pomum” (apple) and “granatum” (seeded), literally meaning “seeded apple.” Pomegranates have a botanical name, “Punica Granatum,” which translates as “apple with many seeds.” The average pomegranate contains about 600 seeds, known as arils. Arils are the only edible part of a pomegranate, along with pomegranate juice, obtained by squeezing the whole fruit.

Nutritional profile of pomegranates

If you’ve never eaten the arils of a pomegranate, you really must try them. The tart yet sweet taste is an enjoyable combination, and with their unique blend of phytochemicals, pomegranates should be a fruit eaten frequently.  

Governor announces new path forward on state license plate

Kansas license plates: State pauses production of new design.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly today announced that the Kansas Department of Revenue will pause production on the license plate design revealed last Wednesday and create a process to receive public input before selecting a final design.

“I promised to be a bipartisan governor, and I think we can all admit – I succeeded at bringing Kansans across the political aisle together in disliking this new license plate,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “I’ve heard you loud and clear. Elected officials should be responsive to their constituents, which is why we are adjusting the process so Kansans can provide direct input on our state’s next license plate.”

One of the challenges of designing a license plate is meeting the primary reason license plates exist: to be clear and easy to read. Kansans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite design among several that follow guidelines that comply with the needs of law enforcement entities and best practices established by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, including:

  • License plate numbers will be seven digits.
  • Any phrase, motto, or slogan must be placed at the bottom of the license plate.
  • Any graphic must be placed on the right or left side of the license plate number.
  • Graphics must not resemble letters, numbers, or special characters in a way that would interfere with the ability to read the license plate number.
  • Background design must not interfere with the ability to read the license plate number.
  • The license plate must have a light background behind the license plate number, and the license plate number must be black.

The Governor’s Office will share more details soon on license plate options, the voting process, and how this announcement impacts the transition from embossed to print-on-demand plates.

A Cowboy’s Faith: Constant task maintaining fences

“Fence is essential for keeping livestock, pets, and sometimes even children out of trouble and where they’re supposed to be.”

Days of open range are long gone when cattle grazed at random going from one location to another without boundary.

There was major disgruntlement between landowners and cattlemen when fences were constructed to keep livestock in their specified place.

Barbed wire was used for building many fences and is still the most common material for keeping livestock confined.

Interesting evaluating early day fences constructed out of native limestone. Remains of those rock fences still exist although likely none can safely be used to keep livestock in. Difficult to imagine the arduous work required to build and maintain those layered rock fences.

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.Of course, fences for centuries have been built using various other materials with wood probably the most recurrent.

Regardless of how well a barbed wire fence is built, there seems to be unending maintenance. One large rancher contended that all barbed wire fences must be rebuilt on a regular basis. He felt that fence replacement should be done on a certain footage half mile, more-or-less, every year.

Willing Workers’ hard work adds holiday spirit to Osage City’s Christmas festivities

Willing Workers 4-H Club’s float decorated, loaded and ready to head to Osage City’s Christmas on Market Street parade, Nov. 11, 2023. The float won third place. Courtesy photo.

By Lena Stucky
Club Reporter

The Willing Workers 4-H Club had such a busy week at the first of November. Let’s go over the highlights. The week started on Sunday when the Willing Workers really put the work in our name to use. Members came together to build the float for the Christmas on Market parade. The 4-Her’s worked diligently on the smaller details while the adults worked on the big presents and fireplace.

Tuesday was the annual 4-H award ceremony for 4-H clubs in the Frontier Extension District. At the ceremony each club gets recognized for their work this past 4-H year.

Kyle Stromgren and Sharon Theilen were nominated as 4-H alumni of the year by Willing Workers 4-H members.

We would like to highlight the two individuals that received the 4-H alumni recognition of the year.  Sharon Thielen, who is a part of the Willing Workers Club, organizes our community outreach activities including caroling to the nursing homes, clean up at Smoke In the Spring, and our annual Easter egg hunt.

Also receiving the alumni award was Dr. Kyle Stromgren. Dr. Stromgren is a huge help to all district 4-H clubs, especially during fair time. He does the wellness checks for all animals and then also donates back to 4-H members.

On Wednesday, the Willing Works hosted their appreciation dinner.  This is a time for members to reflect back on the past 4-H year and thank those who helped them.

On Saturday, the Willing Workers ran a bake sale at the Osage County Senior Center to raise money for our club.

The club entered our float in the “Home for the Holidays” parade, earning third place. It was a busy week but members were able to make many memories together.

Local students begin journey toward college at Apply Free Days Kansas

On Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, students from area schools traveled to Emporia to Flint Hills Technical College for Apply Free Kansas. Here seniors were able to apply for their FSA ID, college applications and scholarships, with college representatives and tech support to assist them. Students from Marais des Cygnes Valley High School who attended the event were Brooke Spillman, Aydin Deeter, Jaxson Dorr, Haylea Bethell, Mason Rose, and Kelsey Rice. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Eat Well to Be Well: Enjoy Thanksgiving guilt-free with three empowering approaches

Feeling anxious about weight gain this holiday season? Here’s how to stop Thanks-guilting and start enjoying Thanksgiving.

This year, don’t allow worries about overeating ruin your Thanksgiving celebration with loved ones. It’s a once-a-year occasion that should be enjoyed without reservation. Instead, recognize that this holiday has several healthy opportunities to take advantage of that can benefit your overall health and well-being. By reminding yourself of these benefits, you can avoid feeling guilty about food and thoroughly enjoy the festivities of this holiday.

Here’s what you need to know to overcome negative emotions associated with holiday food:

1. Be physically active

Here’s a news bulletin you need to hear: Participating in a rough and tumble family football game is optional to earn the holiday meal! However, it’s important to note that engaging in other physical activities related to the holiday also counts towards achieving this goal. Acknowledging and appreciating the various physical activities of the holiday season is crucial.

Here’s a look at “physical activities” you likely will participate in but may not have considered:

  • Cooking. Preparing a Thanksgiving meal is a time-consuming task requiring much effort. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, standing and lifting weights under 50 pounds are considered moderate-intensity tasks, which can burn around 3.5 to 7 calories per minute. Therefore, spending about 2 to 4 hours preparing food before the main meal could potentially burn 400 to 1,200 calories even before indulging in the feast.
  • Enjoying your family. It is crucial to remember that your body is continually using energy, even when you are not working out intentionally. Daily activities, such as chatting with your friends and family or taking care of kids, can be categorized into different intensity levels. For instance, playing with your kids can be classified as a moderate-intensity activity, while standing is considered a low-intensity activity, which means it burns fewer than 3.5 calories per minute.
  • Cleaning. Hosting a party is always fun, but cleaning up before and after can be a hassle. However, this presents a great opportunity to engage in moderate-intensity activity by finishing those cleaning tasks! If you didn’t host the gathering, why not help the host clean up? Not only will it be good for your physical well-being, but it’s also a great way to cultivate social relationships.

2. Savor healthy Thanksgiving foods

Although Thanksgiving foods may seem indulgent, many contain essential nutrients that benefit your body’s health.

Osage County school and city unofficial election results, Nov. 7, 2023

A general election in Osage County, Kan., was held Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, with municipal, school board and Frontier Extension District board member candidates on the ballot. Results will not be official until canvassed by the Osage County Commission at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. The following are Osage County’s unofficial results of the election as released Tuesday night.

Hometown health scare: Star Wars villains make spooky appearances on Halloween

Lyndon’s crossing guard had unexpected assistance on Halloween, as Darth Vader showed up to help at the school crossing. Courtesy photo.

A couple of local business people decided to have some fun on Halloween, and ended up visiting senior centers, senior living apartments, the sheriff’s office, chambers of commerce, and hospitals across Osage, Lyon, and Coffey counties.

Maria Petersen, marketing specialist with Home Town Health Care, and the company’s COO Jon Reed dressed in Star Wars costumes for the day – Peterson was a storm trooper and Reed was Darth Vader.

Franny Deters holds Darth Vader at bay with a light saber during his Halloween visit to the Osage County Senior Center. Courtesy photo.

The two started their day with the Lyndon school crossing patrol near Casey’s in Lyndon, helping kids cross Topeka Avenue on their way to school. The kids seemed to like Darth Vader helping stop traffic as they crossed. Later in the day while visiting a hospital, the two were told it was just as exciting as a driver being stopped by Darth Vader while on their way to work. They were told one driver took a photo because he said his wife would never believe him when he told her Darth Vader was helping at the school zone.

During a stop at Osage County Senior Center, the storm trooper called bingo while Darth Vader watched and visited with seniors. The two also made an appearance at Burlington, at the city’s trunk-or-treat held on Neosho Street.

The Star Wars duo spread Halloween fun across the area, wishing everyone a happy and safe Halloween.

Melvern celebrates autumn by gettin’ down on the farm

Melvern is getting “down on the farm” for fall, and is inviting everyone to celebrate at the Melvern Fall Festival, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in downtown Melvern. The morning will start off with a biscuits and gravy breakfast at Melvern Community Center.

This year’s festival will feature a tractor and small engine show, and Stone and Sparrow Farm Mill and a flour mill demo. Everyone in the Melvern community and surrounding area is invited to bring their tractors or small engines in to display. There will be a few prizes.

Also at the event,  Melvern Pride will be hosting its first tractor pedal pull for kids 4-12, who can qualify for the state pedal pull. Adults won’t be left out and can try their hand at the tractor pedal pull – fun for the whole family.

For more information see Facebook – Events: Melvern Fall Fest Down on the Farm, or contact Lisa Litch at 785-549-3676.

Melvern Fall Fest “Down on the Farm”
Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023
Schedule of events

  • 7-10 a.m. – Pride Breakfast, Community Center
  • 8 a.m.-noon – Fall Market, Community Center
  • 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. – Tractor and Small Engine Show – registration opens at 9 a.m.
  • 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – Food Trucks
  • 9 a.m. – Canvas Painting Accented Art with Mary
  • 10 a.m. – Pedal Tractor Pull registration
  • 10:30 a.m. – Pedal Tractor Pull – Kids event with adults to follow
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Face Painting
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m. – Touch a Truck
  • 12:30 p.m. – Down on the Farm Barnyard Blitz Fun Run (starts at the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School parking lot.)
  • 1 p.m. – Games, Cow Patty Bingo and more
  • 2:30 p.m. – Tractor Parade

Eat Well to Be Well: Finding time for healthy habits

Taking time to plan, prioritize, and problem-solve can help you reach your behavior change goals

Achieving behavior change goals, such as healthy eating and exercise, requires planning, prioritizing, and problem-solving. Putting these three “P’s” to work will help you stay on track and overcome any obstacles that may hinder your success.

Beginning a new behavior can be challenging and sometimes even overwhelming. But when utilizing the skills of planning, prioritizing, and problem-solving, suddenly, everything tends to fall into place.

Let’s explore how you can put these skills and ideas into action in order to attain a healthy and active lifestyle.

Meal and Physical Activity Planning

A famous quote from former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt says, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” Mrs. Roosevelt understood that wishing upon a star rarely results in our wishes coming true. A better approach is to make small, realistic goals and plan for how you will achieve them. By doing so, you can use your energy more effectively and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcomes.

When planning, always review your routine, be adaptable to change, and overcome barriers by being flexible and creative.

Meal Planning

Regarding meal planning, it’s helpful to have a designated day of the week to assess the foods you need to buy based on your planned meals. Making a shopping list and preparing food ahead of time can also save you time and hassle. Additionally, keeping simple meals in regular rotation can help speed the meal-making process and reduce the temptation to eat out.

Physical Activity Planning

Due to time constraints, exercise can sometimes seem impossible to incorporate. However, we can overcome this obstacle by adding simple physical activities to our schedule. For instance, we can practice yoga or stretching for 10 minutes every morning or before bedtime. We can also walk during our lunch break or after dinner, depending on what suits us best. Even small movements can have a positive impact on our health. We can make the most of any opportunity to move, such as parking farther from our destination, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking for 10 minutes inside our house. Being creative and consistent with movement throughout the day leads to results.

NWS issues flood warning for Lyndon area; flash flood warning for east central Kansas

The National Weather Service is warning of localized flooding in the Lyndon, Kan., area Wednesday, and possible flash flooding across Osage, Franklin and Coffey counties at mid day.

The NWS flood warning is for Salt Creek at the south edge of Lyndon, which was approaching flood stage of 10 feet as of 6:46 a.m. today, Oct. 25, 2023, when the warning was issued. Minor flooding is forecast with flood effects expected to end by Thursday morning.

NWS reports that at a flood stage of 10 feet, Salt Creek is bank full and minor lowland flooding begins in a farm field west of the U.S. Highway 75 bridge, near the south Lyndon city limit. At 14.3 feet, water overflows the north bank of the creek and flows into fields north of Salt Creek east of the U.S. 75 bridge. At 16.0 feet, South Berryton Road floods three miles east of Lyndon. The creek is expected to rise above flood stage of 10 feet this morning, and crest at 14.5 feet this afternoon. It is forecast to fall below flood stage this evening.

Tuesday’s overnight rain, estimated at three to nine inches locally, has also resulted in NWS issuing a flash flood warning for Osage County, northwestern Coffey County, northwestern Franklin, which is in effect this morning until 10:30 a.m.

At 6:24 a.m., Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area, with between three and nine inches of rain having fallen overnight. At the time of the warning, flash flooding was ongoing or expected to begin shortly. Flash flooding can occur on small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, and other poor drainage and low-lying areas.

NWS warns of areas on Interstate 35 between mile markers 144 and 153, and 169 and 181, which are known to flash flood. Other locations that can experience flash flooding include Ottawa, Osage City, Lyndon, Centropolis, Lebo, Pomona, Quenemo, Melvern, Reading, Olivet, Pomona Lake And Melvern Lake.

NWS warns that most flooding related deaths occur in vehicles and drivers should heed the saying, “Turn around, don’t drown” when encountering flooded roads. Drivers are advised to be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding.

NWS reports weather radio outage for Osage, Coffey counties, surrounding area

The National Weather Service reported today, Oct. 24, 2023, the Halls Summit NOAA weather radio is off the air due to a circuit issue, causing a weather radio outage for the area served by the transmitter. NWS reported technicians have been notified and are working to repair it, but there is no estimated restore time.

From its location at Halls Summit, Kan., Coffey County, about seven miles southwest of Waverly, the transmitter broadcasts at 162.425. It covers an area that includes Osage, Lyon, Coffey, Anderson and Franklin counties, and portions of Shawnee, Douglas, Allen, Woodson, Greenwood, Morris, and Wabaunsee counties.

Neighboring transmitters that service some of these areas include WZ2512 at Parker, broadcasting on Ch. 6 or frequency 162.525 MHz; WXK95 at Chanute, broadcasting on Ch. 1 or frequency 162.400 MHz; KID77 at Kansas City, broadcasting on Ch. 7 or frequency 162.550 MHz; WXK91 at Topeka, broadcasting on Ch. 4 or frequency 162.475 MHz.

Lady Indians On the Run finish final 5K of season

Oct. 10, 2023, members of the Lady Indians On the Run group from Osage City, participated in their final 5K run of the season. Lady Indians On the Run is an after school program for girls in grades third through fifth. Twice a week, members work on skills to boost their confidence, build friendships, and encourage positive communication. Along with the lessons, students then run and work on teamwork. These girls had a great running season! Coaches for the groups are Darcy Keeffe and Collene Stucky. Courtesy photo.

Motorists encouraged to be on the lookout for deer

Vehicle-deer crashes can happen any day of the year on Kansas roadways. Across the state, 37 percent of all single-vehicle crashes in 2022 involved a collision with a deer. The Kansas Department of Transportation reports six people were killed and 575 people were injured in collisions with deer in 2022.

KDOT reports indicate there were 112 vehicle-deer collisions in Osage County in 2022. Four of those crashes resulted in injuries; 108 were listed as property damage only crashes. In nearby counties, Franklin had 183 crashes with eight injuries; Lyon had 182 crashes and three injuries; Wabaunsee had 99 crashes with six injuries.

These crashes greatly increase from now until the end of the year because of deer breeding season, with November typically the peak time. This is why KDOT, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and others are joining to raise awareness and help decrease vehicle-deer crashes.

“If a deer enters the roadway in front of your car, it is best to hit the animal and not swerve to avoid it,” said KHP Captain Candice Breshears. “We find more serious crashes occur when you swerve to miss the deer, potentially losing control of your vehicle, leaving the road or veering into oncoming traffic.”

Roadway safety officials suggest drivers:

  • Be especially watchful at dawn and dusk when deer are more active.
  • If you see one deer, expect others, as deer seldom travel alone.
  • Be alert and reduce speeds near wooded areas or green spaces and near water sources such as streams and ponds.
  • Deer crossing signs show areas where high numbers of vehicle-deer collisions have occurred in the past; but they can happen on any roadway, including city streets.
  • Do not swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Motorists could then veer into oncoming traffic, run off the road, hit objects or overturn.
  • Use bright headlights when there is no oncoming traffic and scan for the reflective eyes of deer.
  • If a collision occurs, move the vehicle to the roadway’s shoulder. Then, if possible, call law enforcement – KHP dispatch at *47, the Kansas Turnpike at *KTA or local law enforcement at 911.
  • Put the vehicle’s hazard lights on, whether it is light or dark outside.
  • Remain in the vehicle with your seat belt fastened to be better protected.
  • Contact your insurance company to report any vehicle damage.

Anyone involved in a collision with a deer or other animal resulting in personal injury or property damage totaling $1,000 or more is required to immediately report the incident to the nearest law enforcement agency.

Nadia Marji, KDWP public affairs chief, said a common question to the agency is if a hunting license is needed to personally take a deer carcass from a crash scene.

“KDWP has a process in place for this through salvage tags,” Marji said. “A salvage tag is required to remove all or part of a deer carcass from an accident site and can be issued by a KDWP game warden, KHP trooper or sheriff’s deputy.”

Increase roadway safety this fall and throughout the year by staying alert, obeying posted laws and eliminating distractions while driving. Always wear a seat belt and use appropriate child safety seats, every trip, every time.

Starting a new 4-H year, Willing Workers continue willingly working

Willing Workers 4-H Club gets ready for cleaning chores at the Osage City fairgrounds. Courtesy photo.

Lena Stucky, Club Reporter

The Willing Workers 4-H Club has spent a lot of time helping the community these last 12 months. Last fall we spent a Sunday afternoon at Osage City Elementary School’s new playground raking, weeding, and cleaning to prepare it for students to enjoy.

Late last winter our 4-H group made sugar cookies and distributed them to the assisted living facilities around Osage City.

This spring we hosted the second annual Osage City citywide easter egg hunt, hiding over 2,000 eggs stuffed with prizes for the children of our community to enjoy. We had many easter egg hunters this year ranging from toddlers on up.

This summer we put in several sweaty hours cleaning the Osage City fairgrounds in preparation for, and again after, the Osage City fair.

Next month will kick off a new 4-H year of fun, projects, and serving the community. We are looking forward to a new year of service.

Celebrating National 4-H Week
Oct. 1-7, 2023!

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.

Conference speaker encourages Stuco members to keep ‘eyes up’ while driving

Marais des Cygnes Valley Stuco members at the regional conference at Silver Lake High School, front from left, Bill Romi, Meka Freeman, Haylie Fine, Braylee Patterson, and Greyson Stephens, middle, Kelsey Rice, Akyra Traver, Kaylynn Todd, Taytum Gellhaus, Ella Reed, and Aubrey Vogeler, back, Olivia Lacey, Emily Criqui, Bella Reeser, Kate Patterson, Colbie Cormode, and Gracen Stahl. Not pictured are Montana McCurdy, Allie Reeser, and sponsor Lisa Reeser.

On Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, the Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High and High School StuCo traveled to Silver Lake High School for the regional Stuco conference.

Keynote speaker was Ben Grannis, who shared with the students his message of ‘Eyes Up’; his mission of encouraging everyone to be a safe driver and keep their eyes on the road while driving.

After this, students broke up into groups for a general session and advisors had their own meeting. Following the conference, MdCV Stuco members enjoyed lunch at Red Robin before returning to school.

Eat Well to Be Well: Jump-start weight loss with a protein-packed breakfast

Adding more protein to your diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight. And the best time to begin starts in the morning by eating breakfast.

Starting your day with a protein-rich breakfast can be an effective strategy if you’re looking to lose weight. Research has demonstrated that a high-protein breakfast can assist in achieving weight loss objectives and preventing weight gain in both teenagers and adults.

Often touted as “the most important meal of the day,” breakfast is already well-known for improving concentration, memory, and energy levels. A high-protein breakfast’s effectiveness for weight loss is becoming increasingly apparent. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that a high-protein breakfast can be valuable for weight loss, particularly in teenagers. So, what defines how much protein should be in a high-protein breakfast? The magic numbers appear to be 25-35 grams. Unfortunately, the average American consumes far short of that, with approximately only 10 to 15 grams at breakfast, and the protein source often coming from high-sugar breakfast cereals.

Skipping breakfast is directly linked to weight gain, higher BMI, and obesity. It is imperative to acknowledge the significance of a balanced breakfast and not overlook its impact on overall health and wellness. Therefore, it is highly recommended to make sure that breakfast is an essential part of our daily routine.

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