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Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club: April meeting makes May flowers

Making May Day baskets at the April meeting of the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club are Morgan Young, Allie Kneisler, and Kendall Young. Courtesy photo.

By Morgan Young, Club Reporter

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had a fantastic meeting at 4:30 p.m. April 11, 2021. The 4-Hers made May Day baskets for the care home facility in Osage City. They used their creativity to make flowers out of paper.

There were three project talks presented at the meeting. Grayson Wine showed us how to make peppermint candy ornaments. He even ate some afterwards. Gage Kilgore told us how to rig a fishing pole. Kendall Wine demonstrated how to make a paper airplane. It was flying around for the rest of the meeting.

Members who participated in district club days were recognized, including Ethan Kneisler (blue), Tyler Williams (purple), Grayson Wine (purple), Allie Kneisler (purple), and Kendall Wine (blue). Some of them got to move on to regionals, too, including Ethan Kneisler (red), Tyler Williams (blue), Grayson Wine (blue), and Allie Kneisler (blue). Good job guys!

There will not be a meeting in May. We will be doing a project showcase for the June 13 meeting. There will be a farm tour with potluck following.

MdCV Stuco members continue tradition for Melvern’s annual Easter egg hunt

The Melvern community was able to enjoy the annual Easter egg hunt this year due to the efforts of the local junior high school student council.

For many years, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club has held the Melvern Easter Egg Hunt, but when the Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High Stuco found out this year the 4-H club couldn’t do it, they didn’t let their community down.

The StuCo spent a week putting eggs together and stuffing them with candy (with most of the candy donated by community member Lori Walker) in preparation for the big day. Stuco members felt blessed with a beautiful day and a huge crowd of people who showed up on Saturday, April 3, 2021, to celebrate the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

Eat Well to Be Well:Learn the truth about 5 food myths

Discerning between food truths and food myths is really hard sometimes. From excellent nutrition advice to extremely bad to downright dangerous nutrition advice, what’s a consumer to do? Since all of us have to eat and all of us are consumers of food, knowing the truth of how to follow a healthy, nutritious diet can get lost in the shuffle of nutrition myths – which have grown exponentially over the years.

Unfortunately, there will be those who, without any nutrition degrees or backing of science, feel compelled to enlighten us on their opinion on what a healthy diet should be. But don’t be swayed. Here are some common diet and food myths you deserve to know the truth behind the tale:

Kansas City man charged with intent to distribute cocaine after traffic stop on I-35

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – A Kansas City, Mo., man was charged with possessing more than two pounds of cocaine last week after being stopped for speeding along Interstate 35 in southeast Osage County,Kan.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office reported in a press release that Hector A. Corona-Torres, 23, of Kansas City, Mo., was arrested on suspicion of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana, after he was stopped around 10:56 a.m., April 21, 2021, near milepost 165 on I-35.

The sheriff’s report said narcotics were detected during the stop and a search of the vehicle revealed a small amount of marijuana and 2.08 pounds of cocaine. Court documents indicate sheriff’s deputy Christian Moran was the arresting officer, and the sheriff’s office K-9 handler, deputy James Cason, was listed as a witness.

The second count in the complaint filed by Osage County Attorney Jack Hobbs in Osage County District Court last week indicates Corona-Torres was pulled over for driving 78 mph in the 75 mph speed zone. Count 1 of the complaint charges Corona-Torres with felony possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams but less than a kilogram of cocaine.

Corona-Torres was released from the Osage County Jail on $50,000 bond, with the bond posted Saturday by ABC Bonding, Oskaloosa, Kan. In an affidavit filed by Corona-Torres requesting a court appointed attorney, he stated he has been unemployed for more than a year. The court declared Corona-Torres indigent, and appointed attorney Bryan Hastert to represent him in court proceedings.

The bond requires Corona-Torres to appear at a hearing set for 9 a.m. May 13, 2021, in Osage County District Court, Lyndon, Kan.

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).

Spring car show brings relief from year of pandemic

The Osage City Police Department and Osage County Sheriff Office selected Taurance Roberson, left front, of Platte City, Mo., to receive the “Thin Blue Line Award”. The thin blue line flag stands for the sacrifice law enforcement officers of the nation make each day. The Twin Lakes Cruisers used the opportunity to express appreciation, respect and thanks for law enforcement for their service to Osage City and Osage County. Twin Lakes Cruisers photo.

Approximately 210 entrants participated in the 17th Annual Cruis’n & Cook’n Auto  Show, Saturday, April 10, 2021, in downtown Osage City along Market Street. The show was deemed a success, though the morning started out somewhat concerning regarding the weather. Mother Nature kept the rain away, and even though the temperature was a bit cool, the sun was able to break through the clouds and gave us a nice day. Everyone seemed to be ready to get out and enjoy an event after a year of uncertainty with the pandemic. The Twin Lakes Cruisers had to cancel the car show last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the participants were pleased when they learned the car club had made the decision to go ahead and have the show this year.

Thank you
Twin Lakes Cruisers appreciate the downtown business district’s support and participation with the event. They also appreciate the spectator enthusiasm and attendance and are proud to organize an event that all ages can enjoy.

The Twin Lakes Cruisers announced the following entrants as winners of the show:

Piggin’ Whiskey O.G. claims grand championship at Smoke in the Spring 2021

Grand champion winner of Smoke in the Spring 2021 was Piggin’ Whiskey O.G.; accepting the award for the team are, from left, Ashton Smith, Jaxson Soerries, and head cook Josh Farley (presented by Smoky the Pig).

Smoke might still be lingering in Osage City from last weekend’s 18th annual Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship, but the grand champions headed back to Oak Grove, Mo. to celebrate.

Piggin’ Whiskey O.G., with head cook Josh Farley, of Oak Grove, earned prize winnings totaling $5,980 from the Osage City contest, after taking the grand championship with fourth place in chicken, 51st place in pork, second place in ribs, and 10th in brisket. The team also broke the 700 point barrier, winning the top spot in the contest with 703.44.

In Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned contests, membership in the “700 club” is achieved when enough points are earned in the four main categories, chicken, ribs, pork and brisket, to total 700 or more. A 180 is considered a perfect score in a single category. Piggin’ Whiskey picked up a 180 with their second place ribs entry, helping to secure their win with highest number of points. Adding to the team’s wins for the weekend, young team member Jaxson Soerries took fifth place in the 6-10 age group of Kids-Q.

The grand champs shared their 700 club spot with the reserve grand champions, Finger Leikham Good, head cook Chris Leikam, Wamego, Kan., with 701.7028, and the third place winner, The American Dream BBQ Team, David Qualls, Tecumseh, Okla., 700.5144.

Seven teams picked up a 180 pin during the completion, with two 180s awarded in chicken, two 180s in ribs, and three in pork.

The high scoring competition boosts Smoke in the Spring’s reputation as a world class contest, where some of the best barbecue cooks in the U.S. come to compete. During the weekend, 105 barbecue teams from 10 states gathered in Osage City’s Jones Park. The field included a number of top teams on the circuit, including KCBS teams of the year, Jack Daniels World Champion, and numerous grand champions from state championships.

KDHE issues air quality health advisory due to prescribed burns

TOPEKA, Kan. – Prescribed burning within the Flint Hills region yesterday has contributed to elevated air pollutant levels for parts of Kansas this morning, April 14, 2021. Additional burning today will continue to impact air quality for the southern Flint Hills westward, including Wichita, the Red Hills region, and perhaps as far west as Liberal.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) will likely range from moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups, and even unhealthy at times for localized areas today through Thursday. The most significant impacts will occur during the evening, overnight and mornings hours. View the current air quality and AQI for specific areas on www.airnow.gov.

Burning within the Flint Hills occurs annually to help preserve the tallgrass prairie, control invasive species such as eastern red cedar and sumac, and provide better forage for cattle. Prescribed burning minimizes risk of wildfires and is used in managing rangeland resources. Smoke from the burns can influence the air quality of downwind areas and can be carried long distances.

Prescribed burns release large amounts of particulate matter and substances that can form ozone. Particulate matter and ozone can cause health problems, even in healthy individuals. Common health problems include burning eyes, runny nose, coughing, and illnesses such as bronchitis. Individuals with respiratory issues, pre-existing heart or lung diseases, children, and elderly may experience worse symptoms.

Steps to protect your health on days when smoke is present:

  • Healthy people should limit or avoid strenuous outdoor exercise.
  • People with respiratory or heart related illnesses should remain indoors.
  • Help keep indoor air clean by closing doors and windows and running air conditioners with air filters.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Contact a doctor if showing symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath or severe fatigue.

KDHE and partners continue to implement the Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan to help mitigate air quality impacts that result from burning. The plan includes recommendations to minimize and disperse the smoke produced by burning. For more information about the burning in the Flint Hills and the Flint Hills Smoke Management Plan, see www.ksfire.org.

Where there’s smoke there’s BBQ at Osage City

Where there’s smoke there’s barbecue –  that is how it’s been in April at Osage City for about 18 years, except for last year. Postponed until Halloween last year due to COVID-19 conditions, the Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship is back on track for springtime barbecue competition in 2021.

The competition gets underway for the outdoor chefs Friday night as many start warming up their cookers, but the fun also fires up at the community barbecue party, Taste of Osage City, starting at 5 p.m.

Last year the community portion of BBQ contest was canceled due to the pandemic, but Friday night Osage City’s Jones Park will again be the site of a giant outdoor smorgasbord. During the “Taste”, about 11 barbecue cookers will be offering samples of delicacies they have created in exchange for BBQ Bucks. BBQ Bucks can be purchased in advance at Osage City Hall until noon Friday; then they will be sold at the Osage City Community Building at Jones Park 1 to 7 p.m. The menu ranges from pulled pork sliders and ribs, to “moink balls”, or something more exotic like a “Hot Mess” or smoked mac ‘n’ cheese.

Friday evening also includes live band Chance Encounters, known for their party rock and guitar chaos. The band will spark up around 7 p.m. near the south end of the Osage City recreation building, with the beer garden nearby.

Sometime around 9 p.m. or dark, local fireworks distributor Garret Fireworks will really light the place up with a display of many of their products. Parking is available for the event at the open grass area west of state Highway 170, west of the football bleachers. Launch zone will be the south part of Jones Park.

While Osage City and its guests celebrate smoke in the spring, the competition BBQ chefs begin setting their attention toward the challenges facing them the next day – mainly they have chicken, pork, ribs, and brisket on their minds.

Smoke in the Spring organizer Corey Linton reported this week he had 110 barbecue teams signed up to cook Saturday. Due to the reputation of Osage City’s Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned contest, the field includes some of the top cookers from across the United States.

“The team quality this year is really high,” Linton said, noting among the competitors are last year’s KCBS Team of the Year Getting’ Basted, and runner up Slaps BBQ, along with many other grand champs and top winners in the KCBS barbecue circuit.

Linton said Travis Clark and Clark Crew would be returning to Smoke in the Spring after a one year hiatus. Clark has built his reputation as a champion cooker in part with three grand championships at Smoke in the Spring, along with 2019 grand champion of the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, and a past KCBS team of the year.

“We have teams from around 12 different states – from Minnesota down through New Mexico,” Linton said. “There are going to be a lot of really good teams here this weekend.”

Osage City’s event will also host some VIPs in the barbecue world this weekend, with Carolyn Wells, a co-founder of KCBS, serving as one of the KCBS contest reps. Wells and her late husband, Gary, and friend, Rick Welch, founded KCBS in 1986.

Smoke in the Spring usually has six KCBS reps oversee the contest, and Linton said Wells had requested to help out at Osage City this year.

“It’s a big honor having her wanting to be involved in our contest,” Linton said, “especially since KCBS is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.”

He said the KCBS anniversary is also bringing the organization’s CEO Emily Detwiler to Smoke in the Spring this year. The KCBS anniversary is also pretty special to Linton this year, as he was elected to serve as one of the 2021 KCBS board of directors.

Also visiting will be Beth Breeding, of the National Turkey Federation, which is sponsoring a Turkey Smoke category for the contest this year.

Lyndon farm serves as headquarters for statewide celebration of farmers

Sandy, Darrell and Clint Sturdy explain to Gov. Laura Kelly and Sen. Rick Kloos some of the history of their family farm near Lyndon.

LYNDON, Kan. – Last Tuesday, when Gov. Laura Kelly’s SUV rolled out of a Kansas rainstorm and into a machine shed near Lyndon, she wasn’t there just for a barn party – it was a nationwide celebration.

Like the spring rains, the governor and other dignitaries were welcomed to family-operated Sturdy Farms to celebrate the agriculture heritage of Kansas, and the hard work and determination that produces the world’s food. In recognition of Kansas Agriculture Month, Kelly had come for a tour of the family’s farm operation, and to sign a proclamation in the Sturdys’ equipment barn recognizing all farmers and ranchers across the state for their labors invested in feeding the world.

Soggy roads and fields curtailed the farm tour to viewing the family’s historical farm through the barn door and pouring rain, with Clint Sturdy pointing out the family’s present and former homesteads across cropland and hayfields south and west of Lyndon. Sturdy said the family’s farm was started in 1898 and has continued as a family cattle and grain operation throughout the years. Sturdy Farms is operated by Clint, Rod, and Darrell Sturdy and family members.

The governor said the small celebration turned out to be more than she expected, noting the attendance of members of the Lyndon High School FFA chapter, state Sen. Rick Kloos, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kelsey Olson, and local citizens, but said Kansas farmers deserved special recognition this year after maintaining the nation’s food supply during pandemic conditions.

“During the pandemic, that was so evident – by the hard work of our farmers and ranchers we were able to keep our supply chain here in Kansas pretty much intact,” Kelly said. “We were the only state that did not have to shut down our meat production throughout the entire pandemic – all due to the very hard work of our farmers and ranchers, and some help from our federal partners helping us figure out how we could do that safely.”

Introducing the governor, Deputy Secretary Olson pointed out Kelly had a role in helping to keep the state’s food supply uninterrupted. “I’m very proud to say she is first governor to procure vaccines for our meat processing industry,” Olson said.

Olson said the state also utilized government COVID-19 funds for maintaining food production in the state. “One of the most exciting things I got to work on this past year was to be able to provide $11.6 million of coronavirus relief funds to the Kansas economy,” Olson said. “These dollars went directly to support food capacity in Kansas.”

The celebration also included the governor’s announcement that Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses exported more than $4 billion in goods in 2020 – up more than $214 million from the previous year.

“This is the first time exports have surpassed $4 billion in our state since 2014,” Kelly said. “That’s a huge accomplishment – our agriculture workers should be proud.”

Sen. Kloos told the barn gathering that as a newly elected state senator and originally “from the city” he had a lot to learn, but he knew the importance of agriculture to Kansas.

“It’s a good day in Kansas when we talk about our farmers. I’ve come just to appreciate the farmers,” Kloos said. “I really believe in the farming community and all that you guys do.”

Before signing the proclamation, Gov. Kelly said the celebration should be about gratitude to the state’s food producers.

“We do owe our farmers and ranchers gratitude, not only today but really every day,” the governor said. “Every time we take a bite, remember why you have that food on your table.”

The governor’s proclamation declares the month of March as Kansas Agriculture Month, and March 23, 2021, as Kansas Agriculture Day. The statewide observation coincides with the celebration of National Agriculture Day, which has a theme this year of “Food Brings Everyone to the Table” – a reminder that the food everyone enjoys exists because of the dedication and hard work of farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses.

“Farmers and ranchers are the true foundation of both the state of Kansas and our nation,” Kelly said. “It’s through their hard work that we are able to eat and have food on our tables. We owe them great gratitude for all their hard work and long hours to produce our food and take care of us in the future.”

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 www.nvfc.org/water.

Burlingame resident found deceased in her apartment; KBI investigates

BURLINGAME, Kan. – The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office, and the Burlingame Police Department are investigating after a woman was found deceased in her apartment Monday in Burlingame, Kan.

The KBI said Cristina Pratt, 49, was found inside her apartment about 9:30 a.m. Monday, March 15, 2021, after a friend had reported concern about her welfare.

The KBI reported that Sunday evening, March 14, the friend called the Burlingame Police Department when she could not reach Pratt. Burlingame officers attempted to contact Pratt at her apartment at 134 W. Lincoln St., but the apartment was quiet and nobody answered the door. Still unable to locate Pratt by Monday morning, officers returned to the address and arranged for the owner to unlock the apartment. At approximately 9:30 a.m., they entered the residence and found Pratt dead inside. Investigators believe she was the victim of foul play. An autopsy will be conducted.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office requested KBI assistance about 12:25 p.m. Monday, and special agents and the Crime Scene Response Team responded.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 785 828-3121. Tips can also be submitted at www.kbi.ks.gov/sar.

The KBI released no further information and the investigation is ongoing.

Eat Well to Be Well: 5 snacks with misleading health halos

Starting with rice cakes, for one …

Americans love their snacks and the snack industry knows this. If you look at the global snacks market in 2018, it was valued at $439.9 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2 percent from now to 2025.

The demand for snacks is driven by changing diets and busy lifestyles. Many of us are replacing meals with long shelf-life, on-the-go snacks as the demand for more allergen-free and vegan products increase.

If you fit into the category of someone who chooses a “snack” as a meal replacement, how healthy is that snack you’re choosing? Before you stock up on snacks you believe to be healthy, here’s a look at five supposedly “healthy” snacks that rarely meet that criteria.

Rice cakes

Rice cakes are often deemed as healthy due to their minimal ingredients. One reason why they are low in calories is because they do not carry a laundry list of ingredients – the main ingredient is obviously … rice.

If you crave something crunchy, then rice cakes fit the bill. But nutritionally, they offer little more than carbohydrates for energy. They contribute calories but lack fiber and important key vitamins or minerals. Flavored rice cakes are going to have either added sugar or artificial flavors or both. Avoid rice cakes drizzled with chocolate or other sweet flavors as they then are really no better than candy.

How to improve this choice: Opt instead for unflavored, lightly salted rice cakes made from brown rice or other grains such as quinoa. Quinoa is a fair source of protein and brown rice offers a bit more fiber than white rice. And stay away from “sugared up” rice cakes.

Hidden History: Osage County exiles populist publisher back to plow pushing

Gritty Kansas newspaper editor Sylvester Fowler made Osage County his temporary home in the late 1800s. His passion in politics and writing rubbed many the wrong way, causing his stays to be cut short, but he remained determined to return to this place he felt held his same ideals.

Fowler was born in 1853 in Ohio, and came to Kansas when he was three years old. He entered the newspaper business in Pottawatomie County in the mid-1870s, pledging that a paper under his supervision would not publish anything “unsound in morals, or unhealthy in religion … and parents need not be afraid of its bringing an evil influence into their homes.”

It didn’t take long however, for the young, ambitious and outspoken newspaper man to stir controversy. In 1879, he was accused of plagiarizing and stealing from another paper.

He continued to push the limits of what was considered acceptable in society when he published a book called Sex and other Poems in 1890, which included what was considered erotic poetry but also poems of a more general nature. While tame by today’s standards, the mere utterances of anything of a sexual nature were taboo during the Victorian period, and Fowler’s poetry caused breathless readings among its fans.

“In spite of creeds that mislead us
And doubts that vex and perplex
I hold that the highest religion
Is the proper worship of sex.”-Sex 1890

Despite some approval the poet gained, others were not so impressed. The Nortonville News stated that Fowler’s poem dedicated to recently deceased newspaperman Milton W. Reynolds was so terrible, “It seems a great pity … that Reynolds could not rise from his grave and drop the man who would write such trash and dedicate it to him.”

At the time Sex and other Poems was published, the People’s Party (or Populist Party) arose on the political scene and caught the eye of Fowler. The Populists sought to restore the government to the hands of “plain people”, distancing itself from corporate and financial interests, a concept appealing to both farmers and under-represented minorities. Fowler, who maintained a farm in addition to running a newspaper, took up the Populist cause and started papers that were considered “organs” for the Populist Party.

In 1893, Fowler made the move to Osage County, considering it a place with down-home values and anticipating a good reception for a Populist paper. He purchased the former Burlingame Herald and turned it into the Burlingame Blade, a Populist promoting periodical. His success and ambition encouraged him to purchase the Lyndon Herald, also. He would consolidate those papers under one title, The People’s Herald, and move the offices to Lyndon, reasoning that he often got turned around in Burlingame.

His People’s Herald went head-to-head with the Osage City Free Press, calling it and any others out on any anti-populism rhetoric. It did not take Fowler long in his reporting to stir up controversy.

In the previous election, in an attempt to revitalize the lackluster response to enforcement of prohibition around the state, the Populists promoted an all-temperance ticket in Osage County. Problems arose when the Populists’ winning choice for county attorney, Ellis Lewis, was found to be all but temperate, and would not enforce the laws. Rumors began that the Populists had agreed that there was to be no enforcement of the laws if their ticket was elected. Both of these were too much for the ardent Populist Fowler to bear and he lashed out at Lewis in his People’s Herald, calling him a “miserable ingrate, malicious, ungrateful, and wretchedly debauched and depraved. He is a traitor to the party that honored him and to the friends who furnished him money … He is the most hopelessly confirmed drunkard today in Osage County. He is without self-control and without hope. Let him be removed.”

Health Advisory: Safety tips issued during Flint Hills burning season

Kansas range fire. Flint Hills Smoke Management photo.

Smoke modeling tool to be activated March 1

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reminding Kansans that March and April are a time when large areas of the state’s Flint Hills rangeland are burned. These burns help preserve the tallgrass prairie, control invasive species such as Eastern Red Cedar and sumac, and provide better forage for cattle. Prescribed burning minimizes risk of wildfires and is effective in managing rangeland resources. Smoke from the burns can influence the air quality of downwind areas. The use of smoke management techniques reduces impacts.

KDHE will activate the Kansas smoke modeling tool March 1, 2021, prior to widespread burning in the Flint Hills. The computer models use fire data and current weather conditions to predict the potential contribution of smoke to downwind air quality problems. There are approximately 2.1 million acres burned on average in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma each year.

“We encourage ranchers and land managers to take advantage of this smoke modeling resource to spread out their burns more effectively and mitigate potential air quality impacts,” said Douglas Watson, meteorologist at the KDHE Bureau of Air. “For burns to be safe and effective, weather and rangeland conditions must be ideal. Many landowners will burn at the same time when such conditions are met. Air pollutants from the burns can affect persons in the Flint Hills and can be carried long distances to more populated areas.”

Prescribed burns release large amounts of particulate matter and substances that can form ozone. Particulate matter and ozone can cause health problems, even in healthy individuals. Common health problems include burning eyes, runny nose, coughing and illnesses such as bronchitis. Individuals with respiratory issues, pre-existing heart or lung diseases, children and elderly may experience worse symptoms.

Steps to protect your health on days when smoke is present in your community include:

  • Healthy people should limit or avoid strenuous outdoor exercise.
  • People with respiratory or heart related illnesses should remain indoors.
  • Help keep indoor air clean by closing doors and windows and running air conditioners with air filters.
  • Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.
  • Contact your doctor if you have symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath or severe fatigue.
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