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Young Democrat to speak at Osage City

The Osage County Democrats is hosting Raiden Gonzalez, of the Kansas Young Democrats Caucus, at its monthly meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at the Osage County Senior Center, 604 Market St., Osage City. Gonzalez will speak on what the Young Democrats Caucus has been doing, and how the party can better appeal to younger Democrats in Osage County. Everyone is welcome. Light refreshments will be served.

Chamber Chatter: Scholarship deadline next week

The deadline date is drawing near for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce 2024 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 will soon be here and the Chamber would like to encourage any senior girl and boy that are furthering their education to get with Shana Smith, the high school counselor and ask for application information.

Specifically for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce application, data needed 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.

Applications should be submitted to the address listed on the application. Applications must be postmarked by April 17, 2024.

Chamber to gather after hours at TwoCousins weeSale

TwoCousins weeSale LLC will be hosting a Chamber After Hours Mixer 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 413 Market St., Osage City. The event will be a Chamber After Hours Mixer, a ribbon cutting and open house. Chamber members and the public are invited to come and meet owners Stephanie and Jaryl Seth, and enjoy refreshments and visit with fellow community members. The store furnishes a wide variety of items to complete a home with a new baby, through ages newborn to teen years.

Plans for fair events include carnival, parade, fireworks, demo derby, Lions Club food

This year Osage City will be hosting two fair events. A community event July 10-13, 2024, will include a carnival, a variety of entertainment every night, live band, parade, fireworks, and Touch-A-Truck, among other entertainment. The fair parade is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, July 12. The parade theme has not been decided yet.

Adam Burnett, parade chairman, is creating some new and innovative concepts for the parade for this year. He will provide information regarding the parade, and a parade form will be available soon to submit an entry for the parade. The Chamber of Commerce offers cash prizes for float entries and golf cart and ATV entries. For more information about the parade, contact Burnett at 785-760-0621.

Community fireworks celebration

The date for the annual community fireworks show hosted by the Osage City Chamber of Commerce will be Friday, July 12, starting at 10 p.m.

Osage County 4-H Fair, July 24-27, 2024

July 24-27, 2024 will mark the dates for the Osage County Fair, at Osage City. The fair will feature exhibits including poultry, livestock, fruit, vegetables, produce, and other representations of the best of Osage County.

TwoCousins weeSale named as new business of the year

New Business of the Year Award was presented to TwoCousins weeSale LLC and owners, Stephanie and Jaryl Seth. Chamber photo.

A new award for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce this year, the New Business of the Year Award, was presented to TwoCousins weeSale LLC, and owners, Stephanie and Jaryl Seth, at the recent Chamber awards banquet.

During 2023, Osage City was fortunate to be chosen as the home for TwoCousins weeSale LLC. The Seths have settled in the building that was formerly Henry’s Coffee House, and are filling their store with a variety of clothing from new born to maternity wear. They also house a nice variety of toys, bedding, and furniture to outfit a home for a new addition to the family.

They have become involved with the various events that the Chamber has to offer throughout the year and look forward to becoming more involved as the time passes. They regularly partner and donate merchandise to the local non-profit organizations in the county, support the schools with shoes and clothing for families in need and emergency support of families upon a disaster.

Information thanks to Osage City Chamber Executive Director Jeanette Swarts.

Lira recognized as Osage City employee of the year for helpful, friendly attitude

Louise Lira, of White’s Foodliner, is Osage City’s employee of the year. Chamber photo.

Louise Lira, of White’s Foodliner, formerly Jerry’s Thriftway, was announced as the recipient of the Osage City Chamber’s Employee of the Year award during the organization’s recent awards banquet.

Louise has been an employee since 2012, with 12 years with Jerry’s Thriftway and now with White’s Foodliner.

Lira was recognized for how she always greets customers with a smile, and is always helpful answering customers’ questions. Louise has worked through the grocery store’s recent owner change and made the transition with ease. Throughout her years of gaining experience, she has taken on a leadership role with the other checkers, and always takes care of their problems that they may encounter.

Osage City Public Library earns Chamber’s non-profit of the year award

The Osage City Public Library was named as the recipient for the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s Non-Profit of the Year Award, at the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s annual award banquet held March 22, 2024. The library’s mission statement is “More than just books”. The library is committed to supporting a lifelong enjoyment of reading and learning.

The library is dedicated and provides more than books to all ages of citizens of Osage City and Osage County. They have partnered with AARP to provide tax assistance to the elderly. Catholic Charities brings a resource bus to the library, providing food, hygiene and baby items. The Osage County Sheriff’s Office uses the library as a toy drop off station during the Christmas season.

Jeanette Stromgren and her staff and volunteers are always known for being friendly, professional and willing to help visitors find books and movies of interest. The staff consists of two fulltime and five part-time employees.

The library provides snacks to students after school, meals for children during the summer, story time twice a week for those five and younger.

The staff visits local daycares, assisted living, nursing homes, and homebound individuals.

Osage City Chamber names Payne Financial as business of the year

Osage City Business of the Year: Kevin, Angie, and Joshua Payne, Payne Financial Strategies. Chamber photo.

During the Osage City Chamber of Commerce’s annual award banquet, held March 22, 2024, the Business of the Year Award was presented to Payne Financial Strategies, and owners Kevin, Angie, and Joshua Payne.

In the last year, Payne Financial Strategies has been involved and engaged with the community by establishing a business of financial professionals that are dedicated to professionally serving the Osage and surrounding area communities. They have gained remarkable growth, community involvement and passion in educating and serving the community. Josh Payne, a member of this team, is a recipient of the Kansas NextGen Under 30 award for young professionals, a very prestigious honor.

Payne Financial Strategies has experienced growth in staff or other development as they have achieved milestones and set new standards of success by serving others. Their commitment to the local community is to provide quality, customer satisfaction and proper financial planning that will assist their clients in achieving short-term and long term financial goals.

Information thanks to Osage City Chamber Executive Director Jeanette Swarts.

Chamber awards banquet recognizes local businesses, employees, non-profits

Winners at the 2024 Osage City Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, from left, Stephanie and Jaryl Seth, TwoCousins weeSale, new business of the year; Angie, Kevin, and Joshua Payne, Payne Financial Strategies, business of the year; Louise Lira, of White’s Foodliner, employee of the year, and Jeanette Stromgren, Osage City Library, non-profit of the year. Osage City Chamber photo.

Friday, March 22, 2024, marked the second annual Osage City Chamber of Commerce awards banquet, which was held at St. Brigid Hall. There were approximately 100 in attendance at the evening event, which was filled with a variety of entertainment, good food and visiting with friends from the community. C.J. Adkins, of Flinthills Catering, catered a delicious meal topped off with a triple chocolate torte dessert that melted in your mouth.

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, Casey Woods, executive director of Emporia Main Street. He shared with the group some of the keys to a strong community. Emporia Main Street is an economic and community development agency that operates within the city of Emporia and Lyon County. Their mission is to sustain and grow Emporia’s local economy by applying a four-point approach to create jobs, encourage tourism, and support entrepreneurs and business owners.

Highlighting the remainder of the program was the presentation of awards for four categories. Nominations for the four categories were submitted to the Chamber of Commerce throughout the months of February and March. See related stories.

Information thanks to Osage City Chamber Executive Director Jeanette Swarts.

Quenemo eclipsed by another boil water advisory

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the city of Quenemo public water supply system as of April 8, 2024, due to a utility contractor accidentally breaking a water line, resulting in low pressure in the distribution system. KDHE officials issued the advisory because failure to maintain adequate pressure may put the system at risk for bacterial contamination. The advisory will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved.

  • Water users should observe the following precautions until further notice:
  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.

Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

KDHE will rescind the order following testing at a certified laboratory.

For more information, contact the water system at 785-759-3315 or KDHE at 785-296-5514. For consumer information see

Impacted businesses can contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s food safety and lodging program at or call 785-564-6767 for more information.

Osage City Library presentation to discuss human trafficking in Kansas, U.S.

Human trafficking happens here in Kansas. A presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2024, at Osage City Library, will describe human trafficking in the United States and Kansas, and how communities can reduce the vulnerabilities that allow people to be exploited. The presenter, Dr. Sharon L. Sullivan, is executive director of the International Public Policy Institute and professor emerita at Washburn University.

Sullivan will discuss how human trafficking is happening in rural and urban communities to neighbors and families. The federal government estimates 1.5 million U.S. citizens are exploited by sex and labor trafficking.

This event is cosponsored by Osage County Drug Free and the Osage City Public Library. For more information, stop by the Osage City Library, 515 Main St., Osage City, Kan., or call 785-528-3727.

Easter Bunny visits Melvern; opens season on egg hunting

On Saturday, March 30, 2024, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its annual Melvern Easter Egg Hunt. Melvern Jr. Highline members gathered for photos with the Easter Bunny, from left, Gentry Angel, Addy Angel, Khloe Miller, Easter Bunny (Allie Reeser), Bella Reeser, Koral Bruening , and Killian Bruening. Photo thanks to Lisa Reeser.

MdCV High School juniors, seniors don formal wear for ‘Casino Nights’ prom

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School held its junior senior prom Saturday, April 6, 2024. The theme for the evening was “Casino Nights”.

MdCV seniors attending the event included, front from left, Haylea Bethell, Olivia Lacey, and Brooke Spillman, back, D.J. Johnson, Deken Colyer, Jaxson Dorr, Corey Criss, Kristopher Ruth, and Mason Rose.

Missing Carbondale man located and arrested

The Carbondale Police Department posted Sunday on social media that Joshua D. Crosland, who was reported as a missing person April 4, has been located and is safe. The Osage County Sheriff’s Office reported in this week’s jail log that Carbondale Police Chief Shannon Seals arrested Crosland Sunday evening on an outstanding Osage County warrant.

Court records indicate Crosland was previously arrested on March 6 for violation of a protection order or abuse order, and had been released on a $2,500 surety bond. On April 5, Osage County Attorney Tonya R. Vignery filed a motion to revoke Crosland’s bond, saying he had committed violations of the conditions of bond, including tampering with and removing a court ordered GPS tracking unit.

Vignery told the court that around noon April 4, she had received an alert for a “strap tamper” on Crosland. She said she spoke with Seals, who had heard from a neighbor who reportedly witnessed Crosland remove the device. At the time, Vignery said it was believed Crosland might be heading to Colorado.

Osage County Magistrate Judge Lori Breshears issued a bond revocation arrest warrant April 5. Seals’ return of service of arrest warrant indicates Crosland was arrested around 8 p.m. Sunday. Crosland was set to have a custody hearing at 1:15 p.m. today, April 9, and bond hearing on April 18, in Osage County District Court.

Spring has sprung and Osage City is smokin’

Spring is here and that means it’s time for Osage City to start the coals for the town’s annual barbecue party. The 21st annual Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship fires up Friday evening at Jones Park with the “Taste of Osage City”, where food lovers can get their fill from menus featuring BBQ favorites or eclectic side dishes.

This year’s “Taste” gets underway at 5 p.m. Friday, and will feature 19 barbecue teams offering their favorite outdoor cooked fare in exchange for BBQ Bucks. BBQ Bucks can be used to purchase food, drinks, and other items at the event. BBQ Bucks will be sold on site, 1-7 p.m. April 5, at the Osage City Community Building concession windows. BBQ Bucks have no expiration date and can be used at future events. Ahead of time, BBQ Bucks can be purchased at Osage City Hall.

While the party focuses on fine smoked meats, cooks serve up a menu not likely offered anywhere else with Jones Park is transformed into a giant outdoor smorgasbord. A map of vendors and their menus is available here.

As the party starts cooking, around 7 p.m., the band Chance Encounter will heat up the amps for an evening of classic and modern rock ‘n’ roll in the OCPR building; the show is open to all ages. The recreation building is also the spot for cooling off your palate with the Ridge Iron Grill, a local bar that is tending a beer garden and offering beverages of all types.

A variety of other local vendors and charities will have booths offering beverages, baked goods, and other items that can be purchased with BBQ Bucks.

For the kids, bounce houses and inflatables will be available 4-8 p.m. Friday near the recreation building, weather permitting.

Really sparking the Friday event will be a fireworks show ignited by local pyrotechnician Scott Farmer, with fireworks provided by Garret Fireworks. The show will begin after dark, and will be fired off from open area south of OCPR building. Spectators will be able to see the show from about anywhere in Jones Park or the surrounding area.

“Bring a friend, have a beverage, eat some BBQ, stay for the music and fireworks,” said Corey Linton, the contest’s organizer for 18 of its 21 years.

Parking is crowded around the park, but Osage County Public Transportation will offer rides from the Osage City school parking lot 4-9:30 p.m. Friday. Freewill donations will be accepted for the shuttle. Parking is also available on the west side of the road west of the football stadium, weather permitting.

While the party simmers, competition chefs will get serious about tending their smokers overnight and in the morning for the annual Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned state championship. More than 100 competitors are signed up to cook the KCBS required categories, chicken, ribs, pork, and brisket. Cooks can also compete in the category of turkey as part of the nationwide Turkey Smoke competition sanctioned by the National Turkey Federation. This is the fifth year Smoke in the Spring has hosted a Turkey Smoke.

April 6 ‘Run for History’ to raise funds for Franklin County Historical Society

OTTAWA, Kan. – Runners and walkers of all ages and skill levels are invited to trace the historic paths of railroads through Ottawa during the second annual Run for History, a fun run walk event on April 6, 2024.

The 5K starts at the Old Depot Museum at 9 a.m. and encompasses parts of both the Prairie Spirit Trail and the Flint Hills Trail, which were once the AT&SF and Missouri Pacific railroad lines. Registration is $25. All proceeds benefit the Franklin County Historical Society.

For more information, visit, stop by the Old Depot Museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St., Ottawa, or call 785-242-1232.

ESU to provide live stream of April 8 total eclipse

Students, faculty, staff and community members gathered at the Emporia State University campus in August 2017, the last time a solar eclipse was viewable in this area. ESU photo.

EMPORIA, Kan. – Emporia State University is offering the opportunity to view a total solar eclipse via live stream when the Earth’s moon moves in front of the sun Monday, April 8, 2024. Viewers can watch by visiting The live stream begins at 12:40 p.m. local time with an introductory video, followed by the eclipse, which will last until 3:25 p.m. Totality, or the mid-eclipse point, will occur at 2:08 p.m.

The event is made possible by ESU instructor and Peterson Planetarium director Mark Brown, who will travel to Indianapolis. This is necessary because the total eclipse won’t be visible from Emporia. Those in Emporia, however, will be able to see a partial eclipse beginning at 12:34 p.m.

“This event is unique because the moon’s shadow will be about 45 miles wider than it was in 2017 and will touch more populated areas than it did in 2017,” Brown said. “Also, this is the last total solar eclipse that will cross the United States until Aug. 12, 2045.”

For more information about ESU, see

Senior Center Update: New buses added to public transportation fleet

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and the Osage County Public Transportation.

We just got our new bus and a new mini van delivered, and three more mini vans are coming in the upcoming month.

We have some things to look forward to in April: Quarter bingo to benefit the CASA program at 6 p.m. April 2, with Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells being the bingo caller; the spring craft show 9 a.m.-2 p.m. April 13; and the health fair 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 25.

Please don’t forget that we always have our potluck on the first Wednesday of the month at noon with the band following.

Mahjong is 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoons and the lessons are going great. Line dancing is at 2 p.m. every Friday Ceramics class – first class is free then $5 per class, all supplies are furnished and we have lots of bisque for you to choose from. Sewing group meets on Wednesdays and all are welcome to join. High Rollers is 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maria from Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter bingo at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

Shopping trips are on the first and third Thursdays of the month, going to Topeka Walmart, Sam’s and Aldi’s. Call the transportation department to make reservations.

The Meals on Wheels program is collecting prescription bottle caps from Auburn Pharmacy, and they donate 25 cents per cap to the program; just drop them off at the senior center.

For more information, contact the senior center at 785-528-1170, Osage County Public Transportation at 785-528-4906, or stop by the center at 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny
Franny Deters, Osage County Senior Center director

Quenemo: KDHE rescinds boil water advisory

Update March 22, 2024: KDHE has rescinded the boil water advisory for Quenemo, Kan., effective today. The advisory has been in effect since March 15, 2024, when a utility contractor broke a water line.

Chamber Chatter: Christmas on Market proceeds provide gifts to local charities

Chamber donates to ECAT, ECKAN, Warmth Fund

Presentation of Christmas on Market proceeds: From left, Heather Ihde, Eckan, Jeannine Colstrom, ECAT, and Jeanette Swarts, Chamber director.

Funds raised during the 2023 Osage City Christmas on Market event were divided between three local organizations, East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corporation (ECKAN), Ecumenical Christian Action Team (ECAT), and Osage City Warmth Fund. Chamber Director Jeanette Swarts presented disbursements of $764.26 each to Heather Ihde, with ECKAN, and Jeannine Colstrom, with ECAT, at the Feb. 20, 2024, Chamber members meeting. An equal amount will be presented to the Warmth Fund.

ECKAN updates Chamber members on availability of local childhood services

Holly Weece gave an informative presentation on ECKAN Head Start at the February Chamber members meeting.

ECKAN Head Start programs help prepare children for lifelong success, right from the start. ECKAN offers free Head Start programs for low-income families with young children, from birth to age five. Their research-backed programs promote self-sufficiency, healthy growth and development, and success for future experiences.

Head Start services include health screenings, parent education and involvement, nutrition, help with child’s disability, transitions, education. The Osage County Home Based (Early Head Start) is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and is at 528 Market St., Osage City, Kan. For more information, call 620-803-2040 or 620-803-2041, or see

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