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KDOT to repair K-68 bridge at Ottawa

The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to start a repair project on the state Highway 68 bridge spanning the Marais des Cygnes River at Ottawa. Work is expected to begin Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Project activity includes patching and an overlay on the bridge deck, replacing the expansion joints, and resetting the bearings.

Traffic on the bridge will be reduced to one lane controlled by signals; expect brief delays. A driving lane width restriction of 11 feet, 6 inches will be in effect. KDOT awarded the construction contract of $1.2 million to PCI Roads, Topeka. Weather permitting, the project should be finished by late November.

Check KDOT’s traveler information website,, for more road condition and construction details. For more information about this KDOT project, call Area Engineer Donna Schmit at 785-433-6107 or public affairs manager Priscilla Petersen at 620-902-6433.

Foundation announces distribution of grants to Osage County area recipients

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – Osage County Community Foundation recently announced that $6,550 was awarded to six non-profit entities in the Osage County area for the first quarter grant period of 2021. All grants issued will be used to benefit youth and senior citizens in Osage County. Grants issued are for long term projects communities will be able to enjoy and benefit for many years to come.

The foundation has also announced that a second grant period is now open for applications through May 31, 2021.

OCCF makes grants for innovative and creative projects and programs that are responsive to changing community needs in the areas of health, social service, education, recreation, and cultural affairs.

The foundation offers grants through its general fund, which is made up of unrestricted donations to the foundation, and donor advised funds, which are designated for a specific purpose by the donor. As a donor supported foundation, OCCF also continues to seek donations to continue its work in supporting Osage County organizations.

The foundation typically offers two rounds of grants annually. Any organization or group based in Osage County can apply, but preference is given to those that are not directly tax supported or agencies that have taxing authority. General operational expenses are not funded. Following the application deadlines as set each year, the foundation’s board meets to review applications and select recipients.

For more information about donating to the Osage County Community Foundation or the grant application process, contact Perry Thompson at 785-528-3006 or contact one of the foundation’s board members, Joe Humerickhouse, Casey Mussatto, Janet Steinle, Jodi Stark, or Mike Pitts. A grant application is available here or on the Osage City website. Completed applications should be mailed to the Osage County Community Foundation, PO Box 24, Osage City, KS 66523.

Sheriff’s Reports: Burlingame man arrested for domestic battery after injured woman calls 911

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office reported that a 911 call from near Burlingame, Kan., led to a man’s arrest for domestic battery and other charges after a woman was found injured at the call location last Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office reported in a press release that at 4:36 p.m. April 28, 2021, a 911 call came in from a female asking for help. The call was disconnected before a location was given, but was mapped to near an address in the 19600 block of South U.S. Highway 56, Burlingame. Deputies, first responders, and EMS were dispatched and upon arrival, deputies found a female subject, who appeared to be injured.

During the investigation, Jamie L. Chenoweth, 34, of Burlingame, was taken into custody on suspicion of aggravated domestic battery, criminal threat, attempted aggravated robbery, possession of marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Osage County Fire District No. 6 and Osage County EMS at the scene.

K-9 sniffs out drug arrest in Osage County

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has reported that a Vassar, Kan., man was arrested on drug charges and an outstanding warrant after a traffic stop and check by the sheriff’s K-9 dog Thursday.

The sheriff’s office reported in a press release that at 3:39 p.m. April 29, 2021, near state Highway 268 and South Stanley Road, a deputy conducted a traffic stop of a driver believed to be subject of an Osage County warrant, identified as Bradley E. Tevis, 42, of Vassar.

During the stop, a K-9 was deployed and narcotics were located within the vehicle. Tevis was arrested on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, interference with a law enforcement officer, transporting an open container of alcohol or liquor, driving while suspended, and an Osage County warrant.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club shows their know-how at district club days

By Bella Reeser
MJH 4-H Club Reporter

Like everything in our current world, District 4-H Club Days were modified due to COVID-19. Participants were to video their presentation and have it submitted to the district office via YouTube by March 1, 2021. On March 15, Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members found out how astonishing their skills were. Presenting demonstrations were:

  • Allie Reeser presented a demonstration on making Cinnamon Applesauce Delight; she received a top purple.
  • Bella Reeser presented Rub-A-Dub Dub, Who’s Duck is in the Tub; she received an alternate top purple.
  • Braelyn McNally demonstrated how to make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins; she received a top purple.
  • Gradey McNally presented a demonstration on making Bubble Bread; he received a top purple.
  • Justin Brinkley gave a speech on private property; he received a top purple.

All top purple participants were to resubmit their presentations to the 4-H district office by March 19 to compete at Regional Club Days.

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.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club updates: Springtime brings renewed activities

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

On Saturday, March 13, 2021, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club held its monthly club meeting at Fusion Bowling Alley, Ottawa, Kan., in conjunction with the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club.

At 3:05 p.m. the MJH meeting was called to order by President Braelyn McNally. The club began their meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Braelyn. Secretary Amelia Arb called roll; members and parents were to answer with, “If you could be any Disney character, which would you be?” There were 20 members and 11 adults present. Amelia then read the minutes from the last meeting; they were approved as read.

Vice-President Justin Brinkley read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.

Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted one article to the newspaper. In historian report, Historian Allie Reeser shared 4-H memories from John Harsh and Lara Combes-Shoup, both former MJH members.

In council report, council representative Braelyn reported the council was looking for ideas for community service projects.

In leader’s report, Lisa Reeser reminded members to read over the meeting notes sheet, and asked all members (MJH and Lyndon Leaders) to stand and share what they did for District Club Days. Lastly Lisa reminded members Blue & Gold orders would be in on Tuesday, please remember to pick them up.

Janae McNally then shared with the clubs there will be in-person 4-H camp, with details still to come.

In unfinished business, it was moved and seconded to table the farmers market until next month. In new business; it was discussed then moved and seconded to have an alternative Easter egg hunt for the students in the district. Details will be determined after speaking to school administrators. At 3:36 p.m. it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, April 11, 2021, at the Melvern Community Center. Club members then together enjoyed refreshments and bowling provided by the clubs.

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.

Center plans potluck dinner to celebrate springtime

The Osage County Senior Center library some new books – some are free and some will need to be checked out. We also have puzzles that can be checked out and there is always one being worked on at the big table.

The Thrift Sale was once again a big success thanks to everyone that donated and came by and those that bought.

The senior center first potluck dinner in over a year will be May 5, 2021. Jody Jackson and Friends will be here at 11 a.m. playing music, and we will eat at 12 noon. Hope to see you all.

We have received a donation of scrap booking supplies and are looking to offer a class. If anyone is interested in this class, call the senior center at 785-528-1170, and let us know. Anyone with suggestions on other activities or crafts, please let us know. Most likely there is someone else that would like to try it, also.


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).

Drug Take Back Day: Sheriff’s office to collect unused medications Saturday, April 24

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office will join law enforcement officers at locations across the state in collecting unused medications for safe disposal on Saturday, April 24.

The collection events are part of a nationwide effort to safely dispose of leftover medications to prevent accidental or intentional misuse. The Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 20th Take Back Day and invites the public to safely turn in expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, at designated collection sites including the Osage County Sheriff’s Office, 131 W. 14th St., Lyndon, Kan.

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office reported that since the Drug Take-Back Day program began in the state in 2010, more than 101 tons of unwanted medications have been collected and destroyed in Kansas alone.

With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.

“Prescription medications often end up in the wrong hands, fueling an epidemic that kills more Americans than car accidents,” said Special Agent in Charge Todd L. Zimmerman, head of DEA’s division responsible for Missouri, Kansas, and southern Illinois. “We have about 200 police departments in our region participating in this national event. That means everyone has the opportunity to help prevent drug abuse by cleaning out their medicine cabinets.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 87,200 Americans dying as a result of a drug overdose in a one-year period – Sept. 1, 2019 to Sept. 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, accelerating significantly during the first months of the pandemic.

The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites, which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop-off locations if lithium batteries are removed.

Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is one way to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.

Find a location or learn more about National Prescription Take Back Day at

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:

Sheriff’s investigators arrest Missouri man in online solicitation investigation

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – The Osage County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Missouri man Thursday as the result of an investigation into the online solicitation of a child by an adult.

In a press release, Osage County Sheriff Chris Wells reported the sheriff’s office criminal investigation unit arrested David E. Fresia, 49, Lee’s Summit, Mo., the afternoon of April 15, 2021, and alleged he had made plans to meet with someone he believed to be a minor.

The release did not indicate where Fresia was arrested, but said he was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Osage County Jail on suspicion of aggravated human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of a child, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of psilocybin with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no drug tax stamp.

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

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.

Nominating commission selects Breshears as Osage County magistrate judge

LYNDON, Kan. – The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission has selected Lori Breshears to fill a magistrate judge vacancy in Osage County. The commission conducted public interviews of nominees for the position April 6, 2021, in Lyndon. Three people had applied for the opening.

Breshears’ new position will be effective upon her swearing-in. She currently is employed as a paralegal and victim witness coordinator for the Coffey County Attorney’s Office, in Burlington, Kan.

The magistrate judge vacancy was created when judge Shannon Rush resigned effective Feb. 1.

The 4th Judicial District is composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties. Eligibility requirements to serve as a Kansas district magistrate judge include: Must be a resident of Osage County at the time of taking office and while holding office; must be a graduate of a high school, a secondary school, or the equivalent; must either be a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas or able to pass an examination given by the Supreme Court to become certified within 18 months.

After serving one year in office, an appointed magistrate judge must stand for a retention vote in the next general election to remain in the position. If retained, the incumbent will serve a four-year term.

The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Eric Rosen, Craig Cole, Garnett, Anthony Mersman, Greeley, Phyllis Gardner and Janet Walsh, both of Lyndon, Heather Landon, Ianne Dickinson, and Forrest Lowry, all of Ottawa, and Timothy Johnson, Waverly.

See related story: 4th Judicial District committee to interview nominees for Osage County magistrate judge

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