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Franklin County Historical Society to share history of Spiritualism in evening presentation

OTTAWA, Kan. – Spiritualism, a movement that involves attempting to communicate with the dead, spread across the world during the 19th century and even found its way into Franklin County history. The Franklin County Historical Society will host Katie Keckeisen’s presentation “Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, at the FCHS Archives and Research Center, 2011 E. Logan St., Ottawa, Kan. The program will also be available online via Zoom and Facebook Live.

It seems one of the eternal questions that has plagued humanity centers around what happens to us when we die. Most modern religions try to tackle this question, but none did so with more fervor than modern Spiritualism. What started in a cabin in New York with two young girls quickly spread across the globe. Soon, spiritual mediums who claimed they could communicate with the dead could be found in almost every town in the nation.

Katie Keckeisen’s presentation, “Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism,” examines the emergence of this religious phenomena, its connections to the Civil War and World War I, and how it led to a battle of words between the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the greatest magician of all time.

ESU to present ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ as 2023 homecoming musical

EMPORIA, Kan. – Emporia State University Theatre will present” Little Shop of Horrors” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken as the 2023 Homecoming musical. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26, 27 and 28, and 2 p.m. Oct. 29, at the  Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall on the ESU campus.

The story follows Seymour, a down-and-out floral assistant who discovers a peculiar plant with a craving for human flesh. As the plant, Audrey II, grows increasingly demanding and dangerous, Seymour must navigate a web of moral dilemmas, all while trying to win the heart of his co-worker and love interest, Audrey. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a unique blend of comedy and horror with dark humor, outrageous characters and an electrifying 1960s pop rock score.

Area students in the production include Austin Michaelis, of Overbrook, Kan., who is the puppeteer for Audrey II, and Elizabeth Lowery, Reading, Kan., who is on the shift crew.

Medicare open enrollment begins; ECKAA offers counseling

The East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging is reminding Medicare beneficiaries that the Medicare open enroll period runs Oct. 15 and through Dec, 7, 2023. The enrollment period is to enroll in prescription drugs plans or Medicare Advantage Plans for 2024.

The East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging provides free, unbiased Medicare counseling and can assist with your Medicare needs. Prior to an appointment, complete and return a prescription drug worksheet form. The form can be emailed or mailed, or can be picked up at the ECKAAA office at 117 S. Main, Ottawa, Kan. Walk-in appointments cannot be accommodated.

Appointments will be available in Ottawa at ECKAAA, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Extended hours will be available 5-7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and Nov. 20, upon request.

Open enrollment outreach dates will also be available at the following locations:

  • Frontier Extension office, 411 S Oak St., Garnett, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Nov. 2 and Nov. 21.
  • Coffey County Library, 410 Juniatta St., Burlington, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 28.
  • Osage City Library, 515 Main St., Osage City, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Nov. 30.

For assistance with Medicare, to schedule an appointment with ECKAAA or one of the open enrollment outreach dates, or to obtain a prescription drug plan worksheet, contact ECKAAA, 117 S. Main St., Ottawa, call 785-242-7200, email, or see

Kansas to revamp trout season following suggestions from anglers

PRATT, Kan. – The time for trout fishing in Kansas is drawing nearer, and this year the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is making angler-inspired updates to the nearly 30-year-old program to improve angler satisfaction and program efficiency while managing around increasing commodity costs.

Based largely on onsite interviews conducted with licensed anglers at 25 waterbodies across the state in early 2023, KDWP’s Fisheries Division staff will implement the following conditions for Kansas’ 2023-2024 trout season:

  • Trout fishing waters will be stocked, and the season will begin, on Dec. 1 (as opposed to Nov. 1, so as not to compromise fish health in warmer water often experienced in November.)
  • Each trout fishing water will be stocked during the most fished months of the trout season (as opposed to season-wide stockings at indiscriminate times.)
  • The season will conclude at the end of March (as opposed to April 15), as only three percent of respondents indicated they fish for trout most in April.
  • KDWP will stock less often but with higher densities of trout – an indicated preference of anglers surveyed.

In total, KDWP plans to stock 30 waterbodies this fall with approximately 62,000 pounds of rainbow trout, providing anglers with ample wintertime fishing opportunities, while simultaneously not competing with other time-honored hunting and fishing traditions.

“The trout program is something we’ve been happy to support in Kansas since 1994,” said Jeff Conley, KDWP Fisheries program specialist. “However, over the years, we’ve made very few changes. This new format gives us the ability to continue the program during its most popular months, at higher stocking densities, while managing increasing costs for the fish, so the feedback received will definitely make us all more efficient.”

While most fish stocked will be rainbow trout, Kansas anglers can occasionally catch a palomino or golden rainbow trout. Not to be confused with golden trout, golden rainbow trout have a genetic variation that many fish growers selectively breed to create a novelty fish for anglers to pursue.

“All fish stocked will be a catchable size, but a few lunkers will also be added to give anglers extra opportunity to catch a trophy,” added Conley. “We can’t wait to see who catches them.”

Anglers 16 and older who fish for trout must possess a $14.50 trout permit and fishing license, unless exempt. Kansas youth 15 and younger must possess a youth trout permit, which is $7 (Note: Youth aged 15 and younger are not required to have a fishing license.) All anglers with a trout permit may keep up to five trout per day, unless posted otherwise.

For information on obtaining a trout permit, see For more information on trout fishing in Kansas, see

SOS to receive grant from Michelin charity golf tournament

SOS, at Emporia, Kan., will receive a donation of $100,000 from funds raised in a record-breaking year of the Michelin Charity Golf Tournament organized by Michelin North America Inc. The corporation raised $1 million through its recent charity golf tournament in Greenville, S.C., with proceeds supporting 10 charities in communities where Michelin employees live and work.

Connie Cahoone, SOS executive director, and Kathryn Wilkerson, SOS therapy and program coordinator, were in Greenville during the tournament to share information about the services that SOS provides in the five counties it serves.

“We had not expected such a large amount, and it is a huge blessing,” Cahoone said. “In a time when grants are being cut significantly, these funds from Michelin will be necessary to help SOS continue to serve our local community.”

The tournament has generated almost $9 million since its inception in 1989. This year’s tournament will award proceeds to 10 charitable organizations in Ft. Wayne, Ind., Louisville, Ky., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Upstate S.C., and SOS, of Emporia.

SOS provides services to those who have experienced sexual and domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, child abuse and neglect throughout Chase, Coffey, Lyon, Morris, and Osage counties. For more information, call 620-343-8799 or see

Network security incident disrupts court operations statewide

TOPEKA, Kan. – All clerk offices in Kansas appellate courts and all district courts, except Johnson County court, remain unable receive electronic filings a week after a network security issue took the system offline.

The Kansas Courts eFiling system has been offline since the judicial branch experienced a security incident Oct. 12, 2023. The security incident affected several systems used daily by courts statewide, including the system attorneys use to file documents in cases, the case management systems district and appellate courts use to process cases, and others.

Courts are open and operating, but clerks cannot receive electronic filings or electronic payments. All filings must be on paper or by fax. Paper filings can be hand delivered or sent by mail.

A Kansas Supreme Court order issued Oct. 16 declared clerk offices inaccessible because the electronic filing systems in those courts are unavailable. The court’s order allows a party to seek relief from a court if their filing is untimely.

“This order and other information on our website will guide court users on our operations while our information systems are offline,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert. “We continue to serve our communities, but we are using different methods until our systems are restored.”

The Office of Judicial Administration has added information to the judicial branch website to help court users while court systems are offline. The court systems security incident page will be updated as new information becomes available. It includes links to information pages for attorneys and the public who need to interact with courts.

The network security issue has also affected the Kansas Department for Children and Families and the state’s child support services. DCF is warning Kansans of delays for those working with the agency’s child support services.

DCF works daily with Kansas courts to process child support court orders and payments on behalf of Kansas families. With the efiling and electronic court records system offline, Kansans should expect delays on returned filings, court hearings, and orders being entered. Child support payments that are awaiting court orders or direction from DCF, court trustees, and county clerks will be delayed. Any orders filed prior to the week of Oct. 9 should continue to process properly.

The Office of Judicial Administration is working with experts from several sources to find out what happened in the security incident, how it happened, and how far it reached. Until those questions are answered, the office said it is unknown when the systems will be brought back online.

Osage County Historical Society to host annual meeting at Carbondale Saturday

Anne Hawkins will be the featured speaker at OCHS’s annual meeting.

The Osage County Historical Society will hold its annual meeting at the Carbondale Library at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. Anne Hawkins, educator and public speaker, will present “The Underground Railroad in Kansas, 1855-1865.”

Light refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome.

Jones’ full-ride scholarships aimed at nursing, education majors

EMPORIA, Kan. – Emporia State University’s new, full-ride scholarship opportunity for incoming freshmen majoring in education or nursing is the most recent in a long history of collaboration with the Jones Foundation. The new Jones Premier Nursing and Education Scholarship will fund up to six students per year who attend ESU and intend to eventually work in two fields currently facing workforce shortages.

The competitive scholarship is available to high-achieving graduating high school seniors in Lyon, Osage and Coffey counties, who plan to major in education or nursing at Emporia State. The scholarships are renewable for up to four years as long as the scholars meet grade and credit hour benchmarks. Selected students will have the full cost of their attendance at ESU paid.

This is the third scholarship program at Emporia State University created by the Jones Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “improving the health and education of eligible Kansans in Coffey, Lyon and Osage counties.”

The original Jones voucher program became the Jones Success Scholarship in 2022 – a $7,000 value over four years that is automatically granted to eligible ESU students whose hometown is in Osage, Coffey and Lyon counties.

“Education and healthcare have long been a focus for the Jones Foundation,” said Sharon L. Tidwell, executive director of the Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Foundation. “The development of the Jones Premier Nursing and Education Scholarship with ESU provides a unique opportunity for some of the brightest students in the three counties we serve.”

The Jones Premier Nursing and Education Scholarship will provide three full-ride education scholarships and three full-ride nursing scholarships to ESU – one of each from Lyon, Coffey and Osage counties. To apply, students must have a 3.7 or more weighted GPA OR a 28 or more ACT score, submit two essays, and live in Osage, Coffey or Lyon counties. Applications will be accepted Nov. 1, 2023, through Jan. 15, 2024. For more information or to apply for the scholarships, see

ESU offers livestream access to annular solar eclipse

EMPORIA, Kan. – Do you want to see the full annular solar eclipse Saturday, but can’t travel to it? Mark Brown, director of the Emporia State University Planetarium, is in New Mexico to livestream the event as it happens on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

When tuning into the livestream, viewers will witness the moon pass directly in front of the sun, creating a spectacular “ring of fire” effect.

View online at; the broadcast will be available 10:10 a.m. to 1:25 p.m. CDT Saturday.

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.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club: Members plan for celebration of achievements

By Bella Reeser, Club Reporter

At 5:20 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, at the Melvern Community Center, the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club meeting was called to order by President Gradey McNally. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Gradey. Secretary Allie Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, ‘What is your favorite Halloween treat to receive while trick or treating?’ There were eight members and five adults present.

Allie read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read. There was no correspondence. Gradey read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read.

Reporter Bella Reeser stated she submitted one article to the newspaper. There was no historian’s report. There was no council report.

In leaders’ report, leaders Caleb McNally and Lisa Reeser reminded club members to send thank yous to sponsors for the awards they won at the fair. The Osage County Achievement Night will be Nov. 7, 2023, with dinner at 6 p.m. and program at 7 p.m.

There was no old business. In new business, it was moved and seconded to have a trunk at the Melvern Trunk and Treat. It was moved and seconded to take the month of February in cleaning the Melvern Community Center.

In program, club members created posters for 4-H week. In songs, members sang “Spooky Scary Skeletons”.

At 5:38 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Melvern Community Center.

Members enjoyed snacks provided by the Reeser family. For recreation, MJH members had a mummy wrapping contest.

Chamber Chatter: Osage City plans to ‘be home for the holidays’

Reminder: Osage City Kiwanis Club celebrates 22 years of downtown trick or treat parade

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2023, will mark the 22nd year that the Kiwanis Club has organized the Halloween Parade that takes place downtown on Market Street. Trick or treaters gather at 4:15 p.m. at Santa Fe Park; trick or treating at the businesses will begin at 4:30 p.m. The parade route will walk east on Market to Seventh Street, cross and walk west on Market to Fifth and cross back to Santa Fe Park. Everyone is welcome. Parents are urged to walk with children.

2023 Christmas on Market- “I’ll Be Home For The Holidays” – Nov. 11, 2023

Planning is progressing for the annual Christmas on Market celebration on Nov. 11. We encourage you to mark the date on your calendar and plan to shop local that weekend as many of our hometown businesses will be offering great opportunities for holiday gifts. The theme for Christmas on Market 2023 is “I’ll Be Home For The  Holidays”.

In addition to shopping, activities will be held throughout the day including senior center breakfast, food court, visits with Santa, Jingle Bell 5K Run/Walk, in-store activities, RadioShack toy expo, gingerbread house building, ping pong drop, raffle drawing, Kansas City Chief’s Wolf mascot, Topeka High Drum Corps, free retail poker run, emergency services showcase, fire truck rides, story time, quarter bingo, chili cook off, chili feed and the traditional lighted Christmas parade.

The raffle is going to have some very nice items to be given away. Raffle tickets will be available starting Oct. 27 up to the time of the drawing. The tickets are being sold at a variety of businesses including Bank of Osage City, KB’s Specialtees, First National Bank, Furniture Loft, Hair Designs by Diane, Harmon Dental, Landmark Bank, Two Cousins weeSale, McCoy’s RadioShack, Osage Hardware, Ramblin’ Rose, Ridge Iron Grill, Subway, and Osage County Senior Center the day of the event. The raffle drawing will be held at Sixth and Market. The Chamber does encourage the public to attend, but winners do not have to be present to win.

Osage City beverage distributor celebrates 90th anniversary of business

Flint Hills Beverage hosted the quarterly Osage City Chamber After Hours in conjunction with the company’s 90th anniversary celebration Sept. 21, 2023. FHB co-owner Casey Mussatto shared some of the history of the company, while Tyler Parsons gave a tour of the warehouse. Attendees enjoyed delicious refreshments and beverages.

Here is the history of Mussatto Bros. as provided by Casey Mussatto:

Mussatto Bros. was founded in 1933 by Victor and Joe Mussatto in Osage City. The company represented several Kansas City area breweries, the most well known of which was Muehlebach Brewing Company.

Cheryl and Casey Mussatto.

In 1942, representatives of Anheuser-Busch called on the Mussattos at their downtown Osage City office and warehouse and told them that their current wholesaler in the area, 7UP bottling of Emporia, was not doing a very good job. They told Victor and Joe that they had heard very good things about their service and reputation and offered them the distribution rights to Budweiser, which was a good brand but only 5 percent of the market at the time. The brothers asked about what they had to spend to get it and other details. When the representatives told them there was no additional investment, they decided to agree to take on Anheuser-Busch and the Budweiser brand.

Victor passed away in 1944 and Joe continued to run the business. Victor’s son, Raymond, and his wife Juanita then bought out Joe in 1950. They owned and operated it through 1985. During that time, they also added Hamm’s Brewing and several other regional breweries. They grew the brands of their suppliers, and Anheuser-Busch added several other brands like Michelob, Busch, Natural Light and Bud Light.

Raymond and Juanita’s son Casey and his wife Cheryl Mussatto took over ownership in 1985. In the 1980s and 90s the advertising and promotional expertise of Anheuser-Busch improved significantly as well as the area’s population, and the market share of Mussatto Bros. Inc. grew from approximately 48 percent to nearly 60 percent.

Deputies pursue, capture suspect after report of mid day home break-in, theft

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has reported that a Burlingame woman was arrested Tuesday following a vehicle pursuit through central Osage County that ended north of Osage City. The suspect, Kelsey N. Ritter, 28, was captured after a foot pursuit through a wooded area and the use of a Kansas Highway Patrol helicopter, search dogs, and a drone.

The sheriff’s office reported a notification came in at 12:41 p.m. Oct. 10, 2023, about a suspicious person on the porch of a residence in the 700 block of East 205th Street. While deputies were enroute to the address, the homeowner advised that the suspect made entry to the unoccupied house. The suspect then proceeded to take a truck from the residence and left the scene prior to deputies’ arrival.

Deputies immediately began canvassing the area. Eventually, a deputy spotted the vehicle near West 229th and Fairlawn Road travelling westbound. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, which failed to yield, and a pursuit ensued.

The vehicle pursuit ended in a field near West 217th and Auburn Road. The suspect then fled on foot. Deputies and KHP troopers set up a perimeter. A KHP helicopter, two K-9 units, a drone, and deputies on foot searched the wooded area. The suspect was eventually located and taken into custody.

Ritter, of Burlingame, was arrested on charges connected with burglary of a dwelling, felony theft, aggravated battery on law enforcement officer, interference with law enforcement officer, flee or attempt to elude law enforcement by engaging in reckless driving, and criminal damage to property.

Fall is in the air at Osage City: Chamber hosts downtown festival Saturday

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a fall festival 3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, downtown on Fifth Street and Santa Fe Park.

The Chamber is planning a fun event for the entire family. All are invited to come and participate in the youth and adult activities, such as the corn hole tournament, inflatables, face painting, pumpkin decorating, sack races, scarecrow making,  beer stein contests, keg roll, and pretzel eating contest. Also available will be a beer garden, food  trucks, and local craft and food booths. A DJ will provide music throughout the event.

Shopping will be available at the downtown businesses staying open for the festival; some will offer special sidewalk sales. Be sure to check them out.

The day of fun starts out with the annual Chamber hosted disc golf tournament, which will be held at Jones Park Disc Golf Course. Registration is at 10 a.m.; start at 11 a.m. For more information about the golf tournament, contact Shanda Koett at 620-560-5132.

Here’s the schedule for the festival:

Driver dies in pickup rollover accident near Melvern

Update Oct. 9, 2023: The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has identified the driver who was killed in a rollover accident Sunday near Melvern as Raul A. Reza-Lujan 36, of Hutchinson, Kan.

The sheriff’s office reported that the afternoon of Oct. 8, 2023, Reza-Lujan was driving a 2020 Ram 1500 pickup southbound in the 32400 block of South Shawnee Heights Road, when he lost control and the vehicle left the roadway to the west side and rolled. Reza-Lujan was pronounced deceased at the scene. He had not been wearing a seatbelt.

Boil water advisory rescinded for the city of Quenemo

Update, Oct. 7, 2023 – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the City of Quenemo public water supply system located in Osage County. The advisory was issued because of a loss of pressure in the system. Laboratory testing samples collected from the City of Quenemo indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

Lyndon Lions to serve up breakfast, then stride around town during Saturday’s fall festival

The Lyndon Lions Club will hold its annual pancake feed during Lyndon’s fall festival this Saturday. The breakfast will be 7-10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, at the Lyndon Community Center, 204 Topeka Ave., Lyndon. Lions will be serving pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage and eggs coffee, milk, orange juice and tomato juice. Freewill donations will be accepted. Proceeds go to local Lions projects including eyeglasses, sight screening, and others.

The Lions will also be busy following the community breakfast as hosts of the Strides: Lions for Diabetes Awareness event, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on the Osage County Courthouse lawn, with the finish line at the same place the walk started. Total distance covered will be three miles. Health screenings and information from local companies will be available to the public free of charge along the walk.

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