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Willing Workers roll out the dough learning to make homemade tortillas

By Lena Stucky
Club Reporter

On Jan. 27, 2024, some of the Willing Workers 4-H’ers got together for their monthly food meeting. This month we were taught by the Ford family how to make homemade tortillas. We went step by step through the instructions and after mixing our ingredients, kneading our dough, and cooking the tortillas on a stove, we were done! Finally, after cleaning up our mess, we ate some of our tortillas with butter on top. And it was another successful foods meeting for the Willing Workers 4-H Club.

MdCV names 2024 Queen of Courts royalty at home game against Cair Paravel

2024 Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Queen of Courts royalty and attendants were, front from left, kindergarten attendants Kilynn Nettleton and Aydan Rea, middle, Skye Wade, Aydin Deeter, Queen Kelsey Rice, Izzy Steggs, and Akyra Traver, back, Madison Cormode, Landon Reed, Trae Walker, Mason Rose, King DJ Johnson, Sam Goddard, Ty Calderwood, and Joey Del Perceo. Photo thanks to Lisa Reeser.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School celebrated its basketball royalty during halftime of the boys varsity basketball game, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, against Cair Paravel High School. Announced at the game as the 2024 MdCV Queen of Courts royalty were senior candidates Queen Kelsey Rice and King DJ Johnson.

MdCV varsity boys lost their game against Cair Paravel High School by a score of 40-55, while the MdCV varsity girls won their game 54-32.

The royalty candidates and attendants were recognized for their scholarship and involvement in school and community activities. Crowning the new king and queen were the MdCV 2023 King Joe Del Percio and Queen Madison Cormode.

Judge Kimball to retire March 1

District Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball

TOPEKA, Kan. – District Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball will retire March 1 after serving 18 years in the 4th Judicial District. The 4th Judicial District is composed of Franklin, Osage, Coffey, and Anderson counties.

Kimball was appointed district magistrate judge in 2005 after serving 25 years in law enforcement with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

“As a public servant, helping the community was a top priority,” Kimball said. “Becoming a judge was a natural extension to continue in that spirit of helping the community.”

During his time as a district magistrate judge, Kimball started a truancy court in the Franklin County District Court. It was later replicated in all courts in the 4th Judicial District.

“I have always tried my utmost to treat all litigants appearing before me with respect and dignity,” Kimball said. “I would always let them be heard and be a great listener, and hopefully make a fair and impartial decision.”

87th Franklin Historical Society meeting: ‘Amazon Army’ fought for coalminers’ rights

OTTAWA, Kan. – In December 1921, thousands of women in southeast Kansas rose up to fight injustice in the area coalfields, impacting coal mining labor conditions at the local, state, and national levels. Historian Linda O’Nelio Knoll will present “Army of Amazons: Women’s Fight for Labor Rights in Kansas Coalfields” as part of the 87th annual meeting of the members of the Franklin County Historical Society at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. This year’s meeting will be available both in person at the FCHS Archives and Research Center, 2011 E. Logan St., Ottawa, Kan., and online via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Coal mines could be found throughout Eastern Kansas – including Franklin County – in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but the coal mines in southeast Kansas were among the most productive. By December 1921, southeast Kansas coalminers had been striking for months when their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters joined the fight. In the short term, their efforts crippled mine production for nearly a month; in the longer term, their continued activism impacted future statewide elections and national legislation. O’Nelio Knoll’s talk will share the stories of these women, dubbed the “Amazon Army” by The New York Times, and their fight for democracy and labor rights in Kansas’s coalfields.

O’Nelio Knoll is an educator, author, and historian who researches local history in southeast Kansas. She assisted with the development of the Miners Memorial, in Pittsburg, Kan., and the Miners Hall Museum, in Franklin, Kan.

The Feb. 4 meeting will open at 2 p.m. with a review of 2023 and preview of 2024. There will be a short intermission before the featured speaker’s presentation, which will begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. This program is free and open to the public. Online attendees may participate via Zoom (registration required) or watch via Facebook Live (no registration required). For more information, visit www.olddepotmuseum.org, call 785-242-1232 or e-mail director@olddepotmuseum.org.

“Army of Amazons: Women’s Fight for Labor Rights in Kansas Coalfields” is part of Humanities Kansas’s Speakers Bureau and “21st Century Civics,” a collection of resources that invite Kansans to participate in community discussions and learn more about the history of American democracy and the shared responsibilities of citizenship. “21st Century Civics” is made possible with support from “A More Perfect Union: America at 250,” an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club welcomes in New Year with bowling party

Melvern Junior Highline 4-H Club members go bowling to celebrate the New Year, front from left, Gentry McNally, Koral Bruening, Paden McNally, Killian Bruening, and Khloe Miller, back, Bella Reeser, Allie Reeser, and Braelyn McNally. The club’s next meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at Melvern Community Center.

By Allie Reeser
Club Reporter

At 5:33 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at Fusion Alley, Ottawa, Kan., the January Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club meeting was called to order by Treasurer Braelyn McNally. The club began the meeting with The Pledge of Allegiance and 4-H Pledge, led by Braelyn. Secretary Bella Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, ‘Would you rather fly or breathe under water?’ There were eight members and five adults present.

Bella read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read. In correspondence, Bella read letters from Don and Ann Becker and Lisa Litch. Braelyn read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Reporter Allie Reeser stated she submitted three article to the newspaper. There was no historian’s report. In council report, council member Braelyn reminded club members about the Blue & Gold sales that start immediately, and will need to be turned in to the Extension office by Feb. 26. Braelyn also let club members know about District Club Days that will be Feb. 24 at West Franklin-Pomona school; registration will open up on Jan. 29.

In leader’s report, Leader Lisa Reeser reminded club members and parents to please read their club meeting notes paper. There was no old or new business.

In songs, the club sang, “This is the song that gets stuck in your head”. At 5:48 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. Members enjoyed snacks provided by the club. For recreation and program, members and parents enjoyed bowling at Fusion Alley.

Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, at the Melvern Community Center.

MdCV to celebrate Queen of Courts during Friday’s home games

MdCV’s Queen of Courts senior candidates, from left, Kelsey Rice, Mason Rose, Aydin Deeter, and not pictured, DU Johnson. Lisa Reeser photo.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School’s Queen of Courts ceremony will be during half-time of the varsity boys basketball game Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, at Melvern. Senior candidates for the Queen of Courts royalty include Kelsey Rice, Mason Rose, Aydin Deeter, and DU Johnson. Freshman attendants are Trae Walker, Skye Wade, and Landon Reed, sophomore attendants are Akyra Traver and Ty Calderwood, and junior attendants are Sam Goddard and Isabella Steggs.


To fill retiring judge vacancy, 4th Judicial District begins nomination process

TOPEKA, Kan. – The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene by conference call at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, to set a schedule to fill the district magistrate judge vacancy created by District Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball’s March 1 retirement.

The meeting is open to the public. To listen, call 1-845-361-8917 and enter conference code 3872788.

In the district magistrate judge appointment process, the nominating commission seeks nominations and then meets to interview nominees. Interviews are open to the public. The commission selects who is appointed to fill the district magistrate judge vacancy.

A nominee for Kimball’s magistrate judge position must be a resident of Franklin County at the time of taking office and while holding office; a graduate of a high school, a secondary school, or the equivalent; and either 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, a new 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 is composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties. The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission includes Justice Eric S. Rosen as nonvoting chair; Craig Cole, Garnett; Anthony Mersman, Greeley; Phyllis Gardner and Janet Walsh, both of Lyndon; Ianne Dickinson and Forrest Lowry, both of Ottawa; John Boyd, Pomona; and Timothy Johnson, Waverly.

Area students earn university honors in fall semester

Osage County students on KSU honors list

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Students from Osage County were among more than 4,480 Kansas State University students who earned semester honors for their academic performance in the fall 2023 semester.

Students from Osage County earning semester honors for the fall 2023 semester from Kansas State University included Alexandra Crook and Robert Quaney, both of Burlingame; Max Black, Emma Gustin, and Karlyn Gustin, Carbondale; Ethan Edington, Darian Massey, and Zander Seth, Lyndon; Jerra Butterfield, Jenna Hastert, Devan McEwen, and Wyatt Orender, Osage City; Lane Anderson, Tate Anderson, Ethan Hageman, Jacob Hofman, and Ella Huizenga, Overbrook; and Mathew Anschutz, Vassar.

Students earning a grade point average for the semester of 3.75 or above on at least 12 graded credit hours receive semester honors along with commendations from their deans. The honors are also recorded on their permanent academic records.


Sergeant on SDSU’s fall 2023 dean’s list

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota State University has announced Sarah Sergeant, of Lebo, Kan., has been named to the dean’s list for the fall 2023 semester.

Sergeant is a student in SDSU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Overall, 3,475 students from 39 states and 24 foreign nations are on the list.


Smith named to SNHU dean’s list

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Tyler Smith, of Lyndon, Kan., has been named to Southern New Hampshire University’s Fall 2023 Dean’s List. The fall terms run from September to December.

Full-time undergraduate students who have earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.500 to 3.699 for the reporting term are named to the dean’s list. Full-time status is achieved by earning 12 credits over each 16-week term or paired eight-week terms.


Osage County students on GU’s fall 2023 president’s list

LAMONI, Iowa – The honor roll lists for Graceland University’s 2023 fall term have been announced. Students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average are named to the president’s list, which includes two students from Osage County, Samantha Daniels, of Overbrook, Kan., and Dylan Shaffer, Osage City, Kan.

Graceland University has campuses in Lamoni, Iowa, and Independence, Mo.

Looking Back: Osage County 4-H honors 2023 family of the year

Jessica Flory, Frontier District 4-H youth development agent, presents the Osage County 4-H Family of the Year award to Cannon family members Gage and Melissa, during local 4-h clubs’ annual awards celebration. Frontier Extension photos.

Osage County 4-H recognizes members, leaders, volunteers, families and sponsors at its annual achievement celebration. The county’s 2023 4-H achievements were celebrated Nov. 7, 2023, at a gathering at Lyndon High School.

Among the many recognitions during the evening was the announcement of the 2023 4-H Family of the Year. The award was presented to the Cannon family – Melissa and Chad and children Chloe and Gage. As noted in the family’s nomination by the North Osage 4-H Club, the Cannon family consistently shows up, helps wherever help is needed, is always positive and volunteers a huge amount of time to 4-H. As the club’s sheep and goat leader, Melissa has hosted many vaccine informational meetings and helped members with showmanship, fitting, and nutritional needs for their animals. In addition, Melissa and Chad have become active on the Overbrook Fair Board and have donated time and money toward securing prizes and countless hours to the livestock auction. The Cannon children are helpful with any projects in which their parents get involved.


Kyle Stromgren, DVM, and Sharon Thielen were named as Osage County’s 4-H alumni of 2023. Stromgren was also recognized as the 2023 Osage County Friend of 4-H.

Osage County 4-H also selected two individuals to be recognized as 2023 4-H Alumni: Sharon Thielen and Kyle Stromgren, DVM.

Thielen was a nine-year member of Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club, in which she held an office every year. One of her photography entries was chosen to be displayed at Rock Springs Ranch 4-H Center and was subsequently printed in the state 4-H calendar. She had a rewarding experience attending Citizenship Washington Focus, and now supports 4-H through the Willing Workers club and by leading an annual Easter egg hunt, in Osage City. Recently, Thielen trained 82 4-H summer interns on how to present the Kansas Corn STEM program.

Stromgren was a 12-year 4-H member and has helped numerous Osage County 4-H members with their livestock projects through advice and treating animal health emergencies. In addition to donating time to the county fairs, Stromgren has been a role model to 4-H members by pursuing his doctor of veterinary medicine degree and then growing his mobile veterinary business into a success.

Driving a beer truck, Santa delivers cans of water to area first responders and firefighters

Osage County area firefighters and emergency personnel gathered to accept a gift of drinking water from Anheuser Busch and Flint Hills Beverage. Helping to unload and distribute the water to local fire departments were, from left, Gary Kitt, OCFD No. 3 Melvern, Charlie Porting and Sean Rewerts, Osage County EMS, Greg McCurdy, Osage County Emergency Management, Casey Mussatto and Trevor Keeffe, Flint Hills Beverage, Brent Rose, OCFD No. 7 Quenemo, Bryce Romine, OCFD No. 5 Lyndon, Dan Romine, OCFD No. 2 Osage City, and Randall Wilson, OCFD No. 7 Quenemo.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – With the help of the local Anheuser Busch distributor, Santa Claus dropped off an early Christmas present for area firefighters and emergency personnel. Although Flint Hills Beverage sales manager Trevor Keeffe delivered the gift in a Bud Light truck, it wasn’t a load of beer. Instead Keeffe unloaded a pallet of canned drinking water at the Osage City fire station Dec. 12, 2023, as part of Anheuser Busch’s emergency drinking water program.

The company’s water program began as a way to provide drinking water to people affected by natural disasters. In 2019, the program was expanded as the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program. Since the program began, the company has delivered more than 6.5 million cans of water to more than 1,400 fire departments across the United States. Every year, Anheuser-Busch periodically pauses beer production to can emergency drinking water to be ready to help during emergencies or natural disasters.

The wild firefighters program began as a way to help fire personnel maintain proper hydration while fighting fires, which is critical for them to perform at their best and avoid health consequences from extreme heat, physical exertion, and loss of fluids.

“Firefighters need to stay hydrated while fighting fires, and especially with the wild grass fires our local firefighters have to deal with,” said Casy Mussatto, Flint Hills Beverage co-owner. “The Anheuser Busch drinking water program is one way we can help our fire departments obtain water they need to keep hydrated.”

Keeffe said Flint Hills Beverage wants other local fire departments to know about the program, especially in the area the distributorship covers in northcentral Kansas.

“We are trying to get more community fire departments involved so they can save some money and have extra drinking water, too,” Keeffe said.

MdCV sixth-graders DARE to resist drugs, alcohol, tobacco

On Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School sixth graders graduated from the 10-week DARE program with MdCV’s school resource officer, Jackie Beatty. DARE is a drug abuse prevention education program intended to give elementary school children skills to resist peer pressure to use tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Celebrating their graduation from the program are, front from left, Andrew Dickey, Braxtyon Sturgeon-Bean, Ryne Cormode, Lilly Stephens, and Danny Goddard, back, Beatty, Collin Saffle, Braylee Patterson, Adrian Zentz, Hailey Fine, Katie Cummings, and Maddie Morgan; not pictured, Lona Freeman and Freddy Wiley. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Willing Workers share the spirit of Christmas

Willing Workers 4-H Club members tune up for their annual Christmas caroling excursion. Courtesy photo.

By Lena Stucky
Club Reporter

Christmas is the time of year for cookies and Christmas carols. So the Willing Workers 4-H Club got together on Dec. 3, 2023, to frost sugar cookies in preparation to spread Christmas cheer to our community members living in local nursing homes.

You see, it is a tradition of the Willing Workers to go around and carol to the senior citizens and then hand out the sugar cookies. On Dec. 13, we did just that. This year we sang songs like Silent Night, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Deck the Halls while distributing our cookies.

The Willing Workers 4-H Club would like to wish everyone
a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sen. Moran stops at Osage City schools for student-led tour

Osage City schools STUCO members were tour guides for Sen. Jerry Moran during a recent visit, from left, Wyatt Bailey, Sadie Shoemaker, Lexi Boss, Emery Speece, Sen. Moran, Gracy Smith, Arin Neary, and Chase Williams. Photo by Wayne White.

Osage City STUCO members led U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran on a tour of Osage City schools during his visit to town Dec. 1, 2023. With USD 420 Superintendent Ted Hessong and Osage City High School Principal Natosha Jenkins, the students led the senator through the high school, middle school and elementary school, stopping in several classrooms to visit with teachers and students, pose for photos, and view the three connected schools’ facilities.

During the tour, the student guides and teachers answered Moran’s inquiries about course availability, enrollment numbers, school safety, and their experiences of attending school in a small town. The tour covered the entire school, and included a visit to the cafeteria at the start of lunchtime, auditorium, high school gymnasium and library.

Thanking the guides and administrators for the tour, Moran said part of the reason he likes to visit schools is because he is an appropriator for the U.S. Dept. of Education and he had previously served on the committee that authorizes legislation for education.

“My goal has always been to get rid of the things that drive up the cost of education, all those mandates that we have to pay for, and for the mandates we should support, increasing funding,” Moran said. “I just kind of like to know what’s going on.”

“Most of the money that comes to pay for your education doesn’t have a lot to do with me, but [Department of Education administers] Title 1, lunch program, transportation, vocational education, and most significant is special education,” he said. “Most of the things that we do in Washington, D.C., have little effect on me, but could have a lot of effect on you. My hope is you all have a great life.”

Moran told the students and administrators, “You have a lot to be proud of,” and noted his tour guides were “some of the nicest kids I’ve met. Thank you for letting me tour.”

The tour guides included Wyatt Bailey, Sadie Shoemaker, Lexi Boss, Emery Speece, Gracy Smith, Arin Neary, and Chase Williams.

The senator headed from Osage City to Council Grove, where he was the keynote speaker for the Council Grove Chamber of Commerce Trade and Tourism Association annual meeting.

Lyndon Tigers claim 8-man state football championship in winter blowout

The Lyndon Tigers blew into Newton like a blizzard on Nov. 25, 2023, but drifted out of town as the 2023 Kansas 8-Man Division 1 Football State Champions. The Lyndon High School team claimed the championship from the Wichita County Indians, of Leoti, with a score of 34-6 in the snowy Saturday morning game.

The state championship win was the first Lyndon had claimed in the history of its football program. Lyndon Head Coach Michael Massey led the team to the title with a season record of 13-0, in the school’s second year of 8-man football. Wichita County finished the season at 12-1.

Massey said the title win was solely due to the team’s determination.

“As a coach it is a great feeling to have a group set out to reach a goal and have them accomplish it,” Massey said. “This group is a very unselfish group. They are a true team and they don’t care who gets the credit. They play for each other and all they want to do is win.”

The coach said the team’s seven seniors made up the core of the team, and were starters in their last high school football game. “We had some younger players that filled in and played significant time also,” he said.

Though the game had been postponed from the day before due to inclement weather, it snowed the entire game Saturday. Snow had started to fall during warm ups and by the time the game was over there was 4-5 inches of snow on the ground.

“The snow did affect our play calling some,” Coach Massey said. “We weren’t able to open up the offense and throw as much as we had planned to.”

Lyndon’s seniors dominated the title match with their running game. Tiger’s quarterback, senior Tanner Heckel, ran for 4 touchdowns, and tallied 251 rushing yards in 29 carries, one a long 51-yard run. Senior linebacker Jalen Massey ran in the Tiger’s other touchdown, and totaled up 39 rushing yards and 12 carries. Heckel and Casten Wirth, senior tight end, each added a two-point conversions to Lyndon’s final score. Wirth made two pass receptions in the game, one 17 yards.

Lyndon’s defense team also did its part to shut down Wichita County, last year’s 8-man Division 1 champs, keeping the Indians to one touchdown before the half, and scoreless for the remainder of the game. Indians senior linebacker Wyatt Gardner ran for Wichita County’s only touchdown.

“Our defense was outstanding and took Wichita County out of everything they wanted to do,” Massey said. “Coach [Toby] Baker had the guys well prepared for everything they were going to see.”

The seniors team racked up the defensive stats in the scorebox with 51 solo and 95 total tackles. Solo tackles tallied included J. Massey with 7; Heckel, 7; Ethan Ramey, 7; Wirth, 7; Daxten Miller, 2, Kaedin Massey, 5; Caleb Anschutz, 6; sophomore James Marcotte added 6 tackles, and junior Elijah Feltner was credited with an assist. Wirth made the Tigers’ only sack, handing the Indians a six-yard loss.

With seven retiring seniors, Lyndon will begin next football season as defending state title champions with an all new starting lineup, but first-year coach Massey said the team will be ready.

“We graduate a very successful senior class that will get a lot of state honors,” Massey said. “[But] our younger kids were able to practice and learn from them this year so I look forward to the younger guys showing what they have next year.”

“This state championship means a lot to our football program and the community,” Massey said. “These guys have put in years of work and sacrifice to achieve this goal and it isn’t to be taken lightly. I am extremely proud of each and everyone of them. Whether they played in the varsity games or were on the JV or scout team. They showed up everyday to work hard and be great teammates.”

Lyndon’s roster for the championship game included 26 team members (listed by number): 1, Koby Isch; 2, Lucas Griffin; 3, Jalen Massey; 4, Tanner Heckel; 5, James Marcotte; 6, Keifer Haney; 9, Josh Vignery; 10, Ethen Ramey; 11, Casten Wirth; 14, Daxten Miller; 15, Elijah Feltner; 23, Carson Horne; 24, Zach Criqui; 25, Landon Walker; 40, Jaxson Mylnar; 50, Ethan Findlay; 50, Anthony Haux; 54, James Chauncey; 56, Kyler Moon; 60, Aidon Walker; 61, Simon Wolzen; 62, Chase Miller; 65, Jordan Meyer; 75, Kaedin Massey; 77, Caleb Anschutz; 78, Dimitri Zapata. Head coach was Michael Massey; assistant coach Toby Baker; statistician Scott Jones.

Burlingame spreads Christmas cheer with holiday home tour

 John and Audrey Ross’ home at 141 W. Fremont St., Burlingame, is one of the homes featured on Burlingame Historical Society’s annual Christmas home tour.

The Burlingame Historical Society will host a holiday home tour, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, during Burlingame’s Country Christmas celebration. Tickets will be available at Schuyler Museum and each home on the tour.

John and Audrey Ross and daughters Gabby, Karah, Maelee, and Reagan have lived in their 1889 Queen Anne Victorian home at 141 W. Fremont St. for four years. The family is rounded out with Annie the dog and Thor the cat.

John works as chief of police at Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority and is in the Kansas Army National Guard. Audrey is a therapist at Christ First Counseling center.

The family enjoys spending time together and watching the girls play sports and dance.

The study and den is decorated formally with a classical tree; The living room tree is a “fun” tree done with the kids collected and homemade ornaments. The master bedroom is displayed as a “Cozy Christmas”, and the foyer is done in Santa Clauses.

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

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

By Lena Stucky
Club Reporter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Local students begin journey toward college at Apply Free Days Kansas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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