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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.

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.

Osage City’s Got It: Osage City Library is more than just books

Osage City Public Library, 2024. Courtesy photo.

Submitted by Jeanette Swarts

Along with the town itself, the Osage City Library has a very historic past. The Sorosis Club, a women’s literary group, established the library in 1922. They developed a collection by pushing baby buggies around town to gather books.

In the mid 1920s, Edward Lieber donated money to build the first library at 214 S. Sixth St. The Sorosis Club consisted of 26 members; each member volunteered two weeks of their time to operate the library up until 1969. The library had outgrown their club and it became a public supported library in 1970.

With community support, a new library was built in 2000 and the Lieber Library became the Osage City Public Library. A community room, which can be rented, was added in 2016. A plaque honoring the Sorosis Club’s years of service was put on display in the library.

The library’s motto is “More than just books” and is very fitting. The library has a collection that loans out not only books, but a variety of items including audiobooks, cake pans, magazines, movies and television shows, music CDs, puzzles, and video games. The audiobook collection includes CDs, but also Playaways and Wonderbooks. Customers of the library also have access to Flipster, Hoopla and Libby; all are digital borrowing services that provide access to ebooks, digital audiobooks, music, movies, tv shows and magazines for users to enjoy free.

The library provides a variety of programs and services for all ages. During the school year, story time is held twice a week for those five and younger; programs for school age children are held after school on Tuesday and Thursday each week; and Lego Club meets each month. When school is not in session, additional programs are held. A teen group meets to work on projects for themselves and for the library, and the adult book club and bingo are held monthly. Art classes for adults and youths are also held at the library.

During the summer, the library provides library programs and incentives to promote reading, as well as providing summer meals to those 18 years and younger. Anyone needing to laminate, fax, scan or make color or black and white copies, the library provides those services. Also available is wi-fi and computers to use. The library’s genealogy collection includes local newspapers dating back to the 1800s, and Osage City High School yearbooks starting with the 1913 yearbook.

All invited to 19th annual crowning of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas

The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas crowning ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 2024, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lawrence, Kan. The ceremony will be open to the public and free of charge. The ceremony will include platform speech presentations by the contestants; a keynote speech from Long Beach City Councilwoman and Ms. Wheelchair California 2012, Mary Zendejas; farewell from the current titleholders; and crowning of the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. McKenzi Davis, with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

The two contestants participating in the 2024 MWKS competition are Tamara Blackwell, of Bel Aire, Kan., and Bridget King, Topeka, Kan. The contestants will participate in a variety of activities March 22-24 to prepare for Sunday’s crowning. The contestants will be scored during four events: two personal interview sessions, a platform speech presentation, and on-stage questions. Judges will evaluate the participants based on their accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. The contestants will take part in a variety of informative sessions on such topics as empowerment, advocacy, and working with the media. They will also participate in a “Read with Ms. Wheelchair” event for children at the Raven Bookstore in downtown Lawrence at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, Children of all ages are invited to attend.

The mission of the MWKS program is to annually select one woman, who is wheelchair mobile, who will successfully advocate, educate, and empower all people on a state level. This is not a beauty contest, but rather a competition to select the most articulate, accomplished delegate who will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas. The crowned titleholder will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities. She will share her voice and platform with the community through presentations, public appearances, and interaction with the media. Her reign will ultimately lead up to an opportunity to attend the national competition in August, where she will represent Kansas and compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club plays and works at Melvern Park

By Allie Reeser
Club Reporter

At 5:03 p.m. Sunday, March 3, 2024, at the Melvern Community Center, the March 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 Bella Reeser called the roll; members and parents were to answer with, ‘Would you rather be able to slide down a rainbow or jump on a cloud?’ There were eight members and six adults present.

Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club members stain picnic tables at the Melvern fairgrounds.

Bella read the minutes from the previous meeting; they were approved as read. In correspondence, Bella shared a Christmas card from Extension Agent Jo Hetrick-Anstaett, and a letter from the Osage County Fair Association. A motion was made to table the letter until new business.

Treasurer Braelyn McNally read the treasurer’s report; it was approved as read. Braelyn stated that Reporter Allie Reeser had submitted one article to the newspaper. There was no historian’s report.

In council report, Braelyn gave the following updates: Blue & Gold will be on March 12; Regional Club Days on March 23, in Paola; beef weigh-in 4-6 p.m. March 27 at Osage City Fairgrounds; small animal weigh-in 4-6 p.m. May 7 at Osage City Fairgrounds; drop/add date for projects is May 1; Zbooks/Record Books-Be working on these all year; Discovery Days-June 5-7; 4-H Camp- June; Osage City Fair-July 24-27, 2024; Overbrook Fair, Aug. 6-9, 2024; PT testing will be 5-7 p.m. July 9, at Osage City Fairgrounds; pin applications-these have been updated this year; a $75 scholarship will be awarded for out of county event; and we will have a fair photographer at the Osage City fair.

In the leader’s report, Leader Caleb McNally reminded club members that the Blue & Gold pick-up will be on March 12; please make arrangements. Leader Lisa Reeser asked each club member who participated in District Club Days to please stand and share what they did at District Club Days and what ribbon they received. Lisa also reminded club members and parents to read the Club Meeting Notes paper. There was no old business.

In new business, a motion was made and seconded to donate $50 to the Osage County Fair Association to help provide awards at the fair. The next item in new business was the Melvern Easter Egg Hunt; a motion was made and seconded to hold our annual Melvern Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. March 30.

In Songs, Song Leader Koral Bruening led the club in singing, “Everything is Awesome.” At 5:26 p.m., it was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. Members enjoyed snacks provided by the McNally Family. For recreation, club members enjoyed playing at Melvern Park.

The Melvern Jr. Highline’s next club meeting will be 5 p.m. Sunday, April 7, 2024, at Melvern Community Center.

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, call 785-242-1232 or e-mail

“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!

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