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Federal recreation areas closed at Melvern and Pomona lakes

KANSAS CITY – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District has closed USACE-operated campgrounds and day-use parks due to the shutdown of the federal government for lack of fiscal 2014 funding legislation. The closure includes federal facilities at Melvern and Pomona lakes.

Affected recreation areas will remain closed until after the shutdown is lifted. This includes all visitor facilities, campgrounds, boat ramps and similar facilities at all 18 lake projects in the Kansas City District.

Zebra mussels found in two more Kansas lakes

Glen Elder Reservoir and Lake Wabaunsee have the invasive species

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake), in Mitchell County, and Lake Wabaunsee, in Wabaunsee County. Zebra mussels are bean-sized mollusks with striped, sharp-edged, two-part shells. Twenty-one Kansas lakes have now been confirmed to have zebra mussels.

“These latest discoveries show how important it is for the public to be aware of the dangers of aquatic nuisance species (ANS) and to take precautions to prevent their spread,” said Jessica Howell, KDWPT aquatic nuisance species coordinator.

Eat Well to Be Well:Learn the truth about 5 food myths

Discerning between food truths and food myths is really hard sometimes. From excellent nutrition advice to extremely bad to downright dangerous nutrition advice, what’s a consumer to do? Since all of us have to eat and all of us are consumers of food, knowing the truth of how to follow a healthy, nutritious diet can get lost in the shuffle of nutrition myths – which have grown exponentially over the years.

Unfortunately, there will be those who, without any nutrition degrees or backing of science, feel compelled to enlighten us on their opinion on what a healthy diet should be. But don’t be swayed. Here are some common diet and food myths you deserve to know the truth behind the tale:

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:

Where there’s smoke there’s BBQ at Osage City

Where there’s smoke there’s barbecue –  that is how it’s been in April at Osage City for about 18 years, except for last year. Postponed until Halloween last year due to COVID-19 conditions, the Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship is back on track for springtime barbecue competition in 2021.

The competition gets underway for the outdoor chefs Friday night as many start warming up their cookers, but the fun also fires up at the community barbecue party, Taste of Osage City, starting at 5 p.m.

Last year the community portion of BBQ contest was canceled due to the pandemic, but Friday night Osage City’s Jones Park will again be the site of a giant outdoor smorgasbord. During the “Taste”, about 11 barbecue cookers will be offering samples of delicacies they have created in exchange for BBQ Bucks. BBQ Bucks can be purchased in advance at Osage City Hall until noon Friday; then they will be sold at the Osage City Community Building at Jones Park 1 to 7 p.m. The menu ranges from pulled pork sliders and ribs, to “moink balls”, or something more exotic like a “Hot Mess” or smoked mac ‘n’ cheese.

Friday evening also includes live band Chance Encounters, known for their party rock and guitar chaos. The band will spark up around 7 p.m. near the south end of the Osage City recreation building, with the beer garden nearby.

Sometime around 9 p.m. or dark, local fireworks distributor Garret Fireworks will really light the place up with a display of many of their products. Parking is available for the event at the open grass area west of state Highway 170, west of the football bleachers. Launch zone will be the south part of Jones Park.

While Osage City and its guests celebrate smoke in the spring, the competition BBQ chefs begin setting their attention toward the challenges facing them the next day – mainly they have chicken, pork, ribs, and brisket on their minds.

Smoke in the Spring organizer Corey Linton reported this week he had 110 barbecue teams signed up to cook Saturday. Due to the reputation of Osage City’s Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned contest, the field includes some of the top cookers from across the United States.

“The team quality this year is really high,” Linton said, noting among the competitors are last year’s KCBS Team of the Year Getting’ Basted, and runner up Slaps BBQ, along with many other grand champs and top winners in the KCBS barbecue circuit.

Linton said Travis Clark and Clark Crew would be returning to Smoke in the Spring after a one year hiatus. Clark has built his reputation as a champion cooker in part with three grand championships at Smoke in the Spring, along with 2019 grand champion of the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, and a past KCBS team of the year.

“We have teams from around 12 different states – from Minnesota down through New Mexico,” Linton said. “There are going to be a lot of really good teams here this weekend.”

Osage City’s event will also host some VIPs in the barbecue world this weekend, with Carolyn Wells, a co-founder of KCBS, serving as one of the KCBS contest reps. Wells and her late husband, Gary, and friend, Rick Welch, founded KCBS in 1986.

Smoke in the Spring usually has six KCBS reps oversee the contest, and Linton said Wells had requested to help out at Osage City this year.

“It’s a big honor having her wanting to be involved in our contest,” Linton said, “especially since KCBS is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.”

He said the KCBS anniversary is also bringing the organization’s CEO Emily Detwiler to Smoke in the Spring this year. The KCBS anniversary is also pretty special to Linton this year, as he was elected to serve as one of the 2021 KCBS board of directors.

Also visiting will be Beth Breeding, of the National Turkey Federation, which is sponsoring a Turkey Smoke category for the contest this year.

Chamber Chatter: Springtime sprouts activity in local business community

Osage City spring citywide garage sales, April 16-17, 2021

The holidays have been over for a couple months, the ground hog saw his shadow; however, spring time is just around the corner and it is time to get ready to do some spring cleaning. It will soon be that time of the year to sign up for the spring Osage City citywide garage sales, set for April 16 and 17, 2021. This is a great opportunity to get rid of some of that “stuff” you never use and free up some space.

To sign up, contact Tricia Gundy at 785-528-3301 or 785-219-9727. She has revised the area map and is more user friendly, providing a chart for the type of items at the garage sales. She will need your name – as you want it listed on the map, address, a phone number in case of questions about the sale, if you are having the sale Friday and Saturday or Saturday only, what area you are on the map, type of items that you will be selling, and a $5 donation fee. Gundy is also working to make the map available per the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and website. The proceeds go towards a scholarship awarded every year to two Osage City High School graduates. The deadline for adding a sale to the garage sale map is 5 p.m. April 13.

Edward Jones Investments relocates to new office

Dec. 22, 2020, marked the first day of relocation for the Osage City Edward Jones office. Financial advisor Robyn Williams and her team moved east on Market Street one block, from 516 Market St., where the office had been located for 27 years, to 622 Market St.

New Edward Jones office at 622 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

Williams has been an Edward Jones financial advisor for more than 24 years and works to understand the individual goals of her clients prior to assisting them with their financial needs. Her primary goal is to help individual investors develop an investment strategy geared toward their family’s long-term goals. Her team has built their business by treating their clients as they would want to be treated.

Robyn graduated from Fort Hays State University with a bachelor’s degree in business communications, a finance minor and a leadership studies certification. She began her career with Edward Jones in Beloit, Kan., in 1996; then moved to Emporia, Kan., before taking over as the financial advisor in Osage City in June 2001. In August 2008, she earned the accredited asset management specialist designation from the College of Financial Planning. She celebrated her 25-year anniversary with Edward Jones on March 4.

In her Osage City office, Williams is joined by two branch office administrators: Mandi Potter, has more than 22 years of experience in the Osage City branch, and Jen Koch, who has three and a half years of experience.

The Osage City Edward Jones team is planning to have a grand opening at the new location when corporate COVID-19 guidelines allow.

Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship

Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship will be celebrating its 18th annual event April 9-10, 2021. Friday evening’s Taste of Osage City will get underway at 5 p.m. in Jones Park. BBQ Bucks will be on sale prior to the event at Osage City Hall; and at Osage City Community Building during the Friday evening event. The celebration will include a live band outdoors along with a fireworks display.

Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show

The 17th annual Cruis’n and Cook’n Auto Show, will be Saturday, April 10, 2021, in downtown Osage City. This year, the Twin Lakes Cruisers will be having additional attractions along with the auto show including the Manhatchet Axe Throw, a craft show at St. Brigid Hall, and also the senior center will be kicking off the citywide garage sales a week early, with a thrift sale at the center.

Osage City Chamber of Commerce seeks 2021 scholarship applications

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce offers a scholarship to one senior girl and one senior boy graduating from Osage City High School. High School graduation is just around the corner and the Chamber is encouraging seniors that are furthering their education to get with Kathy Camarena, Osage City High School counselor, and ask for application information. For the Osage City Chamber of Commerce application, data needed to apply is a transcript, two letters of reference, and an essay from the student on importance of owning and operating a business in a small town. Application must be postmarked by April 23, 2021. The announcement of the winners will be dependent upon the status of the school allowing visitor participation in such events. The 2020 scholarships were awarded to Dylan Shaffer and Kaitlyn Heiserman.

Bitter cold temperatures in Kansas require winter precautions to keep safe

Groundhog Day came and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning more winter headed our way. To underscore Phil’s prediction, Kansas has suffered a week of extreme winter temperatures, with temperatures for much of next week expected to range from sub-zero to teens or possible 20s.

“I know we’re all tired of staying indoors because of the coronavirus, but with temperatures like these, it’s a good idea to stay inside as much as possible and only go out if you really need to,” said Angee Morgan, Kansas Division of Emergency Management deputy director. “If you have to work outside, dress warm, don’t work alone and take frequent warming breaks. Now would be a good time to check your home and auto emergency kits to make sure they are up-to-date.”

“As Kansans we always do a good job of checking on our neighbors,” said Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly. “During bitter temperatures it is especially important to check on our elderly neighbors and family members who may be shut in either with a phone call or a visit. If you go to their home make sure and wear a mask and practice social distancing.”

Take some time before the temperature drops to ensure you are ready for the worst and have a plan in place.

Assemble an emergency kit for your home that includes a battery-operated radio, a flashlight and extra batteries, extra blankets and warm clothing, food that you can open and prepare easily and plenty of clean drinking water (at least one gallon per person per day), in case water supply lines are compromised.

Before you travel make sure your car or vehicle has at least a half a tank of gas during extreme cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become stranded. Keep an emergency supply kit in your car with these automobile extras: jumper cables, flares or reflective triangle, ice scraper, car cell phone charger, blanket, map, cat litter or sand (for better tire traction).

For a complete list of items for an emergency kit for home or vehicles, see

As temperatures drop, open cabinet doors under sinks on exterior walls of your home and turn faucets to a slow drip to help prevent pipes from freezing. Place rolled-up towels or blankets around drafty windows and doors to help keep the cold air outside and the warm air inside.

If you must use portable space heaters to warm your home, check that they have been tested and certified to the latest safety standards. Keep heat sources at least three feet from combustible items, like papers, blankets and curtains. Never leave a fireplace or portable heater unattended; turn off heaters and extinguish flames when you leave the room or go to bed. Never use appliances that weren’t designed to heat your home, such as cooking stoves and ovens, for that purpose.

Joseph P. (Jody) Getsinger Jr., 77, Osage City: July 28, 1943 – Oct. 22, 2020

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Joseph P. (Jody) Getsinger Jr., 77, passed away Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Stormont Vail Hospital, Topeka, Kan. Jody Getsinger was born July 28, 1943, in Ashville, N.C., the son of Joseph P. and Lola Mae (Brazil) Getsinger Sr.

He graduated from Osage City High School in 1961.

He was joined in marriage to Linda K. O’Brien on April 20, 1963, in Osage City, Kan.

USACE waives day use fees for October, November

KANSAS CITY, MO – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District, has announced it will waive the collection of fees at its day use recreation areas for the months of October and November. Fee collections were suspended earlier this year at boat ramps and swimming beaches when recreation areas were closed due to COVID-19 precautions. USACE plans to resume its day use fees in the spring of 2021.

USACE began the gradual reopening of its lake and river projects in April. Visitors are encouraged to contact USACE lake and river projects before visiting to ensure recreation areas are open.

Robert G. Langley, 75, Pomona: Jan. 22, 1945 – Sept. 28, 2020

POMONA, Kan. – Robert G. Langley, 75, passed away on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at Midland Hospice House, Topeka, Kan. He was born Jan. 22, 1945, in Pomona, Kan., the son of Lawrence and Dortha Todd Langley.

Bob graduated from Pomona High School in 1963. He grew up most of his life in Pomona, and had been a camp host at lakes in Texas and Kansas in the last 12 years.

Ella Estelle Hoover, 92, Lyndon: Nov. 5, 1927 – Aug. 31, 2020

LYNDON, Kan. – Ella Estelle Hoover, 92, passed away on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, at Vintage Park, Osage City, Kan. She was born on Nov. 5, 1927, on the family farm south of Lyndon, Kan., the daughter of Earl and Erma Frazier Mickelson.

Ella had lived most of her life in the Lyndon area, graduating from Lyndon High School in 1945.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, July 6 – July 10, 2020

The following information was compiled from records at the Osage County Courthouse.

Charles Eugene Brown, 86, Melvern: Nov. 9, 1933 – June 18, 2020

MELVERN, Kan. – Charles Eugene Brown, 86, passed away on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at Sunset Manor, Waverly, Kan. He was born Nov. 9, 1933, in Barnard, Kan., the son of Charles Milton and Jean Elizabeth (Duncan-Cramb) Brown.

Charles grew up and attended school in Barnard, graduating from Mulvane High School in 1952.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1953. He served as “Truck Driver, Heavy” in South Korea, and was discharged in 1955. He earned the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Korean Service Medal.

Sandra Lee Kerns, 77, Osage City: April 12, 1943 – May 22, 2020

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Sandra Lee Kerns, 77, passed away Friday, May 22, 2020, at her home near Osage City, Kan. She was born Sandra Lee Herring on April 12, 1943, in Ottawa, Kan., the daughter of Roy and Helen Hoyt Herring.

Sandra attended Williamsburg High School and graduated with the class of 1961. She would further her education at Kansas State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics.

Cook’n’ show cancelled, so car buffs cruise Osage County

Local auto enthusiasts lined up cars of all makes and models, Saturday, May 9, 2020, at Jones Park, Osage City,  where they departed on a cruise around Osage County. 

By Jeanette Swartz

Since the Cruis’n & Cook’n Car Show was cancelled in April due to the pandemic, this past Saturday afternoon, May 9, 2020, brought a group of approximately 40 auto enthusiasts to Osage City, Kan. Friends from Osage City, Reading, Wakarusa, Burlington, Ottawa, Pomona, Emporia, Topeka, Carbondale and Lyndon lined up at the football stadium parking lot and cruised through downtown Osage City, then traveled on to Melvern and Pomona lakes through the state parks.

We are not sure who had more fun, the cruisers or the campers. The campers enjoyed seeing the participants cruise through the campsites at both lakes. There were smiles on everyone’s faces and it was nice to get out and enjoy the afternoon.

The cruise continued through Overbook, Scranton, Burlingame and back to Osage City.

We are not sure how many miles we actually cruised going through the lakes, a few small towns and the countryside, but it was an enjoyable three-hour tour (and nobody broke down or ran out of gas!)

The generous monetary donations, canned and packaged food items from the cruisers were greatly appreciated, and which will be given back to the community through ECKAN, ECAT and the Warmth Fund.

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