Overbrook PRIDE and Frito Lay teamed up to construct a regulation
soccer field for Overbrook youth. Frito Lay donated $20,000 to the
Burlingame City Council considered a request by J&H Construction,
Inc., to extend the substantial completion date of an ongoing water
project until Jan. 31.
Osage County commissioners found renovations at the Osage County
Courthouse to be almost completed during a walk-through inspection
of the $1.1 million project that replaced heating and cooling systems
and installed interior storm windows, lighting upgrades, and low-flow
Carbondale City Council tabled a decision to raise water rates.
With recent completion of a water treatment plant, state officials
had recommended rates should be increased to keep up with increased
The bodies of Michael Shirley, 52, and his children, Ethan C. Shirley,
14, Ashten Shirley, 11, and Caleb Jackson Shirley, 9, were found
in their Scranton home by the children’s mother and a neighbor
Jan. 12. Authorities said Michael Shirley killed the children, set
fire to his house, and attempted to kill himself with a shotgun
before succumbing to smoke and dying.
Quenemo received information indicating revised flood plain maps
could place an extra 15 homes in the official flood plain. Affected
homeowners could be subject to new insurance requirements determined
by mortgage holders.
Scranton City Council’s enforcement of building codes began
with a resolution declaring a property as unsafe or unfit for human
habitation. Three other properties were under investigation.
A dog from rural Melvern was found severely injured after missing
for two weeks. The dog’s adopted owner believed the animal
had been caught in a snare trap for most of the time it was missing,
resulting in a laceration that encircled its body. After treatment
by a Burlington veterinarian, the dog was recovering.
An Osage City USD 420 community task force began looking at proposed
plans for elementary school renovations and a new track and field
The Marais des Cygnes Valley USD 456 Board of Education selected
four finalists for the superintendent’s position, eventually
deciding to hire Darrel Finch, former superintendent at Madison
USD 386. The new superintendent would begin duties July 1.
The city of Overbrook will hire a second full-time police officer
after a December advisory vote.
Dogstock promoter Randall Long entered pleas of no contest to one
felony count of giving a worthless check and a misdemeanor count
of possession of marijuana. The charges stemmed from the 2007 weekend
concert held on Long’s property in rural Melvern and subsequent
investigation of charges that Long had written numerous bad checks
for services at the event.
Santa Fe Trail USD 434 Board of Education held a two-hour meeting
with patrons to discuss budget issues, including the continuous
decline of student enrollment numbers and impending action by the
Carbondale City Council sought bids on a project to extend the city’s
sewer to the site of a new Dollar General Store and other nearby
Osage County partied in celebration of the county’s 150th
birthday. The sesquicentennial celebration was held at the Burlingame
Schuyler Museum annex Feb. 11.
Osage City again decided to proceed with the construction of a biking
and hiking path along the old Missouri Pacific rail line through
town. The city council’s review of the project came two years
after it had first approved the first phase of the project.
Osage City Manager Nick Hernandez announced a deal to bring a stronger
Sprint cell phone signal to the area had fallen through. Plans for
construction of an AT&T tower continued to proceed.
High winds ripped a portion of the roof off of Lyndon High School’s
gymnasium – the second time in 10 months. Weather spotters
verified winds of 60-65 mph left spotted damage across the county.
A human skull was found in a hidden cellar under a Melvern home
undergoing renovation. The skull, thought to have been there at
least 50 years, was found with a collection of doctor’s instruments.
The skull and instruments were likely left behind by a former owner
of the home who was a doctor.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued an order to cease
and desist to the First State Bank of Burlingame, outlining corrective
actions for unsafe or unsound banking practices. The bank’s
president said all depositors’ money was safe and the bank
was in no danger of closing.
Burlingame City Council heard citizen complaints about the ongoing
water system rehabilitation project. Council members questioned
quality of work and lack of communication with the city by the project’s
contractor and engineer. The council authorized revising the date
of substantial completion to Feb. 27.
A suspected arsonist destroyed an 80-year-old landmark in Quenemo,
the picnic shelter in the city’s park, on Feb. 1. The historic
pavilion, built in 1929, was the site of many picnics, reunions
and dances over the years.
Carbondale City Council fired police officers Greg Wallace and Shane
Quigley during a special meeting. City attorney Sue Devoe said the
city would not comment on the firings. Wallace said he was told
the firings were the result of officers accepting free drinks at
a local convenience store.
Osage City business owners and citizens took an in-depth look at
the Kansas Main Street program during a presentation and question-and-answer
session led by Mary Helmer, assistant state Main Street coordinator.
Overbrook heard from an engineer that the first phase of an ongoing
sewer rehabilitation project was complete except for reseeding and
settlement issues. Plans were underway for the second phase of the
project that will address the sewer lagoon and additional sewer
Osage City USD 420 Superintendent David Carriger announced his resignation
after accepting the position of USD 493 superintendent at Columbus.
Carriger had worked for USD 420 for 17 years as a principal and
U.S. Highway 56 near Burlingame was closed for three hours after
an anhydrous ammonia tank overturned and began leaking on the roadway
and into the air. The driver had driven on a soft spot on the highway’s
shoulder, losing control of the trailer that toppled onto its side.
The Osage County Sheriff’s Office purchased $113,716 in new
vehicles - four Chevrolet Impala police cars and a four-wheel drive
Ford F-150 pickup truck.
A fire caused by an unattended heat gun thawing frozen pipes destroyed
two Osage City businesses and damaged several downtown buildings
March 1. The structures at 529 and 531 Market Street, Mink Photography
and Ramblin’ Rose, burned for about six hours before fire
fighters extinguished the blaze. Other businesses affected by the
fire were Schroeder Drugs, Osage Hardware, Furniture Loft, McCoy’s
Radio Shack, Burns, Burns, Walsh and Walsh law offices, and The
Osage County Herald-Chronicle. Investigators determined the fire
originated in the photography business.
Anthony Culbertson, 21, Overbrook, was fatally injured when the
vehicle he was driving rolled and he was ejected, on Paulen Road
about a half mile north of U.S. Highway 56. All four teenage passengers
in the vehicle were injured and transported to Topeka hospitals.
Burlingame City Council agreed to submit to voters a question of
whether the city should provide utilities for the Schuyler Museum.
The election would be advisory only.
After an announcement by the Kansas Department of Transportation
regarding availability of federal stimulus funds for urban transportation
projects, the Scranton City Council convened a special meeting to
assess infrastructure needs.
USD 434 Board of Education agreed to consolidate grades at the district’s
schools in response to declining enrollment and reduced state funding.
Pre-school through second grade will be at Overbrook Attendance
Center; third and fourth grades will be at Scranton Attendance Center;
and fifth through eighth grades will be at Carbondale Attendance
Almost two weeks after a March 1 downtown fire, the Osage City Council
took over the task of removing the burnt structures, approving a
bid for demolition of the buildings. As demolition progressed, Market
Street was reopened after a 13-day detour.
Overbrook seventh-grader Meredith Foulke, 13, won The Topeka Capital
Journal’s 56th annual regional spelling bee.
Burlingame City Council announced its dissatisfaction with work
done on the city’s water system, withholding payment to contractors
and submitting written notice of concerns to contractors’
Osage County commissioners agreed to participate in the city of
Lyndon’s ongoing sewer project, with a decision to reline
the sewer beneath the Osage County Courthouse. The sewer under the
courthouse was once one of the city’s main lines from the
north end of town to the south, but the sewer had been rerouted
during the project.
Osage Hardware reopened after being closed for three weeks due to
a fire in downtown Osage City.
The Kansas Department of Transportation announced Burlingame would
be the recipient of $493,465 in American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act funds for curb and gutter repair. The project would also address
recurring drainage problems.
City of Scranton reorganized emergency responders and law enforcement,
creating the Scranton Department of Public Safety. The action was
taken at the request of Scranton Police Chief Jon Reed, who became
the city’s chief of public safety. By unanimous vote, the
city council agreed to the reorganization and increased Reed’s
salary from $38,000 to $42,000 annually.
The Kansas Department of Transportation announced approximately
$2 million in federal stimulus funds would be used to replace an
old railroad bridge with a pedestrian bridge across U.S. Highway
75 north of Lyndon. The bridge serves the Flint Hills Nature Trail,
a portion of which has been developed near Vassar. The bridge is
one of 14 statewide transportation enhancement projects to be funded
by $11.4 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.
Osage City USD 420 is asking district patrons, staff and students
to provide input as part of the district’s search for a new
superintendent. The district also contracted with Kansas Association
of School Boards to assist with the hiring process.
Barbecue teams prepared to converge on Osage City’s annual
Smoke in the Spring barbecue contest on April 10. Over 64 teams
registered to compete.
A late winter storm wreaked havoc across the state, dumping two
feet of snow in western Kansas and up to four inches of ice elsewhere.
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius declared a state of disaster for 62 counties.
A district court judge ruled in favor of Osage City in a dispute
over payment for space formerly used by a pharmacy in the city-owned
medical center. Schroeder Drugs, Inc., was ordered to pay the city
$68,382 in rent, $27,050 in taxes, and $3,435 for insurance for
occupying the space from May 2006 to October 2008.
Write-in candidate Jeff Bronson won the Lyndon mayor’s seat
in a race against Martin Price.
The Carbondale City Council authorized a resolution to issue revenue
bonds for improvement of the city’s swimming pool. Funds not
to exceed $985,000 were approved for the project, to be paid in
annual payments of $86,500 for 20 years using a one-cent sales tax
authorized by voters.
Burlingame Mayor Brenda Dorr signed an engineering and design contract
with BG Consultants in the amount of $57,500 for curb and gutter
work and resurfacing of Santa Fe and Topeka avenues.
Osage County took steps to declare over 50 miles of township roads
as minimum maintenance roads. County commissioners acted on a state
law that allows the declarations based on the opinion the roads
are used only occasionally or by a few individuals.
Taking home the grand champion prize in Osage City’s Smoke
in the Spring barbecue contest was Munchin’ Hogs at the Hilton,
of Prairie Village.
Melvern officially dedicated the city’s riverfront park and
trails. Melvern Riverfront Park features seven miles of trails for
hikers and bikers along the Marais des Cygnes River.
Santa Fe Trail USD 434 Board of Education appointed Shandy Vollrath
to complete the unexpired term of board member Carolyn Hugg, who
An Osage City man was charged with involuntary manslaughter after
a rollover accident on state Highway 31. Javier Rodriguez, of Ottawa,
died from injuries suffered in the accident. The Kansas Highway
Patrol reported Ruben S. Callejas was driving a 2003 Hummer westbound
when it went into a ditch and flipped several times.
As part of its building code enforcement efforts, the Scranton City
Council ordered the removal or demolition of a building at 310 S.
Dozens of law enforcement officials gathered at an Osage City residence
after a male occupant called police. According to the Osage City
Police Department, the man was believed to be suicidal. The standoff
ended about five hours later after the man exited the home. He was
transported to Newman Hospital, Emporia, for evaluation.
Carbondale City Council approved $295,000 in general obligation
bonds for sewer improvement projects.
Several area landowners confronted the Osage County Commission in
regard to plans to declare a number of township roads as minimum
maintenance roads. Commissioners agreed to remove the minimum maintenance
designation of the protested roads from the list.
Osage City Manager Nick Hernandez recommended the city council consider
scrapping the proposed trail project to provide funds for other
city improvements. The council tabled the matter for further consideration.
Osage City Council agreed to raise electric rates, noting rates
had not been adjusted since 2001.
A Lyndon woman was killed in a one-car accident near Melvern Lake.
The Kansas Highway Patrol reported Peggy Peterson was eastbound
in a 1998 GMC on state Highway 268 near U.S. Highway 75, when the
vehicle left the roadway and rolled four times.
Two Osage City men were arrested in connection with a residential
burglary. James Parks, 18, and Samson Davenport, 19, were booked
into jail accused of stealing a laptop computer and prescription
medicine. Police said a search of Davenport’s residence turned
up other stolen items and illegal narcotics.
The city of Burlingame issued a notice to declare a contractor in
default on the city’s second phase of a water system improvement
project. City attorney Rick Godderz requested a conference with
the contractor’s bonding company to discuss methods of completing
Less than six months after Junction Township elected two new board
members, husband and wife Chuck and Janet Trautman, township clerk
Virgil Scheid resigned. The county commission appointed Don Croy
to fill the vacant position.
Osage City USD 420 Board of Education offered a two-year superintendent’s
contract to William Orth. He was previously employed at Altoona-Midway
USD 387 near Chanute.
The Burlingame Rodeo, the main event of Burlingame’s Rodeo
Days, drew hundreds to the city’s arena.
Newly elected Lyndon Mayor Jeff Bronson and council members discussed
how $100,000 budgeted for street repairs would be used. The city
administrator and maintenance supervisor were instructed to review
street conditions and decide which repairs would be addressed.
Burlingame City Council approved a contract with the Burlingame
Historical Preservation Society for the abatement of utilities supplied
by the city to Schuyler Museum and annex. The contract stipulates
the museum will provide storage space for city records not to exceed
60 square feet.
Osage City businesswoman Nancy Washburn was recognized as the 2009
Osage City Distinguished Citizen at the annual alumni banquet.
An Osage County jury found a Carbondale man guilty of involuntary
manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol in connection
with a fatality wreck near Michigan Valley in February 2008. Justin
Spencer, 25, was also found guilty of driving while a habitual violator.
The rollover accident claimed the life of Jessica Alford, Scranton.
The city of Lyndon made plans to raise sewer rates, citing the need
to cover state loan payments for the recent sewer renovation project.
Burlingame USD 454 dedicated a 139-year-old bronze bell and monument
to denote the city’s history of educational opportunity.
Osage County’s communities teamed up with the Corps of Engineers
for the annual Get Outdoors Day, to make the county a playground
for the day. Lyndon hosted an all-day geocaching event, while Melvern
highlighted that community’s recently dedicated riverfront
park and trails. Numerous activities were planned at area Corps’
Osage City officials met with county commissioners to seek assistance
in funding $2.17 million in repairs to the city’s lake and
dam. The city had previously approved issuance of bonds to pay for
the repairs, but was investigating the possibility of other funding
sources. The concrete portion of the dam is cracked and leaking,
and the city was under a 2001 consent order to make the repairs.
The lake serves as a secondary water source for Osage City, Burlingame,
Harveyville and Osage County Rural Water District No. 7.
Burlingame City Council sought more American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act funds, agreeing to spend up to $14,200 to prepare a proposal
for a two-inch overlay on city streets.
The Osage County Herald-Chronicle’s Year in Review will continue
with the rest of the top stories from 2009 in the Thursday, Jan.