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January

Osage City filed a lawsuit seeking a judgment of $735,000 from former Kan Build Inc. president John W. Samples. A promissory note tied to a Community Block Development Grant, executed in 2006, was in default and payments had not been made according to the terms of the note.

The Pomona Lake Ski Club kicked off the year by skiing on 35-degree waters, with relatively warm 45-degree air temperature.


Overbrook first responders were called to assist in a head-on collision Jan. 3 on U.S. Highway 56, 10 miles east of Overbrook. The accident left three injured, later resulting in the death of Jamie Ullery, 47, Overbrook, who died Jan. 18.

Demolition of a building at 117 E. Santa Fe Ave., owned by Burlingame Mayor Raymond Hovestadt, was discussed during the January meeting of the Burlingame City Council. The building became the fourth downtown structure to be demolished in a two-year period.

Burlingame students learn history at the annual Kansas Day activities at Schuyler Museum.

February

Area farm families were honored at the Osage County Conservation District’s annual meeting. The J.D. and Idonna Corwine family, Michigan Valley, was the recipient of the 2011 Kansas Banker Award; Robin and John Lichtenauer Jr., Melvern, received the windbreak award; and E. Lorena Croucher and son, Hayden Croucher, Osage City, were winners of the grassland award.

The first measurable snow finally fell on Feb. 13, with two to three inches falling around the county. Most of the snow melted by the next day.


A 14-point whitetail buck that topped entries at the Monster Buck Classic in January was alleged to have been illegally harvested. Allegations of the poaching were brought to Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) law enforcement officials, and after investigation, David V. Kent, Topeka, was charged with poaching the deer.


The Osage City Council hired Linda Jones as the new city manager. Jones had served as city clerk for 17 years.

The Building for the Future committee rolled out specifics for the USD 420 bond issue at a town hall meeting Feb. 26, detailing plans for improvements at the Osage City elementary and middle schools, as well as a new track and field complex in Jones Park.
Osage City eighth-grader Kailyn Robert clinched the top spot at the Osage County Spelling Bee in the Lyndon High School auditorium. Clay Thomas, Burlingame, placed second.

An early season tornado swept through the city of Harveyville on Feb. 28, damaging more than 50 homes, leaving 28 residences unlivable. The storms also caused the death of Richard D. Slade, 53, who died while trying to reach his basement for shelter. The EF2 tornado hit with little warning from a line of severe storms, which later dropped a smaller tornado 11 miles east of Overbrook.

March

Lyndon Council Member Kay Jones was appointed to fill the position of mayor, following the council acceptance of the resignation of Jeff Bronson in February. Jones had previously served as city clerk for 17 years.

Santa Fe Trail wrestlers Ed Fitzgerald, Kale Cauthon and Nathan Forbes competed at the Class 4A State Wrestling Tournament in Salina. Fitzgerald placed fifth at 220 pounds; Cauthon and Forbes finished sixth at their weights.

The Lyndon boys’ basketball team competed at the Class 2A State Basketball Tournament, falling to Berean Academy in the first round.

More than a hundred area residents received a crash course in protecting their families and neighbors at Storm Spotter Training class offered by the National Weather Service March 15 in the Osage City High School cafeteria.

Former police officer Anthony D. Richman, 39, of Burlingame, was found guilty of residential burglary, a level seven person felony. Richman received a suspended sentence March 20 for 12 months in prison and 24 months of supervised probation.

A woman hunting for mushrooms near 118th Court, about four miles northwest of Carbondale, found a human skull lying on the ground. The remains were investigated by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office.

Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones has determined the USD 421 Board of Education violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act by failing to notify the public about a special meeting. Jones investigated two complaints about the Jan. 27 special board meeting, where the board accepted the resignation of Lyndon Elementary-Middle School Principal Jeff Kohlman.

A severe storm and funnel cloud passed over Carbondale and Scranton March 28, dropping two-inch hail, damaging roofs and windows.
April

The Osage City Chamber of Commerce held a gala April 14 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Santa Fe Depot, which was completed in 1911.

Five members of a Minnesota family were killed when a box truck and trailer lost control and fell into a ravine April 1 near the Osage-Franklin county line on I-35. Twelve others riding in the vehicle were injured.

A lake restoration project was added to Osage City’s ongoing dam rehabilitation project after the city was notified the state had awarded a $1.135 million grant for the additional work.

A record turnout in Osage City passed a $6.77 million bond issue for USD 420 school improvements by a 663 to 331 vote. “I think it shows the commitment the community has to education and to the students,” said USD 420 Superintendent Bill Orth.

Osage City hosted its annual Smoke in the Spring Barbeque Competition, selling more than $10,000 in barbeque to the public. The grand champions, 2 Worthless Nuts, from Marion, Ohio, had a perfect score of 180 to win the Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned event, which brought teams from all over the Midwest.

Santa Fe Trail and Burlingame high schools preceded the prom season with mock car crashes, where students portrayed intoxicated teenagers who had been in injury and fatality accidents.

Matt Zimmerman, Goddard, was hired by USD 421 to be the new Lyndon Elementary-Middle School principal.

May

The USD 420 Board of Education selected Osage City High School Principal Troy Hutton to replace Bill Orth as superintendent. His duties will begin July 1 for the 2012-13 school year.

Osage City Elementary School students in Jeff Whitmer’s fifth-grade class held class in the one-room schoolhouse at Rapp for a segment on the Sunflower Journeys television program.

Graduation ceremonies were held at high schools throughout the county, with 25 students graduating from Lyndon, 26 from Marais des Cygnes Valley, 73 from Santa Fe Trail, 24 from Burlingame and 60 from Osage City.

Burlingame hosted its annual Rodeo Celebration May 19-20.

Lyndon senior Nick Walsh placed 10th at the Class 2A State Golf Tournament Monday in Seneca. Osage City’s Jake Lahr placed 16th at the Class 3A meet in Goodland.

Gabe Clark topped dozens of area athletes with a third-place finish in the 110-meter hurdles at the State High School Track and Field Championships in Wichita.

The Lyndon Tigers qualified for their first appearance at the Class 2A State Baseball tournament in Emporia, falling in the first round.

The Overbrook City Council finalized plans for a $1.4 million library. The contents of the existing library would be moved, and the new library built in place of the existing building at Fourth and Maple.

A structural engineer identified buildings at 105, 107 and 109 E. Santa Fe Ave., Burlingame, as needing extensive repair or demolition.

June

Osage County hosted the Kansas Day of PRIDE meeting, were members of the organization toured attractions and PRIDE-related areas in around the area.

Redistricting from the state divided the county’s one house district into three, while uniting the county in a single senate district.

The infestation of zebra ussels in Melvern Lake spread to Osage City’s water system, clogging a 10-inch pipe, which draws water for the city. The mussels we first discovered in the lake in July 2011.

The Osage County Commission proposed a $4.2 million bond issue to repair bridges around the county.

Schuyler Museum in Burlingame celebrated its 10th anniversary June 24. The museum was opened in the 112-year-old building in 2002, following the construction of a new elementary in 2001.

June ended with Sunflower Days, the first of Osage County’s three fairs. It included a carnival, parade and 4-H events. Scranton also celebrated Saturday in the Park with a lawnmower derby and rides.

July

A developer proposing to build a youth ministry camp and bail bondsman training center near Lyndon faced opposition in finalizing the facility’s plans. The Osage

County Planning and Zoning Board considered a request for a conditional use permit for 45 acres of agricultural land to be used for bail bondsman training and a youth camp. Sewage issues later lead to a scrapping of the project.

Osage City continued the fair season with its fair during the second week of July, featuring a parade, fireworks, carnival and demolition derby.

The worst drought since the 1950s hits corn crops around the area hard, with many fields returning less than 30 percent of a normal yield. Anticipated spikes in grain prices also hit cattle hard, with several ranchers selling off large parts of their heards.

Quenemo remembers the rallies of the 1970s and 80s with a nostalgic event on Friday the 13th, where bikers returned to the city for a less-rowdy evening of food and music. The original rallies were shut down in 80s following several deaths due to violence and accidents.

Osage City resumed water intake from Melvern Lake after clearing zebra mussels from a 12-inch pipe. The city used half of the water from the city lake to supply the community while flow was restored.

The Scranton Fire Department, which operates independently, discussed entering into a county fire district.

August

Finian Wozniak was located after a five-hour search around the Sail-A-Way housing development on the north side of Pomona Lake. Finian and his brother, Ezra, had wandered off that morning. Ezra was located that morning before authorities were contacted.

Overbrook rounds out the three area fairs with the Overbrook Osage County Fair July 4-11.

Crash survivor Nicole Smith, Atlanta, completed a goal of skydiving in all 50 states by making her final jump at Skydive Kansas Aug. 18.

Lyndon graduate Nick Walsh made six punts, six tackles and a blocked field goal in the Kansas East-West Shrine Bowl in Emporia. Walsh, a grey shirt freshman at Kansas State University, had already begun working with football trainers, and was set to begin practice with the team in 2013.

The primary election placed three incumbent state representatives in the 76th district, where Peggy Mast won with 46 percent of the vote. Representative Willie Prescott, Osage City, who previously represented all of Osage County before redistricting, lost with 33 percent of the vote.

The Culpepper and Merriweather Circus, Hugo, Okla., was brought to the county by area Lions clubs, making stops in Lyndon and Carbondale. The circus featured trapeze artists, tigers, jugglers and more.

Jason Sellers, Lyndon, was charged with defrauding Kansas Medicaid of more than $2 million by a federal court.

September

Carbondale kicked off the fall season with its community celebration the first weekend of September. Overbrook celebrated the history of the Santa Fe Trail the following weekend.

Mary A. Hart, 72, Vassar, was killed on state Highway 268 when her 2013 Chevrolet Malibu was hit by a semi carrying gravel.

David Kent, 52, Topeka, was convicted of poaching a trophy buck that would have broken a 35-year old state record. Kent was sentenced to pay a $1,500 fine, $8,000 restitution and serve 30 days in jail.

The Relay for Life fundraiser, held at the Lyndon track and field, raised almost $50,000 to support the fight against cancer.

More than 200 members from 17 FFA chapters participated in the land judging contest hosted by Marais des Cygnes Valley High School.

Harveyville celebrates recovery from the Feb. 28 tornado at the 75th Harveyville Fair Sept. 28-29, honoring the heroes that helped overcome adversity in the city through the year.

October

The Overbrook Center of It All Campaign kicked off the final fundraising stage for the $1.64 million library project. At a Sept. 27 ceremony, the campaign announced it had already raised $188,000 of the final $400,000 goal.

Area 4-H member were recognized during 4-H week, which rounds out the final county and state fair results, along with other events from the year.

County schools divided a $500,000 grant from the Jones Foundation to purchase iPads for students and teachers.

Melvern and Vassar celebrated fall and Halloween with community events at the end of the month.

Santa Fe Trail High School students held a sack lunch sit in to protest lunch portion sizes.

The state top ranked Burlingame Lady Bearcats’ softball team was knocked off by second-ranked Wabaunsee in the sub-state finals, ending their season short of a state appearance.

Sophomore Aundrea Koger led a field of Osage City runners at the Class 3A State Cross Country Meet, placing seventh in 15:59.50.

November

The Lyndon Tigers’ football team ended the season with a 34-14 loss to Centralia. The sub-state finish was the school’s furthest playoff finish, as well as the team’s first 11-win season.

A voter turnout of 67 percent in the county turned in a primarily Republican ticket, reelecting all county officials. Osage City voted to accept a half-cent sales tax for city improvements, while Lyndon voters rejected a similar proposal.

Osage County Commissioners let bonds for a $4 million project to replace 13 rural bridges around the county.

Ken Corbet, Topeka, beat Ann Mah, Auburn, by just 40 votes following the canvassing of votes in the three counties that make up the 54th district of the state house of representatives.
Area schools, including Burlingame, Carbondale and Scranton, honored servicemen at Veterans Day assemblies Nov. 9.

Scranton City Council was presented with broken and scaled pipes in advance of a project to replace water pipes around the city.

Osage City celebrates Christmas on Market Street with a parade and prizes.

Melvern hosted its Christmas lighting ceremony with a dinner, visit from Santa and gifts for children of all ages.

December

Legendary Lyndon High School basketball coach Nick Dawson was honored Nov. 30 when the school dedicated the gymnasium in his name. Dawson suffered a stroke shortly after the ceremony, and died Dec. 3.

Lyndon and Burlingame celebrated the holiday season with Christmas celebrations including parades, craft shows and contests.

The owners of 107 and 109 E. Santa Fe Ave. handed over titles and responsibility for their structures to the city of Burlingame. The buildings are set to be demolished. A third building at 105 E. Santa Fe may be restored.

Overbrook rounded off community Christmas celebrations in the county with caroling, sleigh rides and a synchronized lighting display downtown.

USD 420 begins accepting bids for dirt work at the new track and field at Jones Park.

Jeff Atherly, 29, Topeka, formerly of Carbondale, was killed alongside Cpl. David Gogian, 50, Topeka, while on duty for the Topeka Police Department. Suspected shooter, David Edward Tiscareno, 22, Topeka, was later killed in a standoff with members of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Progress in the airport improvement project narrowly passed in a 4-3 vote by the Osage City Council.

A fire destroyed three structures and two occupied residences Dec. 21 in Michigan Valley.

Jack Curtis and Aileen Carlson, both of Osage City, were $1,000 grand prize winners in the Christmas on Us contest, where $3,000 in prizes were awarded for shopping at home.

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