Uncategorized Year in Review: The most popular stories of 2014

Year in Review: The most popular stories of 2014


Through online tracking, social media and newspaper sales, we’ve tracked the most popular stories of 2014.

New library opens

OVERBROOK— Doors opened to the new building and location of the Overbrook Public Library Jan. 6.
Major donations from the Claudie and Glen Norton Trust, $400,000 from a community block development grant and $100,000 from the Jones Foundation, helped make the move possible. The library board and foundation sought to raise another $400,000. What they actually received was around $450,000.

A grand opening event was held Feb. 8.

Dispute leads to mayor’s resignation

MELVERN— The Melvern City Council’s decision to suspend Melvern’s lone police officer at the February council meeting, and reinstate him at a special meeting Feb. 26, led to a full chamber for the March 3 meeting.

Discussion at the March 3 meeting led to a motion and tied vote from council members for the termination of Steven McDonald. The final decision was left to Joyce Lacey. She resigned. The motion died.

The resignation of council member Mike Volkman was also accepted.

High school principal dies

CARBONDALE—A statement issued by the USD 434 Santa Fe Trail school district announced that SFT High School Principal David Swaim died March 7.

“Mr. Swaim worked at Santa Fe Trail for 17 years as associate principal and high school principal,” said the release. “He was a knowledgeable leader in high school curriculum and his contributions to the district will be greatly missed.”

MdCV, SFT take state in basketball

OSAGE COUNTY—Marais des Cygnes Valley Trojans completed a perfect season, culminating with the Class 1A Division 1 state championship.

The boys’ team finished with a 26-0 record, beating Hoxie 50-36 March 15.

The Santa Fe Trail Chargers girls’ basketball team also took the state title in Class 4A Division II.

The Chargers took the win in overtime, over Frontenac March 14.

Jailer fired following gun incident

TOPEKA—An Osage County Sheriff’s Office jailer was terminated this week after allegedly pulling a gun during an incident involving two Topeka teenagers in February.

The Osage County Commission accepted the termination of Francis Kent at its March 31 meeting. According to Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn, Kent was fired by the department March 27.

Smoke in the Spring draws large crowd

OSAGE CITY— The Smoke in the Spring weekend concluded its biggest event with the most consumed barbeque in the 11 years of the contest.

“Everything went really well, and Friday night was amazing,” said Corey Linton, contest organizer. “It was the biggest we’ve had in regards to the amount of people that attended and the amount of barbecue bucks that were returned.”

Seventy-three teams participated in the contest April 11-12. Iowa Smokey D’s BBQ, run by Darren Warth, of Des Moines, Iowa, took grand championship in the event, as well class championships in pork and brisket.

Veterans embark on Honor Flight

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Lyndon High School students and veterans completed their 11th trip to Washington, D.C. April 18-19.

Over the past seven years, Lyndon High School has taken hundreds of World War II and Korean veterans to the memorials honoring them in Washington, D.C.

Lyndon High School is responsible for bringing the Honor Flight program to Kansas, as well as the inclusion of students as guardians on the flight, which is unique to Kansas.

Hunter injured in accidental shooting

Shortly after 7 a.m. May 3, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received a 911 call of a hunting accident in the 20100 block of S. Shawnee Heights Rd. Overbrook Fire Department, Osage EMS and Osage County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene.

Deputies found Justin Smith, 28, of Ottawa with a gunshot wound to his right foot. Upon investigation, it was determined to be an accidental shooting.

Smith was transported to a Topeka hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

USD 421 Bond election defeated three to one

LYNDON—USD 421 took a bond issue to the ballot May 8. That vote was defeated by a count of 199 for and 623 against.

The proposed project would have included the construction of new classrooms, a laboratory, greenhouse, kitchen, cafeteria and commons area as well as three monolithic domes to be used for elementary and middle school classrooms, an all school library and art room, music classroom, locker rooms, gymnasium and multi-purpose space with a stage and storm shelter.

Inmate found dead in county jail

LYNDON—Justin Glidewell, 26, Scranton, was found dead in his cell during a routine check at 9 p.m. June 7 at the Osage County Jailhouse.

Glidewell‘s death was ruled a suicide. An autopsy was performed June 8.

Saturday in the Park without fireworks

SCRANTON—Scranton Fire Chief Kenneth Croucher told the Scranton City Council he had not been contacted about his department’s support of the fireworks display until June 14, two weeks before Saturday in the Park.

“We have to recertify every four years,” Croucher said. “I need to know, about January or first part of February, what the plan is.”

The council consented that the Saturday in the Park committee was responsible for planning and conducting the June 27-28 event, and that absence of a fireworks display was not the fault of either Croucher or the fire department.

Teen found dead on U.S. 56 Highway

OSAGE COUNTY—At 5:03 a.m. Aug. 24, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call about a white male walking on US-56 Hwy, near mile marker 410, or half a mile west of Paulen Road on US-56 Hwy.

At 5:06 a.m. another call came to the Sheriff’s Office of a body in the road at the same location.

Upon deputies’ arrival at the scene, the body of Timothy J. Kemble, 20, Carbondale, was found in the roadway. He was later pronounced dead.

County revokes mudding permit

OSAGE COUNTY— Following accounts of fights, unsanitary conditions and citizen complaints, Osage County Commissioners voted to issue a permit for a Melvern mud run, but were not in favor of renewing a similar permit they pulled Sept. 8 for a Carbondale mud run scheduled in October.

In order to ensure future events run smoothly, Bartley was directed to implement a public safety committee for the purpose of developing a uniform motor vehicle special event permit.

One person dies in two-vehicle accident

BURLINGAME—One person involved in a two-vehicle accident north of Burlingame has died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Jeanne Kinnett, 35, of rural Burlingame, was identified as the victim of a fatal accident at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20, on northbound Burlingame Road near 157th Street in Osage County, approximately two miles north of Burlingame. Jeanne Kinnett was transported from the scene by LifeStar air ambulance, and died later from injuries sustained in the accident.

Jeanne Kinnett and passenger Thomas Kinnett, 9 months, were in a 2003 Chrysler Town and Country van that struck a trailer being pulled by a 2002 Dodge Ram truck driven by her husband, Perry Kinnett, 31, also of rural Burlingame. Thomas was transported by Osage County EMS to Stormont-Vail HealthCare, in Topeka. Thomas was listed as being in an infant seat; it was unknown it Jeanne was wearing a seatbelt.

Perry Kinnett stopped the truck and trailer to secure the load when it was struck. Perry Kinnett and passengers Sean O’Neal, 10, and Sophia Kinnett, 2, did not receive medical treatment at the scene. All occupants of the truck were wearing seat belts; Sophie was using a child restraint.

Seven-foot tall man sentenced for bank robbery

KANSAS CITY—A seven-foot man was sentenced Nov. 24 to 30 months in federal prison for robbing a Franklin County Bank.

Caleb Jeffcoat, 26, Quenemo, pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery. In his plea, he admitted that on March 19, he robbed the Goppert State Service Bank at 118 East Franklin Street in Pomona.
During the robbery, he wore a black ninja mask belonging to a co-defendant’s son and carried a BB gun modified to make it look more like a real gun.

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