FSCC recognizes national meats judging champions

Members of the community along with students and faculty of Fort Scott Community College attended a reception on campus Friday afternoon to recognize a meats judging team that recently won a national competition in Texas.


“We couldn’t be more proud of this team and the accomplishments they’ve had,” FSCC President Alysia Johnston said, saying she recognizes the hard work and commitment needed in meats judging contests. “That kind of dedication truly is unusual.”

The team, which includes students Adam Lattin, Katie Thoden, Chad McKibben, Peyton Barrett and coach Jenilee Martin, placed first at the High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on Oct. 30, in Friona, Texas. The team also brought home awards for accomplishments such as placing second in beef grading, second in lamb judging, first in pork judging, second in beef judging, first in total beef, first in total placings and second in the total questions division along with other individual awards.

“It was their time to complete the task at hand,” coach Martin said of their mindset going into the contest, after a season of contests that brought a level of disappointment when they finished in third, fourth and fifth positions at contests in Denver, Col., Fort Worth, Houston and Amarillo, Texas.

But despite struggling earlier in the season such as with the questions portion of the contests, Martin and the team continued to persevere, to the point of practicing every day. Team member Thoden said she even reached a point where she asked her team mates if they truly wanted to win a contest, since it felt like they did not.

“By golly, we did it,” Thoden said of their win as their hard work finally paid off.

Martin expressed gratitude to the students for the memories she has of participating in the season’s contests as well as thanked the faculty for working with the students while they spent time away from their classes.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Martin said, saying she was especially proud that two of the students were named All-American winners, which takes into account at their success at the contests as well as in the classroom.

FSCC Men’s Rodeo Team Earns First Place at NWOSU

Submitted by Fort Scott Community College

The Fort Scott Community College Rodeo Team finished their fall season on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU) with the men’s team placing first and the women’s team placing sixth.

Photo Credit: Fort Scott Community College. Pictured is the FSCC Rodeo Team.
Photo Credit: Fort Scott Community College. Pictured is the FSCC Rodeo Team.

Several FSCC student-athletes delivered exceptional performances at NWOSU. Sophomore Wyatt Miller, from Lone Jack, Mo., placed first in calf roping, second in team roping and first all-around. Freshman Trey Ahring, from Garnett, Kan., placed first in bull riding. Baylee Oney, sophomore from Archie, Mo., placed fourth in barrel racing. Caitlyn Wiswell, sophomore from Spring Hill, Kan., placed fourth in breakaway roping. Sophomore Russell Redden, from Maryville, Mo., placed fourth in bareback riding. Mat Swaim, freshman from Altoona, Iowa, placed fourth in saddle bronc riding.

“I’ve been very impressed with the student-athletes’ work ethic and desire to win. Everyone acts as a team. A few leaders have stepped up and expected more from everyone,” said Chad Cross, FSCC Head Rodeo Coach. “I’m very happy with the team’s performances this fall, especially in the last two rodeos.”

The FSCC Men’s Rodeo Team is currently ranked No. 3 and the FSCC Women’s Rodeo Team is ranked No. 7 in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) Central Plains Region. Many FSCC students are ranked in the top six of their divisions for the region. Wyatt Miller is ranked No. 1 in the men’s all-around division, No. 1 in tie-down roping and No. 1 in the team roping heeler division. Sophomore Cory Brown from Russellville, Ar., is ranked No. 3 in bareback riding. Russell Redden is ranked No. 4 in bareback riding. Trey Ahring is ranked No. 5 in bull riding. Tate Sly, freshman from Salina, Kan., is ranked No. 6 in bull riding.

The team will compete in its first spring rodeo February 17 – 19, in Manhattan, Kan.

“I’m excited about the spring season because the students never stop working,” said Cross. “While others may be taking a break, our student-athletes are working hard to achieve their goals. I think their dedication will pay off in the spring.”

For more information, please contact Chad Cross at 620-223-2700, ext. 7020 or visit fsgreyhounds.com.

Photo Credit: Fort Scott Community College. Pictured from left to right are the student-athletes who placed in the top 6 of their division in the short round at NWOSU: Mat Swaim, Wyatt Miller, Baylee Oney, Caitlyn Wiswell, Russell Redden and Trey Ahring.
Photo Credit: Fort Scott Community College. Pictured from left to right are the student-athletes who placed in the top 6 of their division in the short round at NWOSU: Mat Swaim, Wyatt Miller, Baylee Oney, Caitlyn Wiswell, Russell Redden and Trey Ahring.

County Commission discusses property appraisals

Local engineer Greg Schick approached the Bourbon County Commission Thursday morning to ask about the process of property appraisals and point out his experience of appraisals that do not seem to match the true value of that property.


“I think there’s a blatant problem in the county,” Schick said, giving examples of a 100-acre piece of property with just $130 in property taxes, while a home he purchased for $5,200 was later appraised at $25,000. “There’s a big disparity.”

County appraiser Clint Anderson said his office is always looking for ways to improve their assessments and that improvements have been made. The state looks at appraisals to make sure they are within 10 percent of what the property is sold for. Anderson said in recent years Bourbon County has been around the 97 percentile, and in the past year was right at 100 percent in that comparison.

But while the total appraisals seem to be right on the proper value, Anderson said that ratio can be skewed by higher-valued properties being appraised lower than their worth, while lower-valued properties are appraised too high.

Anderson said properly appraising those lower-valued properties is a specific goal for him in the upcoming year, but said that can be difficult since, when appraising any structure, they can only make an estimate based on the exterior. Anderson said sometimes they come across a home that may look well-kept on the outside, but then sells for a lower price because the inside may be gutted, and vice versa.

Property is assessed much differently, according to Anderson, with the appraisal not just coming from the size or location of the land, but from its production. That production can include crops, timber, irrigation or just natural grass. Acreage used solely for hunting often leads to much lower property taxes because there is not a measurable production.

“We have no ability whatsoever to change those values,” Anderson said of such properties, saying the state constitution defines it. “We say what it is and they tell us how much.”

But for those appraisals determined locally, Anderson said they are making a conscious effort to make them as accurate as possible to prevent property taxes from being any higher than necessary for Bourbon County residents.

Middle School to host annual Fall Extravaganza

In preparation for the coming Christmas season, the Fort Scott Middle School will host their annual VIP Fall Extravaganza Monday evening, providing an opportunity for the community to shop from a variety of vendors while helping raise funds for the middle school.

Fall Extravaganza 2015

“It’s a family event,” organizer Stephanie George said of the extravaganza, which will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. and will include childcare provided by the Fort Scott Community College volleyball team.

In the USD 234 Board of Education meeting held Monday evening, George said the event is full of vendors, with 57 signed up, and she even had to turn some away because there is no more space. George added the event has spread from just local vendors to include others from Nevada and Junction City, for example.

“Now I just need lots of shoppers to come,” George said.

Some of the participating vendors include Pampered Chef, LuLaRoe Clothing, Thirty-One Gifts, Tourtillott Creations, Scentsy, Miller Feed & Farm, Gold Canyon, Briggs of Fort Scott, Care to Share and a number of other vendors selling clothes, food items, crafts and other goods.

Many vendors will also be holding raffles to give items away, with tickets costing $0.25 each. Briggs of Fort Scott also donated $150 that will be given away as two $75 prizes to employees of the school district who enter into the drawing at the extravaganza.

Bourbon County bridge to be nominated for national historic register

The Bourbon County Commission met with historian Arnold Schofield and resident Barbara Piene Tuesday morning to discuss the historical significance of an old iron bridge located over Indian Creek near Yale Road.


Recently, Piene has expressed a desire to spend some time working around the bridge and taking the necessary steps to nominate the bridge as a historical site on the National Register of Historic Places.

Currently, Bourbon County has two historic bridges, called the Military Bridge and the Long Shoals Bridge, but Schofield said the Indian Creek Bridge is unique even from those bridges in how it was constructed.

“It’s a beautiful setting,” Schofield said of the bridge, constructed in 1898 and closed to traffic except for walkers for the past few decades. “The bridge itself has excellent historical integrity.”

Schofield said some of the things considered are whether the bridge is damaged and if it still includes the original materials from its construction. Other than the damaged deck, he said the bridge is in excellent condition and even still has the original sign describing its construction.

For the bridge to be nominated as a historical bridge, the commission must send a letter of recommendation. Schofield said letters of support, which the Historic Preservation Association has offered to write, also help with the process, which can take 10-12 months before approval is given. In that time the site would likely be visited and must be evaluated by engineers.

“Personally, I think we’d be making a mistake not to try to get it on [the register],” said commissioner Harold Coleman.

But the commissioners said they needed to know the pros and cons of such an attempt and what the county would be responsible for before giving their recommendation.

Schofield said the county would have to keep the bridge in good repair and well-maintained, but that there are grants available such as through the Kansas Heritage Trust Fund that pays 80 percent of such costs. He added fundraisers and donations can also be used to pay such fees instead of the county if that is available.

The commission gave their unanimous approval for Piene to move forward with the application.