Hwy. 69 Expansion Continues in Two Projects

Expansion work on Hwy. 69 in November 2017.

Travelers to Pittsburg and south will see progress on the expansion of U.S, 69 Hwy. starting Monday, March 2.

Expanding the highway from two-lane to four-lane has been on-going for about three years in Southeast Kansas.

This is the first project slated for U.S. Hwy. 69 to begin in 2020.

When the press release was published yesterday, questions arose on the FortScott.Biz Facebook page about the remaining sections of 69 Hwy. being completed.

Here are the answers from the Kansas Department of Transportation:

Second Project 2021-2022

A second project for the remaining section is scheduled to start in the spring of next year, according to officials.

“Work on both projects will be occurring at the same time,” Priscilla Petersen with the Kansas Department of Transportation said. “With a fall letting, construction on the northern project will likely start in the spring of 2021. We’ll have more information available on the second project later this year.”

The second project will have bid letting this fall.

“KDOT will let a second project this autumn to expand the remaining miles on U.S. 69 in Crawford County to four lanes,” Peterson said.  “The second project will start three miles north of Arma and end at the Crawford-Bourbon county line.”

 

” These two Crawford County projects, when finished, will make U.S. 69 a four-lane expressway from Kansas City south to Pittsburg, * Peterson said.

 

There are currently no projects scheduled to expand U.S. 69 south of Pittsburg, she said.

 

2020- 21  Project

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) plans to start the project, which will expand a six-mile section of U.S. 69 in Crawford County to a four-lane divided expressway, during the week of March 2, according to a KDOT press release dated Feb. 27.

 

The expansion project begins north of the U.S. 69/K-47 junction and continues north to end three miles north of the Arma city limits. Two lanes will be added to the existing U.S. 69 alignment.

 

Two-way traffic is being maintained on the existing lanes of U.S. 69 while the new lanes are under construction. Traffic will be switched to the new lanes when the existing lanes are rebuilt. Early project activity includes grading and work on box culverts off the highway.

 

KDOT awarded the $21.8 million construction contract to Koss Construction Co. of Topeka. According to the project schedule, the new expressway will be open to unrestricted traffic by mid-August 2021.

 

Persons with questions may contact Bob Gudgen at KDOT-Pittsburg, (620) 308-7621, or Priscilla Petersen at KDOT-Chanute, (620) 902-6433.

 

U.S. 69 Highway runs from Minnesota to Texas.

 

Unforgiveness by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

“If you would have dealt with the father I had, you wouldn’t visit him on his deathbed, either.”

“My boss said that I wasn’t needed any more. Thirty years I have sacrificed for that company, and this is what I get!”

“You have no idea what it’s like to have your spouse say that she’s never loved you when she moves on to someone else.”

In last week’s article, I wrote about revenge. Revenge takes unforgiveness one step further. Should we choose to forgive, revenge becomes irrelevant.

No one modeled forgiveness like Jesus. “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do,” he cried while hanging from the cross. His murderers didn’t ask for—or even care about–forgiveness. They made bets on his clothes, humiliated him, mocked him, tortured him and grotesquely disfigured him. Still, Jesus asked his Father to forgive them. I wonder if those words had any impact on their lives. How could it not?

For two weeks, Fred, the pastor at the church Dave and I attend here in Mexico, shared part of his journey bringing Christ to Mexico in the 1980’s. The congregation sat spellbound since, in Fred’s 25 years of pastoring here in Mazatlán, no one had heard this testimony, including the death threats and persecution he endured early on when attempting to introduce Jesus to some of the regions of Mexico.

Fred spoke of details of an almost-fatal car wreck he, his wife and three-month old daughter survived when hit by a drunk driver. Placed in a body cast, Fred and his family were flown to San Antonio, Texas, where Fred’s cast was removed and he was placed in traction for five months. His wife suffered broken bones and a collapsed lung, and his daughter, brain damage. The Christian doctor and his wife who made arrangements for the transportation and medical care later rented hospital beds for their home and moved into a trailer in their back yard so Fred and his family could receive the care they required after being released from the hospital.

At church today we saw a picture of Fred’s totaled vehicle with the junk yard owner standing beside it. After recovering, Fred was able to meet that owner who commented that “no one should have survived that kind of accident.” Fred shared how God allowed him to lead the man to Christ. Over the next several months, that man led his entire family to Jesus, and within a few years, some of the relatives formed a Christian gospel group and toured the United States singing their praises to God.

Fred eagerly told us how he had a chance to meet and forgive the driver who hit his vehicle head on. Many of his stories were about how he became best friends with those who persecuted him and how those men now have become Christians. Fred understands clichés like “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping it kills somebody else.” He knows that true forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person; rather, it’s about setting ourselves free. It refuses to have to be in control by wishing the offender harm. Instead, it wishes the other person well.

In other words, forgiveness makes us more like Jesus than anything else we can do. Jesus’ own words (Luke 6:37) demonstrate who benefits the most: Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

If that isn’t setting ourselves free, I don’t know what is.

At The Fort: A Most Diverse Army

This Saturday, February 29th, Ranger Barry presents ‘A Most Diverse Army’.

The program explores the challenges and prejudices that African Americans faced in becoming a part of the Union Army during the Civil War. Participants will discuss the pros and cons of joining the Union Army and the First Kansas Colored.

One of the goals of the program is to discuss the issues and biases present at the time and those that pervade society today while maintaining respect for all persons involved.

Meet Your State Officials This Saturday, Feb. 29

Join us THIS SATURDAY, February 29th for a
Legislative Update Coffee
Empress Event Center
9-10:30am
with
Kansas Senators
and
Kansas Representatives
Click the links on the legislators’ names above to view the committees on which they serve and their voting records.
The Legislative Update Coffee will be held at the Empress Event Center, 7 N. Main St., Fort Scott, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m (parking & entrances in both front and back of building).
State legislators Senators Richard Hilderbrand and Caryn Tyson and Representatives Trevor Jacobs and Ken Collins will give an update on the current session as well as address any issues or questions presented from the audience.
If you have a particular item you would like to have addressed and plan to attend, you may email the Chamber at information@fortscott.com by 5:00 p.m. Thursday, February 27th.
Coffee, juice & light refreshments will be served.
Tell your friends – all are welcome!
Thank you to our event sponsors :
Fort Scott Professional Building
Office space available for new
& existing businesses!
Click herefor info.
Empress Event Center
Click here for info.

U.S. 69 expansion in Crawford County to begin March 2

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) plans to start a project that will expand a six-mile section of U.S. 69 in Crawford County to a four-lane divided expressway during the week of March 2.

 

The expansion project begins north of the U.S. 69/K-47 junction (620th Avenue) and continues north to end three miles north of the Arma city limits. Two lanes will be added to the existing U.S. 69 alignment.

 

Two-way traffic is being maintained on the existing lanes of U.S. 69 while the new lanes are under construction. Traffic will be switched to the new lanes when the existing lanes are rebuilt. Early project activity includes grading and work on box culverts off the highway.

 

KDOT awarded the $21.8 million construction contract to Koss Construction Co. of Topeka. According to the project schedule, the new expressway will be open to unrestricted traffic by mid-August 2021.

 

Persons with questions may contact Bob Gudgen at KDOT-Pittsburg, (620) 308-7621, or Priscilla Petersen at KDOT-Chanute, (620) 902-6433.

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition Agenda For March 4

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Agenda

March 4, 2020

  1. Welcome and Board update:
  1. Member introductions and announcements:
  1. Program: Barbara Longhofer, Kansas Guardianship Program.
  1. Next program not yet confirmed.
  1. Open Forum:
  1. Adjournment: Next meeting will be April 1, 2020.

‘SPACE GIRL’ LAUNCHES MARCH 19 AT FSCC

 

There are aliens among us. At least, there will be March 19-21 when the Fort Scott Community College Theatre Department beams “Space Girl,” a new play by Mora V. Harris, to the stage in the Ellis Family Fine Arts Center.

 

Curtain is 7:30 p.m. each night, and there is no admission charge for the show, directed by FSCC theater instructor Allen Twitchell.

 

According to the synopsis from Playscripts Inc., “Arugula Suarez just wants to fit in. But it’s not easy when you’re a 16-year-old lesbian alien from the planet Zlagdor. In an alien world where the only things that make sense are Roller Derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for Planet Earth.”

 

Jazmin Havens, a freshman from Pittsburg, plays Arugula; Anthony Oneri, a freshman from Gardner, plays Nancy; Grace Keating, a sophomore from Fort Scott plays Charlotte, Arugula’s only human friend; Phoenix Burk, a sophomore from Pittsburg, plays Bruise, Arugula’s roller derby teammate; Abby Sweat, a freshman from Pleasanton, plays the Zlagdorian chancellor; Fayelyn Kmiec, a sophomore from Farlington, plays Ms. Nussbaum, Arugula’s teacher; Kendra Johnson, a freshman at Girard High School from Arma, plays Denise, Arugula’s classmate nemesis; Isabella Loyd, a freshman from Fort Scott, plays Becky, Denise’s friend; and Kaleb Morrow, a sophomore from Kansas City, Mo., plays the planetarium announcer and provides additional voices.

 

Michael Woodward, a sophomore from Fulton, serves as the sound engineer.

 

“The story is one of self-discovery,” said Twitchell. “Essentially, we are all aliens inside trying to find our ‘niche,’ where we can fit in and, the hope is, to enhance society. The political undercurrent of the story deals with climate neglect and how, left to its own devices, mankind is, intentionally or not, targeting its own destruction.

 

“On the surface, the show features aliens, roller derby and salad, lots of salad, so how can it not be fun?”

More CASA Volunteers Needed For Abused/Neglected Children

2019 New Volunteer Training class graduates, from left:  Diana Mitchell, Peggy Stark, Elaine Kirby, Nancy Maze  and  Jane Campbell

Bourbon County CASA is celebrating its 30th year of providing trained community volunteers to be a voice for our community’s abused and neglected children.  Over 950 children have had a relentless volunteer by their side being their voice in the courtroom and advocating for their best interests.  CASA volunteers undergo extensive training, and then skillfully and courageously guide abused and neglected children through the foster care system.

 

The important work of CASA volunteers is not as well known because it is performed under a necessary cloak of confidentiality within our Child in Need of Care court system.  By helping to ensure that these children are placed in safe, secure and permanent homes, CASA volunteers are heroes to children whose homes and families have been destroyed by substance abuse, mental health issues, poverty and crime.

 

The CASA volunteer provides valuable information about the child – information that rarely surfaces during the usual adversarial proceeding – to the judge and all of the attorneys involved.  But the CASA volunteer does not stop there:  He or she also works closely with the child’s school and service providers to ensure that the child’s educational, medical and mental health needs are being met.  Not surprisingly, national studies show that children with CASA volunteers assigned to them are typically placed in safe and permanent homes more quickly than those children without CASA vounters.

 

There are many fires to be extinguished, and many young, helpless lives to be saved.  Our child welfare system and family courts are woefully understaffed and overstretched.  The CASA volunteer provides a safety net  for a child caught in the system that ensures the child’s interests remain front and center.

 

Unfortunately, there are many more children in Bourbon County in need of a CASA volunteer.  In hopes of meeting that need, Bourbon County CASA is currently recruiting new volunteers to participate in it’s new volunteer training class.  For more information on how to become a CASA volunteer please contact Christa Horn at bbcocasa@cpol.net or call 620-215-2769.

 

 

Sunshine Boutique Expands: Rental Opportunity on Main Street

Sunshine Boutique owner Georgia Brown stands in front of her storefront on Wall Street.

Long-time store owner Georgia Brown is expanding Sunshine Boutique.

 

The store will be expanding to the east, through a door in the store to the property at 2 S. Main that the Brown’s also own.

 

 

“We are excited about the expansion,” Brown said.

 

 

The store is a family affair.

 

She, her husband-Donnie and granddaughters Rilie Creollo, Kinede Houdashelt and Tucker Ross are all involved with the store.

 

 

The door behind the black shelf in the middle of this photo, leads to 2 S. Main and is where the expansion of Sunshine Boutique will be.

 

“There will be new boutique clothing, a designated wedding planning area and we will make our all-occasion flower section bigger, this includes fresh flowers in a cooler,” Brown said.

“The girls have been wanting to do clothing for several years,” she said.

 

Sunshine Boutique has been selling new clothing since January 2020.

 

Donnie is co-owner, Rilie is the assistant manager, Kinede’s wedding cakes will be featured, and Tucker does technology-part time, Brown said.

 

The Browns own 2 S. Main and 4 S. Main, which were recently vacated by the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, which had used it for storage the last year, she said.

 

“We have not used the west side of the street very much, for the past year,” Norman Conard, executive director of the center said.

 

The new LMC, at 1 S. Main,  is  across the street from the 2 and 4 S. Main.

 

“The new building is so popular that everyone, teachers and students, want to be in the new building,” he said.

 

Rental Opportunity

 

4 S. Main will be available for rent next week, Brown said.

 

It is 1,300 square feet, has two areas divided by a half wall, a bathroom and an area in the back that has been used as a staff room, Brown said.

 

 

2 and 4 South Main.

 

 

 

Grief Support Lunch March 4

The Cheney Witt Funeral Chapel’s next grief support luncheon will be Wednesday, March 4, at noon.

  Anyone dealing with a loss is encouraged to come and bring a friend.  Cheney Witt Chapel will provide lunch at the Carriage House, 301 S. Main. 

Call  223-1186 if any questions. 

Those who are grieving are invited.

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