Golf Course holds ribbon-cutting ceremony for new clubhouse

After years of changes at the Woodland Hills Golf Course, from ownership to appearance, members of the Chamber of Commerce and the community celebrated another accomplishment with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently completed clubhouse.

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“This is what a community can do when they set their sights to work together to make something nice and better in Fort Scott,” City Manager Dave Martin said of the clubhouse as well as the entire golf course project.

Martin said he first heard suggestions when he entered his position in 2010 that the city should purchase the golf course to keep it from going to waste or getting in worse shape. Others advised the city not get involved, but when no one else stepped up, Martin said the community should raise money if they agreed the city should become the owners. Members of the community responded by raising about $350,000.

Martin and Fort Scott Director of Finance Jon Garrison expressed appreciation to a number of people who played key roles in raising that funding and making the golf course improvements and changes a reality.

With the funding available, the city made the purchase and then a variety of improvements were made as the city worked to improve the appearance of the course as well as its marketing, adding PGA Tour professional Shannon O’Neill as the clubhouse manager in the last month.

“I’m very happy to be here,” O’Neill said, saying he looks forward to adding even more services to the golf course such as through a driving range and giving lessons.

Already, O’Neill said they have started taking steps to create a new scramble league that could meet Tuesday nights starting in May. A scramble event will also be held over the Memorial Day weekend. Over the next couple months, other businesses and organizations in Fort Scott will also hold fundraising tournaments at the course.

“The product is good,” O’Neill said of Woodland Hills. “It’s a good golf course…There’s something worthwhile here to sell.”

The new clubhouse is another accomplishment that adds to that product, as it offers a place even for non-golfers to spend time and purchase drinks. The old clubhouse was demolished in the past month with just rubble remaining.

“Congratulations to the city and the entire community for the wonderful facility,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said. “Get out and enjoy it.”


CJ’s Closet now open in Fort Scott

What was once Vette’s at 605 S. National Ave., has seen changes in recent weeks as Chuck and Connie Harper purchased the business, made changes and have now reopened it for customers as CJ’s Closet.

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Connie said her friend and former school mate had owned Vette’s and let her know when they decided to sell the business. Even though Connie had not even considered running her own business, she decided she could not turn down the offer.

“It really wasn’t something I was looking for,” said Connie, who is from Fort Scott and has spent years in nursing as well as with foster care. “We thought it’d be an interesting adventure.”

Unlike Vette’s, CJ’s Closet is a consignment shop as well as a thrift store that will sell men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories and may expand to include some furniture in the future.

“I thought it was a good idea,” Connie said. “Not everybody likes to garage sale.”

CJ’s Closet opened to customers Saturday and Connie said business has already been pretty good since then.

Store hours are Monday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store will remain closed on Sundays. Donations of clothing are welcomed.

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County Commission hears report of Garland Fire District

During their meeting Tuesday morning, the Bourbon County Commission met with Drywood and Scott township members who gave an update on what has occurred within the Garland Fire District in recent months.

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Scott Township clerk Don Banwart and Drywood Township trustee Darrel Bloomfield gave information on issues they said they have faced with the fire department of unincorporated Garland in recent months and even years.

“The situation in Garland has deteriorated,” Banwart said.

First created in 1968 by the county commission and a vote, the Garland Fire Department has responded to calls around the small town and the surrounding area since that time.

As townships lines were drawn in Bourbon County, it was determined that the district includes areas in the Scott and Drywood townships, leading to the Garland fire board including representatives from the two townships. As a result, a hierarchy of authority was created, with the fire board answering to the township boards that then are beneath the county commission if needed.

But most recently, Banwart and Bloomfield said townships have not been made aware of the state of the fire district concerning such information as how many board members or firefighters there are, who the treasurer is or how the money is being used. When those details and an audit were requested, the fire board refused.

Banwart said the department has also responded to emergency calls in an untimely manner of late, sometimes arriving with few volunteers or not at all, resulting in the Scott Township firefighters often responding. To resolve that risk, the townships made official their request to Fort Scott Fire Chief Paul Ballou that the Scott Township department always respond to Garland emergencies.

Enforcing a statute that states the townships have the right to form the fire board, citing insubordination of the current board as their reason for doing so, Banwart said the joint townships voted to make changes to the board by presenting new electors who would represent township members who do not live in the Garland district and so can not serve on the board directly. Some of the board positions are currently open since such electors have not been appointed while others have served beyond the three-year terms of elected township members they represented.

But prior to the meeting held Monday evening, when names of electors would have been proposed, Banwart said they received a restraining order that stated the actions to change the fire board were causing confusion and disorder.

Banwart said their goal is to have transparency between the fire board and townships, adding they have heard from numerous residents from within the Garland Fire District that have concerns about how it is run and how the taxpayers’ money is being spent.

“All that we want is for things to run smoothly and for people to get what they’re paying for,” Bloomfield said.

County Commissioners said they did not think they should step in with action at this time, but thanked Banwart and Bloomfield for the information and expressed their desire to be kept up to date on further issues.

Country Place Senior Living Construction Begins

Submitted by Marie Jensen, April 15

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, Fort Scott’s newest assisted living residence, Country Place Senior Living, began construction. Weather permitting, Country Place Senior Living is expected to be complete in late 2016 or early 2017.

Photo Credit: Country Place Senior Living
Photo Credit: Country Place Senior Living

Each of the 26 suites in the Country Place Senior Living assisted living residence will be equipped with a fully accessible private bathroom, large sitting and sleeping areas and a hospitality kitchen. In addition to the private living suites, the residence will included a large dining area, indoor and outdoor social areas, a respite care suite, library, commercial kitchen facilities, an interior concrete reinforced storm shelter and countless other amenities.

The general contractor for the project is Loyd Builders, Ottowa, Kan. Loyd Builders has previously partnered with Neighborhood Senior Living, LLC, the developers of Country Place residences, on Country Place Memory Care of Fort Scott, Country Place Senior Living of Chanute and Country Place Memory Care of Chanute.

To learn more about Country Place Memory Care or Country Place Senior Living, please call Marie Jensen, Marketing Coordinator at 913-638-0377, visit us online at or on Facebook,

FSCC to host Women’s Appreciation Luncheon, BBQ and Auction

Women’s Luncheon

Submitted by Heather Cutshall, April 21

Fort Scott Community College will host its annual Women’s Appreciation Luncheon 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at the Danny & Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center, 2108 South Horton, Fort Scott, Kan.

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The luncheon menu includes chicken salad croissant sandwiches, salad, fresh fruit, gourmet cookies, and refreshments. In addition to lunch, the popular event will offer free gifts, door prizes, musical entertainment and product displays from local businesses. The event will showcase a variety of businesses, including: Advocare, Bids & Dibs, Bobbi Kemna’s Pottery, FSCC School of Cosmetology, Gold Canyon Candles, Jillybeadz, Mercy Health for Life, My Very Own Bags of Love, Premier Designs Jewelry, Relay for Life, Rodan + Fields, Thirty-One Gifts, Tupperware, Young Living Essential Oils and more.

Ticket prices are $9 per person. Attendees who purchase five tickets by Tuesday, April 26, will receive one ticket free. For more information or to RSVP, please call (620) 223-2700.

BBQ and Aucton

Submitted by Heather Cutshall, April 25

The Fort Scott Community College Meats Judging Team invites the community to its annual BBQ and auction event on Saturday, April 30, at FSCC East Campus (The Armory), 2301 Horton Street, Fort Scott, Kan.

The event will feature a BBQ dinner, live auction, silent auction and raffle. The meal will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the auction will begin at 6:30 p.m. The menu will include pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, potato salad and cookies. Admission is by donation, with a suggested donation of $7 per person.

“The students travel thousands of miles competing at national contests all over the country throughout the year, representing our school and community to the best of their abilities,” said Jenilee Martin, FSCC Meats Judging Team Coach. “We are so thankful for the support of our community, and we would love to have everyone join us for a fun night!”

Items available for auction will include a handmade deer antler knife, hay bale ring swing, handmade quilts, horseshoe crosses, duck calls, home décor items, themed baskets, toys, tools, welding helmet, gift certificates, photography session voucher, half of a hog (processed) and much more. The team is still accepting donations; those who wish to donate items may call at (620) 223-2700 ext. 3540.

Additionally, the team is raffling tickets for chances to win a choice of two guns – a Remington® Model 11-87™ 12-gauge shotgun or a Henry® Golden Boy .30-30. Tickets may be purchased now through April 30. The raffle will take place the night of the BBQ and Auction and will be announced at the end of the event. Winners need not be present to win.

Proceeds from the event and raffle will benefit FSCC Meats Judging Team scholarships, travel expenses, supplies, and equipment. For more information about the event or to purchase raffle tickets, please call Jenilee Martin at (620) 223-2700 ext. 3540.

CarHelp opens location in Fort Scott

After providing car services from a mobile unit for the past few years, Leroy Walker and others with CarHelp Mobile Mechanic, LLC, celebrated the opening of their new location at 1114 S. Clark Street Saturday with a ribbon-cutting event and open house.

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Walker said he first started his business with a pickup and a toolbox, but has since expanded to include two mobile trailer units as well as “The Shop” that opened in the past couple months. And Walker said he did so without credit.

“It’s already booming,” Walker said of their business, which has already begun turning a profit. “Fort Scott has been absolutely wonderful.”

Walker said Fort Scott has already become like a family for him as he provides services to the community through car repair and maintenance, whether at the customers home or at “The Shop,” and even helps inspect used vehicles someone might be considering purchasing.

“We’re so excited,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said before the ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, congratulating Walker. “Thank you for everything you’ve done to be involved n the chamber and the community.”

Saturday’s open house also included lunch provided by 5 Corners, numerous drawing prizes and KOMB radio on site.

Sunshine Boutique a downtown staple 35 years after opening

Despite changes over the years because of health restraints for the owner as well as a change in location, Sunshine Boutique continues to sell a variety of items and provide a number of services to their visitors.

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“This is a family affair,” owner Georgia Brown said during the weekly Chamber Coffee Thursday, explaining she and her granddaughter Kinede Houdashelt run the business. “We’ve always been a family-oriented business.”

The boutique is open limited hours each week because of other employment responsibilities, with the doors open 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, but faithfully provides a wide selection of greeting cards, gift items, therapy products and more than 40 flavors of gourmet coffees as well as about 20 chai tea flavors and a number of dip and soup mixes.

With high school proms and Mother’s Day approaching, Brown also pointed out that the Sunshine Boutique provides tuxedo and suit rentals, fresh and silk floral arrangements and a number of ideal gifts for mothers.

“I think we’ve really got some neat stuff right now,” Brown said, saying she enjoys meeting people at her place of business and finding out what they are interested in.

The boutique, located in the oldest building in downtown Fort Scott, also rents out upstairs apartments, which Brown says are currently filled.

“We’re so lucky to have them,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison said of Sunshine Boutique, adding they would like to see more businesses join them in the downtown area.

Other announcements concerning upcoming events in Fort Scott included:

  • CarHelp Mobile Mechanic’s ribbon-cutting and grand opening open house will be held Saturday, with the ribbon-cutting at 10:45 a.m. and activities and food to follow, including drawings held throughout the event. The open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1114 S. Clark Street.
  • The Good Neighbor Action Team will hold one of their first organizational meetings of the season Tuesday at 5 p.m., at City Hall unless informed otherwise. Anyone interested in becoming involved is encouraged to attend the meeting.
  • Mercy Convenient Care will host a DEA drug take-back event Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mercy, in conjunction with the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Scott Police Department, will accept expired prescriptions and other medications and drugs without question to properly dispose of them.
  • The Southwind Extension District will host the second annual barbecue 101 workshop April 30, in Iola. The day-long event costs $50 per individual or $80 a couple and includes an apron and cookbook as well as the information on cuts of meat and how to prepare it.
  • The Farmer’s Market will kick off the first weekend of May and will include plants as well as food items for sale.
  • The Townwide Garage Sale will be held May 13-14. Participants are encouraged to sign up their garage sales.