Jail Project sees Progress

Taking advantage of the warm and dry weather, the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center project continues to move forward, as a steel structure appeared on the property over the past week.

2-1 Jail 7

The Bourbon County Commissioners and members of the Sheriff’s Department met Tuesday with engineers and architects involved in the project to receive an update on what has been accomplished and what steps are coming up in the process.

Earlier in January, the concrete foundation was laid. As of Wednesday, January 25, the steel frame of the building had also begun to be put in place at the piece of land just east of the Briggs Auto Group. The steel building is expected to be up entirely by the end of February.

The site’s utilities are also being installed, although that step is progressing at a slower pace because of the rock. The cell pods are to be delivered and set the week of February 13, with the stairs and mezzanines being delivered the following week.

Other equipment is set to arrive in March while others, such as the kitchen equipment, are scheduled to be on site in July.

“It’s all falling together,” Kevin Rost, of Goldberg Group, Inc., said during the meeting.

Project manager Gary Walker, of Universal Construction Company, pointed out that, although the building seems to be moving quickly now, it will soon appear to be moving slowly once the exterior is complete. But in those months, he said work will be accomplished inside the structure and out of sight.

FSCC Prepares for February Events

Fort Scott Community College continues through its spring semester with  a number of upcoming events, including the beginning of baseball and softball seasons, a family game night and an active shooter response training course. See the calendar below for details on recent and upcoming events.

9-25 FSCC

Upcoming FSCC Events List:

Wednesday, February 1

FSCC Women’s Basketball vs. Highland CC, 5:30 p.m. at Arnold Arena

FSCC Men’s Basketball vs. Highland CC, 7:30 p.m. at Arnold Arena

Thursday, February 2

FSCC Game Night, 5 – 9 p.m. at FSCC Library

Saturday, February 4

FSCC Women’s Basketball at Brown Mackie College, 2 p.m.

FSCC Men’s Basketball at Brown Mackie College, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, February 8

FSCC Women’s Basketball at Labette CC, 5:30 p.m.

FSCC Men’s Basketball at Labette CC, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 10

FSCC Softball at North Arkansas College, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Saturday, February 11

FSCC Women’s Basketball vs. Johnson County CC, 2 p.m. at Arnold Arena

FSCC Baseball vs. Cloud County CC, 3 p.m. at LaRoche Baseball Complex

FSCC Men’s Basketball vs. Johnson County CC, 4 p.m. at Arnold Arena

Sunday, February 12

FSCC Baseball vs. Cloud County CC, 12 and 3 p.m. at LaRoche Baseball Complex

FSCC Softball at Ottawa University JV, 12 and 2 p.m.

Wednesday, February 15

FSCC Women’s Basketball at Hesston College, 5:30 p.m.

FSCC Men’s Basketball at Hesston College, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 17

FSCC Softball at Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m.

Saturday, February 18

FSCC Softball at Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 4 p.m.

FSCC Baseball vs. North Central Missouri College, 4 p.m. at LaRoche Baseball Complex

FSCC Meat Judging Team Soup & Chili Feed, 5:30 p.m. at FSCC East Campus (Armory)

News at FSCC this week:

FSCC to Host Active Shooter Response Training Course

Fort Scott Community College will host a two-day ALICE instructor training course from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 23 and 24 at the Danny & Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center.

The ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) instructor training course is designed to teach participants proactive survival strategies to address violent intruder or active shooter incidents. These strategies can be utilized by schools, hospitals, businesses and places of worship.

Those who complete the course receive certification in ALICE training, which allows them to bring ALICE strategies back to their workplaces to train others. Additionally, registrants gain access to exclusive ALICE resources.

The registration fee for the course is $595 per person. To register, visit alicetraining.com. For more information, contact Clayton Whitson at 620-223-2700, ext.3260 or claytonw@fortscott.edu.

ALICE is in line with recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). For more information about ALICE, visit alicetraining.com.

FSCC Students Perform at Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival 

Fort Scott Community College Theatre students Jackie Neher, Linda Shinkle, Jared Oshel, Jason Clissold, Royce White and Stephanie Rice performed a scene from “The Bald Soprano,” during the opening ceremonies of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) on Monday, January 23. Stephanie Rice, Jared Oshel and Jason Clissold also participated in the Irene Ryan Scholarship Auditions during the KCACTF.

Photo Credit: FSCC. Pictured left to right: FSCC Theatre Director Lawrence Alford with FSCC students Jackie Neher, Linda Shinkle, Jared Oshel, Jason Clissold, Royce White, and Stephanie Rice.
Photo Credit: FSCC. Pictured left to right: FSCC Theatre Director Lawrence Alford with FSCC students Jackie Neher, Linda Shinkle, Jared Oshel, Jason Clissold, Royce White, and Stephanie Rice.


Fischer sees Economic Need in County

After his first three weeks in office as the Bourbon County District Two Commissioner, Jeff Fischer continues to learn about his new role as well as look for ways for the county to have success.

1-30 Fischer

Born and raised in Hammond before leaving in 1995 for Arizona and then Florida, Fischer moved back to the area in 2005. A licensed professional engineer, he spent time working in Kansas City before tiring of the long commute. Fischer serves as a pastor at the Fort Scott Apostolic Christian Church, but now leads in the county in a different way after being elected in 2016.

“A neighbor called and asked me if I’d do him a favor,” Fischer said of how he first entered the race for Bourbon County Commissioner of District Two. “And without knowing what the question was, I answered yes.”

Fischer said part of the logic for his campaign was because of construction projects happening in the county and his experience in contracting. Fischer added he sees a number of other concerns in the county including dropping population leading to a shrinking taxpaying base, high taxes discouraging new industry and the need to leverage resources available.

“For me to earn a living, I had to drive to Kansas City or Joplin,” Fischer said. “And that’s what our kids are facing, too. There needs to be more economic development activity.”

Fischer said one of his first goals in his new position is to compare Bourbon County to other counties as benchmarks, to see how they are successful and if there are ways Bourbon County can follow their example.

Already, Fischer said he has learned a great deal about what he is able to do as a commissioner as well as what is not allowed, such as meeting with a fellow commissioner outside of a scheduled meeting, even if only for a casual conversation.

Ruhl ready for task of Commissioner

After weeks and months of campaigning as well as months of sitting in on meetings before finally being elected, Nick Ruhl is settling into his role as Bourbon County District Three Commissioner.

Commissioner Nick Ruhl

Ruhl has lived in Bourbon County all but five years of his life, serving the Fort Scott Fire Department for 20 years and owning a construction company for eighteen years. But at the request of friends, he decided to serve the community in a different way.

“A lot of people came to me and asked me to run,” Ruhl said, saying he knew something needed to be done to keep from spending too much money while bringing in other funds for the county at the same time.

Ruhl said he is looking forward to finding ways to invite new businesses, such as by not driving them away because of high taxes.

“I hope we can build a reserve back into the county and have some extra money,” Ruhl said. “That’s what I’m really looking forward to trying to do.”

Since filing as a candidate in spring of 2016, Ruhl said he has probably missed only six of the bi-weekly county commission meetings. After those months of hearing about the issues and concerns of the county, Ruhl said he is excited and ready to take on the new position.

“We’ve got to have a place for our kids to grow up,” Ruhl says. “I don’t want my grand-kids to move away and I don’t want their kids to move away…we’ve got to do something.”

Since being sworn into office on January 9, Ruhl and fellow new commissioner Jeff Fischer have attended training from the state and have heard a number of reports concerning county resources and other concerns.

Debate Teams find success at State Tournament

Unified School District debate teams continued their successful season January 20-21, with one team being named the runner-up at a state tournament in Lyons, Kan., while other local teams also moved far into the event.

Photo Credit: Amber Toth
Photo Credit: Amber Toth

“We had a great weekend at state debate last Friday and Saturday,” debate coach Amber Toth said.

Zach Humble, Seth Cross, Joe Adams and Isabella Provence with alternates Madison Toth and Emma Humble competed in the four-speaker event, and walked away the state runner-up after falling to Bishop Miege, who was named the champion of the tournament.

Four teams also competed in the two-speaker events, with three of those teams moving on to the double-octofinals out of the 70 teams. Teams Darby Toth and Rebekah Sweyko, and Chloe Studyvin and Dalton Womeldorff fell in that round, while Sara Al-Shawish and Tayton Majors advanced to the final 16 teams.

“Our kids had an amazing season and a tremendous state showing,” Toth said.

Photo Credit: Amber Toth
Photo Credit: Amber Toth