County Removes Vicious Dogs Policy

After about a year of discussions on the topic, and with a case making its way through the court, the Bourbon County Commission decided Tuesday to just do away with the vicious dogs policy that had been written in 1987.

County Commission

The commissioners, along with members of the Sheriff’s Office and county attorney Justin Meeks, determined that even updating the policy to better define a vicious dog would not solve the problem since the county does not have the employees to enforce it.

“If you don’t enforce a policy, why have it?” Meeks asked.

Under the previous policy, it was left to the sheriff’s deputies to answer calls concerning vicious dogs, but that department does not have the manpower or the equipment to respond to such calls or handle the animals, even if they are able to catch them.

Undersheriff Ben Cole said even having a deputy focus full-time on vicious dog calls would not be sufficient, and would also be expensive due to the deputy’s wages, a kennel and other equipment and mileage from traveling through the county. He added it is up to the county to prioritize what they want to accomplish and devote county funds to.

By dissolving the policy, circumstances involving vicious dogs become a civil issue. Pit bulls are also no longer banned in the county, though Meeks pointed out some homeowners’ insurance policies have their own restrictions on owning such dogs.

Dancing with our Stars Seeks Funds for Charities

The Fort Scott Rotary Club is hosting the Seventh Annual Dancing With Our Stars event this Saturday, February 11, with participating dancers using the opportunity not just to compete, but to raise funds for local and national charity organizations as well as the Rotary.

Dancing with our Stars 2016
Dancing with our Stars 2016

The event will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Ellis Family Fine Arts Center at Fort Scott Community College. Tickets are still available at $10 apiece, or $15 for VIP seats located front and center.

The theme for this year’s event is Battle for the Fort, with dance teams representing area businesses including La Hacienda, Citizen’s Bank, FSCC, Fort Scott Manor, Friends of the Fort, Landmark Bank, McDonald’s, FirstSource, Medicalodges Fort Scott and Cobalt Medplans. Each team includes two to eight employees of those businesses.

Each team also represents a charitable organization. Teams raised money for those charities in advance and further funds are raised the night of the event as attendees vote for their favorite dancers with their dollars.

The McDonald’s team for example is raising money for Ronald McDonald’s Children’s Charity by hosting a fundraiser Tuesday, February 7, 5-7 p.m. Fort Scott Medicalodges is holding a Chicken & Noodles fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association Friday, February 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at their location, with meals costing $5 each.

Other charities include Court Appointed Special Advocate, Lee’s Paws & Claws Animal Shelter, Care Portal, the Sharing Bucket, the Beacon, Friends of the Fort, Elks Club Youth Activities and United Way.

The winning team will take home a trophy and a cash prize for their charity of choice.

“We are so glad to have all of these businesses represented in this ‘Battle for the Fort’ theme this year,” said 2017 DWOS chair Janet Braun in a press release on the event. “There are 53 dancers total who are helping raise money for Rotary and for area charities.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.

Courthouse Enjoys Fowl Visitor

In the past month, the Bourbon County Courthouse has had an unexpected, feathered visitor on its lawn and even inside the lobby.

The rooster and hen as seen in December, 2016.
The rooster and hen as seen in December, 2016.

Around the holidays, Christopher Petty of the Kansas State Southwind Extension Office and other county employees and courthouse visitors noticed a rooster and hen lingering around the courthouse property. While the hen has not been seen of late, Petty said the rooster is still seen frequently.

“The rooster, he seems to stick around,” Petty said, saying they believe it is owned by one of the residents of the homes to the west of the courthouse. “He wanders around the courthouse quite a bit.”

While the rooster occasionally makes visitors nervous when they see it walking along the sidewalk, Petty said the bird has been calm instead of aggressive as many roosters are. When the rooster found its way inside the courthouse one day, Petty said a commissioner was able to pick it up and take it back outside without any trouble.

“He’s pretty tame,” Petty said, adding that he is also likely tough, as it seems to thrive in an urban environment.

Until the courthouse rooster decides to spend his time elsewhere, visitors to the courthouse may be able to spot him wandering around the parking lot, lawn and sidewalks of the county property.


Area Trash Service plans to add Recycling

The Bourbon County Commission decided Tuesday to donate the county’s three recycling trailers to 4-State Sanitation, who plans to use those trailers to provide recycling services to the county.

Photo Credit: Wrap it Up Vehicle Wraps
Photo Credit: Wrap it Up Vehicle Wraps

The Southeast Kansas trash collection provider, whose headquarters is based in Fort Scott, first requested the trailers January 10. Initially the commissioners considered lending the trailers immediately or donating them to the company, but then decided to put the trailers to bid to give other businesses an opportunity as well.

The commission received only one bid, from 4-State, who said their plan is to provide free recycling to Bourbon County residents two days a week, collecting items such as cardboard, plastic and aluminum.

The bid listed 4-State’s goal to work in conjunction with Souteast Kansas Recycling to provide a “cleaner environment and community.”

“We need recycling,” public works director Jim Harris said, who also said it would benefit the county to have the trailers, owned by the county since about 1996, off their insurance.

The county provided recycling service in the past, but Harris said they lost money in the endeavor, as they would often travel to areas of the county that would not have any items to pick up, costing the county time and  fuel without receiving any benefit. Commissioner Jeff Fischer said many residents of Fort Scott had gotten in the habit of recycling, but are now losing that good habit.

The commission voted unanimously to give the trailers to 4-State Sanitation, requesting that in return, the trailers be used specifically for Bourbon County recycling, as was stated in their request for bids.