Obituary: Lois Jean Wynn

Lois Jean Wynn, age 82, had the joy of being called home to Heaven to join our Lord and Savior on April 19, 2017.

Lois was born October 12, 1934, in Talmage, Kans., the daughter of James and Mary Luker.  She graduated from Uniontown High School and then began work at the Western Insurance Co. in Fort Scott, Kans.  This is when she met a very handsome young man named Don, who swept her off her feet.  They fell in love and were married on September 19, 1954.  Lois and Don had four children, two girls and two boys.  She was a charter member of Faith church of Fort Scott, and she loved her church.  She made sure that each of her children found a love for the Lord and she is happy because all of her kids, grandkids, and most of her great grandkids (babies excluded) know the Lord as their personal Savior. She taught kids in Sunday school, she worked with the youth and she loved teaching women’s bible studies.  She also loved to read, Louis Lamoure being one of her favorite authors. She enjoyed the way he described the old west and made you feel like you were a part of it.  She also enjoyed old and new quilts.  She liked the hand-quilting style and the design they had.  It was a joy to her when she would see one finished.  She also had a real desire to find out about the old one-room school houses in Bourbon County.  She would always talk with the old timers that were from the area and see where the school houses were and what they could tell her about them.

Survivors include her loving husband of 63 years, Don Wynn; her daughter Deborah Wynn, Mounds, Okla.; son and daughter in love Rick and Mary Wynn, Uniontown, Kans.; daughter and son in love Tina and Eromosele Aigbiremonlen of Mounds, Okla.; son and daughter in love Mark and Amy Wynn, College Station, Texas; seven grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; sisters Lucille Ward and Phyllis Randall and husband David; a brother Eldon Luker and wife Gloria; a sister-in-law Mary Lou Luker; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Kenneth Luker; and a sister, Bonnie Cornwell and husband Robert.

There was cremation. Pastor Matthew Hunt conducted memorial services at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22, 2017, at Faith Church of Fort Scott. Memorials are suggested to either Mercy Hospice or Faith Church of Fort Scott and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at


Obituary: Douglas Blaine Hazelbaker

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Douglas Blaine Hazelbaker, age 51, a resident of rural Redfield, passed away early Monday, May 1, 2017, at the Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott.

Doug was born May 31, 1965, to Alice and Norman Hazelbaker.  He and his wife, Jana, were married on August 17, 2002, and are the parents of daughters, Dylan and Dakota. In 1983, he graduated from Uniontown High School.  While in high school, he competed in the Kansas State High School Rodeo Association, and he was the state champion in both calf roping and steer wrestling, and the Reserve All-Around cowboy his senior year.  While attending Allen County Community College and Northwestern Oklahoma State University, he competed in both calf roping and steer wrestling, while earning a Bachelor’s degree in education.  Doug began his teaching career as a 4th grade teacher and was teaching middle school math at Jayhawk-Linn in Mound City, where he touched the lives of many young people and worked with wonderful friends over the past 25 years.  His passion for calf roping extended well beyond college, and he logged many miles from rodeo to rodeo, building great friendships over the years. Some of his accomplishments in calf roping include IPRA rookie of the year, Great Lakes PRCA circuit finals contestant, Cheyenne Frontier Days performance qualifier, and IFR qualifier in 1991.  In 2016, he qualified for the Interstates Rodeo Association finals, and Dylan wears his jacket from that association.  He also competed in the United Rodeo Association for many years, and in the year end finals for 2016 finished 5th overall in the over 40 calf roping. Dakota is honored to wear his URA jacket, and Dylan proudly wears the belt buckle he won.

Survivors include his wife Jana and daughters Dylan and Dakota of the home; parents, Norman and Alice Hazelbaker, Redfield, Kans.; a sister, Carol Camac and husband Joe, Augusta, Kans.; a brother, Mike Hazelbaker and wife Susan, Alma, Kans.; nieces and nephews, Cole, Travis, and Lucas Camac, Cole Fowles, Cassidy Anderson, Quincy and Emma Charleston, and Cooper, Colton, and Canyon Charleston.

Cowboy Preacher Marty Brock will conduct memorial services at 11 a.m. Friday, May 5, at the Fort Scott Fairgrounds Arena.  In case of inclement weather, the memorial service will be moved inside the Danny and Willa Ellis Fine Arts Center at FSCC.  The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 p.m. at the FSCC Agriculture Building (Armory).  In lieu of flowers, the family strongly suggests memorials to the Hazelbaker Girl’s Scholarship Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.

Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at  The family asks for any special memory or story of Doug to be brought to the service or mailed to Jana Hazelbaker, 1311 Hwy 54, Redfield, KS 66769.  These memories will be used to compile a scrapbook for Dylan and Dakota

Commission Takes Next Step for New Development

The Fort Scott City Commission unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday evening that names the lot that formerly included Woods an enterprise zone, and thus eligible for Tax Increment Financing.

By the end of the year, a Price Chopper grocery store is expected to be open for business, with the possibility of retail or other commercial services also available on the lot, which has been unused since Woods closed in November.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but this is the first step,” said Kim Bell, the city’s bond attorney.

Bell said upcoming actions will include creating the TIF district, approving a general plan, and then providing 30 days for other tax entities to express their concern if they believe the TIF district would have adverse effects. Another public hearing is scheduled to be held on June 20, when more specific plans will be presented before work begins on the building.

The TIF bond, believed to be the first of its kind in Bourbon County, serves as an incentive for new development, allowing the investors to waive tax increases for a set period of time as they make improvements to the property.

This project is expected to cost about $9.5 million, with the investors hoping to receive about $1.8 million back over 20 years of TIF incentive. In a previous meeting with the Bourbon County Commission, Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said they project the company would receive that amount after only nine years.

Because the TIF waives tax increases, the city and county would not lose any money, but will benefit from that increase in revenue after the incentive comes to an end.


Hilderbrand Named LaTurner’s Senate Replacement

Representatives of the Republican Parties of Senate District 13 elected Richard Hilderbrand of Galena in Cherokee County to replace former Senator Jake LaTurner, who was sworn in as the state treasurer April 26.

Photo Credit: Deb Martin

“I think it’s important for all of District 13 to have representation,” Hilderbrand said during a Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce event April 27. “I will work hard for you guys, too, to represent you guys and to represent your values.”

Hilderbrand garnered the needed majority of ballots on the very first vote Sunday afternoon, receiving 52 of the 92 ballots. Others considered for nomination included Terry Calloway, who received 24 votes, Dale Coomes with 11, and Todd Biggs with five votes.

All four district counties, including Cherokee, Crawford, Labette and Bourbon counties, were represented at the convention of delegates held in Pittsburg Sunday afternoon. Bourbon County Republican Party Chairperson Randall Readinger conducted the convention.

Hilderbrand reported to Topeka to be sworn in on Monday, immediately participating in the legislative session that began that same morning. That seat will be up for election again in a special election to be held in November of 2018, before joining the normal cycle with a general election in 2020.

Heavy Rains Lead to Flooding Across County

While some residents experienced soggy yards and full ditches over the weekend, other areas of Bourbon County suffered from flooding as the Marmaton River and other bodies of water overflowed their banks.

Heavy rains continued consistently Friday evening into Sunday, leading to flash flood warnings and a number of road closures. Other public areas including Gunn Park, Second Street Park and the Riverfront Park were also closed as they were submerged.

Emergency Management Director William Wallis said the state contacted him a number of times over the weekend to make sure the county was not experiencing any major emergencies due to the rainfall. While the Marmaton River reached 43.2 feet Sunday afternoon, well above the 38 foot flood stage, Wallis said he did not personally hear of any emergencies or rescues in the county outside of normal dispatch calls.

“Just a lot of water in a lot of places,” Wallis said.

Wallis said the National Weather Service calculates the flood levels will still be at about 40.7 feet Monday, but then will drop drastically to approximately 26 feet by Tuesday.

To see other photos of flooded areas submitted by our readers, visit our Facebook page.

While East and Southeast Kansas received several inches of rain over the weekend, West Kansas received heavy snowfall.