Patty LaRoche: In God’s Image

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Gen. 1:26,27 (ESV)

If you skimmed this passage and missed its point, here it is: we are created in God’s image. Think about that. We matter. Last week I shared about my visit with “Greg,” a sex trafficking expert with “Deliver Fund,” who described what happens to girls taken into bondage. It made my skin crawl. He said that there is NO community unaffected by this crime. Surely he wasn’t serious. Nevada? Fort Scott? Where everyone knows who’s dating whom, what kind of surgery they’ve had and if they go to church or not? That’s just nuts.

Apparently not, because, well…let’s face it—we might know the latest gossip, but we pay little attention to what goes on right around us. Remember Ariel Castro, the man who for ten years imprisoned three women in his boarded-up, Cleveland, Ohio, home? Not one neighbor took the time to put the clues together that something was amiss…and there were plenty.

I asked Greg what people like me can do to help. Most importantly, he said, we need to pray for eyes to see. Greg knows that not everyone can be involved to the extent he is, but there are too many who just want to “scratch-their-action-guy-itch.” They volunteer to help but aren’t

committed. Fewer still want to take the time to be on the lookout for warning signs. Prime culprits are seedy motels with “a lookout” standing outside and convenience stores where men accompany young girls who make little eye contact and refuse to engage in conversation.

Greg wasn’t talking about me. Ask my husband. I live to catch a criminal. Once, after reading of the plane passenger who tried to light his shoe on fire, I alerted airport authorities to a man who had a cord hanging from the hem of his pants. It turned out to be part of his phone. (Or so I was told…um-hum.) Every time I see an adult carrying a screaming child, I immediately think kidnapping. I’m always on the lookout to save someone. It drives Dave crazy.

So, let’s say you aren’t as brave/foolish as I. There’s another way you can help. Yesterday I received an email from a relative. In lieu of a birthday gift, she asked for donations to Operation Underground Railroad, a foundation that rescues and rehabilitates kidnapped children. It is one of many, and all of them need financial support.

David Batstone, the founder of The Not For Sale Campaign, got involved when he found out that the staff at one of his favorite Indian restaurants in San Francisco were almost all slaves. This was discovered when one of the workers went home to find her roommate very ill.  Not knowing what to do, she called her landlord, the owner of the restaurant.  He arrived, then refused to call for help, and instead rolled the sick, unconscious girl in a carpet and loaded her into his van. Then he tried to force the first girl into the van.  A brave woman heard the girl’s screams and called the police.  It turned out that almost all the staff in the man’s several restaurants had been illegally trafficked from India, owed a “debt” to their “employer” for their transportation to America, and were paid minimal wages, which did not cover exorbitant rents that the owner charged for the slum-like apartments in which they lived.

The woman who called the police paid attention. As did David.

We need to do likewise. I’m not saying we turn into peeping toms who roam our neighborhoods with binoculars (although that would be a deterrent). Sex trafficking involves the dehumanization of life. It’s a slap in God’s face, the same God who made us in His image. To really make a difference we must open our eyes…and our hearts…and maybe even our wallets.

Obituary: Donald Lee Struble

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Donald Lee Struble, age 63, a resident of Fort Scott died Saturday, June 24, 2017, at Mercy Hospital of Fort Scott.

He was born July 11, 1953, in Key West, Fla., the son of Donald Lee Struble and Dorothy Irene Hubert Struble. He drove and maintained a truck for many years. Don was always very helpful and loved working on computers and cars, and could fix anything.

Survivors include his mother, Dorothy Struble of the home, two brothers, Ron Struble of Kansas City, Kan., Thomas Struble of Panama City Beach, Fla., one sister, Debbie Rather, of Mulvane, Kan.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Struble.

There was cremation. Rev. Chuck Russell will conduct a memorial service 1 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorial are suggested to the Don Struble Memorial Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

LaRoche Complex Supports Veterans with Fourth of July Event

For a third year in a row, the LaRoche Baseball Complex will host a Fourth of July event, including live music, food and beverages, a guest speaker and fireworks, while raising money for three organizations providing support for combat veterans.

“A great cause, and you can support it,” Larry Gazaway said of the event during a recent chamber of commerce event.

Gates will open Tuesday at 5 p.m., while the opening act, the Barnstormers, will perform at 6 p.m. A double-amputee veteran will speak on the topic of the struggles veterans face and how people can honor and support them in gratitude for their sacrifice.

At 8 p.m., Jason Boland and the Stragglers will perform, before the night ends with a fireworks display.

Tickets remain available for the event, and range from $20 to $35. Funds raised will be used to support Heroes’ Sports, the E3 Foundation and Combat Warriors Inc.

FSCC Announces Spring 2017 Honor Roll

Submitted by Heather Browne

Fort Scott Community College proudly announces the spring 2017 semester honor roll students. A total of 219 students earned honor roll distinction. The Honor Roll requires a semester GPA of 3.5 to 3.74. The Dean’s Honor Roll requires a semester GPA of 3.75 to 3.99. The President’s Honor Roll requires a semester GPA of 4.0.

Honor Roll

Grant Anderson, Peyton Barrett, Lacy Barrett, Kayln Beel, Kaley Binford, Kiara Boyd, Patrick Broxterman, John Byers, Theodore Chambers, Maddison Christian, Cara Comstock, Chelsey Coulter, Hannah Craun, Zachary Davis, Jacob Davis, Shelby Denton, Austin Dimmett, Joseph Fragano, Alex Garcia, Anne Ghere, Dylan Giager, Allison Gilligan, Randi Gold, Jared Goldwire, Katie Gorman, Piper Handshy, John Henry, Timothy Higgins, Wyatt Hoggatt, Amelia Ihrer, Boby Johnson, Ellen Jones, Cinetia Joseph, Adam Kaufman, Abigail Keating, Deardin Kelley, Victoria Lemke, Diaja Lewis, Scott Little, Ashley Lockwood, Kylie Lopp, Ryan Malone, Erin Mantz, Connor Marshall, Mitchell McCallister, Danielle McDowell, Nickolan McGaan, Nathan Miller, Andrew Morrow, Aris-Shea Nakagawa, Rebekah Palmer, Lindy Pettibon, Nguyen Pham, Lindsey Reed, Samantha Reno, Haleigh Robertson, Charles Runnels, Carla Salas, Matthew Schick, Driston Self, Tessney Shoemaker, Mason Skiles, Lauren Sluder, Aubrey Smith, Dalton Sneed, Jayson Stepter, Alyssa Stevens, Sarah Tavernaro, Katherine Thoden, Alexandria Trager, Jessica Turner, Rachel Walker, Jennifer Wisniewski, Nicole Woods-Buyea, and Carter Young.

Dean’s Honor Roll

Mariah Aebersold, Kelsey Area, Cheryl Beckwith, Jon Carpenter, Donald Cook, Ashlee Corns, Dalton DeShazer, Stephanie Dill, Kelsey Duggan-Garner, Stephanie Friend, Hannah Geneva, Layne Graham, Justin Grigsby Colby Hartman, Kinede Houdashelt, Alexander Huston, Michael Jenkins, Janamarie Jorgensen, Dillon Kramer, MacKenzie Krenek, Tiffany Lane, Brian Larson, Lindsay Locke, Janice Mccourt, Elizabeth McFarland, Rachel Merrick, Lacey Miles, Ramona Moffett, Joel Montgomery, Sharon Morgan, Austin Murphy, Rebecca Myers, Jackalynn Neher, Baylee Oney, Mercedes Pankau, Sean Perkins, Michaela Pfaff, Myranda Pridey, Joshua Ralle, Kyle Smith, Tabor Spurling, Tony Stone and Aimee Wimp.

President’s Honor Roll

Keller Agre, Krista Allen, Heather Bahr, William Baker, Carly Bohannon, Bryan Booth, Taylor Brecheisen, Cheyenne Brewer, Michaela Brewer, Sarah Bunce, Manuel Carrera, Haley Casey, Abigail Cooke, Rachel Dare, Samuel Davis, Brock Denomme, Kitana Diediker, Shawna Diediker, Michael Donahue, Briona Fields, Lauren Flater, Jennifer Fountain, Meghann Fountain, Zachary Franz, Timothy Fredrickson, Katherin Fullhart, Destiny Garcia, Abigail Gilligan, Christian Goben, Molly Graham, Zachary Gudenkauf, Colin Gulotta, Meghan Guss, Zachary Hager, Keith Hames, Derek Hammer, Caleb Hanson, David Hawkins, Tyler Henninger, Shelby Hutchison, Danielle Isbell, Dallas Johnson, Andrea Kaiser, Sarah Kelley, Benjamin Kiefer, Clinton Kissinger, Colten Lamborn, Kady Laporte, Hayden Leach, Brad Lewis, Justin Logan, Allie Martin, Patrick Maxwell, Thomas Mayfield, Kayla Miller, Jenna Nevius, Rachel Newquist, Johnathan Palmer, Hank Parra, Kylie Pfeiffer, Joshua Rawlins, Taylor Remington, Elizabeth Renner, Clifford Robinett, Bethany Robison, Rick Runion, Sydney Russell, Tanner Sarbaugh, Meghan Schasteen, Mark Scheid, Cody Schlesener, Cole Schroeder, Dacey Simpson, Larry Sinclair, Zackery Steed, Bryan Stephenson, Sherlinda Stillwell, Kendra Stout, Amanda Sustarsic, Grant Swickhamer, Cathy Taylor, Crystal Thomas, Kyle Thompson, Charles Trotter, Amanda Trull, Mackenzie Tynon, Christopher Tyson, Anthony Vallejo, Roger Vincent, Grant Vollrath, Mark Waterbury, Cody Weber, Kassie West, Alexandra Whisler, Emily White, Daniel Whitmore, Kirstie Williams, Mackay Williams, Caitlyn Wiswell, Lane York, and Barrett Young.

For more information, please contact Tom Havron, FSCC Dean of Students and Athletic Director, at 620-223-2700, ext. 3500.


Main Street Building to be Demolished

After years of remaining in disrepair, and transferring from one owner to another, the building at 417 S. Main Street will be torn down, with the Fort Scott City Commission’s decision to go through with the condemnation during their recent meeting.

During that meeting, Autumn Durossette and her brother, Denver Mitchell, approached the commission with a desire to purchase the home, to try to repair it and then rent it out, as they have done with 13 other structures. While the commission expressed gratitude for the work they have done, they decided not to accept that request as the building was already condemned to demolition.

“I am not in support of rescinding your motion,” Codes Manager Rhonda Dunn said, adding she is grateful for the work done in Fort Scott by Durossette and Mitchell. “This house has been a struggle for us for quite a while.”

The home has suffered damage from two fires and has structural issues that have led to uneven floors. The fire department, in their inspections, also discovered some termite damage. Delinquent property taxes are also owed.

Durossette said she had a number of inspectors and contractors examine the house, located across the street from the Unified School District Education Building, and said they believed they would be able to correct the foundation and other problems of the home and make it attractive once more.

“They need work, but these bones are good,” Mitchell said of the base structure of the home, saying most of the work needed concerns surface repairs.

The commission decided to not take any action, thus upholding the previous condemnation, stating they trust their staff’s recommendation and do not desire to set a precedent of rescinding the condemnation of homes in Fort Scott.

The commission first approved the condemnation and demolition of the house in 2016, and it is now ready for demolition as the city received a bid. The file on the building’s code violations stretch back for more than a decade.

Mercy Receives HOPE 4 You Grant for Mammograms

Submitted by Tina Rockhold

Mercy Health Foundation Fort Scott has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation based in Joplin. The grant will be used to help pay for mammograms for women who meet certain criteria. This is the sixth consecutive year Mercy has received the grant.

Mercy Hospital Fort Scott radiology technicians Suzanne Quick and Jenny Dugan specialize in mammogram screenings

“Far too often women neglect their own health care needs for other priorities,” said Christi Keating, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott executive director of patient care services. “Funds from this grant will give women, who might otherwise not get mammograms, access to the life-saving screenings.”

The startling fact is that more than 40,000 women will die of breast cancer this year in the U.S.

According to the Kaiser State Health Facts, the rate of annual breast cancer diagnosis among Kansas’ women is higher than the national average, but Kansas women over age 50 report having fewer mammograms than the national norm.

For more information about digital mammography or to schedule a mammography appointment, call Mercy’s Imagining Services at 620-223-7015.

Fort Scott Holds Patriotic Contest

In honor of the Fourth of July, the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraging Fort Scott residents and businesses to participate in a patriotic contest.

The American flag on display in Fort Scott in 2015

“Get your home or business all decorated for Fourth of July and in honor of our veterans and troops,” said Lindsay Madison, chamber executive director, during a recent chamber event.

The contest includes both a residential and commercial contest, with the most patriotic home winner receiving a $50 Chamber Bucks gift certificate and the winner of the most patriotic business receiving $50 to Marsha’s Deli, a sponsor of the event.

Participants must register with the chamber by Wednesday, June 28, with the final judging done by a panel of chamber members Thursday afternoon, June 29. The winners will be announced July 4.

A variety of Independence Day events will be held in Fort Scott and Bourbon County over the weekend, including the Symbols of Sacrifice event at the fort Saturday and Tuesday, Fort Scott community fireworks at Fort Scott Community College, the annual Burke Street parade Tuesday morning, a concert and event at the LaRoche Baseball Complex Tuesday evening and other events hosted at area churches.