Sun Shines for Good Ol’ Days

The 36th Annual Good Ol’ Days Festival drew in large crowds over the weekend as it introduced a variety of new events and activities while the forecasted rain held off.

We’ve had a really great day,” Good Ol’ Days board member Rhonda Dunn said as the event came to a conclusion, adding it was one of the biggest events she had seen.“We’ve seen a lot of happy people, complaints are really low—really a great weekend.”

Between 60 and 70 groups took part in “The Great Outdoors” parade Friday evening, including area churches and a variety of businesses and organizations such as Care to Share, Mercy, the Fort Scott National Historic Site, FirstSource, Briggs Auto and the WardKraft family.

A variety of concerts were performed, including groups such as the Vogt Sisters, the Red Garter Show and Shotgun and Lace. Vendors, food trucks, pony rides, a petting zoo and a carnival were also available throughout the weekend.

In honor of the 175th anniversary of the founding of Fort Scott, the historical site gave demonstrations and had a number of volunteers dressed in costumes from the mid-1800s era.

New features included the addition of the Bourbon County Great Outdoors Expo, which included free children’s activities, a dunking booth, casting contest and a nationally sanctioned turkey calling competition.

As part of the expo, both Adam LaRoche, retired major league baseball player, and Justin Martin of the Duck Dynasty TV series were available for autographs and a time for questions from the audience. Some questions included topics such as Martin’s personal life, his history with the show, when he killed his first duck and stories from filming that never made it on the show.

It’s good to be here,” Martin said. “I’m glad to be back in America’s heartland. This is who we are—we’re just hard-working Americans that take care of our families and our friends and just have fun.”

Martin also spoke of his faith in Jesus Christ, encouraging his audience to consider two commands form the Bible: love God with all your heart and love others as yourself.

I’m never gonna be given a microphone and not give that message,” Martin said.

LaRoche told that he thought the expo was successful, explaining that he helped organize it through his relationships with participating businesses and organizations such as Buck Commander and Duck Commander, though the credit of planning the event went to others.

I thought the turnout was great,” LaRoche said, adding he had not attended the Good Ol’ Days in at least 15 years because of his career in baseball. “It’s a great way to revamp the Good Ol’ Days…I think this was a great start to hopefully bigger and better things.”

Dunn also said she heard comments from visitors who were enthusiastic about the expo, which she says will likely be continued in future years as they make adjustments, corrections and additions.

Check our Facebook page each day this week for photos from the weekend events.

Patty LaRoche: Losing Privileges

I am befuddled by parents who provide their children with all the benefits they went without in order to make sure their kids don’t. The iPhone 7. Nike’s $150 tennies. A 2017 monster truck. The parenting motto is simple: “You want it? You get it.”

Freelance writer Gina Luker blogged about detoxing her entitled teenage daughter after realizing she (Gina) had created an unsatisfied monster. Concert tickets with backstage passes were the norm, as was a closetful of designer clothes…and increasing disrespect toward her parents. When enough became enough, Gina did the unthinkable: she stripped her daughter of all privileges.

In Gina’s words, “We took away every single thing she owned. Every. Tiny. Thing.

We put a lock on her room and her ‘bed’ was the couch. We took away makeup and hair supplies. We took away her electronics – her phone, her computer, television even our landline. We took away her car. We took away all visitation from friends – only immediate family. We took away any privileges she had. Period. We left her with: “A pillow and blanket – which had to be put away as soon as she woke up.

A laundry basket with the following of my choosing: three pairs of jeans, three shirts, one jacket, three sets of undergarments, two sets of pajamas, one pair of tennis shoes and one pair of boots (our lock down happened in the winter.) One hair brush and one pony tail holder. The bare essentials of hygiene (deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.) That’s it.”

Easy? (I can’t even imagine!) Temper tantrums rivaled any two-year old’s, yet Gina persisted. Within two weeks she saw a difference. To avoid conversing with her mean mother, the teen cleaned…everything. Then she worked a puzzle.

Over the next four months as a more appreciative attitude developed, privileges slowly were returned.

Drastic measures had led to drastic results. Sometimes it’s the only solution.

In my quiet time, I have been studying the Old Testament book of the prophet Zephaniah. God is ticked. The people of Judah have added idols to their worship protocol, and God, who loves them enough to get their attention, is about to strip them of everything they value. Zephaniah begs them to repent and not take things for granted. In the end, most remain stubborn and refuse to take God seriously. Soon the Judah-ites are carted off by the Babylonians, where they live in exile for 70 years. Only then did they understand from where their blessings came.

Gina was lucky. Her daughter learned her lesson before anything more drastic had to happen. God had to be pleased. Perhaps it’s a message all parents need to heed.

Kansas State Extension Newsletter: A Great Meeting

Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District Director & Agent

One of K-State Research & Extension’s signature methods to disseminate information and to evoke learning is through “having a meeting.” We’ve all put on, or attended, lots and lots of meetings. And, if I’m being honest, those meetings haven’t all necessarily been successful, great meetings. Over the years, I have attended my share of meetings, and today I am going to share what I believe makes for a “good meeting.”
Having the right topics would seem rather obvious, and for that reason, I am not going to go down that track. I will assume that you have the appropriate topics and the right people to make presentations. So, given that, what else can one do to make for a great meeting?

Publicize. Make certain the right people know about the meeting. Tell those people who come in contact with your target audience about the meeting. Even if you don’t expect a professional within your community to attend, you still want them to know about it so that they can pass it on to their clientele. Good examples might be the banker, implement dealer, clergy, social worker or anyone who tends to come in contact with those you hope to see at your meeting. Make sure those individuals have all the info they need to promote your upcoming meeting to their clientele. Make a list of persons you believe the meeting will be most beneficial to, and then stick your neck out and make a personal contact with those individuals to let them know that you want them there. Putting an article in the paper or an announcement on the radio may not be enough. Personal contact is so much more powerful. And, to do these things, you have to believe in your work, and be enthusiastic about your bringing this information or learning opportunity to your intended audience.

Meeting place. Make sure you have chosen the best place for the meeting. Can the room be set up for the best possible learning environment? Does your intended audience find the meeting place to be inviting and comfortable?

Setting the stage. Is the emcee fully prepared to welcome the audience and to introduce the speakers? Giving strong introductions for a speaker and the topic can set the stage for that speaker to have an even better learning experience. Letting the audience know why they made the right decision to be there on that day, and that they will be learning about topics of importance to them also sets the stage for a great meeting. Make certain you know how to pronounce the speaker’s name. It is less embarrassing to ask the speaker before the meeting, than to mispronounce a name in the introduction. And know something about the speaker in introducing them. Again, helping the audience to become familiar and excited about the speaker is the most important job of the person making the introduction.

Be positive. Above all other things, as a speaker or as the emcee, you should be totally positive. No matter if the visual equipment breaks down, or the PA system acts up, great speakers find some way to remain positive and enthusiastic for why they are there. They do not lay blame on others, but rather search for solutions. No matter what happens, people expect positive.

And, if you are the emcee or organizer, you have to be as interested as anyone with the content of the program. As courtesy to the speaker and to those you invited, you too must exhibit an interest in the information being presented. When it is time for questions, you should be prepared with a couple questions if no one in the audience is willing to speak up.

This column is intended to get you thinking about the things you can do to set the stage and create great meetings. As much as some would like to believe technology could replace the need for a meeting, humans will always have that social need for learning together. As professional educators, we have the obligation to make those learning experiences the best they can be. For more information, find Southwind Extension on the web,

Obituary: Dorothy Ellen Todd

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Dorothy Ellen Todd, age 87, a resident of Fort Scott, Kansas, passed away Friday, May 26, 2017, at her home.

Dorothy Ellen Todd

She was born February 11, 1930, in Fort Scott, the daughter of Clarence B. Sackett and Mary Jane Crystal Sackett. She married Allan Todd on November 2, 1946. Dorothy had worked as a nurse for Mercy Hospital for many years. Dorothy was known for her kind and generous personality. In earlier years, she had volunteered her time for the Red Cross, CASA and Mother to Mother Ministries.

Survivorss include a daughter, Linda Toepfer, of Fort Scott, one son, Matthew A. Todd, and wife Ellah, of Independence, Mo.; three granddaughters, Shelly Edwards, of Leawood, Kan., Kerri Bohlken and husband, Randy, and Kendell Mason and husband, Steve, all of Fort Scott; five great-grandchildren, Alex and wife Holli, and Ashton Mason, Lane and Max Bohlken and Jessica Amico and husband, Joey; and a great-great-granddaughter, Lucy Mason. Also surviving are three brothers, Billy Sackett, of Rocky Ford, Colo., George Sackett, of Olathe, Kans., and Kenneth Sackett, of Park City, Kans. and three sisters, Bonnie Reid, of Topeka, Kans., Fran Brillhart, of Tampa, Fla., and Lorrene Henningsen, of Fort Scott. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Leroy Sackett, and three sisters, Ally Faye Sackett, Pansy Hill and Betty Sackett.

At Dorothy’s request, her body has been donated to the University of Kansas Medical Center. A celebration of Dorothy’s life will be held at a later date. Burial will take place in the Paint Creek Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Obituary: Candise Faye Larson

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Candise Faye “Candy” Larson, age 67, died Thursday, May 25, 2017, at the Arrowood Lane Assisted Living in Humboldt, Kan.

She was born January 21, 1950, in Iola, Kan., the daughter of George and Mary Martin Likely. She graduated from Enterprise Academy in 1968. She then attended college in Hinsdale, Ill., obtaining her nursing degree. While in college, she met her future husband, Ed. They were married on February 28, 1969. They moved back to the Bronson, Kan., in the early ‘80s. They later divorced. Candise was a gardener who possessed a true green thumb. She loved her horses and dogs. She enjoyed simple country living.

Survivors include five sisters, Georgia Ramsey and husband Frank, Bronson, Kans., Susan O’Nele and husband Kevin, Aurora, Colo., Margaret Peters and husband Bob, Meeker, Okla., Annette Jarvis, Walton, KS, and Mary Alice Abbott, Bronson, Kan.; one brother, Joe Likely and wife Brenda, McPherson, Kan.; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Graveside services will be held at 11:30 Tuesday, May 30, in the Bronson Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Good Ol’ Days Kicks Off

Come rain or shine, Thursday evening marks the beginning of a full weekend of activities as Fort Scott kicks off the 36th Annual Good Ol’ Days Festival, featuring popular events and activities from previous years as well as a number of new forms of entertainment.

We’re expecting a big crowd,” organizer Rhonda Dunn said during a Chamber of Commerce event Thursday, when she also thanked the businesses for their support. “Maybe the biggest we’ve had.”

The event begins with the Talent Extravaganza Thursday at 6 p.m., in Memorial Hall, this year including not just singing but a number of talents from 17 participants.

Friday evening will include “The Great Outdoors” parade, a chicken dinner, vendors, the Tom Davis Dragoon Charge and other live entertainment.

Saturday will introduce the inaugural Bourbon County Outdoor Expo, which will include vendors from businesses such as the Bunker, Kansas Rocks, John Deere and others, as well as contests such as sanctioned and amateur turkey calling and casting competitions.

Retired Major League Baseball player Adam LaRoche, Buck Commander and Duck Commander will participate in the event, with appearances by LaRoche at noon and 5 p.m., and Martin from the Duck Dynasty television series at 5 p.m.

The Fort Scott National Historic Site will also host activities as they celebrate the Good Ol’ Days as well as the 175th Anniversary of the founding of the fort. Click here for the fort’s events schedule.

Other activities including the carnival, street fair, live entertainment, a children’s fair and fair food will be available throughout the weekend. Click here for a brochure of the entire schedule and locations of events as well as a list of sponsor.

Letter from the Capitol: Richard Hilderbrand

National Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care month, and here in Kansas, we’re working hard to ensure we have plenty of caring and quality foster care parents for our Kansas children.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF) has launched a major marketing campaign that encourages Kansas parents to consider fostering, or to support those in their community who choose to be foster parents. Many of our Senators have teamed up with DCF to create public service announcements around the state to spread this awareness.

We’re encouraged by this campaign as a first step to improve the state’s foster care system and to ensure every Kansas child – no matter what circumstances they were born into – has a warm bed, clean clothes and a loving family unit to call theirs.


WORKING AFTER RETIREMENT (House Substitute for Senate Bill 21): House Sub. for SB 21 makes changes to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System pertaining to working after retirement.

Under current law, KPERS retirees may return to work for employers who participate in the Retirement System if there has been a bona fide separation in employment of a minimum of 60 days with no preexisting arrangement to return to work. For most newly retired individuals, the law caps annual earnings at $25,000. When a retiree earns that amount, the person must decide either to stop working or stop receiving KPERS benefits for the remainder of the calendar year. Several groups of retirees—such as nurses at certain state institutions, individuals covered by the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System or the Retirement System for Judges, local government officials, and individuals employed with a participating employer prior to May 1, 2015 —are exempt from the cap. Certain licensed school district employees are also exempt. Participating employers who hire retirees are required to contribute to KPERS at varying rates, which can be as great as 30 percent of the retirees’ compensation, depending on the circumstances

The bill establishes a new working-after-retirement rule, which would take effect on January 1, 2018. For retirees under the age of 62, there would be a 180-day waiting period before returning to work. If the retiree is 62 or older, the current 60-day waiting period would apply. The current prohibition placed upon prearrangement for employment would continue to apply. For covered positions, the employer would pay the statutory contribution rate on the first $25,000 of compensation and, for that portion of compensation greater than $25,000, the contribution rate would be equal to 30 percent of the compensation. Covered positions for non-school employees are those that are not seasonal or temporary and whose employment requires at least 1,000 hours of work per year; covered positions for school employees are those that are not seasonal or temporary and whose employment requires at least 630 hours of work per year or at least 3.5 hours a day for at least 180 days. For non-covered positions, the employer would not make contributions.

The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Tuesday May 23, by a vote of 38-1 *I voted in favor of this bill: It clears up an IRS requirement, and it also gives more uniformity to retirees that qualify for KPERS.*


(House Substitute for Senate Bill 60): House Sub. for SB 60 extends the sunset for certain fees assessed by the Kansas Department of Agriculture on pesticides, fertilizer, and milk, cream, and dairy products. The bill also reinstates certain dam inspections fees and allow the KDA to assess a fee for processing certain paper documents when an electronic alternative for submission exists. Finally, the bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to lower certain fees and potentially raise certain fees through rules and regulations, if certain criteria are met.

The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Tuesday May 23, by a vote of 32-7

*I voted against this bill: It gives the Secretary of Agriculture the ability to adjust fees with no legislative oversight.*


Senate Bill 89 – This bill amends the law relating to the collection of certain vehicle title and registration fees. *I voted for this bill*

House Substitute for Senate Bill 40 – Establishes new criminal charges aimed at reducing human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children and requires holders of Commercial Drivers Licenses be trained to recognize possible human trafficking. *I voted for this bill*

House Substitute for Senate Bill 120– Updates the code for civil procedure. *I voted for this bill*

Senate Bill 149 – Amends statutes regarding briefing in the Kansas Supreme Court and representation of state agencies by the Attorney General’s office. *I voted for this bill*

House Bill 2054 – Allows certain state agencies to share information with one another for the purpose of carrying out their official duties, allows for the Kansas Department of Corrections to request assistance from other jurisdictions if needed, and amends the law related to fee funds.*I voted against this bill: This bill allows for personal information to be shared more openly between agencies, public officials and private contractors.*

The Governor has now signed 79 bills into law this session and vetoed two. By law, the Kansas governor has 10 calendar days to sign the bill into law, veto the bill or allow the bill to become law without his or her signature.


Next week is the fifth week of Veto Session. We will continue working on our three big ticket items: taxes, budget and school finance. I hope you’ll reach out with any comments, questions, or concerns regarding these issues or others. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, I encourage you to follow along with the #ksleg hashtag for real-time updates on legislative happenings in Topeka as we work to wrap this legislative session up.


PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION (Substitute for HB 2230): Sub. for HB 2230, authorizes a property tax exemption and make a change to property tax exemption procedure for certain types of property.

This bill passed the Senate Thursday May 25, by a vote of 38-0.

*I voted for this bill: This bill allows the old army ammunition plant, the ability to attract new business to our region.*

Fort Comes to Life in Celebration of its 175th Anniversary for Good Ol’ Days

Submitted by Fort Scott National Historic Site

This year marks the 175th anniversary of Fort Scott, which was established in 1842. In commemoration of this momentous occasion, Fort Scott National Historic Site is pulling out all the stops with frontier-era military reenactments on Saturday, June 3. Stop by the fort during the town-wide Good Ol’ Days celebration and stroll the grounds to experience the bustling activity of the 1842-1853 frontier fort.

Fort Scott NHS is excited to announce the participation of dismounted cavalry and dragoon units, two infantry units, an artillery unit, and representatives of the Western Bluecoats Field Hospital.

Of special note is the attendance of the US Corps of Topographical Engineers, who were instrumental in surveying and mapping the West. It is sure to be a fun-filled and exciting day with nearly 100 costumed living-history reenactors to observe, learn from, and interact with.

Visit with soldiers, laundresses, surgeons, and officers’ wives as they go about their daily routines. Enjoy the variety of Historic Weapons demonstrations throughout the day. Meet the men and women who shaped the very beginnings of Fort Scott during a Guided Tour. Enjoy first-hand accounts of fort activity through the letters of Captain Thomas Swords and his wife Charlotte. Living history activities will be ongoing from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.


9:00 a.m. – Raising the Colors

10:00 a.m. – Infantry Drill and Weapons Demonstration

11:00 a.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration

12:00 p.m. – Guided Tour: Men and Women of the Old Fort

1:00 p.m. – The Tongue is More Useful than the Arrow: The Letters of Thomas and Charlotte Swords

2:00 p.m. – Infantry Drill and Weapons Demonstration

3:00 p.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration

4:00 p.m. – Flag Retreat