FSCC Opens School Year with New Programs

With the new semester and school year, the Fort Scott Community College brought new features to its students and the community with building renovations and additions to the courses provided.

“We greatly appreciate what you do,” President Alysia Johnston said  of the community’s support for the college during Thursday’s Chamber Coffee, saying the college’s goal is to serve Bourbon County. “This really is your institution and we appreciate those tax dollars that you give us every time, but we really do take that seriously.”

Enrollment at FSCC is up slightly this year, with about 1,400 full-time students and a total of about 2,000 people taking part in the courses the school provides.

The armory received an update through renovations over the summer as FSCC welcomed the John Deere program to its main campus from its former location in Frontenac. Already 23 students are involved in that program, while Adam Borth, vice president of academic affairs, said they hope to grow that to 40 over the next couple years.

The school also provides a welding course, which has about 15 students currently meeting in the morning class. FSCC hopes to provide that in the evening as well when the interest is great enough.

FSCC provides late-start classes as well for students who were not able to start in August. Those classes begin in October.

Janet Fancher, dean of student support services, expressed appreciation to the businesses and other members of the community that participated in the expo provided during the first week of classes, saying that is a great service to the students.

Athletic Director Tom Havron said all the teams have full rosters, just as the dorms are at full capacity, and said they look forward to the season ahead and hope the community will come out to support. The volleyball team is already off to a 5-0 record to start the year and the football team has their first home game this Saturday.

“We’re proud of the fact that truly athletics is a vehicle for these kids to get an education,” Johnston said, adding they are proud of the athletes for their athletic and academic accomplishments.

Johnston encouraged students and members of the community to inform the faculty of any ideas and recommendations they might have for the community college in order to improve its services.

“We are always open to suggestions,” Johnston said.

Patty LaRoche: God of Miracles

“Who believes God performs miracles?”

The group of baseball players, attendees at the weekly Chapel service, all raised their hands.

“Who believes God can do a miracle in your life?”

Same response.

“Who believes God will do one right now?”

The athletes looked at one another, unsure of what to do. If they didn’t raise their hands, were they denying that this speaker had a special connection with God? If they did raise their hands, was the
miracle dependent upon their faith being powerful enough to make it happen?

The guest evangelist, sensing their confusion, removed a banana from a plastic bag and asked the crowd, “How many of you believe that God can split the fruit of this banana into thirds without
altering the peel in any way?”

The ballplayers were dumbfounded. After all, God could do anything He wanted, so He certainly “could” perform such a miracle. Slowly, the men raised their hands.

“Good,” the speaker continued. “I’m going to pray that God does just that. I’m going to ask Him to slice the meat of this banana into thirds without making a mark on the skin. How many of you are confident God will answer my prayer?”

Surely it was a trick. Or was it? No one moved.

The speaker spoke to their doubts. “You probably think I’m messing with you, right? To prove I’m not, I’m going to pass this banana around the room. Check it carefully. See if there are any external marks on its skin.”

Each ballplayer took his time studying the banana. No one could find any puncture or marking. While the players sat on the edge of their seats, the preacher took the banana, raised it high, and prayed for it to be cut into thirds when peeled. As he broke the top portion of the banana’s skin and pulled it back, one piece—approximately a third—fell onto the table. The same scene replayed itself as the skin was peeled further. Three pieces. Just like the miracle worker said.

My son Adam, a player in that room, phoned me from the clubhouse.

“Mom, I just saw a miracle.” He proceeded to tell me what had happened. Although skeptical—only because I wasn’t sure why God cared about a banana dividing itself into thirds—I was thrilled for my normally unexcitable son to be so pumped about what he had witnessed.

A few days later I relayed Adam’s story to my girlfriend. “Patty, that’s an old trick,” she said. “A threaded needle is pushed through the banana by working in a circular motion. With enough punctures, it creates a cut, and the skin heals itself so the pin marks can’t be detected.” I couldn’t believe it. The ballplayers had been deceived. My friend was as bothered by this evangelist’s tactic as was I.

I shared my findings with Adam so he could discuss what had happened with the chapel leader who organized the visiting speakers. I told him what bothered me most was that God doesn’t need any help in the miracle department. No tricks. No manipulation. Jeremiah 10:12 speaks to His authority: But God made earth by his power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. His abilities are endless. For goodness sakes, He produced ten plagues to force Pharoah’s hand, provided manna for millions of Israelites wandering in the desert, saved Daniel and his friends from a fiery furnace, and made Himself man to redeem a lost humanity.

In retrospect, I hope the intention of the pastor was to excite his audience about God’s power and not draw attention to his own ability to be used by God. I feel bad that he was so desperate to prove God is still in the miracle business. On the other hand, I would like to think my girlfriend was wrong; there was no needle and thread and this man’s prayer was answered.

Yeah. I would like to think that.

I just don’t.

Cricket Wireless Store Provides Services to Fort Scott

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed the Cricket Wireless store to town Friday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting event during the store’s Grand Opening activities at their location at 205 E. 3rd Street.

“We’re happy to have you in Fort Scott,” chamber Executive Director Lindsay Madison said, adding she is pleased to see that strip mall full of stores once more after having empty storefronts for some time.

Sean Krahling, area manager of the Fort Scott location as well as eight other Kansas stores, said Cricket Wireless merged with AT&T five years ago, with both groups upgrading their signals and towers to be compatible with each other. As a result, about 98 percent of Americans can get a signal through Cricket.

“Our coverage is actually really good,” Krahling said, adding that customers using some of their plans are also able to get a signal when traveling in Canada and Mexico.

Cricket Wireless currently has more than 4600 stores across the country in states including Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota and Florida. The provider now includes options such as DirectTV Now and a music provider with more than 42 million songs. Krahling point out plans are purchased on a monthly basis instead of an annual contract and do not include hidden fees. Visit the store for information on their current deals and plans.

“We appreciate your being a part of the chamber and your investment in the community,” Madison said.

Law Enforcement Center Nears Completion

After years of planning and months of  site-work, the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center is nearing its completion date set in early October.

Bourbon County commissioners received an update on the project during a meeting Tuesday. Project manager Gary Walker of Universal Construction Company, Inc., insured the center will be done by Oct. 2, with just the addition of furnishings remaining. Inmates are scheduled to be moved into the facility the week of Oct. 30.

in just the next couple weeks, curbs and gutters, carpeting, camera installations, concrete laying and paint touch-ups should be complete while work on the parking lot and landscaping are  scheduled to be started. Kitchen equipment, recently purchased outright by the county, is also to be delivered and installed.


Obituary: Douglas Lee Graham

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home
Douglas Lee Graham, age 75, a resident of rural Uniontown, Kan., passed away early Monday, August 28, 2017, at his home.  
He was born January 25, 1942, in Rocky Ford, Colo., the son of Forest Graham and Emma Jean “Jimmy” Sinding Graham.  Doug graduated from the Uniontown High School.  He married Mary Ruth Ramsey on May 27, 1962, at Uniontown, Kan.  Doug had worked for many years as a self-employed brick mason.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing as well as going to the casinos.  He also liked spending time with his grandchildren, playing bridge and feeding the wildlife around his home. 
Survivors include his three children, Melessa Moran and husband, Gary, of Topeka, Kan., Tracy Kipper and husband, Brian, Kansas City, Mo., and Troy Graham and wife, Laurie, of Pittsburg, Kan., and four grandchildren, Michael and Madeline Hale and Trevor and Lily Graham.  Also surviving is a brother, Danny Graham, of Uniontown and his cat, Bob.  His wife, Mary, preceded him in death on January 6, 2011.  He was also preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Richard Graham. 
Pastor Jeff Feagins will conduct graveside services at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 2, at the Uniontown Cemetery.  The family will receive friends at the Cheney Witt Chapel on Saturday from 11 a.m. until service leaving for the cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to the Doug Graham Memorial Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

Obituary: George Manous O’Neal

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

George Manous O’Neal, age 92, a former resident of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Sunday, August 20, 2017, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

He was born March 8, 1925, in Cecil, Ark., the son of Jim O’Neal and Loretta Nichols O’Neal. He served with the United States Navy during World War II. George married Joy Ann Whitesell on October 31, 1959, in Nevada, Mo. George worked as Director of Public Utilities for the City of Fort Scott for 32 years. Following his retirement from the City, George was employed for 10 years by Key Industries. George was a member of the Community of Christ Church. He had also been a member of the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club and the Masonic Lodge. He had been made an Honorary Deputy of the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Department.

Survivors include his wife Joy and his son, Larry O’Neal and wife, Teresa, all of Ohio. Also surviving are three grandchildren, April Kennard and husband, Kevin, Mandy Hobbs and husband, Josh, and Stacy Julian and husband, Justin, and eight great-grandchildren, Nate Elliot, Josh Lyons, Kaitlyn and Jackson Kennard, Jocelyn, Jaclyn, Jackson and Jamison Julian. He was preceded in death by his parents, two half-brothers, Wayne “Jake” Knowles and Jim O’Neal II and a granddaughter, Erin Lyons.

Funeral services will be conducted by Elders Robert and Kathy Clark at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday August 29, 2017, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Visitation will be held from 12:30 p.m. to service time at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Eldorado Springs City Cemetery, Eldorado, Mo. Memorial contributions may be given to Care to Share in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

KState Extension: Storage Methods to Reduce Hay Loss

Submitted by Christopher Petty, KState Extension Office

According to University of Nebraska Extension Specialist Bruce Anderson, hay stored outside will be damaged by rain, snow, wind and ice this fall and winter. The average round bale loses about one fourth of its original nutrients during storage, but these losses can be reduced to less than 10 percent or so. Now, I’m sure you are better than average. Still, let’s look at ways to reduce spoilage by storing that extra valuable hay more carefully this year.

For instance, do you usually line up bales for easy access so the twine sides touch each other? Or do you stack your bales? If so, extra spoilage will occur where these bales touch because rain, snow and ice will gather in spots where bales touch instead of running off. Round bales butted end-to-end, cigar-like, usually have less spoilage.

Does snow drift around your bales? Bales placed in east-west rows often have drifts on the south side. Hay next to fencelines or trees can get extra snow. As snow melts it soaks into bales or makes the ground muddy. Plus, the north side never gets any sun, so it’s slow to dry. This year, line your bales up north-and-south for fewer drifts and faster drying as sunlight and prevailing winds hit both sides of the row.

Most important is the bottom of your bales. Always put bales on higher, well-drained ground so water drains away from them. Keep them out of terrace bottoms or other low spots. If necessary, use crushed rock, railroad ties or even pallets to elevate bales to keep the bottoms dry. This also will reduce problems getting to your hay or getting it moved due to snow drifts or mud. Just a little pre-planning can save lots of hay and frustrations.

For information on testing your hay for nutrient quality, contact Southwind Extension District Livestock Production and Forage Management Agent Christopher Petty at 620-223- 3720 or by e-mail at cgp@ksu.edu.