Fort Scott Munitions Consolidating Name

Fort Scott Munitions is located at 523 E. Wall, just east of U.S.69 Highway.

To cut down on confusion when the public would search online for their business, Fort Scott Munitions is deleting the storefront name and will be using the business name only.

“We are consolidating the product name and the store name under one name,” Phillip Edds, assistant manager, said.

This will require new billboards and a new metal sign to replace Velocity Tactics signs on the outside of the old Key Industries building at 523 E. Wall just off U.S. 69 Highway.

Velocity Tactics was the storefront name, the business name is Fort Scott Munitions.

“We went with Fort Scott Munitions since all the (product) boxes say that,” Edds said.

Ammunition is their specialty.

“We make solid copper and solid brass ammunition,” Edds said.

The business is under the auspices of Ward Kraft, Inc. a Fort Scott print manufacturer.

Ryan Kraft, son of owner Roger Kraft,  “was an avid gun guy,” Edds said. “It was his interest.”

Five years ago the business started making ammunition.

One-and-one-half years ago a store was opened to sell that ammunition and expanded to sell other items as well.

The business sells guns, clothing, tactical items, coolers and Angus beef, Edds said.

Customer Henry Fleeman, right, purchases some Angus beef Monday at Fort Scott Munitions. Assistant Manager Phillip Edds is behind the cash register.

“We have plans to open an indoor gun range,” Edds said. “And in the future offer training for conceal and carry classes.”

The old grain silos on the business property have no plans currently, Edds said.

“There are some talks, but nothing in the works at this time,” he said.

There are no current plans for using the silo on the property of Fort Scott Munitions.
Frozen KW Cattle Angus Beef is sold at Fort Scott Munitions.

 

Clothing and other hunting items are sold at the store.
Fort Scott Munitions consolidated product and store name because of online confusion.

Need Business Space? The City Will Help

Looking north from First Street onto Main Street. Seven storefronts in a row are vacant.

The City of Fort Scott is working to fill the historic downtown area, through a new grant for businesses.

Incentives are in place for business owners with buildings, but a need was seen for businesses who want to lease space in the historic district.

New Business Downtown Grant

“The city has a downtown improvement grant that’s used quite a bit,” Fort Scott Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said. “But to fill occupancy downtown, we needed something to lease space within the historic district. So we went to BEDCO (Bourbon County Economic Development Council) with a proposal to incent new businesses to open…whether they lease or own.”

To be eligible properties must be in the downtown area and must be a new business since May 1, 2017.

The applicant may receive a one-time grant of up to $500 per each new business.

“They are going to do 10 grants a year,” Pruitt said.

BEDCO has dedicated $5,000 a year for this program and will evaluate it on an annual basis to see if changes are needed.

Applications can be submitted online to rpruitt@fscity.org or in person at city hall, 123 S. Main. After review, the applicant will be notified within 30 days.

Pictured below are some of the Main Street and Wall Street properties that are vacant in the historic district of Fort Scott.

The Downtown Building Improvement Grant, a previous city improvement grant, is an incentive to help owners with the financial burden of maintaining and improving structures in the downtown historic district.

To be eligible for this grant all taxes, fees and other debts owed to the city need to be up-to-date. Grants will be made for a maximum of two buildings calendar year, per owner.

Improvements can include: electrical, plumbing, windows, doors, heating/air conditioning, historic renovation and rehabilitation, safety, energy efficiency, structural, code footprint or building inspections.

Grant monies will fund 50 percent of a qualifying improvement project, up to the amount of a building’s current annual property tax, with funding at 100 percent for building inspection or code footprint costs.

The grant needs to be applied for before any construction begins.

If successful, the improvement project must start within 30 days and be completed within 12 months of the grant pre-approval date.

When completed, grant money will be disbursed to the grant applicant.

For more information contact the city at (620) 223-0550 or Pruitt at rpruitt@fscity.org.

All but two businesses on the west side of Main Street between Wall and First Street are vacant.

New Organization Emphasizes Buying Locally

The audience listens to leaders of the group, Live Local BB, on Thursday.

Live Local BB is a grass-roots organization that had a public  introductory meeting Thursday at Sharkey’s Pub and Grub.

BB stands for Bourbon County and Live Local BB encourages growth of local businesses in the county.

“We want to educate the community on how it benefits the community to live locally,” Geoff Southwell told the group of interested  people. “Use local whenever possible. Money stays in the community. It’s creating and maintaining wealth and jobs”

Board member Geoff Southwell addresses a group of interested people Thursday at the initial public meeting of Live Local BB. Board member Melissa Wise listens in the background.

The group’s board members are Cindy Bartelsmeyer, Richard Goldston, Bryan Holt, Dave Lipe, Chris Maycumber, Andy Norris, Angie Simons, Southwell,  Rebecca Sutterby and Melissa Wise.

Live Local BB Board Members Rebecca Sutterby, left, and Melissa Wise, facing away, sign in interested attendees at the initial public meeting of the organization.

 

Live Local BB board members from left: Andy Norris, Dave Lipe, Bryan Holt, Chris Maycumber and Richard Goldston listen as Geoff Southwell addresses the attendees at the initial meeting.

Fort Scott City and Chamber of Commerce officials “have jumped on board with us,” Southwell said.

The City of Fort Scott presented a $500 check to the group  Thursday evening at the initial meeting.

To get the word out, the 65  businesses who have joined so far are encouraged to tell about their business on the local radio station.

“There will be  2 to 3 radio spots a day for the first twelve months,” Southwell said. “Talk in microphone, they will edit that. KMDO brings it together and it’s good. Volunteers are needed to get the word out.”

The group also has a Facebook page, Live Local  BB.

Live Local BB is a grass-roots organization just formed in Fort Scott to encourage residents to buy from local businesses.

U. S.69 Highway Projects Update

Construction is winding down on the highway improvement project through Fort Scott.

A construction crew of up to 10 men a day has been working on a section of U.S. Hwy. 69 that snakes through Fort Scott since April 2016.

“Hopefully, (the project) will be completed in the next two weeks,”  Bob Vipt, superintendent for Laforge and Budd Construction, Parsons, said Tuesday.

The highway improvement project extends from the driveway of Extrusions Inc. north to Briggs Fort Scott on South Main Street, he said.

The crew has added a turning lane at the intersection of National and U.S. Hwy. 69 and also at 23rd Street and U.S.Hwy.69

The intersection of U.S. Hwy. 69 and South National Avenue, Fort Scott, where new traffic lights were installed and a turning lane added  as part of a highway improvement project.

“I think these were congested intersections at times,” Vipt said.

Newly installed traffic lights and a turning lane at the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 69 and 23rd Street in Fort Scott.

Also included in the construction project paid for with federal, state and city funds are:

  • two new stop lights
  • new storm drains on the east and replaced storm drains on the west side
  • new curb and guttering
  • New curb, guttering and storm drains recently installed on U.S. Hwy. 69, also known as South Main Street in Fort Scott.
  • new sidewalks
  • A new sidewalk lines the west side of U.S. Hwy. 69/South Main Street in Fort Scott.
  • new asphalt surface
  • new striping down the middle
  • new landscape sod

To be completed are the new  surface with roadway striping and also placing sod along both sides of U.S.Hwy. 69 adjacent to the project.

Laforge and Budd Construction is the general contractor, RFB Construction, Pittsburg, is a subcontractor on the project.

Highway expansion south of Fort Scott

Construction crews are also busy expanding a six-mile section of U.S. Hwy. 69 south of Fort Scott and north of Arma.

The section is being upgraded to an expressway, which is a four-lane highway but with access points.

This project was started in March 2017 and is scheduled for completion in November 2018, according to Priscilla Peterson, a Kansas Department of Transportation Public Affairs Manager.

RFB Construction workers were on site Tuesday in Fort Scott, working on the turn lanes..

 

Patty LaRoche: God Does Not Show Favoritism

The teary-eyed, African-American woman turned from the fast-food counter in San Bernardino, Calif., her takeout bag in hand and young son standing by her side. “I have never, ever felt so disrespected in my entire life,” she said to me. I looked around.

Good grief! I thought. What have I done this time?

“I’m sorry,” I responded, not a little embarrassed. “Is there a problem?”

She explained—loudly—that she had handed the cashier a $20 bill at which point the young gal held the money above her head, examining it carefully before announcing it “clean.”

“I watched the other three cashiers take $20 bills, and none of them checked the bills. It was an absolute disrespect to my color. This is 2016. I’m married to a white man, an attorney, and I’m going to call him right now and file a complaint. My son has read about this type of prejudice, but he’s never seen it. I feel so disrespected.”

“Do you think there’s any chance this is just a coincidence?” I asked.

“No,” she said, looking at me like I had just crawled out of a dumpster. “It’s obvious she thinks that because I’m black I’m using counterfeit money. I’m going outside to call my husband.” I turned to Dave, my husband, who was pretending not to hear our conversation. “She’s really ticked,” I told him.

“I didn’t notice,” he said, staring at the menu board.

Typical.

Dave and I were driving to California last year when we (correction: when I) observed this woman’s wrath. I suggested we wait in our car for her husband to arrive, just in case I was needed as a witness to a crime. Dave started the engine and skedaddled out of the parking lot.

I don’t know if the customer had a legitimate complaint, but let’s assume she did. Let’s assume the gal behind the counter was prejudice against blacks. Let’s assume none of us would have behaved like that. After all, as Christians, we love everyone…right? We can’t possibly have a prejudiced bone in our judgmental little bodies, now can we?

The Bible spends several chapters addressing personal prejudices, especially the ones between the Gentiles and the Jews. Even Peter was guilty—until the Lord forced him to face his bigotry when He orchestrated events to bring together Peter and Cornelius, who, from childhood, had been taught to disrespect (despise) each other. To Peter, Cornelius was a leader in the hated Roman/Gentile military whose job it was to oppress the Jews, and to Cornelius, Peter was from the opposite side of the camel tracks, a low-life Jew.

Until God got involved.

He did the unpredictable. God put in motion two events: He sent an angel to Cornelius who instructed him to send his soldiers for Peter; and He gave Peter three visions making it clear the Jews now could eat “unclean” Gentile food (a big No-No in Mosaic Law). Things were imploding on both fronts.

The end of this story is probably more optimistic than the San Bernardino one. At Cornelius’ home, Peter preached the “Good News” to Cornelius, his family and friends, and they committed their lives to Jesus and were baptized. Peter’s words (written in Acts 1:34-35) summarize the event. “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

The result? We Gentiles (non-Jews) are fellow partakers of the promise in Jesus Christ, all because two men were willing to do things God’s way and not their own. I would guess the San Bernardino outcome might have been drastically different had both women chosen to do the same.

Riverfront Park Pavillion Coming Spring 2018

Members of Fort Scott Bourbon County Riverfront Authority discuss updates on construction projects at Riverfront Park Tuesday evening at the Carriage House. Clockwise from left: Danny Magee, Bob Love, Allen Warren, Jerry Witt and Jeff Sweetser.

As part of the ongoing Riverfront Park project on North National Avenue in Fort Scott, a 30-foot by 50-foot pavilion will be available for public use next spring.

Schenkel Contracting, Fort Scott, will construct the building which will arrive in late October from Lester Building Systems of Minnesota.

“It will be a wooden frame, with commercial scissor trusses, with a steel roof and gable ends,” Schenkel said. “It’s an open concept. It will have electricity and lights.”

The pavilion will be located east of the parking area just inside Riverfront Park in the Belltown Trail area, north of the Marmaton River.

The Riverfront Park parking lot. The new pavilion will be east of this site.

Members of the Fort Scott Bourbon County  Riverfront Authority met Tuesday evening at their regular monthly meeting to discuss this and other items upcoming in the park.

The board envisions this pavilion use for family gatherings or public concerts/meetings, according to Jerry Witt, chairman of the authority board.

The new pavilion will sit amidst the trees east of the parking lot.

The authority board has overseen the $2.2 million project, paid for with no taxpayer money, according to Jeff Sweetser, secretary/treasurer of the group, since 2007.

Reimbursements from Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism were received in the amount of $20,114.02 for expenses on the pavilion and the overlook walkway. The City of Fort Scott provided in-kind labor for the park, which is an 80/20 cost split grant from KWPT.

The overlook will be a  wooden, pentagon-shaped walkway which will be at the intersection of the Marmaton River and Mill Creek in the park. Westar Energy is supplying recycled electric power poles for the overlook construction.

The authority board approved the overlook design from Brian Leaders Design, and discussed adding seating to the overlook walkway.

In other business, the authority board:

  • Discussed where information kiosks will be located.
  • Was updated on the Mercy Hospice Memorial area, to be located in a wooded section of the park near the river.  It will be circular with benches.
  • Learned that the Long Shoals Bridge bid-letting will start in December. The historic Parker Truss Bridge located in northeast Bourbon County will be relocated and restored over the Marmaton River in Riverfront Park.

 

Southeast Kansas Grazing Management School Set for October 14

Submitted by Christopher Petty, Southwind Extension Agent

A grazing school, focusing on ways Southeast Kansas farmers and ranchers utilize their resources to be productive, will be held on Saturday, October 14, at the Cherokee County Extension 4-H Building in Columbus, Kan. The meeting will begin at 9:30 with registration at 9 a.m. The program will feature experts from the Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas Extension Systems as well as pasture tours and a demonstration of a fall fescue stockpile plot.

Topics will include:

 “Utilizing Your Resources to Meet Your Goals”

 “Grazing’s Effect on Plant Growth and Development”

 “Animal Nutrient Needs”

 “Matching Forage Resources to Your Herd”

 “Economics of Different Grazing Systems”

 Tours of two different pasture systems

 Fall Fescue Fertilization Demonstration

This program is jointly sponsored by K-State Research and Extension, Southwind Extension District, Cherokee County Extension, and Wildcat District. Cost for the meeting is only $10 per person, which is payable at the door. To facilitate planning and meal count, please call the Cherokee County Extension office at (620) 429-3849 by October 6. The meeting begins at 114 W. Country Road in Columbus, Kan.

Kansas State University is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to a physical, vision or hearing disability, contact Dale Helwig, Cherokee County Extension (620) 429 3849 or email dhelwig@ksu.edu.