Homelessness Addressed by Local Business

Western Senior Living apartment complex has a designated unit for a homeless person.

Homelessness in Fort Scott is being addressed, at least for one person at a time, by a local business.

Western Senior Living apartments at 8 East First Street, opened in January 2017 and has 35 apartments for lease, with one designated for a homeless/ transitional individual in the community.

Funding for the $5.9 million project was from state low-income tax credits and federal historic tax credits, according to  https://www.flinthillsholdings.com/the-western-building/

When renovated and re-purposed, the old Western Insurance Building became apartments that were designated for individuals who have income at 60 percent or 50 percent or 40 percent of median income level, said Diane Kelsey, regional manager for Flint Hills Management.

“In addition, there is one homeless unit,” Kelsey said. “You have to be designated homeless by an agency.  At that point, rent is 30 percent of their income, or $100, whichever is greater.”

There is currently an individual living in the homeless designated unit.

“They sign a year lease when they move in,” she said. “Then at the end of the year, we re-evaluate their circumstances. The maximum they can stay is two years. This is to give them a more stable place to stay.”

The individual has to meet the same criteria as other residents: pass a background check and have credit, she said.

Kelsey said she has apartments available for lease currently that are not designated for the homeless. Prices range from $370 to $550 a month for a one bedroom apartment and $610 to $710 for a two bedroom.

Kelsey said 80 percent of the apartments have requirements of income.

“Twenty percent are market rate,” she said. “Which means no

income requirements.”

The bedroom closet in the apartment currently available at Western Senior Living.
A single bedroom unit currently empty at Western Senior Living apartment complex.
The bathroom of the one bedroom apartment currently available at Western Senior Living.
Western Senior Living is located at 1st and Main Streets in downtown Fort Scott.

For more information call 620-223-1718 Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Physical therapy offered downtown

Physical Therapist Meredith Tucker opened a clinic in June 2017.

Physical Therapist Meredith Tucker opened No Limits Rehabilitation Clinic at 18 N. Main in downtown Fort Scott in June, 2017.

Her specialty is pediatric physical therapy.

“For 12 years I’ve been doing mostly pediatrics,” Tucker said.

For insurance to provide coverage for her services, a doctor must provide a script to her, she said.

Her clinic exists not just to serve the patient, but the caregivers as well, so they can provide the best care for their loved ones at home, according to her website.

Tucker was ready for a new challenge following 9.5 years of working for Mercy Hospital.

During those years she did pediatric physical therapy and physical therapy for inpatients at the hospital.

“They closed the acute inpatient rehab unit,” Tucker said. “They still offer outpatient service and acute bed services.”

“I was ready for a new change and challenge. It’s been a good change,” she said.

Meredith Sewell Tucker is a Fort Scott High School graduate, then graduated from Kansas University with a children’s with disability and autism degree, then a masters degree in physical therapy.

She is married to Brad Tucker.

The physical therapy clinic phone number is (913) 406.8040.

Mike Cheney gets a treatment from Physical Therapist Meredith Tucker.



Vette’s Rerun Clothing: a family business

A mother-daughter business opened recently in downtown Fort Scott.

Dakota Isaac in front Vette’s Rerun Clothing Shop, 15 N. Main

Vette’s Rerun Clothing, 15 N. Main, opened  July 24, 2017.

Tracy Isaac, the mother, has another job, while her daughter, Dakota works in the shop.

Dakota Isaac enjoys being able to spend time with her children while at the resale clothing business she is helping her mom to establish.

Tracy Isaac assumed ownership of the north Main shop in July from Connie Harper, but had previously owned a used clothing shop further south on Main Street, then moved to 605 National.

“I offer cheap clothing,” Tracy said. “And I’ve got lots of clothing, from sizes infants to 5 extra-large women. I’ve got prom dresses and wedding dresses.”

Many people can’t afford new clothes, Tracy said, and she sees that as her niche in the community.

They have lowered the prices of the clothing since assuming ownership, Dakota said.

“Currently, we are switching from summer to winter stuff,” Dakota said.

Sometimes the shop is closed because Dakota has to take her two-year-old son, Jacob, to a hospital in Kansas City.

“My grandson has spina bifida and has to go the Children’s Mercy,” for appointments, Tracy said.

The shop is open not open on Sundays and Tuesdays, but is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, with Saturday hours of 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information contact Dakota at (620) 215-6958.

Dakota Isaac with her children, Jade, 4, and Jacob, 2, in the playroom at the family’s used clothing shop, where she works to help to mom.
Dakota Isaac works on getting winter clothing switched out at the shop.

Get a Soil Analysis before Applying Lawn Fertilizer

Submitted by Krista Harding, KState Southwind Extension

September is here and that means it is prime time to fertilize your fescue lawns. Even if you faithfully fertilize in the spring, by September, fescue plants are literally starving to death.

Fescue is entering into its fall growth cycle as days shorten and temperatures moderate. Fall is the time that cool-season grasses naturally thicken up by tillering. Tillering is the term used to describe how the plant forms new shoots at the base of existing plants. Plants also build their root system for the following year in the fall. An application of fertilizer in September is put to immediate use by the plants.

However, before applying any fertilizer, I recommend that you have a soil test done. Lawn soils vary widely in pH, available phosphorus and potassium. It is very difficult to just “guess” about which nutrients are lacking and how much of each is needed. Soil testing can be done through the Extension office with a fee of $12 per sample. You will receive a detailed report that outlines your soil needs and how to fertilize accordingly. It is recommended to have a soil test every five years.

The procedure for soil testing is simple. Use a sharp shooter shovel and go straight down into the soil about four inches. Pull the soil clump up (grass and all) and knock the soil off into a bucket. Do this in about five to six locations in the lawn. In the bucket, mix the soil samples well and then randomly pull out about two cups of soil and place in a zip-lock bag and bring to one of our office locations in Erie, Iola or Fort Scott. For those living in or near Chanute, you can drop soil samples off at Breiner’s Feed Store for pick-up.

If you have not had a soil test, here is a general fescue lawn fertilizer recommendation. With a fall application, it is best to use a “quick-release” source of nitrogen. Apply 1 to 1 ½ pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. If the fertilizer analysis is 10-10-10, it is declaring that it contains 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus, and 10 percent potassium. So, to get the 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet using a 10-10-10 blend, you would need to apply 10 pounds of the fertilizer.

Another application of fertilizer in November should be applied to help the plants build up their food reserves for use when the grass greens up in the spring. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can get the same results if you just waited and only fertilized in the spring. Spring-only fertilizing leads to fast growth, which means more mowing. This can also promote shallow root growth and possible summer die out.

Fall is the ideal time to renovate poor lawns. If you have an overabundance of weeds, crabgrass, etc., then you may want to consider reseeding. New lawns should also be planted in the fall.

If you would like more information on lawn fertilization, seeding or soil testing, please contact me at the Extension office.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.