Fort Scott Christmas Parade Dec. 5

The theme of this year’s Fort Scott Christmas Parade is Christmas Vacation. The event starts at 6 p.m. at Third and Main Streets, heading north on Main to Skubitz Plaza.

“People can have fun with that,” Lindsay Madison, executive director of Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce said. “They can play off the movie by the same name or what they do on Christmas vacation.”

To register for a parade entry go online to 

or stop by the Chamber office at 231 E. Wall.

Prizes will be awarded for first place, $75; second place, $50 and third place, $25. Briggs Automall of Fort Scott is providing the prize money.

New this year is a theme decorated golf cart category, with a $25 prize for the winning entry.

Fort Scott Recreation Department will offer free hot chocolate before and during the parade.

The parade entries will exit the parade at Skubitz Plaza, past the Mayor’s Christmas Tree. The tree will be lit following the parade by Mayor JoLynne Mitchell.

Pre-register for children lucky-draw prizes at Papa Don’s Restaurant, 10. N. Main prior to the parade. Pre-registration is from Friday, Dec. 1 until Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. when the parade starts.

Names for lucky-draw prizes will be drawn following the parade for children. Categories are as follows: ages 3-8, both boys and girls; 9-14, both boys and girls and one prize for children 14-18 years old. The drawing will take place after the Christmas tree lighting.

Mayor Mitchell will give some brief comments, then Santa will go to Papa Don’s Restaurant Celebration Room for children to visit with him.

Each child that comes to visit Santa at Papa Don’s will receive a book, compliments of USD 234.

Fort Scott High School Pride Club students will have Christmas crafts for children to do while waiting in line for Santa in the big room of the restaurant.

Walgreen Drug Store will take a free 4 X6 inch photograph of children with Santa. The photo may be picked at the store, later.




Werling Book Signing

Local author Cathy Werling will have an author reading and book signing of her book “Why Did Grandpa Cry” at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Saturday, December 9 at the Lowell Milken Center, Wall and Main Streets.

For more information contact the center at 620-223-1312

KState Extension: Christmas Trees-Tips for Selection and Care

Submitted by Krista Harding, KState Extension Southwind District

The selection and purchase of a Christmas tree has become an annual tradition for many families who chose a real tree over an artificial substitute. For many, bringing home a tree is often the kick-off of the holiday season. Today, live trees can be found just about anywhere you look such as retail lots, shopping centers and the ever popular choose-and-cut farms. Of course, real trees do require some extra care to keep them looking good through the holiday season.

When choosing a tree, freshness is the most important factor. Purchasing trees that have already been cut for a period of time are probably the most difficult trees to keep fresh and fragrant due to the length of time from cutting until the tree is placed in the home. A fresh tree should have a healthy, green appearance without a lot of dead or browning needles. As you stroke the tree, needles should not come off into your hand. Another good test to do before buying a tree is to raise the trunk a few inches off of the ground and then drop the tree on the cut end. When this is done, only a few, inner dried needles should fall, and certainly not any green outer needles.

Once the tree is brought home, its continued freshness will depend on the type of care that is provided. A 1-inch re-cut across the bottom of the tree should be made. This will remove any clogged wood that may not absorb water. Put the tree into a stand or container of warm water and place it in as cool a spot as possible. Avoid placing it in an area where there is a heat source such as a fireplace, wood-burning stove, heat ducts and even television sets. This will help to preserve the freshness, reduce water loss and lessen the fire danger.

Depending on the size and species of tree, the use of a gallon of water in the first day would not be uncommon. Therefore, the tree should be checked frequently and re-watered as necessary. If the tree does become dried out, it probably will not absorb water. It may be necessary to take the tree down and re-cut the bottom to allow the absorption of water. This is inconvenient, but it is the only way to prevent early needle loss if a tree has become dried out. In the past, some have thought that adding aspirins, copper pennies, soda pop, sugar and bleach to the water may prolong the life of a tree. This has not been proven.

Should you choose a living Christmas tree, they definitely require special care. Once the tree is brought home, it should be conditioned before being placed in a heated room. Leave the tree in an unheated garage or building for a couple of days. After conditioning, the tree can be brought in and placed in a cool location away from direct sunlight. Watering a live tree should be done prior to placing it in the home, by moistening the root ball.

Living trees should not be kept inside for more than 10 days. Exposure to warm temperatures may cause the dormant tree to break buds and start to grow. Before removing the tree and planting it outside, it should be allowed to acclimate itself the same way before it was brought inside. The planting hole should be dug before the ground freezes. Once planted, water well and place some mulch around it to prevent the soil water from freezing.

With proper selection and care, you can enjoy a fresh tree throughout the holiday season. And with a real tree, you don’t have to worry about storing it for a year before using it again! They just take a little more work while on display.

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

LaRoche Baseball Complex Annexed

The La Roche Baseball Complex is located south of the city and parallel to U.S. Hwy. 69.

The City of Fort Scott recently annexed the LaRoche Baseball Complex into the city limits at a recent meeting.

The complex is located in the industrial park south of the city on U.S. 69 Hwy.

“The city maintains the complex,” Rhonda Dunn, Fort Scott Community Development Director, said. “They do the mowing, the maintenance, the painting, the lights, etc. It makes sense, that since the city owns the park, it should be within the city limits.”

A board oversees the park, which includes members from the city, Fort Scott’s school district, and the LaRoche family.


Banker Pleads No Contest

The Bourbon County Courthouse, 210 S. National Avenue.

The following information is the public record available at the Bourbon County Courthouse, third floor, district court office.

Joseph W. Banker, age 36, is a defendant whose case is pending in Bourbon County for the charges of sexual solicitation, sexual exploitation, and sexual battery.

In May 2017 the Bourbon County District Court filed a case against Banker in Oklahoma, for the charges and he was arrested.

A hearing was held on November 17, 2017, in which Banker pleaded No Contest to two of the charges. The preliminary hearing was waived.

Banker pleaded No Contest, thereby waiving his right to a trial. No Contest is an admission by Banker that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to prove his guilt and will not contest such evidence.

His plea of No Contest is the result of a plea agreement between the Bourbon County Attorney Justin Meeks and Bank’s attorney, Christopher Meek.

He is pleading No Contest in connection with  Count II and Count III charges against him in the amended complaint/information.

Count II reads that between August 1, 2009, and September 21, 2009, Banker sexually exploited a child under 18 years of age. The charge is a severity level five, person felony with a minimum sentence of 31 months imprisonment, a maximum of 136 months and a fine up to $300,000.

Count III reads that between November 1, 2009, and December 31, 2009, Banker sexually exploited another child under 18 years of age. The charge is a severity level five, person felony with a minimum sentence of 31 months imprisonment, a maximum of 136 months and a fine up to $300,000.

There will be a plea hearing on December 8, 2017, at 1:15 p.m. in series before the Honorable Judge Amy Harth.

Banker is a former youth pastor at Community Christian Church.

Patty LaRoche: Giving Thanks

Psalm 9:1– I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. On this Thanksgiving weekend, I thought it would be fun to list some of the things for which I am thankful. In no particular order, here they are:

 My husband, Dave. He loves me when I’m pretty unlovable.

 Veterans, police officers and fire fighters—the true heroes in our nation

 A home with 12 steps from my bed to the coffee pot

 Wearing white after Labor Day

 Time spent in my Bible

 Transparent friends who share their hearts and aren’t afraid to admit they mess up

 Butterflies, turtles and blue herons

 Salt

 Phone calls, not texts, from my kids (Feel free to forward this to my children.)

 Lumber yard employees who know what I want when I don’t

 Watching my grandkids play sports (or doing anything, for that matter)

 Indoor plants that survive my gangrene thumb

 Mascara

 My Monday morning Bible study group

 Mail delivery and trash collection

 Pickleball and the friends I’ve made because of it

 When a recipe turns out like the photo-shopped picture (I’m imagining here.)

 Yoga

 Extended warranties

 Mosquito zappers

 Smiles from people I don’t know (Thank you, Walmart greeters!)

 Stilwell lake neighbors

 Highway bumps that wake you up when you are leaving the road (Trust me, I know.)

 Lays’ Kettle Potato Chips—seriously the best!

 Indoor toilets

 Elastic waists

 Shared recipes (Thank you, Jara Martin and Julie Readinger.)

 Warm socks

 Laughter—the kind that takes your breath away and makes you snort

 Dancing to oldies’ music

 Inspirational movies (Hidden Figures is a must.)

 An oven timer that has saved me countless burned concoctions

 Horses—any kind, any size, any age

 Mazatlan, Mexico, and the friends we have made

 My Kindle

 Pizza delivery

 Game nights

 You, my readers

 And most importantly, Jesus Christ.