Free Outdoor Downtown Movie May 25

There will be four, free movies for family entertainment this summer at the City Park just south of the Lowell Milken Center at Wall and Main streets downtown.

The first one is The Incredibles sponsored by Bids and Dibs and also Fort Scott Family Dental. The movie will start at 8:30 p.m. on May 25.

Free popcorn and drink will be available.

The event is facilitated by the Fort Scott Convention and  Visitors Bureau.    Check out the website at


Darby Toth: National Speech and Debate Student of the Year Nominee

Darby Toth with some of her winnings as a speech and debate student at Fort Scott High School.

2018 Fort Scott High School graduate Darby Toth is a National Speech and Debate Student of the Year nominee, she was notified last week.

Toth has qualified all four years of high school to attend the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Florida, this year June 15-23.

But this year she is one of five finalists for National Speech and Debate Student of the Year.

While at the national tournament this year, Toth will interview with selected debate coaches to find out her placement.

The honor is a dream come true, she said.

“I want to thank all my coaches,” Toth said. “Amber Toth, Travis Toth and Sarah Bahr for giving me the tools…and an avenue for this to happen, because this truly is a dream becoming reality.”

Two of the speech and debate coaches are her parents, both teachers at the high school.

Amber Toth taught debate,  forensic and speech,  Travis Toth teaches history.

“It’s a family rule,” Darby said. “You have to try (speech and debate) for one year.”

It has become one of her passions, she said.

Speech and debate have had “amazing” effects on her and has allowed her to follow her other passion: social justice, Darby said.

Through her high school years, Darby has honed her communication and goal-setting skills learned in speech and debate.

She helped organize a formal dress drive at her school as a sophomore.

“We got winter formal (dress) donations for anyone who couldn’t afford it,” she said.

Following Hurricane Harvey’s devastation of south-east Texas, Darby used the skills to help raise almost $5,000 for schools in Texas, she said.

She took it upon herself to start a sexual harassment awareness campaign when she learned that issue was a problem for some students at FSHS.

“It was definitely a challenge to get students, administration, and teachers on board,” she said. “It took a pretty detailed mapping of a plan…..they plan next year to have a sexual harassment awareness speaker come speak to the entire student body. We have several posters up around the school. Our counselors are more aware that it is an issue in our school and are working with the students.

“There were some kids who were not being appropriate in the classroom, physically,…they faced repercussions for what they did.

“I felt I needed to be a voice for people who felt as if they didn’t have one because I knew what happened in the classroom wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. I heard personal stories of girls, whether in or out of the high school. They are suffering in their personal life.”

An AXA Achievement Scholarship was awarded to Darby’

“It’s a $1,000 grant to the high school… it’s used for teacher professional development,” she said. “I gave Mr. (Shawn)Thomas (FSHS Principal) all my research on the subject, Restorative Justice. Instead of a zero-tolerance program, it’s more restorative, therapeutic based…I asked that (the grant) be used for Restorative Justice.”

This topic includes focusing on the reasoning behind student actions, then mediating and working through it, she said.

The AXA Achievement Scholarship is awarded to students because they have demonstrated ambition and self-drive.

For more information on this scholarship click here:

Darby received other recognitions as well.

She had a 4.0 Grade Point Average at FSHS in mostly honors classes and received an Ellis Foundation Grant, Peterson Scholarship, Garvey Scholarship, a Kansas Honor Scholar among others.

Darby is a four-time Speech and Debate National Qualifier, District Top Point Earner for two years, state champion in oration, state runner-up in impromptu speaking, number one debater/forensicator in Kansas, District Student of the Year, ranked in the top ten nationally, and recipient of the Debate and Forensics Scholarship-chosen by a panel of teachers.

Toth will attend Washburn University with a psychology major and leadership minor in the fall.

“I would like to work with children, especially the impoverished,” she said. “Starting my own practice would be cool… Working in a school would be cool. Which would provide an avenue to coach debate/forensics.”



Annual Town Festival Begins May 31: Good Ol’Days

New entertainment acts and hours of the street dance are what’s different this year at the 37th Annual Good Ol’ Days Festival May 31 through June 2.

The theme this year is “Fins, Feathers, and Furs”.

“The street dances will be from 7 to 10 p.m., with the carnival and beer tent open until 11,” Kellye Barrows, vice chairman of the festival’s board, said.

Formerly the dance went until 11 p.m. but the new time will allow people to leave more leisurely, Barrows said.

For all performances at Skubitz Plaza bring a lawn chair. No coolers or glass containers are allowed. And no pets, please.

Performing on Skubitz Plaza for the street dance on Friday, June 1 is Shades of Blue, from Kansas City. These five young musicians share a love of blues and rock and roll, according to information provided.

Check out their website at www.shadesofbluekc.com

Also on Friday night, the street fair and marketplace on North Main Street will be open from 5 to 10 p.m.

Wade Henry, “entertainer extraordinaire”, according to Barrows will perform Saturday morning from 10-11 a.m. and again 1-2 p.m. at Skubitz Plaza. Henry is a juggler, unicyclist, ropewalker, fire eater, equilibrist, magician, speaker and comic.

Check Henry’s website at

Saturday evening, from 3 to 6 p.m. Stone Country, a country-western band from Girard will perform at Skubitz Plaza. The group is comprised of Shana Lynette Stone, Dan Duling, Jeff Culver, Rick Eaves, Rick Duling and Fort Scott native, Jason Richison.

Check out its Facebook page at

Saturday night from 7 to 10 p.m. The Brent Giddens Band, Cleveland, Okla. will perform a wide variety of cover songs from multiple genres.

Check the band out on its website:

From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 2 the 2nd Annual BBCO Outdoor Expo will be located from 1st to 3rd streets on North Main Street.

Adam LaRoche, Buck Commander, and Duck Commander are partnering for this event. A full schedule of events will be available at the festival.

Activities At The Fort

Fort Scott National Historic Site will be featuring presentations on canoeing/kayaking and youth archery instruction provided by the Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Additionally there will be a broad-ax/hewing carpenter display by Jim Bailey with the National Park Service.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. live birds of prey will be on display by Operation WildLife at the fort.

A story-time will be provided by Steve Otto from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bring a blanket for an old-fashioned picnic. Visit the food booths downtown, then bring your lunch to the Fort and enjoy some shade, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

An old-fashioned mattress race will be run at the fort from noon to 12:30 p.m.

There will also be a timed visit of “Buddy The Bison.” Buddy Bison will be one of the attractions of Good Ol’ Days at Fort Scott this year and is the grand marshal of the parade.

Check Buddy out:

To get involved with the parade on June 2 click below.

Seeking Good Ol Days Parade Entries

For applications for arts and crafts, food vendors, outdoor expo, talent show and parade, click below.


Obituary For Kayden Samyn

Kayden Blaes Samyn, age 11, Mound City, Kansas passed away on Sunday, May 20, 2018, as the result of an accident.

He was born at Olathe, Kansas on July 14, 2006, the son of Dale Samyn and Karrie Ortman Barnes. He was a student at Jayhawk Elementary School.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather Jess Ortman.

Kayden is survived by his parents, four brothers: Freddie Barnes, Ethan Wettstein, Miles and Landyn Samyn, three sisters: Jessica Ortman, Alyssa and Kelsie Nelson, maternal grandmother, Jessie Ortman, paternal grandparent Edward and Debbie Samyn and seven nieces and nephews: Andrew, Camdyn, Aunika, Tristan, Fynleigh, Rowan, and Daniel.

Funeral service will be 10:30 am Saturday, May 26, 2018, at the Mound City First Baptist Church.

Burial will be in the Curry Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 pm Friday at the Church.

Contributions are suggested to Kayden”s Memorial and can be sent to the Farmers State, P.O. Box 158, Blue Mound, KS 66010 or Schneider Funeral Home, P.O. Box J, Mound City, KS 66056. Online condolences for the family can be left at Arrangements: Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, Mound City Chapel.

St. Martin’s Academy Open House

The main building of St. Martin’s Academy, Theokotos Hall,  is currently under construction.

St. Martin’s Academy, a  newly developed boys Catholic boarding school,  hosted an open house  Saturday on the campus at 1950 Indian Road, rural Fort Scott.
The campus is currently under construction.
“Our goal was to introduce the academy, its campus, and some of its staff both to local residents interested in the new project, potential supporters of our academic and cultural vision, and the families of prospective students,” Patrick Whelan, the academy’s headmaster said.
The torrential downpour on Saturday did not deter interested people.
Attendees of St. Martin’s Academy Open House, braved rain and mud while attending the event. Here the last attendees of the open house leave the main hall of the school which is still under construction.
“Despite the terrible weather in the morning, at its busiest, we had about 80 people present with some coming from as far away as Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, and Texas,” Whelan said. ” Many of the folks who attended were from local areas including Fort Scott, Pittsburg, and Kansas City, and many of those in attendance were families interested in sending a son to St. Martin’s Academy. “
The open house program began with Catholic Mass celebrated by the school’s chaplain, Fr. Bob McElwee, followed by a welcome and introduction from Daniel Kerr, the academy’s president, and Whalen.
Courtesy photo. Father McElwee speaks to attendees of the open house during Mass.
  Visitors participated in a round-robin of presentations from the faculty and staff of St. Martin’s Academy, including presentations on academics, residential life, farming, faith, and campus development.
“After lunch those interested participated in a hike through the campus that included feeding the animals, walking the woodland obstacle course, and visiting our ‘base camp’ in the woods,” Whelan said.
Following a break, visitors and local interested residents met in the lobby of the Courtland Hotel, downtown Fort Scott,  for the third, public St. Martin’s Academy Faculty Lecture, he said.
 “In a warm setting, with food and drink provided by the academy, Ron ‘Magister’ Klassen delivered a talk entitled The Joy of Learning Latin,” Whelan said.
For more information, click here to view a prior story: