Open House for Woodson County Extension

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.

Please join the Southwind Extension District next Thursday, July 28 as we host an Open House to welcome Woodson County to Southwind Family.


Effective July 1, 2018, Woodson County Extension will join the Southwind Extension District. We will celebrate this important merger with refreshments and fellowship on Thursday, July 28 at a come-and-go reception in the Yates Center Office, 211 W. Butler from 2pm-6pm.


Staff and board members will be present at the Extension Office to answer your questions about the District and explain what K-State Research & Extension can do to better serve the residents of Woodson County.


Currently, the Extension programs in Neosho, Bourbon, Allen and Woodson Counties consists of 4 Office Professionals and 8 Agents with specialized expertise in 4-H & Youth Development, Food & Nutrition, Adult Development & Aging, Financial Management, Horticulture, Community Leadership, Livestock Production, and Forage Management.


For more information, please contact Carla Nemecek, Southwind District Director at 620-365-2242.

Medicaid Program Awards Health Care Organizations

State of Kansas Awards Medicaid Contracts to Three Managed Care Companies

Aetna welcomed as new KanCare MCO, Sunflower and United continue service


TOPEKA –  Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Jeff Andersen and State Medicaid Director Jon Hamdorf are pleased to announce the selection of three managed care organizations (MCOs) that will serve the Kansas Medicaid program, known as KanCare. The contracts include one new organization and two current KanCare companies.


The companies include:

  • Sunflower State Health Plan, Inc.
  • United Healthcare, Midwest Inc.
  • Aetna Better Health of Kansas, Inc.


The MCOs were selected from a pool of six candidates, which submitted bids during a Request for Proposal (RFP) process that concluded yesterday, June 21, when the winning bidders signed their contracts with the State of Kansas, through the Kansas Department of Administration.


“We appreciate the tremendous feedback we have received every step of the way as the contract language was developed,” Secretary Andersen said. “We took into consideration the concerns we received from KanCare consumers, advocacy groups, legislators and other stakeholders. We strive to provide Kansans with a cost-effective and dependable Medicaid program that serves their needs, and the new contracts will further that objective.”


Some of the key improvements in the new contracts include:

  • Greater oversight and accountability
  • Improved response to consumer needs
  • Enhanced care coordination
  • Supported employment pilot for persons with disabilities and behavioral health needs
  • New value-added benefits

Adult dental services will continue.


A multi-step process preceded the 17-member review committee’s evaluation of the six RFP bids. Committee members consisted of KDHE and Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) staff members with experience and knowledge working with the Kansas Medicaid system. The evaluations considered cost and technical capabilities to perform the work outlined. A recommendation was then made to Secretary Andersen, who approved and then forwarded the recommendation to the procurement negotiating committee (PNC) and the Department of Administration for review and approval. Based on that process, the PNC then awarded the contracts.


“KanCare has proven an effective and efficient delivery model for Medicaid in Kansas,” said Governor Jeff Colyer. “We have achieved cost savings, but more importantly, we’ve seen greater preventative care access to improve health outcomes for Kansans.”


Consumers currently enrolled in Amerigroup will have the opportunity to select a new MCO during the open enrollment period, beginning in October. Amerigroup will continue to serve as a KanCare MCO through the duration of the existing contract, which is set to expire on Dec. 31.


“These new KanCare contracts will provide Medicaid waiver consumers with enhanced, comprehensive care and services,” said KDADS Secretary Tim Keck. “We are looking forward to offering them improved care coordination and more work opportunities that will encourage them to grow and thrive while living in their home communities.”


For more information about KanCare, visit For evaluation results and the finalized contracts, visit Consumers who have questions about this change can call 785-766-9012.

Railroad crossing repairs Saturday on K-39

Saturday, June 23, the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad will close and repair its crossing on K-39 east of U.S. 59 in the Stark vicinity.

UP plans to close the crossing to through traffic at 7 a.m. The repairs are expected to be completed and the crossing reopened by 7 p.m. Saturday.

The signed detour for K-39 eastbound traffic is as follows: from the west U.S. 59/K-39 junction travel south on U.S. 59 to K-146, proceed east on K-146 to K-3, and travel north on K-3 to K-39.

Persons with questions may contact Wayne Nelson at the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) office in Pittsburg, (620) 308-7622, or Priscilla Petersen at the Chanute KDOT office, (620) 902-6433.



Symbols Of Sacrifice At The Fort June 30, July 4

Symbols of Sacrifice Commemoration and Fourth of July Activities to be held at Fort Scott National Historic Site

FORT SCOTT, Kansas: As the nation reflects on its freedom on Independence Day, Fort Scott National Historic Site honors those who have lost their lives fighting for this freedom with Symbols of Sacrifice.

The Symbols of Sacrifice commemoration features thousands of American flags displayed in a Field of Honor on the historic Parade Ground. Their purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of members of the United States Armed Forces who have died in all wars that Americans have fought in.

The flags will be displayed from Friday, June 29, through Friday, July 6.

The park is pleased to welcome musicians Pat and Steve Harry, who will perform a special concert of patriotic music on Saturday, June 30 at 7:00 pm. Following the musical performance, you are invited to participate in an evening cannon firing.

On Wednesday, July 4 at 10:00 a.m. and at 3:00 p.m., the staff at the historic site will honor the fallen through a discussion of the meaning of the Field of Honor, followed by an artillery salute.

At 11:00 a.m., visitors can join a 1840s Infantry Soldier and an Officer’s Wife as they share perspectives on “What Independence Day Means to You?” at 2:00 p.m., or come and witness infantry soldiers as they fire a salute to the 13 original colonies. You are welcome to fall in with the soldiers and assist in taking down the 30-star flag at 4:00 p.m.

The schedule of activities is as follows:


7:00 p.m. – Patriotic Musical Performance by Pat and Steve Harry

8:00 p.m. – Evening Cannon Firing


10:00 a.m. – Honoring the Fallen: A Salute to Sacrifice

11:00 a.m. – “What Independence Day Means to You?” Guided Discussion

2:00 p.m. – 13 Gun Salute: The Pursuit of Liberty

3:00 p.m. – Honoring the Fallen: A Salute to Sacrifice

4:00 p.m. – Flag Retreat

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Obituary Of Dale Hixon

Dale Hixon, age 73, a resident of Ft. Scott, KS, passed away Thursday, June 21, 2018, at Medicalodge of Ft. Scott.

He was born December 3, 1944, in Fort Scott, the son of Vern and Josephine Comstock Hixon. He attended Fort Scott High School.

He married the love of his life, Betty DeCoudres, on December 3, 1967, in Fort Scott. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary on December 3, 2017.

Dale worked on the street department and water treatment plant for the city of Fort Scott and Klein Tools of Moran. He was a member of the Old Forter’s Camping Club and Gold Wing Road Riders Association. Dale enjoyed camping, fishing and attending dirt track racing at the Nevada Speedway. He was a member of Grace Baptist Tabernacle.

Survivors include his wife Betty of the home; a son, Mike Hixon and wife Lori of Ft. Scott; two brothers, Rich Hixon of Ft. Scott; Bob Hixon and wife Shirley of Redfield; three grandchildren, Dana Button and husband Barry of Ft. Scott; DeAnn Hixon and fiance Brandon of Topeka; Clayton Hixon and fiance Alyssa of Pittsburg; two great-grandchildren Alissa and Alex Button of Ft. Scott; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents and son Denton Hixon.

Bro. Allen Pruitt will conduct funeral services at 10:00 AM Monday, June 25, at the Grace Baptist Tabernacle.

Burial will follow in the Memory Gardens Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 4:00 until 6:00 Sunday afternoon at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Grace Baptist Tabernacle and may be left in the care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Al Niece Buys The Buffalo Grill

The Buffalo Grill was purchased in May 2018 by Al Niece.

Al Niece, the owner of Niece of Kansas Inc. in Fort Scott’s Industrial Park, purchased the Buffalo Grill, 3 W. Oak in May 2018 from Dean Mann.

“It’s a fantastic building, lots of options are open” for the development of the property, Niece said.

“The building looked too good a building to be left unattended,” Niece said.  “In talking with people in the community and the city, there are not many large eating facilities in the town.”

“When I walked in earlier this year, I was amazed at the condition,” he said.

Conventions, graduations, weddings, Christmas parties “and who knows what else” can use the River Room on the second floor of the building, Niece said. “We’ve already booked events for fall, two weddings and Christmas parties.”

The River Room name will stay the same for the second-floor event space, he said.

“The restaurant will be an additional component to it,” Niece said. “There are a lot of options for that. We don’t know whether we will keep the name Buffalo Grill or not.”

“We are talking to a couple of franchizes,” Niece said.

In addition, the business suite on the north-west side of the building is up for rent, with 2,400 square feet of space.

The restaurant will likely be open in the third quarter of 2018 he said.

Jared Leek is the manager of the facility for Niece and can be reached at 620-224-9787.




What’s Happening in Fort Scott by the Chamber of Commerce

The Fort Scott Police Department Daily Reports June 19-21

The Fort Scott Police Department daily reports can best be viewed on a computer.
The FSPD is located at 1604 S. National, Fort Scott, KS 66701 and is reached at 620-223-1700.

Click below, then click on the image to enlarge:

6-19-18 to 6-21-18

Quinton By Patty LaRoche

The day after my granddaughter Amanda’s wedding in Las Vegas, Dave and Nikki, her parents, worked a charity golf tournament for Quinton Robbins, the twenty-year-old family friend who had been murdered in the Las Vegas concert massacre last year. Since his death, Quinton’s parents have determined to keep his memory alive. His friends have done likewise.

On the side of the large hill in Henderson, Nevada, Basic High School classmates painted a gigantic “Q” beside the “B” that, for years, has served as a source of pride for the students. Should you visit that area, it will not be uncommon to see Quinton’s logo– a Q, antlers, a fishing hook and #3 for his sports jerseys’ number–on the rear window of several vehicles.

Joe and Tracey, Quinton’s parents, started a “Random Act of Kindness” tribute in their son’s name by creating 3” x 2” cards to be shared. (See insert above.) The cards went viral. People at dry cleaners, movie theaters, gas stations and restaurants would “Play It Forward” (“Play,” not “Pay” because of their son’s love of sports) and leave Quinton’s card for individuals behind them. They, in turn, would post on Facebook how they had been blessed.

At one In-N-Out, a restaurant where Amanda worked, twenty-eight cars in a row participated! Can you imagine what fun the attendant had, sharing with each car at the drive-through what number they were? “Sir, you are the 11th in line to keep this going.” “Ma’am, you are the 19th to play forward.” “Folks, you have just put an end to 28 people blessing others. Not cool!” (Okay, that didn’t happen, but I bet it crossed the employee’s mind.)

We all had a big laugh when Dave, our son-in-law, shared his experience about paying for the lone woman in the car behind him at a drive-through. After all, what could one person possibly cost? Thirty-seven dollars, to be exact. Either she was really hungry, or she was carrying out for her entire family. Whatever the reason, Dave said from that point on, he would put a cap on his contribution.

In spite of the Robbins’ desire to bless, the pain of Quinton’s death continues. At Amanda’s wedding, everyone understood when Tracey and Joe left during the groom’s dance with his mother. Still, they press on, creating scholarships in their son’s name. They are a testimony to the truth of Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

When adversity strikes, we long for our tears to evaporate, our disappointments to fade, our suffering to vanish. None of that can happen without God’s provision to meet those needs.

Joe and Tracey refuse to let their son’s death stifle their commitment to be used by God. They respond to their personal grief by knowing the day will come when, thanks to Jesus, they will be reunited with Quinton in Heaven. After all, who paid it forward more than our Savior?

I am inspired to follow the Robbins’ lead and continue their Play It Forward memorial. Perhaps you will be inspired to do the same.

Fort Scottians In Pittsburg Community Theater

“The Most EPIC Birthday Party Ever” will happen Friday, June 22 at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center, 503 N. Pine. Directed by Megan Gabehart. The music will be directed by Fort Scott music teacher Mary Jo Harper.

“Pittsburg Community Theatre’s Jr. Starz program is built for 6-12-year-olds who work diligently for two weeks to learn and memorize an entire show, create crafts and props, and more,” Harper said.
“This year, we were able to have two sessions again, meaning that 80 children have had the opportunity to understand the magic of theater!”
“Of those 80 kids, we have four kids from our district! Bianca Pommier and Chrislen Newman are in the Morning Session and Ana Rupprecht and Emma Bin are in the Afternoon Session,” Harper said.
“Wanna see them rock it out? 6 pm for Morning Session Show, 8 pm for Afternoon Session Show. $5 General Admission at the door. “