Support For Moms with Infants Available For Free

Diapers are given to mothers who participate in each meeting of the Mommy and Me program. Submitted photo.

Mommy and Me is a support and education program for mothers with children or who are pregnant.

The support group meets monthly at the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department in Fort Scott at 6th and Horton.

The next one is scheduled for Wednesday, January 19 at 4 p.m.

The group meets once a month, with a topic of discussion.

As an encouragement to attend the meetings, diapers are given to participants each meeting, Holly Fritter, Healthy Start Home Visitor, said.

Holly Fritter. Submitted photo.

“We give away a packet of diapers every time they attend because we want people to be supported, and educated,” she said.

The program was created to help support moms in taking care of their babies and themselves.

“Discussions in the past have been breastfeeding, formula feeding, prenatal care, postpartum care, postpartum depression and other maternal warning signs, stages of labor and what to expect, nutrition, baby basics, parenting, things like that,” she said.

“We want people to know that they are not alone, they have someone to talk to and someone to listen.

The Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department is located between 6th and Lowman Streets and 6th and Horton Streets.


Obituary of Charles Hull

Charles E. Hull, age 81, a resident of Ft Scott, Kansas, passed away Saturday, January 15, 2022, at the Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. He was born November 28, 1940, in Ft. Scott, the son of James I. Hull and Ruby Terrill Hull.  Charles was a man of honor, integrity and dignity.  He lived his life loving his wife, children and grandchildren with all his heart and soul.  There was nothing his family needed that he didn’t make sure they had.  No one every went hungry or thirsty when he was around.  His love for chicken was known by all.  To most, he was a quiet force, not saying much but everybody listened when he spoke.  He was a man of steel, a Superman, the John Wayne of westerns, but his family called him Dad and Grandpa.  He was born a man but died an angel.
Survivors include his wife, Leta, of the home; four children, Charles, Jim, Jeff and Gina; fifteen grandchildren and twenty-two great grandchildren. Also surviving are four brothers, Robert, Earl, Harold, and Leland and a sister, Beulah.  He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Joe and two sisters, Virginia and Liz.
Private funeral services with burial in the Evergreen Cemetery will be held Monday, January 24th.  Friends are welcome to pay their respects during the week at the funeral home.  Cards and other expressions of sympathy may be left in care of the funeral home or submitted to the online guestbook at  Services are under the direction of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, Kansas.

Beating the Post-Holiday Funk

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent. Submitted photo.

Some of us may still be winding up our holiday celebrations – gift exchanges may be lingering on our calendar yet, and the decorations may remain hanging to keep those festive vibes alive. The holidays can take over our lives in many ways, given the deadlines and extra hubbub that go along with the festivities.

Often, our regular routines change in the time leading up to the holidays. Our work life changes with having some work days off. Our energy level may be heightened to meet the demands of the holidays. Then we are expected (or we expect of ourselves) to jump back into our regular daily life where we left it before the holidays.

For many, having the holiday break is reinvigorating and refreshing, as we have broken completely away from the norm of our daily lives. However, being out of our routine for a week or two can also leave us struggling to get back into the swing of things.

Making that adjustment can create a funk that is real. Feeling unmotivated or even sluggish are some of the signs. We’ve just come off of an intense level of holiday activity. Then suddenly, it’s all over. The excitement is gone. The highly anticipated moments are done (and those moments we dread, for that matter.)

Beating the post-holiday funk begins with realizing that it is a form of loss and is in reality an adjustment to less stimulation. It can be similar to feeling at loose ends after completing a big project at work, or feeling somewhat empty after a vacation, even though you are glad to be home.

Consider these suggestions if you are feeling the funk.

Continue your social connections. The holidays usually create more occasions for social gatherings. Make an effort to call or visit a friend or two to catch up on their holiday experiences and then share yours also. Don’t let it be a texting conversation. A phone conversation, at a minimum, will stimulate your mind as your conversations transpire.

Get out of the house. Weather this time of year may create challenges in getting out. However, even on a gray day, pushing yourself for some time outside can raise your energy. You are also creating space and interrupting moods that may be tied to those parts of the house with lingering reminders of the recent holidays.

That leads me to getting some exercise. It’s likely we’ve overindulged over the holidays, whether it be with food or drink, sitting around visiting, or binge-watching the various sporting presentations available. Be ready for a pleasant mood shift following some vigorous body movement.

Look forward, not backward. It is common at the beginning of the year to think about those things we didn’t achieve when we review our accomplishments from the previous year. These reflections are often the source of many people’s New Year’s resolutions. Instead, think about one thing you would love to have happen this year. Don’t make it a ‘life goal,’ as that could lead to more exhausting feelings. Identify one small thing and then make a plan to bring it into being.

Try one of these ideas to help you take charge of your mood. It might be just what it takes to shake off those funky feelings that may be hanging around. Have a truly happy new year!

For more information on combatting post-holiday blues, contact your local Southwind Extension District Office.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Down by the Creek Bank by Carolyn Tucker

Carolyn Tucker. Submitted photo.

Keys to the Kingdom


When my daughter and son were young enough to play outside without hands-on supervision, yet not old enough to be entirely trusted, they played within the boundary of our fenced-in yard. As they grew older and proved themselves to be trustworthy, they were allowed to leave our property and play down by the creek bank just west of our house. Mariam and Aaron learned about nature and mastered the art of catching crawdads by placing a cup behind them as they shifted into reverse when threatened. I could always depend on the kids to return home whenever I blasted my athletic whistle. Because of their maturity and obedience, they were continuously rewarded (blessed) with the fun of expanded freedom.

Our heavenly Father is kindly watching our steps of obedience and disobedience. He watched the steps of the Israelites as they wondered all over the wilderness for 40 years. As a test, He gave them simple instructions on how to collect the miracle manna. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow My instructions‘” (Exodus 16:4 NLT). By their disobedient actions when collecting the manna, they proved they didn’t think God’s voice was important. They also proved that they weren’t trustworthy.

As believers, most of us are willing to do great things for God, but few are willing to do little things for Him. But God tests us in the little things first and if we flunk that simple test, we can’t be promoted to bigger things. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10 NLT).

Christ followers need to make the wise decision to start obeying God’s instructions in the little things. If we won’t obey the gentle voice of God and do little stuff, we can’t be promoted to bigger stuff because of our spiritual immaturity. We pray, “O Lord, what do You want me to do? I’ll do whatever You tell me to do,” thinking it will be something glorious in the limelight. Then when He gives us a small task and we ignore His voice because it’s not what we expected, or appears to be unimportant, we get to stay in spiritual kindergarten.

What are examples of little things? Picking up trash as you walk down the hall at work, not parking in the handicapped stall when you’re able-bodied, being kind to harried cashiers, reaching out to people the Lord has put on your heart, etc. Small acts of obedience are big in God’s eyes. “For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me” (Matthew 25:35,36 NLT). If you haven’t heard God tell you to do something specific lately, He’s probably still waiting for you to do the last thing He told you to do. God will give you greater responsibilities once you follow His previous instructions.

The Key: Stay within the boundary of God’s authority so you can hear and obey His voice and be blessed.

Local Heroines and Heroes by Gregg Motley

Gregg Motley. President of the Regional Economic Development, Inc. Submitted photo.


In previous columns, I have mentioned the importance of leadership as a critical ingredient in the success of a community, and we do have some men and women in our county that are leaders. The citizens that I consider heroic are making important time, talent and treasure investments in our community. Here are a few projects that I consider of particular significance:

Sleep Inn. This project, mostly funded by local investors, beautified an entry corner to Fort Scott and our historical district. It also gave us a newer hospitality facility that leaves many of our visitors with a positive impression of our community.

Fort Scott Munitions. This was a big investment by a local family in another blighted property at the entrance to Fort Scott. While they are putting the property to great use, they may never fully recover all the money they invested in the property to make it usable.

Hole in the Wall. Yes, this project had some public funding, but local investors took a risk and developed an attractive building out of an eyesore across from the National Historical Site. Remember the concrete blocks and poles on Scott Avenue?

E3/Common Grounds. A large amount of money has been put into this project by a local couple, restoring an important intersection in the historical district, and attracting several new businesses into the development.

Sharky’s and Luther’s. This investment in a downtown building, and renting another important landmark, has created an attractive gathering place for local people and tourists alike.

Bandera Stone. This Bourbon County company announced a new showroom location in Uniontown. This is a much needed investment in the Western side of our county.

Dairy Queen. Another local couple making a big investment to build a brand new building on South Main that is accessible by many who are just passing through. Our county has realized a nice increase in sales tax collection at the expense of this couple’s increased overhead.

Eddy Street. Two local men bought a couple of blighted properties in the 300 block, west of the Presbyterian Church, and built two new houses that are a significant upgrade to the neighborhood. About two years after they were built, the men sold the properties at a loss. Heroically, they embarked on the project, not to make money, but to make our community a better place.

Good Neighbor Action Team. This group of community leaders have made countless personal investments in Bourbon County communities, usually below the radar. Yard clean ups, paint jobs, wheel chair ramps, and other community improvements have been performed dozens of times by these generous Bourbon County stars.

The list could go on. Investments like these by local people are the lifeblood of our community, and represent commitments above and beyond the call of duty. It is another goal of Bourbon County REDI to help facilitate future investments like these all over our county, not only by local heroes and heroines, but by newcomers as well.

Obituary of Violet Magee

Violet Marie (Nardelli) Magee, age 97, passed peacefully, surrounded by family and caregivers, at her home, in Baldwin, Kansas, on January 11, 2022. Violet was born in Gross, Kansas to Mario Nardelli and Johanna (Zanona) Nardelli, October, 6, 1924. She graduated from Arcadia High School in 1941, completed her teaching certificate at Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg and began her first job in a one room schoolhouse at St. Paul, Kansas, on the “island”.

Violet’s life spoke music, like a tapestry. It was woven through her journey and defined her being. Using voice lessons to learn the English dialect, it was discovered that she was blessed with being a quick learner. Violet was most notably a talented pianist who could embellish music and teach others, piano and voice.   So gifted, her instructor accompanied her to Chicago for a debut of her talent and a musical tour.  Earlier, she had rekindled a friendship with a schoolmate; a pilot returning from World War II, so she came home for her true love.   She was married to Raymond Edward Magee on June 20, 1948 at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Mulberry, Kansas, during a rainstorm. A tornado followed the ceremony, so the reception was held in the family basement by the light of church candles.

Violet and Raymond celebrated 52 years of marriage and “were proud and grateful for five children and were honored that God had entrusted them to be their parents.” They spoke of goodness and their actions showed care and kindness. Their home was filled with cappellettis, cinnamon rolls, pies, meatballs, and handmade breads that were available to family and anyone that needed a place for the holidays. There were piano students of all ages, often 30 a week, along with scout meetings, homemade dance costumes, student recitals, voice lessons, and choir practice for mass and weddings.

Music made the moment, making every occasion better, as Violet played at graduations, civic symphony, community choir, school plays, as well as participating and judging piano and voice competitions. She volunteered her time at St. Mary’s as a music teacher. As the organist at Mary Queen of Angel Catholic Church for fifty years, generations remember Midnight Mass and Easter. She played at many weddings as well as funerals. Hundreds of thank you cards lined her scrapbooks, recalling her contribution to their ceremonies. Music was a large part of her life, and she was thankful for the opportunity, but most importantly she credited God for her talent.

Violet was a friend, a neighbor, a teacher, and a mentor. Most importantly, she was a wife, a mother to 5 children, a grandmother to 14 grandchildren, a great-grandmother to 6 great-grandchildren, and a loving dog owner to her loyal O’Riley.

Violet was preceded in death by her husband, Raymond.

Survivor’s include one daughter, Sharon Magee-Minor and husband, James, of Baldwin, Kansas; four sons, Dr. Raymond Daniel Magee, and wife Connie, Topeka, Kansas, Dr. Lawrence Marion Magee and wife, Michelle, Lawrence, Kansas, Mark Edward Magee, and wife Cabrina, DeSoto, Kansas, and Dr. Shawn Michael Magee, and wife Shirley Dawn, Topeka, Kansas.

What a wonderful difference she made in the lives of many. “Always in our Hearts”

 Because the Funeral Mass is for family only, friends and neighbors may view Violet on Wednesday, January 19th thru Friday, January 21st, from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm at Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, Fort Scott, Kansas.

A private family service will be held at Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church, on January 22nd, 2022, where she was the organist for 50 years.

A private family graveside service will follow at Garden of Memories, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Expressions of sympathy in memory of Violet may be made to Mary Queen of Angels Music Ministry or Engineering Scholarship at Kansas University, Raymond and Violet Magee. Memorials may be left in care of Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 West Wall, Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Jail Heating System on the Blink

Sheriff Bill Martin demonstrates how all the cells can be viewed from the control room in a direct line of sight at the jail in this photo from April 2018, before the jail was completed.

The Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center has been having issues with its heating and air conditioning system since late summer, according to Sheriff Bill Martin.

“The systems weren’t changing over from cool to heat and heat to cool,” he said. The jail was built in 2017-2018.

There are currently 58 inmates, he said.

Martin said the failure of the system to work properly was because of the design of the units.

The Bourbon County Commission opened and reviewedthe bids for the repair of the system at its January 4, 2022 meeting, Martin said.

“The commissioners approved  French’s Plumbling/A.C, to move forward with correcting the issues with the HVAC system,” he said.

Repeated calls to French’s Plumbing for an update on the work were not answered.

Inmates have been given an extra blanket to help until the problem can be repaired.

“When a person is processed or booked into the correctional facility, they are issued one sheet and one blanket,” Martin said. “Since the issues with the HVAC system, they are now offered a second blanket.”


Reflections on Christmas by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

In 2022, I hope to follow the advice in that scripture. Take this past Christmas holiday, for example. I will reminisce about how my husband led us in sweet devotions, and we purposefully prayed for individual families, instead of being sad because some relatives could not attend.

I will think of our white elephant gift exchange and be grateful I ended up with a lovely tray instead of the pair of high heels I previously had given my granddaughter which were chic and stylish but squished my toes, instead of how she obviously couldn’t wait to give them away.

I will be grateful for aching thighs the day after walking the hills my children and grandchildren jumped on their dirt bikes, even though I could not bend over to pick up a kitchen towel I dropped.

I will think of all we learned about each other after drawing random questions out of a bowl, including how one person answered “If you could have lunch with any two people, dead or alive, who would it be and why?” with “Jesus and Hitler.” (She redeemed herself with her reasoning: She wanted to see how Hitler would react when he faced the one who died for his sins).

I will remember how all the women spent an afternoon together making our favorite cookie recipes to take to the three local Afghanistan families, even though I failed to spray oil on the cookie sheet of my first batch and only a few survived.

I will think of the beautiful 45-degree weather that allowed us to have a weenie roast, instead of the sleet that had to be chiseled off our windshields the next day on our drive to the airport.

I will recall how the women thumped the men in the highly competitive marathon of Marbles and Jokers (4-1, but who’s counting?) instead of how some of the men acted like babies when they lost.

I will never forget how much everyone enjoyed the Christmas games I found on the internet (like the Alphabet Game where, in 15 minutes, you list as many Christmas words as you can for each letter) and how competitive everyone was to win the prizes, instead of how argumentative they were when I wouldn’t accept their answers.

As my son, Adam, put it, “We should have known that the only answers Mom would accept were words from the Bible. We could have put Jehoshaphat under ‘J’ and she would have found a way that related to Christmas.” (Really? “Bed” is not a Christmas word, even though you sleep in one, waiting for Santa to come down the chimney, and “Oh” doesn’t count just because it starts the song “Oh Christmas Tree.”) I. WAS. A. FAIR. JUDGE.

I will think of those who have survived Covid and those who have gone to Heaven over the holidays because of it and will be reminded of the need to tell everyone I meet about Jesus.

And I will think of how every single moment gives me a chance to follow the advice of Philippians 4:8. I pray I can live up to that resolution. I should have known that, within a week, my 2022 resolution would be tested to the max.