All posts by Loretta George

Health Survey: Info Needed To Provide Grants For Local Entities

Jody Hoener, CEO of the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team.

The Healthy Bourbon Action Team has created a community health needs survey to provide future grants to entities such as local governments, businesses, and schools.

The data needed for the grants must come from the community they serve.

“We need you to inform our work,” said Jody Hoenor, CEO of the team. “Take the community health needs survey today and earn $10 to spend at Fort Scott Farmers’ Market or Uniontown’s Union Station!”

Click here to take the survey:

The following is from an interview with Hoener:

What is the survey intended for?

“The survey is part of a bigger community health needs assessment.  With this survey, we are getting information straight from our community member’s mouths on our health and wellness needs.  As the saying goes, ‘Straight from the horse’s mouth.’  This information tells us where we need to focus our time, efforts, and financial resources.  To put it bluntly: Where should we direct our money?”


How long will it take to do the survey?

“The survey can take up to 20 minutes to complete.  We realize this can be a long survey.  We are giving $10 vouchers to Farmers Market or Uniontown’s Union Station for responding to the survey because we understand there is some time spent on it.”


How will this survey benefit the community?

“This survey will provide the primary data for grant requests.  We help write grants for local governments, businesses, schools, — the whole community.  Because of the last community health needs assessment in 2016, we were awarded the BCBS Pathways to Healthy Kansas Grant.  Since then we have brought in close to $2 million.  This money is directed to projects throughout the entire county.”


The following are provided by Hoener as examples of previous grants :

“In Uniontown: Union Station Gas Station and Convenience Store was awarded grant funds around 2017 for promoting locally produced food.

Uniontown City Council drafted a plan for sidewalks and biking.

“Uniontown’s School District USD 235 was awarded funds for the flashing crosswalk, water bottle filling stations, healthy vending machine, brand new gym equipment, and money for the locker room/shower

Other examples:

“Worksites throughout the county received $12,500 for worksite wellness equipment

“16 Local grocery stores and restaurants were awarded grant dollars to encourage healthier environments and promote local food.

“Bike share was started with the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.

“Fort Scott’s School District .USD 234 was awarded funds for exercise equipment, the FSHS courtyard, and water bottle filling stations.

“Financial support for events like the Maramaton Massacre (a bike race event), Farm to Table events, and others that boost community morale and encourage healthy behaviors.

“Water bottle stations (still yet to come, grant funds have been given to the City of Fort Scott to purchase) throughout the community parks in Bronson, Uniontown, and Fort Scott.

“Lights for safe walking at trails like Riverfront Park and the Fort Scott Community College walking trail.

“FSCC received grant funding for the 24-hour access employee gym.

“The Bourbon County Courthouse has an entire workout room with weights, treadmill, and more.

“Trail equipment purchased to build and maintain walking or biking trails.

“The Nazarene Church was awarded $16,000 to start a truck farm and a program to mentor and help those on the outskirts of society (led by David Goodyear).

“Funds granted to Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD program to put together a Downtown Walking Trail that will have historical markers and education along the route in Downtown Fort Scott.”

“Plus lots more.  We are constantly seeking grant funding to help our Bourbon County community members. We want to use our resources where the community tells us it is needed.”


What is the expected outcome?

“Many other community law enforcement agencies, governments, school districts, and non-profit organizations use these assessments and surveys to apply for outside funding.  It will help every local entity with needed financial support for operations, programs, and projects.”


Who is collaborating with the survey?

“We are working with the University of Kansas on the community health needs assessment.  They are paid through our Blue Cross Blue Shield KansasPathways Grant to help us with this process.   The survey responses go directly to KU and are 100% anonymous.  We are also collaborating locally with Ascension Via Christi and Community Health Centers of South East Kansas.”


Where can interested people get a hold of the survey?

“We are seeking 60% of all households to complete a survey.  The survey link is on our website at  Tablets and stands to fill out surveys are available at Via Christi Emergency Room and Primary Care Office (Dr. Burke), Uniontown’s Union Station, and soon to be placed at Community Health Centers of Southeast Kansas primary care in Fort Scott.  Anyone is free to reach out to me at for a paper survey.”


Salary Study: Bourbon County Employee’s Wages Less Than Other Counties

The Bourbon County Courthouse.
Bourbon County wages for their employees is less than other counties, according to a study presented at a recent commission meeting.
Bourbon County employees are paid on average $15 per hour compared to other counties at $20 per hour, Sheriff Bill Martin said in an email to
Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.

On August 31, Martin went to the commission meeting to discuss salaries for county employees.

Martin,  Bourbon County Undersheriff Ben Cole and Beth Tatarko, Vice-President of the Austin Peters Group, Overland Park ( who was present by telephone), met with the commissioners to discuss a salary study that the  Austin Peters Group had developed, according to the commission minutes.

“I wanted it done to see if our wages were competitive with other deputies’ salaries of equal or same size as us,” Martin said. “The (study) funding was split between the sheriff’s office and the county attorney’s office. Mine came out of the VIN inspection account.”

The salary study compared other counties and cities and a few private employers and reported that the average pay was $20.32 for those entities as compared to $15.56 for non-elected Bourbon County employees.

Tatarko said it would cost an estimated $322,122 to bring the hourly employee’s wages to the average, which didn’t include benefits.

Elected officials, except for the attorney, are less than average as well, according to the minutes.

She said Bourbon County doesn’t have a scale for pay wages and all employees will eventually make the same amount if they do the same job.

Tatarko said Bourbon County does have a more generous benefit package and leave time than others, according to the minutes.

All three county commissioners asked Martin what his recommendations are.

Martin answered that the commission planned to reduce the mill levy by 2.5 mills,  and he suggested leaving the mill levy the same and setting money aside for wages, according to the minutes. However, the commission decided to stay with the reduction of the mill levy.

Commissioner Lynne Oharah suggested having Bourbon County  Financial Director Susan Bancroft review the study and give the commission recommendations.

At the Sept. 2 commission meeting, Bancroft stated she did include a 10-year recap for each Bourbon County department in this year’s budget proposal.

There were major sheriff’s office changes from the time when the jail was built, according to the Sept. 2 minutes. Commodities and contractual items both stayed about the same but there was a shift in personnel services.

The jail was completed in 2017.

Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center, October 2017

“Contractual items include meals, health and records management, etc.,” Sheriff Martin said. “Commodities: fuel, office supplies jail repairs/maintenance and outside medical. ”

Bancroft said that contractual for corrections has gone up in 2020 due to the food services industry and having a lot of inmates; depending on how many inmates there are, will determine that cost.

As of last Friday’s tally, the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center jail is holding 45 inmates, with five from other counties.


Lynne Oharah

Following a Bourbon County Commission executive session on August 31, Commissioner Clifton Beth said the commission knows this is a problem, and yet, Commissioner Jim Harris said, they hear from business owners that Bourbon County taxes are too high, according to the minutes.

Clifton Beth from Facebook.

Harris said the county needs to grow and if that happens, maybe the commission could take some of those funds from growth to use for the employee’s wages.

Jim Harris.



Corn Maze Offered by Local Church For Family Fun

Rinehart Christian Church. Submitted photo.

An area church is gearing up for a family-oriented event that they are offering the community, for free.

A corn maze and other family activities are offered at Rinehart Christian Church, just over the state line in Missouri, 9443 S. 900 Road, Richards, MO.

Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays starting Sept. 25.


“Our purpose behind the corn maze is to provide a service to our community that is fun and unique,” Elijah Pierson, Youth Minister at Rinehart Christian Church, said.

“In particular, we care about families so we want to offer an event that the whole family can enjoy together,” he said. “This year we are also excited about adding special events each weekend which include a dog herding show on Sept. 25, a petting zoo on Oct. 2, a corn hole tournament on Oct. 9, and axe throwing on Oct. 16.

Also for the family to enjoy: hayrides, yard games, a hot dog lunch, pumpkin painting, corn pits, a tiny train, and grain bin basketball.

“It has been a joy the last few years to watch how our church has stepped up to make this event possible for our community,” Pierson said. “It takes a large number of people giving of their time and resources to host this event, and our members have been more than willing to give both because they want the community to know they care about them.”
2021 Corn Maze at Rinehart Christian Church. Submitted photo.

Jazz and R and B Violinist To Perform Oct. 8

Don’t Miss out on this
performance with advance tickets available now!
Multi-Talented Contemporary
Jazz & R&B Violinist
The River Room
3 W. OAK ST., FORT SCOTT, KS 66701
Doors open at 6:30 pm
Performance at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $30 in advance, or $35 at the door.
Tickets are available at the Gordon Parks Museum or over the phone (620) 223.2700, Ext. 5850
Click HERE to visit the Gordon Parks Museum website.
Click HEREto view the Press release from The Gordon Parks Museum and learn more about his amazing and talented performer who is coming to Fort Scott!

New Hibachi/Sushi Restaurant To Open in Former Kress Building

Kasi and Aung Kyaw-Gates. Submitted photo.

Kasi, 23,  and Aung Kyaw-Gates, 29,  are working to open a hibachi/sushi restaurant in downtown Fort Scott at 17 S. Main.

They have named it Samurai Hibachi and Sushi and hope to be open in October following renovation and hiring of employees, Kasi said.

Sushi is raw meat with seaweed rice on the outside, rolled into a roll then cut into eight pieces, she said.

“We have salmon, shrimp tempura, eel, veggie, spicy tuna, and a crab salad,” Kasi said.

Hibachi is rice or noodles with meat, grilled on a flat top grill with a sauce, she said.

The couple ran a food truck on East Wall street earlier this year, but closed down when a partner left the business for a larger town, Kasi said.

Kasi and Aung Gates with Robert Coon, inside the former Kress Building. Submitted photo.

“We waited until we could find a place to open a restaurant and Robert Coon got a hold of us,” she said.

Coon is the owner of Coon Rentals LLC and recently bought 17 S. Main at a Bourbon County Commission auction.

“My husband has always wanted to open his own restaurant…and had worked in many restaurants and food places. He knows everything needed to open and succeed,” Kasi said.

Gates provided the following menus for the restaurant:

Kasi is a 2017 graduate of Uniontown High School and a 2019 graduate of Fort Scott Community College with a general science degree, she said.

Her husband, originally from Myanmar (Burma) has been in the U.S. for five years, ending up in Pittsburg, KS, where they met.

They were married in November 2019.

Aung is currently working in Pittsburg at a hibachi/sushi restaurant and Kasi owns the Third Fairy shop at 1 E. Wall Street.

“I sell incense, herbs, tarot cards, chrystals, and pagan and Wiccan items,” she said.

Kress Building, 17 S. Main, August 2020.

Coon said the first floor of the building will be divided, with the restaurant on the current kitchen side. He said an attorney has expressed interest in renting the other side.



New Federal Money Reporting Requirement Proposed, with Backlash From Bankers


A Biden Administration tax plan proposal will ask banks to give information on the unreported income of their bank customers to U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Two local bankers sent information to help the public understand the proposed requirements.

“Congress is expected to begin considering a new tax reporting requirement that would require banks to report information on account flows to the Internal Revenue Service,” according to a press release from Gregg Motley, Southeast Kansas Regional Manager of Landmark National Bank.

“Specifically, we would be required to report on all customers with gross inflows (credits) and outflows (debits) above $600 in an effort to crackdown on tax avoidance,” Motley said.  “The proposal is concerning because it would likely increase tax preparation costs, particularly for our small business/sole proprietor customers, and could undermine public trust in banks.  The proposal presents a significant reporting burden for the bank and customer privacy and data security challenge for our customers.”

It is still a proposal under consideration, and customers are encouraged to contact their congressman/congresswoman to share their concerns, according to the press release from Motley.

“The independent community bankers of America (ICBA) has put together the most information on this rule,” Bryan Holt, Union State Bank President said.

The following is a link to the organization’s website:


Motley sent this link to help with understanding the issue:



Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Sept. 7

September 7, 2021                               Tuesday 9:00 am


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners and the County Clerk present.


Susan Bancroft and Rob Harrington were also present.


The RNR hearing and the CBDG hearing was open to the public and the rest of the meeting was closed to the public due to COVID precautions, but broadcast on YouTube.


Clifton made a motion to approve the previous meetings minutes, Jim seconded and all approved.


RNR hearing: the RNR hearing was published, Lynne made a motion to open the RNR hearing, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Public Comment: Michael Hoyt presented the following, “Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) hearings to increase property taxes are going on now! KPI has posted a list of hearings scheduled in counties across the state: http://www.kansasopengov.orp/kog/databank#report id=90 KIS

(Keep it Simple); if the governing body votes to go above the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR), they have the option to increase the amount of money collected in property taxes from the previous year.  If they do NOT vote to go above the RNR, they cannot collect one penny more than the previous year in property taxes.

The mil levy may decrease, but if the governing body votes to go above the RNR – then they have the option to collect more money in property taxes.  That is what matters to most Kansans – will you be paying more money in property taxes.

Transparency in government has been and should be a top priority.  After hearing from Kansans on our complex property tax system, I led an effort to find solutions for Kansas.  As a result, last session, legislation was passed to eliminate automatic property tax increases as a result of the valuation of property increasing.  Senate Bill (SB) 13 requires local governments, including schools, to provide notice and vote at a publicized hearing before they can collect more money in property taxes than they did the prior year.

The governing body cannot tax in excess of the Revenue Neutral Rate (RNR) without public notices (next year these notices will be letters mailed to property owners) and a RNR hearing held between August 20 and September 20.  At the hearing there will be time for public comments and the governing body to vote on a resolution or ordinance that approves the body to collect more in property taxes than the previous year. Taxpayer funded lobbyist and some government officials testified that this legislation wasn’t needed because they are transparent.  That is apparently not the case.  I’ve been listening to constituents complain about the lack of transparency on the meeting notices and proposed increases.  Last week, a county commissioner told county employees to show up to the RNR hearing, but didn’t mention it to others.  Only one Commissioner in that County voted No on an 8% increase, the rest voted Yes. Ouch!

Some officials are voting YES on the resolution/ordinance to go above the RNR, but saying they didn’t increase property taxes because they lowered the mil levy.  When they vote to go above the RNR and collect more money than the previous year-that is a tax increase! Taxation with representation – let your voice be heard.”

Clifton compared the 2021 budget to the 2022 budget and said the 2022 budget is $44,000 less than last years.  Michael Hoyt said the RNR is a shell game being played in the state of Kansas and said this is a tax increase; he said the purpose of SB 13 was to freeze the rate. Clifton said anyone concerned with SB13 should call the Senators and House of Representatives since they voted for this. Susan said that the County needs $7,127,242 in ad valorem taxes to operate and said because the assessed valuation went up, they are able to capture more money. Jim made a motion to close the public hearing, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 26-21 and to give Chairman Oharah permission to sign this resolution, Jim seconded and all approved and Lynne signed the resolution.

Clifton made a motion to open the public hearing for the CDBG Rural Water District, Jim seconded and all approved.  Amber Dean with SEKRPC was present for the hearing as well as Michael Hoyt.  Jim questioned the County’s financial responsibility in this grant, Amber said this all falls on the Rural Water District.  She said the County or City has to apply for the grant on behalf of the Rural Water District; she said this is a $1.5 million project (to install water lines) and said they were applying for a $700,000 grant. Susan Bancroft said the insurance company or legal counsel might have to litigate if there are any problems in the field on the project.  Amber stated that Rural Water is responsible for all finances of this project and said any change orders have to be approved by the County.  Mark Pohlmier (by telephone) stated that they want to replace the water lines on Maple Road that are 60 years old.  Mark said an outside contractor (that is insured and bonded) will install the lines.  Mark said this is a $1.5 million project that they will pay ½ of and said they were aware that any change orders would cost them more money.  Clifton made a motion to suspend the CDBG public hearing for approximately 45 minutes until legal counsel looks at the contract, Jim seconded and all approved.


Public Works Eric Bailey: Eric said the northern and the northwestern part of the County received 6” of rain this past weekend, so they are hauling rock to that part of the County.


Crack sealing machine: Eric said a new machine cost $50-$55,000 or they can rent a machine for $500/day + materials are approximately $1,300/pallet.  Eric said they may be able to share the City’s machine.  Jim said Liberty Bell Road and Locust Road needs some crack sealing done.


KDOT Safety grant: Eric said they applied for this grant in April and Bourbon County was chosen to receive the grant.  He said they will do a safety plan on the 257 miles of collector roads and the 16 other miles. Bourbon County’s share of this plan will be $5,265.  Eric said Justin Meeks had reviewed the contract.  Jim made a motion to approve Eric working with KDOT on the safety road grant and our portion being $5,265, Clifton seconded and all approved and signed the document.

Windmills: Eric said there are three up in Bourbon County.


Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to move the discussion about CIC until after Susan talks and move the County Counselor after Susan as well, Jim seconded and all approved.


Susan reported that the Rural Water District for Allen/Neosho/Bourbon County requested $18,251 in ARPA funds for meters, she said Shane Walker requested $26,000 in ARPA funds to upgrade the EMS software (computers used for maps and reporting).  SEK Mental Health requested $212,500 in ARPA funds (Susan said she hasn’t asked if this money will stay in Bourbon County).  Clifton suggested waiting to decide on the EMS request.


Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda for an executive session, Jim seconded and all approved.  Clifton made a motion to go into a 7-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:18, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Rob Harrington and Susan Bancroft).  Clifton made a motion to resume with no action, Jim seconded and all approved.


CIC annual contract: Susan said she and Shane had a conversation with CIC and CIC dropped the ball on issues. She said they are trying to resolve issues, but said she didn’t think the work order portion would work for Bourbon County and said they are looking at a different software company for this.  Susan suggested waiting until the issues are resolved before signing.  This will be discussed again next week.


Jim made a motion to move forward with the $18,251 of ARPA funding for the Allen/Neosho/Bourbon County Rural Water District for new water lines, Clifton seconded and all approved.

Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to move the County Counselor portion of the meeting until after the Commissioner Comment, Jim seconded and all approved.


Commissioner Comment: Jim made a motion to amend the agenda for an executive session, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Justin Meeks arrived at the Commission meeting.


Jim made a motion to have a 10-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy to discuss job performance, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:34, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks and Ashely Shelton).  At 10:34, Clifton made a motion to resume the meeting with no action, Lynne seconded and all approved.


Lynne made a motion to suspend the Commissioner comment and resume the CDBG grant hearing, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Justin said he had reviewed the CDBG grant before and felt it was good to go. Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 27-21, Jim seconded and all approved. Clifton made a motion to accept Resolution 28-21 and that Lynne be able to sign the CDBG documents, Jim seconded and all approved.  Clifton made a motion to close the CDBG public hearing, Jim seconded and all approved.


Commissioner Comment: Lynne said he had been the “keeper” of the KMDO radio spot, but said he wanted to make a motion to assign this duty to Susan Bancroft, Jim seconded the motion, Clifton asked that Susan reach out to the other agencies or public officials

we support to see if they want to participate in the radio spot as well, all approved the motion.


Justin Meeks apologized for being late, but said he had to be in Linn County this morning.  Justin said he received a call from legal counsel from a person representing a sewer issue outside the City of Redfield.  He said the County has done some sewer variances before and said they are looking at a parcel that could have an easement for lateral lines, he said he is still reviewing this.


Justin said he may have the Lake Sewer District agreement next week.  He said the 1st tax sale will be October 7th.


Clifton made a motion to allow the three Commissioners to attend the Republican party meeting on September 9th when a new County Clerk will be appointed, Jim seconded and all approved.


Justin briefly mentioned the shared services for the HR director between the City and County, (25 hours at the City and 15 hours at the County).  Jim made a motion to allow Chairman Oharah to sign for a shared services for HR director at 15 hours/week for the County beginning January 1, 2022, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to allow Chairman Oharah to meet with Justin and whoever else is needed regarding the sewer district agreement, Jim seconded and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to go into a 7-minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (1) to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy to discuss job performance and job function, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 11:06, Jim seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Eric Bailey and Justin Meeks).  At 11:06, Clifton made a motion to resume the normal session with no action, Jim seconded and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to allow Eric Bailey to discuss equipment, Jim seconded and all approved.  Eric said he found a replacement truck; it is a 2014 Mack truck in Fort Worth for $51,000 with 271,000 miles.  Jim made a motion to allow Eric to move forward with purchasing this truck for $51,000 with Eric’s approval, Clifton seconded and said this money will come from reimbursed money from the insurance company, and all approved the motion.


At 11:10, Jim made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and all approved.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner


Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk

September 14, 2021, Approved Date


News Release of the USD 234 Sept. 13 Board Meeting



Monday, September 13, 2021


Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at the Fort Scott Middle School Commons on Monday, September 13, 2021, for their regular monthly meeting.

President James Wood opened the meeting.  The board approved the official agenda.

The board approved the consent agenda as follows:


A.    Minutes

B.    Bills and Claims

C.    Payroll – August 20, 2021 – $1,293,655.87

D.    Financial Report

E.     Activity fund accounts


Patrons spoke in the public forum, and the board heard from community speakers.

The board reviewed the Operations Plan.  In addition, Ted Hessong, Superintendent; Gina Shelton, Business Manager/Board Clerk; and Dalaina Smith, Director of Academics, gave reports.  Principals from each building shared written reports with board members.

The board approved the following:


·       The Summit on Professional Learning Communities at Work for administrators and faculty

·       Memorandum of Understanding with Freeman Health Center for an athletic trainer


Board members reviewed the first day enrollment count.

Board members shared comments and then went into executive session to discuss personnel matters for nonelected personnel and returned to open meeting.

The board approved the following employment matters:


A.    Resignation of Kourtney Harper, high school paraprofessional, effective September 3, 2021

B.    Resignation of Joy Gray, middle school paraprofessional, effective September 2, 2021

C.    Extended leave of absence for Becky Howard, middle school paraprofessional

D.    Work agreement adjustment for Patsy French, Eugene Ware paraprofessional, from a 7.75-hour day to an 8-hour day for the 2021-22 school year

E.     Work agreement adjustment for Allen Davis, 8-hour middle school custodian, to a 6-hour middle school custodian/2-hour central office custodian for the 2021-22 school year

F.     Work agreement adjustment for Dee Peters, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, from a 4.5-hour work day to a 7.5-hour work day for the 2021-22 school year

G.    Employment of Makyah Goldsby as a middle school paraprofessional for the 2021-22 school year

H.    Employment of Gregg Sweet as a Eugene Ware paraprofessional for the 2021-22 school year

I.      Employment of Jenna Bunn as a Winfield Scott paraprofessional for the 2021-22 school year

J.      Employment of Mary Jo Harper and Alex Chesney as high school assistant musical directors for the 2021-22 school year; transferring Kelli Davis, high school freshman assistant volleyball coach, to high school head freshman volleyball coach for the 2021-22 school year

K.    Stipend for Angie Kemmerer, middle school social studies teacher, of $3,500 for gifted education support

L.     Addition of a nurse for the preschool center, part-time or full-time


The board adjourned.


New Service Station Opens on South Hwy. 69

K.C. Mart owner Harjit Kaur waits on a customer on Sept. 8.

A new gas service station/convenience store, K.C. Mart, has opened at 946 S. Hwy. 69, near the LaRoche Baseball Stadium, south of Fort Scott.

The station was opened August 23 by the owner Harjit Kaur.

In addition to gasoline, the station offers dine-in seating space for customers to enjoy food, beer, and soft drinks.

Offered also are off-road diesel fuel, regular diesel fuel and racing fuel (leaded 110), and Octane 93 premium fuel, Kaur said.

“Semi-truck parking is allowed in the back of the station,” Kaur said. “No prior arrangements are necessary.”

Semi-truck parking is allowed in the back of the K.C. Mart Station at 946 S. Hwy. 69.

Harjit and husband Binder Singh also opened a K.C. Mart at 2191 Soldier Road,  hear Hammond, north of Fort Scott in October 2020. KC Mart: Gas Station Service to Northern Bourbon County

“We wanted to establish more business,” Kaur said. “People would come from this area to our store near Hammond for Opie’s Pizza that we serve. We thought we would come here to provide it.”

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information or to order a pizza, call 620-644-9867.

K.C. Mart, 946 S. Highway 69, across from the LaRoche Baseball Stadium.


Dry Wood Creek Cafe: New Business Owners at the Former Lyon’s Mansions

In front is Seraphine, with Jackson, Marty, Carrie, and Caleb Elton. Submitted photo.
A new family to Fort Scott has purchased the two former Lyon’s Mansions on National Avenue.
Marty and Carrie Elton moved their family into the north mansion on June 1.
The south mansion’s main floor, formerly known as Nate’s Place, will be a restaurant called Dry Wood Creek Cafe, Carrie Elton said.
The Elton’s will be offering delicious food, and a comfortable space to enjoy it, Carrie said.
“Marty has been in the restaurant business his entire life,” she said. “He has been both in the back of the house and the front of the house. He is past president of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association and most recently the owner and operator of a successful catering company.”
Marty Elton. Submitted photo.
Carrie grew up north of Buffalo, NY among “amazing bakers and cooks” and desires to bring those flavors to the people of Fort Scott, she said.
The Eltons were looking for opportunities to move to a small town, she said.
“We found this property and immediately fell in love with it,” she said. “A perfect confluence of events made this dream a reality for us.”
“We are currently living in the former bed and breakfast with our three children and two dogs,” Carrie said. “Once the children are grown we may look at reopening the  north mansion as a bed and breakfast.”
They have been preparing to open the restaurant soon, possibly next week if staffing and licensing issues are resolved.
There is office space available on the second floor that they “look forward to partnering with someone as they begin their journey,” she said.
The third floor is a two-bedroom apartment that is currently a vacation rental on  Vacation Rentals By Owner, VRBO, she said.
The restaurant is slated to have hours of operation: Tuesday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Contact information for Marty or Carrie is 620.224.2970. Like the restaurant on their Facebook page, Dry Creek Cafe.
“We look forward to holding special events a couple of times a month, at night,” she said. “More information will be available on these once we get up and running.” 

The menu is taken from their Facebook page:

From the Dry Wood Creek Cafe Facebook page.

Register for Sept. 18-19 Multiple Sports Events at Gunn Park by This Sunday


Runners in the October 2015 Tri-Yak-A-thon.

Next weekend, two annual sports events will be combined: the Marmaton Massacre with the  Tri-Yak-A-Thon and additionally a separate golf disc tournament.

Local businessman and bike enthusiast, Frank Halsey is the organizer of the bike race called the Marmaton Massacre and the kayak-run-bike contest called the Tri-Yak-A-Thon.

The Marmaton Massacre is still seeking participants, according to the Gunn Park Trails Facebook page.

The deadline to register is this Sunday,  September 12, at midnight.

Frank Halsey, the event organizer, hugs his grandson following a first-place win in the kids’ race in July 2018.

“The Gunn Park Trail Volunteers (the sponsors of the events)are super excited! It’s going to be a very busy weekend in beautiful Gunn Park,” Halsey said.

“We’ve combined our annual Marmaton Massacre Festival and The annual Tri-Yak-A-Thon into a really fun-packed weekend, September 18th & 19th,”  Halsey said.  “In addition, Danny Craig is hosting a disc golf tournament on Saturday, the 18th.

“We kick off the activities with the Tri-Yak-A-Thon, at 9 a.m. Saturday,” Halsey said. “This is our 8th year for this charitable fundraiser of running a 5k on the trails, kayaking a 5k on the Marmaton River, and finishing with a 10k ride on the trails.”

Participants may go solo, or as a relay team.

“Solo is for those hard-core athletes, while the relay team is not easy, it’s definitely easier,” he said. “I don’t run any longer, so my daughter, Libby, and I will be a team. Proceeds of the Tri-Yak-A-Thon are donated to proceeds go to Fort Scott Paws and Claws Animal Shelter.”

“At 1 p.m. the Massacre officially starts with the marathon race,” Halsey said. “This is a 3-hour race, where participants complete as many laps as possible on our trails.”

To participate in the events see the Gunn Park Trails Facebook page, registrations must be sent by Sunday, Sept. 12.

The whole community is invited to watch.

“While most of the events are not really spectator-friendly, we’d love to have the locals show up for the Saturday evening festivities,” he said. “These start about 5:30 p.m. with the always fun Kid’s Bike Race. We create an open course, through the park, so not on the trails, for kids 10 years old and under. This is a hoot watching these kids, and everybody cheering.”

At 6:30 p.m. a father and son, Ed and Exander Schilling, St. Joe, MO will give a demonstration on bike skills.

Halsey describes the two as “extremely talented.”  “Ed can do things on a bike that most can’t do on their feet, and Exander likes to get big air,” he said.

“Around 7:30 pm we have live music with DJ Brown & The Bourbon County Revival performing until about 9 or 9:30 p.m.,” he said.  “They are a local band, that plays a little bit of everything.”

“The Beech Street Eats food truck will be onsite for refreshments,” Halsey said.

“This is a great family atmosphere, and we hope the people of Fort Scott, and the surrounding area, will bring their lawn chairs, kid’s bikes, enjoy the evening in beautiful Gunn Park,” he said.

“We could not do this without our volunteers and our generous sponsors, including:

  • Eric’s Bike & Board of Overland Park
  • The Lockton Companies
  • UMB Bank
  • Sharky’s Pub & Grill
  • Cheney Witt Funeral Home
  • Sonic and Typhoon Bay Car Wash
  • Landmark Bank
  • City State Bank
  • Keys
  • Mid-Continental
  • Brock Electric
  • Labconco
  • Ward Kraft
  • CK Pro Photography
  • New Wave Broadband”


Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Sept. 2

September 2, 2021                                                              9:00 am


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session for a 2022 budget session, all three Commissioners and the Deputy County Clerk were present.

Susan Bancroft was also present.

Due to COVID precautions, the meeting was closed to the public, but broadcast on YouTube.

Susan presented the Commissioners with a revised 2022 budget. She said that there is $256,000.00 more requested. Ambulance will be discussed at the next meeting because Shane is wanting to do some updates to move them from iPads to computers so they can use GIS and CAD systems.

Susan stated the main budget increases that were made this year were: Treasurers for publication costs; Register of Deeds for part time help; Courthouse General for increased insurance costs; District Court for legal defense; IT for shared services due to a part time person moving to full time and being shared with the city, but that will be reimbursed back by the city; Conservation requested an additional $3,800.00 in funding; Road and Bridge so they will be fully staffed and additional $50,000.00 for material on the roads; Special Bridge asked for an additional $40,000.00 for material; Public Safety increase due to wages and supplies and for the Jail Sales Tax we moved capital outlay from public safety over to jail sales tax from the Sheriffs funds; everyone is budgeted to get a 3% raise except for elected officials.

Susan stated she did include in the budget document a 10-year recap for each department as well. Sheriffs’ department tab includes a trend report that was requested to see what has been happening in that department. Major changes are from the time when the jail was built, commodities and contractual both stayed about the same but there was definitely a shift in personnel services. She said that contractual for Corrections has gone up in 2020 due to the food services industry and having a lot of inmates; depending on how many inmates there are will determine that cost.

Susan said that Road and Bridge section has their 10-year capital improvement plan and equipment replacement plan for reference.

ARPA funding is included behind the APRA budget so in case there were any questions you could refer to that tab and it will show what the ARPA funding can be spent on. Jim asked if there was another year to spend the ARPA money or if it had to be spent this year. Susan stated that the County actually has a couple of years to spend the money, it does not have to be spent this year.

Susan stated there is a debt service schedule included through 2035 that show when debt will fall off to help with decision making in the future when things come up. Jim stated there are several things coming off the schedule next year including the Landfill backhoe. Lynne stated that the jail pods on page 5 shows them coming out of fund 220 and that is not correct. Susan said that should be fund 370 and she will correct it. Lynne said that the lease payments for road and bridge are down tremendously from 7 years ago. Jim stated that several things were bought with cash and Lynne said several things were paid off when we had the cash too.

Susan said that what she needs permission for publishing page 28 and 29 the Notice of Budget Hearing to let the public know that September 14th at 9:20 is when the budget hearing will be. The cemetery board will have to have their own RNR hearings but those have been scheduled at the Courthouse on the same day 5 minutes apart and there are 4 of them that need to have those hearing and hopefully Kendell can get ahold of them to let them know that they need to be present.  It was recommended by the State that those boards approve their own budgets. Fire District #3 is under the County and is under the revenue neutral rate. Susan asked for permission to publish the 2 pages in the newspaper if they are comfortable with the numbers.

Susan stated that the mill levy last year was 64.931 and this year it will be 62.5 mills, the revenue neutral rate was 62.130 mills. Lynne said that when you look at the houses sold and the appraised values going up and the new businesses it is phenomenal that we are at this point. Susan said that she looked at the school district, FSCC and the County compared to the City and all of their assessed values are trending up and the City’s is trending flat. We are seeing things grow in the County.

Lynne said that hopefully in Susan’s future we will see a packing plant but that is a 10-year plan. Susan said that she needs to get with the County Commissioners because there have been requests for improvements to the industrial park for the packing plant and we may need a partnership. The City may request to use some of the County ARPA funding in addition to the City’s, because the request is about $500,000.00 to get water and sewer to that plant. Lynne said that there would be a discussion in the future about this.

Lynne asked if EMS is part of what can be funded by ARPA and if any had been used this year. Susan said yes it can be used for EMS and they have not used any this year, but are requesting $26,000.00 to improve their equipment. Lynne said he was thinking a little bit bigger request such as for a new ambulance. Susan said she would want to get an opinion from the State on that.

Jim asked if the request was a must before they could start building the packing plant and felt it was late for a request to be made. Susan said that the request just came in. Susan said that the City will not get any kind of a tax benefit from the plant and that is why the City wants to ask the County for part of funding. She said that would be a valid use of ARPA funding. Lynne said that all the requests are valid and the funding is needed so we will have to set our priorities. Susan said the plant will be creating jobs. Clifton stated that we have to sustain an emergency room and that should be our main priority. The other commissioners agreed that healthcare should be the main priority. Susan recommended another joint City/County commission work session to talk through ARPA funding and make sure that we are accomplishing all of our goals because she knows the City is going to be asked also for healthcare as well. Lynne thinks that is a good idea.

Jim made a motion to allow Susan to publish the notice of budget as these numbers are given to us; Clifton seconded; all approved.

Susan gave an update on the audit stating that Terry will have a copy to the County next week to review. Jim asked what the purpose of a draft is. Susan said because it is the county’s financial statement as well as the audit and since he had to make so many adjustments that he wants to make sure there are no errors before the final draft is published. Susan said that he will be meeting with each commissioner individually this year. Jim asked if it was normal for him to meet individually with each commissioner and Susan responded that it is not the normal process. Lynne stated that this a new concept. Jim said he has not been through this process so he has to ask questions. Lynne said he understands the process is going to be different this year than it has in the past.

At 9:17 am, Clifton made a motion to adjourn; Jim seconded; all approved.



(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner


Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

September 7, 2021, Approved Date