All posts by Loretta George

Mike Reith Is The New UHS 7th-12th Grade Principal

Mike Reith. Submitted photo.

Mike Reith, 54, is the recently hired Uniontown Junior/High School Principal.

His official start date is August 1, 2019.

Reith has  32 years experience teaching math.  He taught four years at Indian Trail Junior High in Olathe; 28 years at McPherson High School – upper-level math such as AP Calculus, College Algebra and was math department chair at MHS for the past 15 years.

“Uniontown will be my first job as a building administrator,” Reith said.

Uniontown High School

Reith graduated from Girard High School in 1983,  earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Pittsburg State University in 1987, Master of Science Degree from Wichita State University in 2003 and will complete his Building Administration Licensure Degree from Emporia State University in May 2019.

Reith is a Southeast Kansas native.

“I  grew up on a farm 3.5 miles southwest of Hepler, then went to school K-12 in Girard,” he said.

Reith was a student who enjoyed school.

“All throughout my K-12 school experience, I enjoyed school and also enjoyed success academically,” Reith said.” I particularly excelled in math throughout high school, and really enjoyed the challenge as I progressed through the upper-level math courses.”

Reith had a math teacher that was a great influence on him.

“I had an outstanding math teacher, Gary Starr, who influenced me greatly,” he said. “I was also a three-sport athlete in high school and desired to coach at the high school level. Partnering those facts with a substantial scholarship offer from the Pitt State education department led me to the conclusion that I should pursue a math degree with an emphasis in secondary education.”

“During my teaching career, I have truly enjoyed working with students in the classroom and working with athletes in coaching. I have coached multiple sports throughout my career, but primarily basketball and track, and have been a part of some very special moments and teams.”

“While I still enjoy teaching and coaching, I began to notice an increasingly apparent need for strong leadership at the administrative level,” Reith said. “It was something that I considered earlier in my career, but the timing just wasn’t right for a variety of reasons.”

“But, three years ago, I made the decision that it was the right time and the right situation in my life to pursue a building administration degree. I will complete the program in May and receive my building administration license.”

“I am thrilled for this opportunity at Uniontown and am very appreciative to Superintendent Bret Howard and the USD 235 BOE for their support for and confidence in me. My wife and I are excited to be back in Southeast Kansas, as this gets us closer to several of our family members.”

When asked what the best part of education was for him, he replied:

“While there are many things that come to mind, the primary one is the opportunity to have a positive, life-changing impact on students, families, and communities. I believe every young person should have the hope of a successful future, and they deserve the opportunity to experience the necessary preparation for that to become a reality. Quality education is the lifeblood of a civilized society, and it is a high calling but a tremendous privilege to be a part of it.”

“I would add that I have experienced a great working relationship with my colleagues in the math department and on the girls’ basketball staff at McPherson High School,” Reith said. “It is extremely rewarding when you get the opportunity to work with like-minded educators who love what they do and are in the profession for the right reasons.”

Some of the challenges that Reith sees for future educators:

  • “Public-school funding in Kansas always seems to be at the forefront of challenging issues that face education.
  • “At the basic levels of daily instruction, educators are dealing with a growing number of issues students are dealing with,” resulting from a less-than-ideal home situation. I believe we need to take opportunities to work with families in this regard, to let them know we want to partner with them to help their student be as successful as possible. It is definitely a challenge to instruct students academically when they have significant issues that cause distractions.
  • “The Redesign Initiative implemented by the KSDE is now something that all schools and districts in Kansas must begin to address. I believe it is imperative for schools within districts to work as a cohesive unit so that the focus and goals are consistent and effective as a student moves through the grades and schools in the district.
  • “Social media presents challenges such as cyber-bullying, academic dishonesty, distractions, etc. Educators must be as proactive as possible to deal with this for the good of our students.
  • “We must not lose sight of the reason education exists. We can get bogged down and pulled in many directions; sometimes when we try to do too much, we’re not good at anything. Addressing the issues and concerns that will truly help students be more successful academically, while at the same time helping them develop good character traits, are what we should be focused on.”

Gunn Park Trail Volunteers Needed For Trail Clean-up

Volunteers are needed this Saturday morning for clean up of the bike/walk trails at Fort Scott’s Gunn Park Trails.

“We need to clean flood debris from the trails,” said Frank Halsey, who spearheads the trail volunteers.

“This is a post-winter clean-up,” he said.

Community members are encouraged to help with this volunteer program to keep the trails in top shape.

“We will meet at 9 a.m. at the main gate,” Halsey said. “The clean-up won’t go past noon.”

“Even if people can come for an hour, that is helpful,” he said.

Trail clean-up volunteers are encouraged to bring rakes, gloves, and boots.

The trails are for bicyclists and walkers.

“No horses, they are hard on trails,” Halsey said.

The volunteers have built an eight-mile trail in Fort Scott’s largest park, Gunn Park.

There are seven different trailheads for trail users to enter or exit onto the trail that parallels the Marmaton River in sections.



Keep Buying Local Cars

Briggs Auto of Fort Scott salesmen introduced at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce weekly coffee, March 21 by General Manager Scott Teenor, from left: Matt Harvey, Teenor , Rich Aydelotte, Paul Studyvin, Matt Bowersock.

Briggs Auto of Fort Scott General Manager Scott Teenor thanked the community for their business at the Chamber of Commerce Weekly Coffee on March 21.

“Keep buying cars,” Teenor said with a smile.

Teenor said the business is grown by “word of mouth and healthy criticism.”

They have hired two new technicians and three new salespeople recently, he said.

The business is located at 1819 S. Main, on Hwy. 69.

Fort Scott’s Finance Director Rhonda Dunn told the coffee attendees that Briggs Auto is the second largest generator of sales tax in the community, and sales tax revenue has increased 15 percent.

“Thanks for investing in our community,” Dunn told Teenor.

Briggs sells Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram, Toyota and Ford vehicles all in one location according to its website.

Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and on Sunday one can shop online, according to the website.

The phone number is 620-223-0900.


Tiny Houses For Rent at Old KOA Campground

Tiny houses are the rage on TV shows, and a local investment corporation has jumped on the band wagon.

Six tiny houses, ranging from 375 to 600 square feet, have been built on the former KOA Campground at 215th and Native Roads, just north of Hwy. 54.

“We have four (tiny house)  floor plans, all have room for four people,” said Pat Wood, who is the contact person for Yellow Brick Road Investment, owners of the property.

“One-half (the tiny houses) will be long term (rentals), one-half will be Airbnb (vacation rentals),” he said.

“They are super efficient,” Wood said. “The electric bills have been about $40 per month since December. We will provide trash, lawn and housing maintenance. All are one-bedroom with lofts.”

“I think younger people will be interested in it,” he said. “It’s not an apartment, but a little more private.”

Wood has used local demolition contractor Johnny Walker for items that have been used on the tiny houses.

“We have reclaimed items…sliding doors, interior trim, kitchen backsplashes,  shower surrounds, the majority of vanities and mirrors,” he said.

The name of the property is Crosslands Camping and Cabins.

“This property was neglected for many years before I got involved,” Wood said. “Little by little, we have been cleaning it up.”

“But we needed to generate some income,” he said.

“In 2016 I did a tiny house on wheels, Kevin (Stark) saw that,” Wood said. “It was his idea to build tiny houses out here. It’s a 50/50 partnership. Kevin owned the property for quite a while, I bought in two years ago.”

Wood is a member of the corporation called Yellow Brick Road Investment, with Kevin Stark as the president.

Wood can be reached at 620-224-7163.

Work began on the project in March 2018, and should be completed soon, Wood said.

There are also 54 sites for camping on the property, in a different area.

“Next, we plan to do some more work at the campground and get the clubhouse fixed up,” Wood said.

A pictorial view of a few of the tiny houses are below:

The tiny houses are located at the intersection of 215th and Native Road, north of Fort Scott.
Five of the six tiny houses are shown on March 14. They are projected to be finished in the near future, Wood said.
Pictured is the largest floor plan, 600 square feet, on the left, and the smallest, 375 square feet, on the right.
Mike Chipman, a sub-contractor, puts finishing touches on the largest of the tiny houses on March 14. Shown is the kitchen area, with the bedroom and bath to the left.
The kitchen/living room of the largest tiny house.
The bathroom of the largest tiny house.
The majority of shower surrounds, vanities, interior trim, kitchen back-splashes were reclaimed for use in the tiny houses.
The bedroom of the largest tiny house.
A kitchen booth with chandelier and a reclaimed barn-type door are featured in the smallest tiny house pictured.
The door to the bedroom and bathroom, with a loft above in the smallest tiny house.
The kitchen of the smallest tiny house.
The bathroom of the smallest tiny house.
A pass-through closet leads to the bathroom in the smallest tiny house.
The unique shower surround in the smallest tiny house.

Hedgehog.INK Upcoming Events

April, 2019 Newsletter

Upcoming Events:

March 26

6:00 p.m.

Joyce Love – Author Talk and Book Signing

Kansas Sunset

March 28 6:00 p.m.

Bourbon County Garden Club

Members and Guests

Hosted by



For the love of

Gardening – Sheryl Bloomfield and Jan Hedges

April 1, 2019

Dont be a fool.

Do be cool!

Kick off National

Poetry Month,

Stop by the bookstore to pick up an entry for the

Hedgehog poetry contest.

(National poetry month takes place each April and was introduced in 1996. Learn more by going to


April 4 1:00 p.m.

Author Talk and Book Signing

Learn more about Sally and her different styles of writing (including poetry).


April 13, 2019

Second Saturday Storytime

10:30 a.m.

With FSCC students


April 13, 2019

Author Talk and Book Signing

Pastor George Proctor

You read his column every Saturday in the Fort Scott Tribune.

See him in person at

Hedgehog.INK! on Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m.

A community of books for the community

April 18, 2019

Pocket Poem Day

Bring a poem in your pocket and share

with Hedgehog.INK! It can be an original or one you have always loved.

(We will post the poems in our window. Must be suitable for all ages.)

25% off Poetry, Classics, and Literature – all day

April 27-28

Civil War Weekend at Fort Scott National Historic Site

Check out our Civil War section with a number of recently added books.


April 30

Poetry contest entries due by 5:00 p.m.


May 7 6:00

Poetry Contest Reception

Winners Announced

Light Refreshments served

Bourbon County Attorney’s New Space

The Bourbon County Courthouse, 210 S. National Avenue.

The Bourbon County County Attorney’s Office has moved.

The move took place following the departure of the old jail to the new jail facility last year. The Bourbon County Commissioners then reconfigured the courthouse, 210 S. National, moving most of the offices to the first floor of the facility.

The second floor was then designated as the county attorney’s office and the staff moved in October 2018.

Security is the main reason for the move.

“The second-floor office is for security,” said Judy Hood, senior legal secretary for Bourbon County Attorney Jacqui Spradling. “We had a KBI (Kansas Bureau of Investigation) agent come and talk with the county attorney. He jumped over the counter, to show how vulnerable they were.”

Both the second and third floor of the courthouse have restricted access since the reconfiguration of the building.

The hallways have been blocked with doors to the second floor. One can no longer walk from the first to the second floor of the courthouse, using the main staircase.

In addition, there is faster access to the district courtrooms on the third floor of the Bourbon County Courthouse for the attorneys, Hood said.

There are three attorneys and three secretaries in the Bourbon County Attorney’s Office.

Jacqie Spradling is the Bourbon County Attorney, Tiana McElroy and Steve Stockard are the assistant county attorneys.

Jacqie Spradling. Submitted photo.
The lawyer’s conference table.

The three secretaries are Hood, Angel Wilson, and Staci Haynes.

The access elevator to the second and third floors of the Bourbon County Courthouse is in the corridor between the courthouse and the north wing of the courthouse.
The stair access to the second and third floor is next to the Bourbon County Clerk’s Office in the north wing.
The Bourbon County Attorney’s Office on the second floor of the courthouse.
The Child In Need Of Care Conference room on the second floor of the courthouse.


New Medical Providers Coming To Fort Scott

Sliding fee discounts and financial assistance is available to eligible patients, as stated on the front door of the CHC/SEK Clinic in Fort Scott.

New medical providers have been or will be added to the services that Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas will furnish to Fort Scott, according to Krista Postai, Chief Executive Officer.

Postai said the following have recently been added as medical providers at the Fort Scott Clinic.


Allen County Regional Hospital-Ralph W. Hall, DO



Mercy Group- Renae Bateman, APRN

AJ Caine,  MD   (August 2019)

Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)- James L. Marcum, MD



Mercy Medical Group- Pam Darnel, APRN


Ashley Clinic- John J. Robinson, MD

Elias A. Tawil, MD


HCA (Mid Summer 2019)


HCA (Mid Summer 2019)


HCA (Mid Summer 2019)


Freeman- Greg King, APRN


Amy Budy


Introducing the practice manager of the CHC/SEK at Fort Scott, Amy Budy.

Budy oversees the main clinic and  Walk-In Care.

She is a former administrative assistant at the Mercy Clinic and had worked at Mercy for 19 years performing a variety of job duties including registration supervisor and precert coordinator.

Budy has been married for 19 years to Jeremy, and has a son Dominick 14; daughters, Mackenzie, 11, and Kynleigh. 8 years.

Budy attended Metro Business College, in the Medical Secretary program.

Bermuda Grass can be an alternative pasture grass to fescue

Chris Petty, K-State Livestock Production and Forage Management,

Bermuda Grass, also known as Bermudagrass (one word), a type of pasture grass common in Oklahoma and Arkansas, is becoming popular in in southeast Kansas.

Our climate and rainfall are suitable to some of the hardier varieties.

Additionally, Bermuda grass does not have the endophyte responsible for negative performance in beef cattle that is commonly found in our more widespread fescue varieties.

While this doesn’t make Bermuda grass a cure all pasture grass replacement, it does provide southeast Kansas farmers and ranchers with another option.

If you would like to learn more about the pros and cons of Bermuda grass, you are invited by the K-State Research and Extension – Southwind District to attend an informational program entitled Bermuda Grass Basics, on Tuesday April 2, 2019 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Galesburg Christion Church.

The church is located at 205 Chestnut St, Galesburg, KS.

A ten dollar fee, payable at the door will cover the cost of meals and materials.

The speakers for this program include Dale Helwig, Cherokee County Extension Director, and Keith Martin, former Wildcat Extension District Agriculture Agent. Both Helwig and Martin are knowledgeable in Bermudagrass production and use.

The specific topics of discussion will include Bermuda Grass establishment, fertility, and haying

. For more information or to register to attend this meeting, please call the Southwind Extension District –Fort Scott office at 620-223-3720 or e-mail District Extension agent for Livestock Production and Forage Management Christopher Petty, M.S. at

Tri Valley: Gardening Auction on March 30

Some of the Tri-Valley staff: from left, Sue Schropp, receptionist; Grace Kramer, employment coordinator; Alene Jolly, director of day services and Barb McCord, horticulture therapist.

Tri-Valley Developmental Services is having its’ bi-annual Gardener’s Christmas Auction on Saturday, March 30 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

It is a silent auction and plant sale which will feature annuals, garden tools, silk bouquets, and home and garden decor, TVDS Horticultural Therapist Barb McCord told the Chamber attendees Thursday morning.

Donations of gently used gardening items are sought by March 22 for the Compost Bin Market, which is part of the fundraiser.

The Gardeners Christmas Auction will benefit the Horticulture Therapy Program, which serves those with intellectual disabilities.

The Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce members take turns hosting a weekly coffee where they can tell about upcoming events.

During the March 14 coffee, Knights of Columbus Member Mark McCoy presented TVDS Executive Director Tim Cunningham with a check in the amount of $932. 67.

Cunningham told the donation will be put in the foundation funds that supports TVDS and used “to build homes” for the clients, he said.

Cunningham noted that TVDS has been in Fort Scott since 1978 offering services to people with developmental disabilities.

There will be a golf tournament fundraiser on Sept. 14 at Woodland Hills Golf Course in Fort Scott, Cunningham said.

Tri-Valley Horticulture Therapist Barb McCord tells the Chamber coffee attendees of the upcoming Gardener’s Christmas Auction on March 30. For more information call McCord at 620-223-3990 ext. 434.
Tri-Valley Executive Director Tim Cunningham, left, receives a check from Knights of Columbus Member Mark McCoy at the weekly Chamber coffee. The check for $932 will be used towards building homes, Cunningham said. TVDS offers housing options for people with disabilities including community homes and apartments.
Tri-Valley Developmental Services, 4305 Campbell Dr., in Fort Scott’s Industrial Park.

Lenten Friday Fish Fry Through April 12

Image may contain: one or more people and food

The Knights of Columbus Lenten Fish Fry continues through April 12 from 5 to 7 p.m. on Fridays. Everyone is welcome, there will be a freewill offering.

The menu consists fo fried or baked fish, french fries or baked potato, a vegetable, spaghetti with sauce, bread, dessert and a drink.

Community Health Center Update From Krista Postai

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, 401 Woodland Hills Blvd.


The past month has been busy for the new Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas staff’s move to the former Mercy Hospital Clinic.

“As expected, we had a few glitches with technology but believe we have internet and phone systems now working well…so thanks to everyone for their patience,” said Krista Postai, CEO for CHC/SEK.

The east entrance to the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas states that the center provides services regardless of ability to pay. Sliding fee discounts and financial assistance is available to eligible patients.

“Patients have been great about getting us signed consents to transfer records – so great, in fact, that we are backlogged….but working through the stack as fast as possible.”

“We also have been very appreciate for all the kindness we’ve been shown…many folks have gone above and beyond.”

“We did get mammography back up and running and are now working at restoring wound care services.”

“We’ve also approached three organizations about the possibility of offering cancer care in Fort Scott to replace the Cancer Center of Kansas who closed their clinic with minimal notice. We’ve had some interest but no commitments.”


“As in the past, we are providing comprehensive primary care including obstetrics. Dr. Burke is now on staff at Via Christi and doing deliveries; Dr. Seals is also doing deliveries at Via Christi and Nevada Medical Center.”


“With the addition of the new clinics, CHC/SEK now employs about 420 – about 40 of these are in the Ft. Scott clinics and about 30 staff are in Arma, Pleasanton and Mound City. We still have openings to fill in registration and nursing, as well as behavioral health where we are looking for a LSCSW or a psychologist (PHD),” Postai said.


“Convenient Care – now Walk-In Care – transitioned Feb. 1; the main clinic on Feb. 4.

“The pharmacy will formally transfer to our ownership April 1. In the interim, Mercy continues to operate it and have contracted with us for the 340B drug discount program which makes it possible for us to provide medications at very low cost for those who are uninsured or have limited finances.


“As we’ve mentioned in the past, our lease in the hospital building is for two years so we continue to explore long-range options. We will need about 20,000 sq. ft. which will allow us to offer more services including dental and behavioral health. Expect to have a decision on the direction we’ll take by May 1.”


We are working to recruit a pediatrician to Ft. Scott and have interviewed one candidate; also interviewed a dentist with an interest in returning to the area.”


“Phone numbers remain the same. Hours of operation have expanded at the main clinic to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.”

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas east entrance door states the hours of operation and the phone number of the medical provider on call.

Introducing the Chief Executive Officer of CHC/SEK:

Krista Postai. Submitted photo.

Postai, an original founder and former board member of CHC/SEK. She serves as Chief Executive Officer, according to the CHC/SEK website.

Prior to joining the organization in November 2004, she was vice president of planning and development at Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center. During her 23 years with Mt. Carmel, she was instrumental in the development of several key programs including the regional cancer center, the $17.5 million outpatient expansion completed in 2004, the creation of a physician recruitment and retention program and several mission-directed services including CareVan (a transportation service), Congregational Health Ministry, and the Wesley House Dental Clinic. She served as secretary to the Mount Carmel Foundation and as liaison to the Mt. Carmel Auxiliary.

She attended Pittsburg State University and is a graduate of Kansas University in Lawrence with a Bachelor’s of Science.