All posts by Loretta George

Christmas in the Park Dec. 7: Family Fun For Free

The big rock shelter house at Gunn Park is lit by Christmas as part of Christmas in the Park in 2017.

Christmas in the Park 2019  organizers hope to provide the community with a great holiday experience, according to Tom Robertson, one of the event coordinators. Robertson is the director of the Fort Scott Recreation Center. He and Diana Mitchell are spearheading the annual event.

Food, entertainment, crafts, and photo opportunities are provided with help from the City of Fort Scott many community volunteers who donate time and materials.

“If you haven’t been before, come,” Mitchell said. “It’s a wonderful evening. Where else can you go and spend three hours and it cost nothing.”


The event will take place on December 7th from 5 – 8 p.m. at Gunn Park.


The activities include chili for the family, a live band by Danny Brown Christmas music,  real reindeer for viewing, a live nativity by Bethel Community Church,  Christmas crafts for children to make, and a visit with Santa, portrayed by James Wood.


New this year is a coffee/hot chocolate bar with all the fixings and a selfie bar for fun family photos.


“The selfie bar will be provided by the Terrell Vann family,” Mitchell said. “You can hold crazy things up with a backdrop.”


Bring the camera for many other photo opportunities with Santa and real reindeer, Mitchell said.


All participants will be bussed into Gunn Park from parking lots at the Fort Scott Community College Nursing Department at 8th and Burke Street and the Fort Scott Professional Building at  8th and Osbun Street. Fort Scott Community College, USD 234, and some nursing homes are providing busses.


“We bus for the safety of participants,” Mitchell said. “Traditionally, there are about 1,600 people there.”


Some adventurous people walk into the park, she said.


“And that is acceptable, it is three-fourths of a mile to the center of the park,” Mitchell noted.


There will be long lines to some of the activities and patience is asked of participants.


The event is coordinated by members of the community in conjunction with the City of Fort Scott, according to Robertson.


The Fort Scott Police Department, the Fort Scott Fire Department, Fort Scott Community College, individual families, Winfield Scott Elementary School first-grade teachers and the Eye Center all are a part of the annual event.


“We want to provide a great holiday experience in a beautiful park in Fort Scott,” Robertson said. “It will allow our patrons to eat, listen to Christmas music, make crafts, decorate a sugar cookie, pet a live reindeer and of course… see Santa.”


Gunn Park will be closed to the public from Wednesday,  Dec. 4 until the event to prepare for the event, Mitchell said.

The following is where the activities are scheduled:

Park at parking lots and buses will pick up attendees at those sites.

Shelter 1-chili will be served.

Outside of a tent near this shelter will be the live band, provided by Danny Brown playing Christmas music. Inside the tent will be the hot chocolate/coffee bar and kids can decorate a cookie.

Shelter 2- the selfie bar is provided for photo opportunities, bring your camera.

Outside of the selfie bar will be live reindeer from Towanda, KS.

Shelter 6-Santa will be available for listening to Christmas requests.

Shelter 7-Christmas crafts for children sponsored by Buck Run Community Center.

Buses will transport attendees back to the parking lot to their cars.

Lake Fort Scott Advisory Board Formed

A board has been formed to help the local government entities keep informed of safety and other issues at Lake Fort Scott.
The chairman of the board will be determined at the first meeting, according to Robert Uhler, Fort Scott Community Development Director.
“The chairman will be determined at the first meeting. I am sending out a Doodle Poll this week to plan for the first meeting.”
“We thought it would be a good idea to start an advisory to help guide the city in all things happening at the lake,” he said. “Just like we have the design review board for the downtown historic district and the airport advisory board for the airport.”
Robert Uhler

The Fort Scott Lake Advisory Board had its organizing meeting at the Sleep Inn Hotel Meeting Room on Oct. 17, 2019.

Fort Scott City Manager David Martin called the meeting to order and explained that he is getting the group started, but would have Uhler facilitate the lake advisory board meetings, according to a press release from the city.

 Uhler then had the attendees introduce themselves and give a brief explanation of their interest in serving on the advisory board, according to the press release.

He explained the system of voting for the candidates for the board.

After a brief discussion, the attendees then voted to complete the board as per city ordinances.

After counting the votes, the following names were submitted to the Fort Scott City Commission on Nov. 5 for approval to serve on the board:

The east side lake representatives are Nancy Van Etten and Shane Wood; west side representative’s are Tom Brink and Dean Striler.

The at-large representative is Nancy Maze.

Other representatives are Jolynne Mitchell, Fort Scott City Commissioner; Jeff Fisher, Bourbon County Commissioner; Don Banwart and Marcy Myer, both city/county residents.

Others who attended the meeting:  Becky Howard, Richard Clark, Valerie Graham, Tom Graham, Harold Martin, Jon Eden, Bob Talbot,  Debbie Talbot, Dana Davis, Kerry Van Etten, Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin, Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office Major Bobbie Reed and Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Director Lindsay Madison.


Lake Fort Scott is located on Indian Road, southwest of Fort Scott.

Website Being Developed to Aid Renting Houses/Apts. in Fort Scott

Frank Adamson. Submitted photo.
Over the last year, local businessman Frank Adamson has been developing a rental property website called GrowFortScott.
He is currently accepting landlords and local businesses to the website and joining is free.
“The platform was designed to gather the local rental market and renters, to one place, to fulfill their combined needs,” Adamson said.
“We understood that endless calls between landlords and potential renters seemed a bit outdated.”
Click below to view the site:

“Inspiration for the site came from Ryan Sparks in Iola,” he said. “He has However, there have been many people involved with the development of the (GrowFortScott) project. Local landlords and business owners have contributed. And most importantly Isaac Robinson, formally from Uniontown,  facilitated the website construction.”

“I am the main developer of the site functionality and concept. I have spent many hours making sure that all of the functions were “User-Friendly” before launching the platform to the community,” he said.

There are three core components to the service: rentals and renters, local businesses and local job openings.


“We have been developing relationships with local landlords and businesses to find out what some of their needs and wants would be,” he said. “We identified the biggest needs and have developed around them.”
When fully functional, the website will consolidate rental properties, from multiple landlords, that are available now.
“You can search for rent, bedrooms, bathrooms and if it is pet-friendly,” he said. “View multiple photos and read the description of the rental. All from the comfort of wherever you may be. Then once you have determined what rental you would like to inquire about, you fill out an on-line application to the landlord. They will receive it, review it and respond to you. You will then be able to schedule a time to meet at the rental and finalize the renting of the property.”
“Access to local businesses and local jobs just fit as an intricate part of the community,” Adamson said. “We have made it simple for the local businesses to join and provide simple access to their business location, basic information, and potential job openings they may have.”
Frank and his wife, Cheryl Adamson are the owners of the Courtland Hotel and Spa.

Talking Tigers Take 2nd

FSHS Talking Tigers competed at Independence High School Saturday, November 16.
The Talking Tigers placed 2nd overall.
In the open division Mark Adams and Hannah Vann placed 8th with a 3-2 Record, Elizabeth Ngatia and Zoe Self placed 4th a 3-2 record and Jorden Willard and Jessden Kiwan placed 3rd with a 4-1record.
In the JV division Landon Doherty and Thade Yates placed 3rd with a 4-1 record.
In the novice division Gavin Warfield and Isaiah Self placed 3rd with a 5-0 record.
Congratulations on your success Tigers!
Submitted by Angella Curran

Obituary of Willis Irvin

Willis “Hugh” Irvin, 99, of Fort Scott, formerly of Rogers, Arkansas, passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at his home in Presbyterian Village. He was born in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, February 10, 1920, the son of Herbert and Hope (Swayze) Irvin. On June 19, 1945, Hugh married Mary Agnes Barrett in San Francisco, California, where they had met on a blind date.

Hugh was a graduate of Decatur High School in Georgia, Class of 1938. Dr. Irvin graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University, Class of 1943.  During WWII, Hugh was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy and served as a Communication Officer on the USS Barnett in the European Theatre and took part in the invasion at Salerno, Italy, and D-Day at Utah Beach, Normandy.  His next assignment was on the USS Montrose in the Pacific Theatre involved in the assault on Okinawa. When the war ended, his ship landed the first U.S. troops into Occupied Japan at Sasebo.

After the service, he started his career in Omaha as a USDA Veterinarian Meat Inspector. As he rose through the ranks, he worked in Chicago, Indianapolis, New Jersey, New York, Kansas City, and Dallas. He retired after 35 years of service as the Director of Federal Meat and Poultry Inspection in Washington, DC. He and Mary retired to Rogers, Arkansas, in 1981. He was a longtime member of the Rogers’ Noon Kiwanis Club, a member of the Association for Beaver Lake Environment and a volunteer at Rogers’ St. Mary’s Hospital for many years.

Hugh will be remembered for his great sense of humor which he used professionally as well as socially to the amusement of his friends and family. He was a prolific, engaging storyteller who, in his Southern drawl, entertained all with his stories of growing up during the depression in northwest Arkansas.  Hugh had an amazing memory for jokes and a dictionary mind for vocabulary, excelling at crossword puzzles. He enjoyed traveling in retirement, exploring new places and foods. He made friends wherever he lived or worked. His love of history led him in his later years to read a biography on every president.  Always active, he loved gardening, square dancing, and biking.

He was deeply caring about his family, his community, the environment and the wider world around him. He was proud of his public service in the military, career in food safety, and years of community volunteering. He was loved by an extended family and friends who miss the character and brightness he brought into the world.  Just like the great books he loved, he changed us in many ways and will be in our hearts forever.

In addition to his wife, Mary, he is survived by two sons, Roger (Susan) of Monroe, Oregon, and David (Janet) of Fort Scott, Kansas, a daughter, Barbara Irvin (Bruce Mayer) of Madison, Wisconsin, four grandchildren, Patrick Irvin (Jarita), Christopher Irvin (Annie Brice), both of Oregon, Kelly Irvin and Betsy Philipp (Nick), both of Kansas, and six great-grandchildren, Tyler, Henry, Jack and Shail Irvin of Oregon and Barrett and Theo Philipp of Kansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Leslie Irvin, and Jack Irvin and two sisters, Marguerite Steele and Evelyn Jean Bagwell.

Funeral arrangements for Hugh Irvin were at Mary Queen of Angels at 12:00 pm on Saturday, November 9, 2019, under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. Interment was at the Fort Scott National Cemetery at a later date.  Memorials may be made to either The Nature Conservancy at or the Good Samaritan Fund at The Presbyterian Village, and may be left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, P.O. Box 309, 15 W. Wall St., Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701.

Obituary of Sharon Rains

Sharon “Sharry” Ann (Martin) Rains, 72, of Fort Scott, passed away peacefully at her home, Thursday morning, November 7, 2019.  She was born on July 29, 1947, in Cherokee, Oklahoma to Loren Ralph and Anna Hayes Martin. Sharry moved to a farm outside of Fort Scott in 1960 and graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1965.  She was married to Ronald Lee Rains on April 16, 1967, in Chanute, Kansas by Ron’s father, Pastor Edgar Rains. Together they had two children, Cecilia Jill Rains Evans and Shannon Lee Rains.

Sharry worked as a Bookkeeper at Western Insurance, Midwestern Distribution, Hammer Insurance, Ruddick’s Inc., and My1Stop.  She retired from bookkeeping in 2012 but then held a part-time job at Gene’s IGA until 2015. Sharry was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010 and bravely fought four bouts of it.  She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Fort Scott and was a faithful servant to our Lord and a fervent prayer warrior.

Sharry was extremely proud of her kids and grandkids and loved to attend as many of their events as she could.  She was their biggest cheerleader, believed in and prayed for them always, and loved them with all her heart. Sharry had the sweetest spirit and was the most generous person to all she knew.  She was deeply loved by her husband, children, and grandkids and will be greatly missed by them all. Survivors include her husband, Ron, of the home; a daughter, Jill Evans and husband Chris, Louisburg, KS; a son, Shannon Rains, Fort Scott; four grandchildren, Bethany Phillips, Jordan Phillips, Kylie Rains, and Robert Rains; a brother, Loren L. Martin and wife Patty, Girard, KS; a sister, Maryn K. Wiggins, Pittsburg, KS; and several nieces and nephews.  Sharry was preceded in death by her parents, Loren Martin and Anna Wade; her father-in-law, Edgar Rains, and mother-in-law, Eva Rains; and by her stepmother, Maxine Martin.

Funeral services were 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church with burial following in the Fort Scott National Cemetery.  The family received friends Monday, November 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home in Fort Scott. The family suggests memorial contributions to the First United Methodist Church of Fort Scott.  Contributions may be left in the care of, the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall St., P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at

New Tree Removal Business: Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis, owner of Timber! Trees A to Z. Submitted photos.
Jason Lewis, 46, started a new business in May 2019 that provides tree removal services and more in Fort Scott.
The Fort Scott native, who graduated in 1991, spent the following 26 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2017.
“I started this business so I could have a more flexible schedule,” Lewis said.
The name of Lewis’s business is Timber! Trees A to Z and also includes stump grinding, pasture clearing, debris removal, and residential dump truck services.
A part of Jason Lewis’s line of equipment. Submitted photos.
Timber! Trees A to Z address is 1082 205th St., Fort Scott.
Lewis can be reached at 620-215-6784 or
His community involvement includes serving as senior vice president of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Club.

Lewis is married to Lori Lewis and has a daughter, Ainslee Lewis and three stepsons, Jacob, Hunter,  and Peyton Zubieta.

Jason Lewis works on a tree with some of his equipment. Submitted photos.


Fort Scott’s Holiday Open House Tonight Nov. 14 from 5-8 p.m.

The annual Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce holiday shopping event is this evening.

From 5-8 p.m. Nov. 14,  stores in the downtown area will welcome shoppers with new displays and perhaps a snack.

Also Bartlesmeyer Jewelry, 1519 S. National; Sekan Occasion Shops, 2210 S. Main and the Lavender Patch, 2376 Locust, will be open late for shopping convenience.

New this year, Kenny Felt Photography will be offering $10 professional photos to make Christmas cards, with 10 percent of the sales going to local organization Care to Share. He will be a part of the Sekan Occasion Shops happenings.

Dolley the Trolley will be going store to store for those whose feet get tired going from store to store.

In addition to snacks to enjoy while shopping, many stores will be offering special drawings, including $50 in Chamber Bucks.

Santa sits on a bench in front of The Ironstar and gets a second look from Ernestine Eden at a past Holiday Open House.

Stores participating in the holiday event are Bids and Dibs, Books and Crannies, Country Cupboard, Courtland Hotel and Spa, Empress Event Center-Marketplace Vendors, Front Door Christmas Store,  Hedgehog.INK Book Store, Here We Go Again Upholstery and More,  Iron Star Antiques and Such, J&W Sports Shop, Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Main Street Gallery and Gifts, Mayco Ace Hardware, Ruddick’s Furniture, Sekan Occasion Shop, Sunshine Boutique, the Lavender Patch, Trader Dave’s, Treasure Hunt Flea Market.


Lora Holdridge shows off a Christmas treasure she found at the Holiday Open House.

Ring A Bell to Assist Local Families

Allen Schellack

It’s that time of year when shoppers notice the red kettles at stores, with smiling bell ringers waiting for donations.

The Salvation Army annual fundraiser starts the day after Thanksgiving in Bourbon County and bell ringers are needed.

There are flexible hours and days for volunteers to schedule a time of bell ringing.

“It’s great for individuals, families, churches and community service organizations,” Allen Schellack, who is the local contact for the Salvation Army, said.

“The Salvation Army has someone in each county to represent them,” he said. “Called a service extension unit and disaster relief.”

“Your donation will stay local, helping your Bourbon County neighbors in need,” he said. “With such help as utility assistance, some  temporary lodging, dental, prescription and glasses, it’s a wide range of things.”

“The last big flood we had, I gave someone a room until the water receded,” Schellack said. “I work case-by-case.”

“This year, $7,789 in assistance was provided 213 times to local families,” Schellack said.

For more information or to set up an appointment, contact Schellack at 620.223.2212.

Compassion Ministries, of which Schellack is the director, is located on the second floor at 26 N. Main. The ministry serves the underprivileged in Bourbon County.

Schellack is also the coordinator for Care Portal, which works with foster families.

To volunteer online go to


BBQ Is Coming to Old Buffalo Grill Restaurant

The Buffalo Grill restaurant, at 3 W. Oak, is being repurposed.

After closing almost a decade ago, it has been used for special events.

But if all the plans fall into place, Dave Lipe said the restaurant will change to an upscale barbeque place in December.

Lipe and Luther Salisberry will be the restaurant owners and have just signed a five-year lease from building owner Al Niece which includes the River Room Event Center on the second floor.

Luther’s BBQ is the name of the new restaurant.

“We are shooting for Dec. 1 (opening date),” Lipe said. “I’ve got to have a lot of things put in place (before then). There is not much to do in the restaurant. We need to get a liquor license and some equipment and we will be ready to go.”

The new restaurant will seat about 150 people, while the River Room Event Center about 500, Lipe said.

“Our specialty will be burnt ends with specials during the week,” he said. “Pretty much everything will be made from scratch with price ranging from average to up.”

Also available will be pork chops, ribs, steaks, smoked brisket, and pulled pork, he said.

“It will be a gourmet, upper-end-style barbeque, mirrored after Q39 and Stack Jack Restaurants in the Kansas City area,” Lipe said.

From left is Alex Hudson/general manager, Luther Saulsberry/owner, David Lipe/owner. Submitted photo.

The business will be hiring approximately 20-40 people.

“Some part-time,” Lipe said.  “During busier times of the year, we’ll have a bigger staff. We’ll start interviewing in late November.”

Things are looking good for the business.

“I’ve already booked four weddings for next year,” he said. “The cost will vary, there are several packages available  and full-service catering.”

For the River Room Event Center outside catering will be allowed, he said.



Dave Lipe on the lift arm takes down the Buffalo Grill sign on the building at Oat St. and National Avenue on November 4. The lift equipment was loaned by Jason Lewis, lower left in photo, who owns a tree cutting business. The new restaurant will be Luther’s BBQ.

New Chiropractor In Fort Scott: Kaylee Clifton

Dr. Kaylee Clifton

 Clifton Chiropractic,  LLC opened a new practice at 203 E 3rd St., Fort Scott on September 3, 2019.

Clifton Chiropractic, 203 E. Third. Submitted photo.

The owner, Dr. Kaylee Clifton D.C, 30, graduated from Cleveland Chiropractic College, Kansas City in 2014. She was a graduate of Jayhawk Linn High School, and her hometown is Centerville.

She has five years of experience and, also maintains a practice in Pleasanton, KS.

“I opened my first practice location in Pleasanton,  in 2015 and decided to grow my business this year. I currently split my time between the two locations.”

“My passion for chiropractic care started at age 15, I’ve always known this was my career choice,” Clifton said. “I saw firsthand the positive changes it can have on someone’s life. My favorite part of being a chiropractor is helping, educating and inspiring patients to lead healthier lifestyles and teaching them how the body has the power to heal itself. I love getting the opportunity to help better someone’s quality of life every day!”

“I love to work with school kids to teach them the importance of form and technique to better protect their bodies for the future.”


Services Clifton provides are adjustments for all ages (pediatrics to geriatrics), decompression therapy, pregnancy, sports injuries, acupuncture, activator, Graston, and school physicals.

 Karen Stewart is the office manager.

Karen Stewart. Submitted photo.

 In 2020 Clifton will add Department Of Transportation Physicals to her list of services available.

“I am currently in the process of completing my training and certification to be able to perform DOT Physicals,” she said.

Clifton is a provider for Medicare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Health Care. She also accepts other major insurances.

Clifton lives outside of Prescott on a cattle ranch with husband, Tim, along with three dogs and a pet calf.

They have been married for five years and enjoy going on new adventures when time allows, she said.  Their favorite hiking area is in Sedona, AZ.

“I grew up around Centerville and have family around that area as well as the rest of my family living around the Fort Scott area,” Clifton said. “I went to Fort Scott Community College and then to K-State, before getting my degrees at Cleveland Chiropractic College.

Contact info: 620 644-5000, email – – To schedule online


The Beacon: Accepting Applications for Adopt-A-Child, Elks Christmas Basket

Gary Murrell, director of The Beacon speaks to the Bourbon County Coalition on Nov. 6 about the agency.

On the first Wednesday of each month, local helping agencies meet to share what their agencies have to offer Bourbon County families who are in need. This networking has the  goal of  bringing local agencies together to foster self-reliance on the part of families in need.

On Nov. 6, Gary Murrell, director of the Beacon, an inter-faith, not-for-profit organization, gave a little history of the agency and told what services they provide to the community.

Currently, the agency is signing up people for the Adopt-A-Child program, which helps with Christmas presents and also the Elks Christmas Basket Distribution. The sign-up continues on Nov.12 from 5-6 p.m. at The Beacon, 525 E. 6th.

The organization was established in 1985 to serve Bourbon County residents in need. It is funded by donations from churches, civic organizations, schools, businesses and individuals. Also, each year the Beacon applies for various grants to help with food and monetary assistance.

“Each month, we serve approximately 960 individuals,” Murrell said. “If a person is on food stamps, they are automatically eligible.”

“They are trying to make it….” Murrell said, “but life comes.”

The Beacon can also assist with rent, electricity and water utilities.

In addition, the Beacon provides food packages, along with non-food items like blankets, toiletries, laundry powder, and diapers.

“We are starting to collect coats for our individuals,” Murrell said.

“No one is ever charged,” he said.

To receive assistance, individuals must be willing to share information about their current income levels and proof of Bourbon County residency. Families in crisis are considered on a case-by-case basis.


Gary Murrell, director of the Beacon.

For more information: 620-223-6869.