All posts by Loretta George

Jackie Sellers: Senior Services and Taxi, Too

Jackie Sellers sits in her office at the Bourbon County Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main.

Jackie Sellers is the site manager for the Bourbon County Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main. The center is the hub of many services that are provided to seniors in the community.


Her jobs entail food distribution for Meals On Wheels, a Kansas Food Bank Senior Food Program, food commodities distribution and a monthly potluck for people with disabilities in the community.


Another venture, housed at the site, is providing public transportation service to the community.




Sellers coordinates rides for Old Fort Transportation, a local taxi service.


The hours for Old Fort Transportation are 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To secure a ride call 223-0750.


She said there are five employees that drive the vans that are part of the transportation fleet.


“We provide 900-1,000 rides a month,” she said. Rides to go to a job, or the doctor or shopping. “It’s been a busy year, we are looking good.”


“We will provide out of town runs,” Sellers said. “We do have drivers for that, with 24 hours notice.”


Old Fort Transportation has even occasionally provided rides home from the emergency room when people are dismissed after hours.


Sellers was co-host of the Jan. 16 Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee with Fort Scott Compassion Ministries, who have an office in the center.


At the coffee, Fort Scott City Manager Dave Martin told Sellers that he appreciates her for keeping the taxi service going.




The Southeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging Senior Nutrition Program, also known as Meals on Wheels, is delivered through the Bourbon County Senior Citizens, with Sellers coordinating.


Sellers provides drivers for 54 senior citizens who receive home delivery of a hot meal.


Four people receive frozen meals through the program, she said.


“If you are on the route of the driver coming from Pittsburg, you get hot meals,” Sellers said. “If you are not on the route, you get frozen meals.”


“Volunteers dish up the food and deliver the meals,” she said.


Once a month, Sellers also coordinates food commodities distribution.


“It is income-based,” she said. “They come in once a month on the fourth Thursday to 26 N. Main. They can come on that day and we can sign them up.”


“We serve about 120 households a month,” Sellers said.


In addition, about 78 people receive a box of food from the Kansas Food Bank’s Senior Food Program, she said. This distribution is the fourth Friday of each month.


“Come in and pick up an application, mail it to Wichita,” she said. “If the application is in at the beginning of the month, they can get the box that month.”


Included in the box: meat, vegetables, fruit, shelf-milk, cereal, juice, a loaf of cheese.


“This is income-based and age-based,” Sellers said. “You have to be 60 years plus.”


There is also a potluck on the second Friday in partnership with Resource Center for Independent Living, for those with disabilities.

“If you know someone who could use help, they can help,” she said.


Jackie Sellers, site manager at Bourbon County Senior Citizens center, places a quart of milk in a cooler to deliver with Meals on Wheels lunches.

FSCC Trustees Meet Jan. 27

The Board of Trustees of Fort Scott Community College will meet in regular session on Monday, January 27, 2020. The meeting will be held in the Heritage Room at Fort Scott Community College.
5:00 p.m. Dinner in the Heritage Room at 5:00 p.m. followed by regular board meeting at 5:30 p.m.

THE AGENDA is below with page in agenda packet noted.
5:30 ROLL CALL, 3
A. Comments from the Chair, 4
B. Migrant Grant Programs Update, 4

1) Attached are the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting conducted on December 16, 2019.
Attached are the Treasurer’s Report and the Bills and Claims Report.


1) Additions

a) Carson Hunter, Assistant Football Coach, effective January 1
b) Michael Reynolds, Assistant Football Coach, effective January 1
c) Brant Newman, Assistant Football Coach, effective January 20
d) Lee “Harris” Bivin, Assistant Football Coach, effective January 20
e) Cam Robinson, Assistant Football Coach, effective January 22
f) Tasha Fox, Financial Aid/Scholarship Coordinator, effective February 10.

2) Separations

a) Debra Wood, Accounting Clerk, effective December 31, 2019
b) Valentino Coleman, Assistant Football Coach, effective December 31, 2019
c) Jared Walters, Assistant Baseball Coach, effective January 3
d) Kale Pick, Head Football Coach, effective January 15
e) Kaitlyn Doherty, Nursing Administrative Assistant, effective January 31
f) Matt Glades, Director of Admissions, effective January 31
g) Taylyn Barkley, Assistant Volleyball Coach, effective January 31
h) Lindsey Hill, Head Volleyball Coach, date pending

3) Transfers
a) Carson Hunter, from Assistant Football Coach to Head Football Coach, effective January 17
b) Larry Amer, from Adjunct Instructor to Design and Art Production
Specialist, effective January 27

RECOMMENDATION: It is recommended that the Consent Agenda items be approved as

A. Approval of Agenda, 5
B. Approval of Minutes of previous Regular Board Meeting conducted on December 16,
2019, 6
C. Approval of Treasurer’s Report, Bills, and Claims, 7
D. Approval of Personnel Actions, 5
A. Consideration of 2020-2021 Calendar, 51
B. Approval of Disposal of Property – Semi Truck and Trailers, 53
C. Discussion of Board Technology Training, 54
D. Discussion of Board Graduation Attendance, 54
A. Administrative Updates, 56

• January 27, 2020: Board Meeting
• February 17, 2020: Board Meeting
• March 16, 2020: Board Meeting
• March 23, – 27, 2020: Spring Break – Campus Closed
• April 3, 2020: Aggie Day
• April 10, 2020: Good Friday – Campus Closed
• April 20, 2020: Board Meeting
• May 11 – 14, 2020: Final Exams
• May 15, 2020: Graduation
• May 18, 2020: Board Meeting
• May 25, 2020: Memorial Day – Campus Closed
• June 15, 2020: Board Meeting

FSCC’s vision for the future is to support “Students First, Community Always” through a central focus on teaching and learning; advancing strong, innovative programs and
departments; maximizing and leveraging opportunities; initiating efficient and effective processes; and developing the region’s workforce.



Allen Schellack: Compassionate Support

Allen Schellack, ministry coordinator for Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries at his office upstairs at 26 N. Main.

Allen Schellack wears many hats, all of them serving his community in some way.

He coordinates Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries(FSCM), Bourbon County Salvation Army,  and Care Portal.

Schellack is also a part of the Fort Scott Ministerial Alliance. He attends the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene.

“I don’t know how to say ‘no’,” Schellack told the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee attendees on Jan. 16. FSCM hosted the coffee on that day along with the Senior Citizens Center.

“My wife bought me a ‘no’ button,” he said with a smile.

But it doesn’t seem to be working.

“Compassion is an important part of what we do,” Shellack said. “We are looking at how to be more effective in the community.”

“Our biggest need in the community is freedom from drugs and alcohol,  and respect for each other and themselves,” he said.

“I can pray and give caring support or a place to encourage you that you are worth something,” he said.

His office, where he coordinates all the ministries, is upstairs at the Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main.

Bourbon County Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main.

From here he oversees assistance to foster families, homeless individuals, and services through the other community partnerships.

FSCM teamed with CarePortal, an online church engagement tool that connects the child welfare workers to churches. The portal makes churches aware of needs and gives the opportunity to respond to those needs. There are about six churches in Bourbon County who help in this way.

He also provides services to homeless people, along with hygienic supplies, phone access and fellowship.

Last year, the ministry also helped with needed supplies to students and assisted families at Christmas time.

FSCM is the designated Salvation Army Disaster Relief and Services Extension Unit for Bourbon County.

This is where the annual  Salvation Army bell-ringing fundraiser comes into play that Schellack coordinates.

At the Jan. 16 Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee, Schellack thanked all those who volunteered at Christmas, ringing the bells for the Salvation Army.

“We didn’t meet our goal but did raise over $7,000 to help the community for crisis times,” he said. Through SA, he can provide disaster relief assistance, rental/utility assistance, prescriptions, temporary lodging, gasoline for work or doctor, eyeglass help and other unspecified needs on a case by case basis.

The Fort Scott Ministerial Alliance gathers once a month and they have a hospitality fund that helps transients who are “stuck here in town, we help them get on their way,” he said.

Fort Scott City Manager Dave Martin, a coffee attendee,  thanked Schellack for all the services he provides the community.

FSCM is a volunteer organization, with no paid staff. The services are provided through local churches and community partners.

Schellack can be reached at 620.223.2212.

Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries, located above the Senior Citizens Center on North Main Street.





The Offices: Starting a Small Business Turn-Key

The Offices, a set of offices being developed by Legweak LLC.
Jeff and Jamie Armstrong have put resources of time and money into The Offices, located at 1711-1715 S. National Avenue. (Just north of Subway Restaurant.)
Jeff and Jamie Armstrong stand in front of the property they developed into business suites. Submitted photo.

Recently, they signed on their first renter in the development.


“We cater to small businesses that need a turn-key solution without the overhead of their own storefront,” Jamie Armstrong said.
“We created this space to help attract and grow small businesses in a community we dearly love,” she said.  “It is difficult to find professional space that’s affordable with great visibility when you are getting started or growing into a new market.”
The Armstrong’s have worked in the last few months to build the offices, which were created to fit the need of the renter.
“We hope that by adapting size and scale, we have brought to a rural market like Fort Scott, a small business concept that has been wildly popular in urban markets,” Armstrong said.

The first business moving into The Offices building is Mag-Lab of Pittsburg. This business offers medical lab services to the community.


Brian Holt, Mag-Lab medical technologist and Sharon Newell, phlebotomist, stand in the lobby of The Offices, where the new Mag-Lab is located. There are six offices available in this section of the buildings. A common lobby, restroom, and kitchen area are shared among the renters.


“They open up February 3rd,” Armstrong said.  ” We have five remaining units available for lease.”


” Our amenities include private, pre-wired 10’x12’ office with on-site storage, virtual receptionist, common area cleaning service, and all utilities included for one flat monthly cost. We offer flexible lease terms that start at $500/mo. We would be the perfect option for a satellite law practice, CPA, medical practitioner, a work-from-home business and many, many others.”


The common kitchenette area of The Offices, 1711 S. National.


The restroom has wheelchair accessibility at The Offices.


The name of the development business that the Armstrong’s started is Legweak,LLC. For more information: 620-224-3036.

See their Facebook page at Legweak Properties

Fort Scott Chamber: Encouraging Businesses

Lindsay Madison is the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce has been working to encourage entrepreneurship and matching skills to local employers’ needs in 2019, according to information provided during the Jan. 9 Chamber coffee.

Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, 321 E. Wall

Two new programs were added to the community this year: Bourbon County E-Community and Work Ready Community. The focus of the two is enhancing local economic development through entrepreneurship and workforce development.

Loans for Businesses Through Entrepreneur Community

Bourbon County E-Community provides access to funds, which are locally administered through the Chamber. These loans included start-up businesses as well as existing business purchases or expenses. The funds are accessed through NetWork Kansas, whose mission statement is to promote an entrepreneurial environment throughout the state that connects entrepreneurs and small business owners with expertise, education, and economic resources.

Those who have received these loans in Fort Scott from July 1 to Dec. 31:

Smallville Crossfit, an E-Community Loan of $40,000.

Luther’s BBQ, an E-Community Loan of $45,000.

Smallville Crossfit, a start-up loan of $25,000.

Lulther’s BBQ, a start-up loan of $30,000.

Margo’s LLC (a salon and spa), an E-Community Load of $39,000.

Other events in support of E-Community: a luncheon to educate on the loan program, an entrepreneur appreciation luncheon, a semi-monthly local newspaper ad promoting the loans, and planning for a Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, in partnership with Fort Scott High School (judging for the challenge will be March 11, 2020.)


Work Ready Community

Work Ready Community is a nation-wide program to aid matching people to a job that needs their skills and preparing people to have the skills that employers need.

Work Ready Communities is working at the grassroots level to make the country more competitive and closing the skills gap that threatens to paralyze the U.S. economy, according to its website. They do this by providing a community-based framework.

To learn more: /

Bourbon County became a Work Ready Community in Sept. 2019.

A group of 10 people from Bourbon County, USD 234, USD235, Fort Scott Community College, the City of Uniontown and local employers attended a Work Ready Community Workshop in August 2019.

Kansas initiated an initiative for high school juniors to take the Work Keys test and earn certification. The certification is to improve hiring and employee retention, help provide employees who have the skills needed and help students attain success in landing a career.


To view the Chamber leadership this year,click below:

To see the Chamber sponsored events, view the flyer below:—Chamber.pdf


To join the Chamber, click here:






Not Complaining, Doing Acts of Service


Ground cover materials and repair of some of the children’s playground equipment were part of the workday in December.

Some local citizens have decided not to complain about issues, but instead to work on solutions.


Citizens For Park Improvements is the name of a group of local citizens who had been working in Gunn Park to improve the children’s areas.

Saw the need, took action

“The weekend before I started the group, we were at the park for a church function,” Seth Needham said. ” My youngest wanted to swing, but he couldn’t because the swings were broke. Even if the swings weren’t broke, the surface was muddy, and the whole area was unsafe. The swings that weren’t broke were 28 inches off the ground, which isn’t safe for a toddler. So, I decided to take action.”

” I have 2 sons, and I want the park to be a fun place for them.”

New ground cover under the teeter-totter makes it safer for children. The materials were provided by members of the Citizens For Park Improvements.

“It is something that had been on my mind for quite some time,” Needham said. ” I love our parks. I love taking my sons to our parks. But our parks need a lot of work. As I parent who frequents the parks, I see a lot of the issues. And I wasn’t seeing those issues being addressed. Things like a teeter-totter that was 40 inches off the ground, which was dangerous for my sons. Or slides that my two-year-old couldn’t go down because they had huge drop-offs at the bottom. Swing sets that were in disrepair. Ground covering that is non-existent.  I realized I had two choices; gripe and complain on Facebook, or take action. I chose the second.”

“We have good parks,” he said.  “But we have the basis for GREAT parks. And that’s what I want. I want to see Gunn Park be a wonderful safe place for families. I believe our parks department is doing a great job, but it sounds like they are overwhelmed sometimes just trying to keep up with the day-to-day operations. I figured if I could organize a group of people to help with some of the small stuff, the park department might have more time to focus on the larger issues.”

Started November 2019: More Projects In Spring

Needham started the project on November 6.

“I figured a few people might join and help, but I never expected it to take off like this. We have had one meeting, are already drawing up plans for our first six projects. We had our first workday, and got several projects done.”

Upcoming projects planned for this spring include updating bathrooms, repairing playground equipment, new ground cover for playgrounds, “and also some bigger projects which will really add to Gunn Park,” Needham said.  “We have people looking into funding options, have set-up a material registry with Big-Sugar Lumber, and have experts looking into things such as drainage. And there is so much more that is going on.”

Currently, there is a project to clear off the Bell Town Park Trail on the north end of town, being organized by Denise Findley Needham.


New ground cover materials were placed under the swing sets at Gunn Park by the citizen’s group.


“Right now there are around 500 people in the group, and it’s growing daily,” he said. “We have a good group of people with fresh ideas, and the will to make it happen. One of my goals from the beginning was to make the group accessible to anyone. I want anyone who wants to help to have the opportunity, regardless of age, income, physical health, or time. I’m trying hard to organize the group where someone who has to work weekends can still contribute if they want to. Or the person who has $10 leftover after pay-day, but still wants to help. There will be a place for them. Or maybe someone who is older or disabled and can’t get out there and do physical labor…. We can use them too.”


” We have never really decided on leadership,” he said.  “I guess right now, I’m it. There have been several individuals who have really stepped up… and I couldn’t have done it without them. So if that qualifies as a leader, I would have to say Craig Campbell, Deb McCoy, Josh Jones, Beth Nuss, Lindsay Madison, Susan Bancroft, and Chad Brown so far. As projects come up, I am sure we’ll see more people step up to the plate when they see a need for something they are great at.


Social media is helping the organization

“I organized it through Facebook to make it easier for people. Let’s face it, people are busy. It’s hard to attend traditional meetings. But by organizing it online, people can contribute on THEIR schedule. Ideas can be exchanged easily. We can set-up events so that people can see what we need, when we are working, and how they can help.”

To view the group’s page:


If anyone wants to be involved, they just need to join our Facebook group,” Needham said.  “In the group, we post ideas and solutions we are working on, workdays, and how people can help.”


Sheriff Martin On Recent Raises in Bourbon County

Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.

Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin is unhappy with the raises of administrative county employees, he said. He would have preferred giving input into raises in his office, including the one given him by the Bourbon County Commissioners.

A raise for elected officials became effective Dec. 15, 2019, according, to Bourbon County Commission minutes. This raised the clerk and treasurer’s salary to $47,248 annually, the register of deeds to 44,821 and the sheriff’s salary to $60,000.

Martin said in his budget request he had asked for a three-percent raise for all his employees.

“I did not request that large amount” for the sheriff’s position, he said.

There were no across-the-board raises given by the commission.

Martin said he was not aware of any raises until he received an email from Bourbon County Clerk Kendall Mason on Dec. 18, 2019.

At no other time was any raise amount ever discussed with me by the commission, not for myself or any member of my staff,” Martin said. ” I attended several commission meetings where I questioned the commission on budget figures for 2020 and, as usual, I was not ever given any answers.  At no time after I submitted my 2020 budget did anyone on the commission engage myself or my jail administration in salary discussions.”

In 2015 Martin had paid for a wage comparison survey and presented it to that Bourbon County Commission because he wanted to bring the salaries of the county employees as a whole up to standard amounts.

He felt it fell on “deaf ears” at the time, he said. It was a different set of commissioners.

For the 2020 Sheriff’s Office budget he had requested a three percent raise for his employees.

Instead, Martin’s salary was raised from $45,000 to $60,000.

He contends that discussions with him and his staff would have been beneficial to the decision making process.

“I am never provided with verbal information or written information as to where the money is put, cut or moved to in the budgets,” Martin said. “My door is always open for any discussion.”

Martin has two salaried employees.

“One of the two fell below the new income guideline set by the Federal Wage Law and the US Department of Labor,” Martin said.  “A captain at the correctional center fell under this ‘salaried employee category’ and therefore is required by law to have a salary increase.  If this wage increase is not performed, this employee would be eligible for overtime.  I can assure you that increasing this wage is far less harmful than allowing this employee to request overtime hours for all the overtime he works.  I am still unaware if this salary increase has been added to the correctional center budget.  The commission was made aware of this federal law… several months ago.”

Martin said the responsibility of the sheriff’s office falls to him.

“I am the face and the buck stops with me, so to speak, but they are the men and women with their lives on the line every, single day and every single night.  Christmas, Easter, Monday through Sunday.   They sign up to make a difference in their community where they live. It’s nice to be thanked and appreciated and compensated to prove yourself worthy.”



The county has two many administrative positions, Martin said.

“Our county is now so top-heavy with administration that the people in the offices and on the road and doing the jobs are unable to receive any fair raises and are far from a competitive wage for the jobs they are doing,” Martin said. “Our county has a road and bridge supervisor that makes over $60,880 a year plus benefits.  This county has a part-time, county counselor who makes $64,000 a year for 25 hours a week and has a private practice on the side; this is in addition to the county attorney who makes $50,000 a year.  This county now pays (not attacking the person) an economic development director… $70,000 a year plus benefits. As of January 1, we have a sheriff making $60,000., a county clerk, making $47,248 a treasurer making that same amount and a register of deeds making $44,821…We have three county commissioners who make $21,416 (each) per year plus benefits, which is another $64,248 plus benefits in a year.”

” I have been requesting additional deputies every year since I have taken office and every year, I am told that there is no money to spend,  budgets are close, overspending and overtime are out of control,” Martin said. “Yet, we have almost $200,000 in salaries for administrative staff, who hold jobs that should be performed by our road and bridge director and crews, the elected county clerk, our elected county attorney, and our elected county commission.  $200,000 would pay for other staff raises, staff who are on the ground working.” 

“It would pay for a much-needed school resource officer for Uniontown Schools plus a courthouse security officer, which is mandated by the state,” he said.  “I cannot get anyone to understand that when you pay a deputy a $35,000 a year salary, you are better off to hire two more deputies on the force and reducing the $60,000 in overtime pay.  I am contending that if they would not have raised my pay $15,000, they could have very easily allowed me to hire one new deputy and they would have been ahead money.  Where did all this money come from and how do we put these jobs back in the hands of the people who were elected to do them and eliminate all the huge salaries that we are paying right now.”     

The sheriff’s office operates around the clock much like an ambulance service or hospital does, he said.   And some of his employees are struggling financially.

“People do a great job for great pay,” Martin said.  “People do a decent job for decent pay and proud people show up to work to draw a wage rather than go on welfare.  Some of my employees can claim state insurance benefits for their families and that is shameful to think that we cannot provide a wage above the poverty level… I also have other employees who work two and three jobs and I cannot control what my employees do outside their duty time… during my time as a deputy, I worked three jobs to provide for my family and pay my bills.”









Obituary of Christina Hagood

Christina G. Hagood, age 93, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, passed away Thursday, January 16, 2020, at the Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas.

She was born May 1, 1926, in Wichita, Kansas, the daughter of John Joseph Peters and Philomena Bachman Peters.

Christina married John Byron “Jack” Hagood on February 22, 1945.  Christina had worked for several years as a receptionist for the Basham & McKenna Clinic and for Ft. Scott Family Physicians.  She later provided childcare for area families.

She was a member of the Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church.  Christina was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.  She enjoyed cooking, gardening and tending her houseplants.  In earlier years, she had been a member of the ONO Club.


Survivors include her three children, Margaret “Peggy” Lewis, of Ft. Scott, John Hagood and his wife, Barbara, of Medicine Lodge, Kansas and Mike Hagood, also of Ft. Scott. There are four grandchildren, John Cauthon (Beth), of Ft. Scott; Christina Hagood, of Overland Park, Kansas; Mary Anne Lunsford (Daniel), of Bonanza, Arkansas and Joseph Hagood, of Wichtia, Kansas; two great-grandchildren, Ashlyn and Lucas Lunsford as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Jack, preceded her in death on April 17, 1967.  She was also preceded in death by her son-in-law, Tim Lewis; four brothers, John, Francis, Elmer and Chuck Peters and two sisters, Sister Mary Timothy Peters and Sister Mary Matilda Peters who were both Sisters of St. Joseph.


Father Yancey Burgess will conduct Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 A.M. Tuesday, January 21st at the Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church.

Burial will follow in the U. S. National Cemetery.

The rosary will be recited at 6:00 P.M. Monday evening at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Visitation will follow from 6:30 to 7:30 P.M. at the chapel.

Memorials are suggested to the Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Independent Medical Laboratory Coming to Fort Scott Feb. 3

The sign in the front window of the new Mag-Lab office, tells the phone number to call for more information: 620-232-1900.

Mag-Lab, an independent medical laboratory, headquartered in Pittsburg, KS will be opening a Fort Scott satellite office on Feb. 3, 2020.

The office will be located in the building just north of Subway Restaurant at 1711 S. National, Suite C2.

Hours are 7 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.

For more information contact: 620-232-1900.

The Offices, a set of professional office spaces being developed by Legweak LLC.

With specimens taken that morning , the results will be delivered to the doctor that afternoon.

“Complicated testing we send off to a reference lab,” Phlebotomist Sharon Newell said.

“If it’s a body fluid, we can test it,” Newell said.

“We can have anybody out in a few minutes,” she said. “There is not a lot of paperwork hassle. You have to have a doctor’s script if going through insurance.”

Gary and Jeannie Petersen are the owners of the lab.


Sharon Newell, the phlebotomist, stands in the doorway of the new Mag-Lab office in Fort Scott.

When one enters the lobby of the set of offices, there is a doorbell on the wall for contacting each of the personnel in the offices.

Currently, Mag-Lab is the only renter, but two more are on the horizon.

Brian Holt, medical technologist and Sharon Newell, phlebotomist stand in the lobby of The Offices, where the new Mag-Lab is located. The doorbell for notifying that clients are in the lobby is located behind Sewell.

Dr. Elias Tawil is the medical director of the lab.

Boiler Room Brewhaus: A Little Different

Bryan and Barbara Ritter stand in front of the renovated area of the Broiler Room Brewhaus on Jan. 9.

Barbara Ritter, owner of Boiler Room Brewhaus at 2 S. National, has been extra busy since the new year began.

Her sister, Peggy, is a co-owner with Barbara and her husband, Bryan is the brewer.

Bryan and Barbara were doing the final touches of a recent reno last week.

Fort Scott’s first microbrewery is located on the busy corner of Wall Street and National Ave. The Ritter’s feature beer tastings, by the glass and take out.

Since having the business rebranded in the fall, they realized they needed to take some time to do some new things in the microbrewery.

They have expanded their tap selection.

“We are going to have six of our brews on at a time,” Barbara said. “We have been canning our beer since fall.”

They have been doing some decorative changes as well.

“Basically, we did a lot of painting,” Barbara said. “Walls, doors, vanities, tables…in nostalgic colors.”

Nostalgic colors were added to fit with the mid-century design of the building.
The restroom vanity was painted.

Since the building was built in 1960, “we have added some elements from that time period,” to the decor, she said.

The Ritters are looking for vintage photos of the Downtowner Hotel, which now houses the microbrewery.

“If anyone has any vintage photos of the Downtowner or people, that they would be willing to share…to purchase or display,” Ritter said, please contact them at 913.636.4892 or 620-644-5032.

“This building was completed in February 1960,” she said.

A vintage photo of the Downtowner in the 1970s. Paul Milks found the photo and one of the Goodlander Hotel in the Bourbon County Genealogical Society library.
The Boiler Room Brewhaus, 2 South National Avenue, Jan. 9, 2020.
The Goodlander Hotel was the original building on the site. It was demolished for the construction of the Downtowner Hotel, Ritter said.

The Ritter’s moved their business to the new site at the corner of National Avenue and Wall Street on June 1, 2018.

The old logo is gone and has been replaced with nostalgic ones:

Barbara Ritter displays some of the new logos on the glasses, etc.

Taco night is each Thursday at the Boiler Room Brewhaus, catered by Crooner’s Lounge.
Snacks and drinks are served each time the microbrewery is open.

Though the microbrewery doesn’t serve meals, they have menus from restaurants where people can order food and have it delivered or can bring it into the Brewhaus, she said.

“There is also a $5 taco bar catered by Crooner’s Lounge on Thursdays, $5 and you can eat all the tacos you want,” Barabara said.

They will also be offering some new appetizers.

Each Friday is karaoke from 7-9 p.m., and Sundays there are team trivia games from 5-7 p.m.

“We are looking to add a music bingo game, possibly on Saturday evenings,” she said. “We will try it once to see how it goes.”

“We are hoping to have musicians coming once a month,” she said. “There are three in the works so far for the next couple of months.”

Heather Fink did the lettering on the doors of the Boiler Room Brewhaus.

Currently, they have four part-time employees and two full-time.

“We are looking for one more part-time, one day a week,” she said. “Possibly an older employee with a good work ethic, who is looking for something to do.”

“We’ve had a really good year,” Barbara said. “Almost one-half of customers are new to Fort Scott. Fifty-one percent are local people.. We have a variety of people of all ages.”

“People say this is a cool little town,” she said. “This town has a lot to offer.”


FSCC Heads Into Next Century

Fort Scott Community College has been a part of the community for over 100 years and it is looking to help future generations find their career path.

“Even though we are in an era of declining enrollment in Kansas colleges and universities; I am very positive about the future of FSCC due to the fact we have great faculty and staff that make student learning and student success their mission,”  FSCC President Alysia Johnston said. “We are also extremely fortunate to have an incredibly supportive community and Board of Trustees, which is greatly appreciated.”

On January 13, the spring semester at the college began.

To see the college calendar, click below:

A recent 2019 Annual Report Centennial Edition gave glimpses of events throughout the years and named current offerings as well.

Thirty-seven fields of study are available to students: agriculture, art, biological science, business, certified medication aide, certified nurse aid, chemistry, computer science, construction trades, cosmetology, criminal justice, education, emergency medical technician, engineering, English, environmental water technology, farm and ranch management, Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Technology, heating-ventilation-air conditioning, history, home health aide, John Deere Technology, mathematics,  manicuring, masonry, music, nursing, phlebotomy, physical education, physical science, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, speech, theater, and welding.

FSCC’s John Deere Progam has been recognized as a College of Tomorrow awardee by John Deere, Inc. The honor was earned because of program excellence, instructor development, internships, and facilities, according to the annual report.

The college marked 15 years in partnership with Harley-Davidson Motor Company. FSCC offers technician training in a hands-on Harley Davidson approved environment, equipping students with both knowledge and soft skills.

FSCC’s Nursing Program was ranked 2nd in Kansas because of its overall affordability and exemplary NCLEX pass rates after evaluating 36 nursing programs in the state.

In the college’s annual report, much has been accomplished in just the last year.

In 2019 FSCC initiated its eSports program, joining in a nation-wide growing collegiate sport: competitive video gaming. The FSCC eSports team helps students improve their gaming performance, social and leadership skills, according to the annual report.


Also, last year the college added onto the Burris Building, which gives FSCC agriculture program room for future growth.

Burris Hall on the campus of FSCC was expanded and the old section updated in 2019.

FSCC welcomed the new director of the Gordon Parks Museum, Kirk Sharp, after being a part of the Gordon Parks committee for over a decade. Kirk will work to advance the legacy and memory of visionary artist Gordon Parks.

Gordon Parks Museum Executive Director Kirk Sharp, center, looks over donated photos of the film “The Learning Tree” with onlookers during the Gordon Parks Celebration in Oct. 2019.

Sports Added

Women’s golf and track and field programs were added to the college in 2019.


New Board of Trustees Members

Two new board of trustees were elected in Nov. 2019: Dave Elliott and Kirk Hart. A third trustee Bill Meyer was selected to fill the vacancy of his wife, Liz, who died at the end of 2019.




“The expectation for 2020 is to continue to meet the needs of our students, community, faculty, and staff, as well as all of our stakeholders,” FSCC President Alysia Johnston said.

FSCC retiree Carolyn Sinn, from left, and FSCC Centennial speaker Gina Shelton, help FSCC Class of 1941 graduate Esther Sewell cut the Centennial Celebration cake while President Alysia Johnston, along with centennial speakers Mark Muller, Marcel Normand and Jim Barrows watch in the background, in September 2019.

Some of the events in 2020 include:

Bailey Hall

The fundraising for the renovation of Bailey Hall at the college continues.

“We have a plan for Bailey Hall renovation with a price tag of around one million dollars,” Johnston said.  “However, until we have more money we will not begin the project and we have no timeline for now.  We hope to use the money donated by Mr. and Mrs. Bailey as seed money to receive more dollars.”

“All gifts would be greatly appreciated and people can contact our Chief Development Officer, Jeff Tadtman, 620 223-2700 ext. 5830”


Men’s Golf

The college will start a men’s golf program in August 2020.




“Accreditation is critical to the college as it allows us not only to ensure we are Title IV eligible (federal student financial aid), but we maintain high quality and transferable courses and programs,” Johnston said. “Accreditation is a peer-review, self-regulatory process by which non-governmental associations recognize educational institutions or programs that have been found to meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality. ”

“Accreditation also assists in the further improvement of the institutions or programs as related to resources invested, processes followed, and results achieved.”

” We will have our first Assurance Argument due this June under the Higher Learning Commissions (HLC) Open Pathway accreditation, and we have a committee that has been working on documentation and narrative for the Assurance Argument for at least a year.”

“We were fortunate to be placed in the Open Pathway accreditation model when we received our 10-year accreditation from HLC in 2016. The Open Pathway is a less prescriptive model for accreditation and allows us to determine our own path of continuous improvement.”


Nursing Program Evaluation

“The Nursing Program is scheduled for a comprehensive evaluation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN),” Johnston said. “ACEN is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) as a specialized accrediting agency for nursing education programs located in the United States and its territories.”