All posts by Loretta George

Paint Creek Realty Welcomed by Uniontown Ruritan

Uniontown Ruritan welcomes Paint Creek Realty Owner Linda Wilson, during a ribbon cutting May 11. From left: Luke George, Ruriteen; Joe, Lawrence and Raymond George, Ruritan, Linda Wilson, Paint Creek Realty; Henry Homan and Mark Warren, Ruritan.

Paint Creek Realty owner Linda Wilson was welcomed to the community by Uniontown Ruritan on May 11.

Wilson specializes in agricultural listings and offers client support, financial assistance, market analysis, drone aerial photos, and has been in the business since 2005.

“The market is very strong at the present time,” she said. “We have a demand for sellers with a home on a small acreage outside city limits.”

Linda Wilson, Paint Creek Realty.
Linda Wilson’s business card.
“My goal is helping dreams become reality,” Wilson said. “I want to give a very special thank you to all sellers and buyers for their support.”
Some of her properties for sale:
Imagination Station – 678 Maple Rd Uniontown – 40 Child Care Capacity.
Uniontown Car Wash & Storage  – 111 3rd Street – 2 Bay Car Wash – 20 Unit Storage
Horseman Dream Property – 1000 N Main St. Mapleton – Home, Barn/6 Stalls. Arena, Acreage
Nice Large Victorian Home on 40 M/L Acres – Uniontown Area
Very Well Maintained 160 Acre Pasture/Ponds/Corral/Work Chute/Water Meter
142 Acre Ag Property, Possible 80 Ac to be Tilled/Balance Pasture
Totally Renovated Home in Uniontown – 2 Bed/1Bath
Nice Brick Home in Ft. Scott – Great Location. Updated Recently, 3 Bed/1 Bath
Awesome Ranch Home in Ft. Scott – Very Large Yard
14 Ac Home, Extra Large Shop, Several smaller buildings, On Pavement. Uniontown
Well Established Restaurant in Garnett, Tastefully Renovated – 5,880 Sq. Ft. Bldg in 2009 – Turn Key Operation, 125 Capacity Venue Facility, Area Catering in Place, Living Quarters
View Listings & Other Buyer Information at her website:
Contact her at 620 654 7413.

Young Entrepreneur: Brian Griffin

A wall inside Brian Griffin’s bike repair facility, Brian’s Backyard Bike Shop, located on Judson Street. Submitted photo.

This is the first in a series featuring young people who found a need and are seeking to fill it with a business venture.

To nominate local young entrepreneurs, send name, phone number/email to

Brian Griffin: Bike Fixer

Fort Scott High School Student Brian Griffin, 16, loves all things bicycles.

Brian Griffin works on repairing a bike at his shop. Submitted photo.

” I began fixing bikes because I love bikes, I love to ride, build trails, tinker with bikes, ” Griffin said.  “I’ve even built three bikes from the frame up! It helps me relax in such a stressful world.”

“My training/ experience started at a young age of around eight, fixing chains, airing up tires and other basic stuff,” he said. “I didn’t really get into the hard depths of the hundreds of small parts and how to fix, replace, and maintain them until late 2017, thanks to the help of Frank Halsey and other bicycle enthusiasts!”


A business idea came from Halsey.

 “The idea first came to mind by a good friend and mentor Frank Halsey,” Griffin said. “He and I were talking back in the summer of 2017, about an operation to get small kid’s bikes going to make sure kids are on their bikes having fun, instead of finding trouble. I started to buy tools and extra parts and advertising that I’ll fix kid’s bikes for free, which is still in effect.”
Brian Griffin works on a repair with a youth. Submitted photo.
“Last year I came up with the name,” Griffin said. “Brian’s Back yard Bike shop or the Triple B. I chose this name because I started in my back yard. I have since upgraded to my own section of the building.”
Brian’s Backyard Bike Shop
“There are several ways that people can get in contact with me if they wish to do so,” Brian said. “My phone number is (620)215-2247. Or my Facebook page Brian’s Backyard Bike Shop. I’ll also have an Instagram for the shop soon!”
“Thankfully I’m conveniently placed only a few blocks (on Judson Street) away from some of the finest mountain bike trails in Kansas, at Gunn Park,” he said. “So if any anyone has trouble, I could even bring some of my bike shop to them!”
Editor’s note: I recently needed my bike repaired and Brian Griffin did an excellent job-Loretta George

New Bourbon County EMS Facility

The newly remodeled facility that was donated to Bourbon County EMS by Mercy Hospital, located northeast of Community Health Center at 405 Woodland Hills on May 13, 2019.


The new Bourbon County Emergency Medical Services Station at Woodland Hills is nearly complete.


“A new sign will be coming,” EMS Director Robert Leisure, “It will be seen from the street out front, Woodland Hills.”


“Mercy Hospital donated the building,” Leisure said. “The city runs the day-to-day operations. The trucks and facility are owned by the county.”


Inside the station is housed four EMS vehicles.


“Two duty and two transfer trucks,” Leisure said. “Two ambulances are at the Fort Scott Fire Department (on National Avenue).”


Paramedic Mike Kreiger consults with Bourbon County EMS Director Robert Leisure in the new facilities day room.

There is a dayroom to “relax and get off our feet in between calls,” Paramedic Mike Krieger said.

EMT Katelyn Harper works at the reporting station in the new EMS facility, it is adjacent to the kitchen area.

There is one large room that the main office, day room and kitchen are located in.

The kitchen area of the Bourbon County EMS Station at 405 Woodland Hills. In the background is the hallway to the laundry, sleep rooms, bathrooms and the director’s office.
There are separate bathroom facilities for male and female employees, complete with lockers and shower.
Paramedic Mike Kreiger and EMT Aide Chris Reed in the EMS station dayroom in between calls.
Each shift employee has a sleeping room at the EMS station.


There are four separate sleeping rooms for shift employees.


“The EMS schedule varies on which days are worked,” Leisure said.  “But the goal is two 24 hour’s  (shifts) per week or 48 hours per week.”

Laundry room facilities, with the dayroom/work station/kitchen area in the background.
Three of the four EMS vehicles located at the Woodland Hills Station.


EMS Director Robert Leisure indicated the new ambulance service is doing well.


For an earlier feature on the service, click below:

Bourbon County Ambulance Service Starts Today, April 1


“We’ve seen a month coming in…We started billing to Bourbon County in February…We are making money,” he said. The goal is to break even for the year.


“My operational budget will be in August,” Leisure said. “It was guesstimated using input from Mercy.”


New Ambulance Director: Robert Leisure

Robert Leisure, Bourbon County Emergency Medical Services Director, 2019.

Robert Leisure was chosen as the new Bourbon County Emergency Services Director, with an official starting date of April 29.


“Robert has been a Paramedic/RN with the service for the past 23 years.  Christi Keating had decided that she was no longer going to serve in the capacity of EMS Director earlier in the year,” Dave Bruner said.

EMT Katlyn Harper works at the reporting station at the new Bourbon County EMS facility at 405 Woodland Hills, northeast of the Community Health Center. Bourbon County EMS Director Robert Leisure fields a call in the background.


Bruner is a representative of the City of Fort Scott on a task force that was given the job of transitioning the services from Mercy Hospital. Keating was a representative of Mercy Hospital and there were also representatives from Bourbon County on the task force that was formed following the announcement of the closure of the hospital in October 2018.


“We opened the position up and Robert expressed interest as well as three other candidates,” Bruner said. “Robert was chosen to fill the EMS director position.”


“I was already a Mercy employee and transitioned over to county with the rest of the staff,” Leisure said. “I was asked and encouraged to step up and fill a void left by the late Danny Hall.”

Robert Leisure, Bourbon County Emergency Medical Services Director, 2019.


He has several decades experience in emergency services.


“I’ve been a Kansas paramedic for 23 years or since 1996,” he said. “Most of my EMS career was spent in this general area and mostly with Mercy.”


Leisure is a registered nurse with 16 years of experience with Mercy Hospital.


“Nearly all (nursing experiences)have come in the ER setting with the exception of a brief stint of flight nursing with Eagle Med,” he said.


Leisure believes he has a good mix of employees.


“I’m currently fully staffed with 10 full time and 15 part-time employees” Leisure said. “It’s a good mix of paramedic and EMT’s. Some with vast experience and some just getting started.”


Leisure is learning the director job with help and has been challenged and motivated by this new position in a good way, he said.


“My duties are very fluid to me right now as I’m learning the position which is a new position, with no predecessor to really follow,” he said. “I’m being helped greatly by both Christie Keating and Dave Bruner in this transition. Christie has an extensive background in management mostly inter-hospital. And Dave is very knowledgeable about the inner workings of governmental processes.”


His duties include: “ordering and maintaining medical supplies and medications, ensuring billing of the runs we do is done accurately and on time, ensuring compliance with all state policies and procedures for ambulance operations, configuring a schedule of work for staff that see’s all shifts are covered with two crews on a 24/7 basis,” he said.


In addition, “duties include quality assurance where run reports are reviewed to assure a certain level of care is maintained, hiring and maintaining a full staff, facilitating regular maintenance of the six ambulances, meeting with the medical director and reporting to both county and city commissions since the service is run by the city and owned by the county,” he said.


The partnership between the City of Fort Scott and the Bourbon County administration has worked well.


” I have nothing but great things to say about both commissions as they’ve worked together exceptionally,” Leisure said.


Bourbon County Ambulance Service has a station at 405 Woodland Hills, northeast of the Community Health Center building, and one at the Fort Scott Fire Department on National Avenue.

To view earlier stories on the Bourbon County Ambulance:

Bourbon County Ambulance Service Starts Today, April 1

Ambulance Service For Bourbon County


Woodland Hills: One of Top Ten In Kansas

Fort Scott’s Community Development Director Robert Uhler listens as Woodland Hills Clubhouse Manager Shannon O’Neil tells of upcoming events during the weekly Chamber of Commerce Coffee May 9.

Fort Scott’s publicly owned golf course is one of the best in Kansas.

“It’s one of the top ten in the state,” Fort Scott’s Community Development Director Robert Uhler told the weekly Chamber of Commerce Coffee attendees on May 9 at Woodland Hills Golf Course.

To view others on the list of top ten golf courses in Kansas, click below.

Golf carts are lined up in front of the Woodland Hills Golf Course, ready for rental. There are 30 carts for public rental, Clubhouse Manager Shannon O’Neil said.

Woodland Hills Golf Course is busy with community events.

“The next Saturday’s are busy,” Clubhouse Manager Shannon O’Neil told the coffee attendees, “The Kiwanis Golf Tournament is May 18, there is a three-person scramble on Memorial Day weekend May 25 and a Tiger Baseball Fundraiser on June 1.” The Kiwanis fundraiser is for student scholarships and the Tiger baseball fundraiser benefits the local baseball team, he said.

O’Neil is also the head golf professional at the course.

An introductory course for beginning golfers ages 8-13 begins Tuesday, June 11, for six weeks of one-hour group lessons.

Coffee attendee, Fort Scott Community College President Alysia Johnston said the college has a great partnership with the golf course. This partnership has allowed two girls to hone their skills to excel at the sport.

“In our first year with a golf team, two girls have qualified for nationals,” she said.

City Manager Dave Martin commended  Golf Course Superintendent Jon Kindlesparger for his work on upgrading and maintaining the picturesque course.

“We hired him when the course was in disrepair,” Martin said. “Jon, with his experience has done a lot of great work out here.”

Jon Kindlesparger, Woodland Hills Golf Course Superintendent.
The board at the Woodland Hills Clubhouse lists all the fees.

Update on 69 Hwy. Expansion

Kansas Department of Transportation work on 69 Hwy. as seen from Eagle Road earlier in the expansion project.

The U.S.Hwy 69 expansion in Bourbon County is nearing completion.

“The four lanes should be completed within the next two to three weeks,”  Priscilla Peterson, Public Affairs Manager, Southeast Kansas Department of Transportation said. “Although both north- and southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane to allow the contractor to finish work on the median and shoulders.”

It is projected that the four-lane section will be open to unrestricted traffic by mid to late June, she said.

“A ribbon cutting is in the works for late June, although we don’t yet have an exact date,” Peterson said.

Steinway “Thank You” Concert

Fort Scott High School music assistant and former instructor Pat Harry and Meredith Reid, the current instructor, lead students with the Steinway piano accompaning. Submitted photo.

There will be a free concert this Sunday for the community to celebrate the restoration of the Fort Scott High School Steinway piano.

The concert will be held Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. in the FSHS Auditorium, 1005 S. Main.

“This will feature the newly restored Steinway piano,” FSHS Music Instructor Meredith Reid said. “Performers will include students, alumni, and music teachers. The purpose of the concert is to recognize all of the generous donors who made this project possible.”

“We sent it off February 2018,” Ried said. “It was restored by Mike Dugan of Dugan’s Piano Service located in Nixa, MO.”

Pictures of the project from beginning to end will also be displayed.

The mystery of who donated the prized Steinway to the school has never been solved, Reid said.

Refreshments will be served following the concert.

To learn more about the restoration project:

Steinway Piano Restoration Project Has A Mystery

This will be Reid’s last school year at FSHS, she will be teaching next year in her hometown, Girard.

No Mercy: The First In The NPR Series On The Closing Of Fort Scott’s Hospital

No Mercy

This is the first story in a National Public Radio series that will explore how the closure of a rural hospital, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott,  disrupts a community’s health care, economy and identity.

Across the country,  more than 100 rural hospitals like Fort Scott’s have closed since 2010, under increasing financial pressure.

Because of public response, NPR added a Facebook page for public comments, see the last link in this feature.

Click below for the story:


A Facebook page has been added by NPR because of the tremendous public response:

Mystery Stone

This engraved stone currently sits in Uniontown’s park on the city square.

Until recently an engraved stone in Uniontown’s City Park was surrounded by clumps of tall grass.

On May 14, Uniontown City Superintendent Bobby Rich was working on the mound that used to contain the grass.

This pictured stone is a mystery to Rich.

“We don’t know where it came from,” he said.

The lettering is mostly weathered off, and almost unreadable.

If the public knows information about the origin of the stone, contact Uniontown City Hall, at 756-4742.

Walmart Remodeling For Online Shopping

The word “Pickup” can be seen on the south section of Walmart, 2500 S. Main Street. There will be designated parking spaces for online shoppers soon.

Shoppers at Walmart in Fort Scott can see boxes in the former self-checkout area and the removal of a few cash register stations at the front of the store.

The self-checkout area is being expanded in Walmart Fort Scott.


In addition, the cell phone area has been relocated to the electronics department.

Walmart’s remodeled electronics section.

Walmart is remodeling.

“We are getting ready for online shopping,” said Scott, an associate manager at Fort Scott. “That’s where you order online, then come and pick it up. It will be sometime in June.”

“The self-register area will be bigger,” he said. “And there will be one on the north (of the line cash register stands), within the next two weeks.”

The number of cash registers has been reduced to make room for the expanded self-registers.

The empty space, formerly the cell phone sales area, as you enter the southeast door of Walmart, is closed.

“It is undecided right now what the previous cell phone area will be used for,” Scott said.



Clay Street in Uniontown Closed May 13 Due to Baseball Games

The City of Uniontown has barricaded Clay Street, which runs on the west side of West Bourbon Elementary School, because of baseball games. It will remain barricaded until the end of the games at approximately 5:45 p.m. this evening, May 13.

All fans are asked to enter the games through on the east side of the school, according to Uniontown City Clerk Sally Johnson.

“We apologize for any inconvenience,” Johnson said.

HB Salon: Cosmetology Services in Uniontown

Uniontown Ruritan sponsored a ribbon cutting on May 11 for a new business: HB Salon, 108 Sherman, Uniontown. From left, front row: Ruritan Member Mark Warren, Tim and Kerri Travis, owner Hannah Ballou, Levi Ballou, Jennifer Ballou, Ruritan member Lawrence George, Ruriteen member Luke George; back row: Ruritan member Joe George, Hayden and Zach Travis, Roanne Blake, Thyra Babcock, Rachel Eden, Simon Ballou, Vance Eden, Ruritan members Raymond George and Henry Homan.

HB Salon owner Hannah Ballou and family were part of a ribbon cutting for the new business on May 11,  sponsored by the Uniontown Ruritan.

The business opened in early 2019 and specializes in haircuts and colors.

It is located at 108 Sherman, on the southeast corner of the Uniontown square. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Saturday by appointment.

Contact Ballou at 620-756-4770 or on Facebook at HB Salon.

The hours of HB Salon, Uniontown.

Starting in June, manicure and pedicure services will be offered by Ashley Travis, Ballou’s sister-in-law, at the salon.

Mani-pedi specials will be offered to introduce the new service, Ballou said.


The salon will be closed for vacation May 15-23.