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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Griffin: Bike Fixer
Fort Scott High School Student Brian Griffin, 16, loves all things bicycles.
” 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.”
“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.”
“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
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.
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.”
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.
To view earlier stories on the Bourbon County Ambulance:
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.”
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.
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.
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.