All posts by Loretta George

The Fort’s Survey: Needs, Motivations and Evaluation of NPS Digital Media

The bike rack at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

The fort at the end of Main Street that has given Fort Scott its’ name, is reaching out to National Park Service visitors who want an online experience.

“Fort Scott National Historic Site is participating in a nationwide survey to characterize the NPS virtual visitor population so we can better meet their virtual needs, describe visitors’ motivations, and evaluate the effectiveness of NPS digital media products,” Carl Brenner, FSNHS Program Manager for Interpretation and Resource Manager, said.

“We are part of a pilot/pre-test program consisting of a handful of National Park sites nationwide,” he said. “This survey will run four weeks, February 16 through March 14, 2021. These National Parks are making weekly posts, on each social media platform they support, to invite virtual visitors to participate in the survey once they have completed their virtual visit.”


“The virtual tour of the park is a series of 360-degree images from all of the rooms here at the site,” Brenner said. “The Virtual Visit, as it is called in the survey, is browsing the posts on each of the social media platforms to gain a deeper connection and understanding of the park.”


To take the virtual tour:


Fort Scott NHS participates on the following social media platforms: interviewed Brenner by email.

Here are the questions and responses.

What is it designed to do?

“The public expects nearly all desired information to be found quickly and easily through websites and social media channels. They also expect that organizations frequently update these assets. The National Park Service (NPS) directly manages thousands of digital media web pages, mobile app pages, and social media channels. They also supply content, directly or indirectly, for third-party providers that share digital media information with the public. Within this large digital ecosystem, millions of online users from around the world rely on these resources for a wide range of information. While NPS has an established program for measuring and monitoring physical visitation to its park units, the program for describing and evaluating virtual visitors to its online resources is still being developed.

This study is part of that development. It aims to characterize the NPS virtual visitor population so we can better meet their virtual needs, describe visitors’ motivations, and evaluate the effectiveness of NPS digital media products.”


What will be done with the results?

“Through this program, the NPS, and specifically Fort Scott NHS, can better understand and meet the needs of our virtual visitors. We will be able to better evaluate the effectiveness of our digital media products in terms of the virtual visitor experience. With this information we can better prepare visitors for future visits,  increase resource protection, build a deeper understanding of the history and stories of our nation’s heritage, and build better connections to and stewards of National Park Service resources. Additionally, NPS will determine if the current allocation of resources for digital media is generating congruent virtual visitor value, and the NPS will be positioned to more strategically deploy resources where digital information needs are not being sufficiently met and/or where the highest value is being provided.”


When will the survey results be collected and analyzed?

“The evaluation of the virtual visitors’ experiences and digital media effectiveness will begin immediately following the close of the survey and we are hoping to receive results by the end of the summer.”



The fort’s contact info:

Office – 620-223-0310

FSHS Thespians Host 3rd Annual Royal-Tea Party and Revue

The Fort Scott High School Thespians host their 3rd Annual Royal Tea Party and a special Royal Revue on March 6 at the FSHS Auditorium. The show was postponed to this date due to weather conditions.

Join your favorite princesses and princes, queens and kings as they sing, dance, and perform for you. Take photos with your favorite characters and take home special crafts and treats as momentos.


The Revue includes performances by junior Jenna Stockstill; sophomores Israel Carreno, Jordyn McGhee, and Karen Primeaux; and freshmen Rex Wells, Silvia Moreno, and Cadence Tuck.

Performances begin at 5 and 7:30 p.m. with an immersive theatre experience to follow where audience members can interact with nearly 20 other characters and take home a goodie bag.

Tickets are $6 for children and $8 for adults. Tickets must be purchased online in advance at Tickets may be available at the door, but are not guaranteed. Masks and social distancing are required. All children must stay with and be accompanied by an adult as they enjoy the festivities and attendees are encouraged to join us in dressing as royalty. Doors will open 15 minutes early.


The musical is directed by Theatre Director Angie Bin, Music Director Mary Jo Harper, Assistant Music Director Taylor Qualls, and Choreographer Delynn Abati.


For more information, please see the Fort Scott High School Thespians Facebook page or contact Bin at or 620-719-9622.


# # #


Angie Bin, 620-719-9622,

USD234 School Bus Involved In An Accident on Feb. 22

Submitted photos by Clayton Whitson at the scene.


On Monday afternoon, Feb. 22, a USD 234 School Bus was attempting to cross  12th Street at the HWY. 69 bypass with a  destination of the Fort Scott Middle School, according to a USD 234 Facebook post by Superintendent Ted Hessong.


A semi-trailer hit the front of the bus, he said


“Everyone on the bus is fine physically,”Hessong said on the Facebook post.  “The bus driver was obviously shaken up, and the students, around 20 of them appeared fine.”


“A few USD 234 staff were on the scene to help with the students and I want to thank them for helping to manage the students and parents, they did an excellent job,” he said.  “We were able to send most of the students with their parents once the highway patrol released the students from the scene. We did need to transport a few students on a substitute bus.”


“We are thankful no one was seriously injured and I appreciate everyone who helped to manage the situation for the safety of our students and driver.”


Fort Scott Police Chief Travis Shelton said the Kansas Highway Patrol worked the accident.



Local Photographer Featured in FARMtographer Magazine

Erica George. Submitted photo.

A local photographer, new to the business is featured in a farm magazine.

 Erika George, 25, owns her own business,
Erika George Photography, which she started in 2017.
“I have always loved photography and enjoyed taking lots of scenery photos when I was younger,” she said. “It wasn’t until I moved to Uniontown after college that I started photography as an actual business.”
“My sister-in-law, Lacey (George) Wray, had just started a photography business in Ottawa so I got to tag along and second shoot with her at weddings,” George said. “I started doing a few free sessions just for fun around the area, but then started having more and more people ask me for sessions.”
The interest turned serious and she changed careers.
“I was working at the Uniontown daycare as the preschool teacher and decided I wanted to do something a little different,” she said.
She started her business promotion with social media.
“I created a Facebook page for my business to post previews for the sessions I had been doing and it started growing from there,” she said. “It has grown more and more every year as I gain new clients and broaden my education of photography. This past year has definitely been my busiest year and I foresee it getting busier this next year.”
“I love to create the session that you have envisioned in your mind, no matter the location,” George said .”I love to travel and find new locations for sessions too.”
” While I do love outdoor photoshoots, I did just start renting a studio space in downtown Fort Scott at 118 S.  Main Street, so that I can offer more options, especially during the winter months,” she said. “I offer most sessions that you can think of from weddings to newborns. I have many different packages for families, kids, seniors, newborns, engaged couples, and expecting parents! “
George rents the middle section of the building at 118 S. Main, behind the barbershop storefront that is coming this summer.
Her favorite photoshoots are Western-inspired, she said.
Featured In FARMtographer Magazine this month
She recently was honored with being featured in a photography magazine, FARMtographer Magazine.
“I saw the magazine advertising on Instagram for their upcoming categories, so I used their hashtag on one of my photos,” she said.
“I got a message saying my photo was going to be entered into a contest for the cover photo based on a Facebook contest.”
“There were 10 other photos in the contest and mine was chosen as the cover photo for the CHILDREN/KIDS issue,” she said. “You also had the chance to enter as the featured photographer by entering a story about the photo or photos you entered and a story about your editing style.”
George decided to do that for the chance to be featured as a magazine spread.
“I entered a few more photos along with the story,” she said. ” They don’t tell you until the issue is printed who the featured photographers are so I found out that I was the first featured photographer once I bought the magazine issue.”
“FARMtographer Magazine is an agriculture photographer’s magazine and some of the other photos featured in the issue were from Wyoming, Texas, Australia, Canada, and Utah,” she said.
The winning photo is of a five-year-old cowboy, Miles Pollack, helping bring in calves at G3 Ranch near Uniontown. G3  is a family-owned business.
Miles Pollack. Submitted photo. This photo was on the front cover of FARMtographer Magazine.
Miles is the son of Jared and Delta Pollack of Uniontown. Jared works for G3 Ranch.
Miles on his horse, Doc. Submitted photo.
“He was riding on his horse, Doc, alongside his dad and cousin, Cole George,” she said. Erica is married to Cole George who also works at G3 Ranch.
Miles Pollack. Submitted photo.


” My favorite type of images to capture are western-influenced, whether it be western fashion, western lifestyle, or the equipment and livestock that go along with farming and ranching,” George said. “I grew up in the western lifestyle so it has always been what is natural to me!”

To view the magazine cover page online:
Contact info: 620.381.4783 – – Facebook page @EGphotography1650 or Instagram @erikageorgephotography

Uniontown Has An Emergency Plan For Gas Supply Issues

Uniontown is located 17 miles west of Fort Scott.

Kansas Municipality Gas Agency is the natural gas supplier for Uniontown, in western Bourbon County.


“They are the broker that the gas comes through,” Mayor Larry Jurgensen said. “We are the only town in Bourbon County to get gas from them.”


This last week, during the long duration of sub-freezing weather, the Uniontown City Council was involved in a Zoom online meeting with the agency every day.


“The gas companies couldn’t keep up with the demand,” Jurgensen said. “We were close to being shut down.”


Due to the warmer weather, that has been averted, however people need to still conserve their gas usage, he said.


“We don’t want people to panic,” Jurgensen said.


“Our supply is going to be there,” he said. “The cost is extremely high.”


“We had money put back for emergencies, whether it’s enough, we don’t know, we don’t have the bill yet. We won’t get the February bill, until March.”


At a special meeting on February 18, the city, in conjunction with other local entities, devised an emergency plan. That plan is in bold in the provided minutes from Uniontown City Clerk Sally Johnson.


The following is a comment from the City of Uniontown Council that was approved at a special meeting on Feb. 18.
“As many of you have heard, with the extreme cold we have recently experienced, gas prices have skyrocketed.
At this time the City of Uniontown is able to pay for the gas we supply to you. However, a portion of this may
have to be passed on to you.
We have an emergency plan if for some reason our gas supplier is unable to supply us. We appreciate all of the conservation efforts you have put forth and ask that you continue to conserve. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
Following are the unapproved minutes of that meeting. Minutes are not approved until the next city council meeting.
The Special City Council Meeting on February 18, 2021 at Uniontown City Hall, was called to order at 7:00 PM by
Mayor Jurgensen.
Council members present were Jess Ervin, Danea Esslinger, Josh Hartman (by phone), Amber Kelly, and Charles Wehry.
Also in attendance for all or part of the meeting were Joe George, City Superintendent Bobby Rich,
and City Clerk Sally Johnson.
To discuss and make decisions on the following topics:
KMGA February 17, 2021 invoice –
Invoice consisted of usual March 2021 estimate prepayment, January 2021 true-up,
but also included a Collateral Call to reimburse for the $1,000,000 cash collateral required to secure gas to all of their
members through the holiday weekend.
Our portion of the collateral call is $6,295. The invoice is due by Monday, February 22, 2021, instead of the usual 30 days.
Motion by Ervin, Second by Wehry, Approved 5-0 to pay the KMGA February 17, 2021 invoice in the amount of $10,178.22 by March 22, 2021
How to pay KMGA March Invoice –
Council reviewed the usage to date and the daily indexes to date. Clerk  Johnson estimates the bill to be $133,678.47 without the collateral call adjusted back off. She will ask KMGA if the collateral call will be adjusted on the next billing and if we could possibly get a month-to-date or weekly statements/invoices to better understand the true financial impact for the month.
Council will look at whether to pass on to customers, how much, and in what manner at the March 9, 2021, regular meeting.
Finalize emergency procedures for this gas/extreme weather emergency.
Mayor Jurgensen, Councilman  Wehry, Superintendent Rich, and Clerk Johnson met on February 16, 2021, with Will Wallis, Bourbon County Emergency Manager, and Commissioner Lynne Oharah.
Bourbon County Emergency Management has cots, blankets, etc needed to set up a warming station.
Clerk Johnson had spoken with Bret Howard, Superintendent USD #235, about using the WBE gym for a warming station in the event of loss of gas. It was verbally agreed on
A calling tree has been set up to notify the gas
customers in the event of loss of gas.
Superintendent Rich informed that manpower would be an issue if this occurred.
All gas meters would have to shut off and when the flow was reinstated all meters would have to be turned on, bled, and all pilots lit. This would require several people if to be done in a timely manner and each person would have to have to proper tools to complete the task. It was suggested to compile 4-5 tool kits with all the tools that would be needed.
The emergency procedures for a loss of gas event would be:
1. Notify Bourbon County Emergency Management and USD 235.
2. Notify Governing Body to implement calling tree. If no answer, visit the location. If they have special needs or need transportation they are to call City Hall.
3. Shut off meters.
4. Help transport citizens to the warming station.
5. End of the event, an adult household member must be present to turn on gas, bleed lines, and light pilots.
Moved by Ervin, Second by Hartman, Approved 5-0, to adjourn at 8:40PM

Knights of Columbus Fish Fry Is A Drive-Through This Year Starting Feb. 26

The men of Knights of Columbus Council #796 serve the Lenten meal in February 2020.

The first Friday of the Lenten season is February 19, however because of frigid weather conditions, the Knights of Columbus Fish Fry will not start until February 26.

New this year because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the annual fish fry has planned a drive-through pickup of the food served.

Because of the pandemic, all the workers will be wearing masks and gloves to serve the meals.

But as in the past, it will be at 702 Holbrook,  at Kennedy Gym, which is a part of Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church.


The fish fry in 2016.


The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men’s organization, that has a “great tradition of fish fry’s nationwide,” Mark McCoy, spokesman for the group said.

On  Friday, Feb. 26, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. the first meal will be served through the drive-through set up, and continue each Friday until the end of March. Easter is April 4 in 2021.

The meal had to be simplified this year because it is a drive-through, McCoy said.

“Meal #1 will be catfish, french fries and coleslaw, Meal #2 is catfish, cod, fries, and coleslaw and Meal #3 is baked cod with fries and coleslaw,” McCoy said.

There will be no home-made desserts this year that have been provided by the ladies of the parish in past Lenten fish fry meals.

A row of homemade desserts lines tables at the Knights of Columbus  Lenten Fish Fry in February 2020 at Kennedy Gym.

Logistically, it would not work, McCoy said, since the drive-through was new this year.

The annual Lenten fish fry is also a community event where lots of conversations happen between attendees, McCoy said.

“We look forward to going back to sit down dining” in the future, he said.


UHS Basketball Results Against Southeast, Crest

Adelay Martin. Submitted photo.


The Eagles played Southeast Cherokee on February 12. The Lady Eagles won, but the boys were defeated.

The girls’ Varsity team won their game 65-41 last Friday. Danielle Howard scored 24 points and had 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and 8 steals. Karleigh Schoenberger followed with 20 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Sammie Hampton had 4 rebounds and Addisyn Hall had 2. Rylee Coulter had 3 assists and Kaydra Woods had 2.

“Great win to wrap up this crazy week,” Coach Miller said. “This is a great group of young ladies. The adversity of playing back to back nights had no effect on their will to win this game. We will get back to work on Monday to prepare for the Crest Lancers.”

The boys lost to Southeast 47-55. Clay Sutterby had 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists. Luke Perry scored 13 points and Jake Harvey followed with 12. Harvey also had 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Dawson Dreisbach had 7 boards and 3 assists. Drew Perry had 3 rebounds and 4 assists.

Coach Hays said, “I thought we battled hard against Southeast. We didn’t play our best game, and give credit to Southeast. They played a great game and hit some tough shots down the stretch. We can take a lot from this game. We need to handle adversity better and not make it harder on ourselves to get back in the game. We also need to do a better job of closing out games.”



The Uniontown Eagles played the Crest Lancers on Thursday, February 18. Both Varsity teams defeated the Lancers.

The Lady Eagles beat the Lancers 61-40. Danielle Howard scored 27 points and had 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 8 steals. Karleigh Schoenberger had 26 points and 3 rebounds. Gwenyth Fry had 6 rebounds, while Sammie Hampton, Kaydra Woods, and Rylee Coulter each had 3. Coulter also had 2 assists and 5 steals. Hampton had 3 assists and 1 steal.

“It has definitely been an insane week for basketball. We were grateful to be able to get back on the court and compete tonight. The girls were able to pull off another win with little preparation. We are hopeful to be able to practice tomorrow to prepare for the final push of the season,” said Coach Miller.

The boys’ Varsity team also defeated Crest with a score of 64-32. Jake Harvey scored 16 points and had 8 rebounds. Clay Sutterby followed with 15 points and 7 rebounds. Cade Goodridge scored 10 points and Luke Perry scored 8. Dawson Dreisbach had 3 assists and 3 blocks. Drew Perry had 7 assists.

“It was nice to see our guys back on the court competing,” Coach Hays said. “For not having played basketball in a week, we shot the ball well and played with great energy. I didn’t feel like our conditioning was an issue. It was a fun night of basketball.”

Case Ongoing On Credit Card Skimmer at Pete’s Conoco

Fort Scott Police Officer Brian Thurston. Submitted photo.

A Fort Scott Police Department case that began last summer at a local gas station is ongoing.


At the Pete’s Convenience Store on East Wall in August 2020, staff noticed that a lock on the pump door had been tampered with.


The store’s maintenance employee called the FSPD immediately.


An investigation was started by retrieving the skimmer and calling other local and nearby towns to tell them of the illegal activity at the gas pump.

Skimmers are illegal card readers attached to payment terminals. These card readers grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without your knowledge,  according to Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to buy things online.



FSPD Detective Sargeant Brian Thurston mailed the skimmer to the U.S. Secret Service.


“They have the technology to get information off of the device to try to identify the perpetrator,” he said.


“The device is Blue Tooth,” he said. “The bad guy can come back and get info off of it.”


The FSPD received information back from the Secret Service on Feb. 16, 2021.


Forty-five people had their information on the skimmer, Thurston said. He has made contact with them.

“We don’t believe any info was retrieved by the suspect,” he said.

His next step is to contact the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and get assistance “to identify the device, then attach someone to that device, to identify a suspect,” he said.


Back in August, the FSPD called local gas stations and also area ones, to tell them of the skimmer.

“In Louisburg a skimmer was at an ATM inside of a store,” Thurston said.


Pete’s Convenience Store has since replaced all the locks on the gas pumps.

The 45 people who were listed on the skimmer are being notified to change their credit card, as a safety precaution, he said.

The Secret Service has sent Thurston information on the device that was connected to that skimmer.

The investigation is ongoing, he said.


How to protect oneself from skimming.

“There is a security seal on the door of the gas pump,” Thurston said. “They are different colors, that I’ve seen, green, yellow, red, blue. If that seal is broken or torn, notify the  gas station attendant.”


Here are a few tips to help you avoid a skimmer when you gas up, from the

  • Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn’t show signs of tampering. Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. If the pump panel is opened, the label will read “void.”

Photo credit: National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and Conexxus

  • Look at the card reader itself. Does it look different than other readers at the station? For example, the card reader on the left has a skimmer attached; the reader on the right doesn’t.

Photo credit: Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Kamloops, Canada

Try to wiggle the card reader before you put in your card. If it moves, report it to the attendant. Then use a different pump.

  • If you use a debit card at the pump, run it as a credit card instead of entering a PIN. That way, the PIN is safe and the money isn’t deducted immediately from your account.
  • If you’re really concerned about skimmers, pay inside rather than at the pump.
  • Monitor your credit card and bank accounts regularly to spot unauthorized charges.

If your credit card has been compromised, report it to your bank or card issuer. Federal law limits your liability if your credit, ATM, or debit card is lost or stolen, but your liability may depend on how quickly you report the loss or theft. For more information, read Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards.





100th Kiwanis Pancake Feed Feb. 23

Addisyn Fowler, Fort Scott HIgh School Key Club member, left, along with Fort Scott Kiwanis Club members Bob Eckles and Clyde Stepps serve pancakes on Feb. 25,2020..

Fort Scott Kiwanis Club had to do a little rearranging of days for their annual pancake feed.

Because of the frigid weather, the fundraising meal was switched from Feb. 16, Fat Tuesday, to Feb. 23.

“The Kiwanis 100th Pancake Feed hasn’t missed serving the community one year in a hundred,” Mark McCoy, spokesman, said.

For many years, pancakes were served at the Scottish Rite Temple in downtown Fort Scott, then at Buck Run Community Center.

This year, it will be a drive-thru only at the First Methodist Church at Third Street and National Avenue, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m and then from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“It’s a drive-through only in the front of the church on National,” McCoy said.

“The driveway entrance is on Fourth Street, at the front of the church,” he said.

The cost for pancakes and sausage is $5 a plate.

“Come out and enjoy the pancakes,” McCoy said.”And support a good cause.”

Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members and partners dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time, according to its website. There are more than 550,000 members from K-Kids to Key Club to Kiwanis and many ages in between in 80 countries and geographic areas.

Each community has different needs, and Kiwanis empowers members to pursue creative ways to serve the needs of children, such as fighting hunger, improving literacy, and offering guidance.


Following is a list of supporters of the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club Pancake Feed event.

Atkins Insurance
Billiard Hammer Hartman Insurance
Briggs Auto
Cheney Witt Funeral Chapel
City of Fort Scott
City State Bank
Crain Insurance Agency
Diehl Banwart Bolton, CPAs, PA
Extrusions, Inc.
Edward Jones – Jamie Armstrong
Edward Jones – Richard Goldston
5 Corners Mini Mart
Fort Scott Broadcasting
G & W Foods
Graphic Resources Corp
H & H Realty
Heidrick’s True Value
Kansas Teachers Community
Credit Union
Key Industries
Klip Joint
Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home
Liberty Savings Association, FSA
Landmark Bank
Max Patterson, DDS
Mid-Continental Restoration Co.
Mike Carnes Family
Norris Heating and Air
Nuss & Farmer, PA
Reynolds Law Firm
R & R Equipment
Security 1st Title
SEK Financial, LLC
Sekan Printing Company, Inc.
Sonic Drive-In
Union State Bank
Valu Merchandisers
Ward-Kraft, Inc.
Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.

COVID-19 Vaccinations Have Started On the General Public in Bourbon County

There are limited supplies of COVID-19 Vaccines available now in Bourbon County with more on the horizon.

This, in less than a year since the COVID-19 virus began across the United States.


Here are some locally.

Walmart Fort Scott, 2500 S. Main.


Walmart Pharmacy personnel, 2500 S. Main,  started giving vaccines to the public last week.

“We started giving them on Feb. 12,” Pharmacy Technician Tim Haggins said.

“We are only giving by appointment, six days in advance,” he said. “We are already booked six days out.”

“There is one appointment every 20 minutes,” he said.

Following the shot, people must wait for at least 15 minutes in a chair to be observed for any reactions.

Shots are administered from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a two-hour break from 12:40 to 2:40 p.m.

They are giving about 200 shots per week, he said.

Inclement weather does affect the appointment schedule, due to hazardous road conditions, he said.

“If we need to move appointments, we will call people,” he said.

To schedule, one must go to


Walgreens, Fort Scott.




Walgreens, at the corner of Hwy. 69 and 23rd Street, has the vaccine but is awaiting directions from the corporate office, said Pharmacy Technician Keely Gooderidge.

One must go to to schedule an appointment and to see if eligible for the vaccine.


Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, 403 Woodland Hills Blvd.


Community Health Center in Bourbon County


“We have gotten a limited number of vaccines and have focused first on emergency and medical personnel….we’re also collaborating with area health departments to get school staff vaccinated including Bourbon County,” Krista Postai, CEO and president of Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas said.  “We are also working with them to vaccinate child care providers.”

“The shots we have given have been in assistance with county health departments using their vaccine allotments,” said Rob Poole, CHC Communication and Marketing Director.

Last week, CHC was able to call in patients from a list run from their electronic health records, as well as a waiting list from those who have called in over the last few weeks, Postai said.


“According to information announced last week, health centers across the county should begin receiving vaccine directly in addition to any allocations through the state,” Postai said.  “We heard priority was going to those health centers with more than 2,000 patients over 65. We have well over 7,000 so we’re thinking we may be at the head of the line, which means, fingers crossed, we should start seeing more vaccine by early March,”


Poole said a recent Biden Administration press release stated that 250 health centers around the country would begin receiving vaccines directly from the federal government.


“There is not an exact timeline, but I can assure you we’ll spread the word as soon as it happens,” Poole said.






City Manager: Buck Run Warming Center

Jeremy Frazier. Submitted photo.
The Arctic weather has brought possible outages to the region.
The City of Fort Scott personnel has worked to provide a place for people, should they need it.
“The warming center/station that is being established at the Buck Run Center is a location that we have identified as suitable for emergency warming needs,” Fort Scott City Manager Jeremy Frazier said in an email interview. “This location will not include service.”
Buck Run Community Center is located at 735 Scott Avenue.
“That means that, at this time, we do not anticipate serving drinks or food,” he said.  “However there is significant space and we do have 50 cots available for immediate access and additional cots available as needed off-site that can be brought to the location. Additionally, we would provide as many blankets as are needed.”
Frazier noted that even though the Buck Run Community Center is scheduled to close at 9 p.m. this evening, if needed, individuals can contact the Fort Scott Police Department dispatch at 911 non-emergency and a staff member will be available to allow immediate access.
“We have been advised that there will be rolling blackouts,” Frazier said.  “This means that the Southwest Power Pool and its partners which include Evergy, will institute phased outages to manage electricity and utility demand as necessary. If and when this occurs we ask that residents allow 30 minutes to 1 hour BEFORE they consider relocating to Buck Run if they determine that a need to relocate to a warmer location/facility is necessary.”
“In the event of power blackouts the majority of the facility will be without power with the exception of the northernmost basketball court area,” Frazier said.  “This area will serve as the room reserved for heating purposes. Therefore all other operations and uses will be suspended during an electric blackout.”

BEDCO Update: Hiring an Eco Devo Director

Greg Motley. President of the Bourbon County Economic Development Council. Submitted photo.

Bourbon County Economic Development Council, Inc. is a not-for-profit started in 1992.


The council   “reconstituted”  in 2020.


“The bylaws were amended, and the board reconstituted in 2020, to make economic development functions a county-wide effort again, and to reestablish cooperation and trust amongst the disparate geographies in our county,” he said.  “We can no longer afford to go it alone, and must work together.”


In the last few months, the council began a search for an economic development director.

Their goal for this month is to hire an economic development director to move the county forward.


“The Human Resource Committee (of BEDCO) is currently running the process of hiring an executive director,”  Motley said. “We had 13 applications from all over the United States, and one from overseas.”


Through a qualifications matrix, six applications were selected, and each of the six has completed a test to measure skills and temperament suitable for the job, he said.


The committee will reduce the number of applicants based on their scores, and begin interviewing the finalists soon, Motley said.



Composition of BEDCO

“The board of trustees consists of appointees by the…seven incorporated cities, one each from USD 234, USD 235, Fort Scott Community College, the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, and two at-large members,” Motley said.


The group is comprised of:

Bourbon County Commissioner Lynne Oharah, City of Fort Scott Commissioner Josh Jones, Jess Ervin representing Uniontown, Mike Blevins-Mapleton, Michael Stewart-Bronson, (Treasurer) Mary Pemberton-Redfield, Misty Adams-Fulton, Ted Hessong-USD234, Bret Howard-USD235, (Vice President) Jim Fewins-Fort Scott Community College,(President) Greg Motley-Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, (At-Large) Mark McCoy and (At-Large) Heather Davis.



“Our goal is to be a trusted vehicle whereby we can act as a catalyst for economic development and any other function that might integrate well on a county-wide basis,” Motley said.  “Right now, our most valuable assets are lots in the Fort Scott Industrial Park; in conjunction with the county, we are currently working with an active prospect on a land deal in that vicinity that would bring a new business to town.”



“The main board only meets when there is something of substance to consider,” Motley said.


In addition to the human resource committee, the operations committee is meeting regularly.


Operations Committee

The operations committee met on Feb. 11, and worked on logistics of onboarding the economic development director, including office space, phone, etc., Motley said.


That committee is comprised of Mark McCoy, Lynne Oharah, Mary Pemberton, Misty Adams, and Josh Jones.



Mark McCoy. Taken from Facebook.


“We discussed office locations,” McCoy said. “Cost is number one, we have very limited funds.”


Two locations were discussed: the BWERC ( Bourbon County Workforce and Entrepreneur Resource Center) office above the new Star Emporium Downtown General Store on Main Street and an office inside Landmark Bank, also on Main Street.


“Both of these offer the potential of the first year, no cost,” McCoy said.


Also discussed was the equipment needed for the job.


“Telecommunication is an important part of the job,” McCoy said.  “We want to make sure BEDCO has appropriate information technology access.”


The position is being funded by the Bourbon County Commission who committed $130,000 for the total package of salary, benefits, equipment, supplies, transportation expenses, association expenses, and office space, McCoy said.


“The goal is to save taxes in Bourbon County,” McCoy said. “My goal in the future is to have one economic director representing the county.”


Currently, the City of Fort Scott and the Bourbon County Commission both have an economic director.


The city and county recently agreed to share the finance director position, held by Susan Bancroft.


To learn more about this collaboration:

Susan Bancroft Assumes Duties as Bourbon County Business Manager


Name Change

The BEDCO group is considering a name change since they have a new direction of the whole county.

“There are four names under consideration,” McCoy said. “With the new direction, it is important to revise who you are and where you are going.”