All posts by Loretta George

Escape Room Event Comes To FSCC

Fort Scott Community College President’s Ambassadors have come up with a fun way to fundraise, and add an entertainment venue to the community.

“Last fall, Matt Glades, Jennalee Martin and I went to an escape room in Joplin,” Kassie Fugate-Cate said. All three are staff/faculty at the college.

“An escape room is an interactive game/puzzle where groups of people are locked in a room and have to solve puzzles and find clues to escape, all within 60 minutes,” according to  Newsweek Magazine.

Following the Joplin excursion, Glades proposed an idea to the Ambassadors of designing and implementing an escape room for fundraising, Fugate- Cate said. They agreed.

“He got them a room, they did the rest,” Fugate-Cate said.

“We began planning in August,” Haley O’Neal, an FSCC Ambassador said. “We just now got to the point to financially support it.”

The cost isn’t much, but a camera had to be installed in the room.

“We had to install a camera, which was $500,” O’Neal said. “Legally we had to be able to watch so there is no property damage (to the school).

“We did research on designing a room, (and) one of our Ambassadors had been through a lot of escape rooms,” O’Neal said.

The theme the group chose for their room is “Secret Agency.”

The lights are turned off the duration of the time in the escape room.

“Initially, someone must find the flashlight,” O’Neal said.

Waivers must be signed and fees paid 24 hours prior to the assigned time.

Prices are $5 for students and faculty/staff, $10 for community members. A team is comprised of up to five people.

The escape event is available Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 6 to 8 p..m or by appointment.

Contact the admissions office at 620.223.2700 ext. 3520 or email for more information.

Participants must be at the escape room 15 minutes prior to their assigned time. If a time has been scheduled, no refund will be provided.

Several groups have spent time in the “Secret Agency” room for trial runs, Fugate-Cate said.

“The best time they have now is 30 minutes,” Fugate- Cate said.

The storyline will be changed periodically, Fugate- Cate said, to keep it interesting.

“I love that we are trying something new,” O’Neal said. “The Ambassadors are creating a fundraiser to do a fun day together later.”

O’Neal said the group has a plan to  Main Event Entertainment in Kansas City on April 14.


Area Artists Exhibit At Ellis Art Center

Juror Tera Schultz holds a piece of artwork prior to the exhibit, in an effort to photograph the art without environmental light reflection. The piece is entitled “Young Soul, Seared Heart”  is by Jezeriah Simpson and was awarded second place in the drawing and graphics category.
Tera Schultz, Iola, tells the attendees why this piece was chosen best of the show for the 26th Annual Fine Arts Exhibit and Sale Wednesday evening. Shultz was the juror for the event.
Deb Halsey left, and Deb Anderson, right, discuss the artwork they are helping to prepare for display at the Bourbon County Art Council’s Annual Fine Arts Exhibit and Sale.

The Bourbon County Arts Council’s 26th Annual Fine Arts Exhibit and Sale has grown over the years, according to the judge who picked the winners.

Schultz judged about four years ago she said.

“There is a lot more artwork this time, 125 pieces,” Schultz said. “Last time it was 80ish pieces.”

This year is a bigger variety as well, she said.

Schultz said she looks for composition, color techniques, and technical skills when she judges art.

This year she felt like the jewelry pieces “were really beautifully done, they were amazing,” she said.

The exhibit continues from noon to 7 p.m. through March 9 at the Ellis Fine Art Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton.

Featured below are the first and second place winners of the exhibit.

First place ceramics, Al Letner, Pittsburg.
Second place ceramics, Bobbie Kemna, Fort Scott.


First place sculpture, Kenzie Curran, Farlington.
Second place sculpture, Maxine Rader, Lamar, Mo.
First place mixed media, Robert Schlyer, Rich Hill, Mo.
Second place watercolor, Anita Wilson, Thayer.
First place watercolor, Jake Marshall, Overland Park.
Best of the show, 2-dimension, Carol Melton, Lamar, Mo.
First place drawing and graphics, Irene Schomacker, Spring Hill.
Second place mixed media, Lonny Vaughn Matlock, Girard.
Best of show jewelry, Chris Page, Fort Scott.
First place pastel, Chance Fuhrman, Bronson.
Second place jewelry, Barbara Gibson, Fort Scott.
First place jewelry, John Bartelsmeyer, Fort Scott.
First place photography, Linda Teeter, Carl Junction, Mo.
Second place pastel, Douglas Linthicum, Lamar, Mo.
Artist Kole Wagner stands in front of his winning submission to the art exhibit, which earned second place in photography.

Pictured below are some glimpses of artwork submitted to the exhibition by area artists.

The attendees listen as Juror Tera Shultz gives justification of the winners she selected in the exhibit.

The following are corporate prize sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Richard Goldston, Landmark Bank,  City State Bank,  McDonald’s Restaurant, Union State Bank, H & R Block, H & H Realty, Fort Scott Broadcasting, Bernita Hill, Ward Kraft. The best of show prize is awarded in honor of E. C. Gordon.

Juror Tera Schultz is the fine arts instructor at Allen County Community College, Iola.


Meals On Wheels, A Collaboration

Bourbon County Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main.

Meals on Wheels in Bourbon County delivers a lunch to 45 households Monday through Thursday.

The service is for people 60 years and older.

“There are no income guidelines,” Jackie Sellers, site manager of Bourbon County Senior Citizens, said. “There is a suggested donation of $1 per meal.”

There are two driving routes that take approximately 45 minutes to deliver the meals.

Each Wednesday a frozen meal is delivered with the hot meal, which can be consumed on Friday.

At 9:30 a.m. each Meals on Wheels day, volunteers gather to divide and pack up the meals that are supplied through the Southeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging, Pittsburg. The meals are then delivered in a local vehicle.

Snowy or icy weather can prevent the van full of food from Pittsburg to arrive, Sellers said.

“People have to watch on TV for cancellations,” Sellers said. “It’s referred to as Senior Meals.”

Deb Needleman, treasurer of the Bourbon County Senior Citizens said the United Way of Bourbon County grant money received goes to the Meals on Wheels part of the Bourbon County Senior Citizens budget.

“The expense of meal preparation is $30,000,” Needleman said. The United Way funds 30 percent of our budget for Meals on Wheels.”

The Southeast Kansas Area Agency on Aging provides oversight for Meals on Wheels, Sellers said.

The  SEKAAA Executive Director is Cindy Lane, who can be reached at 620-431-2980.

Mary Ada, Priscilla Sellers, and Ackland Milton prepare the meals to be delivered to 45 area residents over 60 years old.
Jacquline Sellers, the site manager at Bourbon County Senior Citizens center, places a quart of milk in a cooler to deliver with Meals on Wheels lunches.


Tri-Valley Developmental Services workers Kylee Thomas and Karesa Sworde transport TVDS clients Greg McGee and Chris Hutchison to help out on the delivery of Meals on Wheels lunches.


Legislators Answer Questions

From left: Kansas District 12 State Senator Richard Hilderbrand (R), and District 4, Representative Trevor Jacobs (R) listen as District 12 State Senator Caryn Tyson (R) gives remarks at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Legislative Coffee. At right is event moderator Mark McCoy. Not pictured is District 2 Representative Adam Lusker (D), who was late to the event.

Legislators gave answers to questions posed to them at Mercy Hospital’s Catherine Cafe Saturday morning during a legislative coffee sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Richard Hilderbrand, Representative Trevor Jacobs, Representative Adam Lusker and Senator Caryn Tyson sat as a panel and received questions from the moderator,Chamber Member Mark McCoy and also questions from the audience.

Richard Hilderbrand is the Kansas District 13 Senator from Galena. He can be reached at 785-296-7370 or

State Senator Richard Hilderbrand converses with the audience following the legislative coffee Saturday.

The following are excerpts from Hilderbrand’s answers to questions posed to the legislators on current issues.

On education, Senator Hilderbrand clarified in a later interview ” My position on restoring Higher Ed. funding is we need to prioritize all of our commitments that have been cut, and not to add any other new items to fund. We need to work on restoring cuts before adding anything new.”

Support of bill lowering the sexual consent age to 11 years of age:  “Absolutely not.”

School safety:  “It’s a heart issue, no law will fix hate.”

Community college funding:  “I haven’t heard anything at the state level.”

Poultry operations: “There were no existing statutes, so this puts some in place for rights….and kept local control.”

KanCare: “When they budgeted it was only for the initial cost….not maintaining…now they have to come back and raise fees.”

Convention of states: “I would not support that.”

Transportation: “For 2019, the finishing of Fort Scott to Pittsburg Highway 69 seems to be the mood.”

Parting remarks: “It’s important to have this interaction with constituents. If there are any issues, contact us.”

Trevor Jacobs is the District 4 Representative from Fort Scott. He can be reached at 785-296-7616 or

State Representative Trevor Jacobs listens to constituents following the legislative coffee Saturday morning at Mercy Hospital.

The following are excerpts from Jacobs answers to questions posed to the legislators.

Education funding: “No more expansion of higher education.”

Support of bill lowering the sexual consent age to 11 years of age: “I would not.”

School safety:  “One of the 10 Commandments is ‘Thou shalt not kill’.  We need to address the root of the problem. We need a revolution of family and education.”

Property tax: “I’m not into raising taxes.”

Marijuana decriminalization: “I’m not in favor..we have enough problems.”

Convention of states: No

Transportation:  (Rep. Jacobs in a later interview stated)”I am on the House Transportation Committee. I was never told any date, it doesn’t look like Hwy. 69 is budgeted.”

Parting remarks: “I was able to introduce a Choose Life (car) license plate. Lord willing, they will pass, to show life is valuable.”

Rep. Adam Lusker speaks with a constituent following the legislative coffee Saturday morning.

District 2  Representative Adam Lusker (D) resides in Frontenac and can be reached at 785-296-7698 or

The following are excerpts from Luskers’s answers to questions posed to the legislators.

Lusker was late to the coffee event, therefore did not answer some of the questions, explaining he misunderstood the begin time.

KanCare: “KanCare is problematic.”

DCF: “Deals with tough situations.”

Marijuana decriminalization:  “There is no legislation on either side for recreational marijuana. CDB oil passed for epilepsy but never came to fruition. We are a long way from legalizing in Kansas.”

Convention of states: “I would be opposed to a convention of states.”

Transportation: “Highway 69 in late 2019 will be completed. There is a $50-55 million budget. It will be on the front burner of the next transportation incentives for Bourbon County.

Parting remarks:”It’s a pleasure to serve you. I don’t align with these individuals (legislative colleagues)  on a lot of issues, but they are very good people. We work together for the best of Kansas.”

Senator Caryn Tyson listens to a constituent following the legislative coffee sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Caryn Tyson (R) represents Kansas District 4. She resides in Parker and can be reached at 785-296-6838 or

Tyson said she is also running for U.S. Congress to replace Lynn Jenkins, who is retiring.

The following are excerpts from Tyson’s answers following questions posed to the legislators.

Education: “Over 60 percent of the state budget goes to k-12 and higher education…We have obligations for education but have other obligations. Schools can we do it better, can we do it smarter? We need to ask, is it a need or want.”

Support of bill lowering the sexual consent age to 11 years of age: “I would not vote to support that bill.”

School safety: “The hall talk is teachers to take training.”

Community college funding: “We have demonstrated our priority…60 percent of our budget is in education.”

Poultry operations: “The whole community should have input on their coming in.”

KanCare: “The legislature did not decide on that, the administration did. KanCare was pushed into the State of Kansas without legislation. We have to make sure our contracts are understood.”

DCF: “There are a lot of problems. (However) We have a new secretary.”

Marijuana decriminalization: “The issue is dosage control. There is no way to control. Kansas has lessened the laws for marijuana.

Convention of states: “It (the U.S. Constitution) is not a perfect document. Women wouldn’t be able to vote without constitutional amendments.”

Transportation: “Highway 69 will be completed.”

Parting remarks: “We are a citizen legislature. When we make decisions we need to know who we are impacting.”