All posts by Submitted Story

Mercy Pharmacy Will Close Early for Inventory June 28

Submitted by Tina Rockhold

The pharmacy at Mercy Fort Scott will close at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, for inventory. Regular hours will resume at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 29.

“We want to make all our patients aware of the temporary change in hours on June 28, so they can plan ahead and not have ny interruption in their medication,” said Jennifer Dunshee, RPh. “We thank our patients in advance for their cooperation during our annual inventory process.”

Shortly before the end of every fiscal year, the pharmacy staff takes inventory of drugs and supplies. Mercy’s fiscal year ends June 30.

Lowell Milken Center Awarded Freedom’s Frontier Interpretive Grant

Submitted by Jessica Schenkel

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes are pleased to announce that the Lowell Milken Center is the recipient of an Interpretive Grant in the amount of $4,000 for the project “She Outranks Me.”

This grant funding will allow the Lowell Milken Center to design, produce and display a new exhibit panel in their Hall of Unsung Heroes that features Mary Bickerdyke, a hero from an era that greatly impacted Fort Scott and the Civil War.

The Freedom’s Frontier Interpretive Grant program was started in 2012. Since then, more than 90 projects have been awarded grant funding. Grant projects have been completed on both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border, in the 41-county region that comprises the heritage area. Projects awarded grant funding must interpret local history and connect to one or more of the three major themes of the heritage area: the shaping of the frontier, the Missouri-Kansas Border War and the enduring struggle for freedom. Grants range in amount from under $1,500 to $5,000. All awards over $1,500 require that the grant recipient show a local match of half the amount of the award. This match can be in the form of cash, or in-kind donations and staff and volunteer time.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is one of 49 heritage areas in the U.S. Heritage areas are nonprofit affiliates of the National Park Service (NPS). They act as coordinating entities between the local organizations telling nationally significant stories and the NPS. Freedom’s Frontier was established as a heritage area on October 12, 2006, when signed into law by President George Bush. The heritage area’s management plan was approved by the Department of the Interior and the NPS in 2010. Freedom’s Frontier is headquartered in the Carnegie Building, 200 W 9th St., in Lawrence, Kan.

The Lowell Milken Center is a non-profit 501©(3) that works with students and educators within a range of diverse academic disciplines, to develop projects focused on unsung heroes. Once their projects are finished, they advocate the student’s unsung heroes by sharing them in the Hall of Unsung Heroes or their website so people all over the world discover their individual influence and obligation to take actions that improve the lives of others. The Hall of Unsung Heroes is proudly located in Southeast Kansas and showcases some of the top projects developed in collaboration with the Center.

“With the funds granted by the FFNHA, many students, teachers and visitors will have an opportunity to learn of Bickerdyke’s tireless efforts in providing the best health care possible during the Civil War and be inspired by her actions. We are excited about this grant and the ability to continue to share positive role models!” says Jessica Schenkel, administrative specialist for the Lowell Milken Center.

Grant applications are accepted from organizations within the borders of the heritage area which have signed a partner pledge with Freedom’s Frontier, and meet all other qualifications for grant funding. Applications are reviewed quarterly by a peer group from the partnership. Organizations are asked to complete their grant projects within a year of the grant award. For more information about Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, visit the Web site at www.freedomsfrontier.org.

KState Extension Office: Tips to Keep Your Home Cool

Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District Agriculture Agent
With summer temperatures on the rise, now is the time to look for alternatives to save a few dollars while trying to cool the home. K-State Research and Extension offers the following advice:


Can ceiling fans effectively reduce air-conditioning costs?
Any type of fan can be effective in reducing air-conditioning costs if the air movement helps occupants feel comfortable and results in increasing the thermostat temperature setting. If the air conditioning thermostat setting is not increased, there are no savings. The cooling effect of moving air can compensate for as much as a four-degree rise in temperature. Keep in mind, that during the heating season, the air movement caused by the fan will still have the same cooling effect.
How can I keep my home cooler in the summer without air conditioning?
The simplest, least expensive method to keep a home cool is shading walls, windows, and the roof. Interior shades are inexpensive and easy to install. Use pull-down or Venetian blinds in addition to regular window coverings. Window coverings should be light colored (white or beige). There are several ways to keep a home cool without overusing the air conditioner. Of these options, install shades first. Compare utility bills before and after the installation of shades. If satisfied with the savings, stop there, but if savings are not significant, look into other options. One option to consider is exterior awnings. They are more expensive than interior shades, but would be a great way to shade south windows. Natural shading is another way to block heat gain in summer. For example, plant broad-leafed trees on the south and west sides of the home. They shade a home in summer months and will let in sunlight during winter months when they have shed their leaves. Certain steps will help keep a home warm in winter and will help cool it during the summer. Insulated walls and roof reduce heat gain, just as they lower heat loss in winter. As a general rule, ceiling insulation should have an R-value of 35 to 45, and walls from 19 to 27. A light-colored roof also decreases heat gain. Use the above suggestions, coupled with circulating fans inside the home, and utility bills will be less than if air conditioning was the only cooling source.
Is it better to leave the fan running continuously with the air conditioner or to place it in the automatic position?
It is more efficient to leave the thermostat in the automatic position. The fan consumes only one-tenth the energy of the compressor, but when it runs continuously, the fan can cost up to $30 a month. This amount can be reduced by cycling the fan only when it’s needed. Additionally, the air conditioner will dehumidify the air only when the compressor is running. However, if the fan remains on after the compressor cycles off, some moisture on the coil will re-evaporate. This moisture must be removed during the next compressor cycle, which increases the energy consumption.
If air distribution is poor within the home or business and hot spots or very cold areas result, the fan can be run to even out the temperatures.  However, the fan should be set to the auto position when the building is unoccupied. Even better, shut the air conditioner off or raise the thermostat setting when leaving the building.
Will I save energy by turning off my air conditioner when I leave home, or am I better off just letting it run?

If gone for four hours or more, more energy will be saved by turning off the air conditioner or turning up the thermostat. During the day, keep windows shut and close curtains or blinds on any windows that will be exposed to sunlight. The thermal mass of the house will probably keep the indoor temperature well below the outdoor temperature, and the house should cool quickly when the air conditioner is restarted. Use a programmable thermostat or timer to turn on the air conditioner 30 to 45 minutes before the expected arrival home. If the home is still warm upon arrival, turn on a fan to create air movement.  Moving air can make the air feel about four degrees cooler than it really is.
For more information about energy savings, visit K-State Research and Extension on the web, www.ksre.ksu.edu

Kansas State: Annual Flowers – Tips for More Profuse Blooming

Submitted by Krista Harding

Just like last year, we have been gotten a lot of rain this spring. Our soils were definitely saturated for several weeks. You may think that watering won’t be needed for quite some time since soil moisture levels are very high. However, watering may be needed much sooner than you think.

Excessive rain can drive oxygen out of the soil and literally drown roots. Therefore, as we enter hotter, drier weather, the plants with damaged root systems may be very susceptible to lack of water. Don’t forget to check your plants for signs of wilting or leaf scorching and water as needed.

My annual flowers haven’t been overly impressive yet. I know as our temperatures warm, they will pick up blooming speed. To keep the blooms going, a nitrogen fertilizer application and removing spent flowers is a must. An application of fertilizer is especially needed this year considering the amount of rain we have gotten recently.

Modern annual flowers have been bred to flower early and over a long period of time. Providing nitrogen through the growing season (sidedressing) can help maintain flower display. A high nitrogen sidedressing should be applied four to six weeks after flowers have been set out. Additional fertilizers every four to six weeks are also helpful during a rainy summer or if flower beds are irrigated. Common sources of nitrogen-only fertilizers include nitrate of soda, urea and ammonium sulfate. Use only one of the listed fertilizers and apply at the rate given:

Nitrate of soda (16-0- 0) – Apply ¾ pound fertilizer per 100 square feet

Urea (46-0- 0) – Apply ¼ pound fertilizer per 100 square feet

Ammonium sulfate (21-0- 0) – Apply ½ pound fertilizer per 100 square feet

If you cannot find the above materials, you can use a lawn fertilizer that is about 30 percent nitrogen (nitrogen is the first number in the set of three) and apply it at the rate of 1/3 pound per 100 square feet. Do not use a fertilizer that contains a weed killer or a weed preventer.

Removing spent flowers or “deadheading” will help some plants bloom more profusely. Annuals focus their energy on seed production to insure that the species survives. If old flowers are removed, the energy normally used to produce seed is now available to produce more flowers. Deadheading is as easy as pinching the plant between the thumb and finger, but tough, wiry stems will require the use of scissors or pruning shears.

Plants that do increase blooms in response to deadheading include: hardy geraniums, coreopsis, some petunias, marigolds, snapdragons, begonias, some roses, zinnias, sweet peas, salvia, blanket flower and yarrow.

There are some “self-cleaning” plants on the market now. These plants drop their spent flowers and bloom again and do not require manual deadheading. In many cases they are sterile varieties – bred not to produce seeds. The petunia and rose varieties that are “self-cleaning” continue to excel in the home garden market because of their low maintenance and blooming power.

If you need help with any horticulture topic, give me a call. My current office schedule is Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Erie; Tuesday – Iola; and Thursday – Fort Scott.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at 620-244- 3826 or kharding@ksu.edu

Fun Day of Art Activities to be Held at Fort Scott NHS

Submitted by Fort Scott National Historic Site

Fort Scott National Historic Site is excited to announce the first-ever Art Day at the Fort. Come to the Old Fort on Saturday, June 17, for a fun-filled day of art and activities. Free art supplies will be available for adults and kids of all ages to try their hand at sketching, painting or coloring their own souvenir. The talented art students of Fort Scott High School will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice or assistance to participants. The event will take place 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This event is part of the year-long celebration of the site’s 175th Anniversary and is presented in partnership with the Bourbon County Arts Council.

Fort Art Day: photo credit Fort Scott NHS

Everyone is invited to come out, even if it is just to observe artists in action. Professional artists will be painting and drawing around the beautiful historic Fort grounds. For those that want to get in on the action and depict the Fort through their own eyes, there are many subjects to choose from including the historic buildings, hundreds of colorful wildflowers in the tallgrass prairie, magnificent shade trees on the parade ground, and great views of historic downtown. Watercolor paints, coloring pencils, pastels and other supplies will be available for use. Folks can sketch a postcard that will be mailed home following the event, add their own creative take to a group mural, or try a new medium like pastels or watercolors. For the young ones there will be coloring pages, washable markers, big crayons for little hands and a collage activity.

The event is free and no pre-registration is required. Just drop by the Fort anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. For more information contact Fort Scott NHS at 620-223- 0310.