All posts by Submitted Story

Obituary of Shelly Guder Collier

Shelly Kay Guder Collier, age 47, a resident of rural Bronson, Kansas, passed away Friday, May 22, 2020, at the home of her parents in rural Bronson.

She was born August 14, 1972, in Ft Scott, Kansas, the daughter of Russell R. Guder and Wanda D. Carson Guder. Shelly graduated from Uniontown High School and Allen County Community College.

She married Marc Collier. They later divorced.

Shelly had been employed by F. & S. Supply in Iola for seventeen years. She later worked for Hurst Jones and Twin Motors. She enjoyed camping and cutting wood.

Survivors include her son, Joe Collier, of Bronson and her parents, Russell and Wanda Guder, also of Bronson; a granddaughter, Nova Julian and a sister, Windy Ballinger. Also surviving is her long-time companion, Troy Driscoll.

Private services with burial in the Bronson Cemetery will take place on Friday.

Memorials are suggested to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Who Did You Used To Be? By Pastor James Collins

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

I will never forget when Jefferson spoke to me for the first time. It was my first day of active duty. I was supposed to go to Fort Benning in Georgia for Army Basic Training, but there was a clerical error and instead, I was sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky.

I was bused to Fort Knox with a group of recruits. As soon as we stepped off the bus, we were escorted by screaming Drill Sergeants to a large warehouse building. We were told to take off our civilian clothes and put them in a bag. As we stood there in our underwear, a corporal came by and handed us a uniform.

After we dressed, we were marched to get a haircut from barbers whose only cutting tools were electric shavers. We left the barbershop hairless as an egg and marched to our barracks. One of our sergeants yelled, “All you maggots stink! Get in the showers now!” After an ice-cold shower, we were herded into a small room with instructions to sit and wait.

We were sitting on a cold tile floor, dressed in the same uniform, our heads bald, our bodies blue from an icy shower, and afraid to move a muscle without being told to do so.

It was then, Jefferson spoke. He was sitting on the floor beside me when he nudged me and asked, “Who did you used to be?” His question made me laugh and we became lifelong friends.

When Jefferson asked, “Who did you used to be?” he was asking, “Who were you in your life before the army?” Army life is designed to break down your individuality and build you up as part of a team. When I enlisted in the army, I began a training process to become a soldier.

It’s the same in the Lord’s army. When I gave my life to Christ, I began a training process to become a Christian. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” The Lord’s life was one of self-denial and suffering, which is difficult to follow. But to be His disciple, we too are called to put aside selfish desires and pick up spiritual burdens every day – serving others first instead of ourselves, for example – as we closely follow Him.

The point is: Like an army recruit, Jesus calls us to put away who we used to be and follow Him. The task is great, but it’s eternally rewarding. When you lose your life for Christ, you start really living.

Do you need a new you? Are you willing to take up your cross and follow the Lord in self-denial? Let Jesus recruit you into His army. Put your faith in Christ and follow Him as Lord. Who knows? Perhaps someone will notice the change in you and ask, “Who did you used to be?”

James Collins is the pastor of Fort Scott’s First Southern Baptist Church. For more information on his ministry, go to the website

Enjoy Kansas Parks On Memorial Day

How To Safely Enjoy Kansas State Parks During Memorial Day Weekend

PRATT – Kansas’ 28 state parks, 63 state fishing lakes, and more than 100 wildlife areas remain open to the public and will be popular destinations over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. From camping and horseback riding, to boating and disc golf, there’s no shortage of fun to be had at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) areas, but visitors must remain steadfast in practicing social distancing, among other safety measures, to ensure these special places remain open and accessible to all.

“We want visitors to enjoy themselves, so long as social distancing is practiced,” Kansas State Parks director Linda Lanterman said. “Our staff have done an incredible job maintaining our parks, and ensuring that facilities remain open, but it’s ultimately up to the public to look out for each other and practice social distancing so we can all remain in good health and continue having these beautiful places to recreate.”

Here’s how visitors can safely enjoy their time at Kansas state parks over the holiday weekend and throughout the summer:

Practice social distancing, even on the water – While six feet is the standard measure for effective social distancing, maintaining a safe distance may look different while on a trail or on the water. Boaters – especially those recreating in or around coves – can practice social distancing by refraining from tying up to other vessels and instead anchoring vessels individually. Boating passengers should also refrain from moving between vessels.

Allow for ample time at boat ramps – Launching a vessel may take a little longer than normal. Plan ahead by having everything ready and packed on your boat before backing down the ramp. Many state park reservoirs and fishing lakes have multiple access points – visitors can benefit from knowing them ahead of time by referencing area maps at If a desired boat ramp is congested, consider launching at an alternate ramp or parking at a distance until the area clears.

Make reservations and purchases online – While state park staff are on duty to ensure Kansas’ state parks are safe, and that park facilities are regularly cleaned and disinfected, visitors are encouraged to conduct reservation and license purchase needs through KDWPT’s free mobile apps – CampIt KS and HuntFish KS. Campsite reservations can also be made on, and license purchases made on

Keep to your camp – KDWPT-managed campsites are perfectly-suited to space visitors a safe distance apart. Visitors should use these designated areas to their advantage and keep family and friends safe by refraining from visiting other campsites or combining sites.

The wild spaces and fun places managed by KDWPT are intended to be enjoyed by all – help KDWPT keep these areas open by practicing social distancing and refraining from gathering in large groups.

For more on outdoor recreation opportunities in Kansas, visit

For more information on COVID-19 in Kansas, visit

USDA March Margin Triggers Payments to Dairy Producers

March Margin Triggers Dairy Margin Coverage Program Payment

Income-over-feed margin for March triggers first payment for 2020


WASHINGTON, May 20, 2020 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the March 2020 income over feed cost margin was $9.15 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the first payment of 2020 for dairy producers who purchased the appropriate level of coverage under the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

This payment comes at a critical time for many dairy producers,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “It is the first triggered DMC payment for 2020, and the first payment to dairy producers in seven months.”

Current projections indicate that a DMC payment is likely to trigger every month for the remainder of 2020, a different expectation from last July when some market models had forecast no program payments for 18 months.

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC is a voluntary risk management program that offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. Over 13,000 operations enrolled in the program for the 2020 calendar year.

Although DMC enrollment for 2020 coverage has closed, dairy producers should look for FSA to open sign up for 2021 coverage in July.

USDA Service Centers, including FSA county offices, are open for business by phone only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at

For more information, visit DMC webpage or contact your local USDA service center. To locate your local FSA office, visit


FSA Expands Set-Aside Loan Provision for Customers Impacted by COVID-19


Set-Aside Delays Loan Payments for Borrowers

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2020– USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will broaden the use of the Disaster Set-Aside (DSA) loan provision, normally used in the wake of natural disasters, to allow farmers with USDA farm loans who are affected by COVID-19, and are determined eligible, to have their next payment set aside. In some cases, FSA may also set aside a second payment for farmers who have already had one payment set aside because of a prior designated disaster.

This immediate change of the Set-Aside provision can provide some welcome financial relief to borrowers during this current crisis,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “FSA recognizes that some customers may need this option to improve their cash flow circumstances in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”

FSA direct loan borrowers will receive a letter with the details of the expanded Disaster Set-Aside authorities, which includes the possible set-aside of annual operating loans, as well as explanations of the additional loan servicing options that are available. To discuss or request a loan payment Set-Aside, borrowers should call or email the farm loan staff at their local FSA county office.

The set-aside payment’s due date is moved to the final maturity date of the loan or extended up to twelve months in the case of an annual operating loan. Any principal set-aside will continue to accrue interest until it is repaid. This aims to improve the borrower’s cashflow in the current production cycle.

FSA previously announced it was relaxing the loan-making process and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need. Direct loan applicants and borrowers are encouraged to contact their local FSA county office to discuss loan making and servicing flexibilities and other needs or concerns. Customers participating in FSA’s guaranteed loan programs are encouraged to contact their lender. Information on these flexibilities, and office contact information, can be found on

FSA will be accepting most forms and applications by facsimile or electronic signature. Some services are also available online to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the portal where producers can view USDA farm loan information and certain program applications and payments. Customers can track payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance and electronically sign documents. Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at

USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only, and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with the FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at


Bourbon County Commission Agenda for May 26


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: May 26, 2020

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason


9:00 – 9:45 Jim Harris

9:45 Discuss Re-opening of the Courthouse

Flags Half-Staff For Memorial Day: Prayer For Peace

Governor directs flags be flown half-staff for Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day


In accordance with Executive Order 20-30, and in recognition of Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly has ordered flags throughout the State of Kansas to be flown at half-staff from sun up to noon on May 25. President Donald J. Trump also issued a flag directive honoring Memorial Day, May 25, 2020, as day of prayer for permanent peace.


“The military service women and men of this country have dedicated themselves to protecting the American way of life,” Kelly said. “We owe our most sincere gratitude and respect to the generations of military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States Armed Forces.”


The Memorial Day flag directive will follow the current order to lower flags to half-staff in honor of victims of the novel coronavirus pandemic.


To receive email alerts when the governor orders flags to half-staff, please visit

Fort Scott Public Library Summer Activities

Summer Reading Curbside Pickup
See Miss Val from a safe distance and pick up your summer reading packets! Anyone who plans on participating in this year’s FSPL Youth Summer Reading Program (birth – 12th grade) should plan to stop by the library’s south parking lot between 3 – 4 pm May 26 & 27 or 10 – 11 am May 28 & 29 to pick up a packet for their age group. Stay in your car, pull up to the table, tell Miss Val which packets you need, and she will push them forward for you to retrieve from your car. You may choose between a packet with a paper registration form or one without, if you’d like to (or already have) register online. Families may also choose to use Reader Zone for online reading goal tracking (sponsored by the Kansas State Library) or may choose to track reading goals on paper and drop off in library drop box. In case of inclement weather, Miss Val will use the library’s curbside service procedures to hand out packets. Anyone who cannot come during the hours and dates listed above should schedule a date and time by calling 223-2882 and asking for Miss Val, or by emailing You may also pick up packets along with your books during regular curbside service hours, starting on May 26.
The Fort Scott Public Library is proud to announce having won the Dollar General Literacy Grant, which awards select libraries and other educational organizations across the country with grants to support literacy programs! As a result, the library has an extra $500 in funding for this year’s summer reading program. In addition to presenting both physical rewards and supplies, the library will offer two performances online and a wide variety of virtual programming. The library is also partnering with local restaurants and grocery stores to offer gift certificates as reading rewards, in hopes to support local businesses while feeding local families’ minds and bodies. Now more than ever, the community must work together to maintain and improve students’ academic achievement levels.
Summer reading programs will begin on June 2, with a Zoom Preschool Story hour starting at 10 am, moderated by Miss Val, with stories read by educator Jeff Pommier, and a Zoom Elementary Story hour starting at 11 am, with stories read by educator Angie Bin. At  2 pm, a pre-recorded video of the preschool stories will release on Facebook and YouTube, with a story video for elementary students releasing at 2:15 on the same platforms. Then at 3 pm, Scouts Leader Cyndi Goebel will demonstrate how to make the week’s craft in a pre-recorded video released on Facebook and YouTube. The week’s theme is: Princesses and Princes. All Zoom meetings will require a password which you can obtain by messaging the library or emailing Miss Val at
Middle & high school students will meet weekly on Wednesdays at 4 pm, on Zoom for the summer reading teen program. Teens may also win prizes for reaching reading goals. Special, pre-recorded videos and challenges will also be released throughout the summer, specifically for teens. Stay tuned for more details.
To volunteer to read or demonstrate a craft on video, fill out a volunteer form here.
May 26: 10 am Alphabet Storytime on Zoom
               11 am Alphabet Storytime on Facebook Live
Join Miss Val online for virtual storytime! The library will use the Zoom platform for the 10 am storytime and Facebook Live for the 11 am event. This will be the final week of regular virtual storytimes. Beginning Tuesday, June 2, virtual storytimes will be replaced by weekly virtual summer reading stories and craft demonstrations!
To attend the Zoom meeting, click here. You will also need to message the library for the meeting password, unless you have attended recently. You may receive the password by one of two methods:
Message Fort Scott Public Library through Facebook or email Miss Val at before the start (10 am Tuesday) of storytime, and they will send you the link. The same link will be used for all future Zoom story programs. Zoom can be accessed on any pc with a camera and headset, smartphone, or tablet with online access. The application will allow families to see and interact with one another, in addition to being a part of storytime. Zoom storytime is no longer recorded. You will have the option of turning your video and audio on and off anytime during the meeting.
This week’s books: Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet, Sign Language ABC by Lora Heller, & The Alphabet Parade ABC by Charles Ghigna
This week’s craft: Nature ABCs or Nature Names
Materials Needed: Nature ABCs or Nature Names

Materials Needed: Clippings or small plants, tree leaves, twigs, etc.; paper or paper plate or recycled cardboard to glue them on, glue, pencil or crayon.

This week’s snack: Build-a-Letter
Materials Needed: Pretzel sticks, carrot sticks, celery sticks, or other long, thin snack. Want to make alphabet pretzels homemade? See how here.
For activity suggestions and more see the library’s Storytime Pinterest board:
Reserve books on this week’s theme for curbside pickup here. You must have an active Fort Scott or SEKLS library card to check out books at curbside.
Read digital books related to the theme at Sunflower eLibrary or Hoopla ( account required) or eBooks for Kids (for residents of Kansas only).


Teens & Tweens:
Miss Valetta will hand out curbside packets for summer reading on Wednesday afternoon, so there will be no meeting on May 27. Join her on June 3 at 4 pm for the first FSPL virtual teen summer reading meeting, ever!

Holiday With Safety in Mind

Governor Kelly encourages Kansans to have a safe Memorial Day Weekend


With Memorial Day approaching, Governor Laura Kelly reminds Kansans to enjoy the holiday weekend with safety in mind.


COVID-19-related guidance and requirements related to gatherings are outlined in the Governor’s reopening plan, and reflect her decision to move Kansas into a modified version of Phase 2 of the plan, starting Friday. The plan and additional safety guidance can be found at


“The Memorial Day weekend is one of the first holidays of the year when people want to get outside and enjoy the weather, and spend time with their families and friends,” Kelly said. “But no one should use this as an excuse to ignore health and safety guidelines.”


The following is allowed on Memorial Day, according to “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas”:


  • Have a gathering in your home with 15 or fewer individuals, not including those you live with.
  • Use your backyard pool for any parties, so long as mass gathering restrictions are met.
  • Have a drive-through parade, so long as no more than 15 individuals are outside the car and they are able to maintain social distancing.
  • Go to a restaurant with your friends and family, so long as that business meets the necessary health and safety requirements.
  • Engage in outdoor activities at parks or other public spaces, so long as social distancing and mass gathering requirements are met.


Here’s what you can’t do on Memorial Day according to the “Ad Astra” plan:


  • Hold or attend an in-person fair, festival or parade.
  • Use community, public and other non-backyard pools for parties or gatherings.
  • Go to bars or nightclubs.
  • Have ceremonies or gatherings that violate the mass gathering limit of 15 or more individuals when a 6-foot distance cannot be met, except for infrequent or incidental moments of contact.


Additional health tips include:


  • Stay home if sick
  • Practice social distancing whenever possible
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Cover cough and sneezes into an elbow or tissue
  • Wear masks (especially in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain)
  • Stay home if you or a loved one is considered high risk.


For those having parties or gatherings this weekend:


  • Have cleaning supplies readily available
  • Avoid using buffets and other self-service food stations
  • Have individuals with gloves and masks serve food
  • Avoid punchbowls or other communal drink stations
  • Use disposable plate and utensils if unable to constantly clean dishes
  • Plan outdoor activities rather than indoor ones
  • Practice social distancing and maintain ventilation through your home by opening doors or windows if engaging in indoor activities.


For more information on health and safety guidance, or to see Governor Kelly’s reopening plan, visit the Kansas COVID-19 Response and Recovery website.

Virtual Statewide Job Fair



The fifth annual Statewide Job Fair is going virtual, and employers from across the state will be hiring. The job fair will take place from 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 27, to Thursday, May 28, 5 p.m. If you would like to chat live with any of the employer participants, you can do so Wednesday, May 27, from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

For more information and to pre-register for the event, please visit

Obituary of Lynette Renee


Lynette Renee Vann, age 55, resident of Ft. Scott, KS, died Thursday, May 21, 2020, at Via Christi Hospital, Pittsburg, KS.

She was born July 28, 1964, in Ft. Scott, the daughter of Donald and Joann Nelson Vann.

She worked cleaning for area businesses prior to her disability. Lynette enjoyed listening to music, watching classic movies, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her companion of 30 years, Rick Petrechko, Ft. Scott; a daughter, Vanessa Willard, Ft. Scott; a son, E.J. Willard, Omaha, NE; her mother, Joann Vann, Ft. Scott; a sister, Marsha Vann, Ft. Scott; a brother, Keith Vann, Ft. Scott; an aunt, Kathryn Hopkins, Ft. Scott; and five grandchildren, Devonte, G.G., Kordae, Dezziona, and Kamdyn.

She was preceded in death by her father.

Private family burial will take place in Evergreen Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to Care to Share and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at