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New Vegetables and Flowers to Try in 2020

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

Each year, the All-America Selections (AAS) tests and introduces new flowers and vegetables to home gardeners. These plants have proven themselves to do well in trials across North America. The AAS winner label is like a stamp of approval. This year, there were ten vegetables winners, of which seven were tomatoes, and four flower winners.
The vegetable descriptions were taken from All-America Selections material.
Cucumber Green Light F1 – this is an excellent mini cucumber that can be grown on stakes or poles. It will yield 40 or more spineless fruits per plant. Fun fact: This cucumber is parthenocarpic – meaning the flowers are all females and the fruits are seedless without needing to be pollinated.
Pumpkin Blue Prince F1 – vigorous trailing vines produce 7-9 pound beautiful blue flattened pumpkins with non-stringy, deep orange flesh with savory sweetness. These pumpkins are as pretty as they are delicious. Of all the varieties trialed, Blue Prince was first to flower and fruit which is beneficial for gardeners with a shorter growing season.
Watermelon Mambo F1 – these are perfectly round melons with a beautiful dark green rind and deep red flesh. The sweet crisp flesh is extremely tasty and holds well if you can’t harvest them right away. Each 9” fruit will weigh about 11 pounds at maturity. With a smaller seed cavity, they almost have the look of a seedless melon but with the superior taste of a seeded melon. The judges said this was one of the easiest watermelons they have grown because of high seed germination and vigorously healthy vines.
Coleus Main Street Beale Street – this is the first-ever coleus to be named an AAS winner. This is an outstanding variety that exhibits deep red foliage and holds the color extremely well in the garden. The rich color does not fade, bleach or get spotty as the season moves into late summer. This lush, bushy plant grows uniformly and does not flower until very late in the season. It can be grown in full sun or full shade – making it an ideal foliage for anywhere in the garden.
Echinacea Sombrero Baja Burgundy – this plant will add a bold accent to sunny gardens with its vibrant, deep violet-red blossoms. After being trialed over three tough winters, AAS judges noted this plant for its standout hardiness, sturdy branching, and floriferous blooming habit. Birds and pollinators will certainly flock to this deer-resistant beauty making it a dual purpose plant.
Nasturtium Tip Top Rose – a strong yet compact nasturtium with unique and showy rose-colored flowers. Judges described the color as a “warm, bright rose with less of the black undertones typical in nasturtium flowers.”
Rudbeckia x American Gold Rush – bright, golden-yellow flowered perennial with black centers. This compact, upright domed-shaped beauty has narrow 2-inch wide hairy foliage and
has resistance to Septoria leaf spot. It showed no signs of the fungus even in wet, humid conditions. It is incredibly easy to grow and pollinators love it. It is destined to be the new rudbeckia staple for gardens and landscapes!
For a complete description of the 2020 All America Selections, including the seven tomato varieties, visit
Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at or by calling 620-244-3826.
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.



The Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site Inc. is taking new subscriptions and renewals for their Fly the Flag Project. The project provides homeowners and businesses, within the city limits of Fort Scott, the opportunity to fly the Stars and Stripes on five different flag holidays during 2020 without the hassle of purchasing, erecting, and storing a flag and pole. You don’t even have to remember the holiday!

For $35 annually, the Friends will install a 3’x5′ flag on a 12 foot staff at your home or business on each of the following Flag Holidays :

Memorial Day, May 25th

Flag Day, June 14th

Fourth of July, July 4th

Labor Day, September 7th

Veteran’s Day, November 11th

Agreements for new subscriptions can be obtained at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce or can be requested by phone or text by calling Kelley Collins at 417-684-2484. Renewals notices have been mailed/emailed to 2019 subscribers. Questions can be directed to Kelley or Martha Scott at 620-224-9924.

New agreements must be returned by March 2, 2020 to allow time for acquisition of supplies and placement of in ground flag holders.

All proceeds support programs at Fort Scott National Historic Site. These include: Symbols of Sacrifice, a Citizenship Ceremony, Candlelight Tour, Youth Engagement, and many others.

Show your patriotism and help our local National Park by lining the streets of Fort Scott with our nation’s symbol!

The Fly the Flag Project is a yearly project sponsored by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site. Once signed up, you will receive the option to renew annually.


Governor’s Council on Tax Reform releases interim report


The Governor’s Council on Tax Reform has released its interim report for consideration by the Kansas Legislature, following months of meetings by the Council.


Last year, Governor Laura Kelly issued Executive Order No. 19-11 establishing the bipartisan Governor’s Council on Tax Reform.


Governor Kelly directed the Council to assess the state’s tax system, explore strategies to increase both effectiveness and fairness, receive input from stakeholders across the state, and submit an initial report with assessments and recommendations.


The Council submitted its recommendations in December and has now released the full interim report, which includes details on those proposals.  


Among notable recommendations are a food sales tax rebate targeted toward Kansans who need it most, and a return to implementation of the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund (LAVTRF) as a way to help local governments keep their property taxes low.


“I tasked the Council with an in-depth study of our tax structure,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I am pleased with the diligent work the Council has done to research the current tax and budget situation in Kansas, and make sound recommendations that would return the state to a balanced approach of sales, income and property taxes. There’s a need for tax reform designed with adequacy, equity and stability in mind, and I welcome the Legislature’s consideration of the Council’s recommendations.”


The Council will continue working throughout 2020 and submit its final report prior to the start of the 2021 legislative session.


To access the full report, please visit:

Red Cross Recruiting Volunteers

The American Red Cross would like to welcome you to become a Volunteer in the Fort Scott Community!
Volunteering is rewarding and meaningful. It is a chance for people to make a difference in their community by using their skills, knowledge and experiences, while developing new skills, knowledge and experiences. To visit with a volunteer recruiter, to start your Red Cross story, contact us by phone at 402-441-6397 or email us at or to find the right opportunity yourself, visit All Red Cross volunteers receive an orientation and training after the application process.
Volunteer Opportunities – Click HERE!

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for Jan. 28


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: January 28, 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

9:45-10:00 – Kendell Mason, 10 min executive session non-elected personnel

10:00-10:15 – Front Porch Bids

10:15-10:30 – Dave Bruner, EMS Medical Director Contract

10:30-10:45 – Michael Hoyt, Issue discussed earlier last yr-more information available

10:45-11:00 – Jody Hoener, Executive Session, Confidential data relating to financial affairs or

Trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

11:00-11:30 – 3 Contractors with Jayhawk Energy, LLC

11:30-11:45 – Mary Pemberton, Windfarms

11:45-12:00 – Courthouse Security

1:30-1:45 – Barb Peine, Windfarms

1:45-2:00 – Mike Wunderly, Windfarms

2:00-2:15 – Kim Simons, Windfarms

2:15-2:30 – Anne Dare, Windfarms

Uniontown Wins A Health Champion Award

Media Advisory: 2020 Kansas Health Champions to be Awarded



WICHITA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Governor’s Council on Fitness (GCOF) will recognize the 2020 Kansas Health Champions at a luncheon Thursday, January 30 at 11:30 a.m. in Wichita. The awards will be held at the Drury Inn and Suites, 400 W. Douglas Ave in room 132. All media are invited to attend. Award winners will be available for interviews in room 105 following the presentation’s conclusion, estimated to be at 12:45 p.m.


The Health Champion Award was developed by the Governor’s Council on Fitness to recognize and promote exemplary contributions to fitness in Kansas. This is the seventh year for these awards. Those recognized include an individual and organization, as well as honorable mentions in each category.


2020 winners include:


  • Individual Health Champion: Andy Fry, Topeka
  • Organizational Health Champion: Redemption Plus, Lenexa
  • Individual Honorable Mention: Jim Blackwell, Hoisington
  • Organizational Honorable Mention: West Bourbon Elementary School, Uniontown

Award winners will make brief remarks.


Presenters scheduled include Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, GCOF Chair Miranda Steele and GCOF Awards Chair Candice McField.


FSCC Men’s Basketball take down JCCC

left picture, FSCC men's basketball gathered talking to coaches, right picture players and coaches cheering on other teammates.

left picture, FSCC men’s basketball gathered talking to coaches, right picture players and coaches cheering on other teammates.

It can honestly be said that everyone got their money’s worth on last Saturday’s game. It took a double overtime to decide the outcome of this conference game.

The Greyhounds were scheduled to take on the #5 Johnson County Cavaliers in Overland Park, Kansas. Greyhound, Kevin Shead, made the first basket of the game and the Hounds never looked back. The teams were both evenly matched the entire game. The end of regulation posted a score of 70-70. In the first overtime, the scoring was very back and forth and it ended with a score of 79-79. In the second overtime, the Greyhounds took off and scored 14 points resulting in a win over the Cavaliers 93-88.

Key Players:    Kannon Jones – 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assist

Nick Lawrence – 14 points, 3rebounds

Peter Simon – 16 points, 4 rebounds

Craig Jordan – 18 points, 7 rebounds

Coach Cook Thoughts:

“I thought our effort and execution was the best that it has ever been tonight.  Our focus on the game plan and defense was good and of course as a coach I will always want those two things better each night but tonight it help us pull out the victory.  Of course it is always nice to win on the road but winning against a top five team in the nation and one of the most respected program in the nation is even sweeter.  This win helps in conference standings since we lost the game at home earlier this week, we cannot get complacent and have to want to get better daily and grow from this.  It would not have been possible to get the win without the focus and team effort from our guys and the coaching staff.”



The Greyhounds (14-7, 1-1) take on Kansas City Kansas Community College (8-12, 1-1) Wednesday January 29, 2020 at 7:30 PM at Arnold Arena in Fort Scott, Kansas.

Legislative Update By State Senator Caryn Tyson

January 25, 2020


Life  The Kansas legislature had passed a law banning dismemberment abortion with a bi-partisan supermajority vote.  Who could act otherwise on such a horrendous act?  Well, guess who.  Last year the Kansas Supreme Court nullified the law by issuing an extreme ruling stating that our Kansas Constitution allows for late term dismemberment abortions.  I bet you can’t find that in the constitution, but they say it is somehow implied.  Our founding fathers would be shocked.


To correct this situation, in a rare move, the second week of session, the House and Senate held joint committee meetings on Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1613 and House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 5019 referred to as Value Them Both.  The resolutions would allow Kansans to vote on a constitutional amendment specifying the authority to enact laws on abortion is with the legislature.  The constitutional amendment would reset the law as if the court ruling hadn’t occurred.  It is not a ban on abortion as such, but it would allow the people, through their elected legislature, to regulate abortion.


I was asked to serve on the Senate Judiciary committee for the SCR hearings. The resolutions have passed out of committee and could be debated on the floor of each respective chamber next week.  It was an honor to serve on the committee.  I voted to pass the SCR to the full Senate.


Transparency  You are always welcome to come to the Capitol and watch the legislative process.  You may also follow the process or any bills on the internet at  Most work is in committee during this time of the session.  It is an important part of the process as people testify for or against bills and legislators have an opportunity to ask conferees questions.


Public Safety Employees and Volunteers  The Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 45 increasing the penalty of a crime when a victim is a public safety employee or volunteer, such as a fireman or police officer.  It passed on a vote 36 Yes and 1 No.  I voted yes in support of those willing to put themselves in harm’s way for public safety.


It’s an honor and privilege serving as your Senator.


Downtown Meet and Greet Jan. 28

Join us at the First Quarterly Downtown Meet & Greet, Tuesday, January 28th, 2020!
8:30 am to 9:30 am
Held at Papa Don’s
Rita Schroeder, Administrative Assistant
Lindsay Madison, Executive Director
These informal, quarterly meetings are hosted by the Chamber for downtown business owners, representatives and community members to network and share ideas on events, promotions and anything related to downtown. Coffee, juice and light refreshments will be served.

Fort Scott News