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Legislative Update by State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson


January 15, 2021


The 2021 session began with state legislators taking an oath Monday, January 11, 2021 to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Kansas Constitution.  This happens every four years in the senate and two years in the house.  It is a reminder of our duty and the foundation in which our forefathers established and defended.


This session is already unique because of the pandemic.  However, it is not unique because of the political games and posturing being played in Topeka – which are disappointing and not what Kansans need or deserve.  The gamesmanship and politics surfaced quickly, when legislators opposing bills cried foul at the pace, in an attempt to block legislation.  Most people understand we need to complete our work as expeditiously as possible.


Property Tax Transparency, Senate Bill (SB) 13, was available the week before session, as was the Senate Tax Committee schedule.  This legislation was contained in last year’s bill CCR HB 2702, that passed both chambers with a supermajority.  However, it did not became law because a taxpayer funded government lobbyist asked the Governor to veto the bill and she did.  It was at the end of session and time ran out for a veto override.  It makes sense to work the legislation at the beginning of the 2021 session, which gives plenty of time for passage.  Hopefully, we may not need a veto override because the Governor may realize how important transparency is to Kansas taxpayers.


SB13 has four major parts.  First, it would establish a process in the property tax system so that property taxes would not automatically increase but would require a vote of the local government to bring in more money than the previous year.  This would stop the shell game of automatic valuation increases resulting in more taxes owed; second, normal maintenance would not increase the valuation of a property; third, county treasurers would have an option to establish payment plans for property taxes; and fourth, it would remove the property tax lid that has resulted in tax increases in many counties over the past few years.  The bill passed the Senate 34 to 1.  I voted Yes.


Emergency Power Extension, SB 14, would extend the Governor’s emergency powers thru March 31, 2021.  Kansas is a part-time legislature and has often turned over legislative authority to the Governor in an emergency.  This pandemic has demonstrated that is dangerous.  The Governor attempted to shutdown churches on Easter weekend, demanded a statewide shutdown of many businesses, attempted to implement a statewide mask mandate, and the list goes on.  However, the bill passed the Senate 34 to 1.  As with most legislation, there was some good items in the bill.  It was not enough to sway me to support the bill after hearing your concerns of government overreach.  During debate, one senator tried to kill the bill and said we shouldn’t let federal money sway us from doing what is right.  I guess that senator lost their intestinal fortitude because when it came time to vote, that person chose not to vote yes or no on the bill.


As we face uncertain times, keep in mind Plato’s words, “Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others”  and the words of Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream,  It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.”


It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.


Nevada Hospital COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center

NRMC Launches Vaccine Call Center

In response to Missouri’s implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination priority Phase 1B, many have inquired to Nevada Regional Medical Center (NRMC) as to when and how they might schedule an appointment to be vaccinated. However, NRMC and most other approved vaccinators in Missouri face a similar challenge that they have yet to receive any phase 1B vaccine doses from the state.

Although individuals who qualify for Phase 1B vaccination may not be able to schedule an appointment at this time, they are able to request notification when it becomes available to them. For this purpose, NRMC has launched a vaccine information call center at (417) 448-2120. This line is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by live receptionists. Individuals may also complete a form online to be added to the notification list at Questions about the vaccine may also be emailed to


About Nevada Regional Medical Center
Serving a six-county area since 1937, Nevada Regional Medical Center is a 71-bed acute, intensive and skilled care hospital. Nevada Regional Medical Center has earned recognition as a respected regional medical center for its comprehensive health care services, skilled and caring employees and state-of-the-art medical technology. Staff represent more than a dozen medical specialties, including family practice, women’s services, neurology, urology, psychiatry, orthopedics, wound care services, and general, vascular, thoracic and oncological surgery. Additionally, consultation clinics are held regularly by specialists in oncology, pulmonology, podiatry, ear, nose, and throat and cardiology.

Kansas Capital Complex Closes Jan. 19-20

Governor Laura Kelly to Close Capitol Complex, Administration Buildings Tuesday and Wednesday

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced the State Office Buildings in the Capitol Complex, which includes Curtis, Landon, and Eisenhower, will be closed starting tomorrow, January 19, and Wednesday, January 20. Additional administration buildings will also be closed.

“The safety and wellbeing of our employees is my top priority,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These steps are taken out of an abundance of caution – and I thank all employees for their patience and understanding during this time.”

Employees are instructed to work remotely. If an employee’s regular duties require them to be in the office – and they cannot work from home – they are instructed not to report to work Tuesday, January 19 or Wednesday, January 20.

Governor Kelly encourages agency heads with offices in the immediate surrounding area beyond the State Office Buildings to follow similar procedure.

The Statehouse will be open for individuals having business with the Legislature, Governor’s or Lt. Governor’s Offices. All Statehouse access will be through the Visitor Center entrance only.

Obituary of Robert L. Stewart

Robert Lee Stewart, 74, a resident of Fulton, Kansas, died January 15, 2021.

He was born October 25, 1946, in Moran, Kansas, to Myron Leslie Stewart and Barbara Jean (Boyd) Stewart of Xenia, Kansas. Bob, or Bobby, as he was known to family and friends, grew up on the family farm and attended grade school at Xenia. At a very young age, he attended a cattle sale at Fort Scott with Curley Wright and discovered his calling for life as a cattle buyer. He started working at the sale barn when he was 10 or 11 and there was no turning back.

Bob graduated from Blue Mound High School and Fort Scott Junior College Truck Driving School. He worked many years for Capitol Truck Lines and continued as it changed to Graves Truck Lines and ANR Trucking, winning awards from the Teamsters for safe driving. Even with his steady job of delivering locally, he continued going to cattle sales on Saturday, buying and selling for many farmers and ranchers in the area. The only times he missed a sale were when one of his daughters illogically planned a wedding for that day of the week.

Bob married Bernita Eloyse Lalman on January 1, 1967, and together they loved and parented three daughters. Sadly, Eloyse lost her battle with cancer in March, 1976. In late 1977, Bob met and married Karen Dancy, who had a son from her previous marriage. Their blended family became complete when two more daughters were born.

Bob is survived by his wife, Karen, of 43 years of the home in Fulton, along with five daughters: Tammy Brownback and husband Keith of Centerville, Belynda Davenport of Fort Scott, Robin Anderson and husband Rob of Wichita, Kari Messer and husband Josh of Fort Scott, Jodi Silva and husband Paul of Manhattan, Kansas. One son, Rick Stewart and wife Cara of El Dorado, Kansas, and the blessing of a bonus son, Jimmy Turner of Fort Scott.

Also surviving are 11 grandchildren: Brett Brownback and fiancé Taryn, Kaylee Clifton and husband Timmy, Annyssa Davenport, Cooper Anderson, Jadyn Messer, Brady Messer, Lyla Silva, Karsen Silva, Anastasia Stewart, Harley Thornton, Briar Thornton, and 2 great-grandchildren, Kyser Brownback and Remy Brownback.

Bob has 2 sisters that will miss him dearly, Jeanette Church and husband, Robbie of Xenia and Carol Didier and husband, Tom of Wheatland, Missouri. He is also survived by many Stewart and Boyd cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Myron and Barbara Stewart and his first wife, Eloyse Lalman.

A graveside service is planned for 10:00 AM on Friday, January 22, 2021, at Osaga Cemetery, just west of Fulton under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home.

Visitation will be Thursday evening, January 21, 2021, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to the Osaga Cemetery Fund and may be left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Bob’s truck and cattle trailer will be leading the procession from Konantz Cheney Funeral Home at 9:30 that morning. As Bob would say, “Roll Along!”

Talking Tigers At State Debate

Submitted photos.
Congratulations Tigers for an outstanding showing at the Kansas State debate! The Talking Tigers, consisting mostly of underclassmen competed against some tough competition.
Submitted photos.
The 4-speaker team consisting of
Lillian Collins (so), Kinsley Davis(so), Anna Hall(fr), Trent Toth(fr), Sam Deloney(so), and Regen Wells(fr)
fought to the end and placed 7th.
Our 2-speaker teams:
Ashton Nave(Sr) and Anna Laubenstein(so)
Neil Gugnani(Jr) and Shekhar Gugnani(Jr)
Isaiah Self(so)and Gavin Warfield (so)
Thade Yates(Jr)and David Jones(so)
also had some excellent rounds and held their own in one of the toughest divisions in the state.
Submitted photos.

Submitted by Angella Curran

Yoke Up with Jesus by Carolyn Tucker

Carolyn Tucker. Submitted photo.

Keys to the Kingdom – Carolyn Tucker


Many of my childhood church memories revolve around the music. Back then, we had a song leader, pianist, organist, and a congregation who loved to sing. The song leader would select a few hymns, and then would ask if anyone had a number they’d like for us to sing. Sister Ada Samsel would usually call out for #78 “Unsearchable Riches” in the key of Bb in 6/8 timing. Another hymn we sang was “His Yoke is Easy.” I never thought a yoke looked easy because it was heavy and cumbersome. Although I’ve sang and played that song most of my life, I did not understand it until four years ago.

The scripture reference for this hymn is found in Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.“

I have an old photo of my Dad and his sister each sitting atop a pair of work horses. Ol’ Bird and Puss were a necessary asset to farming the acres in the Needmore community. They were a well-matched pair and could accomplish a lot in a sun-up to sun-down day. I’m not old enough to have seen anyone work with a pair of oxen, mules, or work horses to plow up the soil. But, I understand how the system is supposed to work. You can’t pair up an ox with a mule and expect the plowing to go well, or go at all for that matter. In order to accomplish a tough task, these animals must work side by side to equally pull the heavy load.

When a believer finds himself staring at the hard ground beneath his feet, it’s time to get yoked up with Jesus. This is the only example where an unmatched pair works together perfectly. We must deliberately join Jesus so He can pull the heavy load. He’ll do all the laboring and wearisome work which enables us to simply walk beside Him and find rest. If you’ve been trying to plow the bottom 40 all alone, you’ll find out you can’t do it any longer by yourself. When you choose to be yoked together with Jesus, you have the greatest Partner in the world who is able to turn a hard situation into a lighter outcome.

This hymn was written by R. E. Hudson and the chorus lyrics are: “His yoke is easy; His burden is light. I’ve found it so, I’ve found it so. He leadeth me by day and by night where living waters flow.“ You might say I’ve burned my own yoke, stepped into Jesus’ yoke, and now He’s taking the load so that my burden is light. And this is accomplished by faith in His Word and receiving His matchless grace for the moment.

The Key: Jesus’ yoke is easy, so start plowing together instead of on your own.

Obituary of Laurence Lyons

Laurence “Larry” Elmer Lyons, age 81, passed away Thursday, January 14, 2021. He was born October 4, 1939 in Fulton, KS, the son of Luther Byron and Lucy Christine (Leitch) Lyons.

He married his lifetime love Patricia “Pat” Henderson on June 21, 1964, in Columbus, MS, and together over the 57 years that followed, they built a life they loved.

At 16 years old, Larry was the top Air Force Academy nominee from the state of Kansas, but he was too young to enroll, so he left the family farm and attended The University of Kansas, and later Park College, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude.

He joined the United States Air Force in 1959, entering pilot training and graduating in the Class of ’61 Delta. He went on to complete B-52 training, nuclear weapons delivery school, and Air Force survival school. He flew many active combat missions, including Vietnam, and the Cuban Missile Crisis, where he piloted the first B-52 sent to air carrying nuclear weapons. Larry captained the B-52, C-5, and C-130, and still holds the record as the youngest ever combat-ready B-52 pilot in history. After 20 years of dedicated service to his country, decorated Lieutenant Colonel Laurence Lyons retired from the Air Force in 1979.

Following his military career, Larry happily settled back in Bourbon County, KS where his business endeavors included Petromark and the beloved Lyons Twin Mansions.

In his retirement he enjoyed being a member of ToastMasters, Shriners, Masons, and his local coffee group who solved the world’s problems daily. 

Of all of his storied accomplishments, Larry considered his family to be one of the most important. He was the proud patriarch, and was adored by each of those lucky enough to be considered family, whether a blood relative or otherwise.

He was the loving father of Joe (Laetitia), Preecia (Charles), Ben, and Nate (Bailey), as well as his honorary sons Masa and Clifford. He was the doting grandfather of Zach, Abby, Addi, Emma, Brooklyn, Lauren, Jhett, Jaxon, Lute, Ellis, and Lucille. He was a caring brother to Tom, Jerry, Doc, Betty, Jane, Ruth, Alice, and Peg, as well as Joe and JB, who were like brothers, and was cherished by a number of beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Larry was a treasured patient of a few select medical caregivers who came to be considered family, and the Lyons family extends a very sincere thank you to these special people. Larry will be fondly remembered by all of those listed here, and many more.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and a number of siblings. 

Larry was a master on the grill, a gracious provider, a dependable constant, the best hugger, the perfect gentleman, a lifelong scholar and teacher, a calming presence, a chocolate milk maker extraordinaire, a humble hero, a soft personality with firm opinions, a lender of comforting shirts, an encyclopedia of knowledge, an expert navigator with an internal GPS, and a truly gentle soul. He was appropriately referred to by many as simply being “the best man”. 

The Lyons’ home was always open to young people who needed a safe place to go, and Larry was glad to be able to feed and house those that showed up, never asking questions or expecting anything in return.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the USD 234 Pantry to continue Larry’s legacy of “feeding the world”, which was his way of expressing love.

Graveside services will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, January 20th, at the U. S. National Cemetery.

Friends are welcome but must remain on the road adjacent to the committal shelter wearing face-covering as directed by the cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the U. S. Airforce Honor guard.

Donations to the USD 234 Pantry 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

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of Dec. 29, 2020

December 29, 2020 Tuesday 2:00 pm


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session for a special meeting; Commissioner Fischer, Commissioner Beth, the County Counselor and the County Clerk were present.


Jeff made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room, Clifton seconded and the motion passed, (the session included Jeff Fischer, Clifton Beth, Lynne Oharah (by telephone), Justin Meeks and Jody Hoener). No action was taken.


Jeff made a motion to go into a 20 minute executive session for confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room, Clifton seconded and the motion passed, (the session included Jeff Fischer, Clifton Beth, Lynne Oharah (by telephone), Justin Meeks and Jody Hoener). No action was taken.


At 2:39, Jeff made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and the motion passed.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jeff Fischer, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner


Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

January 12, 2021, Approved Date

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for Jan. 19


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: January 19, 2021

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jim Harris Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Clifton Beth Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason



Call to Order


  • Flag Salute
  • Approval of Minutes from previous meeting
  • Eric Bailey, Road & Bridge
  • Jody Hoener, CDBG-CV Grant
  • Commission dues for Chamber, KAC, NACO
  • Wage Resolution 08-21
  • Lake Advisory Board
  • Clifton Beth, Executive Session, KSA 75-4319(b)(4) To discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships
  • County Counselor
  • Public Comment
  • Greg Vahrenberg – Resolution for Refunding Bonds

Justifications for Executive Session:

          KSA 75-4319(b)(1) To discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy

          KSA 75-4319(b)(2) For consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

          KSA 75-4319(b)(3) To discuss matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

          KSA 75-4319(b)(4) To discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships

          KSA 75-4319(b)(6) For the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property

          KSA 75-4319(b)(12) To discuss matters relating to security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize such security measures.

What’s Happening in Fort Scott Jan. 15 Edition

Photo courtesy of the Fort Scott National Historic Site.
1st Kansas Colored Infantry.
Visit the Fort’s FB page for more info.
What’s Happening
in Fort Scott
January 15th
Weekly Edition
GUIDED TOURS OF THE FORT DAILY, 10AM &1PMThe Fort Scott National Historic Site is open daily 8am-5pm for touring on your own, but arrive at 10am or 1pm on any day and take advantage of a guided tour with a park ranger! Guided tour lasts approx. 1 hour.
1/15 – Ghetto’s Tacos food truck at the Boiler Room Brewhaus, 5-8pm, Taco truck extraordinaire! Bring your appetite and the brewery will provide the beer/margaritas! Corner of Wall & National. Click here for FB event.
1/15 – Live music by Alyssa Galvan, 7-9pm, click here for FB event.
1/15-16 – Livestock sale at the Fort Scott Livestock Market, both Friday & Saturday, click here for their FB page.
1/16 – Pickleball from 8-10am at Buck Run, open to anyone wanting to play! Always check the FB Group page here for any location changes or cancelations.
1/16 – Lake Fort Scott Advisory Meeting, 9am at City Hall, the meeting is open to the public and can also be viewed on YouTube, City of Fort Scott channel.
1/17 – Kansas City Chiefs play at 2pm, watch the game or order carryout from a local restaurant! See below for Luther’s BBQ Tailgate Package! Holmtown Pub, Sharky’s, Luther’s & other restaurants will be open for the game, click here for our restaurant member listing.
1/18 – Indoor Whiffle Ball at Buck Run for kids while they are out of school, ages 7-12, 10-11:30am, call 620-223-0386 for more info.
1/18 – Virtual Lunch & Learn for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by the Gordon Parks Museum, 12-1pm, Dr. Carmaletta Williams presenting “Free Did Not Mean Welcome”, registration required, register here.
1/18 – The Gordon Parks Museum will be open for touring from 9am-5pm, on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton. Click here for their website.
1/21-22 – Radio Auction by KOMB FM 103.9 every Thursday & Friday through February at 2pm! Get your bid # and view the items on their website here. In addition to calling in your bid, you can also bid online this year and even “Buy it Now” ~ or bid by text to 620-724-7962.
Many fitness options available…
  • SPIN classes now offered by Smallville Athletics, every Mon & Wed at 5:15pm, and Tues & Thurs at 6pm. $5/class or $50/mo. unlimited.
  • Total Body Fitnesswith Karen Reinbolt at Buck Run Community Center, Mon & Wed 8:15am, $20 for 8-week session.
  • Zumba with Monalynn Decker at Buck Run, Mon, Wed, Fri 6pm, $40 for 12-week session.
  • Indoor Fitness/Gyms at I AM Rehab + Fitness, Smallville Athletics, and Buck Run!
Downtown Fort Scott is booming!
Click here for Chamber member
specialty shopping & other retail in
Downtown & other areas of the community.
Fort Scott Area
Chamber of Commerce
In This Issue
Chamber Highlights
Click here for our
Membership Directory.
We THANK our members for their support! Interested in joining the Chamber?
Click here for info.
Thinking of doing business in or relocating to Fort Scott?
Contact us for a relocation packet, information on grants & incentives, and more!
Seeking a job/career?
We post a Job of the Day daily on our Facebook page, distribute a monthly job openings flyer, and post jobs on our website.
Many opportunities available!
Housing needs?
Click here for a listing of our Chamber member realtors.
Click here for our rental listing.
TONIGHT 1/15, 7-9PM
Chiefs Kingdom Tailgate Package:
$44.95, serves 4.
1 lb Burnt ends, 1 lb Pulled Pork, and a Slab of Ribs w/ 2 sides
Available Chiefs Gameday only, ends at halftime. Dine in or Carry out.
Also, bringing back the Tomahawk BBQ Chop Sandwich. Chiefs Gameday, all day. Dine in or Carry Out.
CALL 620-644-9880