All posts by Submitted Story

Building Effective Community Board Leadership Skills in Chanute

Submitted by Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District

K-State Research and Extension is conducting a series of Community Board Leadership workshops designed to provide basic training for members of community-based boards across the state on February 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2018.

“Informed and committed board members are the key to healthy, effective boards and committees in our Kansas communities.  K-State Research and Extension’s Board Leadership Series will provide an opportunity for board members to learn the basics of being a good board member,” said Trudy Rice, extension community development specialist. “Whether you are a member of a church board, a township board, a United Way agency board, or a rural water board, this training is appropriate for you.”

The series will kick-off on February 6, with Conducting Effective Meetings. During this session, participants will learn about their roles and responsibilities as a board member, basics of parliamentary procedure, and strategies to make meetings more productive and effective.

On February 13, the topic will be Fundraising, Fund Management, Legalities and Ethics. This session will explore a board’s options for raising and managing money, understanding such things as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and policies.

The February 20, session will cover Understanding Fellow Board Members and Conflict Management. Participants will explore how personalities and generational differences affect the decision-making process, and learn how to manage conflict in a way that is productive, not destructive, to the board.

Strategic Planning will be the final topic on February 27. Participants will learn about establishing a common mission and vision for the board, and how to plan priorities for the future.

All sessions will be conducted from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Workshop participants will meet at host sites throughout the state to take part in web-based instruction and locally facilitated discussion. The Southwind Extension District will be hosting this valuable training at the Alliance Room in Chanute, Kan.

Pre-registration for the event is required by Wednesday, January 10. The $40 registration buys a seat and light lunch for all four sessions. Individuals may choose to attend on their own or boards may buy a seat and send a different board member to each session. Boards sending multiple members may negotiate a group rate. Registrations may be sent to Southwind Extension District or contact Carla Nemecek at 620-365-2242 for more information or to negotiate group rates.  Registration includes snacks, lunch, four educational sessions, and Board Basics materials.


Obituary: Lucy Ann Taylor

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Lucy Ann Taylor, age 67, former resident of Fort Scott, died Sunday, October 19, 2017, at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo.

She was born October 29, 1950, in Fort Scott, to John Cates and Ruth Harper Garrison. She married Richard Eugene Taylor, Sr., on June 8, 1965, in Nevada, Mo.; he preceded her in death on January 15, 1995. Lucy loved to collect Elvis Presley and Indian memorabilia. She enjoyed listing to Elvis and Crystal Gale’s music, and was an avid NASCAR fan, especial Dale Earnhardt and his son Dale, Jr. She cherished her time spent with family, and loved her time with the grandkids.

Lucy is survived by two sons, Richard Eugene Taylor, Jr., and wife Jeckie, of Wheatland, Mo., and  William Allen Taylor, of Fort Scott; two sisters, Marilyn Gerhert, of Wyandot, Okla., and Rosa Buras, of Fort Scott; six grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. She was preceded in death by a son, Jeffery Ray Taylor; and three brothers, Bill, Melvin and Roy Garrison; a sister, Alta Mae Creamer.

There was cremation. Rev. Chuck Russell conducted graveside services at 11 a.m. Friday, December 1, 2017, at the U.S. National Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Mercy Health Foundation of Springfield and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S Main, PO Box 347, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guest book at


Obituary: Charlene Esther Simpson

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Charlene Esther Simpson, age 89, a resident of rural Garland, Kan., passed away Monday, November 27, 2017, at the Country Place Assisted Living in Fort Scott, Kan.

She was born January 14, 1928, the second daughter of Charles Mason and Esther Eleanor Cheever Mason. She grew up in the Hammond-West Liberty area and attended school at Union Center, a rural one-room school. She was a graduate of Fort Scott High School with the Class of 1945, and a 1947 graduate of Fort Scott Junior College. On December 22, 1954, she married Donald Dale Simpson in Fort Scott. The Simpsons have lived at their rural Garland home for their marriage of 62 years. Charlene had been employed by Western Insurance Company, Montgomery Ward Store and retired in 1983, from the Fort Scott Tribune after 18 years of employment. She was baptized a Methodist and had been a past member of the Order of Eastern Star, receiving a 25-year membership pin from the Violet Chapter at Fulton, Kan. She was also active in 4-H, and had served as a foods leader for the Drywood 4-H Club for 10 years.

Survivors include her husband, Don, of the home; her three sons, Mason (Paula), Scott (Becky), Brady (Patty), all of Fort Scott; and her daughter, Lisa Ireland (Lanny), of Stewartsville, Mo.; 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren. Also surviving are two nieces, Sally Hinderrager and Sue Williams, both of Montana. She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Eva Taylor and a nephew, Wilbur Taylor.

Pastor Lela Simpson conducted graveside services at 1:30 p.m. Thursday November 30, at the U.S. National Cemetery. Family and friends met at the Cheney Witt Chapel prior to leaving for the cemetery at 1:15 p.m. Memorials are suggested to Mercy Hospice or the charity of the donor’s choice 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


Obituary: Barbara Sue McDaniel

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Barbara Sue McDaniel, age 79, a resident of rural Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Thursday, November 30, 2017, at her home.

She was born on January 16, 1938 in Illinois, the daughter of Floyd and Rose Burcham Russell. She married Edward McDaniel on June 3, 1956 in Hunt City, Ill. Barbara worked as a CNA and volunteer for Mercy Hospital and as a commercial truck driver with her husband for C.F.I. She was a member of the Hiattville United Methodist Church, enjoyed gardening, taking drives in her convertible and parasailing.

Barbara is survived by her husband Ed of the home, a son Edward F. McDaniel of Effingham,

Ill., a daughter, Cindy Remlinger of Fort Scott, a brother, Carl Russell of Decatur, Ill., two sisters, Janet Neidigh of Oblong, Ill., and Judy Newlin of Bradenton, Fla.; seven grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, and a sister Joyce Scherer.

A visitation was held from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, December 4, 2017, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will be held a later date in the Brockville Cemetery, Newton, Ill. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guest book at

FSHS Thespians Present “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”

Submitted by Angela Bin

Fort Scott High School Thespians presents their children’s theatre production of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at 2 and 7 p.m. on Dec. 9, and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 10, in the high school auditorium.

The cast includes 44 local children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Some featured roles include second grader Gianna Gorman as Cindy Lou Who, fifth grader Remy Witt as the Grinch, and sixth grader Jericho Jones as the Mayor of Whoville. Other members of the Who family include Lou and Betty Lou played by seventh graders Zachary Cox and Lillian Collins, Drew played by fourth grader Payton Bowling, and Sue played by fifth grader Annabelle Gorman. The Grinch’s dog, Max, is played by fourth grader Matthew Eaton.

Tickets are $5 and currently on sale at the FSHS Office, 1005 S. Main, and at Common Ground, 116 S. Main. Seating is limited and doors will open 30 minutes before showtime.

FSHS Thespian Director Angie Bin is producing the show with leadership from FSHS Thespians including juniors Hunter Adamson and Darrick Green and sophomore Kaitlyn Hanks as assistant directors; junior Mary Gladbach and senior Katie Button as vocal directors; and sophomores Mesa Jones and Addy Labbe as choreographers. The show serves as the major fundraiser for students attending the International Thespian Festival next summer in Lincoln, Neb.

Additional information can be found on the “Fort Scott High School Thespians” facebook page.


KState Extension: Christmas Trees-Tips for Selection and Care

Submitted by Krista Harding, KState Extension Southwind District

The selection and purchase of a Christmas tree has become an annual tradition for many families who chose a real tree over an artificial substitute. For many, bringing home a tree is often the kick-off of the holiday season. Today, live trees can be found just about anywhere you look such as retail lots, shopping centers and the ever popular choose-and-cut farms. Of course, real trees do require some extra care to keep them looking good through the holiday season.

When choosing a tree, freshness is the most important factor. Purchasing trees that have already been cut for a period of time are probably the most difficult trees to keep fresh and fragrant due to the length of time from cutting until the tree is placed in the home. A fresh tree should have a healthy, green appearance without a lot of dead or browning needles. As you stroke the tree, needles should not come off into your hand. Another good test to do before buying a tree is to raise the trunk a few inches off of the ground and then drop the tree on the cut end. When this is done, only a few, inner dried needles should fall, and certainly not any green outer needles.

Once the tree is brought home, its continued freshness will depend on the type of care that is provided. A 1-inch re-cut across the bottom of the tree should be made. This will remove any clogged wood that may not absorb water. Put the tree into a stand or container of warm water and place it in as cool a spot as possible. Avoid placing it in an area where there is a heat source such as a fireplace, wood-burning stove, heat ducts and even television sets. This will help to preserve the freshness, reduce water loss and lessen the fire danger.

Depending on the size and species of tree, the use of a gallon of water in the first day would not be uncommon. Therefore, the tree should be checked frequently and re-watered as necessary. If the tree does become dried out, it probably will not absorb water. It may be necessary to take the tree down and re-cut the bottom to allow the absorption of water. This is inconvenient, but it is the only way to prevent early needle loss if a tree has become dried out. In the past, some have thought that adding aspirins, copper pennies, soda pop, sugar and bleach to the water may prolong the life of a tree. This has not been proven.

Should you choose a living Christmas tree, they definitely require special care. Once the tree is brought home, it should be conditioned before being placed in a heated room. Leave the tree in an unheated garage or building for a couple of days. After conditioning, the tree can be brought in and placed in a cool location away from direct sunlight. Watering a live tree should be done prior to placing it in the home, by moistening the root ball.

Living trees should not be kept inside for more than 10 days. Exposure to warm temperatures may cause the dormant tree to break buds and start to grow. Before removing the tree and planting it outside, it should be allowed to acclimate itself the same way before it was brought inside. The planting hole should be dug before the ground freezes. Once planted, water well and place some mulch around it to prevent the soil water from freezing.

With proper selection and care, you can enjoy a fresh tree throughout the holiday season. And with a real tree, you don’t have to worry about storing it for a year before using it again! They just take a little more work while on display.

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

Participate in Fun Activities and Conversation during FSNHS Annual Candlelight Tour

Submitted by Fort Scott National Historic Site

Do you want to dance the night away? Would you enjoy some gossip and a bit of matchmaking? Maybe you are hoping for a big promotion at work or would like to move some place more adventurous? These are the types of activities and conversations you can either eavesdrop on, or participate in, during this year’s Candlelight Tour at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Photo Credit: Fort Scott National Historic Site

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of Fort Scott in 1842. To commemorate, all of the scenes in this year’s Candlelight Tour will be set in the 1840s. Each of the scenes will feature some aspect of 1840s life and will include elements of humor or entertainment. Also, in many of the scenes this year, the audience will have the opportunity to interact with the tour.

Tickets are on sale now. Buy them soon as they are selling fast! You can purchase tickets by calling 620-223- 0310 or by coming to the visitor center at Fort Scott NHS. They are $8.00 per person and are non-refundable. Children 5 and under are free. Advance purchase is required.

During the Candlelight Tour, over 700 candle lanterns illuminate the site and over 100 reenactors bring the fort to life. This year’s tours will be offered December 1 and 2, 2017. Tours on December 1, will begin at 6:30 p.m. and start every 15 minutes until 9 p.m. On Saturday, December 2, the tours will run from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., every 15 minutes.

From November 1 to March 31, Fort Scott National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, will be open for its winter hours of operation from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. For more information about the Candlelight Tour or other events at the site, call 620-223- 0310 or visit our website at