All posts by Submitted Story

Obituary: LaVerne Rose Reinecker

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

LaVerne Rose Reinecker, age 81, a resident of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Monday August 7, 2017, at the Mercy Hospital Fort Scott, Kan.

Laverne was born on July 6, 1936, in Paris, Ark., the daughter of George and Rose Marie Koch Bauer. She married Jerry Reinecker on July 27, 1957, in Kansas City, Mo., he preceded her in death on November 25, 2012. LaVerne was a member of the Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church. She loved gardening and cooking, and was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother who truly loved taking care of her family.

Survivors include her three children, Joseph Reinecker and wife Debby of Fort Scott, Kan., Jann Rochefort and husband John of Warren, R.I. and Jill Gray of Fort Scott, Kan., four grandchildren, Bailey Lyons and husband Nate, Afton Hyer and husband Coy, Delane Gray and Fiancé Brady Godden, and Carlie Rochefort; four great grandchildren, Addison Lyons, Jhett Lyons, Jaxon Lyons and Blaise Hyer; three sisters, Mary Frances Gross, Lorene Kremer and Georgiana Boyle; and many nieces and nephews. She was also preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, Dorothy Murtha and Jeanne Tackett, and mother in-law Betty Reinecker.

Father Robert Wachter will conduct Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Friday, August 18, 2017, at the Mary Queen of Angles Catholic Church. Burial will follow in the U.S. National Cemetery Fort Scott, Kan. The Rosary will be prayed at 9:30 a.m. Memorials are suggested to St. Mary’s Catholic School and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main St., P. O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS. 66701. Words of Remembrance may be submitted to the online guest book at

Witness the Spectacular and Mysterious Solar Eclipse at Fort Scott NHS

Submitted by the Fort Scott National Historic Site

In 1918 the sun was out, then like magic it disappeared behind the moon, day turned to night and stars were visible in the sky. This crazy phenomenon was a Total Solar Eclipse which passed just to the south of Fort Scott. Now 99 years later, Fort Scott has the opportunity to see a similar total eclipse. The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse will pass across the continental U.S. and its complete totality will be within 100 miles of Fort Scott.

Fort Scott National Historic Site invites everyone to experience this momentous occasion with the Rangers on the Fort’s parade ground. Join us on Monday, August 21, as we watch the sun hide behind the moon. From 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., explore the science behind an eclipse, create your own eclipse, earn an Eclipse Junior Ranger Badge, learn about proper eye safety and much more! You might even consider having a moonlight lunch on the parade ground.

The moon will begin blocking the sun at about 11:45 a.m., with the eclipse ending around 2:30 p.m. The peak of the eclipse will occur at 1:05 p.m., when the sun will be almost completely covered. A limited supply of free protective eclipse glasses will be available to view the sun during the eclipse.

Never look directly into the sun, even during an eclipse. The sun’s rays can cause permanent damage to your eyes. When viewing the eclipse, you will need to use special eclipse glasses that have a specific solar filter; sun glasses will not work. Also, do not look through smart phones, cameras, telescopes or binoculars without the proper sun filters. For those not visiting the Fort on August 21, or to ensure you will have your own pair, eclipse glasses can be ordered online from several sources.

Call the Fort at 620-223- 0310 with questions about the event, or visit for more information about this eclipse.

Fort Scott High School to Audition for “Disney’s High School Musical”

Submitted by Angie Bin

The Fort Scott High School Drama Department announces auditions for “Disney’s High School Musical.”

Auditions are Aug. 29 and 31, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the FSHS music room and are open to FSHS students in 9th through 12thgrades. Students do not have to prepare anything in advance and should plan to attend on one night for the entire duration of the audition. Auditions consist of singing, dancing, acting exercises and cold readings from the script.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7, 9 and 11, and at 2 p.m. on Nov. 11, and rehearsals are held Monday through Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m.

In addition to performers, the Drama Department is seeking students interested in technical positions. These include:  stage management, lighting, sound, costuming, make-up, backstage crew and set construction and design.

The musical is directed by FSHS Drama and Thespian Director Angie Bin with music direction from Eugene Ware Music Teacher Mary Jo Harper. Taylor Schilling, a music education student at PSU, serves as the Assistant Music Director and Choreographer. The musical is published by Music Theatre International.


KState Extension: Irises, Daylilies and Peonies – Now is the Time to Divide

Submitted by Krista Harding

School is starting this week for many area students and I feel like summer is winding down. I have enjoyed the cooler August temperatures and abundant rainfall! We have certainly not worried about drought stress in our area this year, which is always a plus in my books. As we head to the middle of August with our landscapes, it is time to divide plants and get them ready for the winter months ahead. Irises, daylilies and peonies are all very popular perennials and can be divided now.

Irises are usually divided in July and August. When dividing irises, it is best to look for a “double fan” – a large root with two leaf fans growing off of it. A plant with a double fan will bloom much quicker – possibly the year after planting.

Start by digging out all the iris and set them in a bucket of water to wash the soil from the roots and the rhizomes. Rhizomes are the thick, horizontal stems from which the roots grow and where buds are present. Healthy rhizomes should be blemish-free and no less than one-inch in diameter. Discard any sections that show signs of disease.

Use a sharp knife and cut off any sections of rhizomes without leaves or buds. The goal is to wind up with five- to seven-inch sections of healthy rhizomes with at least one good fan of leaves and two or more buds. Dip the knife in a bleach solution between cuts to prevent the spread of disease.

Plant the iris in soil ridges, 12 inches apart and in rows. Spread the roots on both sides of the soil ridge and then pat the soil around the roots. The soil should never cover the rhizome, but should hug the sides of it. Pat the roots in to keep the fans upright. Water immediately and continue to water until the plants are well established.

Daylilies need to be divided every three to four years to maintain vigor. Though they may be divided in early spring before growth starts, it is more common to divide them this time of year. Many gardeners will cut back the tops to about half their original height to make plants easier to handle.

A spading fork can be used to peel fans from the existing clump. If the plants have been in place for a long time, it may better to divide them by digging up the whole clump. Divide each clump to about the size of a head of cauliflower. Space divisions 24 to 30 inches apart and set each back to its original depth.

Peonies, on the other hand, may never need to be divided and may live 50 years or more without being disturbed. Peonies do not require regular division for successful blooming the way some other perennials do. Division can be done though, to increase the planting area or if the plants are growing poorly.

Division of peonies should be done after September 1, but early enough to give them plenty of time to get situated before the ground freezes. Here again, cutting the foliage back at ground level will help aid in easier handling. Each root division should have at least three to five “eyes.” The “eyes” actually look more like pink noses and are the shoots for the next season.

Peonies need to be set in a hole that is 18 inches deep and across. The hole should be refilled half way with a mix that is one part organic material and two parts soil. The eyes should be planted about one to two inches deep. If planted too deeply, the plant will produce foliage and no flowers.

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

FSCC Adult Education and GED Program Orientation Slated for Sept. 12

Submitted by Heather Browne

Fort Scott Community College will hold the next orientation for the Adult Education and GED Program on Tuesday, September 12. The program is eight weeks long and students may choose from three sessions: 9 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m., or 4 to 7 p.m.

“Through the program, students will work to complete GED modules including math, reading, science and social studies,” said Aubrey Duft, FSCC Adult Basic Education Instructor. “The classes also focus on college readiness, career readiness and technology.”

Adult education classes are open to students ages 16 and older. Students who are under 18 must have a Parental Waiver for Compulsory Attendance to attend class; the form can be obtained from the last school district the student attended.

The cost for the class is $30 and includes the ACCUPLACER college entrance exam, Northstar Digital Literacy Certification, WorkKeys Employment Skills Test, TABE assessment, and one GED Ready Practice Test. GED testing fees are not included.

The classes will take place in the FSCC Student Success Center, located in Bailey Hall, 2108 South Horton, Fort Scott. To enroll, please contact DeAnn Welch, FSCC Student Success Center Director, at 620-223-2700, ext. 4300.


A Playground for Fort Scott

Community Champion Event:

Roast and Toast to Frank Halsey

 “Build a new playground at the Mercy of Frank Halsey”

Presented by The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team

Underwritten by Janet Irby Braun & Family

Time is running out to get your tickets to the Community Champion Event on Saturday, August 19, at Liberty Theatre! You can purchase tickets at or at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce. The deadline is August 15.  You can expect an evening full of fun and entertainment for your $50 ticket. The social hour starts at 6 p.m. with a cash bar and background music provided by Kansas City’s Private Stock. This will give attendees the opportunity to have pictures taken and buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to Tailwind Cyclists! Raffle tickets are only $3 each or four for $10. Crooner’s Lounge will provide a buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres at 7 p.m. followed by entertainment and comedy in the form of a roast co-hosted by Larry Gazaway and Gregg Motley. Attendees are welcome to stay for music and dancing with Private Stock until 11 p.m.

Frank Halsey has been selected as the first Community Champion due to his commitment to the Gunn Park Trails. Returning home from a bike ride in another town, Frank was determined to build a trail for himself and his friends to enjoy. From this simple idea came a project several years in the making. Frank did not take, ‘No,’ for an answer. He also didn’t take cease and desist orders, requests from the City, or opposition of any kind. Thanks to his efforts, Gunn Park now boasts 6.5 miles of biking and hiking trails and the growth continues today. The trails added more life to this century-old park with several annual events attracting visitors from other states to ride the Gunn Park Trails.

One hundred percent of ticket and raffle sales will be going to fund a Multi-Sensory Playground at Ellis Park. Your community members, neighbors and friends will all benefit from the inclusive playground. One such family, The Walkers, has told the story of how a playground will benefit their family:

No one wants to be excluded from fun. Even more important, no parent wants their child to be an observer to play instead of a participant.

Play is a child’s work and it is very important for their development. Children learn about themselves, the people around them, their environment and their community through play. Our family loves the community we live in. Fort Scott is an amazing place! We would love to see all children have the ability to thrive within this community. 

We used to take for granted the opportunity to take our children to the park to play on the playground, that is, until our youngest child, Ella, was born. Ella was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida. This is where her spine did not form completely so she has spinal cord damage. There are varying degrees to this birth defect. This affects Ella’s ability to walk, amongst other things. She requires assistance by the use of braces on her feet, crutches, a walker or the support of another person for distances and on uneven surfaces; while many persons with this disability require the use of a wheelchair.

Ella struggles in some way or another at most of the parks in town, mainly with unstable surfaces or inability to climb. Most playgrounds have rocks, mulch and/or hills. Often ones with smooth surfaces are not accessible by wheelchair or walker. For safety, smooth surfaces and ground level equipment are essential to all those with this need in mind.

Her challenges are increasing as she becomes older. Ella has turned four years old and is becoming heavier for us to carry. Crawling, her preferred method of travel, is not a safe alternative for her on the playground. Her peers are now walking most of the time, so she is viewed as a baby to many children her own age, and even children younger. Her feelings are often hurt when her peers view her as something less than themselves.

We always welcome questions from children as well as adults as to why Ella walks the way she does, what her equipment and braces are for, and any other questions they might have. By giving Ella the mobility she needs she will learn how to be an active member of society.

Play environments designed to be fair allow everyone to participate as equitably and as independently as possible with their siblings, neighbors, caregivers and friends. (  It is a positive thing to have playgrounds for children of all abilities—physically able and disabled—to play together. By being inclusive to all children, the able-bodied children learn how to interact with disabled children, as well as the other way around.

This gives all children the opportunity to grow confidence in their abilities—socially and physically. All four of our children have played on inclusive playgrounds and enjoyed all of the equipment together, without realizing it was intended for less able-bodied persons.

God creates each of us with different purpose, intent and design; but He loves us all equally! We know that in the future there will be others that will have the same, or more needs for these opportunities in our community. Placing inclusive playgrounds in our community will have a positive impact for generations to come.

Obituary: C.L. “Pete” Peterson

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

C.L. “Pete” Peterson, age 75 of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Friday July 14, 2017, as the result of an auto accident in New Mexico.

He was born on February 2, 1942, in Fargo, N.D. After graduating from high school he joined the U.S. Marine Corp and spent the next four years at Camp Pendleton, California, Japan and the Pacific Theater. It was in San Bernardino, Calif., that he met and married Judy Grove in 1963, they later divorced in 1981. He spent 32 years in California then moving to Fort Scott, Kan., in 1992. He was a life member of the VFW Post 1165 Fort Scott, Kan., and a life endowment member of the NRA.

Pete is survived by two daughters, Penny Zaritsky and husband Marty of Big Bear, Calif., and Becky Elliott and her husband Terence of Riverside, Calif.; three grandchildren, Amanda and Sarah Zaritsky, and Cora Elliott; two brothers, Tom Peterson, of Independence, Mo., and Mike Peterson and wife Judy of Las Vegas, Nev.; numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, August 14, 2017, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the U.S. National Cemetery, Fort Scott, Kan. Arrangements entrusted to the Cheney Witt Memorial Chapel, 201 S. Main Fort Scott, KS. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at