Category Archives: Area News


 Thirteen 4-H members from the Southwind Extension District – Allen, Bourbon, Neosho and Woodson Counties – had the opportunity to participate at the annual Kansas 4-H Livestock Sweepstakes at Kansas State University. Their skills and knowledge were challenged by participating in Livestock & Meats Judging, Livestock Quiz Bowl and Livestock Skillathon contests. Those attending were (from left to right) Carla Nemecek (District Director & Coach), Taylor Elsworth, Leah Mueller, Gwen Fry, Kristy Beene, Carly Dreher, Brody Nemecek, Jillian Keller, Clay Brillhart, Haydon Schaaf, Haleigh O’Brien, Trey Sommer, Sadie Marchiano and Aidan Yoho. ________________________________________________________________


4-H members from the Southwind Extension District excelled at the annual Kansas 4-H Livestock Sweepstakes event on August 24-25 in Kansas State University’s Weber Hall.  The Southwind District is especially proud that 4-H members represented 4-H Clubs from Allen, Bourbon Neosho and Woodson Counties.

4-H members learned gained new knowledge and worked on livestock skills in order to be competitive in the Sweepstakes event which consisted blending scores in four contests. Southwind Extension District completed the weekend by being named the 2019 Champion and 3rd Overall Kansas State 4-H Sweepstakes Teams. Top ten individual Sweepstakes winners for Southwind were Jillian Keller, 10th; Aidan Yoho, 7th; Sadie Marchiao, 5th; Clay Brillhart, 3rd; Brody Nemecek, 2nd; and Haydon Schaaf was named High Individual Overall (for the second consecutive year!) after excelling in all contests.

The Livestock Quiz Bowl started with a qualifying exam. The twelve teams with the highest average scores advanced to the quiz bowl competition. Southwind #2 (Schaaf, Nemecek, Brillhart, Yoho) was seated first after the test and was later named the Reserve Champion Quiz Bowl Team. Southwind #1 (Marchiano, Keller, Dreher, Fry) earned 3rd best team.

The Livestock Judging contest consisted of nine judging classes and four sets of reasons with 201 contestants and 43 teams from across Kansas. Southwind #2 (Keller, Brillhart, Nemecek, Schaaf) was 1st in Sheep/Goats; 1st in Hogs; 1st in Cattle and 1st in Reasons and named Champion Team Overall. Southwind #1 (Dreher, Marchiano, Fry, Yoho) was 2nd in Sheep/Goats; 3rd in Hogs; 10th in Cattle; 4th in Reasons and named Fourth High Team Overall. Individual livestock judging results are as follows:

  • Jillian Keller – 1st Sheep/Goats; 3rd Hogs; 8th Beef; 5th Reasons; High Individual Overall
  • Clay Brillhart – 3rd Sheep/Goats; 4th Swine; 4th Beef; 3rd Reasons; 2nd Individual Overall
  • Haydon Schaaf – 5th Hogs; High Individual Beef; 4th Reasons; 3rd Individual Overall
  • Brody Nemecek – High Individual Hogs; High Individual Reasons
  • Sadie Marchiano – 5th Sheep/Goats; 2nd Hogs; 6th Reasons; 7th Individual Overall

    As the State Champion Livestock Judging Team, Southwind District (Keller, Brillhart, Schaaf, Nemecek) will represent Kansas 4-H at the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City, MO this coming October.

    The Meats Judging contest was based on identification of thirty retail cuts, six placings classes and three sets of reasons. Southwind #2 (Schaaf, Brillhart, Nemecek, Yoho) was 3rd in Placings, 5th in Reasons, 2nd in Retail ID and Champion Team Overall. Southwind #1 (Beene, Fry, Keller, Marchiano) was 2nd in Meats Reasons. Individual meats judging results are as follows:

  • Haydon Schaaf – High Individual Retail ID and High Individual Overall
  • Jillian Keller – 2nd Reasons
  • Clay Brillhart – 7th Individual Overall

    In the Livestock Skillathon, 4-H members rotated individually through stations that addressed six areas of animal science. Those included feedstuffs, breed identification, equipment identification, meat identification, wool evaluation and a written test. There was also a team component where members worked together on evaluating a performance Angus genetics scenario, understanding livestock biosecurity, and understanding issues in livestock reproduction. Southwind #2 (Brillhart, Marchiano, Nemecek, Schaaf) was 1st in Exam, 1st in ID; and Champion Team Overall. Southwind #1 (Dreher, Fry, Keller, Yoho) was 4th in ID and 4th Team Overall. Southwind #3 (Beene, Mueller, O’Brien, Elsworth) were 5th in the Exam.  Individual Skillathon results are as follows:

  • Brody Nemecek – 2nd Exam; 1st ID; High Individual Overall
  • Sadie Marchiano – 5th ID; 4th Individual
  • Haleigh O’Brien – 1st Exam
  • Aidan Yoho – 8th Individual
  • Haydon Schaaf – 6th Individual
  • Clay Brillhart – 5th Individual

    This group worked hard and studied a great deal of material to prepare for four state contests. To be named the Champion Livestock and Meats Judging Teams, Reserve Champion Quiz Bowl Team, Champion Livestock Skillathon Team, and Overall Champion Sweepstakes Team at the state contests shows how hard these 4-H members pushed each other to “Make the Best Better.”  The Southwind District is proud of their accomplishments and look forward to future growth and learning.

K-State, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating.  K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Submitted by Carla Nemecek
Southwind Extension District
Director & Agent
1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749


Local Singers Invited to Join Pittsburg Chorale, Directed By FS Music Teacher

Pittsburg Youth Chorale Fall Enrollment Open

Area singers in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade are invited to join Pittsburg Youth Chorale, directed by MJ Harper.

The purpose of this vocal ensemble is to further grow vocal abilities, musical knowledge, and choral repertoire.

Performers will prepare music for community events and music festivals.

Rehearsals are Tuesdays from 5PM-6PM at First United Methodist Church, 415 N. Pine, Pittsburg, KS and begin September 3rd.

There is a fee of $50 per session (Sept-Dec/Jan-May) to cover the cost of music.

Scholarships are available.

To enroll, contact MJ Harper at 620-719-6633 or email, deadline September 3rd.

Bourbon County Coalition Highlights Care To Share

Lavetta Simmons presents information about Care To Share at the Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition on Aug. 9 at the First Baptist Church.

The Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition meets monthly, except July, to allow agencies that help families to network and share what they are all about.

The coalition’s next meeting is Sept. 4 at noon at the First Baptist Church.

The Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition met Aug. 7 with Board President Billie Jo Drake leading the meeting.

The mission of the Bourbon County Coalition Board is to provide children with an environment of security, permanence, and a sense of belonging and being loved. To support the mission, grants are applied for annually. Last year the board received a $1,000 grant from the T. B. Baker Foundation and $2,000 from the Southeast Kansas Community Foundation, Billie Jo Drake, president of the board, said at the opening of the meeting.

“We have also received funds from United Way, Key Charitable Trust, Mercy auxiliary, civic organizations and individuals,” Drake said.

The two projects the board focuses on are 1) rent and utility assistance, vetted through another helping agency, The Beacon and 2) pool passes in the summer for area low-income children.

This month, the local helping organization, Care To Share, took its’ turn telling what services they provide the community.

Lavetta Simmons, who along with Joy O’Neal and Teresa Davenport, helped found the ministry in 2007.

Lavetta Simmons

“I lost my Mom and Dad to cancer,” Simmons said. “Through that experience, I want to reach out to others.”

“Some people have no family,” she said. “Some have no insurance.”

The number-one expense is gasoline for traveling to treatments, Simmons said.

Last year Care To Share helped people 788 times and gave out $68,874 to assist the cancer patients.

Not only gas for medical appointments but assistance with wigs after hair loss, bras after mastectomies and many other personal needs.

Also housecleaning, respite care, mowing of lawns, meal coordination, providing Ensure (a nutritional drink),  and “Sunshine” calls to patients.

Care To Share’s mission is to provide friendship and support through emotional and financial assistance to individuals who are cancer survivors and their caregivers of Southeast Kansas.

For more information contact Simmons at 620-224-8070, Dona  Bauer at 620-224-7075 or Teresa Davenport at 620-362-3042.

The organization has fundraisers throughout the year to support the mission.

In addition, “so many people, businesses, organizations and churches give,” she said.

The ministry is also funded by T.B. Baker Foundation, Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, United Way and memorials.

The Care To Share Board is comprised of Dona Bauer, Donna Beerbower, Kathy Clark, Teresa Davenport, Denny Heidrick, Carol Hill, Nancy Hofer, Randy Holt, Richard Long, Dr. Boban Mathew, Sidney Maycumber, Simmons, and Jerry Witt.

Larry Davenport serves as financial advisor to the organization.

Southeast Kansas: High Risk Warning For West Nile Virus

High Risk of West Nile Virus Activity in Three Kansas Regions

and Positive Mosquito Pools Identified

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has issued a high risk warning for West Nile virus infections (WNV) for northwest, south central and southeast Kansas. North central, northeast, and southwest Kansas are at moderate risk for WNV infections. In addition, mosquitoes collected in Sedgwick County have tested positive for WNV and St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV).

WNV can be spread to people through mosquito bites, but it is not spread from person to person. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a severe illness leading to swelling of the brain or brain tissue that can result in death. There are no vaccines or medications to treat WNV. People who have had WNV before are considered immune.

SLEV is transmitted by the same type of mosquito that spreads WNV. While most people who are infected with SLEV have no symptoms or only mild non-specific flu-like illness, some individuals can experience serious neuroinvasive illness. Symptoms often include fever, headache, stiff neck, disorientation, and altered level of consciousness. Coma, convulsions, and paralysis may also occur. SLEV has a similar incubation period as WNV, 5-15 days.

KDHE recommends knowing your risk of WNV and take action to prevent mosquito bites and protect yourself against WNV and SLEV:

  • Visit the KDHE WNV website weekly to learn about the current WNV risk levels;
  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient on skin and clothing, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • The elderly or those with a weakened immune system should consider limiting their exposure outside during dusk and dawn when the Culex species mosquitos are most active.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.
  • Horses can also be infected with WNV. Talk with your veterinarian about vaccinating your horse to protect them against WNV.

Most WNV infections occur in the late summer and early fall. Although there have been no cases of WNV reported to KDHE in 2019, there have been over 300 cases of the most severe form of WNV and 30 deaths in Kansas from 1999-2018. The last known case of SLEV in Kansas occurred in 2004.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides this web page with additional information about West Nile virus and preventing mosquito bites:  More information on SLEV can be found at .For questions about West Nile virus or other Arboviral diseases contact the KDHE Epidemiology hotline at 877-427-7317.

Red Dirt Country Comes to Fort Scott

Dalton Womeldorff sits in the studio of Fort Scott Broadcasting. He is an announcer at the radio station and a recent graduate of Fort Scott High School.

Red Dirt Country is in Fort Scott as of July 1 at 98.3 FM on your radio.

The Red Dirt genre of country music started in Oklahoma and Texas.

“Red Dirt Country is a different brand of country,” Tim McKenney, owner of Fort Scott Broadcasting said.  “Most tell a story…songs that tell stories about the cowboy’s way of life.”

Fort Scott Broadcasting, owned by both Tim and Deb McKenney, is the umbrella company for KMDO-AM 1600 and KOMB-FM 103.9 and now K252KY-FM 98.3.

KMDO started in 1954 and KOMB in1981 and continue to play classic and contemporary music. They were purchased by Tim and Deb in 1996 from Tim’s father.

Red Dirt Country, K252KY-FM started this year.

Fort Scott Broadcasting is the parent company of KMDO-AM and KOMB-FM and is located at 2 N. National Avenue. The parent company of the businesses are Fort Scott Broadcasting, owned by Tim and Deb McKenney. They also own U.S. Cellular at 1711 S. National and 2506 S. Santa Fe in Chanute.

“On July 1 we opened K252KY,” McKenney said. “It started broadcasting a few months ago. We wanted to run it a while to make sure it was going smoothly.”

“We wanted to compete with those (radio stations) that do country, in a different way,” he said.

“It’s been crazy, for signing on quietly,” McKenney said.


KMDO-AM and KOMB-FM Radio Stations are located at 2 N. National Avenue, Fort Scott. New in July 2019 is the addition of Red Dirt Country at K252KY-FM, 98.3


The broadcasting company plays music 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

There are several announcers who work for the company: Larry Gazaway, Brandon Tadtman, Dalton Womeldorff, Pam Hutchison, Charlene Bolinger, Brayden Enstrom, Dena Wade  “and a few more of us do some on-air, but not regularly,” McKenney said.

“We still have announcers, it is not automated by satellite,” McKenney said.

In August, Larry Gazaway returns to the radio station as “the morning man on 103.9 and he will be our sports broadcaster,” McKenney said. Gazaway did a stint as Fort Scott’s Director of Convention and Visitor Bureau recently and returns to broadcasting on August 5.

For more information about the business and to see what services they provide, click below



Business Incubator: Offering Office Space to Entrepreneurs/Professionals To Start Up

The new Bourbon County Business Incubator offices  are located in the old SRS Building at 108 W. Second Street, Fort Scott.

A business incubator is being developed by Bourbon County to attract new entrepreneurs and professionals back to the area.

What is a business incubator?

It is a facility established to nurture young, startup firms during their early months or years, according to It can provide affordable space, shared offices and services, hands-on management training, marketing support and, often, access to some form of financing.

“The business incubator is still under development,” Bourbon County’s Economic Director Jody Hoenor, said. “But is available… it’s a county-wide service.”

“The vision is to have a workspace for a professional business, someone who needs office space,” she said. “The first six months are free, then rent is negotiable. The maximum stay is two years.”

“The point is to get their business up and going without initial opening costs,” she said

Skilled professionals such as web designers, architects, and lawyers. for example, who want to start a business, are the target for the incubator.

Retail would not be appropriate for the space, she said.

“Shane Walker (Bourbon County Information Technology) and Justin Meeks (Bourbon County Counselor) have been working on this before I started in October 2018,” Hoenor said.

There are six office spaces available, one with a reception area attached.

The largest of the offices shown by Bourbon County Economic Director Jody Hoenor is 11 feet by 23 feet. The other offices are smaller, but each has a window.

There is a lobby, conference room, kitchen space and bathroom that goes with the office spaces, and includes high-speed internet access.

Bourbon County Economic Director Jody Hoenor opens the door to the reception area, next to the largest office space available for skilled professionals to start up a business.

Hoenor can be reached at 210 S National Ave.,

Fort Scott, KS 66701, or 1-620-223-3800 or

1-620-215-5725 Mobile, or


Bourbon County repurposed the building at 108 W. Second Street, just west of the courthouse. Years ago it housed the Social and Rehabilitation Services offices, most recently the Bourbon County Attorney had an office there until that office was moved to the second floor of the courthouse.

Currently, the building is being used also by the community corrections office and the driver’s license bureau.




AD: Darlene’s Collectibles Online-Only Closeout Auction

Darlene’s Antiques and Collectables, 16 Scott Avenue is liquidating all the contents of the store.

A long-time Fort Scott business is liquidating its assets.

Darlene’s antiques and Collectibles is having the third round of an online-only auction.
If one is looking for furniture and other items to fill a home, vacation home or rental property with some quality items, take time to look at all that is offered and make an online bid.
Online Bidding ends Sunday, July 21, 7:00 PM.
Visit click on Ozarkbid Online Auctions, scroll to Darlene’s Antique and Collectibles 3 to view and register to bid. The store was owned by Darlene and Jim Shoemaker.
“We welcome you to the third round of Darlene’s Antiques and Collectibles,” Jim Shoemaker said. ” We hope that you’ll browse our catalog and see the very nice 383 lot line up of some of the most beautiful and well-cared for antique pieces including glassware, furniture, primitives, advertising pieces, and much, much more!”
In the listing this round are:
Vintage tobacco tins; Windsor Cutlery Co. Knife w/hoof handle; vint. military knife; Vint. Maytag oil cans; wood Coke, Pepsi & fruit crates; framed art & decor; framed Remington & Western Winchester ads; Table linens; oil lamps; lanterns; die-cast toys; stoneware jugs; old radios; Cram can; 100s of radio/ audio tubes; tables & chairs; enamel top table; hutches & cabinets; baking & kitchen cabinets/cupboards; corner cabinets; ant. dresser & wardrobe; nesting boxes; records, 33 & 78s; W.L. Davey hand pump; Ant. Rainbo Bread screen door, 32”x96”; Windsor organ; ant. wood doors; iron bell; Dazey churn; crosscut saws; washtubs; cradle; and much more.
Watch for more upcoming auctions.
Item pick up is in Fort Scott, Kansas on Monday, July 22, from 9 am to 6 pm. Item pick up in Hermitage, MO WareHouse Monday, July 29 from 9 am to 6 pm.
The following photos are of some of the items.
To see the whole lot, visit click on Ozarkbid Online Auctions, scroll to Darlene’s Antique and Collectibles 3 to view and register to bid.


Mental Health Conference Aug. 5-8 in Larned

Larned State Hospital to Host Annual Mental Health Conference in August

LARNED – Larned State Hospital (LSH) will host “Frontiers in Mental Health,” its 16th annual mental health conference August 5-8, 2019, in the State Theatre, 617 Broadway, Larned, KS, Superintendent Lesia Dipman announced today. The conference will kick off August 5 with a 5K run at 5:30 p.m. on the LSH campus. Medals will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in five age divisions.

“This annual conference has become one of the premier behavioral health events in Kansas. We conduct this conference annually to aid the professional development of those working in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work and corrections, but it is open to anyone with an interest in mental health,” Superintendent Dipman said.

Rich in history, LSH is the largest psychiatric facility in the state serving the western two-thirds of Kansas with more than 990 staff and the capacity to treat more than 450 patients. The hospital is accredited by The Joint Commission (TJC) and certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is responsible for administrative oversight of the hospital.

“Larned State Hospital has again put together an exceptional lineup of speakers and important topics to enrich the knowledge and treatment skills of attendees and help them better care for the people we serve,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said.

For more information and to enroll in the conference, visit: or contact LSH development staff at 620-285-4566.

Presentations at the conference include:

  • “Critical Incident Stress Management”
  • “Distinguishing Between Self and Professionalism”
  • “Ethics: You are Fine, How am I?”
  • “Palliative Care: Core Principles and Practical Applications”

Featured speakers at the 2019 conference will be:

  • Dr. David Barnum, Ph.D.
    Dr. Barnum, Diplomate of the National Board of Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists, completed his doctoral training in clinical psychology with a specialization in health psychology at The University of Kansas. After his internship at Temple University Health Sciences, he began a 20-year career in community mental health, with particular emphasis in establishing and expanding clinical training programs as a means for developing professional staff in rural and under-served areas.

    Currently, he is the Clinical Director and Director of Clinical Training at Larned State Hospital as well as a co-owner of The Family Therapy Institute Midwest. He has served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kansas and Benedictine College. Dr. Barnum has been an ambassador for the National Health Service Corps, is a past-president of the Kansas Psychological Association and served on the Continuing Education Committee of the American Psychological Association. He is a frequent presenter at local, national and international conferences on topics including diagnosis, ethics, risk management, clinical training and supervision, family psychology, autism spectrum disorders, treating family injustice, elements of effective psychological treatment and Ericksonian approaches to treatment, among others. He has published work in the treatment of children affected by abuse and foster care health psychology. He is currently co-chair of the Hospital Ethics Committee at Larned State Hospital.


  • Teresa Strausz
    Teresa Strausz is passionate about the human experience in organizations and learning. She has been supporting staff, students and adult learners throughout her career by providing education, supervision, training and dynamic learning opportunities in a variety of formats.

    Teresa earned a Master’s degree in Social Work in 1996 from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree in Organization Development in 2012 from Friends University. Teresa serves as a founding member of the Trauma-Informed Systems of Care team, social work field instructor, leadership coach, facilitator and consultant.


  • Leo Hermann, Ph.D.
    Dr. Leo Herrman received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Master’s of Science degree in Clinical Psychology from FHSU. He completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in Developmental and Child Psychology at the University of Kansas. He currently is the Associate Professor/Director of Psychological Screening Clinic at FHSU. He has an extensive background in administration and clinical supervision having served as Administrative Program Director for Kansas’ Violent Sexual Predator Treatment Program, Superintendent of Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility, Program Director and Acting Superintendent of the Youth Center at Topeka as well a chief psychologist there. His clinical experience includes work as a psychologist sex offender treatment programs, youth centers, substance abuse treatment programs and mental health centers.

    He is a licensed clinical psychotherapist and a certified substance abuse counselor. His teaching experience includes Fort Hays State University and the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authorities’ Training Academy.

    Dr. Herrman has written many articles and is known for his scholarly presentations to professional organizations. His research interest lies in the area of forensic psychology and suicide prevention programing, particularly in youth.


  • Brooke Mann, M.S.
    Brooke Mann is a lecturer and the Director of the Clinical Psychology Graduate Program at Fort Hays State University (FHSU). She earned her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Clinical Psychology from FHSU and is finishing her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University – Commerce. Her experiences include psychotherapy in in-patient and out-patient facilities, psychometric assessment, coordinating graduate clinical practice, supervising graduate students, and community outreach. Her current research interests are in reducing stigma of mental illness, and diagnosis assessment of ADHD.


  • Karin Porter-Williamson, M.D.
    Dr. Porter-Williamson is an Associate Professor and Division Director of Palliative Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is also the Medical Director for Palliative Care Services at the University of Kansas Health System and is the Medical Director for the KS-MO TPOPP Coalition. Dr. Porter-Williamson grew up in Topeka, Kan., attended Washburn Rural High School, then KU for her undergraduate degree in Biology, French and Psychology. She completed medical school and an internal medicine residency training at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2002, and then completed fellowship training in Hospice and Palliative medicine in 2003 at San Diego Hospice. After training she returned to the University of Kansas and has been on faculty there for the past 16 years.

    Dr. Porter-Williamson’s academic interests include building systems for patient-centered, goal concordant plans of care, to improve the value of medical care for patients and families facing serious illness, and to integrate the principles of palliative medicine as the standard of care for all seriously ill patients and families. Dr. Porter-Williamson’s educational focus is on the training of medical professionals and inter-professional teams across the continuum of care to understand these principles and integrate them into their practice, with specific attention to communication skills necessary for goals of care discussions and serious illness care planning.

George Retires From K-State Just Shy of 50 Years

Herschel George, K-State Southeast Kansas Watershed Specialist, shows how a water tank that he helped build on Doug Eden’s farm, works and functions to colleagues on June 25. From left:  Will Boyer, Dan Devlin, Amanda Schlelky ( a research assistant) George, Doug Eden and Jeff Davidson.

Herschel George started as a Kansas State University Extension Agent in February 1970, just after graduating from the university.

Through the years he worked in various counties as an agent, then became a specialist in watersheds.

A watershed consists of surface water-lakes, streams, reservoirs and wetlands, and all the underlying  groundwater, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

George was a 4-H Extension Agent in Marion County, moved to be the agricultural agent in Miami County from 1972 until 2003 when he became a watershed specialist.

George continued in that role but moved to Uniontown, his home town in 2007.

His last day in the watershed specialist role was June 30, 2019.

As a watershed specialist for Southeast Kansas, he worked to encourage farmers and ranchers to install alternative water supplies for livestock and also encouraged the farmers/ranchers to participate in watershed restorative and protection strategies.

“That was the best part of the job,” George said. “Relationships I could build with producers (farmers/ranchers). Another good thing about the job was the continuing education and professional development through the K-State Extension system.”

“I would use county fairs and field days and the 4-State Farm Show as places where I might present or demonstrate alternative livestock practices,” George said. “I often did demonstrations of solar (water) pumps or tire tank installations, to create interest.”

Additionally, he worked with local Watershed Restorative and Protective Strategy organizations as a technical service provider.

Another role George had was to provide technical assistance to livestock operators who may be out of compliance with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment policies, he said.

The purpose of his job was to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus content of runoff from livestock areas.

“Keeping the poop on the grass, not in the ponds,” George said.

In 2008 and 2009 he traveled with K-State’s Kansas Center for Agriculture Resources and the Environment (KCARE) to Africa where he demonstrated drip irrigation systems in community and private gardens.

On June 25-26,  George invited co-workers to tour the types of projects that producers in this area installed to improve water quality, just before his retirement June 30.

It’s been a good 49 plus years, according to George.

“I’ve had nothing but very good supervisors throughout,” he said. “County extension board members to K-State Administration.”

“And I’ve had a good, supporting wife,” George said.

Following his retirement, George will continue to work with K-State and KDHE on special projects and activities across the state, as a consultant, he said.

In his retirement, George said he “might travel to see our daughter and help my brothers in farming as needed.”

George is a 1965 graduate of Uniontown High School, attended Fort Scott Community College, then transferred to Kansas State University, where he graduated in the fall of 1969  with a bachelors degree in agricultural education. In 1981 he earned a masters degree in agriculture mechanization from K-State.

He is involved in the Uniontown community through Uniontown Baptist Church and the Old Settler’s Picnic Association.


Colleagues from Kansas State University toured area farms where George has helped improve water quality in his tenure as Watershed Specialist for Southeast Kansas. From left: Ron Graber, watershed specialist; Pat Murphy, extension agriculture engineer, emeritus; Dan Devlin, watershed specialist; Will Boyer, watershed specialist; Sue Brown, Kansas Center for Ag. Resources and the Environment Assistant; Doug Eden, owner of the property; Connor Minson son of watershed specialist Stacie Minson; Stacie Minson; Jeff Davison, watershed specialist, and George.
Looking at a former pond on Doug Eden’s farm, which was converted back to pastureland and replaced with a tire tank waterer that George helped install. From left: George, Dan Devlin, and Doug Eden.
Herschel George, K-State Watershed Specialist for Southeast Kansas, finds some shade to check in on a cell phone in 2018  at the Bourbon County Fair.  Fairs and farm shows were where George raised public awareness about alternative water supplies, including pumping livestock water.




FSNHS: Public Response Brings Extra Week of Trailblazer Program

Fort Scott National Historic Site

Second Week of Trailblazer Program Announced at Fort Scott NHS this Summer!

FORT SCOTT, Kansas: Due to the popularity of Fort Scott National Historic Site’s Trailblazer Program, we are pleased to announce that the program will be repeated for a second week from August 12-16, 2019. It will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12:00 p.m. each day. The workshop will be the same as the one held the previous week, except that 12 additional children will be able to participate in the program.

Registration is underway. To sign-up, contact Fort Scott National Historic Site at (620) 223-0310 or email with your name and phone number. Participants must be between ages 9-12 as of the beginning day of camp. Participants will be sent an informational packet after registration is complete. There is no charge for the day camp. Since space is limited to 12 participants, priority will be given to youth who have not attended before.

During this workshop, children will be introduced to the National Park Service mission of caring for the Nation’s natural and cultural heritage. They will search for treasure in a mock archaeological dig, explore the prairie, and discover methods used to preserve the buildings and artifacts of the fort. The students will engage in living history, be fielded in flag protocol, and will work on a play that they will present at the end of the week. Also, there will be green activities that will teach children how to use our resources wisely.

Fort Scott National Historic Site is a fee free park that offers a glimpse into the growth of our nation. A walk through the fort reveals the significant role it played in the opening of the West, as well as, the Civil War and the strife in the State of Kansas that preceded it. For more information about Fort Scott National Historic Site, please call the park at 620-223-0310, visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube


Fort Scott Actors In Pittsburg Community Theater This Evening

The Fort Scott community is  invited to experience “We Are Monsters” at 6 pm  and 8 pm this evening  at Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium and Convention Center.
“I am the music director of this 2-week summer theater camp and we have several Fort Scott kidlets performing, including Abel Chaplin, Mila Newman, Chrislen Newman, Analeise Rupprecht, and Emma Bin,” Mary Jo Harper, said. “Our kids are rocking it!”


“Each summer for many years, PCT has supported Jr. Starz, an intensive, two-week children’s theatre workshop that culminates in a free performance for the community,” according to the Pittsburg Community Theatre Facebook page.

The workshop dates were June 10-21 and the show date: June 21

Session 1 – 8 a.m. to noon (show is June 21 at 6 p.m.)
Session 2 – 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (show is June 21 at 8 p.m.)

Waterlogged Kansas may be in for even more rain, flooding

Christopher Petty

K-State weather specialists say wet pattern will persist

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Rainfall patterns that turned lawns and farm fields into unintended ponds and swelled rivers to capacity and beyond are likely to continue into June, according to weather specialists at Kansas State University.

“The persistent pattern has consisted of back and forth movement of a stationary front across the central Plains. This front is separating cold with below-normal temperatures to the north and west and above-normal temperatures to the south and east,” said Chip Redmond, manager of Kansas Mesonet, a system of weather stations across the state that detect and record weather data. “Where the front sets up daily will be the focus for the heaviest flooding rains.”

Because of already saturated soils, Redmond and his colleague, assistant climatologist Mary Knapp, do not expect flooding issues to end in Kansas anytime soon.

“It is almost a guarantee that water control issues will continue into June, if not worsen,” Redmond said. Areas in the central and eastern part of the state have been hit particularly hard.

Springtime temperatures have also been below normal, said Knapp, who added that it’s a trend likely to continue. That will also be a factor in how quickly the soil can dry out.

Beyond June, Knapp and Redmond expect temperatures to warm seasonably but noted that soil surface moisture may increase evaporation/transpiration rates, injecting moisture into the atmosphere. That in turn may result in above average shower and thunderstorm activity.

With ponds and lakes already near or at capacity in some areas, even without more moisture, it is likely to take months before flows return to normal, Knapp said.

“Every rainfall we get in the process will push back that return, possibly substantially,” she said.

More information is available on the Kansas Mesonet website, Office of the State Climatologist website, and in the latest K-State Agronomy eUpdate weekly newsletter.