Category Archives: Bourbon County

Support For Moms with Infants Available For Free

Diapers are given to mothers who participate in each meeting of the Mommy and Me program. Submitted photo.

Mommy and Me is a support and education program for mothers with children or who are pregnant.

The support group meets monthly at the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department in Fort Scott at 6th and Horton.

The next one is scheduled for Wednesday, January 19 at 4 p.m.

The group meets once a month, with a topic of discussion.

As an encouragement to attend the meetings, diapers are given to participants each meeting, Holly Fritter, Healthy Start Home Visitor, said.

Holly Fritter. Submitted photo.

“We give away a packet of diapers every time they attend because we want people to be supported, and educated,” she said.

The program was created to help support moms in taking care of their babies and themselves.

“Discussions in the past have been breastfeeding, formula feeding, prenatal care, postpartum care, postpartum depression and other maternal warning signs, stages of labor and what to expect, nutrition, baby basics, parenting, things like that,” she said.

“We want people to know that they are not alone, they have someone to talk to and someone to listen.

The Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department is located between 6th and Lowman Streets and 6th and Horton Streets.


Beating the Post-Holiday Funk

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent. Submitted photo.

Some of us may still be winding up our holiday celebrations – gift exchanges may be lingering on our calendar yet, and the decorations may remain hanging to keep those festive vibes alive. The holidays can take over our lives in many ways, given the deadlines and extra hubbub that go along with the festivities.

Often, our regular routines change in the time leading up to the holidays. Our work life changes with having some work days off. Our energy level may be heightened to meet the demands of the holidays. Then we are expected (or we expect of ourselves) to jump back into our regular daily life where we left it before the holidays.

For many, having the holiday break is reinvigorating and refreshing, as we have broken completely away from the norm of our daily lives. However, being out of our routine for a week or two can also leave us struggling to get back into the swing of things.

Making that adjustment can create a funk that is real. Feeling unmotivated or even sluggish are some of the signs. We’ve just come off of an intense level of holiday activity. Then suddenly, it’s all over. The excitement is gone. The highly anticipated moments are done (and those moments we dread, for that matter.)

Beating the post-holiday funk begins with realizing that it is a form of loss and is in reality an adjustment to less stimulation. It can be similar to feeling at loose ends after completing a big project at work, or feeling somewhat empty after a vacation, even though you are glad to be home.

Consider these suggestions if you are feeling the funk.

Continue your social connections. The holidays usually create more occasions for social gatherings. Make an effort to call or visit a friend or two to catch up on their holiday experiences and then share yours also. Don’t let it be a texting conversation. A phone conversation, at a minimum, will stimulate your mind as your conversations transpire.

Get out of the house. Weather this time of year may create challenges in getting out. However, even on a gray day, pushing yourself for some time outside can raise your energy. You are also creating space and interrupting moods that may be tied to those parts of the house with lingering reminders of the recent holidays.

That leads me to getting some exercise. It’s likely we’ve overindulged over the holidays, whether it be with food or drink, sitting around visiting, or binge-watching the various sporting presentations available. Be ready for a pleasant mood shift following some vigorous body movement.

Look forward, not backward. It is common at the beginning of the year to think about those things we didn’t achieve when we review our accomplishments from the previous year. These reflections are often the source of many people’s New Year’s resolutions. Instead, think about one thing you would love to have happen this year. Don’t make it a ‘life goal,’ as that could lead to more exhausting feelings. Identify one small thing and then make a plan to bring it into being.

Try one of these ideas to help you take charge of your mood. It might be just what it takes to shake off those funky feelings that may be hanging around. Have a truly happy new year!

For more information on combatting post-holiday blues, contact your local Southwind Extension District Office.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

CHC/SEK consolidates curbside COVID testing 


CHC/SEK will consolidate curbside testing for Coronavirus beginning Jan. 12. There will remain one curbside testing location in each county served by CHC/SEK.
Curbside COVID-19 testing will be temporarily suspended at Baxter Springs, Pittsburg South (1011 Mount Carmel Place), Arma, Fort Scott primary clinic, Independence, Mound City and La Cygne clinics.
CHC/SEK will shift resources and continue curbside testing by appointment at Pittsburg North (3011 N. Michigan), Pleasanton, Iola, Coffeyville, Parsons, Columbus, Miami and Fort Scott Walk-in Care. Some locations are scheduled out several days for testing appointments.
 “It is important to note that patients who are experiencing COVID symptoms are still be able to be seen by medical staff in all clinics and tested for Coronavirus as appropriate,” said Jason Wesco, President of the CHC/SEK health system.
The change comes after the health center experienced increasing demand for testing and staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, seasonal flu and other illnesses.
“Our staff have kept our communities safe through the pandemic, but we are experiencing levels of infection unlike we ever seen” he said. “To date, our staff have delivered almost 79,000 tests and almost 63,000 vaccinations. Staff are exhausted and this measure will help protect them while ensuring that we continue to test in every county we serve while continuing other critically needed healthcare services provided by CHC/SEK.”
If you receive word of a positive COVID-19 test, put on a mask immediately. Then isolate yourself as quickly as possible, even if you don’t have symptoms.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends isolating for at least five full days, followed by five days of wearing a mask around others, as long as you don’t have a fever and any other symptoms are improving. If you are seriously ill with COVID-19 or have a weakened immune system, the CDC recommends an isolation period of 10 to 20 days.
If you have a fever, the agency advises you to stay home until the fever resolves. If you are waiting for test results but have symptoms of Covid-19, the CDC recommends that you isolate anyway, regardless of vaccination status.

CHC/SEK said its best advice is still to get vaccinated and get boosted. Wear a mask, don’t touch your eyes or face and wash your hands frequently. Social distance as possible and most of all, absolutely stay home if you think you might be ill or potentially exposed.


Help with Energy Costs Available

Bourbon County Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main, is the site of the LIEAP assistance in filling out the required forms.
People who are having difficulty paying their utility bills and meet the income guidelines, can get hands-on help this Wednesday to fill out the needed paperwork.
The Salvation Army and Bourbon County Senior Center, 26 N. Main,  will partner with Evergy, the local electric company,  to assist in filling out Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) applications this Wednesday, January 12, from noon to 3 p.m.
Allen Schellack with Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries is the Bourbon County Coordinator for the Salvation Army.
“Normally, you have to go through DCF (the Department of Children and Families) to get the funds,” Schellack said.

The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) is a Federally-funded program that helps eligible households pay a portion of their home energy costs by providing a one-time per year benefit, according to the DCF website Energy Assistance – Economic & Employment Services (

No appointment is necessary for help with filling out the application.
Applicants do not have to be Evergy customers.
Applicants are required to have at least $80 in payments in the past 90 days.
Applicants will need to bring copies of all proof of income for all permanent residents who are at least 18 years or older.
Copies of utility bills which include gas, electric, propane, wood are needed to apply.

LIEAP Frequently Asked Questions​

Other community resources that​ may be of assistance can be found here: EES Helping Organizations.

The 2022 LIEAP application period is from Monday, January 3, 2022, through Thursday, March 31, 2022. Applications must be received before 5:00 PM, March 31, 2022.

For those who do not feel they need assistance in filling out the paperwork:

Additional information may be obtained by calling 1-800-432-0043.

Who is Eligible?

To qualify, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. An adult living at the address must be personally responsible for paying the heating costs incurred at the current residence, payable either to the landlord or the fuel vendor.
  2. Applicants must demonstrate a recent history of payments toward the purchase of the primary heating energy.


The combined gross income (before deductions) of all persons living ​at the address may not exceed 150% of the federal poverty level according to the guidelines listed below:


2022 Income Eligibility Guidelines

Persons Living at the Address Maximum Gross
Monthly Income
1 $1,610
2 $2,178
3 $2,745
4​ $3,313
​5 $3,880
6​ $4,448
7​ $5,015
8​ $5,583
9​ $6,150
10​ $6,718
11​ $7,285
12​​ $7,853
​13 $8,420​
14​ $8,​988​​
+1    $568 for each additional person




Benefit levels vary according to the following factors:

  • Household income
  • Number of persons living at the address
  • Type of dwelling
  • Type of heating fuel
Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries, located above the Senior Citizens Center on North Main Street.
Allen Schellack, director of Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries.

Bo Co Agenda For Jan. 11


Bourbon County Commission Room 

1st Floor, County Courthouse 

210 S. National Avenue 

Fort Scott, KS 66701 

Tuesdays starting at 9:00 


Date: January 11, 2022 

1st District-Lynne Oharah                                                                Minutes: Approved: _______________ 

2nd District-Jim Harris                                                                      Corrected: _______________________ 

3rd District-Clifton Beth                                                                              Adjourned at: _______________ 

County Clerk-Ashley Shelton 





Call to Order 


  • Flag Salute 
  • Open discussion regarding masks 
  • Approval of Minutes from previous meeting 
  • Eric Bailey – Road and Bridge Report 
  • Mowing/Snow Removal Bids for Medical Building 
  • Bill Martin  
  • JAG Grant Approval  
  • Equipment Loan Consideration  
  • County Counselor Comment 
  • Susan Bancroft, Finance Director Comment 
  • Public Comment 
  • Elected Officials Comment  

Commission Comment 

Diann Tucker Featured in Top Agent Magazine

Diann Tucker. Submitted photo.

Diann Tucker was Featured in the January, 2022, edition of Top Agent Magazine

Fort Scott, KS: Diann Tucker of Stewart Realty Co. was featured in the January 2022 edition of Top Agent Magazine. Top Agent Magazine is the premier real estate magazine featuring the foremost real estate agents, mortgage professionals, and affiliates in the USA, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Top Agent Magazine features the top producing and most accomplished professionals in the real estate industry, offering an in-depth look at their careers and providing a blueprint for their success.

To be considered for a feature in Top Agent Magazine all professionals must go through a nomination and interview process. ALL Candidates are then evaluated based upon production, professionalism, as well as industry and community involvement. It is considered a privilege to be nominated as it speaks to a certain success level all real estate agents strive for. Top Agent has set itself apart as a trusted source of real estate information and inspiration. Diann Tucker is a stellar example of the kind of prominent leaders of real estate we are proud to feature in Top Agent Magazine.


The online magazine can be viewed at


It is an honor to have been nominated and featured as a “Top Agent” in the real estate industry. I am humbled that my clients have reached out in such a way to have me recognized. I hope to continue to make real estate dreams come true.” For more information about Diann Tucker, please call 620-223-6700 or 620-224-7054, email, or visit


Stewart Realty Co., 1707 S. National Avenue. From its Facebook page.

K-State Garden Hour – 2022 Line-Up

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

K-State Garden Hour – 2022 Line-Up

If you haven’t participated in the K-State Garden Hour in the past, plan to start this year! The K-State Garden Hour began in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way for K-State Research and Extension horticulture experts to share research-based information to gardeners of all abilities and experience. Due to the overwhelming success, the K-State Garden Hour continued through 2021 and is gearing up for this year!

The 2022 lineup has been announced and it is full of great topics. Each program is held online from 12 noon to 1 p.m. (CST), including a 45-minute presentation and 10-15 minutes for viewer questions.

We are excited to offer a new round of webinars in 2022, based on the topics our participants requested most,” said Matthew McKernan, a K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent in Sedgwick County. “There’s no better time than the cold, winter months to be planning for next year’s garden. That’s why, whether you are wanting to grow more produce from next year’s garden, or redesign your landscape next year, our K-State Garden Hour webinars will kick off the new year to will get your garden started right in 2022.”  

A one-time registration gives viewers free access to all of the 2022 sessions, which include: 

  • Feb. 2 – Indoor Seed Starting. 
  • March 2 – Landscape Design 101. 
  • April 6 – Pollinator Plans for Continuous Food Sources. 
  • May 4 – New and Improved Annual Flower Varieties. 
  • June 1 – Organic Pest Management for Vegetable Gardens. 
  • July 6 – Growing Culinary Mushrooms at Home. 
  • Aug. 3 – Landscaping for Wildlife. 
  • Sept. 7 – Recommended Trees for Kansas. 
  • Oct. 5 – Improving Soil Health in the Landscape and Garden. 
  • Nov. 2 – Wildlife Damage Prevention and Control in the Lawn and Garden. 
  • Dec. 7 – Accessible Gardening for All. 

In 2021, the K-State Garden Hour was watched by viewers in 39 states, five countries and four continents. Between February and December, the program drew 16,326 viewers, including a single-session high of 1,034 live viewers for a workshop on container gardening. 

To register for this free, on-line series, visit:  

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

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Dawson Mitchell To Appear on January 20 For Preliminary Hearing For Double Murder

The double murder case in Bourbon County is moving forward with the defendant, Dawson Mitchell, scheduled to appear on January 20 in a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. at the Bourbon County District Court, according to information provided by John P. Milburn, Public Information Officer for the Office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Mitchell is charged with killing his mother and step-father with a gun stolen from his father, and is currently an inmate in the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center, Fort Scott.

The Bourbon County Courthouse.

The case is being prosecuted by attorneys with the Kansas Criminal Litigation Division of the Office of the Attorney General at the request of the Bourbon County Attorney. The case number is 2021-CR-588.

Charges are merely accusations; defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, according to the document provided.

The following are the charges against Mitchell.

The State of Kansas versus Dawson James Mitchell case alleges that

Count 1
On or about the 21st day of December 2021, in Bourbon County, Kansas, Dawson James Mitchell did unlawfully, feloniously, intentionally, and with premeditation, kill Melissa Hays Mitchell, which is murder in the first degree.

Count 2
On or about December 21,  2021, in Bourbon County, Dawson  Mitchell did unlawfully, feloniously, intentionally, and with premeditation, kill Leonard Zimmerman, which is murder in the first degree.

Count 3
On or between December 19 and December 21, 2021, in Bourbon County,   Mitchell, did unlawfully and knowingly possess a firearm, a Walther 9 mm handgun, and within five years preceding such possession was convicted of the distribution of a controlled substance. He was not found to have owned a firearm at the time of the prior crime, and has not had the prior conviction expunged or been pardoned for such crime. The charge is criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Count 4
On or between  December  19, 2021, and December 21, 2021 in Bourbon County,  Mitchell, exerted unauthorized control over property: a Walther 9 mm handgun, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner Jerald Mitchell, of the possession, use, or benefit of the property of a value of less than $25,000. The charge is theft of a firearm.

Count 5
On or about  December 19-21 2021 in Bourbon County,   Mitchell did unlawfully and knowingly possess a weapon; which was a Puma pocketknife, and within five years preceding such possession was convicted of the distribution of a controlled substance. He has not had the prior conviction expunged or been pardoned for such crime. The charge is an aggravated weapon violation by a convicted felon.

Count 6
On or between the December 19-21, 2021, in Bourbon County,  Mitchell, exerted unauthorized control over property: which was Puma pocketknife and $200 cash, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner Jerald Mitchell, of the possession, use, or benefit of the property of a value of less than $25,000.

All of the above acts then and there committed being contrary to the statutes in such cases made and provided and being against the peace and dignity of the State of Kansas, according to the document.

The case was filed by:
CJ. Rieg, W21 0
Assistant Attorney General
120 SW 10th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Topeka, Kansas 66612—1597
Phone: 785276-9707
Fax: 785.291.3875

Celebrating the Life of Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Gordon Parks and his tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.,
The Gordon Parks Museum has scheduled a series of events to celebrate his life.
Starting on January 13th at 7pm
The Gordon Parks Museum Presents:
Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey’s: Ever Present
Then, on Friday, Jan. 14th and Monday, Jan. 17th, the film showings of
Eyes on the Prize: American Civil Rights
After the first film on January 14th, there will be a Lunch & Learn in the Ellis Arts Center at 12pm. The Fort Scott High School Advanced Drama students will be reading the “I Have A Dream” speech given by Martin Luther King.
The community is invited and encouraged to bring canned food or cleaning products from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to the museum which is in recognition of King’s day of service events that will happen nationally. These canned goods/cleaning products will be presented to The Beacon, a local helping agency. Please, no out-of-date goods.
After the 1st film on the 17th, the Lunch & Learn event by Prisca Barnes, will be speaking on the “The Dockum Drugstore Sit-In”, an event that happened in Wichita.
A free lunch will be provided by Luther’s BBQ. Drinks and desserts will be provided by Great Western Dining.