Category Archives: Bourbon County

Learn How to Navigate A Smartphone or Tablet

Senior Cyber Café

Learn to use your tablet, smartphone

 It’s time to turn the table and stop asking your children or grandchildren for help with your tablet or smartphone. Learn how to navigate your device at a free event at Fort Scott Presbyterian Village.

Your children and grandchildren will be coming to you for assistance after this seminar! We’ll cover the basics, like sending emails, downloading attachments, sharing photos and searching Google. We’ll also address some advanced topics, like how to use maps and which apps to download to make your life easier.

“Senior Cyber Café – Navigating Smartphones and Tablets” will begin at 2:30 p.m. January 31 at Ft. Scott Village at 2401 S Horton St. The talk is part of Presbyterian Manor’s Just Ask series, a free, ongoing lifelong learning program featuring information from local, regional and national experts on topics of interest to older adults and their families.

Space is limited. RSVP by January 30 to Becky Kellum by calling 620-223-5550 or emailing


Fort Scott Presbyterian Village has served Bourbon County since 1994 with independent and assisted living. Learn more at Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with 18 locations in Missouri and Kansas. Learn more at

Health Department to Move

This building. at 6th and Horton, will be the new site of the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department.

The Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department, with a location currently behind the Bourbon County Courthouse, is moving.

More privacy for clients and more room for future health care collaborations are the reasons for the move said Bourbon County Commissioner Jeff Fischer, who is also a member of the SEKMCHD.

The site chosen is the former Mercy Hospital facility at 6th and Horton.

“We needed more space to provide more services,” Fischer said.

“SEKMCHD began looking at updating their current facility that is a modular office building on the courthouse square two years ago,” said  Fischer. “SEKMCHD considered the Bourbon County Court Annex, the decommissioned jail and other properties on the market two years ago. Late this summer the Cornerstone Bible Church offered their building to SEKMCHD which was purchased in December 2018.”

The SEKMCHD received a building permit on Jan. 17. They will meet as a board on Jan. 22 for further discussions of the project.

“We are aiming for an April 1 date to move,” Fischer said.

“Moving into a structure that is more than twice the size of their existing facility presents some interesting opportunities,” Fischer said. “There are ongoing discussions on how to leverage this space to improve access to healthcare and – or provide other services that complement the mission of county health departments. This may include leveraging the Craw-Kan Fiber Optic Network and support Tele-health studios available to the public.”

“At this point, a building permit has been granted to modify the western side of the building, replacing interior walls and providing the ability to secure the SEKMCHD space from the commons areas that include the waiting room and reception area,” Fischer said. “There are no definite plans on how to best utilize the eastern half.”

“The project consists of replacing and installing approximately 120 linear foot of insulated 2X4 framed walls on a structure that was built by Mercy in 1992 to provide health care services,” Fischer explained. “In addition, the installation of nine doors to create three new office spaces and two examination rooms. The framed walls shall be covered with approximately 240 ft., 50 boards of half-inch sheetrock.”

“The plumbing portion involves replacing sinks and moving an existing sink to facilitate access to the restroom from one of the exam rooms,” he said. “The plumber will also extend a gas line to the vicinity of the generator set placed outside adjacent to the electrical service entry.”

“The electrical portion involves installing wiring for outlets, switches, dedicated circuits for critical equipment,” Fischer said.  “In addition, it involves the installation of communication wiring. The installation of a generator set and appropriate automatic transfer switches will also be furnished.”

The Bourbon County Health Department provides adult and childhood immunizations and physicals, pap exams, birth control, blood lead screening, hemoglobin and blood sugar screening, hearing screening, blood pressure checks, STD screening and treatment, disease investigations, emergency preparedness,  and labs such as CBC, Chem Panel, TSH.
“The costs depends on which service they choose, but we accept Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance, Cigna, United Healthcare, and Kancare Insurance associated with Medicaid- Amerigroup, Etna, and United Healthcare,” said Alice Maffett, the nurse at the SEKMCHD in Bourbon County.

 For more information, contact Alice Maffett, Nurse, Bourbon County, 620.224.3604, or Jeff Fischer, board member, 620.223.6633 or Chardel Hastings, Director SEKMCHD 411 North Washington ~ Iola, 620-365-2191.

Bourbon County Commission Agenda Jan. 22


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: January 22nd, 2019

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00-9:45-Jim Harris

11:00-12:00-Justin Meeks

12:00-1:30-Commissioners gone to lunch

1:30-3:00-CEO of Community Health

Executive Session-15 min.

Baton Is Passed at Union State Bank

Kenny Holt is retiring as President and CEO of Union State Bank, after 25 years.

Bryan Holt became the president and Chief Executive Officer of Union State Bank on Jan. 1, 2019.

“I’ll be the fifth generation of the Holt family to hold this position,” Bryan Holt said.  “It is a great honor for me.”

Union State Bank has been family-owned and operated since 1901.

“My great-grandfather, L.E. “Emett” Holt began, then grand-dad Curtis Holt, then my dad, Kent Holt,” Kenny Holt said.

Kenny Holt held the president and CEO position from 1993 to December 31, 2018.

“We (he and his wife, Nancy) are slowing down and doing things we want to do,” Kenny Holt said.

Kenny will work in the transition period to mentor Bryan and Chad Holt, his younger son, who will be taking over some duties as well, he said.

Bryan Holt has been preparing for leadership through education and career experience.

He has an associates degree from Fort Scott Community College and a Bachelors in Business Administration with a major in Finance from Pittsburg State University Additionally, he completed the Graduate School of Banking in 2012.

“I have worked at the (Union State) bank twice now,” Bryan Holt said. “Part-time as a teller from 1990 – 1993.  I returned to the bank in 2005 as the Business Development Officer and Information Security Officer, moving from McKinney, Texas. In a bank our size, all of the officers have been exposed to all parts of the business and that’s true of me.”

“My duties will be evolving to include overseeing overall operations of the bank, including strategic direction,” he said.  “Of course, I’ll still be working in lending and business development, but learning this new role will become a large part of my daily activities.”

Technology has been changed the culture in America and the world, and the banking sector is no different.

“The rapid advance of technology will continue to disrupt the traditional banking model,” Bryan Holt said.  “Our customers will rely less and less on coming into the branch, preferring to do business via mobile methods.  We are working to balance the personalized service that we’ve been providing for nearly 120 years with the convenience of banking from your mobile device.”

“Technology has allowed us to do a lot of things,” Kenny Holt said.

A negative change in banking in the last 25 years is the “regulatory burden put on us,” Kenny Holt said. “The regulation doesn’t apply to us (small banks), but we still have to abide.”

USB  stated purpose is to provide affordable, high-quality financial products and services that enhance the customers’ financial well-being and strengthen the communities they serve.  The mission is to be the bank of choice in the communities served.

Union State Bank has two locations: on the  Uniontown square and can be reached at 620-756-4305 and Fort Scott at 1009 S. Clark, 620-223-0066.


Fort Scott to Topeka Veterans Administration Shuttle Begins Feb. 5


From left: Darrell Spencer, Army; Stephen Dean. Army; Myra Jowers. Air Force, all vets themselves will be shuttle drivers. Not pictured Carl Jowers.

The Fort Scott to Topeka VA shuttle service will have its inaugural run to the Topeka VA Medical Center on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Many thanks to Patricia Neeland, Social Worker at the Fort Scott VA Medical Clinic and local Veterans Stephen Dean, Carl Jowers, Myra Jowers and Darrell Spencer for working together to make the Fort Scott – Topeka VA shuttle service a reality.

There is no cost to the veteran to ride the shuttle.

The VA shuttle holds five passengers and riders must preregister for a seat. Seats on the shuttle are open to any area veteran on a first come, first served basis.

At this time, the shuttle is operating only on Tuesdays. As more drivers are cleared by the Topeka VA Medical Center, the shuttle service will expand service to other days.

The shuttle will depart from First Southern Baptist Church parking lot (on South Main Street, near Pizza Hut) at 6:15 am and will return to Fort Scott after the last rider has completed their appointment in Topeka.

The rider must be at the designated departure point by 6:10 am or risk losing their seat to a standby.

The shuttle does not accommodate wheelchairs or pets. Only certified service dogs are permitted on the shuttle. Oxygen tanks are not permitted on the shuttle. Oxygen concentrators are allowed.

Family members may not ride with the veteran on the shuttle. Those veterans who need a caregiver to accompany them must have a signed note from their doctor attesting that the veteran requires a caregiver to accompany them to and from their appointment.

To register for a shuttle seat, the veteran must

·         Have an appointment at the Topeka VA Medical Center between 9 am and 1 pm for the day they schedule their shuttle seat.

·         Call 785-925-0261 to schedule their seat. All seat reservations must be scheduled by 5 pm, the day prior to their appointment in Topeka.



Southwind Judging Teams Earn National Recognition


Left to right: Carla Nemecek, Brody Nemecek, Clay Brillhart, Jillian Keller, Haydon Schaaf, John Emmerson earned Reserve National Champions at the National Western Stock Show, Denver, CO.

The Southwind Extension District 4-H Livestock Judging Team of Jillian Keller (Piqua), Brody Nemecek (Iola), Haydon Schaaf (Uniontown), and Clay Brillhart (Fort Scott) recently participated at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO.  By the narrow margin of only one point, these youth were named Reserve National Champions to a team from Texas. They were selected as the only team to represent Kansas 4-H because they were the State Champion 4-H Livestock Judging Team in August, 2018. With 24 teams and 97 youth in the contest, this group had to work hard to receive national recognition.

In addition to being the second team overall, they were also 3rd in Reasons, 2nd in Sheep and 2nd in Goats. Individually results include: Brody Nemecek – 3rd in Swine and 8th Overall; Clay Brillhart – 4th in Hogs, 8th in Goats and 9th Overall; Jillian Keller – 2nd in Sheep and 2nd in Goats; Haydon Schaaf – 7th in Sheep and 8th in Reasons. The team continues to be coached by Carla Nemecek, Southwind District Director. John Emmerson, a former member of a Southwind team who participated at the National Western, served as Assistant Coach.

As a reward for their talents, the top two teams were awarded an invitation to compete internationally at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland and at the Charleville Show in the Republic of Ireland, June 19 – June 3, 2019. The contests are only a small piece of the international trip that will include agriculture seminars and opportunities to enhance leadership skills through interaction with the citizens of the UK and Ireland. The trip is limited to only nine American teams each year, and this is the first time a combined Southwind District team will participate. In 2005, a Neosho County 4-H team – Ryan Page, Trent Page, Clem Neely and Bailey Shaw were able to participate in the Scotland contest.

Although exciting for Southwind 4-H members, this opportunity comes with a price tag of about $6500 per person to attend. Fundraising efforts will soon be underway to send these youth on an international trip of a lifetime. Should you be interested in investing in this unique 4-H opportunity, please contact the Southwind Extension District at 620.365.2242.


Planning For Smart Food Choices

Kathy S. McEwan Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Foods & Nutrition, SNAP-Ed Coordinator Southwind Extension District – Iola Office P.O. Box 845, Iola KS 66749 620-365-2242

Fast Food or Healthy Food? You Can Do Both with Planning and Smart Choices

Many commit to healthy eating as a New Year’s resolution and halfway into the month of January, they may be finding it a challenge. Time to cook and busy schedules top the list of what make healthy eating hard. In the rush of daily life, eating at fast food restaurants is often the default choice for getting through the to-do list.

The concern, says K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter, is that many fast food choices can lead to unhealthy eating.

In October, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released results of a study from 2013 to 2016 concluding that more than one in three adults consume fast food on any given day.

“It’s not the fast food that’s the problem,” Procter said. “It’s the net result of portions that are too big and sometimes contain unhealthy ingredients.”

Convenience is the No. 1 reason why most people choose fast food. The relatively inexpensive cost, the fact that we like it and a lack of alternatives are other top reasons.

“I don’t think we are going to change the fact that many adults on many days of the week take fast food as an option, but I think if we look into it a little more deeply, we can all be better in control of what that means to our health and our diets in general,” Procter said.

She added that one key to avoiding unhealthy choices at fast food restaurants is to plan ahead. That could mean packing your lunch – or even part of the meal — the night before to avoid rushing out without food in the morning.

“When I say part of a lunch, that really helps,” Procter said. “If you do have to grab some fast food, you don’t have to accept what they offer as sides. You don’t have to get the full meal deal. You can order a small, single sandwich or wrap…and add those foods that you chose to bring along with you.”

Plus, planning ahead saves money and helps control the amount you eat.

“A lot of times, you can get those less expensive sandwiches,” Procter said. “They may cost less, and the portioning of those is going to be a lot healthier. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with fast food, but it becomes a problem when the portions are so large and the choices we make contain unhealthy aspects. We can do a lot about those just as wise consumers.”

Procter noted that consumers also can check out nutrition information online for many restaurant chains.

“So even if it’s not posted at the point of sale, you can find out about those choices that you automatically make,” she said, adding that knowing nutrition information could help you cut calories and eat more healthfully.

“It’s about taking control of the way I would like things to be, and finding a way to make it work for me. I think that is part of my job as a responsible consumer.”

Additional tips that Procter provided for avoiding unhealthy choices when eating on-the-go include:

  • Split meals with a family member or friend. Portion sizes are often too large for one, but just right for two.
  • Pack snacks or parts of a meal for traveling, especially when flying. You can supplement with small, healthy choices in the airport.
  • Choose water instead of sodas or other high-calorie drinks.
  • Consider purchasing a ‘Kids Meal,’ even if you have to pay a small up-charge.
  • Go light on the add-ons, such as dressing, cheese, macaroni salad, heavy sauces and other toppings.

For more ideas on healthy eating, contact Kathy at or by phone at 620-365-2242. Check out the Southwind Extension District website at

Paws and Claws Needs New Facility

All photos courtesy of Front Door Real Estate. The current Lee’s Paws and Claws Animal Shelter property features numerous dog kennels, quarantine kennels, cat rooms, cat yard, dog play yards, reception area, office and restroom facilities on 19.8 Acres. Contact Jared Leek, Owner/Broker of Front Door Real Estate, Inc., for more information at (620) 224-9787.

The local animal shelter is seeking a new facility and selling the old one located southeast of Fort Scott.

The following is an interview with Treasurer Kathy Dancer and Corresponding Secretary Kate Sweetser, two members of the board of directors of Lee’s Paw and Claws Animal Shelter:

Why the move?

“The current shelter, which was built and then expanded thanks to a generous gift from Lee Weast, is fantastic but has presented two challenges.

One is that fundraising has not provided the income required to run a 4,000 square foot facility.

The other is that the location on a gravel road seven miles from town has made it harder to attract both volunteers and potential adopters.”

“Lee’s Paws and Claws Animal Shelter is owned and operated by the Shirley Yeager Animal Friends Foundation. The foundation’s board of directors has made the decision to transition to a more sustainable business model.”

“Part of this transition involves rightsizing to a smaller, more affordable facility located in the city. Our organization relies on adopters, volunteers, and donors. Being located in Fort Scott will help meet the needs of the humans involved. ”

“Another key part of the transition to a sustainable business model is the implementation of a foster care program for dogs. Dogs who have been in foster care are better socialized and therefore more easily adopted.

Our goal is to have a smaller facility that will serve as a cat shelter, an office, and an intake and adoption area.”

Who made the decision?

“The time and expense associated with maintaining our current facility has been an issue for several years. The current executive board has been exploring options for about a year now. The first decision to offer the current facility for sale was made a few months ago and the board agreed unanimously to sell the current building and acreage.

The second decision was to transition to a foster model and relocate closer to town while the current facility is on the market. Some board members wanted to stay at our current location until it sells and others wanted to transition as soon as possible. The decision was a difficult one and involved lengthy discussions and number-crunching, but in November of 2018, the board voted to begin the downsizing process and transition to a foster program in early 2019.”

“The current executive board consists of Randy Shannon, chair; Matt Messer, vice-chair; Kathy Dancer, treasurer; Rhonda Dunn, recording secretary; and Kate Emmett-Sweetser, corresponding secretary. The general board of directors includes the executive board members as well as Marianne Crane, Barb Ritter, and Rob Shaw. Ann Gillmore-Hoffman is board member emeritus.”

Where is the current facility located?

“We are currently located at 721 240thStreet, between Fort Scott and Garland. The 4,000 square foot facility  (which is for sale) is situated on 19.8 acres which includes a pond and a tornado shelter. “

What are you looking for in town?

“We are looking for 1000-1500 square feet which could house an office, intake room, adoption area, and a few cat suites.  We want a location which is affordable to maintain and easy for volunteers and potential adopters to access.  We have a few potential rental and purchase options which we will discuss at our next executive board session.”

Tell about the animal foster program.

“Our goal is to develop a network of foster homes for dogs waiting for adoption.  A foster home is a better temporary situation for dogs than a shelter because the animals live in a home where they receive more attention and are socialized with family members, both humans and other pets.

The state requires that we inspect and license all animal foster homes, so the process can take several weeks. Once a foster home is approved, they are licensed for a year. When placing a dog in foster care, our organization will have the dog spayed or neutered and vaccinated. The foster family will provide for the daily needs of the dog and coordinate with shelter personnel to give potential adopters opportunities to meet the foster dog. We plan to host adoption events on a regular basis at our new location. Foster applications are available on our website at”

Bourbon County Commission Agenda Jan. 15


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00


Date: January 15th, 2019


1st District-Lynne Oharah                                                                Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer                                                                                   Corrected: _______________                                                                                                 

3rd District-Nick Ruhl                                                                                  Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason



          9:00-9:45-Jim Harris


          10:00 – Kansas Works


          10:30 – Justin Meeks (20 min. Exec. Session, Re: Attorney/Client)


          11:00 – Jody Hoener – ABC Trails Plan


          12:00 – 1:30 – Commissioners gone to lunch


          1:30 – Osage Township Trustee Appointment









 Justifications for Executive Session:

          Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

          Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

          Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

          Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

          Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

          Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system

Bourbon County Commission Agenda Jan. 7


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: January 7th, 2019

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00-9:45-Jim Harris

9:15-Discussion of agreement on Cedar Creek with Rural Water District #2

10:00-Lora Holdridge and Clint Anderson-Information Officers Job

11:00-12:00-Justin Meeks

Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship-20 min.

12:00-1:30-Commissioners gone to lunch

1:30-Shane Walker and Rhonda Cole

A Ticket to Better Health

Joy Miller, RD, LD Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent Adult Development and Aging Family Resource Management K-State Research and Extension Southwind Extension District 210 S. National Fort Scott, KS 66701 Office: 620-223-3720 Fax: 620-223-0332

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy Strength Training Program for Older Adults,

Your Ticket to Better Health

Our bodies are made for activity, but modern conveniences allow us to be increasingly inactive. Building strength promotes quality of life and independence, especially for adults over 50. Here’s the good news, Stay Strong, Stay Healthy strength training program is being offered in your community.

This eight week program can help you get started on the road to better health. Stay Strong, Stay Healthy is built on simple, strength- building exercises that will improve balance and flexibility, too. No one is too inactive to participate. You’ll start at a level that’s right for you. Instruction is provided by Joy Miller, Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent with K-State Research and Extension Southwind District.

The class meets for one hour, two times each week at Buck Run Community Center on Monday and Friday at 8:30 a.m. The fee is $20 for the eight week series. Registration and first session will be held Monday, January 21st. Call Joy Miller at 620-223-3720 for more details.

Rosie’s Event Center Reopens Near Uniontown

Rosie’s Cabin and Event Center, 563 Maple Rd. is reopening for business.

Rosie’s Cabin and Event Center, 563 Maple Rd., Uniontown. There is a large lodge, seen on the right, and a small cabin, on the left, middle. Submitted photo.


At Christmas time with their extended family, Kelsey and Kaley Blythe decided to reopen Rosie’s Cabin and  Event Center.  The property is owned by Kaley’s parents, Bud and LeeBelle Blythe.

“We live here (on the property), Kelsey said. “And have such a beautiful scene. It would be crazy not to (reopen) it.”

“Kaley and I were married here in April (at the lodge at Rosie’s),” she said. “I changed jobs recently, but something was missing.”

The couple decided to take on the reopening of the event center that been purchased by the Blythe family in 2016. The Blythe’s ran the center briefly before closing it.

Kelsey and Kaley Blythe at the wedding at Rosie’s Event Center Lodge in April 2018. Submitted photo.

Kaley and Kelsey Blythe live on the property in Rosie’s cabin but plan on renting it out as needed.

“We live in Rosie’s Cabin, but we will leave it on the table (to rent), like an Airbnb,” Kelsey said. “It can be rented out for people who are renting for the weekend. We are updating the small cabin so that people can use it as a dressing room and a honeymoon suite, if desired, even for those that are renting just one day. ”

The lodge can be rented for a marriage ceremony and reception of up to 200 people, she said. There is no cutlery provided, but a refrigerator, stove, and microwave.

Rosie’s Event Center Lodge can accommodate up to 200 people. Submitted photo.

Local vendors will provide decorations, food, photography, etc.

“The location is pristine for the community,” Kelsey said. “And will help other people (vendors) make money as well.”

“I will be the manager and coordinating the events, here,” Kelsey said.

June 1 will be the first event at the center for 2019, she said.

The gazebo near the lake, just off the front porch at Rosie’s Event Center. Submitted photo.

To learn more, contact her at 620-644-2874.