Category Archives: Bourbon County

Master Gardener Training Offered This Fall

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

Area plant lovers will have a great opportunity this fall to participate in an outstanding horticulture program!

The Master Gardener training will be held in Chanute starting September 10th and will conclude on October 15th. The training is held during the day from 9 am to 4 pm. The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program in which K-State Research and Extension “trades” classroom training for volunteer time.

Master Gardener training consists of 40 to 50 hours of instruction in all aspects of horticulture.

Instructors include state specialists from Kansas State University, local extension agents and local experts. After training is completed, volunteers donate an equivalent number of hours of service as was received in instruction.

Topics that will be covered in the training include:

  • Plant Growth & Development
  • Soils, Water and Fertilizer
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Insect Diagnosis & Management
  • Fruit Gardening
  • Annuals & Perennials
  • Woody and Grassy Ornamentals
  • Turfgrass
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Plant Disease Diagnosis & Management
  • Pesticide Use and Safety

Although the Master Gardener program is a volunteer activity, there are some requirements that must be met prior to the selection process. Each individual wishing to participate in the Master Gardener training must meet the following requirements:

  • You need to be available for about 40 hours of community horticulture service during the first year. The number of hours to be donated is equal to the number of hours of training received.
  • You must have at least a High School Diploma or the equivalent.
  • You must be willing to travel to the training site for all classes.
  • Enjoy sharing your love of gardening with others through various Extension Master Gardener projects.

The Southwind Extension District currently has an active Master Gardener program consisting of 25 individuals. The Master Gardeners have completed volunteer projects such as demonstration flower beds, vegetable research trials and various other projects in Erie, Chanute, Iola, Humboldt, Moran and Fort Scott. In addition, educational tours and activities are also planned.

Applications are available now and are due to the Southwind Extension District by August 27th. Applications can be picked up at any of our four Extension office locations, e-mailed or mailed to you. The fee for the course is $85 which covers the cost of the Master Gardener resource notebook. For more information about the Master Gardener training, please contact the Extension office.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural 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.

The Process of Cleaning Water

Jason McReynolds releases water from a hydrant on 2nd Street Wednesday, which is part of the process of cleaning the water system. The flushing gets the chlorine into the system faster and farther, Scott Flater said.

The Marmaton River is the source of drinking water for almost all of Bourbon County, except for the most extreme western portion, which has a private reservoir.

Scott Flater is the superintendent of the City of Fort Scott Water Production Department, who is tasked with providing clean, safe water from the Marmaton River to all of Fort Scott and Consolidated Rural Water District # 2 residents.

“We make water for the city,” Flater said. “But our number one customer is Rural Water #2.”

Over two million gallons of water a day is processed and sent out to the city and the county, he said.

“Everything comes through this building,” Flater said. “We have a river intake on 5th and Short Streets.”

The rural water district then sells and distributes the water from Fort Scott to the small towns in Bourbon County.

The city’s water production employees are in the middle of a cleanout process.  It’s called burn out/flushing, and it’s an annual event.

“The water is safe during the rest of the year or during this burnout (cleaning out), it’s safe,” Flater said. “We are sending it out to our family and our community. It’s the highest quality.”

The cleaning out of the system is a maintenance practice for the distribution system, Flater said.

They started July 16, and if all goes as planned the water cleaning process should be completed by the end of next week, Flater said.

“The burnout won’t reach outside of Fort Scott until today (July 20),” Flater said.

Flater commended a small town in Bourbon County for being far-thinking in their water supply.

Flater said Uniontown, in the western part of the county, has been “pro-active to rebuild their water infrastructure” in the last few years. “They’ve done a great job.”

This computer screen is set up in the office of the water treatment plant at Ninth and Burke streets and shows the outline of the water cleaning process, so the plant operators can see what is going on in the plant.
Scott Flater shows the water samples that are tested: from left is water directly from the river, the middle is water that has been mixed with chemicals and the right is the water that has been fully processed and is ready to drink. This is so plant operators can do “right now” testing on the water, he said.
Brandon Russell, one of four plant operators, does comparative water testing in the water treatment plant Thursday.
The turquoise and blue pipe in the center of the photo is located in the lower level of the city’s water plant. The 24-inch pipe is where all the Marmaton River water is piped into the plant. It is then processed in a mixer with chemicals. The water is then transported to a settling basin. Following this step, chlorine is added to the water. It is then run through a filter and goes into a clear well from where the water proceeds to water towers then to the water distribution system.

FS Community Foundation Grant Adds To Therapeutic Garden at Presbyterian Village

Grant enables therapeutic garden expansion

Fort Scott Area Community Foundation gives $1,000

 Fort Scott Presbyterian Village’s efforts to build a therapeutic garden on the campus got a boost from the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation through the foundation’s grant program.

“The therapeutic garden at Presbyterian Village was started in 2017 with funds from Modern Woodman, Presbyterian Village funds and hundreds of volunteer hours,” said Ginger Nance, executive director at the Presbyterian Village. “This year with an additional $1,000 grant from the Fort Scott Community Foundation, we were able to add essential elements such as a concrete water fountain, some additional plants, bushes and constructed raised garden boxes which are being built to replace the ones that are deteriorated.”

The mission of the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation is to partner with and be a resource to organizations whose goal is to improve the quality of life in the Fort Scott, Kansas, area. FSACF strives to create connections between donors and a variety of many worthwhile causes.

“We can’t thank the foundation and other donors enough for their help with our project this year,” Nance said.

A therapeutic garden is an outdoor garden space that has been specifically designed to meet the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the people using the garden as well as their caregivers, family members, visitors, and friends. Many studies suggest positive therapeutic benefits are gained when people are exposed to nature, even for just a few minutes each day. A natural outdoor garden setting promotes exercise and stimulates all the senses. Therapeutic gardens promote movement, positive reminiscences, decrease stress and stabilize sleep-wake cycles.

“The therapeutic garden is enjoyed by family members and tenants, by employees, volunteers and the community at large,” Nance said. “The garden has been utilized for the Mother’s Day banquet, patio music entertainment, outdoor dining, growing vegetables and most of all, for a peaceful relaxing retreat daily to everyone who has entered.”

Each year special features and plant life are added to the retreat space. Volunteers and tenants who love to garden have worked the soil and planted flowers and vegetables all spring and summer in order to improve the space and benefit from the sights and sounds of nature.

“We invite everyone out to enjoy the wonderful space,” states Nance. “The design is a work in progress as financial resources, weather and time allow.” “Next year, we hope to add more to the space and include improved patio dining possibilities by adding umbrellas, a possible pergola, and other shading options,” Nance said.

Thank you to all who have helped make this possible for our community! If you would like to get involved to contribute toward continued improvements to the therapeutic garden, please contact Nance at or call 620-223-5550.


Fort Scott Presbyterian Village has been offering independent and assisted living apartments for seniors from southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri since 1994. Learn more at It is a member of the nonprofit Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America network of 17 communities in Kansas and Missouri. Learn more about PMMA at

Thursday at the Fair: Chamber Coffee, More Champions, Swine Show, Corn Hole

K-State Extension Agent Joy Miller speaks to the attendees of the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning during their weekly coffee in the Open Class Myers Building. She summed up the fair for fair youth: hard work and determination.

Thursday at the Bourbon County Fair started with the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Weekly Coffee and the Open Class Swine Contest. The Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office served lunch at the Chuck Wagon eatery at the fair and in the evening was the 4-H Fashion Revue at Fort Scott Community College. There was a corn hole contest fundraiser presented by the Uniontown FFA in the arena.

Friday at the fair includes the livestock judging contest, viewing of open class exhibits, the 4-H Barnyard Olympics, the Buyer’s Appreciation Supper and the Junior Livestock Sale.

Saturday is checking out exhibits and clean-up. There will be a Missouri State Tractor Pullers Contest at the grandstand in the evening.

The Youth Conservation Corp from the Fort Scott National Historic Site were first-time visitors to the Chamber Coffee. They announced Family Day this Saturday at the Fort. Cooking, gardening, and small arms demonstrations will be in the morning session. Crafts and games will be in the afternoon session. Check out what this group planned as part of their duties at the Fort: For Families: Art Show July 28; Scavenger Hunt August 4 at The Fort

From left: Reaghn Dowell, Kaden Primm, Jesseden Kiwan and Anthea Montojo, all of Fort Scott High School, comprise the YCC.

The following are the entries that won Grand Champion in the Open Class Department, housed in the Myers Building.

The Swine Contest was held in the arena.

A crowd filled the bleachers to watch swine and their owners in the FFA, 4-H and Open Class contests.
Blaine Pitts is the Duroc Swine Grand Champion.

More Grand Champions in the 4-H Building:

Results for the 4-H Clubs:

Uniontown FFA did a corn hole contest fundraiser:

Wednesday At The Fair

The Bourbon County Fair continues until Saturday, July 21.

Here are some highlights from a stroll through the 4-H Buildings on Wednesday, featuring some of the grand champion winners work.

Tomorrow is the swine judging, Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Weekly Coffee in the Myer’s Building and the 4-H Fashion Revue at Fort Scott Community College’s Bailey Academic Building.

Fried chicken brought a crowd into the Chuck Wagon at noon Wednesday.
Barnstormers 4-H Club families and Landmark Bank employees work in the kitchen of the Chuck Wagon Wednesday.

A sign on the entrance of the poultry and rabbit building reminds people to wash hands following petting the animals.

John and Irene Doll and their grandchildren cool off in the Merchant’s Building Wednesday. Temps were in the 90s with high humidity.


Using Solar Energy To Water Cattle

Herschel George, K-State Watershed Specialist for Southeast Kansas, finds some shade to check in on a cell phone Monday at the Bourbon County Fair. Pictured is the solar-powered watering system he is demonstrating.

In past generations, farmers used windmills to bring water to their livestock, using one of Kansas’ resources-wind. There are still a few relics around today.

Now, farmers are being encouraged to water their animals with water pumped by a solar panel, which uses another resource Kansas has much of- solar energy.

The purpose of this watering system is to keep surface water from being contaminated by animal feces, which naturally happens when animals are allowed into streams, ponds, and rivers to drink.

A sign near the solar water system tells of the possible cost share to reduce potential water contamination.

“The solar pump helps producers move livestock away from streams and ponds as their only water source,” Herschel George, Southeast Kansas Watershed Specialist for Kansas State University, said.

This week George is at the Bourbon County Fair to demonstrate the solar-powered water delivery system and visit with interested cattlemen and others about it.

“We pump out of a well or a pond into a tank,” George said Monday afternoon at the fair. “This helps keep manure out of the Marmaton River.”

A K-State sign near the solar water system tells the results of adding an alternate water source.

The Marmaton River traverses from west to east through Bourbon County towards Missouri and is the recipient of water from streams in the county.

These streams are on private property and some have animals that get their needed water from those streams.

While at the water source, animals defecate and urinate into the streams and ponds and rivers.

This system is to rectify that problem of water quality.

Herschel George checks out the solar-powered watering system, in this case with a tire tank made out of old tires from equipment on a farm.

Much of George’s time as a K-State Watershed Specialist is spent developing and installing water plans for livestock alternative water systems, according to the to

He installs concrete and tire tank livestock water supply lines to ponds full of water and solar water pumping systems. He also assists farmers in finding cost-share solutions to improving water quality, according to the website. Additionally, he assists to bring them into compliance with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

George can be reached on his cell phone at 913-294-6021 or via email at

George will be demonstrating at the Bourbon County Fair Wednesday through Thursday, July 18-19, located near the Merchant’s Building and also Friday through Sunday at the Four State Farm Show, south of Pittsburg in booth 280.


Bourbon County Fair Highlights For Tueday

Tuesday at the Bourbon County Fair was a day of judging animals, foods, plants, the annual bake sale for student scholarships and the draft horse pull contest.

Wednesday’s highlights are more judging of animals and plants, presentations of public interest by local Family and Consumer Education clubs, followed by the Eastern Kansas Timed Event Circuit at the grandstand at 6:30 p.m.

The following are highlights of Tuesday evening at the fair.

Clay Brillhart with his reserve grand champion meat goat Tuesday evening.
Calvin Walker shows off his Lego creation that won reserve grand champion in the miscellaneous self-determined department of the 4-H Contests.

The 4-H Chuck Wagon offers up good food, at affordable prices as a fundraiser each year for 4-H.


Uniontown 4-H Club had their turn in running the Chuck Wagon eatery Tuesday evening. From left Angela Nading, Chris Maycumber, Deidre Maycumber and Charity Walker work the kitchen.
Uniontown 4-H Club family members run the cash register. From left Tim Endicott and Dale Griffith.

A line of customers waits to order their supper Tuesday evening.
Brooklyn Pruitt washes her cow, Penny, in preparation for the market calf show Wednesday.
Family and friends visit the animal stalls at the fair Tuesday evening.
Families enjoy looking at the swine on Tuesday evening at the fair.
Brooklyn Pruitt washes her calf, Penny, in preparation for the market calf show Wednesday.
Genesis Walker pets goats as she makes her way through the Joe Chambers Building Tuesday evening.

The Draft Horse Pull contest has several rounds with the first being the one where the team of two horses pulls the total pounds of their weight in a sled of concrete bricks. Each successive round adds 1000 pounds of weight to the sled, eliminating pull teams until a winner is declared.

The contest had the following results:

First place: Jason Ellis team from Iola; second place: Fred Robinson team from Galesburg, third place: Steve Williams team from Redfield; fourth place: Cody Zook team from Columbus; fifth place: Justin Woolery team from Thayer; sixth place: Lloyd Wiley from Fort Scott; seventh place: Rusty Moore team from Columbus.


A crowd watches as horses pull heavy loads in the draft horse contest at the grandstand Tuesday evening at the Bourbon County Fair.
Lloyd Wiley pulls his team of horses.
Cody Zook gets ready to have his horses pull the sled of bricks.
Steve Williams team pulls the sled away from the starting point.

Families play ball in the campground of the Bourbon County Fairgrounds at sunset Tuesday.

The Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office Report July 17

The Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office daily reports can best be viewed on a computer.

The office can be reached at  (620) 223-2380.

Click below, then click on the image to enlarge:




Bourbon County Commission Meeting July 18 At New Jail


Bourbon County Commission

Fort Scott, KS 66701

 9:00 a.m.

Date: July 18th, 2018

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

10:00-Commissioners attend meeting at the new jail.

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