Category Archives: Bourbon County

KState: Do you really know what you are feeding your livestock?

Submitted by Christopher Petty, KState Southwind Extension

How will you know how much protein and energy your cows will get when you start feeding your hay and silage this winter, or how will you know how much supplement to feed?

According to University of Nebraska Forage Specialist Bruce Anderson, correct sampling techniques, followed by lab tests of forage quality, are necessary for cattle producers who want to get the most value from their forages and profit from their animals.

Maybe the most important step in sampling hay, and sometimes the most difficult step, is deciding which bales and stacks should be included in each sample. Ideally, each sample should include only bales that were produced under nearly identical conditions.

Obviously, the place to start grouping is to separate different types of hay, like alfalfa or CRP or fescue or native prairie hay. But each cutting of hay probably is different from the other cuttings also, so there is another separation. And no two fields are ever exactly the same, especially if they were cut more than two days apart, so that makes another grouping. And what if part of the field was rained on before it was baled? The hay made without rain damage probably will be different from hay with rain damage.

After you’ve made all these separations, which could result in quite a few groups of similar bales, then and only then are you ready to sample. From each group gather a dozen or more cores from different bales or stacks and combine them into one sample. Be sure to use a good hay probe that can core into at least one foot of the bale. Check your local Extension Office to see if they have one you can borrow.

Finally, send these samples to a certified lab for tests of energy content and protein, maybe nitrates, and any other nutrients of interest to you. Then use this information to feed your cattle as profitably as possible. For more information contact me at 620-223- 3720 or by e-mail at

Mary Eastwood Back After “Catch-Up” Month

Mary Eastwood reclines on a chaise lounge in her shop that she recently custom upholstered.

Mary Eastwood, owner of Here We Go Again, a custom upholstery shop in historic downtown Fort Scott,  reopened  Oct. 3 following a month of “catching up,” she said.

“I didn’t get caught up, but I finished 13 chairs and a whole bunch of pillows,” Eastwood laughed.

A child’s recliner chair that Mary Eastwood recently upholstered.

Eastwood’s workspace is in the back of her showroom at 9 N. Main.

In addition to custom upholstery furniture and decorative items, Eastwood has consignments from area artists.

“I have unique gifts for sale,” she said.

Mary Eastwood shows customer Colleen Murrin the new consignment aprons she received from area artist, Allison Day.

Eastwood started upholstering furniture in 1976 and continues to use her original machine, she said.  Her business first started from her home and she has been at her current storefront for several years.

Store hours are 10 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Custom pillows.
Here We Go Again upholstery shop at 9 N. Main.

Bourbon County Jail Public Viewing

The public was allowed a viewing of the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Thursday.  The project took one year to complete and will house 74 inmates.
Residents, employees, and dignitaries mill around prior to the ribbon cutting at the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Thursday afternoon.
The project summary of the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center was on display at the public viewing.
A pod for inmates at the new correctional center. Inmates should be at the new facility by the second week of November, according to Sheriff Bill Martin.
Sheriff Bill Martin shows the command center at the new law enforcement center during a tour Thursday afternoon.
Corrections officers get a look at the inmate recreation area at the new center. Daylight and fresh air must be provided inmates daily. The huge fan at the top, center, will provide the air intake for the room.
The sallyport area where inmates are brought by vehicle into the center is shown by Sheriff Bill Martin.
At right, Steve Smith visits with Sheriff Bill Martin. Smith is the president of Universal Construction, the general contractor for the project.
Sheriff Bill Martin shows a handicapped accessible pod with special safety features.
Sheriff Martin shows an honor pod, for model inmates who are allowed to work in the community with supervision. Model inmates will also prepare meals for the center with supervision, something not feasible at the old jail.
An interview room at the center for inmates and attorneys.
Employees, interested Bourbon County residents and dignitaries line the sidewalk in front of the center to prepare for the opening ceremony. The area surrounding the center is being seeded with grass, therefore there was no standing off the sides of the sidewalk.
The address sign on the outside of the center at 293 E. 20th Street. It is located on the south side of Fort Scott.
Signs upon entering the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center.



G & W Is Changing Things Up

G & W Foods Manager Will Rayburn works on paperwork Wednesday in preparation for changes coming to the grocery store.

G & W Foods is adding to their store name, re-shelving and moving products around preparing for a change in the way they do business.

The change for the grocery store is starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 through Oct. 17. The store will reopen at 7 a.m. on Oct. 18.

Following this brief time of closing, the store, at 911 E. Sixth, is taking a different direction, and will then be known as G & W Cash Saver.

The big change will be that the public will pay the cost price to the store of each item, plus ten percent added to the register receipt, plus the required tax Rayburn said.

“This will be a more cost-effective option to our customers,” he said. “It will be noticeable.”

The staff will remain the same, said store manager Will Rayburn.

Currently, there are 45 employees.

“It’s the same people, just changing direction,” Rayburn said.

Sometime in the near future, there will be a grand opening, Rayburn said.

Also in the future are new user-friendly gas pumps.

“I know a lot of people will be interested in that,” Rayburn said.


Dunn To Resign As County Treasurer

Rhonda Dunn has been wearing two hats lately.

She is simultaneously the Bourbon County Treasurer and the Community Development Director for the City of Fort Scott.

But that will be ending within the month as she resigns as treasurer next week. That resignation will start a political process to replace her.

Her city job is an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. one. The county treasurer tasks are done in the evening and weekends, she said.

“I try to be there (at the treasurer’s office) on Tuesdays for the county commission meeting,” Dunn said. ” I don’t have a set schedule for it.”

“When I considered the job at the city, I discussed it with the county commission,” she said.  “When offered the job, the city agreed for me to stay on to help with the transition.”

“It took a good team at the treasurer’s office and a lot of support from them,” she said.

“It’s hard to let go of the county (position),” Dunn said. “I went to the city because I also have a career path at the city, that no elected official will have with the county.”

“Your elected Bourbon County officials are underpaid,” she said. “Compared to other counties, the pay scale is out of whack. I don’t want to raise taxes, I don’t want to pay higher taxes. The county can’t afford to fix it.”

“I’m going to miss working at the courthouse,” she said. “We were working on good things. But it’s exciting to focus on a new task that the city has given me.”

Rhonda Dunn, in her city position, works on the Price Chopper Super Market plans as part of her new Community Development Director position with the city.

Process to replace

Dunn was elected county treasurer in November 2012 and took office almost a year later, in October 2013.

“It’s been that way since maybe the 1800s,” Dunn said. “It (the treasurer’s position) runs with the tax cycle, which starts November 1 each year. We take office the second Tuesday of October.”

Dunn will officially resign as county treasurer the second Wednesday, October 10, with her resignation effective Friday, November 3.

“I give notice to the governor, then the governor tells the local Republican party to replace me,” she said.

A convention of delegates must be called within 21 days of the governor accepting her resignation, according to Randall Readinger, the chairman of the Bourbon County Republican Party Central Committee.

“It’s an open meeting, but the only people voting are the committeemen and women of record as of that notice date,” Readinger said.

“When Rhonda first took the job, several people were interested at that point,” Readinger said. “We’ll get a feel for the (potential) person’s capabilities and understanding of Bourbon County.”

“At this point, we don’t have a definite replacement,” he said. “We will evaluate any that express interest when the event comes. It’s a process we are familiar with. We replaced the sheriff and county attorney.”

Although she doesn’t have a vote in the replacement, Dunn is hoping someone from the county treasurer’s office will get elected.

“That will be the easiest transition,” Dunn said.

Motor vehicle department personnel wait on members of the public Monday afternoon. This department is a part of the Bourbon County Treasurer office. Dunn is hoping someone from the treasurer’s office will apply for the treasurer position.


KState Southwind Extension: Join the Club

Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District, Director & Agent

Aspire to be a fashionista? Have your kids just convinced you to get a pet? Do your kids want to garden but you have a brown thumb?  Life’s little questions aren’t meant to be answered alone. Join 4-H, the club of families who share in teaching kids practical things like pet care, growing gardens or designing clothing, and important values like responsibility. Whether you’re in the city or country, join 4-H and we’ll tackle life’s little questions together. With over 30 projects available, there is no doubt your kids will find something they’re interested in.

October 1-7, is National 4-H Week, and the Southwind Extension District in Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties are celebrating the 4-H youth who have made an impact on the community, and are stepping up to the challenges of a complex and changing world.

We can tell you how great 4-H is, but now the research tells the story. Students participating in 4-H report higher educational achievement and academic confidence, are nearly two times more likely to attend college, and more likely to pursue future courses or a career in science, engineering or computer technology.

Recent findings from Tufts University’s 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H. Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that 4-H’ers receive play a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities. In the Southwind District, more than 565 4-H members and many more volunteers are involved in 4-H.

4-H teaches skills that last a lifetime, and leadership is at the forefront. Other life skills include: a positive self-concept, an inquiring mind, concern for the community, healthy interpersonal relationships and sound decision making. 4-H is more than a single game or activity. Your kids will learn to speak in front of a group, handle responsibility, help their community, try new things, work with others and make good decisions.

The fundamental 4-H ideal of practical, “learn by doing” experiences encourage youth to experiment, innovate and think independently. 4-H programs are offered through school-based, after-school and camp settings and within community clubs.

4-H isn’t just about cooking and sewing or showing an animal. Nowadays, members can choose to gain valuable leadership experiences while enhancing life skills. In our local 4-H programs, it is critical that the entire family be involved.  Kids can choose from dozens of activities related to science, the arts, citizenship, fitness and more. They can learn to train their dog, build a robot, run a meeting or raise an animal. Additionally, senior 4-H members are eligible for local and state scholarships. Along the way, we have a lot of FUN too, especially at 4-H Camp at Rock Springs.

Raising great kids is a challenging task, but it’s easier when you have a team of people behind you. 4-H clubs are groups of families that do just that. Through working together, families share knowledge and interests to help kids learn practical skills and important values. If you have a child between the ages 7 and 18, a 4-H club in the Southwind District is excited to welcome you to the fold. Learn more at

Ninety-nine New Americans

Jane Njeri Lifer smiles following the U.S. Naturalization Proceedings Friday at Fort Scott National Historic Site.  In her hand is the certificate of naturalization.
One-by-one, new citizens were introduced to the audience.

Ninety-nine people from various nations were part of the U.S. Naturalization Proceedings Friday at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

During the hour ceremony, the group swore an oath of allegiance to their new country,  were introduced one-by-one to the audience, listened to speakers, were entertained by musicians, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Members of Fort Scott High School orchestra, band and choir sing “America” during the naturalization ceremony.
Local Attorney Larry Nuss was one of the several speakers during the ceremony.

In the end, a certificate of citizenship and mementos were distributed to each of the ninety-nine new citizens.

The new citizens were invited to register to vote and enjoy a lunch provided by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site.

A bird’s eye view of voter registration following the naturalization ceremony. The League of Women Voters, Johnson County, provided the resources for the registration.
New American citizens enjoy lunch provided by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site in the Grand Hall.

“It was surprisingly emotional,” Sarah Lehman, Pittsburg, said of the proceedings. “We were here to support people from our church.”