Category Archives: Business

Young Professionals League elects 2016 officials

During their December meeting held Friday at Papa Don’s, members of the Bourbon County Young Professionals League voted to elect officers and board members for the new year, also discussing what new things they might like to see in 2016.

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Bailey Lyons of the Fort Scott Community College was named the new president of the YPL while 2015 president Heather Smith will serve as the treasurer. Chris Petty is the new vice president and Alex Horttor the secretary.

New executive board members include Anna Allen, Jared Leek, Clayton Whitson, Jessica Cook and Melissa Wise. Returning board members are Mark Shead and Jamie Armstrong.

During their final meeting of the year, participants also had a chance to write down what they valued about the YPL as well as something they might like to see changed or added. Smith also shared information about the goals of the YPL.

“The vision of YPL is to be a catalyst for a better community,” Smith said.

Lyons said they follow a quarterly format, with monthly meetings focusing on personal or professional development, a presentation on a business or topic that is relevant to YPL members and the third meeting each quarter focusing on networking.

“We really are trying to make it to where everyone who comes gets something out of it,” Lyons said, adding it is also a way for young professionals to build relationships and realize they are not the only ones in town.

The group also received an update on how the soup line fundraiser held a couple weeks ago on behalf of the Beacon went. The event raised about $3,300.

The meeting also included announcements such as concerning the YPL Christmas social that will be held on December 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Lyons’ home. Guests are encouraged to bring a $10 gift for a gift exchange as well as a snack to share.

The YPL board will hold a strategic planning meeting January 8, from 5 to 8 p.m., others interested in giving their input can also attend.

December events announced during Chamber Coffee

During the first December Chamber Coffee, hosted by Bartelsmeyer Jewelry on South National, area businesses and organizations announced upcoming December events coming prior to Christmas.

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Cindy Bartelsmeyer said in upcoming weeks, they are holding a sale that will allow participants to purchase specific earrings for $5. That money will then be donated straight to the Beacon, Bourbon County’s food closet that provides food, clothing and other items to those in need.

“Shop local and support our local businesses,” encouraged Rita Baker, hostess of the December Chamber Coffees. “Because if we don’t, they won’t be here either.”

Bartelsmeyer said most of their customers are residents of the Bourbon County area such as from Fort Scott, Mound City, Prescott, Uniontown and Pleasanton.

Other upcoming events included:

  • The Historic Preservation Association’s annual Home for the Holidays Tours will be held this weekend for those with tickets. There will also be an art and bake sale at the Kennedy Gym and a Stocking Stuffer sale at the Fort Scott Middle School.
  • Tickets are still available for the Fort Scott National Historic Site’s Candlelight Tour Friday and Saturday evening.
  • The Young Professionals League will host their annual meeting at Papa Don’s Friday at noon, when the 2016 officers will be elected.
  • My Father’s House is holding a gift drive on behalf of 25 families this Christmas and is looking for businesses, families and other members of the community who would like to participate. They also need volunteers to help with the kettle drive at certain area businesses over the next few weeks.
  • The Common Ground Coffee Co. will host artists for musical events Friday evenings, Dec. 4 and Dec. 12.
  • With the progress of the Marmaton Riverfront project, the project committee is now asking for suggestions for naming the roads to the north and south of the river. Suggestions can be sent to P.O. Box 901 or to
  • Next Thursday, the area Kiwanis Club will host a pancake feed event at the Buck Run Community Center.
  • The LEAD Bourbon County program will start in January, meeting the second Thursday of every month for 10 months. The cost for the entire 10 months including free lunches and a graduation celebration is $300.

Extravaganza gives community opportunity for Christmas shopping

The Fort Scott Middle School hosted the seventh annual VIP Fall Extravaganza Monday evening, with almost 60 local and out-of-town vendors participating to provide a one-stop shopping experience for those getting a head start on their Christmas shopping.

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“It’s our biggest year,” organizer Stephanie George said, saying 10 new vendors joined the event this year. “I think the turnout’s been pretty good.”

George said each of the vendors paid a flat fee for their space in the middle school’s gym or commons area and the money raised could be used for building improvements or supplies for the students.

Some vendors provided food such as barbecue, enchiladas, sugar cookies, pies or other dishes and treats that could be consumed during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Others had handmade items that were sewn, crocheted or carved. Businesses including Essential Oils, Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Miller Feed and Farm and Scentsy were also on hand as well as other organizations such as Care to Share and Relay for Life.

Some vendors held drawings for donated giveaways. Meals and live music were also part of the event along with childcare provided by the Fort Scott Community College volleyball team.

Arts Council gives art auction preview during Chamber Coffee

During the weekly Chamber Coffee Thursday morning, members of the Chamber of Commerce and the community were able to get a glimpse of art created by participants in the Bad Art by Good People Auction hosted by the Bourbon County Arts Council.

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Thursday evening, those pieces of art were auctioned off during the 3rd annual auction of its kind in Bourbon County, whose name council vice president Danny Magee said is a misnomer since he considered the art “outstanding.”

“They’ve been working on these pieces quite a while,” Magee said, saying participants received coaching in recent months.

During the Chamber Coffee, those present voted on their favorite piece of art and the winning artist received a $50 certificate from the Bourbon County Arts Council.

Magee said the art council has remained active in the community with events throughout the year such as through programs at the high school, the fine arts competition, contests during the Gordon Parks Celebration, events in the downtown area and also by providing scholarships to the middle school students for them to see plays outside of Fort Scott.

Magee said the mission statement of the council, which was founded in 1973, is to “foster, promote and increase the knowledge and appreciation and practice of the arts in Bourbon County.”

Other community announcements included:

  • Members of the community can now participate in the adopt-a-child program, buying Christmas presents for one or more of the 150-200 children from low income families participating. Those interested can contact the Beacon.
  • The Beacon, partnering with the Young Professionals League and area churches, will hold its Soup Line fundraiser Friday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Gym, with meals costing $5.
  • The Fort Scott downtown Christmas Parade will be held Dec. 1. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to sign up to participate.
  • On Thursday, Dec. 3, Marcel Normand will hold a book-signing event for his biography on Lucile James, a former professor at Fort Scott Community College, at the college, 2-6 p.m.
  • Tickets are still for sale for $20 in advance for the trolley fundraiser dinner the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the Beaux Arts Centre.
  • The Frozen Five and Dime run will be held at Gunn Park Dec. 12, with participants running 5k, one-mile or 10-mile trails.
  • The Fort Scott city commissioners voted to renew the Neighborhood Revitalization Program for five more years, leaving the remaining tax entities to approve of it as well.
  • The road and trail of the Marmaton Riverfront Project is complete and those involved in the project are now asking for suggestions for names for the road and trail. The committee will choose in December and the names will be placed on rock signs.

Community Foundation grants awarded during Chamber Coffee

During the weekly Chamber Coffee Thursday morning at Landmark Bank, the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation presented grants to nine different local organizations, for a total of more than $21,000.

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“Fort Scott should be proud that they…are celebrating the vision of community leaders…who had the long view of how do we support our community and important needs on an ongoing basis,” chairperson Carla Bryant Farmer said.

Since their beginning in 2007, the foundation has given 76 grants to non-profit organizations and other entities for a total of more than $103,000.

Grant Chairman Patty LaRoche said they had 21 applicants this year who had to prove they were a cause worthy of receiving the money, going through a lengthy process which this year focused on how they would help beautify Fort Scott.

Those recipients included entities such as the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, Fort Scott/Bourbon County Riverfront Authority, First Presbyterian Church with the Bourbon County Arts Council, the city of Fort Scott, First United Methodist Church of Fort Scott, Fort Scott Middle School, Fort Scott National Historic Site and the Bourbon County Casa.

Their causes included improving the image of vacant downtown buildings, a pavilion and trails at the riverfront, an arts festival, new downtown pole banners, trees and plants for the new city park coming to Main Street and training among other goals.

“This is a real exciting program for Fort Scott,” said foundation member Steve Buerge, saying it will help make the community better. “It’s a way to get money, invest it in the future of Fort Scott, which we all are interested in.”

The foundation accepts donations, and has a matching program in place.

Other upcoming events or services announced during the Chamber Coffee include:

  • Fort Scott Family Dental is offering six-month smiles to adults who would like their teeth straightened in 4-6 months.
  • The Beacon will hold their Soup Line fundraiser Nov. 20, with tickets still available.
  • The Adopt-a-Child program will begin in coming weeks, giving businesses, families or individuals a chance to shop for Christmas gifts for children in low income families.
  • The Fall Extravaganza will be held at the Fort Scott Middle School Nov. 23, from 5 to 8 p.m., with about 60 vendors present and child care provided.
  • Mercy Hospital will hold their Chili and Soup Cook-off Nov. 19, to raise money for their red stocking fund.
  • Bye Bye Birdie will be performed by students once more Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the Fort Scott High School. Tickets are still available.
  • The Chamber of Commerce will conduct an open enrollment Monday through Wednesday of next week, contacting members and potential members who might want to be involved in the chamber.
  • The sophomore class of Christian Heights will work on the Gunn Park bike trails Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., as a fundraiser for a school trip. Students will be seeking sponsors as well as donations.
  • Fort Scott Community College will host the Ryan White Benefit Rodeo Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Arnold Arena to help pay for the medical expenses of the rider who was injured earlier this year. The event will include live and silent auctions as well.
  • Key Industries will hold their annual warehouse sale Nov. 21-28, excluding that Sunday and Thanksgiving Day.
  • Nate’s Place will host book signings as well as sales Friday, 5-8 p.m.
  • The Christmas parade will be held Dec. 1. Groups and businesses interested in participating are encouraged sign up.
  • A fundraiser dinner for the trolley will be held Nov. 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Beaux Arts Centre.

Sons of the American Revolution honors local during Chamber Coffee

During the first November Chamber Coffee, hosted by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1165, the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution honored Aubrey “Buzz” Hawpe for his care of the American flag in Fort Scott.

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Jim Gilpin, of Iola, president of the local SAR, presented a plaque to Hawpe in recognition of his tending to more than 40 American flags at over a dozen locations in Fort Scott, including those at the 20th Century Veterans Memorial, Skubitz Plaza, at the East National and National streets triangle and those at the triangle at Horton and 18th streets.

“The U.S. flag is one of the most recognized symbols of American patriotism,” Gilpin said. “One of the five goals of the Sons of the American Revolution is to encourage respect for our national symbols, including our flag.”

In the past, the SAR has presented similar awards to the Fort Scott VFW and the Fort Scott National Historic Site for taking care of flags such as by keeping them well lit and replacing and properly retiring worn flags.

Other announcements from local businesses included:

  • Mary’s Catholic School will host their fall bazaar Sunday at the Kennedy Gym, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Medicalodges will host a potato bar from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to raise money for the residents’ Christmas Fund.
  • Students of Fort Scott High School will be presenting the play Bye Bye Birdie at the school’s auditorium next Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Planning for the 2016 Pioneer Harvest Fiesta has already begun, which includes changing the dates from the last weekend in September to the last weekend in August to avoid conflicts with other events.
  • The Power and Light musical trio will perform Saturday at the Common Ground at 7 p.m. The coffee shop is also hosting a bingo and baked goods fundraiser Thursday evening for a barista who will be going to Uganda in January.
  • The Beacon is serving as a go-between in coming weeks for the adopt a child program, allowing businesses or individuals to buy Christmas gifts for children in low income families this holiday season.
  • Fort Scott Community College theater department will be putting on the Wildflowering of Chastity play Friday through Sunday at the Ellis Fine Arts Center.
  • The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes recently presented Discovery Awards at a ceremony in Topeka Wednesday.
  • The Chamber of Commerce fundraiser Forks and Corks: Taste of Fort Scott will be held at the Memorial Hall Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m., offering a variety of beverages and food vendors as well as auctions.
  • The theme of this year’s Christmas Parade is announced as Old Fashioned Christmas, and will occur December 1, at 6 p.m.
  • The Holiday Open House will be hosted at downtown shops next Thursday, Nov. 12, with businesses selling holiday items as well as providing snacks to customers.
  • The Beacon Soup Line will offer hot meals to the public Nov. 20, at the Kennedy Gym for $5 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Tickets are on sale for the Homes for the Holiday Tour the first weekend of December, including a limited number of tickets for the Moonlight and Mistletoe Tour which will include the LaRoche home.
  • The VFW will hold a free-will donation luncheon on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, at 11:30 a.m.

City Commission approves exemption for downtown center

During their first November meeting Tuesday evening, the Fort Scott City Commission voted to approve an exemption that would allow the Beaux Arts Centre to sell liquor despite being located near a downtown church.

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The ordinance amending the current article, which forbids liquor sales within 500 feet of schools, colleges or churches, now allows such sales within 200 feet of such locations after obtaining a retailer’s license. The Commercial Core District ordinance was created with those businesses located downtown in mind, where structures are close to each other, often including historic churches.

City Manager Dave Martin said the city initially thought they would have to turn down Bobby and Denise Duncan, who opened a winery in recent months and now hope to open the Beau Arts Centre to the public by the beginning of the new year. But the Commercial Core District ordinance allows such businesses to sell liquor.

Denise Duncan said they plan to hold events at the 8,000 square foot center and provide live music or dramas as well as wine tasting and sales.

“We think it will help the downtown area,” said Denise, who moved to Kansas from Texas. “We love this town.”

Bobby added they are already scheduled to use the center during the three species hunt at the end of the month and an art festival in the spring. He also said they plan to let local vendors and artists use the center at reasonable rates.

“We want to provide something for the people,” Bobby said.

For now, work continues on the ground floor of the historic, three-story building located at 102 S. National Ave., which the Duncans have already done work on so they could live on the top floor.

“We really appreciate your investment in the community,” Mayor Cindy Bartelsmeyer said to the couple.

The commissioners also approved the formation of an advisory board to help manage the use of the LaRoche Baseball Complex.

“We had a good year,” Martin said of the complex’s first year of use. “We had a lot of teams here and it was utilized quite a bit.”

The board will have three members serving three year terms, including representatives from the city of Fort Scott, USD 234 and the LaRoche family. The first members appointed during the meeting included city finance director Jon Garrison, USD 234 superintendent Bob Beckham and Adam LaRoche.

Fire Chief Paul Ballou also gave an update on the demolition of the former Western Insurance building located downtown. Ballou said there are four men working at the site at a time, since any more than that could be dangerous. Some of those workers have told Ballou that it is the hardest concrete they have worked on.

Residents have asked Ballou why the project is going so slowly, and he said it is because of its proximity to other buildings. Once the third floor is complete, he said it will move more quickly and should be done by the end of the year.

Sleep Inn Hotel celebrates one year in Fort Scott

One year and six days after opening their doors in Fort Scott, Sleep Inn hosted the weekly Chamber Coffee and gave an update on their impact on the community.

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“We couldn’t have gotten this done without a whole lot of community support,” general manager Bill Michaud said.

In the first 365 days of being open, Michaud said they rented 10,148 rooms. With an average of almost two people staying in each room, those numbers resulted in about 20,000 people spending at least a night in Fort Scott.

“I think we’ve accomplished what we set out to do,” Michaud said, saying they had wanted to provide a place to stay for visitors as well as find ways to invest in the community.

The hotel has 59 rooms as well as an indoor swimming pool, fitness center and provides a hot breakfast for its guests each morning.

Because of their customer satisfaction ratings, the Fort Scott Sleep Inn is ranked fifth out of all the Sleep Inns in the world, and fourth for the cleanliness of their bathrooms. But Michaud said they hope to continue improving their services to move into the top three, becoming one of the Sleep Inns of the year.

USD 234 business manager Gina Shelton said she hopes they get to hold a similar celebration with the Sleep Inn Hotel 10 years down the road. Other business owners expressed their appreciation to Michaud  for his involvement in the community.

Other announcements included:

  • The Chamber of Commerce’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Forks and Corks: Taste of Fort Scott event will be held at the Memorial Hall Saturday, Nov. 7, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $20 or at the door for $25. At least 10 different vendors will provide food and drinks while items will be auctioned off.
  • Fort Scott National Historic Site is looking for people of the community able to share specific experiences related to the fort when it was an orphanage. Those willing to participate should contact the fort.
  • Fort Scott will be hosting a three-species hunt the Saturday after Thanksgiving for 10 invited hunters. It is the only hunt of its kind in the United States as deer, duck and turkey are in season at the same time. A fundraiser dinner will also be held that weekend to help raise more funding for the city’s trolley.
  • Marc Willson will be holding a workshop at the Empress Event Center Friday, bringing information for business owners such as how to remain relevant as the culture changes as well as art in business.
  • Fort Scott businesses will participate in a Holiday Shopping open house Nov. 12, providing treats as well as holiday wares for sale.
  • The Fort Scott Tigers play a district game Friday night against Paola and also hosts the senior night for athletes and other students. The high school will also host a sendoff for the girls’ cross country team, who qualified for state, Friday at 12:15 p.m.

Shepherd Team Auto Plaza to sell after 62 years in the family

The business of car sales has impacted the Shepherd family for generations, with current owner David Shepherd’s father, grandfather and great-uncle each being involved in the business.

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But that heritage will change in the upcoming weeks as Shepherd completes the sale of the Shepherd Team Auto Plaza in Fort Scott to the Briggs Auto Group and begins a different stage in his own life.

“I’m looking forward to really being able to move on to the next chapter,” Shepherd said.

Shepherd’s father bought the Fort Scott Ford dealership in 1952 when there were 13 car dealerships in the community. But that number decreased as the business changed over the years with consolidation and the addition of internet sales.

Shepherd said he first started helping his father’s business as a 10-year-old washing and cleaning the vehicles there.

After going through the Fort Scott education system and attending McPherson College, Shepherd turned down the opportunity to join the Peace Corps as well as an offer from the Ford Motor Company in order to stay closer to home and a woman he met at college, a decision he does not regret now after 43 years of marriage. Shepherd worked at a dealership in McPherson for a year before returning to Fort Scott in 1972, the same year he married his wife.

“My father was very happy when I came back,” Shepherd said of that move, which also allowed him to again work in the family business.

Working as a sales person and then a sales manager, Shepherd continued to learn about the business as he trained to become his father’s successor.

“As time went by I was given more and more responsibility,” Shepherd said, saying he was even given the task of improving the sales of certain areas of the dealership as it continued to expand to include other manufacturers’ vehicles.

Shepherd eventually took over the business from his father, having now run it for about the past 30 years. Shepherd’s father continued to visit the business however until Alzheimer’s prevented those visits.

In 1981 the dealership added Buick, GMC and Pontiac vehicles to those already on sale, including Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Dodge, Chrysler and Plymouth. In 1988, they added Chrysler and also became one of just two dealerships in the country that year that were asked to add Toyota vehicles to their dealership.

“That was a big year for us,” Shepherd said. “We felt real honored.”

While the dealership continued to expand to include four manufacturers and employ about 50 employees, Shepherd said he never found the one employee that could be his successor. His two sons never showed an interest in the business and Shepherd said he never pressured them to follow his own profession.

“It takes a special kind of person to be a dealer in a small city,” Shepherd said, saying he has had great employees but none that were the perfect fit.

After searching for that right person for the past seven or eight years, Shepherd said a combination of his age, time in the business, no growth in the dealership and tiring of working six days a week for 43 years led him to the decision to sell the company.

After beginning the process before Christmas of last year, Shepherd said he came to an agreement with dealership owner Russell Briggs, who started in auto repair 40 years ago and currently owns nine other dealerships in Kansas. With the months-long process finally reaching an end, the dealership will switch hands within the next two to six weeks.

“He’s a hard worker and has been very successful,” Shepherd said of Briggs, who he said is known for taking good care of his customers and employees and having a high volume of vehicles. “I think that’ll be very good for the people in this area…We’re leaving the store in good hands, I believe.”

Despite selling that dealership, Shepherd said he will continue to own Bourbon County Cars, but looks forward to having more time available to be a part of the community through programs such as Circles and the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation.

“I don’t really think of myself as retiring,” Shepherd said, but doing something different.

Shepherd said the same employees will continue to work at the dealership and it will continue to service vehicles purchased there while it was Shepherd’s.

Since announcing the sale, Shepherd says he has heard from customers and friends who congratulated him but also said they were sorry he was selling.

“We appreciate greatly their support,” Shepherd said of those customers, saying because of them and his employees the dealership lasted 63 years instead of the average 10 years and sold about 100,000 vehicles.

Gordon Parks Celebration continues with Chamber Coffee

The Gordon Parks Museum used the weekly Chamber Coffee gathering as an opportunity to share information about this weekend’s 12th Annual Gordon Parks Celebration events with local business representatives Thursday morning.

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“I think this is one of Fort Scott’s hidden gems,” USD 234 business manager and Chamber Coffee moderator Gina Shelton said of the museum and the annual celebration.

Museum Executive Director Jill Warford described new exhibits and books the museum has to offer this year, including an exhibit featuring an interactive children’s area as well as one highlighting African American ancestry in Fort Scott.

“It’s about [Parks’] heritage and history,” Warford said of the new exhibit, which portrays segregation in Fort Scott including in schools, parks, pools and churches and also features early African American doctors, businessmen and law enforcement in the community.

Members of the community are invited to see the museum located at Fort Scott Community College during the weekend’s celebration event, which also includes tours of Fort Scott, a jazz concert Friday evening, reading of Parks’ narrative “Back to Fort Scott” and other events throughout the weekend.

Already county elementary students were able to participate in a poetry contest Wednesday evening.

“We have a lot of things going on this weekend,” Warford said, saying it is available to anyone and is a good opportunity for people to meet others in the community they might not meet otherwise.

Other announcements from local businesses and organizations included:

  • The Forks and Corks: Taste of Fort Scott event still has spaces open for food vendors who would like to participate. People are also still able to enter their salsa into the salsa contest. Live and silent auctions will also be held during the Nov. 7 event at Memorial Hall. Tickets are available for $20 or $25 at the door.
  • The Beacon organization in Fort Scott will again provide the opportunity for people to “adopt” a low income family from the area, purchasing Christmas gifts for the elementary-aged children. It will be made available the week before Thanksgiving.
  • Fort Scott Community College will be holding their homecoming event Saturday during the halftime of their football game against Independence at Frary Field. A tailgating event will provide free hot dogs and snacks starting at 11 a.m.
  • Members of the Young Professionals League of Bourbon County are encouraged to visit Fort Wise pumpkin patch, located six miles west of Fort Scott on Highway 54, with their families Sunday afternoon, 4-6 p.m.
  • New Wave Broadband will soon begin putting up a new tower near the Fort Scott Lake, which will help them provide better broadband and internet services to residents in that area.
  • The Halloween Parade will make its way through downtown Fort Scott Saturday morning beginning at 11 a.m. Other activities such as face-painting and photos at Walgreens will begin at about 10 a.m. while the Buck Run Community Center will hold a pumpkin carving contest earlier that morning.
  • A workshop sponsored by Union State Bank will be held Friday, Oct. 30, at the Empress Event Center, 9-11 a.m., with guest speaker Marc Willson sharing information for businesses concerning areas such as customer service and the use of social media.
  • Fort Scott Family Dental will be offering continuing education classes over the next couple months as well as offer six-month smiles, braces that work more quickly in less severe cases.

Young Professionals League provides Career Fair for students

For a fourth year, the Young Professionals League of Bourbon County hosted a career fair at the Fort Scott High School, giving junior and senior students a chance to learn about area businesses and other entities.

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Jason Hogue of Fort Scott Community College and Angela Meyer of Reynolds Law Firm helped organize this year’s event, which students attended in a rotation between classes.

“It’s a great event for juniors and seniors,” Meyer said.

Although some of those students have already decided on where they will attend college or what career field they will pursue, Meyer said the fair still gives them a glimpse of where they can be after finishing their college education.

Local and out-of-town entities were present to provide information of their businesses, including FSCC, Peerless, Medicalodges, Mercy Hospital, Fort Cinema, Pittsburg State University, Ward/Kraft, the city of Fort Scott, the Fort Scott fire and police departments, the United States Marine Corps and Army as well as other organizations and businesses.

City Commission honors City Attorney, receives project updates

The Fort Scott City Commissioners presented a framed certificate to City Attorney Bob Farmer for his 40 years of service to the community during their final October meeting Tuesday evening.

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“Thank you, Bob, for all you’ve done,” mayor Cindy Bartelsmeyer said.

The commission also approved New Wave Broadband’s tower to be built near the lake, on property leased to the Kansas Parks and Wildlife, in order to provide internet coverage to that area.

Commissioner Jim Adams said he has heard from residents who live near the lake that they are excited about the tower coming to their area.

Already, New Wave Broadband is using Fort Scott’s three water tower locations to provide internet services to area businesses and residents within line of sight of those towers. The new tower will allow them to broaden their reach.

“One of our concerns has always been reliability,” Harry Lee of New Wave Broadband said, saying they frequently have backup systems in place in case something goes wrong and also strive to “over-provide” their services rather than not provide a strong enough signal.

Work on the tower will begin in the near future.

Director of Finance Jon Garrison also gave an update on the clubhouse being built at the golf course, asking that the commissioners allow him to look for a contractor to help complete the interior of the building so it could be ready by March.

“I think we need to speed that up,” Garrison said of the project, which would not be complete by the spring without other assistance. “I think it very critical to get the clubhouse done.”

With the exterior of the building complete, Garrison said it could serve as a winter project for a contractor. Projects remaining include the wiring, plumbing, insulation, sheetrock and painting.

The commission agreed that Garrison should meet with contractors to discuss what the remaining work would cost.