Category Archives: Food

What’s Happening in Fort Scott Jan. 15 Edition

Photo courtesy of the Fort Scott National Historic Site.
1st Kansas Colored Infantry.
Visit the Fort’s FB page for more info.
What’s Happening
in Fort Scott
January 15th
Weekly Edition
GUIDED TOURS OF THE FORT DAILY, 10AM &1PMThe Fort Scott National Historic Site is open daily 8am-5pm for touring on your own, but arrive at 10am or 1pm on any day and take advantage of a guided tour with a park ranger! Guided tour lasts approx. 1 hour.
1/15 – Ghetto’s Tacos food truck at the Boiler Room Brewhaus, 5-8pm, Taco truck extraordinaire! Bring your appetite and the brewery will provide the beer/margaritas! Corner of Wall & National. Click here for FB event.
1/15 – Live music by Alyssa Galvan, 7-9pm, click here for FB event.
1/15-16 – Livestock sale at the Fort Scott Livestock Market, both Friday & Saturday, click here for their FB page.
1/16 – Pickleball from 8-10am at Buck Run, open to anyone wanting to play! Always check the FB Group page here for any location changes or cancelations.
1/16 – Lake Fort Scott Advisory Meeting, 9am at City Hall, the meeting is open to the public and can also be viewed on YouTube, City of Fort Scott channel.
1/17 – Kansas City Chiefs play at 2pm, watch the game or order carryout from a local restaurant! See below for Luther’s BBQ Tailgate Package! Holmtown Pub, Sharky’s, Luther’s & other restaurants will be open for the game, click here for our restaurant member listing.
1/18 – Indoor Whiffle Ball at Buck Run for kids while they are out of school, ages 7-12, 10-11:30am, call 620-223-0386 for more info.
1/18 – Virtual Lunch & Learn for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by the Gordon Parks Museum, 12-1pm, Dr. Carmaletta Williams presenting “Free Did Not Mean Welcome”, registration required, register here.
1/18 – The Gordon Parks Museum will be open for touring from 9am-5pm, on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton. Click here for their website.
1/21-22 – Radio Auction by KOMB FM 103.9 every Thursday & Friday through February at 2pm! Get your bid # and view the items on their website here. In addition to calling in your bid, you can also bid online this year and even “Buy it Now” ~ or bid by text to 620-724-7962.
Many fitness options available…
  • SPIN classes now offered by Smallville Athletics, every Mon & Wed at 5:15pm, and Tues & Thurs at 6pm. $5/class or $50/mo. unlimited.
  • Total Body Fitnesswith Karen Reinbolt at Buck Run Community Center, Mon & Wed 8:15am, $20 for 8-week session.
  • Zumba with Monalynn Decker at Buck Run, Mon, Wed, Fri 6pm, $40 for 12-week session.
  • Indoor Fitness/Gyms at I AM Rehab + Fitness, Smallville Athletics, and Buck Run!
Downtown Fort Scott is booming!
Click here for Chamber member
specialty shopping & other retail in
Downtown & other areas of the community.
Fort Scott Area
Chamber of Commerce
In This Issue
Chamber Highlights
Click here for our
Membership Directory.
We THANK our members for their support! Interested in joining the Chamber?
Click here for info.
Thinking of doing business in or relocating to Fort Scott?
Contact us for a relocation packet, information on grants & incentives, and more!
Seeking a job/career?
We post a Job of the Day daily on our Facebook page, distribute a monthly job openings flyer, and post jobs on our website.
Many opportunities available!
Housing needs?
Click here for a listing of our Chamber member realtors.
Click here for our rental listing.
TONIGHT 1/15, 7-9PM
Chiefs Kingdom Tailgate Package:
$44.95, serves 4.
1 lb Burnt ends, 1 lb Pulled Pork, and a Slab of Ribs w/ 2 sides
Available Chiefs Gameday only, ends at halftime. Dine in or Carry out.
Also, bringing back the Tomahawk BBQ Chop Sandwich. Chiefs Gameday, all day. Dine in or Carry Out.
CALL 620-644-9880

SNAP Food Assistance Increases

Kansas Households Receiving Food Assistance Will Receive Added Benefit

Beneficiaries to see 15 percent increase starting in January


Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Laura Howard announced today that benefits through the food assistance program, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), will increase temporarily.

The maximum allotments for food assistance will increase 15 percent for each household in January and will continue through June 2021. For the six-month period, the maximum allowable allotment for a family of four has been temporarily increased to $782.

“The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 allows states to provide this additional assistance,” Howard said. “These added funds are imperative to ensure Kansas families have access to food in these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Those that already receive food assistance don’t have to take any action to receive the increased benefit.

In January, funds will come in three issuances: The regular benefit was issued between Jan. 1 – 10 ; the 15 percent temporary increase will be available to each household as a supplement on Jan. 21; and the emergency food assistance allotment will be issued Jan. 22 – 30.

The February through June temporary maximum benefit will be issued on the regular issuance dates of the 1st through 10th of the month. In July, benefits will return to the regular benefit amount.


The temporary increase in maximum allotments are:


Household Size January 2021 – June 2021 Maximum Benefits
1 $234
2 $430
3 $616
4 $782
5 $929
6 $1114
7 $1232
8 $1408
Each additional person + $176



The temporary minimum allotment for household size 1 to 2 is $19.

All food assistance benefits are based on household size, household income and allowable deductions.

Those interested in applying for food assistance can visit the DCF website at or contact their local service center.


Kansas Governor’s State of the State Address

Governor Laura Kelly Delivers the 2021 State of the State Address

TOPEKA – The following is the complete transcript of Governor Laura Kelly’s 2021 State of the State Address. View a video of the address on Governor Kelly’s Facebook page or her YouTube channel. 

Good evening.

Typically, I would deliver the State of the State address to the legislature and the public from the House Chamber in the Capitol building.

And I would begin by looking out over all the familiar faces, constitutional officers, cabinet members, and my own family.

But, these aren’t typical times. And while I can’t see them, I am grateful that my husband, Ted Daughety, and daughters, Kathleen and Molly, are hosting a virtual watch party with members of my family across the country.

I know it’s not just my family that has had to change our rituals and gatherings. We’ve all had to adjust. We’ve all had to get creative with problem solving. We have been forced to spend too much time apart, communicating virtually, instead of sharing moments in person, together.

So this won’t be a typical State of the State address.

Instead of giving a speech to the legislature, I’m going to have a conversation with you – the people of Kansas – give you an update on where we are, what’s next, and lay out a clear agenda that meets the moment we’re living in.

In the weeks and months to come, we need to get every Kansan vaccinated. We need to get our economy moving. And we need to get all our kids back into the classroom.

We need to do it in a way that keeps our budget balanced. And with the sense of urgency and focus that Kansans deserve. We can not let political fights slow us down.

Tonight, I’ll speak to each of these issues.

But before I continue – last week I ordered flags lowered to half-staff to remember the more than 3000 Kansans we’ve lost these past 10 months to Covid-19. I ask you to join me in pausing for a moment in honor of their memory.

To the families and loved ones of those we’ve lost, please know my heart is with you.  The pain you’re feeling is immeasurable … Here in Kansas, we’re all neighbors, and we’re all here to support you, in every way possible.

It’s been a time of such loss for so many.

Too many precious lives lost.

Businesses lost.

Jobs lost.

Critical time in the classroom for our children, lost.

Lost moments with loved ones.

The losses in our lives have been countless.

But … we never lost hope.

The way that Kansans have stepped up these past 10 months has been nothing short of heroic – from health care workers to first responders, teachers and parents, farmers and ranchers – the character of Kansas has been on full display.

And I want to commend the state and local officials who continue to work around the clock with the public health experts to make sure we’re taking the right, aggressive, steps to slow the spread of the virus, while also balancing the need to keep the Kansas economy moving.

And now, after months of struggle and sacrifice, an end to this national nightmare is finally in sight.

Last week, my administration released the phases of our vaccination distribution plan.

We worked diligently for months, together with our federal and local partners, to develop a plan that would prioritize the health of the most vulnerable, reduce the strain on hospitals, and help us kickstart our economy.

While our state initially experienced a reporting lag of vaccines administered, the CDC vaccine tracker is now showing that Kansas is in the top tier for vaccines administered per capita. We are working as quickly as we can to safely, efficiently deliver the vaccine to all Kansans. Much of our ability to distribute the vaccine is dependent on the federal government getting the vaccine to us.

As of today, 84,555 Kansans have been vaccinated. And we will continue this coordinated effort so every Kansan can get vaccinated. My goal is to make sure that each of you know when and where you can get vaccinated in your county.

Like in other states, the first to receive vaccines have been those directly overseeing our COVID response efforts – hospital workers and long term care staff and residents.

We expect to be moving into the second phase before the end of this month, when we will begin vaccinating our seniors, because we know Kansans 65 and older are the biggest at-risk group.

Also in this category: essential frontline workers – these are our police, firefighters and other first responders, our teachers and childcare providers, our grocery store and meat packing plant workers.

As we continue our phased approach, we will add other priority groups including those living in congregate settings, those below the age of 65 with severe medical risks, and other essential workers. And then, hopefully, over the next few months, the rest of the general public. Again, this depends on how quickly the federal government gets the vaccine to Kansas.

But until then, it’s imperative that everyone continue to do your part in slowing the spread of the virus – wear a mask, physically distance, and avoid mass gatherings.

We are not out of the woods here. Not by a long shot. Our hospitals are strained and this virus continues to kill our loved ones and our neighbors.

But, we *will* get through this crisis, with the vaccines.

There’s been a lot of misinformation out there about the vaccines. Internet conspiracy theories. Complete nonsense. Make no mistake, the science behind the vaccines is solid.

And these vaccines are how we keep ourselves and our fellow Kansans healthy … and ultimately, how we defeat this virus and move forward with our lives.

The latest information about distribution instructions and timelines will always be available at our website –

So, if we’ve learned anything these past 10 months, it’s that every Kansan deserves health care they can afford, good health care facilities near their homes, and for our rural neighbors and friends, more access to telehealth services.

That’s why I’ll continue to push, over and over again, for what 38 states across the country have done – to expand Medicaid to cover another 165,000 Kansans, to ensure that our rural hospitals remain open, and inject billions of dollars into our economy.

Access to vaccinations and good health care . . . It’s the only way we’ll truly put this nightmare behind us.

We’ve already taken a series of strategic steps to keep our economy open. But open isn’t good enough. We need to make sure it’s growing, with Kansans not just getting back to their old jobs, but also finding new, better-paying jobs.

We are set to launch the Framework for Growth – a comprehensive roadmap to ensure that the Kansas economy continues to thrive and that our most valuable resource — our young people — have exciting career opportunities right here at home.

Let me briefly speak to five areas of economic growth that we’ve focused on: small businesses, infrastructure, new job creation, agriculture, and broadband.

First, small businesses.

No doubt, this has been a challenging period for small business owners, with so many having to adapt in different ways to the virus. And a very difficult time for anyone who works in a small business.

Small businesses, as we know, aren’t just workplaces, they’re the heart beat of Main Street in so many Kansas communities. Familiar, friendly faces behind the counter. These folks are our neighbors, our friends.

We have been able to help nearly 3,000 small businesses across the state with grants for payroll and other expenses. But we know more must be done.

That’s why I’m pleased about the resurrection of the Kansas Main Street Program and the launch of the Main Street Affiliate Community program. These programs provide funding and technical assistance to help transform and strengthen rural downtowns.

I know for many small business owners, these past few months have been filled with anxiety and heartache – and you’re just trying to do right by your employees and customers.

I promise you that I’ll do everything in my power to protect small businesses and the Kansans they employ.

But it’s not enough to simply save the jobs and businesses that exist. An obvious area for job growth is to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

I’m proud that Democrats and Republicans came together last year to pass a 10-year infrastructure plan – it’s a strategic, practical approach that allows us to prioritize the most urgently needed projects.

As we speak, more than 160 state highway and local road projects are under construction or about to be. And another 230 projects have been awarded for future construction. That’s better roads, better bridges, walking and biking paths. A more modern transportation infrastructure from top to bottom – and that’s a lot of jobs.

We know this pandemic has put too many Kansans out of work, and I know some Kansans have had difficulty getting their unemployment benefits.

The fact is, the volume of benefit applications absolutely overwhelmed our unemployment system. I want you to know we’ve fixed many of the immediate problems and more Kansas have received unemployment benefits since the pandemic started ten months ago, than in the eight previous years combined.

To be prepared, should we ever be confronted with a health and economic crisis as staggering as this pandemic, we’ve committed 37.5 million dollars in this year’s budget to update old IT systems that have been neglected for decades.

While it’s imperative that we modernize our IT systems, what’s more important is making sure unemployed Kansans can get back to work.

So we’re moving quickly to bring new jobs to Kansas communities, big and small.

We’ve announced projects like Urban Outfitters’ new distribution center at Kansas Speedway in Wyandotte County that will create 2,000 new jobs and invest over 350 million dollars in Kansas.

And Schwan’s Company’s expansion to its facility in Salina.  When the project is complete, Salina’s location will be home to the largest frozen pizza production facility in the world – and bring 225 good jobs to the community.

Over these past two years, we’ve recruited dozens of new businesses and helped create more than 20,000 jobs; that’s pumped more than 3 billion dollars into our local economies.

Including into our farming and agriculture communities.

Where, in typical Kansas fashion, Kansas farmers and ranchers have stepped up, even during those first, very scary days of COVID-19, and kept doing their jobs. They knew, pandemic or no pandemic, people need food.

My Administration partnered with local and federal officials to make sure we kept these critical food supply chain workers safe and kept production online. The entire nation, and the entire world owes these Kansans a huge debt of gratitude.

At the state level, we invested 12 million dollars to increase the capacity of the state’s food supply system all across Kansas.

And, as my friends in Agriculture may remember, I was the first Democratic governor to publicly support the USMCA, the trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

To me, this isn’t about politics.

I will always support our agricultural employers and workers because we all know that agriculture built Kansas, and it will be a driving force in rebuilding our economy as we emerge from this pandemic.

And agriculture is one of many industries increasingly relying on high speed internet to meet the demands of their customers and for their day to day operations.

In fact, in today’s economy, businesses small and large depend upon broadband – both because this pandemic has required many of us to work remotely, and because of the broader shift we have seen from retail to etail commerce.

It’s an issue my administration has treated with the urgency it mandates.

I signed an Executive Order establishing Kansas’s first Office of Broadband Development – and through it, we’ve distributed nearly 50 million dollars in Connectivity Emergency Response Grants, to communities like Spring Hill, Valley Center, Dodge City, Topeka, Derby and others.

We have to keep pushing on this issue. It needs to be a bi-partisan push.

Because access to high speed internet will be a game changer for these communities. It’s a tool to recruit new businesses and keep existing ones from leaving.

It’s also a tool to provide care through telehealth services to rural and underserved Kansans.

And it’s a tool for our children and their education. This pandemic has taught us that learning remotely is difficult enough, but to do it without reliable internet is impossible.

It’s been a long 10 months for our children, their parents … and perhaps especially for their teachers … many of whom are juggling the teaching of our children while also looking after their own.

I can’t say enough about the job that Kansas teachers have done throughout this pandemic.

Teaching under less-than-ideal circumstances, but never wavering in their commitment to our children.

Stepping up under tough conditions is nothing new for Kansas teachers. They’ve been doing it for years.

Remember, when we took office two years ago, the state was still reeling from a disastrous tax experiment that absolutely crushed our public schools, even forcing some to go to 4-day school weeks.

We fixed our public schools once already – bringing Republicans and Democrats together to constitutionally fund education for the first time in many years.

And now that the pandemic has created a new set of challenges – I want you to know that we’re going to get every Kansas student back in the classroom as soon as possible, and provide their teachers with the tools and resources they need to get our kids back on track.

From day one, I pledged to Kansans that we’d never return to those days of broken budgets and fiscal irresponsibility.

That’s why I’m committed to closing the Bank of KDOT by 2023. Past Administrations have used these critical highway construction dollars as a slush fund for their ideological experiments – which undermined opportunities for infrastructure investments and economic growth.

Once again, we brought Democrats and Republicans together to balance the budget and constitutionally fund our schools – all without a tax increase. In fact, because we prioritized wisely and found new efficiencies, I’m proud to report that even during this pandemic, the state will close out this fiscal year with a projected 600 million dollar ending balance.

But we must remain vigilant. We’re just a few years removed from the Brownback tax experiment, and it seems as though some of my colleagues in the Legislature have already forgotten just how devasting that experiment was to our economy, our schools, and our future.

The tough, pragmatic budget choices we have made to this point have given us flexibility to protect our core services – like education, infrastructure, and economic development tools –   from COVID-related cuts, and have been an historically potent tool we have to recruit businesses to Kansas.

As we recover from the economic damage caused by effects of this virus, we must continue to prioritize strategic and inclusive economic policies, not Brownback 2.0 tax cuts.

Each year in this speech, and almost every day in between, I call for bi-partisanship. To work together, Democrats and Republicans have to do what’s best for Kansas. To be better than what we see in Washington.

In light of the destruction, violence, and sedition that took place at the United States Capitol last week, we can’t simply treat this like any other moment. That would be an insult to Kansans – and all they’ve seen these past 10 days and all they’ve experienced these past 10 months in their own lives.

This isn’t like any other moment.

We’re being tested like never before.

This year, working together isn’t simply something I want – it’s something we owe to the people of Kansas.

This year, as leaders, we must commit ourselves to set an example. In how we conduct ourselves. In the things we say to each other, what we post on social media, in what we tell people back home in our communities.

This year, we must show Kansans that, even when we stand on opposite sides of the aisle, we still always share a common bond as Kansans and Americans.

And right now, that means doing whatever it takes to get Kansans back to work, back to school – and back to a place where we treat each other with respect and dignity.

We need to listen to public health experts. We need to listen to each other. We need to listen to the people of Kansas.

And then we need to lock arms, not as politicians from one party or the other, but as Kansans.

And in that spirit, I’d like to say a word about my friend – Senator Pat Roberts, who has retired after 40 years of elected service to our state.

Pat was and remains famous, not only for his wit, but for his ability and willingness to work across the aisle.

He and I are in different political parties, but we’re united in our love for Kansas and its people.

That’s why he and I have been in such frequent contact about this pandemic, because we know that it’s important for the state and federal government to work hand in hand. It’s the right way to serve.

As we tackle the challenges of these historically uncertain times in the weeks and months to come, let us all do it with leaders like Pat Roberts in mind.

And let us always remember that our children and grandchildren are watching.

These days, they’re watching extra closely.

The decisions we make, and the example we set, in the coming weeks and months will have a lasting impact on their lives. And on our beloved state of Kansas.

This is a time like none other we’ve seen.

Let’s rise, together, to meet this moment.

May God keep the people of Kansas healthy and on the road to prosperity.

Thank you and good night.


Star Emporium Downtown General Store to Open Next Week

The Star Emporium staff on duty January 12: front row from left: Ashlin Williams; Vickie Morgan, deli manager;  and Kylie Bruner, customer service/marketing manager. Back row: Ruth Cullen, deli employee; Travis Patrick, general manager and Faith Thomas.

The Star Emporium Downtown General Store, 17 S. Main,  a new grocery store offering specialty and private label products, will open on January 18 at 7:30 a.m., according to Bill Michaud with BAJA Investments.

Bill Michaud. Submitted photo.


Michaud is the owner of the business.


“One week is left before we introduce ourselves to the public,” Michaud said.  “We’re excited too, although it’s tough to tell because we’re all growing tired due to the long hours and many tasks that we see still between us and being ready to open.”


The hours of the store will be 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.   Monday through Saturday,  on  Sunday hours are from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Shelves are being filled on January 12 in preparation for the Star Emporium opening on January 18.


“We are going to try to carry as many products as feasible to give shoppers as much variety as we can,” Michaud said.



“We are going to open with about 2/3 as many items as we expect to have down the road,” he said. “We will grow our offering in the next several months to meet the needs of our regular customers.”


The store will feature a salad bar and deli that utilizes many fresh local ingredients, he said.


“The salad bar and deli will also open on the 18th,” he said.  “The deli will offer build-your-own deli sandwiches with our unique selection of deli meats and cheeses and a variety of bread alternatives. The salad bar will have about 30 salad topping and ingredient options including signature house ranch and vinaigrette dressings.”



Currently, the store has 62 feet of freezer space, a basic selection of dairy and cheese items,  produce, along with both fresh and frozen meats,” Michaud said.


The coolers are being stocked at the Star Emporium in preparation for the opening January 18.



The store general manager is Travis Patrick. He said 10 employees are needed and eight have been hired currently.


Travis Patrick works at a temporary workspace on January 12 at the Star Emporium.


The phone number of the store is (620) 644-4414.  For more information see its’ Facebook page.


BAJA Investments was granted SPARK funds in the amount of $450,000 for the project. SPARK grants were a part of the monies given Kansas from the federal government to help with the on-going effects of COVID-19.

The Star Emporium’s new sign, created by Darren Crays of Designing Edge Graphics. Submitted photo.

Grocery Food Coming to Uniontown

Union Station is located just west of Uniontown in western Bourbon County.

Union Station Convenience Store, 684 Maple Road, Uniontown, is ready to receive staple grocery items to provide western Bourbon County residents with an option for food closer to home.


“We had already purchased the shed that we intended to eventually turn into climate-controlled storage, prior in the year,” said Ronni Clayton, who along with her husband, Dane, are the owners. “Our goal was to make one purchase at a time as the funds became available.”


Ronni and Dane Clayton are the owners of Union Station, Uniontown. The store will stock some groceries soon.


But then the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, and the federal government gave funds to each state government and the Kansas government distributed funds to local entities. In Bourbon County, it was the county commission. The Clayton’s applied for a SPARK grant through the county.


To find out more about the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK)program, click here.


“Once we received the SPARK funds in September we were able to really get things moving,” Clayton said.


The couple created another cold storage unit to accommodate the food that will be coming.

Aryn Jefferis, an employee of Union Station, opens the cold storage unit that was added to the store.
The inside of the cold storage unit at Union Station.


“We plan to sell staple grocery items such as bread, cheese, eggs, lunchmeat, hamburger, etc,” Clayton said.


The Claytons created climate-controlled storage outside of the main building, to free up space for additional coolers and shelving inside the convenience store,  she said in a previous interview.


Coolers inside Union Station stand empty in preparation for the grocery items that will be coming, according to Aryn Jefferis, an employee.


”The increased product space will be used for discounted grocery items as well as locally produced meats,” she said.


To see the previous interview: Union Station: Affordable Groceries Are Coming to Uniontown


“Everything is done except getting the groceries in the store,” Clayton said. ” We are still working out some details on that, but hope to start regular grocery deliveries soon. The holidays slowed everything a bit.”


” We are working with Nichols Hitching Post and Bronson Locker so far, with some other local businesses possibly in the works as well,” she said.

Learn more about Nichols Hitching Post from their Facebook page:

Learn more about the Bronson Locker from here:

Bronson Locker Expands Due To Demand During Pandemic


The Clayton’s employ 12 people at their store.


They have some new things on the horizon as well.


” We have a lot of new ideas slowly taking form, so stay tuned,” Clayton said.

Bourbon County Coalition Meets Via Zoom Jan. 6

“We will be having a Zoom meeting at noon on Wednesday, January 6, thanks to Robin and Allen County Thrive,” Billie Jo Drake, the chairwoman, said in an email.

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Agenda

January 6, 2021

  1. Welcome:
  1. Member Introductions and Announcements:
  1. Program (no programs for Zoom meetings)
  1. Open Forum:
  1. Adjournment: Next General Membership meeting will be February 3, 2021.

Bronson Locker Expands Due To Demand During Pandemic

Helen and Chubb Bolling, owners of Bronson Locker. Submitted photo.


The Bronson Locker is USDA inspected meat. From their Facebook page.

Bronson Locker, 504 Clay Street, Bronson, KS has been expanding during the COVID 19 pandemic.

“We have had an overflow of work,” said Helen Bolling, who along with her husband, Raymond, known as Chubb, owns the meat locker. “We have had to put on more employees. We expanded our business.  A new cooler, a new processing room.”

“People are buying local meat,” Bolling said. “People are wanting farm-raised meat. We are USDA inspected.”

Several Bourbon County meat producers provide meat to the locker, she said. J.D. Russell and Kevin Gleason from the Redfield area; Ryan Tuchscherer, Fort Scott; Henry and John Ericson, Hiattville all provide meat to Bronson Locker, to name a few, Bolling said.

They have spent a large amount of money to expand their meat locker business that processes beef, swine, sheep, and goats, Helen said. During deer season they add deer processing too.

From their Facebook page.
The waiting list to process beef is up to Dec. 2021, Helen said.
“We are accepting deer anytime,” Mandie Ericson, wife of Helen’s grandson Garret, said.
Mandie and Garret hope to buy the family business from Chubb and Helen someday, Mandie said.
They do not sell deer meat, they merely process it.
Currently, Mandie is the supervisor, Helen said.
Mandie Ericson, Helen and Chubb Bolling and Garret Ericson at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Forks and Corks Event 2019 at the Riverfront Event Center. The Bronson Locker has won the Taster’s Choice Award at the event for two years in a row. Submitted photo.

From the Bronson Locker Facebook page:

“For people discouraged about the waiting list for beef appointments…
“It is always a good idea to… call and check regularly. We want your business as much as you want to sell your beef or stock your freezers.
This week we were able to work seven people up off the waiting list. This week alone. Don’t feel discouraged we will make sure we take care of as many of you as we possibly can without sacrificing quality.
“Thank you to the farmers and families for all of your continued support.”
They are currently selling beef bundles at 25 pounds for $100.
“They average $4 a pound for this farm-raised beef,” Helen said.
The locker is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be contacted at 620-939-4575.



Family Owned and Run

They have twelve full-time and two part-time employees, all from Bourbon County, she said.

This is a family-owned and family-run business and 10 of the employees are family.

Besides Chubb and Helen, their son Mike is a butcher. In addition, Amber Ericson, their daughter, works at the locker when she is not teaching school at West Bourbon Elementary School in Uniontown. Helen’s nephews Jesse, Robert and Jim Kuns, the Bolling grandchildren Mandy and Garrett Ericson,  and another grand-daughter in-law, Tyler Ericson, all work at the locker.


In addition, they have a long-term employee, Tom Bradbury, technician, “who keeps us up and going,” Mandie said.


The family has purchased some of the buildings adjacent to the locker and have opened an antique store on the main street of Bronson as well.


The Bollings own several adjacent buildings to their locker business. Submitted photo.
Chubb and Helen Bolling added an antique shop in an adjacent building. The shop is named THAM Antiques after Tyler, Helen, Amber and Mandie. Submitted photos.


Fictional tale inspired by Southeast Kansas fried chicken 


Submitted by the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Pittsburg, Kansas)

An author with ties to Southeast Kansas just had her debut novel named Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club pick for the month of December. KJ Dell’Antonia’s fictional tale “The Chicken Sisters” was inspired by the fried chicken houses in the towns where her parents grew up.

Less than two hours south of Kansas City, and several miles away from the closest town, yet less than 600 feet apart, are Chicken Annie’s and Chicken Mary’s. Dell’Antonia’s parents are from the area, and frequently took her dining at Chicken Annie’s. Unaware of the real story of these and the other four chicken houses in the county, Dell’Antonia made up her own story.

“I always wondered why were there two chicken restaurants that were clearly completely unrelated, but obviously completely related because one is ‘Chicken Annie’s’ and one is ‘Chicken Mary’s’”, Dell’Antonia told her Facebook followers in a video posted December 2, 2020 (@KJDellAntoniaAuthor). “It stuck in my head for ages and I really wanted to find a story that I could ‘put around’ that idea of two fried chicken restaurants. Maybe because I love fried chicken. Possibly because I love Kansas. I don’t know. It just stuck with me.”

“I created Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s which are absolutely not Chicken Mary’s and Chicken Annie’s,” Dell’Antonia said in her video. “After I got started on the book my mom said ‘do you want me to tell you the real story of Chicken Annie’s and Chicken Mary’s?’ and I was like ‘No! No, please don’t do that! That would ruin everything.’ So, she totally didn’t and I still don’t know them. I will find out eventually, someday.”

“When we learned about Dell’Antonia’s book, we were stunned,” said Chris Wilson, Communications Manager with the Crawford County Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Here is someone who clearly loves the area and was so intrigued by all of the number of fried chicken houses in such a small area that she was inspired to make up her own story about it.”

The real story of the Crawford County fried chicken houses has attracted The New Yorker, the Travel Channel’s “Food Wars”, and BBC Travel, among others.

“A hundred years ago our population was fifty-percent more than it is now due to the need for workers in the old coal mines,” Wilson said. “There were camps scattered along the coalfields through both Crawford County and Cherokee County. Some of these camps grew enough to become towns, and an old street line connected many of these.”

“You have to remember, these mines opened just after the Civil War, and operated during the eras of Prohibition, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and two World Wars. Many were unemployed or earning very little.”

Camp 13, also known as Yale, never grew much population-wise. But its location was a short walk from several active mines. After her husband was injured in a mining accident, Ann Pichler began selling sandwiches in 1934 out of their home there. A year later, she began selling pan-fried chicken and eventually became known as “Chicken Annie.” Just down the road, in 1945, Mary Zerngast first served customers from her kitchen table after her husband’s ill health forced him to quit working in the mines.

“These chicken dinners provided more than just an affordable and delicious meal,” Wilson said. “They provided a chance to socialize and a comforting escape from real hardship. They also created jobs, and not just at their own restaurants. As they grew, they used local bakeries. All six chicken houses still use Frontenac Bakery.”

“They also inspired hope. Thousands of those who came to work the mines were immigrants escaping war-torn Europe. Annie’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Hungary when she was five. Mary’s husband was an immigrant from Germany. And, of course, today, for a lot of us, it’s nostalgic going out to these beloved restaurants. It’s a time to remember lost loved ones in a good way.”

While Chicken Annie’s and Chicken Mary’s started the fried chicken craze in Southeast Kansas, they were followed by others. Still open today are Gebhardt’s Chicken Dinners, which opened in 1946 a little more than a mile to the northeast; Barto’s Idle Hour opened in Frontenac in 1951; Pichler’s Chicken Annie’s opened south of Pittsburg in 1970; and, Chicken Annie’s Girard opened in 1971. All are still owned by local families.

Pichler and Zerngast were not related, but their families were connected when Pichler’s grandson married Zerngast’s granddaughter – the owners of Pichler’s Chicken Annie’s.

“It’s kind of amusing that that is a plotline Dell’Antonia uses,” Wilson said.

“This is the story of two sisters,” Dell’Antonia continued in her video. “They were both raised by a mom who runs one fried chicken restaurant that she inherited in this small town in Kansas, and it’s a small town I totally made up – Merinac. It is not Pittsburg or Frontenac although you can see their names in that a little bit.”

“(Sisters) Mae and Amanda are raised by Barbara, and when they get older Amanda marries the son of the rival fried chicken restaurant, while Mae gets the heck out of Dodge, because that’s all she ever wanted to do, was just get out of the small town and never see it again.”

Having married into the other family, since her wedding day, Amanda had not been allowed into her mother’s home or fried chicken restaurant. Despite this, Amanda goes to see her mother because a reality TV competition wants to do a story on the restaurant’s rivalry – “Food Wars”.

“I grew up as a kid traveling to Frontenac, we would drive, or we would fly into Joplin, and we would go for every holiday and every summer,” Dell’Antonia said. “We would eat at Chicken Annie’s, because we didn’t eat at Chicken Mary’s. I can’t tell you why. I do not know why. I have eaten once at Chicken Mary’s – I think that’s like a super-duper secret – I don’t think I’m supposed to eat at Chicken Mary’s.”

“While I’m not old enough to remember the real rivalry of all these chicken houses, I think it’s safe to say that most customers today bounce between each of these restaurants,” Wilson said. “Some prefer chicken from one location, but spaghetti or chicken noodles from another. If you want to get locals really worked up, don’t ask them about the chicken – ask them about the best coleslaw or potato salad.”

To visit or learn more about the Crawford County, Kansas chicken houses, go to

To learn more about KJ Dell’Antonia’s book, go to your favorite bookstore and ask for “The Chicken Sisters”.

Star Emporium Downtown General Store To Open Early Next Year

A1 Towing and Moving, Fort Scott, move shelving into the new grocery store in November 2020. The store will be located in the Old Kress Building, at 17 S. Main.

The new grocery store in downtown Fort Scott is progressing.


“Lots of things have fallen into place really well and a few things have been a struggle due to long lead times due to COVID-related manufacturing delays,” said Bill Michaud, of BAJA Investment, the owner.  “The most significant delays have been the mechanical components for the refrigerators and freezers. The final pieces of the equipment order won’t be arriving until January 4th.”


This sets the opening back a little.


“Before this delay, we had anticipated opening Dec 29th but because of this delay we now expect to open either January 8 or 11,” Michaud said. “The final decision on the actual opening date will be made as we get closer.”

Store hours will be 8 am – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 am – 6 pm on Sunday.


“We will offer online ordering,” he said. ” Our website is still under development, but we will be activating our Facebook page in the next day or two.”


The store has a name and it was inspired by a downtown mural.


“The store name will be the Star Emporium Downtown General Store,” Michaud said.


This name was inspired by a mural on Skubitz Plaza on the north side of a building facing the Fort Scott National Historic Site.


“While we know that the original Star Emporium was a clothing store, the mural boasts that the Star Emporium was ‘the most unique shop in the land of oz’,” Michaud said. “We believe this store will be unique and serve a broad base of community needs.”


Products at the store will evolve, he said. Currently, they range from budget-conscious to specialty label food items.


“We will offer a very broad range of products ranging from budget-focused brands all the way to very high-quality specialty and private label products that people can’t get anywhere other than our store,” Michaud said. ” We understand people need to stretch their food dollar in these tough times so we are going to be very value-conscious in our pricing. We recognize that our product offering is going to evolve to suit the needs of our customers.”


Local producers and suppliers will feed into the store.


“In addition to recognized branded products we are also working with a variety of small local producers and suppliers including Bourbon County beef from Bronson Locker, several local produce growers, Good Natured Family Farms. We hope to continue to develop additional partnerships as we go along and continually adapt to the needs of our customer base.”


“In addition to our produce co-op and grocery options the store will also feature a large salad bar and deli which will also utilize as many fresh local ingredients as are available,” he said. ” The deli menu will be seasonal and offer 5 – 6 rotational feature sandwiches, wraps, and specialty items.”


Food insecurity is addressed in the venture.


“While the grocery store and deli will provide sustainability for our operation, one of the driving factors behind the community need for the store was the food insecurity and need for community-based food distribution programs,” Michaud said. ” We have reached an agreement with the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas to provide food storage space to expand the food distribution and delivery programs they currently offer in Crawford County into Fort Scott. These services will also begin in January.”


BAJA Investments was granted SPARK funds for $450.000 for the project. SPARK grants were a part of the monies given Kansas from the federal government to help with the on-going effects of COVID-19.

Kress Building, 17 S. Main, August 2020.

The second floor of the building houses the offices of B-WERC.

B-WERC is a multi-partner collaboration of the Bourbon County Commission, the Kansas Small Business Development Center, Southeast KANSASWORKS, Fort Scott Community College, the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team, the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, and BAJA Investments. The center focuses on growing and sustaining businesses, connecting jobs, and serving people.

The B-WERC program is funded through the Federal Cares Act Relief, dispersed to the county from the state in SPARK Phase 1, to address current and immediate COVID related needs. These include assisting businesses, encouraging economic activity, and addressing unemployment, according to Jody Hoener, spokesperson for the program in Bourbon County.



BoCo Inter-Agency Coalition Meets Dec. 2

Billie Jo Drake, left, leads the Bourbon County Coalition, in a prior meeting.

The regularly scheduled Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition membership meeting will be this Wednesday, December 2, at noon, in the Community Room at the High Rise Apartments, 315 Scott Avenue.

The agenda is as follows:

Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Agenda

December 2, 2020

  1. Welcome:
  1. Member Introductions and Announcements:
  1. Program (no programs until January, 2021, at the earliest):
  1. Open Forum:
  1. Adjournment: Next General Membership meeting will be January 6, 2021.

“Be sure to wear your mask and social distance as much as possible,” Billie Jo Drake, facilitator of the group said. “Due to the rise in Covid cases in Bourbon County, I certainly understand if you do not wish to attend a face-to-face meeting. If you have any announcements that you need to share, be sure to send them to me prior to 9:00 a.m. on meeting day.”


KDHE and Safe Kids Kansas offers kitchen safety tips

Safety is the Secret Ingredient to Holiday Traditions



TOPEKA – With the arrival of the holidays there are many memories to be made and traditions to follow, and having children participate in those traditions is one of the best parts of the season. To ensure the safety of everyone, follow these tips for a safe and happy holiday!


Limit your travel and the size of gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s hard to be apart, but important to protect the ones you love.


“The kitchen can be a busy place with lots of multi-tasking during the holidays, so it’s important to be aware of potential hazards to prevent cuts, burns, poisoning and other injuries,” said Cherie Sage of Safe Kids Kansas.


When it comes to holiday meals, we want to keep lead off the menu. According to the CDC, no safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to affect IQ, delay development, cause behavioral problems and cause other serious health effects.


Reduce your risk of lead poisoning by shopping locally and only buying domestically produced spices. Imported and non-domestically produced spices could contain lead.


Handmade pottery and dishes that have glazes or other painted decorations may contain lead. When food or drinks are stored or prepared in these dishes lead can leach into them and be ingested causing lead poisoning.


Awareness of possible lead exposure and keeping kids safe from lead sources is the key to prevention.  For more information on lead poisoning please visit KDHE Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention.


When kids are in the kitchen, supervision is key. Whether children are helping prepare food or just hanging out and watching the action, they should be where you can see them at all times. If you will be busy with preparations, ask another adult or teenager to watch the children and help them join in with some age-appropriate tasks.

Some kid-friendly kitchen tasks include: tearing lettuce, rinsing fruits and vegetables under cold water, stirring ingredients in a bowl, using cookie cutters, measuring dry ingredients, using vegetable peelers or cutting soft fruits with a butter knife.


“You know your own children. Don’t give them knives or let them handle anything hot until you know they have the maturity and coordination to do it safely,” Sage said. “Some children mature faster than others, so it’s up to parents to use good judgment about each child’s capabilities.”


Here are some additional tips for safety in the kitchen:


  • Never hold a child while cooking or carrying hot items, especially liquids that can spill or splash.
  • Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edges of counters and tables. Be especially careful around tablecloths — children can pull hot dishes down onto themselves.
  • Keep poisons out of sight and reach of children. This includes cleaning products, alcoholic drinks and even some baking extracts and spices.
  • Tie up the electrical cords of small appliances. A toddler playing with a dangling cord can pull a toaster or microwave down from a countertop.
  • Be mindful of sharp objects, keeping them out of reach of little hands.


For more information about preventing injuries visit For information about the KDHE Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, visit