Category Archives: Fort Scott

Fort Scott Public Library Summer Activities

Summer Reading Curbside Pickup
See Miss Val from a safe distance and pick up your summer reading packets! Anyone who plans on participating in this year’s FSPL Youth Summer Reading Program (birth – 12th grade) should plan to stop by the library’s south parking lot between 3 – 4 pm May 26 & 27 or 10 – 11 am May 28 & 29 to pick up a packet for their age group. Stay in your car, pull up to the table, tell Miss Val which packets you need, and she will push them forward for you to retrieve from your car. You may choose between a packet with a paper registration form or one without, if you’d like to (or already have) register online. Families may also choose to use Reader Zone for online reading goal tracking (sponsored by the Kansas State Library) or may choose to track reading goals on paper and drop off in library drop box. In case of inclement weather, Miss Val will use the library’s curbside service procedures to hand out packets. Anyone who cannot come during the hours and dates listed above should schedule a date and time by calling 223-2882 and asking for Miss Val, or by emailing You may also pick up packets along with your books during regular curbside service hours, starting on May 26.
The Fort Scott Public Library is proud to announce having won the Dollar General Literacy Grant, which awards select libraries and other educational organizations across the country with grants to support literacy programs! As a result, the library has an extra $500 in funding for this year’s summer reading program. In addition to presenting both physical rewards and supplies, the library will offer two performances online and a wide variety of virtual programming. The library is also partnering with local restaurants and grocery stores to offer gift certificates as reading rewards, in hopes to support local businesses while feeding local families’ minds and bodies. Now more than ever, the community must work together to maintain and improve students’ academic achievement levels.
Summer reading programs will begin on June 2, with a Zoom Preschool Story hour starting at 10 am, moderated by Miss Val, with stories read by educator Jeff Pommier, and a Zoom Elementary Story hour starting at 11 am, with stories read by educator Angie Bin. At  2 pm, a pre-recorded video of the preschool stories will release on Facebook and YouTube, with a story video for elementary students releasing at 2:15 on the same platforms. Then at 3 pm, Scouts Leader Cyndi Goebel will demonstrate how to make the week’s craft in a pre-recorded video released on Facebook and YouTube. The week’s theme is: Princesses and Princes. All Zoom meetings will require a password which you can obtain by messaging the library or emailing Miss Val at
Middle & high school students will meet weekly on Wednesdays at 4 pm, on Zoom for the summer reading teen program. Teens may also win prizes for reaching reading goals. Special, pre-recorded videos and challenges will also be released throughout the summer, specifically for teens. Stay tuned for more details.
To volunteer to read or demonstrate a craft on video, fill out a volunteer form here.
May 26: 10 am Alphabet Storytime on Zoom
               11 am Alphabet Storytime on Facebook Live
Join Miss Val online for virtual storytime! The library will use the Zoom platform for the 10 am storytime and Facebook Live for the 11 am event. This will be the final week of regular virtual storytimes. Beginning Tuesday, June 2, virtual storytimes will be replaced by weekly virtual summer reading stories and craft demonstrations!
To attend the Zoom meeting, click here. You will also need to message the library for the meeting password, unless you have attended recently. You may receive the password by one of two methods:
Message Fort Scott Public Library through Facebook or email Miss Val at before the start (10 am Tuesday) of storytime, and they will send you the link. The same link will be used for all future Zoom story programs. Zoom can be accessed on any pc with a camera and headset, smartphone, or tablet with online access. The application will allow families to see and interact with one another, in addition to being a part of storytime. Zoom storytime is no longer recorded. You will have the option of turning your video and audio on and off anytime during the meeting.
This week’s books: Mrs. Peanuckle’s Vegetable Alphabet, Sign Language ABC by Lora Heller, & The Alphabet Parade ABC by Charles Ghigna
This week’s craft: Nature ABCs or Nature Names
Materials Needed: Nature ABCs or Nature Names

Materials Needed: Clippings or small plants, tree leaves, twigs, etc.; paper or paper plate or recycled cardboard to glue them on, glue, pencil or crayon.

This week’s snack: Build-a-Letter
Materials Needed: Pretzel sticks, carrot sticks, celery sticks, or other long, thin snack. Want to make alphabet pretzels homemade? See how here.
For activity suggestions and more see the library’s Storytime Pinterest board:
Reserve books on this week’s theme for curbside pickup here. You must have an active Fort Scott or SEKLS library card to check out books at curbside.
Read digital books related to the theme at Sunflower eLibrary or Hoopla ( account required) or eBooks for Kids (for residents of Kansas only).


Teens & Tweens:
Miss Valetta will hand out curbside packets for summer reading on Wednesday afternoon, so there will be no meeting on May 27. Join her on June 3 at 4 pm for the first FSPL virtual teen summer reading meeting, ever!

State Farm to Host Beacon Food Drive


Now, more than ever, being a good neighbor means everything.

That’s why Kale Nelson State Farm will be hosting a Beacon Food Drive from May 25 to June 5.

In addition to collecting food, Kale Nelson State Farm will match food contributions up to $500 in a grocery donation to the Beacon.

The State Farm team encourages community members to drop off canned goods, dry goods and other non-perishable food items to the office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The office is located at 1805 S. National, Fort Scott.

We have always been community-minded and, State Farm supports those efforts,” said Kale Nelson, agent said.

“The Beacon serves so many people, and I hope we can play a part in providing the much-needed support for this important entity.”

In addition to the upcoming food drive, Nelson hopes to sponsor similar activities in the coming months.

Quick Basics:

  • What: State Farm Beacon Food Drive
  • When: May 25 to June 5
  • Where: 1805 S. National
  • How: Drop off canned goods, dry goods and other non-perishable items to State Farm
  • Why: State Farm will match food contributions up to $500 for the Beacon

For more information, please contact Kale Nelson State Farm, 620-224-2828.


Christian Ministries Team Up to Distribute Food Tomorrow, May 23

Allen Schellack, director of Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries.

Three Christian ministries are working together to bring food to those affected by the COVID 19 Pandemic.


Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries, Fort Scott Church of the  Nazarene, and Convoy of Hope will be having a food distribution event, Saturday, May 23, from 10 AM to 2 PM at Fort Scott Nazarene, 1728 S Horton.


Convoy of Hope is providing the food, the church is providing the distribution place and some volunteers and Allen Schellack, director of Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries, is providing the coordination of the food distribution.


The Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene is located at 1728 S. Horton. People should enter off of Horton Street and will pick up food under the canopy on the south side of the church.


Food distributed (while supplies last) will include potatoes, bread, eggs, produce, and bottled juice and tea, according to Allen Schellack, director.

Schellack recently completed a Convoy of Hope Zoom training and  on May 20 he was told that food to distribute would be available on May 23.,

Schellack with his son, Dustin, will be picking up the food from the Convoy of Hope hub site in Webb City, MO.

Volunteers are needed on May 23 to help direct traffic for the event, unpack the food, and hand out the food, Schellack said.

Volunteers can call Schellack to schedule a work time at 620-223-2212.

There are no income guidelines to receive the food, nor registration requirements.

“We hope to make this the first of many more events,” Schellack said.

“This is a community event and our vision is to have more churches involved to help serve the community,” he said.


Convoy of Hope is a faith-based organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing, according to its’ Facebook page.

Schellack is a member of the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene and members are supporting this outreach as volunteers and allowing the church to be the distribution point.

The mission of Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries is to
 alleviate suffering caused by poverty, and issues relating to poverty, and promote family values through partnership with local and state agencies.
The FSCM Outreach Center is located on the second floor of The Bourbon County Senior Citizens Center, 26 N. Main and was founded in 2014, with Schellack at the director.

Reyna Valenzuela: New Fort Scott High School English Teacher

Reyna Valenzuela. Submitted photo.

Reyna Valenzuela, 21, was hired as a Fort Scott High School English Teacher for 2020-21.

She graduated from Pittsburg High School in 2016 and from Pittsburg State University with a Bachelor’s  Degree in English Education in May 2020 and will be starting a Master’s in English Literature in the fall.


“I worked at St. Mary’s Colgan as a YES Tutor for a year and a half, following that I worked for two years on campus as a writing center consultant,” she said.  “I also did my internship through PSU at Northeast High School as well as completed my student teaching at Northeast.”


Valenzuela was born in Fort Hood, Texas and has lived in Arma, KS since she was three-years-old.


Her interests include reading, Greek Mythology, British Literature, watching YouTube, and Netflix, her cat,  and hanging out with her family.


In addition, she loves softball, baseball, and football.


“So I look forward to cheering students on at their games in the future,” she said.


Becoming a teacher was a realization for Valenzuela.


” I wasn’t always sure what I wanted to do, I switched my dream career a lot when I was younger,” she said. “Eventually though, after watching my mom become a teacher and having an amazing AP Literature teacher during my senior year of high school, I realized that this was the field for me. I wanted to have the chance to make a difference in a student’s life as my mom, Tina Valenzuela, and my AP Literature teacher, Mrs. Johnson, did in mine. Because of this, I’ve worked hard through college to learn as much as I could so I could become a successful educator who makes a difference and helps her students in positive ways.”


“Seeing how much they both loved to teach and how they put everything they had into the classroom was incredibly inspiring and I don’t think I would have come this far without them,” she said.


The best part of teaching for her are the students, she said.


“Getting to know them, watching them grow, and succeed, they are the reason I want to teach so I guess it only makes sense they are the best part of teaching.”


Some of the challenges of teaching is continuing to learn and grow as a teacher “so that you are still providing students the most effective methods of learning is what I would consider one of the greatest challenges in teaching; because as humans we like routine, and so making sure that you’re constantly changing and evolving is something that can be a struggle, but it’s worth it, in the end, to watch students grow,” she said.

Fort Scott Lightning Strike Caught on Camera

Lightning strike. iphoto.

On  Friday, May 15, 2020, Kansas Gas Service responded to a gas odor call after a report of a lightning strike that damaged two structures in the 600 block of S. National, according to a press release from KGS.

Fort Scott Fire Department and Fort Scott Police Department had National Avenue blocked off between 6th  Street and 7th Street that morning as a result of the gas leak, according to Aimee Moore, who lives in the block that was affected.

Moore had cameras on her house that caught the lightning strike. They are included at the end of this feature.

KGS technicians performed inspections and turned the gas off at two properties until the customers completed necessary repairs to the customer-owned equipment, Dawn Tripp, KGS Media Relations said on Monday afternoon.


“Kansas Gas came out and shut off the gas line before removing the meter,”  Moore, said.  Stoughton Inc. completed the repairs and ran the pressure test.  Fort Scott Code Enforcement personnel gave the okay and  Moore waited until KGS put the meter back and turned it on.


As a reminder, if you smell natural gas or have a natural gas emergency, leave the area immediately. Then call 911 and Kansas Gas Service at 888-482-4950.


Moore submitted the following information and links to the recent lightning strike in Fort Scott.


“Friday, May 15, 2020, at 9:37  a.m., lightning struck Dr. Steve Mitchell’s office at 624 South National Ave and caused a gas leak,” she said.

“The current traveled through our electrical lines and also caused arcing to blow out our gas line at 612 S National Ave.,” Moore said. “Pictures fell off of our wall and also at the florist next to us, Flowers by LeeAnn.”


Moore submitted the following links of the lightning strikes.




FS Commission Special Meeting May 22

There will be a Special Meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission held at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 22nd, 2020 in the City Commission Meeting Room, at City Hall, 123 S. Main Street, Fort Scott, Kansas. This special meeting will be held to hold a public hearing to consider an application to be submitted to the Kansas Department of Commerce for Small Cities Community Development Block Grant funds under the CDBG-CV category. The specific project application to be discussed is for the Economic Development program within the City limits of Fort Scott. The maximum amount of the grant request will be for $300,000 for both micro and regular business assistance category.

The City Commission meeting will not be open to the public at this time due to the limited number of 15 allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting will be made available by calling 620-724-9910, enter access code 515698#, and when prompted state your full name followed by the # tag.

Kansas Sons Of American Legion Is Recruiting

Fort Scott has a Sons Squadron and we are always accepting new members. Jeff Norris is our local Squadron Commander.
To join the Sons, one must be a male descendant of a Veteran.  The Veteran could be a parent, grandparent or great grandparent. A grandson of a Legionnaire is also eligible to join the Sons.
Eligibility for the Sons can be confusing. I was able to join the Sons through my grandfather’s World War One service, not through my own Navy service. I signed up two of my grandsons as Sons members and Myra signed up one of hers based upon our military service.
The Sons, like the Auxiliary and the Legion, is about service to veterans and the community. Recruit a member today!
Department of Kansas Sons of the American Legion SALute newsletter is attached for your reading pleasure.
Carl Jowers. SAL Squadron 25 Adjutant.

Fort Scott Public Library Youth Summer Reading Program

Sign Up for Youth Summer Reading May 26 – 29
The 2020 Youth Summer Reading Registration form is now open online at this link. Fort Scott Public Library will begin accepting physical summer reading registrations on May 26. Everyone wishing to sign up for summer reading, online or in person, for ages birth – 12th grade should plan to stop by the library for safe, socially-distanced packet pickups May 26 – 27 from 3 – 4 pm or May 28 – 29 from 10 – 11 am in the south parking lot, right off of National Ave. Drivers should pull up beside the table, remain in their cars, and tell Miss Val how many packets they need, and for what age groups. Miss Val will place the bags at the end of the table, retreat to a safe distance, and allow drivers to reach out and grab their items. If those hours will not work for you (you may have someone else pick up packets for you), or in the case of inclement weather, call the library or email Miss Val (see below) to set up an appointment for pickup. If you plan to pick up for a daycare or other large group, please call or email to schedule an appointment and designate the number and ages of the children when you call, as we will provide special packets to these groups. You may email Miss Val at or call the library at (620) 223-2882.
The 2020 youth summer reading program will run from June 1 – August 5. The majority of the program will be offered online. Some physical activities, crafts, and reading rewards will also be available for curbside pickup throughout the summer. Storytelling videos will be offered on Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube, and craft demonstration videos will be offered on YouTube and Facebook, with guest readers and demonstrators in addition to Miss Val. Our performers, Storyteller Will Stuck and Magician Jeff Quinn, will provide pre-recorded performances that we will then share with our patrons during a limited viewing time. The calendars on our website and Facebook events page will have listings for all summer reading events. We hope to offer in-person activity & prize packet pickups at a minimum of every other week. Check often on the library’s website or Facebook page for news, videos, and updates. You may sign up for email updates here. Stay tuned for adult summer reading details, coming soon!

Hannah Reel Is FSCC’s Outstanding Sophomore 2020

Hannah Reel, FSCC’s Outstanding Sophomore 2020. Submitted photo.
Hannah René Reel, 20, is the Fort Scott Community College Outstanding Sophomore for 2020.
She is the daughter of Jeff and Andrea Scott and Jon Reel, and hales from Fort Scott.
While at the college, Reel was involved as Presidents Ambassador, Vice President of Greyhound Student Government, Christians on Campus, TRiO, TRiO tutor, Phi Theta Kappa and in addition she is involved as a Make-A-Wish Ambassador, American Heart Association Ambassador and children’s teacher for Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene and its’ Vacation Bible School.

What are the most important things you have learned while at FSCC?

“How to be a good leader, learn how to prioritize, and that relationships with people are everything.”

Any life lessons learned?

“Not be afraid to be who I am..found my passion in teaching.. faith is the greatest path you can find.”


What is your major?

“Associates of Science  at  (FSCC) and gain a Bachelors in Communication with an emphasis in Communication Education for Secondary Education at Pittsburg State University.”


What is your ultimate career goal?

“Get my masters to become a Speech teacher at a community college.”



Tell about your experience getting your education online during the pandemic.

“My experience of education online was very difficult, but it taught me to rely on my knowledge and understand I had teachers and staff that were there for me to help in any way possible.”

City Admin Offices Closures For Memorial Day Holiday

The City of Fort Scott City Administrative Offices will be closed on Monday, May 25th, 2020 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. The offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020.

The City’s tree and brush dump site located on North Hill will also be closed on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 for the Memorial Day holiday. It will be open again on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Fort Scott News

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