FSCC Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Inducts New Students
The Fort Scott Community College Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (Alpha Theta Omega Chapter) inducted 33 new students during a candle lighting ceremony on Friday, April 7, at the Danny & Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center.
Students inducted this semester include: Mariah Aebersold, Heather Bahr, Adam Biby, Thomas Boatwright, Taylor Brecheisen, Mataya Cook, Rilie Creollo, Leslie Damian, Jordyn Danzer, Dustin Erikson, Madison Gray, Justin Grigsby, Sirr Green, Tyler Henninger, Heather Huesman, Genna Hull, Sarah Kelley, Keyshla Laureano Perez, Cristin Lowry, Allie Martin, Lindsey McNeil, Nathan Miller, Rachel Newquist, Nguyen Hannah Pham, Erica Pinneo, Emmah Reeves, Alexandria Rooks, Carla Salas, Mason Skiles, Lauren Sluder, Kyle Smith, Kirstie Williams and Barrett Young.
“We are pleased to welcome our new Phi Theta Kappa members this spring,” said Susie Arvidson, FSCC Director of Library Services and Phi Theta Kappa Advisor. “Over the past year, the members and officers have worked diligently to grow the organization and in turn were very successful. We look forward to the coming year as we strive for excellence and growth as individuals and as a group.”
Phi Theta Kappa, an international honor society, recognizes the academic achievements of two-year college students. Students who have completed 12 credit hours and earned a 3.5 GPA or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa. For more information, please call Susie Arvidson at 620-223-2700, ext. 3441.
Photo caption—Pictured from left to right: Nguyen Hannah Pham, Keyshla Laureano Perez, Heather Bahr, Genna Hull, Cristin Lowry, Lauren Sluder, Sarah Kelley, Jordyn Danzer, Rachel Newquist and Dustin Erikson.
FSCC Women’s Appreciation Luncheon slated for Apr. 26
Fort Scott Community College will host the annual Women’s Appreciation Luncheon 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, at the Danny & Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center.
The luncheon menu includes chicken salad croissant sandwiches, soup, salad, gourmet cookies and refreshments. In addition to lunch, the popular event will offer free gifts, door prizes, musical entertainment and product displays from local businesses. The event will showcase a variety of businesses including AdvoCare, All About That Xyng, Bids & Dibs, Black Dogs Farm, Custom Jewelry, FSCC Cosmetology (manicures), Gold Canyon, Hartman Spine and Joint, LipSense, Locust Hill Lamanchas, LuLaRoe, Mercy Hospital, Premier Designs Jewelry, Prüvit, Rodan + Fields, Taylor’s Lamps and Such, Thirty-One Gifts, Young Living Essential Oils, Younique and more.
Tickets are $6 per person. Attendees who purchase five tickets by April 25 will receive one ticket free. For more information or to reserve a seat, please call 620-223-2700.
After months of work that began in September, the Fort Scott Public Library reopened its doors April 3, and held a grand opening event Thursday when they had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to recognize the accomplishments.
“The library is a great asset to our historic downtown and the services and programs are essential to our community,” Mayor JoLynne Mitchell said, adding she believes the youth programs are especially important.
Director Lisa Walther said the library began saving money in 1992 when they started the capitol improvement fund. Though tax dollars funded the project, it was funding gathered over two decades so they did not have to ask the city for more money or a large sum at once.
“We are just thrilled that people seem to be quite happy with how it looks,” Director Lisa Walther said of the completed project. “We couldn’t be happier.”
The improvements include new floors, walls, lights, restroom and ADA compliance as well as new office areas and conference room.
Walther expressed appreciation to city staff as well as library staff and board members, who remained patient throughout the process and helped make decisions as well as other volunteers who moved books and cleaned.
City Manager Dave Martin said it was refreshing working with those involved in the library project and said he is glad to see it complete as he appreciates having hard copies of books.
Library hours and programs, including the children’s reading time on Tuesdays, now continues as normal.
During the executive session of their April meeting Monday evening, the Unified School District 234 Board of Education approved a contract with Stephanie Witt, naming her the principal for Eugene Ware for the 2017-18 school year.
Formerly a middle school instructional coach, Witt will take over the principal responsibilities in July, while current principal Dave Elliott’s contract expires in June.
“We’re excited to partner with her to help in every way possible to make that a great situation for our staff and students,” Superintendent Bob Beckham said of Witt’s upcoming year with the school district.
In February, the school board voted not to extend Elliott’s contract with the district. A number of parents and other members of the district spoke on his behalf during the March meeting.
Beckham expressed his fondness for Elliott and his years with the district, but had no comment on his upcoming departure after the current school year.
Witt’s brother-in-law and school board member, Jordan Witt, abstained from voting on the employment decision Monday evening.
Beckham also announced that the bond project continues to move forward at a good pace and is scheduled to be complete by July 4.
The Fort Scott Kiwanis hosted their annual Easter egg hunt at Gunn Park Saturday, drawing a large number of children of a variety of ages who were able to leave with Easter eggs, candy and other prizes.
The event was sponsored by a number of local businesses including Marsha’s Deli, Fort Cinema, Walmart, Iron Star, McDonald’s, Landmark Bank and a number of others. The Easter bunny also made an appearance.
Further Easter event will be held this weekend, including the Eggstravaganza event to be held at Buck Run Community Center Saturday, April 15, providing a variety of games and activities. Those interested in participating are encouraged to register early with a $1 fee to make sure there will be sufficient supplies. Walgreens will also provide an opportunity for children to have their photos taken with the Easter bunny, with participants receiving a free 4×5 print.
The most expensive items in the produce section are berries. The cost of berries can be overcome by growing them yourself. Learn how at the second program of the “Grow It – Prepare It” series – Growing Berries, on Thursday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds.
This program will give homeowners tips on growing strawberries and blackberries. Planting techniques, fertility, pruning and harvesting will all be covered. For more information on this program and to register, please contact the Southwind Extension District at 620-223- 3720.
The annual Home, Sport, Farm and Garden Show hosted by KOMB-FM drew in large numbers of people to visit booths set up by more than 60 vendors at the Arnold Arena at Fort Scott Community College.
Visitors were able to gather information of local businesses and organizations, such as The Butcher Block, the City of Fort Scott, Redbud Nurseries and Skitch’s Hauling and Excavation, among a large number of others. Drawings for prizes were also held throughout the day.
Simultaneously, FSCC held a children’s fair on campus, with students as well as others such as the Fort Scott police and fire departments participating in games and other events for the children.
If you have wanted to lose weight, or maintain your current weight, consider joining Weight Watchers.
On Wednesday, April 12, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott’s Concetta Room, Weight Watchers will host a public open house.
No pre-registration or fee is required for this come-and-go event. Participants can sample Weight Watchers food, view products, learn more about the program, hear success stories and register to win door prizes. If someone likes what they see at the open house, they might consider joining the group.
Weight Watchers holds weekly meetings on Wednesdays at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott. Weight-ins are from 11:30 a.m. – noon, followed by a meeting from noon – 12:30 p.m. A Weight Watchers monthly pass is required to attend the ongoing meeting.
“Weight Watchers offers a holistic approach to weight loss,” said Jana Dalrymple, Weight Watchers leader. “Participants benefit from the support group-like setting and proven techniques that motivate and encourage healthy weight loss and long-term success.”
For more details about Weight Watchers at Mercy, call Mary Wynn, Mercy Infection Prevention and Employee Health nurse at 223-2200 ext 2198.
Infant Loss Remembrance Service
If you or your family has been impacted by pregnancy loss or the loss of an infant shortly after birth, Mercy wants to offer you a time for reflection and comfort.
You are invited to come find support and healing at an Infant Loss Remembrance Service on Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m. at the St. Mary’s Cemetery located west of Fort Scott on Locust Road. Anyone in the community or surrounding area who has suffered this type of loss is welcome to attend.
Our time together will include a short service and time of prayer, plus a balloon release with opportunity for participants to write messages to those children being remembered.
In case of rain, the service will be moved to Mercy Hospital’s McAuley Conference Center.
For more information, contact Mercy Chaplain Tyler Whipkey at 620-223-8481.
During the Fort Scott City Commission meeting Tuesday evening, the city introduced the new tourism manager, Larry Gazaway.
Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said Gazaway, known as “The Voice of Fort Scott” through his local broadcasting career, described himself as a passionate person about arts and sports with extensive knowledge about the city and the county.
“We would be really hard-pressed to find anyone to match his skill set as well as his determination and knowledge for the county and city,” Pruitt said, adding he brings marketing experience as well. “We look forward to him being the voice of tourism and the face of Fort Scott, to lead us in a very important endeavor for the city.”
“I’m excited,” Gazaway said. “I just made one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make—leaving a job that I love, one that I had a great passion for—but I look forward to taking the passion that I have for this town, this community, and getting to market that to a very much larger area and hopefully bring some excitement to that.”
City Manager Dave Martin said Gazaway has a good relationship with the Fort Scott Area of Commerce and said he is a welcome addition to the city staff.
“Thank you very much for the opportunity and I promise I won’t disappoint you,” Gazaway said.
In recent months, the city leaders made the decision to move the tourism department away from the chamber of commerce and put it under the city’s direction. Gazaway is expected to begin working in the newly created position April 17, and is expected to move to an office at the chamber building after completing training at city hall.
With the arrival of spring and the growing season, the Kansas State Southwind Extension District Office is providing a number of workshops focusing on gardening and food preservation in order to educate those interested in learning about the subject.
Monday evening, the extension office hosted a workshop at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds on herbs. Hostesses of the event discussed the different types of herbs, how to grow them, the benefits of eating them and how to cook with them.
“You really can get creative with them,” extension district agent Kathy McEwan said of cooking with herbs.
Starting Thursday, the extension office will begin a series of classes called “Grow it, Prepare it.” Those seven workshops will be held in April, May and June and will include topics such as gardening 101, food preservation 101, jams and jellies, pressure canning, growing berries, container gardening and salsa.
Other events will be offered by the K-State Southwind Extension District as well, including a course on controlling weeds on April 26, at the Neosho County Courthouse. The date was printed incorrectly in a recent release. Registrations are required by April 18.
Mercy is committed to supporting charitable organizations and activities consistent with our mission to improve the health and quality of life in the communities we serve. Just one way that Mercy does so is by donating money to sponsor a multitude of annual events or organization’s efforts to promote health and wellness.
In order to better serve the organizations which submit sponsorship/donation requests, Mercy has introduced a new online sponsorship application system.
To be considered for funding from Mercy between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, all organizations seeking charitable support are asked to complete the online application at www.mercy.net/sponsorships.
The deadline to apply is June 1, 2017. Recipients will be notified by email after July 1, 2017.
To create your organization’s online proposal, you will first need to create an account by logging on to www.mercy.net/sponsorships. Note that the application will require a W-9, and Federal Tax ID number or a Social Security number to submit.
“The application review committee looks forward to receiving proposals and learning more about your organization’s plans to use funds to further our mission among the people you serve,” said Tina Rockhold, Community Relations Manager and Philanthropy Director. “We strongly encourage your organization’s members to think ahead for the next 14 months and submit applications for programs they foresee having funding needs through June of 2018.”
Two Sisters of Mercy arrived in Fort Scott in 1886 with the intent to operate a school. Instead, Rev. Francis J. Watron had determined that the community was in desperate need of a hospital. So, Sister Theresa Dolan and Sister Mary Delores Drew began immediate oversight of a 10-bed hospital.
“Today is no different,” said Reta Baker, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott president. “We continue to shape services and programs by our community’s needs. Since opening our doors, Mercy has focused on offering the health care needs that fit the populations we serve.”
Mercy Clinic Fort Scott is pleased to announce that through collaboration with Ortho Four States, Mercy nurse practitioner Greg King will continue to provide clinic for orthopedic evaluations, joint injections, sports medicine treatment, fracture casting and care, as well as Mercy Hospital Emergency Department coverage.
In January, it was determined due to low volumes in orthopedics and outmigration for surgery cases, the orthopedic surgical service line was no longer sustainable under Mercy’s operation.
The arrangement allows Mercy patients access to skilled orthopedic care and the coordination for further care at another site, if necessary. King will also make referrals to specialists for orthopedic surgery at the location of the patient’s choice.
“For years, Mercy Fort Scott has coordinated with Mercy and non-Mercy providers to bring highly-skilled specialty care not often found at smaller, rural communities to the patients in our service area,” Baker explained. “Other specialties falling into this category include allergy, cardiac and thoracic surgery, cardiology, neurology, oncology, and urology.”
For more information or to make an appointment with Greg King, Mercy APRN, call Mercy Clinic Fort Scott at 620-223- 8064.
On March 11, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 70 confirmed cases of mumps throughout multiple counties in the state. Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus and typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Vaccinations significantly reduce the chances of a person acquiring mumps and limit the spread of the disease.
“Vaccines are our number one resource in health promotion and disease prevention,” Kim Burns, Mercy APRN-FNP- c. “Keeping your children up to date with their immunizations keeps your child, and everyone around them, safer from preventable disease.”
It’s important that parents and guardians be well-informed about how and where to get children under the age of 19 years vaccinated to avoid costly, out-of- pocket expenses,” Burns added.
Mercy Clinics in Fort Scott, Arma and Pleasanton, as well as Mercy Convenient Care, are enrolled in the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program, known as VFC. VFC provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.
For example, a child insured through KanCare (T19), underinsured (commercial insurance that does not cover immunizations), Native Americans and children with no insurance coverage (self pay) will qualify to receive their shots free of charge at a clinic that offers VFC benefits. All vaccinations for children, even those younger than school age, are eligible for VFC coverage.
Although all Mercy Clinics in Bourbon, Crawford and Linn Counties are registered with the VFC program, not all clinics are so it is recommended to ask non-Mercy providers if they offer VFC benefits prior to receiving vaccinations. The immunizations, if not covered by insurance or VFC, could cost between $130 and $140 per dose. Children’s immunization that are self-pay will be charged a minimal-cost injection fee, but not the full cost of the dose.
In addition to reducing the spread of mumps, all public schools require that students supply an immunization record and that all vaccinations are up to date.
Vaccinations are recommended for patients based on age and vaccination history. Please talk with your health care provider to learn more about which shots your child may need for the coming school year.
Bereavement and Grief Support Group
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one and need support, you may find comfort among Mercy’s Bereavement and Grief Support Group.
Mercy Hospice will offer an eight week bereavement and grief support group at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott on Wednesdays 2-3 p.m. beginning April 5, through May 24.
The support group is open to anyone who has experienced loss of a loved one, regardless of hospice care or affiliation. Each week, professionals will share topics to assist participants on their journey to dealing with the loss.
Although attendance is not mandatory at all sessions, it is highly recommended. Enrollment will close after April 19.
For more information and meeting location, please contact Melissa George, Mercy Hospice Chaplain, at 620-223-8533.
With the arrival of spring and even warmer months to come, the city of Fort Scott encourages residents and visitors to take advantage of the amenities provided at Gunn Park.
“What an awesome park we have here,” City Manager Dave Martin said during the Chamber Coffee Thursday morning, when codes enforcement manager Rhonda Dunn spoke of the history of the park.
Dunn said she has heard that Gunn Park is the largest, city-owned park in the state of Kansas, with 155 acres that include two lakes, seven shelter houses, a number of playgrounds, a disc golf course, dog park, trails and the Marmatton River.
In the early 1900s, Gunn Park was privately owned land and only Fern Lake existed, with a wooden pavilion building and the remainder of the current park property being used as farmland. According to records, the park was frequently used by the community who came for swimming, diving, boat rentals and five cent trolley rides.
William Gunn, who found success in real estate and invested greatly in Fort Scott in the early 1900s, purchased the land and gave it to the city, with records quoting him as saying he believed the park should belong to the city and should always be free to visitors.
“We are the benefactors of an incredible gift,” Dunn said of Gunn’s gift more than a century ago.
Since accepting that gift, the city has maintained the park as well as made a number of changes. Dunn encourages businesses and residents to consider Gunn Park when planning for events such as parties or family reunions, adding she would like to see the community present at the park more frequently.
Those interested in reserving one of the shelter houses, two of which now have heating and air, can contact city hall.
During the Fort Scott City Commission meeting Tuesday evening, the commissioners agreed to create a redevelopment district at the former Woods building, allowing developers to move forward with their plans for the structure.
Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said she has been working to bring in a grocery store and is now working on a deal with Queen’s Price Chopper, a family business since 1974 that has five other locations.
Joel Riggs, real estate director for Associated Wholesale Grocers and part of Super Market Developers, said the groups involved are moving as quickly as possible in order to have the grocery and retail store open by November.
“This is kind of the first step in a pretty long process in moving forward to try to redevelop the property that was formerly Woods Grocery Store,” Riggs said, saying the physical redevelopment is scheduled to begin in July.
With the city’s approval, a public hearing was set for the community to be involved and voice any concerns they have in the planning process. The first public hearing is set for May 2, with another to follow on June 20.
“It is a big project,” Riggs said. “It’s important to us…We are going to do everything in our power to move this forward as quickly as we can, but following all the rules and regulations that we need to.”
Riggs said it is a complex financing plan, utilizing Tax Increment Financing bonds, a public financing method that could waive the impact of certain taxes on the zone for a period of time as an incentive. Pruitt said the city will be working with the county and Unified School District 234, as the three taxing entities must come to an agreement on the TIF Redevelopment District.
Dr. Rick Kellenberger, owner of the Dairy Queen located near the Woods building, said they are looking forward to having new neighbors invested in that area.
“It looks pretty desolate up there right now,” Kellenberger said. “So we’re looking forward to that whole area blossoming and hopefully developing and being a one-stop area with all the retail that we have there.”
The city gave an update on Memorial Hall, with Pruitt saying they may be nearing a sales agreement with Last Farmhouse Films, Inc.
A representative from 4-State Sanitation said they will begin providing a drop-off point for recycling beginning on April 3.
The commission gave their approval to allow alcohol sales during the Independence Day event to be held at the LaRoche Baseball Complex this summer.