Category Archives: Government

Jail Heating System on the Blink

Sheriff Bill Martin demonstrates how all the cells can be viewed from the control room in a direct line of sight at the jail in this photo from April 2018, before the jail was completed.

The Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center has been having issues with its heating and air conditioning system since late summer, according to Sheriff Bill Martin.

“The systems weren’t changing over from cool to heat and heat to cool,” he said. The jail was built in 2017-2018.

There are currently 58 inmates, he said.

Martin said the failure of the system to work properly was because of the design of the units.

The Bourbon County Commission opened and reviewedthe bids for the repair of the system at its January 4, 2022 meeting, Martin said.

“The commissioners approved  French’s Plumbling/A.C, to move forward with correcting the issues with the HVAC system,” he said.

Repeated calls to French’s Plumbing for an update on the work were not answered.

Inmates have been given an extra blanket to help until the problem can be repaired.

“When a person is processed or booked into the correctional facility, they are issued one sheet and one blanket,” Martin said. “Since the issues with the HVAC system, they are now offered a second blanket.”


There an opening is for the Lake Fort Scott Advisory Board Committee:

  • One opening (Full-time resident on the East side of Lake Fort Scott)

The function of the Lake Fort Scott Advisory Board Committee is to provide suggestions to the City Manager and Governing Body regarding lake operations, lake safety, fishing, boating, and camping at Lake Fort Scott.

If you have a desire to serve on this board and meet the above requirements, please submit a letter of interest to the City Clerk, Diane Clay, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. The names will be submitted for consideration to the City Commission. All of the boards and commissions serve on a volunteer basis and are not compensated. If you would like more information on this board, please contact Diane Clay, City Clerk at 620-223-0550 or Please submit your letter of interest by January 28th, 2022.

FS City Special Meeting Jan. 13

There will be a Special Meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission held at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 13th, 2022. This meeting will be held to consider two change orders for the Urgent Need Grant on North National.

The work session regarding brick streets will be held immediately following the special meeting.

These meetings will be held at 123 S. Main Street in the City Commission meeting room. These meetings will be broadcast on the City’s you tube channel.


KS 2023 Budget Announced

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Fiscal Year 2023 Budget

~ Governor Kelly keeps her promise to bring fiscal responsibility back to state government ~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced her fourth budget recommendation. This budget builds on years of work by the Kelly Administration to restore the state’s fiscal prosperity, grow the state’s economy, expand the state’s workforce, and invest in the health and safety of the people of the state of Kansas.

“Fully funding K-12. Closing the Bank of KDOT. Balancing our budget. This is what the people of Kansas elected me to do,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This budget not only restores state funding for critical services, it cuts the state sales tax on food. I encourage the Legislature to waste no time and send me a clean bill to Axe the Food Tax.”

The Governor’s budget fully funds K-12 for a fifth straight year and makes historic investments in workforce training and higher education to ensure that Kansans are ready to enter the workforce. By expanding Medicaid, the state of Kansas not only nets millions of dollars of enhanced federal matching funds, it allows more people to remain in the workforce and boosts local economies.

Recognizing that some revenues may be one-time only, the budget makes several one-time investments to reduce debt and increase structural balance, including paying off KPERS and other debts accrued under previous administrations, providing Kansas taxpayers with a $250 rebate, and making one-time investments and capital improvements in the state’s public safety, corrections, and juvenile justice systems.

Other highlights of this budget include:

  • Responsibly cutting taxes for every Kansan: Unlike proposals that have focused the greatest benefit of tax reform on a small number of Kansans, cutting the state sales tax on food and providing a rebate for every Kansas taxpayer will ensure tax relief goes to the hardworking Kansans that power our state’s economy.
  • Recognizing the service of law enforcement and other state employees: This budget calls for a minimum 5% pay increase for all state employees and includes funding to help recruit and retain State Highway Patrol officers, nurses, corrections officers, public defenders, Community Corrections, home and community-based service providers, child protection specialists, and others. It also includes funding to enhance pensions and new protective equipment and facility improvements for those working in secure facilities.
  • Sustaining the state’s record-breaking economic growth: Kansas has continued record-breaking economic growth for a second straight year—bringing the two-year total of economic investment to over $7.6 billion. This budget builds on the Governor’s previous efforts to restore the Department of Commerce by fully returning the Economic Development Initiatives Fund to its intended purpose—economic development. In addition to efforts to enhance the state’s workforce through training and apprenticeships, the budget intends to capitalize on broadband development, encourage small business innovation, and develop and renovate new moderate-income housing.
  • Achieving and maintaining school funding: This budget includes adequate school funding to meet the requirements of the Gannon settlement for a fifth straight year, ensuring that as students, parents, and teachers continue to learn and overcome the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, schools have resources to help keep our kids on track to graduate, earn postsecondary degrees and certificates, and ultimately join the workforce.
  • Fully closing the Bank of KDOT: This budget not only fulfills the Governor’s promise to close the Bank of KDOT, it ends other extraordinary transfers out of the State Highway Fund. These transfers for non-infrastructure programs such as Mental Health Grants and debt service on bonds will now be funded out of SGF, returning needed infrastructure dollars to their original purpose.
  • Promoting workforce readiness and competitiveness: funding for postsecondary education has not recovered to pre-Great Recession levels in over a decade. This budget not only restores higher education funding and freezes tuition at four-year institutions, it includes additional funding for need-based aid, Excel in CTE, and National Guard scholarships so that more Kansans can seek the education and training they need to qualify for in-demand jobs. It also provides capital investment funding to ensure that all institutions remain engines of economic growth with new facilities and technology to increase the state’s competitiveness.
  • Reducing fees and making payments on-time: Under previous administrations, “one-time” and “temporary” measures were put in place that added to KPERS debt, increased fees for vehicle registration, and delayed the final school payment into the next fiscal year. Coming off the recent repayment of the PMIB loan, this budget ends the DMV surcharge, pays off KPERS debt early, and returns the 12th school payment to the current year. It also pays bonds early, improving the state’s structural balance and securing Kansas’ finances in the event of future national or international economic challenges.
  • Strengthening Access to Mental Healthcare: With the lifting of the moratorium at Osawatomie State Hospital, this budget continues the work of ensuring mental health access closer to home by providing funding for regional crisis services and hospital beds, suicide prevention grants for local agencies, and expanding access to mental health teams in the state’s schools. It also provides new substance use treatment options for those in state hospitals and corrections facilities.
  • Promoting healthcare affordability: expanding Medicaid is not only a good deal for the state of Kansas, it helps Kansans remain in the workforce and keeps local health providers in business. Our healthcare providers are essential to keeping local economies strong. This budget also funds enhanced post-partum Medicaid coverage for up to 12 months, improving mental and physical health for mothers and young families.
  • Protecting the state and safeguarding our future: After the state experienced significant natural disasters in recent years, this budget provides funding for staff and one-time funding for upgrades of facilities and equipment for our National Guard and state health and environment lab.
  • Fully funding the state water plan: for too many years, the state’s radical tax policies led the state to defund efforts to protect one of our most valuable resources: water. This budget fully funds the State Water Plan Fund for the first time since FY 2008—providing irrigation technology and other water-saving resources that will promote the resilience and abundance of our rural communities and ag industry for generations to come.
  • Saving for tomorrow: Until this budget, Kansas has been unique among states to have either a small or non-existent budget stabilization fund. This budget ensures that Kansas has a real “Rainy Day Fund” in case national and international events threaten to harm our sustained economic growth.

    View the Governor’s full budget recommendation here. 

Kansas Governor: State of the State

Governor Laura Kelly Delivers the 2022 State of the State Address

TOPEKA – The following is the transcript of Governor Laura Kelly’s 2022 State of the State Address.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Madam Chief Justice, Lt. Governor Toland, statewide elected officials, members of the Legislature, Cabinet officers, leaders of the Kansas tribes, honored guests, and fellow Kansans.

After two years of challenges, of limited gatherings, it is my high honor to stand before you once again this evening to deliver my fourth State of the State Address.

To report on our shared successes.

And to present a blueprint for the final year of my first term.

To read the complete speech, please go here.

USD234 News Release

Monday, January 10, 2022


Members of the USD 234 Board of Education met at the Winfield Scott Cafeteria on Monday, January 10, 2022, for their regular monthly meeting.

Vice-President Kellye Barrows opened the meeting.  The board approved the official agenda.  The board also approved the consent agenda as follows:


A.    Minutes

B.    Bills and Claims

C.    Payroll – December 17, 2021 – $1,463,866.84

D.    Financial Report

E.     Activity fund accounts­­­­­­

F.     First Day of Second Semester Enrollment Count Report


There were no comments in the public forum section.  Rob Harrington, Bourbon County Economic Development Director, presented information regarding the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.  The board approved the Interlocal Agreement with the City of Fort Scott.

Brenda Hill, Fort Scott KNEA President, gave a report to board members.

Scott Kimble, Fort Scott High School Principal, shared information on Individual Plans of Study for students.  Principals from each building shared written reports.  In addition, reports were given by Dalaina Smith, Director of Academics; Ted Hessong, Superintendent of Schools; and Gina Shelton, Business Manager/Board Clerk.

Board members approved the updated CDC and KDHE recommendations for the Operations Guidelines.  The board also approved the following:


·       KASB Board Policy updates

·       Resolution 21-10 – Establish Election of School Board Officers

·       Resolution 21-11 – Establish Regular Meeting Dates

·       Desktop Computer purchases

·       Agreement of Cooperation and Partnership between USD 234 Special Education and SEK-CAP Head Start 0-5


Superintendent Hessong discussed ESSER III updates.  Board members shared comments and then went into executive session for preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property.  The board returned to open meeting and then went into executive session to discuss personnel matters for nonelected personnel and returned to open meeting.   The board approved the following employment items:

A.    Early retirement of Tami Campbell, high school social studies teacher, effective August 1, 2022

B.    Early retirement of Kelly Toll, middle school science teacher, effective July 1, 2022

C.    Resignation of Jenna Bunn, Winfield Scott paraprofessional, effective December 29, 2021

D.    Resignation of Akasha Clements, middle school paraprofessional, effective January 7, 2022

E.     Resignation of Jonny Larsen, Eugene Ware/Fort Scott Preschool Center custodian, effective December 21, 2021

F.     Resignation of Kourtney Harper, high school paraprofessional, effective December 16, 2021

G.    Resignation of Laura Gulley, Eugene Ware paraprofessional, effective January 24, 2022

H.    Employment of Zach Hart as a Winfield Scott paraprofessional for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

I.      Employment of Lena Phelan and Codee Weddle as Winfield Scott paraprofessionals for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

J.      Employment of James Harrison as a high school paraprofessional for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

K.    Employment of Bobby Reed as a four-hour bus driver for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year

L.     Resignation of Alvin Metcalf as a middle school wrestling coach, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year

M.   Resignation of Kelly Toll as middle school cross country coach at the end of the 2021-22 school year

N.    Employment of Lindsey Davis as a teacher mentor for the 2021-22 school year

O.    Employment of Amy Harper as high school math team leader for the 2021-22 school year

P.     Retirement of Mary Mauer, Eugene Ware fifth grade teacher, effective at the end of the 2021-22 school year

Q.    Resignation of Judith Davis, high school paraprofessional, effective January 21, 2022


The board adjourned.


FS Commission Present at HBCAT Meeting Jan. 19

There may be a majority of City Commissioners present at the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team workshop on Monday, January 19th, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. at 104 N. National Avenue, Fort Scott, Kansas. Even though a majority may be present, no City business will be conducted.

Bo Co Agenda For Jan. 11


Bourbon County Commission Room 

1st Floor, County Courthouse 

210 S. National Avenue 

Fort Scott, KS 66701 

Tuesdays starting at 9:00 


Date: January 11, 2022 

1st District-Lynne Oharah                                                                Minutes: Approved: _______________ 

2nd District-Jim Harris                                                                      Corrected: _______________________ 

3rd District-Clifton Beth                                                                              Adjourned at: _______________ 

County Clerk-Ashley Shelton 





Call to Order 


  • Flag Salute 
  • Open discussion regarding masks 
  • Approval of Minutes from previous meeting 
  • Eric Bailey – Road and Bridge Report 
  • Mowing/Snow Removal Bids for Medical Building 
  • Bill Martin  
  • JAG Grant Approval  
  • Equipment Loan Consideration  
  • County Counselor Comment 
  • Susan Bancroft, Finance Director Comment 
  • Public Comment 
  • Elected Officials Comment  

Commission Comment 

FS Commission Work Session Jan. 13

The Fort Scott City Commission will meet on Thursday, January 13th, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. in the City Hall Commission Meeting Room at 123 S. Main Street, Fort Scott, Kansas to hold a work session regarding brick streets.

The work session will also be available on the City’s YouTube channel.

Quarantine Checklist For Travel

KDHE Amends Travel Related Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has amended its travel quarantine list to add the states of New York and Washington D.C. and add the countries of Isle of Man and San Marino. An unvaccinated individual or those that have not received all the recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots, should quarantine if they meet the following criteria:

  • Traveled on or after Dec. 16 to Andorra.
  • Traveled on or after Jan. 10 to New York and Washington D.C.
  • Traveled on or after Jan. 10 to Isle of Man and San Marino.
  • Attendance at any out-of-state or in-state mass gatherings of 500 or more where individuals do not socially distance (6 feet) and wear a mask.
  • Been on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15, 2020.

The length of a travel-related at home quarantine is 5 days after your last exposure with an additional requirement to wear a well-fitting mask indoors and outdoors when around others for an additional 5 days. If you cannot mask, at-home quarantine is recommended for 10 days. Quarantine would start the day after you return to Kansas or from the mass gathering. If you do not develop symptoms of COVID-19 during your quarantine period, then you are released from quarantine. Regularly check this list to stay up to date on travel-related guidance. Please refer to the KDHE Isolation and Quarantine FAQ for additional information.

For those traveling internationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring testing within three days of flights into the U.S. For further information on this and other requirements, visit their website.

For those who meet the following criteria do not need to quarantine:

  • You are ages 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • You are ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • You had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (you tested positive using a viral test).

Persons who do not meet the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel or mass gatherings.

The travel quarantine list is determined using a formula to evaluate new cases over a two-week period, then adjusted for population size to provide a case rate per 100,000 population. This provides a number that can then be compared to the rate in Kansas. Locations with significantly higher rates — approximately 3x higher — are added to the list.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the KDHE website at