Category Archives: Government

Bourbon County Listed By Governor: Flooding Damage

Governor requests major presidential declaration



Governor Laura Kelly sent a request today to President Donald Trump asking for a major presidential declaration for the public assistance program for 63 counties in Kansas as a result of widespread, record rainfall and severe weather causing flooding, flash flooding and tornadoes beginning April 28. The Public Assistance program helps pay for restoration of public infrastructure and associated costs caused by flooding and tornado damage.


“Due to the historic torrential rains, thunderstorms, tornadoes and damaging winds, Kansas has suffered extended damage,” Kelly said. “We must continue to provide Kansans with the assistance, resources, and long-term fixes to infrastructure we need during this difficult time.”


Counties listed in the request are:  Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barber, Barton, Bourbon, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clark, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Comanche, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Edwards, Elk, Ellsworth, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Gray, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Kingman, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Norton, Osage, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Pottawatomie, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Riley, Rush, Russell, Saline, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, and Woodson.

The request was made under the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5121-5208 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.35.




Bourbon County Commission June 11 Agenda: Evening Hours Scheduled


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701


Date: June 11th, 2019

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

1:00-1:30-County Disaster Declaration

1:30-1:40-Health Department

1:45-2:00-Lora Holdridge-Budget Question

2:00-2:30-Jody Hoener- Tabacco Cessation-Employee Policy

2:30-3:00-Jerad Heckman

3:00-3:30-Jacqie Spradling- Attorney Budget

3:30-4:15-Justin Meeks

3:30-3:40-Executive Session-Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

3:40-4:15-Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship

4:15-4:30-Clerk and Election Budget

**Evening Commission Meeting: 5:30-7:30**

5:30-6:00-Jim Harris

Justifications for Executive Session:

          Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

          Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

          Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

          Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

          Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

          Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system

Aging and Disability Services Requests Waiver

KDADS to Request HCBS Waiver Extension, Conduct Additional Stakeholder Engagement


TOPEKA – The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is submitting a request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to extend its current Intellectual/Developmental Disability (I/DD) waiver, set to renew July 1, 2019, in order to allow additional time for discussions with stakeholders.


It is anticipated the Frail Elderly (FE) and Physical Disability (PD) waivers, scheduled to renew January 1, 2020, will require further engagement with stakeholders to address concerns and a similar request to extend these programs will submitted to CMS.


Requesting an extension from CMS will allow the waivers to stand as written and approved today while the agency works with stakeholders to ensure the waiver renewal submissions support choice and community inclusion.


“KDADS’s decision will provide an opportunity to re-engage stakeholders, consumers and families as concerns continue to be raised,” said Amy Penrod, Commissioner of the Aging & Disability Community Services & Programs. “We want to continue the initial conversations we’ve had and take the time to thoroughly evaluate every opportunity to incorporate changes that are best for Kansas.”


Kansas has always been at the forefront of home and community-based services and supports. Since taking over leadership of the agency less than six months ago, Secretary Laura Howard has laid out a strategic vision that includes enhanced collaboration to ensure the state continues to be innovative in the way it addresses the health care needs of Kansans.


“Requesting additional time to collaborate with partners and incorporate the wisdom and contributions others bring to the table will ensure Kansas uses these waiver renewals to continue its long-standing leadership in home and community-based services,” said Secretary Howard. “Taking a step back provides an opportunity to approach these waivers with a new perspective of putting people first, incorporating innovations and supporting self-determination and community inclusion.”


Rocky Nichols, Executive Director of the Disability Rights Center of Kansas, and Mike Burgess, Director of Policy & Outreach, said in a joint statement, “We very much appreciate the decision by KDADS to delay implementation of these waivers and instead reengage with stakeholders to make positive changes. Kansas self-advocates with disabilities, families and service providers expressed concerns about the current versions of the waivers and KDADS listened. They are to be commended for their prudent action to slow this process down to get this right and we look forward to working to improve these waiver submissions.”


These actions do not impact the Brain Injury (BI) waiver, which is set to include the expanded populations of adult and youth with acquired brain injuries.


In 2014, CMS published final regulations affecting 1915(c) waiver programs. The purpose of the regulations was to ensure individuals receive HCBS in settings that are integrated in and support full access to the greater community. The regulations also aimed to ensure that individuals have a free choice of where they live and who provides services to them, and that individual rights and freedoms are not restricted. CMS has moved away from defining HCBS settings based on specific locations, geography, or physical characteristics, to defining them by the nature and quality of the individual’s experiences. Fundamentally, the regulations set higher standards for HCBS settings in which it is permissible for states to pay for services using federal financial participation under Medicaid, known in Kansas as KanCare.



Cara Sloan

Public Information Officer / Website Administrator
Office of the Secretary

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

503 S. Kansas Ave

Topeka, KS 66603

Office: (785) 296-0807

Cell: (785) 249-6234

Lyle Brittain: Fort Scott’s New Codes Officer

Lyle Brittain, Fort Scott Codes Enforcement Officer.

Living in cities and towns has both benefits and responsibilities.

A property owner is responsible for keeping his/her property in a habitable condition, grass at a reasonable height and free of debris, among city codes.

The Fort Scott Codes Department provides information and assistance regarding permits, zoning, and Fort Scott codes and regulations, according to the city’s website.

Lyle Brittain, 25, was introduced at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Weekly Coffee on May 30 as a new codes officer for the city.

Brittain earned an associates degree in business from Fort Scott Community College in 2014, and has owned a landscape business for 12 years he said.

His duties in the codes officer position are to inspect properties for compliance of grass height, proper electrical and gas systems, and additionally, issuing building permits, he said.

“We drive up and down streets,” Brittain said. “We will take complaints (about properties) and they will be addressed as soon as we can.”

The codes department can be reached by calling the city office at 223-0550. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We are allowed on private property unless the owner tells us to leave,” Brittain said.

“We don’t want to make people mad,” he said. “We introduce ourselves and let them know if they don’t get the codes violation done, there will be a legal letter coming.”

“The letter will give a certain amount of days to get the issue resolved, say for instance grass getting too high (on a property),” Brittain said. “If the city  has to use its’ resources of manpower and machine to resolve the issue, it’s $300.”

A code the public may not know about concerns properties that are deemed uninhabitable.

“You can’t live in a house without electricity or water or sewer services,” Brittain said. “That’s considered an uninhabitable condition.”

The Fort Scott Codes Department is located in the basement of Memorial Hall at 1 E. Third.
The door the City of Fort Scott Codes Department at Memorial Hall, 1 E. Third.

Rhonda Dunn is the Fort Scott Director of Finance and Codes, and Adam Harrison is the newly created codes supervisor.

Lyle is married to Liz Brittain and the son of Bill and Michelle Brittain.

U.S. 69 overlay starts in Linn County



The Kansas Department of Transportation has started a resurfacing project on a seven-mile section of U.S. 69 in Linn County. The project area begins at the North Sugar Creek bridges and continues south to end 4½ miles south of the north K-52 interchange. Project activity consists of pavement crack filling and a three-inch asphalt overlay.


U.S. 69 north- and southbound traffic is restricted to one lane through the work zone. The work should be completed by mid-August, weather permitting. KDOT awarded the construction contract of $5.1 million to Bettis Asphalt and Construction, Inc., of Topeka, Kan.


Troy Howard, KDOT construction engineer at the Garnett office, reminds drivers to use extra caution and ‘Give ‘Em a Brake’ at the work zone. Persons with questions may contact Howard at (785) 448-5446 or Public Affairs Manager Priscilla Petersen at (620) 902-6433.


John Hrenak celebrates 40-year milestone at KDOT



John Hrenak has seen many changes during his 40-year tenure with the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT), but probably none as significant as improved equipment. “Both technological and equipment improvements have enhanced our ability to cover a lot of territory in a short period of time,” he said.

Since 1998 Hrenak has been the District Maintenance Engineer at the KDOT Southeast District Office in Chanute. He began his KDOT career on June 1, 1979, as a Project Engineer at the now closed area office in Fort Scott. Hrenak promoted through the ranks of Area Engineer at Fort Scott and then Staff Engineer at Chanute prior to his current post.


He administers all maintenance activities on state highways in the 17-county district. “We’ve always looked for ways to improve” and have never been content with the status quo, Hrenak said, citing advancements in pretreating highways before winter storms and more efficient methods of patching potholes. All KDOT employees have that “sense of stewardship,” he added, and want to leave the highways the same or even better than they first found them.


Hrenak lives in Fort Scott with his wife Sandy.


Bourbon County Commission Special Meeting June 7


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701


Date: June 7th, 2019

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:30-Commissioners to discuss Emergency Declaration

Justifications for Executive Session:

          Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel

          Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

          Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

          Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

          Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property

          Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system

Ribbon Cutting For Job Program At Women’s Correctional Facility

Women’s correctional facility to hold ribbon cutting for coding program

Students to receive special message from Jason Jones, alumni graduate of The Last Mile program


Topeka Correctional Facility will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday, June 11, to celebrate the female offenders who have reached the halfway point in the inaugural coding class at 9 a.m.


Keynote Speaker, Secretary of Commerce, David Toland, will recognize the benefits of preparing more people for in-demand tech jobs, which aids business recruitment efforts. State officials and business leaders as well as business leaders from the tech industry will take part in the ceremony that will feature a tour of the classroom and facility.


Jason Jones is lead virtual instructor for the San Francisco-based, non-profit The Last Mile (TLM) which is partnering with the Kansas Department of Corrections and its education contractor, Greenbush, to bring the program to Topeka Correctional Facility. Jason will bring a message of inspiration, since he has been in the same situation as the students only one year ago and is now succeeding post-release.


The 15 women in the program’s first 12-month class are learning HTML, CCS and JavaScript to help them gain access to high-demand jobs upon release. Beyond technical skills, students also are learning business soft skills, including teamwork and communication.


“The Last Mile is proud to provide our coding program to the women at Topeka Correctional facility in partnership with KDOC and Greenbush,” said Chris Redlitz, TLM co-founder. “The Last Mile graduates will return to their communities with marketable skills, new opportunities and renewed hope for the future.”

WHO:        Topeka Correctional Facility staff and inmates, Acting Secretary of Corrections Charles (Chuck) Simmons, Secretary of Commerce David Toland, Greenbush Associate Executive Director Stacie Clarkson, The Last Mile (TLM) Co-founder Chris Redlitz and TLM Lead Virtual Instructor Jason Jones. State officials and business leaders from the tech industry also will take part.


WHAT:     Ribbon cutting ceremony for The Last Mile’s coding and technology training program at Topeka Correctional Facility


WHEN:     Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at 9 a.m.


WHERE:  Topeka Correctional Facility, 815 S.E. Rice Road


Media are welcome to attend. Please note that all attendees will pass through a metal detector. Cash over $50, mobile phones, tobacco products and weapons are prohibited.


Topeka Correctional Facility, the state’s only correctional facility for women, has a population of 920.


About The Last Mile

The Last Mile (TLM) is a non-profit founded in 2010 at San Quentin to address the societal impact of incarceration as a drain on human and fiscal resources. TLM is the first full stack coding program inside US prisons. Its mission is to provide marketable skills that result in gainful employment and core belief is that having a job is the key to successful reentry and breaking the cycle of incarceration. TLM currently operates facilities in California, Indiana, Kansas and Oklahoma.


The program provides computer coding training to prepare its students for release into today’s high-tech environment. There is a projected shortage of nearly 1 million software engineering jobs by 2020. TLM graduates will be well positioned to qualify for many of these technology related jobs. To learn more visit:

Correctional Facilities Overcrowding

Overcrowding issues to continue at state correctional facilities


The State Finance Council voted today to deny funding for space and programming for overcrowded female prisoners and full funding for outsourcing male beds throughout the Kansas prison system.


The Kansas Department of Corrections requested a total of $30 million of which the State Finance Council approved $4.5 million for Hepatitis C treatment, $9.1 million for correctional officer pay increases and $11 million for contract beds. The council approved only $4.38 million of the $11 million requested for outsourcing beds and denied funding to address Topeka Correctional Facility overcrowding.


“The decision to reduce funding for outsourcing beds forces officers at El Dorado Correctional Facility to continue working 16-hour shifts,” said Acting Corrections Secretary Charles Simmons. “Failure to fully address overcrowding issues unnecessarily increases danger to staff, offenders and the public.”


The council voted to deny $3 million erroneously appropriated by the state legislature for renovations to a building on the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex campus in Topeka. Funding was actually requested by the KDOC for staff to supervise 120 adult female inmates and provide substance abuse treatment.


The action to deny funding for this project leaves the KDOC without its primary option to address overcrowding among female inmates. Currently, the state’s only correctional facility for women has a capacity for 903 inmates though the facility has a population of 930. Population projections from the Kansas Sentencing Commission estimate the population to burgeon to 1,018 in Fiscal Year 2020.


“The council agreed we need to raise the pay for our correctional staff and increased funding for Hepatitis C treatment for inmates, but we are disappointed in the decision that will continue overcrowding for both male and female offenders,” Simmons said.


“This was the council’s opportunity to take a significant first step toward addressing the state’s inmate population problem,” he said. “I am concerned that these decisions will result in the state passing its prison overcrowding problems onto county jails.”

Rural Prosperity Listening Tour

Governor, Lt. Governor announce Office of Rural Prosperity Listening Tour Details


Governor Laura Kelly and Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers announced at a press conference today details on the upcoming Office of Rural Prosperity Listening Tour.


The tour is intended to foster new ways to help rural Kansas communities by hearing from the residents themselves.


“Rural Kansas has been overlooked and unheard for far too long,” Governor Kelly said. “Our small towns have been neglected. Today we’re taking an important step toward changing this serious problem.”


This upcoming series of events serves as the first phase of the new Office of Rural Prosperity, which has been approved for a $2 million allocation in the newly approved FY 2020 budget. Each location will partner with local hosts in order to set up locations and events.


The Office of Rural Prosperity is dedicated to improving life in rural Kansas. The office is guided by the blueprint created by Governor Kelly, Lt. Governor Rogers and Secretary of Commerce David Toland, which includes:


  • Developing rural housing
  • Revitalizing Main Street corridors
  • Investing in rural infrastructure
  • Supporting rural hospitals and medical professional recruitment
  • Making state government work for rural Kansas
  • Incentivizing active tourism
  • Supporting agribusiness


The tour is intended to travel to the following towns across the state:


  • Nickerson – June 17
  • Atchison – June 20
  • Colby – June 24
  • Phillipsburg – June 25
  • Ulysses – July 8
  • Dodge City – July 9
  • Garnett – July 22
  • Independence – July 23
  • Concordia – July 31
  • Sabetha – August 1
  • Lindsborg – August 7
  • Winfield – August 8


The tour will cover a wide area of the state in order to learn specific challenges and opportunities for the many different rural communities across Kansas.


“The governor and I recognize the needs of our rural communities are unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Lt. Governor Rogers said. “We must look at a variety of multifaceted policies and programs that will empower local leaders by helping them access the resources they need. In other words, we must help Kansas communities and local leaders carve out their own route to prosperity.”


More information is available at


You can follow along with the tour with the Lt. Governor on Twitter @LtGovRogers and use the hashtag #LynnListens.


“I’m excited to begin this tour and have meaningful conversations about rural Kansas.,” Lt. Governor Rogers said. “It’s time for elected leaders to be sincere about listening to people in rural communities who’ve been overlooked and taken for granted far too long. We can and will do better.”


2019 City/School Election: Increase in Candidates

The Bourbon County Courthouse, 210 S. National Avenue.

The following have filed for the 2019 City/School Election, according to information provided by Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk. The clerk’s office is located at the Bourbon County Courthouse, 210 S. National.

Candidates were to file by noon June 3 for the desired positions, with August 6 the primary election and November 5 the general election.

In the Fort Scott City Commission contest, 14 people have filed to run for three possible seats. Three incumbants will run for re-election.

” In 2017 we had four file, in 2015 we had three file and in 2013 we had four file,” for the Fort Scott City Commission election, Mason said, when asked to compare the 2019 numbers.

Another highly contested race is for USD 234 Board of Education with 11 people who filed.

The clerk can be reached at (620)223-3800 ext. 191.








































USD 234











Bill Michaud



USD 235


















Kansas Tax Receipts Above Estimates For May

State’s May tax receipts came in $77.1 million above estimates


TOPEKA – May tax receipts came in $77.1 million above the $486.0 million estimate for all tax categories.


Individual income tax receipts are $67.9 million, or 32.3%, above the estimate of $210.0 million. Corporate income tax receipts are $9.0 million, or 44.8%, below the estimate of $20.0 million.


Retail sales tax receipts are $201.1 million, an increase of $8.1 million, or 4.2% above the May estimate.


“Increases in May receipts are largely due to the continued growth in individual income receipts,” Kansas Revenue Secretary Mark Burghart said. “Retail sales and use taxes also contributed almost $10.6 million to the growth in receipts.”

To get a comprehensive look at the report, click below: