Submitted by Debra Cummings, Fort Scott Community College Business Instructor
Rick and Shelly Mayhew provided fifteen FSCC students the opportunity of a lifetime, an all-expenses-paid trip to Omaha to meet Warren Buffett.
To learn more about Buffet go online to http://forbes.com/profile/warren-buffet
Rick, an alumnus of FSCC, through his connections with Western Insurance and Warren Buffet, received an invitation to bring students to Omaha, Neb. for a question and answer session with Warren Buffet.
The Mayhews announced in the spring of 2017 their willingness to fund another trip to Omaha. The first trip by FSCC students was in 2006.
Fifteen students made the trip. The Mayhews paid for the lodging, meals, and fuel. FSCC supplied the bus and driver.
Rick Mayhew recognized student’s needs and provided funds to obtain business attire for the session with Buffett.
Other colleges to join the session with Buffett were Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Illinois, London, Michigan, MIT, Notre Dame, NYU/Stern schools of Business. FSCC was the only community college there.
On Nov. 30, the students made the trip to Omaha by bus and met the Mayhews at Warren’s favorite Dairy Queen for lunch.
The FSCC students toured Borsheims Jewelry, drove past the Buffett residence and checked into the Downtown Hilton and Convention Center.
They met with Buffet’s daughter, Susie, and had the opportunity to ask questions about her father and the foundations she runs.
The Mayhews provided dinner and a few of the students took in some ice skating afterward. They also toured Nebraska Furniture Mart.
On Friday, Dec 1, the students attended a two-hour question and answer period with Buffet. Buffet noted the importance of FSCC being there.
Following lunch, there was a group photo with Buffett.
“I could not have asked for a better group of students,” Cummings said.
Students who did the trip were Leslie Damien, Dalton Deshazer, Alex Gilmore, Justin Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Jenna Kakas, Savannah Kratzberg, Kartis Leal, Malorie McCumons, Rebecca Stufflebeam, Franklin Torres, Shaun Tune, Jordan Underwood, Rachel Walker, and Johnna Walls.
“A special thank you to Kartis and Savannah for asking questions for our group,” Cummings said. “Thank you to Charles Howser, our driver, for making the trip with us. And, again, thank you to the Mayhews for making dreams come true.”
Fort Scott Community College also included a link to the Omaha-World Herald Newspaper, dated December 4, 2017, which included a section entitled “Warren Watch” and an article that spoke of Fort Scott:
Fort Scott ties
They’re not from Harvard, Yale or Stanford, but students from Fort Scott Community College in Kansas were in Omaha last week as part of the latest group of business students to meet Buffett, thanks in part to their town’s auto insurance connection with Berkshire.
Rick Mayhew of Fenton, Missouri, a member of the Berkshire fan club known as the Yellow Brk-ers, cited an account in Andy Kilpatrick’s “Of Permanent Value” book of the Buffett-Fort Scott connection. (Fort Scott students also made an Omaha trip in 2006.)
Insurance agent Oscar Rice started Western Insurance Cos. in 1910 in Fort Scott. Ray Duboc was CEO when Buffett invested in the business in the 1950s. Buffett later sold that investment and used the money to invest in Geico, now a big moneymaker for Berkshire.
“Western, in a major way, contributed to the financial success I had,” Buffett once said. “I owe a lot to Ray Duboc, the Western and Fort Scott, Kansas.”
Earning national awards is no easy feat. Add to that, repeatedly making the list and the pursuit is especially rewarding.
Just so happens that Mercy Fort Scott Home Health proudly announces it has been recognized once again on the prestigious list of the nation’s HomeCare Elite™. The list is compiled by OCS HomeCare and Decision Health and names the top 25 percent of home care agencies in the nation. This marks the fifth year Mercy Fort Scott Home Health has received the recognition.
Five domains of performance were analyzed to determine the elite awards – quality of care, quality of improvement and consistency, and experience (HHCAHPS), process measure implementation and financial performance.
The methodology behind the OCS HomeCare Elite™ is derived from publicly available data from Home Health Compare and the CMS Cost Reports to create the HomeCare Elite™ list of agencies.
The quality of care component indexes agency performance in each of the 10 publicly-reported Home Health Compare measures released in July 2017. The process measures implementation index based on agencies’ rates in the 13 process measures included in the July 2017 Home Health Compare release.
“The Mercy Home Health team continually goes over and beyond to exceed expectations, at many times taking on extras that might not always fit in the job role,” said Becky Davied, Mercy Home Health, and Hospice director. “This is a special group of people and I feel privileged to work with them.”
Mercy Home Health, based in Fort Scott, was established in November 1978 and today serves approximately 900 annually in the counties of Linn, Anderson, Allen, Bourbon, Crawford, southern Miami, northern Neosho and northern Cherokee. In July 2012, Mercy Home Health launched hospice services and currently employs nine full-time staff plus multiple volunteers.
For more information about Mercy Home Health services, call 620-223-8090.
Just in time for the holiday season, Mercy Hospital Auxiliary will host a Holiday Bargain Sale on Friday, Dec. 8 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the main lobby of Mercy Hospital Fort Scott.
The one-day fundraising event is a favorite with the public. Typically the Mercy Auxiliary brings the vendor to the hospital twice a year. The sale will feature over 1,000 items perfect for special occasions or stocking stuffers. These include trendy fashion accessories such as jewelry, scarves, seasonal items, gadgets, gifts and much more.
Many items are name brand, top quality products but priced up to 80 percent below retail.
The Mercy Hospital Auxiliary is a volunteer organization that raises money to benefit the hospital and provides scholarships for students.
Over the past 12 years, Mercy Auxiliary has donated nearly $850,000 to Mercy Hospital for equipment upgrades, program support, supplies and scholarships for nursing students. Proceeds from sales in the Mercy Market Place gift shop and other specialty sales support the Auxiliary. Collectively, auxiliary member’s volunteer the equivalent of almost seven full-time co-workers in hours of service each year to the hospital.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2016 by Truven, an IBM company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes 45 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, more than 700 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.
Fitness just got easier, or at least the cost of it.
Now through Feb. 28, 2018, Mercy Health for Life fitness center is waiving the new member joining fee. That means members can access all the best cardiovascular equipment, free weights and strength training equipment at Health for Life, plus the services and amenities for the low monthly rate.
Monthly fitness center membership rates are $30 plus tax for a single, $40 plus tax for a family, or $25 for active duty military. SilverSneakers and Silver&Fit memberships are also available for those who qualify.
And at Health for Life members can upgrade to 24-hour access with the purchase a special access card. The cost is only $10 per card. With the card, members can simply swipe the card at the fitness center entrance to enjoy the freedom of exercising at a convenient time, any day of the week. For security and safety, a sophisticated security and camera system will monitor the facility around the clock.
“We take pride in providing an environment that meets all of our member’s needs,” said Kirk Sharp, fitness center manager. “Whether new to exercise or fitness fanatic, we’ve got something for everyone.”
For starters, the fitness center offers new members one, free baseline-fitness assessment and a customized workout plan.
“It just gets better from there,” Sharp added. “We offer dietician consultation, free towel usage, daily locker usage and shower facilities. Members can also purchase personal training packages with one of our two certified personal trainers.”
With the New Year quickly approaching and resolutions to eat healthily and get fit, here’s a chance to make the first move. And, a membership to Health for Life makes a great Holiday gift.
To learn more, call Mercy Health for Life at 620-223-7073 or visit the fitness center in the lower level of Mercy Hospital.
The Fort Scott High School Select Ensemble Presents “Classic Christmas” at 3 p.m. Sunday, December 17 at FSHS Auditorium.
Please come enjoy an afternoon of classic Christmas music performed by the FSHS Select Ensemble with guest appearance by Dan Duling and the Stone Country Band. The program will feature songs like “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “We Three Kings,” and many more!
Cookies and coffee to be served following the concert.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students K-12. All proceeds go to the Select Ensemble.
Tickets can be purchased from the FSHS office or from Select Ensemble students.
· 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
Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy Shareholders Approve Merger at Special Shareholder Meetings
Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) and Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP), the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light (“KCP&L”), announced on Nov. 21 at their respective shareholder meetings that shareholders overwhelmingly approved the proposals necessary for the merger between the two companies. More than 90 percent of the shares voted at each company approved the transaction.
“We are excited about today’s approval from shareholders of both Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy. This vote indicates that both companies’ shareholders believe in our combined ability to create a stronger regional energy provider, positioned to better serve all of our customers,” said Terry Bassham, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Great Plains Energy and KCP&L. “This new combined company will ensure we keep ownership of our utility assets in our region to grow local economies.”
“Customers and shareholders will benefit by combining Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy into a strong Midwest utility,” said Mark Ruelle, president and chief executive officer of Westar Energy. “Our geography and history of partnership position us to bring efficiencies and savings by joining our operations. We continue to make progress toward completing the transaction in the first half of 2018.”
Westar Energy and Great Plains Energy announced a revised transaction in July 2017 after the Kansas Corporation Commission denied the companies’ original request to combine in April. This revised agreement involves no transaction debt, no exchange of cash, and is a stock-for-stock merger of equals, creating a company with a combined equity value of approximately $15 billion.
The merger is expected to help maintain reliable, low-cost energy for the company’s 1 million Kansas customers and nearly 600,000 customers in Missouri. Additionally, with one of the largest renewable energy portfolios in the nation, the new combined company will be a clean energy leader, supplying nearly half of its retail sales from emissions-free electricity.
Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Great Plains Energy Incorporated (NYSE: GXP) is the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest. Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company use KCP&L as a brand name. More information about the companies is available on the Internet at www.greatplainsenergy.com or www.kcpl.com.
About Westar Energy
As Kansas’ largest electric utility, Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE: WR) provides customers the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. Half the electricity supplied to the company’s 700,000 customers comes from emissions-free sources – nuclear, wind and solar – with a third coming from renewables. Westar is a leader in electric transmission in Kansas, coordinating a network of lines and substations that support one of the largest consolidations of wind energy in the nation. For more information about Westar Energy, visit www.WestarEnergy.com.
Statements made in this communication that are not based on historical facts are forward-looking, may involve risks and uncertainties, and are intended to be as of the date when made. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the anticipated merger transaction of Great Plains Energy Incorporated (Great Plains Energy) and Westar Energy, Inc. (Westar Energy), including those that relate to the expected financial and operational benefits of the merger to the companies and their shareholders (including cost savings, operational efficiencies and the impact of the anticipated merger on earnings per share), the expected timing of closing, the outcome of regulatory proceedings, cost estimates of capital projects, dividend growth, share repurchases, balance sheet and credit ratings, rebates to customers, employee issues and other matters affecting future operations. In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy are providing a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the provided forward-looking information. These important factors include: future economic conditions in regional, national and international markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs; prices and availability of electricity in regional and national wholesale markets; market perception of the energy industry, Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy; changes in business strategy, operations or development plans; the outcome of contract negotiations for goods and services; effects of current or proposed state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments, including, but not limited to, deregulation, re-regulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry; decisions of regulators regarding rates that the companies can charge for electricity; adverse changes in applicable laws, regulations, rules, principles or practices governing tax, accounting and environmental matters including, but not limited to, air and water quality; financial market conditions and performance including, but not limited to, changes in interest rates and credit spreads and in availability and cost of capital and the effects on derivatives and hedges, nuclear decommissioning trust and pension plan assets and costs; impairments of long-lived assets or goodwill; credit ratings; inflation rates; effectiveness of risk management policies and procedures and the ability of counterparties to satisfy their contractual commitments; impact of terrorist acts, including, but not limited to, cyber terrorism; ability to carry out marketing and sales plans; weather conditions including, but not limited to, weather-related damage and their effects on sales, prices and costs; cost, availability, quality and deliverability of fuel; the inherent uncertainties in estimating the effects of weather, economic conditions and other factors on customer consumption and financial results; ability to achieve generation goals and the occurrence and duration of planned and unplanned generation outages; delays in the anticipated in-service dates and cost increases of generation, transmission, distribution or other projects; Great Plains Energy’s and Westar Energy’s ability to successfully manage and integrate their respective transmission joint ventures; the inherent risks associated with the ownership and operation of a nuclear facility including, but not limited to, environmental, health, safety, regulatory and financial risks; workforce risks, including, but not limited to, increased costs of retirement, health care and other benefits; the ability of Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy to obtain the regulatory and shareholder approvals necessary to complete the anticipated merger or the imposition of adverse conditions or costs in connection with obtaining regulatory approvals; the risk that a condition to the closing of the anticipated merger may not be satisfied or that the anticipated merger may fail to close; the outcome of any legal proceedings, regulatory proceedings or enforcement matters that may be instituted relating to the anticipated merger; the costs incurred to consummate the anticipated merger; the possibility that the expected value creation from the anticipated merger will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; difficulties related to the integration of the two companies; the credit ratings of the combined company following the anticipated merger; disruption from the anticipated merger making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees, regulators or suppliers; the diversion of management time and attention on the anticipated merger; and other risks and uncertainties.
This list of factors is not all-inclusive because it is not possible to predict all factors. Additional risks and uncertainties are discussed in the joint proxy statement/prospectus and other materials that Great Plains Energy, Westar Energy and Monarch Energy Holding, Inc. (Monarch Energy) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with the anticipated merger. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual reports on Form 10-K filed by Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy with the SEC. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement. Monarch Energy, Great Plains Energy, and Westar Energy undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
As Thanksgiving leftovers are packed into the refrigerator, talk of Christmas decorating starts to fill the air. Awareness can help ensure that holiday lights and decorations are installed and operated safely. Westar Energy offers the following tips.
Before using strands of lights or other decorations, check them for signs of damage, paying special attention to electrical cords. Signs of wear or fraying cords mean that lights may be unsafe and should be replaced.
Consider replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs. New LED bulbs use less energy and produce less heat than their older counterparts.
Don’t overload power outlets by stringing together too many strands of lights or plugging too many into a single outlet. Lighting packages may say how many strands can be safely combined. Using surge strips with built-in circuit breakers can also protect against overload.
Outdoor decoration safety
Before raising a ladder, climbing a tree or securing an inflatable, look up for nearby powerlines. If climbing onto tree limbs, make sure the extra weight will not cause limbs to contact power lines. Contact with overhead power lines can severely injure or kill someone.
Be sure that lights, decorations and extension cords used outdoors are designed for outside use, which may include exposure to wet weather. Cords with surge protectors are recommended.
Ensure that lights are fastened securely. Avoid stringing lights on metal decorations or fences that could become charged, creating the risk of electric shock.
As Kansas’ largest electric utility, Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) provides customers the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. We have 7,800 MW of electric generation capacity that includes renewables and traditional power sources with half the electricity supplied to our more than 700,000 customers from emissions-free sources: nuclear, wind and solar, with a third coming from renewables. We are a leader in electric transmission in Kansas coordinating a network of lines and substations that supports one of the largest consolidations of wind energy in the nation. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve.
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.”
Diabetes Support Group
Mercy Hospital Fort Scott will host a Diabetes Support Group on Monday, May 15, at 6 p.m. in the McAuley Conference Center.
May is National Stroke Awareness Month and this month’s topic focuses on diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Alice Helton, R.N. and Certified Diabetes Educator, will lead the discussion.
Having diabetes or prediabetes puts a person at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. You can lower your risk by keeping your blood glucose (also called blood sugar), blood pressure and blood cholesterol close to the recommended target numbers – the levels suggested by the diabetes experts for good health.
The support group is open to the public. No registration is required. Light refreshments will be served. Family members are encouraged to attend.
To learn more about this topic or other important information regarding managing diabetes, join the Mercy Diabetes Support Group. The group meets the third Monday of every other month. Mark your calendar for additional 2017 meeting dates: July 17, September 18 and November 20.
For more information, contact Patty Ryan, R.N., at 620-223- 8412.
A group of Fort Scott Middle and High School students traveled to Topeka, Kans., on Saturday, April 29, to compete in the Kansas History Day State Competition at Washburn University. The students earned a spot at the State Competition after competing in the regional competition at FSCC on March 11.
Zoe Self, a freshman at FSHS, placed second in the Senior division Individual Performance category. This qualifies her for the National History Day Competition in College Park, Maryland, June 11-15, 2017, with her performance titled, “The Ballot is My Birthright.” Self also received two of the five special awards offered for projects presented at the state competition. She was the first place winner of the Robert J. Dole Congressional History Prize and was one of two students that received the Freedoms Frontier National Heritage Area Award.
In addition to Self, four Fort Scott Middle School Students participated in the junior exhibit category. They were Kirryn Sprague with her project titled “D-Day: A Children’s Crusade for Equal Rights,” Grace Harkins with her project featuring “Malala: Standing Strong for Girl’s Education,” and Maia Martin and Berkley Wood with their project “A Field of Dreams: Creating Opportunity and Advancement for Women,” a project on Donna Lopiano.
Self’s piece is an original skit on a Kansas unsung hero, Lilla Day Monroe. Lilla Monroe was a suffragette from Topeka, Kans., in the early 1900s. She was one of the first women in the state to become a lawyer and present in front of the Supreme Court of Kansas. She fought for women’s right to vote and created and edited two newspapers to give women a voice. She wrote over 6,000 letters to pioneer women to encourage them to share their stories about taming the west so that women’s voices would be heard in the history books. Self’s passionate portrait of Lilla will motivate those who see it to “do something, to be someone” who makes a difference.
Fort Scott Community College will host the 48th annual Elementary Music Festival from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, at the Danny & Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center, 2108 South Horton, Fort Scott.
The competition will include students through grade nine. Competition areas will include vocal solos, vocal ensembles, choirs, piano solos, instrumental solos and ensembles, bands and orchestras.