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Art Walk brings together local artists

The Bourbon County Arts Council hosted a Downtown Art Walk Friday evening in downtown Fort Scott, drawing together local artists as well as shoppers and viewers interested in enjoying those items on display.

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A collection of photographers, painters, potters and other artists displayed a variety of items in numerous forms, giving Fort Scott residents an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the arts in their community.

Another Downtown Art Walk will be held July 15. Artists are encouraged to sign up for a booth at the event.

First Winery opens in Bourbon County

Fort Scott and Bourbon County welcomed the Vinedo del Alamo Winery Friday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting ceremony provided by the Chamber of Commerce, inviting other business owners and community leaders to see the new business.

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Located east on Poplar Road north of Fort Scott, the name of the winery is Spanish for poplar vineyard, a tribute to the business and vineyard’s location as well as the owners’ Texas heritage.

Bobby and Denise Duncan have been residents and active members of Fort Scott for several years, but also hold roots in Texas, where Denise grew up and Bobby also lived for a time. But, admitting that vineyards do not grow well in Texas, the Duncans said they looked into starting one in Fort Scott after they purchased land off Poplar.

“I like wine,” Bobby said of his reason for first considering this venture.

Initially, the couple planned to sell the fruit from their vineyard to other wineries and businesses, but none showed interest right away as their product volume is not high at the moment, though Bobby said they look forward to an increase as they move forward.

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But instead, the couple looked into opening their own winery, the first official one to open in the area.

“This is the first winery ever in Bourbon County,” chamber of commerce director Lindsay Madison said.

The business’ doors will be open Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. each week, although it is also open for Labor Day this week. The winery also has an outdoor, covered area with tables and opportunity for live music.

The Duncans requested that visitors sign a guestbook, hoping to get enough signatures to receive highway signage for the business.

Fort hosts Highlights in History event through Labor Day

The fort again welcomes visitors Monday for its annual Highlights in History event after scores of Fort Scott residents and visitors from out of town visited the national historic site Saturday and Sunday.

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Visitors could take part in guided tours, witness musket and artillery demonstrations and visit with participants dressed up as figures from history such as soldiers, officers, laundresses, cooks and physicians.

Those activities and others will be featured again on Monday, including special presentations from the viewpoint of a surviving soldier from the Marais des Cygnes Massacre and how the Bleeding Kansas events affected other areas of the community and its government.

Activities at the fort begin again at 10 a.m. Monday and will continue until 4 p.m.

New broadband provider comes to Fort Scott

For just over a month, New Wave Broadband of La Harpe has provided wireless internet services to the Fort Scott area.

“We had a lot of folks who had requested it,” said David Lee, a member of the company that has been run by his family for about 65 years.

First run by his grandfather, Lee’s father now runs the company that expanded from a telephone company with a switchboard in the early 1950s to an internet, cable and cell phone service provider as technology continued to develop. Their business was also one of the first to reach into rural areas of Kansas.

Since receiving an invitation from the city of Fort Scott to come to the area more than six months ago, Lee said they have placed broadband equipment on each of the three water towers in Fort Scott, located near the hospital, middle school and water treatment plant.

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Currently, New Wave Broadband can only provide services to those within line of sight of those three water towers. Lee said they plan to increase that reach by constructing a tower near the southwest side of the lake.

“We’re going to be building on what we have now,” Lee said.

So far, Lee said they have received very positive feedback from those in the Fort Scott area they are providing services for.

“The city of Fort Scott has been extremely pleasant to work with and very accommodating,” Lee said, saying the hospital has also worked with them. “Both organizations have really bent over backwards. They’ve been awesome.”