Tag Archives: feature

Today is Last Day to Register for 2019 Elections: Candidate Forum July 23

A larger than average number of residents have signed up to be a candidate in the local elections. A few have filed to run in several contests at once.

Bourbon County elections will be decided on August 6 in the primary election and finalized in the general election on November 5.

There are two contests that have a higher than average amount of people running for positions in local government: Fort Scott City Commission and USD234 Board of Education.

In addition, one candidate Michael Hoyt has filed to run for three different positions: city, school and FSCC.

Josh Jones has filed to run for two positions: city and school.


Registration ends today, July 16

Voter registration will be open at the following places during regular business hours until today.

On July 16, 2019 the books for new registrations will close and remain closed until after the election, according to the Bourbon County website.

County Clerk’s Office-Courthouse: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

City Clerk-Fort Scott City Hall: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

City Clerk-Uniontown City Hall: 8:00 am – 11:00 am

City Clerk-Bronson City Hall: 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Persons who apply for services at registration agencies may register to vote at the following places during regular business hours:

Department of Motor Vehicles-108 W. 2nd Fort Scott, KS

Department of Social & Rehabilitation Services

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

Candidates Forum

The Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professional League are hosting a candidates forum on July 23 at the Ellis Arts Center on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a meet and greet with the candidates and the forum will begin at 6 p.m., according to a press release from the Chamber.
Light refreshments will be served.
The public is encouraged to submit questions for the candidates by July 22 to the Chamber in the following ways:
or drop off at the Chamber at 231 E. Wall St., or call them in to 620-223-3566,
Candidates should let the Chamber know prior to the forum whether they will be attending, by e-mailing information@fortscott.com or by calling 620-223-3566.

In the Fort Scott City Commission contest, 14 people have filed to run for three possible seats. Three incumbents 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, Bourbon County Clerk Kendall 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, of which three will be selected to serve.

The list of candidates is at the bottom of this feature.


Laws for voter registration

A citizen of the United States who is 18 years of age or older, or will have attained the age of 18 years at the next election, must register before he or she can vote. Registration is open until the close of business on the 20th day before the election, according to the Bourbon County website.

When a voter has been registered according to law, the voter shall remain registered until the voter changes name by marriage, divorce or other legal proceedings or changes residence.

The voter may re-register in person, by mail or other delivery when registration is open. Application forms shall be provided by the county election officer or the Secretary of State upon request. The application shall be signed by the applicant under penalty of perjury.

Kansas voters must show an acceptable form of a photo ID when casting their vote.

Per KSA 25-4610, voting machines will be tested on August 1st, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Bourbon County Courthouse.









































USD 234











Bill Michaud



USD 235


















Mercy Foundation Distributes Funds

The Mercy Health Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organizaiton, has been working to distribute the assets of the foundation to the community, since the closure of Mercy Hospital-Fort Scott in December 2018.
The following responses are from an interview with the foundation board president, Jared Leek, regarding those distributions.
Following large contributions to secure Community Health Center-Southeast Kansas($300,000) and Ascension Via Christi Emergency Department ($200,000), the purchase of two transport ambulances, the remodel of the (Bourbon) County’s Ambulance Barn and donations to specific program areas, the remaining Mercy Health Foundation assets will be transferred to the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas,” Leek said.
Click below for the features on the donations:
A motion was made at the May 24, 2019 foundation board meeting to transfer the remaining balance of unrestricted funds to the community foundation as un-endowed funds.
Funds will be used to support healthcare needs in the community, Leek noted.
“The account with the Community Foundation has been set up and funds should be transferred from the Mercy Health Foundation to the Community Foundation in the near future,” Leek said.
Will the Mercy Foundation be dissolved?
 “The Fort Scott Mercy Health Foundation will not be fully dissolving at this time, but the board has been reduced down to three members.  These three members will be responsible for fulfilling the duties assigned to them until the board can fully dissolve.  The Foundation is the beneficiary of a few annuities and charitable trusts established years ago, and the smaller board has been directed to transfer the funds to the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation once these items mature.”
The current officers of the Mercy Foundation Board are  Leek, president; Bryan Holt, treasurer; and Darcy Smith, secretary.
These three will form the managing board under the umbrella of the Community Foundation Board to manage these funds.
Other members of the foundation board at the hospital’s closing were Jolynne Mitchell, Colleen Quick, Alysia Johnson, Becky Tourtillott, Mark McCoy, Chris Petty, and Bill Michaud. Leek, Holt and Smith remain members.
Corporate Members from Mercy with no voting rights were Jim Barber and Reta Baker.
Recently, the  Gordon Parks Museum received the Parks art collection which was donated to Mercy by Parks in 2002.
The Fort Scott Mercy Health Foundation was honored to donate our collection of Gordon Parks’ photographs and poems gifted to the foundation.  We hope that the members of the community and tourists will continue to enjoy these works of art for many years to come at the Gordon Parks Museum Foundation.”
The Gordon Parks Museum is located on the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton.

Click below for the donation to the local museum:

Exhibit Donated to Gordon Parks Museum by Mercy Foundation

“The transfer of the artwork to the Gordon Parks Museum Foundation stipulates the collection must remain in Bourbon County and be made available to loan out to organizations in Bourbon County based on approval of the Executive Director.”
Bourbon County also received a donation from the Mercy Health Foundation?
 “Bourbon County Commission and Mercy Hospital reached an agreement to transfer/donate/sell the ambulance barn located east of the hospital.  The foundation was not included in this discussion, because the property was not owned by the foundation.  The foundation did agree to assist the Bourbon County Commission with the remodel of the ambulance barn; the board  approved a $26,000 donation to update the ambulance barn.”
Bourbon County Ambulance Service has a station at 405 Woodland Hills, northeast of the Community Health Center building that was donated by Mercy. Also donated were two emergency transport vehicles.

Click below for more information:

New EMS Vehicles Dedicated Feb. 12 At Timken

The newly remodeled emergency medical services facility that was donated to Bourbon County EMS by Mercy Hospital, located northeast of Community Health Center at 405 Woodland Hills.
 ” The $7,527 in the restricted ambulance fund (remaining after the purchase of two new transport ambulances; gifted to Bourbon County) will be moved to the general fund to assist with this funding.” Taken from Mercy Health Foundation Minutes, February 25, 2019.
Leek provided the following as the purpose of the Mercy Health Foundation taken from the Mercy Foundation articles:

“To receive gifts and grants of unrestricted funds, and to use the unrestricted funds in a manner that is recommended by the Member (Mercy Hospital); provided that such use and distributions are for the Corporation’s (board of the Mercy foundation) proper purposes and activities that qualify as exempt under Code Section 501(c)(3) and are proper under the provisions of this Article VI;

“To review and approve of the receipt and acceptance of gifts and grants of restricted funds, and if the restricted funds are approved for receipt and acceptance by the Corporation, to use the restricted funds for their intended purposes; provided that such use and distributions are for the Corporation’s proper purposes and activities that qualify as exempt under Code Section 501(c)(3) and are proper under the provisions of this Article VI;

“To fund health-related capital expenditures using the unrestricted funds as recommended by the Member;

“To coordinate the development of new health programs and services as recommended by the Member, which include funding the ongoing operation of such programs;

“To coordinate health-related educational programs as recommended by the Member;

“To coordinate and conduct health-related research as recommended by the Member.”

Improvements at the USD 235 Fitness Center Are Coming

USD 235 students use the facility in the daytime during the school year. Pictured are some students chosen to demonstrate the equipment when the fitness center opened in October 2018.

The Uniontown U235 Fitness Center that opened last year, is getting improvements through a grant.


A bathroom and shower room will be added to the fitness center from an unused storage area nearby.

“The grant was a Healthy Bourbon County Grant,” Bret Howard, superintendent at USD 235, said.  “It will cover nearly 2/3 of the total cost. The grant was for $12,500 and the total cost once completed will be $17,000. “
“We will be adding this directly to the fitness center so that we can lock the doors that enter the (Uniontown High/Jr. High) Commons Area and not allow access to the building. The shower room will allow those who work out in the morning before work to shower and leave immediately for work.”
The bathroom and shower room will be located in the northeast corner of the fitness center which is on the south side of the Uniontown Junior High School.
 “There is currently a storage room there now behind a locked door,” Howard said. “We will be creating two separate rooms and will be adding another entrance door so there are two entrances, one for the bathroom and one for the shower.”
The fitness center will be closed during  construction of the rooms.
“We do not have an exact date yet as construction projects do not always proceed as expected,” Howard said.  “We will communicate via our district social media accounts and website as soon as we
know more.”
The fitnes center is for patrons on USD 235 only.

Key cards to the fitness center are applied for through West Bourbon Elementary School Principal Vance Eden, the participants can enter the center when school is not in session.


 Eden can be reached at veden@uniontown235.org 
or 620-756-4335. There is a fee for the card of $10.
“We currently have 149 active accounts for the fitness center,” Eden said. “This doesn’t give an exact number of participants, but should be a fair estimate.”


Fair Time!

The annual event that allows 4-Her’s to showcase their hard work  is the county fair.

The Bourbon County Fair is July 12-20 at the fairgrounds located across from Fort Scott Community College on South Horton.

The week includes animal shows, a fashion revue, a livestock sale, open class and 4-H exhibits along with grandstand events.

New this year, the Bourbon County Fair is hosting a professional rodeo at 8 p.m. on July 12-13  at the fairgrounds, by the Hampton Rodeo Company, a consistent top-rated International Pro Rodeo Association (IPRA)  contractor.

“The big thing is the professional rodeo we are having Friday and Saturday starting the fair,” Diane Brillhart, treasurer for the fair board, said.

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 youth and five and under, free is purchased before the rodeos, $12 and $7 at the gate.

Presale tickets are available at Landmark Bank, Chamber of Commerce and Southwind Extension District Office.


There will be a calf scramble, bull poker, beer garden and a live band, in addition.

Contact Steward Gulager, 620-215-5302 for more information.


Brillhart also encourages the public to notice the newly painted sheep and dairy barns.

“Thanks to a Fort Scott Area Community Foundation Grant and the Bourbon County Jail Inmates, we were able to paint the Sheep and Dairy Barn,” Brillhart said.

See information on both the fair and rodeo below.



Pam Korinek enters her plants in the horticulture department in open class at the Bourbon County Fair in 2018.
Northwest Scott 4-H members and family put together their entry into the hay bale decorating contest in the 2018 Bourbon County Fair. From left: Amanda, Abigail, John and Timothy Collins and Kaitlyn Hanks with her mom, Darla Hanks (not pictured).

George Retires From K-State Just Shy of 50 Years

Herschel George, K-State Southeast Kansas Watershed Specialist, shows how a water tank that he helped build on Doug Eden’s farm, works and functions to colleagues on June 25. From left:  Will Boyer, Dan Devlin, Amanda Schlelky ( a research assistant) George, Doug Eden and Jeff Davidson.

Herschel George started as a Kansas State University Extension Agent in February 1970, just after graduating from the university.

Through the years he worked in various counties as an agent, then became a specialist in watersheds.

A watershed consists of surface water-lakes, streams, reservoirs and wetlands, and all the underlying  groundwater, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

George was a 4-H Extension Agent in Marion County, moved to be the agricultural agent in Miami County from 1972 until 2003 when he became a watershed specialist.

George continued in that role but moved to Uniontown, his home town in 2007.

His last day in the watershed specialist role was June 30, 2019.

As a watershed specialist for Southeast Kansas, he worked to encourage farmers and ranchers to install alternative water supplies for livestock and also encouraged the farmers/ranchers to participate in watershed restorative and protection strategies.

“That was the best part of the job,” George said. “Relationships I could build with producers (farmers/ranchers). Another good thing about the job was the continuing education and professional development through the K-State Extension system.”

“I would use county fairs and field days and the 4-State Farm Show as places where I might present or demonstrate alternative livestock practices,” George said. “I often did demonstrations of solar (water) pumps or tire tank installations, to create interest.”

Additionally, he worked with local Watershed Restorative and Protective Strategy organizations as a technical service provider.

Another role George had was to provide technical assistance to livestock operators who may be out of compliance with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment policies, he said.

The purpose of his job was to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus content of runoff from livestock areas.

“Keeping the poop on the grass, not in the ponds,” George said.

In 2008 and 2009 he traveled with K-State’s Kansas Center for Agriculture Resources and the Environment (KCARE) to Africa where he demonstrated drip irrigation systems in community and private gardens.

On June 25-26,  George invited co-workers to tour the types of projects that producers in this area installed to improve water quality, just before his retirement June 30.

It’s been a good 49 plus years, according to George.

“I’ve had nothing but very good supervisors throughout,” he said. “County extension board members to K-State Administration.”

“And I’ve had a good, supporting wife,” George said.

Following his retirement, George will continue to work with K-State and KDHE on special projects and activities across the state, as a consultant, he said.

In his retirement, George said he “might travel to see our daughter and help my brothers in farming as needed.”

George is a 1965 graduate of Uniontown High School, attended Fort Scott Community College, then transferred to Kansas State University, where he graduated in the fall of 1969  with a bachelors degree in agricultural education. In 1981 he earned a masters degree in agriculture mechanization from K-State.

He is involved in the Uniontown community through Uniontown Baptist Church and the Old Settler’s Picnic Association.


Colleagues from Kansas State University toured area farms where George has helped improve water quality in his tenure as Watershed Specialist for Southeast Kansas. From left: Ron Graber, watershed specialist; Pat Murphy, extension agriculture engineer, emeritus; Dan Devlin, watershed specialist; Will Boyer, watershed specialist; Sue Brown, Kansas Center for Ag. Resources and the Environment Assistant; Doug Eden, owner of the property; Connor Minson son of watershed specialist Stacie Minson; Stacie Minson; Jeff Davison, watershed specialist, and George.
Looking at a former pond on Doug Eden’s farm, which was converted back to pastureland and replaced with a tire tank waterer that George helped install. From left: George, Dan Devlin, and Doug Eden.
Herschel George, K-State Watershed Specialist for Southeast Kansas, finds some shade to check in on a cell phone in 2018  at the Bourbon County Fair.  Fairs and farm shows were where George raised public awareness about alternative water supplies, including pumping livestock water.




Laundry Mat With a Twist Opens In August

The Fort Scott  Washateria will open soon at 501 S. National.

Fort Scott Washateria is a full-service laundry mat that is slated to open in August at 501 S. National. In addition, a community clothing distribution system will be located on the property.

Lori Lovelace is the manager, her mother Carol Oakleaf, is the investor/owner.

The business venture came about when Lovelace was doing research for an investment her mother would be interested in.

“I found that Leroy (Walker, her husband) was paying $100 a month to have his rags cleaned. And I did research on laundry mats. Being part of the community, I think the community needed something like  this.”

They bought the former gas station on National Avenue in December 2018.

Darren Crays, local signmaker, made the new sign that hangs atop a pole of the former gas station to let the community know the business is coming.

In what is reminiscent of decades past, the laundry will offer to pick up and deliver or one can drop off their laundry.

“We will come to your home, pick up your stuff, wash it and dry it and take it back to you,” Lovelace said.

“If you have sensitive skin, we will provide what is needed,” she said.

Alteration of clothing and ironing services will also be offered.

The machines will all be “state of the art,” Lovelace said, and include heavy-duty washers and dryers.  Thirteen washers and 16 dryers.

There will be a children’s section with a blackboard wall, TVs and bean bags, she said.

A hospitality section will have free coffee and tea and have vending machines.

“There will be free WiFi in the folding area and charging stations,” she said.

The hours will be seven days a week from 8 a.m to 8 p.m.

“At least three employees will be needed, with more later,” Lovelace said.

There will be loyalty cards, and the business will take debit and credit cards, she said.

“If you buy $20, you get $22 worth of washing and drying,” Lovelace said.

An investment in Fort Scott

Lovelace’s other job is real estate appraiser, with Phoenix Inspection and Appraisals Inc. The laundry facility will be under the umbrella of Hawkeye Investments LLC, with her mother.

Walker is owner of Carhelp Mobile Mechanic.

“We believe with marketing, the venture has potential to be successful,” she said.

“You can make a quality investment in Fort Scott that people will accept and use,” Walker said. “Everybody I’ve told is 100 percent excited.”

Fort Scott Community Closet

A project Lovelace and her mom are initiating is a clothes pantry that will be in a small building, 12 by 20 foot, adjacent to the laundry mat.

Lovelace said she heard about the Beacon, a local helping ministry, recently closing the clothing segment of the ministry, so she is providing a place for donated clothes to be taken.

The Fort Scott Community Closet, the title of the clothes pantry,  will be sponsored by the area churches, she said. “The churches will decide how to operate.”

“Donated clothes will be sorted and cleaned and put in a separate building on the property,” Lovelace said. “We can give away clothes and that’s my intention.”

“I am figuring the 501 3c right now,” she said.” I need people that will be on the (Fort Scott Community Closet) board. We purchased the shed that will be there, a spot on our property. We will provide the initial sorting then wash them.”

“Anyone interested in being on that board that is civic-minded, let me know,” Lovelace said.

She can be reached at 620-215-1314.




Fort Scott Business Closing Its Doors

Ron Palmer, president of Fort Scott Lumber LLC.

Fort Scott Lumber, 1905 S. Judson, is closing its doors.

The business venture started with 14 men, in 1991.

They formed a corporation called Fort Scott Lumber LLC following the closure of Comstock Lumber.

The corporation was comprised of Palmer, Gary Bukowski, Bob Carillo, Brent Cosens, Charles Johnston, Jack Karleskint, Craig McKenney, Larry Rogers, Ronald Rogers, Doug Ropp, Bob Tuchscherer, Bob West, Lloyd Wiley and Darrell Winter.

“Several of the men were contractors, they weren’t happy with just one lumber yard in town,” Ronald Palmer, president of the corporation of Fort Scott Lumber, said.

Comstock Lumber closed following the catastrophic flood of 1986 when much of the inventory was lost, Palmer said.

Fast forward from 1991 to 2019.

“We had the chance to sell it and all the owners are getting older, all retiring, two have died, so it’s just time,”  Palmer said.

“It’s been great serving the Fort Scott area with our business,” Palmer said.

Starting July 8, all the inventory of the business will be on sale, including lumber, doors, windows, hardware, siding, soffit materials and more, he said.

The building was sold to Ruster and Duster LLC, a corporation owned by Aaron and Lindsey Watts.

“With the progression of Smallville we have been in the market for a new location to expand for the last year,” Lindsay Watts said. “It is unfortunate to see such a great asset to our community closing, but the board’s decision to sell was a great opportunity for us to continue to expand and increase programs that we can provide. We are excited for the opportunity to both continue to grow and continue to serve this community for years to come.  We are working closely with the owners on their timeline however Ruster and Duster LLC will be purchasing the property and looking to close in September 2019.”



Fort Scott Fireworks July 3

Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton, is the sight of the Independence Day Fireworks 2019 Event.

Fort Scott Elk’s Club has been organizing the Independence Day Celebration for several decades for the community.

It is held on July 3 at the campus of Fort Scott Community College, 2108 S. Horton.

“This really is a community event and it takes local governments, local businesses, and citizens that play in the fundraising golf tournament and donate, to make it all happen,” Bill Brittain, event chairperson said. “The Elk’s is really just the conduit that brings all of this together!”

“It started in the mid-1990s when another organization organized this and they stopped doing it,” Brittain said. ” I was on the city commission and possibly mayor at the time. The city manager at that time asked if the Elk’s would take this event over and we did.”

The Elks Lodge at 111 W. 19th. The Elks Club sponsors the fireworks display with help from the community.

The following is from an interview with Brittain.

Who organizes and facilitates the event?

“The Elk’s have been in charge of organizing and raising the funds for the community fireworks for around 25 years! I have been the chairperson all of that time. The Elk’s organize the fireworks with funding help from the City (of Fort Scott) and (Bourbon)County!

When will it start and end?

“It will start at around 9:15 to 9:30. We pick the time when it gets very close, to make sure it is dark! The show lasts a little over 20 minutes.”

“A couple of years ago the city asked us to move the event to July 3rd because of congestion and trash with everyone out there watching (and) shooting their own (fireworks) afterward. So it is on the 3rd.

Will personal fireworks be allowed during the event?


“The city does not allow fireworks to be shot except on the 4th for
any other than this community fireworks display.”

Where is it held each year?

” They are shot off behind FSCC, back by the ball fields and people park along Horton and at the fairgrounds area. They have been shot there for as long as I can remember!”

Who will be lighting the fireworks?

“They are shot and come from J&M Fireworks which is a company that does this kind of displays.”

Tell about the Fort Scott Elks organization.

“We are very community minded and we try to do some things for Veteran’s,” Brittain said. “Some of the community events are of course the community fireworks, Christmas baskets
for deserving families, usually around 135, children’s Christmas party done by the Lady Elk’s which gives around 85 to 100 deserving children Christmas presents and a party, the children’s
fishing derby, the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner organized by Margie Schwalm and family. We host a variety of fundraisers for other groups…again we are very reliant on the community and citizens as well as our dedicated members!”



Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the U.S.A. is a  fraternal organization with a mission as stated on its’ website https://www.elks.org/who/missionStatement.cfm


“To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.”





AD: Darlene’s Antiques Auction

Darlene’s Antiques, 16 Scott Avenue, is having a complete online liquidation of the store. This is a large and extensive collection.
“Darlene has closed her antique and collectibles store a few years ago,” Jim Shoemaker, her husband said. “She has decided to sell her entire store inventory and the large personal collection of antiques.
This is the second of several online auctions that Crawford Auction Service will be doing for us. This auction starts to close at 7 PM Sunday, June 30th.”
There will be another auction in a few weeks, Shoemaker said.
“Darlene and I want to thank all the customers that have patronized her store since 2005,” Shoemaker said.
Jim Shoemaker is also selling his ham radio operations.
Jim Shoemaker has been a ham radio operator since 1953.
To view a video of the operation:
Jim’s cell phone is 620 223 5090 and PayPal address:
This auction ends June 30.
To see all the items, click below:
Below just a few of the featured items are pictured.

Burke Street July 4th Americana: Parade and Food

Burke Street Parade organizer Margaret Humphrey in the white, participates in a parade in years past. Submitted photo.

The community of Fort Scott is once again invited to the Burke Street Parade on July 4, to commemorate Independence Day in the U.S.

The parade is organized by people who live along the street on the city’s west side.

“We invite everyone,” Margaret Humphrey, one of the event’s organizers said. “This was started 37 years ago by myself, Susan Foster and Jill Gorman. Then Theresa Bahr helped with organizing after it became a bigger event. It was small and fun and we just continued every year. The crowd size varies depending on what day the 4th is on. We have walked in rain with small crowds–but if it is lightening we cancel.”

“It is always on the 4th of July at 10 a.m. unless it falls on a Sunday,” she said

“The little kids that were in the parade initially, have their children in it,” Humphrey said. “Phil Hammons and Jill Gorman lead with patriotic songs. We started singing after the  (Twin Towers during the terrorist strike in New York) fell–to promote patriotism.”

Frank Halsey is the traffic controller.

“This year Nate and Bailey Lyons will host the refreshments,” she said. “After the parade, we meet for cookies and drinks. We ask everyone to donate cookies.”

In 2018, Deb and Frank Halsey hosted the cookies and drinks under a tent on their lawn.
Burke Street residents offer food following the parade.

Humphrey finds someone to host with refreshments at their home each year and makes the informational fliers.

“Barb Albright now helps with distributing information,” Humphrey said.

“The best part of the event is seeing the children who have so much fun going up and down the street in their bikes, wagons, lawn mowers, with animals,” she said.

“People have asked about trucks, etc.(being in the parade) but our parade route is short and once the parade starts,  in seconds children are everywhere. It is a disorganized, organized parade.”

Garden Club Adds Beauty to Fort Scott

The Bourbon County Garden Club 2019. Front, from left: Leah Lewis, Barb McCord, Cheryl Bloomfield, Deb Lust, Sharon Campbell; back row: Priscilla Sellers, Ronda Hassig, Judy Wallis, Clara Scholfield, Karen Billiard, Jan Hedges and Rita Emmerson.

The Bourbon County Garden Club beautifies the town of Fort Scott.

“We do the flower baskets downtown,” Deb Lust, spokesperson for the group told the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Coffee attendees on June 20. “The city pays for them and we provide the labor.”

“We also do the three flower beds at the swimming pool and the planter in front of the city office,” she said.

“Barb McCord is the landscape architect,” Lust said.

There are several Kansas Master Gardeners in the club who are available to answer gardening questions from the public, she said.

Also available for questions is Krista Harding with the K-State Southwind Horticulture Agent, she said.

In years past, the club has organized The Secret Garden, a showcase for area gardeners.

“We need gardens for that,” Lust said, noting that task has become increasingly difficult.

The club meets the fourth Thursday of each month, except in the winter months.

“We encourage men and women to join us,” she said.



Express Employment Professionals: Help With Recruiting Employees

Kai Runnells, Express Employment Professionals Business Developer in her office at 119 S. Main, June 2019.

All across America, unemployment is low.

Nationally, total nonfarm payroll employment went up in May 2019 with approximately 75,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate remained at 3.6 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdfon June 9. Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services and in health care.


In Bourbon County, the unemployment rate is 4.1 percent, according to the website https://klic.dol.ks.gov/admin/gsipub/htmlarea/uploads/Map%20April%202019%20LAUS.jpg


A recent business opened an office in Fort Scott to help other businesses find suitable employees in this era where job seekers have diminished.


In April 2019, Express Employment Professionals opened an office in Fort Scott at 119 S. Main.  The franchise is based out of Independence,  since 2004.

The location of Express Employment Professionals, in between Fort Scott City Hall and  Crooner’s Lounge on Main Street.

“The staff and company provide businesses with their workforce needs,” Kai Rannells, business developer with EEP and the local representative, said. Rannells can be reached at 620-644-5050.

“There is a small fee for businesses,” she said. “This covers payroll burden liability. (The fee) varies on types of jobs.”

Because of the low employment rate, candidates without jobs need more coaching, Rannells said.

“Businesses are afraid of what it could cost to train and then retain employees,” she said. “That cost will fall on us. When a company brings in a new employee it costs a fair amount of money and if the employee doesn’t end up lasting, they are out that amount.”

EEP provides temporary or contract staff and do temporary to hire staffing.

“That’s where they start out temporary, and after probation is met, the company is able to hire them as a permanent employee,” Rannells said. “A lot of companies do that to make sure it’s a good fit for their team. We also do direct hires and professional searches.”

“We like to focus on helping people find the right candidate and job seekers find good careers,” she said.

“If someone is looking for a job, we do interviews to see what company would be a good fit of those hiring and we try to place them,” Rannells said. “It is a free service for job seekers.”

For more information about the services and EEP: https://www.expresspros.com/