Tag Archives: featured

County Commission Accepts 2018 Budget

The Bourbon County Commission accepted the budget for the fiscal year of 2018 Tuesday, giving raises to employees without raising the mill levy.

“I think it’s a good budget,” said Terry Sercer, certified public accountant for Diehl Banwart Bolton. “You guys worked hard on it this year.”

The commissioners spent the past couple months accepting budget requests from county departments, trying to see where money could be saved while also trying to provide competitive wages for their employees.

The commissioners settled on giving all hourly employees a 75 cents per hour raise, while officers of the Sheriff’s Office received a $1.75 per hour raise. These raises will go into effect in January.

“We’ve raised it to where it’s competitive,” commissioner Lynne Ohara said, specifically of the sheriff’s department wages, which he said are now caught up to the average wages of surrounding counties as recorded as recently as 2015.

With the higher wages, the commissioners said they hope to save money in the long run through the retention of employees, preventing the need to train new officers or pay for overtime if they become shorthanded.

Overall, the county has fewer employees than in past years, which has also allowed the commissioners to save funds. The county also did not include potential revenue from the new law enforcement center such as if cells are leased for inmates from other counties.

The commissioners said the county continues to have a need for new industry and jobs, though the current focus on economic development and the positive housing market has had a positive impact.

“A lot of good things are happening,” commissioner Jeff Fischer said.

Fort Scott Cemetery Celebrates 5th Annual Wreath Ride

Event benefits the local mission of Wreaths Across America to Remember, Honor, Teach

Submitted by Kevin Wagner

This Saturday, a local fundraising group for national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) will host a motorcycle ride in support of the organization’s mission. The 5th Annual Fort Scott Wreath Ride will raise money to sponsor fresh balsam wreaths that will be placed on veterans’ headstones at the cemetery this December.

The Annual Wreath Ride is the local WAA fundraising group’s biggest event of the year. Last year, the Wreath Ride consisted of 184 motorcycles, raising enough money to sponsor 3,600 wreaths – covering more than half of the 5,600 headstones at Fort Scott Cemetery.

“The Wreath Ride started as an effort to raise awareness for our mission, and has grown into one of the biggest events of the year in our community,” said Kevin Wagner, WAA local volunteer coordinator for Fort Scott Cemetery. “Every year, we are able to sponsor more wreaths than the last – our goal this year is to raise enough money to honor every veteran buried here.”

The Wreath Ride will take place on Saturday, August 26, at 11 a.m. and will begin at Buck Run Community Center in Fort Scott, Kan. Registration is open 9 – 10:30 a.m., kickstands up at 11 a.m. All proceeds from the event go toward wreath sponsorships – every $15 donated sponsors one wreath that will be placed at Fort Scott Cemetery on National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, December 16.

“Each donation is a meaningful gift from a Wreath Ride participant or supporter who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA. “We are so grateful to the community of Fort Scott for hosting this event and for continuing to spread our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.”

The event is sponsored by dozens of locally-based businesses, including Joplin, Missouri-based truckload carrier, CFI. CFI donated money toward Wreath Ride apparel and will send employee representatives as well as the company’s military-branded trailer to the event.

“The Wreaths Across America mission speaks volumes to us as a company,” said Tim Staroba, president of CFI. “Many of our drivers are veterans themselves, and they appreciate the opportunity to be involved in the national effort to remember our nation’s heroes every holiday season, and year-round.”

For more information about the 5th Annual Wreath Ride, or to participate, please visit www.FortScottWreathRide.com.

National Wreaths Across America Day is a free event, open to all. For more information, to donate or to sign up to volunteer, please visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

FSCC Announces Boards & Bites Event

Submitted by Heather Browne, FSCC

Fort Scott Community College will host the Boards & Bites painting class from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, August 29, in the Student Union, located in Bailey Hall, 2108 South Horton, Fort Scott.

An instructor will show participants how to create fall-themed décor for their homes. The cost is $20 per person and includes a treat, refreshments and painting supplies. Space is limited for this event. To preregister, contact Kassie Fugate-Cate, FSCC Admissions Representative, at kassief@fortscott.edu or 620-223-2700, ext. 3530.

Total Eclipse of Fort Scott

Mostly clear skies gave Fort Scott residents an opportunity to view the total solar eclipse Monday, as the American eclipse made its way across the entire continental United States.

The last time such an eclipse was seen in the U.S. was in 1918. Fort Scott was able to view the eclipse Monday at 96 percent, as the path of totality passed by only about 100 miles north of the county. That percentage was enough to cause the normal daylight to dim as the eclipse reached its peak just after 1 p.m.

The Fort Scott National Historic Site provided eclipse information and activities for visitors Monday, showing them how to safely view the eclipse with special glasses or through other safe means.

Mercy Health Foundation to Receive Check from Modern Woodmen of America

Submitted by Tina Rockhold, Mercy Hospital

The Mercy Health Foundation Fort Scott will receive a $2,000 matching fund checks from the Modern Woodmen of America on Tuesday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. in the Mercy Hospital main lobby.

Jolynne Mitchell and Scott Gander from Modern Woodmen will present the check to Mercy Health Foundation Board Members and Hit the Bricks event planners Jared Leek, Jessica Schenkel and Darcy Smith.

The $2,000 was pledged in May to the foundation by the Modern Woodmen of America as a corporate sponsorship for the Hit the Bricks Wine Stroll, Art Walk and Blane Howard Concert. In the sponsorship agreement, the Mercy Health Foundation needed to net a minimum of $2,000 in event proceeds to receive the matching $2,000.

Proceeds from the Hit the Bricks event totaled $11,883 prior to the $2,000 check to be presented by the Modern Wooden of America.

The Mercy Health Foundation Fort Scott is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which raises money and community awareness for Mercy Hospital. It is dependent on the support of individuals, corporations and foundations to help Mercy meet community health care needs. Mercy Health Foundation invests its philanthropic support in facilities and the advancement of technologies and programs to enhance Mercy’s ability to provide excellence in health care.

To make a donation, please visit https://secure3.4agoodcause.com/mercy-health-foundations/gift.aspx?id=1 or call the Mercy Health Foundation office at 620-223-8094.

KState Extension: Agriculture Education is in demand

Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District

Can you count the ways Agriculture touches your life? When you wake up in the morning, you are lying on cotton sheets. You swing your feet onto the floor either made of wood, a rug made of wool or flooring made from linseed or soybean soil. The soap in the shower contains tallow (a by-product of the beef industry) and toothpaste has glycerin in it. The towel you dry off with and the jeans and t-shirt you put on are made from cotton. You have already used dozens of agricultural products, and you haven’t even started eating!

For these everyday reasons and more, agriculture education is too important a topic to be taught only to the small percentage of students considering careers in agriculture and pursuing vocational agricultural studies. Throughout my Extension career, I have spent time in elementary classrooms teaching about agriculture in a variety of ways. When I ask the students “Does chocolate milk come from a brown cow or a white cow?” the answer is most always the same – “A brown cow!” Although this might give most of us a chuckle, the answer really tells us that agriculture education should be a high priority and it should start with our children. Locally, 4-H and FFA members are educating our youth through various initiatives like Day at the Farm and Earth Day. They cooperate with other organizations such as Farm Bureau, Extension, Conservation District and Wildlife & Parks to demonstrate how agriculture and livestock are important to our everyday lives. We are all fortunate to live in communities where folks still care about agriculture and a rural lifestyle.

With a growing population and a demand to feed nine billion by the year 2050, the agriculture industry needs talented, driven and passionate youth willing to make a commitment to agriculture. Many of these individuals will not have the production background I was privileged to experience while growing up. The next generation will have to gain knowledge and try to understand the depth of the industry through programs in 4-H, FFA and collegiate agriculture courses where hands-on learning is critical to developing the skills necessary to feed the world. Make no mistake, there is tremendous opportunity for careers in agriculture, including banking, energy, food science, education, research and engineering, and I hope you will continue to support those organizations who promote and support agricultural endeavors in our communities.

Southwind Extension District is proud to help educate our youth on the values and importance involved in the agriculture lifestyle. Through participation in 4-H activities like livestock judging, learning how to weld, or even how to grow plants in the garden – the youth in Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties are preparing themselves for how to feed the next generation. For more information on how you can become involved in the Southwind District, find us on the web at www.southwind.ksu.edu

Patty LaRoche: Making Assumptions

“I have never learned anything with my mouth open.” So reads the sign on the office wall of our friend, Howard, who shared that ditty with us this past week. Although clever, I disagree. I have learned great lessons with my mouth open: mainly, that I can be a fool.

Like a few days ago. I was in Wichita, Kan., for a baseball tournament with my husband and three sons. For a week our lives were scheduled for us, thanks to organizers Brent and Jenny Hall and their adult daughter, Haleigh, who kept us informed of schedule changes, etc.

On Friday evening the family members were to meet in the lobby at 5:45 p.m. for a scheduled 6 p.m. bus departure to the ballgame. I was there. Alone. I texted my daughter-in-law, Jenn, who said the group text showed a time change to 6:30. She suggested that I ask Haleigh to put me on her group text so that I would get the announcements. That’s what I did.

Immediately my phone lit up with rapid-fire texts from the other wives. “Do you have an extra hat I can have?” “I will meet you at the game. Don’t look for me on the bus.” “Can I get extra tickets for friends coming into town?” You get the picture. Jenn suggested I ask to be removed from the group text. Good idea. I texted Haleigh to make that request.

On Sunday morning, I found out that friends from Fort Scott were coming to the game, and since Haleigh’s number was still in my contact list, I texted her to ask for tickets. Her response? “Sorry, but you were removed from this group. Maybe you should ask someone in the group to add you again!”

I read it again.

EXCUUUUUSE me? And what’s with the exclamation point?

I re-read the response.

Well, EXCUUUUUSE me again! After trying to get Dave as upset as I was (never happen), I responded. “I asked to be removed because I realized most of it wasn’t any of my business. I didn’t know I needed to be in the group to ask for tickets. No worries.”

Still, I stewed, waiting for Haleigh’s apology. I would have to tell Jenn so she never again suggested someone be removed from Haleigh’s elite little group. Before making that call, our son Jeff dropped by our hotel room. I sought his empathy, a waste of time since that male apple didn’t fall too far from that uncompassionate tree. “Mom, that doesn’t sound like Haleigh. What number do you have?”

Not the right one, as it turned out. The one I used was for the group text which sent out an automated reply to people outside the group. When Jeff gave me Haleigh’s private number and I made the call to the right number, she couldn’t have been more helpful. Jeff wasn’t finished. “Wow, Mom, why did you assume the worst?”

Because I’m good at it would have been the honest answer. Of course, I didn’t say that. I attempted to defend my actions, in which case both the tree and the apple would have none of it.

Relationships have been ruined when assumptions are made. Someone doesn’t answer my email or is short-answered with a text reply or doesn’t invite me to their dinner party or…

Proverbs 25:8 (MSG) simplifies the way I am to think when my feelings are hurt: “Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.”

Otherwise, my assumption becomes my truth which leads to an ugly response which results in broken relationships…or, in one case, war.

Next week we will look at a Biblical example of how close that came to happening.