Tag Archives: featured

SEK Financial Chamber Coffee discusses fall events

The weekly Chamber Coffee event hosted by SEK Financial Thursday morning gave representatives from businesses in Fort Scott as well as some high school students the opportunity to learn about SEK Financial and what other businesses in the community are doing in upcoming weeks.

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“We work with twenty-something different school districts,” representative Jim Sather said of SEK Financial located in the Industrial Park south of Fort Scott, but added they do much more than just working with schools, such as helping others through investments, insurance, IRAs, 401K plans, rollovers and other financial advice.

“We are able to stay plenty busy,” Sather said. “We love what we do.”

They have also held social security seminars, informing community members of Medicare and Medicaid facts. Businesses interested in inviting them to come speak on that or other financial topics can contact them.

“When we give advice, we just try to do the very best that we can here,” Sather said, saying their doors are open to those who would like to chat with one of their representatives.

Other announcements included:

  • The new Bleeding Kansas and Civil War exhibits at the Fort Scott National Historic Site are almost ready as final inspections are completed.
  • The Gordon Parks Celebration will begin next Thursday and will include videos, speakers, tours and other events such as a concert by a jazz band from Kansas City Friday evening.
  • The Halloween Parade will make its way through downtown Fort Scott Saturday Oct. 24, at 11 a.m. Families and businesses are invited to participate.
  • On Friday the 30th, the city will host a speaker who works with small businesses and will be discussing topics such as staying relevant to the changing customer and art as a business, giving business owners new ideas to help grow their company.
  • Tickets for the Forks and Corks: Taste of Fort Scott event, which will be held Nov. 7, continue to be sold around the city.

Public Library provides reading time to toddlers

Each Tuesday morning, the Fort Scott Public Library invites families with toddlers not yet in school to come for a story time at 10 a.m., which includes books, songs, crafts and snacks for the children.

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“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for preschoolers and toddlers to get used to sitting down and listening,” youth librarian Valeta Cannon said, adding it also prepares them for learning to read themselves.

Cannon said it gives the children as well as the mothers an opportunity to meet each other and socialize.

Each week, Cannon selects children’s books according to themes the children said were their favorites. In recent weeks those themes have included whales, trains and cowboys. With each theme, “Miss Val” often dresses the part as well as plans crafts, songs and snacks that also fit the topic.

“It’s wonderful,” Cannon said of the time each week, though she admits it can also be a challenge because of how young some of the children are. “I really like it.”

Though the story time started off slowly with the beginning of the school year, in recent weeks Cannon said they have had more than 20 children come with their parents.

“The group keeps growing, which is nice,” Cannon said.

The story time continues each week throughout the school year before being suspended during the summer for the summer reading programs. Cannon said she does not hold to a specific age limit for the weekly gathering, having welcomed children as young as just a couple months old to older students.

USD 234 sets curriculum goals, gives construction update

During their October meeting, the USD 234 school board members received a report on the plan to create a district-wide curriculum, a project which began with the start of the new school year.

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Curriculum director Nicki Traul said it has been more than a decade since the district made an effort to create a curriculum for each of the Fort Scott schools, adding that those plans often fell short of their goal.

“There has been several times in the past that we’ve got started on processes,” Traul said. “I don’t know if we ever hit the ending in the last ten years or so.”

But Traul said they recognize the magnitude of the project and are considering it to be a five-year plan, not one that could be utilized immediately. To achieve that goal, she said they will make sure teachers also understand that goal and are not discouraged by yet another attempt.

In just recent weeks, Traul and Superintendent Bob Beckham met to set goals for the curriculum as well as walk through the schools to witness different teaching methods to be encouraged in the curriculum.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about that,” Beckham said of the walk-through and plan for school curriculum, which will include a committee, coaches and continued Literacy First training.

Traul said their curriculum will have horizontal goals in each classroom, making sure each grade finishes the school year at the same level, as well as vertical goals so each grade learns what is needed for the curriculum of the next grade.

“We want to make sure that each kid in every grade level is getting the material that they’re supposed to be taught,” Traul said.

Such a curriculum would provide that continuity among the schools as well as accountability between classes as they are held to specific standards.

Beckham also gave an update on the construction included in the $40.8 million school bond issue, saying the contractors have sought input from teachers and found ways to get projects done while remaining within the limits of the budget.

Beckham said the contractors will begin accepting bids for interior and exterior projects with those bids due in mid-November. Work will begin shortly after that decision is made

Beckham added the priority will be the high school, since some of those students have been displaced, but said they hope several areas of work can be done simultaneously by those awarded the bids for the projects.

“We’re all getting antsy,” Beckham said. “They hope to see dirt being moved the first of December.”

Runners, cyclists, kayakers take part in Triyakathon

For a third year, local and out-of-town athletes competed in the Triyakathon held at Gunn Park Saturday, featuring routes that forced participants to run, kayak and cycle through the park as individuals or members of a team.

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“We love doing it,” said Frank Halsey, who helped organize the event as well as create the bike trails at Gunn Park over recent years. “It’s a fun course.”

Halsey admitted they are still trying to find the best time of year to hold the event, going back in forth between the fall, when numerous other activities are going on, and summer when it is hard to rent enough kayaks.

This year, though with a smaller crowd that included about 20 individual participants and approximately eight teams, the participants got to experience the event with near-perfect weather with a backdrop of trees with leaves already changing.

Though Halsey said they had feared the river would be too low for the kayaks, recent rains and the opening of the river to let water in made conditions suitable for the event.

Each individual or team was timed, with the fastest coming in at less than two hours for all three portions, which included 3.8 miles of running, 2.5 miles by kayak and a 6.9 mile bike ride through the trails.

Participants ranged in age from 14 to 73 years. Volunteers from Fort Scott Community College and Christian Heights helped with the event.

Fort Scott crowns royalty at Homecoming

A large crowd from the community attended the 2015 Homecoming festivities Friday evening, which included the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen, the Tigers’ football game against the Independence Bulldogs and performances from the band and dance team as well as young Tigers fans.

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Prior to the game, Marcus Stepps and Grace Willis were named the Homecoming King and Queen from among the 10 candidates. Other candidates included Karleigh Arndt, Katie Gorman, Emma Reeves, Cassidy Westhoff, Kaleb DeLaTorre, Josh Hudiburg, Brody Southwell and Wyatt Tourtillott.

“I’m in a lot of shock still,” Willis said after she was crowned, saying she was both surprised and excited when she was first named a candidate a couple weeks before. “But it’s great.”

After accepting the crown, Stepps went on to help the Tigers beat the Bulldogs, even credited with an interception with less than two minutes in the game, which would lead to the final touchdown of the 31-14 final score.

Both teams got off to a slow start, struggling with penalties, but the Tigers struck first with a touchdown with just over six minutes remaining in the first half. A field goal gave them a 10-0 lead at halftime.

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While the Bulldogs threatened to come back late in the game, completing a 49-yard touchdown run with less than four minutes to go in the game, the Tigers held on to give them a 5-1 record for the season.

Students and others in the community also provided a chili feed, face-painting, photo booth and other activities during the Homecoming evening. The Fort Scott High School graduating class of 1965, celebrating its 50th year since graduating, was also recognized.