Mary Eastwood Back After “Catch-Up” Month

Mary Eastwood reclines on a chaise lounge in her shop that she recently custom upholstered.

Mary Eastwood, owner of Here We Go Again, a custom upholstery shop in historic downtown Fort Scott,  reopened  Oct. 3 following a month of “catching up,” she said.

“I didn’t get caught up, but I finished 13 chairs and a whole bunch of pillows,” Eastwood laughed.

A child’s recliner chair that Mary Eastwood recently upholstered.

Eastwood’s workspace is in the back of her showroom at 9 N. Main.

In addition to custom upholstery furniture and decorative items, Eastwood has consignments from area artists.

“I have unique gifts for sale,” she said.

Mary Eastwood shows customer Colleen Murrin the new consignment aprons she received from area artist, Allison Day.

Eastwood started upholstering furniture in 1976 and continues to use her original machine, she said.  Her business first started from her home and she has been at her current storefront for several years.

Store hours are 10 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Custom pillows.
Here We Go Again upholstery shop at 9 N. Main.

Bourbon County Jail Public Viewing

The public was allowed a viewing of the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Thursday.  The project took one year to complete and will house 74 inmates.
Residents, employees, and dignitaries mill around prior to the ribbon cutting at the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center Thursday afternoon.
The project summary of the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center was on display at the public viewing.
A pod for inmates at the new correctional center. Inmates should be at the new facility by the second week of November, according to Sheriff Bill Martin.
Sheriff Bill Martin shows the command center at the new law enforcement center during a tour Thursday afternoon.
Corrections officers get a look at the inmate recreation area at the new center. Daylight and fresh air must be provided inmates daily. The huge fan at the top, center, will provide the air intake for the room.
The sallyport area where inmates are brought by vehicle into the center is shown by Sheriff Bill Martin.
At right, Steve Smith visits with Sheriff Bill Martin. Smith is the president of Universal Construction, the general contractor for the project.
Sheriff Bill Martin shows a handicapped accessible pod with special safety features.
Sheriff Martin shows an honor pod, for model inmates who are allowed to work in the community with supervision. Model inmates will also prepare meals for the center with supervision, something not feasible at the old jail.
An interview room at the center for inmates and attorneys.
Employees, interested Bourbon County residents and dignitaries line the sidewalk in front of the center to prepare for the opening ceremony. The area surrounding the center is being seeded with grass, therefore there was no standing off the sides of the sidewalk.
The address sign on the outside of the center at 293 E. 20th Street. It is located on the south side of Fort Scott.
Signs upon entering the Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center.



Patty LaRoche: Asking ‘Why?’

Dave and I are in Las Vegas this week. Yesterday we took a break from helping Dave’s daughter Nikki care for her husband, Dave, who had major knee surgery. We went property-hunting and met with a realtor who spent several minutes assuring us of the safety in this area. “Casino owners will not tolerate ANYTHING that will cause tourists not to come here. They run the show. They run the government. You can’t find a safer place to live.”

Comforting thought.

Only he was wrong.

The phone call came in the middle of the night. Quentin, our grandson Logan’s best friend and one we have known since the boys were little, was killed by a crazed lunatic who opened fire during the final song of a Country Western concert held on the strip here in Vegas. Quentin and his girlfriend were dancing near the front of the stage when the “popping” started. When the singer, Jason Aldean, ran for his bus as bullets sprayed the stage, Quentin pushed his girlfriend to the floor and lay on top of her. During the 15-second break in gunshots, Quentin got to his knees to seek a way of escape. It was then that a bullet entered through his shoulder and exited near his hip. He was dead within minutes.

Quentin wasn’t supposed to be there. His girlfriend and her roommate had tickets, but when her roommate decided not to go, Quentin was offered the ticket. As a huge fan of Jason Aldean, he was thrilled. His story is one of many to be shared over the next several days as 60+ families will be organizing funerals for loved ones who, just a few minutes before being shot, were having the time of their lives. Questions will be relentless:

What turns someone into a monster capable of killing so many innocent people?

How can one person get ahold of so many assault weapons?

Do we blame the guns or blame the shooter?

Are we safe to go anywhere in public?

And the elephant in the room…Why?

Nikki’s family went over to Quentin’s home this morning. A tearful Nikki asked what she could take or say to help comfort his family. I told her what I tell everyone: Hug them. Cry with them. Pray for them.

Today Logan and I had a sweet conversation about Quentin. He was a high school JV basketball coach and avid golfer who was attending UNLV to become a dentist while working full time for the recreation department. He was the quarterback for his adult flag football team and played slow pitch softball once a week. He was quiet and unassuming and a great guy.

So much to offer…so, why?

Because, doggone it, this is a fallen, broken world (and yes, I hate that that is the answer). Death was not part of God’s original design. Life was meant to lead to life until eternity. Instead, it is a curse set in motion when Adam and Eve sinned. Death makes us hunger for things to be better; it makes us long to live in a place where true restoration happens and the last enemy—death—has been defeated.

The great Protestant reformer Martin Luther lost a son. His wife Katie shouted at him, “Where was God when our son died? Martin replied, “The same place He was when His Son died. He was there watching and weeping.”

Just like He was last Sunday night.

G & W Is Changing Things Up

G & W Foods Manager Will Rayburn works on paperwork Wednesday in preparation for changes coming to the grocery store.

G & W Foods is adding to their store name, re-shelving and moving products around preparing for a change in the way they do business.

The change for the grocery store is starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 through Oct. 17. The store will reopen at 7 a.m. on Oct. 18.

Following this brief time of closing, the store, at 911 E. Sixth, is taking a different direction, and will then be known as G & W Cash Saver.

The big change will be that the public will pay the cost price to the store of each item, plus ten percent added to the register receipt, plus the required tax Rayburn said.

“This will be a more cost-effective option to our customers,” he said. “It will be noticeable.”

The staff will remain the same, said store manager Will Rayburn.

Currently, there are 45 employees.

“It’s the same people, just changing direction,” Rayburn said.

Sometime in the near future, there will be a grand opening, Rayburn said.

Also in the future are new user-friendly gas pumps.

“I know a lot of people will be interested in that,” Rayburn said.


Dunn To Resign As County Treasurer

Rhonda Dunn has been wearing two hats lately.

She is simultaneously the Bourbon County Treasurer and the Community Development Director for the City of Fort Scott.

But that will be ending within the month as she resigns as treasurer next week. That resignation will start a political process to replace her.

Her city job is an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. one. The county treasurer tasks are done in the evening and weekends, she said.

“I try to be there (at the treasurer’s office) on Tuesdays for the county commission meeting,” Dunn said. ” I don’t have a set schedule for it.”

“When I considered the job at the city, I discussed it with the county commission,” she said.  “When offered the job, the city agreed for me to stay on to help with the transition.”

“It took a good team at the treasurer’s office and a lot of support from them,” she said.

“It’s hard to let go of the county (position),” Dunn said. “I went to the city because I also have a career path at the city, that no elected official will have with the county.”

“Your elected Bourbon County officials are underpaid,” she said. “Compared to other counties, the pay scale is out of whack. I don’t want to raise taxes, I don’t want to pay higher taxes. The county can’t afford to fix it.”

“I’m going to miss working at the courthouse,” she said. “We were working on good things. But it’s exciting to focus on a new task that the city has given me.”

Rhonda Dunn, in her city position, works on the Price Chopper Super Market plans as part of her new Community Development Director position with the city.

Process to replace

Dunn was elected county treasurer in November 2012 and took office almost a year later, in October 2013.

“It’s been that way since maybe the 1800s,” Dunn said. “It (the treasurer’s position) runs with the tax cycle, which starts November 1 each year. We take office the second Tuesday of October.”

Dunn will officially resign as county treasurer the second Wednesday, October 10, with her resignation effective Friday, November 3.

“I give notice to the governor, then the governor tells the local Republican party to replace me,” she said.

A convention of delegates must be called within 21 days of the governor accepting her resignation, according to Randall Readinger, the chairman of the Bourbon County Republican Party Central Committee.

“It’s an open meeting, but the only people voting are the committeemen and women of record as of that notice date,” Readinger said.

“When Rhonda first took the job, several people were interested at that point,” Readinger said. “We’ll get a feel for the (potential) person’s capabilities and understanding of Bourbon County.”

“At this point, we don’t have a definite replacement,” he said. “We will evaluate any that express interest when the event comes. It’s a process we are familiar with. We replaced the sheriff and county attorney.”

Although she doesn’t have a vote in the replacement, Dunn is hoping someone from the county treasurer’s office will get elected.

“That will be the easiest transition,” Dunn said.

Motor vehicle department personnel wait on members of the public Monday afternoon. This department is a part of the Bourbon County Treasurer office. Dunn is hoping someone from the treasurer’s office will apply for the treasurer position.


KState Southwind Extension: Join the Club

Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District, Director & Agent

Aspire to be a fashionista? Have your kids just convinced you to get a pet? Do your kids want to garden but you have a brown thumb?  Life’s little questions aren’t meant to be answered alone. Join 4-H, the club of families who share in teaching kids practical things like pet care, growing gardens or designing clothing, and important values like responsibility. Whether you’re in the city or country, join 4-H and we’ll tackle life’s little questions together. With over 30 projects available, there is no doubt your kids will find something they’re interested in.

October 1-7, is National 4-H Week, and the Southwind Extension District in Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties are celebrating the 4-H youth who have made an impact on the community, and are stepping up to the challenges of a complex and changing world.

We can tell you how great 4-H is, but now the research tells the story. Students participating in 4-H report higher educational achievement and academic confidence, are nearly two times more likely to attend college, and more likely to pursue future courses or a career in science, engineering or computer technology.

Recent findings from Tufts University’s 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H. Notably, the Tufts research discovered that the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that 4-H’ers receive play a vital role in helping them actively contribute to their communities. In the Southwind District, more than 565 4-H members and many more volunteers are involved in 4-H.

4-H teaches skills that last a lifetime, and leadership is at the forefront. Other life skills include: a positive self-concept, an inquiring mind, concern for the community, healthy interpersonal relationships and sound decision making. 4-H is more than a single game or activity. Your kids will learn to speak in front of a group, handle responsibility, help their community, try new things, work with others and make good decisions.

The fundamental 4-H ideal of practical, “learn by doing” experiences encourage youth to experiment, innovate and think independently. 4-H programs are offered through school-based, after-school and camp settings and within community clubs.

4-H isn’t just about cooking and sewing or showing an animal. Nowadays, members can choose to gain valuable leadership experiences while enhancing life skills. In our local 4-H programs, it is critical that the entire family be involved.  Kids can choose from dozens of activities related to science, the arts, citizenship, fitness and more. They can learn to train their dog, build a robot, run a meeting or raise an animal. Additionally, senior 4-H members are eligible for local and state scholarships. Along the way, we have a lot of FUN too, especially at 4-H Camp at Rock Springs.

Raising great kids is a challenging task, but it’s easier when you have a team of people behind you. 4-H clubs are groups of families that do just that. Through working together, families share knowledge and interests to help kids learn practical skills and important values. If you have a child between the ages 7 and 18, a 4-H club in the Southwind District is excited to welcome you to the fold. Learn more at

Obituary: Allan Howell

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Allan Howell, age 67, resident of Frontenac, Kan., formerly of Moran, Kan., passed away Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, at Via Christi Hospital, Pittsburg.

He was born October 9, 1949, in Iola, Kan., the son of Haskell and Mildred Horner Howell. Allan attended Elsmore School first through eleventh grade. He graduated from Iola High School in 1967. He graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, Ky., in 1971. He also attended Asbury Theological Seminary. Allan married Sandra Sullivan on April 15, 1972, in Anderson County, Ky. To this union were born two daughters, Teresa Lois and Alethea Janine. They later divorced.

Survivors include his two daughters; two grandsons, Grant and Code Sippel; one brother, Wayne Howell, Topeka, Kan.; three sisters, Ella Britt, Iola, Kan., Hazel Bahner, Topeka, Kan., and Joyce Martin, Iola, Kan.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Pauline Mitchell, Iola, Kan.

Rev. John Vogel will conduct funeral services at 2 p.m. Monday, October 2, at the Cheney Witt Bronson Chapel. Burial will follow in the Bronson Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1 until service time at the Bronson Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Evangelical Covenant Church of Savonburg and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Bronson Chapel P.O. Box 93, Bronson, KS 66716. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Discover StoryWalk

The panel sign for StoryWalk at the corner of 2nd Street and National Avenue. Families will look for and read each panel to complete the book.


Walking, talking, reading and learning:  StoryWalk.

The program, StoryWalk, is a collaborative public offering for families of young children to help with reading skills, develop relationship skills, have a physically active, outdoors experience together and also help children understand about how money works, according to Joy Miller with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

Fort Scott Public Library and K-State collaborated on the family reading program, with Mercy Hospital providing some sponsorship.

Starting Monday, October 2, families could go to the library at 201 S. National Avenue to begin StoryWalk. A different story each week will be featured until the end of the program Oct. 29.

At a time convenient for family walking, families start at the ground level door on the north side of the library. They proceed counterclockwise walking around the block from Second Street to National Avenue to Third Street to Main Street, then back to the library.

They look for panels with featured book pages.  Families read the panel, talk about the story and move to the next panel.

Each Monday a new book for young children will be featured and panels are left up for a week, giving families a chance for a convenient time for the StoryWalk.

The theme of the month-long StoryWalk is helping children manage money and in the process encourage families to walk together, Valetta Canon,  youth librarian at the public library, said.

Last year, the library had a story walk during a reading program.

“It’s an enjoyable way of learning,” Canon said.

“I was approached by Joy Miller of Southwind Extension Office to see if the library would like to collaborate to incorporate a story walk this year,” Canon said.

For those who want to use technology on the StoryWalk, each panel will have a code that is scanned with a smartphone or Ipad or one can log on to

But a technology device is not necessary to StoryWalk, Miller said.

Featured books will be “Just Shopping With Mom” by Mercer Mayer, “Tia Isa Wants a Car” by Meg Medina, “Count on Pablo” by Barbara deRubertis and “Lemonade in Winter” by E. Lockhart.

Miller can be reached at 620-223-3720. Canon can be reached at 620-223-2882.

Fort Scott Public Library Youth Director Valetta Canon shows the panel outside the north entrance to the library which tells about StoryWalk.
K-State Extension Agent Joy Miller tells about the StoryWalk panels that will be placed around the block of the public library from  Oct. 2 to Oct. 29.

What Makes Fort Scott Special?

Gordon Parks Museum

Non-professional Bourbon County photographers of all ages are invited to submit a photo as part of the Gordon Parks  Celebration, by Wednesday, Oct. 4.

The photo must be inspired by Park’s poem “Homecoming” and entitled “What Makes Fort Scott Special to Me”, according to a press release from the Gordon Parks Museum.

Monetary prizes of first place, $100; second place, $75 and third place, $50. All photos submitted will be on exhibit during the 14th Annual Gordon Parks Celebration, Oct. 12-14.

Photos must be submitted via email to  The file size has a limit of 2MB and must be in JPEG format. Name, address, email and phone number along with the title of their submitted photo must accompany the photo. If under 10 years of age, please include parents information.

It is the photographer’s responsibility to make sure permission is granted to use the photos subject’s image.

For more information email or call 620-223-2700, ext. 5850.

Ninety-nine New Americans

Jane Njeri Lifer smiles following the U.S. Naturalization Proceedings Friday at Fort Scott National Historic Site.  In her hand is the certificate of naturalization.
One-by-one, new citizens were introduced to the audience.

Ninety-nine people from various nations were part of the U.S. Naturalization Proceedings Friday at Fort Scott National Historic Site.

During the hour ceremony, the group swore an oath of allegiance to their new country,  were introduced one-by-one to the audience, listened to speakers, were entertained by musicians, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

Members of Fort Scott High School orchestra, band and choir sing “America” during the naturalization ceremony.
Local Attorney Larry Nuss was one of the several speakers during the ceremony.

In the end, a certificate of citizenship and mementos were distributed to each of the ninety-nine new citizens.

The new citizens were invited to register to vote and enjoy a lunch provided by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site.

A bird’s eye view of voter registration following the naturalization ceremony. The League of Women Voters, Johnson County, provided the resources for the registration.
New American citizens enjoy lunch provided by the Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site in the Grand Hall.

“It was surprisingly emotional,” Sarah Lehman, Pittsburg, said of the proceedings. “We were here to support people from our church.”

Add Bulbs to the Landscape Now for Big Color in the Spring

Submitted by Krista Harding, KState Southwind Extension

Bulbs are a good addition to any landscape or garden because they offer a variety of bloom color, flowering time, plant height and shape. Now is the time to plant spring flowering bulbs. I just purchased some Allium bulbs for my landscape (good K-State purple color!). Spend some time thinking about the location you intend to plant before making a purchase. So many times we buy on impulse and then have to really squeeze plants into a spot that may be less than desirable!

Bulbs can be planted in a variety of locations including around house foundations, under deciduous shrubs and trees, along borders, in perennial beds and rock gardens, in containers and even on steep slopes.

When planted along a foundation, bulbs will add color in the early spring if planted in a grouping of twelve or more bulbs. If you have evergreen shrubs planted along a foundation, they will provide a nice background for planting of bulbs. Bulbs will “pop” with color in contrast to the green of the shrubs.

Spring bulbs can be planted under deciduous shrubs or small trees. You may be wondering how this can be because of a lack of sunlight. Early blooming bulbs receive plenty of light because they start growing long before trees and shrubs start to develop leaves. Some bulbs that do well in this type of setting include grape hyacinths, crocus, bluebells and early maturing daffodils.

A border of bulbs planted along the edge of the lawn will add a splash of color to the lawn area. Or consider planting low growing bulbs around the edge of a flower bed to add interest. You can add them directly into a perennial bed and the bulbs will bloom in March, April and May before perennials start to grow. Make sure to locate the bulbs so the dying foliage will not be noticed.

For steep slopes that are difficult to mow and maintain, bulbs with a fiberous root system such as daylilies, are an effective plant to use. The foliage is attractive and the bloom adds color to the area. The problem of trying to mow a steep area will be eliminated.

Both spring and summer bulbs can be planted in portable containers. The nice thing about container plantings is their versatility. For spring bulbs, once bloom is past, the container can be moved to a location out of sight while the foliage matures. Summer bulbs will add color all summer long to areas such as a patio or deck.

Keep in mind that planting bulbs of one variety or color in mass will have greater visual impact. This will provide uniform color and texture that is pleasing to the eye. With bulbs such as tulips or daffodils, plant at least twelve bulbs of one variety in a grouping. Smaller bulbs should be planted in groups of fifty to have visual impact.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at or 620-244-3826.

Obituary: Betty Jo Clayton

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Betty Jo Clayton, age 91, a resident of Fort Scott, Kan, died Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan.

She was born June 12, 1926, in Drumwright, Okla., the daughter of Perry and Ethel Coffman Johnson. She married Lawrence Arnold. They later divorced. She married Ellsworth Clayton in 1965. He preceded her in death in 1980. Betty enjoyed crocheting, especially clothes hangers and giving them away as Christmas gifts, cooking, boating, fishing and traveling. She was a past member of Eagle Lodge #264. She loved her dogs Smokey and Zack. Her greatest joy was spending time with her kids, grandkids and great grandkids. She loved her many friends and neighbors.

Survivors include two sons, Dale Arnold and wife Loretta, Fort Scott, and Donald Arnold and wife Carol, Springfield, Mo.; two daughters-in-law, Vicky Jo Arnold and Joyce Metcalf, both of Fort Scott; two brothers, Ralph Johnson, Fort Scott, and Terry Joe Johnson, Iola, Kan.; two sisters, Mary Mefford, Fort Scott, and Jean Decker, Emporia, Kan.; 10 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; and 3 great-great grandchildren. Besides her husband Ellsworth, she was preceded in death by a son, Ray Lee Arnold; four brothers, Paul, Clyde, Gilbert and Perry Johnson; and two sisters, Shirley Bolin and Patricia Dawson.

There was cremation. Pastor Ben Heffernan will conduct memorial services at 10 a.m. Monday, October 2, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Private family burial will follow in the Bronson Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 2 until 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon at the Chapel. Memorials are suggested to Care to Share or Lee’s Paws and Claws and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at