Visioning Survey deadline extended

Residents of Fort Scott may have noticed emails in their inboxes concerning participation in the Fort Scott Community Visioning Survey. In an effort to garner opinions and ideas from citizens all over town, the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce and the City of Fort Scott have teamed up on the project, which was begun by former city Economic Development Director Macey Cullison.

According to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsey Madison, the survey deadline has been extended in order to allow for increased participation. Madison said that the survey was based on a former survey done in years past, but that the current survey had been updated to reflect current issues.

“We wanted some more feedback,” Madison said, from all quadrants of the town. According to Madison, a volunteer sat outside Gene’s IGA promoting the survey within the past few weeks, which Madison said was a success.

According to Visioning Steering Committee member Gary Palmer, the purpose of the survey is to collect feedback from the community to be used in determining future projects. Palmer explained that the committee is “interested in surveying residents of Fort Scott and the entire county to receive feedback on recent efforts deployed over the last several years from the community visioning process. Furthermore, as a part of the visioning process we would like to collect data on what our next challenge should be.” Palmer explained that the next step after collecting survey information is to hold a “community conversation” in which the compiled survey data will be presented to the public.

“The visioning process is community wide,” Palmer said.  “We want to ensure the public is constantly and consistently informed in the work we are doing. This survey is one of the ways our committee felt we could do that.”

For those taking the survey, there is an opportunity to win $50 in “Chamber Bucks,” which gives the holder $50 to spend at local businesses.

Commissioners questioned about Public Works Director hire

Today’s Bourbon County Commissioners’ meeting brought about controversy surrounding the hire of the new Public Works Director. At the start of the meeting, Public Works Director Jim Harris stated that he was “glad to be here.” “There is a lot of work to be done, but that’s what we’re here for,” Harris said. Harris made positive remarks about Public Works Supervisor Marty Pearson’s work in the county. “I’ve seen some good things that Marty has done that we can build on and move forward,” Harris said. Harris and Pearson left the meeting to get started on other Road and Bridge work.

Jarrod Handly later came to the meeting to question the commissioners’ choice of hire for the position, as well as the addition of the Director’s job to the structure of the Road and Bridge Department. Handly stated that his intent was not to launch a personal attack against Harris, but rather to bring forward questions he had heard from other citizens.

Handly asked how the salary and new truck for the Public Works Director had been fit into the 2013 budget. “Where did that money come from?” Handly asked. Commission Chairman Allen Warren replied that the $40,000 for the Director’s salary had been planned in the 2013 budget, and the remaining $4,000 to pay Harris’ salary of $44,000 would come from a reduction in the County Supervisor’s salary. “The pickup, we had budgeted for a 3 yard loader and we didn’t buy it,” Warren said, explaining that room had been left in the budget for the purchase of the truck.

Handly said that he spoke for the public in saying, “People are not happy with the spending.” Handly added that citizens are “definitely not happy” with the choice of hire for the position.

Commissioner Harold Coleman asked why the citizens in question had not attended the meeting to voice their concern. “Why haven’t they appeared here?” Coleman said, to which Handly replied that he didn’t know.

Handly made accusations against Harris based on information he said was given to him by two contractors and a former commissioner. “I have documentation that he has lied to the county commission in the past,” Handly said. Handly brought with him minutes from the June 1st County Commissioners’ meeting in which Harris had told the commissioners workers were all mowing, except one whose machine had broken down. Handly said a commissioner later discovered that four employees had been working on a bridge instead of mowing. Handly also said he had been told that Harris had received, “numerous kickbacks” from equipment companies. Handly added that he had been told Harris manipulated bids.

Commissioner Barbara Albright reported that she had heard positive feedback on the hire of Harris as Public Works Director. Albright said of the need for the Public Works Director’s position, “What I’ve seen, it is just a very large job.” Albright explained that the decision to bring back Harris as Director was made because of his previous experience. Albright said that the reason Harris left county employment reflected a commission decision to eliminate the Director position. Albright indicated that there had been no documentation to indicate Harris was dismissed for wrongdoing.

  • County Public Works Supervisor Marty Pearson reported that some areas had been further damaged by heavy rains. “Anderson County got hit pretty hard Saturday morning,” Pearson said.
  • Public Works Supervisor Jim Harris observed that the goal for quarry production in the past year was 180,000 tons, and that only 90,000 tons were generated. Commission Chairman Allen Warren suggested that on rainy days, one county worker could break up large rock at the quarry with a jackhammer. Warren said that the county had spent extra money to “run lines” for a jackhammer to be attached to the track hoe, and that it would be a good use of time in wet weather. “I’ll bet that thing has a windshield wiper,” Warren said, indicating that the track hoe could be operated during wet weather.
  • Larry Runkle came in to report that work to remove an old gas line had put one of his fences at risk. “It’s going to for sure wash out,” Runkle said. Commissioner Warren said that he would ask Harris to look at the situation this week.
  • Jim Stewart and Dan Meara conducted the county Tax Sale today at 10:00AM in the Bourbon County Courthouse. “We have had a number of redemptions of some of these properties,” Meara said. “We started out with 59 tracts.” Meara explained to those in attendance that there was no minimum bid or reserve at a tax sale, and that an $8 fee from the Register of Deeds would be collected at the end of the sale from those who had purchased properties. Meara also outlined the stipulation that relatives of a person with property being sold at the tax sale could not purchase the property formerly held by that relative. Tom Davis of the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office reported that the properties sold for a total of $1,832.

Commissioners approve purchase of Sheriff’s Department vehicles

Bourbon County Commissioners put the stamp of approval on the purchase of 4 SUVs and 2 pickup trucks for the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Department at today’s meeting. Commission Chairman Allen Warren moved to accept the low bid for financing from City State Bank at an interest rate of 2.35% over a 5-year period. Undersheriff Bill Martin said that it would take approximately 6-8 weeks to receive the vehicles from Shepherd Team Auto Plaza. “It can be longer than that,” Martin explained. Martin said that other agencies would be submitting their requests, which would slow down the process.

Warren suggested that the department apply the $11,000 from insurance on hail damaged patrol cars to the current loan amount. “If you could lower that $186,000 by $11,000, that would help you out on your payments,” Warren said. Warren recommended that Martin request “new numbers” from the bank for budget purposes.

As far as the old, wrecked patrol cars are concerned, Martin said that he had contacted the adjustor, who in turn would contact someone to haul off the old vehicles. According to Martin, the department had $2,700 budgeted for July, August, September and October of 2013 that would not be used to pay for the old patrol cars, which were paid off June 30th. This money, according to County Attorney Terri Johnson, will be returned to the County General Fund.

The meeting also revealed positive results concerning efforts to reduce overcrowding in the Southeast Kansas Regional Correctional Center. Bobby Reed presented new data from that morning, which revealed that out-of-county inmate housing had been reduced. “As of this morning,” Reed said the jail had “46 inmates in house, and 11 housed out,” and “The numbers are down.” Reed explained that the reduction in numbers was due to efforts by Johnson, the courts and employees at the SEKRCC.

Reed has also managed to cut some of the overtime costs discussed in recent meetings. The jail will implement 8-hour shifts starting August 23rd, which will eliminate built-in overtime. Reed explained that a total of 4 employees had quite following the announcement of the switch to 8-hour shifts, and that he had recently hired two new employees. Because of the turnover, Martin requested that the county run a classified ad in the Tribune and other local papers in order to hire two more new employees to return the jail to full staff.

In other business:

  • Assistant County Attorney Valorie LeBlanc brought a letter from the Family Peace Initiative organization. The organization received $12,500 from the county in the past year for court-ordered counseling services. For the upcoming year, commissioners opted to reduce this year’s contribution from $12,500 to $3,000. The service, according to LeBlanc, is intended to be funded by more than one county in the area, though the organization received county funding from just Bourbon County in the past year.
  • Dwayne Neil stopped by the meeting to ask for an extension on baling hay at Elm Creek. “I want to get it baled as fast as I can get it baled,” Neil said. Neil cited recent rains as the delay in his work. As far as a new deadline, Warren said, “It’s hard to put a date on it, and “Just get it off there as soon as you can.” Neil also brought positive news to the meeting. Neil mentioned that Bourbon County’s flood control dams are working hard to hold flood water back. “It’s saving you a lot of road damage,” Neil said.
  • Greg Stine of Reformer’s Unanimous came to the meeting to present the Reformer’s Institutional Program. Stine said that his organization had been working with Sheriff Gray and Undersheriff Martin since mid-April to provide addiction counseling for inmates. The program gives the student “the tools to work with to know where to start, what to do,” Stine said. Stine explained that the curriculum involves work in small groups, and that after each meeting the student is given a challenge for that week. The faith-based program has been endorsed by several different dignitaries, including the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Bernard Salandy. Salandy called the program “a huge success” and that he had “never seen a program transform a facility the way R.U. did.” Salandy said that former repeat offenders had returned to being productive members of society as a result of the program. Lawrence J. Morrissey, Mayor of Rockford Illinois, also endorsed the efforts of the faith-based Reformers Unanimous.

Pete’s to build new store

In the next year, Fort Scott residents will have access to a new convenience store at the south end of town. According to Pete’s #14 owner Grant Spears, Pete’s has purchased the old Bailes Auto Sales building just north of the store and plans to expand into that area. “We’re going to build a new, modern convenience store facility just north of our existing store,” Spears said. Spears explained that the new building will cover 4,600 square feet and that the new filling station will contain 16 hoses for gasoline fueling and 2 hoses for “high-volume diesel fueling.”

Of the start date for work on the project, Spears said, “We’re hoping to get started as soon as possible, but no later than October 1st.”

Spears said that normal operations will go on during construction. “We will operate simultaneously and there will be very little disruption for our customers,” Spears said. “We hope to be open [in the new location] in the spring. That’s kind of our target.”

Chamber visits Mother to Mother Ministry

Umbrellas sprouted rapidly this morning as chamber members and visitors hurried into the building that now houses Mother to Mother Ministry. The building, which is located at 728 N. Heylman, was once a state of the art youth home, built to conserve energy and cut down on heating and cooling costs.

Wilma Leach, head of operations at Mother to Mother Ministry converses with Chamber Executive Director Lindsey Madison.

Ralph Carlson, Chairman of the Fort Scott Youth Home, explained that the building, which was constructed in the 1980s, is built in such a way that sunlight does not enter the windows during warmer months, but that during the winter, the design allows for sunlight to shine in. According to Carlson, the furnace hardly needs to run in the winter on sunny days. “It was really a state-of-the-art design,” Carlson said. “It is great that Mother to Mother is using it.”

Wilma Leach, who is in charge of Mother to Mother Ministries, reported that the ministry is in its 15th year. Leach explained that the ministry was begun with a grant from the Sisters of Mercy, and is now funded by the United Way and grant writing done during the year. Leach said that the ministry trusts in God in meeting its financial needs. “We have a lot of people come through our doors,” Leach said.

Another facet of the ministry is the support Mother to Mother provides for crisis management teams coming to Fort Scott from Pittsburg. Leach explained that the basement floor of the building is used for emergency housing for a victim of crisis and also as a place in which crisis management workers can counsel those in need.

In addition, Mother to Mother assists needy families by distributing clothing for children. “We give a lot clothes, we receive a lot of clothes [from donations],” Leach said. Mother to Mother ensures that children are able to attend school in nice, appropriate clothing for the season, according to Leach. Leach said that Mother to Mother often works with the Beacon to assist those that come for help, and that the working relationship has been a good one.

In other business:

  • City Manager Dave Martin announced that the sidewalk work on National would be temporarily suspended as the city focuses on the 69 corridor project, on which some work may begin as early as May 2014. “We worked with KDOT all day yesterday,” Martin said. “More than likely, we will not be adding the National upgrade until next year.” Martin said that there would likely be “lots of activity” going on in the city next year.
  • Angie Kemmerer, Early Childhood Coordinator for USD 234, announced the Community Resource Fair to be held this Saturday, August 10th. The event will be held from 10AM-2PM at Fort Scott Middle School. According to Kemmerer, the purpose of the event is to connect and acquaint residents with service providers and resources in the Fort Scott area. Numerous seminars on Healthy Living and Financial & Legal Affairs will be offered throughout the day. According to Chamber Executive Director Lindsey Madison, Angela Meyers of Reynolds Law firm was instrumental in organizing the seminars.
  • Madison announced that the city would be holding 3 more Art Crawl events August 23rd, September 27th, and October 25th.  Of the first Art Crawl held in July, Madison said, “It was a great success.”
  • Brian Comstock of Citizens Bank, N.A. announced that Citizens was “very excited” about the merger with Landmark. Comstock assured the community that operations would continue as before. “After the transition, you will see the same faces,” Comstock said. “Both our locations will continue to operate as usual.” Comstock explained that checks, debit cards and financing services would remain the same.


life+style offers community cooking expertise

When most residents of Southeast Kansas consider gourmet cooking opportunities, they may think these resources exist solely in urban areas such as Kansas City. However, life+style offers not only gourmet cooking supplies, but also cooking classes to allow area residents to hone their culinary skills.


We asked Jim Pitts and Cynthia McFarlin how they arrived at their business idea, and their reply shows a commitment to the historic area of downtown Fort Scott.

Pitts explained that as the couple traveled, they saw “a lot of kitchen/gourmet shops, and since Cynthia loves to cook it seemed like a good fit.” Pitts said that he and his wife chose the name “life+style” because of the “combination of essential and aesthetic,” and that both owners “believe that preparing and sharing good food with family and friends is more important than pretentious settings or exotic ingredients.”


In addition, life+style is also active in the community. Pitts said that the business holds cooking classes “pretty much every week during the fall/winter/spring and once a month during the summer.” Pitts remarked that it had been “delightful” to find a number of good cooks in the area, and that those cooks have been open about sharing their knowledge and cooking experiences with others.


Pitts said that past cooking classes have covered topics “from basic stocks to sushi to tailgate appetizers,” a fairly wide range of food items and cooking skills. Pitts mentioned that the cooking classes are limited to 10-12 seats, and that “reservations are required, and most of them sell out.” Pitts said a few pluses of the cooking classes are that they are held in a “casual, relaxed atmosphere and you get to eat the lesson.” In addition, the cooking classes attract people in a wide range of ages and with everything from “novices and veterans in the kitchen.” According to Pitts, life+style has added private classes in which friends or social groups can “get together and do something different.”

Regarding what life+style enjoys about being a downtown business, Pitts said “We love historic architecture” and that he is often able to refer customers to other downtown business, and that other business return the favor. Of the community, Pitts said that “We have been amazed by the generosity of the community” through life+style’s “involvement with organizations like the Beacon and Mother to Mother Ministries,” and that “Our regular customers have been very supportive.” Pitts explained that as he and his wife came from a large city, “it has been very rewarding to have [customers] voluntarily tell us ‘we’re glad you’re here,’” and that they have been able to meet people from “all over the world” because of their location adjacent to the Fort Scott National Historic Site.

Pitts and McFarlin have also renovated both the interior and exterior of their building at 22 N. Main. According to McFarlin, the antique wood floor that now covers the interior was taken out of the Lincoln School in Pittsburg, KS before it was demolished. McFarlin said that the floor was “new” compared with the building in which it now resides, even though the floor is mid-1920s vintage. McFarlin also mentioned that she and her husband had done quite a bit of work to the bay windows on the upper story of the building, replacing wood and metal that had rotten or rusted through over the years.

In addition to their cooking classes, life+style offers a wedding registry and gifts “for all occasions,” Pitts said. “In general, we like to remind everyone to Shop Local!” Pitts said. “We carry some terrific gourmet foods and are always ready to help you have a culinary adventure!”


Citizens Bank, N.A. Press Release on acquisition by Landmark





August 1, 2013

Landmark National Bank

Patrick L. Alexander, Chairman and CEO

(785) 565-2000

Citizens Bank, National Association

H. Dean Mann, Chairman

 (620) 223-1200


Landmark National Bank to Acquire Citizens Bank, National Association


Expands Landmark presence in eastern Kansas and adds approximately $195 million to assets

(Manhattan, KS, August 1, 2013) Landmark National Bank, the wholly owned bank subsidiary of Landmark Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: LARK) (“Landmark Bancorp”), and Citizens Bank, National Association (“Citizens Bank”) today jointly announced a definitive agreement under which Landmark National Bank will acquire Citizens Bank from First Capital Corporation (“First Capital”), the privately-held holding company of Citizens Bank.  The transaction will merge Citizens Bank into Landmark National Bank, increasing Landmark National Bank’s assets by approximately 30 percent and adding a sizeable customer base in several eastern Kansas communities. The transaction is subject to standard closing conditions, as well as the approval of the appropriate regulatory agencies.

Under the agreement, Landmark National Bank will pay an amount in cash to First Capital that will be determined at the time of closing based upon the deposit accounts and value of certain real estate held by Citizens Bank. Immediately prior to the transaction, Citizens Bank has agreed to distribute certain loans and other assets to First Capital, which will remain an independent entity following the transaction.  The acquisition is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Landmark National Bank has approximately $640 million in assets as of June 30, 2013, and operates 22 locations in 17 communities across Kansas.  Citizens Bank operates eight locations in seven communities in eastern Kansas.  Landmark will be acquiring approximately $195 million in assets from Citizens Bank.  In addition, Landmark Bancorp, Inc. has agreed to assume the trust preferred security obligations of First Capital.

“We are very excited about this opportunity to expand Landmark’s strong presence across Kansas by adding Citizens Bank customers in several more communities in the eastern parts of our state. Clients of Citizens will find a high level of commitment from Landmark to serve their financial needs and to benefit the communities where we do business,” commented Patrick L. Alexander, Chairman and CEO of Landmark National Bank. “For Landmark, this transaction represents a significant step forward in a disciplined approach to building the scale of our banking franchise. We are adding value for our shareholders and for our bank customers across Kansas.”

H. Dean Mann, Chairman of Citizens Bank, stated, “We are pleased to be able to partner with a community-oriented institution like Landmark National Bank.  The community and customer focus for which Landmark is well known fits very nicely with the community banking services that Citizens Bank has delivered to its customers.  Landmark is a strong organization whose values, products and solid performance will allow our customers to continue to enjoy a great relationship with a Kansas-based, community-focused financial organization.”

Landmark Bancorp, the holding company for Landmark National Bank, is listed on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “LARK.”  Headquartered in Manhattan, Kansas, Landmark National Bank is a community banking organization dedicated to providing quality financial and banking services.  Landmark National Bank has 22 locations in 17 communities across Kansas: Manhattan (2), Auburn, Dodge City (2), Fort Scott, Garden City, Great Bend (2), Hoisington, Junction City, LaCrosse, Lawrence (2), Louisburg, Osage City, Osawatomie, Paola, Topeka (2), Wamego and Wellsville, Kansas. Visit for more information.

Citizens Bank is the wholly owned subsidiary of First Capital Corporation, a privately-owned bank holding company headquartered in Fort Scott, Kansas.  Citizens Bank is a full-service community bank, offering a wide variety of loan products and savings deposits to its clients through its locations in Fort Scott, Iola, Kincaid, Lenexa, Mound City, Overland Park and Pittsburg, Kansas.

Special Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business of Landmark Bancorp, Inc. (the “Company”).  Forward-looking statements, which may be based upon beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the Company’s management and on information currently available to management, are generally identifiable by the use of words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should” or other similar expressions. Additionally, all statements in this press release, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events.  A number of factors, many of which are beyond our ability to control or predict, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in our forward-looking statements.  These factors include, among others, the following: (i) the strength of the local and national economy; (ii) changes in state and federal laws, regulations and governmental policies concerning our general business; (iii) changes in technology and the ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; (iv) changes in interest rates and prepayment rates of our assets; (v) increased competition in the financial services sector and the inability to attract new customers; (vi) the economic impact of armed conflict or terrorist acts involving the United States; (vii) the loss of key executives or employees; (viii) changes in consumer spending; (ix) unexpected outcomes of existing or new litigation; (x) changes in accounting policies and practices; (xi) the ability to manage credit risk, forecast loan losses and maintain an adequate allowance for loan losses; (xii) declines in the value of our investment portfolio; (xiii) the ability to raise additional capital; and (xiv) declines in real estate values.  These risks and uncertainties should be considered in evaluating forward-looking statements, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements.  Additional information concerning the Company and its business, including additional factors that could materially affect the Company’s financial results, is included in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.