State Farm to Host Beacon Food Drive


Now, more than ever, being a good neighbor means everything.

That’s why Kale Nelson State Farm will be hosting a Beacon Food Drive from May 25 to June 5.

In addition to collecting food, Kale Nelson State Farm will match food contributions up to $500 in a grocery donation to the Beacon.

The State Farm team encourages community members to drop off canned goods, dry goods and other non-perishable food items to the office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The office is located at 1805 S. National, Fort Scott.

We have always been community-minded and, State Farm supports those efforts,” said Kale Nelson, agent said.

“The Beacon serves so many people, and I hope we can play a part in providing the much-needed support for this important entity.”

In addition to the upcoming food drive, Nelson hopes to sponsor similar activities in the coming months.

Quick Basics:

  • What: State Farm Beacon Food Drive
  • When: May 25 to June 5
  • Where: 1805 S. National
  • How: Drop off canned goods, dry goods and other non-perishable items to State Farm
  • Why: State Farm will match food contributions up to $500 for the Beacon

For more information, please contact Kale Nelson State Farm, 620-224-2828.


Hospitality By Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

The world needs more tackle boxes and less Xboxes.” The clever meme made me think of how life used to be. You know, when people sat on their front porches every evening, swatting mosquitoes and wiping their sweaty faces with weary handkerchiefs. Where they rocked in squeaky swings, visited with the parade of families out for an evening stroll, sipped on their iced tea, discussed the latest happenings and talked to their kids about their dreams and plans for tomorrow.

No invitation necessary.

And yes, I realize that younger readers have no idea what I’m talking about. Sad.

Nightly, men gathered on the steps, listening to their favorite baseball team on the radio, whooping and hollering when Stan Musial rounded the bases or Bob Feller struck out the side. No one considered hiding away in dark living rooms while Netflix or Prime TV became their life-line of relationship and entertainment. Who would waste their time on that when there were fireflies outside, beckoning to be placed in jars or turned into engagement rings? When fresh hop-scotch box lines were blurred by the footsteps of giggly girls, and young boys played stickball under the streetlight, no coaching allowed?

Car doors were unlocked, keys in the ignition, no club to lock the steering wheel in place, no alarm that shook the neighbor’s house if someone neared the car. Yards had no fences. There was no need for warning signs that houses were being monitored, no cameras attached to doorbells and garage eaves.

During the day, window drapes were open, inviting. Mothers prepared family meals, often taking extras to an ailing neighbor or elderly church member. They cleaned and sewed, spanked the front porch welcome mat and brewed fresh, sweet tea, waiting for the evening pattern to repeat itself.

Hospitality was key to civility and friendship. Everything shouted an invitation to join in. Be a part of our family. Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

No more. The last two generations have moved towards privacy, and now, with Covid-19, they are realizing a new kind of isolation. Yet, the more isolated we become, the more insulated we become. Look around and you’ll see few front porches. Most home “socializing” has turned to the fenced-in back yard where the BBQ and patio and cornhole make it clear that people are to stay out unless invited in.

And yet, I find it ironic that today many are barking at the unfairness of being forced to stay away from other people. “Our rights are being violated”…you know, the rights to hang with people in close proximity, the “rights” that we discarded when we adopted the mantra “Mi casa es mi casa,” built homes with no front porches, closed our shades and self-isolated. Because that’s the way we wanted it. But now, we protesteth much.

So, I have to wonder, once the restrictions are lifted, will we open up our homes and engage in others’ lives? Ummm, probably not. Instead, we will return to our bubbles where we will meet in restaurants instead of our homes (after all, guests are soooo stressful), where we will spend little (if any) of our lives engaging with our neighbors. How many witnessing opportunities are lost because of our selfishness?

Dr. Rosaria Butterfield has written a best-selling book, The Gospel Comes with a Housekey,” challenging us to practice radical, ordinary, biblical hospitality as we use our homes to make strangers into neighbors, and neighbors into the family of God. This book is not for the excuse-makers. It is for those who want to see others come to know Christ.

So now, if you will excuse me, I need to brew some sweet tea, shake out my welcome mat and sweep my deck. Feel free to drop by. No invitation necessary.

Flags Half Staff to Honor Victims of COVID 19 on May 22-24

Governor Laura Kelly orders flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Victims of the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic


In accordance with Executive Order 20-30, and following the proclamation of President Donald J. Trump, Governor Laura Kelly has ordered flags throughout the State of Kansas to be flown at half-staff, from Friday, May 22, 2020, to sunset on Sunday, May 24, 2020 in honor of the Victims of the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic.


“The death toll due to coronavirus is devastating in Kansas and beyond,” Kelly said. “We all have an obligation to honor those lost to the virus, to include courageous frontline workers who literally gave their lives to help and protect others during this pandemic.”


To receive email alerts when the governor orders flags to half-staff, please visit:

Statement on Attorney General’s recent opinion and the Legislature’s actions


The following statement is from the Office of the Governor:


Governor Kelly welcomes an honest conversation about the Kansas Emergency Management Act.

The Act has been in place for nearly 45 years and has served the state well for more common emergencies like fires, floods and tornadoes.

In fact, not since the Spanish Flu hit our state more than 100 years ago has any governor been forced to take the steps Governor Kelly has taken to protect the safety and health of all Kansans.

Ironically, KEMA was the modernization of several earlier emergency powers granted to the governor, by the Legislature, following the 1918 pandemic.


Unfortunately, this is not an honest conversation about reviewing and modernizing KEMA.

If it were, the Attorney General would not have released his legal opinion in the middle of the night right before the last day of the legislative session, and the Legislature would not be trying to cram multiple pieces of legislation – many of which have not been thoroughly vetted by the public – into what is traditionally a ceremonial end of the legislative session.


Governor Kelly welcomes the conversation about KEMA, but in a thoughtful manner that allows stakeholders like local government officials and emergency managers to weigh in on this important subject.

For her part, the Governor will bring the same bipartisan approach she has shown – which received praise yesterday from President Trump – to the conversation and to ultimately finding a non-political solution that works for all Kansans.




Bourbon County Commission Special Meeting Agenda May 22


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701


Date: May 22, 2020

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason


10:00 Public Hearing for CDBG Funds

Parks Museum Reopens May 27

COVID-19 Update: Museum Re-Opening with Safety Protective Measures

The Gordon Parks Museum will re-open to the public with normal business hours.

Safety measures will be implemented for the safety of our visitors, students, community members, and employees effective Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The following safety protective measures are as follows:

•Any visitor that has a fever or exhibits any signs of COVID-19, please do not enter the museum.

•At this time, the maximum amount of 15 visitors or less at a time will be allowed in the museum to practice safe social distancing under the This may change according to each phase that is issued. Visitors will maintain six feet between patrons throughout the museum.

•Interactive touch-free exhibits and play areas are closed to help maintain best practices for health and safety.

•Hand sanitizer will be available

.•Staff will use PPE as deemed necessary and will continue to clean extensively and frequently in the high-touch areas within the museum.

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns, 620-223-2700 ext. 5850 or email

Memorial Day Service at Bourbon County Courthouse May 25

Fort Scott American Legion Thompson-Harkey Post 25 will host a Memorial Day Service on the Bourbon County Courthouse grounds at 10 AM, Monday May 25. The ceremony will last about 15 – 20 minutes and takes the place of the memorial service normally held at the Fort Scott National Cemetery.
You are cordially invited to attend this event honoring all of America’s Veterans. It will be an open-air ceremony and in keeping with government guidelines, use current social distancing recommendations of SIX FEET between nonfamily members. 
Limited seating will be available for those in attendance with mobility issues.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the program.
Submitted by
Carl Jowers. Post 25 Commander.

Utilities Payment Plans Offered

KCC orders utilities to offer payment plans, waive late fees through 2020


TOPEKA – An order issued by the Kansas Corporation Commission this morning requires utilities under its jurisdiction to offer 12-month payment plans and waive late fees through the end of the year to help residential and small business customers avoid disconnection.

The Commission’s earlier order suspending disconnections is set to expire on May 31. Today’s order will help customers, struggling with the economic effects of COVID-19, pay off past due balances gradually while avoiding disconnection of service. Customers are also encouraged to apply for available utility assistance programs. Information is posted on the KCC website (


KCC staff filed a report with the Commission on May 6 recommending baseline customer protections prior to the end of the disconnect suspension order. Utilities had the opportunity to respond to the recommendations prior to today’s order. Several utilities have advised they plan to offer protections in excess of the minimums required.


The order states utilities may defer any extraordinary bad debt expense and lost fee revenue that arises from the required customer protections into a regulatory asset for accounting purposes only. Any recovery requests will be considered in a utility’s next rate case or rate recovery filing.


The Commission may extend the consumer protections outlined in today’s order if the COVID-19 pandemic stretches into 2021.


Today’s order can be viewed at:

4-H Geology

Jennifer Terrell, K-State Extension Agent


Did you find a rock at the park and don’t know what kind it is? What about fossils? If you would like to learn more about rocks, minerals and fossils, then dive into the geology project! Discover the types of minerals, rocks and fossils that can be found where you live. Learn about geological formations across the state and in other states.

There is 4-H Curriculum that can be purchased for anyone interested in the geology project. Here is a breakdown of what youth can learn at different levels:

Ages 7-8:

  • Learn how the earth was formed and its three main parts

  • Learn the difference between a rock and a fossil

  • Collect, clean, identify and label rocks, minerals and fossils found in Kansas

  • Learn the types and impacts of erosion

Ages 9-11:

  • Use different tests to identify minerals by hardness and color

  • Find out what rock types occur in Kansas

  • Learn how to identify fossils

  • Learn to display and evaluate geology exhibits

Ages 12-14:

  • Learn how mountains are formed

  • Discover the impact of glaciers

  • Learn to measure specific gravity

  • Read and use a topographic map

Ages 15 and Older:

  • Measure formation thickness

  • Test to determine chemical properties of minerals

  • Locate sites on a plat map

  • How to prepare for geology careers

In addition to the curriculum, youth are also offered the opportunity to attend project meetings held by volunteers. Each year, youth are able to demonstrate their hard work locally at the county fair and depending on age and placing, the Kansas State Fair.

The geology project is a great opportunity for youth to learn important life skills. For more information about this project, contact Jennifer K. Terrell, 4-H Youth Development for K-State Research and Extension – Southwind District at or 620-244-3826.

Fort Scott News

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