Jeannie Kay Speer, age 46, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, passed away Monday, April 2, 2018, at the Mercy Hospital Emergency Room in Ft. Scott.
She was born August 5, 1971, in Ft. Scott, the daughter of Harley Anderson and Rhonda Mitchell Anderson. She married Johnny Speer, Jr on September 7, 1995, at Ft. Scott. Jeannie was a devoted wife and mother who loved her family dearly.
Survivors include her husband, Johnny, of the home and two sons, Ryan Speer and Dustin Speer, both of Ft. Scott. Also surviving is her mother, Rhonda Anderson, of Ft. Scott; a brother, James Anderson and Eva, of Ft. Scott and a sister, Tracy Anderson, of Yates Center, Kansas; her grandfather, Troy Mitchell of Pleasanton, Kansas and several nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews as well as her in-laws, John and Pam Speer, of Redfield, Kansas and Jonathan Field, of Ft. Scott.
She was preceded in death by her father, Harley Anderson; nephew, William Pulliam; great-nephew, Andrew Aerts and her mother-in-law, Judy Field.
Rev. Mark Demas will conduct funeral services at 11:30 A.M. Thursday, April 5th at the Cheney Witt Chapel.
Burial will follow in the U. S. National Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 7:00 pm Wednesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Jeannie Speer Memorial Fund and may be left in the care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.
The Kansas 4-H organization experienced budget cuts in the last few years, according to officials, and began a process to keep the youth organization going and growing.
Kansas 4-H implemented a “4-H Program Fee” effective October 2017. This is new since the 4-H organization has traditionally been free for participants.
“Many states have already implemented this type of fee – including Missouri and Oklahoma,” Carla Nemecek, K-State Southwind District Director and Agent said.
The organization gathered input on how to stabilize funding and grow the 4-H program, according to Wade Weber, Kansas State University’s 4-H Youth Development Department Head and State Program Leader.
“We hosted discussions as well as conducted a survey to gain feedback on program impact within K-State Research and Extension,” Weber said. “A task force of eight extension agents was formed to review all information and develop recommendations on how to move forward.”
The task force worked to provide a means to ensure a steady funding stream to grow the 4-H program, Weber said.
The task force members were Candis Meerpohl from Shawnee County, Monica Thayer from the River Valley District, Michelle Beran from Midway District, Melinda Daily from the Sunflower District, Allen Baker from Wichita County, Nancy Honig from Stevens County, Jodi Besthorn from Sedgwick County
and Brian Swisher from the Wildcat District, according to links provided.
A recommendation from this task force was to implement an annual 4-H program fee of $15 per member, beginning October 2, 2017.
“Funds from the 4-H Program fee are placed in a restricted funds account available for use only by the Kansas 4-H Youth Development Department,” according to Weber.
“Funds generated will strengthen our program priorities of volunteer development, project support, and program enhancement,” Weber said.
“K-State Research and Extension had to face several budget cuts over the past couple of years, and this would seem to be an option to help fund Kansas 4-H on a State level.” Carla Nemecek, Southwind District director, and an agent said. ” The Southwind District will not receive any financial benefit, as 100 percent of the program fee is directed to the State 4-H Program.”
Southwind District encompasses Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties.
“Some counties were fortunate to have found donors who are offsetting the cost, but we do not know how long those donations will last,” Nemecek said.
“As a 4-H parent and Director for the Southwind District, I am sympathetic to those who are upset about the fee,” Nemecek said. “Kansas 4-H has always been free for anyone to join, so this is taking us down a path we have never been.”
A provision has been made for those for whom it would be a hardship to pay the $15 per child program fee, she said.
“There is a waiver process for those families or individuals who are not able to pay the fee,” Nemecek said.
Message from Weber on benefits for local 4-H programs:
In January Dr. John Floros, Kansas State’s College of Agriculture Dean presented highlights of 4-H Youth Development efforts in the last 12 months to a joint meeting of state senators and representatives.
Also in January, Dr. Floros, Dr. Greg Hadley, Associate Director of Extension and Applied Research and Weber conducted meetings with local leaders to tell of the progress made.
These findings are what they reported, according to Weber:
“Examples of National and State 4-H Funding Efforts Benefitting Local 4-H Programs:
• Kansas 4-H Foundation Expansion Grant – 2017 marked the conclusion of a five-year effort to expand 4-H youth and volunteer participation in 14 extension units. This effort resulted in an increase of 458 4-H volunteers. Evaluation data has been collected from the units and a framework for growing 4-H will be created based on the learning experiences of those involved and will be shared with local units for implementation.
• National 4-H Council Ag Innovators Experience– 2018 will feature 4-H teen leaders in the Cottonwood District reaching area youth with the “Monarchs on the Move Challenge.”
• National 4-H Council Youth Futures: College Within Reach Grant–The focus of this grant is on providing mentoring partnerships to underserved youth in Seward (2017) and Riley (2018) counties. Program results in reaching new audiences will be shared statewide for local unit implementation.
• National 4-H Council Science Matters Grant – Johnson County (2018) is currently collaborating with Bayer to inspire young people to become tomorrow’s science leaders. Program results will be shared statewide for local unit implementation.
Kansas 4-H Youth Development Program Fee Prioritization Survey
• When: Conducted October 19 – November 15, 2017 by the K-State Office of Planning and Analysis
• Who: 612 Respondents statewide: 67% were volunteers or parents
• What: Received input within the following program priorities:
1) Project support and enhancements (i.e. principles of engaged learning, communicate and connect learning opportunities, updating/refreshing existing project materials)
2) Volunteer Development (training materials and support for volunteers; tools for recruitment, growth, evaluation and accountability)
3) Program enhancements benefiting community clubs (including but not limited to updating and refreshing tools for use with youth and volunteer audiences)
4) Foundational Supports (accessibility to all Kansas youth, campus/community partnerships and improved marketing at statewide events, and promotional materials that can be used by local units)
Fast Enrollment Stats 2016-17
•74,837 Kansas 4-H Youth Impact: This includes all delivery modes and has had duplications removed.
• 17,796 4-H Community based Club Enrollment: This includes Cloverbuds (ages 5-6) who are enrolled through a Community Club.
Dean Floros and Dr. Hadley provided the ability for the 4-H Youth Development program to hire a statewide volunteer development specialist while facing increasing budget challenges. This act affirmed the strategic support from administration to assist the 4-H youth development program in growing and modernizing.
Starting on Feb. 5, Shane Potter, New Volunteer Specialist, is tasked with refining the volunteer development process to ensure safe learning environments for youth and grow local 4-H volunteer capacity beyond the 6,000 existing adult 4-H volunteers statewide.”
JOB OF THE DAY – FULL-TIME FACILITY MANAGER – ADVANTAGE METALS RECYCLING
Advantage Metals Recycling is seeking applicants for the position of FACILITY MANAGER. Qualifications include bachelor’s degree in a business discipline, along with a minimum of 2 years’ experience in a business environment required; OR 5 years’ operations, heavy industrial or manufacturing experience with demonstrated leadership ability and understanding of business. Job requirements include creating a “Safety First” culture in each facility, the ability to lead teams, and the ability to represent the organization in local community and political matters. Apply online today! http://ow.ly/G3Qu30jhcMv
This is a reminder that the Downtown Meet & Greet is TOMORROW, April 3rd from 8:30 to 9:30 am at Common Ground. Come join us for networking and to share ideas related to Downtown. Light refreshments will be served. And, of course, if you want to come a little early you may purchase the specialty drink of your choice. The quarterly event is sponsored by the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce.
9:00-9:45-Jim Harris-Replacement of tractor and mower
Lawn mower for Elm Creek
9:15-Executive Session-Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of a corporation
9:45-10:00-Tim Travis and Lynette Westhoff-Billiard-Hammer
10:15-10:20-Right away for private sign on County property
11:15-Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship
11:30-12:00-Landbank and publication of title insurance
12:00-1:00-Commissioners gone to lunch
1:00-1:30-Review of Neighborhood Revitalization program
School Board meetings and FSCC dates and times
1:30-2:00-Clint Anderson/Justin Meeks-Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship
2:30-3:00- Review any and all handbook issues/Prep for meeting
Justifications for Executive Session:
Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel
Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship
Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency
Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships
Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property
Matters relating to the security of a public body or agency, public building or facility or the information system of a public body or agency, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize the security of such public body, agency, building, facility or information system
Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. Begins Accepting Nominations for Governor’s Community Service Award Recipients
TOPEKA, KS – Governor Jeff Colyer today announced the start of accepting nominations for the Governor’s Community Service Award. Gov. Colyer, in association with the Kansas Volunteer Commission, is recognizing the hard work and selfless service of Kansas high school students through this award. Starting today, teachers, counselors and administrators can nominate both a junior and senior from their school who have displayed a dedicated commitment to serving his or her community. One junior and one senior from each nominating school will be selected to receive this award. Last year, 55 students received the award from over 40 Kansas communities.
“We have so many exceptional students across our state who are doing a great deal to help in their community and striving to make a difference where they live,” said Governor Colyer, “This award delivers a powerful message to encourage other students to take action. I believe students who possess such dedication to giving back deserve our gratitude.”
“I applaud Governor Colyer’s commitment to recognizing Kansas students who are giving back to their communities,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson, “Teaching our students to be good citizens builds strong communities and is a critical piece of the Kansans Can vision for education. All of this contributes to what makes Kansas so great.”
“Civic engagement is about students sharing their skills and knowledge through actions that improve their communities,” said Board of Education member Jim McNiece, “This award is a great way to honor students who have chosen to do something with their time that can have a lasting impact on the world around them.”
In order to qualify for nomination for this award, students are required to volunteer their time to help those in need at a nonprofit, community organization, faith-based organization, business, school or national service program. The deadline for submitting nominations is April 30th.
State of Kansas Launches “My (Re)Employment Plan” Workforce Program to Improve Services for Job Seekers
In an effort to match unemployed job seekers with Kansas employers looking to hire workers, Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D., is proud to announce that the State of Kansas has launched “My (Re)Employment Plan,” a program that blends enhanced workforce services with personal responsibility to get Kansans back to work faster.
The collaboration between the Kansas Department of Labor, Kansas Department of Commerce and the KANSASWORKS Workforce System will provide enhanced reemployment services to Kansans who are unemployed and looking for work. The program, called “My (Re)Employment Plan” connects unemployment recipients with workforce service professionals in their area. Unemployed Kansans who are receiving benefits will be provided, free of charge, personalized job search assistance, including:
Creation of a personalized “My (Re)Employment” Plan that focuses on goals and accountability
Skills assessment to match interests and skills with occupations
Resume, interview, and networking assistance
Labor market information highlighting current in-demand jobs
To emphasize the importance of a planned, dedicated job search to match unemployed workers with jobs, individuals who fail, without good cause, to participate in this free of charge service will lose unemployment benefits until such time as they can demonstrate a reasonable job search. The program is designed to help people achieve their reemployment goals and to reduce time spent on unemployment.
Kansas jobseekers assigned for My (Re)Employment Plan services will be referred to one of 21 KANSASWORKS facilities throughout the state. Participants will be notified by mail around the midpoint of their unemployment claim. The notification will provide appointment details, including where and when the jobseeker will receive services, and the steps they need to take to better prepare for a successful job search.
“Kansas is experiencing low unemployment and Kansas businesses are ready to hire qualified workers,” said Governor Jeff Colyer. “The My (Re)Employment Plan program will connect unemployed job seekers with the 48,000 job openings at businesses across the state.”
“Workforce needs is one of the top concerns of the Kansas business community. The Kansas Chamber and its members appreciate the increased focus on getting Kansans back to work when there are thousands of open jobs and employment is at near record highs,” stated Alan Cobb, President, and CEO of the Kansas Chamber.
“Kansas SHRM supports efforts to connect unemployed individuals with job opportunities. A planned job search that emphasizes the importance of networking and access to quality job search tools will benefit both those looking for employment and employers,” said Shelbye Smith, State Council Director of Kansas SHRM.
“NFIB’s latest Small Business Economic Trends survey found that ‘quality of labor’ is the No. 1 problem facing America’s small-business owners,” NFIB State Director Dan Murray said. “The My (Re)Employment Plan Workforce Program is welcome news to Kansas small businesses that are struggling to find qualified applicants to fill must-needed jobs.”
“I know all the Local Workforce Development Boards in Kansas are constantly hearing from employers seeking talent and this initiative will assist in connecting job seekers to the large number of career opportunities available throughout Kansas,” said Keith Lawing, CEO, Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas.
“The Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Kansas, which is recognized as the ‘Chamber of Commerce of the Kansas Construction Industry,’ applauds Governor Colyer’s focus on workforce development for Kansas. This is a key issue, as the construction industry in the state needs 8-10,000 new workers over the next few years to meet the demand that is driven by an enhanced state economy and the retirement of our baby boom generation of workers,” stated Mike Gibson, AGC of Kansas Executive Vice President.
“This commonsense initiative by Governor Colyer couldn’t come at a better time for our state’s employers, especially those in advanced manufacturing,” added Gary Plummer, President, and CEO of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We’re excited about the future prospects in this high paying industry sector and creating a pathway to connect those needing work with those firms that need workers is a wise and welcome program.”
Frank Adamson started seeing the need for improvements of Fisher Park, when his daughter, Hunter, starting playing softball there, three years ago.
Eventually, others joined him in the pursuit to improve the park and today they are awaiting engineering specifications of the first step, making more parking spaces at the park located at 7th and Main.
The Fisher Park Project group received a grant this last month from a local industry, the Timken Company, in the amount of $5,200 for the purpose of helping offset engineering fees
Agricultural Engineering Associates, Uniontown, is currently working on those specifications.
Once received, the specifications will help with the process of getting more grants to fund future park improvement projects, according to Adamson.
In addition to the parking lot, also envisioned in the project are concrete pads for wheelchair accessibility, more bleachers for viewing games, tearing down an unused tower that obstructs sight for viewers, and reconfiguring of the south ball diamond to make it regulation size.
More parking spaces are first on the list for improvement at Fisher Park.
Twenty-five standard parking spaces and one or two van accessible spaces will be provided in an off-street lot across Main Street from the ballpark.
Those serving on the Fisher Park Project board are Adamson, Josh Jones, Bill Michaud, Tom Robertson and Rhonda Dunn.
For more information, see the Fisher Park Project Facebook page or contact Adamson at the Courtland Hotel & Spa at 620-223-0098
Earlier this year, I highlighted the All-America Selections (AAS) vegetables for 2018. There is also a listing of new flowers that have been chosen. These plants have proven themselves to do well in trials across North America. The AAS winner label is like a stamp of approval.
The flower descriptions were taken from All-America Selections material.
Canna, South Pacific Orange F1 – This newest AAS Winner is compact in habit and well suited for both landscape and container use. This variety is more vigorous, more uniform, and has more basal branching than comparison cannas. It offers an outstanding bloom color in an attractive, vivid bright orange that contrasts nicely with the bright green foliage. Pollinator gardens will love this addition of an attractive canna that sports uniformly colored flowers over a long blooming period.
Cuphea, FloriGlory Diana – Cuphea, commonly known as Mexican Heather, is an ideal plant for borders, mass plantings and containers. FloriGlory Diana was highly praised by the AAS judges for its larger flowers, the impressive number of flowers and the darker, more intensely colored magenta flowers. The dark green foliage complement the flowers and really makes a statement for this new AAS winner. Gardeners will be delighted with the compact (10-12 inch) size, longer flowering time, heat and weather tolerance.
Gypsophila, Gypsy White Imported – Semi-double blossoms on this new, improved variety of gypsophila will make your garden sparkle! Not only are the flowers semi-double, but are also a bit larger in size and produce more flowers per plant, resulting in a fluffy white mound of beauty. Gypsy White Improved has better branching and a better growth habit than its predecessor, making it perfect for containers, small spaces and garden beds. A much longer bloom season and better heat tolerance than Gypsy Comact White will make this your new garden favorite.
Marigold, Super Hero Spry – Super Hero Spry is a lovely compact (10-12 inches) French marigold with dark maroon lower petals and golden yellow upper petals perched on top of the dark green foliage. The list of winning attributes continues: a more uniform and stable color pattern, earlier to bloom and no deadheading required.
Ornamental Pepper, Onyx Red – Onyx Red is one of those stunning double-take plants that steal the show! This is an unprecedented compact, well-branched ornamental pepper adorned with eye-catching dark black foliage. The contrast between the diminutive black foliage and tons of shiny red fruits is striking and makes a bold statement in the garden. Plants are vigorous, continually growing but retain their neat, compact habit, making Onyx Red a wonderful plant for beds, borders, containers and dramatic mass plantings.
Zinnia, Queeny Lime Orange – A “wow” color in an easy-to-grow zinnia is what Queeny Lime Orange brings to the garden. Sporting lovely, large, dahlia-like blooms on a sturdy, compact plant, this variety provides cut flower gardeners and growers with a wonderful hue for today’s floral trends. The unique color evolves from dark coral/peach/orange to light peach with a dark center as the flower ages. Each uniform plant produces prolific deeply fluted blooms that last about three weeks without preservatives or feed.