No Rhyme or Reason by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom

By Carolyn Tucker



Many years ago, I was visiting with a neighbor on her property and she was explaining the layout of her front-yard landscaping. She said, “The ground is so rocky that we simply planted the trees where we could dig a hole, so that’s why there’s no rhyme or reason to them.” Since she mentioned this, I suspect she was a little disappointed with the final outcome. Everybody has 20/20 hindsight. Any decisions we make, or neglect to make, today will always affect the future sooner or later.


Believers really need to live our lives on purpose and not helter skelter. We can’t just wing it and hope everything turns out OK; we have to be intentional. Flying by the seat of your pants  usually means you’ve got a hole in them and have lost your cell phone, wallet, key, etc. Maybe you’re a squared-away person and write a to-do list every morning and meet all your goals by supper. If so, that’s great and you deserve a pat on the back. I sure hope God shows up somewhere on that list.


When you were created in your mother’s womb, God wasn’t just haphazardly throwing a bunch of stuff together in some wild and crazy experiment. You were fearfully and wonderfully made with a purpose! Your Creator had a rhyme and reason to your layout. As Christ followers, we were designed to bear good fruit. So we must stay very close to the Master Gardener so He can prune us in order for us to grow strong in Him.


When we live for God with a purposeful heart, one of our main objectives is to bear fruit. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things” (Galatians 5:22,23 NLT). Developing the fruit of the spirit never goes out of style and will continue as long as we belong to Christ Jesus. “When you produce much fruit, you are My true disciples. This brings great glory to My Father” (John 15:8 NLT).


We are to constantly abide in Jesus, so we must make our personal relationship with Him our #1 priority. The following quote was written in one of my journals: “If we don’t make time for friends, we won’t have any.“ If we aren’t diligent about making time for Jesus, we won’t have any fruit. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in Me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned“ (John 15:5,6 NLT). Basically, if we choose to live an unproductive self-absorbed life, we’ll end up in a worthless stick pile because we‘ve disconnected from the life-giving Vine.


Jesus didn’t come to give us religion, He came to give us a genuine personal love relationship with the Father through Him. “So you must remain in life-union with Me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to Mine” (John 15:4 TPT).


The Key: Make sure your relationship with God has a daily rhyme and reason, and  prepare to be pruned.

Freedom by Gregg Motley


It seems to be a pattern in our culture to chip away at personal freedoms in order to protect people from themselves.  We heard about an example of this in New York City when the mayor at the time pushed through an ordinance banning the sale of drinks larger than 16ozs; the pushback was so intense that the law was repealed in short order.  The attitude seems to be that we are wiser and better educated than you and we have drawn some firm conclusions on how you should conduct your life; freedom and civil debate are stifled.


Do you remember learning that there are nine planets, sometimes using a clever sentence to remember them in order?  Pluto was recently demoted from the ranks, lowering the number in our solar system to eight. Thankfully, none of us lived in the 18th Century when bloodletting was a common practice and the probable cause of death of our first President.  If science closed off research and free debate on the topics, we would still be under these misimpressions.

Free debate must be encouraged to get to the truth.


Why do I believe this to be so important?  On a macro level, the American experiment in freedom has delivered the most powerful, the most economically successful nation in human history.  Yes, those truths are diminished somewhat by the poor choices free people make; slavery is a glaring example.  We mourn the consequences of poor choices people make with the privilege of Constitutional freedom, but the free expression of ideas eventually led us to the right conclusions.


This process of reevaluation often plays out on the local level, including Bourbon County.  When people use whatever means possible to silence those with whom they disagree, we all lose.  When we try to shout down local candidates we don’t like because of personal reasons, or they are not part of our particular “faction,” we all miss out on the free expression of ideas and appropriate debate.  Instead, we write and share social media posts with trivial negativity and half-truths about our fellow citizens.  We use whatever personal leverage we might have to discredit or discourage opponents instead of engaging them in healthy discourse.


What Bourbon County needs more than anything is a free people in an earnest quest for truth to reestablish the trust we are now missing, to our great detriment.  Our public forums and debates must keep the quest for truth through the free expression of ideas at the center.  Otherwise, we will not arrive at solutions that represent our best.


Before you attack, demean, pick apart and generally criticize someone with whom you disagree, examine your motives and the general impact it will have on the culture and wellbeing of our community.  Certainly, politely call out those who are stifling open discourse through half-truths and nit-picky acts of disrespect. Let us depend upon the honest exchange of ideas through free and civil discourse in order to arrive at the best solutions for Bourbon County.  Let us reestablish trust through respecting one another’s freedoms.





Celebration of Life For Lori Ruddick

May be an image of 1 person

Lori Grace Ruddick, age 63, resident of Nevada, MO, passed away Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at the Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, KS. The family will host a celebration of life from 1:00 until 3:00 PM Sunday, June 26th, at the Presbyterian Village, Ft. Scott. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Bo Co Commission Agenda for June 28

Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: June 28, 2022

1st DistrictLynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd DistrictJim Harris Corrected: _______________________

3rd DistrictClifton Beth Adjourned at: _______________

County ClerkAshley Shelton


Call to Order

Flag Salute

Approval of Minutes from previous meeting

Eric Bailey Road & Bridge Report

Mary Pemberton/Mark McCoy Transient Guest Tax

Justin Meeks County Counselor Comment

Susan Bancroft Chief Financial Officer Comment

Shane Walker Chief Information Officer Comment

Public Comment

Commission Comment

1pm 4pm: Department Budget Reviews (open to the public)

Justifications for Executive Session:

KSA 754319(b)(1) To discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy

KSA 754319(b)(2) For consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorneyclient relatio

What’s Happening in Fort Scott June 24 Newsletter

What’s Happening in Fort Scott!
June 24th Weekly Newsletter
So much fun coming up in Fort Scott,
share with your friends & family!
Friday 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
Saturday 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm
$6 adults, $4 children 12 & under
50-minute narrated tour of Historic Fort Scott!
6/24-6/27 ~ The Lavender Patch will be open from 9am-1pm, click here for their website.
6/24-6/26 ~ FSHS All School Reunion,
click here for info.
6/24 ~ FSHS All School Reunion
Registration, FSHS Gym, 9am-4pm
Reunion Parade, Downtown, 5pm
Chicken Dinner, FSHS Commons, 6pm
Open Road Band, Liberty Theatre, 8pm
6/25 ~ Farmers’ Market, 8am to noon, Skubitz Plaza in front of the Fort.
6/25 ~ FSHS All School Reunion
Registration, FSHS Gym, 9am-12pm
Tiger Honor Luncheon, FSHS Commons, 11:30
Teacher Reception, FSHS Commons, 3pm
Rock Sanctuary & Bourbon County
Revival Live, Liberty Theatre, 8pm
The Stolen Winnebagos – 80’s-90’s Era Band,
3rd & Main, 8pm
The Crayons – 60’s-70’s Era Band,
Skubitz Plaza, 8pm
6/25 ~ Fort Scott Kiwanis Youth Scholarship Golf Tournament Fundraiser, 3-person scramble, Woodland Hills Golf Course, 8am
6/24-6/26 ~ Adam LaRoche 16U Tournament, LaRoche Baseball Complex
6/25 ~ Dirty Bourbon Band, Live at Sharky’s, 9pm to 1am
6/26 ~ St. Mary’s Catholic School Reunion, 705 S. Holbrook St., 11am
6/30 ~ Chamber Coffee hosted by Bourbon County Garden Club @ Heritage Park Pavilion, rain location is Hedgehog.INK! Book Store, 8am
7/1 ~ Uniontown Independence Weekend Bash, sponsored by Union State Bank, click here for details.
7/3 ~ Lake Fort Scott Fireworks Display – Put on by various residents, after dark.
7/3 ~ City of Fort Scott Annual Fireworks Display, Behind FSCC, after dark.
7/2-7/4 ~ Independence Weekend Celebration, Fort Scott National Historic Site, click here for schedule.
7/4 ~ Burke Street Classic Whiffle Ball Tournament, 4 people per team – All ages welcome, 1320 Marblecrest Dr., First pitch at 1pm, click here.
7/4 ~ 40th Annual Burke Street Parade, Starts at 10th & Burke St., 10am, click here for details.
7/4 ~ Uniontown Annual Fireworks Celebration
7/7 ~ Informational meeting on Chamber Blue Health Insurance to be offered to members effective 1/1/23, an interest survey will need to be completed in August to potentially take the insurance. Come learn more at 12pm, Sleep Inn conference room.
7/8-7/9 ~ ACRA/IPRA Rodeo, BB County Fair Grounds, tickets on sale now at the Chamber. Click here for details.
7/9 ~ Woodland Hills 2-person Scramble Golf Tournament
7/7-7/10 ~ John Hill Summer Showcase Baseball Tournament
7/8 ~ Gordon Parks Fundraiser Event featuring Charlie Redd & Luna Voo Doo Music Performance, The Liberty Theatre, doors open at 7pm, click here for more info.
7/10 ~ Charity Partner Spades Tournament, Empress Event Center – 7 N. Main St., 1pm
7/15 ~ Chamber Golf Classic, Woodland Hills Golf Course, 10am-4pm, click here.
7/15-7/16 ~ Beat the Heat Downtown Shopping Event
7/18-7/22 ~ Bourbon County Fair
Boutiques-Antiques-Flea Markets & more!
Clickhere for Chamber member
specialty shopping & other retail in
Downtown & other areas of the community.
Fort Scott Area
Chamber of Commerce
In This Issue
Chamber Highlights
Click here for our
Membership Directory.
We THANK our members for their support! Interested in joining the Chamber?
Click here for info.
Thinking of doing business in or relocating to Fort Scott?
Contact us for a relocation packet, information on grants & incentives, and more!
Seeking a job/career?
We post a Job of the Day daily on our Facebook page, distribute a monthly job openings flyer, and post jobs on our website.
Many opportunities available!
Housing needs?
Click here for a listing of our Chamber member realtors.
Click here for our rental listing.
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce
231 E. Wall Street
Fort Scott, KS 66701

COVID-19 Vaccine Available For 6 months to 6 years

Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines will now be available for Kansas Children Ages 6 Months to 6 years

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) today announced that Kansas has adopted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) authorization for administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years old and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 6 years old.

“The vaccine remains the best way to protect from serious illness. This important development will help keep children safe and stop the spread of COVID-19,” Janet Stanek, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “We encourage all parents or guardians of eligible Kansans to discuss this with their healthcare provider or the medical professional at the location where you receive care about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot.”

These vaccines have undergone clinical trials specifically for people ages for children ages 6 months to 6 years old to determine that the vaccine is safe, effective and appropriately dosed to minimize possible side effects.

The two vaccines are expected to arrive later this week to Kansas providers, at that time children ages 6 months to 6 years old will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from a large network of vaccine providers across Kansas, including doctor’s offices, retail pharmacies, local health departments, and clinics.

In addition, many community partners and schools may also offer the COVID-19 vaccine for Kansas children. Information on locations offering vaccines for children ages 6 months to 6 years old will be available at, and we recommend calling your local provider to confirm availability as well.

More information can be found at

Obituary of Ralph Stapp

Ralph Newton Stapp, 98, was promoted to be in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Monday, June 20, 2022, at his home in Fort Scott, Kansas.  He was born December 3, 1923, in Arcadia, Kansas, the son of Ralph Newton and Nellie Lucille (Montgomery) Stapp.  He married Mary Evelyn Lawhead on January 26, 1968, in Miami, Oklahoma.  She preceded him in death June 21, 2003.


Ralph graduated Fort Scott High School Class of 1942.  He was a lifelong farmer and rancher at the family farm west of Fort Scott.


He was a veteran of the US Navy, serving in the Pacific Fleet during World War II.  He sailed out of the San Francisco Bay, under the Golden Gate Bridge, to enter the war.  North of the Golden Gate Bridge is a statue honoring the sailors who sailed from there to enter World War II, and Ralph was one of those sailors.


Ralph was a faithful member of First Assembly of God, serving many years as a board member.  He was a man devoted to God and prayer.  He was a 50+ year member of the Olson-Frary-Burkhart Post 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars.


Survivors include his sister, Joyce Platt of Livermore, California, nephews, Rev. John Gifford, Charles Gifford, Joe Bridgman, Scot Bridgman, David Platt, and great nieces and nephews.  Also surviving are Ralph and Mary’s dear friends who they considered their extended family; the McNutt Family, Craig, JoAnn, Travis, Tyler, Nicole and Tanner. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Mary, and two sisters, Margaret Stapp and Mary Ellen Gifford.


Rev. Don Payne, who served as Ralph’s Pastor for over 14 years, and Rev. John Gifford, his nephew, will conduct funeral services at 11:00 am Friday, July 1, 2022, at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, Fort Scott, Kansas.  Burial will follow at the US National Cemetery with Military Honors presented by the US Navy Funeral Honor Detail out of Kansas City, Missouri. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at


FSHS All Classes Reunion This Weekend

The FSHS All Classes Reunion
is coming thisweekend,
June 24th-26th!
See below for the full schedule of events for the
all-class activities, then many individual classes
have their own events planned, too!
The Reunion Parade is scheduled for 5pm tonight, June 24th!
It will start at 4th & Judson, to National Ave., North to Wall St., East on Wall to Main, South on Main ending at FSHS.
Introducing the Grand Marshals for the Reunion Parade:
Don Miller
Fred Campbell
Fort Scott High School
All Classes Reunion Schedule
June 24-26th, 2022
Friday, June 24th
Friday, June 24th | 9am-4pm
Reunion Parade
Friday, June 24th
Starts at 5pm
Click here to enter parade.
Chicken Dinner
Friday, June 24th, 6pm
FSHS Commons Area
The All-Star Reunion Band
Friday, June 24th | 8pm-12am
The Liberty Theatre
*Cash Bar Only
Saturday, June 25th
Saturday, June 25th | 9am-12pm
Luncheon for Classes 1950 & Earlier
Saturday, June 25th | 11:30am
FSHS Commons Area
Teacher Reception
Saturday, June 25th | 3-5pm
FSHS Commons Area
Rock Sanctuary & Bourbon County Revival
Saturday, June 25th | 8pm
Liberty Theatre
*Cash bar only
The Crayons
60’s-70’s Era Band
Saturday, June 25th | 8pm
Skubitz Plaza
The Stolen Winnebago’s
80’s-90’s Era Band
Saturday, June 25th | 8pm
3rd & Main
Thank you to our Chamber Champions listed below!

Bo Co Commission Meets Today


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00


Date: June 24, 2022

1st District-Lynne Oharah                                                                Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jim Harris                                                                      Corrected: _______________________

3rd District-Clifton Beth                                                                              Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Ashley Shelton





Call to Order


  • Flag Salute
  • Clifton Beth – Executive Session KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship





























Justifications for Executive Session:

          KSA 75-4319(b)(1) To discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy

          KSA 75-4319(b)(2) For consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

          KSA 75-4319(b)(3) To discuss matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of the body or agency

          KSA 75-4319(b)(4) To discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships

          KSA 75-4319(b)(6) For the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property

          KSA 75-4319(b)(12) To discuss matters relating to security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an

Healthy Bourbon County Action Team: Future Pilot Projects

At Mark Arts yesterday, NXTUS, Inc.’s NXTSTAGE Community Health & Vibrancy Pilot Competition, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS), announced 22 pilot projects, as well as 13 additional potential future projects, all aimed at improving Kansas’ population health and economic vibrancy.

During the competition’s innovation showcase, Pilot Partners from around Kansas committed to implementing promising technology tools aimed at tackling key issues such as access to mental health care and addiction treatment, improving senior care and expanding charitable giving:

·       Healthy Bourbon County Action Team committed to pilot projects with Small Bites Adventure Club, SpairTime and SoulFIRE Health, and is connecting Akesa HealthCaregivers Insight and Embrace Prevention Care with care providers in the county to scope out future projects. They are also continuing discussions with Kadogo to construct a collaboration.
·       Hodgeman County Economic Development: Awarded pilots to Debtle, PursueCare, Small Bites Adventure Club, SoulFIRE Health and Televeda. They are still exploring collaborations with three additional finalists.

·       LiveWell Northwest Kansas: Doing pilot projects with PursueCare and Akesa Health and joining other partners in expanding Televeda’s work in Kansas.

·       Scott County Development Committee: Awarded a pilot project to Televeda and committed to a multi-entity project, alongside Stepping-Up Ministries, with Akesa HealthPursueCare, SoulFIRE Health and Vincere Health. SCDC’s leader has also committed to a personal pilot for Caregivers Insight

·       Thrive Allen County: Awarded four new and one continuing pilot: Akesa Health, PursueCare, Small Bites Adventure Club, SoulFIRE Health, and Televeda (continuing). They are also continuing to explore funding for 6 more projects, with Caregivers Insight, Embrace Prevention Care, Kadogo, Ringorang, SpairTime and Vincere Health.

We’re thrilled to play a part in connecting entrepreneurs with local community organizations to improve health outcomes and the economic well-being of our state,” said Virginia Barnes, Blue Health Initiatives director at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. “Our communities have unique health needs and the technology being implemented as a result of this competition has the potential to improve the lives of thousands of Kansans.”

We’re excited to continue to match Kansas’ future-minded leaders with leading innovators to put tomorrow’s tools to work right now to change Kansans’ lives for the better. We’re working to help connect entrepreneurs to customers here, so they can grow companies of significance and help Kansas communities thrive.

NXTUS, Inc, is  a catalyst for the region’s startup ecosystem. At our essence, we serve as a nexus for entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners, and the community at-large, according to its website:

Its primary aim is to grow startups, strengthen innovation culture and build support systems. It is based out of Wichita.

Brian Wendling to Perform for Summer Reading on June 28


Magician and juggler Brian Wendling is a Fort Scott favorite, and he drew the largest crowd of any library-sponsored event in the history of Fort Scott Public Library in the summer of 2019. He will perform on June 28 at 10 a.m. in the main auditorium at Memorial Hall.

Brian brings lots of energy and exciting tricks to his performances with the help of young volunteers from his audience. Learn more about Brian’s work at his website:

Library performances are free and open to the public. This event is part of the library’s summer reading program. Learn more about and register for the program at:

This performance is made possible in part by partnerships with Cherryvale Public Library and Independence Public Library.

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