Patty LaRoche: In God’s Image

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Gen. 1:26,27 (ESV)

If you skimmed this passage and missed its point, here it is: we are created in God’s image. Think about that. We matter. Last week I shared about my visit with “Greg,” a sex trafficking expert with “Deliver Fund,” who described what happens to girls taken into bondage. It made my skin crawl. He said that there is NO community unaffected by this crime. Surely he wasn’t serious. Nevada? Fort Scott? Where everyone knows who’s dating whom, what kind of surgery they’ve had and if they go to church or not? That’s just nuts.

Apparently not, because, well…let’s face it—we might know the latest gossip, but we pay little attention to what goes on right around us. Remember Ariel Castro, the man who for ten years imprisoned three women in his boarded-up, Cleveland, Ohio, home? Not one neighbor took the time to put the clues together that something was amiss…and there were plenty.

I asked Greg what people like me can do to help. Most importantly, he said, we need to pray for eyes to see. Greg knows that not everyone can be involved to the extent he is, but there are too many who just want to “scratch-their-action-guy-itch.” They volunteer to help but aren’t

committed. Fewer still want to take the time to be on the lookout for warning signs. Prime culprits are seedy motels with “a lookout” standing outside and convenience stores where men accompany young girls who make little eye contact and refuse to engage in conversation.

Greg wasn’t talking about me. Ask my husband. I live to catch a criminal. Once, after reading of the plane passenger who tried to light his shoe on fire, I alerted airport authorities to a man who had a cord hanging from the hem of his pants. It turned out to be part of his phone. (Or so I was told…um-hum.) Every time I see an adult carrying a screaming child, I immediately think kidnapping. I’m always on the lookout to save someone. It drives Dave crazy.

So, let’s say you aren’t as brave/foolish as I. There’s another way you can help. Yesterday I received an email from a relative. In lieu of a birthday gift, she asked for donations to Operation Underground Railroad, a foundation that rescues and rehabilitates kidnapped children. It is one of many, and all of them need financial support.

David Batstone, the founder of The Not For Sale Campaign, got involved when he found out that the staff at one of his favorite Indian restaurants in San Francisco were almost all slaves. This was discovered when one of the workers went home to find her roommate very ill.  Not knowing what to do, she called her landlord, the owner of the restaurant.  He arrived, then refused to call for help, and instead rolled the sick, unconscious girl in a carpet and loaded her into his van. Then he tried to force the first girl into the van.  A brave woman heard the girl’s screams and called the police.  It turned out that almost all the staff in the man’s several restaurants had been illegally trafficked from India, owed a “debt” to their “employer” for their transportation to America, and were paid minimal wages, which did not cover exorbitant rents that the owner charged for the slum-like apartments in which they lived.

The woman who called the police paid attention. As did David.

We need to do likewise. I’m not saying we turn into peeping toms who roam our neighborhoods with binoculars (although that would be a deterrent). Sex trafficking involves the dehumanization of life. It’s a slap in God’s face, the same God who made us in His image. To really make a difference we must open our eyes…and our hearts…and maybe even our wallets.

Obituary: Donald Lee Struble

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Donald Lee Struble, age 63, a resident of Fort Scott died Saturday, June 24, 2017, at Mercy Hospital of Fort Scott.

He was born July 11, 1953, in Key West, Fla., the son of Donald Lee Struble and Dorothy Irene Hubert Struble. He drove and maintained a truck for many years. Don was always very helpful and loved working on computers and cars, and could fix anything.

Survivors include his mother, Dorothy Struble of the home, two brothers, Ron Struble of Kansas City, Kan., Thomas Struble of Panama City Beach, Fla., one sister, Debbie Rather, of Mulvane, Kan.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald Struble.

There was cremation. Rev. Chuck Russell will conduct a memorial service 1 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorial are suggested to the Don Struble Memorial Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

LaRoche Complex Supports Veterans with Fourth of July Event

For a third year in a row, the LaRoche Baseball Complex will host a Fourth of July event, including live music, food and beverages, a guest speaker and fireworks, while raising money for three organizations providing support for combat veterans.

“A great cause, and you can support it,” Larry Gazaway said of the event during a recent chamber of commerce event.

Gates will open Tuesday at 5 p.m., while the opening act, the Barnstormers, will perform at 6 p.m. A double-amputee veteran will speak on the topic of the struggles veterans face and how people can honor and support them in gratitude for their sacrifice.

At 8 p.m., Jason Boland and the Stragglers will perform, before the night ends with a fireworks display.

Tickets remain available for the event, and range from $20 to $35. Funds raised will be used to support Heroes’ Sports, the E3 Foundation and Combat Warriors Inc.

FSCC Announces Spring 2017 Honor Roll

Submitted by Heather Browne

Fort Scott Community College proudly announces the spring 2017 semester honor roll students. A total of 219 students earned honor roll distinction. The Honor Roll requires a semester GPA of 3.5 to 3.74. The Dean’s Honor Roll requires a semester GPA of 3.75 to 3.99. The President’s Honor Roll requires a semester GPA of 4.0.

Honor Roll

Grant Anderson, Peyton Barrett, Lacy Barrett, Kayln Beel, Kaley Binford, Kiara Boyd, Patrick Broxterman, John Byers, Theodore Chambers, Maddison Christian, Cara Comstock, Chelsey Coulter, Hannah Craun, Zachary Davis, Jacob Davis, Shelby Denton, Austin Dimmett, Joseph Fragano, Alex Garcia, Anne Ghere, Dylan Giager, Allison Gilligan, Randi Gold, Jared Goldwire, Katie Gorman, Piper Handshy, John Henry, Timothy Higgins, Wyatt Hoggatt, Amelia Ihrer, Boby Johnson, Ellen Jones, Cinetia Joseph, Adam Kaufman, Abigail Keating, Deardin Kelley, Victoria Lemke, Diaja Lewis, Scott Little, Ashley Lockwood, Kylie Lopp, Ryan Malone, Erin Mantz, Connor Marshall, Mitchell McCallister, Danielle McDowell, Nickolan McGaan, Nathan Miller, Andrew Morrow, Aris-Shea Nakagawa, Rebekah Palmer, Lindy Pettibon, Nguyen Pham, Lindsey Reed, Samantha Reno, Haleigh Robertson, Charles Runnels, Carla Salas, Matthew Schick, Driston Self, Tessney Shoemaker, Mason Skiles, Lauren Sluder, Aubrey Smith, Dalton Sneed, Jayson Stepter, Alyssa Stevens, Sarah Tavernaro, Katherine Thoden, Alexandria Trager, Jessica Turner, Rachel Walker, Jennifer Wisniewski, Nicole Woods-Buyea, and Carter Young.

Dean’s Honor Roll

Mariah Aebersold, Kelsey Area, Cheryl Beckwith, Jon Carpenter, Donald Cook, Ashlee Corns, Dalton DeShazer, Stephanie Dill, Kelsey Duggan-Garner, Stephanie Friend, Hannah Geneva, Layne Graham, Justin Grigsby Colby Hartman, Kinede Houdashelt, Alexander Huston, Michael Jenkins, Janamarie Jorgensen, Dillon Kramer, MacKenzie Krenek, Tiffany Lane, Brian Larson, Lindsay Locke, Janice Mccourt, Elizabeth McFarland, Rachel Merrick, Lacey Miles, Ramona Moffett, Joel Montgomery, Sharon Morgan, Austin Murphy, Rebecca Myers, Jackalynn Neher, Baylee Oney, Mercedes Pankau, Sean Perkins, Michaela Pfaff, Myranda Pridey, Joshua Ralle, Kyle Smith, Tabor Spurling, Tony Stone and Aimee Wimp.

President’s Honor Roll

Keller Agre, Krista Allen, Heather Bahr, William Baker, Carly Bohannon, Bryan Booth, Taylor Brecheisen, Cheyenne Brewer, Michaela Brewer, Sarah Bunce, Manuel Carrera, Haley Casey, Abigail Cooke, Rachel Dare, Samuel Davis, Brock Denomme, Kitana Diediker, Shawna Diediker, Michael Donahue, Briona Fields, Lauren Flater, Jennifer Fountain, Meghann Fountain, Zachary Franz, Timothy Fredrickson, Katherin Fullhart, Destiny Garcia, Abigail Gilligan, Christian Goben, Molly Graham, Zachary Gudenkauf, Colin Gulotta, Meghan Guss, Zachary Hager, Keith Hames, Derek Hammer, Caleb Hanson, David Hawkins, Tyler Henninger, Shelby Hutchison, Danielle Isbell, Dallas Johnson, Andrea Kaiser, Sarah Kelley, Benjamin Kiefer, Clinton Kissinger, Colten Lamborn, Kady Laporte, Hayden Leach, Brad Lewis, Justin Logan, Allie Martin, Patrick Maxwell, Thomas Mayfield, Kayla Miller, Jenna Nevius, Rachel Newquist, Johnathan Palmer, Hank Parra, Kylie Pfeiffer, Joshua Rawlins, Taylor Remington, Elizabeth Renner, Clifford Robinett, Bethany Robison, Rick Runion, Sydney Russell, Tanner Sarbaugh, Meghan Schasteen, Mark Scheid, Cody Schlesener, Cole Schroeder, Dacey Simpson, Larry Sinclair, Zackery Steed, Bryan Stephenson, Sherlinda Stillwell, Kendra Stout, Amanda Sustarsic, Grant Swickhamer, Cathy Taylor, Crystal Thomas, Kyle Thompson, Charles Trotter, Amanda Trull, Mackenzie Tynon, Christopher Tyson, Anthony Vallejo, Roger Vincent, Grant Vollrath, Mark Waterbury, Cody Weber, Kassie West, Alexandra Whisler, Emily White, Daniel Whitmore, Kirstie Williams, Mackay Williams, Caitlyn Wiswell, Lane York, and Barrett Young.

For more information, please contact Tom Havron, FSCC Dean of Students and Athletic Director, at 620-223-2700, ext. 3500.


Main Street Building to be Demolished

After years of remaining in disrepair, and transferring from one owner to another, the building at 417 S. Main Street will be torn down, with the Fort Scott City Commission’s decision to go through with the condemnation during their recent meeting.

During that meeting, Autumn Durossette and her brother, Denver Mitchell, approached the commission with a desire to purchase the home, to try to repair it and then rent it out, as they have done with 13 other structures. While the commission expressed gratitude for the work they have done, they decided not to accept that request as the building was already condemned to demolition.

“I am not in support of rescinding your motion,” Codes Manager Rhonda Dunn said, adding she is grateful for the work done in Fort Scott by Durossette and Mitchell. “This house has been a struggle for us for quite a while.”

The home has suffered damage from two fires and has structural issues that have led to uneven floors. The fire department, in their inspections, also discovered some termite damage. Delinquent property taxes are also owed.

Durossette said she had a number of inspectors and contractors examine the house, located across the street from the Unified School District Education Building, and said they believed they would be able to correct the foundation and other problems of the home and make it attractive once more.

“They need work, but these bones are good,” Mitchell said of the base structure of the home, saying most of the work needed concerns surface repairs.

The commission decided to not take any action, thus upholding the previous condemnation, stating they trust their staff’s recommendation and do not desire to set a precedent of rescinding the condemnation of homes in Fort Scott.

The commission first approved the condemnation and demolition of the house in 2016, and it is now ready for demolition as the city received a bid. The file on the building’s code violations stretch back for more than a decade.

Mercy Receives HOPE 4 You Grant for Mammograms

Submitted by Tina Rockhold

Mercy Health Foundation Fort Scott has been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Hope 4 You Breast Cancer Foundation based in Joplin. The grant will be used to help pay for mammograms for women who meet certain criteria. This is the sixth consecutive year Mercy has received the grant.

Mercy Hospital Fort Scott radiology technicians Suzanne Quick and Jenny Dugan specialize in mammogram screenings

“Far too often women neglect their own health care needs for other priorities,” said Christi Keating, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott executive director of patient care services. “Funds from this grant will give women, who might otherwise not get mammograms, access to the life-saving screenings.”

The startling fact is that more than 40,000 women will die of breast cancer this year in the U.S.

According to the Kaiser State Health Facts, the rate of annual breast cancer diagnosis among Kansas’ women is higher than the national average, but Kansas women over age 50 report having fewer mammograms than the national norm.

For more information about digital mammography or to schedule a mammography appointment, call Mercy’s Imagining Services at 620-223-7015.

Fort Scott Holds Patriotic Contest

In honor of the Fourth of July, the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce is encouraging Fort Scott residents and businesses to participate in a patriotic contest.

The American flag on display in Fort Scott in 2015

“Get your home or business all decorated for Fourth of July and in honor of our veterans and troops,” said Lindsay Madison, chamber executive director, during a recent chamber event.

The contest includes both a residential and commercial contest, with the most patriotic home winner receiving a $50 Chamber Bucks gift certificate and the winner of the most patriotic business receiving $50 to Marsha’s Deli, a sponsor of the event.

Participants must register with the chamber by Wednesday, June 28, with the final judging done by a panel of chamber members Thursday afternoon, June 29. The winners will be announced July 4.

A variety of Independence Day events will be held in Fort Scott and Bourbon County over the weekend, including the Symbols of Sacrifice event at the fort Saturday and Tuesday, Fort Scott community fireworks at Fort Scott Community College, the annual Burke Street parade Tuesday morning, a concert and event at the LaRoche Baseball Complex Tuesday evening and other events hosted at area churches.

KState Extension to Host Alternative Crop Event

Submitted by Christopher Petty

As summertime temperatures heat up, cool season farm and ranch pastures begin to lose productivity.

This can cause us to think about other ways to stretch or improve our ability to feed livestock. One possibility is alternative (cover) crops for livestock feeds. These crop mixes often include legumes, grasses and brassicas (turnips or radishes). Planted in the fall, these mixes can provide extra feed to help conserve or extend limited feed resources.

To learn more about these alternative crop mixes, join the K-State Research and Extension –Southwind District on Thursday, July 13, at 6 p.m. This meeting, which includes a meal, is sponsored by Landmark National Bank and will feature K-State Research and Extension Southeast Area Livestock Specialist Jaymelynn Farney. Dr. Farney will discuss research data relating to actual cover crop trials. The program will take place at the 4-H Building in Fort Scott, Kansas and a $10.00 fee, payable at the door, will cover the cost of meals and materials. Please pre-register by calling the Southwind District –Fort Scott Office at 620-223- 3720.

Symbols of Sacrifice, Fourth of July Activities to be held at National Historic Site

Submitted by Fort Scott National Historic Site

As the nation reflects on its freedom on Independence Day, Fort Scott National Historic Site honors those who have lost their lives fighting for this freedom with Symbols of Sacrifice.

The Symbols of Sacrifice commemoration features thousands of United States flags displayed in a Field of Honor on the historic Parade Ground. The event was moved to the Fourth of July weekend to more inclusively honor the sacrifice of all Americans throughout the nation’s history. The flags will be displayed from Friday, June 30, through Tuesday, July 4. A special concert of patriotic music will be held on Saturday, July 1, at 7 p.m. The park is pleased to welcome musicians Pat and Steve Harry.

Fort Scott NHS will also hold its traditional military and Fort themed activities over the holiday weekend. Esteemed President John Quincy Adams said in celebration of the 4th of July: “The Declaration of Independence! The interest which in that paper has survived the occasion upon which it was issued; the interest which is of every age and every clime; the interest which quickens with the lapse of years, spreads as it grows old, and brightens as it recedes, is in the principles which it proclaims.” Fort Scott National Historic Site proudly honors this tradition and invites you to join us in celebrating our nation’s independence with an Old-Fashioned Military Holiday. Cannon and musket firings, horse soldiers and ice cream are just a few of the free activities offered Saturday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 4.

On Saturday, stop by the Fort and mingle with soldiers, laundresses and officers’ wives as they present garrison life in the 1840s. The bark of cannon and crack of gunfire will be heard throughout the day as artillery programs pay honor to our freedom. At 2 p.m., enjoy a bowl of homemade ice cream provided by the Friends of Fort Scott NHS and witness a 30-gun salute in honor of the 30 states that were part of the Union in 1848.

Activities will continue on Tuesday, July 4, with additional artillery demonstrations and programs focusing on historical events associated with Fort Scott. Join an 1840s Infantry Soldier and Officer’s Wife as they share perspectives on “What Independence Day Means to You?” “A Hearty Grip: The Mexican-American War” investigates essential questions of power and empire that gripped the North American continent 170 years ago during the Mexican-American War. Discover how Fort Scott soldiers played a role and paid the ultimate price in every major campaign of the war. “Ordinary Men in Extraordinary Times – A Patriotic Speech” explores the original signers of the Declaration of Independence and the common soldiers who fought and died for liberty.

The schedule of activities is as follows:


10:00 a.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration

11:00 a.m. – Guided Tour

1:00 p.m. – Dragoon Talk

2:00 p.m. – 30 Gun Salute: Weapons Demonstration

3:00 p.m. – “Plug, Port, and Peaches” Post Sutler Talk

4:00 p.m. – Flag Retreat

7:00 p.m. – Patriotic Musical Performance by Pat and Steve Harry


10:00 a.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration

11:00 a.m. – “What Independence Day Means to You?” Guided Discussion

12:00 p.m. – “A Hearty Grip: The Mexican-American War” Interpretive Talk

1:00 p.m. – Guided Tour

2:00 p.m. – “Ordinary Men in Extraordinary Times” Patriotic Speech

3:00 p.m. – Artillery Drill and Weapons Demonstration

4:00 p.m. – Flag Retreat

Obituary: Mary Ann Hastings

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Mary Ann Hastings, age 86, a former resident of rural Bronaugh and more recently of Nevada, Mo., passed away early Saturday, June 24, 2017, at the Barone Alzheimer’s Care Center in Nevada.

She was born May 24, 1931, in Chicopee, Kan., the daughter of Edward and Lula Mae Curnutt Stumfoll. She married John Darwin Hastings on August 9, 1952, in Bentonville, Ark. Together, they worked the family farm and raised their family. She enjoyed crocheting, embroidery, fishing and listening to music (Patsy Kline and Hank Williams, Sr.). She was a faithful wife and loving mother and grandmother. She also really liked black licorice. She was a member of the First Baptist Church Pleasanton, Kan.

Survivors include her husband John of the home; one son, John Bradley Hastings and wife Ronda, Grants, N.M.; two daughters, Renee Clemons and husband John, Oronogo, Mo., and Lexi Strickler and husband Doug, Iola, Kan.; nine grandchildren, Jill, Jodell, Jessica, Rhett, Reesa, Gabe, Amara, Ieisha and Robin; 16 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Alisa Ann Hastings; and her parents, brothers and sisters.

Rev. Bradley Hastings and Rev. Robert Reid will conduct funeral services at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, Kan. Burial will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. Monday evening at the Chapel. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Obituary: Joyce Ann Collier

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Joyce Ann Collier, age 64, a resident of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Saturday, June 24, 2017, at the Olathe Hospice House in Olathe, Kan.


She was born July 21, 1952, in Fort Scott, the daughter of Herschel L. Hall and Emma Harris Hall. Joyce graduated from the Fort Scott High School with the Class of 1970. She married Gene Collier on June 3, 1972, at Fort Scott. Joyce had worked for Newman Young Clinic for 24 years as supervisor of medical records. She later was employed by Mercy Hospital for 19 years where she worked in medical transcription and patient registration. She was a member of the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene. Joyce enjoyed singing in the church choir, cooking and spending time with her family.

Survivors include her husband, Gene, of the home; three sons, Troy Collier and wife, Lisa, of Paola, Kan., Ryan Collier, of Fort Scott, and Kyle Collier and wife, Samantha, of Franklin, Kan.; and seven grandchildren, Jenna, Brynn, Jacie, Liam, Mason, Anna and Jensen Collier. Also surviving are two brothers, Ronnie Hall, of Ellsworth, Kan. and Calvin Hall, of Fort Scott, and a sister, Kathy Hays, also of Fort Scott. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Rev. Scott Moore will conduct funeral services at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 27, at the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene. Burial will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Fort Scott Church of the Nazarene, 1728 Horton, Fort Scott, Kan. Memorials are suggested to the Joyce Collier Memorial Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Patty LaRoche: Valuing Every Life

“If you are a victim of human trafficking, call this number.” So read this sign on every bathroom stall in the Las Vegas Airport. Just a few hours before, Dave and I had driven “Greg” to the airport in Kansas City. He had been in Fort Scott for a sex-trafficking meeting, and since we were flying to Vegas for our granddaughter’s graduation, we were able to give him a ride.

Greg is considered one of the brightest minds in the business. As a former member of the CIA, he had become interested in trafficking when he realized that the government was not doing enough. He now heads a non-profit foundation to aid in the felons’ capture.

I learned much. I learned that the problem is epidemic, with the United States at the forefront. I learned how the traffickers work. Greg referred to it as the “Romeo Event.” A young girl—typically with an absentee father and struggling mother—links up online with someone who promises to care for her. Within a few weeks a meeting is scheduled. The man entices the teen to return to his house/motel with him, and there he brutally beats her, rapes her and injects her with heroin. Within 48 hours she is addicted.

If she refuses to cooperate, the heroin is withheld. Greg said the girls he has interviewed tell him that coming down from the drug feels like every bone in their body is breaking. They beg for more. They are now the trafficker’s slave.

What surprised me was that 60 percent of the traffickers are women, “look-outs” at motels and houses where the girls are kept. Starting as trafficked women, they work their way up the chain of demand to become madams of the victims. A much easier proposition.

Greg cited a case in which four girls were rescued after being found trapped in dog cages in a motel room. A fifth girl was dead. The offender got 40 years. Not 40 years in a dog cage, which I said was what he deserved. Greg reminded me that Jesus changed the system of justice even though, he agreed, an eye for an eye, Old Testament style, seems more appropriate. Greg explained that he is involved in the computer side of catching the criminal and not the face-to-face encounters, because he doesn’t know if he is capable of that kind of forgiveness. I get that.

We discussed forgiveness and how hard (impossible) that is with traffickers. Greg said, “When someone is convicted of killing innocent people because he was driving drunk, everyone knows he didn’t set out to do that. But when men intentionally kidnap, beat, rape, inject with drugs and traffic, they are evil beyond description.”

As a nation, we have moved away from God, and when that happens, people become of little value. We teach children they originated as sludge. We abort our babies. We ignore the homeless man on the corner or the scantily clad woman on the street. We shun our Muslim neighbors. We turn over police cars while defending our right to protest. We attempt to assassinate our leaders as they practice for a charity baseball game.

Or we simply refuse to get involved. Greg said that if people just opened their eyes, much of the trafficking would come to a halt.

Next week I will share some practical ways we can make a difference.