FSCC Opens School Year with New Programs

With the new semester and school year, the Fort Scott Community College brought new features to its students and the community with building renovations and additions to the courses provided.

“We greatly appreciate what you do,” President Alysia Johnston said  of the community’s support for the college during Thursday’s Chamber Coffee, saying the college’s goal is to serve Bourbon County. “This really is your institution and we appreciate those tax dollars that you give us every time, but we really do take that seriously.”

Enrollment at FSCC is up slightly this year, with about 1,400 full-time students and a total of about 2,000 people taking part in the courses the school provides.

The armory received an update through renovations over the summer as FSCC welcomed the John Deere program to its main campus from its former location in Frontenac. Already 23 students are involved in that program, while Adam Borth, vice president of academic affairs, said they hope to grow that to 40 over the next couple years.

The school also provides a welding course, which has about 15 students currently meeting in the morning class. FSCC hopes to provide that in the evening as well when the interest is great enough.

FSCC provides late-start classes as well for students who were not able to start in August. Those classes begin in October.

Janet Fancher, dean of student support services, expressed appreciation to the businesses and other members of the community that participated in the expo provided during the first week of classes, saying that is a great service to the students.

Athletic Director Tom Havron said all the teams have full rosters, just as the dorms are at full capacity, and said they look forward to the season ahead and hope the community will come out to support. The volleyball team is already off to a 5-0 record to start the year and the football team has their first home game this Saturday.

“We’re proud of the fact that truly athletics is a vehicle for these kids to get an education,” Johnston said, adding they are proud of the athletes for their athletic and academic accomplishments.

Johnston encouraged students and members of the community to inform the faculty of any ideas and recommendations they might have for the community college in order to improve its services.

“We are always open to suggestions,” Johnston said.

Patty LaRoche: God of Miracles

“Who believes God performs miracles?”

The group of baseball players, attendees at the weekly Chapel service, all raised their hands.

“Who believes God can do a miracle in your life?”

Same response.

“Who believes God will do one right now?”

The athletes looked at one another, unsure of what to do. If they didn’t raise their hands, were they denying that this speaker had a special connection with God? If they did raise their hands, was the
miracle dependent upon their faith being powerful enough to make it happen?

The guest evangelist, sensing their confusion, removed a banana from a plastic bag and asked the crowd, “How many of you believe that God can split the fruit of this banana into thirds without
altering the peel in any way?”

The ballplayers were dumbfounded. After all, God could do anything He wanted, so He certainly “could” perform such a miracle. Slowly, the men raised their hands.

“Good,” the speaker continued. “I’m going to pray that God does just that. I’m going to ask Him to slice the meat of this banana into thirds without making a mark on the skin. How many of you are confident God will answer my prayer?”

Surely it was a trick. Or was it? No one moved.

The speaker spoke to their doubts. “You probably think I’m messing with you, right? To prove I’m not, I’m going to pass this banana around the room. Check it carefully. See if there are any external marks on its skin.”

Each ballplayer took his time studying the banana. No one could find any puncture or marking. While the players sat on the edge of their seats, the preacher took the banana, raised it high, and prayed for it to be cut into thirds when peeled. As he broke the top portion of the banana’s skin and pulled it back, one piece—approximately a third—fell onto the table. The same scene replayed itself as the skin was peeled further. Three pieces. Just like the miracle worker said.

My son Adam, a player in that room, phoned me from the clubhouse.

“Mom, I just saw a miracle.” He proceeded to tell me what had happened. Although skeptical—only because I wasn’t sure why God cared about a banana dividing itself into thirds—I was thrilled for my normally unexcitable son to be so pumped about what he had witnessed.

A few days later I relayed Adam’s story to my girlfriend. “Patty, that’s an old trick,” she said. “A threaded needle is pushed through the banana by working in a circular motion. With enough punctures, it creates a cut, and the skin heals itself so the pin marks can’t be detected.” I couldn’t believe it. The ballplayers had been deceived. My friend was as bothered by this evangelist’s tactic as was I.

I shared my findings with Adam so he could discuss what had happened with the chapel leader who organized the visiting speakers. I told him what bothered me most was that God doesn’t need any help in the miracle department. No tricks. No manipulation. Jeremiah 10:12 speaks to His authority: But God made earth by his power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. His abilities are endless. For goodness sakes, He produced ten plagues to force Pharoah’s hand, provided manna for millions of Israelites wandering in the desert, saved Daniel and his friends from a fiery furnace, and made Himself man to redeem a lost humanity.

In retrospect, I hope the intention of the pastor was to excite his audience about God’s power and not draw attention to his own ability to be used by God. I feel bad that he was so desperate to prove God is still in the miracle business. On the other hand, I would like to think my girlfriend was wrong; there was no needle and thread and this man’s prayer was answered.

Yeah. I would like to think that.

I just don’t.

Cricket Wireless Store Provides Services to Fort Scott

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce officially welcomed the Cricket Wireless store to town Friday afternoon with a ribbon-cutting event during the store’s Grand Opening activities at their location at 205 E. 3rd Street.

“We’re happy to have you in Fort Scott,” chamber Executive Director Lindsay Madison said, adding she is pleased to see that strip mall full of stores once more after having empty storefronts for some time.

Sean Krahling, area manager of the Fort Scott location as well as eight other Kansas stores, said Cricket Wireless merged with AT&T five years ago, with both groups upgrading their signals and towers to be compatible with each other. As a result, about 98 percent of Americans can get a signal through Cricket.

“Our coverage is actually really good,” Krahling said, adding that customers using some of their plans are also able to get a signal when traveling in Canada and Mexico.

Cricket Wireless currently has more than 4600 stores across the country in states including Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota and Florida. The provider now includes options such as DirectTV Now and a music provider with more than 42 million songs. Krahling point out plans are purchased on a monthly basis instead of an annual contract and do not include hidden fees. Visit the store for information on their current deals and plans.

“We appreciate your being a part of the chamber and your investment in the community,” Madison said.

Law Enforcement Center Nears Completion

After years of planning and months of  site-work, the new Bourbon County Law Enforcement Center is nearing its completion date set in early October.

Bourbon County commissioners received an update on the project during a meeting Tuesday. Project manager Gary Walker of Universal Construction Company, Inc., insured the center will be done by Oct. 2, with just the addition of furnishings remaining. Inmates are scheduled to be moved into the facility the week of Oct. 30.

in just the next couple weeks, curbs and gutters, carpeting, camera installations, concrete laying and paint touch-ups should be complete while work on the parking lot and landscaping are  scheduled to be started. Kitchen equipment, recently purchased outright by the county, is also to be delivered and installed.


Obituary: Douglas Lee Graham

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home
Douglas Lee Graham, age 75, a resident of rural Uniontown, Kan., passed away early Monday, August 28, 2017, at his home.  
He was born January 25, 1942, in Rocky Ford, Colo., the son of Forest Graham and Emma Jean “Jimmy” Sinding Graham.  Doug graduated from the Uniontown High School.  He married Mary Ruth Ramsey on May 27, 1962, at Uniontown, Kan.  Doug had worked for many years as a self-employed brick mason.  He enjoyed hunting and fishing as well as going to the casinos.  He also liked spending time with his grandchildren, playing bridge and feeding the wildlife around his home. 
Survivors include his three children, Melessa Moran and husband, Gary, of Topeka, Kan., Tracy Kipper and husband, Brian, Kansas City, Mo., and Troy Graham and wife, Laurie, of Pittsburg, Kan., and four grandchildren, Michael and Madeline Hale and Trevor and Lily Graham.  Also surviving is a brother, Danny Graham, of Uniontown and his cat, Bob.  His wife, Mary, preceded him in death on January 6, 2011.  He was also preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Richard Graham. 
Pastor Jeff Feagins will conduct graveside services at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, September 2, at the Uniontown Cemetery.  The family will receive friends at the Cheney Witt Chapel on Saturday from 11 a.m. until service leaving for the cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to the Doug Graham 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 cheneywitt.com.

Obituary: George Manous O’Neal

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

George Manous O’Neal, age 92, a former resident of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Sunday, August 20, 2017, in Mt. Vernon, Ohio.

He was born March 8, 1925, in Cecil, Ark., the son of Jim O’Neal and Loretta Nichols O’Neal. He served with the United States Navy during World War II. George married Joy Ann Whitesell on October 31, 1959, in Nevada, Mo. George worked as Director of Public Utilities for the City of Fort Scott for 32 years. Following his retirement from the City, George was employed for 10 years by Key Industries. George was a member of the Community of Christ Church. He had also been a member of the Fort Scott Kiwanis Club and the Masonic Lodge. He had been made an Honorary Deputy of the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Department.

Survivors include his wife Joy and his son, Larry O’Neal and wife, Teresa, all of Ohio. Also surviving are three grandchildren, April Kennard and husband, Kevin, Mandy Hobbs and husband, Josh, and Stacy Julian and husband, Justin, and eight great-grandchildren, Nate Elliot, Josh Lyons, Kaitlyn and Jackson Kennard, Jocelyn, Jaclyn, Jackson and Jamison Julian. He was preceded in death by his parents, two half-brothers, Wayne “Jake” Knowles and Jim O’Neal II and a granddaughter, Erin Lyons.

Funeral services will be conducted by Elders Robert and Kathy Clark at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday August 29, 2017, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Visitation will be held from 12:30 p.m. to service time at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Eldorado Springs City Cemetery, Eldorado, Mo. Memorial contributions may be given to Care to Share 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 cheneywitt.com.

KState Extension: Storage Methods to Reduce Hay Loss

Submitted by Christopher Petty, KState Extension Office

According to University of Nebraska Extension Specialist Bruce Anderson, hay stored outside will be damaged by rain, snow, wind and ice this fall and winter. The average round bale loses about one fourth of its original nutrients during storage, but these losses can be reduced to less than 10 percent or so. Now, I’m sure you are better than average. Still, let’s look at ways to reduce spoilage by storing that extra valuable hay more carefully this year.

For instance, do you usually line up bales for easy access so the twine sides touch each other? Or do you stack your bales? If so, extra spoilage will occur where these bales touch because rain, snow and ice will gather in spots where bales touch instead of running off. Round bales butted end-to-end, cigar-like, usually have less spoilage.

Does snow drift around your bales? Bales placed in east-west rows often have drifts on the south side. Hay next to fencelines or trees can get extra snow. As snow melts it soaks into bales or makes the ground muddy. Plus, the north side never gets any sun, so it’s slow to dry. This year, line your bales up north-and-south for fewer drifts and faster drying as sunlight and prevailing winds hit both sides of the row.

Most important is the bottom of your bales. Always put bales on higher, well-drained ground so water drains away from them. Keep them out of terrace bottoms or other low spots. If necessary, use crushed rock, railroad ties or even pallets to elevate bales to keep the bottoms dry. This also will reduce problems getting to your hay or getting it moved due to snow drifts or mud. Just a little pre-planning can save lots of hay and frustrations.

For information on testing your hay for nutrient quality, contact Southwind Extension District Livestock Production and Forage Management Agent Christopher Petty at 620-223- 3720 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Ride Raises Funds for Wreaths Across America

More than 120 riders took part in the 5th Annual Wreath Ride Saturday, raising money to purchase wreaths to be placed on the graves at the local National Cemetery in December as part of the Wreaths Across America (WAA) effort.

Participating riders met at Buck Run Community Center and then visited a number of locations as part of the ride, including the Fort Scott National Cemetery. In past years, the riders had traveled to an out-of-town location as a group, but the organization had grown large enough that it had become a hazard for the bikers and other drivers.

This year, the WAA’s largest fundraiser raised enough money for 2,053 wreaths thanks to the participation of 125 riders.

In past years, the fundraising has gotten closer to achieving the goal of purchasing enough wreaths to place at all 5,600 gravestones. The local WAA group continues to accept donations towards the wreaths, which cost $15 each.

Celebrate the Privilege and Power of Work at Historic Site Labor Day Weekend

Submitted by Fort Scott National Historic Site

President Theodore Roosevelt said “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” Another author stated that the “privilege to work is a gift, the power to work is a blessing, and that the love of work is success.” While the soldiers at Fort Scott in the 1840s might not have necessarily loved their work, they did labor to build a fort that its architect considered “the Crack Post of the Frontier.”

From September 2 through 4, 2017, Fort Scott NHS will commemorate Labor Day weekend with artillery, horses, music, living history demonstrations and a variety of interpretive programs. The thunder of artillery will sound each day that weekend at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. A short program explaining how the gun is fired accompanies each artillery demonstration. Other programs offered throughout the weekend are guided tours at 1 p.m. and a flag retreat ceremony at 4 p.m. each day.

Programs offered just on Saturday include a musical program at 2 p.m. by 9 Mile March, a local group that performs folk music using instruments such as the banjo and mandolin. At noon, a park ranger examines the weapons of the soldiers at Fort Scott, which will be followed by a horseback demonstration at 12:30 p.m.

Additionally on Saturday, living history interpreters will be cooking in the mess hall and baking bread in the bakehouse. An interpretive program about the bakehouse will be offered at 10 a.m. At one living history station, a volunteer will be teaching people about women’s clothing worn during the time. Different pieces like a chemise, corset and dresses will be laid out, so that people can see them up close and can learn how they were used. You might even have the opportunity to try on a corset. This station will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day.

On Sunday, September 3, in the program “A Stain That Will Never Bleach Out in the Sun,” Park Rangers Robert Thomas and Gary Herrmann will square off against each other as they take on the roles of two protagonists involved in the Marais des Cygnes Massacre, each with an opposing viewpoint. Also on Sunday, Park Guide Roger Behrend looks at the medical practices of the 1840s in the program “To Bleed or Not to Bleed.”

On Monday, there will be a special Labor Day tour, “From the Crack Post of the Frontier.” This tour will focus on the labor force, building materials, architectural styles and construction techniques used in the building of Fort Scott. There will also be a demonstration of 1840s drumming and a program about the letters of Thomas and Charlotte Swords. Captain Swords was the architect of Fort Scott and oversaw its construction.

Fort Scott National Historic Site is one of 417 units of the National Park Service. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Following is the schedule of activities for the weekend.

Saturday, September 2nd

10:00 a.m. “Flour, Sweat, and Tears”: 1840s Bakehouse Program

11:00 a.m. Thunder Wagon: 1840s Artillery Demo

12:00 p.m. “Tools of War: The Weapons of the Soldiers at Fort Scott”

12:30 p.m. “Spurs and Saddles”-Mounted Demonstration

1:00 p.m. Guided Tour

2:00 p.m. “9 Mile March” Musical Performance by Don Parsons and Randy Glessner

3:00 p.m. Thunder Wagon: 1840s Artillery Demo

4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Sunday, September 3rd

11:00 a.m. Thunder Wagon: 1840s Artillery Demo

11:30 a.m. “Spurs and Saddles”-Mounted Demonstration

12:00 p.m. “To Bleed or Not to Bleed” – Frontier Medicine of the 1840s

1:00 p.m. Guided Tour

2:00 p.m. “A Stain That Will Never Bleach Out in the Sun” – Two Stories of the Marais des Cygnes Massacre: Hairgrove vs. Hamilton

3:00 p.m. Thunder Wagon: 1840s Artillery Demo

4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Monday, September 4th

11:00 a.m. Thunder Wagon: 1840s Artillery Demo

12:00 p.m. “The Tongue is More Useful than the Arrow” – Letters of Thomas and Charlotte Swords

1:00 p.m. “Crack Post of the Frontier” -Guided Tour-Construction History of Fort Scott

2:00 p.m. 1840s Drummer Boy: Military Drumming Demonstration

3:00 p.m. Thunder Wagon: 1840s Artillery Demo

4:00 p.m. Flag Retreat

Free Bumps and Bruises Clinic for School Athletes

Mercy Fort Scott Sports Medicine will offer free evaluations of student athlete injuries at the Saturday morning Bumps and Bruise Clinic. The clinic will begin on Saturday, September 2, at 7 a.m. and continue each Saturday morning through the fall sports season.

Athletes will be seen in Mercy Health for Life on a first come, first serve basis. Mercy’s Orthopedic Nurse Practitioner Greg King will conduct the clinic.

High school and middle school athletes injured during an accredited athletic event may have their injury assessed at the clinic. If the athlete is under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian must accompany them for permission to treat.

Appointments are not necessary, however it is recommended to arrive early to allow adequate time for treatment. If necessary, diagnostic services are available on site and will be billed to the Athlete’s insurance.

For more information about the free Bumps and Bruises Clinic or to make an appointment for sports massage, call Mercy Health for Life at 620-223- 7073.

61st Annual Pioneer Harvest Fiesta

With mostly clear weather and a number of visitors to the Bourbon County Fairgrounds, the 61st Annual Pioneer Harvest Fiesta drew to a close after a weekend of activities.

Events included  a parade, quilt and craft shows, demonstrations, tractor pulls and a bean feed while a number of tractors and other equipment restored by local and visiting participants were on display.

Patty LaRoche: Jumping to Conclusions

Sometimes the only exercise I get is jumping to the wrong conclusion. Read last week’s article if you doubt me. This week we will look at a scriptural passage with repercussions far worse than mine.

First, some background. God’s chosen people, the Israelites, don’t act chosen. For 40 years Moses leads these slow-learning twelve tribes as they wander in the desert, sin, repent, sin, repent, etc. And now it’s time to enter the Promised Land. The leaders of Gad, Rueben and half of the tribe of Manassah ask to stay behind on the East side of the Jordan River. The land is rich with valleys for grazing their flocks and seems ideal. Moses agrees on the condition they first cross the Jordan with the other 9 ½ tribes to help conquer the land of Canaan. Five years later the war ends and the 2 ½ tribes return to their homes and families.

All is well.

Well, sort of.

Before even dipping their toes in the Jordan River, the Easterners build a massive altar, perceived by their Western brothers as a clear violation of the Law which mandates only one altar for sacrifices, thereby insuring that each tribe doesn’t do its own thing in its worship of Jehovah. One altar (already built on the Western side). One faith. One death, if disobeyed.

I can hear the 9 ½ tribes now.

“Seriously? Talk about one-upmanship!”

“Yeah. So much for teamwork.”

“Well, they’ve done it this time. First we have to fight the Canaanites and now we have to go to war against our brothers. And I was soooo looking forward to a nap.”

But then, a voice of reason. “Maybe first we should tell them why we’re going to slaughter them. You know, give them a heads-up.”

A delegation is sent to confront the offenders. Made up of Phinehas, a priest and 10 high officials of Israel, they waste no time for their come-to-Jesus meeting (except, of course, it really is more of a come-to-Yahweh meeting because Jesus hasn’t been born).

Let’s pick up in Joshua 22:16. “The whole community of the Lord demands to know why you are betraying the God of Israel. How could you turn away from the Lord and build an altar in rebellion against him?” The tirade continues as the 2 ½ tribes are given a nonstop tongue-lashing for building a second altar to the Lord. Now it is time for the accused to speak.

“The Lord alone is God! The Lord alone is God! We have not built the altar in rebellion against the LORD. If we have done so, do not spare our lives this day… We have built this altar because we fear that in the future your descendants will say to ours, ‘What right do you have to worship the Lord, the God of Israel? The Lord has placed the Jordan River as a barrier between our people and your people. You have no claim to the Lord.’ And your descendants may make our descendants stop worshiping the Lord.

“So we decided to build the altar, not for burnt sacrifices, but as a memorial…”

In other words, their motive is to unify, not divide, which always should be our goal when we don’t see eye-to-eye. So, what’s to learn from this story? First, even though it was far too accusatory, the opposition is given a chance to explain before the war trumpets are blown. Second, the response of the 2 ½ tribes, instead of igniting the fire (“How dare you talk to us like that!”), extinguishes it. We would do well to do likewise.

Phinehas and his now-happy-camper friends depart to tell the rest of the Israelites that there will be peace in the valley. (Someone should write a song with that title.)

All is well.

Well, sort of.