West Nile Virus In Johnson County

Two Johnson County residents infected, four regions remain at high risk


TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is reporting two cases of neuroinvasive West Nile virus (WNV) disease in individuals who reside in Johnson County. Four regions of the state remain under a high-risk warning for WNV, including north central, south central, northwest, and southwest Kansas. Northeast and southeast regions are at moderate risk for WNV infections.


WNV can be spread to people through mosquito bites, but it is not spread from person to person. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. Roughly one out of 150 infected people develop the more severe version of the disease, neuroinvasive disease, which includes swelling of the brain or brain tissue and, in some cases, death. There are no vaccines or medications to treat WNV. People who have had WNV before are considered immune.


“Although for most people West Nile virus may not cause a great deal of concern, we encourage residents, especially our vulnerable populations, to take steps to prevent infection because of the potential for complications,” said Dr. Greg Lakin, Chief Medical Officer, KDHE.


KDHE recommends you know your risk of WNV and take action to prevent mosquito bites and protect yourself against WNV:


  • Visit the KDHE WNV website weekly to learn about the current WNV risk level; http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/arboviral_disease.htm
  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient on skin and clothing, including DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
  • The elderly or those with a weakened immune system should consider limiting their exposure outside during dusk and dawn when the Culex species mosquitos are most active.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.
  • Horses can also be infected with WNV. Talk with your veterinarian about vaccinating your horse to protect them against WNV.


Most WNV infections occur in the late summer and early fall. As of July 24, 39 cases of human WNV have been reported nationally. There have been more than 600 cases of the most severe form of WNV and 30 deaths in Kansas from 1999-2017. Symptoms of WNV disease include fever, headache, weakness, muscle pain, arthritis-like pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, and rash typically developing two to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. People who are concerned about symptoms should speak with their physicians.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides this web page with additional information about West Nile virus and preventing mosquito bites http://www.cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes/.

WNV case counts are updated each Tuesday on the following website: http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/case_reports_by_county.htm



City’s Land Bank Positioned To Put Unproductive Properties to Use

Rhonda Dunn,  Community Development Director with the city.

Rhonda Dunn, Fort Scott’s  Community Development Director,  has initiated the development of a land bank.

So, what is a Land Bank? Land banks are not financial institutions, according to http://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/LandBankingBasics.pdf

They are public or community-owned entities created for a single purpose: to acquire, manage, maintain, and repurpose vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties –the worst abandoned houses, forgotten buildings, and empty lots. There are approximately 75 communities now operating formal land bank programs across the country. And while land banks are most often associated with communities with large-scale blight and abandonment, many communities now see the benefit of implementing land banking as a means of preventing the contagious blight that can sweep across urban neighborhoods like a plague, infecting house after house until whole blocks – even neighborhoods – become empty and abandoned shadows of their former selves.

In early July 2018, the city commission approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 3535 creating a Land Bank for the City of Fort Scott, approving the Land Bank Manager as Rhonda Dunn, and approving the Land Bank Board of Trustees as the five City Commissioners along with a representation of the Bourbon County Board of Commissioners and a representative from Bourbon County Economic Development Council, Inc.(BCEDI) The expiration terms of the City Commissioners will run consecutively with their term of office. The Bourbon County Commissioner will follow the same term of office.

Following an organizational meeting for the city’s land bank held July 25 at city hall, City Commissioners Jolynne Mitchell was appointed the chairperson, Randy Nichols as vice-chairperson, Cindy Bartlesmeyer as secretary; County Commissioner was appointed Jeff Fischer as treasurer. Steve Buerge is the President of BCEDI and is the member on the board currently but their board can vote and send a different representative if desired, according to city minutes.

The Fort Scott Land Bank Board will meet the first Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. at city hall, before the regularly scheduled city commission meeting, starting in September.

Dunn asked the board to set a budget recommendation of $30,000 to take to the City Commission. Steve Buerge is matching this amount. Her recommendation of $30,000 is for the demolition of three houses, any mowing assessments, and any legal work needed to be completed on deeds, according to the city minutes.

Life After Stroke: Verdon Daubens

Former Restaurant Owner’s Road to Recovery Leads to Monthly RV Trips

 After suffering two mini-strokes in December 2017, Verdon Daubens knew the road to recovery would be challenging. But having a skilled team of therapists at Verdon’s side to lead him proved to be the encouragement he needed.

Verdon has always done everything he wanted to do,” said Chelsa, Verdon’s wife for nearly 59 years. “Life after a stroke is a big adjustment, and it seemed that nothing I would do or say made a difference in Verdon’s spirit to improve.”

Chelsa told Hugo Dahlstrom, Mercy occupational therapist, she felt Verdon was depressed and overwhelmed with the journey ahead. As an occupational therapist, Hugo is trained to help people recover from injury to improve their ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals.

Hugo was like an angel on earth,” Chelsa said. “He’s a tall man, but he got down on his hands and knees in front of Verdon’s lift chair and looked him eye-to-eye. In the most kind and compassion way, yet assertive and sincere, Hugo was able to spark a fire that motivated Verdon.”

Recovery after stroke can take a long time, and persistence is the key,” Hugo said. “Verdon was very, very persistent. Whether at home or in the clinic, Verdon worked hard and did his best with everything I asked him to do. That hard work clearly paid off.”

Verdon and Chelsa enjoy taking vacations in their motorhome, so one of Verdon’s goals was to be able to drive and go on vacation once a month. Five months have passed and they haven’t missed a trip yet, and they have trips booked through November 2018.

The road to recovery wasn’t easy. Verdon’s therapy began with Mercy Home Health then he transitioned to outpatient therapy at Mercy Health for Life where he received occupational, physical and speech therapy six hours a week for six weeks.

Today, the Daubens’ spend time enjoying a slower pace by reading, working in the yard and planning their next RV adventure.

We’ve learned that it’s important to enjoy every day,” Verdon said. There is not time for burnout or to be depressed. Lean on the support of your family, children and have faith in the Lord.”

We are very happy with the simpler life we live,” said Chelsa. “It’s just the two of us doing what we like to do.”

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2018, 2017 and 2016 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy’s IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.

supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.

Enjoy Comedy and Magic at FSCC August 3

Join us to watch the live production of Taylor Hughes Comedy Magic on Friday, August 3rd at 7pm!
You may buy your tickets in advance at the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce!
Taylor Hughes is a full time entertainer with over 20 years of performance experience. He is one of the only people to have performed in all three showrooms at the World FamousMagic Castle before the age of 21. He is a featured act on the television series “Masters of Illusion” and was recently presented the awards for “Best Illusion” “Best Comedy Magic” & “Best Showmanship” by the Society of American Magician’s in Los Angeles. A popular entertainer, Taylor has performed for multiple organizations including Home Depot, AT&T, and The American Heart Association.
Fort Scott Community College

Letter To Editor: Kevin Jones VS Caryn Tyson

Dear Editor,

Disappointing.  My State Representative Kevin Jones printed misleading and false information in his recent mailer. It is disappointing Jones would allow his campaign staff to sink to this level. Mr. Jones is one of Caryn Tyson’s opponents in a primary race to replace retiring Kansas 2nd District U.S. Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins.

In his mailer Kevin Jones stated, Caryn Tyson “supports import of foreign labor to compete with Kansans for jobs.”  Really?  Caryn said she would support Trump in fixing our immigration laws.  How could Jones twist her statement into this inaccurate and misleading statement in his mailer.

Next he prints, “Tax Chair, recommended passage of the largest tax hike in KS history.” Jones knows Caryn Tyson spoke against the bill and voted ‘no’ on the tax increase. Our representative either doesn’t understand the conference committee process as defined by statute or is lying about it.  He knows Tyson did not vote for that or any tax increase.  How could he print this when he voted for the 2nd largest tax increase ever in Kansas.

And third Jones wrote that Caryn, “voted against government efficiency reforms.”  Not true, anyone one who knows Caryn Tyson knows that she has always worked for a smaller and more efficient government.

Caryn Tyson is an effective legislator who gets things done.  She has cut wasteful spending, cut taxes, and fights to protect our Constitution.  Let’s not listen to lies.  Let’s send Caryn Tyson to Washington to help make America great again.

Robert Tyson

Parker, KS


Online Access To Vital Statistic Records

Governor Colyer Announces Convenient Access

to Vital Records Through New Mobile App

KDHE latest agency to ease public access to important records, such as birth certificates


TOPEKA – Governor Jeff Colyer and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) today announced that Vital Statistics certified records are now available through the State of Kansas’ iKan app. The application allows residents to request birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates from their computer or mobile device, eliminating the need to visit a physical office in person.


In March, Governor Colyer introduced the iKan app to allow users to interact with multiple State services in a single self-service, intuitive experience from their mobile phones, tablets, and computers. At the initial launch, the app allowed Kansas residents to remotely renew their vehicle registration. The app, which now includes Vital Statistics records, makes it easy to request official documents from anywhere with an internet connection and using technology most people carry with them everywhere.


“In today’s rapidly changing world, it is becoming increasingly important that we ensure government keeps pace with innovation and that we are taking advantage of technology to provide the best possible experience to those we serve. By quickly giving Kansans access to this important information, we are taking steps to do just that,” said Governor Colyer. “I’m excited to add another State agency to the list of iKan participants.”


Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Jeff Andersen, added “iKan has already partnered with State government to facilitate vehicle registrations and other services. Today’s announcement is great news for Kansas and will make obtaining vital records much easier, while also decreasing lines and wait times in government offices.”


iKan is made available through PayIt, a Midwest-based technology firm specializing in the simplification of government transactions across the country, including taxes, utilities, court records, and more as part of their cloud-based platform. PayIt has provided the myKTag app for the Kansas Turnpike since 2014.


Once a Vital Statistics record is requested using iKan, depending on the delivery method selected, the requestor will be notified by text when the record is available for pick up or have it delivered within seven to 10 business days. Cost for a record and the processing fee through the app is $20. To download the app, search “iKan State of Kansas” on your iPhone and Android devices.

Wine Stroll/Art Walk: A Perfect Evening For Outside Activities

A mild evening provided a backdrop for the Mercy Wine Stroll/Bourbon County Arts Council Art Walk Friday evening on Main Street. Also downtown was the Friday night free concert series, the Lowell Milken Center Poland Reunion and a concert by Blane Howard at the Liberty Theater. Temperatures were in the low 80s, with a pleasant breeze

The Gary Thompson Trio performed Friday evening as part of the art walk and wine stroll.
Carsen Felt leads the community orchestra Friday evening during the wine stroll/art walk in downtown Fort Scott.
A local jewelry artist displays her creations.
Fossil Springs Winery, Paola.
Bobbie Kemna, local pottery artist chats with Dave McCord at her booth Friday evening.
Local artist, Jacey Bowen, displays her art at the art stroll.
Bre Martin, a member of the Bourbon County Arts Council, watches Carter Campeau, Ballwin, Mo. color a paage set up for budding artists. The BCAC provides children activities at the art walks they organize.
Vendors line Main Street from 1st to 2nd streets Friday night

The following overview of alcohol vendors who were part of the evening was provided by Mercy Hospital:

.2018 Hit the Bricks Winery, Brewery and Microdistillery Profiles
Aubrey Vineyards (2), 7932 Santa Fe, Overland Park – Karine Hellwig
Aubrey Vineyards™ is a native Kansan family owned and operated winery & vineyard.  From south Overland Park, diligent work is helping to revive the wine industry that once flourished here in the 19th century.  The small batches of premium, hand-crafted wine capture this native, pioneering spirit.  Aubrey Vineyards now invites local wine drinkers to meet modern Midwestern winemaking at its best.  The tasting room and store is open daily (Mon-Fri 10-7, Sat 10-6 and Sun 12-5) and is located in downtown Overland Park, inside the Vinyl Renaissance & Audio record store.  (913) 579-5004.
The Boiler Room Brewhaus (9), 2 S. National Ave., Fort Scott – Barbara Ritter
Fort Scott has a rich history of brewing great beer and has been for many years. At the Boiler Room Brewhaus, we believe that it’s about more than great craft beer, it’s about providing an atmosphere where people can grow closer and strengthen our community. Your local brewery is located in the historic Downtowner Motor Lodge on the corner of Wall St. and National Ave. The building was built in the 1950’s and looks brand new. We have several beers that rotate through the tap room, most are named after our farm animals or tractors. We would love for you to visit our microbrewery and become a part of our community. The Boiler Room Brewhaus is owned and operated by the Ritter’s who live on a little farm in Garland, Kansas.
Flustered Blonde Vineyard and Winery (5), 17064 Ness Road, Parsons – Kim Bogner
Flustered Blonde Vineyard and Winery is an established farm winery owned and operated by Kim & Tim Bogner, located in Parsons Kansas, a small rural southeast Kansas community. Our premium wines are blended to capture the distinctive flavors of the grapes to produce a pleasurable wine tasting experience. The tasting room is open to the public Saturdays from noon – 6 p.m. and Monday through Friday by appointment. For a private appointment, call (620) 605-8485 or (620) 820-1704.
Fossil Springs Winery (1), 20171 W. 327th St., Paola – Mark and Christina Allison
Fossil Springs is located atop giant limestone, on a farm in Miami County, Kansas. Through the years, underground springs have carved their paths into these stones, exposing fossils that were deposited centuries ago. One of the things the owners Mark and Christina Allison do on their farm is raising elderberries for their wine. The Elderberry wine is made with 100 percent elderberries, no other fruit is added. The wine is uniquely rich in flavor, aroma, and color.
Haven Pointe Winery (6), 961 E 1600 Rd, Baldwin City – Tom Holland
Located in southeast Douglas County, Haven Pointe Winery reflects the spirit of the Kaw River Valley – rustic, natural and bold. Our mission is to provide a truly unique experience that brings together great wine, good folks, and hands-on viticultural and enological knowledge. Haven Pointe Winery produces both red and white French-American hybrid varietal wines. Our estate-grown varietals include Chambourcin and Traminette. We also make fruit wine as well as a variety of meads. Each of our wines features Kansas-grown grapes, fruits and/or honey.
Ornery Brother Distilling and Milo Vodka (8), Kinsley – Tim Kyle
Ornery Brother Distilling was born out of Tim Kyle’s passion to develop a unique product from white sorghum grain. Over the past two years, he has done just that! The business model is simple: There is one guy and this solid grassroots Kansas product: Milo Vodka! Distilled, bottled, boxed, and out of his door to yours with pride & humility! He believes in using and reusing what is available and simplifying production, with integrity given to the “process”. It is Gluten Free & no sugar added!
Smoky Hill Vineyard and Winery (3), 2771 Centennial Road, Salina – Ken Mayfield
We capture originality for that one-of-a-kind, unique blend crafted to please every palette. We have 5 award winning wines in our collection: Sweet Lady, River Valley Red, Pink Catawba, Christmas Wine and Red Raspberry.  We’ve been producing world-class wines indicative of our region of central Kansas since 1991. (785) 825-8466.
TJ’s Brew Microdistillery (7), 17064 Ness Road, Parsons – Tim Bogner
TJ’s Brew is a handcrafted spirit fashioned by a Southeast Kansas farmer. You can trace TJ’s brewing ancestry back through the moonshine swappers in the prohibition, all the way to his great-great-grandfather who sailed from Germany to America with grapevines in hand. Today TJ aims to make his mark on the industry with a collection of fine spirits. The tasting room is open to the public Saturdays from noon – 6 p.m. and Monday through Friday by appointment. For a private appointment, call (620) 605-8485 or (620) 820-1704.
Wine Drizzle (13), Higginsville, MO – Brandy Wisdom, Sales Consultant
Wine Drizzle is a unique wine topping for a variety of food from pancakes and crepes to cream cheese, sponge or vanilla cake, ice cream, oatmeal or your finger. They can be used as flavorful toppings, glazes, and dips too. There are both sweet and savory varieties!  All of getting Drizzled’s Custom Wine Drizzles are true wine reduction sauces which means they are non-alcoholic due to the cooking process so anyone can enjoy them straight out of the bottle.





Bourbon County Commission Agenda July 31


Bourbon County Commission Room

2nd Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: July 31st, 2018

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason

9:00-9:45-Jim Harris

10:00-Clint Anderson

10:30-11:30-Justin Meeks-Executive Session- Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with representatives of the body or agency

11:30-11:40-2nd floor of the Courthouse future use

11:40-12:00-Executive Session-Privileged in the attorney-client relationship

12:00-1:30-Commissioners gone to lunch

2:00-3:00-Sheriff and Corrections 2019 Budget

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

Unpaid Interns Sought At FortScott.Biz

FortScott.Biz is searching for students interested in journalism to do online reporting internships. The focus of the reporting will be school related. The positions are unpaid and for a semester.

Students in Bourbon County who have that interest, a computer from which to work from home, love to take photos and have a digital camera, may apply.

Hours are students choice.

Please send a resume to news@ fortscott.biz by August 27.