Accident by Patty LaRoche

Should 2020 be your year to do a little bathroom remodeling, here’s a tip: You don’t need a vanity. All you need is a metal T.V. tray.

Just take a gander at the picture I took at the motel where Dave and I stayed on our Christmas trip to spend time with his daughter and her family in Henderson, Nevada. Impressive, right?

At least the motel’s reviews were. (I’m thinking they were made by Bedouin sheepherders who dwell in caves and cliffs, but I’m not sure.) Anyway, when I looked for the room’s coffee pot, Dave, who had checked us in, told me that coffee was available only in the morning in the lobby at 7:00 … the same lobby, as he described it, that doubled as the workout room since it boasted a machine with a belt gizmo that jiggled waist-fat while you waited. Sweet Jesus! What kind of motel had we chosen?

I mean, at home I program my coffee pot the night before so there is no lag time between when I wake up at 5:00 and bolt to the kitchen. My brain is programmed to demand Java before I can function. Two hours without coffee might do me in.

Then, as usual, God got my attention. Hadn’t I just last week written an article about not grumbling? And hadn’t I, while driving just a few hours before, had a visual of what really mattered? The story unfolded earlier when I slowed down for an accident in the highway medium where a man appeared to be doing CPR on a victim whose body hung outside a smoking sports car. Pulling onto the shoulder, Dave and I ran to help, asking if someone had called

9-1-1. They had. By then, two other men joined us and, fearing the car would explode, wielded fire extinguishers aimed at the crushed engine. Time was critical.

As it turned out, the Good Samaritan was not doing CPR. His pumping motion was from a crowbar he used to disengage the woman’s leg from the twisted metal. Immediately, I knelt beside the woman’s head, held her hand and began praying. The engine smoke was overpowering, and the victim’s moans were gut-wrenching. I asked her name. “Angela,” she groaned and then begged for help. As a crowd gathered, I called on Jesus, asking for wisdom for the helpers and comfort for Angela.

With each crank of the crowbar, the victim pleaded for help. Through tears I tried to encourage her, saying that the paramedics were coming, but when her leg finally was freed, I couldn’t believe the damage. Her foot went one direction, her ankle another, and her leg still another. When someone said we needed to move her away from the smoking vehicle, I objected. We had no idea what internal injuries Angela had endured. Instead, I prayed that the fire extinguishers would be sufficient.

If the doctors were able to save her leg, no doubt Angela will struggle. A T.V. tray/vanity substitution or a cup of early morning coffee probably will not be on her list of concerns. Instead, she will long for the day when she can walk to the sink unassisted or to the kitchen to make her morning brew.

Somehow when I awoke that next morning, coffee didn’t matter. As it turned out, praying for Angela was the perfect substitute.

State continues seeing growth in total tax receipts



Topeka – The Kansas Department of Revenue is seeing consistent growth in total tax receipts as it goes into the second half of Fiscal Year 2020. The state saw $756.6 million in total tax collections for December; 5.4% or $38.6 million above the estimate. These collections are 10.1% or $69.7 million more than December FY19.


Individual income tax collections are $316.1 million; 3.3% or $10.1 million more than estimated. The largest growth compared to the estimate came from corporate income taxes at $90.7 million; 31.5% or $21.7 million more than estimated.


Corporate income tax collections are 30.3% or $21.1 million more than the same month last fiscal year.


Retail sales tax collections were $200.9 million; 0.5% or $944,000 more than estimated. Compensating use tax collections were 2.1% or $794,100 more than estimated at $38.8 million; $821,400 more than the same month in fiscal year 2019.

Christmas Tree Pickup Jan. 3, 10, 17 and 24

The City of Fort Scott Public Works Department will be picking up discarded Christmas trees at no charge for City residents again this year. The pickup dates will occur on Friday, January 3rd, 2020, Friday, January 10th, 2020, Friday, January 17th, 2020, and Friday, January 24th, 2020.

The Public Works Department asks that you place the tree at the curbside off the street and call City Hall at 223-0550 with your address and name to schedule the pickup.

The discarded trees will be used to enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the City-owned water structure properties.

Jon Kindlesparger Retires As Golf Course Superintendent

Jon Kindlesparger stands in front of the cake that his employer, The City of Fort Scott provided for his retirement reception.

Jon Kindlesparger, 66, retired as the Woodland Hills Golf Course Superintendent as of Dec. 31, 2019.

In his 8.5 years at the golf course, Kindlesparger has seen an improvement in the course that is owned by the City of Fort Scott.

Jon Kindlesparger answers the clubhouse phone.

“The city has put some money into it,” he said. “It takes a ton of money…It was a three to four-year challenge…from not very good to playable.”

The course has been improved from “pretty downtrodden”, Kindlesparger said. “To a decent golf course now.”

“All the turf is better and in playable condition,” he said. “There is a new clubhouse and new cart shed and also playing, membership and revenue has increased.”

Golf carts that can be rented are lined up near the entrance to the Woodland Hills Golf Clubhouse.

“Jon made a ton of difference in his time,” Rex Hall, a member of the golf course and attendee at Kindlesparger’s retirement reception Dec. 30, said.  “He made it actually look like a golf course.”

Following his retirement, Kindlesparger said he will be seeing ” a lot of golf courses and a lot of lakes to fish.”

Jon Kindlesparger looks at the gift card the City of Fort Scott gave him at his retirement reception on Dec. 30 at the clubhouse.

The Fort Scott Human Resources Director Deb Needleman presented a gift card to Kindlesparger during the reception.

Woodland Hills Golf Course, 2414 S. Horton, Fort Scott.


American Legion Post 25 Scuttlebutt


American Legion Fort Scott Thompson-Harkey Post 25 is in 1st place in 2nd District membership. Today’s numbers have Post at 85 members or 111.84%.

This is Post 25’s third consecutive year at having Post membership above 100%.  Be proud of yourself and this milestone achievement.  I salute all members who made this possible.

If you have not yet renewed, please do consider doing so. Your dues support the Legion’s efforts advocating for Veterans and their families throughout Kansas and great country. The recently passed Blue Water Navy bill was the result of the Legion’s efforts to insure “Blue Water” Sailors and Marines could receive medical and pension benefits for exposure to Agent Orange.

Volunteer Needs

There will be a workday to start putting the Legion Room in Memorial Hall back together. The first workday is Friday, January 3rd at 10 am.

Baseball Chair for the 2020 American Legion baseball season. The 1st meeting for prospective teams is in late January. Post 25 has received a grant for $1,400 as seed money for this year’s team.  Unless we have a Baseball Chair to oversee the coaches and insure that Legion high standards towards sportsmanship and positive charter building are maintained, the grant money will be returned to the City of Fort Scott.

Upcoming Events

January 3. Workday at Memorial Hall. Starts at 10 am.

January 6. Post 25 meet and greet starts at 630 pm in Memorial Hall.

January 6. Post 25 general membership meeting starts at 7 pm in Memorial Hall.

January 16. American Legion Auxiliary Unit 25 meets at 600 pm in Memorial Hall.

January 16. American Legion Post 25 Color Guard meets at 730 pm in Memorial Hall. All Post 25 Legion family members can join the Post 25 Color Guard. This includes Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion Squadron members.

January 31 – February 2, 2020. Department of Kansas Midwinter Forum at Fort Scott.

 Informational Items

Kudos to our Legion Family members who “rang the bell” for the Salvation Army on December 17th.  100% of the donations contributed to the red kettle stay in Fort Scott. Bell ringers were Mary Tinsley, Bob and Pamela Belknap, Marilyn Gilmore, Diane Spencer, Myra Jowers, Darrell Spencer and Mike Hansen.

Several Post 25 Legionnaires and Auxiliary members visited Veterans at the Fort Scott Medicalodges on December 23.  Only about half of the Veterans residing at the Medicalodges were able to attend. Each Veteran received a Hallmark Christmas ornament and a stocking containing candy and some small personal items.

The Department of Kansas Sunflower for January – March 2020 is attached for your reading pleasure.

Post 25 will be hosting the Department of Kansas Midwinter Forum January 31 – February 2. Please mail in your reservation for the Filet Mignon dinner to be held at the River Room on Saturday, February 1. You can also bring your reservation to our general membership meeting on January 6th.  The reservation is in the Mod-Winter Forum attachment.

For more info:

Mid-Winter Forum at Fort Scott


Obituary of Gary Dennison

Gary Wesley Dennison, 75 of Fort Scott, passed away Tuesday night, December 31, 2019 at the Overland Park Regional Medical Center. He was born January 18, 1943 in Booneville, Missouri, and became the son of Guy Wesley and Allie Faye (Maberry) Dennison.

Gary worked with Tri-Valley Developmental Center before taking up residency in the Medicalodge Nursing a few years ago.

He is survived by 4 cousins, Cheryl (Maberry) Blacklidge of Madison, Mississippi. Karen (Mabery) Atkins of Nixa, Missouri, Ray Gene Mabery and Elaine (Mabery) Marshall. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services for Gary Dennison will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, January 3, 2020 at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Large (Pleasant View) Cemetery. Memorials may be made to either the Tri-Valley Developmental Center or the Medicalodge Activity Fund, contributions may be sent to or left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall St., P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at