KS Senate Bill Extends COVID-19 Response Health Care Measures

Governor Laura Kelly Signs Bill to Maintain Increased Access to Health Care Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today signed a bill to ensure Kansas can maintain pandemic-related provisions that increase Kansans’ access to health care across the state.

Senate Bill 283 extends the following COVID-19 response measures until March 31, 2022:

  • The expanded use of telemedicine,
  • The authority of the Board of Healing Arts to grant certain temporary emergency licenses,
  • And the suspension of certain requirements related to medical care facilities and immunity from civil liability for certain health care providers and certain persons conducting businesses in Kansas for COVID-19 claims.

“The effects of the pandemic are far-reaching and long lasting, and continued support for Kansans is paramount,” Governor Kelly said. “This bill extends critical provisions that have expanded access to health care for a year – provisions that are still necessary to protect Kansans’ safety, keep our businesses open, and keep our kids in school.”

View the bill here.

Obituary of Kevin Bryan Shelton

Kevin Bryan Shelton, age 56, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, passed away unexpectedly, Thursday, March 30, 2021, at his home.

He was born May 14, 1964, in Arlington Heights, Illinois, the son of John Newton Shelton and Geraldine Marsh Shelton.

Kevin had been employed by Smico Norvell, Klein Industries and later for Ft. Scott Greenhouse.

He liked tinkering with electronics and enjoyed HAM radio.  He also enjoyed woodworking and fishing.


Survivors include his mother, Geraldine Shelton of Ft. Scott; four brothers, Larry Shelton (Cathy) of Ft. Scott, Steven Shelton (Roxanne), of Woodstock, Illinois, Darryl Shelton (Deb), of Gardner, Kansas, and Don Shelton (Terri) also of Ft. Scott and a sister, Sharon Shelton of Ft. Scott.

He was preceded in death by his father, John Shelton and two brothers, Michael Shelton and James Shelton.


There was cremation.  A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorials are suggested to the Kevin Shelton 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.

K-39 bridge replacement project starts in Bourbon County



The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) plans to start work Thursday, April 1, on a project to replace a bridge on K-39 in Bourbon County. The bridge spans Pawnee Creek and is located approximately 7½ miles east of the east K-3/K-39 junction.


K-39 traffic will be placed on a state route detour around the work zone. Eastbound traffic, from the K-3/K-39 east junction, will travel south on K-3 to K-47, east on K-47 to K-7, and north on K-7 to K-39. Westbound K-39 traffic should follow the same route in the opposite direction.


KDOT awarded the $1.4 million construction contract to B&B Bridge Company of St. Paul. Weather permitting, the project should be completed by November 2021. Persons with questions may contact Iola Area Engineer Troy Howard, (620) 901-6557, or Public Affairs Manager Priscilla Petersen, (620) 902-6433.

Jayhawk Wind Project in Construction in Southwest Bourbon County

Standing at the bottom of a wind turbine looking up at the clear Kansas sky.

The Jayhawk Wind Project in Bourbon County is in construction.

“We are moving forward,” said Bourbon County Commissioner Lynne Oharah. “They are out there now,  putting gravel on roads and widening access on the roads.”

Lynne Oharah. Submitted photo.

To view the map of the wind farm site: JAY_Final_Facilities_Map_20210308

“They are east and north of Porterville, in southwest Bourbon County, around 40th and Eagle Road,” Frank Young, an engineer with Agricultural Engineering Associates, Uniontown, said. “I have looked at a couple of culverts for them to see if they will hold up traffic for them.”

Frank Young. From the Agricultural Engineering Associates website.

“They are upgrading some of the roads to be able to get some big rigs down them,” Young said.

Bourbon County Public Works Director Eric Bailey said I.E.A. , the contractor, sends him a plan of the day, every day and yesterday they worked on Eagle Road between 40th and 50th Streets, capping over 2100 linear feet and additionally, 50th from Eagle Road to Hwy. 3 putting over 4200 linear feet.

Eric Bailey. Submitted photo.

“They put on 4-6 inches of gravel,” Bailey said.

Today they are working on 50th from Eagle to Hwy. 39 and 30th from Hwy. 39 going south, he said.

“They have a lay-down yard at (the junction of) Hwy. 39 and Hwy. 3,” Bailey said. “This is where they will have all their job trailers, their starting point every day, where the contractors will report in.”

Young said the area is about 10 acres and is the delivery area as well.

The Jayhawk Wind project will have a capacity of 193.2 Megawatts and can power 65,000 homes, according to the  Apex website.


According to the March 3 press release from Apex Clean Energy

“The Jayhawk facility… is expected to be operational later this year, will consist of 70 GE wind turbines totaling an installed capacity of more than 190 MW. The project will provide significant economic benefits for the local and state economies—including the creation of more than 115 construction jobs and 7 long-term operations positions—and will generate over $20 million in landowner payments and $27.2 million in tax revenue.”

To view the press release:

Jayhawk Wind Sold to WEC Energy Group

To see a prior feature:

Jayhawk Wind Project Breaks Ground This Week

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of March 23

March 23, 2021                                              9:00 am


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners, the County Counselor and the County Clerk present.


Also present were the following; (some were present for a portion of the meeting and some were present for the entire meeting), Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Susan Bancroft, Kim Simons, Anne Dare, Mr. & Mrs. Clint Walker, Michael Hoyt and Mark McCoy.


Jim made a motion to approve the minutes from the prior meeting, Clifton seconded and all approved and signed the minutes.


Eric Bailey met with the Commissioners; he had a moving permit from Mr. Borntrager to move a 50 X 30 X 15’6” home from an area near Xavier to Wagon Road, Eric suggested that they wait to make a decision on this permit until the required insurance had been submitted, Lynne suggested that Eric talk to Justin Meeks regarding any bond requirement.


Eric reported they did work to a crossroad at 245th & Hackberry.


Eric said they are patching potholes with cold patch mix.


Eric said they removed a large tree from the road near 240th & Birch & Cavalry, but said someone took the County barricades from this site.


Eric said they finished the blast at the Beth Quarry last week and hope to be crushing soon.


Eric said KCAMP is finalizing the details on the belly dump trailer to agree on a settlement for the belly dump trailer and truck that was involved in an accident, for the truck and trailer the KCAMP offers are $39,036 & $35,616; the Commissioners felt this was a fair offer.  Lynne suggested putting the money in the Special Machinery fund when the County receives it, but Susan Bancroft said the money needed to be put in the insurance proceeds account.


Lynne reported that a low water crossing East of Fulton on Xavier doesn’t have any signs posted saying that it isn’t passable during high water.


Eric Bailey presented a map showing the site of the windmills that will be in Bourbon County, the Commissioners asked that this map be posted in the hallway.  Eric said he had a meeting with APEX regarding the road use agreement to make sure everything is followed; he said Todd Foxx will be doing the inspections.  He said the company did boring yesterday to see the depth of the gravel on the roads.  Eric said he has been working with engineer Frank Young and said everyone is working well together.


Eric Bailey and Emergency Manager William Wallis met with the Commissioners regarding the 2019 floods; Will said this is FEMA disaster DR-4449-KS.  Will said he has been working for almost 2 years gathering and submitting the data of the damage for reimbursement.  The heavy rain began in April of 2019 and continued through July of 2019, with the heaviest rain occurring on the July 4th weekend.  The State declared the flooding a disaster.  Will said after PDA’s were done the initial estimate of damage was $366,592.  Will said the Cat. A (debris removal) total was $13,600, Cat. B (emergency protective measures) total was $5,739.22, Cat. C (roads) $355,221.38 total (the County will get reimbursed 85% of this for a total of $301,938.17), Cat. Z administrative costs $18,000 (the maximum the County will get is $18,000).  Will said he is still getting the cost of the culvert projects.  Will said the grand total that the County will get from FEMA is $392,560.  Will said Road & Bridge has already started tabulating expenses from the recent ice storm and suggested that for future disasters that once the damage starts to occur that the process starts on gathering data to make it easier and faster to report to FEMA.  Eric said that Jennifer Hawkins deserved a big “Thank You” for collecting the data to submit for the flooding disaster.  Lynne asked Eric what he felt they should use the FEMA money for; Eric suggested setting the money back for bridges and going after grant funds and using the money for the matching grant funds for bridges.


Register of Deeds Lora Holdridge met with the Commissioners; she said the map she present to them a few weeks ago was not the reappraisal map, but said she has since found the 1989 reappraisal map (she gave the Commissioners and Eric Bailey a copy of the map).  She said this map is the latest map since the reappraisals.  She said they would need to use this map to update the road record map.  Justin Meeks said based on the new map he would be working with Lora to research properties.  Jim questioned Lora on why she was confident the 1989 map was the correct map; Justin said this was done for 911 and said hearings were held and said they went through the process to find out what was an open road.  Justin said people can petition to open or close a road.


Greg Vahrenberg with Raymond James met with the Commissioners (via telephone) regarding refinancing the 2012A and 2012B sewer district bonds.  He said refinancing the bonds could result in an estimated savings of $136,500 and would lower the interest rate from 2.75% to 2.19%.  He said this would be a 20 year issue.  Susan Bancroft asked what the new annual payment would be; Greg estimated it to be $40,000 annually, Susan said the City is currently only collecting $30,000 a year and suggested that Greg look at a 25 year financing option.  Susan said since the County just did a bond rating could they just use that bond rating; Greg said Standard and Poor’s is willing to simplify the process and said the County will have a lower rating expense because of this.  Clifton made a motion to adopt Resolution 15-21, A resolution authorizing the offering for sale of general obligation refunding bonds, series 2021, of Bourbon County, Kansas, Jim seconded and all approved and signed the Resolution.  Clifton made a motion to respond to S&P that the engagement letter is received and we are ready to proceed with the rating engagement, Jim seconded and all approved.


Patrick Clift with Nelson Quarries met with the Commissioner regarding the rock to be used for the Jayhawk Windfarm project.  Patrick said they have built up a surplus of AB1, (he said it is pure limestone and said no fines have been added).  He said Eric Bailey requested rock for the roads with less fines.  Eric said Frank Young recommended using SS5, Jim Harris said if Eric and the engineer recommend using SS5, then that is what needs to be used.   Eric said the windfarm company can use a different rock on private roads, but said SS5 needs to be used on the County roads.  Eric said the roads (when finished) will be 4-6” thick.  Patrick said they have 6,000 ton of clean 1/2” chips if the County needs to purchase any.


Lynne made a motion to go into a 7 minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b)(1)to discuss personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel to protect their privacy regarding medical issues with an employee, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 10:08, Clifton seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Susan Bancroft).  At 10:08, Lynne made a motion to come out of executive session, back into open session and said no action, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Justin Meeks briefly discussed the tax sale, he said the title company has been busy and said there are 30 parcels ready (1 of the properties was recently destroyed in a fire), but said he wanted to wait until there are at least 50 properties ready before they publish.


Justin said he would have a new contract for the sewer district in the coming weeks.


Justin said that the Attorney General’s office moved the scheduled KOMA training from today to April 13th @ 10:30.


Public Comment: Anne Dare asked where the exact placement would be for the wind turbine map, the Commissioners said it would be in the hallway.  She asked if the Commissioners would have an updated 2021 map, Lynne said he hopes to have an accurate map in the future.


Commissioner Comment: Jim said a recent post on Facebook said that a ball tournament generated $200,000; he said as a private citizen or as a Commissioner in the future he would like to meet with the City and School Board regarding getting more ball diamonds in order to host more tournaments.


Clifton said he had received several comments from property owners regarding their property valuations going up; he said he wanted people to know the Commissioners were aware of this.  Justin said raising the valuation was a goal of the Commissioners and said as the valuation goes up the Commissioners could lower the mill.


Justin said the topic of the Multi County Health Board needed to be added to next week’s agenda.


Jim said he has heard questions asking why the Commissioners aren’t staying until noon on meeting days; Justin said the new structure of the meetings makes the meetings go faster.


At 10:26 am, Clifton made a motion to adjourn, Jim seconded and all approved.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner


Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

March 30, 2021, Approved Date




Bourbon County Commission Minutes of March 24

March 24, 2021                                              Wednesday 3:30 pm


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners, the County Counselor and the County Clerk present.


Also present were the following: Shane Walker, Brian Allen, Anne Dare and Kim Simons.


Justin Meeks said there would be action after the session and said there may be a need to discuss the option of an additional administrator.


Jim made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for KSA 75-4319(b) (2) for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, the Commissioners will meet in another location and reconvene in the Commission room at 2:47 pm, Clifton seconded and all approved (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks).  After the session, at 2:47, Lynne made a motion to come out of executive session and resume the special meeting, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Justin Meeks said he needed the authority to respond to legal counsel regarding issues with BWERC; Jim made a motion to allow Justin to respond to legal counsel regarding issues with BWERC, Clifton seconded and all approved.


Jim made a motion to allow Commissioner Beth to be the point person to talk to the Clerk’s office regarding HR functions, Lynne seconded and all approved.


Justin said he needed a Commissioner to take on HR functions and investigate an HR issue along with the Clerk’s office.  Justin said that Lynne already had the ability to deal with all of the Spark’s issues.  Clifton made a motion to allow Lynne to continue to be the lead on any Spark’s issues and to take on HR functions, Jim seconded and all approved.


Justin suggested that the Commissioners consider getting help for HR functions, (such as exit interviews, pre-screening for new employees and dealing with HR problems).  Lynne suggested allowing the Commissioners to call Justin to discuss an HR director; Justin suggested the discussion be held in open session.  Justin said there is a potential for shared services regarding getting someone to handle HR issues.  The Commissioners asked that the last item on the March 30th agenda be for them to discuss an HR director.  Justin said they wouldn’t have to pay any extra money for this function because they felt there were already areas where the money is being spent.


Justin said he needed someone to help with an employment matter right now; Lynne made a motion to allow Justin to seek outside legal counsel for input (for 3-5 hours) on an employment issue, Clifton seconded and all approved.  Justin said he is a potential witness in this matter, he said in the past the one thing that has created conflict is when he is doing HR work and County Counselor work.


At 2:57, Jim made a motion to adjourn, Clifton seconded and all approved.




(ss) Lynne Oharah, Chairman

(ss) Jim Harris, Commissioner

(ss) Clifton Beth, Commissioner


Kendell Mason, Bourbon County Clerk

March 30, 2021, Approved Date


K-State’s Garden Hour – “Raised Bed & Container Gardening”

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786


The K-State Garden Hour – a popular online program featuring horticulture experts from across the state – will discuss ways to enjoy gardening with limited growing space on Wednesday, April 7th at 12 Noon. Learn how to take advantage of any space using raised beds and container gardening to conquer the challenges of balconies, decks, driveways, or other implantable areas with poor soil.

Garden hour programs will continue two times a month through the summer. To register and participate in the K-State Garden Hour, visit www.ksre-learn.com/KStateGardenHour-register

For more information, please contact Krista Harding, horticulture agent, at [email protected] or 620-244-3826.

FSCC announces the 2021 Outstanding Alumni

Fort Scott Community College Foundation is proud to announce the 2021 Outstanding Alumni, Richard “Rick” Mayhew.

As a 1973 FSCC alum, Mayhew has many accomplishments in his life.

In 1976, Richard obtained his Bachelors of General Science from Pittsburg State University and in 2003 he received his Masters in Financial Planning from Kansas State University. His degrees led him to careers in the insurance and financial field. During this period, he also volunteered his time and expertise to many organizations such as Big Brother/Little Brother Program, Fenton, MO Planning & Zoning Commissioner, Society of Certified Insurance Counselors, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society, Boy Scout Review Board for Eagle Scouts, local music events, and a contributor to the Jazz St. Louis youth programs. Mayhew is an author, producer, microcomputer system management developer, and consulted for Domino’s Pizza in Paris, France. He is a published author in Forbes Agent & Broker Magazine.

With Mayhew’s impressive pedigree, he has always given back to the FSCC Greyhounds. “Rick Mayhew has gone above and beyond in his willingness to help the students of FSCC”, says Business Instructor, Deb Cummings. “Richard has given FSCC students the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with Warren Buffett at no expense to them. FSCC students have attended sessions with Warren Buffett and his daughter.”

“I have a feeling there are more accomplished graduates, but I doubt there are many who appreciate FSCC as much as I do. It was a formative time in my life, and it turned out that FSCC was the perfect place for me. I will always be grateful”, said Mayhew.

There will be a reception to honor Mr. Mayhew as this years Outstanding Alumni on May 1st at 11:00 a.m. in the Ellis Family Fine Arts Center. There will also be a gathering in his honor on April 30th with the FSCC Board of Trustees. No business will be conducted at the get-together.


$10,000 Cash For Classroom Grant For FSHS FCS Program

Fort Scott High School’s Family and Consumer Science Program receives $10,000 Cash for Classrooms Grant from Casey’s to help fund new program needs.


March 2021


Fort Scott High School’s Family and Consumer Science Program is a 2021 Casey’s Cash for Classrooms grant recipient.

The school will receive $10,000.

This project will help fund equipment to engage students in real-life, hands-on experiences.

“I feel honored to have been accepted for this Cash for Classrooms grant that will improve my students’ ability to learn and grow! I really appreciate what Casey’s has done for my program. My students are going to be thrilled about the new enhancements to their classes,” said school representative, Carissa Bowman, Family and Consumer Science educator.


“The past year has been unlike any other for schools, and our Cash for Classrooms grants will help schools through this difficult time as well as to improve the learning environment for the future. Casey’s is here for good and that means supporting students, teachers and families in our local communities,” said Katie Petru, Director of Community at Casey’s.


Carissa Bowman heads three Career and Technical Education state approved pathways and includes a student-led Career and Technical Organization called “Family Career and Community Leaders of America” (FCCLA).  Classes included within the pathways include; Nutrition and Wellness, Culinary, Teaching as a Career, and  Human Growth and Development to name a few.


For more information on Casey’s Cash for Classrooms grant program, visit:

www.caseys.com/community/cash-for-classrooms-grants.  The 2022 grant program will open in the fall.  In addition to the grant program, Casey’s guests can support schools year round by directing their Casey’s Rewards points toward a donation to their school of choice. Sign up for Casey’s Rewards at https://www.caseys.com/login?isAccountRegister=true.


FSCC Fall 2021 Students Will Pay No General Fees

Fort Scott Community College President Alysia Johnston.

The federal government has created a relief fund to help college students attain their goal of higher education.

Fort Scott Community College is a recipient of the fund.

The college administration will not charge per credit hour fees for the fall semester, 2021.

Following is an email interview with FSCC President Alysia Johnston.

“The CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund-IHE/Student Aid provides funding to institutions to provide students with financial assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We feel not charging general fees of $55 per credit hour will financially benefit the most students.” 


How much will this save the average student with say 9-12 hours per semester?

“If a student was enrolled in 12 hours they would save $660 for the semester ($55 x number of credit hours).”


How does a student get started on the process of enrolling with this program?

“Visit the Fort Scott website at fortscott.edu to apply and enroll. Contact the admissions office at [email protected] with any questions.”


What has been the response thus far?

“We just released the information last week and I have not heard much feedback yet.”


Any changes in curriculum for next year?

“This past year we had protocols in place to mitigate COVID-19, such as masks and social distancing; however, we did not alter our schedule much, and remained face-to-face for the majority of our classes. Due to the fact we did not change our schedule it will look very similar to past semesters and the majority of classes are ‘in-person.'”

According to the college website:

“The mission statement Fort Scott Community College is an institution of higher learning with a long history of culture and diversity that provides affordable academic, technical, and occupational programs to meet student needs while fostering a mutually supportive relationship between the college and its communities.”