Bourbon County Commission Highlights For 2021

Lynne Oharah is the current chairman of the Bourbon County Commission. Submitted photo.

Bourbon County District 1 Commissioner Lynne Oharah is optimistic for the future.

“I am seeing major endeavors in economic development, improved infrastructure, and continued cost savings to the taxpayers,” Oharah said in response to questions from

“One of the major accomplishments that was achieved in 2021 is the mill levy was reduced by 1.68 mills for the 2021 budget year and 2.43 for the 2022 budget year which is a total reduction of 4.11 mills or approximately $440,000 taxpayer dollars, which is a trend that the commission is dedicated to continuing.”

A significant success this year was the asphalt program for roads.

“Our Public Works Director and his crews were able to lay 14 miles or 28 lane miles of asphalt at the depth of 2 and ½ inches which has never been accomplished in at least the last seven years,” he said. “If this trend continues through a vigorous chip and seal program coupled with increased asphalt application we are in a position to improve all of our asphalt roads.”

Additionally, the public works crews are increasing gravel production which will mean more gravel on county roads, he said.

“Although COVID-19 hit our community hard this year, the residents continued to support our local economy, “Oharah said. “Sales tax receipts were up this year, allowing us to do more projects in the road and bridge department on hard surface roads.”

“2021 saw the reorganization of BEDCO (Bourbon County Economic Development Council, Inc.) into a county-wide economic development board which was able to consolidate economic development for the county and cities, as a whole,” he said.

It is now called Bourbon County REDI  (Regional Economic Development Inc.)  and a new economic development director was hired, Rob Harrington.

“One of Rob’s first tasks was to provide a roadmap to a successful economic development program,” he said.

“Just to name one of these successes is the introduction of a  $125,000 granting program that awarded grants to the smaller communities to improve quality of life in these communities, plus a bike recreation project in Gunn Park,” he said.

Harrington, along with other individuals, is working to increase access to healthcare, which is one of the keys to the growth of Bourbon County, he said.

Oharah said the results of the hospital feasibility study will be released on January 31.

For the Bourbon County Courthouse, there have been many personnel changes.

The commission has hired Susan Bancroft as the financial/human resource director, which has been needed for many years, he said.

This position has resulted in an ability to provide the financial tracking and oversite, budget planning, program implementation, and human resource services that have been lacking, he said.

Additionally, Bancroft is working part-time for the City of Fort Scott until they can find a replacement finance director.

A new county appraiser was hired, Matt Quick.

“Matt is very good at what he does and very good at public relations,” he said.

The commissioners also hired a new county clerk,  Ashley Shelton. “Ashley has hit the road running, is personable, and a fast learner,” he said.

The county’s information technology department has been busy, as the City of Fort Scott and the county signed a contract to share the services and their costs, he said.

“The IT department worked with the 911 dispatch center to move dispatch into the old jail area at the courthouse which increases safety for this essential group,” Oharah said.  “IT is continuing to work on providing broadband access to areas of Bourbon County that are poorly served.”

“Lastly, I’m sure that you have noticed that the front steps at the courthouse have been replaced,” he said.

A few anticipated Bourbon County Commission 2022 projects:

  • Start repairs on the Elm Creek Lake dam.
  • Move all budget responsibilities under directors and elected officials.
  • Move to electronic time reporting.
  • Implement public works to handle public works projects and work orders.

“As we wrap up 2021, I want to wish our residents a happy new year and I look forward to a more prosperous year in 2022,” he said.



Obituary of Nichole Hull

Nichole “Colie” Kai Hull, loving mother, wife, daughter, and sister left this world suddenly Tuesday morning December 28, 2021, at the very young age of 30. She was born October 31, 1991, in Fort Scott, Kansas, the daughter of Richard Lee Webb and Mickie Roiann Phillips.

Her father later married her “Bonus” mom Desa Rae Webb November 19, 2016.

After graduating from High School, Colie couldn’t decide what or where her future should begin, so she decided to go to Job Corp in Manhattan, Kansas. Little did she know she would meet her soul mate there. She and Justin Frank Hull would soon fall madly in love and marry on April 8, 2011, in Miami, Oklahoma. Together they had one little angel, Serenity Nevaeh Hull on January 17, 2013.

Nichole loved being a mother and wife more than anything in this world. She loved spending time with family and friends gathered around a fire laughing and making memories that last a lifetime. When she loved, she loved with her heart and soul. She will forever be deeply missed.

In addition to her husband Justin, Nichole is also survived by her daughter, Serenity Nevaeh Hull, of the home; her parents and her “Bonus” mom, Desa Rae Webb; grandparents, Alan David Webb, David Joe Wyatt, and Betty Louise McCreedy; three brothers, Caleb Alan Webb, Jace Zachary Webb, and Jacob David Arnold, all of Fort Scott; six sisters, Kyla Leigh Phelps of Nevada, Missouri, Elizabeth Ilo Madden, of Springfield, Missouri, Abbigail Kirsten Marie Webb, and Katlyn Louise Webb, both of Fort Scott.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Hannah Joe Webb, her paternal grandmother Sharon Sue Webb, and paternal grandfather Michael Eugene Garwood.

Billie Phillips will conduct memorial services at 2:00 p.m. Monday, January 3, 2022, at the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends from 5:00-6:00 p.m. Sunday, January 2, 2022, at the funeral home.

Cremation will take place following services. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Obituary of Rhonda Tinkey

Rhonda Kay Tinkey, age 52, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, passed away Friday, December 24, 2021, at the Via Christi Emergency Room in Ft. Scott.

She was born July 12, 1969, in Ft. Scott, the daughter of Lowell William Beerbower and Donna Kay Lawson Beerbower.

In earlier years, Rhonda worked at Larry’s Carry Out. Later she was employed by Jump Start and Peerless.

She married Preston Tinkey on May 10, 1991. When her boys were younger, Rhonda was actively involved with the Boy Scouts where she served as Den Mother. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and taking trips to the casinos.

Survivors include her husband, Preston, of the home; three sons, L.W. Beerbower of Ft. Scott, Kyle Tinkey (Katie Harper), also of Ft. Scott and Jessie Tinkey of West Virginia and ten grandchildren, Savannah, Charlotte, Jackson, Alexander, Keira, Kaizleigh, Kiaya, Kazmer, Cheyanne and Shaynna. Also surviving are two brothers, David Beerbower (Donna Jo) of Ft. Scott and Allen Beerbower (Kim), of Redfield, Kansas.

Rhonda was preceded in death by her parents, a daughter, Ashley and two brothers, Troy and Gary Beerbower.

There was cremation. A memorial service with burial in the Marmaton Cemetery will take place at a later date.

Memorials are suggested to the Rhonda Tinkey 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

Who Stole Christmas? by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Have you ever heard of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?”


Jenn, my daughter-in-law, explained the plot of the movie while Javed, an Afghanistan refugee who speaks fluent English, listened.

Jenn ended with this: “I am the Grinch.” Javed was confused…as you probably are also. It seems that Adam, Jenn’s husband, had asked Jenn what he could do to help her while she worked to re-settle the three Afghanistan families in Fort Scott.

So, earlier that day, Jenn had sent Adam a text, asking that he deliver the totes of Christmas decorations from their house to their E3 business so she could decorate the Common Ground coffee shop.

After all, Santa Claus was coming there later that evening, and everything needed to look festive.

When it was time to decorate, the totes weren’t where they were supposed to be. Jenn phoned Adam. He, apparently, had “misread” her text and had dropped them off at Hamid (Javed’s brother’s) house.

I, as Adam’s mother, can see how that could happen. After all, “E3” and “Hamel’s house” look so similar in a text, right? Lord, have mercy!

My daughter-in-law hurriedly drove to Hamid’s where she recognized her garland, now suspended from his porch ceiling, and her Common Ground decorations visible in the windows. Hamid speaks limited English, so she asked Javed to interpret, explaining to his brother what had happened and that she needed the decorations back.

Hamid and his wife cracked up with Javed’s explanation of the Grinch story.

They immediately placed the decorations back in their totes and loaded Jenn’s car.

What impressed me most was Jenn’s attitude. She could have bitten Adam’s head off or at least admonished him for being so irresponsible.

Instead, she found a way to bring humor into the situation and to blame herself by using the Grinch story.

Would I have done the same? Uh…no.

Especially if I had 100 other things on my Christmas plate that day like Jenn did (like moving the third Afghanistan family into their home, taking them to Walmart to get needed supplies, packing up to drive to my son’s wedding in Georgia, and decorating Common Ground).

This little “mess-up” cost her time she did not have. Still, she laughed.

Proverbs 15:15 ESV tells us this: All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.

I write a lot about laughter because I know it is good for the soul.

Cheerful hearts are contagious, and the benefits of laughter, too numerous to mention here, include a change of anyone’s perspective—even on the Grinchiest of days.

Chamber Selling Table Tent Ads

It’s time for Table Tents!
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Sample Table Tent shown below…
January/February table tents are in production now. Hundreds of these are displayed in hotels, stores, fast-food & sit-down restaurants all over Fort Scott for the entire months of January and February.
Have a special event coming up? Promote your event with a business-card ad for only$50!
Want more exposure for your business? This is your chance to reach thousands of customers at a super-affordable cost.
If you would like to place a business-card sized ad, email [email protected]
or call Suzette at 620-223-3566.
Also, please send us your events to list for January/February!
If you are interested in adding an event that you are having in January or February onto our table tents, please email me the details by January 6th.
*Must be a Chamber member to place an ad.
*Any events may be listed on the table tents,
whether for a Chamber member business or organization, or not. However, if space is limited, Chamber member events take priority.
Thank you!

K-State Virtual Workshops on Selling Food Directly to Consumers Offered

MANHATTAN, Kansas — The Kansas Department of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension will offer virtual workshops January 31–February 4, 2022, to assist farmers’ market vendors and managers, and also for those wanting to sell food products directly to consumers. The workshop series includes four online Lunch and Learn sessions, followed by a half-day virtual workshop. Some K-State Research and Extension offices will be offering in-person watch parties for the February 4 half-day workshop.

“Over the past two years, we’ve seen an increase in people’s enthusiasm for locally sourced food, and these workshops will address common questions and concerns for farmers and small businesses who are embracing these opportunities to reach local consumers,” said Londa Nwadike, food safety specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the University of Missouri. “It’s also important for farmers to understand certain legal, safety and financial parameters before choosing to sell either directly to the consumer or at a farmers’ market.” In 2021, 89 farmers’ markets were registered with KDA’s Central Registration of Farmers’ Markets.

Dates and topics for each Lunch and Learn online session are as follows:

Monday, Jan. 31, noon to 1 p.m.: Food Safety for Value-Added Food Products

Tuesday, Feb. 1, noon to 1 p.m.: Sales Tax, Food Packaging, and How to Care for your Certified Scales

Wednesday, Feb. 2, noon to 1 p.m.: Meat and Poultry, Kansas Value Added Meats Lab

Thursday, Feb. 3, noon to 1 p.m.: Accepting EBT/SNAP & Double Up Food Bucks

The half-day virtual workshop on Friday, Feb. 4, 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., will cover topics such as How to Market your Market and Booth, How to Identify Common Legal Risks, Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, Vegetable Production, From the Land of Kansas program, and resources available from KSRE. Keynote speaker Brian Coppom, Colorado Department of Agriculture, will also be discussing Best Practices for Business Success when it comes to farmers’ markets.

KDA’s weights and measures program will offer free scale certification with a paid registration to an online workshop.

Registration for the January/February virtual workshops is now open. The cost is $5 per participant. Register at

For more information, contact Janelle Dobbins, KDA’s From the Land of Kansas marketing manager, at 785-564-6759 or [email protected]. The workshops are funded by the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, the Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

KDA is committed to providing an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy. Kansas farmers’ markets not only provide a fresh food source, but also stimulate the local economy. The Kansas Ag Growth Strategy has identified training for small companies via workshops as a key growth outcome for the specialty crop sector. The farmers’ market/direct-to-consumer workshops will provide education through partnerships to help make Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses more successful.

KDHE Updates Isolation and Quarantine Guidance  

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has updated the isolation and quarantine guidance following the recent changes by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for health care workers in a hospital setting and the general population. CDC is in the process of updating guidance for other settings such as correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, preschool, K-12 schools and institutions of higher education.

Health Care Workers in a Hospital Setting

  • Health care workers with lab confirmed COVID-19 infections should isolate for 10 days OR 7 days with negative test, if asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic (with improving symptoms).
  • Health care workers with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic can return to work only with COVID-19 positive patients during the remainder of the 10-day infectious period.
  • Boosted and asymptomatic health care workers who are close contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection have no work restrictions with negative test on days 2 and 5-7.
  • Not boosted and unvaccinated asymptomatic health care workers who are close contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection must quarantine for 10 days OR 7 days with a negative test.

General Population 

The general population does not include people who work in a health care setting or other congregate setting. If individuals develop symptoms, they should get a test and stay home.

  • People with lab confirmed COVID-19 infections, regardless of vaccination status should stay home for 5 days. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days and you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, you can leave your house. Individuals should continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days.
  • Boosted or fully vaccinated individuals with Pfizer/Moderna within last 6 months or Johnson & Johnson within last 2 months who are close contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection do NOT have to stay home and should wear a mask around others for 10 days. If possible, individuals should get tested on day 5.
  • People who are unvaccinated OR have completed the primary series of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR completed the primary series of Johnson & Johnson over 2 months ago and are not boosted who are close contacts of a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection should stay home for 5 days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. If unable to quarantine, individuals must wear a mask for 10 days. If possible, individuals should get tested on day 5.

Obituary of Elfie Marie Schnichels

Elfie Marie Schnichels, age 95, resident of Ft. Scott, KS, died Wednesday, December 29, 2021, at Guest Home Estates in Ft. Scott. She was born July 27, 1926, in Shidler, OK, the daughter of Garrett Lawrence Schnichels and Lillian Oriole Reasoner.

She graduated from Fort Scott High School, then attended Fort Scott Community College, obtaining 18 credit hours. She then taught school in Bourbon County for three years.

Elfie then decided to become a missionary and attended one year of Bible College in Fort Worth, TX. She then went to Old Mexico as a missionary where she served as a teacher and worked with needy children. While in Mexico she adopted four children from the children’s home in which she worked.

After returning to the United States, she settled again in Bourbon County, KS with her children, Paul David, Mark Wayne, Linda Kathleen, and Rose Maria. She has 16 grandchildren. She had 23 great-grandchildren with 19 still living. She also has a least one great-great-grandchild, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.

Elfie lived at 1549 Key Road for many years where her children grew up. She dearly loved her flowers, plants, and even some gardening. While raising her children, she worked at Western Insurance Company for 8 years. Following that she worked at Mercy Hospital for 13 years.

She loved to do crafts and would make angels out of paper to occupy her time and give her a purpose. She will be sorely missed by many.

Only her daughters are still living, Linda Wurtz lives in Mesa AZ with her husband. Her younger daughter, Rose lives near Des Moines, IA, with three daughters that live nearby. She was preceded in death by her sons Paul David and Mark Wayne Schnichels.

Rev. Larry Stevicks will conduct funeral services at 10:00 AM Tuesday, January 4th, at the Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Burial will follow in the Marmaton Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to either The Gideons or Emmanuel Baptist Church and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main St., Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Obituary of Mary “Sug” Beckford

Mary Irene “Sug” Beckford, 90, formerly of Fulton, Kansas passed away Thursday morning, December 23, 2021, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas. She was born February 13, 1931, in Devon, Kansas, the daughter of George Franklin and Mary Elizabeth (Townsend) Snyder. She married Charles L. Beckford on August 27, 1950, in Fulton, Kansas, and he preceded her in death on October 19, 2008.

Mary graduated from Fulton High School. She helped plan many alumni reunions. She was a member of the West Liberty United Methodist Church, West Liberty UMW, and Violet Chapter 200 OES. She was Past Matron and Past District Aide OES, Past Worthy High Priestess Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem, and was a Reach to Recovery volunteer for 15 years. She served as Sunday School Treasurer for 25 years, was Past UMW President, member and secretary for the Osaga Historical Society, and a member of the Fulton Community Center Board. Mary also served as Mother Advisor of Fort Scott Assembly 39 Rainbow Girls. Mary never missed an opportunity to serve in any capacity.

She was a KU Basketball fan and loved angel food cake. She was known for her banana bread and homemade strawberry ice cream. Her grandkids thought she made the best vegetable soup and chili ever. She loved all of her family, but had a special relationship with her great-granddaughters Willow, Maddie, and Evie, and was looking forward to meeting her great-grandson Donovan.

Survivors include her children, Randy L. Beckford and wife Carmen, of Fulton, and Vickie S. Lord and husband Gerald, of Lawrence, Kansas; a brother, Alva Snyder, of Independence, Kansas; seven grandchildren, fourteen great-grandchildren, and numerous great-great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband Charles, she was also preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, John E. Snyder, and George J. Snyder, two granddaughters, and one grandson.

Following cremation, memorial services for Mary will take place at a later date and she will be interred with her husband Charles in the Mapleton Cemetery under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Hare & Crow Barbershop Hosts Open House Dec. 31-Jan.1

Hare & Crow Barbershop, 118 S. Main. Submitted photo.

Matt Park has received his barbershop license this week for Hare & Crow at 118 S. Main.

“We’re planning to host an open house this weekend as a way to ring in the New Year,” Park said. “We will be open on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.”

Included in the open house for the business, there will be door prizes, light snacks, and beverages.

Visitors will also be entered to win a gift bag of items stocked on his mercantile shelf in the shop.

“We still have a few more finishing touches to wrap up, but we wanted to get the doors open and invite our neighbors to come see the progress,” Park said.

Hare & Crow is a modern barbershop with a traditional aesthetic and atmosphere.

Hare & Crow Barbershop, an interior view. Submitted photo.

Park offers haircuts, straight razor shaves-complete with hot lather and steam towels, beard and mustache trims, facials and shampoos.

The shop will be a comfortable space with a lounge feel for those waiting for their turn in the chair, Park said in a prior interview.

He envisions it to be a place to hang out, have a cup of coffee or a soft drink, chew the fat with friends and neighbors-whether you need a haircut or not—and loafers are more than welcome, he said.

 Park is the owner and barber.
Matt Park. Submitted photos.
Contact information:
PHONE: (620)705-9287
E-MAIL: [email protected]
SOCIAL: @hareandcrow

To view a prior feature:

New Barbershop Opens Soon At 118 S. Main




Obituary of Dorothy Marks

Dorothy L. Marks, age 83, a former resident of Ozark, Missouri, more recently of Fort Scott, Kansas, died early Wednesday, December 29, 2021, in Fort Scott.

Dorothy was born on July 18, 1938, Corydon, Iowa, to Godfrey “Nick” and Olive Marks, the youngest of five children: Dallas, Eleanor, Jeanne, and Maxine.

Dorothy was proud to have grown up in Iowa, and graduated from Corydon schools, where she played basketball. She loved her high school years, and remained in contact with her classmates throughout her life.

Dorothy loved to travel, and took many trips all around the United States. She was especially fond of the ocean, and often went to the coast, but her favorite place to travel from Iowa was Branson, Missouri.

After her parents passed away, Dorothy moved to Ozark, Missouri, to be able to go to Branson anytime she wanted! Dorothy loved the Branson music scene, and even worked for a time at the Mel Tillis show.

Dorothy was employed as a supervisor in several garment factories throughout her life, but her dream was to own and operate her own publishing company, so she quit her job and did just that.

She spent the last years of her career as the owner and operator of a retirement newspaper called The Prime Time News, which she distributed throughout the Springfield and Branson area.

Her other loves were dogs and cars. For many years, she traded for a new car about every year. She had many special dogs throughout her life, but her Shih Tzus named Mopsi One, and then Mopsi Two, were especially dear to her heart.

She was also an avid collector of Coca-Cola memorabilia.

Dorothy never met a stranger, and she was generous to all those in need. She was active in the Assemblies of God churches throughout her life.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings. She is survived by her nieces and nephews, and special friends that she made throughout her life.

Following cremation, private burial will be held at a later date in Corydon, Iowa.

In honor of Dorothy’s memory, donations are suggested to Fort Scott Paws and Claws Animal Shelter, and can be left in care of 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