A Little Extra Prodding by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Proverbs 2:2-5: … making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; … if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.                                                                                                                                                                                         

At my granddaughter-in-law’s baby shower, Sonya joined us at our table.  We introduced ourselves and asked how she knew the mother-to-be. She was an open book, energetic and delightful.

As part of our conversation, she mentioned living with her daughter, son-in-law and three grandkids which somehow morphed into an in-depth discussion about her Ecuador mission trips with her husband.

She had no idea when she was going back because her spouse died of COVID last year, and it wouldn’t “be the same without him.”  We sat there, stunned.

I asked questions about her husband’s death and heard details that brought tears to our eyes.  Once he went into the hospital, she never saw him alive again.

Later on, Sonya and I had time alone.  I asked more questions but heard something I never expected.

Her husband worked for the post office but never believed in the tax system, so for 12 years he refused to pay what he owed the government.  He spent what he made, had no life insurance, no I.R.A. or bank account, no hidden surplus of cash.

Sonya had worked in day-care but never made enough to pay the bills. Soon after her husband’s funeral, she learned that she would have to sell her house to avoid foreclosure.

Her daughter and son-in-law bought her home and allowed her to live with them.  She had her car, her clothes and nothing else.

Sonya had been told that if she worked, the government would be the first recipient of what she made.  Was it worth it?  She would end up with very little cash.

I sat, shocked at what I was hearing, praying for the opportunity to tell her that she needed to pay back her debt. Lord, help me, I said silently, but all I said aloud was, “And you weren’t angry?”

“I was livid.  I had nightmares about him.”  Sonya continued by saying that the month before this baby shower, she went to lunch with a Christian friend with whom she shared her anger by saying, “I don’t want to pay for someone else’s debt.  It’s just not fair.”  Taking her hand, the friend replied, “You mean, what Jesus did for you?”

Wow!  It never crossed my mind to express my thoughts the way Sonya’s friend did.  The words pierced Sonya’s soul, and she knew it was a message she needed.  No matter what it took, if it was right for Jesus, it was right for her.

At the end of our conversation, Sonya and I hugged, and I left her with words of encouragement.  I told her to approach the women’s ministry leader at her church and ask to address a women’s group to share her testimonial.  She definitely had the personality, and there were so many life lessons that every woman needed to heed:

1.  Understand your family finances, and never allow your spouse to  convince you to be involved in illegal activity.

2.  Educate yourself so that you are self-sufficient, should the need arise.

3.  Pray for a Christian friend who gives godly counsel.

4.  Love Jesus enough to follow his lead, even when it costs you something.

Sonya was excited about the possibility of using her tragedy to help someone else.  Her transparency allowed for this to happen…even if it did take a little extra prodding to get her there.  My prayer was answered…just not the way I expected.


Obituary of Reuben Allen Warren

Reuben Allen Warren, age 78, resident of Ft. Scott, KS, died Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Country Place Senior Living in Ft. Scott.

He was born June 2, 1943, in Ft. Scott, the son of Reuben and Alice Holt Warren.

Allen graduated from Bronson High School in 1961 and Iola Community College in 1963.  He worked for the Western Insurance Company for 23 years as a programmer then transferred to Lincoln National in Fort Wayne, IN.  While there he designed a centralized Printing and Distribution center saving the company over one million dollars per year.  Allen was recruited to Columbia, SC for Unum Insurance, retiring in 2005 as Assistant Vice President of Printing Operations.


After retirement, Allen and Jackie returned home to Ft. Scott.  He became involved with the community serving on the Bourbon County Fair board, chairman of the board of trustees at the First United Methodist Church, organizing a Wednesday morning work crew at the church, President of the Pioneer Harvest Fiesta, member of the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation, and member of the Chamber of Commerce.  He also served as trustee on the Ft. Scott Community College and was a founding member of the Southeast Kansas Regional Education Service Center (Greenbush).  Furthermore, Allen served 4 years as Bourbon County Commissioner and worked on the Riverfront Project.


Survivors include his wife Jackie of the home; three daughters, Rebecca McDonald and husband Jason, Lugoff, SC, Margaret Yarberry and husband Frank, Colorado Springs, CO, and Lucinda Huckabay, Sedalia, CO; three sons, R. Wayne Warren and wife Shelly, Coffeyville, KS, Mike Warren, Lee’s Summit, MO, and Jack Gilmer and wife Mindee, Kansas City, MO; a sister, Rosemary Cromer and husband Joe, Overland Park, KS; 11 grandchildren, Miles Warren, Kristina Warren, EmmaBeth McDonald, Lexy Huckabay, Zane Huckabay, Ethan Huckabay, Kobe Huckabay, Myles Gilmer, Jen Gilmer, Courtney Gonzales, and Nate Yarberry; and five great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents.


Rev. Christopher Eshelman will conduct funeral services at 10:00 AM Tuesday, May 24th at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Burial will follow in the Bronson Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 PM Monday at the funeral home with Masonic services conducted at 6:45.

Memorials are suggested to Pioneer Harvest Fiesta 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 cheneywitt.com.

KS Driver’s Can Now Update Address Change Online

Kansas Department of Revenue Announces Expansion of Online Renewal System to Include Address Change

TOPEKA – Kansas driver’s license holders can now quickly and conveniently update their address on their current credentials. Kansas licensees can update their address by downloading the iKan app from the Apple App or Google Play store or visiting ikan.ks.gov.

“The addition of address change to the iKan app will benefit all Kansas driver’s license holders,” Secretary of Revenue Mark Burghart said. “This expansion of service creates efficiency while shortening wait times for Kansans who must visit one of our driver’s license stations by allowing Kansans to update their address of record from anywhere.”

“We are excited to provide the option for Kansas drivers to update their address through the iKan service,”  David Harper, Division of Vehicles Director said. “This is the latest development in our commitment to expand service options for our customers.”

To update an address using iKan, the Kansas Department of Revenue’s official renewal app, customers must submit proof of a valid address with a copy of their current license. Once their address is updated, the licensee will receive an updated credential in the mail.

Wildlife and Parks Launches New Licensing System

KDWP Launches New Licensing System:

Go Outdoors Kansas

PRATT – The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) is proud to announce the launch of Go Outdoors Kansas – KDWP’s all-new licensing and boat registration system designed to provide outdoor recreationalist with an improved customer service experience. More than 500 license and boat vendor locations are now processing transactions through the online system.

Outdoor-goers can access the new system at GoOutdoorsKansas.com and download the mobile app for IOS and Android devices. Some customers may need to first delete the HuntFishKS mobile app, as it is no longer operational; customer information will not be deleted when removing the mobile app.

KDWP’s new mobile app – Go Outdoors KS – allows users to quickly view all purchased licenses on-the-go, regulations and sunrise/sunset times in the field, and report harvests immediately after hunting. Customers may also conveniently register and renew water vessels through the new system.

In addition to traditional and electronic licenses, hunters, anglers and boaters will also have the option to purchase collectible, durable hard cards. The front side of KDWP’s all-new hard cards feature handcrafted artwork by Kansas artist Dustin Teasley, while the back side lists a customer’s current license information. Find out more at GoOutdoorsKansas.com or ksoutdoors.com today.


Kevin Allen Resigns As Fort Scott City Commissioner

Kevin “Skitch” Allen. Taken from Facebook.

Kevin K. Allen resigned his position as Fort Scott City Commissioner on April 17,  at the Fort Scott City Commission meeting.

Allen stated the reason he is resigning:  he is in the process of moving into his home at 507 Brown Street on the city’s east side, which is just outside the city limits.

Kevin Allen has served on the commission for two years and as mayor for five months, he said.

The current commissioners are Josh Jones, Tim Van Hoecke, Shane Walker and Matthew Wells.

He gave his opinion on the commission’s accomplishments in the last two years:

The city meetings are now recorded on YouTube for transparency and accountability to the citizens.

There are no time limits now when a citizen wants to speak to the commission at the meeting.

The streets department is now 10 employees, up from four, and has a budget of $1 million, up from $200,000.

The county and city governments are sharing services, which saves the taxpayers money.

Sunday liquor sales were approved, to gain tax revenue.

Several stop signs were removed, that were not needed.

Unused properties in Fort Scott and Lake Fort Scott were sold, and money put towards amenities at the lake.

A Land Bank was created.

A local city attorney was hired, replacing a Kansas City area one, saving the city $150,000 a year.

The city government now buys local services and insurance.

The commission has “focused more on infrastructure” and is “fixing up parks.”

“It’s been a great pleasure to serve as commissioner,” Allen said. “It’s time for me to mount up and ride.”

The commissioners expressed appreciation for Allen’s service.

In an interview on April 18 with Josh Jones, who is the president of the commission,  said he assumes the commission will interview the candidates for the vacant position and if there are an abundance of letters of interest, they will narrow it down, then interview.

The following is a press release from the City of Fort Scott:

“Persons interested in applying to fill the position vacated by Commissioner Kevin Allen are asked to submit a letter of interest to:  City Clerk, Diane Clay at 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas  66701 or by email at [email protected].  Letters of interest must be received by the City Clerk by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31st, 2022. Only individuals who reside in the City limits of Fort Scott are eligible to apply.   Once the appointment has been made, it will become effective at the next scheduled City Commission meeting and the term will expire in December of 2023.

        Any additional information or questions may be obtained by contacting Diane Clay, City Clerk at 620-223-0550.”


Infant Formula Shortage Recommendations

Governor Laura Kelly Announces Actions to Assist Kansans Affected by Infant Formula Shortage

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced actions her administration has taken to ease the burden on Kansas families affected by the nationwide infant formula shortage. Since February, the Kelly Administration has been working with state agencies and federal partners to address the issue.

“I have directed all state agencies to do everything in their power to help Kansans access vital infant formula,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “From increasing flexibility to helping eliminate barriers at check-out, my Administration is doing what is within our power to ease the impact of the national infant formula shortage on Kansas Families.”

Governor Kelly has instructed agencies to work with their federal counterparts to expedite relief. To that end, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has taken a leading role in working with the White House, the National Governors Association, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Association, and private industry to help coordinate efforts and eliminate red tape.

KDHE has implemented a series of waivers to provide the maximum flexibility in making more infant formula products – including Ready to Feed (RTF) formulas – available to Kansans and has approved additional formula products for use by Kansas WIC families. The agency is also working with the Kansas Department for Children and Families on increased communication efforts to inform the public of possible alternatives.

The Kelly Administration, including KDHE, recommends the following to families struggling to find the formula they need to feed their child:

  • Call your OBGYN or pediatrician to see if they can provide any resources to access formula or for suggestions on an alternative formula to meet their infant’s health needs.
  • Switch to another brand or type of formula that is available if recommended by the infant’s physician.
  • Contact their local WIC agency to see if the infant is eligible for WIC benefits.

“KDHE is committed to ensuring infants in Kansas have access to formula,” Secretary Janet Stanek said. “Since February, we have been working to do what is possible, within our authority, to provide relief for Kansans. We urge all impacted families to follow these recommendations and stay up-to-date with information to care for their family’s needs.”

Families are strongly encouraged not to unnecessarily stockpile formula in such a way that would cause further strain on the supply chain.

KDHE strongly discourages the use of toddler formula to feed infants or watering down formula or trying to make infant formula at home.

The Kelly Administration will continue to monitor the situation and provide further updates as they become available. For more information about WIC eligibility, visit the KDHE WIC website. Find the approved substitution formula list for WIC families here.

Shead Farm Homestead Festival This Saturday May 21

Saturday, May 21, 2022

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Live music | Children’s Activities | Farm Tour

Farm Store | Vendors | Food Court

Admission: Single ticket – $5 or family (4+) $20


Join other Coalitions and Make Connections Across Kansas

On June 9, 2022



8901 E. Orme St.

Wichita KS 67207



June 9th, 2022

10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Breakfast and lunch provided


June’s PreventionWorKS meeting will be focused on equity and inclusion. Cultural competence is a key part of the SPF, but how do we ensure we are putting it into practice in our coalition? Hear from speakers who will share about creating inclusive spaces and connect with other coalitions working to make progress in their community. Let’s go beyond the buzzwords to create lasting change.


Register here by June 1.



Prevention is better together

and together we are stronger!


Dena Kemp, MSW, CPP

Southeast Kansas Community Support Specialist

Community Based Services Division

104 ½ W 9th Street, Suite 424

Winfield, KS 67156

620.670.2814 (Office)

620.218.2878 (Cell)



Register for the Good Ol Days Parade

Register Now for the Good Ol’ Days Parade

Friday, June 3rd, 6pm

“41-derful Years of Family, Friends, and Fun”

In recognition of the 41 years of the Annual Good Ol’ Days Celebration!

Deadline to Register: Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Good Ol Days Parade .png
Click here to register

Thank you to our Chamber Champions for all of your support!

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Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce

[231 E. Wall St.] – [620.223.3566] – [fortscott.com]

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Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Fort Scott Land Bank Meeting May 23

The Land Bank meeting will be held on Monday, May 23rd, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. at City Hall, 123 S. Main Street, Fort Scott, Kansas, in the City Commission meeting room.


This meeting will be made available via the City’s you tube channel at City of Fort Scott.