Obituary of Gladys Rexroad

Gladys Arlene Rexroad, age 98, resident of Tulsa, OK, died Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at her home.

She was born June 26, 1924, in Arcadia, KS, the daughter of Harry and Annie Elizabeth Watkins Smith. She married Basil E. Rexroad on December 18, 1955, in Arcadia. He preceded her in death
on November 1, 1978.

Gladys will be greatly missed.

Survivors include her son, Max Rexroad and wife Linda, Tulsa, OK, whom Gladys lived with; a niece, Ruth Arlene Waring, Garland, KS; a nephew Donnie Smith, Miami, OK; as well as several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; a
daughter, Karen Browning; a brother, Tommie Smith; a nephew, Glenn Smith; and a great niece, Sheryl Waring.

Rev. Kevin Moyers will conduct funeral services at 11:00 AM Wednesday, July 6th, at the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main St.

Burial will follow in the Large Cemetery, south of Ft. Scott.

The family will receive friends from 10:00 until service time at the funeral home.

Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

Union State Bank Expands

Union State Bank, June 2022.

Union State Bank, the Fort Scott Branch, is in the final stages of an addition of 1,200 square feet to its building.

“We were running into problems with space,” CEO and President Bryan Holt said. “We looked at every way possible to not expand the foot print.”

But the bank administration decided to add a 20 by 60 foot addition for its growing support staff and also to upgrade security.

The lobby was shortened and reconfigured to have more space for employee work stations, and the addition added five new offices and two new bathrooms.

In October 2021 the project was started.

“It will be 99 percent completed in 30 days,” Vice President of Information Technology Dustin McClure said on June 23. McClure was also the project manager of the expansion.

“We’ve got pods, like cubicles, to build,” McClure said. “This will seat a total of eight people.”

“This will improve accessibility and privacy needs of our customers,” Senior Loan Officer Katie Casper said.

“New offerings with debit card capabilities, improved customer experience and improved card experience are on the horizon for the bank,” Holt said.

The bank building, located at 1009 S. Clark, was completed in 1992, when Union State Bank opened the branch in Fort Scott.

The headquarters of the two banks is in Uniontown, where the  business started in 1901.

The bank listed the following businesses who have provided services/products for the expansion:

Project General Manager: Bo Casper (owner of Casper Enterprises)

Casper Enterprises LLC

Alpha Roofing

Big Sugar Lumber and Home Center

Craw-Kan Telephone

Davis Drywall

Geiger Plumbing

Greenwood Plaster Company

Jeff Allen Electric

LACO Guttering

Norris Heating & Air

Peerless Products Inc.

Phillips Flooring

Redbud Farms and Nursery

Ruddick’s Furniture

Stoughton Inc

Thomas Concrete & Construction


CEO Bryan Holt shows the wall that was once the outside wall on the Fort Scott Branch of Union State Bank. The 20 by 60 expansion was added onto the south side of the building.

Trysta Asche Named 2022 Lowell Milken Center Fellow

The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes in
Fort Scott, Kansas, an international educational nonprofit, has awarded its prestigious Fellowship to Trysta Asche, an 8th 12th grade Language Arts Instructor for Loup City Public
Schools in Loup City, NE.

Trysta arrived in Fort Scott on June 26th for a week of collaboration
with LMC staff.

The LMC Fellowship is a meritbased award for educators of all disciplines who value the importance of teaching respect and understanding through projectbased learning. The Center
selects exemplary teachers from the United States and around the world who will collaborate on projects that discover, develop, and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history.

Trysta Asche was honored in 2020 with a national fellowship to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Her strong involvement with Holocaust education and National History Day
competition has provided her students with valuable and lifechanging experiences.

One such experience was her work in arranging an Anne Frank traveling educational exhibit for students in Loup City schools, who were given tours by trained high school juniors and seniors.
With degrees in Language Arts and Instructional Technology, experience as a Language Arts instructor and Library Media Specialist and a vast array of certifications and leadership training
experiences, Trysta is able to share a wealth of knowledge with both her students and fellow educators.

Her involvement as a sports coach, sponsor for many organizations and organizer of many student trips and experiences demonstrates the value she places on close relationships with her students, as she seeks to make learning come alive for them.

LMC Executive Director Norm Conard says, “We are so thrilled to have Trysta as a member of our 2022 team of Fellows. Her strong knowledge of language arts, history, research and analysis,
combined with her proficiency in a wide range of technology skills make her an invaluable resource for our Fellowship.

While in Fort Scott, LMC Fellows gain knowledge, educational resources and support in helping students cultivate a passion for learning through the creation of projects that initiate positive
change. Fellows will be equipped to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students, applying and evaluating the stories of these role models who have changed the world throughout history.

K-State Master Gardener Training Offered

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

Master Gardener Training Offered This Fall


Area plant lovers have a great opportunity this fall to participate in an outstanding horticulture program! The Extension Master Gardener training will be held September 1 through December 15 on Thursday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Classes will be a combination of on-line and in person training. The Master Gardener program is a volunteer program in which K-State Research and Extension “trades” classroom training for volunteer time.


Master Gardener training consists of 40 to 50 hours of instruction in all aspects of horticulture. Instructors include state specialists from Kansas State University, local extension agents and local experts. After training is completed, volunteers will donate an equivalent number of hours of service as was received in instruction.


Topics that will be covered in the training include:

  • Plant Growth & Development
  • Soils, Water and Fertilizer
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Insect Diagnosis & Management
  • Growing Fruit
  • Annuals & Perennials
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Turfgrass
  • Landscape Maintenance
  • Plant Disease Diagnosis & Management
  • Pesticide Use and Safety
  • Wildlife Management


Although the Master Gardener program is a volunteer activity, there are some requirements that must be met prior to the selection process. Each individual wishing to participate in the Master Gardener training must meet the following requirements:


  • Participants need to be available for about 40 hours of community horticulture service during the first year. The number of hours to be donated is equal to the number of hours of training received.
  • Participants must have access to the internet, a computer/device with microphone and camera capabilities, an actively monitored email account, and be willing to travel to the in-person training site (Iola, KS).
  • Enjoy sharing your love of gardening with others through various Extension Master Gardener projects.


The Southwind Extension District currently has an active Master Gardener program consisting of 25 individuals. The Master Gardeners have completed volunteer projects such as demonstration flower beds, vegetable research trials and various other projects in Erie, Chanute, Iola, Humboldt, Moran and Fort Scott. In addition, educational tours and activities are also planned.


Applications are available now and are due to the Southwind Extension District by August 10th. Applications can be found on the Southwind website or can be mailed to you. The fee for the course is $125 which covers the cost of the Master Gardener resource notebook. For more information about the Master Gardener training, please contact the Extension office.


Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at [email protected] or 620-244-3826.


K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.







Fort Scott Fireworks Ordinances Explained

“With fireworks sales and the Independence Day holiday upcoming we are issuing a press release regarding fireworks ordinances and fireworks safety tips,” said Fort Scott’s Public Relations and Tourism Director said.

“The major amendment to the fireworks ordinance is that it is lawful for fireworks to be discharged from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) of July 3rd and July 4,” he said. “In the past the ordinance stated that fireworks could be shot on July 4th only. The other points are a good reminder of what residents can and can’t do.”


Thursday, June 30, 2022

The City of Fort Scott adopted an ordinance that states that inside the Fort Scott city limits, only Class C (common) fireworks are permitted to be discharged without a Special Events Permit. Class C fireworks are not permitted to be discharged except for the days they are allowed for retail sales.
These dates are from June 27th to July 4th. During this period, they shall not be discharged from the hours of 10:00 p.m. to 7:00
a.m. On July 3rd and July 4th, it is lawful for them to be discharged from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. (Midnight) of July 3rd and July 4th.

It is illegal to discharge or ignite fireworks in these circumstances:

Within 1000 feet of a hospital.
Within 50 feet of a location where fireworks are sold.
Within 100 feet from any gas pump, filling station or bulk fuel storage facility.
It shall be unlawful for any person to throw, cast or propel fireworks of any kind in the direction of or into the path of any person or group of persons, or from, in the direction of or into any vehicle of any kind.
Bottle Rockets. Bottle Rocket means any pyrotechnical device which is mounted on a stick or wire, and projects into the air when ignited, with or without reports, and include any device with the same configura- tion, with or without reports, which may be classified as a pipe or trough rocket.
Any Community College campus or surrounding grounds.
Bourbon County Fairgrounds.
Any City owned Parks.

No discharging of fireworks from 18th and Horton to 23rd and Horton during the time of the Citys fireworks display.

SECTION 2. The City Manager, Fire Chief or his designated person has the authority to alter the dates of this Ordinance due to severe dry weather conditions, or any other special circumstances.

SECTION 3. This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its adoption and publication in the official City paper.

SECTION 4. Violation of this Ordinance is punishable under Chapter 1.16 of the Fort Scott Municipal Code.

Fireworks Safety
To help the public celebrate safely, the Office of the State Fire Marshal offers the following tips for the safe
use of fireworks:

Always ignite outdoors

Have an adult supervise all fireworks activities

Have a water supply nearby

Light from a solid, flat and stable platform

Light only one firework at a time

Make sure fireworks debris is cooled off completely before disposing

Never reignite malfunctioning fireworks

Store fireworks in a cool, dry place

Use a longhandled lighter

Bottle rockets and M80s are illegal in Kansas and extremely dangerous.
The use or sale of these banned fire- works is considered a crime under Kansas law.
It is also illegal in Kansas to shoot fireworks on or under any vehicle, on any public roadway, within 50 feet of a fireworks stand or where fireworks are stored, and at gas stations or any place liquid gas including propane is stored.

Always refer to the local ordinances as to whether fireworks are allowed in your area as well as what types.

Some cities or counties have restricted dates/times or types of fireworks that may be sold or discharged.

Fort Scott Fire Chief Dave Bruner said Fireworks can be exciting and enjoyable, but they can also be dangerous. Please be safe and smart during this Independence Day Holiday.

Letter to the Editor: Matthew Wells

To the community:

This is a copy of the speech I gave Tuesday evening at the commission meeting.

As a general rule I try to stay off social media. I have found it to be a hotbed of divisive rhetoric and peoples attempt to sow not only the division but what seems like downright hatred. I’m a firm believer that words carry weight , the Scriptures teaches us the power of life and death is in the tongue, proverbs 18:21

Over the last few weeks it has come to my attention the people throughout our community are venting a tremendous amount of untrue statements, division, and attempts to draw people in to making post that are against everything that I believe the Lord has called us here to do.

I am asking each and everyone of you here around the table, within our community, and within our town, to make a decision here and now. Are you for Fort Scott, or are you against it.

On the cover, this would seem like a very basic statement, as bold as it might be, yet basic in nature. But I pose it to you in this ideal.

We are a team, if you have decided in your heart and in your mind that Fort Scott is the community that you wish to be a part of, that you have decided to be a part of this team.

A team by nature does not tear itself apart, if it does those are the teams that you see fail game after game because there is no sense of family, no community, or tribe.

A successful team is a team that builds each other up, regardless of whether you are an active player on the floor or on the field does not impede the fact that you are there to help out the team. This means instead of yelling derogatory remarks from the sidelines,  you are to be the kind of team player that lifts up your teammates and calls them to be better, play harder, and remind them we are in this together.

I see a Fort Scott we are going to be the kind of people that are here to help our neighbors, that honor each other by seeking an opportunity to carry the heavy burdens that weigh down upon each and everyone of us each day. I see the Fort Scott where we lift each other up, not tear each other down.

I know it is so easy to get drawn into the trap of negativity pointing out what is wrong, with everything that’s going on around you. But I challenge you instead of pointing out what’s wrong, come up with an idea on how to make it better, and then implement that change. A wise man once said become the change that you wish to see in this world.

And for those who feel that they have no voice, know that there is always an opportunity at the beginning of each and every committee meeting for you to come and speak to this commission.

We are here to hear you.

Maybe we have not done a good enough job of letting you know that, perhaps we have not been able to communicate that we have a program in place that allows you to input when there are lightbulbs that need to be changed, potholes that need to be filled, or anything else that you see that needs to be addressed.

I would find a true blessing to know instead of just few sets of eyes driving around trying to find all the problems that we have a whole city of full of people committed to helping point out the areas where we can do better.

Join a board, join a community organization, become a volunteer, actions not words.

I see a Fort Scott we’re we are here to help each other out.

Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest football coaches of all time said this, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”
“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

There are so many issues we need to be addressing, there are so many problems for us to solve.

We can’t have everything be a priority, otherwise nothing is.

I hope and envision that progress is possible, together. I call upon this commission, I call upon the people of this community, I call upon all the people  of Fort Scott to decide we are going to be a people that come together and put the City Of Fort Scott upon our shoulders.  That we decide, here and now from this moment forward, that everything that we do and everything that we say has an impact on all of those around us.

I envision a community that talks to you, not about you.

I envision a community that looks for points of agreement and progress, even if it’s only an ounce.

For even a small ounce  of progress is better than pounds of regress and rage.

I want to be the type of commission that adds value to community, not poisons the value of other contributions.

I envision a commission intent on focusing on the idea, not who gets credit for coming up with it.

I want to be the kind of community leaders who go first with trust and truth.

Where we miss the mark, or drop the ball, let’s acknowledge it.  Let us never be afraid to admit when we are wrong, take ownership of that, and adjust with authentic intentions.

Let us be more than a community, let us be a family, let us be a tribe, together, building trust.

Let us be better.

God bless us all, and may God continue to bless Fort Scott.

Fort Scott City Commissioner
Matthew Wells
[email protected]
Cell 417-684-1714
Office/fax 620-223-3090

Obituary of Deborah Stewart

Deborah Ann Stewart, age 65, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, passed away Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at the Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas.

She was born December 12, 1956, in Ft. Scott, the daughter of William Lawrence Gates, Jr. and Dixie Auluwee Dill Gates.  Debbie graduated from Ft. Scott Christian Heights and remained a loyal Crusader supporter throughout her life.

She had worked at the Medicalodge in Ft. Scott for twenty-seven years and had recently retired a few months prior to her death.  In addition to working at the Medicalodge, Debbie also sold Avon.  She was an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan.  Debbie had been attending the Ft. Scott Church of the Nazarene.

Survivors include two sisters, Donna Smith (Nathan) of Ft. Scott, and Victoria Gates all of Ft. Scott and a brother, Randy Gates (Angela) of Girard, Kansas; three nieces, Kayla Smith of Ft. Scott, DeAnn Hixon (Brandon) of Topeka, Kansas and Melissa Yacouzaai (Nick) of Tulsa, Oklahoma and a nephew, Nate Smith of Ft. Scott.  Also surviving is a special friend, Robert Wilkerson of Ft. Scott and Debbie’s beloved dog, Minute.

She was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, William L. Gates III and a sister, Dixie Diane Hixon.


Graveside services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Tuesday, July 5th at the Evergreen Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel prior to leaving for the cemetery at 10:45 A.M.

Memorials are suggested to Ft. Scott Christian Heights 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

McGehee Starts Power Washing Business

Cody McGehee from Facebook.

Cody McGehee started a new power washing business this month in Fort Scott.

“I am the owner and operator,” he said. “The name of my business is called Precision Power Washing. I live and operate in Fort Scott…and will also be providing services for the surrounding areas as well.”

McGehee, 28, works a full-time day job and is available to pressure wash from 5 p.m.- 9 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays from 6 a.m.-9 p.m.

“My services will include pressure washing, soft washing, roof cleaning, gutter cleaning, siding cleaning, patio/ deck cleaning, driveway cleaning, sidewalk cleaning, residential and commercial cleaning,” he said. “I will also be doing automotive cleaning as well as boats and RV/ campers.”

“I have multiple years experience power washing concrete surfaces, but am now taking on different types of surfaces while continuing to educate myself in the field,” he said.  “I take pride in my work and support and promote local businesses as often as possible.”

McGehee finds the work satisfying.

“I began this journey with the support of my friends and family,” he said. “I am following a dream and a passion. Pressure washing is an art in my eyes. It is very satisfying work and is very rewarding. To be able to restore someone’s property to its glory and see them stunned by the ‘after look’ of a finished product gives my heart joy. I have always been a guy to try and make people happy. To me, this is a great way to see people happy. Restoring the pride people have in their property is an amazing feeling. I am looking forward to serving Fort Scott and the surrounding areas!”

Contact McGehee at

McGehee is a 2012 graduate of Fort Scot High School.

“I am happily married to my wife Allie McGehee and we have three children: Micah, Roman and Olivia.”

He works full time for the City of Fort Scott’s Street Department.

Jayda Pugliese Named 2022 Lowell Milken Center Fellow

The Lowell Milken Center (LMC) for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas, an international educational non-profit, has awarded its prestigious Fellowship to Jayda Pugliese, K-8 Principal at St. Mary Interparochial School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jayda Pugliese will arrive in Fort Scott on June 26th for a week of collaboration with LMC staff.


The LMC Fellowship is a merit-based award for educators of all disciplines who value the importance of teaching respect and understanding through project-based learning. The Center selects exemplary teachers from the United States and around the world who will collaborate on projects that discover, develop, and communicate the stories of Unsung Heroes in history.


Jayda Pugliese was a recipient of the 2016 Milken Educator Award in Pennsylvania, the 2018 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Sylvia Shugrue Awardee, and was a 2019 finalist for Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year (NSTOY-PA). At the time of receiving a Milken Educator Award, Jayda Pugliese was a fifth-grade science and math teacher at Andrew Jackson School. In 2018, Jayda became an elementary and middle school principal at St. Mary Interparochial School.


Jayda Pugliese facilitates national and international professional development and training for schools, districts, and universities. Topics include best teaching practices, designing accessible instruction for diverse learners, STEAM-based technology integration for classrooms (e.g., project-based learning, 3D printing, design thinking, and blended/remote learning practices), implementing effective leadership, and system-wide strategic planning.

Jayda, who is profoundly hearing-impaired, relates well to students with disabilities and teaches compassion, empathy, and understanding. She is the first in her family to graduate from high school and earn a college degree; graduating with a B.A. in Special Education and Elementary Education, a M.Ed. in TESOL and Literacy, and is a current doctoral candidate in Educational Leadership and Administration.

LMC Executive Director Norm Conard says, “Jayda is an inspiration to all of us. Her determination to reach her educational goals and share her passion for math and science with her students and colleagues makes her an exemplary member of the 2022 Fellows.”



While in Fort Scott, LMC Fellows gain knowledge, educational resources and support in helping students cultivate a passion for learning through the creation of projects that initiate positive change. Fellows will be equipped to develop Unsung Heroes projects with their students, applying and evaluating the stories of these role models who have changed the world

throughout history.

Kansas Rocks: Local Fun For 4-Wheel Drive Enthusiasts

The board of directors of Kansas Rocks Recreation Park. Submitted photo.

Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, located at 2051 130th Road, Mapleton, offers a 380 acre off-road park open to 4-wheel-drives, side-by-sides, mountain bikes and hikers.

Kanrocks Recreation Association Inc. is made up of 30 volunteer members and is a 501 (c)(3) not for profit business.

The founder and president is David Killion.

David Killion stands in front of the rock sign at Kansas Rocks. Submitted photo.

For those just starting in four-wheel drive adventures, the organization offers classes.

“We offer Off-Roading 101 classes and the next class is July 23 followed by a fall class on Sept 17,” Killion said.

The park is busy throughout the year with events.

“We also have our largest regular Frostbite event the last Saturday in February,” he said. “Our Creep-Crawl Halloween event is the third weekend in October that offers a ton of things for the kids and adults, ending the night in a haunted trail ride. We also have events sponsored and put on by clubs like the Sunflower Run in June. There is also an Adopt-A-Trail program where clubs come in and help do trail maintenance for a half day, twice a year, in exchange for a free half day of wheeling.”

Submitted photo.

“We are open Friday afternoons, Saturdays and Sundays,” Killion said. “The cost is $25 per vehicle and driver and $5 per passenger over 12.”

“We have RV parking and tent camping, picnic shelters, a pavilion, shower house restrooms and a kids playground,” he said.

“We have separate costs for camping and RV and offer 2 and 3-day discounts,” he said.

Camping reservations can be made at the website: The park also has a Facebook page.


History of the park

“I started the first 4-wheel-drive club in the Kansas City area in the 1990’s and soon found out the closest, legal places to go off roading was about three hours away,” Killion said.

“I wanted to develop something closer and began searching for land, quarries, talking with farmers etc. In my search, I found a grant administered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism that helped entities develop trail systems.”

“After applying for the grant, we looked at 150 pieces of land within 90 miles of the KC area. We found this great property and started building a premier off-road park. We are celebrating 19 years this year and will have a big event next year to celebrate 20 years.”