Local Health Officer on COVID-19 and Polio

Rebecca Johnson, SEKMCHD Director.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment just announced to local health agencies that they will be adopting the CDC’s “public guidance” for COVID-19, according to Becky Johnson, Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department Administrator/SEK Local Health Officer.

“They’re reviewing K-12 and healthcare workers COVID-19 guidance and plan to release it at a later date. Here is a link that discusses the CDC’s recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2022/p0811-covid-guidance.html ” she said.

“Also, this article was just brought to my attention. It is from the CDC regarding the Polio case in New York: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7133e2.htm?s_cid=mm7133e2_e&ACSTrackingID=USCDC_921-DM87893&ACSTrackingLabel=MMWR%20Early%20Release%20-%20Vol.%2071%2C%20August%2016%2C%202022&deliveryName=USCDC_921-DM87893″ she said.

“At this time we are not considered at risk for Polio, but would recommend the Polio vaccine to those who are not vaccinated. Those individuals 2 months of age and older may be vaccinated for Polio.”

“I encourage our residents to be current on all recommended vaccinations for their age group,” Johnson said.

SEKMHD is located at 524 S. Lowman in Ft. Scott. She can be reached at (620)223-4464 or fax (620)223-1686 or

[email protected]

New Exterior Building Cleaning Service Is Offered

Jake Province. Submitted photo.

Local resident Jake Province, started Influx Services, a building exterior cleaning service in late May of this year.

“We provide house washing, pressure washing, exterior cleaning, and restoration services,” Province said. “We provide … driveway and concrete cleaning, deck and fence cleaning, and restoration services such as oil and rust stain removal.”

Service to other businesses are offered by Province as well.

“We also offer all services to commercial clients,” Province said. “We offer reasonable prices, professional service, and use appropriate cleaning techniques to prevent damage to your home or building.”

“I started this business because I’ve lived in Fort Scott and the
surrounding areas for most of my life, and like all of us, I want to
see it grow and improve,” he said. “Providing quality pressure washing, house washing, and exterior cleaning to the people of the town at reasonable prices is my way of giving back, and I hope to see my efforts cause more people to appreciate the town and the local businesses here.”

A before and after cleaning services. Submitted photo.

The business serves Fort Scott and all surrounding areas.

Those interested in residential or commercial cleaning can get a free
quote by calling (620) 407-3008,
or emailing [email protected]m

A before and after home driveway cleaning. Submitted photo.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran Newsletter




Kansans in the Office

Capitol Tour
Steven Attig of Fairway

Jennifer Attig of Fairway

Holden Attig of Fairway

Miles Attig of Fairway

Kirby Brunk of Arma

Kerri Brunk of Arma

Addison Brunk of Arma

Brody Brunk of Arma

Rani Charles of Overland Park

Sharon Charles of Overland Park

Joshua Charles of Overland Park

Michele Doncho of Harper

Rustin Denton of Harper

Emily Hanna of Leawood

Arthur Neuburger of Lawrence

Connie Neuburger of Lawrence

Andy Newkirk of Manhattan

Sarah Newkirk of Manhattan

Charles Ratnasamy of Overland Park

Michael Robertson of Overland Park

Mary Robertson of Overland Park

Dominic Scavuzzo of Leawood

Ryan Talbott of Lawrence

Jennifer Talbott of Lawrence

Ava Talbott of Lawrence

Nora Talbott of Lawrence

Charles Urban of Atchison

Michelle Urban of Atchison

Brande Vogele of Harper




One Year Anniversary of the Fall of Kabul
One year ago, the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan became a moment of lasting shame. The images of Afghans left behind at the Kabul airport, fearful of the Taliban’s return to power, and the loss of 13 American servicemembers from a terrorist attack remain vivid in our thoughts.

Today, thousands of Afghans who put their lives at risk to help American and coalition troops remain in danger in Afghanistan and many who did get out are stuck in other countries waiting to start their lives anew. The rights of Afghan women have been rolled back, including denying girls a full education, and Afghans under the Taliban regime are suffering from crippling poverty and hunger. This is heartbreaking after the United States invested twenty years in Afghanistan, trillions of dollars and the lives of her sons and daughters. Those who gave their lives and all who served in Afghanistan to fight terrorism deserve our gratitude and ongoing care.

Americans deserve answers as to how the withdrawal could be so disastrous and how the Afghan government we supported could collapse so easily. Last year, I co-sponsored the Afghanistan War Commission Act to establish a nonpartisan, independent commission to examine the war in its totality, which was enacted into law. I am awaiting the work of this commission and the findings they will produce to ensure that what happened last year never happens again.

On Wednesday, the Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022 was signed into law. This legislation delivers on a promise we made to our veterans that if someone serves in our military, we will take care of them and provide them with the benefits they have earned through their service. From Vietnam veterans suffering from Agent Orange to the 3.5 million post-9/11 veterans exposed to burn pits during their deployments, our nation’s veterans and their families will no longer have to fear being turned away from the VA for illnesses connected to toxic exposure. The SFC Heath Robinson Honoring Our PACT Act will make good on our promise to take care of our veterans by delivering all generations of toxic-exposed veterans their earned health care and benefits under the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Thank you to SFC Heath Robinson’s family and all the veterans and advocates who worked tirelessly to get this long-overdue bill passed through Congress and signed into law. Today would not have been possible without their input, commitment and dedication.



Joining Kansas Cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for Lunch
This week, I joined Kansas cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs for lunch. Days like these serve as a reminder that Kansas produces smart, hard-working and civic-minded individuals who want to give back to their country. As a U.S. Senator, one of the most meaningful responsibilities I have is nominating young Kansans for our service academies and helping them achieve their dreams of service to our country.

It was great to have lunch with several of the cadets that I had the honor of nominating to the academy – Mason Vasta of Overland Park, Tyler Simms of Olathe, Cody Savage of Leavenworth, Zachary Bollinger of Hesston, Remington Stiles of Topeka, Aaron Eakins of Wichita, Cale Curtis of Wichita, Jack Arnold of Topeka and Taylor Ellis of Lenexa.



Applauding the Signing of the CHIPS and Science Act into Law
This week, the CHIPS and Science Act was signed into law. This legislation invests resources into manufacturing semiconductors and other critical technology in the United States, authorizes investments in key technology areas and works to rebalance federal research investments to the middle of the country.

A strong economy will help us produce the technology and resources we need to compete successfully in the decades to come. This legislation invests in businesses around the country to produce key technologies, such as semiconductors, here at home, creating new jobs and boosting American manufacturing. As aggression from China and Russia makes clear, it is vital to safeguard our supply chains from any disruptions. This bill is a key step in rebuilding our economy to be stronger and independent from our adversaries.

Touring Rooks County Health Center
On Tuesday, I visited my hometown of Plainville to tour Rooks County Health Center and meet with the center’s new CEO, Stephanie Bjournstad. During our meeting, we discussed the hospital’s day-to-day operations and the many services they offer to Kansans, including a walk-in clinic, testing services, physical therapy, urgent care, speech therapy, labor and delivery care and more. I also had the opportunity to meet with members of the Rooks County Health Center Board to discuss the challenges they face working in rural Kansas health care, especially during the pandemic and in its aftermath. Our rural health centers provide quality care for residents in the surrounding communities and region, even in the most challenging of times. Thank you to Stephanie Bjornstad for the warm welcome, and to Charlie Allphin, Jeff VanDyke, Jon Voss, Chuck Comeau and Dr. Mike Oller for taking the time to offer input.


Speaking at Amber Wave Ribbon Cutting
In Phillipsburg this week, I spoke at the ribbon cutting and reveal for Amber Wave which is set to be North America’s largest wheat protein plant. I toured this facility earlier in the year, and it is great to see the work being done to transform this plant into a leading ingredient, feed and low-carbon fuel producer. Biofuels offer tremendous opportunity for job growth as an industry contributing $2.2 billon to our state’s economy each year. This $200 million investment will create 60 full-time jobs and drive economic growth in the surrounding area. Additionally, this facility will have the capacity to process roughly 10% of the wheat grown in Kansas when fully operational.

It is great to see Summit Agricultural Group choosing to invest in Kansas, and I look forward to seeing this industry grow in the future. Thank you to all who joined for this announcement, including Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group, Justin Kirchhoff, President of Summit Ag Investors, Dave VanderGriend, CEO of ICM, Inc of Colwich, Jon Sargent, President of Todd & Sargent of Ames, Iowa, Elaine Bowers, Kansas State Senator, Rick Billinger, Kansas State Senator, Ken Rahjes, Kansas State House Representative, JD Schlieman, Executive Chairman of Amber Wave, Randy Cimorelli, CEO of Amber Wave and Kevin Bogenreif, Senior Director of Summit Ag Investors.


Sheridan County Townhall
This week, I hosted a townhall in Sheridan County. It was good to see many familiar faces and talk with Sheridan County residents about the issues that are important to them, as well as the challenges they are facing. My conversations with Kansans help inform the work I do in Washington, D.C. Thank you to Karl Pratt, Executive Director of Sheridan County Economic Development Corporation, for hosting this townhall, as well as those at the Sheridan County Community Foundation. I also want to thank all the local leaders who took part in this discussion.


Touring Solomon Valley Manor
Earlier this week, I toured the site of the new Solomon Valley Manor nursing home now being built in Stockton. The existing nursing home facility provides quality care and health services for seniors in the surrounding community, and it is great to see the construction of this new center which will improve quality of life for the residents of this home. Thank you to Solomon Valley Manor administrator Amanda Atkisson for giving me the tour, as well as City Commissioner Bob Becker for joining us and providing additional input on the ways in which this center serves Kansans in the area.


Touring Lil’ Hawks Village Daycare
On Wednesday, I toured Lil’ Hawks Village Daycare, a daycare facility currently under construction in Grainfield. Currently, there are no daycare facilities operating in Gove and Park, allowing this center to fill a much-needed void for childcare for the community. This daycare was made possible through collaboration with the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, USD 292, the Grainfield Community Development Committee (GCDC) and the Gove County Community Foundation. The center was appropriately named Lil’ Hawks Village Daycare after the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” It was great to see the work being done by the community to make this daycare facility a reality. I want to thank GCDC Chair Kay Haffner and Lil’ Hawks Village Daycare Director Ashley Schultz for hosting me and for their work investing in young Kansans. Thank you also to J.R. Moses, Todd Flinn, Steve Watts, Duane Vollbracht, Marilyn Mong, Shari Burks, Becky Tucker and her children Larsen, Westen and Colten, Darren Racette, Harvey Heier and Bryant Briggs for joining us.


Touring SurePoint Ag Systems
Also on Wednesday, I visited SurePoint Ag Systems, a farm equipment manufacturer in Atwood, to tour the plant and learn more about its contribution to the Kansas Agriculture industry. SurePoint provides farmers with custom solutions for the control and application of fertilizer, seed and farming chemicals. I appreciate SurePoint’s commitment to improving agricultural technology innovation and for working for more than a decade to provide reliable equipment to Kansas farmers. Thank you to CEO Josh Wolters and Founders Blaine Ginther and Matt Wolters for organizing the visit, and to the many members of the SurePoint team who joined me on my tour of the facility.


Visiting Quinter
This week, I also visited Quinter to meet with Kansans there and discuss the issues that are important to them. It was great to see many familiar faces during my stops in town to Gove County Farm Bureau, Cooksey’s Appliances, U.S. Post Office, The Bank, Ray’s Pharmacy and Equity Bank.


Touring Citizens Medical Center
Today, I toured the Citizens Medical Center in Colby and met with hospital leadership to discuss the issues and challenges they are currently facing in their work to provide health care services to residents of Northwest Kansas. During our meeting, it was great to hear about the steps being taken to construct a new hospital in the future and to expand their child care center to meet the needs of the community. Thank you to Citizens Health CEO David McCorkle, City of Colby Manager Ron Alexander and President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Sean Hankin for hosting me during this visit and for providing valuable insight during our conversation.


Meeting with CEO of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee Sarah Hirshland
This weekend, I met with Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC). During our meeting, we discussed the efforts by the USOPC to support our athletes and make certain they have the opportunity to play the sports they love in a safe environment. It was great to speak with Sarah about the work currently being done to protect and empower Team USA’s athletes. I remain committed to supporting our players and working alongside the USOPC to make certain these athletes have the opportunities and resources they need to succeed in the future.

Jabari Wamble Nominated to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
On Tuesday, the President nominated Jabari Wamble, an Assistant United States Attorney, to serve on the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Kansas.

Providing advice and consent of a judicial nominee is one of the most important responsibilities of the United States Senate. Congratulations to Jabari Wamble on his nomination to the Federal bench. I previously met Mr. Wamble and discussed with him his service in the U.S. Attorney’s office and his education at the University of Kansas. Mr. Wamble has demonstrated legal skill and interest in justice throughout his professional career.

I look forward to learning more about Mr. Wamble’s views, including how he sees the role of a judge under the U.S. Constitution, in his upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Announcing Federal Investments Across Kansas
This week, I announced several federal investments across Kansas. These resources will go toward improving and expanding efforts in our state to continue making certain Kansas is a great place to live and visit.

$22 Million Grant for Old Smoky Hill Bridge Replacement in Salina
I joined Senator Roger Marshall in announcing a $22,112,620 Department of Transportation grant for the Smoky Hill River Bridge Replacement in Salina.

These resources will be used to replace seven bridges, construct bike and pedestrian trails, add a community plaza, rejuvenate six parks located along the river channel and bring outdoor recreational opportunities for citizens and visitors to enjoy. The river presents a unique opportunity for development and revitalization of a dormant asset and ecosystem within the city.

This investment will support economic development for the City of Salina, create high-paying jobs, improve the safety of existing transportation systems and expand the local transportation infrastructure. These federal resources will also help advance the revitalization of the Smoky Hill River recreational district located in the heart of Salina.

On April 4, 2022, I wrote the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg offering support for the grant application submitted by the City of Salina for the Old Smoky Hill River Bridge Replacement project.

$24 Million Grant for Flint Hills Trail
I announced a $24,821,705 Department of Transportation grant to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to be used for the Flint Hills Trail: Connecting Communities, Cultures and Landscapes project.

These resources will be used to construct approximately 40 miles of the Flint Hills Trail, nearly completing this 118-mile trail which will run through Morris, Dickinson, Miami, Franklin, Osage and Lyon counties. The project includes drainage improvements, pipes, culverts, bridges, base improvements, limestone surfacing, fences, gates, bollards, safety improvements and signage.

The Flint Hills Trail is a spot that has long been enjoyed by Kansans and tourists alike as a great way to experience the natural beauty of our state. These federal resources will improve and expand these trails and make certain future generations of Kansans can continue to enjoy the trails in the years to come.

Now Accepting 2022 Service Academy Applications
As students are preparing for the upcoming school year, I want to remind them of the opportunity to apply to a United States Service Academy. One of my favorite duties as a U.S. Senator is appointing Kansans to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.

For the list of requirements and to apply, you can visit my website here. All application materials are due to my Olathe office by Friday, September 2, 2022. After applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of interviews with my Service Academy Selection Board, which will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Honored to Serve You in Washington
It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Thank you to the many Kansans who have been calling and writing in to share their thoughts and opinions on the issues our state and country face. I appreciate the words of Kansans, whether in the form of a form of letter, a Facebook comment or a phone call, who wish to make their voice heard.

Please let me know how I can be of assistance. You can contact me by email by clicking here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C. office.


Very truly yours,

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please click here.



Obituary of Mary Ellen Harper

Mary Ellen Harper, age 96, resident of Ft. Scott, KS, died Saturday, August 13, 2022, at her home.  She was born September 26, 1925, in Uniontown, KS, the daughter of Benjamin and Hazel Cox Hite.

She married Richard Harper on October 29, 1944, in Arma, KS.  He preceded her in death on August 15, 2008.  Mary Ellen’s life was all about her family.  She made sure no one lacked for anything.  Her many talents included sewing, embroidery, working dot-to-dot and puzzle books, and fishing with a cane pole.  She loved music, attending the Ft. Scott Jubilee, and watching tv, especially the news.

Mary Ellen was an excellent cook.  Her specialties included fried chicken, noodles, and pies.  She did have a mortal fear of snakes and lizards.

She was a member of Eastern Star, Devon Methodist Church, and later attended Diamond Community Church.


Survivors include her daughters, Linda Harryman, and Katherine Johnson and husband Billy Joe, all of Ft. Scott; 12 grandchildren; 39 great grandchildren; and 34 great-great grandchildren.

Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by two sons, Melvin, and Gary Harper; two grandsons, Benjamin Underwood, and Raymond Harper; three brothers, Richard, Donald, and Earl Hite; a son in law, John Harryman; and her parents.


Pastor Rick Hite will conduct funeral services at 11:00 AM Saturday, August 20th, at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Burial will follow in the Centerville Cemetery.

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

Memorials are suggested to either Kids with Courage Foundation or Care to Share and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main St., Ft Scott, KS 66701.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

New FSMS Teachers: David Heidrick, Janet Fairbanks, Samantha Short

This is part of a series featuring the 26 new educators in USD 234. School starts on August 18.

David Heidrick. Submitted photo.

David Heidrik is a new  seventh- grade Special Education teacher at Fort Scott Middle School.

This is his 11th year as an  educator, all of those in special education.

“I spent 8 years at Prairie View as a middle school resource room teacher and I will hold the same position here,” he said.

“I am married with two boys,” he said.  “My wife , Luisa, is from Peru and we met at Pittsburg State University. Our boys are Matt, age 6,  and Jacob, age 3.”

He has a variety of interests outside of school.

“I am into athletics, I practice Jiu Jitsu, I have a garden, and I study ancient history among other hobbies,” he said.

Janet Fairbanks. Submitted photo.
Janet Fairbanks has been hired to teach sixth grade history.
She earned a bachelors degree from Pittsburg State University in elementary education, certified to teach K-9 .
“I retired from teaching almost two years ago,” she said. “I taught in Osawatomie for 26 years. I have taught elementary physical education, elementary librarian, fourth grade, fifth grade, and even did elementary music.”
She moved to Fort Scott last May.
” I spend most of my free time with my  four married kids and 15 grandkids going to ball games and enjoying all of the different activities that they participate in.”
“Even though I have loved retirement, I miss the classroom! I decided I can do what I love, teaching, and I can also travel with my female companion, Blue, a mini Aussie. I do plan on traveling to all 50 states with her, maybe even get her on a plane to Hawaii!”
“I am looking forward to teaching In Fort Scott. The staff that I have met while substituting last year are pretty awesome! I am pretty excited to join the team at the middle school.”
Samantha Short. Submitted photo.

Samantha Short, 53 is a new Fort Scott Middle School Spanish teacher and remedial English teacher.

She graduated from Nevada High School in 1987.Then earned her bachelors, masters and specialist degrees from Pittsburg State University.

She taught Spanish in the Nevada School District for the last 28 years and just retired this year.

Nevada is her hometown since 1975.

She has been married for 31 years and has three children and two grandchildren. Katlyn is a 6th grade teacher in Nevada; Colton, lives in Connecticut and is an engineer for a company; and Hallie will be a senior at Pittsburg State University studying Construction Management.

“I love spending time with my family, working on our cattle farm, and traveling,” she said.

“I became a teacher because I had such a bad 4th-grade experience that I hoped to make sure that other students didn’t have the same bad year that I did. I hoped to make a difference in their lives.”

“The best part of teaching for me is being with the kids and learning all about them,” she said.

“I have found that the biggest challenge is keeping kids engaged in the learning process. They are so overstimulated with everything that they have to entertain them, that class can be boring, so you need to switch topics pretty often to keep their attention.”

The Friday Night Free Concert: Rick Hite

Ralph Carlson introduces the Friday Night Concert musicians May 2019.

This week’s Friday Night Concert will be presented by local musician Rick Hite who sings and plays guitar, and performs a variety of music including Country, Folk, Bluegrass, Gospel, and Oldies.


“Hite began singing in church at the age of 5 and has been playing guitar since age 9,” concert-series organizer Ralph Carlson said. “He has played The White Horse Saloon in Black Mountain, North Carolina, Jekyll Island, Georgia, the Mildred Store, VFW, the Eagles, Elks, Old  Settler’s Picnic, and various local venues. We’re pleased to welcome Rick Hite back to the park pavilion. Come out and join your friends for an enjoyable evening of music.”


The concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Heritage Park Pavilion at First and Main streets. The shows, sponsored by the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, are free and open to the public. Dave Oas and Jim Butler provide the sound each week. Due to limited seating, attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.


In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the Common Ground Coffee Co., 12 E. Wall Street.


Stay the Course by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom

Very early one morning I awakened about 1:00 a.m. and began thinking. In the midst of my random thoughts, I heard in my heart, “Stay the course.“ Those three words came out of nowhere and they didn’t correlate with anything I was thinking. I realized God was answering the question I’d presented to Him the previous day. I had basically asked, “What am I supposed to do?” in regard to a certain personal situation.


I had no idea there was such a detailed definition for the small word “stay,” which means:   (1) to continue in the place or condition specified (2) to live; dwell (3) to continue; last  (4) to remain to the end of, to be able to last through. The definition for “course” is: (1) onward movement; progress (2) the direction taken (3) a regular manner of procedure or conduct  (wisest course). So God’s answer was: I am to continue to live my remaining time making spiritual progress, in the wisest course, in order to successfully finish my race.


My normal daily routine is to get up, start the coffee, and lay out my Bible and devotional books on the kitchen table. In my pajamas, I sit at the table and have coffee with my heavenly Father and He talks to me through His written Word. I come into His presence with awe and thanksgiving for the privilege of calling Him my Savior, Friend, Provider, Healer, Counselor, and Sustainer. God’s love is everything to me and He deserves the best and first part of my day. My training time spent in the kitchen lets the devil know whose side I’m on, plus it quenches my thirst as I run my course steady on.


I once heard a message about doing things that were not classified as sin, but they didn’t help us — they didn’t do us any good. The apostle Paul teaches on this subject: “All things are legitimate (permissible), [and we are free to do anything we please], but not all things are helpful (expedient, profitable, and wholesome). All things are legitimate, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life] (1 Corinthians 10:23 AMP). When an individual is walking on life’s tightrope, there’s a fine line regarding balance too. “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour” (1 Peter 5:8 AMP). I determined a long time ago that I was not going to be hors d’oeuvres for the devil. He’s gonna have to eat his lunch all by himself.  


God will meet us where we are spiritually and His grace and love will transform us step by step. Although our entire being is important, Paul said that our inner life is the most important. “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are [our inner being is] being renewed every day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 NLT). Believers have to get off the starting block and “devour God’s Word” every day so our minds and spirits can be renewed. It’s not an automatic process, otherwise it wouldn’t matter if we gave up.


Christ followers are to stay the course to the end of their race. Paul said, “As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:6,7 NLT). One day we can all say that — if we’ve lived a well balanced, vigilant, cautious, and obedient life.


The Key: I started out walkin’ but I’m runnin’ my last mile Home.

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of July 29

July 29, 2022 Friday, 1:00pm

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Jim Harris and Clifton Beth-via phone) and the County Clerk present.

Jim made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the
attorney-client relationship for possible litigation for 20 minutes returning at 1:23pm including 2 commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks and Shane Walker. Jim made a motion to return to normal session at 1:23pm. Clifton seconded. All approved.

Justin asked that the commissioners approve up to $50,000 monies approved for a special internal investigation on certain funds that have been used by departments.
Clifton made a motion as stated by County Counselor Meeks. Jim seconded. All approved. At 1:27pm Jim made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Clifton seconded.
All approved.
(s) Jim Harris, Chairman
(s) Clifton Beth, Commissioner
___________________, Commissioner
Ashley Shelton, Bourbon County Deputy Clerk
August 9, 2022, Approved Date

Bourbon County Minutes of July 26

July 26, 2022 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Clifton
Beth and Jim Harris) and the County Clerk present.
Clint and Rachel Walker, Matt Quick, Brian Wade, Keni Stark, Susan Bancroft, Shane
Walker, Jason Silvers, and Josh Jones were present for some or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda. Move the approval of minutes to the
next meeting. Jim seconded. All approved.
Eric gave handouts from the LRSP meeting last week. That will give you an idea of
what was discussed in the meeting. Once we are done with the study that will give us
the opportunity to apply for several grants to make our roads safer. We have
completed asphalt at Hiatville and are now working on 55th and Yellowstone. We had
a rain delay today. Had a little breakdown with the roller last week and tried to
overnite some parts. They were supposed to be here Thursday and they got here
Monday. We are up and running again. We blasted at Blake Quarry last week 50,732
tons. They had about 12 or 15 holes and they didn’t have enough powder so they will
come back for those. The 2007 F750 that we bought we picked up this week. Has
28,000 actual miles mint condition. Very nice used truck. Four mowers are mowing
roadside and the sidearm mower. If we use the sidearm mower it is because the trees
are out in the road and it’s hitting our vehicles. We’ve had some complaints about us
cutting the trees but it is a safety issue. We replaced the three culverts on 225th and
are ready to do the asphalt when we get there. Jim stated that he worked the
Republican booth at the fair and had several people thank him for buying a bigger
crusher and making an attempt to take better care of our roads. Clifton made a
motion for an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney
for the public body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-
client relationship including 2 commissioners, Eric Bailey, Justin Meeks, and Susan
Bancroft for possible litigation for 7 minutes at 6:15pm. Clifton made a motion to
return to normal session at 6:15pm with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.
Jim made a motion for executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(4) to discuss data relating to
financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual
proprietorships including 2 commissioners, Justin Meeks, Shane Walker, and Susan
Bancroft for 10 minutes returning at 6:25pm. Clifton seconded. All approved.
Clifton made a motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All
Justin Meeks requested an executive session. Clifton made a motion for executive
session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected
personnel to protect their privacy including 2 commissioners, Justin Meeks and Susan
Bancroft for job performance for 10 minutes returning at 6:38pm. Clifton made a
motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.

Shane Walker stated he has a letter that needs Chairman signature stating that we
pay dispatch and we give them all the 911 funds and there are some duplicate
services. This will alleviate that and save us money. Clifton made a motion to allow
Chairman Harris to sign the dispatch operation responsibility agreement with the city.
Jim seconded. All approved.
Public comment: Brian Wade stated he reached out to Eric last week to see if he
could get a traffic counter out in front of his house. I would like it set up to run from
now till after September 20th. Hoping he can get it out in the next couple of weeks. I
put in a KORA request because Mr. Martin on his budget request stated that he had an
8 pound meth seizure in Bourbon County. The county attorney and Bill sent me
something it’s a couple of Hispanics on a kilogram of hallucinogenic drugs which a
kilogram is 2.20462262185 of a pound. That’s not 8 pounds. So, why the fuzzy
numbers? Where did it happen? I would like to know where it happened. Also, on a
KORA request I requested information on ammunition. What he used for ammunition.
I got the receipts on that, there is a lot of money. I called Ron Gray and asked him
what did you guys use. He stated he learned from the guy before him and we didn’t
spend much money. He stated usually a box of shells to practice and a box to qualify.
The budget that Bill has for bullets is $11,640. That’s a chunk of money. I called
Travis Shelton and asked him what is your budget for shells and he said $10,000.
Travis said we pay for lights, repairs and bullets out of it. One thing I do question is
223 rounds. Thirteen thousand two hundred rounds of 223’s. That seems like a huge
number of rifle rounds. The other one is 8 and 12 gauge shot gun shells. That sounds
like we’re going dove hunting or maybe shooting some trap with 8’s. You would think
law enforcement would use slugs or double ott buck which he has very small quantity
of slugs. We got a county trap shoot? Jim stated that Bill would need to be present
and answer to that. Kevin Stark stated he has some land on the state line in Bourbon
County and the exact same land in Vernon County. My property taxes in Bourbon
County was 4 years ago was $14.00 per acre and in Vernon County it is $1.40. Tillable
ground is much higher than pasture land. It seems like we are little bit out of sync
with our neighbors. I just ask that you watch expenditures and try to keep spending
down. Cost for putting in a crop per acre is around $650. On top of that risk we have
higher property taxes. It puts us at a disadvantage. Jim stated that when comparing
to Vernon County, look at their roads compared to ours. Kevin asked the
commissioners to watch their expenditures as much as possible.
Commissioner comments: Clifton stated that Susan’s presentation from a couple of
weeks ago (may be viewed on the county website) is very telling as to why we are
where we are. You can’t compare our county to our surrounding counties. Clifton
stated there would be no meeting next week due to election. Get out and vote.
Clifton made a motion to adjourn at 7:08pm. Jim seconded. All approved.

Bourbon County Commission Minutes of July 18

July 18, 2022 Tuesday 9:00 am
The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with two Commissioners (Clifton
Beth and Jim Harris) and the County Clerk present.
Patty LaRoche, Jason Silvers, Anne Dare, Bob Reed, Kevin Davidson, Matt Quick, Clint
Walker, Nelson Blythe, Donald Coffman, Rachel and Clint Walker were present for
some or all of the meeting.
Clifton made a motion to approve the minutes for last weeks’ meeting. Jim
seconded. All approved.
Eric Bailey stated he had no permits to report on. Eric gave a reminder that the LRSP
meeting with KDOT is tomorrow from 1pm to 5pm in the Commission Room. Open to
the public if they wish to attend. Eric states regarding to asphalt, they lacked about
125 yards being done at Hiatville today. They blew a hydraulic fitting on cities’
laydown machine. We should be back up and going tomorrow and hopefully get
finished. We will be moving to 55th & Yale. I called on our paver and they haven’t
got it in yet. Bellydump is still hauling rock. We are scheduled for a blast at Blake
Quarry this Wednesday probably somewhere around 50 to 60 ton. Having issues with a
couple of dump trucks. Roadside mowing is going on now, we have four mowers
going. Have the sidearm going as well. 165th & Tomahawk had a grader operator do
about 1 mile of ditching. Did a good job. Culvert crew is trying to get some crossroad
tubes in as well. Waiting on 30 inch tubes for 115th. North of Hackberry we have
three tubes needing replaced. They’ve rotted out on the bottom. Clifton asked if
Eric had heard anything from KDOT on the bridge on 215th. Eric stated no. He said he
got a rough estimate from an engineer for bridge replacement and it was around 2 to
2 1/2 million. Eric stated they are looking at some grants.
Clifton requested an executive session KSA 75-4319(b)(1) to discuss personnel matters
of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy including two
commissioners, Susan Bancroft, Justin Meeks, Tiana McElroy and Shane Walker for 15
minutes returning here at 6:23pm. Jim seconded. All approved. Clifton made a
motion to return to normal session with no action. Jim seconded. All approved.
Clifton made a motion to amend the agenda to remove Matt Quick regarding Hours of
Operation from the printed agenda. Jim seconded. All approved.
Jim stated that a commissioner needed to be appointed to the Bourbon County REDI
following Lynne’s resignation and I would like to recommend Commissioner Beth.
Clifton seconded. All approved.
Susan Bancroft discussed the Revenue Neutral Rate regarding the County. After
discussion of keeping our levy flat which would exceed the Revenue Neutral Rate and
this stands as a notice to the county clerk for this budget year. The Clerk has to send
letters to every tax payer so we have to certify by the 20th of September. The

Revenue Neutral Rate hearing will be first and then we’ll talk about the budget
hearing. We will present why we are exceeding the RNR and then we will vote on the
budget following. The commissioners stated that they would like the hearing and
vote to be on separate dates. Clifton suggested a night meeting so more of the public
could attend. Clifton made a motion for Ashley to publicize the intent to exceed
Revenue Neutral Rate and the hearing will be held August 30th @ 6pm at 210 S
National, Fort Scott, KS in the Commission Room. Jim seconded. All approved.
Clifton asked Bobby Reed for an update on the jail. Bobby stated that since July 6th
we’ve had two applicants. We called to schedule an interview with one them. No
answer. I saw this individual out in the public and asked him about it. He said he
decided to do something else. Bobby told him there had been an increase in wages to
$14.50/hr. The individual stated that wasn’t enough. The other applicant was not
contacted due to her background. We are having open interviews this Thursday from
4pm to 8pm out at the jail. We’re going to hit it again on Facebook. As of tomorrow,
I will be down to 6 correctional officers. Both lieutenants are working shift work and
the captain will be going to a shift as well. I will be utilizing off-duty deputies and
myself when applicable for transports. Linn County should be opening their new
facility soon and hoping to get our inmates closer which will cut down on drive time,
maintenance and fuel. Current inmate count as of this morning was 25. We do still
have some inhouse because we can’t find homes for them at the moment.
Clifton asked Sheriff Martin regarding money for vehicles. The highway patrol
vehicles that the city bought would they be an option for us. Bill responded that their
cars are maintained but they drive their vehicles hard. The city only drives about 5
square miles. Some of the equipment that is in the vehicles cannot be transferred to
other vehicles. Bill said the price for a car fully equipped is $50 to $55,000.00. Bill
stated they are going to order two cars this year. Our fleet is getting old and worn
out. Jim stated that Bill budget request would result in a 5 mil increase and the tax
payers cannot bear that at this time. Jim stated that Bill’s concerns regarding putting
a fuel tank on the property due to flood plain. Jim stated that is not true. The flood
plain is not on the county property. Jim also stated that Bill could save 82 cents per
gallon as of today if Judy’s Fuel brought that to you. Eighty-two cents per gallon
times 15 vehicles daily. That’s $100,000 per year. Bill said that he had concerns with
the tank tipping over and running down the creek. Jim stated that there would have
to be a fence to suit the fire marshall. Bill said if that’s what you want to do then do
it today. Jim further stated that Bill had asked for more deputies. In 2021 you had
2,253 traffic stops; 928 were within the city limits. If you stay out of the city limits
would you need two more deputies? Bill stated he was glad Jim brought that up
because we are now going into criminal investigations. With that being said we will
have to go into executive session to explain those reasons. I’ve also brought Deputy
Davidson who will need to be part of the executive session to explain why we do what
we do in regards to that. Clifton made a motion for an executive session KSA 75-
4319(b)(2) for consultation with an attorney for the public body or agency which
would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship including 2
commissioners, Justin Meeks, County Attorney Tiana McElroy, Bill Martin, Deputy