Governor Laura Kelly Seeks Public Input on Wildfire Prevention and Response
TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly called on Kansans to share their thoughts on how the State of Kansas can better prevent, respond to, and recover from wildfires. The Governor’s Wildfire Task Force, established by Governor Kelly this past July, is seeking public input as it takes a comprehensive look at mitigating wildfire threats, reviews how local and state officials respond to such emergencies, and considers how to better support communities impacted by wildfires.
“Wildfires take a devastating toll on Kansas families and businesses, which is why we want to hear directly from the people most impacted by these disasters,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “If you have thoughts on how our state can prevent or better prepare for future disasters, please let the Wildfire Task Force know. Together, we will continue working to protect our first responders, our farmers and ranchers, and our communities.”
The Governor’s Wildfire Task Force was founded in the wake of Kansas experiencing several large-scale wildfires. Over the last five years, the Kansas State Fire Marshal has received reports of an average of 6,000-plus wildland fires each year. Since 2016, the state has experienced three large wildfires that burned over 800,000 acres.
The Task Force is led by Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam and includes bipartisan representatives from local, state, and federal agencies and organizations. The group has met several times since its creation.
“Reducing the fuel load to mitigate the risk of large-scale wildfires is a high priority; it will involve many partners and may look not look the same across the state, as different regions have different needs and challenges,” Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam, Chair of the Task Force, said. “We have been engaged in extended discussions about the critical impact of wildland fires and look forward to input from the public on these issues.”
The Kiwanis Club of Fort Scott Pioneers will hold their 34th annual Chili Feed on Thursday, November 10 at the United Methodist Church at 301 South National in Fort Scott. “The annual fundraiser will be drive through only.” according to Kiwanis Pioneer President Millie Karleskint.
A meal of the Pioneers’ signature chili with crackers and a homemade cinnamon roll will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for a free will donation (suggested minimum $7.00 donation per meal) to be collected at the door. Pick-ups will be available under the canopy on the National Avenue side of the church. Please take care not to block private driveways as you are waiting in line for service.
This is the Kiwanis Pioneers’ major fundraiser for the year. In keeping with the Kiwanis motto of “Improving the world one child and one community at a time”, the Pioneers support more than 40 community projects including College scholarships, CASA, the Backpack food program, FSHS Key Club, playground equipment, the Beacon, United Way, Foster Kids, Feeding Families in his Name, Care to Share, and school reading and arts programs. “All of the funds raised stay in Bourbon County” stated Karleskint.
Deliveries will be available for orders of ten or more by calling 620-224-0563 during serving hours.
Even though we didn’t get enough rain last week to be a true drought buster, we did receive enough moisture to get the cool season broadleaf weeds to germinate. My residence is in the far southern portion of Neosho county, and my lawn had been brown as brown could be for several months. However, I did notice over the weekend that the fescue was trying to green up and there were little green weeds poking through the soil. It was henbit!
Cool season broadleaf weeds such as henbit, dandelions and chick weed all germinate in the cool moist periods of September and October. It was actually a bit delayed this year because of the dry conditions. They overwinter as small plants, barely visible unless you get down close to the ground to look. Once warm weather arrives in the spring, the plants grow rapidly and flower.
Fall control is ideal for these cool season broadleaf weeds. The weeds are storing food in their roots and will send a leaf applied herbicide to their roots as well. The herbicides will translocate to the roots and will kill the plants from the roots up. These plants are also small and easily controlled right now.
There are several products on the market that are effective on these fall germinating weeds. Herbicides such as 2,4-D or combination products that contain 2,4-D, MCCP and Dicamba, sold under the trade names of Trimec, Weed-B-Gon, or Weed-Out, can be used. A product called Weed Free Zone is also an option. It contains the three active ingredients mentioned above plus carfentrazone.
Newly planted lawns should not be treated with any herbicide until the new grass seedlings have been mowed two or three times depending on the product. Read and follow label directions closely.
Herbicide drift can be a problem during the spring when warm temperatures prevail along with winds. The cooler fall temperatures and the dormant state of most plants reduce this problem considerably, making it an ideal time for application.
As we enter November, it is also the time to give cool-season lawns the last nitrogen application of the season. Why November? November is a good time because it will really help the grass next spring. As the top growth slows due to the cool temperatures in November, grass plants continue making food (carbohydrates). Carbohydrates that are not used in growth are stored in the crown and other storage tissues in the plant. These reserves help the turfgrass green up earlier in the spring and sustain growth into May without the need for early spring nitrogen application.
How much fertilizer should you apply? One to 1½ pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn area is sufficient. A quick nitrogen carrier such as urea or ammonium sulfate should be used.
Weed control is going to be more important this year than ever because our turf has taken such a hit from the drought. Because some of the turf may have actually died out, it makes the perfect opportunity for weeds to take over. Take action now to have a beautiful, weed-free lawn next spring!
Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural 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.
One morning I was thinking about God’s goodness and a description for the Word of God came to me as precious, priceless, and powerful — three Ps.
My late husband and I collected Bibles in different translations and it’s been a personal spiritual blessing to read through a different translation every year. Reading, believing and studying the written Word of God will illuminate wrong mindsets, change your heart, and strengthen your walk with Christ. The Bible is a love letter of great value to have and to hold all the days of your life. I have the letters my parents wrote to each other during World War II. They married in 1943 and in 1944 Dad was shipped out to the front lines in Germany. I’m sure Mom didn’t procrastinate in opening his letters that made their way across the Atlantic Ocean. Why? Because they were from the one she loved and longed for.
God explains why believers should pay attention and listen carefully to His Words. “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to My words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body” (Proverbs 4:20 NLT). The entire body would include physical, psychological, and spiritual healing. God has made provision for everything we need in order to live an abundant, joy-filled, and peaceful life on planet earth.
When something is precious it is of great value, beloved, and dear. We often apply the word “precious” to the most sought-after gemstones such as the diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire. A lifestyle based on the Word of God should be a sought-after necessity for a believer. “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6 NLT). With all of my being, I purpose to be a lifetime seeker.
When something is priceless it is so treasured and irreplaceable that its value and worth cannot be determined. We can apply the word “priceless” to our loved ones. And in God’s Kingdom, His Word is irreplaceable. If we combined all the books in the world and weighed them against the Bible, the scales would never balance out. What God says trumps everything that selfish humanistic mankind dreams up from pride. “You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right“ (2 Timothy 3:15,16 NLT). You’ll never go wrong by doin’ what’s right.
When something is powerful, it is strong and mighty. My daughter’s favorite TV series was Home Improvement where Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor modified machines and cars for more power. I’ve used wimpy hair dryers and powerful hair dryers, and I prefer powerful because it gets the job done faster. “For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before His eyes, and He is the One to whom we are accountable” (Hebrews 4:12,13 NLT).
The Key: Don’t neglect to read those love letters hidden in the P pod from God.
Agenda Bourbon County Commission Room 1stFloor, County Courthouse 210 S. National Avenue Fort Scott, KS 66701 Date:November 1, 2022 1stDistrict–Nelson BlytheMinutes:Approved:_______________ 2ndDistrict–JimHarrisCorrected: _______________________ 3rdDistrict–Clifton BethAdjourned at: _______________ County Clerk–Ashley Shelton MEETING HELDAT CITY HALLIN THE COMMISSION ROOM
Call to Order •Flag Salute •Approval of Minutes from previous meeting •Eric Bailey–Road & Bridge Report •Approval of Accounts Payable •Ashley Shelton–Gas Price Lock–in Contract •Justin Meeks–County Counselor Comment •Susan Bancroft–Chief Financial Officer Comment oTransient Guest Tax oOpioid Settlement Funds •Shane Walker–ChiefInformation Officer Comment •Public Comment •CommissionComment Justifications for Executive Session: KSA 75–4319(b)(1) To discuss personnel matters ofindividualnonelected personnelto protect their privacy 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 KSA 75–4319(b)(3) To discussmatters relating toemployer–employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative(s) of thebody or agency KSA 75–4319(b)(4)To discuss data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trust, and individual proprietorships KSA 75–4319(b)(6) For the preliminary discussion of the acquisition of real property KSA 75–4319(b)(12) To discuss matters relating to security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting would jeopardize such security measures.
The unmistakable trend toward urbanization of American spells bad news economically for those of us who live in rural areas. It means increased government spending in larger municipalities, increased state and federal representation by urban areas in our capitals, and more of our tax dollars being exported to benefit our big city brothers and sisters. Just how strong is this trend? Let us take a look at some of the numbers relative to our 3,140 counties in the last 120 years:
% Pop in Urban Counties
# Rural Counties that Lost Pop.
# Rural Americans*
# Urban Americans*
(*) numbers in millions
The American trend toward urbanization has been going on since 1941, but has accelerated in the latter half of the 20th Century and the first two decades of the 21st. For the first time since the number of states reached 50, rural America experienced a net loss of population between census years. Column space does not allow me to get into the numbers, but the loss is more acute in the farm belt as compared to rural counties in energy sectors such as North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
Besides shuttered stores and deteriorating homes and infrastructure, the biggest threat to rural America is the increased taxation for those of us left behind. Generally, local governments have not reduced in size as a result of the population loss, and costs have increased. The highest mill levies in Kansas are in rural counties, including Bourbon. We have held the line in recent years, but decades of gradual increases have taken their toll on us. Urban counties can manage their mill levy much easier because of population increases and healthy jumps in total assessed valuation.
What is there to do? We have to play both offense and defense. We have to continue to work to fix problems that inhibit our growth and contribute to those wanting to move away, especially our high school graduates. We have to dedicate ourselves to economic development, grant writing, and tourism. With our time, talent and treasure, we have to invest in our not-for-profits who suport our most vulnerable and improve our culture. We have to get behind our schools, even if we do not have school-aged children, and work to make them the best that we can muster.
How do we play defense? That is the subject for next week’s column.
Franklin Emerson Brisbin, Jr., age 33, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kansas, passed away early Thursday, October 27, 2022, at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. He was born December 27, 1988, in Pittsburg, Kansas, the son of Franklin E. Brisbin Sr. and Vickie Lynn Brewer. Frankie had worked for various construction companies over the years. He could often be found outdoors; he especially enjoyed fishing. Frankie will be remembered for his kind-hearted spirit and his love for children. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his children, Braxton Hudson, Kylee, K’Dence, Karley, Ayden and Addison Brisbin; his mother, Vickie Crowe (Burt Hawkins) of Ft. Scott, his father, Franklin Brisbin, Sr., of Pittsburg; two sisters, Cara Guthrie (Andrew) of Ft. Scott and Courtney Heckert of Pittsburg. Also surviving are nieces and nephews, Brandon, Blayke, Zachary, Bryleigh, Charleigh, Blayze, Skyleigh, Kolton, Dynver, Gracesyn, Arrow, Myrissa, Brantley, Shelbii, Lennox and Halon and his grandmother, Donna Brisbin-Hashgaen of Pittsburg. He was preceded in death by his step-father, Charles Crowe, his grandfather, Vernon Brisbin and an uncle, Daryll Brisbin.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 P.M. Wednesday, November 2nd at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 P.M. Tuesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Frankie Brisbin Memorial Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.
NOTICE OF AND AGENDA FOR MEETING OF FORT SCOTT CITY COMMISSION CITY HALL COMMISSION MEETING ROOM 123 SOUTH MAIN STREET November 1st, 2022 6:00 P.M. I.Roll Call: J. JonesT. Van HoeckeS. WalkerM. WellsK. Harrington II.Flag Salute: III.Invocation:Led by: T. VanHoecke IV.Consent Agenda: A.Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of October 18th, 2022 B.Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1323-A totaling $259,949.03 C.Request to Pay – L. G. Barcus & Sons – $143,460.92 – River Intake D.Request to Pay – Nuss & Farmer – $770.00 – Outside contract work V.Public Comment: (Sign up required.Comments on any topic not on agenda and limited to five (5) minutes per person, at Commission discretion) A.Lake Advisory Board Representative Update VI.Old Business: A.Change Order #1 – L.G. Barcus and Sons, Inc. – $19,466.03 – Review of itemized bill requested by Commission and submitted by Donald Lindeman, Senior Project Manager of HDR. B.Consideration of agreement with BakerTilly for financial services VII.Appearances: VIII.Public Hearing: None
IX.New Business: A.ConsiderationforapprovalofParadePermitforFortScottChristmas Parade on December 1st, 2022, submitted by Lindsay Madison. B.Consideration for 60-day Time Extension for the City’s Urgent Need project C.Consideration of Addendum No. 1 – Fort Scott GO Car Wash MEP Plan Review – Earles Engineering XII.Reports and Comments: A.Interim City Manager Comments: B.Assistant City Manager Comments: C.Engineering Comments: D.Commissioners Comments: E.City Attorney Comments: XIII.ExecutiveSession–Ifrequested,(pleasefollowscriptinallmotionsfor Executive Sessions) J.Jones–ExecutiveSessionforthepersonnelmattersofnon-elected personnel. IX.Adjournment:
Twenty-six recipients of the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation were presented checks to further their projects during the annual award ceremony on Oct. 26 at Landmark Bank.
Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lindsay Madison welcomed those attending.
“We are so thankful for the foundation starting in 2007,” she said. “This year 26 recipients were granted $53,500 in awards.”
Before the ceremony, the Mercy Fort Scott Hospital Foundation Board, comprised of Bryan Holt, Marci Smith and Jared Leek presented a $250,000 check to the FSACF. The board closed out the foundation with this last distribution to be used for future health care needs in the community. Mercy Hospital Fort Scott closed its doors in December 2018.
Carla Farmer, FSACF Board Member, also presented $299, 446 to FSACF from the John and Pat Neff annuity that was originally for the Mercy Foundation, but was transferred to FSACF.
The Sisters of Mercy had assisted the Neffs in adopting two children and had wanted to give back, so they created an annuity that paid them until they died, then the funds went to the Mercy Foundation. Mrs. Neff died three months ago.
FSACF Chairman Craig Campbell sent more information, following the ceremony, on the First Christian Church of Ft. Scott Endowment Fund, which contributed over $12,000 toward this fall’s grantees.
When the First Christian Church closed, a foundation was formed to provide grants to support local needs for years to come.
The following are grants this year selected by the First Christian Church Endowment board:
Riverfront Authority Labyrinth
Methodist Church Feeding Families
Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries
USD 234 Preschool Center Community Involvement
USD 234 Healthy Snacks
The following are the recipients and what they received the grant for:
Photos were unavailable for the following :
Bourbon County CASA received a grant to provide training and support for the organizations volunteers.
Ronda Hassig, from the Lowell Milken Center, received a grant to invest in a high-powered telescope to bring the universe closer to the community.
Feeding Families In His Name Ministry feeds free meals to 450 people each Wednesday from the Fort Scott First United Methodist Church. Bonnie Milburn is the coordinator, who received the check along with Jean Tucker.
Fostering Connections helps with integrating children into adoptive families by providing resources for them. Lacy Nicholson accepted the check.
Linda Minor accepted a check for USD234 students, who will be receiving snacks for those who don’t have the resources to invest in healthy food.
Fort Scott Middle School Teacher Stephanie George received a grant to take students to the Nutcracker Ballet in Kansas City.
Communities in School is a nation-wide program to provide support for struggling youth in Fort Scott Middle and High School. Accepting the check was Lewis Dunkeson and Winter Moore.
Cubmaster Seth Needham accepted the check for the local CubScout program to support recruiting efforts.
The Fort Scott Kiwanis Club received a grant to continue planting trees in the community, represented by John Crain.
USD 235 teacher Jeff Feagins received a grant to upgrade the computer lab in his classroom, with Gregg Motley accepting the check for Feagins.
Jennifer Terrell received a check for Kansas State’s Southwind Extension to engage youth in the art of cooking.
USD 234 teacher Larry Amer received a grant for the Empty Bowls program which combines art, function and self-sustaining fundraising for students.
Fort Scott Preschool Principal Nick Johnson received a grant to provide engagement activities that hopes to involve teachers and families.
Southeast Kansas Mental Health received a grant to bring expertise and resources to the USD 234 school district. Accepting the check was Vickie Wright, Kerry Pommier and Janderon Loyd.
Josh Jones and Bailey Lyons accepted a check for the purpose of a future splash pad for children in Fort Scott.
Fort Scott Community College received a grant to support students who are first in their family to attend and graduate from college. Accepting the grant for FSCC was Stacy Bishop, Holli Mason and Becca Clay.
Fort Scott Compassionate Ministries Executive Director Allen Schellack received a grant to help the immediate and acute needs of families in our community.
Joe O’Rourke accepted a check for Tri-Valley Development Services for purchase of an electric sit-to-stand machine to aid residents and caregivers.
Autumn Durrosette and Robin Webb, USD 234 First Grade Teachers, received a grant to provide a life science natural habitat.
Tom Havron, representing Fort Scott Community College, received a grant to display school memorabilia in display cases and shelves.
Erin Fletcher, representing Special Olympics, received a grant for equipment and uniforms.
USD 234 received a grant to study Edgar Allen Poe in an electronic classroom experience. Representing the school district in receiving the grant was teachers Nicolle Pellet and Michelle Brittain.
USD 234 Teacher Cristin Start will lead students on a historical walking tour of Fort Scott with a grant received.
Jerry Witt, representing the Riverfront Authority, received a grant to fund a walking labyrinth dedicated to the memory of the late Allen Warren.
The City of Mapleton received a grant for a community defibrillator, along with training to a number of residents on the equipment. Accepting the check was Debbie Potter and Greg Post.
The Gordon Parks Museum received a grant for interactive touch screen displays from the foundation. Receiving the grant are board members Jackson Tough, Janice Fewins, Becky Tourtillott and Kirk Sharp.
The Kansas Cold Weather Rule takes effect November 1
TOPEKA – The Cold Weather Rule, designed to help Kansans who are behind on their utility payments avoid disconnection during the winter months, will begin on Tuesday, November 1 and remain in effect through March 31.
With energy costs expected to rise this winter, the protections offered by the Cold Weather Rule could be more critical than ever in keeping individuals and families safe and connected. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Midwest households heating with natural gas could see their bills increase by 33%. Those using electric heat could pay 8% more. If the weather is colder than expected, those numbers could be higher.
While the Cold Weather Rule is in effect, utility companies cannot disconnect a customer’s service when local temperatures are forecast to drop below 35 degrees within the following 48-hour period. The Kansas Corporation Commission, the agency that regulates public utilities in the state, implemented the rule in 1983 to prevent utility companies from disconnecting a customer’s natural gas or electric service during periods of extreme cold.
The Cold Weather Rule also requires utility companies to offer a 12-month payment plan to allow consumers to maintain or re-establish service. Any residential customer with a past due balance will qualify for payment arrangements; however, it is the customer’s responsibility to contact their gas or electric company to make those arrangements.
Payment plan terms to maintain or restore service require that customers agree to pay 1/12th of the total amount owed, 1/12th of the current bill, the full amount of any disconnection or reconnection fee, plus any applicable deposit to the utility. The remaining balance must be paid in equal payments over the next 11 months, in addition to the current monthly bill.
The Cold Weather Rule applies only to residential customers of electric, natural gas, and water utility companies under the KCC’s jurisdiction, however many municipal utilities and cooperatives have similar winter weather policies.
Information about the Cold Weather Rule is available on the Commission’s website. Kansans may also contact their local utility company or the KCC’s Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at (800) 662-0027.