Medicare Prescription Drug Costs Hard to Swallow?

Tara Soloman-Smith, Family and Wellness Agent, Sunflower District of Kansas State University’s Extension Office. Submitted photo.

Medicare Prescription Drug Costs Hard to Swallow?

Did you know that you can review and change your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan annually? Medicare Annual Election Period, running from October 15th-December 7th, is the time to do just that!

On Tuesday, November 14th, from 9:00am-2:00pm, at 735 Scott Avenue, Fort Scott; area Senior Health Insurance Counselors for Kansas (SHICK) will be available for you! Call 620-244-3826 to schedule an appointment.

Even if you have been happy with your plan in the past, plans and your medications do change! It is a good idea to compare options to see what meets your current needs. Last year, area helped beneficiaries save on average $918.00 per person changing plans.

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Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director of K-State Research and Extension, Kansas State University, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts.


Oct. 12 KDOT Meeting: Focus on Transportation Priorities

KDOT to host Local Consult in Iola Oct. 12

Meeting will focus on transportation priorities in southeast Kansas


The Kansas Department of Transportation is hosting nine meetings in October as part of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE) Local Consult process. KDOT holds Local Consult meetings every two years to discuss regional transportation project priorities with Kansans.

The sixth meeting will be in Iola and focus on transportation in southeast Kansas (KDOT District 4). It will take place on Thursday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. – noon, at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center in Iola.

Those who attend will have an opportunity to share their region’s transportation priorities, hear about more investments being made in transportation and learn about various grant funding programs available through KDOT. The meeting is open to the public.

This event in southeast Kansas is part of the series of meetings being held across the state and is an important step in collecting public input for the IKE program – the state’s current 10-year transportation improvement program.

The remaining Local Consult meeting locations, dates and times are:

  • KC Metro – Tuesday, Oct. 17, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., Lenexa Hyatt Place Kansas City/Lenexa City Center in Lenexa.
  • Wichita Metro – Wednesday, Oct. 18, 9 a.m. – noon, WSU Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex in Wichita.
  • Virtual Meeting – Tuesday, Oct. 24, 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.  For those unable to attend an in-person meeting, they may attend a virtual meeting on Zoom. Please register here

More information about the Local Consult process is available online at:








Chamber After-Hours and Ribbon Cutting for Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic On Oct. 19

Chamber After-Hours and Ribbon Cutting Event for Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic

Thursday, October 19th, 2023
5:15 pm to 6:30 pm


The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce invites members to a Chamber After-hours & Ribbon Cutting Event to celebrate the opening of Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic! The event will take place on Thursday, October 19th from 5:15 pm-6:30 pm with the remarks and ribbon cutting starting at 5:30 pm. After the Ribbon cutting and remarks, everyone is invited to come and go to see the business, enter the drawings, and enjoy refreshments.


Opened on January 16, 2023, and located on the corner of 13th and National; Mill Creek Veterinary Clinic is a new addition to Fort Scott, however, Dr. Amanda Brown and her husband are natives to Fort Scott. Dr. Amanda and the staff at MCVC are kind and efficient while providing clients and their pets an affordable modern approach to preventive care as well as managing acute and chronic illnesses. Mill Creek is a small animal-focused clinic, but has the ability to provide large animal services on the farm. MCVC has the capability to perform a full diagnostic workup due to in-house Idexx laboratory equipment, in-house digital X-ray, and Butterfly ultrasound.


Contact the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce for more information at 620-223-3566 or [email protected].



COVID-19 Supports for Kansas Kids Dropped Poverty and Food Insecurity

Data Shows Pandemic-era Supports Drove Down

Child Poverty, Food Insecurity among Kansas Kids

— Poverty and food insecurity rates among Kansas children dropped significantly in the early years of the pandemic, according to the
2023 Kansas KIDS COUNT® Data Book, which analyzes child outcomes in economic well-being, education, and health indicators. The
Data Book was created by Kansas Action for Children, which collected state and county data from national and state sources.

Kansas children living below the poverty line (or a household income of less than $26,500/year for a family of four) decreased from 101,000 children in 2019 to 92,000 children in 2021. And
kids experiencing food insecurity (or not having enough to eat for every meal) decreased even more significantly from around 120,000 kids in 2019 to about 94,000 in 2021.

These improvements correlate to early pandemic-era supports targeting kids and families, such as increased food assistance benefits, no-cost school meals for all children, the temporarily
expanded federal child tax credit, and other measures that helped relieve financial burdens for families living on low- or middle-incomes.

Additionally, more Kansas kids became enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), reaching a combined peak across the last decade of nearly 300,000 children accessing
some type of coverage through KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program. This number is in stark contrast to a combined total of about 271,000 kids enrolled in 2019.

Due to the public health emergency, KanCare enrollees did not have to submit paperwork with the state to determine continuing eligibility, and enrollees were able to keep their coverage for
prolonged periods. However, with the public health emergency ending in May 2023, those redeterminations are underway, and thousands of kids are losing coverage.

“The data is clear that measures implemented during the early years of the pandemic helped families make ends meet,” said John Wilson, President and CEO of Kansas Action for Children. “But
with those programs having ended, advocates are concerned with the data trends we are likely to see in 2022 and beyond.”

He continued, “We can build on the success of pandemic-era programs by ensuring families can achieve financial security. Expanding Medicaid, implementing a state child tax credit, breaking
down barriers to food assistance, and raising the minimum wage are all solutions to make that a reality.”

Other notable data shifts highlighted in the report include:

Income statuses of families in Kansas have been on a constant incline since 2011, but there are still large discrepancies between racial groups. For instance,
Asian American/Pacific Islander households made around $102,100 in 2021, while American Indian/Alaskan Native households were at $32,400.

Fewer young children were enrolled in early learning programs. From 2019-2021, about 54% of Kansas 3- and 4-year-olds weren’t in nursery school, preschool, or
kindergarten. This is about a 2-point increase from 2017-2019.

Basic reading and math proficiency continued to trend downward in the last decade, following trends across the country. Reading proficiency has dropped about
10 percentage points since 2015 (80% vs. 70% in 2021). Math proficiency decreased even more significantly, seeing 8th graders drop from 71% in 2019 to 61% in 2022 and 4th graders drop from 79% to 75% across the same period.

Low birth weights are statistically much higher among Black newborns compared to every other racial/ethnic group. In 2021, around 7% of all Kansas newborns were
born at less than 5.5 pounds, but Black babies were twice the state average at 14%.

Racial disparities were also present in infant mortality rates. While the overall state rate is 5.9 infant deaths per 1,000, around 16.5 Black infants per 1,000
died in 2021.

Children without health coverage stayed steady at around 5%. With KanCare redeterminations currently occurring, this number could increase in future years.

Downtown Meet and Greet is Tuesday Oct. 3

Quarterly Downtown Meet & Greet scheduled for October 3rd!

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce announces a Downtown Meet & Greet will be held Tuesday, October 3rd at City State Bank, 202 Scott Avenue, from 8am-9am.

These informal, quarterly meetings are hosted by the Chamber for downtown business owners, representatives, and community members to network and share ideas on events, promotions and anything related to downtown. Coffee, juice, and light refreshments will be served.

Contact the Chamber at 620-223-3566 with any questions.

Thank you to our Chamber Champion members below!
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

How To Kill Anything by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom By Carolyn Tucker


I was shopping in a very small store out of town and overheard two friends talking. Both ladies knew I was there and obviously didn’t care. “Betty” asked “Susan” if she had quit coming to church. Susan answered, “No, not yet anyway.“ After a few more exchanges, Susan said, “Well, I’m a good person, I don’t go out and sin, I don‘t…blah blah blah.” Then both women proceeded to criticize and complain about the worship music that they hated. Then they began to tear down the young pastor. They freely talked as if I wasn’t there hearing every word. I assure you, God heard every word too.


As I was subjected to this negative barrage of words, I became disheartened and greatly saddened. I realized that both of these dear ladies had no idea what God thought of their conversation. Although Susan considered herself to be a forthright individual, she was completely clueless that God was offended and displeased with her conversation. God is all about love because He is love. He is full of mercy and lovingkindness, and I heard none of those life-giving attributes in the words being uttered. The young pastor needed their prayers, support, and encouragement — not their criticism and judgment. Like an F5 tornado, these destructive attitudes and words will kill anything in its path.


I have the capacity to be just a hop, skip, and a jump away from doing the very same things that annoy the socks off of me. So every day I need to be purposely mindful of that unruly member of my body (the tongue). “With our tongues, we bless God our Father; with the same tongues we curse the very men and women He made in His image” (James 3:9 MSG). “And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” (James 3:10 NLT).


It’s human nature to look at ourselves through rose-colored glasses. “…I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves” (Romans 12:3 NLT). Like a gunnysack full of rattlesnakes, I want to stay away from being proud and holier-than-thou. Jesus opposed the attitudes and actions of the “religious” people because of their pride and self-righteousness. “There are people who think they are pure when they are as filthy as they can be” (Proverbs 30:12 TEV).


“Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give You a tenth of my income.‘ But the tax collector stood at a distance and…prayed. He beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ’O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 18:9-13 NLT).


I must keep a critical mouth closed and a loving heart open. Let’s always take the high road and choose love because Jesus said it wins. And the apostle Paul said love was the greatest of anything.

The Key: Let’s use our mouths to speak love and life because we don’t want to kill anybody around us.