Fort Scott Public Library Recognized as the Library of Excellence

Lisa Walther. Submitted photo.

Lisa Walther is retiring from her position at the Fort Scott Public Library tomorrow, Oct. 31, after over 27 years as director.

Walther said through the years, the changes she has seen include joining SEKnFind ( a consortium of Southeast Kansas libraries administered by SEKLS which shares a single automated system) multiple library remodeling projects, and the beginning of ebooks availability.
An ebook is a book in electronic form that can be read on a computer or handheld device rather than in print, according to Oxford Languages.
Walther said the library board is beginning the process of advertising for her replacement.
Library of Excellence Award

On Oct. 24 the Fort Scott Public Library received the Library of
Excellence award from the Southeast Kansas Library System in a ceremony at the library.

“The library received an award, a check for $1,000, and a traveling plaque which we can display in the library until another Southeast Kansas Library System library wins the Library of Excellence Award,” Valetta Cannon, assistant library director said. “The last and only other one was awarded to Savonburg Public Library in 2018.”

“The Fort Scott Public Library earned this through their tireless
efforts to create community partnerships, renovate their space, and bring creative and innovative programs specific to their
community,” according to the announcement here

“Several programs showcase this work and their partnerships with local businesses, including Girls Who Code, 500
books before middle school, 100 books before
graduation, and Walk Into Books, Bourbon County.”

“Both their community outreach initiatives and the library’s dedication to eliminating barriers to services demonstrate
their dedication to the community and earned them this Excellence Award.”

Lisa Walther, Director of Fort Scott Public Library, left, is pictured with Sharon Moreland, Director of the Southeast Kansas Library System, and Valetta Cannon, assistant Fort Scott Library Director. Submitted photo.

According to a press release from Fort Scott Public Library,  a patron, Ashley Morris, said, “The real strength of this library is its involvement in the local community. They have been indispensable in our community, particularly in their ability to safely foster connections and offer essential resources during and after the pandemic.”

Fort Scott Public Library employees (left to right): Samantha Miller, Jennifer Carnes, Lisa Walther, Valetta Cannon, Sypher Cannon (summer assistant 2023), and Casey Gomez (summer assistant 2023). Submitted photo.





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 Wednesday, November 1 and remain in effect through March 31.

While the Cold Weather Rule is in effect, utility companies cannot disconnect a customer’s service when the 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 and natural gas 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 or 785-271-3140.



Bo Co Coalition Meets Nov. 1


Bourbon County Inter-Agency Coalition

General Membership Meeting Agenda

The regular General Membership meeting is on Wednesday, November 1, at 1:00 p.m. in the Conference Room at the Scottview Apartments, 315 S. Scott.


November 1, 2023



  1. Welcome: 



  1. Member Introductions and Announcements:



  1. Program:  Travis Wilcoxsen and Kathy Romero, Angel Care Home Health.



  1. Open Forum:  The December 6 program will be an update on Maggie Young’s work with tobacco cessation.  In January, we will hear from Tess Watson about her bed project.



  1. Adjournment:  The next General Membership meeting will be December 6.


KDOT sets online meetings for input on projects to address extreme weather, natural hazards


The Kansas Department of Transportation is receiving federal funds to address transportation infrastructure vulnerabilities caused by extreme weather events and natural hazards that can happen anytime across the state.

To receive input from the public about transportation infrastructure needs in Kansas regions or communities, KDOT is holding three online meetings on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

“We want to know where the trouble spots are, such as frequently flooded roadways,” said David Schwartz, KDOT Assistant to the Director of Planning and Development. “We also want to know where critical community assets might be at risk of losing access during disasters. Having additional background and data from the public will assist KDOT staff when making project selections.”

Eligible project costs could include:

  • Planning, design, construction, rehabilitation and property acquisition related to improving the resilience of the state transportation system.
  • Equipment acquisition to support disaster response and transportation resilience.
  • Natural infrastructure, flood protection and ecosystem restoration projects in connection with transportation improvements.

Each of the Nov. 1 online meetings will have a different emphasis. They will be:

  • 2 p.m. – Focus on Wichita metro.
  • 5:30 p.m. – Focus on Kansas City metro.
  • 7 p.m. – Kansas statewide focus.

To connect to one of the meetings and for more information, go to Reservations are not required. The meetings will be recorded for later viewing and comment submission at the website address above.

The funds are through the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Formula Program. This program is part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is providing funds for Federal Highway Administration programs through 2026.



Don’t Let the Devil Ride by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom by Carolyn Tucker


Have you ever said something during a conversation and the individual gawked at you like you were a nut hanging from a tree? No matter where we grew up, we all use colloquialisms;  and those of us in the same region understand each other perfectly! For example, someone could say:  “He‘s got a heart the size of a washtub; he’d give you the shirt off his back. But, bless his heart, he’s a brick shy of a full load.“ Or, “Give her an inch and she’ll take a mile.”


I’ve been blessed with family and friends that don’t fit into the “give an inch and take a mile” category. The God-kind of love doesn’t function like that; real love looks for ways to give, not take. But I am very aware of any enemy that’s completely hateful, selfish, and destructive, and that’s the devil. If you give Satan an inch, he’ll snatch it and turn it into a nightmare trip. That’s why the Bible tells us, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (James 4:7,8 NLT). Don’t forget the first and last portions of this scripture, as they are important keys to resisting the enemy who hates you as much as God loves you.


Don’t be asleep at the wheel! “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8,9 NLT). There’s no such thing as a joy ride with the  devil. Don’t even give him a ride around the block!


A good song can inspire me as much as a good sermon. There’s a story song about the devil being a hitchhiker. Some of the lyrics are: “Don’t let the devil ride. If you let him ride, he’ll want to drive. Don’t, please don’t, let him drive your car. If you let him drive your car, he’ll surely go too far. Don’t let him drive! Don‘t do it, don‘t do it, don‘t do it.”


Sin always takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and costs you more than you can possibly pay. In the Garden of Eden, Eve didn’t see any harm in having a friendly conversation with the worst enemy in the world. We all know that particular interaction went south in a flash.


Believers are to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11 NKJV). How often do we put on your clothes? That’s how often we’re to put on the armor of God. The devil is capable of luring unsuspecting Christians into sin. Following Christ requires godly decisions, purposeful effort, and proper use of the equipment God has provided for you. “Wiles” can be defined as clever schemes used by Satan to trap you through temptation, threat, intimidation, and deception through trickery. But you are not powerless, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him [Jesus Christ] who loved us“ (Romans 8:37 NKJV).


The Key: Don’t let the devil ride in your car — just put the pedal to the metal.

Sheriff’s Office: “Unfounded Event”

***News Release*** Taken from the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page on Oct. 28:
Bourbon County Sheriff Bill Martin. Submitted photo.
On October 27, 2023, Bourbon County Communication Center received a 911 call from an unknown and unidentifiable caller. The caller stated, “Please help me” before the phone was disconnected. The 911 call was pinged and found to come from the area of 180th and Hackberry. First responders were dispatched to the area and were not able to locate anyone. To error on the side of caution, an area search was conducted with approximately 20 first responders searching and making contact with area residents. Residents reached were informed of the 911 phone call. The residents were asked to check on anyone that they allow to be on their property in case of an accident. All vehicles parked along the roadways in the area of the ping were checked and contact was made with the owners.
Kansas Highway Patrol was notified and a request was made for assistance for in air-support, however KHP could not assist due to current case load and weather conditions. Contact was also made with surrounding law enforcement agencies for drone assistance and due to weather conditions drone assistance was also not available.
At approximately 5:16 yesterday a private individual, who is not affiliated with any responding agency made a post on their personal Facebook page stating the following, “…911 just received a call from someone who said that they just fell from a tree stand and then the phone went dead.” This post was screen-shot and then posted on the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office Facebook by another individual who is also not affiliated with any responding agency. As mentioned earlier, the 911 call came in as “please help me”. There was nothing mentioned in the 911 call of a person falling from a tree stand. This was and remains inaccurate information related to the 911 call that was received.
In the past 24 hours since the 911 call was received, there have been no calls of any missing person(s). At this time, the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office will have this incident documented and listed as un-founded event.
I would like to thank Undersheriff Kevin Davidson for his leadership and all other first responders who assisted in anyway with this call. Also, I would like to thank all the citizens for their willingness to assist if called upon. It is always disappointing when individuals take to Facebook with inaccurate and false information which causes panic and more questions than we have answers for within the community.
Respectfully submitted,
Wm K. Martin, Bourbon County Sheriff

The A, B, C, & D’s of Medicare

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


We’ve all seen the Medicare ads that will make you wonder if you are missing out on important benefits.  This is not necessarily the case and there is no need to ponder this concern alone!  Trained and unbiased Senior Health Insurance Counselors are available to visit with you and see what works best for your situation.


Medicare Annual Election Period, running from October 15th-December 7th, is a great time to ask your questions!  Call 620-244-3826 to schedule an appointment.  Until then, here are some Medicare basics:


Medicare is a federal health insurance program that can cover:

  • individuals ages 65 and older, individuals younger than age 65 years with disabilities, and individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)


Medicare Part A is hospital insurance that covers:

  • Inpatient hospital care
  • Qualified short-term stay in skilled nursing facilities
  • Home health care Hospice care
  • Part A is premium-free for most individuals


Medicare Part B is medical insurance that covers:

  • Doctor’s office visits
  • Outpatient hospital care
  • Lab tests and certain medical equipment and supplies
  • In 2024, this monthly premium for most people is $174.70.


Medicare Advantage Plans are also called Medicare Part C:

  • Combine Part A and Part B services (i.e., HMO, PPO, PFFS, etc.)
  • Some offer prescription drug coverage
  • Should visit with your doctors prior to see if accepts this plan


Medicare Part D is Prescription Drug Coverage:

  • Insurance that covers both generic and brand-name prescriptions
  • Coverage is provided through private insurance companies
  • Most will pay a monthly premium for a drug plan


Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap):

  • Private health insurance that helps pay beneficiaries’ share of costs in Original Medicare


Medicare Savings Program (MSP)

  • Helps pay Medicare premiums, deductibles, co-pays for individuals with limited income and resources


Part D Extra Help:

  • Helps pay for premiums, deductibles and prescription drug costs with an income eligibility requirement


For more information, contact Tara Solomon-Smith, [email protected], or call 620-244-3826.


# # #

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.


Gordon Parks Museum Newsletter

new logo July 2018 with address.jpg

Gordon Parks Museum

News, Events & Updates

October 27, 2023

A Journey to Gordon Parks’ Legacy in Paris

Gordon Parks Academy Stem Leaders in Applied and Media Arts

GoFundMe Page

Hello and welcome to the Gordon Parks Trailblazer Foundation GoFundMe page! For the past seven years, we have proudly partnered with A.R.I.S.E. Kansas African Americans Renewing Interest in Spirituals Ensemble Inc, an organization dedicated to renewing interest in Spirituals through music and spoken word, educating people of all cultures about the significance of Spirituals from the underground railroad to the Civil Rights Movement. .

Read more…

Gordon Parks Museum Receives Fort Scott Area Community Foundation Grant


New Billboard Replacement

on North 69 HWY

A grant from the Fort Scott Area Community Foundation helped support the replacement of the Gordon Parks Museum Billboard on North 69 Highway outside of Fort Scott, Kansas.

Read more…

Gordon Parks Museum Receives a Cross from

the African American Methodist Episcopal (AME)

Shane Walker, resident of Fort Scott, KS and longtime admirer of Gordon Parks, has donated one of the church crosses that was found in the African American Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church.


Read more…

The 21st Annual Gordon Parks Celebration 2024

Save the date for the 21st Annual Gordon Parks Celebration,

Oct 3 – 5, 2024. More details and information will be coming throughout the year.

We would like to thank everyone that was able to attend this last years celebration and we would like to thank all of the area business, organizations and individuals that helped to support the 20th Annual Celebration. We are looking forward to having you all back in 2024!

Find us on the website link below
Gordon Parks Museum Website
Keep in Touch..
Gordon Parks Museum | 2108 S. Horton St., Fort Scott, KS 66701

Bourbon County Commission Agenda for Oct. 30


Bourbon County Courthouse

210 S. National Ave Fort Scott, KS 66701 Phone: 620-223-3800

Fax: 620-223-5832


Bourbon County, Kansas

Nelson Blythe

1st District Commissioner

Jim Harris, Chairman

2nd District Commissioner

Clifton Beth

3rd District Commissioner



Bourbon County Commission Agenda 210 S. National Ave.

Fort Scott, KS 66701

October 30, 2023 5:30 p.m.



  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Flag Salute Followed by Prayer
  • Approval of Consent Agenda
    1. Approval of Minutes from 10/23/2023
  1. Public Comments
  2. Bourbon County Soil Conservation District
  3. Department Updates
    1. Public Works
  • Discussion of Speed Limits on Gravel Roads
  • Jennifer Hawkins, County Clerk
    1. Letter of Support for SEKMHC-KDOT Transportation Grant
    2. Appointment of KWORCC Voting Delegates and Nomination of Trustee
    3. 11/6/2023 Meeting
  1. Jim Harris-Executive Session KSA 75-4319(b)(1)
  2. Commission Comments
  3. Adjourn Meeting






Executive Session Justifications:


KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to 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 discuss matters relating to employer/employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the

representative(s) of               the body 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 the security measures, if the discussion of such matters at an open meeting

would jeopardize such security measures.


Healthy Cooking for the Holidays

Clara Wicoff Misenhelter.  Submitted photo 2023



By Clara Misenhelter

Southwind Extension District


The holidays are right around the corner! Many families, mine included, have holiday traditions centered around foods that they only get to enjoy a few times each year. These traditions are important and should be cherished without guilt. However, if you are wondering how you can make your traditional holiday recipes healthier, there are several steps you can take.


First, recognize that many holiday favorites (like pumpkin pie) start with a healthy first ingredient. Think of this vegetable or fruit as the “star” ingredient. Next, find ways to “focus on the stars” so that you can reduce the large amounts of fats and sugar typically found in traditional holiday recipes. For example, try using fat-free evaporated milk when making your pumpkin pie filling instead of using regular evaporated milk. Other ways you can “focus on the stars” this holiday season include switching from a traditional green bean casserole to a green bean sauté, from traditional mashed potatoes to yogurt mashed potatoes, from a traditional pumpkin pie to a crustless pumpkin pie, or from a traditional apple pie to slow cooker baked apples. Again, remember that it is important to make changes based upon what is important to your family traditions and culture. You may have specific recipes that are important for your family to enjoy as they are without making any modifications.


To learn more, consider attending one of the “Healthy Cooking for the Holidays” programs I will be hosting in November. These programs are free, but please call 620-365-2242 to RSVP for the location you prefer out of the following options:

  • Uniontown – November 8th at 6 PM
  • Iola – November 13th at 5 PM
  • Yates Center – November 15th at 6 PM
  • Chanute – November 16th at 12 PM


This article was adapted from a fact sheet originally published by retired family and consumer sciences agent Barbara Ames. This fact sheet can be found online at For more information, please contact me at [email protected] or 620-365-2242. To learn about additional programs we will be offering, visit to sign up for the “Wellness For You and Community, Too!” e-newsletter published monthly by the Southwind District.


Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

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

The Science of Happiness

Cassidy Lutz
K-State Research and Extension 
Family and Consumer Science Agent 
Southwind District 
211 W. Butler 
Yates Center, KS 66783

The Science of Happiness

What does science say about happiness? Is there any research on what creates happiness? Thanks to recent studies, we now know how to define and create happiness in our lives. In a recent webinar sponsored by Wyandotte County K-State Research and Extension, certified nurse leader and health coach Michelle Lane explained the facts of happiness.

Happiness can be defined as a combination of how satisfied you are with your life plus how good you feel on a day-to-day basis. Research tells us that 10% of happiness is determined by your circumstances, 50% is biologically determined, and 40% is controlled by your thoughts, actions, and behaviors. Contrary to what many people think, happiness is not about having the best or newest things or having lots of money.

Your outlook on life and the way you view the world around you play a big role in your level of happiness. Human brains are deeply intertwined with a mind-body connection, meaning that our thoughts and feelings directly impact our overall health. Happy people are less likely to have cardiovascular disease, have higher immunity, heal faster, have a healthier diet, and live longer lives. With over 40 years of research from Johns Hopkins, we know that diseases progress quicker in people with a negative outlook. By choosing to be happy, you can add 7 ½ years to your life! Not only does it feel good to be happy, but it is also good for our health.

A large part of our mindset is linked to four major chemicals produced in our gut. When we are fetuses inside the womb, the brain and brainstem actually pinch off from the cells that make up the stomach. This is why gut health is so important and why the saying “You are what you eat” actually has some truth behind it. Dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins are the magical quartet of hormones that affect how we feel. When we accomplish something, dopamine is released into our bloodstream. Oxytocin is the love hormone and is triggered through social bonding, eye contact, and attentiveness. Giving hugs is a great way to release this hormone for a feel-good buzz. Serotonin flows when you feel important or significant. Gratitude is a great way to recognize someone or praise them, which increases serotonin. UV rays also help create serotonin so getting a little bit of sun each day (20 min) can boost your mood. Finally, endorphins are released in response to pain and stress. They help relieve anxiety and depression. Strenuous exercise, spicy foods, and cold showers release lots of endorphins.

Besides a good diet, what can we do throughout our day to increase happiness? Establishing deep, nurturing relationships with others can create a feeling of belonging, fulfillment, and overall happiness. Feeling connected with others that we truly care about helps alleviate stress. Physical markers such as blood pressure or cholesterol have less to do with how long we live than the social interactions we have as we age. Isolation and loneliness have been proven to decrease life expectancy. Be intentional about new experiences, help others, be kind, and be grateful. Doing these things will create happiness that is long-lasting.

If you are interested in watching the webinar and learning more about this topic, it can be found on YouTube at For more information, contact Cassidy Lutz at [email protected] or by calling 620-625-8620.