FSHS Thespians Perform Comedy Improv Show

The Fort Scott High School Thespians perform their annual Spring Improv Comedy Show at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 27 at the FSHS Auditorium.

The show features improvised comedic scenes acted out on the spot using suggestions from the audience. Admission for the show is a free-will donation at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The Improv Troupe, named Scripted, is directed by FSHS teacher Mark Bergmann and sponsored by Thespian Director Angie Bin. Junior Cooper George serves as this year’s Improv Troupe Captain.

Arch Ribbon Cutting Kicked Off Downtown Clean-up

Jody Love and Rachel Carpenter, Health Bourbon County Action Team (facing camera) helped with cutting the ribbon for the new arch.

The ribbon cutting for the new  Welcome to Fort Scott downtown arch kicked off the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Downtown Clean-up project on April 22 at 3 p.m.

From left are Brad Matkin with grandson, Jody Love, Rachel Carpenter and Lindsay Madison. In the background is the new mural going up on East Wall in back of the Ellis Foundation building. The mural was a part of the Downtown Clean-up.

The new arch is near the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce office at 231 E Wall.

Citizens gather for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new welcome arch in downtown Fort Scott.

The welcome arch was grant-funded, with a total cost of $150,000, Rachel Carpenter said in an interview.

Citizens line up for a group photo of the ribbon cutting in the middle of Wall Street beneath the new arch. Hwy.54 traffic (Wall Street) was diverted briefly for the event.

Grants were provided by the Patterson Family Foundation and a  #BCBSKSPathways and was a  #placemaking project, through the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team.

The project began in October 2021.

“The Chamber envisioned a downtown welcome sign,” she said. The HBCAT “Involved citizens throughout the process, with public forums, a survey, and was guided by a steering committee.”

Local tradesmen were used for the project when possible, “except for the steel component which was TL Steele of Burrton, KS,” Carpenter said.

The Patterson family and Pathways ended their grant period to the HBCAT with the finalization of this welcome arch project, Carpenter said.

The final stage of the arch project is side-column lighting and lighting of the sign letters, which  HBCAT is seeking another grant to finish.

Virginia Barnes, director of Blue Health Initiative, Topeka, speaks to the group..

During the public ribbon cutting, there were several speakers: Chamber CEO Lindsay Madison, Fort Scott City Manager Brad Matkin, Jody Love and Rachel Carpenter with HBCAT and Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathways Director of the Blue Health Initiative, Virginia Barnes of Topeka.

Obituary of Larry Bradbury

Larry Wayne Bradbury, age 78, a resident of rural Uniontown, Kansas passed away Saturday, April 20, 2024, at his home.  He was born May 29, 1945, in Uniontown, the son of William Lewis Bradbury and Vyrel Yenzer Bradbury.  Larry graduated from the Uniontown High School.

He later enlisted with the United States Air Force.  Following his military service, Larry returned to Bourbon County and began working in the printing industry.  He was employed by Ward/Kraft as a press operator for several years.

He later moved to Mansfield, Texas, and was employed for Holden Printing.  Following his retirement, Larry returned to the place of his roots in the Dry Ridge Community north of Uniontown.

In earlier years, Larry enjoyed building dune buggies and working on Volkswagen automobiles.  He also enjoyed woodworking.

He was a member of the Dry Ridge Baptist Church.  Special thanks are extended to Harry Hynes Hospice, Lori Bancroft, Tom Bradbury, Brenda and Norman Hunter, Glen A. Pearson, Jr. of Your Home Town Medical Equipment, Inc. and Care to Share who all helped care for Larry during his final days.

Survivors include his three children, Larry Bradbury (Angela) of Allen, Texas, Brenda Hunter (Norman) of Uniontown, Kansas and Tim Bradbury (Katricia) of Frisco, Texas; eleven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, a great-great-grandson, and his beloved cat, Sami.  Also surviving are four brothers, Bill Bradbury (Carole) of Michigan, Michael “Mick” Bradbury (Wilma) of Hammond, Kansas, Thomas Bradbury (Myrna) of Uniontown, Kansas and Max Bradbury (Betty) also of Hammond, Kansas; a sister, Margaret Epp (Glendon) of Nebraska and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, William Bradbury and Vyrel Bradbury Nitcher and two brothers, Gerald and Don Bradbury.

Following cremation, a memorial service will be held at 3:00 P.M. Friday, April 26th at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Military honors will be provided by the American Legion.

Private burial will take place at a later date in the U. S. National Cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to Care to Share 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.

Statewide Grants For Clean Energy/Fueling Options Announced

In honor of Earth Week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Kansas State Director Christy Davis announces more than $5.3 million for seven clean energy projects to lower energy bills, expand access to domestic biofuels and create jobs and new market opportunities for Kansas farmers, ranchers and businesses.

“The USDA is helping expand access to clean energy and fueling options that promote energy independence and save Kansans money,” Davis said. “We are excited to partner with farms and small businesses to address energy solutions, economic growth and keep rural communities strong.”

The details of the Kansas projects are:

  • A $44,940 grant will help purchase and install a 35 kilowatt solar array for Flint Hills Designs LLC of Newton. The project is estimated to replace 52,111 kilowatt hours per year, enough energy to power four homes.
  • A $396,305 grant will help purchase and install a 330 kilowatt solar array for New Age Industrial Corporation Inc. of Norton. This project will realize $46,597 per year in savings and will generate 446,400 kilowatt hours, enough electricity to power 41 homes.
  • A $394,440 grant will help purchase and install a 149 kilowatt and 225 kilowatt solar array for CNL Ranch LLC in Stanton County. This project will generate 623,061 kilowatt hours per year, enough electricity to power 57 homes.
  • A $452,500 grant will help purchase and install miscellaneous energy efficient equipment for Nesika Energy LLC of Scandia. The project is estimated to save 1,181,689 kilowatt hours per year, enough energy to power 111 homes.
  • A $572,968 grant will help purchase and install a 445 kilowatt solar array for White’s Kingco, Inc., a grocer in Kingman and Lindsborg. The project is estimated to replace 637,326 kilowatt hours per year, enough energy to power 60 homes.
  • A $500,000 grant will help purchase and install energy efficient improvements for North Star Feeds of Atchison. North Star Feeds will replace their existing boiler with a more efficient model, insulate and shorten their water and steam lines, install a return to conserve energy and water, replace existing tanks with new insulated storage tanks, and replace existing truck-mounted diesel pumps with efficient electric models. The project is expected to save 850 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, 8,692,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 17,755 gallons of diesel fuel, and 3,410 gallons of unleaded gasoline per year, which is a 73 percent reduction in energy use and enough energy to power more than 300 homes. The project is expected to save the company $154,886 per year in energy costs.
  • A $3,000,000 grant will help create infrastructure to expand the sales and use of renewable fuels through Blue River Valley LLC’s site in Potwin. This project will consist of rebuilding two two-million-gallon ethanol storage tanks, loading equipment, and site controller. This project is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 238,710,000 gallons per year.

Veteran grant manager to lead Kansas Infrastructure Hub

TOPEKA – Matt Volz has joined the Kansas Infrastructure Hub (Hub) as Executive Director. His experience includes over 30 years in the transportation infrastructure industry in Kansas, nationally and internationally. An experienced grant application manager, Volz has developed and advanced over $300 million in successful federal grant applications for local and state agencies.

Formed in 2022, the Hub connects multiple state agencies to serve as a resource center for Kansas communities. The Hub offers free technical assistance to entities applying for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) grants.

Volz began his career with the Kansas Department of Transportation in 1991 as a roadway designer, and in 1997, became the first state Intelligent Transportation Systems engineer in Kansas. In consulting for the past 20 years, he has worked extensively in the Midwest and nationally on transportation technology projects, as well as internationally, having lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates.

“I am very excited to take on this role for the State of Kansas,” Volz said. “Helping our communities pursue federal funding to assist with infrastructure projects is critical to our state’s economic growth.”

Volz received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from North Dakote State University, his – master’s degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Kansas.

The Kansas Infrastructure Hub was established to maximize BIL opportunities for Kansas. The Hub does so by providing no-cost technical assistance and promoting infrastructure projects related to water, transportation, energy, broadband, cybersecurity and emergency management across Kansas. In addition, the Hub administers the Build Kansas Fund, which can support communities with match dollars for grant programs funded through BIL.  For more information or to find out how to apply to the Build Kansas Fund, visit www.kshub.org.

On April 24, the Kansas Infrastructure Hub will host an Infrastructure Summit in Salina. Cities, counties, tribal governments, regional planning organizations and the private sector are encouraged to attend. Topics include BIL funding opportunities, grant funding resources and project alignment. Summit agenda and registration are at www.kshub.org.


– Matt Volz, submitted photo.


Bo Co Commission Minutes of April 19

April 19, 2024                                                     Friday, 10:00 a.m.


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session for a special meeting with  Commissioners Jim Harris and Clifton Beth and the County Clerk present.


Brandon Whisenhunt, Clint Walker, Anne Dare, and Jason Silvers were present for some or all of the meeting.


Jim Harris opened the meeting with the flag salute.


Clifton made a motion to go into executive session under KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy and 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. The executive session will be for one hour and be held at 401 Woodland Hills Blvd and include Jim Harris, Clifton Beth, and Justin Meeks and will return back in this room at 11:00. Jim seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session with no action at 11:00 am in the Commission room at the courthouse. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.


Clifton made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 am. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.




___________________, Chairman


ATTEST:                                                                                                    ___________________, Commissioner


Jennifer Hawkins, Bourbon County Clerk

4-22-2024                               Approved Date

Bo Co Commission Minutes of April 15

April 15, 2024                                                                              Monday, 5:30 p.m.


The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with  Commissioners Jim Harris and Clifton Beth and the County Clerk present.


Cherri Walrod, Michael Hoyt, Jason E. Silvers, Jon Lowery, Charles Gentry, Debra Martin, Larry Martin, Clint Walker, Patty Ropp, David Beerbower, and Rachel Walker were present for some or all of the meeting.


Jim opened the meeting with the flag salute.


Clifton made a motion to approve the consent agenda which includes approval of minutes from 4-8-2024 and approval of accounts payable totaling $13,848.18. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.


Katie Casper met with Commissioners to discuss her concerns regarding solar farms. Katie stated her farm has been in her family since 1948 and she and her husband built their dream home on the property in 2011. Katie talked about enjoying the view and same sunrises and sunsets her grandparents did and stated there will now be a solar panel farm installed on the 470 acres across the road from her home, with the owner of the property not even residing in the area. Katie talked about neighbors who have constructed four other homes in the area in the last ten years and stated they are all contributing to taxes. Last week a citizen came in and discussed the benefits of solar and how it could lower taxes and Katie said she would like taxes to go down because she pays $5,000 a year in taxes as well. Katie stated she has a business degree in Agribusiness and has spent her entire career in economic development in rural Kansas. Katie said she isn’t against solar, but questioned what happens if 640 acres of solar panels catch on fire. Katie stated the Commissioners have the power to help and asked them to help maintain what they built and establish setbacks.


Nick Graham talked about property rights and the Hinton Creek project where only landowners were affected. Nick discussed Crawford County who is meeting to discuss zoning areas of their county that is currently not zoned and suggested Commissioners reach out to them. Nick stated he isn’t against solar and stated there must be a way to have balance for property owners to earn money while still accommodating their neighbors.


Mary Pemberton asked Clifton about a statement that was made regarding consulting four attorneys who said we don’t have a right to negotiate contracts. Clifton stated he said the attorneys informed them they could put zoning terminology in but as he said at last week’s meeting that landowners and the parent companies of the solar farms could sue the county. Jim said they signed four agreements with Hinton Creek after property owners signed with them. Mary said that the Commissioners could establish reasonable setbacks.


Clint Walker discussed how in 2006 the legislatures voted not to tax pipelines running through Kansas and we lost 6-8 million dollars and how they now want to go back to collect but are unable to. Clint talked about the opening of a bridge in his area and how he was thankful to have gravel on his road and stated that the workers were very professional and are doing a good job.


David Beerbower talked about how nothing can be done after contracts are signed and asked if companies must have a right of way agreement with the county. Clifton stated that is for anything over 80,000 pounds. David discussed the basic rights of landowners and stated the active use of one individual’s land shouldn’t violate anybody else’s use of quiet land. David implored the Commissioners to come together to figure this out.


Michael Hoyt stated he was out of town during the April 1st meeting and said a handout was distributed and his name was mentioned during the meeting. Mr. Hoyt said he has been scolded for mentioning names in the past and is here to scold the Commissioners for allowing his name to be mentioned.


Cherri Walrod came tonight to present a CORE Communities update. CORE Communities began in November of last year in Bourbon County to address the poverty issues in our county. Cherri stated the first class will graduate on April 22, 2024 at 6:30 pm and encouraged community leaders to attend. CORE Communities is a 501-C3 nonprofit chapter affiliate of YouthCORE Ministries. Cherri stated in CORE Communities they focus on resources and relationships to help get families in a better place because poverty makes children vulnerable. Cherri stated that she has seen some great transformations of the individuals involved in the program and that they are providing hope, help, and healing. Jim thanked Cherri and her committee for what they are doing. Clifton said he wanted people to know that CORE Communited is privately funded and they do not charge their participants a fee.


Charles Gentry stated he is here on behalf of Citizens for an ER. Mr. Gentry stated in the long run they are hoping for the development of a rural hospital and that the sales tax revenue, if passed, will help entice a successful ER operator. Mr. Gentry said they are asking that special attention be spent on the ER sales tax money fund and that reports will be generated periodically and given to a committee appointed if or when the sales tax is passed. Clifton said he doesn’t have a problem with that and the fund will be audited by many. Clifton addressed concerns he has heard of some that think the Commissioners can steal the money, and said they cannot the fund will be audited and that he would be more concerned about the ER giving correct numbers. Jim said he would encourage a committee to monitor the money and receipts. Clifton made a motion to create a committee consisting of Craig Campbell, Dr. Nichols, and Charles Gentry and that he would want them to look at the company that is there to make sure they are not cheating the county. Charles stated they would do that to the extent that the data could be obtained. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.


Jim reminded everybody of a meeting regarding the sales tax on April 24th at Uniontown City Hall.


Jim made a motion to issue a moratorium effective immediately regarding solar panel farms. This will apply to any solar panel farm that does not have a signed contract by both parties and notarized at this time and date of 5:30 pm on April 15, 2024. The intent of the Commission is to begin the process of reviewing setback requirements of the solar panel farms from adjoining properties and establish guidelines. We do support property owner’s rights to use their properties as desired. This moratorium will remain in place until revoked by the Commission or January 1, 2025. Jim said if Clifton would allow it, he would go to the state and talk to other counties who have solar farms. Clifton seconded the motion and all approved.


Pete Owenby questioned if this would impact the Hinton Creek project and Jim said if contracts aren’t signed and notarized, they can’t move forward. Mary Pemberton said the motion mentioned setbacks but there were many other issues that need to be addressed and asked if the Commissioners are going to limit it to setbacks only. Jim said going forward they will share information to those involved on both sides of the fence and wants to visit with other counties. David Beerbower discussed Senate Bill 481 and said that would be a good template as it covers more than just setbacks.


Eric Bailey, Public Works Director, said he received a call from the Fort Scott Community College truck driving program who wants to make a promotional video and asked to have Public Work’s trucks in the background. The Commissioners decided this would be okay to allow the trucks to be used as they would be parked and not in use during the video.


Eric and Dustin Hall, Assistant Public Works Director,  presented the 2024 asphalt plan at a previous meeting to the Commissioners and asked tonight what their thoughts were. Eric said they are concerned with sales tax coming in low this year. Jim said he is happy with he plan as is. Clifton said he has no problem with the plan and asked how the base is on Yale Road. Eric said they will bring in more rock to Yale Road and compact it. Jim said he has a wish list of chip and seal for Locust Road from the city limits going east and Limestone Road from the city limits to 255th Street. Jim also discussed the low area on 240th Street south of Limestone Road and said he knows this will be a 2-4 year project for extra pipes but stated the road is narrow. Clifton discussed how chip and seal won’t work on some roads in his district and asked if Eric has checked into a polymer and what his thoughts were on the product. Dustin stated the Onyx that was used on 235th Street is holding up well. Clifton said he doesn’t want to dismiss the product but also doesn’t want to throw good money at a bad road.


Clifton made a motion to go into executive session under KSA 75-4319 (b)(1) to discuss personnel matters of individual nonelected personnel to protect their privacy for 7 minutes to include both Commissioners and Justin Meeks and will return at 6:42. Jim seconded the motion and all approved. Clifton made a motion to resume normal session with no action at 6:42. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.


A short break was taken with the Commissioners returning at 6:46.Clifton announced that he had a family issue and needed to leave. Clifton told Jennifer to talk to Justin with her issues. Clifton made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:46. Jim seconded the motion and all approved.



___________________, Chairman


ATTEST:                                                                                                    ___________________, Commissioner

Jennifer Hawkins, Bourbon County Clerk

4-22-2024                               Approved Date

Downtown Arch Ribbon Cutting Today at 3 p.m.

Sending on behalf of Chamber Member

Healthy Bourbon County Action Team…

Join us at 3pm on TODAY, Monday, April 22 for the official ribbon cutting for the NEW “Welcome to Fort Scott” downtown arch!

This event will also serve as the kickoff for the Downtown Cleanup project!

Refreshments will be served, and we will have a giveaway for camping chairs and a firepit!

Many thanks to the Patterson Family Foundation and #BCBSKSPathways for helping to make this #placemaking project possible!

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Legislative Update by State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson


April 19, 2024


Regular Session Ends with many pieces of legislation being sent to the Governor’s desk – too many to cover in this update.  All legislation can be found at www.kslegislature.org.  Here are some highlights of changes in law that have passed both chambers and signed by the Governor:

  • SB 336 removes the requirement that underground storage tank operating permits are renewed annually.  It passed the Senate unanimously.
  • SB 399 changes the deadline for vehicle sales reports from the 20th to the 25th of each month for vehicle dealers and for salvage dealers.  It passed the Senate unanimously.
  • SB 424 establishes the Kansas Plan Coordinate System by adopting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geodetic Survey.  It passed unanimously.
  • SB 430 substantially increases workers compensation and provides coverage for members of the Kansas National Guard.  It passed unanimously.
  • HB 2453 puts Kansas in an interstate Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact so they could practice in other states that are in the program.  It is our state allowing another group to decide the parameters for Kansas.  I do not support these efforts, as Kansas is a sovereign state and we should govern as such.  The bill passed the Senate 38 to 2.
  • HB 2536 establishes SOUL as a permanency legal option for children who are 16 or older.  It passed the Senate unanimously.
  • HB 2604 increases the Small Claims court maximum from $4,000 to $10,000.  It hadn’t been changed since 2004.  It passed unanimously in the Senate.
  • HB 2783 prohibits any state agency, city, or county from restricting the use or sale of motor vehicles based on the energy source of the vehicle.  It passed the Senate 25 to 15.  I voted Yes.

Veto Session begins with 12 bills vetoed.  That number could increase as the Governor hasn’t responded to the mega tax relief bill or other legislation.  The legislature could start voting on veto overrides April 26th.  You would think it would be fairly easy to override the vetoes, but there are 165 legislators, and some are not always able to make it to the Capitol.  In my years of service, I have not missed a day of session.  It is not always easy because life happens, but I am committed to representing you.  Thank you for your support and the opportunity to serve.


It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.


Amended Agenda for the Bo Co Commission Meeting Today, April 22



Bourbon County Courthouse

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

Fax: 620-223-5832









Bourbon County, Kansas

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


April 22, 2024 5:30 p.m.




  1. Call Meeting to Order
  2. Flag Salute
  • Approval of Consent Agenda
    1. Approval of Minutes from 4/15/2024 and 4/19/2024
    2. Approval of Accounts Payable Totaling $263,782.98
    3. Approval of Payroll Totaling $294,618.53
    4. Approval of March Financials
  1. Public Comments
  2. Vance Eden-USD 235
  3. Jennifer Hawkins, County Clerk
    1. Executive Session KSA 75-4319 (b)(2)
    2. KDHE Public Notice
    3. KDOT District Meeting
    4. KCAMP Documents
    5. Sales Tax Election Information
  • Commission Comments
  • 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.