Friendship by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche. 2023.
Author: A Little Faith Lift…Finding Joy Beyond Rejection
AWSA (Advanced Writers & Speakers Assoc.)

In a scene from a movie I recently watched, the lead actor said, “You can’t rebuild a friendship without acknowledging what destroyed it.”  Losing a friend hurts.   I know.  What once seemed to be indestructible suddenly is shattered.  (S)he said something that makes you question the foundation on which your friendship was built.  You thought rock.  Your friend decided sand.

Let’s face it.  A great friendship—not just a good one–requires much.  Time (the ability to pick up where you left off, no matter how many weeks/months have passed, with no hint of guilt). Focused attention.  Empathy.  Majoring on the majors.  Putting your own needs aside.  And forgiveness, giving the other person the benefit of the doubt.  I am blessed with friends from across the country as well as here locally.  I respect our differences and cherish our times together.  I call them my forever-friends, but I know the pain in having those relationships come to an end.

My best friend in grade school and I parted ways in junior high. We both entered public school after eight years in a Catholic school. We were besties.  Shared secrets, including boy-crushes.  Spent almost every Friday night roller-skating.  Tons of sleepovers.  Took turns leading each other around while one kept her eyes closed.  Nerdy?  You betcha.

But something changed in that junior high.  My friend got in with the popular crowd, and I did not.  I wanted to be in that group in the worst way, but my neediness, I’m sure, was a turn-off (that and a multitude of other issues).  With whom would I talk about the latest guy who had nothing to do with me?  Hold hands with as I skated backwards in an oval on those Friday nights?  Prevent me from walking into a tree when I pretended to be blind?

A couple of years ago, we had a chance to discuss what happened to our relationship.  Typical for most breakups, my gal-pal vividly remembered attempts to keep our friendship alive, none of which I shared.  I had a very different version of that ninth-grade year.  I imagine the truth lies somewhere in the middle of our two memories.

Sometimes, friendships dissolve painfully, and other times friendships are not meant to be. Proverbs 13:20 warns us of those times: “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”  Other friendships need to end because God wants us to put our attention and energy somewhere else.  That, of course, does not mean that we become enemies or do not wish the best for the other person.

In the Bible, the story of David and Jonathan is one that regularly surfaces when friendship is discussed. Jonathan was the son of King Saul who, out of jealousy, sought to murder the newly-appointed king, David.  Jonathan’s loyalty to his friend was unwavering, warning David of his father’s intent to kill him and giving David his own robe, tunic, sword, bow, and belt, items which would help to save his life.

In 1 Samuel 18, we read just how solidified their friendship was: “…the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”  To be loved by a friend “as to his own soul” is a special gift, but how much greater it would be to have that kind of love to share as well as to receive!  Sometimes, all we need to do is determine to knit our soul to someone else.  Finding a forever-friend is worth the effort.

AD: Joshua Jones for Kansas House of Representative District 4


Josh Jones.

Joshua Jones: Candidate for Kansas House of Representatives District 4

Hello there! I’m Joshua Jones, a proud resident of Bourbon County, where my family’s legacy spans back to the 1850s. My wife Karen shares this deep connection, with her family settling in western Bourbon County around the same time. Together, we’ve celebrated 23 years of marriage and have been blessed with three wonderful children: Taylor and Madison, both 23, and David, who is 19. 


**My Promises to You:** 


  1. **Give Back My Salary** 

   My belief is simple: if the people I serve benefit, then I benefit. We are all in this together. I am giving back my salary because your tax dollars should work for you. 


  1. **Year-Round Accessibility and Transparency** 

   How often do you only hear from politicians during the election? During my time as Mayor/City Commissioner, I was the first to hold public forums to get citizens’ input. 


“The position I am running for encompasses all of Bourbon County and most of Linn County. Over the past few years, through my business, I have expanded my connections in Linn County.  


As your state representative, I plan to leverage these relationships, along with engaging with other citizens, to address Linn County concerns and work together to create beneficial legislation. 


In Bourbon County, I am the only candidate who resides here.

Issues such as the lack of an emergency room directly affect me and our community. While the announcement of Freeman Health System coming to town gives me hope, we must remember past promises, like the one involving Noble, which did not materialize. 


 Being the only Bourbon County candidate, it is crucial for me to ensure that Freeman’s arrival becomes a reality. Securing state-level support will be essential to ensure Bourbon County has adequate healthcare. 


Issues like Pike Reservoir where the proposed lake would encompass cemeteries where I have family buried. No matter if I am for or against a project I would commit to involving citizens in the process like I did when I was City Commissioner. 


Living in Bourbon County also provides me with a unique understanding of medium to smaller issues, such as trains blocking intersections for hours or the challenges faced by public schools competing in the same KSHSAA class as private schools, which I have personally experienced as an injustice.  


These are issues I can address at the state level, and my residency in Bourbon County gives me a unique perspective and dedication to tackling them. I am committed to working tirelessly for the betterment of both Bourbon and Linn Counties.” 





This ad paid for by Joshua Jones Candidate/Treasurer

The Artificers Newsletter for August

The Artificers in August!

Check out the calendar below for all events happening this month!

We are accepting New Artists

for the 2025 year!

August Classes

Come into the studio from 10am-3pm August 24th,

and Glaze all of your pre-made pieces!

Don’t Forget us For your Parties!

Obituary of Elizabeth Schafer

Elizabeth Ruth Schafer, 82, of Fort Scott, Kansas, passed away Tuesday morning, July 16, 2024, at KU Medical Center in Kansas City. She was born February 10, 1942, in Lebanon, Missouri, the daughter of Washington Davis Mann and Charlotte Lucille (Bethel) Mann. She married Robert Lee Schafer on November 27, 1964, in Butler, Missouri. He preceded her in death May 15, 2006.


Elizabeth graduated from Butler High School Class of 1960. She was Postmaster for many years, and later she and Robert were owners and operators of the Chenault Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Fort Scott. Elizabeth was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.


Elizabeth is survived by her three children; Robyn Nameth and husband Scott, of Butler, Missouri, Matthew Schafer of Fort Scott, and Christina Kennedy and husband Darrett, also of Fort Scott; and three grandchildren, Claire Nameth, Marie Nameth, and Shai Kennedy.

In addition to her husband Robert, Elizabeth was also preceded in death by her parents, and a brother, Jack Mann.


Following cremation, Pastor Sarah Gengler will conduct memorial services for Elizabeth at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 22, 2024, at the First Presbyterian Church, Fort Scott, under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. The visitation will be at 10:00 a.m. prior to services in the church parlor.


Interment will be at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Butler, Missouri. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church or to CASA, and may be left in the care of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 W. Wall Street, P.O. Box 309, Fort Scott, Kansas, 66701. Friends and family may sign the online guest book and share memories at


Obituary of Shirley Sessions

Shirley Ann (Krull) Sessions, 83, of Elk City, Oklahoma, passed away on July 15th, 2024, at Legend at Rivendell Memory Care in Oklahoma City. Shirley was born on December 19th, 1940, in Fort Scott, Kansas, the daughter of Charles and Veda (Towles) Krull.


Shirley spent her early childhood in Fort Scott, Kansas, where she loved spending time with her aunt and uncle, Robert and Shirley Towles, at their farm. She then moved to California with her mother, where she attended Grossmont High School. After graduating high school, she found her way to Elk City, Oklahoma where she raised her son, Dan Mannering, and later met her husband, Jack Sessions.


Shirley worked at Drilco for many years before retiring. She enjoyed fishing, bingo, crafting, gardening, getting her hair done every Thursday, her dog Mitzi, and spending time with her family and friends.


Shirley is survived by family members: Dan, Matthew, and Daniel Mannering; Kendra, Cooper, and Kennedy Cowan; Jackie and Theresa Sessions; and Greg and Charlotte Graham.


Funeral services for Shirley will take place at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 2024, in Oklahoma City. Graveside services will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 19, 2024, at the Fairview Cemetery in Fulton, Kansas, under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. Friends and family may sign the online guest book and share memories at


HBCAT Receives Grant To Help With Food Insecurity


The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team is located at 104 N. National Avenue, Fort Scott.

Last month, the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team (HBCAT) received a $55,000 grant per year over three years to help with food insecurity in Bourbon County.

Rachel Carpenter. Submitted photo.
“We will first need to develop a strategic plan by identifying the gaps within our local food system,” Rachel Carpenter, Executive Director of the HBCAT said. “We will be organizing a Food Summit within the next year where citizens can voice their needs. We also will leverage our partnerships and community members in our coalition, Local Health Equity Action Team, to implement any community changes. This grant also opens up opportunities to network with leaders addressing food insecurity across the State.”
She can be reached at 620-215-2562.
HBCAT is one of eight Kansas community coalitions to be funded to help launch a food secure initiative.
Consistent access to healthy food is important for children to thrive and part of the mission is to address food insecurity.

On June 4, the Kansas Food Action Network, a program of KC Healthy Kids,  announced the launch of the Food Secure Communities Initiative, which aims to end hunger in Kansas by addressing the policy, systems, and environmental barriers to food security, also known as “root causes., according to a press release.

The Food Secure Communities Initiative will put results in the hands of community members who are uniquely positioned to understand and address the root causes of food insecurity in their community, according to the release.

Kansas Food Action Network unveiled eight Kansas health and wellness coalitions selected as inaugural members of the Food Secure Communities Initiative. Each member will receive funding of $55,000 per year over three years, plus peer networking and strategic assistance.

Food Secure Communities Initiative Members

  • Bourbon County (Healthy Bourbon County Action Team)
  • Thomas County Thomas County Coalition)
  • Cowley County (RISE Cowley)
  • Harvey County (Healthy Harvey Coalition)
  • Lyon County (Healthier Lyon County)
  • Sedgwick County (Health and Wellness Coalition of Wichita)
  • Seward County (Liberal Area Coalition for Families)
  • Shawnee County (LiveWell Shawnee County)

The initiative will share best practices, resources, and strategies to advance food security at the local level.

The grant is from the Kansas Health Foundation and United Methodist Health Ministries Fund.

About Healthy Bourbon County Action Team

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team’s mission is to increase access to healthy food and physical activity, promote commercial tobacco cessation, enhance quality of life and encourage economic growth. The problems of health inequity and social injustice are complex in nature and inextricably linked to key economic indicators. A healthy workforce is a prerequisite for economic success in any industry and in all cities, according to its website.

About KC Healthy Kids
Founded in 2005, KC Healthy Kids is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to addressing the physical and mental health challenges impacting children in the Greater Kansas City area, including western Missouri and all of Kansas. Through food policy and local food initiatives, mental health support, and active community initiatives or advocacy, KC Healthy Kids and their partners promote health for thousands of local kids and their families. Find out
more at

About Kansas Food Action Network
Kansas Food Action Network, a program of KC Healthy Kids, is committed to creating a Kansas where all residents have dependable access to food for an active, healthy and productive life. The network supports communities as they identify and address local food system priorities by offering support, resources and partnerships. As a result of their efforts, an estimated 73% of Kansans are represented by a local food council, the highest per capita rate in the United States.

AD: Rick James for KS House of Representative District 4

Rick James is a Republican candidate for the 4th district House of Representative, a position currently held by Trevor Jacobs. Trevor announced that he is not seeking another term.

Rick is passionate about protecting the conservative values of fellow Kansans. He understands that freedom is not merely a privilege but a birthright. He was raised in La Cygne, Kansas where he attended La Cygne elementary school and graduated from Prairie View High School in 1981. He entered the Marine Corps a few short days later serving a 30-year career. This career included serving in Desert Storm, Haiti, Iraqi Freedom, serving on embassy duty and as a Marine Drill instructor. He achieved the rank of Sergeant Major and was awarded the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit. He also obtained a bachelor’s and a master’s Degree from the American Military University.

There was never a doubt, that he would return to Eastern Kansas. He moved his family to a small farm near highway 69 in 2008 and completed his Marine Corps career at Richard Gebauer Base in Belton. He retired a decorated Marine in 2011.

Since retiring from the Marine Corps he opened two local businesses, Semper Fi Auction Services and Bravo Realty. The Marine Corps instilled a dedication to serving his community. In 2014 he ran for the district 1 Linn County Commissioner. He served 2 full terms from 2014-2022. He did not seek reelection for a third term because, he believes there should be term limits in government at all levels.

He has a personal interest in Kansas, he was a military leader and a small Business owner.  He has conservative views!! He believes in the right to bear arms, he is pro-life, he believes in a smaller government and reduced taxes.

Politicians represent the people they serve, and he takes that very seriously! He would appreciate your vote on August 6. Click here to follow him on Facebook.  Semper Fi and God Bless!

Paid for by Rick James for KS State Representative.

Obituary Vicki Hartmetz

Vicki Lesa Hartmetz, age 68, resident of Fort Scott, KS died Tuesday, July 16, 2024, at her home. She was born to Keith and Nancy (nee Summers) Wilcox, September1, 1955 in Dodge City, KS. Her family moved to Liberal, KS., early in her childhood, and attended school there through high school graduation. She was active in the International Order of Rainbow for Girls, a
Masonic order; and sang in choirs and Madrigals in high school.

After graduating from Court Reporting School, in Topeka, KS., she moved to Denver, CO., and worked for the Denver Police
Dept. Homicide Unit Reporting Detective witness interviews. In late 1978 she was hired to serve as an Official Court Reporter for the Kansas Judicial system in Sedgwick County, KS., where
she met her future husband, Bruce Hartmetz, who was serving as a Sedgwick County Deputy Sheriff. After a brief courtship, they were married in Wichita, KS., July 21, 1979.

In 1989 she moved to the Denver Metropolitan area where she worked both as a Freelance Reporter and an Official Court Reporter for the State of Colorado. Vicki loved taking photographs of her husband, children, and most anything else that caught her eye.

When her children started playing organized sports, she became a rabid fan particularly of soccer and baseball. It was a rare
event for her to miss either one of her son’s ball games.

She loved travelling through the Rocky Mountains, staying in Estes Park or Glennwood Springs. She loved “adopting” neighborhood
feral cats by insisting Bruce feed and water them at least once a day regardless of weather.

In 2017 she got an opportunity to work for the State of Kansas Judicial System. She termed the move a ‘no-brainer’ as she would be 30 minutes from five of her grandchildren rather than 650
miles. She worked for the State of Kansas until she retired in April 2024.

Vicki was proceeded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, Bruce; sons, Noah Clark Hartmetz, and Luke Merritt Hartmetz; six grandchildren; one step-grandchild; and
three step-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers, Chuck Wilcox, and George Wilcox; one sister, Carol Leaming; their spouses; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Thursday, July 25 th , at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the U. S. National Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 9:00 AM until
service time at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the Vicki Hartmetz Memorial Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main St., Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted online at

Water-Related Technical Assistance and Water Projects Grant Applications Now Accepted

HB 2302 Grant Program Now Accepting Applications
Technical Assistance Grant Fund and Water Projects Fund

The Kansas Water Office announced that applications are now being accepted for the House Bill 2302 Grant Programs.

In 2023, Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Legislature, through Senate Substitute for House Bill 2302, increased the amount of state funding for the State Water Plan Fund (SWPF). The State Water Plan Fund was created in 1989 to provide funding for projects, programs, and activities recommended in the Kansas Water Plan (KWP) to address the various water issues identified in the KWP. Provisions for HB 2302 included the creation of two new water-related grants funds: the Technical Assistance Grant Fund and the Water Projects Grant Fund.

The Technical Assistance Grant Fund and Water Projects Fund serve to help municipalities and special districts related to water to obtain the up-front technical assistance and the on-the-ground actions needed to address various water quantity and quality needs. The two funds are generally directed to supporting water-related infrastructure activities.

Last year, Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Water Office invested $18 million into 34 municipalities and special districts related to water across Kansas. Nineteen Technical Assistance Grants and 15 Water Project Grants were awarded.

Applications for this round of funding are due on September 6, 2024. Previous applicants must resubmit their applications for consideration. For additional information, please visit


As the state’s water office, KWO conducts water planning, policy coordination and water marketing as well as facilitates public input throughout the state.

The agency prepares the KANSAS WATER PLAN, a plan for water resources development, management and         conservation.