All posts by Loretta George

Child Court Advocates: Voice of Neglected or Abused Children

As  of November 2022,  there are 36 Bourbon County children who have been abused or neglected and need a volunteer to advocate for them in the court system.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.

” Bourbon County CASA has been providing CASA volunteers to the children of Bourbon County for over 32 years,” said Christa Horn, director.  “CASA Volunteers undergo extensive background checks and over 30 hours of training to become certified.  CASA’s are assigned by the court to advocate for and be the voice of children who are involved in the court system due to abuse and neglect, through no fault of their own.”

“Currently 36 children who have been victims of abuse or neglect are assigned CASA Volunteers,” Horn said.  “Over 980 children here in Bourbon County have benefited from having a CASA volunteer by their side, fearlessly advocating for their needs.  Sadly there are at least 36 more children who need a CASA volunteer.”

“Children can be referred by  interested parties, attorneys and DCF/or it’s private contractor and then are assigned by the Court,” she said.

“CASA volunteers meet with their assigned child(ren) on a consistent basis getting to know the child and their circumstances perhaps better than any other professionals involved in the case,” Horn said. “They gather information from all individuals involved in a child’s life, from parents, foster parents, teachers, therapists, doctors, family members, case worker.  CASA then submits written reports to the court at each court hearing detailing events and facts in a child’s life and case and makes recommendations on what is believed to be in the child’s best interest.  CASA volunteers remain assigned to their child until the child is reintegrated back home or reaches permanency through adoption, permanent custodianship.”

The amount of time spent as a CASA volunteer varies.

“Hours vary case by case, but on average a volunteer will spend 6 to 8 hours a month devoted to their assigned case,” she said.

“Currently Bourbon County CASA has 23 certified volunteers,” she said. ” Volunteers are assigned only one child or sibling group at a time, allowing them the time to focus on only one case at a time.”

Contact Bourbon County CASA, PO Box 146, Fort Scott.   Phone:  620-223-2407 or 620-215-2769;  Email:  [email protected];  Program Director Christa Horn

Tomorrow is the deadline for an annual fundraiser for CASA.

You are cordially invited to a Christmas Celebration
to benefit Bourbon County CASA on Friday, December 9th, 2022
7-9 pm.
Heavy hors d’oeuvres and a full bar will be provided.
The holiday party fundraiser  will be at the Cullor Lake Home
810 195th Street, Fort Scott.

Reservations are requested by Friday December 2nd.

Giving Levels:
Sponsor: $25 per person, $50 per couple
Guardian: $50 per person, $100 per couple
Guardian Angel: $75 per person, $150 per couple
Friend: $125 per person, $250 per couple
Benefactor: $500 and over
Mail your RSVP and giving level payment to:
Bourbon County CASA, PO Box 146, Fort Scott, KS 66701
or call Christa Horn at 620.215.2769 with any questions.



Candlelight Tour Is Sold Out

The post hospital is lit up durng the 2021 tour. NPS Photo: Carl Brenner

The Fort Scott National Historic Site 41st Annual Candlelight Tour is completely sold out.

The tour is Dec. 2nd and 3rd.

“This year… we are commemorating several important milestones of our nation’s history,” Carl Brenner, FSNHS Program Manager for Interpretation and Resource Management,  said. “Each milestone highlights a different portion of the Fort’s history as well.”

NPS: Photo credit-Carl Brenner

Tickets went on sale on November 1 and sold out on November 27.

Fort Scott High School drama students and other volunteers will portray different scenes, vignettes, during the evening in which ticket purchasers will stroll the promenade on the grounds of the fort.

The vignettes, in order, are:

  1. The Bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail which is set in 1843.  The army is preparing to go out on campaign along the trail. In this vignette: Luke Leighsing (Santa Fe Trader), Josh Sherwood (Lieutenant), Tracy Dancer (Sergeant), Frankie Ruggerro (Corporal), Jericho Jones (Private).
  2. 175th Anniversary of the Mexican American War, which is set in 1847, celebrates the safe return of soldiers  from the war. In this vignette: Kiara Thompson (Mrs. Curtis), Sylvia Stapleton (Miss Jones), Emma Guns (Mrs. Simpson), Cooper George (Corporal Clark), Austin Stapleton (Private Smith), Matt Wells (Musician).
  3. 165th year of Bleeding Kansas, which is set in 1857, actors  prepare for the Grand Ball celebrating the opening of the Fort Scott Hotel. In this vignette: Diane Bernheimer (Elizabeth Wilson), Jan Elder (Eliza Campbell), Wayne Young (Mr. Wilson).
  4. 160th year of Civil War Ladies Union Aid Society-Emancipation Proclamation, which is set in 1862, where the women are comforting the solders. In this vignette: Dee Young (Mrs. Weatherwax), Cassie Edson (Mrs. Mary Martin), Emily Endicott (Mrs. Laura Phillips – head of the Christmas committee), Regen Wells (Miss Sarah– Christmas committee member), Karen Primeaux (Mrs. Smith), Ronda Hassig (Mrs. Redfield)
  5. 150th year  of Post of Southeast Kansas,1872, the scene is  a railroad agent in  a squabble with landowners: Casey Gomez (Walter ), Katie Wells (Elizabeth), Ivy Bailey (Charlie), Steve Powell (John)


Additional High School drama students helping in other areas are: Ayla Roberts, Tobi Larrabee, Mykeel Lewis, Tuesday Glessner, Alexis Tourtillot, Lily Brown, and Chris Newman.


Fort Scott National Historic Site is located at 1 Old Fort Blvd. Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. To find out more, or become involved, please call  620-223-0310 or email  [email protected]. Other activities, events, and a more in-depth history may be found at


NPS: Photo Credit: Carl Brenner.



Dancers Open Pop-Up Shop Dec. 1

Submitted photos.
Tracy and Kathy Dancer will give a preview starting Thursday of the micro retail concept that they will be creating next year at the former Scottish Rite Temple at 110 S. Main.
Kathy Dancer stands in front of the Scottish Rite Temple entry at 110 S. Main, Fort Scott.

The pop-up  business is being operated by Bourbon County Handcrafted doing business as 110 South Main Mercantile and Market, which is owned by the Dancers. Attendees will enter through the main entrance / lobby of the old Scottish Rite Temple.

The pop-up will be open December 1st, 2nd, 3rd from noon until 8:00 p.m.
“We might add days since we have additional artisans and producers wanting to be featured in the space,” Kathy said.
Submitted photos.

Micro retail site is coming

“The idea for the 110 South Main Mercantile and Market pop-up was born from the micro retail/ retail incubator concept,” Kathy said. “Next year, we will be offering retail spaces for small businesses that are either just getting started or operating on a micro level and do not need their own dedicated space.

“The pop-up will give the community a chance to preview the micro retail concept that we will be implementing next year at 110 South Main,” she said.  “We want feedback from the community about the products we have sourced for the pop-up and what artist and handcrafters they would like to see in the future.”
Submitted photos.

Items for sale

“Most of items featured in the pop-up are handcrafted in Kansas,” she said.  “We are featuring Kansas products such as jewelry, perfumes, beard care products, candles, candies, and preserves.”
  “We also have items produced outside of Kansas, but featuring Kansas themes such as clothing, bison artwork, and children’s books,” she said.
“Finally, we are bringing in some products that we will be offering in the cafe and distillery space next year including craft drink mixes, custom pint glasses, and fudge,” Kathy said. “The pop-up shop will also have pieces from local and area artisans including dimensional wood art, handcrafted accent furniture, epoxied glass, and hand embellished decor items.”
Submitted photos.

Tracy Dancer is a software architect and also currently serves in the U.S. Army Reserves. Kathy is a former school administrator and currently works in educational consulting.

They purchased the historic building in January 2021.

They are currently renovating the cafe space in the building, with hopes of an opening in 2023.

To view a prior story on the Dancers and the building:

New Life For The Former Scottish Rite Temple


Jaworski Assumes Leadership of Fort Scott National Historic Site

Jill Jaworski. Submitted photo.

Jill Jaworski, selected as the new superintendent of Fort Scott National Historic Site, has moved to Fort Scott this month.

Her college education gave her a lead into the National Park Service.

Jarworski earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with emphasis on Outdoor Education and Recreation from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

My original position (with NPS) was at Jewel Cave National Monument working as an Interpretive Park Ranger/Cave Guide for an internship for college,” she said.  “That led to a seasonal position at the same park the following summer after I graduated college.”

She worked for two seasons at Jewel Cave National Monument and as a General Park Ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. 
“Then September 11th occurred, and I transitioned to a career as a Law Enforcement Park Ranger for the next 21 ½ years before accepting the Superintendent position at Fort Scott National Historic Site,” she said.
At Fort Scott, Jaworski is returning to her mid-western roots.
“I was born in a very small, rural town in Nebraska and raised in Omaha where my parents and two of my siblings still live,” she said.  “I also have a sister and her family who reside in Leawood, KS.  The majority of my ancestors who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1800s were farmers in Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, and Ohio.”
Extensive Experience

Jaworski has over 20 years of experience in NPS assignments including interpretation, emergency services, and law enforcement, according to a NPS press release.

Prior to Fort Scott, Jarworski served as the acting superintendent at Appomattox Court House National Military Park and Booker T. Washington National Monument.

As Chief Park Ranger, she has extensive experience in managing special park uses, events, permitting, and emergency response. At Cape Lookout National Seashore, she has served as a park ranger at Cumberland Island National Seashore, Castillo De San Marcos National Monument/Fort Matanzas National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, White Sands National Monument, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Curecanti National Recreation Area, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Mount Rainier National Park.

Jaworski’s background in complex park operations including cultural resource management and resource protection and her strong collaboration and team building skills will be an asset to Fort Scott, according to a press release from NPS.

 In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, walking her dog, researching genealogy, and playing pickleball and tennis.  

Carl Brenner  remains the Supervisory Park Ranger for Interpretation and Resources, after serving as interim superintendent.

Fort Scott National Historic Site.





Christmas Fun at the Parade This Thursday, Dec. 1

A Christmas parade is happening in the downtown historic district this Thursday, December 1.

The Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce organizes the Christmas Parade  each year with Briggs Auto of Fort Scott sponsoring the prizes for the parade, according to Lindsay Madison, CEO of the chamber.

Lindsay Madison. Submitted photo.

Deadline to enter a group in the parade is Tuesday, November 29 at 1pm.  It is FREE to enter the parade.

What is happening Thursday evening:

> Parade starts 6 pm at Wall and National, goes south to Third Street, east to Main, North on Main to Skubitz Plaza.

> Parkway Church of God Kettle Corn will be setup at 1st & Main before and  after parade, box $2, Bag $5.

> Complimentary hot cocoa by Fort Scott Recreation in front of Hedgehog.INK! Book Store

> Lighting of the Mayor’s Christmas Tree immediately following the parade, north end of Main.

> Christmas Crafts by Fort Scott High School Thespians & Visits with Santa and photos by Walgreens at Papa Don’s Restaurant after the parade.

> Make-your-own Ornament Kits free at 110 S Main while supplies last, appropriate for ages 10 and under.

> Bourbon County Revival live music at Hare & Crow Barber Shop with refreshments following parade.

> Sharky’s North Pole Pop-up Bar open 5pm to 10/11pm with festive atmosphere and drinks!

Link to enter parade:


Want to Support Splash Pad Project Coming in 2023?

Submitted graphic.

A splash pad is coming to town, thanks to some leaders who took the initiative.

“This idea has been in strategic plans and will add to the revitalization of downtown Fort Scott,” said Bailey Lyons, who along with Josh Jones and Kelly Barr have spearheaded the drive for funds.

Last week at the Fort Scott City Commission meeting, Lyons announced that with the help of two big donors, they are within reach of the project.

“We plan to break ground in the Spring and open by Summer 2023,” Lyons said. “We thought it would be a wonderful addition to our community. It will be a wonderful outdoor recreational amenity that offers a fun play option for all. It will be a gathering place accessible to people of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds. We saw other communities like ours installing splash pads with great success, and wanted to bring one to Fort Scott.”

For those who might not know, a splash pad is a recreational outdoor play area with sprinklers, fountains, nozzles and other devices that spray water. Also known as a spray pool, there is little to no standing water in the space.

It will be placed at the west end of Skubitz Plaza, off of North National Avenue.

The site was picked because of accessibility, parking, and infrastructure and also is at the north end of the historic downtown area with dining, shopping and other attractions.

Fort Scott Parks and Recreation Department will provide maintenance, with the city also providing water and electricity.

So far, about $180,000 has been raised for the space, with $20,000 more to fund raise.

Two of the biggest donors have been a Timken Foundation Grant of $75,000 and a Walmart Foundation Grant of $40,000.

From Facebook.

Chicken Mary’s, a well known restaurant north of Pittsburg, is the latest to help with fundraising.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, one can pick up a chicken dinner or supper in Fort Scott that must be pre-ordered by Dec. 4. The meal is $10 per plate and tickets must be ordered by calling 620.224.7795.

“We also have the comedy show, and we are about to roll out a fundraiser to raffle off an ATV,” Lyons said. ‘We will be pushing out regular donation giving levels…that will allow people to donate to get us to the finish line.”


The splash pad will not raise taxes, Lyons said.

Submitted graphic.


New Phone Number For Renting River Room

The River Room Event Center is located on the second floor of the building at the corner of Oak Street and National Avenue on Fort Scott’s north side.

On November 1, Luther’s BBQ Restaurant at 3 W. Oak, closed.

The building’s second story business, the River Room Event Center, has a new phone number and will honor any reservations that were made, according to Al Niece, owner of the building.

The River Room new phone number is 620.820.0536 and their email is [email protected]

“There were some reservations in place for some events (at the River Room), I am honoring them all,” Niece said. “The River Room is one of the largest event centers in the area.”


New Business Soon

Niece feels confident that the lower floor restaurant space will be leased soon, he said.

“We are weighing options for a business there,” Niece said. “We are talking with several groups.”

To view the prior story on the opening of Luther’s:

Luther’s BBQ Opens


KDOR Executed Tax Warrants and Seized Assets

On November 1, 2022, agents from the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) accompanied by the Fort Scott Police Dept. and the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Dept. executed tax warrants and seized the assets of Luther’s BBQ LLC for nonpayment of Liquor Enforcement Taxes and Sales Taxes: totaling $38,783.96, according to a press release from the KDOR.

The warrants were filed in Bourbon County.

The types of assets seized include all known bank accounts, on-site cash, business inventory, as well as personal property belonging to the owner. The business was sealed closed with a public notice posted on the outside.

“Luther’s BBQ LLC has paid all outstanding judgements and assets have been released to the business,” according to an email from KDOR on November 9.

KDOR’s policy and practice is to work with taxpayers in delinquent status to voluntarily enter into repayment agreements, according to the press release. It is only after these efforts and multiple failed collection attempts that the Department is forced to execute a tax warrant, utilizing such actions as bank levies, till taps, and ultimately asset seizure to ensure compliance with the law.

KDOR’s responsibility to recover delinquent taxes not only ensures fairness for individuals and business owners who do pay their taxes, but also ensures that money is lawfully collected to fund state and local programs on which Kansans depend, according to the press release. These programs include education, highways, public safety, and human services.

Customers, employees or others that may have items at the business may contact the agent assigned to
this case at 785-250-5084.


Heartland REC awards $2,000 to Hammond Community Building

Linda Minor-Hammond Community Center Board Member, Doug Graham-Heartland
 Communication Specialist -, and Alice Helton-Hammond Community Center Board Member.. Submitted photo.

Linda Minor wrote a grant that was awarded for the Hammond Community Center$2,000 from Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative for roof and HVAC repairs.

“I am a Hammond Community Center board member,” Minor said. “The building has been struggling financially with upkeep.”

The Hammond Community Center, 2275 Soldier Road, rural Fort Scott, is about 30 years old.

“Hammond Community Center is the only community center left in the Osage Township of Bourbon County,” she said. “The facility has been serving the Hammond area since the closing of the Hammond School.  The center is often used for birthday parties, reunions, and wedding receptions along with the monthly meetings of the Northeast Scott 4H Club.”

The Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative’s Concern for Community Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for capital improvement projects throughout the cooperative’s service area, according to a Heartland press release. Applications are accepted during a defined application period each year.


The Hammond project was one of 10 selected to receive a funding boost through Heartland’s Concern for Community grant program, according to a Heartland press release.

“I often say that we’re not in the business of selling electricity, we’re in the business of powering rural lifestyles,” said Mark Scheibe, Heartland CEO. “Part of that is supporting the communities our consumer-members live in and around. This grant program is a great way to do just that.”

The Concern for Community program provides grants of up to $5,000 for capital improvement projects throughout the Heartland service area, which covers parts of 12 counties in eastern Kansas. Capital improvement projects are those that involve investment in structures or equipment that will last for many years.


As a non-profit, member-owned cooperative, Heartland issues capital credits to members each year, but sometimes those capital credits go unclaimed. Because those monies were intended to be returned to the communities from which they came, Heartland’s Board of Directors decided to use those unclaimed funds for community grants and started the Concern for Community program in 2019.

This year, 10 applications out of 26 received were approved for funding by the Heartland board. Heartland distributed a total of $37,000 in Concern for Community grants this year.

Other Heartland REC projects selected for funding are as follows:

  • Cato Historical Preservation Association, Inc. was awarded $2,500 for painting at the Cato Christian Church between Fort Scott and Pittsburg.
  • Crawford County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for new lights and wiring at the fairgrounds outside Girard.
  • Crawford County Fire District # 4 was awarded $5,000 to help purchase a virtual fire extinguisher training system to be shared with area fire departments and businesses.
  • Fairview Chapel outside Moran was awarded $2,500 for new bathrooms.
  • Hammond Community Center in rural Fort Scott was awarded $2,000 for roof and HVAC repairs.
  • Jayhawk USD 346 was awarded $2,500 for new curtains for the auditorium.
  • Linn County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for new animal pens at the fairgrounds in Mound City.
  • Moran-Marmaton/Osage Fire Department was awarded $2,500 for new hoses and nozzles.
  • Mound City Historical Society, Inc. was awarded $5,000 for roof repairs on historical buildings.
  • Woodson County Fair Association was awarded $5,000 for renovations to the swine barn at the fairgrounds in Yates Center.

Applications were accepted in the month of September and selected by the Heartland Board of Directors in October. Heartland plans to reopen applications in summer 2023 for the next round of funding.

About Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. powers rural lifestyles throughout more than 11,000 locations in eastern Kansas. Heartland’s service area includes consumer-members in 12 counties, including Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Miami, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson.

Heartland REC traces its roots back to three original rural electric cooperatives: Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company, Sugar Valley Electric Cooperative Association, and Sekan Electric Cooperative Association. Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company joined with Sugar Valley in 1975 to form United Electric Cooperative; United Electric Cooperative joined with Sekan Electric Cooperative Association in 1996 to form Heartland.




Schwalm Family Continues Thanksgiving Meal to the Community

Marjory Schwalm has been preparing a Thanksgiving meal for the community for 27 years. She and her some of her family, about 25 people, show up to help her.

Thanksgiving Day all family members help in different ways: some cook, some assemble the foods in take-away containers, some help with the delivery, then there is clean up.

This year they will continue the drive-through or delivery service for their Thanksgiving meals.

There is no charge for the meals, she said.

Most years, she gets enough in free will donations to cover all the supplies.

The family serves out of the Elk’s Club building at 119 W. 19th,  with Elk Club members helping to deliver the meals.

Thanksgiving day, her son, stands at the east side door and partakers line up in their cars inside the orange cones that direct traffic to the pick up site.

“People drive up and tell how many meals are needed,” she said.

They also deliver meals.

“We send a lot to the high rise apartments,” Schwalm said.

“There are a lot of one-to-two people families that can’t cook big turkey dinner…so we provide,” she said. “Some elderly can’t drive so we deliver to anybody that needs it.”

They make about 700-800 meals for the community.

“Everyone has found out that this is a pretty good way to get a Thanksgiving meal without having to do all the work,” she said.

To call Schwalm, 620.224.6769.

The hours of service on Thanksgiving Day are from 11 a.m. to about 1-1:30 p.m.

She starts making to-do lists and lists of items to buy for the meal, months ahead.

Usually she goes to Sam’s Club in Joplin, MO for supplies, but this year, she is so thankful that Sam’s Club delivered to her.

After the meals are delivered or picked up on Thanksgiving Day, the family sits down for a meal together, she said.

“My family always got together for Thanksgiving, but now we fix for anyone that needs a meal,” Schwalm said.

Marjorie and her son, David Schwalm, who is in charge of giving all the delivery drivers their routes. Submitted photos.
Nancy Maze is charge of all desserts.  Submitted photos.
Pictured are Marjorie Schwalm and Diane Lloyd (who is in charge of the delivery meals being correct and accounted for) and Cash Davis in the front with the servers (Schwalm family) and some of the Elk’s Club members that helped deliver meals from last year. Submitted photos.
Aria and Charlee Davis help with desserts and taking meals to the drive-through. Submitted photos.
The serving assembly line – Cindy Stanely Schwalm, Sara Schwalm, Zack Schwalm, Danielle Minor, Daren Lloyd down the left side, and Tanner Schwalm, Dylan Lloyd, Diane Lloyd, Hunter Minor down the right with Lane Minor and Jeremiah Dawson helping transfer plates to the delivery tables.  Submitted photos.
Cindy Ziegler Schwalm, holding the plate, does all of the cooking. Submitted photos.

Shop and Support the FSHS Swim Team at Fall Extravaganza

A shopper looks over wares of a vendor at a prior Fall Extravaganza. Submitted photo.

The season of craft and small business vendor sales is in full swing.

Monday November 21 from 5-8 p.m. at the Fort Scott Middle School will be the annual Fall Extravaganza, a 40-plus craft/vendor fair.

Fort Scott Middle School, 1105 E. 12th.

Madeline Martin, Fort Scott High School Counselor and swim coach,  is organizing the event this year.

“We took it over from (Fort Scott Middle School Teacher) Stephanie George and the VIP’s (organization) at the middle school,” Martin said. “Stephanie knew that the swim team was looking for more fundraising opportunities so she reached out to us asking we were interested in organizing it for this year.”

“The purpose of this event is to continue the holiday shopping tradition,” Martin said. “This has been a popular event in the community for over 10 years and we want to keep this tradition going. We have 40+ vendors that are joining us this year and we are super excited.”

“The swim team hopes that the funds raised through this event will help us purchase swim parkas for each participant as well as help offset costs for the year,” she said.

The FSHS Swim Team will be selling a pulled pork dinner also as a fundraiser.

The vendors scheduled to set up are:

KNM Clay
One of a Kind Wood Creations
TSM Creations & Decor
Amy Maxwell
Better in Bourbon
Jessee Cox
Maria Whitson
Arbonne- Lindsay Hill
TFI Family Services
Donna Jo Beerbower
Mary Kay- Lauren Hardwick
Mmm Flavor Shop
Our Little Village
Redbud Farms & Nurseries
Desert Bloom
Gentry Warren Art
Twigs & Berries
Anita Moore
Sugar Bakery/Walker’s Bakery
WellSpring Acres Alpaca Farm
SOS Grad Party
Grazing Fort Scott
Perry’s Porkrinds
FSHS Industrial Arts
The Sister’s Oven
Tin Man Alley
JP Custom Leather
Tiiger Threads
Be-You-tiful Designs
The Lavender Patch Farm
Locust HIll Lamachas
Micki Kraft
Sunshine Boutique
Buckin A’ Ranch
Wilbur Fleming
Funky Junktiques
Paparazzi Jewelry & Norwex- Brenda Hunter
The Purse Lady
Happy Little Candle Factory
Tupperware- Shawn O’Brien
Sassy’s Grandmas Stencils
Bids & Dibs/ Angie Dawns

About the swim team:

The Fort Scott High School boys swim team had their first season in the winter of 2019. The girls swim started the spring of 2020, but their season was cancelled because of the COVID 19 Pandemic.
“This past year we grew as a team and added some members through a cooperative agreement with area schools,” Martin said. “Last year the boys team took 3rd in the league and Bobby Kemmerer went to state where he brought home two medals for the two events he swam. The boys have also sent one other swimmer, Oliver Witt, to state in the past.”
“Girls season last year hit a huge goal of winning the league and Fort Scott sent their first female swimmer, Avery Stewart, to state. Along the way we have had swimmers from Frontenac, Pittsburg, Chanute, Northeast-Arma, Humboldt, and this year we are adding St. Mary’s Colgan and Uniontown to our girls team. I love that Fort Scott is setting a standard of providing kids the opportunity to compete in a sport that they love.”
“This year, for boys season, we have three young men joining us from Pittsburg  and four young men joining us from Frontenac,” she said. “Girls season we have individual swimmers joining us from Arma, Uniontown, Humboldt, and Colgan. We will have a few girls join us from Frontenac and Pittsburg as well.”
They drive each day to the Pittsburg YMCA to practice.
“Our swimmers are very dedicated and our out-of-town kids drive up to an hour just to get to practice each day,” she said. “I am looking forward to another successful season and for Fort Scott to continue to make a big splash in the SEK and in our League.”

View the Bourbon County/ Legacy Health Foundation Agreement

The Bourbon County Commission room, at the courthouse.

The Bourbon Country Commission transferred ownership of the former Mercy Hospital Building at 401 Woodland Hills on November 17, 2022 to Legacy Health Foundation.


Editors note

The agreement document was originally sent by the Bourbon County Clerk  to for publication on Nov. 17 but an email from the clerk  said her office was just notified that there was an error in the document and was asked to pull the document off of the Bourbon County site. also pulled the document out of the story until the corrected document was available.



Here is the corrected agreement document between the county and Legacy Health Foundation.




“We have been in negotiations with them for six months,” Commissioner Clifton Beth said. “We transferred the building to them to develop. The building is the responsibility of Legacy Health Foundation as of today.”

In addition, the commission gave Legacy Health Foundation a combined $2 million dollars, he said. Mercy Hospital gave  the commission the building and $600,000 after the hospital closed in December 2018.

To view a prior press release:

Bourbon County Takes Ownership of Former Mercy Hospital Building

The rest of the money given the Legacy Health Foundation  is from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,

This bill provided additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.

Jennifer Massey from her Linkedin profile.

Jennifer Massey is the local contact for Legacy Health. On her Linkedin profile is stated that she is a self-employed hospital operations executive, since July 2022.

Her skills are listed at healthcare consulting, healthcare improvement, healthcare management and process improvement.

She works for Legacy Health Foundation full-time now, she said in an interview, and her title is Chief Clinical Operations Officer.

“The Legacy Health Foundation was created to bring health care back to Bourbon County,” Massey said.

She has an office at the former Mercy Hospital building and lives in St. Charles, Missouri, she said.

Ascension Via Christi will stay in place as the emergency department, she said.

“Members of the community will be part of the foundation,” Massey said. “We will be having community meetings, and more info will be forthcoming.”

















Meal Fundraiser for Catholic Church Rebuild: Nov. 18


The Knights of Columbus are continuing their fundraising efforts to help rebuild the Mary Queen of Angels Church.

The church suffered extensive damage on the evening of August 29, 2022 and will be rebuilt.

Mary Queen of Angels Church. November, 2022.


“No plans yet,” Mark McCoy, church member said. “We are in the conceptual phase. We are hoping to come to an accepted position on how to rebuild.”

Meanwhile the Knights of Columbus group at the church are having monthly meals in the Kennedy Gym, at 705 S. Holbrook as a fundraiser for the rebuilding of the church.

Founded on the principles of charity, unity and fraternity, the Knights of Columbus was established in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney, in New Haven, Conn., and a group of parishioners, according to Their intent is to bring financial aid and assistance to the sick, disabled and needy members and their families.

This month, it is Friday, November 18, and the meal is homemade chicken noodle soup and cream of potato soup, with the desserts prepared by the Catholic women of the church.

Tea, coffee or water goes along with the meal, with a suggested free will donation of $7 per meal.

The meal is from 5-7 p.m.

“The community has been so supportive,” McCoy said. “All proceeds will go to the rebuild of the church.”

The Knights of Columbus Fish Fry March 2022. The set up will be the same for all the meal fundraisers. Submitted by Calvin Barr.