Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bo Co Courthouse Closed, Commission Meeting Rescheduled for January 23

Due to the icy road conditions the courthouse will be closed today, so tonight’s meeting has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. Attached is the agenda for the Bourbon County Commission Meeting for Tuesday, January 23, 2024.


Submitted by

Jennifer Hawkins

Bourbon County Clerk

210 S. National Ave.

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Phone: 620-223-3800 Ext. 191

Fax: 620-223-5832


Outcasts and Misfits by Carolyn Tucker

Keys to the Kingdom

By Carolyn Tucker



My earliest memory of feeling sorry and sad for someone who was considered a misfit was hearing the song “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Music has always deeply affected me. The specific lyrics I’m referring to are: “All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They wouldn’t let poor Rudolph play in any reindeer games.“ My little child heart was tender and compassionate and the thought of Rudolph being treated as a misfit, just because he was different, really hurt me.


I think that the manner in which this Christmas song affected me as a young child is partially what Jesus was referring to in these scriptures: “Jesus called a little child to Him and put the child among them. Then He said, ’I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven‘“ (Matthew 18:2-4.) Jesus taught that all believers must be childlike (innocent, trusting, tender). He is not condoning a childish (immature) lifestyle; there’s a ton of difference between childlike and childish.


Jesus said, “…I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts” (Matthew 9:13 TEV.)  If you don’t feel like you fit in, be comforted in knowing that Jesus came for you too. You’re not left out — you’re wanted and included. Jesus loves you enough that He was willing to die for you so you could have an overflowing life of God’s goodness.  The Prince of Peace came to piece together the broken lives of outcasts, misfits, and sinners. Jesus makes it clear that all are sinners who need to come to Him for salvation. However, those who think they’re already on the right path will reject Jesus’ invitation to a restored life. Jesus’ unmerited mercy transforms everyone who comes to Him for salvation.


If friends have thrown you under the bus, Jesus will reach under it and pull you out. If family have rejected you and made you feel like you don’t fit in, Jesus will accept you. If life has slammed you to the floor, Jesus will pick you up and walk with you all the way to heaven. If you think Jesus’ true-blue promise of restoration is too good to be true, just ask Him and find out for yourself. “…I [Jesus] came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 RSV.)


Whether you’re an outcast, misfit, sinner, or the nicest person in the whole world, Jesus came for you. His own mother, the virgin Mary, was ostracized when the news broke out that she was with child and unmarried. Although she and Joseph knew that the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit, society rejected the truth of this supernatural birth. Nevertheless, Mary praised the Lord, realized she was blessed, and delivered the Messiah according to God’s perfect plan of redemption.


Jesus loves you without exception and He will accept you as you are. You don’t have to try to be righteous first; simply accept His invitation and come to Him in honest confession and repentance. The Savior is an expert at taking the broken pieces of outcasts, misfits, and sinners and making them whole and holy.


The Key: Jesus can make a misfit fit perfectly on earth and in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Governor Kelly’s Disaster Declaration Temporarily Lifts Certain Commercial Vehicle Regulations

TOPEKA – As severe winter weather conditions continue impacting Kansas roadways, Governor Kelly announced today that her recent disaster declaration temporarily lifts certain hours of service regulations typically imposed on commercial motor vehicles.

In accordance with 49 C.F.R. 390.23(b), the disaster declaration made on January 8, 2024, temporarily lifts the hours of service regulations found in 49 C.F.R. 395.3-5 for motor carriers or drivers operating commercial motor vehicles so long as the motor carriers or drivers are providing direct assistance during the emergency.

The temporary lifting of the regulations lasts until the emergency ends or 14 days from the date of the disaster declaration, whichever is less.

“Temporarily lifting these regulations ensures necessary supplies and relief from the extreme winter weather can reach communities as quickly as possible,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I encourage all Kansans to use caution over the coming days, including reconsidering travel, to be safe and warm.”


CASA, Advocating for Children In the Courts, Needs Your Support

Bourbon County CASA, founded in Bourbon County in May 1990, provides trained community volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children involved in the Court system.  Our mission is to advocate for children involved in the Bourbon County Court system, to secure a safe, nurturing environment for them, to increase community awareness and responsiveness to the needs of those children, and to provide objective information to the Court.


We currently have 20 volunteers and are assigned to 24 children here in Bourbon County.

Volunteers work tirelessly on behalf of their assigned child, relentlessly advocating for them, and providing the Court with the child’s perspective, wants, and wishes. They accomplish this by meeting with their assigned child regularly, contacting all involved parties in a child’s life, and advocating for their child through a written report to the Court making recommendations on what they believe to be in the child’s best interest.


Our program is always in need of additional volunteers and financial support to continue our mission.  We are responsible for 60% of our budget to be raised locally through community support.

This year’s fundraiser “Change a Child’s Story” is held Friday, December 8 at the home of Mitch and Colleen Quick.  Reservations can be made through today, via email to [email protected].


Perry’s Awarded Southeast Kansas Region Award of Merit

Thaddeus and Kelly Perry, owners of Perry’s Pork Rinds. Submitted photo.

Thaddeus and Kelly Perry, owners of Perry’s Pork Rinds and Country Store, Bronson, were recently awarded the Southeast Kansas Region Award of Merit from the Kansas Department of Commerce.

“Both Thaddeus and I saw it as an honor to be nominated,” Kelly Perry said. “I have no idea who nominated us. I literally cried when I received the notice letter. It’s very humbling that the community continues to support us.”

“The store has brought people in, that are traveling through,” she said. “We have a lot of folks who just want to check us out”

When people stop in the store they advocate for the community and Fort Scott,  telling them about the attractions and services that are available, she said.

In a letter from Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, she commended the Perrys for their outstanding retail service.

The award is through the 2023 To The Stars: Kansas Business Awards.

“Celebrating your business and its outstanding contributions to the community, state economy, and people of Kansas,” the letter stated. “Your hard work is appreciated and worthy of recognition.”

The business was nominated because it created jobs, products, and services, and has been innovating and diversifying the local marketplace, building community identity, and more, according to the governor’s letter.

The business demonstrated “tenacity, determination, and creativity that was needed to persevere, regardless of the circumstances,” Governor Kelly said in the letter.

The Perrys started out producing pork rind snacks from their home in Bronson, a small town of 300 people in western Bourbon County, in 2017.

They opened a  specialty store in 2022 in Bronson to sell their products and other food, including fresh produce, which is needed when one lives 20 miles from a large grocery store.

To learn more: Fresh Produce Pre-Order Sales Began This Month In Bronson

“We also now have Perry’s Produce Boxes available one time a month,” Kelly said.   “Pick-up is at Bids & Dib (in Fort Scott). Purchases are all done via our website and customers can select pick-up in Bronson or Ft. Scott.  Boxes are each just $18 and usually have double that amount of money worth of produce.  Pick up details on our website and FB page.”

One other specialty food is fudge, made on-site.

“The fudge is made by Dee Byrd and I,” Kelly said.

In October 2023 they opened a Recreational Vehicle Park at their site on Hwy. 54, which runs through the town. This venture is to supply accommodations for agri-tourism to the region.

To learn more: Perry’s Open an RV Campground in Bronson

This month they provided honor meals to 59 veterans in their storefront on Veteran’s Day. “We provided brisket, smoked by Thaddeus, loaded baked potatoes, and baked beans. We plan to do this again next year,” she said.

They currently have five full-time and one part-time employee.


Coping with Loss and Loneliness During the Holidays

Clara Misenhelter (Wicoff) Submitted photo 2023



By Clara Misenhelter

Southwind Extension District


The holiday season is here. It can be a joyous time, but not always or for everyone. For many, especially those feeling emotionally distant or those who have recently experienced a loss, it is a time of year that can leave us particularly vulnerable to feelings as we are pressured to “get in the holiday spirit.” While there is not any one best way to cope with these feelings, consider these tips for coping with loss and loneliness during the holidays:

  • Accept your feelings. Give yourself permission to feel how you feel. Whatever you are feeling is appropriate.
  • Do what feels right to you. Remember that you can opt out of a holiday event or tradition if it will be too much for you. Make a plan for comforting activities you can do instead. Consider asking someone to check in on you.
  • Get support. Talk to loved ones about your needs. If you or someone you know is in crisis or seeking emotional support, call or text 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline. You can also chat with them online at


One year ago, K-State Research and Extension hosted a webinar about coping with loss and loneliness during the holidays. To learn more about this topic, you can view the webinar recording online at You can also join Tara Solomon-Smith and me at the Iola Public Library on December 7th at 6:30 PM for a free program on coping with loss and loneliness during the holidays. For more information, please contact me at [email protected] or 620-365-2242.


Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

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

U. S. Senator Jerry Moran Newsletter

Listening to Kansans  
Garden City
On Thursday, I was in Garden City to visit with members of the community at the Garden City Chamber Coffee to provide a legislative update and hear their concerns. We discussed the continued crisis at the southern border, responsible government funding, the Farm Bill, national security, and how to support our veterans.

Thank you to Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce President Myca Bunch, State Senator John Doll, State Representative Dr. Bill Clifford, County Commissioner Larry Jones, Mayor Deb Oyler, City Commissioners Roy Dixon and Shannon Dick, City Manager Matt Allen, Police Chief Courtney Prewitt, Fire Chief John Irsik, Lona DuVall, Janie Welsh and all who came to visit. Thank you also to Garden City Community College for the hospitality.


Continue reading U. S. Senator Jerry Moran Newsletter

Medicare Prescription Drug Costs Hard to Swallow?

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

Medicare Prescription Drug Costs Hard to Swallow?

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

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

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

# # #
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.


FortFest Fills Riverfront Park With Activity

Carts are available for those who need rides to the parking areas.

The annual Fort Fest continues until tonight at Riverfront Park, on North National Avenue.

The event highlights Blues bands from across the area.

At 1 p.m. the Howard Mahan Band with Miki P entertained guests. At 3 p.m. Sister Lucille, at 5 p.m. the Arkansas Brothers, and at 7 p.m. the Divas on Fire. People were enjoying the Blues musicians on lawn chairs and blankets.

In addition, arts and crafts, food and drink vendors, a cornhole tournament, a BBQ contest, along with a kid’s fair and petting zoo, and other happenings kept attendees entertained and fed.

The event benefits Care to Share a local helping organization that provides support to cancer fighters and their families.

The Care to Share group had a silent auction and bake sale at the pavilion at Riverfront Park.


Rollin’ Nostagalia Car Show was one of the many activities at the FortFest 23 on Sept. 30.
Max’s Axe House had a temporary place to demonstrate the sport.


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran Newsletter

Hosting the Kansas Chamber of Commerce
This week, the Kansas delegation had the privilege of hosting members of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. It was great to meet with members of the chamber and discuss the state’s economic growth. On Wednesday evening, I helped lead the group on a night tour of the U.S. Capitol. It is a special experience to see our nation’s Capitol at night and share the beauty of this incredible building and all that it represents. Thank you to our chamber members and staff for the discussion this week and for their efforts to invest in our state and people.

Continue reading U.S. Senator Jerry Moran Newsletter

Governor Kelly Announces Funding to Grow Small Business Exports

Governor Kelly Announces Funding to Grow Small Business Exports

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded $200,000 to the Kansas Department of Commerce to expand the state’s robust export sector, which hit an all-time high of $13.97 billion in 2022.

The agency’s International Division oversees the administration of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) award, enabling eligible businesses to leverage these funds for conducting focused activities that promote export growth. The STEP program plays a crucial role in equipping Kansas’ small businesses with the necessary resources and knowledge to excel in export-related endeavors, assisting existing exporters and companies venturing into international markets for the first time.

“Consumers around the world continue to find that made-in-Kansas products simply are the best,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This support from SBA will help our outstanding small businesses continue to grow, something my administration has prioritized since taking office.”

The SBA began administering STEP in 2011 as part of federal legislation encouraging trade. Through STEP, states competitively apply for and receive financial awards to assist small businesses with export development. The award will allow Kansas to assist small businesses with foreign trade missions and foreign market sales trips, obtaining services provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, accessing expertise in designing international marketing campaigns and export trade show exhibits, participating in training workshops, and more.

“Investing resources to help broaden the Kansas exporter base is good for these small businesses – and the entire state economy,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “As the global marketplace continues to present new opportunities for Kansas companies, our International Division will provide whatever support we can to help our exporters take advantage.”

Since the program’s inception in 2012, more than 220 Kansas small businesses have participated and achieved more than $44 million in actual export sales.

“Many Kansas small businesses have insufficient resources to venture into new markets or have uncertainty about how to begin exporting their products,” Randi Tveitaraas Jack, Deputy Director of the International Division, said. “The STEP funding allows us to tackle those challenges and help them succeed.”

To learn more about the STEP program, visit the Kansas Department of Commerce website or the SBA website.

FSCC Trustees Minutes of July 17

Minutes of the Board of Trustees Meeting July 17, 2023
PRESENT: John Bartelsmeyer, Dave Elliott, Jim Fewins, Kirk Hart, Bryan Holt, and Robert Nelson
ALSO PRESENT: Juley McDaniel (Board Clerk), faculty, staff
Chairman Bartelsmeyer called the meeting to order at 5:30 pm in the meeting rooms of Ellis Fine Arts Center. The meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.
COMMENTS FROM THE CHAIR: The Board presented outgoing President, Alysia Johnston with a parting gift as a token of their appreciation for all her work through her tenure at FSCC.
CONSENT AGENDA: A motion was made by Fewins, seconded by Holt, and carried by unanimous vote to
approve the consent agenda as amended.
A. A motion was made by Elliott, seconded by Hart, and carried by unanimous vote to accept the quote of
$89,000 for athletic insurance from Berkley Life & Health and $9,299 for catastrophic insurance from
Mutual of Omaha for a total of $98,229.
B. A motion was made by Fewins, seconded by Elliott, and carried by unanimous vote to approve the
employment contract of their selected presidential candidate, Dr. Jason Kegler.
ADMINISTRATIVE UPDATES: The Board reviewed and heard updates from Gordon Parks Museum, Finance
and Operations, Student Services, IT, Maintenance, Miami County Campus, and Athletics.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business to come before the Trustees, a motion to adjourn was made at
6:12 pm by Elliott, seconded by Fewins, and carried by unanimous vote.