CASA Christmas Celebration is December 8

Sending on behalf of Chamber Member

Bourbon County CASA…..

Change a Child’s Story!

You are cordially invited to a

Christmas Celebration

to benefit Bourbon County CASA

Friday, December 8th 2023

Mitch and Colleen Quick’s Residence

2086 Justice Road

Fort Scott, Kansas 66701


Heavy hors d’oeuvres and full bar provided

Giving Levels

Payable with your reservation response card


$25 per person

$50 per couple


$50 per person

$100 per couple

Guardian Angel

$75 per person

$150 per couple


$125 per person

$250 per couple


$500 per person

$1000 per couple


$1,000 per person and over

Mail your selected giving level to:

Bourbon County CASA

PO Box 146

Fort Scott, Kansas 66701

Click here to RSVP, please RSVP by

Friday, December 1st.

Contact CASA Director Christa Horn with any questions or for more information 620-215-2769.

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

Recommendations From Kansas Wildlife Task Force

Governor Kelly Receives Final Report and Recommendations from Wildfire Task Force

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that the Governor’s Wildfire Task Force has submitted its final report summarizing and providing recommendations on how to improve the systems, procedures, and personnel that make up the state’s oversight of wildfire events.

In July 2022, Governor Laura Kelly appointed a group of leaders from across the state to serve as the Governor’s Wildfire Task Force to create recommendations for how Kansas communities can better prevent, respond to, and recover from wildfires.

“I created this Task Force last year because Kansas has been devastated by wildfires far too many times, and it was clear we needed to take a deeper look at how we prevent and respond to these disasters,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I appreciate the comprehensive recommendations Secretary Beam and the Wildfire Task Force have provided, and I look forward to working together to better support Kansans before, during, and after wildfires.”

The Task Force was chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam and included representatives from local, state, and federal agencies and organizations that have played an active role in responding to wildfires across the state, along with several state legislators.

“I have appreciated the candid, yet cordial, exchange of concerns and suggestions among the Task Force members,” said Secretary Beam. “It’s obvious to me the entities involved in wildfire prevention, response, and recovery have enhanced their collaborations and partnerships in recent years, and they are committed to taking further steps to strengthen the state’s wildfire resilience.”

The Task Force report is organized into three sections: Mitigation and Prevention, Response, and Recovery. In the Mitigation and Prevention section, the Task Force examines the efforts in place to monitor fire risk, major contributors to the fire risk across the state, and work that is underway to mitigate that risk. The Response section examines the response plans and systems in place locally and statewide and how they could be strengthened. The Recovery section examines the strategies for long-term recovery following a wildfire event.

Recommendations include expanding efforts to reduce fuel loads, improving weather monitoring, increasing resources for local fire departments, and enhancing funding for firefighting equipment. Many recommendations focus on the importance of mitigation strategies, recognizing it as a shared responsibility that will require collaboration between public and private landowners. The Task Force also recognized the significant role of volunteer firefighters and the challenges local communities face in recruiting and retaining these volunteers.

State officials will now determine next steps for implementing Task Force’s recommendations.

The full report can be found here or at


Chamber Coffee at Sunshine Boutique on November 30

Join us for Chamber Coffee hosted by

Sunshine Boutique

Thursday, November 30th


18 E. Wall

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce invites members and guests to a Chamber Coffee event this Thursday, November 30th at 8 a.m. hosted by Sunshine Boutique, 18 E. Wall St.

Sunshine Boutique celebrated forty-two years of business in the Downtown Historic District on October 18th. Georgia Brown, her granddaughter Rilie Creollo, and team offer unique and quality items including whole bean coffees and fresh teas, candles, bath & body, apparel, home decor, tuxedo rentals, and floral services. Georgia Brown is a legacy in Fort Scott, and we are so excited to announce that she will be the Grand Marshal for the Candy Land Christmas Parade this Thursday night at 6pm. Join us Thursday to see what Georgia, Rilie, and team have new in-store for great gifts and stocking stuffers!

Coffee, juice, and light refreshments will be served in addition to a door prize drawing. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at (620) 223-3566 for more information.

Click here for their Facebook Page!

We hope to see you there!

Thank you to our Chamber Champion members
shown below!
Facebook  Twitter
Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce | 231 E. Wall Street, Fort Scott, KS 66701

Fort Scott House Fire on November 25


House fire on November 25 from the Fort Scott Fire Department Facebook page.
The Fort Scott Fire Department was dispatched to 218 Horton late Saturday evening, November 25,  to a report of a structure fire, according to the FSFD Facebook page.

The fire alarm was received at 10:36,  and the  fire was under control at 10:59 p.m., according to FS Fire Chief Dave Bruner.

The fire scene was cleared by 1:20 a.m.

Nine FSFD personnel responded to the fire.

Crews arrived on the scene of a fully involved structure fire.
A defensive fire attack was made due to the fire already being through the roof and 80% of the home was on fire.
“Fire crews did an amazing job getting the blaze under control before it could cause damage or spread to neighboring homes,” according to the Facebook post.
Crews battled the blaze until the early morning hours.
The cause of the fire is currently being investigated by FSFD investigators along with assistance from the Kansas State Fire Marshal.
Unfortunately, the home is a total loss and the tenant lost a couple of pets.
Thankfully the tenant was able to escape and was transported by Bourbon County Emergency Medical Services for evaluation.
The fire department wishes to thank the Fort Scott Police Department and the Bourbon County EMS for their assistance.
The Fort Scott Fire Department fights a fire on November 25, 2023. From its Facebook page.

Obituary of Karen Kellenberger

Karen Joy (Geyer) Kellenberger, age 69, died peacefully at home November 21, 2023, surrounded by family and hymns of heaven, after a six-year battle with multiple myeloma.

Karen was born September 13, 1954, in Peoria, IL, the daughter of Walter and Hazel (Wiegand) Geyer.

Karen married the love of her life, Ricky Kellenberger, on December 30, 1972. Shortly after, they gave their hearts to Jesus and joined the Apostolic Christian Church in Sabetha, KS, and have served the Lord together the past 51 years.

Over the next 9 years of Veterinary Medical School, and then Medical School, she accompanied her husband to Manhattan, KS, Normal, Ill, McHenry Ill, Oak Forest, Ill, Carson City, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, and Emmetsburg, IA.

Karen worked constantly at different jobs in different cities until the birth of her first child.  Rick has always acknowledged that he would not have gotten through the many years of schooling without Karen’s financial and emotional support.

She stood by Rick through 9 years of education, and 43 years of medical practice, enabling him to care for his patients.

Everywhere they lived, they were active in their church.  In 1985 they settled for 19 years in the West Bend, IA area where Rick worked as a rural family doctor.  Karen raised their 5 children while managing the Dairy Queen Rick and Karen built in Emmetsburg, IA.   Everyone that knew Karen recognized her as a dedicated hard worker with a friendly smile.

Karen and Rick returned to Kansas in 2000, initially living in Stillwell, KS.  In 2001, they moved to Fort Scott to establish a private general practice near their daughter.  They purchased a small farm and Karen thrived in her new role as a farm wife and loved to watch the sunset over their ponds.

Karen brought a passion for music, especially in bringing glory to God. She taught herself guitar and loved to play for family singing events over the years. She also obtained her private pilot’s license to add a safety factor while flying with Rick. She and Rick enjoyed many Canadian and Minnesota fishing trips, some of which included flying.

Karen had a strong sense of humor and soft heart for any person or animal that was hurting. She ended up with many feral cats, as she fed each stray cat. She was a great listener and affirmer, and made each person feel special when listening. She loved to sing at church events and sang at every opportunity.

In addition to her Savior, her dearest joy was her family.   She diligently attended all events involving her grandchildren.  She read books, played games, and invested in knowing every grandchild, including her most recent granddaughter, Juliana.

She will be missed not only by her husband Rick, but by her children/spouses Robin (Justin) Moser of Redondo Beach, CA, Kent (Kelsey) of Lenexa, Kansas, Kristi (Trent) Banwart of Fort Scott, Amber (Ryan) Lewis of Fort Scott, and Ryan (Adrienne) of Fort Scott, as well as her brothers Roger (Melanie) Geyer, Dale (Barb) Geyer, and Walter (Bonnie) Geyer. Her 18 grandchildren (Cody, Garrett, and Natalie Moser; Ellieana and Juliana Kellenberger; Benjamin, Josiah, Noelle, Chloe, Anika, and Ezra Banwart; Micah, Owen, Hannah, and Cooper Lewis; and Calvin, Ainsley, and Claire Kellenberger) will miss her dearly.

Yet they celebrate her faith as Christians themselves.

She is preceded in death by her parents.


The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 P.M. Saturday, December 2nd at the Cheney Witt Chapel.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, December 3rd at the Apostolic Christian Church in Ft. Scott, Kansas and a graveside service will be held at 10:30 A.M. Monday, December 4th at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ft. Scott.

Memorials are suggested to Ft. Scott Christian Heights School or to the Apostolic Christian Harvest Call 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


State Seeks Input on New License Plate Design

Governor Kelly Announces New Path Forward on State License Plate

~~Rescinds License Plate Proposal, Will Establish Public Input Process~~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the Kansas Department of Revenue will pause production on the license plate design revealed last Wednesday and create a process to receive public input before selecting a final design.

“I promised to be a bipartisan governor, and I think we can all admit – I succeeded at bringing Kansans across the political aisle together in disliking this new license plate,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “I’ve heard you loud and clear. Elected officials should be responsive to their constituents, which is why we are adjusting the process so Kansans can provide direct input on our state’s next license plate.”

One of the challenges of designing a license plate is meeting the primary reason license plates exist: to be clear and easy to read. Kansans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite design among several that follow guidelines that comply with the needs of law enforcement entities and best practices established by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, including:

  • License plate numbers will be seven (7) digits.
  • Any phrase, motto, or slogan must be placed at the bottom of the license plate.
  • Any graphic must be placed on the right or left side of the license plate number.
  • Graphics must not resemble letters, numbers, or special characters in a way that would interfere with the ability to read the license plate number.
  • Background design must not interfere with the ability to read the license plate number.
  • The license plate must have a light background behind the license plate number, and the license plate number must be black.

The Governor’s Office will share more details on license plate options, the voting process, and how this announcement impacts the transition from embossed to print-on-demand plates soon.


Rural Development Grant Will Impact Small Businesses

Sending on behalf of Chamber Member

The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team…..

Rural Development Grant to help team help small businesses succeed

Funding from a new $154,000 USDA Rural Business Development Grant will allow The Healthy Bourbon County Action Team to help create jobs, save jobs, and give local and regional small businesses a better chance at success.

The work will be done through The Center for Economic Growth, a program of The HBCAT. The grant activities will focus primarily on Fort Scott, but will include Allen, Crawford, and Linn counties in educational events and engagement.

The grant will directly impact small businesses like The Hamilton’s Artisan Bakery, owned by Teri Hamilton, who will work with the Pittsburg State University Small Business Development Center — a partner of The HBCAT and The CEG — to add three full-time employees in the next two years with a long-term goal of adding 20 employees. Assistance also will include a marketing plan and website.

And, like The Shire Farm LLC, owned by Bradie and Noah Terry, who will develop a business wholesale agreement with a local restaurant, creating two full-time jobs and the potential to expand to include others.

Bartlesmeyer Jewelry Store, has been a staple in Bourbon County for many years, and the grant will help the center work with Krista Hulbert to purchase it, saving 4.5 full-time employees and creating an additional full-time job.

Samantha Rogers, who is in her early 20s and running her first business — The Baby Stitch — will work with the center to apply for additional capital so that she can move her online boutique to a physical location. Her plans are to have four full-time employees.


“These are just a few examples of the many local small businesses this grant will give us the opportunity to help,” said Rachel Carpenter, executive director of The HBCAT.


Providing technical assistance is important to the success of small business, noted Carpenter.


According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20 percent of small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of the second year, 30 percent of businesses will have failed. By the end of the fifth year, about half will have failed. And by the end of the decade, only 30 percent of businesses will remain — a 70 percent failure rate.

“Studies also show that those who receive counseling on business plans and financial strategies are more likely to report positive outcomes and overall survival,” she said. “Having such support services through the SBDC will mean the rate of successful businesses in Bourbon County is bound to increase.”

President and CEO Jody Hoener noted that the county has a high poverty rate and many barriers that prevent a resident from being successful at keeping a small business open and creating wealth for their family.


“This grant will help connect clients with financial resources such as loans, gap financing, education, training, and more,” she said.

The grant also will benefit the local and regional community by increasing the number of days the PSU SBDC serves the Fort Scott area from one day per week to three. The PSU SBDC provides customized training and consulting services to help businesses improve their productivity, efficiency, and build their market base.

And, the grant will help The HBCAT offer a central location for interviews, business meetings, and general business needs.

“Providing local businesses with expertise and guidance, especially in these very turbulent times, has shown to be a critical resource to increasing the number of business start-ups and number of available quality jobs,” said Hoener.

Total Capital Injection since October 2020, $3,318,637.28.


Other partners taking an active part in the grant include Southeast Kansas KANSASWorks and the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce.


About The HBCAT

The mission of The HBCAT 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.

Learn more at Find HBCAT on Facebook at

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.


Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.


To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email: [email protected].

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

b. Exceptions to Including the Full USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

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

Community Christmas Light Contest

Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce

announces Christmas Light Contest sponsored by Niece Products!

The Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce encourages businesses, residents, and neighborhoods to “Deck the Fort” and make the community merry and bright for the holidays.

Niece Products is sponsoring the Christmas Light Contest with cash prizes for the winners including:

Residential : 1st/$100, 2nd/$75, 3rd/$50

Top Business: $100

Top Neighborhood: $100

Other contest details:

  • Lights should be in place by Dec. 5th and judging will take place between the 11th and 13th.
  • Properties within a 1 mile radius of city limits will be considers for contest
  • Those wanting to ensure their property or someone else’s judged should call or email the Chamber with their address, name, and phone number
  • Lighting and decorations must be visible from street view.

The Chamber encourages everyone to get in the spirit with lights this season. For more information contact the Chamber at 620.223.3566 or by email at [email protected].

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

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran Newsletter



Capitol Tours
The Honorable Sheila Frahm of Colby

Ken Frahm of Colby

Reagan Geihsler of Manhattan

Collin Geihsler of Manhattan

Dan Arthur of Overland Park

Amy Arthur of Overland Park

Ainsley Arthur of Overland Park

Aniston Arthur of Overland Park

Avelyn Arthur of Overland Park

Simon Werner of Overland Park

Ling Werner of Overland Park

Benjamin Werner of Overland Park

Abigail Werner of Overland Park

AJ Kurtz of Overland Park

Lauren Edwards of Overland Park

Adalyn Kurtz of Overland Park

Jude Kurtz of Overland Park

Dean Kurtz of Overland Park

Daleroy Davey of Olathe

Maci Davey of Olathe

Marques Davey of Olathe

Christina Schabel & Family of Andover




A Season for Thankfulness
Happy Thanksgiving! Robba and I hope everyone had a happy and blessed holiday surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

We also want to extend our thanks to law enforcement officers, first responders and servicemembers who never cease to serve their communities and country during the holiday seasons. Thank you for your continual sacrifices and for keeping us safe.



More Space Manufacturing Coming to Kansas
On Monday, I hosted Robert Lightfoot, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin Space, in Kansas. During the visit, we toured a division of Perfekta Aerospace where Lockheed announced a contract for the company to provide parts for its Orion Spacecraft, as well as components for its defense programs. The Greater Wichita Partnership (GWP) also hosted an event at WSU Tech’s National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) for local manufacturers, academia and community leaders to meet with Lockheed Martin.



Thank you to Robert and his team for visiting the Air Capital of the World and sharing the importance Kansans are playing in space and defense programs. Thank you also to Jeff Fluhr and his team at GWP for their leadership and to the many Kansans who helped make their visit a success.



Expanding Rural Health Care in Southeast Kansas
Monday afternoon I stopped at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center in Chanute to participate in the ribbon cutting for the new Southeast Kansas Impact Center. This $7.1 million facility houses a workforce training center that will operate in partnership with local businesses and medical providers to better deliver telehealth treatment to area patients. The 10,000 square foot multi-use business, workforce and health care center was built on the site of a former tuberculosis hospital and is expected to create 256 jobs and generate $45 million for the local economy.

I am pleased to have helped secure an investment of more than $4 million from the Economic Development Administration for the SEK Impact Center. Thank you to Hospital CEO Dennis Franks and Foundation Director Anna Methvin for inviting me to join in this exciting community celebration. Thank you also to Dorothy Welch, Kansas Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Nadira Hazim-Patrick, Lead Engineer Alison Mih, NMRMC Foundation Chair Bruce Jackson, NMRMC Foundation Secretaruy Bruce Mullen, Neosho County Commissioner Nick Galemore, and Chanute Mayor Jacob LaRue for joining me.



Kansas Association of Conservation Districts Annual Convention
It was great to be with members of the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts (KACD) in Wichita for their 78th annual convention on Monday evening. This group is committed to conserving our natural resources—efforts that are critical to preserving Kansas for the next generation. Water conservation and natural resource management is particularly important to our economy and quality of life. Water is the lifeblood of our municipalities, the foundation for statewide recreation, and will direct the future of manufacturing and agriculture production. During my remarks I discussed Farm Bill reauthorization and conservation issues across the state, including the importance of establishing long-term solutions that support the water needs of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and the regional economy.

Thank you to KACD Executive Director and Chairman Dan Meyeroff for inviting me to speak as well as the many members of KACD I was able to visit with.


Nestor Weigand Jr.’s Funeral
This week I attended the funeral for Nestor Weigand Jr. in Wichita. Nestor was a giant in the real estate industry and made a huge difference in people’s lives including my own.

After his passing, Mike McGrew, the Chairman & CEO of McGrew Real Estate stated the following to me, and I couldn’t agree more: “Nestor has been the patriarch of the Kansas REALTOR family for decades. He was an amazing mentor to myself and so many others. His leadership in business and real estate was surpassed only by his generous gifts of wise counsel and time spent. Nestor cannot be replaced, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.”

Read more about Nestor’s life in the Wichita Business Journal, here.

Visiting Hospitals Across Kansas
Ellsworth County Medical Center
On Tuesday, I visited Ellsworth County Medical Center (ECMC), a Critical Access Hospital that provides important health care services to the Ellsworth community and surrounding area. During the tour, I learned more about challenges facing ECMC and how medical and support staff are working to meet the needs of the community. The insight and experiences from Kansas hospitals, their administrators and staff are important to me as I work to support the health care industry in Kansas and across the nation.

Thank you to ECMC CEO Jim Kirkbride and his team for arranging my visit.  Thank you also to Callie Haxton and Colby Richard from the City of Ellsworth as well as Mark Kennedy and John Thaemert from Citizens State Bank & Trust for joining me.


Sheridan County Hospital
On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to visit Sheridan County Hospital where I met with hospital staff and administrators to learn more about health care in Hoxie. I am grateful to those who showed me around the facility and for expressing the priorities and needs of the hospital and the communities it serves. Rural hospitals throughout Kansas are facing staff and equipment shortages and even closures. I will continue to prioritize the sustainability and success of Kansas’s rural hospitals, and I am grateful to Sheridan County Hospital and the Sheridan County Health Complex for the incredible work they do.

Thank you to Sheridan County Hospital Board President Joy Bretz, clinic manager and Sheridan County Commissioner Kyle Ablenstorf and board members Leanna Sloan, Teri Moss, and Sally Cameron for joining me on the tour.


Trego County Lemke Memorial Hospital
Later on Wednesday, I toured the Trego County Lemke Memorial Hospital in WaKeeney with CEO Jeremy Rabe and Hospital Board Chair Eric Moden. I was pleased to see the expansion of services and patient care that Trego County has been able to provide their residents. Maintaining reliable and high-quality health care is critically important to see our communities thrive. I appreciated the time I was able to spend learning about the facility and am thankful to those who took the time to give me a tour.



Honored to Serve You in Washington
It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Thank you to the many Kansans who have been calling and writing in to share their thoughts and opinions on the issues our state and country face. I appreciate the words of Kansans, whether in the form of a form of letter, a Facebook comment or a phone call, who wish to make their voice heard.

Please let me know how I can be of assistance. You can contact me by email by clicking here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.

Very truly yours,


To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please click here.

1200 Main St.,
Suite 402
P.O. Box 249
Hays, KS 67601
Phone: (785) 628-6401
1800 Kimball Avenue,
Suite 270
Manhattan, KS 66052
Phone: (785) 539-8973
Fax: (785) 587-0789
23600 College Blvd.,
Suite 201
P.O. Box 1154
Olathe, KS 66061
Phone: (913) 393-0711
Fax: (913) 768-1366
Washington, D.C.
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Room 521
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6521
Fax: (202) 228-6966
100 North Broadway,
Suite 210
Wichita, KS 67202
Phone: (316) 269-9257
Fax: (316) 269-9259

Garden City
1511 East Fulton Terrace, Suite 1511-2
Garden City, KS 67846

Fort Scott News