This story focuses on two local people who used the cancer center at Mercy Hospital: Karen Endicott-Coyan, Fort Scott and Art Terry, Prescott.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/06/29/735392646/have-cancer-must-travel-patients-left-in-lurch-after-towns-hospital-closes?utm_term=nprnews&utm_campaign=npr&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR3iJLU-Xz-l6aPtvi2VeJtN9d28a0EZ68RkEPagDYs4NuYsER4jOUPfoK8

Marian Thomas of Alamogordo, NM, formerly of Sedalia, Mo, died Monday, June 24, 2019, at Gerald Chapman Hospital in Alamogordo. She was 88 years old.

On March 2, 1958, she married James “Jake” Thomas in Iola, Kansas. They made their home in various states including Kansas, Oregon and Missouri.

Survivors include three sons, Paul (Tammy) of Neosho, Missouri, Hank (Eileen) of Seneca, Missouri, Lewis (Kelly) of Alamogordo, a daughter Joy (Dan) Crum of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; a brother Sam (Helen) Rife of Mildred, Kansas; eight grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, many nephews, nieces and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Preston and Julia Rife, her husband, Jake Thomas, a son Bill Thomas, and a grandson Torry Thomas.



Memorial services will be held graveside, Wednesday, July 10th, at 10:30 a.m., at the Osage Cemetery, northeast of Mildred, Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in her name to the association of your choice and left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

Patricia lived in Fort Scott, KS, the majority of her life. She worked for Western Insurance companies and then American States for many years.

She retired in the mid 90’s to spend more time with her loving husband and new grandchildren. They were what meant the most to her. She loved children. Not just her children, she loved all children. She would tell you spending time with children keeps you young…. young at heart anyway. The most precious memories were time spent with her grandchildren then as they grew older spending time with Jackson, Olivia, Grace, Audrey and Ella. They all meant so much to her.

She is survived by her two children, Jeri (Jeff) Keller and John (Helen) Harding, two grandchildren – Ashley (Sam) Brooks and Austin Keller, one brother- Donalle (Barbara) Walker and one sister – Linda (Bert) Fisher.

She is predeceased by her husband, Homer Cowan, Jr. as well as her parents, Orville and Doris Walker, her brother Charles Walker and sister Shirley Burford.

A graveside committal service will be held at 1:30 PM Friday, July 5th, in the U. S. National Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

OK. She was born September 2, 1933, in Ft. Scott, the daughter of John and Pearl Martin Mitzner. She attended Ft. Scott area schools and received her LPN degree from St. Luke’s nursing program. She worked for several different hospitals and nursing homes in her career. Her devotion to nursing led to her daughter becoming a surgical technician and granddaughters becoming nurses.

Survivors include a son, Warren Woods and wife Donna, Osawatomie, KS; two daughters, Deborah Kelly and husband Bill, Kansas, OK, and Cheryl Loyd and husband Kevin, Shawnee, KS; five brothers, Fred Mitzner and wife Erma, Ft. Scott, Bill Mitzner and wife Mary Beth, Paola, KS, Dave Mitzner and wife Geneva, Beagle, KS, Jerry Mitzner and wife Joy, Mindenmines, MO, and Steve Mitzner, Columbia; and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Martha Petrie and Pat Ballou; two brothers, Johnny and Larry Mitzner; and her parents.

Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM Wednesday, July 3rd at the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701.

Memorials are suggested to donor’s local hospice of choice. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.

The hood of her jacket was pulled low over her face hiding her eyes. Without exception, she wore the same long-sleeve hoodie, even in warm weather. Juston glanced at her and smiled as she stepped onto the school bus. “Hello, Angelica,” he said. She gripped the handrail tighter and looked up at him from underneath her hoodie. Her face was pale. She didn’t return his smile.

Angelica stepped into the aisle and sat down in the front seat behind him. She always sat in the front seat. All the other high school kids were in the back of the bus, but not Angelica. She sat in front with the kindergarten kids.

Juston closed the door, shifted gears, and pulled the bus out of the school parking lot. He looked up at Angelica’s reflection in the rearview. She never looked up. Her crossed arms wrapped around her body, hugging herself.

“Do you like pizza?” he asked over his shoulder. “You probably think I just drive this bus all day long,” he continued. “But this is not my real job. I only do this to make ends meet. I’m the pastor for students at First Baptist. Our youth group is having pizza tonight. You should come.” He peeked up at the mirror to see her reply, but she still never looked up. So, they drove on in silence.

A few minutes later, the bus pulled up in front of her house. As she was stepping off, Juston said, “Church starts at seven.” She paused, then continued out the door without looking back.

Juston was surprised that night when Angelica walked into church. She sat in the back, away from everyone else. She never looked up as Juston shared the gospel. After he finished speaking, she grabbed a slice of pizza and hurried out the door.

Justin unzipped the small black case to reveal the contents inside – razorblades. It was full of razorblades. Angelica pulled up her sleeves. Scars started at the top of her arms and continued down to her wrists.

Trembling and sobbing, she shared her story. It was a tragedy – a story of abuse. Someone she loved and trusted had done unspeakable things to her. Eventually, her heart numbed. As a way of “feeling” something, she became a cutter.

“A week ago, I decided to end my life. Then you invited me for pizza. Now, I don’t want to die. I want to live, and I want to know this Jesus you keep talking about…”

That night, Angelica gave her life to Jesus Christ. Today, she and her husband are missionaries in South America. They just had their first child – a baby girl.

Last week, I heard Juston share Angelica’s story at church camp. As I listened, I realized that the world is full of Angelicas. The world is full of scarred, wounded people. But Jesus Christ can bind up your wounds.

The point is: Only Jesus can heal your broken heart. Like Angelica, you can bring Him your disappointments, your griefs, and your wounds. Whatever you are going through, there is healing in Jesus.

On the cross, Jesus bore our sins. By His wounds you have been healed. Step out in faith and place your life in His nail-scarred hands.

Fort Scott Elk’s Club has been organizing the Independence Day Celebration for several decades for the community.

“This really is a community event and it takes local governments, local businesses, and citizens that play in the fundraising golf tournament and donate, to make it all happen,” Bill Brittain, event chairperson said. “The Elk’s is really just the conduit that brings all of this together!”

“It started in the mid-1990s when another organization organized this and they stopped doing it,” Brittain said. ” I was on the city commission and possibly mayor at the time. The city manager at that time asked if the Elk’s would take this event over and we did.”

“The Elk’s have been in charge of organizing and raising the funds for the community fireworks for around 25 years! I have been the chairperson all of that time. The Elk’s organize the fireworks with funding help from the City (of Fort Scott) and (Bourbon)County!

“It will start at around 9:15 to 9:30. We pick the time when it gets very close, to make sure it is dark! The show lasts a little over 20 minutes.”

“A couple of years ago the city asked us to move the event to July 3rd because of congestion and trash with everyone out there watching (and) shooting their own (fireworks) afterward. So it is on the 3rd.

“The city does not allow fireworks to be shot except on the 4th for any other than this community fireworks display.”

” They are shot off behind FSCC, back by the ball fields and people park along Horton and at the fairgrounds area. They have been shot there for as long as I can remember!”

“We are very community minded and we try to do some things for Veteran’s,” Brittain said. “Some of the community events are of course the community fireworks, Christmas baskets for deserving families, usually around 135, children’s Christmas party done by the Lady Elk’s which gives around 85 to 100 deserving children Christmas presents and a party, the children’s fishing derby, the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner organized by Margie Schwalm and family. We host a variety of fundraisers for other groups…again we are very reliant on the community and citizens as well as our dedicated members!”

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the U.S.A. is a  fraternal organization with a mission as stated on its’ website https://www.elks.org/who/missionStatement.cfm

“To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love and Fidelity; to recognize a belief in God; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its Members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism; to cultivate good fellowship; to perpetuate itself as a fraternal organization, and to provide for its government, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America will serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that Elks Care and Elks Share.”

In 2002, when Richard Rodriguez was captaining a commercial flight, his lead flight attendant informed him that a soldier’s remains were in the cargo area. Rodriguez asked to meet the soldier’s escort. The captain later wrote of his experience. A perfectly dressed, young, army sergeant entered the cockpit and said, “My soldier is on his way back to Virginia.” After telling the escort that he had the toughest job in the military, Rodriguez and his co-pilot stood to shake his hand before the escort returned to his seat. About 30 minutes into the flight, the lead flight attendant called to say that the father, mother, wife and two-year old daughter were also on the plane. The family was upset because they were unable to see the container that their loved one was in before they took off. They were going to have to wait four hours for the connecting flight home to Virginia. The father of the soldier shared that knowing his son was below him in the cargo compartment was difficult and asked if it would be possible to be outside by the cargo door to watch him being taken off the airplane. Captain Rodriguez listened to the plea of the flight attendant and responded, “I’m on it.” He immediately contacted the air dispatcher, and two hours later, received this text: “Captain, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. There is policy on this now, and I had to check on a few things. Upon your arrival a dedicated escort team will meet the aircraft. The team will escort the family to the ramp and plane side. A van will be used to load the remains with a secondary van for the family. The family will be taken to their departure area and escorted into the terminal, where the remains can be seen on the ramp. It is a private area for the family only. When the connecting aircraft arrives, the family will be escorted onto the ramp and plane side to watch the remains being loaded for the final leg home. Captain, most of us here in flight control are veterans. Please pass our condolences on to the family. Thanks.” Rodriguez wrote that after landing, when they checked in with the ramp controller, they were told that all traffic was being held for them and a team was in place to meet the plane. The captain recognized there was only one problem: when the seat belt sign went off, all the passengers would stand and prevent the family from exiting. Rodriguez asked permission to stop short of the gate to make an announcement. Upon receiving approval, this is what he said: “Ladies and gentleman, this is your Captain speaking. I have stopped short of our gate to make a special announcement. We have a passenger on board who deserves our honor and respect. Also on board are his father, mother, wife and daughter. Your entire flight crew is asking for all passengers to remain in their seats to allow the family to exit the aircraft first. Thank you.” When the family got up and gathered their things, a passenger slowly started to clap. Moments later, more passengers joined in, and soon the entire aircraft was clapping. Words of “God Bless You,” “I’m sorry,” “thank you,” “be proud,” were uttered to the family as they made their way down the aisle and out of the airplane. They were escorted down to the ramp to finally be with their loved one. Rodriguez concluded with this: “Many of the passengers disembarking thanked me for the announcement I had made. They were just words, I told them; I could say them over and over again, but nothing I say will bring back that brave soldier.” For the courageous men and women who fight for our freedom–too many times losing their lives in the process–thank you. May we remember them and their families this Fourth of July and every day.

June 18, 2019                                                 Tuesday 9:00 am

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Commissioners Oharah and Ruhl present and Jeff Fischer by telephone. The County Counselor and the County Clerk were also present.

John Eastwood & Jennifer Durkin met with the Commissioners; Jennifer said her daughter recently had a car wreck on Limestone Road between 255th-260th. She said she had gone off of a low water crossing that didn’t have guardrails. Jim Harris said this isn’t a low water crossing, but rather a low area with a large culvert. Jim said he would view the area and follow State guidelines regarding the area.

Jim Harris discussed the two Freightliner trucks; he said in 2018 they spent $23,000 on one and $10,300 on the other in repairs and in 2019 they have spent $8,000 on one and $12,700 on the other. No decision was made on the trucks.

Jim Harris presented his 2020 budget requests; for Bridge and Culvert he requested $197,284, Special Road Machinery he requested $0 and said it wasn’t a budgeted item, Road & Bridge Sales Tax he requested $1,160,522, for Noxious Weed he requested $149,945, for Landfill he requested $242,753 (Jim said that the Landfill isn’t funded by tax dollars other than employee benefits for the employees there), for Road & Bridge he requested $2,068,944 (with 2 new employees for a ditching crew), for Special Bridge he requested $242,402 (with 3 new employees to work on bridges. Jim said they will have to close bridges if work isn’t done to the bridges.

Jeff Fischer reported that he had heard praises for the work done with patching in Garland as well as work done in Hiattville.  Jeff said he tends to hear more praises than complaints for the Road & Bridge work.

Jeff said he had heard concerns about the road closure on 260th that is scheduled for today; he said the person had concerns about investing a lot of money in building up a road that could possibly be abandoned later on.

The Commissioners said there is work being done on mapping to develop a map that has all County owned roads on it. Nancy Van Etten Suggested setting a date for the map and the work to be done.

Lynne reported brush that was dumped in the little Osage crossing on 95th; Jim said he would view the area.

Jim said they plan to start overlaying on Condensory Road on June 19th. He said they will move the equipment to Mapleton after Condensory Road.

Jeff said he had heard a concern over the right of way on Justice Lane; he said a utility line is located north and south possibly in a County easement. Jim said he would view a right of way map.

Lynne said the Redfield Mayor recently met with the Commissioners regarding the location of the city limits; Jim said they met and the city limits is approximately 100’ on the South edge of Redfield.

Lynne made a motion to approve the Jubilee Fireworks LLC permit for a fireworks stand at 2420 S. Main, Fort Scott, Nick seconded and all approved the permit.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Kendell Mason). No action was taken.

The Commissioners held a road closure hearing for 2,640’ on 260th Street between Deer and Cavalry Road in the Northwest quarter of Section 12, Township 27, and Range 25. The Commissioners, Jim Harris, Jerad Heckman and T&C representative Tim Speer were present for this hearing. Mr. Speer said he would like the road closed so they can put a locked gate on the property (he said they could provide keys to the locked gate), he said T&C owns both sides of the road on the East & West and if closed they would maintain the road. Mr. Speer said there wasn’t much traffic on the road due to the quality of the road. Jim Harris said the maps show this as an open County road. Lynne asked Jim if anyone had requested to maintain the road and keep it open; Jim said yes he had a request to keep the south ½ open. Jeff Fischer said he had concerns about closing any County road, he said he is not in favor of closing any roads. Jeff said he was in favor of maintaining the road and establishing what kind of road it will be (gravel or dirt). Jeff said the restricted access could impact the value of the property for the landowners. Jeff felt that the Coal Company should be obligated to restore the road. The County has had surveying done on this road to determine the right-of-ways. Mr. Speer said the road needs to be maintained, he said it is a dirt road with no gravel and grass growing in the road. Jeff made a motion that the County retain the right of way and reject the road closure and develop a maintenance plan suitable to property owners on both sides of the road, Nick seconded and all were in favor. Mr. Speer asked when they could expect a plan; the Commissioners said they were waiting on survey results and when it’s dry enough they will work on cutting ditches.

There was discussion over donating the previous Noxious Weed building in Uniontown to the City of Uniontown; Justin said he was working on the contract to donate the property.

Bill Martin and Ben Cole met with the Commissioners to discuss the contract with SEK Regional Juvenile Detention Center; Justin said the County had not received a contract with guaranteed bed space. The law has changed, making it harder to house a juvenile, but there is no guarantee that the law will stay the same and if the County gets out of the juvenile contract they will not be able to get back in the contract. The Commissioners have worked to bring down the SEK Regional Juvenile Detention Center rates. Nick said that the SEK Regional Juvenile Detention Center will offer a daily rate of $400+ a day, but without a guarantee that there will be bed space available. Bill Martin recommended that the County get out of the contract since the laws are changing and making it harder to place a juvenile in the facility. Bill said the cost the County is currently paying for the contract to house a few juveniles doesn’t make sense. The Commissioners were all concerned that if the laws change and they have to house more juveniles where they would house them. Nick made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Lynne seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). After the session; Nick said that he appreciated Bill Martin’s comments, but made a motion to stay in the contract with the SEK Regional Juvenile Detention Center, Jeff seconded and all approved. Nick said he would notify the SEK Regional Juvenile Detention Center that the County was going to stay in the contract. Lynne said that the Commissioners had discussed this issue a lot, but couldn’t get a facility that would offer a contract with a guaranteed bed space and said the daily rate was based on availability.

Nick made a motion to go into a 5 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

Pete Allen met with the Commissioners; he has a house located at 1022 232nd (Marco Estates), he said the County installed a culvert there a few years ago, but it is too high. The Commissioners said they would have Jim Harris view the area.

At 11:30 Nick made a motion to break for lunch and reconvene at 1:30, Lynne seconded and all approved.

Judge Ward and Rhonda Cole met with the Commissioners to present the District Court’s requested 2020 budget. Judge Ward said it’s estimated that $35,000 from fees and other revenues will be accrued in the County general fund. Judge Ward requested $268,468 for 2020; in 2019 they received $252,468. Judge Ward said the additional $15,000 is to cover indigent services, interpreter fees, Statewide mandated computer changes and printing and supplies. Judge Ward discussed the 2018 & 2019 (as of 06/18/2019) case loads; 2018 criminal 752 – 2019 criminal 363 cases, 2018 child in need of care 2018 108 cases – 2019 72 cases, civil cases 2018 97 cases – 2019 102 cases.

Jeff Fischer asked Judge Ward if their case load would change if the City of Fort Scott had a municipal court; Judge Ward said it could reduce some of the misdemeanors they receive.

Lynne made a motion that all of the Commissioners attend a Highway 69 Association ribbon cutting on June 24, 2019 at 10:30 at the Cherry Grove Church located at 69 Highway and Birch Road, Jeff seconded and all approved.

Lynne said he was going to forward an email from Kevin Ross with Goldberg Group to the other Commissioners.

Emergency Preparedness Director Will Wallis met with the Commissioners regarding disaster information and flood damage; Will said the State had came here for a meeting, he said representatives from Uniontown, Bronson, Fort Scott and the Marmaton Watershed were present for the meeting. The State went over information regarding the public assistance disaster. The State viewed flood damages to do preliminary damage assessments at Gunn Park, the overlook point at the Riverfront Authority, the overflow at the Fort Scott Lake, 160th south of Fern Road as well as various roads and bridges with damage. Will estimates that there were a minimum of 150 small locations with damage that could receive compensation for the grader operators labor, the grader and lost gravel. Will estimated there were a minimum of 50 sites with medium damages and 5 sites with heavy damages. Will said they did not look at the backed up debris in the waterway. The State took the small, medium and heavy damages and estimated that Bourbon County alone had $366,592.47 worth of damage from the floods. Of the available mitigation money that the County could receive reimbursement for FEMA reimburses for 75% and the State reimburses for 10%. Will said they will look at man hours, bridge reports, road maintenance records and gravel costs to help calculate the cost of damages. Will said that after the initial damage assessment a second State team will come here to calculate damages.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

Nick made a motion to go into a 7 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Lynne seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Jody Hoener). No action was taken.

Nick made a motion to have an afternoon/evening meeting on July 30th from 1-4 pm and from 5:30 – 7:30, Lynne seconded and the motion passed.

The Commissioners asked David Neville if he knew of any budgeted items that the Commissioners needed to budget for in 2020; David said he felt that the County would need to do repair work to the handicap ramp as well as work to the sidewalk at both the Courthouse and the Driver’s License building.

June 14, 2019                                                           Friday 9:00 am

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Commissioners Oharah and Fischer present. The County Clerk was also present.

Jody Hoener met with the Commissioners to discuss a letter of recommendation regarding Hemp production. Jeff made a motion to authorize Lynne to sign the letter; Lynne seconded and signed the letter. Lynne said that Kansas regulations allow a two month window to produce hemp; he felt that the County needed to work with the State to expand the two month window.

“The Bourbon County Economic Development has been working with Joe Bisogno of KMC Brands Incorporated, and its subsidiary America’s Hemp Academy, to increase the opportunity for the growing, producing and distribution of industrial hemp in Bourbon County.

It is the Bourbon County Commission’s understanding that KMC Brands Incorporated and America’s Hemp Academy will be seeking a new venture in commercial home building made of industrial hempcrete. The Bourbon County area would serve as a perfect location for such work with its history of agricultural excellence. Additionally, there are no current zoning restrictions that would interfere with such an endeavor.

We appreciate the opportunity to explore this additional revenue stream with a new commodity to further encourage commerce in the region.”

June 13, 2019                                                           Thursday 10:00 am

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with Lynne Oharah present and Jeff Fischer by telephone. The County Counselor and the County Clerk were also present.

Lynne made a motion that he sign the donation agreement from Mercy Hospital, Jeff seconded and the motion passed. Lynne signed these documents and then they were emailed to Mercy Hospital. Jeff said that the County appreciated the donation.

June 11, 2019                                                 Tuesday 1:00 pm

The Bourbon County Commission met in open session with all three Commissioners, the County Counselor and the County Clerk present.

Emergency Manager Will Wallis met with the Commissioners regarding the County disaster declaration; he said he had been taking pictures of flood damage. Will said that Redfield, Bronson & Uniontown all had water damage. Will said that one of the watersheds in Bourbon County had over $50,000 worth of damage. Will said Bourbon County needs a minimum of $57,000 worth of damage to qualify for assistance. Will said he had been in contact with some of the Road & Bridge grader operators regarding damage on the roads. Lynne & Jeff told Will of a few areas in the County that they felt needed looked at for damage. He said they will have a meeting today at 2:00 pm in the EOC office to discuss the water damage and educate the public regarding the declaration.

Jeff made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Nick seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

Kendell presented the Bourbon County 2020 budget information to be used for the 2020 budget; the Bourbon County total estimated assessed valuation estimate for the 2020 budget is 107,706,498, in 2019 the estimate was 104,040,342.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 10 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners, Justin Meeks and Shane Walker). Justin Meeks said he would be moving his office to an area in the old health department.

Shane discussed the bike trails at Gunn Park; he said he may ask the Road & Bridge department to do some work to the bridge on the trail.

Jerad Heckman with the Road & Bridge department met with the Commissioners; he said they have been mowing, patching (they are patching in Garland now), working on low water crossings and hauling rock around the County. Lynne discussed a phone call he had from Mark Stewart regarding 15th & Tomahawk; Jerad said they made the road passable, but didn’t put any rock on the road, Jerad said they need to determine if this is a Bourbon County or Allen County road. Jerad said they will start asphalting on Maple & 235th on June 17th.

Bourbon County Attorney, Jacqie Spradling met with the Commissioners to present the Attorney’s 2020 budget, Ben Cole, Bill Martin, Angel Wilson and Lora Holdridge were also present for this meeting. In 2019 the Attorney was approved for $344,324, Jacqie requested $359,324 for 2020. Jacqie estimated that if the City of Fort Scott had a municipal court (which could handle some of the cases that the County does for them) it could reduce the County Attorney’s case load approximately 30%. Bill Martin said a municipal court could also reduce the amount of inmates arrested.

Register of Deeds, Lora Holdridge met with the Commissioners to present the Register of Deed’s 2020 budget. In 2019 the Register of Deeds was approved for $82,447, Lora requested $82,747 for 2020. Lora said she took out the part time employee out of her budget, but left the $15,000 in her budget, in 2020 she requested that $10,000 go towards an increase in her wages and $5,000 go towards an increase in her deputies wages, she asked that the Commissioners consider making this change for 2019 as well since the money is already budgeted.

County Clerk, Kendell Mason presented the 2020 budget for the Election & Clerk department. She requested $101,917 for the Clerk and $86,900 for the Election 2020 budget, which is the same that was allocated in 2019.

Lynne made a motion to give $500 to the Elks for the 2019 fireworks display, Jeff seconded and all approved.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

Lynne made a motion to go into a 15 minute executive session for personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks). No action was taken.

Nick made a motion to go into a 35 minute executive session for consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship, Jeff seconded and all approved, (the session included the Commissioners and Justin Meeks).

Lynne made a motion to break for lunch at 4:45 and reconvene at 5:30, Nick seconded and all approved.

After lunch, The Commissioners, the County Counselor, the County Clerk, Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune, Nancy Van Etten and Josh Jones were at the meeting. Kevin Allen, Jason Gorman and Lora Holdridge were present for a portion of the evening meeting.

Robert Uhler with the City of Fort Scott met with the Commissioners; he gave the Commissioners a copy of the 2018 City of Fort Scott Comprehensive plan.

Nancy Van Etten said she had company coming to visit, she said one of the visitors would need access to the internet during the visit to do work, she asked for possible locations with Wi-Fi. Nancy questioned where the County is regarding the business incubator; Justin said that there is one business there now.

There was a discussion over the future plan for the County; the Commissioners said that Jody Hoener was working on developing a comprehensive plan. Lynne said that the County has limited funding and that they were cautions of their spending. Jeff encouraged people to view the roads and ditches to see the improvements that have been done in recent years.

Kevin Allen discussed potholes at the Fort Scott Lake, Nick said that road was City property; Kevin said the City said that it wasn’t City property. Kevin suggested that the City & County discuss the Lake roads to see who should be fixing those roads. There was a discussion over a milling machine and the milled product. Kevin asked if there was a plan to mill the east side of the Lake; Lynne said that there was no plan at this time to mill that road. Kevin discussed the County and the City working together regarding road work. He said the County and City needs to work towards the same goal.

Lora Holdridge asked when the City and the County would have a public meeting where people could meet to discuss inter-local options; Kevin suggested quarterly round table meetings between the County, Cities, School’s & FSCC, Lynne said that BEDCO has representatives from all of those different entities. Lynne said that the County tried to do a cooperation with the 69 highway project; he said the County receives the access roads off of the highway and that the County asked that the State didn’t pave the road next to the old At&t building on 69 highway and use the pavement on Eagle road instead, but the State paved the road next to the At&t building instead of making it a gravel road.

There was discussion over the City enforcing zoning in the three mile radius to improve the appearances of the main access roads in our County.

There was a discussion over the inter-local cooperation between the City and the County regarding the ambulance service for Bourbon County.

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Lora questioned the bridge that was going to be moved to the walking trail; the Commissioners said that bridge was too big and was going to cost too much to move.

“I support today’s Supreme Court ruling,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “The goal is to make sure every person is counted. At stake is federal funding distributed to communities for schools, roads, public safety, parks and other programs, so Kansas cannot afford to be shortchanged in this important process. The Census also determines how many seats states have in the U.S. House, and Kansas deserves fair representation.

“The citizenship question would have done more to deter participation than encourage everyone to be counted,” the governor said. “Our Complete Count Committee is working across Kansas to raise awareness of the Census and address related challenges. If people living in Kansas aren’t counted, it will cost our state and local communities – especially our rural communities – thousands of dollars, per person, every year for the next decade. I want to remind all Kansans of the need to be counted.”

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