Double Homicide in Fort Scott, Kansas

On Tuesday, Dec. 21, at approximately 7:40 p.m., the Fort Scott Police Department received a 911 call from a subject who came home to find a female family member had been shot. When police officers arrived at 402 Main St. in Fort Scott, they located 48-year-old Melissa L. Mitchell who had died from a gunshot wound. They also discovered inside the home, 53-year-old Leonard D. Zimmerman, who had also been shot and was deceased. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. At approximately 8:30 p.m. the Fort Scott Police Department requested KBI assistance. KBI agents and the Crime Scene Response Team responded to Fort Scott. The victims’ son, Dawson J. Mitchell, 23, of Fort Scott, is a person of interest and is wanted for questioning connected to this case. Investigators are working to locate him at this time. If you know the whereabouts of 23-year-old Dawson J. Mitchell, you are asked to contact the Fort Scott Police Department at 620-223-1700 or the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME. Mitchell is expected to be armed and dangerous. Do not approach him, but immediately call police. Mitchell is a white male, 5 ft. 7 in. tall, and weighs approximately 160 lbs. He has blonde hair and blue eyes. Mitchell was last seen wearing blue jeans, a brown Carhartt-style coat and a baseball cap that is light in color on the front and dark in color on the back.

Department of Natural Resources offers home weatherization assistance

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 21, 2021 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has weatherization assistance available to increase energy efficiency and improve the health of your home. As families spend more time at home during winter, they tend to use more energy, which means energy efficiency benefits become even more critical.

The department’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is critical to meeting heating and cooling needs of Missourians with low-incomes, especially as many seniors and other vulnerable households shelter at home due to COVID-19. WAP makes homes more energy efficient, safer and healthier.

To apply for assistance, clients should contact their local weatherization agency. The agency will ask applicants to complete the appropriate forms, including income documentation, to verify eligibility. Once the client is verified as eligible, an auditor from the agency will conduct an energy audit of the home to determine what measures will produce the greatest energy savings. The next step is for the agency crew or contractor to install the energy-efficient measures on the home. After the weatherization is complete, a quality control inspector will examine the home to check quality and completeness of the work.

Eligibility is based on the family unit’s size and total income. A single person with a maximum income of $25,760 is eligible and a home with two residents must have a maximum income of $34,840 to qualify. Local weatherization agencies can provide further information about maximum family income and other details regarding program eligibility.

Properly insulating and sealing air leaks can help many homes save as much as 30% in winter heating costs. Home weatherization not only saves homeowners money and leaves them with a more comfortable living space, it also reduces the pollution associated with generating energy used for heating.

Weatherization leads to significant health benefits. Read the @ENERGY “Home Rx” report available at Residents with asthma reported fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits after weatherization and families’ out-of-pocket medical expenses decreased by an average of $514, according to @ORNL. Children missed fewer school days after their homes received energy efficiency services from WAP. Weatherization returns $2.78 in health-and-safety related benefits for every $1 invested. For more ways to weatherize your home visit the department’s Weatherization webpage at or contact the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Energy at 855-522-2796.

The Little Apple

Vol 29 no 51

                                              December 22, 2021

Rockville United Methodist Church will hold their Family Candlelight Christmas Eve Service, 6:00 p.m. Dec 24.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

Christmas and New Year’s Masses at Immaculate Conception Church in Montrose and St. Patrick’s Church in Butler  are as follows: Christmas Eve – Immaculate Conception 4:00 p.m., St. Patrick 7:00 p.m. Christmas Day – Immaculate Conception 8:00 a.m., St. Patrick 10:00 a.m. Also, Christmas Day 7:00 p.m. Immaculate Conception for Sunday obligation. No St. Patrick’s Mass.  Sunday, December 26 – normal Sunday Masses.

Trinity United Methodist Church invites you to a Christmas Service on Sunday, December 26, 10:00 am.  There will be no Sunday School and no Rockville service that day.  Everyone is invited to join them for a special service of Worship and Song.

Darrell Pohlman will host his annual Christmas display (weather permitting) from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. nightly through December 24. The display can be seen at 513 W. 7th St. in Appleton City. This will be the last year for the display.  Darrell plans to retire after this Christmas.

City Hall will be closed December 23 and 24 for Christmas and December 31 for New Years. 

The Appleton City Public Library is currently seeking an individual to fulfill their children’s librarian position. For questions about what this role entails, please call/text Megan Schenker at (660) 492-0499 or Kamber Grishow at (660) 492-3502. Applications can be picked up at the library during normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Ellett Memorial Hospital Appleton City offers outpatient specialist services for January 2022.   Call 660-476-2111 for appointments. Jan 5– Upper GI, Colonoscopy-Dr. Namin, Jan 12 – Upper GI, Colonoscopy-Dr. Vardakis, Jan 13 – Rheumatology, Dr. Tay, Jan 14– Ortho-Dr. Gray, Jan 19 – Upper GI, Colonoscopy-Dr. Namin, Jan 20 – Podiatry- Dr. Ciaramello, Jan 26 – Ophthalmology – Dr. Soni, Jan 26 –Ortho-Dr. Gray, Jan 27 – Rheumatology, Dr. Tay. 

Are you passionate about working with youth and the 4-H program? Someone who enjoys teaching nutrition and health? The University of Missouri Extension is hiring a full-time Nutrition & Youth Program Associate in St. Clair County. This position offers great benefits and pay and may be the perfect fit for you! Find more information and start your application today by clicking this link:  OR by contacting Human Resources at 573-882-7976  OR by following this link:

A reminder to Appleton City residents that taxes are due December 31.  A penalty will be assessed for any late payments. Taxes are now payable to the County Collector at the courthouse in Osceola. 

University of Missouri Extension, in coordination with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, will offer in-person and online training for private pesticide applicators. Samuel Polly, coordinator of the Missouri Pesticide Safety Education Program, said MU Extension agronomists will teach free online sessions through Zoom. Face-to-face sessions are currently scheduled in Jackson, Poplar Bluff, Carthage, Lamar, Neosho and Greenfield. Virtual and in-person trainings are currently scheduled through February 25, 2022. MDA requires private applicator recertification every five years. Register at Commercial pesticide applicator training for 2022 will be offered virtually January 11-March 23. There will be no certification training in 2022. MDA requires recertification for commercial applicators every three years. Register at For more information, contact Polly at or 573-884-8596.

Gardening is an activity with many rewards. One of them is the satisfaction of sharing your plant knowledge with others. The Master Gardener program was initiated to do just that. A new session of online Missouri Master Gardener core training begins Jan. 19, 2022. David Trinklein and MU Extension horticulture specialist Sarah Denkler teach the 14 online sessions. These classes represent a viable option for people who can’t take the weekly classes in person. Classes are delivered through the Canvas learning management system as a series of scripted and narrated presentations. Students work at their own pace. A composite score of 70% on chapter quizzes is needed to pass the course. Topics include basic botany, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, fruit production, landscape design, woody ornamental plants, herbaceous ornamental plants, turf management, insect and disease management, and pesticide safety. Core training is the first step toward certification as an MU Extension Master Gardener. Trainees must also complete at least 30 hours of volunteer service. Local Master Gardener coordinators can help online trainees find volunteer opportunities to meet the service hour requirements. Registration for the spring online session closes Jan.14, 2022. To register, go to Learn more about the Missouri Master Gardener program at

“The Little Apple” was started by the A. C. Economic Development as way of informing residents of news and events sponsored by area businesses and organizations.  Items of a clearly personal nature, such as birthdays, anniversaries, awards (not group sponsored), personal sales and the like are not accepted for publication.  Please email articles for “The Little Apple” to by Tuesday evenings or bring them to Dr. Payton’s office to be included in that week’s edition.  To receive “The Little Apple” free by e-mail, send your e-mail address to  If you have changed your previous email address, you are asked to send the current address, so the list can be updated.


Dec. 25     Christmas Day

Stephanie Boin, RN, RETIRES after 25 Years with Bates County Memorial Hospital

After 25 years of dedicated service to Bates County Memorial Hospital, Stephanie Boin was honored with a retirement party on December 21, 2021. Stephanie began her employment with BCMH in August of 1996 as the Infection Control Nurse and Education Coordinator.

Stephanie also worked for several years in the emergency room before finally transferring to Outpatient Specialty Clinics. She felt the highlights of working at BCMH were the close working relationships she developed with her coworkers, and that patients became like family.

“Our successes are shared because we work as team,” she noted. One example, Stephanie recalls, was a night shift in the ER in which she activated the disaster protocol for an accident involving a Greyhound bus that went over an embankment and into a watery ditch on Highway 71.

The response to the multiple-injury accident brought together the hospital’s medical staff and many other employees from several departments. Stephanie recalls that the dietary department brought Danishes and coffee, and Joyce Fitzpatrick, LPN/surgery (now retired) went to the thrift store for dry clothing for the patients.

Stephanie said, “This is just an example of the team work that exemplifies BCMH, and how we go beyond just basic care when seeing patients.”  Stephanie and her husband Dennis live in Appleton City.  They have three children and four grandchildren. She plans to stay close to her family in retirement so they can enjoy the grandchildren’s games and activities. She also hopes to travel and go hiking and antiquing with her husband.  Stephanie was honored at her retirement party with a beautiful clock, presented by Greg Weaver, Chief Executive Officer.