Good news and some bad

This weekend we received a message from a reader who was concerned about perceived callousness on the part of law enforcement officials toward a hitchhiker who was going to be dropped off at the county line during Saturday storms. She heard about it listening to her scanner for updates on the approaching storms.

After listening to the radio transmissions, we’re happy to report that the situation wasn’t as she thought it was. It was McPherson County that dropped the hitchhiker off. Marion County Sheriff’s Office, with funding from the Marion Ministerial Alliance, took the humanitarian course and put the hitchhiker up in a hotel room during the storm.

The ministerial alliance’s Helping Hands Fund is more often used to provide a bit of help with utility bills or groceries, but fortunately the ministerial alliance has the flexibility to provide help like this when it is needed. Anybody who wants to donate can make a check out to the Marion Ministerial Alliance and give it to almost any minister in the Marion, Florence, and Lincolnville areas.

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The Chaplain Kapaun Legacy Fund is up and running and has already received several donations ranging from $10 to $1,000, as well as supplies. The newspaper helped establish the fund to provide for improvements to the museum in honor of Father Emil Kapaun in Pilsen. The dream goal is for eventual construction of a dedicated Kapaun visitor center in Pilsen.

Donations to the Chaplain Kapaun Legacy Fund can be made at Tampa State Bank in Marion and Tampa. Donations are tax deductible.

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It was disappointing to hear that only two Marion High School students will be going to Boys State and Girls State this year — by the way, congratulations to Jared Hague and Amanda Stuchlik. I’m still not sure whether it would be worse if the reason was lack of interest or lack of funding, but a friend confirmed that the shortage of students going is because there weren’t more students who chose to go.

It isn’t strictly a lack of interest, because there were initially six boys and one girl who expressed interest, but five of the boys decided they had other things they would rather do. And last year was a bumper crop, with six going to Boys State.

Too often people just accept problems with government with an attitude of, “What can you do?” That apathetic attitude is something that develops early on, and the best time to combat it is early on.

Creating an attitude of civic engagement isn’t something that only happens in social studies classrooms. Parents, mentors, and coaches all have a part to play in forming young people into active, engaged citizens.

— ADAM STEWART

 

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