• Award reflects Legion's resurgence

    In 2007, James William Miesse American Legion Post 22 in Marion had membership to match its post number — 22. The post had been without a post home since 2000, and activities were limited, Adjutant Gary Chaput said. But in the intervening years, the post has dramatically increased its membership, established affiliated organizations, became more involved in the community and veterans issues, and opened a new post home.

  • County hires emergency management director

    Marion County Commission hired Dan D’Albini of Hillsboro as the county’s emergency management director Monday after a series of closed sessions. He worked as a 911 dispatcher for 18 months in 2007 and 2008 and currently is manager of Wendy’s, Hillsboro. D’Albini will assume the duties on April 11.

  • Census shows cities are shrinking

    The 2010 census statistics were primarily bad news for cities in Marion County. There were only two cities in the county, according to the U.S. Census, that saw population growth — Hillsboro had 139 residents moving to the community in the past 10 years and Ramona nearly doubled its population going from 94 people to 187 in a decade.

  • Florence city, Marion-Florence candidates share goals

    Florence City Council candidates were asked to submit information about themselves and their desire to be elected or re-elected to Florence City Council. Mayor Mary Shipman did not submit information.

  • Tampa City Council:City will provide match for park grant

    Greg Berens of Tampa PRIDE asked Tampa City Council to accept a grant for $64,000 from Kansas Department of Commerce for a new park. The grant requires the city to provide a 40 percent match, which will be “sweat equity” or volunteer labor, donated material, and equipment. Work on the park will begin soon and must be completed by April 2012. The council approved the commitment. A donation of $50 was approved to the Centre After-Prom party.

  • Lincolnville to launch a sewer repair project

    Lincolnville City Council members agreed Monday to take steps to repair the city’s sewer ponds and replace several sections of sewer lines. Rose Mary Saunders, a grant writer associated with Ranson Financial Consultants LLC of Wichita, provided information on the steps that need to be taken to launch the project.

  • Carr will stand trial for child's death

    A jury trial of a former Peabody man charged in the death of 19-month-old baby will be the week of April 25. Chad Carr, who is charged with first degree felony murder in the March 2010 death of Vincent Hill, his girlfriend’s son, did not reach a plea deal Friday in a settlement conference.


  • Oliver Barokat

    Word has been received of the death Feb. 4 of Oliver Wendell “Ollie” Barokat, 91, of Kanawha City, W. Va. He was born Jan. 13, 1920, in Hillsboro, to August and Olga (Patzkowski) Barokat. His parents and a sister, Ada Hotchkin, preceded him in death.

  • Jay Bowman

    Jay D. Bowman, 69, of Smith Center, died March 7 at his home. Born June 20, 1941, in Smith County, to Vernon and Eldora (Freburg) Bowman, he was a retired telephone technician.

  • Dee Cheek

    Word has been received of the death of Dee Cheek, 71, of Ames, Iowa, March 3, from multiple health issues. He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Mildred Cheek, and his younger brother, Jerry.

  • Irene Crabtree

    Irene V. Crabtree, 83, of Marion, died March 11 at Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis Street, Wichita. She was born Feb. 4, 1928, in South Haven, to Leslie O. and Ada F. (Duncan) Gillespie.

  • Kris Hayes

    Kris S. Hayes, 60, of Newton, died March 11. Born Feb. 16, 1951, in Topeka, to Ed and Ethel (Kaufman) Helmer, she grew up in Burns and graduated from Peabody High School in 1969. She attended Southwestern College and later received a degree from Vernon’s School of Cosmetology in 1971.

  • Elizabeth Helmer

    Elizabeth Helmer, 99, of Durham, died March 10 at Parkside Homes, Hillsboro. Born June 20, 1911, in Moscow, Russia, to George and Mary (Lornz) Meier, she was a homemaker.

  • James Kline

    Former Marion County Sheriff James S. Kline, 87, of Arlington, Texas, died March 15 after a short illness. Survivors include his wife and former Marion resident Nadine Hoch Kline.



  • Growth is not by accident

    Most of us knew when the census was conducted this past year, the news would not be the best. It’s evident in some of our communities the population had decreased with decreasing school enrollment and vacant homes. When I talked with Hillsboro Administrator Larry Paine and Ramona Mayor Pat Wick, they said success has to be planned. Hillsboro has loaded their front line with ambassadors who are familiar with the community. Ramona has had a two-woman force when the whirlwinds from California came to town 10 years ago and began a campaign to save Ramona.

  • Another Day in the Country

    How many of you like being bossed around? Have you noticed how often this is occurring in your life? Let’s face it; you are bossed around quite a bit. No matter how independent you think you are, you are being bossed constantly. (Did that sound too adamant? Was it getting close to bossiness? Sorry!) Bossiness, as the word “boss” implies, comes with the territory of being the one in charge, the one responsible. Because of this, children have to endure being bossed because they are in training — they don’t know any better. Teachers have to be bossy (at first, usually) to ensure that lessons are learned and order is maintained. The goal is for children to grow more independent and require less bossiness.

  • Hope in the Heartland

    Recently I came across a quote from Henny Youngman and laughed. Then I realized that beyond the joke there was a jolt. Youngman said, “I told my doctor I couldn’t afford the surgery he recommended. So he touched up my X-ray.” Of course, we would never ask our surgeon to “doctor” the X-ray in real life … because it’s real life. It’s our life. We went to the clinic so the physician could accurately diagnose our ailment and bluntly state our options. Why seek such information? The raw truth may not be what we wanted to hear, but it was what we needed to hear.

  • Legislative update

    The judiciary committee held hearings on the “immigration” bill. It is based on the Arizona law about “illegal aliens.” I learned there are people in Kansas who entered the country illegally, people who came legally and work legally, and some came legally whose visas had expired and have yet to hear from the federal government about visa extensions — called “out of status,” but not “illegal.” We also heard of “undocumented workers.” The bill has three components — E-verify, public benefits, and enforcement.



  • Board looks to sweeten retirement

    The USD 408 board of education met in a special meeting Monday to discuss offering health insurance to retired teachers. The board met for nearly three hours in executive session to discuss offering health insurance in retirement until former teachers reach 65 years of age. The KPERS retirement system works by points — age combined with years of experience. Teachers are eligible for retirement when they accumulate 85 points.

  • Centre dubbed 'the little school that could'

    Officials at the National Network of Digital Schools, which designs, develops, and delivers Lincoln Interactive courses, has dubbed Centre USD 397 “the little school that could.” Superintendent Jerri Kemble relayed that information to the board of education Monday. The board spent 45 minutes viewing a video and discussing the new Kansas Online Learning Program hosted by the district. It offers 250 online courses for kindergarten through 12th-grade students.

  • Students tour cadaver lab

    Marion High School students Colin Eurit, Kadecha Guerary, and Annie Whitaker toured the human cadaver lab and biology department March 7 at Cloud County Community College in Concordia. Colin Eurit, Kadecha Gueary, and Annie Whitaker. The visit was a way for the high school students interested in biology and other sciences to interact with faculty and students at the college.


  • Area athletes named to league teams

    Gordon, Hett make HOA all-league teams Two Marion High School basketball players were named to Heart of America all-league teams.

  • 10 Marion youth wrestlers qualify for district finals

    Ten Marion Kids Wrestling Club members qualified for the District III state finals after placing fourth or higher Saturday at the Sub-District III qualifying tournament at Riley High School. Tyler Palic won the 10 and younger 120-pound weight class. Jarret McLinden won the 10 and younger 150-pound weight class.


  • A house with a view

    Building and remodeling houses is an enjoyable enterprise to Garry Dunnegan of Wichita — that is why he bought the property at 73 Lakeshore Drive at Marion County Lake. Dunnegan has performed drafting and engineering for construction projects throughout the country for the past 20 years. The house at 73 Lakeshore Drive is Dunnegan’s third project at Marion County Lake: he renovated the former Kingfisher Inn and the house at 3 Prairie Lane.

  • School gardens in flux

    Garden programs at Goessel and Centre schools lost a valuable resource during the winter, but the schools are doing their best to keep the programs going. Whispering Cottonwood Farms and Educational Center President Kirk Cusick directed both schools’ gardening programs in 2010, but grants that funded his involvement ceased during the winter.

  • Garage serves as 'man cave'

    Gerald Kelsey wanted a second garage so he could keep both of his cars safe from weather damage. Kelsey and wife Sharon have a single car garage connected to their house at 415 S. Coble St., Marion, that they are now using for storage. “We had some external damage two years ago,” Kelsey said. “We had to have a new roof on the house.”

  • Farm calls to family

    To make their retirement home at 510 S. Wilson, Hillsboro, just right, Raymond and Margie Just wanted to add on to their family room. The 14-by-16-foot has been constructed and it only needs to be adorned with drapes and decorations.


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