Marion County RECORD
Vol. 142 , No. 27
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Marion, KS 66861
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
County says 'yes' to jail sales tax
More than 60 percent of Marion County voters who went to the polls Tuesday voted in favor of a 0.5 percent sales tax to pay for a new jail. Early results from Marion, Florence, and Lincolnville polling sites showed the “yes” votes ahead by a 4-1 margin, 904-226. The results from the rest of the county were roughly even, and the final tally was 1,644-940 in favor of the proposal.
Ad about ballot issue investigated
An anonymous group calling itself Marion County Citizens for a Better Way has launched costly and apparently illegal advertisements to influence Marion County’s April 5 election. In a large advertisement with an estimated retail value of $580 and an identical direct mailing probably costing more than $800, the group alleges that a half-cent sales tax would hinder business in Marion County.
'It's time to put up or shut up:' Residents support sales tax for jail
As passionately as some people have spoken out against the half-cent sales tax increase to pay for a new jail, there are people just as passionately supportive of it. So passionate, in fact, the 30 or so people in attendance at a public forum March 23 sponsored by the county commission passed around a hat to collect money. The money was used to run a counter-advertisement in this newspaper.
Transporting inmates would cost more than $300,000 per year
If Marion County doesn’t construct a new jail, the county will likely need to transport inmates to jails in other counties in the near future. In the past year, the jail has reached its maximum occupancy of 16 inmates at least once. At one point before the Kansas State Fire Marshal ruled the jail’s capacity is 16 inmates, the jail held 23, Sheriff Rob Craft said.
Fire marshal ruled: Jail was overcrowded, unsafe
After an investigation Aug. 2, a Kansas state Fire Marshal inspector ruled that the Marion County Jail was overcrowded. The inspector ruled that the jail occupancy be reduced to four inmates. He based the ruling on the 1991 National Fire Protection Association Fire Safety Code. He said each cell needed to provide 120 square feet of space to each inmate.
County spending on jail is dramatically below average
Marion County spends 60 percent less on jails and law enforcement than do the 10 Kansas counties closest to it in population. According to a study by the independent Kansas Policy Institute and published in this newspaper last summer, Marion County spends $54 per resident annually (or 4 percent of its operating budget) on its jail and sheriff’s office.
Jail studies began 6 years ago
Marion County has known the current jail was inadequate for at least eight years. In 2002, then-Sheriff Lee Becker sent three inmates to Rice County while looking for five more spaces because the jail was over capacity. The county hired BG Consultants in March 2005 to conduct a feasibility study regarding a new jail large enough to accept out-of-county inmates. After the study, BG Consultants recommended a 48-bed jail with room to expand to 72 beds. The firm estimated such a facility would cost $8 to $10 million.
Vendors wanted for new Marion Farm and Art Market
A group of Marion residents are organizing a Marion Farm and Art Market to be held 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays beginning May 4 through Oct. 12 in Central Park, Marion. Vendors are being sought to sell their goods at the weekly market.
MHS grad to study English in London
In 2010, Marion resident TC Edwards went to Guadalajara, Mexico, for training on teaching English as a second language. He had previously spent his senior year of high school in Spain, and wanted to teach English to native Spanish speakers. But after completing his training, Edwards ran into a road block. Most places hiring English teachers required a bachelor’s degree.
Commission plans comprehensive review of lake
Marion County Commission will meet with Marion County Park and Lake Superintendent Steve Hudson on Thursday to review the rules, regulations, and staffing of the lake. Lake resident Jim Newkirk asked in December about the possibility of using a golf cart to get around, and he left a message for the commission that he was still seeking a decision. Newkirk has limited mobility and was concerned about the safety of riding a scooter.
Students to perform Christ's passion, Kapaun's life
With only a month of rehearsals remaining, the student actors, from Marion, Hillsboro, and Centre high schools witnessed the tangible beginnings of their play, “The Passion and the Story of Father Kapaun” on Sunday. What was just words and ideas is now manifested in cotton and plywood.
Drug-sniffing dog makes routine search
Marion High School and Marion Middle School classrooms were locked down Friday while a drug-sniffing dog from Marion County Sheriff’s Department conducted a randomly timed search of the school. “It was strictly routine,” USD 408 Superintendent Lee Leiker said.
Hillsboro resident used unusual medium for art
When customers walk into Olde Towne Restaurant in Hillsboro, they see a depiction of early Hillsboro with horse-drawn wagons in front of Olde Towne. “When people walk in, they think it’s a painting,” owner Brenda McGinness said. “But when they get close, they see what it is.”
Coming out of hibernation -- ready for the streets
The calendar says it’s spring and warm weather will be here to stay in the coming weeks. So car enthusiasts are thinking about dusting off their rides and getting them ready to hit the streets. David Silhan of Marion bought his own classic car in 1982 — a 1963 Chevy II Nova — and built it nearly from the ground up.
Ruby Broce, 100, formerly of Peabody, died March 22. Born Nov. 7, 1910, in Alfalfa County, Okla., to Alvin and Orbay (Chaney) Hughes, she was married Feb. 17, 1934, to Kay W. Smart. After the death of her husband, she moved to Anthony to be near family and later married Herman Broce.
Albert McDaniel, 87, of Marion, died March 24. He was born Jan. 5, 1924, in Gary, Ind. He lived in Marion the past 20 years.
Edwin V. Riedy, 93, of Hope, died March 27 at Herington Municipal Hospital, Herington. Born May 7, 1917, at Waverly, to Charles C. and Flora B. (Lorson) Riedy, he moved to Hope with his parents at the age of 2, attended Michigan District No. 45 grade school, and graduated from Hope High School in 1935.
Henry “Hank” Sklenar, 92, of Marion, died March 25 at St. Luke Hospital, Marion. He was born May 18, 1918, near Pilsen, to John and Emma Sklenar.
Kay E. Tharp, 62, of Rose Hill, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, lost her battle with brain cancer and was called home March 27, 2011. Kay is the daughter of Millie Vinduska of Pilsen and the late Robert Vinduska.
Vernon L. Vogel, 81, passed away March 24 at Marion Assisted Living. He was born Sept. 4, 1929, the only son of Ezra and Katherine (Mohn) Vogel.
Carolyn “Sue” Williams, 69, died from cancer March 23 at St. Luke Hospital in Marion. Born May 16, 1941, in Junction City to A.W. and Ruby (Garrison) Haizlip, she was married Aug. 2, 1959, to Jack Williams in Marion.
Are we courageous or cowardly? You decide
Marion County voters will have an opportunity Tuesday to courageously face facts or to cowardly stick their heads in the sand. Make no mistake about it: Tuesday’s ballot question is not about whether we need a new jail. We do. It is going to be built. It has to be.
Hate new taxes? Try cutting spending instead
Coming out in favor of even a tiny half-cent sales tax for a desperately needed project, particularly when a monolithic section of the county seems opposed, is about as popular as yelling “Rock chalk Jayhawk” in the middle of an imbibing Aggieville crowd on a Friday night. If you have to blame somebody for the current state we are in regarding our county jail, blame us at the newspaper. We are the ones who won a statewide prize for investigative reporting by disclosing last summer how seriously and illegally overcrowded the current jail was.
Enough already -- vote 'yes'
Few issues in the past 20 years have raised as many questions and fueled as much discussion as this jail issue that is on Tuesday’s ballot. It seems quite simple to me. We have to provide a safe place for prisoners and have to keep our county employees as safe as possible.
Another Day in the Country
Tuesday morning I sprayed hair spray all over my face to wash it. It gave new meaning to wrinkle control. My poor face was immediately stiff — this wasn’t after all just any old hair spray, it was Freeze and Shine. Momentarily frozen, but definitely not shining, I was wheezing on noxious fumes, shot straight into my face. Not what I expected, that’s for sure. My eyelashes were stuck together; I couldn’t even open one eye. Suddenly I was paying attention. Early morning rituals, cruising on autopilot, I’d approached the bathroom counter thinking of something else other than washing my face. There’s a soothing blue green bottle of something called Sea Plasma by the sink. It’s wonderfully fragrant moisturizing water that I just love waking up to. I usually pick up the bottle, spray some toward my face, wipe the excess off with a cloth, and smile at the new day. This morning was different.
Hope in the Heartland
When someone says unkind and untrue things about you it hurts, doesn’t it? These types of comments are referred to as “cutting” remarks because they can inflict pain. God calls them “unwholesome” words because they are useless — literally, they are “rotten” words that display and contribute to decay — therefore, they should not be spoken. We are all capable of spewing rotten words, so we must carefully watch our mouths. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.”
By week’s end, we ought to have created a budget to send to Gov. Brownback for his consideration. You may recall we did not distribute a budget last year until the veto session, and that could happen again. Brownback worked hard from the time of his election to mid-January laying out his budget proposal. His proposal would leave a $7.5 million ending balance and requires cutting more than $500 million from the budget, which is the hole we’re in. If he doesn’t cut that much, we’d have to raise taxes to fill that hole. Gov. Brownback does not substantially cut the judicial branch in his proposal, believing it already pared down its budget all it could. Since Brownback proposed his budget, he has had to announce a round of allotments, allocating the state’s money resources to get us through this fiscal year, which, with minor legislative action, meets our constitutional mandate to operate on a balanced budget.
Time to progress
Seniors celebrated St. Patrick’s Day March 17 by wearing green. Barbara Abbott made special place mats and seniors participated in an action story about the legend of St. Patrick. A green-topped cake was served and Evelyn Jewett provided ice cream for her birthday. Beulah Weigart brought in daffodils and later Shirley Bowers brought in some more.
125 years ago
Weightlifters Antoszyk, Regnier finish first in state
Two Marion High School weightlifters finished first in their weight classes Saturday at the 3A state power-lifting tournament in Marion. Junior Mikael Antoszyk finished first in the 123-pound class. He set a state record in the squat with a lift of 320 pounds. He also won the clean and jerk with a lift of 235 pounds and he was second in the bench press at 185.
Season opener a mixed bag for Warriors
Baseball Warriors crush Herington By BEN KLEINE Staff writer The Marion High School baseball team was dominant Tuesday against Herington in Marion.
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