• Voters say '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.

  • Large hail, winds cause damage

    A hailstorm accompanied by strong, northwest winds swept across the county Sunday evening following record-breaking temperatures in the upper 80s. The worst of the storm seems to have been in the Lincolnville area, where golf-ball-size hail and larger was reported west and north of town. Mayor Barb Kaiser said hail up to the size of a half dollar fell in town but no damage was reported.

  • No more time for delinquent utility customers

    Marion city employees will no longer be in the business of extending credit for utility customers. The council decided Monday that all hardship cases would have to go before the city council for a decision. In the past, the city utility clerk determined hardship cases and allowed some customers to pay over time. However, city administrator Doug Kjellin said he had noticed abuse from some customers.

  • Trash pickup reduced

    Residential trash service will follow the trend of other cities in the county and go to one day a week pickup beginning next week. Marion City Council approved the ordinance Monday to change the service from Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Originally, the council was considering Mondays and Tuesdays as pick up days but Marion resident Gene Winkler suggested the days be Tuesdays and Thursdays to avoid Monday holidays. The council agreed and approved the recommendation.

  • Peabody man charged in shooting death

    Harvey County sheriff’s officers found the body of an elderly Sedgwick man March 27 in a fifth-wheel trailer in a large tin building near Sedgwick. Richard Wiebe, 78, was found dead from shotgun wounds to the chest. A 43-year-old man, identified as Lamoine Wiebe, son of Richard Wiebe, was arrested in the early morning hours of March 27, passed out in a vehicle in Park City. He was arrested on charges unrelated to the murder of his father.

  • Newell hearing postponed sixth time

    The preliminary hearing for Ryan Newell scheduled for Thursday was postponed to April 14. Newell was arrested Nov. 30 by Wichita police and charged Dec. 2 with stalking, three counts of criminal use of weapons, and false impersonation of an enforcement officer. The official complaint from the 18th Judicial Court said that Newell targeted and intended to engage the Phelps family. The documents said Newell was in possession of an M4 rifle, .45-caliber Glock pistol, and a .38-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol when he was arrested.

  • Hillsboro parents upset by day care closing

    When Mandi Bernhardt of Hillsboro heard rumors Kids Connection day care would close May 27, she quickly felt a range of emotions. “First of all I was completely shocked,” she said Monday.


  • Dean Batt

    Dean C. Batt was born May 14, 1926, to Charles H. and Selma (Bauer) Batt, the younger of two sons. Dean was raised on the family farm northeast of Marion. He graduated from Marion High School in 1941. He attended Tabor College for one semester and then transferred to Kansas State University as a pre-veterinary medicine major. While there, he received his draft notice for service in World War II.

  • Leslie Kitchenmaster

    Area businessman Leslie “Kitch” Kitchenmaster, 81, of Lost Springs, died March 20 at Houston, Texas. He was born Feb. 9, 1930, in Pulaski, Wis., to Walt and Helen (Spaulding) Kitchenmaster.



  • Residents ask to drive golf cart on lake roads

    Marion County Lake residents Ed and Freddie Burnett attended the Marion County commission meeting Thursday to ask permission to drive on Lakeshore Drive and other lake roads using a golf cart. Freddie Burnett cannot walk after battling cancer; she uses an electronic scooter to get around. She said riding the scooter on the lake streets is jarring and painful.

  • Florence council tries to find use for gym

    Florence City Council discussed roller skating events at the Florence gym Monday. Before newly appointed recreation director Holly Pereillo could start the process of purchasing new skates for the event, council members were concerned about the gym floor being damaged by skates.


  • Off the record

    Just like people, Marion city’s electric and water meters slow down with age. There are a number of the meters that are 30 years old and older — pretty old for a meter, anyway. Kudos to Marion City Council for approving a project to replace the meters with digital meters that are designed for accuracy. With that being said and with my luck being what it is, the meters at my house will probably be some of the ones that were running slowly and our utilities will increase.

  • Way to go, Marion County!

    Well, Marion County, we did it. We passed the half-cent sales tax for a new jail. We’re more progressive than people give us credit for. We’re taking our future in our own hands instead of letting a state government entity decide for us. Now the real work begins of getting this jail built and in use.

  • Another Day in the Country

    Three weeks ago, on the morning that Daylight Saving Time began, I got a call from the post office in Salina. Lazy in bed, oblivious to time passing faster on this morning, I didn’t hear the phone ring. They left a message. “Your chicks are in,” the voice said. “You can either come collect them by 10:30 or we’ll deliver them tomorrow in Ramona.”

  • Legislative update

    We passed a budget out of the House on Friday. When the House budget was finally adopted, it had changed the 7.5 percent wage decrease to a 1.193 percent cut to all agencies except schools — they had already been hit with an additional per pupil cut above the Governor’s cut — and except certain Social and Rehabilitative Services caseloads. The agency heads will have to decide how and where to cut. Salaries could still be impacted significantly, but each department or commission will make those decisions on their cuts. Presumably, the new cut includes judiciary and all board of regent colleges and community colleges. It will also cut the Department of Corrections. For the judiciary, a small fraction of its budget was restored before this cut. I am not certain how the judiciary now fares, but I am still very concerned about possible furloughs if the House position prevails in conference.

  • Seeds of something fine

    I’ve written here before about my habit of staring out windows looking at stars. Apparently, my 2-year-old daughter either reads this column or is familiar with this habit of mine. A few weeks ago we were in the car at night at a gas station and I was staring out the window. After a long silence, I heard her ask from the back seat, “Mommy, are you looking for stars?”


  • Collection holds a lifetime of memories for Marion woman

    Chris Kerns of Marion has a cabinet full of cups and saucers she has collected through the years. A small group of them are extra-special. They were purchased for her by her late husband, Master Sergeant Larry Kerns, who spent more than 20 years serving five presidents — Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Gerald Ford — as a flight engineer on Air Force One. He also often flew government officials on mission trips abroad. He learned to know the presidents and their families. Kerns recalled that one time the late Alexander Haig, Secretary of State under President Reagan, came to her husband on a stop overseas and asked him what to do about spilled coffee on his shirt.

  • Marion PRIDE: Thinking big and small

    Diana Costello of Marion knows that a collection of small improvements — planters on Main Street, changing street lamps in town to be the more antique three-bulb variety, and even removing a few fallen trees near the Cottonwood River — can make the essential impact on a person who is deciding to move to a new town. She witnesses it all the time working as a clerk for the city of Marion. Weekly, she has people come into the office searching to find out more about the town, if there are houses for sale. Several Sheehan Pipeline workers visited with Costello, one bought a house in Marion.

  • Painting is creative outlet for MES teacher

    On a recent afternoon, two customers were discussing paintings on display at Zimmerman’s Deli in Marion. Among other things, they questioned whether a blonde woman in several portraits was the artist. As it turns out, they were right. Marion Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Rebecca Hofer painted a series of self-portraits while she studied at Tabor College. She painted herself in place of the subject of several well-known portraits.

  • Wagon Wheel owners are 'picky' about food, service

    The new owners of the Wagon Wheel restaurant in Marion, Keith and Sherry Hess, have been in the food industry their entire adult lives. Sherry has worked at nearly every restaurant in Marion County. As a teenager, she worked in both restaurants in Florence as a server.

  • Proprietor seizes opportunity in Burns

    In late autumn 2010, Sandy Heyman saw an opportunity to fill a need in Burns and decided to take a chance. “We didn’t have a place to eat at noon here in town,” she said.

  • Florence diner dishes up homemade favorites

    Diners are often the glue that holds a community together — the smaller the community, the more important the glue. It’s a place for local and area residents to come in and drink a cup of coffee and discuss local and world happenings. When Mary Britton heard last year that the Chuckwagon Café in downtown Florence was closing, she decided it was her time to own and operate a café.



    Burdick, Senior Center

    10, 25, 35, 50, 60, 100, 125 years ago



  • MHS track team finishes second in meet

    The Marion High School boys and girls track teams finished second at the Marion Central Kansas Track League meet Tuesday. The girls team was led by freshman Kaelyn Thierolf who won the 1600-meter run, with a time of 6 minutes, 17.12 seconds, and the 3200, 13:26.83.

  • Marion teams split games Tuesday

    Both Marion High School teams split doubleheaders on the diamond Tuesday in Marion. The Marion High School softball team won its first game 13-12 with a seventh inning comeback.

  • Marion boys bash Moundridge to start season at 4-0

    The Marion High School boys baseball team continued its torrid offensive onslaught Friday at Moundridge. The Warriors won the first game, 5-4. Marion played small ball in the first three innings. Ethan Hett scored on an error in the second inning and David Helmer scored on a Taylor Heidebrecht ground out in the third inning.

  • Warriors get first win, 8-6

    After losing the first game, 3-0, Friday to Moundridge, the Marion High School softball team knew it needed to play more aggressively in the second game. The Warriors stranded runners in scoring position throughout the first game, attacking Moundridge’s second starter, Lindsey Fraser, was the game plan.


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