• Toxic algae close reservoir beaches

    Beaches at Marion Reservoir were closed Thursday because of toxic blue-green algae. Blue-green algae, not to be confused with normal and harmless green algae, release a powerful neurotoxin when they die. “We have a large bloom going on right now,” Park Ranger Traci Robb said.


  • 500+ get call for jury duty

    One business closed for part of the day Monday and Tuesday and Hillsboro City Council had to postpone a meeting Tuesday as more than 500 potential jurors were summoned to USD 408 Performing Arts Center in Marion as jury selection began Monday for the trial of Terry Bowen, Kenneth J. Frederick II, and Lora J. Gay. Selection was moved to the center because the jury pool was too large for the county’s courtroom, District Court Clerk Jan Helmer said. Jury-duty summons were sent to 519 people.

  • City workers, residents quickly clear debris after hurricane-force storm

    Marion City crews were still working Monday and Tuesday to clean up damage from a storm featuring 90 mph winds Friday night in Marion. They started the gargantuan task of taking the piles of broken limbs found all over town to the tree dump south of the city. The smell of burning trees was noticeable throughout Marion.

  • Huge sacrifices by county EMTs

    Paramedic Larry Larsen of Peabody has seen a lot in the 24 years he has worked on ambulances. He’s been on more than 13,000 ambulance runs and treated patients from birth to 108 years old. “I’ve delivered seven babies,” he said Tuesday.

  • 3 of 4 motocross calls wasted

    Three ambulances — from Marion, Hillsboro, and Florence — were dispatched to Green Acres racetrack near Marion Sunday, where four potentially serious injuries were reported. However, only one injured motocross rider ended up being transported to St. Luke hospital. In the three other cases the riders or their parents — against the advice of emergency medical technicians — declined ambulance transport, even though the initial calls for help had all but exhausted Marion County’s ambulance fleet.

  • Jail capacity stays legal -- but barely

    Although jail rosters published weekly in this newspaper’s Docket page have listed more than 20 inmates twice in the past four weeks, Sheriff Rob Craft says the county is adhering to the jail’s maximum capacity set by the state fire marshal. The latest ruling by the state agency does not allow more than 20 people — inmates, dispatchers, and jailers combined — in the jail area at any given time.

  • Rains slow harvest, bring down test weights

    A wheat harvest that began with the grain often testing more than 63 pounds per bushel is finishing with weights under the normal 60 pounds in some areas. Mike Thomas, manager of the Cooperative Grain and Supply elevator in Marion, is getting fed up with the rains that keep coming to delay the harvest.

  • 7.5 tons of food given away

    When a semi trailer full of food to be given away arrived at 7 a.m. at Eastmoor United Methodist Church in Marion, some people already were waiting though distribution wasn’t scheduled to begin until 8 a.m. Volunteers began distributing food ahead of schedule, at 7:45 a.m., and by 8:15 a.m., they had given food to 65 households, said Debi Kreutzman, community relations manager for Kansas Food Bank, based in Wichita. The mobile food bank remained open until 10 a.m.


  • Joan Donahue

    Joan M. Donahue, 78, of Lincolnville, passed away June 20, 2011, at St. Luke Living Center in Marion. She was born in Marion County, the daughter of Irvin and Margaret (Unruh) Dirks. She grew to adulthood and graduated from high schoolat Durham.

  • Helen Hansen

    Helen Stucky Hansen, age 98, died June 12, 2011, in Gretna, Neb. She was born Helen Kathleen Zuhars on Dec. 6, 1912, in Peabody. Helen and her brother, Harold, and their parents, Alfred and Ruby Zuhars, lived in rural Marion County. After graduating from Peabody High School in 1932, Helen earned a teaching certificate from Kansas State Teachers College in 1935 and then began a 31-year teaching career. She taught elementary grades in Aulne, Lincolnville, Grandview, Moundridge, Newton, and Peabody.

  • Marie Morse

    Marie Morse, 98, of Marion, died June 19 at St. Luke Living Center, Marion. Marie Jeanette Stover Morse was born June 7, 1915, in Plainfield, N.J., to Stephen Augustus and Mable (Leech) Stover. She spent her childhood in McPherson. The second of four children, she grew up on a farm and carried with her the values of hard work, loyalty, faith, and love that she learned there.

  • Bonnie Ratzloff

    Bonnie Louise Ratzoff, 75, of Marion, died June 19 at her home. She was born Nov. 14, 1935, in Marion, to Roy George and Sarah Katharin (Allen) Roberts.

  • Betty Thompson

    Betty Lee Thompson, 92, of Cedar Point, died June 20 at Peabody Care Center. Born Aug. 4, 1918, in Cedar Point, to Benton Scott and Hattie May (Vinson) Thompson, she was a farmer and a stockwoman.



  • Florence considers pay raise for municipal workers

    The Florence City Council is considering giving all city employees a pay increase of 3 percent. Council members tabled a decision Monday until they determine their budget for 2012 at a meeting July 31.


  • A silver lining

    To say it was a tragedy may demean the more substantial losses felt in places like Joplin, Mo., and Reading, Kan. Still, Friday’s hurricane-force windstorm here was tragedy enough to do what all tragedies seem to do hereabouts: bring out the best in everyone, from government workers to average residents.

  • A chance for officials to learn

    An important opportunity for all elected officials is at hand. The Kansas Attorney General’s Office and Kansas Sunshine Coalition will present seminars on the Kansas Open Meetings Act and Kansas Open Records Act at five locations in the state. The closest location to Marion County will be Emporia Civic Auditorium, 111 E. Sixth Avenue, Emporia. The session will be 9 a.m. to noon July 18.

  • Good to go but good to come back

    Vacations are wonderful. We anticipate them for months — or in my case, for years. I just returned from a great week with my daughter and grandson in the sunny state of California. Christina and I had planned this trip with Dylan since he was about 2 years old. Our focus was Legoland in Carlsbad, Calif. Of course, we knew we had to take in other tourist traps, including Disneyland, L.A., and the beaches. I have a couple of friends who live in Long Beach. They always said if I was ever out their way, to let them know. So I did. They were great hosts, taking us to see all of the tourist sites and some sites off the beaten path.

  • Another Day in the Country

    My cousin, Ed, brings me books to read when he’s in town. Every few months he shows up with a sack full. He’s read them all. Now it’s my turn. “Do what you want with ’em when you’re finished,” he says as he sets them by the couch.

  • Hope in the Heartland

    David clutched the smooth fabric as he retreated to the farthest corner of the cave. He had spared the king’s life, so why was guilt nibbling at the edges of his conscience? This was just between King Saul and him, wasn’t it? Or was someone else involved in this? Crouching in the deepest recesses of the cave, David strained to see the piece of fabric he had severed from the king’s robe while the king slept near the entrance to the cave.


    First-time event a success, What's the worst that could happen?


  • Boy in near-drowning named

    Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft has released the name of the 12-year-old Newton boy who nearly drowned June 11 at Marion County Lake. Francisco Hernandez-Lanza remains in critical condition at Wesley Medical Center, Wichita.

  • Families' stories found in the gardens

    The story of life in the Flint Hills is both shaped and preserved by the limestone bedrock of the landscape. To survey the layers of this composite rock is to review the history of the land and the people who make a home here.

  • Ramona 4th celebration to include Greenhorns

    The Greenhorns will perform at 7 p.m. July 4 as part of Ramona’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Admission will be free. Attendees should bring lawn chairs.

  • Ramona senior center gives up its building

    Senior citizens in Ramona voted recently to dissolve the city’s senior center, county Aging Coordinator Gayla Ratzlaff told Marion County Commission on Monday. The center’s building needed a new roof, but no money was available to pay for it, so at a June 12 meeting, the seniors voted to dissolve the senior center corporation and deed the building over to the City of Ramona, Ratzlaff said. A family had donated the building to the senior citizens group, she said.


  • Cookbook contains recipe for 'Marion County Casserole'

    Searching through cupboards in the kitchen of daughter Jody Loomis of Marion, Joyce Montague, 59, of Wichita, found ingredients and put them together to make a dish she calls “Marion County Casserole.” The recipe is included in a cookbook Montague recently uploaded to Kindle: “Cooking with Philosophy Part One.”

  • A step back in time: visiting orphans on mission to Romania

    Judi Stewart of Marion spent five weeks in Romania this spring, providing loving care to children and young people in orphanages. She found that the children had food and shelter but were starved for love and affection. Many of them were there because their parents were unable to provide for them.

  • Harvest is a family affair

    Ever since Carol Vogel and her husband, Randy, were married 29 years ago, Carol has been helping with wheat harvests. Carol grew up on a farm at Sylvia. She said she enjoys being a farm wife. Before their son, Alan, returned to the farming operation full-time one-and-a-half years ago, Carol was the main truck driver. Now, she plays more of a supportive role.


    Kai Adams

    Burdick, Senior Center

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


  • Students learn job-related skills in summer program

    After four days working on airbrushing projects using real airbrushes and computer programs, Marion freshman Breanna Doyle had decided she preferred using a computer. “It’s easier to fade colors into each other,” she said Thursday after completing an outer-space scene using Adobe Photoshop.

  • Centre approves purchases

    The Centre USD board of education approved several expenditures at a special meeting at 6:30 a.m. Friday: Purchase of an $8,424 Dixon DX272 lawn mower from Burdick Oil Co., Burdick.


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