• 10 post offices may close

    To people in Ramona, the post office is a meeting place, a spiritual epicenter and the last big business in town, city clerk Jessica Gilbert said. “It’s the only business in town,” post office patron Warren Fike said Tuesday. “We’d hate to lose it.”

  • County estimates 1.1% tax hike

    A preliminary Marion County budget proposal Friday included a property tax increase of 0.72 mills for 2012, or about 1.1 percent compared with the previous year. Even reaching that budget required cutting several items from a preliminary proposal. Among the items cut were 1 mill that was going to be saved to renovate or replace the County Health Department building, a 0.5 mill transfer to the county’s emergency reserves, 1 mill for contractual services, and delaying a 0.5 mill transfer that would have been saved for ambulance replacement. The county also raised expected ambulance department revenues by about $40,000 combined for 2011 and 2012.

  • Algae test clears reservoir

    It is safe to go in the water again at Marion Reservoir. Test results for blue-green algae were sufficient to end a public health advisory for blue-green algae Thursday. The tests were conducted by Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

  • Cities watching water levels closely

    Florence and Goessel are already asking residents to conserve water, and Marion and Hillsboro are close to implementing conservation plans. Marion Reservoir, which is the water source for Hillsboro, Marion, and Peabody, was at 82 percent of conservation pool Tuesday morning. At 80 percent and below, Marion’s drought contingency plan calls for a water watch.

  • Surviving the heat -- without AC

    Without central air in their home at 1761 Remington Road west of Marion, the Thornhill family is relying on survival materials: a kiddie pool

  • Virtual school is a second chance

    Barbara Sharp dropped out of high school in her native Washington state in 2003. “Just due to the circumstances that came up, I decided I was done with school,” she said.

  • Large families struggle with rising enrollment fees

    With school enrollment beginning today, local families are starting to feel the financial sting of back-to-school costs, some families more than others. Jennifer Lane has six boys in the USD 408 school district, including boys at each level of school.


  • Jerry Brose

    Jerry L. Brose, 75, of Herington, who worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and an oil field worker in Louisiana, died Friday. A memorial service will be scheduled later. Ryan Mortuary, Salina, is in charge of arrangements.

  • Ruth Jo Penner

    Services for longtime church organist Ruth Jo Penner, 90, who died Tuesday, will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Valley United Methodist Church. A full life sketch will be published next week.

  • Etta Rader

    Etta D. Rader, 86, of Durham died July 27 at Salem Home, Hillsboro. Services were Monday at First Baptist Church, Durham. Pastor Curtis Wiens officiated. Burial was in Durham Park Cemetery. Born March 29, 1925, in Abilene to Harry Ray and Florence (Feik) Rees, she married Alvie Rader on June 5, 1948, in Abilene. He died in 1985. A son, Larry Rader, and a grandson also preceded her in death.

  • Mary Root

    Wal-Mart safety coordinator Mary L. Root, 64, died Friday at her residence in Florence. A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. this coming Monday at Zeiner Funeral Home, Florence. Born Jan. 16, 1947, in Chattanooga, Tenn., to Lonnie and Betty Jordan Edwards, she was a member of Marion Christian Church and married Edwin Root on Nov. 17, 1967.

  • Donald Stika

    Marion native Donald J. Stika, 59, died Thursday in St. Louis. Rosary and funeral services were Tuesday at Holy Family Parish, St. John Nepomucene Church, Pilsen. Interment was in Pilsen Cemetery. Zeiner Funeral Home, Marion, was in charge of arrangements.




  • Lincolnville invited to state party

    According to Lincolnville Mayor Barb Kaiser, the city has been invited by the Kansas League of Municipalities to attend an all-day festival Oct. 8 in Wichita to celebrate the 150th birthday of the State of Kansas. The festival is being billed as a statewide event. With a $5 ticket, participants will enjoy a parade down Douglas, an encampment with food, art and historic re-enactors, and a “Kansas: Home on the Range” concert, which will tell the story of Kansas in song, poetry, and video. After a budget hearing Monday, Lincolnville City Council adopted a 2012 budget with a mill levy that is .3 less than the previous year. Because the city has been working to build up its capital outlay fund, it has the authority to spend $105,510, compared with $85,000 in 2011. Treasurer Clay Simons said the city will have no lease payments in 2012 but will be installing a siren and doing a sewer project.


  • A burning question

    Sometimes you can’t win for losing. Two weeks ago, volunteer firefighters were so overtaxed extinguishing controlled fires that seemed to inevitably swirl out of control that the county issued an emergency proclamation banning burning during the current heat wave and drought. What should have provided relief for valiant, overburdened volunteers ironically might have led to even more fire calls. At least nine times since the burn ban was imposed, Marion County firefighters have been called to extinguish grass fires that the burn ban sought to eliminate.

  • An endangered species

    No one wants higher taxes, but Marion County Commission’s decision to remove from next year’s budget money earmarked for the county Health Department building could be the latest sign of wrongheaded false economy imperiling Marion’s vitality. The 1887 J. Bowron Building that houses the department is one of Marion’s few remaining examples of utilitarian, prairie-style Victorian limestone architecture — the quaint yet stately style that once dominated Main Street.

  • Another Day in the Country

    When Mary was all that was left from one chicken house and one 2-month-old highly traumatized chick hiding in my garage was left from the other house, I tried putting them together — for company. At first, the concept of company was highly over-rated. Mary was constantly pacing in and out of the house and the chick sat up on the highest beam in the chicken house and wouldn’t come down. I worried she wasn’t even eating. When Mary wasn’t pacing, she’d sit in one of the nest boxes, fussing. This two-chicken world was less than satisfying and she decided to take matters into her own hands, so to speak, and go back to setting. I tried discouraging her by pushing her out of the nest. She was laying one egg a day but I didn’t let her keep them. We argued. We fussed at one another. And then I just felt sorry for her. Poor Mary was just doing the only thing she knew to do when there’s devastation — try again!


    Sad to leave work undone


  • Heat drives record electric use

    If you’re sick of the heat, wait until you see your electricity bill. With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees all month, electricity use was up about 11 percent in Marion and 16 percent in July compared with 2010, and Westar Energy experienced record-setting demand July 27.

  • Best scenario for beans, milo is grim

    The answer to all Marion County farmers’ problems is rain, and lots of it. Before a thunderstorm hit the county Friday afternoon, farmers and agriculture workers gathered at the Marion County Fair were disappointed Wednesday and Thursday night. Both nights the sky closed with tantalizingly dark gray clouds, but let loose only a drizzle.

  • Declaration includes county but wrong dates

    Marion County was one of 25 counties included in a federal disaster declaration for storms May 19 to June 4. The declaration makes federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged in the storms.

  • Youth faces charges for prank radio calls

    A Hillsboro juvenile illegally used a Hillsboro firefighter’s radio Friday morning, Marion County Sheriff Robert Craft said. Between midnight and 1 a.m., the male culprit called dispatch and ambulance channels several times over the radio.

  • Too hot to fight but not to steal a bike

    With many residents becoming night owls in the summer heat, eight bicycles were stolen from front yards July 25 and 26 night in Marion, Police Chief Josh Whitwell said. He said the thefts were crimes of opportunity; Marion police currently do not have any leads or suspects in the cases but ask residents to call if they see anything.

  • Lightning ignites oil tank

    The Lincolnville and Marion fire departments teamed up Friday to extinguish an oil fire near 250th Road between the two towns. Lightning struck a Shawmar owned tank battery. Fire and smoke spewed from one tank. Marion firefighters cooled the opposite tank while Lincolnville firefighters put out the fire with foam, Lincolnville Fire Chief Lester Kaiser said. There was a danger of the other tank exploding

  • Melodrama will be part of sesquicentennial events

    Under most circumstances, it is rude to boo at a play, but at certain parts of presentations of “The Ratcatcher’s Daughter” Aug. 12 and 13, it will be expected. The play is a melodrama, and audience members are encouraged to boo the villains and cheer the heroes. Don’t worry; it will be clear during the play which is which.


  • Zwiebacks rich in tradition

    For more than 70 years, Helen Schmidt has mixed her zwieback dough in the same mixing bowl. The bowl belonged to her mother, who taught her to make the traditional two-tiered rolls. Zwiebacks will be one of several Low German foods served Saturday at Threshing Days in Goessel.


    Burdick, Senior Center

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


  • Advising about college termed crucial

    Marion High School students will have resources to help guide their decisions about what they want to do after high school, but they won’t know who will provide those resources until right before school starts. After Phoebe Janzen retired from the high school counseling position last year, the district assigned Marion Elementary School counselor Kris Burkholder to counsel all grade levels.

  • Band teacher impressed by commitment

    New Marion High School band teacher Shana Jolliff had heard a lot of good things about music programs in Marion even before she applied for the job. She met MHS graduate Mike Steinel at a seminar he was teaching, and he gave her a good first impression of Marion’s music tradition.


  • Marion embraces Minnesota winners

    With the Cottonwood Valley All-Stars knocked out of the regional tournament Sunday afternoon, Marion’s rooting interest was diverted to the team from Waitte Park, Minn. Stacey Pedersen was against the fence behind home plate cheering on her six host-family children by name, shouting words of encouragement and applauding.

  • Conditioning boosts stamina, camaraderie

    Offseason workouts are essential to keep the Marion High School football team in shape, but they also build teamwork and camaraderie. “I think they’re getting closer; we had a good camp,” MHS football coach GrantThierolf said. “I think they enjoy being around one another.”

  • Swimmer to compete in 15-state meet

    Marion Middle School seventh-grade swimmer Garrett Alleven will compete in the Central Zone 14 & Under Age Group Championships this weekend in Topeka. The meet is one of the top-level meets for young swimmers sanctioned by USA Swimming, which runs the U.S. Olympic swim team. There are 15 states in the Central Zone region, roughly corresponding to the Central Time Zone.

  • Matz to play baseball for Kansas Wesleyan

    Centre High School graduate Adam Matz signed July 26 to play baseball with Kansas Wesleyan University. When Wesleyan coaches were scouting American Legion teammate Brian Keisly, they noticed Matz. Wesleyan coaches want Matz to pitch and play middle infield next season.


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