• Police destroy live WWI 'potato masher' grenade

    A bomb squad from Wichita Police Department destroyed a live hand grenade Aug. 14 after it was turned in to Marion police. Jean Case decided to take a box of World War I mementos that her father-in-law, Alex H. Case, had brought back from Germany to the Marion Historical Museum. Included with a helmet, gas mask, and canteen was a German Model 24 grenade.

  • Police: Man pulled gun over dog citation

    A dispute between over loose dogs ended with police arresting a man who they say brandished a shotgun at them. The confrontation between Police Chief Tyler Mermis, Officer Bryce Suffield, and Christopher John Luce, 42, began Monday afternoon with a report of two dogs at large. A resident caught one of the dogs on Sherman St. and took it to Animal Health Center. Mermis said the other dog continued to evade capture and ran to a residence at 419 N. Freeborn St. According to Mermis, when he pulled up to the residence he was confronted by a “large and angry” Luce, who asked Mermis in explicit terms what he was doing on the property.

  • New homes planned at county lake

    What was a 21-acre horse ranch on the northeast corner of the county lake could become new suburban residential and lake lots if everything goes right. Developer Gary Dunnegan has applied for a conditional use permit, which is required for land that is zoned agriculture.

  • Library to break ground on new addition

    Readers and residents will no doubt notice a little more activity than usual at the Marion City Library this week. Builders plan to commence with construction on the new addition. “I’m going to break grass this week,” Davey Hett of Hett Construction said.

  • Freshmen help others in orientation

    Each year Tabor College freshmen begin the first weekend at their new school in the community. Saturday, students helped with various service projects in Marion and Hillsboro.

  • Bridge construction preparation to begin

    Time is of the essence for the county to fix a damaged bridge near Florence. Commissioners voted Monday to begin a process to get the 126-foot bridge, at Alfalfa Road crossing the Cottonwood River, prepared for construction.

  • City Council approves budget

    Marion City Council approved the 2013-14 budget Monday with a unanimous vote after no public comment. The budget includes money for the purchase of three used pieces of equipment and no mill increase.

  • Bank has a guard dragon

    If you pass through the Central National Bank drive-through any morning during the workweek, a scaled little helper may greet you. Her name is Bella, and she is a bearded dragon. “She’s a princess and a diva,” bank teller Shelly Padgett said. “She tells you what she wants and what she doesn’t want.”

  • First Kansas YMCA built in Marion in 1887

    During the booming 1880s, Marion became home to the first Young Men’s Christian Association in Kansas. The stately, three-story stone building was constructed in August 1887 on the northwest corner of Fifth and Main streets. The only other building on that block was a hotel at the west end. The building was destroyed by fire in December 1954.

  • Grieving dad walks to prevent suicide

    After walking more than 32,000 miles, Steve Fugate of Florida passed through Marion on Monday on his Love Life Walk. In 1999, Fugate went hiking on the Appalachian Trail, leaving his son, Stevie, in charge of the business at home. While Fugate was on the trail, his son committed suicide. As part of the grieving process, Fugate finished his hike on the Appalachian Trail, and while doing so, he realized that too many parents were going through the same grieving process he was.

  • Kiwanis steak night is Tuesday

    Marion Kiwanis will have its annual steak night at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the east picnic shelter at the county lake. Members who plan to attend should email rhannafo@stewart.com to reserve a meal. Members are asked to bring their own table service. Jackie Volbrecht of Marion County Circles of Hope gave an update on the anti-poverty program’s progress at the Kiwanis meeting Tuesday. She said there are three critical messages that need to be understood for a community to eliminate poverty:



  • Bessie Bass

    Bessie Ruth Bass, 96, died Thursday at Superior Good Samaritan Society in Superior, Neb. She was born Oct. 22, 1916, on a farm near Marion to James and Anna (Hayen) Conyers.

  • Marvin Bernhardt

    Marvin D. “Shorty” Bernhardt, 71, of rural Marion died Monday at Newton Medical Center. He was a retired truck driver. He is survived by his wife, Helen.

  • Arnold Franta

    Arnold F. “Arnie” Franta, 84, died Saturday at his home in Springfield, Mo. His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Holy Family Parish, St. John Nepomucene Church in Pilsen. A Rosary will be at 10 a.m. at the church.

  • Judith Hiebert

    Judith A. Hiebert, 70, died Monday at her home near Hillsboro. She was born Aug. 8, 1943, in Marion to Shirley and Hattie (Schmidt) Richards. A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Marion Christian Church with pastor Carl Helm presiding. A private family inurnment will be in the Marion Cemetery.

  • Jane Vajnar

    Jane Vajnar, 73, of Tampa died Monday at Salem Home in Hillsboro. She was born Aug. 30, 1939, in Carneiro to Ben and Maggie Lee (Jones) Cook. She was a school teacher and wrote for the Hillsboro Star-Journal and Marion County Record in her later years as a columnist, community correspondent, and covering Tampa and Durham city councils.


    Maxine Chartier, Dorothy Rindt



  • Can government be trusted?

    A city council member recently complained that others didn’t trust him regarding a $4 million bond issue for a new housing complex. He probably was right — both about the lack of trust and about the bonds being a good deal. Trust seems to be in extremely short supply these days, especially when it comes to city government. Yet the city seems to do everything in its power to undermine whatever trust exists, especially regarding the bonds. Ordinance 1357, amending the city’s authorization of bonds for the project, is a case in point. As we noted last week, when a summary of the ordinance was published as required by law, we were surprised that the summary showed up as being signed by the city attorney even though she had been on vacation and unavailable to answer council members’ questions about it.

  • Saying goodbye

    The newspaper lost a friend Monday when Jane Vajnar passed away. Jane was a longtime correspondent to the Marion County Record and Hillsboro Star-Journal, covering Tampa and Durham city councils and Tampa community news, as well as offering opinions in her One Woman’s View columns. She hadn’t been able to write in recent months because of failing health. Before contributing to the newspapers, she was a teacher. I remember the first time I met Jane. I was at the Hillsboro city building — I think it was during a closed session of the city council — when a woman dressed all in green and wearing a plastic green hat introduced herself to me. It was the week before St. Patrick’s Day, and Jane was showing her seasonal spirit on a trip to the library.

  • Friendly rivalry

    About 15 years ago, my sister and I came out to Ramona for several months one summer, unlike our usual 10-day stay. We’d just “saved” our second house in town from what we were sure would be “utter destruction,” and were busy doing what we could to fix it up. While we’d paid a regular price for this house, we heard tales of people buying houses for ridiculously cheap prices. “You could get an old house for a thousand dollars,” my uncle said to me after I’d paid four times that for our first little shack on Main St.

  • My stay-cation

    Some of you may not have noticed, but I have been out of the office for much of the summer. I had to show my brother, Dennis, that having knee surgery wasn’t all that bad. Boy was I wrong, but let’s not tell Dennis that. I’m back to work now, but before I returned my husband heard nothing but my daily aches, pains and complaints. I finally told him, before I went back to work I needed out of the house for a few days. He was more than willing to get me out of my slump and asked what I wanted to do.


    Is it public or private?


  • Flu shots offered at Marion Senior Center

    Marion County Health Department will give flu shots at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Marion Senior Center. Dalene Tharp volunteered to bind baby quilts for the center.

  • Attorney General issues scam warning

    Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is warning of a new scam offering “free” emergency medical alert devices. A man calling himself John has been calling claiming to be with Medical Alert and offering free medical alert devices and they just need to press 1 to confirm their shipping information.

  • Jill Brunner and Lance Day to wed in October

    Jill Brunner and Lance Day announce their engagement. Parents of the bride are Kent and Jean Brunner of Lost Springs. Grandparents are Charles and Arlene Carlson and the late Lauren and Orvelle Brunner. Brunner is a graduate of Centre High School and works as the elementary counselor at Centre elementary.

  • Armstrong meets with Huelskamp

    St. Luke Hospital CEO Jeremy Armstrong met with Rep. Tim Huelskamp Friday to discuss the effects of the federal Affordable Care Act on Kansas hospitals. Armstrong said they discussed mostly concerns from the policy and the challenge of recruiting physicians to rural hospitals.

  • Wednesday Night Sunday School returning

    Marion Presbyterian Church is kicking off its third year of Wednesday Night Sunday School on Aug. 28. The evening starts with dinner at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall, followed by classes for all ages from the nursery to two adult classes. One adult class will study Genesis and the other class will study Max Lucado’s book, “Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine.”

  • Class of 1948 plans final reunion

    The Marion High School class of 1948 will have its 65-year reunion during Old Settlers’ Day, Sept. 28. Class members will meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at Hilltop Manor, 1501 Lawrence St., for pizza.

  • Relay for Life will be Saturday

    Marion County Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society will be 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday at USD 408 Sports and Aquatic Center. Luminaries and donations can still be made. Contact Melissa Easterberg at (316)616-6503 for information.

  • Ice cream fundraiser to support 2-year-old

    A homemade ice cream sunday fundraiser will be held for 2-year-old Ruby Schmidt at Strassburg Baptist Church fellowship hall from 5 to 9 p.m. Sept 8. Ruby has Noonan’s syndrome, which causes heart and neurological problems, among other issues. Ruby is scheduled to have open-heart surgery Oct. 1 in Kansas City.

  • BarnFest will be in October

    The Kansas Barn Alliance will present BarnFest 2013 Oct. 4 and 5 in Marion County. The weekend will include a learning session related to barn preservation Friday and barn tours Saturday.


    Ezra Frost Helmer

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


  • Football players take concussion test

    St. Luke Hospital partnered with Marion High School football team last week to collect baseline data for all players to compare in the event of a concussion. The tests used a Biodex Balance System that assesses balance. The results were saved, so if a player has a concussion or is suspected of having one, he can be retested to check his balance compared to normal.

  • Tourney draws 144 golfers

    A crowd of 144 golfers took over Hillsboro Municipal Golf Course on Saturday and Marion Country Club on Sunday for the 21st annual Hillsboro-Marion 3-person Open Scramble. The tournament filled its capacity of 48 three-person teams about 10 days in advance, Don Noller of Marion said. It has filled up in advance for a decade or more.

  • Smaller school districts find state funding inadequate

    A decrease in state funding for education has smaller districts like Peabody-Burns and Marion-Florence struggling to create a balanced budget. The state has cut back on equalization funding; funding that took excess property tax money from wealthier districts and redistributed it among poorer districts.

  • Softball raises $510 for cancer research

    A charity softball tournament Saturday raised $510 after expenses for Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. Mike Calhoun, Travis Schafers, Kelley Schafers, and Clayton Garnica organized the tournament. Earlier this year, Calhoun collected donations door-to-door, raising about $1,400 for cancer research. The softball tournament put him within $100 of his $2,000 goal.


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