• Top stories of 2014

  • The past as prologue

    Economic development, growth, or the lack thereof quite dominated 2014 news — and continues in the thoughts of more than 30 Marion County residents interviewed about their hopes for 2015 headlines. County businesses experienced their share of ups and downs in 2014. Here is a sampling of the year’s business activity.

  • 30 on '15: What would you like the top local headline of 2015 to be?

  • Marion ends year in surplus

    A million-dollar turnaround engineered by city employees led to positive balances in Marion municipal reserve funds at year’s end, reversing deficits projected in the original 2014 budget. “The budget adopted for 2014, which was adopted August of 2013, had our cash reserves setting at the end of this fiscal year at -$182,000,” City Administrator Roger Holter said Dec. 22 at a council meeting. “Through the efforts of literally every single department, as well as the utilities, our projection is the cash reserves will be maintained at $868,000. I’m proud of how the team responded. It was quite a learning process.”

  • Alco to close Jan. 31, possibly sooner

    Alco in Hillsboro will close its doors for the last time no later than Jan. 31, but before then, everything must go. Store Manager Robert Berens recently confirmed Jan. 31 as the absolute last day Alco can be in the building. However, Alco may close sooner should all the inventory sell out.

  • Curbside recycling to begin Jan. 8

    Marion residents will no longer be able to have their trash picked up Thursdays or Fridays, as a new program will replace the second weekly trash pickup with a recycling pickup. The city council-approved Bag It, Box It curbside recycling program will start with the first recycling pickups taking place Jan. 8 and 9.

  • Police dispatch about mother baffles son

    Florence resident Greg Graham doesn’t know what to make of a sheriff dispatcher’s request for an officer to check on his mother Saturday at an address where she hasn’t lived for almost nine months. At 5:31 p.m., a dispatcher radioed for an officer to perform a welfare check at a residence on Grandview St. in Florence.

  • Antique store will be makin' it without Olson


  • Marion council moves to condemn 2 houses

    Marion City Council targeted two dilapidated houses for condemnation at its Dec. 22 meeting, voting to schedule public hearings for property owners to “show cause” why the buildings should not be demolished. Annette Kline owns the house at 530 Walnut St., in front of the water plant. She no longer lives in town, City Administrator Roger Holter said.

  • Hillsboro rejects merchant's land proposal

    Hillsboro City Council reaffirmed Dec. 23 that lots in Hillsboro Heights are for sale now by rejecting a $500 option to purchase the lots anytime in the next two years. “If we do it we’re sort of setting a precedent you can tie up a lot for two years and use it for $500,” council member Shelby Dirks said.

  • Auntie M's Diner to change name, ownership

    After five years as owner of Auntie M’s Diner in Florence, Mary Britton will close her doors for the final time Dec. 31. She’s known that for a while. Those doors will open again Jan. 2 under a new name and new ownership. The sale was finalized Dec. 20.

  • County keeps 2 trucks for road work

    County commissioners delayed the sale of two dump trucks to preserve capacity to address deteriorating gravel roads. Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford made the request at a meeting Dec. 22, due to the need for rock all over the county.

  • Deadline for Peabody foundation grants is Jan. 6

    Deadline to apply for annual Peabody Community Foundation grants is Jan. 6. A wide array of projects that promote or enhance the community are eligible. board chairman Nelson Patton said. Winners may be affiliated with a church, governmental unit, or non-profit organization. Projects must be for charitable purposes.

  • Auxiliary annual dinner is Jan. 15

  • Library to show 'Dolphin Tale 2'

    The movie “Dolphin Tale 2” will be screened at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Santa Fe room of the Marion City Library. Everyone is welcome to attend; children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult. The movie is rated PG and has a runtime of 107 minutes.

  • Eiffel Tower shines every night in Marion

    In a dining room on N. 2nd St. in Marion sits a miniature silver Eiffel Tower trimmed in white lights timed to turn on at nightfall throughout the year. It’s a special reminder for Clara “Chris” Kerns of the two years she lived in France as a teen-ager and is one of many to be found in her house. France also was the place the 16-year-old met the love of her life.


  • Brooke Fenske

    Brooke Ellen Fenske, 23-day-old daughter of Jared and Sarah Fenske of Basehor, died Dec. 18 at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Born Nov. 25 in Kansas City, Kansas, she is survived by her parents; sister, Makenna; brothers Kolton and Wesley; grandparents John and Rose Stimac of Herington and John and Jan Fenske of Valley Center; great-grandfather Wesley Fenske of Hillsboro, and great-grandmother Alice Dittman of Hope.

  • Lillian Harms

    Piano teacher Lillian Beatrice Harms, 91, died Saturday at Pine Village Nursing Home, Moundridge. Visitation was to be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Miller-Ott Funeral Home, Hesston. A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church. Burial will be in Hesston City Cemetery.

  • 'Tillie' Hein

    Otillia M. “Tillie” Hein, 106, of Tampa, died Thursday. She was born Nov. 8, 1908, in Pilsen to Peter and Philomena Sramek.

  • Richard Potter

    Richard Potter, 66, who worked as a painter, died Friday in Hillsboro. A memorial service will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Jost Funeral Home.

  • Verla Redger

    Verla Darlene Redger, 87, died Dec. 24 at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro. She was born Oct. 18, 1927, in northwest Marion County to Lou and Tina (Smith) Redger.



  • Ringing in the new

    The idea may make you green. It’s something you’re either sick of hearing or sick of telling people about. The City of Marion will throw its residents headlong into a curbside recycling program next week that is guaranteed not to save the world on its own. It may help. It also could be the start of a solution not to the world’s problems but to Marion County’s.

  • Did you subscribe to this paper?

    Often in this space, I ask for input from my six regular readers and anyone else who might have an opinion about a given topic. Sometimes I offer several different ways to get in touch with me, just to make it easier for people to share their thoughts. I do all of that because I want some feedback. I want to hear from my readers and hope they will give me their views. About three people in the community get in touch and address my questions or requests for input. Invitations to contribute to the community dialog largely are ignored.


    No Praise for Potlucks


  • Open house to mark Sly's birthday

    Anita (Collett) Sly’s 80th birthday on Jan. 7 will be celebrated at an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 10 at First Christian Church, 2727 E. Crawford St., Salina. A graduate of Marion High School, she and her husband, Kenneth, have been married for 59 years. They have five children, 11 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. Cards may be sent to her at 6185-D N. Old Highway 81, Salina KS 67401.

  • Fikes celebrate 65th anniversary

    Warren and Paula (Mueller) Fike of Ramona celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary Sunday. Last week’s newspaper incorrectly reported that they planned a celebration at St. John Lutheran Church in Tampa. In fact, the couple were married there on Dec. 28, 1949. They have spent their entire married life on a farm near Ramona.

  • Women's bible study planned

    “Discovering the Mysteries of Heaven” will be the title of a community Bible study for women at Jan. 8 in the Hearth Room at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 Prairie Pointe St. Study guides for the session, led by David Jeremiah, are available for $11 but not required. However, participants are being asked to bring a Bible. For more information, call the church at (620) 947-3144.

  • Winning recipes in holiday contest

  • Sorosis Beta celebrates Christmas

    The women of Sorosis Beta met Dec. 18 at Pop’s Diner for their December meeting. Fourteen members attended. A short business meeting was conducted. Club members had a holiday dinner of baked ham and all the trimmings. After dinner, secret pal gifts were exchanged. The first meeting of 2015 will be at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 at Peabody Senior Center.

  • Card shower sought for Olsen

    The family of Larry “Farmer” Olsen has requested a card shower for his 75th birthday Saturday. Cards may be sent to Larry Olsen, 1915 Quail Creek, Marion KS 66861-9160.

  • Days of Yore

    The Peabody City Council has issued an emergency bulletin regarding the city in the wake of this past week’s ice storm. Marion County has been declared a disaster area. Despite the ice and snow, the members of the Peabody Farmer’s Market need to think of gardens and will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Jones Sheep Farm Bed and Breakfast.


    Christmas in Durham

    A Cottonwood Grove School Christmas

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


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