• Gymnastics facility has bad balance with city

    City officials decided to sit down with the owner of a gymnastics operation and have a discussion with him before deciding whether to forgive $2,000 in rent to the local business. Don Carter, who owns Skywalkers Trampoline and Tumbling Academy that has facilities throughout the region, rents the city-owned building at 828 N. Roosevelt St. for $740 a month. He is currently $3,000 behind in rent payments to the city, officials said.

  • Auxiliary volunteers give 20,000 hours of service

    While 2014 was the second-best on record for the St. Luke Auxiliary Shoppe, auxiliary members keep coming up big in volunteerism. Volunteerism was a clear winner among auxiliary activities reported at Thursday’s annual dinner meeting at Eastmoor United Methodist Church. About 80 members and guests attended.

  • Fate of Central Park gazebo uncertain

    Resting about four feet off the ground on a flatbed trailer, the fate of Central Park’s gazebo is in limbo. A new stage and bathroom facility will take its place, and the gazebo was originally slated for demolition.

  • City wants to hook public fishing at dock

    City officials are moving ahead with a plan to revamp the bank of Luta Creek that connects to Central Park with a public fishing area. Under the plan, state workers would stock Luta Creek with channel catfish and sunfish in the spring, and a dock or a trail would be installed later in the year. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks would pay the city $1,030 a year to make the area a publicly designated fishing spot, provided 75 percent of the money goes toward maintenance, economic development director Terry Jones told the city council on Monday.

  • Hetts' historic tree lives on ... on the front porch

    It’s not unusual for a driver idling past the Hett household on North Lincoln Street to slow down and take a long look at the chunk of tree trunk fashioned into a wood bench on the front porch. Sometimes they ask Lanell or Aaron Hett if they made that bench, or even if the bench is made from a large pine tree that used to occupy the front yard some people still remember. The answer to both questions is yes.

  • Kyle joins millions in seeing 'American Sniper'

    She did it and she’s glad she did. Joyce Kyle, 87, of Burns was one of millions of people who viewed “American Sniper” over the holiday weekend. The record-setting movie is based on a book written by her grandson, Chris Kyle, who served four tours of duty in Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL sharpshooter and was killed after he retired.

  • Youth Center to open on Saturdays

    Saturday night was game night at the Youth Center in Marion, as 14 Marion High School students came out to hang out and play board games with a new staff of volunteers. Justin and Brooke Lenhardt and six other volunteers helped put on the event, which ran from 8 p.m. to midnight.


  • Pieces of Marion's past hide in plain sight

    Main St. bridge railing, 1908

    Marion history enthusiast Bob Good seeks out and posts pictures and postcards from Marion’s past on social media. Friends and Marion High School alumni comment on many items he posts.

    “I put historic Marion pictures online for people to enjoy,” Good said. “I like to keep the town history alive.”

    One was a picture of the double stone arch bridge from 1908, which was replaced by a “new” concrete bridge in the 1920’s.

    Marion alumnus Debbie Reznicek had a story to share about the old bridge’s railing.

    “The man who was the engineer on the ‘new’ bridge built a house on Locust St. before my parents bought it in the early ’60s,” Reznicek said. “He salvaged the black iron railing from the ‘old’ bridge and used it on the front porch.”

    Growing up at 117 Locust St, she had heard the story as a child from her neighbor Leta Rees.

    Always curious, Good investigated, comparing his postcards to the present, and confirmed that the same railing was indeed still part of residence.

    “The old bridge railing had a very distinctive elongated diamond pattern that matched the railing on the house,” he said. “The railing caps looked the same as they do in the pictures, too.”

    Sarah Tolessa, current owner of the residence, said she was happily surprised to learn about her house’s connection to Marion’s history, because she didn’t know much about its past. Arches from Marion National Bank, 1880

    City streets superintendent Marty Fredrickson also has an appreciation for Marion’s history.

    “I’ve always been interested in history, especially Marion’s history,” Fredrickson said. “It’s nice to talk to people who share the same interests.”

    Taking his passion one step further, Fredrickson acquired several upside-down limestone arches that used to rest at the top of windows on the original Marion National Bank building.

    Fredrickson said the old bank was built in 1880, and torn down about 100 years later by Dale Smith and crew.

    He first noticed the arches shrouded in grassy undergrowth, while working on a utility easement bordering Smith’s property at the southwest corner of Cedar and Highland Sts. in Marion.

    “Years ago, Mrs. Dale Smith told me that Dale kept the stone arches as part of payment for the demolition work,” Fredrickson said. “But she wouldn’t sell them back then because of the sentimental value.”

    When Mrs. Smith passed, he bought the arches from the Smith family, and displays them upside-down at the front of his property on Walnut St.

    “I might flip the arches right-side-up, but there’s not much area for them to stand on,” he said. “Until I can find a good way to support them, it’s a safety concern if people climb on them.”

    The arches’ design is similar to the Bearly Makin’ It building, he said, and he thinks that Fred Lewis, a stonemason known to have done much of the stonework around Marion at the time, may have carved the arches.

    “Back then people had no TV, radio, and worked from sun up to sun down,” Fredrickson said. “When you look at some of the stonework you realize that they were pretty artistic people.”

  • Lanning puts her own touch on pharmacy

    As Traci Lanning winds down her first month as owner of the building at 217 E. Main St., she’s finally beginning to settle in. The longtime employee of Health Mart Pharmacy, who said it was never her goal to take over the facility, found the timing was right for her to step up when Marlin and Debbie Buchholz put the business up for sale.

  • Holub: State's priorities costing citizens

    Chairman of the County Commission Dan Holub wants to explain something: The Kansas state government is letting taxpayers down. Under the pretense of encouraging business and job growth, the state legislature has implemented tax cuts that are taking away money from important government programs, Holub said. The state is making up for these losses by passing the financial burden to citizens via local tax increases.

  • Leadership Marion County seeks applicants

    Applications for Leadership Marion County may be picked up at the Marion County Courthouse in the Marion County Economic Development office. Classes begin Feb. 5 and will meet every two weeks through May 14. Class members are sought from each of communities in Marion County.

  • Emergency workers told to tell dispatchers if unavailable

    No concrete policy was put in place, but EMS Director Brandy McCarty has taken steps to reverse a problem that’s been slowing emergency response times throughout the county. The failure of emergency service employees to make known their lack of availability to the sheriff’s dispatcher, who orchestrates emergency runs throughout the county, has been a topic of discussion in recent county commission meetings.

  • Ramona postal service cuts hours

    Office hours at the Ramona post office have been shortened to half-days, 8 a.m. to noon, using part-time employees. The last day of work for Kathy Matkins of Ramona was Jan. 9, after her job was terminated. She has served as postmaster there for almost 15 years and was 18 months away from retirement.


  • Jonathan Ehrlich

    Retired farmer and stockman Jonathan Charles “J. C.” Ehrlich, 91, died Friday at St. Luke Living Center. Visitation is today from 6 to 8 p.m. at Zeiner Funeral Home, Marion. A private family service is planned with interment in the Marion Cemetery.

  • James C. Harris

    James C. “Jim” Harris, 68, of Florence died Tuesday at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita. He was born Jan. 6, 1947, in Stillwater, Oklahoma to William E. and Iva May (Nelson) Harris. He married Theresa Modesto on Jan. 23, 1970. He was an over-the-road truck driver.

  • Fern Hein

    Fern Marie Hein, 94, died Friday at Bethesda Home in Goessel. She was born Dec. 31, 1920, to William and Mary (Craney) Rollings at Peabody. Her husband, Irvin E. Hein, preceded her in death in 1961.

  • Walter Kleinsasser

    Walter Kleinsasser, 92, died Jan. 15 at Salem Home in Hillsboro. He was born Nov. 9, 1922 to John and Katharina (Glanzer) Kleinsasser in Carpenter, South Dakota. He is survived by a son, Joe of Hillsboro; daughter, Faith Klaassen of Newark, New Jersey; brother, Harold of Reedley, California; sister, Edna Espenson of Windom, Minnesota; and three grandchildren.

  • John Svoboda

    Former Ramona resident John A. Svoboda, 77, of Dighton died Jan. 14 at Valley View Senior Living Center in Junction City. A Rosary at 10 a.m. Thursday will precede Mass at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church in Pilsen. Inurnment will be in St. John Nepomucene Catholic Cemetery.



  • Mindfulness makes for better living

    Shannon Hoffer believes in mindfulness. She lives it. When she is mindful, she is anchored to the present. “Growing up in Marion I connected to the present moment by participating in sports and playing piano, flute, and singing,” Hoffer said. “I love the way music makes me feel, good or bad.”

  • Driving assessment tests can provide peace of mind

    Do you have concerns about a loved one’s ability to drive safely but you don’t know how to address the issue? Therapy departments at local hospitals offer driving assessments and can give a professional opinion or recommendation.

  • Breastfeeding support group moves to Marion

    Mom to Mom, a support group for breastfeeding mothers recently relocated from the Community Building in Hillsboro to the Health Department in Marion. “It’s a neutral and comfortable place many mothers already know,” WIC breastfeeding peer counselor Lynette Hiebert said. “Our primary goal is getting children proper nutrition.”


  • The priority is people

    It’s rare in the news editor’s column that we comment on state-level politics. We like to ‘keep it local’ (whatever happened to that, by the way?), and we’re blessed to have local politicians who oblige us with a veritable potpourri of topics both fragrant and malodorous. But when state-level politics threatens the well-being of our local citizens, it’s open season. Nothing has raised my ire more than a pseudo news release we received last week titled “President Comments on Governor’s Budget Proposal.”


    Times Are Changing


  • Vogel and Wiles wed

    Briana Vogel and Greg Wiles were married Sept. 20 at White Rock Lake in Dallas. The bride is the daughter of Doug and Joy Vogel of Marion. The groom is the son of Tim and Julie Wiles of Coffeyville. Grandparents of the bride are Charles and Leona Hatfield of Hays and the late Howard and Marie Vogel of Phillipsburg. Grandparents of the groom are Charles and Mona Lou Michel and Jerry and Phyllis Wiles of Coffeyville.

  • Judge Powers speaks to Kiwanis

    Marion Kiwanis met Tuesday with 19 members in attendance. Matt Classen introduced guest speaker Michael Powers, Chief Judge of the 8th Judicial District.


    Elvis' grandma vows to wear poodle skirt

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


  • Marion FFA takes 3rd at speaking contest

    Marion/Florence FFA chapter placed third at the South Central District FFA Public Speaking Career Development Event Jan. 14 in Wellington. Participants presented prepared speeches of varied lengths, and prepared and delivered extemporaneous speeches.


  • Wrestlers score most points in team's history

    Scoring 201 team points, Marion High School wrestling team emerged champions of Halstead’s tournament on Saturday. “This is the most team points we have ever scored,” coach Chad Adkins said Monday. “We had a great weekend. I am beyond proud of all our guys. We wrestled a very complete tournament.”

  • Marion boys drop Cougar Classic opener

    The Marion boys basketball team lost to Solomon 45-38 Tuesday in the Cougar Classic at Centre High School. The Warriors led for the first three quarters of the game, but the Gorillas took the lead 30-29 early in the fourth quarter after a technical was called on coach Jeff McMillin. Solomon hit both free throws. Marion battled back from 39-32 with 2:15 left to play but could not catch the Gorillas. Nicholas Stuchlik scored 8 points. Bret Voth and Jacob Baldwin had 7 points each.

  • MHS girls advance, will face host Centre

    The Marion girls cruised to victory 48-26 over Wakefield Tuesday night at the Cougar Basketball Tournament at Centre High School. The Warriors jumped out to a 13-2 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Kourtney Hansen led scorers with 15 points. Erika Hess and Kristen Herzet had 8 points each.

  • After OT win, Centre loses in Cougar Classic

    The Centre Cougars had their most exciting game of the season Friday at home. As the game went along and a long-sought victory seemed a possibility, the players became energized. The crowd got excited, too, cheering their team to a 51-46 victory against archrival Rural Vista in overtime. It was the first victory of the season. Vista scored 8 points before Centre got on the board with a basket by Dylan Deines and two by Jared Barney. After a free throw by Vista, Cody Svoboda shot a 3-pointer to tie the game, 9-9. C.J. Thompson scored 2 points at the end of the quarter, but Vista led, 14-11.

  • Lady Cougars score 2 wins

    The Lady Cougars picked up their eighth victory Friday with a 50-29 win at home against Rural Vista. After Vista made an opening basket, Shelby Makovec scored a trey, followed by layups by Ally Basore and Nellie Kassebaum. Vista then scored 6 unanswered points to take an 8-7 lead, its only lead of the game.


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