UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
  • Call for EMS reinstatement leads to allegations of wrongdoing

    Randy Dallke asked fellow commissioners Monday to reinstate fired paramedic Larry Larsen, to which outgoing EMS director Brandy McCarty responded with allegations of patient endangerment and sexual harassment. Dallke presented a “Statement of Commitment” by Larsen, outlining 10 things Larsen would do to “be the best I can be both personally and professionally.”

  • Larsen reinstatement transcript

  • COMMENTARY: Letting citizens decide for themselves

    This newspaper faced a difficult decision in deciding how to report Monday’s county commission meeting, which after a call to reinstate a fired paramedic devolved into a torrent of allegations against him. Since the seemingly abrupt firing 16 months ago of ambulance director Steve Smith, controversy has surrounded the department. The director’s position was downgraded, the physician who initially served as medical director resigned, Tampa’s ambulance crew was forced to select a new chief, complaints were lodged with state regulators, the Peabody crew chief was fired, and the director who replaced Smith abruptly resigned.

HEADLINES

  • McCarty resigns as EMS director

    County EMS director Brandy McCarty resigned Monday, following a 35-minute executive session with commissioners that included attorney Susan Robson, medical director Don Hodson, and EMS advisory board chairman Gene Winkler. “She felt that if we’re going to go forward that it’s time for new leadership and we need to take a different approach to how we’re going to do it,” Chairman Dan Holub said in accepting McCarty’s resignation.

  • County considers EMS changes

    Emergency Medical Services advisory board members sent a clear message to commissioners at a joint meeting Nov. 10 to discuss revisions to the EMS director job description: Hire an experienced paramedic, and don’t settle for less. Last year, commissioners compromised on established certification and experience requirements when they hired Brandy McCarty, a two-year EMT who had completed AEMT coursework but was not yet certified. Salary expectations for more-qualified candidates were beyond what commissioners were willing to pay.

  • Teen-ager hangs flag in park as gesture of solidarity with France

    A Marion High School student hung a sheet spray-painted to look like France’s flag from an arched entrance to Marion Central Park on Saturday night as “a symbol of solidarity” in light of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and elsewhere. The student wished to remain anonymous, not wanting people to reflect on who did it, but rather why the flag was hung there.

  • Police confiscate over $5,000 of meth

    A woman was arrested on multiple drug charges after she allegedly assaulted an officer Thursday in Marion. The situation escalated after Stephanie Jacobson, 28, of Wichita, and Justin Bowley, 29, of Galva, got into a loud argument at 510 S. Cedar St.

  • Military mom sees food bank from both sides

    Catrina Zielinski stayed home this Veterans Day. After 14 years in the Marines, Zielinski could have gotten recognition for her service, or could have gone out and gotten a nominal discount at a restaurant. “Applebee’s is the big one — Applebee’s gives a meal,” Zielinski said. “But I had my mom and my son. I can’t afford to take them out. So it was, ‘OK, do I go get a free meal and eat in front of them? Or do we not go?’ So we didn’t go.”

  • Armadillo burrows under couple's shed

    An armored lodger recently took refuge behind the home of Marion couple Dwight and Jane Gooding. About two weeks ago, Dwight noticed an armadillo in their backyard when he pulled into their driveway at evening time.

  • Robson takes help over $6,000 raise

    County attorney Susan Robson decided she needed help more than a $6,000 raise, and commissioners Monday agreed to her request to divert the money to be used for hiring an assistant attorney. “The way it is now, I don’t have anybody who can help me cover,” Robson said. “While a raise is nice and appreciated, having help would be even more appreciated.”

OTHER HEADLINES

  • City to county economic development: What do you do for us?

    The last economic developer standing in Marion County is Theresa Huffman. The county’s economic development director is the only such one remaining after the recent retirement of Clint Seibel from Hillsboro’s city staff and Marion economic developer Terry Jones’s resignation.

  • MEDI seeks to keep business meals going

    With December booked as the final Marion Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon, Marion Economic Devleopment Inc. will try to initiate a monthly business luncheon to carry on the social tradition started by the chamber. MEDI members discussed such an idea at a Thursday meeting. The main issues were who would plan and carry out such a meeting. Wanting to avoid putting the responsibility on the shoulders of an economic development director, should Marion be able to hire one, Heitschmidt suggested having different businesses organize one each month.

  • Meier's Tax Service closing Marion office

    Wanda Meier has been doing taxes for people in Marion for 50 years, and she’ll continue to do so, but only if they’re willing to drive to Burrton. The annual tax-season treks Meier has made since she and her husband, Bob, moved from Marion in 1970 are coming to an end. The 77-year-old tax preparer has decided it’s time to give up the hazards of winter driving that came with weekly round trips of more than 100 miles.

  • Man allegedly assaults 7 with yard tools

    A man who police said, “appeared very intoxicated” allegedly assaulted seven people with yard tools in a Hillsboro trailer park recently. Hillsboro Police officer David Funk responded to the drunk and disorderly call at 4 p.m. Nov. 10 at 302 W. Third St. trailer No. 7 where Donald Jackson, 46, of Hillsboro, allegedly got into an argument with his next-door neighbors and their guests.

  • Give a goat, take an ornament at alternative gift market

    A steady stream of folks flowed through the tables set up at Marion Community Center on Saturday, as dozens bought gifts they would never see for people they would never meet. Behind each table sat people selling wares they didn’t have for gains they couldn’t benefit from. An alternative gift market can be a difficult thing to understand.

  • Mother, daughter unload decades of Christmas cheer

    Anyone who stopped by Shirley Reusser’s Christmas-themed garage sale early Saturday might have thought she hadn’t sold much. Tables were jammed with a vast selection of miniature trees, ornaments, dishware, Santas, and snow people, with more underneath. But the sale started Friday, and Reusser and her daughter, Diedre Serene, unloaded a lot that day.

DEATHS

  • Willis Duerksen

    Hillsboro native Willis Duerksen, 81, died Nov. 9 at Newton. He was born April 5, 1934, to C.R. and Martha (Funk) Duerksen in Hillsboro.

  • Francis Meirowsky

    Francis L. “Franny” Meirowsky, 78, died Nov. 11, at his residence. Services will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Holy Family Parish in Florence, the Rosary was to be at 7 p.m. Monday, and the Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

  • Ira Penner

    Ira I. Penner, 94, Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held today at Valley United Methodist Church, with private inurnment in the Marion Cemetery.

  • Geneva Stacy

    Geneva Stacy, 86, died Nov. 13 at Salem Home in Hillsboro. Family will have services at a later date.

  • Genevieve Stefan

    Genevieve M. Stefan, 88, died Nov. 7 at St. Luke Living Center in Marion. She was born Aug. 19, 1927, to Bernard and Mary (Wildeman) Zimmerman in Park. She married Marcus R. Stefan on Feb. 6, 1950, in Grinnell. She was a mother and homemaker for her husband and 10 children.

DOCKET

OPINION

  • In need of rescue

    As much as anything, last week’s county commission and EMS advisory board summit laid bare the folly of trying to make do with less. For an ambulance system subject to dreadfully complex regulations, knocked off balance by the firing of its director, beset by internal squabbles, and short-staffed, commissioners turned not to a seasoned EMS professional, but to a relatively inexperienced EMT who lacked many of the minimum requirements spelled out in the job description.

  • ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:

    Can't procrastinate any longer

PEOPLE

  • Colletts hold annual family reunion

    The annual Collett reunion was Oct. 11 at the Marion County Lake Hall. Over 70 family members were present for the potluck dinner and auction. Several items were sold by auctioneer Keith Collett, including Ethel Collett’s wedding dress, coffee cups, and Henry Collett’s horseshoe set. Colleen Garmon served as president and Mary Collett as secretary and treasurer.

  • Neo-Century Club meets

    Neo-Century Club met Nov. 2 at Hilltop Manor with Suzanne Thole presiding. Mary Ann Conyers presented the program about the Hospital Auxiliary Shoppe, showing donated jewelry that is for sale.

  • World Heritage looking for area representatives

    World Heritage International Student Exchange Program is seeking representatives to work with volunteer host families and international exchange students in the county. WH provides academic year and semester exchange programs in the United States for high school students 15 to 18 years old, from around the world.

  • MARION SENIOR CENTER:

    Albrecht, Soyez celebrate birthdays
  • MEMORIES:

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

SCHOOL

  • MES makes world-record attempt in sport of cup stacking

    There’s nothing quite like the chaos of a Marion Elementary School physical education class, especially when competitive cup stacking is added to the equation. Never heard of cup stacking?

  • Centre students honor veterans

    The Centre parking lot was full on Veterans Day as students and community members joined together to honor veterans and active military personnel. Several veterans and service men and women introduced themselves and stated in which branch of the military they served and when. Each of the 15 veterans in attendance received a balloon.

SENIOR LIVING

  • A retired pastor's wife reflects on a life of ministry

    Rosella Martin of Hillsboro didn’t know what she was getting into when she prayed as a teenager to marry a preacher. She felt it was a calling, but the 58 years of ministry she had while married to Pastor Loyal Martin were definitely on-the-job training. “Pastors have their job descriptions, but their wives have to discover their niches,” she said, “and maybe it’s different at each place.”

  • Facilities aim for PEAK performance for residents

    “Cuddles” isn’t just a bunny that lives at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro; she’s an unofficial poster rabbit for a growing trend aimed at transforming the way nursing homes care for their residents: person-centered care. Parkside has a pet rabbit because residents asked for one. That’s all director Gretchen Wagner and her staff needed to make it happen.

  • Community Thanksgiving dinner a labor of love

    Luba Holm-Brinkman plans an annual event that brings out about 300 people. When they arrive, she serves them Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. She charges nothing and welcomes all. This year the dinner will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Brown Building lunchroom at Peabody-Burns High School. “At the first dinner, people thought it was a meal for people in need,” she said. “But that is not my reason to do this. This is for all of us as a community. We should come together and experience our fellowship with one another.”

SPORTS

  • Warriors see 10 honored by league

    Marion football fielded a young team this season, but its youth didn’t slow down the Warriors on the field, as they finished the year 7-2. It didn’t slow them down in the eyes of Heart of America league coaches either, as 10 Warriors were honored with all-league selections.

  • Tampa native breaks through for Tabor football team

    Rustyn Kerbs of Tampa had quite an adjustment to make when he advanced from Centre’s 1A eight-man football team to the Tabor College Bluejays. Kerbs red-shirted as a freshman, and is in his fifth year on the team. The team has an overall record of 10-1 and is undefeated in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference at 9-0. With their 26-17 victory over Bethel Saturday, the Bluejays have clinched the conference title. They are ranked ninth nationally in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics TOP 25 poll.

  • Volunteers needed for basketball tournament

UPCOMING

  • Calendar of events

  • Annual farm-city steak feed is Monday

    Nothing brings farmers and city folk together like the sizzle of a thick steak on a hot grill. Marion Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring its annual farm-city appreciation banquet Monday, serving steaks from 6 to 7 p.m. at Marion Community Center.

  • County senior citizens to meet

    Senior Citizens of Marion County will meet at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Lincolnville Community Center. Mill/Levy requests, SCMC officers for 2016, and reports from different groups are on the agenda.

  • 'Late Nite Catechism' coming to McPherson

    “Late Nite Catechism Las Vegas: Sister Rolls the Dice,” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday at McPherson Opera House. The play is the latest in the comedic Catechism series. The show will tackle subjects ranging from magicians to show girls to live animal acts and the dangers of drive-through marriage chapels.

  • Eastmoor to hold community Thanksgiving dinner

    Eastmoor United Methodist Church will hold a community Thanksgiving dinner Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the church. A concert will be performed by Phil and Pam Morgan Family.

MORE…

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