• Reservoir open to use, but algae warning in place

    After being closed for a week because of blue-green algae levels, Marion Reservoir has reopened. On June 2, the lake was hastily closed after the state health department categorized blue-green algae blooms to be a “hazard” because potentially deadly toxins were present in the water.


  • Toxins force rare shutdown at reservoir

    In a rare, possibly unprecedented move, Marion Reservoir was closed to all visitors Thursday after tests revealed an extremely high level not only of blue-green algae but also of potentially deadly toxins they release. The next day, Marion County Lake was placed under the second most serious algae advisory, a more familiar “warning.” The county lake will remain open, but visitors are being warned not to come into contact with lake water.

  • Festival funnel cakes come with history

    Newton resident Verlin Siefkes had plenty of help making and selling funnel cakes Friday and Saturday at Chingawassa Days. One of his helpers had four legs and a tail. The retired special operations Marine and former government intelligence contractor, Siefkes worked with federal agents as part of an organized crime strike force investigating the Medellin drug cartel in Columbia.

  • Stalled train makes ambulance re-route

    A 60-year-old woman having trouble breathing Saturday in Ramona had to be taken to Salina Regional Health Center because a railroad crossing was blocked by a stopped train. The ambulance originally was headed to Hillsboro Community Hospital, but after waiting 10 minutes for a slow-moving Union Pacific train to clear the crossing, ambulance attendants saw that a second track was blocked by a stopped train.

  • A baby burglar: 'Masked intruder' freed from pipe

    A masked bandit was caught red-handed — or, perhaps, black pawed — on a somewhat chilly day last week while trying to invade a house in the 200 block of N. Cedar St., possibly in search of warmth. Assistant police chief Steven Janzen found a baby raccoon — about the size of a guinea pig, chief Clinton Jeffrey reports — stuck in a 90-degree bend in a vent pipe from a furnace at the home.

  • Walking for Father and son

    Their family’s deep connection to Father Emil Kapaun brought Tim, Julie, and Michael Barclay from Beavercreek, Ohio, to walk from Peabody to Pilsen as part of this year’s Father Kapaun pilgrimage. So did Kapaun’s meaning to a son who died in October from three forms of leukemia.

  • Biting remarks follow repeated attacks by pit bulls

    Heavy rains had ended for a while Saturday, and Michael Hurst of Peabody thought it was a good time to leave his house in the 800 block of N. Walnut St. for a few minutes. “I should have known better,” he said afterward. “I had seen one of their dogs out.”


  • As usual, county hit by minor spike in COVID

    COVID-19 isn’t going away. Mirroring results from a year ago, Marion County is in the midst of a small surge of new cases that seems to occur each year around when schools get out, college students head home, and families begin venturing off on vacations.

  • Ride to support '23 Grand Prix

    With the revitalized Florence Grand Prix just days behind them, race organizers already have planned a fundraiser ride for next year’s Grand Prix. A June 18 dual sport ride will begin with breakfast from 7 to 8 a.m. at Florence’s Masonic Lodge Breakfast will cost $10. The race, beginning at 8:30 a.m., will be led by Eric Moore, who won the 125cc class.

  • Solutions need to be found for transfer patients

    Between a nurse shortage that limits beds St. Luke Hospital can staff and the number of ambulances available to take care of emergencies and transfer patients to other hospitals, the county needs to figure out some options. Three weeks ago, emergency medical service director Travis Parmley spoke to county commissioners about a complaint made on social media that county ambulances would not transfer a patient to another town.

  • Leader program revived

    A leadership program similar to one formerly available for Marion County residents has been restarted and is accepting enrollment. “The act of leadership is viewed as an activity — not a position — and anyone can learn to exercise leadership anytime,” extension agent Tristen Cope said.

  • Competition is bonanza for food banks

    Volunteers at Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank were taken by surprise Thursday when two employees of Great Plains Federal Credit Union showed up to deliver items collected in a friendly competition between all 11 Great Plains branch offices. Branch manager Elizabeth Wine and bookkeeper Michon Robertson brought 457 pounds of food — so many cans, boxes, and bags it filled the back of a van.

  • Couple hurt in Ark City crash

    Marion residents Bob and Judy Priest were injured Friday afternoon when their car was struck on the outskirts of Arkansas City while traveling to a wedding. According to the Arkansas City police accident report, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala driven by Scottlen D. Thompson, 18, Arkansas City, was turning from a stop sign at US-77 and Madison Ave. and drove into the path of the Priests’ 2011 Lexus 350.

  • Burning Army truck ties up US-77

    An Army truck that caught fire Saturday afternoon on US-77 near Zebulon Rd. and became fully engulfed in flame tied up emergency responders for nearly four hours. Burns firefighters, summoned at 4:38 p.m., were on the scene nearly two hours. Florence firefighters were summoned to assist, but a call for them was later canceled.

  • Hillsboro council hears about jumping raccoons, flying opossums

    If there’s an award for the city with the most unexpected animal encounters, Hillsboro might win. City council member Blake Beye told other council members Tuesday he saw a raccoon jump out a second floor window of a downtown building the city is having torn down.

  • Exchange students meet diplomat in Washington

    Sophie Rebitzer, 17, a junior exchange student from Germany at Goessel High School last year spent five days in May at the nation’s capital with a 1998-1999 exchange student who now is a diplomat for the European Union. Sophie is one of two exchange students in Kansas who made the May 19 to 23 trip to the District of Columbia.




  • Fuel costs continue to soar

    Fuel prices continued their assault on record books and pocketbooks this week, soaring to around $4.60 a gallon for regular unleaded gasoline at many county service stations. A week earlier, over Memorial Day weekend, prices at the same stations had been as much as 66 cents lower.

  • Future of wheat crop 'variable'

    Recent rains have had a mixed effect on the county wheat crop, according to Jeff Naysmith, agronomist with Cooperative Grain and Supply in Hillsboro. Standing water will damage fields that don’t drain well.


  • Apathy is our true pandemic

    If Betsy Ross were around for Flag Day 2022, she might be tempted to replace the stars and stripes with a help-wanted sign. From paramedics and nurses to truck drivers, bookkeepers, lawyers, schoolteachers, and even journalists, it’s becoming harder and harder to find willing workers in our COVID-battered economy.


    Small-town wildlife


  • Florence reunion draws from 6 states

    Alumni, guests, and teachers from six states and 24 towns in Kansas were among the 130 reservations for the 125th Florence Alumni Banquet. The banquet, May 28 at the Florence gym, included representatives from graduating classes from 1943 to 2022.

  • Reading program offers prizes for kids, adults

    Kids will have what librarians say will be a whale of a time reading books and winning prizes in an “Oceans of Possibilities” summer reading program at Marion City Library. Children from pre-school through those completing 8th grade can win prizes for reaching reading goals.

  • Cards sought for 100th birthday

    Family members are hoping friends will shower former Marion resident Dorothy Kohls with cards for her 100th birthday June 18. Her address is Room 113, Holiday Resort, 2825 Resort Dr,Salina KS 67401.

  • Harvey House plans picnic

    Florence Harvey House’s 23rd annual picnic on the lawn will be 5 to 7 p.m. June 18. On the menu will be fried fish, mountain oysters, salads, side dishes, and homemade desserts. The annual picnic thanks donors for supporting the museum. People coming to the picnic are being encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

  • Veterans representative coming

    Anthony Gibson, veterans service representative from Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs, will be at Marion Senior Center from 9:30 a.m. until noon the second Tuesday every other month, starting this coming Tuesday. He also will be available Aug. 9, Oct. 11, and Dec. 13. No appointment is needed to talk with Gibson. More information is available from Gibson at his Junction City office, (785) 238-4522.

  • School tech group to meet

    Board members of Technology Excellence in Education Network, which provides online services for the Centre, Herington, Hillsboro, Marion, and Peabody-Burns school districts, will meet at 6 p.m. June 15 at the Marion district offices, 101 N. Thorp St., Marion. Information about the meeting’s agenda is available from TEEN director Lena Kleiner at (620) 877-0237.

  • Senior centers menus


    15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 105, 135 years ago


  • Students honored for recreation, nursery projects

    Two Marion County FFA students received statewide recognition last week for their supervised agricultural experience programs. Mickelly Soyez of Marion received a proficiency award in outdoor recreation, and Riley Graber of Goessel received a proficiency award in nursery operations.

  • Goessel grad selected for all-star game

    Graduating senior Caiden Duerksen of Goessel has been selected to play in the 37th annual eight-man all-star football game at 10 a.m. Saturday in Beloit. A pep rally and refreshments for players, coaches, and fans is planned for 4 p.m. Friday at Chautauqua Park in Beloit.

  • Honor roll

  • College degrees and honors

  • Alumna to perform in musical

    Sterling College student Grace Major, a 2019 graduate of Hillsboro High School, will be among the cast when Sterling Community Theatre Troupe presents the Tony Award musical, “Pippin,” at 2 and 7:30 p.m. July 1 and 2 and 3 p.m. July 3 at Sterling High School. Tickets cost $10 and will be available at the door.


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