• Marion County Lake under watch for blue-green algae

    The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a watch for Marion County Lake after blue-green algae was detected in its waters. The watch does not include Marion Reservoir. A watch means that algae have been found and a harmful bloom is present or likely to develop.


  • Teens' licenses may come late

    With school officially over, driver education is the next classroom staple with major changes in sight. And many young people, eager to begin driving, may not get their licenses— or their parents the relief of not having to taxi them around — until the question of how to teach driver ed is resolved.

  • Pools may not open this year

    One of Marion County’s four pools is closing for the summer before ever having the chance to open, and others are in questionable territory. Hillsboro city councilmen on Tuesday decided, albeit begrudgingly, to keep the city’s pool closed for the summer.

  • Novak faces subpoena

    After unsuccessfully trying to get copies of commissioner Dianne Novak’s personal emails with an open records request, a wind farm concerned about her possible role in aiding its opponents says it will subpoena those emails from her directly. Expedition Wind last month filed a lawsuit seeking more than $35 million from Peabody farmer Randy Eitzen and five other defendants. The defendants are plaintiffs who did not withdraw from a lawsuit filed last August against the county.

  • Roofing crew wasn't what homeowner expected

    Heath Shields’ second day in his new house ended with him spending the night on his porch with a shotgun and his dog. A roofing crew had been working on his house south of Marion last week when agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms suddenly appeared to arrest two of the roofers on murder warrants from Aurora, Colorado.

  • A tribute with resonance

    The final notes of ‘Taps’ that sounded sonorous and full from Taylor Ensminger’s French horn were met with awed silence by spectators huddled under umbrellas Monday afternoon. Then, the group that clustered on a rain-soaked lawn broke into grateful applause for a performance that made Memorial Day special — even as continued efforts to combat COVID-19 forced Peabody to cancel its services.


  • County meetings may be more accessible

    Members of the public may soon be able to attend county commission meetings in person, although only a limited number will be allowed inside the meeting room. Commissioners on Tuesday discussed arranging chairs in the hallway for people to observe weekly meetings. That way they could come to a lectern by the doorway to talk to commissioners.

  • Beneke to challenge Novak

    With the deadline to file for election to county commission approaching on Tuesday, another candidate has tossed his hat into the ring. Mike Beneke, who last ran for county commissioner four years ago, when the county had three commissioners instead of five, will run against one of the same candidates he ran against then.

  • Municipalities seek business grants

    Hillsboro City Council and Marion County both approved applications Tuesday for grants to help small businesses. Community development COVID-19 grants are for businesses considered “nonessential” that had to close during earlier shutdown orders.

  • Favorable weather draws crowds to lakes

    Sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s sealed the deal this weekend as visitors flocked to both of the county’s lakes. Marion County Lake was packed to capacity with campers eager to get outdoors after months of stay-at-home orders.

  • Hope in sight for high beef prices

    Beef prices at food stores remain high, but Carlsons’ Grocery co-owner Greg Carlson expects prices to drop soon, even if just slightly. “It looks to me like prices are coming back down a little at a time,” he said. “We hope so.”

  • Stimulus checks provide needed assistance

    Residents have been receiving federal stimulus checks since mid-April, and for someone like Dimitri Dixon, who recently moved to Marion, receiving a check was important in helping pay rent. “It was what I needed to make the move,” he said. “I was pretty desperate about getting up here.”

  • Carlsons' installs new air conditioners

    It took a big crane working carefully to hoist four-ton air conditioners onto the roof of Carlsons’ Grocery last week. Co-owner Greg Carlson said the store’s five older air conditioners were damaged by a recent hail storm. A newer air conditioner fared better in the storm and did not require replacement.




  • COVID imperils college plans

    With many colleges and universities unsure how much distance learning might be needed because of COVID-19 this fall, some students are reconfirming their choices for higher education. Centre graduate Jensen Riffel received a scholarship to play football at Ottawa University. The school plans to start in-person classes in the fall.

  • Parochial school 'best of both worlds'

    Stacie Marsden gets up early every day during the school year to make a 40-minute drive to St. Mary’s Catholic School, where she teaches. While commuting to Newton may not be out of the ordinary, the mom of four has two sleepy boys as passengers, and the sacrifice of a long drive is worth it to a mom who wants to see her boys develop their faith as a part of their education.

  • All-star game a casualty of COVID

    Centre graduates Jensen Riffel, of rural Lincolnville, and Dalton Stika, Lincolnville, were selected for the state’s annual eight-man all-star football game scheduled for June 13 in Beloit, but the game was canceled last week because of COVID-19. Riffel, a running back and linebacker, was a two-time all-league and all-district selection. He was all-state his senior year and a finalist for state defensive player of the year. He plans to play football at Ottawa University.


  • Deadly blooms dot county

    Death is lurking in the weeds in Marion County, but no one seems overly concerned about it. A poisonous perennial with a name befitting its effects, death camas has made an appearance in the area this spring.

  • Car maintenance is still important

    When a car is driven less, such as in times when travel is discouraged, it still has maintenance needs. “The most important thing, I would say, is tire pressure. When you don’t drive so much, you don’t think about it,” said Rod Koons, owner of Rod’s Tire and Service in Hillsboro.

  • More help with utilities available

    Investor-owned utilities, including Atmos Energy, Kansas Gas Service, and Evergy, have been ordered to waive late fees through the end of 2020 and offer 12-month payment plans to small businesses and residential customers because of economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kansas Corporation Commission issued the order Thursday. An earlier order suspending disconnections had been set to expire Sunday.


  • It's time to put up or shut up

    News flash: Blue-green algae cures COVID-19. No, not really. But wouldn’t it be nice? And isn’t it about time that we started thinking about things that would be nice instead of running around with bandanas over our faces like a bunch of train robbers from a “B” Western we watched after exhausting everything else on Netflix? If you’re like us and have grown sick and tired of worrying about becoming sick and tired (and possibly worse), it’s time to start thinking about maladies we actually can do something about — like, maybe, the county commission.


    Finding fringe friends

    Vulture culture, Liberty


  • Goessel museum to reopen

    Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum in Goessel will reopen at 10 a.m. Tuesday and be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Museum staff will follow state guidelines on social distancing, and visitors will be encouraged to wear face masks.

  • Trail approved for construction

    A much-anticipated walking and biking trail at Hillsboro has been approved for construction. The city has worked to have a trail developed in the vicinity of Hillsboro Community Hospital for a couple of years.

  • Rain doesn't dampen Memorial Day

    Rain was a last-minute glitch, but people still found their way to Hillsboro American Legion’s post home for annual Memorial Day ceremonies changed by social distancing. The threat of rain forced organizers to move observances, which included full military honors, from Memorial Park and push the time back a half-hour to give people time to find them.


    Where do we meet Jesus today?

    Hillsboro, Marion, Peabody menus

    10, 25, 40, 55, 70, 100, 140 years ago

    When city streets were as bad as county roads



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