• COVID toll skyrockets with record 1-day jump

    In a startling announcement with somewhat threatening overtones, Marion County health officials disclosed a huge increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday night. Before stay-at-home orders were lifted in June, the county had only five confirmed cases — a number that remained largely the same throughout the stay-at-home period.


  • 4 new COVID cases confirmed after county defies mask order

    Two new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Tuesday, five days after county commissioners rejected a governor’s order that people wear masks in public. Health administrator Diedre Serene disclosed Tuesday that a woman between 55 and 64 years old had been placed in isolation after a laboratory confirmed she had the virus.

  • Businesses get at least $12.3 million in forgivable loans

    More than 300 Marion County businesses have received a total of at least $12.3 million — probably much more — in forgivable loans to save 1,982 jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Payroll Protection Plan data released Monday by the Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department identified three county businesses as receiving between $1 million and $2 million each.

  • Troopers descend on lakes for Fourth

    If you thought you spotted an unusual number of state troopers on the roads around Marion County’s lakes Saturday night — you were right. From midnight until 2 p.m. on the Fourth seven troopers patrolled roads around the reservoir and county lake looking drunken drivers and other trouble, according to Ben Gardner, public resource officer for the KHP.

  • Eatery is out of the kitchen and into the fire after brown-out fiasco

    The dining room of Wagon Wheel Express is still dark nearly a month after electrical brown-outs downtown fried her air conditioner. Sherry Hess would love to know when she finally can reopen for good, but that depends on finally receiving an air conditioning unit she ordered a month ago.

  • Jobs as hard to fill as they are to find

    Although unemployment in Kansas has swelled to 11.9% many Marion County businesses are having the opposite problem. Several employers have been advertising for multiple positions. Even local branches of chains like Dollar General and Casey’s have been posting help-wanted notices for months.

  • This hobby is a real flight of fancy

    The faint buzz of the prop plane’s engine whirred as it spun through rolling loops, swooped through a snap turn, and plunged in a dive that ruffled the tallgrass. The maneuvers might have made any experienced stunt pilot queasy, but Todd Winter was all right.


  • Recyclers to pay at least $5

    Bringing in anything from a single soft drink can up to 100 pounds of recyclable material now will cost residents $5 at the county’s transfer station. Instead of charging 4 cents a pound, commissioners Monday voted unanimously to charge a flat fee of $5 for the first 100 pounds of recyclable material brought in.

  • Ruckuses mar busy weekend at reservoir

    Marion Reservoir’s busy holiday weekend came complete with several calls to law enforcement. Campgrounds have been busy since camping reopened June 1, lake manager Kevin McCoy said. but holiday weekends always see large numbers of people at the lake.

  • Commissioners rush to meet grant deadline

    The county will have to step lively to collect $2.39 million allotted to it as part of a state grant intended to defray health and economic expenses caused by COVID-19. County commissioners met online meeting Monday with school, health, and city representatives to discuss forming a task force to work on the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas grant.

  • No mask? No matter! No one watching meetings anyway

    County commissioners may have painted themselves into a corner with last week’s decision to overturn a state mandate to wear masks in public. Early voting in the hallway of the courthouse will mean commission meetings can’t be viewed on a television there after Monday.

  • Hillsboro looks to improve safety

    A June 25 accident that killed a 13-year-old boy who rode his bike into the side of a semi has Hillsboro city council members looking for ways to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in the city. Hillsboro city administrator Matt Stiles told city council members Tuesday that while nothing would prevent Trevor Dayton Adams Wullenweber’s death, he is looking at options to make the intersection of Ash and D Sts. safer.

  • Florence highway fund an unused asset

    Florence’s special highway fund is a financial boon that often goes unused and could greatly benefit the city, according to accountant Scot Loyd of Swindol, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd. The city spent $40,000 out of its general fund for street work in 2019 but had more than $100,000 available in its special highway fund.

  • Bethesda receives grant

    Bethesda Home has received a $1,500 grant to offset cost of COVID-19 response supplies, Goessel Community Foundation announced last week. The grant came from Goessel Community Impact Fund and Goessel-designated contributions through Central Kansas Community Relief Fund.




  • Sons show passion for farming

    Graysen Jost’s dream as a 9-year-old is to one day be a professional athlete, but his fallback is to be a farmer like his father, and he’s wasting no time taking an interest in his parents’ farming operation. “I think it’s been on his own,” his father, Dustin said. “He comes along a lot and he’s very inquisitive. He asks a lot of questions and tries to understand what’s going on.”

  • Coping with death during harvest

    Monty Stuchlik of Lost Springs and his family were harvesting wheat when his wife, Sarah, 73, died under hospice care at Newton Medical Center. “When they heard the news, people started calling, wanting to help with harvest,” he said. “We appreciated the offers, but we were on the verge of wrapping up this year’s harvest. Mother Nature was helping, too, with good harvest weather.”

  • Steer wrestler seeks 3rd bid to nationals

    Kansas cowboys are as taken back by coronavirus as the rest of the world. Yet Tanner Brunner, a professional steer wrestler from Ramona, is back on the trail and tougher than ever.

  • Horse disease spreads to county

    A highly contagious virus that typically affects horses was confirmed Thursday in Marion County. Vesicular stomatitis virus was first confirmed June 16 in Butler County but has since spread to Marion, Cowley, Sedgwick, Sumner counties.


  • Unmasking deadly ignorance

    What we’ve long suspected is unfortunately coming true: County commissioners will indeed be the death of us. It’s always been true figuratively. Now that they’ve expanded their band of merry men and one not-so-merry woman to five, they’ve upped their game and made it literally true, as well. Commissioners never have been known for taking advice on most topics — except when county employees urge them to dole out big salaries and huge raises for every excuse imaginable. Now they’ve decided to ignore the governor, their own medical consultant, the consensus of scientific knowledge, and basic commonsense so they can kowtow to ultraconservative voters who seem to think it’s their right to breathe death on friends and neighbors by not wearing masks.


    Underlining the good stuff

    Masking our pride, Forgetting God


  • Teen learns by teaching at VBS

    Gracie Mackey is in her second year planning vacation Bible school, but neither that or social distancing has stopped the Florence high schooler from getting excited for what she has planned. Her goal is to have a socially distanced movie night for Florence VBS’s finale at the end of July.

  • Thrift store short of volunteers

    St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary Shoppe might have to switch from two days a week to one if it can’t recruit more volunteers. “There are a lot of people in the community that love the shop and what it does for not only our hospital but for our community as a whole,” hospital spokesman Roger Schroeder said.

  • Couple to celebrate 50th anniversary

    Arlyss and Letha Schroeder of Buhler will celebrate 50 years of marriage with a come-and-go reception 2 to 4 p.m. July 19 at Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church. A Hillsboro native who attended Tabor College, Arlyss is a lifelong farmer with no plans for retiring. Letha has focused on being a mother, grandmother, and homemaker.

  • Frank to lead state WWII group

    Marion County emergency management director Randy Frank was appointed Tuesday to serve as state chairman for a national nonprofit group, State Funeral for World War II Veterans. Frank is an Army veteran, grandson of a World War II veteran, and father of a son killed in Iraq war.


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

    God breaks down barriers and regroups us


  • Weather shines on Centre graduation

    Weather was picture-perfect Saturday as 12 Centre seniors received their high school diplomas at Bud Peterson Field. Signs of the influence of COVID-19 were evident as families and friends, some wearing masks, were spread out in lawn chairs on the field.

  • Athlete signs with Fort Hays

    Hillsboro graduate Addie Berens will have a new team this fall. Berens, who placed fourth in javelin at 2019’s Class 2A state track meet, signed a letter of intent last week to compete for Fort Hays State’s track and field team. She also took second in 2019 at the Central Kansas League championships and won regional championships that year.

  • Butler to start, end early

    Butler Community College will start in-person classes Aug. 10 and end final exams the week of Nov. 24. Butler’s usual fall break in October has been eliminated.

  • TEEN directors to meet

    Directors of Technology Excellence in Education Network, which facilitates distance learning for local school districts, will meet by video conference at 6 p.m. July 15. Information about observing the meeting is available from Lena Kleiner at (620) 877-0237.

  • College degrees and honors


  • Free commodities to arrive next week

    Free government commodities for low-income residents will arrive July 15 and be distributed according to this schedule: Burns Senior Center, morning July 15.

  • Free opera nights planned

    Opera enthusiasts will be able to attend a pair of free performances at 7:30 p.m. July 17 and 18 at Chase County High School. College opera students arrived Sunday in Cottonwood Falls for the fourth annual Flint Hills Opera workshop, which runs July 5 to 17. The two-week clinic sponsored by the International Opera Workshop includes classes on acting and stage movement.

  • Alchemy video offered

    A 21-minute video on chemistry and alchemy, with a special introduction for Marion City Library patrons, has been posted by Exploration Place, Wichita, at https: //youtu.be.5hsgT9EFjYM


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