• UPDATED: Peabody sandbags downtown; Marion water contaminated but deemed safe

    Volunteers, mainly from Peabody fire department, sandbagged a block’s worth of downtown stores Saturday afternoon after an unrelenting thunderstorm dropped nearly nine inches of rain and sent water into as many as a dozen businesses there. Meanwhile, in Marion, low levels of dangerous microcystin toxins from blue-green algae in Marion Reservoir were detected late Friday in Marion drinking water, which still is deemed safe but is being monitored closely.


  • Senator probes dog complaint reports

    U.S. Senator Jerry Moran’s office is investigating the number of loose dog reports made by Marion post office in Marion, Peabody, and Florence. Moran’s office is contacting city officials within the county to discuss how to improve the situation, which could result in an official letter to U.S. Postal Service, a representative said.

  • Novak says county held illegal secret session

    An allegedly improper executive session during a June 10 county commission meeting sparked commissioner Dianne Novak to object Monday to the minutes of that meeting. Novak said the executive session, called to discuss personnel performance of non-elected personnel, was actually to discuss her.

  • Duckweed turns coves at county lake bright green

    Tracy Carroll said the bright green color is from duckweed that floats in the water or catches on moss. The duckweed floats with the wind when it is in open water. “We really would like it to be gone,” she said.

  • Tax cut could yield same revenue

    Cut tax rates but generate the same amount of money. Or keep the mill rate the same and have more tax money to spend. That’s the confusing but enviable dilemma county commissioners will attempt to resolve next week as they prepare their 2020 budget.

  • Blue-green algae growth adds to woes at Marion Reservoir

    Flooding at Marion Reservoir has washed out any hope of opening campgrounds by July 4, and now runoff brought by heavy rains has contributed to a bloom of dangerous blue-green algae. Kevin McCoy assistant lake manager of the Army Corps of Engineers, said algae was spotted at the reservoir this past weekend and reported to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

  • Judge takes wind farm filings under advisement

    A Geary County judge declined to hear arguments last week on a petition seeking a restraining order to prevent construction of a wind farm in the southern portion of the county. Opponents of the wind farm filed a lawsuit last month seeking to block construction from beginning on Expedition Wind Farm, being developed by National Renewable Solutions. The company last year purchased a wind farm development begun around 2010.


  • Tabor to build new welcome center

    Chuck Flaming is honoring his, wife, Shari, by paying for construction of a new welcome center at Tabor College. The two-story, 8,400-square-foot Shari Flaming Welcome Center will be built in a parking lot south of the college’s library. Construction will start in mid-August with completion scheduled for June 1, 2020.

  • Storm cancels Symphony in Flint Hills

    All of the year-round work to plan, set up, and manage the site of the 2019 Symphony in the Flint Hills south of Cottonwood Falls Saturday came to naught early that morning, when a wind storm destroyed four large tents and scattered poles, chairs, and other equipment in every direction. Executive director Leslie VonHolten said the storm hit at about 3 a.m. Support cords were snapped and poles bent, leaving large tents mangled and shredded on the ground. A food and beverage tent large enough to accommodate 1,000 people was destroyed, as was a patron tent with room for 900 people.

  • Visitors say Main St. upgrades add to city

    Main St.’s new benches were installed less than a month ago, but city administrator Roger Holter is already pleased with the results of the project. “I’ve been impressed with the number of people I’ve seen walking through downtown or using Central Park,” he said. “That makes this project worthwhile.”

  • Blackout fails to dim spirits during annual bluegrass festival

    Even as a transformer failure was blacking out the county lake campgrounds, the youngest member of a bluegrass band to strum an instrument and join the fun Saturday at Marion County Lake annual bluegrass festival was 2-year-old Carter Tillman. Carter stepped onto the stage as his family band, Prospect Bluegrass, entertained, picked up his ukulele, and joined in playing music.

  • Businesses plan street dance

    JR Hatters owner is spearheading an effort to have a street dance in downtown Marion on July 13. Johsie Reid has obtained permission from the state highway department to close off the block between 2nd and 3rd Sts. from 7 to 10 p.m.

  • Porch a setting for old-fashioned summer sittin'

    The 300 block of Elm St. has become the setting of a modern Rockwell most summer evenings. Kathy Biswell and Bruce Davidson sit on their porch most summer evenings with neighborhood children watching their 32-inch television and enjoying the outdoors.

  • KDOT names its new communications director

    Jeanny Sharp, a sister-in-law to Doug Sharp of Hillsboro, is the new director of communications at Kansas Department of Transportation. Jeanny is a native of Manhattan. She and her husband, Brian, live in Topeka.


  • New county engineer might not get state license in time

    New county engineer Brice Goebel was hired with the agreement that he will obtain his Kansas engineering license within 60 days, but whether he can obtain it in that time remains to be seen. Goebel got his license, which expires at the end of the year, in 2000 while working in Nebraska.

  • Landowners, county have a sticky problem

    The same wet winter and spring that has produced abundant grass and foliage has also produced an abundant crop of musk thistle, causing landowners to spend a lot of time and money controlling them. Musk thistle is an invasive weed that crowds out native species and livestock forage. The thorny, purple-flowering plant was brought to America from Eurasia and was first reported in 1852. It blooms from June through October, and one plant can produce 11,000 seeds. It’s spiny foliage makes it unsuitable for livestock.

  • Probation likely for gunman

    A Goessel man charged with taking his family hostage at gunpoint on New Year’s Eve will likely be sentenced to two or three years’ probation in August after reaching a plea agreement Monday. David Matthew Impson, 41, Goessel, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and attempted criminal discharge of a firearm. Impson will have a legal duty to register as a violent offender.

  • Possible excavator purchase draws contention at Florence

    Councilmen debated a proposed purchase of a mini excavator during Monday’s Florence City Council Meeting, and councilman Matt Williams said it would be an asset in improving public works. “If you want to see better drainage then it comes with having equipment to put in culverts,” he said. “It has the equipment to ditch and do some upgrades. There’s a small pond over by Bev Baldwin’s, that’s a great opportunity. Let’s change some elevations and make sure water is flowing downhill.”

  • Deadline draws near for cell phone tower

    It was a piece of unfinished business that brought Ruth Herbel to Monday’s city council meeting. A planning and zoning public hearing scheduled in May to discuss a Verizon Wireless proposal to build a 129-foot cell phone tower at Commercial and Forest Sts. was postponed at Verizon’s request so the company could seek a different location.

  • Drive-in movie brings pastime to city

    An old-fashioned pastime will be coming to Hillsboro at 8 p.m. July 19, when Midway Motors holds its inaugural free drive-in movie night. “It’s an old school, American tradition,” manager Zeth Thornhill said. “You think of the days when everyone got together and sat outside at the movies.”

  • Delays limit enforcing of protective order

    For two consecutive days in May, Peabody police investigated a possible violation of a protection-from-abuse order and a protection-from-harassment order at the same address. In neither case had the protection order been served by law enforcement.


  • Street rod business spins on parts, pups

    A love of tinkering with street rods and spending time with like-minded car fans launched Rex and Annette Watson into a niche business at Peabody. Although their Peabody showroom opened a year ago, the Watsons have owned Affordable Street Rods since 2012. The business itself began in Great Bend 30 years ago.

  • Drag race sets own standard

    While not as well known as ¼-mile drag racing, 1/8-mile races have their own appeal, said Bob Williamson of the Hillsboro car club. Most of the vehicles used are not the racecars sometimes seen on ¼-mile tracks.


  • Demarius Cox

    Services for high school camper Demarius Cox, 16, who died June 7 at Sky Ranch Horn Creek Church Camp in Westcliffe, Colorado, will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Tabor College’s Shari Flaming for the Arts. Pastor Sara Jo Waldron will officiate. Relatives will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight at Hillsboro Mennonite Church. Interment will be at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.

  • Dolores Johnson

    Services for Parkside Homes resident Dolores Johnson, 92, who died June 12 were Monday at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro. Family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro.

  • Donna Joy

    Services for Durham resident Donna Joy, 82, who died June 15 at Hillsboro Community Hospital, will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Durham Baptist Church. Born Oct. 15, 1936, to Kenneth and Pearl Steward Benningfield in Alva, Oklahoma, she married Melvin Joy October 21, 1955, in Alva.

  • Jerry Rader

    Services for Durham welder Jerry Rader, 70, who died Sunday at Via Christi-St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, will be10:30 a.m. Friday at Durham Baptist Church, Durham. Born April 4, 1949, in Abilene to Alvie and Etta Rees Rader, he married Eileen Stefan May 10, 1997, in rural Lehigh.

  • Raymond Wiebe

    Interment for Hillsboro historian Raymond F. Wiebe, 92, who died Monday at Salem Home in Hillsboro, will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church Cemetery. Services will be scheduled later.

  • Esther Wiens

    Services for Parkside Homes resident Esther Wiens, 96, who died June 11, were Friday. Burial was in Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church cemetery. Born Sept. 21, 1922, to Jacob and Mary Woelk Berg, she married Ernest Wiens on June 2, 1950, at the Lehigh M.B. Church. He died in 2019.


    Opal Myers



  • Sins of commission

    Just when we thought it was safe to get back into the murky waters of county government comes yet another shark attack, once again involving Great White commissioner Dianne Novak, whose gerrymandered district soon will include a bitten-out section of Marion, disembodied from rural areas surrounding it. Her complaints this week about what she claims were two illegal closed-door sessions a week earlier — both of which she voted for — are even more evidence (in case anyone needed it) of serious dysfunction in the rooms beneath the courthouse clock, which all too often tolls for we, the future of Marion County.


    A one-trick pony

    Calendar of events


  • Funeral homes have new owner

    People may not have noticed, but Zeiner Funeral Home has changed ownership in the past month. The transition to Yazel-Megli-Zeiner has been seamless, with no interruption in service. Brad Yazel, formerly of El Dorado and now of Marion, is the new owner of the five funeral homes that Ty Zeiner owned in Marion, Hillsboro, Herington, Council Grove, and Whitewater.

  • Florence High featured in book

    Robert Harris of Florence has contributed to the book, “Golden Rule Days: History and Recollections of 109 Closed Kansas High Schools,” written by James Kenyon of Iowa. Kenyon said he made 12 trips to Kansas to visit all 105 counties and learn about at least one school in each county that was closed because of consolidation.

  • Adult day care provides options

    Seniors and their families will gain an important resource July 1 when St. Luke Hospital’s adult day care opens, said Heidi Stringer, nurse manager at S. Luke. “Burnout can happen,” she said. “We’re offering the service as a respite to give somebody a break for a while,” she said.


    Volunteer cooks lend helping hand, Marion Senior Center menu

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

    A cruise line to go along with a rail line


  • Baseball tournament represents opportunity

    When a Babe Ruth baseball tournament comes to Marion next month, it will be another opportunity to draw visitors to the city. The district tournament for ages 13 to 15 will be July 10 through 14 and will be a boon for Marion, said Margo Yates, director of Marion’s parks and recreation department.

  • Marion grad wins scholarship


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