• Advisory lifted for lake, continues for reservoir

    A health advisory for blue-green algae at Marion County Park and Lake was lifted Thursday but a similar advisory remains in effect until at next Thursday for Marion Reservoir. Although boating and fishing may be safe, wading and swimming for people, pets and livestock are discouraged at the reservoir.


  • 3-year quest ends in Florence

    Jacque Grannum could have felt far from home as she spoke to a group of 20 after dinner at the Harvey House Museum in Florence. Home for Grannum is 4,500 miles away in Edenbridge, Kent, United Kingdom. But there was a sense of home in the room as Grannum realized the end of a three-year quest to discover her family heritage by standing where her great-grandmother, Annie Harvey Bowman, a sister of Fred Harvey, once served tea nearly 140 years ago when it was known as the Clifton Hotel.

  • Matz gets last laugh on cancer

    Sharon Matz is driven by humor and guilt. Humor was her tool to fight against Hurthle thyroid cancer in 2004. Looking back, she chuckled at the absurdity of her radiation treatment. The doctor brought out the pill in a sanitized steel case. Although she would remove the pill from the case with her own fingers, and then ingest it, the doctor wanted it nowhere near his own hands.

  • Marching bands becoming a thing of the past

    With only 172 students, even Professor Harold Hill might have had trouble assembling 76 trombones for the big parade — not to mention 110 cornets right behind. That’s part of the reason why Hillsboro High School’s band will again be riding instead of marching in this year’s Marion County Fair parade.

  • VBS transforms churches, children

    Roman Gonzales lost his tooth, Jorge Hanschu became a sand-statue buried up to his knees, Reed Batterton explored the wonderful world of glue, and Autumn Ayers ate fruit she had never seen before, but all were part of a summer-time program last week, that transformed churches and children across Marion County. At Zion Lutheran Church in Hillsboro, the children mentioned above joined others from attending church families and from the local community for a five-day desert journey, learning about Jesus Christ. Janna Huebner of Hillsboro, a dedicated group of teachers, youth, and other volunteers made vacation Bible school possible at the church.

  • Resurfacing schedule released

    Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford presented a three-year schedule for chip-sealing blacktop roads to Marion County Commission on Monday. Crawford’s plan calls for the county to chip-seal an average of 42 miles of roads at a cost of more than $900,000 a year from 2013 through 2015.

  • Rabid skunk infects horse

    Kansas State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory technician Rollan Davis completed tests last week confirming that a rabid horse from Marion County contracted the disease from an infected skunk. Davis said he ran a test that was able to determine the origin of the rabies virus due to unique aspects of it by specie and region.

  • Algae linked in cattle deaths

    Blue-green algae has been identified as the probable cause of death in 22 cattle at a Marion County area ranch in late May, a shocking reminder that the problem of cyanobacteria is as real for private farm ponds as it is for Marion Reservoir and Marion County Lake. Deon van der Merwe, head of the toxicology section at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Kansas State University, said blue-green algae in farm ponds is a growing concern.

  • County split by redistricting

    Marion County will be divided between two Kansas House of Representative districts. Three federal judges issued the new legislative district maps last week. The county was the population center of its previous legislative district but it will not be the population center in either of the districts it has been split into.

  • Independent candidate announces commission run

    Gary Dean Lewis of Marion will challenge incumbent Dan Holub in the campaign for Marion County Commission District 2. Lewis filed as an independent candidate, so the race won’t be decided until the general election Nov. 6. He said he chose to run as an independent because he has been a member of both the Republican and Democratic parties, has known great people on both sides of the aisle, and he can’t bring himself to be a hardliner on either side.


  • Raymond Davidson

    Raymond B. Davidson, 92, of Florence died May 6. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Zeiner Funeral Home in Florence. An earlier version of this obituary incorrectly said the memorial service would be at 10 a.m.

  • Ronald Pankratz

    Ronald D. Pankratz of Bend, Ore., passed away June 5, 2012. Ronald was born to Peter and Tena Pankratz on Oct. 18, 1925, in Florence, Kan. He was raised on a family farm until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1943. While in the Navy, he attended the University of Oklahoma, graduating in 1946. Ronald served as a Navy officer for 11 years and then made his career as an engineer in the aerospace industry. He married Irene Stovall of Florence on Dec. 27, 1948, in Baltimore, Md. They made their home in many parts of the country with his career in the Navy and in the aerospace industry. He retired from Thiokol Chemical Corporation in 1985. He and Irene moved to Bend in 2000 to be near one of their daughters.

  • Aileen Shields

    Aileen M. Shields, 88, of Wichita, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday, June 10, 2012, at Clearwater Village. Visitation with family, 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Broadway Mortuary. Funeral Services 10 a.m., Thursday, Ascension Lutheran Church, burial following at 2 p.m., Lincolnville (Kan.) Cemetery. Aileen was born Sept. 3, 1923, to Otto Gustav and Emilie Fenske in Lincolnville. She was united in marriage to James A. Shields on Nov. 27, 1941. They were married 63 years before his passing in 2005.

  • Harry Spangler

    Harry L. Spangler, 81, died Thursday at his residence in Wichita. He was born Dec. 3, 1930, in Peabody to Joseph and Vevia (Brock) Spangler. Harry was a retired U.S. Navy chef, serving on various ships including the USS Cree, Abnaki, and Current.



  • Like father, like child

    There were plenty of fish stories to go around Saturday at Marion County Park and Lake when Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church held their annual fishing event. Dylan Wiens almost caught a bass in the heated fishing dock, but it spit out the hook while jumping out of the water and the lure stuck to the top of the building. Henry Hein hooked a drum and two sun perch to total the most fish caught by one person. Brook Bradford may have caught the largest fish of the event — a 20-inch catfish — and Mackenzie Lingenfelter celebrated his birthday expertly unhooking snags and saving hooks for his friends.

  • Father, son restore classic cars

    Lowell Heinrichs of rural Hillsboro found plenty to remember and admire Saturday at the Route 66 Classic Cruisers Car Show at Memorial Park in Hillsboro. More than 70 car owners brought their sparkling vehicles to line the park drive for public inspection; their cars and trucks ranging in age from a 1918 Ford to a 2012 Rausch Mustang.


  • Brookens done as state representative

    State Rep. J. Robert Brookens of Marion, who has represented the 70th District for almost four years, will not run for re-election, he said Sunday. Brookens made the decision just days after a federal court released maps for required legislative redistricting. The 70th District was changed dramatically, with the northern half of Marion County — including Marion but excluding Hillsboro — as the only part of his original district that remained.

  • Council member challenges no-bid repair

    A proposal to give a $17,000 contract for repairs on the alley behind Central National Bank to the contractor who is rebuilding the bank’s parking lot drew fire Monday from Marion City Council ember Jerry Kline. “Anything the city does with this kind of money needs to be let out for bid,” Kline said. “I want an estimate of the project. I want several different contractors.”

  • County sets fireworks hours

    Marion County Commission approved hours for sale and discharge of commercial fireworks in rural areas Monday. Vendors may sell fireworks with a permit from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 27 through July 3, 8 a.m. to midnight July 4, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 5.


  • Gerrymandering by any other name

    God, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change,
    courage to change the things I can,
    and wisdom to know the difference. What could be worse than having your fate decided by bickering factions of the Republican Party in the Kansas Legislature?

  • It's time for the city to park it

    All this talk about serenity, wisdom, and courage inevitably leads to the City of Marion, where all three sometimes seem in short supply. A senior official remarked to a reporter after Monday’s City Council meeting that last week’s editorial about vehicles being parked on lawns all over town was fine and dandy, but what could the city do about it?

  • Being catty is a purrfect life

    You know it’s time to write another editorial when you find yourself alternating between falling asleep and becoming offended reading what you’ve already written. Life’s much easier as a cat. Mine currently is enjoying her second extended vacation in the Promised Land, otherwise known as my mother’s Home for Wayward Animals, exclusive purveyor of gourmet delicacies to a large portion of the wild animal population of Marion County.


    In praise of screen doors

    Readers' facebook postings


  • Band goes for win on every song

    Marvin Pine — bassist for the Bluestem Band, headliners for Saturday’s Bluegrass at the Lake concert — described what it was like when the band nails a song in front of an enthusiastic audience. “If you’re an athlete and on a team, and you win,” he said. “It’s a great feeling.”

  • P.E.O. meets for dinner

    P.E.O. Chapter DB met June 4 at Milk & Honey Bed and Breakfast for a dinner meeting with 26 members and one guest. President Pam Bowers reported on the state P.E.O. convention June 1 through 3 in Wichita. The chapter will have an official visit from the state organization in October. Bowers also presented P.E.O. pins to new members.

  • Organizers set knitting goal

    Last year volunteers in Marion County knitted and crocheted 144 purple caps for newborns to remind parents not to shake their infants. This year organizers are setting an ambitious goal to donate 250 of the caps. Karen Ehrlich of Down on the Corner in Marion said between 12 and 15 people participated in the cap drive in 2011. The caps do not take long to make.

  • Campsites to re-open at reservoir

    Cottonwood Point Campground will re-open to reservations starting June 18 following completion of roadway paving. To make reservations, please visit https://www.recreation.gov or call, (877) 444-6777. For group shelter reservations call (620) 382-2101.

  • DUI checkpoint planned

    Law enforcement officers plan to screen drivers for drunken driving from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the overlook of Marion Reservoir.

  • Touring exhibit on display

    The Coutts Museum of Art in El Dorado is the first stop for a nationwide exhibition of paintings by some of America’s top contemporary artists now through Aug. 11. The sixth annual non-profit PaintAmerica exhibition features works selected in a juried competition.

  • Library program to feature trains

    Marion City Library’s 2012 Summer reading program is “All Aboard! Keep on Track with Reading” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the former Santa Fe Railroad depot the library occupies. The program will continue through July 13. Children age 3 through those who finished eighth grade will win prizes for books or pages read. Teens and adults also may participate For every book a teen or adult reads, they may enter a weekly prize drawing.


  • Parmley promoted to fire captain

    Travis Parmley, formerly of Florence, was promoted in May to the rank of fire captain in the Great Bend Fire Department after eight years in the department. “My dad was a volunteer fireman in Florence; I grew up around firemen and EMTs,” he said Friday. “I was a volunteer in Florence as a cadet in 1996.”

  • Wambsganss celebrates birthday

    Joan Wambsganss, daughter of Lee and Ella Winkley and part of the Marion High School class of 1950, will celebrate her 80th birthday with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. June 23 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 407 E. 12th St., Hutchinson. Hosts will be her children: Gary and Bridget Wambsganss, Leland and Denis Wambsganss, and Shirley Long.

  • Kohl marks 90 years

    Former Marion resident Dorothy Kohls will celebrate her 90th birthday, which will be Monday, with her family Saturday. Friends can send cards to her in care of Holiday Resort, 2825 Resort Drive Room 213B, Salina KS 67401.

  • Park family reunites

    Descendants of the late Clyde and Maude (Way) Park had their 10th biennial family reunion May 27 in Cottonwood Falls. Seven of the 10 grandchildren attended with their families. Included were: Ron and Ginger Slabaugh of Altamont; Kinsey Sexton of Joplin, Mo.; Justin and Michelle Slabaugh of Osage City; Don and Eddie Ingalls of Strong City; Matt and Megan Murrell and Devin of Oskaloosa; Frank and Esta Meade of Topeka; C. William “Bill” and Donna Park of Sanger, Texas; Gary and Rose Bradfield of Texas; Danny, Carrie, and Ava Park of Wichita; Brandon and Krystal Meyer, Jayd, Cassadie, Destany, and Landon of Hesston; Willard and Kim Park and Elizabeth of Marquette; Molly Jo Park of Windom; John and Mildred Hein of Wichita; Terrie LeBlanc, Denae LeBlanc, and Jeremy LeBlanc and family of Emporia; and Stacey LeBlanc of Emporia; Dean and Kathryn Armstrong of Marion; Eldon and Rhonda Hett, Jerod, Natalie, and Easton Hett of Marion; Bret and Randi O’Dell of Peabody; Joel and Megan Thomas and Rylee Jo of Marion; Alex and Alysha Haines of El Dorado; and Sarah Hammond of Emporia.


    Motts celebrate 50th anniversary
  • BIRTH:

    Kynlee Chaffee

    Marion Senior Center, Tampa

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


  • USD 408 board position still vacant

    A position vacancy on the Marion-Florence USD 408 Board of Education created by the resignation of member Keith Collett has not as of Monday’s board meeting attracted an applicant. “At this point we haven’t had anybody express interest in that position,” Superintendent Lee Leiker said. “We did place the advertisement in the paper for the vacancy.”

  • Centre FFA officers to attend retreat

    On Monday, USD 397 Board of Education approved a trip for Centre High School FFA officers and advisers to Buena Vista, Colo. to attend an Aug. 6 retreat. FFA adviser Mark Hager and officers Carrie Carlson, Ty Simons, and Tom Oborny presented an itinerary to the board along with information that the FFA chapter will pay all expenses. The district will provide two suburbans for the 1,200 mile round trip. “As a team, it is important that we build bonds and are able to work effectively together,” FFA president Carlson said. “This trip will allow us to become a stronger team by the team effort white-water rafting and rock climbing involves. Our team will also be able to plan our program of activities for the upcoming year.”

  • Marion Middle School lists honor roll

  • Ottawa student makes dean's list

    Iva M. Kirkland of Lost Springs was named to Ottawa University’s dean’s list honor roll for the spring semester. A spot on the dean’s list requires being a full-time student with at least 24 credit hours over the two previous semesters and a grade point average of 3.5 or better.



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