• School board gives Leiker $100,000

    Marion-Florence USD 408 Board of Education gave a 9.9 percent raise to Superintendent Lee Leiker and smaller raises to three building principals during a special meeting June 27. Leiker’s contract was increased from $91,000 to $100,000.

  • First-time pastor comes to Valley United Methodist

    Andrew West has his sermon prepared. It is neatly typed in a font large enough to read in front of a crowd. It is called “Crossing the Jordan,” about life’s unexpected twists. Although West has delivered hundreds of sermons in his 16 years as a lay speaker, he is nervous before this sermon. It will be his first as a pastor, delivered Sunday at Valley United Methodist Church.

  • Workers handle the heat

    High temperatures have hovered around 100 degrees for the past week, prompting many reasonable Marion County residents to stay indoors. Some people have to work outside, though, so those people have to find other ways to endure the heat. Milford Klaassen of Hillsboro has a lot of experience finding ways to stay cool. He spends his summers mowing as many as 50 yards a week with his son, Michael Klaassen, as JAMM mowing.

  • No more 14-year-olds fighting fires

    A cease-and-desist letter drafted by County Attorney Susan Robson will be sent to Marion County fire departments, baring residents younger than 18 from participating in firefighting. County Commissioner Randy Dalke said Friday that a 14-year-old had recently participated in extinguishing an unidentified fire.

  • Nothing keeps family from enjoying county

    Bad luck began for Nicole Peak and her family’s first camping trip to Marion Reservoir not long after they left Wichita this weekend. On their way to the reservoir, they suffered a flat tire. Then changing the tire became an even bigger hassle when the family’s jack broke.

  • Reservoir under highest warning

    Marion Reservoir was placed on the highest warning for blue-green algae Thursday as a result of water testing by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Water with high concentrations of blue-green algae can cause illness or even death in humans and animals if they drink enough. Skin contact can cause irritation.

  • Taking a sip now legal at liquor stores

    Several changes to Kansas liquor laws went into effect Sunday, but not much will change for local liquor retailers, at least in the short term. Liquor stores may now offer taste tests of their wares in the shop. Don Vinduska, owner of R & D Liquor in Hillsboro and employee of D & J Liquor in Marion, doesn’t plan to take advantage of the new law because of the regulatory requirements of any taste tests.


  • Esther L. Colwell

    Esther L. Colwell, a long-time resident of Hastings, Minn., passed away June 28, 2012, at Regina Nursing Home. Esther was hostess for the city of Hastings and an avid bridge player. She was born to Herman and Lulu Heyland in Peabody, Kan., on Jan. 4, 1917. She married John V. Colwell, Sr. on March 31, 1940, in Peabody. Esther was preceded in death by her husband, John; her parents; and four brothers. She is survived by her son, John V. Jr. (Jan Mogen); grandchildren, Adam (Karla) Colwell; Amy (Christopher) Bluhm; and Cammie (Derek) Flynn; great-grandchildren, Emma and Henry Colwell; Kieran, Ananda and Lulu Bluhm; Ashlyn Mogen and Taylin Flynn; sister-in-law, Shirley Heyland; and niece, Cindy.

  • Rhonda L. Holub

    Rhonda L. Holub, 61, passed away June 27, 2012, at her residence, surrounded by her family. She was born Aug. 29, 1950, in Junction City, the daughter of Stanley and Verna Morris Beecroft. On April 3, 1971, she was united in marriage to Daniel F. Holub. She was proud to be a career military wife and mother.

  • Evelyn Fern Kline

    Evelyn Fern Kline, 88, of Peabody, died June 28, 2012, at Peabody Care Center in Peabody. She was born Dec. 1, 1923, in Walton to Loren and Iva (Turner) Hague. She was a school secretary.



  • Gardens on display Saturday to benefit library

    Tickets for the annual tour cost $5 and are available at Marion City Library, which organizes and benefits from the fundraiser. Original garden-themed art from Gallery 101 will be on display at the library, and refreshments will be available.

  • Garden a true community effort

    Brock Mitchell was taking a break Thursday as he described how cardboard turned a 11-year-old boy into the newest volunteer for a garden in Florence where relationships flourish as abundantly as produce. “They were out by the dump getting boxes and I saw them and followed them here,” Mitchell said.

  • Varenhorst restores a piece of history

    Dick Varenhorst pointed out the half-inch wide notches visible on the western wall of his home at Second and Santa Fe streets in Marion. The notches were a reminder that his house would be impossible to replicate today. Each mark was the relic of a chisel held in the hand of a man who formed each stone one by one. In the latter half of the 19th century, that stone work cost a little more than $20,000, the equivalent of $475,000 today.


  • Sexual assault center asks for funding

    A woman in rural Marion County once woke up in the middle of the night and saw her husband standing over their bed, tightly gripping a corn knife. He threatened to cut her head off. The woman did not want to go to the police. She decided instead to consult the Sexual Assault/ Domestic Violence Center advocate in McPherson.

  • Planners punt tower decision

    Marion County officials came to the Marion Planning Commission meeting Thursday hopeful they would get the go-ahead for a 92-foot communication tower. What they left with was confusion and a promise from Marion Zoning Administrator Marty Fredrickson to clarify exactly which city body could authorize the necessary permit for the tower.


  • Say the secret word and win $100,000

    Whether Superintendent Lee Leiker deserves a $100,000-a-year salary isn’t the only question. If school board members think he’s worth three times what a starting teacher makes and merits a nearly 10 percent raise, making him the highest paid public employee in the history of Marion County, we’ll apparently have to trust their due diligence.

  • For the Record, a few odds and ends

    Bless the U.S. Postal Service. When it’s not raising rates, it’s losing mail — except, of course, junk mail, which seems to be the true priority mail these days. Last week’s paper, chock full of really interesting reading about Tampa, seemed to arrive on time everywhere except — you guessed it — Tampa.


    I recognize that voice


  • Sock Hop is 4-Hers' theme

    Marion County Extension Agent Nancy Pihl braved the heat Saturday with about 25 Marion County 4-Hers, plus parents and junior leader helpers, to explore fun activities following this year’s county fair theme of Sock Hop, in the park south of Marion Elementary School. “It’s not so bad out here, at least we have a nice breeze to cool us down,” said Kelli Olson, who brought her four children to the 4-H Play Day event.

  • Barker touts judicial experience

    John Barker (R-Abilene) has a lot of experience listening to people and considering different sides of an issue, and he wants to put those skills to use as the 70th District’s representative in the Kansas House of Representatives. Barker was a district judge in the 8th Judicial District (covering Marion, Dickinson, Morris, and Geary counties) for 25 years until he retired in April.

  • Marion police investigate sex crime

    Marion Police are investigating accusations of repeated sexual battery committed in Marion, rural Marion County, and in several locations in the area. The victim is a 38-year-old Marion woman who suffers from a mental disorder. She was sexually abused over the past 12 years as often as multiple times every month by the same assailant, Marion Police Chief Tyler Mermis said.

  • Marion Car Show is Saturday

    The second annual Marion Car Show will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in Central Park. Participants may register a vehicle in seven different categories for $20 ahead of time or $25 the day of the show.

  • Chat and Dine plans cookout

    Chat and Dine Club will have its next potluck dinner at 6:30 p.m. July 14 at the Marion County Park and Lake east shelter house. The club asks participants to bring a side dish or dessert to go with burgers and hot dogs. Tea, buns, and condiments will be provided.

  • Homeschoolers to meet

    Marion County Home Educators will have an informational meeting about homeschooling at 7 p.m. July 16 at Hillsboro City Building, 118 E. Grand Ave. Anyone with questions about or interested in homeschooling is welcome to attend. For more information, call Betsy Walker at (316) 772-6578.

  • Auxiliary scholarships promote health careers

    St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary members who gathered June 7 to award new scholarships heard from a past recipient how their generosity contributed to her becoming an optometrist. “It’s good to support people who are working very hard — we respect you for doing that. It’s a great thing, and hopefully we can repay it somehow by service or support,” Heidi Zogelman Ensley said.


  • Hodson pilots KSU plane

    Tonya Hodson, formerly of Marion, and co-pilot Nicole Lordemann placed second in the collegiate division of the 4,000 nautical mile cross-country Air Race Classic, an all-female competition honoring women in aviation. “It was four straight days of drive and focus on doing the best we can,” Hodson said.

  • Donors give blood in Marion

    Donors barely missed the goal of a June 25 blood drive in Marion. The goal was 51 units of blood. The drive had 60 donors and resulted in 50 productive units. Recognition pins were given to Jane Whitwell, one gallon; Christa Lalouette, three gallons; Laurie Miesse, five gallons; Rhonda Brenzikofer and Margaret Wilson, six gallons; Shirley Bowers, seven gallons; and Greg Clothier, eight gallons.

  • Vinduska wins academic award

    Michelle Vinduska of Marion graduated from Hutchinson Community College’s practical nursing program in McPherson and won the program’s Academic Scholar Award. The award is given to the student who maintained the highest percentage grade in the practical nursing program. Vinduska averaged 96.13 percent on her coursework in the program.


    Josephine Abigail Meyer-Gleason, Ensley Hughes Nave


    Marion Senior Center, Tampa

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


  • Summer school encourages entrepreneurs

    A food stand outside Marion High School was part of a summer school project about entrepreneurship. Four groups of students had to choose a product to sell, determine costs, set prices, and promote their products.


  • Marion swimmers dominate

    The Marion 15- through 18-year-old girls relay team’s unbeaten streak ended with a second-place finish in the 200-medley relay Saturday in Hillsboro. However, the team of Annie Whitaker, Lauren McLinden, Julia Hall, and Kaelyn Thierolf finished first in the 100-meter freestyle relay. Dominance continued for Kennedy Fahey who won three individual first-place medals in the 9- to 10-year old girls class, Will Alleven who won four individual first-place medals in the boys 9- to 10-year old boys class, and Garrett Alleven who won four individual first-place medals in the 13- to 14-year-old boys class.


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