Marion County RECORD
Vol. 143 , No. 42
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Marion, KS 66861
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
Reservoir warning continues for third straight week
Skiing, swimming, and wading continue to be banned at Marion Reservoir because of toxic blue-green algae. Kansas Department of Health and Environment renewed its warning Thursday on the basis of tests performed Monday.
Special birthday for a special sister
Courage. Devotion. Love. These words define the relationship between Susan Unruh and her family. “Our whole family, it’s all about her,” Nanette Lowry said.
Victim unclear in family sex case
Marion police are struggling with a complicated investigation involving a 38-year-old woman having sex with her stepfather. The case originally was brought to officers as a case of sexual battery. As of July 1, officers also were investigating the case as prostitution.
Body discovered at Marion County Lake
A Marion County Lake resident died of a gunshot wound Sunday evening in what Marion County Sheriff’s Department is investigating as a suicide. Sheriff Rob Craft declined to release the man’s name Tuesday, saying family hadn’t been properly notified. But Baker Funeral Home confirmed the deceased was Henry Shockley and that immediate family had been notified.
Burglars captured on camera in Peabody
Peabody police are investigating the burglary and theft of cigarettes and an undetermined amount of cash stolen at 3:30 a.m. on July 3 from Peabody Market. Store owner Rick Turner said several cameras in the store caught video of the two thieves as they went from the front cash registers to the back door of the building and out into the alley. They broke the glass in the front of the store.
String of fires was just bad luck
From July 1 to July 7, fire departments in Marion County were called to 25 fires, an average of 3½ per day — with seven on July 4 alone. Despite the rash of fires, sources say, weather conditions didn’t warrant a countywide burn ban like the bans issued in 54 other Kansas counties. The weather was hot and dry, but winds were fortunately low, said meteorologist Chris Jakub of the National Weather Service in Wichita. When conditions are hot, dry, and windy, the National Weather Service issues “red-flag warnings.”
EMS seeks door prizes for appreciation dinner
Marion County Emergency Medical Services is seeking donated items to serve as door prizes at an appreciation dinner July 21 for the more than 100 emergency medical technicians in the county. Past donations have included gift certificates, candles, pizza, soft drinks, pictures, and other special items from local businesses. Items need not be wrapped, but gift certificates should be in envelopes and include the address of the business.
Winding path brings physician to Marion
In her youth, K. Anne Phyfer didn’t expect to have a career in medicine. But she became a doctor. As a doctor, she didn’t expect to stay in Kansas after spending six years in Liberal. But she decided to stay following a May visit to Marion that exceeded her expectations. Phyfer opened her practice Monday as the newest addition to St. Luke Physician’s Clinic.
Milton Lee Kaiser, 83, died Wednesday at Marion Assisted Living. Services were Saturday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lincolnville. Burial was in Durham Park Cemetery. Born April 3, 1929, in Durham to Fred and Pauline (Greb) Kaiser, he married Donna Everett on April 9, 1950, in Lost Springs.
Patty Ann Cloe-Polok, 78, of Hope died Friday at Herington Medicalodge. Born March 29, 1934, at Blakeman in Rawlins County to Frank “Pat” and Bertha Paulson Cloe, she married Bernard “Buddy” Bowles on Sept. 14, 1952. They divorced. She moved to Hope and married Vincent Polok on June 13, 1974. They farmed and operated a backhoe and trenching service. He died in 1998. An infant brother, Edwin Jay, also preceded her in death.
Henry “Hank” Shockley, 63, of Marion died Sunday. A graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at Prairie Lawn Cemetery, Peabody. Baker Funeral Home, Peabody, is in charge of arrangements.
Rosalie Ann Spaniol, 68, died Wednesday, July 4, 2012. She was born March 18, 1944, in Florence the daughter of Albert and Alice Stamp Uphoff. She was a member of New Life Christian Church, Esther Rebekah Lodge No. 458, LAPM No. 21, and LEA No. 32, all of Hutchinson, and IOOF No. 248 and LEA No. 98, both of Pratt. Rosalie was a cashier at Target for over 10 years, retiring in 2005.
Hillsboro police report
Marion police report
Peabody police report
Corn cooked, soybeans singed by drought
Prospects for this summer’s corn harvest are better than last year, but area crops are still suffering from drought conditions. “It still appears to me that we’re going to get the opportunity to cut some corn this year. Last year at this time we’d pronounced last rights on the corn,” Marion County Extension Agent Ricky Roberts said.
Ranchers brace for drought's impact
Local cattle producers haven’t experienced the drought conditions that have caused ranchers in neighboring states to flood livestock markets with record early summer sales, but if conditions continue unabated they may have to resort to the same tactic. “We’ve not had an extra big run,” Herington Livestock Manager Bill Mathias said. “If it doesn’t rain pretty quick, you’ll see some. I’m going to look at 180 steers that are coming early because he’s (a rancher) out of grass.”
Brothers discover unexpected demand for service
Brett, Darrin, and Trent Hajek of Lost Springs grew up on their parents’ farm, but after high school, all three went elsewhere for work and education. All three eventually found themselves returning home to help their parents, Ron and Leona Hajek, again. While browsing the Internet one day, they found an old silage cutter for sale. They decided it would be a lot better than the pull-behind model they used on the farm, so they bought it.
Marion co-op adding capacity
Cooperative Grain and Supply is adding another 288,000 bushels of storage capacity to its Marion location. That will bring Marion’s capacity above 1 million bushels. The pilings, footings, and floor for the new bin have been completed, general manager Lyman Adams wrote in a newsletter. The project should be completed and ready to use by Sept. 15.
Residents sound off to council about fireworks
Many Marion residents voiced displeasure about violations of the city’s fireworks ordinance on Monday at the Marion City Council meeting. Marion Police Chief Tyler Mermis reported that officers responded to 31 fireworks related complaints between June 30 and July 6. He said officers offered a warning to each violator, most often people shooting off fireworks after sanctioned hours, and that most responded by ceasing the activity. Officers did not write any tickets, Mermis said.
Marion returns to twice weekly trash pickup
After 14 months with trash pickup being once a week, the City of Marion switched back to picking up residential garbage twice a week at the start of July. Routes will be Monday/Thursday and Tuesday/Friday.
City of Marion to get bids for county's street plan
Marion City Council advised City Administrator Doug Kjellin to begin soliciting bids from engineers based on a proposal for construction of Fourth and Williams streets in Marion from Marion County Commission on Monday. Kjellin said he would begin with Evans, Bierly, Hutchinson, and Associates engineering firm in Marion to gauge the cost of the project. Kjellin said nothing has been decided and negotiations will continue.
BOE defends Leiker's 9.3% raise
USD 408 board members took the opportunity Monday at their regular July meeting Monday to reinforce their decision to raise Superintendent Lee Leiker’s salary to $100,000. “I feel bad because what should have been a pat on your back and thank you from this board, this district, and this community has been turned into something negative,” Board President Chris Sprowls told Leiker at the meeting. “I don’t think there’s anybody in this room that regrets what we did with your salary.”
Pay above average before raise, data suggest
While board members did not address the issue of comparable salaries Monday, President Chris Sprowls earlier said it was a consideration at the June 27 board meeting in which Superintendent Lee Leiker’s increase was set. “I wanted to know if we’re being competitive with our administrators,” Sprowls said. Leiker received an $8,500 raise. Building principals each received equal raises of $2,530.
Sprowls re-elected president of USD 408 Board of Education
USD 408 Board of Education elected to stay the course Monday by re-electing President Chris Sprowls to another term. “It’s always an honor. I enjoy it most of the time,” Sprowls said. He was first elected as board president in 2007.
Vote may have violated law
The USD 408 school board’s discussion of pay raises for Superintendent Lee Leiker and three principals might have violated state law, according a leading expert on the Kansas Open Meetings Law. “It appears that the executive session was to discuss the pay raises if the board simply returned to open meeting and voted,” Topeka attorney Michael W. Merriam said in answer to an inquiry from the Marion County Record. “If so, that would be illegal.”
Talking trash about city government
Isn’t it wonderful that City Administrator Doug Kjellin, just in time for his performance review, was able to respond to complaints and restore twice-weekly trash pickup? Dig deeper into the garbage pile of Marion politics and you’ll find that Kjellin not only overstepped his authority but also based his action on flawed data and the type of bureaucratic blindness that keeps Marion from being able to afford needed improvements.
Yes, Virginia, there is a parking lot
There’s absolutely no truth to the rumor that county officials forgot to put inmate cells in the new jail. Yes, they forgot a radio tower. And no, they didn’t exactly take care of the street they tore up. Minor things like that. But they did provide for a few inmates, adjacent to a whole bunch of offices and conference rooms — plus, of course, 29 nifty new parking spaces and a massive concrete drive that would be the envy of any fast-food restaurant.
Confessions of a nasty S.O.B.
So what if school officials deceive reporters about whether they are going to hand out big raises? Who cares if a bureaucrat skirts a few laws to provide more trash pickups — or if open meetings and open records laws are violated? Why whine all the time about what seems to be frivolous and unfocused government spending? It’s a question almost identical to one this paper’s Ol’ Editor tried to answer 25 years ago this week in this very space. It’s not that being flippantly cantankerous runs in the Ol’ Editor’s family. It was no skin off his nose — or mine — what a superintendent gets paid, how many times trash gets picked up, or whether government has its act together and follows the law.
Another Day in the Country
I’m waiting for my daughter to get off the phone so we can continue the project we’re working on. Waiting is something I seem to be doing a lot of these days as I try to be helpful and at the same time do the least possible extra work for anyone in the household.
Mayor ready to accept sponge fight challenge
Tampa article appreciated
Kleine has 'a way with words'
Candidate Lindahl says schools are an investment
One of Doug Lindahl’s (R-Enterprise) top priorities if he is elected to represent the 70th District in the Kansas House of Representatives is providing for high quality public education. That isn’t surprising coming from someone who served 20 years on the Chapman Board of Education from 1985 to 2005. Too many people think of funding education as an expense, but it is really an investment, Lindahl said.
TJ Johnson acts
“The thing that I fear most in life is getting to the end of it and coming up with something I wanted to do and didn’t.” — TJ Johnson By DAVID COLBURN Staff writer Driving a tank, living in the back of a pickup truck, surfing, and William Shakespeare don’t typically come up in casual conversation together — unless you’re talking to TJ Johnson.
Airstreams are time in a bubble
The interior of the 1970 Silver Streak Airstream trailer is as vibrant as the sheen of the rounded aluminum on its exterior. The kitchen sink is flanked by a counter featuring a mustardy hue. An adjacent couch is upholstered with an explosion of browns, yellows, oranges, and reds. The furniture could have been the environment for a gathering of men wearing leisure suits, with Donna Summer playing in the background.
Jelly-like animals not new to lake
More visitors to Marion County Park and Lake are noticing floating animals that look like big blobs of jelly. Despite rumors, they were not introduced to the lake to fight algae, Superintendent Steve Hudson said Friday.
State will overlay K-150
The Kansas Department of Transportation is planning to start a 3-inch asphalt overlay project on K-150 Monday. KDOT Marion office construction manager Mervin Lare said the highway was chosen for overlay because cracks were starting to form below the surface of the concrete road. He said moisture has leaked into the road and frozen to create the fissures.
Boeses host Helmer reunion
Members of the Ann Boese family were hosts for the annual Helmer reunion July 4 at Marion County Lake Hall. Attending were:
Marion Christian Church to have auction
A silent auction that also will include live bidding will raise money for Marion Christian Church. Bidders may obtain bidding numbers from 8 a.m. to noon weekdays in the church office. Items may be bid upon from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday through July 16 in the church basement. The auction will be after services July 22.
Marion Senior Center
Tampa promotes 125th birthday
125 years ago
Four from county graduate from Hutch
Four Marion County students graduated this spring from Hutchinson Community College. Zachary Jost of Hillsboro and Chelsey Gates of Peabody received associate degrees in applied science.
Two from county earn honors at KSU
Two Marion County students were among 400 graduating with honors this spring at Kansas State University. Julianne Chisholm of Durham graduated summa cum laude (3.95 or better grade point average) with a bachelor of science degree in athletic training.
Matthew Heerey graduates from WSU
Matthew Charles Heerey, grandson of Charles and Virginia Heerey of Marion and Betty and the late Don Williams of Florence, graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelor’s degree in general studies this spring. His wife, Courtney Marie Heerey, also graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in education.
Marion swimmers take 2nd in league
Lindsborg captured the eight-team Mid-Kansas Swim League championship Saturday in Abilene, scoring 944.5 points. Marion placed second with 671. Hillsboro was third with 530.5. Peabody came in seventh with 219.
Marion Senior Babe Ruth qualifies for state
The Marion Senior Babe Ruth team qualified for the state tournament by finishing second in the Junction City District Tournament. Marion went 3-2 in the tournament with both losses coming to tournament champion Junction City. Game 1 White City 3; Marion 13 Top hitters Taylor Heidebrecht: 3-for-5, 2 runs, RBI; Austin Pedersen: 3-for-3, 3B, 3 R, SB. Game 2 Marion 13; Abilene 0 Top hitters Ethan Hett: 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI; Caleb Williams: 3-for-4, 3B, 3 R, RBI; Luke Steele: 3-for-4 2 R, 3 RBI; Grif Case: 4-for-5, R, 3 RBI. Game 3 Junction City 16; Marion 3 Top hitter Heidebrecht: 2-for-3, R. Game 4 Marion 6; Abilene 4 Top hitters Heidebrecht: 2-for-4, 2 R Dylan Seacat: 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI Game 5 Marion 3; Junction City 6.
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