• Mother's worst nightmare comes true

    Jessica Snyder’s heart leapt into her throat when she heard the news: Her 6-year-old daughter, Deanna, had a brain tumor. “It was my worst fear,” the Marion mother said as tears rolled down her cheek.

  • Mandolin player works hard, has fun

    It may borderline on obsessive, but Jim Versch of Marion has a passion for string band music. The fact that he needs nine mandolins, a tenor banjo, a four-string Dobro, a guitar, and an octave mandolin to make music is just evidence that he likes to do his job well. The former longtime Marion High School art teacher and volleyball coach continues to follow a motivational credo of “hard work pays off, but have fun while doing it,” in his position as a new member of the Tallgrass Express String Band.

  • Chili feed draws sports fans

    George Harvey went to the chili feed with one expectation: to eat something incredible. “I’ve been to a lot of really good chili dinners,” the self-proclaimed chili connoisseur said. “They’re all good, but they lack the thing that makes chili a great dish: spice. Usually, people are too afraid and don’t put enough in. But this chili hits the spot. It’s not hot and it’s not too mild. It’s perfection on a spoon.”

  • Chingawassa Days hires FireHouse

    FireHouse, a rock band that had seven top-100 hits between 1991 and 1995, will be the Saturday headline act at this year’s Chingawassa Days festival June 8 in Marion. The band’s debut album in 1990, also named “FireHouse,” sold more than 2 million copies in the U.S. and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Its singles included “Don’t Treat Me Bad,” “All She Wrote,” and “Love of a Lifetime,” which peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

  • Kyle's childhood spent in Burns

    Before Chris Kyle was the most accomplished sniper in U.S. military history, before he was a bestselling author, before he started helping veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he was a boy playing on his grandmother’s farm in Burns with Jason Callahan and other local children. Although it was only a few times, Burns City Clerk Carol Callahan remembers Kyle being funny but respectful. He would emphasize his Texas twang for a laugh.

  • Merrell wins county spelling bee

    Hillsboro Middle School eight-grader Mesa Merrell approached the Marion County Spelling Bee competition with a stay-calm, lead-on mentality. “I just prepared all I could, then calmed myself with a few deep breaths and went for it,” she said. “Determination gets you much farther than nervousness.”


  • Lois Ediger

    Lois Ediger, 86, of Hillsboro died Saturday. She was born Oct. 17, 1926. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joel.

  • Mildred 'Micki' Holub

    Mildred “Micki” Holub, 82, died Saturday in Manhattan. She was born Feb. 13, 1930, in Marion to John and Antoniette Oborny Huna and was raised in the Pilsen community.

  • Carol A. Johnson

    Carol A. Johnson, 63, died Feb. 4 at home in Bel Aire. She was born May 18, 1949, in Marion to Harold and Jessie (Higgins) Bowers. She earned a doctorate in family medicine, practicing with Family Physicians of Kansas.



  • Farm replicas keep wheels turning

    No challenge is too big, or too small-scale for the engineering mind of Wes Duerksen of Goessel, especially when it concerns intricate working parts on wooden farm toy replicas. From tractors with turning wheels, a baler with a working auger, and threshing machines with belt driven channels, to a pull-type old-fashioned road grader with rotating blade and sliding rear axle, Duerksen has created at least 40 replicas with working parts, from wood, just because he likes the challenge.

  • Laser therapy stimulates animal health

    Riley is a happy little dog. He licks and wiggles, and seems to smile with joy when taking his turn on veterinarian Amber Toews’ laser therapy table at the Hillsboro Animal Clinic. “Riley wasn’t always this happy,” Toews said. “He used to have back problems and ear problems. He had a chronic ear infection, probably caused by allergies, but he was miserable.”

  • Consumers buy fresh milk

    Trisha Schmidt smiles every morning when her alarm clock sounds, knowing that she is only moments away from drinking her favorite beverage: a cold glass of milk. “There’s nothing better than watching the sun rise and drinking a tall glass of whole milk,” the Goessel resident said. “I like milk. It tickles your tastes buds and each sip brings a renewed sense of happiness. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have some in my fridge at all times. Life just wouldn’t be the same.”

  • Cattle are family to Hillsboro rancher

    Every once in a while an idle listener will pick up a tidbit of conversation between Dana Wolford and a friend after church at Hillsboro United Methodist. He or she will quickly be confused when Wolford starts talking about his kids and pastures and feed all in the same sentence. Wolford said he has to step back and explain that by kids he means the seven Hereford cattle he tends to on a small piece of rented property at 2542 Jade Road. He does not have children of his own.

  • Ag boom to end

    The seven-year agriculture boom, driven by record-high commodity prices and tight supplies, is expected to peak this and then come to an end as high costs come to fruition, the government projected on Monday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said farm income would reach a record $127.6 billion this year, up 15 percent, thanks to high market prices and crop insurance payments that will offset losses from the worst drought in more than 50 years.

  • Marion County gets rain

    The Wichita office of the National Service reported that parts of Marion County received more than 1.5 inches of rain Feb. 6. A weather forecaster reported the Marion Reservoir rain gauge read 1.58 inches. The gauge in Peabody recorded 1.46 inches of rainfall.


    2012 Conservation Award Winners


  • County to pursue certified kitchen

    Marion County took a step Monday toward opening a certified commercial kitchen that would help give a leg-up to entrepreneurs who want to start food-based businesses in the county. The county commission gave Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman approval to pursue grants to convert one of the kitchens at the county lake hall into a certified kitchen — that requires substantial replacement, installation, and updating of fixtures and equipment, including no less than five sinks, Huffman said.

  • Marion receives $400K grant

    The city of Marion was awarded a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce on Feb. 6 when City Administrator Doug Kjellin and City Clerk Angela Lange traveled to Great Bend for a workshop. The grant is specified for use on a street project. The plan the city has devised is a street project totaling at least $1 million and could reach as much as $1.4 million. The first priorities in that plan are three separate stretches of Freeborn Street.

  • State Main Street program reorganizing

    Executive directors from 23 Kansas downtown programs gathered Friday in Hutchinson to revitalize the Kansas Main Street organization that was shuttered through Kansas Department of Commerce budget cuts in September. During the four-hour session the directors, under the guidance of Ron Kelley, a successful Hutchinson businessman and longtime Kansas Main Street and Downtown Hutchinson activist and volunteer, worked through articles of incorporation that had been drafted by Kelley.

  • Huelskamp looks for intern

    Congressman Tim Huelskamp is accepting applications from college-aged young adults seeking internships in his Washington, D.C. office and his Kansas offices located in Dodge City, Hutchinson, Salina, and Manhattan. The deadline for applications is March 15. For more information, visit http://huelskamp.house.gov/internships.

  • Durham puts atrazine money in water fund

    Durham City Council member Tom Harmon took action months ago to involve the city in a class action lawsuit against the makers of atrazine, a chemical prominently used in farm operations. The city received more than $5,000 in the settlement and council members voted Feb. 5 to put it in their water fund. City clerk Joyce Medley served her last session presenting the annual financial report. All funds showed a larger balance at the end of 2012 than at the beginning.


  • Chingawassa Days moves in right direction

    Chingawassa Days has a well-established pattern regarding the headliners it selects for the main stage the Saturday night of the celebration. It’s classic rock most years, occasionally with a little bit newer country band. But that is changing for 2013. This year’s selection, FireHouse, is the first rock band to get its big break in the 1990s to headline Chingawassa Days. They had seven top 100 hits in the U.S., all between 1991 and 1995. I was just a kid back then and didn’t pay much attention to music, but I recognize some of their songs, and not from classic rock radio stations.

  • One of the first steps to being old

    I have decided that AARP — formerly the American Association of Retired Persons — is stalking me. At any rate, I think the organization has gone from informative to obnoxious. I turned 66 in November, and they turned up the heat. I am not one of those people who was approached at, say 50 or even 55 and invited to join that happy group of older Americans who were offered discounts to movies, motels, restaurants, and lumber yards across the country. I attributed that to the fact that I didn’t have grey hair.


    Real cuties from California


  • Custodian decorates city space

    It is not just the white bear in a red satin dress flanked by a red and white sparkly heart bouquet that catches the eye. There are currently heart-shaped lights draped with white spiral garlands around the city of Hillsboro office window in city hall, and according to the women in the office, there are roses in the bathroom too. “Mary Klenda decorates for us,
    city clerk Jan Meisinger said. “We appreciate it so much. She makes the holidays so festive around here.”

  • Petting zoo new event for FFA week

    FFA week is Monday through Feb. 22 at Peabody-Burns High School. The week starts on President’s Day with a parents and teacher Appreciation Breakfast of biscuits and gravy at 7:30 a.m. at the vocational agriculture shop.

  • Tampa discusses keys

    Councilman Ty Peterson told city council members Feb. 4 that citizens of Tampa want to know why only one person has a key to the town’s senior center. Mayor Tim Svoboda also said he had been asked the same question. The council revisited their recent decision to change the locks on the senior citizen building. Phyllis and Rodney Mueller are in charge of maintaining the center and scheduling events there. They have the only key, but anyone needing to get in may ask them to open it. The council had decided previously that there were too many keys floating around and unauthorized people were entering the hall and not leaving it clean or occasionally even pilfering items from the building.

  • Celtic celebration is March 2

    Marion will host a Celtic Celebration for the second year March 2 at the Marion Community Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for an Irish meal served at 6:30 p.m. The program for the event includes performances by Cory Academy of Irish Dancing and Knocknasheega Celtic Band.

  • County Club Day is Feb. 23

    Marion County 4-H members will participate in the annual Club Day, beginning 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 S. Prarie Point. 4-H’ers will give a presentation to a panel of evaluators and will be judged on the quality of their public speaking ability, according to their skill level.

  • Gardening event March 9 in Hutchinson

    Hutchinson Horticulture club is hosting a free gardening event called “A Gathering for Gardners” from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 9 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Chruch, 407 E. 12th St., west of the Cosmosphere. There will be presentations on topics, such as: compost, plants that need less water, top 40 prairies star annuals for color, most common plant problems, container gardens, and front-yard landscaping.

  • Girl Scouts offer cookie sales options

    There has been a change to the way Peabody Girl Scouts are selling Girl Scout cookies this year. There is no waiting time between ordering and receiving cookies, unlike in the past, unless a Girl Scout has run out of a particular variety. Another change is that the Girl Scouts can accept credit cards for payment, although only troop leaders and cookie managers will be able to process credit card payments.

  • Lifelong Learning schedule released

    The spring 2013 semester of Lifelong Learning, the community enrichment programs sponsored by Tabor College begins Feb. 22. The sessions start at 9:45 a.m. and are held in the Wohlgemuth Music Education Center Lobby. Cost is $4 per session or $15 for the entire semester. Rates for couples are $29 for the semester. The entire series schedule is as follows:


  • Janzen submits finalist photo

    Phoebe Janzen of Florence has been notified that a photograph she took in the summer of baby owls perched on a branch in Florence has been selected by the Wichita Eagle as one of 15 finalists in their “Great Outdoors Photo Contest.” Online voting for the winning picture began Tuesday and will end on Saturday. Voting also will take place in person at the Kansas Sport Boat and Travel Show Feb. 14 to 16 at the Kansas Pavilion.

  • 20th Century club meets

    The 20th Century Club met Feb. 4 with new member Vickey Hoffer attending. The program, “Back in Time,” was presented by Jean Pierce, Joan Meyer, and Norma Kline. All three told interesting stories and brought photos of Marion as far back as 87 years ago.

  • Violinist performs for Neo-Century Club

    Neo-Century Club members met at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at Hilltop Manor. Hosts for the evening were Edith Helmer, Suzanne Thole, and Betty Crumrine. Violinist Judith Priest presented a musical Valentine program, with piano accompaniment by Lenore Dieter.


    Florence seniors send cards, Marion Senior Center, Tampa

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

    Wells, Hanschu


  • Centre board approves scoreboard

    The USD 397 board of education approved spending $11,794 at its Monday meeting to install a new scoreboard at the football field in honor of the late Bud Peterson, a longtime football coach at Centre High School. Installation will be an additional cost. Purchased from Power Ad Company Inc. of Salina, the eight-foot-high, 26-foot-wide, and eight-inch-deep scoreboard will be larger than the current 20-foot-wide scoreboard and will identify the football field as Bud Peterson Field.

  • County students make Hutchinson honor roll

    Hutchinson Community College recently released the names of Presidential and Honor Roll recipients for the 2012 fall semester and interterm session. Students on the Presidential Honor Roll earned a 4.0 grade point average. Those named to the Honor Roll held grade point averages between 3.5 and 3.999. Presidential Honor Roll awards went to Leslie Cook and Elizabeth Unruh of Goessel; Kathryn Ens, LeaAnn Knaak, Wendy McCarty, Charles Miller, and Rachel Plenert of Hillsboro; Tyler Wildin of Marion; Mikayla Hiebert and Tyler Wenger of Peabody.

  • Fine Arts Day is Friday

    The Marion High School men’s chorus and harpist RoJean Loucks will perform Friday at Marion Elementary School as part of the school’s Fine Arts Day. The men’s chorus will sing at 8:25 a.m. in the gym. Loucks will give demonstrations and play from 9:05 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2:45 p.m.

  • Peabody-Burns to implement crisis plan

    USD 398 Superintendent Ron Traxson discussed an emergency plan for intruders for Peabody-Burns schools Monday at the board of education meeting. One suggestion he offered was that every adult at Peabody-Burns Elementary School would need to wear a badge for identification. Visitors are already required to wear tags but teachers and staff would also be required to don badges.

  • Darrow to retire

    There will be some new faces at Marion schools in the fall. USD 408 Board of Education on Monday accepted Bill Darrow’s retirement from teaching middle school science and technology. Darrow began teaching in Marion in 1990, high school Principal Tod Gordon said. They began teaching in Marion at the same time.

  • Summer program endorsed by Hillsboro

    The USD 410 school board unanimously agreed to help sponsor Hillsboro Youth Adventure, a new program meant to help students learn more about their city. “The mission is two-fold,” said Clint Seibel, executive director of Hillsboro Development Corporation. “We want kids to know that Hillsboro is a great place to live, work and raise a family. But, we also hope that, by seeing what the city does, it will foster a sense of volunteerism — and that one day these young people will want to get involved.”

  • MMS teams finish 2nd, 3rd

    The Marion Middle School scholars’ bowl teams started the season by hosting a six-school meet. The seventh grade division was closely contested as possible with three teams posting a 3-2 record and three teams at 2-3. The Marion seventh graders ended up in a three-way tie for first. The tiebreaker formula gave first to Remington, second to Sedgwick and third to Marion. The Wildcats defeated Remington, 65-55, Goessel, 55-20, and Canton-Galva, 70-40.

  • Summerville to retire from USD 408

    Becky Summerville is retiring from USD 408 after 34 years. She currently works as the secretary for the district office. There will be a reception 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Marion Middle and High School commons.


  • Thiessen signs with Tabor College

    Past, present, and future coaches of Tyrell Thiessen, Hillsboro High School senior, could not be happier to hear he signed a letter of intent Tuesday to play football at Tabor College this coming fall. The 275-pound, 5’11” running back and lineman led the Hillsboro Trojans to a 10-1 record this past year, and had several post high school athletic offers to consider.

  • Warriors held scoreless in second quarter

    A hot and cold game by the Marion Warriors boys’ basketball team ended in defeat to the Bennington Bulldogs during Friday’s winter homecoming festivities. Marion got out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter with a pair of three-pointers from the right wing by Ethan Hett and baskets in the lane by homecoming king Jacob Harper. Wiley Lundy also scored a basket following an offensive rebound. The Bulldogs finished the quarter with a 9-2 run, and the first quarter ended with a score of 12-9, Marion.

  • Slow start hamstrings Marion girls

    The Marion Warriors girls’ basketball team stuck to the script that has plagued them all season Friday against the Bennington Bulldogs. Marion fell behind by double-digits in the first half before making a second-half comeback that ended painfully too soon. The Warriors started the game in a 2-3 zone defense to try to limit the Bulldogs post players, but Bennington’s outside shooters forced Marion to switch to a man-to-man defense fairly early. The first quarter ended with Marion trailing 12-4. Katey Ehrlich scored on a drive and Megan Richmond made a basket out of Marion’s press-break offense.

  • Marion wrestlers 3rd

    The Marion High School wrestling team placed third at the Chase County Invitational Saturday with 25 points, defeated by El Dorado and Mulvane who tied for first at 34 points. Twelve teams participated in the invitational. Each player had the opportunity to pin their opponents in five different matches during the competition. Marion head coach Chad Adkins said the team did better than they have all season long.

  • Warrior boys fall to Inman in 2OT

    The Marion Warriors boys’ basketball team held a 12-point lead over the Inman Teutons at the beginning of the fourth quarter on Tuesday, but the lead evaporated and the game went into overtime tied at 43. “We were playing well, but then we stopped playing so well,” Marion head coach Jeff McMillin said. “We shied away from playing under pressure to win.

  • Marion girls defeat Teutons

    The Marion Warriors girls’ basketball team was without starting guard Kelli Hess against the Inman Teutons on Tuesday, but a total-team effort gave the Warriors a victory, 34-31. Balee Shiplet started in Hess’ spot. She didn’t score, but coach Kelly Robson said he was proud of her effort, saying she took care of the ball well.


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