• Algae warning bans wading, skiing, swimming at reservoir

    Wading, skiing, and swimming at Marion Reservoir were banned Thursday under a public health advisory issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. High levels of toxic blue-green algae mean water in the reservoir is considered unsafe, and direct contact with it is prohibited.


  • When it comes to caring, postal workers deliver

    It was a normal Monday for Brenda Casanova of Marion when she discovered she made a crucial mistake: she put the wrong zip code on a package. “What an idiot,” she thought as she picked up her phone and started dialing the number for the local post office. Moments later, Casanova was pouring out her heart to postmaster Lori Kelsey, explaining how important it was for that very box to get to its proper destination. In 2011, Casanova’s nephew, Kurtis Montgomery, went to the doctor just before his 50th birthday, thinking he had a serious sinus condition. When a 10-day round of antibiotics did not make the pain go away, he went to an ear, nose and throat doctor who gave him the grim diagnosis: He had throat cancer. While it was treatable with chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Montgomery still cannot swallow or talk. He makes the most of the situation with a dry erase board and marker, but currently lives day to day not able to utter a sound.

  • Saturday's bluegrass prize swells

    A $500 donation from Friends of Marion County Lake will increase the prize pool for this week’s open stage contest at Bluegrass at the Lake. Instead of $100, the best performance will earn $300. Second place will net $200; third, $100. The group hopes increased prizes will attract more musicians to the open stage from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday.

  • Leiker asks for pay cut

    USD 408 cut Superintendent Lee Leiker’s salary 5 percent to $95,000 a year, after the school board spent 40 minutes in closed session Monday night. President Chris Sprowls said Leiker had recommended the cut because of foreseen budget difficulties.

  • Curbside recycling unlikely

    Curbside recycling pickup in Marion, Hillsboro, and Florence will have to wait, but Marion County may put roll-off recycling trailers at Centre High School, Durham, and Florence. A committee of government officials and concerned residents met Tuesday night to discuss possibilities for a county recycling program.

  • Despite rainout, festival in the black

    A thunderstorm that passed through Marion County on Saturday caused the cancellation of the Saturday night headline concert, Chingawassa Days’ signature event. With the outdoor stage soaked, early-90s rockers FireHouse canceled their concert. “We were watching the weather all weekend,” Chingawassa Days treasurer Jessie Nikkel said Monday.


  • Sharlene Lynette Brooks

    Sharlene Lynette Brooks, 45, died Saturday at her home in Peabody. She battled cancer for nearly four years. She was born Aug. 8, 1967 to LeRoy Fredrick Brunner and Eleanor Louise (Gaines) Brunner in Newton.

  • Gerald Kessler

    Gerald Kessler, 76, of rural Lehigh died June 4 at his home. He was born March 2, 1937, to Rudolf and Katherine (Kasper) Kessler in Hillsboro. He married Joyce Thiessen on June 9, 1958, in Hillsboro.



  • Dairy farmers battle for survival

    Dairy farmer Kent Sterk did not invent the phrase “bad things come in threes,” but he lived it recently at his rural Hillsboro farm. First, a three-year-old dairy bull nearly killed him three weeks ago when he was trying to load it in a trailer bound for a Salina sale. Then two weeks ago, he wrecked the family SUV while checking fences, and finally, last week, he injected himself with pink eye medication while treating heifers.

  • Dealer adding 6,750 feet

    People driving past PrairieLand Partners in Marion have seen construction in progress for several weeks. The John Deere dealership is adding a 6,750-square-foot shop to its facility so it can move setup of large equipment indoors. Store manager Chad Gormley said that work has had to be done outdoors. The construction wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision.

  • Restaurant, ranch strike exclusive beef deal

    Klee Watchous and his employees at Wildcat Creek Ranch are fans of Coneburg Inn restaurant in Peabody. Coneburg owner Lindsey Marshall has witnessed one instance a few times with her Wildcat Creek regulars. When they get a call about a sick calf on the ranch or a cow on another landowner’s pasture, the ranchers leave their meals steaming and bolt out the door like doctors on call.

  • Grain-shuttle could benefit local co-ops

    CHS, a large mid-western cooperative, and Mid-Kansas Cooperative have approved an agreement to form a limited liability company to build and operate a high-speed shuttle-train-loading facility at Canton this year. The facility will be located on the Union Pacific rail line, two-and-a-half miles west of Canton, and will load 110-car trains bound for export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, Gulf Coast, and Mexico. On-site storage will be more than 3 million bushels.

  • Caring is vet's greatest strength

    New Spur Ridge Veterinary Hospital veterinarian Cade Moses describes himself as a steward of animals. What he means is sometimes caring more about animals than about his own well-being.


  • Council wrestles with restroom location

    “As far as location,” Planning Commission member Margo Yates said, “may the force be with you.” Marion City Council approved a conditional use permit for new restrooms in Central Park but took no action on where they will or what they will look like.

  • County's emergency chief resigns

    Marion County Emergency Management Director Dan D’Albini resigned in a letter county commissioners read Monday. His resignation will be effective June 20. Commission Chairman Randy Dallke said the resignation was because D’Albini was moving out of the county.

  • Remodeling improves city building safety

    The City of Marion is making improvements at City Hall, putting up sheetrock partitions and doors to separate the front office area from other offices. City Clerk Angela Lange is getting an office and Economic Development Director Roger Holter is getting walls put up around his office space.

  • State axes 'no gun' signs

    State axes ‘no gun’ signs The city council voted Monday to remove signs prohibiting concealed firearms in municipal buildings.


  • Part 9 of serialization

  • Pastor in Timken; in uniform again

    Joe Fiala, operator of a bowling recreation hall, threw up his hands in surprise when asked if he remembered the priest. “Do I remember him? He used to bowl with me and the boys. The father was a man’s man and one of the best sports I have ever known.” “I’m no a Catholic, but that did not make any difference,” Fiala added. “Everybody around here, Protestant and Catholic, liked him.” Fiala said that Father Kapaun never discussed differences of religion unless he was asked. His sincerity in his faith was very deep.


  • Who are your kids spending their time with?

    Middle school Principal Missy Stubenhofer told the school board of a new phenomenon she has fought against: 19- and 20-year-old males going to middle school lunch to hit on seventh-grade girls. These visitors come under the guise of having lunch with a relative but end up be halfway across the lunchroom, chatting up 12- and 13-year-old girls. At the board meeting, she asked what a 19- or 20-year-old sees in a seventh-grade girl. It was a rhetorical question. They see easy pickings.

  • A first time for everything

    I’d never seen or heard anything like it when Board of Education President Chris Sprowls announced that Superintendent Lee Leiker had requested a $5,000 pay cut because of concerns about future budgets. Leiker made the request because he sees difficult financial times ahead for the school district. Between declining enrollment and a climate in Topeka that seems positively hostile to school funding, it doesn’t take Nostradamus to see tight budgets in the future. What is special, though, is someone in a leadership position seeing that cuts are going to have to be made and saying, “Me first.”


    The grand garden months

    Worth a thousand words


  • Development screening set

    Marion County Special Education Cooperative will screen children from birth through age 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 25 at Marion Presbyterian Church. Vision, hearing and development in learning, motor, language, and social areas will be checked.

  • County native releases ESU book

    A book about the history of Emporia State University was released for sale on March 4. It details the history of the university since its founding 150 years ago. The book was written by Steven Hanschu, a native of Marion County. He was raised in the Lost Springs-Ramona area. He graduated from Centre High School in 1970 and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in library science and history from ESU.

  • Tampa offers mowing to new resident

    Mayor Tim Svoboda said one new resident’s yard was getting out of hand and he has no mower. He suggested that if the resident cleared his yard of debris, the city would offer one mowing as a welcome to Tampa. Wilbert Backhus and Paul Backhus both offered to mow his yard. City Clerk Donna Backhus looked for key ordinances and found some to copy and send to new residents in town.

  • Apathy cancels WRAPS meeting

    Peggy Blackman decided to cancel the reservoir tour, dinner, and meeting on June 4 because she only had six people who had signed up. She was planning for at least 75 attendees.


  • Krause descendants have reunion

    Descendants of Emil and Augusta Krause had their 17th biennial reunion May 27 at the Lincolnville Community Center. The family of William Krause were hosts. Since the last reunion, deaths included Eldon Beneke, Steven Eskeldson, Myrna Eskeldson, and Charles Will. There were 10 births and four marriages. Esther Groneman, 99, was the oldest living descendant at the reunion.

  • Beaston to celebrate 85th

    Vernie Beaston will celebrate her 85th birthday on June 20. Cards may be sent to her cards care of PO Box 311, Alma KS 66401.

  • County lake retiree to become new pastor

    The day after the Rev. Sue Talbot retires, she will accept the duties of the Valley United Methodist Church pastor. “It makes you laugh when you think about it,” she said. “God certainly has a sense of humor.”

  • Martin wins 4-H scholarship

    Marion High School graduate Cara Martin (right) has been awarded the Southeast Area Extension Step Ahead Scholarship by the Kansas 4-H Foundation. Her scholarship was awarded at the Emerald Circle Banquet May 30 in Manhattan. Applications were judged on 4-H leadership, citizenship, and involvement. Martin is an active member of Happy Hustlers 4-H Club, the Kansas State 4-H Horse Action Team, and the AMHYA Youth Executive Council. She plans to attend Haskell Indian Nations University to earn a degree in education with a specialty in special education. She hopes to teach on a reservation. Melissa and Matt Zieammermann of Marion are her parents.

  • Granddaughter honored at Duke

    Madeline Louise O’Sullivan of Tulsa, Okla., was named to Duke University’s 2013 spring semester dean’s list with distinction, meaning she was in the top 10 percent of her college. O’Sullivan is studying psychology. Jackie Hett of Marion is her grandmother.

  • Competition is a tradition

    In the game of horseshoes, the average horseshoe weighs about 2.5 pounds. However, for members of the Tajchman family, the game carries more weight. It is a family competition every time they get together. Saturday at Chingawassa Days, four of the 12 teams registered in the horseshoe tournament featured Tajchmans or the throwers were related by blood or marriage to the Tajchman family.


    Smiths to celebrate 50 years

    Marion Senior Center, Tampa

    Linton, Delaney

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


  • Centre begins superintendant search

    Centre approved a three-year custodial contract with IServe Inc. of El Dorado. The contract calls for a 2 percent to $8,339 per month beginning July 1 and a maximum 2 percent increase each of the following two years. In presenting the proposal, IServe President Pam Idleman said the district was getting “a big bang for your buck.”

  • Marion High School honor roll

  • Kirkland on dean's list

    Iva M. Kirkland of Lost Springs has been named to the spring dean’s list at Ottawa University. She earned a minimum of 24 hours of credit during the preceding two semesters, and had a semester grade-point average of at least 3.5. Kirkland was inducted into Sigma Beta Delta at a spring honors convocation April 18 for having the highest overall grade-point average and a 2013 graduation date.

  • K-State students complete degrees

    Kansas State University in Manhattan had spring commencement last month, and several students from Marion County earned degrees. Hillsboro — Kody Borg, bachelor of science in construction science and management; Alexander Jost, bachelor of science in agriculture; Mitchell Koop, master of architecture; David Loewen, doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction; and Bryant Miller, bachelor of science in family studies and human services. Lincolnville — Savik Howard, bachelor of science; and Adam Kristek, bachelor of science. MARION — Matthew Kirkpatrick, bachelor of science in agriculture; and Adam Svoboda, bachelor of science in engineering technology. Peabody — Bayleigh Clark, bachelor of science; Benjamin Eldridge, bachelor of arts; Alexandra Holm-McDowell, bachelor of science; Seth Methvin, bachelor of science; and Joseph Zappone, bachelor of arts. Rural Newton — Chrystiana Miller, bachelor of science in education; Laura Unruh, bachelor of science in agribusiness; Kendall Voth, bachelor of science in agribusiness.

  • Svoboda works on software

    Adam Svoboda of Marion was one of 21 Kansas State University-Salina students involved in engineering projects during the 2012-13 academic year. Svoboda, a senior studying computer systems technology, worked on collaborative software to allow multiple users input ability.

  • Hospital auxiliary awards scholarships

    Jay Dee Schafers (left) and Erica Herzet (right) received $1,000 scholarships from St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary during the group’s annual salad luncheon Thursday. Both plan to attend Butler Community College in the fall before transferring to pursue nursing.


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