• 446 without power for two hours

    Power to 446 Marion County residences and businesses failed for two hours Friday because of equipment failure on one of several transmission lines serving the area, a Westar Energy spokesman said. Power failed around 9:45 a.m. Friday in portions of Marion, Florence, and the area around Marion Reservoir. It was restored around 11:45 a.m. Westar originally estimated that 1,308 homes and businesses — nearly half the total served in that area — were without power but lowered the estimate after repairs were made.

  • Reservoir algae warning extended

    Swimming continues to be banned at Marion Reservoir after state health officials on Thursday extended a blue-green algae warning in effect since June 26. Humans, pets, and livestock should not drink or come in contact with reservoir water, and pets should not be allowed to eat dried algae.


  • Orphaned raccoons being cared for by resident

    Brandi Bosley said she cannot tell four of her five baby raccoons by their looks, but by their personality. One often is reserved and shy, one constantly whines, another eats excessively, and another remains calm, while the runt of the litter does not leave her side.

  • Rumors swirl after EMS firing

    Monday’s seemingly abrupt firing of Marion County’s ambulance director created both a storm of protest and an uneasy calm of official no-comments Tuesday. While all three county commissioners refused to explain their reason for dismissing longtime EMT and former Marion City Council member Steve Smith, Smith’s supporters were quick to condemn the commissioners.

  • Bees also find Central Park to their liking

    Residents walking through Central Park on the sidewalk between the fountains might hear a slight buzzing sound, if their ear is turned just right. Up high in a gnarled tree, a honey bee colony has made its home in a hollow knot. Park caretaker Kevin Hill said he knew there were bees in the park, but didn’t know where they lived.

  • Scrutiny of wind farm urged

    It’s not uncommon for citizens to attend Marion County Planning and Zoning Commission meetings to voice concerns regarding proposed zoning issues. What is uncommon is when Bob Gayle of Florence showed up at the April committee meeting with a 21-page, single-spaced briefing book with 59 pages of supplemental materials to articulate his concerns about the proposed wind farm under development by Windborne Energy LLC.

  • Samaritan rescues, returns dog

    A dog is home safe and sound with her family after an adventure that found her traveling from near Florence to Sterling. Jazz, an Australian shepherd, went missing from the home of Jeff Wyss in rural Florence on Saturday.

  • State cuts continue to affect disability organizations

    State funding to a local mental health disability organization was again a subject discussed Monday by county commissioners. Harvey-Marion County Community Developmental Disability Organization director Elizabeth Schmidt said her organization took a cut of nearly $20,000 to its administrative funds, despite an “unprecedented” caseload of 237 individuals during the past year.

  • Your guide to a bang-up Fourth

    Marion County residents will have several places to choose from when looking for a good time on Fourth of July. Peabody

  • Despite no A/C, Kapaun site to expand hours

    Despite the lack of air conditioning, a handful of dedicated volunteers at the Father Kapaun Museum is going to dedicate their time to open the museum on a regular basis to serve the high volume of people trekking down the rural roads to Pilsen. Since Father Emil Kapaun received the Congressional Medal of Honor last year, attendance at the museum has nearly tripled, volunteer Rosemary Neuwirth said.


  • Final project to certify levee underway

    Middle Creek Mining began preparing a makeshift stairway for machinery down to the Cottonwood River June 25 to dam water surrounding a culvert so it can be cleaned out and video inspected to complete the levee’s federal certification. The project will involve digging a ditch in the side of the levee for a excavator to sit. The excavator will lift a steel structure, much like one used in large trenches to keep workers protected from potential wall collapses, around a culvert in the levee that is totally submerged on both sides.

  • Contractors re-lay highway as they go

    Drivers could see flames shooting out from under a piece of equipment Monday on a road construction project between Lincolnville and Marion on U.S. 56/77. A contractor is heating up the highway, grinding off the top layer, and re-laying the material as recycled asphalt, all in one go. The result is an active construction zone only a couple hundred yards long that leaves a completed surface in its wake.

  • Moving to your RV? You may need a permit

    The trend some county residents are following by leaving their homes to live in recreational vehicles may end before it begins. According to planning and zoning director Tonya Richards, county residents cannot use an RV or camper van as a full-time residence unless in a designated park. The nearest residential parks are in McPherson and Emporia.

  • Longtime game warden protected humans, too

    Marvin Peterson, state game warden for Marion County and half of Morris County since 1992, retired in June after a 32-year career. He said the people he met made his district a good place to work. In return, he was always friendly back, said Neal Whitaker, who worked with him for 20 years as a ranger at Marion Reservoir.

  • Rain puts a damper on garden tour

    Rain throughout much of the day Saturday severely cut into attendance at Marion City Library’s annual garden tour fundraiser. “The gardens were lovely, but due to the weather attendance wasn’t great,” librarian Janet Marler said. “It was very nice even with the small attendance. Everything was so green and lush.”


  • Delores Stroda

    Former Marion resident Delores M. Stroda, 81, died Friday at the Medicalodges of Herington. Funeral Mass was Tuesday at St. John Catholic Church in Herington. She was born March 8, 1933, in Lincolnville to Albert Frank and Albina Elsie (Melcher) Bezdek. She graduated from Lincolnville High School in 1951.

  • Joan Thompson

    Former Western Associates employee Joan B. Thompson, 84, of Cedar Point died Saturday at Saint Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Services were to be at 10 a.m. today at Elmdale United Methodist Church. She was born July 28, 1929, in Emporia to Robert and Grace Smith Bartlett.

  • Rachel Friesen

    Hillsboro resident Rachel Friesen, 88, died June 9 at Hillsboro Community Hospital. She was born Jan. 15, 1926, to George and Sara (Harms) Kornelsen in Greensburg. She married Vernon Friesen. He preceded her in death.



  • If rain keeps up, corn crop could be golden

    At this stage of the wheat-growing phase this year farmers were very pessimistic about the crop quality, however it is the exact opposite with corn. “I’ll say it with guarded breath because we’re still a long way from the bin, but the corn is looking awesome,” Marion County extension agent Rick Roberts said. “In my opinion we’re set up to have a special kind of harvest, but again it’s not in the bin so it can still go south.”

  • Alfalfa faces challenges

    Spring and early summer has been an interesting — and frustrating — time for many hay growers in Marion County. Farmer Brad Wiens said he usually starts harvesting a first cutting of alfalfa early in May, but March and April were so dry there was nothing worth cutting. Fortunately alfalfa recovers well when it does get moisture.

  • Wiebes big cheeses of their business

    It is hard to fathom what 1,800 lbs. of cheese would look like, but it is what Jason and Sheri Wiebe can make with one day’s worth of milk from their dairy cows outside Durham. The Wiebes have been making cheese at Wiebe Dairy and distributing it for more than 10 years. They make several varieties and ship out several thousands of pounds of cheese a month in 40-pound blocks across the country and locally.

  • Horsing around is his pastime

    Larry Britton of Florence isn’t usually found far from a horse, in fact nearly every day he can be found riding one of his three horses around Florence. “It’s the only place my family will let me ride by myself,” he said. “They get worried when I ride outside of town alone in case something were to go wrong.”

  • Students to compete in ag challenge

    Marion County students ages 12 through 19 as of Jan. 1 can compete in an agriculture Challenge of Champions at 7 p.m. July 16 at the Marion High School agriculture education building. The program is to recognize outstanding Marion County 4-H and FFA members and students interested in agriculture. Students 16 through 19 are eligible for cash prizes with the winner advancing to compete for a scholarship at the state fair.


  • Of EMTs and men

    We’ll leave it to you to come up with your own caption for this week’s Page 1 photo of lightning appearing to take aim on the Marion County Courthouse, scene of more than its share of thunderous meetings over the years. One of the saddest, perhaps, happened Monday. Whether he’s a tragic figure who brought it on himself or a victim of either puritanical or power-mad forces, we may never know for sure given the secrecy — sometimes well-advised, sometime not — with which many in and out of government operate these days.

  • Thank you, Marion County

    Tuesday was my last day at Hoch Publishing. After five years, eight months, and 16 days, I am I’m glad Hoch Publishing has someone as talented and familiar with the area as David Colburn to take the lead in my place. I worked with David during one of his previous stints as a reporter here, and he has a knack for finding news, as well as a great eye for photography. With award-winners Olivia Haselwood and Oliver Good on staff, I expect good things for the newspapers, but the time is right to take my career in a new direction.

  • Friendly suggestions

    The discussion last week of a semi-pro baseball team possibly playing in Marion rekindled a question that I’ve had for some time. What happened to community baseball teams? If you read the excerpts from old newspapers, you’ve probably read about teams of adults playing teams from nearby towns. Why couldn’t that return? Semi-pro baseball is intriguing, but it strikes me as a pipe dream in Marion. An amateur team could work, though, especially if some recent baseball standouts spend their summers between college years at home. I know a lot is devoted to youth sports leagues, but why should adults stop playing?


    Where do we start?


  • Young professional group starting in Marion

    Young people who could become successful business owners are being invited to start a chapter of Kansas Power Ups, a networking group for people ages 21 to 39 who have chosen to live in rural areas. “I’ve been talking with people who created the group for a few months and I finally decided to see if there is any interest,” said Terry Jones, Marion’s new economic development director. “It’s basically a young professionals group, only for everyone.”

  • Carol Makovec to celebrate 70th birthday

    Lifelong Marion County resident Carol Makovec will celebrate her 70th birthday Saturday at a family cookout in her honor at Central Park in Marion. Birthday wishes may be mailed to her at 3232 Quail Creek Rd., Ramona, KS 67475. She was born July 8, 1944, to John and Irma Reznicek. She graduated from Centre High School and married Robert Makovec in 1963. They have five children, 16 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.

  • Katie Hett to marry in September

    David Hett and Jamie Shirley, both of Marion, announce the upcoming wedding of their daughter, Katie Hett, to Kyle Perry, son of Jimmy and Suzy Perry of Garden Plain. The bride-elect is a 2007 graduate of Marion High School and received a bachelor’s degree in medical diagnostic imaging. She works at Wesley Medical Center.

  • Matz earns KWU honors

    Lincolnville resident Adam Matz was named to the Kansas Wesleyan University dean’s honor roll for the spring semester.

  • Kiwanis hears about food testing

    CiboTech owner Dan Madgwick spoke at the Marion Kiwanis Club meeting Tuesday. He told the club about his food testing business, which opened in March. “We have some of the cleanest food in the world in the U.S.,” but we also have some of the most discriminating consumers, he said.

  • Fund established for Circles grads

    People who complete Circles of Hope’s anti-poverty training can now receive small low-interest loans. For example, someone could receive a loan to buy a vehicle, which can be very important to getting or keeping a job, said Ashlee Gann of Families and Communities Together, the financial agent for Circles of Hope.


    Garden providing produce

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


  • Fizz, boom, socks encourage reading

    Young readers in Marion have been learning how science and music relate to reading during Marion City Library’s summer reading program called Fizz, Boom, Read. Participants have created fizzy volcanoes, slime, learned about crystals, and stacked liquids, among others.

  • Cub Scouts get medieval at camp

    Marion Cub Scouts pack 102 participated in a “Knights of the Round Table” themed day camp last month in Kechi. “We made swords and shields,” scout Trevor Schafers said.

  • Leagues for all ages keep families busy

    Thursday evening was a typically busy outing at the Marion baseball and softball complex. While older siblings played on the field, the playground area was packed with younger siblings too restless to sit still in the bleachers. A boy played catch and practiced pitching with his father while waiting for the rest of his team to arrive. A young boy fell and scraped his knee on the sidewalk, then got up and kept running as if nothing had happened while Margo Yates called, “Do you want a Band-Aid?” from the concession stand.

  • USD 408's special ed payment from state falls short

    USD 408’s special education funding from the state was more than $100,000 less than a previous state projection, Superintendent Lee Leiker told Marion school board members Thursday. Every year, the state sets a pool of money to be divided among school districts for special education, but the districts don’t know how much they will be paid until late in the year, despite earlier projections.

  • 18 on Hutch honor roll

    USD 408’s special education funding from the state was more than $100,000 less than a previous state projection, Superintendent Lee Leiker told Marion school board members Thursday. Every year, the state sets a pool of money to be divided among school districts for special education, but the districts don’t know how much they will be paid until late in the year, despite earlier projections.


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