• Worsening pandemic breaks all records

    As of Monday, one out of every 32 people in Marion County — 366 in all — was under isolation orders with active cases of COVID-19, the county health department confirmed. That’s 78 more active cases than were reported Thursday and 116 more than were reported a week ago. Case totals are updated each Monday and Thursday.

  • 3 of 5 districts close; 4th mandates masks

    A COVID-19 surge unlike any seen before closed schools in three county districts and imposed a mask mandate in a fourth. The only school district not changing its procedures is one of two in the county officially listed among 11 COVID “clusters” in the state. Hillsboro superintendent Max Heinrichs said COVID cases were continuing to quickly rise in all district buildings.

  • Latest scam actually pays its victims

    In the span of two weeks, two Marion residents found themselves $300 and $500 richer after a phone scam asked them to transfer money. Both scam victims were asked over the phone to buy a certain amount of either gift cards or BitCoin, then give the gift card codes or BitCoin keys, supposedly so the money could be put to charities.

  • Pet issues dog Peabody police

    Peabody police chief Bruce Burke spent his Christmas Eve chasing a trio of dogs through downtown Peabody. A pit bull, a boxer, and a blue heeler repeatedly have got loose in Peabody and forced police to play dogcatcher.

  • Cafe owners report death threats

    Police are investigating reports that owners of Cazadores Mexican restaurant received death threats from contractors who worked on their restaurant at 214 E. Main St. in Marion. Marion police chief Clinton Jeffrey said the matter was under investigation but no official had yet been written.

  • Cops now first line against mental illness

    As often as five times a week, local police officers deal with people having mental health issues, and in the words of the sheriff, “it’s not an easy road.” Two weeks ago, Hillsboro police had to intervene when a woman threatened an acquaintance and police.


  • Container houses draw criticism, support

    For the first time since he retired in June, former city administrator Larry Paine came to a meeting to advise Hillsboro city council members Tuesday. “It’s strange to be on this side of the table,” Paine said.

  • County may work on misplaced Dan Dr.

    Vicki Hoffer, who lives on Lakeshore Dr. at the county lake, is tired of her young grandchildren being endangered by people driving into her driveway as they travel Dan Dr. “I’ve lived here since 1984, and that whole time it’s been a public road,” she said.

  • Pair face gas theft charges

    Implicated in thefts of gasoline at Simmons Towing and Auto Repair in Herington, two Marion men were charged Jan. 3 in Dickinson County with 15 criminal charges. Justin Loomis and his alleged accomplice, Ronald L. Pierce, Jr., each were charged with seven counts of theft, six counts of criminal damage to property, and three counts of criminal trespass. The incidents took place over 11 days in September.

  • Medicare fraud alleged

    In a case that will be prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office, Marion resident Ashley B. Loomis formally was charged Dec. 22 in Dickinson County with Medicaid fraud, interference with judicial process, and forgery. The forgery charge stems from allegedly writing a check on a closed bank account.

  • Missing sign nets near-misses

    A stop sign on the ground at K-15’s intersection with heavily traveled 330th Rd., the main route into Tampa, caused numerous calls to 911, several apparent near accidents, and an exchange of concerning radio transmissions with sheriff’s deputies during Friday night’s snowfall. Dispatchers said they had been hearing about this sign all evening. After they received a call at 9:11 p.m. from a K-15 motorist about the missing sign nearly causing an accident, a dispatcher radioed deputies saying:

  • Work-release canceled

    Laramie Siebert, sentenced Dec. 13 to a year in jail for driving under the influence, lost his work release — and his lawyer — Thursday when a judge learned he had not told the truth about working for 2K Feeders in Burns. Judge Ben Sexton heard testimony Thursday that instead of working for 2K Feeders, as Siebert had told the judge on the day of sentencing, he had quit that job the day before he was sentenced.

  • New trash service comes to county

    Two rural Tampa men put on their running shoes to get trash service started for their neighbors after a Wichita waste collection company dumped rural northern Marion County customers. Calvin Wiebe and his son, Jaren, had contemplated starting a sanitation service for more than a year but didn’t think there was enough of a customer base to make the idea work.

  • Peabody, Hillsboro banks may merge

    Vintage Bank Kansas and Hillsboro State Bank are proposing to merge. Vintage will file paperwork with the state bank commissioner and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation seeking consent for the merger, operating officer Jena Lee Stucky said.


  • Aldina Franz

    Services for Aldina Mae Franz, 91, who died Monday at Hillsboro Community Hospital, will be 11 a.m. next Tuesday at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. Born Dec. 17, 1930, in Goessel to George and Sara (Krause) Flaming, she married Raymond Franz on Nov. 11, 1951, rural Goessel. He died in 2017.

  • Mary Yates

    Private services will be scheduled for Mary Elizabeth Yates, 92, of Durham who died Tuesday at Hillsboro Community Hospital. Born Oct. 1, 1929, at Ft. Leavenworth to Emanuel and Francis (Svesta) Kuchda, she married James Yates on May 30, 1955, at Leavenworth.


    Jeff Christensen



  • Therapy dogs comfort seniors

    Zoey Amor is a 12-year-old Shih Tzu that Sue Peterson of Marion County Lake has owned since she was 4 weeks old. “She’s a very gentle, loving dog,” Peterson said. “I consider her my child.”

  • Local agencies offer psychiatric help

    Not all ailments are physical. Sometimes people need specialized treatment for substance abuse, emotional ailments, and pervasive mental illness. Getting treatment doesn’t have to mean waiting until a problem becomes a crisis.


  • Pandemic pandemonium

    We’re sick and tired of having to worry about getting sick and tired. But as much as we hate listening to the drumbeat of bad news about our pandemic, we hate it even more when responsible citizens and officials adopt an ostrich approach and bury their heads not behind protective face masks but in mounds of uncaring and unenlightened sand. Why did the state decide, in the middle of the most serious outbreak of COVID to date, to simply take the day off Monday and not bother to update the public on spread of the disease? The state’s new penchant for reporting only three times a week is bad enough without taking one of those days off and not making up that day.

  • Drinking up democracy

    Dear Ol’ Dad — the Ol’ Thing’s Ol’ Editor of more than a decade ago — had more than his share of sayings. Among his favorites was that no matter how thin you fry it, there will always be two sides to every pancake. Mega-corporations make mega-riches off an unwitting public by encouraging us to divide into camps and argue on social media as if every issue had exactly two sides.


    Staying warm and cozy?


  • Learning to lead means learning to ask

    Learning how to lead — and particularly how to ask questions — was the main thrust of a Kansas Farm Bureau leadership program Merlyn Entz of rural Peabody graduated from last month. Entz and another person from McPherson were the only two from central Kansas. Others included agronomists, bankers, a stay-at-home mom, a cooperative manager, and organic and conventional farmers.

  • Treats, theater rescheduled

    A joint event for Peabody’s Sunflower Theater and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church has been rescheduled for March 6. St. Paul’s Kaffeehaus will open at 2 p.m. in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 213 E. Division Ave. Visitors can sample coffees, teas, scones, muffins, cakes, and pastries. Sunflower Theater’s Reader’s Theater, with a cast of Peabody characters giving live performances, will begin at 3 p.m. at the church, performing 10-minute comedy sketches.

  • Sisters to face off at spelling bee

    Competition may be fierce Feb. 16 at the county spelling bee when two sisters will be among the contestants. Fourth-grader Anna Carlson won the Marion Elementary School spelling bee on Friday, and her sister, sixth-grader Alexandra, won the Marion Junior High spelling bee earlier in the week.

  • Library wins top award - again

    Marion City Library has swept in its second consecutive — and third total — top award from a national library organization. “Library Journal,” a national library association that supports libraries, announced Marion’s library as a winner of its five-star award.

  • Baby farm animal tour planned

    A baby farm animal tour March 5 by Flint Hills Counterpoint will let participants enjoy the bleats, baas, and chirps of baby and adult farm animals on three family farms. Tickets and maps for the self-guided tour are available at Flint Hills Counterpoint, 1660 E. 90th Rd. Cost is $20 per car.

  • Senior centers menus


    10, 25, 40, 55, 70, 100, 140 years ago


  • 2 Trojan wrestlers notch firsts

    Paced by first-place finishes by wrestlers Tristan Rathbone and Garrett Helmer, Hillsboro ended up sixth out of 19 teams in a two-day invitational Friday and Saturday in Halstead. Marion finished 19th. “Although we were a bit short-handed due to a few wrestlers battling injuries and illness, overall the guys that competed wrestled pretty well,” Hillsboro coach Scott O’Hare said.

  • Goessel games postponed

    Goessel’s Friday night games against Canton-Galva and Hillsboro’s games were postponed after the teams split Jan. 11 at Solomon, the girls coasting to a 46-21 victory behind Cheyenne Sawyer’s 20 points while turnovers wiped out a 17-7 first-quarter lead for the boys, who fell 59-44 despite Caiden Duerksen’s 12 points. The boys were scheduled to play in a Burrton tournament this week while the girls are set to visit Moundridge on Friday.

  • Marion loses a pair on mercy rule

    Ell-Saline entered Friday’s matchup against Marion with its boys having won only once and its girls, ranked eighth in the state, having lost only once. But it seemed to make little difference. The Cardinals easily swept the Warriors with both games played under mercy rules of a running clock in the fourth quarter.

  • Centre can't snap Elyria's winning streak

    Centre came out fighting Friday at Elyria Christian in McPherson. Despite losing 52-42, the Cougars gave the Eagles, coming off a seven-game winning streak and ranked fourth in the state in Division 2 of Class 1A, a run for their money. Elyria had two three-pointers in the first quarter, but Centre’s Mikey Silhan also made two. He made a layup at the end of the quarter, bringing Centre within three points.

  • Bowling league results


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