Marion County RECORD
Vol. 152 , No. 49
Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021
Marion, KS 66861
Land sale termed illegal, but Mayfield, Costello block discussion despite threat of damages
Despite hearing from a League of Kansas Municipalities lawyer that it has no right to sell the land, Marion city council refused on a split vote Monday to reconsider sale of the reserved area in the city’s industrial park. Council member Ruth Herbel, who had contacted the league, got a firm answer from its lawyer.
Health nurse quits, cites politicking
Marion County health nurse Diedre Serene shocked county commissioners by announcing her retirement Monday. “I just felt like it’s time,” said Serene, who served the county for 33 years. “It’s become so political, and I want to get back into health care.”
Grade school hit, but no remote classes
Classes continue in person at Marion Elementary, albeit with some changes for one grade level, after a student tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Principal Justin Wasmuth declined to say what grade the student was in but did say all parents of children in that grade and of other children who had close contact with the student because of activities had been advised over the weekend.
Residents rush to get vaccinations
With more than double the number of COVID-19 cases in the past 38 days than the same period a year ago, demand for COVID-19 vaccinations in Marion County has increased. The business of giving vaccines used to be slow, but more than three times as many people now are coming to the health department to roll up their sleeves to do battle against the virus.
Armed guards hired for court security
County commissioners unanimously agreed Monday to pay an Abilene-based firm about $49,920.00 for a year to provide guards at the courthouse. S.D. Security guards will work a minimum of 90 hours a month, primarily at district court but also in other portions of the courthouse, at $40 an hour starting Oct. 1.
Grounded! Young daredevils face parents, not charges
Three teenagers who climbed the roof of Hillsboro High School this weekend were spared charges by a city officer who instead took them home to face their parents. Hillboro officer Randy Brazil said he intercepted the trio as they climbed gas pipes Saturday on the east side of the high school to get atop the school’s weight room.
Property tax sales can take as long as 5 years
Marion County property owners can get as many as five years behind before their property is seized and sold for back taxes. Some owners have learned to game the system by paying one year, which pushes back the process.
Marion, Peabody left out of fiber
Fiber optic cable installed through the north edge of Marion now provides high-speed connections to residences in Hillsboro, Durham, Lehigh, Canada, and elsewhere along the route. But it does not include Marion or Peabody.
Traffic stop ends in 100 mph chase
A deputy’s attempt to pull over a speeding driver on US-77 north of Burns at 2:50 a.m. Aug. 18 led to a chase at speeds of up to 110 mph over gravel and dirt roads in Butler and Greenwood Counties. Sheriff Rob Craft said a dark colored Dodge truck with no visible license plate sped into Butler County before it turned onto dirt and gravel roads.
Collett, Robson finalists for judge positions
Marion lawyer Susan Robson and former Marion lawyer Keith Collett are among five finalists selected Wednesday for two district judge positions. Collett, who left Marion County to become a magistrate judge in Dickinson County in 2012, is a finalist for both positions.
Congressman speaks at county lake
Congressman Tracey Mann told a crowd of two dozen Thursday at Marion County Lake hall that the evacuation of Afghanistan was “a complete debacle.” Diplomats, soldiers, and other Americans were pulled out as the Taliban took over the country and reached its capitol Aug. 15.
Error page replaces Hillsboro website
Hillsboro’s city website was replaced by a privacy error or “this site can’t be reached” page Friday if visitors managed to get it in a Google search at all. City administrator Matt Stiles said the technical difficulties were caused by renewal of the website’s security certificate.
Construction, train stall morning drive
Construction and a backed up train derailed commuters on their way to work Monday morning, but many hope the trouble will be short-lived. County commissioner David Mueller also was delayed when a Union Pacific train cut off a route around road work on 330th and 290th Rds. near Tampa.
Food supplier stops delivering
Panda Kitchen in Hillsboro was forced to close Aug. 10 to Aug. 19 because its supplier, Sysco, was refusing to stop at its location. Sysco dropped Parkside on Thursday with only an overnight warning.
Apparent BB shot shatters windshield
Apparent vandalism of a Tabor College student’s car this past week when it was parked on campus has Hillsboro officers scratching their heads. An estimated $500 damage was done between 3 p.m. Aug. 18 and 11 p.m. to the rear window of a 2017 Honda CR-V owned by Kami A. Steinbacher, 21, of Justin Texas.
Broken gas line interrupts Internet planting
A service crew contracted to bore holes for Tri-County Telephone’s fiber Internet project in Hillsboro dug into an unmarked gas line Thursday morning. The gas line branched off a different, marked line, but workers were not aware of it until they cut into it with a backhoe.
Services for Cliff Carlson, 83, Hillsboro, who died Aug. 19 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, were 10 a.m. Monday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Salina. Committal service was at Roselawn cemetery in Salina. He was born Aug. 7, 1938, in Scandia to Vic and Elin (Bloomgren) Carlson. He married Mardell Wolff on March 25, 1962, in WaKeeney.
Services for Clark Wiebe, 79, who died Thursday at Bethesda Home in Goessel, were Tuesday at First Mennonite Church in Hillsboro. Born Aug. 12, 1942, in Hillsboro to Herbert and Hildred (Schroeder) Wiebe, he married Anna Marie Toews on Aug. 19, 1962, in Hillsboro.
Services for for Ben J. Wiens, 102, who died Thursday at Hillsboro Community Hospital, will be noon Thursday at Hillsboro Mennonite Church’s fellowship hall. A private committal service will be at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Cemetery.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal Division cases
Police activity reports
Making sense out of dollar stores
Among many misjudgments in dealing with a proposed new dollar store, the worst by Marion’s city council was its failure Monday to protect — or even discuss the need to protect — the city from potential damages it likely will owe. Forget the city’s past promises, which may or may not be binding, about competitors’ stores. Forget whether the city needs more such stores. Forget drainage nightmares likely to be created. Forget whether neighboring residences expect and deserve a buffer and whether streets in the area weren’t designed for commercial traffic.
Listening to an echo
Something you probably didn’t have a chance to participate in provided a prime example this past week of why our political system has changed from the art of compromise to the ugliness of who can shout the loudest. Our congressman, Tracey Mann, conducted a “listening tour” Thursday morning at Marion County Lake. It was an admirable idea. Unfortunately, all he heard was an echo chamber filled with ultra-conservative viewpoints that probably aren’t shared by the silent majority of county residents.
A dirge for a toon
We note with a degree of sadness (which he probably would laugh off) the unexpected death of Barry McWilliams, 79, whose cartoons have enlivened this page for more than 40 years. Barry didn’t live here but kept up with news from here, frequently created custom cartoons for our pages in addition to more generic offerings for 1,500 other newspapers worldwide, and even spoke to Marion Elementary students once upon a time about his passion for editorial cartooning.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Trying to do good can be, well, just plain trying
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
Industrial park lot
Corrections and clarifications
Donations to library to improve access to history
For several years, genealogists, historians, and everyday citizens trying to research more than 150 years of local history have faced a serious challenge. Marion City Library’s microfilm viewer would display only fuzzy images and had become unable to scan and print them.
Sign-up for storytime begins
Sign-up for fall/winter storytime packets for preschoolers will begin Sept. 1 at the Hillsboro Public Library. Cost for the three-month program is $4 per child. The library will offer weekly take-home packets for preschool children as a substitute for in-person storytimes. They will include age-appropriate activities and crafts and will be available from Sept. 20 to the second or third week of December. Some activities may require paint, crayons, markers, glue, or tape.
Card shower planned
A card shower is planned for the 80th birthday Sept. 10 of Ramona resident Dale Wingerd. Cards are being accepted at 3667 Pawnee Rd, Ramona KS 67475.
Health needs to be discussed
Results of the first county health needs assessment in eight years will be shared at a meeting Sept. 16 in Hillsboro. About 250 county residents responded to an online survey asking what was missing from health care here, St. Luke Hospital spokesman Roger Schroeder said.
Senior center menus
140 years ago
When 'back to school' means staying at home
Students scrub cars for T-shirts
Peabody-Burns students got soaked washing cars Monday afternoon for the high school’s student council and booster club. Money raised will buy Warrior Pride shirts for all Peabody High students.
Togetherness is theme for Marion apparel
Western Associates is selling various clothing items with a new design of last year’s school theme, “Stronger Together,” for Marion students. Athletic director Jason Hett, who also teaches physical education and is girls basketball coach, said he thought the theme would be good not just for students, but the schools themselves, and the community.
Cheer teams fires up for new year
Marion High cheerleaders are ready to roll out some new moves and a few old favorites this year. But they have a lot of practice in store before they can show them off this fall.
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