• UPDATED: Toxins force rare reservoir closure; lake also under warning

    In a rare, possibly unprecedented move, Marion Reservoir was closed to all visitors Thursday after tests revealed an extremely high level not only of blue-green algae but also of potentially deadly toxins they release. The next day, Marion County Lake was placed under the second most serious algae advisory, a more familiar "warning." The county lake will remain open, but visitors are being warned not to come into contact with lake water.


  • Cross words preceded hiring stalemate

    Discussion about hiring a Herington employee for $1,800 a month to spend two days a week doing building inspections and code enforcement in Marion turned a bit heated Tuesday. Apparently tired of council member Ruth Herbel’s questions, member Zach Collett told her, “We’re way off base and I’m not going down that rabbit hole.”

  • County to buy salon, may move health department from hospital

    The county health department soon could have spacious and updated quarters in north Marion. Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to purchase a building at 1240 Commercial Dr., north of US-56 in Marion, for $160,000. The building recently housed Silk Salon. The building was put on the market in September. Owners say they intend to open in a new location.

  • Riders revved at Grand Prix's return to Florence

    The population of Florence must have been 20 times higher than normal Sunday for a revival of an event begun in honor of the town’s centennial. The Florence Grand Prix motorcycle race was begun 50 years ago, lasted about six years, and was revived for Florence’s 150th birthday.

  • Cyclist seriously hurt in U-turn accident

    A 50-year-old rural Hillsboro man was seriously injured when he was thrown off his motorcycle after it collided with a car making a U-turn at 5:53 p.m. Monday near the Adobe House Museum. Cyclist Louis J. Simmons Jr. was taken to Hillsboro Community Hospital and then transferred on an emergency basis to Wesley Medical Center, Wichita.

  • Car eludes police after 18-mile, 100 mph chase

    At speeds in excess of 100 mph and often over unpaved roads, a gray Ford Fusion led Peabody police officer Kaitlin Brunner on an 18-mile chase shortly before midnight Saturday through Marion, Butler, and Harvey Counties. The chase began when Brunner attempted to stop the car, which had no license plate light, at 11:23 p.m. eastbound from Peabody on Potters Rd., which becomes 60th Rd. outside the city limits.


  • Centre finalizes building plans

    Centre school board last week approved seeking a lease-purchase agreement as partial financing for a new building project. The project calls for adding a pre-kindergarten classroom, kindergarten classroom, and child care facility to the west side of the elementary school.

  • Parts of Tampa evacuated after gas leak

    Firefighters evacuated residents of several houses for nearly two hours after a driver hit a Tampa gas meter at 12:37 a.m. Saturday in the 200 block of 5th St. The accident caused the underground gas pipe to break, so deputies and Tampa firefighters blocked off the street until Atmos Energy technicians arrived and got the leak shut off.

  • Florence marks 150 years

    Residents and past residents of Florence gathered Saturday to mark the town’s 150th birthday, and others came from near and far in anticipation of a Sunday motorcycle race. A discussion of days gone by at the Harvey House museum drew 23 audience members to hear former resident Doug Westerhaus talk about Florence history.

  • 'COVID hail' falls on county

    Multiple storms moving through the county Tuesday evening left a trail of oddly-shaped hail resembling giant COVID-19 viruses. Meteorologist Vanessa Pearce with National Weather Service in Wichita said storms moved through starting at 7:30 p.m. in Peabody, then hit Lincolnville at 8:27 p.m., Lost Springs at 8:30 p.m., and Goessel at 9:15 p.m.




  • Chalice, new medal to honor Kapaun at annual pilgrimage

    After an 11 a.m. Mass on Kapaun Day this Sunday, John Moore of Gallup, New Mexico, will present a silver chalice to Father Brian Bebak and the Pilsen people. All the dates of Kapaun’s life from birth to identification of his remains and their return to Kansas have been engraved on it, with room for dates of his being named blessed and, hopefully, canonized by the Catholic Church. Kapaun’s nephew, Ray Kapaun, will present the South Korean Order of Military Medal that Kapaun recently received posthumously.

  • Country, Christian music to star at Chingawassa Days

    He will appear on the Main Stage at 9 p.m. Saturday. An opera-trained Missouri native, Farr has released numerous songs and had his own reality show, “A Little Too Farr.”

  • Festival offers plenty of food, fun

    A community barbecue at 5:30 p.m. Friday will feed all comers until food runs out. Dessert — or just a cool snack — is an ice cream social at 6 p.m.

  • Throwback Peabody diner puts the 'special' back into the blue plate

    The good taste of food at the iconic Peabody diner brings a large flock of regular customers for breakfast and lunch every day. Tim Peterson was busily cooking orders and filling plates for a full house of customers Thursday, grabbing order tickets and sending meals out to customers as quickly as he could.

  • Beloved cafe reopens after 2 years

    The show of support from surrounding communities confirmed Ryan and Dani Hatfield Makovec’s decision to keep a 50-year-old tradition going. Ryan is a grandson of former owner and operator Delora Alvarez, who died in January, 2020. He grew up by her side and learned how to manage a commercial kitchen. Dani worked there for a while during and after high school.

  • Descendent preserves 149-year-old farmhouse

    “One day in the spring of 1869, a handsome young man with coal black hair and a fine face, riding a splendid horse, rode in at George Coble’s ranch three miles south of Peabody.” That’s how Coble remembered A.N. Allison 40 years after he arrived in Marion County.

  • Burns seeks to preserve 1905 school

    Burns Community Historical Society is taking steps to preserve a 1905 brick building that purportedly was the first consolidated grade school in Kansas. Many town and school artifacts are stored there. In 1921, a brick junior/senior high school was built. It fell into disrepair after its students were transferred to Peabody in 1965. It has since been torn down.

  • Make a splash! Area's pools, lakes offer good times and a chance to beat the heat

    Hillsboro’s Family Aquatic Center is at 600 W. D St. Built in 2006, it features zero-depth entry access, a two-story high slide, two diving boards, and a toddler play area with slides and spray features.


  • Should we bleep 'Chinga' from our mythology?

    Myths and legends are mighty motivators — beloved and important parts of our society, helping us reach for and achieve our shared metaphorical dreams. But as with actual dreams and metaphors, they may be based on something other than verifiable facts. Most of us know, for example, that Columbus probably didn’t discover America; Leif Erickson more likely did. Not as many of us have considered historians’ observations that, at the time of Columbus’ voyage, only a few people actually thought the world was flat.


    Talking about the truth


  • School closed in '65, but Burns grads still meet

    At least 50 Burns High School graduates gathered Sunday at the community center in Burns for a school reunion. Arletta’s Catering of Burns served the noon meal. Marie Ehmke Clark, 98, received a wrist corsage for being the oldest alumna present. She graduated in 1941 and still lives in rural Burns.

  • Tai Chi classes offered

    Free classes in tai chi — postures and movements designed to help with arthritis, balance, and stress — will be offered 8 to 8:30 a.m. Thursdays June 9 through 30 at the basketball court in Marion’s Central Park. The classes, offered by Gayla Ratzlaff of the Marion County department on aging, will move to Marion Senior Center in case of rain. More information is available from Ratzlaff at (620) 382-3580.

  • Senior centers menus


    15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 105, 135 years ago


  • 18 county players all-league

    Seven players from Hillsboro and 11 from Marion were named last week to all-league teams in baseball and softball. For Marion, senior infielders Jayden May and Mickelly Soyez, junior catcher Carley Wilhelm, and sophomore outfielder Natalie Sigel were named first teamers in softball by the Heart of America League.

  • Athletes bring home 9 medals

    Marion County students captured nine medals Friday and Saturday at the state track meet in Wichita. Campbell Winter of Marion was the highest finisher, capturing a tie for fourth place in pole vault after a disappointing finish in the 300-meter hurdles preliminaries, when he caught his trail leg and fell.

  • Marion Middle School students receive year-end honors

    Marion Middle School released this list of its 2021-’22 student awards last week: HONOR ROLL High 8th Grade — Harrison Beery, Cooper Brewer, Samuel Calvert, Maria Carlson, Shaliah Ensley, Daisy Giles, Vlad Harris, Hailey Harshman, Madisyn Hulett, Elijah Klenda, Keenan Lange, Kadon Mercer, Jaxon Salsbury, Eldon Smith, and Gabrielle Stuchlik. 7th Grade — Margaret Collett, Zayden Janzen, Dylan Kraus, Teegan Kraus, Jessica Methvin, Kaelynn Metro, Jordy Raymer, Eliza Richardson, Liran Wasmuth, Kate Wessel, and Isaac Wesner. 6th Grade — Myles Ash, Sybil Bowman, Izabell Branson, Alexandra Carlson, Reagan Cooper, Kael Dameron, Hugh Guetterman, Kevon Jones, Ryder Kraus, Ellie Nelson, Brooklynn Ottensmeier, Kayleigh Pacelli, Ryker Salsbury, Brylee Smith, Grayson Smith, Haley Suffield, Shelby Summervill, Aubrey Whiteman, and Kierstin Wildin. Regular 8th Grade — Jessi Hayes, Shyann Harris, Kayla McPhail, Jesse Snyder, and Kate Watkins. 7th Grade — Ava Box, Delaney Hostetler, Jackson Howard, Cooper Jirak, Titus Mason, Kaden Smith, Hitch Soyez, and Tandice Tajchman. 6th Grade — Cadence Bialek, Dalton Boone, Jeremiah Nienstedt, Reese Oursler, and Rylee Thomas. Honorable mention 8th Grade — Molly Bradfield, Kattie Stultz, Wyatt Soyez, and Breane Williams. 7th Grade — Maddison Beery, Brylee Haws, Christian Pacelli, and Noah Schmidt. 6th Grade — Brooklyn Beery, Morgan Dixon, Sofia Frohlich-Phipps, Wyatt Ostlee, Braydn Pohlman, and Austin Richardson. AWARDS Academic excellence — Harrison Beery, Maria Carlson, Madisyn Hulett, Elijah Klenda, and Kadon Mercer. Citizenship — Gabrielle Stuchlik and Kadon Mercer. President’s educational excellence — Harrison Beery, Samuel Calvert, Maria Carlson, Shaliah Ensley, Daisy Giles, Shayann Harris, Vlad Harris, Hailey Harshman, Jessi Hayes, Madisyn Hulett, Elijah Klenda, Keenan Lange, Kadon Mercer, Jaxon Salsbury, Eldon Smith, Jesse Snyder, and Gabrielle Stuchlik. Spelling — 1. Alexandra Carlson, 2. Vlad Harris, and 3. Cheyenne Voyles. Band Outstanding student — Maria Carlson. District honor band — Daisy Giles (flute), Shyann Harris (baritone saxophone), Hailey Harshman (flute), Keenan Lange (French horn), and Jessica Methvin (trumpet). State honor band — Shyann Harris (baritone saxophone). League solos — Maria Carlson (flute, I rating), Keenan Lange (French Horn, II+), and Vyolett Dawson and Hailey Harshman (flute, II). League brass ensemble (I rating) — Harrison Beery, Lexi Branson, Samuel Calvert, Vlad Harris, Madisyn Hulett, Keenan Lange, Kadon Mercer, Jessica Methvin, Colt Smith, Eldon Smith, Leroy Wessel, and Owen White. League flute ensemble (I) — Maria Carlson, Vyolett Dawson, Daisy Giles, Hailey Harshman, Delaney Hostetler, Dylan Kraus, Kayla McPhail, Jaxon Salsbury, Gabrielle Stuchlik, Kate Wessel, and Cheyenne Wilson. League flute quartet (I) — Maria Carlson, Daisy Giles, Hailey Harshman, and Gabrielle Stuchlik. League woodwind ensemble (I) — Maddison Beery, Ava Box, Shyann Harris, Elijah Klenda, Kaelynn Metro, Josh Smith, Jesse Snyder, Tandice Tajchman, and MaKayla West. Choir Baton — Shaliah Ensley and Eldon Smith. Boys ensemble — Harrison Beery, Cooper Brewer, Vlad Harris, Elijah Klenda, Keenan Lange, Kadon Mercer, Jaxon Salsbury, Eldon Smith, Jesse Snyder, and Wyatt Soyez. Chorister — Lexi Branson, Alexandra Carlson, Margaret Collett, Kaden Smith, Isaac Wesner, Jordy Raymer, and Keenan Lange. League solos — Lexi Branson, Maria Carlson, and Jessica Methvin (I rating); Keenan Lange (I-); Gabrielle Stuchlik and Isaac Wesner (II+); and Shaliah Ensley, Hitch Soyez, Eldon Smith, and Kaden Smith (II). Musicianship — Maria Carlson and Elijah Klenda. Do It For Your School 8th Grade — Maria Carlson and Keenan Lange. 7th Grade — Jessica Methvin and Jordy Raymer. 6th Grade — Rylee Thomas and Ryker Salsbury. Lexile reading 8th Grade — Breane Williams. 7th Grade — Zayden Janzen and Kaelynn Metro. 6th Grade — Alexandra Carlson and Braydn Pohlman. Quiz bowl 8th Grade —Elijah Klenda (top scorer) and Harrison Beery, Lexi Branson, Samuel Calvert, Maria Carlson, Daisy Giles, Shyann Harris, Vlad Harris, Hailey Harshman, Keenan Lange, Jaxon Salsbury, Kattie Stultz, Breane Williams, and Naomi Wilson. 7th Grade — Jordy Raymer (top scorer) and Maddison Beery, Margaret Collett, Delaney Hostetler, Jackson Howard, Dylan Kraus, Teegan Kraus, Jessica Methvin, Kaelynn Metro, Kaden Smith, Hitch Soyez, Isaac Wesner, and Kate Wessel. Student council 8th Grade — Cooper Brewer, Keenan Lange, Eldon Smith, and Gabrielle Stuchlik. 7th Grade — Cooper Jirak, Jordy Raymer, Kaden Smith, and Hitch Soyez. 6th Grade — Dalton Boone, Alexandra Carlson, Kevon Jones, and Shelby Summerville.


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