Vol. 110 , No. 15
Wednesday, January 2, 2019
Hillsboro, KS 67063
Hospital may face utility shutoff
After a $10,247.96 check bounced in December and with two additional months’ unpaid utility bills totaling $18,396.35, Hillsboro Community Hospital is in danger of having utilities shut off Jan. 4 because it is $28,644.31 in arrears. Hillsboro City Council met in special session Thursday to discuss the hospital’s unpaid bills.
Drug suspect arrested twice in two days
A Marion man was arrested Friday on a warrant and suspicion of two drug offenses, then arrested again Sunday evening on a new set of charges while still in jail from the first arrest. Brady L. Blazek, 25, was arrested Friday by sheriff’s deputies on a warrant for failure to report an accident. He was also arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia. Bond on those charges is $8,500. Blazek is listed in jail records as living in Hillsboro.
Developer told to lose his outhouse - or his whole house
An outhouse at a lake house has drawn fire from county authorities. Garry and Sharlyn Dunnegan, Wichita, had a house built at 8 Horseshoe Rd. complete with a private well and an outhouse. Garry Dunnegan is developer of Saddle Creek Estates subdivision.
County attorney tabbed to be judge
Marion County attorney Courtney Boehm has been appointed district judge for Geary County, which is part of the Eighth Judicial District, according to Eighth Judicial District chief judge Michael Powers. There is no timetable for finding Boehm’s replacement, but there will be after she officially resigns, Marion County Republican Party chairman Bob Brookens said.
Reportedly stolen Jeep crashes after 6 miles
A man driving a Jeep Cherokee reportedly stolen from Marion early Friday didn’t get far before being loaded into an ambulance after being thrown out of the Jeep in a crash six miles west of town. Marion police chief Clinton Jeffrey said Zach Dvorak notified police at 4:19 a.m. Friday that a Jeep owned by his brother, Derrick Dvorak, had been stolen from the 800 block of E. Main St. and the driver fled west.
'Male' parrot puts up a squawk about her eggs
The African Grey parrot owned by Junior and Ginny Grimmett of rural Florence is at it again. She laid several eggs about two weeks ago. Unlike the first egg-laying episode almost two years ago, when the Grimmetts were surprised to discover that their male bird actually was a female, Zark gave no indication of what was about to occur. Ginny simply discovered her sitting beside an egg on the floor of her cage.
Jim and Norma Horinek of Pilsen have worked together repairing shoes all of their married life and have operated Family Shoe Repair in Pilsen since 1994. From the area covered, theirs is one of the few shoe-repair businesses in central Kansas.
A year to remember . . . or, perhaps, to forget
Although there was a fair amount of more uplifting news in 2018, controversy and scandal unfortunately dominated Marion County headlines like never before. 1. Acts of commission
Local federal offices open - for now
During a government shutdown, agencies that have funds appropriated in prior years that are carried forward can continue to serve customers until that money is used up. USDA Service Center in Marion includes two such agencies, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources and Conservation Service. Both were open Thursday, the fifth day of the latest government shutdown.
Sobriety program examines underlying issues
For Durham native and mental health counselor Joy Waldbauer, the Restoration Center, Inc. is the opportunity for her to bring her passion to her home county. Before the center was set up at 125 E. Main St. in Marion, county residents had to travel to McPherson, Junction City, or Salina for drug and alcohol counseling. To provide more services in the county, local community corrections and judge Michael Powers of the Eighth Judicial District contacted Waldbauer.
County gas prices reach $2
County gas prices in four communities dipped under the $2 threshold Dec. 19, with every other area reaching the hitting the mark in the week since. The county price of gas sat at $2.37 heading into Thanksgiving, and the price has continued in the weeks since. The county average is at $1.96, which was two cents below the average price for Kansas.
Alleged backhoe joyriding questioned
Resident Dan Martel addressed members of Peabody City Council Thursday about concerns he had that public works employees “joyride” in the city’s backhoe. “Letting that good piece of equipment deteriorate because it’s used for jobs that it’s not necessary and not designed to do,” Martel said.
Florence stays within budget
Despite Florence City Council’s extensive deliberation over how much they could afford in water costs, they still ended 2018 in the black. Money from several reserve funds had to be used to stay within the budget, but the council won’t have the final numbers until Florence’s scheduled audit in mid-January.
Hospital calls police for man in bathroom
Hillsboro hospital employees summoned police early Saturday after a black man stayed too long in the bathroom. “A guy came in late at night and asked to use the restroom,” Hillsboro officer David Funk said. “He was in there a little too long, and they called police. By the time we got there, he was gone.”
Hillsboro chamber to unveil app
Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce members will be introduced to a new Shop Hillsboro First app at a noon luncheon Jan. 8 in the city building’s East Room. David Vogel will demonstrate the free app, which will offer advertising to Hillsboro businesses, on computers and smart phones brought by members.
Services for Anne Driver, 76, who died Dec. 24 at Hillsboro Community Hospital, were to be at 11 a.m. Dec. 29 at Hillsboro United Methodist Church with visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 28 at Jost Funeral Home. Born Sept. 27, 1942, in Wichita to Noel and Betty (Hoover) Albert, she married Vincent Driver on Nov. 28, 1970, in Wichita.
Services for Jim Thiessen, 80, who died Dec. 21 at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro, were scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 28 at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro. Interment was to be at Gnadenau Cemetery. Born March 28, 1938, in Hutchinson to Jake and Mary (Warkentin) Thiessen, he married Joyce Frantz on Nov. 17, 1958, at Gnadenau Church.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Police incident reports
Traffic Division cases
Looking for a resolution
As yet another seemingly leaderless year draws to a close, it’s worth a moment of our revelry to reflect on how much real leadership actually means. Operating behind a maze of shell corporations, Hillsboro Community Hospital and Westview Manor are facing challenges that St. Luke Hospital has managed to avoid precisely because visionary community leaders dared to take on conventional wisdom in the 1960s and draft new legislation to allow St. Luke to operate as a public hospital district.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Mayberry RFD in Abilene
LETTER TO EDITOR:
Anticipating the new year
One war, two wives, 30,000 chickens
His life, by his own admission, can be summed up as fighting in a war and outliving two wives. Don Fruechting, 87, said, “My guardian angel has been a busy person.”
Hotel to offer inaugural dining
The Historic Elgin Hotel will treat guests to a gourmet meal Jan. 5 at their inaugural Dine Out at the Elgin event. The chef for the evening will be Josh Tajchman, owner of Taco’s Food Truck. Despite working with the food truck more recently, Tajchman has prior experience with gourmet food, hotel proprietor Tammy Ensey said.
Peabody Hub gets surprise gift
Three people and one business have a little more cash in their pockets, thanks to the Peabody Holiday Shopping Spree. Peabody residents Tricia Oursler took home the big bucks — $500 — and Terry and Melissa Johnson received $100. The $250 award was a surprise.
Give a plant a chance: Don't toss that poinsettia just yet
The beautiful, bright red leaves, called bracts, of the ever-popular Poinsettia brighten the holidays. They are popular gifts to give and receive. However, they have gotten a reputation for being a bit finicky. With a little tender, loving care they can be kept looking good for months to come, University of Kansas extension agent Tristen Cope said.
Year ends with parties, guests
menus for Marion
140 years ago
MEMORIES IN FOCUS:
Before rails turned to trails
Scoreboard doesn't tell whole story
Defeated. Again. It’s enough to make the strongest person give up, go home, and call it a day. But the Peabody-Burns girls basketball team members are stronger than most.
No home team is no problem for this athlete
Peabody-Burns doesn’t have a softball team, but freshman pitcher Skylre Stucky is managing to excel in the sport anyway. Instead of playing for a high school team, Skylre spends her summers as a member of the Wichita Patriots travel-league. Her performance has gone so well that she was invited to compete on a national team in the Dominican Republic to promote goodwill between American student-athletes and those from other countries.
Hillsboro cheer camp dates set
Hillsboro High School is holding its fourth annual cheer clinic for boys and girls from kindergarten through sixth grade 3:45-4:45 p.m. Jan. 22-24. The camp will be in the elementary gymnasium, with Hillsboro varsity cheerleaders leading the program.
More all-state honors for Hillsboro football
Post-season honors continue to roll in for Hillsboro High School football players. Senior offensive lineman Wes Shaw, wide receiver Darian Ratzlaff, and linebacker Brooks Gardner were named in December to the Kansas Football Coaches Association’s all-state team for Class 1A.
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
Officer cleared in Lehigh shooting
No charges will be filed against a former Marion police officer involved in the June 20 shooting death of Robb Stewart of Lehigh. Stewart was reported to be intoxicated, armed, and suicidal when officers responded to his Lehigh home and surrounded a workshop he was in behind the residence.
One last feather for the mayor's hat
Mayor Delores Dalke may have believed that last Thursday’s well-attended reception at city hall was her final big send-off, but thanks to city administrator Larry Paine and the city council, Dalke will preside over one more significant achievement. Council members received final drafts Tuesday of a previously approved $400,000 deal to sell the city’s old hospital to EmpowerHMS, operator of Hillsboro Community Hospital. Empower HMS plans to develop an outpatient program emphasizing care for veterans.
Cities refuse to pay development dues
Two cities, five days apart, have declined to pay 2018 dues to a countywide economic development group. Marion County Community Economic Development Corporation sent a $25,000 invoice to Peabody and a $45,000 invoice to Marion, hoping to get membership payments this month.
Officials snipe over appointment
County commissioners once again locked horns Friday, this time over a past vote. Commissioner Dianne Novak, responsible for appointing someone to the county planning and zoning commission upon the expiration of Jeff Bina’s term, moved to appoint Lincolnville resident William Kroupa.
County in deep freeze; dogs rescued
Extreme temperatures ranging from below zero at night to teens during the day created threatening conditions for animals and people this weekend. Marion police took several dogs into custody Sunday when temperatures were as low as 6 below zero.
Peabody hopes Marion, Hillsboro can get along
Peabody’s new representative on the countywide economic development corporation thinks the group could work well together, but wonders what Peabody hopes to gain from membership. “I think it’s a big county and the two biggest towns are right in the middle, and those don’t always get along,” Merlyn Entz told city council members last week.
New lake chief quits
For a second time in just six months, county commissioners are in search of a lake superintendent after Bryan Metz submitted his resignation Friday, effective Jan. 20. Metz said Tuesday that he was resigning for personal reasons, but two lake residents believe there might be more to it.
Civility is key to governing, former commissioner says
If former county commissioner Linda Peterson could tell today’s commissioners one thing, it would be to treat each other with respect. Peterson, appointed to Lucille Britain’s unexpired term in January 1992, served until 2001.
Chamber deadline nears
Reservations for next week’s Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce luncheon are due Friday at the chamber office. Tara Thomas of Greater Wichita YMCA will speak about getting fit in the new year, and a boxed lunch from Subway will be served at the noon meeting Tuesday in East Room at Hillsboro City Building.
Legislative candidate to speak
Jo Schwartz of Abilene, Democratic candidate for the 70th District seat in the Kansas House of Representatives, will speak at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Sunflower Room at Marion City Library. Her public presentation is being sponsored by Marion County Democrats, who also will meet and gather food bank items. The district includes Marion and the northern half of Marion County (except for Hillsboro) as well all of Dickinson County (except Herington) and a small portion of Clay County.
Services for Hillsboro retiree Betty Dirks, 86, who died Friday at Parkside Home, were to have been this morning at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church, with burial in Gnadenau Cemetery. Born May 14, 1931, in Inman to George and Sara (Harms) Kornelsen, she married Ernie Dirks on June 12, 1953, in Inman.
A memorial service for Peabody native Adeline Spangler, 97, who died Dec. 19, will be at 11 a.m. Jan. 13 at First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, with visitation at 10 a.m. Her obituary was published Dec. 28.
Civil division cases
Criminal division cases
County jail bookings
Domestic division cases
Police incident reports
Four resolutions that could help you manage your money
The new year is a time for resolutions. Here are four financial resolutions suggested by Jessie L. Wiebe of Hillsboro State Bank. Create a savings plan. Pay yourself first. When you are getting started, getting in the habit of saving is more important than the amount you save. Determine an amount and put that much aside each month or pay period. Ask your employer if you can automatically deposit it to your savings account.
Experts offer tips on avoiding scams
Barely a week goes by without one or more Marion County residents being targeted by a scam. Many scams are not reported to police. In recent weeks, however, Hillsboro police have investigated a scam in which a caller fraudulently claimed to be from the Internal Revenue Service, and Marion police have investigated a scam in which an itinerate worker expected an excessively large cash payment for a modest amount of handyman work.
Medical mileage important, accountant says
Getting into the habit of keeping track of mileage connected with medical trips is something that could benefit people when filing income tax returns, a Marion tax accountant says. “We never know when we start the year how much medical-related mileage we will have,” Woody Crawshaw said. “People don’t realize how fast mileage accumulates.”
A double chill pill
If you’re looking for a reason for this holiday weekend’s sub-zero temperatures, perhaps the place to start is with the cold front that hit the county this past week in the form of actions taken by county commissioner Dianne Novak. Novak told county lake residents to chill out and be quiet, then froze out longtime planning commission volunteer Jeff Bina by replacing him without notice, apparently just because she could.
CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS:
Tampa chief never accused
Koslowsky ends 21 years in hardware
The last day on the job for Lori Koslowsky will be Friday at Hillsboro Tru Value Hardware. Her smiling face has greeted customers for 21 years. Koslowsky continued to work at Hillsboro Tru Value after she and her husband Tom and brother Ken and his wife sold the business two years ago. They began it in 1985. They also operated Marion Hardware from January 1996 to October 1998.
New Hays mayor has Marion roots
Life in Marion prepared him well for mayoral duties in Hays, James Meier said. Meier, who will be sworn in as mayor Monday, lived in Durham until he was in eighth grade. His mother owned a restaurant there.
NORTHWEST OF DURHAM:
Community celebrates holidays
SPORTS AND SCHOOL
Trojans open 2018 with split
The new year got off to a semisweet start for the Trojans’ basketball teams Tuesday night, splitting a pair of road games at Nickerson. In girls’ action, the Lady Trojans suffered through a slow start and never fully recovered, tumbling 60-40.
Trojan Classic to run Jan. 16-20
The 24th annual Trojan Classic basketball tournament will bring in 16 teams from eight towns to Hillsboro starting next week. Boys and girls competition will run Jan. 16 through 20.
Bible study to begin
A free 10-week Bible study, “Believing God,” by Beth Moore, will begin at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 11 in the Hearth Room at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church, 300 Prairie Point. The study, led by Marilyn Jost, the class will meet at 9:30 a.m. every Thursday. Everyone is welcome to join.
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