Vol. 110 , No. 37
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Hillsboro, KS 67063
Feedlot cattle struggling through muck
Before you see the muck at Mike Beneke’s feedlot, you can smell it. A stench, putrid and stagnant, hangs oppressively in the hot air as clustered cattle bawl.
Ex-deputy questions sheriff's leadership
Internal issues are causing problems for the sheriff’s office, according to a deputy who was encouraged to resign. But Sheriff Rob Craft has declined to comment on the allegations, saying only that the former deputy “didn’t work out.”
Hillsboro getting 2nd batch of artificial turf
After a decade of football and soccer games, Joel H. Wiens Stadium in Hillsboro is getting a new field. Removal of old artificial turf field started May 28, but planning started years prior, said Robert Rempel, athletic director at Hillsboro High School.
Fisherman spends last hours at pond
Salem Home resident Tom Schrag was known for his love of fishing, and he spent his final hours at the pond Saturday. “Just getting out and sitting there with a pole was good enough for him, let alone catching something,” brother Timothy Schrag said.
Solar panels coming to Hillsboro
A new solar agreement with the Kansas Power Pool will be an important step for the Hillsboro’s future, councilman Jonah Gehring said Tuesday. “It opens the door to understanding, training, and development in the future,” he said.
Floodwater victim provides money for boat
A man and woman who were rescued two hours after escaping a flooded vehicle trapped on Falcon Rd. near 170th Rd. have given $2,000 to Hillsboro emergency workers to purchase an inflatable boat. “This is to make sure this doesn’t happen to somebody else,” Harold Stultz Sr. said, as he handed a check to Hillsboro Fire Chief Ben Steketee.
Secrecy cloud lifts as county hires engineer
It took seven executive sessions spanning three commission meetings over six days, but Marion County now has a signed employment contract with its new engineer, Brice Goebel, who previously worked for the state transportation department in Marion. After 1 hour 37 minutes of negotiating his contract — all behind closed doors, among themselves, with legal counsel, and with Goebel himself — what emerged Monday was a document saying Goebel will be an “at-will” employee, able to quit or be fired from his $80,000-a-year position at any time without reason.
60-mile pilgrimage ends at packed service
The cool shade of a grove of trees outside Father Emil Kapaun’s home church lit up with unbridled enthusiasm Sunday as a group of young cousins explained their love for this past weekend’s annual 60-mile walk to the church. “It’s probably one of the most difficult and challenging things you’ll ever do,” pilgrim Katie Stuhlsatz of Garden Plain said. “Coming up the hill and into Pilsen each year, it’s always the same. And it’s the greatest feeling ever.”
Wheeler vs. Mayfield for Marion mayor
After Mayor Todd Heitschmidt declined to file for reelection, councilman John Wheeler will face former city administrator David Mayfield to replace him. Noon Monday was deadline for filing for the Nov. 5 election. Longtime councilman Gerald Kline, newcomer Jacob Harper (who had to register as a voter before he could file), and former planning and zoning board member Ruth Herbel have filed for city council.
Hold off on flood repairs, disaster chief says
Don’t repair flooding damage too quickly. Or, if you have to, at least document it first with photographs. That’s the advice of county emergency management director Randy Frank, who notes that current disaster declarations are open-ended and additional flooding remains likely.
Wind farm decision delayed
After two lengthy evenings of testimony on the merits of a wind farm proposal — and reasons not to permit it — county planning and zoning commissioners tabled any decision until they meet again Monday evening. Each of the two nights of testimony lasted 3
Child screenings offred
Concert to dedicate new trail
Tall Grass Express String Band, including Marion’s Jim Versch on mandolin and vocalist Annie Wilson of Elmdale, will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of Council Grove’s Kaw Mission, 500 N. Mission St. Presented by Santa Fe Trail Association and the National Park Service, the free concert will mark dedication of Della Orton Trail at Rock Creek Crossing, six miles east of Council Grove.
Summer provides job opportunities for students
Hillsboro eighth-grader Carter Hamm started his lawn mowing business midway through 2018 and now sees it as his calling. “Going into eighth grade, I feel like I want to do that,” he said. “I’ve found the thing that’s good for me. I’m good at it and enjoy it.”
Weekend sees spate of domestic disputes
Sheriff’s deputies, Marion and Hillsboro police, and Marion Reservoir officers dealt with a spate of domestic-violence related calls late Saturday and early Sunday. The first call came at 10:18 p.m. Saturday. Tampa ambulance briefly was asked to stand by near 290th and Old Mill Rds. after dispatch reported that a told a couple’s adult son, possibly coming down from a drug high, had become combative. Five minutes later the ambulance call was canceled after an officer arrived at the scene, discovered there was a warrant for the son’s arrest, and took him into custody.
Services for Thomas Schrag, 57, who died Saturday at Hillsboro Sports Complex, will be scheduled later. Born Dec. 14, 1961, in LaGrange, Indiana, to Willard and Ruth (Wedel) Schrag December 14, 1961, he is survived by son Jamie Schrag of Wichita, daughter Julia Deel of Haysville, brother Tim Schrag of Manhattan and a grandson.
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Domestic division cases
Municipal court cases
Police incident reports
Traffic Division cases
Maryam Naji M. Alenazi, Manhattan, speeding (78 mph in a 65 mph zone) Jan. 27, $293, license suspended. Rachel E. Barnett, Wichita, speeding (75/65) Feb. 2, $275, license suspended.
Farmers back in field after rough month
After a month of persistent rain, farmers were finally able to get back to work this week, although some low-lying areas are still too wet and more rain is forecast for the county. Randy Vogel farms north of Marion. He said he drove through deep mud on country roads to get to his pastures and feed hay to his cows last winter.
Dealer gets new manager, expands
Brad Wheeler, who had worked for Foley Caterpillar in Concordia, became manager of PrairieLand Partners’ Marion store last month. Wheeler’s familiarity with one of the operations merged into PrairieLand played a role in his decision to come here.
Tilting at windmills
Never have so many said so much yet been heard by so few. Two days of public testimony about Expedition Wind’s plan for turbines in southern Marion County brought a whirlwind of everything except changed minds this week. Speaker after speaker droned on, not unlike the swooping hum of a turbine, reading prepared statement after prepared statement.
FFA students honored at state convention
Nearly a dozen Marion County students were honored at last week’s state FFA convention in Manhattan. Cassie Meyer of Marion High School was statewide winner in prepared public speaking and leadership development.
Hein leads 11 Trojans on all-league team
Junior pitcher Hunter Hein led 11 Hillsboro athletes named last week to all-league teams for Central Kansas League. Hein was Hillsboro’s only first-team selection in baseball or softball.
Goessel golfer middle of pack at state
Goessel High School golfer Dylan Linderman finished the rain-delayed Class 2A state golf tournament 35th out of 76 golfers last week. He shot a 49 on the front nine but with three pars on the final three holes tallied a 44 on the back nine.
Five honored as top scholars
Five Marion County students were recognized by the governor for grades that put them in the top one percent of Kansas students. The 36-year-old program, funded by private donations, included a lunch and recognition ceremony in Topeka.
Souvenir gifts available
New souvenir gift items are available at the Hillsboro museums shop. Water glasses engraved with “Pioneer Adobe House Hillsboro 1876” and wine glasses engraved with “Schaeffler Merchantile Hillsboro 1887” are being sold in sets of four for $39.
Water aerobics classes offered
Hourlong water aerobics classes designed to improve mobility, flexibility, posture, balance, and strength are being offered at 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Hillsboro Family Aquatic Center. Certified instructor Holly Nickel will lead the low-impact fitness classes. Cost is $5 per session. Classes will run four to six weeks.
Free shots can prevent flood-related illness
Floodwaters may have receded, but the threat posed by them has not gone away. Free tetanus vaccinations for those exposed to potentially contaminated water during recent flooding are being made available though the county health department.
Hillsboro Senior Center menu
Calendar of events
Probation likely in teacher sex case
A former Peabody-Burns teacher charged in February with eight felonies alleging unlawful sexual relations and sexual exploitation of two students struck a plea deal Monday that is expected to get him probation. According to a plea agreement filed in court Tuesday, Christopher R. Young, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Five charges of unlawful sexual relations and a third count of sexual exploitation of a child were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be refiled.
Road rocker gets a thank you
Road and bridge supervisor Jesse Hamm gave county commissioners a preview Thursday of his upcoming budget request. He hopes for substantial increases for work on roads and bridges.
Veterinarian looking forward to life in Hillsboro
The charm of small-town living is one of the top reasons Carlee Wollard chose to start her veterinary career at Hillsboro. A May graduate of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, she started work at Hillsboro Animal Clinic this week.
City council makes short work of meeting
In a meeting lasting only 45 minutes, Hillsboro City Council members gave administrator Larry Paine authorization to consider and arrange temporary financing for upcoming street projects so work can begin before the final cost of the projects is known. The projects include mill overlay on D St., reconstruction on Wilson St., and work on Kennedy St., A St., and east and west portions of Grand St.
Firefighters brush up water rescue skills
Firefighters from Hillsboro and Newton brushed up floodwater and swift water rescue skills Saturday and Sunday at Marion Reservoir. Firefighters waded into water below the dam, carrying life vests for a mock “flood victim” and pulled him safely to shore Saturday.
Kapaun pilgrimage has two sides to it
“Physically challenging, spiritually uplifting.” That, in a nutshell, is how Jeff Cady of Marion described his experience as a participant in the Father Kapaun Pilgrimage this past week.
Holy Family Parish to get new priest
Holy Family Parish will have a new priest June 19. Pastor Brian Bebak will come to Marion from El Dorado, where he has been at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church since 2007. Bebak was ordained in May 1986 and has served many roles in the Wichita diocese. Other pastorates were in Wichita, Winfield, Oxford, Hutchinson, and Colwich.
Positivity prevails despite cancer diagnosis
Cancer. A six-letter word that can initiate a rollercoaster of emotions for many. Holly Unruh was diagnosed in February with stage-four metastatic breast cancer and says she has tried to remain positive since.
Services for retired plumber William Jay Flaming, 60, who died May 26 at Salem Home, will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at First Mennonite Church, Hillsboro. Born July 27, 1957, to Jim and Eulalia Flaming, he grew up in Hillsboro and worked with his father until they retired in 2016.
Services for 1948 Marion High School graduate Cherridah Lis (Mullikin) Gill, 87, who died May 25 in Lexington, Nebraska, were last week in Arapahoe, Nebraska. Born Nov. 5, 1930, in Emporia to Jerry and Verona Mullikin, she lived in Peabody until 1940, when her father became the first superintendent of Marion County Park and Lake.
A memorial service for former Marion resident Bryce Galen Morris, 26, who died June 2 in Tulsa, will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, Russell. Visitation will precede the service. Born April 12, 1992, in Greensburg to Derek G. Morris and Michelle Kamenicky, he grew up in Greensburg until his family moved to Russell. He later attended high school in Marion and then worked in oil fields on pulling units, as a pipe tester, and on water filtration.
Civil division cases
County jail bookings
Criminal division cases
Domestic division cases
Marriage licenses issued
Police incident reports
Traffic division cases
Donating for the donor: Co-op's food drive honors colleague
Mid-Kansas Cooperative’s sixth annual food drive this year is less about competition between sites to see which can generate the most donations, and more about honoring an employee who died unexpectedly Oct. 4. Scott Alcorn lived in Marion, was a location service specialist at Peabody’s elevator, and had been with MKC for 20 years.
Hot, dry weather plagues farmers
Farmers and ranchers are wondering how they are going to survive hot, dry weather. Small rains were enough to bring up spring crops, but drought has persisted in many parts of the county since November. Pasture ponds have dried up, hay crops are sparse, and growing crops could dry up without more moisture.
Co-ops create new propane firm
Cooperative Grain and Supply and Agri Trails Coop have joined to form a new propane company. Co-Ag Propane will service residential, agricultural, and commercial propane customers. The partnership will create a large service area with the ability and support to expand as the company grows.
MB Center announces summer hours
The Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies at Tabor College will be open 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. through Aug. 17. Appointments and requests for assistance after hours are being accepted by Peggy Goertzen at (620) 947-3691.
Hillsboro Senior Center Menu
County students honored at FFA Convention
A summer job at age 14 at Aunt Bee’s greenhouse followed by helping manage the garden of her parents, Allen Stapleford and Marie Clark, helped earn Marion FFA member Carley Stapleford a state proficiency award in diversified horticulture at last week’s state FFA convention in Manhattan. Stapleford, recognized for having one of the best agricultural career development programs in the state, hopes to become an agriculture business consultant.
Swimming meet winners
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