Vol. 122 , No. 7
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Hillsboro, KS 67063
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
Outbreak worsens; 47 new cases in 2 days
Marion County's massive surge in COVID-19 cases has significantly worsened with disclosure of 11 new cases Wednesday and 11 more new cases Thursday. That's 73 new cases in the past seven days, continuing an ominous pattern that eclipses all previous seven-day records. Until Oct. 24, the record for new cases in any seven-day period had been just 25. It took the county 150 days, from April 1 until Aug. 28, before it recorded as many new cases as it has recorded in the past seven days alone.
Outbreak eclipses all records
An unprecedented 40 new COVID-19 cases in two days, including cases at St. Luke Living Center, may be linked to a growing unwillingness to report recent contacts to county health officials. “I don’t know if I can go so far as saying it’s a contributing factor,” county health nurse Diedre Serene said Tuesday. “I think there probably are a lot of things contributing to a rise in cases. The more movement people are doing, the more we’re going to see it. Not identifying contacts may just be one piece of it.”
Racing leads to highway crash
Connie Weber was looking out her mother’s window Saturday at Hillsboro Community Hospital when she saw it. Two drivers, both of them athletes at Tabor College, were racing north on Industrial Rd. toward US-56, something Hillsboro residents complained about earlier in the day. This time, the racers realized too late that a Dodge Ram was crossing in front of them on the highway.
Lost Springs cleanup to begin
Cleanup efforts at three properties in Lost Springs deemed a health hazard by authorities are to start in a week, the county’s planning and zoning director Sharon Omstead said. Resident’s complaints about trash, waste and debris piled around homes at 106 S. Berry, 103 E. Crane, and a nearby vacant lot spurred an investigation by Omstead and Toby Kuhn, an enforcement specialist with the state’s department of health and environment.
Despite state guidelines, schools aren't going remote
Despite clearly exceeding state criteria regarding the community spread of COVID-19, Marion County school officials have decided not to cancel face-to-face classes and instead are watching numbers in their school buildings to decide whether to move toward remote learning. Unlike state standards, guidelines in Marion County’s five districts are based only on the percentage of students and staff with COVID at the time the decision is made.
Suspect accused of murdering woman in county in April
More than four months after a 27-year-old woman was found dead in a river in Sumner County, a 48-year-old man was arrested Thursday and charged with having murdered her two months earlier in Marion County. Robert Bruce Mans Jr. was booked into Marion County Jail late Thursday morning. He is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond.
Mueller narrowly leads; GOP wins county
It is assured that there will be a new District 2 county commissioner, but whether it will be David Mueller or Mike Beneke remains to be seen, with Tuesday voting tallies that left barely more space than the eye of a needle. After preliminary votes were tallied Mueller led by just 45 votes, 623-578.
Marion refuses to pay full pool bill
Marion city council members split the difference with USD 408 after getting a higher-than-anticipated bill for the city’s share of operating the community swimming pool. The city’s share is paid annually, and the invoice is typically $14,977.51, lower than the $17,221.62 billed this year.
Grant for Beneke's cafe withdrawn
Edwards Café owner Mike Beneke hasn’t decided what to do with his restaurant. He may sell it. He may lease it. He may even tear it down. But he won’t get a $10,000 grant promised to him in September because he hasn’t reopened it. The city of Marion rescinded the grant Monday. The money will be awarded in a second round of community development block grants.
Elgin, Dorothy's listed for sale with Wichita agent
The Historic Elgin Hotel and Dorothy’s Coffee & Tea Room are listed for sale with Wichita real estate agent Sheri Proctor, of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Alliance. Asking price for the Elgin is $1.2 million, but Proctor said sales arrangements for the building and business were “very flexible.”
Judge watches for four horsemen
District judge Steven Hornbaker intends to resolve a long-running lawsuit between wind farm opponents and defendants Marion County and Expedition Wind on Friday — unless the four horsemen of the apocalypse show up first. Hornbaker last week brought the filing of legal briefs in the case to a screeching halt with an order saying he will hear arguments on a summary judgment at 10 a.m. Friday.
Florence works toward sewer system solution
A sewer line in need of repair in Florence is proving problematic, though it has been taken care of temporarily by turning the line off, city superintendent Terry Britton said. The line, running from Grandview Circle Dr., has a few spots where it is seeping up to the surface, including near 3rd and Doyle Sts., Britton said.
Peabody hires new officer
Peabody soon will have a new police officer patrolling its streets, but residents will have to wait two more months to meet him. The police department recently hired Leonard Lovely III to be a new full-time officer. Lovely will come to Peabody after serving as a part-time deputy in Decatur County.
Deputy graduates from training
Joel Womochil, Marion County Sheriff’s deputy, is one of 27 new officers who graduated Oct. 30 from Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Graduates receive certificates of course completion from KLETC and Kansas law enforcement certification from the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training.
Sprinkler work reveals pricey surprise
When the city of Hillsboro agreed in August to transfer a portion of the old Hillsboro hospital to Tabor College for use as a COVID-19 isolation center, no one was expecting to discover the building needed $35,182 worth of work that should have been done years ago. The agreement between the city and Tabor was to transfer one end of the Salem Home building formerly used as the community hospital.
Hedge apple pranksters strike again
Goblins struck again this year on Marion’s Main St. by dumping a truckload of hedge apples in what has become a mischievous custom, police chief Clinton Jeffrey said. “They’ve done it every year since I can remember,” he said. “Even when I was in high school it was just something the kids would do. It’s a pain, I mean it’s not harmless, but it’s a tradition that’s been done forever.”
Services for Marvin Hill, 84, who passed away Sunday at Salem Home in Hillsboro, will be 11 a.m. Friday at Zion Lutheran Church in Hillsboro. He was born Feb. 5, 1936, in Kanopolis to Adam and Anna Shiroky Hill.
Services were scheduled Tuesday for Lois Nuss, 88, who died Oct. 26 at St. Luke Living Center in Marion. She was born May 4, 1932, in McPherson to David and Elsie Ann (Ratzlaff) Zimmerman.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Municipal court cases
Police activity reports
Traffic division cases
Land of plenty: Bin-bustin' harvest winds down
A steady stream of trucks pulls up to the weigh station at Agri-Trails Co-op in Lincolnville bearing loads of grain. As harvest winds down, 260,000 bushels of corn and 40,000 of milo are being piled into large mountains on the ground near bunkers filled with wheat as this year’s bounty spills over.
Winter maintenance varies
Just like vehicles need proper preparation before winter arrives, so too does farm equipment. PrairieLand Partners uses the season to help farmers catch up on preventable maintenance since there is less urgency to have repairs done immediately, service manager Braden Fahey said. “It’s definitely seasonal,” he said. “We try to get the row-crop tractors and stuff that’s not used throughout the winter. We try to get the combines and bailers in. That way when it’s time to use those, they’re able to run.”
Untangling a web of deceit
Now that the election is over and the choice of who leads us has been turned over by media and voters to lawyers and judges, it’s time to look at all the other lies, deceptions, and hidden motivations we’ve been seeing on TV and in social media. Take, for example, a series of recent ads by a prominent airline promising to eliminate all — with emphasis on the “all” — change fees on tickets. Only if you read or listen to the tiny, softly spoken disclaimer do you learn that “all” doesn’t include most common economy fares.
No mask? No mas!
Latest estimates are that 135,000 Americans will die of lung cancer this year. We’ve banned smoking from buildings other than homes. An estimated 36,000 Americans will die in traffic accidents. We ticket motorists who refuse to wear seat belts, enforce speed limits, and require vehicles to have air bags.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Talk to me!
Health fair canceled because of pandemic
An increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the county prompted a decision to cancel this year’s county health fair. County health nurse Diedre Serene said organizers nixed giving flu shots at the fair, but then became concerned about the health of hospital laboratory staff and decided to cancel.
Area dance students to perform online
Two area students will take part in a Kansas State University winter dance concert live-streamed at 7 p.m. tonight and Friday. Area students to be part of the show include:
Free developmental screenings offered
Screenings for cognitive, motor, speech, language, social and emotional development, and vision and hearing among children newborn through age 5 will be offered Nov. 10 in Marion. Screenings will be done 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. by Marion County Early Intervention Services. There is no charge for the service.
Senior center menus
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
Calendar of events
140 years ago
County teams win 2 of 4 games
Hillsboro’s 47-12 playoff victory over Belle Plaine on Friday at home was largely thanks to junior Matthew Potucek. Not only did he throw for 266 yards and four touchdowns on just nine completions, he also had 96 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Trojan ground game, and added two interceptions on defense.
Hillsboro netters place 4th at state
Hillsboro entered Class 2A’s state tournament as the bracket’s top-seeded team, but it marked the first time all season Hillsboro lost more than one match in a tournament. The Trojans dropped their first two matches but recovered to win the third match. That solidified them as the third seed in bracket play.
Bluebird runners 6th at state
Hillsboro and Goessel runners made their final stand during Saturday’s state races at Victoria. Goessel boys followed up their run of recent performances by placing sixth among Class 1A schools. The Bluebirds placed no runners better than 35th, but succeeded in placing four within the top 50.
Time on field strengthens brothers' bond
Every time Luke and Jake Wiens took the football field this season it strengthened their relationship as brothers and teammates. “I think we’ve built our relationship through football,” Jake said.
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