• COVID surge continues at record levels Friday

    Marion County's record-breaking surge of COVID-19 cases continued Moday with disclosure of 23 new cases, with a total of 80 new cases over the past seven days. Monday's report came four days after a record-matching 31 new cases were reported. The rate of new cases slowed slightly from Friday's seven-day record of 88 cases, but continued an ominous pattern of eclipsing nearly all previous seven-day records. Until Oct. 24, just three weeks ago, the record for new cases in any seven-day period had been just 25. It took the county 154 days, from April 1 until Sept. 1, before it recorded as many cases as it has in the past seven days.


    Petition county to act now to curb COVID-19


  • Worsening outbreak closes school

    Marion County’s massive surge in COVID-19 cases continued to worsen Tuesday with disclosure of 16 new reported cases, after a single-day record of 31 new cases was reported Monday. Peabody-Burns has switched high school classes to online through the end of November, and 27 Centre high school students are now online only because of an outbreak there.

  • 33 bombings taught veteran to value each day

    Richard Giroux survived 33 bombings as a combat engineer in the Army, and the experiences taught him to value each day. “One false move, and boom,” he said. “You can’t be afraid to die. It’s one of those selfless service things, and that’s what I had to live by. This could be the last day, but I’m just doing my job and not stressing over it.”

  • Tampa transplant reinvigorates neglected homes

    John Bichelmeyer eyed Tampa’s the old lumber building on Main St. and fell a little more in love with its potential every day he walked by. A native of Kansas small towns, Bichelmeyer’s job building wind farm turbines with RES had him traveling from New York, to Canada, and the very bottom of Texas, until he blew into Tampa about year ago.

  • Nurse copes with scofflaws, overload

    Diedre Serene’s role as county health nurse extends far beyond coordinating its response to COVID-19. But many in the county still are surprised at the scope of her job, she said.

  • Plan to hire administrator discussed illegally in secret

    Although no one has approved a plan to hire a long-discussed county administrator, commissioners Monday reviewed a plan to recruit one — even without a job description. Commissioners discussed the proposal, presented by commission chairman Jonah Gehring, behind closed doors using the “personnel matters” exception to state open meetings law.


  • Novak reprises voting complaint

    Outgoing county commissioner Dianne Novak once again complained during Monday’s county commission meeting about suspicious counting of ballots by those tabulating Marion County election results. Speaking during commissioner’s comments at the end of the meeting, Novak complained that a poll watcher was not allowed to observe the vote counting in the room.

  • Alleged killer met victim in drug recovery

    A woman whose decomposing body was found inside a black box in the Ninnescah River June 7 met the man charged with her murder when both lived at a sober living community in Wichita, according to court documents. Shalan Niccole Gannon was reported missing in Wichita two months before her body was found by fishermen.

  • Owner hopeful after 1st month

    Terry Looney has run Marion Tire and Service for about a month but has high hopes for his first business. While work was slow this past week, the flow of customers increased considerably this week, he said.

  • Food bank to get better home after razing

    Sometime next year, when weather is good for construction, a new Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank will be built at the corner of Cedar and Main Sts. in Marion. Marion Advancement Campaign closed the purchase Friday of a building that formerly housed a beauty shop and a rental house.

  • Disability group to meet

    Harvey-Marion County Developmental Disability Organization’s monthly meeting will be 4 p.m. Monday in Room 215 of Tabor College’s Sheri Flaming arts center. The meeting also will be accessible by video conference at https://harveymarioncddo.com/meetings.


  • MacGregor's sold to Olathe couple

    A Marion Main St. building empty since the restaurant it housed abruptly closed in 2017 will see new life next year. The former MacGregor’s Restaurant, which opened and then closed a few days later for fire code violations, was purchased by an Olathe couple with ties to Marion.

  • New fitness center for Hillsboro rekindles old passion

    Ryan Franz, a longtime fitness enthusiast, is betting on teamwork to launch a new venture on Hillsboro’s Main St. that could be the business of both their dreams. He will continue work part-time at Dale’s Supermarket, a grocery store run by his father Ray Franz, as he and partner Josiah Driggers work to open a fitness center at 115 Main St.

  • Rules leave firm stuck in neutral

    Jimmy Tennant wants to relocate his light manufacturing business in Peabody. He wants to operate Tennant Wood and Metal out of a building he owns in the 100 block of S. Walnut St. Those opportunities remain on hold — at least until the city’s planning and zoning commission can figure out a way to approve a conditional use permit for Tennant.

  • Firefighters benefit from farmer's donation

    A Hillsboro farm couple chose the city’s fire department to receive a $2,500 donation from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program sponsored by the Bayer fund. Brenda Enns said the department was a worthwhile pick because it benefits not only the community, but has benefited the Ennses, who have been farmers 44 years.

  • Tabor seniors honored

    Tabor College senior and Hillsboro alumna Rebecca Kaufman was recognized this week by the state Department of Education as a Teacher of Promise. The college’s other honoree was Wyatt Dickinson a Tabor senior and alumnus of Newton High School.


  • Joan Stroda

    Services for Joan Stroda, 95, who died Nov. 3 in Hillsboro, were Nov. 7. Born Aug. 1, 1925, in Leon, to Perry and Fanny (Dixon) Strait, she married Max Stroda on Dec. 27, 1945, at St. Phillips Catholic Church in Hope.


    Joyce Austin

    Kay Brown

    Charlie DeForest



  • Home health work provides perspective

    Loreen Hett has worked as a nurse for Marion Home Health since the 1990s. She has seen a lot, and that has taught her to treat people with compassion no matter the circumstances. Sometimes Hett ends up working with patients whose homes are falling apart or infested with bugs or mice. Other times she visits houses she describes as “immaculate.” Hett knows her services are required in either situation.

  • Patients diverted to Derby

    An increasing number of St. Luke transfer patients are now being sent to Rock Regional Hospital in Derby because Wichita and Newton hospitals are filling up and cannot accept transfer patients. “It is an issue of staffed and available beds in Newton and Wichita,” St. Luke Hospital CEO Jeremy Ensey said. “Their number of COVID patients in the hospital has increased.”


  • From the ridiculous to the sublime

    Trick or treat. Lucky or unlucky. The fortnight from Halloween to Friday the 13th is proving unexpectedly eventful. And we still have a couple of days to go. The first of the unlucky tricks started on the 31st, when treat-seeking by more than a safe number of unmasked kids led not just to upset tummies but also to a COVID outbreak more serious than most people realize.


    What's in a name?


  • Peers judge Powers as excellent

    Marion County district judge Michael Powers was honored with a Judicial Excellence award from the Kansas District Judges Association. Powers said he got the award two weeks ago, and while it was a surprise, it was not a complete surprise.

  • Retiree revels in sculpting passion

    Roy Houdyshell knew he needed a way to occupy his time after he retired from Ruf Nek Well Servicing in 2016. Since then, he enjoyed welding sculptures out of old machine parts. “I’ll look at a piece of junk iron or something, and if I look long enough I figure out what I can make,” he said. “I really enjoy doing it. It’s interesting to me.”

  • Leo Club plans coat drive

    Residents wanting to get rid of unneeded winter clothes will have a temporary local option starting Nov. 16 in Hillsboro. Hillsboro High School’s Leo Club will collect clean and gently used coats, and new hats or gloves at the school the week of Nov. 16, and members will be at Main St. and Grand Ave. 9 a.m. to noon on Nov. 26 and27.

  • Books benefit 3rd graders

    Peabody-Burns Elementary received donations last week of 60 books from Burns Public Library, and $100 from the school’s parent-teacher organization for its third grade classroom. The books ranged from early chapter books like the Boxcar Children to story books like Dr. Seuss.

  • Senior center menus

  • 4-H:

    Happy Hustlers

    Calendar of events

    10, 25, 40, 55, 70, 100, 140 years ago


  • Marion to add girls swim team

    Marion High School athletic director Jason Hett will spend the next few weeks scrambling to put together a schedule for a girls spring swim team after the district’s board gave it the green light during Monday’s meeting. He hopes the team can get in four or five meets in its 1-5A division when the season starts March 1.

  • Hillsboro loses, Goessel wins in playoff thrillers

    Hillsboro and Goessel both found themselves in exciting playoff games Friday. Only Goessel was able to win its matchup, continuing as the county’s last football team. The odds were stacked against Hillsboro early, visiting a Garden Plain team that only lost one game all season.

  • Player nets unanimous honors

    Hillsboro volleyball player Jessica Saunders unanimously was selected to Central Kansas League’s first team, a week after the Trojans placed fourth at state championships. Saunders excelled as a middle hitter, leading Hillsboro with 244 kills, 20 solo blocks, and 72 assisted blocks.


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