• Unprecedented outbreak again slows slightly; 10 new cases Monday

    Marion County's sudden surge in coronavirus cases, which began around Halloween, continued on a slightly lessened scale Monday with disclosure of 10 new cases. The new cases bring to 420 the total number of COVD-19 cases in the county, an increase of 47 in the past seven days. Until a month ago, the maximum number of new cases reported in any seven-day period had been just 21. The seven-day total reached 31 on Halloween and had been above 80 for more than a week until Friday's figures lowered it to 70 and Monday's lowered it to 47.

  • Commissioners reluctantly accept governor's mask mandate

    Unhappy county commissioners concluded at a special meeting Friday that they really couldn't change much about a mask mandate being imposed by Governor Laura Kelly. On Monday, in a meeting that will be more fully reported in this week's print editions, they unanimously voted to adopt the plan. Commissioner Randy Dallke, who was on the losing side of a vote a week ago to impose a county mask mandate, pointed out that Kelly's mandate appeared to have no penalties in it.

  • Marion schools extend holiday break

    Thanksgiving break, originally will be eight school days starting Friday for students of the Marion-Florence district. The board of education voted at a special meeting Wednesday to add two days before and three days after the scheduled break. The hope is to stem the spread of COVID-19.


  • Towns step in after county fails

    After county commissioners refused Monday to pass a mask mandate, it took Goessel city council a few hours to pass one and Hillsboro city council just one day to consider their own and send it back for revision. Goessel officials made no secret that the county’s inaction was the trigger for Goessel’s action.

  • Commission rejects multiple mask pleas

    “That is a political action,” the county health consultant told commissioners during Monday’s meeting. “I’m going to go now. Goodbye.” Don Hodson’s words followed commissioners’ split 3-2 vote refusing to impose a mask mandate to curb exponential growth in the county’s COVID cases despite:

  • Kids learn to do good outside classroom

    When Marion fourth grade student Trent Sprowls thinks about acting with good character, he considers how he behaves at home as well as school. “I have to do that with my little brother,” he said. “I have to show him what is good vs. what’s wrong. If he needs help with something then I show him like, ‘do this, but I’ll show you how to do it so you can do it next time on your own.’ Stuff like that.”

  • Wind farm foe confronts zoning chief

    An encounter last Thursday at a Florence convenience store has the county planning and zoning director deciding whether to seek criminal charges being pressed against a wind farm opponent or seek a different remedy. Planning and zoning director Sharon Omstead said she was inside Flying Eagle No. 3 with her 6-year-old daughter when wind farm opponent Tom Britain confronted her.

  • Restaurateur calls city official a liar

    Area businessman Mike Beneke angrily called Marion’s city administrator a liar in front of a stunned city council two weeks after he skipped his invitation to speak. This time, Beneke showed up wrapped in a banner that said “Beneke for Mayor 2023” and had plenty to say both to Roger Holter and the city after they rescinded a $10,000 grant promised him in September to help him reopen Edwards.


  • Mueller confirmed as election winner

    Tampa resident David Mueller is the official winner of the race for District 2 county commissioner after votes were canvassed and finalized Friday. After preliminary votes were tallied, Mueller led opponent Michael Beneke by just 45 votes, 623 to 578, but in the official count after votes were tallied, Mueller won with 645 over Beneke’s 594.

  • Response to fire sparks confusion

    Marion County’s Wildland Task Force saw its first action this year on Saturday when it responded to help fight a large fire near Burrton. Ramona fire chief Nathan Brunner was confused when not all departments from Marion County were requested. Brunner said he was under the impression the taskforce had to respond as a unit, not by just a few handpicked departments.

  • Hospital gets new kitchen items

    St. Luke Hospital’s kitchen has a new range to replace one that was worse for wear and a new dishwasher will be delivered soon, thanks to its auxiliary. The new range already is a boon to the staff, St. Luke dietary manager Shawna Pierce said.

  • Long wait over for Arbor Day poster artist

    After months of waiting, Centre student Anna Godinez Vinduska finally was able to receive an Arbor Day award that she won in a Kansas-wide drawing contest in May. Anna placed first as a fifth-grader for her pencil drawing on the theme, “We All Need Kansas Trees for Resilience,” but she had to wait until Tuesday to receive it.

  • Adding some color on 190th

    A mystery donor left a quintet of pumpkins on a bridge this past weekend along 190th Rd. headed out of Marion. Some residents think it could be an effective way to brighten the community. Tina Steele, who lives nearby at W. Santa Fe and Vine Sts., remembers something similar happening last year, and thinks it could make a nice tradition.


  • County halts daily COVID updates

    No new COVID-19 cases were reported Tuesday because the county health department decided to halt daily COVID-19 updates, county health nurse Diedre Serene said. The department now will provide reports on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, similar to the state department of health and environment.

  • Nursing homes cinch in visitation

    Nursing homes and assisted living centers have once again restricted visits to their facilities after rapid spikes in COVID-19 diagnoses in the county. In some cases, this means even hospice workers are not allowed access to the patients.

  • Courthouse buttons up

    Fast-rising COVID-19 cases in the county mean courthouse doors are locked and only people with appointments who call inside will be admitted. County commissioners Friday morning took up employee protection before canvassing votes.

  • For the record: Artifacts painstakingly rescued

    Aubrey Wheeler often reminds herself that the daunting job of cataloging Marion Historical Museum’s artifacts will be conquered like any mountain — step by step. That doesn’t make the long-overdue task easier, but as director she hopes her efforts during months the museum is closed will help its curators get a handle on what it has.

  • Horned owls have season to hoot

    Days have been calm and fair in the county, but a mournful call echoing through the leafless trees is a reminder that winter is coming. Who’s there? Probably a great horned owl, according to noted Kansas birding experts.


  • Cyclist's passion stems from childhood

    Craig Bell’s passion for motorcycles started as a child in Boston, and it was something he never forgot in his 20 years in Kansas. As much as he enjoys bikes, he is quick to add that he prefers ones from as old as the 1940s, and up into the ’70s or ’80s.

  • Cars need filters just like homes

    Just as you regularly change the filter on your furnace and air conditioner at home, manufacturers suggest changing the cabin air filter on your car. Cabin fair filters help protect passengers from contaminants in air they breathe. Changing them also can eliminate unpleasant odors and restore decreased airflow, making heating and air conditioning more effective.



  • Eppur si muove - even if politicians won't

    Earth isn’t flat. Twinkies don’t have infinite shelf life. Fortune cookies aren’t Chinese. Jesus wasn’t born on Dec. 25. And face masks don’t make COVID-19 worse, nor do they infringe on liberty. It might be forgivable if you still believe one or two of those myths. But if you’re a Marion County commissioner and believe the last one, it’s time for you do what’s best for the county and resign.


    Do you see what I see?


  • Donors sought for Angel Tree

    Peabody Angel tree is seeking food donations to provide holiday meals for the city’s families. Items sought include: canned cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, corn, stuffing, bags of potatoes, brown sugar, marshmallows, lime and cherry Jell-O, canned pears, fruit cocktail, either white or wheat dinner rolls and peanut butter.

  • Giving Tuesday a drive-through

    Hillsboro Community Foundation’s Giving Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 1 at Hillboro United Methodist Church will be a drive-through event. Donations will aid Hillsboro, Durham, and Lehigh communities. Checks may be sent to Hillsboro’s Community Foundation, PO Box 273, Hillboro, KS 67036.

  • Card shower requested

    The family of former Marion residents Bob and Kathy Sprowls has requested a card shower to honor the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary. The Sprowls were married Nov. 28, 1970, in Wichita.

  • Blood donors can win gifts

    Donors who give blood 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at Centre High School will have an opportunity to win a fire pit, pizza oven, and outdoor heater in an attempt by the Red Cross to increase donations. Other Marion County drives include 1:15 to 6:15 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church in Marion, and 1 to 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Goessel Mennonite Church.

  • Screening set

    Free screenings for children up to 5 years old will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 9 in Goessel. The screening will check cognitive development, as well as motor, speech, and social and emotional skills. Vision and hearing also will be checked. The process takes an hour to complete.

  • Food available

    Commodities will be distributed from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Peabody Senior Center today.

  • Singers perform at senior center

    Lunch-goers at Marion Senior Center were among those who received a Veteran’s Day performance from Marion High School’s vocal ensemble. The singers toured the community Nov. 11 to show appreciation for veterans. Marion Senior Center’s recent birthday celebrations included Clarita Caudill, Leland Albrecht, and Jerry Nelson.

  • Senior center menus


    Calendar of events

    10, 20, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 years ago


  • Seniors practice job interviews

    When Landon Roberts makes his return Monday to Kansas FFA’s employability skills competition, he is confident he can be one of the state’s best. “I’m way more confident and I can worry about other things now with my interview,” he said. “It’s how I answer questions. I’m working on the length and what I say for each question, not rambling on and saying too little or too much.”

  • Honor roll

  • Goessel football season slips away in quarterfinal

    Goessel’s football season came to an end Friday with Hoxie winning 58-12 in the state quarterfinals. Jake Wiens caught a pass on the right side of the field and sprinted 51 yards to give the Bluebirds a 6-0 lead, but the game quickly turned from Goessel’s favor.

  • 16 Marion, Hillsboro football players honored

    Marion and Hillsboro were recognized for their play throughout the season with 16 total players receiving honors in Class 2A District 5. Hillsboro had 10 players who were tabbed for district honors, including Austin Rempel, who made the first team on offense and defense for his work as a lineman. Senior wide receiver Dillon Boldt also was named to the first team, as were linebacker Tristan Rathbone and defensive back Matthew Potucek.

  • Goessel netter is honorable mention All-State

    Goessel High School junior Kaleigh Guhr was an honorable mention for this year’s Class IA Division All-State team. The 5’1’ setter racked up 27 kills, 191 attacks, and 293 digs this past varsity season.


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