• Centre preschool through 5th grade now remote

    In-person classes to resume after winter break By PHYLLIS ZORN Staff writer Because a staff member at Centre school tested positive for COVID-19 and several students and staff are direct contacts, preschool through 5th grade classes were switched to online only through the Dec. 18 start of winter break.

  • 14 new COVID cases mean no new surge, but continued elevation

    An expected surge in COVID-19 cases after the long Thanksgiving weekend and accompanying holiday events and shopping failed to materialize Wednesday, but Marion County nonetheless conintued to have elevated numbers of new COVID cases. County health officials disclosed 14 new cases Wednesday. That brings to 468 the total number of cases in county, including 34 new cases in the past seven days. Until Halloween weekend, the maximum number of cases in any seven-day period had been only 25. Shortly after Halloween, the weekly total of new cases rose sharply to a peak of 88, but that number has been declining fairly steadily since the third week of November.



  • COVID surge slows, vaccine a possibility

    Marion County had two pieces of good COVID-19 news this past week, that the recent surge in new cases continued to ebb Monday, and that there soon could be a vaccine available. Despite the flow of cases slowing to its lowest point since Halloween, numbers remain at levels unprecedented before the surge began.

  • County courthouse reopened

    The county courthouse, locked down two weeks ago because of fast-rising COVID-19, is now open again. Commissioners two weeks ago ordered courthouse doors locked. Only people with appointments who called inside were admitted.

  • Marion event still 'jolly'

    Fewer people turned out for a Jingle Junk sale at Marion’s Community Center this year but Santa and Mrs. Santa were still stars Saturday during its Holly Jolly Christmas celebrations. Gene Winkler, who provided music for the event, said it was well attended despite COVID-19 concerns.

  • Heated dock in limbo a year later

    County commissioners may be looking to cut bait after the park and lake supervisor told them a businessman hired a year ago to rebuild a heated boat dock has yet to get a performance bond for the job. Lake supervisor Isaac Hett said he has been able to reach Ben Baxter, the owner of Ben’s Boat Docks in Kechi, hired a year ago to rebuild the dock after it was destroyed in a July 4, 2019, storm.

  • Council members inspect new electric car charging station

    Marion city councilmen got an up-close look at two new charging stations for electric cars Monday. The chargers, at the west edge of the Historic Elgin Hotel parking lot, have already been used for an electric car owned by Kansas Power Pool.


  • Peabody charity featured on NBC

    The audio was touch-and-go, but the experience of being interviewed by the “Today” show was still very exciting, Peabody Community Foundation director Becky Nickel said. Having your town recognized nationally is stunning, she said.

  • Inaccessible burn pit draws concern

    The road to Peabody’s burn pit was so bad Linda Martinez didn’t try to get through on a recent trip to dump a load of brush. She opted to avoid maneuvering around deep holes filled with water. “I didn’t dare drive through them because I didn’t know if I was going to get out of them,” she said. “I ended up driving around to the north side and literally dumping out into the grass field where I wouldn’t get stuck, as far out of the way as I could. I also had a lot of people ask me about it.”

  • Marion hires water contractor

    Replacement of waterlines for a third of Marion will soon begin. Council members at Monday’s meeting accepted a $2.7 million bid from Ditch Diggers Inc. for the long discussed project. Replacement of water pipes, many of which are 100 years old, has been discussed for years. City administrator Roger Holter said no starting date has been set.

  • Hillsboro makes budget changes

    Hillsboro will make minor amendments to its 2020 budget to avoid violations, but the changes have little financial impact. Expenses traditionally paid from the general fund were shifted to the Special Highway fund in the spring, and the gas tax produced more revenue than expected.


  • Alvena Bartel

    Services for Alvena Bartel, 94, Hillsboro, who died Nov. 24, were Nov. 25 at Haven of Rest Cemetery in rural Hillsboro. Born July 28, 1926, in Goessel to John and Florentine (Ratzlaff) Goossen, she married Wilbert Bartel Feb. 7, 1947, at First Mennonite Church in Hillsboro.

  • Georgia Spohn

    Private family services will be held for Georgia Alice Spohn, 101, Tampa, who died Nov. 30 at St. Luke Living Center in Marion. Born Sept. 20, 1919, in Marion to George and Ruth (Beaston) Pankratz, she married Edward Spohn in 1940 in McPherson.

  • Arlene Unruh

    Services for Arlene Ruth Unruh, 89, Peabody, who died Nov. 24 at Peabody Health and Rehab, will be at a later date. Private burial will be at Prairie Lawn Cemetery, Peabody.


    Dee Duggan



  • No holiday for tree farmers

    Christmas tree farming is a niche industry in Kansas, but for second-generation tree farmer Ardie Goering it’s, in part, about continuing a legacy. Her parents started the Pine Creek Farm in the 1970s, and she and her husband took over the business in 2007.


  • When conspiracies no longer are theories

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you. The challenge is in separating real conspiracies from fake ones. Whether they come from insidious insinuations inserted by Russian hackers or initially well-meaning fears fanned by fringe commentators somehow profiting off them, we clearly have more than enough unfounded theories to choke a democracy on.


    The duke is dead

    Calendar of events



  • 16 county players named all-league

    Sixteen players from county teams received all-league football honors this week, with 6 players from Hillsboro netting Central Kansas League honors, while 10 players were tabbed for Wheat State League honors between Goessel, Peabody-Burns, and Centre. Hillsboro had three players make CKL’s first team, with junior Frank Wichert named at wide receiver, senior Austin Rempel at defensive line, and Matthew Potucek at defensive back. Potucek also received second-team honors at quarterback, as well as Rempel at offensive line, and senior Dillon Boldt at kicker. Boldt received honorable mention for his wide receiver play, as did junior Tristan Rathbone at linebacker, and Frank Wichert at defensive back.

  • Poinsettias sale set for Saturday

    Centre’s annual winter flower sale will be 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, with red and a few white poinsettias available. The flowers were grown by horticulture students, who learned about plant anatomy, pest control, identification, and determining the best conditions to help their plants grow.

  • Professor's quilt honored

    Tabor art professor Shin-hee Chin was named as “best in show” this past week for her quilt “Trees in late Autumn, 2020” at Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center in Auburn, New York. Chin’s work was selected from 70-plus entries by more than 50 fiber artists from around the world who competed in the annual juried quilt exhibition.

  • Concert goes virtual

    Tabor College’s annual live performance of Handel’s “Messiah” is canceled this year. Instead, Tabor will broadcast its 2019 performance at 3 p.m. Dec. 6 online at tabor.edu/messiah2020.

  • Honor roll


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