• Fund provided $10,400 to families

    Families and Communities Together Inc.’s Family Assistance Fund has provided $10,400 of assistance to more than 80 Marion County families this year, FACT Director Ashlee Gann said Thursday. That amount has grown every year since the fund’s inception, owing to the generosity of churches, families, and businesses, Gann said. The Family Assistance Fund can provide up to $100 to a family needing help with a wide variety of concerns: utilities, rent, medical bills, insurance, and school supplies have been some of the areas the fund has helped in this year.

  • Mother loses job to outsourcing

    Carrie Smith of Lincolnville was notified in September that she would be losing her job in provider relations for the Wichita office of Harrington Health. She worked out of an office in Wichita for eight years and spent the past five years working out of her home. To add insult to injury, Smith was told that because she was the only employee in the company who knew how to do her job, she would be required to train an individual in India to take her place.

  • Family finds blessings amid trouble

    Tim and Michelle Kersten of rural Hillsboro are no strangers to trouble, 2012 has been an especially difficult year for them and their five children. But despite the medical and financial problems they face, they are not discouraged. Instead, they hope their witness of life during trials will offer others hope. “2012 has been so difficult, but as people of God, we know things will work out,” Michelle Kersten said.

  • Winter storm knocks out power

    About 300 Westar Energy customers between Marion and Hillsboro were still without power Thursday morning. Gina Penzig, director of corporate communications for Westar, said power outages were first reported between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 19. in northern and central Marion County. The combination of snow, ice, and wind caused downed power lines and in some cases downed poles.


  • James C. 'Jim' Donahue

    LINCOLNVILLE — James C. “Jim” Donahue, 80, founder of the Donahue Corporation and owner of Clover Cliff Ranch, passed away Dec. 18, 2012, at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro. He was born Sept. 13, 1932, in LaGrange, Wyoming, the son of Daniel H. and Ona (Smith) Donahue III. On Jan. 24, 1953, he was united in marriage to Joan M. Dirks in Durham, together they would build their family corporation, manufacturing implement carriers and trailers. He was preceded in death by wife, Joan Donahue; and an infant son, Jay Dean Donahue.

  • Ruth E. Riggin

    Ruth E. Riggin, 89, of Salina and formerly of Lost Springs, died Dec. 19 at Pinnacle Park Nursing Home in Salina. She was born Feb. 16, 1923, in Marion to Albert and Alice (Dody) Schroer. She lived most of her life in Lost Springs and Burdick. She graduated from Lost Springs High School and operated the Lost Springs Telephone Office until it closed, then she owned and operated Zinn Mercantile and Café until her retirement.


  • Memories of Christmas in Marion

    “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go!”

  • Christmas in the 1860s

    The first Christmas on the frontier, in 1861, the three families of the first caravan gathered at the Billings home, a log house on the Cottonwood.


  • Giving back to the community

    We received dozens of nominations for our True Meaning of Christmas gifts since Thanksgiving. All of the nominations were made in the spirit of giving to people or organizations that deserve recognition and help, but we didn’t want to spread our gifts too thinly. A panel reviewed the nominations and selected three recipients, the Families and Communities Together Inc. Family Assistance Fund, the Wade and Carrie Smith family, and the Tim and Michelle Kersten family. Including those gifts, this year Hoch Publishing Co. has donated more than $8,700 in cash and services to Marion County charities and families in need. In a very real sense, we operate Hoch Publishing as a community trust. The owners have never received a cent in dividends or directors’ fees, and the company has absolutely no debt. Every cent of profit is returned to the communities we serve in the form of donations, product improvements, and local salaries and benefits.

  • 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus'

    “Dear editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

  • Christmas wishes for Peabody

    I can hardly believe it is time once again for the primary students at Peabody-Burns Elementary and me to write our Christmas wish lists. I have taken excellent care of the blue sweater The Youngest Daughter bought me two years ago, so the only thing I really want this year is world peace. I am pretty sure I am not the only person with that request, so I hope that you can find a way to accommodate us. I know you will try, Santa, and for that I thank you. A big surprise for me was an announcement several weeks ago that the Northern Illinois University Huskies are going to the Orange Bowl! Do you remember when we lived in DeKalb and you brought presents to us there? I am hoping one of The Daughters will get me an NIU sweatshirt to wear the day of the game. I am not asking you to bring me one, I would just like for you to nudge one of them in the right direction, please. I think it would be grand to watch the game dressed in official gear. Thanks, Santa.


  • Marion Elementary School

    I would like an Xbox 360, 3DS, phone, iPod Touch, Bey Blade, and an electric Razor scooter. Love,
    Caden Me and my brother and sister have been waiting for you to come. I wish I could have some toys. Can I have a remote control car, some Matchbox cars, an iPod Touch, an Xbox 360, a Wii and a 3DS? How many toys have you made? Love,

  • Marion City Library

    I have been a really good girl this year, and I have been nice to my little brother and share my toys. For Christmas, I would like to have a princess dress, a coloring book. A camera to take lots of pictures with. Also, I would like some sparkle fingernail polish to paint my nails. Thank you,
    Cheyanne Helmer Hi! My name is Jacy and I am 6 years old! I live in the city of Marion in the state of Kansas which is in the country of USA. I have been trying really hard to get on your “nice” list this year. Some of the wonderful things I have done are: 1. I helped Sara learn how to skip bars on the monkey bars. 2. I helped a hurt friend named Taryn. 3. I helped Mommy make supper. I have a few special Christmas wishes. They are: 1. A microphone stand so I can sing. 2. An American Doll horse for my doll. I want a light brown one. 3. New earrings. I am very excited for your visit. I promise to leave out some cookies for you to snack on. Please give my favorite reindeer, Cupid, a huge hug for me. I will leave out carrots for them. Happy holidays! Your pal,
    Jacy Adkins

  • Miscellaneous letters

    How are the reindeer and Mrs. Claus and the elves? For Christmas, I would like a Go-Go Walking Puppy, and American Girl Doll Salon Station and Bathroom Vanity, lots of crafts to make, and the starry, starry night-light clock. Love,
    Emily I have been a good boy this year. For Christmas I want a fast car, fast truck and a fast motorcycle. We will leave you milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. Love,
    Isaiah Thouvenell, age 3

  • Hillsboro Elementary School

    How are your reindeer are they sick or healthy? How are you? Some people at school don’t believe in you but I do. I always like what you get me. I loved the TV and Skylanders was awesome! This year I want a 3DS, Super Mario Bros. 2, and a new football. Your friend,
    Camden Padett How’s the weather at the North Pole? I would like the movie “Dora” for Christmas. Another thing I would like is a necklace. I would like also a Barbie Notebook. One last thing is the game Candyland. Thank you Santa. From,
    Jenna Unruh

  • Goessel First grade

    I want a big toy truck, candy maker, toy ladybug, toy dog. Your friend,
    Liberty Impson I want iceskates and princess dress. Where do you live? I want new shirts and a princess book. Your friend,
    Cambry Duerksen

  • Goessel Second grade

    Do you have a good friend? I wish for the world to be good. I wish for my mom to get an iPad. Your friend,
    Samuel Herrel Do you have a favorite food? For Christmas I want a American Girl Doll that is a cowgirl and a skateboard and a iPod. Your friend,
    Sarah Spurlin

  • Goessel Third grade

    Do you eat cookies for Christmas every year? I don’t know if I was good or bad this year, but you have the naughty or nice list so you tell me. This year for Christmas I want the One Direction album, and I want to meet One Direction. In art we are making a thing for Christmas and I’m giving it to my mom. We just put up a tree this year for Christmas. We might make cookies and milk this year. Are you real? And when’s your birthday? Your friend,
    Riley How is Mrs. Claus? I have been helping my mom with groceries and clothes. I have been good. For Christmas I want a MP3 player, 3D XL, and an iPad II. My mom wants clothes, my sister wants a phone, and my younger sister wants an iPad II. Dad needs a new phone. There are special directions to get to my house. I live at the end of Main Street in a brick house. You can use the chimney but be careful it leads to the stove. Is Rudolph sick because he always has a red nose? I will leave you some carrots and some water. I have always wondered what Mrs. Claus looks like. Have you been on vacation? Thank you for giving presents. Your friend,

  • Peabody-Burns Preschool

    Please bring me a toy car and a train and a track and a circle thingy. I love you! Dalton Philpott, age 3 Please bring me a hair clip, a doll house, and a doll. And some rain. I love you, Santa! Britney Buchanan, age 4

  • Peabody-Burns Kindergarten

    Santa, can you come tonight? I want a Hello Kitty Clippy, a Dora play set, and a Tinkerbell necklace. Could I have a TV? Could I have hair stuff? I want a toy Santa, Sanne, and the reindeers. Thank you. Love,
    Jozelynn Weerts I want a model rocket that can fly. I would like a parachute on it so it won’t break. Thank you,
    Christopher Spencer

  • Peabody-Burns First grade

    I want Mario Gold and Call of Duty: Black Ops. Can Rudolph fly? I hope you have a merry Christmas! Your friend,
    Jace Newman I want a saddle for Christmas. Santa, does Rudolph show the way when it is foggy? My elf named Walk ripped my TV when he fell. Your friend,
    Logan Esau

  • Peabody-Burns Second grade

    Can you buy me an army helicopter and a toy robot and a toy race car and a Transformers toy and an army car and a gun? Your pal,
    Isaiah How are you doing and your reindeer too? By the way, can you get me a Furby please? Your friend,

  • Peabody-Burns Third grade

    I wonder how many presents do you deliver? Hmm. What I want for Christmas is a 500 pack of army men and Star Wars clones and a TV, an army helicopter, a computer game called Cowboy Bow, and Legos. How many elves do you have? Can I also have a clone ship, racetrack, and a remote control car? Love,
    Isaac Bayes, 9 You have probably received a letter from me. If not, I’ll give you the information. My name is Sarah. I live in the United States of America, Peabody, Kan. How are you and Mrs. Claus? I’m fine and I’ve been nice! (A little naughty too.) Do you like bananas? Anything is fine, but here is what I’m wishing for: movies, sweets, Stompies, Dreamlights, and a snuggle. I can’t wait until Christmas Eve. Sincerely,
    Sarah Spencer, 9


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