• Geese invade county

    Whether green wheat fields, ice-free lake water, or good weather conditions attract them, there is no disputing the fact that thousands of Canada geese have made Marion County home this past week. “There are at least 2,000 of them on the lake today,” Brian Thiessen, Marion County Park and Lake assistant manager said on Tuesday. “They like to congregate in pockets on the ice to keep it warm. They like the places where water is flowing.”

  • Subdivision policy heats up city meeting

    City Administrator Larry Paine told Hillsboro City Council members Monday that balancing risk is a major component of his job and for that reason, they should consider raising the amount of security requested from developers in the city. “We have on the books a resolution from 1998 that sets a level of security for developers of special assessment districts, like Carriage Hills, at 35 percent,” Paine said. “In my opinion that is not enough and 50 percent would be more appropriate.”

  • Rachel Hunter joins staff

    Rachel Hunter of Gouverneur, N.Y. is a new reporter, copy editor, and paginator at Hoch Publishing Company in Marion. She began her employment Monday after making the 1,380-mile trip. The 22-year-old graduated in December from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich., with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, with an emphasis in news editorial.

  • Contractors renew licenses

    Each year, the city of Hillsboro requires general contractors, plumbers, electrical, mechanical HVAC, and handy men to renew their licenses to work by Jan. 1. According to Deputy Clerk Glenda Stoppel, more than 50 professionals made the deadline for 2013, with 36 general contractors, 15 plumbers, 11 mechanical HVAC workers, 9 electricians, 1 trash collector, and 1 plumbing-backflow tester meeting renewal requirements. While the numbers may be surprising to the average citizen, city inspector Ben Steketee said the number of licensed service workers in the area has held steady in the past five years.


  • Betty Bowen

    WICHITA — Betty P. Bowen, 82, passed away Jan. 5, 2013, at the Catholic Care Center, Bel Aire. She was born on Oct. 17, 1930, at Chickasha, Okla., the daughter of Chester and Jackie (Holmes) Gowen. She was united in marriage to James T. Bowen. She spent many years in Phoenix, where she taught pre-school. She relocated in 2001 to Wichita.

  • Michael Childs Jr.

    Michael J. Childs Jr., 37, died Jan. 2 at his home in North Newton. He was born April 4, 1975, in Hillsboro, to Michael Jay and Loretta Dee Smith Childs. He graduated from Marion High School and served in the U.S. Army 7th Cavalry Division for six years.

  • Mary Hiebert

    Mary Hiebert, 97, died Friday at Wheat State Manor in Whitewater. She was born July 21, 1915, in rural Marion County to Henry Bernard Sr. and Eva (Hiebert) Schmidt. She attended Goessel schools. She married Jake Hiebert on April 13, 1937, at Tabor Mennonite Church. They farmed near Whitewater and owned a moving business.

  • Blanche Hoopes

    Blanche Mary Hoopes, 98, passed away Dec. 27, 2012, in Canon City, Colo. She was born Feb. 19, 1914, in Harper to William McClellan and Hattie T. (Brown) Nye. Blanche grew up on a farm near Harper and graduated from Harper High School. She was united in marriage to Virgil Hoopes on June 11, 1933, in Attica. He preceded her in death on May 7, 1987.

  • Ruth Lewis

    Ruth M. Lewis, 90, of rural Emporia died Jan. 3 at Emporia Presbyterian Manor. Lewis was born Feb. 7, 1922, to Walter C. and Gladys M. Higgins Kaniper in Youngtown.



  • Flint Hills Gold sees steady sales

    Many retail businesses, local and nationwide, reported less than stellar sales to close out 2012, but Beverly Schor and Sandy Loveless at Flint Hills Gold in Marion did not see that trend come to fruition. “Christmas was our busiest time of the year, like always,” Schor said. “But honestly, there hasn’t been much change from year to year; our business has been rock steady.”

  • Advisers offer solutions

    Hillsboro financial adviser Robert Wall is not sure why a financial New Year’s resolution has not been en vogue. To him, the exercise of writing down every expense is just as valuable as doing curls and crunches in a gym. To those interested in instituting personal financial changes, Wall recommends balancing checkbooks on a regular basis and sticking to a budget. For some people, budgeting involves setting up smaller cash funds or giving themselves reminding e-mails. Wall added that every act should relate to a financial goal.


  • Meal prices increase for seniors

    As of Jan. 2, the suggested donation for meals at senior centers for patrons 60 and older increased from $2.75 to $3.15, an increase of 14.5 percent. North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging increased the price because of increases in workers’ compensation, food, and transportation costs. The agency also increased the price for anyone younger than 60 to eat from $4.50 to $5, an 11.1 percent increase.

  • County will reroute 180th Road

    Marion County Commission agreed with Union Pacific Railroad Dec. 31 to reroute a portion of 180th Road at its intersection with Remington Road to reduce the number of railroad crossings from two to one. Union Pacific agreed to purchase land and pay the county $50,000 to shift a stretch of 180th Road east of Remington Road a bit to the south. The county will be responsible for maintaining the rerouted road. Commissioner Roger Fleming said the change will make the intersection safer.

  • Fracking well approved near Hillsboro

    The first oil well in Marion County to use hydraulic fracturing — “fracking” — has been approved by the Kansas Corporation Commission Oil & Gas Conservation Division. A notice of intent to drill by Zenergy Operating Company LLC of Tulsa, Okla., was approved Dec. 14 for a lease on land in Section 30, Township 19, Range 2 near the intersection of U.S. 56 and Goldenrod Road northwest of Hillsboro. Kevin Jost owns the land. Zenergy Operating said in the notice that it expected to begin drilling Dec. 20.

  • County ponders recycling changes

    The prospects of Marion County continuing to pay for recycling bins in the county’s smaller towns sounded dim during a discussion Monday. Transfer Station Director Rollin Schmidt told county commissioners that Waste Connections has increased the price per recycling bin 10 percent to $138 per month. With the county’s cost to send trash to Butler County Landfill averaging about $40 per ton, it would take more than three tons per month recycled for a single bin to pay for itself.


  • A powerful but hidden tax

    Exxon Mobil, BP Amoco, OPEC, and the City of Marion — all profit massively from rising energy prices while average consumers are left to foot an ever-increasing bill. While it’s true that Marion’s proposed four percent increase in electric rates would reflect higher costs and keep its rates more or less in line with the state average, what most people don’t know is that the city makes nearly 100 percent profit on electricity it sells.


    Family succombs to stomach flu


  • McPherson Opera to host tribute

    Billy McGuigan and his band bring the Buddy Holly tribute show “Rave On” at 7 p.m. Jan. 12 to the McPherson Opera House. Holly was killed in a airplane crash Feb. 3 with Richie Valens and Big Bopper J.P. Richardson. Tickets are available online at http://www.mcphersonoperahouse.org, by phone at (620) 241-1952, or at the box office at 219 S. Main St. in McPherson.

  • TEEN meeting is Jan. 16

    Technology Excellence in Education Network will have its monthly meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 16 at the USD 408 district office, 101 N. Thorp St., Marion. For more information, contact Brandi Hendrix at (620) 877-0237.


  • Sister inspired top agriculture teacher

    Few things hurt more than the loss of a sister, but pain and inspiration go hand in hand for Carmelita Goossen, a Marion County native who was recently named Region V Outstanding New Career and Technical Teacher by the Association of Career and Technical Education. Region V covers a 16-state area that includes Kansas. Goossen, an agricultural education teacher and FFA adviser at Southwestern Heights High School near Plains, grew up on a farm near Hillsboro with her older sister, Lucinda, and younger brother, Alex. On Jan. 9, 2001, Lucinda was killed in a car accident three miles north of Goessel, but her influence on her one-year-younger sister is as strong now as it was 12 years ago.


    Northwest of Durham, Round the town


  • Tabor College hires professor and director

    Rick Bartlett, Fresno, Calif, was hired by Tabor College as the director of the Theological Education program. He also will work as an assistant professor of ministry and provide direction to the Christian Ministry undergraduate program and the newly created master’s offered in Entrepreneurial Ministry Leadership. The graduate theological program, which Bartlett will be developing and implementing beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, was made possible with funding provided by the United States Mennonite Brethren conference.

  • Tabor adds sports assistants

    Tabor College announced Monday the hiring of Steven Miller as defensive coordinator for the college’s football team and Andy Davis as assistant baseball coach. Steven Miller


  • Goessel girls win double OT game

    The Goessel High School girls’ basketball team trailed by 11 points with one minute to play in the third period, and thrilled the home crowd by tying the game 34-34 with 1:10 to play in the game. Aggressive play by Jessica Harvey, dribbling the ball through traffic for numerous scores, sparked the Bluebirds’ offense. With 16 seconds to play, Solomon rushed several attempts at the basket and the game went into overtime tied, 37-37.

  • Goessel boys out-muscled by Solomon

    In a Wheat State League game on Friday at Goessel High School, the Bluebirds were outscored in every quarter in the boys’ game against Solomon. The Gorillas presented a formidable obstacle with five players 6-foot-2 and taller rotating onto the floor. The Bluebirds jumped out to a 10-7 lead, but the visitors finished the quarter on an 11-1 run. Goessel would never gain a foothold, as the deficit grew to 36-13 in the second quarter. Ben Wiens and Nic Buller sparked a rally before halftime to get as close as 40-21 at the break.

  • GHS football players honored

    Goessel High School football coach Garrett Hiebert announced that five players received recognition by state organizations for their accomplishments this football season. Senior Trey Schmidt, who handled the quarterbacking, kicking, and punting duties for the Bluebirds this year, was invited to play in the Kansas Eight Man Football Association All-Star Game in June. Senior receiver Nic Buller will join Schmidt at the All-Star Game, and Shane Goerzen has been invited as an alternate. Other recognition Kpreps.com All-District Team Buller, 1st team tight end. Goerzen, 1st team return specialist. Brian Hiebert, 1st team guard, 1st team defensive line. Schmidt, 1st team quarterback, 1st team linebacker, 1st team punter, 2nd team kicker. Zach Showalter, 1st team tight end. Wheat State League Buller, 1st team. Goerzen, 1st team. Schmidt, 1st team. Showalter, honorable mention. Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capitol Journal Buller, all-state tight end. Schmidt, honorable mention quarterback. Showalter, honorable mention tight end.

  • Trojan girls stomp Pratt

    The Hillsboro High School girls’ basketball team expected to play a competitive game against Pratt Friday in Hillsboro. The first quarter score, 9-6 Hillsboro, indicated they were right.

  • Hillsboro boys win with D

    The Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball team defeated Pratt, 49-44, Friday in Hillsboro. The Trojans were down 19-16 at half but rattled off a 19-point third quarter. Hillsboro was spurred by aggressive defense in the quarter. Shaq Thiessen had a run of three consecutive steals mid-way through the third period. Most of his six takeaways in the game came from picking off looping wing-to-wing passes in the second half. Thiessen scored 22 points, the most in the game, primarily off fast break layups.

  • Wrestlers place at Herington

    Four Hillsboro High School wrestlers placed Saturday in the Charles McMillen Invitational at Herington. Tanner Jones won first place in the 170-pound weight class. He won his first two matches, against wrestlers from Abilene and Bluestem, by pin. He defeated a wrestler from Chapman, 3-1 in overtime, in the championship match. Jones won the match with a single-leg takedown in overtime after showing considerable patience, Hillsboro Coach Scott O’Hare said.


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