• Donated junk frustrates food bank site director

    The empty freezer and food storage space are concerning, the decrepit wall coming down in the front room of The Lord’s Storehouse is definitely a problem, and the constant need for volunteers weighs heavily on the mind of Lavonne Carrington, Main Street Ministries director. But the trash dump that appears almost weekly in the front entrance of the Hillsboro facility is the most frustrating part of her job. “I’ve always appreciated when people donate a good bed or couch when we need it,” Carrington said. “But lately it seems people think this is the place to dump their junk that didn’t sell at the garage sale, or their nasty used and broken things that they are too lazy to haul to the dump.”

  • Florence man wanted friends to celebrate life, not death

    There is no guidebook instructing someone how to die. Bryan Harper of Florence wished he knew the answers, wished he had some advice on how to deal with his body shutting down while his mind remained clear and vibrant. There was no life experience to dwell on for comfort. He was convinced he was headed to a better place, but thoughts of heaven were still clouded with uncertainty.

  • Tabor-McPherson football game cancelled

    The football game between Tabor College and McPherson College scheduled for Oct. 20 in McPherson was canceled Thursday, said Scott Crawford, commissioner of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. The decision follows the death of Tabor College junior Brandon Brown from a beating Sept. 16 in McPherson. Brown was a redshirt junior on the Tabor football team after transferring from Santa Ana College in California.

  • Customers support new restaurant in Goessel

    After going several years without a restaurant, Goessel area residents showed their support last week with a steady stream of patronage during the Branding Iron’s first days open for business on Goessel’s Main Street. “We just came to show our support,” said Rannie Schmidt. “I’m so glad to see this place open and it is real good food.”

  • Kansas Explorers Club coming to Marion County

    More than 40 people will be coming to Marion County Oct. 20 as members of the Kansas Explorers Club. According to Marion County Economic Development Director Teresa Huffman, the group will begin their exploration of Marion County by having lunch at Main Street Café in Durham, arriving in private vehicles.

  • Food needs increase for young families

    Families with small children are making up a growing part of the clientele at three Marion County food assistance sites. Directors of The Lord’s Storehouse at Main Street Ministries in Hillsboro, Tabor Food Pantry at Tabor Mennonite Church near Goessel, and Marion County Emergency Food Bank at Valley United Methodist Church in Marion said they are seeing an increased need from families with multiple mouths to feed.

  • Aircraft takes to the skies at Goessel Harvest Festival

    Those looking for outdoor fun at Goessel Harvest Festival Saturday may have missed the boat as most planned activities for the afternoon and evening were moved indoors to Goessel Elementary School because of cold temperatures. However, those who bundled up and caught the remote control plane show west of Voth Field behind Goessel High School saw airplanes, gliders, and helicopters performing aerial acrobats at heights up to 500 feet and lighted displays after dark. Members of the Newton Area Radio Control Club (NARCC), which includes three flyers from Goessel — Dan Bergen, Norman Schmidt, and Don Hiebert — put on an aerial display of high flying tricks and maneuvers, as much for their own enjoyment as any.


  • Hannaford honors father with Studebaker

    He meant to get around to it someday, refurbishing the old 1940 Studebaker Champion two-door coupe that had languished for years in his mother’s garage. He recently had found someone nearby who could do the work. But, as he held the folder filled with notes scrawled on paper, old repair bills, and articles that he had saved since he bought the Studebaker in 1960, Roger ‘Bud’ Hannaford of Marion knew he had run out of time. Cancer had sapped his strength, canceled his plans.

  • Tractor restoration fuels teen's curiosity

    Matthew Regier, 14, of rural Goessel appreciates power. He also has a creative mind and likes to know how things work. It is only natural that these traits came together and propelled him into a reconstruction project these past few months of a 1957 International 450 tractor. “I was raised on tractors. My dad was raised on them, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, we’ve all always had Internationals,” Regier said. “I was driving my dad’s W9, but wanted to have my own, and when we found a 450 that needed rebuilding, well, I needed to have it.”

  • Family influences truck and tractor choices

    Pickups should have a Chevrolet cross emblem on front and tractors should be green. That is how it has always been in Kurtis Duerksen’s world, and if he has a choice, how it will stay. Duerksen, 22, of rural Goessel, works full-time as a tractor technician at PrairieLand Partners in McPherson while at home he usually has a restoration project or two going in the shed.


  • Dale L. Carlson

    Dale L. “Swede” Carlson, 86, of Herington died Oct. 2 in McPherson. He was born March 3, 1926, at Herington to Fred A. and Jennie M. (Peterson) Carlson. The funeral service was at 10 a.m. Monday at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lincolnville, with the Rev. Alan Stahlecker officiating. Burial followed with military honors at the Lost Springs Cemetery.

  • Yvonne Schmidt Hill

    Yvonne Joy Schmidt Hill, 54, of Marion died Oct. 3 at Harry Hines Memorial Hospice in Wichita. She was born Apr. 25, 1958, in Marion to Kenneth R. Schmidt and Lillie (Patton) Schmidt. She worked as a CNA insurance underwriter.

  • Bryan L. Harper

    Bryan L. Harper, 49, died Monday at his home in Florence. He was born Dec. 28, 1962, in Mangum, Okla., to Gary and Sandra Maxwell Harper. He is survived by his children, Jammie Hendrick of Topeka and Bryan “Junior” Harper of Springfield, Mo.; his mother, Sandra Harper of Florence; his brother, Jeff of Marion; and two grandchildren.

  • Gerald Dean Kelsey

    Gerald Kelsey, a lifelong resident of Marion, passed away Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. Gerald was born June 21, 1943, to Donald and Viola (Janzen) Kelsey at the family home. His parents preceded him in death.



  • Department on Aging to help Medicare enrollments

    The Marion County Department on Aging is assisting older adults in comparing and enrolling in 2013 Medicare prescription drug plans. Open enrollment starts Monday and continues through Dec. 7. The department can help compare or enroll individuals in a new plan for 2013.

  • County considers asphalt recycler purchase

    Dave Griffith with Van Keppel Company talked to Marion County Commission about purchasing a road recycling machine that the county is currently leasing. The quoted price Griffith offered was $202,642 for the 2008 machine. Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford said he had looked at machines from Caterpillar, the cheapest of which was listed at $350,000.


  • Adequate education isn't enough

    Hillsboro Elementary School earned the “standard of excellence” on five of six state assessments in math and reading in 2012. Hillsboro Middle School earned the standard of excellence in all six math and reading assessments, and performed above the state average in science and history. And Hillsboro High School earned the standard of excellence in math and reading, as well. So how did the HHS class of 2012 only have 23 percent of students meet benchmarks for college readiness in all four subjects — English, math, reading, and science — tested by the ACT college entrance exam? It isn’t an especially high standard: if someone meets the benchmark, they are about 50 percent likely to get a B or better on related college coursework or 75 percent likely to get a C or better.


    Coaches please find safer routes for runners


  • Sisters of Hope to perform in Marion

    St. Luke Hospital Foundation is planning a fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the community building in Marion. Money raised will be used for ongoing needs at St. Luke Hospital and Living Center. Entertainment will be provided by Sisters of Hope, a group of six women ranging from age 29 to 82. The current group is made up of five from Hope, including the Lutheran minister’s wife, and one from Abilene. Dressed like traditional nuns, their programs include songs with action and humor. Tap dancing, a guitar, and a harmonica are part of their performance.

  • Hillsboro firm hires new lawyer

    Wise & Reber, L.C., Hillsboro, announces that Ann M.E. Perkins has joined the firm as an associate attorney. Born in Great Bend, Parkins grew up in Great Bend and McPherson. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Rockhurst University in 2009 and her Juris Doctorate from the Kansas University School of Law in 2012.

  • Junke to speak at Tabor College

    Retired Bethel College professor and Mennonite historian James C. Junke will speak about the Mennonite response to the American Bicentennial in Kansas at noon Oct. 23 on the Tabor College campus. The presentation will be in the Blue-Gold Room in the student center so those interested in lunch may purchase a meal from the cafeteria or bring their own to eat during his remarks.

  • Local cooks win top chili prize

    The top prize in the sixth annual Marion County Park and Lake Chili Cook-off stayed very close to the parking lot where the cook-off was held. Lake residents Gordon and Judy Pendergraft won the $100 first prize for their “award-winning chili.” Bob Priest, who also resides at the lake, sampled the chili offerings at the lake, and he said he liked the Pendergrafts’ entry because it was meaty and flavorful without being overly spicy.

  • Durham mayor returns to council

    Durham Mayor Mike Sorenson thanked Durham City Council members as he resumed presiding over the council Oct. 2 for a gift he received while recovering from surgery. The council noted that several new residents had moved into Durham with dogs. The council decided to send letters to all residents reminding them to have dogs tagged.


  • Zaideman resigns from Tampa council

    Don Zaideman has resigned from Tampa City Council, Mayor Tim Svoboda announced Oct. 1. The council considered a replacement, but nobody was appointed. Updated street signs should arrive sometime in October, Svoboda said.

  • Piano students and guests to play at Tabor

    Eight students of Sheila Litke and four guest pianists will perform in a piano concert at 4 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Tabor College Chapel. The theme is “Afternoon at the Symphony.”

  • Harms ranch ranked

    Harms Plainview Ranch, Lincolnville, ranked as fifth largest in registering Angus beef cattle in Kansas during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to Bryce Schumann, CEO of the American Angus Association. They recorded 368 head of Angus with the association in 2012.


    Northwest of Durham, Round the town, Tampa


  • HHS ACT test scores tumble

    After hovering around 24 for several years, Hillsboro High School’s average composite score on the ACT college entrance exam fell to 22.4 in the spring of 2012, USD 410 Superintendent Steve Noble and district curriculum director Greg Brown said. The class of 2012 had the fewest students take the test of the past several years, with 30. Average subject area scores were 21.5 in English, 22.8 in math, 22.4 in science, and 22.1 in reading. The average reading score was below the state average.

  • Students, cooks unhappy about school lunch changes

    With changes in federal school lunch standards, Marion High School’s cafeteria is emptier this year than in the past. Head cook Kathy Holub said the cafeteria serves about 160 meals a day, down from about 180 last year. The main reason for the decrease is more juniors and seniors leaving school for lunch. And now sophomores are seeking approval from USD 408 Board of Education to extend open lunch to sophomores.

  • USD 411 board discusses facility needs

    Preparing for the future of Goessel USD 411 students and meeting their educational needs took top priority Monday at the Board of Education meeting. “We are actively asking questions to find answers about facility needs,” Superintendent John Fast said. “How can we best prepare our classrooms and the tools we give teachers to equip them for future teaching needs?”

  • Goessel freshmen win landscape competition

    Goessel High School freshmen Mikayla Lare and Aleena Cook took first and second in the Greenhand division of the South Central District FFA nursery and landscape competition Oct. 3 at Centre. Emily Brannon, Kellen Froese, Lawton Makovec, and Connor Davis placed fourth in the upper-class division of the competition.

  • Bethel College awards local scholarships

    Braden Unruh, a graduate of Goessel High School, and Amy Wedel, a graduate of Peabody-Burns High School, were each awarded the President’s Scholarship from Bethel College for the 2012-13 academic year. The scholarship is valued at $34,000 over a four-year period. Duane and Karen Unruh of Goessel are Braden’s parents. Arthur and Jane Wedel of Peabody are Wedel’s parents.

  • TEEN meeting is Oct. 17

    The Technology Excellence in Education Network will have its regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17. The meeting will be conducted via phone conference originating from Hillsboro High School, 500 E. Grand Ave., Hillsboro. Contact Brandi Hendrix at (620) 877-0237 for more information.


  • Weber earns bye at state tennis

    Hillsboro High School girls’ tennis player Allison Weber placed second in regional tennis Friday and Saturday in Hillsboro. Her performance at regionals earns her a berth at the state tennis tournament Friday and Saturday in Hutchinson, as well as a first-round bye. The top six finishers in regionals advance to state. Weber entered regionals with a 17-6 record and was seeded second, behind only Dani Schwarz of Marysville. Weber defeated Brittanie Eskut of Lyons, 6-0 and 6-0, McKenzie Thrasher of Sterling, 6-0 and 6-2, and Jen Stallbaumer of Sabetha, 6-4 and 6-3.

  • Big plays key for Trojan win

    Great players make big plays even when they have been game-planned against. For the Hillsboro High School football team on Friday, that player was Shaq Thiessen. Thiessen faced double coverage from his normal wide out position all night from Remington. He had one catch on a designed back-shoulder throw for 25 yards in the third quarter. He countered the Bronco defense scheme by running for 101 yards and a touchdown.

  • Newton tests HHS volleyball skills

    Hillsboro High School head volleyball coach Sandy Arnold said her team has been tested a lot mentally over the past two weeks, especially with their fourth and fifth games against rival Hesston. She told her team to be prepared to have its skills tested. The first of those tests came against 5A schools Great Bend and Newton on Thursday in Great Bend.

  • GHS girls continue exciting season

    The exciting volleyball season continues for the Goessel High School Bluebirds as they notched two more wins this week Oct 2 at Little River. Although all the teams were from the Wheat State League, the games only counted in the overall record. Goessel scratched out an 8-5 lead against Solomon before the offense took control and the Bluebirds won the first game, 25-12. In the second set, Goessel took command of the game early and finished with a 25-9 win.

  • Goessel cross-country prepares for regionals

    Davis Cook and Ali Buller, two seniors for the Bluebirds, led the team on Thursday at Harvey County West Park. As schools try to determine who will represent their teams at their regional meets in a couple of weeks, these late season races help coaches sort out their top runners. Goessel will not compete in any meets this week, but will hold their own competition. Goessel’s regional meet will be at the Cessna Activity Center in East Wichita on Oct. 20. Results Burrton Invitational Boys Davis Cook 17 minutes, 48.75 seconds. Heath Goertzen 17:51.86. Nathan Czarnowsky 17:55.93. Grant Flaming 18:49.92. Ben Wiens 18:50.91 Zach Wiens 20:28.15 Christian Konen 20:31.34 David Hesse 20:34.59 Jake Herrel 20:59.87 Aaron Woelk 21:12.00 Dane Kruger 23:05.12 Henrik Fentens 24:03.12 Garrett Woelk 24:20.56 Results Burrton Invitational Girls Ali Buller 16:13.06 Kylee Unruh 18:53.46 Amelie Kimer 25:05.24 Rebekah Herrel 25:08.34 Stacee Kershner 25:09.09

  • Goessel football defeats military school

    The Goessel High School football team had to play from behind in Friday’s contest at St. John’s Military School in Salina. The Muleskinners got ahead 8-0 and it was well into the first quarter before Trey Schmidt would connect with Zach Showalter for a 22-yard passing touchdown.

  • Sechrist, Ruder battle before state

    Hillsboro High School cross-country runner Emily Sechrist lowered her own school-record time from 15 minutes, 23 seconds to 15:16.73 with a second-place finish Thursday at the Sterling Invitational. Heather Ruder of Hays-Thomas More Prep won the race with a time of 15:11.91. Sechrist bested Ruder at state last year and defeated the junior runner in track in the 3,200-meter run. The two runners also met Sept. 8 at Wamego, a race Sechrist won. The two runners will not face each other again unless they meet at state Oct. 27 at Rim Rock, where Sechrist has performed very well, with TMP and Hillsboro being in different regionals.


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