• Electric rates to rise

    Hillsboro City Council met Tuesday to discuss utility rates for 2014, and unanimously approved a proposed increase in both electric and sanitation rates. Electric rates will go up about 10 percent. The same base rate of $9.00 per month will be charged for residential and commercial customers.

  • Australians experience Kansas cold

    Jane O’Neill of Hillsboro headed out the door of her home Tuesday, excited to take photos of icicles hanging from a shrub. “You would never see this in Australia,” she said.

  • Hacked Facebook posts are making few friends

    Leah Ann Ulmer and Racheal Dvorak are two of millions of Facebook users who have been plagued by spam that wrongly proclaims to their friends that they had quit their jobs. “I am really nervous,” the fraudulent posts say. “I’m about to quit my job on Monday after 12,376 days of putting up with my childish boss. I think it’s time. I really have no clue why I’m workin’ there anymore when I’ve been generating about $300 every day for the last six months working from home. Thank God I came across this webpage.”

  • Commodities available throughout the county

    Free food commodities will be distributed throughout Marion County this week. Commodities are available to persons meeting income guidelines and family size.

  • Alpaca is unusual New Year's first baby

    He was a big baby, weighing around 14 to 16 pounds and standing around 3 feet tall, and not your usual New Year’s first baby. Owner Cristi Soyez said it is usual for alpacas to give birth early in the morning, so she estimates the time of delivery at sometime just after midnight Jan. 1. Her daughter found him and his mother out in a snowy pasture and put the pair in the family’s barn, where Soyez and her husband, Frank, found them a short time later.

  • Sales tax increase one-time anomaly

    Sales tax numbers within the county rose from $763,936 in 2013 compared to $653,202 in 2012, but the increase may be more of an outlier than a trend. In January 2013, the county received a one-time partial payment from the sales tax delivered for a pipeline built in 2010.

  • Cheaper ethanol is evaporating

    The option of using unleaded gasoline without ethanol or “unleaded plus” with ethanol are going away as area refineries are being forced by federal law to make more blended fuel. Unleaded plus, a blended fuel with 10 percent ethanol, used to have an octane of 89 and was cheaper by 5 or 10 cents. Now, the bulk of blended fuel has an octane of 87, and unblended is almost non-existent.

  • Longtime Farm Bureau agent retires

    Combined they have more than 60 years of experience, but last week Steve Kill, and his wife, Judy, completed their last day with Farm Bureau Financial Services. Kill has been an agent for more than 40 years and worked at the Marion office since 1985. Judy has worked for the company for 24 years.

  • Winds delay clearing roads, angering drivers

    Snow removal crews across Marion County mobilized Sunday only to find their efforts thwarted by Mother Nature. Bud Druse, road supervisor for Marion County Road and Bridge said his crews mobilized around 5 a.m. Sunday to remove 1 to 3 inches of powdery snow from county roads only to find 20 to 30 mph wind gusts making their job impossible.

  • Commissioners tie loose ends on slow day

    County commissioners took little action Monday during a shortened day of business. Commissioners approved renewal of a mapping contract with RS Digital for a yearly fee of $7,742.


  • Susie K. Ellis

    Retired licensed practical nurse Susie K. Ellis, 81, of Florence died Dec. 28 at Newton Medical Center. She was born March 13, 1932 in Hutchinson and had lived in Florence for about five years. Her husband, Laurel; a daughter Kathy Menefee; and two brothers; and three sisters preceded her in death.


    Gary Fredrickson



  • Bernhardts celebrate 50th anniversary

    David and V. Susie (Dody) Bernhardt of McPherson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 26 in Hutchinson with a family dinner. They were married Dec. 29, 1963, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ramona. They have two children, David W. of McPherson and Doug (Missy) of Inman. They have two grandchildren, Dylan and Abigail of Inman.

  • Free radon test kits available

    Marion County Environmental Health is offering free radon test kits to residents. Radon is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas that comes from breakdown of uranium in soil. It builds up under homes and seeps in through foundation cracks and holes. Linked to lung cancer, it is thought to be present in one in 15 homes nationwide. Kits are available through Marion County Health Department, 230 E. Main St., Marion, as part of a statewide radon awareness effort.

  • Developmental screenings offered

    Free developmental screenings for children birth through age 5 will be offered from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Hillsboro United Methodist Church. The screenings will check learning, motor, language, and social areas. Vision and hearing will also be screened. Appointments are necessary. Screenings usually take an hour to complete. To schedule an appointment call (620) 382-2858.

  • Leadership class to meet

    Marcy Aycock of Butler Community College will discuss “Finding Your Leadership Compass,” when the latest class of Leadership Marion County has its first meeting on Feb. 6 at Morning Star Ranch near Florence. After lunch, Jordan King will give a history and tour of the ranch. Class members are Ashley Friesen of Hillsboro, and Karen Williams, Dainne Cyr, and Roger Schroeder of Marion. Organizers are Kerry Maag, Rebecca Wingfield, Dana Gayle, and Tonya Richards.

  • Housing assistance available

    Marion County residents with severe mental illness may apply to Prairie View Inc. for housing assistance. Prairie View has received a $70,000 state grant to help people with severe mental illness and income at or below 50 percent of median. Those chosen will receive up to two years of rental subsidy. Prairie View will begin accepting applications Monday. For more information contact Brad Schmidt at (316) 284-6400 or (800) 992-6292.


    Zoey Janzen

    Tampa Triple T's

    Patrons to wear aprons

    Many families have Christmas guests


  • Warriors struggle to stop Trojan shooting

    The Marion Warriors boys’ basketball team led for all of about a minute Friday night before the Hillsboro Trojans took a lead they would not lose. After Grif Case made a layup on Marion’s first possession, Hillsboro’s Christian Ratzlaff scored eight in two minutes, two 3-pointers and a step-back jumper. A Jordan Faul layup seconds later caused a Marion timeout.

  • Lady Trojans suffocate Marion

    The matchup Friday night between the Hillsboro and Marion girls’ basketball teams began evenly but changed midway through the first quarter. Tied at six with three minutes left in the quarter, the Trojans scored 10 consecutive points to take a 16-6 lead into the second quarter.

  • RECA wants to send students to Colorado

    Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative Association will award two all-expense-paid trips July 12-18 to Steamboat Springs, Colo., for a four-state Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp. The contest is open to all high school sophomores and juniors in the Flint Hill’s service area whose parents or guardians are members of the Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative.

  • Tabor basketball teams undefeated since break

    The Benedictine Ravens men’s basketball team was ranked 13th in NAIA Division I heading into its second matchup with Tabor during the Tabor College Holiday Classic on Friday. The Bluejays handed the Ravens their first defeat in overtime Nov. 1 in Atchison, and their second Friday, 72-65 in Hillsboro.

  • Trojans defeat smoky valley

    Both Hillsboro High School basketball teams won by more than 30 points Tuesday in Lindsborg. The girls won 53-22, while the boys defeated the Vikings 63-29.


  • Nothing small about farmers' tax challenges

    Farming used to be considered small business, but even for small farms, that reality has changed. It is next to impossible to find farmers who feel comfortable filing their own taxes at the end of the year. Farming is big business and includes many variables that can affect the profitability of the enterprise. Even a small farmer, by today’s standards, handles hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Sometimes expenses are more than income or vice versa, but regardless, farmers look to tax professionals to keep track of things such as depreciation and capital gains to submit an accurate return.

  • Class prepares students for future

    To Lois Smith, understanding one’s financial plan is one of the more important things people should do. A former business teacher, Smith’s Good Sense Money Management workshop Sunday was designed to help students develop a financial plan while still respecting biblical principles.

  • Online tax filing now available

    Taxpayers who need to file only a Kansas individual income tax return may do so online. Online filing is available only for those using the state’s free online application, KS WebFile, at http://www.kansas.gov/webfile, not a third-party vendor.


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