• County administrators an outgrowth from cities

    Six months from now, county government could be a different beast if voters give commissioners a green light Tuesday to get a county administrator. Marion County would join a minority of counties as only the 22nd one to hire someone to manage day-to-day operations.

  • Cardiac dispatch choices questioned

    It took more than an hour for a rural Lincolnville woman to reach a hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest early Saturday. At 2:56 a.m., county dispatchers called for Tampa ambulance to go to the 2500 block of 270th Rd., about 4 ½ miles southeast of Lincolnville.

  • Commissioners called corrupt by former employee

    A former county bridge supervisor confronted county commissioners Tuesday about a bridge inspection trip he claimed constituted an illegal meeting. Larry Cushenbery had his say about the way commissioners do business at the end of the meeting, following a 20-minute executive session called to discuss potential litigation.

  • Victim escapes domestic abuse

    A victim of domestic abuse escaped a Hillsboro home dressed only in a towel Friday afternoon. “When you leave, you leave the way you were dressed,” said Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning.

  • Stalking indicators up in 2016

    The 40 court petitions seeking protection from abuse or protection from stalking filed in county court last year exceeded the number filed in any of the previous 10 years. 2014 was the lowest year, with 17 petitions filed, according to a Kansas Bureau of Investigation report released last week.

  • Marion, Hillsboro wage food fight

    A friendly fight is being waged between Marion and Hillsboro to see which can collect the most food through Nov. 17. Grocery donations will be weighed and credited to each community. Each dollar of cash donations will count as a pound of food.

  • Money returned to owners by Kansas state treasurer

    With over $470,000 of unclaimed property in the county, some residents were bound to walk away from the courthouse happy when the state treasurer visited Friday. Debbie Bowman was one of them.


  • Trump gets no respect at meeting

    A Halloween visit from the president provided comic relief during Tuesday’s county commission meeting. A man wearing a Donald Trump mask stood in the door to introduce himself and talk to commissioners.

  • Hot chili to be served by firemen

    If the chili is too hot at Tampa Saturday, firefighters will be on hand to put out the fire. The fundraiser is being held in conjunction with the first-ever Tampa Trail Fest, a celebration of Tampa’s Santa Fe Trail history. Tampa was one of the towns along the trail.

  • Commodities arrived Oct. 25

    Government surplus commodities arrived at county senior centers Oct. 25. Distribution schedules are available by contacting individual sites.

  • Blue-green algae plan proposed for lake

    A lake resident brought a well-researched call to action to county commissioners Tuesday in an effort to save the county park and lake from blue-green algae. Mark Wheeler gave commissioners notebooks with research on blue-green algae plaguing the lake in recent summers, causing it to be closed to swimming and wading.


  • Pauline Harms

    Services for former beautician Pauline Harms, 87, who died Thursday at Salem Home in Hillsboro, will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Marion Christian Church. Visitation will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Jost Funeral Home, Hillsboro. She was born July 13, 1930, to Harry and Hannah (Miller) Ollenburger at Goessel. She married Verden Harms June 12, 1981, in Marion.

  • Rhonda Schinnerer

    Graveside services for Rhonda R. Schinnerer, 60, who died Oct. 12 at Kidron Bethel in North Newton, will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Strassburg Cemetery. Attendees are invited to the home of Rodney and Diane Richmond for a time of food and fellowship following the service. She was born October 1, 1957, to Ralph and Wanda (Propp) Richmond at Marion.


    Paul Magathan, Barbara Svoboda



  • Pilot program allows auto tech students to earn dual credit

    Five Centre High School students are killing more than two birds with one stone. In place of taking classes in math, science, and English, they are studying automotive technology at Butler Community College in El Dorado this year. When they complete the course, they will have earned 39 college credits.


  • When minutes matter

    Speed is essential, we’ve been told time and again, when it comes to getting trained personnel to the scene of medical emergencies. Whether it’s a case of cardiac arrest, heart attack, an injury accident, or others, the general assumption held by the public is that faster is better in getting emergency responders to a scene and getting a patient to a hospital.

  • Yay or nay to administrator?

    A decision looms for voters Tuesday about whether county government should be led by a county administrator. Commissioners have raised the question many times in the past. None until now have acted on those discussions.


    Candidate takes Free Press endorsement to task



  • 43-1: Goessel volleyball takes second at state

    The Goessel volleyball team stamped its presence on the 2A state volleyball tournament Friday and Saturday at Emporia, coming up just short in the championship match against Heritage Christian. The top-seeded Bluebirds rolled over Leon-Bluestem in their first match of pool play Friday, 25-11 and 25-13, with Eden Hiebert, Brittney Hiebert, and Ciera Nolte overpowering their opponents with hits.

  • Wheat State League honors reported

    State runner-up Goessel led Wheat State All-League volleyball selections released this week. Those receiving first team honors from Goessel include seniors Eden Hiebert, Leah Booton, and Brittney Hiebert, and junior Savanna Wuest.

  • Trojans' season ends on sour note

    With any mountain range a lengthy distance away, an avalanche in Kansas is as realistic as a blizzard in Africa. That is, unless you’re the Hillsboro Trojans, who got buried under one in Thursday night’s football season finale in frigid, windy Gypsum against the Trojans of Southeast of Saline.

  • Schools tackle online safety

    As the world we live in changes, so do the learning needs of students. Today’s technology-savvy students are frequently online, between computers, gaming machines, and smart phones. That can expose them to cyberbullying, inappropriate material, and online predators, district curriculum director for Peabody-Burns schools Kathy Preheim said.

  • Reed runs at state

    Hillsboro freshman Tristan Reed finished 37th at 2A state in Wamego on Saturday, finishing the 5K race in 18 minutes, 44 seconds.

  • Senior saves best time for last

    Running her fastest time of the season Saturday on a hilly golf course at Wamego, Julia Nightengale finished her Goessel career by placing 28th out of 93 runners at the 2A state cross-country meet. Her time of 22 minutes, 32 seconds was more than 30 seconds faster than her previous season best. Nightengale’s time was 11 seconds faster than at last year’s 1A state meet.

  • Goessel football drops final game

    A Thursday trip to Claflin proved fruitless for the Goessel football team, as Central Plains High School handily defeated the Bluebirds 54-0. Goessel’s season ended at 2-7 overall and 2-3 in district play.

  • Spelling tests aren't what they used to be

    Everyone remembers the spelling tests they took in grade school. The teacher spoke the word to the whole class, read a sentence containing the word, and students wrote the word down on a piece of paper. That’s not how it is done today, at least for students in the upper grades.

  • Goessel students report to parents at parent-teacher conference

    How better to engage students in their education than to give them the responsibility to report their academic progress to their parents? That idea is what led Goessel Junior/Senior High School to change the way it conducts parent-teacher conferences.

  • Honor rolls Area Schools


    Goessel, Hillsboro


  • Childhood screenings offered

    Free childhood development screenings will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 14. Screenings include cognitive, motor, speech/language, and social/emotional development for children up to 5 years old. Vision and hearing also will be screened. The process usually takes at least one hour for a child to complete. All children are welcome, but an appointment is necessary. Appointments can be made by calling (620) 382-2858.

  • Blood drive upcoming

    A blood drive for the American Red Cross will be held 1:15-6:15 p.m. Nov. 13 at Holy Family Catholic Church, 415 N. Cedar St., Marion.

  • Toy Run from Marion to Hillsboro slated for Saturday

    The 24th annual Marion County Toy Run will be Saturday. Motorcycles and cars are welcome with one new toy per entry. Riders and drivers will leave at 1 p.m. from Willy J’s 9th Lane, 131 S. Thorp, Marion, then travel to Hillsboro.

  • Group to hold fundraiser dinner

    A chicken barbecue fundraiser meal for a playground and church will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Tabor Mennonite Church, 891 Chisholm Trail Rd., rural Newton. The Tabor Mennonite Men are holding the donation dinner to raise money for a “whale” playground structure at Camp Mennoscah and the Tabor church building fund.

  • Calendar of events


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