Vol. 115 , No. 34
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Hillsboro, KS 67063
Voters approve sports bonds
Voters decided by a nearly 2-1 margin Tuesday to approve Marion-Florence school district borrowing $3.26 million for improvements to sports facilities. The count came in at 406 in favor and 217 against. That represents a 24.63% turnout for the special election, which had only this question on the ballot.
Suicide on tracks stops Amtrak in Florence
A 21-year-old man thought to be a Newton resident killed himself early Sunday morning by either standing or sitting in front of an Amtrak train at a crossing in Florence, according to Undersheriff Larry Starkey. The man, identified by Starkey as Michael Wiebe, died instantly.
Drugs suspected in reservoir stabbing
A fight between friends while camping at Hillsboro Cove at Marion Reservoir led to three people requiring medical care, including a 56-year-old person who was rushed to a Wichita hospital with potentially life-threatening stab wounds. Illegal substances may have been involved, Undersheriff Larry Starkey said.
Residents brace for tonight's planned blackout
When Marion announced a power blackout planned by Evergy, Sheila Williams put up flyers. Manager of Homestead Senior Residences, Williams wanted to make sure people who lived there knew about the blackout.
Drought is worst in quarter-century
Despite Tuesday’s rain, Marion County is suffering from the most serious drought the county has faced in a quarter of a century. The drought is the least serious in the county’s far northern tier, including Ramona and Lost Springs. A sliver of land there officially was listed last week as suffering moderate drought, the second least serious of five drought categories.
That's one foxy mama
In one Marion neighborhood, the fox population is noticeably up, and the rabbit population is noticeably down. No doubt that’s because a well-fed fox family is finding a ready supply of food.
Work on damaged dam to begin
Two years after a storm caused significant damage to the dam at the county park and lake, work to repair the dam will begin by June 1. After reviewing three bids on the work Monday, county commissioners Monday approved a $120,269.23 bid from Nelson-Fowles Construction.
Wind farm outlines options for overpayment
Orsted, which owns Sunflower Wind, has sent letters to landowners it overpaid asking them to choose one of two options to rectify the mistake. Orsted told landowners such as Eugene and Betty Just, who have a turbine on their property near Aulne, to choose whichever options would work best for them. The letter to the Justs says they could:
Drug defendant gets 2 surprises
Marion County Sheriff Jeff Soyez had a surprise last week for Kevin W. Geren on the same day city officials showed up at Geren’s home with another surprise. Soyez arrested Geren, 61, May 3 on a felony warrant issued by district court for making criminal threats to five people March 29 in municipal court. The charge formally was filed just the day before.
Recall petitions never submitted
No recall election seeking to oust Marion city council member Ruth Herbel will be conducted because no petitions seeking to remove her were turned over to the county clerk by the Monday deadline to have 201 signatures certified. The petition was sponsored by Marion mayor David Mayfield; his wife, Jami; Kathern Swan; Margaret Wilson; Morgan Makovec Looney; and Marion electric supervisor Steve Hart.
Traffic stop leads to child endangerment, drug arrest
A traffic stop Friday morning west of Peabody resulted in the arrests of two people from Elmdale and Emporia on suspicion of drug violations and child endangerment. At 12:24 a.m., deputy Aaron Slater pulled over a 2004 Chevrolet Malibu on US-50. Deputies Matt Regier and Presley Mabe almost immediately joined him.
KBI to brief prosecutor on suicide
Kansas Bureau of Investigation plans to brief Marion County attorney Joel Ensey this week on its findings regarding a suicide that occurred when two law enforcement officers were serving a search warrant April 10. “The county attorney will then make a determination from those investigative facts,” spokesman Melissa Underwood wrote in an email.
Toddler locked in running car
A sheriff’s deputy freed a 2-year-old locked in a running vehicle with its air conditioner on Sunday morning at Marion County Park and Lake. A deputy was dispatched at 10:55 a.m., arrived at 11:05 a.m., and was able to get the child out using a tool at 11:09 a.m.
Retired co-op chief honored
Retired Cooperative Grain and Supply general manager Lyman Adams has been named to the Kansas Cooperative Hall of Fame by the Kansas Cooperative Council. He started his career in the 1970s as an auditor later he helped develop Countryside Feed. He held leadership positions in several organizations before retiring at the end of 2016 after 31 years with Cooperative Grain and Supply.
AROUND THE COUNTY
Hillsboro seeks input on new borrowing
Marion isn’t the only school district seeking new projects to be paid for by new borrowing that would replace debt soon to be paid off. Hillsboro district voters are receiving mailed surveys this week asking them to identify which school infrastructure projects they think are most needed.
Just 1 sport at a time
After a brief discussion Monday of students participating in more than one sport at a time, Hillsboro school board members set the issue aside. Board members last month discussed allowing students to play two sports concurrently but not everyone on the board was sold on the idea. Superintendent Clint Corby put the topic on Monday’s agenda but recommended no change.
Goessel groups receive $4,000 in grants
Five grants totaling $4,000 have been awarded to area non-profits by Goessel Community Foundation. Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum received $1,000 to help renovate a deck, stairs, stair rails, and an accessibility ramp at the museum’s 1906 preparatory school.
Centre staff seeks day-care solutions
Speaking for herself and several other staff members, teacher Shelby Srajer appeared before Centre school board Monday to address the need for day care. She said she was on waiting lists for next year at other day cares.
Services for Vickie Lynn (Youk) Huxman, 69, who died May 2 at Newton Presbyterian Manor, will be 2 p.m. May 18 at Newton Christian Church. Chaplin Greg Schmidt will officiate. Relatives will receive friends at the church from 1 p.m. until the service.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Police activity reports
State tax warrants filed
Traffic division cases
Keeping 3rd graders down on the farm
Nearly 100 third graders from around the county learned about agriculture Friday at Ag Appreciation Day, a series of presentations at the fairgrounds in Hillsboro by FFA members from Goessel, Hillsboro, Marion, and Peabody-Burns high schools Farming practices and equipment, safety, and animal agriculture were discussed in 10-minute sessions.
Kids escape with safety tips
Kids found the most exciting display at Saturday’s annual Safe Kids Day on the lower level of Marion’s Sports and Aquatics Center. An inflatable fire safety teaching tool made its debut, to the exhilaration of squealing kids, who rushed through it learning how to safely escape fires.
County featured in social media tour
A college student documenting his tour of Kansas made a three-day pass through Marion County last week and documented each town for a tourism book to be published at the end of his journey. Seth Varner, a 22-year-old college student from Nebraska, plans to publish “Wandermore in Kansas,” after visiting the state’s 627 incorporated towns.
Peabody valedictorian learns life skills, not just facts
Alexis Davis has learned an important skill during her time at Peabody-Burns High School, one that’s not in the official curriculum. That’s the art of time management.
Goessel valedictorians look to future
Goessel High School’s class of 2023 is expected to have three valedictorians: Justin Nickel
Finding reason in rhyme
Mario Cuomo famously said politicians campaign in poetry but govern in prose. Can a favorite, unattributed poem, cribbed from old-time advertising products, give us insights as valid as those of costly strategic plans?
I like to live in a little town, Where the trees meet across the street,
Or, at least, they used to. Our neighborhoods are becoming clear-cut faster than the Amazonian rain forest.
No overruling the rule of law
Now that election results are in, it may be beating a dead horse, but violations of campaign ethics laws associated with Tuesday’s school bond election are so staggering they bear repeating. Not only was it improper — as school officials admitted — for yard signs to be distributed from school offices. It also was improper for school officials to seek contributions to pay for them and for the signs themselves to bear no indication of who paid for them.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
May Day mayday
Historic cottage becomes retreat for pastors
When Merle and Michelle Flaming purchased their home at 1729 Upland Rd. in September, the acreage included a cottage that is thought to be one of the first at Marion County Park and Lake. The Flamings lived in the cottage for two months while renovating the house that sits just north of the former Kingfisher’s Inn.
Public can hear plans for health building
Plans for a new county health building will be topic of a public presentation at 10 a.m. Saturday at Florence Carriage Manor, 124 E. 9th St., Florence. The non-partisan presentation by commissioners Dave Crofoot and David Mueller will be sponsored by Marion County Democrats but will be open to everyone in the county.
Child care center gets a name
A new child care center planned for Florence will be named Flint Hills Child Care Center. Bob Brookens of Marion submitted the winning name in a contest. Other suggested names included Wild Ponies and Rug Rats.
Latest novel available
Marion author Thane Schwartz’s new self-published paperback, “The Lord of The Ringing Bells: The Quest for Self,” became available last week on Amazon.com. The political thriller is about that fictional priest from Pilsen who goes undercover for the FBI.
Senior center menus
145 years ago
SPORTS AND SCHOOL
Warriors peaking at right time, coach says
In its second to last regular season meet, Marion had a strong performance Friday at the Remington Relays. “We scored in every area of the meet and had our best day of the season,” coach Grant Thierolf said.
Pratt wins 36-hole county challenge
Nine teams played 18 holes Friday morning at the Marion Country Club and then another 18 holes in the afternoon at the Hillsboro Municipal Golf course to complete the 36-hole tournament. Unfortunately, Sterling, Marion, Wichita Homeschool, and Wichita Classical did not have the necessary four golfers to qualify for team scoring so only five schools made the team board overall. Pratt won first place and Hillsboro placed fifth.
Swim team in Top 3 for 2 meets
The combined Marion, Hillsboro, Centre, and Peabody-Burns swim team placed second Thursday and third on Saturday in Andover. “The team is doing well as our season winds down,” coach MacKinzie Magee said. “We have tried to mix up some events and relays since there were so many meets this week.”
Marion honors competitors
April’s Champions of Character among Marion High School competitors are Alyera Koehn from the forensics teams and the entire baseball team. Koehn was honored for always learning and helping teammates. The baseball team was honored for a strong season of sportsmanship and gamesmanship and even helped move hurdles on and off the track at a track meet.
Tech group to meet
Directors of Technology Excellence in Education Network, or TEEN, which supplies online services to area schools, will meet at 6 p.m.May 17 at the Marion school district offices, 101 N. Thorp St., Marion. More information is available from Lena Kleiner at (620) 877-0237.
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