Vol. 147 , No. 20
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
Peabody, KS 66866
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
COVID update: 2 more deaths, 24 new cases
Two additional deaths and 24 new cases of COVID-19 were disclosed Thursday and Friday by county health officials. No further information was released on the deaths, which bring the county's pandemic death toll to 10, but officials have said previously that reports of deaths often are delayed for weeks or months.
Identities stolen for fake jobless claims
Numerous people in Marion County have reported getting fraudulent unemployment-related information. Some get a letter from the State of Kansas incorrectly stating that they have filed an unemployment claim. Some have even gotten fraudulent 1099G tax forms money earned from unemployment, which has to be reported on their income tax returns.
The Eagle has landed, virally, with an owl
When Peabody farmer Derek Klingenberg installed a camera aimed at an eagles’ nest in a cottonwood tree on his farm, he didn’t know that a scene it captured would go viral. The video of a bald eagle’s encounter with a rude Great Horned Owl has gained clicks in recent days.
A journey from cheerleader and homecoming queen to firefighter
Something memorable usually happens on her birthday and the year the Peabody-Burns student turns 18 will be no exception. In just 34 days, she will join Peabody’s 16-member volunteer force as full firefighter after serving more than two years as a cadet.
Mandated cleanup leaves owner unhappy
Kevin and Janet Geren, whose property at 702 S. Cedar was cleaned up two weeks ago by the city of Marion under supervision by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, is not happy with what was done and the condition the property is now in. “They didn’t do nothing but take my fence and take my property,” Kevin Geren said.
Infection rate skids to lowest in a month
As health care workers and older residents are beginning to receive vaccinations, new coronavirus infections in Marion County are beginning to decline. The county has reported just five new cases so far this week. It reported eight on Friday and 18 in a delayed report Thursday. As a result, the county’s seven-day total, which won’t be updated until Wednesday, dipped to 33, lowest since Dec. 27. The 14-day total fell to 125, lowest since Jan. 7.
Four weekly clinics planned; 2nd will be today
Four weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics are planned this month in Marion County, with the first scheduled today. People in their 80s and older will get their vaccine at the food building at the county fairgrounds in Hillsboro, but must have an appointment.
Eatery getting major facelift
As is often the case when a historic building is remodeled, Jonathan and Leora Ramirez have uncovered more problems than they expected renovating the interior of Cazadore’s Mexican restaurant in Marion. The couple have plunged in up to their elbows and are working to bring a fresh, new look to the building.
Hillsboro sells former postal site
Hillsboro city council Tuesday agreed to sell 642 square feet of a parking lot of the former post office property, now owned by the Hillsboro Land Bank, to Vyve Broadband. Vyve, which already has equipment stored inside the building, will build another structure to store equipment.
Countryside kicks off $8 million investment
Countryside Feed will expand and update its Hillsboro plant and add new machines during the first phase of an $8 million project set to start in about six weeks. “The investment shows a strong commitment by our company and its owners to the livestock producers and the feed supply network in the region,” manager Brandon Acton said.
Several step up to aid injured woman, dogs
A candidate has been nominated to serve as guardian for a 90-year-old Marion woman injured six weeks ago in a crash on US-56. A Sedgwick county judge likely will appoint a guardian for Ruth Cramer at 10 a.m. Thursday, said Wichita lawyer Martin Bauer.
$75,000 sought in fall at Casey's
A McPherson man who fell on ice two years ago at Casey’s in Marion is now seeking more than $75,000 for his injuries. A lawsuit filed Monday in district court claims that Thomas Trezise stepped out of his vehicle on Feb. 8, 2019, near the convenience store’s fuel island and fell on ice.
Blood drives set
Blood drives are planned for 1 to 6 p.m. Monday at Goessel Mennonite Church and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 15 at Hillsboro Middle School gymnasium. Appointments are required. They are being accepted at (800) 733-2767. Donors will receive a $5 online shopping gift certificate.
Hospitals to work together
After 68 years of competition, St. Luke Hospital in Marion and Hillsboro Community Hospital have forged a “work together instead of compete” alliance. Soon after Hillsboro resident Mark Rooker became chief executive officer of HCH a year ago, he and St. Luke CEO Jeremy Ensey became acquainted.
DUI endangerment could net 17 months
A man charged with aggravated child endangerment after police found his 2-year old son in the back of a vehicle during a DUI arrest could face up to 17 months in prison, depending on his criminal history. Michael J. Weaver, 27, who was also charged Monday with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with an open container, has at least one prior DUI conviction.
2 health employees to get overtime
County commissioners Monday changed two health department employees from salaried to hourly because of the number of hours they are working during the COVID-19 epidemic. The two employees are the health department office assistant and an assistant emergency manager whose time is shared between the health department and the emergency management department.
Services for Violet “Vi” Dick, 69, who died Jan. 28 at Schowalter Villa, Hesston, will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Koerner Heights Church, 320 N. Meridian, Newton. She was born Feb. 3, 1942, in Hooker, Oklahoma, to Bill and Anna (Schroeder) Wohlgemuth.
Graveside services were Monday for Clarence Duerksen, 94, who died Jan. 27 at Salem Home in Hillsboro. He was born Nov. 20, 1926, to C.C. and Mary (Funk) Duerksen in Lehigh. She died in 2012.
Because of COVID-19, a graveside service for Willard “Feezer” J. Regier, 92, who died Jan. 30, at Bethesda Home in Goessel, will be private. He was born June 5, 1928, in rural Goessel to John and Martha (Unrau) Regier.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal sivision cases
Police activity reports
Traffic division cases
Grain prices rising on increased demand
Hindsight is 20/20 when it comes to grain prices. Prices for soybeans and corn started going up in November and have risen steadily since then, bringing the wheat price along with them.
Dealer steady amid uncertainty
Sales at a John Deere dealership in Marion have stayed steady despite a climate of uncertainty that has continued to haunt agriculture. PrairieLand Partners kept the doors open for its customers despite nationwide shutdowns forced by a pandemic.
Farmers to get USDA loan relief
Farmers having trouble repaying farm loans from the United States Department of Agriculture are getting help from the agency. The department is suspending foreclosures, wage garnishments and foreclosure referrals for Farm Service Agency loans.
Cooperatives' dispute headed to court
Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company, Cooperative Grain and Supply, and Central Prairie Co-op filed a petition in district court Tuesday seeking to dissolve Team Marketing Alliance. TMA is owned by the plaintiffs and MKC in Moundridge, Midwest Fertilizer in Moundridge, and Producer Ag in Topeka.
Conservation district celebrates 75 years
The Soil Conservation Service was established as a federal agency in 1935. A year later, states were given authority to establish county conservation districts, and Marion County SCS was formed. In 1994, SCS became the Natural Resources and Conservation Service. Because of COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings and food events, Marion County Conservation District will not have its annual district banquet this year. The district is celebrating its 75th anniversary with newspaper recognition of all of its Banker’s Award recipients.
Conservation never ends
The practice of soil and water conservation has often been passed down from one generation to the next throughout the 75-year history of the Marion County Conservation District. The Joyce Carlson family of Lincolnville is an example of that.
Jangled by jingles? Try fretting over facts
Red alert: We’re about to inflict you, our loyal and innocent readers, the cruelest punishment any human being can heap upon any other human being. Brace yourselves. Yogi Bear is smarter than the average bear.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Stocking and stalking the candy drawer
A journalist on journalism
Corrections and clarifications
Accountant promoted at Adams Brown
Marion resident Angela Lange was recently promoted at Adams Brown Strategic Allies and CPAs. Formerly a senior staff accountant, Lange is now director of client accounting services in the firm’s outsourced accounting department.
Senior center menus
4-H leadership fund receives $2,500 gift
140 years ago
College degrees and honors
Honor roll area schools
Pandemic forces county teams to struggle with tough schedules
Victories were hard to come by for county schools this week as they closed out January. Earlier strikes from Covid-19 that canceled games made it a busier week as some teams struggled to catch up.
Wrestlers wrap up regular season
The state’s high school wrestling season would be two weeks away from wrapping up the regular season under normal circumstances, with the final tournament set the last weekend in February. But it’s not a normal year, as Covid-19 creates a longer, tougher road for wrestlers to make it to state.
3 county teams in state's top 10
Three Marion County teams are in the top 10 in the state in their respective classes, according to Kansas Basketball Coaches Association rankings released Tuesday. Hillsboro is rated as the No. 2 team in both boys basketball and girls basketball in Class 2A.
Record wins 30 statewide awards
The Kansas City Chiefs weren’t the only area team to capture top honors this week. The team that produces this newspaper learned Tuesday that it won a near-record 30 statewide awards — three more than last year — in Kansas Press Association’s 2020 statewide competition for midsize non-dailies.
County considers plan to start recycling again
The county may soon be back in the business of recycling. County commissioners on Friday heard a suggestion from Dale Dalke, Hillsboro street superintendent, that recyclable materials could be taken to McPherson County Solid Waste Utility.
Sinkhole opens at Peabody intersection
A sinkhole that opened Saturday at Maple and 2nd Sts. in Peabody presented a possible safety hazard over the weekend, but it was better the hole opened up when it did, Peabody councilman Jay Gfeller said. “Any time there’s a dangerous situation, the fewer people around, the better,” he said. “Fortunately we’ve been blessed with that over the years that we haven’t had any major catastrophes.”
Transfer station set to begin next month
Work on a new transfer station could begin as early as March 2. County commissioners on Monday signed a $1,761,021 contract with Marion construction company Nelson-Fowles to begin work on an 80-by-76-foot building that will replace the existing transfer station on Santa Fe St.
Florence brings back standards board
Florence city council reestablished a standards board Monday to combat nuisance vehicles and houses, with councilman Mary Shipman serving as the city’s representative. “I’ll do it,” she said. “Somebody has to stand up and have some balls.”
Tabor College sets business symposium
A symposium focusing on entrepreneurship is scheduled for business professionals from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 28 at Tabor College’s Shari Flaming Center for the Arts. Wichita psychologist and author Paul White, one of the inaugural event’s keynote speakers, will discuss effective workplace coaching.
Driver safety course scheduled
Driver safety courses will be available to all licensed drivers 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 17 at Marion Senior Center through the American Association of Retired Persons. Courses, which cost $20 or $15 for AARP members, are split into four one-hour classes and can be registered for at the senior center.
Natural medicine headlines Lifelong Learning
Inman natural health professional Connie Newcome will present a Lifelong Learning program about natural medicine 9:45 a.m. Feb. 7 in the Heritage Lobby within the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts. When her husband’s health worsened 38 years ago, Newcome was introduced to traditional medicine.
Car show committee to meet
K’s Car Show Committee in Burns will hold its first meeting 7 p.m. Friday at Pizza Rehea’s in Burns.
Car washes find good use for all that leftover mud
Finding a way to dispose of accumulated mud was a problem Bruce Skiles to solve before he signed on to operate Marion’s Rhino Car and Truck Wash. “Before I bought the car wash I was concerned about whether it was considered hazardous waste or if we had to take it to a special place,” he said.
Book of beloved rancher's stories helps fund heritage center
A book about the life of a well-known Cedar Point rancher who died in December, co-authored with Kansas State University associate professor of history and director of the Chapman Center Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, is now for sale as a fundraiser for a Flint Hills ranching heritage education center. “Sauble: Stories from the Flint Hills,” chronicles the life of natural-born storyteller Pat Sauble.
Marion woman hopes new ID law won't force a legal change
Marion resident Loretta Keazer hopes she won’t need to go to the extreme of having her name legally changed in order to get her Real ID driver’s license. Keazer wants to fly to Alaska sometime later this year to visit her son, but can’t board an airplane without a Real ID driver’s license.
Rent help available for mentally ill residents
County residents with severe mental illness could now get help with rent if they qualify. Prairie View Mental Health Center was given a $50,000 tenant-based rental assistance grant from Kansas Housing Resources Corporation to help people with severe mental illness afford safe and decent housing.
Services for Laura Lily Klaassen Wiebe Nickel, 99, who died Dec. 20 in Reedley, California, were Jan. 2 in Reedley. She was born Sept. 23, 1920, to Nicholas and Alwina Klaassen in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.
Funeral services for Stephen Davis, 72, of Kearney, Nebraska, will be 2 p.m. Saturday at O’Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Home in Kearney. He died Jan. 11 at Kearney Regional Medical Center in Kearney. Stephen was born and raised in Marion County.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Domestic division cases
Police activity reports
Traffic division cases
Recognizing fraud important for census takers
With 2020’s census approaching, being able to spot real census workers will be key to avoid being ripped off, Marion police chief Clinton Jeffrey said. “It’s probably just scammers looking for whatever scam is popular at this point,” he said. “The census seems like it would be a good one to exploit for financial gain.”
New federal law changes IRA rule
A change in federal law regarding required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts means some people will not have to start taking distributions in 2020. Marion lawyer Bob Brookens said under old law, IRA owners were required to start taking minimum distributions the year they turn 70½. The new law, which went into effect Jan. 1, changes the age to 72.
Accountant values business on local scale
Korie Hatton grew up in a small town, so starting her business in a community where she can get to know clients is important to her as a budding accountant. “In a smaller community it’s more of a personal service,” she said. “It’s getting to know your clients’ personal and financial situations to where you can tailor their needs to the services you offer.”
Talking trash about recycling
Blasphemy! Given the madrassa-like fervor with which most of us are indoctrinated into environmentalism, that surely will be many people’s reaction to any editorial raising questions about recycling. So before we go there, let’s establish some credentials.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
A Gillwood's breakfast
Calendar of events
SCHOOL AND SPORTS
Centre spoils Peabody-Burns' homecoming
A large crowd turned out for Peabody-Burns’ winter homecoming ceremony Friday, but their community support wasn’t enough to produce wins for their basketball teams. Both fell to Centre. The girls lost, 61-34; the boys lost, 55-34. Girls After jumping to an 8-0 lead in the first quarter and trailing by one at the end of the quarter, a disastrous second quarter in which Centre outscored the Warriors 21-3 put the girls team in a hole they couldn’t climb out of. They scored 10 points in the third quarter and outscored Centre 9-8 in the fourth quarter but finished with a 27-point loss.
Spaghetti feed will raise funds for cheerleader
A spaghetti feed from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Peabody American Legion will benefit Kaete Johnson’s trip to Cheer Hawaii in June. Cost is by donation. There will also be a raffle for $500 gift cards for Cabela’s, or Target, Hobby Lobby, Kohl’s or Von Maur. Tickets are $20.
Peabody student to perform at piano competition
Peabody-Burns High School senior Aubrey Craig will perform at 11:39 a.m. Saturday during Friends University’s District Piano Contest. Craig has performed at the district contest two years in a row and earned a 1 rating to compete at state both years.
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