Vol. 147 , No. 18
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Peabody, KS 66866
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
Near-record COVID surge continues with 40 new cases
Forty new cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday in Marion County were the most on a single day since a record 41 new cases were reported Jan. 4. The new cases bring the county’s total to 884, although state authorities are listing eight more cases in the county than are local authorities.
Hillsboro man's path now leads to Africa
Luke Moore is learning to trust God with life’s unexpected twists and turns. But it hasn’t always been easy.
Kids' fund-raiser is more about warm hearts than cold cash
A snowy day became an opportunity for philanthropy for three Marion youngsters. Evi Baxa, Peyton Metro, and Aubrey Whiteman made snowballs and sold them to raise money for St. Luke Hospital. Evi’s mother, Amanda Baxa, presented the money Friday to hospital CEO Jeremy Ensey. Altogether, the young entrepreneurs raised $26.25.
Vaccine closer as surge goes on
Even as COVID-19 cases continue an unprecedented surge and the number of vaccinations reaching Marion County is slow and unpredictable, the health department is trying to plan for how it will make vaccinations available to the public. So far, health care workers who want the shots have gotten them and pharmacies are working to give shots to nursing home residents.
Some chagrined the ice man won't cometh
Cutting a hole through inches of ice and angling for crappie and wipers has long been a winter favorite at the county’s lakes. But many are noticing that winter is not what it used to be — and some can’t remember cold-weather pastimes at all.
Getting COVID doesn't make skeptic a believer
Lincolnville fire chief Les Kaiser doesn’t believe masks are as effective against COVID-19 as is held out — even after being hospitalized with the virus. Kaiser, who spent a large part of 2020 fighting wildfires in other states, said firefighters were spread out even when team leaders consulted in tents.
County opts to pay to have ignored pay plan re-explained
A consulting company county commissioners hired in 2018 to develop a pay plan they ignored when making policy will now be paid again to explain the plan they developed. McGrath Human Resources Group was hired Tuesday to review the 2018 study with commissioner and explain how the salary recommendations were reached. They also will answer commissioners’ questions. Commissioners agreed to pay the consulting company $300.
Grieving husband finds strength to continue tour business
Posted on the refrigerator in Dan Peterson’s kitchen is this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “I must do the thing I cannot do.” Dan said his wife, Linda, placed it there to help her get through 15 years of battling breast cancer. The cancer spread to her brain, but she took an experimental drug that kept her going for another 22 months until her death Sept. 22, he said. She was 70.
Hillsboro extends mask ordinance, seeks engineer
After years of having engineering work done by EBH Engineers, Hillsboro council members voted Tuesday to seek proposals from different engineering firms. “Occasionally, we do have some struggles with timeliness, and that has been kind of a problem,” mayor Lou Thurston said.
Most debris gone from illegal dump site
Bricks, boxes and random collectibles still clutter the front entrance, but a Lost Springs property once deemed an illegal dump site is no longer buried in wood pallets and piles of trash. City councilman Jessica Moenning is grateful for improvements, at 106 S. Berry that were the result of a week’s cleanup by county employees.
Talks over EMS building sought
A year after beginning negotiations over the location of a Hillsboro ambulance station, the debate remains ongoing. The subject was discussed Tuesday in both county and city meetings, and neither side is ready to agree.
Marion ponders own guest tax
For years, the county has drawn a transient guest tax, often known as “bed tax,” collected at lodging establishments throughout the county except for Hillsboro, which has drawn its own guest tax. Now the city of Marion will get tax money from Marion hotels for its own use.
Firms hired for road projects
Commissioners took several steps to improve the county’s roads and bridges during Tuesday’s meeting. Commissioners hired Asphalt Paving and Maintenance LLC for $198,900 to crush 39,000 tons of concrete formerly used as road surfacing.
MLK holiday disrupts trash
Monday trash service was canceled because trucks could not deliver to the transfer station, which was closed for the holiday. Commercial dumpsters were emptied. Trash trucks also drove the Monday route to pick up any trash that residents left at the curb. Monday’s route was run Tuesday as well.
Centre hires superintendent
After interviewing several candidates this past week, Centre’s school district’s board Monday selected Larry Geist as its new superintendent. He will start July 1. Geist will receive a salary of $95,000 plus benefits. He is superintendent of Paradise USD 399 in Natoma and served as school principal for many years.
Graveside service for Dalmer Kaufman, 94, who died Jan. 14 at Newton Medical Center, was scheduled for Monday at Strassburg Cemetery, rural Marion. He was born June 16, 1926, in rural Moundridge, to Daniel and Matilda (Goering) Kaufman. He married Violet Krispense Sept. 6, 1953, at Strassburg Baptist Church, rural Marion.
Graveside service for Larence Monroe McMinn, 84, who died Jan. 15, at Hillsboro Community Hospital, was scheduled for Tuesday at Haven of Rest Cemetery, rural Hillsboro. He was born Dec. 10, 1936, to Claude and Eva (Boone) McMinn in Hamlet, Nebraska.
Services for Archie A. Schmidt, 72, who died Jan. 17 at Newton Medical Center, have been delayed because of COVID-19. Born Oct. 3, 1948, in Newton to Art and Ruth (Unrau) Schmidt, he married Kristin Matthies Sept. 15, 1973, in Wichita.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal sivision cases
Police activity reports
Traffic division cases
Caring for others requires caring for you
Taking care of an elderly, ill, or disabled loved one comes at a price for the caregiver. Caregiving entails household assistance such as shopping, cooking, cleaning and doing laundry; physical assistance such as helping a family member dress, shower, and take medicine; transportation assistance; medical assistance; and whatever other needs arise.
The two worlds of Marion County
As we inaugurate — peacefully, we hope — a new president, much has been written about unprecedented divides in American society. Social media and our departing president have done more than their share to draw attention to, and perhaps widen, these divides. But it’s important to recognize that the divides are real and must, at some point, be bridged if society is to flourish.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Finding fun in 2021
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Burdick Meat Market celebrates 100 years
The COVID pandemic has hit many businesses and individuals hard, but for some businesses it has been a life-saver. A year ago, Dan Hageberg, owner and operator of Burdick Meat Market, thought the business was about to sink. The population of surrounding rural communities continued to shrink, and people were enjoying the convenience of buying meat at the grocery store.
Bowling league results
Senior center menus
140 years ago
Hillsboro wrestlers 2nd, Marion 8th
Wrestlers from both Hillsboro and Marion High School were in action this weekend, competing at the Halstead Invitational. Hillsboro took second out of 12 competing schools with 93.5 points while Marion’s 57 was good for eighth place.
Area basketball teams cap a week of winning
It was mostly a successful week in basketball for Marion and Hillsboro High Schools. Mercer heroics continue
Coyote hunters are back in business
Marion County hunters and trappers now have a market for their coyote pelts through a buyer who visits Marion twice a month. Several hunters and trappers brought pelts, coyotes, and even a bobcat and fox to the parking lot of Ace Hardware in Marion Sunday to sell to a buyer for Lincoln, Nebraska-based Lincoln Fur.
Cattle dog adjusts to life on the sidelines
Meggi, a registered border collie, gazes longingly over the pastureland from Rex and Carolyn Savage’s truck emitting the occasional whine from the back seat as she spies the cattle she used to herd so well. Multiple health problems have forced the 13½-year-old Welsh Scottish herder into a retirement she is still adjusting to.
Commissioner angered by at-large appointment
County commissioner Dianne Novak had angry words for fellow county commissioners Tuesday after she alone voted against appointing Derek Belton to an at-large position on the planning and zoning commission a week after she removed him from the board. Commission chairman Jonah Gehring nominated Belton Tuesday for the position and Novak cast the lone “no” vote.
Laundromats still valued in an age of convenience
A washer and dryer are conveniences often taken for granted, but both Marion County’s coin laundry businesses provide a vital service for those without their own appliances, Hillsboro resident Bob Patterson said. Sticker shock over appliance costs spurs Patterson to make a weekly trip to Marion Dry Cleaning and Laundry.
Ambulance gets stuck on call, again
For the second time in two weeks, a Hillsboro ambulance crew got stuck on muddy roads while on a call. The crew was transporting a patient home from Newton Medical Center at 12:53 a.m. Saturday when the vehicle became mired in mud on Falcon Rd. between 140th and 150th Rds.
Hitting the skids: Response to threat of slick streets varies
Area road departments took differing approaches in responding to the threat of severe weather caused by last week’s ice storm. Kansas Department of Transportation started staggering employees’ shifts around noon Thursday. The move allowed KDOT to keep workers on standby in case of bad weather overnight, said Ashley Perez, public affairs manager for Kansas Department of Transportation District 2, which includes Marion County.
County might buy what it could have for free
The county is discussing the possibility of buying a Hillsboro building for living quarters for ambulance staff and constructing a two-bay garage for ambulances at an estimated cost of $150,000. In four to five years, it could have ambulance and employee housing free. The main ambulance at Hillsboro is stored free of charge in the Hillsboro firehouse.
Junked cars, homes worry Florence residents
Florence Council needs to crack down on the number of decrepit vehicles in the city, community member Phil Baldwin said during Monday’s council meeting. “Just going from the restaurant to my house, I bet I drive by 10 or more cars that haven’t been moved for a long time,” he said. “Some of them are jacked up without tires and they don’t run. For some reason we’ve given them the ability that by paying money, they can keep them there.”
Foundation to give cash, cook pancakes
Peabody Community Foundation will host its annual pancake day from 7 to 11 a.m. Feb. 1 at Peabody Senior Center. A sausage and pancake breakfast will be by donation as a fundraiser for the foundation.
Wind farm lawsuit loses more plaintiffs
A second group of plaintiffs have withdrawn from a lawsuit over a conditional use permit granted to a planned wind farm. Court documents filed Friday show 19 have withdrawn from the suit, originally filed Aug. 14 by Peabody farmer Randy Eitzen and 70 other plaintiffs.
Hospital auxiliary nets highest-ever profit
St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary made its highest-ever profit during 2019, bringing in $97,162 and donating $66,403 to St. Luke Hospital, St. Luke Living Center, and St. Luke Home Health. The money given to St. Luke during 2019 exceeds the grand total of contributions from 1973 through 2018.
Sheriffs' deputy graduates from law enforcement training center
Marion County Sheriff’s deputy Joshua Melizawas named last week as one of 22 December graduates of Kansas Law Enforcement’s training center near Yoder. Meliza has been working at the sheriff’s department seven months, according to sheriff Bob Craft, but now has his official registration.
Services were Dec. 26. for Delores M. Cook, 74, Newton, who died Dec. 20 at Newton. Born Dec. 15, 1945, in Marion, to Willis Linn and Gertrude (Schill) Linn, she married Chilson Cook in 1964 in Marion.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Domestic division cases
Marriage licenses granted
Police activity reports
Traffic division cases
Family takes advantage of no-till farming
Lewis Unruh started using no-till farming with his father in 1996 and he has watched the practice grow in popularity since then. “It’s more than niche farming at this point,” he said. “In the mid-1990s was when it, all at once, became more practical.”
Going the distance
Driving an all-too-familiar 551 miles — the exact same number as our old pre-dial home phone number more than half a century ago — is both literally and figuratively a pain in the backside. But it also provides a welcome opportunity for reflection, especially when traveling with a feline companion who views an Algonquin roundtable as something to jump up and sleep upon, not as a location for stimulating conversation.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
The volcabulary has changed
Calendar of events
SCHOOL AND SPORTS
College degree and honors
Community turns out for Warrior Welcome Home
Peabody-Burns’ Friday home games against Herington featured special recognition of alumni from the school’s 1953 state championship basketball team, and 1963 Class BB championship team. The support fed into the Warriors’ play on the court, girls coach Travis Schafer said.
Peabody-Burns boys lose close game at Centre
Peabody-Burns High School basketball teams came up short in makeup games Saturday at Centre. The boys lost, 63-56, and the girls lost, 55-19. The boys’ game was a nail-biter. The Warriors led after three quarters but the lead changed several times. Centre led 29-28 at halftime.
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