• County has 2nd COVID-19 case

    One day after Marion County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced, county health nurse Diedre Serene reported a second case of COVID-19 had been identified in the county. The second patient, identified Friday, is a male between the ages of 45 and 54. The health department is identifying and contacting people who were exposed.

  • Chingawassa Days canceled

    Marion’s Chingawassa Days will be canceled for 2020, it was announced Friday. The committee decided to cancel the annual June event to ensure public safety amid COVID-19 concerns.


  • Technical glitches plague county meeting

    The county commission’s first online- and telephone-only meeting Tuesday was riddled with technical difficulties. The meeting began 25 minutes late so commissioners’ microphones and computers could be set up. The county information technology director went around the room making adjustments to microphones and computers so audio and video would work.

  • Road plan presented to commission

    County engineer Brice Goebel gave county commissioners Tuesday his five-year plan for road work. Some of the problems he sees are a limited budget, poor condition of road bases that cause problems with road surfaces, many bridges and culverts that need replacement, road and bridge equipment needs maintenance and replacement, a new building is needed for safety and efficiency, and snow and ice operations are costly.

  • Dog abandoned at Hillsboro vet finds new home

    Staff at Hillsboro Animal Clinic found a dog that had been left in a crate at their front door when they arrived Monday morning. Wondering if the dog had been abandoned, they posted photos of it on their social media page and asked for information.

  • Students finishing their 1st year of college at home

    Emmy Hess was almost late for her college chemistry class, but it wouldn’t have been her fault. The Kansas University premed major hadn’t overslept Monday morning, the Internet was acting up again.

  • Residents use final days before stay-home order

    Even as blustery winds blew Saturday and all weekend, residents were using their last days of freedom to enjoy getting out before a stay-home order by Gov. Laura Kelly kicked in. “I’ve been casting an hour every day just for something to do,” Marion County Lake resident Andy Fanter said. “I have a boat, but you don’t take the boat out when it’s this windy.”

  • Book inspires fun activity for children

    Stuffed teddies and other animals have begun appearing in Peabody’s windows in an attempt to cheer up children stuck at home by social distancing and closed schools. And maybe give them an opportunity for adventure.


  • Coffey County is state's hot spot for COVID-19

  • First day of (online) school

    Tyler McMichael looked over his lesson plans Tuesday in his empty fifth-grade classroom in Marion Elementary School and made sure his computer was good to go. At 8:30 a.m. he would be part of an effort to keep students learning during a statewide school shutdown to fight an outbreak of Covid-19.

  • Staff delivers student meals in short order

    The state shut down 2,150 of its public and private schools, but within nearly a week Marion County’s school districts were providing healthy meals to their students. “It took preparation, planning and lots of conference calls,” said Sarah Queen, director of nutrition at Marion Elementary School.

  • Cleaning services emphasized amid health concerns

    Holly Gibert, who cleans houses around Marion, says her experience cleaning nursing homes is proving helpful now. Working in a care home required herto be very conscious of wiping down frequently touched surfaces like door knobs when there were viral outbreaks.

  • Pharmacies see jump in business

    Local pharmacies have seen an increase in prescription orders because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but not any increased demand for drugs widely touted for preventing or treating the virus. The President has said hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, used to treat lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and malaria, are “promising” in treating COVID-19. Clinical trials are being done in France, but medical experts in the U.S. had said it’s too soon for conclusive evidence.


  • Peabody, school may have leg up with street project

    Peabody’s partnership with Peabody-Burns school district to rehabilitate streets between the elementary and high schools could boost the city’s chances of receiving a Kansas Department of Transportation grant, said Darin Neufeld of EBH Engineering during Monday’s Peabody council meeting. “This is obviously a needed project,” he said. “They’re getting a two-for-one deal. They’re helping a school district and a city. That’s why I think they’d look really favorably at this.”

  • Power outages add stress for Marion residents

    When many Marion residents’ power went out for a few hours March 25, it was one more factor in a week of stress and bad news. Then it happened again Friday morning, which compounded the week’s anxiety with regional viral outbreaks, said Theron Nienstedt, who works maintenance for several rental properties around Marion.

  • Peabody-Burns school board approves special education hiring

    Peabody-Burns approved hiring of Duncan Whitlock during Monday’s special meeting as a part-time elementary special education and part-time physical education teacher. “By doing this we’re getting a half-time special education teacher in addition to the one we have, which we really need for all the kids we serve,” superintendent Ron Traxson said.

  • Residents drag Marion Main St. for weekend fun

    Twenty-five cars cruised Marion’s Main St. Saturday night despite the fact a cruise, and a similar event in Hillsboro planned for Sunday, were both canceled. The drivers went from 1st. St. to Casey’s, honking as they passed people standing in their yards holding up signs reading, “Honk.” Some held beer and signs saying “Honk and we’ll drink.”

  • Calving season not standard for everyone

    Lambs, chicks, rabbits, pigs and many other farm animals are born in spring, but Durham dairy farmer Jason Wiebe said it’s just another season for his calves. “The difference with a dairy is that it’s usually year-round,” he said. “That’s to spread the work load and milk production, and we don’t rely on grazing to put weight on our calves like beef cattle.”


  • John Balthrop

    Services for John C. Balthrop 84, who died Saturday at Newton Medical Center, will be at a later date. Born July 27, 1935, in Louisville, Kentucky, to Carmack and Cecilia Balthrop, he was a retired farmer and insurance agent.

  • Jane Buchholz

    Services for Jane Buchholz, 91, who died March 28 at Bethesda Home in Goessel, will be at a later date. Born Oct. 7, 1928, in Wakeeney, to Charles and Audrey Surprise, she married LaVerne Buchholz June 1, 1947, in Wakeeney.


    Edith Johnson



  • Residents not waiting to file taxes despite extension

    Despite last week’s extension on federal and state tax filings until July 15, Hillsboro resident Mike Duerkson isn’t waiting several months. “If a person starts doing that, you’re going to have to pay them anyway,” he said. “The only way I’d prolong them was if I didn’t have the money.”

  • Assistance available for Kansas Homestead filing

    People needing assistance with Kansas Homestead filing can contact Marion County Department on Aging for help over the phone. Kansas Homestead filing period was extended through Oct. 15 by Gov. Laura Kelly.

  • Perspective makes the difference for niche financial planners

    While working as market research manager in the late-1970s for Caterpillar in Hesston, Richard Fanter was approached to help Caterpillar of Topeka branch into agriculture. Spotting an opportunity, the Marion County Lake retiree made a pitch to provide financial forecasting services.


  • America held hostage, Day (who knows?)

    So what have the first few days of stay-at-home taught us? For one, a lot more things appear to be “essential services” than we might have imagined. For another, people hereabouts are pretty amazing at adapting to whatever challenge is thrown at them. The same can’t be said for large portions of the country, where panic seems to be a disease at least as serious as COVID-19. In some cases, businesses in other parts of the country are permanently closing or permanently reducing their operations. Greedy bureaucrats are trying to use emergency powers to push through ideas rejected in normal times. Distant profiteers are gouging prices, and marketers are alternating between reassuring and frightening customers.


    Be still and know

    Coverage appreciated


  • Dog boarder ends most boarding

    Autumn Hanson, owner of Critter Connection pet grooming and boarding service in Marion, has changed her operation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “At this time I am not open for boarding dogs as we are all advised not to travel at this time,” she said. “It was a tough decision. I was so looking forward to watching my four-legged friends in the newly remodeled kennels. Better safe than sorry, please stay home if you can. I want to have all of you around after this is over.”


    Life in the Spirit

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