• Falling school enrollment no big surprise

    The state of Kansas took the annual headcount in all school districts on Sept. 22 this year and Peabody-Burns Superintendent Ron Traxson said district numbers came out almost exactly where he and the school board anticipated they would. “There were 252 students in attendance on the day we turned in the numbers,” he said. “That is about 10 short of our enrollment last year and spot on for the numbers we built the budget on.”

  • County denies 'being cheap' in EMS hiring

    Despite saving $30,000 a year by rejecting more experienced applicants, county commissioners say they weren’t trying to “get by on the cheap” by instead picking a local EMT with two years’ experience as a volunteer. By restructuring the department, commissioners say, the new ambulance director won’t be setting policy or leading training but rather tending to the logistics of keeping ambulances staffed and ready.

  • Voters casting ballots early

    County voters started casting ballots last week for the Nov. 4 election, and more are expected to take advantage of early voting and absentee ballots. “I haven’t checked how many, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent for people to want to vote earlier and vote by mail,” County Clerk Tina Spencer said.

  • Kids falling behind on immunizations

    “On-time” immunization rates for Marion County and Kansas children have fallen sharply, according to a report Tuesday by Kansas Kids Count. In 2012, the state immunization rate was 72 percent. In 2013, it declined to 61 percent as more parents opted out of certain vaccinations.

  • Relay for Life shatters fundraiser goal

    Marion County Relay for Life shattered a $24,000 goal Saturday at Warriors Stadium by amassing donations to the tune of $27,687 for cancer research, with money still coming in as of Monday. Area relay specialist Bryn Mecum said the county’s relay committee would be receiving a “very uncommon five-star award” for this year’s effort.

  • Runaway eludes cops for 3 hours

    A 17-year-old McPherson youth with autism casually eluded officers for nearly three hours Thursday night after a dispute with his family led to the decision to walk from his family’s campsite at Hillsboro Cove to Hillsboro, Sheriff Robert Craft said. Marion County Sheriff’s officers initially responded to the call, then requested assistance from Hillsboro and Marion authorities as darkness complicated the search.


  • 'Curse of the Spider' opens in Florence

    The “Curse of the Spider” haunted house opened Saturday night at the gym in Florence. The Bob Gayle family spent many hours since August in preparing and decorating the basement of the building.

  • Fire department to give alarming treats

    Volunteer firefighters of the Peabody Fire Department and the Marion County Fourth Fire District will be giving away smoke alarms Halloween night in conjunction with the downtown Trunk or Treat event. “While the kids are getting treats downtown, we will be offering their parents a free smoke alarm at the fire station just around the corner at First and Sycamore Sts.,” said Peabody Fire Chief Mark Penner.

  • Williamson is Queen of Halloween

    Trisha Williamson of Hillsboro usually celebrates her birthday a day early. Born on Nov. 1, she’s had a lifelong infatuation with the Halloween season. Her home is both a time capsule and a canvas to be painted with decorations. Above her kitchen entrance, a sign reads “Wicked Witch.” Another sign, by her television, proclaims her the
    “Queen of Halloween.”


  • Carol Broadstreet

    Carol Lynd (Starr) Broadstreet, age 72, of Marion, passed away on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, at Newton Medical Center surrounded by her loving family. The eldest child of Robert and Ruth (Wright) Starr, Carol was born on Jan. 19, 1942, in Salisbury, Maryland, and lived there until she was seven years old. Then she moved to Ganado, Arizona, with her family. Her dad was a medical missionary doctor with the Presbyterian Church to the Navajos in Ganado, Arizona, and the Tlingits in Klawock, Alaska. Carol then attended East High at Denver, Colorado, until her high school graduation in 1960. Music was always a large part of her life. She had perfect pitch, playing the piano throughout her life, as well as singing with the choir.

  • Thomas E. Duggan

    Thomas E. Duggan, 80, of Tampa, passed away Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. He was born Nov. 20, 1933, to Thomas P. and Elizabeth Katherine (Coyne) Duggan, in Salina, Kansas. Tom was proud of his Irish Catholic ancestry, the Duggan family name, and his roots in the Tampa community. Survivors include his beloved wife, Dolores (Dee) Duggan of Tampa, married November 29, 1975; his daughters, Darla K. Hall of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and Deb Hall of Herington, Kansas; and grandchildren, Adam Hall and Kaylee Ann Hall. He loved his sisters, Patricia (Gene) Westerhaus of Flagstaff, Arizona, and Betty (Don) Frick of Topeka, Kansas, and all his nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by his brothers, John Duggan and Bernard Duggan, who are still greatly missed.

  • Ladislav Havlik

    Ladislav E. “Laddie” Havlik, 97, of Kanopolis, was born near Bison, OK, Jan. 29, 1917, to Anton and Leopolda (Stary) Havlik. He passed away Oct. 15, 2014, at the Ellsworth Good Samaritan Center, Ellsworth, Kansas. He was preceded in death by his parents, and all nine of his siblings: Anton Havlik, Frances Shimanek, Wenceslaus Havlik, Mary Kristek, Frank Havlik, Dr. Albert Havlik, Polly Belton, Stanley Havlik, and Sister Oswald Havlik. As a small child, he moved with his family to a farm in Marion County, near Tampa, Kansas. He attended a rural elementary school near Tampa and graduated from Tampa High School. He later furthered his education by attending Wichita State University and studying electronics by correspondence from DeVry Technical Institute in Chicago. During his long life, he worked on ranches in Colorado, helped on construction of Grand Coulee Dam in Washington, and enlisted in the Armed Forces, where he served in both the Army Engineers and the Army Air Force before, during, and after WWII. Following the war, he was employed by Quaker Oats Co. in Iowa, operated his own mechanics shop in Marion, Kansas, and at various times, worked for Boeing and Cessna Aircraft in Wichita, and Lockheed in Atlanta, Georgia. He was employed for several years by Hesston Corp., Hesston, Kansas, and owned and operated Tampa Lumber and Hdwe., in Tampa, Kansas.

  • Charles Priddy

    Former pastor and Hillsboro resident Charles W. Priddy, 78, died Sunday at Asbury Park in Newton. Services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at First Mennonite Church in Halstead.

  • Doris Shultz

    Doris Shultz, 79, died Friday at Salem Home in Hillsboro. She was born Oct. 1, 1935, to David and Anna (Friesen) Klassen of rural Lehigh. Survivors include her husband, the Rev. Ken Shultz of Hillsboro; two sons, Rick Shultz of Sachse, Texas and Perry Shultz of Keller, Texas; two daughters, Candi Roberts of Newnan, Georgia, and Gretchen McRae of Irving, Texas; one sister, Bernice Friend; six grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

  • Roberta A. Slifer

    Roberta “Happy” A. Slifer (formerly Work and Miller), 92, died Oct. 14 at St. Luke Living Center. She was born October 17, 1921, in New York, New York. She and her siblings were placed into an orphanage in Bath, New York. From the orphanage, they were put on an orphan train in 1924. Roberta (at that time known as Alberta) was adopted by Walter and Anna Work of Windom. Roberta graduated high school at Windom, and worked as a switchboard operator.

  • Richard Varenhorst Jr.

    Richard W. Varenhorst Jr. was born April 10, 1944, to Richard Wayne Varenhorst Sr. and Dorothy Elizabeth (Miesse) Varenhorst in Wichita, Kansas. Dick grew up in Marion where his parents owned Van’s Department Store. He graduated from Marion High School in 1962, and attended Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia, majoring in theater. Dick was active in the summer theater program and performed in at least 18 productions. He joined the army in September 1964, and was stationed in Germany where he started his own theater company. Later he was deployed to Vietnam as a top secret security clearance courier. Dick served two tours in Vietnam in the 9th Infantry during the Tet Offensive and Dong Tam. After his honorable discharge, Dick returned to Emporia to continue his education. Dick married Pam Stone (whom he met at college) and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. His son Garrett was born in Los Angeles in 1975 and daughter Catie came soon after in 1977 in Santa Rosa. The Varenhorst family moved to Marion in 1980 where he pursued a career in sales, returning to the store his mother still owned, Van’s, managing and opening Van’s Too!, a gift shop, and Van’s Man, a men’s clothing store, to complement the womens’ and childrens’ clothing lines sold at Van’s. He continued his military service in the Kansas Army National Guard for 16 years.



  • Harshmans preserve historic Clover Cliff Ranch

    When Warren and Susan Harshman purchased Clover Cliff Ranch in Chase County from the Jim and Joan Donahue Estate in February, they became the fourth owners of the nearly 4,000-acre ranch. “We wanted the property to be locally owned and shared, including its history, beauty, and cultural heritage,” Susan Harshman said.

  • Gardeners prep for winter, planting

    For some, gardening happens between the last and first frosts of the year. For others, like Jana Dalke and Mike Moran, gardening is a process that flows from one season to the next. Late October is transition time for Dalke, who with her husband, Dale, operates Serenity Gardens on 190th Rd. between Marion and Hillsboro. The business side closes in late October, although good weather could extend open hours a few days into early November, Dalke said. Once that happens, the transition to winter, with an eye toward spring, will begin in earnest.


  • A new cash crop for Kansas

    On Monday Linda Miles Martinez showed me some fall decorating she did in the entry of her downtown business, ManeStreet Beautique. She claimed not to be a crafty person, but I am a pretty good judge of who is or is not crafty since I cannot even fill a basket with pinecones at Christmas to make things look festive. So when I saw her attempts at fall decorating I thought, “Hmm, she is telling me some woofers here. These decorations are nice. She really IS craftier than she admits.” However, guess what I saw then? A nice vintage bucket full of hedge apples parked next to the door of the Laundromat, which adjoins her building and shares the entryway. It is true, a bucket of hedge apples sitting right there like they were a festive fall product of some sort.

  • One of us had a baby

    We at Hoch Publishing have experienced a wondrous event amongst our staff in the past week. Mostly, our employees are so old and tired that we barely remember the awesome feeling of bringing a new life into our families and the world. However, our energetic, capable, and funny jack-of-all-newspaper-trades, Oliver Good, and his wife Marina delivered a new family member, Claire, a week ago. We are all appropriately giddy and proud. Like we had anything to do with anything!

  • Days of yore

    Bob and Arlene Moffett celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary in Wichita this past week. Betty and Glenn Kyle picked up LaVonne Ammeter Tuesday evening and they attended the club wiener roast at the Virgil Clark home. It was an old-fashioned wiener roast and everyone enjoyed the evening.


    'Deceptive' ads, Respect the flag



  • Warriors mercy rules another team to go to 7-

    Gaining all 312 of its yards on the ground, the Peabody-Burns Warriors looked one dimensional against Rural Vista on Friday at Hope. The ground attack was working so well, however, that the contest ended 58-12 with a minute remaining in the third quarter. “This was an outstanding effort by the team,” head coach David Pickens said. “We were able to get our JV in for some offense. Tonight was the definition of pride and poise.”

  • Senior night is Oct. 30

    Peabody-Burns High School will honor senior members of the football, volleyball, and cheerleading squads Oct. 30 during halftime of the football game against Lebo. Parents receive two free tickets to attend the game. They are to gather along the rock wall on the north side of the stadium at 7:45 p.m. Parents will walk onto the field along the west sideline when their names are announced.Parents are encouraged to stay for the second half of the game.


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