• Florence water safe to drink, use

    Florence water is safe to drink, as Kansas Department of Health and Environment today lifted a boil water advisory placed in effect last week. Laboratory testing samples indicated no evidence of contamination. All conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination have been resolved, KDHE officials said.


  • County punts, Larsen in limbo

    Commissioners made no decision Monday on the reinstatement of Larry Larsen, apparently reacting in part to a letter they received that instead has them scurrying to consult the same law firm used to help fire the Peabody paramedic in October. “This is way big,” Commission Chairman Dan Holub said. “We got a letter today to be read at this meeting in opposition to Larry being rehired, but there are accusations that we’re not going to read it out loud. We’re not going to go there again, that happened before.”

  • Ice causes county-wide power outages

    The ice came and the power went. A continual light rain Thursday began to freeze that evening, with temperatures hovering between 25 and 30 degrees over a two-day period Friday and Saturday.

  • A guide to cleaning up after the ice storm

    Peabody City Council ended its meeting Monday night with a discussion of how to best handle the coming demand for information about clearing storm debris from homes, streets, public areas, and gutters. “We have already received inquiries about whether the city crew can help,” clerk Stephanie Lago said. “And the other thing is where to tell callers to take their limbs and branches. The burn pit is muddy and not likely to dry out in the next few days. We are going to have people getting stuck in there.”

  • Detour traffic and ice concern county

    Treatment of icy roads and vehicles circumventing construction of the U.S. 56/77 and K-150 roundabout drew attention from commissioners Monday. Commissioner Randy Dallke asked sheriff Rob Craft to clarify who was responsible for dispatching county crews when road conditions get icy.

  • Taco the talented parrot

    Don’t bother asking Barry Guinn’s Amazon parrot if it wants a cracker. “Taco” prefers peanuts. Guinn said peanuts are one of the bird’s greatest passions — the smell, the taste, the salty reward.

  • Man allegedly uses car without ignition interlock, goes to jail

    Hillsboro Police arrested Toby Lee Jones, 25, of Hillsboro at 9:10 a.m. Nov. 27 for allegedly operating a motor vehicle that was not equipped with an ignition interlock device. Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning said Jones’s girlfriend, Maranda Simhiser, reported that Jones took off in her car just before 8 a.m. without her consent.

  • Son allegedly kicks down parents' door

    A Hillsboro man was arrested on multiple charges after he allegedly “kicked down” the front door of his parents’ house on Nov. 22 at 112 N. Jefferson St. The incident occurred between 7:15 and 10:50 p.m. after Larry and Cecilia LaPlante of Hillsboro allegedly asked their son, Derrick LaPlante, 31, of Hillsboro, to leave their home, police chief Dan Kinning said.


  • Listen up kids...Santa is coming to Peabody

    Santa Claus will visit Peabody children 3 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion. The American Legion Auxiliary, sponsors of an event to care for 5-to 12-year olds while their mothers shop, have confirmed that the Jolly Old Elf has Peabody on his calendar. “We haven’t gotten too many children signed up to spend the day with us while their moms shop, but Santa is definitely coming, and all the kids in the community are welcome to come visit with him,” auxiliary president Myrna Lowden said. “He will arrive as planned and will have goodie bags to hand out. Parents who want to take pictures of their children with Santa may do so.”

  • Annual light tour shines Dec. 9

    Residents of Peabody Health and Rehab, Westview Manor, and members of Peabody Senior Center will be treated to a chauffeured tour of holiday lights in Peabody at 6 p.m. Dec.9. “The school district provides a warm bus and driver,” Peabody Senior Center site manager Ruth Lott said. “Everyone gets a kick out of seeing the wonderful decorations Peabody residents put up. We really appreciate everyone making the effort to decorate their homes and lawns in time for this tour.”

  • Past Country Lakes performer to give Christmas concert

    Holiday decorations are springing up all over Marion County, and the sounds of Christmas will be in the air in Hillsboro on Friday as well. Hillsboro resident David Vogel, who runs Vogel Design and owns Instaboro, will perform “A Down Home Christmas Concert” at 7 p.m. Friday at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.

  • "A Down Home Christmas" to be this weekend

    “A Down Home Christmas,” presented by Kessler Kreations, returns Friday and Saturday to Hillsboro. A Christmas concert by David Vogel, and featuring Vance Klassen, Daniele Melton, and Hanna Vogel, will kick off the event 7 p.m. Friday at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.

  • Tabor to perform Handel's "Messiah"

    Tabor College’s long-standing Christmas tradition of performing Handel’s “Messiah” with the Tabor College Oratorio Chorus and Community Orchestra will continue at 7 p.m. Sunday at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. Admission is free and open to the public.

  • Marion's annual Christmas Home Tour to focus on decor

    The walls of four homes will be festively decked with more than just boughs of holly this year for Marion City Library’s annual Christmas Home Tour. Event patrons can expect to visit a bona fide log cabin, a restored apartment in downtown Marion that used to be a hospital, a home inspired by Pinterest projects, and a lakeside abode with a panoramic view and a parrot that talks and sings.

  • Marion Main St. open house to be Sunday

    At least eight businesses will be participating in Marion Main St. Open House 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 and will include refreshments and door prizes. Nadien Iseli, owner of Central Park Antiques, got together with the seven other businesses to plan the event.


  • John Backhus

    John H. Backhus, 86, died Nov. 29 at Good Shepherd Hospice House in Manhattan. Funeral service will be 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Herington. Burial will follow at the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, North Tampa, and a prayer service will be 7 p.m. Thursday at the church.

  • JoAnn Berry

    JoAnn Berry, 69, of Penrose, Colorado, died Nov. 25. Her son, Boone Berry, with children Madison and Calli Berry, live in Florence. A Colorado resident for nearly 50 years, JoAnn was a member of the Colorado Democratic Party, Canon City Chamber of Commerce, and Miniature Club.

  • Brad Cody Sr.

    Brad Cody Sr., 61, died Nov. 25 at Salem Home in Hillsboro. Family will have services at a later date.

  • Rex Graham

    Rex C. Graham, 85, died Nov. 26 at Newton Presbyterian Manor. He was born October 6, 1930, in Newton to Earl and Clara Graham.

  • Kay Heidebrecht

    Kay E. Heidebrecht, 76, died Nov. 28 at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, Wichita, Kansas. Visitation was Tuesday at Zeiner Funeral Home in Marion.

  • Frances Lais

    Frances Donella Lais, Wichita, died Nov. 25 in Wichita. Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Friday at the Salem United Methodist Church in Newton. Interment will be at the Prairie Lawn Cemetery in Peabody.

  • Norma Jean Wagner

    Norma Jean Wagner, 83, died Nov. 5 at her home in Sandpoint, Idaho. No services were held.


    Thomas J. Anderson

    Henrietta Thomas



  • Rotting from the top

    It’s said a fish rots from the head down, a proverb that affixes blame to leadership for an organization’s failures. The fish head for the travails of Marion County EMS has been the county commission, despite protestations from those bunkered in the courthouse that the problems mostly all originated “out there” among divisive and disgruntled EMS staff.

  • When do we turn on holiday lights?

    In an effort to head off comments about downtown Christmas décor, I am going to share some deep dark secrets from the committee in charge of maintaining the popular holiday lights that outline the buildings in our 1880s business district. You will likely notice by the time you read this column that the lights have not yet been turned on. You are observant and correct. Peabody’s Christmas light committee has failed to be in a position to flip light switches and get the lights on to signal the start of our holiday season. Drat!


    Criminal cases


  • Hamm to celebrate 80th with card shower

    Shirley Riffel of Newton and Dennis Hamm of Sioux Falls, South Dakota are requesting a card shower for the 80th birthday of their mother, Wanda Hamm. She was born Dec. 10, 1935. She has lived in Marion most of her married life and has sold Avon makeup products for about 40 years.

  • Final Fall Lifelong Learning session Friday

    The final fall session for Lifelong Learning will feature a feast of music and Christmas goodies at 9:45 a.m. Friday at Wohlgemuth Music Education Center at Tabor. Tabor student Helather Loewen will provide harp music, while professor of choral music Bradley Vogel will lead the group in singing Christmas carols.

  • Parkside Homes to have open house

    Parkside Homes will hold a Christmas open house from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7. The event will feature the band Freedom 724 at 6:30 p.m. along with other activities throughout the evening. Soups, Christmas treats, and other goodies will be available.

  • Senior menu


    Cress sisters meet

    10, 25, 50, 100, 125 years ago



  • Warriors hope to continue winning trend

    The Warriors are ready to come out and play. Peabody-Burns boys’ basketball team may have lost eight seniors from the 2014-15 rosters, but head coach Caleb Good feels that the team has potential to grow and will give it all they have.

  • New PBHS coach aims for more competitive team

    As his first year of coaching begins, Peabody-Burns girls’ basketball coach Scott Bauer is looking forward to see where this season leads the team. “I’m probably learning more than they are,” Bauer said, “but it’s exciting to get back into basketball, since in college I played football.”

  • MHS Warriors look to rebound after down year

    There are plenty of reasons for optimism for the Marion High School boys’ basketball team. Perhaps the greatest such reason is the most obvious one: Last year is over. Having lost just two seniors to graduation, the Warriors look to build themselves back into a winning team.

  • Massive senior class gives Marion girls' basketball a leg up

    Experience for high school athletics is like gold. Playing the game makes it easier to understand. As coaches like to say, it “slows down.” Marion High School girls’ basketball has a treasure trove of experience. Seven seniors headline the roster, complemented by sophomore Kourtney Hansen, who received an all-league honorable mention in her freshman season.

  • MHS wrestling: New leaders, similar goals

    The Marion Warriors wrestling team faces a question of leadership this season, coach Chad Adkins said. “Leadership will be different this year,” Adkins said. “We are definitely down in that category. We are going to have a challenge ahead.”

  • Trojan wrestlers prepare to rock

    There is energy in the Trojans wrestling room, and it is not just kinetic. In the first week of practice, wrestlers seem focused and ready to rock. Coach Scott O’Hare promoted a crisp and fast-paced atmosphere, circling up the team to review wrestling moves and breaking each review with a collective “Ready, Break,” punctuated by a clap that echoed off the walls.

  • Trojan boys look to youth to fill gaps

    Hillsboro coach Darrel Knoll describes his team as one with “five upperclassmen,” which is positive spin on the fact the Trojans return just one senior, Austin Cross, from last year’s 9-12 squad. Having a 6-foot-6 post player is a good place to start, even though Cross is relatively new to the game.

  • Returning letter winners give Hillsboro girls plenty of options

    Going into the 2014-15 season, Hillsboro coach Nathan Hiebert didn’t have enough returning letter winners to field a starting five. This year the Trojans return seven, including leading scorer senior Alex Ratzlaff, and the difference in practices is “huge,” Hiebert said. “It takes time to get up to speed and understand what the game is, and practice has been nice the first week because we have more experience,” he said. “We’ve been able to get a lot more in a lot sooner.”

  • Goessel girls hope to continue winning ways

    This year’s Goessel girls’ basketball team will look familiar, sporting four returning starters and two other letter winners from the 2014-15 team. One year ago the Bluebirds had a record of 19-4, with a Wheat State League record of 7-0. The Bluebirds will go into the season with high expectations for themselves, and from others. The team is ranked fourth in 1A Division 1 in the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association preseason poll.

  • Bluebirds look for starters to emerge

    The Goessel boys’ basketball team will seek to develop young players in a hurry, as just one starter from last year’s squad returns. That starter, Zach Wiens, will be expected to be a team leader, coach Curtis Guhr said. The 6-foot-3 senior should be a presence inside the paint, averaging 13.3 points and 8 rebounds per game.

  • Centre girls basketball in rebuilding mode

    Centre girls’ basketball lost six seniors to graduation last spring, and one foreign exchange student who was a starter. On the plus side, four letterwinners — seniors Ally Basore and Abigail Svoboda and juniors Summer Espinoza and Shelby Pankratz —return to anchor the team.

  • Centre boys basketball has nowhere to go but up

    As Richard Idleman takes over the reins of the Centre High School boys’ basketball team, he is faced with the task of nurturing a team that had few upperclassmen the previous year. The varsity ended the season with a disappointing 1-6 record in the Wheat State League and 3-17 overall.


  • Calendar of events

  • Commodities to arrive Dec. 9

    Government surplus commodities will arrive at Marion County senior centers Dec. 9. Marion Senior Center will begin distribution from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 10.

  • Marion Rec to hold painting class

    A painting workshop, “Winter Buddies,” will be sponsored by the Marion Recreation Commission from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the community center basement. Paintings will be on a 16- by 20-inch canvas. Cost to participate is $15. Space and supplies are limited.


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