Vol. 147 , No. 31
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Peabody, KS 66866
Holter narrowly keeps job
When Marion city council appointed the city attorney, clerk, treasurer, municipal judge, chief of police, fire chief, and city administrator, all votes were unanimous. The vote for city administrator Roger Holter was an exception. Holter was reappointed on a split 3-2 vote, with councilmen Ruth Herbel and Jerry Kline opposed.
Thrift shop thief returns goods, isn't charged
Volunteers at St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary Shoppe were surprised to see the police show up at their door with a box of stolen items. The store’s security camera helped identify both the donor of the household goods and the person who stole them with the help of a security camera.
Cops seek more surveillance in park, downtown
Marion city police are hoping an extra set of eyes offered by security cameras will help protect city property. They got started by replacing old cameras in Marion’s Central Park with new ones routed through the Marion County Museum’s Internet.
COVID roars back
As of Tuesday evening, the county health department reports 12 new cases of COVID-19 in the past week. Although none are hospitalized, all 12 are in isolation as of Tuesday.
Lawyer debate turns heated
Discussion grew heated at Marion city council Monday when payment of a lawyer working with the planning commission and board of zoning appeals — who has not billed the city for his time — was discussed. Newton attorney Brad Jantz has worked with the commission for several months. Mayor David Mayfield wanted to discontinue Jantz’s services because no bills have been sent to the city.
Reservoir plan spurs questions about warnings
Discussion of a master plan being developed for Marion Reservoir Monday spurred a county commissioner’s blunt assessment of the county’s emergency planning. The Army Corps of engineers is developing a guiding vision for recreation and use of the reservoir that will stand for at least 25 years, assistant lake manager Kevin McCoy told commissioners.
'Tis the season for cruisin': Hillsboro, Peabody plan weekend events
Cruising season officially opens this weekend with a Saturday cruise at Hillsboro and a Sunday cruise at Peabody. The 2021 season’s first Cruise Downtown Hillsboro will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday featuring music by DJ Mac.
New physician gets early start in St. Luke ER
Sunday was physician Casey McNeil’s first day in the emergency room at St. Luke Hospital in Marion. McNeil will join the hospital full-time the middle of next year, but has already agreed to work part-time at Marion while he finishes residency at Smoky Hill Family Medicine residency program in Salina.
Hillsboro gets 1st look at plaza plan
Hillsboro city council members Monday got their first good look at plans for a community plaza. “I think we’ll be really successful with this if people will make it their own and take ownership of it,” city administrator Matt Stiles said.
Donors secure ambulance parking lot
A partnership between Lincolnville feedlot owner Mike Beneke and Middlecreek Corp. will build a new parking lot at the Emergency Medical Services station in Peabody. The property also is the future home of fire district No. 4.
Health department sees temporary shift
Starting April 22, the county health department will be modified temporarily while director Diedre Serene is on medical leave. In her absence, Don Hodson will step in as public health officer on a consultation basis.
Paper welcomes intern
Madeline Reida, a student at Butler Community College, has joined the Marion County Record staff as an intern. “I’m excited to report on stories close to my home,” the Goessel resident said. “I’m surprised just how much goes on in small towns like mine, and I’m always ready to learn more about our community and its people.
Services will be 3 p.m. Thursday at First Mennonite Brethren Church, Wichita, for Andy W. Friesen, 85, formerly of Hillsboro, who died Saturday at Schowalter Villa in Hesston. He was a graduate of Hillsboro High School and attended Tabor College for one year where he played basketball.
Services are pending for Mary Catherine “Cathy” McClure, who died April 13 at Newton Medical Center. She was born Dec. 19, 1949, to Max and Geneva (Stovall) Stacy.
Services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Spring Valley Mennonite Church, rural Canton, for Alan Overton, 77, who died Sunday at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. He was born Feb. 22, 1944, in Colby to Arlie and Maudie (Smith) Overton.
Services for Shirley D. Whittecar, who died June 21, will be 2 p.m. May 1 at Peabody Christian Church. Graveside services will follow in Prairie Lawn Cemetery.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Police activity reports
Keeping everyone in the dark
One vote — from Susan Gray, Chris Costello, or David Mayfield — is all that separated Marion administrator Roger Holter from losing his job Monday night. It was a victory not just for Holter but also for Mayfield, who since taking office seems to have changed his mind from what he told voters about Holter on the campaign trail.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Home again, home again
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Anniversary card shower requested
A 50th wedding anniversary card shower has been requested for Dan and Marcia Falen, who were married April 24, 1971, at Pilsen. Their mailing address is: 627 Jeep Rd., Hope, KS 67541.
MHS graduate to direct school activities at academy
Jared Herzet, who graduated Marion High School in 1995 and earned a degree in biology from Benedictine College in 1999, will be director of activities and athletics at St. James Academy, Lenexa, in the fall. Herzet has been at Cure of Ars Catholic Grade School in Leawood since 2015. He spent his first five years as middle school science teacher and two years as assistant principal.
Senior center menus
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
Calendar of events
140 years ago
Lymph therapy available
Occupational therapist Mikaelyn Dick can now provide enhanced treatment for patients whose lymphatic systems don’t function properly — as is often the case with patients over 50. Called lymphedema, the condition means fluids in the body aren’t being properly channeled through the lymph glands that help remove the fluid from the body.
COVID limits ease up
Eased restrictions on socializing and on visits with loved ones have helped with mental health, but life still is not back to normal for those residing in care facilities or using senior services. “They seem happier and they’re participating more in activities,” said Kelley Laswell, chief executive at Legacy Park in Peabody. “They’re coming out for meals. So, overall, they seem to be doing much better.”
SCHOOL AND SPORTS
Students stoked about prom
After having to forego prom last year, upperclassmen at Marion and Hillsboro high schools were excited about Saturday’s events. “Prom is even more meaningful because I get to dance one last time with my classmates and finally do something that feels ‘back to normal,’ ” said Hillsboro senior Teegan Werth.
Marion, Centre FFA students compete in career development
FFA students from both Marion and Centre competed recently in career development competitions. Twenty-two Centre FFA members competed Saturday at Tonganoxie.
Bowling league results
Class, library collaborate on Earth Day
Earth Day is tomorrow, and 2021 is the “Year of the Sunflower.” In keeping with that, the Peabody High School horticulture class and Peabody Township Library are working together to provide children with a story-time video and a sunflower kit. The video of Ginger Becker reading the book, “How a Seed Grows,” will be posted on social media tomorrow. Children in kindergarten through third grade can pick up activity kits at the library after school until 6 p.m.
Library to add books for kids facing trauma
Peabody Township Library was given a $750 grant to build its collection of books intended to help children from impoverished or dysfunctional homes deal with trauma. The grant is from the Kansas Book Festival, which annually gives $10,000 to libraries across the state. The grants can be used to expand book collections or technology.
Marion High School A softball game Monday vs. Sterling was postponed to 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
County has first COVID-19 death
Marion County now has one confirmed COVID-19-related death. County health nurse Diedre Serene on Friday sent a press release extending the department’s sympathy to the family and friends of the patient.
Suspected drunk driver crashes into living center
The safety of Amy Boudreaux’s residents was the first thing on her mind just after 2 a.m. Sunday when she heard that a vehicle crashed into Marion Assisted Living Center. “There was a disbelief of what I was actually hearing,” the living center’s executive director said. “I wasn’t quite sure if it was over exaggerated, so I immediately came in to see what was going on.”
Tables turned on wind farm opponent
Expedition Wind and other plaintiffs seek more than $35 million By PHYLLIS ZORN Staff writer The lead plaintiff in three lawsuits filed in opposition to a wind farm being developed in southern Marion County is now the lead defendant in a lawsuit filed by the company developing the wind farm.
Power problems a headache for all
Marion’s electrical service needs major work, as two major power failures in less than a week brought to light. A major power outage on Easter was followed by another Thursday.
Counterfeiters pass fake bills three times
Counterfeiters hit Marion County last week on multiple occasions, passing fake bills in Hillsboro and Peabody. “I’ve been doing this 36 years and that’s the way it’s always been,” said Hillsboro police chief Dan Kinning. “You have down-time to catch up, and then it seems like it runs in spurts where you can’t keep up.”
Herington Hospital bought questionable tests
Herington Hospital may have been stung when it bought 500 tests a salesman said would tell if patients had COVID-19 within half an hour. The rapid results of the blood-based test would eliminate long waits for typical COVID-19 nose swab test results, the hospital was told.
Wanted: New owner for 'project' house on the move
Carla and Jason Hamm are offering a two-bedroom home near their property free to any takers. The catch: The new owner must be willing to move the nearly 900-square-foot house to a new site.
Commissioners weigh hiring administrator
County commissioners once again discussed hiring an administrator, with support from Goessel resident Mark Voth, Hillsboro city councilman Kevin Suderman, and county commission chairman Jonah Gehring. Voth said an administrator can spend hours doing detailed research on a subject and present the facts to the commission for a decision, which would allow shorter commission meetings and better decisions.
Hillsboro reviewing finances
Hillsboro city administrator Larry Paine told city council members Tuesday he is studying the effect that stay-at-home orders brought on by COVID-19 is having on the city’s budget. “One of the things I was doing yesterday and today was reviewing revenues and expenses and dealing with a survey to look at the impact of what COVID-19 is doing, particularly with our budget,” Paine said.
Trail stop nets $10,000 donation
Tampa Trail Stop received a financial boost last week in the form of a $10,000 donation from Diamond Vista owner Enel Green Power. The shop has around $5,000 in gross sales most months, so the donation makes a sizable difference, said trail stop governing board member and Diamond Vista company liaison David Mueller.
Marion waives utility late fees, penalties
Marion city council voted Monday to waive late fees and penalties for residents and businesses unable to pay utility bills. The move is in keeping with a governor’s no-disconnect order for utilities during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order imposed by the state.
Florence Fire Department seeks truck purchase
Florence fire chief Mark Slater on Monday spoke with city councilmen about partial funding for a new one-ton brushfire truck. “We’ve been upgrading slowly,” he said. “It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s little steps at a time, and we’re just upgrading our equipment as time goes along.”
Peabody-Burns OKs joint street project
Peabody-Burns school board last week approved its portion of a 2021 joint street project with the city of Peabody. Peabody-Burns’ portion of the $671,000 project would cost $55,020.50.
Cities, county keeping most employees
County and city employees are holding up pretty well in a time of furloughs, hours cuts, and record unemployment filings throughout the state. Hillsboro
County allows lake restrictions to expire
County commissioners will allow an earlier resolution, effective through April 30, that only county residents can use the lake to expire. Commission chairman Jonah Gehring brought up the subject at Monday’s meeting.
Concrete being poured for floor of transfer station
Steady progress is being made on construction of a new county transfer station. Last week concrete was poured on the lowest level of the east half of the building under construction.
Recycling remains in limbo
A hike in recycling costs at a South Hutchinson recycling facility and the suspension of free recycling at Fort Riley because of an outbreak of COVID-19 led county commissioners once again to tackle the issue of recycling costs. Transfer station director Josh Housman told commissioners Monday that the Hutchinson facility where the county takes recyclables has increased its price from $98.50 a ton to $120 a ton. The county also has transportation costs to haul recyclables there.
Goessel foundation awards 6 grants
The Goessel Community Foundation awarded six grants to local non-profit organizations. The grants include:
County road repairs roll on despite COVID-19
Outbreak of COVID-19 has closed offices and businesses, but repairs to Marion County roads roll on. A majority of local roads being maintained have seen little change, county engineer Brice Goebel said.
Two emergency programs offer food help
Two disaster food programs are offering help to people who are struggling because of the economic effects of shutdowns in response to an outbreak of COVID-19. Food boxes for residents who have lost jobs
Pack rats pose hazard in vehicle repairs
Vehicle maintenance comes with its own intricacies, but one often-overlooked hazard is the possibility of pack rats, Webster Auto Service owner Barry Allen said. Rat damage is common in vehicles, and sometimes becomes extensive enough for insurance companies to get involved, Allen said.
Vehicle insurers offer virus relief
Insurance companies serving Marion County residents are assisting their customers and local COVID-19 relief efforts. Shelter Insurance agent Doug Heery said he chose the Marion County Resource Center and Food Bank to receive a $1,000 donation from the Shelter Insurance Foundation.
Construction begins on US-77
Construction began Monday on a three-mile stretch of US-56/US-77 between Lost Springs and Lincolnville. One lane of traffic will lead through the construction, but traffic might add up to 15 minutes to travel times, according to Kansas Department of Transportation.
No public services are planned for Curt Neil Becker, 63, who died April 13 at his home in rural Hillsboro. Burial will be at Haven of Rest Cemetery in rural Hillsboro.
Graveside services for Gordon Keith Hiebert, 69, who died Friday at his home in Hillsboro, will be 11 a.m. Thursday, at Ebenfeld Cemetery in rural Hillsboro. The family requests that people stay in their vehicles at the cemetery. A drive-through greeting will be 2 to 4 p.m. at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Police activity reports
Traffic division cases
Don't get infected by pessimism
To date, Marion County has seen a bigger epidemic of roofing contractors than it has COVID-19 cases. Perhaps that’s where the lyric comes from: “Hail, hail, the gang’s all here.” We hope and assume that most of the companies descending like water-tower vultures on sheltered-in-place county residences are in reality good public servants — on the up and up, as it were, with “up” being an especially relevant word for roofers.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Corrections and clarifications
Historic Catholic church to be torn down
A historic stone Catholic church in Burns will be demolished soon because the unused structure has become unstable, Burns city clerk Heather Thiel said. Deep cracks have developed in the 30-by-44-foot structure and the front wall has begun to fall away.
Flint Hills Rodeo 2020 event cancelled
Chase County’s 2020 Flint Hills Rodeo was canceled last week after a unanimous decision by the event’s board of directors. 2021’s rodeo dates are June 3 to 5.
Marion native wins essay award in Pratt
Iliana Craft, daughter of Marion High school alumni Shaun Craft and Melissa Moffit-Craft, last week won Elks Lodge essay contest for Western Kansas Division I. The Pratt fifth-grader, who previously attended Marion Elementary School, was recognized for her essay about what freedom of speech means to her.
Flint Hills Symphony canceled
Flint Hills Symphony, originally set for June 13 in Wabaunsee County, was canceled last week. All general admission tickets will be refunded by May 30.
SERMON FOR THE WEEK:
What is power? A response and an open invitation
140 years ago
MEMORIES IN FOCUS:
Marion students took the lead in creating school's first orchestra
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