Vol. 147 , No. 37
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Peabody, KS 66866
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
Algae advisories issued for both lakes
Runoff from last week’s storms took a toll on Marion County’s lakes. A blue-green algae warning was issued Thursday for Marion Reservoir, and a less-serious watch was issued for Marion County Lake.
K-9's zeal leads to $3,644 dental bill
Sheriff’s drug dog Karma became so excited during a training exercise that she broke and knocked out some of her teeth. Her dental bill, approved Friday by county commissioners, totaled $3,644.
Intruder jailed again pending competency
Hours after her release from jail pending a judge’s decision on whether to grant her a competency hearing, Marion resident Rexana Siebert was back in trouble with the law and back in jail. Siebert, who bonded out of jail Saturday afternoon after she was charged with offenses stemming from allegedly erratic behavior May 14, was booked back in the following morning.
Cow herded from city lot
Subway received a livelier-than-usual Angus last week when a stray cow wandered into the 1100 block of E. Main St. in Marion. Marion police had received reports that people within a quarter of a mile were looking for a cow on Tuesday night. At 5:15 a.m. Wednesday, the stray cow appeared in town in the restaurant’s parking lot. While it had ear tags, its owner was unknown.
Flooding drives out seniors, washes car away
Someone knocked on Caryl Wiebe’s door at Salem Home Independent living at 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday, but when she answered, no one was there. About 15 minutes later, a nurse knocked and told her, “Ma’am, you have to get out of there.”
Lakes stay busy despite season's rainy. wet start
Rain and cold didn’t dampen the holiday weekend as visitors turned out at both the county’s lakes. Lake superintendant Isaac Hett said campsites at Marion County Lake were at 80% capacity.
Engineer takes up farming, too
Many Americans may have lost their jobs in the COVID-19 pandemic, but 26-year-old Clark Kroupa gained one. Relocating to his family’s farm near Lincolnville and continuing to work as a Caterpillar engineer remotely during the stay-at-home order, the 2013 Marion High School graduate discovered he could do both engineering and farming.
New grads to take over concessions
They grew up together at the city’s ballpark, so now three softball stars plan to make money for college by operating its concession stand. Marion High graduates Macy Sigel, Laura Savage, and Megan Neufeld have signed a lease to operate the stand this summer, pending city council approval June 14.
Patriot meeting featured on city sign
An electronic sign at the intersection of Main and Elm Sts. in Marion flashed a notice last week of a political meeting in seeming violation of rules established for the sign. The group is the Proud Patriots. At a February Proud Patriots meeting, group leaders said it grew from a small band of Donald Trump supporters who called themselves the “Trumpettes.”
Emergency chief again summoned
Emergency manager Randy Frank had yet another in a long series of executive sessions with county commissioners Tuesday. Commissioners met for five minutes behind closed doors before calling Frank in to discuss an agreement given to him a week ago.
Resignations hamstring zoning board
After four resignations, Marion’s planning and zoning board doesn’t have a quorum and cannot make binding decisions until more members are appointed. The board already was down one member when John Wheeler resigned in March. Josh Clevenger resigned just before the April meeting, and Dino Diaz resigned at the end of the meeting.
Residency discussion postponed
Although Marion city council members talked briefly Tuesday about city codes and charter ordinances regarding where officials may reside, the issue was delayed to a later meeting. Councilman Ruth Herbel, a frequent critic of city administrator Roger Holter, raised the issue two weeks ago, pointing out that state law requires city officials other than police officers, city attorneys, and municipal judges, to be qualified voters within the city. Holter lives at the county lake.
Courthouse lawsuit discussed
County commissioners met behind closed doors last Monday with Kansas City lawyer Kevin Case to discuss their response to a lawsuit filed after Peabody resident Donna Hague slipped and fell on a rug in the courthouse July 16, 2018. The case is scheduled to go to trial in October.
Election filings up to 65
As of Tuesday’s filing deadline for city, school board, improvement district, extension district, and drainage district elections, 65 candidates have filed to be on the Nov. 2 ballot and 11 open positions have no one filed. That’s 30 more candidates than were filed a week ago.
Virus slows to only 2 new cases
Marion County Health Department reported Tuesday only two new cases of COVID-19 in the past week. That brings the total number of cases in the county to 1,094 since counting began in 2020.
Algae alert shifts to reservoir
Just seven days after three weeks of blue-green algae warnings at the county lake were lifted, a less-serious algae watch was issued Thursday for the federal reservoir. The watch, which does not bar access to the reservoir, means blue-green algae have been detected, and visitors should be careful to avoid any blooms that may develop.
Visitation for Shirley K. Bartel, 75, who died Sunday at Salem Home in Hillsboro, will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Jost Funeral Home, Hillsboro. Burial will be in Lehigh Mennonite Cemetery. Born Nov. 25, 1945, in McPherson County to Alvin and Mabel (Hanson) Johnson, she married Gilbert Bartel on July 23, 1965, in McPherson. He preceded her in death
Funeral for Alan L. Bentz, 67, who died Saturday at Hillsboro Community Hospital, will be 2 p.m. today at Jost Funeral Home, Hillsboro. Pastor Clark M. Davis will officiate. Burial will be at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. Born Sept. 26, 1953, in Topeka to Otto and Frieda (Backhus) Bentz, he married Virginia Soukup on Oct. 11, 1975, in Marion.
Services for Carmelita May (Johnson) Findley, 57, who died May 22 at her home in Newton, were Friday. Brothers David Lee and Leon Ray Johnson and grandparents Velma and Bert Johnson and Harvey and Carmelita Roach preceded her in death.
Services for Harold Wayne Unruh, 82, who died Thursday at Newton Medical Center, were scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Goessel Mennonite Church. Burial was to have been in the church cemetery. Born Jan. 14, 1939, in Goessel to Jacob and Hanna (Wedel) Unruh, he married Joyce Duerksen on Aug. 23, 1959, at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church.
Civil Division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal Division cases
Police activity reports
Farmers look for fields to dry out
Area farmers are hoping things dry out and warm up so they can get into their fields. Wheat harvest in Marion County ordinarily starts in mid- to late June.
Strong City rodeo to return this weekend
The state’s oldest continuous rodeo will continue its 83-year run this weekend after a one-year pause for the coronavirus pandemic. Flint Hills Rodeo in Strong City will feature performances at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Farmers market to start Monday
Home-baked goods and early-season produce will be available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the opening of Peabody’s weekly farmers market on the west side of Walnut St. downtown. The market is scheduled to run each Monday through Sept. 6. Meals will be available in June as a fundraiser for Peabody Fall Festival, planned for Oct. 2.
Swan resumes its perch in park
Central Park has a new swan sitting atop its 124-year-old fountain. The statue replaces the original swan figure that vanished from the park. The new carving was donated in memory of Bula Good, who died last summer.
Turquoise Table serves up hospitality
Opening the door to The Turquoise Table at 626 E. Main St. would reveal a noisy hinge acting as a substitute for a doorbell, a soft glow of mason jar lights overhead, and a rich scent of freshly baked peanut butter pie. Marion’s newest establishment opened at 11 a.m. Tuesday to a small, eager reception. Renovation of the old building started in February. Michelle and Merle Fleming were joined by 10 volunteers redoing flooring, collecting a small library, and repainting.
Artist discusses mural plans
Artist Stan Herd has installed earthworks art projects all over the globe. This summer, he will paint a mural in his home state. A Lawrence native, Herd shared his plans Monday for a mural that will grace the Sunflower Theatre in Peabody.
Click your heels 3 times and say . . .
At age 26, Clark Kroupa — one of Marion High School’s brighter recent graduates — is wise beyond his years. Like many Americans emerging from a yearlong cocoon woven by a bat virus that wafted its way here from overseas, he’s realized you don’t have to live in a big city to have a big-time job. And you can handle your big-time job and what you truly love doing all at the same time.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Spring into summer
Priests to celebrate 60th anniversary
Longtime Marion residents Bob and Judy Priest will celebrate their 60th anniversary June 9. He was a Methodist minister before they married in 1961 in Wichita. She went into ministry at age 52, after both their children were raised.
Mechanic retires after 44 years
In the 44 years of servicing vehicles at Hillsboro Ford, Kim Kaufman has seen a lot of change. “It’s changing faster all the time with new technology,” Kaufman said last week. “You learn something new every day.”
Car show, cruise set for June 12
Route 56 Classic Cruisers car show will open at 8 a.m. June 12 in Memorial Park ,in Hillsboro. Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce will feature their downtown cruise night June 12. The downtown cruise will be from 5 to 8 p.m., and several downtown businesses will stay open.
Senior center menus
140 years ago
SPORTS / SCHOOL
3 state titles!
Three Marion County track and field athletes won state titles Saturday at Cessna Stadium on Wichita State University’s campus. Marion High senior Anne Baliel defended her state title in pole vault. Marion High senior Todd Palic was first in discus. Hillboro High senior Nate Hein completed a winning jump in pole vault.
No crown, but history made by softball team
Marion High softball ended a breakout season at the top of its league, ranked amid the best in the Kansas. And while the Warriors unprecedented year may have ended with a 6-0 loss at state to runner-up Burlingame, coach Judy Noller could not be happier with the team.
11 Trojans, 11 Warriors picked for all-league
Eleven athletes from Hillsboro High School and 11 more from Marion High School were honored this week with selection to all-league teams in baseball and softball. League-champion Marion led the way with four first-teamers on the Heart of America League softball team: senior outfielders Megan Neufeld and Laura Savage, senior designated player Chisholm Waner, and junior infielder Jayden May.
School awards and honors
Cities lose COVID grants to county
Marion and Hillsboro were shut out but Marion County won a $167,000 grant Tuesday to help small businesses struggling after COVID-19 shutdowns. On Monday Marion had hired Ranson Citycode Financial, Wichita, to be administrator for the COVID-19 grant it hoped to get.
Rough road breaks sheriff's ankle after chase
Sheriff Rob Craft broke his ankle and will need surgery after stepping into a pile of gravel on Remington Rd. at the end of a brief high-speed chase Monday. April Fore, 32, Peabody, was driving a 2011 Toyota RAV-4 in the 500 block of S. 3rd St. in Marion when police chief Clinton Jeffrey spotted what appeared to be an expired license plate on her car. When he radioed in the license plate, the car came back with expired registration to James Williams, Marion. Fore also had a suspended driver’s license, Jeffrey said.
Crowd files for commission, but attorney left out
Possibly a record number of candidates for county commissioner filed by Monday’s deadline, but one county official didn’t meet legal requirements to file in time. County attorney Joel Ensey filed a petition seeking to return to his position, but the petition he presented did not have the required number of signatures. Ensey now will run a write-in campaign.
Car sales roll on as area dealership adapts to times
An economic lifeline thrown to Americans during the spring high-sell season may have played a small part in getting an area car dealership back on a roll. In a rare glimmer of good news for an industry that has seen sales plummet, Hillsboro Ford has enjoyed months of brisk business, Terry Hagen, owner and sales manager, said Monday.
No new cases, but nurse expects resurgence of COVID
Although no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county since mid-April, health nurse Diedre Serene expects to see more, possibly even a cluster of them, as more normal activities resume. Serene said more confirmed cases were likely simply due to more testing and more movement.
Sausage House deal a year in making
Jason Callhan and Jeremy Sheffler took over Monday as owners of Peabody Sausage House, but the idea had been brewing since a relative of previous owners Mike and Cheryl Berger mentioned it at last year’s Fourth of July. “I mulled it over,” Callahan said. “It was just kind of a joke, and we were all out having fun.”
Woman, teen escape car fire
A woman and a teen were all that escaped from a car that caught fire at 4:02 p.m. Friday on US-56 between Falcon and Goldenrod Rds. Driver Crystal S. Stryker, 31, Hillsboro, and Maria Zimmer, 13, Hillsboro, were the only ones in the 1995 Oldsmobile 88, which was owned by Mark S. Conner, Hillsboro. No injury was reported for Stryker or Zimmer.
Woman arrested with meth, $2,980
Methamphetamine and nearly $3,000 were found by Hillsboro police Tuesday afternoon after a search of a 1995 Mercury Grand Marquis on US-56 near Santa Fe St. A woman was found with about an ounce of methamphetamine, $2,980, and a generator, police said.
Camp sites fill at reservoir
Reserve campsites at Marion Reservoir are all booked up, but there are still first-come, first-serve spots available to anyone who wants to enjoy opening weekend of camping. “We are not 100% full by any means, but we are getting there,” lake manager Kevin McCoy said. “It could be about 75% full by this weekend, but a lot of that could change in a few hours. Right now, we still have some places.”
ATVs a problem at busy lake
ATV drivers caused issues on a crowded Memorial Day weekend at Marion County Lake, according to Lake superintendent Isaac Hett. Drivers had children and open bottles of alcohol in ATVs, Hett said, and ATVs not licensed for on-road use reportedly were driven on Upland Rd. and US-256 to Marion.
Most offices open as usual
The county courthouse and most county offices are now open as usual, although social distancing is expected. All entrances to the courthouse re-opened Monday.
Farmers markets to open
Peabody and Hillsboro farmers markets will open within the coming week, but nobody has stepped forward to coordinate a farmers market for Marion this year. Peabody’s market will open for the season from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday in downtown Peabody.
Suicide attempts spike after 2-month dormancy
After receiving three calls for possible suicidal attempts from January to mid-March, and none from mid-March until mid-May, county dispatchers have received three calls for possible suicide attempts in just 10 days. One possible attempt was reported May 15 after a woman drank hazardous household chemicals. Two additional incidents followed in quick succession, on May 22 and May 25. In each case a woman overdosed.
Kids keep cops hopping
From a low-speed chase on a scooter to a break-in to play with toys and trespassing in a decaying drainage ditch, kids had police busy this week. At 7:38 p.m. Monday, Hillsboro police were called to the 200 block S. Lincoln St. by mother Alicia Higbee Schmidt for an out-of-control 9-year-old throwing rocks at houses and mailboxes.
Dorothy's coffee house reopens
A new crew and new breakfast menu items at Dorothy’s Coffee House and Tea Room were greeted by a steady stream of grateful customers as the Marion coffee house reopened Monday. “A lot of people wanted it open,” said Jena Terrell, Hillsboro, the shop’s new manager.
Airstream Guy building for sale
Mark Evans hoped his son would take over Airstream Guy some day. Instead, Derek is opening his own restoration shop in Manhattan, and Evans will not have much use for the 80-by-120 foot workshop at 1003 Batt St.
Marion picks interim zoning chief
Public works supervisor Marty Fredrickson will temporarily replace Marion’s zoning administrator Clayton Garnica, who took a different job in April. At a meeting Monday, city council members heard that summer dance classes and camps could be scheduled for July, but dance classes won’t resume in June and a dance recital scheduled for July has been canceled.
Yoga classes to be offered
Lesli Beery will teach Hillsboro Recreation Commission’s yoga classes at 9 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at Hillsboro City Hall. Cost of the class is $5 per session.
Governor OKs $400 million aid
Gov. Laura Kelly’s SPARK task force has approved the distribution of $400 million in relief for local governments strained by COVID-19. Monday will be given to counties based on their population, unemployment, and number of COVID-19 cases.
Limited public services for Jim Davis, 72, Marion, who died Monday, will be at a later date at Holy Family Parish, Marion. Davis was Marion’s assistant fire chief for 42 years and a longtime owner of a heating and air conditioning business. He retired at the beginning of 2020.
Civil division cases
County jail arrests and bookings
Criminal division cases
Police activity reports
Traffic division cases
Family farm continues to 6th generation
The well-preserved deed to a 160-acre homestead just east of Lincolnville is dated May 1880, but Mary Kaiser and her two sons had come to America five years earlier and traveled to Salina to stake a claim to the quarter-section just east of the fledgling town of Lincolnville near Clear Creek. Mary paid a $1 filing fee and promised to improve the land within five years.
Despite initial fears, wheat progressing well
It’ll be another few weeks until Dick Tippin expects to see wheat harvests, but the Cooperative Grain and Supply grain coordinator is expecting a promising yield. “I think it could be fairly good,” he said. “It looks like a little above average.”
Programs to help ag businesses
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has rolled out two assistance programs for farmers, ranchers, and rural businesses. Farmers and ranchers can apply for the USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to offset impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commodities to be distributed
Families in need of food assistance can pick up commodities 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday at Florence Senior Center or 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Marion Senior Center. Commodities will be available 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Main Street Ministries in Hillsboro.
Avoid too much, too soon - before it's too late
Like a cicada emerging from what feels like years in a confining shell, we’re about to escape our imposed isolation, fly away, and begin making the familiar buzzing (which we wrongly attribute to “locusts”) that is the comforting musical underpinning of summer in Marion County. But like a cicada molting from its covering, we must be careful not to become too eager to start our singing lest we, in our initially flightless, sopping-wet state, become a meal for a swooping airborne predator — in our case, COVID-19.
Throw away most ideas about recycling
Like old trash that just won’t get picked up, recycling keeps coming back on us as a costly venture not nearly as environmentally friendly as believed by those indoctrinated to support it with near-religious fervor. No one is making money on it — except, perhaps, the companies that prey on guilty consciences by claiming to take our garbage and turn it into something useful.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Subjecting ourselves to the King's English
LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
Enough is enough
Cards sought for 100th birthday
Mildred Bowers will be celebrating her 100th birthday Sunday. To help celebrate, her family is requesting a card shower. The address is 73 Bluestem Lane, Marion, KS 66861.
New spin coming to herbal classes
Karyn Woodward has been conducting herb workshops in Florence since 2012, but now she wants to start demonstrating what she says are the plants’ antiviral properties. “Some of them are more for stomach issues or headaches,” she said. “Each herb has its own thing, and that’s what I teach.”
Blood drives scheduled
Blood drives are scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m. June 8 at Goessel Mennonite Church, Goessel and noon to 6 p.m. June 16 at Hillsboro United Methodist Church. Donors are being asked to schedule appointments by calling (800)733-2767 and to wear masks while donating.
SERMON FOR THE WEEK:
Waiting anxiously the arrival of a 'but'
140 years ago
MEMORIES IN FOCUS:
Retired educator pens book on old schools
SPORTS AND SCHOOL
New season, new team for boys baseball
Challenges breed adaptation and evolution. For several youth baseball players, that may include joining a new team as social distancing regulations are lifted.
Five county students get state FFA degrees
Five students from Marion County schools were among50students who received state FFA degrees last week. In doing so, Peyton Ensey and Cassandra Meyer from Marion High School, Jack Parks and Clarissa Stokes of Peabody-Burns, and Centre’s Jensen Riffel received Kansas FFA’s highest honor.
Athlete honored for academics
Kristen Herzet of Marion last week became the first athlete in Bethel College history to benamed an Academic All-District athlete by College Sports Information Directors of America. A two-year member of Bethel’s track and field team, Herzet is the school’s record holder in indoor shot put, hammer throw, and weight throw.
Awards and honors
College degrees and honors
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