Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 08 January 2013 15:23
Tim Huelskamp, Kansas First District Congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives, will be making two stops in Marion County Wednesday, Jan. 9, in the first round of his annual town hall tour.
Huelskamp will be at St. Luke Hospital in Marion at 1:30 p.m. for a presentation given by St. Luke CEO Jeremy Armstrong, followed by a question-and-answer session with the congressman to discuss health-care issues in the district. St. Luke Hospital is located at 535 S. Freeborn.
Written by Patty Decker Tuesday, 08 January 2013 15:22
The U.S. Postal Service has made a lot of changes in recent years, and Lori Kelsey, Marion’s new postmaster, has been there for many of them.
Kelsey said she’s worked for the postal service 27 years and is happy to be back home.
“I have been a clerk, carrier, postmaster in a couple other offices and supervisor,” she said.
Written by Jerry Engler Tuesday, 08 January 2013 15:20
The first horizontal, or “fracking,” oil drilling in Marion County began this month on land owned by Kevin Jost at 2013 Goldenrod about two miles west of Hillsboro.
The fracking process greatly expands the possibility of recoverable oil or natural gas over what has been done in the past by going deeper and then horizontally, thereby releasing previously unreached oil.
In most of the United States, it has been estimated that 80 percent or more of the total oil or gas is still in the ground, previously unrecoverable by older methods.
Industry reports have suggested the United States will be energy independent as a result sometime between 2017 and 2020, and even will become an exporter of oil and gas.
Jost said he knows from discussions with representatives of the drilling company Zenergy Inc. of Tulsa, Okla., that the horizontals from this well probably will go under land leased from his neighbor, Rodney Hein.
Written by Patty Decker Monday, 31 December 2012 11:34
Carol Maggard, 65, is retiring as Marion County clerk this month after 16 years, but has spent a total of 27 years in the clerk’s office.
Maggard said she measures her time in the clerk’s office by the time she was married to her late husband, Dick.
Considering herself a Marion County native, Maggard and her family moved to Peabody when she was in the fourth grade.
“My mother and father owned a jewelry store in Peabody, which is now the bowling alley,” she said.
Following high school, Maggard graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and before from Mesa College in Grand Junction.
“I spent 12 years in Albuquerque, N.M., and came back for a class reunion, where I met with my best friend again from high school,” she said, referring to Dick. “He wasn’t married and neither was I at that point.”
Three months to the day after the reunion, Maggard said, she and Dick were married and she moved back to Marion in 1986.
Two weeks after returning to Marion, she applied for the deputy county clerk’s position and was given the job in 1985.
One of Maggard’s favorite stories about her late husband involves how much they both liked drama.
“We were both in the high school plays and when we were juniors we played husband and wife. The first play was ‘The Diary of Anne Frank,’ and we played Mr. and Mrs. Frank.”
As seniors they played Mr. and Mrs. Keller in “The Miracle Worker.”
“We were married long before we were married,” she said.
Running for office
Maggard ran for county clerk in 1996 after learning Marquetta Eilerts, the incumbent county clerk, decided to seek a commission chair.
“The very first time was nerve-racking,” she said, “because I was running opposed.”
Maggard said she campaigned nights and weekends, attending parades and candidate forums.
“(1996) was a big year,” she said, “because it was also a presidential year.”
After winning the position in 1996, she was unopposed in her next three elections.
“Even though it was easier to run unopposed, I still did campaigning and ads and spoke (to groups) if they wanted me to,” she said.
Maggard said she and Eilerts, who lives in Peabody, are still good friends.
When Maggard took office, Leon Suderman was the commissioner from District 1, but he later stepped down due to illness and Bob Hein completed the unexpired term.
Linda Peterson and Jack Bruner were also a commissioners at that time, she said, representing District 2 and District 3, respectively.
Other commissioners during Maggard’s tenure as county clerk included Howard Collett, LeRoy Wetta and the current office holders, Dan Holub, Randy Dallke and Roger Fleming.
When Maggard started in the county clerk’s office 27 years ago, there were no personal computers, she said.
“We didn’t have PCs, we had dumb terminals,” she said, “or at least that’s what we called them.”
For example, Maggard did payroll when she was first hired, and the software was a “total menu-driven” situation.
“That’s where the name ‘dumb terminal’ came from because it didn’t do anything on its own—unlike the Internet and Microsoft programs.”
Gradually, the county started acquiring more PCs.
“The county appraiser’s office may have had the first PCs, but the first one we got was used for the cemetery program,” she said.
This data base program was something Eilerts and a man from Tabor College started putting together, she said.
When Eilerts left office, Maggard continued working on it until it was completed.
“The program has every cemetery in Marion County actually physically read by the tombstone,” she said. “We would match up information by obituaries. It was a major information data file.”
Even today the program’s usefulness is vital with many inquiries for genealogy.
Maggard credits two part-time workers, Carol Sklenar and Rosalie Schmidtberger, for helping to finalize it.
Marion County Treasurer Jeannine Bateman said the first thing she thinks of when asked about Maggard is “a smile.”
“Her smile lights up her face and her eyes get that twinkle and, of course, you have to smile back,” Bateman said.
A part of Maggard’s personality that most people don’t see is her love of family and pets.
“She has many stories about the pet puppies and dogs lucky enough to have shared her life, and they always have the most unique names—like Scruggins,” she said.
As for her job as the county clerk, Bateman said Maggard has seen many changes.
“She has faced many challenges with fierce determination to do the job and do it right,” she said.
“For instance, when the county initiated the neighborhood revitalization plan, which involves the appraiser’s office, clerk’s office and treasurer’s office, we attended training and spent lots of after-hour time talking, planning and figuring out how to go from the idea to how to make the process work for all those involved.”
Roger Fleming said Maggard was instrumental when he stepped in as a new commissioner.
“My first year I was appointed chairperson,” he said. “Carol kept an eye on me and guided me through to make sure I got things done,” he said.
“She knows so much and is so gentle in many areas, even on giving her opinion,” he said.
Commission Dan Holub said Maggard is someone who cares deeply about Marion County.
“I remember calling the office at 7 p.m. some nights and she would still be there making sure things were on time or done right,” he said.
“She is quite a lady and will be missed.”
Written by Don Ratzlaff Monday, 31 December 2012 11:36
It’s hard to separate Parkside Homes from Lu Janzen.
That’s true in the sense of longevity.
Janzen came on board as an accountant in 1970, a mere eight years after Parkside opened. Except for two years away during the mid-1980s, she’s been on board ever since, including 37 years as its lead administrator.
It’s true in terms of Parkside’s path to becoming a state leader in senior care.
“What a privilege to be able to work with older people and help make a difference in the quality of living for them,” Janzen said. “I’ve only had the vision as to how older persons should have a chance to live. God worked through me and I was fortunate to have board members who caught the vision and helped make it come true.”
And it’s going to be true for Janzen herself as she steps away from Parkside in the days and weeks following her Dec. 31 retirement.
“It’s going to be terribly hard,” she said of the transition. “Working with older people was just something very special. I felt it was my calling because this job is not a 40-hour job.”
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