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Databases provide useful resources for family research

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Art Crocker uses his laptop to research his family?s genealogy. ?It?s interesting, the different little pieces you come up with,? Crocker said. ?It?s like playing detective in a sense.? Malinda Just / Free Press.?

The story is straight out of Art Crocker?s family history. Crocker, Hillsboro, a hobbiest of genealogy research has discovered interesting pieces of information about his family since beginning his research in 1999.

?It?s interesting, the different little pieces you come up with,? he said. ?It?s like playing detective in a sense.?

No-till residue has value beyond appearance

Not too many years ago, most farmers took great pride and pleasure in looking across their recently planted fields and seeing green seedlings emerging against a backdrop of black soil. That looked beautiful?still does.

Today, some farmers look across their land and see residue cover. That looks beautiful too. However, the benefits of residue can far exceed the way the field looks.

Sunflower Road bids come in lower than anticipated

What once might have been a high bid left Marion County commissioners smiling in relief Tuesday, July 31, at a payday meeting, when the winning bid for surfacing 10 miles of Sunflower Road by Schilling Construction of Manhattan came in at $793,583 instead of an engineer?s estimate at $1.02 million.

In the past two years, when promised state aid for the project faltered at negotiations at a half-million dollars, the commissioners at times seemed to hope the total bill might fall close to that bracket of a project. But oil prices for the 2-inch overlay have spiraled upward since then.

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Marion?s new elementary school principal ready to go

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Principal Rod Garman comes to Marion Elementary School with a desire to, ?Simply be the best.?. Andrew Ottoson / Free Press<p>

Rod Garman, Marion Elementary School?s new principal, knows that a well-rounded education makes a person well-rounded. And there?s something to be said for being a well-rounded person.

Closure of Minnesota church leads to $500,000 gift for Tabor

The New Hope (Minn.) Menno?nite Brethren Church no longer gathers for Sunday worship. But before closing its doors in June, the congregation ensured the church?s historic legacy by giving away the proceeds from the sale of its property?including $500,000 to endow a ?Legacy of Hope Fund? at Tabor College.

County hires new director for EMS

After a 30-minute executive session on personnel, Marion County Commission chairman Randy Dallke announced the hiring of Steve Smith as the county?s director of Emergency Medical Services, effective Aug. 27.

Dallke said Smith begins with a salary of $31,000, and, following an evaluation after the first six months, will receive a $1,000 raise.

In the meantime, Gene Winkler is serving as interim director.

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Quilters piece together blankets of gratitude for wounded

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Mary Lancaster and Paula Perry display the quilt they made as part of Country Stitchers Quilting Guild?s service project, Quilts of Valor. Sheila Nuss and Jan Meisinger also worked on the quilt.
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This is the note that is stitched into every Quilt of Valor made by the Country Stitchers Guild.

The hands of Country Stitchers quilters have been busy piecing and stitching quilts for U.S. military personnel wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I know of at least eight (quilts), but that doesn't mean that there aren't more," said member Paula Perry about the number made by members of Marion County?s quilting guild. "I've heard of people saying they're going to make one or they're working on one."

Making those quilts has been Country Stitchers? service project this past year, Perry said.