County Hospital projects highlight business scene

Battling a stressed economy, the business community in Marion County experienced its share of good news and bad.

The healthiest enterprises seemed to be hospitals, as St. Luke Hospital and Hillsboro Community Hospital made progress on multi-million-dollar facility projects.

The county welcomed some new business and bid other farewell. Most business owners did their best to continue business as usual?only better.

January

St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary pledged $125,000 to the St. Luke Hospital and Living Center capital campaign.

Cooperative Grain & Supply is building a 310,000-bushel grain silo at its Hillsboro location. Officials say it should be completed by wheat harvest.

Sub-zero temperatures, high winds and lack of moisture during January have experts wondering about the health of this year?s wheat crop.

February

HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc., owner of Hillsboro Community Hospital, has secured a source of funding for the construction of its $10 million facility, according to Mike Ryan, HCH chief executive officer.

Tabor College and USD 410 were named co-winners of the Hillsboro Chamber of Com?merce ?Member of the Year Award? during the Chamber?s annual dinner. The two entities were feted for being partners and co-owners in the construction of Joel H. Wiens Stadium.

Work began on developing Hillsboro Business Park, the 21-acre city-owned property along U.S. Highway 56 at Ash Street. The project is spurred by Midway Motors? intention to build a new dealership within the park.

Award winners for the Marion County Conservation District were: Lauren and Luetta Ens (Banker), Martin and Alice Nellans (Banker), Jeff and Denise Busenitz (Young Farmer), Alden and Laura Entz (Continuation), Rodney and Linda Peters (Buffer) and the Marion County chapter of Quail Forever (Wildlife).

March

St. Luke Hospital?s Family Gifts Division campaign has been declared a success by hospital officials. Each member of the St. Luke foundation and hospital boards have made pledges to the ?St. Luke Hospital Foundation: A Healthy Invest?ment in Your Future? campaign. Hospital employees and St. Luke Hospital Auxiliary pledged $125,000. Janet Herzet, foundation director, said the SLH ?family? donated a total of more than $350,000 to date.

April

Golden Heritage Foods announced plans to divest ownership of its Ohio plant and equipment assets to a private investment group headed by Dwight Stoller, current owner and vice chair of Golden Heritage Foods? board of directors. As part of the transaction, the parties will enter into a long-term contract packaging agreement. The transaction is scheduled to close by June 30.

May

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, stars of the cable television show ?American Pickers,? were invited to Marion by two local pickers who own Bearly Makin? It Antiques. Marion Ogden and Dennis Maggard are in the business of collecting old relics, but on a smaller scale. The episode was broadcast several times during 2010.

Salem Home announced it intends to build a new front entrance for its facility at 704 S. Ash in Hills?boro. The total project, which includes the installation of energy-efficient windows and state-mandated fire-protection water sprinklers throughout the facility, is estimated to cost $600,000. The project will be funded with a loan, some grant money and community contributions.

June

Citizens State Bank, based in Moundridge, is opening a loan office in the Wise & Reber law office at 120 N. Main with longtime Hillsboro banker Bob Watson as the representative. Watson worked some 23 years as a senior officer in the Hillsboro branch of Emprise Bank before being released in a corporate restructuring move about a year ago.

After 31?2 years of offering classes in multiple venues and communities in the area, Anna Woods of Woods Wellness will now welcome clients who come to her downtown location at 107 W. Grand in Hillsboro.

Tamara Christian??sen and Ida Henry are feeling good about the recent cohabitation of their separate business within the Suffield Building at the corner of Main and Third streets in Marion. Plantations, a flower and gift story owned by Chris?tiansen, and Zimmerman?s Coffee and Deli Shop, owned by Henry, opened for business under one roof May 24.

July

Craig Lynch opened the doors of Craig?s Small Engine Repair a month ago in the old post office building at First and Washing?ton streets in Hillsboro.

St. Luke Hospital Foundation received word it was awarded $250,000 in community service tax credits from the Kansas Department of Commerce. Also, the trustees of the Lorraine Hadsell Charitable Trust are willing to donate $100,000 to the cause, but not without a matching contribution from the community of $75,000.

Parkside Homes of Hills?boro and Bethesda Home of Goessel were among the six nursing homes in Kansas to be named PEAK Award winners by the Kansas Department on Aging. PEAK stands for Promoting Excellent Alterna?tives in Kansas nursing homes.

Hillsboro Ford-Mercury Inc., Greenhaw Pharmacy, Kid?s Connection and Salem Home were recognized July 13 by the Kansas Department of Com?merce as part of its Business Appreciation Month. The business were nominated by Hillsboro Development Corp.

Transferring ownership June 1, Curtis and Christy McBride are making several changes at Hillsboro Lanes bowling alley. The McBrides also own alleys in Peabody and Herington.

Marion corn producer Terry Vinduska assumed the role of U.S. Grains Council chair at the organization?s 50th annual board of delegates meeting July 18-21 in Boston. Vinduska represents central Kansas on the Kansas Corn Commission.

August

Zach Unruh is joining Hills?boro Eyecare as an optometrist. His father, Paul Unruh, will continue to service clients in the Hillsboro office two days a week. Starting as a small photography project, Goessel High School art and photography instructor Brian Stucky has released a second printing of ?Hallowed Hardwood,? a book the features iconic gymnasiums of Kansas.

Paul Penner, Hillsboro farmer and president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, got the chance to tell the rest of America on national television how it is for Kansas wheat farmers with the current world shortage of wheat when he appeared ?Squawk Box,? a CNBC morning coast-to-coast financial news show headquartered in New York.

September

Owner Brenda McGinness is re-opening the doors of Olde Towne Restaurant with a thoroughly remodeled business. It combines full-service dining seven days a week with her Brenda?s Bloomers Flowers & Gifts business in the historic 1887 building at 126 N. Main.

Verla Redger, 83, received the Outstanding Older Worker Award for 2010 at the 14th annual Kansas Older Workers and Employers Award ceremony in Topeka. It?s part of the KansasWorks program under the Department of Commerce.

Kris Erickson, 37, succeeds Kelly Schlehuber as the new administrator of Salem Home in Hillsboro. He was chosen by the Salem Home board from among the seven finalists who were interviewed.

October

Reaching a major milestone toward its fundraising goal of $1.25 million, St. Luke Hospital surpassed the $1 million mark this month. Donations and pledges began in November 2009 and continue to come in nearly a year later.

HMC/CAH, owner of Hills?boro Community Hospital, has cleared two hurdles that have delayed the start of construction on its new $10 million hospital facility east of town. The first hurdle was notification that the Centers for Medicare & Medi?caid Services had given its preliminary approval to relocate the hospital. With that development, USDA notified Mayor Delores Dalke that the project has now received its official ?permission to proceed.?

Dwight Dyck and Charles Dyck of the Hesston area purchased Flaming Metal Systems Inc. from owner Mel Flaming. The name will remain the same, but the headquarters will be moved from rural Peabody to rural Hesston.

November

Paul Prose joined the Hills?boro Animal Clinic as a veterinarian and Miriam Nace was hired as a vet tech.

The 7,000-acre White Ranch, also known to locals as the Town?send Ranch, was sold at auction to Wildcat Creek Ranch near Newton for a price of $8.51 million. Owner Klee Watchous plans to continue the ranch?s cattle operation, but with Red Angus cattle instead of Black Angus.

December

Hillsboro Community Hos?pital announced it would break ground for its new $10 million facility on Dec. 14 after securing funding wit the assistance of USDA Rural Develop?ment and the Bank of Hays.

The Carquest Auto Parts store in Hillsboro moved into a larger, new building in Hillsboro Heights in early December. The new building almost doubles the square footage of the former store along North Ash Street.

Alco-Duckwall Inc. announced it would be closing all of its Duckwall stores in Kansas in early January, including the one that has been doing business in Marion for the past 32 years.

Around 90 people attended the Dec. 14 groundbreaking ceremony for the new Hillsboro Community Hospital building. Larry Arthur, president of HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc., the owner of the hospital, said the project should take about a year to complete.

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