Category: Front Page

Public invited to join 50th anniversary celebration

The Senior Citizens of Marion County Inc. is inviting the public to join them in celebrating their formation of the organization 50 years ago. The celebration is taking place Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Marion Senior Center. Regis?tration will begin at 11 a.m. The Friendship Meal will be served at noon and the program will begin at 12:45 p.m. Speakers […]

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Golden anniversary for golden years
Golden anniversary for golden years

Golden anniversary for golden years

Marion County on the forefront of social change in America?

Believe it. It was true.

Fifty years ago last month, the Ford Foundation, based in New York City, awarded a group of Marion County seniors meeting at the old Wheel Inn Cafe in Hillsboro a grant of $26,500 for the purpose of studying aging and community organization and action.

The grant was the only one of its kind awarded in Kansas, which was one of only seven states selected for identical awards through the Ford Found?ation.

From that seed money, and with the determined efforts of the fledging network of seniors known as Golden Years Inc. of Marion County, emerged not only the establishment of senior centers across this county, but a movement of similar grass-roots organizations that revolutionized the availability of senior services across the country.

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Cities preparing to address first mussels challenge
Cities preparing to address first mussels challenge

Cities preparing to address first mussels challenge

Two years after they were discovered by lake officials, zebra mussels are now causing problems at Marion Reservoir.

The Hillsboro City Council, at its Oct. 5 meeting, authorized water-treatment plant operator Morgan Marler to solicit bids from engineering firms for developing a strategy to stop the growing population of zebra mussels from invading the reservoir pump station.

The cities of Hillsboro and Marion share the pump station that ultimately produces water for the county?s three largest communities.

Marler showed the council a large jar containing zebra mussels she had extracted from the discharge side of the pump station. That means the mussels have found a way to get past the system?s initial safeguards.

The pump station contains three pumps. Each one is protected by a bowl-like structure that holds four stainless-steel baskets with holes about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen.

?It strains out stuff pretty well,? Marler said. ?But when the zebra mussels reproduce, they send out little villagers that are microscopic. That?s what?s getting through the strainers.?

She said staff have been extracting zebra mussels from the baskets for the past two months. But now the mussels are beginning to colonize on the ?wrong? side of the strainer.

?It?s starting to clog up the pipes between the pump house and town,? she said.

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State senate race starts as a sprint
State senate race starts as a sprint

State senate race starts as a sprint

While the 2010 election season has been a marathon for candidates and voters alike, the unexpected race to fill the District 17 seat vacated by Jim Barnett in the Kansas Senate has become a 100-meter dash for the two candidates involved.

Barnett, a longtime Emporia resident, announced Sept. 8 that he would resign the seat Oct. 1 to pursue a medical position in Topeka. By the middle of September, the central committees for Republi?cans and Democrats in the district picked two Emporia men to carry the standard for their respective parties in the Nov. 2 special election.

Because Barnett is a Republi?can, GOP candidate Jeff Long?bine was expected to be appointed this week to temporarily fill Barnett?s seat. Longbine will then be on the Nov. 2 ballot to fill the remaining two years of the term.

Jerry Karr, who filled the Senate seat for District 17 from 1981 to 1998, was selected by the Democratic committee to be the party?s candidate.

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Final amen for Summit church
Final amen for Summit church

Final amen for Summit church

After 131 years, Sunday, Oct. 10, marked the end of Summit United Methodist Church with more than 50 members and guests attending the final worship service.

Richard Saylor, Hutchinson District superintendent, was charged with overseeing the deconsecration of the building as a place of worship and disbanding the congregation.

?This is a moment of closure,? he said, ?but knowing who we are, the journey of United Methodist and being connectional people, it is great so many are here this day to remember our roots and heritage.?

During the service, Saylor spoke about the building as ?God?s gift for a season.?

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Good times with old times at Maxwell?s annual Prairie Rendevous gathering
Good times with old times at Maxwell?s annual Prairie Rendevous gathering

Good times with old times at Maxwell?s annual Prairie Rendevous gathering

Ron Schroeder, Goessel, turns the crank on the blower that feeds the fire of his iron forge, with which he heats the iron until it is red hot and formable on the anvil with a hammer. Schroeder was one of several craftsmen and artisans who plied their pioneer trades for the interest of onlookers who made the trek to Maxwell Wildlife Refuge north of Canton to take in the annual Prairie Rendevous. Schroeder calls himself a beginner in the field of blacksmithing, which he picked up about four to five years ago. ?I should quit calling myself that,? he said. ?I could fool a lot of people if I didn?t tell them, and those I can?t probably don?t care.?
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Pihl aims to be a reliable resource
Pihl aims to be a reliable resource

Pihl aims to be a reliable resource

Though technically not a county employee, Nancy Pihl has been working for the betterment of Marion County residents for 12 years as a local agent with K-State Research and Extension.

?We are actually employees of K-State,? Pihl said. ?Part of our budget comes from K-State, but the bulk of it comes from county appropriations.

The Cooperative Extension Service was created in 1914 when the U.S. Congress passed the Smith-Lever

?Cooperative Extension was formed with the land grant university in each state to provide educational programs to extend from the university out to the people,? Pihl said.

She and fellow agent Rickey Roberts share duties in Marion County. Pihl covers family and consumer sciences while Roberts oversees agricultural pursuits. Both also work with the county 4-H program.

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Seat-belt law there to save lives, says KHP

The state?s new seat-belt law that went into effect July 1 is making a difference, according to law enforcement officials.

The law allows officers to stop motorists simply for not wearing a safety restraint. At the same time, the fine for failing to wear a seat belt dropped from $30 to $5.

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper J.L. Riedel, public information officer from Salina, said the law is about safety.

?First and foremost,? he said, ?the seat-belt law is not money-driven, it?s about saving lives.?

He said KHP has seen a general increase in the number of motorists using seat belts since the law was enacted.

Riedel said two possible reasons could explain the increase.

?The average law-abiding citizen may not agree with the law, but because it is a Kansas law, they will wear their seat belts,? he said.

?As far as law enforcement goes, being able to stop a person for not wearing a seat belt is an effective way to increase a driver?s awareness and increase their change of survivor (in the event of an accident).?

In addition, Riedel said there are a lot of positives associated with the new law.

?We now have more exposure to citizens and more contact with drivers,? he said.

Being able to stop a motorist for a seat-belt infraction can also lead to other violations.

?Motorists could be driving while suspended, have no insurance and driving under the influence,? he said.

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Brownback brings gubernatorial chase to Marion cafe
Brownback brings gubernatorial chase to Marion cafe

Brownback brings gubernatorial chase to Marion cafe

Republican gubernatorial candidate U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback stopped for a meet-and-greet at Country Lakes Cafe in Marion Friday afternoon.

Elected to longtime Sen. Bob Dole?s seat in 1996, Brownback is campaigning to end eight years of Democratic control of the governor?s office.

Marion was one of several stops Brownback made on a tour through central Kansas. Before Election Day, Nov. 2, the senator and his running mate, State Sen. Jeff Coyler, plan to visit the state?s 105 counties.

Brownback and Coyler are running against Democrats Tom Holland and Kelly Kultala, both serving in the Kansas Senate.

In Marion, Brownback offered a short speech and fielded questions.

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Family found
Family found

Family found

Last week, Betty Barr came face-to-face with an agonizing secret she had kept hidden far too long.

The newborn daughter she had been forced to put up for adoption more than 56 years ago?and had not heard of since?was standing in the living room of her home at 312 E. A St. in Hills?boro.

?It?s a deep emotional thing for me,? Betty said about meeting the Panama City, Fla., woman who grew up to be Kathy Smith. ?I have kept so much hidden for so long.?

Joining the gathering filled with poignant memories, bursts of laughter and a lifetime of stories were Sandy Berg, Newton, and Greg Camp, Fresno, Calif., the two adult children Betty had raised before the eyes of the world.

Sandy and Greg knew nothing of the existence of an older sister until about 21?2 years ago, and held out little hope of ever meeting her until a about two weeks ago.

And, of course, Leon Barr was there, too?Betty?s husband of two years, who played an unintended role in the direction of events past. Now he was the first to forecast the future for this once unimaginable reunion.

?I think it?s going to become a family unit,? Leon said. ?That?s the way it?s headed.?

*?*?*

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