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Way cleared for pipeline construction


The way is nearly clear for TransCanada Keystone to begin building its oil-sand slurry pipeline through Marion County en route to a Cushing, Okla., refinery.

County Attorney Susan Robson told the Marion County Board of Commissioners Monday that she will have a provisional contract Friday for their consideration regarding the Keystone project.

Acting Road and Bridge Director John Summerville brought a copy of the Keystone contract with Dickinson County which, commissioners said, they intend to use as a model for the Marion County agreement.

Keystone representative Tommy Darnell said the company?s intent is to pay for any repairs to fix damage caused by its company on county roads and bridges.

To ensure that it does, the commission engaged its consulting engineers firm of Kirkham-Michael of Ellsworth for planning Keystone?s route through the county.


MIRACLE BABY:Mother and infant share the gift of life this Christmas season


If not for the help of one couple?s ?miracle baby,? a former Hillsboro woman diagnosed with cancer last year might not have lived to see Christmas this year.

?Brenlyn saved my life,? said Stephanie Richmond, a 1997 graduate of Hillsboro High School who now lives in Newton. ?Without her, the cancer would not have been found.?

At almost 4 months old now, Brenlyn and her mother are doing well and have much to be grateful for this Christmas season.

Both Stephanie, 31, and her husband, Lee, 35, have a long gratitude list for all the support and prayers they?ve received during the past year.

?First and foremost I would have to thank our Lord for sending us our miracle baby,? she said.

City sells lot in Hillsboro Heights


The Hillsboro City Council approved the sale of a lot in Hillsboro Heights at its Dec. 15 meeting to Scully Partners, L.P.

The sale paves the way for Doug Sharp to move his business, Midlands Farm Services Inc., which manages Scully leases in Marion County, from Marion to Hillsboro.

The Hillsboro Heights location?Lot 7, Block 4?is right on the curve along Orchard Drive as it turns north as Elm Street. The selling price was $7,000.

?Mr. Sharp has been working with both representatives from Marion and Hillsboro in the selection of a site for his new building,? City Administrator Larry Paine said in his introduction to the recommendation.

?The selection of Hillsboro is also advantageous to Scully since a significant number of their properties lie in the USD 410 school district compared to the Marion school district.?

The business of managing Scully leases has been located in Marion for some 130 years.

Paine called the relocation ?a good addition to Hillsboro Heights.? He noted that the office attracts a lot of ?farmer traffic? that could increase patronage of surrounding businesses when they visit the office.

Humble beast honored in Christmas lore


The Christmas season boasts no shortage of holiday folklore. Whether it?s hanging mistletoe in doorways for good luck, the meaning behind candy canes or the miracle of the poinsettia, American culture has as many stories to tell as Santa has deliveries to make.

Even donkeys have a special secret, and for a Hillsboro man who owns four of them, at least two legends exist.

?My theory is God created the donkey with a prophetic sign of what was to happen to Jesus,? said John Wiebe, who lives at 115 S. Date.

Wiebe said he found a book that substantiates his theory about donkeys, including a legend about why donkeys bear a crucifix on their backs.


Loan fund latest step for Hillsboro business growth


Starting the first of the year, entrepreneurs looking to start or expand a business in Hillsboro will have an additional source of low-interest funds to consider.

Through the initiative of Hillsboro Development Corp. and its subsidiary, Hillsboro Ventures Inc., a revolving loan fund, totaling about $150,000 so far, has been developed through the Kansas Center for Entrepre?neurship and the NetWork Kansas E-Community program.