Five years ago (week of July 16)

Area weather forecasters were predicting a heat index as high as 110 degrees for the week.

Marion residents Frances Kreutziger and Lois Weber have invested more than a combined 6,385 hours over the past 12 months to create bibs, lap robes and napkins for friends who need them. The two women are working through the VFW Auxiliary 6958 in Marion.

Tena Loewen, 8-year-old daughter of David and Joanne Loewen, Hillsboro, was among the four finalists in the 2003 Young Writers & Illustrators Awards Contest associated with the ?Reading Rainbow? program of KPTS-TV Channel 8. The illustrated book she created, ?Sam Makes It Right,? was featured through July 11 in a spot airing on the Wichita-based public television station.

About 45 alumni, friends, parents and current students of Tabor College contributed a combined 400 to 500 hours of gratis labor in an effort to beautify the campus during the eighth annual ?Tool Time? on Friday and Saturday.

Cutbacks in state funding to counties has prompted Marion County commissioners to consider budget cuts of 7 percent for 2003 and 4.5 percent for 2004. The state cuts produced a shortfall of $276,000.

The exterior makeover at the Marion County Courthouse continued on schedule. Workers from Mid Continental Restora?tion Co. Inc. of Fort Scott were working from a 156-foot boom over the courthouse on Monday, cleaning stone, tuck-pointing mortar and installing stainless steel Christmas-light holders to replace old ones. The work is part of a restoration project funded in part by a Heritage Trust Fund grant through the Kansas Historical Society. The estimate for the total project is $119,000, with the county obligated for 20 percent of the funds.

Peabody swimmers won the annual Mid-Kansas League meet in Council Grove this weekend. Hillsboro was third and Marion fourth.

Errors contributed to American Legion Post 366?s doubleheader loss to Newton on Friday. The home team lost, 11-9 and 6-2. Caleb Marsh pitched the first game, and Jerod Metcalf the second one for Post 366. The losses dropped the team?s record to 19-8.