UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
  • Record 41 new cases in 1 day confirm post-holidays surge

    A feared post-holidays surge in COVID-19 cases hit like a tsunami Monday with disclosure of a record 41 new cases in Marion County. That's 10 more than ever have been reported on a single day before, eclipsing a record set Nov. 9.

HEADLINES

  • COVID slows but post-travel surge feared

    Despite reporting only 34 new cases of COVID-19 in the seven days that ended Monday, health officials are bracing for what they expect will be a surge in cases after Christmas. The newest cases — 22 on Monday and 12 last Wednesday — add up to the lowest seven-day total since just Thanksgiving, but that probably doesn’t indicate a drop in spread of coronavirus.

  • Library closes after patrons ignore COVID-19 safety

    Director Jeanie Bartel misses taking a few minutes out of her day at Hillsboro’s Public Library to chat, but it will be months before she is able to see visitors face-to-face. She and the board decided to close the library’s doors indefinitely after several people who were positive for or had been exposed to COVID-19 visited the building.

  • Mask ordinance extended through June

    A mask ordinance for Marion first passed in July and extended in August will stay in effect through June 30. Mayor Dave Mayfield, who opposed the August extension because he thought an extension through Dec. 31 was too long, voted in favor of the ordinance.

  • Effort to save house in vain

    Greg Berens knew more firefighters were needed before he even arrived on the scene Monday night. Berens, Tampa’s fire chief, responded to an out-of-control house fire in Roxbury. Tampa was the second department on-scene, but Berens knew it was serious because he could see the fire from a distance.

  • Massive fire threatens farmstead

    Hillsboro fire chief Ben Steketee said it was “some kind of miracle” that firefighters were able to save a homestead surrounded on three sides by a fast spreading grass fire Wednesday. “I can’t scientifically explain how we got it out,” Steketee said.

OTHER NEWS

  • Reviewing 20 years of work on the roads

    After decades of doing the best job they can for Marion County residents, the road and bridge department loses two longstanding employees at the end of the month. Mark Heiser and Patrick Holub are retiring.

  • Surge in hunting licenses makes for busy season

    An interest in outdoor sports amid stir-crazy residents has spurred an uptick in requests for hunting licenses that has been noticed by area permit agents. “We got a lot of deer tags this year,” said Alex Dalke, who works at Hillsboro Hardware and is also an avid hunter.

  • Youth center 'caching in

    The Hub in Peabody is putting on a geocache scavenger hunt for children and families after winning a state grant to stem the spread of COVID-19, director Megan Crosely said. Six containers have been hidden on public property in Peabody. Inside the geocaches are facts about how to stay safe during COVID-19.

  • Peabody updates payment system

    Peabody will be buying new tablets for its city office and police department to make it easier to accept credit card payments. The old tablets at both offices had card readers, but they had become too outdated for software updates.

  • No reason for shots fired on Christmas

    Residents reported two gunshots early Friday morning near Aulne, but police found few clues as to who fired the shots or why. That didn’t mean police weren’t concerned about the incident.

  • High demand makes '21 promising for meat shops

    Jeremy Sheffler and Jason Callahan already were booked for six months when they took over Peabody Sausage House as co-owners in June. The partners have only gotten busier since then. The business is booked through 2021 and is scheduling into 2022. The backlog has forced them to decrease how many advance orders they are accepting, Sheffler said.

NEW YEAR

DEATHS

DOCKET

OPINION

  • A pandemic without resolution?

    Last year was the first time we managed to keep all our New Year’s resolutions — until today, that is. A year ago, we resolved to make just one resolution: that we wouldn’t make any New Year’s resolutions. You’d think it would have been easy to keep, especially in a year where the hopes, dreams, livelihood, and actual lives of millions of people were lost to a pernicious pandemic.

  • An agenda for 2021

    Once we’ve canned COVID and stored politicians’ silly slogans until next election year, it’ll be time to think about what we really want to accomplish in 2021. Come up with your list and be sure to share it with your elected officials. Don’t let them distract you with hot button topics that don’t really address things you care about.

  • ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:

    Cards that come in the mail

PEOPLE

MORE…

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