Marion County RECORD
Vol. 148 , No. 41
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Marion, KS 66861
County legal bills swelling
Marion County’s new county counselor position, begun as a way of clearing up lingering civil matters at a time of transition, is evolving into a larger and more costly undertaking. Not only is the county paying an additional lawyer to handle civil matters that the county attorney used to handle.
Homer in game of life; Tribulations, chance lead to dream fulfilled
As 17-year-old Taelyn Pagel kicked back in an easy chair, cradling a dog while talking about achieving her dream of playing college softball, she looked and sounded blissfully, peacefully at home. Such peace was elusive during her junior and senior years at Marion High School until a court-sanctioned move in April to the ranch of new legal guardians Lori and Chuck McLinden of Marion brought respite from an unexpectedly tumultuous home life with her father and a chance meeting that would forever change her life.
Groomsmen die in wreck a day before wedding
At a wedding Saturday in Whitewater, flowers on the floor took the places meant for Kameron Wiebe and Caleb Neal, cousins of the groom. Wiebe, 21, and Neal, 22, died Friday in an automobile accident near the Marion-Butler county line.
In the rockets' redneck glare
As I hurtled down the road Tuesday toward my now seemingly annual rendezvous with redneck destiny, I glanced nervously at the dashboard clock. “There had better be a traffic jam stretching south of Ramona big enough for them to delay the start of the parade,” I thought.
Bounty hunters too late to nab escapee in attic
Police beat bounty hunters to a fugitive hiding in a Hillsboro woman’s attic last week, convincing him to surrender after threatening to send in a police dog. “He had somehow escaped and they wanted him pretty badly,” chief Dan Kinning said.
Restaurant in limbo; takeover rebuffed
There’s still no official word on whether MacGregor’s, the Marion restaurant closed for fire code violations after just 10 days of operation, will re-open or whether owners Joe and EJ Pickett are calling it quits. Approached Friday while she was working on a lock of a side door at the restaurant, EJ Pickett declined to say anything about the restaurant’s future. She also did not return numerous subsequent calls this week.
New law shuts down pool slides
Slides at swimming pools in Hillsboro and Marion have been shut down as administrators grapple with uncertainty created by a law that went into effect Saturday requiring professional inspections and permits to operate amusement rides. Hillsboro’s slide was closed Saturday even though city administrator Larry Paine said he wasn’t aware of any injuries caused by the slide in 13 years of operation.
Ex-official to help out at lake
Continuing resigned lake superintendent Steve Hudson’s campaign against zebra mussels invading the county lake is among the key reasons retired register of deeds Jo Ottensmeier agreed Friday to temporarily help out at the lake. She will be paid $10 an hour —minimum wage for county employees — to serve as a part-time, temporary aide in the lake office for up to 60 days.
Tax rebates may go, sales tax may be extended
County commissioners seem poised to eliminate tax incentives for residential construction and to hire a consultant to help sell the public on using the county’s jail sales tax for other projects. More than 300 properties have benefited from more than $200,000 a year in tax rebates for improvements made under the county’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program.
Sirens repaired; lightning was culprit
City crews have discovered that lightning damage to a transformer caused Marion’s storm sirens to malfunction last week. Originally, it was thought winds might have blown the system’s signal wire into another wire or the side of a building, causing a breaker to trip. However, utility supervisor Marty Fredrickson said crews located the source of the problem in an alleyway south of the transfer station.
Former Wichita editor decries 'society of anger'
Declining local ownership of media and laws that let Internet companies escape liability for what they publish are among the greatest challenges to America’s democracy, retired Wichita Eagle editor W. Davis “Buzz” Merritt Jr. told a crowd of 40 Saturday at Marion City Library. “Journalism and democracy are fully interdependent,” Merritt said. “One can’t exist without the other.”
A private service is planned for retired draftsman and flight instructor Billy K. Woford, 84, who died June 28 at his residence in Hillsboro. Born Nov. 14, 1932, at Okemah, Oklahoma, to Kyle W. and Martha Irene (Wilson) Woford, he was an Army veteran, Free Mason, and life master bridge player.
Fish and Game cases
Harvest down 25%
Fewer acres planted this year and damage from recent storms reduced this year’s wheat harvest by as much as 25 percent. Compared to an estimated 2.3 million bushels Cooperative Grain and Supply reportedly took in 2016 from all their elevators, total wheat harvested substantially dropped this year.
Burns ranch wins place on historic registry
Surrounded by rolling hills of green grass northeast of Burns, a 20-acre historic ranch homestead first settled in 1881 has been approved for the Kansas Registry of Historic Places and has been nominated for the national registry. Co-owner Rick Grace filed the paperwork, and a photographer took more than 100 pictures of the buildings, inside and out.
Harvest can help charities, too
Harvest can be a time of plenty, not just for farmers but also for charities they support. In June, a Marion couple’s wheat harvest helped St. Luke Hospital and Living Center’s capital campaign fund.
A shining example
Forget Vegas. You can see all the drama of heroes and villains, of fortunes being secured or squandered, by attending a county commission meeting. We won’t try to deal with everything here but will say that this week’s hero to emerge out of our a commissioners’ meeting is Jo Ottensmeier.
A veil of secrecy
While in some ways it’s like a Vegas show, watching county commission meetings may in more ways be like watching a show on local TV. All the boring setup and commercials come in fine, but when the climax nears, some overly coiffed meteorologist suddenly appears, gesturing wildly at colorful globs on a map and speaking excitedly about some not-so-dangerous thunderstorm hundreds of miles away. In the commission’s case, it’s not weather that takes away the key moments. It’s closed-door sessions, when the public is shut out of hearing about the public’s business.
More dollars than sense
There was plenty of activity at the county commission’s nickel and dime slots this week, with employees continuing to buy all manner of interesting items in June. Emergency management had perhaps the most interesting expenditures: $683.60 for air fare plus $88.84 for a seat upgrade, $25 for excess baggage, $48.28 for travel insurance, $20 for liability insurance on two drones, and $104.88 for doughnuts for training sessions.
Corrections and Clarifications
Peabody mayor Larry Larsen’s name was misreported in some editions last week.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:
Living a day ahead
Kids cook up summer fun
Having 40 kids in a kitchen might sound like a nightmare, but not for kids at a series of evening sessions sponsored by two local churches. The kids ranged from preschool to fifth grade.
Site shares local genealogy
Melissa Stuchlik of Tampa has translated a long-time interest in her family’s history into a free website devoted to Marion County genealogy. Her Marion County page is part of genealogytrails.com, operated for free by the Genealogy Trails History Group which began in Illinois in 2000.
125 years ago
Volunteers receive pins belatedly
Students honored at tractor design contest
Two Marion County students were part of Kansas State University teams that placed in the top five this month in an international design competition for quarter-scale tractors. Hillsboro High School graduate Jesse Meier, now a biological systems engineering major at K-State, was part of a seven-member team of freshmen and sophomores that placed second.
Waner selected for all-state band
Marion High School trumpet player Logan Waner will be among 175 high school musicians attending the 34th annual Kansas Masonic Foundation’s all-state marching band camp July 25 through 29 at Butler Community College. The camp will end with performances at the Kansas East-West Shrine Bowl game at the college’s sports complex. Magician to perform
College degrees and honors
Lincolnville wide awake
Chat and Dine club to meet Saturday
Chat and Dine Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the east shelter at Marion County Lake. Hamburgers, hot dogs, iced tea, and lemonade will be provided. Participants are being asked to bring table service, a lawn chair, and a dish to share.
Magician to perform
Magician Shawn Reida will perform for children at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Marion Community Center. Marion City Library and Tampa State Bank will sponsor the free performance. More information is available at (620) 382-2442.
Library plans Lego day
Children ages 5 and older can make a Lego zip-line, Lego balancer, or other creation from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday during Lego day at Marion City Library. No registration is required. More information is available at (620) 382-2442.
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