After wearily bidding farewell a 12 months in the past to 2020, Marion County residents this week are saying goodbye — and, in lots of circumstances, good riddance — to 2021, hoping that 2022 will carry extra optimistic information.
For the second straight 12 months, pandemic gripped county headlines in 2021, accounting for nearly 10% of all information tales learn, in response to the File’s annual survey of the most-read tales on its web site.
Right here’s a rundown, so as, of the 12 months’s high subjects:
The most important particular person merchandise inside this subject, rating fourth in readership amongst particular person information tales learn, was an Oct. 20 account of the deaths of Aulne Church pastor Jeff Lee and his daughter, Jenny Craft, spouse of Marion Excessive Faculty soccer coach Shaun Craft.
A narrative two weeks earlier a couple of prayer vigil for them and the pastor’s spouse, Daybreak Lee, additionally stricken with COVID, ranked twenty ninth amongst particular person tales.
County well being director Diedre Serene’s shock resignation Aug. 23 over the more and more political nature of the pandemic was the thirty third most-read particular person story.
A revelation printed Sept. 1 that half of county nursing dwelling workers members had not been vaccinated and that faculties have been seeing a tripling of COVID circumstances completed fortieth.
A narrative April 28 linking a spike in COVID circumstances to highschool proms completed forty fourth, and a narrative Aug. 11 about college districts refusing to order college students to put on masks completed sixtieth.
All in all, 25 of the 300 most-read tales of 2021 have been associated to COVID-19.
2. Political rancor
The 12 months additionally was marred by generally heated debate in metropolis and county assembly rooms.
Particular person objects included a narrative Oct. 27 about county commissioner Dave Crofoot’s enterprise, Western Associates, declining to print a T-shirt cattleman Mike Beneke ordered essential of not firing county emergency supervisor Randy Frank.
Former commissioner Diane Novak, defeated for re-election, repeatedly texted her former colleagues Feb. 16 to problem their fee of zoning director Sharon Omstead’s authorized bills in a case involving a confrontation between her and windfarm opponent Tom Britain.
Marion Metropolis Council contributed to the rancor Nov. 15 when it suspended metropolis code over questions involving appointment of a metropolis legal professional and Nov. 29 when Mayor David Mayfield lectured council member Ruth Herbel about not stunning metropolis workers by asking surprising questions throughout conferences.
Herbel’s earlier discovery that the town had uncared for to exempt itself from state statutes requiring most metropolis officers to reside inside the metropolis’s boundaries created additional pressure June 28.
Clashes between Herbel and Mayfield additionally created headlines Jan. 13, March 24, and April 21.
Sheriff Rob Craft contributed to the county’s politicking Feb. 24 by blaming conflicts with previous county commissioners for his failure to transient commissioners recurrently.
All in all, political rancor was the subject of 12 of the 12 months’s 300 most-read tales.
3. Marion greenback shops
Marion’s off-again, on-again makes an attempt to promote quite a bit in its industrial park for a brand new Household Greenback and Greenback Tree retailer accounted for 9 of the 12 months’s high 300 tales.
The most important particular person story was Sept. 8, after builders of the shop backed out on a deal to purchase land that had been put aside to function a buffer for neighboring residences and to deal with drainage points. That story ranked nineteenth total. A narrative Nov. 3 concerning the developer’s supply to buy a distinct lot ranked 123rd.
Different tales included one Aug. 18, ranked thirty fifth, about Mayfield not relaying to council members authorized objections raised by Greenback Common, which had contended its earlier resolution to find within the industrial park had been prefaced on a metropolis promise, now denied by the town, to not enable different greenback shops within the space.
Neighbors’ protests, reported Aug. 11, and metropolis planners’ resolution, reported Sept. 1, to not “clear up the mess” brought on by the unique buy contract have been amongst different most-read tales concerning the new greenback retailer.
4. ATV accident
A July 4 accident through which a side-by-side all-terrain car pushed by Russell Hake of Marion veered right into a ditch, pinning passenger Todd Winter beneath it, was the second most-read particular person story of the 12 months.
Further tales July 21 about Winters’s critical accidents and Marion cops’ investigative course of, Aug. 18 about police looking for felony prices in opposition to Hake, and Oct. 27 about county legal professional Joel Ensey discovering not sufficient proof within the police investigation to substantiate prices in opposition to Hake all completed within the High 50.
5. Bina fatality
Our account of the tragic deaths July 10 of Denice and Raymond Bina in a visitors accident on I-135 two miles south of Newton was the 12 months’s most-read story total.
A follow-up piece July 21 about an all-night prayer vigil for the couple was the fifth most-read particular person story of the 12 months.
6. Tabor arrests
A sequence of tales about arrests of Tabor Faculty athletes on drug, alcohol, and drag-racing prices accounted for six of the 300 most-read tales, together with two within the High 10 and two extra within the High 50.
An April 28 story detailed how six members of the basketball workforce had been arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
A narrative Nov. 3 reported that two extra Tabor athletes confronted drug prices after a celebration in Marion.
A Nov. 17 story concerned drunken driving prices in opposition to yet one more Tabor basketball participant.
A Sept. 15 story handled marijuana allegations in opposition to three soccer gamers.
A narrative March 3 concerned felony prices filed in reference to an accident that occurred whereas two Tabor athletes allegedly have been drag-racing alongside Industrial Rd. in Hillsboro.
7. Damaging climate
Tales June 30 about teenagers being rescued from a automobile swept into tree branches and injury to the Marion County Lake dam after heavy rain and flooding have been amongst six weather-related tales within the High 300.
Included was protection Dec. 22 of a near-historic windstorm and Feb. 17 of file chilly and blackouts.
8. Pool and ballpark
A heated dispute — reported in High 100 tales from Feb. 10, 17, and 24 — between the Metropolis of Marion and the Marion-Florence college district over prices on the Sports activities and Aquatic Middle in Marion could finally have led to a brand new settlement between the town and the colleges, reported Could 5, to show over to the colleges the town’s youth recreation packages and ballpark.
Tales March 17 concerning the chance of utility payments hovering for 2½ years, Could 5 a couple of supposedly “insulting” rationale for borrowing cash to repair Marion’s energy grid, June 7 about Marion’s metropolis water turning brackish throughout water fundamental substitute, Aug. 4 about repeated blackouts blamed on demand and a suicidal raccoon, and Aug. 11 about metropolis crews mislocating a water line that was punctured throughout excavation all completed within the High 300.
10. Fireplace chief
A narrative Feb. 24 about Mayfield and administrator Roger Holter giving fireplace chief Preston Williams two days to resign was the 12 months’s tenth most-read story.
A narrative March 10 about Williams narrowly avoiding being fired completed fifteenth. His eventual resignation, reported March 24, completed one hundred and tenth.
Different high subjects
- 11. Café 256 closed in Marion however Al’s Café plans to reopen in Misplaced Springs.
- 12. Pilgrims flocked to Pilsen for Father Kapaun Day in June earlier than Kapaun’s stays briefly returned to Pilsen in September.
- 13. Embattled Hillsboro Well being Care Clinic, operated by Herington Hospital, first introduced it might shut then introduced it might stay open.
- 14. Police needed to be known as to a Burns Metropolis Council assembly after a debate over secrecy and the legality of some council actions grew to become heated.
- 15. Windfarm opponents Amy Stutzman and Tom Britain each have been in court docket concerning altercations with authorities officers or staff of the county’s southern windfarm, later bought by a Danish firm.
- 16. Three individuals have been killed, two youngsters rescued, and 20 greyhounds escaped after a visitors accident on US-56 in February.
- 17. Two legal professionals with ties to Marion, Susan Robson and Keith Collett, have been named district court docket judges in October.
- 18. Staff quitting and roads surfaced with ground-up concrete stuffed with harmful wire imperiled county highway upkeep.
- 19. A drift of 14 pigs desecrated Summit Cemetery. They ended up being shot in March by “good Samaritan killer angels.”
- 20. Marion officers admit failing to inform tax appraisers about constructing permits, ensuing within the Constructing Middle and Diamond H Health not being correctly taxed.
- 21. Investigation of the suicide of an inmate left alone after not being utterly booked into jail resulted in no prices.
- 22. Rexana Seibert was arrested twice after weird conduct and despatched off to have her competency to face trial evaluated.
- 23. A advertising alliance involving regional agricultural co-ops was dissolved.
- 24. Educated burglars defeated alarms to steal $8,645 in medicine from Hillsboro Hometown Pharmacy.
- 25. Municipal employee Kenneth Carlson died after a mower overturned on him, drowning him in a Hillsboro metropolis pond.
- 26. Rural residents face cutoff of rubbish assortment.
- 27. Holter narrowly escaped a council vote in April to not renew his contract.
- 28. Three Canada males have been charged within the 2020 homicide of Shalan Gannon, a Wichita girl whose physique was found within the Ninnescah River.
- 29. The county started its try to select up the items of a fiasco involving substitute of its heated dock.
- 30. New census figures present the county shrank however Marion grew through the 2010s.
A complete of 47 crime tales additionally completed within the High 300, together with these headlines that positioned within the High 100:
- Visitor’s dying mars reception; obvious suicide follows quarrel after wedding ceremony.
- Bounty hunters jailed after incident right here.
- Probe of mail theft ring confirmed.
- Fees probably after shivering toddler present in DUI arrest.
- Mix altercation results in court docket date.
- Thefts so rampant they don’t seem to be reported.
- Hours after refusing care, overdose sufferer dies.
- Lengthy chase makes Fundamental a drag strip: Speeds attain 75 mph downtown, 110 on freeway.
- Weeks of investigation result in drug, theft arrests.
- Boy, 12, shot by 10-year-old.
- 103 mph in metropolis = $1,400 nice.
- Thief eludes manhunt: $3,142 shoplifter avoids half-dozen deputies, aerial surveillance.
- Cop’s elevate to pharmacy results in drug-linked fracas.
- Lawyer in tenth delay of molestation trial may very well be disbarred.
- Shifting to small city teaches crime is in all places.
- Hillsboro girl bilked out of $28,950.
- Drunk head-butts cop who gave him a elevate.
A complete of 21 accident tales additionally completed within the High 300, together with these headlines that positioned within the High 100:
- Offended encounter with anglers results in wreck.
- Convicted in deadly crash, driver faces new DUI.
- Doubtless drunken driver plunges automobile into lake ravine.
- Ailing driver pulls over and right into a hedge row.
- Firefighter wrecks automobile en path to false alarm.
- US-50 ‘unforgiving’ however ‘protected’ after pair of head-on crashes.
Excellent news, too
Not every little thing attracting readers’ eyes in 2020 was dangerous information, in fact.
A complete of 36 function tales additionally completed within the High 300, together with these headlines that positioned within the High 100:
- Fed up with metropolis life, couple strikes to B&B.
- Public sale could appeal to international crowd.
- Home close to park to turn out to be distinctive gathering place.
- Beloved artist leaves legacy of generosity.
- 1000’s prove to purchase items of historical past.
- Grieving husband finds power to proceed tour enterprise.