The Marion County Record: Bloodied, but unbowed

Strong-arm tactics like these are meant to silence not only the press, but also everyday citizens. The chilling effect makes us second-guess our instincts and responsibilities.



August 17, 2023 - 3:03 PM

Marion County Record publisher Eric Meyer holds a copy of the Wednesday paper, featuring the headline “SEIZED … but not silence,” during a news conference at the newspaper office. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Marion County law enforcement were determined Eric Meyer would learn a lesson: Don’t go messing where you’re not wanted.

So the entirety of the Marion Police Department and two sheriff’s deputies raided the home he shared with his elderly mother and his newspaper office last Friday, seizing the equipment necessary to publish his weekly newspaper, the Marion County Record. 

Though the goal was to put him out of business, the heavy-handed method spurred Meyer’s staff and supporters to cobble together enough equipment and resources to successfully put out this week’s paper. 

The emotions must have certainly been mixed for Meyer and crew.

Any celebration would have been muted.

The day after law enforcement officers raided their home, Meyer’s mother, Joan, and co-owner of the paper, collapsed and died. 

Wednesday afternoon, Marion County Attorney Joel Ensley said it appeared “insufficient evidence” existed for Magistrate Judge Laura Viar to issue a search warrant on Meyer’s home and business as well as that of Marion councilwoman Ruth Herbel, as requested by the police and sheriff’s departments.