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The Ortonville Independent
Ortonville, Minnesota
February 5, 2002     The Ortonville Independent
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February 5, 2002

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pit Ig ..... Graceville'shos a ains critical access status Holy Trinity Hospital in serves a medicallv underserved another hospital or the sole hospital in lPd The groundhog saw his shadow last Saturday so, if you're a believer in the adage, then we're in for six more weeks of winter! But in this particular year, where we have set a record in warmth for a winter...we can only what!? If it's six more weeks of the winter we' ve been enjoying, there's no sweat, so to speak! For the record, this has been the warmest winter in the past 180 years! Incredible, indeed! ***** If you were not able to see in person or watch on televi- sion, the Gopher-Indiana basketball game last Saturday, you really missed a beauty! Never have we seen a more exciting second half of basketball, as our Gophers came from a 10 point deficit at half-time, to win by a margin of 14 points. The gophers were just awesome in all aspects. Certainly the frosh phenomenon, Rick Rickert, has to be one of the best in the country! ***** A couple notes from readers. Dear friend Pete Christensen of the metro area sends renewal and says "very sorry to read of Don Dawson pass- ing, a very good neighbor and friend for years. Don't change anything about the's a very special life-line to all of us now liv- ing away from (home)Ortonville! ope to see you sometime this sum- mer...your old water-ski partner!" Ray Volkenant of Belgrade also sends renewal and writes "always look forward to receiving the Independent and reading the Odds 'n Ends, and the Good Old Days sec- tions. Also enjoyed the letter from Bud Johnson. I worked for Bud's Red Owl from 1958 to 1965. Bud wrote the book on customer service. Best wishes to Bud and his family. Keep the paper coming. I enjoy each and ever3 Cousin Margaret (Kaercher) Pufahi of Colorado sends renewal and says "I look forward to my paper each week, especially 'good old days.' I am excited about becoming a great grandmother in first GREAT!" Carol (nee McDonald) Ekdahl of Vancouver, WA sends an e-mail today saying that her husband Dick "was reading the Oregonian paper (Portland Daily) and ran across an obituary of a Clarence Richard Ormsby, born in North Dakota in 1918 and raised in Ortonville...gradu- ated from OHS in 1938. He was known as 'Junior Edison' from Ortonville. Wondering if you knew him, if anyone else in the area or from the class of 1938 knew him." ***** Long-time reader friend Russ Stansfield, now of Golden Valley, sends renewal and comments that "your Trojans are sure playing good basketball for the sec- ond year in a row. Heading for the southwest tomorrow." Reader Don Lindquist also sends renewal from St. Paul Park and says "enjoy read- ing the news from the home- town...keep up the good news coverage for the readers!" ***** Yet another small worlder. While recently dining at Billy's Lighthouse Restaurant near Long Lake, we struck up a conversation with a cou- ple sitting nearby. Art Hagen and his wife Rosemary live in Cokato, and are engaged in numerous business ventures...namely construction, restaurants, and buying of cattle near Sisseton. He recalls coming to Ortonville many years ago to meet former resident and Mayor Start Lohman, and his son, John, who were then *owners of the Chevrolet and GMC dealership here, regarding the possibility of building a new garage here. Art also knows of the folks at Hasslen Construction, being that he is in the same business. He also recalls dealing with a man whose name he couldn't remember, but who was involved with Oliver tractors and the making of steering wheels who lived a few miles north- east of Ortonville. We thought he might be referring to Rex George, but that name didn't ring any bells! ***** Things are buzzin' in the " W/xJVrADS Graceville, became a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) as of Nov. 1, 2001. According to Helen Jorve, GHC administrator, the reason the Graceville Health Center Board of Directors decided to apply for Critical Access Hospital status was to obtain better Medicare reimbursement in order to improve Holy Trinity Hospital's financial basis. Under the CAH program, reim- bursement is based on reasonable cost rather than on a predetermined scale based on diagnosis (diagnosis-related groups or DRGs). The CAH program is an outcome of the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (MRHFP). The MRHFP, established in 1997, is avail- able to all 50 states. Its threefold intent is to allow rural communities to preserve access to primary care and emergency health services; provide health care services that meet commu- nity needs: and help assure the finan- cial viability of program participants through improved reimbursement and different operating requirements. Thus, the Critical Access Hospita! Program allows rural hospitals such as Holy Trinity Hospital to continue to provide services to their community and surrounding and to access ser- vices in hospitals within their net- works. To qualify as a Critical Access Hospital, Holy Trinity Hospital must adhere/agree to requirements that include: located in a rural area; area: limits the number of inop'atient acute care beds and awing-bedinp'a tient beds provides inpatient care in a man- ner that assures that the hospital's annual average length of stay is with- in the 96-hour limit; participates in a rural health net- work; makes available 24 hour emer- gency services; makes available 24 hour nursing services; inpatient services may be provid- ed by a physician assistant, nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist as long as there is physician o.versight; and reimbursement for inpatient and outpatient services to Medicare bene- ficiaries will be reimbursed on a rea- sonable cost basis. Minnesota's Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program planning began in Jan. 1994. After the closing of several rural Minnesota hospitals, the Rural Health Advisory Committee passed a resolution to establish a work group to identify key rural hospital issues that impact access to care, and to propose how the State legislature could proceed in addressing those issues. In 1998 the Governor signed a bill to establish the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program in Minnesota and to designate necessary providers of health care services as those hospitals that are 20 miles from a county. Objectives of the Minnesota Rural Hospital Flexibility Program are to promote regionalization of health care services, improve access to health care services, and foster development of rural health networks. The MRHFP encourages small rural hospitals to redesign themselves as the experts in providing primary and emergency health care services. Holy Trinity Hospital is doing this by reducing its excess hospital beds, maintaining high quality emergency and primary care services, providing the care that fits its expertise, and net- working with other hospitals and health care providers to expand its realm of acute and specialty care pro- grams. In Minnesota, it's clear that hospi- tal closures have reduced local access to health care services, particularly in the northern part of the state. Through the Minnesota Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program and its new Critical Access Hospital status, Holy Trinity Hospital will receive additional financial resources. Other financial benefits should result from regionalization and net- work development. This is ultimately good news to both the beneficiaries and providers of health care in the area served by Holy Trinity Hospital. As a critical access hospital, Holy Trinity Hospital will continue to be licensed as a hospital under the provi- sion of Minnesota Statutes. (Adv.) . Charge it to state credit card By Senator Charlie Berg Our Legislative schedule ordinari- ly goes something like this. The first year we take care of numerous bills and set tax and spending policy. However, this is not an ordinary year. The second year of the biennium the Legislature agrees to finance cer- tain projects of .statewide importance by issuing bonds. Just as families take out loans to pay for homes and college tuition and companies borrow for new plants and equipment, states borrow to preserve existing assets and to invest in infrastructure. The state con- stitution even defines purposes for which the state may incur debt: to improve public land and buildings; to construct roads, railroad facilities and airports; to establish and maintain state parks; andtcrTepel invasions or suppress insurrection! as wastewater treatment plants, boil- ers and prison facilities will also get consideration. Borrowing spreads the costs over the useful life of the pro- ject, and it assures that those who ben- efit from the asset created-such as a student dissecting a frog in a state col- lege science lab-share the cost. And, it can be argued that bonding makes our money go further since the cost of a project today will be less than the cost of that same project five or ten years from now and interest rates are at an all time low. The state issues two types of bonds: revenue and general obliga- tion. Revenue bonds have a designat- ed source of mon,ey-such as a fee on T-shirts to pay for a stadium-from which the bonds will be repaid. General obligation bonds are repaid from the state general fund i.e., &re ongoing, long-rmbenefalo._taxpay- . forgcmetalligation bonds, .and we ers. For example, the governor has have authorized the governor to issue proposed borrowing $120 million for another $540 million. This session the commuter rail and $246 million for Legislature will approve as much as repairs to state buildings. Such things $1 billion more. In order to maintain our superior credit rating, we limit ourselves to 3% of general revenues for debt service on our bonds. This year that's about $750 million for principal and interest to repay these loans. For government as well as for fam- ilies, there is bad debt and good debt- like the difference between borrowing for a vacation and borrowing for home improvements. Legislators take their fiduciary responsibilities very seriously and are likely to approve less than half of the $2 billion in requests for bonding from state agen- cies and local governments. As an additional check, the constitution requires a three-fifths vote to pass the bonding bill to assure substantial agreement among legislators that these are truly worthy projects. I would be happy to answer ques- tions you might have about bonding m; about imyodaex.mattears before the Legislature. Please feel free to contact me at my St. Paul office at 651 296- 5094, by mail to G25 State Office Building, St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 or by email to sen.charlie.berg@sen- Bonanza environmental center has new programs, needs equipment Thanks to grants from the Blandin Foundation and other sources, the staff at Bonanza Environmental Center of rural Beardsley had been able to create some new programs for both students and adults. Old Mill Twirlers The Old Mill Twirlers danced to the calling of Gene Hoffman last Wednesday. There were no squares in attendance with guests from Watertown. No dance Feb. 6. No dance Feb. 13 Ash Wednesday. Up coming dances Feb. 20, Dennis Van Asch. New-trails are being created for hiking, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing. Some equipment has been purchased. However donations of cross country skis, shoes and poles as well as snowshoes woukl be greatly appreciated. If you have equipment you would like to donate, it may bc brought to the center, or to the Ortonville, Beardsley, Clinton, Graceville, Big Stone City, Chokio, or Browns Valley public schools. If you are unable to bring them to one of these sites, please call the Environmental Center at 320-265- 6944 or Gretta Yaeger at 320-839- 2457. 00e'll compile your 1[I ][I information and ,, V V offer advice on Your donation can be considered as a tax deduction. If you wish credit, please put your name and address on the equipment as well as the value of the gift. I rice@DhosOice Ortonville/Graceville Satellite Offic, e making decisions and timing investments for the best tax advantages throughout the year. Our year-round record keeping services take even more stress out of tax time. Call your local AgCountry Farm Credit Services records specialist today. Graceville Branch Office 748-7294 or 800-450-7294 2/4/02-2/17102 EDA to aid in dentist in Ortonvil Ortonville's Economic Development Authority held its annu- al meeting Jan. 2 at the EDA confer- ence room. Among the items dis- cussed was the search for a new den- tist. Board member Greg Peterson told EDA members he had spoken with Steve Winther, DDS, who advised Peterson he would like someone working with him in a common build- ing such as a clinic or other facility. However, Peterson stated Winther will not be actively looking for anoth- er dentist and the Health Care Foundation has the time to pursue The board Peterson speak more to ters to another In other was elected EDA coming year, Radermacher vice Also, Peterson surer and secretary. Ortonville Independent Poll Results How do you like the place- ment of the manhole covers on the new stretch of Lake Road (Hwy 7)? I like the way it bounces my old car all over 19% Like to drive like a NASCAR racer swerving around them 44% The jolt keeps me awake 5% They should have been put down the middle 32% 62 total votes Check out the new poll every week at and cast your vote Riley's March 1-17 and two March 4-13 April 5-15 Battlefield steve Voss NeE-HIS MN Certified A skilled Beltone Hearing will be in your area to you about your hearing FREE computerized determine if a hearing aid help. You might find out even need an aid! to yourself and to the to hear and understand benefits of hearing aids type and degree of noise environment, hearing evaluation and @Betone Senior Ortonville February 12, 9- 1-800-669-31' Ina Hooser Pleasant 0000View 289-1163 I00 S. Barduson St. Appleton, MN 56208 Meet our family Pleasant View Ina Hooser moved to Pleasant View in November of 1! the Twin Cities area. As a Wisconsin farm girl. taught her and her siblings what it meant to work high school student. Ina lived and worked for who deeply appreciated her work ethics. In fact semester of her college in appreciation for her work responsibilities. After school Ina entered the an employee of the US Post Office in Minneapolis, after some 25 years of service. Her motto at the Post it right the first time", continues to be her standard thing she does. Ina is a welcome addition to the family with her ethics and morals for daily living, "rhe' of living here is the friendly people," lna stated. "It place for retired people to live, an excellent facilitY" grateful that her younger brother, Allen and his wife Ortonville, live close enough to vlsit regularly. Come check us out! Ask Judy about living at Pleasant View - you'll be glad you Page 2 00INDEPENDENT