Governor Walz Authorizes State Disaster Assistance in Response to Spring Flooding, Severe Thunderstorms
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Governor Tim Walz has authorized state disaster assistance for Dakota and Pope Counties for damage sustained from spring flooding between March 12 – April 28, 2019, and for Murray, Pipestone, Rock, and Traverse Counties for damage sustained from severe thunderstorms between September 10 – 15, 2019.
“It’s our responsibility to help our neighbors recover in the face of devastating weather events,” said Governor Walz. “This year we’ve seen unprecedented weather events tear through our state. Even though some of these events happened months ago, communities continue to struggle with damage to their infrastructure and local economy. That’s why we’re authorizing the use of state disaster assistance to aid in recovery efforts and help Minnesotans return to normal.”
Dakota and Pope Counties were not designated in the federal disaster declaration issued by the President on June 12, 2019. During the initial local damage assessment process, neither county met the threshold for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and they were not included in the local/state/FEMA preliminary damage assessment. After the federal disaster designation, both counties uncovered damage costs that would have been qualifying, but federal assistance was denied due to the 30-day deadline.
Murray, Pipestone, Rock, and Traverse Counties were impacted by a series of severe thunderstorms from September 10 – 15, 2019, that produced very heavy rainfalls and flooding, conditions exacerbated by previous spring flooding and summer rains. The county boards of commissioners declared local emergencies and submitted requests for state disaster assistance to aid in recovery.
This authorization by the Governor allows the State Disaster Assistance Contingency Account to reimburse communities for 75% of eligible costs. Local governments will cover the remaining 25% of eligible costs.
I Didn’t Know the Hospital Does That!
By Michael Ladevich
10 years ago: 50% of hospital patients stayed at Murray County Medical Center
Today: 33% of hospital patients stay at Murray County Medical Center, 45% use hospitals in Sioux Falls
In the last six months, I’ve been struck by how many times people have told me: “I didn’t know the hospital does that!” Three months ago, an aunt and uncle of one of our nurses were walking aimlessly around the hospital late on a Friday afternoon. Things were quiet and few staff were present, so I intercepted them before they entered the in-patient area.
After finding out that they were former Murray County residents and related to one of our nurses, I decided to give them the nickel tour of the hospital and clinic. These two transplanted to Los Angeles (L.A.) 50 years ago:the man was a radiologist and the woman was a nurse. During the tour of the hospital, he was very impressed with our high technology, especially in Radiology, and she was excited about the level of technology and the comfort that the in-patient rooms offered patients and families. They told me that they would have to apologize for trying to talk their niece/nurse out of working for MCMC.Their expectations and assumptions—based on 40+ year careers as a physician and nurse working in L.A. hospitals—regarding MCMC’s quality of the equipment, facility and staff were completely upended.Score 1 for MCMC.
Three weeks ago, our Trauma Program was surveyed by three professionals from Minneapolis. Their comments during the exit interview were highly complimentary regarding the level of professionalism of our staff and structure of our Trauma Program. Similarly, five months ago a survey of our Stroke Program lauded our excellent results and the structure of our program. Both groups of surveyors were pleasantly surprised at our staff’s professionalism and competence which is yielding superior results for residents of this community. Score 2 for MCMC.
Finally, while Obstetrics is not a focus of MCMC, over the past year our providers and nurses have been praised from the OB staff in Sioux Falls for the emergency deliveries of three babies in our ER. Score 3 more for MCMC.
A lot of Murray County residents are like the couple from L.A. who didn’t know that our hospital has high-tech equipment or that we have such strong programs or well-trained staff. We obviously need to do a better job of telling our residents about what we do well here.
One area of focus which is particularly strong at MCMC are upper endoscopy (procedure used to look at the digestive tract through the mouth/throat) and colonoscopy. Regardless of the town where you receive your primary care, a screening colonoscopy is a fact of life and can be truly lifesaving because the procedure helps avoid cancer as it did when a pre-malignant polyp was found at age 40 in my wife. Imagine what would have happened if that polyp had another 10 or 15 years to grow? So why does anybody want to travel to Sioux Falls for this simple procedure? Dr. Snow and his amazing medical team have you covered.
A second area of focus that is invisible to many people is MCMC’s strong orthopedic service line. I recently spoke to a friend who was unaware that Dr. Nwakama performs a “reverse” shoulder procedure at MCMC. Dr. Nwakama has been on staff here for more than 10 years and also performs hip replacement surgery using the “anterior” approach which is less painful and has faster recovery than the traditional hip surgery. Did you know that Dr. Nwakama was educated at Mayo Clinic and has additional training in complex hand surgery? Did you know that Dr. Nwakama brings his most complex cases to MCMC because of our highly trained anesthesia, OR nurses, and in-patient nurses?A better way to think about Orthopedics is that we do it all (except spine surgery) and do it better!
Like spine surgery, we don’t do everything here. If we don’t provide a service or specialty, we will transfer or refer you to where your care will be optimized. With that being said, we can address and provide services for 90% of your healthcare needs. And we can provide better care that you can trust because this is a small community. Come to us because we’re as good or better than the big city—you have a gem in Murray County Medical Center—don’t lose it because you aren’t informed about all of our strengths.
If you want a personal tour to see what all we do at MCMC, please call us at 507.836.1244 and Darlene Mechtenberg or I will be happy to walk you around and point out how much we ARE capable of here at MCMC.
The Murray County Christmas Project is again planningto provide toys and gifts to over 300 eligible children in Murray County. We are accepting donations of toys and gifts for children12 and under. Also needed are stocking caps and mittens. Monetary gifts are also accepted to help with the purchase of gift items. Please take yourdonations to the Slayton Shoe Repair In Slayton by December 1, 2019 or contact 507-530-1292 and we will schedule a pickup time for your donation.
Thank you for your supportto the Murray CountyChristmas Project, your donations will be greatly appreciated by all who receive them.
Medicare Open Enrollment Assistance
Free, comprehensive and objective counseling
The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging®, Inc. will once again be assisting Medicare beneficiaries with their 2020 Medicare Health plan research and enrollment.Trained volunteers will be available by appointment in Worthington at the Worthington Community Education building.To schedule an appointment, call the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433.
Medicare beneficiaries need to bring with them current insurance information, their Medicare card and their medications.
The 2020 annual enrollment period for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans runs from October 15, 2019 to December 7, 2019.During this time, you can enroll in a plan if you did not previously enroll or change to a new plan.Changes then become effective on January 1, 2020.If you do not make changes by December 7, 2019, in most cases you will not be able to change plans again until 2021.
If you have questions or need further information, contact the Senior LinkAge Line® at 1-800-333-2433. The Senior LinkAge Line® is a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging. The Senior LinkAge Line® is the federally-designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Minnesota and is the place to call for Medicare and health insurance issues. Call 1-800-333-2433 for assistance or go to www.MinnesotaHelp.info® to chat live with a Senior LinkAge Line® specialist.
WHO: Senior LinkAge Line® and Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging (MNRAAA)
WHAT: Medicare Open Enrollment Assistance
WHEN: Friday, November 22, 2019
WHERE: Worthington Community Education, 117 W 11th Ave #3, Worthington, MN
Visit our website at: www.mnraaa.org
FSA Encourages Farmers and Ranchers to Vote in County Committee Elections
The 2019 Farm Service Agency County Committee Elections began on Nov. 4, when ballots were mailed to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to local FSA offices, or to be postmarked, is Dec. 2, 2019.
County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.
To be an eligible voter, farmers and ranchers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, may also be eligible to vote.
Eligible voters in local administrative area 3 who do not receive a ballot can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center.
Newly elected committee members will take office Jan. 1, 2020.
The candidates in this year’s election are:
Burend Cuperus is nominated in LAA 3, Murray County, to serve as a committee member for a 3-year term. Burend resides in the Iona area and has produced alfalfa, corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle for 40 years.
More information on county committees, such as the new 2019 fact sheet, can be found on the FSA website at fsa.usda.gov/elections or at a local USDA Service Center.
Farm Transition and Estate Planning Workshop in Pipestone
SLAYTON, Minn. (11/6/19) — Are you thinking about how to transfer your farm business or land to the next generation? University of Minnesota Extension is presenting a workshop on farm transition and estate planning on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm.
The workshop will be held at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, in the Community Room.The college is located at 1314 North Hiawatha Ave., Pipestone. This workshop covers family communications, farm goal setting, business structures, inheritance and transition, estate and gift taxes, and retirement planning. Farmers at any stage, from beginning to retirement, can benefit from the workshop materials.
The workshop is part of a partnership of University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota State College and University System. Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2018-70024-28586.
To learn more and register for the event, please visit z.umn.edu/farmtransition. Registration is currently open. For registration assistance, please contact University of Minnesota Extension in Mankato, 507-389-6972.
For questions regarding the program please contact Megan Roberts, Extension Educator, Agricultural Business Management, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mankato, MN
Bullying is Never Ok
We can all put a stop to bullying.People can be mean, but there is no excuse for it.What is bullying?The Pacer National Bullying Prevention Center gives this definition: “Bullying is when someone is being hurt either by words or actions on purpose, usually more than once, feels bad because of it, and has a hard time stopping what is happening to them.”Bullying can be physical:hitting, pushing and shoving, fighting, tripping, yelling at someone, making rude gestures, taking or breaking another person’s things.It can also be emotional:name calling, making fun of someone, laughing at someone, leaving someone out on purpose, starting rumors or telling lies about someone, sending mean messages online, trying to make someone feel bad about who they are.
Bullying happens anywhere.It can happen in your neighborhood, on the way to school, in school, at work, online.Cyberbullying is an increasing problem.This can include sending mean text messages, posting statements online that are unkind or not true, sending or posting pictures that are not yours to share or are just plain rude, making negative comments online about someone, or agreeing with someone who posts something hurtful.Bullying needs to be reported.Nothing can be done if school officials or law enforcement do not know it is happening.
Sometimes people think that bullying and conflict are the same thing, but they aren’t. In one way or another, conflict is a part of everyday experience, in which we navigate the complexities of how we interact. Typically, minor conflicts don’t make someone feel unsafe or threatened. Bullying, on the other hand, is a behavior with intention to hurt, harm or humiliate and the person targeted is not able to make it stop. With bullying, there is an imbalance of power.
Bullying is NEVER okay.No one deserves to be bullied.
For more information on bullying prevention, go to https://www.pacer.org/bullying/
MCC Licensed School Counselor
TEAM Bullying Prevention Student Task Force Advisor
American Education Week
November 18-22, 2019
The National Education Association was one of the creators and original sponsors of American Education Week. Distressed that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate and 9 percent were physically unfit, representatives of the NEA and the American Legion met in 1919 to seek ways to generate public support for education.
The conventions of both organizations subsequently adopted resolutions of support for a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. In 1921, the NEA Representative Assembly in Des Moines, Iowa, called for designation of one week each year to spotlight education. In its resolution, the NEA called for: “An educational week ... observed in all communities annually for the purpose of informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of the public schools and to secure the cooperation and support of the public in meeting those needs.”
The first observance of American Education Week occurred December 4-10, 1921, with the NEA and American Legion as the cosponsors. A year later, the then U.S. Office of Education joined the effort as a cosponsor, and the PTA followed in 1938.
Today, American Education Week is always celebrated the week prior to the week of Thanksgiving. At MCC we will be celebrating our 12th annual American Education Celebration on Tuesday, November 12th. 6:30 social and program at 7:00 in the new gym. As we celebrate all the great things our staff and students are doing at school, I invite parents and community members to stop in for a tour or to visit your child’s classroom. Things have certainly changed over the years and today’s technology will simply amaze you. Please use this week to reconnect with the school and dialog with your child’s teacher.
Even though, we set aside one week to celebrate American Education, you can stay up to date with all that is happening at MCC Schools by visiting our new and improved web-site at http://www.mcc.mntm.org. This site, updated on a daily basis, is an excellent communication tool for parents. You can log into your account to check your student’s progress reports, report cards, attendance and lunch account balances. Sports scores, daily announcements and staff information are just a few of the things available with the click of your mouse. I would also recommend downloading our new app by going to your app store and searching for Murray County Central ISD 2169. This is a free app and is getting great reviews by parents and community members.
I appreciate and commend the hard work that our students and staff do every day to ensure that our school continues to improve, achieve and learn. Everyone from our teachers, volunteers, support staff, community members, students and parents deserve recognition for this accomplishment. Congratulations and thank you for the work you do on a daily basis to ensure every child is successful in school and life.
One of my favorite quotes best describes the awesome staff at Murray County Central Staff. “One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, how big my house was, or what kind of car I drove. But the world may be a little better, because I was important in the life of a child.” (Forest Witcraft) In my opinion, this sums up American Education Week as we honor and celebrate the successes of staff and students.
MCC Elementary Principal
Don’t Let Cold And Flu Season Knock You Down; Try These 5 Natural Remedies
Cold and flu season are upon us, that time of year when body aches, fever, chills and nasal congestion combine and can stop you in your tracks, leaving you bedridden for days.
Statistics show that the flu annually sickens millions of Americans, kills tens of thousands, and results in billions of dollars in medical expenses and sick days.
“Complications arising from the flu can become serious,” says Dr. Suhyun An (www.drsuhyunan.com), an expert on regenerative medicine and co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine.
“If you still have symptoms after seven to 10 days, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. If any of your symptoms include difficulty breathing, a rapid heartbeat, or feeling faint, or if you experience other severe symptoms like a high fever, seek immediate medical assistance.”
Dr. An says there are ways to prevent the symptoms from reaching that serious point. To feel better and get back on your feet, she recommends numerous natural cold and flu remedies to alleviate your symptoms:
Vitamin C. Some studies indicate that Vitamin C can shorten the lifespan of a cold and boost your immune system. “The best way to get it is through your diet; the fresher the food, the better,” Dr. An says. “Oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruits, leafy greens, and bell peppers are all good sources of vitamin C. Be careful with supplements because they can lead to upset stomach and kidney stones.”
Honey. Honey has natural antiviral and antimicrobial properties. “Drinking honey in tea with lemon can ease sore throat pain,” Dr. An says. “Research suggests that honey is an effective cough suppressant, too. Honey often contains Clostridium bacteria, so never give honey to a child younger than 1-year-old because infants’ immune systems aren’t able to fight them off.”
Chicken soup. This popular cold and flu remedy helps because hot liquids reduce mucus buildup and keep you hydrated. “Chicken soup, in particular, has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce a cold’s unpleasant side effects,” Dr. An says. “Keep some in the freezer or even canned for flu season. It’s quick to prepare that way and soothing to eat.”
Aromas. “When you have congestion from the flu, applying camphor or menthol salve around your nose can help break up mucus,” Dr. An says. “Aromatherapy oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, can have a similar effect. Also, vapor rub can reduce cold symptoms, especially in children older than 2 years. It helps open air passages to combat congestion, reduce coughing, and improve sleep. It’s a good alternative to over-the-counter cold medicines in young children because of unwanted side effects.
Probiotics. These are friendly bacteria and yeast found in the body, some foods, and supplements. “They can help keep your gut and immune system healthy, and they may reduce your chance of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection,” Dr. An says. “For a delicious and nutritious source of helpful bacteria, include probiotic yogurt in your diet.”
“Colds and the flu are threats to us every year, but they don’t have to get us down for long,” Dr. An says. “Natural home remedies can reduce symptoms so you can be more comfortable and get the rest you need to get better faster.”
About Dr. Suhyun An, DC, MSN, NP-C
Dr. Suhyun An (www.drsuhyunan.com) is the clinic director at Campbell Medical Group in Houston and an expert on regenerative medicine. She is co-author of Demystifying Stem Cells: A Real-Life Approach To Regenerative Medicine and travels the nation speaking on those topics. Dr. An received a BS in Biochemistry and Biophysical Science from the University of Houston, graduated cum laude from Parker College of Chiropractic, and got her master’s in nursing science from Samford University.
By: John Stenen
We are told today that we need ‘gun free zones’ and ‘free speech zones’ and ‘safe zones.’ As far as I’m concerned, this is ludicrous. As someone has suggested, “Why don’t all the stores that experience shop-lifting put up signs which say, “No Theft Zone!” Do you think it would stop the thieves? That would be as crazy as putting up a sign at the fishing resort outside the fish cleaning house that says, ‘No lies or exaggeration are to be spoken here.’ Fishermen love to exaggerate!
In the days of old whenever a prairie fire threatened to burn out an Indian village, they simply started the dry grass on fire near their village. They knew ‘The fire cannot come where the fire has already been.’ They then knew they were safe.
Two thousand years ago God’s judgment was placed upon Jesus Christ who died on the cross as our substitute. We deserved the judgment but Christ took our place. All who will place their trust in Him and receive Jesus as Lord will never experience God’s judgment; they are in God’s ‘Safe Zone.’ In God’s safe zone our sins are forgiven, we are new creatures in Christ Jesus: we have gone from death to life, from darkness to light, from un-righteous to being righteous, from being spiritually lost to being ‘saved, from being hell bound to now being heaven bound.’ In God’s safe zone there is no condemnation and we are the recipients of everlasting life.
Jesus said in John 5:40, “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” The opposite of life is death – eternal death is to be forever separated from God and all of His blessings. Is this what you would choose? I hope not.Come to Christ today and enter God’s ‘Safe Zone.’