May 16

SLAYTON – In a statement issued yesterday afternoon, Laura J. McKnight and Gregory P. Bulinski, counsel for Murray County Medical Center and CEO Mel Snow, said they are reviewing the federal lawsuit filed against the hospital and its CEO by physician assistant Dan Woldt.

Woldt, who was put on administrative leave for nine weeks this winter before being reinstated in March, filed a lawsuit alleging Snow punished him for turning in Medicare fraud cases, blackening his reputation with his co-workers and patients.

The release states MCMC believes it acted in the best interests of the medical center in placing Mr. Woldt on paid leave and conducting its investigation of his activities.

Woldt voluntarily chose to resign his position, the release states, and requested the medical center board release him from a 90-day notice of resignation stipulated in his contract. MCMC, its Board of Directors, administrative and medical staff are all focused on serving the people of Murray County and the region with the best health services possible to improve the
health status of the region, the release state.

The entire 25-page complaint filed by Woldt earlier this week can be viewed on our website at

ST. PAUL – A bill co-authored by Reps. Rod Hamilton and Joe Schomacker for the purpose of appropriating funds to match funds from a presidential disaster declaration will go to a House vote Friday, according to Schomacker. It appropriates $1.5 million from the 2014 bottom line to pay for it, but the funds will be available upon enactment. The $1.5 million was what the department of public safety identified as an appropriate amount, Schomacker said via email yesterday.

The April ice storm addressed in the disaster declaration caused an approximate $26 million in damage in a five county area.

MILFORD, Iowa - The Milford Commercial Club is issuing a special alert to businesses that accept Milford Bucks. Dawn Powell of the Milford Commercial Club sad she’s received a report of someone trying to pass a phony Milford buck at a local business. She said she wants to remind Milford businesses that the Milford Bucks are printed on heavy paper and are numbered. Powell encourages any business that sees someone trying to pass a phony Milford Buck to contact police.
On another note, Powell says the Milford Commercial Club has partnered with the Okoboji Community Schools for a special program. For every dollar of Milford Bucks sold, the Commercial Club will donate 10% back to the Okoboji Pioneer Scrip program—up to $500.

(Spencer)-- A Spencer man faces charges in connection with an alleged incident Monday at a Spencer trailer park.The Clay County Sheriff's Office says deputies were called to lot 9 at the Country Villa Trailer Park around 5:45 p.m. after getting a report that a firearm had been discharged.

Deputies say the gun had been put in a safe by the time they arrived. A man at the residence, 47-year-old Todd Huddleston, was detained. Upon investigating deputies learned that Huddleston had been upset, shot his television and then shot his firearm through the ceiling of his trailer. Huddleston was taken to Spencer Hospital for evaluation. A deputy met with Huddleston after he was released from the hospital. Huddleston was arrested and charged with reckless use of a firearm. He was released pending an appearance in court.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Senate has approved scaled-back revisions to state gun laws that do not include an expansion of background checks for gun purchases.

The Senate approved the bill Wednesday on a 58-9 vote. The bill fills gaps in databases consulted in present gun background checks by including older court records.

Identical language was also added to a public safety finance bill.

The bill is likely to disappoint gun control activists who came into this legislative session hoping for wider restrictions on access to guns. But efforts to implement wider background checks and other new regulations ran into trouble after Democrats from rural districts refused to get on board.

Sponsor Sen. Ron Latz says he removed all controversial provisions from his bill, and it won the backing of gun rights groups. The bill awaits a House vote.

MINNESOTA - Workers who are locked out by their companies in labor disputes would get more benefits under new legislation before Minnesota lawmakers.

The bill would give locked-out workers to as much as a half-year in additional unemployment benefits. They can already claim 26 weeks.

The bill is set for final action in both the House and the Senate later this week.
There have been several high profile lockouts in Minnesota over the past year, including those for workers at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra and the American Crystal Sugar Co.

MINNESOTA - Motorists in Minnesota need to prepare themselves for sticker shock before their next trip to the gas pump. The price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline has jumped north of the $4 mark across the Twin Cities metro, well above the national average of $3.59 a gallon.
A station in Bloomington was selling gas for $4.29 and several other stations in the Twin Cites raised their prices to $4.19.

AAA Minnesota-Iowa told Minnesota Public Radio a temporary closure of two refineries in the Chicago-area for repairs is driving up gas prices in Minnesota, and that they do not expet any relief in prices until lat June or early July.

Statewide, the record average topped out at $3.98 in July 2008, but AAA expects to shatter that record.


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