April 23 news

SLAYTON – Interim CEO John Osse is already implementing changes at the Murray County Medical Center, but he stated during Tuesday’s Hospital Board meeting he sees no reason to change the management contract between the hospital and Sanford. Citizens have suggested, petitioned for and downright demanded the contract be allowed to expire and a new one be taken up with Avera, believing the four medical staff who left the hospital would return.

Osse said the contract is set to automatically renew May 1, and that is what will happen. He has not seen any breach of contract, he added.

The contract between Osse and the hospital board states Osse will be paid a monthly fee of $15,709 and be provided housing and a vehicle, for a time period of one year.
In his first few weeks at MCMC, Osse has begun doctor recruitment, implemented exit interviews and is considering an employee survey. He has conducted a multitude of one-on-one meetings with employees, and plans to hold several group meetings with staff.

The hospital board, however, is facing their own set of problems. An inquiry for a position on the board turned ugly when a commissioner’s wife got involved. Trish Grieme, who has been one of the people actively involved in trying to get the move made from Sanford management to Avera management and is the facilitator of the Taking Back MCMC Facebook page, emailed the commissioners, expressing her interest in becoming a board member. The reply was not what she expected.

Commissioner John Giese’s wife apparently found the email request and meant to forward it to Commissioner Bob Moline. She added comments of her own, stating, “God forbid that Trish gets on the board” and “She would be detrimental to the whole thing.” She ended her comments with “that’s just plain craziness,” then signed the email.

Instead of forwarding it as she likely intended, she hit reply, sending it back to Grieme.
Needless to say, Grieme was not happy to know that her email to a county commissioner was intercepted and read by his wife, who then tried to forward it to another person while mocking the sender and adding her own comments.

When asked about the incident, Giese had no comment.

OCHEYEDAN, Iowa - The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation are investigating the death of an Ocheyedan man.

Steven Bruce Noble, 46, of Ocheyedan, was found after authorities responded to a 911 call Monday afternoon. An autopsy is being performed and the case is under investigation.

LUVERNE - The FBI asked for the public's help Tuesday to identify at least 90 potential victims of a suspected child predator who worked at 10 American and other international schools abroad for more than four decades before committing suicide last month in Minnesota.

William James Vahey, 64, killed himself in Luverne on March 21, the FBI said. That was two days after agents in Houston filed for a warrant to search a computer thumb drive that belonged to Vahey, a U.S. citizen with residences in London and Hilton Head Island, S.C. An employee of the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, where Vahey had recently taught ninth-grade world history and geography, gave the drive to the U.S. Embassy there.

The storage device contained pornographic images of at least 90 boys, ages 12 to 14, who appeared to be drugged and unconscious, the FBI said. The agency's spokeswoman in Houston, Investigators suspect all of the boys in the images were students of Vahey's, going back to 2008, and that he had molested all of them.

Vahey allegedly admitted he drugged the boys before he molested them.

FBI Special Agent Shauna Dunlap says Vahey is one of the most prolific alleged predators they have ever seen.

WORTHINGTON – The Nobles County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a $3,900 annual expense for the services of opengov.com, a web based financial tracking and reporting package that will be used to improve the accountability and transparency of Nobles County finances.

The commissioners also approved an expenditure of more than $31,000 to digitalize and index tract books in the Recorders Office. The books will be scanned and indexed using two companies – Kvien Document Imaging will scan and index the books, and TriMin will import the tract book module software to LandShark, as well as provide training and maintenance.

The commissioners received a report from Nobles County Auditor-Treasurer Beth Van Hove on the wind energy tax revenue for 2014. The county receives 80 percent of the wind energy production tax revenue, amounting to $832,980, while Larkin, Worthington, Ransom, Wilmont, Summit Lake, Olney and Dewald townships will share in $208,245 in revenue.

The commissioners accepted a bid of just over $200,000 for striping services, and commended the Community Services staff for a letter from the Minnesota Department of Human Services for the perfect submittal of all 2013 quarterly fiscal reports. Nobles County Chief Deputy Chris Heinrichs was given a certificate of appreciation for his years of service in law enforcement – 15 with the city and the last 10 in Nobles County. Heinrichs’ last day of service before he enters retirement will be April 30.

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