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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Washington Shuts Down the Government Shut Down

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

zJust before the final deadline, Washington DC reached an end to the recent 16 day “national government shut down”

The congressional compromise included:
Continuing resolution through January 15, Raise the debt limit through February 7, Verification for the Obamacare benefit subsidies, and a Bi-partisian budget committee.

President Obama signed the bill early this morning.

All of Arkansas’ delegates voted in favor of ending the “shut down.”

For more info, see FoxNews.com or CNN.com.

State Rep. Sheilla Lampkin Donates To Local Food Banks With Help From The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

Friday, October 12th, 2012

“The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is an Arkansas non-profit dedicated to fighting hunger in the state. Among their many fundraising activities are occasional fundraising breakfasts or dinners dedicated to raising funds to fight hunger. At many of these occasions legislators are invited to “serve” and part of the funds raised are sent to food pantries in their districts.

State Rep. Sheilla Lampkin recently participated in such an activity and eceived checks of $475 dollars each for Immanuel Baptist Church and Revival Center Church food pantries. Here Rep. Lampkin is shown presenting the funds to Bertie James and Bill Jones of Revival Center and Linda Caldwell representing Immanuel Baptist Church.”

Power Restored to 1,792 Customers

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

A fallen tree at Winchester Road and Wood Street caused a grass fire, as well as several hundred customers to lose power and air conditioning, Sunday afternoon.

Entergy crews had electricity restored to users by 7 pm.

Mt. Zion Water Contract Extended

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

The City Council voted to extend Mt. Zion Water Association’s contract until May 7, 2012. This will give the City more time to collect data and stats on Mt. Zion in order to make a decision about allowing them to become part of the Monticello Water System. The issue will come back to the council after the 6 month waiting period is up for reconsideration.

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Information Limited on Monticello Man’s Fishing Death

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Johnny Donaldson, age 68, of Monticello, died in the waters of Big Bayou Meto, southwest of Gillett, Tuesday morning.

According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Donaldson, died Tuesday, around 11:30 a.m, when he apparently fell into the water, near a floodgate, near the Arkansas river.  No one knows how he fell into the water.

Donaldson, who was fishing alone that morning, was best know in Monticello as a contractor, and as owner of several apartment complexes.

Local Models Participate In Little Rock Fashion Week

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Kohl McCone, Drew Higginbotham, and Taylor Parker were chosen to participate in Little Rock Fashion Week, July 11-16. Hundreds of people tried, out but only 87 models were chosen.

Brandon D. Campbell is the director of LRFW. After interviewing with Higginbotham, Campbell signed her as one of his models. Parker was also offered a modeling contract with Campbell. McCone is with IMinc Agency in Little Rock. (more…)

Lee Busby Accepts Invitation To Increase Holding In Jones Financial Cos.

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Lee Busby, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Monticello, has accepted an invitation to increase his limited partner holdings in The Jones Financial Cos., the holding company for the St. Louis-based financial services firm.

Kedran Handly, a senior branch office administrator at Edward Jones in Monticello, has accepted an invitation to become a limited partner in The Jones Financial Cos., the holding company for the St. Louis-based financial services firm. (more…)

Walmart Celebrates 30 Years In Monticello

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

On Thursday Nov. 18th, Walmart Super Center #348 celebrated 30 years in Monticello. Co-manager Carl Petty welcomed the crowd of employees, customers and members of the Chamber of Commerce who were in attendance. 

Petty also acknowledged two employees who have been with the Monticello Walmart since the beginning, Cathy Webb and Judy Kelly. Cake and punch were served to customers and employees.

Monticello’s Stephanie Harton Featured on CBS Morning Show

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Stephanie Harton operates the weigh station for Potlatch, and provides the weather forecast for for their drivers.

Her “dream job” was to do the weather on the radio.  Thanks to the CBS morning show’s “Dream Job” series, that dream came true.

Last Friday, Harton was featured on the CBS Early Show, where she wasa shown broadcasting the weather on The Point 94.1.  She also got to go do the weather at KTHV Channel 11.

Stephanie told MonticelloLive, “The most fun I had was doing the afternoon show with Mike Kennedy and Sharpe Dunaway the past couple Fridays, I wish that was my full time job.”

Monticello schools enter lockdown mode on Friday

Friday, May 4th, 2007

At Monticello Middle School, two female students related to school officials earlier this afternoon that they had seen “a guy” walking near the school with what looked like a gun in his hand. Officials immediately contacted local law enforcement, and with their help began a thorough search of the buildings in the school district.

The lockdown comes just a week after an incident at Drew Central Schools was determined to be a “childish prank.” Last month, a University of Arkansas at Monticello employee was arrested after making threatening comments and spitting on law enforcement officials.

The high school office related that everyone is “ok,” and that after a thorough search of the school, no weapons had been found. The students who reported seeing the individual were interviewed thoroughly and assisted officials by providing a description of the individual.

While police did find an individual meeting that description, no weapons were found, and the lockdown was lifted before school was dismissed. Officials will continue looking into the incident to ensure the safety of the students.

According to Assistant Superintendant Tommy Tyler, the principals of the schools had just completed a revision of the district’s crisis plan last week, and it allowed all officials to proceed smoothly through today’s incident.

“We were not going to take it lightly. The police responded great. We’re thankful,” said Tyler.

Public notice: strawberry meth targeting kids

Monday, April 30th, 2007

MonticelloLive recently received a copy of a letter which was sent to Camden schools warning of a new form of crystal methamphetamine being manufactured, apparently to sell to children. From as far away as California and Nevada, and as close as Texas and Missouri, strawberry flavored crystal meth, known as “Strawberry Quick” has been finding its way into the hands of young people.

According to a recent USA Today report, crystal meth use has been on the decrease in recent years, and dealers and manufacturers have had to resort to new tactics in order to market the drug. Because methamphetamine is commonly white or brownish and bitter-tasting, the pink color and sweet taste make it more appealing to younger children, authorities say. Meth cooks have also been known to manufacture the drug in flavors such as cola and chocolate.

In a report aired on San Francisco television earlier this year, Dr. Alex Stalcup, a drug counseling expert, warns about a newer and more alarming danger associated with the drug. Whereas long-term addiction has been the biggest problem for meth users in the past, the new danger posed by flavored meth is overdose. Since dealers will often claim that it is a milder form of the drug, or not even meth at all, new users are prone to ingest potentially fatal doses.

According to an item from a Missouri TV news report, it hasnÂ’t taken long for this latest threat to spread to this part of the country. Parents and teachers are urged to educate themselves and talk to their children about the dangers associated with drugs.

One dead, others injured in wreck on Thursday

Friday, April 13th, 2007

One Monticello resident is dead, and two others are injured after a one-vehicle accident in Drew County yesterday.

According to a report by the Arkansas State Police the accident occurred at 12:48 p.m. on Midway Route in Drew County. The report states that a 1999 Mercury Sable driven by Don Simpson, age 18, of Monticello was traveling north on Midway Route at a high rate of speed. The driver lost control after over-compensating for a curve, and the vehicle left the roadway and overturned multiple times. All three passengers were then ejected from the vehicle.

Also injured in the accident were Steven Piper, age 34 and Austin Piper, age 4, both of Monticello. According to the State Police report Simpson was pronounced dead at the scene by a Drew County coroner. The other passengers were transported to Drew Memorial Hospital and Austin Piper was later transferred to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The report states that no seatbelts or child restraints were in use by any of the occupants. According to officials at the Arkansas State Police, toxicology tests results are pending.

Monticello radio stations sold

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

In another large media sale, Monticello radio stations KHBM, KGPQ, and KXSA owned by Community Radio Network were purchased recently by Pines Broadcasting Inc., owned by Jimmy and Gwen Sledge. The sales prices of the stations was $1.05 million, according to the broadcastingcable.com site. In a letter to advertisers and businesses, Jimmy Sledge stated, “We have retained all of the employees at the stations, and we appreciate your patience during this time of transition of ownership.”

Pines Broadcasting announced that it plans to provide more local news, weather, and sports, as well as offering six different music formats to listen to on the stations.

Sold! Cablevision

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

It has been confirmed by MonticelloLive that Community Communications Company, better known as Cablevision, has been acquired by former general manager Bill Copeland.  Discussions have already begun on upgrades and the addition of new services.

Cablevision provides cable television to 27 South Arkansas communities and both cable television and high-speed Internet services in Monticello. Cablevision was founded in 1973 and was owned by the late Paul Q. Gardner, Jr. until his death in June 2006. His widow, Donna Gardner and sons, Chad Gardner and Paul (Chip) Q. Gardner III, assumed control of the company at that time.  Community Communications Company still remains the largest independently owned cable company in Arkansas.

An official press release has been promised by the new management, and MonticelloLive will publish it as soon as it’s released.

Two-year old drowned at Monticello Speedway

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

On Saturday night, March 24, Faith Reed, two-year old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Chris Reed of Rison, AR, died after drowning. Her death is the result of an accident on a Polaris Ranger four-wheeled ATV. The accident occurred at Monticello Speedway in a resevoir used for watering the dirt track.

The incident is currently under investigation by the Drew County Sheriff’s Department.

Other News Sources:

Twenty meets with congressional leaders

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

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Monticello leaders of Twenty for the Future had a busy morning today as they met with four different congressional leaders in the span of four hours.

While Representative Marion Barry was unable to meet due to scheduling conflicts, the group from Monticello met with his chief of staff as well as with Congressmen Mike Ross, John Boozman, and Vic Snyder.

Bennie Ryburn III was the spokesman for the group in all meetings today as he shared Twenty’s eight-point priority list. The group received a positive welcome from the delegation, and the congressmen pledged their support in many of the projects.

Representative Mike Ross said, “It’s a done deal, as far as I’m concerned,” in reference to the need for a north-south connector from Highway 278 to Jordan Drive to alleviate traffic around the hospital and schools.

Representative John Boozman said, “We’ll help you in any way we can.”

Members of the Congressional delegation and their staff remarked consistently what a positive impact the Monticello group is able to make by having such a large group of concerned civic, business and educational leaders present to advocate the needs of the community.

MonticelloLive is proud to present you with the podcast from the group’s meeting with Representative Mike Ross today:

Pictures of Tuesday’s Washington activities can be found here.

Confirmed tornado in Drew County

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

The National Weather Service in Little Rock has confirmed that the tornado that touched down in the northern part of Drew County on Saturday was of F2 intensity. An F2 tornado is defined as a significant tornado with sustained winds of 113 to 157 miles per hour. 25 percent of tornadoes reported in the United States yearly fall within this category.

Crews from the National Weather Service were on the scene in Drew County on Monday to survey the damage and confirm whether the damage sustained was characteristic of a tornado or high velocity straight line winds. A tornado track was discovered that had a path length of 15 miles stretching from 4.5 miles north of Monticello to 3.5 miles southeast of Garrett Bridge in Lincoln county.

To put the scale of an F2 tornado in perspective, the tornado that struck Dumas Arkansas on Saturday has been classified as an F3 Tornado. National Weather Service officials stated on Monday that the people of Drew County are very “lucky.” The tornado struck a mostly rural area of the county damaging only a few homes and outlying buildings.

The tornado tracks in Drew and Desha County were eerily similar to the February 24, 2001 tornado outbreak.

Dumas hit hard by tornado

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Early reports coming out of Dumas indicate that a tornado touched down and left a path of destruction through the community. Volunteers from the Monticello Fire Department and other organizations left Monticello shortly after the line of severe weather passed through Drew County to lend assistance. Unconfirmed reports are that there many have been some fatalities in Dumas. Dumas is located in Desha County and has a population of 5238, as of the 2000 census.

Photo Essay: Officer returns home

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

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strain1.jpgOfficer George Strain returned home Friday after several weeks in recovery at the hospital in Little Rock. He was run over by a patron of the Chocolate Factory as police were attempting to control a disturbance there on January 29.

Members of the police department, Mayor Joe Rogers, and Ricky Calhoun worked over the weekend to build a ramp leading into his home in order for his walker and wheelchair to be able to be more accessible.

Photos courtesy of Susan Hollinger. More photos found at ML’s Flickr account.

Rogers proposes new city complex in place of W.C. Whaley

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

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Residents and passersby on Main Street first noticed the missing playground equipment at W.C. Whaley three weeks ago. Speculation began as to what was taking place. Large trees and shrubs, in addition to the dilapidated walkway in the rear of the building were cut or torn down. The property looks surprisingly bare these days, and one is able to see more clearly the broken windows and doors that reveal the excessive vandalism that’s taken place since Monticello bought the school from the school district in fall of 2001 for $140,000.

Now Mayor Joe Rogers has a plan for the site. He sees a new city complex/community center on the site, including city offices, gymnasium, indoor pool, walking tracks, basketball courts, and meeting rooms for organizations. The Monticello Economic Development Commission and the Chamber of Commerce offices would be moved to the new location, as well as the fire department. Funding would come from a proposed bond issue. The bond issue also includes funding for renovations of the jail, court room, and other city facilities.

MonticelloLive tried to contact the mayor several times for an interview but calls were not returned. However, the Monticello Advance carried the story in this week’s addition regarding Roger’s plans after attending a Twenty for the Future meeting in which Rogers shared his presentation.

While still in the vision stages, the plans are quite extensive. Rogers compares the desired facility to one that he has seen in Sherwood, Arkansas and says that Monticello needs such a complex as well. Estimates for the facility are in the $5-6 million range. It’s unclear if this includes the estimated $120,000 cost of removing asbestos from the site. He hopes to fund the project by using one-half cent of a new 15-year, one-cent city sales tax that could be presented to voters as early as June. The current one-cent city sales tax is a ten-year tax and would have on the ballot for renewal in September, having last been approved by voters in 1997. The new tax, if approved, would go into effect in January 2008, after the current expires.

Rogers hopes to use one-half cent of the one-cent tax for a proposed $9 million bond issue in order to build the facility and complete other projects relatively soon after the sales tax is approved.

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Drew Central’s Thurman receives honor

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

The Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation honored 20 Arkansas educators at an awards luncheon on January 24 in Little Rock. The winning teachers received $500 mini grant awards for creative ideas they will bring to life in the classroom. The 10 elementary and 10 secondary teachers in Arkansas public schools claimed a total of $10,000 in mini-grants. The Arkansas Community Foundation administers the program. Included in this year’s winners was Dennis Thurman of Monticello’s Drew Central High School.
thurman.jpg“These teachers’ imaginations are apparent even with the project titles. Oh, It’s Just Water under the Bridge and Growing Is Knowing are just two of many,” said Kathy Stacey, Weyerhaeuser public affairs manager. “‘When these projects hit the classrooms, it will make it more fun for the students to learn math, science and the environment. That’s what it’s all about.”

The Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation is a non-profit organization funded from the earnings of Weyerhaeuser Company. The international forest products firm manages more than 700,000 acres of commercial timberland in Arkansas and has operations or offices in Russellville, Magnolia, Dierks, De Queen, Emerson, Fort Smith and Hot Springs. The mission of the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation is to improve the quality of life in communities where Weyerhaeuser has a presence, and to increase understanding of the importance and sustainabiiity of forests and the products they provide to meet people’s needs.

Pictured: Pamela Baade, Education and Volunteer Program Manager; Dennis Thurman; Dr. Ken James, Commissioner of Education Arkansas Dept of Education; and Pat Lile, President/CEO Weyerhaeuser.

Monticello police officer injured in hit and run

Monday, January 29th, 2007

The Monticello Police Department responded to calls at approximately 1:30 a.m. Monday at Connelley and Gaines where initial reports indicated fights had broken out at the Chocolate Factory.

During officers’ attempts to bring order, Monticello police officer George Strain proceeded to the street to apprehend one of those involved in the fights, Christopher Smith, 18. While on the street, they were both hit by a car driven by McGehee resident Keshia Daniels’, 26, as she left the location.

Officer Strain incurred significant injuries and after being initially treated at Drew Memorial Hospital was transferred to Jefferson Regional Hospital in Pine Bluff. His injuries are not listed as life threatening. Smith was also hit and suffered a severely broken leg. He was transferred to the University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock for treatment.

Daniels was arrested in McGehee an hour later for the hit and run.

Council abolishes Parks and Rec Commission; approves pool repairs

Friday, January 19th, 2007

The Monticello City Council met last night with a long list of topics to tackle, including the city pool issue. After much discussion, the Council voted unanimously to continue the repairs and replacement of the liner with contractor Kenny Johnson for a new contract price of $268,083. The original contract was for $242,585 but Mr. Johnson reported that once the project began it was discovered that “the pool is sub-standard construction-wise”. His concern is having to warranty the job for a year, wanting to be confident in the work he’s done. At $268,083 Mitch Rose, the engineer representing the city from McClellan Engineering, projects 5-10 more years use with the current restoration. At this cost, the liner will be replaced with upgraded material, some pipes will be replaced, the diving board will be repaired, a working drainage system will be installed, and the pool lights will be checked and replaced if needed. Alderwoman Sherrie Gillespie asked why the city keeps pumping so much money into the upkeep and maintenance of the old city pool, but was told that this is the first major renovation in the life of the pool, since 1993.

Another major decision reached on the initiation of new Mayor Joe Rogers was his proposal to abolish the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. Extensive discussion followed this proposal. Rogers responded to Tim Chase’s statement that the city office was taking on more responsibility than they’ve ever had before by saying, “I take full responsibility, 100%”.

As part of this responsibility, Rogers proposed that the city’s Parks and Recreations Commission be done away with, leaving him in control of this area with an advisory board. The Parks Commission has been in place since 1998, serving the community by completing projects such as park improvements, a new baseball complex, a sports complex, among other things. Nevertheless, the Council voted 6-1 with Tim Chase opposing, to grant the disbanding of the Commission.

Just before the meeting adjourned, Parks and Recreation Commission chairman Steve Hartness was given the opportunity to speak. He wanted to voice his concern over the issue and let it be known that the Commission had worked diligently within the boundaries established for them, and that he didn’t understand the decision.

Hartness stated, “Everything we have done has been upfront. I have come to you for two years with budgets and laid it on the line for the city council to approve or disapprove. We’ve accomplished a lot in the past five years. I’m proud of what we’ve done. I’m a little disappointed tonight. I wasn’t considered important enough to even know about this except through the grapevine.”

The mayor argued that he had left a message with Hartness’s wife but Hartness reiterated that he had been contacted at work and on his cell phone on other occasions but wasn’t about the meeting and what was proposed to happen to the commission.

Hartness continued, “There were things in the paper that skirted right on the verge of us being irresponsible with tax money. I hope you don’t think that. I’m not understanding what the difference is in a 15-member advisory board and a parks commission. I’m not understanding how it’s different, other than you’ve got eight more voices or opinions. If something needed done, it’s gotten done.”

He concluded, “I wish ya’ll the best and I’ve enjoyed working with you guys.”

Appreciation for the commission was expressed by Alderwoman Beverly Hudson who said, “I’d like to say they’ve done a tremendous job, and I think that we should thank them for the many hours. I certainly have had no complaints. I think the mayor just wants to take us in a different direction, and we should give him the opportunity.”

Another issue that stirred discussion was the proposal to grant Rogers the ability to approve up to $20,000 in city expenditures without engaging in a competitive bidding process. The previous limit was $10,000. The council also approved that initiative, by a vote of 6-1, with Chase voting against.

Rogers gave his first State of the City address, reading from a prepared manuscript. In it, he stated, “…where others have found persistent problems; let us discover new opportunities.”

Listen to the full meeting on the MonticelloLive-provided podcast here.
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City council meeting report

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

MonticelloLive is proud to provide you with an audio podcast of Thursday night’s, January 18, Monticello City Council meeting:


You may fast forward or rewind through the podcast by dragging the slider.

Results of the meeting included:

  • Mayor Joe Rogers proposed the abolishment of the Monticello Parks and Recreation Commission. Motion passed, 6-1, with Alderman Tim Chase voted against it.
  • Robert Rosegrant was approved as Roger’s selection for Chief of Police.
  • $262,000 of pool renovations were approved after lengthy discussion. Vote for approving renovations was 6-1, with Alderwoman Sherrie Gillespie voting against.
  • A proposal granted the mayor increased authority to approve up to $20,000 in expenditures without accepting competitive bidding was approved by at vote of 6-1, with Chase voting against. The former expenditure level was $10,000.
  • Contractual services to the following organizations were granted for the 2007 year: Monticello Boys and Girls’ Club, Monticello-Drew County Chamber of Commerce, and the Monticello Economic Development Commission.
  • The city accepted a contract with Garver Engineers for airport layout drawing in preparation for the airport’s capital improvement plan.
  • Mayor Rogers delivered his State of the City address.

A full story about the meeting will be posted Friday.

Gillespie honored with scholarship

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

African-American alumni of the University of Arkansas at Monticello and Phi Beta Sigma fraternity have created an endowment campaign to honor Shay Gillespie of Monticello, a pioneering leader for African-American students at UAM.

gillespie.jpgThe group plans to raise $15,000 to endow the Shay Gillespie Phi Beta Sigma Leadership Scholarship. Income generated from the endowment will fund scholarships for full-time undergraduate students. Scholarship recipients must maintain a 2.5 grade point average, show leadership, and be an active member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, Zeta Phi Beta sorority, or an organization directly associated with Phi Beta Sigma. Recipients will be recommended by the UAM African-American Alumni Association and selected by the UAM Scholarship Committee.

Gillespie is a 1978 UAM graduate who serves as a pastor, youth counselor, church youth leader, and motivational speaker. He and his wife, Sherry, are the owners of “Head of the Class,” a Monticello childcare and learning center.
Gillespie recently authored a book entitled …a Little Child Shall Lead Them, which he describes as a common sense guide to child rearing.

The Gillespie Scholarship is the third endowment created or initiated by the African-American Alumni Association. The group previously endowed the Classie Jones-Green African-American Alumni Scholarship and is involved in an active endowment campaign for the Al Peer Kappa Alpha Psi Scholarship.

Pictured: Classie Jones-Green (first row, right) presents the first check to create an endowment campaign for the Shay Gillespie Phi Beta Sigma Leadership Scholarship. Pictured from left are (first row) Shay Gillespie, UAM Chancellor Jack Lassiter, Classie Jones-Green, (second row, from left) UAM students Christean Bell, a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority; Phil Dyer, Billy Huggins, and Joe Jordan, all members of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

Hospital board passes expansion to quorum court

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Billed as the largest single economic development package since the 1975 construction of the existing hospital, the Drew County Memorial Hospital expansion project formally moved forward today as the hospital board voted to send a resolution to the Drew County Quorum Court requesting that a referendum be placed on the ballot for a March 2007 vote.

The resolution asks for a 3/4 of one-cent sales tax to be added, bringing the current tax rate to 9.75% for Monticello and Drew County. That means that a resident who earns $50,000 a year would be paying approximately $180 per year for the expansion, after they pretax expenditures like housing payments

The project is ambitious. Totaling $21 million, the expansion and renovation will include the following:

  • Creation of a “medical mall” on the first floor which will include emergency services, radiology, laboratory, and same-day outpatient surgical procedures which will be supported by three operating rooms and surgery rooms.
  • It will add a second floor to the existing structure which will provide 49 private beds.
  • A nursing care unit which will include an obstetrical unit with private rooms and a comprehensive nursery, all private medical and surgical patient rooms, and a state of the art Intensive Care Nursing Unit.
  • Renovation of the 30 year old facility will allow repairs to the existing structure and realignment of services.

New services added by the project are comprehensive and will allow the hospital to be a regional source for health care. Some of the list of services and features of the massive project include:

  • Seven new ICU/CCU rooms
  • Four labor/delivery/recovery/post partum rooms
  • Expanded and fully equipped nursery
  • Three operating and procedure rooms
  • Dynamically expanded emergency room area that will allow 10 patient care positions
  • Imaging department
  • Expanded specialty clinics
  • Enlarged pharmacy
  • Double the space for the physical/occupational therapy department
  • Three room sleep lab
  • Enlarged dining and serving area
  • Realigned offices and business areas to improve organization and efficiency

The expansion of the hospital will conservatively create at least 35-40 new jobs, according to hospital board chairman Gary Shrum.

The existing hospital is approximately 75,000 square feet and was built in 1975. It is classified as an Acute Care hospital and has 49 beds available.

Shrum commented, “If we were to build the same facility that we currently have today, we would not be licensed by the state because we are 40,000 square foot underfloored. With this expansion, we will be able to offer a number of services that we don’t now have the room to offer.”

The hospital anticipates that the construction will not only bring new health care professionals to the area but will also bring a number of other health-care related jobs and services to the community. By voting to bring the resolution to the Quorum Court and to the community in March 2007, the hospital board wants to place the decision squarely in the hands of local residents.

If the Quorum Court agrees to place the resolution as a referendum for next year’s vote, the project could begin as early as September 2007. The expansion and renovation would take about two years to complete.

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