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New Staff Begin Practice At MCMC

By Joanne Bergman

Two new members have been given temporary privileges as active staff at the Murray  County Medical Center. Sioban Rogers, CNP began practice on May 21 with Jennifer Nelson, DO to begin July 1st.  Dennis Goebel, CEO, states that the search continues for a surgeon and another family practice provider with strong candidates for filling those positions. 

The ambulance service is actively seeking additional Drivers, First Responders, EMT’s and Paramedics. Already short of staff they are aware of three additional resignations this fall. They especially struggle to fill night shifts. 

Approval was given by the medical center board for the purchase of an HIS server to store patient data. This electronic hardware will replace the current system that is near the end of being supported by CPSI. The cost of $103,915 has been in the budget previous years with the purchase delayed by financial concerns. IT specialist, Justin Keller, feels that the purchase can no longer be delayed. 

The new 3D Mammography unit has been busy with an increase to 56 scans over the 22 of the previous month. Swing bed days have remained strong at 145 days over last year. Physical therapy, CT scans, MRI’s and ultrasounds also remain higher than last year’s numbers. Staffing and expenses are being controlled and reduced as much as possible to offset income reduced by contractual amounts being paid by Blue Cross and medicare. However, the cost of the new mammography equipment and a medicare reimbursement pushed expenses for the month of May over 2017’s. The net loss for the year is $533,000. 

The audit performed by the firm of CliftonLarsonAllen was reviewed with the Board and the auditor. A good improvement was shown in 2017 over 2016 as a large payment to PERA in 2016 had impacted  finances. A decrease in the number of days accounts are in receivables was recommended as a way to increase cash on hand. MCMC was compared to similar facilities and was found strong in several areas of finance. 

Murray County Gets New Ballot Tabulators

By Theresa Nysetvold

Murray County Auditor/Treasurer Heidi Winter is excited to introduce an upgrade to the voting experience for voters in every precinct of Murray County.  Ballot Tabulators will be used to count all ballots, resulting in faster election results and an immediate response if a ballot is completed incorrectly.  “We’ve had older tabulator models which have been used in Slayton and Fulda for several years, but now every voting precinct will have a new tabulator machine,” explained Ms. Winter.  “Until now, most precincts collected their ballots in an old metal box and brought them to the courthouse when the polls closed.  It took several hours to count and verify ballots.”  Now voters will insert their completed ballot into the tabulator where it will be counted and verified.  If there are any voting errors, the ballot is kicked out and with the assistance of a judge, the voter will have the opportunity to “spoil” the ballot and begin again.  Ms. Winter said, “Sometimes during a primary when a ballot must be filled out straight partisan people will make mistakes.  The tabulator will ensure all ballots are filled out correctly.”

Murray and Jackson counties are the last two counties in the state to upgrade to the new ballot tabulators.  Ms. Winter stated, “We’ve used a central counting machine for some time, but it was over sixteen years old and the replacement cost was $142,000.  We couldn’t justify that expense.  These new machines are half the cost, and a state grant paid for half of the total expense.  They also align us with the rest of the state.”   

The tabulators will be permanently stored at the courthouse but delivered to each precinct before an election.  Though they are fairly big, Ms. Winter described the ease with which they come apart for transportation. On election night, the machine remains at the polling site while just a flash drive is brought to the auditor’s office for tabulation.  The count of the machine is then matched to the physical count of each ballot.  The first opportunity for all voters to use the machines will be at the primary election on August 14th.  However, for those who would like to participate in a test run, the ballot tabulators will be in place by August 9th.  Watch for more information in this newspaper for times and locations.  After the general election in November, another post election review will take place to again test the accuracy of the tabulators.  Ms. Winter added, “We’ve always had accurate election results, but now we will have accurate results more quickly.”

Flood Soaked Carpets

Murray County has been given permission from the MPCA to allow the demolition landfill to take all flood-soaked carpets and padding until Friday, July 20, 2018.  The landfill will charge at the “demo” price for these materials instead of the standard garbage rates.

The Murray County Demolition Landfill is located at 1080 71st Street, Slayton, Minnesota, 56172 and is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and on the first and third Saturday’s of the month from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

If you have any other debris or waste that has occurred because of this flooding event in Murray County, please talk to your garbage hauler or Jon Bloemendaal at 507-836-8904 to find out ways to properly dispose of the items. 

A link has been placed on the front page of the county website or via direct link:

Notice of 2019 Title III Funding Cycle

The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging is seeking grant applicants for Title III services in southwest Minnesota for the funding period of January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019. Applications will be accepted for Evidence-Based Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Programs.

Detailed information on Title III funding and the application process is available at 

Application deadline is August 3, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Hiller Fjeldberg at 507-387-1256 ext. 105 or

Great Slayton Area Get Together July 12

The Community Band Concert on Thursday July 12 at 7 PM will feature “Colonel Bogey,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Best of James Bond,” and “God Bless America.”  The Murray County Medical Center Relay for Life Team will be serving hot ham & cheese sandwiches, macaroni salad, and assorted bars for $6 per plate.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network encourages lawmakers to make cancer a top priority; almost 50% of the US is covered by smoke free laws.

Bring your lawn chair and come to Gullord Park for an evening meal, enjoy a musical concert, and support a local cause.  What could be a better “Get Together!”

 Thank you to everyone who has attended our concerts this year.  We hope you have enjoyed the music and the community time!

Benefit for Chris Davis Looking for Fundraiser Items

On August 5th at the Hadley Community Center a fundraiser will be held to help raise funds for Chris Davis and his family. Chris recently suffered from a intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed) that happened on Wednesday, June 27th. The road to recovery will be a long one with extensive therapy services in the coming months.

Any items that you would like to donate for the silent auction can either be brought or mailed to Ryan Vos or dropped off at Crop Insurance Specialists in Slayton. Please only drop the donations off in Slayton during business hours. Thank you for all your support!

Ryan Vos 
340 Main St. N.
Hadley MN 56151

Crop Insurance Specialists
2340 26th St. 
Slayton MN 56172


Garden Tour In Currie/Tracy/Walnut Grove Area On July 12

By David Bau, Murray County Master Gardener

SLAYTON, Minn 6/27/2018 -- Murray County Master Gardeners are hosting a Summer Garden Tour in the Currie/Tracy/Walnut Grove area on Thursday, July 12, 2018 from 3:30 to 8:00 p.m.   A rain date has been set for July 13; listen to KJOE Radio 106.1 FM for postponement announcements.

Tickets and tour guides/maps are available in advance from First National and Minnwest Bank in Slayton, Murray County Master Gardeners, and University of Minnesota Extension- Murray County Office.  Murray County Master Gardeners are David Bau, Gaylene Chapman, Colleen Gengler, Mona Henkels, Betty Kassel, Matthew Meier, Marilyn Moger, Jan Scherbart, Kathy Schwartz, and Patty White.  

The guide (which includes a Google map) is also online at   Tickets are $5 and can also be purchased at any of the garden sites during the tour on July 12.  Proceeds will go towards community garden projects.  Transportation is on your own; you may start the tour at any of the host sites.  Refreshments provided by the Master Gardeners will be served at Tina & Bill Richards’ home.

If you have questions regarding the tour, contact the Extension Office at 507-836-6927. 

Tour hosts, addresses, and short descriptions follow:  

Jesse James, 71 Deerpath Road, Tracy – This historic site on Bloody Lake is home to several 100+ year-old buildings.   Jesse’s love of gardening started in grade school with a packet of marigold seeds from his mother.  He has created destinations and “rooms” and describes his style as “bordering on chaotic.”

Terry & Janet James, 72 Deerpath Road, Tracy – Terry and Janet share the homesite on Deerpath Road with Jesse, but have separate gardens they call their own.  Janet has hauled home tons of rocks during their travels.  Terry and Janet enjoy flea markets and auctions, using their finds throughout the garden.

Howard & Judy Hamilton, 1729 260th Ave, Currie – Rocks collected from several states are part of the landscape at this home.  Low-maintanance is goal of this gardener.  Their flower gardens are protected to keep out the abundant deer population. 

Sharon & Randy Hohler, 1964 230th Ave, Tracy – Sharon describes her gardens as unique and not perfect.  She owns Homeless Treasures where she sells odd, unique and unusual garden décor ideas.  If you enjoy non-traditional gardens, you’ll enjoy your visit to their farm.

Dale, Angie & Danny De Smith, 2043 290th Ave, Walnut Grove – Dedwood Hollow is the name they have given their family grove.  Wander through the trails and escape from reality for awhile.  Danny has gained plant knowledge as part of the FFA Nursery Landscape team at his high school.

Tina & Bill Richards, 2815 231st St, Walnut Grove (Holly Township) –  Tina and Bill currently rent 15 acres of their farm to Hmong families for garden plots.  You may see some uncommon plants in these gardens.