Vol. 143 , No. 8
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Peabody, KS 66866
UPDATED AFTER PRINT DEADLINE
Call for EMS reinstatement leads to allegations of wrongdoing
Randy Dallke asked fellow commissioners Monday to reinstate fired paramedic Larry Larsen, to which outgoing EMS director Brandy McCarty responded with allegations of patient endangerment and sexual harassment. Dallke presented a “Statement of Commitment” by Larsen, outlining 10 things Larsen would do to “be the best I can be both personally and professionally.”
Larsen reinstatement transcript
COMMENTARY: Letting citizens decide for themselves
This newspaper faced a difficult decision in deciding how to report Monday’s county commission meeting, which after a call to reinstate a fired paramedic devolved into a torrent of allegations against him. Since the seemingly abrupt firing 16 months ago of ambulance director Steve Smith, controversy has surrounded the department. The director’s position was downgraded, the physician who initially served as medical director resigned, Tampa’s ambulance crew was forced to select a new chief, complaints were lodged with state regulators, the Peabody crew chief was fired, and the director who replaced Smith abruptly resigned.
McCarty resigns as EMS director
County EMS director Brandy McCarty resigned Monday, following a 35-minute executive session with commissioners that included attorney Susan Robson, medical director Don Hodson, and EMS advisory board chairman Gene Winkler. “She felt that if we’re going to go forward that it’s time for new leadership and we need to take a different approach to how we’re going to do it,” Chairman Dan Holub said in accepting McCarty’s resignation.
County considers EMS changes
Emergency Medical Services advisory board members sent a clear message to commissioners at a joint meeting Nov. 10 to discuss revisions to the EMS director job description: Hire an experienced paramedic, and don’t settle for less. Last year, commissioners compromised on established certification and experience requirements when they hired Brandy McCarty, a two-year EMT who had completed AEMT coursework but was not yet certified. Salary expectations for more-qualified candidates were beyond what commissioners were willing to pay.
Boy to take part in Governor's pheasant hunt
Jack Parks, an 8th-grader at Peabody-Burns Middle School, has been selected as one of two youth hunters to participate in the Kansas Governor’s Ringneck Classic in Goodland this week. Jack, 13, is an avid hunter, his mother, Stacey Parks, said.
Community Thanksgiving dinner a labor of love
Luba Holm-Brinkman plans an annual event that brings out about 300 people. When they arrive, she serves them Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. She charges nothing and welcomes all. This year the dinner will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Brown Building lunchroom at Peabody-Burns High School. “At the first dinner, people thought it was a meal for people in need,” she said. “But that is not my reason to do this. This is for all of us as a community. We should come together and experience our fellowship with one another.”
Indian Guide Apartments is drop-off for food bank donations
Indian Guide site director Ruth Lott has announced that Weigand-Omega Management, Inc., which manages the Peabody property, will sponsor a food drive at its properties during the month of November. “Cupboards of Care” is the fall community-service campaign developed by Weigand-Omega as part of its new corporate giving program, My Neighbor’s Keeper. Weigand-Omega plans to support various service campaigns in communities like Peabody where they manage residential and commercial properties.
Robson takes help over $6,000 raise
County attorney Susan Robson decided she needed help more than a $6,000 raise, and commissioners Monday agreed to her request to divert the money to be used for hiring an assistant attorney. “The way it is now, I don’t have anybody who can help me cover,” Robson said. “While a raise is nice and appreciated, having help would be even more appreciated.”
Fight for baseball team in full swing
The saying “speak softly and carry a big stick” was changed at Monday’s Peabody-Burns school board meeting to “speak softly and carry a baseball bat.” Around 35 people were in attendance at the board meeting to continue the fight for a high school baseball team, with half of the crowd being students.
Hillsboro native Willis Duerksen, 81, died Nov. 9 at Newton. He was born April 5, 1934, to C.R. and Martha (Funk) Duerksen in Hillsboro.
Francis L. “Franny” Meirowsky, 78, died Nov. 11, at his residence. Services will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Holy Family Parish in Florence, the Rosary was to be at 7 p.m. Monday, and the Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Ira I. Penner, 94, Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held today at Valley United Methodist Church, with private inurnment in the Marion Cemetery.
Geneva Stacy, 86, died Nov. 13 at Salem Home in Hillsboro. Family will have services at a later date.
Genevieve M. Stefan, 88, died Nov. 7 at St. Luke Living Center in Marion. She was born Aug. 19, 1927, to Bernard and Mary (Wildeman) Zimmerman in Park. She married Marcus R. Stefan on Feb. 6, 1950, in Grinnell. She was a mother and homemaker for her husband and 10 children.
In need of rescue
As much as anything, last week’s county commission and EMS advisory board summit laid bare the folly of trying to make do with less. For an ambulance system subject to dreadfully complex regulations, knocked off balance by the firing of its director, beset by internal squabbles, and short-staffed, commissioners turned not to a seasoned EMS professional, but to a relatively inexperienced EMT who lacked many of the minimum requirements spelled out in the job description.
Days of Yore
Employees at Legacy Park collected canned goods during November and donated them to Peabody Ministerial Alliance for holiday food baskets. Joshua and Jacob Marshall at Peabody Print Museum are presenting a “make your own vintage Christmas card” workshop from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at the print museum.
Colletts hold annual family reunion
The annual Collett reunion was Oct. 11 at the Marion County Lake Hall. Over 70 family members were present for the potluck dinner and auction. Several items were sold by auctioneer Keith Collett, including Ethel Collett’s wedding dress, coffee cups, and Henry Collett’s horseshoe set. Colleen Garmon served as president and Mary Collett as secretary and treasurer.
Peabody-Burns honor roll
Seniors hear of Indiana trip
Rogers visits friends
A retired pastor's wife reflects on a life of ministry
Rosella Martin of Hillsboro didn’t know what she was getting into when she prayed as a teenager to marry a preacher. She felt it was a calling, but the 58 years of ministry she had while married to Pastor Loyal Martin were definitely on-the-job training. “Pastors have their job descriptions, but their wives have to discover their niches,” she said, “and maybe it’s different at each place.”
Facilities aim for PEAK performance for residents
“Cuddles” isn’t just a bunny that lives at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro; she’s an unofficial poster rabbit for a growing trend aimed at transforming the way nursing homes care for their residents: person-centered care. Parkside has a pet rabbit because residents asked for one. That’s all director Gretchen Wagner and her staff needed to make it happen.
Calendar of events
County senior citizens to meet
Senior Citizens of Marion County will meet at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Lincolnville Community Center. Mill/Levy requests, SCMC officers for 2016, and reports from different groups are on the agenda.
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