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SSISD lowers tax rate slightly; gives staff pay raise PDF Print E-mail
Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 13:28

While Sulphur Springs Independent School District’s tax rate will be one cent less per $100 property value  during the 2014-15 fiscal school year, appraisal rates throughout the district are up, which should not only balance out revenues but generate a little bit of surplus.

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HCMH increasing tax rate by a few cents PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kerry Craig   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 13:07

Hopkins County Memorial Hospital District Board of Directors Monday evening gave approval to the hospital's budget for the upcoming financial year and also initially approved setting the tax rate at 25 cents per $100 property valuation, up from the current rate of 21.37 cents.
    The budget, as approved, calls for a $2,486,985 deficit for fiscal year 2014-1015.
    In explaining the almost $2.5 million deficit budget, hospital Administrator and Chief Executive Officer Michael McAndrew said the hospital is seeing downward pressure on reimbursements from insurance companies and payors who are moving toward a “blended” Medicare/Medicaid rate.
    He said that while payments for services is in a decline, expenses continue to grow and cited the costs of drugs, labor, medical equipment, clinical supplies and healthcare for hospital employees.
    “Medicaid has completely revamped the way it pays supplements to providers. This has resulted in decreased reimbursement,” McAndrew said. “Texas did not expand Medicaid, which would have improved both access and reimbursement significantly.”
    The hospital CEO also said that more than 70 percent of the hospital's business can be attributed to Medicare and Medicaid patients and that reimbursements from both simply do not cover costs associated with the care given.
    Still another factor McAndrew pointed to was the continuing increases in the costs of medical technology and equipment.
    The Affordable Care Act, which has been referred to as Obamacare, has high-deductible plans which lead to increased bad debt for the hospital.
    The hospital board approved public hearings on the proposed tax rate increase for Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, with the final vote of the board slated for Sept. 22.

 
Austin Lounge Lizards return to Mount Vernon Music Gala Saturday, Sept. 6 PDF Print E-mail
Written by From Staff Reports   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:19

MOUNT VERNON – The Austin Lounge Lizards, “the most laughable band in America,” will have people rocking and rolling with laughter at Mount Vernon Music's annual Gala on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at 402 Leftwich St.

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Ferguson schools reopen, offer calm amid chaos PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 August 2014 14:31

 

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Schools in Ferguson welcomed back students from their summer breaks on Monday, providing the children with a much-needed break from the raucous street protests and police patrols that have gripped the St. Louis suburb since a white officer killed an unarmed black man more than two weeks ago.

Classes in the Ferguson-Florissant School District were scheduled to begin Aug. 14, five days after Michael Brown's shooting death. But subsequent demonstrations marred by frequent clashes between police and demonstrators led to several delays in the start date. The district serves about 11,000 students from the two northern St. Louis County communities.

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Local man arrested after leading chase to Brashear PDF Print E-mail
Written by By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor   
Monday, 25 August 2014 13:03

A Sulphur Springs man was jailed Sunday morning on two felony charges following a vehicle chase from Sulphur Springs along the interstate to Brashear.

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Hopkins County Genealogical Society and Historical Society plan joint meeting Aug. 28 PDF Print E-mail
Written by From Staff Reports   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 11:22

    During the annual combined meeting of the Hopkins County Genealogical Society and the Hopkins County Historical Society, retired Travis Elementary kindergarten teacher Lavyn Sisco will present her annual first-person narrative.

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'Modern Family,' Brian Cranston aim at Emmy record PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 August 2014 14:33

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Like baseball, the Emmy Awards are a game of statistics: Long-running shows are able to pile up TV's top awards and new records year after year.

The 66th prime-time Emmys, airing at 8 p.m. EDT Monday on NBC with host Seth Meyers, are full of such possibilities, including a fifth best comedy series trophy for "Modern Family" that would tie it with all-time sitcom champ "Frasier."

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Man charged in Texas police chief's slaying PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 August 2014 14:26

 

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A sheriff's spokeswoman says a 24-year-old man has been charged in the shooting death of a small-town Texas police chief.

Rosanne Hughes with the Bexar County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that Joshua Manuel Lopez faces a charge of capital murder of a police officer in the killing of Elmendorf Police Chief Michael Pimentel.

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Surprise jail inspection prompted by medical complaint PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kerry Craig   
Monday, 25 August 2014 13:05

Just as construction was getting started on a new Hopkins County jail to resolve a number of issues with the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the commission made a surprise visit to current facility Thursday, according to County Judge Robert Newsom.
    The visit was prompted by a complaint the jail standards commission had received about the jail.
    “The complaint was based on some of the medical challenges that we are having down there at the jail,” the judge said. “We jumped right on it. We visited with medical personnel [Friday] and they are going to be sure our prisoners are taken care of.”
    Medical care and services at the jail are provided through a contract with Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, either in the hospital emergency room or at the jail, which Judge Newsom said was much less expensive.
    “We count on them to actually make sure that the inmates are taken care of,” he said. “It's just part of our responsibility.”
     The jail commission's annual visit is scheduled for next month and Newsom said he was told if the situation were remedied, the issue would be resolved.
    The jail standards commission has been a frequent visitor at the county jail for a number of years and has worked with the county in a variety of ways to try and resolve problems, specifically overcrowding, as well as issues related to a number of issues involving jail equipment and structural concerns.
    Although the current jail has the capacity to house as many as 100 prisoners, an increasing number of female offenders has exceeded the capacity to house women.
    At a rate of about $50 per day, the county is housing prisoners in neighboring counties to stay within population parameters.
    Construction on the $16 million jail that will house as many as 200 inmates started last week and completion and the transfer of prisoners to the new facility is expected in October of next year.

 
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