Archives for February 2015

Commissioenrs Eye Demolishing Old Hospital

The thing about an old hosital is, you can’t use it for a whole lot of anything else. Allen County commissioners briefly discussed what may become of the older Allen County Hospital this week, after asking County Counselor Alan Weber last week to obtain bids for razing the structure.

The commission is interested in pressing in that direction. The Register reports a handful of developers have looked at the structure with no results. Commissioner Jerry Daniels says there is a possibility removal of the 60-year-old building might be done in some degree for reclamation rights, which could significantly reduce cost of its removal. He said a clean site might be more encouraging for development, being adjacent to U.S. 54.

ACRH CEO Ron Baker to Retire

The CEO of Allen County Regional Hospital is retiring. Ron Baker, who is completing his 37th year in healthcare, will retire effective this Spring or early Summer, at a time that will ensure a smooth transition.

Allen County Regional Hospital, the community’s premier healthcare resource, has a management agreement with HCA Midwest Health—the region’s leading healthcare provider—allowing access to HCA’s robust network of resources, while remaining locally owned.

Baker, who has more than 15 years experience in the start-up and operation of rural healthcare facilities, including Critical Access Hospitals, has led Allen County Regional Hospital since 2012, including the opening of the new facility in Fall 2013.

The Allen County Regional Hospital Board will commence a search for Baker’s replacement.

Chanute Football Coach to Take Over Spring Hill Program

A 17-year football coach who has served two southeast Kansas schools will lead the will head the Spring Hill High School football team next year. As head coach, Jason Feeback is tasked with continuing to grow the school’s program, including encouraging participation, overseeing the weights and conditioning program, and also building community support for the football program. Feeback was previously the head coach for the Chanute High School football program. Prior to his position as Chanute’s head coach, he was an assistant football coach and offensive line coach for the program. He also gained coaching experience at Humboldt High School and other places.

Five Hurt in Humboldt-Area Crash

A crash yesterday afternoon south of Humboldt sent
people to the hospital. Highway Patrol troopers say 55-year old Carl Taylor of Humboldt was northbound on 1200th Street two miles south of Humboldt in a 1995 Ford minivan about 3pm yesterday when he rear-ended a Monte Carlo driven by 63-year old Gary Ludlum of Moran. Both vehicles rolled and ended up in the east ditch.

Taylor was taken by ambulance to Allen County Regional Hospital and later airlifted to Wichita. All four occupants of the Ludlum vehicle were listed with injures, but troopers did not indicate what facility they were transported to. The two young children were both in car safety seats at the time of the crash.

Bridge Replacement to Close US 54 in Woodson County

Bridge replacement work just east of Yates Center will close highway 54 for the next seven months. A KDOT contractor will start the 4.2 million dollar project Monday. The bridge is over the Union Pacific Railroad 1½ miles east of Yates Center. KDOT will replace the existing bridge with a weathered steel span bridge, and raise the grade of the bridge and approach ramps.

The highway will be closed from Monday through mid-October, barring weather delays. The marked detour route for eastbound traffic is south out of Yates Center on US-75, east on K-39 to Chanutre, and back north on Highway 169 to Iola. Westbound traffic: same thing, only in reverse order.

NMRMC to Issue Bonds, Build Surgery Center

Neosho county leaders have agreed to issue bonds to build a surgery center. The current operating rooms are half the size they should be, says NMRMC CEO Dennis Franks, and are designed for longer inpatient surgeries rather than today’s more-common outpatient surgery. The Hospital’s Board of Trustees had already approved the $12.25 million hospital revenue bonds issue, and Franks asked and received county commissioners’ blessing Friday.

Old Church Building in Iola to House New Church

An Iola building that has been used for several churches will be the home to a new one starting next Sunday. And the pastor is one who has spent quite a bit of time in Iola. Rev. Waylon Ingle finished an eight year pastorate in Bourbon county yesterday; he was pastor of Iola’s First Baptist Church for over 12 years before that. The new church, Bible Fellowship, will be affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and services will be Sunday at 10:30am. Their building is at 329 South First.

Test Story

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Car Crashes into Yates Center House

Highway patrol troopers say a Yates Center man drove his 1983 Oldsmobile into a home on West Mary Street yesterday. An online report does not indicate why 46-year old Virgil Seay crashed, but he left the street on the north side, striking a block building and then the home at 709 W Mary. He suffered minor injuries and was taken to Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center to be examined.

Gates Iola to Expand

Good economic news for Iola and the region. Gates Corporation announced yesterday it will expand its Iola manufacturing facility to accommodate its new line of oil & gas hose products. The 82,000 square foot expansion will increase the size of the company’s existing plant that manufactures high-quality hydraulic and other industrial hose products to over 500,000 square feet.

Construction is expected to begin this summer and will take about 18 months to complete including equipment installation and testing. In operation since 1975, the Gates Iola plant currently employs over 650 people in its manufacturing and distribution operations and is currently accepting applications for employment.