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Your World Today - December 29, 2011

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The end of this year is fast approaching, and many Missourians will make plans to bring in 2012 in a special way. The Missouri State Highway Patrol encourages everyone to make good decisions regarding their New Year’s celebration. If the weather is bad, allow extra time for traveling or be flexible with your plans. Staying home might be safer. If you do plan to drive to a New Year’s gathering, remember to buckle up and obey all traffic laws. If your plans include alcohol, choose a designated driver. The roadway is no place for a driver who has been drinking. If you cause a traffic crash, your new year might bring getting arrested, court costs, medical bills, or jail time! If you kill or injure someone, you’ll pay a price for the rest of your life. No one wants to begin 2012 in jail. Be smart! Designate a sober driver or take a taxi. During the New Year’s traffic crash counting period from 6:00 pm, Friday, December 30th to 11:59 pm, Monday, January 2, 2012, all available officers will be on the roadways. Last year, 869 traffic crashes occurred in Missouri over the New Year’s holiday weekend. In those crashes five people were killed and 331 were injured. One person was killed or injured every 13.9 minutes.

State Auditor Tom Schweich released the audit of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) monitoring of long-term care facilities and handling of complaint investigations. In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Fair. The DHSS licenses and inspects long-term care facilities and investigates complaints affecting the elderly and disabled.  The Section for Long-term Care Regulation (SLCR) surveys and inspects certain facilities and investigates related complaints.  The Central Registry Unit maintains the Elder Abuse and Neglect Hotline and receives reports of alleged abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of eligible persons. The Bureau of Home and Community Services (HCS) provides services to eligible persons, oversees in-home service providers and investigates abuse complaints. State law requires the SLCR to conduct at least two inspections each year of all licensed facilities. The SLCR staff did not conduct 42 percent of the required interim or "second" inspections. The SCLR surveyors and inspectors did not always perform survey and inspection tasks within required timeframes.  Similar conditions were noted in prior reports. The SLCR staff did not always conduct on-site complaint investigations within the applicable timeframe or comply with the notification procedures or ensure results were promptly entered into the automated system.  Region seven, which encompasses the City of St. Louis and the Counties of St. Charles, St. Louis and Jefferson, is responsible for 32 percent of facility complaints and has historically had difficulty hiring and retaining staff.  These difficulties continue despite being noted in prior audit reports. When the SLCR surveyors and federal surveyors reviewed the same 56 facilities, federal surveyors noted 317 more deficiencies than the SLCR surveyors.  More training may be needed to ensure the SLCR surveyors are properly identifying and citing deficiencies.  Three previous audit reports noted similar issues. Also noted in our prior audit report, the SLCR does not routinely conduct performance evaluations of its surveyors using the Missouri On-Site Survey Evaluation Process, as required by state law. State law requires the SLCR to establish reasonable standards and regulations related to the number and qualifications of nursing facilities staff, but the current Code of State Regulations does not set any objective standard for minimum staffing requirements at nursing facilities. As note in a prior audit report, the SLCR does not adequately verify the information contained in disclosure forms related to licensed Alzheimer special care units/programs as required by state law. The DHSS does not timely process-substantiated complaints of abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property through the DHSS Employee Disqualification Listing (EDL).  During the audited period, from the day a complaint was received, it took the DHSS an average of 507 days for HCS cases and an average of 260 days for SLCR cases to make an EDL placement decision.  Such delays expose facility residents to contact with potentially inappropriate individuals. HCS caseworkers did not always timely investigate complaints, obtain supervisory approval for unmet timeframes, or correctly enter data into the case files and the computerized case management system. To view the complete report, Citizens Summary and audit rating scale, visit: http://auditor.mo.gov/press/2011-115.htm

The DENT COUNTY EXTENSION is sponsoring the Tuesday, January 10th Chamber Members luncheon meeting. This meeting will be held at Southwest Baptist University located at 501 South Grand, beginning at noon.  MU Extension is Missouri’s one-stop source for practical education on almost anything, and local faculty and staff will provide an overview of the programs and services available to Dent County residents.  Programs in business development, nutrition, agriculture, community development, youth, and human environmental sciences will be featured. There is no cost for lunch; but members need to RSVP by Friday, January 6th to chamber@salemmo.com or call 729-6900. 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol has released their arrest report for Monday, December 26th. At 8:25 in the evening, 33-year old Shawn Alterauge of Salem was arrested on a felony Dent County warrant for counterfeiting. He was taken to the Dent County Jail and held on   bond.

Sports [TOP]

The Salem Tiger Boy’s basketball team lost to Rogers, Arkansas Wednesday afternoon, 51-30. Chad Elliot led Salem in scoring with 11 points as they fall to 2-6 on the year. The Tigers will play St. Joe Benton this afternoon at 3:00 and you’ll be able to hear it on KSMO and ksmoradio.com.

Darian Grogan nailed a three pointer at the buzzer to force overtime and the Salem Lady Tigers kept the momentum to take a 72-63 win over Buffalo on Wednesday. Kaitlyn Wells led Salem in scoring with 17 points while Cortney Putman added 15 points. Grogan finished with 11 points and Savannah Hanning scored 10 points as the Lady Tigers move to 1-8 on the year. Salem will play Richland today.

Obituaries   [TOP]

Funeral services for Doris M. Rutledge of Salem, age 99, will be held Thursday at 11:00 at the Salem Christian Church. Visitation will be tonight from 5:00 to 7:00 at the James and Gahr Mortuary in Salem. Interment will be in the Stone Hill Cemetery in Salem. Memorials may be made to the Salem Christian Church.

Memorial services for Erma Louise Webster of Piedmont, SD and formerly of Steelville, age 89, will be held Friday at 5:15 at the Britton Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville. Visitation will be Friday from 4:00 to 5:00 with an Easter Star Service at 5:00. Interment will be in the Jefferson Barracks Cemetery in St. Louis.

Funeral services for Pearl Sites of Cuba formerly of Steelville, age 95, will be held Saturday at 1:00 at the Britton Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville. Visitation will be from 11:00 until time of service. Interment will be in the Steelville Cemetery.  

Weather [TOP]

Today..Mostly sunny, high of 57.
Tonight..Partly cloudy, low of 41.
Friday..Sunny, high of 56.
Friday night..Mostly clear, low of 34.
Saturday..Sunny, high of 57.
Saturday night..Partly cloudy, low of 38.
Sunday..Mostly sunny, high of 49.
Sunday night..Partly cloudy, low of 27.

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