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Polk County News - Breakout

Best of Polk County Readers’ Choice Awards to kick off soon

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2023BestOfPolkCountyFrom Enterprise Staff

The Polk County Enterprise will soon kick off the nomination process for its 2023 Best of Polk County Readers’ Choice Awards – an opportunity to recognize local businesses, professionals and non-profits. This fourth year of the annual contest brings changes, with all voting being conducted online and no paper ballots accepted. Voters will be able to participate by going to the website easttexasnews.com and registering, which only involves using an email address.

The 2023 Best of Polk County Readers’ Choice Awards will occur in three distinct phases this year. The first phase, which is the nomination process, kicks off Sept. 1 and will end Sept. 30. Individuals may nominate their favorite local businesses up to once a day per email address. This month-long nomination process will determine the finalists who will be eligible for best of Polk County.

The top eight selections in each category will enter the second phase which will run from Oct. 1-31. During this time voters will have the opportunity to select their favorite among the top eight in each category and will be allowed to vote up to once a day per email address.

The third phase is the culmination of the annual readers’ choice awards when the winners of each category are recognized in a special section that will be included in the Dec. 3 issue of the Polk County Enterprise.

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Council to view preliminary budget for upcoming fiscal year

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City of Livingston logoThe preliminary budget for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 will be presented to the Livingston City Council during its regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. A public hearing on the budget will be called and set for Sept. 12.

A public hearing regarding the City of Livingston’s Texas Municipal Retirement System retirement eligibility and vesting is on Tuesday’s agenda. Council will discuss and consider possible action on a proposed ordinance regarding the retirement eligibility and vesting.

A proposed ordinance amending Article II of Chapter 34 (Solid Waste) of the Code of Ordinances will be discussed and considered for possible action.

Additionally, Council will discuss and consider possible action on a proposed resolution supporting the adoption and approval of the Texas Opioid Abatement Fund Council and Settlement Allocation Term Sheet and designate the city manager as the authorized signatory.

Council is slated to enter into an executive session to consult with the city attorney. Any action, however, will be taken upon return to open session.

City Manager Bill S. Wiggins will update Council on projects and events.

Other items on the agenda include approval of the accounts over $500 and minutes of the July 11 regular meeting.

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Goodrich meeting postponed

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City of GoodrichThe Goodrich City Council was not able to hold their regular meeting Thursday, instead pushing the Gathering to next week. The council did not have enough members present to form a quorum.

Alderman Richard booth suffered a stroke a few months ago and is now in hospice care in Arkansas. Alderman Mary Orozco recently had surgery that has left her paralyzed from the neck down. 

The council will reschedule their regular meeting for August. The date selected is for 6 p.m. Tuesday in Goodrich City Hall.

Goodrich Mayor Kelly Nelson told the Enterprise that the Goodrich Fire Department is hoping to plan a fun day for the community in October

“The week of Oct. 14 is fire prevention week,” the mayor explained. “The fire department wants to have it at city hall in front of the fire trucks. They want to have the sheriff’s department come and do fingerprinting with the kids to give them ID cards. They are going to have Smokey the Bear for pictures, and it is a fundraiser for the fire department. They are going to have barbecue sandwiches (for sale) and stuff like that. I think they’re going to have a couple of other people there as well.”

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Local hospital receives 5-stars

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From Enterprise Staff

St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Livingston has earned a 5-star Quality Rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The 5-star is a symbol of quality that reflects the hospital’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.

The certification is based on safety of care, mortality, patient experience, readmission rates and timely and effective care. St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Livingston is one in only 483 hospitals across the nation and one in just 35 in the state of Texas to receive this rating by CMS.

“I am honored and incredibly proud of the staff and physicians for their commitment to the overall health and wellbeing of our patients and our community,” Kristi Froese, VP of Operations, Administration, St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Livingston, said. “The data reflects our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional health care while ensuring the wellbeing of our patients and community.”

“It is important that when a patient comes through our doors at St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Livingston, they trust us to provide the most caring, dedicated clinical knowledge available to us,” Froese said. “Our entire team of providers and staff are committed to a culture of safety and transparency which has brought us to this remarkable achievement.”

The overall rating by CMS is based on how well the hospital performs nationally in 46 hospital quality measures. These are divided into five quality categories: safety of care, mortality, patient experience, readmission rates and timely and effective care. All of those areas are related to the CommonSpirit Core Values and areas on which the hospital focuses daily.

“It takes a lot of teamwork to achieve this level of performance and success,” Monte Bostwick, Market President, St. Luke’s Health-Memorial (East Texas), said. “I am very proud of our staff and our dedicated physicians who work diligently daily to serve this community and of the residents who trust us for their care.”

With this recognition St. Luke’s Health-Memorial Livingston is in the top 8% of hospitals in the nation.

“We encourage and empower our staff to speak up should they see something that could lead to patient harm or poor outcomes,” Froese said. “We believe that our processes and quality of care are better by recognizing there is always room for improvement, and we look for those opportunities daily. Our entire team working together made this happen and it will take that continued dedication to preserving our commitment to highest quality, safe, reliable health care, right here at home.”

For more information, visit https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/rankings-and-ratings/483-hospitals-with-5-stars-from-cms.html

St. Luke’s Health-Memorial, part of a national nonprofit health system, provides more than a quarter of a million patient services and millions of dollars in local charity care and community support each year. With hospitals in Lufkin, Livingston and San Augustine, Memorial offers comprehensive, quality health care, including an off-campus emergency center and outpatient facilities and services. To learn more, visit heartandstrokecenter.org.

CommonSpirit Health is committed to building healthier communities, advocating for those who are poor and vulnerable, and innovating how and where healing can happen – both inside the hospitals and out in the community. CommonSpirit was created by the alignment of Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health as a single ministry in early 2019. Its commitment to serve the common good is delivered through the dedicated work of thousands of physicians, advanced practice clinicians, nurses, and staff; through clinical excellence delivered across a system of hospitals and other care centers covering 21 states, and accessible to nearly one in four U.S. residents; and through more than $4 billion annually in charity care, community benefits, and government program services.

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Council proposes tax rate

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Onalaska logoFrom Enterprise Staff

The Onalaska City Council approved a proposed tax rate for publication of 0.2410 per $100 value during a special called meeting Aug. 7. A public hearing on the proposed tax rate is slated for 5:15 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Onalaska City Hall.

Several personnel action requests were on the agenda for the Aug. 8 regular meeting. Council accepted the resignations of Officer Koriell Campbell and Court Clerk Tammy Seader and approved the appointment of Macey George as court clerk.

Council heard departmental reports on the police department, fire department, fire marshal/building inspector and library representative.

The police department drove 4318.7 miles during the month of July, worked 25 cases, served 23 city warrants and did 14 follow-ups. They conducted 589 subdivision checks, 118 business checks and responded to 362 calls, resulting in 25 arrests, 125 warnings and 159 citations. They assisted other law enforcement agencies 29 times and the fire department/EMS 15 times.

The fire department responded to 37 calls in the city and 24 calls in the county, clocking a total of 311 man-hours during the month of July. They provided mutual aid three times, responded to 21 medical calls, four structure fires, 20 grass fires, three motor vehicle accidents, four lake rescues, five assistance calls and eight landing zones.

The fire marshal/building inspector conducted three fire investigations during the month of July, two of which were burn ban violations. A fire in Impala Woods was a structure fire that was ruled accidental in nature due to an electrical malfunction at the electrical connection for the sewer grinder pump.

The library reported total current patrons at 1,812 and total holdings records at 15,525. The library was open 20 days during the month of July and serviced 965 patrons. A total of $841.65 was brought in and 35.8 volunteer hours were worked.

Other business included approval of the minutes, vouchers and financial reports.


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