December 18, 2014

Little Beginnings children answer the question, 'What makes Santa's reindeer fly?'

Emma Schuchard: A special button on Santa's sleigh he pushes on and off.
Evelyn Cox: The deer harness makes the reindeer fly. It's silver and goldish.
Nyah Hoche: The magic reindeer food that Santa feeds them. The reindeer say, "Yummy, yummy!"
Allison Schuchard: The chicken food Santa gives the reindeer.
Lyla Rautiola: The reindeer eat grass and then they fly like a bird. They wove them legs.
Melody Nelson: The red things Santa puts around the necks of the reindeer. Then they eat special carrots.
Lilionna Raati: Santa gives them flaps to fly with and they eat blue grass.
Jordan Herdman: They eat carrots and run off the roofs to fly.
Vinny Pascuzzi: Santa owns a magic star and that is what makes them fly.
Carter Rothleutner: They have magic buckle on them harnesses. They stay on forever.
Olivia Baumgartner: When Santa pulls the ropes and says, "Ya, ya!"
Asher Fox: They put their legs forward and then back. Santa has to say, "Yes!"
Evalyn Thiel: I think it's pixie dust and their hooves come off the ground and they eat special reindeer feed. Oh, they have biscuits too.
Nick Stark: Santa has to tell them to fly and feeds them carrots. I like Rudolf the best.
Jack Hampson: It is a yellow magic star that's by the sleigh and it's a Christmas Star. It makes the reindeer fly by looking at it so they fly.
Lauren Hampson: The coats they wear and the food from Santa. It is chocolate.
Jackson Pliml: Rudolf pulls them. They fly then.
Braxton Rothleutner: Santa has magic jingle bells. He puts them on the reindeer and tells them, "Fly!"
Miles Raukar: They have to be in front of Santa's sleigh. They use their legs to fly and only if Santa sings the Rudolf Song.

Cook Hospital and Nursing Home receives Patient Safety Award

The Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) has recognized the Cook Hospital and Nursing Home for its commitment to patient safety by participating in the three-year Partnership for Patients Hospital Engagement Network initiative.
MHA members collectively improved safety across the board by 37 percent, prevented 12,000 patients from being harmed, and saved over $93 million with 115 hospitals actively addressing the following:
10 Hospital Acquired Conditions:
· Pressure Ulcers
· Falls
· Obstetrical Adverse Events
· Venous Thromboembolism
· Adverse Drug Events
· Surgical Site Infections
· Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections
· Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia
· Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections, AND
· Re-admissions
With over 3,700 hospitals, Partnership for Patients was the largest national patient safety and quality improvement initiative. It was a fast paced improvement initiative with significant data submission requests. The goal of 60-80 percent of hospitals consistently reporting each quarter was surpassed because of all the teams' dedication and hard work. This data reporting has been so valuable to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement, both at the local and statewide level.

St. Louis County Board approves 2015 budget

The St. Louis County Board has approved its 2015 budget in the amount of $338,112,831. The budget reflects the County's continued commitment to a fair and balanced budget that provides a high level of service while being sensitive to the impact of budget decisions on taxpayers.

While the budget reflects a 2.9 percent increase in the property tax levy, new construction and an overall increase in the property tax base will largely offset the impact to taxpayers.

The levy increase reflects continued commitment to funding debt service for investments made for renovations to the Government Services Center in Duluth and the Northeast Regional Corrections Center (NERCC). The levy also includes increased investment in public safety, and continued investment in road and bridge safety and human services programming.

The budget positions the county for the future through strategic investments in public safety, continued efforts to reduce the county's reliance on state aids, and permanently funds the Community Sanctions, Intensive Pre-Trial Release and expanded Female Offender programs. Absorbed within the budget are the increased costs of doing business due to inflation and employee salaries.

"The hardest thing to do is tell people I need more money from you," said Commissioner Keith Nelson, who chairs the finance committee. "This budget is a responsible one, and reflects an efficient government that people can be proud of and an environment where families can feel safe. Having addressed unique challenges this year, we will continue to look at ways to lessen impacts to taxpayers in the future."

The County Board approved the 2015 budget during its final meeting of the year, which was held in Morse Township. The vote was 6-1 (Dahlberg opposed).

The 2015 budget, along with the budgets from the previous 10 years, can be reviewed in depth at


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