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County hears medical examiner annual report

Fri, Aug 8th, 2014
Posted in All Government

Dr. R. Ross Reichard, Southern Minnesota Regional Medical Examiner, reviewed services provided to Fillmore County in 2013 at the county board’s August 5 meeting. Reichard and his staff investigate “sudden, violent, unexpected, and suspicious deaths” that have been reported to them.

Reichard explained it is their job to determine the manner of death of those deaths reported to the medical examiner’s office. The medical examiner (ME) determines if the death was of a natural cause or the result of a homicide, suicide, or an accident. The ME certifies death after investigation and postmortem examination and then issues the death certificate as required by law.

The regional ME’s office provides services for Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, and Olmsted Counties.

Most deaths reported to the ME do not undergo a complete autopsy. Last year 107 deaths in Fillmore County were reported to the ME, only eight cases required a complete autopsy. Not all deaths are reported to the ME, for example, deaths attended by a physician or a licensed hospice program may not be reported.

Of the 107 reported deaths, 98 were determined to have resulted from natural causes. There was 1 homicide, 2 suicides, 5 accidents, and 1 undetermined. The greatest number of natural deaths are the result of heart disease. A fall lead to the most deaths that resulted from unnatural causes.

Reichard noted that the data was relatively stable with the prior year. Sheriff Daryl Jensen commented that he was very pleased with the services of Dr. Reichard and his staff, adding they had a good relationship. County Attorney Brett Corson said he supported the Sheriff’s statement, noting that Reichard was very helpful on a case he was working on.

Other Business In Brief

•A public hearing was authorized for the purpose of considering adoption of a half cent Local Option Sales Tax. The hearing will be held August 26 at 10 a.m. in the county board room. County Engineer Ron Gregg will review a capital plan of proposed road projects at the hearing.

•The low bid (of two) was accepted from Minnowa Construction in the amount of $399,413 for a Sumner Township bridge replacement. The engineer’s estimate had been $409,419.

•A public hearing was held on the Greenleafton Wastewater Ordinance. There was no comment from the public specifically on the ordinance. The ordinance was adopted. Chairman Duane Bakke said all the grants are now in place. Getting the grants in place delayed the process. It is expected for work to begin this fall and to be completed in the spring.

Sheila Craig, Community Wastewater Facilitator, explained that no bids had been received to do the work. The project will be put out for bids again after some clarification. Craig reported that no homeowners in Greenleafton requested an extension regarding wastewater services. The extension possibility was for property owners with septic systems newer than five years. After the project is completed, the existing systems will have to be decommissioned.

•Sheriff Jensen said the Emergency Management Performance Grant has been issued annually for several years. It requires a 50-50 match and is used for telephone expenses, wages and benefits, and training. The acceptance of the 2014 grant of $21,390 from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety was approved.

•James Hamann was hired as replacement Head Mechanic for the Highway Department effective August 18.

•A request from the city of Rushford to use three of the county’s five Light Towers during a construction project was approved. The county reserved the ability to recall the Light Towers in case of an emergency or to accommodate a request for use by another city.

•The Board of Canvas for the Primary Election will convene on August 15 at 9 a.m. The Board of Canvas for the General Election will convene on November 7 at 9 a.m.

•The county’s Truth in Taxation public hearing will be held in the county board room on December 2 at 6:30 p.m.

•The process of reviewing proposed departmental budgets for 2015 began. This day budget proposals were scrutinized from the following departments: Attorney, Zoning, Surveyor, Assessor, and Economic Development.

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