Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 7, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
4A Thf Cedar Rapids Gazette: Thors., Nev. 7, 1974
Problems at VA Hospitals:
Iowa Less Than Others
By Gordon Jackson
DES MOINES (UPI) -Directors of the three Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals in Iowa said that although they encounter financial problems when recruiting qualified medical personnel, they generally have adequate space, facilities and staff at their institutions.
The three VA hospitals in Iowa are at Knoxville, Iowa City and Des Moines. They serve military veterans from across Iowa and also some former servicemen from adjacent states.
However, directors of the three facilities said the hospitals do not feel the severe money pinch which national VA officials say is affecting many of the United States* 171 VA hospitals.
A national VA report issued recently said many of the federal government-operated hospitals have critical staff and space shortages which reduce the VA’s ability to offer medical care, especially emergency treatment of veterans.
In its report, the VA asked congress for a $428 million increase in funding over the next two years to improve medical care at the hospitals.
But the Iowa VA hospital directors — Fred Brown at Iowa City, Donald Munson at Des Moines and acting Director Charles Scully at Knoxville — were quick to note their facilities generally have enough space for patients and generally are seldom called upon to offer emergency care to veterans.
They did, however, say it is sometimes difficult to recruit physicians and nurses with funds available for salaries
“The overall situation in Iowa isn t particularly grim,” Scully said “We have the ever-present problem of recruiting qualified psychologists at Knoxville but * we’re pretty competitive in
most instances but with inflation. money can be a factor.” The VA hospitals in Des Moines and Iowa City are designated as general medical care facilities, while Knoxville is a neuro psychiatric unit The three hospitals have a general
operating budget of about $44 million this year.
Scully said space is adequate at the Knoxville hospital and said psychiatric care offered at the facility compares favorably with similar care provided at private and state institutions in Iowa
“I would say we are giving care that is as good or better than anywhere in the state,” Scully said.
However, Brown said space shortages are a “problem” at the Iowa City hospital, not in the area of beds but for research, education and clinical support activities. But, he noted, the hospital is slated to have a new addition by 19#t) which should help alleviate the cramped situation.
“We are not short of beds at all. but we have a large
research and education function,” Brown said, “For example, we have 900 students who are here as part of their clinical experience to obtain a degree in the health care field, and our facility was not designed to carry that type of load.”
Brown said the $36,000 salary ceiling imposed by congress on full-time doctors at VA hospitals has caused “some real problems as far as recruitment” but said overall the Iowa City hospital has a healthy staffing ratio for its patients.
Medical ( are
Assured if medical care of veterans was jeopardized at his hospital because of a money shortage, Brown replied, “No, the veteran here as in all VA hospitals is getting good care.”
Munson agreed that the
$36,000 ceiling is too low because it doesn’t always allow VA hospitals to compete with private institutions for skilled doctors. However, he said generally VA hospitals have enough money in their budget if they can only “find” scarce specialists.
Like Brown, Munson said the Des Moines hospital has enough beds but needs more space for education, training and research activities. He said his staff has submitted requests for three additions to the Des Moines facility but said so far none of them have been programmed for construction
“We have enough beds but as we get into expanded training fields, we are running out of space,” Munson said “There is so much new medical equipment coming and new programs; each thing we add means we are more restricted for space. ”
Court Appeal Bargain; Except for Legal FeesNurses Protected Following Stabbing
(’HARLES ( ITV (I Pl) -Women working the night shift at Floyd County hospital here are being given extra police protection following the stabbing death of a nurse.
The stabbing victim, Luis Marie Jacobs, 21. was found in her apartment Tuesday afternoon. An autopsy revealed she died of multiple stab wounds in the chest.
The murder weapon was a kitchen knife It was recovered at the scene.
Police have made no arrests in the tasc and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting local authorities.
Police Chief John Gordon said officers are being dispatched to the hospital parking lot when the nurses get off at night as an extra precaution. Hospital officials said several of the 40 nurses became fearful following Miss Jacobs’ death.
Gordon, however, said he believes the death was an isolated case and there is no cause for alarm.
City Attempt to Dismiss Shop Center Suit Denied
DECORAH — Developers seeking to establish a $5 million shopping center in Decorah gained ground this week
Judge Frank Elwood of Cresco filed a ruling with the clerk of court here denying the city’s petition to dismiss the $100,000 suit brought by Ross K. Peterson, Minneapolis.
Judge Elwood also overruled the city’s motion to have numerous portions of the defendant’s petition stricken from the record.
The ruling did sustain the city’s motion objecting to the plaintiff’s claim that the shopping center would be a kind of industrial use.
Opponents of the shopping center had argued the land owned by Peterson was suited to industrial development and should be retained for that.
Decorah was named defendant in the $100 (MMI suit June 18. The suit was filed in district court here by Peterson’s attorney.
Peterson seeks a judgment of $100,000 and costs from the city for alleged damages resulting from what he describes as “arbitrary, unreasonable, discriminatory and capricious actions.”
The suit stems from the refusal of the Decorah city council and the Decorah planning and zoning commission to rezone 23 acres owned by Peterson for shopping center development.
In the petition. Peterson lists seven reasons for challenging the council’s failure to approve
By < harles Roberts
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -Iowans who believe justice has dealt them an unfair hand must come up with an average of $1,500 to bring their case to the Iowa supreme court, the state's top jurist estimates.
But the high court gets virtually none of the money.
Phyllis Garton and Millie Matijevich, clerks in the supreme court office, explain that to docket an appeal from a lower court decision — put it on the list of cases to be heard — costs $3
When the case is decided, closing costs are $2 75.
The total of $5.75 makes a hi^h court appeal one of the biggest judicial bargains in the state, except for other fees, says Chief Justice C. Edwin Moore.
The rest of the $1,500 is for lawyers’ fees and the cost of printing a brief, or concise statement of a client’s case.
The printing cost varies, the clerks said, but averages $2.50 per page
One of the most expensive briefs in recent memory around the clerk’s office was written
for an appeal from a murder conviction handl'd down in Johnson county district court against James Hall.
Hall was accused of slaying a University of Iowa nursing student
His brief came to $850 It ran 567 pages.
Discounting printing and attorneys’ fees, the Iowa supreme court is still “the cheapest place to bring a case,” said Moore.
The high court’s filing fees are “the lowest in any court in the state,” hp addl'd, “except for federal courts.”
The lo\y fees have been a fact of life for decades, he explained.
“It’s something that’s gone on for years and years without ,a raise. It's (the supreme court) not operated to break even "
Quoting U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger, Moore said that “courts have been operating like crack-erbarrel grocery stores.”
Moore said that because of significant increases in caseloads. the courts “must bt' supermarket operations. ”Student Pilot Dies in Crash Near Hedrick
HEDRICK (Al*) — A student pilot from Ottumwa was killed when his single-engine plane crashed and burned Wednesday a mile north and a mile west of here.
Officials said Richard S|>ero was flying through a practice area w hen his plane crashed on the Roger Abel farm
Spero, an Ottumwa Heights college instructor, was found in the cockpit, said FAA authorities.
A witness said the plane. owned by Midwest Aviation, Ottumwa, burst into a “thousand” pieces orj impact, and that it appeared to be going full throttle in the split-second he saw it before it hit.
FAA authorities and the National Transportation and Safety board were investigating the accident.
Senior Citizen Basos
Cedar Rapids System Telephone 363-8244Area Ten (SEATS)
In Cedar Rapids 308-5805 Elsew here 900-332-5934Seven Truckers Arrested for Illegal CB’s
DKS MOINES, Iowa (AP)-Seven truck drivers were arrested Wednesday as the Federal Communications Commission completed its second day of monitoring citizen’s band radio conversations along Interstate 80 near here.
Five of the drivers arrested were Iowans. They were identified as Richard Beukema, 33, Mitchellville; Raymond Green. 33, Cedar Rapids; Richard Kea-sey, 34, Council Bluffs; Robert Kilfoil, 55, Newton, and Donald Frank Moore, 28, Sioux City.
All but Moore were charged with making illegal transmissions. Moore was charged with operating an unlicensed citizen’s hand radio.
The other two truckers arrested were George Galaras, 31, Hampton Bars, N Y., and James Hill, 51, West Reading. Pa.
So far, 14 persons have been arrested in the second round of FCC monitoring of alleged illegal transmissions over the two-way radios.
Ars on Probed in Blazes Aft/, of I. Dormitory
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IGW A ( ITA' — Twit fires at a University of Iowa women’s dormitory early Wednesday have prompted university officials to close all of Burge hall’s pressing rooms and lounges after midnight for the remainder of the school year.
Darel Foreman of the stale fire marshal’s office has called the two fires “intentionally set, an obvious case of arson.”
One fire was set in a waste container in a laundry room onDaumier Lithographs Displayed in Museum
IOWA (TTY — An exhibition of 30 lithographs by Honore Daumier on display at the University of Iowa museum of art will continue through Dim:. 15.
The works are part of more than 1,000 prints of the Elliott collection given to the U. of I. by Owen and Leone Elliott of Cedar Rapids.
Born in Paris in 1808, Daumier became one of the world’s best known illustrators and caricaturists and is remembered as a master of satire.
the third floor Another fire was discovered in a waste container on the second floor.
The second blaze charred curtains and an overstuffed chair Firemen discovered that fire when they responded to the first call at about 3 a rn Wednesday .
Approximately 25 false alarms have been reported in dormitory halls during the last two months. It was reported that 17 of the false alarms have involved Burge hall.
A similar fire occurred two weeks ago in an ironing room at Burge, prompting the university to lock the rooms for several days.First Aid Course In Central City
CENTRAL CITY - A Red Cross standard first aid and safety course is being offered at the city hall here Thursday evenings at 7 p.m.
The 14-hour course is taught by Maedean O’Connor, volunteer Red Cross instructor. There is no charge for the course.
To Order Your Action-Ad. Dial 388-82:14.
rezoning of the 23-acre trad for shopping center use.
Peterson and Strand hold that denial of rezoning “deprives the plaint iff of his property without due process of law and without eompen “sation
Peterson and his associate, Cen Petersen, Edina. Minn , real estate man, said they had spent more than a year seeking a suitable site in northeast Iowa
They said they favor the Decorah site IxM-ause of its accessibility to highway 9 and 52 and to one of Decorah’s newest and largest residential areas, Minowa Heights.
Developers say their preliminary plans call for a bopping center under one roof, and would include about 20 or more retail outlets.Lowden Board Pays Repairs
LOWDEN — The (Tarence-Lowden board of education Monday night approved invoices totaling $24,253 64 including the final payment of $15,256 28 to the I.arsen Unzei-tig Co. for repair of the storm damage at Middle School at Lowden The board approved the application to the insurance company for reimbursement.
Middle School was extensively damaged in a severe storm on June 20. A portion of the roof was blown off and the rain caused damage to the gymnasium floor and other areas of the school
The 1973-74 audit conducted by Druehl, Huckfeldt and Greenwalt of Davenport was approved by the board
Approval was given to study the feasibility of reducing the bus routes from seven to six during the next school year.
Tentative budget estimates for 1975-76 were presented to the board and plans were made to meet with the local teachers regarding sa I ant's.
Information from the department of public instruction concerning the requirement to review the district’s educational goals was presented.
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