Local News Stories
Green hired as SCISD athletic director/head football coach
Bryan Green has been tapped to take over as Schleicher County ISD’s new athletic director and head football coach. He is leaving a similar post at Seagraves.
Green will take the reins at SCISD from outgoing head coach and athletic director Danny Wilhelm who announced his pending retirement only last month.
SCISD SMD 2
Melissa Rodriguez 20
Berta Nicholson 14
Ray Ballew 27
Ricky Fuessel 12
Steve Williams 63
Shay Parker 16
Williamson to coach Lady Eagles basketball
Kami Williamson will coach the Lady Eagles basketball team next year. She was hired Friday during a special meeting of the Schleicher County ISD board of trustees.
Williamson comes to Eldorado from Menard where she made a name for herself as a high school athlete in the 1990s and more recently as the head girls basketball coach.
Hospital district trustees learn not all Medicare plans are created equal
The Schleicher County Hospital District board of trustees met Monday evening, April 29th, where they heard an update on recent Medicare changes.
Andy Freeman and Larry Stephens, representing Preferred Management, were in attendance and outlined for the board several differences in traditional Medicare coverage and a plan called Medicare Advantage.
explained that the term Medicare Advantage refers to a wide array of insurance plans, marketed by private companies, and offering different levels of protection. He said that the name Medicare Advantage is confusing and added that the various plans represent a blend or hybrid of a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), and conventional health insurance.
For his part, Freeman explained that a number of facilities, including the Ballinger hospital, are refusing to accept Medicare Advantage plans.
“We haven’t reached that point yet,” Freeman said, “but we want the board to be aware of the situation.”
Freeman went on to note that Medicare Advantage plans not only fail to reimburse providers for their cost of providing service, they can also restrict coverage that patients are accustomed to having.
“For example, some plans have limits that are lower than conventional Medicare and can require large out-of-pocket payments on the part of patients,” Freeman said.
He went on to note that some plans restrict or limit the access to “swing bed” days, requiring patients to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars that would otherwise have been paid by conventional Medicare.
Freeman said that his purpose was to inform the board that his company, which operates the local hospital and clinic, as well as several others in Texas and Oklahoma, is seeing an uptick in the number of Medicare Advantage customers. He also advised that the reimbursement to the hospitals under the various plans falls short of compensating the facilities for the care they provide.
Freeman also noted that any decline in Medicare reimbursement would represent a decrease in the amount of revenue that could be used to help the district repay its bonded indebtedness.
“What you are saying is that Medicare Advantage is not advantageous for rural hospitals?” board president Randy Mankin asked.
“Exactly,” Freeman responded. “We just want you to know about the situation and help us educate the public about the differences. Conventional Medicare works best for rural patients and for rural facilities.”
Freeman and Stephens went on to note that the number of clinic visits are increasing and credited some of the increase to the arrival of Dr. Selina Burt. They further advised the board of a health care trustee conference slated for June in Fort Worth.
In other business the board reviewed the overall construction project and Mankin explained that inspectors from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services are due for a follow-up inspection of the nursing home on or before May 15th.
Discussion turned to completing the landscaping at the new facility with the possible installation of lighting along the curved driveway at the main entrance. It was also agreed that the district will offer for sale the pink stucco house located in front of the new medical center. The house is constructed on pier and beam and can be moved. However a front porch and a back “mud room” are built on concrete slabs and will have to be demolished and removed.
Mankin explained that the house will be advertised for sale by sealed bids as soon as it is no longer needed as a construction office.
efore adjourning, the board reviewed and approved the minutes of the previous meeting as well as the district’s financial reports. Several policy and procedure manuals were also approved.
It was also noted at the meeting that Nursing Home Administrator had recently completed her masters degree and she advised that she will begin working on a doctorate.
Monday night’s meeting was held in the board room of the new Schleicher County Hospital on North U.S. Highway 277 with trustees George Arispe, Denese Crowder, T.J. Rodriguez, Madolyn Phillips, Susie Richters and Randy Mankin in attendance. Trustee Jason Chatham was absent.
Melancon now on the job at City Hall
City Administrator Theo Melacon began his new duties this week and was on hand Monday evening for his very first city council meeting.
Mayor John Nikolauk called the meeting to order and, after an opening prayer and pledge of allegiance, he introduced Melancon to all in attendance.
Early voting underway in Water District, School Board elections
Early Voting now underway for two seats on the water district board and one seat on the school board.
Incumbent board member Ray Ballew is facing Ricky Fuessel in Single-Member District 4 of the Plateau Underground Water Conservation and Control District. Meanwhile, Shay Parker and Steve Williams are vying for an open seat in District 1.
Incumbent Berta Nicholson is being challenged by Melissa Rodriguez for the seat in Single-Member District #2 on the Schleicher County ISD board of trustees.
Schleicher County Election Administrator Brenda Mayfield is overseeing the early voting portion of the election at the Schleicher County Memorial Building. Monday was the first day for early voting and so far the turnout has been light with only 18 votes being cast in the water district election and five votes in the school board race by late Tuesday afternoon.
Early voting will continue until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7th.
Election Day is Saturday, May 11th with voting taking place at the Memorial Building. Polls will open on Election Day at 7 a.m. and will remain open until 7 p.m.