Ironwood Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan on June 19, 1998 · Page 6
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Ironwood Daily Globe from Ironwood, Michigan · Page 6

Ironwood, Michigan
Issue Date:
Friday, June 19, 1998
Page 6
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Page 6 article text (OCR)

THE DAILY GLOBE. Ironwood. Ml — Friday. June 19. 1998 Page 12 Friend of court operation has budget shortfall By PAMELA DAVENPORT Globa Staff Writer BESSEMER — The Friend of the Court office expects to have n $45,000 shortfall by the end of . the fiscal year (December), Dave Manki told tho Gogebic County Finance, Budgeting and Auditing Committee Wednesday. The function of the : Friend of the Court office is to recommend to the judge on custody of children in divorce cases, how much child support the non-custodia! parent should be required to pay, and how much parenting time the non-custodial parent can expect to have. The office's budget comes from incentives from the state based on a percentage of child-support payments it collects and from a percentage of monies paid to cli- ents'receiving Aid to Dependent Children. Two problems arise. One, the state has changed the way it calculates incentives, Manki said. And two, there has been a decrease in ADC payments now that the state requires more parents to work. The state now issues more food stamps (a federal program) instead of making ADC payments, resulting in a smaller payment to FOC. Each ADC client pays a 75-cent fee, a total of about $600 per month, to FOC. Part of the fee is Used to send weekly checks. Another problem is the state is late in making payments, Manki said.. Until last week, when it received $29,208, it had gotten no funds, from the State 215 Fund, which pays the 3 percent incentive based on ADC payments. The federal incentive has been dropped from 9 percent to 7.75 percent. Last year the office received about $1,500 per month; this year, it is only paying $1,000, and only about $3,000 has come in so far in 1998. Almost $110,000 is expected in 1998 from the Cooperative Reimbursement Program, Manki said. The amount is about $18,000 less than the office received in 1997. CRP is the agency that contracts with the Family Independence Agency for collection, distribu- tion and enforcement of child support.. Despite federal cuts and state calculation changes, tho FOC caseload has only dropped from 798 cases in 1996 to 78G cases. Delinquent payments collected remain about the same also, $1.38 million in 1996 compared to a pro-, jected total of $1.4.1 in 1998. In addition, salaries and health insurance for FOC employees, have gone up. Tho supervisor's salary hns only been raised 1 per-cent since 1996, but other salaries are up 9 percent, and health insurance is up 8 percent. Retirement benefits, part of the union contract, will be up 39 percent as a result in a change in the way the benefits are funded. In most counties, the FOC office is partially supported by the county, Manki said. The $45,000 is not needed yet, he explained, but could be within 1'/? months. "If the county gives the money, will you be able to pay it back?" Commissioner Keith Winkowski asked. "Probably not," Manki answered. : Commissioner John Lewinski questioned the value of hiring Jim Olson, of Griffith and Associates, who- got an $8,000 payment from the FOC budget. Manki explained Olson is familiar with state contracts. Griffith and Associates is an administrative agency which does paperwork to get the money owed to the FOC office. Because of Olson's work, the I oca! office got about $128,000. Commissioner Cliff Koivisto said he would contact State Sen, Don Koivisto, (Lewinski said he hnd already contacted both Koivisto and State Rep. Paul Te- sanovich without success). But Manki said, even if the state representatives were aware of the problem, the local office would probably not receive any extra funds from the state until October, 1999, Faced with the possibility of the FOC office .closing because of lack of funds, the committee 1 voted to fund the office as needed and take the money from the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund. Grand View begins new account plan Grand View Hospital has entered a partnership with Credit- Check of Marquette to help with the management of patient's self-pay accounts. Through this partnership. Grand View will be able to focus more attention on helping patients with self-pay bills to make payment arrangements which are acceptable to both the patient and the financial interest of the hospital. "Grand View will continue to assist patients by identifying and verifying all third party coverage available to them," said Char-, maine Chiantello, vice president of finances. "We will advise and assist our patients in obtaining any other financial support programs they may be qualified to receiv'6,- . "The hospital will also assist patients in making the necessary' arrangements for the payment of any self-pay portion of their bill. These are services which we have always provided but through this partnership we will be able to focus greater attention to helping patient.3 be pro-active on paying otheir bills." Grand View Hospital will continue to do the initial billing of all patient accounts. The hospital billing services sta (Twill also continue to work with patients' insurance companies to receive insurance payments. Once all insurance claims have been paid, the patient will be billed by Grand View on the remaining self-pay portions. Patients who .need to, may make payment arrangements with Grand View. Self-pay accounts will be managed by Credit-Check 60 days after a bill becomes self-pay. "When payment arrangements are made, Credit-Check will provide the monthly payment reminders, as well as, payment coupons and return envelopes," said Chinntello. "They will O!HO send'out delinquency notices for late payments. Working with Credit-Check will allow for better monitoring of payment agreements we have established with Shirley Fertile of the Ironwood Ambassadors presents a certificate of appreciation to Robert Butler, community bank p/osidenl, during the group's visit to First of America Bank here! Longtime Ironwood fixture merges, but changes little One of the oldest businesses on the Gogebic Range was the site of the Ironwood Area Ambassadors visit this week. The redcoats presented First of America Bank with a certificate of appreciation for nearly 90 years of service- to the community. ' ' - '. . ' The Ironwood office of FOA was originally the Gogebic National Bank in 1909. The business has undergone changes in ownership and building projects, but tons'continued to be a staple of the downtown Ironwood business community. The bank's current building was completed in the early 1970s, before First of America's purchase of the business in 197-1. The old bank building was located to the south of the existing structure, in what is now the bank's parking lot. The business employs 22 locally, working out of the downtown and ..Cloverland' Drive locations and in the branch office in Bessemer. Bob Butler'.serves as community bank president at the downtown bank, with Sue Murphy managing the Ironwood branches and LuAnn Korpi heading up the Bessemer branch. All banks offer a full array of financial services, including checking savings, home equity and personal loans, commercial loans and a variety of investment options. Bank employees can be seen' working on many community service, volunteer and economic development projects. The historic Ironwood Theatre and the new pocket park project across the street from the downtown bank are programs of particular focus for the business. This spring, First of America merged with National City Corporation; making the bank part of a $81 billion dollar holding company based in Cleveland, Ohio. National City has branch offices in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. (Check out more about the company on the world wide web at Look for sigroage changes at FOA this fall. Residents should see very few other changes as a result of the merger. FOA checks will be honored well into the future, so checking account customers will not have to have new checks printed anytime soon. Agency coordinator updates board our patients. Credit-Check .is able to do this monitoring more cost efficiently than the hospital can." Chiantollo said Credit-Check will also provide the hospital with a collection service to handle the accounts of former patients who have failed to meet tho terms of payment agreements. These accounts will be seriously delinquent and will require action by the patient to avoid impacting the patient's credit rating. Collection phone calls from Credit-Check will begin at this point and failure to respond will result with credit reporting. "This partnering will allow Grand View to devote its efforts to pro-actively communicating and educating our patients on the options available to resolve their financial obligations to the hospital," said Chiantello. "We feel we owe our patient the courtesy of honest communication of their financial responsibilities." BESSEMER — Betsy Wossel- hofl, Human Services Coordinating Board coordinator, discussed the board's organization and functions with the Gogebic County Board of Commissioners Finance, Budgeting and Auditing Committee Wednesday. Commissioner Steve Thomas is the county board's HSCB representative. HSCB provides leadership for collaborative efforts to avoid duplication among family-service agencies in. addressing issues such as drug addiction, child abuse and neglect, housing needs, unemployment, domestic violence;, said VYesselhoft. Its umbrvlla. covers such diverse organizations as the Giigo-. bic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District, Western U.P, Department of Public Health, Community Mental Health, the Family Independence Agency, probate court, Community Action Agency, Grand View Health Systems, and the Western U.P. Substance! Abuse Coordinating Agency. In other action, the commission voted to send a letter of support to the Senate Finance Committee about raising the "swamp tax," which is payment in lieu of taxes for land owned by the Department of Natural Resources. The current PILT rate is $2 per acre, Tesanovich has entered legislation which would raise the payment to $2.8(5 per acre, bringing an additional $1,370 to the county budget. Tornado hits Minnesota town By The Associated Press A tornado swooped through the west-central Minnesota town of Olivia so fast and without warning that sirens didn't wail until five minutes after the twister hit. By then, much of the town of 2,(iOO residents H5 miles of Minneapolis was.without electricity due to downed lines so the sirens didn't sound in snrne parts of t ow ri. "We didn't see it cominp, we .saw it going," said Roger Boor- boom, who watched Thursday afternoon from the SuperAmerica gas station as the tornado ripped the roof from a state Department of Transportation building. "We just stood there watching as it went by. There were big pieces of debris being sucked right up — lumber and whole sheets of roofing." A Great Gift For Dad!! Give Dad a gift that he'll really use. a Lift Chair will help him sit. stand, and recline safely and securely with Just the touch of a button! Sale good Now thru June 29th. Free Local Delivery During This Sale! • Medicare provider •Complete warranty • Many different, colors/fabrics HOME MEDICAL Products & Services 223 Sliver St. Hurley, Wisconsin 715-501-2525 (8OO) 627-4O19 16O1 Beater Ave.. Ashland, Wisconsin 715 682-95OO (800) 727-4432 Buy life insurance and save on your home and car* hen you buy your life insurance from us through Auto-Qwncrs Insurance, you'll receive special discounts on your home, mobile home or car insurance We'll save you money. As nnindependent Auto-Owners agent, we take great interest in you - ;KS well as your home ami car. We arc- spec iallsts in insuring people — and the things they own. CV Maki Insurance Agency 601 Jackson St. Ironwood, Michigan 49938 906-932-5387 GOGEBIC RANGE PLAYERS prestnt ;THE STARS COME our celebrating the 70tli Anniversary of the HISTORIC IRONWOOD TflEATRE June 26-28, 1998 7:30 p.m. - Jl tlx Iron wood Theatre office »™l Th* Wiklerrwsl Buy 10 Cartons and Get * 10,00 Off Next Carton. See Smoke Shoppe for Details CAMEL, WINSTON, MARLBORO and SALEM '17.75 COPENHAGEN and SKOAL '24.50 DORAL and GPC ... .:.... '13.95 BASIC '14.95 NEWPORT '17.75 Prices %ood -while supplies last. All discount} reflect coupons already on the tartans. Prices may increase due to manufacturer increase. Lodge Wym Casino Smoke Shoppe Owned ind operated by tlw B*d Rim Ruvd of Ltitc Saprrkx Ckippnri. OPEN 7 Days i Week - 8 AM - 11:30 PM 10 mile. CMC of Aihland on Mwy 2 682-7121

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