Students selected great name

Thursday, October 2, 2003

The students of Southwest Nebraska's newest school district did an excellent job of selecting a name and mascot for their new school.

By a wide margin, the 412 students in grades K through 12 selected the Southwest High School Roughriders as the top choices as the name and mascot for the newly consolidated Red Willow County School District 179.

Before final adoption, the name must be cleared by the Nebraska School Activities Association and approved by the District 179 Board of Education at its Oct. 13 meeting.

Cory Grint, the 7-12 principal at Republican Valley, sees no problem in gaining approval for the new name. "We've checked the state school directory and the two closest names are Southeast Consolidated and Lincoln Southwest. That should not pose a conflict," he said. Grint worked with Don Hosick, the K-12 principal at Twin Valley, in conducting the student poll.

Although it will be a new name for the school, Southwest has been around for years as the favored way of referring to this part of the state. The students made a good choice. They were also on the mark when they chose Roughriders as their preference for a mascot. The other suggested mascots -- Bulldogs, Cougars and Titans -- are more common names, but Roughriders is distinctive, showing the western spirit which characterizes this area.

Good job, students. You're helping get your new school off to a good start.


Nebraska hospitals will get an added $3.9 million due to the Medicare extension bill which passed Congress and was signed by President Bush this week. But, unfortunately, Community Hospital in McCook is not among the hospitals which will benefit.

Community Hospital is in line to get help -- of up to $1 million per year -- but that bill is combined with another important piece of legislation: the Prescription Drug Bill. That plan is still in conference committee, and Community Hospital officials are closely watching the politicking which is going on concerning the plan.

The hospital's vice president for finance, Jim Ulrich, was in Washington earlier this week, and while he was there huddled with members of Sen. Ben Nelson's staff concerning the bill. The legislation is urgently needed because Community Hospital and six other mid-size Nebraska hospitals are not adequately reimbursed for the Medicare services they provide.

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