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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

Mississippi River city mayors meet in Memphis

Friday, 18 October 2013 04:19 Published in Local News

   MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mayors from cities along the Mississippi River are calling on Congress to increase funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for infrastructure improvements and dredging projects that keep commerce flowing on the waterway.

   Leaders of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative and the Delta Regional Authority addressed media Thursday after meeting in Memphis to discuss the Mississippi River economy.

   River ports have dealt with flooding and drought since 2011, causing water levels to reach near-record highs and hazardous lows in a span of months.

   Mayor Larry Brown of Natchez, Mississippi said the Corps does all it can to maintain river commerce, but it does not get enough congressional funding to deal with dredging and infrastructure problems. Some ports relied on local funding for dredging projects in recent years.

 

Report: Illinois hospitals lower infections, falls

Friday, 18 October 2013 03:40 Published in Local News

   NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Hospital Association has issued a report on efforts to improve care by reducing the number of patients who get infections in the hospital and other conditions.

   The report is based on the achievements of 200 hospitals and health systems in Illinois. The report finds that those hospitals reduced the number of falls, pressure ulcers, infections and other harmful events from 2011 to 2012. The estimated cost savings amount to more than $18 million.

   Hospital association president Maryjane Wurth says the group's Innovations in Care and Quality provides innovative programs, resources and tools to help member hospitals with their efforts to improve.

   Not all the news was rosy. The report finds preventable hospital re-admissions remained at about 14 percent from 2011 to 2012.

 

Albright receives West Point award for service

Friday, 18 October 2013 03:34 Published in National News

   WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright received the U.S. Military Academy's prestigious Thayer Award on Thursday, joining Dwight Eisenhower, Neil Armstrong and other past recipients recognized for outstanding service to the U.S.

   Albright, the first woman to hold the nation's top diplomatic post, used the occasion to praise U.S. soldiers, call for an end to "partisan squabbling" in Washington and warn against isolationism.

   The academy's announcement of the award, named for former West Point Superintendent Col. Sylvanus Thayer, describes Albright as a leader on policy and international affairs. The annual award is given to citizens whose service illustrates the academy's motto of "Duty, Honor, Country."

   Albright, 76, received the award at the Hudson River academy during a dinner ceremony hosted by West Point's Association of Graduates. Before the dinner, the cadets conducted a ceremonial parade in her honor on the grassy expanse at the center of the academy known as the Plain.

   President Bill Clinton appointed her secretary of state during his second term, and she served from 1997 to 2001. She previously had been U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

   Albright was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937 and was forced to leave after Nazi Germany gained control there. She spent much of World War II in England.

   Other past recipients of the Thayer Award include Douglas MacArthur, Henry Kissinger, Barbara Jordon, Walter Cronkite, Colin Powell and Bob Hope.

   "The list of previous recipients is an extraordinary one that includes many people who once held high office or otherwise achieved fame," Albright said, according to prepared remarks provided by West Point before the dinner. "But looking down the list, I know that if I had to choose a single companion to watch my back, it would be the winner of this award in 2002 — the American soldier."

   She said that ensuring young Americans are able to meet the demands of the future depends on Washington overcoming its divides and ensuring a "rational approach" to the federal budget.

   On the day the partial federal government shutdown ended, Albright said that after viewing the cadets' "amazing parade," she'll bring back to Washington the message that "these young men and women deserve better."

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