Top five News stories of 2013
By Suzanne Werre
It was almost a tie, but the closing of the Prairieview Nursing Home was deemed the biggest story in the Underwood News this past year in a survey of eight regular News readers. All eight voters ranked the nursing home’s closure in the top three, but it was chosen as the top pick because of impact the closure had locally, not only by displacing the residents who lived at the care center, but also because of the elimination of innumerable care-giver jobs at the nursing home.
Close second in the voting was the decision by the McLean County Commission to deny Great River Energy’s request to turn an existing pit into a landfill for oil field waste.
Following are brief summaries of the top five stories in the Underwood News for 2013, as well as a list of other notable stories.
#1 – The Jan. 17 issue of the News stated boldly "Nursing home to close," setting off a series of stories revolving around the impending closure of Prairieview Nursing Home. The decision to close the nursing home, which had recently been renamed Sanford Health – Underwood, was made based on severe staffing shortages and the lack of need for long-term health care in the area, according to public relations coordinator Kim Singer. Sanford set a March 15 deadline for the closure of the care center, but many of the residents were making plans to leave, or actually leaving, by the end of January.