NewsHub 21 September 2016Hospices have told told Parliament’s health select committee that they oppose changing the law to allow voluntary euthanasia.The committee is listening to public opinion on voluntary euthanasia and will report its conclusions to Parliament in response to a petition asking for a law change.On Wednesday Andrew Leys, chief executive of Hospice Southland, said his team was extremely concerned about a possible law change.He told the committee hospice workers often faced questions about euthanasia from patients.“The vast majority move beyond the point of wanting euthanasia,” he said.“My team is concerned that voluntary euthanasia could lead to less support for people to help them cope with their circumstances.”Mary Potter Hospice director Brian Ensor said hospices would have to be kept entirely seperate from any assisted dying.“The last days of living should be made as comfortable as possible, and it may involve sedation,” he said.READ MORE: http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/hospices-against-euthanasia-mps-told-2016092115
Just after finishing his playing career with the Wisconsin men’s basketball team back in 2004, Freddie Owens had not quite considered himself to be coaching material.Greg Gard, an assistant coach then and the associate head coach now, admits that at the time he did not see Owens, a hero of the 2003 NCAA tournament, in a suit and tie along the bench either.But after a short lived professional career came to a close in 2006, Owens found himself coaching at the grassroots level of the game and slowly began working his way up.He eventually turned his eye back on Madison in 2010 and applied for the open assistant coach position on Bo Ryan’s staff, and the head coach even considered Owens a finalist for the job.But, despite having once picked out Owens for a future coach, Ryan felt the timing just was not right.“Freddie just didn’t have the years of experience yet,” Ryan said.As a coach should, Ryan remained encouraging, telling Owens to gain more experience and reminding him that things have a funny way of coming back around.But coaching against Owens probably was not what Ryan meant.After leaving Wisconsin without a job, Owens stayed at his assistant coach position at Montana – the very team the NCAA selection committee paired with Wisconsin in the first round of this year’s tournament.The two teams tip off Thursday in Albuquerque at 1:10 p.m. central.“We were [excited] just trying to figure out what seed they were going to give us,” Owens said. “But once we saw that we got a 13-seed, and let alone, against my alma mater, it was an awesome deal. Everyone’s real excited around here.”With Owens on the other end of the sideline, the game will reunite Ryan and the rest of the Badgers with the man responsible for one of the program’s fondest memories.In the second round of the 2003 NCAA tournament – Ryan’s second year at UW – 5-seed Wisconsin faced a 13-point deficit against 13-seed Tulsa with 3:36 remaining. But the Badgers put together a vintage March Madness comeback and pulled within two points with 12 seconds remaining.In the game’s waning moments, Devin Harris sprinted upcourt with the ball, worked off a high ball screen, drove to the lane and dished it to a wide-open Owens in the corner.Owens rose up and sunk the three with one second left, topping off one of the best come-from-behind victories in program history.The year before, he also ended Michigan State’s 53-game home win by hitting the game-winner with 25 seconds left.“That expression, ‘It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog,’ and Freddie – he’d be a poster guy for that saying,” Ryan said, claiming Owens was better known for his defense. “Tough. Played hard.”A native of Milwaukee, the 6-foot-2 guard played for the Badgers from 2002-04, starting the final two years of his career, and helped UW win regular season Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2003 as well as a tournament banner in 2004.He was one of five players to average 10 points or more as a junior before averaging 6.8 points per game and coming in second on the team in assists as a senior.Following graduation, Owens zeroed in on continuing his playing career and waved off the idea of coaching.He recalls a story he heard from Harris, who, in 2004, was accompanied by Ryan in New York City for the NBA draft:“He was on the bus with coach Ryan, heading over to Madison Square Garden, and coach Ryan had mentioned to him, ‘I see Freddie getting into coaching one day,’” Owens recounted. “He told me that and I was like ‘No, I want to play. I’m fresh out of college; I’m ready to go make some money playing.’”But his talents didn’t take him too far. He played professionally in Latvia from 2005-06 before enlisting as an AAU coach for a year to stay close to the game.“It’s the next best thing to playing,” Owens said. “I started coaching at AAU and really fell in love with … game-planning and mentoring young kids.”Now 30 years old, Owens helps lead a Montana (25-6) team that features nearly five players averaging double figures and has won its last 14 games, winning its conference tournament in the process. Meanwhile, Wisconsin (24-9) is fresh off a semifinal loss in the Big Ten tournament and finished in fourth place during the regular season.That built a relatively strong likelihood the two teams could be paired together to kick off the tournament’s first weekend. Ryan said he had a feeling it could happen, and once it was confirmed Sunday, Owens and the UW coaching staff made sure to exchange quick pleasantries before diving into the strategizing.“‘Congrats on the season up to this point and see you in New Mexico,’” Owens said. “Pretty short and brief just because both sides have a lot of work to do.”The thought of going up against the Grizzlies – or, as UW’s dubbed them: “The Fighting Freddie Owenses” – had Ryan smiling after the selection as well. But Ryan knows that Owens gives the Grizzlies an extra dose of familiarity not too often seen outside the Big Ten.“Freddie might be the most popular guy with [Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle] right now,” he said.But that hasn’t prevented anyone at Wisconsin from smiling at the thought of him as Thursday approaches. As might be expected, everyone’s happy to see him rising in the ranks of the profession – but they’d like him to hold off on any March Madness magic just this time.“He works really hard; he always stays in touch,” Gard said. “I’m happy for Freddie.“We’ll see how happy I am Thursday afternoon.”
MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is looking over options after being forced from their home at Mohawk Square earlier this month due to a roof collapse caused by severe storms that rolled through the area.The department’s Immunization Clinic, STD/HIV Clinic, and public health nursing and home care aides staff are temporarily housed at the Community Health Center at 404 North Federal. The rest of the department is working out of a conference room at the Law Enforcement Center on the west side of Mason City.Health Department director Brian Hanft says they greatly appreciate being able to use the two locations, but they need to explore other options. “They’ve been very generous to let us use their space, but we’re in their space, and recognizing that they offered that in the short-term, you know whatever that timeline looks like, I think it’s just responsible of us to at least consider where we end up in the longer-term and try not to take advantage of what they’re giving us.”A definite timeline on when the Health Department might be able to move back into Mohawk Square has not been released, and Hanft says a lot of questions can be raised in finding a short-term solution to house the department under one roof, including in some vacant locations around the community. “I don’t want to stay in the Law Enforcement Center for six months, and I don’t know about the Community Health Center for six months. Again I think that’s a pretty big ask of those locations. We would need to then find something, even again if we set up in the McGregor building, I’m just using that (as an example) because it’s empty. It’s going to cost a couple thousand dollars a month to probably rent it, and we set up some cubicles, and least we have some space, and then we just pay for that over the next six months.”Hanft says the wise planning by the county to have all county-owned computer systems backed up at the Law Enforcement Center was a tremendous help in getting the department through this ordeal. “When you all of a sudden don’t have access to IT, with all of your computer systems were all backed up out at the Law Enforcement Center, and I just want to stress the importance of having that as far as continuity of operations planning. There’s an expense there, but it is tremendously helpful when you need it and it’s there.”Hanft and members of his staff discussed the situation with the County Board of Supervisors during a workshop session this morning, saying he wanted their input on what steps they’d like to see taken. “I just wanted to have at least some direction as to what you are thinking about, and I think we’re on the same page as far as going out and investing a lot of money in place that we have to update and then continue to pay rent on for the life of our lease agreement there doesn’t seem to make the most sense. So the idea then is finding a place temporarily that would get us by, until we either find a location that makes sense to build in and we go back in Mohawk Square if it’s safe and stay there until we come up with a longer-term solution.”Hanft and the supervisors agreed to gather more information in helping to make a better decision and discuss the situation further during another workshop next week. The item will also be discussed at the County Board of Health’s meeting this Friday afternoon. === One of the other displaced tenants of Mohawk Square has found a temporary home. The Mason City Housing Authority says they have relocated to Suite 506 at the Brick and Tile Building at 103 East State. They can still be reached at their old office phone number, 421-2711.