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Recently in Gloria Carr Category

Thumbnail image for gloria.jpgThere's a list somewhere, now lost in my old computer, of all the people who've come and gone from The Courier-News newsroom over the last 10 years. Some retired. Some moved on to new jobs. Some have been laid off. The last count was something like 100.

I'll be adding my name to the list. Today is my last day at the Courier.

While I am very excited to move on to the next phase of my career, the Courier is a special place for me. It's been my home for more than 17 years.

It seems like this newspaper always has been a part of my life in some way. My parents have been reading the Courier for more than 40 years. I remember as a child coming to the newspaper for a tour of the building. Back then, you could get a tour of the newsroom, the distribution center and look down at the printing press. I met my husband at a Courier-News hangout one night after work with friends who got me to sing "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." It was my voice that won him over -- at least that's my version of the story. Last year, my friends here threw a baby shower welcoming my twins.

Read more of Gloria's memories of the Courier, share your memories of Gloria's work here, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for gloria.jpgNOTE: Reporter Gloria Carr wrote Wednesday's Courier-News cover story, Sick About It. In the article, she detailed the Kane County Board's decision Tuesday to cut 62 Health Department employees, move nine service programs and end two entirely. The board cited budget crisis.

Reflecting on the story and the people it affects, Gloria shares the following today...

(Pictured: Kane County Board member Bonnie Kunkel questions Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert Tuesday during the board meeting.)

Big news stories, like the Kane County Board's vote this week to turn over some of its social service programs to federally funded agencies and lay off 62 employees, tend to become hectic. The stories sometimes seem to run together as you try to cover different aspects of an issue.

img_EL081110_KANEHEALTH_P02_scn_feed_20100810_19_13_44_14014-282-400.jpgTo be honest, the Kane County Health Department issue was starting to get repetitious. The arguments were sounding all the same. The outcome was almost predictable.

Following a two-and-a-half-hour meeting, I found myself thinking, "Let's get on with this vote."

Following that vote, there were a lot of things going on with reporters -- all trying to talk to everyone involved to get comments. I was among that group, trying to figure out who might comment, when I saw a young woman who I thought had been sitting with a group of people I was pretty sure were health department employees.

What changed Gloria's thinking, after the jump.

Thumbnail image for emily.jpgYes, we know the city of Elgin is rehabbing its oldest home at 302 W. Chicago St. through the sale of other Resident Officer Program of Elgin homes, grants, donations, sponsorships from companies and its share of casino money. And that will not only preserve the home, but also allow the city to demonstrate how to make such historic homes energy efficient.

Oldest Home in Elgin 001.jpgBut $675,000 still is a jaw-dropping number.

To wrap our minds around that number, The Courier-News launched another newsroom-wide effort to look into just what that much money will buy you.

  • Since the city of Elgin canceled its fireworks this year for budgetary reasons, staff writer Gloria Carr made a call to Mad Bomber Fireworks Productions in Elgin, ran the numbers and concluded the city could sponsor Fourth of July fireworks for 33 years with that much money.
  • Staff writer Katie Anderson looked up the cost of the 2009 Aston Martin DB9 -- better known as the James Bond car. That car runs about $200,000, meaning the city could buy at least three. And, she pointed out, think what the city could do with all those James Bond cars!
  • You could ensure you -- and generations to come -- are well informed on what's happening in your hometown by subscribing to The Courier-News for the next 2,800 YEARS.

What kind of house costs $675K, after the jump.

gloria.jpgA relative had to go to the emergency room a few years ago and had a horrible experience. I won't say which hospital; I don't want to be accused of not being objective.

This relative required a blood transfusion, but the nurse did not explain the procedure until I asked what they were doing to her. It took six hours in the ER to get a room. Upstairs, later that night, I asked a nurse to get my relative something to eat since she is diabetic and hadn't had a meal all afternoon. The nurse said the kitchen was closed and didn't offer to help find a snack.

reportcard.jpgThen the ER nurse came upstairs. She needed a signature to approve the treatment my relative received hours earlier. The nurse forgot to get a medical release so she got one after the procedure was completed.

The whole situation was very upsetting to the point I didn't want to leave my relative alone at the hospital. Needless to say, if I had filled out a survey for my relative, it would have been negative on all levels.

This is why it is so important for patients to speak up about care they receive in hospitals and for patients to compare care at hospitals. You can't always choose which hospital to go to in an emergency, but you can learn as much as possible to help improve your stay.

The Illinois Department of Public Health's Illinois Hospital Report Card website gives you all the information you need to rate hospitals. We'll bring you the full story in Friday's (UPDATED Monday, May 3) Tuesday's Courier-News. Meantime, the website is easy to log on and use.

Step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) after the jump.

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