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Propositions Health and Care Fail in Dunklin County


Tuesday was Missouri’s primary…a day that might not have normally driven many Dunklin County residents to the polls.  This primary was the exception to the rule.  That is because two propositions were on the ballot that, if passed, would have led to the construction and maintenance of a new hospital in the county.  It would have most likely been placed in Kennett.  

Almost six-thousand residents across the county voted on Propositions Health and Care.  Both propositions failed.  Roughly 57% of voters said no to the propositions, while roughly 43% said yes.  Breaking the numbers down, 3,325 voters voted against Proposition Health, while 2,573 voted for the measure.  3,351 voted against Proposition Care, while 2,439 voted yes.  Dunklin County Commissioner Don Collins tells what he thinks led to the defeat.

“From north to south, the county is 50 miles long,” says Collins. “Those who live in the northern and southern parts of the county already have other health care options and say they would not use a hospital located in the center of the county.”

And where the propositions failed seems to back up that claim.  Heavy voting Tuesday took place in Kennett, where the measure passed in all five wards.  Voters also turned out and handed the propositions their defeats in Malden, Campbell, and Clarkton…where much higher than normal turnouts occurred.  The proposals also failed in nine other precincts across the county.  Director of Economic Development for Kennett Jim Grebing.

“I don’t think the citizens were voting against health care in this county per se,” says Grebing.  “They didn’t like the plan, but that doesn’t change the fact that we still have significant health issues that need to be addressed ad we must now come up with a plan to solve this.”

Commissioner Collins tells what they will do as they move forward.

“We will assure the urgent cares are still running and that ambulances are still transporting patients where they can and then look at plan B later.”

No word if that Plan B means taking another measure before voters.  Grebing says a new plan needs to be formed to try to help address the health and the economic challenges the lack of a hospital brings to the region.

Johnathan Reaves is the News Director for KASU Public Radio. As part of an Air Force Family, he moved to Arkansas from Minot, North Dakota in 1986. He was first bitten by the radio bug after he graduated from Gosnell High School in 1992. While working on his undergraduate degree, he worked at KOSE, a small 1,000 watt AM commercial station in Osceola, Arkansas. Upon graduation from Arkansas State University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-Television Broadcast News, he decided that he wanted to stay in radio news. He moved to Stuttgart, Arkansas and worked for East Arkansas Broadcasters as news director and was there for 16 years.