Local Headline News

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center located in Worthington is a sight to see in itself. It was constructed in 1931 and has been since renovated and has 649 seats which is one of the largest auditorium facilities in a wide region of southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Continuing the legacy of Memorial Auditorium through volunteer support, the Season of Performing Arts is underwritten and sponsored by the Friends Of The Auditorium, Inc. to nurture excellence and innovation in the performing arts through education and public engagement. And coming up in the next few weeks are some shows you are not going to want to miss. The stage is set for September 24th to whisk you back to a time of freedom and great music with the Transit Authority, THE PREMIER CHICAGO TRIBUTE BAND.  Then on October 1st come enjoy a simpler time in music history that brought us to our feet and made us swing … The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra was an American swing dance band formed by Glenn Miller in 1938. Miller arranged this band around a clarinet and tenor saxophone playing melody and three other saxophones playing harmony. The band became the most popular and commercially successful dance orchestra of the swing era and one of the greatest singles charting acts of the 20th century. On October 15th and 16th you will have the opportunity to enjoy one of our own locally talented stars. The Best of Janie Becker who is from Heron Lake.  Janie is an accomplished pianist and as she plays you can feel the emotion and . She composes and plays her own music for solo piano and as Janie tickles the ivories and you are listening, you will understand and appreciate what good playing sounds like. On October 22nd get ready to be astounded with the part rockabilly, part campfire storyteller, part outlaw in black with the Folsom Prison Experience Tribute to Johnny Cash, featuring the Church of Cash. All of these upcoming performances are available to entertain you! Tickets are on sale now for all four performances. For more information you can call the Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center at 507-376-9101 or stop in person at 714- 13th St. Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9am-1pm.


Memorial Auditorium Box Office
714 – 13th Street
Worthington, MN
Box Office Hours: 9am – 1pm
Monday – Friday
There is a $3.00 per transaction processing fee for credit cards.

Call the Box Office at 507-376-9101.
There is a $3.00 per transaction processing fee for credit cards.
If you are calling after box office hours, please leave a message and your call will be returned. Be sure to include your name and phone number.

Please be sure to include your name and phone number. You will be contacted during regular business hours.

Send a ticket order and a self-addressed stamped envelope, with check payable to:
Friends of the Auditorium
​714 – 13th Street
Worthington, MN 56187
Any tickets purchased by mail must be mailed a minimum of 7 days prior to your scheduled event and will be held at the Will Call desk. They will be available one hour prior to the performance.


Sunday September 18th from 2-4 the Cottonwood County Historical Society will be having a reception for the “Realities & Imagination” Exhibit by Ramiro Cerda Ramos & Rosa Maria Cerda Rodriguez. Light refreshments will be available and the Exhibit is free to attend. The exhibit will be available for viewing from September 18th through November 19th.


The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has found that moving forward with a new, free-standing mental health hospital in Saint Paul is in the public interest due to a lack of inpatient mental health beds. Despite this conclusion, MDH acknowledged significant concerns about the new facility as proposed.

Fairview Health Services and Acadia Healthcare have formed a partnership to finance and operate a new facility licensed for 144 inpatient beds at the former Bethesda Hospital site in St. Paul. In part, the new hospital is intended to replace services formerly provided by Fairview Health Services at St. Joseph’s Hospital, according to the proposal.

MDH has determined that the project is in the public interest because it provides additional inpatient mental health beds in the midst of a bed capacity crisis. However, as documented by MDH’s analysis, the new stand-alone mental health hospital will not replace the comprehensive services previously offered at St. Joseph’s Hospital, which Fairview Health Services closed in July. There will be significant inpatient care gaps remaining after the establishment of the facility that other providers will need to fill. For example, the new facility lacks an emergency department for receiving patients undergoing a mental health crisis, and because it does not offer a full complement of medical care, it will only serve a subset of mental health patients. In addition, the facility is scheduled to operate under a leaner staffing model than is the norm nationally and in Minnesota. Similar concerns were also raised in public comments about the proposal.

“The public review of this proposal shows how much need there is for additional mental health beds in Minnesota,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “As we seek to address the acute shortage we are facing, we hope this review highlights the need for policy makers, health care organizations, mental health care providers, employers and insurers, and patients to work on solutions to fully meet the state’s mental health needs.”

As part of the review process, MDH reached out to mental health care stakeholders and the public through presentations, letters and a public meeting held on June 9 to collect comments and feedback. In total, MDH received 67 written public comments from a variety of perspectives, including from four other health systems operating in the region, ten community/social services organizations, 27 providers, two unions, and 24 patients and family members.

  • Most comments recognized the need for additional mental health beds.
  • Among those supporting the proposal, commenters acknowledged Fairview Health Services as a trusted community partner and expressed the belief that the new facility would help underserved populations.
  • Among those not in support of the proposal, the most common concern was that the facility would not serve all patients in need, based on limited medical capabilities and limited access with no emergency department. Other concerns included questions about the quality of health care offered by Acadia Healthcare nationally; the plan to have fewer nursing staff than other comparable units in the state; and the extent to which the facility would accept transfers from outside of Fairview Health Services.

Two main concerns highlighted by the review are that the hospital will serve only a subset of the patient population based on diagnosis and potentially lower care needs, and that the staffing plan at the proposed hospital is much leaner than other inpatient mental health units in Minnesota. The review also found that most of the increased patient load from the closure of the emergency department and beds at St. Joseph’s Hospital had already been absorbed by surrounding hospitals, though it is placing a strain on emergency rooms and inpatient mental health units.

In finding the project in the public interest, a key element was the recognition that the Minnesota Legislature expects close, ongoing scrutiny of how the new facility will impact care delivery and the economics of inpatient mental health services in the community. As part of that legislation (Minnesota Session Laws of 2022, Regular Session, chapter 99), MDH has been directed to monitor patient and payer mix, transfers and patient flow for inpatient mental health care in the state.

In addition to granting the conditional exception in 2022, the Minnesota Legislature made other changes to the hospital construction moratorium (Minnesota Statutes, section 144.551). One significant element creates a process for establishing additional inpatient mental health capacity without a public interest review. This process includes additional oversight activity and a report on the impact of any expanded inpatient mental health capacity in 2027.

Materials associated with the public interest review, including the initial proposal, questions MDH posed to Fairview Health System and Acadia and their responses are accessible online at  MDH Public Interest Review – Fairview Health Services and Acadia Healthcare.