Baby Jubilee 2020

The Butler County Health Department hosted their annual Baby Jubilee on August 5, 2020. 

August is National Breastfeeding Month and the Health Department recognized that by celebrating their fifth annual “Baby Jubilee” which is an infant health fair for expectant parents.

New and expect a parents received information and resources in the “Baby Jubilee in a Bag”

According to Butler County Health Department Director Jamie Downs, they normally have agencies come in and set up booths for the parents to visit. However, due to the coronavirus, the Health Department decided to get creative and host a “Baby Jubilee in a Bag.”

Information on agencies who provide support and assistance to expectant and new parents was put in a bag.

New and expectant parents were able to drive up and receive a “Baby Jubilee in a Bag“

The expected parents were able to drive up to a station set up at the Butler Community Building and pick up a bag. 

Gifts and snacks greeted the new and expectant parents.

Inside the building Safe Sleep training classes were held to educate new parents on best sleep practices for their new babies.

Stuart Funk with Emergency Medical Services is a certified Safe Sleep instructor and facilitated the free classes.

Stuart Funk demonstrates how to safely assemble the Pack and Play crib.

Safe Sleep classes were provided to help educate new parents on how to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Attendees watched a video on Safe Sleep that taught the ABC’s of Safe Sleep. 

Safe Sleep program teaches the ABC’s of sleep to parents. Babies should sleep:

Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib. 

The ABCs Of Safe Sleep

Following the video, they watched a demonstration on how to properly assemble and use a Graco “Pack and Play” On the Go Playyard (TM) Crib. Each participant was given a free crib upon completion of the class.

* Placing babies on their backs is the number one way to reduce the risk

* Place your baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and   well-fitting sheets

* Cribs should be free from toys, soft bedding, blankets and pillows

* The safest place for your baby to sleep is the room with you, but not in your bed

* Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your baby down

* Consider using a wearable blanket or other sleeper instead of a blanket to avoid the risk of overheating. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult

* Talk about safe sleep practices with your family and childcare providers

Nations Wreaths Across America Day

National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, December 14, 2019, this year.

Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath­-laying ceremonies at more than 1,600 locations across the United States, at sea and abroad. The ceremonies In El Dorado will begin at 12:00p.m.

Debbie Kellogg, left, Wreaths Across America founder, Morrill Worcester, center, and DeLane Kellogg, right. 

The Kellogg’s pick up the wreaths from the Walmart Distribution Center in Ottawa. They will be delivering wreaths, along with their daughter, to the three El Dorado cemeteries, Sunset Lawns Cemetery, Walnut Valley Cemetery and Belle Vista Cemetery  on Saturday.  

Members and volunteers from the Captain Edgar Dale American Legion Post 82 and Auxiliary Unit 81 in El Dorado will be on hand to help lay wreaths. 

According to Debbie Kellogg, there are currently 108 wreaths to be laid, this year.  

NLRB Hears Allegations Against SBA

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held a hearing at the Butler County Judicial Center involving charges made against Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital by former employees, Lori R. Dashner and Gay Kimble.

 The NLRB was created in 1935 by Congress to administer the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA is the law that governs relations between labor unions and employers whose operations involve interstate commerce. 

Dashner and Kimble, who were terminated within an hour of one another, claim they were illegally terminated and they were fired as a result of “Concerted Activities.” 

Alan Rupe, attorney for Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital (SBA), noted in his opening statements that some of the employee activities fell under protected concerted activities.  However, he added the employees were not terminated for those activities. 

In an official statement released by SBA, they contend the employees were terminated as a result of safety and security breaches.  

“Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital maintains that it operated within the guidelines of the National Labor Relations Act. All personnel decisions are made with the intent to protect the safety of the patients and employees at SBA.”

According to the NLRB, under the protection of concerted activities, employees have the right to act with co-workers to address work-related issues in many ways.  Examples include: talking with one or more co-workers about wages and benefits or other working conditions, circulating a petition asking for better hours, participating in a concerted refusal to work in unsafe conditions, openly talking about pay and benefits, and joining with co-workers to talk directly to the employer, to a government agency, or to the media about problems in [the] workplace. [An] employer cannot discharge, discipline, or threaten for, or coercively question about, protected concerted activity.  A single employee may also engage in protected concerted activity if he or she is acting on the authority of other employees, bringing group complaints to the employer’s attention, trying to induce group action, or seeking to prepare for group action. However, [employees] can lose protection by saying or doing something egregiously offensive or knowingly and maliciously false, or by publicly disparaging [the] employer’s products or services without relating complaints to any labor controversy.

The complaints filed by Dashner and Kimble cited Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act which makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7” 

Employers are restricted from the following actions:

  • Threaten employees with adverse consequences, such as closing the workplace, loss of benefits, or more onerous working conditions, if they support a union, engage in union activity, or select a union to represent them.
  • Threaten employees with adverse consequences if they engage in protected, concerted activity. (Activity is “concerted” if it is engaged in with or on the authority of other employees, not solely by and on behalf of the employee himself. It includes circumstances where a single employee seeks to initiate, induce, or prepare for group action, as well as where an employee brings a group complaint to the attention of management. Activity is “protected” if it concerns employees’ interests as employees. An employee engaged in otherwise protected, concerted activity may lose the Act’s protection through misconduct.)
  • Promise employees benefits if they reject the union.
  • Imply a promise of benefits by soliciting grievances from employees during a union organizing campaign. (However, if you regularly solicited employee grievances before the campaign began, you may continue that practice unchanged.)
  • Confer benefits on employees during a union organizing campaign to induce employees to vote against the union.
  • Withhold changes in wages or benefits during a union organizing campaign that would have been made had the union not been on the scene, unless you make clear to employees that the change will occur whether or not they select the union, and that your sole purpose in postponing the change is to avoid any appearance of trying to influence the outcome of the election.
  • Coercively question employees about their own or coworkers’ union activities or sympathies. (Whether questioning is coercive and therefore unlawful depends on the relevant circumstances, including who asks the questions, where, and how; what information is sought; whether the questioned employee is an open and active union supporter; and whether the questioning occurs in a context of other unfair labor practices.)
  • Prohibit employees from talking about the union during working time, if you permit them to talk about other non-work-related subjects.
  • Poll your employees to determine the extent of their support for a union, unless you comply with certain safeguards. You must not have engaged in unfair labor practices or otherwise created a coercive atmosphere. In addition, you must (1) communicate to employees that the purpose of the poll is to determine whether the union enjoys majority support (and that must, in truth, be your purpose); (2) give employees assurances against reprisal; and (3) conduct the poll by secret ballot.
  • Spy on employees’ union activities. (“Spying” means doing something out of the ordinary to observe the activity. Seeing open union activity in workplace areas frequented by supervisors is not “spying.”)
  • Create the impression that you are spying on employees’ union activities.
  • Photograph or videotape employees engaged in peaceful union or other protected activities.
  • Solicit individual employees to appear in a campaign video.
  • Promulgate, maintain, or enforce work rules that reasonably tend to inhibit employees from exercising their rights under the Act.
  • Deny off-duty employees access to outside nonworking areas of your property, unless business reasons justify it.
  • Prohibit employees from wearing union buttons, t-shirts, and other union insignia unless special circumstances warrant.
  • Convey the message that selecting a union would be futile.
  • Discipline or discharge a union-represented employee for refusing to submit, without a representative, to an investigatory interview the employee reasonably believes may result in discipline.
  • Interview employees to prepare your defense in an unfair labor practice case, unless you provide certain assurances. You must communicate to the employee the purpose of the questioning, assure him against reprisals, and obtain his voluntary participation. Questioning must occur in a context free from employer hostility to union organization and must not itself be coercive. And questioning must not go beyond what is needful to achieve its legitimate purpose. That is, you may not pry into other union matters, elicit information concerning the employee’s subjective state of mind, or otherwise interfere with employee rights under the Act.
  • Initiate, solicit employees to sign, or lend more than minimal support to or approval of a decertification or union-disaffection petition.
  • Discharge, constructively discharge, suspend, layoff, fail to recall from layoff, demote, discipline, or take any other adverse action against employees because of their protected, concerted activities.

After two days of evidentiary hearings, the judge gave both sides an August 6th deadline to present briefs for his consideration.  A decision is not expected until later this year. 


National Poppy Month Recognized in El Dorado

Opening the City Commission with public comments, Barbara Trent, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 member and Poppy Chairman presented information to the Commission on the work of the local Auxiliary Unit.  However, her main goal was to share the mission of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program celebrated each May.

Poppy Barb
American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Chairman Barbara Trent speaking before the City Commission.

According to the American Legion Auxiliary, “Connecting the visual image of the poppy with the sacrifice of service made by our veterans has been an important goal of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program since its inception in 1921. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies—all handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation—are distributed across the country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities.”

This year, National Poppy Day is May 24, 2019. The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms. Wear a poppy to honor those who have worn our nation’s uniform.

After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. Scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines.

On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.

In El Dorado, the poppies will be handed out free of charge but donations will be accepted.  All donations received will be used by The American Legion Family for their programs that support veterans, the military community and their families.

Mayor Vince Haines shared that he recently had the opportunity to visit Flanders Field then announced a proclamation naming May Poppy Month in El Dorado.  Joining Barbara were other unit members President Carol Smith, Chaplain Lois Cool and Poppy Prince Tatum.

From left to right, Lois Cool, Carol Smith, Barbara Trent, Mayor Vince Haines with the Proclamation and in front, Poppy Prince Tatum.  Tatum is the grandson of Barbara Trent.



Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast

LOVE ONE ANOTHER was the theme of this year’s ‘National Day of Prayer’ celebration held on May 2, 2019, at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.

Mayor Vince Haines shared some of the history surrounding the National Day of Prayer.

Mayor Haines stated that the first call to prayer was in 1775.  Our founding fathers prayed for wisdom to form this nation.  The inclusion of prayer in many of the early documents highlights the fact that prayer was a cherished aspect of daily life for them.

On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States.  President Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.

This year’s program featured Kimberly Fross, Executive Director of the Pregnancy and Family Resource Center, who shared her testimony and gift of song.

National Day of Prayer Speaker Kimberly Fross.

The opening prayer was given by Wade Graber.

Old and New Testament readings were performed by Kimberly’s sister, Shelley Merritt and mother, Ila Jean Crawford.  The closing prayer was given by Dave Slayton.

From left to right, Wade Graber, Larry Crawford, Ila Jean Crawford, Kimberly Fross, Shelley Merritt, Jean Plummer, Mayor Vince Haines, and Dave Slayton.