Temple hospital receives honors
Here's three big stories to get you through the day. Plus, take advantage of our expanded calendar of events. Your comments and opinions are welcome at OurTownTemple@gmail.com.
TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2021
BSW Temple on U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Hospitals’ list
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple feature
Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple has been named the eighth best hospital in Texas and is ranked in the top 10 percent nationwide in several specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report.
The report recognizes Baylor Scott & White as the most awarded not-for-profit health system in Texas, said Dr. Stephen Sibbitt, chief medical officer at the Temple hospital.
The Temple hospital ranked in the top 10 percent nationally in gastroenterology, gastrointestinal surgery and orthopedics.
Twenty-six BSW hospitals received a “high performing” rating in at least one of the 17 common procedures and conditions evaluated by the magazine. Less than a third of all hospitals in the United States achieved this rating.
BSW Medical Center in Temple received “high performing” ratings in 10 of the 17 procedures and conditions evaluated, including colon cancer surgery, COPD, diabetes, heart attack and heart failure, kidney failure, knee replacement, lung cancer surgery, pneumonia and stroke.
“Baylor Scott & White’s commitment to safety and quality is affirmed today in the ‘Best Hospitals’ list,” he said. “Our medical staff continue to demonstrate their commitment in providing quality care to all of our patients.”
“Even during a challenging time with COVID-19, they have remained steadfast in providing exceptional care and service,” Sibbitt said. “The community’s support has been integral in our hospital’s ability to achieve these accomplishments.”
Baylor University Medical Center, a BSW hospital in Dallas, ranked fifth among all Texas hospitals. In Waco, BSW Hillcrest received a “high performing” rating in kidney failure treatment.
"For the last 17 months, our healthcare workers’ commitment, compassion and expertise have guided our patients, members, colleagues and communities through the unknown," said Jim Hinton, CEO of Baylor Scott & White. “We are proud of this acknowledgement of their efforts and celebrate this achievement by our hospitals throughout Texas.”
The magazine’s annual “Best Hospitals” rankings and ratings — now in their 32nd year — are designed to assist patients and doctors in deciding where to receive care for challenging health conditions or common procedures.
U.S. News & World Report is the second high-profile magazine this year to recognize the Temple hospital’s accomplishments.
In April, Fortune magazine rated BSW Medical Center in Temple as the second best teaching hospital in America.
Take a Slow Ride through downtown Temple
Temple scooter fleet increasing to 80
Story and photos by DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
Walking has always been a popular means of getting around in downtown Temple. Back in the day, horses and buggies traversed muddy streets, and in the past century the automobile has taken over.
But now a new form of transportation has emerged in the blossoming Temple entertainment district — scooters.
Temple Scooter Company is one of three businesses headquartered at 13 S. 2nd Street in Temple. The other two are Tour Temple and Corky’s wine, beer and comedy club. All three are owned by Gloria and Dan Elder.
“Scooters are our newest venture,” Dan said. “Its booming. Right now we have a fleet of 30 but that will increase to 80 by the end of the week.”
Scooters are available at Corky’s and 13 other “corrals” in the downtown area. Riders download the Sunday Scooter smartphone app and link it to a debit or credit card. Once the scooter is scanned, the renter is provided with an online safety lesson and a liability waiver to sign. Then, the fun begins.
“The cost is 25 cents per minute of riding,” Dan said. “We are developing a business plan and a monthly plan for regular users.”
The scooters are made for downtown roads and are capable of blazing speeds up to 14 miles per hour.
“We ask our riders to stay off the sidewalks,” he said. “Sidewalks are for foot traffic, and these scooters are made for roads.”
Temple Scooter staff tracks its entire fleet on an electronic map at headquarters.
“We always know where scooters are, and we can tell when one needs recharging,” he said. “If a charge is low, we can dispatch a staff member with another scooter for the customer.”
Scooter renters can travel up to about three miles from Corky’s with no trouble. Pass that mark, however, and the scooter beeps a warning, then shuts down.
Dan said theft has not been a major problem, but one scooter did disappear — for a short time.
“We tracked it and notified police,” he said. “When we got to the location, I used the app to make it beep. Sure enough, we heard it and recovered the scooter.”
Dan pointed out that scooter rentals are an “adults only” activity.
“You don’t need a driver’s license, but all riders must be at least 18 years old,” he said. “A parent cannot rent a scooter for a child.”
Also located at the South 2nd Street location is Tour Temple, which offers wine and beer excursions in the area, a limousine service and private tours.
“Our wine and beer tours are very popular,” Dan said. “They are about four hours long, and they are kid and pet friendly.”
The tours depart from Corky’s on a shuttle bus and stops at either three breweries or three wineries, he said.
“The beer tour includes stops at BJ’s Tasting Room, Fire Base Brewing and Bold Republic in Belton,” he said. “BJ’s Tasting Room crafts all the beer for BJ’s restaurants in Texas and the entire region. Corky’s is one of the few non-BJ’s establishments that sell BJ’s beer.”
“The wine tour makes stops at Moose & Goose Winery, at 3 Texans Winery and at Walker Honey Farm near Rogers for their Dancing Bee Wine,” he said.
Tour Temple also operates a 4-hour Sunday excursion to Salado that includes shopping, wine bars and a brewery.
Tour Temple also owns a stretch limousine and provides private excursions and transportation to weddings and corporate events.
Corky’s bar has quickly become a day-night destination in downtown Temple.
“We’re right next to The Hub, and we have a lot of gentlemen who make their way into Corky’s while their wives shop next door,” Dan said.
While Corky’s is definitely a place for a good time, it’s not the place to go out and get blitzed.
“We are not a Jello-shot kind of bar,” he said. “We cater to active adults.”
Corky’s has become a popular stop on Wednesdays and Saturdays for comedy.
“We have open mic night every Wednesday,” he said. “It’s free, and for most part it’s a time where amateur comedians can test the waters or try out new material.”
Touring comedians are showcased on Saturday evenings in the cozy bar. This past Saturday, about 50 people laughed their way through five stand-up performances.
Saturday afternoon marked the debut of Pop-a-Cork & Paint.
“You can order a glass or wine or craft brew and get busy paining your own 16x20 masterpiece,” Dan said with a smile. “Local artist Susan Sterle will walk you through the basics of art while you learn, create and have a blast.”
Tour Temple driver Andrea Scott awaits passengers outside of Corky’s on South 2nd Street in downtown Temple.
Tony Wenstrup was one of five comedians on stage Saturday night at Corky’s in downtown Temple. The popular beer and wine stop hosts comedy events on Wednesday and Saturday nights.
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Oh, Rats! Early Temple had furry pests
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
Welcome to Ratsville. Population? Thousands.
In its early days, Temple wasn’t always called by its proper name.
Some called it Mudville for its thick black-land prairie soil. Some referred to the new city as Tanglefoot because of the mud and its reputation as a wild frontier town that loved its booze. But the most common nickname in the 1880s? Ratsville wins hands down.
Thanks to a railroad boom, Temple grew faster in population than in structure — meaning there weren’t near enough homes for the growing numbers of railroad workers assigned to the new junction town. Tent neighborhoods sprung up and folks — mostly men — roughed it while permanent housing was constructed.
Temple resembled a giant camp site. People sleeping in tents, cooking on campfires and eating under shade trees. City services such as sanitation were in their infancy, so there were lots of food scraps around. And soon, there were lots of rodents. According to early reports, Temple had way more rats than people.
By the 1890s, however, the face of Temple began to change. Arriving trains brought women, children, china, crystal and all the touches of a modern society. Whole families packed their belongings onto boxcars and headed to Temple.
The city acquired kinder nicknames such as Progressive Temple and the Prairie Queen. Times were changing, and the rats had to go.
Rats were feared and despised in Temple and across the old West. The large rodents spread diseases such as rat bite fever, salmonella, Hantavirus and even bubonic plague.
Bubonic plague, known as the Black Death that decimated Europe centuries earlier, was actually caused by rat fleas rather than rats themselves. But, if there were no rats, the fleas would disappear.
Fears of bubonic plague in the West spread in the late 1800s with an outbreak in California that killed 102 of the 105 confirmed cases. That confirmation — along with other health concerns — was enough for cities and towns to increase their efforts to get rid of the pests. Temple was in step with these efforts as the bitter struggle between man and rat heated up.
The situation was so bad the city paid bounties for dead rats. It was easy money, but there were far too many rats.
Then, like now, there were three methods of rat control — cats, traps and poisons. Since most local cats were of the “bob” variety and the job was too big for traps alone, Temple relied heavily on poisoning the vermin.
Poisons of the day tasted like, well, poison. To improve the taste poison was mixed with meat or grain. Rats that survived a first bite would not return for a second, and they often urinated on the bait to warn other rats to stay away. To solve the problem, mixtures had to be strong enough to kill in one bite. Unfortunately, there were other casualties such as children and pets.To solve this problem, cities such as Temple turned to an old West standby — red squill.
Red squill has been used since at least 1500 BC. It is a flowering plant with bulbous roots that are cut into slices, dried in the sun and ground into powder. Squill kills the rat by paralyzing its heart, and it is less toxic than traditional poisons of the time. Human or dog consumption is rarely fatal because vomiting gets rid of the poison. Rats, apparently, can’t throw up.
Rats were not native to Texas, so how did they get to Temple?
The first rats in the United States are believed to have been brought by Hessian troops hired by the British to fight American colonists in 1776. The ships transported soldiers and boxes of rat-infested grain. Rats rapidly spread west, aided in large part by the railroad industry that gave Temple life.
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What’s Happening, Temple?
July 28, Wednesday - Open Mic Comedy, Corky's, 13 S. 2nd Street, 8 p.m.
July 28, Wednesday - National Junior Brangus Breeders show, Bell County Expo Center.
July 30, Friday - 4-hour Temple Brew Trail, Tour Temple, 13 S. 2nd Street, 8 p.m.
July 30, Friday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
July 30, Friday - Justin Hewitt. O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
July 30, Friday - Mixed Martial Arts. LFA heavyweight title fight Lewis vs. Petersen, plus the return of All Hail Hailey Cowan. 5:30 p.m.
July 30, Friday - Scooter Dubec and Sterling Country. Bo’s Barn Dance Hall. 8 p.m.
July 31, Saturday - Billy Holt, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 9 p.m.
July 31, Saturday - 4-hour Wine Trail Tour, Tour Temple, 13 S. 2nd Street, 3 p.m.
July 31, Saturday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
July 31, Saturday - Adult Night at Summer Fun Water Park, Belton, 8 p.m.
July 31, Saturday - Live Comedy Showcase, Corky’s, 8 p.m.
August 1, Sunday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 6, Friday - Lilly Milford of Lilly & The Implements joins Bryon White of The Damn Quails for a special performance. O’Briens Irish Pub. 9 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Family Night at Summer Fun Water Park, Belton, 7 p.m.
August 6, Friday - Branded Heart, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Dave Jorgenson, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 9 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Bell County Comic Con is a family friendly event for those interested in comics, pop culture, wrestling, gaming, movies and fantasy. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
August 7, Saturday - Dig It! Family Day. Will include a sand pit for unearthing treasures. Learn what it’s like to be an archeologist or a paleontologist and the difference between the two fields of science. Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum. 10 a.m.
August 7, Saturday - American Bucking Bull, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 8, Sunday - Bell County Comic Con is a family friendly event for those interested in comics, pop culture, wrestling, gaming, movies and fantasy. Bell County Expo Center. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 13, Friday - Hyway Traveler, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 14, Saturday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 14, Saturday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 15, Sunday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 15, Sunday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.
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