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Posted on Mar 5, 2015

News Briefs: County refinances fairgrounds bonds, man accidentally shoots himself

Refinancing saves taxpayers nearly $467,000
EPHRATA – Grant County will save itself $466,863 with the refinancing of bonds on the Grant County Fairgrounds.
The average annual savings is about $35,912, the county reported in a press release.
“We have timed this refinancing near an interest rate low,” said Darryl Pheasant, county treasurer. “The concept of refinancing a bond is similar to refinancing your mortgage at lower interest rates.”
As part of the process, county commissioners and staff conducted a presentation to a national rating agency. The county received a rating grade of AA-.
“Once again, this is a great accomplishment for the county and its citizens,” Pheasant said in a press release.
Pheasant said the AA- bond rating grade was based on the following key factors:  A demonstrated track record of strong fund balances; the strength of the local economy; growth in assessed value in the county; financial practices and policies administered by the commissioners and staff; and  experienced management in operating the county in an efficient manner.
“This bond rating grade reflects that Grant County is very well-managed and has excellent financial policies and practices in place for the benefit of our citizens,” Commissioner Cindy Carter said.

George man accidentally shoots himself
GEORGE – An 82-year-old man from rural George was treated at Columbia Basin Hospital last week after accidentally shooting himself in the thigh, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The man, who lives in the 4800 block of Highway 283, had been making modifications to a Cobra .380-caliber handgun. He forgot he had loaded ammunition into the firearm and shot himself in the inner left leg, Chief Deputy Ken Jones told the Grant County Journal.
The man initially treated his wound at home with assistance from his wife; however, he drove himself to the Ephrata hospital Friday for medical care, Jones said.
Hospital officials then notified law enforcement officials about the incident.
Jones said the man was involved in a call to Ephrata police last Tuesday, the Journal reported. Officers said the man, described as agitated, was at the hospital, openly carrying a handgun in a holster; however, he voluntarily complied with a request to place the firearm in the vehicle, the Journal reported.

CHS patrons share in $4 million distribution
About 775 eligible patrons of CHS Sun Basin will share in the distribution of $4 million in cash and equity during 2015, the company reported last week.
About $1.6 million of that distribution will be in cash, according to CHS.
“Through their ownership in a cooperative like CHS Sun Basin, not only do (our patrons) have access to products and services, they also share in our success and that of the integrated CHS system,” said Ron Kopczynski, general manager of the Quincy-based company. “This enables all of us to invest in the future of our local producers, this business and our community.”
Overall, CHS expects to return about $518 million – its third highest return on record – during its 2015 fiscal year in cash patronage, equity redemptions and dividends paid on preferred stock to about 1,100 eligible cooperatives and more than 55,000 members in 49 states, according to a company press release.
The company’s net income for its fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2014, was $1.1 billion. Over the past six fiscal years, CHS has returned $2.6 billion in cash to its owners, according to the company.
CHS Inc., a Fortune 100  company, is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the country.