Ironwood, MI (Northland's NewsCenter) - A nursing home in Ironwood is under fire by the state for several financial violations.
Neighbors have long regarded the Josephson nursing home as a shining example for other nursing homes. Now the community is left searching for answers with news the facility will forcibly be closed by the state.
Bob Mackie, a longtime resident of Ironwood says the latest news regarding the Josephson Nursing Home is a shock for the community.
"All of a sudden, we read in our local paper that the state's shutting it down. So, that's all we know."
And, according to Paula Rigoni, of Rigoni's Bakery, what's particularly upsetting is not being able to separate fact from rumor.
"And then, of course, there's rumors going around, there's a lot of, 'possibly, could be embezzlement.' I mean, there's just so many rumors that we don't know," Rigoni said.
Officials with the State of Michigan Bureau of Health Systems, say Josephson has experienced serious financial issues under new management.
The nursing home had been cited by the state in March for not having a Licensed Administrator, which, when combined with the inability to pay for therapy services and utilities, prompted the ordered closure.
"I feel so bad because the residents there have to be relocated. It's got to be a hardship on many of the families."
Employees claim their checks have been bouncing for weeks.
"So, we really [have to] support the employees, and hopefully, things will get back to what it once was."
Which, according to Bob Macki, was the pride of the Ironwood Community. Josephson Nursing Home was hailed by locals as a premiere facility.
"I had my mother in there for three years-best care around the area," Macki said. "So, I'm just hoping that someone will take it over again, and make it a beautiful home for a lot of the people that we have around this area."
A state-assigned relocation team is currently helping Josephson residents find new homes in other facilities around the region.
The owner of Josephson Nursing Home, Priscilla Cross, did not return our calls for comment.