Headlines – 12/20/2002

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2002

Panolian : December 20, 2002

For complete stories, pick up the 12/20/02  issue of The Panolian

City Has Hospital Loan Plea on Hold for Now
Backs study to review sale or lease possibility

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There will be no $574,525 loan from the City of Batesville to Tri-Lakes Medical Center – at least not now.

That was the decision made Tuesday by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen who took the loan request under advisement and opted to set in motion legal steps that could lead to the sale or lease of the hospital.

At issue is the hospital’s future, its financial status and a $500,000 bond payment owed by the facility and due Jan. 1. The hospital does not have enough funds to make the bond payment and another payment, $900,000, is due in July, according to Tri-Lakes administrator Richard Manning.

Representing the hospital board, Larry Pratt, vice chairman, asked for the money saying it is needed to get state Medicaid matching funds.

Because of the high number of Medicaid patients here, Pratt said the $574,525 would garner $223,426 in Medicaid funds under the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program. The $574,525 would be returned by the state along with the $223,426.

Pratt said the city loan would be repaid upon receipt of the DSH funds and returned matching dollars.

While not going along with the DSH plan, the board did give unanimous approval to a resolution that allows Tri-Lakes to borrow $515,000 from State Bank & Trust Company, Batesville.

That action followed a like decision made Monday by the Panola County Board of Supervisors.


Tri-Lakes Review to Focus on Local Control, Finances

Although Tri-Lakes Medical Center didn’t get the city loan it hoped for this week, Larry Pratt, hospital board vice chairman, is optimistic the money will be forthcoming before long.

Tri-Lakes is seeking a loan of $574,525 from the city to pony up as matching funds so it can receive $223,426 in additional Medicaid funding, according to Pratt. The city’s money would be refunded by the state along with the Medicaid dollars. (See related stories)

"I was pleased," Pratt said of the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting. "I really don’t think there will be any question that we can get the funds once the city verifies what I told them."

National Guard to Get New Armory Here, says Governor
It was a memorable ceremony for a new recruit as Governor Ronnie Musgrove was present when Maj. Gen. James Lipscomb III, swore in Arthur Brandon Bennett Anthony (l) as a new member of the National Guard.

Batesville’s National Guardsmen will have a new home on Keating Road, Governor Ronnie Musgrove said during a visit here. Construction is expected to start this summer.

During his stop at the National Guard Armory Wednesday, Musgrove was joined by Major General James H. Lipscomb III. The visit was part of Musgrove’s Capital for a Day program which brought representatives from many state agencies here, too.

"No state has more National Guardsmen called on to serve the country than Mississippi does," Musgrove said. "That is a testament to the caliber of the men and women we have serving."

Musgrove related a story to the crowd of a walk he made through the armory when he was 10 years old.

"I remember thinking the building was old then," he said. "It still looks old 36 years later."

Musgrove explained it is his belief the guardsmen should have an armory fitting of their personnel quality.