Headlines – 1/10/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 10, 2003

The Panolian Headlines : January 10, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 1/10/03  issue of The Panolian

City Hires Firm to Manage Study
Pros, Cons of Selling Hospital to Get Review
J.C. Burns of Burns Development Group outlines his proposal to the Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

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A consulting firm headed by J.C. Burns has been hired to manage a project to analyze the feasibility of selling or leasing Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

Burns, former senior vice president of Batesville’s First Security Bank and former Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, met Tuesday with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

Burns plans to meet at the courthouse Monday at 9 a.m. with the Panola County Board of Supervisors to answer any questions members may have, he said. He now heads Burns Development Group of Ridgeland, Miss.

According to Batesville Mayor Bobby Baker, supervisors have asked "… the city to take the lead" with regard to the study.

Panola County owns 60 percent of the hospital with the city owning the remaining 40 percent. The entities appoint five people to serve on the hospital board.

Tri-Lakes Funds Study of Its Own Has Local Ownership Focus

There appears to be no need for Tri-Lakes Medical Center to continue seeking a short-term city loan in order to have matching funds to obtain additional Medicaid dollars.

And on another front, the hospital board voted Monday to fund a study that will project financial requirements through the fiscal year ending April 30, 2004.

Also, another part of the study will factor in new services and staff planned to arrive at financial projections through 2007.

All that’s according to hospital board vice president Larry Pratt who spoke with The Panolian Tuesday.

Tri-Lakes is owned 60 percent by Panola County and the city has the remaining 40 percent ownership. An appointed board runs the facility.

The study, by Quorum Health Resources, L.L.C., of Brentwood, Tenn., is expected to start this week and be completed in no more than 60 days, Pratt said. The cost to the hospital is capped and won’t exceed $32,000.

That study is one of two that will look into hospital finances and its future.

Money Matters on Center Stage as Session Starts


It’s the "Double E."

That’s what State Rep. Leonard Morris says are the concerns he hears most about from Panola Countians and other Mississippians.

"It’s economic development and education that I hear the most conversation about {in Jackson} and at home," Batesville’s Morris said.

He and other area lawmakers took time out to speak with The Panolian Wednesday night during an open house in Jackson that was sponsored by the Panola Partnership and others.

The lawmakers began their legislative session this week that, by law, must produce a balanced budget within the mandatory 90-day or less session.

The come-and-go event at the state’s Trade Mart drew a large crowd that included Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.

Money is on the mind of all the lawmakers and those running the state’s agencies and many programs.

But, realistically, according to Sen. Nolan Mettetal of Sardis, it will be later in the session before lawmakers have a true handle on the money situation.

Eight Firefighters Quit Bynum Dept.

Dissention within the ranks of the Bynum Fire Department resulted in eight firefighters handing in their turnouts Monday night.

According to the resigning firemen, the bulk of the problem stems from an allegedly blocked attempt to seek a nomination in an election to determine Bynum’s new fire chief.

Guy Wilson, president of the Bynum Board of Commissioners, said the board met last week to discuss the issues causing the turmoil within the department and thought it reached an agreement everyone could live with.

"We have had some distention in the ranks of the department, but in order for the department to operate, it needs to be resolved," he said. "It is the hope of the commissioners that this can be worked out so everyone will be able to get on the same page."

The solution the commissioners reached – keep the same officers in place for a six-month term to end on July 1.