Headlines – 9/30/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Panolian Headlines: September 30, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 9/29/03  issue of The Panolian

Corkern Wants to Bid on Tri-Lakes
Fears Requirements May Keep Him
     Out of Running

Tri Lakes Medical Center made $354,678.75 "good faith" partial payment last week on the $500,000 bond payment that isn’t due until January. Dr. Bob Corkern (r), interim administrator at Tri Lakes and Ray Shoemaker, chief operating officer, presented the check to Jim Townsend, Clarksdale branch manager of First National Bank. Since a change in management in July, patient census has increased 33 percent, cash flow has increased by $230,000 per month and average monthly revenue is up from $1,250,344 in January to $2,021,269 in August, hospital officials said. January is traditionally the busiest time for hospitals while August is usually the slowest.

Dr. Bob Corkern plans to make an offer to buy Tri-Lakes Medical Center if financing is available.

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But he’s worried his offer will be invalid because of the minimum qualification requirements listed in the city-county request for proposals.

Corkern, who owns Emergent Health of Jackson, is the interim administrator of the hospital having replaced Richard Manning in July.

Since that time, admissions and revenue are on the increase and an early partial payment was made last week on the bond payment due in January. (See photo above).

Increased admissions alone, Corkern said recently, are generating enough money to keep up the bond payments. About $22 million is owed on the facility.

His company also provides emergency room and hospitalist (internist) patient care.

Corkern says the minimum qualifications required to lease or buy the hospital could leave him out of the mix.

There is a provision in the request for proposals that gives the owners authority to grant a waiver of the requirements but Corkern said his attorneys are leery of that unless everyone bidding is given a waiver.

Election Hearing is Today
Chancery Clerk Outcome Dispute

The outcome of a hearing at the Panola County Courthouse at 9 a.m. this morning will determine a winner in the hotly-contested race for the Chancery Clerk’s office.

The race has been up in the air since shortly after the run-off election on August 26.

According to results, Jim Pitcock won the run-off by 10 votes over David Chandler, but Chandler had the right to challenge the results.

Panola County Circuit Clerk Joe Reid explained that, according to the law, Chandler had up to 12 days to challenge the outcome.

Chandler secured the services of Cleveland attorney Ellis Turnage and a petition was filed on Chandler’s behalf saying that legal votes were rejected and illegal votes were accepted during the counting of the affidavit ballots. The definition of illegal ballots is not given in the petition.

According to David Walker, Chairman of the Democratic Party for Panola County, after reviewing the petition, the election committee agreed to meet to allow both Turnage and Pitcock’s attorney Richard Phillips to present evidence on behalf of their clients.

The hearing will determine a clear winner in the race for Chancery Clerk, Walker said.

"It is the goal of the committee to hear all of the evidence from both parties," he said. "Once we have done that, the committee will make the decision to reverse their initial ruling or uphold it.

"Either way, a winner will be known in the race when the hearing comes to a close," he said.

Results of the hearing will be published in Friday’s edition of The Panolian.


 Fire Prevention Getting Emphasis
(Back l to r) Batesville Firemen William Stewart, Rip Copeland and James Snyder were on hand in the board room at City Hall when Mayor Bobby Baker (seated) signed a proclamation naming the week of Oct. 5 as "Fire Prevention Week.

Batesville Mayor Bobby Baker signed a proclamation on Monday naming the week of Oct. 5 as "Fire Prevention Week."

Batesville Fire Department Fire and Life Safety Educator Rip Copeland said the week was chosen to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

"Fire Prevention Week is in its eighty-first year," he said. "It is a way to make people aware of proper actions during a fire."

Copeland said a lot of times a person’s strongest impulses can be the deadliest.

"Far too many people put themselves at a deadly risk attempting to rescue loved ones or pets," he said.

Copeland said a recent national survey showed that only four in 10 people knew that when the smoke alarm sounds they should leave their home immediately.

New Librarian Seeks to Involve
Community More in Branch


New Batesville Librarian Barbara Evans came to the job after more than six years at the Sardis Public Library.  

Evans takes some time to familiarize herself with part of the Batesville Library’s collection.    


A seven-year employee of the First Regional Library system has been promoted to head librarian at the Batesville branch.

Barbara Evans, who began her career with First Regional at its Como branch in June of ?96, spent the bulk of her career at the Sardis branch before stepping up to the Batesville Public Library.

"Sardis was like my home," she said. "Due to the size of the library, I was able to work on the circulation desk a good bit.

"Doing that allowed me to get well acquainted with the collection as well as the patrons the library served."

While in Sardis, Evans was responsible for overseeing the expansion of the library.