Headlines – 12/2/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 2, 2003

Panolian Headlines: December 2, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 12/2/03  issue of The Panolian

Santa made an early stop in Batesville on Friday to help out the Batesville Kiwanis Club and kick off the shopping season at the Factory Stores. Shirley Bennett and her granddaughter Darbi Smith welcomed Santa to town and told him their holiday wishes.

Supervisors to Tour Triad’s
    Vicksburg Facility
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

In the interest of fairness, Supervisors will tour a Vicksburg hospital owned and operated by Triad Hospitals, Inc. of Plano, Texas – one of the finalists for the sale of Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

Some tours of facilities owned by the other finalist, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation of Memphis were conducted last month.

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William McKenzie, attorney for the Panola County Board of Supervisors told the board he had spoken with consultant J.C. Burns, and Triad wants them to tour its Vicksburg facility next week.

"Some of you will already be in Jackson for a meeting that day, so, if you are going to tour the hospital, I suggest you do it while you are close," County Administrator David Chandler said.

"I think it is very important that everyone involved gets a fair shake on this deal," he said.

Supervisor Dennis Lott said touring the facility is a good idea for the board.

"This way, we will get to see what they have to offer before we make our final decision," Lott said.

Hospital Hopefuls Checking Out Facts
By Kate B. Dickson

Representatives of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation were in Batesville Monday conducting "due diligence" at Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

That’s according to city-county consultant J.C. Burns who said the other top choice to lease or buy the local hospital, Triad Hospitals, Inc., of Plano, Texas, will have representatives here on Wednesday. (See related story this page)

Burns said cooperation at Tri-Lakes was "excellent" Monday when five officials from Baptist in Memphis were on hand.

He said the due diligence will include such things as checking financials, the physical plant and other factors to see how Tri-Lakes fits into each proposal.

The Tri-Lakes board of trustees wants the hospital to continue to operate under its direction with Dr. Bob Corkern, interim administrator, at the helm.

However, a proposal from the board and Dr. Corkern, was thrown out by the majority of the city and county boards leaving only Baptist and Triad of Plano, Texas. (See related story)

Burns says he expects his firm will have a recommendation of one of the two for aldermen and supervisors before the end of December.

"We’re telling everyone that we are in a hurry to get this done consistent with good, sound business practices," Burns told The Panolian.

"This has been going on for a year and one-half," Burns said with regard to when information was first received about financial problems at Tri-Lakes.

"The employees and the community need to have a reconciliation of this situation," Burns said.



Strep Bacteria Claims SPHS Ninth-Grader
By Kate B. Dickson

A form of bacteria, Group A streptococcus, that is known to attack the body in "pretty rare" instances is being blamed for the death of 14-year-old Heather Nicole Camp. (See )

Patricia Camp, Heather’s aunt, told The Panolian the ninth grader at South Panola High School showed signs of illness when she came home from school on Friday, Nov. 21, "with a sore throat."

She was the daughter of Buddy and Barbara Freeman Camp of Courtland.

The following Monday, Heather went to the doctor and was treated with antibiotics, her aunt said.

"She was worse on Tuesday so they took her to the emergency room (at Tri-Lakes Medical Center)," Camp said. "They X-rayed her and she had double pneumonia."

Wet, Cooler Weather Prompts
     Changes in Civic Center Plan
A plan to asphalt the two large Civic Center parking lots has been put on hold, possibly until spring, due to recent rain and colder temperatures.

Meanwhile, work is continuing on a compromise solution that will allow the contractor, PSC Corporation of Ridgeland, to soon have a hard surface from which to work.

That solution involves switching to concrete for the driveway that circles the building, to concrete a 100-space parking lot in front of the building and to concrete the two driveways leading to and from Civic Center Drive.

Concrete can be poured in winter, said architect Girault W. Jones of Grenada, and though more costly will provide a more durable surface.

The contractor needs a hard surface from which to work in order to keep things clean as material and equipment is moved from a staging area into the building’s interior, according to Dick Ambrosino, PSC president.

This week, Jones said "fine grading" close to the building is being completed in preparation for laying sidewalks. Also, he said, "they have started laying out" where the concrete drives and parking lot will be.

Yelton undergoes bypass operation
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

Alderman James Yelton is recovering in Baptist Hospital East in Memphis from double heart bypass surgery and is doing "fine," his wife Melanie Yelton said Monday. Yelton, who did not have a heart attack, suffered chest pains last week and had emergency surgery on Tuesday.

SP Schools Out Early Friday
The South Panola School District will dismiss all schools around 1 p.m. Friday to allow students and fans to travel to Jackson to the Mississippi Memorial Stadium for the State 5A championship football game. Schools will be dismissed according to the regular Tuesday afternoon schedule. The 7:30 p.m. game will feature the South Panola Tigers and the Oak Grove Warriors.