Headlines – 1/6/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Panolian Headlines: January 6, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 1/6/04  issue of The Panolian

Obstetrician Submits Resignation;
Says Administrator "Untrustworthy"
By Kate B. Dickson

Tri-Lakes Medical Center’s chief of staff – Batesville’s only practicing obstetrician – is calling it quits.

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"I resigned this morning," Dr. George Quesnel told The Panolian Friday, expressing dissatisfaction with the administration of Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

"I don’t trust him … he’s not trustworthy," Quesnel said of Tri-Lakes’ interim administrator Dr. Bob Corkern.

Quesnel, who has been in Batesville for six years, said he gave his letter of resignation to Ray Shoemaker, the hospital’s chief operating officer.

"{Ray] said I should have talked to {Dr. Corkern]," Quesnel said. "But I told him Dr. Corkern’s never here. He runs the hospital by telephone … delegating to others."

Quesnel said he delivers about 250 babies here a year and with other admissions, medical procedures and emergency room visits he estimates his practice generates about $1.5 million in annual revenue for the hospital.

"I’ve been here six years," he said. "If the hospital is still alive [financially] it is because of me."

As required by contract, Quesnel said his letter gives three months notice.

Corkern has "No Problem" with Quesnel
By Kate B. Dickson

Tri-Lakes Medical Center’s Interim Administrator Dr. Bob Corkern says he’s not sure why resigning obstetrician Dr. George Quesnel finds him "untrustworthy."

(See related story ABOVE).

Corkern, who has been in the post since July, told The Panolian Monday, "I don’t have any problem at all with Dr. Quesnel. I don’t know why he has some sort of problem with me … but when I perceived he did I went to him and he told me he didn’t trust me."

The interim administrator said Quesnel told him that [Corkern] had come "to take Mr. [Richard] Manning’s job. [Quesnel] said he liked Mr. Manning."

The only reason Corkern said he can think of for Quesnel not trusting him revolved around an incident in which Corkern said he’d told the obstetrician he’d be in the building at a particular time and was not because an emergency called him away.

"I had an emergency," Corkern said. "Maybe he took that to mean I’m not trustworthy."

Meanwhile, Corkern said he is in talks with two obstetricians about coming to Batesville.

"I have no doubt we’ll have a replacement before Dr. Quesnel leaves," Corkern said.

"I just feel like Dr. Quesnel is trying to damage me or the hospital as much as he can as he leaves," Corkern said.


Perkins Unanimous Pick for Supervisor President
The Panola County Board of Supervisors were sworn in on Monday morning prior to the first meeting on 2004. Sworn in by Judge Mitch Lundy (right) were (l-r) Bubba Waldrup, James Birge, Jerry Perkins, Robert Avant and Mack Benson.
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

For the first time in eight years, the Panola County Board of Supervisors has a new president.

District Four Supervisor Jerry G. Perkins was unanimously selected by his fellow supervisors to head the board during the first board meeting of 2004 at the Sardis Courthouse. He takes the place of former president, District Two Supervisor Robert Avant.

According to state law, the board is required to organize itself (elect a president and vice-president) before it can officially open a meeting.

Avant’s bid for re-election to the post failed when District Three Supervisor Mack Benson’s nomination died due to lack of a second. District Five Supervisor Bubba Waldrup then nominated Perkins whose nomination was seconded by District One Supervisor James Birge.

Avant was unanimously selected to the vice-president post on the board, and offered some advice to the new president.

"You will be going to a lot more meetings," he said. "But I believe you will do a great job for this county.


Two Men Perish in Sardis Blazes
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

Deadly fires continue to plague Panola County as a pair of fires in Sardis over a four-day period left two men dead and their homes destroyed, Panola County Sheriff’s Deputy Gerald White said.

Both fires remain under investigation pending autopsy results.

The deaths bring to six the number of fire fatalities that have occurred in recent months.

The first fire at 217 Clairmont St. occurred on New Year’s Eve at 11:59 p.m. and left Terry Bobo, 36, dead at the scene, White said.

"The old house was supposed to have been vacant, but we have been told there have been people living there off and on for several months," they deputy said.

White said the house was burned to the ground when members of the Sardis Volunteer Fire Department arrived.

"The body of Bobo was found under some of the debris," he said. "No one else was in the house at the time of the fire."

The second fire, a trailer fire at 901 Floyd’s Island in Sardis, was called in at 4:20 a.m. Sunday morning and killed Arthur Kimbro, 45.