Headlines – 4/23/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 23, 2004

Panolian Headlines: April 23, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 4/23/04  issue of The Panolian

Trustees Anger Tri-Lakes Owners
Legal Battle Could Come Over
     Certificates of Need
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

City and county leaders may have another hurdle to jump before selling Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

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Assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell told the Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen he had been informed the hospital board intends to transfer the certificates of need to the control of administrator Dr. Bob Corkern.

Mitchell said the hospital board’s intentions could be harmful to the sale of Tri-Lakes.

"I am very concerned about what this could do to the process the city and county have started," Mitchell said. "It is not good for another entity to attempt disposing of assets that could be valuable in the sale."

Mitchell said if the hospital board is able to transfer the certificates of need, it could drive down the price of the hospital or limit the number of bidders.

Alderman James Yelton said he could see the hospital board’s actions as grounds for legal action.

"If anybody does anything that costs this city any money, we should go after them personally and legally," he said.

Mitchell said he did not think the hospital trustees could legally sell the hospital because they are not the owners of the facility.

"I truly believe the certificates of need cannot be transferred unless it is done by the owners of the hospital," he said. "Even if they could do it, I don’t think they could transfer them to Dr. Corkern because he is an employee of the hospital."

Mitchell said the best thing the city could do would be issuing a letter requesting the process of transferring the certificates of need be ceased.

"They need to cease the attempts they are making," he said. "The RFP’s are due June 1 and that transfer could be harmful."

Mayor Bobby Baker said the board needed to take action to not hinder the process they and the county are in.

"We need to do whatever we can to insure that this process runs smoothly," he said.

Contractor for Park Gets
     Extra $10,000
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

The construction contract on the proposed Batesville Downtown Park has been awarded, for a second time, to Century Construction of Tupelo.

During the meeting of the Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen on Tuesday, the decision was made to rescind a previous motion letting the contract at $280,000 and a new motion was passed rewarding Century with the project and an additional $10,000 bringing the total winning bid to $290,000.

"This board awarded the contract based on the $280,000 sealed bid submitted by Century Construction," assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell said. "Adding $10,000 to the base bid was written on the outside, and even with that extra money, it was still the lowest bid."

Mitchell explained according to an Attorney General’s opinion, bid modifications can be made on the outside envelope of a bid as long as the total bid amount is not written.

"If that were to happen, it would not be considered a sealed bid," he said.

Mitchell said the board could say the bid did not meet the specifications outlined by the request for proposal, but it was just a judgment call.


Fill ‘Er Up
Revitalization of the Downtown Square continues as the old service station was reopened for business Tuesday. Dennis Baker (left) was the first customer. Also pictured is Danny Alewine (middle) and Jack Cobb (right).

SP’s Stevenson Accepts Post
   on National Board

By Fredrick Cosby Jr.
Contributing Writer

The words at the South Panola School District Board meeting last Tuesday were achievement and advancement.

Dr. C.L. Stevenson, superintendent of South Panola School District, has been elected to serve on the executive committee of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).

Stevenson formerly served as a member of the AASA Governing Board which is composed of his peers from across the nation and Canada. AASA is a professional organization composed of more than 14,000 public school systems.

Batesville Elementary School has been approved for Barksdale Reading Institute (BRI) Grant Renewal. BES’s share of the grant will be $110,461; $42,136 will be budgeted to salaries/salary supplements and $59,810 is allocated for BRI direct purchases.

Batesville Middle School received notification this month that Kole Oakes, fifth grader and son of Coach Arnie Oakes, won first place in the Mississippi Arbor Day Poster Contest. Oakes was presented with a $300 check on April 22. Also, his poster will be judged in the national contest in Nebraska.

Batesville Junior High had 10 students who participated in the Duke University Talent Search. These students are: Jamie Battle, Devin Kibby, Chelsea Ratcliff, Allan Burnett, Donald Casteel, Jonathan Chadwick, Victoria Darby, Caroline Flint, Preston Gehringer, Courtney Hooks, Camisha Johnson, Kelly Martin, Colten Stevens, and Candace Watson.

Morris Recognized
Boys and Girls Club executive director Dennis Hoskins (l) places a ribbon around the neck of Belinda Morris for receiving the National Professional Service Award from the National Boys and Girls Club organization. Morris is holding the certificate which was presented to her by Batesville Boys and Girls Club board president David Lavergne (r).