Headlines – 4/30/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 30, 2004

Panolian Headlines: April 30, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 4/30/04  issue of The Panolian

Dance Watchin’
The First United Methodist Church Children’s Center observed The Order of the Arrow given by Troop 478 of the Boy Scouts. Carlee Griste watched as they did a dance called "The Event of the Pow Wow."

Answered Prayer Benefit
     Proceeds to Assist Families
     with Medical Expenses

By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

Four Panola County families are counting on people to come out in force to support this year’s Answered Prayer Benefit.

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Starting at 10 a.m. at the multi-purpose building near Wal-Mart, Panola Countians will get the opportunity to help raise money for Adam Connor, Josh Mackey, Kaitlyn Herron and Levi Taylor’s medical expenses through the 2004 Answered Prayer Benefit.

The Answered Prayer Benefit is a collective effort between founder Charles West, The Batesville Kiwanis Club, The City of Batesville, South Panola Lions Club, Batesville Lions Club, Batesville Civitan Club and the Dream Riders.

"I prayed about it and asked God what I could do to help some children I heard about," West said of the Christmas night when Answered Prayer was born.

West said the event has gotten bigger each year as it tries to help more children.

"We have reached a point where we have a committee to screen the applications we have coming in," he said. "That committee is made up of members from the civic organizations helping with the event."

This year the money raised will be split to help Connor who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Mackey who suffers fro seizures as result of a stroke he had at 3 months old, Herron was diagnosed with Tricustid Stenosis/Pulmonary Stenosis and Taylor who suffers from Pierre Robin Syndrome.

"We have picked four wonderful children," West said. "And they all come from hard working families.

Body Found
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

A body found in northern Panola County last week has investigators of the Panola County Sheriff’s Department busy.

According to investigator Barry Thompson, the body of Andrew Melton, 27, of Memphis, was discovered on a field road off Silo Road last Thursday.

"The body was found off the side of a dirt road at approximately 3:15 p.m. in his vehicle," he said.

"An employee of Southwest Boll Weevil Irradiation was turning into a road to check his traps and saw the vehicle sitting there," Thompson said.

"The man saw the truck there and went to check on him," he said. "That’s when he found what he did and called 911."

While the county is awaiting autopsy results, Thompson said the death seems to have been caused by a self inflicted gun shot wound.

"Due to the amount of damage to the head, I believe a shotgun was used," he said.

Thompson said the department did not suspect foul play, but would not rule it out until the autopsy was completed.

"We do not believe anyone else caused this death, but we will know more once we get the autopsy back," he said.


Crowning Achievement
Whitney Prather (l) was crowned Miss Hospitality 2004 by last year’s Miss Hospitality Brooke Carmichael. She is the daughter of Bryan and Maria Prather, of Batesville. Whitney was sponsored by the Batesville Lions Club.

Tri-Lakes Trustee Board
     Offers Letter to County
Ladies and Gentlemen:

By law, the Board of Trustees exists to insure that quality healthcare is provided for the citizens of Panola County. Our challenge is to insure that continuous improvement and quality care are hallmarks of Tri-Lakes Medical Center. To that end, we are charged with exploring all opportunities to insure that our fellow citizens receive the best quality healthcare possible. Over the past several years, we have been challenged with many options. We seek counsel from legal, financial and clinical experts in healthcare as well as from the community itself. We are charged to protect and properly use the assets and resources of the hospital. We have not voted on the transfer of any assets to any individual or entity. We have a moral and ethical responsibility to the citizens of the city and county to seek the very best actions and results.

Over the past year, the hospital has experienced significant improvement in quality of care as well as improved financial results. This has been due in large part to the management of Dr. Bob Corkern and his staff. Dr. Corkern brought to Tri-Lakes a physician’s perspective that has been endorsed by the local physician community. This caring attitude has resulted in an increase in average daily patient census from 28 in April 2003 to 48 in April 2004. Profitability has grown from a loss of $1.3 million in 2003 to a profit of $1.2 million for 2004, a $2.5 million improvement. The hospital has added over 100 new employees while payroll has increased from $633,000 for the month of June 2003 to $761,000 for the month of March 2004, a 20% increase. We believe the vision that Dr. Corkern has presented to you and the citizens is both exciting and meaningful for our constituents. His performance over the past nine months proves his ability to succeed.

It is our feeling that way too much misinformation has been communicated through the press and through other communication channels. It is our belief that we all are seeking a common goal: to insure that the citizens of Panola County receive the best quality healthcare that is available, within our own community. We invite a positive proactive dialogue with you, collectively or individually, that will insure that our citizens receive the very best – that is what they deserve and should expect from all of us.

Board of Trustees