Headlines – 8/31/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Panolian Headlines: August 31, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 8/31/04  issue of The Panolian
Medicaid Cuts Pushed Back
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

Medicaid recipients will have at least 15 days of additional coverage due to federal program guidelines.

According to representatives of Medicaid in Jackson, federal guidelines prohibit mid-month changes to the program. That means the original cut-off date of Sept. 15 has been moved to Sept. 30.

State Medicaid Director Warren Jones told a Senate committee of the change during a meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 25.

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Published reports indicated Jones gave strong assurances that coverage will be continued via waivers to the some 18,000 enrollees who may not be picked up by Medicare.

Jones along with Gov. Haley Barbour met with Medicaid officials as recently as last week. While the pair remains hopeful the waiver plan will receive approval, they have remained tight-lipped about the talks with federal officials.

There are approximately 720,000 Mississippi residents currently receiving Medicaid benefits. That figure includes an estimated 65,000 who are eligible for coverage through the Medicare plan.

The "dual eligible" citizens will be moved to Medicare only under a bill proposed by Barbour and passed by both the Senate and State House of Representatives.

While the original plan could have saved the state as much as $41 million, the countless delays in putting the plan into effect will lower that to an estimated $30 million.

While some lawmakers have attempted, several times over, to get Barbour to change his position on the matter, he has remained strong on his stance.

It is this stance that has Barbour drawing heavy criticism from beneficiaries and healthcare providers who fear those not eligible for Medicare will be forced to deal with higher drug costs and insurance premiums.    

Five Generations
Five generations of Atkinsons were in attendance on July 10 at the annual Atkinson Reunion hosted by A.C. and Sandra Atkinson.

Pictured are (l to r) Mrs. Sadie Atkinson, Bubba Atkinson, Rachel Atkinson Elliot, Atkins Blake Elliot and A.C. Atkinson.

Lucky Dogs
Fred’s recently donated 1,200 pounds of dog food to the local Humane Society.

Pictured (l to r) Lee Martin and Benji Caine from the Batesville Police Department.

BPD Investigating Rash of Burglaries
     Department Seeking Suspects
     Behind Weekend Break-Ins
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


A trifecta of burglaries last week have left Batesville Police Department officials baffled.

While the perpetrator of one burglary, a minor, has been taken into custody, the person or persons behind the other two could remain at large.

During the morning hours of last Tuesday, Aug. 24, Captain Jimmy McCloud discovered the front door of Ebony broken out and called for back-up.

"The suspect was seen leaving through the back of the building," Major Tony Jones said. "Thanks to the hard work of Capt. McCloud, Ofc. Ed Reemes, Ofc. Jamie Tedford and Fido and Ofc. Michael Roberts, the suspect was captured soon after."

Jones said the suspect had fled into the sand ditch behind the building prompting those on the scene to contact Tedford about bringing Fido in for assistance.

"Ofc. Tedford and Fido got out there in the ditch and the suspect was arrested near the Blackmon TV building," he said

Jones said he didn’t think the situation could have played out much better.

"The whole thing was good from a procedure point of view," he said. "We got a good clean arrest and nobody got hurt."

While that case is solved, two other burglaries are still under investigation.

The first occurred Saturday, Aug. 21 at Hock It to Me pawn shop.

According to Detective George Williford, access to the building was gained through a broken window. Four pistols were stolen from the store.

"We know the guns are on the street," Williford said. "We are very interested in getting those guns back."