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Duplin times progress sentinel. (Kenansville, N.C.) 1963-current, April 28, 1983, Image 1

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IhipKtt JdifcL PROGRESS SENTINEL VOL. XXXXV11 NO. 17 USPS 162-860 KENANSV1LLE. N.C. 28349 APRIL 28. 1983 18 PAGES THIS WEEK 10 CENTS PLUS TAX .".i-'3SaL : ' ' ? ' ? ? - tT ? y ? ?V...... ? ? ? 'f ' 1? Board Hires Company To Study Hospital The future of Duplin County's fian?ncially troub led hospital w.U be deter mined by tl e county com missioners this summer fol lowing a consulting firm's study of the hospital's finan cial condition. By a 4-1 vote Thursday ( night, the commissioners hired Price Waterhouse, a Raleigh accounting firm, to make the study at a cost of not more than $20,000. ft Commissioner Allen Nethercutt voted no, con tinued his opposition to hiring a consultant. Com missioners W.J. Costin, Cal vin Turner. Dovey Penney and D.J. Fussell voted for the plan. The hospital board last month asked the county for $1 million to upgrade equip ment and facilities. ? Faced with increasing de "mands on county tax funds to keep the hospital operating inder current conditions, the joard appointed a committee o recommend consulting irms. The county owns the tospital, which was built vith funds authorized in a 1951 county referendum. It is iperated by trustees ap jointed by the commission 's. Operating costs have ex ;eeded patient revenue in ?ecent years. Hospital offi :ials have blamed much of he problem on limitations to tow much Medicaid and Medicare can pay for medical :xpenses. They also cite the endency of Duplin County latients to use hospitals >utside the county. The accounting firm will >egin the study May 1 and :xpects to complete its work n about six weeks. The commissioners agreed he study should determine: ? The reason so few )uplin residents use the ocal hospital when they need treatment. ? The quality of the hospital's staff and equip ment. ? The level of medical care that can be financially supported in Duplin Coun ty's rural setting. ? The amount of money that must be invested in the hospital immediately and over the next five years, if it remains publicly operated. ? If the county should continue operating the hos pital as a public facility or if it would be better to lease it to a private hospital firm. ? If adequate medical care could be provided county residents if the hos pital were leased. ? What the county's obligation to provide hospital care for indigents would be if the hospital is leased. ? If a privately operated hospital could reduce the level of care if profits turn out to be lower than ex pected. ? What changes are needed, if any, to bring out standing patient accounts up to date. ? If hospital purchases are made at the most economical level. Meanwhile, the board ap proved the transfer of $95,000 in reserve funds to the hospital to enable it to pay bills or. time to ."void late payment penalties. Members of the committee reviewing consultants were N.R. Mattocks of Rose Hill, Elbert Davis of Route 2, Mount Olive, J.P. Smith of Magnolia, and Commis sioners Costin and Turner. The committee recom mended Price Waterhouse and Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, also of Raleigh. The latter firm offered to do the study for $12,000 to $25,000, depending on the time re quired. \ Industry Bond Sale Approved , By Duplin Commissioners The Duplin County Board of Commissioners tentatively approved a request from J.P. Stevens Co for the sale of SI million in tax-free bonds to retool the company's Carter Plant in Wallace when they t met last week. The company estimates the total cost of the retooling P at S6 million. When the plant returns to full operation, it will employ about ?>00 people. The approval is one of several steps necessary for the sale of such bonds. The request now will go to the N.C. Department of Com merce for review. If the department approves the proposal, it will come back to the county board for final approval. Companies seek as much financing as possible through tax-exempt bonds because they carry lower interest rates than conventional bonds, said William H. McBride of Raleigh, a bond lawver. McBride said Stevens is seeking authority for the sale of tax-exempt bonds in three other counties. The company is retooling the Carter plant, one of two it operates in Wallace, to make cotton and polyester materials for leisure and . outerwear. The plant pre viously made a knitted fabric for lingerie and some auto mobile upholstery. The retooling is expected to be completed late this summer. in other action, the county commissioners called a special meeting to be held in ? ? ? ? the commissioners' room of the courthouse to discuss hiring a hospital financial consultant. A request for the county to supply radio pagers to state forest commission employees sr they can be ^a'fod when off duty will be taken up during budget sessions. i Commissioner D.J. Fussell , opposed the move, saying, "This is just something else the state's passing down. If we're foolish enough to take it up, all we've got to tax is i that man with the house and j trartnr '* I ? Hearing Held Monday On Broiler Bankruptcy Officials of Watson Sea food and Poultry were to appear for a voluntary back ruptcy and reorganization hearing Monday in federal bankruptcy court in Raleigh ^ before Judge A. Thomas ' Small. Lawyers for the financially strapped Rose Hill broiler chicken firm filed for re organization under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code in bankruptcy court for Eastern North Carolina in Wilson Thursday. Under Chapter 11, liqui dation of a company is not ? required, but a payment schedule to retire debts may be set up under court super vision. If a plan is approved. rreditors are required to halt ?ny collection efforts outside :he bankruptcy court for the life of the plan. The company's operations were taken over by Coastal Production Credit Associa tion of Kenansville on April 8 tinder a voluntary liquidation jlan agreed to by creditors. The company had debts totaling S5.6 million, $2.5 million of which was owed to he PCA. The voluntary iquidation plan was precipi ated by the seizure of the ;ompany's income by Cape Fear Feed Products Co. of Jreensboro. That action left Watson with no money to pay ts growers or buy feed for he nearly 2 million broiler rhicks being grown out by its 125 contract growers. PCA attorney Richard 3urrows of Wallace said Friday that PCA is paying for he feed to supply the {rowers at a rate of about 150.000 a day. He said the ?CA will pay growers for natured flocks picked up for jrocessing. Burrows said he doesn't tnow what the ultimate :ffect of the Watson action vill be on the PCA. He said te has not seen Watson's )lan for handling its debts, vhich it can file up to 120 lays after asking for Chapter II protection. "Our interest in this is the same as the growers' ? to raise and sell the broiler chickens in an orderly man ner," Burrows said. Company president Ebren Watson Jr. could not be reached for comment Friday. Burrows said that nothing will change until Monday. "We're feeding chickens and paying wages to the work ers." The company has been growing out about 285,000 broilers a week. The produc tion has provided employ ment for one shift ? about 200 workers ? at the Rose Hill Poultry Corp. processing plant in Rose Hill. Company S Fiscal Ills Threaten Poultry Jobs In Duplin Area Coastal Production Credit 0 Association of Kenansville will pay broiler growers the past-due $135,000 owed them by Watson Seafood and Poultry Co. of Rose Hill, the PCA's lawyer said last week. A group of growers is attempting to raise capital to acquire the failing company. The PCA took over Watson to begin liquidating its assets. The company has debts totaling $5.6 million. 0 $2.5 million of which is owed the PCA. Cape Fear Feed Products Co. of Greensboro attached Watson's accounts receivable leaving the company with no money to pay growers or buy feed. liquidation of the com pany and loss of its pro duction of 2ttJ&broJers a ssak could Man an eco | namk Inns of SIS arfllioo to $20 million a year to Duplin and Pender County residents and businesses. Watson Seafood and Poul try Co. employs 120 workers. Indirectly, it provides jobs to another 220 employees of Rose Hill Poultry, a pro cessing firm that handles the production of its 125 contract growers. The PCA is attempting to sell the firm, but PCA presi dent Roy Houston said it has received no acceptable offers. The PCA guaranteed that fanners who had chickens in their poultry houses would receive feed and be paid for growing out the birds. Hous ton delivered that promise in a statement Friday. At that time, however, it could not guarantee the un paid growers they would receive their money. The company owes about $135,000 to farmers for ma tured flocks it had picked up for processing in the three weeks before the PCA tak over. Last week on Monday, Richard Burrows, lawyer for the PCA, told 175 angry poultry growers meeting in Kenansville that PCA will pay these growers. Meanwhile, a group of broiler growers headed by Rabon Maready of Beulaville is attempting to raise money and prepare a financial plan to revive the failed company. The company has production contracts with 120 Duplin and Pender County broiler growers, who depend to a large extent on income from broilers for their livelihood. The grower group must raise at least $600,000 within the next few days to keep the company in operation. Broilers are grown out by growers under contracts with i program operators, such as , the Watson firm, which owns the birds and supplies feed and medicine for them. The | growers supply the poultry houses, most utilities and labor. They are paid accord ing to the number of birds they raise. Another snag was cleared 1 last week when Maready 1 agreed to release the 85,000 t broilers in his t r icken houses j that were ready for the processor Saturday. At that ' time he refused to let the } birds go, fearing he wouldn't < be paid for them. < Burrows said that forced i cancellation of one shift at < the processing plant, meaning a loss of about I $8,000 in wages to workers ' and creating market supply j problems. i VOLUNTEERS CHECK BLOOD PRESSURE DURING HEALTH FAIR - Goshen Medical Center in Faison hosted the WRAL Health Fair April 20. The medical center was one of 29 host sites for the fair during Health Fair Week, April 16-23. The fair was designed to alert individuals to possible medical problems. Along with members of the Goshen Medical Center staff were volunteers from area rescue squads. Duplin General Hospital, Duplin-Sampson Area Mental Health. Pictured above, left to right. Faison Rescue Squad EMT Clement Shine works checking blood pressure during the health fair. 315 People Attend Health Fair At Goshen Medical Center By Emily Killette Next, please. Volunteer: ?>id members of the Goshen Medical Center staff screen ed more than 315 people during the six-hour Health Fair at the medical center in Faison April 20. The health fair was spon sored by WRAL in Raleigh, the National Health Screen ing Council and approxi mately 20 patrons from the Goshen Medical Center area. Coordinating the health fair was Eleanor Ezzell, health educator at Goshen Medical Center. "The health fair benefits a lot of people." Clement Shine, a Faison resident and town rescue squad EMT said. "People should feel free to use a project like the Health Fair. It could help them find something (illness) they didn't know they had. But, one of the greatest things is the number of people who attend the Health Fair and get a chance to see Goshen Medical Center." Shine was a Health Fair volunteer checking blood pressure. According to Shine, many Duplin rescue squads furnished volunteers to work in the Health Fair. "We are responsible for our own health," Florence Warren of Faison said. "Everyone with the oppor tunity to attend a health fair should take advantage of the clinic. Do it for yourself ? for your health. The Health Fair is one of the greatest things that has happened to the Faison community." People attending the Health Fair were given the oppor tunity to participate in screenings for height and weight, blood pressure, ane mia, visual acuity, oral :ancer. sickle-cell anemia. colorectal cancer and pul monary functions. An optional blood chemistry evam, which screens fpr diabetes, kidney and liver disease, gout, triglycerides, iron, cholestrol and others, was available for an $8 fee. "The whole idea is to reach small communities," Ezzell, coordinator, said. "We will continue the Health Fair by following up on the evaluations and preliminary tests given during the fair. None of the tests performed at the fair are conclusive, but we have taken the results and made referrals for examinations by other agencies." Goshen Medical Center was one of "'9 host " for the WRAL Healtn Fair in North Carolina during the week of April 16-23. The free clinics are WRAL's contribu tion to Health Fair Week. April 16-23. Mrs. Ezzell pointed out the health fair clinics are not a replacement for the individual's regular check-up and Goshen Medical Center received no profit by serving as a host site. Working at the Health Fair with the staff of Goshen Medical Center and volun teers from area rescue quads were uer.ibe.-s the Duplin General Hospital staff and representatives from the North Carolina Division of Sickle Cell Association, Bio medical Laboratoriesjrom Raleigh and North Carolina Division of the Lung Asso ciation. The Health Fair is based on a model provided by the National Health Screening Council. It is one of 77 such health fair projects across the nation. ' -,t I ? STRESS AND RELAXATION INFORMA TION PART OF HEALTH FAIR A Health Fair was held April 20 at Goshen Medical Center in Faison as part of Health Fair Week April 16-23. A variety of free health screenings were available along with in formation on cancer, nutrition and stress and relaxation techniques. The six-hour Health Fair registered 315 participants. Pictured above, left to right, Letress Hammonds, a member of the Duplin-Sampson Area Mental Health staff discusses relaxation techniques with Florence Warren of Faison. Driver Sentenced For Wreck Marshall Hardison, 32, of Fayetteville, formerly of Wilmington, pleaded guilty :o a reduced charge of care ess and reckless driving fhursday in Duplin County Superior Court in Kenans rille in connection with an lutomobile-motorcycle acci lent 14 years ago that killed notorcyclist John Steven Favenaugh. Hardison was sentenced >y Judge David Reid of jreeqville* months in jail, suspended for two years m condition he pay restitu tion of J/M) to Melba Cave naugh of Wallace. He also was ordered not to operate a motor vehicle with alcohol on his breath for a year and agree to submit to a breath analysis at any time. In a plea bargaining ses sion the charges against Hardison were reduced from manslaughter and exceeding the safe speed limit. Hardison was charged by State Highway Patrol trooper R.N. Johnson after the acci dent at 12:45 a.m. March 29, 1969, on U.S. 117 between Teachey and Rose Hill. The 14-year delay came about because Hardison, in the army at the time of the accident, was transferred to Germany before his court appearance was scheduled. When he didn't appear in court an order for his arrest was issued June 12, 1969, and sent to the New Hanover County Sheriff's Depart ment. Hardison at that time listed his address as 228 Englewood Drive in Wil mington. New Hanover officers re turned the order to the Duplin court June 21, 1969, saying Hardison was with the army in Germany. This was the last action in the case until the victim's brother, Morris Cavenaugh of Maenolia, inquired about its disposition in January 1983. A Duplin County grand jury brought new indict ments against Hardison Jan. 24. Asistant District Attorney Dewey Hudson said the sta tute of limitations does aat apply when an order of arrest has been issued and the subject has not been appre hended.

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