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The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, September 30, 1993, Image 1

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Drink A Little. Lose A Lot Local troopers welcome a new state law lowering the blood alcohol content needed to convict drunken drivers. Page 15- A. Stallions Broken West Brunswick's Trojans roll to a 45-0 rout in the club's 2A/3A Conference opener. Page 8-3. New Citizen On Main... Pioneer Savings becomes First Citizens Bank. The staff remains, with two new additions. Page 9-c THE 12/31/99 HOAG & SONS BOOK BINDERY P.O. BOX 162 SPR I NGF'ORT Thirty-First Year, Number 45 ? lt*l IMC ttUNIWKK MACON MI 49284 Shallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, September 30, 1 993 ? - * ? ST* ! '/ STATF PHOTOS BY LYNN CARLSON CRITTERS GALORE await their turn to get rabies shots Saturday at Brunswick Animal Hospital in Supply. At right, Robert Beck of Bolivia shelters his sister's kitten Misty. At I top above, Scrub the albino ferret sits in the palm of owner Matt Ruff. Directly above, a family 's dogs and cat wait with their master. MORE THAN 1 .000 VACCINATIONS GIVEN Pet Owners Flock To Area Rabies Clinics BY LYNN C ARLSON Veterinarians' parking lots became a sea of creatures great and small Saturday, after two confirmed cases of rabies in raccoons scared owners of more than 1,000 dogs and cats into having their pets vaccinated. l ocal vets inoculated 200 to 400 animals each, at $5 per injection, in four clinics held throughout Brunswick County. By 9 a.m., more than a hundred dog and cat owners were waiting at Brunswick Animal Hospital in Supply, signing up for shots for everything from barn cats to show dogs. Four-year-old Robert Beck of Bolivia stayed wedged between grown-ups. protectively clutching his sister's steel-gray kitten Misty to his chest. On down the line, an edgy Doberman pinscher wet on a stranger's leg. The blood red eyes of an albino ferret named Scrub peered out from its nest inside the T-shirt of owner Matt Ruff of Holden Beach. Over in the grass. Heather Potter of Southport and Harriet Spellman of Long Beach lounged with two Afghan hounds and two Labrador re trievers, one a chocolate-colored show dog and the other, a black lab "who'd like to be." In the bed of a pickup a dozen yards away slept a pit bull with an ear chewed off in some recent altercation. Beagles yapped sharply from their pens in the back of a dozen hunter's trucks while cats dozed nonchalantly in the back win dows of cars. It was utter chaos, reflected Dr. Jim Rabon on Monday, but somehow it all went off without a single human or animal fight and with no feline or canine escapees. "People were willing to stand in line for hours with a cat in their arms," Rabon said. "Everyone seemed to be concerned about the rabid rac coons. It was on everybody's mind." The rabies clinics, which the Brunswick County Health Department sponsors periodical ly, had been planned for several weeks when word came Sept. 21 that a raccoon killed by an Ash area resident had tested positive for the dis ease. It was the first officially confirmed case of rabies in Brunswick County since the most re cent epidemic of the disease began. More than 50 cases of rabies rabies have been confirmed in North Carolina this year, more than double that of 1992. In South Carolina 1 10 infected animals have been reported, 12 of them in neighboring Horry County. Two days after the first confirmed report here, another raccoon in the Ash area was attacked and killed by two unvaccinated dogs. The dead raccoon, which later was confirmed to have been rabid, was handled by three children and two adults, according to Brunswick County Health Director Michael Rhodes. Both dogs had to be destroyed, and some or all of the people who came in contact with the raccoon may re quire a series of shots to protect them against the disease. The harsh reality of rabies in the wildlife pop ulation sent pet owners packing to the Saturday clinics, said Don Aldifer, acting Brunswick County Animal Control supervisor. "They were jam-packed," Aldifer said Monday. He's glad. "If a pet is vaccinated and comes in contact with rabies, you can give him a booster shot and send him home to be kept un der observation. If he's not, you have no choice but to have him officially quarantined for six months or to destroy him." That prospect hit too close to home for many Ash area residents who brought dogs and cats to (See RABIES, Page 2-A) Holden Beach OKs Impact Fees To Fund Future Stormwater, Sewer System Needs BY DOUG RUTTER Building a home or business at ({olden Beach will he more expen sive starting Oct. 22, when the town begins charging impact fees to raise money for sewer and stormwater runoff systems. After two months of discussion, town commissioners last week ap proved an impact fee ordinance that I will raise at least $50,000 per year if current building trends continue. Owners of new houses will be charged 50 cents per heated square foot, with a minimum fee of SI, (KM). Commercial fees will be SI per square foot with a $2,000 minimum. The residential fees will apply to additions on existing homes and homes that are moved to Holden Beach from outside the town limits. Fees will not apply to island homes that are moved from one lot to an ' other. People who build driveways or , parking lots out of asphalt, concrete or any similar material will be charged 50 cents per square foot. "I would call it a significant move by the board," Mayor Wally Ausley said of the new fees. "It seems to me i a perfectly reasonable one. I think it's significant any time you ask peo ple to pay because of an impact they're making on something." The ordinance says Holden Beach will need sewer and stormwater sys tems in the future because rapid growth has led to increased septic system waste and stormwater runoff. Town officials want the owners of new homes and businesses to help pay for the systems because they are helping create the need. Ausley said town officials still haven't decided if they will build a sewer system or stormwater runoff system. He said the town will proba bly hold a public referendum before : making a decision. All impact fees collected by the | town will be placed in a special "Sewer and Stormwater Drainage Fund" to be used for planning and construction of those systems. Interim Town Manager Gus Ulrich said approximately 50 homes I have been built each year at Holden Beach over the last two years. Commissioners adopted the ordi nance on a unanimous vote last Wednesday, but have given builders j and property owners 30 days to plan for the new fees before they take ef fect. Commissioner Gay Atkins sug gested the waiting period be extend ed to 90 or 1 20 days to give contrac tors more time to prepare. However, other town board members said the 30-day grace period is long enough. "Everybody knows that this has been on the menu for some time," David Sandifer said. "Every day that we don't do it is lost revenue." Commissioner Jim Fournier, who 1 worked on the impact fee proposal with Sandifer, said he doesn't want town hall to be flooded with build ing permit applications before the fees take effect. "They've already had two months and we're giving them another one," he said. "That's 90 days right there." Fees will have to be paid before a building permit is issued. Town officials wiil review the fee schedule every year as part of the budget process and may make changes following a public hearing. If Holden Beach has not commit ted to the construction of a sewer or stormwater system by the year 2003, , the ordinance will be repealed and all fees that have been collected will be refunded. Ausley said Holden Beach's sew er committee is gathering informa tion on how much a system would cost, which type would be best for the community and if loans or grants are available. On Sept. 1, committee secretary Jim Lowell made a presentation to the N.C. Division of Environmental Management in an effort to improve Holden Beach's position on the state's loan priority list. The town also paid $300 to Houston and Associates, a Shallotte engineering firm, for a letter it wrote in support of Holden Beach moving higher on the loan priority list. Sewer Committee Chairman Jim Griffin said last week that the town is about 36th on the list. "I think we stand a very good chance of moving up to around 10," he said. In his report to the state, Lowell said the island is about 50 percent developed and will be fully devel oped by the year 2013 if the present growth rate is accelerated by the ad dition of a sewer system. The town has about 1,700 con structed units and 1.7(H) vacant lots. Lowell indicated in his report that the town would need a sewer treat ment capacity of 2.5 million gallons of water per day when the island is fully developed. Inside... Birthdays 2B Business News 9C Calendar IOC Church News 12A Classified 1-8C Crime Report 12C Fishing 11C Golf 7B Obituaries 13A Opinion 4-5A People In The News 6B Plant Doctor 3B Sports 7-11B Television 4-5B Local Health Care Providers Speak Out On Clinton's Reform Plan BY MARJORIE MEGIVERN Brunswick and Dosher Hospitals may dis appear; emergency rooms everywhere could be swamped; all Americans are apt to inherit bad socialized medicine; or nothing at all could come of President Clinton's health care reform plan. These are among the reactions of Brunswick County health care professionals quizzed Monday about their reaction to the much-ballyhooed makeover of American health care the president touted to Congress and the public on Sept. 22. Along with his overview of the plan, Clinton asked Congress to pledge that legislation putting a reform plan in place would be forthcoming before adjournment. The new proposals, researched by First Lady, Hillary Clinton and her task force, may be extensively revised and when the fi nal produce it implemented, it will affect every individual American as well as health care professionals and the insurance, phar raceutical and hospital industries. Brunswick Countians representing these groups were asked for their responses to Clinton's plan. Expressing the most commonly-heard fear. Dr. Kendall Suh, a Brunswick Hospital emergency room physician, said, "I'm not sure where the funding will come from, and I'm not sure the plan is workable." Suh spoke of "too many middlemen" in health care, pointing to emergency providers like Coastal Emergency Physicians as an ex ample. This group supplied the Brunswick Hospital emergency room for ten years, pri or to the current administration. "They're now a multi-million-dollar corporation," Suh said. He said insurance companies are the cur rent big winners in health care. "They make a tremendous amount of money." Suh de clared. "This new plan might mean lower rates for some, but ultimately costs will go up." In his own field he saw emergency rooms awash with non-emergency patients if ac cess to this service were increased. "Our county would probably be affected less than "If our room rates were apples we were selling for 35 cents and everyone paid for their apple , we could reduce charges for everyone by 50 percent tomorrow. " ? Dosher Administrator Edgar Haywood others, though," he conceded. Susan Gibble of Holden Beach, physi cians' assistant and wife of internist Dr. Timothy Gibble, focuses her concern on em ployers. "We're more worried about our sta tus as small business owners," she said. With only two employees, she wondered how big a bite health insurance will take from the office budget. "Not only is the gov ernment asking us as physicians to take less money in fees, and for more services," she said, "but as employers we're also asked to pay more in health care." While she acknowledged that an empha sis on preventive care will prove a long-term benefit, Gibble said, "Many people who need health care the most are those who are irresponsible with their lives. They just don't take care of themselves." On the subject of managed competition, she sees small rural offices and hospitals on the endangered list. "Brunswick Hospital and others like that will not survive," she in sisted. "You have to send someone out to employers to make bids for health care; it requires more time and employee time than our office would have." Gibble laughed as she recalled listening to President Clinton's description of the pre sent health care system in Wednesday's tele vised speech. "He was calling it "bureaucrat ic, inefficient and fraudulent,' and I turned to my husband and said, 'Why, he's describ ing the government.!" Dr Lxe Langston's question was very specific. "We need to try and cover basic health needs," he said, "but if we don't say exactly what we'll cover, the bill could be astronomical." The Shallotte physician recalled his tenure with a health maintenance organiza tion (HMO). "It charged a flat fee for all medical care," he said, "so people figured everything was covered, but it wasn't. We need to spell out precisely what is covered under this new plan." Ed Thomas sees the issue from his per spective behind a pharmacy counter. He owns Thomas Drugs in Shallotte and is du bious that a complete plan will ever emerge. "It hasn't gone to Congress yet, and the spe cial interests haven't gotten into it," he said. "It will be two years before it's written, if it ever is." Thomas said health care advocates must fight the cigarette industry, the American (See LOCAL HEALTH, Page 2-A)

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