North Carolina Newspapers

    25
- C^oumal
25
The Hoke County Journal - Established 1905
$10 PER YEAR Thursday, March 31, 1983
McCain Gets Reprieve Until
By Warren Johnston
Local supporters have gotten a
stay from members of a Legislative
appropriations subcommittee and
will be allowed to present their
side, before a decision is made
about the future of McCain
Hospital.
Although McCain appears
destined to be converted from a
tuberculosis treatment center to a
prison medical unit, local sup
porters have vowed to continue the
fight to get "all the facts on the
table" before a decision is made.
A committee, which was ap
pointed to represent Raeford and
Hoke County government and the
Chamber of Commerce, is pushing
to have McCain retained for the
treatment of tuberculosis and
other lung ailments and will argue
the case before the joint Human
Resources Appropriations sub
committee on Friday.
That subcommittee was ex
pected to rule on McCain this
Tuesday, but delayed action
following pressure from the local
Legislative delegation.
Supporters of the sanitorium
feel the subcommittee is making its
decision about McCain without
having the proper information and
with distorted facts provided by
Department of Human Resources
Chief Sarah T. Morrow.
Delegation members Rep.
Daniel H. DeVane, Sen. David
Parnell, Rep. Sidney Locks and
Rep. Pete Hasty met Monday with
McCain staff members, local of
ficials and the hospital committee
Monday to explain the status of
the facility.
"At this point, it appears that
the bureaucrats from Raleigh have
won," DeVane told the group.
"If it is going to be stopped,
then you have to do it in the sub
committee," the Hoke County
representative said.
Under the present proposal, Mc
Cain would be closed, and then
reopened as a 300-bed prison
hospital in October, Parnell said.
All of the present employees of
the facility would be either allowed
to retire or given other state jobs,
perhaps at McCain, the Senator
said.
Delegation members had been
assured that no McCain employees
would be fired by state Director of
the Budget John A. Williams,
Locks said, adding that Williams
was over all other state agencies.
Morrow has allocated S950.000
of her budget for the care of tuber
culosis patients. Of that money
$432,000 would go to local health
departments for treatment of the
disease.
The balance of the funds would
be to provide care for 42 patients
at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro
and to pay for their needs in com
munity hospitals, Parnell said.
McCain currently houses over 70
patients.
McCain backers feel that Mor
row's plan would not adequately
provide for the tuberculosis pa
tients, that the state is required
under law to treat.
Although the number of TB pa
tients seems to be dropping at Mc
Cain, supporters argue that the
disease is increasing statewide and
patients are being directed by Mar
row away from the Hoke County
facility.
A lung treatment facility would
be economically feasible if McCain
was used to treat ailments in addi
tion to tuberculosis, committee
members say.
Supporters would like to see Mc
Cain upgraded to a 150-bed chest
speciality hospital, which could
treat not only tuberculosis, but
other lung disorders like "brown
lung," committee member Betsy
Ann McNeill said.
McCain is being closed, not
because of staff inadequacies,
poor patient treatment or
deteriorating facilities, but because
of inaccurate statements being
given to the media and the
Legislature by Marrow, Mrs.
McNeill said.
"If we are going to close Mc
Cain, let's do it with dignity,"
Hoke Chamber of Commerce
Director Earl Fowler said,
supporting McNeill's position that
Friday
Morrow had distorted the facts
about the hospital.
In a recent statement, Marrow
noted that the per patient cost per
year at McCain was $67,000. The
actual cost is approximately
$42,000, Fowler said.
Morrow has been attempting to
close McCain for several years,
and she has consistantly issued
misinformation about the hospital.
Fowler said.
"Let's put the truth on the table.
Don't close McCain because of in
accurate information," the
Chamber director told the
members of the Legislative delega
tion.
Local committee members will
appear before the appropriations
subcommittee Friday at 8:30 a.m.
in Room 402 of the Legislative Of
fice Building in Raleigh.
>
Snow family outing
The I.entz family carved out in snow by Rita Dicklesimer (sister of Mrs. Atlanta, Cia. About six inches of snow fell on Hoke County Thursday.
Anita I.entz ) after the unexpected blizzard kept her from returning to closing schools early and all day on Friday.
Around Town
by Sam Morris
If the weather continues as it
was Monday then the green thumb
folks can get to planting on Good
Friday. It has always been said that
N many things in the garden should
be planted on that day. Of course
the ground is wet, but with the sun
and wind the way it was Monday,
the fields should be ready for
planting soon.
The forecast is for temperatures
in the 60s for the remainder of the
week. So make your schedule for
the coming weekend for outdoor
activities.
An article in a daily paper stated
that we have had a record rainfall
for March. The article said that
over seven inches had fallen in the
Raleigh-Durham area.
We can't check about Hoke
County because the weather
observer is on vacation. He is ex
pected back in town by the> time
^ this paper hits the street and maybe
he can set the records straight.
The snowfall has been estimated
between six to eight inches last
Thursday and Friday. Since
Robert Gatlin isn't in town, no one
will make it official. So now we see
how much he is missed in the coun
ty
Whatever the depth of the snow,
once again the highway depart -
^ ment and the city crews did an
(See AROUND TOWN, page 15A)
Full steam ahead
Construction is underway at the Pilot Building which was purchased by
the county because more office space was needed. Workers were repairing
the leaky roof last week in efforts to complete construction by the last of
May or the first of June. The offices presently located In the annex
building will be moving to the Pilot building while the sheriffs department
wlU be moving Its domain to the annex building.
Food Stamp
Regulations
' Very Costly '
B> Sherr> Matthews
A new federal regulation requir
ing food stamp recipients to com
plete a five-page form before
receiving benefits, is causing
headaches in Hoke County.
Fifty-five county families were
dropped from the food stamp rolls
this week and more here are faced
with "going without" next month.
Local Department of Social Ser
vices (DSS) officials are wondering
if a new federal regulation, requir
ing clients to complete a five-page
detailed form every month to
qualify for food stamps, is worth
all the time and problems that it is
already creating.
Hoke County DSS Director Ken
Witherspoon said that these new
regulations were being tested here
and in Pitt County, but would be
statewide by August 1.
According to Witherspoon. the
problems involved with these new
regulations are "staggering", not
only to the client, bu< to the agency
as well.
"This past month we had to
send out 586 monthly reports that
clients had to fill out and return to
us for analysis," Witherspoon
said.
"Of the 586 reports sent out, 55
were not returned by the deadline
so they must now go through the
whole application process, again,"
he said.
(See DSS, page ISA)
EMC Board Governs
Without Restraints
B> Sherry Matthews
Regulations governing the
operation of the Lumbee River
Electric Membership Cooperative
allows directors to change and
amend by-laws at will without the
consent of the membership, a
Lumbee director said Monday.
According to the charter of in
corporation, actions of the
Lumbee board members are
governed by the by-laws, and those
regulations can apparently be
changed, whenever the directors
wish, board member Davis Parker
said.
In addition, there are apparently
no state or federal regulations
which govern the actions of the
board.
The most recent test of the direc
tor's autonomy came on March 10
when the board amended the by
laws, opening the door for them to
choose the time, date and place for
a recall election which is proposed
for April 28.
An order recently issued by a
Robeson County Superior Court
judge calls for the recall vote to be
held if a membership action group
gets 10?'o of the coop's members to
sign a petition asking for the elec
tion.
Originally the coop board con
sented to the order, which calls for
the vote to be taken at any location
other than Pembroke, but later
decided not to agree to the court
mandate.
By changing the by-laws, the
board has the right to hold the
election in a location which is con
venient to their supporters, op
ponents have argued.
"The by-laws were amended,
but the vote was not unanimous,"
Parker said.
According to Parker, the board
members "periodically" rewrite or
amend the existing by-laws.
Arch Hathcock, Administrator
of the Rural Electrification
Authority(REA), said that the
REA had no real authority over
the directors or the cooperative.
The cooperative is governed by
its membership and the by-laws,
the REA only steps in when the
financial security of the system is
threatened, Hathcock said.
"As long as the board's deci
sions are in accordance with the
by-laws, we have no jurisdiction,"
Hathcock said.
Even when by-laws are violated,
the REA is not empowered to do
anything, it would be left up to the
courts to determine, Hathcock
added.
"When a coop or its directors
does something that is adversely
effective, we are concerned but
legally there is simply nothing we
can do," Hathcock said.
"That bunch of tyrants can do
what they want to do inside or out
side the law," Action Group leader
Carl Branch said.
Nothing apparently can stop the
board from doing as they please.
They have already withdrawn
their alleged support of a court rul
ing requiring ihem to hold the
recall election scheduled for April
28.
"This sort of thing is typical of
that bunch," Branch said in an
earlier interview.
Branch and his action group ap
pear undaunted by the board's
latest maneuvers.
"We are going full steam ahead
to assure that this meeting gets off
the ground," Branch said.
One board member seems un
sure of what the end results of the
three month old battle will be.
"The wounds get deeper on both
sides the longer this thing drags
out," the board member said.
Inside Today
The Fran ten Bros. Circus is
coming to Raeford Friday and
proceeds from advanced ticket
sales will benefit the Hoke
County Children ' s Center. We
take a look at the center and
the special care provided by its
staff on Page IB in today's
News-Journal.
Armed Robbery
Arrests Made
Two Hoke County men were ar
rested Saturday and charged with
armed robbery, a sheriff's report
said.
Joseph Melvin and Elwood
McNair, both of Raeford, were ar
rested in connection with the Fri
day night robbery of the Davis
Cash Mart located on Highway
401 business.
Harry Carter reported the rob
bery to sheriff's deputies about
7:30 p.m. Friday.
Carter told the deputies that two
black males came into the store
and pulled a pistol while he was
turned around getting cigarettes
for them.
The two men grabbed Carter
and pulled him down on the
counter, and then one hit him on
the head with a gun, the sheriff's
report said.
Carter apparently escaped and
was recaptured by one of the men,
who got in a scuffle with him out
side the store.
(See ARMF.D, page 12A)
    

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