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Department Of Social Services To Undergo State Review
BY TERRY POPE
A S29,(XX) fine is at stake
Monday when a state monitoring
team arrives at the Brunswick
County Department of Social Ser
vices to begin randomly checking
the department's handling of wel
fare and disability Medicaid appli
The N.C. Department of Human
Resources Division of Social Ser
vices review team will examine ap
plications for Aid To Families With
Dependent Children (AFDC) and
disabilit) Medicaid (MAD) to see il
they are being processed properly
and on a timely basis.
Scoring |Kn>rl> on the review will
result in fines of 7.5 percent of
DSS's annual administrative costs
for the two programs, or about
S29.(XX). said DSS Director Jamie
"It's an audit of our program,"
said Orax'k. "It's going to be inter
esting, I'm sure."
Orrock has publicly critici/cd the
siatc moniiorings, saying Ihcy arc
designed for counties to fail.
Last October, the county scored
2l>8 out of a possible MX) points on
the review. To a\t>ul penalties this
year, it must score 375 or higher.
"The last lime only two eases
were found with errors," Or rock
said, "and it got us below 3tX). II
they find two cases again, we've
A 1989 court ruling ordered that
all 100 counties in the slate undergo
a review of its programs sponsored
by the DSS.
Plaintiffs in Alexander vs. Flah
erty. first Hied in ll>74. alleged that
the stale's social services depart
ments were not processing applica
tions quickly enough. A consent or
der in 1989 requires that each de
partment be monitored for policy
and procedure by an outside team ol
"There's really no way to prepare
for it." said Orrock. "You just have
make a mistake is a person that
doesn't do anything."
Orrock said the department is
charged with making sure clients re
ceive benefits on lime, regardless of
how workers deal with the paper
work to arrive at that decision.
"They're doing die best under
pressure situations," said Orrock.
"Perfection isn't possible."
The fines would be levied against
the county and payable up to Jan
uary 1993. Money from the fines go
into a state emergency medical as
sistance program for the poor.
In other business Monday, the
?awarded a plaque to Malcolm
Grissett, who served on the board
from 1985 to 1991;
?heard that Donna Fullwood had
been transferred from social work to
the county JOBS program, which
began July I;
?accepted routine case actions and
V r.?fv>rlc Irain
to do \otir tvsi job everyday."
H t nicd. the money would have to
come from ihe county budget ami
iu?t from Ihe DSS budget. Orrock
DSS Board Chairman Frankie
Rabon. who i^ also District 4 county
commissioner, said a line is still
cheaper than hiring additional
workers to handle .111 increase in pa
"One worker could cause you all
of the mistakes," said Rabon.
Last year, the county lost 40
points because a letter denying an
AFDC application was mailed on
the 46th day ol a 45-day deadline,
said Ornvk The information hail
been logged before the 45th day, hut
a letter had not been mailed, he
"I don't think hiring stall is nec
essarily going to solve your prob
lems." said Orrock. "It could be a
good worker that during some peri
od lia> sonic problems and makes
mistakes. The person that doesn't
DSS Board Told Seniors Can't Afford Services
BY TERRY POPE
Chris Sic wart used a penny and a
mhLi can tab 10 make a |x)ini al the
Brunswick Count) Boon! of Social
Services meeting Monday.
The tab contained a single penn>
and was fastened to a piece of pa
per, on which was written, "Senior
Citizen Money Clip."
"I would hope that in the future,
you would consider that when you
are conducting business," Ms. Stew
art told the Ixxird, which quietly
passed the penny around.
"The senior citizens cannot afford
private pay," she said.
Ms. Stewart has resigned from
her job as supervisor of chore work
ers for the Brunswick County De
partment of Social Services.
Chore workers provide in-home
care for patients who are just one
step away from being placed into a
nursing or rest home. The chore
program, now in its 1 5th year ai
DSS. is state-funded through CAP
services, or the Community Alter
Ms. Stewart left her job in protest
of budget cuts for the county's se
nior citi/cn programs.
Brunswick County Commission
ers voted to cut chore workers pay
from 40 hours a week to 36 hours
per week. The staff of 35 chore
workers earn S4. 16 per hour, or
about $8,450 annually, to care for
Ms. Stewart told the board that
she didn't want to dwell on the is
sue at Monday's meeting. Pointing
to the penny, she added, "I think
that says it all."
The cut in hours means scrviccs
musi also be cut lor those served by
chore programs. DSS Adult Ser
vices Supervisor Kvclyn Johnson
said cutting chore workers' hours
may have a harmful cffect on the el
"What's going to happen, with a
lot ol them, is they're going to end
up in nursing homes," said Ms.
Brunswick County has 35 chore
positions, but currently only 33 of
those are filled. Those two vacan
cies existed before the budget cut
backs, said DSS Director Jamie
Board member Eulis Willis of
Navassa asked if the reduction in
hours has any senior citizens com
"There arc always going to be
people complaining," said Orrock.
"I haven't been bombarded. I think
they realize the budget situation.
Nobody wants a reduction. The re
alization is that it happened."
Chore providers operate through
three programs to provide carc for
pauents who qualify for Medicaid.
Currently, 20 residents arc being
served through the department's
CAP program, 27 through Personal
Care Services and 44 through Title
20. More chronically ill patients arc
served through CAP.
Last year, the county supplement
ed the chore program with S87.436
but allocated no money toward the
program this year.
County commissioners have stal
ed that they want the chore program
to operate on state funding alone.
Speed Limit On Calabash Streets Drops To 30 MPH
BY TOM A TREST
The speed limit on town-owned
street is dropping to 30 mph in
Calabash, but speeders may not
have much to worry about for now
since the town has no police force.
Calabash Commissioners adopted
the ordinance Tuesday night, in ef
fect lowering the speed limit by 5
inph. The limit on state-owned
roads, such as N.C. 179, will noi
Enforcement remains a question.
"We'll gel ii on the books now and
enforcement will come later," said
Commissioner Ray Card
The speed limit was one of sever
al actions taken by the board during
the 1 'A hour regular meeting.
Commissioners Phyllis Manning
and George Anderson were absent.
Billboard Rule Opposed
Commissioners plan to write stale
legislators and the N.C. League of
Municipalities opposing H.B. 1009.
Also opposed by the League, the bill
would keep cities and counties from
adopting billboard ordinances with
amortization provisions between
now and July 1, 1993. It also freezes
Holden Beach Vote
Rejects All -Terra in
On a splii vote, Holdcn Beach
Commissioners rejected a proposal
Tuesday to purchase an all-terrain
vehicle (ATV) for use on the strand
by beach patrol and police officers.
Commissioner Judy Bryan's mo
tion to buy the 198H ATV for
$2,945 was defeated by one vote.
Gay Atkins, Bob Buck and Gloria
Barrett voted against the purchase,
and Kenner Amos and Mrs. Bryan
voted in favor.
Mrs. Bryan and Amos said the
beach patrol could use the small,
open vehicle instead of lull-size
trucks on the beach.
They said it can be difficult to see
out of the trucks, and that can be
dangerous when there are large
crowds and small children on the
Amos said he recently saw a small
child run in front of the beach patrol
vehicle and caine close to being hit.
"Apparently it just doesn't make a
lot of noise and nobody sees it."
Other board members, however,
wanted to postpone the purchase
since the tourist season is nearly
over and the town is in the proccss
of developing a comprehensive
beach and water safely program.
Ms. Atkins said the beach patrol
can walk on the strand if trucks arc
so dangerous. She also was con
cerned about spending money that
could otherwise lie used for new po
In other business Tuesday, com
missioners voted unanimously
against paying landscaping contrac
tor Lester Grissctl any more money
for clearing lots on the island.
Commissioner Bob Buck said the
town had entered into a contract
with Grissett, but some of the work
that the contractor completed wasn't
ordered by the town.
The vote followed an hour-long
executive session which Mayor
John Tandy said was called to dis
cuss a "legal threat." Grissctl met
with the board for about 40 minutes
behind closed doors.
Also Tuesday night, commission
ers set a special meeting for
Thursday, Aug. 1 , on merit pay in
creases for town employees. The
meeting starts at 10 a.m. in town
50% Off On Select Styles 1st Quality Aristokraft
Cabinets ? Hurry Quantities Are Limited
120 Blake St., Shallotte 754-6630
existing ordinances for two years, in
effect giving billboard owners an
extra two years of use. "Thai's fight
ing our ordinances," said
Commissioner Stuart Thorn, who
proposed the letter.
Not Town's Problem
Members agreed that complaints
about the quality of water distribut
ed by Carolina-Blythe. a private
utility company that serves some
Calabash residents, arc not the
' VVe should not get involved and
should leave it up to the consumers
of Carolina Blythe." said
Commissioner Edward Rice. "As
long it is passing health inspections,
we don't have any jurisdiction over
Several customers had com
plained about "loul-tasting" water.
in other business, commissioners:
?Alter a 15-minutc executive ses
sion, increased Building Inspector
Ed Schaack's annual pay from
S13,(XX) to S15,5(X) for the balancc
of his contract, which ends July
?Approved agreements with
Carolina Shores Property Owners
that I) affirm the town's five-year
lease of the dump site on
Persimmon Road while ensuring the
POA's right to enter and leave the
property; and 2) turn over to the
town, from the POA, ditchbanks in
Acreage Estates. This will make it
easier for the town to mow there.
?Planned, at their Aug. 1 3 meeting,
to hear proposals from Powell
Associates of North Myrtle Beach,
S.C., and The Wootcn Company of
Raleigh for a sewer treatment sys
?Announced that a representative
of the Southeastern Chamber of
Commerce will attend the 9 a.m.
July 31 meeting of the Calabash
Merchants Association at Captain
John's Restaurant to discuss steps
involved in setting up a chamber of
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STArf PHOIO BY TERRY POPE
THE BRUNSWICK COUNTY HOARD of Social Services hon
ored Malcolm Grissett Monday for his six years on the hoard.
Chairman Frankie Rabon (right) presented a plaque to Grissett,
who has been replaced on the board by his wife, lirenda.
Trial Moved To Bolivia
A Columbus County man charg
ed with the shooting death of a
Columbus County sheriff's deputy
will be tried for his life in Bruns
wick County Superior Court in
Michael Thomas Brown, 18, of
Brunswick, a town in Columbus
County, hail his trial on first-degree
murder charges transferred to
Brunswick County Superior Court
last week, said District Attorney
Gore serves the 13th Judicial
District, which includes Brunswick,
Columbus and Bladen counties.
A motion by Brown's attorney,
Michael Ramos of Shallottc, argued
that because of pre-trial publicity
the defendant would not receive a
fair trial in Columbus County, said
Brown and another defendant.
Aquino Lee Williams, 16, were
each charged by SB1 agents follow
ing the June IS shooting death ol
Cpl. Bob Hinson, who had gone to
Brunswick to answer a lake break
Brown was 1 7 years ol age al the
time of the shooting and has recent
ly turned IS. Williams had just
turned 16 at the lime til the crime.
Because of his ;\gc, Williams can
not be tried for his life, said Gore
Slate law prohibits the death sen
tence for persons under 17 at the
time a crime has been committed.
Prosecutors can seek a maximum
scniencc of life in prison plus 60
years for Williams on first-degree
murder and oilier charges.
Each is charged with first-degree
murder, conspiracy lo commit mur
der and first-degree armed robbery.
The defendants are accused of
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placing a lake break- in call in ihe
early morning hours of June 18 in
an alleged ploi to kill a police offi
cer. Hinson was shot in the head as
lie sal in his patrol car off of N.C.
130 near Brunswick.
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