Caring Program For Children
Helps Bridge Health Care Gap
BY SUSAN USHER
It's a scenario repeated in house
holds across Brunswick County and
One or both parents work, earning
barely enough money to get by but
too much to get any kind of govern
ment assistance. They can't afford
health insurance coverage for their
children and their kids aren't getting
regular medical attention.
Sometimes it becomes a choice of
taking a sick child to the doctor or
paving that month's rent or utility
While most children age 6 and
younger qualify for some assistance,
only about half of the children living
at or near poverty are eligible for
Medicaid after age 6 Statewide, the
program estimates there 226,000
children living in poverty who are
not covered by public or private
health insurance who may not be
getting the routine health care they
In North Carolina a non-profit
charitable organization formed six
years ago to try to plug the gap. The
Caring Program for Children gives
free health insurance to low-income,
uninsured North Carolina children ?
the children of the working poor.
North Carolina is one of 16 stales
and four urban areas with a Caring
Program. The program is sponsored
in the state by the N.C. Council of
Churches in partnership with Blue
Cross and Blue Shield of North
Carolina, Carolina Physicians'
Health Plan, state government and
Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the
This year a $1 million state ap
propriation coupled with private
grants will allow the program to pro
vide health insurance for 2.242 chil
In Brunswick County an estimat
ed 1.500 children qualify for the
Caring Program, hut only 15 will be
enrolled as of December I, said
Nina Massey. client-relations man
ager for the Durham-based group.
The program assures needy chil
dren access to health services that
include preventive care, such as im
munizations and well-child visits,
doctor office visits when ill. diag
nostic tests and surgical procedures
that do not require a hospital stay,
and emergency medical and accident
Local Groups , Individuals <
To increase the number of families it can serve, the
Caring Program for Children accepts contributions for
In Southport, Sacred Heart Catholic Church spon
sored seven children this spring after the Rev. Joe
Vetter shared information about the program.
Jim and Mary Riese of Boiling Spring l-akes coor
dinated the effort, with parishioners saving money as
their Lenten "rice bowl" project.
"This is something my husband and I were very
enthused about." Mrs. Riese said. "It's doing some
thing that stays right here. It helps the children of peo
ple who work and still can't afford health care."
Members raised enough money to sponsor 3M chil
dren and the church matched the sum out of its budget.
Seven children, none of whom happened to live within
the parish boundaries, were referred to the program by
the county health and social service agencies.
The cost of sponsoring one child for one year is
an Help Sponsor Children
$264, which is fully tax-deductible. Tlie entire sum
goes to pay the insurance premium; grants pay the pro
gram's operating costs.
Organizations or groups such as churches, civic
clubs or schools, and individuals, including employers,
who contribute the full amount can choose to sponsor
a specific child. Contributions of any size can lie used
to help sponsor children in specific counties.
A seventh grade class at Mendenhall Middle
School in Greensboro last year raised more than
$ 10.000 for the program, collecting pennies for six
months. It has challenged other middle school age stu
dents to join a similar statewide project. Caring Makes
For more information on The Caring Program for
Children or Caring Makes Cents, to nominate a child
for enrollment, to make a pledge or to request a speak
er for a local group, contact The Caring Program for
Children. P.O. Box 610, Durham, N.C. 27702 or call
Shallotte Considering Timberland Lease
As Part Of Sewer System Expansion Plan
BY DOUG R UTTER
Shallotte Aldermen Paul Wayne
Reeves and Wilton Harrelson, who
have served the community a com
bined 26 years, got some good news
Tuesday night when they attended
their final meeting as town officials.
The town's consulting engineer is
working on a deal that could provide
enough property to more than dou
ble the sewer system treatment ca
pacity without costing the taxpayers
Engineer Finley Boney of Raleigh
said Federal Paper Board is interest
ed in working out a long-term lease
that would allow the town to spray
treated wastewater on paper compa
Boney said the arrangement
would benefit both parties. Shallotte
would get the land it needs to dis
pose of its treated effluent, and
Federal Paper would get free irriga
tion for its valuable trees.
The engineer said Federal Paper
officials told him last week the com
pany is willing to lease about 200
acres near the sewer plant. Between
60 and 65 acres would be suitable
for spray irrigation by the town.
Boney also said there's a possibil
ity the town could acquire the use of
another 20 to 30 "good acres" of
Carnegie Steel property in the same
area, northeast of town.
Boney said Federal Paper is inter
ested in a long-term lease, possibly
for 75 or 90 years. He said Shallotte
could get use of the land for as little
as S 1 per year.
"That beats buying it by a whole
lot of bucks," said Harrelson, who
has served 10 years on the board.
"That's good news."
Boney said the 60 to 65 acres of
usable property would allow the
town to add 250,000 to 275,000 gal
lons per day (gpd) to its treatment
capacity. The current capacity is
206. (KM) gpd.
Boney said he hopes to have a
recommendation for the town hoard
before the end of the year. If the pro
posal goes through, he said the town
would need to add a storage lagoon
to help handle the additional capaci
The town board approved three
changes to the zoning code Tuesday
night, including two th;>t relax re
strictions on existing lots and build
ings that do not meet minimum stan
Aldermen voted to delete a sec
tion of town code that requires all
lots not served by public water or
sewer systems to meet minimum lot
sizes established by the county
Shallotte has its own minimum
lots sizes for properties in the town's
one-mile extraterritorial area that are
not served by public utilities. Lots
must lie at least 15,(XX) square feet
in the RA-15 and RAM-15 residen
tial districts and 20,000 square feet
in the B-2 commercial district.
Two other code changes approved
Tuesday deal with "non-conforming
uses," which are existing land or
building uses that do not conform
with the town's zoning ordinances.
The board extended from 90 days
to 180 days the period in which non
conforming uses may be discontin
ued without having to be brought in
The rule can be applied in cases
where a non-conforming house or
business is destroyed by fire.
Owners now have 180 days, instead
of 90 days, to start rebuilding.
Aldermen also approved a code
change that will allow the develop
ment of any lot that doesn't meet
minimum lot size standards as long
as setback requirements are met.
Structures must be set back at
least 10 feel from side-yard lot lines,
25 feet from front-yard lines and 20
feet from rear-yard lines.
There were no comments on the
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Saturday, November 20
10 am-2:30 pm
Sea Trail Plantation/Jones Byrd Club House
Luncheon Served 12 noon
Golf Demonstration ? Vendors' Booths 'Auction
Health Information & Screening
Speaker: James J. Gallagher. Ph.D.
"Fathers in the 21st Century"
Ticket Price $15-Availabie From
Jim Love 579-4928 or Jana Martin 579-0048
Sponsored By: Seaside United Methodist Church &
Community Outreach to benefit Hope Harbor Home for
^ A Domestic Violence & Battered Women
CI 993 THE BRUNSWICK BEACON
buying or selling.
changes during a public hearing held
at the start of Tuesday night's meet
In other matters Tuesday, the
town board formally approved S1(M)
Christmas bonuses for all employ
ees. The money was included in the
1993-94 budget adopted in June.
Besides employees. Reeves said
the town should give something to
members of the Shallotte Volunteer
"We get more for less out of them
than anybody who works for us,"
Reeves said. "We ought to give
them more recognition."
Mayor Sarah Tripp said the town
board didn't include bonus money in
the budget for firefighters.
"We talked about it last year but
didn't do anything about it," Reeves
Shallotte will hold its annual
Christmas party for officials, em
ployees and volunteers on Tuesday,
Dec. 7, at the town maintenance
garage. New board members Carson
Durham and Bill Allen will be in
stalled at that time.
Developers, residents or property
owners who bring proposals before
the Shallotte Planning Board from
now on will be required to fill out a
special form in advance.
Aldermen approved the form
Tuesday at the planning board's re
"What we're trying to do is get
organized so we can do our home
work ahead of time," said Durham,
chairman of the board. "This is just
an in-house type thing to help us do
a better job."
Mayor Tripp said information re
quired on the new form will im
prove the decision-making process.
Aldermen are expected to make
several appointments to the planning
board next month. The terms of both
representatives from the extraterrito
rial area (ETJ) will expire, and there
could be three other vacant seats.
Durham, who will resign from the
board when he starts serving as an
alderman, said Tuesday he knows a
few people who are interested in
serving on the planning board.
"People are very interested about
what's going on in Shallotte. You've
got a good group of people here," he
Aldermen also are expected to
make appointments to the Shallotte
ABC Board at their Dec. 21 meet
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? M Located at the stoplight in Calabash
care. It does not cover routine vision
or dental care.
Primary preventive care is the
main focus, and for good reason.
According to (he Children's Defense
Fund, each dollar spent on immu
nizations saves rron: than $10 by re
ducing childhood illness and death.
"Hie program contracts with
"Caring Partners," doctors or clinics
that agree to accept as their payment
the portion of charges that Blue
Cross and Blue Shield will pay. That
means there is no cost at all to fami
lies when they see a contract physi
Parents can take children to other
doctors, hut have to pay the differ
ence between what the insurance
company pays and the actual
"When a family calls to enroll a
child, what we do is find out the
physician they want to see and send
a packet of information inviting
them to become a "Caring Partner,"
Presently there is only one "Car
ing Partner" provider each in Bruns
wick and New Hanover counties.
Dr. Keith Reschly of Southport and
Dr. Melvin Watson of Wilmington.
There is no provider in Columbus
To be eligible, a child must not be
covered by private insurance, or be
eligible for Medicaid. He or she
must be under age 19, single, enrol
led in school if of school age, and
living in a family whose income is
no greater than 25 percent above
federal poverty level. Generally a
family of four would qualify if its
gross monthly income were no more
than $21,528. Children with existing
conditions qualify for coverage.
Energy Assistance Deadline
Is Nov. 24, DSS Head Says
A statewide mailing to food
stamp recipients incorrectly stated
the deadline for applying for low-in
come energy assistance, says Bruns
wick County Social Services Direc
tor Jamie Orrock.
"The deadline was not Nov. 12 ?
it is the 24th." Orrock said. "We will
take applications up through next
Wednesday at 5 p.m."
Low-income families should he
encouraged to apply for the funds,
he added, saying that most food
stamp. Supplemental Security In
come (SSI) recipients and one-per
sun households with incomes of less
than $6(X) should also qualify for
help with their energy bills.
Low-income energy assistance is
a statewide program which makes
lump sum payments directly to indi
viduals for help defraying the costs
of their winter heating bills. Last
year, each eligible family received
about $10<) in two payments.
This amount of this year's alloca
tion will depend upon the number of
recipients approved for the program,
Orrock said. Participants will re
ceive their first check around Feb. 1,
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Thank You, Voters
of Ocean Isle Beach!
I am grateful for the vote I received in
my race for Ocean Isle Beach
Commissioner, and I am truly flattered
that I led the ticket.
Be assured that 1 will do my utmost
to be deserving of your vote and support
by representing all of the citizens of
Ocean Isle ? those who voted for me and
those who did not.
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