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franklin county times

June 13, 2004

By Staff
Horne explains his vote
I appreciate this opportunity to express my concern with respect to the passage of House Bill No. 1434 on May 7. I take this opportunity to set the record straight with respect to my vote on this very crucial piece of legislation.
House Bill No. 1434 passed the House by a vote of 82-32. I voted "no" and against the bill because I felt that an injustice would be administered upon the poor and disabled Medicaid recipients that are truly deserving and needy of assistance from our state. This bill also places an additional increase of $2 per day nursing home bed tax and is another facet of this bill that I just simply could not go along with.
Other area representatives who also opposed the bill are Scott Bounds from Philadelphia, Billy Nicholson from Newton and Tracy Arinder from Morton. It was indicated to us on the night that the vote was taken that the governor was in negotiations to obtain waivers for those 65,000 affected Medicaid recipients.
As of this date, those waivers have not come to fruition. It is my prayer and my hope that the governor will be successful in his efforts; however, I could not in good conscience support this legislation on the night of May 7 in the hopes that verbal agreements with Washington bureaucrats would be successful.
If I can be of any assistance to the citizens of Clarke and Lauderdale Counties, they may contact me at any time concerning this matter.
Steve Horne
State Representative
District 81
A troubling message
Every time I read something about the College Board investigating the Mississippi State athletic director it concerns me deeply. It was my understanding that the College Board was an agency for the purpose of helping the universities in the state, not harming them.
This move to investigate an individual who has done a great job in leading and directing the athletic department at Mississippi State is unjustified and uncalled for. It has every appearance of a "witch hunt."
It is bewildering that 10 other College Board members could be led into such a degrading move. Scott Ross and Roy Klumb are graduates of Mississippi State University and are "friends of the university." With friends like these two we certainly don't need any enemies.
Coach Croom has expressed concern about this matter. Ross's reply was that this is not about Coach Croom. It is about Coach Croom. It is about President Charles Lee and everyone associated with Mississippi State and all universities in the state of Mississippi.
It is integral to the success of our state that the College Board functions properly. University presidents are sanctioned by the College Board as the head of the universities. If a member of the College Board wants to act as the head of a university then he or she should apply for the job not attempt to undermine the authority of those who have earned the position. We are sending a troubled message to our current university administrators and crippling our prospect for future candidates.
All of us who care about our state search for the paths it should take to secure a better future. We have a wrong before us that can be made right. The College Board should allow Dr. Lee to run the affairs of the university and support his four-year contact recommendation of Athletic Director Larry Templeton.
Charles "Pap" McElroy
Meridian
Accident report
incorrect
I am a retired police officer, having worked for the city of Meridian for 20 years, from 1950-1970. I served the department in various areas, from "cop on the street" downtown, to traffic, accident investigating officer, etc. In 1957, the department put on a car just to be used for investigating auto accidents and I was assigned as the unit's traffic officer. My shift ran from 6:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Most days, there were two or three wrecks inside the city for me to cover. However, on one day that I remember particularly, I investigated eight auto accidents.
I had to finish those reports that day, before I went home for the day. I would finish my reports like the day in question, by 4 p.m.-4:30 p.m. By the way, that was on my time not overtime.
I also worked for 12 years with the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department under Sheriffs Everett Keller and Tom Miller. I investigated auto wrecks on my shift with that department. In contrast to the service citizens received in those days and currently, I make the following report (complaint):
My wife had an auto accident on Jan. 13, 2004, on Highway 45 South and Springhill Road, just out of Meridian. MHP Sgt. Ronnie Carter was the investigating officer. Why did it take Sgt. Carter three weeks to complete this report. He could have, and should have, done so in one day.
As a concerned citizen I confronted Sgt. Carter and the Meridian area chief MHP officer only after I found out that the accident report was full of flaws and errors. When I requested a true report, I was told, "We are not changing anything."
Errors in the accident report included:
1. It stated that my wife's car was moving 5 mph and her car was not moving.
2. It reflected the wrong color of our vehicle.
3. The location of the accident carried the zip code, 39301, not 39307 as the report stated.
4. The report listed my wife's car on Highway 45, when it was actually on Springhill road.
5. The report listed the Lauderdale County speed limit in the area as 30 mph and the speed limit was 45 mph.
I just want our citizens and motorists to know that these kind of sloppy accident reports could cause the insurance companies to charge a valued customer with liability points against them in an accident and do much damage to you personally. This kind of junk should not be going on with our state Highway Patrol or any other law enforcement agency.
Leland Williams
Meridian
Don't hold your breath
Mississippi lawmakers meeting in special session last week approved several changes to the civil justice system, including capping pain-and-suffering damage awards at $1 million in general lawsuits and $500,000 in medical malpractice cases. Not surprisingly, Gov. Haley Barbour is touting Mississippi's new limits on lawsuits during stops in Washington and New York.
In order to get tort reform passed, proponents raised a hue and cry about increases in medical malpractice insurance premiums. What happened in Texas should have served as a cautionary tale for proponents of tort reform in Mississippi, that is, if the real concern was increased insurance premiums.
Texans who supported Proposition 12, which amended the state constitution, surely must feel betrayed by insurers who are ignoring Texas legislators' and regulators' demands for lower home and medical malpractice insurance rates while they rake in windfall profits.
Yet despite outrageous profits, the insurance industry refuses to pass benefits along to Texas homeowners, doctors and other policyholders. Texans are still waiting for lower insurance premiums, as well as for the promised decreases in the cost of products and services that were guaranteed as a result of eliminating key constitutional rights. Instead of decreasing rates, medical liability insurers in Texas are increasing them.
It seems likely that talk of high insurance rates in Texas and Mississippi was a ruse, that all along the medical profession simply wanted to be able to continue malpractice as usual without being held responsible in a meaningful way for their actions.
If that is true, doctors who should adhere to the instruction in the Hippocratic Oath to first do no harm should be ashamed of themselves.
Jane Marshall
Clarkville, Tenn.

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