The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama on November 17, 1994 · Page 11
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The Anniston Star from Anniston, Alabama · Page 11

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Anniston, Alabama
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Thursday, November 17, 1994
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Page 11
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November 17, 1994 Page 11A EXECUTION: January date set for murderer. PAGE 14A DAMAGE: Florida's crops to cost more. PAGE 13A ST3 INSIDE Blotter 12A Docket 12A Lottery 12A Weather 12A S N 0L X1A Vv J J J Metropolitan Editor Phil Jenkins, 236-1558, Ext. 372 Physicians9 assistants in new position to help George ) Smith VSl Star Senior S Editor Make it Tide in a close one Some things 1 know 1 think: With an eye on keeping priorities in order, it says here Alabama will defeat Auburn in a close one in Saturday's Iron Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham . . . I think Auburn may be-a bit flat coming off a very disappointing tie with Georgia while Bama, with a berth assured in the SEC cham-pionship game, should go about business as usual, like trailing going into tne rourth quarter, but scoring late for a 27-23 victory . . . with the ' 85-scholarship limit, I also think the ' days of any one team dominating this series for any great length or time are gone . . . whatever, you've got to have some pride in these youngsters, regardless of the colors worn. . I never thought I'd see the Sunday afternoon when a made-for- . TV golf outing, the Merrill Lynch Shootout, would be a viewing choice over professional football Sunday it was ... but you could say professional football is also a made for TV deal, huh? Chris Waddle's recent edi torial here in The Star urging Jim Campbell to seek the Anniston mayor's office in the next city : election was dead on target ... our current mayor was elected before his time . . . and seems out of step more than in . . . Campbell - really has sacrificed much and perhaps such a suggestion is . asking too much, but his maturity, proven leadership, and pragmatic approach to whatever his task would be a major plus for our town . . . that we'll miss Campbell's clout in the state Legislature goes without saying. Some applause js also due Anniston 's City Council for ignoring the current mayor's opposition in moving forward on renovating the old Anniston Land Co. building at the corner of 1 4th and Moore for use as the seat of city government ... it is yet another step into reclaiming a seedy, but once-vibrant part of our town . . . Julian Jenkins' renovation of the old L&N freight depot for his architectural ' firm was a first step, work under way at Zinn Park is another . good things are happening in our town and reclaiming the old land company building would be another step forward. I'll back up not an inch in maintaining Hardee's cooks a better biscuit than your grandmother and has the worst coffee this side of a tramp freighter from Panama, but I am forever amazed at its failure to hire people who can remember a two-piece order ... as in ' 'One sausage biscuit with a pack of mustard, please" , . . chances are 75 percent of the time there's no mustard ... I hate that. People who do their walking at night should be required to wear some sort of reflective clothing ... I came near nailing one of our regulars early Thursday morning . . . he was in the pedestrian crossing as I made a right turn, on green, off Quintard ... another coat of paint and he'd be at RMC ... me, I'm still shaking. If I were in the restaurant business and needed a top-flight waitress, I'd hire a young lady by the name of Kim Dover ... you can find Kim most mornings waiting on the folks who show up at Jack's in Lenlock . . . Kim's a pure delight. The best Jacksonville State's football team can hope for this season is a 5-6 finish, but it may be the best coaching job ever by Bill Burgess . . . and he's turned in some fine ones over the years . . . moving Up from Division II to t-AA is like starting your program all over again ... from scratch ... in just their 'second year of 1-AA, the Jaxmen played the cream, losing by eight points or less in all but one game . . . twice the Jaxmen were beaten on the game's last play ... if ever a person was born to be a football coach, Burgess is that person ... I ' doubt he ever considered any other career. I doubt we'll see them in the pages of Esquire, but a couple of local football coaches, Robtrt Herring of Oxford and Allen. Quinn of Wellborn, do a pretty good job in those TV commercials for Andy's Men's Store ... I'm not kidding ... they really do. Til later. . . From Staff and Wire Report! In a move that could mean improvements for rural health care, a state board granted Alabama's 150 physician assistants the power to write prescriptions and practice in offices without a doctor present. The Alabama Board of Medical Examiners' voted Wednesday to grant physician assistants the authority to write prescriptions for ordinary medications such as antibiotics or blood-pressure drugs. The changes take effect Dec. 21. The long-awaited decision came as good news to Tim Barnes, one Carbon monoxide a winter hazard By Elizabeth Pezzullo Star Health Writer ' In an effort to keep winter's chill out, you may be letting in a poisonous gas that kills about 1,500 people each year. You can't see it or smell it, but carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. And while a number of household appliances emit the deadly gas into the air, more people become susceptible to poisoning around wintertime, when homes are closed tightly and gas or oil furnaces are burning. ; "It's a household hazard that vou don't hear about all that much," said Genta Speakman, a home environment specialist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service at Auburn University. "But it's out there and it's very dangerous." Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odor- of about a half-dozen physician assistants working in Anniston. "I think it's excellent," said Barnes, who lias worked for surgeons Bryan Freeman and Gifford Black for the last five years. "It's great for the state and great for the patients." THE BOARD also approved a measure allowing physician assistants to work in separate offices from physicians, and to work for more than one doctor. Previously, physician assistants could not prescribe medicines, could work only under the direct supervision of one doctor and had to be physically in the clinic where the doctor practiced. Doctors are also now permitted to supervise as many as three physician assistants. They previously could supervise only one at a time. "Basically we're lightening the load of the physician anyway, so this will just make it easier," said Shannon Coplin, a physician assistant for Anniston oncologist Jefferson Trupp. Physician assistants who work in doctors' offices perform medical histories, give physicals, order laboratory and radiological tests and form initial evaluations, said Rick Kilgore, a physician assistant at Simon Williamson Clinic in Birmingham and a board member of the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants, i "This represents a quantum leap forward," said Kilgore. "This will greatly increase the abilities of the PAs." "IN MANY STATES this privilege is already in effect," added Coplin. "PAs or SAs (surgeon's assistant) in other states have much more freedom than here, so this privilege will make the practice easier as well." With more medical privileges, physician assistants could help to fill the gaps in health care in rural Alabama, where there has long been a shortage of physicians, said Trish Shaner, an attorney for the medical examiners board. "Hopefully, that will open up some physician assistants to go into some of the rural areas," she said. "They are pretty much clustered in the cities now." The rules were adopted after a yearlong delay to study how other states handle physician assistants and set up rules specifically for ylabarna Star Health Writer Elizabeth Pezzullo contributed to this Associated Press report I 'Tl . 1 j"i l:1frr? W Consultants hired for Randolph hospital Temporary management is expected to raise morale By George J. Tanber Star Staff Writer Bill WllsonTht Annlifon star Alagasco service technician Lelton Bell checks a furnace for possible problem spots that could allow carbon monoxide into the air. less gas found in exhaust fumes of oil- or gas-powered engines. It's also produced by the inefficient burning Of coal, gas, oil or propane in domestic heating appliances. The gas binds with red blood cells and deprives tissues of oxygen which results in headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, t irregular breathing and finally, asphyxiation. That's what happened to tennis player D See Monoxide1 4A ROANOKE After weeks of controversy and confusion, the Randolph County Hospital Association Board has moved to restore a sense of normalcy to Randolph County Hospital by hiring a consulting firm to temporarily manage the hospital. T.R. McDougal & Associates of Montgomery will be paid $8,500 a month to run day-to-day operations, conduct a search for a new administrator, develop strategic planning and revitalize the hospital staff's bruised morale, board Chairman James Ray Kirby said Wednesday during a news conference at the hospital. Kirby said he expects McDougal to be on board four to six months. See Randolph1 4A Talladega j ury quick to administer delayed justice Larry George guilty of murder By Anthony Cook Star Staff Writer TALLADEGA ' It took authorities six years to bring Larry Donald George to trial for the siayings of two people and the shooting of his estranged wife. It took a jury less than 45 minutes to find him guilty Wednesday. That same Talladega Circuit Court jury recommended Wednesday night that George die in the electric chair for the Feb. 12, 1988, shooting deaths of Janice Morris and Ralph Swain of Talladega. George was also found guilty of attempted murder in the wounding of his estranged wife, Geraldine George, who was left paralyzed from the chest down. Circuit Judge Jerry Fielding, who can either uphold the recommendation or downgrade it to life without parole, said he will probably sentence George in January. An. appeal is mandatory under Alabama law. Prosecutors presented evidence during the trial supporting claims that George entered Swain's and Mrs. Morris' home at City Court II Apartments and shot all three vic tims with a 9mm gun. Ms. Morris was shot in the chest, Swain was shot in the head and Mrs. George was shot under her left arm. GEORGE, WHO had been trained in survival tactics in the military, fled after the incident and remained on the lam for six years. He was captured April 24 by two undercover police officers in New Castle County, Del., where he had allegedly had been living in a dugout bunker in a wooded area next to a river in Wilmington. Jurors took only about 45 minutes to decide the case. Mrs. George, who testified Tuesday and was at the proceedings throughout the trial, declined comment on the verdict. Some spectators questioned the efforts of the defense, which cross-examined less than half of the prosecution's witnesses and presented no witness in George's defense during the trial. Both attorneys, Steve Giddens and Jeb Fannin, argued that they did all they could with the facts they had. "Whoever said (there wasn't enough done in George's defense) was an idiot, and they don't know anything about trying a case," Giddens said. "We did all we could do, and I make no apologies for the case we put forward." During the sentencing hearing, the defense did call Kathy Ronan, a psychologist from Tuscaloosa. She testified that after examining George, she determined that he suffered from a depression disorder. BUT UNDER cross-examination by the state, Ms. Ronan conceded that the disorder is a fairly common one, especially among inmates. The jury took about 90 minuses to decide on the death penalty recommendation. The case had been featured on the television show America's Most Wanted, and camera crewmen from the show , said Wednesday's outcome probably will be aired in two or three weeks. Probation officers get second raise this year By Richard Coe Star Staff Writer Charles Carter just got an $8,000 raise for this year. His salary as Calhoun County's chief juvenile-probation officer leaped from $27,000 to more than $35,000. Tuesday, Carter asked the Civil Service Board for even more money. The board granted another 75 cents an hour for him and five of the other county probation officers. The raises have flustered members of the Calhoun County Commission. 1 want all our employees to get all that they are entitled," said Commissioner J.D. Hess. "I'm sure they need it. . . .We strained hard to give them what we could. This hurt us." The initial raise resulted from a state law passed May 14 which gave a one-time subsidy of $22,000 to all iuvenile probation officers in the state. The law was intended to improve the state's handling of juveniles by providing higher salaries to attract better-qualified probation officers and hold on to the current officers. BEFORE the law, the state simply paid - half of the officers' salaries. Now the first $22,000 of the probation officers' salaries, - comes from tne state ana me county, commission pays the rest. The arnouikVofthe safaris that the commission pays remained the same.. ; , . .- .The effect of the law is that county probation officer Tom Wright, for example, saw his salary go up from $22,000 to more than $33,000 for this year. The law also made money available to hire more probation officers in some communities based on their population. Calhoun County was able to hire twa The law cost the county' more than $31,000 in retroactive pay and fringe benefits. The probation officers' request for still more money came from a proposed 75 cents per hour salary increase for all county employees. During a regular budget meeting this summer, the county commission and Carter discussed the hourly pay raise. Carter said his understanding of the meeting was that only the two new employees of his department would not get the 75-cents-an- hour raise. Hess, Commissioner James A. "Pappy" Dunn and County Administrator Ken Joiner said they thought he understood that because of the large pay raises the probation officers would already be getting from the state, they would not get the county raise. "We felt like this was understood that the 75 cents was not supposed to be on their payroll," Hess said. "I was asking about the increases for the new people," Carter said. "That might have been where some of the confusion may have been." "I think Carter is confused," Joiner replied. WHEN CARTER noticed he and his other officers were not getting the county raise, he appealed to the Civil Service Board. "The supplement comes from a state law," Carter said, "The two had nothing to do with one another. That was my position. Thank goodness the Civil Service Board saw it my way." "We did not promiscuously take anything from hem." Dunn said. "We didn't thjnk B See Raise1 4A ft VYtf Mb? M V i 1 if X 1 ' ' - -TV.. & r Deck the streets . . . Sim GroMftlM AnnlMon Star Heralding the holiday season, city employees have been busy heralding the coining Yuletide season by hanging Christinas decorations downtown. Greg Dolin, left, and Chris Cooper are two of the men who have been hanging red holiday banners and colored stars from street lights along downtown venues. Tuesday found them on Noble Street.

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