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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee • Page 3
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The Tennessean from Nashville, Tennessee • Page 3

The Tennesseani
Nashville, Tennessee
Issue Date:

News roundup 2B Deaths 4-5B JQCA 1 I 1 Weather 6B TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 1999 ODDauDce cMeff to verse TemiBuCare COURTS Didn't try to kill in attack, pair says Page 6B IVTICII TO Tim si Chavez rollment to the uninsurable population until problems INSIDE contributing to a $142-mil- I County officials seek more money from state to non-a-year increase in Commentary TennCare costs can be fixed. TennCare is the state's $3.7 maintain rural roads, On 3B. billion health insurance pro Environmenta gram for 12 million poor and uninsured Tennesseans. lists push for new logging regulation, On 3B. Governor asks Ferguson to rein in health costs By BONNA M. rlo gl7 Staff Writer The state's chief financial officer has been given the reins over all of Tennessee's health services in efforts to improve TennCare and mental health and retardation services. "A lot of the issues we face are financial issues, and right now this is a step in working through those problems," said Alexia Levison, spokeswoman for Gov. Don Sundquist. The governor also thinks the temporary reorganization will be more efficient and effective, she said. At the same time, Sundquist yesterday named Dr. Fredia Wadley, the state's chief What the restructuring doesn't solve is a void in "I'm wondering if this is a back-door approach to move Mental Health and Retardation into the Health Department," said state Rep. John Arriola, D-Nashville. "I would be very suspicious of that" Levison said the restructuring should not be interpreted as a renewed effort to consolidate health and mental health. Those efforts by the governor failed last year. Some advocates worried mental health would get lost in a mega-department Wadley was health commissioner during the first half of Sundquist's first term. She moved to chief health officer in January 1997. That was the same time TennCare was moved from the Finance Department to the Health Department The position of chief health officer likely will be eliminated, Health Department spokeswoman Diane Denton said. Nolensville feels bias of board health officer, as commissioner of health one of the departments now being told to report to Finance and Administration Commissioner John Ferguson. Nancy Menke left the post as state health commissioner earlier this month to become Sundquist's senior health adviser. The TennCare Bureau, which has been under the Health Department, and the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation also will answer to Ferguson. Several health advocates said it was a good move. "Ferguson is the money man and, let's face it, all these services long-term care and mental health services for people with disabilities are really all about money," said Dara Howe of the Tennessee Disability Coalition. TennCare's financial straits have become so dire that Sundquist has proposed closing en leadership on mental health policy issues, said Dick Blackburn, executive director of the Tennessee Association of Mental Health Organizations. As of now, the Mental Health Department has no permanent commissioner and no one has been named director of TennCare Partners, the mental health component of TennCare, Blackburn said. -w Lea, 'Tennessean' founder's son, dies it i-f I By KATHY CARLSON SlaffWriter Luke Lea, 90, son of Tennessean founder and publisher Col. Luke Lea, died yesterday afternoon at Mariner Health of Mr. Lea was a vice president of The Tennessean after his service in the U.S. Army in World War II. He was liaison to Gen. Douglas MacArthur and played a key role in negotiations during the war crimes trials of Japanese officials after the i war ended. Japanese leaders, including Emperor Hirohito, were put on trial by a war crimes tribunal after the war, Mr. Lea's Jf LEA NOLENSVILLE At age 82, Mary Frances Parrish is running the funeral home here that her grandfather started in 1875. She runs it so well that county business leaders gave her a plaque and a round of applause recently. But community is her real passioa The Lion's Club chapter was created 44 years ago from a meeting in her kitchen. The only mark against her sanity is devotion to Vanderbilt University sports particularly football. Yet it's easy to see why, as Williamson County School board member Mike Cherry claimed, none of Cherry's real estate clients would want to live next to Parrish or anyone else in her community. Alfred and Evelyn Bennett run a bed and breakfast here. He's a former Cumberland Presbyterian minister and lost his sight five years ago. She's been in a wheelchair since age 14 when stricken with polio. But they go to loving lengths to take care of each other and their customers. Yet it's apparent why Cherry and his clients would not want to live next to the Bennetts. Parman Henry is a member of the town board and mixes homespun wisdom with a simple courtesy that gives government here a sense of humanity. Board votes regularly are delayed if a business or resident asks for more time for study. Yet, for a school board member keen on conducting public business in private, it's easy to see why this is a place folks like him or his clients don't want to live. Pity these purveyors of prejudice. Their reasoning is rooted in ignorance. So soon, they run out of people and places to look down on. And on the Williamson County School board, Cherry has spread his damning disregard to this town. That's part of the reason why Cherry has been privately lobbying to have a new county high school built south of Franklin and not near projected residential growth here and in east Brentwood. Cherry said he doesnt have faith in the projections. But there's ample reason to have faith in prejudice and its patrons like Cherry in Williamson County. Poor Nolensville. Its only offenses are not offering sushi at its super-: market, not allowing overcrowded development along its main street, and not judging each person's worth by the square footage of their home. In the past school board election, Cherry and his clique proclaimed how much more they knew about running a school district than a director with more academic degrees than they have beans in their noggins. And they got elected. Since then, it hasnt been enough for him to make non-Christian students and parents feel unwanted. Or, as Cherry has, refer to English as Second Language students as speaking "in strange tongues." Or to claim that black students coming out of Franklin's Freedom Middle School need to be spread out so they won't cluster at one or two high schools. Actually, Cherry, who has since apologized to anyone in Nolensville who took offense, performs a service. He publicly states the private thoughts of some other board members. You have to feel bad for the good board members, like Jack Watkins, who sponsored the recent, successful resolution to give Martin Luther King Day back its rightful name, and Sina Miller, who had to clean up the destructive mess of a Cherry chum, board member Charlene KimmeL on religion in schools. For now, it's Nolensville that doesnt measure up. Stand up and confront Cherry and his clique, before your community, your race, your creed or your child is next PHOTOS BY GEORGE WALKER IV STAFF Third-grade teacher Courtney Vlahos gets an earful from student Clay Reed during a visit to an art exhibit by people with Down syndrome. I ma irv IJ own syndrome kids blossom at schools son-in-law, Wayne Murphy, recalled. Representatives of several nations were involved in the trial, and it appeared the group was prepared to indict the emperor by a one-vote margin. MacArthur didn't want the emperor indicted because he was a "rallying point" for the Japanese people, Murphy said. Mr. Lea took a tribunal member out to play golf one day, and during the game laid out the reasons why the emperor should not be indicted, Murphy said. The group later voted against indictment by one vote, he said. "You might say a golf game saved the emperor's neck," Murphy said last night Tennessean Chairman Emeritus John Seigenthaler remembers Lea as a quiet man. "Luke Lea Jr. had a lifelong love affair with Nashville and its people," Seigenthaler said. "He was not a man who sought the limelight, but he made many contributions to the community in a very private and personal way. He was my good friend and I'll miss him." Murphy also recalled Mr. Lea's sharp memory and positive outlook on life. "His memory was absolutely uncanny. He could tell you almost verbatim conversations he had in 1945. He could not only remember phone numbers, but international phone numbers," Murphy said. Turn to PAGE 2B, Column 6 UK that they can learn, with proper supports," said FrankJ. Murphy, executive director ofthe National Down Syndrome Congress, a parent organization based in Atlanta. "My daughter Karen went through all 12 years of school in that way and she graduated with honors from high school." "One ofthe things people dont realize about people with Down syndrome is they're especially good at reading," added Travis Thompson, director ofthe John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at Vanderbilt University. Another "hidden" talent is art, Thompson said. The Kennedy Center is hosting an exhibit of art by students with Down syndrome who are associated with the John Langdon Down Foundation in Mexico City. The exhibit continues through April in the MRL Building on the campus of Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. Turn to PAGE 2B, Column 6 Bv BILL SNYDER Staff Writer Jeanne Gavigan, who has Down syndrome, is one of the most popular students in her regular third-grade class at Gower Elementary School in west Nashville. "She's wonderful. The kids love her," said Jennifer Fuson, one of her teachers. Thirty years ago, children like Jeanne might have been segregated in separate classrooms or institutions, or kept at home. But today, experts say, children with special needs are blossoming, in part because of the regular interaction with all types of children. Down syndrome is a developmental disability characterized by mental retardation. But that doesn't mean children with Down syndrome cannot succeed in school or in the working world. "Kids with Down syndrome should go to school with kids who just have runny noses, to the extent Jeanne Gavigan, a third-grade student at Gower Elementary School, works on an art project with Kayla Feltner, right Nashville-based Webcast of knee operation scheduled today Today's broadcast was to begin at 9 a.m. from Wellstar Cobb Hospital outside Atlanta. During the surgery, titanium metal caps and plastic gliding surfaces were to be implanted in the woman's knee joints to replace the cartilage that had been worn away by arthritis. The result should be relief of arthritis pain and improved function, officials said. On the Web To watch the operation, which is scheduled to begin at 9 cal upthe AHN Web site, Viewers must have RealPlayer software on their computer, or can download it free from the Web site. site is based in Nashville because its top executives, including Fetherling, live in the area and because Nashville "is a hub for health and medical management firms." Since last summer, the Web site has broadcast a live birth, open-heart surgery and several other operations, including a brain surgery performed last month at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville. dent ofthe Web site AHN.COM, said in a news release. AHN.COM is the Web site of America's Health Network, a cable TV network based in Orlando, Fla. America's Health Network is a 3-year-old cable TV network co-owned by Rick Scott and David Vandewater, former top ColumbiaHCA executives. AHN.COM officials say the Web By BILL SNYDER Staff Writer A Nashville-based Web site today is to broadcast a live knee replacement surgery performed in Georgia on a 61-year-old woman with arthritis. "It is our hope that this Webcast will help hesitant arthritis sufferers become more comfortable with this surgery," J. Tod Fetherling, presi NightWeekend Editors: Dwlght Lewis, 726-5928 George Zepp, 259-8091 To reach our newsroom: Phone: 259-8095 Fax: 259-8093 E-mail: Emory fiver flood kilted 40 in 1929 This is Severe Weather Awareness Week. One of the worst floods in Tennessee history occurred on March 21-23, 1929, along the Emory River and in the upper Cumberland River basin. A storm centered at Rock Island, in Warren County, dropped 10.3 inches of rain in 31 hours. The Emory River rose 20 feet in 3.5 hours. Many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed in 22 Tennessee towns and cities. Forty people died and damage was estimated in excess of $10 million. Much of the devastation occurred in Harriman and Oakdale. Source: Allen Coggina City Editor. Gail Kerr, 259-8085 Regional Editors: Frank Gibson, 726-5907 Laird MacGregor, 259-8095 i Ellen Margulies, 726-5977 I Sherborne, 259-8080 Mike Sherman, 259-8899 Margaret Sizemore, 726-5941 Wendi C. Thomas, 664-2194 Bredesen to discuss Y2K at luncheon today Mayor Phil Bredesen will discuss the Year 2000 issue for Metro operations and his vision of Nashville during a special lunch at the 23rd Psalm Coffee House, 2203 Buena Vista Pike, from noon to 1 p.m. today. Lunch tickets are still available by calling 259-2323. Transportation aides to address PR society Tommy Hart and Luanne Grandinettj of the state Department of Transportation will discuss efforts to begin a public awareness program at today's 11:45 a.m. meeting of the Nashville chapter of the Public Relations Society of America at the Loews Vanderbilt Plaza. Ml PRESENTED BY

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