The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on March 26, 1998 · Page 137
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March 26, 1998

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 137

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 26, 1998
Page:
Page 137
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THE PALM BEACH POST THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 1998 MSL s 6B Health care district planning hospital takeover District officials will ask the state's permission to take over Everglades Regional Medical Center. New stadium gives disabled short shrift, lawsuit says People in wheelchairs can't see the games or get to concession stands easily, it claims. By George Bennett Palm Beach Post Staff Writer ' JUPITER Palm Beach County's new $28 million spring-training stadium doesn't meet federal standards for wheelchair access or parking for people with disabilities, claims a lawsuit filed problems, the hospital board said it was ready to surrender. Then the two sides started fighting over the terms of the turnover and whether the hospital had fully disclosed its finances. The tax-financed health district wanted a guarantee it wouldn't have to pay any of Everglades' debts. But the Everglades board contends some of those debts arose because the health district stopped supporting the hospital in 1995. The Everglades lawyer couldn't be reached. Administrator Donald Anderson would only say, "It kind of takes us back to where we were." for Health Care Administration. The agency pays hospitals according to their reported costs in previous years, later auditing those reports and changing the rates retroactively. Owens said decreases are common, generally because of technical errors. The health district is concerned because anyone who takes over a hospital must also assume its Medicaid debts, said Peter Sachs, a district lawyer. District officials said they'd take over only if they can bargain the state down. The district and hospital board have fought over control of Everglades since 1991. In December, facing financial state will protect county taxpayers against at least some of Everglades' mounting debts. Two more hospital creditors sued last week. And in a letter Tuesday, state officials announced they expect the hospital to refund nearly $1.7 million worth of Medicaid payments made between 1992 and 1996. The state doesn't suspect the hospital of abusing Medicaid, which pays for medical treatment for the poor, said John Owens, supervisor with the Agency ow there's no excuse your conversation Introducing AT&T Digital PCS for as low as a minute and $40 off digital phones. By Jennifer Peitz Palm Beach Post Staff Writer WEST PALM BEACH Palm Beach County officials are preparing to take over a Pahokee hospital if they have to, but they haven't abandoned hope for a peaceful transition. . County Health Care District officials on Wednesday didn't soften their stance toward the private board of Everglades Regional Medical Center. They also agreed to seek state permission to take over if they can't reach a deal and if the to cut There couldn't be a and a great deal on fee. All that on the 94 I o I i If i f Wednesday in U.S. District Court. ' The suit seeks modifications to Roger Dean Stadium and names as defendants the county, the Montreal Expos and St. Louis Cardinals, Jupiter, the minor-league Jupiter Hammerheads and architects HOK Inc. Frederick Arthur Shotz, a Broward County disabilities consultant who uses a wheelchair, is seeking class-action status for the suit, which he filed after attending a March 15 game. His complaint says parking spaces don't meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards, concession stands are inaccessible and most of the viewing areas for people in wheelchairs have obstructed views. Shotz said he measured the slope of wheelchair ramps and determined they are slightly more steep than the ADA allows. Shotz met Tuesday with representatives of the county, HOK and Jupiter Stadium Ltd., the joint Expos-Cardinals entity that handled design and construction and now manages the stadium. While the county owns the stadium, Assistant County Administrator Bill Wilkins said ADA compliance is the responsibility of Jupiter Stadium Ltd. "We're addressing (Shotz's) concerns," said Jupiter Stadium General Manager Rob Rabe-necker. HOK general counsel Paul Watsnn said he hadn't seen the lawsuit. But he said the firm, one jf the nation's leading stadium designers, "is very sensitive to the requirements of the ADA. . . . We haven't had any problems with that." Lost sponsor leaves Scouts up a creek Lake Park's only troop can't renew its charter, get insurance or even camp. By Kristin Vaughan Palm Beach Post Staff Writer . LAKE PARK The town's only Boy Scout troop has been packing up instead of camping out since losing its church sponsorship last month and they haven't found a new sponsor. For 14 years, Troop 753 met at the Immanuel United Presbyterian Church. The building was sold last year, and its new owners told the troop in February they had 30 days to find a new home, Scout leader Rob Coleman said. Until they do, the 10 boys can't renew their charter with the Boy Scouts of America or the insurance that allows them to take part in outdoor activities. The youngsters were forced to skip a threelay camporee in Dreher Park three weeks ago that drew 1,300 Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from Boca Raton to Sebastian. Other events scheduled through June have been postponed. "We have the money for the insurance, but our hands are tied," Coleman said. "Until we get a signature, we can't fill out the paperwork" for the national organization. The boys, ages 11 to 15, have been relegated to meetings, which have been moved to the town hall. They need a sponsor, which would become the troop's charter organization. It could be a club, church, business or group of people who would provide a location where the boys could hold their weekly meetings and stor their equipment Devin Tompkins, 15, said: "I just hope someone will come forward and sponsor us," said Devin Tompkins, 15. "We're not bad kids. We help people." Potential sponsors can call Colempat 84i36 short. BOO tnmut Kri mtrf coreato 1m tf K, 00 p & nc to-fcf cr and www x t umrt o Km W or Ch 1a not be to"fl better time to sign up for AT&T Digital PCS. Besides low home airtime rates digital phones, there's automatic credit programs available and no activation largest digital wireless network in North America. 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