The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia on April 12, 1982 · 12
Get access to this page with a Free Trial

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Atlanta Constitution from Atlanta, Georgia · 12

Atlanta, Georgia
Issue Date:
Monday, April 12, 1982
Start Free Trial

Monday, April 12, 1982 0. 12-A Public Broadcasting Stations Get Breathing Space By Sharon J. Salyer " Constitution Slefl Writer A tentative agreement by the Atlanta Board of Education to continue funding for one year the city's public radio and television stations solves the short-term financial problems for the facilities, but the big question of who will operate the stations beginning in July 1983 probably won't be answered for months. The stations - WABE-FM and WETV Channel 30 were faced with a financial crisis when the Atlanta and Fulton County boards of education major contributors to the stations' operations announced their intention to discontinue funding of the stations on July 1. The stations' licenses were to be transferred to the state's new Public Telecommunications Network. Fulton County did go ahead with its plans to discontinue funding. But the Atlanta school board, which makes a hefty $1 million annual contribution to the operation of the two stations, tentatively decided last week to continue funding of the stations for one more year to give the board more time to consider the future of the facilities. But in spite of the funding pledge, there will be changes in store for the two stations during the next, 12 months. Their combined budgets of approximately $1.5 million will be cut by $500,000 including Fulton's $387,000 contribution and $113,000 in federal funds for public broadcasting. That may mean at least some of the 58 employees of the stations will be taken off the payroll and put on annual contracts, which would allow the stations to eliminate employee benefits such as health insurance. Employee benefits amount to 16 percent of the salary of each employee. "We could save, and people will still be working and having jobs here," said Dr. Gil Tauff-ner, executive director of WETV and WABE. Asked how the funding cutback would affect operation of the radio and television stations, Tauffner noted that the school board had only tentatively agreed to continue funding and that it was a bit early to specify what changes might be necessary. Re added, however, that for some time, officials of both stations have been "looking at minimal budgets - what is the line for survival." Asked if the status quo would basically be , maintained at the stations, Tauffner responded, ' "Yes. I don't believe there will be any differences that the public will notice. That's the thing we're going to be trying hard to maintain to not see any diminution in programming. There may need to be some retrenchment but I hope not" Tauffner said the probable $500,000 in funding cuts could be absorbed through "readjustments" in how staffers are paid and the hours and tasks they work. However, any staff changes will have to be approved by the Atlanta Board of Education. And the board's tentative agreement to fund the station at the $1 million level will not be finalized untU the board approves its 1982-83 budget in May. The board also will have to come to an agreement with the Public Broadcasting Association of Greater Atlanta an advisory and fund- raising board on continued funding for the next year, as well as on plans for the ultimate transfer of the licenses of the stations to some other organization. But in spite of the funding cutback, WABE Program Director Van Joiner is predicting some exciting changes for his station, including an increase in the public-broadcasting schedule. Because of its long association with the Atlanta and Fulton County school systems, the classical FM station now broadcasts instructional programming from 9 a.m.' until 2:30 p.m. during the school year. But after years of requests from listeners, that programming will be broadcast directly to the schools rather than over the public airwaves next school year. The station also plans on upping its wattage from 30,000 to 100,000 watts by November, thanks to the hefty public support the station garnered during its recent fund drive. The broadcasting licenses for the radio and television station were previously held jointly by the Atlanta and Fulton County boards of education. But late last year, Fulton school officials announced that due to budget difficulties, they had decided to discontinue the county's $387,000 in funding of the television and radio stations. . Meanwhile, the Atlanta school board, with a projected 1982-83 budget deficit of between $11 million and $15 million, was facing an even deeper budget crisis of its own. Last December, board member Joe Martin' suggested that the Atlanta board transfer the broadcasting licenses of the two stations to the' state's new Public Telecommunications Network beginning in June thus saving the school sys-i tern its annual contribution of $1 million toward the operational costs of the stations. Several different plans for the future of the: stations were quietly being considered by the board. It came as somewhat of a surprise, then, when Atlanta school board members exited an unannounced meeting last Monday night with a tentative agreement to continue funding for the stations for one year. M ountain Easter X, - . 'V . " , ' ,' ' v :'.'.::::'::':?:v::::;' 1 Worshipers (above) attend the traditional Easter s an rise service at the summit of Stone Mountain , Sunday. A few hours later, Melissa Elliot, -18 months, (far right) was among 7,000 ' children who turned out to search for the 30,600 Easter eggs that had been hidden. Claudia Jones, 3, (right) slept through the hunt bat her brothers donated some eggs to her. (Staff Photos-Rich Addicks) Staff Photo-Kay West , i, . ' t ' f Xt, , ' C jft I'm, f "" J V.. I -"iw-: j. i..v. -. ,,..:y.:.- ....... . i ' 1 ' 'J , " H ' 4 m 1 But Police See No Link To Slayings By Bob Dart . ; Conililutlon Staff Writer Two young black men, both with reported mental problems, have been missing from their homes in Atlanta for a month or more, Atlanta police said Sunday. However, there is no sign that disappearances of these two men, whose ages are 21 and 26, are connected in any way to the long tragedy of Atlanta's missing and murdered black youths, police pointed out "There's no indication of any wrongdoing of a homicidal nature," said George Napper, Atlanta's acting public safety commissioner. "We just don't know where they are." ., , t The two missing men are: I Michael Phillips, 21, who was last seen March 2 as he walked down the street away from his home at 3991 Bakers Ferry Road. He was reported missing on March 11. Police said his mother, Eba Phillips, told them Michael Phillips is slightly mentally retarded. He has a beard and a moustache and is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds. Chester Gaston, 26, of 1612 Kerry Street, who was last seen March 12 and was reported missing two days later by his mother, Mary Gaston. She said he has had mental problems since receiving a head injury while in the Army. Chester Gaston is described as being 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds. When last seen, he was wearing blue jeans, a green shirt and black boots. "He just left and we haven't seen him no more," Mary Gaston said Sunday. "He got hurt in the Army in Germany, and he hasn't been right since he's come home. He would just get up and start walking. ... His mind would come and go a little bit Some time he would dress up in his Army clothes and say he was going back in, but he couldn't do that ..." "I pray to God that he hasn't been hurt Lord have mercy, I hope he hasn't been hurt," his mother said. "I think he's just walking somewhere. . . ." On Saturday, in a scene reminiscent of many similar weekends during the past two years, volunteer searchers wearing green armbands combed neighborhoods and woodlands in an effort to find the missing young men. y - They did not find them. i Door Opens On Cataract Surgery For latients Outt M, By Pamela Fine Constitution Staff Writer Nina Capps could barely see out of her right eye when she checked into an Atlanta hospital for cataract surgery last month. For three years, she had coped with "hazy" vision, and now, at age 79, she wanted to see clearly again. . She arrived at Metropolitan Ear and Eye Hospital at 9 a.m. on March 11. Less than an hour later, she was wheeled out of surgery. By noon, she was back home recuperating and hungry for lunch. An operation that most doctors feel requires hospitalization had taken no more time than a morning shopping trip for Miss CappS. A day later, with the cataract gone and a new plastic lens inside her eye, she could read and sew and carry on her normal routine. "I had no trouble at all. It's wonderful. I can ' see better and I can do everything I did before," she recently told a reporter. Miss Capps is among a growing number of patients who are choosing to recuperate at home following cataract surgery rather than stay in the hospital. Although outpatient cataract surgery is relatively rare in Atlanta, Dr. Daniel Hennessy, the surgeon who operated on Miss Capps, believes such procedures are the wave of the future. , Last December, Hennessy performed what Is believed to be the first outpatient cataract operation In Atlanta. His patient then was an elderly man from Chile who had no American health insurance. - "He couldn't afford to stay in the hospital. So we did it this way and it worked out fine for everybody," Hennessy said. Since then, Hennessy has found that many of his patients prefer outpatient surgery to traditional .if' 4'' :':;!v: l sii." jy,:::;-::;o:o:;:v:V: 0 f i -; .;. if StaH Phott-Steve Deal Dr. Daniel Hennessy Uses Special Equipment To Check Pat Testa's Eyes care, not only to save money but for comfort "They'd rather sleep in their own beds and be . among familiar surroundings while they recuperate," he said. Each year, roughly 500,000 cataract operations are performed in the United States. Cataracts, which are the leading cause of blindness among the nation's elderly, create a condition in which the lens of the eye becomes clouded and blocks light from going through to the retina and the optic nerve. Normally, removing a cloudy lens and replacing it with a plastic one is a relatively painless procedure that takes about 33 minutes to perform. Generally, eye surgeons still insist on a two- to three-day hospital stay for cataract-extraction patients because they feel the hospital is a safer environment for recovery. Hennessy said that although such hospitalization is sometimes necessary, the majority of cataract operations can be performed on an outpatient basis with equally good results. , See EYE, Page 14-A Medicaid Cuts Putting Hospitals In A Dilemma By Dick Parker Constitution Staff Wriltr Berry Evans' doctors said he should not have seen his 13th birthday. - Born Oct 21, 1950, Evans was seven months old when doctors told his mother the boy had cystic fibrosis in his lungs, stomach and sweat glands. Now, at 31, Evans weighs 98 pounds. He is still fighting for his life, 19 years beyond the age doctors expected him to live. He has a wife and a four-year-old son. - He has never worked, and he relies on Medicaid to pay his many medical bills, including frequent hospital stays. But continued federal cuts in Medicaid could leave Evans to fight for his life alone. His family's financial support cannot begin to approach the $300 to $500-a-day hospital bills he periodically faces. Evans won a bout against pneumonia earlier this year, in a struggle that took 12 days in the hospital. Two weeks ago he was readmitted to Doctors Hospital in Tucker with a lung infection and more pneumonia, v His physician, Dr. Arthur Green, said : Evans will need periodic hospitalization to r combat the cystic fibrosis. "There is a steady progression of the disease," Green said. "Berry was in the hospital three or four times last year, and there's no reason to think he wouldn't need more treatment" Evans is totally dependent on Medicaid to Jay his hospital bills. He has been disabled all is life and has not worked to earn benefits from the Medicare program. Cuts in Medicaid, however, have 'limited patients to 25 days of hospitalization per year, barring special permission. Evans has used up his allotted time for 1982, although Medicaid would pay for readmission with approval from the hospital's "utilization review coordinators." And a one-time special appropriation from the Georgia General Assembly during the just-completed session may have helped Evans. . However, things did not look good a few months ago. Federal Medicaid cuts last November forced Gov. George Busbee to recommend a $67 million reduction in the state Medicaid . budget The State Board of Medical Assistance, overseer of the Medicaid program in Georgia, responded by eliminating services through the program. . The board said Medicaid would pay no patient's hospitalization for more than 20 days in one year. There were no exceptions. Because public hospitals refused to discharge patients in need of care, many of them faced substantial losses as much as $8 million statewide after Medicaid reduced payments. "We have a case out here where an indigent patient has run. up a tremendous bill," said Ray King, administrator of Doctors Hospital -.? ' . ...- ' Grady Memorial Hospital alone faced a ' $2.8 million loss, according to Dr. Asa Yancy, chief of staff. --. Then the Legislature came through with the special appropriation. It voted to allow the Medicaid board use of $14 million - $4 mil-linn from a special supplement and $10 million which had been set aside to meet Medicaid . bills from 1979 and 1980. That one-time money allowed the board to extend payment for hospital stays to the current 25 days, through June 30, and to set up a policy for payment of hospitalization for longer stays with prior approval. ' ( . See MEDICAID, Page 14-A

Clipped articles people have found on this page

Get access to

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 21,100+ newspapers from the 1700s–2000s
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the The Atlanta Constitution
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

Try it free