Archives for March 2016

Healthcare on Wheels receives $900,000 grant

Hospital staff has “hit the ground running” now that the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority has received funding to pay for a Community Health Care Needs Assessment, Arthur Evans, CEO/Administrator, told the board Thursday.

Evans said both the Marengo County Commission and the City of Demopolis pitched in $27,500 to pay Quorum Healthcare Resources for the extensive assessment of Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, which is expected to take about three months.

The assessment will review the healthcare needs of the residents in the five counties the hospital serves, how the hospital is operating and improvements that can be made.

As part of the assessment healthcare professionals, civic leaders and others will be asked to give their input on hospital services.

Evans told the board the Healthcare on Wheels program began now that the hospital has been given a $900,000 grant extension.

The van, manned by a doctor or nurse practitioner and a nurse, visits 13 rural communities in five counties but is expected to add more stops as demand grows, he said. Just in the first few days of operation the van saw 34 patients.

Dr. Judy Travis, a member of the board, has been traveling with the van during its initial startup and said, “I’m having a ball.”

She has been disappointed that other physicians who initially agreed to help have backed out, but Evans said another doctor is interested in becoming part of the Healthcare on Wheels staff.

The hospital also has met all the latest requirements to receive funding to start construction on the Adult Psych Unit at the hospital. Verification has been turned into the state, and the hospital is waiting for approval.

The board approved Zach Ford to be the recipient of a hospital nursing scholarship. Under the agreement, Ford will return to Demopolis to work after completing his studies or pay back the loan. The scholarship will pay up to $4,000 per year.

Approved for reappointment to the consulting staff were radiologists Drs. Jeffrey Brown, Lauren Thorington and Wilford French; and to the ER staff, Dr. Blake Dewitt.

Receiving initial appointment approval was Dr. Krystal Smith in radiology.

Evans discusses BWWMH future with Demopolis Rotary

Art Evans speaks to the Demopolis Rotary Club on Wednesday, March 30. (Photo by Jan McDonald)

Art Evans speaks to the Demopolis Rotary Club on Wednesday, March 30. (Photo by Jan McDonald)

Demopolis’ hospital will “take a ‘selfie’” over the next three months as it conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).

Art Evans, CEO/administrator of Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital, told members of the Rotary Club Wednesday the assessment, being conducted by an independent agency, will cover demand for future services, where patients go if not to the local hospital, service time performance, core services, physicians’ needs and a SWOT analysis.

The last such CHNA occurred five years ago, Evans said. They are conducted on a regular basis to gauge how well the hospital is doing and how it can improve.

Part of the CHNA will be a survey of stakeholders in the five-county area the hospital covers, he continued. People such as health care professionals, elected officials and community leaders will be asked to give their opinion on improving hospital services.

Once the CHNA is complete, the hospital must set out an implementation strategy to address improvement issues as mandated by the IRS. The assessment helps the hospital recognize trends so that it can be proactive in preparing for the future.

Evans also talked about the issue of Medicaid funding in Alabama. Medicaid, he said, is limited to children, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled. Alabama has the most restrictive eligibility standards in the country since those requesting aid cannot make more than $2,867 a year.

For every 32 cents the state puts into Medicaid, the federal government adds 68 cents. Alabama has the third lowest cost per enrollee in the country.

The proposed legislation to add only $15 million to the Medicaid budget will fall far short of what is needed, Evans continued. “Level funding is going to force Medicaid to cut services,” he said.

The hospitals and medical professionals in the state have been working for the past two years on a Regional Care Organization plan which would start Oct. 1. Because it is done within the state and each RCO would manage its allocated funds, the usual 15 percent administrative fee would not have to be paid to an outside insurance company to oversee, saving costs for the state.

However, unless more money is added to the Medicaid budget, the RCOs are in jeopardy of not being able to begin and help keep down health care costs for those in need.

Evans stressed to the Rotarians that hospitals in the state get no money from the General Fund Budget. Hospitals themselves pay into a state fund that is matched at the federal level three-to-one. That money is returned to the hospitals after the state takes out 15 percent for the Medicaid agency.

The General Fund Budget, he explained, helps pay for physicians, pharmacies and nursing homes.

To help generate more funds for the hospital, Evans said BWWMH is taking advantage of the federal influx of $750 million to help jump-start the RCO program by submitting plans on how to save money in the long run. If approved, the hospital will be rewarded monetarily.

The hospital, said Evans, expected to submit three plans on Thursday. They include a more efficient admittance of patients to the Emergency Department, whether there for clinical ailments or more critical needs; group physicians to handle more Medicaid patients, and better use of the Health Care on Wheels van.

The hospital has received a $900,000 grant to extend the Health Care on Wheels for one year. It will equip the van and physicians’ offices, including technology to connect the van to doctors’ offices, and will pay for the doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners to man the van.

The van started last week and will have a rotating two-week schedule through the rural areas of the five counties the hospital serves.

The hospital on Tuesday received its audit report. While the auditors gave it a clean report, Evans said it showed that operating costs are 107 percent of the net patient service revenue.

The good news, he said, is that it is the lowest cost-to-revenue among the peer hospitals that the auditors used as comparisons.

Hospitals now have to rely on other sources of revenue besides patients paying their fee. The difference between BWWMH and the other hospitals it was compared to is that the others received millions of dollars in local government support.

The local hospital lost $650,000 in 2015. Thanks to cost-cutting measures and more efficient operations, the loss is considerably less that previous years. It is trending in the right direction, said Evans.

Demopolis woman sentenced in Birmingham tax fraud case

BIRMINGHAM — A federal judge today sentenced a Demopolis woman to nearly four years in prison for filing more than $250,000 in false tax returns, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent in Charge Roger C. Stanton and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Veronica Hyman-Pillot.

Eunice F. Plummer, 36, pleaded guilty in October before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler to three counts of attempting to evade or defeat a large portion of the income tax she owed for 2011, 2012, and 2013. She also pleaded guilty to eight counts of filing false tax returns for other people between 2011 and 2013. Judge Coogler sentenced her to three years and 10 months in prison and ordered her immediately into the custody of U.S. Marshals.

According to the indictment and her plea agreement with the government, Plummer operated a tax preparation business in Birmingham, called Plummer Tax Services, from 2010-2014. During that time, she routinely inflated the amount of tax refunds her customers would receive by using fraudulent information —including wage amounts, child and dependent care expenses, education credits and business losses – on tax returns. Plummer also substantially underreported her income from operating Plummer Tax Services. Between the taxes she failed to pay on her own behalf and the boosted refund amounts from the fraudulent tax returns she filed for clients, Plummer cheated the IRS out of more than $250,000.

In January and February this year, while Plummer was on bond awaiting sentencing following her guilty plea, she reactivated her tax business under a new name, Unique Tax Services, at the same location where she had operated Plummer Tax Services, and filed more tax returns that were fraudulent. Judge Coogler told Plummer at sentencing that by continuing to file fraudulent tax returns after pleading guilty to that conduct, she showed “disdain and disrespect” to the court and acted like “a thief” and “a con artist.”

The FBI and IRS-CI investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier O. Carter Sr. and Amanda Wick prosecuted.

Photo of the Day

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From left, DHS Industrial Maintenance students Xavier McSaam, Curtis Johnson, Chance McVay, and Terrell Jackson are shown with completed roosters that will line the Cock’s Crow 5K route and a large rooster for photo ops on Rooster Day April 9. DHS National Honor Society students will finalize the project by painting the signs. (Contributed Photo)

Richard Gerald Vick

Richard Gerald Vick age 80 of Thomaston, AL died March 30, 2016 at his home. He was born January 8, 1936 in Sweet Water, AL. He as a retired dump truck driver and a member of Thomaston Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Lorene M. Vick of Thomaston, AL; two sons, Steve L. (Rhonda) Vick of Jackson, AL; and Richard C. (Rebecca) Vick of Grove Hill, AL; one brother, Henry L. Vick of Linden, AL; two sisters, Pat Allen of Selma, AL; and Edwina Allen of Huntsville, AL; six grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

Graveside funeral services will be held at Magnolia Cemetery on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 10:00 am.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Marengo Academy, Sweet Water hold strong in latest polls

ASWA SOFTBALL RANKINGS

CLASS 7A
1. James Clemens (28-5)
2. Baker (20-3)
3. Hoover (23-4-1)
4. Tuscaloosa County (19-7-1)
5. Sparkman (19-9-1)
6. Spain Park (20-6)
7. Buckhorn (23-8-1)
8. Oak Mountain (12-6)
9. Hewitt-Trussville (15-5-1)
10. Prattville (24-8)
Others nominated: Central-Phenix City (14-11-1), Huntsville (14-13-1), Mary Montgomery (13-13-1), Thompson (13-11), Vestavia Hills (10-9).

CLASS 6A
1. Southside-Gadsden (13-4)
2. Chelsea (14-4)
3. Oxford (20-4)
4. Gardendale (21-8-1)
5. Pell City (24-6)
6. Athens (16-7-1)
7. Muscle Shoals (17-6)
8. Florence (17-3)
9. Cullman (13-7)
10. Walker (10-5)
Others nominated: Daphne (9-8-2), Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (10-10-1), Pinson Valley (12-7), Scottsboro (10-9), Wetumpka (15-13).

CLASS 5A
1. Rehobeth (29-1-1)
2. Faith Academy (18-1)
3. Springville (14-4-1)
4. Hayden (17-5)
5. Alexandria (17-5)
6. Marbury (18-8-1)
7. Alabama Christian (18-11)
8. Corner (18-10)
9. Beauregard (19-6-1)
10. Moody (16-10)
Others nominated: Etowah (15-8), Eufaula (10-7-1), Lawrence County (15-13-1), Russellville (19-6).

CLASS 4A
1. Curry (22-0)
2. Westminster Christian (29-5)
3. Northside (24-4)
4. LAMP (20-2)
5. Cleburne County (20-2)
6. Wilson (22-2)
7. Clarke County (10-4)
8. Handley (21-8)
9. Good Hope (11-7-1)
10. West Blocton (14-6)
Others nominated: Central-Florence (13-7), Headland (14-10), Holtville (15-14), Munford (14-7).

CLASS 3A
1. Hale County (15-5-1)
2. Prattville Christian (28-3)
3. Pisgah (20-7-1)
4. Colbert Heights (12-0)
5. Plainview (13-2)
6. West Morgan (15-8)
7. Gordo (17-4)
8. Pleasant Valley (17-6)
9. Slocomb (19-3)
10. American Christian (13-7-1)
Others nominated: Dale County (11-5), Madison Academy (9-8), Opp (6-4), Piedmont (15-9), Sand Rock (14-6).

CLASS 2A
1. Sumiton Christian (18-3)
2. Hatton (15-10)
3. Ider (13-5)
4. Leroy (26-5)
5. Mobile Christian (10-4)
6. G.W. Long (12-3)
7. Collinsville (14-7)
8. Tharptown (7-6)
9. New Brockton (9-3)
10. Sweet Water (14-14)
Others nominated: Cold Springs (9-4), Goshen (8-7), Reeltown (11-8-1).

CLASS 1A
1. Brantley (15-4)
2. Spring Garden (16-4)
3. Marion County (12-3)
4. Ragland (8-9)
5. Coosa Christian (10-9-1)
6. Skyline (9-11)
7. Pleasant Home (10-6-1)
8. South Lamar (9-8)
9. Appalachian (13-9)
10. Lynn (9-13)
Others nominated: Berry (6-5), Brilliant (4-5), Decatur Heritage (2-5), Hubbertville (5-4).

AISA
1. Macon-East (31-6)
2. Glenwood (33-6)
3. Pickens Academy (13-2)
4. Patrician Academy (16-4)
5. Clarke Prep (11-7)
6. Marengo Academy (7-3)
7. Pike Liberal Arts (18-13)
8. Edgewood (14-9)
9. Abbeville Christian (17-12)
10. Bessemer Academy (18-9)
Others nominated: Northside Methodist (21-9).

ASWA BASEBALL RANKINGS

Class 7A

  1. Vestavia Hills (21-3)
  2. Sparkman (21-5)
  3. Auburn (22-6)
  4. Hoover (18-10)
  5. Bob Jones (21-9)
  6. Oak Mountain (17-5)
  7. Central-Phenix City (12-8)
  8. Smiths Station (18-8)
  9. Theodore (14-10)
  10. McGill-Toolen (14-6)

Others nominated: Davidson (16-6), Fairhope (11-5), James Clemens (15-8), Mountain Brook (14-7), Spain Park (17-12).

Class 6A

  1. Florence (22-8)
  2. Hartselle (23-11)
  3. Muscle Shoals (20-3)
  4. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (23-6)
  5. Cullman (23-7)
  6. Spanish Fort (16-7)
  7. Opelika (16-11)
  8. Oxford (21-4)
  9. Decatur (20-7)
  10. Southside-Gadsden (15-11)

Others nominated: Brookwood (13-3), Hueytown (16-3), Northview (19-6), Saraland (14-8), Walker (16-10)

Class 5A

  1. Russellville (22-4)
  2. Charles Henderson (21-2)
  3. Helena (19-10)
  4. Faith Academy (16-3)
  5. St. Paul’s (12-3)
  6. Tallassee (18-6)
  7. Rehobeth (18-3)
  8. East Limestone (18-6)
  9. Randolph (20-2)
  10. Beauregard (13-9)

Others nominated: Alabama Christian (14-8), Corner (15-13), Madison County (17-6), Marbury (13-6).

Class 4A

  1. UMS-Wright (13-5)
  2. St. James (12-5)
  3. Deshler (17-2)
  4. Trinity (12-8)
  5. Oneonta (13-6)
  6. Jacksonville (10-6)
  7. Cherokee County (15-3)
  8. Hokes Bluff (14-5)
  9. Haleyville (12-8)
  10. Sipsey Valley (15-8)

Others nominated: Cordova (15-8), Headland (10-10), Holtville (16-10), North Jackson (13-7), Wilson (17-9).

Class 3A

  1. Bayside Academy (12-4)
  2. Colbert Heights (15-2)
  3. Madison Academy (16-11)
  4. American Christian (10-6)
  5. Geneva (10-6)
  6. T.R. Miller (15-4)
  7. Colbert County (10-4)
  8. New Hope (13-5)
  9. Gordo (13-2)
  10. Cottage Hill (15-8)

Others nominated: Hanceville (12-6), Ohatchee (11-7), Opp (10-9), Piedmont (11-7), Pisgah (15-3), Westbrook Christian (14-9), Wicksburg (9-7)

Class 2A

  1. Houston Academy (19-6)
  2. Mars Hill Bible (15-8)
  3. St. Luke’s (13-5)
  4. Fayetteville (16-5)
  5. Providence Christian (17-6)
  6. G.W. Long (17-6)
  7. Mobile Christian (11-7)
  8. Sweet Water (16-7)
  9. Leroy (15-7)
  10. Highland Home (13-4)

Others nominated: Ariton (8-4), Collinsville (10-8), New Brocton (16-5), Red Bay (9-4), Section (8-8), Vincent (12-9)

Class 1A

  1. Decatur Heritage (14-5)
  2. Athens Bible (15-3)
  3. Coosa Christian (17-1)
  4. Brantley (14-6)
  5. Maplesville (12-2)
  6. Lynn (11-3)
  7. Hackleburg (14-7)
  8. J.U. Blacksher (11-8)
  9. Vina (11-1)
  10. Cedar Bluff (11-10)

Others nominated: Gaylesville (11-10), South Lamar (5-4)

AISA

  1. Glenwood (29-3)
  2. Edgewood (22-6)
  3. Marengo Academy (19-1)
  4. Autauga Academy (22-7)
  5. Monroe Academy (19-6)
  6. Abbeville Christian (20-7)
  7. Northside Methodist (20-9)
  8. Macon-East (20-9)
  9. Bessemer Academy (19-9-1)
  10. Pike Lib (23-8)

Others nominated: Clarke Prep (13-4-1), Cornerstone Christian (16-7), Lowndes Academy (12-9), Pickens Academy (7-4), Tuscaloosa Academy (12-12)

UPDATED: Linden without water; city schools closed Thursday

Update: Thursday, March 31, 3:30 p.m.

Water has been restored to Linden after a water main broke Wednesday night. Residents are asked to conserve water to allow the tank to refill. Those addresses located on Marengo County Road 44 and southward remain under a boil notice until water tests show that the water is clean, which will be noon on Friday at the earliest.

Original Story:

Much of the City of Linden is without water as of 11 p.m. Wednesday. The city has issued a system wide notice for all residents to boil their water effective immediately.

Linden City Schools will be closed Thursday as a result. No further information is available at this time.

Demopolis Arrest Reports: Mar. 29, 2016

Mar. 25 – Gary Day, 65, DUI, Red Barn

Mar. 25 – Justin I. Moore, 28, Possession of Marijuana, Jefferson Road

Mar. 26 – Monroe Richardson II, 47, Drug Paraphernalia – 1st Offense, PaPa Gino’s

Mar. 26 – Quinton R. Bolden, 25, Contempt of Court, PaPa Gino’s

Mar. 27 – Douglas M. Bell, 22, Possession of Marijuana, Hwy 80 East

Mar. 27 – Lee E. Lewis, 50, Appears in Public Place Under Influence, Patterson

Mar. 27 – Levy L. Shepard, 52, Appears in Public Place Under Influence, Blacks Drive

Mar. 27 – Miguel V. Alzarado, 25, Cocaine – Possession, Hwy 43 South

Mar. 27 – Javiannie Martinez, 22, Cocaine – Possession, Hwy 43, South

Mar. 28 – Lula J. Mcclore, 47, Negotiating Worthless Instrument (6 counts), East Washington Street

Mar. 28 – Justin T. Portis, 19, Simple Assault – Family, Rainbow Circle

Mar. 28 – Joseph Andrews, 71, Criminal Trespass III, Quail Meadows

Robert Allen Cave

Robert Allen “Bobby” Cave age 79 of Linden, Al died March 29, 2016 at his home. He was born March 13, 1937 in Aimwell, AL. Mr. Cave worked as a tissue machine supervisor with the James Rivers Corp for 43 years and was a US Army veteran. He was a member of the Bethel Builders Association and of Linden Baptist Church were he served as a deacon for numerous years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved his family.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Carlson Cave of Linden, AL; three sons, Ashley (Esther) Cave of Houston, TX; Mark (Desiree’) Collier and Scott Collier of Linden, AL; four daughters, Wana (Jonathan) Cook of Tuscaloosa, AL; Shanna (Evan) Kelty of Pensacola, FL; Pam (Larry) Norris of Linden, AL; and Lisa (John) Crawford of Providence, AL; two brothers, Earnest (Patricia) Cave of Ararat, AL; and LeGran (Loyce) Cave of Aimwell, AL; two sisters, Nell Roberts of Grove Hill, AL; and Penny (Ricky) Andrews of Sandflat, AL; fifteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Linzey Cave and Izola Grantham Cave.

Visitation will be held at Linden Baptist Church on Friday, April 1, 2016 from 10:00 am until the 11:00 am service time with Dr. Billy Harris and Johnny Arnett officiating. Burial will be in Linden Memorial Park.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Linden, AL.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Marion Chaney Crow

Marion Chaney Crow age 97 of Thomasville, AL died March 26, 2016 at Thomasville Health Care and Rehabilitation Center. She was born February 15, 1919 in Thomasville, AL. She was a homemaker and a member of Thomasville Baptist Church.

She is survived by her son, William “Buddy” (Katherine) Crow of Thomasville, AL; five grandchildren, Vicki Crow, Christine Crow Jones, and Rebecca Crow Walters of Pensacola, FL; Casey Crow McCorquodale of Mobile, AL; and William B. “Bill Bo” Crow, Jr. of Thomasville, AL; three step grandchildren, Sherry Cave Atkins and Donna Cave Palmer of Thomasville, AL; and Randall Cave of Edna, TX; nine great grandchildren, four great-great granchildren, nine step great grandchildren, and one step great-great grandchild.

She was preceded in death by: her husband, Homer Anuel Crow, a daughter, Pamela Kay Crow, her parents, William Irken Chaney and Connie Spinks Chaney, a brother, William Irken Chaney, Jr., and a sister, Virginia Chaney Crow.

Visitation will be held at Thomasville Baptist Church on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 from 1:00 pm until the 2:00 pm service time with Rev. Ty Parten and Dr. James Best officiating. Burial will be at Choctaw Corner Cemetery in Thomasville, AL.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.