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The Tuskegee News
Tuskegee, Alabama
April 1, 1999     The Tuskegee News
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April 1, 1999

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The Tuskegee News, April 1, 1999 It was one of those moments that there are too few of in Ma~on County and elsewhere, but one that was certainly welcomed and blessed. Too often projects filled with good intentions fall by the way- side. Perhaps the leadership comes up Short--or there are too few followers. That's not the case with Macon County's Habitat for Humanity affiliate. On March 20, a dedication was a celebrated for Macon County's first Habitat house. The house will be occupied--and paid for--by Valerie Jackson and her two daughters, Kwastina and Debrione. What makes the first Habitat home in Macon County so spe- cial is that its completion represents a community-wide commit- ment. The organization is widely-known internationally with much of its publicity coming as a result of former President Jimmy Carter's strong commitment to Habitat which has helped build more than 50,000 homes throughout the world. Those home have provided shelter for more than 300,000 people. Habitat for Humanity International, founded as a ecumenical Christian housing ministry by Millard (an Alabama native) and Linda Fuller in 1976, provides an opportunity for those who oth- erwise not be able to afford a home. Community involvement is the key. The property for the Jack- son home at 1204 Ellison Ave. in Tuskegee was donated by the city of Tuskegee. A list of those who contributed through exper- tise, labor and materials goes across the spectrum of the commu- nity. Founded in early 1995 with Rev. Kenneth Briggs, who has since left as pastor of Union Christian Church, the Macon Habi- tat affiliate is now under the presidency of Rev. Ida Wells. Rev. Dr. Reginald Porter served as president between Rev. Briggs and Rev. Wells. Hycall Brooks and Cady Metcalf provided the expert leader- ship for over 250 volunteers who helped with constructing the home. Alabama Exchange Bank came up with the construction loan. Owning a Habitat home carries the responsibility to pay a mortgage--at a favorable interest rate--and the commitment to help with construction of future Habitat homes. Even while enjoying completion of its first home, the Macon County Habitat for Humanity affiliate is already making plans for its second home. If you weren't a part of the first home, get involved with the second one. Do something positive for your community, either financially, through your labor--or both. The rewards are wonderful for you and the new homeowner. Cleanup. Day":setApril 10 Editor's note: Following is an open letter to the citizens of Macon County from Macon County Commission Chairman Jesse Upshaw. Dear Fellow Citizens: War is being declared on litter, garbage and filth in Macon County. Have you noticed the litter on our roadways and unsightly ille- gal dumps. The time has come for us to clean up our county. Please join us in this effort. Together, we can do it. Operation Pride, a county-wide cleanup campaign of the Care and Share Committee of Macon County is scheduled for Kick~Off on April 10, 1999. Citizens will join together throughout the community and begin to clean up our county. Collection sites are being arranged in all areas of the county where bagged litter/trash can be deposited. You may call the Commission's office or your county commissioner if you need information in regards to the litter/trash pick-up sites. Thank you in advance for helping to make Macon County a place of which we can all be proud. For further information, please contact Tuskegee Fire Chief Luther Curry (334) 724-2185 or Rev. John Anderson (334) 727- 4712. May the peace and blessing of Almighty. God will be with you and us all. Sincerely, Jesse Upshaw, Chairman Macon County Commission A worthy pledge I believe every person has worth as an IndividuaL I believe every person is entitled to dignity and respect, regardless of race or color. I believe every thought or act, of racial prejudice is harmful I believe that that if it is my thought or act, it is harmful to me as well as to others. Therefore, from this day forward I will strive dally to eliminate racial prejudice from my thoughts and actions. , I will discourage racial prejudice by others at every opportunity, gl I will treat aft people with dignity andrespect. I will strive dally to honor this pledge, knowin that the world will be a better place ,because of my effort. . Take the pledge: Your name Keep this with you Today's date I'M 6OZN~ TO NEW YORK IN 2000. WHERE ARE YOU GOING? It's News to Me Medicinal care part of poli What's an HMO? What's a third-party provider? What's co-pay. What is supple- mental C-Plus? They're all a part of the gobblegook included in today's discussion of health care. Who gets the services, who pays the bills, who gets helped, who gets leR out, who gets hurt? HMO's are a part of almost every discus- sion of the future of health care. Health Maintenance Organizations are either the good guys of medicine or the bad guys. It depends on who's talking. And medicinal care is also a part of the political agenda in many communities, including Tuskegee. Since the closing of the hospital on the campus of Tuskegee University, Tuskegee and Macon County residents have had to travel to other cities for hospitalization and/or surgery. Paul Davis age. Now, we have a whole generation of Energizer Bunnies, Medicare and Viagra and millions of older Americans who are demanding and receiving more drugs, more surgery, more hospitalization than ever before. Notice, too, all the ~assisted living" man- sions and nursing homes popping up all over this area. Witness the massive new Auburn campus of East Alabama Medical Center. When folks don't die ON (the old) sched- Political leaders are still seeking a way tale, they ~lace a major burden on the fed- i~t~ ~r0..~,~ very least, "some so~oi~i,~ an~ ~health care system. 'an emergency service in a facility open~] !M0nth~ checks for Social Security and around the clock. Without improved medicinal care, addi- tional growth in the area will continue to be hampered. Most Macon County resi- dents now have to be taken to Opelika, Tallassee, or Montgomery for hospitaliza- tion. Medicine, in every form, is undergoing radical change. Some health insurance companies and HMOs providers provide a list of ~acceptable~ doctors for a patient to see. Many doctors will not now accept a Medi- care patient. Why? They don't like the federal paperwork or the amount paid to them by the government -- or both. And the large insurance companies have a list of fLxed payments they will make to doc- tors and hospitals for services provided. The doctor may bill you for $54, but your insurance company may pay him only $44, Sometimes, your statement will show you that the doctor has accepted the lower amount. The major insurance companies also have forced through steep discounts from the major hospitals around the coun- try. They set what they call the normal or "customary~ charge of a certain proce- dures or services. The main force driving much of the change is the simple fact that people are living longer and longer and longer. We got by pretty well when most folks rolled over and died between 60 and 70 years of medical care throUgh Medicare cost tril- lions, not billions, not millions. No, I have not as yet qualified for either one. And, yes, it will still be there when I do, but it will come at a great cost. We have made both of these federal pro- grams birthrights. That, too, taxes the system. Social Security was designed to help the poor, those unable to provide for themselves at the end of their working lives. Can you image the minimum wage folks of today or the middle class family with three kids paying more in Social Security taxes than income taxes and then seeing that cash bundled up and sent to Ross Perot as a Social Security Check?. Those same young people will also have to pick up he tab for Perot's open heart surgery. But he has almost enough per- sonal money to pay off the national debt. I also don't want to send a check each month to Nelson Rockefeller. Did you ever hear of a politician talk of withholding such payments to those who can pay their own way? No, and you prob- ably won't. But in almost every other pro- gram, there's some sort of a means test. You want free lunch for your kids at school? Show us what your personal resources are. Prove the need. Want a col- lege scholarship? Show us the need. I don't want to send old Ross a dime. Or Nelson, either. And I want for the rest allowed to pick my very physicians, even if one goat like Charlie Veale every time I break any designed to keep me alive. How do the nation's whole new world of they're thinking, questions and listening (patients). I have been honored to months on a steering ed by East Alabama develop recommendations tal's role in the new group has worked Winston Smith T of O spent hours and hours ing. The committee is Health Initiative 2000. It appears that the medical centers such as greatly ~d~l role We've touched base with and discussed topics to feeding the hungry to munity based medical best way to provide those who simply cant pay. complex. Only answers. Remember when East Center was the Lee was a building wider Sort of mini United six stories tall? Today, almost every available east and west. It has an Heart Center, a one of the nation's has an A-Team medical It wasn't too many young Terry Andrus of a consulting team to sick Lee County Hospit~ cured many ills in short strayed on stay to run hospital also has a vision. Andrus is now the hos and his energy hasn't He has been the long-range planning steering committee has with Andrus and/or his bers. The goal is simple: lent hospital even better (See PAUL l I I I ...... uskegee Serving Macon County Since 1865 The Tuskegee News (ISSN: 644480) is published weekly by Tuskegee Newspapers, Inc. 120 Eastside Street, Tuskegee, Alabama, 36083. Phone (334) 727-3020. Second Class Postage paid at Tuskegee, Alabama. POSTMASTER- send address changes to The Tuskegee News, P.O. Drawer, 830060 Tuskegee, Alabama, 36083. This newspaper is print- ed on 100 percent recycled paPer to aid in the nation's con- servation efforts. Subscription rate in Macon County, $25 per year, outside of Macon County, $31.50 per year, outside state of Alabama, $35 per year. Paul it Davis, Publisher Gayle Davis, Vice President and Treasurer Guy Rhodes, Editor Paul LaPr~d, Advertising Director Maggie Temple, Office Manager I / One year ago: The Macon County ence honored seven living survivors of the Study during its bi-annual political Conference Center on the Tuskegee Attending the event were study survivors Fred Simmons and Carter Howard. Not survivors Charlie Pollard, George Key, and Ernest Hendon... Macon County's dent, Mary Gussie Patterson, hasa died at was born May 1, 1887 in the Fort Hull County where she countinued to reside at talized in Tallassee two weeks before her death. Five years ago: The Tuskegee Utilities for a rate adjustment in the improvements for the system. The board voted increase based on the total bill of each a straight $6.50 per customer... Ten yem ago: There is a textbook dents in the Macon CountySchools system. for the shortage, the Macon County Board of told, is many students are not paying for can't be replaced without some funding source..