Members of the Jefferson Hospital Board of Directors show off a model of the hospital's new 8,000 square-foot emergency room.
Ground broken for new emergency room
• New ER facility at Jefferson Hospital begins to take shape
By Ben Nelms
The construction of a new emergency facility at Jefferson Hospital has been envisioned for years. The beginning of that dream came true at the Oct. 15 groundbreaking for the 8,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art emergency room.
Hospital board Chairman Ray Davis told those assembled the new emergency room will represent a significant advance from the original 976 square-foot facility, both in terms of available medical treatment and the ongoing commitment to meet the healthcare needs of residents throughout Jefferson County.
"Today is a milestone," said hospital board Chairman Ray Davis. "It represents unity of purpose and a vision for the next generation. Thank God for what He has done to bring us here today."
Construction for the $2.5 million project will begin in November and is anticipated to be complete in eight to ten months. Once completed the new facility will help provide enhanced patient care in three state-of-the-art trauma/cardiac treatment rooms, a triage room and four minor trauma rooms, said hospital CEO Rita Culvern.
Located at the rear of the hospital on what is now the emergency room's traffic circle and the adjoining grounds, the new facility will have separate entrances for ambulance crews and walk-in patients and will be equipped with enhanced security. Emergency room registrations, outpatient registrations and hospital admissions will be conducted in private sign-in cubicles. Maximum observation of treatment areas will be possible through a centralized nurse's station.
"The new emergency room will be a community resource that will take care of the needs of the communities throughout Jefferson County for years to come," said Culvern.
The hospital board gained the needed support for the project when the Wrens, Wadley, Louisville and Jefferson County governments recently agreed to continue their financial support to cover the annual bond debt service for the project.
Glascock car chase ends in drug bust
By Ben Nelms
An Oct. 23 car chase that began in Columbia County lead to the arrest of an Evans woman at a Glascock County residence and the ongoing search for Lampp Road resident Darrell McZilkey.
McZilkey was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, according to Sheriff Bryan Bopp. Also booked on identical charges was 21 year-old Evans resident Ryan McCoy, who was present at the residence, said Bopp.
The incident began with McZilkey running from Columbia County deputies in to Glascock County.
Both Glascock and Columbia Sheriff's offices attempted to locate McZilkey after he entered Glascock County.
McZilkey was able to elude officers after being last sited on Kitchens Road.
A search warrant of McZilkey's residence was executed later in the night, resulting in the discovery of approximately one and one-half pounds of pounds of suspected marijuana and several grams of suspected methamphetamine both found in several locations throughout the house.
Also seized was a digital scale and assorted drug paraphernalia.
Bopp said the presence of drugs in Glascock or nearly any rural setting was something in past years that would have been shocking to many people. But across the nation today, the drug landscape has altered.
"America has changed over the decades. We've become a more drug dependent nation," said Bopp. "Whether it's illegal drugs or prescription drugs, they are here today in rural America. Drug dealers have found that it's more convenient to manufacture and deal out of rural communities where there is less law enforcement. So today in rural America, it takes more resources and more manpower to combat those drugs."
Bopp said the most effective way to combat the existence and negative influence of drugs in Glascock County is through citizen involvement. He asked that anyone with information relevant to this case contact the Glascock County Sheriff's Office at (706) 598-2881.
County teacher one of two in state honored
By Ben Nelms
The gymnasium at Jefferson County High School went from hushed anticipation to gleeful pandemonium Oct. 14 as Georgia State School Superintendent Kathy Cox announced to a packed house that Spanish teacher Marta Goodson had received a rare national teaching award and $25,000 in cash.
During the brief but powerful ceremony, Cox explained that only two teachers in Georgia would receive the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award this year, as would only a total of 47 teachers across the United States.
"One teacher has the power to positively influence thousands of children," said Cox, whetting the curiosity of the audience just prior to announcing Goodson as the recipient. "Such a teacher becomes a member of an elite team of teachers nationwide that have won the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award since 1987. And with this award there is no nomination and no application. The teacher doesn't not find them; they find the teacher."
Surprise notifications at school-wide assemblies are the hallmark for the presentation of Milken Foundation awards. And expectedly, the gym erupted with cheering and applause as Cox revealed that Goodson was the winner. Taken completely by surprise, Goodson made her way from the bleachers to the podium, fighting tears and obviously overcome with emotion.
She accepted the congratulations of 1,300 students, faculty and community leaders. Through it all, she held back the tears as she expressed her amazement and gratitude for the honor she had received.
"I'm shocked. I'm surprised," she said, nearly speechless. "I just wasn't expecting this kind of thing. I wouldn't have believed this would have happened."
Goodson said later the bond between students and their teacher can be one that reaches down to a fundamental level, one that allows for increased learning. At its depths that connection exists, not as a result of the subject being taught, but because something has been established between the teacher and the student that enhances the learning process.
"It is a connection between a teacher and her students. It's a connection that works at many levels," she said. "Students need to trust you and you need to trust them."
After the ceremony, Principal Molly Howard said Goodson's participation in her profession embodies the three criteria established for selection of the recipient and the presentation of the national award.
"Ms. Goodson exemplifies the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award," said Howard. "Her commitment and dedication to advancing the educational opportunities for all students is what she is all about. She makes us all work harder, students, faculty and administration."
Howard said the Milken selection committee looks for exceptional educational talent as evidenced by outstanding instructional practices in the classroom, the school and professionally. The second criterion focuses on outstanding accomplishments and the strong, long-range potential for professional and policy leadership. The third criterion calls for an engaging and inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and the community.
Howard's assessment of Goodson and her service to Jefferson County students was echoed by Superintendent Carl Bethune. He said Goodson's contribution to students countywide is clearly evident in the classroom and beyond.
"Ms. Goodson is a wonderful teacher who prepares her students for academic success in Spanish and other areas," said Bethune. "She spends countless hours working with other schools and their faculties. We are proud of the leadership role Ms. Goodson has taken in our school communities and in response to the influx of Latino students within the system."
A native of Panama, Goodson has taught Spanish at Jefferson County High School for eight years. The high school now offers four Spanish courses rather than the two courses offered when Goodson arrived. Goodson also established a Saturday morning tutoring program for non-English speaking students using current students as tutors. And with college-bound students, significant percentages taking Advanced Placement Spanish in the past three years have scored three or higher on the state Advanced Placement exam, signifying their proficiency at college level.
The Milken Foundation was established in 1982. Since that time nearly 2,000 teachers nationwide have received the foundation's National Educator Award. The foundation is committed to attracting, retaining and motivating the best talent in the teaching profession, stimulating creativity and productivity among educators and students of all ages and fostering the involvement of both the family and community in schools.
JCHS theater presents Defying Gravity
By Regina Reagan
This year Jefferson County High School's One Act is presenting its audience with a play that is sure to entertain and give a somewhat surreal experience.
Defying Gravity, a play by Jane Anderson, is a play that transcends all time. The play jumps over a 20-year time period from 1986 to 2006 as it follows the life and thoughts of the daughter of Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire teacher who was killed along with six other crewmembers on the Space Shuttle Challenger. Playing the daughter in the performances will be Amelia Studdard.
"It follows the lives of 7 people the year the challenger exploded and the effects it had on them," is how Amanda Pennington, who plays Betty, explained the plot.
The possibilities of this play are endless. The characters are anything but boring and ordinary and the script is full of meaning and delightful surprises.
The odd variety of characters, including the Impressionist Claude Monet, played by John Adams, and a retired couple traveling in their Winnebago, played by Hank Murphy and Amanda, is sure to make this play very interesting indeed.
With scenes that include such things as "dead people, explosions, and crying children" the cast is really excited to be performing and actually bringing this play to life.
"This play has been really fun to put together. We've put a lot of hard work into it and hope our performances justify the work we've done," Studdard commented.
The Director, Stephanie Schultze, is equally enthusiastic.
"The students have worked really hard to put together a really tight show. I think that this show has something to offer everyone who comes to see it," Mrs. Schultze said.
The play will begin at 7:00 on Thursday, October 23. Tickets for the Dessert Theatre were sold in advance for $6, however, if you just want to see the show, tickets will be sold at the entrance for $3.
After this performance the cast competes against other schools at Davison Fine Arts on Saturday.
Other cast members and their roles include: Hank Murphy, soloist who begins the play; Rachel Adams, teacher; Jeff Cook, voice of radio DJ and voice of NASA flight controller; Blake James, CB Williams; Amber Fields, Donna; and Levi Arnold, voice of astronaut.
Ground Crew: Cynthia Braziel, NaQuella Davis, Albertina Flournoy, April Fields, Cameron Walker, De'Shon Taylor, Shauntsey Kitchens, lighting manager; Meagan Anderson, stage manager; Levi Arnold, sound Technician; Jenny Dickson, prop mistress; Kimberly Prescott, mistress; Laura Romer, art researcher; and Robin Schultze, construction manager.
Special thanks go out from the cast and crew to: Betsy Milburn, Marion and Raymond James, Lucy, Jace and Ty McTier, Commander Charles Lewis, Margery Story, Laura Romer, Anthony Young, Dr. Molly Howard, Delores Prescott, Heidy Murphy and Carl Pennington.
Mrs. Schultze also wanted to thank the parents and students involved with this production.
She said that she had a blast working with them and that this kind of experience is just what Jefferson County High School needed to help in the growth of the One Act program.