OUR MISSION: To inform, support, unite and promote the residents of Jefferson and Glascock counties.

Top Stories
August 31, 2006 Issue

Other Top Stories
County changes provider for inmates
Wrens to unveil results of 10- month historic resources survey Sept. 7
Stoms's mission to Romania

Please click the above links to read the story.

County changes provider for inmates

• Health care for inmates at jail now covered by Southern Health Partners instead of Jeff. Hospital

By Carol McCleod
Staff Writer

In a called meeting held Friday, Jefferson County commissioners accepted a bid of $184,000 from Southern Health Partners to provide health care for inmates in the county’s jail system.

“This move is not only to contain cost but to address possible liability concerns,” County Administrator Paul Bryan said. “There is a minimum level of security and health care that has to be provided to all inmates in all confi nement facilities. This contract with the private source provides that level of care necessary to meet these requirements in the most cost effective manner.” Bryan said he talked with five healthcare providers with only two offering bids.


“Two said we were too small,” Bryan said. “Another never called me back.”

Southern Health Partners offered the lower of the two bids received. The other bid, from Correct Health, was $210,000. Bryan said the proposals “were sort of apples and oranges,” making it more diffi cult to compare. But overall, the commission agreed this move was needed.

Commissioner Johnny Davis pointed out there is more involved in the actual cost of health care than just hospital charges. Currently, Jefferson Hospital provides inmate care. But, Johnny Davis said, there is also the cost of transporting the prisoner as well as the cost of personnel to sit and wait while the prisoner receives care.

“We were very much encouragers of (the change),” said Rita Culvern, had talked with some of Southern Health Partners’ clients.

“They are well satisfi ed,” he said. He also said the bid is for one year with provisions for increases of 3 percent for the second and again for the third year.

Jefferson Hospital CEO. “This way, they (the inmates) have more comprehensive coverage.

“We still have a contract with the Jefferson County Correctional Institute and, of course, we will continue to complement Southern Health Partners in whatever they need in the hospital arena.”

Bryan told the commissioners he had talked with some of Southern Health Partners’ clients.

“They are well satisfi ed,” he said. He also said the bid is for one year with provisions for increases of 3 percent for the second and again for the third year.

The contract specifies a $40,000 cap on total annual outside patient care. Southern Health Partners pays that 100 percent. Charges between $40,000 and $60,000 will be split 50/50 between the provider and the county, according to Bryan.

“Anything over $60,000 is totally ours,” Bryan said. “The after-hour call-in is not fi gured into this rate.

“Last year we did not reach the $40,000, so if next year is the same, we will not have any offsite expenses.”

The contract goes into effect Sept. 16, he said.

Jeffrey Reasons, president of Southern Health Partners, said the company contracts with jails that house between 25 and about 500 inmates.

“We do have some jails that are larger than 500; however, we don’t really market to jails with more than 500 beds,” Reasons said, adding that most companies are not interested in smaller facilities.

“There are some companies that are willing to look at the smaller counties and jails,” he said, “and I’m glad that we had competition there because in a lot of cases we don’t have any competition at all. We contract with 98 different counties, primarily in the southeast.”

The company provides a nurse and a doctor to work inside the jail as part of their contract, Reasons said, which helps prevent trips outside the jail. This not only is to contain the cost but also for security purposes so inmates don’t have a chance to escape, he said.

Reasons said the nurse is always hired locally. The physician is hired locally when possible. “We always try to fi nd someone from the local community,” he said. Reasons said the company has been contracting with jail systems for 13 years.

“We have been talking to Jefferson County for several years and I think fi nally everything’s lined up so it’s cost-effective for us to do it and we’re happy to be part of it,” he said.

Wrens to unveil results of 10- month historic resources survey Sept. 7

• Survey involved gathering data on 325 structures in Wrens that a state preservation consultant found to be historically significant

By Parish Howard

Next week residents of Wrens will be getting a history lesson on their city and on hundreds of their own homes.

The Wrens Historic Preservation Commission, in its fi nal presentation before being dissolved, will present the results of a 10-month historical resources survey of 325 structures inside the city limits. The free program will be Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. at McCollum Public Library.


“It’s typical of most Georgia towns of the New South,” said historic preservation consultant Bob Ciucevich said. “It was founded in 1884, after the Civil War, as a product of the railroad expansions. Of course, like most cities, it has some structures that predate the town itself.”

Ciucevich said that he would not be surprised if residents were shocked by the sheer number of historic structures he found during the survey. The city estimated it had around 275. He found more than 325.

“People look at a home and say, ‘That’s just silly,’” Ciucevich said. “They don’t realize what they have. It’s easy to take a bungalow from the ‘30s for granted. But think about it, it’s already 75 years old and in another 100 years it will be 175 years old and they aren’t building that type of structure anymore.

“There’s a quality to these old homes, something that once you lose it, you can’t get it back.”

Ciucevich will present his fi ndings along with a photo slide show of the houses, water towers and businesses he surveyed. The city will provide heavy refreshments.

“In every community I survey there’s something that stands out for me, something that sets it apart,” he said. “In Wrens, it was the old [Norton] lumberyard. While I wasn’t able to get a lot of information on it, I found it remarkable.”

He felt sure other citizens can provide more of the site’s history.

“I’ve done over 20 surveys across Georgia and I’m always stopping to look in small towns here and there,” he said. “But I’ve never seen anything like this. This whole complex of buildings is extremely rare.

“There’s a two story building that I believe was an old fl our mill,” Ciucevich said. “On one side is an old woodworks factory from the 1920s, an old blacksmith shop complete with some of the old equipment, a railroad warehouse where I’m sure they stored their furniture and fl our before it was sent out by rail. And there’s a oneroom schoolhouse right there. It’s like a little village. I see this as a unique opportunity for an historical agritourism site, something like a living history complex.”

Ciucevich said that while the state uses these surveys from an architectural history standpoint, he often looks for ways for the cities to capitalize on the fi ndings.

“Heritage tourism is growing in the South,” he said. “I look for ways for cities to create jobs, something that will make a monetary difference in a community.”

There were two homes which predate the city, that Ciucevich said are particularly important, in his opinion, to preserve.

“Most people know the history of Pope Hill, that it was a stagecoach inn,” he said. “But I’m not sure if everyone knows that Jeff Davis is reported to have eaten breakfast there after he was captured. “And the Oliphant House, the one on the hill beside Avera Hardware today. I noticed its architecture is early frontier.”

According to his research he believes the house was spared by federal troops during Sherman’s march because of the courteousness of the home’s owner, a Mrs. Oliphant. “Pope Hill is of state-wide historical significance, if not of national significance,” Ciucevich said. “The Oliphant House is probably the same. I would guess that it is probably one of the 10 oldest homes in the county. We can’t afford to lose homes like that.”

The survey, in its entirety, is more than 1,000 pages long and documents each structure with photos, architectural and historical details.

“And I’m sure the city can expand on the history of each of these homes,” he said.

City Administrator Donna Scott Johnson said that she is looking forward to the event and hopes that the presentation will have a large turnout.

Ciucevich presented his initial findings earlier this summer and it was his presentation that temporarily swayed council members who were considering dissolving the city’s Historical Preservation Commission (HPC).

Last month, after reporting numerous phone calls from citizens opposed to a HPC project to create voluntary design guidelines for the city, the council voted unanimously to repeal its historic preservation ordinance, effectively dissolving the board.

The decision also cost the city its Certified Local Government status, which was a major factor in securing the grant which paid 60 percent of Ciucevich’s $8,000 survey. “There had not been a structural survey of Wrens since the 1970s,” Johnson said. “And despite the fact that the HPC will no longer be in place, the survey should still be a useful tool to the city.”

Printed copies of the survey will be available at both the city hall and library, and a digital version will soon be available online, Johnson added.

“We’re hoping for a good turnout next week,” the city administrator said. “A lot of work has gone into gathering this information and we’re excited to talk about it. We’re hoping for an open exchange of information regarding this rich history.”

The meeting is open to the public and free of charge.

Stoms's mission to Romania

By Keyon Wilson

Lisa Stoms, of Wrens, poses with some of the children she served as a part of the Romania Medical / evangelism mission trip she made earlier this year. (Above) A boy in one of the villages where they held vacation Bible school and handed out vitamins clutches the small Bible they gave him.

“It was an experience of a lifetime,” said Lisa Stoms, smiling as she reminisced over the memories of her mission trip to Botosani, Romania.

June 9, 2006, Stoms attended the Romania Medical / Evangelism Mission 2006, an evangelistic mission trip, along with 67 other evangelistic missionary volunteers. She, the only local volunteer, had first heard about the mission trip from Lee Ann Watson, an attendee of a similar mission trip in 2005.


Stoms, who’d been called as a missionary at the youthful age of 12, represented the Holding Forth the Word of Life ministry. HFWL, founded by Linda Lariscy, helped sponsor the trip this year. “It was a spiritual help as well as a physical help,” Lariscy said.

Stoms found her medical experience with Jefferson Hospital to be very helpful once in Botosani. The ministry visited 15 different villages, three a day, giving medical treatment to over 3,000 patients in all in a week’s time. The dentist saw at least 1,500 patients. Blood pressure and diabetes was a major factor in Botosani. “The blood pressure rate was worse than one of those in this county and our county has some of the worst,” she said.

With a large number of people, the space was very limited. The volunteers set up outside the church to check blood pressures.

“The people were very gracious and very appreciative; when we gave them medicine, they would kiss us on the face or on the hands, she said.” The people, she described as “beautiful.”

The volunteers reached out to the people spiritually as well as medically. They set up Bible Study sessions outside using pews from the church. Luckily the weather worked out in their favor all except one day there was a downpour without warning. However, weather was no match for the want and “hunger” for the word of God, resistance came from no one.

The volunteers had a chance to attend church the first Sunday with the people of Botosani, experiencing their way of worship for the same God through different tongues and “beautiful” worship music.

“We shared the Gospel with over 5,000 Romanians,” Stoms said, happy that they could go and bring light into the lives of others whom she declared to “lack” in the area of smiling.

“If you broke the ice and smiled, they would smile back,” she said.

The landscape she found to be massively different. Opposed to the tall skyscrapers and large apartment complexes she had encountered in Russia, this time Stoms was greeted by the seemingly endless countryside and the cool weather of Romania which she described as “gorgeous.”

Stoms soon came to find that the beautiful countryside and eternal fields of crops that caught her eye upon arrival in the new place was chiefly done by hand. Tractors and other labor-reducing supplies were very scarce.

Their monthly pay valued $60 in American money. The people of Botosani allow none of their crop to go to waste. The people and their livestock ate the corn, which is their primary crop, leaving the cob to be used for fuel.

“There was tremendous poverty,” she said, “Our poor people here are considered rich compared to what I saw.”

This however was not the first time God has led her to Europe. She has previously taken two trips to Russia for the adoptions of her youngest children.

Those trips she made to bring home her own personal miracles; this time she was giving something back.

Those earlier trips influenced her to stay active and involved in that region of the world.

“I’m just kind of drawn to that side of the world,” she said.

The medical/evangelism mission is taken annually and information for next year is already being gathered. “I encourage anyone who would like to go,” Stoms said.

Joe Craig, primary sponsor of the event for 17 years, is retiring. He’s handing it over to a young man who has been accompanying him for the past 10 years.

After returning from the trip June 17, Stoms admits that although she had no expectations for this mission, it was more than she had ever anticipated and much harder.

However, her contentment for being able to attend is immeasurable. “The word of God needs to go out in the United States but since there are places that haven’t heard of it at all, I’m just glad to be apart of that ministry,” she said.

Lisa Stoms and more than 60 other missionaries traveled to Romania this summer to provide health screenings and introduce Jesus Christ to the people of its villages.

This page has been accessed times.

The News and Farmer P.O. Box 487 Louisville, GA 30434
(478) 625-7722 or (706) 547-6629 - (478) 625-8816 fax
E-mail us at: news@thenewsandfarmer.com

Website designed and maintained by John Kitchens Website Design.

Send mail to webmaster with questions
or comments about this web site.
Information is subject to change without notice.
Last modified: August 30, 2006