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Archive for September, 2012

City leaders to discuss controversial development and baseball deal

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

City council members will hear from neighbors on a controversial plan for a town house complex and consider a new deal on a proposal for a baseball stadium at its meeting tonight.

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ONLY ON 3: Despite paying for insurance, Medicare forces accident victim from hospital

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A motorcycle accident left a man with a broken leg. He needs supervision by doctors, but forget the hospital. He’s laid up in a hotel.

Tommy Ritch says he wants his old insurance back and is willing to pay more not to be on Medicare.

“I can’t be the only person in the United States that’s having problems like this,” Ritch said.

Ritch, 65, was put on Medicare at the beginning of September, although he had paid for his private insurance until October.

A woman hit Ritch on his motorcycle earlier this month and severely broke his leg. When ritch went the hospital, he was treated but told he had to go, because Medicare would not cover his extended stay for observation.

“The medical staff at the hospital insisted that I not be discharged, the medical staff. Then the administrative staff kept saying yes, I do need to be discharged,” Ritch said.

Doctors told Ritch his leg was too swollen to operate, so they had to wait. Medicare said he had to wait somewhere else.

“I don’t think somebody with a serious leg injury should be discharged, because medicare doesn’t want to pay for the hospital to keep you under observation,” Ritch said.

Ritch, who lives in Swansboro, relocated to a hotel near Cape Fear Memorial Hosptial on his own dime.

Now, he waits.

Ritch is worried, though, that complications from his injury may come up and will only get worse because he is not being cared for by medical staff.

He says he would much rather have continued to pay for his private insurance and be covered than be put on Medicare and take his chances.

We contacted a representative with Medicare about Ritch’s concerns. They said Ritch could contact Carolina Centers for Medical Excellence, which is contracted by Medicare to improve the program. The representative did not have any other information.

Ritch is scheduled to have surgery on his leg tonight at Cape Fear Memorial Hospital. He says he hopes he will get time to recover with medical supervision, but he’s not sure yet what will happen.

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Hundreds of families losing aid for day care

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Working parents squeezed by cuts

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Documents, e-mails shed light on BHI chief’s resignation

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Documents and e-mails are shedding some new light on what may have led to the resignation of Bald Head Island’s Public Safety Chief.

The Village of Bald Head Island requested an external audit of its public safety department. It may have received more than it expected.

In March, Bald Head Island Village Manager Calvin Peck contacted Leonard Matarese of ICMA to perform the first audit of the public safety services since the village formed the department in 2009. In the e-mail Peck outlined that it was time for an external review of the department to “get better, leaner, and less expensive.”

BHI paid ICMA $7,000 to perform the audit, which was released in July. The report summarized that crime was low on the island, and that structure fires only occurred every 18 months.

But it said that due to the high value of personal property on the island, maintaining a highly visible law enforcement presence is critical to tourism, which sustains the island’s economy. It also recommended that police officers be cross-trained as firefighters to save the village money.

In a follow-up email sent August 11, Matarese told Peck that “we were not hired to do an investigation of personnel; we were actually to review the operations of the public safety department.”

He then writes, “we addressed the operational issues. The problem there (the Public Safety Department) appears to be managerial/HR related not operational.”

Six days later, the village placed Public Safety Chief Jerome “Chip” Munna on administrative leave. He resigned September 5.

Bald Head Island Communications Director Karen Ellison told WWAY by phone today that the village has not taken any steps to address the recommendations in the report. She said village leaders won’t address any questions about the report until a new public safety chief is in place.

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Michelle’s Markdowns: Triple coupons week at Harris Teeter

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

We've said it before, but it's true once again. Even if you don't coupon, this week is a good week to get on board. Triple coupons at Harris Teeter means most coupons triple in value.

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