Northwest Florida Daily News, March 7, 1995

Northwest Florida Daily News

March 07, 1995

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Issue date: Tuesday, March 7, 1995

Pages available: 28

Previous edition: Monday, March 6, 1995

Next edition: Wednesday, March 8, 1995 - Used by the World's Finest Libraries and Institutions
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Publication name: Northwest Florida Daily News

Location: Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Pages available: 144,207

Years available: 1985 - 2015

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Northwest Florida Daily News (Newspaper) - March 7, 1995, Fort Walton Beach, Florida WEATHER TODAY Showers and thunderstorms. High 70; low 50s. South wind 10 to 15 mph/2A. NEWS INSIDEJudge gives toddler killer 40 years PAGE 1B í '.o/ir 4 / * * ; * *Detective: O.J. only suspect PAGE 3A INDEX Business...............4B Calendar...............5D Classifieds.............4C Comics..................3C Crossword.............5D Dear Abby.............2C Editorials...............6A Family.............. Local News..... Movies............. Obituaries........ Public Record. Sports.............. TV Schedule... .1C .IB 6D 6B 2B 1D . 6D f 4 sections, 28 pagm Fon Wallon Baach, Fla. Copyright* 1995. The Daily News TUESDAY, MARCH 7, £ NORTHWEST FLORIDADaily News 1995 " ~"" ' 500Columbia/HCA may sell 1 more ■ To avoid a possible antitrust conflict, the firm expects to divest one of four Okaloosa County hospitals it has interest in. By BETH CHACEY Daily News Destin Bureau Chief DESTIN - Destin Hospital may not be the only Okaloosa County hospital to be sold by Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp. under government order. State and federal officials are scrutinizing the corporation's pending merger with HealthTrust Inc., which would give Columbia/ HCA control of every county hospital except the federally operated Eglin Air Force Base facility. "We obviously understand we're not going to own four hospitals in Okaloosa County," said Columbia/ HCA's Florida division president, Dan Moen. A second hospital could "possibly" be part of the merger divestiture process, Moen said. He wouldn't say which hospital could be targeted. Columbia/HCA already owns HCA Twin Cities Hospital in Niceville, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Destin Hospital. The merger would make the corporation the owner of Crestview's North Okaloosa Medical Center. The State Agency for Healthcare Administration ordered Destin Hospital closed and sold last August over allegations the hos- faii We obviously understand we're not going to own four hospitals in Okaloosa County. DAN MOEN Columbia/HCA's Florida division president pital wasn't providing state- player. mandated basic patient services. The pending Destin Hospital lease is also interwoven with the ongoing antitrust investigation because it is named as a merger "Destin is one of the hospitals we have been willing to divest," Moen said. His company has been talking with the state Attorney General's office and the Federal Trade Commission to decide what to do with Columbia/HCA's Northwest Florida hospitals. "There will be a conclusion in the very near future," Moen said, possibly within two weeks. The HealthTrust merger was announced last October. What is playing out now has not caught Columbia/HCA or Destin Hospital lessee Scott Hopes off guard. "Nothing has occurred that was not anticipated," said Hopes, the Please see SELL/3A Raising an objection Dally Newt/DEVON HWtNE Mary Esther City Council member Mark Mills raises objections to the $32,000 salary for the city's Interim -manager during Monday night's council meeting.Mary Esther approves city manager contract ■ But the unanimous vote didn't come without some dissent. By MICHAEL BOLDEN Daily News Staff Writer MARY ESTHER - Acting City Manager John Lulue Jr. will earn a salary of more than $600 a week as the city's top administrator in a deal approved by the City Council on Monday night. The council validated a memorandum of agreement with Lulue at its March legislative meeting, providing a $32,000 annual salaiy, medical benefits after three months of service and ac crual of eight hours of personal leave each month. Despite a unanimous decision on the terms, Councilman Mark Mills criticized negotiations on the pact, which Mayor Randy Stokes and city attorney Gillis Powell Sr. pursued last week. Mills, who described his yes vote as reluctant assent, said the council did not instruct Stokes and Powell to initiate talks when it chose Lulue from among 14 applicants Feb. 27. "We selected (Lulue) contingent upon working out a salary," Mills said. "Now, I find out today the mayor and the city attorney have worked out a contract." The council had scheduled a special meeting to discuss salary terms but canceled it after the city failed to properly advertise those plans. Stokes said he undertook nego-' tiations under a provision in the city charter that allows the mayor to review terms of the city manager's contract. "It wasn't intended to try and ram anything down your throats or even suggest anything of that nature," Stokes told the council. "It was done to expedite matters, and it was done in a manner I thought y'all would be in agreement with." Councilwoman Libby Arcemont re-proached Stokes but voiced ap- Please see CONTRACT/3A Barnes complaint weighty document ■ 21 teachers at Edwins Elementary were involved in filing the harassment charges against the principal. By SHERRY SAPP Daily News Staff Writer The initial harassment complaint document filed by Edwins Elementary School teachers against principal Dr. Naomi Barnes weighs a hair under two pounds and is about 138 pages long. After Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Bernadette Cover issued a letter Friday promising to reassign Barnes to the district office next fall, teachers withdrew their request for a step-three appeal to the School Board. Barnes, the first black woman to be named a principal in Okaloosa County, has been the focus of a harassment charge filed by 21 of the 31 teachers at Edwins and supported by parents, community members and a consultant from Ohio who conducted a seminar at the school. The documentation — which became open to public scrutiny when teachers withdrew their appeal request — depicts a few BARNES minor complaints such as confusing parking rules or the principal's insistence on fencing for security. But it also details serious allegations that the first-time principal asked employees to falsify documents; that she lied to parents and employees; that she publicly ridiculed, yelled at, threatened and bullied employees; and that she spread negative rumors about employees and parents. Barnes has vowed to take the school district to court if a transfer takes place. Leaders of the local black community Please see BARNES/3A GOP clout colors Chiles' final term ■ Today's State of the State likely to set tone for the legislative session. TALLAHASSEE (AP) - When Gov. Lawton Chiles gives lawmakers a report on the condition of the state today, he'll need to call on some of the persuasive skills that lifted him to a second term. As Chiles embarks on his final term, the rules have changed after his nearly 40 years as part of the majority in public life. His governing legacy now rests with Republicans, who enjoy a 22-18 majority in the Senate and their strongest overall contingent at the Capitol in 120 years. Democrats did hang onto a 63-57 edge in the House. "I've always been flexible, and I continue to be flexible," said Chiles. Chiles will outline his goals for 1995 in the ceremonial State of the State speech that kicks off the 97th regular legislative session. Thirty-eight new legislators will be in today's audience. The Legislature's 60-day session runs to May 5. "I've always looked to the governor's opening day address as an indication where the agenda lies in the executive branch," said House Speaker Peter Rudy Wallace, D-St. Petersburg. For starters, the governor has proposed a modest 2.8 percent increase in Florida's almost $40 billion budget. He also wants to cut half of the state's estimated 28,000 rules and regulations. Many of the other issues are the same Chiles confronted in his first year. The fights will come as the Legislature debates how much money to spend on education and social services, expanding the prison system and fighting crime. The debate over combating crime has grown even louder this year since the issue dominated the 1994 election and continues to taint the state's fun-and-sun image.Nearly two-thirds of us practice what health gurus preach ■ But that doesn't mean a bunch of us aren't stressed out, eating too much and not getting enough exercise. WASHINGTON (AP) - Two-thirds of Americans say they feel stressed out at least once a week, part of an increasingly difficult'struggle many people have to lead a healthful life in the hectic modern world. About 65 percent of Americans do the right things for good health, according to an annual ranking released Monday by Prevention health magazine. Last year's ranking was 66.8 percent. In addition to stress, many Americans listed problems controlling their weight, finding time to exercise and sleeping more than six hours a night. And while seat belt use is high, fewer Americans are obeying speed limits. Tom Dybdahl, director of the index, said Americans' behavior changes most dramatically when they can focus on a single, relatively easy act such as wearing auto safety belts or installing a smoke detector. It is more of a challenge, he said, to persuade busy people to exercise regularly and eat more broccoli. "Viewed over the past decade, living healthfully is neither a rapidly growing trend nor a disappearing phenomenon," Dybdahl said. "Rather, it is a complex and ongoing struggle, with progress in one area often accompanied by decline in another." Sen. Nancy KasSebaum, R-Kan., who chairs the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee, said at a news conference with the magazine's editors that the survey is important in focusing attention on areas of human health in need of vast improvement. But she said government should not always try to impose regulations to force behavioral changes. "There are those areas where, through peer pressure and emotional impact, we tend to respond," Kassebaum said. "I think there is a limited role for government." A survey last November of 1,262 adults on 21 healthful practices produced an overall score of 65.6 on a scale of l to 100, down slightly from last year's 66.8 and the lowest since 1989. But it is still significantly higher than the first Prevention Index of 61.5 in 1984. The index weighs such behavior as smoking, drinking, diet, exercise and weight control as well as frequency of medical exams, auto and home safety and sleep habits. Nearly three-quarters of adults said they always wear a seat belt in the front seat of a car. But only 44 percent said they always observe speed limits. Eighty-five percent avoid driving after drinking, but heavy drinkers are most likely to get behind the wheel, a report on the survey said. Overall, 60 percent said they drink alcohol at least sometimes. Forty-four percent of those who have more than three drinks at a sitting sometimes drive afterward, and 9 percent ^ they do so all the time. ;