News for Friday, August 11, 2006

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New middle school opens doors to students before first day back

LILBURN - The new $17.5 million Trickum Middle School opened its doors to the public Thursday, with 72 classrooms, two gyms and enough room for 1,800 to 2,000 students.

Population numbers nearly even

LAWRENCEVILLE - For the first time since 1992, Gwinnett's population growth has been topped - by Fulton County.

No leads in man's slaying

LAWRENCEVILLE - No substantial leads have turned up in the investigation of a fatal stabbing last weekend at Tropical Blue Nightclub in Duluth.

Gladiators to auction off jerseys at Arena

DULUTH - It's been just more than two months since the Gwinnett Gladiators last donned their jerseys, and now they're ready to be worn again - by you.

Ex-Marine named magistrate judge

LAWRENCEVILLE - A retired U.S. Marine colonel will command a new kind of battleground when he takes the bench next week as Gwinnett's newest full-time magistrate judge.

Lightning starts fires around county

LAWRENCEVILLE - A veteran firefighter was hospitalized with a minor injury Thursday after he and another firefighter plummeted through the floor of a burning house.

Sports calendar

Baseball

Through Aug. 11: Renz baseball and softball camps are running weekly through Aug. 11. For camp prices, times and registration forms, go online to www.renzbaseball.com or call 770-271-4554.

Hall wants to show his offensive skills

FLOWERY BRANCH - DeAngelo Hall is one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL. Apparently, that's not enough.

McCormick race enters 10th year

A Collins Hill tradition turns 10 on Saturday morning.

Today's teens ought to know better, but don't

I'd like to start out by saying I'm no saint. I've done a thing or two I'd rather my momma not know about, and if you come by the newsroom on a Friday near deadline during high school football season you can hear me use some colorful words that my momma probably doesn't know I use, at least regularly.

Having said that, I've always at least tried to behave myself, especially in public. Today's youth don't seem to be learning that lesson.

Suspect sought in fatal stabbing

By Chris Megerian

Staff Intern

chris.megerian

@gwinnettdailypost.com

DORAVILLE - A Doraville man was stabbed to death following an argument at the Spalding Hills Apartment Complex early Thursday morning.

Survey asks public to tell leaders what they want

LAWRENCEVILLE - If you wish Gwinnett had more good-paying jobs, if you want its new college to offer more courses in the arts, or if you want more money devoted to expanding public transit - this is your chance to tell decision makers what you think.

<body><div align="left"><h2>Getting to Know ... Richard Gillespie </h2></div>

Richard Gillespie, 35, is set to begin his third year as head football coach at his alma mater, Duluth High School.

Loganville looks at massage parlor ordinance

LOGANVILLE - The second reading of a massage parlor ordinance was listed as an item for discussion on Loganville's Thursday night city council meeting agenda.

Health department has new home

LAWRENCEVILLE - The first of three big moves began this week for the Gwinnett County health department.

It's official: Democrats now defined by far left

Forget the war in Iraq, the war on terror, or any other war against which Connecticut citizens are said to have voted by defeating Joe Lieberman and nominating Ned Lamont for the U.S. Senate.

Doctors: Medicaid managed care 'not working'

ATLANTA - A rocky transition converting much of Georgia's Medicaid program to managed care is hurting patients by delaying payments to doctors, specialists who serve primarily women and children complained Thursday.

But state health officials downplayed the technical glitches that have plagued the program since its inception in June and said they're more concerned with signing up enough doctors to guarantee adequate patient access to care.

The Medicaid managed care initiative began serving about 600,000 low-income adults and children in metro Atlanta and middle Georgia on June 1.

The state Department of Community Health plans to roll out the program for about the same number of patients in the rest of the state on Sept. 1.

The concept of the initiative is to improve health care quality by steering Medicaid enrollees accustomed to relying on overcrowded hospital emergency rooms to primary care doctors.

Bringing the efficiencies of managed care to the Medicaid population is also aimed at saving tax dollars. This year's state budget projects that the program will save the DCH $80 million.

But on Thursday, a pediatrician, an obstetrician and representatives of several statewide associations of therapists used words including "disaster'' and "crisis'' to describe the transition from traditional fee-for-service to managed care.

Dr. Eric Moore, an obstetrician from Atlanta, said the state has paid out only $47 million of about $200 million in claims that doctors have submitted for their Medicaid patients in the two regions since the program began.

"Most of my colleagues either have not been paid in 10 weeks or have been paid very little,'' he said. "Doctors are going bankrupt and closing their offices ... There's patients who have suffered.''

Dr. Dan Eysie, who owns pediatric practices in Rockdale and Fulton counties, said the managed care company he signed up with informed him in late May that his credentials hadn't been approved. As a result, he said, his patients were assigned to another company without his permission.

"You keep advertising that this worked,'' he told members of the state Board of Community Health. "I'm telling you it is not.''

Kathy Driggers, chief of managed care and quality for the DCH, conceded that payment delays are occurring and that the managed care companies the state has hired for the program need to do a better job educating providers on how to submit claims.

"It's been a bumpy start,'' added David McNichols, chairman and CEO of Peach State Health Plan, one of the companies selected to run the program. "We still have work to do.''

McNichols said Peach State Health is working to clear up a backlog of claims and expects to catch up by next week.

Craig Bass, CEO of Amerigroup Community Care of Georgia, another managed care company brought in for the initiative, said he has added staff to speed up processing of prior authorization forms for therapy appointments and is temporarily relaxing credentialing requirements to get more doctors enrolled in his network.

DCH Commissioner Rhonda Medows said she's confident the delays in payments and credentials will be resolved soon.

She said a bigger issue as the program unfolds is making sure each part of the state has enough doctors enrolled with one or more of the managed care companies to assure patients reasonable access to health care.

"At the end of the day, it's not about payments but indigent medical care,'' said Dr. Robert Lipson, a member of the board.

"What we're really trying to do is provide the right care at the right time and right place to the right people.''

Gas leak shuts Satellite Boulevard

DULUTH - A portion of Satellite Boulevard closed Thursday after a construction crew cut a gas line.

Police report

Man charged with stealing excavator

•DACULA - A 24-year-old Winder man was arrested last week after he allegedly stole a construction excavator in a poorly conceived attempt to avoid walking home.

Getting a sneak peek

Alaskan oil field shutdown ripples across industries

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The leak that is causing the shutdown of the nation's largest oil field this week could have a ripple effect on everyone from steel pipe makers to oil industry workers - and even perhaps the price Americans pay at the pump.

Robbery suspect trades gunfire with police

LAWRENCEVILLE - Gwinnett County police are searching for a suspect who exchanged gunfire with an officer Wednesday after robbing a fast-food restaurant in Norcross.

Ticket sales date announced for Eric Clapton show

DULUTH - Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Aug. 19 for Eric Clapton's October stop at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Locals Allen, Graham shine at ABCD Camp

College basketball coaches keep a watchful eye on the action at top summer camps like the prestigious ABCD Camp in Teaneck, N.J.

OBITUARIES

DULUTH

THEIS, WILLIAM

William P. "Bill" Theis, 76, of Duluth, passed away Wednesday, the 9th day of August, 2006. Surviving are his daughter and son-in-law, Alexis and Hector Hernandez of Duluth; son, Christopher Theis of Alpharetta; brother, Jack Theis of Rollingstone, MN; sisters and brothers-in-law, Mary and Walter Lynch of Las Cruces, NM, Delores Brugger, Mondovi, WI, Rosemary and Norman Klein of Milwaukee, WI; and dear friend, Ruth Ann Chapin of Duluth. Bill was a veteran of WWII and the Korean Conflict where he served his country proudly in the U.S. Navy. He was associated with "Dodge Reports" and retired from McGraw Hill. Born September 16, 1929, the son of the late Frank and Olga Theis, he was a native of Winona, Minnesota. His career brought him to Atlanta in 1960. Bill had a passion for golf which he often enjoyed with friends at his club, Berkeley Hill Country Club. A memorial mass will be celebrated Saturday the 12th day of August at eleven o'clock at All Saints Catholic Church. Friends may visit with the family following the service. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Peachtree Christian Hospice Golf Classic, Attention: Reverend Linda Scott, 3430 Duluth Park Lane, Duluth, GA 30096. Express tributes by visiting www.mem.com. H. M. Patterson & Son Oglethorpe Hill Chapel, 4550 Peachtree Rd., NE, 404-261-3510, is in charge of arrangements.

JEFFERSON

LOGAN, ALBERT

Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson announces the death of Mr. Albert L. Logan, age 65, of Jefferson, Georgia who passed away on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Jefferson, GA, 706-367-5467.*

LOGANVILLE

MYERS, SARAH

Sarah Ann Neblett Myers, 62, of Loganville, formerly of Tucker, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. She was preceded in her death by her parents, Walter H. and Vernelle R. Neblett. She is survived by her husband, Charles (Charlie) D. Myers and her children, Melissa Ann and Craig Fowler and Cecil L. (C.J.) and Robin Sykes; grandchildren, Garrett, Laura, Chase and Halleigh Fowler and Kaitlyn and Blake Sykes; step-children, Dan and Debbie Myers, Nancy and Tommy Boyd, Jennifer and Greg Burnette, and Karen Myers; step-grandchildren, Brad Myers, Davis and Jessie Myers, Evan Myers, Nathan and Brooke Boyd, Amy Myers, Ryan Myers, Cameron Myers, Chandler Burnette; and one step-great grandson, Grayson Myers. She is also survived by sister, Jackie and Bobby Rice, Loganville, Wanda and Don Williams, Snellville, and Kathryn Neblett, Calera, AL; along with 6 nieces and nephews and many cousins. Mrs. Myers was a retired bank manager with Main Street Bank. She was an active member of Snellville Baptist Church and took a leading role in their mission work at the New London Nursing Home in Snellville. Visitation will be Friday evening, August 11, 2006 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at Eternal Hills Funeral Home in Snellville, 770-972-3155. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, August 12, 2006 in Eternal Hills Chapel with Dr. James Merritt and Dr. Howard Ramsey officiating. Pall bearers will be six grandsons. Interment will follow at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens.

SUGAR HILL

WINKLER, THOMAS

Mr. Thomas Q. "Tom" Winkler, III, age 50 of Sugar Hill, GA, passed away on Monday, August 7, 2006. He is survived by his: Son: Thomas Winkler, Sugar Hill, GA; Daughter: Robyn Winkler, Sugar Hill, GA; Stepson: Shawn Brown, Atlanta, GA; Sister and Brother-in-Law: Wendy and Don Nelson, Duluth, GA; Several Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews and Cousins. Mr. Winkler was born in Louisiana on July 20, 1956. He was a 1974 graduate of Gulf Breeze High School in Gulf Breeze, FL and a 1989 graduate of Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL. He was a software technician. He was a member of Sugar Hill United Methodist Church in Sugar Hill, GA. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Flanigan Funeral Home with Rev. Steve Wood officiating. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Arrangements by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA, 770-932-1133, www.flaniganfuneralhome.com.

WINDER

BRADFORD, TRAVIS

Travis Bradford, age 56, of Winder, died Wednesday, August 9, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, 770-962-3100. Please sign online guest registry at www.stewartfh.com .*

William Theis

William P. “Bill” Theis, 76, of Duluth, passed away Wednesday, the 9th day of August, 2006. Surviving are his daughter and son-in-law, Alexis and Hector Hernandez ...

Albert Logan

Evans Funeral Home of Jefferson announces the death of Mr. Albert L. Logan, age 65, of Jefferson, Georgia who passed away on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. Arrangements by Evans Funeral ...

Sarah Myers

Sarah Ann Neblett Myers, 62, of Loganville, formerly of Tucker, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, August 9, 2006. She was preceded in her death by her parents ...

Thomas Q. Winkler, Iii

Mr. Thomas Q. “Tom” Winkler, III, age 50 of Sugar Hill, GA, passed away on Monday, August 7, 2006. He is survived by his: Son: Thomas Winkler, Sugar ...

Travis Bradford

Travis Bradford, age 56, of Winder, died Wednesday, August 9, 2006. Arrangements by Tim Stewart Funeral Home, 300 Simonton Road, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045, 770-962-3100. Please sign online guest registry at ...