The Albany News (Albany, Tex.), Vol. 130, No. 30, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 22, 2005 Page: 1 of 26
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Something to cheer about
. I1 Chest directors are now
•* i«4CA r>ntimictir that the ?nfl<\
ft- r i
Chest directors are now
optimistic that the 2005
Albany Chest goal will
be reached by year-end.
See story, pg. 2-A
CO it W '//OH J'.I.
Holiday basketball action
The AHS Lions and Lady Lions
will compete in area holiday
basketball tournaments during
the week after Christmas.
See story, pg. 7-A
"Oldest Journalistic Venture West of the Brazos
Thursday, December 22, 2005, Albany, Texas 76430
26 Pages in 3 Sections
Volume Number 130 Number 30 Price 75c
Negotiations resume in clinic contracts
By Melinda L. Lucas
Despite the abrupt end to con-
tract negotiations between the
Shackelford County Hospital
District's board of directors and
Dr. Ryan Ford at a meeting on
Monday, December 12, several
positive steps were taken dur-
ing the past week, and board
members expressed optimism
that an agreement would be
reached before Ford's current
contract ends on December 31.
During the December 12th
session, hospital directors and
Ford had worked through sev-
eral changes that Ford had re-
quested in three of the four con-
tracts with the district. The
modifications and specific lan-
guage changes were typed by
Ford into his laptop computer.
When the negotiations ended
that evening as the result of a
disagreement between Ford and
board president Lance Thomas,
the modified language for the
contracts became temporarily
unavailable to the board until
Ford emailed the documents
with the changes to the board
meeting held Monday night, De-
The directors reviewed those
changes, as well as going through
the rest of Ford's requests. They
either formulated new verbage
or approved the remaining items
on the local physician's list, with
only two issues that may need
After the meeting, the modi-
fications were sent to the
district's attorney, Don Ander-
son of Abilene, who has worked
with the Shackelford County
Hospital District on numerous
legal issues since 1995. Ander-
son has maintained frequent
contact with Ford's attorney
since contract negotiations be-
gan several months ago. He also
handled Ford's original contract
with the district.
One of the board decisions
made during an emergency
meeting held last Wednesday,
December 14 was that any fur-
ther negotiations between the
district and Ford would be
handled by the two attorneys.
Because of the approaching
holidays and the impending end
to the current contract, the di-
rectors were concerned about the
difficulty of scheduling another
meeting before the end of the
Although board members feel
that Ford will agree to the two
modifications in the contracts
that he has not previously seen,
Thomas appointed a three-per-
son committee with the author-
ity to make any further changes
on behalf of the board. Also, any
one board member can sign the
contracts after they are signed
by Dr. Ford.
At the end of Monday's meet-
ing, board members approved
the three contracts that have
been amended, including an
overall agreement, an office/
property lease agreement, and
an EMS Medical Director agree-
ment. There were no changes
made in the records agreement
signed by the board last month.
• During the December 14
meeting, Thomas suggested that
he could step down as president
of the hospital board, but other
directors declined to make any
changes in the officer lineup.
• EMS director Dan Breeden
reported that construction of the
new x-ray room is nearing
completion, with the lead-lined
sheetrock installed and finished
out, and the electrical work and
painting completed. The room
still needs to be tiled. The cost of
the project has been about
$4,500. The digitizer for t he sys-
tem has been delivered, with the
x-ray machine itself to be deliv-
Thomas expressed the board's
appreciation for Breeden's ef-
forts on both the x-ray room
build-out and the recent demoli-
tion of the old hospital building.
ish the Grinch,
"Lions & Tigers
Oh My!" on
at the Aztec.
Melinda Lucas / Albany News
Donnie Lucas / Albany
Randi and Chris Alexander (above, l-r) check the
tags on bicycles as they prepare to deliver their
first Christmas basket Saturday morning as part
of the Albany Ministerial Alliance's annual food
and toy program for needy families. Caleb Britting
(at right, c) portrays the young Christ Child while
Adam and Crystal Viertel as Joseph and Maiy
watch over him in one of several local churc
Christmas programs held during the past week.
Melinda Lucas / Albany News
Citizens hope bridge
will keep same look
Most Albany residents who attended a special meet-
ing about a proposed new bridge last week expressed
the feeling that the appearance of a new structure
should be similar to the present design.
About two dozen local citizens attended the meeting
hosted by the Texas Department of Transportation at
the Aztec Theater on Thursday, December 15.
A TxDOT team led by engineer Blair Haynie pre-
sented general information about the condition of the
Hwy 180 bridge, which actually consists of two separate
structures. The east bound portion was originally con-
structed in 1926 and widened in 1939. That same year,
the west bound side was built.
TxDOT engineers stated that the bridge may appear
sound, but there are a number of problems including
cracked beams, eroded banks and broken cement, all of
which must be addressed. They added that rehabilita-
tion or repair is not a viable option. Both halves of the
bridge need to be replaced by a single unit.
"We're only at the beginning stages," commented
project engineer Rod Thrailkill of Chica & Associates.
"We're not yet set on any specific design and there are
lots of options open, especially in regard to the railings,
lights and sidewalks."
Heather Goodson, who is a historic preservation
specialist with TxDOT, assured those at the meeting
that although the bridge is not eligible for the National
Registry of Historical Places, the highway department
intends to be sensitive to local feelings and needs.
"I don't consider this to be a historical bridge, but it
is the gateway to our historic downtown, and the sur-
face appearance should be changed only minimally if at
all," commented Clifton Caldwell.
A letter was read from Shirley Caldwell, who was out
of town and unable to attend the meeting. She re-
quested that the appearance of the structure not be
Mike Parsons and Chuck Senter both expressed
concern about the impact of construction on businesses
and the general economy of the town, emphasizing that
approaches to the downtown must be kept open.
"Maintaining the viability of the downtown area is a
priority," said TxDOT engineer Russel Lenz. "We defi-
nitely want to work with the community."
The highway department officials also stated during
the meeting that construction of a new bridge will not
begin before the summer of 2007 and that more public
meetings would be held before plans are finalized.
Perez files for County JP post
* A little over a week remains
for candidates to file their pa-
perwork for the upcoming March
primaries, with one more name
added to the list this week.
Belinda Perez actually filed
and paid her filing fee for Shack-
elford County Justice of the
Peace on Wednesday, December
7, but her name was inadvert-
ently omitted from the list pro-
vided to the News last week. .
Perez and James Breeden
both filed as Democrats for the
office, which is being vacated by
retiring JP Judy Wood.
Incumbents who have turned
in their documentation for reelec-
tion, so far with no opposition,
include District Judge Brooks
Hagler of Anson, Shackelford
County Judge Ross Montgomery,
Shackelford County Clerk Cheri
Hawkins and Shackelford County
Treasurer Sherry Enloe.
Greg Simpson of Precinct 2 and
Stan West of Precinct 4 are both
expected to file for reelection prior
to the January 2 filing deadline.
All of the local candidates so
far have filed with Democratic
county chairman Sam Conway,
who intends to be at the court-
house from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on
Wednesdays and Fridays for the
remainder of the time in the
filing period. However, the court-
house will be closed this Friday,
December 23 for Christmas.
Gayle Mikeska, who just took
over the duties of the Republi-
can County Chair, said Tuesday
that a couple of potential candi-
dates have picked up paperwork
to work on petitions, but no one
had officially filed as of press
Anyone who intends to file
with either party needs to do so
before the January 2 deadline.
Independent candidates must
file a "declaration of intent to
run for office" with the county
judge, complying with the same
filing fees as party candidates.
Filing fees range from $375 to
$1,500. A petition can be filed in
lieu of a filing fee.
New Voting Machines
The county's new electronic
voting machines were delivered
and set up this week, according
to County Clerk Cheri Hawkins.
County personnel were
trained on the devices, which
will be used for the first time
during the March primaries.
"We think the machines are
very user friendly, but we in-
tend to leave them set up for
awhile so people can come in
and try them out if they think
that would make them feel more
comfortable when the actual
election gets here," said Haw-
Election judges will be trained
on the machines at a later date.
Hawkins added that anyone
who is interested in serving as
an election judge should contact
her at the Clerk's Office, 762-
2232 ext. 101.
Sheryi Spore / Albany News
Edna Watts of Hart Intercivic trains County Clerk Cheri Hawkins (r)
in the use of one of the new electronic voting machines that will
be utilized in local elections starting with the March primaries.
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Lucas, Melinda L. The Albany News (Albany, Tex.), Vol. 130, No. 30, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 22, 2005, newspaper, December 22, 2005; Albany, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth414593/m1/1/: accessed January 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Old Jail Art Center.