Hospital should be saved in Haleyville

Ed Howell
Posted 1/4/18

I had a visit from state Rep. Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley, and we conversed on a number of things. It is clear that his number one priority right now is to save the hospital in Winston County, which is set to close in Haleyville. He was rather proud of Winston County officials and residents, as they all seem united to try to do whatever they can to save the hospital. It should be pointed out the hospital isn’t even in his district, but he is quite concerned enough that this appears to be his top issue at the moment.

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Hospital should be saved in Haleyville

Posted

Let’s clean out the notebook ...

I had a visit from state Rep. Tim Wadsworth, R-Arley, and we conversed on a number of things. It is clear that his number one priority right now is to save the hospital in Winston County, which is set to close in Haleyville. He was rather proud of Winston County officials and residents, as they all seem united to try to do whatever they can to save the hospital. It should be pointed out the hospital isn’t even in his district, but he is quite concerned enough that this appears to be his top issue at the moment.

I think that is a great thing. The county needs the hospital; every county needs a hospital. I think the rather abrupt announcement without much notice to officials was quite a slap, and I would feel upset as well, as not much notice was given.

Some hopes have been raised that a solution can be found for someone to operate the facility. I hope that comes about, although some circumstances also may be needed to make a deal. But it is worth trying to make a deal, as I can’t imagine what industrial recruitment would be like without a hospital in the county, even if it is way up in the north end. Yet some people may feel more comfortable in a smaller hospital, compared to a larger facility in Jasper. And, let’s face it, it is Winston County’s hospital. The local hospital. And with a hospital, you do attract services and physicians to your county.

Here’s hoping that Winston County keeps its hospital and finds a buyer that shows a little more concern for the community than the last owner did.

•Since we are on Winston County, let me say how sorry I am to hear that 25th Judicial Circuit Judge John Bentley of Hamilton is retiring from the bench; a reception is planned in Hamilton on Jan. 13. John was an excellent city attorney in Hamilton and has done a fine job on the bench overall. John was also a good friend, and once sponsored me on an Emmaus Walk. He has been a good friend to local government and the judicial system in Northwest Alabama, and he will be missed.

•I am just sitting around at times, just wondering when the impeachment process in Washington will start. Democrats are nervous about appearing over eager in Congress, but the backlash against Robert Mueller and the FBI by Trump and his allies could, I think, lead Trump to go on impulse again one day and fire Mueller. That would be the last straw in Congress and would be taken in some quarters as obstruction of justice. Trump has resisted the urge, but he is known for impulse decisions and I would not be surprised at anything. Frayed nerves are everywhere, and we are about to see a major exodus of Trump people, as a year or so of the circus has already been enough for them. I think it is only a matter of time before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is sent packing.

Frankly, late word indicates Steven Bannon has thrown Donald Trump Jr. under the bus in a new book, saying the president’s son’s meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign was treasonous and that investigators will come after him. He said money laundering is the focus of the Mueller investigation and he was critical of the president for trying to fire FBI Director James Comey. He said the path to Trump goes through the president’s son, Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. The president responded by saying Bannon has lost his mind and never had real influence with the president.

And now it is really getting interesting.

•The cold weather around New Year’s was brutal, without question. On one of the worst nights, I went to take out the garbage, and then again a few minutes later to take something to the car. I realized 30 minutes later I had forgotten one item to take the car. It was downstairs from my apartment, but I didn’t mind that. It was cold I just couldn’t take going outside again. (Needless to say, I fixed myself a sandwich at the house that night.) 

Interestingly, my car indicated it was time for an oil change soon, so I scheduled a stop on New Year’s Day at a local service shop. I was quite alone as a customer in waiting, and afterward I decided to see about a need at Hobby Lobby, which I understand did very well over the holidays but hardly had a soul that morning. I think it was more than the holiday; nobody wanted to risk going out to the cold. Frankly, I am just glad I figured out how to get my apartment warmed up, even if it meant putting the thermostat on 73 to get other thermometers in the apartment to hit maybe 68 or 69.

•I also say Chamber Checks from the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County came in handy for me, as they were given out by my company as a Christmas bonus. I had a good chunk of them left over when the clothes drier — which I bought 15 years ago in Jasper from Lowes — decided it wanted to start breaking down. I finally realized the chamber checks were good at Alabama Power, and that a $700 GE machine there was on sale for $500. I got a deal where with a little extra cash thrown in, and with installation added in, I could pay it off for $57 a month in six months, or sooner. I think Mom would be proud of the deal I got. Now I just have to figure out how it works. It’s pretty high tech and advanced. (I can’t swear to it, but I think you push a button at the end of the cycle, and a man comes out from behind a door to fold the towels. If I find that in the booklet, I’ll let Britton Lightsey know.) 

•Note to candidates: We are accepting paid candidate profiles to start on the front page of the Daily Mountain Eagle. (There are no free versions.) All should be submitted with a top word limit of 500 words, not more (although that does not count a headline or the “paid for by ...” tag); we will use the computer word count to determine the count. We can take the photo or you can turn in a high resolution jpeg photo.