County’s health focus of report

Published 7:20 pm Saturday, November 2, 2013

Beaufort County officials and others will get a pulse on the county’s health when two Beaufort County Health Department officials present the 2013 State of the County’s Health during the meeting of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

James Madson, the health department’s new director, and Kelli Russell, the department’s human-resources planned, as scheduled to present the report card on the county’s health about 7:15 p.m. Monday. The annual report provides the latest information related to the county’s health issues. It provides a progress report on the past year’s efforts to address those health issues.

Cancer, chronic disease and obesity were identified as the top-three areas of concern, according to the report. The report will include a strategic plan to address those and other concerns during 2012-2015.

The report shows heart disease causing 24.9 percent of the deaths in the county during 2011, followed by all cancers at 23.9 percent of all county deaths in 2011, with chronic lower respiratory diseases causing 6.88 percent of all county deaths in 2011.

County Manager Randell Woodruff is scheduled to discuss the county’s report to an administrative session of Beaufort County Superior Court regarding the court’s order concerning requirements in that order. In late September, Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr. found that “the Beaufort County Jail has been repaired to a reasonably safe condition on a temporary basis,” but only a temporary basis.

Sermons ordered, “That the Board of Commissioners shall continue to plan and design a county jail that meets the minimum standards in the State of North Carolina. That such planning and construction shall proceed in as timely a manner as possible given the time restraints of architectural service, financing, and construction times.”

The order further states that the commissioners are now required to submit a written progress report on a new jail before each administrative session of Beaufort County (criminal) Superior Court. The court order came with an attached list of those dates.

Sermons ordered the jail evacuated in June because of back-to-back power outages that plunged the jail into darkness with no back-up generator. From June until mid-September, Beaufort County inmates had been housed at prisons in surrounding counties at a cost of nearly $360,000. Along with maintenance and repairs to the jail, the county faced a bill of nearly $600,000 for the detention center’s troubles of the past few months.

News Editor Vail Stewart Rumley contributed to this report.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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