Saturday, August 21, 2004

The price of dental care must be skyrocketing in Jasper County.
In a case that might be deemed laughable if it weren't so pathetic, a Jasper County Jail inmate awaiting trial on child molestation charges is suing Sheriff Archie Dunn for denying him dental care. According to the petition, which was filed Thursday in the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Martin Anthony Eck, 41, Joplin, is asking for $100 million. Those must be some teeth he has.
Eck has been in jail in lieu of $25,000 bond since he was arrested in April. According to Jasper County court records, he is charged with four felony counts: two counts of statutory sodomy in the first degree and two counts of child molestation in the first degree. His bond was initially set at $100,000, but was reduced.
Eck told what happened to him in his petition. "I arrived at Jasper County Jail on April 2, 2004," he wrote. "I told the booking officer that I had bad teeth that needed taken care of. I was told at that time Jasper County Jail did not have a dentist. I filed a grievance on May 12, 2004 and got no response. I told the nurse numerous times and have written the sheriff on July 15, 2004.
"I still have not seen a dentist. As I understand it, it is the County Commission's job to make sure health care is available. It's been four months, still no dentist."
Eck's case is scheduled for an 8:30 a.m. Sept. 22 jury trial, according to court records.
The Joplin Globe article on O'Sullivan Industries' decision to relocate its corporate offices to Atlanta had company officials saying that 35 to 50 jobs would be moved. Count on that number being at least 50.
If O'Sullivan officials move have anything less than 50 jobs, the company will not be eligible for tax breaks offered by the state of Georgia to induce companies to relocate there.
At one time, the state of Georgia required a company to create at least 100 jobs in order to qualify for tax incentives worth millions of dollars.The legislature lowered that number to 50 in 2003. It is no coincidence that the change was made to convince Newell Rubbermaid to relocate its corporate offices from Illinois to Atlanta.
As pointed out in an earlier edition of The Turner Report, three former Newell Rubbermaid offiicials all of whom played major roles in that company when the decision was made to move to Atlanta, are now in charge of O'Sullivan Industries...million-dollar CEO Bob Parker, chief financial officer Rick Allan Watkins and executive vice president Michael Orr.
That 2003 legislation allows companies to qualify for five years of tax credits for jobs created in each of the first five years after they relocate, according to the Atlanta Business Journal.
What is surprising that Atlanta officials are still willing to deal with people who have been associated with Newell Rubbermaid. Newell Rubbermaid officials apparently did not live up to their end of the bargain, according to the Business Journal.
The state is attempting to stop payment on approximately $900,000 in incentives to Newell Rubbermaid, claiming the company did not create enough jobs or develop as much real estate as it has promised. That is most of the $1.3 million in incentives the state promised. Apparently, Newell Rubbermaid officials had indicated they would eventually increase the number of employees at their corporate offices to 1,000. So far, only 75 are employed there and the company does not appear to be in a hurry to add any more.
The good news for Lamar residents who are concerned about O'Sullivan Industries taking manufacturing jobs to Atlanta is that Newell Rubbermaid indicated from the beginning they would not be moving any manufacturing jobs to Atlanta and there are no hints of any kind that the company is going to change its mind.
The same sort of promises have been made by current O'Sullivan officials. Of course, these are the same people who indicated that no layoffs were planned when the announcement was made about the move of the corporate offices then turned around a couple of days later and laid off 150 people.
Another positive sign is that Atlanta officials apparently are not interested in attracting manufacturing jobs. They are on the prowl for the type of high-salary, executive-types who will be moving there when the offices are relocated.
According to the Atlanta Business Journal, the city is trying to develop a reputation as a desirable spot for companies to relocate their corporate headquarters.
Ironically, when Newell Rubbermaid moved, its officials cited as one of the reasons the Atlanta location was desirable was that it was much closer to one of their major customers...Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Arkansas. Think about it. O'Sullivan Industries is moving to big city corporate headquarters to help it do business, when the biggest business in the world is comfortably located in little Bentonville, Arkansas.

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