McGill sells ‘Tri-City Ledger,’ more from 1973

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, April 8, 2009

By By Lowell McGill
We will take a look at a few of the events and people from the year 1973, then I want to give you some inspiring medical information and tell you about some little known veteran programs that may be enlightening to those who have served in the armed services.
Former Bratt resident Gary Purvis was named the 1973 Northwest Florida farmer of the year for his soybean and wheat yields on his 1,200-acre farm in Blountstown. Gary is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Purvis of Bratt.
Cynthia (Latham) Rogers was elected social chairman of her Alpha chapter of Beta Phi Fraternity at Southern Miss University. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Latham.
Rebecca Phillips was named Chamber of Commerce secretary-stenographer by the city of Atmore. The ECHS graduate was also a graduate of Faulkner State.
A popular private fishing lake on Rocky Creek Road was the destination of many local and area fishermen. Millers Lake only charged three dollars a day to catch “all you wanted” back then.
Charles Lambert of Atmore was named new public relation manager for Gulf Power Company in Pensacola. The former 1955 ECHS graduate received his advanced college degrees from Florida State University.
Escambia Academy took top honors at the state wrestling matches in Montgomery. Championship trophies went to Jeff Bell, Brian Landry and Brent Whitaker.
Local residents were saddened at the passing of Walter Eugene Vault. He and Mrs. Vault were the founders and operators of Vault hospital here.
Jim Thornton of Flomaton purchased The Tri-City Ledger newspaper from Lowell McGill in July of that year. Yes, after founding this weekly publication in 1971, giving it a name, nursing it along as far as my limited finances allowed, I sold it to the Thornton family and they turned it into a very good business.
Each time I pick up a copy of that paper I think back to those “tough” times I experienced trying to keep it afloat. I should have taken Martin Ritchie’s advice that he gave me way back in 1957. “Never be caught dead publishing an underfinanced weekly,” he told me. “It will take you to your grave,’ he further said. With newspapers, both weekly and dailies, undergoing hard times in today’s economy, look for even more to hit the deck in coming months. Even online news Web sites are having their problems. There just isn’t enough advertising money available to sustain so many of these businesses. I consider myself very fortunate to work part time for an old line, well established chain of papers owned by Mr. Boone. That’s the main reason I go out of my way in an effort to contribute stories beyond my column. Incidentally, The Advance Internet Web sites are now reaching folks, not only in the Atmore area, but the world over. Our daily emails and comments are growing as each day goes by. I like to think my contribution of stories and columns parallel a staff of great writers like Adam, MaryClaire and Chandler. You know you are getting total coverage of news from Atmore, Northwest Florida and, in fact, the general Atmore area with a staff like this.
And, finally in some more 1973 news, Curtis Nims and Grace Hollis, respectively received special Masonic and Eastern Star awards from Northwest Florida Lodges. The Molino Lodge was the setting for the special occasions for these two Northwest Florida participants
About that VA news, my research indicates Veterans and surviving spouses may be eligible to receive cash benefits up to $22,000 annually for care in Assisted Living Facilities.
Pensions are also available to qualifying vets according to several Web sites on the internet.
Another program, Aides in Attendance, has become popular of late. However, very little is aired by the VA on this program.
I spoke with Richard Renaker, an expert in this field, recently about these and other little known veteran programs. One must have served at least 90 days in order to qualify for some of these benefits according to Renaker. He also related that “war wounded’ was not a prerequisite.
The information he furnished me is quite lengthy. However, those desiring more information can contact him at 800-833-5106. Or, you will find a world of information on the Internet at
Our local Atmore Community Baptist Hospital, in a “Golden Care” bulletin last week reported on a new medical device for those facing heart and other surgeries.
According to the bulletin “patients needing heart surgery can now experience the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. This means faster recovery time, less pain and discomfort and with only three tiny incisions on the side, there’s no unsightly scar down the chest. By combining surgeons expert skills with the high-tech da Vinci robot-Baptist Health care is making history.”
According to Baptist,”only smaller incisions are required through a few button size cuts and da Vinci high definition cameras and state of the art instrumentation provide surgeons with unparalleled vision and control.
Boy, why wasn’t this available five years ago when I had four bypasses? My scars will be with me for the rest of my life. In fact, since this news from Baptist was released, I have made several inquiries to my cardiologist group in Mobile to find out if they are using this procedure. However, their busy schedule has prevented contact with them. But, I plan to speak with someone from this group on their next regular visit to ACH in hopes of finding out more about this. When I get this information I will pass it along to you.
But, in any event, these are very inspiring revelations.
Baptist further stated “we are taking patient care to the next level…with more than 260 cardiac, prostate, hysterectomy and general surgeries having been performed using the da Vinci S HD Surgical System”.
Request Baptist to furnish you their latest GC bulletin and get the full story.
Another “pill’ that may be of interest is the once-a-day heart combo pill. It is not on the market yet, but Internet sites indicate it may not be too far away.
Reportedly, it is a ‘single daily pill combining aspirin, cholesterol medicine and drug pressure drugs, everything needed to prevent heart attacks and strokes. The report said the pill could cut the risk of stroke and heart disease roughly in half”.
Already there is news being released on a replacement for Coumadin. I hope to have new information on this soon.
These new devices and medicines are far from that which was available to us fifty years ago. I can remember having to be anesthetized with ether, and did that make you sick when you woke up.
Last week, when writing about my friend at local coffee sessions, I misspelled Joe and Dave’s last names. So Joe and Dave I am happy to make that correction. Of course I am talking about Joe Pennington and Dave Kinman
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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