Look Back … to the duties of medicine, 1948 | Features

May 14, 1948, in The Star: Declaring that the welfare of the individual is inseparable from the welfare of the entire state, Dr. George A. O’Connell, public health officer of Calhoun County, told a Lions Club audience that unless educated people meet the challenge of public health concerning all peoples, “We are headed straight for disaster.” Commenting on the unwillingness of some doctors to attend impoverished people who can’t pay large medical fees, Dr. O’Connell said that by such practices they are doing more to bring about socialized medicine — fought bitterly by the medical profession — than by anything else. Also this date: Graduation exercises for Mechanicsville Junior High School will be held on May 20, with diplomas to be awarded to 34 class members. Salutatorian will be Esther Phillips and giving the Valedictory address will be David Bowen.

May 14, 1998, in The Star: The topic of George Smith’s column today is the dangerous challenge faced by the average Anniston motorist who tries to make a left turn from 10th Street eastbound onto Quintard to go north. There’s no special light, no special lines to guide traffic through one of the most important downtown intersections. Smith looks to the future for resolution to this problem: “Twenty, maybe 25 years from now, another mayor and another city council will return unto the local scene one-way traffic in the downtown area (if there is still a downtown, of course). That is my prediction. I stand by it.” Also this date: Five distant descendants of Anniston co-founder Samuel Noble — three great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren — are visiting the city this week to conduct research and learn more about the town their ancestor founded.

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CT lawmakers seek shift in oversight of nuclear materials

Connecticut regulators are poised to take a more direct role in overseeing much of the radioactive materials used in medicine, industry and academic labs under a bi-partisan bill making its way through the state legislature.

The legislation would help clear the way for Connecticut to become the 40th state to reach an agreement with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to transfer oversight of radioisotopes and certain other nuclear materials — such as those used in PET scans, radioactive dating and other everyday uses — to state officials. 

Under each of the agreements, the NRC retains its jurisdiction over radioactive material used in power plants, as well as spent nuclear fuel.

Lawmakers agreed to take up the bill at the request of Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, whose agency would assume the responsibility of licensing and inspecting users of covered materials, as well as impounding sources of radiation that may pose an immediate safety or environmental risks.

Dykes said that assuming oversight of nuclear materials would streamline regulatory efforts, and provide a more localized connection between regulators and those entities covered by the agreement.

“DEEP has been working with NRC during the multi-year review process to align statutory and regulatory processes, and to complete the necessary training for DEEP radiation staff to implement all of the requirements and thereby meet all federal programmatic requirements,” Dykes wrote in testimony to lawmakers.

The General Assembly’s Public Health Committee on Monday became the third panel to sign off on the bill, meaning it will likely be sent to the House floor for consideration. So far, each of the three votes have come with broad bi-partisan support. 

“Basically, it’s a public safety bill and a consumer protection bill which is focusing on giving the authority to the commissioner of DEEP

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