Originally created 10/04/04

Across the southeast



Patient documents found behind wall

HAVELOCK, N.C. - More than 1,000 patient medical records written during more than a decade were dumped behind a wall at the Cherry Point Naval Hospital, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Sunday.

A Navy report on the case offered no motive for the mishandling and said no one was prosecuted in the "Hole in the Wall" incident, as it came to be called in court documents.

Instead of filing the records with patients' other information, hospital personnel apparently climbed onto a chair or a desk, lifted a ceiling tile, and dropped them into the space behind the drywall. Other medical records were shredded instead of being filed, the report said.

The report confirmed rumors about records being stashed behind a wall at the hospital.

Port authorities want better communication

WILMINGTON, N.C. - Authorities in communities near the port of Wilmington say they'd like better coordination with federal officials the next time a foreign seaman jumps ship, for the safety of citizens and the sailors' own benefit.

It doesn't happen often - only four times this year so far, according to the Coast Guard.

But problems arose recently when Brunswick County authorities realized a body they had found matched the description of a sailor who disappeared from a Turkish merchant vessel while it was in Wilmington.

End-of-grade scores might be misleading

GREENSBORO, N.C. - North Carolina students need to answer correctly on only one-third to one-half of the questions on state end-of-grade tests, and critics say the resulting scores make schools look as though they're doing a better job than they really are.

More than 81 percent of pupils passed state tests this year, according to the ABCs of Public Education report card released in August - up from 62 percent in 1996-97, the first year of the ABCs.

Education officials say that shows far more pupils are performing at grade level now. But some critics don't think the state tests are a valid indicator of pupil performance.

The bar has been set so low that "you could almost fall over" it, said Sam Miller, an education professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and chairman of the university's department of curriculum and instruction.