Hospice House groundbreaking interrupted

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 20, 2011

SALISBURY — The groundbreaking for the Rowan Hospice House took place Monday morning at 1229 Statesville Blvd.
The proceedings were briefly interrupted when a security guard for Rowan Regional Medical Center and Salisbury Police Department officers escorted one of the guests from the premises.
Ronnie Smith, longtime supporter of the hospital foundation and local philanthropist, refused to leave and shouted “No” when asked by the security guard, Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins said.
The police officers then joined the security guard and asked Smith again to leave. He again refused and stood up, turned around and talked loudly to the crowd, Collins said.
Officers then escorted Smith out of a tent set up for the event and eventually to his car, Collins said.
As he was being escorted off the property, Smith told a Post reporter that there was “a conspiracy,” apparently referring to the site chosen for the Hospice House.  
The ceremony continued without further incident.
Rowan Regional Medical Center President Dari Caldwell said the incident was “very sad.”
Other hospital staff and hospice committee members declined to comment.
Read the full story in Tuesday’s Salisbury?Post.