Biz Briefs: Salisbury VA Medical Center reopens MRI services

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 31, 2020

SALISBURY — The Salisbury VA Health Care System has reopened MRI services for three of its locations, including the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center.

The other two locations open for MRI services includes the Charlotte Health Care Center and Kernersville HCC. Both urgent and non-urgent orders are welcome between the normal operating times of 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The VHA released its Moving Forward Plan, outlining the phased reintroduction of services for Veterans.  The plan addresses continued engagement of safe access to care for both Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) direct services and community care services, in accordance with VA guidance and federal, state and local policies.

“I would not have felt comfortable re-opening MRI if we could not do everything possible to limit spread of infection and image patients safely,” said Dr. Geoffrey Lamke, the interim chief of radiology, in a press release. “I personally feel that the VA is the safest place for Veterans to be because of the implementation of screening (gate and thermographic), universal source control, and the provisions we’ve put in place in the Imaging department.”

VA facilities may not be the first to reopen a full spectrum of care, but instead will begin to reintroduce services after consideration of the unique circumstances of each state and local market, environmental safety preparedness and clinical risk assessments.

For questions regarding MRI services, veterans should contact their VA providers.



State finalizes Alcoa land donation, expands Morrow Mountain State Park by 1,085 acres

STANLY COUNTY — The State of North Carolina and Alcoa Power Generating Inc. (“Alcoa”) have finalized a land donation that will expand Morrow Mountain State Park by more than 1,000 acres.

The agreement, tied to the federal relicensing of a hydroelectric project along the Yadkin River, relates to the Relicensing Settlement Agreement, reached in 2007 between Alcoa and more than two dozen stakeholders. Alcoa sold the hydroelectric project in 2017 but retained most of the obligations in the Relicensing Settlement Agreement.

Alcoa’s donation of 1,085 acres, situated along the Yadkin River on the north-northwest side of the park, will allow Morrow Mountain State Park to grow its footprint by more than 20%. The 5,881-acre park is now one of the 10 largest state parks in North Carolina by acreage.

“We recognize the significance of these lands, and we are happy to donate this property for the continued enjoyment and benefit of future generations,” said Mark Stiffler, Vice President of Alcoa Asset Planning & Management, in a press release. “This was one of many agreements we made to the State of North Carolina during the relicensing process, and we are pleased to see this commitment met.”

Alcoa’s donation includes property containing the historic Hardaway site, one of the oldest and most significant archaeological sites in North America. Designated a National Historic Landmark, the Hardaway site includes artifacts dating back more than 10,000 years. It is often credited with providing valuable clues about North Carolina’s earliest inhabitants.

“We are so grateful to have this addition to Morrow Mountain State Park,” said park superintendent Jeff Davidson in a press release. “Nesting bald eagles, timber rattlesnakes and the rare Yadkin River Goldenrod make their homes on the acreage with its large boulder fields, scenic vistas and unique wildlife habitat. This major addition will conserve important ecosystems and make a little more room for recreation to serve nearby communities as well as the growing Piedmont population.”

As part of the relicensing agreement, Alcoa agreed to sell or donate more than 6,000 acres of undeveloped land along the Yadkin River to the State of North Carolina or conservation groups. This includes the donation of 270 acres to expand the Uwharrie National Forest, 63 acres for Eagle Point Nature Preserve in Rowan County and 14 acres around the Badin Public Recreation Area in Stanly County.

In addition, Three Rivers Land Trust and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission purchased 2,463 acres — including 45 miles of shoreline on the Yadkin River above High Rock Lake — from Alcoa last year for conservation purposes. The land trust is currently raising funds to purchase and conserve an additional 2,300 acres of Alcoa property along Tuckertown Reservoir.



Sonic providing teachers with necessary supplies for students to continue learning at home

SALISBURY — To recognize the entrepreneurial spirit driving teachers to meet their students’ distance learning needs during this difficult time, Sonic Drive-In matched all donations to DonorsChoose on Teacher Appreciation Day.

Through “Limeades for Learning,” Sonic donated $1 million on May 5 to public school teachers across the country, including $145 to Lauren Shipley of Davidson K8. On Teacher Appreciation Day, the effort supports their endeavors to provide students with essential education resources.

“Teachers across the country face new and complex challenges to keep their students learning right now,” said Christi Woodworth, vice president for public relations for Sonic, in a press release. “As we continue to celebrate teachers this Teacher Appreciation Month, we sincerely thank educators like Lauren Shipley, who are creatively keeping their students learning even as schools are closed. With Sonic’s $1 million donation match, we were able to help teachers obtain resources for their students and will continue to empower them throughout the year.”

Through Limeades for Learning, Sonic has donated $16.6 million to public school teachers, helping more than 21,000 teachers and impacting more than 5.4 million students in public schools nationwide since 2009. Visit to learn about future funding opportunities and explore public school teacher requests in the Salisbury community in need of support.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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