Many celebrating New Year at work

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Forest Persons figures he’ll be bored this New Year’s Eve. The customer service manager for Entergy in Natchez won’t be out partying to celebrate the end of the millennium this year; he’ll be at work, making sure nothing goes wrong when the clock strikes midnight.

&uot;We’ll probably be real bored for about four hours,&uot; Persons said with a laugh. &uot;We’re looking for a non-event.&uot;

At Natchez Community Hospital, key management personnel including Administrator Ray Bane will be drinking apple cider to celebrate the holiday while they wait for what they don’t expect: something to go wrong.

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&uot;We’re hopefully as ready as we could possibly be,&uot; said Bane, who doesn’t expect anything to go wrong.

But if the Y2K bug does bite the Miss-Lou, Natchez Community has portable toilets, stored water and food, an emergency generator and extra oxygen tanks to cover any problems that arise, Bane said.

At Natchez Regional, management staff will be working from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. to check all of the systems, said David Cronic, assistant administrator at the hospital.

&uot;We’re of such strategic importance to the community&uot; that if something goes wrong elsewhere, the hospital has to be ready, Cronic said. &uot;We’ll be handling it as if it were a disaster drill.&uot;

At United Mississippi Bank, which is open until 6 p.m. Friday, an employee from each branch will check in Saturday to make sure all of the systems are working, said bank President Sammy Porter.

And at Britton & Koontz First National Bank, operations staff will be working through the night to process bank transactions, said President Page Ogden. &uot;It’s not because of Y2K,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s normal at the end of each quarter or year.&uot;

Bank employees will also check in Saturday to ensure that systems are working, Ogden said.&uot;It’s really business as usual,&uot; he said.