- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

BELHAVEN, N.C. (AP) - A small, coastal North Carolina town appears ready for unusual measures to keep its now-closed hospital from being demolished.

The Daily Reflector of Greenville reports (http://bit.ly/27OBIf6 ) that Belhaven officials appear ready on Monday to declare a state of emergency to protect the former Vidant Pungo Hospital building.

The property owner’s attorney says such a move would violate the state law allowing local governments to act in true emergency situations.

Hospital chain Vidant Health closed the facility nearly two years ago because it said it racked up losses of more than $2 million loss in its two years of ownership.

Belhaven Mayor Adam O’Neal has been fighting since then to reopen the hospital, including marches to Raleigh and Washington, D.C., to draw attention to shortcomings in rural healthcare.

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