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DE QUEEN, Ark.—Power has been reconnected at the De Queen Hospital, according to a SWEPCO spokesman.

"Following receipt of payment for past due amounts, SWEPCO is in the process of reconnecting power today (Tuesday) to all DeQueen Hospital accounts which had been disconnected (Monday) for nonpayment," said Peter Main, spokesman for SWEPCO.

Service was disconnected Monday to a portion of the hospital but remained in other portions, Main said.

The hospital maintains multiple accounts, seven of which were disconnected Monday. One account for physicians' offices was being transferred to a physician.

The hospital and its tenants were notified in January about the disconnection.

"We understand the importance of health care facilities to DeQueen and the surrounding communities, and we will continue to work with hospital officials. However, when disconnecting for non-payment, we are also protecting our other customers from having to absorb the cost of unpaid electric bills," Main said in a prepared statement.

According to a notice to tenants of De Queen Regional Medical Center and Plaza Buildings, electric utilty service to the building was scheduled to be disconnected on Feb.11 for non-payment or electric service.

Tenants were given the option of putting electric service in their names.

The future of the hospital has been the topic of much debate in recent months. In December, employees did not receive paychecks on time, prompting local and state officials to meet and address concerns about the hospital's possible closure.

Members of the community also held several fundraisers for hospital employees and their families.

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