Headlines – 10/18/2002

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 18, 2002

Panolian : October 18, 2002

For complete stories, pick up the 10/18/02  issue of The Panolian

Flooding Problems
Family Seeks County Help

Dave Monfee points to the ditch that is causing most
of the problem. After 150 feet, the ditch narrows and
is full of debris and rip-rap.

SARDIS – "We’ve thought about stocking our ditches and yards with bluegill and catfish," joked Dave and Bena Monfee, as they walked around their damaged properties.

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The Monfees own a home located near the banks of Sardis Lake, at the intersection of Henry Heafner Road and Riverview Road, just off Hwy. 315. When it rains, it pours in the area. Even a two-inch gusher can send debris flowing into the roads.

"School buses can’t even pass through when it rains," said Bena Monfee. "They have to let the children off near the front of our house. The road is flooded all the way over.

"But we make the best of it," she said, "sometimes having fun while playing and swimming in the deep-filled ditches."

The Monfees approached the Panola County Board of Supervisors for help with the problem.

The Monfees have lived at their current home for five years. They help manage 33 rental properties on Henry Heafner Road. A ditch on the back side of their property is maintained by the county, and another, adjacent to their home, is property owned by the U.S. Corps of Engineers.

The recent rains caused by Hurricanes Isador and Lili left all of the area, and much of Panola County, underwater for a short time. Properties managed by the Monfees were damaged, with water creeping up waste-high in some of the homes, sending residents fleeing for higher ground.

Holiday Open House to be Held in B’lle
The Batesville Main Street Program, in conjunction with the Panola Partnership, will be organizing a Holiday Open House for Sunday, November 17, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Several activities to involve the community and to generate store traffic for the merchants are planned. Some of the activities include:

Photos with Santa taken by Malcolm Morehead;
A window decorating contest for stores open that day;
Horse drawn carriage rides departing from the square; and
Live entertainment on the square.

To enter window decorating contest, the business must be open on Sunday for Holiday Open House. To register, please call the Partnership office at 563-3126.


Como man charged in Jones murder


BATESVILLE – Bond has been set at $100,000 for an 18-year-old Como man accused of killing a Sardis businessman last month.

Derrick Lane, of 309 Warren Street, Como, was arrested by the Panola County Sheriff’s Department Monday, October 14.

Lane, a convicted felon, is charged with the murder of popular gospel singer and restaurant owner Darron Jones, which occurred Monday, September 16, at approximately 2:19 a.m. on I-55 north at the Tate/Panola County line.

Shannon Garrett, manager of Lake Inn Motel in Sardis, told The Panolian previously that Jones had been in the process of opening a restaurant located in front of the motel.

The restaurant, called Up In Smoke, was to be the third restaurant Jones owned, with two others located in Coldwater and Senatobia.

According to Panola County Det. Craig Sheley, Lane had pled guilty on September 17, the day after the alleged murder, to a charge of possession of cocaine.

Lane was sentenced to five years at the Mississippi Department of Corrections, which was suspended. He was placed on supervised probation for one year and fined $2,000.

"Because his conviction [on the drug charge] was entered after the alleged murder," Sheley said, "we can’t revoke his probation."

But this was not the first time Lane has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

According to Senatobia Police Chief Sammy Webb, Lane is also charged with aggravated assault for allegedly shooting a 27-year-old man at the Pecan Grove Trailer Park in Senatobia on August 4. The victim was injured, but survived.

The case is pending in Tate County Circuit Court. Bond was set at $50,000. Lane remains incarcerated at the Panola County Detention Center.

A hearing date has not yet been set for either the Panola County case or the Tate County case.