Headlines – 12/6/2002

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 6, 2002

Panolian : December 6, 2002

For complete stories, pick up the 12/06/02  issue of The Panolian

Former Panolian Publisher Passes
BATESVILLE – Former Panolian publisher Hunt Howell, 84, died Tuesday, December 3, 2002, at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford following a brief illness.

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Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church with burial at Batesville Magnolia Cemetery. Rev. Don Bishop, Rev. Martin Case, and Pastor John Howell, Jr., officiated. Dickins Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

A native of Birmingham, Al., Howell came to north Mississippi in 1938 to work on the construction of Sardis and Arkabutla Reservoirs until he was called into Army service during World War II.

During his stay in north Mississippi, he met the Batesville girl he would return to marry in 1943. Following World War II, Howell returned to Mississippi to enter Ole Miss, where he majored in journalism. After his graduation, Howell attended the Alabama School of Trades while working at the Gadsden (Ala.) Times. He later served as a veterans counselor at Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in Wesson. From 1952 until 1955, he was publisher of The Fayette Chronicle.

In 1955, Howell became partner with Howard Mize and the late Earl "Bud" Pearson to purchase The Panolian, where he remained as publisher until 1987. During the 1950s and 1960s, Howell used his editorial voice to promote calm acceptance of the changes Panola County would be presented with civil rights legislation. He served in various capacities with the Mississippi Press Association, including president in 1970.

Born in 1918, he was the son of the late Irenaeus Huntington Howell Sr. and the late Katherine Elizabeth Kay Howell. He is survived by his wife, Annie Glenn Johnson Howell of Batesville; two sons, Rupert Kay Howell of Batesville and John Huntington Howell of New Orleans; one daughter, Trudy Howell Bounds of Hattiesburg; a brother, William Kay Howell of Helena, Ala.; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The late newspaper publisher was a member of the First United Methodist Church and active in a host of community organizations, including Rotary, Habitat for Humanity and the Panola Genealogical Society. He was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International. Memorials may be sent to the First United Methodist Church.

Hunting Accident Leaves Two Off Duty

BATESVILLE – A fall from a deer stand and medical tests has two members of the Batesville Police Department off duty.

Police Chief Roger Vanlandingham told members of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on Tuesday about Lt. Clyde Estridge and Sadie Willey.

Estridge, the chief said, fell from a deer stand on Sunday and cracked four vertebrae, suffered internal bleeding and had a bruised kidney and brain.

The patrol lieutenant was hospitalized in Oxford as of Tuesday and was in a regular room, the chief said.

Willey, a dispatcher, remained in the same hospital Tuesday where she underwent a thyroid biopsy, Vanlandingham said.

Santa Needs Helping Hand from Citizens
Helping a needy child at Christmas is one of life’s greatest joys.

And, this year, the Panola County Family and Children’s Services office needs you to sponsor a child from their Santa list.

There are at least 250 children on the list and to find out more on how to help call Dianne Davis at 662-487-2098.

New Downtown Park May Become Reality
Ward IV Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders (r) makes a point to other city officials during a discussion of Main Street plans for a new park downtown. Adam Pittman (l), Main Street board member, outlined the proposal. Seated is Alderman at Large and Mayor Pro Tem L. Hudson Still. Pounders is a former Main Street board member. Please see related story on page 12A.

A new downtown park may become reality on city-owned property if Batesville’s Main Street board can raise most of the funds needed.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen were in agreement to support the building of the park and may support earmarking some city funds for the project.

However, most of the money for the estimated $121,000 project is expected to come from private donations.

"I think this looks nice" Ward I Alderman Bill Dugger said of the site plan. "I’m certainly in favor of improving our downtown and the City of Batesville. I don’t think all of the funding should be private … If I remember correctly, we built some sidewalks out east and that cost half of what this will."

Adam Pittman, Main Street board member, outlined the proposal to city officials saying the organization needs their support before the board embarks on a fund-raising effort.

"This is going to cost money," Pittman said of the park. "We want to explore getting the majority of the money from private sources … {the response} will tell us if the community is behind it."

The new park would incorporate the Veteran’s Memorial and would use land that’s now a parking lot, Pittman said.

Batesville Officer Fired

Batesville Police Officer Calvin Crowder, who had been on paid leave following a suspension, was fired Tuesday after an executive session held by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

The action came after Police Chief Roger Vanlandingham met behind closed doors with the city officials.

A few weeks ago, Crowder was suspended with pay following another meeting with the mayor and board.

Vanlandingham said the issues involved in the recommendation to terminate Crowder involved frequent tardiness and poor report writing.