Headlines – 12/17/2002

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Panolian : December 17, 2002

For complete stories, pick up the 12/17/02  issue of The Panolian

County Gives Hospital Loan for Payment

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Larry Pratt, Tri-Lakes Medical Center board vice chairman, explains need for loan to county supervisors while hospital administrator, Richard Manning (l) and hospital board attorney Colmon Mitchell study figures.


Tri-Lakes Medical Center received a promise Monday from Panola County Supervisors of $515,000 over two years and, today, hospital board members are asking the city for financial help, too.

The help expected to be sought from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen at the 2 p.m. city board meeting is for a $574,525 loan which would be repaid.

Although the hospital’s fiscal health has improved since July, Tri-Lakes board vice chairman Larry Pratt told the supervisors the facility doesn’t have the money to make its $500,000 bond payment due Jan. 1.

A $900,000 bond payment is due in July from the hospital which is owned by the county (60 percent) and the city (40 percent).

The money pledged by the county will come from 2.5 mils of ad valorem taxes

Partnership Makes Move

The Red Coats are coming out in full force for the open house of the Panola Partnership at its new location on the downtown square: 150-A Public Square.

The offices of the partnership were still being moved Monday into the new building, but all will be ready for the open house this afternoon. Partnership president David LaVergne said the event will take place from 4:30 to 8 p.m. and everyone is invited. The Red Coats will be making their first appearance.

LaVergne said the new space will offer more adequate facilities for private discussions with visitors who might be looking to locate a business or industry into the county. LaVergne said the partnership’s new home will feature art work and furnishings by local artisans and craftsmen.

Alexander said the office, which is inside the Helen Kelly law offices building, will have a meeting room available to the municipalities and the county if they need it.

Play Auditions on Tap Dec. 19
Panola Playhouse auditions for the Pulitzer Prize winning play, "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" will be held at 7 p.m. at the Panola Playhouse.

For the all female cast director Robert Allen Holder will audition girls 12 to 14, girls 15 to 18, and women from ages 35 to 45. The play is scheduled for performance Feb. 27, 28 , March 1 and 2. Audition scripts will be provided.

The Playhouse is on Main Street in Sardis.

Jenny Poole greeted youngsters at the Batesville Rotary Club’s annual Christmas for Kids event. Twenty-five youngsters were treated to gifts and a visit with Santa.

Statute Has Expired, Bonds Attorney Says

Attorneys for former South Panola football coach Eldridge D. "Bubba" Bonds have issued a response to the state’s motion to reconsider 12 counts dismissed by the court.

The twelve counts were dismissed because the statute of limitations for such charges has already expired.

District Attorney Robert Kelly’s motion cites the case of Morris vs State as determining that a statute of limitations does not expire prior to the termination of a continuing course of conduct.

"The sexual abuse of children has been a continuing course of conduct," the state’s motion says. "The statute of limitations does not begin to run until such course of conduct terminates."

The motion to reconsider the dismissed charges alleges Bonds has a known appetite and proclivity for children/students began during the fall semester of 1997 and hopefully terminated in Jan. 2002.

"The facts, as alleged in all counts of the indictment, were not known to law enforcement or prosecutor until Grand Jury Testimony in June 2002," the motion says.

In response to the motion filed by Bonds’ attorney, Kent Smith of Holly Springs, Smith claims the facts are clearly distinguishable from the facts and holding of Morris vs State.

"…but nothing herein contained shall bar any prosecution against any person who shall abscond or flee from justice, or shall absent himself from this state or out of the jurisdiction of the court, or so conduct himself that he cannot be found by the officers of the law, or that process cannot be served upon him."

In the case of Morris vs State, the minor victim was residing with the defendant, her stepfather. Additionally, the defendant threatened to kill the victim’s father if she told anyone.

Smith’s response said, unlike in Morris, the alleged victims in the dismissed counts against Bonds were at no time living with him.

"The threatening environment that was present in Morris vs State is lacking in the situation at hand," the response said.

Smith was unavailable for comment.