Headlines – 1/21/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 21, 2003

The Panolian Headlines : January 21, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 1/21/03  issue of The Panolian

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"Lapthrow Lady" Crochets Afghans for Hospice, Vets

Ramona Mitchell works on a stained-glass pattern afghan. Each afghan takes 12-to-15 hours to complete.

BATESVILLE – There are no better words to describe Ramona Mitchell’s mission than Crocheting for Comfort.

The retired school teacher has taken crocheting for others to heart. She takes the afghans she has crocheted and donates them to either Unity Hospice or Hospice South for their terminally ill clients.

She has also donated 45 afghans for the Veterans Hospital in Oxford, where her uncle is a resident. Tri-Lakes Senior Care has also approached Mitchell for afghans.

She has even received a letter from the wife of a hospice patient who passed on. "The letter was addressed to the lapthrow Lady, according to Mitchell.

"She wrote that her husband got real cold and she said that was a help to him right before he died," Mitchell said. "I just treasure that letter. I appreciated it." Mitchell has been crocheting for 50 years, since she was a teen-ager. She has been crocheting the afghans for the patients a little over a year.

"I just thoroughly enjoy it," Mitchell said. "I used to do it when I was a teen-ager and mother used to tell me ‘young people don’t do that – that’s for when you get older.’ But I enjoy it. I have always enjoyed any crafts. I figured I need to concentrate on one, so I figured crocheting is my talent, since I can’t sing or paint.

"I figure God gave me that talent for a reason and now I am putting it to use," she added.

Crocheting for Hospice patients came as a result of personal experience. Ramona is married to James Mitchell.

His parents were patients of Hospice South in Clarksdale.

"They were so helpful to the family, very much so. I asked one of the ladies associated with it at the time if they could use afghans. She said ‘yes’ so that’s when I started," Ramona said.

Making of one afghan takes 12-to-15 hours. Not only does making afghans take time but it takes a lot of yarn. Mitchell started thinking about what she would do after retirement about three years before her actual retirement

"I started buying yarn because I knew I would not have as much money," she said. "We moved over here in ’94 and I realized I had tons of yarn in the attic and it was not doing anyone any good.

"Plus my best friend from Clarksdale decided she did not want to crochet any more and so she gave me all of her yarn which filled up the trunk of her car plus another trip. Added to my stash I got to thinking about what I could do," Mitchell added.

Sardis Man, 72 Perishes in Fire

A Sardis man apparently was trying to escape from his burning home when he was overcome by smoke Friday night and died.

According to Sardis Fire Chief Bo Holloway, Charles Caruthers, 72, died of smoke inhalation. He was home alone at the time of the fire.

"He had made his way from the back of the house where the bulk of the fire was and into a front room, but the smoke must have been too much," Holloway said.

"Caruthers was home alone at the time of the fire," he said.

Holloway said the Sardis Fire Department got the fire call about 9 p.m. from a neighbor. The Batesville Fire Department assisted in battling the blaze.

"When we arrived, we had to knock the fire back before we could enter the house," he said.

Holloway said the fire looks like it started from a pot left on the stove.

"The fire was pretty well contained in the back of the house, but it did spread to the attic," he said. "I guess you could say the house is a total loss depending on what someone would spend to fix up an older house."

King Parade

A large group gathered at Mt. Zion church and marched to the downtown square then on to the Batesville Intermediate School in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The group carried banners and sang during the trek.

Sardis, Marina Plans Move Along
Hotel Developer Making Needs List

The lease between the City of Sardis and Skipper Marina is very close to completion, Mayor Richard Darby said.

"We are going through the process of tweaking some of the language in the lease agreement to make sure everything is a good fit," he said. "Skipper seems very excited about the progress.

"We are very close to coming up with a lease that all of the parties will be comfortable with," he said.

Darby said in addition to the ongoing lease negotiations, there will be some changes to the layout of the marina.

"There will be nothing major," he said. "Skipper just wants to make some slight modifications to the layout."

Darby said the majority of the changes Skipper wants are more location of certain aspects and would not cause damage to the integrity of the Sardis Lake Marina.

"We are going to partake in a conference call with Skipper on Monday or Tuesday of next week," he said.

The mayor said the water and sewer situation is being studied to see what the needs will be for temporary service.

Darby said the access roads for the project are being surveyed so the city can put out bids for construction.

"We want what we are doing to meet the needs of the project," he said. "There has been a lot of cooperation between the city, the [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] and Skipper."

"There will be a larger scale sewer and water plan put into place once we have all of the other pieces to this puzzle," he said.

Court Accepts Five Pleas
Pleas for crimes ranging from passing bad checks to grand larceny were heard in Panola County Circuit Court last week.

Those entering pleas and their sentences were:

Randy Lynn Berry plead guilty to one count of grand larceny and was sentenced to five years without benefit of parole under the habitual offender statute.
Teresa Lynn Ellis plead guilty to the charged of passing a bad check and was sentenced to two years under the non adjudication statute, cost, fees and restitution. Restitution ($463.56) must be paid in full within 60 days. Costs and fees can be paid at a rate of $75 per month until paid.
Travis Centrell King plead guilty to sale of a controlled substance (cocaine) and sentenced to 15 years (suspended), cost and fees.
Calvin Earl Turner plead guilty to burglary of a dwelling and sentenced to five years (habitual offender statute) in prison. Restitution of $1,400 must be paid within 12 months of release from prison.
Thomas J. Weckesser Jr. plead guilty to possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) and sentenced to three years (suspended) and one year probation.