Headlines – 1/28/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 28, 2003

The Panolian Headlines: January 28, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 1/28/03  issue of The Panolian

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Saying Goodbye to Family Tough Military Assignment
Pope Wife, Mother Gets Active Duty

"I’m not really scared but I hate the idea of being away from my children."

? Deborah Pope Edwards

Deborah Pope Edwards has been in the Mississippi Army National Guard for 11 years but for some reason she never thought it would come to this – overseas deployment and possibly war with Iraq.

Pope, who uses her maiden name, is a resident of Pope and is assigned to the 223rd Engineer Battalion. It’s headquartered in West Point and she is with the unit in Clarksdale.

The 36-year-old wife and mother of two little boys is among about 650 soldiers in the battalion who were called up last week for what she says "is a year, maybe up to two years."

The soldiers are expected to be off this week to Fort Campbell, Ky., for more training then deployment to an undisclosed overseas location, according to a press release from Guard headquarters in Jackson.

The orders came under a Presidential Partial Mobilization of Reserve Forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pope said she may be the "only female and mother" in the 223rd.

The battalion’s mission includes constructing and maintaining main supply routes, landing strips, buildings, structures and utilities.

Sign-Emblazoned Delivery Vehicles Prompt Question

Does the frequent parking of sign-covered delivery trucks near city streets and highways constitute a violation of the city’s sign ordinance?

And, if not, should the law be amended?

Those were questions posed by Ward III Alderman James A. Yelton at the last City Board meeting.

Yelton said he was speaking primarily of some sign-emblazoned furniture and rental center store delivery trucks that are placed close to streets.

He contends doing so in shopping center parking lots gives those businesses more sign space than the law allows and more space than their neighbors who don’t have trucks.

Batesville Code Enforcement Office Administrator Pam Comer told Yelton and others the current sign ordinance does not address that specific issue. She said the law relates to signage allowed on buildings.

"Check with Oxford," suggested Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Burnett. "They have some pretty stiff sign regulations."

"We don’t want to be too stiff," Yelton said, "but in these shopping centers if a business is only allowed 28 square feet [of signage] it’s not right for others to have more by using the trucks."

In another matter, Ward IV Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders questioned the legality of placing "For Sale" signs on cars and parking them alongside city streets and highways.

Comer said she will check into the existing regulations regarding that issue and, if need be, will find out what other cities do to regulate such car sales.


Pope Beauty Review

Colton Snyder (l) was named Most Handsome and Tameka Flowers was crowned Most Beautiful at the annual Pope Beauty Review held Saturday. The Review was sponsored by the Pope Jr. BETA Club.

Filing Deadline Gets Added Day
AG Says Clerks’ Offices Must Be Open March 1

Panola countians wishing to run for a county office can qualify until Sat., March 1.

Though many Mississippi clerk’s offices planned for a Friday cutoff, an Attorney General’s opinion issued said offices must be open until 5 p.m. March 1 for people wishing to qualify.

Representatives of the Panola County Circuit Clerk’s office said they will be open March 1 for qualifiers.

The newest to qualify are Donna Stevens who is seeking re-election as County Coroner; Ronald W. Williams who is running for Supervisor District Five; and two more have qualified to seek the Chancery Clerk’s position. They are Timothy N. Grogan and Jim Pitcock.

The primary election is Aug. 5, with the general election taking place Nov. 4.

Batesville Police Clarify Tinted Window, Driver’s License Laws
Laws governing tinted windows on vehicles and just how the state’s "graduated driver’s license" system works aren’t always understood.

That’s according to Batesville Police Department Col. Gerald Legge who says department officials have received questions from parents recently on both subjects.

"One parent who contacted the chief (Roger Vanlandingham) had opposition from a teenager when the youngster was quizzed about the legality of his window tinting.

"The child thought he could do whatever he wanted to in terms of tinting," Legge said.

But that’s not the case.

Mississippi law spells out the restrictions which Legge said came about originally to provide officer safety by making vehicle occupants visible.

Lt. Explains Workings of Citizens Academy

Members of the Batesville Kiwanis Club got some insight into one of the Batesville Police Department’s community involvement programs.

Lieutenant Dean Jones told club members about how the Batesville Police Department started its Citizens Police Academy program and what the program involves.

"The purpose of this program is to give people an idea of what law enforcement really does," Jones said. "There is a large misconception of what the Police Department does, and this was how we opened the doors to the community."

Jones said the idea for the Citizens Police Academy came from Police Chief Roger Vanlandingham after he spent time at an FBI training session in Quantico, Virginia.

"The chief came back with this idea and we went to work trying to get it implemented," he said. "It took us a while to get it started, but the program received support from the mayor and aldermen, so we moved forward."