Headlines – 3/21/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 21, 2003

The Panolian Headlines: March 21, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 3/21/03  issue of The Panolian

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Repair Business Receives Permit
Restrictions Imposed
George Fondren, center, and Bishop J.T. Herrington, right, listen to Assistant City Attorney Colmon Mitchell discuss issue.
Although fears were expressed that Batesville could wind up "with another junk yard" on a main thoroughfare, an auto repair business was granted a conditional use permit – with stipulations.

City board members Tuesday spent about 30 minutes debating the merits of George Fondren’s application to locate Abundant Life Auto Repair south of the Panco building on Highway 51 South.

Fondren wants to buy a building there and open a repair shop. Because the 30-by-50-foot building is in C-2 zone a conditional use permit is required.

"I’ve been contacted by three other people regarding how [bad] some of your other property has looked," Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders told Fondren. "People in that area are trying to improve the aesthetics there … they don’t want cars jacked up with the hoods up and the wheels off."

Spots in New Shopping Center Almost All Taken


That’s how developer Jim Chambers described the number of leasing contracts and letters of intent in hand for the new Tri-Lakes Shopping Center.

Chambers met with the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Tuesday to ask for sign variances for the strip center which he said should open by mid-to-late August.

He was granted variances for a pylon sign and for another which will carry the names of the tenants.

Chambers told The Panolian there will be 10-12 stores in the center which will be behind Back Yard Burgers and will face Wal-Mart Supercenter.

"It’s not unusual for a center like this to open with only 30 or 40 percent of the space leased," Chambers said. "We’re at 80 percent now."

By filling the spaces so quickly, Chambers said, "It’s a sign the market is indeed here for the small shop retailer … it’s incredible."

He said 50 percent of the new tenants "will be relocations" from within Batesville while the other half will be "brand new" retail businesses.

Truancy violators
Some Panola County parents have been charged with violating the compulsory school attendance law.

School truancy officers for the North Panola School District and South Panola High School reported the following parents as being in violation as determined by the court:

Francis Upchurch
  7002 Hwy. 6 West, Batesville
Denise Harmon
  2446 Barnacre Rd., Batesville
Brenda Rudd
  3946-B Eureka Rd., Batesville
Sherry Simmons
  2076 Nelson Square, Pope
Chris Presley
  Pleasant Grove Rd., Como
Frank Boyce
  Amam Rd., Como
Jasmus Gleaton
  431 Tubbs Rd., Batesville
Wendy Sullivan
  334 Hwy. 51, Courtland
Ernestine Wright
  139-A Todd Rd., Batesville
Beverly Miles
  104-F Bradford St., Batesville
Nancy McCain
  507 Red Hill Rd., Batesville
Betty Osborn
  Compress Rd., Como
Betty Barnett
  1018 Smart Rd., Como
Mary Loveberry
  206 Connie Ross Rd., Como
Kendra Butts
  3515 Tom Floyd Rd., Como
Mary Burdette
  86-A Willow Rd., Sardis
Stephanie Green
  202 Hibbett Rd., Como
Martha Fondren
  20 Earnestine Taylor Rd., Sardis
Georgia Dandridge
  705 Letha Wiley Rd., Sardis
Ruby Loverson
  14849 Old Panola Rd., Como
Ivonne Williams
  101-A Panola Apartments, Batesville

Street Paving Set Soon in Johnson Subdivision
Developer Jim Chambers talks about signage at Tri-Lakes Shopping Center.

Areas of Johnson Street and Batesville Drive in Johnson Subdivision will soon get an overlay of asphalt.

City Engineer Pete Sullivan told City Board members Tuesday that work in the subdivision – including water, sewer, gas line improvements – is finishing up with the asphalt job to be last.

Alderman Bill Dugger asked Sullivan about driveway entrances in the subdivision where some residents have built up levels by using PVC pipe and covering it.

Sullivan said removing the pipes will help drainage in the area because "anytime you stop a driveway up that will cause water to run on someone else."

However, the Board decided to leave the pipes in place.

To remove them, said Alderman James Yelton, will "get [the city] in trouble with the people there."

With regard to standing water in the area, Mayor Bobby Baker said the improvements made will help but said they aren’t a cure-all.

"I wouldn’t want anyone to think there will not be some surface water after we finish paving," Baker said. The whole area is flat. We’re cleaning out the ditch but it doesn’t go anywhere."

SPSD Students to Get Additional Holidays This Term


Students in the South Panola School District will finish school as scheduled this year, but will receive two additional holidays.

During a meeting of the South Panola School District Board of Trustees, Superintendent Dr. C.L. Stevenson explained the revisions to the 2002-03 school calendar.

"The calendar had three days built in for bad weather, and we thought we would get through without using them, but we couldn’t," he said. "If we had, we intended to shorten the second semester."

Stevenson explained since the district used one of the days, they would need to address the remaining "bad weather days."

"Hopefully we are out of the time where we get hit with snow and ice, but we still have the days built into the calendar," he said.

Stevenson’s suggestion was to take the Monday after Easter (April 21) and Memorial Day (May 26).

"We can either take off the last two days or take these two," he said.

Stevenson said taking Memorial Day will better accommodate Project Graduation because the event is scheduled for Sunday, May 25.

"There have been a lot of questions about Project Graduation," South Panola High School Principal Dr. Del Phillips said. "Taking off Memorial Day would greatly help out because we will have teachers and students up all night for the event. The day off would give us time to clean-up before going back to school."

"I think we should take those dates to help out the people involved with Project Graduation," School Board President Lygunnah Bean said.

In addition to the days off, the board agreed to switch the half-day from May 27 to May 28 which is the last day of school.

"We have so many students checking out after tests that it works our office staff to death," Batesville Junior High Principal Darrell Tucker said. "Making the last day a half-day will be a big help."

"That sounds like the perfect plan to me," Bean said of the changes.

Suit Seeks Water Association Merger with Sewer District Affects Pope-Courtland Area

A dispute over cut-off devices on water meters may be settled in court now that a lawsuit has been filed by the Long Creek Sewer District against the Pope-Courtland Water Association.

The suit, filed this week in Panola County Chancery Court also names as defendants the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The case has been assigned to Chancellor Percy L. Lynchard Jr. of Hernando.

Jay Westfaul, attorney for sewer district commissioners, said, "The controversy has been ongoing for quite some time," adding that commissioners "reluctantly" decided to file suit.

The sewer district contends it must be able to cut off water in order to force payment of sewer bills by some who don’t pay.