| COPES Helps Teens, Parents
| During the eight week COPES program, clients must take part in an eight hour work day on Saturdays. Thomas Watkins (back) and Crystal Sullivan (front) participated in the work days prior to graduating from COPES.
| BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The Panola County Youth Court Judge has another option for correcting behavior of juvenile offenders.
The Panola County Board of Supervisors in association with the Exchange Club Family Center of North Mississippi and youth court judge Adam Pittman are fully endorsing the relatively new COPES program.
The COPES program, which stands for Correcting Our Pasts and Establishing Skills, deals with juveniles relating to truancy and kids in the court system.
"One of the big goals of this program is to make certain the kids are attending school as they should and not out somewhere getting into trouble," Fred Johnson of the Exchange Club Family Center said.
Judge Pittman said he fully supports the program because it offers up an alternative to sending the juvenile offenders to training school.
"I really like this program," Pittman said. "The purpose is not for punishment, but to correct the problems the offenders are having early on.
"The more resources I have, the more adapt I can be at attempting to correct the problem before it gets out of hand," he said.
Pittman said he believes having more alternatives to training school will help make the youth court system function better than it does.
| New Town Hall, Fire House and
Nutrition Site to Be Built in Crowder
| BY KATE B DICKSON
Bids are to be opened in June for a new Town Hall in Crowder that will also house the Fire Department and provide a nutrition site for senior citizens.
State Rep. Leonard Morris recently said the new building is being made possible with a combination of state and federal grants.
And, there’s additional money, too, that will buy the town a new truck and a tractor, Morris said.
"One day I saw Mayor Martha Smith using her truck to go around and read meters," Morris told The Panolian.
The building will be built on the site of the current town hall after that structure is torn down, Morris said.
The state is providing a $155,000 grant for the project with the federal contribution at $100,000, the representative said.
Morris said Smith, the City Board and Town Clerk all "worked hard" to help make the funding a reality.
"I am very pleased that Nick Walters, director of the state office of USDA – Rural Development; Johnny Shell, district director of USDA – Rural Development and their respective staff combined their efforts and resources with the state, the Mississippi Development Authority and Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to make this happen," Morris said.
"The Small Communities and Limited Populated Counties Grant Program was established by the Ways and Means Committee of the Mississippi Legislature to assist with projects such as the assistance that is being granted to Crowder," Morris said.
| "Everything we did outside we did under that tree … it was the best shade we had but I guess the good Lord knows best."
That’s what H.L. Moore said last week shortly after a storm blew down an estimated 200-year-old oak tree at his home at 201 Gordon Drive in Batesville.
Moore was joined by his great-granddaughter Haley Moore, 2, in some of the last shade the tree will give.
| Cancer Survivors Asked to Participate in ‘Relay’ Event
| BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The organizers of Panola County’s Relay for Life are asking that as many survivors as possible come out for the event Friday, May 2, at Tiger Stadium beginning at 6 p.m.
"We want to have as many survivors as we can to take part in this year’s Survivor Lap," Patricia Sorrels said.
Survivors wishing to participate in the relay must sign in the day of the event with complete contact information including type and site of cancer and the number of years of survivorship.
According to a press release from the American Cancer Society, there is also a pinning ceremony that allows survivors to pin relay participants as a way of thanking them for their work in the fight against cancer.
Relay for Life, an annual event for the American Cancer Society is organized as a way of promoting awareness of cancer and raising funds for cancer research.
In the time leading up to the Relay for Life, teams are established and raise funds to help in the fight against the disease.
"This is not just a fund-raiser, it is a unique activity that offers people an opportunity to take up the fight," she said. "Relay for Life is about empowering individuals to fight back against the disease that has taken so much from them, their families or friends."
"We want to have as much community involvement as we can," Sorrels said. "Not just the survivors, but everyone in the community knows someone who has been affected by cancer."