Headlines – 5/20/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2003

The Panolian Headlines: May 20, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 5/20/03  issue of The Panolian

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Rain – Crop ‘Disaster’ in Making
Heavy rains aren’t only a bane to Panola County farmers. High waters flooded Highway 35 in Batesville Saturday and spilled over into the lot at Maggie T’s.

"We’re looking at a serious farm disaster."

That’s according to Kimbal Billingsley, USDA Farm Service Agency county executive director, who said cotton and soybean planting is behind schedule.

And much of what has been planted, he said, will have to be replanted because the crops have been ruined by standing water.

Farmers are under the gun to get the cotton crop in because the crop insurance deadline of May 25 is Sunday.

Even though the week-long forecast looks pretty dry, fields are so water-logged that the ground may not dry out enough to allow for planting by then, Billingsley said.

"Some farmers will take a big risk and plant cotton on into June," he said. But those crops won’t be insured and an early frost could spell disaster on the harvest end of things.

Last year, because of unusual amounts of rainfall in July and August, Billingsley said farmers who planted "did well" with their cotton.

Last May, Billingsley said, "was also wet."
According to rain records at the FSA office at 510 Highway 51 South, a total of 7.8 inches of rain fell from May 1-19 last year.

So far this month, 13.2 inches of rain has fallen during the first 19 days of the month.

The yearly "average" for May, he said, is 4.87 inches. The total yearly average is from 52-56 inches.

Symphony Quintet Will Perform

The United Voices of Praise choral group will be back in concert Saturday, May 24, to open for the Mississippi Symphony Woodwind Quintet in the Sardis Arts Center at 7 p.m.


Panola County should get ready for an evening of entertainment extravaganza.

The Mississippi Symphony Woodwind Quintet will be in concert in the Sardis Arts Center at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 24. The Quintet is part of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra which derived from the Jackson Symphony Orchestra in 1944.

The Woodwind Quintet became a separate entity in 1978 with the Principal Flutist Sybil Cheesman as a founding member. She performs concerts locally in Jackson, is the founder of a community flute choir, teaches at Mississippi College and has an active private flute studio.

Frank Lynch, another founding member of the MSO Woodwind Quintet, has been the MSO’s Principal Oboist since 1978, and has been a featured soloist with the orchestra on several occasions.

The current season, 2002-2003, marks Jim Moritsugu’s third season as Principal Clarinetist of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

Mimi Draut Linehan has been Principal Horn with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Horn in the MSO Woodwind Quintet since coming to Jackson in 1983.

Jon Wenberg is currently in his 10th year as Principal Bassoon of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.

Opening for the Quintet is Panola County’s own United Voices of Praise choral group. A public reception will be held after the concert at 7 p.m.

The concert will be held in the Sardis Arts Center (Old Sardis High School) auditorium on McLaurin Street.

Sponsored by the Northwest Delta Choral and Arts Council, this is a season ticket offering or admission is $6 at the door.



Woman Complains That Service Dog’s
Kept Out of Library
Rebecca Phillips and her dog Maxine.

BATESVILLE – A woman who says her "service dog" is needed to help her ward off panic attacks is upset by the negative reaction she’s getting at the library and from city officials.

Rebecca Phillips has been diagnosed with a panic disorder. With this diagnosed as a disability, Phillips has been prescribed the use of a service animal. No certain animal has been prescribed except what comforts and aids her.

Phillips said she is welcomed to every business in Batesville and other cities except for the Batesville Public Library.

"They think because I am not deaf or blind, I cannot have an animal," Phillips said. "I feel that is prejudiced against me."

The same day the City of Batesville Board of Aldermen met, May 6, Phillips came to The Panolian to tell what was happening to her. She did not know about the City Board meeting or that she would be a topic of discussion.

When she read the board meeting account in the paper Friday, May 9, Phillips said she had an attack.

"I cried for hours and hours about what Miss [Bobbie Jean] Pounders said," Phillips said. "It was mean, rude and prejudiced."

Pounders said the dog is making some staff members and patrons uncomfortable.

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) outlines the guidelines under which businesses and organizations must follow regarding service animals.

One of the points is "allergies and fear of animals are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service animals.

"Under the ADA, businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. This federal law applies to all businesses open to the public, including restaurants, hotels, taxis and shuttles, grocery and department stores, hospitals and medical offices, theaters, health clubs, park and zoos."