Headlines – 5/27/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 27, 2003

The Panolian Headlines: May 27, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 5/27/03  issue of The Panolian

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Hit and Run Driver Sought
in Man’s Death

Authorities are searching for the driver who hit and man and drove away leaving him to die on a Panola County roadside.

Vehicular homicide is the ruling in the cause of death of Ontiveres Gonzales, 33, who was killed on Saturday night, May 3, said Panola County Coroner Donna Stevens.

Gonzales’ body was found off an embankment on May 10 by boys riding four-wheelers, the coroner said.

The incident occurred on Highway 6 about one mile from the Quitman County line, Stevens said. He died from "head trauma."

Handling the case is Agent Chuck Poe of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Stevens said Gonzales had been in the U.S. legally for seven years and he was employed by a sod farm near the scene of his death.

The date of Gonzales’ death was determined after interviews with co-workers and friends, she said, based upon when he’d last been seen by them.

"He’d been seen walking on the (south) side of the road … then he didn’t show up the next day," the coroner said.

Officials are hoping that someone with knowledge of the crime will call Stevens at 487-3554 or Poe at 563-4651 Ext.6424.

Gonzales’ body was returned to Mexico, the coroner said.

Alderman Angry
About Sewer Line
No progress has been made getting a contractor to install pipe sleeving to repair a sewer line collapse on Martin Luther King Drive, City Engineer Pete Mitchell told City Board members .

To that, an angry Alderman Rufus Manley said Tuesday, "I’m going to call the health department and the environmental people, too. We’ve had at least two leaks in the [above ground] sewer bypass when it was run over and broke … if this was up in the east part of town I think we’d have done something about it by now."

Manley said the city should consider declaring the problem an "emergency" because raw sewage has run into a yard, a field and into a ditch before the breaks were repaired.

"The last time we declared an emergency, " Mayor Bobby Baker told aldermen, "you didn’t like that we spent some $50,000 fixing a hole that fell in some 200 feet north of this spot. You didn’t like the bill.



South Panola Graduation
Graduation was a time of friends and families sharing accomplishments with the graduates.

Above, South Panola valedictorian Shana Norwood (c) and friends Komiya Guillory and Amberly Chapman (r) wave good-bye to their high school years before graduation Sunday afternoon.

Bottom photo: North Panola valedictorian April Ross shares her memories with her brother Marcus. The Rosses lost their mother last year.

SP School Year Attendance
Average Put at 96 Percent

Student attendance at South Panola Schools this year has averaged about 96 per cent district wide, according to principals from each school.

Batesville Elementary Principal Carolyn Graham presented the first of several reports.

"We had over 100 Headstart students tour our school, " she said. Those students will enter Batesville Elementary this fall. Graham also told board members that the Barksdale reading proposal is complete. "I spoke with Katie Tonore … and made minor revisions. We are looking forward to approval soon," she added.

Batesville Junior High students were given the Mississippi Curriculum test, with parents volunteering. "We stressed the importance of the test," said Principal Darrell Tucker.

"Parent involvement is always good," said board President Lygunnah Bean.