Headlines – 6/6/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2003

Panolian Headlines: June 6, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 6/6/03  issue of The Panolian

Sardis Aldermen Talk Annexation
Sardis Resident Storms Out in Disgust

Annexation was the hot topic of discussion at the monthly Sardis Board of Aldermen meeting. Residents from different areas of the proposed annexation were present to voice their opinion. The ratio of those ‘for’ or ‘against’ annexation was split down the middle.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Mike Slaughter, senior planner of the the consulting firm of Bridge and Slaughter in Oxford, gave a detailed summary of the four areas considered for annexation.

"What this is, is a breakdown of the assessed areas," Slaughter said.

The four areas are Hwy. 315 East, Industrial Park and Belmont Road, Green Hill West and the remainder north of the city on Hwy. 51 to Interstate 55.

"All they want is more money," said community activist and long time Green Hill resident Georgia Wilson.

A possible increase in taxes is what the opponents fear.

One Green Hill resident, Letha Wiley, presented the board with a petition and list of names of residents who were for annexation, but were unable to attend the meeting. The list contained approximately 25 names.

"We need these services," Wiley said.
Annexation could bring new sewer lines and city police protection, which they do not have now.

Wilson was speaking out of turn and Mayor Richard Darby had to referee the meeting. Then, Wilson stormed out in disgust.

The consultants followed Wilson out and were overheard to advise the activists on their opposition.

The Green Hill area is county territory and was the poorest area in the study with many dilapidated existing structures.

Batesville City Board Votes No
on Cell Tower
Still: ‘Structure Would Not Be Aesthetically Pleasing.’

The City of Batesville does not want additional cellular towers located in town, aldermen said during a recent meeting.

Cellular South representatives Bill Yost and Dave Smith approached Batesville Mayor Bobby Baker and the Board of Aldermen with a request to construct a new tower that would service the west side of the city.

"The tower would need to be 250 feet tall to properly service the area," Yost said. "We looked at continuing service with just the one existing tower, but it would not solve the problems of our customers."

"We have found a site that we feel can solve the dropped call problems we have been having," he said referring to the location near Frame Picture Enterprises on Highway 6.

Yost said the location was ideal because it was not near any residential dwellings.

"The new tower would also assist other cellular customers receive better service in the area as well," he said.

One concern the board expressed was the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s plans for expanding Highway 6 to four lanes.

"The plans for the tower indicate it would be set far enough off of the highway that it would not impact future expansion in any way," Yost said.


Restoration Coming
Pictured, from left, Dr. C.L. Stevenson, Deborah Oakley, Department of and History, and Girault W. Jones.

South Panola School District has received a grant of $450,000 for restoration of the original Batesville High School building, most recently used as a second grade facility for Batesville Elementary. The Community Heritage Preservation Grant has been matched by the school district already, and the beginning phases of work are now underway.

The project will consist of three phases. The first phase is the "envelope" or outside phase, according to Girault W. Jones, architect with Jones-Zander, Ltd. of Grenada. During the first phase, restoration will be done on the outside of the building, along with the installation of an elevator.

The second phase will be the renovation of the first floor, including the walls, floors, air conditioning and heating system. According to SPSD Superintendent Dr. C.L. Stevenson, there is enough money right now to complete only the first and second phases of the project. The first floor will house the child development program and is scheduled to be ready for the 2004-2005 school year.

The third phase of the project, when funds become available, is the renovation of the second floor, which will be used for staff training. There will also be an auditorium planned on the second floor that will be used by both the school district and the community.


Local Agencies Investigate Death
Officers of the Batesville Police Department are investigating the death of a juvenile female.

According to Major Tony Jones, the Batesville Police Department received a call at approximately 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 4.

"We are presently working with the Mississippi Crime Lab, Panola County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office on this investigation," Jones said.

No further details were made available prior to press time.

The case remains under investigation. The Panolian will have more information as it becomes available.