Headlines – 8/26/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Panolian Headlines: August 26, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 8/26/03  issue of The Panolian

A Long Time Coming …
Sardis Lake Marina Now a Reality
    
Sardis Lake Marina celebrated its opening on Saturday with a ribbon cutting ceremony, attended by Governor Ronnie Musgrove and hundreds of citizens and dignitaries.

From left, State Rep. Warner McBride, U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker, Sardis Mayor Richard Darby, Musgrove and Col. Frederick Clapp of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The marina is located on Blackjack Road and will be operated by Skipper Marine of Wisconsin.
    

BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

After overcoming several obstacles including a Presidential line-item veto from Bill Clinton, the Sardis Lake Marina has finally opened.

During a grand opening ceremony, several parties involved offered their thoughts on the future of the project and memories of the days leading up to the celebration.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we started this process in 1989 and said it would take at least 20 years to come to fruition," Sardis Mayor Richard Darby said. "We are now in year 14."

Darby told about 150 spectators that those involved had to overcome a lot to see the Marina opened.

"It has been a long and difficult road leading to this day," he said. "There have been a lot of ups and downs but we have had a lot of help on every level."
    


City Water Rates to Rise
    

Batesville water customers will see an increase in their water and sewage charges once the Mississippi Public Service Commission approves a recent rate hike.

Monthly net charges will increase from:

First 2,000 gallons/minimum – from $5.22 to $5.43
    
Over 2,000 gallons – from $3.35 to $3.48 per 1,000 gallons

The above rates also apply to customers on city water but who live outside the city limits.

Rates to the Hotophia Water Association will go from:
 

First 100,000 gallons – from $166.15 to $172.80
    
Next 400,000 gallons – from $624 to $648
    
Over 500,000 gallons – $1.38 per 1,000 gallons.
    


City Again Nixes Extra Funds for Contractor
    
City officials are holding pat on a decision made earlier this summer not to award the Civic Center contractor an additional $55,933.

"Our integrity as a company makes us feel it is justified," PSC Corporation’s project manager Corey Thames told the Mayor and Board of Aldermen last week.

"Excessive rain" has caused progress on the job to "suffer," Thames said, " and has "increased overhead dramatically."

He said the figure actually exceeds that asked for by "200 percent" but said the company wants to be "fair" with the city.

The Ridgeland, Miss., firm was awarded a $7.9 million contract to build the facility.

In June, architect Girault Jones of Jones-Zander, Ltd., in Grenada, told the city construction contracts are set up to allow for extensions when rainfall is over and above the norm.
    


Proposed Budget Calls for Raises, No Tax Hike
    
BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

With about $800,000 in cuts, a five-percent across-the-board pay hike for city workers and no tax increase, Batesville’s proposed 2003-04 budget is balanced.

A required public hearing is set for Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. at City Hall and beginning Thursday anyone who wants to see the proposal can review it at City Hall, said City Clerk Judy Flint Savage.

With all categories combined, the following budget projections have been made:

– Operating cash on hand – $9,597,496
– Receipts – $15,957,200
– Expenses – $27,931,310
– Transfers in – $3,229,700
– Transfers out – $3,229,700
– Projected cash 9/30/04 – negative $2,376,614
– Debt issue – $3,600,000
– Ending cash Sept. 30, 2004 – $1,223,386.

By law, the budget must be approved before Oct. 1 when it goes into effect.

After the final work session Friday, City financial adviser CPA Bill Crawford called the budget "pretty close but legal."

State law requires all budget categories start with a positive cash flow and no deficit spending is allowed.
    


 
   

Boy, 6, Walks Away from School Unseen
Mom: Son "Developmentally Disabled"    

BY KATE B DICKSON
EDITOR

A Batesville mom remains worried this week after her 6-year-old "developmentally delayed" son walked away unnoticed from Batesville Elementary School only to show up at home later.

Meanwhile, Dr. C.L. Stevenson, superintendent of South Panola School District, said measures have been taken to keep the boy from "slipping away" again. He said a "chime" has been put on the classroom door so no one can enter or leave without notice.

Stevenson said the incident has prompted school officials to be more vigilant to the possibility of such situations.

Stevenson doesn’t know "…how many minutes" the boy was missing before police were notified but said, "it wasn’t a lot of time."
    


BFD Dive Team Seeking
Communication Equipment
    
BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Federal and state grant money could provide communication equipment for divers of the Batesville Fire Department if the Panola County Board of Supervisors decide to proceed with a 50-50 matching grant application.

Panola County Civil Defense Coordinator Son Hudson informed the supervisors of the potential funding, but no action was taken.
    


Sheriff’s Report
    
All information is taken from the open records of the Panola County Sheriff’s Department records. An arrest does not mean a conviction. All individuals are innocent until proven guilty. Names will not be left out of the records upon request. If a name appears in the arrest logs, it will appear in The Panolian.

Aug. 21
James Lewis, 5315 Macedonia Rd., Batesville, was arrested and held for a mental evaluation. The case will be heard in Chancery Court.

Terry Echols, 307 Church St., Como, was arrested and charged with breaking and entering and malicious mischief. The case will be heard in Como Municipal Court.

Wendy Wortham, Perkins Lane Batesville, was arrested and charged with stalking. The case will be heard in Batesville Municipal Court.

Terry Lane, 755 Cemetery Rd., Como, was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. The case will be heard in Como Municipal Court.

L.V. Daniels, 309 Warren St., Como, was arrested and charged with disturbance of a family. The case will be heard in Como Municipal Court.

Aug. 22
Michael Dean, 205 Melrose St., Sardis, was arrested and charged with public drunk. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Tracy Bonner, 415 Warren St., Como, was arrested and charged with breaking and entering and malicious mischief. The case will be heard in Como Municipal Court.

Keith Moore, no address given, was arrested and charged with weapon in possession of a convicted felon. The case will be heard in Circuit Court.

Mervyn Hamilton, 521 Siose St., West Helena, Ark., was arrested and charged with weapon in possession of a convicted felon. The case will be heard in Circuit Court.

Christopher Bolton, 4299 Hwy. 51, Pope, was arrested and charged with DUI, careless driving, disorderly conduct and failure to comply. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Freddie Robertson Jr., Abe Hill Rd., Como, was arrested and charged with contempt of court. The case will be heard in Como Municipal Court.

William Trusty Jr., 230 Dogwood Ln., Batesville, was arrested and charged with DUI and speeding. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Aug. 23
Herman Callicott, 204 N. Main St., Como, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, open container and loitering. The case will be heard in Como Municipal Court.

John Alexander, 2173 Liberty Hill Rd., Batesville, was arrested and charged with sale of a controlled substance. The case will be heard in Circuit Court.

Aug. 24
Stacy Campbell, 349 McKinnley Rd., Sardis, was arrested and charged with no driver’s license, no insurance and contempt. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Bruce Tunson, 586 Rock Hill Rd., Sardis, was arrested and charged with driving while license suspended. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Mose Cathey, P.O. Box 458, Batesville, was arrested and charged with driving while license suspended- implied consent. The case will be heard in Justice Court.