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Headlines – 9/16/2003

Panolian Headlines: September 16, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 9/16/03  issue of The Panolian

Canine Hero!
Barking Dog Alerts Family to Nearby Business Blaze
    
Sparky, with owner Elaine Darby, was the center of attention Friday as he was awarded a special certificate and a bag full of dog treats for his action that most likely saved Panola Pallet Co. from being completely destroyed by fire. Joining in the celebration were Firepup and his assistant Sean Copeland, Panola Pallet co-owner Pat Cole and her grandson Cole Locke.
    

BY KATE B DICKSON
EDITOR

"I’m going to buy that dog a steak dinner."

That’s what Pat Cole said after a dog was credited with sounding the alarm that kept the business owned by Cole and her husband, Rex, from being totally consumed by flames.

And the irony of the pooch’s name – Sparky – wasn’t lost on Cole either.

It was around 3 a.m. Friday that Sparky, who was sleeping in the family room, began barking and wouldn’t stop.

A sleepy Russ Darby got up to hush Sparky – who isn’t the yappy type – but Sparky just wouldn’t quit barking.

"He kept looking at the back door," Russ said. "I tried to calm him but he wouldn’t stop. He was steady looking at the back door."

The blinds were closed so Russ walked outside on the deck of their Perkins Road home to see what might be upsetting Sparky. That’s when he saw the glow of fire across the street at Panola Pallet Co.

    


Computer Foul-Up Leaves City Poorer
Uncollected Gas, Water Sales Tax Costing $65,926
    
BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

A foul-up entering computer data has resulted in Batesville being about $65,926 poorer today after forwarding the state payment of water and gas taxes that went uncollected for three years.

During a special meeting Monday, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen discussed the issue and decided to further research which commercial and industrial accounts owe money.

It’s expected the discussion on the matter will continue at today’s regular City Board meeting at 2 p.m. at City Hall.

Bill Crawford, city financial consultant, said the problem was discovered by state auditors.
    


Court Report
    
The following cases were heard during the July 30 session of Batesville Municipal Court.

Pamela Ann Brassell, contempt of court and shoplifting, first offense. Guilty pleas entered and fines assessed with 30 days suspended jail sentence pending payment of fines.

Adrian Kentrell Brown, disorderly conduct. Case remanded to files with the agreement of the affiant.

Edwin Terrel Brown, domestic violence, second offense. Case dismissed as the affiant failed to appear to prosecute the case.

Frederick Leon Collins, kidnapping and car jacking. Defendant requested, and received, time to obtain an attorney.

Worn G. Ellis, no proof of liability insurance. Not guilty plea entered; trial set for Aug. 27.

Denise Ann Frith, public drunk. Fine paid in full prior to court.

Reginald Lionel Gilmore, disorderly conduct. Case remanded to files with the agreement of the affiant.

Douglas Leon Hughes, public drunk. Defendant pled no contest; sentenced to seven days jail time served while awaiting trial.

Chris Antonio Ladd, robbery. Defendant posted bond prior to court; case transferred to circuit court.

Lacie Jo Kendall Lee, failed to obey officer. Not guilty plea entered; trial set Aug. 13.

Zandra A. Lee, public drunk. Guilty plea entered; sentenced to serve four days jail time with credit for time served awaiting trial.

Michael A. Milton, driving with suspended license and false information. Guilty pleas entered and fines assessed.

Willie G. McMillan, theft/tamper with cable. Not guilty plea entered; trial Aug. 13.

Melody Rochelle Sanford, malicious mischief. Cash bond posted prior to court and fine accepted and entered. Defendant’s mother was advised the defendant was to return to court on July 30. There was a matter of restitution to be discussed. Ordered to file civil suit for the restitution.

David Lekendric Slack, disorderly conduct. Case remanded to files with the agreement of the affiant.

Chad Michael Tidwell, public profanity and public drunk. Guilty plea entered and fine assessed.

Danea R. Worley, domestic violence. Guilty plea entered and fine to be satisfied with eight days on the city work program.

James Michael Brewer, DUI, second offense and careless driving. Due to a medical emergency within the attorney’s family the case was continued until Sept. 3.

Ray Derell Chapman, DUI, first offense. Guilty plea entered to DUI, first offense. Ordered to attend MASEP Class No. 7 in Senatobia and pay fine of $691 by Sept. 30.

Gloria Anita Cowart, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Trial held and sufficient evidence presented to prove the charge. Fine assessed.

George Michael Koger, indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. Trial held, defendant found guilty of indecent exposure. No fine. Trial held on disorderly conduct charge. Defendant found guilty of amended charge of disorderly conduct and fine assessed.

Janice Lynn Rhoades, shoplifting, first offense. Attorney Kelly requested to withdraw herself from the case due to a conflict of interest with one of the city’s witnesses. Defendant advised to return to court Aug. 13 with an attorney announcement for this case.

Michael Willingham, DUI, second offense and improper equipment. Guilty of improper equipment with no fine. DUI charge amended to DUI, second offense with a minimum fine of $781 imposed and mandatory 10-day jail sentence. Fine assessed.

    

 
   

County OKs $15.4 Million Budget
Employees Receive 3% Pay Hike
    
BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

County leaders made it a fourth consecutive year without increasing taxes, despite a budget increase of more than $200,000.

The recently-approved final budget for 2003-2004 is $15,413,968, up from last years budget of approximately $15,200,000. It goes into effect on Oct. 1.

According to County Administrator David Chandler, despite no tax increase, the millage rate for the north end of the county.

The millage rate for North Panola County increased from 101.88 last year to 108.09 for the next budget year.

The millage rate for South Panola County decreased from 99.35 to 97.83.

"The reason the millage had to increase on the north end of the county was the North Panola School requests," he said. "New programs we are implementing made that millage increase necessary."
    


Main Street Board Says Citizens Can’t Attend Its Meetings
    
BY JASON C MATTOX
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

Members of the public, including Panolian reporters, are not welcome at Main Street board meetings.

That was the outcome of a vote last week after board members learned The Panolian planned to start sending a reporter to cover its meetings.

Under Mississippi’s open meetings law, because the group is not created by statute or executive order, the board can bar the public from its meetings.

While Main Street does get tax money, $23,000 in the newly-approved city budget, that alone does not make the board subject to open meetings, Leonard VanSlyke, hotline attorney for the Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information told The Panolian.

Colleen Clark, director of the Main Street program, was asked to provide a list of how each board member voted on the motion to ban the public.

She declined to provide that Monday saying she is waiting on board attorney William H. McKenzie III to draft a news release.

One board member, Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders, told The Panolian she was in the minority when she voted against keeping the public out of board meetings.
    


Police Report
    
The Batesville Police Department reported the following incidents.

Sept. 10
A dog was reported stolen in the Claude Street area. Investigation continues.

Gregory Keith Means was arrested for driving with license suspended, no insurance and leaving the scene of an accident.

Vanity Fair reported a forged check. Investigation continues.

Shoplifting and public drunk was reported at the Shell station. Ronnie D. Robertson was arrested.

Sept. 12
Burglary and possession of burglary tools was the charge after officers responded to an alarm at Performance Marine on Hwy. 6 East. Sgt. Ruby Myers, Officer Cedrick Griffin and Officer Ryan Koehn responded to the alarm. Myers found the suspect hiding under a boat. Charged is Martinez Thomas, 43, of Clarksdale.

A Precision bicycle, valued at $500, was stolen from the Bright Street area. Investigation continues.

Tracey Lamon Barksdale was arrested on warrants charging driving with license suspended, resisting arrest, failure to yield to blue lights, running a stop sign, no seat belts and reckless driving.

Pizza Hut reported someone passed a counterfeit $20 bill.

Shoplifting was reported at Wal-Mart. The items were valued at $6.96 and Margaret Patricia Kuebler was arrested.

Sept. 14
Hansel Brown Sullivan, 56, Bruce, was arrested at Wal-Mart on charges of fondling a child. The suspect is accused of touching a juvenile in an inappropriate place. Employees and the juvenile’s family held the suspect until the police arrived.
    


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.

Sept. 10
Ronnie Robertson, 370 East Railroad St., Courtland, was arrested and charged with public drunk. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Casey Gross, 300 Greenhill Cir., Sardis, was arrested and charged with no driver’s license, resisting arrest, contempt and simple assault. The case will be heard in Sardis Municipal Court.

Robert Reed Jr., Terza Rd., Batesville, was arrested and charged with DUI and speeding. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Sept. 11
Martinez Thomas, 529 Stewart St., Clarksdale, was arrested and charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Leroy McCullar, 351 Azar St., Greenville, was held for court. The case will be heard in Circuit Court.

Sept. 12
Cedric Pound, 13 Country Village Rd., Courtland, was arrested and charged with a probation violation. The case will be heard in Circuit Court.

Eric Hunter, 4529 Dulap St., Como, was held for court. The case will be heard in Circuit Court.

Terry Jackson, 565 E. Williams St., Sardis, was arrested and charged with contempt. The case will be heard in Sardis Municipal Court.

Tracy Barksdale, 912 Second St., Marks, was arrested and charged with no seatbelt, running a stop sign, resisting arrest, driving while license suspended and failure to yield to blue lights. The case will be heard in Batesville Municipal Court.

A.D. Pryner, 912 Second St., Marks, was arrested and charged with driving while license suspended and speeding. The case will be heard in Justice Court.

Kenneth Clark, Rt. 2 Box 192, Enid, was arrested and charged with no driver’s license, no tag and public drunk. The case will be heard in Courtland Municipal Court.

Sept. 13
Deborah Ross, 305 Spruce St., Clarksdale, was arrested and charged with possession of paraphernalia, running a stop sign and no insurance. The case will be heard in Courtland Municipal Court.

Stephen Pickett, no address given, was arrested and charged with possession of paraphernalia. The case will be heard in Courtland Municipal Court.

Michael Cox, 1324 Mud Line Rd., Enid, was arrested and charged with possession of paraphernalia. The case will be heard in Courtland Municipal Court.

Margaret Kuebler, 104 Oak Ln., Batesville, was arrested and charged with shoplifting. The case will be heard in Batesville Municipal Court.

Billy Thomas, 328 Ford Ave., Jackson, was arrested and charged with DUI, driving while license suspended and speeding. The case will be heard in Justice Court.