Headlines – 9/26/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 26, 2003

Panolian Headlines: September 26, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 9/26/03  issue of The Panolian

Food Pantry Reopens; Aid Sought
Empty Shelves  Cause 3-week Shut Down
Once again having food on the shelves of the Panola County Food Pantry has volunteer Marie Leland smiling. But she knows the shelves could be empty again soon without more donations of food and money.

The doors at Panola County Food Pantry are back open this week after a three-week shut down when there was no food.

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Thanks to subscribers of The Panolian, and to the generosity of others, enough money came in to purchase needed food for the poor, said Marie Leland, the bank’s most active volunteer.

During a recent newspaper subscription drive, a portion of the money paid by each subscriber was forwarded to the food pantry.

But it’s going to take more dollars to keep the service going, Leland said.

Also, free food the bank used to receive from the Mississippi Food Network in Jackson is no longer coming.

"They cut us off" when no one from Panola County attended its February meeting, Leland said.

"That was when my son was murdered," Leland said of the timing. "I didn’t get the notice until the day after the meeting, anyway."

AMBER Alert Implemented Here

Thanks to a grant from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Panola County has been able to implement the AMBER Alert System.

According to Panola County Sheriff David Bryan, the AMBER Alert System was created in 1996 as a powerful legacy to 9-year old Amber Hagerman.

Hagerman was kidnapped and murdered in Arlington, Texas. As a result of the murder, the Dallas/Fort Worth Association of Radio Managers teamed up with local law enforcement in Northern Texas and developed this innovative early warning system to help find abducted children.

The AMBER Alert System is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies and broadcasters to send an emergency alert to the public when a child is abducted.

Under the guidelines of the system, area radio stations interrupt their programming to broadcast information about the case using the the Emergency Alert System (formerly the Emergency Broadcast System).



Let’s go …
Uno waits behind the wheel of a Kawasaki Mule for a driver to haul her around – one of her favorite things – while her sidekick, Georgia, does one of the things she does best – sit on a hood and leave paw prints behind. Uno and Georgia’s humans are Crow and Temple Crowell of Courtland.

Slayings’ Motive of Young Cousins Baffles Detectives

Why someone shot and killed cousins La Shonia Yvette Austin and Sherlena "Penny" Rena Burgess remains a mystery.

"We don’t have a motive," Memphis Homicide Squad Lt. Joe Scott told The Panolian. "We keep investigating."

No suspects have been developed.

The two cousins, both 1998 graduates of South Panola High School, were last seen during the weekend of Sept. 13-14.

It was on Sept. 14 that a passerby found the body of Burgess, 23, in a ditch at Temple Israel Cemetery. Austin’s body was found Sept. 19 in an abandoned house about four blocks from where Burgess’s body was found.

Both had been shot.

Scott said 20 detectives work in the homicide squad.

"At different times someone is always working on these cases and sometimes everyone is working on this," Scott said.

Austin’s grandmother, Bobbie Austin, said the family knows very little about the slayings.

UM Suspends Mascot Search
Col. Rebel Still Off Playing Field
There may be life left in Colonel Rebel yet. Or not.

That’s because the University of Mississippi is indefinitely postponing its search for a mascot after UM Chancellor Robert Khayat admitted mishandling the selection for a replacement.

"In hindsight, the timing and manner of the announcement added to the frustration," Khayat wrote this week to about 25,000 alumni in a regularly scheduled fall e-mail.

"Although we tried to make it clear that the only change was to update the mascot, some people were fearful of a larger plan," he said. "These fears were and continue to be unfounded."

Khayat’s comments came in the wake of an announcement from the Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics that it was not comfortable with the three finalists selected in a nationwide contest.

School officials are reportedly meeting this week to decide what the next step will be.