Headlines – 11/25/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Panolian Headlines: November 25, 2003

For complete stories, pick up the 11/25/03  issue of The Panolian

Man Guilty of Murder, Kidnapping
By Kate B. Dickson

Capital murderer and kidnapper Bobby Waldron is off to prison for the rest of his life with no chance of parole with 30 more years tacked on just for good measure.

Waldron admitted his guilt in Panola County Circuit Court in Batesville Thursday to the June 4 slaying of Tina Marie Dover, 15, of Ecru, who was killed in Batesville’s Hampton Inn.

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Sentence was passed by Circuit Court Judge Ann Lamar.

Court records show Waldron, 41, of Pontotoc, received the life-without-parole sentence for the capital murder charge and a 30-year term, to be served consecutively, for kidnapping the teenager.

District Attorney John Champion and Assistant District Attorney Robert Kelly prosecuted the case. Panola County Public Defender David Clay Vanderburg represented Waldron.

Dover was a 10th grader at Pontotoc High School.


Bar Fight, Stabbing
     Under Investigation
A bar fight left one participant with multiple stab wounds Saturday night, witnesses said.

According to patrons of Goodtimes Pizza in Sardis, a fight broke out and one man, identified as Batesville business owner Jerry Peters was injured in the incident.

Peters did not immediately seek medical attention, but was treated early Saturday for puncture wounds to his upper body, co-worker James Drake said. He is recovering at home.

Daniel Dunaway, another co-worker of Peters’ said the assailant and the victim had no history.
"All I know is a fight broke out that night, none of us there are really sure why," he said.

Investigator Craig Sheley of the Panola County Sheriff’s Department said the matter is under investigation, but no arrests have been made.

"We are looking into the matter," he said. "We will work quickly to resolve the matter as soon as possible."

Deer Harvest …
Hunters, Merchants Glad to See the Season
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

The start of deer season is like Christmas to hunters and some merchants in the area.

As hunters get ready to head to the woods, they must first make sure they have all of the proper equipment including a gun, ammo and camouflage clothing along with 2,800 square inches of blaze orange for safety reasons.

According to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Services, about 350,000 people deer hunt in the state. That equals a $360 million industry.

On average, that means each hunter spends over $1,000 for the thrill of a deer hunt.

"The kick off of not just gun season, but hunting season in general provides a big boost to our sales," Hunter’s Hollow owner Donnie Guest said.



Trustees Give Dr. Corkern Contract
By Kate B. Dickson

Despite the wishes of the City Board, as expressed in a September letter, Dr. Bob Corkern has a two-year, $100,000-a-year management contract in hand.

It’s a contract, Corkern confirmed, that "will have to be bought out" if Tri-Lakes Medical Center is bought or leased by someone else.

Corkern’s company, Emergent Health, submitted a proposal to manage and later buy Tri-Lakes but his plan has been eliminated by city and county officials.

Tri-Lakes Medical Center is owned 60 percent by Panola County and 40 percent by the City of Batesville. The facility is financed with a $22 million bond issue.

Under consideration are offers from Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation of Memphis – which wants to buy the hospital – and from Triad Hospitals, Inc., of Plano, Texas – which has a lease proposal on the table.

In September, the Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen sent a letter to the hospital board asking trustees not to enter into a management contract that would have to be bought out due to the possible pending sale or lease.

Larson: Maybe It’s Time for New City Leadership
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

Like his fellow city-appointed hospital board trustee, Mark Larson thinks city and county residents will be better off if Tri-Lakes Medical Center remains under "local control."

And to that end, Larson believes Tri-Lakes should be managed by Dr. Bob Corkern who has been interim administrator since July. (See related story).

Both Larson and Ken Bloodworth are long-time hospital board members – Larson for over 10 years and Bloodworth about 20.

Contacted for his comments about last week’s City Board’s request that he and Bloodworth step down, Larson, like Bloodworth, says he won’t do so voluntarily.

Bloodworth’s position was outlined in Friday’s issue of The Panolian.

"As a board member of Tri-Lakes Medical Center for over 10 years, I’ve tried to make the decisions that were in the best interest of the citizens of Panola County and the City of Batesville," Larson said. "I’ve always had the best interest of these people as the basis for my vote."

Larson said he voted in favor of Dr. Corkern continuing to manage Tri-Lakes and for the management contract.

Forensic Test Results Awaited
Investigators are awaiting forensic test results in the case of a murdered Sardis woman.

Investigator Mark Whitten remained mum Monday about the facts of the case saying only that he’s awaiting test results before releasing further details.

As of now, Lois Hudspeth has been charged with the murder of Jennifer Russell Young who’s body was found in a wildlife refuge in Askew.

Russell had been missing from her home at 5689 Old Panola Rd. in Sardis since Tuesday, Nov. 4, when her body was found, Whitten said.