Headlines – 1/9/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

Panolian Headlines: January 9, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 1/9/04  issue of The Panolian

Sheriff Swearing In
Sheriff David Bryan (left) received the oath of office from Judge Mitch Lundy.

Sheriff Appoints Sheley
     as County’s Chief Deputy
Former Investigator Craig Sheley took over the chief deputy reins Jan. 1.
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

After more than 10 years with the Panola County Sheriff’s Department, Craig Sheley has been promoted to Chief Deputy. Sheley was selected to replace James Rudd who has retired.

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Sheley said he was informed of the promotion at some point in December 2003.

"The sheriff told me that, effective Jan. 1, 2004, I would be the Chief Deputy," he said.

Sheley said he never considered turning down the job to remain in his investigator role with the department.
"I will do whatever David Bryan asks me to do, whenever he asks me to do it," he said.

Sheley said upon being informed of the promotion a lot of things went through his head, primarily a sense of honor.

"I am honored that Sheriff [David] Bryan and Chief Deputy Rudd felt like I was capable of handling the responsibility that comes with the promotion," Sheley said.


County Could Consider Ordinance
     on Adult Entertainment
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

At the request of the Panola County Land Use Board, an ordinance restricting adult entertainment could come soon.

Panola County Board of Supervisors attorney William McKenzie said he had received correspondence from the Land Use Board asking the supervisors to consider an ordinance to restrict adult entertainment.

McKenzie said Bob Barber of Hernando was serving as an outside consultant on the matter and would draft the ordinance at the request of the board.

"I think most of you are aware of the person who attempted to put in an adult video store a month ago," he said. "They want the supervisors to come up with something that will be set in stone."

Sheriff David Bryan said he believed there was a need for some kind of ordinance to govern the issue.

"There is no question we need to have something done about it," Bryan said.

"Adult entertainment is the kind of thing that could get out of hand real fast," he said. "I think it is important to nip it in the bud.

Springs Set to Expand
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

The long-vacant Air Kontrol building on Highway 51 in Sardis could have a new tenant by week’s end, Mayor Richard Darby told Aldermen during a meeting Tuesday night.

"This is basically a Christmas present for the city," Darby said.

According to Darby, Springs, an industry with facilities in the Sardis Industrial Park and the old Lawn Boy building, has agreed to a three-month lease for warehouse space and could create as many as 40 new jobs. There is an option that will allow them to occupy the building longer, he said.

"The rent for the building will be $6,300 per month," he said. "What I have been told is they will use the building for warehousing."

The building, which was constructed using a city secured CAP loan of $750,000 from the state, has been vacant since Air Kontrol filed for bankruptcy in 2002.

Since the city secured the funds to construct the facility, they have been required to fulfill the bond payments on a monthly basis until a new tenant leased the space.

"Think about it like this," Darby said. "The city has that payment budgeted.

"By having a new tenant take over the building, we will have some additional funding put back into the budget," Darby said.


Education Center Stage
     as Musgrove Readies to Exit Post
Outgoing Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s first-grade teacher, Kathryn Nelson, got VIP treatment from Mississippi Highway Patrolman Scott Swanson who drove her from Batesville to Jackson where Musgrove gave his final address to the Legislature.
By Myra Bean
Sports editor

It was a day full of emotion as Gov. Ronnie Musgrove said his farewell speech Wednesday afternoon.

Kathryn Nelson, Musgrove’s first grade teacher, was picked up at her home by Mississippi Highway Patrolman Scott Swanson and driven to the governor’s mansion where he spoke passionately about the future of education in Mississippi.

Nelson, along with the other educators in attendance, were honored by Musgrove with roses. But Nelson had an even bigger surprise. She received a bouquet of roses.

"He called me by name and then came and kneeled down by my side and spoke to me. I was so overcome by emotion, I don’t know what he said," Nelson said.

"Then he took me by the hand and led me distance to the reception hall. People were lined up on both sides," she said. "It is an honor to know him. What a big thrill he was."

About Nelson, Musgrove said, "She would not let poverty be an excuse to fail. She would not accept anything less than my best, no matter what the circumstances of my upbringing happened to be," said Musgrove who grew up poor in Panola County.

Swanson picked Nelson up at her home around 8:30 Wednesday morning.

"I must have had the nicest person in the highway department to drive me. He was so sweet and polite," Nelson said.

Nelson said Musgrove was so upbeat during his final speech as governor.

"He started off speaking about education and he ended speaking about education," Nelson said.

Official: Tri-Lakes Decision Coming Soon
bY Kate B. Dickson

By the end of this month, the city and county should "come to some sort of decision about what direction" to take regarding the future of Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

That was the word Tuesday from City Attorney Colmon Mitchell who was asked by Mayor Bobby Baker to give his assessment of the status of the Tri-Lakes issue.

"I think everyone feels we should bring this process to a conclusion … to a decision," Mitchell said at the end of this week’s City Board meeting.

"There is still some negotiating going on," Mitchell said.

Burns Development Group of Ridgeland, Miss., was hired to handle requests for proposals and negotiations that could lead to a sale or lease of Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

J.C. Burns, a former Batesville banker, heads the group.

To date since March, the city has paid Burns or approved for payment $56,954, according to City Clerk Judy Savage.

Panola County has paid Burns or been billed for a total of $92,779.91, said a spokesman in the county administrator’s office.

After voting to pay the most recent installment due Burns, Aldermen James Yelton asked, "When are we going to be through paying J.C. [Burns]? When is this contract going to be over. We just keep paying bills on something that may never happen. It’s time to bring this to a close."

Man Guilty in Drug Trial
By Jason C. Mattox
Senior Staff Writer

A jury took less than one hour to return a guilty verdict in the trial of a drug dealer.

A date for sentencing has not been set.

Tonye Goliday, 23, was found guilty of the sale of cocaine and conspiracy to sell cocaine following a two-day trial at the Panola County Courthouse.

Witnesses said Goliday and partner Albert Kyles, who already plead guilty for his involvement, sold powdered cocaine to informants of the Panola-Tate Narcotics Task Force on Jan. 13, 2003.

Kyles, who testified against Goliday , told assistant district attorney Robert Kelly that two black males came up to Meadow View Apartments looking for "blow" [cocaine] and he went to a nearby apartment and returned with Goliday and two grams of powdered cocaine.