Headlines – 5/11/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Panolian Headlines: May 11, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 5/11/04  issue of The Panolian

Girls of Summer
Anna Colby Weeks (left) and Newman Whitt enjoyed some fun in the sun at Batesville Intermediate School upon completion of their Mississippi Curriculum Test. Weeks and Whitt are members of Christy Wilson’s third grade class.

Crenshaw Facility
   Could Open Soon

By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

The long empty Dana Building in Crenshaw could soon have a new tenant if a lease can be worked out between the county and prospective owners.

Steve Plumley told the Panola County Board of Supervisors that Gonzalez Technologies and United Forward were forging a partnership that could see the manufacturing plant re-opened.

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Plumley said the company would manufacture rubber hoses much like Dana Corporation did before closing its doors.

"We understand the lease between the county and Dana was terminated earlier than the original June 4 date that was expected," he said. "Well, we want to expedite the lease."

Plumley said the reason the company wanted to rush lease negotiations was because equipment needed to be moved into the facility as soon as possible.

"We have equipment sitting in Florida and Connecticut right now," he said. "It is very important that we get it all in to one location.

"Both this company and the county have been waiting on termination papers and now we have them, so we should move forward quickly," Plumley said.


Como Library Asks County
     for Assistance
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

The Como Public Library needs help paying for minor renovations to its conference room.

Mike Summers told the Panola County Board of Supervisors that he told the library he would do the work for free, but he needed help paying for the materials.

"The people at the library came to me and said they had some work that needed to be done, and I told them I would do it free of charge," Summers said.

Summers told the board he helped rip up carpet and strip the walls of the conference room.

"The county uses the conference room as a polling place during every election," he said.

"That’s why we thought maybe the county would be willing to assist us with the costs of the new tile that was put down in the room."

Car Give-A-Way
The City of Batesville’s Police Department transferred surplus vehicles to Yalobusha County this past Friday. Mayor Bobby Baker (l) handed over the keys and title of the vehicle over to Yalobusha County’s Sheriff Steve Shuffield. Also pictured is Yalobusha County Chief Deputy Lance Humphreys and Chief Roger Vanlandingham (far right).


North Delta Star Student
North Delta’s Jordan Mills (r) was selected as the STAR Student for the 2003-04 year for not only having the highest score on the ACT, but beating out three others with the highest GPA for the honor. She selected John Howell Jr. as her STAR teacher.

Bynum FD Defends Use of Tax ID
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

Allegations made about illegal use of the county’s Tax ID number fired up members of the Bynum Volunteer Fire Department.

Department member Pat Whitehorn told the Panola County Board of Supervisors that she was selected to respond to the accusations because she has served as the department’s accountant since 1988.

"I realize it was said that we at Bynum gained access to the Tax ID number illegally, but we did not," she said. "The number came to us from an employee in County Administrator David Chandler’s office.

"Despite what he said, Mr. Chandler had knowledge of our use of the number to get a $40,000 grant," Whitehorn said.

Whitehorn said the grant was not sent to the county to be disbursed back to the department because Panola County was not listed on the grant.

"There is no mention of Panola County anywhere on this grant," she said.

Whitehorn said the allegations that the money might not have been used for the right reasons were also unfounded.

"I have invoices for everything we purchased using the grant money," she said. "I even prepared the county a copy of it.

"Our assistant chief brought every piece of equipment with him except for the new hose," Whitehorn added. "So if you want to take a look at any of it, you can see for yourself."

Supervisor president Jerry Perkins said the board never meant to imply the money may have been mis-spent.

"We knew the money had been spent right, we just needed something we could show to the audit department," he said. "Now we have copies of the invoices and we can do just that."
Chandler said the main reason the audit came about was due to the use of the Tax ID number.

"The county has to be able to show where the money went and what it was used for when the audit department gets here," he said. "But I can take the records you have given us and make things work.

"We have everything we need to solve the problems now," Chandler said.

"I just want to say that allegations have been made against Bynum for the last year and a half," Whitehorn said. "I am tired of the innuendos and mud-slinging against the fire department.

"We have one of the best fire departments in the county," she said.

Supervisor Robert Avant said the county appreciated the work of the volunteer fire departments and hopes this will clear everything up.

"I think we can correct the problem we had and everything will be able to move forward," he said.