Headlines – 6/4/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 4, 2004

Panolian Headlines: June 4, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 6/4/04  issue of The Panolian

Persimmon Hill Cuts Ribbon
     on New Church

Persimmon Hill M.B. Church cut the ribbon on its new church building Sunday, May 30. Cutting the ribbon were pastor William Frison (third from l) and deacon Howard Suggs Sr. Witnessing the event were trustees (l to r) James Tellis, Jessie Lee Herron, Frison, Suggs and Mack Simpson.
Persimmon Hill M.B. Church members and friends stand in front of the new church right before the ribbon cutting Sunday. Two of the oldest members of the church were present: Scott Denson (front, sitting) and Millie Johnson (front row behind children, fifth from left ).
It took four months, but the members of the Persimmon Hill M.B. Church witnessed the ribbon cutting and dedication of the new church to the Lord Sunday, May 30.

Among witnesses were the oldest member of the church, Millie Johnson and the oldest male member of the church deacon Scott Denson.

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Pastor William Frison performed the honors while trustees, members and friends looked on.
The new church has a larger sanctuary than the former church. Along with a lounge, a pastor study and male and female bathroom entrances were added.

Frison said it felt "beautiful" to preach the first sermon in the new building.

The building was completed in April but no service was performed in the building until last Sunday.

Shiloh?s Youth-In-Action Sponsors Health and Safety Rally
Shiloh Youth, Zandreyia Williams, gets her blood pressure check by a Batesville Job Center employee.
Recently, Shiloh M.B. Church’s Youth-In-Action sponsored a health and safety rally.

Members of the community health and safety facility conducted workshops for the youth and adults alike for safety wherever they are.

The Batesville Fire Department set up its house to teach everyone how to exit a house full of smoke and then how to put out the fire on themselves with the stop, drop and roll exercise.

Other community leaders taught about DARE, sexually transmitted diseases, family crisis, self-defense with martial arts and diet and exercise.

Aaron E. Henry Community Center and Baptist Memorial Hospital services were on hand to conduct checks for blood pressure, weight, blood sugar and cholesterol.

Tri-Lakes Sale Takes Next Step
By Jason C.Mattox
News Editor

The sale of Tri-Lakes Medical Center took a step forward this week when a new round of bids were opened.

A total of five bids were taken during the June 1 meeting of the Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

The five bids were composed differently with some bidders’ purchase price including a substantial amount for scholarships and taxes.

Assistant City Attorney Colmon Mitchell opened the bids before the board and others in attendance and mentioned key points of each proposal.

"We are dealing with raw data right now," he said. "The data has to be studied very closely, so I will highlight the keys to the proposals without reading all of them."

Bids and highlights were taken from:

Attentus Healthcare- Attentus is based out of Franklin, Tenn. and submitted a bid with a proposed purchase price of $11,350,000.

"Attentus has said they would form a community advisory board for reviewing the operating budget and to help shape the direction of the hospital," Mitchell said.

One of the biggest key points in Attentus’ proposal was its plans for programs currently located on the West Campus.

"Attentus would transfer all of the programs located on the West Campus to Tri-Lakes Medical Center," Mitchell said reading from the proposal.

Baptist Memorial Healthcare- Baptist submitted a proposed purchase price of $25,436,137. Baptist has over 20 years of experience operating hospitals and would plan to grow the Tri-Lakes facility.

As for a community advisory board, Baptist proposal said the hospital would select a core of people from healthcare and the community they feel would benefit the hospital and the people it serves.

Physicians and Surgeons Hospital Group, LLC. (P & S)- P & S is a group comprised of present Tri-Lakes administrator Dr. Bob Corkern and other physicians with interest in operating the hospital.

"The current administration has increased profits at Tri-Lakes Medical Center by 200 percent," Mitchell read.

P & S would have a community advisory board composed of representation from both Panola County and the City of Batesville.

The total proposed purchase price submitted was $35,034,000 which includes funds for scholarships and taxes and would mean a total of $21,284,000 would be paid when the sale is complete.

Life Point Hospital, Inc.- Life Point operates a total of 29 hospitals in rural communities.

The total proposed purchase price is $22.7 million. No mention of a community advisory board was made.

Resurgence Medical Group- Resurgence has over 110 years of total experience running rural hospitals, and presently operates 14 in the southeast United States.

A board of trustees would operate rather than a community advisory board and would be made up of community leaders and hospital administrators.

The total proposed purchase price $24,536,187.

All bids were taken under advisement. Bids will next be discussed during the meeting of the Panola County Board of Supervisors on Monday at the courthouse in Sardis.


Suspect Charged in Nelson Murder
Lambert Man in Custody at Panola County Jail
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

A suspect is in custody for the death of a University of Mississippi student.

According to a press release issued by the Panola County Sheriff’s Department, Demeterius Smith of Lambert has been arrested and charged with the murder of Carnesha R. Nelson who would have been 20 Saturday when the body was discovered.

Nelson was from Moss Point.

Whitten said he knew little as to what relationship Smith and Nelson had.

"All we know is that at some time she lived in Crosby Hall on campus where Smith was a desk monitor," he said.

Smith remains in custody at the Panola County Jail. His bond has been set at $250,000.

Nelson’s body was discovered by fishermen who were preparing for the weekend’s St. Jude Bass classic in the Engineer’s Point area.

"I believe the two men were doing a fish around before the start of the tournament, and that’s when they discovered the body, Game Warden Marion Pearson said.

Whitten said it is believed the body had been in the water for a period of two or three days before it was discovered.

"The body was taken to Tri-Lakes Medical Center and identified shortly thereafter," Whitten said.

"The autopsy, performed by Dr. Steve Hale, ruled the death as a homicide," he said.

Whitten said Nelson had contusions to the neck that, along with the drowning, led to the death.

Published reports indicate the last time Nelson was seen alive was at her home in The Cove Apartments near the Ole Miss campus.

Nelson’s car was found abandoned at another apartment complex nearby, Whitten said.

According to Cove resident Nate Downs, he was told by a neighbor that he was awakened early in the morning by the screams of a female.

"He said they were absolutely blood-curdling," Downs said.

"One of my neighbors came outside and told me a girl was pounding on his front door screaming and told him she had been raped and her car had been stolen," Downs said. "I didn’t see anything. All I could hear was her screaming."

Downs said when officers arrived at The Cove, the screaming girl could not be found.

According to Downs, once the body was discovered, police returned to the apartments, where they stayed for several hours, questioning neighbors about what happened.

The sheriff’s department is working with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, University Police Department and Oxford Police Department in the investigation.

Daniel to Represent Area
     in Miss Mississippi Pageant

This year’s Miss Mississippi Pageant Week starts June 20th. Competition begins June 23rd and ends June 26th. The contestants, all 40 of them, are scheduled to arrive at The Vicksburg Convention Center on June 20th at 7:30 a.m. This starts a whirl of events throughout the week culminating in Saturday night’s crowning of the new Miss Mississippi who will go on to Atlantic City to vie for the title of Miss America.

Hosts for this year’s pageant are Michael Young and former Miss Mississippi Christy May. Reigning Miss Mississippi Allison Kellogg will be on stage nightly along with several entertainers.

Pamela F. Daniel is Miss Batesville/Miss Northridge. She attends Jackson State University majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology. Her scholastic honors are Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities and she is a Dean’s List Scholar. Her scholastic ambition is to obtain her doctorate in child psychology. Her career ambition is to conduct research in child psychology.

Daniel will present opera as her talent. She has special training in ballet, tap, jazz and baton twirling. She loves to sing, dance, read and conduct research in marine biology.

The Miss Mississippi Corporation encourages the young women who participate in the program to become involved in the community, to develop Platform and to speak out on issues of concern to them, to their communities and to the nation. If Daniel is selected as Miss Mississippi, she wants to focus on the importance of literacy during her Year of Service.

She is the daughter of Willie E. Daniel and Charlene Daniel. She is the sister of Annette Bounds, Sharon Daniel and Gregory Daniel.

Sardis Man Puzzled by Charges for Landfill Use
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

A Sardis businessman took the Mayor and Board of Aldermen to task over a bill for use of the city landfill.

Nolan West, President of W & W Contractors, told city leaders he was sent a bill in the amount of $1,200 for dumping in the landfill.

"Nobody told me we would ever be charged for using the landfill," he said.

West said the loads dumped were from the old Liberty Supermarket property that the city wanted cleaned up.

"What we cleaned up was something the board wanted done and now I get a bill for it," West said.

Mayor Richard Darby said former Public Works Director Billy Smith was never supposed to let the debris be put in the landfill in the first place.
"Mr. Smith and I had a long talk about this problem and you were never supposed to be let into the landfill," Darby said. "We do not let the public use the landfill."

Darby said the reason for the change in policy stems from problems the city had when it let another contractor dump there.

"We got hit with a pretty stiff fine by DEQ," he said.

Darby then asked West why the property was cleaned up.

"I was hired by the property owner Scot Spragins to clean up the area behind the building," he said.