Headlines – 6/29/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Panolian Headlines: June 29, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 6/29/04  issue of The Panolian

Passing the Gavel
Sandra Darby was named president of the Batesville Rotary Club during the club’s Annual Installation of Officers Banquet last Tuesday. She is only the second woman to serve as the club’s president, the first being Barbara Broome in 1998.

Sandra is the business manager at LSP Energy in Batesville. Handing over the gavel is Jim Vinson, who served as president last year.

Stabbing to Go Before Grand Jury
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

A Batesville man is dead as the result of a domestic dispute, according to Investigator Mark Whitten of the Panola County Sheriff’s Department.

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"We were called to Ridge Road in Courtland across from Victory Baptist Church and we found the body of Kenny Conner," Whitten said.
Conner, 28, of Batesville died as result of multiple stab wounds.

"It appears to us that Conner’s death was a result of domestic dispute he had been having with his wife," Whitten said.

Whitten said a kitchen knife was used in the attack on Conner.

"While the matter remains under investigation, we do know a kitchen knife was used," he said. "That is all I can say about the weapon."

Whitten said any evidence from the case will be turned over to the Panola County Grand Jury at their next session.

"We have a new grand jury starting with the new term and we have to be careful what we release," he said.

If anyone has any information about this incident, they are encouraged to contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Department at 563-6230.

Resident Questions
     City’s Finances

By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

A memo from Mayor Bobby Baker to department superintendents has some citizens concerned about the city’s financial status.

"If they issue a memo to the department heads asking them not to spend any money unless it is an absolute necessity, it tells me there has to be a problem somewhere," one Panola County resident said.

"Where is the money going," the resident asked. "Did this all happen because of overspending at the Civic Center, or paying J.C. Burns or on the Lowe’s Road?

"It just seems like it would be impossible for the city to be broke if they had the money back they had wasted on those projects," the resident continued.

Baker told The Panolian by phone from the Mississippi Municipal League meeting that the memo was nothing to get up in arms about.

"Simply put, we are making an attempt to contain the city’s spending as we enter the last part of our budget year," he said.

"Trust me the city is not having a problem paying the bills or anything of that nature," Baker added.

Baker said this is not the first time the city has asked its superintendents to control their expenditures.

"This is nothing out of the ordinary," he said. "This is something we do just about every year when we head into the last part of a budget year."

Baker said the request has no ties to Lowe’s, Tri-Lakes Medical Center, or the Civic Center.

"Some people like this request to be tied to the Civic Center or other projects the city has been working on, but they are each unrelated to this issue," he said.

"Again, the city wanted to do nothing more than manage the remainder of our budget that was set up at the first part of the year," he said. "This is just a management thing.

"The city is in no financial distress," he said.


Job Corps has 31 in ’04 class
The Batesville Job Corps Center held a graduation ceremony last week. Graduates have successfully completed all necessary requirements for graduation and received proper job training.
By Fredrick Cosby Jr.
Contributing Writer

Hip, Hip, Hooray! That was the sound heard at Batesville Job Corps Center (BJCC) Friday June 25.

BJCC graduated thirty-one students who successfully completed classes for their high school diploma or GED and vocational training in carpentry, health occupations, painting, welding, food service business, office technology, retail sales, or brick masonry.

Alexander P. Alston, Center Director, encouraged the graduating class to "be proud of yourselves" and make your own way." Alston stated that these students don’t have to be discouraged just because they are disadvantaged. He challenged each student to go out into the world and make something of themselves.

Job Corps is the nation’s largest residential and educational training program for economically or financially disadvantaged youth ages 16-24. There are 118 Job Corps centers nationwide. BJCC currently ranks 51 in the nation. This was a big improvement based on the past report, which ranked them 100.

"There’s no secret for success," stated Edgar Holman Jr., guest speaker and Madison High School Principal in Marks. "I didn’t come here to tell you any secret or sprinkle any powder on you to make you successful. I just want to ask you one question; now that you have graduated, now what?" he asked.

Holman took the time to look each student in the eye and ask if each student would make a bond with him to continue to do the exact same thing that got them where they are now.

"Don’t let anybody hear you say…they gave me my diploma. You earned it; it’s yours. Every class you were assigned, you took it. They didn’t give you anything.

"I know there were some people who told you that you wouldn’t amount to anything, and I know you wish they were here so you could tell them ‘I told you so’," he stated. Holman encouraged the students to see themselves successful. He told the graduates they could be whatever they wished, regardless of what others told them.

BJCC enrolls 300 students per year. These students enter a self-paced program, which extends to a maximum of two years. In order to be a graduate from BJCC a student must successfully complete classes for a high school diploma or GED, and he or she must complete training in one of the available vocational training courses. The center also has a college program in association with Northwest Community College for students who intend on furthering their education.

"This is a chance to make an impact on the lives of young people," stated Dean Kendall, Deputy Center Director. "Some of these children come here without any place else to go, and no where to turn. Our job is to help them get a better life when they leave here," he added.

"I had a bad attitude when I first came here," stated Diana Jaques, high school diploma and health occupations graduate. "The teachers and staff helped me change my attitude and outlook on life. I made some friends and met some wonderful people. I intend to further my education when I leave here," added Jaques

BJCC has four career transition periods per year.

The following is a list of BJCC graduates for Jun 2004:

Curtis Benton, Joshua Boyce, Shemeka Conley,
Ashford Englehardt, Seseley Everett,
Shannon Fondren, Jimmy Gardner,
David Glasper, Kim Green, Timothy Harris,
Jazman Haynes, Shameka Hilson, Tasha Hogan,
Lakisha Hooper; Brendiera Jackson,
Diana Jaques, Constance Johnson, Yoshi King,
Oliver McLaurin, Kimberly Miller, Jamie Neal,
Brandon Pollet, Amanda Pruiett,
Anthony Rakestraw, John Ramee,
Victoria Ramirez, Shanina Scott, Bobby Taylor,
Antonius Thompson, Lakenya Warren and
Kevin White.