Headlines – 7/9/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 9, 2004

Panolian Headlines: July 9, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 7/9/04  issue of The Panolian

Hospital Sale Could Go to Voters
Petition awaits verification from election commission    
The sale of Tri-Lakes Medical Center is on hold as the city and county await word on a petition filed in the Chancery Clerk’s Office on June 1, that calls for a special election to determine the hospital’s fate.
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

The uncertain future of Tri-Lakes Medical Center is no more certain following meetings of the Panola County Board of Supervisors and the Batesville Board of Aldermen.

Attorneys Mike Chaffin and Robert Wood who have been working with the county and city on the sale of the hospital informed the boards at their respective meetings that a petition had been filed requesting a special election on the sale.

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The petition, filed in the Panola County Chancery Clerk’s Office will now go to the election commission and Circuit Clerk to verify signatures against the voter roll for the second judicial district of Panola County.

Chaffin told the supervisors the signatures had to be verified because on signatures of voters in the second district would be counted towards the total number.

According to Chaffin, the petition was filed in the Chancery Clerk’s Office on June 1- the same day bids on the hospital were opened at Batesville City Hall.

"The petition is calling for a special election at which time the voters of the second judicial district would be able to decide whether or not the hospital is to be sold," Wood explained to the city leaders Tuesday afternoon.

"What they have done is put the decision in the hands of the taxpayers," he said.

Wood and Chaffin said if the election commission determined the petition valid (having 1,500 or 20 percent of the registered voters in the district, whichever is smaller), a written report and certification would be sent back to the city and county.


Lots of Work    
In a hurry to beat the oncoming downpour Wednesday afternoon, crews at the Batesville Civic Center put down two inch-and-a-half layers of asphalt on top of the soil-cement base on the site of one of the parking lots. Work continued Thursday.
Lake Claims Life on July 4
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


A fun family outing at Sardis Lake turned tragic for one Oxford man’s family.

According to Investigator Mark Whitten of the Panola County Sheriff’s Department, Jasman Burse, 21, of Oxford drowned at a beach on the lower lake.

"He was out with his family and friends to have a good time and something this terrible took place," he said of the death.

Whitten said reports indicate Burse and a family member decided to swim out to the buoys.

"The trip out didn’t create a problem, but something went wrong on the return trip to the beach," he said.

Whitten said witnesses told deputies at the scene that the body was only under water for a short period of time before being pulled out by a friend or family member.

"Attempts to revive Burse were made by the Panola County Sheriff’s Department, Emergystat, the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," he said.

The body was transported to Tri-Lakes Medical Center where Burse was pronounced dead.

Whitten said this is the only known incident that took place over the holiday weekend.

"Besides the one drowning, it was a pretty quiet Fourth of July for us," he said.