Headlines – 7/13/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Panolian Headlines: July 13, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 7/13/04  issue of The Panolian

Book ’em Danno  
Dot Barnett (left) and Dot Watson have been locked up for the blood drive beginning today at Tri-Lakes Medical Center. In order to be freed, 30 units of blood must be collected each day.
County Raises Rest in Hands
     of Supervisors
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


Thanks to a recently passed Senate bill, the floodgates of pay raise requests have been opened for the Panola County Board of Supervisors.

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Supervisors have to approve pay raises for the offices of Sheriff, County Attorney, Justice Court Judges and Coroner.

At request of William McKenzie, attorney for the Board of Supervisors, Coroner Gracie Grant-Gulledge expressed her feelings about the raise.

"According to the Senate bill that becomes law in October, the county can elect to pay the coroner a base salary of anywhere from $100 to $900 per month," Grant-Gulledge explained.

The previous cap for the office of coroner was $750, the amount Panola County pays.

"The law does not outline a rate of pay for the deputy coroners," Grant-Gulledge said. "The county does have two, and I would like the county to do what they feel is fair in that case."

In the matter of her own salary, Grant-Gulledge requested the full $900 maximum set forth in the law.

One of the reasons Grant-Gulledge cited for wanting the pay increase was the lack of a state medical examiner.

"The state does not have a medical examiner, so the coroner pretty much acts as your medical examiner at a crime scene," she said.

Grant-Gulledge said the coroner’s office handles at least 20 calls per month and over half of the cases require an autopsy be performed.

"By the time you drive up, have the autopsy conducted and drive back, you are looking at approximately nine hours on a case," she said. "If there is an investigation, we could put in more time than that."

While Grant-Gulledge was the only county official present to request the increase, the other offices requests were mentioned.

Justice Court Judges are requesting a pay increase to $34,610.

County Attorney Gaines Baker is requesting a pay increase to $44,610.

As for the office of Sheriff, the maximum salary amount is $82,000, but the county will not be responsible for that full amount.

Sheriff David Bryan submitted a letter informing the Supervisors he will soon begin drawing state retirement because of his length of service to the county and South Panola School District.

The sheriff would continue to serve the county with no changes, but the county taxpayers would only be responsible for 25 percent of the salary.

All of these matters were taken under advisement. The county will vote on the matter prior to beginning the budget process for the next fiscal year.


Area Schools Make Move to Uniforms
North Panola High School principal John Sullivan models the uniform the students are expected to wear.
By Myra Bean
Community Editor


Schools in the local area have gone to a uniform policy for the upcoming fall season.

The North Panola School District and the Magnolia Heights School in Senatobia will implement the policies when the 2004-05 school year resumes.

Each school in the North Panola district voted on which color shirts to wear.

Green Hill will wear hunter green tops and khaki bottoms.

Como Elementary will wear white or light blue polo style tops and khaki or navy bottoms.

Como Middle School will wear burgundy or white polo style tops and khaki bottoms.

Crenshaw Elementary will wear white or navy blue polo style tops and khaki or navy bottoms.

North Panola High School will wear red or white polo style tops and khaki or navy bottoms.

The students can wear any kind of shoes, according to North Panola High School principal John Sullivan.

Parents are encouraged to contact school principals or PTO presidents for information concerning purchasing uniforms.

Magnolia Heights went to uniforms, according to a spokesperson, due to so many dress code violations.

The uniforms consists of navy or khaki pants along with shirts in the school colors: cardinal, navy or white.

The younger students can wear walking shorts, skorts or jumpers in the school colors.

The older students can wear light blue, navy or pale yellow Oxford type button down shirts.

In the winter, a sweater vest can be worn as long as there is a shirt underneath. Turtlenecks can be worn as long as it they are in school colors. Also if students wear a cardigan sweater all day it must be in the school colors. There are no uniform rules regarding overcoats in the winter.

Shoes for students in K3 through sixth grade must have a strap around the back. They can not be sliders or flip flops, but they can wear sandles.

The only requirement for place of purchase of uniforms for Magnolia Heights is that clothes must be purchased in the school uniform section of the store or catalog.

Stores who do and may carry uniform clothes in Panola and Tate Counties include the Fred’s stores, Wal-Mart, Stubbs and Vanity Fair at the Factory Outlet Stores.

Some stores may have the pants but not the tops. Pants range in price from $7.97 to $22.

Resident Says West Sardis
     is Ready to Bite
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


An irritated citizen told the Panola County Board of Supervisors she was at the meeting because she was tired of improper treatment from the county.

"I am tired," Georgia Wilson said. "I am sick and tired of having to come before you."

Wilson told the supervisors she felt like she has been mistreated by the county because they have yet to finish work near her home.

"Your work crews did not finish the work they started in west Sardis," she said. "Well, the people of west Sardis are tired of being treated like dogs.

"If you keep treating us like dogs, you will know that these dogs are ready to bite," she said.

Wilson claims the county stopped working on projects in west Sardis in order to drain a sewage lagoon.

"Ya’ll went to work on a pond on private property," she said. "Why couldn’t you just finish with the work at my house before starting something else?"

Wilson said she believed a lot of her problems with the county stemmed from her firing by the county.

"Nobody ever told me why I was fired," she said. "The truth is I was fired because I knew too much about the stuff other people in the county were doing."

Wilson next challenged supervisor James Birge to be more vocal on the board.

"You are going to have to speak up and get the things done that you told us you would," she said.

"Why did you have some of the equipment in Como, but they told me it was south of the river," she asked. "Do people not know north from south?"

Changing targets again, Wilson took aim at Road Department Manager Lygunnah Bean because of dirt piled on her property.

"If you are going to be a road manager, then be one," Wilson said. "You will get that dirt off of my property or you and me are going to have some problems.