Headlines – 9/14/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Panolian Headlines: September 14, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 9/14/04  issue of The Panolian
Unicel Recognizes Chief Tim Taylor of BFD
    as 2004 "Hometown Hero"
Batesville Fire Chief Timothy F. Taylor was honored as a "Hometown Hero" on Friday, September 3, at the Unicel store in Batesville for his dedication to fire service.

Two decades ago, Taylor joined the Batesville Fire Department as a volunteer firefighter. As he pursued his interest in the fire service he became a captain and in 1989, fire chief of the Batesville Fire Department.

As the City of Batesville grew, so did its demands of the fire department. Chief Taylor helped support the city’s growth by expanding the department to include full-time, career firefighters. Today, the "combination" department is comprised of 12 career and 16 volunteer firefighters.

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"During his tenure as chief, Taylor has continuously progressed the department in education, prevention, code enforcement and fire suppression," said Joe Warren, fire inspector with the Batesville Fire Department, who nominated Taylor as a Hometown Hero.

Crown Opens Assembly Line
Batesville Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders looks at some of the cans produced at the plant and ready for shipping. More than 2 billion are manufactured per year.
By John Howell Sr.
Contributing Writer

Crown Cork and Seal Company has made its Batesville plant the national center for its manufacture of eight-ounce beverage cans.

Company officials came to Batesville Friday to announce the assembly line’s opening and to recognize local and state leaders for legislation that allowed Crown Cork and Seal to avoid bankruptcy. "We’d spent about a half a billion dollars settling asbestos claims," Crown Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel William T. Gallagher said.

Crown Cork and Seal had purchased a bottlecap company in New Jersey in 1960, Gallagher said. Prior to Crown’s purchase of the company, "they used to have an insulation division," Gallagher said, which utilized asbestos in its products.

"That had been closed down" before Crown purchased the bottlecap company, he added.

"Forty years later, we were sued," the Crown legal counsel said.

With its Mississippi manufacturing facility, which opened in 1987, lawsuits involving asbestos claims could be filed in state courts. Facing "30,000 asbestos claims against us relating to asbestos," stock in Crown Holdings dropped from $60 a share to under $1.

"The banks told us: ‘you’re not going to survive; you’re going to have to go into bankruptcy,’" Gallagher said.

Crown officials first contacted Panola native J. C. Burns of Burns Development Group in Ridgeland. Burns had been active as a Batesville banker and economic development official who helped convince Crown Cork and Seal to locate here in 1986. Burns contacted State Representatives Warner McBride and Leonard Morris and Senator Nolan Mettetal, Gallagher said. "When these representatives and Senator Mettetal heard the story, they wanted to do something about it."

City, County Move to Reclaim
     NP Hospital
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


Once the Ts are crossed and the Is dotted, the city and county could find themselves joined together in a fight to reclaim a large piece of property north of the river.

During meetings last week of the Panola County Board of Supervisors and the Sardis Mayor and Board of Aldermen, the decision was made to hire Batesville Law Firm Smith, Phillips, Mitchell and Scott to represent the governmental bodies in their attempt at reclaiming the North Panola Hospital and Sardis Nursing Home.

Richard "Flip" Phillips told the boards that, by way of research, the city and county was victims of a much broader fraud than was first believed.

"During my investigation, we found that Partners in Action, Church Extension of the Church of God, Inc., United Management and the group president Lewis Jackson, the group the properties were sold to, are involved in proceedings with the Securities and Exchange Commission," he said.

"What was discovered is that this group and these people used fraudulent financial statements to get money from church members to fund these projects," Phillips said. "The Sardis property we are here for today were used to get a conviction in Indiana."

Phillips said from what he has seen in documents, the ownership trust would use money fraudulently gained from new investors to repay that of original investors.

"When their plans crashed, the group had only made the initial payment of $130,000 to the city and county and are left owing nine out of the ten payments," he said.


Patrick Ball Teams Up With Father
     at Batesville Clinic
Doctor David Ball and son Patrick
"My first son, David Warren, knew exactly what he was going to do – practice medicine," said Dr. David Ball. "But with Patrick it was a different story," he added.

You see, Patrick has always had a love for music. So much, that instead of following in his father’s footsteps as a physician, Patrick set off to study, and major in music. He attended Baylor, Belmont and Vanderbilt, to pursue his first real love.

"I got into composing commercial music, but after a 10-year wait for songs to make it, I decided to go back to Ole Miss and get a degree in the field of medicine," said Patrick.

"During that time he got a real education," joked Dr. David Ball. "He had to get a real education by going to work at a Cracker Barrel."

Patrick still enjoys his music, but for the time being he is practicing with his father at the Batesville Clinic – the same building he was born in.

"I was born just down the hall from where we’re practicing now," said Patrick.

"I decided to give up my music career mainly because of my father," said Patrick. "It’s so neat to be a small town doctor. I love interacting with people," he added.

David Ball has been practicing medicine for 34 years. Originally from Columbia, he met Pat Odem, a Batesville girl, married her and settled in Batesville.

Patrick is now seeing patients and performing minor surgery at the clinic. He also works with Convenient Care Clinic and Tri-Lakes Medical Center patients.

Batesville Clinic is located at 107 Eurka Street. The hours are Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 563-7681.

Sardis Dist. Hosts
129th Annual Session
     111 Delegates Represent Local
     Churches During Week Long Event
There were a lot of smiling faces at the end of the Sardis District’s annual session recently.
Submitted by: Lourine Robinson

Sardis District Association Sunday School and NBC Congress of North Mississippi ended their 129th session happily on August 6.

It was a successful week with 111 delegates enrolled from a total of 20 churches. Nine classes were taught by certified instructors. Nineteen young people were registered in the Church Etiquette and Good Manners Class and 11 children attended the children’s workshop.

The opening sermon was done by Dr. Nathaniel Frison, Dean Monitor for Sardis District Congress and Dean for the T.O.M.B. Congress in Oxford. Monday night included the Welcome Program and a special program presented by the Red Circle. Dean Lourine Robinson delivered her keynote address on Tuesday surrounded by the officers, delegates, her family, and her church choir (Second Concord Baptist Church).

She was honored by having four visiting deans present: Dean Mable Lawrence of Coldwater, Dean Lassie Lathan of Marks, Dean Margie Moore of Coffeeville and Dean Sylvester Reed of Crenshaw.

Rev. Preston Gleeton, supervisor of the Usher’s Federation delivered his address surrounded by ushers in the district gathered together to glorify the Lord.

Ms. Deloise Shaw, President of the Women’s Auxiliary, delivered her address on Wednesday and the Ministerial Alliance was in charge on Wednesday night. The address was done by the President, Rev. Alvin Bailey.

Rev. Zannie Leland Jr., President of the Congress, brought a powerful message on Thursday and was followed by another message from the Assistant Dean, Dr. P.L. Montgomery, of the Mississippi General Baptist Convention.

The youth were in charge on Thursday night.

Rev. Walter Nash, Moderator of the Association, delivered his Ninth Annual Address on Friday.

After a long week of evening and night worship services and short business period, there were still happy faces at the close of the session on late Friday evening.

Hwy. 6 is No Parking
By John Howell Sr.
Contributing Writer

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will no longer allow parking along highway rights-of-way for University of Mississippi (UM) home football games, according to MDOT district engineer Jimmy Dickerson.

Beginning next Saturday, Sept. 18, anyone who parks their vehicles along Mississippi Highways 6 or 7- including the median- will be towed. MDOT will place signage, including message boards, along the highway alerting motorists to the change.

According to Dickerson, at the school’s last home game against the University of Memphis, approximately 1,100 vehicles were parked along highway rights-of-way.

"Safety is our main concern," Dickerson said. "We want the fans to have a good time, but we have to ensure their safety.

"Violators will have their vehicles towed," he added.