Headlines – 10/29/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 29, 2004

Panolian Headlines: October 29, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 10/29/04  issue of The Panolian

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Set Clocks Back Sunday
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


The people of Panola County and the rest of the United States will gain an extra hour of sleep beginning Sunday morning with the start of Daylight Saving Time.

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Time reverts to standard time beginning at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 31.

For those wondering why there is a need for time changes during the year, the explanation is simple.

In the winter, the afternoon Daylight Saving Time advantage is offset by the morning’s need for more lighting. In spring and fall, the advantage is less than one hour.

Cities, County Set 3 Different
     Curfew Times
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


Well, depending on who you ask, Halloween is either a day or two away.

The City of Batesville, City of Sardis and Panola County have all set different curfew times, with Sardis being the only one to set a day.

Due to Halloween falling on a Sunday this year, Panola County and the City of Batesville decided to set a curfew for both Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 with trick or treating Sunday.

"Because this is something that is really up to the parents, the Batesville Police Department and the Board of Aldermen decided it was best to set a 10:00 p.m. curfew for both nights," Batesville Police Chief Roger Vanlandingham said.

The Panola County Sheriff’s Department followed suit setting an 11 p.m. curfew for both nights this weekend, but added that trick or treating will only be observed on Sunday night.

The City of Sardis decided to set Saturday as the time for children and their parents to go out and do their trick or treating.

"This year, like almost every other one in recent memory, we have set the times for trick or treating from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.," Sardis Police Chief Sonny Stepp said.

Stepp said allowing a three hour window should provide children enough time to do their door to door candy hop and will make the night easier on his department.

"There will always be someone that tries to stay out longer," Stepp said. "It is usually the older kids who are out taking part in the usual Halloween pranks and mischief.

This year as any other, any person caught with shaving cream, toilet tissue, water balloons or eggs, will be taken into custody and their parents called.

"We want this to be a happy Halloween for everyone," Stepp said. "But we also want it to be a safe one."

Health Department Closes
     Sardis Lounge
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


A Sardis night spot will be closed for at least a month- and not because of criminal activity.

"We had nothing to do with the closing of Happy Days Lounge," Sardis Police Chief Sonny Stepp said. "That was all the doing of the Mississippi Department of Health."

According the Department of Health, Happy Days was closed due to issues they felt were dangerous to potential patrons of the establishment.

"The Mississippi Department of Health (MDH) regularly inspects 12,000 restaurants at least once a year," Kelly S. French, Special Projects Officer of MDH said. "If a restaurant does not comply with regulations designed to protect the health of all Mississippians, then MDH takes action to bring the facility into compliance.

"In its last inspection, several critical violations existed at Happy Days Lounge," she said. "According to regulations, a permit cannot be issued until all violations are corrected."

This was not the first failure to meet health department regulations by Happy Days, French said.

According to records obtained from the Mississippi Department of Health’s website, the facility has failed several inspections in the past year.

Knights Inn, the hotel to which Happy Days is attached is still open for business, the lounge and restaurant were the only portions closed.

Happy Days owner Mike Fudge could not be reached for comment about the matter.

BPD Warns of Church Scam
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


The Batesville Police Department is on the lookout for individuals involved in a fraudulent charity scheme taking part in the area.

According to Major Tony Jones, a complaint has been filed by members of the Evangelistic Outreach Deliverance Ministry, about young men approaching community members claiming to be collecting money on the church’s behalf.

"We have questioned one juvenile about involvement in this matter," he said. "But because they are not yet 18, we cannot disclose any further information about it."

According to Apostle Florida Jackson, a representative of the Evangelistic Outreach Deliverance Ministry, a couple of boys are working the streets claiming they are trying to help their church raise money for a girl named Jessica Lace.

"They are telling people that it is to help Jessica Lace pay for a kidney transplant," she said. "If anyone is approached by these two, please contact the Batesville Police Department."

Jackson said the church is in no way associated with the scheme and wants to see it straightened out as soon as possible.

"If there has been anyone give these two young boys money, please come forward and call the Police Department and file a complaint," she said. "We must put a stop to what is being carried out."

Jackson said when the boys approach a person on the street they present them with a hand written note claiming the church is attempting to raise $500 for Jessica Lace, claiming her kidneys are not functioning properly.

"Again, we at Deliverance Ministry are not involved with this effort and would like the public to know that this is nothing more than a scam," she said.

Jones said the investigation into the matter is still ongoing. No further information is available at this time.

Cutting Teeth on Halloween
J.D. Mills of Batesville carved his own jack-o-lantern earlier this week in preparation for Halloween. In addition to the one pictured, Mills helped carve up three more pumpkins to be displayed at his home for the trick-or-treaters.
Como’s Slick Gets Signed
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor

At just the age of 20, if you look at the guitar case of blues legend in the making Slick, you can tell he has been places. Not only has this young man been places, he’s going places too, thanks to a recently inked recording contract.

Slick was born in the most rural part of North Carolina, and said he credits that upbringing with his preference for country living.

"When I look at how things are changing, it makes me sad," he said. "You look at the little country roads now, and there aren’t any.

"They are all just as big as the state highways," Slick said. "People are forgetting what good country living is all about."

It was good country living that showed Slick, a musician since 15 years old, just what the blues were. At the age of 16, Slick found his way from North Carolina down to the Panola and Tate County area.

"I had a friend, Sherman Cooper, that I had met through our mutual love for the music," he said. "I came down here and he introduced me to Otha Turner.

"Turner was living in Tate County and I lived with him for a while," Slick said. "That is what helped me learn and understand what the blues really was."

Slick said while he lived with Turner for a summer, he was introduced to Mississippi Fred McDowell and other great musicians from the area that helped shape his outlook and his musical destiny.

"I got to meet a lot of great people that were in Panola and Tate Counties," he said. "They took a young guy under their wing and helped me understand what real Mississippi blues music is."

Slick, who played his first blues gig in Raleigh, N.C., said he started playing the blues around here after a performance at the Como Steakhouse.

"The first blues festival I was ever invited to play took place just down the road in Sardis," he said.

While admitting there is still a lot of growing he needs to do as a musician, Slick said he has already seen several changes to his musical style in a short time.

"I went back to the roots," he said. "I went back and got deeper and deeper into the Mississippi style of the blues.

"I was able to learn a lot from the black musicians that were open and willing to teach me what they knew, and that made me want to get into what the music was all about," Slick added.

Slick said when he learned of the history of the blues from his countless teachers, he discovered that so many people have a misconception about what blues music really is.

"I hate to say this for the way it is going to sound, but a lot of white people see Stevie Ray Vaughn and think of that as the blues," he said. "That is more of the rock and roll side of the blues than the real blues.

"The real blues came out of the cotton fields in Mississippi," he said. "A lot of old black blues men tell me that the blues were a gift from God. A way for people to sing and dance their blues out."

Slick said he believes blues music provided people a way of expressing their troubles and transgressions without getting bogged down in them.

"Everybody is going to have to go through something hard in this life," he said. "It is those hard times that became the basis of real blues music."

Slick’s hard work and dedication to learning as much as he can about the blues has paid off. He was signed by John Prine’s Ol Boy Records in September.

Ol Boy features a talent roster that includes names like Prine and original country outlaw Kris Kristoferson.

In addition to a record label, Slick also signed with a management group very familiar with the blues.

"I signed with managers out of Minneapolis, Minn.," he said. "They still manage Stevie Ray Vaughn’s band Double Trouble.

"Over they years they have managed people like Luther Albertson and Johnny Lang," Slick added.

With his career now on the fast track, what can his loyal followers of Panola County expect? Slick said we can expect more of the same we have seen from him in the past.

"My first album will be all me," he said. "It won’t be some manufactured sound.

"I will be doing all original music that let’s people see just what good old Mississippi blues music really is," he said.

Slick said his goal through all of the process of recording and touring is to spread a message and the truth behind real blues music.

"Don’t get me wrong, I want to earn a decent living," he said. "But I don’t have to get rich to have a good life.

"I want my music to be something that can go world wide while it stays at home in Mississippi at the same time," he said.

As for those Mississippi roots, Slick said we need not worry about him changing because of his newfound success.

"I was born and raised in the south, and I will probably live the rest of my life in Panola County," he said. "If I ever lose my Mississippi roots, I will quit playing music.

"I promise this is not going to change me," he said. "I am still gonna go out there and keep being Slick."