Headlines – 12/7/2004

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Panolian Headlines: December 7, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 12/7/04  issue of The Panolian
Tigers bring home state trophy 
Accepting the 2004 MHSAA 5A State Championship for South Panola from Danny Hill (second from right) of Farm Bureau Insurance were (l to r) principal Dr. Del Phiilips, Superintendent Dr. C.L. Stevenson, Hill and head coach Ricky Woods.
By Myra Bean
Sports Editor

JACKSON – It’s official. Tigers rule. ‘Hounds drool.

The South Panola Tigers finished their second consecutive season 15-0 with the 5A State Championship Trophy.

Led by senior quarterback Derek Pegues, the Tigers downed the Ocean Springs Greyhounds 39-21.

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An estimated 15,000 people were on hand to watch the battle of the No. 8 nationally ranked Tigers and the underrated 12-1 Greyhounds. The televised game also drew an unspecified amount of viewers to watch Pegues break a 5A State Championship record with five touchdowns.

Interestingly, the four touchdowns were set by Warren Central’s Brian Darden in 1993 when South Panola defeated Warren Central for the school’s first ever state championship.

South Panola head coach Ricky Woods knotched win number 174 with this victory. This was also Woods’ fifth straight trip to the "big house" as it is so fondly called. In 2000 and 2001 he led Ackerman to the state championship game. Ackerman won in 2001. He has coached South Panola to three straight championship appearances. He is 44-1 with South Panola with two state championship wins.

Superintendent Dr. C.L. Stevenson was in attendance as he has been in the past games.

Stevenson complimented all who participated in the State Championship game and supported the Tiger team.

"It’s a great night for SP School District tonight," Stevenson said. "I am very proud of the coaches, of the boys. They presented themselves quite well throughout the season. I couldn’t ask for a better season, a better effort on the part of all of them."

Stevenson was very complimentary of the fan support of the Tigers

"It’s great to see all these fans come down here, follow the team all the way to Jackson," he said. "It’s quite a crowd here and it really makes you feel good to see a community support a school the way it does. Great job by the band, ROTC color guard and the cheerleaders and all who worked here tonight. We just feel great about going home with this trophy."

Dr. Del Phillips has the privilege of principaling a state championship caliber team. His first remarks were complimenting the fans.

"First of all the fans from Batesville are great. Everybody knows that. Everywhere we go and all the time on the internet, different places, they always talk about how well we turn out. Dr. [Ennis] Proctor always talks about how big a crowd we bring," Phillips said.

On the game, Phillips said they knew the team would have a battle.

"I think the biggest thing for this group is the credit to the kids, to the parents, to the coaches, because you know we lost 18 guys last year who took every snap. We didn’t have many faces come spring.

"When it comes down to it, they do it," Phillips added. "Winning is a great thing. It’s a humbling thing. I haven’t won enough in a row that I forgot the taste. If I get to that point, I’ll let you know."

South Panola has played in the big game at the "big house" seven times. With this win, the Tigers now own four gold trophies: 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2004.

First Parade
The first holiday Christmas parade of the season got off to a brisk start in Crenshaw last Thursday night. Thousands of residents lined the streets of the small town to cheer fire trucks, marching bands, dignitaries and more. On Saturday there were two other parades – Como and Crowder. The Batesville Christmas parade is slated for tonight at 6:30 p.m and the Sardis parade will take place Dec. 13.
Chandler named hopital trustee
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


Panola County Administrator David Chandler has been appointed to replace Larry Pratt on the South Panola Hospital District Board of Trustees.

Chandler was informed of the decision during the first Monday meeting of the Panola County Board of Supervisors.

"Whatever the four of you want me to do I will do," Chandler told the board in Supervisor Bubba Waldrup’s absence.

Board president Jerry Perkins said he believed having Chandler on the board would open up the lines of communication between the two governing bodies.

"The hospital board is something that will not be in existence in its present form following the sale of Tri-Lakes," he said. "Mr. Chandler’s knowledge of finances and other administrative tasks will be a big plus to the owners as we attempt to conduct our due dilligence."

Perkins added that all five bidders are still interested in purchasing the facility, and negotiations are ongoing between the owners and bidders.

Taylor earns Eagle Scout honors
Jarrett Reed Taylor, son of Ronnie and Nita Taylor, will receive the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouts in a ceremony on Sunday, December 12, 2004, 2:30 p.m. at Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church located on Hwy. 315 South, Batesville.

In the fall of 1996, Jarrett joined Cub Scout pack 78. Upon completing all Webelo requirements, in April of 2000, he earned the highest award for Cub Scouts, The Arrow of Light Award. Jarrett then crossed the bridge from Webelos into Boy Scouts.

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop 478, Jarrett had the opportunity to attend many camps to include Kia Kima in Arkansas, Camp Tallaha in Charleston, and Camp Yocoa in Lafayette County. He made a trip to Mt. Pleasant, S.C. and stayed in the USS Yorktown and also to Mobile, Ala. and stayed on the USS Alabama. He has held many leadership positions in his troop, including assistant senior patrol leader and senior patrol leader.

In 2002, Jarrett was selected by his peers to join the Order of the Arrow. A year later, he earned his Brotherhood. He is also a member of the Order of the Arrow dance team where is is a grass dancer.

In order to receive the rank of Eagle, Jarrett was required to lead a project that would benefit the people of his community. For his Eagle Scout project, Jarrett led his team in erecting a flagpole on the grounds of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, where he is a member. On Oct. 21, 2004, Jarrett went before the Eagle Board of Review and upon passing the board of review he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Jarrett is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Loamie P. Murphree and Mr. and Mrs. James H. "Skeeta " Thornton and the late James Robert Taylor, all of Batesville.

All friends and relatives are invited to the ceremony.

Oakland plant closed
     due to machinery
On November 15, Mississippi Beef Processors, LLC, stopped slaughtering cattle at a beef processing plant it operates in Oakland, because of continued problems with important equipment that processes inedible and waste materials into bone meal and fertilizer that can be sold.

According to a statement made at that time by company president Richard Hall Jr., "We simply cannot process the number of cattle that we need to process until the rendering plant is fully operational."

Hall explained the layout of the company facilities.

"Mississippi Beef Processors has two buildings at its Oakland plant. The large building, visible from highway 51, houses the beef processing line, the refrigeration and cold storage facilities, and the administrative offices for the company. The second and smaller building contains the rendering plant. As each cow is processed," Hall stated, "the inedible parts removed from each carcass are separated from the portions that will be used for human consumption. As soon as the inedible waste portions of the cow are removed from the carcass, they are dropped into the basement of the main plant into equipment designed to transport the waste material next door to a separate building that contains the rendering equipment." In the rendering plant, the waste material is cooked at high temperature with steam and then placed into a heavy duty press. The press removes the remaining moisture and oils and converts the waste material into the bone meal.

According to Hall, "There are two things that must happen at this time before the company can resume processing beef. First, we must complete the repairs to the rendering plant and be sure that the rendering plant will work reliably day-in and day-out so that we do not have to truck inedible waste materials off-site for disposal elsewhere.

Second, the company needs additional capital to purchase cattle when it starts up again and to pay bills that accumulated before the company was forced to halt operations." Hall said, "When we stopped operations two weeks ago, I had hoped that we could start back up after Thanksgiving. However, the repairs are taking longer than I wanted them to take."

The company has ordered repair parts for the press that broke shortly before the plant closed. Hall stated that "Some of the parts have been delivered and others are complete and the equipment tested, we should be ready to resume operations as soon as we can afford to buy the cattle to get started again." Hall stated that "We are making the necessary repairs in the basement and rendering divisions, on our own I might add, without the help of the construction manager and the contractor responsible for the inadequacies."

Hall stated that "Several companies have expressed significant interest in investing in Mississippi Beef Processors if the problems with the rendering plant can be solved and if satisfactory agreements can be reached with the existing senior creditors of the company, primarily Community Bank and the State of Mississippi." Mississippi Beef has a thirty-five million dollar loan from Community Bank that is guaranteed by the State of Mississippi. Hall stated that "The company is talking to outside investors and keeping State officials informed of the progress of those negotiations."

Hall commented on photographs recently posted by a radio station on its website. Hall stated that "The pictures were taken in the basement and in the rendering plant division of Mississippi Beef Processors, LLC. These pictures illustrate the immense burden imposed on Mississippi Beef Processors and its employees in the rendering division when the rendering equipment repeatedly failed to operate as designed. The inedible waste material piled up during the day because the rendering plant repeatedly failed to operate as designed and we had nowhere to put the waste material. We were forced to load it into bins temporarily before it could be loaded into trucks for disposal off-site." According to Hall, "I cannot thank our employees enough for the physical work they did handling the waste material.

"Our employees worked long hours to move the waste material out of the basement and into trucks for disposal off-site. It was not supposed to be this way. We should have been able to move the waste material by conveyors to the rendering plant next door where it could be turned into bone meal. These pictures show that Mississippi Beef Processors, LLC has struggled to work under the worst of conditions. These pictures show better than words the impact of the defective rendering plant on Mississippi Beef Processors."

According to Hall, "The construction management firm that reviewed the design of the entire operation and the contractor responsible for the designing the rendering process and installing the rendering equipment did not fulfill their responsibilities to Mississippi Beef Processors or to the State of Mississippi." Hall stated that "Clearly you can see that an incomplete process of this magnitude would cause any company, let alone a start up company, an almost impossible atmosphere to operate efficiently or profitably." Hall stated that "Mississippi Beef Processors, LLC has followed all of USDA regulations and guidelines to ensure safe and wholesome products for its customers. The United States Department of Agriculture has stationed five inspectors at Mississippi Beef to inspect all aspects of the process that involve the production of food products."

Hall stated that "The photographs published recently were taken in those portions of the facility that deal with inedible and waste materials. By design, these areas are separated from the portion of the plant where the edible parts of the cow are processed subject to inspection by the United States Department of Agriculture." Hall stated that "Mississippi Beef Processors, LLC has followed all of USDA regulations and guidelines to ensure a safe and wholesome product for consumers."

"Although the basement and the rendering plant are not an integral part of the USDA inspected process, these portions of the plant are critically important to the overall success of the business," said Hall. "Unless the rendering plant functions as designed, the amount of waste material produced each day of operation is so large that it limits overall production at the plant to unprofitable levels and requires the company to spend enormous sums of money to dispose of the waste materials produced." "It costs Mississippi Beef seven hundred fifty dollars to dispose of each truck load of waste material. Even at six hundred head per day, we would generate about six truck loads of waste material every day. You do the math; that would be $4500 per day in disposal costs alone," said Hall.