Headlines – 12/17/2004

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 2004

Panolian Headlines: December 17, 2004

For complete stories, pick up the 12/17/04  issue of The Panolian
City tabs Hyde for Civic Center post
Director calls center a great opportunity
New Batesville Civic Center Director Roy Hyde is ready for the job at hand and looks forward to the opportunity to show the community the advantages to the center.
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


Mayor Bobby Baker and the Board of Aldermen have selected the man they believe can make the new Civic Center a success.

On Nov. 15, 2005, Roy Hyde, a veteran of the Civic Center business, was on the job for his first day at the Batesville Civic Center.

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Hyde comes to Batesville after a six-year stint with the Shelby Showplace Arena in Memphis.

"After talking to Roy it was easy to see that he knew what he was talking about when it came to the Civic Center," Baker said.

So, just why would Hyde leave his job in Memphis for a new facility in Batesville? Opportunity.

Hyde said the chance to open a new Civic Center is a huge opportunity for someone in the field.

"Coming into a new facility has its hardships," he said. "But there are several things that make it a great opportunity."

One of the biggest things Hyde said he likes about the chance to run a new center is not having to deal with things that were grandfathered in.

Hyde said the support from the community has been overwhelming, and he expects the facility to do quite well in the near future.

"Support from the board and the community are very important for the success of any facility," he said. "The Mayor and board here have been extremely positive about the project, and it certainly makes you feel good when you have that kind of support."

Hyde said one thing the people of Batesville need to understand is that centers like the one here are created for two reasons.

"These kinds of centers are created for community service like offering diversified entertainment for everyone," he said. "There has to be something for everybody if a center is going to succeed."

Hyde said the second reason for civic centers is economic impact for the community.

"The entertainment type of event is pretty much a regional impact event," he said. "The bigger impact comes from the livestock and equine shows and conferences that will take place over a two to three day period.

"When you get those kinds of events, it provides consecutive days of impact in the restaurants and hotels," Hyde added. "The people that come into town for these kinds of things are going to have to have a place to eat and sleep and that is where the community will see a big impact from the Civic Center."

As for entertainment Hyde wants to see in the Batesville Civic Center, he adds it will be a variety.

"I am planning to get some concerts, a circus, arena cross events, monster truck rallies and rodeos," he said.

Hyde said there has been some preliminary talk with the Pro Bull Riding circuit about hosting an event, but said it is not in concrete yet.

"There are a lot of people out there that are fishing, but you never know how serious they are until you can get a signed contract," he said.

"This venue is well suited for a broad range of events, and I will pursue every type," Hyde added.

Hyde said it is important for the community to feel like the Civic Center is their facility.

"With that in mind, I am going to work very hard to get events in here that will be suited for everyone in the community," he said.

Accused murderer indicted
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


The case of Lambert native accused of kidnapping and murdering an Ole Miss student will go to Panola County Circuit Court following an indictment issued during a recent grand jury.

Demetrius Smith, who was bound over to the grand jury following a preliminary hearing in August will next face a Circuit Court Judge on charges that he kidnapped and murdered Ole Miss student Carnesha Nelson.

As previously reported, Nelson’s body was found by fishermen during the annual St. Jude Bass Classic and was pulled from the water where it was discovered her arms had been bound using a cell phone cord.

According to the indictment, the Panola County Grand Jury determined there was enough evidence for the matter to proceed to trial.

"Demetrius Smith, late of the District, County and State aforesaid, on or about the 27th day of May in 2004, did willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously kill Carnesha Nelson without the authority of law by any manner when done with or without any design to affect death," the indictment said.

A court date for Smith had not been set at press time.

Christmas Icons
The Batesville Rotary Club held its annual "Christmas For Kids" party on Tuesday. Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman were both on hand to meet with children from Batesville Elementary School. Each child received several gifts from the club members, a new winter coat and a brand new pair of tennis shoes.
Robbery suspect faces Sardis judge
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


A Sardis man accused of committing three robberies between Nov. 26 and Dec. 7, was in court Tuesday afternoon for an initial hearing.

Adren Denoid Taylor, Highway 315, Sardis, appeared in Sardis Municipal Court of charges of grand larceny and armed robbery.

Taylor is accused of committing robberies of Super Valu, Better Brands Security Company and Nonnie and Pops.

"According to the affidavit, on Nov. 26, 2004, you exhibited a pistol and did knowingly, willingly and unlawfully take [money] from Robert Stone, manager of the Super Valu," Judge Jimmy McClure said.

As for the Better Brands robbery on Dec. 2, 2004, Taylor allegedly took a sum of money from the driver of a delivery truck.

Taylor is also accused of armed robbery of Nonnie and Pops where he allegedly entered the restaurant, displayed a pistol and demanded the money from owner Kay McNemar.

If convicted, the armed robbery charges carry a maximum sentence of life with minimum of three years to be served and the grand larceny charged carry a maximum term of 10 years and/or a $10,000 fine.

According to prosecuting attorney Rhey Tannehill, both Stone and McNemar picked Taylor out of a live line-up and believed, if bond were allowed, it should be a large amount.

McClure said due to Taylor not being out on probation or parole for a previous felony offense, he was entitled to bond. The bond was set at $260,000.

"The two victims were able to pick him out of a line-up," he said. "And due to the seriousness of the offenses we believe the bond should be increased."

Upon consideration, McClure increased the bond to $300,000.

A preliminary hearing, at which time it will be determined if there is enough evidence to turn the case over to the grand jury, will be held Dec. 28.

McClure denies shooter’s bond
By Jason C. Mattox
News Editor


A Sardis man and two accomplices accused of robbing the Shell station near Sonic on East Lee Street is being held on no bond at the Panola County Jail following an initial appearance in Sardis Municipal Court.

Tyrus Butler appeared before Sardis Municipal Judge Jimmy McClure on charges that he robbed the gas station and shot the attendant.

McClure said he would not allow bail because under state statute Butler was not entitled to it.

"According to the state statute, a person who is on parole or probation for a prior felony offense is to have his previous bond revoked and bail refused," he said.

McClure added that if the victim, John Simpson, were to die as result of the injuries allegedly caused by Butler, the aggravated assault charge could be upgraded to capital murder and could carry the death penalty.

"I do not believe the victim will die, but if he did, just know that your charges will be upgraded and could carry a far more severe punishment," he said.

Butler was on probation for burglary of a commercial building in June of this year.

If convicted, Butler could face a maximum of a life sentence with a minimum of three years to be served.

A preliminary hearing, at which time it will be determined if there is enough evidence to turn the case over to the grand jury, will be held Dec. 28.

In addition to Butler, Albert Lewis and Eric Patton Walls appeared before McClure for charges stemming from the same incident.

Both Lewis and Walls are charged with conspiracy to commit grand larceny, a count which could carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Big Winner
Joann Wesley, of Sardis, was the lucky winner of the annual Christmas Gift-Away package, offered by several area merchants who participated in The Panolian’s annual Early Bird Christmas Gift Guide.

Participating merchants included Dales Smokehouse Cafe, Promises and Praise, Mary Nell’s / Blossoms, Big Delta Honda, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Sim’s Clothing, Ace Hardware, Mary’s Go Round, Wireless To Go, and Kay’s Gifts and Boutique.