Headlines – 4/1/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 1, 2005

The Panolian: HEADLINES – April 1, 2005

  From the 4/1/05 issue of The Panolian :             

Justice Center to be named for David Bryan
     Batesville Mayor Bobby Baker reads through the first couple of sentences of a resolution from the city honoring Panola Sheriff David Bryan. He summed up the remainder by saying, "We love you."
     Elected officials, other friends and family joined Bryan at his home Tuesday for the announcement that the county’s detention center had been renamed in his honor.
By Billy Davis

The Panola County Board of Supervisors has renamed the county’s detention center in honor of Sheriff David Bryan.

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Workers from Custom Sign Company on Wednesday installed signage identifying the facility as the "David M. Bryan Justice Complex" following the announcement at Bryan’s home Tuesday afternoon.

The supervisors, joined by officials from Panola’s municipalities and other elected officials, Bryan family members and friends, joined the sheriff in the front yard of his Pine Lane Drive home, where he is resting. The board adopted the resolution March 25 and planned the surprise presentation with the cooperation of the sheriff’s wife, Ida.

Representatives of the towns of Crenshaw and Como presented resolutions, followed by the cities of Sardis and Batesville. Batesville Mayor Bobby Baker read his city’s ordinance, reading the legal language of government for a sentence or two before summarizing the remainder by saying, "We love you."

Before board of supervisors’ president Jerry Perkins read the county’s resolution, he blamed Sheriff Bryan for once having given him a heat stroke, recalling Bryan’s original vocation when he came to Panola County as a football and baseball coach for South Panola High School in 1963. Perkins’ generation first knew the sheriff as Coach Bryan.

Perkins read through six paragraphs of the resolutions "whereases" that partially listed the many accomplishments of Sheriff Bryan’s career: Elected in 1975, re-elected seven times; honored by the law enforcement  community with election as  president of Panola County Law Enforcement Officer’s Association and Mississippi Sheriff’s Association, member of advisory boards for governors, U.S. attorneys, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Department of Homeland Security and the Anti-Terrorism Task Force for the U. S. Attorney.

As the board president read through to the "now therefore" section of the resolution ordering that the "Panola County Detention Center is hereby named ‘The David M. Bryan Criminal Justice Complex,’" his voice trailed off. Someone quickly brought the crowd to laugh

Answered Prayers event benefits three kids
By Jason C. Mattox

For the fifth year, the Answered Prayer Benefit, a day of music, food, games, and a crafter’s fair, will provide financial assistance to local children in need.

This year’s benefit will be at the Batesville Civic Center on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The event, started in 2000 by founder Charles West, has already helped 14 children with severe health challenges. Three more will be added to that list this year.

"We have selected Amanda Gordon, Kathy Gordon and Chris Gray as our beneficiaries for this year’s event," SFC John Ard, president of the Answered Prayers organization, said.

Amanda Gordon suffers from septo-optic dysplasia/ blindness. Her sister Kathy is a victim of cerebral palsy and microcephaly.

Chris Gray, a student at South Panola High School, has cystic fibrosis.

"These three children were chosen out of the seven applications we received," Ard said.

The organization made its selection based on the medical needs of the children. Funds raised will be divided equally among the three children, with the Answered Prayers group purchasing items for the children as their parents present requests to them.

In the past, items purchased for the selected children have included a special computer mouse, special shoes and breathing equipment.

For more information on the Answered Prayers Benefit, contact Ard at 292-0318, Judy Russell at 563-8787, Carolyn Williams at 514-7912 or Darrel Adams at 654-9129.

Also in today’s paper:
Three walk away from Highway 6 East wreck
     While Tri-Lakes paramedic Jennifer Miller keeps an arm around him, 88-year-old William Shannon hears from a concerned Batesville firefighter, Captain Banks Brassell. Shannon refused treatment following a three-vehicle wreck Wednesday morning. Pictured far right is EMT Tate Harris.
By Billy Davis

Three drivers walked away from a Batesville wreck Wednesday morning, including an 88-year-old man who had to be excavated from his truck.

At the civic center intersection of Hwy. 6 and House-Carlson Drive, William Shannon reportedly failed to yield to oncoming traffic when making a left from Six.

According to driver Heather Finke, Shannon pulled in front of her four-door Chrysler sedan as she traveled east through the green light.

"I saw him turning, and by the time I hit the brakes it was too late," said Finke, who lives in Charleston and was driving to work in Oxford.

Finke said she "saw stars" for a few moments after hitting Shannon’s red Ford truck, watching as the Ford flipped onto its side and slid across the asphalt into a green Park Avenue.

The Park Avenue was driven by Patsy Patterson, who was sitting at the light waiting to turn left onto Highway 6.

"I saw them hit, and then he rolled and came toward me," said Patterson.

Patterson said she was grateful to escape the wreck unharmed, adding that her vehicle was still driveable despite damage to the front.

The three-vehicle wreck mangled the grill of Finke’s car, but Shannon’s truck was likely totaled after rolling onto its side. Firefighters also ripped off the truck cab, using the Jaws of Life to pull him from the vehicle.

Once out of the truck, Shannon refused a trip to the hospital. Lying on a backboard, a neck brace in place, he sat up then, a few minutes later, stood to his feet. His only apparent injury was a cut at the bridge of his nose.

While police officers swept up the debris and a wrecker service yanked the Ford truck upright, Shannon used his walker to shuffle warily around the accident scene.

Shannon’s walker had been in the back of the truck, and it, too, was apparently in good shape.

Primary will decide Ward Two alderman
By Billy Davis

When Batesville voters cast ballots in the upcoming elections, the first results will come in Ward 2, where two Democrats are competing for the seat.

In Ward 2, Alderman Rufus Manley and opponent Ted Stewart are facing off in the May 3 primary.

Manley, who is retired from the U.S. Post Office in Memphis, lives at 309 Armstrong Street.

Stewart is a self-employed land developer. He lives at 118 Martinez Street.

Ward 2 is located in northwest Batesville, where Panola Avenue roughly splits the ward in half.

Streets south and west of Panola include Patton Lane, Field and Bright. To the east and north are Gordon, Hoskins and West among others.

Ward 2 adjoins Wards 1, 3 and 4.

Manley, 71, said he’s visited every home in Ward 2 although, of course, he didn’t find a voter at every door.

"The people wanted to know about the hospital – when it was going to be sold," Manley said. "They also wanted to know why some (officials) in office have been in there so long that they think nobody can replace them."

Manley said he has a "very good" working relationship with the current Mayor and Board of Alderman. As the sole minority on the board, he feels respected by his colleagues.

"I feel like I’m very much part of the Board of Alderman. I give my opinion," Manley said.

Even so, Manley said, he was disappointed that street overlaying in Ward 2 – and the rest of the city – was overlooked in favor of street projects in east Batesville, namely around Tri-Lakes Medical Center and Wal-Mart.

"I don’t know of any street that was overlayed in the city," Manley said.

Stewart, 55, said he’s visited about half the homes in Ward 2.

If elected, Stewart said he will hold a quarterly town-hall meeting, overseeing the cleaning of ditches that have been overlooked, and look into adding a public swimming pool and more basketball goals.

"The people of Ward 2 feel like the city needs to do something for the kids," Stewart said. "They want the city to be more involved in the community."

Stewart’s Martinez Street neighbor, Stella Griffin, said the candidate stopped by her home several days ago to ask for her vote.

"He was telling me what he plans to do if he gets elected," Griffin said. "They all say what they’re going to do until the time comes to do it."

Regarding crime in Ward 2, both Manley and Stewart say the minority community is a safe place to live and work. An ongoing concern, however, is young men loitering on street corners.

"Everybody on a street corner is not selling drugs, but some are," Stewart said.

According to Manley, he has worked closely with the police department to clamp down on corner drug dealing and loitering.

"It’s improved greatly in the last four years," Manley said.

Manley and Stewart both stressed the need for the community to work closely with police officers.

"You’ve got to support the police," Stewart said.
Drug dealing is a persistent problem in Ward 2, Manley said, but crimes such as robberies and break-ins are rare, and more heinous crimes are non-existent.

Both Manley and Stewart support relocating the Boys and Girls Club from its Martinez Street location to the old National Guard Armory, which is located at Hwy. 51 and Eureka Road.

The club is now located across the street from Stewart’s home. He would be saddened to see it relocate but understands the reasoning behind the move.

"Some folks are against (the move) because they want it to stay in the community, but I support it," said Stewart. "It needs room to grow, and maybe more everybody will be involved if it moves to the armory."

Regarding the possible relocation, Manley was more succinct.

"The Boys and Girls Club is for all children, including white children," Manley said. "Those children won’t come so long as it’s in a totally black area, and I think

the community fully understands that."


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