Headlines Cont. – 4/29/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 29, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – April 29, 2005


Scam artists promise lottery win; want cash
By Rita Howell

A phone call telling him he’d won $10 million sounded like a good thing to retiree David Still of Batesville. In the end, it was too good to be true.

"They sounded mighty real," the 77-year-old former businessman said.

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He got a call a few days ago from someone claiming to be with the FBI, informing him that he’d won the Australia Lottery. The voice on the other end said the FBI had checked it out and Still was definitely a winner.

The caller, who identified himself as John Burger, told Still to call the Department of Treasury at 1-888-238-1397. A recorded message identified the location as the Department of Treasury and asked that the caller leave a message. Still did, and got a return call within 30 minutes.

The second caller, identified as Robert Jones, told Still that two U.S. Marshals would deliver his $10 million the next day. But first he needed to transfer $1,985 to a Washington bank account to cover the costs of transferring the money from Australia.

The caller assured Still that he would get that money back the next day, too.

What Still found fishy was the fact that he was told to transfer the money into an account in his wife’s name. They even asked for her name and birthday.

"I couldn’t figure out why they’d do that," he said.

Still knew who to call. His nephew, Parker Still, is prosecuting attorney for the City of Batesville. The Batesville Police were notified, as well as the FBI in Oxford.

"It’s all over the internet," Parker Still said.

Unfortunately, Still is not the only local person to receive a fake lottery call.

At least two customers have been in Wal-Mart recently to attempt to comply with the scam artists’ instructions to wire money to them, an associate in the customer service department said.

Still, too, was told to go to Wal-Mart to make the transaction that would lead to his receiving $10 million.

Batesville Police Detective Paul Shivers has been spreading word of the lottery scam artists, who target the elderly.

Polls open 7 to 7 next Tuesday, May 3
By Jason C. Mattox

Batesville voters will go to the polls to cast their ballots in the primary elections Tuesday.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

In Ward 1, voters will go to Fire Station No. 2 on Woodland Road, located behind Sonic.

Poll workers for Ward 1 will be Thurmond Stone, Jerlene Stone, Pauline Scruggs, Latitia Trusty and Dorothy Barnett.

Ward 2 voters can cast their ballots at the Patton Lane Community Center, located on Patton Lane next to the city park.

Poll workers will be Willie B. Townsend, Ronald McMinn, Annie Lou Curtis, Ricky Brown and Deborah Gardner.

The Panola County Extension Building on Hwy. 51, across from the health department, will be home for Ward 3 voters.

Poll workers will be Percy Bruce, Barbara Bruce, Barbara Stevens, Frank Waycaster and Marguerite Williams.

Voters in Ward 4 will cast their ballots at City Hall at 103 College Street.

Poll workers for City Hall will be Clayton Johnson, Lillie Johnson, Marjorie Carson, Olive Fitch, Gaynell Gates and Ada Dugger.

Hughes recognized for service in Iraq
Miss. National Guard Sergeant Nick Hughes of Batesville was named Non-Commissioned Officer of the Month during March following his actions south of Baghdad.

During a search for weapons, Hughes disabled a vehicle at a roadblock while sparing the lives of the vehicle’s occupants.

Hughes is a member of the third platoon of Viper Company (A Co.) of the 2-198th AR.

Hughes is the son of Norman and Nancy Hughes of the Central Academy community. He is a graduate of South Panola High School.

According to Nancy Hughes, Nick is currently home from Iraq on a two-week leave. He will return May 11, a day after his one-year anniversary to the former Jennifer Swindoll of Batesville.

"I love my son, and I’m proud of him for his service to our country," Nancy Hughes said. "I’m also proud of Jennifer. She’s stuck with him and supported him."

According to Internet reports by the sergeant’s company commander, Viper Co. "was specially chosen to conduct a mission just south of Baghdad as we were needed to assist a sister battalion in another city, Iskanderia."

Until that mid-March mission, the company commander had described the month as "somewhat peaceful," with the company conducting support operations in the Najaf area as local Iraqi political leaders experimented with the transition of authority following the January elections.

Following a three-day preparation, Viper Company moved to a forward operations base called Kalsu on a mission to "find and confiscate illegal weapons, suspected to be anything from pistols to artillery shells," the company commander stated.

"The missions for the platoons were different. Two platoons had to man ‘blocking positions’ to prevent any insurgents from escaping.

"The other platoon was assigned the task of manning a patrol base in Haswa and from there conduct dismounted presence patrols," the Internet report continued.

Hughes distinguished himself during the operation by setting an example on how to utilize large firepower within the rules of engagement and escalation of force.

The Batesville sergeant directed a blocking action at a roadblock when a vehicle failed to comply with their directions, successfully disabling the vehicle without "collateral damage."

"The occupants of the vehicle were detained," the captain’s report stated.

Other Viper Company soldiers singled out for recognition during March included Soldier of the Month Jamie Lamont Chandler of Phebe.

Rodney Aaron Edwards of Rolling Fork was promoted to first lieutenant, and Phillip Zimmer of Mobile, Ala.; John C.. Branson of Southaven, Kyle R. Stegall of Sugarland, Texas, and James Caulfield of Water Valley were awarded Army Achievement Medals for their conduct during National Training Center rotation.



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