Headlines Cont. – 5/27/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 27, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – May 27, 2005


Planning underway for local job fair
By Jason C. Mattox

When the Governor’s Job Fair Network makes its stop at the Batesville Civic Center on June 23, network director Joe Buckner hopes several hires will be made.

During an organizational meeting Monday morning at the Batesville Win Job Center, Bucker said a recent job fair in Yazoo City resulted in 284 hires being made by various companies.

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"We are very hopeful that we can see this kind of success when we put on a job fair here in Batesville," he said.

Buckner said one of the most important keys to a successful job fair is getting employers with available jobs to take part.

"You want companies to come in there that have job openings they need to fill," he said. "It is good if a company can take a resume, but there are people that need jobs now, and there are companies out there looking for the right people.

"We just need to make sure that we can get them in the same place at the same time," Buckner added.

"You want people there that can submit a resume, fill out an application, and have an interview if need be," he said. "The goal of these job fairs is to put as many people to work as possible."

Buckner said one of the largest complaints he hears from people is that there aren’t any jobs available.
"People always tell me they are looking for jobs, but there aren’t any out there," he said. "There are always companies out there looking for good people, and job fairs like this give people a chance to see just who is hiring.

"People want to go to work," he said. "They are out there looking for work. We are just here to help them where we can."

Buckner said he expects to see a number of recent college graduates and military personnel at the job fair.

"You will have graduates and military people who are now out of the service that will be here looking for jobs," he said.

In an effort to increase attendance, notices of the job fair will be attached to unemployment checks when they are sent out.

Buckner said resumes can be e-mailed to jobfair@mdes.ms.gov if a person is interested in the fair but is unable to attend the event.

"While submitting a resume is good, being there in person is your best bet," he said. "There won’t be a better time to get this many people together under one roof and show them what you have to offer."

Anyone interested in the Job Fair at the Batesville Civic Center can go to for more details including a list of potential employers and available positions as a company registers.

Ragland paralyzed following car accident
By Rita Howell

A 16-year-old South Panola High School freshman on his way to take his last exam on Monday wrecked his Pathfinder on Eureka Road about a mile east of the Batesville City limits and sustained spinal cord injuries that have left him paralyzed.

Richie Ragland (Redwine), 16, is in The Med in Memphis recovering from lengthy surgery on Tuesday. He is the son of Tina and David Redwine of Pope and Simpson Ragland of Southaven.

Residents on Eureka Road pulled Richie from underneath the wrecked vehicle and carried him to the driveway of a nearby home because they feared the SUV might explode. A woman at the scene held his hand while a man held a large umbrella over him to protect him from the drizzling rain.

About 65 friends and family members gathered at The Med later Monday, reported Richie’s aunt, Angie Ledbetter.

"They formed two lines, on either side of the hallway, and the nurses rolled Richie down the middle, just so he could see everybody," she said.

Following a period of recovery at The Med, Richie will be transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Memphis, his aunt said.

The student sustained a broken back and broken neck in the wreck. He is experiencing paralysis from the waist down, Ledbetter said.

"He had just gotten on with the Pope Volunteer Fire Department, and he was so excited," she said. "People at the wreck said he wanted them to get his fire department stuff out of the Pathfinder for him."

Friends of the family have established an account at Covenant Bank where donations can be made to help defray expenses the family is incurring. More information about the account is available at 563-0856.

Former Sardis mayor makes bid for same office
By Jason C. Mattox

When Sardis residents go to the polls during the June 7 general election, they could choose a former mayor to again lead the town.

Ernest L. "Lit" Scruggs, who defeated Jerry Rogers for the Mayor’s office in 1997, will again run as an independent in the upcoming election where he will face Democrat and two-term Ward Four Alderman Alvis L. "Rusty" Dye for the city’s top office.

Scruggs failed to win re-election in 2001 against Richard Darby who is not seeking another term in office.

The former mayor is a graduate of Sardis High School, Northwest Mississippi Community College and Mississippi State University. In addition to traditional education, Scruggs received training in the Basic and Advanced Armor School and the National Defense University while serving in the United States Army.

His professional career includes 42 years of military service, horticulturist for Ballentine Farms, owner of Scruggs Gulf Service Station, owner of ELS Fruit and Vegetable Farm and teacher for seven years at North Panola High School.

"I feel like my professional experience and education make me the best choice for the people of Sardis," he said. "I have been getting a great response from people during my campaign."

During his term as mayor, the City of Sardis purchased a new garbage truck, a new dump truck and a new fire truck. He also credits his administration with the paving of roads through Rose Hill Cemetery and beginning the dredging phase of the Sardis Lake Marina Project.

"In my first term of office, we got plans together for the new city shop that is now in operation," he said. "Myself and the board of aldermen also worked hard to secure part of the funds used in the library expansion."

Scruggs said one of the biggest goals of his second stint as mayor will be restoring a sense of community pride.

"I feel like we had a cleaner town and people really took pride in the way the town looked," he said. "I want to see that pride returned to the people of Sardis."

One way the candidate plans to do that is by restoring the community-wide clean-up days.

"We waged war on litter in the past," he said. "If I am re-elected, that war will begin again.

"Our residents used to turn out in droves for the community clean-up days, and I think they will do so again," Scruggs added.

The former mayor says his other goals include:

continuing improvements to Rose Hill Cemetery;
replacing the city’s antiquated water lines;
seeking funds needed for street repairs;
promoting industry and encouraging new businesses to locate to Sardis; and
continuation of the Sardis Lake Marina Project to ensure that it becomes one of the top tourist destinations in the state.

"There are a lot of things that need to be done," Scruggs said. "But I am more than ready to get in there and go to work."




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