Headlines Cont. – 6/14/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – June 14, 2005


Joy Robertson to sign book
Local novelist Joy Robertson of Batesville will be signing copies of her latest book, "Deadly Web," at the Batesville Public Library on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon.

Robertson’s fourth book is a story of revenge set in Memphis.

The public is invited to the signing.

Mayor-elect Dye tells of plans for time in city’s top office
By Jason C. Mattox

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A new era will begin in Sardis on July 5 when new city leaders are sworn in. It is an era that mayor-elect Alvis L. "Rusty" Dye hopes will be a prosperous one.

Dye was declared the city’s next mayor following the June 7 general election where he defeated former mayor Ernest L. "Lit" Scruggs by a two-to-one margin. Dye has served as Ward 4 Alderman for the past eight years.

The mayor-elect said he would like to thank the voters for their confidence in him to lead the city and added he has a lot of work to do.

Following his victory, Dye went to work almost immediately preparing for his new post.

"I have been in City Hall getting more information on some of our projects and getting ready for the job," he said.

"I know this is going to be a lot of work, but if we take the right steps the city will improve."

One of the first steps Dye intends to take is helping the city improve its tax base.

"The city has not had any substantial growth in a number of years," he said. "I think the last plant to locate here was United Plastics.

"The elderly population of Sardis doesn’t even pay taxes," he said.

Dye said the best way for the city to grow is to recruit more jobs.

"There is no question that we have people out there that need jobs," he said. "As city officials, all of us involved on the new board will be out there actively looking for someone that wants to locate here.

"One thing that I have said before and will say again is that a job is a job," Dye said. "Sure I would like to go out there and find a company that can employ 100 or more, but if someone wants to open a retail operation to create 10 new jobs, we’ll take it too."

Another aspect of the city Dye hopes to see improve is at its marina location.

"Skipper came in here and has put in a first class marina," he said. "It is going to be very important to the city that this project continue to grow.

"With the land we have out there, land is available and ready to be developed," Dye added. "With the amount of time and money the city has invested in the project, we all want to see it become a tourist destination."

Dye said he also wants to see members of the community come out and make their voice heard.

"We need to get the people of this city involved," he said. "It doesn’t matter if they just come to our board meetings and listen. The community needs to take an interest in how its city is being run."

Another way Dye would like to see the community become involved is with service organizations like the Boys and Girls Club.

"We have a really good club that works very hard to provide services to the young people of the city and keep them off the streets," he said.

"They are doing a good job, but they need help. They need volunteers.

"I really think the people of this city need to make every effort they can to have an impact on the young people," Dye added.

"They are the people who will be leading this city in the future, and we need to make sure they are prepared for it."

"Barber of Seville" delights local fans
By Madison Kilgore

Last Thursday the Como Opera Guild presented "The Barber of Seville" to children from throughout North Mississippi.

Held at Northwest Community College’s Fine Arts Auditorium, the opera was narrated and performed in English for children to understand. It was directed by Stephen Eisenhard of Pennsylvania. He is married to Como native Meriwether Sledge.

Boys and Girls Club members from Batesville, Tunica and Southaven attended the production and stayed after for a question-and-answer session with the actors.

The opera is set in Seville, Spain, where a prominent young count attempts to find love with a girl named Rosina by convincing her he is a poor student; however, a conniving doctor tries to steal her away. Figaro, the Barber of Seville, helps the young lovers see that they should be together.

The group behind the production, the Como Opera Guild, is a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to providing quality performances and educational opportunities to children of all ages in Northwest Mississippi. They have been presenting productions for children and adults since May 2003.

"Every production is for kids and adults," said Gwen Durrett, a member of the guild. She added that the group goes out to community schools to hold workshops about plays.

"Whenever possible, we let the kids perform," said Durrett, noting that children from Tunica and Senatobia schools have performed in past productions.

Director Stephen Eisenhard was amazed at how well the opera came together. He began by working with Como Opera Guild president and Artistic Director David Durrett.

"We collaborate to find the vision of the show," said Eisenhard. "From there I set what I want to see in the show."

Having only worked on the opera for a week and a half, Eisenhard describes the process as "miraculous." He went on to commend the hard work of everyone involved, especially Set Construction Manager Coleman Ingram and Prop/Costume Manager Guyla Wanderman.

"They built and painted the entire set in two days," said Eisenhard.

The Como Opera Guild also presented a full-length version of the opera on Saturday.

They have numerous productions and benefits planned for the 2005-2006 season.

For more information, check the website at or call (662) 526-9191.




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