Headlines Cont. – 10/4/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – October 4, 2005


Homecoming Time 2005
     Crowned Mr. and Miss Homecoming last week at North Panola High School were April Smith and Brantley Salter.
     The 2005 North Delta Homecoming Court consists of (front, l. to r.) Caroline Moore, junior maid; Caitlin Bailey, Ashley Golden, Ashley Still, Amanda Langston, senior maids; Kenlea Blann, sophomore maid; (back, l to r) Austin Jenkins, sophomore maid; Emilie Cannon, freshman maid; Camille Williams, junior maid; Lacy White, sophomore maid; Ashley Turman, junior maid; Emily Ridge and Molly Sanders, freshman maids. Homecoming is Friday at North Delta.
Would be robber in jail; victim at home
By Jason C. Mattox

The victim of an attempted armed robbery, who returned home late last week, can rest easy knowing one of his assailants is behind bars.

Det. Capt. Paul Shivers of the Batesville Police Department said Nicholas Butler, 22, 114 Aaton St., Batesville, has been arrested and charged with attempted armed robbery and aggravated assault.

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He remains in jail at the David Bryan Justice Complex on $50,000 bond, Shivers said.

Butler was charged for his involvement in the shooting and attempted robbery of James Garner, a sales representative for Pepsi, who was making a company bank deposit at the main branch of First Security Bank during the early morning hours of Tuesday, September 27.

Garner was shot in the hand with a .38 caliber pistol. The weapon has been recovered, Shivers said.

"We recovered a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber pistol," he said.

Shivers told The Panolian that Garner was released from the Regional Medical Center in Memphis on Friday where he was treated for his injury.

"We do know that the victim is home and resting after this ordeal," he said.

While Butler has been charged, Shivers said the BPD is still searching for a second suspect in the incident.

"We know there were two people present when the robbery took place," he said. "The victim told us that in his statement."

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Shivers at 563-5653.

Fires at Curtis under investigation
By Jason C. Mattox

Curtis Volunteer Firemen battled blazes Saturday night that saw one structure totally destroyed and one with limited damage.

According to Curtis Fire Chief Michael Purdy, firefighters were called to Nash Road north of Highway 6.

"We arrived to find a store and a single-wide trailer on fire," he said. "The store was a total loss, but most of the trailer’s damage was contained to the back bedroom."

Panola County Arson Investigator Gerald White said the store, K & R Grocery was a total loss.

The property owner, Eddie Morgan, was not at home at the time of the incident. There were no injuries caused by the fire.

White is still investigating the fire, though he does suspect arson as the cause of the fire.

White said the fire in the Morgan home began in a closet.

"Someone had to set that fire for it to be limited to the area of the house it was in," he said.

"The store was an old concrete block building, so it was dangerous for me to go in there snooping around," White added. "But when you have a second fire about 75 feet from the first, there is something to it."

Man injured in Saturday shooting
By Jason C. Mattox

The Panola County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Monday that a weekend shooting near Sardis left one man, Willie Mack Harris, injured.

According to Investigator Mark Whitten, Harris was shot once in the chest during an incident Saturday on Burdette Road west of Sardis. He was taken to Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

Whitten said he does have one suspect in custody, but would not release a name. The incident remains under investigation, he said.

Stars come out for Saturday fund-raiser at Ole Miss
     Actor Ray Romano posed backstage with Batesville’s Angie Ledbetter
By Angie Ledbetter

Pledges in excess of $15 million poured in during and after the "Mississippi Rising" concert at the University of Mississippi on Saturday.

The gala, which raised money to help the state’s victims of Hurricane Katrina, was organized by Mississippi native Sam Haskell, who said Monday that 11,000 calls were received from viewers of the telecast.

The event was co-chaired by Mississippi natives Morgan Freeman, Brett Favre, Archie Manning, Eli Manning, Faith Hill, Sela Ward, and John Grisham.

A sell-out crowd of 4,000 attended, and thousands more watched the live broadcast on MS-NBC and local stations.

The stars came from everywhere. Their motto was, "We want to help Mississippi."

Some had never been to Mississippi before now and they were impressed with the hospitality. Celebrities took viewers’ pledges from a phone bank.

Actor Morgan Freeman, who lives in Tallahatchie County, opened the show. With tears in his eyes, he said, "We are down, but we are not out. We will rise again."

Four-time Grammy Award-winning artist Faith Hill, a native of Star, said she was glad to be back in Mississippi. She showed up for the event just a little while before it started in a striped button down shirt and blue jeans. She performed in all black attire.

She said, "I can tell you that I have been all over the world and there is not a person in this state that wouldn’t give you the shirt off of their back. It is a great place to be raised."

She said that the very first place that she sang was at church in Mississippi and it was the last place that she sang before she left.

"It started my love for music."

She sang her new release, "Mississippi Girl," but topped it off with "Precious Lord."

Doug Davidson from daytime soap "The Young & Restless" said this was his second trip to Mississippi.

"Actually, it is beautiful here," he said. "This is quite a campus and very impressive. We hope that we can raise money and get people’s lives back to normal."

Steve Azar, who is from Greenville graduated from Delta State University.

"It’s an honor to do this benefit. I am moved to be a part of this."

He performed "Flatlands."

The Mississippi Mass Choir from Jackson performed "Amazing Grace" and "I’m Not Tired Yet?" bringing the entire house to its feet.

Other Mississippians who returned to perform included Delta Burke, who graduated from the University of Mississippi where she was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority. Mississippi native Sela Ward took a trip to her hometown of Meridian before the gala and Lance Bass visited his hometown of Laurel.

Others appearing at the event included: Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Alexander, Marilu Henner, Pam Tillis, Kathy Ireland, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Debbie Allen, Doris Roberts, Gary Morris, Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Laurie Hickson-Smith, Brian McKnight, Deidra Hall, Allison Sweeney, Peter Reckell, Kristian Alfonso, Greg Rikaart, Melody Thomas Scott, Michelle Stafford, Mary Ann Mobley, Gary Collins, Guy Hovis, Gary Grubbs, Mary Haskell, Jill Conner Brown, Miss Mississippi 2005 Kristian Danbrino, Gail Pittman, Cat Cora, Governor and Mrs. Haley Barbour, Macy Gray, B.B. King (taped), Senator Trent Lott, the Ole Miss Company Singers, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Michael Johanns, and University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat.

Donations can still be made at the Web site .

Sam Haskell is former worldwide head of television for the William Morris Agency. Lanny Griffith, who also helped organize the event, is with a Washington lobby firm.

Panolian staff member Rita Howell contributed to this story.


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