Headlines Cont. – 10/14/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – October 14, 2005


McClure tells aldermen
of courtroom goings-on
By Jason C. Mattox

The inner workings of the Sardis Municipal Court were explained to aldermen last week when Judge Jimmy McClure appeared before the board.

Aldermen requested McClure appear before them to explain his process.

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McClure said when a person is found guilty of an offense in municipal court, they are first asked if they have a job.

"If they tell me they have a job, I usually give them two to four weeks to pay on their fines," he said. "I don’t want to give them jail time because they wouldn’t have a job.

"If they see they aren’t going to be able to pay, it is their responsibility to come back to court and ask for more time," the judge said.

McClure said another reason he is hesitant to sentence working people to jail time is the cost to the city.

"As you are all aware, it costs the city $20 a day to house someone at the Panola County Jail," he said. "Once they come out, I add the jail costs to their fines.

"If they can’t pay the fines then, I will sentence them to the city’s work program," McClure added.

The judge said he does have some "regular customers" for which he has no choice but to sentence to jail.

"There are people that won’t pay their fines and then don’t show up for the work program," he said. "And they seem to be regulars.

"At times I have no choice but to put them in jail," he said. "There have been cases where I have banned them from the city."

Ward 3 Alderman Mike Wilson said one of his concerns is the extension on payments.

"When you give a person that amount of time to pay, it sometimes creates more warrants that we have to send in," he said.

McClure said he only gives the extra time so a person can pay.

"There are people that will have a choice between paying their court fine or buying medicine or food for their families, so I try to show a little compassion," he said.

"I am well aware of a person’s rights and I jump through loopholes to keep the city clear," McClure added.

Macedonia still has supplies available for hurricane victims
By Emily Williams

There are still items available for the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita victims at the Macedonia Concord Community Center, 8302 Curtis Road, Batesville.

These items include: kitchen utensils, personal care items, household cleaning supplies, children school supplies, clothes (men-women-children), shoes, infant wear, non perishable foods, water and diapers and bed pads and bed linen.

The new hours for the center are: noon – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday.

The center’s phone number is 563-5253 or 563-3020. Arrangements can be made for pick-up and delivery.

Sardis alderman ordered to pay back Aaron’s rental
By Jason C. Mattox

A Sardis alderman pleaded guilty to charges of petit larceny and false pretenses in Justice Court in Batesville Tuesday.

Rufus "Bill" Smith was ordered by Judge Bill Joiner to pay $116.79 (the amount of the bad check) and $40 for the bad check fee to Aaron’s Rent-to-Own and return a rented washing machine.

Panola County Constable Ray Hawkins said the charges filed by Aaron’s stemmed from receiving a bad check on a washing machine, and he was given a court order to repossess the appliance from Smith.

When he arrived at Smith’s residence, Smith said he did not know if he was going to allow the washing machine to be repossessed. Hawkins was accompanied by two workers from Aaron’s.

The constable was sent back to the residence the next day after the manager of Aaron’s signed two affidavits against Smith.

Smith, who represents Sardis’ Ward 2, was taken into custody by Panola County Constable Ray Hawkins on September 29. He told the court he would take care of the money owed on Wednesday.



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