Headlines Cont. – 11/29/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – November 29, 2005


Local hands serve to build Honduras mission complex
     This construction crew from Batesville spent a week in September helping build the first structure on the New Vision Ministries campus in Yarmaranguila, Honduras. Shown are (from left) Ken Williams, Mike French, Billy Benson, Greg Johnston, Dennis Mangrum, Randy Willis and Roger Cheeseman.
By Rita Howell

The vision of a mission group founded by a Batesville dentist is coming into focus in a poverty-riddled mountainous region of Central America.

New Vision Ministry, Inc. is nearing completion of two buildings on a 16-acre campus near the town of Yarmaranguila, Honduras, where Dr. Andy Garrott and a host of others are working to build a complex to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of the people.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

It is the poorest region of a poor country, said Garrott, who has been traveling there on mission trips for 23 years.

The new facility will house an orphanage, educational facilities, a church building, a medical/dental clinic and pharmacy, a cafeteria, soccer fields and a radio station from which Christian programs will be broadcast to three countries.

The land, located on a flat expanse about a mile from the town, was donated to the group by the owner last year. In September construction was begun on the first building, and a team of men from Batesville’s First Baptist Church spent a week there helping put together the metal beams, install the tin roof, and lay the concrete blocks to form what will be the campus administration building. All the materials for New Vision’s buildings are being partially assembled in the U.S. and shipped in containers to Honduras.

Helping Honduran workers at the site in September were Mike French, Billy Benson, Randy Willis, Greg Johnston (pastor of Batesville First Baptist Church), Dennis Mangrum, Ken Williams and Roger Cheeseman.

Randy Willis reported that the workers used a low-tech method of mixing the mortar: the Honduran laborers had shoveled loads of sand and rocks from a creek, tossing each scoopful atop a screen which allowed the sand to fall through and the rocks to be caught above. At the work site are piles of carefully separated sand which is mixed with cement to make the mortar.

The second building, also nearing completion, will house an orphanage for boys. (The area already has a girls’ home nearby.)

Dr. Garrott and a crew returned home two weeks ago after spending a week helping complete the administration building and orphanage.

The third building, a storage facility which will also house the radio station and areas for vocational training, was purchased from local steel building company ACI. The components will be shipped to a company in Arkansas where they will be carefully packed into a shipping container which eventually will make its way to the Gulf of Mexico for loading onto a ship, and ending up in a port in Honduras, where the huge crate will be loaded onto a truck for transport to its destination in the mountain meadow.

The ministry operates on a "pay as you go" system, according to Willis. Donations have allowed the completion of the first two buildings, and the funds have been collected for the third. What is lacking is $5,000 to ship the ACI building to Honduras, and $10,000 for a concrete slab to on which to place the building. Also needed is about $20,000 for equipment for the radio station.

Garrott is hoping for 1,000 people to pledge $10 per month to support the mission.

Anyone wishing to make a donation may send it to New Vision Ministries at P.O. Box 350, Batesville, MS. More information is available at 563-1488. The Web site is

Sykes ready for role on NP school board
By John Howell, Sr.

Newly-elected North Panola School District Trustee Tracy Sykes Thompson will take office at the first school board meeting in January.

Thompson, a North Panola High School graduate who also attended Northwest Mississippi Community College, outpolled incumbent Mack Taylor 243 to 224 in last week’s run-off election for the school district post.

Jeanette E. Jackson lost her bid for the spot in the November 8 election.

"I first need to learn my duties; I have the desire to help in any way I can; I’ll fit in anywhere," Thompson said.

Thompson said that she often helps parents whose children are having difficulties in school. "A lot of time I find that parents don’t understand the paperwork," she said.

The newly-elected school board member has two children who attend North Panola Schools. Edward Thompson is a first grader at Como Elementary and three-year-old Tyronza Thompson is enrolled in early Head Start in Crenshaw.

Thompson has also served as secretary to the Como Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization. 

Panola Industries to vacate Sardis building
By Jason C. Mattox

Steelmatic’s move into the old Air Kontrol Building just off Highway 51 in Sardis will cause present tenants Panola Industries to move, but not immediately.

Panola Industries is a sheltered workshop operating under the umbrella of the North Mississippi Regional Center, offering vocational training to 32 people with developmental disabilities.

Panola Industries works with local industries and the community around it to provide services and the vocational training to its clients.

"We enter into a contract with a business to manufacture an item in our facility," Panola Industries director Cecilia James-Webb said.

Presently, Panola Industries has a contract with Batesville Casket Company.

Since learning of Steelmatic’s pending move, Sardis Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye has been working with Panola Industries to find them a new home.

"Mayor Dye has really worked hard to make sure that we are comfortable," James-Webb said. "They have really provided us with a great support system."

According to James-Webb, the clients being served at the present facility will soon be moved into a recently restored doctor’s office near the North Panola Hospital building.

The building was cleaned and repaired in case there was a need to house Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

James-Webb said the group will remain in the Air Kontrol Building for several more weeks before moving to their new location.

"We will be staying here until the other building is completely ready for us," she said. "Everyone involved has gone out of their way to make sure we were taken care of."

The director said the move to the doctor’s office will be a temporary one while a new building is constructed on Eureka Road.

"We expect to have our own building up within a year," she said.

‘Christmas Carol’ set at Panola Playhouse
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens will be performed four times at The Panola Playhouse, 212 South Main Street in Sardis, MS. Show times are at 7:30 for the three evening performances on Thursday, December 8 through Saturday, December 10; the Sunday matinee on December 11 will start at 2:30. Admission prices range from $5 to $12. Call (662) 487-3975 for more information.

This Christmas classic is directed by Vic Henson.




Copyright 2005-2006 by The Panolian, Inc..  All rights reserved
Copyright 2001-2004 by Batesville Newspapers, LLC.  All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission  is prohibited.