Headlines Cont. – 12/2/2005

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 2, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – December 2, 2005


Bout with surgery keeps 89-year-old ‘out of the easy chair’
     Tom Deaton, 89, works out at the Cardiac Rehab Unit of Tri-Lakes Medical Center three days a week. The other two days are spent on his home gym.
By Jason C. Mattox

For more than a decade, an Enid resident has been working out three days a week at Tri-Lakes Medical Center’s cardiac rehabilitation unit.

Tom Deaton, 89, said he has always been active, even as a child, but heart surgery 10 years ago made him get serious about a regular exercise routine.

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"When I was 79, I had to have a heart valve replaced," he said. "The doctor told me that I needed to start working out."

And start working out he did. Deaton spends at least 40 minutes a day on various pieces of equipment at the hospital or on his Bowflex home gym, where he exercises on the days he doesn’t go to Tri-Lakes.

"For the last 20 years before the heart surgery, I was a farmer between Enid and Oakland," he said. "So I was exercising then. I’m just more focused on it now."

Even with the surgery past him, Deaton said he has no plans to stop working out.

"Working out makes me feel a lot better," he said. "It really works wonders for my arthritis.

"I make it a point to stay out of the easy chair as much as possible," Deaton added. "Sometimes you just can’t help but sit down, but I try to keep moving and keep myself doing something."

Deaton said he has arthritis in his neck and shoulders, and exercising and stretching helps him with that problem.

"I get up and stretch and then do my workout," he said. "That helps me loosen up. If I wasn’t doing that, I don’t know if I could even move some days."

Deaton said in he younger years he was very active playing softball, baseball and basketball and his workouts at Tri-Lakes remind him of his days playing those team sports.

"There are some really good people here," he said. "It helps to know when you start working out there will be people around you to make it fun.

"That is probably my favorite part of exercise," Deaton added. "I get to meet so many people that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I think we all like getting together and knowing what everyone else has been doing."

Unemployment up one percent for October
By Billy Davis

Panola County’s unemployment rate was 8.9 percent in October, up a percent from September figures, state figures released last week show.

Panola County’s revised September rate was 7.6 percent.

Panola’s employment figures rank it number 49 among the state’s 82 counties with DeSoto leading the state in October with 4.6 percent unemployment while hurricane-hit Hancock ranked last with a rate of 24.3 percent.

The state’s unemployment rate is 9.6 percent, meanwhile, and Panola was one of 53 counties with figures below the state average.

Among its neighbors, Panola’s figures are little changed from previous months: still lagging behind Lafayette and Tate counties, nearly equal with Quitman, Tallahatchie and Yalobusha.

Panola County figures this time last year were in double digits. The county’s revised employment rate in October, 2004, was 9.7 percent.

Deadline nears for guide to African-American businesses
The deadline is approaching for advertising in the second annual Panola County African-American Business Guide, chairman Rufus Manley said.

"We missed some people last year and we want to get the word out," Manley added.

The deadline is Saturday, December 17 for the guide which will be distributed in January. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee will publish the guide in conjunction with other local activities celebrating the life of the civil rights icon whose work brought him to Panola County shortly before his assassination in 1968.

"If you know of a business in Panola County that needs to be included, you might want to contact them and ask them to contact me," Manley said.

Manley can be reached at 563-0328.

Two arrested in robbery at Curtis
By Billy Davis

A botched robbery Tuesday evening in the Curtis community led to the arrest of two young suspects.

Truvon Cortez Burgess and Eddie Jones Jr. are charged with armed robbery for allegedly attempting to rob Samuel’s Grocery.

The store is located at 3678 Curtis-Locke Station Road.

Jones, the alleged gunman, is 17 years old. Burgess is 18.

Burgess was arrested at the scene while Jones was arrested the next morning at a relative’s home, sheriff’s investigator Mark Whitten said.

Sheriff’s Deputy Albert Perkins arrested Jones without incident about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Whitten said.

Store owner Bud Samuel said the robbery occurred around 6 p.m. while he and a friend were sitting at a table in the back of the store.

According to Samuel, Jones held a .22 pistol on him and demanded money. As the store owner walked to the counter, Jones hit Samuel in the back of the head with the pistol.

"I went down to the ground and came up with my own pistol, and when I did he was gone," Samuel said.

The second suspect, Burgess, was not gone, however, and Samuel held his gun on the assailant until deputies arrived at the scene.

The store owner said one of the suspects came into the store twice before returning with his accomplice, both of them wearing ski masks.

Samuel said this was the first robbery of the store since he bought it six years ago.

198th Battalion arrests insurgents
(AN-NAJAF) IRAQ – 30 November.

Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) assisted by U.S. Soldiers from 1/198th Armored Battalion (including soldiers from North Mississippi), 155th Brigade Combat Team, conducted a cordon and search of a village northeast of the Khan Al Hammad district in the Karbala Province to detain individuals believed to have been involved in a vehicle-born improvised explosive device (VBIED) against U.S. forces earlier that same day.

The operation resulted in the detention of three individuals and discovery of various materials used in the construction of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). One individual tested positive for explosive residue. IED construction material discovered included a transmitter, radio, wire, and binoculars used for spotting trigger points. The men and materials will remain in U.S. custody pending further investigation.

"We are not going to just sit by and let our soldiers get attacked. We had good information and we acted on it. The soldiers performed well and the mission was a success. There are three less bad guys on the streets of Iraq tonight," says 1/198th Assistant Operations Officer, CPT Kelly Mims.

The 155th Brigade Combat Team is a U.S. Army National Guard unit assigned to II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. 

Musgrove’s portrait to be unveiled
The portrait of former governor Ronnie Musgrove will be dedicated in the Hall of Governors on Tuesday, December 6, at the State Capitol. The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the Old Supreme Court Chamber. The public is invited.

Governor Musgrove, Mississippi Department of and History director H.T. Holmes, and MDAH board of trustees president William F. Winter will speak. The governor’s children, Jordan and Carmen Rae Musgrove, will unveil the portrait, painted by St. Louis artist Frank Norfleet. A public reception will follow on the first-floor Rotunda.

Musgrove served as governor from 2000-2004. He grew up in the Tocowa community in Panola County and graduated from South Panola High School. He earned degrees from Northwest Mississippi Junior College and the University of Mississippi and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Mississippi Law School.

The Hall of Governors, established by the Mississippi Legislature in 1950, is administered by the Department of and History.

Portraits of governors of the state dating back to the territorial period are hung on the first floor of the State Capitol.

Following the portrait’s unveiling, Gov. Musgrove will host a tribute to the portrait artist, Frank Norfleet, and artist Johnnie Maberry-Gilbert at Tougaloo College in Jackson Tuesday, December 6, at 6 p.m.

Guests can visit with the artists at the Health and Wellness Center, room 212 A and B on the campus.
Frank Norfleet is the first African American artist to paint an official portrait of a Mississippi governor. Professor Maberry-Gilbert is a professor at Tougaloo and currently has her work exhibited at the Ridgeland Public Library until December 15.

For more information call 601-576-6850.

SPD looking for drive-by suspect
By Jason C. Mattox

A drive-by shooting late Tuesday morning remains under investigation, according to Sardis Police Chief Mike Davis.

The chief said a call came in to the police department reporting gunfire in the parking lot area of the Pure Station on Highway 51.

"There were no injuries as a result of the incident," Davis said. "We were very lucky in that regard."

Davis said a witness at the scene told officers that four shots had been fired.

"The shooter pulled up in a white car and hollered at two boys who were leaving the store," Davis said. "They apparently had words and the driver shot from his window."

Bullets fired during the altercation hit another car, Davis said.

Davis said the driver of the damaged car, a Crown Victoria, had just gotten out of school and was an innocent bystander to the incident.

"When I arrived on the scene the owner of the store told me both vehicles had already left," Davis said.

Officials with the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, the Panola County Sheriff’s Department and the Como Police Department assisted in the search for the suspect and his car following the incident.

Anyone with information can contact Davis at 487-1383.

Como Christmas Tree-Lighting
     Veneda Ruby holds Philip Baek as she enjoys the carol sing-along at the Como Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Monday night.
Panola Playhouse "A Christmas Carol" in production
     Deby Klyce (front) narrates the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol" while Ebenezer Scrooge (Tom Womble) toils away at his desk during rehearsal at the Panola Playhouse Wednesday night. The play will be performed Dec. 8-11 in Sardis.


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