Headlines Cont. – 12/13/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – December 13, 2005


Helpers available next week for
‘Part D’ sign-up in Batesville
By Billy Davis

Senior citizens who need to enroll for the "part D" coverage of Medicare will find some help next week.

Volunteers will help seniors sign up on-line Monday, December 19, at the Batesville Boys and Girls Club and the WIN Job Center in Batesville.

Seniors with last names ending with A-L can sign up at either site from 9 a.m. until noon. Seniors with last names M-Z can sign up from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Seniors need to bring their Medicare card and proof of their medicines, said Rep. Leonard Morris, who is coordinating the effort.

The "part D" coverage is a drug prescription benefit that allows seniors to choose from several drug plans.

Morris said volunteers with the AARP and the Area Agency on Aging will assist seniors with the Internet connection and Web site.

"The volunteers will help run down the list of choices but not in making a selection," Morris said.

The Boys and Girls Club is located at Highway 51 South and Eureka Road in Batesville. The Job Center is located in east Batesville in the Tylertown shopping center behind KFC.

Batesville closer to new animal shelter after loan submission
By Jason C. Mattox

Property surrounding the Boys and Girls Club on Highway 51 South in Batesville could go to the dogs ? many, many, dogs ? if a Rural Development loan application is approved for a shelter.

Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey informed The Panolian last week that the city has submitted the application with assistance from the North Delta Planning and Development District.

If approved, the loan would provide the city and county with $486,000 toward the construction of an animal shelter.

Of that $486,000, $75,000 is matching funds that must come from the city and county, he said.

"The city and all of Panola County need a new shelter," he said. "The old dog pound just isn’t enough anymore."

The proposed facility would be built on property near the old National Guard Armory that is now home to the Boys and Girls Club.

In order for the city to apply for the loan, the city and county had to sign an interlocal agreement.

"We are all supporting this project," Autrey said. "The board of supervisors has been very positive about what we are trying to do."

According to Trey Hamby of North Delta Planning, the loan application must now go to USDA for consideration. Rural Development is an agency with in the USDA.

"There is a chance they could look at the application and come back to us wanting more information," he said.

"Just because the application has been sent in, that doesn’t automatically mean they will receive the funding," Hamby added.

Hamby said the proposed facility would be approximately 4,600 square feet and would contain an office, restrooms, storage and holding pens for the animals.

"The plans they are submitting are the same as a proposed shelter for Senatobia and Tate County," he said. "They are using the same architect.

"But both Senatobia and Batesville are going after the same pot of money," Hamby said. "Hopefully both can be funded."


Official Portrait
     The official portrait of former governor Ronnie Musgrove of Panola County was dedicated to the Hall of Governors on Tuesday, December 6, at the State Capitol.
     On hand for the unveiling were (l. to r.) Gov. Musgrove’s children, Jordan and Carmen Rae, Musgrove, St. Louis artist Frank Norfleet, who painted the portrait; former governor William Winter, and Mississippi Department of and History director H.T. Holmes.
Dept. of Children and Families still needs help
Christmas donations accepted until Dec. 19
By Jason C. Mattox

The staff at the Panola County Department of Children and Family Services is working hard to provide a merry Christmas for needy children whose names have been submitted to the office.

As groups and individuals continue to "adopt" children from the list, and as others bring donations of toys and money for the project, the list of children keeps growing, according to Diane Davis of DCFS.

There are now more than 500 children on the list, she said. So far, 110 children have been adopted. That number includes 47 foster children.

"We have had several people come through with donations," she said. "But the number of kids keeps growing, even though we tell people we don’t know if we can get to them."

Davis said DCFS screens the applicants and a child with more of a need might move up the list.

"We take a close look at the child’s situation," she said. "We have had a child that was affected by the hurricanes that was just turned into us last week."

As of Monday, DCFS had accepted $2,500 in cash donations that will be used to buy Christmas gifts.

"If you figure just $15 per child for 300 kids, that’s over $4,000," she said. "But I have faith that people are going to keep coming in and helping us out."

As for toy donations, Davis said the office was full of packed bags Monday morning.

"People have really come through for us," she said. "We’ve collected a lot of toys for the kids, and now they are packed into bags."

Anyone wanting to make a donation of a toy or cash can do so at the DCFS office on Main Street in Sardis, First Security Bank or Renasant Bank in either Batesville or Sardis, State Bank and Union Planters Bank in Batesville.

"I really believe people will continue to support this cause," she said. "I don’t know if we will be able to provide for all of the children, but we are going to do our best."

For more information or to pledge support, contact DCFS at 487-2098.



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