Headlines Cont. – 12/27/2005

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – December 27, 2005


Father looking for hit-and-run driver
By Billy Davis

A Batesville man is seeking help from the public in identifying a hit-and-run vehicle.

Tony Turner is seeking the driver of a light, blue-colored car that fled the scene after hitting a Buick Century driven by his son, Tavis Turner.

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The father said the incident occurred Thursday evening, December 22, on Hwy. 35 South.

"My son and a friend were turning into a driveway, and the blue car came around a truck and hit them," Turner said.

The truck also left the scene.

"I feel sure the car would have to have some front-end damage," Turner said. "Hopefully somebody will notice the damage and read this story."

Anyone with information about the incident can contact the Panola County Sheriff’s Department at 563-6230 or the Batesville Police Department at 563-5653.

Driver crashes guard stand at rest stop
By Billy Davis

A Missouri man was allegedly drunk when he sped through an interstate rest stop Christmas Day, sideswiping the guard shack and pinning the guard inside the building.

Christopher Goodman, 31, of Springfield, Missouri, is charged with DUI-first offense stemming from the incident at the rest stop located between Batesville and Pope.

The incident occurred about 5:58 p.m., said state trooper Bubba Bryan.

Goodman was traveling southbound in a 1991 Chevrolet Caprice Classic, the state trooper said.

"Mr. Goodman said he was going 75 miles an hour up the ramp at the rest stop," Bryan said. "He was sliding sideways when he hit the guard shack. If he had hit that shack head on, he would’ve killed the guard."

A golf cart used by the guard was demolished by Goodman’s car, Bryan said.

Batesville firefighters helped pull the guard from the shack, Bryan said. The guard was shaken up but was otherwise okay, he said.

Holiday closings will affect garbage service
County and municipal officials have announced closings for the upcoming holidays, as well as changes in garbage collection schedules.

Panola County government
The county courthouses in Batesville and Sardis will be closed Monday, January 2, for New Year’s.

Because of the holiday schedule the county’s garbage pick-up will operate one day behind for two weeks, beginning Tuesday, December 27.

Tuesday customers, for example, should put out their cans for pick-up on Wednesday, December 28.

In the City of Batesville, city employees will be off work Monday, Jan. 2 for New Year’s.

Garbage collection in the city will be one day behind schedule.

The City of Sardis will take Friday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Jan. 2, for New Year’s. Garbage will be collected Tuesday and Thursday those weeks.

Panolian closings
The newspaper office will be closed Friday, December 30.

City gives $25,000 to Boys & Girls Club
By John Howell Sr.

Batesville will again provide $25,000 for support of the Batesville Boys and Girls Club, city leaders told Club Director Belinda Faye Morris at last Tuesday’s meeting of the mayor and aldermen.

The mayor and aldermen budgeted the $25,000 in annual support during August budget meetings. One half of the amount will be paid on February 1 and the second installment will be paid March 1 following Morris’ request. The Batesville club relocated to the old National Guard armory on Highway 51 during 2005. Average daily attendance in the club’s after school program is 140 to 150 children, Morris said.

Morris’ appearance before the board brought questions from city officials about the county’s support of the Batesville club and about insurance coverage for the building.

Mayor Jerry Autrey said he had questioned the insurers of city property and county property, and both told him the building was not insured.

Ward Two Alderman Rufus Manley said that he thought the county paid for the building insurance and the utilities as its in-kind support of the program. Morris replied that the Boys and Girls Club has been paying the city’s bill for gas and water.

City hospital money to pay back part
of BCC loan
By John Howell Sr.

Batesville aldermen last Tuesday amended minutes from their December 6 meeting to reflect the disposition of the entire amount of proceeds from the sale of Tri-Lakes Medical Center.

Action taken on December 6 placed $850,000 from the sale into two certificates of deposit to be held in reserve against potential future liabilities the city might have to pay as a result of its period of hospital ownership. The December 6 ordinance further directed $88,701.77 to be used in the city’s first annual installment on a 10-year note to repay the city’s economic development account for the Batesville Civic Center’s construction cost.

The December 20 amendment records that $122,464.37 was placed in the general fund, to account for the total proceeds of $1,061,165.77 to the city from the sale of its interest in the hospital. Most of the City of Batesville’s proceeds from the sale of Tri-Lakes Medical Center have been placed in certificates of deposit, the minutes of the city officials’ December 6 meeting state.

In other action related to the hospital sale, aldermen unanimously voted to authorize the city’s legal department to research the amount the department spent on city attorney legal fees during the sale. When the amount is determined, "the city will consider approaching the county on paying part of such legal fees," the minutes state.

The City of Batesville and Panola County were joint owners of the hospital at the time of its sale to Physicians and Surgeons Group on November 18.



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