Headlines Cont. – 1/10/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – January 10, 2006


Trash: ‘The more we pick up, the more they throw out’
By Billy Davis

The topic of cleaning up Panola County’s roadsides resurfaced at the supervisors’ "second Monday" meeting in Batesville, where District 2 Supervisor Robert Avant raised the subject after surveying his roads.

"The garbage is still bad," said Avant. "It seems like the more we pick up, the more they throw out."

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Panola County road manager Lygunnah Bean said the road department discovered and cleaned up an illegal dump on Cline Road.

"It was so bad it looked like a furniture factory," Bean told the board.

The topic of cleaning up the county’s roads comes after a volunteer clean-up program headed by Bean, Clean Up Panola, cleaned up dozens of roads over the spring and summer.

The clean-up effort, performed by volunteers, slowed down when the weather turned wet and cold.

Reached after the meeting, Bean said Clean Up Panola would kick off again in the spring with a renewed effort to organize teams of volunteers.

During the winter months, Bean said, county inmates have endured the weather to clean up the roadsides.

"The inmates have been picking up thousands of bags of garbage," Bean said. "People might clean up in front of their homes or around their neighborhood, but these guys get the whole entire road. It’s something to see."

At the board meeting, Bean reminded supervisors that they were given a proposed garbage ordinance that would address the lingering problem of illegal dumping.

"Tate County has got this ordinance and is doing well with it," he said.

Sheriff’s deputy Bobby Walton, who patrols the dump sites, proposed the ordinance last spring.

On the subject of enforcement, Sheriff Hugh "Shot" Bright suggested hiring a second deputy to patrol the dump site. That idea was shot down by District 4 Supervisor Jerry Perkins.

"It’s education, Sheriff," Perkins said. "Just like we teach kids not to smoke, we need to be teaching them not to throw out garbage."

In other county business:
Supervisors took under advisement a list of "disaster response needs" suggested by the Panola County Civil defense office.
     The list included items such as generators, radios, a rescue boat, and an urban response vehicle. The total cost of the 17-item list was $262,060.
     "We realize none of this is budgeted, so this is just for your future consideration," said Daniel Cole, the deputy civil defense director.
     Avant said he will inquire if Homeland Security funds can help pay for some of the requested items.    
     Sheriff Hugh "Shot" Bright presented supervisors with an interlocal agreement signed by the City of Batesville that lends their support to the Panola Drug Task Force.
     The county and city have been hashing out the funding and oversight of the task force in recent weeks.
     Bright noted that the City of Sardis has budgeted $1,200 to the task force.    
     Crenshaw Auction Company representative Harold Crenshaw pitched the service of his company.
     Supervisors and Bright had earlier balked at putting county equipment in the Crenshaw auction but now say they will participate in a March event.
     "We’ve got an excellent track record," Crenshaw told supervisors.    
     Supervisors took under advisement several bids during a 10 a.m. bid opening. The bid items included gravel and rock hauling, rental fees for heavy equipment, and bank deposits for the county’s treasury.    
Events planned to honor memory of Dr. King
A basketball jamboree and a commemorative march are among the events planned this weekend in Panola County to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The basketball games will be at the Batesville Intermediate School gym on Friday, January 13. Call Dennis Hoskins at 578-7309 for details.

A banquet recognizing African-American businesses will be held at the Patton Lane Community Center at 6 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday there will be a musical program at the Sardis District Association Building at 6 p.m.

A commemorative march will be Monday at 10 a.m. beginning at the Mt. Zion Church, with a service later at the Batesville Intermediate School auditorium. Call 563-3020 for more information.

‘What if levee fails?’ board will ask Corps
By John Howell Sr.

Mayor Jerry Autrey asked city engineering services representative Blake Mendrop to provide updated estimates for city street maintenance and repair. The mayor told Mendrop he needed the figures for a meeting with officials of the Appalachian Regional Council which may have funds available for street repair.

Autrey’s request came during the Tuesday, January 3 meeting of the Batesville mayor and aldermen.

In other city business:
City engineering representative Mendrop told the mayor and aldermen that a spokesman from the Corps of Engineers will be invited to attend a meeting in the near future to describe possible consequences for Batesville in the event of a catastrophic levee failure at Sardis Reservoir;
The city officials also discussed the now-closed "zip" lanes through the Downtown Square. Proposals considered included making all traffic through the two lanes one way or building a gate which would allow access on occasions when needed. The city officials instructed Mendrop to propose suggestions about the lanes;
Mendrop proposed a rate and use study for the city’s water and sewer department. Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders said that annual incremental rates increases had lowered the city’s yearly loss on water service from $500,000 to $250,000.
Mayor Autrey said that he had obtained estimates of $9,000 to repair the city hall roof or $39,000 to replace the roof. City officials discussed the problem of a leak in the facility’s vault area.
     "The water leak is a wall problem," said Code Enforcement Director Thomas Burnett. Burnett said that the leak through the wall had proved difficult to stop.    
Blood drive set next week
     in SP high school library
The Batesville Community Blood Drive will be held on Tuesday, January 17 through Thursday, January 19. The blood drive will be held from 9 a.m. ? 4 p.m. on Tuesday and from 1 ? 8 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. The blood drive will be held in the South Panola High School library. All donors will receive a T-shirt.

All donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a valid ID.

"Mississippi Blood Services appreciates all of the caring individuals who are dedicated to helping save lives by donating blood," said Wendy Copeland, MBS Public Relations Manager. "Please help Mississippi Blood Services continue to make miracles happen by donating blood every 56 days."

MBS offers a "mini physical" before each donation to ensure the donation process is safe for the donor as well as the recipient.

For more information, contact (800) 817-7449.

NP Hospital getting tenants
By Jason C. Mattox

After years of sitting empty, the North Panola Hospital Building will soon be occupied by two entities.

Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye told the Sardis Board of Aldermen that Panola Industries, a sheltered workshop that operates under the umbrella of the North Mississippi Regional Center, offering vocational training to 32 people with developmental disabilities, is already occupying a portion of the building after moving from the old Air Kontrol building.

"The sheltered workshop has been working in the old doctors office on the hospital property," he said. "But they won’t be the only tenants on the property."

Dye said the Panola County Drug Task Force would soon begin working on the metal building near the hospital to use as its new home.

"We had the new sheriff out there, and they were really happy with building," he said. "They know they will need to do some work, but they have the manpower to take care of that."

Dye said the sheriff’s department has also mentioned placing an investigator in the office.

"I think the more police presence we have the better we will be," he said.

In other board business conducted last Tuesday:  
Aldermen authorized a contract with Bill Coker to serve as the administrator of the Mississippi Home Grant.
Police Chief Mike Davis and Dye mentioned plans for a new police station that would be located out near the existing City Shop on Highway 315.
Dye told aldermen the grant process for the proposed walking park on property behind the North Panola Alternative School was ongoing.




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