| Panola Partnership honors four as ‘outstanding’
| Panola County’s new Miss Hospitality, Ginnie Monteith, was crowned at the Panola Partnership’s annual banquet in Como last Thursday. Meredith McCurdy, who served in 2005 and represented the county at the state Miss Hospitality pageant last summer, passed on the title and crown before a crowd of several hundred members and friends of the Partnership.
Monteith is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dick Monteith. First runner-up was Lillian Morris, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Morris, and second runner-up was Abigail Broome, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Erik Broome.
Also recognized at the banquet were winners of four awards handed out annually by the organization.
Glendora Dugger, superintendent of the North Panola School District, received the James Hal Moore Excellence in Education Award.
George Randolph, longtime general manager of Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association, was presented the Citizenship Award for his contributions to the community.
The law firm of Smith, Phillips, Mitchell and Scott received the Business of the Year award, which was accepted by Briggs Smith and Colmon Mitchell.
The Ambassador of the Year Award, presented to the outstanding member of the Partnership’s "red coats" ambassador team, went to Glenda Bailey.
The annual banquet marked the end of Partnership board member Leonard Morris’s term of service. Two new members of the executive board were welcomed: Dennis Dye and Ken Waldrip.
They will join board members Lygunnah Bean, Susan Berry, David Chandler, David LaVergne,
Dr. Steven Shideler, Sledge Taylor and board president Brad Robison in leading the Partnership for the coming year.
| Board approves payment of lawyer for work in regaining NP hospital
| By Billy Davis
Panola County supervisors approved a payment of $300,000 to attorney Richard "Flip" Phillips last week for putting the North Panola Hospital back in the county’s hands.
Phillips, of Batesville, worked for about a year to wrestle the Sardis hospital from its purchaser, Partners in Action, which never moved forward with renovation plans and instead declared bankruptcy.
Phillips’ fee agreement with the county was either one-third of the hospital’s value if he could regain control or standard hourly billing if he failed, District 4 Supervisor Jerry Perkins told The Panolian Monday.
The one-third payment is a "normal fee" for such legal work, the county supervisor said.
When Phillips won control, supervisors in recent months approved an appraisal of the property, agreeing that was the fairest way to pay Phillips one-third of the hospital’s value.
The City of Sardis, which co-owns the hospital, must approve the payment to Phillips.
While the hospital was appraised for $1.5 million, supervisors noted in their meeting Friday that Phillips had "knocked off" more than $100,000 due to a lack of funds in the North Panola Hospital account.
Chancery Clerk Jim Pitcock told supervisors Friday that the hospital account has enough funding to cover Phillips’ payment. He did not say how much would be left if and when Phillips receives his payment.
| Water park proposed for Sardis Lake
| By Jason C. Mattox
A $50 million water park has been proposed for the Sardis Lake Marina development area by Skipper Marine, which operates the marina. Skipper has submitted a letter of proposal, Sardis Mayor Alvis "Rusty" Dye told The Panolian Monday morning. No further details of that proposal were given.
"There is a lot of development in the works out near the marina," Dye said. "It has really been well received by everyone on the local, state and national level."
Dye met last week with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding Phase II of the Sardis Lake Marina Project, which includes proposals for a hotel/conference center and other development.
"The Corps was very receptive to the proposal for the hotel/conference center," he said.
Dye said the major reason for the meeting in Vicksburg was to see just what could and could not be developed on the property the city has leased from the Corps at Sardis Lake.
"We really needed to get a list of dos and don’ts from the Corps so we know what the next step will be," he said.
"We know that if the developer wants to construct time-shares like they have in Florida, the project will need special congressional permission," Dye said.
A time-share is joint ownership or lease of vacation property by several people who take turns occupying the premises for fixed periods.
Dye would neither confirm nor deny if time-shares were in the developer’s plans.
"I can say we had a very cordial meeting with several representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," he said. "And I know they all seemed very supportive of the future of this project."