Headlines – 4/28/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 28, 2006

The Panolian: HEADLINES – April 28, 2006

  From the 4/28/06 issue of The Panolian       

Kids and cows: Weekend goings-on include Answered Prayers, farm tour
Pope cleanup also planned for Saturday
By Billy Davis

A farm tour and a benefit for handicapped children are among the offerings this weekend in Panola County.

In Batesville, the sixth annual Answered Prayers Benefit will take place Saturday inside the Batesville Civic Center. Admission is $5.

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Children under 12 are admitted free.

Answered Prayers runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes carnival rides, music and entertainment, auctions, and a variety of food. More than 70 vendors will be selling a variety of wares ranging from handmade jewelry to antiques and collectibles.

Funds raised through booth rentals and entry admission go toward a year-end goal of $20,000, money that helps defray the medical-related costs of children Shamekia Money, Amber Lamar, Garrett Allen and Tia Cathey.

(Read their stories, page B1).

A fourth child and family have been added this year after the benefit chose three children in the last two years, said event volunteer Judy Russell.

East of Batesville, third-generation cattle farmer Preston Lawrence will give a tour of his operation, Double L Farms, Saturday afternoon.

Lawrence, 48, was named Panola County Commercial Cattleman of the Year earlier this year by the Panola County Cattleman’s Association. Tradition holds that the county’s top cattleman welcomes visitors to the award-winning farm for a tour.

Lawrence raises 120 head of cattle on 820 acres that is split between the main farm site on Cold Springs Road with some acreage located on Highway 315.

The tour of the Double L begins at 4 p.m. on Cold Springs Road. Rain will not cancel the event, Lawrence said.

Lawrence will lead visitors around his farm and also provide an educational speaker and a meal, said county Extension agent Judd Gentry.

The speaker is expected to discuss chicory, a perennial forage crop that is gaining popularity among ranchers and farmers in the United States.

Reservations for the meal had to be made by Thursday.

Farther south in Pope, the Pope Women’s Club is sponsoring "Take Pride in Pope," a volunteer cleanup that starts at 8 a.m. in downtown Pope.

T-shirts, refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Line-up finalized for ‘Fest
By Jason C. Mattox

The final entertainment line-up for SpringFest, Batesville’s annual springtime festival, has been announced by talent coordinator Rodney Holley.

The Cigar Store Indians (see story, B3) will be headlining Friday, May 19, and country artist David Lee Murphy will headline Saturday.

The schedule is as follows:

Friday, May 19
6 PM Seven Days Waiting
7:30 PM Randy Moore &the Fabulous Suedes
9:30 PM Cigar Store Indians
Saturday, May 20
Noon Harmony
2 PM Sound check
3:30 PM Southern Country
5 PM Sander Bohlke
6:15 PM Eden Brent
7:30 PM Big T Blues Band
9:15 PM David Lee Murphy
‘Paperless’ NP means laptops for trustees
By Jason C. Mattox

The North Panola School District Board of Trustees will become a "paperless board" in the near future after a vote on Monday night.

By becoming a paperless board, North Panola would subscribe to the Mississippi School Board Association’s Online Policy Service and an online Board Manual. The cost would be $5,000.

"We don’t want people to be confused," Trustee Pearl McGlothian said. "This does not mean we will not have things on paper, it just means we will have less."

By becoming a paperless board, North Panola will be able to post all policies on the internet along with the agenda for its monthly meeting.

"This will allow anyone who wants to view the agenda to go online and pull it up," Superintendent Glendora Dugger said.

In addition to these changes, each board member and board attorney Alix Sanders will receive a laptop computer to use for district business. The cost of the computers is not included in the $5,000 fees.

Budget cut may limit UM youth sports program
By Jason C. Mattox

The North Panola School District Board of Trustees was updated on the status of the National Youth Sports Program at Ole Miss during its meeting Monday night. The program allows students from schools throughout the state to come in the summer to Ole Miss where they participate in several sports-related activities.

Superintendent Glendora Dugger told trustees that the program was in a financial bind.

"I spoke with Valerie Ross at the university and she told me the budget for the program had been cut from $122,000 to $40,000," she said. "So there is a chance the program may not happen on the Ole Miss campus."

Dugger said Ross, who has run the program for the past six years, will not be able to run is this year.

"She had been on an 11-month contract that allowed her the month of June to run the program," she said. "She won’t be able to do that anymore, but told me she is seeking permission to train a replacement so the program will continue, and I told her if it was possible that North Panola would like to be considered for it.

"We are still trying to find out about all of the particulars," Dugger said.

Due to the more than 66 percent budget cut for the program, North Panola would be required to pay for fuel, buses and a driver to transport the students to and from the campus if the program continues.

"This is nothing we haven’t done in the past," she said. "But I was told by Mrs. Ross that South Panola was reimbursed for their gas and driver time," she said. "Valerie said last year South Panola was reimbursed $18,000.

"If you take that $18,000 out of her new budget, that really doesn’t leave much for the program," Dugger added. "But she did tell me she would allow North Panola two buses and limit South Panola to one bus."

Reached by phone, South Panola School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer acknowledged the reimbursement from the program.

"I do know we sent them a bill for the fuel and the driver pay and were reimbursed," he said. "That’s really all I know about it at this time."

SP Board Certified
     Honored at a reception this week by the South Panola School District for achieving National Board Certification were teachers (left to right) Judy Newton, Batesville Middle; Denise Coy, Batesville Elementary; Shana Robison, Batesville Elementary; Margaret Nix, Batesville Elementary; Cammie Rome, Batesville Intermediate; Sarah Floyd, Batesville Middle; Angie Griffin, South Panola High; and Augusta Gentry, Pope. Not shown is Paige Whitten, South Panola High.
Investigator mum about dump sites
By Billy Davis

An illegal dump site of paint containers discovered last month has grown to five similar sites, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokesman said this week.

Steve Spurlin, an on-scene coordinator for the federal agency, confirmed the discovery of four sites in Panola County and a fifth site in Tate County.

The first site was discovered near Smart Road in north Panola County, just south of the Tate County line. The other four Panola sites are located in that general area of Highway 310.

Cleanup of the dump sites is now complete, Spurlin said, after the agency collected and logged more than 1,000 five-gallon and one-gallon containers of paint, adhesives, strippers and other similar products.

"The materials are packed and awaiting disposal," Spurlin told The Panolian, explaining that the next step is a standard bid process to haul away and dispose of the materials.

The cost of the cleanup could be as much as $100,000, Spurlin said, an amount that would be owed by whomever disposed of the materials.

Reached for comment about the dump sites, EPA criminal investigator Dave McLeod said he had "no comment about the matter" and would not say whether or not an investigation is under way.

The Smart Road dump site was discovered March 31 in a deep, narrow creek. A county worker and his trackhoe dammed up the site to prevent runoff and built a temporary berm to divert water.

More than 400 cans were removed from the location.

Spurlin said few of the 1,000-plus containers recovered so far have been completely empty.

Moved sign puts off appeal
By Rupert Howell

A wandering sign placed on/near a lot on Patton Lane was the cause of an appeal hearing being postponed, Batesville Planning Commission members were told at their monthly meeting Monday.

According to Commission Secretary Pam Comer, who also serves as Code Enforcement Office Administrator, the wandering sign is a result of a property line dispute on property behind 103 Patton Lane.

That property was the subject of a request for a zoning variance from Residential 2 (R-2) to Mobile Home 1 (M-1) by owner Michael McClintic who recently purchased and cleaned up the property according to Comer.

After the request was denied by the commission at a previous meeting the property owner chose to appeal to the board of mayor and aldermen.

When requesting property classification changes, a sign must be posted on the property telling of the proposed changes.

According to Comer, the sign was placed by owner McClintic but was being removed and placed elsewhere by a neighboring property owner.

Comer reported to commission members that the property owners were asked to resolve their differences before bringing the matter back before the city board.

In Monday’s action, heirs to a vacant lot next to 106 Martinez Street were denied a request to change zoning from R-2 to M-1.

Three non-resident heirs to Willie and Ardelia Carr asked for the change.

Commission members made note that lots on either side of the vacant lot had brick houses and that the particular portion of the street was mobile home-free.

Comer said that a lot on down Martinez had been granted M-1 status approximately four years prior to the request.

Commission chairperson Nell Foshee explained that changes within the city had occurred since that request was granted.

Commission member Brad Clark noted that one of the neighboring brick homes was for sale and explained that putting a mobile home between the existing brick homes could decrease the value of the existing houses.

Member Barbara Broome made the motion to deny the request and it passed without opposition.

Comer explained to the petitioners that they could appeal the commission’s decision by notifying her in writing and she would set up a hearing with the board of mayor and aldermen.

Members of the Batesville Zoning Commission include: Everett Redd, Billy Downs, Katherine Hyde, Broome, Louberda Miles, Foshee and Clark.

Sheriff’s dept. will open doors
Panola County Sheriff Hugh "Shot" Bright and the sheriff’s department are hosting an open house on May 5.

The open house will be from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the David M. Bryan Justice Center, which is located on Highway 35 N.

Snacks and drinks will be served, and jail tours will be given.

Parking and entry will be in front of the facility.

Bright was elected sheriff and sworn in last November.




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