Headlines – 6/13/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Panolian: HEADLINES – June 13, 2006

  From the 6/13/06 issue of The Panolian   – 

County votes to take chance on ‘our Nissan’
By Billy Davis

Calling Rolando Foods "our Nissan" for north Panola County, Supervisor Robert Avant compelled his colleagues Monday to give away the former Dana plant in Crenshaw to the Maryland-based company.

At Avant’s urging, supervisors voted unanimously at their "second Monday" meeting to send a resolution to Rolando offering ownership of the facility.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Maryland-based company is seeking the building as collateral for a bank loan, but Avant said Tuesday that owners of the company have also put their homes up for collateral as they seek financial backing.

The unnamed bank needs a commitment from the board of supervisors, and the resolution would resolve that request, said Avant, whose District 2 area includes Crenshaw.

The board voted last week to give away the facility if Rolando followed a set of stipulations, namely showing proof of sufficient funds, paying off a lien against the property, and fulfilling its promise of creating new jobs.

The Maryland company, which makes food products, plans to hire at least 150 employees to handle several multi-million dollar food contracts that are already in hand, Avant has said in past weeks.

Supervisors spent about five minutes leafing through the resolution as Avant waited for a board vote.

"When they hand us a commitment (letter), they they can get the deed," said District 5 Supervisor Bubba Waldrup, referring to a letter from the bank.
District 4 Supervisor Jerry Perkins addressed a half-dozen Crenshaw residents who had come to support the giveaway of the facility.

"We want to make sure they’ve got the financing in place because it would hurt y’all if they didn’t," Perkins said, speaking to Crenshaw Mayor Sylvester Reed.

Job Fair coming Thurs.
By John Howell Sr.

The list of employers who will be interviewing job applicants at Batesville’s Northwest Mississippi Job Fair had grown to 54 by press time, and more were expected by Thursday when the event will open to job seekers at the civic center.

The employers will be seeking workers to fill jobs as varied as sea captains and bus boys, from sales associates to state troopers, restaurant managers to nurses, Batesville WIN Job Center office manager Cindy Martin said.

A partial listing of employers can be found in an advertisement on page A3.

Job applicants can visit the civic center between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for interviews, applications and information. Copy machines will be provided for applicants who need to make photo copies of r?sum?s and other documents, Martin said.

"Remember, the reason we do this is to help people find jobs," Governor’s Job Fair Network Director Joe Buckner, said last week during a meeting of the event’s planning. The event brings together people who need workers and workers who need jobs all under one roof at the same time, Buckner continued.

"Batesville Civic Center is an excellent site for a job fair," Buckner said. "Excellent location and plenty of parking."

The cost of job fairs are borne by employers who pay for the privilege of placing interview and display booths in facilities like the Batesville Civic Center.

"We try to keep everything free for the job applicant," Buckner told the group planning the event.

Beer bandits hit bait shop, get ‘developed’
By Jason C. Mattox

Investigators with the Panola County Sheriff’s Department expected to make arrests late yesterday afternoon in relation to a Monday morning burglary.

Investigator Barry Thompson said suspects were "developed on the scene" at Wallace’s Bait Shop on Highway 35 near Sardis Lake. He did not release the names of the suspects.

"We were called out early Monday morning to the scene," he said. "Once we were on the scene, it was easy to see how they gained entrance into the building."

Suspects tore off a portion of the back of the metal building to gain entry, the investigator said.

While inside, Thompson said the suspects stole beer, cigarettes and change that was on hand at the store.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Thompson at the Panola County Sheriff’s Department at 563-6230.

CERT Training
     While Tommy Joiner (right) acts as a backup partner, Beverly Martindale puts a fire extinguisher to a small blaze during training last week for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team.) The first CERT class trained Thursday, June 8, at the new National Guard Armory in Batesville. A session of night classes begins June 22.
Engineer: Covenant Crossing should tie on
at Brewer Rd.
By John Howell Sr.

Batesville aldermen approved at their Tuesday, June 6, meeting a resolution authorizing the mayor and city clerk to sign an application for a grant of $150,000 that could help extend sewer services east of Interstate 55 and north of Highway 6.

The resolution had been presented by Jackson grant consultant Jimmy Gouras who is working with Alvan Kelly in the proposed Covenant Crossing development. Currently the city’s sewer lines extend east of I-55 to the shopping areas surrounding Wal-Mart and Tri-Lakes Medical Center. The lines extend north of Highway 6 only to Lowe’s.

City engineer Blake Mendrop of McBride Engineering said that the Covenant Crossing developer seeks expansion of sewer lines from Lowe’s. Instead, Mendrop said, "long term it needs to go north; you’re going to have a capacity problem going south from Lowe’s."

Mendrop said that sewerage would include gravity fed lines and a lift station that would connect with an existing interceptor station near Brewer Road and ultimately extend lines to connect into the city system on Highway 35 South. Cost of the project would be approximately $250,000, the engineer added.

"Do you think we still need to get a commitment from the city?" Mayor Jerry Autrey asked, referring to the resolution proposed by Gouras.

"That grant would help spur development and get jobs," Mendrop replied.

The city engineer said Thursday that he would be meeting with Kelly to help find the additional $100,000 needed for the project.

In other engineering business:
Warner McBride of McBride Engineering reported that the last easement had been signed which will permit the city to extend a gas line for about one-quarter mile along Bethlehem Road from Highway 35. The gas line and existing water and sewer lines will serve residential development on both sides of Bethlehem Road, he said.
Assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell said that an easement had been submitted to John Womble which would allow the city to address a ditch which crosses Womble’s property on Highway 51 South. The ditch, which crosses Perkins Lane and carries runoff to Sand Creek, has caved in.
Aldermen turned down a request from Mayor Autrey that Evans Engineering be authorized to apply through the Soil Conservation Service for funds to perform ditch work in the city.
     Engineer David Evans was previously authorized to perform engineering work for the city for a Community Development Block Grant.
     "Blake is our engineer; I don’t think we’d be fair to our engineer if we employ him without consulting our engineer," Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders said.
     "If it’s okay with Colmon, it’s okay with me," another alderman said, referring to assistant city attorney Mitchell.
     "I think you’ve got to keep the line straight on what you’re employing him to do," Mitchell said.
Summer paving cranks up with asphalt work
By Billy Davis

An eight-man Panola County road crew is working its way around the county, leaving freshly paved, asphalt roads in its wake.

A total of 28 miles of roads will receive the fresh asphalt resurfacing by the time the road crew finishes its work in early August, said Panola County road manager Lygunnah Bean.

The crew is paving Curtis Road this week after tackling Highway 310 west of Como last week. The crew will next move to Dummyline Road followed by Blackjack and Good Hope roads in the coming weeks.

Bean updated supervisors about the paving at their "first Monday" meeting June 5, saying the crews are paving about a mile a day.

The road crew is using asphalt on the five thoroughfares, which are designated as State Aid roads. State Aid roads qualify for state monies, affording the county to use asphalt instead of the typical DBST, a limestone rock surface, that’s used to pave or resurface most county roads.

"It took a little while to work it all out, but they’re (the paving crew) really doing a good job now. They’re making those roads look really nice," said Bean of the asphalting.

Bean also complimented county engineer Larry Britt for assisting the crews as they work on the roads.

"We’re not going by the seat of our pants," Bean told the board.

The total cost to county taxpayers will be about $1.2 million to resurface the five roads, Bean later told The Panolian.

After the roads set for about a year, the Miss. Department of Transportation will hire contractors to resurface the roads and improve the shoulders, Bean said.

The summer ritual of road paving and resurfacing will continue in later summer, said District 2 Supervisor Robert Avant.

"We will start in August and go through October," Avant said. "As long as the temperatures stays about 70 degrees, we can pave roads."

In addition to the State Aid work, about 30 to 40 miles of county roads will be paved this year, Avant said.


Copyright 2005-2006 by The Panolian, Inc..  All rights reserved
Copyright 2001-2004 by Batesville Newspapers, LLC.  All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission  is prohibited.