| Showing off trophies won at last weekend’s Resevoir Fire Fest in Brandon is Bobby York, lieutenant of the Batesville Fire Department and operator of "The Teapot," the BFD’s 1928 fire truck he drove in the firemen’s parade. The BFD received a first place trophy for "fire department coming the longest distance" and a second place for "best appearing antique fire truck."
| County ready for new client: Batesville
| By John Howell Sr.
Batesville residents will get new garbage cans and different pickup days starting the first week in July.
The changes come with the City of Batesville’s selection of Panola County Solid Waste as its contractor to pick up residential garbage with a new contract that begins July 1.
Panola County Solid Waste Manager Dean Joiner said that high school workers have been hired temporarily to distribute the 2,400 Panola County Solid Waste cans starting next week.
"We feel like we should have them all put out by Wednesday," Joiner added.
The solid waste cans will have stickers which will identify the regular pickup day as either Wednesday or Thursday, Joiner said, or the cans will have no sticker. Cans which have no stickers will be picked up on Fridays, he said.
However, during the first week of July which includes the Tuesday, July 4 holiday, collection days will be pushed back by one day according to the Panola County Solid Waste policy currently in effect for county residents and residents of Crenshaw and Como, Joiner said.
"We know it’s not going to be as smooth as icing on cake," Joiner said of the transition period, "but our guys are going to work to smooth things out."
During the first week of July, "they need to put their BFI cans out" for final collection by the outgoing contractor, the county solid waste manager continued.
All cans should be on the street by 7 a.m. when the trucks begin their routes, Joiner said. Back door service for people who are unable to roll the cans to curbside will be provided on a separate day – tentatively on Thursdays – he added.
Joiner said that he decided to hire temporary workers for container distribution to keep from drawing too heavily on state trusties who perform other duties in the county.
The county solid waste manager said that he is looking forward to adding Batesville to the county-wide residential waste collection service.
"It’s nothing against BFI, they do a good job. We just want to keep the money at home," he said.
Batesville solid residential waste customers who have questions or complaints during the transition should call Batesville City Hall at 563-4576. They will relay the information to Panola County Solid Waste, Joiner said.
Residential customers who need an additional container can call and set up delivery of a second can for a fee, Joiner added.
The usual pick-up schedule for Batesville Streets is as follows:
Brewer, Harmon, Mill Cross and Kornegay Roads, Hunters Parkway, Nottingham, Barnsdale and Jolly James drives, Yorkshire Lane and Sherwood Place.
Power, Shagbark, Redbud, Oak, Birch, and Sweetgum drives; Blue Bird, Maple, Dogwood, Hickory, and Pine lanes; Elm, Hemlock, Eureka, Woodland, Pine Lodge and Trantham roads; Turtle Creek, Quail Run, Wood Duck Cove, Pecan Street and Dogwood Heights.
All other streets in the city.
Remember, Joiner said, because of the Tuesday, July 4 holiday, collection days will be one day later than during a normal week.
| Covenant owner sees slow creep of progress
| By Billy Davis
Covenant Crossing developer Alvan Kelly says he is learning the ins and outs of developing commercial property, most notably the slow progress of creating business property from hills of dirt.
Kelly is developing 49 acres in east Batesville into commercial lots, which is phase one of a two-phase development west and north of the Lowe’s home improvement store. The second phase is a residential development.
Covenant marks the first development undertaking for Kelly, 55, who owns a truck freight company, Covenant Logistics, in Olive Branch.
"I was crazy enough to think construction would be going on already," said Kelly in a phone interview Thursday. "It took 45 days for the paperwork to do the dirt work. That should have told me something."
Dirt work on the Covenant site is more than halfway completed after about a month of work, said engineer David Evans, who is overseeing the development project for Kelly.
"Right now the dirt work involves smoothing the area by cutting down the hills and filling in the low spots," the engineer explained. "There’s a space in the middle that will be used for a drainage pipe."
After the dirt work is completed, the next phase of development will be design work on a road through the property as well as water, sewage and drainage for the site, Evans said.
Kelly purchased 134 acres from Memphis developer John Hyneman that includes the site between Lowe’s and Interstate 55 as well as 47 acres that surrounds Tri-Lakes Medical Center.
Panola Countians first heard of Kelly’s plans for Covenant Crossing when he spoke in February to Batesville Rotarians. He had been invited by Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey.
Choosing his words carefully, Kelly predicted Thursday that any commercial construction at the Covenant site is "at least" six months away.
The first client announced for Covenant Crossing was the Mi Pueblo chain of Mexican restaurants.
Regarding any new announcements, Kelly said he has "several serious bites" but no more contracts to date.
The developer said the Walgreens drug store chain is a potential client for Covenant but is still undecided.
"They’re still a prospect, but they can’t decide whether they want to be east or west of the interstate," Kelly said.
| City tackles paving at pre-meeting meeting
| By Jason C. Mattox
The Batesville Mayor and Board of Aldermen tried something new on Monday afternoon: a shortcut.
Hoping to speed up their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 20, the city leaders held a work session to familiarize themselves with agenda items that would be coming before them for a vote the next day.
The biggest item discussed during the work session was resurfacing city streets.
"We have 18 streets needing around $500,000 worth of work," Mayor Jerry Autrey explained. "We know we can’t do them all, but we want to do whatever we possibly can because some of these streets are in pretty bad shape."
Ward 4 Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders expressed concern because she had been unable to participate in the ride along when Autrey and other alderman examined the streets.
"Did all four wards get fair examination?" she asked. "Because there are some roads in Ward 4 that really need some work."
Autrey told Pounders that all four city wards will get some of the road improvements work.
"I am not sure what we are going to do, but we are going to try to get some work done in all of the wards," he said.
The next item discussed was trash pickup.
Panola County Solid Waste was recently awarded the bid for garbage service in the city.
County administrator David Chandler told the board that half the cans for the city have already arrived.
"We would like to have all of the cans out in the city by June 26," he said.
For those wondering when each pick-up day will be, it’s as easy as reading a sticker, Chandler said.
"There will be stickers on cans that will designate whether the pick-up day will be Wednesday or Thursday," Chandler said. "If there is no sticker on the can, the pickup will be on Friday."
Dean Joiner, manager of Panola County Solid Waste, said he needed a list of city residents who receive more than one can.
Aldermen have asked that anyone requiring two cans for trash collection call city hall at 563-4576.
The first scheduled pick-up in the city will run one day behind the regular schedule because of the July 4 holiday.
"I hate that the initial pick-up will be a day late, but we will get you taken care of," Joiner said.
Other matters discussed during the work session included:
– TIF financing for the proposed Covenant Crossing
– A preview of bids that engineers would bring
before the board on Tuesday.
– An executive session to discuss a personnel
matter in the Batesville Fire Department.
| Damaged building, sideswiped vehicles toll of juvenile joy ride
| By John Howell Sr.
Batesville police officers and Batesville Realty owner Nell Foshee are still puzzled over a stolen car that crashed into Foshee’s brick building at 314 Highway 51 Sunday, leaving the building worse damaged than the car.
They are also wondering what was going on at the time inside the minds of two Oxford teenagers, ages 14 and 16, who hopped into the car at Rascal’s Convenience Store at the Highway 6 and 51 intersection, sideswiped two parked vehicles during their exit from the parking lot, and then lost control attempting to turn east on East Street.
"I’m so glad the child was with her," said police Sergeant Ruby Myers of the driver who had parked at the convenience store for a quick purchase and left it running while she and her child went inside.
"They jumped in the car and hit two vehicles leaving the parking lot," police detective Lee Martin said.
The car owner ran out of the store, screaming, and a Tallahatchie County resident who spotted the commotion began following the fleeing car as he tried to contact police on his cellular telephone, Martin said.
The stolen car struck the Batesville Realty building when the driver missed her East Street turn, jumped the curb and crossed the parking lot. Both occupants jumped out and ran, but gathering police quickly caught one. The second suspect was caught at a home on Dell Street where she had sought refuge with acquaintances who had been unaware of her events which preceded her arrival.
Myers said that the juvenile suspects had been visiting a relative on Tubbs Road in Batesville and had walked to Rascal’s.
Martin said that the pair was held for 72 hours before being released to their parents. They will be processed through the juvenile court system, he said.
Damage to all three vehicles was minor, but damage to the building where the impact moved brick, cracked mortar joints and damaged the interior, is estimated at over $8,000, Foshee said.
And Sergeant Myers restated the obvious: "Don’t ever leave your keys; not ever for a second."
| School board meets today on tax increase
| by Rupert Howell
South Panola School trustees will discuss the upcoming budget and a proposed increase today.
Total budget for the district is $36,462,193 with 23.6 percent of that coming from local sources. The maximum four percent increase from the locally funded $8,785,000 is being sought, an amount of approximately $400,000 according to School Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer.
The hearing on the tax increase begins at noon at the Parent Center behind the Intermediate School on Atwell and College streets. The budget hearing will follow at 1 p.m.
Another meeting for final adoption of a budget is scheduled for Friday, June 30 at noon at the same location.
Following the hearing on the proposed tax increase, budget hearing and final adoption of a budget, school officials will submit their budget before August 15 to the Panola County Board of Supervisors which is required to set millage to fund the adopted budget.
| Voters return Tuesday to narrow Dem field
| By Billy Davis
Panola County voters will cast ballots next Tuesday to narrow a field of Democratic Congressional candidates.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mississippi voters statewide cast ballots June 6 for state representative Eric Fleming and Hickory Flat businessman Bill Bowlin, advancing both for a chance to unseat longtime U.S. Senator Trent Lott in the November 7 general election.
In the race for the 1st Congressional District seat, James K. Hurt and Columbus attorney William Bambach advanced to the June 27 runoff.
U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker currently holds the 1st Congressional seat and is running for a seventh two-year term.
Panola County voters cast a majority of their ballots June 6 for Fleming and Hurt.
For voting information contact the circuit clerk’s office at 563-6210 in Batesville or 487-2073 in Sardis.