Headlines – 7/25/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Panolian: HEADLINES – July 25, 2006

  From the 7/25/06 issue of The Panolian   –   

SP works out deal with band director
By Rupert Howell

As school officials prepare for the new school year, South Panola School Board of Trustees President Lygunnah Bean credited policy and procedures for the past year’s smooth operations.

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"We had a wonderful, wonderful year," Bean told fellow trustees and school administrators and stated, "With policy and procedures in place, you ward off some of that stuff."

School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer further explained that when you veer from or don’t have specific procedures, "That’s when you get involved in litigation."

School trustees met for the first time at the new Parent Center on College Street that formerly housed the Development Center. The Development Center moved last year to the bottom floor of the old two-story brick building.

The College Street location will become the permanent location for school board meetings.

Offices located in the Parent Center are parent consultant Diane Wiley and attendance officer Terissa Williams.

Also during last Tuesday night’s monthly meeting, trustees made last minute personnel changes for the approaching school term.

One employment matter of particular interest was William McEwen, who will serve as director of bands for an additional year, giving the district time to restructure the program with a new director of bands.

McEwen had not signed a new contract as late as mid-July while expressing an interest in retiring or working with lower grade students with a less rigorous schedule.

Trustees approved 210 bus turnarounds and will submit a list and locations to the county for maintenance. Bus turn-arounds are driveways or private roads which are used by public school buses to traverse or turn around while picking up students. Turn-arounds are submitted annually to the Panola County Board of Supervisors for maintenance by the county’s road department.

Bean, who besides being school board president is also the county’s road department manager, said the list is 12 less than last year.

Not all designated turn-arounds are worked each year but each location is submitted so county road crews can legally work on a location should maintenance needs arise.

The school district and the City of Batesville will again enter into a lease agreement for the Boothe Street Gymnasium and the Atwell Street Auditorium at Batesville Intermediate School.

The gymnasium is used for City Park sponsored functions such as City League basketball and the auditorium is used for gatherings that require several hundred seats. The lease amount is $5,000 annually.

Four of five trustees will attend the regional school board association meeting in Destin, Fla., from July 23-26. Trustee Kim Renfro will be unable to attend while trustees Dr. Carlock Broome, Sarah Dell Gray, Dr. Joe Gardner and Lygunnah Bean are planning to attend. Bean serves on the Mississippi School Board Association as an officer and will represent the state association at the regional meeting.

Bouffants take stage Sat.
By Jason C. Mattox

Opera is going to get a little bit more rock and roll on Saturday, July 29, when fan favorites, The Bouffants, take the stage at The Eureka Theater for a Como Opera Guild fund-raiser.

From Minneapolis to New Orleans, Chicago to Atlanta, The Bouffants have thrilled audiences with classic songs from groups like The Jackson Five, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Sly & the Family Stone. But the dancing doesn’t stop there.

Those in attendance will hear the classic hits from Motown and Stax to rock and roll, and current favorites. Far more than just an awesome band, The Bouffants turn any event into an instant party.

For more information call Scott Rhines at 662-832-7477.


Friday night flames burn, close Batesville body shop
     Batesville Fire Department inspector Joe Warren surveys the damage Monday of the Galmore and Son Body Shop.
By Billy Davis

A Friday night fire in Batesville gutted Galmore and Son Body Shop and destroyed 10 vehicles inside, stopping summertime work at the longtime business.

Charles Galmore, 59, met Batesville firefighters at his business Monday morning to allow them entry and watch them investigate the damage.

The business is located between the Wendy’s restaurant and Dell Street Storage at 18 Dell Street.

Galmore said he arrived about 10:20 Friday night to find firefighters attacking flames that were poking from the building.

"I saw nothing but fire – fire, fire, fire," said the business owner, his feet crunching over glass inside the building as he pointed out the damage.

Inside the building Monday, the walls and roof of the body shop appeared like well-worn charcoal. On the floor, the knot of customers’ vehicles, jammed into the bay, were burned a mix of gray and black.

Outside Galmore’s corner office, where flames ate away the walls, the fire melted the plastic selections on a Coke machine, sending the oozing material down like a waterfall.

Batesville Fire Chief Tim Taylor said firefighters found "heavy smoke and heavy fire" when they arrived on the scene. They fought the fire in "defensive mode" from three sides until the flames could be contained for entry into the building.

"A metal building like that holds fire really well, and (Galmore) had it well secured," Taylor said.

The fire may have started in the south end of the building, though the cause is under investigation, the fire chief said.

Galmore, who has fire insurance, said he expects to salvage very little from the building. He opened the body shop in 1985.

Winning bid at Enid means rocks a-plenty for brothers
By Billy Davis

Somewhere south of St. Louis, nine river barges are chugging south with thousands of tons of riprap that came from the nearby Brickey’s Quarry.

Just north of Clarksdale, at Friar’s Point, the rocks are unloaded into waiting trucks for a 70-mile trip from the river’s edge to the upper waters of Enid Lake.

The riprap hauling is part of a $10.4 million project to replace rocks now a half-century old that spread along Enid Lake dam.

"The rocks are so old after years of the heat and the cold, and the waves beating against them, that some of them are brittle," said Bickerstaff Bros. employee Leslie Brasell.

A safety inspection in 2003 by the Corps of Engineers revealed the need to replace Enid’s riprap, and a bid from Bickerstaff Bros. delivered the Batesville-based company its biggest and most profitable job to date.

If federal monies keep flowing, 171,000 tons of riprap could be hauled downriver and spread over older rocks through the spring of 2007.

"This is the biggest job we’ve ever done and the closest one to home in a long time," said Chuck Bickerstaff, who co-owns the heavy construction company with brother Buddy.

The Bickerstaff brothers inherited the company from their father, W.O. Bickerstaff, who operated a drag line at Enid in the ’50s.

"Our dad laid the rock that we’re replacing today," noted Chuck Bickerstaff.

After winning the bid, the brothers started a phase-one project in June that will spread 91,000 tons of riprap at a cost of $5.7 million. A 150-day completion deadline started June 21.

Twenty-two trucks are hauling rock from Friar’s Point to Enid, Brassell said, with each driver making three trips a day to haul the payload.

Following the current first phase, which is known as a "base bid," three more phases – A, B, and C – will follow if the U.S. Congress appropriates more funds for the project in coming months, Brasell explained.

"The Corps expects to get the money to finish the project or else they wouldn’t have bid it out," Brasell said. "If the funds keep coming, we could finish by the spring of ’07."


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