Headlines Cont. – 8/29/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – August 25, 2006


Local Katrina cleanup workers invited to thank-you celebration
The City of Gulfport has invited several local residents to attend festivities commemorating the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Bob Shepard of Batesville is among those receiving an invitation from Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and one of many who has spent time and effort assisting with the Gulf Coast’s recovery.

Shepard and his associates were some of the first to respond after the local equipment contractor received a call the day after Katrina stating, "I need some help."

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After being personally involved assisting with his friends’ needs, he and his cohorts saw the need for basic life essentials and that led to five truckloads of items donated by citizens of Batesville and the surrounding area and many volunteers’ time.

A remembrance of the event, "Heroes of the Hurricane," was held Monday night on the steps of Gulfport City Hall.

This morning a sunrise service at Jones Park will be held to remember the lives of those lost to the hurricane and to reflect on the past 12 months as the coast observes the first anniversary of the worst natural disaster in our nation’s history.   

Sales tax in Batesville sees eight percent increase in July
By Rupert Howell

The City of Batesville’s share of sales taxes diverted back to the city totalled $318,402 in July compared to $295,680 diverted back to the city in July of 2005, an increase of approximately eight percent.

A seven percent sales tax is paid on retail items with that money going to the State Tax Commission who then returns approximately 18 percent to the city in which the purchase was made.

That July total was up 7.7 percent over the amount received in July 2005. The state’s total sales tax collections were up 13 percent for the same period.
Batesville’s Tourism and Economic Development Tax mirrored the state’s increase also up 13 percent totalling $77,208 received in July compared to $68,206 received last July.

The tourism tax is a three percent sales tax levied on restaurants and hotel/motel rooms in addition to the seven percent sales tax.

Changes in income from sales tax in other Panola municipalities was mostly positive during July with those municipalities receiving July checks in the amount of and percentage of increase/decrease listed respectively:
     Como, $15,698, 14 percent;
     Courtland, $2,086, 50 percent;
     Crenshaw, $3,519, 2 percent;
     Crowder, $1,280, 0 percent;
     Pope, $2,655, 34 percent and
     Sardis, 24 percent.

Other municipalities in the trade area received the following listed amounts for July 2006 and 2005 respectively:
     Charleston, $25,509 and $24,765;
     Lambert, $3,616 and $3,254;
     Marks, $25,022 and $23,379;
     Oakland, $4,486 and $2,089;
     Sledge, $1,602 and $1,742 and
     Water Valley, $41,332 and $39,277.

Neighboring municipalities from each direction received sales tax income with the percentage change listed respectively:
     Clarksdale, $237,008, -2 percent;
     Grenada, $312,880, 3 percent;
     Oxford, $431,409, 11 percent and
     Senatobia, $167,195, 2 percent.

Income from sales tax and the percentage change can be used to determine trends in the retail trade from municipalities.

The seven percent sales tax is paid to the retailer who then pays that to the tax commission. Approximately 18 percent of the total is returned to the municipality in which it was collected and used to fund municipal services.

Batesville PD looking for suspects in stabbing
By Jason C. Mattox

The Batesville Police Department is looking for three suspects responsible for stabbing and robbing a man on Hoskins Road Thursday night, Col. Tony Jones said.

According to Jones, William Renix was attacked shortly after arriving to his home on Hoskins Road.

"Renix was attacked by three black men in their late teens or early 20s and was stabbed during the altercation," he said.

The victim was treated for his injuries at Tri-Lakes Medical Center and released.

Jones said anyone who might have witnessed the attack should contact the Batesville Police Department.

"We are trying to find out as much as we can about this incident and we need the help of the community," he said.

A reward is being offered for information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crime.

"We need to get this situation taken care of before it happens again," Jones said.

Anyone with information can contact the Batesville Police Department at 563-5653.


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