Headlines – 11/14/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Panolian: HEADLINES – November 14, 2006

  From the 11/14/06 issue of The Panolian   –   

Veterans Day Observance
     Despite unkind weather, veterans and family members, elected officials and band members watch attentively as a nearby flag is lowered to half staff at Monday’s Veterans Day observance on the Batesville Square at Memorial Park.
Couple’s ‘pure luck’ streak ends at Lower Lake
By Billy Davis

After fishing Friday morning for slow-biting crappie, Wayne Thompson sat down in a lawnchair outside his camper at Sardis Lower Lake, where he expected to enjoy a quiet fall day in the near-empty campgrounds.

The peaceful morning was about to get busy, however, after Thompson observed a pair of sheriff’s patrol cars roar past him on Highway 315, heading south. A third patrol car stopped, blocked the highway, and out stepped Sardis Police Chief Mike Davis, who had armed himself with a Mini-14 rifle.

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A half-mile away, Justin Scott Hadorn was driving a stolen Ford Ranger over the Sardis spillway, trying to outrun an unmarked Dodge truck that had met him on top of the dam. A sheriff’s department cruiser had also met him and turned around, and now it had passed the slower Dodge truck and was catching up with him.

Across the highway from the campground, Hadorn pulled the Ranger to the shoulder and opened the door, seconds away from fleeing through the campground and attempting yet another escape. He never got the chance.

"The gold truck was about to stop when the cop car hit the driver’s door," Thompson recalled. "They had the guy out of the truck and on the ground pretty quick, and then there were cops everywhere."

A cat-and-mouse
and a pulled knife

The arrest last Friday of Justin Hadorn, 28, ended a three-day game of cat-and-mouse that pitted Hadorn and his girlfriend, Amy Gail Turley, 31, against Panola County law enforcement.

Hadorn is from Abbeville, though he has relatives in Panola County. Turley is from Senatobia.

The search for the couple began Tuesday morning by the Batesville Police Department when Hadorn allegedly pulled a knife at Wal-Mart during an attempted shoplifting.

Over the next three days Hadorn and Turley would drive a Nissan truck into the Bilbo’s convenience store, located west of Batesville, and take away an ATM machine; shoplift cigarettes from the Dellie’s convenience store, located on Highway 315 east of Batesville; and steal two window air conditioners from Hadorn’s aunt’s home on Hadorn Road, located west of Batesville.

Sheriff’s investigators discovered the ATM machine, which Hadorn had pried open, in a barn behind the home.

Hadorn may be facing at least four auto theft charges. The Nissan truck was reported stolen from Tate County, and he allegedly stole a maroon Suburban on McNeely Road before stealing the Ford Ranger from a residence near Mallard Point Road.

Any specific charges against Turley and Hadorn are still unknown until the investigation is concluded, said Panola Sheriff Hugh "Shot" Bright.

Regarding the alleged knife incident at Wal-Mart, BPD Major Tony Jones said, "It’s still under investigation, but we’re going to charge (Hadorn) with everything we can."

‘They were after crack’
Despite a coordinated and relentless effort to locate them, Hadorn and Turley somehow managed to elude the law, all the while allegedly binging on crack cocaine as they fled.

"They were after crack, and they going wherever they knew they could find some," said Bright, summarizing the couple’s criss-cross across the county.

On Thursday, sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement agencies twice swarmed the roads of south Panola County, expecting both times to locate Hadorn and Turley in a white Nissan pickup with a blue racing stripe.

Despite credible tips from the public, and quick responses and coordination from deputies, Hadorn and Turley slipped past a small army of law enforcement officers whose numbers had swelled since Tuesday.

After eluding law enforcement twice Thursday, deputies wondered if Hadorn and Turley were traveling with a police scanner and monitoring the sheriff’s department’s radio traffic.

"They were always a step ahead, but it was pure luck," said sheriff’s investigator Albert Perkins, who was driving the Dodge truck that met Hadorn at Sardis Dam.

Prison dog hits the trail
The sheriff’s department nabbed Turley around midnight Thursday, when a bloodhound from Parchman prison tracked the woman to the trunk of an abandoned car near Eureka Road.

Deputies had swarmed a group of trailer homes on Eureka Road shortly before 8 p.m., responding to a tip that Hadorn and Turley could be found in a mobile home located on the north end of the property. But they had walked to a trailer farther south and fled into thick underbrush when deputies arrived.

Miss. Highway Patrol state trooper Dennis Darby and his K-9, Bissie, searched the woods around Will and Fog roads, stopping after a two-hour search failed to find the couple.

Hadorn and Turley had apparently split up, and Turley had doubled back to the trailer and hid inside the car where she was found.

Law enforcement combed the woods for Hadorn until about 2 a.m. before breaking off the search, Bright said.

Hit-and-run turns
into homerun

Friday morning, Panola County sheriff’s deputies, backed by several other local and state agencies, fanned out across south Panola County in search of the maroon Suburban.

When a sheriff’s dispatcher reported a hit-and-run near Sardis Lake involving a red Suburban, the noose began to close around Hadorn, who ditched the vehicle when it blew a tire.

On the scene at Mallard Point Road, Sheriff’s deputy Eric "Buck" Harris spotted and reported to dispatch the fast-moving Ford Ranger, which Perkins would intercept minutes later.

Perkins was passed by a fast-moving police cruiser driven by sheriff’s deputy Billy Lambert, who was the first to catch up with Hadorn while Davis blocked the highway.

From his viewpoint on the highway, Davis said he yelled to Hadorn to stay in his truck and show his hands. And then he witnessed the cruiser and the Ford Ranger colliding, curling up the truck’s door and breaking off the passenger’s side mirror of the police cruiser.

"It shocked me at first," said Davis of the crash.

According to Thompson, watching the end of the chase and the arrest beat a slow morning of fishing.

"I didn’t know we had that many police in the whole state of Mississippi," he said.

Water bill complaints trickle in
By Jason C. Mattox

Complaints continue concerning abnormally high water bills in the City of Batesville, as aldermen heard yet another request for an adjustment during last week’s meeting.

William Riley appeared before city leaders last Tuesday to make the request after his water and sewer bill for Quality Auto Parts was higher than normal.

"The monthly bill usually runs between $50 and $60," he said. "This month it was much, much higher."

The bill for the past month was $526.34.

"I have a tenant that I am in the process of evicting and it’s possible he left the hose on when he was cleaning up some cars," Riley said.

Mayor Jerry Autrey reminded aldermen they have given adjustments for sewer in the past.

"That’s all I am asking for since the water never did go through the sewer," Riley replied.

Ward 2 Alderman Rufus Manley said he was afraid giving an adjustment would "open a can of worms."

"We will have people start coming out of the wood work if we do this one time," he said.

Ward 4 Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders said if the city has given sewer adjustments in the past they should do the same in this case.

"We can help him because the water did not go through the sewer," she said.

Before making a motion to adjust Riley’s sewer bill, Pounders asked if he was certain there was not a leak on the property.

"I had it checked and the plumber told me we didn’t have any leaks," Riley said.

Aldermen voted 3-0 to grant Riley a $175 credit for sewer. Ward 1 alderman Bill Dugger was absent from the meeting.

It is the city’s policy not to refund money but rather apply the balance toward future bills.

In other board business:
Bids were opened for uniform rentals for 53 city employees. The bids came from G & K of Memphis, Unifirst of Greenwood and Paramont of Memphis. Bids were taken under advisement.
Aldermen received bids for two motorcycles belonging to the Batesville Police Department. Bids were taken under advisement. The six bids received ranged from $5,600 to $10,026 each.
Street Department Superintendent Teddy Austin was given permission to advertise for a truck. Funding for the purchase is included in the department’s 2007 budget.
The resignation of Tony Helmes was unanimously accepted.
The city’s moratorium on ponds was extended for 60 days.
Code Enforcement Office Administrator Pam Comer was given permission to attend the 2006 Building Officials Association of Mississippi Winter Conference in Vicksburg December 13-15. Expenses will be paid by the city.
Old business is new again at Thurs. meet
By John Howell Sr.

Crenshaw’s board of mayor and aldermen covered a list of usual topics during the November meeting – a trailer placed inside municipal limits but outside a mobile home park, a backhoe that has remained inoperative since it broke down last spring, and a proposed clean up of dilapidated structures and overgrown lots.

In a twist from the usual topics of town business, Mayor Sylvester Reed, at the meeting held Thursday, November 9, threatened a veto of a resolution adopted by aldermen requiring that they be furnished a copy of department head reports.

Alderman David Whitsell made the motion that a copy of department heads’ reports be provided by the mayor in the information packet distributed to aldermen prior to meetings. Whitsell, who serves as the town’s police commissioner, said he was specifically interested the report submitted by Police Chief Darrel Linzy. Aldermen Albert Bradley and Shirley Morgan joined Whitsell in voting for the motion. Alderman Keith Pride abstained. Alderman Melvin Phipps was absent due to illness.

Panola County road department manager Lygunnah Bean brought non-controversial news to the monthly meeting. Bean told city officials that the town had closed out the 2006 fiscal year, ending September 30, in good shape. Bean and county administrator David Chandler work as consultants to the Town of Crenshaw. Bean also presented actual budget figures for September, the final month of the last fiscal year.

Late in the meeting, which lasted slightly over two hours, Bradley brought up the issue of cleaning up abandoned property in the town following an inspection of six properties in the wards of Bradley and Whitsell with City of Sardis code enforcement officer Michael Purdy. Purdy and the City of Sardis had volunteered the assistance. From six to 15 Crenshaw citizens regularly attend town board meetings in support of a program to tear down dilapidated structures and clear overgrown lots.

"There should be a motion made to include something on the agenda," Mayor Reed said, referring to the agenda presented at the opening of the meeting for aldermen approval.

"The reason I didn’t say anything was because you had it on there …," Bradley replied, referring to an agenda item which indicated that a discussion of the abandoned and/or overgrown property was scheduled.

Bradley attempted to present the photos and reports on the properties, but the mayor deferred their review by city officials until next month. "I would like to read his report before bringing it to the board," Reed said. "I will bring it up next month," he added.

Bradley handed photos of the property and the inspection reports to town attorney Mary Brown of Grenada, who told city officials at the prior month’s meeting: "Once I get an inspection report, then we’ll take steps."

"Can we bring the trailer up?" Whitsell asked.

"Anything on the agenda should be brought up when the agenda is discussed," the mayor replied before agreeing to discuss the matter.

"Is it hooked up to utilities?", Bradley asked, referring to a travel trailer on Goodwin Street.

An affirmative response triggered a discussion that the trailer had once been at another location in the municipality and then moved, and that no permit had been issued allowing the trailer to be placed at its present location.

"Phipps gave the okay," Mayor Reed said, referring to the absent alderman.

Contacted Monday, the alderman said that he did not give the trailer owner approval to place the travel trailer in its present location.

"I told him that to hook it up, he’d have to pay a fee, so I told him to check with the mayor," Phipps said in a Monday interview by telephone.

"They moved it," said Alderman Bradley at Thursday’s meeting. "They don’t have a permit but they’re hooked up to water; it was hooked up to water after we said no more trailers," Bradley said.
"We should know something about our backhoe this month," Mayor Reed told aldermen.

Last month, the mayor reported that the non-working backhoe had been moved from the Clarksdale Case dealership to the Quitman County road department’s shop. Last week, the mayor said a Quitman County mechanic will in the next two weeks evaluate the machinery to determine feasibility of repair.

"We hope Quitman County will take care of that bill," the mayor said, in exchange for certain bridge funds that the Town of Crenshaw has foregone and allowed to go to Quitman County.

BFD holds hands-on seminar
By Jason C. Mattox

The Batesville Fire Department took extra steps to improve life-saving abilities over the weekend when 25 people, including fire, police and emergency medical personnel, attended a "controlled wreck training" Saturday morning.

According to Coles Horton, training officer for the Batesville Fire Department, the exercise was designed to show accident responders specific areas that could be improved.

Horton said firefighters responded to approximately 75 wrecks in 2005.

"Really, we work a lot of wrecks in town and on the interstate, and we thought some extra training in a controlled environment would help us improve our skills," he said.

Horton said putting together the extrication exercise involved a lot of preparation which included getting an 18-wheeler, trailer and other vehicles to use for training.

"Richard Shivers and William Pride really went above and beyond to help us out with this training session," he said. "We had asked several around town and been told no, but these two really stepped up for us and made this possible."

To create the controlled wreck scene, the 18-wheeler and tractor were hauled by wrecker to Shivers’ property on Mills Cross Road behind Performance Marine on Highway 6 and cars were trapped under the trailer.

"This training really helped us see what our strengths and weaknesses were," Horton said. "We know there are some areas we need to work on, and there will be other training exercises in the future."

Horton said the training also allowed firefighters the opportunity to work with EMTs and paramedics from Tri-Lakes as well as Air Evac personnel.

"We work a lot of wrecks with them," he said. "So we wanted them to come out and see just how we can all get better at a wreck scene."

Horton said more training would take place in the spring.

"We want to get as much training as we possibly can," he said. "The more we know about these situations, the more chances we have to save lives."


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