Headlines Cont. – 11/21/2006

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – November 17, 2006


Crenshaw board handles sewage emergency; new pumps purchased with grant funds
By John Howell Sr.

Crenshaw town officials voted in an emergency meeting Friday, November 17, to purchase two replacement pumps following a malfunction that prevented the flow of sewage into the treatment lagoon.

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality spokesman Don Watts said that the submersible pumps forced the sewage from the final lift station into the lagoon. Representatives from MDEQ were summoned to the site Friday after an anonymous call reported the sewage flowing into an area beside the lagoon.

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The MDEQ representative found temporary pumps had been placed to keep the flow into the lagoon, Watts said. "Things seemed to be working acceptably; the city acted responsibly," he added.

The Crenshaw Board of Mayor and Aldermen met at 5 p.m. Friday in emergency session, voting to purchase replacement pumps with Community Development Block Grant funds that the town is currently using to rehabilitate the town’s sewerage.

"We had to hold the button to keep the pumps running," Mayor Sylvester Reed told the aldermen, referring to an override of the pumps’ control panel. The pumps finally failed after the "pumps took all they could take that day," he added.

"Have both of the pumps been running for the past couple of months?" Alderman David Whitsell asked. The lift station was designed for pumps to operate alternately under normal conditions.

One pump had been running continuously for a month, the mayor replied.

"That guy pushing the button; the motor was already strained; that’s why it kicked off," Whitsell said.

"Hopefully, we might find that it’s just jammed by a rag," the mayor said.

"In the future, if one of those pumps goes out, we should have a meeting and get one coming so we won’t burn both of them out," Whitsell said.

Alderman Keith Pride made the motion for the emergency purchase of the two pumps. It passed unanimously.

"The people said they hoped to be here to have them in by Wednesday," Mayor Reed said.

Police advise shoppers to keep purchases in trunk, out of sight
By Jason C. Mattox

Two kinds of shoppers will be out Friday morning to kick off the Christmas season. The first will spend time carefully selecting gifts, and the second will be looking in cars for those same items.

The Sardis Police Department warns shoppers to keep their purchases out of site to avoid being a victim of "window shoppers."

"This time of year we see a lot of cars get broken into," Sardis Police Chief Mike Davis said. "There are people out there looking to ruin somebody’s Christmas."

Davis said criminals will be looking for more than just exposed packages.

"They will break into a car to steal a wallet, purse or cell phone," he said. "There are ways to deter the criminal activity."

Davis said people out shopping during the holiday season should be sure to put their purchases in the trunk, and to keep their cell phones and purses with them at all times.

"If the criminals can’t see the merchandise, the less likely they are to break into a car," he said. "We aren’t just talking about people shopping in Panola County.

"No matter where you go shopping, be sure to keep your items concealed," Davis added. "And above all else, just be careful during these shopping trips."

Speakers will challenge teens to make better choices in life
By Jason C. Mattox

A local man wants parents and teenagers to pack the Batesville Junior High Auditorium Friday morning.

Robert Govan has organized an event featuring motivational speakers and musical acts that he hopes will show kids the impact their decisions can have in life.

The event – "Giving Thanks for a New Run on Life" – will begin at 10 a.m. November 24. Admission for the event is free.

"By 10 a.m., everyone will have spent all their money Christmas shopping," Govan said. "I want the parents to bring their teenagers."

"New Run on Life" will feature several speakers who have made bad choices in life who will tell how they changed their life.

Three trusties of the Panola County Jail will address the crowd Friday morning to tell teenagers about decisions they made in life that led to their incarceration.

Govan said that the trusties will be accompanied by a deputy of the Panola County Sheriff’s Department.

A trusty is an inmate housed at the jail who works around the justice complex or around the county on garbage trucks or road clean-up crews.

Other speakers scheduled for the event include Govan and Eric Tucker.

Tucker is a 1997 graduate of South Panola High School who received a master’s of social work from LSU, and now serves as director of clinical services for the Boston Health Commission.

"If nothing else I want to show them that you can get out of a situation and make something of yourself," Tucker said. "A lot of the kids today have given up, and I want to show them that I am one of their own that has gone out there and made it."

Musical acts scheduled for "New Run on Life" include Seven Days Waiting, The Jones Sisters and West Camp Male Chorus.

Seven Days Waiting is a Christian rock band comprised of Michael Reynolds, Stephen Reynolds, Tim Christ, Brian Flint and Mark Davis.

The group will perform two songs during the event.
The Jones Sisters are an a cappela gospel group from Oxford who recently performed on the Thacker Mountain Radio Show.

Debra Butler of Batesville will round out the list of performances with a solo Friday morning.


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