Headlines Cont. – 12/1/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 1, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – December 1, 2006


Decision pending on Martin relocation
By Billy Davis

A Sardis scrap metal business and a Senatobia doctor and his family are awaiting a decision from the Mississippi Court of Appeals.

Mike Cockrell is fighting the relocation of Martin Bros. Scrap Metal’s Sardis business to property that adjoins his family’s home and 105 acres of rolling pasture land on Holston Road. The area is located between Sardis and Como.

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Attorneys for Cockrell and Martin Bros. delivered oral arguments before the appeals court on September 21 in Jackson.

Sardis attorney Tommy Shuler, who represented the Martin family, said both sides are given 20 minutes to argue their cases before the court.

"The court’s ruling will take a while, from two to three weeks to a month," Shuler told The Panolian this week.

Cockrell was appealing the decision of Panola County’s circuit court, which upheld a 2005 vote by the Panola County Land Development Commission to allow Martin Bros. to locate to a 30-acre site near the Cockrell’s stately, $750,000 home.

An Associated Press story stated that John Lamar argued the case for the Cockrell family, telling the court that the doctor and his family "relied on the zoning regulations when they bought this property."

Shuler noted that a concrete pipe company was already in operation nearby when the Cockrells built their home and a min-warehouse facility has since located to the area.

"Anybody who buys a piece of property does not have an absolute guarantee that the property next to them won’t be rezoned," Shuler said, according to the Associated Press story.

North Panola trustees quizzed regarding teacher feedback
By Jason C. Mattox

A regular attendee at the North Panola School District Board of Trustees voiced concerns about the grading system during Monday night’s meeting.

Julius Harris told board members that several students at North Panola High School and their parents had approached him about problems.

"A child and a parent have every right to know how a teacher is going to arrive at their grade," he said. "It shouldn’t be something that surprises them when they get a test back."

Harris then asked trustees why the teachers did not tell the students and their parents what the grading system would be at the beginning of the school year.

"It should be specifically outlined as to what each test and paper are going to be worth," he said. "The teachers should even explain what classroom participation will count towards their final grade."

Harris said students and parents are concerned about grades.

"At several meetings, you all have voiced your concerns about our children’s progress in the classroom," he said. "Our students and parents are just as concerned as you are."

Harris also said the students and parents in the school district have the right to know a teacher’s qualifications.

"Under the No Child Left Behind laws, people have the right to know the qualifications of the people who are offering instruction to our children in the classroom," he said.

Harris said parents should be able to meet the teachers and become familiar with them.

"Here we are almost halfway through the school year, and there are teachers that parents haven’t even laid eyes on," he said.

Harris said the parents would be able to meet the teachers if the teachers would attend PTO meetings regularly.

"The last time the North Panola PTO met, the school was locked and there was no teacher there," he said. "If the teachers don’t have an interest in meeting the people of the community, we can drop the ‘T’ and just have a parent’s organization."

Board members took no action regarding the information provided.

In other board business:
The board accepted the resignations of Neicely Brooks, band director; Debbie West, special education teacher at Green Hill; and David Orr, bus driver.
Kiwanis Flowers, Toyal Flemmons, Xavier Johnson and Warner Scott were hired by the district pending certification. Flowers and Flemmons will serve as teachers at Green Hill, Johnson will teach keyboarding at NPHS, and Scott will serve as band director.
Parade Schedule
Saturday December 2
Crowder will hold the first parade of the season at 2 p.m.

Monday, December 4
The Sardis Christmas parade will begin at 6 p.m. Line-up for participants begins at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 5
The annual Batesville Christmas Parade will start at 6 p.m.

Thursday, December 7
Crenshaw’s Christmas parade will begin at 7 p.m.

Monday, December 11
Como will wrap up the area parade schedule with a 6 p.m. start.

Board recognizes little league team’s success
By Jason C. Mattox

The North Panola School District Board of Trustees recognized the success of local little league football players Monday night.

Towanda Mangrum and members of the Sardis Falcons were in attendance to receive a plaque from the school district board of trustees.

The Sardis Falcons, though not affiliated with the school district, played their home football games on Saturday mornings at the North Panola High School Field.

"This was our first year and our 11-12 year-old team won the league championship," Mangrum said to a rousing round of applause.

"Our coaches worked really hard with all of our players," she said. "The boys really learned how important teamwork is."

Mangrum said Sardis fielded a 9-10 year-old team and the 11-12 year olds.

"Both of the teams were successful and made it into the playoffs in our first year, and we are all very proud of their success," she said.

In other board business:
Green Hill Elementary was given permission to produce a school yearbook.
Superintendent Glendora Dugger was given permission to begin preliminary research into floating a bond issue to pay for repairs on the district’s facilities.
North Panola entered into contractual agreements with Innovative Ideas and Square Minds Academy to provide supplementary services to students in the district.
 The 2006-07 school improvement plan for North Panola High School was approved.
A $500 donation was accepted from Springs Industries to be used at North Panola High School.
A $1 fee per student for a Christmas concert scheduled for December 14, was approved.
First grade classes at Green Hill were given permission to attend a performance of "The Little Donkey" at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis. No date was specified.

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