Headlines Cont. – 12/15/2006

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2006

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – December 15, 2006


Support growing for DHS Christmas program
     DHS County Homemaker Diane Davis piled toys high in a storage room at the DHS office on Main Street in Sardis on Wednesday after an anonymous donor dropped of toys and clothes for 50 children they adopted from the agency for Christmas.
By Jason C. Mattox

With just 10 days left until Christmas, 92 children are still looking for someone to make it a happy holiday for them, according to Panola County Homemaker Diane Davis of the Department of Human Services.

More than two-thirds of the children needing to be adopted for this year’s program have been taken care of by local businesses, churches and civic organizations.

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"We have really had a good response to our program this year," she said. "We are still needing to have some of our children adopted out, and people still have time if they want to help someone less fortunate."

Anyone wanting to help provide a Merry Christmas to these needy children has until Tuesday of next week to adopt them.

The support for the program has really picked up in the last week or so, according to Davis.

"We had an anonymous donor come in and provide toys for 50 children on our list," she said. "They brought in clothes, toys and bicycles and will make all of these children very happy."

In addition to the anonymous donor, the South Panola High School Air Force Junior ROTC brought in several bags of toys Wednesday afternoon.

"They came in with big bags of stuffed animals and stocking stuffers," Davis said. Those are items that we really needed to pull it all together."

Davis added that financial contributions have begun adding up in recent days as well.

"People that might not have the time to shop for an extra person, have been giving us financial contributions so we can go out and buy Christmas presents to help make it an even better holiday for the children," she said. "I am really proud of the support the community has offered to us this year."

Anyone wishing to make a financial contribution can make checks payable to the Batesville Exchange Club and drop them off at the DHS office.

For more information on how to adopt a child or provide donations, contact Davis at 487-2098.

Vandals damage decorations, dampen Christmas spirit
By Jason C. Mattox

The Batesville Police Department is looking for vandals who damaged and/or destroyed Christmas lawn decorations in the city this week.

According to Col. Tony Jones, whose home was one of three reporting damage, the incidents took place Wednesday night on Baker Street, Johnson Street and Birch Street.

"The people that did this are about as low as someone that would rob a church," he said. "All they did was ruin people’s personal property, and it was just a stupid and gutless act."

Jones said the BPD expects there were other homes vandalized that were not reported.

"There might have been people who got up this morning and they had a deer or Santa kicked over that thought nothing of it and just put them back up," he said. "But we would like to hear from as many people as possible, so that, when we arrest those responsible, we will be able to charge them to the fullest extent of the law."

"We are looking at some serious damage," Lt. Billy Sossaman said. "We are offering a small reward to anyone who might have information that can help us make an arrest in this case."

According to Jones and Sossaman, anyone arrested will be charged with malicious mischief which could result in a state-mandated fine and restitution.

"When we find out who is responsible for this they will be paying for the damage they did to people’s property," Jones added. "They tore up hundreds of dollars worth of decorations."

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Jones or Sossaman at 563-5653.


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