Headlines Cont. – 2/27/2007

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – February 27, 2007


Local officials favor r.r. upgrade
By John Howell Sr.

Panola County and the City of Batesville have adopted resolutions supporting the upgrading of Canadian National Railroad’s (CN) track through the center of the county.

Panola supervisors at their Feb. 12 meeting and Batesville aldermen at their Feb. 20 meeting adopted similarly-worded resolutions which note the poor condition of what is known as CN’s Grenada Subdivision. The line connects Memphis and Jackson through the cities of Canton, Vaiden, Winona, Grenada and Batesville. During the late 20th Century, Illinois Central upgraded its more westerly Memphis-to-Jackson rail connection through the Mississippi Delta. In 1995, Amtrak shifted its passenger service from the Grenada Subdivision to the Delta route between Memphis and Jackson.

Panola County and the City of Batesville join the City and County of Grenada and Yalobusha County in adopting the resolutions supporting the Grenada Subdivision upgrade. John Howell and Perrin Caldwell appeared before the supervisors and mayor and aldermen to request the adoption of the resolutions. Caldwell and Howell are part of a grass roots effort started by Grenada native Joe Marascalco whose efforts kept the rail line from being abandoned in the late 1990s.

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The resolutions call for expenditures in excess of $200 million to raise the per-car weight limit to the national standard of 286,000 pounds. The resolutions cite a continuation of industrial freight service in the affected cities as well as a return of Amtrak service.

SPHS students present ‘Antigone’
Students from the newly formed theatre department at South Panola High School will present their version of the classic play "Antigone" in two performances this week.

The 19-member cast will enact the story in the Batesville Junior High auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on March 1 and 2.

Tickets are $3 and may be purchased in the main high school office during regular school hours, or you may call 662-563-4756 to reserve seats

"Antigone" tells the story of the efforts of a young noblewoman in the ancient Grecian city-state of Thebes to give her brother a proper burial. The play was written by Sophocles about 2,500 years ago, but its themes of loyalty, consequence, and compromise are amazingly applicable to the events of today, SP drama teacher Deanna Dye said.

"We decided to modernize the script to today’s tastes, making it a sort of hip-hop translation of the tale," she explained. "It’s both entertaining and thought provoking."

Cast members include Candice Shegog, Cedric McKinney, Saraka Chapman, Reagan Bailey, Dakevia Hentz, Chelsea Ratcliff, Joey Grant, LeQuisha Scott, Marluntay Brownlee, Ashley Smith, Rosalyn Partee, Candyce Johnson, Trent Marshall, Sade Wallace, Jerika Bledsoe, Tiffany Pritchard, Janaye McKinney, Jessica Wilkins and Dixie Wingler.

"This is our drama class’s first production, and we would really like for everyone to come out and see the show," Dye said. "Ultimately, we would like to have a legitimate theatre department at the high school, which requires the support of both the school and the community."


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