Headlines Cont. – 3/30/2007

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2007

The Panolian: INSIDE STORIES – March 30, 2007


Rigdon leads local office of BancorpSouth
BancorpSouth has announced that Vice President John Rigdon has been named Batesville Bank President. Since joining BancorpSouth in 1999, he has served as loan officer in Premier Banking and the Barnes Crossing office in Tupelo.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Rigdon graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He also graduated magna cum laude from the Barret School of Banking at Christian Bothers University.

City discusses delinquent sewer customers during meeting
By Jason C. Mattox

Sewer customers on Butler Road and Bethlehem Road, both located outside the city limits of Batesville, who have not been paying their bills in a timely manner could soon find themselves disconnected from city services.

The matter of unpaid sewer fees was brought up for discussion by City Clerk Laura Herron during a called meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen Wednesday morning.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

"We have people outside of the city limits who are not paying for sewer," she said.

Herron added that the Mississippi Department of Health has been contacted about the issue.

"The health department has talked to several of them, and we are starting to have people come in and make arrangements to pay, but there are some that haven’t even done that," she said.

Mayor Jerry Autrey asked if the city could legally require a large deposit for future customers wanting sewer services in that area.

"We need to do something like maybe charge them $3,000," he said, throwing out a random number.

Ward 2 Alderman Rufus Manley asked what the city could do to remedy the situation.

"The attorney general’s office says you can cut them off if they are not paying their bills, just like you would a customer in the city," assistant city attorney Colmon Mitchell said.

Ward 4 Alderman Bobbie Jean Pounders said the city needed to make some attempt to collect and give the customers fair warning before cutting off sewer services.

"We have two groups of people in the same area that have not paid," she said. "It looks like they got together and just decided not to.

"I know they wanted us to provide the service, but I don’t think we can legally give away city services," Pounders added.

Mitchell suggested issuing collection letters that clearly states the issue and potential cut-off notice.

"Have them served personally," he said. "That way they can’t come back to us and say they never got the letter.

"After they have been given notice, any problem that happens is a direct result of them not paying the bill," Mitchell added.

A public hearing on the matter will be scheduled after notification letters are sent.

No date for the start of notification was stated during the meeting.

Miss.-NYC picnic slated
The 29th annual Mississippi Picnic in New York will be held this year on June 2 in Central Park in New York City. The event showcases Mississippi talent and foods.
Robin Ln. resident worried about mud
By Jason C. Mattox

Residents of Batesville’s Robin Lane are waiting for city leaders to help address a "mudslide" problem that has been present in recent weeks.

Robin Lane runs beside Neil’s Package Store just off Highway 6 East.

"We are living in a mudslide every time it rains," Marilyn Ware told Batesville’s board of mayor and aldermen at their March 20 meeting. "We just want some relief from the problem."

The area the homes are in is zoned commercial except for the home of Janie Womble.

Woody Loden IV has discussed developing the property with the Code Enforcement Office, but has not pulled building permits.

"Because the property causing the problem is zoned commercial, the property owner did not have to appear before the planning commission for rezoning," Code Enforcement Office administrator Pam Comer said.

At that remark, Womble asked, "So they can just move in a mountain of dirt and leave it?"

Blake Mendrop, representing McBride Engineering, said he would examine the property and determine the best way to correct the problem.

"The owner is responsible for keeping water and silt off the other property, and when I go look at it and see that is not being done, they will have to correct it," he said. "If they come in for a construction permit, I can’t sign off on it until that problem is corrected."

No action was taken.

McCain gets promotion to Lt. Colonel
Major Edwin Dexter McCain, a native of Batesville, and the son of Earnestine C. McCain and the late Charles E. McCain, Jr., was recently selected for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force.

This promotion recognizes his exceptional record of performance and his potential to serve in a higher grade where he will assume increased responsibilities. Currently, Major McCain serves as Chief of the Commander’s Action Group for the Air University Commander at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.

He is responsible for conducting research and analysis to prepare studies, briefings and speeches for the commander, as well as assisting him in promoting Air University’s positions on air, space and cyberspace defense issues to the Department of Defense, Congress, the media, and the American and international public.

Major McCain is a 1987 graduate of South Panola High School, a 1992 graduate of Ole Miss and he also holds two master’s degrees, one from Troy State University in Montgomery and the second from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB.

He and his wife Yolanda have twin daughters, Hannah and Hope and they live in Pike Road, Ala.

Law change means longer wait for passports
By Billy Davis

A change in federal law has increased the waiting time for passports, and Panola Circuit Clerk Joe Reid is warning the public to plan trips accordingly.

The backlog comes after a new requirement, which began in January, requires U.S. airline or cruise passengers, including children, to obtain a passport for trips to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean islands.

The new requirements come at a time when more people are planning cruise vacations, Reid said.

"A lot of people are going on mission trips, too," and requiring passports for travel to foreign countries, the circuit clerk said.

Applications through his office have shown a marked increase, from an average of four or five per month to 19 in the first 15 days of March, he said.

An application process that once took six weeks to receive a passport by mail has now increased to 10 weeks, Reid told The Panolian.

Reid said the current passport application still includes an expedited method, but it is also moving slowly: applicants can expect a six-week wait versus the former two-week wait.

The expedited process costs $60 in addition to the $67 application fee. The circuit clerk’s office, which sends the applications to a regional passport office in New Orleans, charges $30 to handle the process.

An original birth certificate and a photo are needed to apply for the passport, Reid said.


Copyright 2001-2007 by Batesville Newspapers, LLC.  All rights reserved
Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission  is prohibited.