Blast in the Past (April 19th,2019)

Published 11:07 am Friday, April 19, 2019

In The 1990s – 20 years ago…

“The Panola County Board of Supervisors may be inching closer to open discussion with the City of Batesville about the civic center arena, but that decision may come only after supervisors and two state legislators mapped out a strategy at an alleged illegal meeting Monday,” according to a story in the April 13th, 1999, edition.

Supervisors had adjourned after a three hour meeting at the courthouse and then resumed their discussion over lunch at Batesville’s Western Sizzlin’ Restaurant.

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“I was totally disappointed that such an important issue found its way into an illegal, backroom discussion,’ saaid the Panolian publisher Tawanda Tankersley, who waited at least an hour before finally interrupting the meeting.”

“The new 662 area code for north Mississippi, which includes Panola County, goes in effect Monday…,” according to another story in that edition.

In the 1980s – 30 years ago…

“Crenshaw policeman WIlliam Leo “Butch” Parrish Jr. was shot Saturday afternoon, April 1, in a confrontation with three people he’d been talking to earlier at the police station when he tried to resolve a dispute between them and another resident of the area, Panola County Sheriff David Bryan said,” the April 5, 1989, edition reported.

Parrish was the second county law enforcement officer to be killed in less than seven months. Deputy Sheriff Joe Cosby had been killed in September, 1988.

In the 1970s – 40 years ago…

“Billy Briscoe is proud of his new store’s air recirculation system,” the April 12, 1979, edition reported.

“Out of the whole new 12,000 feet facility on Highway 51 North which includes a bakery and delicatessen, the veteran Batesville grocer talks most of the heating and air conditioning system which in the winter will utilize heat from refrigeration compressors to provide heat for the building. In the summer, it takes cool air from under the refrigerated display areas in the store and puts it through the air conditioning system”.

The store opened in 1979 as Briscoe’s family grocery business from the Square to the Highway 51 North location which now houses Batesville’s Piggly Wiggly.

In the 1960s – 50 years ago…

“Charlie Hudson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Houston, is in a hospital recuperating from a wound in his right leg that he received in Vietnam recently,” according to the West Pope News by Mrs. Walter L. Johnson published in the April 3, 1969, edition. “This is the second time he was wounded in the same leg.”

In the 1950s – 60 years ago…

“Construction is scheduled to begin in the near future on a long sought highway bridge linking Northwest Mississippi and Eastern Arkansas, Highway Commissioner Roy C. Adams said today,” in the Panolian dated April 9, 1959.

“The Helena Bridge, spanning the Mississippi River between Helena, Arkansas and Coahoma County, Mississippi, is expected to facilitate East-West traffic movement affecting a large portion of North Mississippi.”

The revenue bonds to build $9.1 million bridge was expected to be financed by tolls until the bonds were retired.

Leftover March Madness – 64 years ago

“Margaret Woods, little 5’4” forward on the Pope girls basketball team, during the past year, can claim some records for her outstanding performance during the 1955 season.”

“Serving as Captain of her team, Margaret scored 540 points for a near 30 point game average. She was an inspiration to her team, playing to near exhaustion on several occasions. Always, she managed to come up with a big smile, regardless of the outcome of a situation. This disposition and sportsmanship resulted in her winning the admiration of opponents and spectators. One one occasion, spectators who did not even know her arose to their feet to applaud a unexcelled performance.”

“This is believed to be the greatest achievement for a player of her small 5’4” size in the history of her school. The student body of Pope is grateful to Margaret for her efforts in behalf of her school, and for the recognition gained for her school by her phenomenal achievement.”