18th District Chancery Judge
Ed Roberts Jr., incumbent
Roberts has served eight years as chancery judge in Lafayette County, along with 32 years in the military and retiring a two-star general. He has practiced law since 1972. He believes modernizing the court system and allowing for electronic filing of documents would speed up the docket and that courtroom security needs to be increased.
“My goals as your chancery judge have been to be fair, honest and impartial while serving the people of the 18th District and looking out for the best interest of children. Even though my affirmed opinion rate is 96.5 percent, there is no illusion on my part that all of my decisions are correct. I do my best to listen to the evidence, apply the law and when I do decide, I believe in my heart that I have made the right decision. Check me out. Ask about my reputation as a Christian, father, grandfather, veteran, lawyer, public servant and judge.”
Helen Kennedy Robinson
Robinson of Oxford believes her experience as a practicing attorney in chancery courts in multiple districts for 19 years, being a guardian ad litem and a mother of two makes her a good candidate. She believes decisions shouldn’t take weeks or months to be made after the court hearing or trials are over and that trial continuances should be limited.
“My experience in chancery court, as well as my experience as a mother, makes me the best choice for chancery judge. I will never lose sight of the impact any decisions made by me will have on your lives. All decisions rendered by me will be fair and impartial. The best interest in our children is very important to me. I do not hunt, fish or pursue other hobbies. Devoting my time to the citizens of the 18th Chancery District will be my first priority.”
3rd District Circuit Court
Robert Elliott, incumbent
Elliott has practiced law for 40 year and is a retired lieutenant with the U.S. Navy. He is seeking his first re-election for place No. 2. He believes his hard work, dedication and experience makes him the best candidate. Elliott said the circuit court disposed of more than 1,500 criminal cases this year.
“I have the legal ability, experience and work ethic to be a good circuit judge. Explore the background and judicial records of both candidates; talk to your friends, attorneys, circuit court and law enforcement personnel and then vote for the candidate you believe will do the best job.”
Byers is the Marshall County prosecutor and has a private practice in Holly Springs. She previously served as a circuit judge in Greenville, where she was defeated for re-election in 1998. She believes there needs to be more courtroom security and claims she will help move along the busy docket by setting both the civil and court dockets simultaneously.
“The citizens of the 3rd District deserve a judge who is experienced; hardworking, dedicated and fair and who is guided by the slogan, ‘Justice is Blind.’ I appreciate the importance of moving the court’s dockets and making fair and impartial rulings. A vote for me is a vote for swift justice.”
Rozier has practiced in civil and criminal law for 23 years and believes the circuit court could benefit from e-filing of court documents. He served as a municipal judge for 10 years and is a certified drug court judge. His firm, Rozier Hayes, has locations in Oxford and Southaven.
“After this election, the winner will no longer be an advocate for his clients. Rather, he will be charged with the duty of weighing the fact and applying the law to see that justice is served. This is no small task and it is one that begs for experience. As the only candidate in the race with judicial experience, I am the most qualified to serve as the next circuit judge.”
Gregory has served as an assistant district attorney for 30 years and as attorney for the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors, city of Okolona and Okolona School District. He was a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stokes V. Robertson from 1977-78. He is a former Ole Miss Rebel football player. He believes it takes hard work to move dockets along.
“I have qualified myself through avenues of experience and education which will benefit all who use our circuit court. My trial experience is extensive in both criminal and civil law. I will work hard for the people of this district and serve with honesty, integrity and fairness.”
Levidiotis earned his law degree at 40 years old and has worked as a public defender and prosecutor in the 3rd District. He says his primary goal in running is to stamp-out corruption on the bench. He believe a wider use of house arrest for non-violent offenders and drug court could help reduce the court docket.
“I am not a career politician and represent real change. I am energetic and am willing to debate the issues and answer live questions in each courthouse of the district. Being a trial judge means being able to think quickly and correctly and I am able to demonstrate my ability to do so.”
Court of Appeals
Donna Barnes, incumbent
Barnes was appointed to the court of appeals in 2004 by Gov. Haley Barbour and elected in 2006 to remain in the position without opposition. She has authored more than 325 majority opinions and participated in more than 2,700 decisions. She worked as an attorney for 18 years in Tupelo before taking the bench.
“The person you choose to sit on the this court must be a person of learning, experience, courage and conviction, but of restraint. I have been, and will continue to be, that kind of person, that kind of judge … My experience, records and commitment to fairness prove I can provide a non-partisan, level playing field for all citizens who come before the court.”
Mims practices law in Lee County where he serves as the public defender. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard for 22 years. He believes the circuit court needs judges who understand what it means to work within a tight budget and tight time restraints.
“As a father and head of household, I know how to operate on a fixed income … I know what it’s like to work under pressure … We need judges who have actual courtroom experience, not just someone who has done legal research for insurance companies. I am the only candidate who has practiced criminal and chancery law, the two most frequently heard appeals the court handles.” (October 29, 2010)
LaVera Hodges is now cancer free and taking life one day at a time. To help other survivors feel as good as she does, she is holding the second “Struttin’ Pretty in Pink” breast cancer fashion show to raise awareness and donations as well as give survivors a chance to simply feel pretty.
The fashion show will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Tallahatchie-Oxford Missionary Baptist association building off Highway 334.
The models will be survivors, current cancer patients and family and friends of those dealing with cancer. (October 29, 2010, Page 11A)
If the outcome of an election can be based on the amount of friends someone has on a Facebook page, the race for Lafayette County coroner seems neck-and-neck.
Rocky Kennedy, currently serving as the county’s interim coroner, has 267 “friends” on his “Rocky Kennedy for Coroner” Facebook page, while Richard Shivers has 262 on his Facebook page.
Lafayette County voters will decide Tuesday who the next county coroner will be: Kennedy, Shivers or Lonnie Weaver. (October 29, 2010, Page 1A)
Four Oxford men have been arrested and charged with committing several burglaries in the city of Oxford and Lafayette County.
On Oct. 5, a deputy responded to a burglary at a home off Old Highway 7 North, Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Scott Mills said. While the deputy was interviewing the victims, he obtained information about the suspects and their vehicle.
A short time later, a Mississippi Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a vehicle that matched the description and searched the vehicle where he found stolen items from the burglary on Old Highway 7 North.
Arrested were Steven Obermeier, 19, Lee Earnest Liggins, 23, Shawntez D’Angelo Draper, 19, and Corey Terrell Moody, 21, all of Oxford. (October 28, 2010, Page 2)
A state-wide burn ban is still in effect for all of Mississippi despite much-needed rain showers soaked parts of North Mississippi recently.
However, the southern part of the state is still bone dry.
The burn ban was issued by Gov. Haley Barbour earlier this month after the Mississippi Forestry Commission recommended the ban to help prevent uncontrolled forest and brush fires after a hot, dry summer left much of Mississippi’s landscape dehydrated. (October 27, 2010, Page 1)
Six Lafayette County families were left homeless this weekend when a fire ripped through the Pine Cove Creek Apartments Friday evening. Lafayette County fire inspector Darren Roy was called in to investigate the fire who said the cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.
No one was hurt in the fire but the six families were left with nothing.
The Lafayette County chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the families with shelter, food and clothing. Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a check to: North Central Mississippi American Red Cross Service Center, P.O. Box 97, Oxford, MS 38655. For more information, call 236-1282. (October 26, 2010, Page 10)
Being a sniper is generally not a qualification to be a school resource officer. However, Oxford High School’s Capt. Philip Zampella says it makes him a better policeman.
Zampella and OPD officer Sean Eyler took fourth place in the Mississippi Tactical Officers Association SWAT training in Meridian earlier this month. About 18 teams from around the state competed in the sniper shooting and entry competitions. Zampella and Eyler were two of six OPD SWAT teams members who attended and participated in the competition. The OPD SWAT team earned fifth place in the competition. (October 26, 2010, Page 1)
While a national program, the local North Centeral Medical Reserve Corps was founded locally about a year ago and is partnered with the city of Oxford, the University of Mississippi and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. MRC was given federal money to start the program that is under Oxford’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program umbrella.
MRC volunteers will assist in medical disaster operations during times of emergency and participate throughout the year doing public education programs that will touch on subjects such as pandemic flues, disaster preparedness and good health topics.
MRC is holding an information meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Oxford Activity Center in hopes of recruiting more volunteers for its program. (October 25, 2010, Page 2A)
With cold and flu season making its arrival, some local doctors are requiring patients to come into the office when they have a cold or flu and want decongestant medications containing pseudoephedrine, while others make a judgment call after talking to the patient over the phone as to whether they should come into the office.
As of July 1, any pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines including — Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus Severe Cold and Zyrtec D — now require a prescription from a physician in Mississippi. The state law was passed during the 2010 legislative session and it’s aimed at fighting the state’s growing methamphetamine problem. Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in cold and sinus medicines, which are often sold without a prescription. It is also the key ingredient used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. (October 25, 2010, Page 1)
With his big brother and sister sitting next to him, surrounded by pumpkins of all sizes, 2-year-old Mack Shelton was more interested in watching the large construction equipment digging up the road on Jackson Avenue on Wednesday afternoon than smiling for his mother’s camera.
“I’m not sure I got a good one this year,” said Mack’s mom, Emily Shelton, with an exasperated smile.
Moments later, Mack was all smiles as he ran around the pumpkin patch at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with his brother, Sam, 8, and sister, Emma, 5, following close behind as they searched for their favorite pumpkins.
“Oh sure, now he smiles,” Shelton said with a chuckle.
The Sheltons have come to the church every year for the past six years to take photographs and pick out the family pumpkins. (October 22, 2010, Page 1B)