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)
They return again this weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the fellowship hall of St. Peter’s. Second Baptist Church, the Sarah Isom Center for Women and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture are all co-sponsoring the event. All the proceeds go to the Tutwiler Quilters’ Cooperative.
The quilters keep 80 percent of the money made from the sales of their crafts. The cooperative was founded in 1988 by Sister Maureen Delany, a Holy Name Sister sent by her order as a community organizer to assist the black Americans in Tutwiler, known to be an economically poor community in the Mississippi Delta. Delany discovered that quilting could be a way of expressing the women’s cultural traditions as well as generating income for the desperately poor families. (October 22, 2010, Page 1A)
Ninty-six-year-old Earl Tucker is the lead defendant in a lawsuit filed Wednesday at the U.S. District Court of North Mississippi in Oxford against Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the state of Mississippi that challenges the Mississippi Voter Identification petition that is scheduled to appear on the November 2011 statewide ballot. The measure, if successful, would require photo identification at all voter polls in the state.
“I thought voter intimidation had long disappeared, but I was wrong,” Tucker said in the lawsuit. “I will fight to keep my rights.” (October 22, 2010, Page 2A)
Former Oxford businessman Dino Jerry Grisanti pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud Thursday in front of a federal judge.
According to court records, in January 2006, Grisanti, operator of the now-defunct Grisanti Rebel Motors in Oxford, attempted to defraud Regions Bank by concealing he had sold 66 vehicles worth $2,985,768. (October 22, 2010, Page 2A)
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors instructed county attorney David O’Donnell to file an appeal with the Mississippi Supreme Court against a final order given by a Circuit Court judge instructing them to not interfere with the operation of the county’s Drug Court.
The one-page appeal, filed Tuesday, says the supervisors are appealing the entire Final Order filed Sept. 21 by Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth but doesn’t list any specific parts of the order. The appeal was filed after the board voted 3 to 2 granting O’Donnell permission to file the appeal during an executive session earlier this month. Supervisors Robert Blackmon and Mike Pickens were the dissenting votes.
Howorth, who started Drug Court three years ago, filed a “cease and desist” in June against the supervisors from interfering with the operations of the Drug Court and the Circuit Court in general. Howorth claims the supervisors have continually interfered with the operations of the Circuit Court, almost from the day the current board took office in 2008. He also ordered the supervisors to comply with all reasonable requests made by and on behalf of the Drug Court pertaining to Drug Court funds administered by Lafayette County. (October 21, 2010, Page 1)
Interfaith Compassion Ministry Director Lena Wiley wasn’t sure how much money was brought in from Tuesday’s fish fry fundraiser as of this morning, but one thing she did know for certain — people ate a lot of fish.
“We ran out of fish,” she said this morning. “I think it went really well. I hope it went well.”
The fish fry, held at First Baptist Church’s Family life center, served cat fish and chicken tenders for $10 a plate from 11 to 1 p.m. and then again from 4 to 7 p.m. All the proceeds will go toward ICM, particularly to help pay an outstanding $10,500 hotel bill that ICM owes to the Ole Miss Motel, which works with ICM all year to help house homeless and displaced persons temporarily. (October 20, 2010, Page 1)
Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit’s Keith Davis, and the other investigators at Metro, are pushing adding “enhancement charges” to regular drug dealing charges. Enhancement charges include, selling drugs within 1,500 of a school or church or child endangerment, for selling drugs when a child is present.
An enhancement charge does just that — it enhances the sentence of the defendant if found guilty. Under state law, selling drugs within 1,500 feet of a church or school allows a judge to double the penalty.
Several suspects charged with dealing drugs were indicted during the September grand jury and have been given enhancement charges along with being indicted with selling drugs.
See these and other indictments handed down by the grand jury in today’s EAGLE. (October 20, 2010, Page 1)