City tax collections are up for 2010 compared to 2009 with the city tourism tax, or 2 percent tax up 5 percent for the year and the city sales tax up about 1 percent. (September 20, 2010, Page 1A)
More attorneys need to offer their time to provide pro bono — or free — services to the poor.
That’s just one of several recommendations outlines in the recently released report from the Access to Justice Commission which summarizes findings of five public hearings held around Mississippi.
The Oxford Tourism Council approved community grants to four events with a total of $20,000. The council also approved final reports from recipients of last year’s grants although a motion to approve the Thacker Mountain Radio report from 2009 died from a lack of motion. (September 17, 2010, Page 1, 2a)
The new Oxford Lafayette Humane Society animal shelter should be ready by mid-November with plans to move in by the new year. The shelter cost almost $700,000 with funds privately donated as part of the society’s capital campaign and a portion donated from the city and county. (September 17, 2010, Page 1A)
A limb from the large water oak on the east side of the Lafayette County Courthouse fell at about 5:30 Saturday morning onto the wrought-iron fence the surrounds the courthouse. The weight of the limb was so heavy that about 2 feet of the fence buckled, looking as though a car had slammed into it instead of a tree limb.
Now Oxford and Lafayette County officials are scrambling to get the large tree that has provided cool shade on the Square since William Faulkner was a youngster removed before another limb — or the entire tree — falls. (September 16, 2010, Page 1)
The United Way scaled back its fundraising goal in 2008 in expectancy of lower donations due to a failing economy.
In 2007, the goal was $450,000. It was dropped to $425,000 in 2009.
“We blew it out the top, despite a tough economy, and raised $427,000,” campaign chairman Jeff Triplette said at the United Way annual campaign kick-off luncheon on Wednesday. “That was above our goal.”
This year’s goal is $465,000. (September 16, 2010, Page 1)
The city of Oxford approved the 2011 fiscal year budget of $19.5 million while managing to maintain the city’s millage rate at 27.27 – the same rate it has held since 2005. (September 16, 2010, Page 1, 5)
The Oxford Tree Board is promoting its Releaf program as a way to rebuild the urban canopy in the city. Cowan Hunter talked about different things citizens and volunteers can do to work with the Tree Board and the program. (September 15, 2010, Page 1)
In Oxford, all reported crimes in 2009 are lower than they were in the 2008, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.
The report tracks crime statistics from cities and counties all over the country.
While Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin is pleased with the numbers, he said he expects them to climb a bit when the 2010 numbers are released next year.
“As many burglars as we’ve locked up this year, we are still having burglaries,” Martin said. “We are working hard to be visible and keep this a safe place for our residents and visitors. But our crime has gone up this year. However, we are also recovering a lot of stolen property and making arrests which soothes that increase.”
Martin said thieves might blame the increase in burglaries and thefts on the economy.
“I blame it on these skinny televisions,” he said with a chuckle. “These things are so light, they can just pick up and carry them out the door with no effort.” (September 15, 2010, Page 1)
City officials see a future for the historic Cedar Oaks home. Local leaders say the home if rezoned could be used for venues such as weddings, showers and club meetings. While the interior of the home would limit guests to 49 people, the grounds area could host larger events. To make the home more attractive as an event location, the city’s conference and tourism staff asked the Oxford Board of Aldermen to allow the use of alcohol in the home during social functions. The aldermen approved the first reading and plan to hold a public hearing on Sept. 21. (September 14, 2010, Page 1)