Customers at Frank and Marlee’s Restaurant and Piano Bar smelled smoke at about 9:15 p.m. Soon, flames began to shoot out of The Gin, which is adjacent to Frank and Marlee’s just off the Square. The two establishments shared a common wood patio up until Thursday, according to co-owner Erin Smith.
CrimeStoppers and the Mississippi State Fire Marshal are collectively offering $1,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspected arsonists in connection with recent fires at Wellsgate and at the old Galilee Church on County Road 108. (March 4, 2010, Page 1)
The race for Third District Circuit Court is heating up with three more attorneys qualifying for the November election: John A. Gregory, Dave Rozier and Kent A. Smith. Local voters will decide who will get a judicial seat in the Third District Circuit Court, which covers seven counties — Lafayette, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Marshall, Tippah and Union. Currently there are three seats for the Third Circuit. (March 4, 2010, Page 1)
For the second time in little more than a month, the Relay for Life purple toilet has been stolen. The toilet is part of a fundraising project for this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life. (March 2, 2010, Page 2)
Thanks to a partnership with Delta Computer Systems, Lafayette County Circuit Court has joined the 21st century. Now anyone can access criminal and civil court records online from the Third Circuit Court District, which includes Lafayette County. (March 1, 2010, Page 1)
A lawsuit against the governing organization of the local Head Start program is set for trial next month.
Mary Luster-Johnson and her attorneys, Waide and Associates of Tupelo, filed the suit in the Lafayette County Circuit Court in 2008, claiming she was fired for complaining to the Institute of Community Services of Holly Springs — which operated the Head Start program in Oxford — that the director of the Oxford program, Linda McAdory, was misusing funds. (February 26, 2010, Page 2A)
The FBI will hold a Citizen’s Academy in May for education, business, labor, media, minority, government, religious and community leaders in Oxford who are interested in federal law enforcement issues and challenges. (February 25, 2010, Page 1)
Willie Frank Bowie’s family has raised additional funds to add to the CrimeStoppers reward for information leading the arrest and conviction of his killer. According to Lafayette County Sheriff’s Investigator Scott Mills, there is now a $2,000 reward being offered. (February 22, 2010, Page 1)
Local FBI special agent Philip Halbert “Hal” Neilson pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he hid his ownership stake in the Oxford FBI building on University Avenue and lied to investigators. His trial has been set for Feb. 22 in Aberdeen. (February 2, 2010, Page 1)
CONTINUING COVERAGE — Lafayette County Sheriff’s investigators are still seeking information from community members on the apparent homicide of county resident Willie Frank Bowie on Monday. (January 13, 2010, Page 2)