Burn ban still in effect
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors voted Monday to extend the county’s burn ban until its next meeting in December at the request of Lafayette County Fire Coordinator Jerry Johnson.
Last month, Gov. Haley Barbour issued a state-wide burn ban which supersedes the county’s. However, Johnson said if the governor decided to remove the ban, he felt the county was still too dry to remove its ban.
The National Weather Service forecasts rain today through Wednesday. The board granted Johnson the ability to rescind the ban on the recommendation of the Mississippi Forestry Commission if conditions improve before the next board meeting.
The board also voted to allow the Lafayette County Volunteer Fire Department to advertise for bids on a new storage facility at Johnson’s request.
Sheriff’s Department new computers
The board voted to approve the purchase of six laptops of the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department that will be placed inside patrol vehicles. It will also allow deputies to be connected to the CAD system and the LCSD record system.
The county received a $65,000 grant from the Department of Public Safety for the purchase of the equipment for the software and the laptops.
Homeland security grants
The board voted to allow Tisaby & Associates to assess the county’s fire department, sheriff’s department and EMS services to see if any or all would be entitled to federal grants from the Department of Homeland Security. The company would not be paid by the county but would receive grant administration fees from the government.
The Board of Supervisors met with the Oxford Board of Aldermen in executive session after the board’s regular meeting Monday to discuss the future of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi.
In August 2009, Baptist announced its plans to replace the current hospital with a new $300 million regional referral center. The corporation is requesting to purchase the existing facility and buy its way out of a lease with the city and county, which currently own the hospital. That lease isn’t set to expire until 2034.
The new facility is expected to cost about $300 million and will provide a comprehensive, state-of-the-art environment that will accommodate future health care technology.
The two boards agreed to meet again at 10 a.m. Nov. 19 in executive session, which means the meeting is closed to the public.
No other action was taken. (November 2, 2010, Page 2)
On Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay the bill for Natalie “Nicki” Coleman, who died Thursday, under the county’s pauper burial policy.
Coroner Rocky Kennedy asked the board to consider paying for the cremation since he was unable to find next of kin of Coleman who were able to pay.
Lafayette County Board of Supervisors
Monday, 9 a.m.
Lafayette County Chancery Building
1. Call to order
2. Approve agenda
3. Approval of the minutes from the October meeting
4. Approve claims docket
5. Approve manual checks and utilities and debt service payments
1. Approve Order of the Board of Supervisors authorizing the transfer of $12,000 additional LSBP funds to complete project LSBP-36. (Larry Britt)
2. Approve pay application No. 2 in the amount of $8,815 to D. Carroll Construction for Four-mile Branch project. (Larry Britt)
3. Approve pay application No. 2 in the amount of $30,040 to D. Carroll Construction for Toby Davidson Creek project. (Larry Britt)
4. Road manager’s report. (Jerry Haynie)
5. Spread on the minutes the hiring of road department employee James Stone at $2,200 per month. (Jerry Haynie)
6. Approval request for September 2010 Solid Waste Write-offs. (Bobby Jones)
7. Spread on the minutes the hiring of solid waste employee Kerry Delbridge at $2,100 per month. (Bobby Jones)
8. Volunteer Fire Department update. (Jerry Johnson)
9. United Way presentation by Kathy Sukanek. (Joseph Johnson)
10. Approve payment of $40 for Clerk of Board’s attendance at Oct. 4 meeting. (Sherry Wall)
11. Approve payment of $4,205 to Circuit Clerk for Circuit Court costs. (Mary Alice Busby)
12. Training request for Sheriff East to attend the Mississippi Sheriff’s Association 2010 Winter Conference in Choctaw for travel expenses only. (Sheriff East)
13. Approve budget transfer in the amount of $64,037 to Sheriff Department for COPS technology grant expenditures. (Joseph Johnson)
14. Approve request for sole source purchase of Global Software products for COPS Technology grant at a cost of $36,220. (Joseph Johnson)
15. Approve deletion of fixed assets from Chancery Clerk and sheriff’s departments. (Joseph Johnson)
16. Spread on the minutes the Veteran’s Day holiday, Nov. 11. (Joseph Johnson)
17. Spread on the minutes the Thanksgiving holiday Nov. 25 and 26 as proclaimed by the governor. (Joseph Johnson)
18. Spread on the minutes the Christmas holiday Dec. 24 and Dec. 27 as proclaimed by the governor. (Joseph Johnson)
19. Spread on the minutes the New Year’s holiday Dec. 31 and Jan. 3 as proclaimed by the governor. (Joseph Johnson)
20. Approval to purchase three service trucks at State Contract price for Road Department. (Joseph Johnson)
21. Approval to purchase six police vehicles at State Contract price for Sheriff’s Department. (Joseph Johnson)
22. Approve personnel budget amendment for Solid Waste to include vacant position omitted from budget. (Joseph Johnson)
23. Approve no cost letter of intent with Tisaby & Associates for possible grant proposal. (Joseph Johnson)
24. Spread on the minutes the 2010 County Fire Funding Compliance form. (Joseph Johnson)
25. Approve renewal contract for Cafeteria Plan Administration between Southern Administrators and Benefit Consultants Inc. and Lafayette County. (Joseph Johnson)
26. Approve renewal contract for detention center spent cooking oil removal with Griffin Industries Inc. (Joseph Johnson)
27. Approve transfer of surplus funds from Allied building and Courthouse renovation funds to General County. (Joseph Johnson)
28. Consider accepting bid for the sale of five backhoes. (Joseph Johnson)
29. Consider accepting bid for the sale of one excavator. (Joseph Johnson)
30. Consider accepting bid for the sale of one bulldozer. (Joseph Johnson)
31. Consider accepting bid for the purchase of five backhoes. (Joseph Johnson)
32. Consider accepting bid for the purchase of one excavator. (Joseph Johnson)
33. Consider accepting bid for the purchase of one bulldozer. (Joseph Johnson)
34. Consider accepting bid for the purchase of one asphalt paver. (Joseph Johnson)
35. Consider accepting bid for the general depository. (Joseph Johnson)
36. Approve DHS employee Marlayna Blissett as receiving clerk. (Joseph Johnson)
37. Consider executive session. (Lloyd Oliphant)
38. Adjourn/recess (October 29, 2010)
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)
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)
Judge closes lawsuit against county
A lawsuit against former and current county officials claiming they railroaded former insurance agent Ken Nowlin into pleading guilty to crimes he didn’t commit, has been closed by a federal judge.
U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Aycock found in favor of the defendants and ordered the case closed.
UM former employee pleads
Ben Willians, a former employee of the University of Mississippi, pleaded guilty Friday for stealing more than $67,000 while working in the Dean of Students office, according to the indictment. He was sentenced to three years of unsupervised probation. (October 13, 2010, Page 2)
Attorney Josh Turner wanted to give back to the community where he was born and raised.
Now he has his chance.
On Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors approved hiring Turner to be the new public defender for the 3rd District Circuit Court, a position held for almost six years by attorney Ken Coghlan who resigned last month. (October 7, 2010, Page 5)
During its regular meeting Monday, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors invoked a burn ban for the county due to dry conditions.
The ban is in effect until Nov. 1, although it could be lifted sooner if conditions improve sufficiently.
County officials were hoping to get an official burn ban in place for Lafayette County this morning at a special meeting of the Board of Supervisors; however, not enough supervisors were at the meeting to reach the quorum needed to approve the ban.
Three out of five supervisors are necessary to vote on anything official. Supervisors Robert Blackmon and Lloyd Oliphant were the only supervisors present at the meeting.
The item will be placed on the agenda for Monday’s regular meeting at 9 a.m. at the Chancery Building. (September 30, 2010, Page 1)
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)