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)
Lafayette County supervisors and Oxford officials met Monday with Mississippi Department of Transportation District Engineer Richard Allen to discuss the future of three area road projects, including the interchange at West Jackson Avenue and Highway 6, and extending West Oxford Loop to FNC Park. (September 14, 2010, Page 1)
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday to approve a $43.1 million budget for the 2011 fiscal year.
The board also approved the millage rate at 36.26, which dipped just slightly from 36.27 for the current fiscal year. (September 14, 2010, Page 1)
If county officials agree to help, the Oxford Park Commission is hoping to build the largest community tennis facility in Mississippi.
OPC Director Rob Boyd asked the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors to consider chipping in $1.5 million with the city of Oxford to expand the John Leslie Tennis Facility from 12 to 24 courts. (September 8, 2010, Page 1)