Experts are expecting — and hoping — for a much quieter and healthy flu season in 2011 after the H1N1 swine flu hit pandemic proportions earlier this year.
According to the Mississippi Department of Health, there has been 21 lab confirmed cases of the flu in Mississippi since November, however, there’s been no confirmed cases in Lafayette County as of this morning.
This season, the CDC is anticipating three strains of influenza: the H1N1 swine virus; influenza A H3N2 virus and the influenza B virus. (December 22, 2010, Page 1)
Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department investigators arrested two men they say are responsible for stealing almost $15,000 worth of car audio and video equipment from the local business, Bump in Da Trunk.
Charged with burglary are Blaine Everette Burrell, 18, of Oxford and Kyle McGrath Rogers, 23, who has been living between Oxford and Water Valley in recent months.
In a troubling sign of how sluggish the building market is in the community, the Lafayette County Planning Commission hasn’t met since September. The commission canceled its meetings in October and November due to a lack of cases to review. December’s meeting, set for Dec. 28, has no new subdivision plans on the agenda.
However, residential building is slightly up in the city of Oxford. (December 21, 2010, Page 1)
The national “Over the limit. Under arrest” campaign kicked off Thursday with the Mississippi Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies joining together to crack down on impaired driving.
The blitz will continue through Jan. 3. MHP will deploy extra manpower on Mississippi’s highways and set up checkpoints to stop drunk driving. The Oxford Police Department and Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department will be working along side of MHP to make sure the roads are safe in the city and the county. (December 20, 2010, Page 1)
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is investigating an illegal dump in Lafayette County where asbestos was found in the rubble of several condemned duplexes that were dumped and buried on property located on County Road 303.
In November, Lafayette County Solid Waste manager Bobby Jones received a complaint the property was being used as an illegal dumping ground for five old condemned duplexes that were torn down and dumped on the property. When Jones went to the property to investigate, he also discovered other construction debris — mattresses, hundreds of tires, concrete, wood, shingles, pipes and other unknown chemical containers.
MDEQ sent a letter to the property owner, Braxton Comer, earlier this month advising him to cease dumping any solid waste at the site immediately and requested him to come to Jackson on Dec. 29 for administration hearing to discuss the allegations. (December 16, 2010, Page 1A)
With dozens of schools closing in neighboring north Mississippi counties due to icy roadways and two weather-related deaths reported this morning, Lafayette County was spared the worst of the dangerous wintry mix this morning. Lafayette County Road Manager Jerry Haynie and his road crew took to the roads at 5 this morning checking for icy accumulations on county roads.
The temperature hung around 32 degrees this morning, causing some icy patches to form on local roads, but not enough to cause traffic problems in Oxford and Lafayette County. The Mississippi Department of Transportation noted bridges in Lafayette County were starting to ice over at 7 this morning on its website, wwwgomdot.com. (December 15, 2010, Page 1A)
Convicted killer Anthony Jenkins is up for parole for the third time. In July 1985, he shot and killed 4-year-old James Neal Freeman, son of Bobby and Debi Freeman of the College Hill area. The Freeman’s are protesting his release and are asking others to send letters protesting his release to the Mississippi Parole Board. (December 10, 2010, Page 1A)
The Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow, or LOFT, donated more than $20,000 in grant money to several area nonprofit organizations. Each year, LOFT can distribute 4 to 5 percent of its endowment in grants.
Some of this year’s recipients include: Oxford Medical Ministries; Interfaith Compassion Ministry; The Leap Frog Program; and Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. (December 9, 2010, Page 1)
The Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit has arrested 21 people in the past six weeks on various drug-related charges. The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation into drug sales in the community. Nine of those arrested were University of Mississippi students, according to the Narcotics Unit.
See the list of names of those arrested in today’s EAGLE. (December 9, 2010, Page 2)
After serving the Lafayette County School District as its superintendent since 2002, Mike Foster will retire at the end of his term on Dec. 31, 2011.
Foster made the announcement Tuesday at the county school board meeting. (December 8, 2010, Page 1)