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Lafayette County

Local voters turnout to show support

While the wet weather was blamed for keeping voter turnout low in other part of Mississippi, area voters were determined to cast their votes despite the storms.

More than 44 percent of registered voters participated in Tuesday’s mid-term election.

“That’s pretty high for a midterm election,” said Circuit Court Clerk Mary Alice Busby after all the ballots were in last night.

Election Commissioner Mary K. Hemphill said no major problems were reported at the precincts other than some long lines. (November 3, 2010, Page 12)

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    Judicial races decided

    Judge Edwin H. Roberts didn’t spend this morning lounging around enjoying the afterglow of winning the election last night.

    He was up, bright and early, picking up his campaign signs.

    Roberts won Tuesday’s election and holds onto his chancery court judge seat for another four years. He took 75 percent of the votes in Lafayette County and 69 percent of the votes for all of District 18, which covers five counties. His opponent, Helen Kennedy Robinson, had 31 percent of the votes.

    Also retaining his place on the bench was Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Elliott, who won with 57 percent of the vote. Chickasaw attorney John Gregory snagged the seat occupied by retiring Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun County. He beat out attorneys Tom Levidiotis and Dave Rozier, both of Oxford, with 63 percent of the votes. Court of Appeals Judge Donna Barnes of Tupelo defeated challenger, attorney Kelly Mims, with 53 percent of the vote. (November 3, 2010, Page 1)

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      Kennedy elected county coroner

      Lafayette County interim coroner Rocky Kennedy won the race Tuesday to keep the position he was appointed to by the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors one year ago.

      With all 18 precincts reporting by 9 p.m., Kennedy walked away with 59.04 percent of the votes. His opponent, Richard Shivers, took 29.16 percent of the votes while former coroner Lonnie Weaver had just 11.66 percent of the votes.

      “I’m glad it’s over,” Kennedy said. “But I think Lafayette County made the right choice a year ago when they appointed me, and I think when the people voted, they proved Lafayette County right.” (November 3, 2010, Page 1)

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        Olin union rejects contract again

        After getting a second chance to prevent hundreds of their jobs from moving from East Alton, Ill., to Oxford, Olin Corp. union workers again rejected a contract with the company. The vote Tuesday appears to make it far more likely that some 900 jobs will be relocated to Oxford during the next five years. (November 3, 2010, Page 1)

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          County Briefs

          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.

          Hospital move

          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)

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            County schools consider block class schedule

            The Lafayette County School Board is considering turning away from traditional class scheduling and implementing a block schedule at the high school.

            On Monday, the board voted to allow Lafayette High School principal Rodney Flowers to make a formal presentation at the Dec. 7 meeting.

            (more…) (November 2, 2010, Page 1)

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              Pauper burial OK’d for woman

              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.

              (more…) (November 2, 2010, Page 1)

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                Polls open at 7 a.m.

                Midterm elections generally don’t bring high percentages of voters out to the polls.

                “Typically in the past it’s been fairly low,” said Lafayette County Circuit Clerk Mary Alice Busby.

                But this year, Busby expects the turnout to be higher.“We’re had a much large amount of absentee voters for this election,” she said.

                All 18 voter precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. The deadline to register to vote has passed and Busby said there are no last minute registrations.

                There are 24,235 people registered to vote in Lafayette County. (November 1, 2010, Page 1A)

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                  Jobless rate inches up

                  Lafayette County’s unemployment rate inched up from 7 percent in August to 7.1 percent in September. (November 1, 2010, Page 6A)

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                    Scarecrows take over Wellsgate

                    The Wellsgate Owners Association sponsored a scarecrow contest which wielded three winners on Sunday. The Ol’ Man River by 7-year-old Catherine Creekmore won $100 for first place; Shelby Proudfoote (of the shire) by Sam Davis won $50 for second place and Panty Thief by Janie and Joe Byrd won $25 for third place. (November 1, 2010, Page 1A)

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