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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Lafayette County

Retiring judge honored

The retirement party for the Honorable Circuit Court Judge Henry L. Lackey was suppose to be a “roast and toast” event. While many of the speeches made by about 16 people about the Calhoun County judge caused a few chuckles — and even a few tears, it was Lackey himself who invoked rounds of hearty laughter as he lovingly roasted them in return.

He announced his intent to retire at a Christmas party in 2009. His term will end Dec. 31.  About 300 people attended Lackey’s retirement party Thursday at the Oxford Conference Center. (November 5, 2010, Page 1A)

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    Narcotics agents hope to keep new ‘legal’ drug out of Oxford

    Few would disagree there’s no better way to end a stressful day than by soaking in a hot bath, filled with bubbles and scented bath salts.

    Unfortunately, it appears those same bath salts have become a recreational tool of another kind for some people.

    Narcotic agents are becoming concerned over reports that a product, marketed as “concentrated bath salts,” is being used to get high. The main ingredient, methylenedioxypyrovalerone, is a psychoactive drug that acts like a stimulant that has four times the potency of drugs like Ritalin.

    “We haven’t seen any on Oxford’s streets yet,” said Lafayette County Narcotics Agent-in-Charge Keith Davis.

    The bath salts are not the usual kind you can purchase from Walmart or drug stores like Walgreen’s, Davis said.

    “They are usually found at shady convenience stores and head shops and on the Internet,” he said. (November 5, 2010, Page 9A)

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      Oxford gets 1,000 jobs

      The community hit an economic bull’s-eye Wednesday afternoon when Olin Corp. announced it was moving 1,000 ammunition manufacturing jobs from East Alton, Ill., to Oxford and planning to build a new 500,000-square-foot facility here. The company plans to make a $100 million investment in the community as a result of this move. (November 4, 2010, Page 1)

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        Burn bans lifted in state, county

        Gov. Haley Barbour lifted a statewide burn ban Wednesday after heavy rains soaked much of the state.

        Following suit, Lafayette County has also lifted its burn ban as of this morning, according to Lafayette County Fire Coordinator Jerry Johnson.

        Johnson was granted permission by the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors last month to lift the ban when he and the Mississippi Forestry Commission felt it was safe to do so.

        Johnson said he spoke with the Forestry Commission this morning and they were agreement to lift the ban this morning in the county. (November 4, 2010, Page 2)

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          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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