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)
Six Lafayette County families were left homeless this weekend when a fire ripped through the Pine Cove Creek Apartments Friday evening. Lafayette County fire inspector Darren Roy was called in to investigate the fire who said the cause of the blaze has not yet been determined.
No one was hurt in the fire but the six families were left with nothing.
The Lafayette County chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the families with shelter, food and clothing. Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a check to: North Central Mississippi American Red Cross Service Center, P.O. Box 97, Oxford, MS 38655. For more information, call 236-1282. (October 26, 2010, Page 10)
While a national program, the local North Centeral Medical Reserve Corps was founded locally about a year ago and is partnered with the city of Oxford, the University of Mississippi and Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. MRC was given federal money to start the program that is under Oxford’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program umbrella.
MRC volunteers will assist in medical disaster operations during times of emergency and participate throughout the year doing public education programs that will touch on subjects such as pandemic flues, disaster preparedness and good health topics.
MRC is holding an information meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Oxford Activity Center in hopes of recruiting more volunteers for its program. (October 25, 2010, Page 2A)
With cold and flu season making its arrival, some local doctors are requiring patients to come into the office when they have a cold or flu and want decongestant medications containing pseudoephedrine, while others make a judgment call after talking to the patient over the phone as to whether they should come into the office.
As of July 1, any pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines including — Sudafed, Tylenol Sinus Severe Cold and Zyrtec D — now require a prescription from a physician in Mississippi. The state law was passed during the 2010 legislative session and it’s aimed at fighting the state’s growing methamphetamine problem. Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in cold and sinus medicines, which are often sold without a prescription. It is also the key ingredient used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. (October 25, 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)
Lafayette County Metro Narcotics Unit’s Keith Davis, and the other investigators at Metro, are pushing adding “enhancement charges” to regular drug dealing charges. Enhancement charges include, selling drugs within 1,500 of a school or church or child endangerment, for selling drugs when a child is present.
An enhancement charge does just that — it enhances the sentence of the defendant if found guilty. Under state law, selling drugs within 1,500 feet of a church or school allows a judge to double the penalty.
Several suspects charged with dealing drugs were indicted during the September grand jury and have been given enhancement charges along with being indicted with selling drugs.
See these and other indictments handed down by the grand jury in today’s EAGLE. (October 20, 2010, Page 1)
The odds would appear to have tipped in Oxford’s favor that Olin Corp. will move as many as 1,000 jobs from its East Alton, Ill., plant to its plant in the Lafayette County Industrial Park. (October 19, 2010, Page 1)
Most people think of tornados wreaking havoc in the spring as warm air coming up from the gulf tangles with the cold air left over from the winter.
However, November is another peak time for tornados to strike north Mississippi as the incoming cold fronts from the north greet the warmer air left over from the summer months.
To keep Mississippians on their toes and avoid injury during possible fall tornados, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will conduct a statewide tornado drill Wednesday to make sure all residents are prepared.
The National Weather Service offices will conduct the tornado drill using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio routine weekly test at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday. (October 19, 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)
Mother Nature opened the door Tuesday, welcoming Mr. Fall into Oxford, hopefully ending an usually warm autumn.
Fall announced his arrival in a big way, too, causing thunderstorms and reports of pea-sized hail in the College Hill area.
The storms blew down several trees and knocked down some power lines around Oxford and Lafayette County, causing sporadic power outages around the area. However the rain did little to alleviate dry conditions around the county. (October 13, 2010, Page 3)