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)
During a two-hour political forum last night hosted by the TEA Party Oxford, judicial candidates introduced themselves to voters, giving their pitches as to why they are the most qualified candidate and expressed views on a handful of topics.
The event started off with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance and was moderated by the honorable — and often witty — Circuit Court Judge James L. Roberts Jr. from Pontotoc.
“The public is often unconcerned about who holds a judgeship unless and until they get a case in court,” Roberts said at the beginning of the forum, held at the Oxford Conference Center. “Then they say, ‘How on Earth did you get to be a judge?’ Judges hold great power. Take time to learn about the candidates so you may case an informed vote.”
All nine candidates running for Chancery, Circuit Court and Court of Appeals positions attended the forum. While there are 11 candidates on the ballot for the November election, two races are unopposed. Only the contested race candidates were invited to take part in the forum. (October 12, 2010, Page 1)
To be more than just a Band-Aid to the growing homeless problem in Oxford and Lafayette County, the Oxford Homeless Task Force voted Sunday to launch a new initiative to form a Transitional Housing program.
Sherry Williams-Jenkins heads up the shelter committee. After reviewing different types of shelters and the feasibility of having a homeless shelter in Oxford, the committee decided the best way to offer more than just temporary fixes is to institute a more long-term solution. (October 11, 2010, Page 1A)
While every firefighter puts their life on the line each time they go out on a fire, the Exchange Club of Oxford honored two of those firefighters during its weekly meeting Thursday.
The 2010 Firefighter of the Year Award was presented to Jonathan Hollis with the Lafayette County Volunteer Fire Department and Howard Thweatt with the Oxford Fire Department. (October 11, 2010, Page 2A)
When the tornado destroyed the Ability Works building in 2007, the damage threatened to cripple the company’s ability to help its clients become self-sufficient despite their disabilities.
With the same fortitude and motivation of their clients, the staff at Ability Works continued to work even after they were relocated in a temporary home at the old Walmart building — donated by the University of Mississippi — while a new building was constructed.
A year later, Ability Works was back up and fully functional in its new home.
Last week, Ability Works offered tours of its new facility to the community. (October 11, 2010, Page 6A)