A limb from the large water oak on the east side of the Lafayette County Courthouse fell at about 5:30 Saturday morning onto the wrought-iron fence the surrounds the courthouse. The weight of the limb was so heavy that about 2 feet of the fence buckled, looking as though a car had slammed into it instead of a tree limb.
Now Oxford and Lafayette County officials are scrambling to get the large tree that has provided cool shade on the Square since William Faulkner was a youngster removed before another limb — or the entire tree — falls. (September 16, 2010, Page 1)
The United Way scaled back its fundraising goal in 2008 in expectancy of lower donations due to a failing economy.
In 2007, the goal was $450,000. It was dropped to $425,000 in 2009.
“We blew it out the top, despite a tough economy, and raised $427,000,” campaign chairman Jeff Triplette said at the United Way annual campaign kick-off luncheon on Wednesday. “That was above our goal.”
This year’s goal is $465,000. (September 16, 2010, Page 1)
The Oxford Historic Preservation Commission approved certificates of appropriateness for three projects while voting that there was proof of demolition by neglect involving a piece of property on Madison Avenue. (September 15, 2010, Page 2)
The Oxford Tree Board is promoting its Releaf program as a way to rebuild the urban canopy in the city. Cowan Hunter talked about different things citizens and volunteers can do to work with the Tree Board and the program. (September 15, 2010, Page 1)
The Lafayette County Metro Narcotics United arrested three people recently for allegedly selling synthetic marijuana.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of other area law enforcement agencies, particularly the University Police Department,” said Agent in Charge Keith Davis.
In the last two weeks, the Narcotics Unit, with the help of UPD officers, visited several local businesses suspected of selling the artificial marijuana, known by several brand names including K2, Spice, Demon, Voodoo, Genie and Zohai. The leafy material is marketed as an incense, although by smoking it, it is said to have similar effects to that of marijuana.
The UPD officers posed as undercover buyers at the establishments. According to Davis, three people were arrested for selling the now-illegal substance. (September 15, 2010, Page 2)
In Oxford, all reported crimes in 2009 are lower than they were in the 2008, according to the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.
The report tracks crime statistics from cities and counties all over the country.
While Oxford Police Chief Mike Martin is pleased with the numbers, he said he expects them to climb a bit when the 2010 numbers are released next year.
“As many burglars as we’ve locked up this year, we are still having burglaries,” Martin said. “We are working hard to be visible and keep this a safe place for our residents and visitors. But our crime has gone up this year. However, we are also recovering a lot of stolen property and making arrests which soothes that increase.”
Martin said thieves might blame the increase in burglaries and thefts on the economy.
“I blame it on these skinny televisions,” he said with a chuckle. “These things are so light, they can just pick up and carry them out the door with no effort.” (September 15, 2010, Page 1)
City officials see a future for the historic Cedar Oaks home. Local leaders say the home if rezoned could be used for venues such as weddings, showers and club meetings. While the interior of the home would limit guests to 49 people, the grounds area could host larger events. To make the home more attractive as an event location, the city’s conference and tourism staff asked the Oxford Board of Aldermen to allow the use of alcohol in the home during social functions. The aldermen approved the first reading and plan to hold a public hearing on Sept. 21. (September 14, 2010, Page 1)
Lafayette County supervisors and Oxford officials met Monday with Mississippi Department of Transportation District Engineer Richard Allen to discuss the future of three area road projects, including the interchange at West Jackson Avenue and Highway 6, and extending West Oxford Loop to FNC Park. (September 14, 2010, Page 1)
South Depot Taco Shop will be opening its doors this spring. The the build-your-own taco shop will be located in the site of former As Seen on TV and Classy Creations. The owners, who are University of Mississippi graduates, obtained approval from the Courthouse Square Preservation Commission last week. Co-owner Trey Horne said the resturant will offer quality food at reasonable prices – especially important in today’s economic climate. (September 13, 2010, Page 5A)
While having a phone helps families keep in touch or offers a chance to keep up with friends, it can also be a lifeline in times of an emergency or a crucial need when trying to look for a better job.
To keep everyone connected, the Mississippi Public Service Commission will be traveling around the state next week in recognition of National Lifeline Awareness Week, meeting with citizens to explain the Lifeline program which offers financial help to customers who are struggling to pay their phone bills. (September 10, 2010, Page 1A)