The new Oxford Lafayette Humane Society animal shelter should be ready by mid-November with plans to move in by the new year. The shelter cost almost $700,000 with funds privately donated as part of the society’s capital campaign and a portion donated from the city and county. (September 17, 2010, Page 1A)
Oxford EAGLE Publisher Emeritus Jesse P. Phillips writes to relate some of the history of the local school district, including its separation from the University of Mississippi and local integration as he urges local residents to continue working for local students by voting for the upcoming bond issue. (September 16, 2010, Page 4)
Mary Lou Owens writes to remind cyclists that they are required to follow the same traffic laws and obey the same signs as automobiles. (September 16, 2010, Page 4)
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 city of Oxford approved the 2011 fiscal year budget of $19.5 million while managing to maintain the city’s millage rate at 27.27 – the same rate it has held since 2005. (September 16, 2010, Page 1, 5)
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)