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)
Editor Don Whitten relates an interesting story from a trip Oxonian Wilbur Lee Todd and his family made to and from North Carolina last weekend for a wedding, pointing out that there are plenty of good people around and noting that it’s clear where we learned much of our Southern hospitality. (September 15, 2010)
Guest columnist Benny R. Walls writes about how changes in the world make it even more important for people to prepare themselves for life, and he stresses the importance of knowledge and education in that preparation. (September 15, 2010, Page 4)
Lena L. Ward writes to ask what she says appears to be the question of the day – ”What’s race got to do with it?” – while wondering if people are worried more about President Obama’s success or their own personal well-being. (September 15, 2010, Page 4)
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)