Empty parking spaces are the best sign around here that school’s out, and there have been plenty available around Oxford this week. Editor Don Whitten takes a look at spring break and how many folks are spending their time this week or how they might wrap up things this weekend. (March 17, 2011, Page 4)
The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors has hired a Jackson attorney to help with negotiations with Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. (March 16, 2011, Page 1)
Guest columnist Layne Bruce of the Mississippi Press Association discusses progress over the last few years in Mississippi as far as open meetings and open records go. Bruce’s column is part of a closer look at government, the media and the public during Sunshine Week. (March 16, 2011, Page 4)
Several Oxford firefighters were awarded for their valor and heroic efforts during a deadly fire in January where two woman lost their lives. The award was given to the firefighters on Friday in Jackson at the annual Mississippi Firefighters Memorial Burn Association banquet. (February 16, 2011, Page 1)
Local legislators are working to pass a new bill that would require prosecutors to include a special allegation of sexual motivation in felony criminal cases when sufficient evidence exists to justify a finding of sexual motivation. If convicted, the defendant would be required to register under the Mississippi sex offender registration law. (February 1, 2011, Page 1)
Historian Jack Lamar Mayfield takes us back to the days before the Civil War broke out when fights among students at the University of Mississippi became more common in the days leading up to the war as tensions began to rise. (January 21, 2011, Page 3B)
Concerns are growing over the time it takes for autopsies to be performed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Jackson. Some families are waiting more than a week to get their loved one’s body returned home for the funeral and 30 to 60 days for the report to be mailed so they can collect insurance money to help pay for the funeral. (January 14, 2011, Page 1A)
Harry Sneed, a local businessman and former president of both the local Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation, writes a guest column calling on local officials to work quickly and efficiently so as not to miss an opportunity to expand local health care services through growth of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. (December 21, 2010, Page 4)
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is investigating an illegal dump in Lafayette County where asbestos was found in the rubble of several condemned duplexes that were dumped and buried on property located on County Road 303.
In November, Lafayette County Solid Waste manager Bobby Jones received a complaint the property was being used as an illegal dumping ground for five old condemned duplexes that were torn down and dumped on the property. When Jones went to the property to investigate, he also discovered other construction debris — mattresses, hundreds of tires, concrete, wood, shingles, pipes and other unknown chemical containers.
MDEQ sent a letter to the property owner, Braxton Comer, earlier this month advising him to cease dumping any solid waste at the site immediately and requested him to come to Jackson on Dec. 29 for administration hearing to discuss the allegations. (December 16, 2010, Page 1A)
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, heading into his final year in office, has submitted his annual Executive Budget Recommendations to members of the State Legislature. Editor Don Whitten notes that some of the numbers involving budget cuts are lower than anticipated, but there are expected to be battles in several areas before the FY 2012 budget is eventually adopted. (November 19, 2010, Page 4A)