During their first and only debate before the November election, the two north Mississippi congressional candidates agreed on a few issues, battled over several differences and both choked up when talking about the same educational accomplishment — being the first in their families to graduate from college.
“I grew up in a family with modest means,” Democrat and Ole Miss alum U.S. Rep. Travis Childers said before his emotions forced him to pause for a brief moment. “I say this with love and respect for my family: I was the first to finish college.”
State Sen. Alan Nunnelee, the Republican challenger, noted the two men shared something in common.
The debate, moderated by Overby Fellow Curtis Wilkie, was held in the Overby Center at the University of Mississippi. It’s the only time the two candidates are scheduled to go head-to-head before the election. Seven independent or third-party candidates are also on the Nov. 2 ballot, but they were not invited to participate in the debate.
The questions, asked by local newspaper editors and reporters, ranged from the economy, taxes, global warming, health care and Tuesday’s appeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t tell” military policy. (October 13, 2010, Page 1)
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)
The man police say kept women in fear for more than three months after breaking into 11 homes and stealing their panties and other under garments was on probation at the time of his arrest for breaking into a woman’s home in 2005.
Joseph P. Lillo, 32, pleaded guilty in January 2006 to a charge of burglary of a dwelling before Circuit Court Judge Andrew Howorth in 2006. According to the indictment, filed in the Circuit Court in Oxford, Lillo broke into a women’s home on July 5, 2005.
The indictment does not say what Lillo stole.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 12 years suspended, leaving eight years to serve. Yet less than four years later, Lillo was released from prison on Nov. 4, 2009, and placed on probation. (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)
To help introduce the nine candidates running in the contested judicial races in November, the TEA Party Oxford is holding a Judicial Candidates Forum on Monday at the Oxford Conference Center off Sisk Avenue.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a 30-minute session for the public to meet and talk to the candidates. The forum will begin at 7 with the moderator, Judge James L. Roberts Jr. from Pontotoc, asking each candidate five questions. (October 8, 2010, Page 3A)
A growing homeless problem is evident in a $10,500 hotel bill racked up by the Interfaith Compassion Ministries which works with the Ole Miss Motel to house displaced persons temporarily. On Thursday, ICM paid out more than $1,100 toward unpaid rent to help keep families in their home.
A Home Task Force meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday in the conference room at the Oxford Police Department. Anyone wishing to help find solutions is asked to attend the meeting. (October 8, 2010, Page 1A)
To the Hellums family, closure can finally be found as their loved one, Cpt. Judge Clayton Hellums, will finally be laid to rest exactly 66 years after his death during World War II.
On Oct. 9, 1944, Judge Clayton Hellums of the Paris community in Lafayette County and Army Pfc. Lawrence N. Harris of West Virginia were attacked by enemy fire in the M-10 tank destroyer while attempting to clear German forces out of the Parroy Forest near Lunéville. It was reported the men’s remains were destroyed in fire. (October 8, 2010, Page 1)
“Oxford in the Civil War: Battle for a Vanquished Land” by Stephen Enzweiler is the new book just published by The History Press of Charleston, S.C. The author is a journalist and senior editor for “Y’all” magazine published here in Oxford and he writes extensively about Mississippi and the South.
I really didn’t find out anything that I didn’t already know, but the way the author has presented the data makes for pleasurable reading. I have read these stories over the years in various different places, but Enzweiler presents them in manner that follows Oxford from its earliest day through the war years. (October 8, 2010, Page 2B)