The Northside Sun from Jackson, Mississippi on April 21, 2011 · Page 1
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The Northside Sun from Jackson, Mississippi · Page 1

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Jackson, Mississippi
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Thursday, April 21, 2011
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Page 1
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CRIME HAS BECOME a problem at the LeFleur’s Bluff golf course, and state officials are offering few details on what they’re going to do about it. Two car break-ins have been reported at the state park in recent weeks. Both occurred at the golf course’s parking lot off of Lakeland Drive. About three weeks ago, a window on a Lexus was shattered, but nothing was taken. And last week, crooks stole a man’s credit card and driver’s license after busting out the driver’s side window on his Chevy Tahoe. The park and golf course are under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP). Park rangers are responsible for the security and patrolling. Eric Stringfellow, the golf course operator, was hired by MDWFPto operate the course. Jim Walker, spokesman for MDWFP, said the state provides routine service for the park and the golf course. “Anything above and beyond that will be up to the (course operator),” he said. Walker didn’t know what days and hours park rangers patrol. Stringfellowwas defensive when the Sun questioned him about the incidents. “We don’t patrol the parking lot. You need to talk with MDWFP.” Stringfellow , a former columnist for the Clarion Ledger , and a group of investors known as the Ebenezer Group, have been operating the nine-hole course since November 2008. The firm was hired by the state, despite the fact that Stringfellow said in a previous interview he had no prior experience managing a course. When asked if he would beef up security, he said, “I will take it up with the park and not the news media.” ON THE AFTERNOON of April 12, Michael Corvino went to the course for a relaxing game of golf with his friends. The outing turned sour when a course employee told him his vehicle had been broken into. The incident occurred after 2 p.m. Corvino said he received little assistance from the Jackson Police Department and course employees. “The guy up front was pretty cool,” Corvino said, referring to one course employee. “But I called Eric Stringfellow and he hung up on me.” Corvino said the JPD officer responded and declined to take a report, saying the park wasn’t in the department’s jurisdiction. See Park Break-ins, Page 10A State vague on security plans for golf course after break-ins Endorsed GARDEN TOURS MRAfund-raiserstarts April 30 northside sun the weekly Home delivery as low as $8 a year Call 957-1542 For 44 Years, Covering Northeast Jackson, Madison and Ridgeland Vol. 44, No. 27 Three Sections, 40 Pages, Thursday, April 21, 2011 10,428 Circulation; 34,412 Readership www.northsidesun.com By ANTHONY WARREN Sun Staff Writer AFTER battling the Pearl River levee board for 15 years, John McGowan finally has a seat at the table. Following a vote last week, he’ll officially be representing the levee board in its negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop a flood control lake on the river between Hinds and Rankin counties. The revised plan, called the One Lake Plan, is a scaled down version of McGowan’s original Two Lakes Plan, but would still incorporate shoreline development and create a stable lake for recreational purposes. More importantly, it would reduce flooding by the river by 96 percent in a 100 year flood, which has a one percent chance of occurring each year. At its April 11 meeting, the Rankin-Hinds Pearl River Flood and Drainage Control District (levee board) voted unanimously on a resolution adopting the One Lake Plan as the board’s preferred local plan, and bringing on McGowan and the Pearl River Vision Foundation (PRV) to negotiate terms for evaluating the proposal with the corps. What’s more, the foundation has agreed to enter into talks with the federal regulatory agency at no cost to taxpayers. “We hope that if we can come in there with a different group and a plan that’s more environmentally friendly, we’ll have some success,” McGowan said. PRVis the new name for the Two Lakes Foundation. Leaders thought it would be a good idea to change the foundation’s name to reflect the new effort. The levee board includes the mayors of Richland, Jackson, Flowood and Pearl, as well as representatives appointed by the Hinds County and Rankin County boards of supervisors. Amember of the Mississippi Fairgrounds commission also serves. See One Lake Plan, Page 8A Madison Ridgeland Academy will sponsor the 17th annual Gardens of Madison County April 30 and May 1. The 2011 tour includes eight gardens enhanced with tablescapes. Homes include the grounds of Gan Nelson, Kay and Myles Parker, Jan and Lawrence Farrington, Marian Bowen, Sylvia and Jarome Milner, Kathie and Jimmy Young, Denny and Faye King, and Jenny’s Garden on the MRA campus. Planning the event are (from left, standing) Ashley Venable, Lisa Agent, MRA Headmaster Tommy Thompson, Sherry Kirby; (seated) Kim White and Teresa Dillon. FORTIFICATION FOR MANYNorthsiders, it’s hard to believe that Fortification Street was once a gravel road with only a scattering of homes. Today the road that serves as a border between Belhaven and Belhaven Heights is one of the busiest in downtown Jackson. The Fortification Street Improvement Project won’t turn Fortification back to gravel, but it will give it a more pedestrian- friendly feel and boulevard-like atmosphere. Jackson city officials say a contractor could be in place for the project by early summer. This year, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) completed the official review of the plans and specifications for the $12.5 million project. The final review was expected to begin in February. The project calls for transforming the four-lane thoroughfare into a two-lane street from Jefferson Street to Greymont Avenue. Additionally, it calls for grading the street, repaving it and reducing the height of a hill near Madison Street to improve visibility for drivers. New lighting and signalization are also on tap for five Fortification intersections: Jefferson, Greymont, Lamar, West and Short Farish streets. Sidewalks will be updated and widened to meet standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those improvements, coupled with a mixed-zoning classification that was placed on the area in 2005, will help the area maintain its unique mix of businesses and residences, as well as encourage new pedestrian-friendly businesses like small cafes. The section of Fortification included in the project is zoned C-1A, which allows for adaptive reuse of residential structures for commercial use, said Virgi Lindsay, executive director of the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation (GBNF). Previously, Fortification had been part of an overlay district, to allow commercial and residential use. “The area has always See Fortification, Page 8A Levee board gives approval to McGowan’s One Lake Plan St. Andrew’s Episcopal School’s new science building at the upper school includes six biology, chemistry and physics classroom and lab combos, tiered lecture hall, greenhouse and recycling center, classrooms, faculty office, lobby and lounge, plus space for long-term research projects. Opening is expected in September. School Addition Photos by Beth Buckley PROJECT REVITALIZING BELHAVEN THOROUGHFARE

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