Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi on June 3, 1998 · Page 11
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Clarion-Ledger from Jackson, Mississippi · Page 11

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Jackson, Mississippi
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Wednesday, June 3, 1998
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Page 11
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w COMMUNITY NEWS 2 DEATHS 4 fo) TO SHARE TIPS, IDEAS: Contact: Debbie Skipper, metro editor Jackson area: 961-7101 Toll free: 1-800-222-8015 Fax: 961-7211 1 E-mail: dskipperjackson.gannett.com THE CLARION-LEDGER JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 1998, In) CoM f Sut TOMS Judge upholds waste fine A $1.25 million fine for hazardous waste-storage violations at a Vicksburg refinery has been upheld by Hinds County Chancery Court Judge Stuart Robinson. The state Commission on Environmental Quality imposed the fine against Barrett Refining Corp. and M&S Petroleum Inc. in May 1997. Robinson's ruling was issued last week, and it can be appealed. Algae 'bloom' not threat Floating masses of algae said to be "blooming" off the Mississippi coast last week appear to have dissi Moncreiff pated or moved farther off shore, said Cynthia Moncreiff of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. Moncreiff, an expert on marine algae, has not been able to identify the one or more algae species reported to have caused reddish patches 5 to 15 miles south of Horn Island. ' Scientists worry about certain algae that can produce toxins that kill aquatic life or sicken people. Ant bug tested Federal scientists are continuing their biological warfare against the fire ant, the stinging pest that has infested, millions of acres in the South since arriving from South America in the 1930s. At sites in Arkansas and Oklahoma last week, a team from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released fire ants infected with a disease-causing microorganism in hopes of proving it can act like birth control in the ants by suppressing reproduction in colonies. Further tests are planned in Mississippi and other states. The study will take up to two years. Mining site fine issued The state environment commission backed off a threat to begin imposing daily fines against Hattiesburg Materials Inc. for failing to fully restore a sand and gravel mining site on Okatoma Creek. Instead, the panel issued a $5,000 fine last week and gave the company 30 days to plant grass. The company also has not, as ordered, planted trees there. The 72-acre mine near Lux never received a state permit. In February, the commission ordered the company to restore the site. Refuge seeks comment The 48,000-acre Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in east-central Mississippi is seeking comment on a plan for long-term management. Comments will be accepted until June 12. Call (601) 323-5548. To reach writer Bruce Reid, call (601) 961-7063 or write The Clarion-Ledger, Box 40, Jackson MS 39205-0040 or e-mail: v breidjackson.gannetfxom " f: i ' Senate panel OKs funds in $250.3 billion Pentagon appropriations package By Dennis Camire Gannett Newt Service WASHINGTON Mississip-pi's military bases and defense contractors should share in at least $2.2 billion in Pentagon spending for ships and weapons next year, a Senate panel decided Tuesday. The funds are part of a $250.3 bil ,3P5f k: 'Why'" ' , ' - L. t..:.'v : - Pat Fordice (left) talks with Booneville Middle Emily Green, 14, after the pair presented a quilt to School students Sloane Jumper (center), 14, and the state Department of Transportation Tuesday. Booneville group donates quilt By Rlva Brown Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer Brightly colored black-eyed Susans, buttercups and butterweeds are abloom at the Mississippi Department of Transportation in Jackson. But the indigenous wildflowers are not blossoming in flower pots. They are among 30 plants painted on a handmade quilt on permanent display in MDOT's first-floor lobby. The Mississippi Wildflower Quilt was presented Tuesday to Pat Fordice, the wife of Gov. Kirk Fordice, by Booneville Middle School eighth-graders Emily Green and Sloane Jumper. The 14-year-olds are among 80 Booneville science students who designed the quilt as a project in teacher Tammy Mauney's Testimony: Blood-stained shirt belongs to accused Friend, police, victim's daughter testify in Jackson man's trial in stabbing By Pamela Berry Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer A Jackson man testified Tuesday that a blood-stained shirt found at Angela Parker's home belonged to the man accused of stabbing her to death. James Martin, Ronnie Johnson's close friend, said he recalled seeing Johnson wearing the gray shirt, emblazoned with the Harley-Davidson design, several times. He usually wore that shirt when he worked on cars," Martin said. Martin was one of several witnesses who testified during the first day of Johnson's capital murder tri Greenville gets federal funding for more community-oriented policing By Jill Farrell King Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer Thanks to a hefty grant from the . Justice Department, Greenville will be able to step up crime-fighting efforts in certain neighborhoods of the Delta city. Greenville has been awarded $493,920 as one of 18 cities nationwide to benefit from the Community Oriented Policing Services Distressed Neighborhoods Pilot Project Greervyille's share is part of a national tolal of $106 million in federal dollars earmarked for cities to lion spending measure for next year, about $480.6 million less than President Clinton's request and $2.8 billion more than this year. "This bill provides funding to help ensure that our military is fully prepared and well-equipped to defend the United States," said Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, which crafted the bill. The subcommittee unanimously sent the measure to the full Appro classes. The students also used the Internet, freehand drawings and descriptive poems to create a 34-page coloring book, Wildflowers of Mississippi, and a Trivial Pursuit-style board game about the state. Pat Fordice also accepted a game and a coloring book. "We found out that Mrs. Fordice was interested in wildflowers and she asked for this quilt, and we are very honored that she wants it," Green said. Pat Fordice recently displayed the quilt during a seminar at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. "We think all the people in Mississippi ought to be able to see this quilt," Fordice said. Booneville Middle School Principal Linda Clifton said the wild al in Hinds County Circuit Court. Johnson, 27, 320 Magnolia St., is accused of killing Parker and burglarizing her 531 Hartfield St. home July 21, 1997. Parker, 36, died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center July 21, minutes after crawling nude from her home and collapsing on a neighbor's porch. Martin told jurors that the night before Parker's death, Johnson received a phone call from a female on his cellular phone. He said when he asked who was on the phone, Johnson replied, "Angela." "I didn't pay attention to the whole conversation," Martin said. "But he told Angela that he'd see her later that day." Martin, during questioning from Hinds County Assistant District hire a total of 738 new community police officers, said Lee Youngblood of U.S. Sen. Trent Lott's office in Washington. Greenville Police Chief Marvin Minor said he jumped at the chance to receive funding to increase the police force and concentrate on problem areas. "I was both surprised and pleased because I had contemplated how I could work on specific areas in Greenville, and things just opened up for VS," Minor said. "I decided to go for it when I found out it was a priations Committee for its approval. The House Appropriations National Security Subcommittee is expected to mark up its version of the bill today. The Senate measure has $2.67 billion to build three more DDG-51 Aegis destroyers with two of the three, costing about $1.78 billion, to be built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in , Pascagoula. The bill also contains $50 million for advance purchase of material to build another LHD-8 See FUNDS, 6B Rick GuyThe Clarion-Ledger flower project was interdisciplinary and intergenerational. Students studied the plants in science class, drew them in art class and wrote poems about them in English class. They also taught first-graders in Prentiss County about the wildflowers and recruited senior citizens to stitch the quilt, Clifton said. A Learn & Serve grant from the state Department of Education's Division of Community Service made the project possible. Division director Clarence Lovelady described the wildflower project as a good example of hands-on learning. "Students take an idea, a concept out of the classroom, and they develop a project that's going to benefit them and the community," Lovelady said. Ronnie Johnson: On trial in 1 997 slaying of Angela Parker. Attorney Tommy Mayfield, identified pieces of furniture belonging to Parker as some of those he had seen at Johnson's apartment Another witness, Detective John Williams testified how police found Parker's furniture. "We knocked on the door of Ronnie Johnson's apartment and spoke See TRIAL, 6B grant we wouldn't have to match here in the department " The COPS office will fund 100 percent of the entry-level salaries and benefits of the new officers for three years. The department will use the new officers to work with community groups, the Chamber of Commerce, business owners and residents to develop a strategy to stop crime and drug dealing in targeted neighborhoods, Minor said. Greenville Mayor Paul Artman said the grant is ideal for the city be LZ.i . i 1 ' ' ir $1.78 billion to build two DDG-51 Aegis destroyers at Ingalls in Pascagoula. $50 million for advance purchase of material to build another LHD-8 assault ship. B $84.1 million for research and development of the planned DD-21 land attack destroyer. City OKs '3-strikes' rule for child care Parent must find other day care after picking up child late third time By Arnold Lindsay Clarion-Ledger Staff Writer The third time a child is picked up late from a Jackson city-run day care, the parent will have to find another child-care provider. The City Council on Tuesday approved the "three-strikes" provision while also giving parents a $1.84 break on late fees. Parents will pay $6 for the first half hour children remain after 5:30 p.m. and $10 for each additional hour with the revised charges at the 11 centers. The action comes two weeks after the council refused to increase the $7.84 fee to $10 for being up to 30 minutes late and from $10 fee to $15 for being an hour late. AC. Jimerson, deputy director of Human and Cultural Services, said the lower fees were needed to address some council members' concerns that increases unfairly penalized parents with low or fixed incomes. City officials sought increased late fees because late parents have cost the city more than $5,000 in un-budgeted overtime for child-care workers this year. Child-care workers who qualify for overtime, however, will no longer stay late. Only managers and supervisors who don't receive overtime Entergy urges conservation; as heat lays siege to state ByJillFarrell King Clarlon-Ladger Staff Writer As steamy, sweltering temperatures leave Mississippians scrambling for ways to stay cool, Entergy is offering tips on conserving electricity. Though a refreshing low temperature inside your home provides relief from the searing heat, continuous use of air conditioners and fans will cause electricity bills to soar, Entergy spokesman Ed Bry-sonsaid. "We're working hard to keep our electricity costs as low as possible," said Fred Johnson, Entergy Mississippi director of customer service. "At the same time, though, most homes use a lot more electricity in the summer season because of air conditioning." The result is a record demand for electricity in this area, Bryson said. Entergy set a new all-time peak for electricity usage Monday in it's four-state service territory. High temperatures Monday and Tuesday ranged from 95-97 degrees. The normal high is 88 degrees. At 5 p.m. Monday, the load for the Entergy system was 19,700 megawatt-hours, more than 100 megawatt-hours above the previous peak set Aug. 16, 1995, Bryson said. cause it offers the easiest solution to pay for hiring more officers. He also said the fact the community will be involved in choosing the target areas makes the grant more desirable. "We're excited because it will put more officers on the street and those in the community can choose the hot spots; the federal government doesn't designate specifically where we use the money," Artman said. Greenville Ward 1 Councilman William Can,oy said he often gets calls from cojnsituents who would like to see more police officers in cer $60.3 million to build a TAGS-65 oceanographic ship ' at Hatler Marine in Gulfport. $52 million for "enhanced position location report systems" built by Hughes Aircraft in Forest. $58.2 million for the "Sentinel" ground based sensor, also built by Hughes. pay will keep children past 5:30 ' p.m., Jimerson said. ! "I just think the city needed some J provision whereby we had a policy in place," Jimerson said. "I think , the mayor did what he had to do by ; lowering that fee to get it passed by j the council." The council voted 5-1 to approve ', the decrease. Chip Reno opposed ; the measure. Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes was absent. Ward 4 Councilman Bo Brown, '. who was critical of increasing te ; late fees, voted for the change but said he still thought most parents using the city's child-care facilities ! will have problems paying the late; fees. "I still think that any late fee, ri -my opinion, is going to be difficult! for the fixed income or low-incorie ; (parent) to make," Brown said. Katie Collins, whose 5-year-old-son Jasper attends the Virden Early I Childhood Development Center on' Edwards Avenue, said she supports the late fees but thinks parents' should be warned the first time they; are late rather than be charged. v Alberta Johnson, supervisor of the Virden Center, said she has noticed an increase in the number , of late parents and hopes the; three strike-provision will bea deterrent. J "The staff has children, too, and they're paying late fees. Itjs not fair for the staff to have to pay. late fees for their children, Johp-' son said. Bryson said the summer power ; supply outlook is good and officials'-have no plans to ask customers to cut their power usage. Johnson said customers can keep ; cool and keep from going broke through suggested conservation '. measures to stretch energy dollars. ; "They can include actions as sim-; pie as closing the drapes or as com- plex as increasing the insulation in ' a home," Johnson said. ' Other conservation tips include setting the air-conditioner thermo-' stat at 78 degrees and using ceiling ' fans and portable fans to help circu-) late air. ; Air conditioning can make up al- most two-thirds of a homeowner's ! electricity bill in the summer, and each degree lower than 78 can add as much as 3 percent to utility bills. ; ' Changing air-conditoner filters and having a professional check the , refrigerant level will prevent run-'' ning the unit at a low level and wasting electricity, Bryson said. ! Christina Beatty of south Jack-; son said she has been ninning her ; air conditioner day and night since stifling heat struck the state. She ' said she's not worried about paying ' the price for keeping cooL "It's way too hot to worry about that," Beatty said. tain neighborhoods. "We need all the help we can get ' because it's hard to get a police d&-; partment to go everywhere it needs to go," Canoy said. The other cities receiving the grants are Chicago; Hartford, Conn.; Camden, N.J.; Bessemer, Ala.; Birmingham; Buffalo, N.Y.; Cleveland, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Flint, Mich.; Fort Pierce, Fla.; Fresno, Calif.; Baltimore; McAllen, Txas; Miami; M inroe, La.; Muskegon, Mich.; ana San Bernardino, Calif.

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