Enterprise-Journal from McComb, Mississippi on December 18, 2007 · Page A001
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Enterprise-Journal from McComb, Mississippi · Page A001

McComb, Mississippi
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Page A001
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HIGHLIGHTS n COMING UP n Restless Heart to perform at Iron Horse Restless Heart will be the featured performer April 26 at the Iron Horse Festival. The festival will be from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and will include handcrafted items for sale on Main Street as well as local individuals and music groups performing throughout the day. There also will be games and entertainment for children, art displays and demonstrations, a barbecue cookoffand a firefighters’ challenge. The Railroad Museum will be open throughout the day for tours and for a look at the history ofMcComb. Restless Heart dominated the country charts in the 1980s with such songs as “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” “Why Does It Have to Be Wrong or Right” and “The Bluest Eyes in Texas.” Police investigate fatal accident The Mississippi Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal accident involving an 18- wheeler hauling salt water that occurred about 8:45 a.m. today on Highway 568 near Gillsburg. According to preliminary information, at least one person is believed dead in the accident, which occurred near the Louisiana state line. The tanker truck was the only vehicle involved the accident. Further information was unavailable at presstime. DEATHS n Juanita D. Dunaway, 92 A3 Study hints that timing of blood pressure pills may help at-risk patients. Wednesday BY TIMOTHY WOERNER ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL Environmental crews and Denbury Resources officials today continued cleanup and repair on an oil well blowout offof Spring Hill Road in Amite County, two days after the event forced a shutdown ofHighway 570 that is still in effect. Denbury officials said the blowout occurred around 9:30 a.m. Sunday, causing carbon dioxide to escape the well. No fire was reported at the scene, nor any injuries, and officials said the blowout posed no imminent threat to residents. No spilled oil reached any waterways, according to Department ofEnvironmental Quality officials. Three nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution, and Amite County Emergency Management director Sam Walsh said today the evacuation would remain in effect until the highway is reopened. Remaining residents described “a loud roaring noise” from the scene. “It’s like when an airplane flies over real low,” said Doris Deer, with a hum audible over the telephone. Deer said she lives about 1 1 / 2 miles from the site. Cleanup ongoing at blowout Enterprise- Journal 117TH YEAR n NO. 210 www.enterprise-journal.comMcCOMB, MISSISSIPPI TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2007 50 CENTS Bulldogs’ big star Franklin County’s Bo Tillman named E-J’s Player ofthe Year. A5 Area Grinch: Deputies investigate theft ofMagnolia family’s Christmas gifts. NEWS A2 UNITEDWESTAND Enterprise- Journal The one newspaper in the world mos t inte rested in this community JACKSON (AP) — Lawmakers who promised to make education a priority while they were on the campaign trail will be put to the test in the next legislative session. A private nonprofit group says it will use its 33,000 members to lobby lawmakers to support a comprehensive education improvement bill. Any legislation requiring additional state funding will likely face resistance as lawmakers prepare to grapple with a tight budget during the session that convenes Jan. 8. A big part ofthe package is funding for pilot pre-kindergarten programs. Lt. Gov.-elect Phil Bryant on Monday said he’s opposed to creating new pre-K programs. The Quality Education Act of 2008 is the legislative proposal of the state Board ofEducation. The proposal calls for full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program, an equity funding formula for school districts; additional funding for at-risk students; funding for pilot pre- kindergarten programs; a teacher pay increase and continued funding to redesign the state’s high school system. All the measures will be wrapped in an omnibus bill next session, said Nancy Loome, executive director ofParents’ Campaign, a nonprofit education advocacy group that is pushing the proposal. “Ifwe take any ofthose pieces in isolation, it’s not going to solve our problems. We have to have all those pieces ifwe’re going to really do something about improving public education,” she said. Loome and Claiborne Barksdale, chiefexecutive officer of the Oxford-based Barksdale Reading Institute, met with The Associated Press bureau in Jackson on Monday to discuss their legislative agenda. Loome said requiring that all school superintendents be appointed would help ensure that the most qualified people are placed in those positions. She said elections limit the pool of candidates to those who live in the district. “These need to be some ofthe most skilled people in the state. The issues that they have to deal with are much more complex than what you find in most corporations and we need to have a good process for selecting those people,” Loome said. Loome and Barksdale said funding pre-K programs would benefit a large percentage ofMis- sissippi children who live in poverty. State group seeks support for quality education bill FROM STAFF REPORTS Wilkinson County Circuit Clerk Mon Cree Allen took the Fifth Amendment as testimony resumed Monday in an election challenge hearing in Wilkinson County Circuit Court in Woodville. The hearing continues today, when defense attorneys are expected to open the precinct boxes and examine the paper ballots. Allen, District 2 Supervisor Richard Hollins and Sheriff Reginald Jackson, are contesting the results ofthe county’s Aug. 7 Democratic Party primary. Harrison County Chancery Judge Jim Persons was appointed by the Mississippi Supreme Court to hear the case. According to sources at the trial, Allen took the Fifth Amendment multiple times during questioning by defense attorneys, which began Monday morning and continued until early afternoon. Sources said Allen’s two deputy clerks, Paulette Wilkinson and Davasha Nelson, also took the Fifth Amendment, which protects people from incriminating themselves, multiple times during their testimonies Monday. Questions from defense attorneys involved Allen’s and the deputies’ knowledge ofthe state election laws and duties ofthe clerk and deputy clerks. Also testifying were Bernetta and Connie Hollins, Hollins’ sisters, and Dr. Robert Lewis. The Hollins sisters were questioned about their knowledge ofalleged attempts to buy votes, and about a trip to Byram, where Connie Hollins allegedly took absentee ballots to two former Wilkinson County residents, who filled them out. Lewis testified about problems he and his son had while voting absentee. He said they were told to fill out the ballots and seal, but not sign the back ofthe envelope across the seal, as required by state law. Circuit clerk pleads Fifth OUTSIDE n Wednesday Cloudy High: 72 Low: 56 Rain: 20% Wind: S, 5-10 A2 TO SUBSCRIBE 684-2713 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday NEWS, ADVERTISING 684-2421 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday CONTACT US n CLASSIFIEDSA8 COMICSA7 LOTTERIESA2 OBITUARIESA3 OPINIONA4 SPORTSA5 STOCKSA6 INSIDE n A Mississippi Highway Patrol cruiser and barriers block off a section of Highway 570 west near Tangipahoa Road in Amite County. AARON RHOADS | ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL Above, pallbearers carry C.C. Bryant to his resting place at Dinah Cemetery No. 2 after funeral services ended at Society Hill Missionary Baptist Church in McComb on Monday afternoon. At the service, Bryant was honored for helping change the city of McComb and the state of Mississippi. At right, the Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, chief of field operations of the National NAACP, lauds Bryant as a freedom fighter. Others in attendance included the Hon. William Winter, Dr. Bob Moses, the Rev. Charles White, state NAACP president Derrick Johnson, state Rep. Angela Cockerham and McComb branch NAACP president Anthony Witherspoon. AARON RHOADS | ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL Remembering a hero BY ERNEST HERNDON ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL The man who started the Crimestoppers program in Pike County in 1993 turned it over to a fellow chamber ofcom- merce board member Monday, saying it’s time the program has a fresh face. “It’s one ofthe most gratifying things I’ve ever done,” said Dick Frohn, who handed the reins over Monday to Sam Sanders at the Pike County Chamber ofCommerce board meeting. The Crimestoppers program pays anonymous callers for information leading to arrest and indictment in felonious crimes. “That’s a real good program that does- n’t make a lot of noise, but it’s real successful,” said board member Jewel Rushing. “Dick Frohn stayed with that thing and worked and worked and worked to make it a success, and I’m sure Sam will do the same.” This year the fund paid callers a total of$2,400 for information in 13 cases, Frohn said. “I hate to say it was a good year — that’s not good — but it’s good that we solved some crimes.” The program, authorized by the Legislature, is funded by $2 fees added to misdemeanor fines in McComb, plus donations. Frohn said he will ask Pike County officials about adding the fees to misdemeanors committed in the county as well. The Crimestoppers fund currently has more than $6,000 in it. All money in the program goes to rewards paid to tipsters, Frohn said. Rewards range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the crime reported. The Enterprise-Journal regularly prints the Crimestoppers phone number, 684-0033, at the bottom ofits police report. “A lot ofpeople just want to do something and be anonymous,” Frohn said. “That anonymity is the foundation for the whole program. When those people call, we don’t want to know who they are.” Frohn said he didn’t set out to start the program. “I was sitting at this table one day and asked, ‘Do we have a Crimestoppers program?’ ” he said. “Next thing I knew, I was the chairman.” Crime program changes hands Wilkinson official testifies in hearing on disputed races SEE WELL, PAGE A2 SEE WILKINSON, PAGE A2 Frohn Department of Transportation officials said Monday that the shutdown of Highway 570 about five miles west of McComb would be indefinite and suggested motorists detour via U.S. 98 west of Summit to Highway 569 at Auburn, or Highway 24 west of McComb to Highway 569 at Liberty. SHUTDOWN INDEFINITE n

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