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The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
February 22, 2018     The Woodville Republican
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February 22, 2018

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****l 56 5'01'*******0~ ~l *******~I~ED69p ~0~727330 IIl'llljlllj'hllldll-lllllllnJ,lllvill:liljllll,sljlhtllv OLDEST NEWSPAPER- Established 1824 ~d /o Volume 193 USPS 462-260 50 per copy Woodville, Mississippi 39669 Thursday, February 22, 2018 Number 43 WCHS Team Attends FBLA Conference NO Bid elcom F LA WCHS FBLA Attends Southern District Leadership Conference Wilkinson County High School Future Business Leaders of America attend- ed the annual Southern District Leadership Confer- ence at Jones Community Junior College in Ellisville on Thursday, February 1. The students partic~ pated in a number of com- petitive events and gained valuable leadership and networking skills. Athena Harden placed first in Advertising; Tali- yah Williams placed third in Computer Problem Solving; Nathaniel Hull placed fourth in Pub- lic Speaking; Cortez Toy placed fifth in Impromptu Speaking; Keldrin Thomp- son placed sixth in Cyber Security; Daylon Broad- way placed sixth in Per- sonal Finance Future Business Lead- ers of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc (FBLA-PBL) is the largest career stu- dent business organization in the world. Each year, FB- LA-PBL helps over 230,000 members prepare for ca- reers in business. The students, along with Adviser Jennifer Jarvis, will be attending the State Leadership Conference in Jackson this April. ur urglar Three Louisiana resi- dents have been arrested in connection with burglariz- ing a Highway 61 business in Woodville earlier this month. A fourth, a resident of Woodville, was arrested on related charges with the incident, reported Woodville Police Chief Jessie W. Stew- art. Officials at McCants Mo- bile Homes, 694 U.S. Hwy. 61 South, Woodville, re- ported the local business was burglarized on Mon- day, February 5, at which time several mobile homes on the company lot were burglarized and washers, dryers and cook tops were stolen. A week later on Mon- day, February 12, Wilkin- son County Deputy Sheriff Lemo Rutledge stopped a vehicle on the Jackson La. Road south of Woodville. "Upon approaching the car Deputy Rutledge found three individuals matching descriptions of the burglary suspects in the McCants incident," said Chief Stew- art. "In addition to Deputy Rutledge, Sheriff Reginald Jackson and WPD Investi- gator Carl Cage, Jr helped with the arrest of the three burglary suspects." The joint investigation by the WPD and WCSO led to burglary charges being filed against the three occupants of the car. Chief Stewart has iden- tified the three charged in the case as follows: Amber Watts, 29, U. S. Hwy. 61 South, St. Francis- ville, La. Brandon Thurman, 33, U. S. Hwy. 61 South, St. Francisville, La. Cass Thurrnan, 29, U. S. Hwy. 61 South, St. Francis- ville, La. Bond on the three bur- glary suspects was set by Municipal Judge David S. Crawford at $20,000 each. As of Tuesday, February 20, all three remained in custo- dy in the Wilkinson County Jail. In connection with the burglary, a local resident also faces charges. Chief Stewart said that his department has also charged the following: Eric Martin, a/k/a "An- tone," 39, Fords Creek Road, Woodville. Martin has been charged with possession of stolen property, and as of Tuesday, February 20, he remained in custody of the Wilkinson County ~lail un- der a bond of $2,000. '%Ve have recovered most of the stolen items in both Woodville and St. Francis- ville," said Chief Stewart. "Our joint investigation is continuing at this time." He continued, "I want to especially thank Deputy Rutledge for stopping the car containing the three sus- pects'I also wantThat'stod ingthanky ur J b'Sheriff Jackson, WPD Investigator Cage, Louisiana State Peni- tentiary Warden Darrel Van- noy and the Angola Chase Team for their assistance in solving this case and appre- hending the four suspects. This is what happens when law enforcement agencies work together." Bids were opened at the Wednesday, February 14, meeting for the right to hold hunting and fishing rights on school section lands lo- cated all across Wilkinson County for a five-year term. A total of 28 school sections were offered for bid, and dur- ing the bid opening it was discovered that no proposals were offered on four sections, and the lone bid on another section was returned due to a property ownership dis- pute between the Wilkinson County School District and the Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors. The board voted to award leases for hunting and fish- ing rights to 23 bidders pending approval of the Mis- sissippi Secretary of State's Office. The SOS has over- sight on the leasing of school sections across the state. The four ections for which no bids were submitted are as follows: Section 37, T2N/R3W. Located on the Hays Read off Hwy. 24 West. Section 23, T2N/R4W. Located on Hwy. 24 West near Ft. Adams. Section 15, T3N/RlW. Located south of Hwy. 563. Section 30, T4N/R3W. Located near the Sarah Jen- sen Road. The school section with the ownership conflict received a bid offer from current lease- holder Bucky Darden. How- ever, school district officials returned Darden's bid offer until the ownership conflict is settled. The school district offered a total of 593 acres for lease, and Darden said that the Board of Supervisors has completed a title search which shows that the county -- not the schbc~i=district -- owns a 100-acre portion of said tract of land. "I want to lease this 100 acres no matter who owns it, but I don't think it is legal for both the county and the school to claim ownership and both offer the same 100 acres for a hunting lease? Board Attorney Nathaniel Armistad said he would do some research on this land dispute and report his tind- ings to the board. The school board' recog- ~z etdh :irn 7~ dbe:m~,fc studentSachieve ments including four from the ACT Club. The William Winans Mid- dle School girls basketball team was recognized for win- ning the Junior High Confer- ence Championship. The coach announced that the 14-member team had a grade point average of 3.5 or Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday, Febru- ary 19, announced a more than $1 billion plan to re- pair roads and bridges across the state, as well as meet other infrastructure needs -- all without raising taxes. The BRIDGE Act will provide a mixture of grants, loans and revenue to cities, counties and state agen- cies for infrastructure proj- ects over a ~ve-year period. BRIDGE stands for "Build- ing Roads. Improving De- velopment. Growing the Economy." The Senate plan utilizes many concepts de- veloped and supported by lo- cal mayors, supervisors, sen- ators and bills passed by the House of Representatives. "The BRIDGE Act ad- dresses the needs of our state without raising anybody's taxes," Lt. Gov. Reeves said. "Building and maintaining infrastructure is a core ffmc- tion of government. We've developed a responsible plan that balances the needs of our local governments and the marketplace? Finance Chairman Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall, and Transportation Chair- 9 man Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, helped shape the comprehensive proposal to meet critical needs. "A strong economy re- quires an investment in all types of infrastructure," Sen. Fillingane said. "The BRIDGE Act can help our communities complete projects that keep products moving across our state and nation. That is good for Mis- sissippi businesses? The Act also provides funds for economically dis- tressed areas, including the Delta, to spur economic growth. '%Ve recognize the needs in Mississippi go beyond roads and bridges," Sen. Simmons said. "The BRIDGE Act will help our cities and our ru- ral areas fix their critical needs whether that means reopening a closed bridge or repairing broken water and sewer lines. This is a posi- tive plan that doesn't ignore the needs of our rural areas, like the Mississippi Delta? BRIDGE includes fund- ing for the local system bridge program, railroad improvements, repairing water and sewer systems, and dam maintenance. by Woodville Republican Publisher Andy J. Lewis Despite what Punx- sutawney Phil predicted on Ground Hogs .Day on February 2,that he saw his shadow and thus scurried -- the purple martin -- ap- pears to disagree with the furry ground hog's predic- tion. The arrival of the purple martin on the local scene is heiner has informed this newspaper that he spot- ted several purple martin scouts at his property on the Donegal Road near Woodville on Tuesday, Feb- ruary 13. He stated, "They are here a lot earlier than usual? This fact, coupled with the arrival of unseasonably warm weather and frequent rains, seems to support the purple martin's prediction on the weather -- more so than the one of the famous ground hog in Pennsylva- nia. Which of these weather forecasters will be right? Only time will tell. better in addition ta working hard on the court and ~n- ning the championship. Frances Ealy from WWMS announced that one student from the school attended the District and State Reading Fairs and won first place honors. The principals of WCHS, WWMS, WCES and Finch Elementary all gave prog- ress reports on what each school was doing to improv- ing teaching, learning and proficiency test grades and motivate the students at their schools. School principals all noted that consultants have finally arrived in their schools. WWMS Principal Sharon Robinson said, "It is my feel- ing and that of my teachers that consultants need to come into the schools earlier in the school term. This wilt make it easier for us to im- plement their instructions? During the principals' re- port session Board President Linda Boyd stated, "If teach- ers are not doing what these consultants tell them to do, then this must change? Later in the report session Board Pres. Boyd said to the administrators, "We want the info you give us to be ac- curate. I don't underst~tnd how elementary students make good grades and then when they get to WWMS, they should be doing better and not worse. Something is wrong here. We insist that you (principals and other administrators) do your jobs and give the students what they need to succeed. I am appealing to all of you as president of this board. I am not speaking for the other members of the board? Board- member Johnny Smailwood commented, "Our school district has been hit with numerous acts of van- dalism. The pictures in The Woodville Republican which showed the extent of the damages were shocking to me. This destruction costs all of us. I don't understand why people go into schools with- out reason and do this kind of damage. This hurts all of our students and the taxpay- ers of this county." Mr. Smallwood read the whereSCh l'sitP liCYnoted nthatVandalismthe par ents or guardians of those who commit vandalism can be held responsible and made to pay for the damages. He stated, "In the past suspects have been caught, but very little or nothing has been done to them by the courts. I say that judges must do what they can to help us deter vandalism? On motioh by board mem- ber Billy Spiller and second by Smallwood, the board vot- ed 4-0 to authorize the board to spend the $67,000 remain- ing in the school district's Qualified Construction Bond account on paying down the district's loan note. On motion by Smallwood and secondby board member Fa:nnie Bateaste, the board voted 4~0 to void the current hunting l~e held by Blake Jensen on Section 23, T2N/ R4W for non:payment of lease. Jensen, who was present at the meeting, stated, "I am paying $40.(}4 per acre on the 640.88 acre tract. There is a lake in the center, of the tract and this means I can only access one half of the entire section. I have tried to gain access to the other half of the tract by negotiating with adjacent landowners, but I have not been success- ful. I am not going to pay for the whole section if I can't use all of it" Board Attorney Nathan- iel Armistad replied, '~l~his isn't right. We need to fix this problem of access to the whole section? The board opened bids for financial institutions to act as the official depository for district fimds. The board received two bids for the right to act as official depository for the school district -- one each from local financial institu- tions Concordia Bank and United Mississippi Bank. Both banks offered interest rates on fimds of 5.5% on district funds. Superinten- dent Kimberly Jackson rec- ommended that the board keep the current practice of accepting both bids and to use both banks as deposito- ties. The motion by Spiller and second by Smallwood to accept the superintendent's recommendation was passed by a 4-0 vote. The di dsion of ffmds re- ceived on Section 27, T4N! R1E as follows was approved by unanimous board vote: Amite Co.: $497.53 Franklin Co.: $1,988.70 Wilkinson Co.: $11,688.41. By a unanimous vote the school board approved a re- quest to allow the school dis- trict to advertise for a timber sale on Section 27, T4N/R4W. A 4-0 vote by the board will allow the school district to accept an FY 18 Title V, Rural and Low-Income Schools Grant in the amount of $20,919.00; to accept an additional $267,580 in FY 18 Title I School Improve- ment 1003 (a) Funds for WCES, Finch and WWMS schools; and to accept a Bud- get Extension to the Tech- nology Grant from Family Foundation in the amount of $22,109.60. The board voted unani- mously to give their ap- proval to the Special Services Policies and Handbook as presented. The matter was approved without discussion. (Continued on Page 2)- ATTEND ROBOTICS UNDERWATER WORKSHOP -- Members of the WCCA Robotics Leadership team attended an ROV (remotely operated vehi- cles) Underwater Workshop last weekend. WCCA team members shown at the event are as follows, left to right: Coco Abbott, Brooke Baker, Ann Patin and Ava Randall. -- WCCA Photo