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June 18, 2015     The Woodville Republican
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June 18, 2015
 

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OLDEST NEWSPAPER- Established 1824 ,.epubli0000n Volume 191 USPS 462:260 50 per copy TRUCK LEAVES ROAD, STRIKES LARGE CEDAR TREE -- According to Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Trooper Brandon Fortenberry, Louis Lollis, 51, of Woodville was traveling north bound on U.S. Hwy. 61 South of Woodville just after noon on Fri- day, June 12, when he lost control of his 1997 Chevrolet truck due to wet road conditions and standing water. The truck left the right side of the highway and slammed into a tree on the passenger side door. Lollis was transported from the scene by ambu- lance at about 1:30 p.m., and taken to Southwest Regional Medical Center in McComb for treatment of minor injuries. It is not known if the driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident. A similar accident hap- pened at this same location with the same weather conditions on Monday, October 13, 2014, when 16.year-old WCCA student Bennett Walker, Jr., lost control of his Chevrolet pickup during a rain storm and struck this same cedar tree. Walker died at the scene. A white cross, erected in Walk- er's memory, can be seen under the front tire of Lollis' truck. -- Wood- ville Republican Photo by Andy J. Lewis 2,000 More Third Graders Pass Reading Test, Wilkinson Fares Best After finishing near the lottom among all school districts in Mississippi with the second lowest percent- age of third grade students passing the Mississippi K3 Assessment Support Sys- tem reading assessment tests, Wilkinson County bounced back with the best improvement rate following the recent first re-test. Of the 24 school districts which boosted their share of students passing by 10 per- centage points or more, the Wilkinson County School District had the best im- provement results in the state after it increased its passage rate from 57 per- cent to 80 percent. Other school districts, though, saw much less im- provement. The share of students passing didn't budge in Newton City or Booneville districts. More than 2,000 third graders passed Mississip- pi's reading test when they took it a second time, leav- ing 3,415 students state- wide at risk of failing, ac- cording to the state's count. At the Wednesday, June 10, meeting of the Wilkin- son County School District, school officials reported that the local school district still has a total of 20 stu- dents who did not score well enough to pass the first re- test. The number of failing students announced at the meeting were eight at Finch Elementary School in Cent- reville and 12 at Wilkinson County Elementary School. These students will be re-tested again on Monday, June 29, following a battery of instruction and remedia- tion given during a special summer session, school of- ficials stated. "Students who do not pass this second re-test will not be promoted to the fourth grade," said Wilkinson County Superintendent of Education Timothy T. Scott. The second round, of testing was in May, and it boosted to 91 percent the share of third graders who passed statewide. The pass- ing share after the first round of tests was 85 per- cent of Mississippi's 38,000 public school third graders. The remaining 3,415 stu- dents will get a third try sometime between June 29 and August 7. That re-test will come after many dis- tricts hold summer-school classes aimedat boosting the remaining third graders over the bar into the fourth: grade. Those who don't pass are supposed to get intensive intervention next year from a highly qualified teacher. WCSD Support Staff Being Considered For 3%Pay Raise cut more expenses or ask for a tax increase to balance our budget. Another option, which none of us would want to see, would be to shut down one of the district schools." The board members ques- tioned Supt. Scott about this transfer, noting two similar prior transfers during the current school year. "We budgeted to trans- fer up to $2,000,000 for the current school year," the su- perintendent stated. "I un- derstand that 16th Section Funds are emergency mon- ey, and that we shouldn't depend on this money to operate. We have only trans- ferred about $500,000 so far. The money is there. We bud- geted to do this, and that's what I am asking. If you don't approve this transfer, there will be salaries and bills that won't get paid this summer." After the discussion pe- riod, the motion to approve The Wilkinson County Board of Education met on Wednesday, June 10, at which time the board voted unanimously to approve Superintendent Timothy T. Scott's recommendation to budget for all non-certified staff of the Wilkinson County School District, except cen- tral office employees, to re- ceive a three percent raise for the 2015-2016 school year. In other action, the board spent a while discussing whether or not to approve Supt. Scott's recommendation that he be allowed to transfer up to $500,000 from the 16th Section Interest Fund to the District Maintenance Fund. When asked why the transfer was needed, Supt. Scott reported, %Ve need the money to pay salaries and other expenses this sum- mer. MAEP has been under funded since 2007. Our ex- penses are up each year and our income is down. We can the transfer was made by board member Billy Spiller, seconded by board member Linda Boyd, and approved by a 5-0 vote. Board member Johnny Smallwood spoke out during the "Public Comments" por- tionof the meeting agenda to thank everyone for their thoughts and condolences following the death of his sister, Cleo Smallwood Hen- yard. He reported that she was a 24-year bus driver for the WCSD. "She never had a bus damaged or a single stu- dent get injured during her tenure," he stated. "She was proud of this fact. Mr. Smallwood reported that Supt. Scott read a reso- lution from the school board at Mrs. Henyard's funeral. Board member Boyd read a card of thanks to the school board and district staff from the Smallwood and Henyard families. (Continued on Page 7) Another Candidate Withdraws From Wilkinson County Election Ballot A second Wilkinson County candidate for public office has tendered his let- ter announcing his inten- tion to withdraw from this fall's elections. In a letter filed with the Wilkinson County Circuit Clerk's office date stamped June 21, 2015, Edward M. Arbuthnot, Jr., a candidate for Wilkinson CountyEast District Constable, stated he was pulling out of the election. The letter of notification stated: "I am writing this letter to withdraw my candidacy as East District Constable of Wilkinson County due to a change in my residency. I would like to thank the voters and supporters of Wilkinson County for allow- ing me the opportunity to be a qualifying candidate," With Arbuthnot's with- drawal, two candidates re- main in the race and will appear on the Tuesday, August 4, 2015, Democratic Primary Election Ballot. The two candidates are Johnny Clark and John McKinney. Woodville, Mississippi 39669 t I Thursday, June 18, 2015 Number 7 As Of Meeting On Monday, June 15, Wilkinson Co. Has $1.3 Million In Bank Willdnsbn County Chan- cery Clerk Thomas C. Toll- iver, Jr., announced at the Monday, June 15, meeting of the Wilkinson County Board of Supervisors that as of that date the county had $1,307,536 in funding avail- able in the bank. "Now, gentlemen, I cau- tion you to :stay within your means. Don't go out and spend money on items that you absolutely don't have to have," Mr. Tolliver warned. "We still have a tight budget to meet the rest of the fiscal year." The chancery clerk an- nounced that a preliminary report on the assessed value of real property in Wilkinson County is about $40 million. "I don't foresee a decrease in the assessed value of real property in the county," Mr. Tolliver stated. "I don'i'have the assessed values ofpersonal property or utilities, so we really don't have a hand on how much tax revenue the county can generate," the clerk stated. "I have sent out budget re- quests to .all county depart- ments. I hope that depart- ment heads are already working on their requests for Fiscal Year 2016 which that Southwest Mississippi Commtm .T College will be hSoncounty pa the wylnns.. ltW-day OSHA North on Wednesday and Thursday August 5-6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. SMCC: will also hold the course at the Centreville Mu- also from 8 am. to 5 p.m. The cost to attend either of these courses is $125 per person. Mr. Tolliver reported that he was looking into the costs and work required in install- ing a "Code Rod Warning System" in Wilkinson Coun- ty. The system will send no- tifications to citizens in this county via land line phones and cell phones -- even un- listed numbers. "We are looking into the "Code Red" system to replace the county's broken warn- ing siren system. The sirens were installed and never re- ally worked. We can't find anyone to tell us what is wrong or give us a cost esti- mate to get the siren warn- ing system working proper- ly," Tolliver reported. "Adams County already has the Code Red phone warning system." County Administrator ed that he would have county employee Keith Smith over- see the cleanup of the old Wilkinson County Jail lot on the corner of Natchez Street and Main Street in Woed- ville. "Since we moved all of the old equipment from the lot, it needs to be cut and cleaned up," said Lewis. "It looks pretty bad at this time." Mr. Lewis reported that the five-year hunting lease on 85 acres of county prop- erty on the Poorhouse Road is coming up for lease. "The per-acre lease pay- ment on this property is $30. That's a premium on hunt- ing leases in this county," said Lewis. "I have spoken with the Audit Department, and because of the premium price being paid, we can re- lease it to the current lease Bruce Lewis reported that holder without having to go the county had undergone through the bid process. It is an audit of two grants re- my recommendation that we ceived from the Mississippi Development Authority for the Lake Mary Spillway and the Rolling Hills Road over- lay projects. "we got good marks on both audits," Lewis said. %Ve should now be able to apply with the MDA for more fund- ing for a new project planned for the Fourth District," Lew- is commented. Lewis announced that the county had retained the ser- vices of Jim Sterling who is the current Veteran Service Officer for Amite County. "Mr. Sterling has been retained on a temporary ba- do this." On motion by Supervisor Wil Seal and a second by Supervisor Jenn Nettles, the board voted 5-0 to re-lease the land for hunting rights at $30/acre for a term of five years. Mr. Lewis requested that the board approve a resolu- tion authorizing him to seek a new loan and interest rate on a balance of $184,000 of a current loan at Concordia Bank. %Ve have a number of items from several different supervisor districts covered sis. He is not the permanent by this loan. We grouped VSO for Wilkinson County," them together to get a better Lewis commented. "Mr. Ster- interest rate than what was ling will serve the needs as VSO until a permanent agreed toCanstay be onhired'to trainHe thePerson has permanent replacement," Administrator Lewis stated. The administrator report- being paid," Lewis comment- ed. On motion by Nettles and a second by Supervisor Ken-, yon Jackson, the beard voted to approve the resolution by a 5-0 vote. (Continued on Page 7) Archaeology Group Enjoys Southern Hospitality, GROUP DIGGING AT INDIAN MOUNDS IN WILKINSON CO. A group of fourteen in- cluding college professors, graduate students and un- dergraduate students has spent a number of weeks in Wilkinson County conduct- ing archaeology digs at the Smith Creek Indian Mounds on Hwy. 24 west of Wood- ville. The study of the composi- tion of the mounds and of the Indian artifacts uncovered during the process will be part of a much larger study of Indian life along the Mis- sissippi River. The visiting group was honored at a dinner on Sun- day evening, June 13, at Al- lendale, the country home of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Lewis. There were many interest- ing conversations concern- ing their archaeology work as everyone enjoyed a per- fect summer buffet of salad with garnishes which includ- ing fresh tomatoes, boiled shrimp, toasted French bread and deviled eggs. Members of the group are shown in the top photo, from left to right, as fol- lows: Dr. Meg Kassabaum, project director, University of Pennsylvania (U-Penn); David Cranford, field super- visor, University of North Dr. Meg Kassabaum, left, from the University of Pennsylvania, proj- ect director of the archaeology dig at local Indian mounds, and Da- vid Cranford, field supervisor from the University of North Carolina, Chapel, are shown examining a private collection of Indian pottery shards collected in Wilkinson County. -- Woodville Republican Photos by Andy J. Lewis Carolina Chapel Hill; Moni- ca Fenten, student, U-Penn; Stacey Espenlaub, field su- pervisor, U-Penn; Susannah Fishman, field supervisor, U- Penn; Chandler Burchfield, student, University of Ala- bama; and Sheridan Small, Ashley Terry, Jordi Rivera- Prince and Zhenia Bemko, all students at U-Penn; Jes- sica Schwartz, Atlanta; and Ben 4eynolds, student, U- Penn. The group will conclude their current study of the Smith Creek Mound next week.