Newspaper Archive of
The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
November 6, 2014     The Woodville Republican
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November 6, 2014

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......... 'J' "' :': * ;:: :=i:: ::': :; :"*: :: ' :': :: ':: ::: " '/= ' : i)  ,!ii '/' (t .....  J:tl, r'j 1!i ;!;t,p .... DLDEST R- Established 1824 I, I Ill -- i - l a Ihll-ii'"Jv.00v,!,l,ntlv,,lqv 00qll,ll h, 'uJ Volume 190 USPS 462-260 50 per copy Woodville, Mississippi 39669 i Thursday, November 6, 2014 Number 27 Lake Mary Road Level Being Raised Supervisors' Vote Puts More COUNTY AND PUBLIC WORK ON RAISING ROAD ELEVATION -- Wilkinson County employees joined forces with volunteers and private equipment to haul tons of dirt to the Lake Mary Road to raise the level of the county road to prevent Percy Creek from causing further damage by flowing over and down the road during heavy downpours. A donated trackhoe and dozer are shown in the top photo moving and loading fill dirt into waiting dump trucks. The project called for this donated dirt to be hauled to the road in county and private dump trucks where the mo- tor grader at right spread and packed it on the road surface. This group has also been busy this week hauling to the site gravel which will be the final layer on the roadway. County Administrator Bruce Lewis said on Monday, "It is a great feeling to see the county and the private sector working together to help improve the Lake Mary Road and to repair re- cent damage caused by flooding by PercY Creek. Several loads of gravel were also hauled to the Jackson Point Road to help with several problem areas on that county road." -- Photos Courtesy Dorothy Foster Man Charged In Death Of ,, His Girlfriend- Brittany Gill Crooked Creek Road in Wilkinson County. Whittington's job requires him to conduct routine checks on oil wells throughout southwest Mississippi. Wroten said Whittington told authorities that this was not the first time Gill accompanied him to a well. The sheriff said Whittington moved Gill's body to another oil Well site on the Dr. Anderson Road in Amite County approxi- mately 30 miles away from the accident site. But it wasn't until Monday afternoon, October 27, that Whit- tington contacted the sheriffs department, possibly due to pres- sure from Gill's relatives, who reportedly had gone looking for her and tried to question Gill at his house. Instead, his mother answered the door and said there had been an accident and they needed to go to the sheriffs department. Neither Wroten nor Amite County Coroner Cam Sharp are discussing what might have caused Gill's death, citing incom- plete autopsy reports. Authorities said Gill's family Justin E. Whittington identified her through tattoos. Sheriff Wreten said officials are considering both well sites, one in Amite County and the other in Wilkinson County, a crime scene, and his department is working with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation to deter- mine how Gill died and whether Whittington's claims of an acci- dent are tree. Justin Edwards Whittington has admitted to authorities that he was the last person to see Brittany Gill alive and was with her when she died at an oil well site the weekend of October 27- 28, but he claims her death was accidental. Whittington, 31, whose ad- dress is listed as 6917 Highway 567, Liberty, the boyfriend of the 26-year-old Gill, a mother of three small children from Lincoln County, was charged by Amite County authorities on Wednes- day, October 29, with tampering with evidence and desecration of a corpse in connection with her death. He is being held without bond in the Amite County Jail. Addi- tional charges could follow, Amite County Sheriff Tim Wroten said last weeZ Other than noting that Whit tington allegedly moved Gill's body, Wroten has not released any details on the nature of that charge. Wroten said Whittington told him that Gill died in an acci- dent at an oil well site where he and Gill were hanging out Sun- day morning, Ocber 26, on the Incident At WCCF Sends One Inmate For Medical Help within minutes, reported Issa Arnita, director of Corporate Community Communications with Management Train- ing Corporation, the private company with a contract with the Mississippi Department of Corrections to operate the 1,000-bed private prison. "An offender who owed money to another inmate re- ceived a superficial wound and was treated and released from a Jackson hospital" Ar- nita stated in a written news release on Tuesday alrnoon. "The housing unit where the incident happened was put on l_kdown. The rest of the facility is operating normally. We expect to lift the lockdown later today or tomorrow." On Friday, October 31, at approximately 8:30 a.m., there was a disturbance in one of the housing units at the Wilkinson County Correc- tional Facility which is located on U.S. Highway 61 North of Woodxdlle. WCCF correctional officers immediately responded and took control of the situation Woodville Native Named Agent By Southern Univ. AG Center include prodding non-f0rmal education in agriculture and related areas to agriculture producers and farmer fami- lies. The Woodville native earned a degree in Agricul- tural Sciences with a focus on Animal Science from South- ern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge. The Southern Universi- ty Agricultural Research & Extension Center in Baton Rouge, La., has selected DeL- ane Ross as the new Assis- tant Area Agent of Agricul- tare & Natural Resources for St. Martin and Iberia Par: ishes in Louisiana. As the Assistant Area Agent, Ross' responsibilities Money In Road District Funds At the Monday, November 3, meeting of the Wilkinson County Beard of Supervisors, the beard unanimously voted to change the division per- centage of fimds the county receives from Oil and Gas Severance Taxes to provide for additional fimding to each district. The current formula for di- viding oil and gas tax money is 75% to the county general fired and 25,% to the road dis- tricts. The ntion by Supervi- sor Richard Hollins' changes the split to 50%-50% between the general fired and road dis- tricts. This additional funding to the districts can be spent at the discretion of each supervi- sor. Board President Bill Bankston stated that he felt that since the county stands to receive more and more oil and gas sevce tax mon- ey as the  exploration grows, the supervisors should pass a motion that would stip- ulate that any oil and gas tax money which exceeds a dis- trict's budget will be divided equally and go into a separate fimd for each district. The motion for  new, funding was made bHollins and sec- onded by Supervisor Wil Seal and passed with a 5-0 vote. This additional funding is to be used for road maintenance only. Chancery Clerk Thomas C. Tolliver, Jr., x(e the supervi- sors the bredown of road mileage by strict for the distribution ,.t gasoline tax money. "Eacldistrict gets a share based oflthe total miles of roads in,:i their district," said Tolliver. "This i: percent- age breakd been the same for yea :,; The t,;breakdown percentage tax funding il'ws:-  District, 21%, Second District, copies they make." Lewis said he had found a soitware program which will cost $194 to perform this operation in which the user inputs his/her access code to print from the office's comput- er to the record room copier. The cost of making these cop- ies are then charged to that particular access code for pay- ment by the user at the end of the month. Mr. Lewis announced that First District Election Com- missioner Vicie Rogers had attended the prior beard meeting at which time she asked that the board consider increasing the pay levels to individuals working the polls during elections. Lewis reported that he had gotten the pay levels for sev- eral area counties and found that Wilkinson County was lowest at $75 per day. After discussion which showed that the county had not budgeted for any pay in- crease for poll workers, Ad- ministrator Lewis estimated that the new pay increase would cost an additional $5,300 to the Election Budget, increasing it from $12,700 to $18,000. Circuit Clerk Lynn Delaney stated, "We are having real problems getting qualffied individuals to serve as poll Housing Authority Board. Af- ter some discussion Supervi- sor Jackson nominated Fran- ces Bailey for the position. The motion was seconded by Hollins and passed with a unanimous vote. Administrator Lewis then announced some bad news for the county. "We have received a letter from the Mississippi Development Authority an- nouncing that since the coun- ty has not completed an audit of finances for the Fiscal Year 2013, the county will be cut off from any type of fimding requests to the MDA. "This means that it will be a while before the county can apply for grant money from the MDA," said Lewis. "We are currently cut off because of problems getting Fiscal Year 2012 audited, and now we are further cut off because of no audit for 2013." Lewis reported that he had just spoken with Scott Nei- man about the status of the 2012 audit and stated, "Scott says he has finally received all of the information needed to perform the 2012 audit, and he hopes to have it com- pleted by early in January, 2015. Once completed, then the new audit firm can begin on the 2013 audit. We can't do ." 2013 without 2012 being corn: "= pleted," Lewis commented. workers. For the number of The board received and ap- ours they have to work, the proved : :*the fire department 5 we pay them comes out rendwal service contracts be- to less than $7.00 per hour. tween the Wilkinson Coun " We must pay our poll workers Volunteer Fire Departmen k more so they will be willing to and Wilkinson CounW. The " "  work countyelections: board voted to authorize  "| On motion by Supervisor Board President Bankston to i | Kenyon Jackson and a sec- sign the documents. |:. ond by Seal, the board voted Asst. Engineer Wimberly unanimously to increase the announced, "We are currently pay for poll workers and man, working with Southwest Mis- agers to $15 more per day. sissippi Planning and Devel- Mr.  announced that opment District on a huge  :.i .,, mt] .employeeav. al .-;t .xequesL t,l,t, proved to receive flu ghots at the replacement and repair of 22%, Third District, 18%, 4th District 16%, and Fifth Dis- trict 23%. County Assistant Engineer Doug Wimberly announced at this point in the meeting that he had just turned over a list of road miles for each supervi- sor district. "You can use these figures to adjust the current percent of gasoline tax mon- ey," Wimberly commented. Tolliver added, "Since the county now has just received a revised breakdown of actual miles of roads by district, I suggest that the supervisors allow us to adjust the mile- age accordingly using the new information which has re- sulted from the redistricting line changes using population counts from the 2010 census." The beard approved the change to the new redistrict- ing road mileage figures. Clerk Tolliver announced that the county had spent a total of $42,361.00 to pay re- sidual claims from the prior county employee health in- surance coverage. The money was paid to Southern Ben- efits, the former insurance plan manger. On a motion by Supervisor Nettles and a second by Hollins, the board approved the payment of this expense. County Administrator Bruce Lewis announced that the county was hosting a pub- lic meeting at the Wilkinson County Park Facility on U.S. Hwy. 61 North at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5. The topic of the meeting is the proposed Water District be- ing considered by Amite and Wilkinson Counties. 'Iais is very important to the coun- ties, and I suggest that all supervisors be in attendance," Lewis stated. The county adminiStrator presented each supervisor with the new county redis- tricting map on one side of the document and a breakdown of district lines in the Town of Woodville on the other."I have more copies if you need one," Lewis added. The administrator an- nounced that he had come up with a viable solution which will allow the county to track copies being made by the pub- lic in the Chancery Clerk Re- cord Room. "With all of the oil and gas research activity, we need to be able to track the number of copies being made by these oil and gas folks" Lewis said. "That way we can correctly charge them for the no cost with the county paying the $35 fee at the Wilkinson County Health Department. The shots are to be given only on Wednesday, November 5. "Only employees are covered. No spouses or children will receive these free shots," said Lewis. Mr. Lewis stated that he had been working with Ad- ams County about the pos- sibility of the two counties sharing the cost of a Veterans Administration officer for the county. "Wilkinson County is one of two counties in Missis- sippi without a VA worker," stated. "Our veterans need this service. The person would have regular office hours in the county, and we can find them office space." Supervisor Jackson an- nounced, "As a veteran my- see we definitively need to look into this for the Wflkin- sen County men and women who were members of the U.S. armed forces" Adminls" trator Lewis was given the authority to try and work out a solution for a VA worker for the county. Lewis announced, "This is the last day to have a track- hoe to move dirt to raise the level of the Lake Mary Road. We started raising the road on Monday, October 27, haul- ing donated dirt and spread- .ing it on the county road. We have started hauling gravel and putting it on the road so we can beat the rain expected later this week. We ended up being short on the number of dump trucks when one broke down. We have two more do- nated with operators for to- day (Monday) only." Lewis continued, 'rhis ef- raise the road level has been a joint public/private project. We have gotten a lot done because the county and private individuals and com- panies have come together for a common cause. We have received donations of $3,000, and the use of a trackhee, a bulldozer, a motor grader and a number of dump trucks. I have another individual who has cemmitted to more mon- ey ff it is needed to cover fuel and gravel expenses associ- ated with this much-needed project. I appreciate the part- nerships working for a good cause. I appreciate all that has been done to improve this important county road." Wilkinson County has been requested to name a new rep- resentative on the Regional all sub-standard bridges and roads in Wilkinson County. This will result in a huge boost to the county if it is ap- proved." First District Supervisor Seal made a motion to au- thorize a change order in the road repair/drainage project slated in the Rolling Hills Subdivision in his district near Centreville. Instead of a patch and seal we are going to do an overlay of roads. The ad- ditional cost will be $8,675.60. The motion was seconded by Nettles and passed 5-0. Clerk Tolliver pointed the following comments to Board, Pres. Bankston and County Administrator Lewis, "I am trying to get a handle on the Geographic Information Sys- tem (GIS) that the county re- ceived a grant in the amount of $250,000 to purchase com- puters and sottware which would allow the county to track all types of information, but mainly for a county map and address list for all build- ings and homes.A GIS system is a computerized data man- agement system used to cap ture, store, manage, retrieve, analyze, and display spatial information. Data captured and used in a GIS commonly are represented on paper or other hard-copy maps. "I don't know where the computers we purchased are located. I have heard they are in Bude in Franklin County and here in the courthouse," said Tolliver. "We have no re- cord in the receiving clerk's of- rice that the computers were ever delivered here. We need to find the equipment and do all we can to get it up and running. We started this proj- ect years and years ago. This data and computer system is very important to the county." Administrator Lewis said, "I don't know anything about this. All this went on before I came on board with the coun- t. We need to refocus on this and find out where our com- puters are to get the address list completed and accurate." The board went into dosed door session to discuss a pes- sible industrial development prospect and to discuss sev- eral personnel matters. No ac- tion was taken behind closed doors. The next scheduled meet- ing of the board of supervisors will be held on Monday, No- vember 24, at 9:30 a.m. in the board room of the Wilkinson County Courthouse.