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The Woodville Republican
Woodville, Mississippi
December 17, 2015     The Woodville Republican
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December 17, 2015

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Page 2A The Woodville Republican, Thursday, December 17, 2015 HWY. 61 SINKHOLE REPAIRS NEARING COMPLETION -- In the span of nine months two sections of U.S. Hwy. 61 north of Woodville de- veloped problems which caused the Mississippi Department of Transpor- tation to close a two-mile section of the northbound lane. In April, 2014, a section of the road began sink- ing, and the MDOT closed the road for extensive repairs to divert water from an underground spring which caused the roadway to slough away. Nine months later in June, 2015, a large hole developed in the north- bound lane about two miles north of the first problem area. The MDOT was forced to extend the lane closure to include the second sinkhole. The MDOT took on the repairs to the northern sinkhole which was caused by the separation of the concrete drainage system under the highway some 90-100 feet below ground level. The initial damaged roadway repair contract was let out to a private company over a year ago. Hopefully the northbound lanes will re-open soon as this photo shows the MDOT crews laying down about eight inch- es of asphalt at their repair project. The southern area is also nearing completion and is almost ready for asphalt overlay. Older residents of Wilkinson County spoke of this area of Hwy. 61 as being "Devil's Back- bone." Could these two sinkholes be the devil's work? Who knows? Woodville Republican Photo by Andy J. Lewis by Woodville Republican Publisher Andy J. Lewis / We hope you enjoy this, the annual Christmas Greet- ings edition of this newspa- per. Our little elves have been quite busy preparing this rather large issue. Earlier last month we asked that all first and sec- ond grade students in the five elementary schools, Centreville Academy, Finch Elementary, WCCA, Wilkin- son County Elementary and Evergreen Academy, write their letters to Santa listing their many and varied requests. We now have all of the letters we received typed and ready for publication. A to- tal of some 110 letters was received, and according to our computers they include a grand total of 5050 words, among which were 77 words characterized as "unique" by the spell-checking units: We urged all teachers involved not to assist the youngsters in their compositions for the very reason that unique spellings and word usage make these epistles them- selves unique. We commend this '~I_~t- ters to Santa" section of this edition to you, being confident that you will find them amusing, entertaining, beguiling and charmingly heart-warming. For one hundred and ninety one years The Repub- lican has sent forth to its readers at this season of plea- sure and good will its most cordial holiday greetings. In this long period through which this paper has lived there have been, of necessity, many changes -- holiday times of great material pros- perity and abundance, times of business depression, even of hardship; and yet, as each year has ended it has been the pleasant office of this newspaper to speak out its sincere wishes for the hap- piness of each one to whom it goes, and for the coming of better things to each in the New Year about to begin. *** On the pages of this Christmas issue of The Re- publican are to be found the names of the leading mer- chants and businesses of Wilkinson County. The list is really the business directory of our county, and our sub- scribers, we trust, will look over these good-will messag- es with interest and appreci- ate the spirit that prompted the sending of them. The Peace of God is not an illusion, an unattainable cen- turies-old dream of mankind. Peace and joy exist as surely as love and compassion live within the hearts of men of good will. War, prejudice, oppression, and evil; these are as old as the history of the world. They feed upon greed and ignorance; they persist because some of us are too weak or too indiffer- ent to care about what hap- pens to our fellow man. But there is peace and joy in the character of men and women who pursue that goodness of life which elevates mank/nd above the level of the primi- tive animals with which he shares this planet. Love, compassion -- and faith-- these are the God-given gi~ that make mankind stand tall among his earthy con- temporaries. Because God so loved the world, and with compassion for the sin of mankind, God gave forth His only Son to live upon earth a life of highest ex- ample. The life of Christ was lived in a spirit of love and compassion and was faith- fully dedicated to the will of God. Because the Holy Child was bern at Bethlehem, and so lived among God's people, every man can find an open door to peace and content- ment, in this world and the next. Because Christ came, Christmas comes once each year to fill our hearts and minds with inspiration and with hope. This Christmas, let love, compassion, and faith guide us to a meaning- ful awareness of the spirit of Christmas. That immortal essay, "Yes Virginia," has been in- cluded in every Christmas issue which this writer and this writer's father have published during their ed- itorships, and we have no intention of breaking tra- dition. Regardless of how many times you have read these words from the pen of a New York editor of many years ago, we believe that you will again be moved by the warmth of this glowing epistle. It was only September, and 1897's Christmas was s~ll three months in the fu- ture. But Virginia O'Hanlon's ceoncern was with an impor- tant problem that, to her, knew no season. That was why she wrote her letter to the New York Sun asking, "Is there a Santa Claus?" The answer to Virginia's 'ques- tion, cempesed in a moment of deep spiritual insight by Francis B. Church, stands even today as a testament of faith. We quote: New York, N.Y., Sept. 18, 1897 Dear Editor: "I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, 'If you see it in the Sun it's so.' Please tell me the truth -- is there a Santa Claus?" Yours truly, Virginia O'I--Ianlon This is Editor Church's reply: 'Yes indeed -- "Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by a skepticism of a skeptical age -- they do not believe except what they see -- they think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible to their little minds .... ~ .~, "A/1 minds, Virgin/a, whether they be men's or children's are little. "In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as mea- sured by the intelligence ca- pable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. 'Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. "He exists as certainly as love and generosity and de- votion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How drea- ry would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child- like, faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood flls the world would be ex- tinguished. "Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. "you might get your papa to hire men to watch all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see San- ta Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus -- the most real things in the world are those neither children nor men can see. "Did you ever see fair- ies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there -- nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that are unseen or unseeable in the world. 'You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the stron- gest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men, that ever lived, can tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside the curtain and view and picture the super- nal beauty of all the glory beyond. "Is it all real? -- Ah, Vir- ginia, in all the world there is nothing else real and abid- ing. "No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives, and he lives forever -- a thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the hearts of childhood." m,nary Wilkinson County High School Principal Ougrett Brumfield announced at the Wednesday, December 9, meeting of the Wilkinson County Board of Education, that preliminary results of the new state assessment test show that the county high school received very positive results. Principal Brumfield an- nounced, "Preliminary test results we have received show that WCHS received a grade of"B" on the PARCC Test. (Partnership for As- sessment of Readiness for College and Careers). We have also found out that WCHS is ranked No. 74 out of 288 high schools in Mis- sissippi." The students took the new state assessment test in April, 2015. School Board member Johnny Smallwood com- plained that the board is not being given test score results in a timely man- ner. "We need them so we can know how the school district is doing compared to other schools across the state," he stated. Wilkinson County School Superintendent Timothy T. Scott replied, "The answer to your statement is that we have not received our test scores, and no other school district in the state has re- ceived theirs either. Com- plete test scores have not been released yet. That's why you haven't been pro- vided with them." Supt. Scott requested permission to transfer up to $300,000 from the district's 16th Section Interest Fund into the District Mainte- nance Fund. School Board President Charlie Floyd asked the su- perintendent, "What is this money needed for?" Supt. Scott said, "This is so we can make payroll and pay for other expenses." On motion by board member Billy Spiller and a second by board member Fannie Bateaste, the mo- tion passed with a 5-0 vote. A request was made by Supt. Scott for the authority to amend the FY16 Prelimi- nary Consolidated Federal Program Application Allo- cations from the following: 1) Title I FY16 Pre- liminary Allocation $934,342.00 to FY16 Final Allocation of $934,342.00 (Remained the Same). 2) Title 2 - $131,109.00 Preliminary Allocation to FY16 Final Allocation of $156,204.00. On motion by board member Linda Boyd and a second by Bateaste, the matter was approved by unanimous board vote. Supt. Scott requested board authority to apply for FY16 Title VI-B Rural and Low Income Funds in the amount of $24,693. A mo- tion by Spiller and a second by Smallwood to approve the request passed by a vote of 5-0. Supt. Scott requested authority from the board to accept a donation of $16,928.00 in My Brother's Keeper Grant funding. The money can be used to pur- chase playground equip- ment and other like ex- penses. Supt. Scott announced that Wilkinson County Solid Waste Enforcement Officer Marlin Reid has proposed the construction of a tall fence to help de- ter illegal dumping at the entrance to 16th Section school property located on the Lower Woodville Road. "Mr. Reid said that the fence will cost a total of $545.00 which is to be paid by the school district. The fence will be erected using MDOC inmate labor," said Supt. Scott. On motion by Smallwood and a second by Spiller, the fencing project was ap- proved with a unanimous vote. Supt. Scott requested that the board approve a student transfer from Wilkinson County to Amite County due to the distance from the local school the student would attend. "The board approved this stu- dent last year. Then the student moved and now has come back into the district." The student transfer re- quest was passed with a 5-0 vote on a motion by Boyd and a second by Bateaste. Supt. Scott read letters of resignation from Beulah Lollis and Gwendolyn Har- ris. Both resignations were approved by a 5-0 vote on a motion by Spiller and sec- ond by Smallwood. Supt. Scott read a num- ber of recommendations for employment by the district. The board tabled most of them to closed door session. WCHS Transporta- tion Director Jean Jones requested that she be al- lowed to speak about sev- eral situations which have happened this week. She was asked to remain at the meeting so she could be heard in closed door session as a personnel issue. Centreville resident Ma- rie Montgomery announced that she was interested in starting up a Boys & Girls Basketball League and asked the board to consider allowing the league to use the gym at William Winans Middle School for both prac- tice sessions and for league games. Board Pres. Floyd said, "We need to check with our insurance agent to see if our insurance would cover us if the gym is used for a basketball league with no connection to the school dis- trict." Board member Small- wood cautioned, "If this league is allowed to use our school facility, they need to exercise extreme control of the public both inside and outside of the building. We don't want any fights or altercations on our campus." The board voted to go into executive session to discuss several personnel matters. in Two friends got into an argument at a residence in Centreville recently which lead to a shooting death and one arrest, reported Cent- reville Police Chief Jimmy Ray Reese. The incident happened at about 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, at a residence located at 322 Cherokee Street. Chief Reese said that two longtime friends, Shaun Cameron Robinson, 35, of 322 Cherokee Street, and Jivonta Jarrod Anderson, 21, of 402 Fort Street, also in Centreville, apparently got into a heated argument at Robinson's home. "Robinson told Anderson to leave his house and he did," said Chief Reese. "The only problem was that An- derson went to his house, retrieved a gun, and re- turned to Robinson's home." According to a witness, Anderson shot Robinson one time in the upper body. "Anderson was declared dead on arrival at Field Health System," said Chief Reese. Robinsonwas arrested later that same night when he turned himself in to the Gloster Police Department. The CPD picked up the suspect in Gloster and re- turned him to the CPD for questioning. Chief Reese said there was a witness at the scene who saw the argument and later shooting. Robinson has been charged with first degree murder in the shooting case. He is being in the Amite County Jail. Cent- reville Municipal Judge Da- vid S. Crawford set bond at $500,000. "I want to thank Jason Leggett an investigator with the Criminal Investi- gation Bureau of the Mis- sissippi Highway Patrol, Amite County Sheriff Tim Wroten and his depu- ties, the deputies with the Wilkinson County Sheriff's Department, and police of- ricers from the Gloster and Centreville Police Depart- ments," said Chief Reese. 'Tv'ith their assistance the investigation and arrest of the shooting suspect went very smoothly." Chatwelletes Social Club Sponsoring Christmas The ladies of the Chatwel- lettes Social Club are sponsor- ing '~ Very Merry Christmas Toy Drive" for children ages 0-12 whose parents may need assistance from Santa's hell> ers this year. If you would like to nominate children of Wilkin- son Coanty whose parents may not be able to supply them with this Christmas, please email the child(renYs name, age, sizes, and a phone num- ber where the parents may be reached to chatwellettetoy- driveCo Toy Drive Members ask that the com- munity donate new, wrapped toys and clothes for this char- ity event and that you specify age, size, gender and type on a small note attached to the gifk (Continued on Page 3A) WOODVILLE CHRISTMAS PARADE ,HELD DECEMBER 12 -- The 2015 Woodville Christmas Parade rolled through downtown Woodville on Saturday, December 12, starting at 1 p.m. The March of Dimes of Wilkinson County entered a float in the event. The March of Dimes is a nonprofit organization that helps fund research aimed at preventing premature births, birth defects and infant mortality. If you're inter- ested in being apart of March of Babies - Wilkinson County, please email -- Submitted Photo