2012: Chickasaw Journal news in review

CJ-0102-yirnews6-2KJanuary

The City of Okolona began drafting new zoning ordinances to regulate the locations of clubs and bars that sell alcohol.

 

Final architect’s plans for rebuilding East Webster High School following the 2011 tornado were approved.

Seven scouts in BSA Troop 19 were honored Jan. 29 for achieving the rank of Eagle. Receiving their pins were Colin Weaver, Kaleb Clark, Levi Cunningham, Andrew Rucker, Alex Rucker, Dustin Pounds and Trey Franklin.

 

February

A head-on collision on Belfountain Road claimed the lives of Houston residents Jennifer Brooks Knox and Levert Ivy.

 

The Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors and City of Okolona partnered to rename a section of Hwy. 245 in honor of the late Senator Jack Gordon.

 

Kayla Snow of Egypt was crowned Miss University at Ole Miss in Oxford and went on to compete in the Miss Mississippi pageant.

 

The 288th Sapper unit, stationed in Afghanistan, suffered a casualty as Sgt. 1st Class, Billy A. Sutton of Mooreville, died of a medical condition unrelated to combat.

 

Houlka Mayor Jo Higginbotham resigned her office citing health problems. A special election put Jimmy Kelly in the Mayor’s office to complete the term.

 

Construction began on the Tanglefoot Trail, a 44-mile walking and biking path that will run from Houston to New Albany along the former lines of the GM&O railbed.

 

March

The Chickasaw County 4-H Senior Horse bowl members, Jacob Moore, Nicole Abrams, Savanna Rhodes and Alex Moore, took the blue ribbon at Dixie Nationals. They are under the direction of Steve Coker and Angie Abrams.

 

The Chickasaw County (Houlka) School District was recognized by the State Department of Education as one of seven schools who moved their ranking for At Risk of Failing to Successful in one year.

 

The butchers in the meet department at Grocer’s Pride Supermarket received an Excellence in Meat Merchandising award from Associated Wholesale Grocery, Memphis division.

 

April

Houston High School Alternative School instructor, Jennifer Pratt, was recognized as an Educator of Excellence by the Mississippi Professional Educators.

 

Wyndi Davis was named Teacher of the Year at Vardaman Elementary School. Davis has been teaching for 13 years.

 

Atlanta VFD used a grant from the Monsanto  Corporation to pay off the debt on the community fire department. The grant was awarded to Jan and Judy Hill who donated the proceeds to the VFD.

 

Much loved local physician, Noel Garcia, tendered his resignation at Trace Regional Hospital and closed his practice. Garcia moved to Hamilton, Ala., to be closer to family members.

 

 

May

Waste Management broke ground on a facility at Prairie Bluff Landfill that will tap methane gas from the landfill to produce electricity for local homes.

 

Houlka’s Ark-Ell Springs joined the enHance program of MDEQ, a voluntary stewardship group that promotes the environment.

 

Chickasaw County Relay for Life raised over $27,000 for the American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.

 

All members of the senior class at Houston and Okolona High Schools passed their required SATP tests and were deemed eligible candidates for graduation.

 

The Okolona Municipal School District received notice from the Mississippi Department of Education that it was approved to come out of conservatorship.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in Cumberland to rebuild East Webster High School.

 

Crop Production Services, a fertilizer and seed company, announced their intent to expand the Houston- based business.

June

Harold Frazier retired from Eaton Automotive after 59 years of experience in automobile sales.

 

Houston native, Alvin Ivy, received a second place award for spot news coverage from the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters. Ivy is a cameraman/reporter for WTVA News.

 

Houston’s Molly May was crowned Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen in Vicksburg. May went on to compete in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition where she placed as fourth runner-up.

 

Chad Spence was named Assistant Superintendent following the retirement of Israel Lee. Spence is a former principal of Houston Middle School.

 

John Ellison was named principal at Houston Upper Elementary School and William Cook assumed duties as head football coach at Houston High School.

 

Bobby Mooneyham retired from BancorpSouth after 44 years of service.

 

The City of Houston moved forward in their decision to provide ankle bracelets to monitor juvenile offenders.

 

July

The Town of Mantee improved their fire rating to an 8 which should mean reduced insurance rates for residents and businesses within the city limits.

 

Two county firefighters were tapped for state offices. Terry Tucker of Okolona was elected Vice-President at large of the MS Fire Fighter’s Association, while Williams of Houston was elected Vice-President of the Northeast Region and is the first woman to serve on the MFFA executive board.

 

Okolona native and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, William Raspberry, died of prostate cancer at the age of 76. See page 1A.

 

The Houston Solar Race team took first place in the Open and Classic divisions at the Winston Solar Challenge, marking the team’s 11th straight victory in the solar racing competition.

 

The Houston Boys and Girls club received a $40,000 donation from the Carpenter Foundation.

 

August

Ramona Walls of Watkins, Ward and Stafford’s Houston office, was tapped to serve as Executive Vice-President of the Mississippi Association of Public Accountants.

 

The Chickasaw County Historical Society completed phase one of construction of a barn for agricultural items and now is in phase two of building a historical museum.

 

The Chickasaw County Regional Correctional Facility received accreditation with flying colors from the American Correctional Association.

 

Grand opening ceremonies were held for Okolona’s newest business as Fred’s Dollar Store opened it’s doors to the community and delivered a grant to the OHS band.

 

September

The City of Houston banned smoking in all official city vehicles.

 

Okolona’s Tyson Eddie and Tracey Young placed first in the national FCCLA competition with their entry on shaken baby syndrome.

 

The 288th Sapper unit of the National Guard has officially been released from active duty in Afghanistan and is preparing to head back to the States. See page 1A.

 

Retired Mississippi Representative, Billy Bowles, died at the age of 78.

 

Rose Hill Company in Okolona was purchased by Madison Park Home Furnishings.

 

A new cell phone tower was erected in Houston.

 

October

The cities of Houston and Okolona, along with the Chickasaw County Board of Supervisors, partnered to enter an economic alliance with Pontotoc and Union Counties and will pay part of the salary for Josh West to serve as economic developer of the three-county area.

 

Houston’s Evelyn Moore was honored with a reception to celebrate 50 years in business as a hair stylist.

 

Faith Outreach Church in Okolona began offering a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program with Pastor Jimmy Bryan at the helm.

 

The Town of New Houlka debated applying for resort status, but population numbers and public outcry defeated the issue which would have included allowing alcoholic beverages in the town, if approved.

 

Courtney Ivy of Woodland was selected as the first black Homecoming Queen in the history of Blue Mountain College.

November

Trace Regional Hospital in Houston broke ground on a new facility that will extend Medical Plaza Clinic by 4,200 square feet.

 

Okolona High School Principal, Branda Kornegay, resigned the position she accepted last August. Tammy Doss was hired to replace her.

 

Voters in Chickasaw County cast their ballots in the Presidential election with Barack Obama receiving the majority.

 

The Houlka Wildcats Relay for Life team kicked off the first fundraiser for the 2013 event with a bike-a-thon.

 

Construction on the Tanglefoot Trail moved through Houlka and entered into the Townof Houston. The trail is projected for completion in the spring of 2013.

 

Jason Brassfield of Houston was ordained to the ministry at Parkway Baptist Church.

 

December

Mary Claire Tapley of Houston was rewarded with a Chevrolet Malibu for outstanding sales as an independent Mary Kay consultant.

 

Bobby  Gilbert of Houston retired from Griffin Motors after more than 50 years as an automobile salesman.

 

The Houston High School FFA took third place in the Food Science competition in Indianapolis, Ind.

 

The Okolona Board of Aldermen named five new school board members to govern the school and conduct the search for a new Superintendent. New trustees are William Bailey, Sarah Jenkins, Dr. Jerome D. Smith, Bill Stewart and Nancy Sullivan.

 

 

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