Kemper County Messenger
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  • Elementary students enjoy conservation carnival
    Last week third through sixth grade students from East Kemper Elementary and Kemper Academy traveled to Kemper Lake where they enjoyed a Conservation Carnival. The Carnival was an open air event, featuring beautiful weather.
  • National Park Week, held April 21 through 29 this year, is a week in April annually proclaimed for the celebration and recognition of our national parks. Celebrations will be marked with special events and activities including National Junior Ranger Day on April 21 and Earth Day on April 22. Our national parks are living examples of the best this Nation has to offer–our magnificent natural landscapes and our varied yet interrelated heritage. Parks can provide outdoor opportunities, recreational experiences, and places of quiet retreat.
  • The Kemper-Noxubee County Republican Parties are co-hosting a forum to showcase the six Republican candidates vying for Mississippi’s Third Congressional District seat for the United States House of Representatives on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 7 P. M., at Tanner Farm 743 Field Road in Shuqualak.
  • Jerusalem Baptist Church will be hosting its annual all night long services beginning this Friday night  starting at 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. Come everyone and help us lift him up in songs, praises, testimonies and proclaiming Gods holy word. Breakfast served. Henry L. Rush: Pastor and India Ingram: Secretary.
  • Willie Bennett, 40, 1178 Neely Town Rd De Kalb, MS,  Charges: Disturbance of Family ; Disorderly Conduct
  • Twenty three elected or appointed Kemper County officials participated in a planning retreat at the Lion Hills Campus of EMCC in Columbus last Tuesday and Wednesday. Kemper County, DeKalb, Scooba, Kemper County School District, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Authority and EMCC were all represented.
  • During their regular monthly meeting this past Thursday, the Kemper County School District Board of Directors heard from Terrell Temple concerning a proposed land swap with Kemper County. The County proposed the land swap as they are in need of additional acreage on the northwest corner of the existing landfill
  • The Kemper County Board of Supervisor agreed further meetings were meeting regarding a potential ordinance targeting heavy haulers in the county.
  • Mt. Zion Moscow Baptist Church. April 16-18 there will be 3 different speakers each night. Services start at 7:30 nightly. All are welcome. Billy R. Lyles, Pastor.
  • Jamelle Michael Poole, 28, 4048 Kellis Store Rd Preston, MS, Charges: Possession of Controlled Substance
  • For the first time, students will be able to take classes at East Mississippi Community College during the month of May.
  • The public is invited to attend the East Mississippi Community College Choral and Solo Festival Friday, April 6, in the Stennis Auditorium on the Scooba campus.
  • JACKSON – Sen. Gray Tollison of Oxford defended a proposal to change the way state funds are appropriated for K-12 education during a meeting hosted by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) earlier this month.
  • It took approximately 20 minutes for a jury to decide that Clark Adams legally and fairly won the most votes in the DeKalb mayoral election this past June. Former Mayor Homer Hall, Jr. contested the election after losing by only 13 votes and citing irregularities in the process. Trial proceedings began Monday at the Kemper County Courthouse and concluded early Tuesday afternoon.
  • Over the last several years, there has been significant discussion about the need to upgrade state and local roads and bridges. Multiple studies have been conducted. All agree that there is significant work that needs to be done and that existing funding is not adequate to correct the problem. Historically, county funds were supplemented by money from the state and federal government to fund major projects. However, as noted in the various reports, funding provided by the state and federal government has not kept up with inflation.
  • Media reports tend to focus on the lack of science, tech, and math skills. But more than four in 10 business executives complain that too many job applicants lack "soft skills" like creativity, teamwork, and communication. Indeed, a full half of the nation's hiring managers say the college graduates they meet are short on "critical thinking and problem solving" skills and the ability to pay adequate "attention to detail."
  • Spring revival is set for March 28-30,  at 7 p.m.  at Sunflower M. B. Church located at 366 Sunflower Road In Scooba, For more information call 662-476-5500 Rev. John E. Ball, Pastor, will deliver the sermon Wednesday night – Friday night. Everyone is invited to come and worship with us.
  • Dustin Clark, 25, 115 Artenzie Clark Rd Daleville, MS,  Charges: Possession of Marijuana
  • Earlier this month we amended and passed House Bill 387, that would mandate court officials to not automatically arrest persons who are legitimately unable to pay fines, restitution and court costs and would make parole eligible inmates who have served 25-percent of their sentence if they were not convicted of a violent crime, drug trafficking, sex crime or other crime that prohibits early release. It also would direct the Legislative PEER Committee to conduct a one-time jail population census throughout the state and to create the Mississippi Sentencing Disparity Task Force as recommended by the Re-Entry council.

    As Chairman of the Senate Corrections Committee, I have long pushed for us to rethink and reform many procedures within the Department of Corrections.

    We passed House Bill 766 that would enable the state Fair Commission to purchase property to its east when money becomes available. The vacant buildings could provide expansion space for the fairgrounds.

    We also passed House Bill 1390 that would create a voluntary whitetail deer and turkey harvest reporting system to allow hunters to inform officials with the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks of their harvest so state officials have a better idea on the populations of those game animals. It carries no penalty for not reporting.

    Our passage of House Bill 1264 would create the Mississippi Terroristic Threats Law that allows a felony charge for those who call in threats to schools or officials. It would carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. If the offender is a youth, the case would be handled in Youth Court as is typical unless a judge decided otherwise.

    The passage of House Bill 1083 would allow school leaders the option to arm certain staff members and seek proper emergency response training through an approved course by the Department of Public Safety as a means of protecting life in an emergency until law enforcement arrives on campus.

    We agreed to House changes to certain Senate bills and we approved some House bills that bore identical language to Senate bills we already approved.

    We passed a Rules calendar that saluted some of our finest citizens and their contributions to the state.

    Other bills passed included:

    — House Bill 1510 that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.

    — House Bill 1288 would authorize the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory to charge a $300 fee for certain analysis.

    — House Bill 827 would give owners of mobile homes an avenue by which they could more easily seek mortgage loans on the structures and land like owners of conventional homes do.

    — House Bill 354 creates an avenue for funding the Local Bridge Replacement Program.

    — House Bill 1199 would authorize the Department of Finance and Administration to sell or lease 40 acres of land in Lamar County that belongs to the University of Southern Mississippi, but is not critical — House Bill 1041 would allow the Department of Marine Resources to extend from five years to 10 years, the valid time for governmental entity permits.

    — House Bill 1096 would abolish inactive boards, commissions, councils and committees.

     If I can help you, please call me at 601-359-2886.
  • A 3-year-old child waskilled in Kemper County Tuesday night after being hit by a car.
  • The Kemper County Sheriff's Department made five arrests Sunday on charges resulting from the possession of drugs at the Kemper Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility. They were identified by Sheriff James Moore as Darron Thomas of Meridian, Valerie Terrell of Brookhaven, Nathan Nelson of Starkville, Kaleeta Ward of Starkville and Dikirra Stewart of Meridian.
  • On Monday the Kemper County Board of Supervisors heard from Kemper County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Craig Hitt concerning the expansion of Emilia Resources
  • Kemper County man arrested  on charges of rape and incest
    A man from Kemper County is facing life in prison after being arrested last Thursday on allegations of raping a relative who is a vulnerable adult, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
  • Senate bill would relocate graves from UMC property
    We passed Senate Bill 2895 that allows the University Medical Center to remove from its campus and reinter in a mausoleum on the grounds of the old Farmers Market, the graves of up to 7,000 persons who once lived in the former state asylum. It would free land for future development at UMC and would cost $2 million to $3 million
  • Longtime Kemper County Fire Coordinator Ray Luke saw VFDs grow during his tenure
    Life-long Kemper County resident, Ray Luke retired from his position as County Fire Coordinator Dec. 31 after many years of selfless, dedicated service. Luke was Fire Coordinator for 27 years; his retirement was due to health reasons.
  • JACKSON – Legislation to increase the state gasoline tax by 3 cents a gallon to fund infrastructure needs – highways and bridges – will be introduced in the Mississippi House of Representatives. The proposal would also reduce income taxes.
  • Years of contention and threatened additional electric rate increases have ended as utility regulators approved a settlement declaring how much Mississippi Power Co. customers should pay for their share of a troubled $7.5 billion power plant.
  • The Kemper Historical Association will meet at the Museum on Monday at 3 pm. Bonnie Thomas will lead the program with memories of growing up in Kemper County. Come and visit, or better still, become a member this year. We meet quarterly to learn about, honor and preserve Kemper County’s heritage. Annual dues are $10 per individual, $15 per couple. Life memberships are available for $200.
  • Kemper County officials are adding another “shovel ready” site to support any new economic development prospects that may come calling
  • This week Kemper County supervisors approved the list of roads to be paved and improved this year, the third year of the county’s four-year road plan.
  • A bill moving in the Mississippi Senate would require all Mississippi school board elections be held concurrently with the state general election, and reduce members’ terms by two years.
  • Sorrels Honored
    The 73rd Annual Meeting of the Mississippi Association of Conversation Districts (MACD) was held January 17-18 at the Hilton Conference Center in Jackson. David Sorrels, chairman of the Kemper County Soil and Water Conversation District commissioners, was recognized during the Awards Banquet for 50 years of distinguished service. The Kemper County Soil and Water Conversation District Assists the local Natural Resources Conversation Service in promoting conversation and protection of our natural resources. Special guest speaker was Robert St. John, chef, author, and restaurateur. Pictured above is Pete Hunter, MACD President, presenting Sorrels, right, with his service pins.
  • Passion to teach, love of students drives WKE award-winning teacher
    It’s her passion for teaching students as if they were family.
        That’s what admirers say sets apart West Kemper Elementary School 5th grade math teacher Leigh Pilgrim — Mississippi’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Teacher of the Yea
  • The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5042 will meet today (Thursday) at 7 p.m. at the Barney B. Brown Senior Center in DeKalb. For more information, please contact Adjutant Marie Wilson, 662-803-3266 or e-mail
  • The Kemper County Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual prayer breakfast at 7 a.m. next  Thursday (Feb. 8) at the Barney Brown Senior Center in DeKalb with Chris Gully, pastor of Lynville Methodist Church, as the speaker.
  • The "Dance for Health" will be hosted by East Mississippi Community College’s Wellness Center in the F.R. Young Student Union Board Dining Room on the Scooba campus on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Instructors from Elegance Ballroom in Meridian will teach two ballroom dances and hors d'oeuvres will be served.
  • A jury trial that could compel a new DeKalb Mayoral election is now pushed back six weeks, from February 8 until March 26.
  • The most recent figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security show that Kemper County and the State of Mississippi are continuing to reduce unemployment rates.
  • Going back to the way it was, county officials will likely enable the Kemper County Economic Development Authority (KCEDA) to again collect a $9,000 monthly rent check for a building housing Kemper County’s most noted economic success story.
  • Steven Ross Kirkland, 50, 10861 Rd 751 Philadelphia, MS,  Charges: Hold For Neshoba County
  • Chris King chosen to lead Mighty Lion Band
    Chris King has been tapped to fill the position of director of East Mississippi Community College’s Mighty Lion Band and its various subsets, which includes the marching band, the EMCC Symphonic Winds, a jazz band, a rock band, a percussion ensemble, a dance team and the color guard.
  • Michael Pruitt, 35, 2348 Sinai Rd Preston, MS,  Charges: Sentenced
  • The Porterville Consolidated School Reunion Committee will have its meeting Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. at the Porterville Community Center.. Anyone whoever attended the old school for even a short time is welcome to attend as we prepare for our up-coming picnic and banquet. Call 622-476-5768 for more information
  • During the monthly meeting of the P16 Council on Jan. 9 members looked at a sample letter of request as prepared by Learnard Dickerson of DACO, LLC. The letters are based on research done by different committees within the Council, each committee focusing on different concerns.
  • The Kemper County School Board discussed the need for additional security cameras at West Kemper Elementary and Kemper County High Schools during its January meeting.
  • Officials at Dollar General’s headquarters won’t confirm it’s a done deal, but a site adjacent to the Preston Post Office is anticipated to be Kemper County’s third Dollar General location.
  • A bill to change state funding for public schools that was passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives would cut Kemper County funding by $89,000 a year, according to Rep. Michael T. Evans.
  • The Kemper County Board of Supervisors discussed heavy-haulers during their most recent two board meetings, considering the possibility of an ordinance and the means to enforce it.
  • Local residents honor Dr. King
    This past Saturday afternoon, a determined group of Kemper County residents braved extreme cold as they gathered at the Courthouse to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • PHILADELPHIA — Neshoba County General Hospital and Nursing Home (NCGH) has selected Cerner, a global leader in health care technology, to implement an integrated electronic health record (EHR)
  • The Porterville Consolidated School Reunion Committee will have its meeting Saturday, Jan. 27 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Porterville Community Center.. Anyone whoeve
  • For only the fourth time in a half-century, East Mississippians will have a new Congressman following Rep. Gregg Harper’s pending retirement from Congress. Kemper County officials say they’ll be asking the new Third District representative — whoever he or she may ultimately be — to support several specific projects, all geared toward promoting local job growth
  • In retrospect, 2017 was a busy year for the Kemper County Sheriff’s Department as the officers went about their duties of serving and protecting the citizens of Kemper County. Sheriff James Moore, now in his third term, and his staff of 16 deputies answered hundreds of calls including assaults, disturbances, burglaries, traffic accidents and drug related incidents. In all, there were just over 4,000 incidents.
  • If all goes well, a facility at the John C. Stennis Industrial Park supporting the three group homes in the county will be completed by the end of the year.
  • Emilia's expansion plans discussed with Gov. Phil Bryant
    A delegation from Kemper County and Emilia Resources met with Governor Phil Bryant and Mississippi Development Authority executive director Glenn McCullough Jr. last week to discus plans for expansion of the county-owned building occupied by Emilia.
  • Jamario Elmore, 21, 92 Lancaster Rd De Kalb, MS,      Charges: Probation Violation
  • The Mississippi National Guard has returned the DeKalb Army National Guard Readiness Center to the city and Kemper County as part of a force structure reduction, cost-savings, and facility consolidation plan.
  • There is good news and bad news for Kemper County in the latest unemployment figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
  • In an action that required Mayor Clark Adams to cast the deciding vote, the Board of Aldermen for the Town of DeKalb voted to change the name of Philadelphia Road to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  •  2017 Successful Year for Board of Supervisors
    According to Kemper County Board of Supervisors President,Johnny Whitsett 2017 was the best year during his tenure as a supervisor, and he and the rest of the Board look forward to 2018 and continuing to move Kemper County forward.
  • James Desmond Grace, 26,11241 Old Jackson Rd De Kalb, MS,  Charges: Domestic Violence; Simple Assault
  • A Private Applicator Certification class will be taught on Thursday, Jan. 11, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Neshoba County Coliseum multi-purpose room. The class is for individuals wishing to obtain private applicator certification for the first time and those who need to renew or reinstate their certification. The cost for the class is $20 and it is payable the day of the class. Contact the Kemper County Extension Service office at 601-743-2837 or Neshoba County Extension Service office at 656-4602 for more information.
  • In the first board meeting of 2018, the Kemper County Board of Supervisors voted to rehire county employees.
  • As 2017 faded away and 2018 came into existence, Kemper County, like most of the country, was caught in the icy grip of extreme and unusual cold with lows falling to the low to mid-teens. These extreme temperatures present special problems for those living in the South and unaccustomed to dealing with the cold.
  • Funding for the expansion of Highway 16 through DeKalb to three lanes will be a goal for State Sen. Sampson Jackson II during the current session of the Mississippi Legislature.
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5042 will make plans for 2018 during its first meeting of year at 7 tonight (Thursday) at the Barney B. Brown Senior Center in DeKalb. The post meets the first Thursday of each month.
  • Try black-eyed Susan vine for a resilient ground cover
    Most folks have poinsettias and entertaining on the agenda during the holidays, but for this week’s column, I want to highlight a plant that has been an outstanding performer for me all year.
  • Winston Plywood and Veneer donates gifts to kids
    Christmas 2017 was made much brighter for many Winston County children due to the efforts of the Winston Plywood and Veneer team members through their “Christmas From the Heart” program.
  • Youth ages 8-18 can sign up for 4-H Shooting Sports now through Jan. 11. There will also be a 4-H Shooting Sports registration and safety meeting on Jan. 11, at 5 p.m. at the Ruby Ranking Farmer's Market Building. For more information please call 601-743-2837 or come by the Extension  located at 587 Old Scooba Road in DeKalb.
  • With colder temperatures in the forecast, Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney urges all Mississippians to make heating safety a high priority.
  • The Kemper County Chamber of Commerce has been active in 2017 according to Chamber Executive Director Faye Wilson. The Chamber of Commerce serves all of Kemper County including DeKalb and Scooba, and works with the Economic Development Authority to promote business in the county and benefit the residents. The Chamber is funded through membership dues and is open to corporations, businesses, families and individuals. Anyone can join.
  • Medicaid, school funding, and infrastructure are areas of concern for State Rep. Michael Ted Evans for the upcoming 2018 session of the Mississippi Legislature. Evans, from Preston, will be representing Kemper County for a seventh session as a member of the House of Representatives.
  • According to Kemper County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Craig Hitt, 2017 has been a successful year with job expansion at Emilia and Nokomus and the addition of new manufacturer Landscapers Pride. Emilia is also looking at the possibility of a building expansion due to brining in new product lines
  • Winter: Museum opening 'Momentous occasion'
    A glorious and momentous occasion,” is how former Gov. William F. Winter described the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the adjacent Museum of Mississippi History in downtown Jackson on Saturday, Dec. 9.
  • Fredrick Houston, 46, 328 Albert Blank Rd De Kalb, MS,  Charges: DUI 1st; Reckless Driving; running stop sign
  • New Beginning UMC, 1013 Hwy 45, Porterville, will have its 4th Sunday service, this Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m. instead of the regular service time at 11a.m. due Christmas Eve. A light breakfast will be served after the service and everyone is invited to attend. Rev. Charlotte Malone is pastor. Call 601-483-6475 for more information
  • A natural gas leak closed traffic on a section of Hwy. 16 from Old Scooba Road. to John C. Stennis Drive earlier this mont
  • The P16 Council meeting of Tuesday, Dec. 12 featured presentations from several of the different categories represented within the council. P16 is a community engagement council that is formed by different sectors of the community. The Mississippi Department of Education provides guidelines concerning how to form a council and which cross sections of the community will be represented. Implementation of any plans and strategies is left to the council itself.
  • A statewide initiative launched earlier this year to help former higher education students who did not complete courses needed to earn their degrees is off to a good start at East Mississippi Community College.   
  • Boys and girls ages 8 to 18 enrolled in Kemper County 4-H may sign up for the organization's shooting sports program.
  • The Kemper County School Board voted unanimously to approve reorganization of Kemper County High School during its monthly meeting last Thursday.
  • Earlier this month at its regular meeting the DeKalb Board of Aldermen heard from Jay Lloyd concerning changing the name of Philadelphia Road to Martin Luther King, Jr. Dive.
  • During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, December 18 the Kemper County Board of Supervisors heard from Kemper County Economic Development Director Craig Hitt told the Kemper County Board of Supervisors during its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday that he had received a release agreement from the Mississippi National Guard concerning the armory.
  • Former students plant tree for class sponsor
    Early last week several members of the DeKalb High School Class of 1956 gathered at the home of their former sponsor, Mrs. Cora Mitchell, to plant a tree in honor and memory of Mitchell’s son, Lance, who passed away earlier this year.
  • Lions, Stephens, look to keep amazing bowl record unblemished
    Buddy Stephens has an outstanding record in his 10 years as head football coach at East Mississippi Community College, going 97-13 for an .882 winning percentage, best ever in the junior college ranks among coaches with at least 100 games.
  • MDOC discovers 24 cellphones in KNRCF search
    A surprise shakedown by the Mississippi Department of Corrections resulted in the confiscation of 24 unauthorized cellphones at the Kemper-Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility in DeKalb along with chargers and small quantities of spice and tobacco.
  • DeKalb, county to take control of armory building
    The Mississippi Army National Guard no longer has a presence in Kemper County and ownership of the armory on Highway 16 West will be transferred to the county and the city of DeKalb.
  • Cross Mountain will host its annual Candlelight Service on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. There ail be a special night of celebrating Jesus' birthday with singing, food and fellowship.  For more information contact 601-513-3348
  • Deer management is becoming more important to hunters with each passing hunting season. Some clubs have selective harvest strategies that are used to meet certain goals. The criteria can include gender, minimum antler measurements and minimum age. In order for these strategies to work, hunters must be able to accurately judge the deer in the field.
  • Chancellor Joseph Kilgore of Philadelphia recently completed a term as chairman of the  Conference of Chancery Judges.
  • Kemper Counties two official Christmas Parades will be Tuesday, Dec. 5 in Scooba and Thursday, Dec. 7 in DeKalb. The theme for both parades is “Peace and hope for the Holidays.”