Kemper County Messenger
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  • Rams roll past visiting Clarkdale for first win of season
    The Kemper Academy boys claimed their first victory of the season Friday night as they defeated Clarkdale 60-42 in prep basketball action.
  • 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.
  • Open House gives public glimpse into future of DeKalb Library
    Over the past several months, the DeKalb Library has undergone an extensive renovation, including new technology, new furniture, new resources including many children’s books, and some painting.
  • Kemper County Wildcats advance in MHSAA Class 3A State Football Playoffs
    The Kemper County Wildcats advanced to the second round of the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A football playoffs as they blew past Franklin County 36-9 Friday night.
  • DeKalb Library to host open house Tuesday afternoon
    The DeKalb Library will host an open house on Tuesday, from 2-4 p.m. Library leaders are inviting the community to come and see the newly renovated facility.
  • EMCC jumps to top spot in NJCAA rankings with road win over Jones
    The new No. 1 football team in the NJCAA is East Mississippi Community College.
  • Kemper Academy Rams close out 2017 football season
    Kemper Academy dropped its final contest of the 2017 football season last Friday night, falling to visiting Marvell (Ark.) Academy 48-0 on “The Hill” in DeKalb.
  • Kemper Crossing work moving forward
    According to Kemper County Economic Development Director, Craig Hitt, work at the Kemper Crossing site is well underway, with clearing and debris removal moving along at a good pace.
  • Heritage Day deemed big success
    In spite of unusually cold weather and overcast skies on Saturday, Kemper County Heritage Day was deemed a big success. Many people braved the elements to enjoy the food, fun and fellowship.
  • Region title on the line when Kemper County hosts Forest
    Despite losing their first seven games, the Kemper County Wildcats are one win away from winning the Region 5-3A football championship.
        The Wildcats will host Forest Friday night in the game that will decide the issue. Forest comes in at 7-3 overall and 3-0 in the region. The Bearcats picked up a 35-11 win over Morton last week.
  • Webb, Clark honored by EMCC
    Two East Mississippi Community College alumni were honored Saturday during the college’s 2017 Homecoming.
  • DeKalb Regional Model Railroad Museum to open doors Saturday
    The DeKalb Regional Model Railroad Museum is set to open its doors to the public on Saturday at 9 a.m. It is probably safe to say that most Kemper County residents are not aware of the existence of the museum which is located in the old Sciples’ Grocery Store building on Main Ave. in DeKalb.
  • Bohannon leads Wildcats to first win of season
    Senior quarterback Quanderius Bohannon had a night to remember as he led the Kemper County Wildcats past Choctaw Central 35-7 Friday night in prep football action.
  • Supervisors hear concerns about 2020 census
    The Kemper County Board of Supervisors were updated on the upcoming 2020 census during its regular meeting on Monday, and it was noted that a poor count could cost the county federal funds.
  • Wings over Winston set for Oct. 7 in Louisvile
    The Louisville-Winston Airport will host the 4th Annual “Wings over Winston” aerobatic air show on Saturday, Oct. 7.
  •  Kemper Academy falls to Delta, 37-6
    Both visiting Delta Academy and homesteading Kemper Academy let opportunities slip away in the first half of their matchup on "The Hill" last Friday night in DeKalb.
  •  Local emergency responders TAKE PART in disaster preparedness exercise
    On Tuesday the Local Emergency Planning Committee conducted a disaster preparedness exercise in the general vicinity of the John C. Stennis Memorial Hospital, the Health Department and the Mississippi Care Center of DeKalb.
  • Kemper plays host to Wilkinson in battle of Wildcats
    The Kemper County Wildcats will be looking for their first victory of 2017 when they play host to Wilkinson County in a battle of Wildcats this Friday at 7 p.m.
        The Kemper Wildcats dropped to 0-5 after their 30-6 loss to West Lauderdale last Friday night. The Wilkinson County Wildcats, meanwhile, lost to St. Charles (La.) last week. They come in at 1-3. Wilkinson County’s only win came against Amite County, 38-12.
  • Job seekers find opportunities at first regional event
    Representatives from at least 35 businesses and industries gathered at the Neshoba County Coliseum this past Monday in an effort to network with potential job-seekers from around the region. The coalition sponsoring the event consisted of the East Mississippi Business Development Corp., Neshoba County Community Partnership District, Mid-Mississippi Development District, and the Kemper County Economic Development Authority.
  • EMCC's Shaunak lands excellence in government award
    Dr. Raj Shaunak wasn’t looking for a career when he volunteered in 1991 to teach math to adult basic education students at East Mississippi Community College. He had already achieved the American dream.

    He stayed through the exodus of the area’s major manufacturers, rose to the top of the college’s Workforce Services division and helped spawn a manufacturing renaissance that has retooled the Golden Triangle.
  • Big first half helps Lions roar past Gulf Coast, 49-10
    Compiling nearly 400 first-half yards of total offense while mounting a 35-3 halftime advantage, the second-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College cruised to a 49-10 home victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Thursday evening during MACJC inter-divisional football action at EMCC’s Sullivan-Windham Field.    
  • PACES kicking things off at Kemper County High School for ninth year
    Last Thursday, the 2017-18 PACES Kick-off Rally was held in the Kemper County High School cafeteria, attended by approximately 80 members of the senior class. According to Bernard Hulin, PACES Project Manager, this was essentially the entire senior class. Hulin also stated that this was the ninth Kick-off Rally at KCHS.

    The students were given an overview of the requirements for participation in PACES, including, standard attendance, satisfactorily completing 3 of 4 subject area tests, being on schedule to graduate, and a good, overall disciplinary conduct record.
  • Wildcats still looking for first win Friday at Quitman
    Win or lose, one game does not make a season.
        The Kemper County Wildcats were disappointed Friday as they saw their halftime lead evaporate into a 35-34 season opening loss to the Northeast Lauderdale Trojans.
  • Settlement between MPC, PSC not finalized
    According to a staffer at the Mississippi Public Service Commission, the governing body for utilities in the state is expected to order a status conference by the end of the week to check on the status of negotiations between Mississippi Power Company and the Pubic Utilities Staff in regards to the Kemper County Energy Facility owned and operated by MPC on Hwy 493 near the Liberty community in the southwestern portion of Kemper County.
  • FOOTBALL ARRIVES! Local high school teams kick off 2017 season
    All three local high school football teams began their 2017 football season last week. Inside today's edition of the Kemper County Messenger you will find the 2017 Football Preview, featuring Kemper County High School, Kemper Academy, Nanih Waiya, and East Mississippi Community College.

    Defending MHSAA Class 3A State Champion Kemper County High School suffered a disappointing 35-34 loss, surrendering a 28-point halftime lead against homesteading Northeast Lauderdale,
  •  KA Lady Rams impress in split
    The end result for Kemper Academy’s softball team in a pair of rematches last week was the same as in a season-opening tournament.

    But there was no doubt the Lady Rams had a different look to them.

    Kemper had its highest hit total of the season in a 9-5 loss to Newton County Academy last Tuesday, then the Lady Rams blew that out of the water in a 24-9 romp over Starkville Academy last Wednesday.
  • Dollar General enjoys new DeKalb location
    A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the new Dollar General location in DeKalb this past Saturday morning, even though the store has been open for business for about two weeks.

    “There is no comparison," manager LaDonna Henry said of the new store. "It’s bigger, it’s better. It’s a lot better space-wise.” One of the advantages of the new location is a wider range of merchandise, and customers will be able to find what they need, ranging from frozen foods to grocery items, toiletries, cleaning products and even apparel.
  • Clayton transfers from JSU to familiar turf at EMCC
    The nation's most successful junior college football program has added another weapon. After leading Kemper County to the MHSAA Class 3A State Championship with a sensational senior season, D.J. Clayton will be suiting up for the Lions of East Mississippi Community College this year.

    Clayton enrolled at Jackson State in May, but after one month decided that his immediate future lay in Scooba, giving him a chance to play for a team synonymous with winning nearer his home.
  • Kemper County stuffs the bus to aid school children

    Residents of Kemper County had the opportunity to Stuff the Bus with all types of school supplies to aid elementary school children last week.


    All of the collected goods will be distributed between East Kemper and West Kemper Elementary schools. From there, school personnel will determine how to distribute the merchandise.
  • EMCC announces cheer team for 2017-18
    In advance of the upcoming academic year, East Mississippi Community College has announced the school’s 2017-18 cheerleading team. The selections were made by first-year EMCC cheerleading coach Hanna Burnette.

    EMCC’s 2017-18 cheer squad will consist of three returning student-athletes and 15 new members.  Along with sophomore captain Kayla Pinter (Sebastopol HS), the team also returns Ashlyn Armstrong (Caledonia) and Leighton Moffett
  • Farmer's Market renamed in honor of longtime public servant Ruby Rankin
    An overflow crowd gathered at the Kemper County Farmers Market Building on Monday, July 17 as it was officially renamed the Ruby D. Rankin Farmers Market Building, in honor of Rankin and her many years of hard work and dedicated service to the people of Kemper County. Included in the gathering were family, friends, co-workers and elected officials.

    Rankin was the face of the Mississippi State University Extension Service in Kemper County for 33 years until her sudden death in early May.
  • Collins, Stills to take Riley Center stage Aug 7 in Meridian
    MERIDIAN — The MSU Riley Center presents two musical legends: Judy Collins and Stephen Stills, performing live on Monday, August 7, at 7:30 p.m.

    Making an exceptional event even more special, the Riley Center will offer a pre-show party featuring free refreshments in the Grand Lobby starting at 6:30 p.m.
  • 9 local 4-H'ers compete in recent district contest
    Nine area youth recently participated in 4-H Contest during the Southeast District 4-H Project Achievement Day held in Laurel.

    Participants presented visual presentations and exhibits on what they have learned. This event is for Junior 4-H members, ages 8 to 13.
  • Zoo animals delight children, adults at local library events
    The zoo came to Kemper County on Friday, as the public libraries in DeKalb and Scooba played host to animals from the Hattiesburg Zoo Outreach program, accompanied by Outreach Coordinator, Aimee Foster.

    The program began with Foster explaining that animals,
  • Lions tabbed preseason No. 2 in JCGridiron.com Dirty 30 football rankings
    Looking to make another bid for national championship consideration, East Mississippi Community College has received a No. 2 ranking in the JCGridiron.com Dirty 30 Preseason Rankings for the upcoming campaign.

    Published for the past 13 years by nationally renowned junior college football authority Brad Hoiseth, the JCGridiron.com Dirty 30 Preseason Rankings considered all 134 of the nation’s two-year schools that feature football programs. Along with the 65
  • Landscapers Pride expected to bring jobs to Kemper County
    A manufacturer of various types of mulch, potting soil and soil amendments, will be opening its only satellite facility in Kemper County, which will employ approximately 20 people when running at full capacity.

    Landscapers Pride of New Waverly, Texas will be located in the old Furniture Direct facility located on U.S. Hwy. 45 several miles south of the Hwy. 16 intersection. They hope to be up and running by Sept. 15.
  • State championship bling handed out to KCHS football team
    When you think of football championship rings, you think of images of the New England Patriots, Alabama Crimson Tide, or East Mississippi Community College. Now, residents of Kemper County can also include the Kemper County Wildcats in that picture

    The Wildcats capped off the celebration of their memorable 2016 season by receiving their MHSAA Class 3A State Championship rings Friday night. The night consisted of a meal, special speaker and the receiving of the rings.
  • World Series of Stickball began this week
    The 68th annual World Series of Stickball got under way Monday night with all games being played at Choctaw Central High School.

    There will be a full schedule of games each night during the first week with first-round games being played in the Men’s, Women’s and Men’s Over 35 divisions. The youth 14-17 division starts play Monday, July 10, with its finals set for Friday at 6 p.m.
  • DeKalb, Scooba mayors take oaths of office
    This past Friday afternoon, as raindrops began to fall, Clark Adams stood on the front steps of the Kemper County Courthouse to take the oath of office as administered by Kemper County Chancery Clerk Sherline Watkins. A sizable crowd gathered to be a part of the event.

    Earlier in the day a small group of family members gathered at the Scooba Town Hall to witness newly-elected Mayor Marion Smoot take the oath from City Clerk Patricia Clay. Adams, the father of five, was born in the New Hope Community and moved to Dekalb at age six. He said he has been a resident of the town ever since.
  • Locals brave heat to celebrate the 4th of July
    Residents of Kemper County came together on the Courthouse lawn on Tuesday to celebrate Independence Day. Those gathered braved the heat and humidity to hear from several speakers concerning our history and the importance of our liberties.

    The event began with the raising of the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance by the Kemper County High School JROTC, which was followed by the National Anthem, performed by Jennifer Hull.
  •  Ron Polk to receive 'Rube Award'
    STARKVILLE – The Board of Directors of the Mississippi Sports Foundation have announced that former Mississippi State University baseball coach, Ron Polk will be awarded with the "Rube Award" given each year at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Induction banquet presented by Sanderson Farms and the Sanderson Farms Championship.  The award is named after Michael Rubenstein, who served as the Hall of Fame's first Executive Director and is to honor lifetime achievement dedicated to improving Mississippi sport
  • Program aimed at filling need for skilled machinists
    MAYHEW — Retiring baby boomers are fueling a nationwide shortage of skilled precision machinists that has been exacerbated by technological advances requiring a more skilled workforce.

    Beginning this fall, East Mississippi Community College will offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in Precision Manufacturing and Machining Technology to help meet a local demand for skilled workers in the field.
  • Drive Sober campaign kicks off for July 4th holiday
    Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over!
         That was the theme of the Troop H (District 6) Law Enforcement Liaison meeting held on the EMCC campus on Monday. The meeting drew law enforcement officials from several counties within the Highway Patrol, Troop H district including Kemper County, Lauderdale County, Clarke County, Meridian Police Department, Scooba Police Department, Marion Police Department and EMCC Campus Police.
  • Supes set to approve Kemper Crossing plans
    The official plans for the first stage of the Kemper Crossing development at the intersection of Hwy 16 and Hwy 397 will likely take a huge step forward during the June 5 meeting of the Kemper County Board of Supervisors.

    During a recessed meeting on Friday morning, the board went through options for the initial development of the property by Waggoner Engineering. The focus of the initial stages of the development of the 215 acre site is the approximate 49-acre portion of land to the North of Hwy 16 and West of
  • Kemper unemployment rate seventh highest in state
    Mississippi’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.9% in May, the lowest level since the U.S. Department of Labor began publishing state unemployment rates in January 1976.

    Kemper County is nearly double the state's at 8.3 percent, the seventh highest rate among Mississippi counties.
  • Cliff Collins named EMCC defensive coordinator
    A mainstay on Buddy Stephens’ football coaching staff at East Mississippi Community College, Cliff Collins has returned to the Scooba campus as the Lions’ defensive coordinator.  After spending eight seasons as EMCC’s defensive backs coach, Collins served in the same capacity this past year at Jackson State University.
  •  EMCC posts Top 10 finish at College National Finals Rodeo
    The East Mississippi Community College men’s rodeo team earned a second straight Top 10 national finish by placing seventh this past week at the season-ending College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming.  .

    With five competitors making up EMCC’s first-ever CNFR appearance as a team, Coach Morgan Goodrich’s Lions recorded 425 points to finish seventh overall nationally and first among the 11 teams affiliated with the Ozark Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA).  
  • Grant funds women's support program at EMCC campuses
    A program in which female sophomore students serve as mentors to their at-risk freshmen counterparts will continue for another two years at East Mississippi Community College’s Golden Triangle campus and will be introduced for the first time at the college’s Scooba campus.

    Jackson-based Women’s Foundation of Mississippi has announced the award of a $50,000 grant to fund the Empowering Mentors to Promote Women’s Retention (EMPOWR) program at EMCC through the 2018-19 school year.
  • Rankin's memory honored during Kemper Relay For Life
    Cancer is a word that means fear, despair and pain for many people, and it has brought grief and mourning into innumerable lives. It is a disease that does not play favorites, cutting across all racial and socio-economic strata.

    However, there are many who conquer this dread disease, and the numbers are increasing, as was evidenced by the many purple “Survivor Shirts” that dotted the large crowd gathered on the Kemper County Courthouse square, for the Annual Relay for Life on Friday, which is held each year on the first Friday in June.
  • Adams edges Hall in DeKalb mayor's race
    Solid victories in Ward 4, his home ward, and Ward 1 propelled Democratic Challenger Clark Adams to an apparent 13-vote win over four-term incumbent DeKalb Mayor Homer Hall on Tuesday night.

    With more than a third of the 465 votes cast being by absentee ballot, Adams garnered 239 votes to 226 for Hall. Mary Grady totaled 12 votes. There were 27 affidavit ballots set to be counted at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
  • Reigning state champion Lions announce 2017 schedule
    Featuring five home contests and back-to-back Saturday games to conclude the regular season, the reigning MACJC state champion Lions of East Mississippi Community College have announced their 2017 football schedule.

    With their season opener slated for Thursday, Aug. 31 at home against Jones County, the Lions will be looking to avenge their lone loss from a year ago when a short-handed EMCC squad dropped a hard-fought 27-25 road decision to the Bobcats in Ellisville, despite fielding a limited roster consisting of only freshmen and incoming four-year transfers due to an MACJC-mandated suspension from the previous year. This year’s EMCC-JCJC rematch takes on increased significance because it will mark Buddy Stephens’ 100th career game as the Lions’ head football coach
  • Sam Dale remembered for historic contribution
    As you drive south on Hwy. 39, approximately 15 miles north of Meridian on the left- hand side of the road, you will see a towering monument to frontiersman, army scout and soldier, Sam Dale.

    Dale is an important figure in the history of Mississippi and Alabama, but sadly, most Mississippians know very little about this man. This past Saturday a small group of people — including historical re-enactors, representatives of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association, members of the Choctaw Indian Tribe and spectators — gathered at the Sam Dale Monument, in the small community of Daleville to honor this historic figure.
  • Year-end banquet honors KCHS student/athletes
    The Kemper County High School handed out awards to many of its athletes in its official year-ending banquet held last Tuesday. The awards ceremony was preceded by guest speaker Mike Montgomery, a former college and professional athlete.

    Montgomery spoke to the group about the importance of balance and hard work in life, pointing out that one only gets out of something what he puts into it. He pointed out that the venues would change from high school sports to dealing with employers, and the importance of developing the proper attributes to succeed in those circumstances
  • Warriors squeeze out MHSAA Class 1A State Championship title
    PEARL — Nanih Waiya used a suicide squeeze for the first time this year Saturday and it resulted in the MHSAA Class 1A State Championship for the Warriors.

    For 6 1/2 innings, Brady Jones of Nanih Waiya and Heath Noe of Smithville were locked in a scoreless pitching duel. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Bryce Stanton lined a single to left for the Warriors' second hit.
  • Faith and support help Hopewell's Linda White survive cancer
    It was on Christmas Eve 2013 that Linda White of the Hopewell Community received the type of news that no one wants to hear. On that day White received a call from her doctor informing her that she had Stage 3 breast cancer.

    “You hear about it, but you don’t really expect to hear those three words, ‘You have cancer,’” White said. “When I heard it, I really went numb. You don’t expect it, so for that moment I went numb.” She went through several months of chemotherapy, before having mastectomy surgery.
  • Orientation looks to answer questions for incoming EMCC Freshmen
    East Mississippi Community College’s once-voluntary JourneyEAST orientation sessions will now be required for many incoming students.

    “Our hope is that a lot of the questions students would have the first two or three weeks of classes will already be answered before they even get here,” EMCC Associate Dean of Instruction William Sansing said.
  • Nanih Waiya wins MHSAA 1A Golf Championship
    Last week might have been Nanih Waiya’s best chance to win a Class 1A golf state championship in several years, both literally and figuratively.

    One year after finishing a distant second to Tupelo Christian Prep School – and one year before the Mississippi High School Activities Association plans to combine Class 1A with Class 2A for a larger field – the Warriors took full advantage of the opportunity.
  • EMCC graduates nearly 600 students over the weekend

    East Mississippi Community College held spring 2017 graduation ceremonies May 5-6 at its Golden Triangle and Scooba campuses. The ceremonies included about 600 academic and career-technical students who graduated from the Scooba, Golden Triangle, Columbus Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Meridian, Lion Hills, West Point Center and online/eLearning campuses.
  • Faith-based dental practice changes helping hands in DeKalb

    For Kemper County residents, Tuesday, May 9  marked the end of one era and the beginning of another as Dr. Brandon Goza cut the ribbon on the dental practice that had belonged to Dr. Dan Fulton for 43 years.

    Dr. Fulton began his practice in Dekalb in December 1974 and officially retired this past New Years Day. Goza, who was born in Pearland lived in Brandon throughout dental school, purchased the practice in January. He studied at UMC in Jackson, and then spent four years in the Army at Fort Hood, Texas, as the military had paid for dental school. He then returned to Brandon and worked for a year.
  • EMCC's Stockstill takes top MACJC pitching honor

    For his complete-game no-hitter against Pearl River 10 days ago East Mississippi Community College sophomore Bubba Stockstill has earned MACJC Pitcher of the Week honors.  

    During the Lions’ 10-0 run-rule, nightcap win over the Wildcats, Stockstill struck out 10 and walked only one while facing just one batter over the minimum during his six-inning shutout.  The 6-foot-7 left-hander threw just 74 pitches, including 49 strikes, while allowing only two base runners against PRCC.
  • KCHS freshmen experience life at PACES reality store
    What is a ‘reality store’?

    This past Friday morning Kemper County High School freshmen discovered that it is a place where they experienced real life in a way they never had. The PACES Reality Store is a concept which confronts high school students with a life exercise which will hopefully help them make better and wiser decisions about their educations and careers.
  • Local teachers honored at annual event

    A capacity crowd of current and retired teachers, teachers’ aides and administrators came together last Wednesday at the Senior Citizen's Center in Dekalb for a Teacher Appreciation Tea, which is an annual event co-sponsored by the VFW, the Civic League and the Kemper Volunteer Homemakers.

    It is an event intended to honor local educators who sometimes may not receive much-deserved recognition. A vast array of delicious treats awaited the attendees as they entered the center, as was the opportunity to share and fellowship with their fellow educators.
  • Warriors hammer Union in postseason tuneup
    Nanih Waiya’s only action on the baseball diamond came last Tuesday in its regular-season finale, when the Warriors hammered a playoff-bound Union team, 15-2.

    The Warriors, who received a bye in the first round of the MHSAA Class 1A state playoffs that started last weekend, improved to 20-2 overall with the victory over the Class 2A Yellowjackets.
  • Two-day retreat identifies top concerns
    A historic two-day retreat bringing together leaders from all of Kemper County's governmental bodies, as well as business leaders, was a successful venture said Craig Hitt, executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority.

    The gathering, which was held at East Mississippi Community College's Lions Hills Campus in Columbus last Wednesday and Thursday, was put together by the EDA in an effort to try and identify what the county as a whole needed to focus on in the future.
  • EMCC alumni Langston Rogers inducted into MACJC Sports Hall of Fame
    As this year’s East Mississippi Community College honoree, veteran sports publicist Langston Rogers was one of 15 individuals inducted into the Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame during Tuesday night’s 11th annual induction banquet held at the Clyde Muse Center on Hinds Community College’s Rankin Campus.
  • KA Rams claim district baseball championship
    It was quite a week on the baseball diamond for Kemper Academy, which captured the MAIS District 2-A championship with a pair of wins – then capped off the week with a big win over a strong Grace Christian School team.

    Kemper opened the week with a 16-1 drubbing of Central Academy in Macon last Tuesday. On Friday, the Rams topped Calhoun Academy 3-1 in a pitchers’ duel to claim the district title, then they beat Grace Christian 6-1 on Saturday.
  •  'The Big, Bad Musical' set for Friday
    Help decide the fate of the Big Bad Wolf during East Mississippi Community College’s production of “The Big, Bad Musical” by Alec Strum and Bill Francoeur, this Friday in the Dottie Smith Family Center for Instrumental Music Education on the Scooba campus.

    During the play, the notorious Big Bad Wolf is slapped with a class-action lawsuit by fairytale characters that include Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, the Fairy Godmother and more.
  • PACES celebrates another successful year with awards banquet
    Sometimes the success that PACES has enjoyed in its young life leaves project coordinator Bernard Hulin shaking his head.
       "I's amazing what a little encouragement and direction has helped this young people achieve," Hulin said. "They have work hard and have come to understand that they can be successful."
  • KA Rams improve to 4-0 in district play
    Kemper Academy picked up two more district wins on the baseball diamond last week, winning a 16-12 thriller at Calhoun Academy on Tuesday before hammering visiting Hebron Christian School 18-3 last Friday night in DeKalb.

    The two wins pushed KA’s winning streak to four, and also improved the Rams to 7-3 overall and 4-0 in MAIS District 2-A play.
  • Pender takes weekly MACJC honors
    East Mississippi Community College’s Averi Pender has been tabbed the MACJC Softball Player of the Week for her outstanding performances at the plate a week ago.

    During the Lions’ 3-1 week, Pender batted .667 by going 8-for-12 with five extra-base hits, including two home runs, two doubles and a triple, along with 14 runs batted in and eight runs scored.
  • KCHS poets have work published
    Two Kemper County High School freshmen, Kaitlin Drake and Ladacia Hopson, have received a similar honor that comes only to a small group. They each have had two poems published in different publications.

    Drake’s poem "Killer Mirror," which deals with what young women see in the mirror and the effect it has on them, was published in a book called 'Where the Mind Dwells.' Her other poem entitled "If," was published in the book 'Images.' It speaks about loving someone who does not love you, and being willing to do anything to get out of that situation.
  • EMCC’s Patterson repeats as All-Region 23 honoree
    East Mississippi Community College’s Quantesha Patterson has repeated as an All-Region 23 women’s basketball selection, as voted on by the head women’s basketball coaches of the Mississippi and Louisiana junior college ranks.

    Patterson joins Tatyana Lofton of 2017 NJCAA Tournament participant Jones County Junior College as the lone women’s recipients to earn all-region basketball honors each of the past two seasons. 
  • New football coach ready to become part of KCHS family
    The Kemper County School District Board of Directors approved Joshua Pulphus as the new Head Football Coach of the Kemper County High School Wildcats last Tuesday.

    “I am honored to have been chosen to serve as head coach of Kemper County High School,” said Pulphus.  “I am committed to building upon the success of our program as we look toward future championships, but I am equally devoted to making sure our students graduate with a quality education and become great citizens.”
  • Stennis commander shares experiences with local JROTC
    On Tuesday morning members of the Kemper County High School JROTC welcomed Capt. Gregory C. Huffman, Commander of the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier.

    Huffman was accompanied by Margaret Womble, daughter of legendary U.S. Sen.John C. Stennis of DeKalb, for whom the carrier was named.
  • East Mississippi hosts pine grove festival
    Members of East Mississippi Community College’s Student Christian Fellowship are treated to lunch during the Pine Grove Arts Festival on the Scooba campus.
  • Lady Bulldogs advance to Sweet 16 — again
    STARKVILLE – How sweet it is.
        The Mississippi State women's basketball team is headed back to the Sweet 16 after a 92-71 win over DePaul in a second-round game of the NCAA Tournament's Oklahoma City Regional played before a national television audience and a Humphrey Coliseum crowd of 6,035.

    No. 2 seed MSU (31-4) will face No. 3 seed Washington (29-5) in the regional semifinal Friday night in Oklahoma City. The game will be at either 6 p.m. CT or 8:30 p.m. CT and shown on the ESPN family of networks.
  • Scooba Dollar General officially open
    The Dollar General Store in Scooba opened its doors for business with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 8 a.m. on Saturday. A large crowd of customers were standing in line with the first fifty customers receiving special discount coupons.

    The store, which is a modern, up-to-date building, is located on Highway 16 near the intersection of Highway 45. Construction was completed within about 150 days.
  • Four local students embrace opportunity as pages
    While most students in our area were on family vacations or simply relaxing at home for Spring Break, three  PACES members and one junior student from Kemper County High School chose an alternative way to spend their break away from school.

     On March 13 this group of enthusiastic young ladies made the trip to Jackson to serve a week-long term at the State Capitol as part of the Capitol’s Page Program. As pages for the House of Representatives, Braylonn Clark and Nekeida Rencher worked closely with Representative Michael Evans, while Jordan Bryant and Zabia Burton worked with Senator Sampson Jackson II in the Senate.
  • Starkville students took top honors in EMCC math tournament
    Four students from Armstrong Middle School in Starkville took top honors last Friday at a district math tournament at East Mississippi Community College. Winners of the tournament are pictured with EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner, left,
  • EMCC students to represent state in DECA International
    RAYMOND — Two East Mississippi Community College students who competed in the Mississippi DECA Winter Leadership Conference and Competition in Raymond qualified to represent Mississippi in the international competition in Anaheim, Calif., next month. Both of the students are enrolled at EMCC’s Lion Hills Center.
  • EMCC Lions baseball team drops doubleheader to Wallace State
    Despite an 11-strikeout effort by sophomore Whitt Davis, the East Mississippi Community College baseball team dropped a hard-luck 1-0 nightcap decision en route to being swept by Wallace State Community College in a Wednesday home doubleheader played at Gerald Poole Field.  The visitors from Hanceville, Alabama also earned a shutout victory (15-0) in the opening game.
  • Wildcats drop tough contest to Velma Jackson in state tourney
    JACKSON – The Kemper County boys basketball team will not replicate the MHSAA 3A state championship of the football team this school year. In a quarterfinal game Friday at Jackson State that was not decided until 6.7 seconds were left on the clock, Velma Jackson edged the Wildcats 44-40.

    It was a matchup of schools that combined for the last five championships. Kemper has gold balls in the school's trophy case for last year and 2012, while Velma Jackson won three straight titles, 2013-15, before being eliminated from last year's tournament by Kemper.
  • Pair of Rams head to MAIS All-Star Basketball Game
    For what is believed to be the first time in school history, Kemper Academy will have a pair of boys’ players take part together in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools’ All-Star Basketball Games.

    Seniors Dalton Sanderford and Tanner Owen are expected to play in the Class A-AA game, which is scheduled for Friday at 11:30 a.m., at Jackson Prep in Flowood.
  • PACES takes MAPE Excellence Award
    PACES Project was one of only two such volunteer community based programs in the state to be recognized for its outstanding development of partnerships that have had a positive impact on high school students. Since 2009 PACES has stimulated and nurtured the development of almost 50 business, community organization, and individual partnerships that have helped to increase the rate of those going to college from approximately 50 percent to nearly 80 percent and each passing year the members of PACES average ACT scores have improved.
  • Rams fall in state championship game
    LEARNED – Kemper Academy basketball coach Scott Johnson must have wondered what he’d gotten himself into after his injury-riddled, depth-challenged Rams lost four of their first five contests this season.

    But just a couple months later, Johnson’s bunch made a historical run at the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A State Tournament.
  • EMCC honor society students renovate Scooba Library
    While looking for a college project to tackle, members of East Mississippi Community College’s student honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, stumbled upon the Scooba Public Library, which was in dire need of renovation.

    “We wanted to find a project that was in the community and off the college campus so we could help more people,” PTK member Parker Dial said. “We knew the library was here and we knew it needed work. We just thought we could help them out.”
  • KCHS Wildcats looks to continued championship run
    Seniors Matt Dale and Gus Nave Jr. know exactly what is within the grasp of the Kemper County High School Wildcats.

    After knocking off St. Andrews 70-50 on Friday, the KCHS boys basketball team is now just two wins away from playing for its second consecutive MHSAA Class 3A State Basketball Championship. Toss in last December's win in the MHSAA Class 3A State Football Championship and you have quite a run for the seniors.
  • Wildcats repeat as Region 5-3A Champions
    The Kemper County Wildcats seem to be heating up at just the right time again this season
       The Wildcats picked up a pair of wins in their Region 5-3A tournament at Philadelphia to repeat as district champions.

    In girls' action, the Lady Wildcats kept their season alive with a pair of wins the district tournament but lost their opening round game of the playoffs on Monday at Port Gibson to finish out the year.
  • Snowden: No big cuts for Kemper schools
    While conceding that funding levels may not remain the same, a leader in the Mississippi House of Representatives told a packed house at the Kemper County Farmer's Market on Monday night that reports of the Kemper County Public Schools potentially losing more than $4M in funding in the upcoming budget was greatly exaggerated.
  • Kemper Academy Rams win North State Championship
    Kemper Academy was on the brink its season ending last Tuesday night in Marvell, Ark. Less than 96 hours later, the Rams were hoisting a North State championship trophy.

    Playing after a 12-day layoff, Kemper gutted out a win over Tunica Academy last Tuesday night in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A North State Tournament. Then first-year head coach Scott Johnson’s bunch turned in back-to-back solid performances over the weekend to bring the North half hardware back to DeKalb.
  • Rape prevention specialist speaks at EMCC
    A renowned speaker who has dedicated her life’s work to preventing sexual assault brought her message to East Mississippi Community College’s Stennis Auditorium last Wednesday night.

    Katie Koestner, executive director of Take Back The Night Foundation and president of Campus Outreach Services, spoke to close to 400 people that included EMCC students and employees, as well as members of the community.
  • PaceSetters blast off into interesting tour of space center
    Beginning at about 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 2 excited members of PACES began rolling out of bed to meet their charter bus to travel to the John C. Stennis Space Center located near the Louisiana state line in Picayune.
  • Rams complete sweep through district play
    Kemper Academy’s boys made it a clean sweep through MAIS District 2-A play with easy wins over Central Academy and Hebron Christian School last week.

    The Rams, who beat Central 66-20 last Monday night and topped Hebron 64-45 on Thursday, finished the regular season with a record of 10-6 overall and 6-0 in district play. KA’s boys have won nine of their last 11 games.
  • Football signing tradition continues for KCHS Wildcats
    When Chris Jones began trying to build the Kemper County High School football program to the status it currently enjoys, he said one of the things he set about doing is letting the community and athletes know that hard work on the field can lead to having a college education paid for.

    With the nine signings that took place last Wednesday, Jones has now been a part of 24 KCHS athletes getting a chance to play football on scholarship in college.
  • Kemper County boys take two key region victories
    The Kemper County Wildcats took the driver's seat in district play this week with a pair of big road wins.
       The Wildcats held off Philadelphia last Tuesday night 56-53 and then avenged an earlier loss to Choctaw County with a 56-51 win to move to 6-1 in district play.
  • Perkins House brings past back to life
    A near five-year labor of love will have it's public unveiling on Monday, Feb. 13 when an open house will be held at the historic Perkins House located on the property of Billy and Frances Brown in the Townsend Community.

    "We just want everybody to be able to see this important part of history," said Frances Brown, who became acquainted with the Perkins House during her time on the board of the Kemper County Historical Association.
  • Two big wins improve 'Cats to 4-1 in league play
    The Kemper County boys seem to be clicking at just the right time.

    The Wildcats, who struggled offensively at times early this season, notched two big district wins this week to move their record to 10-7 overall and 4-1 in district play.
  • EMCC quiz bowl teams fare well
    MAYHEW — East Mississippi Community College’s two quiz bowl teams placed in the top three in a sectional tournament last Friday.

    “I am proud of the kids,” said EMCC Honors Program Director Scott Baine, who is the school’s quiz bowl coach. “They worked really hard.”
  • Champion Dinner honors 2016 KCHS football team
    The members of the MHSAA Class 3A State Championship football team from Kemper County High School were honored at a Champion Dinner at East Mississippi Community College last Thursday night.

    The event, sponsored by the Kemper County Sheriff's Department, brought together the team with supporters and business and community leaders from throughout the county.
  • Lady Wildcats improve to 3-0 in district play
    The Kemper County Lady Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 district record with two big wins this week.
       The Lady Wildcats beat Choctaw County 57-52 and then knocked off Southeast Lauderdale 66-62 to remain unbeaten in the district.

    In boy's action, Kemper County dropped a tough 55-50 decision to Choctaw County but recovered to beat Southeast 54-45 on Friday to move to 8-7 overall and 2-1 in district play.
  • Three county VFDs receive new pumper trucks
    When three new fire trucks rolled into DeKalb earlier this month, Kemper County Emergency Management executive director Ben Dudley said it gave each of the county's nine volunteer fire departments "a fairly new frontline pumper."

    The three new trucks, which were assigned to the Kemper Springs, New Hope and Preston Volunteer Fire Departments, cost a combined $731,435, with $210K of that expected to be refunded to the county through the Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Assistance Program.
  • KA shuffles dates with Calhoun
    Long before last week’s wintry weather forced the postponement or cancellation of a host of basketball games in the area, Kemper Academy knew it wasn’t going to have any action on the hardwood.

    KA’s teams, which were set to open MAIS District 2-A play last Friday by hosting Calhoun Academy, had those plans scrapped early in the week after a scheduling conflict with Calhoun.
  • Kemper County splits Sam  Dale Tournament contests
    The Kemper County Wildcats and Lady Wildcats bounced back from a loss in the opening round of the Sam Dale Tournament last week to win the third place game.

    The Wildcats fell to Northeast Lauderdale 65-61 in their opener but recovered to beat Quitman 73-57 on Wednesday in the tournament.
  •  DHS shows off new facility in DeKalb
    Kemper County Board of Supervisors president Johnny Whitsett said the new home of the Mississippi Department of Human Services in DeKalb is just an example of the upgrades to services and facilities the board is dedicated to bringing to the community.

    "People wonder what we are doing with the money from the coal mine, well this is just an example," Whitsett said on Monday morning, just moments before the ribbon was cut on the new facility located on Ponderosa Avenue near the City Park in DeKalb.
  • KCHS Wildcats split two games on hardwood
    The Kemper County Wildcats split a pair of games against strong competition last week to move to 6-5 this season.

    The Wildcats came back to beat Louisville 58-51 last Tuesday night before falling to Class 6A power Starkville 62-43. In girls' action, Kemper County lost its contest to Louisville 57-33 despite 19 points from Kiandrea Cherry.
  • More than 600 canned food items were collected by Mt. Salem VFD
    Helping out the less fortunate through a canned food drive has become somewhat of a Christmas tradition for residents in the Preston community.

    Members of the Mt. Salem Volunteer Fire Department drive the roads in their district at designated times each December, collecting canned goods from homeowners to be delivered to God Cares Ministries in DeKalb and to Henderson Ridge Church. From there the food is distributed to those in need.
  • Kemper Academy set to play in Christmas Bash
    After taking a couple of weeks off, Kemper Academy’s basketball teams will return to action this week in the Lamar School Christmas Bash.

    The three-day tournament actually started Tuesday, when Kemper’s girls were to square off against Sylva-Bay Academy and the KA boys were to face Russell Christian Academy
  • Cats, Lady Wildcats bounce back from first-round loss
    The Kemper County Wildcats and Lady Wildcats both dropped a game to Canton in the opener of their Christmas tournament in DeKalb last Thursday, but bounced back for wins over West Lowndes on Friday night to take third place.

    The Wildcats fell to Canton 48-31 on Thursday night before beating West Lowndes 69-61. The Lady Wildcats dropped their first game to Canton 44-40 and beat West Lowndes 61-49
  • Legislature eyes excess budget waste

    State Legislators are hoping to cut excess waste from the state budget in the upcoming 2017 legislative session.

    Top lawmakers are proposing a Mississippi budget that would be 3 percent smaller for the coming year
  • Rams hammer Starkville Christian
    The Kemper Academy boys – through cancellations, to football injuries, to a short-handed roster, to a brutal non-district schedule – waited patiently for their first win of the 2016-17 basketball season.

    Last Monday night, it came in a big way.
  • Clayton, Nave get one last chance to impress during all-star game
    A pair of Kemper County High School football standouts got one last chance to show what they could do on the high school level last Saturday as they helped the South post a 21-14 win over the North in the 68th Bernard Blackwell North-South All-Star game.

    Both D.J. Clayton and Gus Nave hoped to catch the attention of college coaches during practices and workouts during the week leading up to the Saturday contest, that was played at Milner Stadium in Gulfport.
  • Kemper County communities host annual Christmas parades
    Despite the threat of inclement weather, both the DeKalb and Scooba Christmas Parades were able to take place last week in front of appreciative and enthusiastic crowds.

    The Scooba parade was held on Tuesday, while the DeKalb parade took place on Thursday. Both parades are among the most anticipate community gatherings each year, sin galling Christmas is just a few weeks away.
  • EMCC wins Mississippi Bowl; ranked No. 2 in nation
    The Lions of East Mississippi Community College remained undefeated in postseason bowl play under head coach Buddy Stephens with a 27-17 win over No. 13 Kilgore (TX) College in Sunday afternoon’s Mississippi Bowl played at A.L. May Memorial Stadium on the campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

    With EMCC’s bowl victory, coupled with Garden City’s 25-22 triumph over Arizona Western during Saturday’s NJCAA National Championship Game/El Toro Bowl, the Lions finished the 2016 campaign ranked second nationally.  AWC fell a notch to third in the final NJCAA Top 20 poll followed by Trinity Valley and Mesa at fourth and fifth, respectively. 
  • Kemper County uses big plays, defense to bring home football championship
    STARKVILLE — What many thought would be a high-scoring affair turned out to be a defensive battle, as Kemper County High School used several huge defensive stands along with a pair of big offensive plays to take a 12-8 win over Charleston in the MHSAA Class 3A State Championship Game played at Mississippi State's Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday.
  • Wildcats win South State title with strong defensive effort
    With just over a minute left to play, Kemper County football coach Chris Jones called the best play of his coaching career.

    “Let’s run victory formation,” Jones told his team.

    That’s just what the Wildcats did as they ran out the clock to beat Raleigh 28-20 to win the MHSAA Class 3A South State championship game on Friday night before an overflow crowd at Landon B. Mitchell Field.
  • Big second half pushes Wildcats into 3A South State title game
    SEMINARY – It's on to the South State finals for Kemper County after the Wildcats stretched their winning streak to 13 with a dominating 48-23 victory over Seminary in the MHSAA 3A quarterfinals.

    Kemper County will host Raleigh Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff for a chance to reach the championship game.
  • Kemper's assets should lead to optimism
    A large gathering attended the Kemper County Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development Authority Annual Dinner last Thursday at the beautifully decorated Kemper County National Guard Armory. Attendees were treated to a delicious dinner provided by Pilgrim’s Foodliner of Dekalb, and served by members of Kemper County High School PACES PaceSetters.
  • Wildcats roll into third round of 3A State Playoffs
    The Kemper County Wildcats continued to impress at home on Friday night by controlling Wilkinson County in a 36-16 victory in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs.

    The Wildcats held a 28-8 lead at half and had little difficulty with the visitors after exploding for 20 unanswered point in the second quarter.
  • Local residents gather at Courthouse to honor veterans
    On Friday morning, November 11, under overcast skies, citizens of Kemper County gathered on the courthouse lawn for a Veteran’s Day Ceremony. It was a time to come together to honor those who have served in the Armed Forces, and a remembrance of veterans who have given so much to secure and protect our freedoms.
  • Wildcats roll to easy win in 3A playoff opener
    The Kemper County Wildcats had little trouble in taking their first step in the Class 3A playoffs.

    Kemper County, now 11-1, rolled to a 42-0 lead at half and cruised to a 58-0 win over Crystal Springs in its first round contest on Friday.
  • Veterans Memorial Tribute installed on Scooba campus


    A memorial tribute to the nation’s military veterans stands sentinel outside East Mississippi Community College’s Sullivan-Windham Field thanks to an area business, EMCC employees and students in the college’s welding program.
  • Heritage Day Museum offers peek into the past


    Visitors to the Kemper County Historical Museum for the local historical association's annual Heritage Day were greeted with both good weather and a chance to travel back to yesteryear.
  • Visit to home of ‘Last Chance U’ highlight of trip to U.S. for English couple
    Kemper County residents Bernard 'Joe' Hulin and his wife, Loretta, were surprised to learn that the couple sitting next to them during East Mississippi Community College’s Oct. 15 Homecoming game against Northwest Mississippi were from London, England.

     It was a fortuitous seating arrangement for not only the Hulins, but for the visiting couple from the United Kingdom, Dan and Kelly Thomson. The two couples had a lot to talk about.
  • Rams take care of business against rival Central
    With the way the remaining schedules shape up, it’s mathematically impossible for Kemper Academy to improve its Mississippi Association of Independent Schools power-point rating for seeding in the upcoming state playoffs.

    That is, unless, No. 1 Tallulah (La.) Academy or No. 2 Marvell (Ark.) Academy were to lose a game.
  • Dollar General coming to Scooba
    Site work on a new Dollar General to be located near the intersection of Hwy 45 and Hwy 16 in Scooba has generated a lot of much-needed excitement in the community.

    "That is one of the best things that could have happened to us," said Scooba Mayor Allen Beatty. "It is going to make a difference in the community and the communities surrounding us."
  • Lions take MACJC shoot out over Holmes, 63-49
    GOODMAN – Competing in their highest scoring game since 2009, the fifth-ranked Lions of East Mississippi Community College topped 16th-ranked Holmes Community College, 63-49, during MACJC North Division football action Thursday night at Ras Branch Field.

    Scoring 112 points between them, Thursday’s slugfest between the Lions and Bulldogs marked the most total points scored in an EMCC football game since head coach Buddy Stephens’ 2009 Lions claimed a memorable 75-71 home victory in regulation over third-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast to claim the school’s first MACJC state football championship. 
  • Homecoming 2016 Two of NJCAA's best to square off in Scooba Saturday afternoon
    In what likely ranks as one of the most eagerly anticipated regular season junior college football games in recent memory, the fourth-ranked and three-time national champion Lions of East Mississippi Community College are set to play host to the top-ranked and reigning NJCAA national champion Northwest Mississippi Community College Rangers Saturday afternoon on the Scooba campus.