Kemper County Messenger
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kemper County officials are adding another “shovel ready” site to support any new economic development prospects that may come calling
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A jury trial that could compel a new DeKalb Mayoral election is now pushed back six weeks, from February 8 until March 26.
  • 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.
  • 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 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 wilmar4153@aol.com.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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
  • Michael Pruitt, 35, 2348 Sinai Rd Preston, MS,  Charges: Sentenced
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There is good news and bad news for Kemper County in the latest unemployment figures from the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.
  • 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.
  • Jamario Elmore, 21, 92 Lancaster Rd De Kalb, MS,      Charges: Probation Violation
  •  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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the first board meeting of 2018, the Kemper County Board of Supervisors voted to rehire county employees.
  • 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.
  • James Desmond Grace, 26,11241 Old Jackson Rd De Kalb, MS,  Charges: Domestic Violence; Simple Assault
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Kemper County School Board voted unanimously to approve reorganization of Kemper County High School during its monthly meeting last Thursday.
  • Boys and girls ages 8 to 18 enrolled in Kemper County 4-H may sign up for the organization's shooting sports program.
  • 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.   
  • 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 natural gas leak closed traffic on a section of Hwy. 16 from Old Scooba Road. to John C. Stennis Drive earlier this mont
  • 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
  • Fredrick Houston, 46, 328 Albert Blank Rd De Kalb, MS,  Charges: DUI 1st; Reckless Driving; running stop sign
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Chancellor Joseph Kilgore of Philadelphia recently completed a term as chairman of the  Conference of Chancery Judges.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • DeKalb mayoral court case set for Feb. 8
    The four-term mayor who lost his bid for reelection in June has filed a complaint in circuit court that is set to be heard by a specially appointed judge on Feb. 8.
  • Scooba chief concerned by accidents at 16/45 crossing
    Scooba Chief of Police Steven Jackson expressed his concerned about what he termed an inordinate number of traffic accidents at the railroad crossing on Hwy. 16 and the Hwy. 45 intersection to the Scooba Board of Alderman during their meeting on Monday night.
  • Officials representing Weems Mental Health reported to the Kemper County Board of Supervisors during their regular meeting on Monday morning that more than 29,000 hours of direct client service has been provided in Kemper County so for this year.
  • In many deer camps throughout Mississippi, it is not uncommon to hear someone refer to a white-tailed buck’s headgear as “horns.” In reality, those “horns” are actually antlers.
  • JACKSON — Now that colder weather has arrived, Commissioner of Insurance and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney says having your heating equipment checked and using it as it is intended greatly cuts the risk of a fire in your home.
  • The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month; this is the time of the normal observance of Veterans Day. However, Kemper County will observe Veterans Day this coming Friday, November 10, at 11 a.m., on the Courthouse lawn. It is a time to come together to honor those who have given their service to the country.
  • On Saturday, November 18 there will be a pre-Thanksgiving lunch at the B.MW., Clark Adams building in downtown DeKalb, across from Commercial Bank. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. There is no charge. — Mayor Clark Adams
  • 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.
  • KCSD set to host Celebrate Success awards night
    Kemper County School District will host a Celebrate Success awards night on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m., in the old gym at Kemper County High School.
  • The unemployment rate for Kemper County has decreased in the past year, but remains among the highest in Mississippi.
  • Kemper Countians had place in Civil War history
    The 43rd Mississippi Regiment had more than 1,700 members during the Civil War – and one camel.
  • Lyme disease is an infection caused by a spirochete bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi), which is transmitted to people by the bite of the tiny tick Ixodes scapularis, or deer tick.
  • New Beginning UMC, located 1013 Hwy 45 in Porterville, will have a Recognition For Veterans during its regular service at 11a.m. Sunday, Nov. 12. All veterans are invited to attend. Call 601-483-6475 for more information.
  • Brandley Lamar Lackey, 26,     3836 Hwy 82 Leland MS,  Charges: Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 
  • Rankin 5K
    Runners get started on a cold morning last Saturday for the Ruby D. Rankin 5K Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness.


  • Webb, Clark honored by EMCC
    Two East Mississippi Community College alumni were honored Saturday during the college’s 2017 Homecoming.
  • Kemper County School District on probation
    A recent report that the Kemper County School District had been placed on probation raised concern with many residents that the District had been taken over by the State. However, that is not the case.
  • New tag and title system at tax office
    The Mississippi Department of Revenue has implemented a new tag and tile network at all county tax collector offices in the state. MARVIN, an acronym for the Mississippi Automated Registration Vehicle Information System, went live throughout the state Oct. 9.
  • County in urgent need of volunteer firefighters according to leaders
    As with many rural areas, Kemper County depends heavily upon its volunteer firefighters, and their importance cannot be over emphasized, as there are no full-time paid firemen in the county.
  • School board approves land lease agreements
    In their regularly scheduled meeting, on Oct. 12, the Kemper County School Board heard from Mike Ainsworth concerning 16th-Section Land leases and voted unanimously for lease agreements with Mack Coleman, James Rush and Anthony Bourrage.
  • Ruby D Rankin 5K Run/Walk For Breast Cancer Awareness Saturday at Kemper Lake starting at 7 a.m. Preregister by Friday. $20 for adults and $10 for kids. All proceeds fo to the Ruby D. Rankin Scholarship Fund, Sponsored by Kemper County Sheriff Department. For more information Contact Aimee Cole 601-616-3123 or Email: acole@kempercountysheriff.com.
  • Adam l. Dowell, 19, 123 Cohill Dr Alabaster,  Charges: Hold for Alabama
  • Preston native awarded prestigious $1K scholarship
    While standing in the cafeteria lunch line on East Mississippi Community College’s Scooba campus, student Hunter Cumberland almost deleted an email on his phone titled “Congratulations!”
  • For the third time since 2014, EMCC has been named to the Aspen Institute’s Top 150 Community Colleges in the Nation.
  • The Partners for Kemper County Advisory Council is accepting proposals for 2018 grant funded programs. The deadline for submission of proposals is Friday Dec. 1.
  • Cancer 5K set to honor Ruby Rankin
    The Rudy D. Rankin 5K Run/Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness will be held Saturday, Oct. 28 at Kemper Lake beginning at 7 a.m. Proceeds will be donated to the Rudy D. Rankin Scholarship Fund. The run will be part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
  • EMCC set to celebrate homecoming Saturday
    A parade and a free gospel concert are a couple of the many activities on tap for East Mississippi Community College’s Homecoming, which includes a Saturday football showdown as the EMCC Lions take on Coahoma Community College.
  • One new historical marker and one replacement marker are goals of the Kemper County Historical Association.
  • A newly formed advisory council for the Kemper County School system continued putting together its game plan during a recent meeting.
  • Jamie Kentrl Hatch, 31, 2071 Sucanotchee Rd Porterville, MS,  Charges: Disturbance of family
  • The Kemper County School Board will have a special called board meeting on Monday, Oct. 23, beginning at 5 p.m. at the District Office.
  • Major renovation taking place at Emilia
    Emilia Resources, an over-the-counter pharmaceutical manufacturer, has been in operation in Kemper County for almost four years. The company manufactures creams, lotions and ointments for a number of large retailers including: Walmart’s Equate brand Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and others.
  • A two-vehicle accident shortly before midnight Monday on Hwy. 21, near the Kemper/Neshoba County line claimed the lives of four family members.
  • During the regular meeting of the DeKalb Board of Aldermen, on Tuesday, Sept. 5, Alderman Tracy Naylor was appointed Mayor Pro-Tem on a 4-0.
  • $265K grant helps enhance EMCC wellness center
    The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation has awarded a grant totaling nearly $265,000 to East Mississippi Community College to enhance the Wellness Center at the Scooba campus and provide an outdoor fitness facility that will be open to the public.
  • EKE students enjoy book club
    The East Kemper Elementary School “Once Upon a Time” Book Club met on Sept. 21 for their first book club meeting of the year. The students read “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo.
  • National Fire Prevention Week will be observed Oct.8-14. This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”
  • The Kemper County Historical Association will meet on Monday Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. at the Museum. The agenda will be planning for Heritage Day Oct. 28th.  Visitors and new members are welcome.