Looking Back

Fifty Years Ago: Blanks sparks big win for West


The Looking Back feature has returned to the Kemper County Messenger. Every week we will take a quick look at stories of interest from back issues of the newspaper.


There will be items from one year ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, 25 years ago, and 50 years ago

Some items appear just as they originally did, while some have been paraphrased and condensed.



(OCT. 15, 2020)

— The Kemper County Board of Supervisors voted in its October 5 meeting to extend the county-wide requirement for people to wear masks.


— Representatives from the Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Fisheries and the Tombigbee River Valley Waterways Management District talked with supervisors about possible plans for Kemper Lake. No action was taken at that time.


— East Mississippi Community College’s Sharon Thompson and Billy Begley participated in the inaugural TopConnect NJCAA symposium for head men’s and women’s basketball coaches.



(OCT. 12, 2016)

— The 2016 induction class of the East Mississippi Community College Sports Hall fo Fame consists of James William “Billy” Bounds, Sr., James William Bounds, Jr., Willie Gillespie, Clint Hill, William “Gert” Hill, Terry James “Pete” McCleskey, John Santa Cruz, Edward Staten, and James Watson.


— Before October is out construction on the new department of Human Services building and the new County Barn — both located on Ponderosa Avenue in DeKalb — are expected to be complete.


— The season is only partially over but the Kemper County Wildcats have already had several honors rolling in this football season. Matt Dale was selected to play in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game after starting on the offensive line the last four seasons. Also D.J. Clayton and Gus Nave were each named to the South squad for the Bernard Blackwell North/South All-Star Game.


— The PACES Organization of Kemper County recently received a $1,000 donation from the community Connection Group of Mississippi Power Company.



(OCT. 13, 2011)

— The Secretary of State’s Office took more than 300 absentee ballots from the August primary election in Kemper County last Friday. Circuit Clerk Roma Allen confirmed earlier this week the absentee ballots were taken — but said Secretary of State officials did not elaborate on why they took the ballots or what they planned to do with them.


— Raquel Brown had plans to become a doctor and Cardae Hudnall was interested in meteorology. Those two graduates of Kemper County High School found their way to Mississippi State University-Meridian and they, along with 57 others, were recognized as recipients of the Riley Next Step scholarship on Oct. 1 at MSU-Meridian Kahlmus Auditorium


— Three initiatives will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot that involve a definition of when life begins, requiring voter ID, and eminent domain.


— A public hearing where the permit application of Liberty Fuels will be discussed is still schedule for next week in Dekalb. Liberty Fuels will mine the lignite coal for Mississippi Power at the company’s $2.88B Plant Ratcliffe.



(OCT. 10, 1996)

— Amber Puckett was named 1996 Homecoming Queen for Kemper Academy.


— A lawsuit filed by former Kemper County supervisor Willie C. Ellerby against Johnny B. Whitsett has been dropped. Ellerby filed the suit after Whitsett defeated him in the General Election nearly a year ago. Whitsett defeated Ellerby by a 460 to 408 vote county.


— Spc. Gracie R. Jones of DeKalb recently participated in a 1st Infantry Division training exercise at the Combat Maneuver Training Center in Hobenfels, Germany.


—The Kemper County Chamber of Commerce will have a ribbon cutting for the Sew & So and the Rainbow Salon on Friday, Oct. 11 at 10 a.m. Please come by and welcome Brenda Grady and Tomeko McKenzie to the business community.



(OCT. 14, 1971)


— The West Kemper Wildcats ran their season record to 5-0-1 Friday night with a 31-0 win over the Noxubee County Tigers of Macon. Larry Blanks paced the Wildcats great defensive effort by intercepting three Tiger passes.


— Tactical Air Command Advisor Harry B. Doolittle was promoted to full condone effective Oct. 1, 1971. The son Of Mrs. E. B. Doolittle and the late Mr. Doolittle of DeKalb, he attended high school at DeKalb before receiving his BS degree at Mississippi State University in 1950.


— The following churches will present “The Singing Bowyer Family” of Jacksonville Fla. in a program of Gospel singing: Mt. Pleasant Assembly of God, DeKalb, Saturday night, October 23 at 7:30; Church of God of Prophesy, Gholson, Sunday afternoon, October 24 at 2:00; Scooba Methodist Church, Sunday night, October 24th at 7:30.

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