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This Sunday, April 28, 2013 edition of the Daily Times Leader is dedicated to the memories of the late Senator Bennie Turner and the late Representative David Gibbs.
Daily Times Leader
Today’s News . . . Tomorrow’s Trends
Sunday, April 28, 2013 Serving West Point & Clay County Since 1867 50 cents
Special Announcement on the Yokohama Tire Corporation project
Gov. Phil Bryant, officials from Yokohama Tire Corporation and state and local officials will host an official announcement event and agreement signing ceremony on Monday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m. at The Ritz Theater and Conference Center in West Point. On April 26, the Mississippi Legislature approved an incentive package to assist Yokohama in locating a manufacturing facility in West Point. The project is expected to create up to 2,000 jobs.
By Bryan Davis
Law makes session extra special for West Point
Daily Times Leader
Friday was a special day for Clay County and West Point. There was a special session for a special community that everyone present knew deserved better than being at the bottom of employment statistics, like it has since over 1,000 jobs were lost at the closing of Sara Lee. Early in the morning, citizens learned that Yokohama Tire Corporation wanted to expand its operations on the Prairie Belt Powersite in Clay County. A little after 12:30, those same citizens heard the senate approve the bill that made the project possible. Clay County packed the House and Senate galleries and the dozens who could not find a seat lined the hallways outside of the chamber doors. They were there to show the state legislators that this community is hungry for jobs, growth and higher quality of life. “It’s hard for all of us to comprehend it completely,” said West Point Mayor Scott Ross on Friday evening. “None of us realized how truly transformational this is going to be.” House Bill One, or the Gibbs-Turner Economic Development Act had two dissenting votes between the House and the Senate on Friday. Both came from the House. When the Senate passed the bill unanimously, an ovation and eruption of cheers overtook the sound of the gavel as it was passed into law. Later on Friday, Phil Bryant signed the bill with Clay representatives Rep. Karl Gibbs, Rep. Tyrone Ellis, Rep. Gary Chism and Senator Angela Turner present. The legislature effectively changed the game for West Point and Clay County. Their approval of a $130 million incentives package sealed the deal with Yokohama Tire Corporation. The legislature was asked to
Senate Finance Committee members and business and community leaders from West Point, Miss., and Clay County seated in the gallery, listen to Mississippi Development Authority executive director Brent Christensen’s presentation about a incentive package that could be worth more than $330 million to bring a tire plant to Clay County, Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. Japan’s Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. would invest $300 million of its own money in the first phase, hiring 500 workers. In exchange, the state would borrow $70 million to buy land, build infrastructure and train workers. The legislation passed the committee and both chambers of the Legislature. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
AP Photo
commit $70 million up front to help purchase land for the company ($9.5 million and 1,121 acres), build a training center ($11.75 million) and to help prepare the site for three additional phases that are said to come between 2015 and 2023. Yokohama says that 500 jobs will be created in the initial phase. When and if all four
See ‘Jobs’ page 10
Gamble pays off for county supervisors
Daily Times Leader
November 1, 2012 was a typical cool fall morning. The Clay County Board of Supervisors slowly started to trickle in at the Prairie Belt Powersite, located on Hazelwood Road north of town. The night before, Shelton Deanes (District 4 and current board President), Lynn Horton (District 1, which is where the megasite is located), R.B. Davis (District 3), Luke Lummus (District 2) and Floyd By Bryan Davis
Gary Dedeaux
After much consideration, combined with my love for my hometown, I, Gary Dedeaux, announce my candidacy for Selectman of Ward 5. I have two children: Gina Reed (husband Tommy) and Ginger Bryan (deceased). I have two wonderful grandsons, Lane and Luke Reed. My parents were the late Dr. Howard Dedeaux and Ruth Dedeaux of West Point. I am a member of Faith Baptist Church, where I serve as Sunday School Director. My family and I have owned and operated Gary’s Pawn & Gun for over 35 years. In March 1978, my father and I started Gary’s Pawn & Gun and, in July of that year, we opened a second location in Columbus. From 1989-1991, I served as president of the Mississippi Pawnbrokers Association and served on the Board of Directors from 1985-
Dedeaux out for Ward 5 seat
See ‘Supes’ page 8
Clay County Supervisors Lynn Horton (middle) and Luke Lummus (right) speak with District 45 state Senator Billy Hudson on Friday.
Bryan Davis
State Senator and West Point native Angela Turner speaks before the Senate body on Friday about the importance of House Bill One.
Bryan Davis
Turner reacts to Yokohama decision
Daily Times Leader
By Sheena Baker
Clay County well-represented at House Bill One signing
Senator Angela Turner and Representatives Karl Gibbs, Gary Chism and Tyrone Ellis (all represent at least a portion of Clay County) and others surround Governor Phil Bryant as he signs into law House Bill 1, that authorized a $130-million incentives package to bring Yokohama Tire Corporation north of West Point in Clay County. The company will create 500 jobs initially with an average salary of $35,000 in Clay County, where the current unemployment rate is more than 18-percent, making it the highest in the state. During discussion of the matter during Friday’s Special Session, Senator Turner spoke passionately about negotiations held to secure the project and what it will mean for her district, which was represented by her late father Bennie Turner, before she was elected. See ‘Dedeaux’ page 4 Submitted Photo
Monumental. Extraordinary. Thrilling. And historic to say the least. Yes, it was an exciting day for West Point Friday and a great day for the entire state of Mississippi with Mississippi lawmakers passing an act securing incentives for Yokohama Tire Corporation, which is slated to open in Clay County in 2015. For newly-elected District 16 Senator Angela TurnerLairy, the special session called Friday for lawmakers to vote
on the incentive package for Yokohama was a part of Clay County history Turner-Lairy said she’s proud to have been a part of. “I though it was extremely important,” Turner-Lairy said. “I think it addresses an issue that has been affecting our community for quite some time, which is our unemployment rate. This project will improve West Point and Clay County as well as surrounding counties and the entire state. As example is Nissan – people travel many miles just to report to work there, and we may see
See ‘Turner’ page 10
2: Community 4: Opinion 5: Lifestyles 7: Sports 8: Comics 9: Classifieds
Newsroom 662-494-1422
Page 2 • Sunday, April 28, 2013
Daily Times Leader
MMA congratulates legislators on incentives vote
Daily Times Leader
JACKSON, (April 26, 2013) — The Mississippi Manufacturers Association (MMA) congratulates the Mississippi Legislature for positively addressing the incentives package to locate a Japanese tire manufacturer near West Point. “This vote by our state Legislature ensures that hundreds, possibly thousands, of jobs will be created for Mississippians,” said MMA President and CEO Jay C. Moon, CEcD, FM. “MMA also congratulates Gov. Phil Bryant, the Mississippi Development Authority and local economic development representatives on their efforts in making this project a success,” he continued. “The northeast Mississippi region has a long history of excellence in manufacturing. We are encouraged by this incentive vote to bring Yokohama Tire Corporation to the area. For the past several Special to the
years, we have welcomed numerous manufacturers that are providing high-skill, highpaying jobs for our people. “The addition of this manufacturer will continue to cement Mississippi’s role in the Southeast automotive corridor. Our state’s business-friendly environment and skilled workforce continue to be strong factors in attracting manufacturers to the area.” Moon said. We welcome Yokohama Tire Corporation to Mississippi.” For more than 60 years, the Mississippi Manufacturers Association has represented the interests of Mississippi’s manufacturers at both the state and national levels. As the Voice of Industry, MMA represents more than 2,100 members in the state Legislature and U.S. Congress. MMA promotes a strong manufacturing environment within Mississippi, and is a cen­ tral source of information and assistance in industrial management. To learn more about MMA and manufacturing in Mississippi, visit www.
James Henry Mills
James Henry Mills age 82, passed away Monday, April 22, 2013. at Bruce Community Living Center in Bruce. Funeral services were Saturday, April 27, 2013, at 11 a.m. from Double Springs M.B. Church in Slate Springs. Burial followed in the church cemetery. Visitation was Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 9:30 a.m. until service time at Double Springs M.B. Church. Carter Funeral Home of West Point was in charge of arrangements.
their headquarters on Morrow St. All members are urged to attend. your identity as the content is password protected. The reunion will be in West Point May 31-June 2. • The Academy of Performing Arts located at the North Mississipppi Medical CenterWest Point Wellness Canter is now enrolling for the fall session. Classes begin August 13 in ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, lyrical, tumbling, musical theatre and voice. Semester will run for four months and culminate with a Christmas recital in December. For more information, email betty@ or call (662) 4941113. • Welding and Carpentry Classes EMCC Workforce Services is offering Welding and Carpentry classes two nights a week from 5 – 9 p.m. Please contact Mitzi Thompson at 243-2647. • Grief Support Group Christ United Methodist Church is providing support for grieving families with a Grief Support Group who will meet Mondays at 6:30 p.m. • GED Classes EMCC West Point Center, if offering free GED classes at EMCC West Point Center, Monday thru Thursday, from 8 am – 1:30 p.m. These classes are sponsored by the Adult Basic Education department of East MS Community College. Please contact Cynthia McCrary or Jessica Flynt at 492-8857 for additional information. • C2C Info Need work skills to get a job? EMCC Workforce offers the Counseling 2 Career program to assist in gaining work experience. C2C classes are available for residents of Clay, Lowndes, and Noxubee counties, Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. If you are 18-21, please contact Sha’Carla Petty at 662-243-
Billy Wayne Daffron
Billy Wayne Daffron, age 69, died on April 24, 2013 at Baptist Memorial Hospital, Columbus. Visitation was at Mt. Zion Baptist Church from 1 - 3 p.m. Saturday, April 27, 2013. Funeral services followd at 3 p.m. with Rev. Sandra DePriest and Bro. Steve Lammons officiating. Interment was at Mt. Zion Cemetery with Lowndes Funeral Home of Columbus, directing. Billy Daffron was born May 25, 1943, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to the late Vester Daffron and Martha Ruth Duggan. As a small child, Billy’s family moved to Columbus and settled in the New Hope community. Billy attended New Hope High School, where he graduated in 1961. Then he attended Mississippi State University, majoring in accounting. Billy married Suzanne Ellis Barrett, also of New Hope, on January 22, 1966. They lived in New Hope, where they raised two children. Billy was an active member of Mt. Zion Baptist Churchfrom childhood. He was baptized and married at Mt. Zion, which played a central role in his life. In 1964, Billy was employed by Western Textile Products Company as an accountant at its Columbus, Mississippi, manufacturing plant. He joined Humboldt Products Corporation in Columbus in 1967 as accountant and treasurer and remained with Humboldt and its affiliates Teknamed Corporation and Boundary Healthcare Products Corporation until their merger with Maxxim Medical in 1992. His last position was Executive Vice President and CFO. He joined American Nonwovens in 1993 as Executive Vice President, where he remained until his retirement in 2005. Throughout his life, Billy cultivated a passion for sports. In high school, he ran track and played both football and basketball. Later in life, he enjoyed pool and golfing. He was also an avid and successful tournament fisherman. Billy Daffron is survived by his wife of over 47 years, Suzanne Daffron, of Columbus, and by his two sisters, Patricia Ruth Daffron Kelly, of West Point, and Doris Vesta Daffron Mansfield, of Mandeville, LA. Billy is also survived by the joy of his life, his two children, Benjamin Eric Daffron, of New York City, and Suzanne Jill Daffron (Timothy) O’Bryant, of Columbus. He considered his children to be his greatest achievement in this life. In addition, he is survived by his two granddaughters, Anna Kate O’Bryant and Emma Frances O’Bryant, both of Columbus, who were his delight and his very heart. Because of a debilitating boating accident 29 years ago, he was unable to actively participate in all their endeavors and activities, but he was always with them in heart and spirit. Pallbearers were Bobby Brandon, David Dortch, Bill Connor, W.A. Caldwell, Ronnie Colburn, Ray Crane, Will Dupler, Wayne Jones, Henry DeHart, Jessie Sims, Robert McKay, Sonny Cole and Tom Younger. Honorary pallbearers were Juanice Hayes’ Sunday School Class; New Hope High School Class of 1961; and MSU roommates, Don Edgeworth and Lawrence Walters. Extended special family friends include Barbara Caldwell and Barbara Connor. Memorials may be made to Mt. Zion Baptist Building Fund, 1791 Lake Lowndes Rd., Columbus, MS 39702 or Hearts After School Tutoring Program, P.O. Box 8124, Columbus, MS 39705.
1930 or Chrystal Newman at 662-243-1941 for more information. • Animal shelter help The West Point Clay County
• Basic Skills Class Free Basic Skills class at the EMCC West Point Center, Hwy. 45 North, Monday thru Thursday each week, 11:301:30 p.m. The Basic Skills class will prepare you to take the WorkKeys test and receive a Career Readiness Certificate. WorkKeys® is a job skills assessment that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a high-performance workforce. These classes are sponsored by EMCC Workforce Services. Please call Mitzi Thompson at 243-2647, to register for free classes. • Feed the Hungry Holy Temple Holiness Church Women’s Ministries deliver meals to Feed the Hungry the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. If you or someone you know is elderly or shut-in, and could benefit from this free delivery service, call 494-3322 before 8 a.m. the morning of the deliveries. • WPHS Class of 2003 Reunion The website for the class reunion for the WPHS Class of 2003, 10 year reunion has been created. Please visit West-Point-Mississippi-2003 to view it. Sign up for the site by searching for your name under the classmate profile tab and creating a profile. Create your profile and you will be granted access to the site by a member of the planning committee. Please allow up to 24 hours for a member of the planning committee to verify
Community Calendar
All “Community Announcements” are published as a community service on a first-come, first-served basis and as space allows. Announcements must be 60 words or less, written in complete sentences and submitted in writing at least five days prior to the requested dates of publication. No announcements will be taken over the telephone. Announcements submitted after noon will not be published for the next day’s paper. To submit announcements, email
holds its meetings the second Tuesday of each month at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. Work Sessions are held every Thursday prior to the board meeting at City Hall at 5:30 p.m. • Compassionate Friends Families who have experienced the death of a child are invited to attend The Compassionate Friends meeting at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month, at North Mississippi Medical Center-West Point, 835 Medical Center Drive. The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to assist families toward resolving grief following the death of a child of any age and to help others be supportive. Bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents and immediate family members are welcome to attend. For more information, call Michele Rowe, director of Social Services at NMMC-West Point, at (662) 495-2337. • American Legion Meeting American Legion Post 212 will meet every third Sunday of the month at 3 p.m. at
• Civitan meetings The West Point Civitan Club meets on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at noon in the Training Room of NMMC-West Point. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.
• City Board Meetings The City Board of West Point
NOTICE OF TESTING OF TABULATING EQUIPMENT TO: THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS OF CITY OF WEST POINT, MISSISSIPPI Notice is hereby given pursuant to Section 23-1SS31.4(A)(b) MS Code, 1972, Annotated and Amended that the City Clerk and Officials in charge of elections will conduct a test at the Henry Harris Administrative Complex, 227 Court Street, beginning at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 1, 2013, to ascertain that the Accu Vote TSX units will count the votes cast for all offices and on all measures. The test will be conducted by testing a number of the TSX units this being the number to be used in May 7, 2013, Primary Election. All memory cards to be used will be tested. This test will be conducted from day to day until all units have been tested. Representatives of candidates, political parties, news media and the public are invited and shall be permitted to observe such tests.
See ‘Calendar’ page 5
Big Brothers and Sisters : get ready for
the new arrival!
Come to this fun class to learn what to expect from and how to prepare for the new baby. You’ll receive an “I’m a Big Brother” or “I’m a Big Sister” T-shirt and an ice cream party!
Plus, a visit to the hospital nursery!
Saturday, May 4, 2 p.m.
OCH Educational Facility Cost: $20 per child
Pre-register to (662) 615-3364 by Wednesday, May 1.
Daily Times Leader
Sunday, April 28, 2013 • Page 3
Hundreds gather for governor’s 5K Weather Forecast
Daily Times Leader
JACKSON—More than 800 runners and walkers joined Gov. Phil Bryant for the second “5k Run For Health,” one of the governor’s initiatives to promote healthy lifestyles in the state. “It’s great to see so many people take an interest in their personal health,” said Gov. Bryant, who keeps an active running regimen. “As governor, I continue working hard to set a good example, and I am encouraged by Mississippians who are excited about living healthy lifestyles.” During Gov. Bryant’s first State of the State address in 2012, he announced his plans for an annual 5K. Last year’s race drew 900 participants. Special to the Gov. Bryant said he plans to hold this race each year. The proceeds from the race go to the Batson Children’s Hospital. Gov. Bryant presented Dr. Frederick E. (Rick) Barr, Suzan B. Thames Professor and Chairman of Batson’s Department of Pediatrics, with a check for $10,000 before the race. “We are very fortunate that the children of Mississippi and the state’s only children’s hospital have Governor and Mrs. Bryant as their champions,” Dr. Barr said. “They are dedicated not only to child health, but also to helping us provide the best possible healthcare to all Mississippi children. We are also truly grateful to our many community supporters, including all the people who participated today.” Added Gov. Bryant: “We are proud to support Batson Children’s Hospital again this year. The talented, dedicated professionals at Batson provide hope to thousands of children and families, and we are honored to help them in their mission.” Before and after the run, participants enjoyed refreshments and a live band in front of the Governor ’s Mansion. Volunteers from Blue Cross Blue Shield lead a pre-race warm up and also served as pace runners. Patrick House, season 10 winner of NBC’s Biggest Loser, helped kick off the pre-race program and also lead the post-race awards ceremony. About Batson Hospital The Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, part of University of Mississippi Health Care, is located on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. It is the only hospital in the state devoted exclusively to the care and treatment of sick and injured youngsters. More than 150,000 children from all of the state’s 82 counties come to Batson Hospital each year. The spectrum of care ranges from wellchild care for healthy newborns to care for cancer, congenital heart defects, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, neurological disorders, pulmonary disease, trauma, allergies, diabetes and numerous other childhood illnesses.
space allows. Announcements must be sentences and submitted in writing at least five days prior to the requested dates of publication. No announce60 words or less, written in complete
a first-come, first-served basis and as
published as a community service on
All “Church Announcements” are
Revival at 7 p.m. Guest speaker is the Rev. Donald Anderson of Fountain Head M.B. Church. Everyone is invited to attend.
Church Calendar
Wednesday, May 1-3
ments will be taken over the telephone. will not be published for the next day’s paper. To submit announcements, email Announcements submitted after noon
• Usher Crusade Upper Prairie Creek M.B. Church is hosting an Usher Crusade each night at 7 p.m. Guest speaker is the Rev. Anthony Macintosh of Mt. Bell M.B. Church of Louisville. Everyone is invited to attend. • Revival Progress St. Church of God wishes to cordially invite everyone to their anointed and soul winning revival at 7 p.m. Guest speaker is Chaplain Mitchel Tullouss.
permitting (otherwise in the Mt. Hermon fellowship hall). On May 4, at 8:30 a.m., there will be the 25th annual Prayer Breakfast. Later that day, there will be the “Blue and White Evening” in the fellowship hall. The events will climax on Sunday at 11 a.m., with worship.
Family Worship Center will be celebrating their 11th Church Anniversary on Sunday May 19, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. The guest speaker will be Pastor Donald Wesley of Mt. Pisgah Tibbee. The public is invited. • Pastor Appreciation Walker Grove M.B. Church is having a Pastor Appreciation program to celebrate 7 years of dedicated service to the church by Rev. and Mrs. Henry Shelton at 3 p.m. Guest speaker is Rev. Al Lathan Sr., of Third Mt. Olive M.B. Church
Sunday, May 5
• Pastor Appreciation St. Paul M.B. Church wishes to invite everyone to celebrate their 34th Annual Appreciation of Rev. Eddie Longstreet and his family. Services will be at 8 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 3 p.m. with a different speaker for service.
• Feed the Hungry Holy Temple Holiness Church Women’s Ministries deliver meals to Feed the Hungry the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. If you or someone you know is elderly or shut-in, and could benefit from this free delivery service, call 494-3322 before 8 a.m. the morning of the deliveries..
Sunday, May 26
• Pastor Anniversary Mhoon Valley M.B. Church is celebrating the 31st Pastor Anniversary and Appreciation Program in honor of the Rev. William L. Sister Lessie Davidson at 2:30 p.m. Guest speaker is Minister Mike Wilson of Union Baptist M.B. Church. Everyone is invited to attend.
Saturday, May 11
• Male Choir Night Hopewell M.B. Church is having its 4th Annual Male Choir Night at 6 p.m.
Friday, May 3-5
• Homecoming Celebration On May 3, Mt. Hermon M.B. Church will kick off its Homecoming celebration with a “Meet and Greet” in the Mt. Hermon parking lot, weather
Sunday, May 19
• Church Anniversary The Church House of Refuge
Sunday April 28
• Church Clean-up Mt. Hermon M.B. Church will hold its Church Clean-up event on April 27 in preparation for the church’s 145th anniversary. • Men’s and Women’s Day Third Mt. Olive M.B. Church is having its Men’s and Women’s Day program at 3 p.m. Guest speaker is James A Greenlaw of Providence M.B. Church. • Night Sunday School The Church House of Refuge Family Worship center will have their annual Night Sunday School at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend. • Pastor’s Aide Program Walker Grove M.B. Church is having a Pastor’s Aide Program at 3 p.m. Guest speaker is Associate Minister Gary Worldlaw. • Pastor Appreciation Union Star M.B. Church is having its Pastor Appreciation Program for Rev. Eric Ratliff at 3 p.m.
WHere TecHnolo gy MeeTs THe
Sunday April 28-May 1
• Revival Hope Baptist Church is having Revival Services April 28 at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. April 29 – May 1 at 7 p.m. Bro. Bill Monaghan will bring the message. Everyone is invited to attend.
Monday April 29-30
• Youth Revival Pleasant Plain M.B. Church cordially invites everyone to come and share in their Youth Revival April 28, at 4 p.m., April 29-30, at 6:45. There will be a different speaker for each service.
Tuesday April 30
• Sisterhood Ministry Gospel Temple M.B. Church is having its Sisterhood Ministry at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Everyone is invited to come and be blessed.
OCH Regional Medical Center now provides robotic procedures for three areas of specialty: urology, gynecology and general surgery. Advantages include less pain, less blood loss, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays, and faster return to normal activity.
Wednesday, May 1
• Spiritual Enrichment Revival Third Mt. Olive M.B. Church is having a Spiritual Enrichment
Robotic Surgery at OCH Regional Medical Center
Where Technology Meets the Human Touch
Page 4 • Sunday, April 28, 2013
December 8, 1993, then President William Jefferson Clinton signed into law the document that nearly brought the United States economy to its knees. The North American Free Trade Agreement. This piece of paper opened our doors to cheap, overseas goods that don’t have to pass the rigorous testing processes or meet standards set in the U.S. to make sure the things we buy are safe. Owners of manufacturing facilities only saw that they would not have to deal
Summerall: A spec of light at the end of the tunnel
with unions, striking workers or even pay their workers a minimum wage. They could make billions instead of millions! So with a giant sucking sound, (remember Ross Perot?) American workers lost their jobs to cheap overseas labor. The jobs started leaving in a trickle, nothing to really worry about. Some of the manufacturers right here in West Point were building new plants in Mexico, Cambodia, India and other foreign countries. We were told not to worry about it, they would never take away AMERICAN jobs.. By 2007, Sara Lee announced it no longer needed the West Point facility. Artex had been bought by a Pakistani company who was going all over the U.S. buying textile plants and closing them, thus taking away the competition. The same places that were booming for years were simply gone. It created a domino effect. There were no workers at noon lining up at grocery store deli’s. No one was picking up a sandwich and a coke at convenience stores. No one was buying a couple of dozen donuts to take to the office. A lot of people moved away. The tax base shrunk, less money in property taxes were collected. This means less money for roads and schools. There seemed to be nothing but bad news for West Point. Then it was proposed that West Point align itself with the LINK. Become partners with our Golden Triangle neighbors. We were something of an
Daily Times Leader
Donna Summerall Lifestyles Reporter
embarrassing poor relation to Columbus and Starkville. Our people were beaten down and tired of of nearly 20 per cent unemployment with nothing to hope for on the horizon. It almost seemed futile to join the LINK. The idea of a 1 per cent tax increase on restaurants and hotels seemed like a waste of money. But by six votes the tax passed. Even though we didn’t realize it, that day was the begin-
See ‘Summerall’ page 5
The fluoride that is put into our public water comes from the manufacturing of phosphate fertilizer; manufacturing phosphate fertilizer produces two highly toxic gases hydrogen fluoride ( HF) and silicon tetrafluoride (SiF4) these gases had been damaging vegetation and crippling cattle on local farms close to the phosphate plants. Many complaints and lawsuits led to tougher laws being passed in the 60’s and 70’s, requiring wet scrubbers to be installed at the phosphate plants to remove the two highly toxic gases( HF) and (SiF4), a spray of water from the wet scrubbers is able to capture the gases and convert them to a solution of hexafluorosilicic acid ( H2Sif6). When this resulting solution has reached a concentration of about 23 percent, it is shipped untreated to be used as a fluoridating agent in over 90 percent of the city or municipal water supplies who fluoridate in the United States. Ironically this hazardous waste can’t be dumped into the sea by international law, nor can it be dumped locally, because they are too concentrated. So how can they be put into our public water, and not affect our internal organs, or developing/aging brains? pg 16 The Case Against Fluoride Another issue in the manufacturing of phosphate fertilizer is the phosphate rock, which is mined to produce the phosphate used in the fertilizer industry, this phosphate rock contains naturally occurring uranium-238 and radium-226, the latter which gives birth to radon-an odorless, colorless gas that is known to cause lung cancer. It is unknown how much of this radioactive material ends up in the bulk liquids used in fluoridation. emphasis mine The next point I would like to make concerning water fluoridation is the heavy metals and carcinogens contained in the waste removal process from the phosphate fertilizer. “ Testing by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International suggest that the levels of arsenic in these chemicals, after dilution into public water, can be as high as 1.66 ppb ( parts per billion) and are of potential concern.” pg 19 “ The EPA sets the MCLG for arsenic at zero because arsenic is
Questions about water fluoridation
Chad Scott Guest Columnist
known to be human carcinogen, and for the EPA there is no safe consumption level for a cancercausing chemical. By allowing the use of arsenic-contaminated fluoridating chemicals, we are sanctioning an increased cancer risk for the whole population in an effort to reduce tooth decay by a small amount. Most people are unaware that is the trade-off that has been made.” pg 19 The Case Against Fluoride How can we allow all these carcinogens in our water supply? “Being able to convert hexafluorosilicic acid ( H2SiF6) from a hazardous waster material into a saleable product is very attractive for the phosphate industry, and for cities who have been led or shall I say misled to believe adding this type of fluoride is a good service. Once hexafluorosilicic acid is purchased it goes from being a hazardous waste to a “product” and no longer has to meet the stringent EPA legal requirements for handling hazardous waste.” Page 17 The Case Against Fluoride The above mention facts come from the book The Case Against Fluoride How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There by Paul Connett, PhD, James Beck, MD, PhD and H.S. Micklem, DPHIl Anyone wishing to obtain further information can contact me or go to Chad Scott
Visit for more of Art’s cartoons
You did it West Point and Clay County. We will have our share of photo opportunities in the coming months that should include politicians and economic developers breaking ground, shovels in hands, with industry executives. But for now, I want to take a minute to recognize the citizens of Clay County and West Point for your work in helping to land Yokohama Tire Corporation in this community. I have lived in Delta towns throughout my young life, primarily in Yazoo County. I have witnessed first-hand the negative effects high unemployment can have on a community’s people and culture. Schools begin to fail, communication breaks down between existing industry and potential workers and eventually the town’s core dries up due to crime and the lack of a competent workforce. We’ve said it over and over in our stories, and people are so quick to mention the loss of jobs the county experienced with the closing of Sara Lee. Sara Lee might have closed, but it did not kill this town. It did not kill the spirit of the people who made this community great and will make it a model for the state once again. Budgets were tight, pennies were squeezed, but this county’s people stayed afloat through faith and diligent work. Citizens I n b a n d e d S e p t e m b e r, together with you respondnumerous ed to the call committees to pass a one and councils percent tourto make sure ism tax on that every lodging and cost-effective restaurant thing possible purchases. was being That revenue done to make has already sure this brought in county and tens of thoucity stayed sands of dolBryan Davis clean and lars that this Managing Editor inviting. city would I’ve witnot have had nessed downat its disposal town areas dry up, buildings to use to beautify and market crumble and drug dealers occu- our town. py abandoned businesses. Our business leaders have That kind of thing never hap- given generously to these pened in this town. causes, even during the middle Our forward-thinking citi- of one of nation’s worst ecozens are in the process of tak- nomic recessions. ing an empty business at the If the average citizen does end of Commerce Street and not think he or she contributed plan to turn it into an art hub for to the Yokohama deal, you north Mississippi. need to think again. Our Main Street Design Each time you got out and committee has already been in mowed your lawn, fixed a the planning stages of revital- hanging gutter on your house izing the fronts of all of our or made sure that garbage was Main Street stores. out of sight of those passing by, All of this was being done you made our city look inviting long before a whisper of to guests we did not even know Yokohama Tire. we had. Our city Parks commission When you dressed approprihas kept our parks clean and ately while walking down the our playing fields ready for street and addressed others in a games. polite and non-offensive manAll of this is done on the ner, you very well could have tightest of budgets. done so in front of a Yokohama
You made this happen
Daily Times Leader
A Horizon Publications, Inc. Newspaper
The Times Herald, 1867 • Clay County Leader, 1882 Consolidated 1928 Published Tuesday - Friday and Sunday Mornings 221 East Main Street • P.O. Box 1176 West Point, MS 39773 Phone (662) 494-1422 • Fax (662) 494-1414 Advertising: ads@ News: Editor: editor@ Lifestyles: life@ Sports: Classifieds: class@
Periodicals postage paid at West Point, MS. USPS 146-580
Don Norman, publisher
executive. Our restaurant workers, grocery store cashiers and service station attendees made impressions on visitors when they dined and bought food and gasoline. Each time you greet someone with a smile and leave them with a thank you, it may be the executive of a large company, looking for a new home. Industries are not impressed with towns that have rude citizens, unclean yards and businesses and an incompetent workforce. West Point and Clay County, you’re doing something right, and if the kind of impression we made living on tight budgets brought 500 jobs to this community, think of what is on the horizon. We’re going to have a lot of visitors here in the next year or so. Contractors will stay in our hotels, rent our houses, and they will eat from our restaurants. Let’s make them feel at home. I am very excited to be a part of this community, and I couldn’t ask for a better town as a home for my wife and new daughter. So no matter what role you play in this community, each time you drive past that big Yokohama facility after it opens in 2015, you can feel good because you made that happen.
1998. In 1993, I helped lobby in Jackson to pass the Mississippi Pawnbrokers Act. I am aware, as you are, West Point has experienced some difficult times that are affecting us all. As a lifelong resident, I love this city and I believe strongly in its future. I went to school here; I raised my family here; and this is my home. I am convinced that, with committed leaders making the right decisions, we can move forward. We MUST focus on acquiring more commerce and jobs for our people and placing our city in a more competitive position with our neighboring towns. We are part of the Golden Triangle, and we have the same opportunities as surrounding communities to recruit new businesses as well as new industry. My goal, is to represent
every person in Ward 5 and to work with all city and county leaders. Over the next few weeks, I will be out in our community knocking on doors, talking with each of you about your concerns for our city. I will be honest and fair in all that I do. Therefore, I am sincerely asking for your prayers, your vote, and your support on May 7th. I firmly believe that TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE
A DIFFERENCE IN WEST POINT! This is a non-paid political announcement. Any candidate who has qualified to run in the upcoming municipal elections may submit a photo and letter of intent to the Daily Times Leader.
EDITORIAL POLICY: This page is intended to provide a forum for the discussion of issues that affect the area. Commentaries of guest columnists and cartoonists reflect the views of their authors and do not necessarily reflect those of this newspaper or its publishers. LETTERS POLICY: We invite e-mail and signed letters that include a daytime telephone number. We will publish them at the discretion of the editor. Please limit letters and e-mail to 150 words. Letters and e-mail may be edited for length and clarity. E-mail may be sent to
Call 494-1422 Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Publisher..................................................................Don Norman
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Daily Times Leader
Sunday, April 28, 2013 • Page 5
Stevens feted with crawfish boil
The Cairo camp house of Bert and Sharon Falkner was the setting of a crawfish boil thrown in honor of Oak Hill Academy senior Jeb Stevens on Sunday, April 7. Enjoying the event with Jeb are, front row, from left, Ben Pearson, Cooper Orman, Trevor Turner, Lauren Billington, the honoree, Megan Jameson, David McElwaine and Boyd Anderson. Second row, from left, are Caitlyn Walker, Curt Huffman, Anna Ready and Jackie Gates . Third row, from left, are Riley Pierce, Meg McBrayer, Tres Turner, Jessica Ryan, Hannah Allen and Conner Baird. Top row, from left, are Taylor Harris, Jacob Dickens, Adam Tumey and John Wesley Williamson. Special guests included Jeb’s family. Hosting the event were couples from the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, Jim and Debbie Chandler, Kyle and Susan Chandler, Kyle and Katie Chandler, Thomas and Michelle Easterling, Bert and Sharon Falkner, Will and Carolyn Jane Hay, John and Tait Kellogg, Lin and Melissa Newell, Bill and Shurley Sugg and Jeremy and Amy Tabor. Photo courtesy of Kristen Stevens
Harris, White honored with senior party
Taylor Harris and Palmer White, seniors at Oak Hill Academy were honored recently with a senior party at Proffitt’s Porch in Columbus. Hosts and hostess for the event were Randy and Ginger Weimer and Chuck and Penny
Pearson and Cody. Guests in enjoyed sandwiches and cake after playing lively games of volleyball, whiffle ball and tossing frisbees. The hostesses presented the honorees with monogrammed canvas laundry bags.
once again open the doors of their Pizza Inn Restaurant to benefit local Boy Scout Troop 15, Tuesday, May 7, from 5-8 p.m. Members of Troop 15, sponsored by the First United Methodist Church, will work during the dinner shift waiting on customers and bussing tables for 15% of the night’s Dr. and Mrs. Pete Edwards honored Oak Hill Academy senior Jeb Stevens with a baseball-inspired brunch at Old proceeds and all tips received. Waverly Golf Club on Sunday, April 14. The tables were decorated with baseballs, Cracker Jacks and copies of baseballThe funds raised will help themed sheet music. Jeb’s guests for the brunch were members of the Oak Hill Academy varsity baseball team, who enjoyed a Southern buffet of fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, green beans, and chocolate meringue and lemon ice box pies. Following the brunch, the team members signed the baseballs as mementos for the event and the conclusion of their season. Pictured are, front row, first baseman, Brandon Westover; shortstop Curt Huffman; center fielder and honoree Jeb Stevens; left fielder Riley Pierce; right fielder Drew Riley; back row, right field lounge fan and friend, Ben Pearson; designated hitter Drake Riley; pitcher Adam Tumey; designated hitter Caleb ning. We now had powerful Roberson; catcher “Big Joe” Joseph Caskey; and second baseman Conner Baird. Special guests included Jeb’s parallies in our corner. People ents, Joe and Kristen Stevens, his brother John Willis and his were working diligently to grandmother, Cheryl Sundbeck. Photo courtesy of Kristen breathe some life and most of Stevens all some hope, back into West
Pizza Inn to open its doors for Scout fund raiser Bob and Joni Seitz will supplement the costs of sum-
Stevens honored with baseball brunch
mer camp and the essential camping and canoeing trips that make Boy Scouts a desirable outlet for so many boys in the area. According to Scout Master Carl Miller, “A happy Scout is a camping Scout.” Come out and enjoy the Pizza Inn buffet May 7 and help the boys of Troop 15.
continued from page 4
Rose Drug Company
137 Commerce • West Point, MS • 494-3341
2013 Bridal Registry
March 9, 2013 Morgan Hickingbottom & Ryan Doler Miranda Young & Oliver Johnson Breann Taylor & Bill Duke April 13, 2013 Jamie Hodnett & Matt Lee April 20, 2013 Tremonica Robinson & Lekendrick Lenoir Stephanie Cliett & Jason Harpole April 27, 2013 Shemeka Jones & Julius McClenton Monique Matthews & Shedrick Bradshaw May 4, 2013 Liz Merchant & Adam Skrobialowski May 11, 2013 Madison Towery & Jordan Hailey May 18, 2013 Hope Higginbotham and Scott Johnson May 25, 2013 Shannon Denney & Bryan Davis Lacy Riley & Josh Funderburg June 8, 2013 Katie Weeks & Adam Langley Alkenie Moore & Herbert Bailey June 22, 2013 Shelby Steelhammer & Joshua Craver
Full Service Bridal Registry-Wrapping & Delivery We carry a complete line of Dinner Ware, Glassware and Flatware from: •Vietri •Tag •Park We can order special gifts for all your wedding attendants.
Gail Ray has joined the team at Image Makers Salon in West Point. She would like to invite all of her friends to come by for all of their beauty needs.
• Cuts • Styles • Colors • Hi-lites • Manicures • Pedicures • Ear Candling
Gail’s Hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Saturday - by appointment only
Point. We had people who believed in us trying to court and cajole manufacturers to look at us, at what we had to offer. Obviously someone liked what they saw and decided to take a chance on West Point. Friday was something of a day of rejoicing. Even Mississippi broadcasters in television, radio, and internet all over the state were pulling for us to land an industry to help us get back on our feet again. We were an underdog for a long time. It’s nice to be a
winner for a change. There will never be places to work like there were before. The world has changed and technology is part of every aspect of our lives. There are no more places where you can drop out of school and go straight to work. You have to graduate and then further your education. Whether at college or EMCC Workforce Training you have to grab as much knowledge and experience as possible. Things are finally looking up. We have to be ready. Tomorrow IS another day.
639 W. Broad St. • 494-7250
Image Makers Salon
2 or 3 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom • Lakeside Subdivision
Call on us for all of your Real Estate and Insurance Needs!
Beulah Wray 549-3543 Richard South 275-1495 494-8366
Lycille South 412 E. Main St. Home, Auto, Health and Life 494-2071
Page 6 • Sunday, April 28, 2013
Daily Times Leader
Pilots attending the Mississippi District Convention were, front row (from left) Judy Ashmore, Georgene Swindol, Nina Coleman, Glenda Golbert. Back row (from left) President Debra Cole, Mary Ann Shows, Sandra Cox, Nancy Hall, Michelle Estes and Jeannie Johnson.
Submitted Photo
Pilot Club well represented at district convention
By Donna Summerall
Daily Times Leader
Ten members of the Pilot Club of West Point made the trip to Tupelo, April 12 – 13 for the Mississippi District Pilot
Convention at the Clarion Inn and Summit Convention Center. 90 Pilots from all over Mississippi come together for fun, fellowship and inspiration. The theme for the weekend event was, “Grow In Service
and Membership.” Pilots took part in Officer Training and Workshops to provide sound practices for expounding their community service and growth within their club.
A special fundraiser was held in-house Friday night at the convention allowing the Pilots to give of themselves. The Pilot Club of West Point were recognized with several awards; taking 1st place in
Judy Ashmore was recognized as Pilot of the Year by Governor Janie Cirlot New.
Submitted Photo
Attendance, Honorable Mention for District Yearbook, Club News Letter, Pep Recognition, Pacesetter and Parade of Pennies. The highlight of the evening was West Point Pilot Club
member Judy Ashmore being named Mississippi Pilot of the Year. The Pilot Club of West Point has the distinction of producing a Pilot of the Year for the past three years.
Honors hour at West Point High School
Ninth grade through twelfth West Point High School students were recognized for excellence in academia Friday during Honors Hour to give honor roll students a pat on the back for their hard work. Thirty-two students were on the Superintendent’s list with All A’s, 126 students were on the Principal’s list with A’s and B’s. To the left, Angel McWilliams receives her certificate for achieving honor roll for the third nine weeks. To the right, Jennifer Maness presents Deja Wade with her certificate for A/B honor roll this nine weeks. Photos by Donna Summerall
Vote for Experience. Vote for Leadership. Vote for Robbie Robinson.
• Served 28 years as Chancery Clerk of Clay County • Worked with the Board of Supervisors to manage an 11 million dollar annual budget • Member, Golden Triangle Development LINK’s Executive Committee, working to bring jobs to West Point, Clay County and the Golden Triangle • Board Member, Clay County E911 Board
On May 7th, please vote in the city election at the Civic Center on 6th Street in West Point.
Submitted to, approved by and paid for by The Committee to Elect Robbie Robinson. Becky Shirley, Treasurer
Daily Times Leader
A dynamic duo on the court
Williamson, Kelly to defend state crown
Daily Times Leader
No we are not discussing a morning talk show, but the Oak Hill mixed doubles pairing of Kim Kelly and John Wesley Williamson have had similar success to “Regis and Kelly.” Defending MAIS AA 2012 State Champs in mixed doubles, Oak Hill senior tennis players Kelly and Williamson have been a dynamic duo on the tennis courts. In the three year partnership, the pairing recently won their third consecutive district 2-AA championship this past Tuesday in Jackson and the MAIS AA North State title in 2011 and 2012. Having played doubles together for a three season span, Kelly and Williamson know each other very well. Even outside of Oak Hill tennis, the pairing has known each other from a summer tennis league since fourth grade where they also alternated playing together at times. Yet it was a selection from OHA tennis coach Brian Middleton that put Kelly and Williamson on course. “We always played on a summer league team together since fourth grade,” explained Kelly about the history of the tennis couple, “Playing during the By Will Nations
Sunday, April 28, 2013 • Page 7
losing in the 2011 mixed doubles state championship as the time they let an argument and frustration get the best of them. Losing that championship has only made John Wesley and Kim better. The pairing has grown and now are a force to be reckoned with. “There are arguments, but we have learned to turn them into positives,” said Williamson about maturing as a dynamic duo and adding, “But when Kim gets mad the other team better watch out! She will ace you!” Mixed doubles combines the passion and aggressiveness of men’s doubles with the finesse of women’s doubles. The yingyang pull makes mixed doubles a game that requires a grasp of strategy and the ability to understand one another. Thanks to a long career together, all these aspects are well taken care of by these two players. Kelly and Williamson will continue to defend their mixed doubles state crown Tuesday at Kirk Academy in Grenada at Will Nations the MAIS AA North State tournament. A tournament win Austin Foster connects with the baseball during Hebron’s final playoff match against Tri-County on Thursday. Tuesday will give the pairing summer league as a mixed pair A strong chemistry was built other’s weaknesses,” comment- we poach or hit outside.” their third consecutive North was not always permanent. One through strong communication ed Williamson at an Oak Hill But there has been some State title in the AA classificaday Coach Middleton put use with each other on the tennis Tennis practice Thursday after- times where frustration has tion. together, we did well in the court. noon, “Communication has crept in and caused a little match, and it has been set ever “We know each other’s been the main thing that has heartache. Kelly and since.” strengths and we know each helped us with strategy whether Williamson pointed towards
Saddle up
Pictured from left to right: Seated; Palmer White and Shay Atkins. Standing; EMCC head coach Morgan Goodrich, Carrie White, Sam White, Kintha Atkins, Chip Atkins, and EMCC Coach Wes Goodrich.
Will Nations
Ken Dill hands the ball off to A.J. Iseley during one of OHA’s spring practices.
Will Nations
Oak Hill prepping with Spring Practice clean
Daily Times Leader
By Will Nations
Atkins, White ink with EMCC Rodeo team
Daily Times Leader
By Will Nations Carrie and Sam White. Palmer qualified for the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) Rodeo his ninth and eleventh grade year. In his ninth grade appearance at the NHSRA Rodeo, Palmer was selected as the Rookie of the Year. Palmer finished in fifth place during his 2011 performance in the NHSRA and also won performance of the year in 2012. Palmer will compete against his brother, Taylor, who is currently at the University of West Alabama. Palmer and Taylor will compete against each other, but will also rope together in the team roping portions of the rodeo.  The Lions and Lady Lions in their short history have carried a little West Point flavor, especially coming from Oak Hill. Former Oak Hill athletes Will
Mid-day Friday, Oak Hill seniors Shay Atkins and Palmer White placed pen to paper signaling they will be attending East Mississippi Community College in Scooba and competing for the EMCC Rodeo Team. The Rodeo pair will join third-year head coach Morgan Goodrich and her Ozark Region-member team in the upcoming fall semester. The Lion Rodeo Team was formed three years ago and has shown steady improvement since their inception into the Ozark Region. Shay Atkins is daughter of Kintha and Chip Atkins. Shay has competed on the Little Britches Rodeo Association and the Tennessee High School Rodeo circuits where she received multiple awards for her performances. Atkins was the 2007 Reserve All Around Junior Winner and the 2008 All Around Junior Girl Champion during her stint in the Little Britches Rodeo. In 2011, Shay acquired the Rookie All Around Championship of the Tennessee High School Rodeo. After the Rookie Championship, Atkins had a break-out 2012 season in the Tennessee High School Rodeo winning the All Around Championship, Barrel Racing Championship, and third place finishes in pole bending and goat tying. Atkins is honored to represent East Mississippi doing something she loves and furthering her education in Scooba. Palmer White is the son of
Lummus, Kayla Lummus, and Taylor White, brother of Palmer, all signed with the EMCC Rodeo team. Will Lummus, a junior, now competes with the #2 nationally ranked University of Tennessee at Martin. While in Scooba, Will made back-to-back appearances at the College National Finals Rodeo in the steer wrestling competition. Kayla Lummus as sophomore finished her final round with the Lady Lions this spring.  The East Mississippi Rodeo Lions finished their season with the men’s team ranked fourth in the Ozark Region and the women’s team ranked sixth in the region.  Atkins and White will join the EMCC Rodeo team this coming fall to start their intercollegiate rodeo careers.
The Oak Hill Raiders are coming off a successful 6-6 season and their first playoff berth since the 2009 season. The six win season was the most wins in a regular season since Randy Carlisle’s squad in 2006. Second year head coach Daniel Merchant is looking for the three weeks of spring training to be a positive for his team. Though the Raiders lose five players from the class of 2013, Oak Hill still maintains a backfield which has worked together fully since their junior high years. Junior quarterback Riley Pierce, the Daily Times Leader Rookie of the Year, will be the Raiders’ man under center this year taking over as the fulltime signal caller from graduating senior Conner Baird. Also in the backfield and looking for a career season in the fall is the power running back, Drake Riley. Drake Riley, a Daily Times Leader Top 12 selection, will have a significant load on his back in Merchant’s veerheavy offense. “We are mainly trying to put our offense into rhythm,” said Merchant, “Footwork and timing is what we are trying to get together now. After our first practice, I was pleased.” Another key component to the success of the Raiders through spring will be the performance of the offensive and defensive lines. Under the direction of Coach Carl Middleton and newly incoming Coach Drew Dance, the battles in the trenches will be a selling point for a strong fall season. Leading the way for the defensive line and possibly the offensive line is rising senior Joseph
Caskey.  Caskey, an all-district selection in 2012, returns and looks to make an impact with his play inside the tackles.  A successful spring training will be essential as the Raiders will face an even stronger district in the upcoming season as they welcome the two-time defending MAIS A Tri-County Academy. Former 2-AA member Immanuel Christian drops down to the A classification. Still remaining in district 2-AA is long-time rival Winston Academy along with Canton Academy, Manchester Academy, and Leake Academy.
Junior quarterback Riley Pierce gets under center during a backfield drill as second-year head coach Daniel Merchant watches from afar.
Will Nations
Conference 2-AA has been difficult to crack for the Raiders as Oak Hill has only been able to produce two wins against current conference members since 2009. Oak Hill will conclude their three weeks of spring practices with a Spring Game against the MHSAA-member West Lowndes Panthers on the campus of West Lowndes High School on May 17.  The Daily Times Leader will have continuing coverage of the Oak Hill Spring Practice proceedings.
Page 8 • Sunday, April 28, 2013
Daily Times Leader
www . d a i l y t i m e s l e a d e r . c o m
McKee (District 5) saw with the rest of the community the unveiling of the site they were about to break ground upon. The groundbreaking occurred with much less fanfare than the night before, and there was a noticeable anxiousness among the county’s representatives. Lummus looked silently at a map that showed the potential for the 1,200 acre plot of land. All present were wondering though whether the partnership with the LINK, the commitment to regional planning and the development and marketing of this site was one giant roll of the dice that might land on the wrong sides. On Friday, West Point and Clay County rolled a lucky seven when legislators passed the Gibbs-Turner Economic Development Act, almost unanimously throughout both houses at the Capitol. “It’s the boost Clay County needs,” Horton said on Friday evening, after returning from Jackson with news for his constituents that 500 jobs are coming to town by 2015. “This is a chance for the people who want to work to have good jobs right here at home.” There was not a politician in the county who did not hear the naysayers and the doubters and talk that the plan would never bring jobs to the county. “I had people tell me it would never work,” McKee said of the LINK partnership. “I kept telling them that we have to be confident, and we will land something.” Davis has been in office since 2004, and in October, he was one of many city and county officials who took a tour of Severstal in Columbus to see what an industrial project might look like on Clay’s megasite. “It’s like taking a huge weight off your shoulders,” said Davis. “This is a winwin.” Deanes has been on the board since 1992. He watched seven years ago the closing of Sara Lee and the loss of over 1,000 jobs in his home county. “Clay County is one of the most blessed counties out of the 82 counties in Mississippi,” Deanes said with excitement after the bill passed on Friday. “The money we invested in Joe Max Higgins and Ron Maloney wasn’t enough. If they had asked us for a half million it wouldn’t have been enough. Thank God for those guys, and thank God for this county.” Also this winter, Deanes had to attend funerals for two close friends, Senator Bennie Turner and Representative David Gibbs. Deanes’ niece Sonya is married to Representative Karl Gibbs who took over his father’s empty seat after a special election this month. With Friday’s announcement, the seasoned supervisor was overjoyed that his friends’ many years of hard work had paid off. Deanes was so elated with the prospect of 2,000 jobs coming to Clay County over the next decade that he made no bones about his future plans. “I am running again,” Deanes said of his supervisor post. “I’m not even going to let the city get through with their elections. I’m saying it now. I’m running again.” Lummus was also in the Senate gallery on Friday, watching representatives seal the deal that could be the saving grace for a county that struggled to keep afloat after massive layoffs and a recession. “I’m really excited,” Lummus said. “I’m so thankful that our legislators saw the need for it. We were picked over 3,000 other counties. They picked us to bring success to Mississippi.” Lummus added that the partnership with the LINK was key in getting this kind of project. “This was a Golden Triangle effort,” Lummus said. “I want to thank Lowndes County and the LINK for letting us in. It’s going to be really good for a long time.” McKee took office in 2008,
right after the closing of Sara Lee and the start of a nationwide recession. “It’s a great day for Clay County,” McKee said. “I’ve never seen so many people come out and support us the way they did.” McKee says that Lowndes County Supervisor Harry Sanders helped get his county on board with the partnership between Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties this past fall. If all of the names that contributed to what happened Friday had to be mentioned, there would be thousands. It was an effort by the officials, economic developers and the citizens of each county in the partnership.
Animal shelter needs foster families for several puppies who have been selected to go on the next Homeward Bound rescue. You would need to keep the pup for two weeks, until the day of transport. If you are interested, please call the shelter at 524-4430.
The American Legion Post 212 Ladies Auxiliary meet the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. All members are urged to attend.
Community Calendar Continued
the Adult Basic Education department of East MS Community College. Please call 243- 1985 to register for free classes. • Foster Parenting Foster and Adoptive Parents are needed. If you can give time, space, care and attention to foster children, maybe you can qualify to be a foster parent. Caring families in Clay Co. are needed who have the interest and ability to be loving foster parents. For more information call Karen Ward at 4948987.
• Ladies Auxiliary
• GED classes Free GED classes at Bryan Public Library on Tuesday and Wednesday each week, 4:30 7:30. These are sponsored by
first Saturday of each month Alert Guardian will be guest from 5”30-8:30 a.m. The pub- speaker. All members and prospective members are invited lic is invited. to attend. Membership in REPM is open to all retired • REPM Meeting The Clay County Unit of persons from the Mississippi Retired Education Personnel of schools. For more information Mississippi, will meet at 2 p.m. call President Ella Seay 494• Lodge Breakfast in the Esther Pippen Meeting 8323 or Vice President Robbie West Point Masonic Lodge No. Room of the Bryan Public Bryant 494-4129. 40 will have a breakfast the Library. J.W. Chrestman from
Daily Times Leader
Sunday, April 28, 2013 • Page 9
Page 10 • Sunday, April 28, 2013
Daily Times Leader
phases are complete in Clay County, the number of jobs could total over 2,000. “This is an historic day for Mississippi, and we are proud to welcome this world-leader in tire manufacturing to our great state,” said Gov. Phil Bryant, who signed House Bill One into law on Friday. “The passing of this legislation will result initially in 500 new jobs, with the potential to create up to 2,000 total jobs, and it will have a positive impact on the state’s economy for years to come.” The story of this particular project dates back to November, according to Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins. The roots of the current economic development strategy for Clay County go back further. West Point and Clay County had been without a major job provider running on four years when leaders saw a need to go in a new direction. What started out as a request for advice from Higgins soon evolved into a relationship with the LINK. It did not take long for leaders to ask Higgins if he would consider taking over the economic development of Clay County from his Lowndes County office. Last spring, Ross urged city officials to jump on board a proposal that would partner the city and county with the LINK. “This is exactly what we had hoped for when we entered into the partnership with the LINK,” Ross said about the Yokohama project. “It happened quicker than I had hoped for.” By summer, a steering committee that had representatives from Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay counties was discussing the possibility of a regional partnership. In August, the LINK hired Ron Maloney as Vice President of Economic Development for Clay County. In mid-September, the Golden Triangle Development Authority was proposed to the public at East Mississippi
Community College’s Golden Triangle campus. On October 31, 2012, the economic development team unveiled the powersite and the commercial for the site that was created in several languages. By December, Okitbbeha and Starkville agreed to join and create the Golden Triangle Development LINK. A year after the initial deals for partnership were signed, Clay County has gotten the news it has been waiting on for
years. On tomorrow morning, our city, county and economic development leaders will go to work on the development of phase one of the Yokohama project.
a similar situation here, but definitely the citizens of our community and surrounding communities will have the opportunity to work and we’re all happy about that.” According to the Mississippi House of Representatives, the initial phase of Yokohama’s establishment in Clay County will bring about 500 new jobs, but over the next few phases that number is expected to reach 2,000 jobs. Turner-Lairy said not only did her father, the late Senator Bennie Turner, contribute to the recruitment of Yokohama but the late District 36 Representative David Gibbs helped paved the way as well for this company to land in Clay County. She said her father would feel as though the citizens of Clay County would be very, very proud of this accomplishment by local leaders and state legislators. “This was an opportunity of a lifetime,” Turner-Lairy said. “As a newly-elected senator, an undertaking such as this is almost overwhelming, but it is very necessary. Just to be a part of it is humbling.” Voting in favor of the Yokohama project, which was named the Gibbs/Turner Economic Development Act, was an easy decision for Turner-Lairy just by seeing the high unemployment rate of 18.2 percent and the attractive benefits the Japanese tire company is offering the community. She said the tire manufacture proposal for Clay County has been a work in progress for state senators, who were initially briefed on the proposal then presented with it a number of times. She said the plan has evolved and evolved in a great way. Turner-Lairy said for the citizens of West Point and Clay County who have had their share of “hard knocks”, the
wait can cease and plans to land a job at Yokohama can commence. “We hope (Yokohama) enjoys being a part of the community and want to be a part of the community for a long time,
and we certainly hope for other prospects,” she said. “We are motivated and are here to support the company.”
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