The Daily Press Daily Times Leader | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2015-04-17T12:00:15-04:00 men indicted in Huddle House beating2015-04-17T12:00:15-04:002015-04-17T12:00:15-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comTwo men were indicted by the Clay County grand jury on aggravated assault charges this week in relation to alleged beating from August in the Huddle House parking lot in West Point.Courtez McMillian, 23, of Okolona, and Marquavious McMillian were arrested on August in connection with an alleged assault that left West Point man Ralph Weems IV with a brain injury, and were arraigned Wednesday.Both were charged with aggravated assault and they were given a $75,000 bond. Courtez McMillian remained incarcerated in the Clay County Detention Center at press time Thursday, but Marquavious McMillian was released on bond. Both pleaded not guilty, and their trials were set for July 13.A third man was being sought by law enforcement in connection with the assault, but officials could not release his name until he was arrested.Constance McFarland, 21, of Aberdeen, was also arrested in connection with the assault in November, but he was not indicted by the grand jury.West Point, MSNo author availableTwo men indicted in Huddle House beatingDaily Times College High School nearing fall opening2015-04-17T11:58:34-04:002015-04-17T11:58:34-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailtyimesleader.comThe Early College High School at East Mississippi Community College's Golden Triangle Campus is nearing the final stages of an application process which will bring 60 students to the Mayhew location in the fall.Jill Savely, who will be the principal of the new school when it opens later this year, spoke to members of the West Point Rotary Club Thursday regarding current updates to the school. Savely said that 119 Applications were received for the program from students in Clay, Lowndes, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties, of which they anticipated selecting 60 students who would enroll as freshman in the ECHS. She said that the interview process was nearing its completion."We have worked through most of the process," she said. "We anticipate that students will know the first week in May if they are part of the class."Savely added that recruitment for the teacher selection process for the school would begin Thursday as well. According to Savely, 3 teachers will be hired for the Mayhew campus as will one counselor.Savely said that the school was also looking to build community and financial partnerships in the area. Specifically the school is looking to incorporate a service element into the program and is looking for businesses to provide possible shadowing opportunities for students to learn about different career paths. Savely said the school would also be looking for financial partnerships to help fund technology for students in the form of a science lab.West Point, MSNo author availableEarly College High School nearing fall openingDaily Times at NMMC to raise awareness for organ donation2015-04-17T11:56:31-04:002015-04-17T11:56:31-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times No one wants to think about organ donations while they are young, healthy and living life to the fullest. But organ donation is a kind, selfless action that can help so many people. According to the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA,) 123,000 people are on a waiting list for a donor organ. In the state of Mississippi that number is 1,400. Each day, 18 people die waiting for a transplant. Just one donor can save the lives of up to eight people and enhance the lives of more than 50 others, according to MORA. MORA sponsors a balloon release in honor of donors, recipients and donor families to help raise awareness for organ donations. Every April there is a ceremony at North Mississippi Medical Center – West Point to honor those whose donations have meant so much to those in need of a transplant. “We understand there may be a little superstition or apprehension about donating organs,” Lee Waldrop, a representative of MORA, said. “We are more than happy to answer questions and put fears to rest. Being an organ donor does not mean it will change how a person is treated in an emergency situation. It will not delay or change funeral arrangements. It is simply a kindness that can be shown to others at the end of a person's life.” There were two families present Thursday morning who had children that died tragically, but chose to donate their loved ones organs to make their grief a little easier to bear by giving the passing meaning. “A drunk driver took our son Matthew from us in 2008,” Laura Gaskin, mother of a donor said. “Four young people were in the car, two died and two more were injured. The driver was sentenced to 60 years in prison.” Steve Gaskin, Matthew's father, said he and Laura want to spread the word about organ and tissue donations. With a sudden and unexpected death, it's hard to know what to do next. When asked about organ donation the couple agreed it was what Matthew would want. He would have wanted to help other people, Steve Gaskin said. “With raising awareness, we also would like the medical community to not call the donor a 'cadaver,” Steve Gaskin said. “It sounds so cold and impersonal. That donor was loved and cherished by their family, they were not just a 'cadaver.”West Point, MSNo author availableMORA at NMMC to raise awareness for organ donationDaily Times investigating armed robbery, burglaries2015-04-17T11:52:50-04:002015-04-17T11:52:50-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comWest Point Police Department investigators are looking for information on an alleged armed robbery from the early hours of yesterday morning, in addition to other robberies from the past week.About 1 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to Regions Bank on the corner of East Main and 4th Street in reference to an alleged armed robbery at the night deposit box. According to the incident report, the manager of a local business arrived at the bank to make an after-hours deposit and was held up before the bag could be dropped in the night deposit box. According to the victim, the suspect stuck a large black gun in her face and grabbed the money bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash and checks. The suspect fled north behind the bank after taking the money, according to the victim. The victim said the suspect was about 5 foot 4, dressed in all black with a mask and scarf tied around his head.West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said all businesses should call for a police escort before making night deposits."Criminals are opportunistic and may target night depositors during the hours when businesses close," Brinkley said. "The department offers this service free of charge to our businesses and wants them to take advantage of this."West Point, MSNo author availableWPPD investigating armed robbery, burglariesDaily Times Commissioner talks road improvements2015-04-10T12:57:11-04:002015-04-10T12:57:11-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailytimesleader.comThe focus of Mississippi’s future should be on its infrastructure, according to Mississippi Northern District Highway Commissioner and congressional hopeful Mike Tagert. Tagert, who was the guest speaker at the West Point Rotary Club Thursday, outlined what he said was a positive legislative session for the Department of Transportation. Tagert said that during the session, the legislature took a close look at the laws and rules relating to contracts, specifically what represents an emergency contractual arrangement.“I have generally had a positive experience with the legislature,” Tagert said. “They have made it clear that they value the road system we have in the state.”Tagert said that the contractual review was an important part of insuring transparency with MDOT and that he welcomed the legislature taking the issue on. Tagert said that the legislature also worked closely with MDOT on a minor tort reform issue relating to workers compensation.“Seven or eight years ago the state led the way on tort reform and I think that leadership changed the business climate in the state for the better,” Tagert said. Tagert suggested that the state’s revised tort reform and other legal changes made the state more attractive to businesses looking to relocate here. He said though that the state is facing some significant issues in the transportation area that cannot be ignored in the future. “We have issues with a number of our bridges here in the state,” he said. “When you are regularly reducing bridge weights you are actually causing harm to your community. It weakens a community’s ability to attract business, for instance transportation type businesses, if your bridges cannot hold sufficient weight companies don’t want to come here.” Tagert said that the legislature has committed funds to improve bridges throughout the state.West Point, MSNo author availableHighway Commissioner talks road improvementsDaily Times man gets 20 years for sexual battery2015-04-10T12:51:26-04:002015-04-10T12:51:26-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comA Monroe County man was sentenced to 20 years in Mississippi Department of Corrections after being found guilty of sexual battery during the Clay County Circuit Court term Thursday.Theodis Randle, 49, of Prairie, was charged with the March 2010 rape of a Columbus woman, and found guilty Wednesday after a two-day trial, and sentenced by Circuit Judge Lee Coleman Thursday. Coleman said that the maximum sentence for the offense was 30 years.Members of Randle's family asked Coleman for lenience on Randle's behalf, while the victim's family said they'd forgiven him."The sentence is meant to discourage this behavior any further," Coleman said, noting that Randle had one prior conviction, which was non-violent. "I do not think this case merits the maximum sentence. Mr. Randle will be required to serve five years post release supervision and pay court costs, but I'm not going to impose a fine." Also during Thursday's court session, Marquis Boyd received two five-year sentences for his two escapes from the Clay County Detention Center. Boyd, 24, of West Point, was arrested in August in Anderson, Indiana, after escaping from the detention center in June.West Point, MSNo author availablePrairie man gets 20 years for sexual batteryDaily Times County supes split on EMCC appointment2015-04-10T12:49:14-04:002015-04-10T12:49:14-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comThe Clay County Board of Supervisors voted to appoint former sheriff Laddie Huffman to serve on the East Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees at its meeting Thursday, which caused some disagreement among the supervisors.The board originally voted to appoint Huffman at its Monday meeting, replacing Jim Murray, who serves as that board's vice chairman.State statute requires the board of supervisors from each of EMCC's participating counties to appoint two members for the school's board."In talking with our constituents, we've found that there are some other people in the county who'd like to be a part of that board," District 2 Supervisor Luke Lummus said. At Monday's meeting Lummus made the motion to appoint Huffman, with a second from Deanes. Lummus, Deanes and board president Lynn Horton voted in favor of the appointment, while District 3 Supervisor R.B. Davis and District 5 Supervisor Floyd McKee opposed."Jim Murray has served on that board for a while, he's an EMCC graduate and he's really done a good job," McKee said. "I really think this is a mistake."Lummus said that the board's decision was not a reflection on Murray, and that he wanted other people in the county to be able to serve on the board of trustees.West Point, MSNo author availableClay County supes split on EMCC appointmentDaily Times headmaster leaving for Heritage2015-04-09T11:38:29-04:002015-04-09T11:38:29-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comAfter three years as headmaster for Oak Hill Academy, Yandell Harris will leave the school for a basketball coaching position at Heritage Academy at the end of the school year.Heritage Athletic Director Barrett Donahoe said the Columbus private school hired Harris Friday to coach girls basketball and teach history. Harris had previously coached boys basketball for 25 years at Heritage."Mr. Harris is very well-respected in the Heritage community," Donahoe said. "He has a lot of knowledge about basketball, and our kids respect him. We're excited to have him back."Harris said he'd been considering stepping down as OHA headmaster since earlier this year, and that accepting the coaching position at Heritage would give him the opportunity to get back to what he enjoys most."It was something I felt like I wanted to do to lighten my load a little bit," Harris said. "I buy trouble a lot of times, and worry when I shouldn't. I've lost too much sleep in the headmaster role, and I feel like its a time in my life where I need less strain. Coaching basketball is a strain, but where I'm going, I won't have any administrative duties."He said his decision to leave OHA was a tough one, and that the school family was very special to him. "The board really made a push for me to stay, and they had some nice things to say that made it hard for me to leave" Harris said. "It's very sad to leave these people at Oak Hill. I just wanted to get back to what I love doing, which is coaching and teaching, and back off a little bit from a 365-days-year schedule."OHA Board President Gene Childress said Harris would continue serving as headmaster until the end of the current school year.West Point, MSNo author availableOHA headmaster leaving for HeritageDaily Times talks Constitution 2015-04-09T11:36:58-04:002015-04-09T11:36:58-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leader The Horseshoe Robertson Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution held their last meeting before taking a hiatus until September, Wednesday at the First Presbyterian Church in West Point. “We are about to take our summer break before resuming our meetings in September,” Gaynell Duke, regent of the local DAR, said. “But we are very happy to welcome a new member. Jackie Breland White has presented herself for membership and her documentation of her lineage dating back to the American Revolution has been accepted.” White is the granddaughter of DAR member and chaplain, Marguarite Breland. Wilda Thomas, regent of the NSDAR chapter in Columbus, spoke to the HRCNSDAR members about the involvement of the DAR in the institution of Constitution Week. “Constitution Week is the commemoration of America's most important document. It is celebrated annually during the week of September 17-23,” Thomas said. “This celebration of the Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into public law on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.” Thomas said the United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties, freedoms and inalienable rights. It is also the oldest and the shortest Constitution in the world. She presented some little known facts about the United States Constitution to the DAR. West Point, MSNo author availableDAR talks Constitution Daily Times Point man sentenced for fraud2015-04-08T11:44:01-04:002015-04-08T11:44:01-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comA West Point man was sentenced to five years in Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) after being convicted of fraud during the Clay County Circuit Court term Monday.John L. Hunter, 54, of West Point, was convicted on three counts of fraudulent use of ID, after using another individual's Cadence Bank debit card at Kroger and Walmart in September 2013. According to court documents, Hunter had previously been convicted on aggravated assault charges in 1984, and served one year in MDOC. He was also sentenced to one year in MDOC for the sale of cocaine in 2000. Also during Monday's court session, the trial of Sam Cox was continued until a future court term due to additional time being needed for investigation. Cox, 24, of West Point was charged with fondling as, according to court documents, he allegedly fondled a child under the age of 16 in 2009. His case was continued from the June court term as the prosecution needed additional time for discovery. The trial of Byron Perry was also continued during Monday's court session. Perry, 29, of West Point, was charged with aggravated assault and possession of a weapon by a felon, after an alleged shooting in May 2010. West Point, MSNo author availableWest Point man sentenced for fraudDaily Times