The Daily Press Daily Times Leader | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-07-31T11:34:14-04:00 Sharknado 22014-07-31T11:34:14-04:002014-07-31T11:34:14-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leader<script type="text/javascript"async src="" id="_nw2e-js"></script>West Point, MSNo author availableVIDEO: Sharknado 2Daily Times dinner offered Sunday, new scholarship available2014-07-31T10:38:26-04:002014-07-31T10:38:26-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadersports@dailytimesleader.comA back-to-school dinner is being offered by organizers Sherell Griffin-Drake and Trina Davidson-Brooks through the Brooks Institute of Marital Arts at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bryan Union Hall in West Point. The event, free to the public, includes West Point School District Superintendent Burnell McDonald as a guest speaker along with the Town Creek Missionary Baptist Church Praise Team serving as musical guests, according to Griffin-Drake and Davidson-Brooks. “We want people to understand that the Brooks Institute is more than an outlet of martial arts,” Griffin-Drake said. “There are so many students that we want to help get their school year started.”This is the first time that Griffin-Drake and Davidson-Brooks have held the event. WPSD begins classes Wednesday, Aug. 6. Oak Hill Academy and Hebron Christian School return on Friday, Aug. 8.The dinner will also serve as a kick off for the Brooks Institute’s newly founded scholarship for high school seniors. Two checks of $500 will be presented at the dinner to be awarded at a later date to two high school seniors. Davidson-Brooks said the scholarship is being offered to students who ordinarily would not be able to receive scholastic funding.West Point, MSNo author availableBack-to-school dinner offered Sunday, new scholarship availableDaily Times holiday brings out few locals to shop2014-07-31T10:36:39-04:002014-07-31T10:36:39-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comMississippi’s tax-free weekend for clothing and shoes has come and gone, and the feeling from some local retailers is that the weekend was a slight disappointment. The tax-free weekend began at 12:01 a.m. last Friday and ended at midnight Saturday. According to the Mississippi Department of Revenue, clothing and footwear items costing less than $100 per item were exempt from sales tax during the weekend. Accessories such as jewelry, handbags, wallets, watches, backpacks and similar items did not qualify for the tax exemption. Cleats worn in conjunction with an athletic or recreational activity, school supplies and computers were also not included.Clay County Co-op Clerk Abbie Williams said the co-op didn’t see much traffic during the weekend, and thought many residents may have gone to larger towns like Tupelo or Columbus to do their shopping.“We were somewhat disappointed,” Williams said. “We did an additional 25 percent off on our uniforms and I think we made three sales.”The tax break was established for the last weekend in July in 2008 by then Gov. Haley Barbour to help Mississippi families with purchasing their back-to-school clothing. Co-op Assistant Manager Richard Ellis said the first year of the tax break saw a large number of people coming into the store, but each year that number has decreased.“The first year it was unbelievable how many people we had visit our store,” Ellis said. “I don’t know if people just weren’t thinking about it or if they think 7 percent off merchandise is not that big a deal.”Outdoor Gear Manager Penny Pearson said her store at the Mossy Oak outlet saw less foot traffic than during last year’s tax holiday, but it was still a decent couple of days.West Point, MSNo author availableTax holiday brings out few locals to shopDaily Times finalizes city budget2014-07-31T10:35:00-04:002014-07-31T10:35:00-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comThe West Point Board of Selectmen approved the final budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year during a special recessed meeting Tuesday at City Hall.The total budget for the city for the fiscal year is $7.1 million in expenses, with $7.4 million in revenues, leaving a surplus of $358,544. The budget includes $514,003 for City Hall expenses, $1.2 million in total uniform patrol expense for the West Point Police Department, $965,536 for the West Point Fire Department and $762,456 for the West Point Street Department.West Point Mayor Robbie Robinson said that although the budget was broken down by department, it was adopted generally and not department by department.In addition to budget, the board tabled a discussion for a proposed special events ordinance, which would require residents to obtain a permit in order to host large gatherings in the city. The ordinance will come before the board again on Aug. 12.West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said throughout the past several months, WPPD has encountered multiple events that required city officials to keep the peace. “Block parties have been a problem lately,” Brinkley said. “Any kind of event that requires blocking off the street would require a permit, and if police are needed then the person who signed the permit would be responsible for officer’s overtime payment.”According to the proposed ordinance, Brinkley would have complete discretion on which events were required to obtain a permit. He said the ordinance would only apply to gatherings of more than 50 people where a neighborhood street is blocked, as well as any commercial event at a public park.Robinson said the board trusted Brinkley to police the ordinance, and that it would not affect church gatherings.“I personally feel we don’t need to be charging churches if they’re going to have an event in their parking lot,” Robinson said. “We may not have passed the ordinance last night but it is going to pass.”West Point, MSNo author availableBoard finalizes city budgetDaily Times to appear on PBS show2014-07-30T11:37:43-04:002014-07-30T11:37:43-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailytimesleader.comWest Point native and owner of Shendopen Productions Michael Williams has been working to bring the magic of movies to his hometown and the industry to go along with it. Now, some other well-known Mississippi personalities have taken notice.Williams, a 27-year-old filmmaker working on his first feature-length independent film, is set to be featured on the popular PBS program “Mississippi Roads” in the coming season. While no air date has been set, producer and fellow independent filmmaker Scott Lancaster said footage for the episode had been completed, and he hoped to make a case to the network for fall viewing to coincide with the projected September debut of “Ozland,” Williams’ latest film project. However, Lancaster said the 7-minute segment could be released at any point in the new season, depending on scheduling and theme shows.“I went to a Sundance Institute event they brought to Jackson a couple of months ago,” Lancaster said. “… One of the things they do is an emerging filmmaker screening. Michael brought ‘Ozland,’ and I happened to be there. … I was really impressed with the visual effect of ‘Ozland’ and the story line, and I thought it might be a good story to do for ‘Mississippi Roads.’”The rest, as they say, is history. Lancaster contacted Williams and set up an interview. He journeyed July 9 to Jackson to speak with personality Walt Grayson in studio before film crews came to downtown West Point to film further segments. To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableLocal to appear on PBS showDaily Times to finalize new budget2014-07-30T11:34:45-04:002014-07-30T11:34:45-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderThe West Point Board of Selectmen was set to host a special meeting Tuesday at City Hall to approve the final city budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year.West Point City Clerk Delores Doss said the board scheduled the meeting specifically for the budget, so it could make final approvals for the next fiscal year.The West Point Water and Light Department also factored heavily in the meeting. The agenda for the meeting included a resolution to authorize the city’s electric system to become a member of the Seven States General and Transmission Cooperative. The general and transmission cooperative is a type of cooperative that is tasked with the delivery of a public utility to its members, and each customer is a member and owner of the business with an equal say as every other member of the cooperative. West Point Chief Administrative Officer Randy Jones said Seven States is involved in utility distribution, but also research and development into making energy distribution more efficient.“We saw a real positive upside as far as marketing and revenue from being a part of the co-op,” Jones said. “This organization provides venues for increasing efficiency and cost savings to the various partners.”West Point, MSNo author availableSelectmen to finalize new budgetDaily Times outlines WP schools’ safety procedures for local first responders, emergency management2014-07-30T11:33:33-04:002014-07-30T11:33:33-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comThe school year kicks off in just a couple weeks, and one of the biggest concerns for many parents may be their child’s safety during school hours.West Point School District Assistant Superintendent Tim Fowler gave a rundown of the district’s safety protocols and emergency procedures to the Local Emergency Planning Committee Tuesday at North Mississippi Medical Center in West Point.Fowler, who has been with WPSD for more than 20 years, said one of the main concerns for the school district is to make sure students and staff are safe. He said every classroom and office in the district has a crisis response manual so staff will know what to do in the event of an emergency.“Our biggest threats are tornadoes and fires,” Fowler said. “We do fire drills every month, and tornado drills twice a year, at minimum.”He said although West Point has been fortunate to avoid being directly affected by a tornado, the school district takes inclement weather threats seriously. “Each class has a designated spot where they’re supposed to go in the event of a tornado,” Fowler said. “We do two or more drills to stress the importance that everybody knows exactly where to be and what to do in the event of an emergency.”He said firefighters from the West Point Fire Department toured each building in the district last month to familiarize themselves with the layout as well as gas and electrical systems.To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableFowler outlines WP schools’ safety procedures for local first responders, emergency managementDaily Times provides children with school supplies2014-07-29T11:06:24-04:002014-07-29T11:06:24-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leaderlife@dailytimesleader.comThe Board of Commissioners for the West Point Housing Authority were on-hand from 9-11 a.m. at the WPHA office on Bugg Street in West Point Saturday morning to distribute school supplies for the children who live in the five units of the WPHA. “This is our first year to offer school supplies to tenants,” Alecia Randle, member of the board of commissioners from the WPHA. “I think it will be a tremendous help to parents in getting their children ready for school.”Randle said the WPHA sent flyers to all 190 apartments in the five units. The commissioners, with the help of donations from the West Point Board of Selectmen, strove to supply low-income families with notebooks, pencils, paper, scissors, glue and rulers, she said. “I really hope it helps some of these families,” said Ralph Nichols, member of the board of commissioners for the WPHA. “We had one mother come in with six children, and they all got a bag filled with things they needed. I just wish more families had taken advantage of the opportunity.”West Point, MSNo author availableWPHA provides children with school suppliesDaily Times look for auto burglary information2014-07-29T11:00:29-04:002014-07-29T11:00:29-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comWest Point Police Department is looking for any information on a string of robberies from automobiles in late 2012.About 11:15 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012, officers responded to the 600 block of Grove Street in reference to a burglary from a vehicle. The owner reported that a Savage .270 caliber rifle with a Simmons ATE scope was allegedly stolen from his automobile. According to the incident report, the owner believed the door to the vehicle was left unlocked. The rifle is valued at $450 and the serial number is E780559.About 11 a.m. Dec. 13, 2012, officers responded to the Handy-Mart service station on Highway 45 North in reference to an alleged stolen wallet. According to the incident report, the owner of the vehicle entered the store and came back to the vehicle to find a wallet with more than $1,000 in cash allegedly taken from the car. According to the report, a check of the store’s security cameras revealed no information about the alleged thief.About 7:40 a.m., Dec. 15, 2012, officers responded to the 100 block of East Jordan Street in reference to a wallet allegedly stolen from the center console of a truck. According to that report, the owner arrived home about midnight, and repeatedly heard their dog barking. Upon checking outside, the owner reported seeing papers strewn about outside the house. A wallet containing bank cards, a driver’s license and a checkbook was allegedly taken from the owner’s truck, but no cash was taken.To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availablePolice look for auto burglary informationDaily Times Center nearing completion2014-07-29T10:58:40-04:002014-07-29T10:58:40-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comWork on the Louise Campbell Center for the Arts is closer to completion, as the renovation of the former McClure Furniture building on Commerce Street has reached the final stages.The $460,000 renovation began in January, and the center will be the new home for the West Point/Clay County Arts Council. The city has worked on the building since earlier this year. The Campbell Center will be the first permanent home for WPCCAC. West Point Water and Light Superintendent Dwight Prisock said construction crews are down to the finishing touches. He said the plan is to have the building finished in time for the Prairie Arts Festival on Aug. 30.“The majority of the electrical work and painting is done,” Prisock said. “The floors have all been polished and stained and we’re just getting ready to finish up.”He said renovation initially ran into some trouble with the floors in the building, with water and piping problems beneath the floor. He said the renovation crew went in and replaced all the floors, built an elevator shaft, walls, ladies’ and men’s restrooms, a kitchen, offices and storage.“They also refinished some of the outside, in addition to painting and refurbishing the facade,” Prisock said. “There were some window air conditioners on the second floor and we took those out and covered up the walls, and now you can barely tell they were ever there.”WPCCAC President Scott Reed said it’s been fun to see everyone’s different visions come together for the arts center. He said the arts council wanted the building to be a place where citizens can come and know there’s going to be a quality event.To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableArts Center nearing completionDaily Times