The Daily Press Daily Times Leader | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-07-22T10:53:49-04:00 excavation team leaves Israel amid military action2014-07-22T10:53:49-04:002014-07-22T10:53:49-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderSpecial to Daily Times LeaderA collaborative excavation trip to Israel between three universities, including Mississippi State University, got cut short as regional tensions between Israel and Palestine flared up again.Mississippi State University’s Cobb Institute of Archaeology acted as the hosting institute as staff and students from MSU, the University of Wisconsin and State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase traveled to southern Israel to an archaeological site near the northern fringe of the Negev Desert, near the city of Be’er Sheva.The group left Israel via a midnight flight out of Tel Aviv and returned home on Sunday.Cobb Institute Archaeological Worker Dylan Karges, of Starkville, said about 25 students from the three universities and 15 staff used the trip to work the site of a suspected Israeli village on the edge of what was commonly known to be Philistine territory.“I’m working with Jimmy Hardin with the Cobb Institute at MSU and he specializes in the Iron Age Israel,” Karges said. “The site we’re working was suspected to be a small, rural Israelite village that may have been occupied previously by the Philistines. It would have been right on the border or pushing the border out toward the Philistines on the coast.”However, as tensions began to flare in the region in the aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli students, Karges said the group decided it was best to cut the trip short and return home.“Our main concern became staying out of harm’s way,” he said. “We relocated at some points and ultimately made the decision to get out.”West Point, MSNo author availableMSU excavation team leaves Israel amid military actionDaily Times cocaine charges lessened in court2014-07-22T10:52:18-04:002014-07-22T10:52:18-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderMonday saw the beginning of the second week of the Clay County July Circuit Court term, and two of the cases on the docket were affected by a new Mississippi law.House Bill 585 took effect July 1 after being passed into law by the Mississippi legislature in March, and has changed the definition of misdemeanor and felony charges. John C. Jones, 59, of West Point, was arrested in February 2013 for possession of cocaine, and was originally charged with felony possession of cocaine. However, based on the new law, Judge Lee Coleman reduced the charge to misdemeanor possession of cocaine: less than 0.1 gram during Monday's court session and remanded the case to municipal court.West Point, MSNo author availableFelony cocaine charges lessened in courtDaily Times arrested in fundraiser scam2014-07-22T10:51:21-04:002014-07-22T10:51:21-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comTwo men were arrested and charged in connection with an alleged unlicensed door-to-door solicitation.Jerry Gibson, 56, of Columbus, and Quinton Guido, 25, of West Point, were arrested Friday on contempt of court charges, according to Clay County Sheriff Eddie Scott. Scott said while the two were in custody they were identified by a victim of a recent solicitation scam, and charged with false pretense Monday morning."(When) we initially brought them in and they were identified the Justice Court had already closed up for the day," Scott said. "So they had to wait to be charged until Monday."According to a news release, the Clay County Sheriff's Department received reports of a man asking for donations for a bogus fundraiser during the past couple weeks.Gibson and Guido's bonds were set at $293.93 in addition to their bonds for contempt of court, which were $948 for Gibson and $1,272 for Guido. The pair are set to appear before the justice court on Aug. 8.West Point, MSNo author available2 arrested in fundraiser scamDaily Times fire kills two in Clay County2014-07-18T13:04:43-04:002014-07-18T13:04:43-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderTwo adults were killed in a late night house fire in Clay County Thursday. About 11 p.m. volunteer fire departments responded to a structure fire on Dr. Sears Road, just north of West Point. Three adults and one child were reportedly in the home when the blaze began. One adult and one child managed to escape to safety.West Point, MSNo author availableHouse fire kills two in Clay CountyDaily Times housing authority hosts second ‘stomp out bullying’ campaign2014-07-18T11:37:02-04:002014-07-18T11:37:02-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leaderlife@dailytimesleader.comThe West Point Housing Authority (WPHA) sponsored a “Stomp Out Bullying” campaign with Safe Haven of Columbus Thursday at the WPHA building and community center in West Point. This was the second event of its kind with the WPHA and Safe Haven. Parents and children were invited to come and hear strategies for dealing with bullies.“This is our second year to encourage children to help prevent bullying in schools and neighborhoods,” said Icie Wrench, tenant services director for the WPHA. “Last year’s theme was ‘Kick Out Bullying’ so we adopted ‘Stomp Out Bullying’ this year. Instead of applause, we asked everyone to stomp their feet during the program.” Nikki Kraft, Safe Haven community outreach coordinator, talked to the children and their parents about things they can do stop bullying. “Bullies crave attention,” said Kraft. “The best thing to do is ignore them. We adults know that isn’t always easy or possible for children. Sometimes you need to tell someone in authority that you or someone you know is the object of bullying. It isn’t tattling or telling, it’s keeping yourself and others safe from harm.”Kraft spoke to the older children by saying that sometimes it can be an adult who is the bully. She said there have been instances of teachers, and sometimes principals, are known to pick on children. In those circumstances she said, the person being bullied should tell a parent. If several parents tell the same story about bullying in a classroom, someone will listen, according to Kraft. To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableLocal housing authority hosts second ‘stomp out bullying’ campaignDaily Times Point man pleads guilty to armed robbery2014-07-18T11:31:32-04:002014-07-18T11:31:32-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderThursday’s Clay County Circuit Court session saw sentencing for three cases on the docket: Deshawn Rambus, Roger Shelton and Joshua Earnest. Rambus, 23, of West Point, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a stolen firearm, as well as possession of amphetamine. According to court documents, Rambus was arrested in April 2013 for possession of a .9 mm Beretta handgun which belonged to B Rambus was originally on the docket for the April court term, but his sentencing was pushed back due to the murder trials of Charles Smith and Shunbrica Roby. Judge Lee Howard sentenced Rambus to eight years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), with three years suspended, and a $1,000 fine. Shelton, 26, of West Point, pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery. According to court documents, Shelton was arrested in 2007 and charged for robbing two West Point citizens at gun point, taking a purse and cellphone from one, and $323 in cash from the other. Shelton’s trial was originally set for the April 2008 term, but scheduling conflicts and mental evaluations pushed it back until the 2014 term. According to court documents, he underwent evaluation at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield, and though he had a history of mental illness, the doctor noted that he showed no symptoms during the evaluation and concluded that he showed no signs of the illness during when the crimes occurred. West Point, MSNo author availableWest Point man pleads guilty to armed robberyDaily Times investigate shooting2014-07-18T11:29:45-04:002014-07-18T11:29:45-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderWednesday night saw the fourth alleged shooting of the summer at Town Creek Apartments on West Half Mile Road in West Point.Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, WPPD officers were dispatched to the apartment complex in reference to shots allegedly being fired, according to the incident report. When officers arrived they were informed by residents that the incident took place in the middle of the complex between two of the apartment buildings.According to the report, 911 dispatch told officers that two groups were alleged shooting at each other from Town Creek to Norris Court on Bugg Street, and that a suspect wearing a white T-shirt had fled the scene. When officers arrived they were unable to locate a shooter or possible victims, according to the report.Residents at Town Creek informed investigators they heard shots, but never actually saw what happened because they were all inside their homes when the incident allegedly took place. Witnesses offered no description of the shooter or any possible victims, according to the report.Officers searched and secured the complex, including vacant apartments, and were able to recover three .380 caliber shell casings near one of the buildings. Investigators contacted hospitals in the surrounding areas, and none reported any gunshot victims. Brinkley said officers noticed upon arrival that there were children playing in the area but were unable to determine if they were outside when the alleged shooting occurred. West Point, MSNo author availablePolice investigate shootingDaily Times Malaysian plane crashes in (VIDEO)2014-07-17T17:07:05-04:002014-07-17T14:10:37-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderWest Point, MSNo author availableBREAKING: Malaysian plane crashes in (VIDEO)Daily Times woman pleads guilty to PTA forgery2014-07-17T12:49:40-04:002014-07-17T12:49:40-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comJennifer Hamby, of West Point, pleaded guilty to forgery, fraudulent use of ID and false pretense Jan. 13, and Judge James Kitchens accepted her plea during the Clay County Circuit Court session Wednesday.Kitchens said he originally held off on accepting the plea to allow for more time to gather information. According to court documents, Hamby falsely represented herself to use someone else’s debit card at Walmart, Sun Beauty Salon and Dirt Cheap. She also forged a bank employee’s signature and obtained $33,678 from the Churchill Elementary Parent Teacher Association under false pretense, according to the documents.Kitchens said he would wait until the October court term to sentence Hamby because her son has a medical appointment next month, for which she must be present.Assistant District Attorney Katie Moulds said the Churchill PTA has continued to receive bills in Hamby’s name, including one from DirecTV and one from Clay County Solid Waste, of which Hamby said she was unaware.“Forgery is a crime of dishonesty,” Kitchens said. “If more of these things with your name start rolling in, I’m going to have a hard time believing you.”He said Hamby still owed the PTA about $16,000, as her father paid half of the $33,678 she falsely obtained. Kitchens told Hamby she needed to work hard and honestly to come up with the remainder.“I don’t get the impression that you regret anything you’ve done,” Kitchens said. “You’re embarrassed because you’ve been caught, and that’s all.”To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableLocal woman pleads guilty to PTA forgeryDaily Times hosts HB 585 forum2014-07-17T12:47:43-04:002014-07-17T12:47:43-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comThe West Point Police Department hosted an information session pertaining to House Bill 585 for local business owners Tuesday at City Hall, a session that saw a low turnout. District Attorney Forrest Allgood and Assistant DA Katie Moulds were on hand to inform locals on the new bill, which took effect July 1, in a session Allgood referred to as “the damage report.”Mississippi legislature passed HB 585 in March, and it will take effect July 1. The bill was intended to avert prison population growth, according to a statement from Gov. Phil Bryant’s office. The bill is projected to save the state $266 million a year.Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said in a statement released to media that the growing cost of corrections is unsustainable for Mississippi taxpayers. The Mississippi Department of Corrections budget for 2013 was $339,130,434. West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley said the forum was WPPD’s way of trying to connect with the public and address some concerns. The changes the bill makes are significant and will directly affect business owners who are victimized in the future, according to Brinkley. “The most significant change is that the victim will have to suffer a $1,000 loss in order for the offense to constitute a felony,” Brinkley said. “This will definitely hit our businesses in the pocket.”Allgood said HB 585 has affected every property crime, and that the bill will lead to many unintended consequences.“I don’t think the average business owner knows what’s coming,” Allgood said. “We’re going to get a bunch of angry phone calls from citizens who don’t know what’s going on.”To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableWPPD hosts HB 585 forumDaily Times