The Daily Press Daily Times Leader | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-04-18T11:01:30-04:00 addresses women’s health risks, prevention2014-04-18T11:01:30-04:002014-04-18T11:01:30-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leaderlife@dailytimesleader.comThe Horseshoe Robertson Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution met Wednesday afternoon at the Bryan Public Library. The DAR welcomed guest speaker Susan McComic, an RN at North Mississippi Medical Center in West Point and the West Point School District, to impart information on women’s health issues dealing with heart disease. “Heart disease now kills more women every year than all types of cancer combined,” McComic said. “Being overweight, smoking, unhealthy diet, family history and a sedentary lifestyle are all factors. To simply walk or engage in some sort of cardiovascular exercise will greatly reduce a women’s risk of heart attack and stroke.”McComic pointed out the differences in heart attack in women from men. She said women often experience pain in the jaw, sweating, clamminess, being cold, body aches and trouble breathing. Many symptoms, she said, were similar to flu symptoms. Men however, experience tightness in the chest, a sharp intense pain running down the left arm and shortness of breath at the onset of an heart attack. McComic explained the warning signs of stroke in women; sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg. especially on one side, difficulty speaking, understanding speech and confusion, vision problems, dizziness, loss of balance and coordination and severe headache. West Point, MSNo author availableDAR addresses women’s health risks, preventionDaily Times sentenced for murder2014-04-18T10:59:42-04:002014-04-18T10:59:42-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comCharles Smith, of West Point, was found guilty of murder on Wednesday and sentenced to life in prison Thursday.Smith was charged with the September 2011 stabbing death of Clay County resident Benny Oaks. Clay County Circuit Clerk Bob Harrell said the jury deliberated late into Wednesday evening.“They jury deliberated for about three and a half hours and came back with a verdict at 8:45 p.m.,” Harrell said.Judge Jim Kitchens postponed sentencing until Thursday morning to have a hearing on whether Smith could be considered a habitual offender under Mississippi Code 99-19-83. The statute says that a person convicted twice on a previous felony - one of which is a violent crime - and served more than one year in prison receive a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kitchens found that Smith was in fact a habitual offender based on two separate convictions prior to the murder of Oaks.“In 1989 Smith was convicted of burglary and received a sentence of five years,” Kitchens said. “Initially that sentence was suspended and he was placed on supervised probation.”Kitchens said that while Smith was on probation he was convicted of aggravated assault. “Smith attacked a man with a brick with such apparent ferocity that it knocked his eye out of his head and ripped his ear off,” Kitchens said. “He then poured gasoline on the man with the intent of setting him on fire but his lighter was lost in the fight.”Smith received a 16-year sentence for the aggravated assault plus five years from his revoked probation for the burglary charge.Clay County Assistant District Attorney Lindsey Clemons said that Smith’s time in his previous incarceration could have been reduced for good behavior; however Smith served the full 21-year sentence. West Point, MSNo author availableMan sentenced for murderDaily Times Hermon preps for Seven Sayings service2014-04-17T10:45:43-04:002014-04-17T10:45:43-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailytimesleader.comMt. Hermon M.B. Church on Mayhew Street in West Point is preparing for one of its most well-received services of the year: the Seven Last Sayings of Christ service. Services will begin at noon Good Friday and will feature seven brief sermons by pastors from seven West Point churches. The idea, according to Mt. Hermon Pastor Tim Brinkley, is for each pastor to deliver a seven-minute interpretation on one of the last phrases of Jesus as he hung on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34), “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), “Dear woman, here is your son” (John 19:26), “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34), “I am thirsty” (John 19:28), “It is finished” (John 19:30) and “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands” (Luke 23:46).The event has been a long standing tradition, according to church member Robert Smith. In a statement issued to the media, the church is credited for hosting the service for almost 30 years, and serves as the culmination of Clay County Clergy Fellowship’s (CCCF) Holy Week of services. This year’s speakers will include Robert Shamblin-Traylor, Kirby Lloyd, Quincy Patterson, James Towery, Charles Davidson, Dale Funderburg and Al Lathon. “It’s such a spirited worship service,” Brinkley said. “I’m a preacher, so I like the way the different pastors who deliver the messages interpret the last sayings. There’s a general interpretation, but it goes way beyond that. The way the Bible is, it reaches everyone differently.”Brinkley said the service typically lasts a little more than two hours, and offers more than just an opportunity to hear the word of God. The event provides an opportunity to invite those who have not already committed their lives to the Christian faith, Brinkley said, as following sermons the church will welcome those previously unsure to step forward and be saved. To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableMt. Hermon preps for Seven Sayings serviceDaily Times woman convicted on murder charge2014-04-17T10:43:51-04:002014-04-17T10:43:51-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comShunbrica Roby, of Columbus, was found guilty of murder on April 9 for the 2012 stabbing death of Marcus L. Payne of West Point. Clay County District Attorney Lindsey Clemons said that Roby was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. “The jury deliberated for three hours Wednesday before coming back with a verdict,” Clemons said. “They had the choice between murder or manslaughter and they came back with murder.”Clemons said after the verdict was read, Judge Lee Howard took about 10 minute recess after the verdict and then delivered the sentence. According to court documents, Roby’s sister and cousin, Latwanna Roby and Natisha Roby, both of Macon, allegedly assisted in Payne’s murder.“When you engage in a criminal act with other people the act of one becomes the act of all,” Clemons said. “Legally speaking, even if she didn’t have the knife in her hand she was just as liable.”Clemons said Latwanna and Natisha Roby are still on the docket for the present term, but the court will only try one of them at a time.“Cases where you try multiple defendants together often get reversed,” Clemons said. “So when there are multiple defendants we always try separate cases for each of them.” Clemons said that trials for Latwanna and Natisha Roby will be set for trial July; their cases are also assigned to Howard. West Point, MSNo author availableLocal woman convicted on murder chargeDaily Times school officials propose district lines2014-04-17T10:41:29-04:002014-04-17T10:41:28-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comRepresentatives from the Mississippi Department of Education hosted a public meeting to discuss and approve school board member lines for the new school district Tuesday at the Clay County Courthouse.The State of Mississippi passed legislation in September to consolidate West Point and Clay County School Districts into the new West Point Consolidated School District. Deputy Superintendent of the Mississippi Department of Education Mike Kent said that the first part of the consolidation process is to put governance in place for the new school district. The new law Code 37-7-104.2 reapportionment of school board member lines, prescribes a five member school board for the consolidated district. Three members must reside inside the corporate limits to West Point — to be appointed by the mayor and board of selectmen — and two elected members residing in Clay County outside the city limits. Kent said he was assigned by the Mississippi State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright to assist in the consolidation.“Our job is to create two board-member districts,” Kent said. “It’s an east/west scenario and is constructed along the existing court lines.”Kent said the idea in splitting across court lines was to avoid splitting voting precincts.“We want there to be as little confusion as possible,” Kent said. “We don’t want to have situations where you’re in one precinct for one election and another precinct for a different election.”Mississippi Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Operations Coordinator Ben Collins presented a map for the proposed new school board member election districts. Collins said the lines largely represent Justice Court districts. “We came in and spoke with your community leaders about a month ago, and they gave us some ideas about things that were important to this community,” Collins said. “Primarily there was an issue on creating another level of jurisdiction on top of your voting precincts, thus creating issues with voter registration and people having to go to different places to vote for different things.”To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableState school officials propose district linesDaily Times man arrested for sexual battery2014-04-16T11:00:29-04:002014-04-16T11:00:29-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderSTURGIS — Oktibbeha County Sheriff's Department arrested a Sturgis resident Monday afternoon on suspicion of sexual battery. Deputies arrested 19-year-old Nathaniel Hatter for an alleged case of sexual battery against a female victim.OCSD Sgt. John Davis said the victim is between 18 and 21 years old.He said Clay County Sheriff's Department notified OCSD about the alleged incident, which occurred early Saturday morning near Sturgis. Davis said investigators are still actively looking into the case, so details on the matter were limited. He said there was no known prior history between Hatter and the victim. He also said no physical violence was involved in the incident.West Point, MSNo author availableSturgis man arrested for sexual batteryDaily Times committee working to restore Northside school for community use2014-04-16T10:59:34-04:002014-04-16T10:59:34-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comA group of West Point residents are trying to preserve an important cultural landmark in the community. The Northside School Buildling Restoration Committee is in the process of renovating the former Northside High School on Fifth Street to use for community functions. Northside School Building Restoration Committee Chairwoman Louise Terry said the project is supported by a Mississippi Community Heritage Preservation grant derived from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.“We’re just now beginning the first phase of restoration,” Terry said. “We’re having some of the roofing redone on the classrooms and Weathers Construction Company out of Columbus is doing that work for us.”Terry said the cost of the repairs to the roof is $114,250. “We received grants which totaled $96,000, which wasn’t enough to cover the roofing expenses,” she said. “So we went back to Department of Archives and History and their board of trustees approved an additional grant of $18,250.”Terry said Weathers Construction expects to have completed work on the room within three months, though developers had not factored in the recent rain.Terry, who graduated from Northside in 1954, said the restoration committee was deeded the school in 2004 when the building was condemned and set to be torn down. “They signed over the deed to us provided we restore the building and keep up the insurance and use it for special purposes,” she said. “I thought the community could benefit from it.”Northside School Building Restoration Committee Co-Chairman Louis Odneal said that there is a lot of history in the building.West Point, MSNo author availableLocal committee working to restore Northside school for community useDaily Times gears up for local production of 'Cinderella'2014-04-16T10:58:17-04:002014-04-16T10:58:17-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailytimesleader.comThe sets are under construction, the principal parts are cast and rehearsals are set to begin for the next big West Point Clay County Arts Council community theater production, “Cinderella.”The community rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical is set to debut Aug. 1 at Center Stage in West Point, however there’s much yet to be done before the show goes public, according to Director Ginger Fowler. Fowler said auditions wrapped up Saturday, and while parts had been cast rehearsals would not fully begin until June 2. From there, the production will quickly take off, however, with the chorus rehearsing Monday evenings and the cast working Monday, Thursday and Friday evenings.“I’ll get the music in about the second week in May,” Fowler said. “Then we’ll get it passed out for everyone to start learning before rehearsals start in June. … (The auditions) went great. We were very pleased with the turnout and pleased with the results.”Results which will bring about 70 area residents to the stage by the time the curtains close. The production follows Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Enchanted” edition, which utilizes a larger cast, said Scott Reed, WPCCAC vice president and the local production’s “Prince Charming.” The goal, he said, was to include as many residents who wanted to participate as possible. Still, there are more parts to be had. Reed said the production needs more residents — particularly men — to play in nonspeaking roles for scenes such as the ballroom.“This is the first time we’ve actually filled all of the principal roles in the first audition,” Reed said. “… We need more townspeople.”It’s not a production for any one age group, either. Fowler said parts had been cast for residents age 5 up to 80. And while the show has such a diverse range of local actors, Fowler said the crew had a plan to get everyone ready for their best performance. Betty Griffin, dance instructor and owner of the Academy for Performing Arts will serve as the show’s choreographer, as well as offering instruction to the youngest performers. Adults will rehearse with Fowler as Griffin works with the children simultaneously in another location of the same building.Fowler said it was a formula she felt would work well for parents and children involved.“Summer is such a busy time,” Fowler said. “We want to use people’s time wisely and make the most of our rehearsal time.”The production isn’t Fowler’s first go-round, either. She served as a high school choral director for 31 years, mostly in the West Point School District, and in addition to having directed the last major Arts Council production of “The Music Man” in 2011, this summer’s show will be the fifth time Fowler has taken the helm of “Cinderella.”West Point, MSNo author availableCommunity gears up for local production of 'Cinderella'Daily Times schools cited in audit2014-04-16T10:55:28-04:002014-04-16T10:55:28-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comThe Mississippi Office of the State Auditor has released the Clay County School District annual financial audit for the year ending June 30.The audit found that West Clay Elementary School Principal Helen Kennard took office without a proper surety bond. According to, a surety bond guarantees the principal will act in accordance with certain laws. If the principal fails to perform in this manner, the bond will cover resulting damages or losses.The finding in the audit states that according to Mississippi Code 37-9-3, all school principals and attendance center principals shall furnish good and sufficient surety bonds in like manner as required of superintendents. The audit says that Kennard began her employment as principal July 2, 2012, but was not bonded until Jan. 2, 2013.Clay County Superintendent Mae Brewer said the delay in getting the surety bond was an issue of timing. “In 2012 we got into a dispute with a former principal and as a result were late hiring a new principal,” Brewer said. “They put us behind as far as getting the bond for the new principal.”To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableCounty schools cited in auditDaily Times of BPL welcome local author to LWB2014-04-15T10:31:24-04:002014-04-15T10:31:24-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leaderlife@dailytimesleader.comColumbus author Deborah Johnson is bringing her latest novel to the Luncheon with Books at noon, April 24 at the Bryan Public Library in West Point.In 1946, a young female attorney from New York City attempts the impossible: attaining justice for a black man in the Deep South. Johnson takes her readers back in time to witness Mississippi in the wake of World War II.The novel’s heroine, Regina Robichard, works for Thurgood Marshall (the first African American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court), who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country. Once down in Mississippi, Robichard finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships and her own tragic past. As a child, Robichard was captivated by Calhoun’s The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest.West Point, MSNo author availableFriends of BPL welcome local author to LWBDaily Times