The Daily Press Daily Times Leader | AP iAtom feed Copyright The Daily Press 2014-08-27T11:44:49-04:00 cause widespread power outage in West Point2014-08-27T11:44:49-04:002014-08-27T11:44:49-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comHigh winds led to power outages Monday evening in certain areas of downtown West Point. Water and Light crews worked until after midnight to restore power to the affected areas.West Point Water and Light Superintendent Dwight Prisock said there were four total power outages around the downtown area, with the most significant being the block of Grove Street between Tournament and Travis streets. “During the storm a pecan tree at the corner of Cromwell Street and Travis broke off and took down a power pole,” Prisock said. “We had to replace the pole, a three-phase line and two single-phase lines.”West Point Chief Administrative Officer Randy Jones said the tree was a single trunk with three forks low to the ground. He said each fork separated from the trunk and fell independently.“There was a house within 20 feet of the tree and a boat within 10 feet, and neither of them were hit by the falling forks, which was amazing,” Jones said. “The Water and Light Department and Public Works responded both to restore power and clear the fallen tree.”West Point, MSNo author availableWinds cause widespread power outage in West PointDaily Times case could get second look2014-08-27T11:41:18-04:002014-08-27T11:41:18-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadernews@dailytimesleader.comA 16-year-old capital murder case could potentially be re-opened as the man convicted filed a motion for post-conviction relief with the Clay County Circuit Court Tuesday.Jeffrey Randle, of West Point, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1998. Randle was convicted for the Jan. 4, 1997 murder of West Point resident Willie Mae Sewell. He was charged with capital murder because Sewell’s murder occurred during the commission of a robbery. Randle’s case caught the attention of the Mississippi Innocence Project in 2013. The Mississippi Innocence Project is a program with the University of Mississippi School of Law aimed at serving prisoners who have perceived legitimate claims of wrongful conviction. Innocence Project Resource Counsel Will McIntosh said Randle heard about the project and sent them a letter claiming his innocence and applying for the group’s assistance. “We read all the publicly available materials and visited the Clay County Circuit Clerk’s office, and we thought Mr. Randle was a good case for post-conviction DNA testing,” McIntosh said. McIntosh said DNA testing wasn’t widely used during the time period of Randle’s trial, and didn’t become commonplace until nearly 2000. He said there was blood found under Sewell’s fingernails from where she’d scratched her assailant, but it wasn’t DNA tested.“During the investigation they sent the blood off and in the meantime Randle confessed,” McIntosh said. “Once law enforcement had a confession they figured that was all they needed and that the case against Randle was strong enough.”He said Randle claims he was coerced into confessing because he was afraid and did not have an attorney present. To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableMurder case could get second lookDaily Times'Ozland' set to premiere Sept. 4 2014-08-27T11:37:44-04:002014-08-27T11:37:44-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailytimesleader.comMichael Williams has lived in a post-apocalyptic world for more than a year now. The 27-year-old West Point filmmaker has been working with a cast and crew of fewer than 15 total to bring his first feature length production, “Ozland,” to life before the masses. And next week, he’ll get his chance. “Ozland” will premiere for a test screening 7 p.m. Sept. 4 at Malco Theaters in Columbus. Williams, who began pre-production last May and filming in late August, said he’s excited to finally be able to share more than just a premise with his audience. “We’ve had to keep everything other than the process so secretive … so we don’t ruin the surprise of it,” Williams said. “I’m excited for people to be able to see it. … Usually, in the post production I go through this phase where I’m just not happy with something, and I feel like it’s not any good enough. (But) I was surprisingly happy. I didn’t really do that this time, so I think that’s a good sign. I love it, and I hope other people will love it, too.”The film, shot almost entirely in and around West Point, tells the story of two wanderers, Leif and Emri (portrayed by Zack Ratkovich and Glenn Payne, respectively) in a post-apocalyptic dust bowl scenario several years into the future. The two find a copy of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” and from there, the journey changes to one of purpose and hope. Williams, who wrote the screenplay, as well, said in a previous interview he’d been inspired by a 2010 program on The History Channel, which posed the question of how a fictional work might be interpreted by a foreign species unaware it wasn’t factual human history. The concept wouldn’t leave Williams, and from there he developed the storyline for “Ozland.” Since then, it’s been a labor of love. Williams said the film has met its share of challenges in the last year. During the last day of filming, Williams said inclement weather postponed the final scenes for several weeks.“We needed it to be blue sky and sun like it had the 15 days or so we filmed before it,” he said. “It was raining. By the time we could coordinate everyone’s schedules and when we could all get together and when the weather was right, what should have been done in September wasn’t done until January.”Bringing the film to life on a limited budget presented its challenges, as well. Williams said the complexities of a feature-length film on a budget of “less than a car” hindered effects and what could be done. However, he said he felt cast and crew had given their all and brought together a product everyone could be proud of producing. “Everyone who worked on it believed in it and just sacrificed so much for it,” he said. “It’s been a really collaborative effort, all the way around.” West Point, MSNo author available'Ozland' set to premiere Sept. 4 Daily Times joins assault investigation2014-08-27T11:35:37-04:002014-08-27T11:35:37-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailytimesleader.comA man accused of aggravated assault in a weekend incident that left a West Point man severly injured appeared for arraignment Tuesday in West Point.Courtez McMillian, 22, of Okolona, appeared in West Point Municipal Court Tuesday, but was given the opportunity to retain legal counsel before entering a plea. His bond was set at $250,000, and he was housed in the Clay County Detention Center. McMillian was arrested Monday afternoon following inquiries into the alleged Saturday assault of Ralph Weems IV, 32, of West Point. Weems and a friend, identified by the Associated Press as David Knighten of West Point, reportedly enterted into a verbal altercation with a group of black men about 1 a.m. Saturday at the Waffle House on Highway 45 in West Point. Police responded to the incident after employees called 911, according to police reports.About 2 a.m. Police were again called, this time to Huddle House, in response to “a fight going on.” Upon arrival, police discovered Weems unconscious in the parking lot. Alleged assailants had already fled the scene, according to police reports. Knighten told Associated Press reporters he and Weems, both white, had been followed by more than 20 black men from the previous altercation, and assailants from the group had beaten Weems. Knighten, too, suffered injuries, he said. Weems was taken to Northeast Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, where he underwent brain surgery and remained in a medically-induced coma Monday. To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableFBI joins assault investigationDaily Times SEC network lets you keep up2014-08-26T10:48:15-04:002014-08-26T10:48:15-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leader<script type="text/javascript"async src="" id="_nw2e-js"></script><div class="ndn_embed" data-config-widget-id="2" style="width:390px;height:219px" data-config-type="VideoPlayer/Single" data-config-tracking-group="90711" data-config-playlist-id="13434" data-config-video-id="26549065" data-config-site-section="starkvilledailynews_hom_non_fro"></div>West Point, MSNo author availableVIDEO: SEC network lets you keep upDaily Times Warriors reach out to community2014-08-26T10:46:39-04:002014-08-26T10:46:39-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leaderlife@dailytimesleader.comThe Third Mt. Olive M.B. Church Noonday Prayer Warriors in West Point don’t just meet together at noon every Wednesday to pray, they go out into the community where they see a need and visit with people. “If there are people who are sick, shut in or just need a little encouragement, we want to visit with them,” Alma Brown, member of the Noonday Prayer Warriors, said. “We want to bring a blessing to our community. We don’t care who you are, what race you are, whether or not you go to church, we will pray for you, and prayer works miracles.”Brown said every third Wednesday of the month the group goes to West Point Community Living Center and visits the residents. In addition to prayer, the warriors read scripture, sing and give the people at the skilled nursing facility time and attention, she said. Sometimes people just want a hug and to know someone cares, Brown said. “They bring joy and light to our residents,” Myrtle Robinson, certified activities director for WPCLC, said.”We are so thankful to the Noonday Prayer Warriors for coming every month to visit. I can’t thank them enough. To come, spend a little time and let these people know that someone cares means so much.”To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availablePrayer Warriors reach out to communityDaily Times man killed in one-car accident2014-08-26T10:44:06-04:002014-08-26T10:44:06-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderA West Point man was killed in a one-car accident about 5 p.m. Saturday on Highway 45 Alt. South in Monroe County.Antonio Gardner, 40, of West Point, was driving south in a red 1998 Ford F-150 on Highway 45 near Highway 8 when he lost control of the vehicle, according to Mississippi Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Sgt. Criss Turnipseed.Turnipseed said the truck crossed the median, rolled over and caught fire in the northbound lanes of Highway 45, and Gardner was ejected from the vehicle. Gardner was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.He was taken by ambulance to North Mississippi Medical Center in West Point, and later pronounced dead by Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley.MHP are still investigating the cause of the accident as of Monday.To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableLocal man killed in one-car accidentDaily Times made in restaurant assault2014-08-26T10:43:03-04:002014-08-26T10:43:03-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times Leadereditor@dailytimesleader.comPolice have made an arrest in connection with a weekend assault that left a West Point man hospitalized with a brain injury.According to a statement issued by West Point Police Department, investigators arrested Courtez, McMillian, 22, of Okolona on Monday pending charges of aggravated assault. He was housed in the Clay County Detention Center awaiting arraignment.More arrests are pending, according to West Point Police Chief Tim Brinkley.The charge stems from an incident early Saturday morning which took place at the Huddle House parking lot in West Point. According to Brinkley, about 1 a.m., officers responded to the West Point Waffle House in reference to a disturbance among the restaurant's patrons. Reports indicate the man — later identified by family members as Ralph Weems IV, 32, of West Point — was asked to leave the establishment, along with several others engaged in the dispute.David Knighten, also of West Point, told Associated Press reporters Sunday that he'd been with Weems during the altercation. Knighten said upon arrival at Waffle House, an unidentified man had waved him over prior to entering the building and told him that debate over the recent killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., had left many upset and the establishment was not "safe for whites." Knighten also told the AP when he went inside, Weems was already embroiled in argument with other men.To subscribe to the E-edition, please <a href="/eedition">click here</a>.</strong></p>West Point, MSNo author availableArrest made in restaurant assaultDaily Times Arrest made in weekend assault2014-08-25T17:51:58-04:002014-08-25T17:51:58-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderPolice have made an arrest in connection with a weekend assault that left a West Point man hospitalized with a brain injury.On Monday, police arrested Courtez McMillian, 22, of Okalona in connection to an alleged aggravated assault on Ralph Weems IV, 32, of West Point. According to reports filed by the responding officers they were dispatched to the Waffle House restaurant at about 1 a.m. in reference to a disturbance. Once there, a restaurant employee stated that a man was creating a disturbance and upsetting the other patrons. Store employees told police that they wanted the man to leave. According to the report, after the man was asked to leave store employees also requested that the other patrons leave as well. Then at 2 a.m. E911 dispatched officers to the Huddle House in reference to a fight in progress. Upon arrival there officers discovered an unconscious man in the parking lot. Chief Tim Brinkley said, “Our investigation has revealed that most, if not all, of the assailants are from adjourning Monroe County. A list of suspects has been developed and detectives have arrested one man in connection with this crime.” See more in Tuesday's edition of Daily Times Leader.West Point, MSNo author availableBREAKING: Arrest made in weekend assaultDaily Times details released on restaurant assault2014-08-24T12:04:29-04:002014-08-24T12:04:29-04:00Copyright 2010 Daily Times LeaderWest Point Police Department is investigating an aggravated assault that occurred at the Huddle House Restaurant early Saturday morning. Police were dispatched to the scene at 2:10 a.m. in reference to a fight in progress. Once at the business located at 230 Highway 45 Alternate North, officers discovered an injured man in the parking lot and what appeared to be two other individuals rendering aid. The man, whose name is not being released by the police, was transported to the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. He has sustained life threatening injuries but the full extent of his condition is still being evaluated. Witnesses on the scene told police that an argument occurred inside the restaurant which led to a physical altercation outside. The cause of the altercation is unclear and under investigation but the preliminary investigation has revealed that officers were also called to the Waffle House Restaurant an hour earlier involving the victim. All parties were asked to leave the Waffle House at about 1 a.m. Then at 2 a.m. E911 dispatched officers to the Huddle House. It’s not clear whether or not all of the parties were involved in both incidents. Witnesses on the scene were interviewed but were unable to give any details leading to the identity of the aggressors. The victim was accompanied by at least two other individuals who gave statements about the assault. The witnesses described the aggressors as a group of black males but couldn’t provide any other information. The victim of the assault is white. Chief Tim Brinkley said, “This does not appear to be a hate crime. We are investigating this as an aggravated assault. It’s very early in this investigation but thus far the evidence and statements suggest that a verbal altercation turned physical and somebody got hurt.” Investigators with the police department are in the process of reviewing surveillance video and putting together a list of suspects. One witness did provide a vehicle description and police are working on identifying the owner. Chief Brinkley says he hope the individuals involved with come forward voluntarily before arrest warrants are issued. There is a reward of up to $1,000 through the Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers for information leading to an arrest in this case. This case is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 530-7151 or the West Point Police Department at 494-1244. West Point, MSNo author availableNew details released on restaurant assaultDaily Times