Wednesday, May 29, 2019

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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Library Quilt Raffle Winner

Dorothy Cagle McDaniel, of Marion, AR, was finally able to travel to Louisville to pick up her beautiful quilt that the Friends of the Library raffled off in May. The Friends raised almost $1,000 from the raffle and the money helped purchase a camera security system for the library. Local Master Quilter Martha Dubard, generously donated the quilt to the Friends. Dorothy is the sister of Rebecca Cagle Carson of Louisville. Congratulations to Dorothy McDaniel!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Church Fire Determined to be Arson

Area fire departments were called to the New Zion Baptist Church located on Highpoint-WeirRoad in
Winston County at around 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. A smoldering fire located in the pastor's office of the church was quickly extinguished and an investigation began. It was discovered that a back window of the church had been pushed in, someone entered the building and set cushions and a pair of chairs on fire Within the pastor's office.

A church member who had come that morning to do clean up around the church found the fire and contacted 911. Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh indicated that the Mississippi Fire Marshal's Office was contacted to assist local investigator, Keith Alexander. Representatives from the State Fire Marshal's Office and from ATF have been assisting in the investigation. Winston County CrimeStoppers has issued a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the individual responsible and the Fire Marshal and ATF are offering additional reward money. If you have information regarding this crime please contact the Winston County Sheriff's Office or Winston County Crime Stoppers at 662-773-9999.

Investigators indicate that the fire was set behind closed doors of the pastor's office and possibly smoldered for a period of time. Fortunately there was little fire damage but significant smoke damage to the church.

Pugh indicated that local fire departments were quick to respond including the Highpoint Fire Department, Shiloh and the Louisville Fire Department. "Our departments did a very professional job and responded quickly. This helped preserve evidence at the scene." 

Pugh indicated that they were following up on evidence and leads and that since the building itself did not burn there was a significant amount of evidence to be considered.

Winston County Library System Board Meeting

The Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System Board of Trustees met at the Winston County Library recently. The library system is made of Attala, Winston, Leake, Holmes and Montgomery Counties and includes 13 libraries. One library Trustee Board member from each county comprises the System Board.  

Seated (l-r) Richard Greene, Executive Director of the MMRLS Library System and who will be retiring 6/30/18 after serving 42 years; incoming Executive Director Josh Haidet. Standing (l-r)MMRLS Business Manager Tammy Bell; Winston County System Trustee Rhonda Porter; Leake County System Trustee Martha Ramzy; Attala County System Trustee Terri Jones; and Holmes County System Trustee Flora Pilgrim. Not pictured, Montgomery County System Trustee Margaret Harris.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Library Hosts Retirement Party for Richard Greene

Mr. Greene’s surprise retirement event at the Winston County Library during the County Board of Trustee’s Meeting Wednesday, June 13th in the library meeting room.

There was a cake, punch and other refreshments and the Board Members presented him with a gift. Everyone else came by to wish Richard well and to meet our new System Director, Josh Haidet.

(l-r)  Former Friends of the Library President, Sylvia Clark; Former Friends of the Library Founder and President, JoAnn Brandt; Winston County Library Board of Trustee Member Rhonda Porter; City Alderman-At-Large Frances Ball; Alderman Judy McLeod; Mayor Will Hill; Winston County Board of Trustee Member Clementine Eichelberger; incoming Mid-Mississippi Regional Library Director Josh Haidet; Mid-Mississippi Regional Library Executive Director Richard Greene; Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System Business Director Tammy Bell;  City Attorney Taylor Tucker (in back); Winston County Library Board of Trustee Member Judy Post; Winston County Library Board of Trustee James Woodiel; and Winston County Library Board of Trustee Member Sarah Garrigues.

Summer Library Programs In Full Swing

Winston County Library hosted another Tiny Tots (3-5 year-olds) program this past Tuesday. The children listened to stories, sang songs, danced and had craft time. They made tamborines! In this photo, Tiny Tots participants (l-r) Madison and Gracie Davis proudly show off their tamborines. Madison, (3) and Gracie, (5) are the children of Tiffon Moore 
and Eric Davis.

The Winston County Library hosted a Board Game and Photography program for teens this week. They played Jenga, dominoes, electronic games and practiced photography with camera kits loaned from the Mississippi Library Commission in Jackson, MS.

Library Receives Book Donation: "Korea Reborn: A Grateful Nation Honors War Veterans"

The Library received this beautiful hard-bound book donated to public libraries and Korean War vets by Remember My Service Publishing House.

Over 275,000 copies of Korea Reborn have already been given as a free gift of gratitude directly to Korean War veterans from a grateful South Korean people. This beautiful, 176-page, coffee-table-style book pays tribute to and honors the service and sacrifice of our Korean War veterans who changed the fate of a nation. Through historical narrative, stories, and stunning photography, this book describes the struggle for Korea's freedom and, ultimately, the fruits of that struggle-a prosperous and free democracy. 

The library will catalog the book and it will be available to the public shortly.

Monday, June 18, 2018

East Central Community College Names Eric Neel as Next Softball Coach

Eric Neel, who has coached high school girls’ fast pitch softball teams to five state championships in Mississippi, has been selected as the new softball coach at East Central Community College in Decatur.

Neel comes to the ECCC Lady Warrior program after leading the Lake High School girls’ softball team to a second-place finish in the 2018 Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 2A State Fast Pitch Tournament. It was Lake’s first appearance in the state championship finals. The Lady Hornets also won the North State Fast Pitch Title this past spring.

Neel will begin his duties at East Central on July 1. He replaces Kristin Chaney, who resigned following the 2018 season. Chaney led the Lady Warriors for six seasons, amassing 233 wins and six trips to the postseason, including a second-place finish at the 2015 National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Softball Championship Tournament.

“My family and I feel very blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the East Central Community College family,” said Neel, who has coached fast pitch softball at the high school or junior/community college level for 11 years. “There are times in life when things fall into place and line up just right, and there is no denying who has really been in control of working things together. I know the good Lord brought us to this place, and my family looks forward to becoming an active part of the Decatur and Newton County communities.

“Our main goal is to retain the top players from the college’s five-county district, as well as recruit the best players from the state and a few out of state. A strong foundation has been laid by Coach Chaney and Coach Hill [assistant coach Megan] within the program, and I look forward to continuing to build a national championship contending team year in and year out.”

“Eric Neel is an outstanding coach with a proven track record of commitment to both the academic achievement and athletic development of student-athletes under his leadership,” said ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart. “As a successful coach of championship programs at the high school and community college levels, he knows what it takes to build and maintain a successful softball program. I am confident that Coach Neel will continue to develop our Lady Warrior softball program the EC Way—Excellence with Class, and I am excited that he will be leading the women’s softball team at East Central Community College.”

Neel began his girls’ softball coaching career at East Central High School in Hurley, where his teams played in three straight Class 4A state championship series, winning titles in 2007 and 2009. He was named The (Biloxi) Sun Herald Softball Coach of the Year both championship seasons.

As head coach at Wayne County High School in Waynesboro, he guided the Lady War Eagles to three straight Class 5A state championships in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Neel was named The (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger’s Softball Coach of the Year in 2010 and the Mississippi Association of Coaches Fast Pitch Softball Coach of the Year in 2012.

As head softball coach at Biloxi High School, he coached the Lady Indians to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs in 2015. Neel also has coached softball at Petal High School and Quitman High School, as well as taught at Meridian High School, and served as an assistant football coach while at East Central, Wayne County, Petal, Biloxi, and Meridian high schools.

As head softball coach at Darton State College in Albany, Ga., Neel guided the Lady Cavaliers to the NJCAA Region 17 Championship and a trip to the NJCAA Division I Softball National Championship Tournament in 2014. Neel was named the NJCAA Region 17 Coach of the Year after leading Darton State to a 46-12 record. He was also head softball coach at Baton Rouge (La.) Community College in 2015-16.

In all, Neel has compiled a 272-132 record over 11 seasons, including five high school state championships, seven state championship appearances, and seven south or north state titles, as well as one regional championship and national championship tournament appearance at the junior/community college level.

Neel received his bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2000 and his master’s degree in secondary education from William Carey University in 2008.

He and his wife, Lindsey, who will teach English in the Newton County School System beginning this fall, currently reside in Lake. Together they have six children.

“I’m pleased that Eric Neel has accepted the position of head softball coach for our Lady Warriors,” said ECCC dean of personnel services and athletics Chris Harris, who chaired the search committee that selected Neel. “Coach Neel’s experience in recruiting in the NJCAA will serve him well as he prepares to compete in this very competitive league.”

Paul Nixon, who will begin his duties this month as ECCC’s new athletics director following the retirement of Harris, also was involved in the search.

“We are excited about the addition of Eric Neel as the next head coach of our softball program,” commented Nixon. “He has a history of winning at all levels. Coach Neel plans on getting started right away to complete this year’s recruiting class and finalize next year’s schedule. He is a high-energy coach who will attract the right young women to East Central softball”