Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Update on Courthouse Damage

Winston County Supervisors met this morning in an emergency meeting to deal with the  building damage that occurred overnight (see our previous article).  Bricks from the south wall of the courthouse collapsed and separated from the structure around 5:15 am this morning.

Supervisors met with insurance officials and staff from Pryor and Morrow and after discussion, the Board declared a state of emergency related to the courthouse building. Preliminary review indicates the failure of more brick on the rear structure of the building may be a possibility. As a result the Board agreed to close all entries to the Courthouse except the front entrance for public use. The Board also moved to close the sidewalk on the west side of the courthouse and the parking lot behind the courthouse.

By declaring the situation an emergency, the county was able to hire Pryor and Morrow to begin the process of determining the extent and nature of required repair and to immediately begin the process of hiring a contractor to remove and potential current hazard from loose brick.

Pryor and Morrow and the County's Insurance provider will be providing structural engineers to examine the building and how to proceed. Initial review indicates that the issue is the brick and brick ties to the structure and that the courthouse itself is structurally sound.

The public is asked to avoid South Court Street between Main and Park  and be aware that entrance to the Courthouse will be limited to the North main entrance for the forseeable future.

Winston County Courthouse Suffers Damage Overnight!

The Winston County Courthouse has exterior damage this morning as the brick veneer on the backside (southern) of the structure collapsed in the early morning hours. District 1 Supervisor Burr Warner was first on the scene as the bricks collapsed around 5:15 this morning sending broken bricks across the south parking lot.

It is too early to determine the cause of the collapse. Engineers from the firm Pryor and Morrow are on the scene now and the Board of Supervisors have called an emergency meeting for 9:00 am this morning. The public is urged to stay away from the scene and South Court Avenue.It is highly possible that more of the structure may yet fall. The County is actively working to place a barrier around the area. We will have more info as it becomes available.

Winston Master Gardner Tour, a Great Success!

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Van Hull’s Raised Bed Garden

The Winston County Master Gardner’s organized an educational tour last Saturday morning for anyone interested in horticulture. The tour was hosted by homeowner Mr. Van Hull and local business, Evergreen Nursery.

Mr. Hull hosted the group first at his home and shared his experience as a gardener raising vegetables in raised beds. He shared a wealth of information on soil health, fertilization methods, weed control, and some new vegetable varieties. He also, introduced participants to blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry varieties for home owner production. He educated the group on berry’s need for cross pollination, and timely pruning techniques required for successful production.

Not only is Mr. Hull’s gardening management practices very thorough, his garden was constructed for weed prevention in walking pathways, ease of harvest, and protection from wildlife. Lastly, Mr. Hull’s raised bed garden is without a doubt the most pleasing to the eye garden I’ve personally seen in my Extension career.

Our next tour stop was at local business, Evergreen Nursery. Ed and Linda Waldron gave a great presentation, and tour of the nursery starting with plant identification, and spacing for mature plant sizes. Mr.Ed explained tree planting techniques, how to prevent potted plants/trees from becoming root bound, climatic zones for plant survival, and how transplants are researched and brought to the commercial market.

The group had a chance to ask questions, and learn many different aspects of commercial horticulture. It was a great experience for all attendees, and we all learned much from the Waldron’s experience in the industry.

I’d like to thank our hosts last Saturday for taking time to meet with our tour group. I’d also like to thank our very knowledgeable Master Gardeners for organizing the tour, and sharing their expertise with attendees.

There will be future tours, and Master Gardner events, so if you’re interested in these events or becoming a Master Gardner, call the local Winston Extension office at 662-773-3091.

Submitted by: Jim McAdory, MSU Extension Agent Winston County

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Van Hull’s Raised Bed Gardens
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Van Hull’s Raised Bed Gardens
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Evergreen Garden Center with Ed and Linda Waldron
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Evergreen Garden Center with Ed Waldron

Monday, July 15, 2019

Quilt Display at Library

This beautiful quilt is on display at the Winston County Library throughout the month of July and August. Entitled “ In Bloom”, it was pieced by Master Quilter Martha Dubard and quilted by Colleen Eskridge.

Winston County Accepts Bid on Annex Building

In a board meeting this morning (July 15), Winston County Supervisors unanimously agreed to accept a bid from Burks-Mordecai Builders for the construction  of the new county annex building. Burks-Mordecai was the low bid on the project at $4,469,000.

The three story structure to be located behind (south) of the County Courthouse will serve a number of purposes, including offices for the Sheriff and Emergency Management Departments, board rooms and administrative offices. Funding for the project was established  after the 2014 tornado through FEMA. Below is a rendering similar to the proposed construction.

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Crooked Snake" The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard

In 1968, during Albert Lepard’s fifth escape from a life sentence at
Parchman Penitentiary, he kidnapped Lovejoy Boteler, then eighteen years old, from his family’s farm in Grenada, Mississippi. Three decades later, still beset by half-buried memories of that time, Boteler began researching his kidnapper’s nefarious, sordid life to discover how and why this terrifying abduction occurred.

Crooked Snake: The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard is the true story of Lepard, sentenced to life in Parchman for the murder of seventy-four-year-old Mary Young in 1959. During the course of his sentence, Lepard escaped from prison six times in fourteen years.

In Crooked Snake, Boteler pieces together the story of this cold-blooded murderer’s life using both historical records and personal interviews—over seventy in all—with ex-convicts who gravitated to and ran with Lepard, the family members who fed and sheltered the fugitive during his escapes, the law officers who hunted him, and the regular folks who were victimized in his terrible wake.

Throughout Crooked Snake, Boteler reveals his kidnapper’s hardscrabble childhood and tracks his whereabouts before his incarceration and during his jailbreaks. Lepard’s escapes take him to Florida, Michigan, Kansas, California, and Mexico. Crooked Snake captures a slice of history and a landscape that is
fast disappearing. These vignettes describe Mississippi’s countryside and spirit, ranging from sharecropper family gatherings in Attala County’s Seneasha Valley to the twenty-thousand-acre Parchman farm and its borderlands teeming with alligator, panther, bear, and wild boar.

LOVEJOY BOTELER spent his early years on Riverdale Farms in Grenada County. He worked for the Mississippi legislature, as a deck hand on the Mississippi River, and in a rodeo in Colorado. Boteler has also taught constructiontechnology and instrumental music in public schools. He builds custom furniture.

What people are saying about Crooked Snake

Absolutely loving your beautifully written book. Wonderful stuff…it’s a damn masterpiece!
Richard Grant, author of Dispatches From Pluto

If you enjoyed “Cool Hand Luke” and “O Brother Where Art Thou”…then you are primed to appreciate Lovejoy Boteler’s “Crooked Snake: The Life and Crimes of Albert Lepard.”
Allen Boyer, literary reviewer 

A low-down, true Mississippi crime story, populated with prison yards, dusty Delta back roads, country churches, hot-wired trucks, and bloodhounds.
Jim Dees, radio host

Congratulations again on writing such a vivid and memorable book - I was riveted, and you have a gift for evoking a scene through well-chosen details and dialogue.
Peter Tonguette: film critic, essayist and author

This gripping account of Lovejoy Boteler’s kidnapping and his years-long quest to learn more about his captors is absolutely riveting. This is a long awaited publication by this skillful writer and longtime friend.
William F. Winter, former governor of Mississippi