Saturday, April 30, 2016

Richard Grant Book Signing Was A Success

The Winston County Library had a great crowd at lunch today for the Richard Grant book talk/book signing. He talked about his two travel/adventure books, God’s Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre, and Crazy River: Exploration and Folly in East Africa. He also talked about his newest book, Dispatches From Pluto, about living in the small town of Pluto, MS (between Tchula and Yazoo City) and his experiences in learning about the people and culture of the Mississippi Delta. Mr. Grant is from England. He and his wife fell in love with Mississippi and now live in Jackson, MS. “It was a great pleasure having Richard here to give a book talk. He is fascinating and has led a very adventurous life so far,” commented librarian Beth Edwards. “It will be so interesting to read about his future adventures!”

Head Start Trike- A Thon for St. Jude

Winston County HeadStart held their Trike Ride for St. Jude at the
Louisville Coliseum on Friday. Donations go to St. Judes in an effort to fight childhood cancers. Participants are awarded prizes and recognition in certain categories:

Most Funds Raised:1st. Mycah McDowell, 2nd Kyler Coburn, 3rd Skylar Cobb, Honorable Mention- Kaylin Eiland, Kadience Kirk, Latravis Paty, Latrice Paty

Decorations: 1. Jikenya Jackson, Kamarian Eiland, Khloe Coleman, Kaidence Kirk, Desia Johnson

Friday, April 29, 2016

East Central Alum Marcus Thames inducted into Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame

Former East Central Community College baseball standout Marcus Thames was one of 15 individuals inducted into the Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame on Tuesday, April 26, at the 10th annual induction banquet held at the Clyde Muse Center on Hinds Community College’s Rankin Campus.Thames, currently the assistant hitting coach for the New York Yankees, is the first ECCC baseball player to join the Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame.The Louisville native played baseball at East Central in 1996-1997. Thames led the 1997 team with a then school record .420 batting average, 13 home runs, and 70 RBI. He was named NJCAA All-American, All-Region 23, and MACJC All-State following the season.Thames was then drafted by the New York Yankees.

Groundbreaking at WInston Medical Center

Dirt is ready to fly in WMC Groundbreaking Ceremony
Construction at the site of the new Winston Medical Center has
been ongoing for several months but Thursday was the first opportunity to conduct a groundbreaking ceremony. The two year anniversary of the April 28, 2014 tornado was an appropriate date to show the progress made toward replacing the previous facility that was heavily damaged in that storm.

Structures have begun to rise on the site and was the backdrop for the ceremony as local dignitaries, State Representative Joey Hood and State Senator Jenifer Branning and Governor Phil Bryant were in attendance.

Mayor Will Hill opened the event and acknowledged the day as a celebration. “Last year at this time we joined to mourn and to remember. We join today to look at tomorrow, our progress and our recovery.”

Governor Bryant speaks to crowd
Reverend Anthony McIntosh led the invocation and Steve Eiland sang the Star Spangled Banner before several speakers took the microphone. District Two Supervisor Luke Parkes took the opportunity to thank the Federal and State governments for their assistance during the past two years and to also voice his support and concern for full funding of MEMA.

Governor Bryant spoke of his experience during and after the storm including his wife’s presence in the community as the tornado struck. He noted the importance of the establishment of the temporary hospital and its importance to the community and the need to keep local doctors, nurses and health care personnel in the area until a new facility could be constructed. He indicated that future residents  would know that they have the best medical care available based upon the efforts of all those involved. “We are here today to make sure that happens.”

Paul Black shows WMC layout to Governor Bryant
Chief Financial Officer Paul Black thanked state, county and city first responders as well as volunteers for their efforts on the night of the storm. Thanks were also extended to the University Medical Center, Louisville First United Methodist Church, First Lady Deborah Bryant, FEMA, MEMA, Renasant Insurance, the Director of Health Protection with the Ms Department of Health, Winston County Board of Supervisors, Mayor Hill and Aldermen, Louisville Utilities, WCEDP, legislators, Broaddus & Associates, Pryor & Morrow, Yates Construction.

The new medical complex will encompass a 14 bed hospital, medical clinic and nursing home facilities. Costs are expected at $52 million- $47million for construction and $5 million to equip the facility.The projected completion date is Spring of 2017.

More photos from the event are available by clicking here

Red Hill's Vendor Sign Up Information

The Red Hill's Festival is fast approaching!!! If you would like to be a vendor at the festival click here  to print application. The deadline to sign up is May 6! 

Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda-May 2

The meeting agenda for May 2, 2016 of the Louisville Board of Supervisors agenda is now available on the County's website. To view the agenda - please click here

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Moving On From the Storm

Today, there will be a lot of stories, pictures and Facebook posts about the two-year anniversary of the April 28th tornado. Maybe there will be a TV news crew or two in town. I understand that talking about it can be cathartic for many people and if that's what you need to do, that's what you should do. On a personal level, I'll probably do a bit more of that myself.

But this will likely be the last year that I will personally acknowledge this date. What happened two years ago does not define my family's past and most certainly does not define my family's future. I don’t want my life to be measured as “before the storm” and “after the storm.” That day tested us, it changed us and in its own way, it improved us. But I refuse to let it define the rest of my life.

As for me, I'll look forward to see what the next 25 years hold: a few more work challenges, travel, semi-retirement, maybe grandkids (no hurry on that one) and a general mellowing of life.

The only thing I really choose to honor from that time is the feeling of community, respect, compassion and concerted effort that emerged and that we need to work to maintain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Groundbreaking Ceremony for WMC on Thursday

Construction site - December 2015
Construction site - April 27, 2016
While construction is well underway on the new Winston Medical Center, April 28th seemed to be an appropriate day to acknowledge the progress that WMC and the community have made in the aftermath of the 2014 tornado.

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 28th at 3:00 pm at the construction site at 562 East Main in Louisville. Governor Phil Bryant is expected to be in attendance and the public will be able to see the progress. The facility's construction is on schedule and is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2017.

East Central Baseball Takes Doubleheader From Southwest In Regular Season Finale

 Battling to earn a chance to host a first round playoff series, the No. 15 East Central Community College Warriors swept a baseball doubleheader from the Southwest Mississippi Community College Bears Tuesday, April 26, in Decatur.

East Central won the opener 3-2 and followed that with a 4-2 win in the nightcap on Sophomore Day at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex.

With the wins, the Warriors improved to 31-15 and 19-9 in Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges league play. Southwest dropped to 20-20 and 9-15.

East Central currently stands in third place in the MACJC standings and will play in a best-of-three first round playoff series May 6-7. The Warriors will host if they finish in the top four, but several MACJC teams still have regular season league games to play.

An RBI single by freshman Cole Prestegard in the bottom of the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave East Central the 3-2 win in game one. Prestegard, a product of Huntsville (Ala.) High School, also homered in the third. Sophomore catcher Michael Davis out of Clinton High School drove in the other Warrior run in the second on a two-out single after freshman Blake Paben out of Madison Central had doubled.

Freshman right-hander Hagan Brown out of Gautier High School picked up the win in relief.

A three-run fourth inning helped East Central to the 4-2 game two win. An RBI triple by Matt Mitchell of Lake High School, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by Nathan Roseberry of Purvis High School provided the scoring for the Warriors in the fourth.

Starter Luke Yancey threw five and a third innings of four-hit baseball to pick up the win on the mound. Yancey, a freshman left-hander out of East Rankin Academy, struck out nine Bear batters.

Channing Wall out of Louisville High School picked up a save in each game. For the afternoon, East Central pitchers struck out 18 batters.

East Central Netters Compete in MACJC State Tournament

Several members of the East Central Community College men’s tennis team advanced to the semifinals of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges State/National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 tournaments played at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston April 20-23.

The ECCC men’s No. 1 doubles team of John Jimenez of Oruro, Bolivia, and Will Stewart of Newton County High School qualified for semifinals play after defeating Mateusz Kimelski and Cory Alderman of Copiah-Lincoln 6-1, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. East Central’s No. 3 doubles team of Cole Duty of Winston Academy and Alex Chapman of Semmes, Ala., qualified for the semifinals after defeating Luke Armstrong and Josh Hester of Jones County Junior College 6-4, 3-6 (10-7) in the quarterfinals.

East Central’s only singles player to qualify for the semifinals was Brandon Rogers of Winston Academy, who beat Jones County’s Armstrong 4-6, 7-5 (10-3) in the No. 5 singles quarterfinals.

Jimenez and Stewart fell to Jason Pimenta and Breno Goncalves of Meridian Community College 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals. Duty and Chapman fell to Brett Bowen and Chris Diep of Mississippi Gulf Coast 6-4, 6-3 in their semifinal match. Rogers fell to Will Irwin of Meridian Community College 6-1, 6-4 in his men’s singles semifinals.

East Central finished tied for fifth with Hinds Community College and is ranked No. 22 nationally by ITA.

The ECCC Lady Warriors had three individual players win first round matches to advance to the quarterfinals.

Andi McCrimon of Winston Academy beat Kaylan Myers of Northwest Mississippi Community College 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 singles; Samantha McCrimon of Winston Academy beat Starla Rogers of Northeast Mississippi Community College 6-1, 6-3 at No. 4 singles; and Emily Dykeman of Forest High School beat Oddysey Brewer of Holmes Community College 6-0, 6-4 at No. 5 singles.

Andi McCrimon and Samantha McCrimon also won at No. 2 doubles 6-0, 6-0 over Ashleigh Pope and Brittany Graham of Holmes in first round play.

The Lady Warriors finished eighth overall as a team. They are ranked No. 8 in Region III by ITA.

“We wanted more victories at the tournament, but we did have our moments with Brandon Rogers as a semifinalist along with the first and third men’s doubles,” said ECCC Head Coach Jay Pacelli. “The future is bright for both our men and the women next year. We can’t wait to begin working with our returning players and our new recruits.”

Winston Garden Club Monthly Meeting

Winston Garden Club member, Heather Moody, is seen here introducing her husband Charlie Moody. Charlie spoke to the Winston Garden Club during their April meeting about
hay bale gardening.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Marijuana Arrest in Noxapater

Winston Sheriff's Deputies and Noxapater Police made an arrest this afternoon for the manufacture of a controlled substance. James Ronnie Edwards of Noxapater was arrested after deputies observed live marijuana plants growing in the back yard of a residence on Vardaman Street. Dried marijuana and drug paraphanalia was confiscated at the residence as well.

Edwards is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday. The amount and weight of the drug is yet to be determined.

Dalton Womble with Noxapater PD and Sheriff Officers Lester Holdiness and
Mark Gregory with confiscated plants

East Central Softball Sweeps Co-Lin to Advance to MACJC State Tournament

The East Central Community College softball team swept Copiah-Lincoln Community College in an MACJC best-of-three playoff series Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23, on the Decatur campus to advance to next weekend’s state tournament.The Lady Diamond Warriors took game one 7-6 on Friday with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning by Caitlyn Aldous of Petal High School. East Central took game two on Saturday 9-4.

ECCC Baseball Team to Host Open Tryouts

The East Central Community College baseball team will host two different open tryouts for players interested in playing for Warriors next season.

The tryouts will be held Monday, May 9, and Monday, May 16, at 3 p.m. each day at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur.

Interested high school players must have completed their senior seasons to be eligible to participate in one of the tryouts. 

All players should bring all necessary baseball equipment.

For more information, contact ECCC Assistant Baseball Coach Jake Rowell at 601-635-6226

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Clean Your Block Party Has Begun!!

With approximately 100 properties signed up and as construction
crews moved heavy equipment into some areas over the weekend, The local "Clean Your Block" effort as part of the Great American Cleanup campaign has begun across Louisville and Winston County.

Winston Strong has coordinated with the City of Louisville and Winston County in the cleanup effort. Instrumental in the cleanup effort has been some of the major construction companies that have been involved in reconstruction and cleanup as a result of the aftermath of the 2014 tornado.

Companies such as Yates Construction, Century Construction and Hughes Construction have donated labor and heavy equipment to be used this week in an effort to clear and clean properties with owners' permission.

Three areas of concentration include the Jordan Circle area, Eiland
Plaza area and Richardson Road.

Citizens across Winston County and Louisville are asked to participate by cleaning or volunteering. Those who wish to volunteer can contact the Chamber office for more information at 662-773-3921.

All are asked to use caution while traveling in work zones during the next few days.

Residents should also be aware that the landfill will be open on Saturday from 7:00 am til 3:00 pm.

Safety Town - Great Community Event

The 2nd Annual Safety Town event sponsored by the Pilot Club of Louisville was held on Saturday. Between 400 and 500 folks visited the Louisville Coliseum and learned how to "Play Safe and Play Smart."

Safety Town is a service sponsored by the Pilot Club in cooperation with local and state civil and emergency departments. Designed especially for kids, "Safety Town" provides an opportunity for young ones to explore and learn more about emergency vehicles and operations.

On Saturday, children had the opportunity to see the inside of police cars, fire trucks, helicopter, and ambulance services. They also get to interact with emergency personnel.

This year the event included several presentations on important safety issues. The Pilot Club would like to say thanks to the many emergency personnel, instructors, city, county, and state employees, local merchants, magicians, media, cooks, and servers who participated in the event.

There is a slideshow of events available by clicking here

National Library Week at the Winston County Library

The Winston County Library recently held National Library Week. Here are some photos from last week:

Computer Class conducted by library staffer Denise Dickerson (middle)

Friday, April 22, 2016

Safety Town Set For Saturday

Scene from 2015 Safety Town Event
Once again Louisville Pilot Club will host the "Safety Town" event.
Last year's event was a great success. Safety Town will be held at the Louisville Coliseum on Saturday, April 23 beginning at 10 a.m. til 2 p.m.

Safety Town is a service sponsored by the Pilot Club in cooperation with local and state civil and emergency departments. Designed especially for kids,  "Safety Town" provides an opportunity for young ones to explore and learn more about emergency vehicles and operations.

They have the opportunity to see the inside of police cars,fire trucks, helicopter, and ambulance services.  They also get to interact with emergency personnel.

This year the event will include several presentations on important safety issues. Lunch will be available and for fun there will be face painting, jumpers and a magic show. All children must be accompanied by an adult and no pets are allowed. Guests will need to register to be provided with a lunch ticket.

Couponing Class Held At Library

A Couponing Class with Wanda Marshall Smith was held April 19, 2016 at the Winston County Library.

Wanda gave advice on how to use coupons, how to read them, where to find free printable coupons with internet sites and apps, coupon language & lingo plus a whole lot more.

If you would like to know more on the Art Of Couponing with Wanda, contact her at 662-803-7287.

WLCTC Welding Students Competition Winners

Pictured here with the $500 check is Christian Fulcher, Tyler Steele,
 & Drew Fulcher.
Delta Tech Community College in Ridgeland MS hosted a welding competition on April 8, 2016 for surrounding schools in the state. Several students from the Welding Program at the Winston-Louisville Career & Technology Center competed. Three students place in the top ten. Tyler Steele placed 9th, Drew Fulcher 2nd place and won a $250 dollars cash prize and Christian Fulcher got 1st place and $500 dollar cash prize.

Adrian Thompson Speaks To Louisville Lions

The Louisville Lions Club welcomed guest speaker, Adrian Thompson,  a senior at Louisville High School to their Tuesday, April 19 meeting. Adrian spoke and fielded questions by members on attending the Lions' Boys Leadership Conference at Roosevelt State Park in March. Adrian was one of 9 young men who were sponsored by the club. He also told members that he would like to become a Lion in the future. This is a very impressive young man. We wish him all the best.

The Louisville Lions also welcomed Lion Arland Eilert who held a Zone Meeting for the club.

Hands On Massage Ribbon Cutting

Partnership/Chamber members, city officials, family and friends attended the ribbon cutting for Hands on Massage on April 21, 2016. The new business is located at 600 N. Court, Suite C in Louisville and is owned and operated by Sharlanda Haynes. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call Sharlanda at 662-705-3837.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Winston County Relay for Life to be Held on Friday

Scene from the 2015 Relay for Life
Winston County Relay for Life will be held on Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Louisville Coliseum on Ivy Avenue The event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with Survivors Registration.

At 6:00 pm, the Relay for Life Opening Ceremony will be held followed by the "Parade of Teams." Entertainment will be provided throughout the evening.

The night will come to a close at 10:00 with a luminary service. This is the event where individuals can purchase luminaries in memory or honor of someone who has battled cancer.

Louisville Mayor Receives National Honor

Louisville Mayor Will Hill
Louisville Mayor Will Hill and his wife Sarah will travel to Washington, DC where he will be presented with a 2016 Phoenix Award on May 1 during a U.S. Small Business Administration National Small Business Week award ceremony. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet will present the awards to Mayor Hill and two other recipients

Since 1998, the SBA has presented Phoenix Awards to business owners, public officials and volunteers who displayed selflessness, ingenuity and tenacity in the aftermath of a disaster, while contributing to the rebuilding of their communities.

Hill will receive the 2016 Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery by a Public Official.

The tornado that hit Louisville on April 28, 2014 ripped a path of destruction that was half a mile wide, and 32 miles long. More than 200 homes and businesses were destroyed or heavily damaged, and 10 people were killed.

Laverne Collins Holds Book Signing At Library

A book signing was held for Laverne Collins April, 15, 2016 at the Winston County Library. Friends of the Library supplied free bag lunches for the first 30 people. Mr. Collins was promoting his book "The Lock Of Indian Springs."

ECCC softball team sweeps Meridian in MACJC road action

The East Central Community College softball team was finally able to face Meridian Community College after several game changes due to inclement weather, and the Lady Diamond Warriors swept the doubleheader from MCC played Sunday, April 17, in Meridian.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Winston Co. Supervisors Review Initial Drawings for Construction Projects

Rendering of proposed new government building
Winston County Supervisors heard from representatives of Pryor and Morrow Architects and Engineers
concerning two construction projects in the works. Initial plans and drawings were provided; for the renovation of an existing structure (known as the Bagwell building) into court facilities and the construction of a new government building behind the Winston County Courthouse on the site of the existing annex structure.

The Bagwell building now owned by the county will be converted to a courtroom with a lobby and sufficient offices. Several small issues related to handicapped accessibility through sidewalk repair and rear access of the building will need to be finalized with adjoining land owners before plans can be finalized but requests for bids could likely be submitted in the next 60 days.

rendering of proposed court building
There is more concern about issues with the new government building. The Mississippi Department of
Archives and History (MDAH) is still considering a historical designation for the existing annex structure. Such a designation could prevent the construction of the new facility. See our previous article for more details.

If constructed, the new three story building would house Emergency Management, the Sheriff’s Office and a County Supervisors’ meeting room. The 13000 + sqft structure is designed to tie in with the existing courthouse in brick color and profile.

LMSD Moves Toward Audit to Improve Energy Efficiency

Louisville Municipal School District Trustees recently voted to issue a RFQ (Request for Qualifications) for assistance in conducting an energy audit of all school facilities. Trustees met with a representative of one firm in their last scheduled meeting, who provided information concerning the benefits of such an audit.

According to the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA) Energy Division – “An energy audit is the first step towards saving money and improving the energy performance of a public facility or building. Local governments and educational institutions can save a significant amount of money by upgrading their facility’s lighting and HVAC systems to more energy efficient systems and sealing openings in the building envelope to close the gaps where conditioned air escapes. An energy audit evaluates a building’s energy use and prioritizes energy saving measures to help public officials develop feasible, cost-effective energy projects.”

Library Shows Appreciation

The Friends of the Library and the staff at the Winston County Library took time on Monday to show their thanks to local leaders, media and friends with an Appreciation Luncheon. The Library hosted a number of events during National Library Week.

East Central Baseball Sweeps Northeast To Move To Second In MACJC Standings

The No. 20 nationally ranked East Central Community College baseball team moved up to No. 2 in the MACJC conference standings with its sweep over Northeast Mississippi Community College Saturday, April 16, in Booneville. 

East Central won game one 2-1 and game two 4-2 against the Tigers, improving its overall record to 27-13 and 15-7 in the conference. Northeast dropped to 10-10 in the MACJC and 19-19 overall. 

A solo-home run off the bat of Will Kennedy of Union High School began the scoring for the Diamond Warriors allowing ECCC to take the early lead in game one.

An RBI triple in the fourth inning by Billy Cameron of Mendenhall High School put up the other run for East Central.

Northeast attempted a comeback by scoring one run in the eighth on an RBI double by Hunter Bronson, before relief right-handed pitcher Channing Wall of Louisville High School ended the threat.

Wall struck out the final three batters in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

Freshman right-hander Brock Morris of West Jones High School picked up the win for East Central. He pitched one-hit ball over four innings while striking out three batters.

In the ECCC errorless nightcap victory, Northeast took the early lead scoring once in the first inning, but could not hold on.

The Diamond Warriors responded to the 1-0 deficit with two runs in the third on singles by Nathan Roseberry of Purvis High School and Dylan Snypes of Wayne County High School and a two-run error.

East Central added two more runs in the fifth on a single by Snypes, a double by Kennedy and a sacrifice fly. Snypes went 3-4 at the plate and scored two of the Diamond Warriors’ four runs in game two.

Newton County High School’s Peyton Cain got the win in the nightcap allowing one earned run, four hits and striking out three batters over his six one-third innings.

East Central travels to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on Tuesday, April 19, for a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Those games will be played at D’Iberville High School.

Monday, April 18, 2016

ECCC Softball Team Sweeps Baton Rouge On Sophomore Day

Powered by the bat of Mahalia Gibson, the No. 5 nationally ranked East Central Community College softball team swept Baton Rouge Community College in its final regular season home games for the 2016 season Saturday, April 16, on the Decatur campus.

A product of Oak Grove High School, Gibson racked up five RBI combined in both games on three hits, including a two-run homerun in game one and a three-run homer in game two.

Dr. Lonnie Randolph, Jr., NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet Speaker

The Winston County Branch of the NAACP will host its 36th annual Freedom Fund Banquet on Saturday, April 23, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. The Banquet will be held at Lake Tiak O'Khata, Pine Ridge Lodge. The theme for this year's banquet is "Pursuing Liberty In The Face of Injustice". Guest Speaker will be Dr. Lonnie Randolph, Jr.

Lonnie Randolph, Jr. is a native of Columbia, South Carolina where he attended local public schools and graduated from Dreher High School. Dr. Randolph is an alumnus of Benedict College where he majored in biology. He furthered his studies at the Southern College of Optometry achieving the Doctor of Optometry degree in 1977.

Dr. Randolph has maintained a private practice in Columbia over the past 38 years. He has remained active in his profession having served as president of the South Carolina Optometric Association and later recognized as Optometrist of the Year. While managing his practice, Dr. Randolph also volunteers his services as the physician for Palmetto Health’s free eye clinic which provides care for students in grades K – 12.

Now in his 12th year as president of the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Dr. Randolph has had a longstanding interest in advancing human and civil rights for all people. He serves as a member of the NAACP Special Contributions Fund Board of Trustees. In 2011, Dr. Randolph was awarded the Order of the Palmetto for his contributions to Human Rights Services.

He is a former chairman of the State Consumer Affairs Commission where he provided over 31 years of distinguished volunteer service. He is active in several community organizations, including the University of South Carolina Citizens Advisory Council, the Columbia Branch NAACP, where he serves as president, and the Mission Health Free Clinics.

Dr. Randolph’s prior service to the community included his association with organizations such as the Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation, Columbia Free Medical Clinic Board, and the South Carolina Commission for the Blind’s Diabetes Task Force.