Friday, October 28, 2016

L. Sydney Fisher Book Event

A few of the participants in the L. Sydney Fisher book event at the Winston County Library on Wednesday, October 26, 2016 posed for a photo with the author (seated). She signed copies of three of her books, The Haunting of Natalie Bradford(based on true events that happened at the Rex Plaza in Tupelo in 1974), The Phoenix Mission (a supernatural thriller inspired by the U.S. military’s psychic spy program, Stargate); and See No Evil (a story inspired by the real life Mississippi mystic, Seymore R. Prater).

Ms. Fisher spoke and entertained questions from the audience for over two hours. “She addressed believers and skeptics alike,” said librarian Beth Edwards. “Whether or not you are a believer in the paranormal or supernatural, everyone in the room was hanging on every word she uttered. She described a near-death experience she had and interesting facts about people who have special “gifts”. I know most of either have had a strange and unexplainable event happen to us or know someone who has. This was an especially wonderful and educational program and we hope to have her back for another program next year!” L. Sydney Fisher lives in Tupelo, MS.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Part-Time Position Available At WCEDDP

The Winston County Economic Development District Partnership is accepting resumes for the part-time position of Marketing & Event Specialist. Responsibilities include the development of marketing ideas, special event planning and management, and financial record-keeping. Bachelor's Degree in a business-related field and strong computer skills required. Job applications and resumes accepted at Louisville WIN Job Center located at 600 North Court Avenue, Suite B, Louisville, MS 39339. Closing date 11/14/2016.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Jump Start Read For The Record Program

The Winston County Library participated in the nation-wide “Jump Start Read For The Record” program last week at Fair Elementary school. Denise Dickerson, shown hear in a pre-k classroom, read the book The Bear Ate The Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach. The story is a tale of a bear lost in a city who finds an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing it’s not until the very end, when we discover the narrator is a shaggy dog, that we begin to suspect that this is a TALL tale. Did the dog actually eat the sandwich, or the bear? This story presents an opportunity to lead a conversation about honesty and taking responsibility for your actions. Children can deepen their understanding of the story by reflecting on and making connections between the events in the book and their own lives. “This is a wonderful way for parents, teachers and caregivers to allow children to develop expressive language skills by talking about what happens in the book and their own experiences”, said librarian Beth Edwards. “We are very proud to participate in this program each year with our local schools.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

District Career Fair

Students from Louisville, Nanih Waiya, and Noxapater participated in the District Career Fair held at LHS on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. Nineteen representatives from Colleges & Universities and some local businesses were present to give students college and career information.


JoAnn Brandt & Sylvia Clark Awarded Ruby Assaf Presidential Award

 The Ruby Assaf Presidential Award honors an outstanding individual volunteer(s) in the Friends of the Mississippi Libraries or in a local Friends chapter.

JoAnn & Sylvia have served as officers and tireless library supporters since 1984 until retiring in 2016. During their over thirty-year tenure, they, along with many other friends members, raised over $256,000 to fund badly needed items for the library that cannot be provided by county and city funding.

The award ceremony was held at the 2016 Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference in Vicksburg, MS on Friday October 21 at the  MLS Awards Breakfast.

Family Center Holds Ribbon Cutting At New Location

The Family Center held a ribbon cutting and open house on Monday, October 24 at their new location at Fair Elementary.

The Family Center has been located at 202 Ivy Avenue for 22 years now, but now have relocated to Building D at Fair Elementary. The Family Center Staff will continue to provide the same beneficial services as before.

Betsy Eichelberger Celebrates 98th Birthday

Betsy Ann 'Patty' Eichelberger celebrated her 98th Birthday at her home in Louisville, MS. Present for the celebration were her eight children, many grandchildren, great and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends. In the photo are her children. Top row: Clifton (Baton Rouge, LA), Clifford and Paul Eichelberger. Bottom row: Elmetra Patterson Littleton, Mattie Davis (Richmond, CA), Barbara Coleman, Janice Hopkins and Gwendolyn Eichelberger. Special guest included granddaughter Carmen Cole, Frederickburg, VA, daughter of Claudell Weaver (deceased). Claudia Cole of Atlanta, GA, daughter of Carmen also attended. Mrs. Eichelberger received many gifts, cards, calls and hugs. The family would like to thank all of you who called and sent cards.
Attachments area

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pink Luncheon Was A Success

A good crowd of local citizens and breast cancer survivors attended Thursday's "Pink Out Luncheon" held at the Winston County Extension Office. Speakers included Jennigfer Palmer with WMC, Kayla Vance with American Cancer Society and survivor Hazel Garrett.

Ronnie Graham's Retirement Party

City officials, friends, co-workers and family gathered on October 14 at the Winston County Library  to celebrate the retirement of Police Captain Ronnie Graham who served more than 36 years with the Louisville Police Department. Graham began his career under Police Chief Parkes in 1980. Graham is shown here as current Chief L.M. Claiborne presents a shadowbox of memorabilia from Graham's time of service.

Graham (2nd from left) shown here with his family

Winston Co. Sheriff Searching for Stolen 4Wheeler

The Winston County Sheriff is offering a reward up to $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspect(s) responsible for the theft of an ATV on Tuesday night (October 18).
 The 2015 Polaris Razor pictured here was taken from a residence on Johnson 5 Road south of Noxapater.

There are reports of an unknown truck and trailer seen in the area. If you have information on this crime, please contact the Winston County Sheriff's Office at 662-773-5881 or Winston County CrimeStoppers at 662-773-9999.

Bond Commission and Public Service Commission Take Action to Reduce Ratepayer Bills, Clear Away State Debt

Treasurer Lynn Fitch, Public Service Commissioners, and Entergy CEO Haley Fisackerly held a press conference today to discuss recent steps to retire early some of the utility restoration bonds issued pursuant to the Hurricane Katrina Customer Relief and Electric Utility System Restoration Act in 2006.

As a result of these actions, ratepayers in the Entergy Mississippi area will see reduced utility costs beginning with bills rendered on or after September 28th. In addition, state debt will be reduced, reassuring credit rating agencies of Mississippi’s financial footing, and a sum of about $1.2 million will be returned to taxpayers in the State General Fund. Without these proactive steps, ratepayers would have paid an additional $30.6 million over the next three years.

“This is one of those stories about government taking initiative, working together, and making a positive difference for Mississippians,” said Treasurer Lynn Fitch, member of the State Bond Commission. “Every man, woman, and child in Mississippi is saddled with a debt burden of $1707. Any time we can clear debt off our books is good for Mississippi. But when we can do it while also saving ratepayers millions and making a contribution to the State General Fund, it’s even better!”

"What could have been a sizable electric bill hike for already devastated customers was made manageable by unparalleled cooperation between government agencies like the PSC and Entergy,” said PSC Chairman Brandon Presley. “The fruits of that effort are seen today as, just over a decade later, Entergy has paid its Katrina debt in full and ratepayers can shed one more reminder of that terrible storm."

"It's a good day for Mississippi rate payers,” said Public Service Commissioner Cecil Brown.

"The people of this great state responded to this historic disaster of Katrina with an epic response. And our response was equal to the challenge,” said Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton. “We came together, worked together and solved the problems together. The utility restoration bonds that are being discussed today is a positive example of our working together to solve a very difficult situation. We should always remember, that working together, we can accomplish great things. We only have to look to Katrina for proof of that statement."

Gov. Bryant Declares Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week

Gov. Phil Bryant declares Oct. 24-28 as Fall Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Mississippi.

Mississippi is making the transition into fall, opening the severe weather season. The state has been hit by 772 tornadoes in the months of November, December, January and February since 1950, according to the National Weather Service.

On Dec. 23, 2015, tornadoes killed 11 Mississippians and injured 56 others. The first was an EF-3 that was on the ground for 63 miles going through Bolivar, Coahoma, Quitman and Panola counties. That tornado lifted briefly before setting back down as an EF-4 for 75 miles hitting Tate, Marshall, Benton and Tippah counties. It eventually crossed into Tennessee.

“Severe weather deaths, injuries and damage are devastating whenever they occur, but more so around the holidays when we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas with friends and family,” said Gov. Bryant. “I encourage all Mississippians to be prepared and have a plan.”

The National Weather Service will issue a statewide test tornado warning on NOAA weather radios at 9:15 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Schools, government agencies and businesses throughout the state are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill.

“There are three things for people to remember when severe weather threatens,” said MEMA Director Lee Smithson “Get off the roads, get out of mobile homes and get to a safe place.”

The federal, state and local governments have invested millions of dollars in nearly 100 safe rooms across Mississippi that are intended to protect citizens from severe weather. The buildings are constructed to withstand 200 mph winds. Check with your county emergency manager to find out the closest one in your area or where a local shelter will be available.

MEMA and the NWS will focus on specific types of severe weather each day of the week on social media and websites. The outline is as follows:

Monday, Oct. 24: Alerts and Warnings. There are numerous ways to receive weather alerts from your cellphones to weather radios to mass notification systems.
Tuesday, Oct 25: Severe Thunderstorms. Lightning, large hail and damaging winds from severe storms are just as dangerous as tornadoes.
Wednesday, Oct. 26: Tornado Safety. A statewide tornado drill will be conducted at 9:15 a.m.
Thursday, Oct. 27: Flooding and Flash Flooding. Flooding is the number one cause of weather-related deaths behind heat. Remember… Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
Thursday, Oct. 28: Winter Weather. Surprisingly, these winter events can affect the Magnolia State before winter officially begins in late December.

Local weather information and alerts are available through the NWS online at the following websites:
Central Mississippi counties:
Coastal Mississippi counties: or
Northern Mississippi counties:

There are several ways to receive severe weather warnings, like a NOAA weather radio, or one of several applications on mobile devices. A number of free mobile applications are available for download on smart phones, which can alert you when a watch or warning is issued for your area.

For detailed preparedness information, contact your county emergency management agency, or go to MEMA’s website at The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA and the National Weather Service on Facebook, or “Follow” us on Twitter.

Friends of Legion State Park Making A Difference

Since 2004, an organization made-up strictly of volunteers has been instrumental in preserving and improving the facilities of Winston County’s treasured Legion State Park. Aptly named “Friends of Legion State Park,” the group meets regularly and raises money and devotes time to helping the park succeed when funding and staffing by the State have been difficult.

The history of the group’s formation and its efforts has been journaled by one of its founding members, retired registered forester Kline Shepherd. Shepherd, an octogenarian, recalls his being led to become involved in the parks’ restoration as being nothing short of ‘divine intervention.’ He reverently describes the many successes that happened as the group was being formed which he says simply can’t be explained by any other means and speaks fondly of the commitment that all the members of Friends displayed as they dutifully took-on their responsibilities.

On its website, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks promotes the park in complimentary terms. “The fourth of the original state parks developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Legion State Park remains as unspoiled today as when the Choctaw Indian Nation first inhabited the area centuries ago. Hidden in the red hill country of Mississippi, Legion State Park strikes the perfect balance of natural beauty and modern comfort, with all man-made structures in the park designed to complement the pristine beauty of the area. Of particular interest is Legion Lodge, a hand-hewn log structure that has remained unaltered since its construction in the 1930s.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Headlines Over OIG's FEMA Audit Are Misleading

Headlines are powerful tools of media. They catch the attention of the reader or viewer and hopefully entice them to read further. Unfortunately, in today’s instant and abbreviated news feeds, the headline often becomes the story.

Such was the case in the recent media storm concerning the City of Louisville and an (OIG) Office of the Inspector General’s report concerning FEMA’s operation related to procurement and grant application after the April 28, 2014 tornado in Winston County. The eighteen page audit report dated September 29, 2016 was titled – “FEMA Should Recover $25.4 Million in Grant Funds Awarded to Louisville, Ms. for an April, 2014 Disaster.”

That bureaucratic report title of the audit between federal agencies became the headline of a multitude of news reports across the state of Mississippi. These included print, online and tv and radio media. The headline was a good one for the media’s purpose…. It grabbed attention, created drama and uncertainty, especially for local citizens and technically it was accurate….sorta.

What that headline didn’t do was critical. It didn’t entice the reader (and most likely the media) to
take the time to read that full report and understand its purpose. It didn’t create an incentive for media to investigate further into the response of FEMA, MEMA and the City to the initial report and it also didn’t incentivize the media to determine if this type of audit and its results were unusual and/or generally led to such consequences that would be so dire for a small community in rural Mississippi.

I am not an expert on federal agencies and their audit and reporting practices but I have worked around government for almost 35 years. Procedures, policies and political posturing take precedent over everything else…including accuracy and clarity. In particular, clarity was missing from most of these news reports as well.

It is a complicated news story with multiple parties involved, multiple time lines and the typical governmental jargon and acronyms that make most readers eyes spin in their sockets. The full accurate story is difficult to convey with clarity and I like most in the media have struggled with it. That is the reason that up until this time, our reporting on this issue has been limited and cautionary.

It is the OIG’s responsibility to audit the activity of other federal agencies including FEMA. In its audit of FEMA relating to disaster recovery after the 2014 tornado, OIG believed that it found some practices that did not meet federal requirements related directly to the City of Louisville:

New Quilt Display at Winston County Library

Another beautiful quilt by Martha Dubard on display throughout the month of October at the Winston County Library. Pieced by Martha and quilted by Betty Lewis. Martha calls it “Flower Garden”.

City to Hold Public Hearing on Possible Relocation of Polling Locations

In Tuesday's meeting of the Louisville Board of Aldermen, members approved a date to hold a hearing for public input into any decision to relocate poling places within the city for city elections.Scheduled for 6:30 pm on November 15 will allow citizens to voice their opinions on possible changes to polling locations. Two options discussed included moving all voting to a central location such as the Louisville Coliseum or a possible move involving the National Guard armory and the Winston County Extension Office.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Winston County Supervisors Approve Night Club Ordinance

The Winston County Board of Supervisors had a very busy agenda on Monday, October 17th. Here are some of the highlights of their meeting:

After discussion, the Board approved a name change of the Landfill Road. Outside the city limits of Louisville, the road is known as Landfill Road but within the city limits, it is known as Ivy Avenue. To prevent confusion, the Board of Supervisors agreed to change the name to Ivy Avenue in the county as well. The board also approved a name change for a private road.

Board members listened to a presentation from a company to do online tax sales for the County in the future. Currently tax sales are done within the courthouse and an online option would possibly increase revenue to the county. This matter is under further discussion.

After review, the Board also approved an ordinance to regulate nightclub hours of operation within the county. The Winston County Sheriff's Office in cooperation with the County Attorney has reviewed similar ordinances in other counties and presented a comprehensive option to the Board. Numerous complaints about the operation of clubs long into the morning hours and with some security issues has prompted the Board to take action.

The new ordinance requires that clubs can no longer operate past the hour of 1 a.m. and that by 1:30 all customers must have left the property. The ordinance applies to existing and new businesses within the county and requires security to be provided by the club as well.

The Board also authorized the Board President to sign documents for the lease purchase of Emergency Management radios. This purchase was approved in a previous board meeting.

Tax Assessor, Darlene Bane, provided some additional information to the Board concerning several issues including concerns about the Talladega Watershed Taxing District and irregularities in some assessments. She also provided the Board with a delinquent mobile home list and delinquent personal property list. Bane noted that these lists represented several hundred thousand dollars in tax money to the County. Said Bane, “ When someone doesn't pay their taxes,we are in effect paying them on their behalf. The Board reviewed and asked for more options on methods to collect these taxes.

City of Louisville Meeting Agenda-Oct 18

City of Louisville meeting agenda is now available. To view click here.

Whitehall United Methodist Church Bazaar

Whitehall United Methodist Church will host their 2016 Bazaar on Saturday, October 29th. Doors open for shopping at 8 o’clock sharp and will remain open until 1 in the afternoon. A new Whitehall Cookbook featuring today’s favorites plus treasured recipes from the past will be offered this year for $20. First day of sale for the much requested cookbook will be on Bazaar Day.

Workers will begin serving breakfast in the Fellowship Hall prior to the bazaar and will continue serving until 10. Come enjoy a bountiful meal of the tastiest breakfast around for $8. In honor of our Veterans, they may enjoy their meal for half price. Children discounts also apply. Pancakes, biscuits, sausage and tomato gravy, bacon, grits, and much more - All your favorites will be there!

The craft rooms are packed with crosses, tables, recycled distressed furniture, pottery, school desks, benches, stools, chalk and bulletin boards, wreaths, swags, houses and feeders for the birds, notecards, and more. Find your Thanksgiving casseroles in the bake room while being tempted with the many cakes, breads, pies, candies, jellies, and jams. Taste test new dips mixes which make great teacher gifts. 

Don’t miss out on bidding on the silent auction items. Bidding ends at 12:30 sharp. Bargains galore will be found in the White Elephant room where you name the price. Once you recover from the stuffing at breakfast, venture back for a bowl, pint, quart, or gallon of soup beginning at 10:30. Served with cornbread or crackers and a tall glass of tea, a bowl is $4.00. Larger containers are even a better deal.

Parking is no problem as golf carts will be in the lot to drop you at the door. Don’t forget about our elevator located near the steps to assist on trips to the Fellowship Hall.
The monies raised from the bazaar are split evenly between two funds: missions and building improvements. Throughout the year we have been blessed to help many families in our community due to your continued support of the Whitehall Bazaar.

Whitehall United Methodist Church is located 4 miles from the bypass on Hwy 14 West. We cordially invite you to worship with us. Sunday school begins at 10 and worship service starts at 11. Rev. Jonathan Stokes is the pastor. For further information please call 662-803-8222 or visit our Facebook page, Whitehall UMC Bazaar.

Monday, October 17, 2016

International Bestselling Author L. Sydney Fisher Comes To Library October 26

The book signing for Ms. Fisher's new book See No Evil will be from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Winston County Library.  The Friends of the Library will provide a free brown bag lunch for the first 30 guests at this event.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sample Ballots For General Election

A sample ballot for the general election on Tuesday, November 8th is now available for viewing. if you would like a pdf version to print - please click here.

Winston County Circuit Clerk Kim Ming wants to remind the public that absentee voting is available now and that the Circuit Clerk's Office will be open on Saturday October 29 and November 5th from 8:00am til 12:00 noon. Absentee voting is allowed til November 5.

Display at Library

Mrs. Beverly Ballard’s French II Class at Winston Academy are displaying their school project at the Winston County Library during the month of October. Each class member created something using the French language – a travel map, brochure, scrapbook, advertising brochure, travel photo album, just to name a few. This photo shows only a small portion of the display. The rest of the project is on display throughout the main reading room of the library. “I am so pleased to be able to showcase this very interesting project from such amazing students,” commented librarian Beth Edwards. “I hope a lot of people will stop by to see their work.”

Friday, October 14, 2016

Book Signing Brings New Information in 100 Year Old Murder Case

McCully details the case of Janie Sharp
The Winston County Library hosted a book signing on Tuesday, October 11 for local author, William
McCully and his book "Murder in Rural Hill."  A large crowd gathered as McCully told of the 106 year old case of the brutal death of Janie Sharp in rural Winston County.

McCully noted that the release of the book had spurred new interest in the case as more photos and documents related to the case had surfaced. As a special guest, the author introduced Penny Sharp, a descendent of a victim in the case who had some additional information, photographs and documents related to the case. Sharp spoke of the case and its impact upon her family over the years.

"Murder in Rural Hill" documents the murder of Janie Sharp  in 1910 and the aftermath and trials that followed. The murders associated with the case have never been solved and remain a mystery. The book is available locally at several retailers, the Winston County Library and the offices of WinstonWebNews at 116 S. Columbus Ave. It is also available on Amazon in paper version and as a Kindle version - click here

Penny Sharp displays map used in 1912 trial of Swinton Permenter

Willa Dean Watkins Receives Plaque For Four Years of Service as Committee's Chairman.

At a recent gathering of the Winston County GOP Executive Committee, Willa Dean Watkins was presented a plaque recognizing her four years of service as the committee's chairman. Presenting the award is the current GOP county chairman, Leslie Charlton.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

State Cottage Food Laws Allow Home Businesses

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A recipe for cinnamon rolls that she found
in college turned into a profitable hobby business and now a cottage industry for Christa Lee and her husband, Tyson.

Their business, LoveLee Rolls, sells pans of baked cinnamon rolls at the Starkville farmers market all summer and by word of mouth the rest of the year.

“We started in July 2014. I was staying home with the baby, and we didn’t really need more money -- just thought it would be a fun hobby,” Christa Lee said. “On the way home from the beach one day, we said, let’s just do it.”

They started learning about cottage food laws and began selling to friends and friends of friends. Around football season, their business began to take off.

“We decided to do the farmers market starting in April, and to do this, we absolutely had to operate under the cottage food law,” she said.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Chamber/Partnership Welcomes Shelter Insurance

A ribbon cutting was held at the offices of the Winston County Economic Development and Chamber on Friday, September 1, 2016 to recognize the efforts of Shelter Insurance as they establish a presence in Louisville and Winston County.

Agents Cory Lucius and Nikki Richardson along with their families, existing customers and Heath Barrett, a representative of the Starkville Area Chamber of Commerce were present to celebrate the company's expansion into Winston County.

Due to company requirements, an agent must be present locally for a period of 12 months before a physical location can be established. Lucius said, "We are excited that Louisville has provided us with this opportunity. It is our intent to have a physical location in Louisville within 12-18 months. We look forward to serving the community and surrounding area.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fwd: New Retailer Under Construction in Louisville.

A new Dollar General Store is now under construction on East Main in Louisville. The chain retailer will be located on the north side of Main and just east of the Winston Medical Center currently under construction.

School Bus Accident on Thursday Afternoon in Winston County.

Winston County sheriff's deputies were called to the scene of an accident this afternoon (10-6) around 2:45 on Highway 25 South about 8 miles from Louisville. The accident involving a Head Start school bus. No children were on board at the time. According to reports,  the bus had slowed to a stop to allow a passenger to exit the vehicle when it was rear-ended by another vehicle. The bus was flipped on its side. There were two injuries that included a passenger on the bus and the occupant of the vehicle. Neither injury appears to be life-threatening. The accident is under investigation by WCSO

Two Locals Tapped For State Honor

JoAnn Brandt and Sylvia D. Clark have been awarded The Ruby Assaf Presidential Award by the Mississippi Library Association. The Ruby Assaf Presidential Award honors an outstanding individual volunteer(s) in the Friends of the Mississippi Libraries or in a local Friends chapter. “JoAnn, co-founder in 1984 of our local Friends chapter along with Joyce McGraw, and Sylvia worked tirelessly and passionately for over 30 years to support the Winston County Library,” said Winston County Librarian Beth Edwards. The idea for a Friends chapter came from attending a state legislative budgeting meeting in Jackson, MS in 1983. They mailed over 2,000 membership letters to local Winston County citizens, stating the need for a Friends group for the local library. The response was overwhelming. They served as officers and tireless library supporters since 1984 until retiring in 2016. During their over thirty-year tenure, they, along with many other friends members, raised over $256,000 to fund badly needed items for the library that cannot be provided by county and city funding. “For a small rural community of 19,000, they have managed to help raise an incredible amount of money and community support for the Winston County Library,” said Edwards. “I have never met two more dedicated library family members. I am so proud of this well-deserved honor for them.”

The award will be presented at the 2016 Mississippi Library Association Annual Conference in Vicksburg, MS on Friday October 21. The event takes place at the Vicksburg Convention Center during the MLS Awards Breakfast.