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January 9th, 2012
The Oktibbeha County School District Board of Directors received an evaluation report from the Mississippi Department of Education on both East Oktibbeha County Elementary School and East Oktibbeha County High School, which need to raise test scores this year or risk becoming charter schools.
Each school was visited in early September by a six-person observation team made up of highly experienced educational professionals contracted by MDE. The observations were simply a â€śsnapshot,â€ť one MDE representative said, which included classroom observations, interviews and building walk-throughs to examine factors that would impact academic performance.
The report lists each schoolâ€™s strengths and challenges, along with findings and recommendations on leadership, curriculum and assessment, delivery of instruction and school climate and safety.
A suspect allegedly involved in a Monday afternoon shooting turned himself into authorities after alluding law enforcement for almost eight hours.
Shortly after 10 p.m., Oktibbeha County Chief Deputy Chadd Garnett said Kewon Delarryous Doss, 19, of 1816 Stowood Road, surrendered to authorities after he was sought for questioning in the shooting death of Larry Davis, his uncle.
At press time, charges were still pending.
Deputies responded to a call of shots fired with injuries at 1816 Stowood Road shortly after 2 p.m. Monday and found Davis, 38, inside the home with a single gunshot wound to the torso. Oktibbeha County Coroner Michael Hunt pronounced Davis dead at the scene.
Incoming Gov. Phil Bryantâ€™s swearing-in ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. today on the Mississippi State Capitolâ€™s south steps, weather permitting.
If the morning weather deteriorates, the ceremony could move into the Capitol. After taking the governorâ€™s oath of office, Bryant will officially become the stateâ€™s 64th governor, succeeding two-term Republican Gov. Haley Barbour.
On Monday, Bryantâ€™s communication director, Mick Bullock, confirmed the cancellation of the inaugural parade due to the possibility of heavy afternoon rains in Jackson. The parade, Bullock said, is postponed until noon Jan. 21.
The Starkville School District Board of Trustees is expected to produce a list of candidates to interview for the districtâ€™s superintendent position during tonightâ€™s 6 p.m. meeting in the Greensboro Center.
â€śI still have a very positive impression of the pool,â€ť board President Keith Coble said. â€ś(The meeting) is going to start the process in how we move forward.â€ť
The Mississippi School Board Association spent several weeks in November interviewing candidates, checking references and writing up a report. The school board received the report in December, but took the holiday break to review the extensive report and make decisions.
Coble said the board members will discuss whom they would like to interview in executive session tonight.
Friends and family gathered at Calvary Baptist Church Sunday afternoon to pay tribute and celebrate the life of Devin Mitchell, the Starkville High School student and athlete who died on New Yearâ€™s morning.
An overflow crowd came to the church, and many did not make it inside the doors.
As friends came around to pay their final respects, a slide presentation with photos of Mitchell at school, on the athletic fields and among friends was shown prior to the service.
The Mississippi State University-Meridian campus will expand today with the opening of the Newberry Building on Fifth Street, adjacent to the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian.
The Newberry Building was donated by the Riley Foundation in 2009, after sitting empty for nearly three decades. The 20,175 square-foot facility will house classrooms and offices of the MSU-Meridian Division of Business.
The building is a historical landmark and required some renovations before the university could take it over, which cost approximately $4 million, along with an additional $1.1 million to furnish and equip the building. City and university officials said they hoped the renovations would help bring new life to downtown Meridian.
JACKSON â€” After Republican Tate Reeves was elected Mississippi lieutenant governor in November, he spent weeks meeting with the 52 state senators to gauge their public policy interests.
He used that information while assigning senators to committees, both as chairmen and as rank-and-file members.
Reeves announced the committee rosters this past Friday, one day after his inauguration, and many senatorsâ€™ initial assessments were positive. He said he tried to transcend traditional boundaries of party, race and geography.
â€śIt was an incredibly difficult task,â€ť said Reeves, fresh off two terms as state treasurer.
The 122 House members await their committee assignments, and new Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, said he might announce those late this week.
Starkville and Oktibbeha County residents will soon have an opportunity to sign up for the Yellow Dot program, an initiative designed to immediately provide emergency responders with medical information in the case of an accident.
Participants in the program would receive a yellow sticker to place on the rear windshields of their vehicles as well as forms to fill out with their medical information. The information, with a picture for proper identification, would be placed in a marked folder inside the glove compartments of their automobiles.
Starkville Parks and Recreation Director Matthew Rye said all the pieces are in place for the program to be enacted in the coming months.
â€śThe materials are ordered, and we expect them to be in any day now,â€ť Rye said. â€śWeâ€™re putting the finishing touches on a brochure, and as soon as all that comes together, Iâ€™d imagine in the spring weâ€™d be able to roll the program out to the public.â€ť
As a sales associate at the Sears Hometown Store at Starkvilleâ€™s University Square Shopping Center, Jimmy Glenn would like to set the record straight.
On Dec. 27, Sears Holdings announced the closings of 100 to 120 Sears stores, including the Sears at Columbusâ€™ Leigh Mall, as well as Kmarts, which are owned by Sears Holdings. As a result, Glenn said customer after customer has come into his store asking the same question.
â€śAt least every other person, I would say one out of three people, is asking if weâ€™re closing too,â€ť Glenn said.
His answer is always â€śno.â€ť
The students of Starkville High School have taken to Twitter to remember their friend and classmate.
Shortly after Devin Mitchellâ€™s death on New Yearâ€™s Day, the hashtag â€ś#32foreverâ€ť â€” representing the high school football playerâ€™s number â€” began appearing on the social networking site.
Mitchell was murdered in the early morning hours of New Yearâ€™s Day while he was visiting family in West Point. Police officials said Tavaris Collins, 31, of West Point allegedly started shooting into the dark when he heard the sounds of fireworks and thought someone was shooting at him. Collins fired multiple rounds and one struck Mitchell in the head. Mitchell was pronounced dead at North Mississippi Medical Center. Collins was arrested and charged with murder.