Spring brought economic boom…….Second in a Series

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, December 27, 2000

Late spring saw a lot of economic progress in Lincoln Countyduring the year 2000, while a chemical spill in late March createda day of concern for many residents.


The $1.8 million Industrial Park Road Overpass opened March 1with a celebration by city and county officials. Construction onthe bridge had begun in April 1999. Later in the year, SupervisorCliff Givens would be recognized as the guiding force whoenvisioned the project and saw it carried through when the bridgewas named in his honor.

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Secretary of State Eric Clark accepted the Whitworth Collegeproperty on behalf of the state March 2 in another step in theprocess of the campus becoming a state fine arts school. The deedwas then transferred to the Departments of Education and Financeand Administration. Those agencies were in charge of overseeingrenovation and construction of the arts school.

Tonya Faith Smith, 40, was allegedly shot in the head March 3 ina case of mistaken identity by Roosevelt Maxwell, 37. Maxwellallegedly fired three to five times into Smith’s trailer with onebullet striking her in the head. Smith died a few days later.Maxwell was looking for another woman with the same name, accordingto the Brookhaven Police Department.

Stacy Montgomery, 29, of Bogue Chitto, a former Lincoln CountyTax Collector’s Office employee, pleaded guilty March 9 toembezzling nearly $10,000 in 1998 and 1999. A second TaxCollector’s Office employee was still facing an indictment nembezzlement and two counts of making false entries. On March 16,Carla C. Haley, 34, pleaded guilty to embezzling approximately$11,000 from September 1995 to September 1997 and filing falsedocuments.

The quick reaction and calmness of Courtney Welch, 6, and ColtonWelch, 3, saved the life of their grandmother, Carline Greer, March12 when she suffered a stroke early in the morning. Colton heardher fall and got his sister. The children called their parents, wholived next door, when they realized something was wrong.

The DAILY LEADER’s new monthly publication, PrimeTimes, debutedMarch 14. The 20-page tabloid-sized newspaper focuses on those whoare age 55 or older.

Dr. Vicki Bodenhammer, a former USM and William Carey Collegeadjunct art instructor, was selected March 17 as the director ofthe new Mississippi School of the Arts by state educationofficials.

The Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce named ChandlerRuss, executive director of the Copiah County Chamber of Commerce,as the new executive vice-president March 19. The position becameopen when Tillmon Bishop won the election for chancery clerk inNovember 1999.

Illegal use of poison was blamed in the death of more than 100wild birds in Lawrence County on March 20. Hunters had been warnedearlier in the week to be aware of possible fowl contamination inthe area since many of the birds affected were turkeys.

A possible attempt to steal a chemical used to manufacture acontrolled substance March 25 led to two chemical spills, twohospitalizations, the evacuation of 40 people from a motel and roadclosures near the North Brookhaven exit at Interstate 55 and UnionStreet. An arrest in the case has yet to be made.

Two segments of the Bogue Chitto River began getting theattention of the state Department of Environmental Quality on March29. The agency was seeking to limit the quantity of bacteria in thewater. The river was on the DEQ’s list of impaired waterbodies.


Storms that moved through the area April 3 left scattereddamage, including some to houses, but no injuries. Some of thehardest hit areas were the Oakvale and Topeka-Tilton Communities,which reported extensive damage.

Shawn Scott, a 41-year-old pilot, sustained a head lacerationApril 12 when his RV-4 plane crashed in Franklin County about threemiles west of Roxie. Scott was flying home to Texas when hecrashed.

Narcotics and K-9 officers from all over Mississippi andLouisiana converged on the Sports Complex in mid-April for theSecond Annual Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department K-9Competition/Seminar.

A natural gas line break April 19 on Saint George Street forcedthe evacuation of several area residents. There were no injuriesand residents returned to their homes after the line wasrepaired.

Mary Bowlin, 79, of McCall Creek, was killed April 19 in ahead-on collision on Highway 84. Bowlin worked for the FranklinAdvocate for 25 years as a columnist. She was best known forher “Just Nosing Around” column.

Brookhaven-based State Bank and Trust Company went statewide inApril with the merger of Valley Bank of Greenwood. The new bankopened with 24 offices in 17 cities across Western Mississippi andhosted more than 2,400 ATM locations nationwide and in Canada.

Sunday services were held for the first time at a new chapel atLake Lincoln State Park on April 23. The chapel was built byvolunteers the week before.

A pair of “canuts” crusading for the Children’s Hospital inJackson drew a large crowd, and a large donation, when they rowedinto Cooper’s Ferry Park in Monticello April 21. Malcolm White andBruce Browning, both of Jackson, began their 431-mile canoeing tripdown the Pearl River March 30 at Nanih Waiya State Park north ofPhiladelphia. While in Monticello, they received a donation of $602from county residents. It was the largest single donation they hadreceived on their trip.

The Brookhaven Tour of Homes took on a new twist last year. Itwas renamed the Brookhaven Tour of Homes and Gardens and featuredgardening in honor of Thomas H. Perkins III, founder and pastpresident of the Camellia Club. The tour was held April 29.

Thursday: May, June and July.