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Summer hot, busy in Southwest Miss….Fourth in a Series

The weather, deaths of prominent citizens, the opening of a newindustry and postal concerns in the historic district dominated thenews from August to September. Here’s a recap:

August

A 14-year-old Illinois boy, Reginald Rogers, died Aug. 3 when hedrowned in a hotel swimming pool. The youngster had been on achurch trip and was found in the pool when other members noticedhim missing.

Motorists came closer to having four lanes of travel betweenBrookhaven and Natchez Aug. 3 when a new 5.5 mile section of roadbetween Laird’s Crossing in Lincoln County and Lucien in FranklinCounty opened for traffic.

The former wife of a Brookhaven police officer pleaded guiltyAug. 7 to manslaughter and burglary of a dwelling in connectionwith his November 1999 shooting death. Chris Godbolt was shot inthe head with his own service revolver in the driveway of afriend’s house.

King’s Daughters Medical Center announced Aug. 9 that as aresult of the Balanced Budget Act and Medicare reimbursementchanges they could no longer offer home health care. The cut becameeffective Sept. 7 and affected about 70 patients, who weretransferred to other service providers.

Monticello Fire Department received their new fire truck Aug.16. The truck was purchased in July 1999 and took 13 months tobuild, equip and deliver. The new truck was part of a quest by cityofficials for an improved Class 6 fire rating.

Eleven suspects were arrested the night of Aug. 17 ondrug-related charges as law enforcement agents in Lawrence Countymade a sweep.

The Monticello Post Office officially opened in its new locationat the intersection of Highway 84 and Graham Avenue Aug. 21.Construction on the new building started in April 1999.

Two juveniles were arrested Aug. 22 and a third Aug. 23 afterthey were reported to have a firearm in their possession at LoydStar Attendance Center.

Three Bogue Chitto teenagers, Traci R. Sasser, 16; W.C. “Chuck”Ingle III, 15; and Zachary Dunaway, 16; were killed Aug. 23 in twoaccidents on Bogue Chitto Road.

Statewide attention focused on Bogue Chitto School Aug. 26 whenstudents found a way to get around a U.S. Supreme Court orderbanning prayers over the public address system at school events.According to plan, following the National Anthem the crowd remainedstanding, joined hands and recited The Lord’s Prayer. Crowds atother schools recited The Lord’s Prayer at games Aug. 25. A specialtribute to the three students killed in wrecks was also held beforethe game.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove stopped in Brookhaven Aug. 25 and spoke toarea civic and business leaders to get their support for hisembattled economic development plan. The legislature approved theplan later in the year.

A thunderstorm that moved through Lincoln County on Aug. 31toppled trees and power lines and damaged homes in the West Lincolnarea.

SEPTEMBER

State fire and forestry officials announced Sept. 1 that thenumber of fires in the Magnolia state were “the worst we’ve had in50 years.” Forty-two of the state’s 82 counties remained under burnbans in early September. That number increased Sept. 5 when LincolnCounty supervisors and the Mississippi Forestry Commission addedthis county to that list. The continuing drought was blamed formany of the blazes.

The Mississippi School of the Arts was threatened in earlySeptember as a cash-strapped state legislature looked for ways tocut costs. Local and statewide support for the project moved itthrough the danger period, however, and cuts were made elsewhere asconstruction continued on the school.

A Florida surgeon, Dr. James “Jimmy” Barnett, and his wife,Margaret “Missy”, were killed Sept. 9 when their single engineairplane crashed at the Brookhaven Municipal Airport. The Barnetts,formerly of Brookhaven, were killed instantly when their plane nosedived and caught fire just before reaching the landing strip.Witnesses to the tragedy included Barnett’s father, Dr. JimBarnett, a Mississippi legislator; Barnett’s brother Paul, and anephew.

The qualification of a sitting judge for election in LawrenceCounty was questioned Sept. 8. Albert Turnage was appointed as theinterim Justice Court Judge Post 2 by supervisors in January afterthe previous office-holder died. His qualification was questionedbecause he lived outside the district. Election commissionersrefused to certify him Sept. 19. The issue went to court and ajudge decided Sept. 23 that Turnage could run for the office. Hewas eliminated in the primary.

Linda Morris of Summit was acquitted Sept. 12 of charges thatshe tried to kill her husband by drugging him and driving theirJeep Cherokee into Lake Lincoln in October 1998.

The state was listed as a federal disaster area Sept. 19 becauseof continuing drought damage.

Specialty Minerals Inc. officially opened for business asBrookhaven’s newest industry Sept. 25 during a celebration ceremonyat the Multi-Use Facility. The industry’s new $20 million facilityis located in the Industrial Park.

The statewide burn ban issued by the governor in August waslifted Sept. 26. Area counties, including Lincoln, Lawrence,Franklin and Copiah, were among those freed from the ban. Burn bansissued by the supervisors, however, remained in effect and LincolnCounty was not released from that ban until Oct. 2.

A post office plan to install generic black mail boxes forcurbline delivery was opposed by some historic district residentsSept. 29. Postal officials devised the plan to improve routedelivery, but residents were concerned about appearance in thehistoric residential district. Postal officials said Oct. 8 thatthe plan was not mandatory, but was residents were encouraged tosupport it. The postal announcement came a week after theBrookhaven Trust sided with the residents.

Sunday: The year’s final months and the Top Tenstories of the year.