Year in review: Community celebrated state football title

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 31, 2004

High school athletics dominated the news in the final quarter of2004, as the Brookhaven High School football team won its firststate championship in December. The feat followed the school’sfirst state baseball title in May.

Other top stories in the final quarter included more controversyon Home Depot locating in Brookhaven, as opponents pushed to blockthe move, hundreds of elderly waiting for hours to receive limitedflu vaccine and a grandson being charged in the slaying of his63-year-old grandmother, whose body was found after she wasreported missing.


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A standing-room-only audience filled the Lincoln Countysupervisors board room Oct. 4 as opponents and supporters of afinancing plan for a Home Depot aired their opinions about a$825,000 tax increment financing plan to provide infrastructure toan 11-acre site on Brookway Boulevard. The scene was repeated Oct.5, when the city board contemplated the same plan. Both boardseventually agreed to provide the funding.

The county changed garbage pickup companies Oct. 1. The movecaused some problems in both the weeks preceding and following thechange because of route changes and worker training.

Three soldiers of the Army National Guard’s 155th InfantryBattalion, training at Camp Shelby, were detained and theleadership of their platoon dispersed among other platoons in thebattalion following an Oct. 6 incident in which noncommissionedofficers of the platoon refused to conduct training. Two NCOs and aprivate first class of a scout platoon, based in Natchez, weredetained off-base overnight for their roles in what several membersof the platoon say was a protest of training conditions at CampShelby. The Army said the claims were groundless.

Shirley Estes won the seat as Ward Four alderwoman during aspecial election Oct. 12. She won the post left vacant by the deathof her husband, Don, in September.

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Chandler Russ resigned Oct. 22. Russ, who held theposition for four years, left to accept a position as an economicdevelopment specialist for the Tennessee Valley Authority inTupelo. He had given chamber officials advance notice of more thana month.

A Brookhaven landmark was severely damaged and partiallycollapsed during a construction accident, but the owner of TheCoffee Pot said he was optimistic the original structure could besaved. Although later additions to the building are likely lost,the original structure was shored up by the end of the year.


Hundreds of elderly and disabled residents stood in line for alimtied number of flu shots at the Multi-Use Facility on Nov. 9.More than 500 shots were given, but hundreds of people were turnedaway when the vaccine ran out. Several hundred more vaccinationswere made available during a similar event two weeks later. Thenation’s flu vaccine supply was effectively halved when a majorsupplier was closed down because of possible contamination. Thevaccine was only available nationwide to infants and “high-risk”adults.

Cliffton Brumfield was named the new executive vice president ofthe Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 8. Heofficially begins his new position Monday.

Developers of a Franklin County recreational lake began waitingon the rain in mid-November after closing a valve for a dam beingbuilt for the Lake Okhissa project. The 1,000-acre lake is locatedin the Homochitto National Forest and is part of an estimated5,000-acre recreation project by the U.S. Forest Service. Once thedam was closed, officials estimated it would take about two yearsto fill the lake with water.

A grandson was charged in the Nov. 12 slaying of a 63-year-oldwoman. The woman had been reported missing, and her body was foundwhere it had been dumped on South Washington Street.

The future of a proposed multi-modal transportation facility wasplaced in limbo on Nov. 16, when aldermen questioned the city’sfinancial commitment to the project. City officials were seekinganswers on their contribution to the project. Based on thoseanswers, they will then determine how best to proceed.

Two former Lincoln County Justice Court deputy clerks wereindicted on charges of embezzlement Nov. 16, following a stateaudit department investigation. A trail date has not been set.

Lincoln County Justice Court Judge Keith Starrett was confirmedto the U.S. Southern District Court in late November. He had beennominated months before. Starrett was confirmed to replace JudgeCharles Pickering, who had been appointed to the U.S. 5th CircuitCourt of Appeals earlier in the year. Pickering has since retiredfrom the appeals court.

An attorney general’s office opinion on Nov. 22 clarified thenumber of aldermen the city could have following the next election.Under the last census, the city’s population would necessitate afive-member board, although an approved annexation would allow thecity to maintain its seven-member board makeup. With the annexationunder appeal, officials were not sure whether to decrease the sizeof the board. The AG’s opinion held that the board should retainseven seats until the appeal process is complete.


The BHS football team captured its first Class 4A statechampionship at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson,defeating Clarksdale 29-23. The Panthers finished the season with a14-1 record.

A man accused of killing another man on Dec. 11 died two dayslater of injuries sustained in an automobile crash while fleeingthe scene.