Leaders celebrate projects’ completion

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 30, 2005

Hurricane Katrina-related activities continued into the finalthree months of 2005 while officials marked completion of severalprojects that were years in the making.



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In early October, area, state and federal leaders celebrated thededication of the Okhissa Lake dam in Franklin County. The $10million structure represented a major step in the development ofthe recreational lake, which has been sought by the community formore than 50 years.

Five people were arrested in early October for attempting tofraudulently receive disaster relief money from the American RedCross regional center in Monticello. More arrests followed.

Teachers in the Lincoln County School District teamed with theHarrison County School District to assist two D’Iberville schoolssacked by Hurricane Katrina. Also, Brookhaven Academy adopted acoast school and sent aid.

King’s Daughters Medical Center was approved by the state for a$11 million expansion of its services and renovations of existingfacilities.

A project to renovate and repair the roof at the GovernmentComplex was completed in the last quarter. Roofing was completed inOctober with trim work and other detailing completed inDecember.


In mid-November, a new Bogue Chitto bridge opened for traffic.The project had been under way for two years and had encountered anumber of delays.

Also, a long-awaited downtown street paving project got underway. In addition to new handicap accessibility ramps, downtownmotorists enjoyed driving on smooth city streets.

Former Alderman J.W. Morgan was honored during a ceremony todedicate a street that was renamed in his honor earlier in theyear. Morgan represented Ward One on the city board for 20years.

A former Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department auxiliary deputy,who admitted to grand larceny for stealing a Monticello police doglast year, was sentenced to serve one year under house arrest inmid- November.

Brookhaven Recreation Department and Kids’ Kingdom officialsannounced they had been cleared to install a restroom at thecommunity playground. They hoped to begin the project soon.

The sale of Georgia-Pacific Corp. to Koch Industries announcedin mid-November was not expected to have any effect on localoperations. The 560 employees of the Monticello mill producelinerboard, the corrugated cardboard material found inside boxes.Their products are primarily sent on to other GP plants thatproduce the boxes.

Monticello native Kendra King was crowned to represent the stateas Miss Mississippi USA at Delta State University in Cleveland inlate November.

Brookhaven Assistant Fire Chief Fred Smith Jr. spent theThanksgiving holiday in jail after being charged with shootingmultiple times into an occupied vehicle. In the days that followed,Smith was suspended from the department pending the outcome thecase.


The community’s annual Christmas Parade was a big success as itrolled through downtown on the first day of the month. District TwoSupervisor and Board President Bobby J. Watts served as grandmarshal.

A few days later, Brookhaven hosted a Holiday Tour of Homes.After years of being held in the spring, this was the first yearfor a holiday tour and the first night-time event.

A trial date of June 6 was set Dec. 12 for a Lincoln County manaccused of capital murder in the January 2004 death of conveniencestore owner John Deere.

Also in December, community officials celebrated a successfulyear in economic development at the annual Chamber of Commercebanquet.

Officials touted a new business park and hoped to provideinfrastructure in hopes of luring new business and industry to thearea.

To that end, a trip to Washington by city, county and chamberleaders sought federal financial help for the park and aninterstate exit lighting project. Officials were optimistic aboutfunding chances for the projects.