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Past, present, future addressed in fourth quarter

Two long-dormant industrial buildings received tenants and a20-year-old murder was solved to bring the past to the present andseveral proposals were made for economic development as officialskept their vision focused for the future.

October

The Brookhaven branch office of Mississippi Medicaid opened Oct.2 at its new location on 1372 Johnny Johnson Dr. The move combinedtwo separate Brookhaven offices, which handled different programswithin the division, into one.

The troubled Brookhaven Industrial Park speculative buildingfinally received a tenant in an announcement by city aldermen Oct.3. However, it would still be some months before the tenant couldmove into the facility. Environmental concerns from the closure ofa nearby wood treatment plant had kept the speculative buildingunoccupied for several years until it could be cleared by theEnvironmental Protection Agency.

Aldermen voted Oct. 3 to move forward with plans to relocate thePolice Department to the old Mississippi Highway Safety Patrolsubstation on Highway 51. The new location still needs to berenovated before the move can occur.

Professional Fire and Safety, a Brookhaven business on Highway51, was named the 2006 Minority and Small Business of the Year bythe Mississippi Development Authority’s Minority and Small BusinessDevelopment Division in October.

State and local officials and hundreds of students at fourschool campuses ushered in the Project Fit America curriculum-basedpilot program Oct. 5. King’s Daughters Medical Center partneredwith Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi to acquire a $93,500grant to bring the equipment and educational program to thecampuses.

A coalition of Lincoln County ministers challenged corporategiants in October to bring an independent Christian-themed film toBrookhaven’s West Brook Twin Cinema. Their efforts were rewardedand “Facing The Giants” did well during a three-week run at thetheater.

A Georgia man suspected in the 20-year-old murder of Brock andAnnie Burnette in Lawrence County was formally charged for hisinvolvement in the crime Oct. 8 after being extradited to theLawrence County Jail from a federal penitentiary in Florida, wherehe was convicted of conspiracy and extortion. Ira A. Boudreauxpleaded guilty in December to two counts of accessory to murderafter the fact. The other two suspects in the case are believed tohave died since the crimes were committed.

Lincoln County supervisors approved a plan Oct. 16 to allow theHog Chain Volunteer Fire Department to proceed in creating a firegrading district, a move that is intended to help lower citizens’insurance premium. The process is also under way to create similardistricts in Zetus, Bogue Chitto, East Lincoln and Heuck’sRetreat.

Hundreds of area educators and parents rallied for full fundingof the Mississippi Adequate Education Program at Brookhaven HighSchool Oct. 19.

City officials announced their intention in October to pursuegrants to provide a new city park in the southeast area and improvetwo existing parks.

A northbound Amtrak train struck a stuck tractor-trailercrossing the tracks on Hog Chain Road Oct. 24. There were noinjuries.

November

Election officials and the general public were pleased with theperformance of the new touch-screen voting machines in the generalelection Nov. 7. The machines had arrived in January to kick off ayear-long effort by election officials to train the public in theiruse.

State education policy was set in Brookhaven Nov. 15 when theMississippi Board of Education met on the campus of the MississippiSchool of the Arts. The board also received a tour of the school, afirst for a majority of its members, during which the studentsdisplayed their talents.

Brookhaven aldermen discussed a ban on smoking in all publicbuildings, which would include restaurants and other businesses,during a meeting of the board Nov. 21. The discussion was notbrought to a vote. Several Mississippi cities had institutedsimilar bans in previous months.

Raymond Boutwell was sworn in Nov. 21 as the new BrookhavenMunicipal Court judge after the death of Judge Jerrald Nations.Nations died Nov. 9.

December

A new West Lincoln Voting Precinct was established in earlyDecember by an arrangement between county supervisors and thecounty school district. The Lincoln County School District offeredthe lease of an acre of land and donated an unused temporaryclassroom to the county to create the new polling place, which hadbeen at the school for several years. The temporary classroom wasno longer needed after construction was completed on a classroombuilding.

The McLain Building in Lawrence County got a long-awaitedpermanent tenant Dec. 5 when Monticello aldermen agreed to a leaseagreement with Lee’s Pigskin Company, which is expanding its NewHebron operations. It will likely be spring before the company canmove some of its operations into the building.

A proposal announced this month under consideration by theLincoln County-Brookhaven Multi-Use Building Commission would add aseven-field baseball complex and allow for overnight stays at thefacility. The possible development is still in the preliminarystages.

DecembeRadio, featuring New Hebron native and former Brookhavenresident Boone Daughdrill, was nominated for a Grammy Award Dec. 7.The band’s self-titled album was selected in the Best Rock or RapGospel Album category.

Brookhaven Police Chief Arlustra “Pap” Henderson was honoredDec. 8 at the first 2006 Ole Brook VIP Awards Banquet and Gala heldat the multi-use building.

The Brookhaven Animal Rescue League opened the doors of its newfacility Dec. 13, welcoming its 58 tenants into their newstate-of-the-art accommodations. The event was followed Dec. 15 bya Grand Opening Celebration for the public at the adoptioncenter.

Brookhaven aldermen announced Dec. 19 that they were movingforward with plans to annex the LinBrook Business Park into thecity limits.