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Newell joins school board; Coon named new president

Leadership of Lincoln County schools changed Monday with theswearing in of a new board member and the annual rotation ofofficers.

Stacey Newell officially became a member of the board afterbeing sworn in by Lincoln County School District SuperintendentTerry Brister. Newell defeated incumbent Johnny Hart in November ona 371-364 vote to lead District Two, which includes six precinctscovering portions of Loyd Star and Enterprise.

One of Newell’s first actions as a board member was to approve abid of $24,895 from Brookhaven’s Oddee Smith and Sons, Inc. toconstruct a parking lot at Loyd Star Attendance Center.

A rejected bid, from a company in Vicksburg, was for $69,800.Only two bids were received for the project.

In explaining the high cost for the parking lot, Brister saidthere is much more than simply paving a level field of ground forthe 2.14 acre parking lot.

“You have to understand they’re going to have to move tanks,burn or remove a house and they say there is a drainage problem,”he said.

The first meeting of the calendar year also saw the annualrotation of officers.

District One’s Kay Coon, representing Enterprise, was namedpresident of the board. Michael Posey, representing Loyd Star’sDistrict 5, was selected as vice president. Joann Holmes, ofDistrict Three and Bogue Chitto, is secretary of the board.

In other matters, the board approved Denbury Resources toconduct a 3D seismic shoot in the Brookhaven Oil Field on 16thSection land owned by the district.

Jonathan Mast, a representative of the company, said it is stillin the early stages of acquiring permits for the exploratoryoperation. The company hopes to begin the seismic exploration byMarch and complete the operation by the end of August.

“The objective is for Denbury to get a good look at the fieldand to safely and efficiently extract the oil from the field,” Mastsaid.

Mast assured the board the company would only operate theseismic equipment at a safe distance from residents in the area andwater wells. He also said those who lease the land from the schooldistrict would be notified by letter of Denbury’s intentions in thearea.

Denbury received mineral leases on the property in 2006 and ispresently “revamping” its operations in the field, Mast said.