Decisions on schools likely at Sunday meet

Published 5:00 am Saturday, August 30, 2008

A decision regarding the cancellation of classes at all city andcounty schools and Copiah-Lincoln Community College is expected tobe made Sunday at a 2 p.m. meeting between county and civil defenseofficials.

Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said hewould probably make the call on whether to cancel school Tuesdayand throughout this week based on the Sunday afternoon status ofHurricane Gustav, which Saturday was graded as a Category 4 andadvancing northwest into the Gulf of Mexico.

Galey is in close contact with the Mississippi EmergencyManagement Agency.

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While plans to announce the decision of the Sunday meeting havenot been finalized, the announcement may come via local radio.

Galey said both the Lincoln County and Brookhaven schooldistricts have gassed up their entire bus fleets and filled updiesel storage tanks at their bus shops per his advice. County andcity emergency personnel may need to use the districts’ fuel supplyin case a power outage knocks gas stations in the area offline, hesaid.

“Both city and county schools are ready,” he said.

Lincoln County School District Superintendent Terry Brister andBrookhaven School District Assistant Superintendent James Tillmanconcurred that each district would keep in close contact with theother and follow Galey’s Sunday afternoon advice.

Brookhaven Academy Headmaster Dr. Miller Hammill said hisinstitution would follow suit.

“We’re going to look at the situation like the other schoolsystems, and the administration and staff from all three systemswill communicate with each other,” he said.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College Director of Public InformationNatalie Davis said campus president Dr. Ronnie Nettles would be inclose contact with Copiah County Civil Defense as well as theLincoln County school systems.

“We will probably make our decision based on what those schoolswill be doing,” Davis said.

While county and city schools and the academy are making plansto close their doors under the threat of Hurricane Gustav, aportion of Co-Lin will remain open. Davis said the campus serves asa special needs shelter, and that cafeteria and maintenancepersonnel would remain on standby throughout the week.

The campus may also become a temporary headquarters for powercompany crews, she said.