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Snow prompts some school closings

The onset of thick snow early Thursday morning caused most ofthe school districts in Southwest Mississippi to cancel classes,but the Lawrence and Copiah County school districts remainedopen.

After officials inspected road and bridge conditions earlyThursday, Lawrence County school leaders made the decisions toclose schools by noon.

Lawrence County School District Superintendent Tony Davis said thedecision to keep schools open Thursday was made because schoolofficials believed temperatures would remain in the high 30s -above freezing – and that roads would be warm enough to shed anysnow accumulation.

“I was wrong – I made the wrong decision,” he said. “The roads arenot iced, but they have snow accumulated on them.”

A recorded message left on the district office’s phone answeringsystem stated that conditions at release time were expected to bebetter than early conditions Thursday.

“Now, we’ll try to get them home as quickly and safely as possiblewhile conditions are decent,” Davis said.

Davis said the decision on whether to open or close schools Fridaywould be made later, with the decision to be announced on theradio.

In Copiah County, District Central Office Administrator MarthaTraxler said all Copiah County schools were in session Thursday,and that school officials were monitoring weather and roadconditions very closely. She said the decision to have school was”our call.”

“We’ve been keeping an eye on [the weather] for three days,” shesaid. “Our decision was based on information that was given to us.But weather is changeable, that’s for sure. The roads areawful.”

Traxler said district officials would continue to watch theweather, and any decisions on early school closings and thepossibility of closing school Friday will be announced on severalradio stations.

Brookhaven and Lincoln County school district officials played itsafe Thursday, closing all county and city schools. BrookhavenAcademy Headmaster Dr. Miller Hammill closed down his institutionas well.

As always is the case during dangerous weather conditions, Hammillsaid he and Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lea Barrettand Lincoln County School District Superintendent Terry Bristerconsulted together in the predawn hours Thursday.

“We’re going to evaluate the situation with civil defense and seewhere we are,” Hammill said. “Our decision was based on the safetysituation related to travel conditions. We could have had schoolonce we got them here, but it’s not worth the risk of jeopardizingour faculty, staff and students.”

Lincoln County School District Superintendent’s Assistant ReginaEast said buses began running early Thursday before the decision toclose schools was made, but all students were taken back homeimmediately.

The decision to keep all three school systems closed Friday wasmade early Thursday morning as well.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College Public Information Officer NatalieDavis said classes at that institution were cancelled Thursday, anda decision on Friday would come later. She is asking Co-Linstudents to keep an eye on their e-mail, the college Web site andlocal media for further information.