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Mid-2011 brought uncertainty, celebration

Editor’s note: Today, The DAILY LEADERcontinues a series of stories recapping the year past. Today’sfeature covers the second quarter of 2011. 

    April, May and June saw both disaster and celebration.Labor contract negations at Delphi Packard began to spiral out ofcontrol, a fire battered Phillips Bark Processing Company and twocourt cases were closed.

 

April

    In April Mississippi saw destructive weather across the state. Inthe first week of April an EF1 tornado hit the Ruth community inLincoln County. It traveled 16.5 miles from Ruth to Topeka and was600 yards wide. April began the same way it ended as a storm systemcrossed the South and killed more than 200 people.

    Bad weather was not all we saw in April, though. The Supreme Courtsuspended Lincoln County Post One Justice Court Judge Ralph Boone’scase for 90 days over a 2009 allegation Boone reduced a fine inexchange for a sexual favor from a defendant in a court case beforehim.

    But April was not all bad news. The Brookhaven community welcomedback cancer survivor Maggie Cupit. Cupit returned home from Memphisafter a year of battling cancer at St. Jude. Groups of relativesand friends lined up along Brookway Boulevard as the policeescorted her into town.

May

    May was a busy month for Lincoln County. Relations between DelphiPackard and its labor union unraveled fast. A contract was rejectedby the union workers in a decisive 11-94 vote, but negotiationscontinued throughout May and much of the summer.

    Phillips Bark Processing Company also took a hit when a fire tookhold of a packaging building. Firefighters from all over the countyand surrounding areas fought for almost 12 hours to finallyextinguish the flames.

    Brookhaven was not the only town to face disaster. The MississippiRiver continuously rose and flooded river towns. The waters setrecord stages at both Vicksburg and Natchez.

    However, Bogue Chitto found several things to celebrate in themonth of May. The high school fastpitch team won the MHSAA State 1AFastpitch Softball Championship. Also, Bogue Chitto nativesDistrict 53 Rep. Bobby Moak announced he would run for Speaker ofthe House. He announced his run after current House Speaker BillyMcCoy formally said he would not seek re-election.

June

    After a busy May, June started off slower.

    Brookhaven saw the opening of a new bank with Pike National Bank’sexpansion. Mayor Les Bumgarner said the new bank shows how well thecommunity is doing.

    Also, a Brookhaven resident was honored in the Krystal’s”Design-A-Box” contest. Rhonda Freshwater won first place out of3,000 entries and was awarded $10,000.

    It was not a perfect month for Brookhaven, however. As contractnegotiations continued, Delphi began to prepare to send underusedequipment to Mexico. With negotiations at a standstill productionbegan to increase in what appeared to be an imminent shutdown.

    Nearby in Lawrence County, the crime front saw some changes.

    Three Monticello residents were arrested and charged with illegallyselling ephedrine, used to make methamphetamine. Ephedrine wasallegedly sold for $20 per box from Busy Bee convenience store.

    A former store clerk, Theresa A. Lambert, 43, was charged withthree counts of sale of ephedrine. Jasbir S. “Sunny” Malhotra, 41and co-owner of the store, was charged with six counts ofconspiracy to sell ephedrine and one count of possession withintent to distribute. Gurvinder S. “Nikki” Kaur, 35 and co-owner ofthe store, was charged with three counts of sale of ephedrine,three counts of conspiracy to sell ephedrine and possession withintent to distribute ephedrine.

    Besides the war on drugs, a 2004 murder case was closed. Mary P.Grandberry, 60, of Silver Creek, pleaded guilty to sexual batteryin the death of her 4-month-old grandchild. The original charge wascapital murder.