New officials and buildings marked 2011 en

Published 7:00 pm Friday, December 30, 2011

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


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The end of 2011 brought change: a newordinance was passed, new faces stepped into public positions andmoney was distributed.



    October began with a board of aldermen vote to make Brookhavenfully smoke free. They adopted a new ordinance to ban smoking inindoor public places and places of employment. The ban extends toprivately owned businesses and 15 feet from the front door and 10feet behind the building. Hotels will still be permitted todesignate 20 percent of their rooms as smoking. Excluded from theordinance are private residences.

    The ordinance replaced a previous one that allowed smoking inrestaurants with separate ventilation systems for the smokingsection.

    The Berean Children’s Home also saw change, relocating from Albany,La. to Brookhaven. It serves children who are in need and is mostlysupported by Mt. Olive Church of Christ and other Church of Christcongregations.


    General elections were held in November, marking the end of thestate election cycle. When the votes were counted, many changes hadbeen made across Lincoln County. Cindy Hyde-Smith, current District39 senator, captured the job of Mississippi commissioner ofagriculture and commerce. Sally Doty was chosen as Hyde-Smith’ssuccessor in the Senate. Other new faces included Rita Goss asLincoln County Tax Assessor/Collector and Dudley Nations asDistrict Five Supervisor. Both Justice Court Judges were replacedwith Joe Portrey at Post One and Chris King at Post Two.

    Elections were not the only thing to change Brookhaven. A new hotelprovided downtown with a face-lift. Investors renovated a historicbuilding to create the Inn on Whitworth. The inn maintained manyaspects of the original building, such as fireplaces, wood floorsand the sky light, but was mixed with modern furniture and abstractart. The theme of the building was “Where art and architecture meetSouthern hospitality.” The hotel boasts a kitchen and lobby area,six hotel rooms and six apartments.


    December was a month of planning. Two major plans were adopted bycity officials, which together would cost more than $400,000.

    The Brookhaven School District board of trustees approved plans fora new field house Brookhaven High School. The estimated cost is$360,000. The current field house would be torn down and the newone built in its place.

    Brookhaven aldermen also moved forward with a plan that couldinstall five weather sirens throughout Brookhaven with the help ofa grant given by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency andFEMA. The total coast is estimated to be $125,000, but the citywould only be required to pay 25 percent.

    Final confirmation of the grant will come by February, cityofficials hope.

    December concluded with the swearing in of the newly-electedofficials of Lincoln County. The officials promised to uphold theirduties with integrity and will take office Jan. 3.