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Plenty of good news this time of year

With the Christmas season upon us, good news has been plentiful. Below is a look back at some of the positive news published in the pages of The Daily Leader.

• Newly-elected chancery judge Joseph Durr was sworn in recently.

“It’s a privilege to stand here today as your chancery judge. Today is the highest honor of my professional career,” Durr said, garbed in a new black robe. “Judge Patten taught me something invaluable — how to practice law the right way, and I’m forever thankful to him. I will be fair, impartial and open-minded. Like Paul said in Romans, every man is given a gift according to the grace of God. My prayer, and my promise to you, is that I will serve well as chancery court judge.”

Thursday’s oath of office sends Patten into retirement after 20 years of service and brings in Durr, who will officially take office when the chancery court resumes after the Christmas break on Jan. 2.

• Brookhaven’s Coker Wright put pen to paper Wednesday to sign a letter of intent with the University of Southern Mississippi in his school’s auditorium. Wright will join two BHS alums on the Golden Eagles’ roster in Hattiesburg, as J.J. Jones and Trace Clopton will be sophomores next season. Wright racked up 27 offers during his recruitment, but it was the first one that mattered the most.

“Southern was the first school to offer me,” said Wright. “It happened in the spring of my junior year and after that I was just comparing every school that recruited me to them.”

Wright played on the offensive and defensive lines as a junior. He was a key piece on an 11-2 BHS team that won their region. His hope was to play college football, but he wasn’t sure if he would get Division I offers before his senior season.

“I was just hoping to get some junior college offers,” said Wright. “I thought I would need to go the JUCO route and then prove to people that I could play Division I.”

• “Mozart by Candlelight” will return to Brookhaven Jan. 11 for a show at The Haven. Tickets are $30. The show will feature two chamber works performed by violinist Stephen Redfield. For the big finish, Mozart’s final work, “Jupiter,” will ring out through the historic auditorium.

• The 15th annual Holiday Food Pantry Drive raised $6,550 through contributions to The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven. Bank President Shannon Aker recently presented checks to representatives of St. Vincent de Paul Ministries, Union Hall Baptist Church, the Greater Hope Foundation and Bethel AME — Stanford Qualls and Embry Webb of Bethel, Jim Bonner of St. Vincent de Paul, Flora Kelly, Aker and Don Burns of Union Hall.

• A group of Brookhaven musicians hope to pay tribute to one of their own while doing a good deed for Christmas.

Copies of “Brookstock Gospel,” a 13-track CD of original gospel songs, are available for purchase at Brookhaven Music & Sound Co. for $10. The CDs not only make great Christmas gifts, but the sale of the music will help create better sound for Lampton Auditorium.

Any money raised after expenses will be donated to Mississippi School of the Arts, said Don Jacobs, a member of the Brookhaven Music Guild.

“We are so thankful for the support the Brookhaven music community has shown to MSA,” said Suzanne Hirsch, the arts school executive director.

The CD includes the song “Savior,” which was written by Amari White-Moyo, Destiny Stone and Diamond Walley in 2015 when they were students at MSA.