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News
Boards approve 4 principals for ’19-’20 school year

Before the 2018-2019 school year officially came to an end for students last week, three local school boards approved educators to lead four different schools serving Monroe County students.

During their meetings last week, the Aberdeen, Monroe County and Nettleton school boards approved the hires, which will all be effective July 1.

The Aberdeen School Board approved the transfer of Aberdeen High School Principal Charles Beene to the position of assistant to the district’s chief academics officer May 20 and approved for Dr. Dana Bullard to take his place.

An Aberdeen native, Bullard is currently the bureau director of innovative schools and accelerated programs with the Mississippi Department of Education. Beene has been the high school’s principal since the district went back to local control in 2017 after being under conservatorship.

As far as action taken by the Monroe County School Board May 20, outgoing East Amory Elementary School Principal Kristy Keeton was approved to be principal of Hatley Attendance Center. She has served as EAES principal since 2015 and will be filling the position to be left by Chris Kidd, who is retiring.

While the Amory School Board met briefly May 20 to approve personnel matters, there were no principals approved. Board members, however, approved Keeton’s resignation.

Additionally on the county school district level, outgoing Hatley Elementary School Principal Misty Powell was approved as principal at the Advanced Learning Center. Powell, who was approved for the Hatley position in 2015, will replace outgoing ALC Principal Mechelle Welch, who will return to the West Point School District after one year in the position.

In related Monroe County School Board business, Wade Pierce was approved as assistant principal and head football coach at Hamilton.

On May 21, the Nettleton School Board approved to hire Justin Hollis as principal of Nettleton High School. After six years in the role, he is leaving his position as assistant principal at Myrtle Attendance Center, where he also started the school’s football program in 2016.

Hollis will fill the role to be left by Tim Dickerson, who will serve as Nettleton School District superintendent. Nettleton’s current superintendent Brian Jernigan accepted the role as Monroe County Superintendent of Education in late April. He will replace Scott Cantrell, who is retiring June 30.


Melissa Meador/Buy at Photos.MonroeCountyJournal.com/

Melissa Meador/Buy at Photos.MonroeCountyJournal.com  

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Hamilton graduates Deidra Keaton and Icie Cockerham share a secret handshake before leading their class out during the processional at graduation May 24.

Hamilton graduates Deidra Keaton and Icie Cockerham share a secret handshake before leading their class out during the processional at graduation May 24.


mcj-2019-05-29-news-hatley-graduation

Perashia Dunlap is congratulated by Monroe County Superintendent of Education Scott Cantrell during Hatley’s graduation May 23.


Ray Van Dusen / JOHN WARD/BUY AT PHOTOS.MONROECOUNTYJOURNAL.COM  

Perashia Dunlap is congratulated by Monroe County Superintendent of Education Scott Cantrell during Hatley’s graduation May 23.


Coach, Casey, Cutie Pie and Cookie all came to the Aberdeen Animal Shelter May 7, and their calculated date of birth is Feb. 7. Casey is an Australian blue heeler mix, Cutie Pie is a terrier mix, and Coach and Cookie are both lab mixes. All four are really calm puppies looking for loving homes. For more information, call 369-2188.


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Aberdeen High School graduate Trinitee Sims points towards her classmates as she receives her diploma from school board member Rodger Scott May 23.


Ray Van Dusen / RAY VAN DUSEN/BUY AT PHOTOS.MONROECOUNTYJOURNAL.COM  

Aberdeen High School graduate Trinitee Sims points towards her classmates as she receives her diploma from school board member Rodger Scott May 23.


mcj-2019-05-29-news-smithville-graduation

Smithville High School valedictorian Karrigan Callihan, left, wipes away a tear before going to receive her diploma at graduation May 23.


Ray Van Dusen / MELISSA MEADOR/BUY AT PHOTOS.MONROECOUNTYJOURNAL.COM  

Smithville High School valedictorian Karrigan Callihan, left, wipes away a tear before going to receive her diploma at graduation May 23.


Janice Howell/For the Monroe Journal  

The Hamilton dugout erupts and celebrates after the final out against Nanih Waiya on Thursday.


News
Supervisors open bids for storm debris removal and monitoring

ABERDEEN – The board of supervisors took seven collective bids under advisement May 24 in regards to debris removal and monitoring related to the April 13 severe weather event.

“The board will go through these and try to rank them as far as who is the best qualified to take care of this issue,” said board president Billy Kirkpatrick ahead of the openings.

Companies submitting bids for debris removal were DRC Emergency Services of Metairie, Louisiana; Cook and Sons LLC of Smithville; Randy Maples of Amory; Spenzer Disaster Relief of Rainsville, Alabama; and Looks Great Services of Mississippi from Columbia. A sixth bid couldn’t be accepted since it arrived after that day’s 9 a.m. deadline.

The two bid for debris monitoring came from Schaus-Professional Services of Ellisville and Debris Tech of Picayune.

“We don’t want to rush but we want to get it right. Hopefully by mid-week [this week],” Kirkpatrick said of awarding bids. “We’re ready to get this mess cleaned up.”

The county has not received a federal disaster declaration to fund the cleanup yet.

In other business, Monroe County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Chelsea Baulch gave potential project updates in open session before going into an executive session with the board, county tax assessor Mitzi Presley and Monroe County Superintendent of Education Scott Cantrell.

County road manager Sonny Clay asked her for an updated about the former Holley Performance Building in Aberdeen.

“We have two interested groups that we’ve been working with on that building. One is more of a consulting-type group that is evaluating remediation of the building and roof and trying to work with other investors. The other is a company that is very interested in acquiring that property, so there are two working simultaneously. Those projects are still moving at the same pace,” Baulch said.

She said there has been interest on a couple of buildings, but the information is confidential at this time.

Additionally, the chamber has submitted two requests for information in the past two months for two sites in Aberdeen and Amory, and the Homestretch expansion project in Nettleton is in the process of being completely closed.

She also shared there was a request about information for an opportunity zone, which is a new federal incentive.

“The question was posed, ‘Why is this area an opportunity zone over another?’ Some of you are familiar with new market tax credits. Our Amory Port North Site is a part of that. This will be a similar type incentive. Three Rivers identified through their counties and all the PPDs [planning and development districts] through the state, all the county economic development sites that would qualify,” Baulch said.

The lists of potential sites were then submitted to the governor’s office and the state, where they were narrowed down to 100 sites. Amory Port North was the only site in the county approved for the list.

“It’s new to economic development in the state as an incentive. It’s somewhat of another tax incentive for those areas,” Baulch said. “It was not up to our discretion what sites were determined.”

County chancery clerk Ronnie Boozer, board attorney David Houston and board members had a lengthy discussion regarding delinquent garbage bills and the system of tracking them through Three Rivers.

In instances when people have rental property and the bills go unpaid by tenants, the delinquent bill has been overwhelming in some cases, which can cause problems for property owners getting their license plate.

“If you go nine or 10 years and haven’t taken their tag away, something’s wrong,” said District 3 Supervisor Chip Chism.

Kirkpatrick said the tracking system continues to have issues after several years.

In other business, supervisors heard pitches regarding county insurance.


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