Thursday, June 9, 2005

Local News Briefs

Collins reelected; Byhalia, Potts Camp pick aldermen
Voters in Byhalia and Potts Camp went to the polls Tuesday and elected their governing officials for the next four years.

In Potts Camp, Mayor Jimmie Collins was re-elected to a third term. In Byhalia, Mayor O.R. “Scooter” Dempsey was unopposed.

The vote totals released Tuesday night follow. The top five vote-getters in the Byhalia and Potts Camp alderman races are elected.

Town of Byhalia

  • Mayor - O.R. “Scooter” Dempsey - 141 votes.
  • Aldermen – Phil Malone - 124; Richard Minor - 100; Terry Sawyer - 100; Robert E. “Bob” Carrington - 91; Mike Hamblin - 87; Thomas Reagh - 79; Derwin Cobb - 75.
Town of Potts Camp
  • Mayor – Jimmie Collins - 130 votes; Robert King - 74
  • Aldermen – Casey Mayer - 164; W.H. (Billy) Bowen - 153; Carol Jean Davis - 148; Joan Cox - 144, Al Beard - 132; James C. (Johnny) Westmoreland - 92.

Marshall’s unemployment drops to 8.0; Benton at 8.7
The state’s unemployment rate dropped by seven-tenths of a point, fueled by gains in most sectors of the economy, the Mississippi Deparatment of Employment Security (MDES) announced last week.

The 6.3 percent April unadjusted rate was down from 7.0 in March but 1.2 points higher than April’s 5.1 percent a year ago.

Twenty-seven counties reported unemployment rates equal or less than Mississippi’s rate with DeSoto holding the lowest rate of 4.1, followed by Rankin County with 4.2 percent.

Only eight counties posted double-digit unemployment rates, with Jefferson taking the lead at 12.5 percent and Noxubee and Issaquena counties following close behind at 11.4 percent and 11.0 percent.

Marshall County’s rate was 8.0, down from 8.5 in March. Benton County’s was 8.7, down from 9.9.

Heritage Area meeting June 16 in Holly Springs
Phil Walker of The Walker Collaborative in Nashville will give six presentations at various locations of “Building the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area: Strategies for Success” during Mississippi Hill Heritage Week 2005, June 13-17.

The presentation will be made in Holly Springs at City Hall on Thursday, June 16, at 6 p.m.

The meetings, which are being funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission and the CREATE Foundation, are designed to educate elected officials, community organizations, the business sector and the public about the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area initiative. The presentations will provide an overview, cover key findings from a study examining the potential economic benefits of the heritage area and highlight strategies for developing the area.

There is no cost to attend, but reservations are requested. Contact Ken Bain at 662-287-4006. Visit

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