Thursday, September 8, 2005

• Sheriff’s report
County sends field kitchen to Hattiesburg

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department is sending an army surplus field kitchen capable of serving between 1,000 and 1,500 at a time to Hattiesburg to help with hurricane relief efforts, according to Sheriff Kenny Dickerson.

He said the unit, a top-of-the-line German manufactured stainless steel kitchen, was purchased for $2,500 about five years ago and has been in storage. The unit cost $65,000 brand new, Dickerson said.

“We bought several items and I consider this the best investment we made,” he said. “One use would pay for what it cost us.”

The field kitchen, which is heated with diesel, can be used to prepare food on location or to transport food prepared in a kitchen to a field location, he said. The unit was purchased with mutual aid funds.

Dickerson said the unit will be transported to Hattiesburg Wednesday of this week. It was requested through a contact county administrator Larry Hall made with authorities in Hattiesburg, he said.

The kitchen is a covered pop-out built on a trailer chassis with appropriate insulation and pressure cooker uses as well as deep baskets and a reservoir for holding very large quantities of soup or other foods such as hot dogs or hamburgers.

Dickerson said he expects to send a shipment of non-perishable foods and clothing to the Gulf Coast area and will accept those items at his office as a convenience to the public. He asked that clothing be clean and marked with the size. The size can be attached with tape to the inside collar or waistband or other suitable site. If clothing is sized, it will be more convenient to organize and package for shipment and for recipients to look through, he said.

County employees were at work on an industrial type generator which will be carried to coastal communities once it is repaired. He said the unit is large enough to power a facility the size of the county jail.

Dickerson applauded efforts of Byhalia and Holly Springs volunteers and employees in coordinating relief efforts in both communities and the efforts of inmates in helping get shelters ready for evacuees if the shelters are needed.

Dickerson also reported the arrest of a suspect thought to be connected to a string of residential burglaries in two states and six counties.

James Harvey King, 40, of 19 County Road 604A, Corinth, is in custody at Fayette County, Tenn. in Somerville and charged with four counts of burglary of dwellings, he said.

“I expect King will be charged with about 29 counts of burglary that took place in Marshall, Union, Benton, and Tippah counties in Mississippi and in Fayette and Haywood counties in Tennessee,” Dickerson said.

Law enforcement agencies in the six counties have been investigating the burglary case for several months, he said.


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