Thursday, June 15, 2006
Warren receive officer of year recognition
By SUE WATSON
The Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce recognized Sgt. Dwight Harris with the city police department and the late Rob Warren, who served as deputy with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, for outstanding service at its summer luncheon.
This is the first year the Chamber has handed out awards of appreciation for law enforcement officers, according to Chamber board president Joanne Huff.
First State Bank was given special recognition as a major sponsor for the Chamber’s many activities.
Police Chief Patricia Selman introduced Harris, a five-year veteran with the department, who is also physical training officer.
“He’s a guy you’d rather be on the same side than with the opposite side,” she quipped. “Sergeant, this is our way of saying thank you for doing a good job in the city.”
Sheriff’s Deputy David Cook presented the parents of Rob Warren with an award on behalf of Sheriff Kenny Dickerson, who was unable to attend the luncheon due to eye surgery.
“The sheriff sends his appreciation to the Chamber and all its members for all they do for the community,” Cook said. “We are going to present this award to the officer we lost. God really blessed me and our department with Rob Warren. He was an example to any law enforcement officer - dedicated, honest, sincere, loyal, one of the hardest worker I’ve seen in my life. He inspired me. It is my honor to present this award to his parents Susan and Jimmy Warren and to his grandmother.”
In presenting First State Bank with an award of appreciation for its sponsoring role, Huff said, the Chamber could not continue serving the community “in the way we do and would like to do” without major sponsors like First State Bank.
Highway Commissioner Bill Minor was guest speaker, first expressing appreciation for both the Chamber and law officers.
Minor reviewed several key legislative feats passed during his tenure in the Mississippi Senate, before talking about growth and how highways play the most pivotal role in attracting new business and industry to the state.
He mentioned the 1987 Highway Program passed by the Legislature, the 2002 Tort Reform Bill aimed to reduce nuisance law suits and outrageous punitative damage awards.
He is severing his first term as transportation commissioner with the Mississippi Department of Transportation and is a native son of Marshall County.
Minor said he favored MDOT taking over truck weight limit regulations in 2004.
Other legislation provides counties help with litter collection through the state inmate program, which Minor said is making a difference in the appearance of counties that participate.
MDOT provides a truck or van, $10 an hour for a driver, trash bags, a trailer to pick up the trash bags and now is beginning to assist municipal governments as well.
He said travelers can easily tell a county that participates in the inmate program.
“The beauty of it is what they are going to remember when they come through,” he said.
He credited Hurricane Katrina with postponing some highway contracts in North Mississippi, particularly the I-69 loop through Marshall County (designated I-269). But with the Mississippi delegation going to bat for in Washington D.C. for their home state, Katrina highway damages will be paid with federal dollars, he said.
Highway 78 will be designated as an interstate highway as soon as it is tied into another interstate highway, either in Birmingham or Mississippi. Minor said as soon at that happens, the Federal highway program will pay for 90 percent of the maintenance of Highway 78 (I-22).
Federal agencies have not approved the final plans for I-69, but could do that sometime during the summer, he said. Once the plan is cleared at the federal level, construction on I-69 at Hernando will begin with work proceeding back toward Marshall County.
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