Thursday, October 25, 2007
Officers, firemen of year recognized
By BARRY BURLESON
Four of Marshall County’s finest were honored Thursday during the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce fall luncheon at Annie’s Restaurant.
Receiving awards for Law Enforcement Officer of the Year were Bernita Fountain (Marshall County) and Grant Glover (Holly Springs). Presented plaques for Firefighter of the Year were Russell Pennington (Marshall County) and Royce Pegues (Holly Springs).
“Any good administrator, to be successful, has to surround himself with good employees,” Sheriff Kenny Dickerson said prior to presenting his award to Fountain.
She has been employed by the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department for approximately 10 years, and Dickerson said, “It didn’t take long to realize what a fine asset she is.”
Fountain works as a juvenile officer, and she helps coordinate the D.A.R.E. program in county schools.
“She works wherever she’s needed,” Dickerson said. “She’s a doer. She gets the job done – no complaining. She’s a big asset to our department.”
Holly Springs Police Chief Robert Pearson handed the Officer of the Year honor to Glover.
“He has stepped up to the plate as far as a role model in our department,” Pearson said. “He has been instrumental in training other officers. He’s exemplary of what a police officer should be.”
Both Dickerson and Pearson said their departments are filled with good officers, and they wish they could present such awards to all of them.
Hugh Hollowell, county fire coordinator, recognized Pennington, who is assistant fire chief in Byhalia.
First, he said he has no employees, but instead volunteers.
“Our volunteers are the cream of the crop,” Hollowell said. “They rise to the top. We have a bunch of dedicated firefighters.”
He said he had known Pennington since he was a child.
“I’ve very proud today,” Hollowell said. “I have seen him grow from childhood, to a teen, to a young man and husband and father.”
Kenny Holbrook, fire chief for the City of Holly Springs, surprised Pegues with the Firefighter of the Year award.
“We have 45 members (in the department) and I wish I had 45 of these to give away,” Holbrook said. “And emergency response is just as dangerous here as it is in New York City. Everyone involved in this effort deserves a plaque.”
He said Pegues is always there when the calls goes out.
“And he’s overcome obstacles to become a firefighter,” Holbrook said. “He has a lot of heart and determination.”
The special recognition of the officers and firefighters of the year is sponsored by the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce.
A new program of the Chamber of Commerce, awarded Thursday for the first time, is business and industry of the quarter.
Recognized were the Marshall County Correctional Facility and The South Reporter.
MCCF, which opened June 6, 1996, is managed by the GEO Group Inc. and operates under a contractual agreement with the Mississippi Department of Corrections. The medium security institution is capable of housing up to 1,000 offenders. Its main purpose is to provide a safe, secure and humane environment for its offenders and to prepare those incarcerated for a successful reintegration into society. The facility employs 200.
The South Reporter is in its 142nd year, having got its start in 1865. It also publishes The Pigeon Roost News, in its 26th year, and is on the worldwide web at www.southreporter.com. The South Reporter employs 14 people, five full-time and nine part-time.
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