Following several months of intense politicking Yalobushians voted overwhelmingly to make beer and light wine legal in the county – the first time since 1937.
The vote was 2-to-1 in the county and 3-to-1 in the city with a sizable 42 percent turnout of registered voters. Information that came to light after the election indicated that opponents of legalization pushed for a costly special election thinking that a low turnout would be in their favor.
Local officials appeared to have been caught off guard by the huge pro beer vote. Some admitted they didn’t expect the measure to pass. City aldermen met in a hastily called meeting the next week in an attempt to control beer sales in the city. The effort was partially thwarted when they couldn’t get a unanimous vote that would have allowed the laws to take effect immediately.
County officials also moved quickly adopting an ordinance that has been called “very restrictive” in light of the large pro beer vote.
Those who worked in favor of legalization said the vote sent a clear message.
• 5 years ago, Dec, 13, 2007 – A series of anti-beer ads from an organization calling itself Yalobushians Against Beer And Liquor (YABAL) turned out to be a hoax – and possibly a business promotion – by a man involved in a convenience store just across the Panola County line affectionally known as “The Beer Store.”
Aldermen split on selling 2.7 acres of surplus land on Railroad Street to Carothers Construction, Inc. State economic officials called the sale a “no brainer” because of its positive impact.
• 10 years ago, Dec. 12, 2002 – Stanley and Becky Crow were pictured on the front page serving as Grand Marshals for the annual Christmas Parade.
Representative Tommy Reynolds presented Mrs. Betty Gurner with a resolution passed by the Mississippi House of Representatives honoring the life and work of her husband, the late Bruce Gurner, known for his work in preserving the history of the area.
• 20 years ago, Dec. 10, 1992 – Water Valley was one of the top contenders for a 150 bed Veterans Nursing Home to be located somewhere in North Mississippi.
The Bruce Trojans boys and girls defeated the Blue Devils, 91-61 (boys), and 57-51 (girls).
Mary Sue Stevens was elected president of the Mississippi Association of County Officials.
O’Tuckalofa Baptist Church won first place in the Religious category of the New Water Valley Jaycee’s Christmas Parade. Taking first place in the theme category was Sylva Rena Community Club and first place in originality was the Santa Claus float by the Yalobusha Nursing Home.
Among the award winners honored at the Tri-Lakes Western Horse Show Association banquet were Mark Fielder, Kim Campbell, Ross Burney, Tommie Hill, Tanya Bowen, Kerry Campbell, Cody Byford, Autumn Brown and Jonathan Philley.
• 30 years ago, Dec. 16, 1982 – Members of the Water Valley Housing Authority Board Dow Crowson, Mrs. Merle Kinne, Buck Suratt, J. Watson Hunt, John D. Campell, Bill Abernethy and Stanley Perkins were honored for their roll in the new Rolling Hills Housing Project. The city has just received $1,125,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to continue the housing projects. Mrs. Ottice Carmichael was the first tenant to move into the new Rolling Hills development.
The yard of Mr. and Mrs. Ron Browning was selected as Yard of the Month for December.
• 40 years ago, Dec. 21, 1972 – The third graders at Water Valley Elementary School were asked by their teacher if they could give anyone in the world anything they wanted, what would you give to whom and why?”
James Covington – “I would give my mother kindness. Because she likes it to be quiet around the house.”
“For the whole world I would pick up litter,” – Mai Elease Thompson.
Greg Davis – “I would give my mother a coat. Because she wants one. We know because she told us.”
“I would give the world peace because they are fighting,” – David Karr.
Mark Newman – “I would give the world love and kindness. Because I want to love the world and I want to be kind to the world.”
“I would throw away all of the things that pollute the air, so that we can breathe clean air.” – Kris Aune.
Greg Adams – “If I had to give the hold world something I would give them a airplane.”
“Give everybody a 100 dollar bill,” – Charles Carlisle.
Fitzgerald Burgess – “I would give peace and joy.”
• 50 years ago, Dec. 13, 1962 – Magnolia Youth Baseball Association was started with home offices in Water Valley. Officers were Commissioner and Treas-urer L. C. Stewart, Vice-commissioner Odis Taylor of Bruce and Secretary Frank Evans.
A Water Valley man, Roscoe Peacock, was killed and his wife, Aileen Harris Peacock, and Minor C. Sumners, Jr. of Jackson, were injured in a two-car collision Dec. 9 on Highway 7 south of town.
In another tragic accident, a falling tree killed Bennie Bell Williams of Coffeeville.
Bobby Bell opened Bell’s Radio and TV Shop where he repaired radios and televisions and sold Sylvania TVs.
• 60 years ago, Dec. 11, 1952 – The Girl Scouts held a “Fly Up” ceremony in the Fellowship Hall of the First Methodist Church. The ceremony commemorates the advancement of Brownie Scouts to the Girl Scout Level. Honored were Lettye Lee Redwine, Alta Bell Wright, Vana Jane Willey, Nan Williams, Anne Brown, Barbara McCulley, Kay Baddley, Emily Kendrick, Dianne Thompson, Ann Erikson, Linda Fite, Carol Gray, Gay Peacock, Lucretia Webb, Dottie McCullar, Nancy Bennett and Kay Davis.
• 70 years ago, Dec. 10, 1942 – Harsh new rules by the Office of Defense Transportation were going to make it difficult for school bus drivers…as well as students and teachers. For one thing, rides would only be allowed for those who had to walk more than two miles to school. And, even though the operators owned the buses, the regs did not allow for their personal use.
The first casualty of the new bus regs appeared to be transport of the sports teams to away games. Taylor was scheduled to be in Water Valley, but officials said they might not be able to come.
Some of the same problems were affecting commercial bus services. The first priority was the transport of service men and vital war workers. Civilians were asked to travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to avoid crowding the system.