Through The Years From The Herald
• 5 years ago, March 20, 2008 – A national TV star appeared at the 22nd annual Wildlife Tasting Buffet. Drew Poppelreiter of Saltillo, who was a contestant on American Idol 7, entertained at the Yalobusha Soil and Conservation District event.
Yalobusha County Democrats favored Barrack Obama over Hillary Clinton in primary voting.
Oakland expanded their town limits – after asking permission from the U.S. Justice Department – to include the Lindley developments near I-55.
The Freeman Connection drag racing team took top honors in the 6.0 class at the East-West Shootout national meet in Hattiesburg. Team members pictured on the front page included Clay Freeman, Larry “T-Bone” Hoskin, Shelly Freeman and Saveon Freeman.
Oxford officials toured the temporary Caterpillar operations in the industrial park. The building was provided to Caterpillar by local industrialist Casey Washington to help the company recover from a devastating tornado that hit their Oxford plant.
Unemployment in the county was at the lowest level in five years, 7.7 percent.
• 10 years ago, March 20, 2003 – Joe Smith and his horse, “I’m A Smooth Coosa,” won first place at the Dixie National Show in Jackson. Trey Brower received Grand Champion Angus Female honors at the same show with Elluna.
Rep. Tommy Reynolds co-authored a Mississippi House bill that would help guarantee the future of rail service through the county. The measure would allow the state to take over a rail line if the loss of service is threatened.
The Water Valley Lady Jammers won the Sixth Annual North Mississippi Semi-Pro Basketball tournament.
The Blue Devil baseball team had a 4-3 record so far on the season with a 11-3 win over East Webster.
Margaret Eubanks was named Employee of the Quarter at the Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Eubanks, a former WV resident, was an RN in the ICU where she received the nursing excellence of the quarter award.
Mike Starnes, a Lafayette County native and successful businessman, was to be the featured speaker at the Chamber of Commerce Banquet. He was president of M. S. Carriers, a trucking company he started in 1978.
• 20 years ago, March 18, 1993 – At least 500 acres of grass and woodlands in rural Yalobusha County burned in what was called a “major wildfire” by officials. The fire, north of Oakland, burned for ten hours.
Bennett Hill was pictured dragging a well-stuffed suitcase aboard a charter bus as the Water Valley High School Band prepared to leave for their DisneyWorld trip. Other photos featured band members Sandra Scanlon, Andy Aldy, Callie Cox, Brandi Thomas and Raymond Carr. The group faced what was termed “difficult” weather including ice and snow in Florida.
Keith Woodard was a member of the North All-Star football team as a wide receiver and kicker.
Jim Hodges, vice-commander of the American Legion, and Jefferson Ivey, third vice-commander, were pictured painting the interior of the old American Legion Hut at the corner of Calhoun and Railroad Streets.
• 30 years ago, March 24, 1983 – County officials registered their support for a Reception Classification Center, Women’s Prison and Men’s Minimum Security Prison for the state that could be located in the county near Oakland. The facility was to be built somewhere in Mississippi, supervisors learned at a special meeting March 14. One concern expressed by state officials was the lack of ability for Yalobusha County to attract qualified personnel to operate the facility.
In a front page letter to the editor, Fire Chief Bob Ward laid out his concerns over fire protection for the county. Among the problems faced was antiquated equipment, including a 30-year-old fire truck that had a pump failure at a recent fire causing the loss of a business.
Selected to the Tri-Lakes All-Conference basketball teams were Ray Hawkins, Kristie Bost, Pam Harris, and Carla Phillips.
Local students participating in Career Day activities at Ole Miss included Jodi Grass, Carolyn Williamson, Kim Boyd, Perry Myrick, Amy McCullar, Alan Wilbourn, Lisa Odom, Anita Ragon, Reginia Dickey, Glenda Henderson and Christy Mayo.
• 40 years ago, March 22, 1973 – Stormy weather was causing problems in the county. Otuckalofa Creek was out of its banks and flooding the southern part of the city. Front page photos showed water across Hwy. 7 and just about to get in to Sartain’s Butane Gas Co. Water was about four feet deep on Blackmur Lane (now South Street/County Road 100). Electric service was also out in several areas of the county.
Bill Trusty was elected to serve as president of the Water Valley Area Chamber of Commerce for 1973. He succeeded Bennie C. Taylor.
Education students at Delta State College who were practice teaching in the state were Lou Ann Holt of Water Valley and Yvonne Bates of Coffeeville.
The shop force at Maynor Motors was pictured including Happy Hayles, Butch Hayles, Joe Pat Pilkinton, Wilson Simmons and Eddie Pomlee.
William Grady “Red” Cotton was elected Grand Captain General of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Mississippi. Cotton would serve as Grand Commander in 1976.
• 50 years ago, March 21, 1963 – John Lemuel Harris, 20, was killed in a motorcycle crash in rural Yalobusha County about four miles southeast of Water Valley.
Mrs. Arnold Carothers replaced Mrs. Curtis Berry as president of the Junior Auxiliary. Other new officers were Mrs. Billy Gene Moorhead, Mrs. Kyle Skinner, Mrs. Baxter Jones, Mrs. Ernie Aune and Mrs. Robert Litton.
Dr. Edward “Snookie” French of Memphis, son of Dr. D. C. French, caught an 8 pound 12 ounce bass while fishing at Bear Creek.
“Won’t You Buy Our Cookies?” read the tag line for a photo of Brownie Scout Lynette Landreth, Intermediate Girl Scout Jane Henry and Brownie Scout Nell Edwards.
The Lions Club was about to hold their last pancake breakfast of the year at Bennie’s Place
• 60 years ago, March 19, 1953 – Construction was about to begin on the last eight miles of Hwy. 315 between Water Valley and Hwy. 6 east of Batesville.
The Water Valley boys and the Coffeeville girls won the county annual grammar school classic tournament.
Among the local folks running for officer were Bennie Appleton, city marshal; O. T. Hamner, mayor; Tom Myers, alderman at large; George Arrington, city clerk; Bill Robinson, alderman ward one; and James T. York, city marshal.
Mr. and Mrs. John Throop, Jr. honored their 8-year-old daughter, India, with a birthday party.
Dalton Hyde of Water Valley and McRae Burns of Coffeeville were selected as co-chairmen of the 1954 Yalobusha County Boosters Club, a unique organization in the annals of Mississippi high school athletic rivalry.
• 70 years ago, March 18, 1943 – F1C John Thomas Hayles, Jr. was missing in action after his ship, U.S.S. Juneau, went down.
Herald Editor Edward B. Shearer noted in his Shearings column that he had just paid Uncle Sam his income tax that was 27 times higher than the year before. He added that his income was not 27 times as much.
Miss Inez VanWinkle was awaiting her call to active duty in the Waves, in which she will work as a welder.
In the want ads Mrs. Hardy was still trying to sell her practically brand new Kelvinator and Mrs. Vaughan was still looking for her white Persian cat.