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‘Evidence’ Shows The Best And Worst In People

Yalobusha County Environmental Officer Eddie Simmons (below) displays evidence uncovered from the dump sites that led to citations issued for three people.

WATER VALLEY – It was a slap in the face last weekend when two large dump sites were discovered, one Friday evening on County Road 118 and the second Saturday morning on County Road 105.

“All of the county road crews and many volunteers had been busting it all week, cutting trees, clearing roads and hauling brush,” District 3 Supervisor Kenny Harmon noted about the dump sites, which were in his district.  “This is a slap in the face, this is not over,” Harmon reported when he first publicized the dumpsites on Facebook.

The trash included everything from remnants of a refrigerator cleanout to discarded scratch-off lottery cards. Eddie Simmons, the county’s new environmental officer, responded as the investigation and cleanup started. Simmons sifted through the trash at both sites and was able to uncover evidence that led to citations being issued to three people.

“It appears the trash at both sites was dumped by the same people and prosecution is pending,” Simmons told the Herald. He reported the cleanup crew also included Harmon, Beat 3 worker Chad Inman and volunteer Tim Little. The bounty included almost 20 bags of trash on CR 118 and 15 sacks and two 55-gallon barrels of trash on CR 105. The trash on 105 had been dumped in a deep ditch, complicating the cleanup.

When the trash was removed, Harmon said work shifted back to downed trees along roads in a cleanup effort that will continue for months in the aftermath of Easter storms that brought strong straight-line winds, toppling trees and downing power lines and poles.  Harmon added that there was another kind of evidence that also surfaced after the storm – evidence of people helping people and an outpouring of support to help clear the roads.

“In some cases we didn’t see them, but the evidence was there, people had stopped by and cut the limbs to help us clear these roads,” Harmon explained during a phone call Monday morning. The purpose of his call wasn’t to complain about the littering, instead it was to share a thank-you from the county supervisors. 

“It was a hard week, but I have seen the good in so many people,” Harmon added. “It was just an outpouring of support.”

There are many stories to share and Harmon was careful not to name names for fear that he may leave someone out. He has already reached out individually to volunteers in his district who were there as soon as the storm passed. A local farmer brought a tractor, saws and men and worked all night. A former supervisor helped check and clear roads. Another volunteer had borrowed a tractor with a front-end loader and was clearing trees. The list is almost endless.

“People have done a lot that they didn’t have to do,” Harmon said. “And they did that all over the county.”

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