Mayoral, Ward 3 Candidates Turn Out for Forum

BY BRIAN JONES brian.jones@packet- COLUMBUS – Three of the four candidates in Columbus mayoral campaign squared off at a voter’s forum at the Municipal Complex Thursday night. Democrats Carl Lee and Selvain McQueen and Independent Montrell Coburn, as well as Ward 3 challenger Charlotte Braxton Verdell and incumbent Charlie Box, took questions for about two hours. Incumbent Mayor Robert Smith was not present. He was sick. The forum was sponsored by 100 Black Women and Delta Gamma Theta sorority. Each candidate was allowed to make introductory remarks. “I’m a minority, I’m an inventor, I’m a scientist,” said Coburn....

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Mayor’s Forum: Where Everybody At?

BY BRIAN JONES Lonely Night-Smith Only Candidate At Forum COLUMBUS – It was a forum of one Tuesday night at Mississippi University for Women, as incumbent Robert Smith was the only mayoral candidate to show up. The forum, held at MUW’s Parkinson Hall, was sponsored by the MUW College Democrats and the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. Smith and Democratic challenger Selvain McQueen were to face off in what was planned as a 90-minute debate. Although McQueen had previously said he would attend, he backed out because of a family member’s illness. That left Smith on the stage alone,...

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West Point Basketball Star Dies In Crash

The Packet A West Point teen was killed in a single-vehicle accident over the weekend on Highway 373 in Lowndes County. Jashun “Peedy” Johnson, 18, died about 11 o’clock Saturday night when his 2007 Ford Fusion flipped multiple times on Highway 373 near Colbert Drive, according to the Mississippi Highway Patrol. Johnson and an unidentified 16-year-old female passenger were traveling south on 373 when the car left the roadway and flipped several times. Johnson, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the car. Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant pronounced him dead at the scene. The passenger...

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Smith Named Troop G Trooper of the Year

BY BRIAN JONES COLUMBUS – Last week the Columbus Exchange Club recognized Master Sergeant Larry Smith as the Troop G Trooper of the Year. Smith is a 1885 graduate of Sturgis High School. He has been married to Tina Smith since Dec. 26, 1992; they have two children and six grandchildren. Smith enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1985 and served as an antitank gunner. He left the Marines in 1989 and attended East Mississippi Community College where he earned a technical certificate in emergency maintenance. He worked at Brunswick Marine in West Point until 1994, when...

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Short Likely for County Rec. Director

BY BRIAN JONES County Investigates Possible E911 Sick-Out COLUMBUS – At its April 17 meeting, the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors tabled a request to hire former parks director Roger Short as interim recreation manager. The board also asked Sheriff Mike Arledge to look into why multiple employees at E911 called in sick or otherwise didn’t show up for work recently. County Administrator Ralph Billingsley recommended that the board hire Short to handle the transition between the current Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority setup and the upcoming split of city and county services. Last September the county voted to give...

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