County School Board Briefed on District Scores

BY BRIAN JONES brian.jones@packet-media.com COLUMBUS – At its Dec. 9 meeting, the Lowndes County School Board got an in-depth look at its most recent accountability results from Assistant Superintendent Robin Ballard and the principals. Ballard said that the district held on to its B rating and some schools actually made gains, in spite of being warned by the state that scores would likely be lower thanks to the new assessment. The accountability results for 2015-16 were:  Caledonia Elementary School: B, was an A last year.  Caledonia Middle School: B, unchanged from last year.  Caledonia High School: B, unchanged from last year.  New Hope Elementary School: C, was a B.  New Hope Middle School: B, unchanged from last year.  New Hope High School: B, unchanged from last year.  West Lowndes Elementary School: C, was a B.  West Lowndes High School: F, was a C. The scores were derived from the Mississippi Accountability Program, which is the third test the state has used in the past three years. It previously used the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career and, before that, the Second Generation Mississippi Curriculum Test. The MAP is considered to be harder than either the MCT2 or the PARCC. To compensate the state froze schools’ accountability ratings for two years, and they were allowed to use either the old score or the new one, whichever was...

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Argument Leads to Bar Owner’s Death

BY SCOTT BOYD maconbeacon@aol.com SPECIAL TO THE PACKET Noxubee County Sheriff Terry Grassaree said an argument between patrons led to the shooting death of bar owner Andrew Quintrell Sherrod Sunday night in a remote part of the county. Sherrod, 34, was pronounced dead at Noxubee General Hospital after being transported by ambulance about 8 p.m. Sunday. An air ambulance was ordered, but was turned back after Sherrod died. Noxubee Coroner R.L. Calhoun transported Sherrod’s body to Jackson for an autopsy Monday. A second victim, Deangelo Martin, was also shot, and is recovering at Noxubee General Hospital, Sheriff Grassaree said....

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Stores Robbed Minutes Apart

Big Mike Livingston/The Packet Two convenience stores on Waterworks Road were robbed minutes apart Saturday night. At about 9:40 p.m. a black male walked into the 3-Way Quick Stop, located at 1313 Waterworks Road, brandished a handgun, demanded cash and then ran. The robber was described as wearing dark clothes, with an orange shirt held up to cover his face. After relieving the clerk of several hundred dollars, he scampered off into the night. He was last seen running behind the store. Columbus Police Department officers searched the area, including bringing in the department’s K-9, Stanley. Stanley tracked the...

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City Countersues Turner Over Cell Phone

BY BRIAN JONES brian.jones@packet-media.com COLUMBUS – The City of Columbus has filed a counterclaim against Ward 4 Councilman Marty Turner in the ongoing struggle over a city cell phone. In late October Turner filed suit against the city and Mayor Robert Smith in his individual capacity after Smith took his city cell phone away. Turner, who is represented by Pontotoc attorney Walter Zinn, is arguing that Smith exceeded his authority by ordering the phone disconnected, and that the loss of the phone interfered in Turner’s ability to serve his constituents. Smith had ordered Turner’s phone turned off after he made a series of vulgar, abusive posts, including an apparent death threat, on Facebook. It later came out that Turner had also been using his city phone to provide free wifi for teenagers in his neighborhood. Turner admitted as much during a November city council meeting. According to city documents, Turner’s data usage was about 70 percent of the total use from all city councilmen’s phones, and it cost the city nearly $3,000. Tuesday the city, who is represented by attorney Corky Smith, responded, asking that Turner’s suit be dismissed. Corky Smith also filed a countersuit against Turner, seeking repayment of about $2,800 in cell phone date fees. The counterclaim alleges that Turner’s phone was to be used “specifically for municipal purposes” and that “the phone, plan and its use...

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Urology Group at Exchange Club

BY BRIAN JONES brian.jones@packet-media.com COLUMBUS – Dr. Joshua Griffin and Dr. Ben Woodson of the Columbus Urology Group spoke to the Columbus Exchange Club Dec. 8. They talked about common urological ailments and new treatments. Griffin covered prostate screening, overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. “Urologists are not just plumbers,” he said. “We do a lot more than ‘why does it sting when I pee, doctor?’ We deal with kidneys, bladder, prostate disease, urinary incontinence, fertility, urinary tract infections, cancers of the urinary tract. We also cover men’s health, when it comes to erectile dysfunction and low testosterone and those kind of things. Urology is not men-specific. A lot of people think that urology is a man’s doctor, and that’s true, but we treat a lot of women as well.” Griffin began with prostate problems. “All men have a prostate,” he said. “Initially, anyway, unless you see one of us. It’s basically the size of a walnut, and is at the base of the bladder. It’s around the urethra. It is a gland that produces fluid that is transported into the sperm during ejaculation. It’s important for fertility and that’s about it. “Some of the things that we see very commonly is problems with it being enlarged or having chronic infections,” he said. “We also see prostate cancer. It is a natural thing as men age. The prostate gland grows...

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