Board votes not to install cameras on Lamar buses

News Briefs From Across The State

By Monica Land

Cameras would catch drivers who passed the stopped bus

The Lamar County School Board has voted 3-2 not to hire a Phoenix firm to install cameras on school buses to catch drivers who are passing the stopped buses.

Board member Mike Pruitt, who voted no, told The Hattiesburg American he wasn’t against installing the cameras, but objected to the way the firm intended to make its money.

The firm, Redflex Traffic Systems, would make a profit by taking $200 to $300 of the $350 to $700 fine levied for passing a stopped school bus. The cost to the district to install, operate and monitor the cameras would be zero.

Redflex’s Jill Meinke made the pitch for her company to bring cameras to the school district’s bus system at a school board work session this week.

Leland begins search for police chief

The city of Leland has decided to advertise the job of police chief.

The Delta Democrat Times reports that city officials say the decision has nothing to do with the performance of interim police chief Scott Tarpley.

Tarpley has served as the interim police chief since Aug. 14, when the board voted to demote former chief Leon Hicks. Tarpley had previously served as the night shift supervisor for the department.

Officials say Tarpley can apply for the job.

Hicks had succeeded Oscar McAdory, who died March 29 of cancer. Hicks had been acting chief during McAdory’s leave of absence

Ex-Jackson officer pleads guilty in bribery case

Anthony Ricardo Payne Jr.

The last of three former Jackson police officers charged in a bribery case has pleaded guilty.

WAPT reported Anthony Ricardo Payne changed his plea to guilty on Nov. 7 in U.S. District Court in Jackson, one week before his trial was to begin.

Two other former officers, Monyette Quintel Jefferson and Terence Dale Jenkins, pleaded guilty Oct. 17. Their sentencing is set for Jan. 7. However, it may be pushed to Feb. 28, to coincide with Payne’s sentencing hearing.

The three men were indicted on charges of accepting bribes to protect drug shipments. It turned out the men they thought were drug dealers were really FBI agents.



Grant to help fund new school library

The town of Smithville has received a $15,000 grant toward replacing the school library that was destroyed by a tornado in April of 2011.

School librarian Kerry Baker tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the grant came from the “Beyond Words: Dollar General School Library Relief Fund.”

Smithville’s new school is expected to open next August. The school, its library and much of the north Mississippi town were destroyed during the tornado.

Students are in trailer classrooms on a temporary campus.

The tornado did not destroy everything in the former library but the school did lose a lot of books and equipment. Officials say the grant will help it to make the new library even better than the previous one.

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