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News from the Monroe County Journal in North Mississippi

Building the best balsa bridge

* Mantachie High School team takes home first place in statewide bridge building contest. These days, Mantachie students Greg Cooper, Ethan Cockrell and Trenton Wigginton know there are two sides to every bridge. Truthfully, they probably knew that before. But since entering and winning their division of the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s annual bridge building […]

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Our house of great dispute

To me, our little single-story house has a lot going for it. It’s got character, as they say. Personality. It’s definitely getting on in years. The house is old enough to be my father … possibly my grandfather if it were particularly promiscuous in its high school days. At 1,400 square feet, it’s large by […]

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Sizing up soil: Local teams to compete in national land judging competiton

“Land judging is a ridiculously hard competition,” said Marie Rogers, agent for Itawamba County’s 4-H Club. It was an almost unnecessary statement. To anyone unfamiliar with the intricacies of trying to determine how best to utilize a plot of land by feeling the texture of the soil, measuring its depth and whatnot, land judging might […]

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Prescription med drop-off returns Saturday

* The last event netted more than 125 pounds of pills. Like many states, Mississippi is addicted to prescription drug abuse. In 2012 alone, an estimated 90 percent of the state’s overdose deaths were a result of prescription drug abuse, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. Itawambians can help curtail the problem by […]

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Superior sounds: New directors lead Itawamba bands to critical acclaim

This has been a year of firsts for Itawamba high school bands. At the beginning of the year both Mantachie High School and Itawamba Agricultural High School faced the challenge of incorporating new directors into their programs … a tall order, as any former band kid will attest. The bond between director and band can […]

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No more ‘Cleos’: Ending the shame

Editor’s note: This is the third and final part in a series of stories about ‘Cleo,’ a young girl who was sexually abused during her early childhood. The previous stories were published in the April 2 and April 9 editions of The Itawamba County Times. While nine-year-old ‘Cleo’ may be physically safe from the man […]

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Business owners vexed by Mantachie Walmart rumor

* Small business owners appeared before the Mantachie board to express their concerns about how the retail giant might impact their town. The rumors that Walmart may be opening a small store in Mantachie have some of the town’s local business owners upset. In early April, The Itawamba County Times reported that Walmart is rumored […]

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Fulton book lover to give away free books next Wednesday

* The Fulton resident is participating in World Book Night, an event which helps introduce people to the joys of reading. Do you enjoy a good book? Sort of? No? Well, the organizers of World Book Night, coming to Itawamba County for the first time this year, think that maybe light and non-readers simply haven’t […]

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No more ‘Cleos’: Fighting the good fight

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of a multi-part series of stories about child abuse. The series began in the April 2 edition of The Itawamba County Times. Cleo’s stepfather … the man who allegedly began sexually abusing her when she was only three years old … has never done a day of jail time. […]

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Get the word out

* Upcoming event aims to promote reading among children. Keeping young minds active during the summer months is more important to their educations than most people realize. Apparently, there’s a thing called the “summer slide.” That’s when school-aged kids, suddenly released from the rigors of the classroom, cease reading for the summer months. By the […]

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Mantachie gets first self-serve natural gas pump in N.E. Miss.

* The pump, which will provide fuel for natural gas powered vehicles, will be one of only three statewide. “This is why this works,” said Mike Horton, manager of North Mississippi Natural Gas in Mantachie, pointing to his computer monitor. On-screen was a map. A thick blue line traced the route between Memphis and Birmingham, […]

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No more ‘Cleos’: Raising awareness for child abuse

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first story in a multi-part series about child abuse. The second story will be published in the April 9 edition of The Itawamba County Times. When she was three years old, Cleo’s stepfather had sex with her. Allegedly, this and similar abuse occurred repeatedly and continually for years until, after […]

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Home Grown: Lily’s Cafe

Even before stepping through the front doors, the atmosphere around Lily’s Cafe is unlike any other restaurant in Itawamba County. The shuffling, swingy style of New Orleans jazz greets guests, piping through speakers above the entrance and bouncing off the buildings in downtown Fulton, turning the entire square into a dance hall. Or, if it’s […]

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About 300 sign up before ACA deadline

Nondescript music piped from the speaker of Joyce Johnson’s office phone, occasionally broken by the recording that promised the call was important and to please stay on the line. Wearing a patient smile, Johnson, one of Mantachie Rural Health Care clinic’s two federally-funded Affordable Care Act enrollment counselors, shook her head. “We’re playing the waiting […]

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