Tuesday, February 09, 2016
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

County budget highlights revenue priorities

Citizens and supervisors at last got a look at a paper copy of the county’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget, when Deputy Chancery Clerk Luevenia Byrd and county administrator Michael Thompson handed out packets at the September 15 Board of Supervisors meeting.

The new budget projects total revenue of $33.69 million. About 30 percent of that total, or $10.36 million, will come from taxes on property owners. The total from taxes includes $3.3 million for debt service and $3.9 million for general government. The balance of tax revenue goes to special funds such as road maintenance, E911, homeland security, and fire protection.

The county is projecting that it will receive gaming taxes in the coming year totaling $18.9 million, or approximately 55 percent of total projected revenue. About 88 percent of revenues go into the general fund.

The FY16 budget includes a projected cash balance, or carry-over from the current year, of $800,000 in the general fund and about $2 million overall, bringing total projected revenues for FY16 up to $35.75 million.

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Canon honored for service to state

The Mississippi Gaming Commission honored retiring member and chairman Nolen Canon of Tunica last Wednesday with a reception and dinner at Gold Strike Casino.

Canon’s 11 years of service on the Commission are ending September 30. Since his appointment in 2004, Canon and his fellow Commissioners presided over the challenges of Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill in the Gulf, and the Mississippi River flood of 2011, all of which had profound impacts on gaming and tourism in the state.

In his remarks, Canon reminisced about those challenges.

“When you see a casino on the wrong side of the street, you know things are bad,” he said. “It is a testament to the industry that they rebuilt.”

Canon offered a blanket thank you to the more than 100 friends, colleagues and family members who attended, singling out his wife Toni for her support.

Canon “exemplifies legacy and stewardship,” commented Jerry St. Pe, who was appointed in the same year. St. Pe said Canon had been the “leveling force” on the Commission, helping him and the third member, John Hairston, find the best solutions to challenges. St. Pe and Hairston presented Canon with a fitting gift, a model tractor with 11 casino chips on the front as tractor weights, one chip for each year of his service.

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Gun reported on local campus

The Rosa Fort High School, Tunica Middle School and David Williams Career Technical Center campuses were on lockdown last Wednesday, September 9 from about 2 p.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m., after a gun was reported to be on the high school campus.

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Court cases in legal limbo

As the November general election nears, critical court cases relating to candidates for county offices  remain unsettled.

This week, a hearing on whether the Tunica County Democratic Executive Committee should be sanctioned and whether damages and costs would be awarded to Jacqueline Dishmon-Boykin was postponed until next Tuesday, September 22, after no court reporter was available.

Special Judge Henry Lackey announced at about 10:45 Monday, September 14, that the case would be continued.

“The court reporter that was here in May has resigned,” Lackey said.

He told witnesses that they would were under the same summons they had already received and should appear next week.

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